Welcome to the wonderful world of plantar fasciitis. We are going to help you find the best shoes for plantar fasciitis.
You probably know how this awful condition feels: walking on knives would be more pleasant.
Now, it’s time to fix it… but how?
You can’t exactly stay in bed for six months, but walking is agony.
Luckily for you, there’s a solution.
New shoes can do wonders to heal your feet while allowing you to walk, especially if they include heel cushioning, arch support, and a sole that can help absorb the shock of your every step. When you’re researching plantar fasciitis, the best shoes to wear will appear in this article.
Before we recommend good shoes, let’s talk a little bit about why they work.
The ligament that connects your heel and the ball of your foot is called the plantar fascia. This allows you to take an even, controlled step, roll your foot forward, and push off the ground again with ease.
However, there are a few circumstances where your plantar fascia can experience tiny tears as a result of strain, becoming inflamed and painful as a result.
For the best shoes, plantar fasciitis is just a matter of putting your foot in the right place.
Often, this will happen if you walk or run a lot.
But if you carry a lot of heavy weight for your job, or if you’re overweight yourself, you could also experience the pain of plantar fascia inflammation. This is because, your plantar fascia is tasked with moving all that weight from your heel to your toe – it’s a big job!
That’s why cushioning and supporting your arches can make such a big difference. It’s taking pressure off your plantar fascia by putting your foot in a position that’s physically better for you. For the best shoes, plantar fasciitis is just a matter of putting your foot in the right place.
If you’re at risk for plantar fasciitis, then your best course of action is to acquire supportive shoes before you develop a problem.
But let’s face it: if you’re reading this article, then you’re probably already walking around in pain. Don’t despair! Good shoes really can make your life better. On this list, I’ve gathered the names and brands of the best shoes for plantar fasciitis, a comprehensive list that will set you on the path back to podiatric wellness.
Let’s Dive right in…
The Top 10 Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
|Image||Model||Type||Arch Support||Main Features||Price||Rating|
|ASICS Women’s GEL-Kayano 22||Running shoes||Excellent||Shock attenuation during impact and toe-off phases.||$$$$||1|
|Saucony Women’s ProGrid Integrity ST2||Walking and tennis shoes||Moderate||Lightweight cushioning and grip||$$$||2|
|Spenco Women’s Yumi Sandal||Flip-flops||Excellent||Firm support and motion control||$$||2|
|New Balance Women’s 711 Mesh Cross-Training Shoe||Cross training shoes||Moderate||Comfortable insole with heel pillow||$||1|
|Brooks Women's Addiction Walker||Walking shoes||Excellent||Excellent midsole cushioning, strong support and reliable slip-resistant outsole||$$$||2|
|ASICS Women’s GEL-Resolution 6||Tennis shoes||Moderate||Forefoot GEL Cushioning System attenuates shock||$$$||2|
|Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 15||Running shoes||Excellent||Lightweitght cushioning and supreme durability||$$$||2|
|Vionic Women’s Walker||Walking shoes||Excellent||Contoured orthotic footbed with deep heel cup||$$||1|
|Vionic with Orthaheel Zen||Athletic shoes||Excellent||Podiatrist-designed, biomechanical orthotic footbed with a deep heel cup||$$||1|
|Altra Women’s Intuition Everyday Fashion Sneaker ||Running and walking shoes||Moderate||Responsive ride and flexibility||$$||1|
Different Types of Shoes
Running out and buying one pair of plantar fasciitis-friendly sneakers isn’t necessarily going to work for you. You may be able to wear them around the house, but what about when you go to work? And what should you wear when you go to the pool?
Remember, you’ll be dealing with plantar fasciitis for at least six months as you recover.
Here, we’ll endeavor to introduce you to various different types of shoes that you should, or could, look for when you’re buying.
Lots of people like to wear unassuming sneakers to work if their plantar fasciitis makes heels or formal footwear unbearable.
Since they’re light, closed and easy to supplement with inserts, they’re among the most recommended shoes for plantar fasciitis.
If you’re attached to your orthotics, maybe you just need something to bum around the house in.
Sneakers are standard, unspecialized, all-purpose shoes that lace up. They’re casual, but not showy.
In other words, you could do the laundry in these. Unless you wanted to keep them nice, in which case you might be able to wear them at the office.
The great thing about sneakers is that they fit your foot snugly. Aside from preventing your foot from sliding, which aggravates your plantar fasciitis, this great fit can provide a little extra support for your foot.
