Plantar fasciitis (PF) is actually a quite common and often very painful condition among young and old people. It often occurs because of wearing the wrong shoes, worn out shoes, wearing high heels or due to a lot of exercise, standing or trauma.
Basically, it is a straining of the ligament supporting the arch, which leads to a little bit of tearing at a time. These micro injuries can lead to quite a lot of pain, discomfort and swelling.
The most invasive and expensive therapy for this condition is surgery, and the least is getting the right shoes for plantar fasciitis. Nearly 15% of the people suffering from plantar fasciitis have managed to resolve this condition by wearing the appropriate shoes.
There is a wide choice of different types of shoes which are suitable for plantar fasciitis, but basically, they need to be supportive, must provide proper cushioning and shock absorption and keep the plantar fascia away from too much pressure while running or walking.
How to Choose the Right Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
First of all, make sure you try out the shoes at the end of the day after an active day when the normal human foot expands.
Shoes for plantar fasciitis should require no or very minimal break-in, because wearing uncomfortable shoes can actually make matters worse.
Always purchase shoes with an activity you will be using them for in mind. For running shoes, the extra cushioning in the forefoot is recommended, and for walking – better shock absorption is recommended.
Overall, your perfect shoes for plantar fasciitis should be comfortable, well-made, keep the feet aligned and stable and absorb shock. It is best if they are light weight, support pronation and their outsole isn’t super flexible. Still, the midsole should provide sufficient cushioning, arch support and shock absorption.
Also, podiatrists recommend that you look for shoes which have a slightly elevated and have a firm heel counter to reduce the stress on the Achilles tendon.
Also, the toe box should provide sufficient space for the forefoot, and at the same time the outsole must not be too flexible as to protect the plantar fascia from too much toe extension or the so-called “windlass mechanism” which makes things worse.
We have done some extensive research, and have picked some our favorite shoes for plantar fasciitis to make things easier for you.
So, when shopping for shoes for this painful condition, always keep in mind to look for ones with appropriate:
- Heel support which will ensure better shock absorption and less impact on the arch, heel and joints
- Sufficient arch support and a firm ankle to keep the feet aligned and in place
- Sufficient cushioning
Also, always keep in mind the activities which you will be doing with these shoes, and buy shoes for each major activity you engage in, rather than one universal pair of shoes for everything.
Also, keep your foot shape and foot movement in mind as well – some shoes are suitable for flat arches and other for high arches, and some are better for over pronators and others for neutral movements.
Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18
The Nimbus 18 for men and for women are both perfect running shoes for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis due to some of its unique features, such as:
- The FluidFit technology for the upper which provides a glove like fit because of the stretch mesh and reinforcements
- The FluidRide technology which provides superb cushioning and bounce back, and at the same time keeps the shoes lightweight and durable
- The two gel cushioning systems in the front and rear of the foot which help absorb the shock and provides comfort throughout the gait cycle
- The special exoskeletal heel clutching system to keep the heel supported and in place at all times
- The entirely seamless construction for more comfort and no blisters
- Excellent foot contouring and cloud-like cushioning which can help alleviate even the worst bouts of plantar fasciitis
- Possibly one of the most comfortable running shoes we have on this list
- No break-in time required
Possible cons of these running shoes:
- They are suitable for people natural or high arches, but not recommended for those with flat feet who should look at the ASICS Gel Kayano 22 model
- The price is quite high
- They are slightly heavier than some of the other running shoes in this list
So, unless you have flat feet, you should consider getting these nicely cushioned, super comfortable, durable running shoes to keep your feet pain-free and fatigue free even during and after long distance runs.
Saucony Triumph ISO 2
Both the version for men and for women of this running shoe is perfectly suited for runners who suffer from plantar fasciitis or other heel pain. Here are the features which made us feel this way:
- The ISOFIT liners which are ultra-soft
- The Tri-Flex outsole which gives just about enough flexibility to the heel
- The SRC landing zone for some amazing cushioning and shock absorption
- The PWGRID+ midsole which offers excellent cushioning, shock absorption and support to the arch, so that the plantar fascia is not being put under too much pressure while running
- The fact that it is super light and breathable
- The Everun top sole from a foam cushioning material which is amazing in energy-return, impact absorption and cushioning of every step when running
- One of the leading neutral running shoes for people with plantar fasciitis or for runners who want a cushioned and comfortable running experience
These running shoes provide ultimate comfort and cushioning and just the right amount of flexibility to keep the plantar fascia pain-free and less stressed and irritated during running. With great arch support and overall support, we can definitely highly recommend these shoes for all PF sufferers.
