Choosing the Best Shoes for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome is very difficult. If you choose the wrong footwear, it can cause pain or swell in the tarsal nerve area. Before we go to the review part, let’s discuss Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome and Remedies.
What is Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome?
The tarsal tunnel involves pain that includes the lower limb area and specifically the ankle, foot, and more sporadically, also the fingers.
Pain is caused by injury or compression of the posterior tibial nerve.
This nerve crosses the calf's back using a fibrous canal, precisely the tarsal tunnel, passing near the heel and reaching the sole.
Usually, the pain is caused by an inflammation of the tissues surrounding the tarsal tunnel, which swell and press on the nerve.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Test (Symptoms)
Pain is the most common symptom when the patient has a tarsal tunnel.
Specifically, the subject feels burning and/or sensations of numbness. These discomforts can occur during walking or when certain types of shoes are worn.
The pain is usually concentrated in the ankle's inner part, but it spreads to the fingers during the walk.
The pain decreases when you rest with the tarsal tunnel, but the discomfort will then be felt during walking and the rest phase with inflammation progression.
Causes of Tarsal Tunnel
Tarsal tunnel syndrome causes pain due to inflammation or swelling in the area surrounding the tarsal nerve. This syndrome has the same carpal tunnel mechanism that affects the wrist.
The causes that cause the tarsal tunnel include the increase in tissue volume near the tunnel, such as:
Other causes may be bleeding in the tunnel following a foot or ankle injury, inflammation or swelling of the surrounding tendons caused by repetitive movements, or rheumatoid arthritis.
People with flat feet may be more at risk of developing tarsal tunnel syndrome because flattening the plant causes pressure on the tunnel muscles, which compresses the nerve.
There are several causes of tunnel inflammation or swelling:
Whom to Contact?
When the patient begins to experience symptoms that can be traced to the tarsal tunnel's pathology, he must go to a specialist orthopedic doctor. In fact, inflammation, if left untreated or kept under control, can worsen and spread.
Tarsal Tunnel Test
The orthopedic doctor will proceed first with an objective examination of the foot, and subsequently, if necessary, with an additional examination of nerve conduction.
During the physical examination, the doctor manipulates the foot. In doing so, due to the affected area's percussion, the patient will feel a tingling that could extend to the heel, sole, or toes.
As for nerve conduction tests, these are done to determine the problem's source, especially if you want to resort to any surgery.
Besides, the doctor may also prescribe further tests that can be performed using radiographs to exclude underlying traumatic injuries, such as undiagnosed fractures, or skeletal anomalies caused by exostoses, i.e., the benign formation of new bone tissue, and osteochondromas, a form of benign neoplasm, which can cause nerve crushing.
The Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) may be useful to be able to more easily identify the area in which the nerve is compressed and exclude inflammation.
Finally, the best method for analyzing and evaluating nerve function is electromyography, which investigates how the posterior tibial nerve transmits an electrical impulse.
Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome Treatment
Let's analyze together what the non-surgical and surgical remedies of the tarsal tunnel could be.
In most tarsal tunnel cases, the best treatments can be ice packs, physiotherapy, or corticosteroid infiltrations to help reduce pain.
These treatments, depending on the intensity and severity, can last from 3 to 6 months.
You can also intervene by applying a bandage to the foot or using special and customized orthotics or orthoses inside the shoe.
When the patient has undergone non-surgical treatment for several months, but unfortunately, he has not received any benefit, or the results have been minimal, in that case, the orthopedic specialist doctor may decide to intervene through the surgery.
This surgery is called the release tarsal tunnel.
Tarsal tunnel surgeries can be of two types: minimally invasive and invasive.
As for the minimally invasive surgery, the tunnel is drilled, and the operation is performed by ultrasound. We proceed with this type of intervention when we are not sure of this pathology's cause, which involves the nerve's compression.
Instead, we proceed with more invasive interventions when we are aware of the cause that entails the syndrome's appearance, which can be post-traumatic or idiopathic.
