Running is a high-impact exercise that puts significant stress on major joints such as your ankles, knees and hips. Sturdy running shoes that offer plenty of cushion and support and that fit your feet well are important for any runner. But if you're running with heel spurs, you should take additional care in choosing the best running shoes to support your feet.
About Heel Spurs
A heel spur is a deposit of calcium that forms on the heel, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. A heel spur can form from persistent plantar fasciitis, another condition that causes heel pain. Both plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are caused by inflammation of the tendons in the foot, resulting in pain in the heel.
The Importance of Good Shoes
Because heel spurs result from inflammation of the foot, it's important to reduce the strain on the foot. When running in worn-out shoes, shoes that aren't designed for running or shoes that don't offer enough support, the inflamed tendons on the foot absorb that impact. The impact of running on poor shoes can worsen inflammation and pain, while soft, cushioned running shoes absorb more impact and reduce the strain on the foot.
If you suffer from heel spurs but choose to continue running, you might need to invest in some new running shoes to ease pain. Look for running shoes that offer extra cushion and support in the heel area. The shoes should also offer support across the entire foot, and fit correctly in both the toe and heel. Running shoes should also offer extra support in the arch and good stability throughout the shoe. Brands such as New Balance and Brooks offer good running shoes for people with heel spurs.
Recovering From Heel Spurs
You might need to take a break from running if you develop plantar fasciitis or heel spurs. The foot needs to rest and heal to alleviate inflammation in the heel, as the impact of running can further inflammation and prevent healing. Regular stretching of the Achilles tendon before and after a run can help ease pain. A padded heel insert or a lift placed in the heel can help to alleviate the pain of a heel spur when placed inside your running or other shoe. Icing the heel can also help manage heel spur pain, as can nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. You may also need to wear a splint on the foot at night to help stretch