Sneakers tend to fit orthotics well, unlike some formal shoes and almost all high heels, and their multipurpose nature means that you’ll be able to do almost everything you want to do without having to carry extra shoes with you or constantly looking for a place to sit down.
Runners get plantar fasciitis at alarming rates.
After all, it is a repetitive stress injury, and nobody uses their feet more than runners.
Worse, runners have priorities that can’t simply be put off.
Your plantar fasciitis might not be going anywhere, but that marathon next month may be a chance that never comes again.
After months or years of training, no runner should have to give up their dream because a ligament in their foot acts up.
Enter running shoes for plantar fasciitis.
It’s such a common problem that shoe designers for certain brands, like Asics and Saucony, often design with plantar fasciitis in mind.
Many runners already use orthotic shoe inserts to make sure that they don’t develop plantar fasciitis, or, for that matter, the ankle, knee, and hip problems that can arise as a result of strenuous repetitive usage of your feet.
Some running shoes for plantar fasciitis enhance the effects of those special inserts, and other ones are built to imitate them.
Either way, these shoes will help to eliminate some of the agony associated with running.
Work-appropriate shoes that are also safe for your plantar fasciitis can be hard to find. Even harder to find are shoes that don’t insult your sense of fashion as well as your feet.
Though certain styles, like very high orthotics, aren’t necessarily ideal for someone with plantar fasciitis or other foot problems, there are alternatives that you can wear to work.
So what is the best shoe for plantar fasciitis that you can wear to a formal or professional event?
Some of these are sandals made to hold your foot in place over specially designed orthotics built into the sole.
Others are clogs with deep heel cups, and many of the best feature a heel, a toe, and laces to make the whole thing snug around your foot. That way, you won’t slide around and further injure your plantar fascia.
If you’re on your feet all day, also look for shoes that feature extra space, which will allow you to add your own orthotics. Even well-developed shoes can benefit from podiatrist-recommended inserts.
You’ll agree with me when I say:
Hikers experience unfairly high incidences of plantar fasciitis.
This is especially true for backpackers, who both walk long distances and carry heavy loads.
Worse still, a case of plantar fasciitis that develops mid-trek can ruin an entire trip, further damage your foot’s overall health, and endanger you on the trail.
Considering all this, it seems remarkable that anyone ever considers not getting orthotically designed hiking boots that offer the support and cushioning that plantar fasciitis demands. The right boots can actually prevent an issue from arising, but if one does, then a great heel cup is something you’ll want as much as a Gore-tex liner and extra long laces.
Hiking boots are ideally made with all conditions in mind, including mud, water, and heat.
In addition to these, a pair made for plantar fasciitis, should fit snugly and prevent your foot from shifting as you walk. Look for boots with lots and lots of durable cushioning, especially if you plan to put them through a thousand miles of wilderness trek.
Some days, you just want to go to the beach. That’s not something you can do in your expensive running shoes; you’ll never get them clean again after they get all sandy.
You need the magic of flip flops, but standard models are bound to aggravate your plantar fasciitis. Using them would be as bad as walking around barefoot.
But believe it or not, there are flip flop sandals appropriate for people with foot issues.
Good flip flops for plantar fasciitis will feature bold contours and arch support.
Many will have a deep heel cup to guide your foot into the same step every time you set it down, but one of the most important aspects of a plantar fasciitis flip flop is fit.
Make sure that the straps that hold your shoe to your foot are nice and snug. Otherwise, you’ll be sliding around on the flip flop when you try to walk on it, risking greater damage to your plantar fascia.
They’re not generally the first shoes recommended for plantar fasciitis, but they’re necessary and make your life better.
There are a few specific brands that you’ll want to look for when you’re shopping for the best plantar fasciitis shoes. These care about your feet and design specifically with foot problems in mind.
The goal of this footwear company is to repair, once and for all, the problem of overpronation.
Having flat feet can be a risk factor for plantar fasciitis, since it forces the ligament to do more work than it normally would have to.
Aetrex seeks to solve the problem at its source, providing shoes with excellent arch support. They carry an extensive line of orthotic inserts, too, including deep gel heel cups and extreme arch supports.
Aetrex is one of the few companies to have mastered the art of high heel orthoic shoes
When asked what is best shoe for plantar fasciitis, most podiatrists will not say “high heels.”
However, Aetrex is one of the few companies to have mastered the art of high heel orthoic shoes.
