Plantar fasciitis is a common injury experienced by many people and not just athletes. Strengthening and stretching are the top recommendations to relieve the pain and allow for faster healing. Night splints are popular among people suffering from plantar fasciitis because they stretch the feet by keeping it on a 90-degree angle the entire time. At this angle, the plantar fascia is stretched for pain relief and repair. The splint is also designed to keep the inflamed area away from stress as much as possible to prevent it from worsening.
Finding the right plantar fasciitis splint
There are two major types of splints designed for plantar fasciitis management: the dorsal and boot. Their main difference is the construction. It is important to first know their difference for you to see which one is best for you.
The dorsal splint is designed to go on the front side of the foot, with the straps stretching the toes upward to allow for dorsal flexion. Dorsal splints stretch both the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon, and they are more preferred because of the comfort they provide. However, the design may cause foot slippage, and the added pressure on your toes can cause a tingling sensation. The larger straps can also cause sweating.
Boot night splints, meanwhile, are designed to look like boots and cover the back of the leg, foot, and calf. They are considered as the traditional or classic splint design for plantar fasciitis. These splints normally have an outer layer made of plastic and a softer inner layer. However, the boot-type is large and can be uncomfortable for the user. The toes can also get numb as you sleep, and it is impossible to walk wearing them if you have to get up.
Luckily, today, many companies have started offering other sub-types, such as a custom-molded one. The next step is to see whether the splint will give you at least five degrees of dorsal flexion, where your toes are pointing upward. This is the least amount of stretch that you need for your night splint to be effective.
You will also want to look for positive and negative reviews. Search for products that have received way more positive comments than the negative. It is also important to check whether they are easy to clean and are durable enough to last for a long time.
The best night splint will depend on how you sleep. If you are a light sleeper, then you will want something that will not annoy you during sleep. A less restrictive splint is recommended for those who want to keep their feet extra comfortable. Heavy sleepers will best benefit from a more rigid design.
Best plantar fasciitis splints
These splints come in different designs and price tags. Below are product reviews of the top plantar fasciitis night splints today that you will want to consider:
Bird and Cronin Dorsal Splint
This brand offers a lightweight and adjustable splint, making it a great option for people who need pain relief caused by the injury. The fabric is also breathable and does not use any natural rubber latex where some users may be allergic. The open front design means it can fit different feet sizes.
MARS Dorsal Splint
This one is also lightweight. It is designed to fit ladies with foot sizes between six and 13. Aside from giving extra comfort, it is also made to let you walk in it, just in case you need to get up in the middle of the night. The air bladder found at the ankle area allows for more comfort. It may be bulky, but its design is more than enough to make you sleep well at night. The price is also reasonable and can fit the budget of most people.
NatraCure Lightweight Splint
This lightweight splint features a non-toxic coating that can easily be disinfected and washed. It is designed to fit both children and adults and does pretty well in immobilizing the desired areas for pain relief and faster recovery. It also offers an adjustable design, so it fits most users.
Heelift AFO Boot Splint
This one offers the highest level of comfort to its patients. The soft foam not only keeps the leg protected from friction and irritation but also to prevent injury to the opposite leg. The brand has been providing high-quality splints for decades.
There are no hard edges and no direct contact with the straps. The model is also supportive and stationary, but less constrictive. The only possible downside is its price since it is more expensive than the others on the list, but it is definitely a worthy investment.
Nice Stretch 90 Splint
This splint offers a fixed-angle support to keep the flexion and allow the injury to heal. There are non-skid treads around the bottom to allow for limited walking. The removable ice pack, as well as toe lift provide additional treatment when needed. Its design lets you see improvements in several weeks, with some users reported feeling comfortable with it. Best of all, this splint falls within a reasonable price range.
Active Ankle DNS Dorsal Splint
This dorsal-type splint is breathable and less bulky. It is designed to keep your foot in neutral position while offering relief from the morning heel pain. The splint has adequate cushioning for extra comfort and is made of non-irritating material. You might need to make slight adjustments to ensure optimal fit, but it may not be suitable for users with small feet.
Futuro Dorsal Splint
This one is a dorsal-type night splint. It is lightweight and less bulky. The material is also breathable, and the soft foam improves comfort while holding the foot in the right angle. The adjustable strap can be used to ensure the right fit, as well. Travelers will love this splint as it is small enough for travel.
Swede-O Deluxe Boot Splint
This boot splint has ample padding to avoid irritation during sleep. It is well-known for the comfort level it offers. In fact, it is said to be one of the most comfortable boot-type splints today. Moving can be difficult for many users because of its design, but sleeping is a breeze with this one. You also have the option to use a foot flex wedge for added comfort.