Nothing ruins a runner’s enthusiasm like pain in the feet. And yet foot pain is common in runners of all ages. One of the prime culprits is a tissue inflammation called plantar fasciitis. The causes can be varied, but the results are the same: pain in the connective tissue on the underside of your foot. Plantar fasciitis is a common condition, and the symptoms can range from the sensation of having slightly bruised heels to having a rusty nail driven into your foot.
Despite the potentially excruciating nature of this condition, it’s simply an “overuse” injury, and one of the most typical causes of foot pain in runners.
The plantar fascia is a wide ligament that runs the whole length of your foot, connecting the heel to the forefoot. Although it runs along the bottom of the foot, the most frequent plantar fasciitis symptom is heel pain.
The best plantar fasciitis night splints are designed to provide a constant stretch while you sleep to prevent this ligament from cramping. You should definitely be using one of these in addition to regular massage and stretching if you suffer from this kind of pain.
Coming in at number one is the Strassburg Sock. It’s the perfect mix of soft, foot-hugging sock and medically-approved splint, and not only alleviates pain associated with PF, but also reduces symptoms of Achilles tendonitis and eases tight calf muscles.
Here are our top ten plantar fasciitis night splints to help you beat this painful complaint and improve your plantar fascia’s flexibility.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
The Strassburg Sock
StrictlyStability Plantar Fasciitis Soft Night Splint Sock
Mars Wellness Plantar Fasciitis Posterior Night Splint
1. The Strassburg Sock
Those of us who don’t like the idea of wearing something plasticky or bulky to bed could benefit from this unique splint design.
It has the distinction of being the only soft splint to be medically approved. That alone should say a lot about its quality, and the fact that it’s easy on the feet especially while in bed is a huge pro.
It’s quite easy to use. Put it on like a normal sock. Then hook the Velcro strap through the loop near the knee. That serves the purpose of pulling the toes upwards, exerting a nice stretch on the plantar fascia.
You may also notice that your tight calves ease up after using this, and Achilles tendonitis pain is reduced. Some may have a slight issue with their toes being bent upwards too severely, which may still reduce PF pain but then causes other pain.
They’re sold only as single socks, so if you want to work on both feet at the same time you’ll need to buy two. If you do want to get only one, you can alternate it hour by hour. Remember not to walk while these socks are jacked up!
- One of the most comfortable splints on the market
- The one and only medically-approved soft splint
- Provides a great calf stretch too
- Not bulky or heavy at all
- The way the sock pulls the foot upwards may cause toe pain in some people
- Only sold as single socks
Top Value Night Splint
2. StrictlyStability Plantar Fasciitis Soft Night Splint Sock
This night splint works the same way as the Strassburg, but it’s a little less sleek. It’s also less comfortable than the previous option, but it’s still a lot less bulky than many boot-type splints.
It does get an extra point over our top choice for not exerting the same pressure on the toes. Included with the splint is a wedge that can be positioned between the toes and the footbed for an extra stretch.
It’s designed in such a way that it can fit on either the left or right foot. There’s also a size for everyone, but make sure to measure the length correctly before buying.
Some customers report it not being an effective stretch due to the top strap not being well-secured. This could be dependent on the size of the calf muscle and the shape of the leg.
- Available in four different sizes
- Less hard and bulky than others
- Designed to fit on left and right feet
- No toe pinching
- Some customers report the main strap near the near not staying in place, leading to no stretch in the plantar fascia
Best Small Night Splint
3. Cramer Dorsal Night Splint (DNS)
This dorsal night splint has a clamshell design that makes it easy to fit around any foot. It can also be adjusted quite nicely to fit snugly without being too loose or too tight, and adds extra arch support.
The shin strip prevents the foot from moving at all, while maintaining a decent stretch in the plantar fascia. Inner soft padding and a less bulky design make it more comfortable than many other boot-like splints, while providing the same support.
Something we quite like about this night splint is that you’re able to wear it around the house while doing chores. Most splints specify not to walk on them. But this one can handle a bit of weight, so if you get up in the middle of the night, you won’t have to remove it and put it back on just to get a glass of water.
The unique bottom-closing clamshell design allows this splint to fit on both narrow and wide feet. The open-toed style means your foot is less likely to overheat while you’re in bed.