Many of these shoe lines are attractively designed, and though they aren’t necessarily haute couture, they are significantly prettier than the average orthotic shoe and will appeal to many fashionistas even plantar fasciitis isn’t an issue.
Remember, however, that special shoes can come with special price tags: Aetrex models can cost significantly more than the average shoe.
Saucony makes snazzy-looking athletic shoes that look equally good at work and on the road.
Though they can be a little expensive, true believers will tell you every time that Saucony is worth it.
With excellent arch support, their shoes are solid and reliable members of the elite club of plantar fasciitis footwear.
The other usual suspects apply: great heel support, cushioning, and shock absorption are all key aspects of what makes this shoe special. Many people who try Saucony end up ditching their orthotics inserts.
The only problem with Saucony shoes is that sometimes sizes will vary between the colors. For example, if Saucony puts out the same shoe in black and white, the white shoe might fit you and the black one might not. For the most part, the company has corrected this problem. It definitely shouldn’t deter you from trying this incredible shoes.
Sometimes, the best everything shoes are actually running shoes.
Brooks makes fantastic runners, and fantastic runners make amazing shoes for plantar fasciitis. That said, Brooks makes an excellent walking shoe, too, and is well worth trying out even if you just have to stand all day.
Light and fun to wear, Brooks shoes are often a good alternative to heavy, clunky-looking orthotic shoes.
A good pair of shoes from Brooks can approach $200, but the quality will worth it
Brooks do tend to be fairly expensive; a good pair can approach $200. However, you have to consider what you’re looking for. Is this just about the pain in your feet, or is it about your overall physical and mental health?
Remember, plantar fasciitis can develop into heel spurs if you don’t take proper care of it, and the right shoes go a long way toward that care.
A podiatrist can give you a better idea as to whether to spend big money on a shoe, but they’ll tell you the same thing we will: there’s no substitute for happy feet.
For everyday activity, Vionic’s Orthaheel label are absolutely ideal. As you may be able to tell from the name, Orthaheel is a podiatrist-approved solution to orthotic problems that incorporates medically sound principles to make the perfect plantar fasciitis shoes. In fact, Orthaheel itself was originally developed by a podiatrist. Their primary advantage is their excellent fit: with arches and sides that cleave to the shape of your foot, you’re less likely to experience plantar fascia strain.
Most people who see you wearing Vionics won’t have a clue that they’re orthotic shoes!
The best part about wearing Vionics is that most people who see you wearing them around won’t have a clue that they’re orthotic shoes. They’re stylish, classy, and come in a variety of styles and colors. They assume that you want to keep living your life whether or not you happen to be having foot problems at the moment.
There are even a number of arch-supporting orthotic slippers on the list of their products. Vionic is one of the most successful brands on this list, and the reasons are clear.
Though athletes without plantar fasciitis enjoy using Ascics, the brand is famous for providing the kind of shock absorption and heel support necessary in the best shoes for plantar fasciis.
The famous Gel system, which helps to cushion the foot with every step, makes this brand special. This innovation is located in the heel, where it prevents strain before it even starts. Asics also feature a broad heel and well-formed inner layers, both of which are important to preventing both plantar fasciitis and overpronation.
The famous Gel system helps to cushion the foot with every step
In fact, many people like to wear Asics even if they’re not athletes. They’re especially popular among people who work on their feet, such as nurses and teachers, who tend to know from experience what shoes best for plantar fasciitis. Ascis don’t vary much in terms of style: they’re functional athletic shoes that will keep you running all day. However, they often come in a riot of colors that you may love or hate, depending on the circumstances.
The 5 Best Plantar Fasciitis Shoes
Whether you need them for work or play, great plantar fasciitis shoes will all feature great arch support, a deep heel cup, and plenty of cushioning. Look for firm exterior soles and insoles that don’t let your arches flatten out. Beyond that, consider what you really need. Do you need to move around all day? Do you like to work out? How do you feel about being fashionable?
While these are the best plantar fasciitis shoes, there are a lot of great options out there. These are the top shoes for plantar fasciitis, and as such, you can use them as a starting point for deciding what you want and what you need.
Asics is truly the very best, and none of their shoes hold a candle to the Kayano. Its elevated heel does wonders for aching plantar fascia, putting your entire foot in a natural, sloped position that takes pressure off your ligament.
The shoe famously wraps your foot in multidirectional mesh so that it doesn’t slide around.
