Best Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints, Brace: Top 7

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Best plantar fasciitis night splint brace

The agonizing pain of Plantar Fasciitis is felt in the morning the most, we know that. The dreaded pain when you take the first few steps from the bed needs to be handled before it occurs. The solution to deal with pain has to be used the previous night. That's exactly the reason I have reviewed the top 7 plantar fasciitis night splints for you in this article. These night splints have been proven to give relief to people like you who have been suffering from plantar fasciitis.


Best Night Splints for Plantar Fasciitis

The idea of wearing a splint while sleeping sounds like world's most inconvenient therapy but trust me, it's worth the inconvenience when you won't have to fear your agonizing morning steps (and later). Nothing can be called a silver bullet when it comes to treatment or therapy but night splints have a proven track record of resolving the pain of countless people suffering from plantar fasciitis. In two words, "they work". They work because your fascia ligament is stretched by splints while you sleep. 

Jump Ahead: Top 7 Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints, Brace

Those who have used night splint for foot pain, people like us, have consistently reported they have noticed negligible to moderate pain in morning after using night splints. The situation offcourse improves after few weeks of daily use. It may not be the most pleasant thing to wear, but it serves the purpose of giving relief from pain.


Benefits Of Using Plantar Fasciitis Night Splint or Brace

  • The foot is positioned at 90-degree dorsiflexion (medical definition), the ligament fascia is stretched as a result, which helps in pain relief when you are ready to step out of the bed
  • The shank and calf muscles, to be precise the Achilles tendon are also stretched which further helps in reducing the pain

Granted, the feet feels like carrying a load all night or walking with snow boots, but eventually it has definitive gains when your foot pain is reduced or eliminated completely.

Jump Ahead: Top 7 Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints, Brace


Type of Night Splints

We have two types of night splints for plantar fasciitis – the dorsal and the boot. The main and obvious difference is that the body is built on other side (mostly opposite) of the foot.

The Dorsal splint is visibly smaller in size and make, is built along the top of the foot and shin. It mostly has hard plastic body to constantly maintain the 90-degree angle for the foot. It keeps the top arch free so that it breathes and feels better overall.

The Boot splint generally feels like a real heavy boot. The main body of the splint runs under the foot and is built along the back side of the leg and calf. When compared with dorsal splints, it looks much bigger in size.

Drawbacks and Disadvantages of the DORSAL Brace

  • The toes may come under extra pressure which may tingle the toe or it may fall asleep
  • It's possible to have foot slippage caused by design flaw, which may defeat the purpose if it doesn't hold the stretch for long time
  • Sweating caused due to larger and longer straps

Drawbacks and Disadvantages of the BOOT Brace

  • It's bigger size is obviously too cumbersome for the legs to bear all night
  • Numbness in the toes
  • Getting up at night could be uncomfortable as it's very difficult to walk with boot splints

Expert opinion is sharply divided on which type of night brace is better. It's a matter of personal requirement and preference so you’ll have to pick what suits you better, after you read the reviews below.

Jump Ahead: Top 7 Plantar Fasciitis Night Splints, Brace


Recent Research and Facts

There is statistical evidence to show when it comes to plantar fasciitis treatment, it's the convervative, regular approach that gives best results in providing relief from foot pain.

A random, clinical study was conducted to find out the capability of a night brace in which night braces were given to patients. Each patient was aligned to a specific treatment regime to study the effectiveness of the splint. All patients reported significant improvement in pain relief and their fascia ligament felt much better and the range of ankle motion also increased in average 12 weeks.  The study come to conclusion that a night splint, alongwith with heel / stretching cushions and Ibuprofen were successful in curing plantar fasciitis decisively.

University of Pittsburgh carried out a prospective study on the effectiveness of plantar fasciitis brace with the help of three groups of 30 persons. Also on the agenda was to see the effectiveness of using Arch support in treating plantar fasciitis. The University research came to conclusion that it is more beneficial to use both night splints and arch support in combination to effectively treat plantar fasciitis instead of using them exclusively as standalone treatment aids.