The interventions at the tarsal tunnel have very high success rates ranging from 50% to 90%. Unfortunately, despite the surgery, the disease may recur, especially when it comes to elderly patients.
After surgery, the patient should wear a brace to protect the ankle and make the joint stable.
Prevention of Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome
The first thing to do to prevent nerve compression, which therefore involves tarsal tunnel syndrome, is the use of comfortable shoes. Many types of shoes facilitate walking and adapt to the type of foot support, gait, and weight of the patient on the market.
A valid alternative can be the anti-shock insoles to improve the support of the foot. If these are not useful, then you can provide with the purchase of an orthotic orthosis, which can be made in a specialized orthopedic center.
Without further ado, let’s see some of the Best Shoes for Tarsal Tunnel.
6 Best Shoes for Tarsal Tunnel Reviewed
Best Walking Shoes for Tarsal Tunnel
As you get older, wearing correct, supportive, and comfortable footwear is absolutely vital for any situation or occasion.
Most people already suffer from a precarious foot, knee, ankle, or back condition and therefore need orthopedic footwear to reduce the symptoms caused by these conditions.
If you have tarsal tunnel syndrome and not wearing the proper footwear for walking can cause much damage the feet, knees, and ankles and even make lower back pain worse. [See also: Best Shoes for Back Pain]
If you decide that you will walk as a form of exercise or leisure, it is essential to choose a pair of footwear appropriate for your type of foot and the type of walk you intend to undertake.
The fundamental characteristics of a walking shoe for the elderly must be the stability that the shoe provides. A stable shoe will help support your ankle and arches as you walk and regulate heel movement to reduce stress and impact your heels.
The shoe's material is also fundamental because, from such a shoe, you expect it to be breathable and light. When you have a precarious foot condition or hallux valgus, a shoe made with soft and flexible materials that do not exert additional pressure on the affected areas is also essential.
These best walking shoes for seniors from Propet are the ones for you if, despite your venerable age, you have not lost the desire to walk and keep yourself in shape. Even if the only commute you will take is from home to the supermarket, this shoe can relieve you.
Whether you suffer from swollen feet, whether you have hallux valgus, or just feet with calluses or warts, this is the ideal walking shoe. [Don't miss: Best Walking Shoes for High Arches]
The Propet is comfortable and supportive enough for any shape, type, or condition of the foot.
This walking shoe's main features are upper in soft and elastic genuine leather with adjustable hook-and-loop closure. The Propet also features a breathable nylon lining that is gentle on the skin and an integrated heel stabilizer.
Finally, these tarsal tunnel shoes have an Ortholite insole with soft foam for maximum comfort and a synthetic sole that ensures good grip and shock absorption.
Pros and Cons of Propét shoes
Having flat feet with tarsal tunnel syndrome can be a painful experience. The problem will not always be solved simply by wearing the right shoes: in many cases, your standard brands and models will not be suitable for this type of feet, and it will be easy to experience more pain than usual simply because you haven't found the right shoe for you and your foot yet.
Thankfully, some brands specifically target people with flat feet. Even the slightest difference in the inside or upper can significantly impact your walking shoes' comfort level when you wear them.
The Brooks Beast is walking running shoes built for the maximum comfort and support possible without sacrificing other essential parts of the design, using a blend of breathable and durable materials to create something open, airy, and prevents water from entering shoes.
The midsoles cushioning of this brooks mens beast shoes are designed to stretch and adapt to your foot's shape, almost like memory foam, while the shoe's heel uses extra supports to give the feet a more elastic step.
Besides, the wide toe and the collar of brooks beast men's shoes made specifically for this type of foot will give you more space to move without feeling compressed.
The design of these comfortable walking shoes allows them to fit a range of different foot shapes without ever appearing too loose or tight.