New Balance 990v4
This classic stability running shoe from New Balance offers an excellent combination between stability and cushioning, which is exactly what people suffering from plantar fasciitis need. Here are some of the features of this amazing running shoe:
- A 12mm heel to toe drop
- An ENCAP polyurethane ring with an EVA core in the heel to provide superb cushioning and support
- The midsole is produced with the ENCAP technology which provides support to the foot and improved durability of the shoe
- The upper is pigskin and mesh combined, and is super comfortable
- These shoes have dual density collar foam to protect the Achilles tendon
- A nice and wide toe box
- Stable and supportive, and yet cushioned, which is perfect from plantar fasciitis
If you are looking for a leading stability running shoe for 2016, this model is definitely one you should take a closer look at. With excellent cushioning, durability, comfort and support it provides, you can be sure that your plantar fasciitis will be forgotten pretty soon once you put it on.
Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
ASICS GEL-Tech Neo 4 Walking Shoe
The Gel-Tech Neo 4 walking shoes for men and for women are very suitable and highly recommended by us for people who have plantar fasciitis, but still want to stay active and spend a lot of time walking or standing.
Here are the features which impressed us:
- Rear and forefoot gel cushioning system which helps absorb the shock from the impact and toe off, and allows for the foot to move and transition on several levels during walking
- The space Trusstic system of these shoes is actually a stabilizer between the Trusstic system device and the midsole in the midfoot area, which helps control the deformation of the midsole, which is crucial for eliminating the pain from plantar fasciitis
- The cushioned Solyte midsole which is more durable and lighter than other foams and yet provides sufficient, satisfactory cushioning. The midsoles of this shoe are gender specific, so there are differences in the two models.
- The Impact Guidance System which enhances the natural gait
- The biomorphic uppers have a convenient bunion window and are made of soft, light and flexible mesh
- The Ortholite sockliners are soft, comfy and anti-microbial
- The rubber outsoles are abrasion resistant and provide excellent traction
- The shoes are lightweight
- They are flexible in the forefoot which is a plus for those with pain in the heels
The latest generation Gel tech Neo 4 walking shoes are perfect for people with PF due to the wonderful combination of features, including the gender specific and great cushioning of the midsoles and the uppers, the embedded system to enhance a natural gait as well as the lightness and the stabilizing system.
Vionic with Orthaheel Technology
These walking shoes are a dream come true for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis, bone spurs or any other heel pain. They provide ultimate comfort and immediate relief, because of the following features they have:
- A podiatrist designed biomechanical footbed which keeps the feet naturally aligned and helps resolve problems with pain from over pronation (the Orthaheel technology). It has a deep heel cup for stability, arch support and a firm and yet flexible midsole
- An EVA footbed featuring 1st Ray Flexor technology. The footbeds are removable, so you can actually fit in your own orthotics if you need to
- Has an APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) seal of acceptance
- Has a soft, light and durable mesh with manmade overlays for breathability, comfort and good looks
- A durable outsole with a lot of traction
Some cons of these walking shoes:
- They do look a bit clunky and are heavier than other walkers in this class
Overall, these shoes are suitable for people with PF because they are designed by podiatrists and have excellent removable cushioned biomechanical footbeds, deep heel cups and provide excellent shock absorption and support for the foot.
Brooks Addiction Walker
The Addiction walkers by Brooks can turn into just that – an addiction, if you have plantar fasciitis or other heel pains and you try them on.
These are the reasons we are recommending them:
- The MoGo midsole which offers extraordinary cushioning , energy return and helps absorb the shock from impact when walking
- The rear and forefoot Hydroflow system also provides great cushioning and helps with the shock absorption to keep the heels pain free at all times through the sealed fluid chambers
- Helps keep pronation under control and offers support to the arches via the extended diagonal roll bar
- Provides sufficient support and comfort to the foot and ankle
- The uppers are made of supple full-grain leather
- The toe box is wide and comfortable and the midfoot is also broad enough
- The outsole is durable and slip resistant rated, plus it is an eco-friendly outsole which can decompose successfully in landfills without harming the environment
Possible cons of these shoes:
- They are on the pricey side
With excellent shock absorption and cushioning, as well as the support to the ankles and feet and the control of the pronation makes these shoes great for people with PF. If you are looking for a pair of good travel shoes, these are an excellent choice.
Best Dress Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Orthofeet Wichita Womens Stretchable Orthopedic Arthritis And Diabetic Shoes
These shoes are an excellent choice for women with plantar fasciitis, who still want to wear nice dress shoes in the office or when going out but without all the pain involved with wearing unsuitable dress shoes.
