Heel Cups For Plantar Fasciitis: Things You Should Know

If you’ve ever had plantar fasciitis, also known as heel bruise, you know what it entails. It’s a misery you won’t wish even on your worst enemy. The pain associated with this foot injury is excruciating.

However, every problem has a solution and the same applies for plantar fasciitis. Yes, there’s a way to curb this burning sensation that denies you happy moments. Adding a heel cup to your shoe sole will help you to not only relieve the heel pain but also enjoy an all-day heel cushioning that will keep away incidences of plantar fasciitis in future.

Before you start using heel cups for plantar fasciitis, there are a few things I’d like to inform you about the device…

Let’s discuss these things right away:

A few basics first:

Heel cups (also referred to as heel cushions or pads) are the smallest and also the simplest orthotic devices designed to fight plantar fasciitis. To deploy them, simply slip them into the back area of your shoe. They’re made from gel or plastic materials which can absorb shock whenever you walk or run.

For the gel makes, there’s some degree of flexibility associated with them. This makes them ideal for people with sensitive feet.

How Do Heel Cups Work?

This part will give you a slight idea on how these orthotic devices work.

The devices work in two main ways described below:

  1. Heel Lifting: heel pads utilize the heel lift mechanism where they slightly lift your heels up as you walk/run. This serves to reduce the tension on your Achilles tendons ad calf muscles. This effect is transmitted to plantar fascia tendon too, making it more flexible and less likely to strain and tear.
  2. These small devices also work by providing your heel an all-day cushioning as well absorption of shock. Again, this reduces the stress on the plantar fascia (especially for people bearing heel spurs).
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Why Use The Heel Cups/Pads/Cushions?

Helps Relieve Heel Pain

One of the main reasons why I’d advise you to consider using a heel cup on your shoes is the fact that it helps calm down your pain and inflammations.

Many brands have come out to end your pain by introducing high-quality heel cups where your affected heel will sit comfortably and get a soothing treatment that eventually calms down the pain.

Some companies have even incorporated their heel cups with patented techniques, e.g. Fascia-Bar, that offers you a 100% natural heel treatment!

Note that heel cups not only relieves plantar fascia, but they’ll reduce heel spurs.

Extra Shock Absorption

Any runners in the house? Fantastic… Does it matter if you run with heel strike? Yes, it greatly does. Any professional athlete will agree with me on this. Heel strike means that every time you land, your foot will impact the ground with a significant, nearly instantaneous amount of force. The force, in turn, sends a shock that is well felt by your foot muscles, even the plantar fascia ligament.

Such excess shock might lead to sudden strains to your fascia, cause micro tears, and plantar fascia is born!

However, wearing a heel cup helps you avoid this disaster. The fact that a high-quality heel cup is designed from gel or plastic material means that it will provide extra shock absorption in your heel area. These devices will quickly absorb the shock produced by your heel strike when you’re walking or running.

Improved Foot Health

If you stick to the habit of wearing a heel cushion at all times, you’ll be on the highway to boosting the health of your feet.

“How is this possible?”…  You might be asking yourself this…

If you wear this device, you’ll note how excellently it supports your midfoot as well as the arch. This is where the secret to better feet health lies.

If your arch lacks sufficient support, it collapses and leads causes overstressing of the plantar fascia which then begins to develop micro tears that bring about plantar fasciitis. But with heel cushions, your arch, midfoot are stable, with zero injuries, and good health.

Prevents Occurrence of Heel Pain

A great heel pad not only relieves plantar fasciitis. It also prevents the condition from appearing in your life again. They’re capable of re-aligning your plantar fascia ligament in such a way that it spans your foot sole back into a healthy position, reducing the risk of this foot disorders.

Other ways that the heel pads can maintain the health of your fascia include offering your foot ultimate stability, cradling and protecting your heels in a suitable manner, absorbing excess that results from heel strike, and help repair the injured plantar fascia.

Ideal Footwear for Heel Cups

For this to be effective, you should wear your heel cups with a suitable footwear. Ensure that your footwear meets the following aspects:

  • It bears lace up or any substantial strap fastening
  • Have a low-medium heel height
  • High upper around your heel and good support stiffening
  • An opening that’s forward enough to allow your foot in with the heel cup on
  • Court style shoes are unsuitable
  • Ankle or trainer boots provide the best support all round

If your footwear has removable insoles, you can take them out to give room for the pads

Final Thoughts

If you long to get out of your bed every morning without dreading the first steps, or you want to stand, walk, play, and run throughout the day without the agonizing pain like you used to do before, heel cups are your ultimate solution.

A good heel cup will help relieve plantar fascia, prevent future occurrence of the foot injury, boost your foot health, absorb excess shock, and offer your foot ultimate support and stability, among other benefits.

Many victims of plantar fascia are reaping the benefits of using this great orthotic device. You can also invest in these heel cups and start greeting your new day ahead and loved ones without the tempers brought about by the heel pain.


  1. Heel Cup(s) – Handout for Patients and Carers: http://www.johnflorence.com/lib_documents/Heel%20Cup%20handout%2007%201.pdf
  2. What are The Best Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis: http://www.podiatrytoday.com/article/43
Dr. Shoeta

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