If you have tarsal tunnel syndrome and are an overpronator or have flat feet, this is the right shoe for walking and running. Vionic shoes are also one of the best shoes for tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Pros and Cons of Brooks Beast 20
Best Running Shoes for Tarsal Tunnel
We have already reviewed some of the best walking shoes for the tarsal tunnel. Hence, why not take a look at the best running shoes for the tarsal tunnel? Nike has outdone itself this time. He beat everyone in speed and produced an impregnable shoe.
The Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% was created based on Nike's previous running shoe, the Alphafly NEXT%, with input from the fastest athletes globally.
After the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly NEXT%, it wasn't easy to do better. Then the Alphafly came out, and Nike had made great strides over the previous model. Finally, they launch the Tempo Next%
The tempo is a very performing technical shoe, suitable for those running fast and over long distances. In fact, it is the training version of the brand's racing shoe par excellence, the Alphafly.
These comfortable running shoes aren't meant to be worn every day for multiple reasons but arguably the most important because they aren't built to last as long as a regular athletic shoe.
Tempo Next% is not a shoe for everyone. It will be the ideal companion for faster runners who don't want to comfort and cushion.
Now it's time to talk about the Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next%.
Let's start immediately and go into details. We have to go fast, too, just like Tempo Next.
The shoe is designed to be exploited at high rates and in pace changes that require reactive response. This model makes great use of our feet' strength, required, during the race, a great effort. Those who are not used to using their feet predominantly, the risk is to hate these shoes after a few kilometers.
My new Tempo Next% running shoes' soleplate has a lower stiffness, which favors the foot's strengthening during training.
There is no tread in the central part, which helps the shoe increase its lightness.
In the rear part of the heel, there are 2 separate and distinct parts covered with tread. This tread is also thick enough to ensure superlative durability over time.
The two parts are separated by a fairly deep groove able to deform under the runner's weight and increase cushioning and lightness.
L 'grip in both wet and dry conditions is pretty good, and stability seems excellent for a relatively soft shoe and with this height of the stack. The sole's durability also seems good so far, but obviously, they must be evaluated in the medium to long term.
The rubber sole has a design created based on the data of hundreds of runners. It guarantees traction where it is needed and allows adhesion on any surface.
There is really much cushioning because the thick midsole is soft to the point of even appearing unstable. It has two Air Pod pads in the metatarsal area. Two capsules equipped with highly reactive gas and fibers that, each time they are compressed, react explosively, guaranteeing excellent reactivity and a feeling of propulsion with every step.
The upper is made of a special mesh with an effortless and essential look. This makes it very breathable and comfortable in the fit, with an excellent ability to wrap the foot and keep it securely locked.
At the tip, on the upper part, it has a plastic reinforcement designed to increase the duration of the fabric texture that can be damaged by the nails when they are raised in exciting phases of the race.
The lacing system is connected to two lateral bands called “Flyknit” by Nike, which are in contact internally with the foot and contain it perfectly; it is very similar to the Atomknit of the Alphafly, which guarantees breathability and durability. These two bands are very soft, and during the race, they do not cause any discomfort and do not create chafing.
The laces are in contact with the foot, but they are absolutely not felt during the run. When you first put them on, it feels like it's hard to get your foot in, but that feeling fades over time. The fabric also appears fragile but is actually very comfortable and resistant.
A “FlyEase” model has also been created with a soft and foldable collar to allow runners to put it on quickly and easily, without using their hands. The laceless design also includes a mechanism to tighten and loosen the shoe with one hand.
The heel capsule is very rigid and holds the heel perfectly centered and firmly inside the shoe.
Finally, behind the heel part, a very resistant tongue has a finger to insert, which helps put on the shoe by pulling the tongue up.
Pros and Cons of Nike Air Zoom Tempo Next%
ASICS made minor updates to the GT-2000 9 over the previous version, which means that riders who loved the GT-2000 8 will feel comfortable in the new model.
The Japanese company has remained true to itself and has continued to evolve with models like this that guarantee support and stability. It will not be a shoe that will change your world, but it will make it stable by constituting a milestone in your shoe cabinet.
