If you suffer from plantar fasciitis you will be well aware of just how uncomfortable the pain can be at times.
In addition, the pain can vary for different people depending on the activity they are doing or even the time of day.
One of the more common times for pain associated with plantar fasciitis to arise is first thing in the morning as soon as you get out of bed.
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis and can identify with this, you may want to consider wearing a plantar fasciitis night splint to relieve the pain you experience first thing in the morning.
In this post, I’ll look briefly at what plantar fasciitis is, and how a night splint could help you alleviate morning plantar fasciitis pain.
In this article, I’m also going to review the following best night splints on the market and help you choose the best one for you.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is when the connective tissue (fascia) on the bottom of the foot (plantar) becomes tight and inflamed.
This can lead to the fascia tearing, becoming weak or swelling up.
The combination of these issues can lead to a painful experience for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
There isn’t one particular cause of plantar fasciitis but typically it will arise from activities that cause chronic tightness in the fascia.
People who stand a lot may be susceptible to developing plantar fasciitis, also high-impact activities such as running can cause plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis tends to be most common among middle-aged individuals. Younger people who are very active such as athletes can also develop this problem.
How Can a Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint Help?
There are various ways that people will look to ease the pain associated with plantar fasciitis, such as cooling down the area with ice, doing stretches, physical therapy, medication or even resting.
However, another way is by wearing a plantar fasciitis night splint.
Simply put, a plantar fasciitis night splint is a brace that you wear overnight whilst you sleep which should help reduce the pain associated with morning plantar fasciitis.
The night splint wraps around your foot, ankle and calf supporting these areas in order to keep the foot flexed at a ninety-degree angle throughout the night.
By holding your foot in a dorsal flexed position, the night splint ensures that the plantar muscles are kept in a stretched position and not allowed to shorten.
Muscles tend to become shortened during the night, and by wearing a night.
What To Look For When Choosing the Best Night Splint
There are a couple of important criteria you want to keep an eye out for when buying a night splint to help with your plantar fasciitis.
This isn’t really that much of a surprise but the night splint must be effective otherwise wearing one during the night is a complete waste of time.
So what determines the effectiveness? The key purpose of any night splint is to make sure it holds your foot in the optimal dorsal flexed position.
If a plantar fasciitis night splint fails to do this, then the plantar muscle will shorten during the night leading to undesirable pain in the morning.
An effective plantar fasciitis night splint should be able to hold your foot firmly in place without loosening during the night.
The problem with many plantar fasciitis night splints is that they are not comfortable.
Because a night splint must be strong enough to hold your foot in place, many of them are bulky and heavy to wear.
If you’re wearing a brace during the day this isn’t so bad, but when you are trying to sleep comfort is much more of a priority.
A good night splint shouldn’t be too heavy and bulky.
In addition, it is important that the night splint isn’t too closed off that your foot becomes too hot while wearing it.
A good splint should be highly breathable with open spots to allow adequate air flow.
You must ensure that you buy the right size of night splint for your foot otherwise the splint may fail to hold your foot properly.
Some plantar fasciitis night splints are one size fits all, whilst others require that you measure your foot and buy the right size.
Usually, the made-to-measure night splints are more effective, however, getting the correct size can be a cumbersome task sometimes.
Type of Night Splint
Plantar fasciitis night splints typically fall into two types:
Dorsal Night Splints
This type of night splint will support the foot on the top part of the shin and foot leaving the arch and heel exposed.
In other words, the plastic or supportive material will rest upon the top part of the shin and foot.
The dorsal type of night splint will often be easier to walk in and move around during the night if needed.
The boot type of night splint will be supported on the back side of the foot, leg and calf.
This kind is usually bigger and bulkier than the dorsal type making walking during the night more difficult.
Whilst it is heavier than the dorsal type, it can be a lot more effective.
The Best Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints in 2023
If you do suffer from plantar fasciitis pain in the morning and no amount of stretching has helped ease the discomfort then it’s well worth trying to wear one during the night.