Here are the features we like about these shoes:
- Their biomechanical design which has been dedicated to creating a perfectly comfortable shoe for ladies who have diabetes, plantar fasciitis, bunions and any type of foot, leg or back pain
- They have great orthotic support via the multiple layered insole which has anatomical arch support as well as a gel padded heel, very useful for those with heel pain and plantar fasciitis
- Their very comfortable width and generous toe box with a non-binding upper and a very soft and foam padded lining to keep the foot cushioned at all times and without any pressure points on it
- The patented Ergonomic-Stride technology which includes a special light and cushioned sole designed and made in a way to make stepping softer, alleviate the stress on the joints and to help facilitate the movements of the foot
So, no need to lose hope, there are some dress shoes which are great for PF, and these are one of them. Don’t waste any more time, go try these ones out right away, and forget about the nasty pain!
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KEEN Women’s Mora Mid Button Shoe
Wide, comfortable and pretty looking, these shoes by KEEN are also very good for women who suffer from plantar fasciitis or other foot pains and problems. There are several things we liked about this pair of shoes, including:
- The typical comfort and durability from KEEN
- The elastic hidden gore panel for easy putting on and slipping off
- The pretty full grain matte leather upper and cute button
- The PU midsole which offers serious cushioning
- The wide and comfortable toe box with no pressure points to hurt the feet
- The removable footbed
- The breathable soft mesh lining and the natural odor control system
- The durable and non-marking rubber outsole
- The high heels (1.75”) and 0.5” platforms
These cute shoes are cute, wide, comfortable and cushioned and provide all the support your feet need in order to resolve the PF pain once and for all!
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Earth Women’s Clover Dress Pump
These Mary Jane pumps look so cute and stylish that it’s hard to imagine that they are as comfortable as they are, and that they are suitable for plantar fasciitis, but they really are! Here is why we recommend them:
- Their ultra-soft leather lining
- The very nicely cushioned arch via the multi-density midsole
- The sufficient arch support to reduce the stress and pain in the plantar fascia and in the feet and legs
- The comfortable footbed
- The hook and loop closure feature
- The pretty metallic studs which add even more style
- The premium burnished leather upper
- The stylish low heel (1.5”)
- The support and stability they provide
Amazingly, these Mary Jane pumps can be super cute and perfectly comfortable at the same time, even if you suffer from PF!
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Orthofeet Lincoln Center Mens Extra Depth Arthritis And Diabetic Loafer Shoes
These dress shoes have been especially designed and made to help men with foot, heel, leg and back pain, diabetes, arthritis, plantar fasciitis and a number of other debilitating foot and health conditions. This is we strongly recommend them for plantar fasciitis sufferers.
Here are some of the things that make them so suitable:
- Their easy gait feature which includes a very light and properly cushioned sole to make stepping softer and to help the motion of the feet without putting stress on them
- The removable multiple-layered orthotic insoles which have excellent anatomical arch support as well as heel seats padded with Gel for superb cushioning
- The non-binding structure which creates no pressure points on any part of the heel or foot, also the wide and spacey toe box, and the fabulous smooth and soft lining which provides superb cushioning and comfort
- The expert biomechanical design for providing soothing comfort for people with a variety of health and foot conditions
They look great and they feel absolutely wonderful, so if you are a PF victim, then do not hesitate to try these dress shoes out.
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Rockport Men’s City Play Eberdon Slip-On Loafer
These loafers won our hearts over as one of the leading dress shoes for men with plantar fasciitis, because of the following wonderful characteristics they have:
- The snug fit provided by the handy elastic goring on the sides of the nice full grain leather upper
- The footbed made of EVA and latex for sublime cushioning
- The wide and spacy toe box
- The Adidas patented adiPRENE heel and hazardous shock protection technology
- The breathable and soft mesh lining
- The easy slip on and off feature
- The EVA outsole which provides excellent traction and durability
- The soft padded collar
If you like loafers, and you have PF, this is the right model for you! Comfort, shock absorption, support and durability – all this is packed in a single pair of shoes!
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Vionic Joseph Men’s Dress Shoes
These elegant dress shoes also have proven to be very suitable for men with foot and leg pain and plantar fasciitis. These are the reasons why:
- The orthotic footbeds are designed by expert podiatrists, and feature a deep and comfortable heel cup which helps keep the feet in position and aligned to the natural position, thus relieving the pain and possible injuries caused by pronating
- The light and flexible EVA midsoles which absorbs the shock and helps reduce the pressure on the feet and the legs when walking or standing
- The fact that clinical trials have shown that these shoes can help people with plantar fasciitis and knee pain, and the Seal of Acceptance given to them by the American Podiatry Association
- The nice traction of the durable rubber outsoles
Overall, even if you suffer from PF, you can still be elegant and wear formal shoes at a special event with this particular dress shoe model. It will ensure that your feet stay pain-free, happy and rested even after hours.