The ASICS GT 2000 9 Mens is now a candidate to become one of the year's best updates. I found it light, of unique comfort, stable, reliable, and with a clean look.
The ASICS GT-2000 series has been around for a long time, nearly 30 years. This series has always featured very reliable shoes to give runners stability worldwide. No non-excellent product lasts on the market for nearly three decades. You know it well.
These comfortable running shoes for tarsal tunnel syndrome are lightweight and well-cushioned. Perfect for long and difficult training runs. The new Asics footwear features significant changes in the upper section and includes some of the most advanced technologies. A more comfortable feel underfoot, a safer footprint, and greater breathability while running.
It is a very versatile shoe that tries to guarantee natural conduction of the foot and, at the same time, to offer superior protection. [Check also: Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints]
The technologies Dynamic DuoMax, Trusstic, GEL, and Flytefoam have made their way into the GT-2000 9.
The ASICS GT-2000 9 is a stable pair of running shoes that offer comfort and versatility to most runners. No matter what your runner's level is, how far you run or how often you train, this shoe will be a great fit for you.
The GT-2000 9 is like a safe but sporty and always reliable sedan. These comfortable shoes have engineered mesh upper, which is ideal for runners who overpronate or run mainly inside the foot.
The sole is enriched with grooves on the forefoot that will help create a smooth transition between your step and the deadlift. The sole of these running shoes for men and women also includes AHAR (ASICS High-Abrasion Rubber) and AHAR + compounds that provide superior traction and grip on the run along with exceptional durability and wear resistance.
The sole sections, made of durable rubber to improve traction, are broken and separated by grooves. This allows for decoupling at the heel and easy flexion in the forefoot.
The Rearfoot Gel technology(RGT) combined with Forefoot technology provides great support for shock absorption.
Also included in the midsole is Flytefoam, the lightest material of the ASICS midsole. It is still durable despite being so light and helps cushion every step.
This combination of FlyteFoam, softer than it had previously to improve comfort, and the gel technology located in the heel, allows for shock and impact absorption and makes it comfortable shoes for tarsal tunnel syndrome.
Duomax technology plays a key role in the stability of the back of the medial part of the shoe. Duomax is composed of 3mm of firmer foam located inside the midsole to help the foot stay in one place without forcing it and helping the pronator get assistance.
The Trusstic frame's presence completes this shoe's stability is slightly flexible plastic located under the arch.
The entire length of the midsole is made of SpEVA material, which increases responsiveness during the race.
The GT-2000 9 has a mesh upper that is made without any seams around the toe and midfoot to avoid the sensation of discomfort in and out of the shoe and is slightly elastic to adapt to the shape of your foot.
The designers have kept the minimalist style by opting for a clean look highlighting each shoe's side's ASICS logo. The last noteworthy aesthetic feature is a printed overlay that starts at the top lace holes and goes all the way to the back of the heel.
Pros and Cons of ASICS Men's Gt-2000 9
Best Women's Shoes for Tarsal Tunnel
Adidas Terrex Skychaser LT GTX is the best shoes for walking in Goretex (ideal for rain and snow). It's raining like crazy outside, and you probably think your umbrella is enough to keep you dry. However, your feet are soaked after a minute of walking in the rain, and now all you will be wanting is the best walking sneakers that are waterproof.
We are sure that you have often found yourself in this situation more than once: wet sneakers, wet socks, and frozen feet.
Or you love water trekking, walking along streams, crossing fords, and challenging nature and its bad weather. What is right for you is waterproof Goretex Adidas shoes for walking.
The Terrex Skychaser is perfect for you, especially if you keep your feet and want to keep them dry and safe.
The Goretex makes the Adidas shoes 100% waterproof, and the outer material is super durable and will survive anything you encounter in your way.
