Published on April 13th, 2015 | by Mark
6 Highest Rated Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints
A plantar fasciitis night splint can provide substantial relief from a common and painful condition currently causing over 1 million doctor visits per year. This condition, plantar fasciitis, affects the plantar fascia, a ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes, as well as supports the arch of your foot. When this ligament becomes irritated, the results are dreadfully painful, particularly in the mornings.
There are several causes and risk factors attributed to plantar fasciitis. The pain is the direct result of straining the plantar fascia ligament. Repeated strain results in microscopic tears that lead to swelling and irritation.
This swelling and irritation are often the worst in the morning, putting a damper on your day as soon as your feet hit the floor.
Risk factors that increase the chance of being affected by this condition include:
- Long work hours spent on feet
- Straining activities such as constant running
- Excessive pronation
- Flat feet/High arches
- Improper, ill-fitting shoes
- A tight Achilles tendon and calf muscles
Thankfully, about 80% of plantar fasciitis cases resolve by 12 months. In the meantime, inexpensive night splints can help make your first step of the day
less painful leading to a more positive day.
What is It?
The purpose of a plantar fasciitis brace, also known as a night splint, is to stretch the Achilles tendon and Calf muscles while positioning the foot into a 90-degree dorsiflexion.
These inexpensive night splints come in two varieties. The first is the Dorsal Splint. This type of splint goes along the spine and over the foot and leaves the heel and arch free to breath while keeping the foot in a 90-degree angle.
The second type is known as a Boot Splint/posterior splint. This type of plantar fasciitis brace resembles a boot. This type of brace/splint is larger than the dorsal variety and often heavier.
Top Rated Splints
Several studies, including one by the University of Pittsburgh support the claim that night splints can provide an effective treatment and relief. There are many models out on the market today.
There are six, however, that are making the top list consistently. These are:
- Bird & Cronin
- Swede-O Deluxe Dorsal
- Thermoskin Night Time Relief FXT
- Alpha Medical
- Futuro Sleep Support (Dorsal)
- Active Ankle DNS (Dorsal)
Bird & Cronin
Bird & Cronin’s medium Plantar Fasciitis night splint comes in several color combinations and features a nifty slip-resistant tread. The item is lightweight, weighing a total of 0.88 pounds.
The night splint is designed to hold the foot in gentle dorsiflexion and can fit either the right or the left foot. The interior features soft padding for increased comfort, as well as protection against chafing/irritation. Furthermore, the boot is easy to adjust using the user-friendly center-release buckles.
The boot needs to be adjusted carefully and sized properly. If strapped too tightly it can cause the foot to go numb. Some reviews have noted that it is not that comfortable to sleep in.
This dorsal splint is considered one of the most comfortable splints available and is also the most expensive of the six top rated splints. Ranging from $50 to $60 this splint lives up to its deluxe name.
It features extra soft padding, consistent 90 degree stretching, as well as a removable foam wedge for an additional 5 degree stretch. It can fit either foot and offers sizes from small to XX-large.
This is one of the most expensive splits out on the market and is rather large and bulky. As such it takes time to get used to, despite the comfortable interior.
Thermoskin Night Time Relief FXT
This dorsal splint offers a soft, low-profile bootie that gently stretches the plantar fascia. It is flexible enough to walk short distances if necessary, unlike other more rigid models. The sole of this splint is slip-resistant while the overall build is lightweight.
- Thermoskin material warms the skin and the heat helps heal and stretch the plantar fascia
- Adjustable tension
- More comfortable to sleep in
Some feel the Thermoskin material causes excessive sweating and that the splint places an uncomfortable strain on the toes.
Alpha Medical PF Night Splint-Heel and Foot Pain
Also lightweight, the Alpha Medical PF splint offers three padded straps and increased foot breathability. This product comes with a wedge for toe support and fits both feet. On average this splint costs $20.99.
The foot can go numb if it is strapped too tightly and some feel that the middle strap does not lock correctly.
Futuro Plantar Faciitis Sleep Support
The Futuro Plantar Fasciitis Sleep Support costs not too much. This is a dorsal night splint that helps keep your foot in the recommended 85-90 degree angle. It comes in a one size fits most and includes comfortable straps to adjust the brace in place.
It is designed to allow some walking and mobility and features a breathable soft foam inside.
- Less bulky than a boot
- Small enough for travel
- Easy on and off
- Soft interior
Active Ankle DNS Dorsal Night Splint
This night splint is also a dorsal-style brace. It is very similar to the Futoro but has garnered slightly more favorable reviews. The active ankle Dorsal Night Splint sells at a cheap price and provides a low profile, less heat retention and increased comfort.
This decreases the chance of your foot sweating excessively while maintaining the proper neutral position for the plantar fascia muscle to relax.
Each of those six plantar fasciitis braces offers the proper angle for stretching the plantar fasciitis but each offers a different type of fit and comfort.
Each foot is a unique size and shape and it may take some experimentation to find which type of plantar fasciitis night splint is right for you.
It is worth finding your favorite night time splint as a night splint offers an inexpensive way to minimize the affects and pain of plantar fascia. By passively wearing it in your sleep, you can substantially improve your mornings, making your first step a pleasant one.
- Slippers With Arch Support
- Sandals with Arch Support for Flat Feet
- Running Shoes for Flat Feet
- Running Shoes For Wide Feet
1. “Plantar Fasciitis – Symptoms, Treatments, Causes of Plantar Fasciitis – from WebMD.” WebMD. WebMD. Web. 13 Apr. 2015. <http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/plantar-fasciitis-topic-overview>.
2. Young, Craig. “Plantar Fasciitis .” Plantar Fasciitis. Web. 13 Apr. 2015. <http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/86143-overview#aw2aab6b2b6>.
Image Credit: by Susan Smith, on Flickr