The Best Running Socks and Sleeves for Plantar Fasciitis in 2018
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that many athletes experience. There is no cure-all exists to keep it from impacting daily activities.
According to Medscape, around 10 percent of people in the United States suffer heel pain from plantar fasciitis. The good news is, most of those plantar fasciitis sufferers see improvement in their condition with nonsurgical treatment.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis comes in the form of compression socks and sleeves that relieve strain on the heel. Often, users wear them at night to maintain proper positioning of the leg, ankle, and ligaments. Most of these socks and sleeves don’t necessarily speed up the healing process, but they do relieve pain brought on from plantar fasciitis.
Here, we’ve rounded up the top 8 running sleeves and socks for plantar fasciitis so that you can stop pain and start enjoying active pursuits again.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Best Plantar Full Compression Sleeve
OS1st FS6+ Sports Compression Leg Sleeve
The Best Socks for Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fascittis socks provide compression in the arch and heel to relieve plantar fasciitis pain. The benefit of a sock is its all-in-one solution to plantar pain with the cushioning and sweat-wicking abilities of a sock. This makes socks the better choice for activities like running or cycling (except for the Strassburg sock which is meant to be worn only at night). Plantar fasciitis sleeves require an extra sock to be put over the sleeve which adds additional bulk to your feet.
OS1st FS4 Plantar Fasciitis Compression Sock
Proprietary compression technology gives OS1st’s FS4 socks pain relief power while you continue to enjoy an active lifestyle. Breathable construction featuring lightweight materials makes it easy to treat plantar fasciitis while maintaining airflow and comfort.
The compression features focus on your foot’s arch area, so choosing the correct size is critical for seeing positive results. Four sizing options, from small to extra-large, fit most wearers, and multiple color options make these compression socks a functional part of your wardrobe.
You also have the option of either a no-show cut or ¼ crew style, both of which cover the entire foot. An anatomical design means each sock suits either the left or right foot, ensuring a targeted compression application.
Anti-odor technology keeps you smelling fresh, and moisture-wicking fabric enhances airflow and keeps your feet dry.
- For use while engaging in physical activity
- Targeted pressure points for both left and right feet
- Antimicrobial and moisture-wicking materials
- Can cause redness from compression in arch
Feetures PF Relief Socks
A non-irritating seamless toe, standard sock-like fit, and targeted compression points help Feetures PF relief socks be one of the most multipurpose socks for plantar fasciitis relief. These socks are thin and breathable but wear like regular socks, meaning you can wear slim-fitting sneakers without sizing up.
Wearers should select from small to extra large sizing based on their shoe size, ensuring a snug fit, so the compression zones work appropriately. Unlike similar compression socks, Feetures use Lycra that contracts when it encounters heat and water, but it recovers quickly once dry.
Although they use a breathable material, these socks don’t slide around in users’ shoes, meaning you can continue to wear them running or with other athletic shoes you’re already comfortable wearing. Three different compression areas cater to the Achilles tendon and support your arches.
- Lycra fabric blend imitates regular socks for comfort
- Wear during a variety of activities or while resting
- Potential for tightness at ankle depending on wearer’s ankle circumference
Since many plantar fasciitis sufferers deal with pain primarily in the morning when they get out of bed, an alternative to compression socks is a sock that works overnight. While you may choose to wear compression sleeves or socks during the day, the Strassburg sock can correctly position your ankle to relieve pain overnight.
Unlike bulky orthotics that have you hobbling to use the restroom in the middle of the night, the sock-like form of the Strassburg device allows your ankle joints some freedom of movement. You slip on the sock and secure the strap to the calf, maintaining tension on the plantar fascia.
Adjustable straps and three sizing options help wearers to find the right fit, but it may take a few nights of adjustments to figure out which position is most comfortable to an individual. In comparison with other boot-type positioning devices for plantar fasciitis, the Strassburg sock is far easier to sleep in.
- Helps relieve pain overnight
- Custom sizing/fit capabilities
- More comfortable and less rigid than a boot
- Cannot wear while engaging in physical activities – meant to be worn at night
The Best Plantar Fasciitis Sleeves
Plantar fasciitis sleeves provide targeted compression in the arch, heel, and achilles to help relieve pain from plantar fasciitis. They are very similar to plantar fasciitis compression socks, except the sleeve is cut-off near the ball of the foot, leaving your toes exposed.
What’s the point you might ask?
First, if you only suffer from plantars in one foot, this option allows you to buy a single sleeve for the problem foot. This makes it a bit cheaper than buying two pairs (like compression socks) and allows the non-impacted foot to be free from the tight compression.
The second reason is that you can wear your favorite pair of socks with the sleeve. So if you love Balega Hidden Comfort Socks, you can wear those over the sleeves. This does add a bit of bulk to your feet. But if you absolutely love a specific pair of socks – or don’t like the feel of plantar fasciitis compression socks – this is a good compromise.