The sole is super snug, making it perfect for outdoor adventures, and you will surely appreciate the lightness of these sneakers too. The midsole is made from flexible and durable material, giving you the boost and energy return you need (hence the name Skychaser).
Finally, they are made of abrasion-resistant material. Therefore, these waterproof walking shoes will be your best friends if you are an outdoor enthusiast and want to keep your lower limbs protected and dry. [Must see: Best Hiking Shoes for Flat Feet]
Pros and Cons of Adidas Terrex Skychaser Lt Shoe
Nike React Infinity Run is a novelty among the Nike running shoes of 2021 and differs from the others for the generous cushioning and its particular shape.
Nike created Infinity Run intending to make it a shoe with maximum cushioning against injuries and accompany runners for long-mileage runs without losing performance.
To best accompany you during workouts and longer runs, a shoe must adapt best to the foot and be very resistant at the same time. These most comfortable shoes have both.
Unlike traditional stable shoes, the React is proposed as a soft and cushioned model that guarantees a stable and safe run without medial support.
The product's geometry encourages a slight forward inclination, moving the heel's support to the foot's central area (even the forefoot). This mechanism creates a natural sensation of forwarding propulsion.
But that's not all. The wider sole and the supportive foam guarantee a “reassuring” sensation: the good shoes for tarsal tunnel syndrome gently accompanies the foot forward, reducing oscillations and movements from side to side.
Unlike most Nike Running footwear, however, the React Infinity Run does not have a tight fit in the forefoot area. On the contrary, the mesh upper wraps the foot like a sock while remaining elastic thanks to its great flexibility.
Nike designers have designed a single-layer Flyknit upper to give the shoe a sleek look and streamlined shape.
The material is slightly elastic in the forefoot area and comprises micro-holes that help the foot breathe easier.
But the real novelty is the integrated tongue, which gives the shoe a unique look.
The elastic tongue maintains a united structure and a clean appearance and ensures ideal stretch to keep the foot wrapped and protected in place.
The Nike Infinity Run React is ideal for those who alternate between races and long-mileage workouts, both beginners and professionals.
Pros and Cons of Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit Shoes
Best Shoes for Tarsal Tunnel: Buyer’s Guide
Knowing your foot type and having a basic understanding of shoe terminology should make it easier for you to find the right type of footwear for tarsal tunnel syndrome.
What Kind of Foot Do You Have?
Pronators are those who walk by turning the foot slightly inwards. These kinds of people should look for a motion control shoe that is straight and durable that provides support for the inside of the foot, and thus prevents you from overusing the inside edge.
Pronators should also look for a reinforced buttress for control and stability. Sturdy uppers can also help prevent the foot from converging inward. Shoes with too much padding can accentuate pronation, so avoid them.
The supinators, on the other hand, are those who rotate the foot outwards. These walkers should look for more stability and a shoe whose outsole, insole, and midsole are designed to absorb extra shock.
Shoes with a reinforced outer rim are probably the best solution for supinators who have particularly stiff feet. Buy shoes with reinforced material around the ankles and solid buttresses in the heel area for maximum support in those areas. Extra cushioning under the sole will help increase comfort.
Those who have a neutral stride can wear pretty much any shoe and have adequate support and comfort but may still find that shoes with a curved shape fit better. Even if your feet are neutral and don't have any injury issues, don't skimp on walking shoes' basic features.
What Kind of Surface Do You Intend to Walk on?
The sports like power walking and running are designed for two types of soils, asphalt or dirt. If you usually go for a walk on the asphalt, you could also choose running shoes. Their soles are designed to offer optimal traction on this type of pavement and smooth surfaces such as pavements.
If, on the other hand, we go out to walk on land, roads, paths or in the mountains, we should think about trail shoes. In addition to providing greater protection, these comfortable sports shoes have soles designed to be less flexible and breathable, and their level of protection will help you avoid bumps and injuries.
Do You Have Any Previous Physical Problems?
