Best Night Splints & Boots Reviewed & Rated
Used to treat pain caused by plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendinopathy, night splints can prove to be a great, non-invasive way to treat the pain that you're experiencing either at the bottom or the back of your foot. Usually fully adjustable and with limited side effects, these products can even be used for a couple of months at a time, and combined with physical therapy and medication, they can give great results. The list below features the ten best night splints and boots currently available for purchase, with detailed descriptions of all their features.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 8 hrs of research
Comes With Extra Wedge
- Restorative Medical Night Splint
- AEXCare P.F. Night Splint
- Mars Wellness Posterior
- ProCare ProWedge
- Advanced Orthopaedics Night Splint
- Fibee P.F. Night Splint
- VIVE Soft
- Alpha Medical P.F.
- United Surgical Adjustable
- Everyday Medical Foot Brace
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Night Splints and Boots
1. Restorative Medical Night Splint
Comes With Extra Wedge
Sometimes you just need a night where instead of a brace or hard as a rock boot you want something you can sink into and heave a sigh of relief. Or you're just ridiculously picky and want something with an insane amount of padding. You'll be happy with the Restorative Medical boot because it is the exact definition of that. Just look at the picture! It looks so soft and comfy, perfect to give you a long nights sleep without interruption. It would especially be perfect in the winter when you just want to snuggle up in bed and be surrounded by all things plush.Read more
There are plenty of styles out there that have way too much flexibility in their shell and can compromise the angle needed for your relief. That really defeats the whole point of wearing a night boot! So with Restorative Medical, you get a constant, all-night position that keeps your foot where you need it to be. Otherwise, you would end up with even more pain from having it positioned improperly and there is no way you could sleep with that. Go ahead and get this so you can stay comfortable every single night for the rest of your life.
Have you tried several different splints and boots only to find that they really bother your skin? Whether it's because of the materials used or the way the straps rub against you, it is most definitely not an ideal sleeping situation. How can you be expected to sleep when your skin is all hot and itchy? It's basically impossible. If you go with the Restorative Medical boot you have a guarantee to be irritant free so you can sleep peacefully (unless you have an allergy to certain materials). Take a load off, put your boot on, and snuggle up so you can fall asleep watching M.A.S.H for the hundredth time.
2. AEXCare P.F. Night Splint
One-Size Fits Most
After having a consultation with your physician, it may turn out that you don't need a big, bulky boot. Instead, you can get a smaller brace style bandage that wraps around your ankle and goes down over your forefoot to the balls of your feet. That's exactly what you'll be getting with this AEXCare product as it gently supports and stretches the foot to relieve pain overnight so you can feel like a brand-new person in the morning. It is completely adjustable so you can get the perfect amount of tension and an overall better fit so you can avoid having it too loose or too tight (no more cutting off the blood circulation).Read more
Any time you get some type of medical equipment or apparel, it's always best to start with small time increments of use so that your body can get used to it. AEXCare suggests to only start with fifteen to thirty minutes of wear when you first start to use their brace. Otherwise, you could end up causing more pain. Slowly go up until you feel more comfortable with it on and then feel the long-lasting effects once you reach a full sleep cycle (no you don't need to get up every few hours to take it off) with the brace on. The reason you do this is so as not to overstretch your injury or condition and give your body time to adjust to the way it holds your foot in a flexed position.
Take a look at the portion of this product that cradles the forefoot, it may look like it's just fabric but it has an aluminum strip inside that bends with your foot to promote a natural position. When you don't have a condition as severe as many others do you don't need a boot or splint that completely locks you in place all night and AEXCare made sure to design this specific splint to allow movement without compromising the intended stretch. The aluminum will contour to your forefoot while still helping prevent too much pull by keeping you in position and keep you from having sore joints because you couldn't move your foot at all like the big boots tend to do.