- Clamshell design for extra comfort
- Open design for cooler sleep
- Designed for light walking around the house
- Adjustable to fit narrow and wide feet
- Somewhat bulky to sleep in
- May not be enough of a stretch for some runners
Top Value Set
4. fibee Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint
Lightweight and hardly bulky at all, this splint looks more like a hardcore ankle guard than a full plantar fasciitis night splint.
It features a bendable aluminum bar that gives you dorsal support and allows you to set the angle that’s comfortable for you.
The foam padding is more comfortable than most, and doesn’t hurt the feet even when stretched tightly around the foot. An open heel prevents you from overheating.
We love this option as it comes with a few useful extras to assist in treating plantar fasciitis. You’ll get a free pair of compression socks, arch supports, and a spiky massage ball when you buy this splint. That alone puts this in our top position for best value set.
- Comes with compression socks, arch supports, and a massage ball
- Quite well padded
- Not bulky or heavy
- Adjustable angle for customizability
- Some runners may feel they don’t get enough of a stretch
Best Hard Night Splint
5. Mars Wellness Plantar Fasciitis Posterior Night Splint
This is a hard, posterior night splint that does a good job of keeping your foot rigid while wearing it.
If you find that the soft splints don’t quite work for you, a rigid one could provide a better stretch. This model comes in five sizes, X-small to X-large, so no matter your foot size, you’ll find one to fit you.
It’s designed to work on both left and right feet, and the unique open construction keeps your feet from getting too hot while wearing it.
It’s easy to change the angle to suit your foot. The included wedge assists in keeping the toes up, and provides an extra stretch.
Some may find it uncomfortable to sleep in, but it’s one of the lighter and smaller hard splints. Those with wide feet are advised to purchase a bigger size.
- Five sizes, to suit everyone
- Fits both left and right feet
- Open design allows for extra breathability
- Dual straps allow for angle customization
- Wide feet may need to buy a size up
Top Value Hard Night Splint
6. Alpha Brace Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint Heel & Foot Pain
This stiff night brace provides a constant gentle stretch to alleviate pain associated with plantar fasciitis.
It’s fairly sturdy. Between the hard plastic shell and the straps and buckles, your foot shouldn’t be moving once you have it in position.
The foam-padded interior ensures that your foot is comfy all-around while being stretched.
It’s not the most inconspicuous, and you’ll have to remove it if you need to walk about during the night, but it does the job and it’s quite affordable too.
- Offers a gentle stretch
- Sturdy but breathable
- Straps and buckles keep feet immobilized
- Good value for money
- Less adjustable angle
- Must remove if you need to walk around in the night
Best Medium Size Hard Splint
7. Bird & Cronin P.F.S. Plantar Fasciitis Stretch Splint
This is a good medium-hard splint that should keep your foot in the right position to alleviate symptoms of PF.
It’s made of a durable material and softened inside by foam padding. Although the minimalist design makes it quite breathable, the foam layer is also machine washable, so you can keep your splint as clean as possible all the time.
The strap system is comprehensive and includes 3 front straps for securing it tightly around your foot and leg, and two side straps for tightening the angle.
The buckles are quick-release, so getting it off is even quicker than getting it on.
- Machine washable foam interior
- Quick-release buckles make it easy to remove
- Well-padded for increased comfort
- Too bulky for some
- May not work well for those with large calf muscles
Most Comfortable Night Splint
8. Vive Health Soft Night Splint
Comfort is an important factor when it comes to sticking with a plantar fasciitis treatment. Bulky, hard splints make it infinitely harder to commit to wearing it for an extended period of time.
This splint wins top position for the most comfortable night splint. It’s generously padded, and doesn’t chafe or rub.
The straps are wide and thick, and the two wedges add to the stretch. As well as a comfy and soft product, the purchase includes a free spiky massage ball for use in between splint sessions.
The fabric lining and padding is removable for easy washing, so you can keep every piece of this splint clean and hygienic.
It’s a little chunky, but the comfort factor makes it surprisingly easy to sleep with.
