What causes spongy feeling in feet?

If you’ve ever experienced a spongy feeling in your feet, you know how uncomfortable it can be. It’s like walking on clouds, except that it doesn’t feel quite as magical when you’re trying to walk to the supermarket.

What causes this sensation?

The Culprit: Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is one possible reason for that squishy feeling underfoot. This condition is characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia – a thick band of tissue along the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes.

The plantar fascia helps support the arches of your feet and distribute body weight evenly across them. When this tough, stretchy ligament becomes irritated or strained, we might experience pain or discomfort in our heels or soles – and yes, sponginess can also occur.

Fun fact: Plantar fasciitis affects roughly 10% of people at some point during their lives. People who are overweight or have a job (or hobby) requiring long periods of standing are at greater risk for developing this ailment.

Other Possible Causes

While plantar fasciitis may be responsible for some cases of sponginess, there are other suspects worth considering:

  • Flat Feet
  • Athletic Overtraining
  • Arthritis
  • Diabetes
  • Aging\
    There’s no definitive answer yet on whether flat feet contribute to softness underfoot; however, high arches don’t seem to cause any extra bounce either. If overexertion from running marathons leaves us sore all over—including our feets’ tender bottoms—then resting from activity could help; but if arthritis begins creeping into joints like those around our ankles or forming bony protrusions behind kneecaps (called spurs), then treatments will need modifying based on severity. Diabetics, meanwhile, should take special care of their feet as neuropathy (nerve damage) can leave them numb to hot or cold sensations. Finally, aging is the great equalizer—our skin gets thinner and fatty pads beneath our soles lose elasticity over time.

Note: Some people might experience sudden sponginess underfoot after traveling long distances by air; this could be a result of cabin pressure dehydrating joint cartilage!

Treatment Options

Fortunately for anyone experiencing these strange feelings in their feet, there are many remedies that may help alleviate the symptoms:

Proper Footwear

Wearing shoes with adequate arch support and cushioning can go a long way in relieving foot pain from plantar fasciitis or athletic overtraining.

Tip: Look into getting specialized inserts designed specifically for people dealing with this condition. Brands like Superfeet make custom orthotics tailored to your specific needs based on foot type and activity level.


Stretches and strength-building exercises targeted towards your feet can help reduce inflammation around the plantar fascia. Try toe curls using a towel or resistance band—a simple exercise that promotes healthy circulation while strengthening muscles throughout each digit (try doing 15 reps per set).

Note: If you’re uncertain about proper form when exercising at-home alone,+ consider meeting with an expert such as a physical therapist—it’s always better safe than sorry!


Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can reduce swelling associated with plantar fasciitis; however they come with possible side effects including stomach discomforts & heartburn —so follow instructions carefully.


Massage therapy involving myofascial release technique has been shown effective in reducing tension within connective tissues surrounding the affected ligament.
Alternatively Acupuncture treatment may be worth considering if seeking holistic approaches.

While it’s important to remember that everyone’s body reacts differently – consistency is key when it comes to combating foot pain. As with any new exercise or medication regimen, always consult a qualified healthcare professional before making changes.


In conclusion, spongy feet aren’t all that uncommon and can be attributed to several factors including plantar fasciitis, aging, flat feet and neuropathy in diabetics. While there isn’t one definitive treatment option available presently; progress has been made towards alleviating symptoms through methods like proper footwear/exercise regimens coupled with medical therapies if necessary.

Last but not least – remember: step softly & carry cushioned support where you go!