We have all been there, neglected a niggle in our foot and told ourselves that it would probably go away. Weeks have passed, even months, and it’s only getting worse. Then finally, when we are hobbling around barely able to walk, we decide to seek help…

Well, at Achilles Foot Clinic, we are here to help you.

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Stepping into Comfort: The Role of Footwear in Managing Heel Pain - Dos and Don'ts

April 15, 20243 min read

Heel pain is a common enemy for many, taking the joy out of that daily walk or that special dance. However, with the right support, you can conquer heel pain. In this Achilles Foot clinic guide, we'll explore the surprising role footwear plays in managing heel pain and equip you with the "dos" and "don't" of shoe selection for pain-free steps.

Understanding Heel Pain: The Culprits Behind the Ache

Heel pain can arise from various culprits, all impacting the delicate structures in your heel. Here are some of the most common foes:

  • Plantar Fasciitis: This inflammation of the ligament that runs along the sole of your foot can cause stabbing pain, especially in the morning or after long periods of standing.

  • Heel Spur: A bony protrusion that develops on the underside of the heel bone can irritate surrounding tissues, leading to pain.

  • Achilles Tendinitis: Inflammation of the tendon that connects your calf muscles to your heel bone can cause pain and stiffness.

Why Footwear Matters: Your Shoes Can Be Your Best Weapon

Now, let's talk about how the right shoes can be your secret weapon in the fight against heel pain. Here's how footwear plays a crucial role:

  • Shock Absorption: Proper cushioning in the sole of your shoe absorbs impact as your heel strikes the ground, reducing stress on the plantar fascia and other structures.

  • Arch Support: A well-fitting shoe with good arch support helps distribute your body weight evenly, preventing excessive strain on the heel.

  • Stability and Control: Shoes that offer stability and control prevent excessive rolling inwards (overpronation) which can exacerbate heel pain.

Do's and Don'ts of Footwear for Heel Pain Sufferers

Now that you understand the importance of footwear, let's equip you with a guide to selecting the right shoes for conquering heel pain:


  • Choose shoes with good arch support: Look for shoes with built-in arch support or consider using arch inserts for added comfort.

  • Opt for cushioned soles: Select shoes with shock-absorbing soles made from materials like EVA foam or gel.

  • Invest in athletic shoes: Athletic shoes often provide excellent arch support and cushioning, making them a great choice for everyday wear.

  • Consider a wider fit: Go for shoes with a wider toe box to allow your toes to spread naturally and provide better stability.


  • Wear shoes with flat or worn-out soles: These offer minimal shock absorption and can worsen heel pain.

  • Choose shoes with high heels: High heels put excessive pressure on the balls of your feet and can strain your Achilles tendon.

  • Squeeze into narrow shoes: This can restrict blood flow and worsen pain.

  • Ignore discomfort: If your shoes cause pain, don't suffer in silence! Invest in a new pair that provides proper support.

Remember: Consulting a podiatrist at Achilles Foot clinic is vital for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan for your specific heel pain. They can recommend specific shoes or orthotics to provide optimal support and expedite your healing journey.

Taking Care of Your Steps: Additional Tips for Heel Pain Management

In addition to selecting the right footwear, here are some bonus tips to manage heel pain:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts extra stress on your heels.

  • Stretch regularly: Stretching your calves and plantar fascia can help improve flexibility and reduce pain.

  • Apply ice therapy: Icing your heel for 15-20 minutes several times a day can help reduce inflammation.

  • Consider pain medication: Over-the-counter pain relievers can help manage pain while you heal.

Conclusion: Stepping Towards a Pain-Free Future

Heel pain doesn't have to slow you down. By understanding the role of footwear and incorporating these tips, you can take control and walk towards a pain-free future. Remember, at Achilles Foot clinic, our podiatrists are here to support you every step of the way. Don't hesitate to reach out for personalized guidance and treatment options to get you back on your feet and enjoying life to the fullest.

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Achilles Foot Clinic

Achilles Foot Clinic, Main Street, Ballincollig P31 HE00, 0212021001

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