A prospective study on maximalist athletic shoes as part of a comprehensive approach to the medical management of early-stage plantar fasciitis

Review written by Ian Griffiths info

Key Points

  1. Footwear may have the ability to influence symptoms associated with heel pain and is worthy of consideration as part of a multi-modal treatment plan.
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Plantar heel pain, commonly referred to as plantar fasciitis (PF) by many, is an incredibly common complaint and is accepted as being the most common overuse issue affecting the foot (1). Footwear is an easy, inexpensive, and modifiable variable which was referred to in a recent best practice guide for plantar heel pain management (2), but there does not appear to be a broad evidence base upon which to make specific informed decisions or recommendations about design features that should be considered. Heel cushioning, however, has been previously suggested to be valuable (3,4).

The objective of this study was to determine if maximalist running shoes could be used as part of a comprehensive management protocol for PF and if it has a measurable impact over standard running shoes.

Plantar fasciitis is the most common overuse issue affecting the foot.
Footwear remains a useful tool to be utilized in the management of painful foot conditions for its ability to alter tissue loads.


A total of 38 participants (24 females, 14 males) were recruited and completed the study. The key inclusion criteria were to be over 18 years old, have unilateral heel pain for 1-6 months, and for PF thickening (>4.0mm) to be

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