3. Mars Wellness Posterior
Total Pain Relief
Less is more. What a very true statement that is, and not everyone wants something that's going to be overly complicated to use. If you want a splint that you can just put on (and only need to adjust slightly) because you're always so tired at bedtime you can get this splint made by Mars. It's the most popular because you can get it set to the degree and tightness you need, then it's smooth sailing from there. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.Read more
There are days when you get up, and the pain you usually can ignore is flaring up, maybe because of the weather, or you just didn't sleep well. This means you're going to need some support when out doing your running or at work, but you don't want to draw attention to your leg with a big, bulky boot. You won't need to worry with this Mars support boot, it easily transitions to daytime wear and is "low profile" so you won't have a bunch of eyes on you all day long.
Hot and sweaty legs make for a long, itchy night and no rest for you (meaning you'll be a troll in the morning). When you wear this boot though, the open face design promotes air flow and keeps your leg cool and dry! You don't always need something hefty and complicated, because it would be useless if you wanted to take it off. So, you can get the support you're looking for and stay comfortable until the sun comes up.
4. ProCare ProWedge
Here we have another boot-type style, although it isn't nearly as bulky as others similar to it. ProCare ProWedge came out with their adjustable boot specially designed to relieve pain caused by tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. It provides just the right amount of tension so you'll feel not only instant relief but have long-lasting results. That way when you get up and ready for the day you can face whatever challenges that come your way without feeling like you could just keel over. It's also been designed for optimum comfort to ensure it doesn't affect your sleep in any way.Read more
Sometimes your tendons have become just so stretched out that a regular degree of flex is not enough and you need a little extra oomph of tension. Many styles of this product don't provide the option to adjust more than the straps so it's good to get something that will. Flexibrace has included a wedge that you can stick under your foot inside the brace to give the added height you have been wanting and needing because of how extreme your tendonitis (or whatever else) has become. There are a few others in the guide that have them included as well, but it seems that those tend to be a little more on the thicker side whereas this specific one isn't nearly as extreme with only an addition of five degrees.
Imagine how uncomfortable it would be to just wear a plastic shell that pokes and prods at you with every movement. Although, there are people out there who prefer that because it's considered vintage and hipsters dig it. Don't worry though if that isn't "your scene" because ProCare has a padded insert in their product that is removable and washable. It has just enough padding to keep you comfortable without suffocating and overheating your leg and foot. It's always best to read care instructions for any kind of apparel, especially medical, but if you just want a quick summary then here you go; machine-wash cold (preferably on a hand-wash cycle) then tumble dry on low (or let air dry). If you're a worry wart though you can always hand wash and dry it yourself too so you'll have peace of mind that your washer or dryer won't destroy it.
5. Advanced Orthopaedics Night Splint
Advanced Orthopaedics is very loved among the community of those that suffer from tendonitis and plantar fasciitis because of its extreme adjustability and lightweight comfort for all night wear. You won't have to worry about waking up every fifteen minutes to adjust because it's so uncomfortable, nor will you wake up with an imprint all around your leg and foot. This product has been built so that it can treat several conditions or injuries at once so you can always have relief and no longer need to choose between treatment for your conditions. Not only that but it can be used for daytime wear as well so if you are in need (say the weather is getting cold and makes you hurt) you can keep wearing it to ease the pain.Read more
If you have hardwood or linoleum floors and worry that when you get up in the night to go to the bathroom or get a drink, you'll end up slipping and hurting yourself more, no need. On the bottom of this night boot, there's a non-slip design to keep you upright and give you traction on all surfaces. Also a handy feature for if you're going to wear it during the daytime so you won't be slipping all over the place in Walmart (thanks to their concrete floors) or wherever you may be. It's a great boot for day and night but will be uncomfortable at first until your body gets used to the way it stretches your foot and leg.