The heel is nice and wide, too, which means that you’re less likely to hurt yourself while running, walking, or otherwise moving your feet.
The entire Kayano line of shoes is worth checking out, but this one is among the best shoes for plantar fascia available today.
The Gel system combined with the snug heel and expertly crafted uppers, make it easy to simply start running without having to go through even more pain as you break your new shoes in.
The Kayano comes in a wide variety of kooky colors, including hot pink and black. Be ready to draw approving glances as you’re on the move. Some people will like the design, and others will recognize these as the absolute best shoes for someone with plantar fasciitis.
The Kayanos are generally lauded by runners with plantar fasciitis as comfortable, extremely supportive shoes that are good for overpronators. The Kayano is also quite a pretty shoe that will appeal visually to many runners. However, this model also features a smaller toe box.
This shoe is especially interesting for one special factor: it’s stretchy!
The front part of the shoe’s uppers is unusually flexible and comfortable, which means that you, the wearer, will enjoy greater agility while wearing it.
Tennis players like it, even though it’s not technically a tennis shoe, and people who just enjoy a pleasant walking experience claim that it’s actually the best shoe for plantar fasciitis.
The ProGrid is a little more demure than the Kayano. It’s available in black, white, and tan.
If you’re looking for a high-quality shoe that will fit in at the workplace, this is probably your best bet. Not only does it feature the requisite arch and heel support, but the “grid” portion of its name refers to a special cushioning system that makes this shoe a pleasure to walk in regardless of your plantar fasciitis or heel spurs.
Finally, this shoe is nice and grippy, so when you walk, your plantar fascia won’t spend as much time pushing against the ground and potentially stressing itself out.
Overall, this shoe is particularly good for high arches and represents a good price compromise compared to athletic shoes. However, some wearers find the standard sizes too narrow. This won’t be a problem for runners whose feet are naturally thin, but others will want to investigate wider options.
Yes, a flip-flop!
This unassuming beach shoe is among the best shoes for plantars fasciitis, mostly because it frees you up to do some actual fun stuff.
Walking shouldn’t just be about making it through a day at work. With this flip-flop, you can enjoy a stay in the sun, head to the pool or beach, or just let your feet breathe on a hot day.
Though it doesn’t wrap around your foot the way an enclosed shoe would, the Yumi features a contoured sole that both supports your arch and cushions your heel.
The entire insole is padded to help keep your foot comfy and reduce strain on your ligament. While they’re definitely pricier than a pair of typical thong sandals, these are worth the buy.
Flip flops fulfill a unique role in shoes, and whether you’re dealing with a communal shower or a sandy oasis, you’re going to need a pair of these. It’s not the absolute best shoe for people with plantar fasciitis, but it’s perfect for a person with plantar fasciitis who also wants to have a life.
As a flip flop, this shoe offers the maximum in ventilation. You’ll also be able to take them to places where normal shoes would be unacceptable, like spas and pools. However, one important aspect of treating plantar fasciitis is the shoe’s ability to keep your foot in place, and without an enclosed structure, this flip flop’s ability to correct plantar fasciitis is limited. It should only be worn when the situation calls for it.
Who would have guessed that this shoe store staple carried such a great shoe for plantar fasciitis?
New Balance makes some incredible shoes for athletes, and with the 711 formula, they hit on the right combination of factors to support athletes with plantar fasciitis, too.
While these shoes were made to benefit athletes, they benefit the rest of us by proxy, and there’s no rule that you need to be a sports hero to own these cross-trainers. This is another shoe that nurses and teachers love to wear all day at work.
This shoe’s heel pillow makes a big difference in its ability to absorb the impact of each footstep before that shock reaches your heel. Light and breathable, these are a refreshing break from heavy orthotic shoes that might feel like millstones after a day.
Some people who wear 711s like to add their own orthotics for better arch support, although this is largely a matter of personal taste and natural variations in arch shape between walkers.
Light shoes are useful both to athletes who want wide versatility in their footwear and to professionals who don’t want to wear a heavy orthotic shoe. Expect to replace the insole with your own orthotics.
If you want comfort, then the Addiction Walker is your shoe. Fans adore the soft leather uppers, the cushioning, and the award-winning, shock absorbing midsole design. But underneath it all, this shoe is a durable workhorse, providing firm support that continues to reduce plantar fasciitis symptoms even when the shoe itself starts to wear out. Stable and reliable, this is definitely a fan favorite, as well as a strong contender for the top of this list.