- Free spiky massage ball
- Well-padded and covered in material
- Comes with two wedges
- The lining is removable for washing
- Not suitable as a walking boot
- The Velcro is not very durable
Top Lightweight Night Splint
9. Pro-Tec Athletics Night Split
Some splints are too heavy to get a decent night’s sleep while wearing, but this one is impressively lightweight.
It does a good job of keeping the foot at a 90-degree angle, but there’s no way of adjusting the angle to get a greater or lesser stretch.
Despite that flaw, it’s quite well-made, utilizing a durable polypropylene shell that’s covered by removable terry cloth fabric for comfort and ease of cleaning.
The wide straps go easy on the shins, and have enough space between them to allow for decent airflow.
As long as you don’t walk around in this splint, it should last ages.
- Durable polypropylene shell
- Terry cloth cover for comfort and easy cleaning
- Removable heel wedge
- Wide padded straps
- Non-adjustable angle
Best Plantar Support Socks
10. Physix Gear Plantar Fasciitis Socks with Arch Support
If you really can’t deal with a splint on your lower leg during the night, these could be the first step to reducing your heel pain. They’re lightly compressing, with targeted ribbing to pinpoint pain areas and relieve them specifically.
A non-slip cuff and toe prevent the sock from moving around while it’s on your foot. The great thing about these is that you can wear them all day, every day, to provide just a bit of extra support and care while you’re on the go.
You may never wear other socks again if you suffer from PF. These are lightweight, breathable, and feature an antibacterial component that means your feet will stay breezy and non-smelly.
These socks alone may not provide quite the same stretch as you’d need to properly alleviate or eliminate PF pain. They’re superb for all-day support, but may need to be used in conjunction with a splint for the most effective treatment.
It’s definitely worth having a pair of these on hand if you’re a plantar fasciitis sufferer. Once you’ve worn your splint for the required few weeks, these could be a superb after-measure to prevent another bout of the painful foot condition.
- Provide extra arch support
- Antibacterial material
- Targeted compression
- Open heel for breathability
- May not relieve symptoms alone, might still need a splint
If you’re a sufferer of plantar fasciitis and have never used night splints before, you may have some questions before you invest in a pair. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about these helpful tools.
What Are Night Splints?
As their name suggests, night splints are an apparatus worn while you sleep to keep your feet in one position – a 90-degree angle.
That position keeps your plantar fascia stretched out all night long, so there’s no chance of it cramping or shortening.
What Types of Splints Are Available?
There are two types of plantar fasciitis splint available: posterior and dorsal.
Posterior splints are, in a nutshell, a boot brace. They tend to be bulky and heavy, and not so comfortable to sleep. They can hamper your natural movement quite a bit. Most of them are adjustable and give your underfoot a very decent constant stretch.
Dorsal night splints are less bulky and much more comfortable to have on your foot at night. They’re basically a hard piece of plastic that runs up the shin bone. The downside is that they don’t quite stretch the foot as effectively as posterior splints.
Which one you choose depends on you, your plantar fasciitis needs, and how light or heavy a sleeper you are!
Should I Wear Night Splints During The Day?
When you first start using splints, you should wear them during the day for about a week to get your body used to them. By this, we mean putting the splint on for a couple of hours when you’re sitting – you shouldn’t put weight on the splint or walk around with them.
If you sit a lot in the office, spend time watching TV, or doing other activities that involve sitting, those are the perfect times to wear your plantar fasciitis splint. Once your feet are used to the feeling and the stretch that comes with the splint, you can start using them at night.
It’s advisable to not leap straight into wearing them all night. Start with an hour each night. Gradually increase the amount of time you wear them, until you can comfortably keep them on all night without them waking you.
If you need to get up during the night, remove the splint. Don’t try walking to the bathroom with them on – they’re not made for weight-bearing, and could break.
How Long Should You Wear a Night Splint?
Night splints are a treatment measure that requires a duration of 3 to 4 weeks to be most effective. You don’t need to wear your splint every single night if you suffer from plantar fasciitis – just after a particularly nasty bout.
It’s suggested to wear them for 2 weeks minimum to start noticing effects. But a night splint definitely shouldn’t be your only way of relieving plantar fasciitis pain. Invest in a pair of great running shoes that are geared for this condition, and you’ll find that you have less pain immediately.