Whether you have Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis or have a pulled calf muscle/tendon you will always get relief with Advanced Orthopaedics's spin on this style of relief. It's all around support and adjustability gives the right amount of stretch to each area for constant comfort and instant pain relief. Dorsiflexion is when you have your toes pointed up towards your shin and this stretches your muscles/tendons to keep them tight instead of loose. Remember as a little kid you would walk around on your heels and it always stretched your calf and foot so that when you went back to walking flat-footed it felt weird and relaxed? This was actually a good way to build up strength and ensure tightness well into your adult life so that you will have less chance of injury later. The night boot keeps your foot at the proper angle of dorsiflexion so that you exercise and work those muscles.
6. Fibee P.F. Night Splint
This is a super comfy product that's not overly padded, which may work for those who prefer this type of fit. The entire boot is lined with breathable foam so that you can stay cool and dry all night even on a hot summer night. Avoid the disgusting sweat puddle on your sheets and keep your boot from becoming musty and nasty, so that you won't end up throwing it in the garbage because it smells so bad.Read more
Very thin straps can cause discomfort because when tightened they dig into the skin. The Fibee P.F. Night Splint designed this specific design to have much wider straps so that you get total coverage and maximum comfort without compromising the air flow (thanks to the foam lining). It also makes it much easier to adjust for those that may suffer from arthritis or some other ailment that can cause difficulty doing something that is "simple" because to them it isn't always something they can do. This way, being able to loosen and tighten as needed is much easier to accomplish.
You may have noticed there are a lot of styles and boots that you can't wear with a sock on because of various reasons (mainly it gets too hot or compromises the flex). Fibee knows that there are people who need to wear socks for certain ailments, such as compression socks for blood flow. Which is exactly why you can wear, socks with their adjustable angle brace so that makes it an all-inclusive product for anyone and everyone to use.
7. VIVE Soft
Massage Ball Included
If having a sturdy boot isn't for you (maybe you're a side sleeper!) and need something super plush and soft then grab yourself this VIVE boot. It's like they took a daytime boot and wrapped it in cozy foam so you keep all the awesome benefits of your regular boot but can sleep comfortably thanks to the layer of comfy plush that covers the boot from top to bottom. Even the straps are padded!Read more
A massage ball is good for many things including plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and so forth. When you purchase the Vive you receive a studded massage ball, it's sort of like a tennis ball but with little nodules sticking out from all around. The nodules not only release tension built up in the muscles of your feet but also pinpoint nerves that may be causing you pain. For example, if you massage a nerve in the heel of your foot, it will more than likely help reduce discomfort from sciatica. Meaning that not only will you have a comfortable splint to sleep in, but you'll have an easier time going to sleep after relaxing the bottoms of your feet.
Have you ever noticed after a long day your leg(s) look swollen and when you touch it(them) the pain is scorching? Not only does it hurt, but it also can be extremely itchy and make it practically impossible for you to go to bed. So if you put on this splint a little time before bed, it's inflammation reducing properties (thanks to the compression) will bring your uncomfortable level down a considerable amount. Therefore, making it much easier to get to sleep and stay asleep.
8. Alpha Medical P.F.
Anyone else feels like velcro can be annoying? Especially when you're trying to sleep and can hear it make that awful crackle noise every time you move. Hence why the Alpha Medical boot is popular since it doesn't have velcro straps, instead it is equipped with buckles that can be loosened and tightened as needed (or preferred). Reminder; have your physician help you figure the correct amount of tightness right for you. It may seem annoying, but it will be what's best for you down the road after you've gotten yourself acclimated to wearing the boot and having your tendons flexed while in use.Read more
The whole point of wearing any of these products is to keep your leg and foot in place so that you don't overstretch and loosen your tendons/muscles even more than they already are. Alpha Medical kept this in mind when designing the placement of their straps so that you stay at the proper flex position while you sleep and won't let you stretch out the injury/condition. Although it says it's specific for plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis it would work well for other foot related injuries as well (like a sprained ankle or freshly out of the cast leg). Why would it be good for that? Well, imagine how sore and stiff your leg feels after being in a cast for weeks, and suddenly you have the freedom to move around. It can feel good at first, but you might end up a little sore, using all those muscles after so long. A brace can help ease the soreness until you've built up strength again!
