walking group

Plantar Fasciitis

Title: Understanding and Conquering Plantar Fasciitis: A Hiker's Guide


I am writing this article from personal experience. To be honest I was too overweight and heavy and that was the major cause. As avid hikers, we all enjoy walking in the beautiful countryside. However, an often underestimated adversary that can hinder our adventures is plantar fasciitis. This common foot ailment can sneak up on even the most experienced hikers, causing pain and discomfort that may put a damper on your outdoor pursuits. In this article, we'll delve into what plantar fasciitis is, how to avoid it, what to do if you find yourself dealing with it, and throw in some interesting facts about this unpleasant condition.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes and supports the arch of the foot. This condition often results from overuse, improper footwear, or biomechanical issues that put excess strain on the plantar fascia. The pain is typically felt on the bottom of the heel and is most acute with the first steps in the morning or after prolonged periods of rest.

How to Avoid Plantar Fasciitis:

Choose the Right Footwear: Invest in high-quality hiking boots that provide proper arch support, cushioning, and stability. Make sure your footwear fits well and is suitable for the specific terrain you'll be trekking.

Gradual Increase in Intensity: Avoid sudden increases in hiking intensity, especially if you're tackling more challenging trails. Gradually build up your endurance to allow your feet to adapt to increased stress.

Stretching and Strengthening: Incorporate foot and calf stretches into your pre-hike routine. Strengthening exercises for the feet and calves can help improve their resilience against overuse injuries.

Proper Warm-up: Warm up before hitting the trail. Stretch your calves, hamstrings, and the bottom of your feet to prepare your muscles and reduce the risk of injury.

Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess body weight puts additional strain on your feet, increasing the risk of plantar fasciitis. Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise.

What to Do If You Get Plantar Fasciitis:

Plantar Fasciitis is basically a repetive strain injury. The best thing to do it to take a break from walking. You can find a large amount of special socks and boots on internet. When I had plantar fasciitis I tried many of these remedies and gadgets. In my opinion none of them worked. I was fortunate enough to get plantar fasciitis at the start of the lockdown and I was forced to decrease my walking activities.

Rest and Ice: If you suspect plantar fasciitis, rest is crucial. Apply ice to the affected area to reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.

Stretching Exercises: Perform gentle stretching exercises for your calves and feet. Rolling your foot over a tennis ball or frozen water bottle can provide relief. Look on internet and you tube for stretching excercises.

Supportive Footwear: Opt for supportive shoes with cushioning and good arch support. Consider using orthotic inserts to alleviate pressure on the plantar fascia.

Anti-Inflammatory Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and inflammation. Consult with a healthcare professional before taking any medication.

Professional Help: If the pain persists, consult a healthcare professional or a physical therapist. They can provide personalized advice, recommend specific exercises, or suggest additional treatments such as orthotics or physical therapy.

Interesting Facts about Plantar Fasciitis:

Common Affliction: Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain, affecting millions of people worldwide.

Morning Pain: The characteristic pain experienced in the morning is due to the tightening of the plantar fascia during rest, making the first steps of the day particularly uncomfortable.

Risk Factors: While plantar fasciitis can affect anyone, certain factors increase the risk, including age, obesity, high-impact activities, and occupations that involve prolonged standing.

Natural Shock Absorber: The plantar fascia acts as a natural shock absorber, supporting the arch of the foot and helping distribute body weight evenly during activities like hiking.


By understanding plantar fasciitis and taking preventive measures, hikers can minimize the risk of this common foot ailment. Remember to listen to your body, invest in proper footwear, and incorporate stretching and strengthening exercises into your routine. In the event of plantar fasciitis, early intervention and a comprehensive approach to treatment can expedite recovery, ensuring you're back on the trails in no time. Happy hiking!


The top image was obtained from starline / Freepik