The only reason this shoe is low on the top 5 is that it’s a little clunky-looking. It comes in three colors – black, white, and tan – and would probably be fine for work. But though they’ll do wonders for your feet, they won’t win any beauty pageants.
Many people who suffer from plantar fasciitis don’t care about that – it’s all about how they feel at the end of the day. This is still one of the best shoes to buy for plantar fasciitis.
These shoes are often recommended by doctors to people who have foot problems so bad that they have needed surgery or whose hips and ankles suffer because of their orthopedic issues. They excel at shock absorption. However, they are not visually appealing and can cost close to $200 per pair.
Other Models of Plantar Fasciitis Shoes
The Resolution 6 supports both overpronators and oversupinators, making it a good choice for athletes who are still trying to pinpoint the source of their foot pain.
Unlike a running shoe, these tennis sneakers have a flatter sole, which allows the wearer to be agile on a tennis court.
The Resolution 6 is also an attractive shoe with many color options, and features greater cushioning than the Resolution 5. However, it may be a bit narrower.
However, like most high-quality products, the Adrenaline represents quite a financial investment. It is worth trying for professional athletes who experience foot problems, or for dedicated hobbyists if all other models have failed.
This shoe is easy to wear and comfortable, though its bulk makes it an unappealing option for some wearers. It features excellent support, but be sure to order one size up from your usual fit.
Though there are few color options, it looks less like an orthotic shoe than some other models. It’s definitely one of the best shoes if you have plantar fasciitis.
As the name implies, these shoes are a bit snazzier than other all-purpose support shoes. They also feature a comfortable toe box and are zero-drop, meaning that, while the heel is still supported, it and the forefoot are the same distance from the ground.
While this is a little bit of a different philosophy from most shoes, it works for many people who find themselves at a loss with other shoes.
Zero-drop technology is a rarity in the shoe world, and many people who find that standard athletic shoes don’t help them praise these as a breakthrough. A large toe box guarantees comfort in that area. However, for a shoe advertised as fashionable, there is a dearth of available colors. The shallow heel can rub the back of the foot if the fit is off.
When Vionic claims to have had podiatrists design their shoes, they aren’t kidding. The same professionals who tell you what shoe is best for plantar fasciitis went ahead and created their own. These basic walkers have very high arch supports and fit many feet that defy other shoes.
These shoes are QVC standards, and many people appreciate how comfortable they are. Though they come out of the box a little stiff, normal use will quickly soften them up. Some wearers find that they are less breathable than other models, but worth it for the great support they provide.
Features all Plantar Fasciitis Shoes Must Have
Anyone who wears them will tell you that shoes are not just shoes: they’re a fashion statement, a critical tool for your daily function, and the difference between a good day and a bad one. No matter what kind of shoes you buy for your plantar fasciitis, you’ll need to look for a few key points.
- Arch Support. This is the key to preventing, healing, and living with plantar fasciitis. If your arches are supported, then you won’t pronate; if you don’t pronate, then your plantar fascia won’t get stretched out and torn. Different people need different levels of arch support, so ask your podiatrist if you can’t find a comfortable shoe.
- Heel Cup. Not only does a well-shaped heel cushion your foot, but it also prevents your foot from landing awkwardly and sliding around within the shoe. A deep heel cup also maximizes arch support, making it a plantar fasciitis must.
- Snug fit. Having an enclosed heel does wonders for foot problems, and having a shoe that fits is itself helpful for plantar fasciitis. Remember to make sure, however, that you’re not cutting off your circulation. You don’t want to exchange one problem for another.
- Shock absorption. Remember, plantar fasciitis is basically a repetitive stress injury. Shock absorption helps to reduce the amount of strain that hits your plantar fascia every time you step on it. Since the result is collective, even a little bit of shock absorption can make a big difference over time. However, make sure that your shoes are durable, because the constant impacts will eventually cause them to wear down.
Final Words – Wrapping it up
There’s no need to suffer because of plantar fasciitis.
You can alleviate or even halt many of your symptoms by choosing the right shoe. We hope the list helps you pick the best shoes. It’s definitely your first step toward foot comfort.
Do keep in mind that there’s no such thing as a “perfect” shoe, that’s why each shoe is made to suit the need of different consumers and feet. Now, you’re equipped with the knowledge you need to choose the right shoes for your feet.
Product images sourced from Amazon.com.