You may be familiar with lycra or you may not, either way, we can break it down for you. Lycra is a material that is often used in athletic apparel because of its durability and aversion to sweat or water. This fiber is classified as an elastic polyurethane (PU) and is similar to spandex in many ways that they often get confused. Although elastic is stretchy, it's not necessarily ideal to use in whole pieces of clothing or equipment because it can fray and break with enough excessive force (like when you take your underwear out of the wash, and you have the elastic frillies sticking out everywhere). Lycra can withstand a lot of abuse and handle being washed excessively, which is why this boot has a cover over the inner foam made of lycra to prevent your sweat from soaking into the padding. Meaning it protects your equipment, making it long-lasting and washable (hand wash/spot wash though because you can't throw the whole boot in the machine).
9. United Surgical Adjustable
Difficult to Use
Looking for something more in the middle of firm and plush? If you wear a splint that isn't what you are looking for then you can end up in even more pain than usual in the morning. Heck, you could even wake up because of it. Not even just more pain, you can turn your injury from bad to worse if treating it improperly which might end up with you in the hospital. So let's avoid that!Read more
Have you ever heard of dorsiflexion? It's when you point your toes and bend your foot upwards towards the shin. This stretches the muscles and ligaments in your feet and legs to keep them taut which keeps their strength from deteriorating. Having strength is these parts of the body is important, especially when you already have something like PF (plantar fasciitis) or tendonitis. The amount of dorsiflexion can improve (or worsen) your condition dramatically so the fact that there's an eighty-degree flex available on this boot means you can adjust it to where you need. Whether you just need a ten degree or a ninety, you'll have your relief.
Imagine how terrible it would be if while sleeping you broke your boot because it was so rigid that every time you moved, the shell cracked? United Surgical took this nightmare and turned it into a daydream instead, creating a one-piece base that can flex with your movements rather than push against them. No more broken equipment and no more wasting money on new equipment (that may or may not break). It's also great that the shell is all one big piece instead of a bunch of smaller pieces epoxied together.
10. Everyday Medical Foot Brace
Hook & Loop Closure
If you're looking for something a bit more comfortable and don't want a big ol' boot, you can go ahead with the Everyday Medical product. It has a similar overall design to the AEXCare but is different in subtle (yet effective) ways. Another major plus is that it has been approved by the FDA for use with plantar fasciitis and tendonitis! It's soft, breathable and comfortable so that you can slip it on and not give it a second thought. It does have the bendable aluminum too if you liked that feature in the other brace, so you get the perfect fit.Read more
One thing Everyday Medical has that the others don't is that you get a one year warranty for your product. This way if anything goes wonky with it and ends up giving you worse pain because of that then you can send it back and get a new one (that hopefully won't end up with the same defect). Remember though that warranty's don't cover your animals eating it or being ruined by your kids, only actual defects in the product itself (say the aluminum broke or something in the middle of the night).
Using materials that can withstand sweat is extremely important, and thankfully Everyday Medical used a neoprene blend in their design. Neoprene is a material that is very durable and can withstand a wide range in temperature along with the fact that it wicks away moisture instead of collecting it. It's generally used in a rubber or latex form when being crafted into medical equipment such as this brace. Plus if you're one of those that shower right before bed, you don't have to worry about being completely dry when you put it on!
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The whole point of wearing a night splint or boot is to put your foot in a certain position and keep it there. This is why, when rating the products on this list, we chose the ones that did best at keeping your feet locked in position. The more movement a model allowed, the lower rating it got in terms of possibility.
If you're recovering from Plantar Fasciitis or Achilles Tendonitis, it is crucial that your foot is in the correct position in this type of treatment. This will always include a flexing of the tendons and fascia by putting your foot at an angle that is a maximum of 90 degrees from your shin. Some users may need even more, which is where adjustable wedges come in really handy. It is actually through this gentle flexion that pressure is taken off the parts of your foot that cause pain, and the areas are allowed to heal and relax, which should result in a lessening of the levels of pain you will feel in the morning.
