Foot pain while walking can extend from toe to arch and all the way to the heel, depending on the pain’s source. Debilitating foot pain when walking can keep you from your favorite activities and enjoying life with family and friends. However, there are ways to get foot pain relief. And, sometimes, it’s as simple as getting better foot support.
Foot Pain Causes
Nearly 70% of people in the United States have foot pain at some time or another. Factors and conditions that contribute to foot pain and therefore pain in the foot when walking include:
- Excess weight: Being overweight puts more pressure on the foot’s structure.
- Overuse: Long days spent on your feet or long-distance running can inflame the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the feet. It can also lead to stress fractures.
- Aging: The feet lose their natural strength and flexibility, weakening and spreading over time.
- Foot structure (high or low arch): Elements of your foot’s structure like a particularly high or low arch can put extra stress on the foot’s structure.
- Injury or strain: Plantar fasciitis, bunions, corns, and tarsal tunnel syndrome are just a few of the conditions that can cause pain in the feet when walking.
Foot Problems What Cause Pain When Walking
1. Plantar Fasciitis
This condition, which causes pain in the heel or the bottom portion of the foot, accounts for an estimated 15% of foot problems. Plantar fasciitis typically causes the worst pain when a person walks first thing in the morning.
The symptoms include stabbing pain in the heel and bottom of the foot, especially when walking and standing. Learn more about Plantar Fasciitis here.
This condition occurs when nerves in the foot start to thicken, placing pressure on the toes. A person may feel as though there is always something in the shoe, such as a rock. Tingling, numbness, or burning in the foot may also occur. Arch support is critical in preventing and alleviating Plantar Fasciitis.
2. Morton’s neuroma
This condition occurs when nerves in the foot start to thicken, placing pressure on the toes. A person may feel as though there is always something in the shoe, such as a rock. Tingling, numbness, or burning in the foot may also occur.
The pain typically presents in the ball of the foot, while burning and stinging sensations tend to appear in the toes. Stabilizing footweat and insoles with a deep heel cup can help prevent and alleviate Morton's Neuroma.
Metatarsalgia typically presents as a sharp aching and burning pain on the ball of the foot. It can also cause numbness or tingling in the toes and the feeling of an object, such as a pebble, being in the shoe.
The pain is usually concentrated in the ball of the foot, just behind the toes. Proper arch support and good footwear can help prevent and alleviate metatarsalgia.
4. Achilles Tendinitis
Tendinitis occurs when a tendon becomes inflamed. Tendinitis, especially of the Achilles tendon that runs down the back of the heel, can cause pain when exercising.
The pain consists of an ache in the back of the leg or heel, as well as tenderness or stiffness in the foot. It is often caused or exaserbated by unsupportive shoes. Learn more about the differences between Plantar Fasciitis vs Achilles Tendinitis here.
Also known as bunions, hallux valgus occurs when the foot changes in structure, with the big toe tilting toward the other toes. This misalignment causes a bump or bony prominence to appear on the inside of the foot by the base of the big toe.
A person may notice a burning sensation, as well as redness, swelling, or numbness in the foot. The pain can get worse, particularly in the big and second toes, when a person is wearing shoes. In order to prevent bunions from worsening, it is important to think about your shoes; the best shoes for bunions have a wide toe box, and good arch support.
6. Heel Spurs
Abnormal bone growth causes heel pain, swelling, and redness. Some people can develop the pain as a result of plantar fasciitis.
The pain primarily affects the heel, usually when a person is walking, jogging, running, or engaging in other types of physical activity.
How to Reduce Foot Pain From Walking
1. Narrow Down the Pain Points
Narrowing down your pain points, like the arch or the heel of the foot, can help diagnose the source of foot pain from walking. A medical condition like plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, or posterior tibial tendonitis (inflammation in a tendon that supports the arch) may require medical treatment from a doctor or physical therapist.
2. The Best Walking Shoes for Foot Pain
If your feet don’t get adequate support from your shoes, your feet could ache by the end of the day. If you’re walking several miles a day, make sure you have shoes specifically designed for walking. Walking shoes support the foot’s mechanics in a walking gait, which requires a stiffer sole than running shoes. Running shoes have a flexible sole that’s perfect for running but can leave the foot vulnerable to extra stress when walking.
Foot pain can also stem from wearing worn-out shoes. The shoe’s support system can only take so many miles. Running shoes, for example, last 300 to 500 miles. Shoes that are ten years old may not have the structure to support your feet anymore and are definitely not the best walking shoes for foot pain.
3. Support Your Unique Foot Shape and Structure
Even with well-fit shoes, your feet need support for their shape and structure. Your feet may be different from one another in size, arch heights, or heel widths. That’s where Fulton enters the picture. Our cork insoles mold to the shape of your feet to support each foot’s unique curves and angles. Fulton insoles offer customized arch support and comfortable cushioning to reduce stress on the body, maintain alignment, and ensuring that it is never painful to walk on foot.
4. Stretch for Better Flexibility
Many foot issues start because of stiffness in the foot. Issues like plantar fasciitis and tendon strains benefit from regular stretching of the toes and arch.
A Last Note on Foot Pain Relief
Foot pain isn’t something you have to live with. Take care of yourself from the ground up with Fulton insoles. Feet that are fully supported with customized arch support and comfortable cushioning will go the distance without any pain walking on foot.