If you have tarsal tunnel syndrome or a recurring knee problem, one of the most common for those who run or regularly walk, first see a physical therapist. Then carefully select your footwear that could have a fundamental influence on your fitness and your running style.
The accident while walking can be caused by many factors such as age, previous injuries, body mass index, and sudden changes in training volume, and then the blame could not be exclusively the shoes.
However, to prevent injuries, it is advisable to choose a shoe with a high level of cushioning that makes the foot feel fixed and stable and possibly add a quality console if it does not have one.
The most common injuries that can happen to those who practice physical activity of this type daily can be:
- The blisters' appearance under the feet: the remedy can be an insole, a pair of soft and breathable shoes, or patches to be applied on the sole.
- Ankle sprains: stretching or tearing of the ankle ligaments can occur due to incorrect foot position, running on uneven ground, muscle weakness, or the usual problem due to inadequate footwear.
- Low back pain: Persistent lower back pain can be prevented by stretching before you start walking, warming up properly and walking on soft surfaces, and choosing the right shoes.
- Plantar fasciitis: inflammation of the fascia covering the musculature of the sole, the plantar fascia. Often it is due to too intense training.
- Pubalgia: affects the abdominal and pubic region. Sometimes the pain can appear in the first phase of the warm-up, then as the muscles are well warmed up, it decreases. In this case, it is advisable to rest and possibly consult a physiotherapist who can advise you on the best treatment.
- Tendonitis: inflammation of the Achilles tendon that extends from the heel to the calf. In this case, stop walking and apply ice to the affected area to contain the swelling and inflammation.
Most of these problems can be prevented by using the right footwear that suits your body shape, level of training, and the type of activity you intend to do. Even the choice of accessories such as socks, knee pads, and any elastic bands can help reduce injury risk. [Must see our Gravity Defyer Pain Relief Shoes Review ]
What Should I Look at Before Choosing the Best Shoes for Tarsal Tunnel?
I hope I have provided you with a useful guide to direct you towards choosing the tarsal tunnel's ideal shoe. I want to add some notions that will dissolve your last doubts and make you buy the right shoe without second thoughts or subsequent regrets.
Consider these 3 aspects that can allow your walking and running shoe for the tarsal tunnel to make a real difference:
Level of cushioning
There is scientific evidence for this, and it is shown that those who walk have to withstand a greater force of impact in the stride, up to 2 times their own body weight. In this regard, you will need optimal cushioning levels to better absorb impacts both in the heel area and in the front of the shoe, especially when landing with the heel or metatarsals.
So the winning combination will be to choose running or walking shoes with good cushioning and a level of lightness that allows for movement without restrictions or limitations.
We can discuss the stability of a shoe. The heel's rigid structure increases movement control and sometimes even features a heel that adds support and cushioning. This feature can help runners suffering from Achilles tendon inflammation.
Stability and flexibility seem like opposite terms, but they are not mutually exclusive even though shoes that provide more support in the metatarsal area tend to be less flexible. So the axiom is often correct that all athletes who need stability control are destined to sacrifice a minimum of flexibility.
The practical trick to knowing if the shoe we want is flexible or not is to bend the front and the arch. It's a bit rudimentary, but it can be a first clue as to whether the shoe offers you the flexibility you need.
For all these reasons, I recommend never saving money on the best shoes for tarsal tunnel because the comfort, safety, and performance that a level shoe can offer you are priceless.
Are you perhaps thinking that I have been a little too verbose? Maybe you are right, but I am aware of what it means to have the right footwear on your feet.
Whether you have to run or walk, you will need to choose the optimal shoe for you.
This choice will prove fundamental in terms of the performance offered and in terms of the health of your feet and your joints. In this context, I do not recommend going to the savings by buying shoes of little-known brands that maybe can avoid lightening your pockets, but they will certainly weigh down your running and your ligaments.
It also assesses your musculature, weight, the surface you intend to walk on, and your foot's characteristics.
Now you have everything you need, not make a mistake in the purchase!
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