It's important to note that this type of product is almost always used overnight (with a few exceptions) which will typically mean that a big, bulky aid will be messing with your sleep. The highest rated models on this list take this into consideration as well, and allow a better range of movement to the leg, while still keeping the heel completely locked in place, and the toes pointing towards the shin.
Lastly, it's important to consider whether you need a huge boot at all, or if you could get away with a smaller, bootie type of product. If you're only suffering from mild symptoms that you want to keep from getting worse, then one of the smaller products on this list may work for you. Although they won't bend your foot at a 90-degree angle, they may provide you with just enough relief to stop you from experiencing pain in the morning. A huge upside of these is that they're generally more comfortable, and will allow at least some amount of natural movement.
Being usually made in just a single size, or with limited sizing availability, the level of adjustability you get from your night boot is crucial, not just in terms of comfort, but also in terms of effectiveness.
There are two adjustability factors you need to consider before making a purchase:
One more thing to consider in terms of adjustability is that you will probably need to redo the closures on your boots a few times, at least for the first few nights you wear them. This is completely normal, as your body will just be getting used to being put in this new position, and there are natural fluctuations in the amount of swelling your feet experience throughout the day and night. Some users may even have to adjust the boot during the night, which is a tedious task, but may be a crucial one on the road to recovery.
The amount of compression you get from your night boot is the trickiest part of the entire selection and fitting process. Although you will want to completely avoid products that squeeze the life out of your legs and feet, a little bit of compression may be beneficial.
As injuries often reduce blood flow to the problematic region, a slight amount of compression may help with drawing it to the feet. This type of approach can be very effective in terms of treatment, as the muscles, tendons and even cartilage will be receiving the necessary nutrients and oxygen they need to start regenerating and getting stronger, which will speed up the amount of time you spent in recovery.
However, it is crucial that it is not overdone, as restricting blood flow to the region will do the same. Not only will it cause you severe discomfort that'll be heightened by the fact that you'll be trying to sleep, but can prolong the time you spend in recovery and reduce the effects of all other treatments you've been doing.
When putting on your night splint, you need to ensure you don't cinch down on the straps too hard, and that it's comfortably snug against your foot. You will probably find that the fit itself will vary day to day, and the more you get used to it, the less you will be bothered by it.
Finally, you need to be aware of the fact that a night boot or splint will never be truly comfortable. Nonetheless, there are several products on this list that take care to ensure you get as much as possible.
First and foremost, you will want to choose a style that has some amount of padding. Whether it's foam, sponge or latex is completely up to you and your personal preferences, but almost all models on this list will include at least a little bit of soft lining. Seeing that most splints are made with hard plastic parts, this can make a huge difference in terms of preventing them from cutting into your foot and giving you a hard time falling asleep.
Another aspect you need to consider is the type of material the splint is made of. Usually, these products are quite bulky and may cause excessive sweating during the night. What you'll want is a moisture-wicking material that won't allow your feet to be sitting in a pool of your own sweat as this will certainly lead to bad odors, and may even cause side effects such as fungal infections.
Last but not least, seeing that everyone's sensitivity is at a different level, you will want to choose a boot with straps that work for you. Some may prefer thin straps that aren't too restrictive, but others will find thicker straps to be less likely to cut into the foot, making it a bit easier to get a good night's sleep.
Before making a final purchase, it is advisable that you consider all of these aspects, as they can make a difference between a torture device and a product that will help you heal faster and experience less pain in the morning.
As already mentioned, night splints are restrictive types of foot coverings which will change the way your foot is positioned for prolonged periods. Before deciding to buy one and wear it to fix your problems, it is highly advisable that you consult with your physician, as they may slow down your healing process, and can even lead to side effects that will require surgery.