There were studies conducted later as well, which indicate that night splints are effective in heel pain, specially when used in combination with other orthotic supports like plantar fasciitis shoes or compression socks or orthotic insoles.


Review: Best Night Splints and Braces for Plantar Fasciitis

For each item reviewed, I have provided: my review comments, product rating, pros/cons and a link to the product.

Before we jump into comparison and reviews of night splints, I want to make these points:

  • No one enjoys wearing night splints/braces so customer ratings are only good for best splints, average for good splints and poor for just average splints
  • My reviews are mentioned after (below) the comparison chart. Click on the picture of any night splint to read it's review. 
  • Numbering as 1,2, 3 etc does not mean order or sequence. All these night splints are best in their type and purpose
  • The method used to rate these night splints is mentioned here

Last Updated:

Review of Night Splints, Brace
Photo Name Rating
Best night splint for plantar fasciitis

Bird and Cronin

plantar fasciitis brace
brace night splint review rating

Alpha Medical

plantar fasciitis Review
Sleep support brace

Futuro Sleep Support(Dorsal) and Futuro Adjustable

review ratings by customers
Cramer E4 dorsal brace

Cramer E4 Night Splint (Dorsal)

Cramer rating
Swede O Deluxe night

Swede-O Deluxe

5 star review
Best thermoskin FXT brace

Thermoskin Night Time Relief FXT

4.0
Mueller Sports adjustable brace

Mueller Sports Adjustable Foot Support

5.0

1. Bird and Cronin Night Splint

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Bird Cronin Night splint

The sole of Bird and Cronin Night Splint, made with modern engineering is really slip-resistant. They have managed to design this piece of orthotic fairly light weight for a Boot splint. It has been specially designed to give relief from plantar Fasciitis pain, typically in the morning, after we get off the bed. This Bird and Cronin brace does manage to keep the foot stretched all night so that your early morning steps are not painful.

Pros: 

  • Plantar Fasciitis therapy wrap relieves the morning pain
  • Foot irritation is highly unlikely due to it's soft padding
  • Both feet usable and fit

Cons: 

  • Too tight strap may cause numbness in foot
  • Being a typical boot splint, it is uncomfortable to sleep in, restricted movements

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2. Alpha Brace Night Splint

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Alpha Brace

The Alpha Brace Night Splint for plantar fasciitis packs the power of modern Chemical engineering, along the similar lines with the Bird and Cronin. This is also a boot splint variety that gives excellent stretching results after overnight use. It is also among the lighter boot splints, making it a real practical option to use at night. It offers good foot breathing space with superb quality padding making it easier to sleep wearing this brace.

Pros: 

  • For toe support, it comes with optional wedge
  • Good quality with padded strap with buckles
  • breathable due to soft foam used inside
  • usable on both feet, both side fit

Cons:

  • wrongly used straps may cause foot numbness
  • some customers have not been thrilled with the middle strap

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3. Futuro Sleep Support Brace(Dorsal), Futuro Adjustable

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Futuro sleep support dorsal

This one, as you can see is Dorsal splint. Most of it's body is tied at the top of the foot, unlike boot braces . This splint has excellent design with soft edge and ultra flexible hinge. Once tied properly, it sits beautifully over achiles tendon and lower calf. I have used 3 differnt splints but this one was easiest to use and strikes a perfect balance between purpose and comfort (because night splints are generally uncomfortable). This plantar fasciitis brace is least restrictive of all, allows movement during night and keeps your foot stretched. 

Pros:

  • Least cumbersome of all night splints
  • easily walkable at home
  • breathable, moisture-wicking and adjustable straps
  • extra padding for foot comfort

Cons:

  • Takes some time getting used to strap adjustment
  • Incorrect usage of straps may result in foot slippage

Back to Top 7 Comparison Table


4. Cramer E4 Night Splint (Dorsal)

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cramer E4 night

The Cramer E4 Night Splint like the Futuro, is a dorsal-style brace, which gives more freedom in movement of foot and walking. It provides for minimum heat retention and works to reduce foot sweating. The E4 plantar fasciitis night splint allows enough foot breathing due to it's interior foam cushioning which doesn't interfere with the sleep at night. It is successful in supporting the arch and achiles tendon. 