Night splints are not expensive and the low cost may prove to be a value purchase if it alleviates your pain.
Here is a list of the best plantar fasciitis night splints that meet the criteria mentioned above.
BraceAbility Dorsal Night Splint
The BraceAbility Dorsal Night Splint is a popular plantar fasciitis brace that sits on the front part of the shin and the top of the foot, leaving the arch and calf area open.
This allows for more comfort in bed, and also the ability to move about your home while wearing it unlike the boot-type of night splints.
If you want comfort, then this type of brace will be well suited for you rather than the boot type.
It’s fairly easy to put on this night splint. There’s a wraparound velcro strap around your calf then two smaller ones that you wrap around your toes.
Compared to the heavy-duty splints the BraceAbility night splint is much more comfortable to wear with fewer pieces of plastic and therefore provides a lot more breathability for your feet during the night.
It does, however, have its drawbacks.
While it is more comfortable to wear in bed than some of the bulkier boots, the straps do have to be very tight for the brace to hold your foot at a 90-degree angle.
Not only that, but you need to get a perfect fit otherwise this night splint isn’t going to work. If you get one that’s too large your feet may slip out during the night.
Although the BraceAbility night splint is more comfortable than many of the other splints, it’s not quite as effective as the boots.
If your plantar fasciitis doesn’t flare up at an angle of fewer than 90 degrees then this isn’t a bad choice. However, if your feet are extremely sensitive and don’t allow for any leeway then you’re probably better off with another choice.
- Easy to put on
- Slightly less bulky and lighter than other splints
- Reasonably priced
- Need to get a perfect fit for it to work
- May not hold your foot at a perfect 90 degree angle throughout the night
Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint by Vive
The Vive Night Splint is one of the more comfortable plantar fasciitis relief braces that you’ll come across in the boot style.
It has three large velcro straps to keep your foot in place and comes with two different sized wedges to slide under your feet to maintain your desired angle.
It’s surprisingly comfortable to sleep in given that the padding is very soft, and at the same time pretty breathable.
It’s also effective in holding the affected foot at an angle to stretch the bottom of the foot.
The one flaw about this night splint is that the velcro doesn’t have a large enough area to grip on to meaning that you can’t really strap in your feet as tight as you’d like to at times.
In addition, it’s heavier and bulkier than the dorsal night splints.
On the plus side, it does comes with a 60-day unconditional money-back guarantee so you can always try this splint out and see if it works for you. If it doesn’t you can get a full refund.
- Includes removable foam wedges to get different amounts of stretch
- Soft padding
- Includes a foot massage ball
- Unconditional 60-day guarantee
- On the bulky side
- Issues with velcro straps
Plantar Fasciitis Posterior Night Splint by Mars
The Posterior Night Splint comes has three clasps to hold your foot in place and comes in 5 sizes.
Once your foot is in place there’s a velcro strap that runs from the sole of the boot to the top that you can use to get your desired angle.
There’s also a foam wedge that you can slide under your foot to further emphasize this angle and gives you more stability so you can walk around in this splint.
I have to say that this splint is one of the most effective braces for the relief of plantar fasciitis due to its ability to hold the foot at the required 90-degree angle.
In addition to its effectiveness, it’s also very affordable being one of the cheapest boot night splints on the market.
That being said, it is on the bulky side.
The straps are long and the buckles are pretty big.
The boot is also bulky to wear and not as breathable as the dorsal type of splints where the ankle area is left open.
I feel that this splint is far better suited to someone who wants an effective splint to wear during the day – perhaps around their home where they aren’t moving much.
Even though this is advertised as a ‘night splint’ I wouldn’t be able to wear this through the night due to how bulky it is.
- Effective in holding the foot in place
- Sturdy and strong
- Slightly uncomfortable
- Big and bulky
Plantar Fasciitis Soft Night Splint by Flexibrace
This soft night splint by Flexibrace is perfect for those who want something stylish while remaining comfortable.