Note that there are certain conditions that may feel similar to plantar fasciitis but that need movement to be properly healed. Sports injuries, in particular, often need to be treated with physical therapy instead of immobilization, so diagnosing yourself and prescribing your own healing methods is strongly advised against.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Sometimes, you may need to clean away debris, sweat, or just simply freshen up a night splint. Depending on what type of material is used, mainly fabrics that lay against the foot and calf are easy to clean. Simply take soap and water applied to a damp rag or brush, and scrub the fabric, or if removable, wash the entire splint with water and soap. Let your splint air dry at room temperature.
Each night splint may seem like it does similar things, but each has a particular level of stretch, fit, comfort, and function to help ease foot pain. Check with your doctor first to see which is most applicable to your particular needs. Many adjustable splints provide the best optimal fit, while sleeves can sometimes be restrictive depending if your feet swell.
Other Factors to Consider
Some users will only be waring their boot at night, but there are those who will need the product during the day as well. If this is the case, make sure you choose one that will allow you to walk without risking injury.
The best way to ensure this is to go with a boot that has an outsole, preferably one with a decent tread that will prevent you from slipping, and that will protect the boot itself from the environment. Stepping on hard surfaces, and putting constant pressure on it may deteriorate the material, so taking a few extra steps to ensure your expensive boot stays intact is definitely worth the trouble.
Please consult with your doctor first about what exactly is wrong with your leg (or legs) before purchasing a splint or boot. There could be the chance there's something more serious going on and the use of one could possibly make it worse, causing a severe injury and more pain that might need corrective surgery all because you self-diagnosed yourself. Even if you don't have a primary care provider you can schedule with any physician and they will more than likely refer you to a physical therapist in your area.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What do these products do?
These not only hold your legs and feet in their correct place, they increase the amount of blood flow your legs are getting so that your muscles can build up better strength from the added oxygen. The more buff your muscles get the faster the recovery time. Also, a splint will keep your plantar fasciitis from suddenly waking you from a deep sleep because you stretched wrong and ouch. Now you have a burning sensation happening in your foot and are now wide awake. Good quality sleep is very (very) important because that's when our bodies do the best healing in a quicker time period than if you're tossing and turning in bed, unable to sleep.
q: How do they help heel spurs?
First of all let's go into what exactly is a heel spur; you know how our bones are made up of calcium and a bunch of other sciencey stuff that we won't get into right now? Sometimes our bodies will misplace the calcium and cause growths that are almost like extra bones underneath your heel. They can form in one large growth that sticks out or a bunch of little ones huddled together like a football team before the big game. Sounds painful? Because it is. This normally occurs when severe stress is applied to your feet and once they have a chance to relax and boom. Calcium buildup. These products not only help in the prevention of heel spurs but also in easing pressure and tension on already existing ones by stretching the plantar upwards and redirecting the stress to other areas. Do exercises recommended by your physical therapist to strengthen muscles and keep these pesky growths from developing.
q: Are they covered by Medicare/Medicaid?
If you are prescribed a specially fitted boot by your physician then it will be covered by your insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid. In recent years though it has been changed that any "over-the-counter" ones you have purchased will not be covered or reimbursed since it has not been mandated by your doctor. Meaning you shouldn't self-diagnose and buy something you might not even need because it turned out the pain was caused by something completely different. It can end up causing worse pain and prevent your injury from getting better, probably ending in corrective surgery. It would be a huge inconvenience and could drastically change your life, like say you would never be able to run again or walk without some kind of support.
q: How do you put these on?
There are many of "how-to's" lists and videos on the internet that will show and explain how to put on your splint or boot but since they aren't all the same when it comes to construction and extras they could end up being completely wrong. It's best to just get a consultation with your doctor or physical therapist after receiving your custom made equipment to show you how to properly put it on and adjust to your needs. Also, please don't just wing it because you might hurt yourself or could ruing the splint and it's more than likely insurance won't cover a replacement. The majority of doctors and physical therapists won't try and force you to get an expensive one as long as what you purchased will work properly and they will always be glad to show you how to put it on for the best effect.