Finding a comfortable pair of shoes to wear when you have plantar fasciitis is absolutely key. What about Crocs? Are Crocs good for plantar fasciitis? Do they have enough arch support? Do they have enough cushion? Let's find out.
Crocs may be the first shoe you think of when you start having heel pain from plantar fasciitis. Why? Because they are like walking on clouds, with plenty of cushion in the heel. Naturally, you'll reach for them - and ignore all fashion sense - for comfort alone.
But, are Crocs bad for plantar fasciitis?
👣 Why Crocs may feel good when you have plantar fasciitis
Crocs feel really good on your feel when you're having plantar fasciitis heel and foot pain, because they have lots of cushion.
They are made of a proprietary material, called Croslite. Croslite is primarily composed by polyethylene vinyl acetate or PEVA. Sometimes, referred to as just "EVA", this polymer is a type of plastic that you'll see other shoe brands use for their waterproof sandals. Even Birkenstock's waterproof sandals are made of EVA.
While this material is waterproof, it also feels like walking on foam or a thick cushion. Sounds great, right? Especially if you're having sharp, intense pain in your foot and heel every time you take a step.
So, while this can be helpful temporarily while you're experiencing a plantar fasciitis flare-up, wearing Crocs long-term will not help to heal, well, your heels.
❌ Why Crocs are bad for plantar fasciitis
Crocs are missing a vital and key element of proper shoes for plantar fasciitis feet: firm and supportive arch support.
Firm arch support is essential for recovering from a flare-up and providing proper support to the fascia in the arch of your foot, so you can prevent pain in the future.
Without proper arch support, the injury to your foot will continue to worsen, even if the cushion from the Crocs helps it feel better in the short-term.
The arch support in Crocs is too squishy and too low for someone with a normal arch, like me. It's definitely too low for someone with high arches. And, individuals with flat feet need proper arch support since they have fallen arches.
What would I recommend instead of Crocs for plantar fasciitis?
Wearing a shoe such as Birkenstocks with the soft footbed gives the best of both worlds. Cushion from the memory foam layer AND firm, substantial arch support.
Besides Birks, try one of these other best shoe brands to support and heal your plantar fasciitis.
🩴 The Crocs I own and how I wear them
I own one pair of Crocs (pictured below) and wear them for very short time frames at home. I usually wear them if I'm going out in the garden or yard when the ground is wet and want a pair of shoes I can easily wash.
If I wear them longer than 5-10 minutes, my feet start hurting in my arches, the middle of my foot (especially the right one) and my ankle becomes weak.
After wearing the Crocs for a little while, I put my Birkenstock Madrid one-strap sandals back on, which I wear as slippers in the house.
I can immediately feel the difference in the firm arch support on the Birks. The pain goes away and my feet feel much more supported as I walk around the house.
So, if you have to wear Crocs for temporary pain relief, that's fine. But, I highly recommend shopping for and wearing a more supportive shoe long-term.