The main reason you’d go for the Flexibrace night splint is if you want a fabric that feels super soft against your skin.
The Flexibrace adopts the boot style so it still remains rather bulky and heavy despite the extremely soft cushioning.
This still works in favour of it being an effective brace because it is sturdy enough to hold your foot at the ideal angle all night.
Overall this is a good night splint with great feeling cushioning, however, the fanciful design may not appeal to everyone.
- Very comfortable
- Soft padding and comfortable fabric
- Attractive design
- Not recommended for walking around the home like some of the braces with an open heel
- A bit big and bulky
Futuro Night Plantar Fasciitis Sleep Support
The Futuro sleep splint offers the less common dorsal style brace as opposed to the boot type of brace.
As I discussed above there are several advantages of this style, most notably it is much less bulky than the boot type.
This is one advantage of the Futuro over many of the other night splints on this list.
The Futuro night splint is also made from lighter material making it much more comfortable than ones constructed of heavier materials.
In addition, the heel and arch are open meaning there is a lot of space to give your foot room to breathe.
The extra lightness and comfort of the Futuro has its drawbacks, however.
With lighter materials and more open areas, means that there is more potential for this brace to not give you the rigid support to hold your foot in the right position.
You may find that with this night splint it ma reported that the brace sometimes may slip down during the night.
With the Futuro, you get more comfort, however, the trade-off is less support than some of the other splints.
- Smaller and less bulky than most night splints
- Lightweight materials for more comfort
- Open arch and heel design means it’s easier to walk if you have to get up
- Easy to put on
- Not as effective as holding your foot in place as some others
- Materials and build are not the best quality
Adjustable Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint
This night splint has a slightly different design in that it is like the dorsal splints we’ve already seen except it also has a strap that runs from the toe to the shin that helps keep your feet at the desired angle.
The strap is also adjustable so you can tighten it up to get the angle that feels right for you.
This solves the problem that a lot of the traditional dorsal splints have where the angle tends to straighten over time.
Not only does this splint do well to keep your foot at the correct angle, but your foot should feel particularly snug in this splint thanks to the additional elastic strap that comes with it.
To use this elastic strap, you wrap this under the soles of your feet and then around the back of your ankle. This elastic strap sits on top of the splint giving you extra support.
Overall, this night splint is one of the better-designed dorsal splints as it solves the common issue of the splint not being at the optimal angle for the wearer.
In addition, while it should keep your foot at the right ankle, it’s also comfortable and lightweight to wear.
If there’s one downfall of the product is that the elastic strap isn’t attached to the main splint.
You’ll also need to read up on how to attach the elastic strap properly.
However, this shouldn’t take too much time and once you get the hang of it you’ll find that it does help a great deal.
- Adjustable strap that can be tightened to get the perfect angle
- Light and breathable
- Stretchy and comfortable material
- Extra elastic wrap for extra support
- Includes massage ball and carrying bag
- Requires two pieces for this to work properly
Recommendations: The Best Night Splint
In the end, I chose the best option as the night splint with the adjustable strap. Even though there are two pieces to it, it is the most comfortable and effective splint to wear during the night.
If you prefer the boot type of splint and don’t mind something a little more heavy duty the Vive Night Splint may be worth a closer look.
Making Your Final Choice
It’s important to note that getting the right night splint for you may take some time.
As discussed there are many factors that affect people’s preference for night splints.
You must get the sizing right.
Be sure to read each individual manufacturer’s instructions on how to measure your foot before buying because they all differ.
Many people have made mistakes in measuring their foot incorrectly and getting a plantar fasciitis night splint that doesn’t fit.
The other important point is to understand where you belong on the comfort-effectiveness continuum.
If your plantar fasciitis pain is particularly intense in the morning then you may need to sacrifice more comfort in order to get an effective splint.
On the other hand, if your pain is only mild, you may be able to trade a larger bulkier boot for something more comfortable.