Pros: 

  • good cushioning for foot comfort
  • minimum heat retention technology
  • excellent support device for arch support to keep the foot stretched
  • very light weight and allows for enough movement of foot

Cons:

  • straps not very easy to get used to, takes some time to get optimal fit
  • foot slippage reported by some people with small feet

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5. Swede-O Deluxe Padded Night Splint

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Swede-O Deluxe

The Swede-O Deluxe has been the best boot brace I have used (and know of, so far). There are lot of feel good factors in the splint to make it least cumbersome boot brace. The padding offered is best in the class, with well researched material used at the interior to allow maximum breathing and best cushioning is available to the heel and achiles tendon. It rectifies many design flaws in general night splints and comes out as one of the best night splints commercially available in the market. It has a proven track record of giving earliest possible pain relief by stretching the foot. The above reasons make it a favorite among podiatrists.

Pros: 

  • most optimized night splint for plantar fasciitis with flawless design
  • comfortable to wear all night, no foot numbness or skin irritation
  • foot-flex wedge provides for best arch support with maximum flexibility
  • most successful in keeping foot at a 90 degree angle to heal the fascia ligament

Cons:

  • price on higher side

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6. Thermoskin Night Time Relief FXT

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Thermoskin Night time

The overall design theme of the Thermoskin Relief night splint is softness and ease of use. I think they have done a pretty decent job at achieving that. It is much more user friendly version of typical (mostly ugly) night splints. It looks and feels like a step ahead of typical night braces made as orthotic aid. The Thermoskin keeps the foot skin warm without making the skin sweat for it. The warmth helps in healing the plantar fascia ligament faster. It has enough softness to compete with highly padded night splints and works very well at stretching the foot to maintain 90-degree position to prevent the morning pain.

Pros:

  • patented, softer material gives more like a sock feel than typical night splint
  • adjustable dorsal tension to pull back toes toward the ankle
  • most comfortable to wear at night for a good sleep
  • specially designed for plantar fasciitis and achilles tendinitis

Cons:

  • adjustable distance between toes and ankle can be tricky to set properly

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7. Mueller Adjustable Foot Night Support

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Mueller adjustable foot night support

The Mueller Foot Night Support is specially designed for healing plantar fasciitis. It is one of the most light weight plantar fasciitis brace available in the market. It is highly targeted device, solely focused on men and women with foot sizes between 6 and 13 (women) or between 5 and 12 (men). In my review, I found it to be among the most comfortable orthotic devices than allow easy walking. It has sufficient padding and quality (foot) stretching capabilities to maintain the right angle with the knee and ankle. It supports the arch very well. This device works in healing the fascia while allowing a good night sleep and keeping pain away from your first morning steps. 

Pros:

  • extremely light weight and easy to use device that allows walking at home
  • adjustable angle between toes and the ankle
  • Good quality material used to prevent skin irritation and foot numbness
  • specially designed for plantar fasciitis

Cons:

  • Many male customers reported foot slippage

Back to Top 7 Comparison Table


 

Conclusion

I hope this review article has been successful in it's objective of:

  1. giving you clear guidelines about night splints to help you decide what's best for you
  2. saving your time wandering in the ocean of internet noise

For faster healing, my suggestion would be to use night splints with some day time arch support like plantar fasciitis shoes for example. This has been pointed out by the research studies conducted on plantar fasciitis, as I mentioned above.

In case you wish to go through my special 2-minute "What is plantar fasciitis" guide explained through pictures, you can proceed here.

If you have any feedeback, question or special request regarding plantar fasciitis night splint or brace, please contact me via the contact form in main menu or send direct email at partho@cureplantar.org