OS1st FS6 Sports Compression Foot Sleeve
Since the OSst FS6 foot sleeve is open-toed, there’s more flexibility in sizing. Users just need to measure the circumference of their arch for a snug fit, selecting a size between extra small and extra large. Medical-grade compression technology supports the arch and overall foot, keeping the tendons and the ankle stable.
A micro-nylon and spandex material blend keeps moisture from making the sleeves damp, and anti-microbial technology prevents bacterial buildup. Graduated compression points help improve circulation in your feet and reduce swelling. The thicker material helps avoid blistering or rubbing without socks.
You can wear these sleeves under socks and with or without shoes so that you can wear them on the go. Also, you can choose to relax with your feet up or use them overnight to promote healing while you rest.
Although users report pain relief from plantar fasciitis, the manufacturer also suggests wearing these compression foot sleeves as a preventative measure for those who have yet to suffer from Achilles pain.
- For use during athletic activities or rest
- Sizing based on arch circumference
- Antimicrobial and moisture-wicking materials
- Manufacturer notes estimated 6-month useful life for plantar fasciitis pain relief
OS1st FS6+ Sports Compression Leg Sleeve
For athletes who need more than Achilles support, the FS6+ compression sleeve extends up the calf and aids in muscle recovery post-workout. This model combines OS1st’s performance foot sleeve and calf sleeve for an alternative to doubling up on supportive aids.
Thin and lightweight materials make these open-toed compression sleeves comfortable to wear under socks for daily use and to wear while working out. With 76 percent micro-nylon, they’re simple to slip on and comfortable to wear during physical activity and even at night.
Whether you’re nursing a calf injury or are using compression devices to decrease swelling while on your feet, the FS6+ offers stability and support. Wearers note an appreciation for the pain alleviating compression and considerable post-athletics recovery results.
- Provides ankle and calf support
- Lightweight and breathable construction despite covering from foot to knee
- Sizing depends on both shoe size and calf circumference; fit may be difficult to determine
Zensah Plantar Fasciitis Sleeve
For plantar fasciitis sufferers who prefer a sleeve to a sock fit, the Zensah plantar fasciitis sleeve gives arch support and plantar fascia pain relief. Breathable Zensah fabric and anti-odor technology keep feet comfortable while applying appropriate pressure.
Breathable mesh keeps from pinching sensitive foot areas while the compression functions give solid support for ankles and arches. T-band compression reduces pressure on the plantar fascia, relieving heel pain while you walk, work out, or relax.
With three sizes ranging from small to large, Zensah’s sleeves should fit from a women’s size 4 to men’s size 11.5 and beyond. However, this limited size range may mean some wearers can’t achieve comfortable compression.
For some wearers, the compression throughout the sleeves may prove uncomfortable in the ankle area since the sizing addresses shoe size with the arch circumference as an afterthought. For example, the size small notes that it suits women’s sizes 5 to 6.5 and men’s sizes 5 to 8.
That’s a large range, especially when you consider that it fits arch circumferences from 5 to 8 inches, meaning some wearers will feel they’re too tight, and others will feel they’re too loose.
- Wear overnight or during athletic activities
- Helps alleviate swelling up to ankles
- Offered in fun colors (in addition to standard black and white)
- Limited sizing availability
- Relatively thin heel material may feel uncomfortable for wearers expecting more padding
SB SOX Foot Sleeve
With its unique selection of color options and sizes ranging from small to extra large, the SB SOX foot sleeve is another excellent athletic sleeve option. You can wear these sleeves for hours at a time during physical activity, and their FDA-registered technology uses medical grade compression.
Ribbed arch support helps provide stability for your feet while breathable fabric maintains compression. Anti-odor, anti-static, and moisture-wicking construction means your feet can breathe and won’t smell while you treat plantar fasciitis.
Elastic at the toe opening helps prevent a too-tight fit, accommodating varying arch circumferences and foot sizes per size range. Beyond plantar fasciitis treatment, many wearers note that even post-surgery for ankle and foot treatment, SB SOX sleeves are easy on sensitive feet while offering significant positioning and pain relief.
- Can wear during athletic activities or at night
- Materials are gentle on sensitive feet
- Some wearers complained the sleeves were poorly made and developed holes quickly
Bitly Compression Sleeve
Available in sizes small to extra large, the Bitly compression sleeve has moisture-wicking fabric and a comfortable nylon fit that’s easy on your skin. Their breathability helps avoid discomfort with long-term wear, and they fit trimly under your regular socks.
Elastic at the ankles help alleviate pressure in the joint area while applying compression to the Achilles tendon and arch areas. At arguably the most economical price point so far, the Bitly compression sleeve is worth a try for plantar fasciitis sufferers who are hoping to transition out of a nighttime boot or who need support during everyday activities.
- Can wear during athletic activities
- Interlocked stitching for material strength
- Economically priced
- Elastic at ankles may prove too tight for some wearers