In many cases, simply buying a new pair of shoes can help alleviate heel pain, since heel pain tends to worsen as shoes wear out. The best shoes for heel pain will vary from person to person, since different conditions can cause heel pain; athletes, for example, will require different shoes for heel pain than someone who walks regularly, sits for long periods of time, or is overweight. Very often, people who experience heel pain require a shoe that is rigid enough to hold onto the foot without the foot having to strain to keep the shoe in place.
Athletes may shoes for heel pain that are well padded in the area that will support the heel. Others, however, may find the pain worsens with more padding because the foot will tend to flex more. Athletes require special footwear because the feet are more likely to absorb constant and heavy blows from running or otherwise pivoting, so shoes for heel pain among athletes may not be the best choice for people who do not participate in athletic activities. Most people would actually benefit from less padding, though some padding will be necessary. It is important to purchase a shoe that supports the arch of the foot and does not bend excessively. A rigid shoe will help prevent excess foot movement, which can lead to heel pain.
Choose a shoe with a cushioned insole that supports the arch of the foot. If the arch of the foot is not supported, it may collapse, leading to different types of pain including plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the soft tissue of the foot. When this tissue becomes inflamed, the pain is very often felt in the heel. Supporting the arch can help prevent this pain from occurring, so choose a shoe with a good insole and a design that supports the arch. If you have flat feet, try to choose a shoe with an arch that is not too high, as this may further inflame the soft tissue.
Sometimes it is necessary to choose shoes that will also help correct an abnormal gait. A podiatrist may recommend a certain type of shoe to help remedy a gait that can cause heel pain and other types of pain; very often a doctor may recommend purchasing shoes that will help correct pronation, which occurs when the foot rolls. Either condition can lead to several types of pains throughout the foot and legs, so corrective shoes may be in order.