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Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
Vionic with Orthaheel
We picked the Amber ladies sandal and the Mick men’s sandal from Vionic as our first choice for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis because of:
- The Orthaheel technology
- The natural footbed designed by podiatrists – made of cork covered with a smooth and soft microfiber cover which has a deep heel cup and a tri-planar motion control and sufficient arch support
- The flexible, light and comfortable EVA midsole for shock absorption
- The durable patterned outsole
- The adjustable, roomy manmade upper
- Given seal of acceptance by the American Podiatrists Association
There is no need to wear clunky shoes for PF, you can buy these sandals and look great and pain-free at the same time!
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Slip on sandals
We have paired the Dansko Janie sandal for women and the Vionic Jon Slip-On sandal for men because they have similar characteristics which make them suitable for those of you who have painful plantar fasciitis. Some of them include:
- A molded comfortable cork midsole providing arch support and comfort
- Hook and loop closures on the soft leather uppers which are adjustable, so as not to put pressure on the feet
- Nicely cushioned footbeds
- The men’s sandals feature Orthaheel orthotic support
- They both look great too
If you want sandals which not only look great, but are good for relieving the pain from PF, these are the models which we can strongly recommend!
Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed Sandal
These iconic German sandals are suitable both for men and women with foot pains. They have the following features which make them so wonderfully comfortable:
- A nicely contoured, soft footbed with foam which provides arch support, cushioning, energy return and keeps the feet aligned
- The straps have buckles which are adjustable to the shape and size of your feet
- The soles are light, durable and shock absorbing EVA ones with great traction
- They are true to their size
These iconic sandals have been providing support and comfort to the people of the world for decades, and especially the models with the soft foam footbed are particularly comfortable, and provide unbelievable cushioning, shock absorption and support, which is crucial for people with PF.
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Best Flip Flops for Plantar Fasciitis
Vionic Unisex Wave Toe Post Sandal
The Vionic unisex flip-flops will definitely be appreciated by people with plantar fasciitis, because they have the following great features which most other flip flops don’t:
- A medium density, biomechanical orthotic footbed made of EVA, and fitted with nice textured pads for a better grip and fitted with a deep heel cup and tri-planar motion control to keep the feet aligned
- They have been recommended by leading podiatrists and are APMA recognized
- A nice and soft jersey knit lining
- A quick dry upper with mesh webbing and with a comfortable medium or wide width
- An overall light and waterproof design and construction
Whether you need flip-flops for the shower or for the beach, these ones are absolutely perfect even if you suffer from PF.
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OluKai Ohana Thong Sandal
These all-natural and vegan friendly flip-flops are absolutely perfect for men and women who suffer from foot pain due to plantar fasciitis because:
- They are designed on the “wet sand” principle, to make the feet feel like stepping in nice soft wet sand
- The midsole is compression molded EVA
- The footbed is an ICEVA drop-in one which is anatomically contoured and offers great lateral and medial arch support, a deep heel cup to keep the feet aligned and a big wide toe space
- The quick drying, jersey knit lining is ultra-soft and the toe post is also very soft so as not to cause any irritation or rubbing
Try out the unique wet sand feel and make your feet feel pain-free and great once again by choosing to buy this pair of awesome flip-flops!
OOFOS OOriginal Unisex Thong Sandals
Another great pair of flip-flops perfect for both men and women with the painful foot condition. Here is why we strongly recommend this particular model:
- They feature the patented OOfoamTM technology which provides 37% more shock absorption than other materials do
- The biomechanical footbed design enhancing natural motion and cradling the arches and heels
- No toe chaffing due to the soft toe post
- They are moisture resistant, as well as odor and bacteria resistant
Very pretty and sublimely comfortable, these flip-flops will help you forget you have PF at all.
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Best Slippers for Plantar Fasciitis
We strongly recommend theses slippers to anyone suffering from plantar fasciitis, because of the following factors:
- They feature the Orthaheel technology which has been clinically proven to be a solution to a number of foot ailments and pains, reduces pronation which is crucial for relieving the discomfort from plantar fasciitis or having flat feet
- They have orthotic footbeds for added arch support
- The soft linings are ant-bacterial and odor-eliminating
- Nice traction provided by the TPR outsoles for safe use at home or indoors
- They are APMA approved
- The upper is cozy, wide and adjustable
Remember, that podiatrists recommend that you wear shoes at all times when treating PF, so if you have it, avoid going barefoot at home, but rather choose to buy these fascinatingly comfortable ones!
Another pair of slippers anybody with plantar fasciitis will want to slip on and keep, these Orthofeet slippers have the following amazing characteristics:
- A removable multi-layered orthotic insole with a gel padded heel, nice anatomical arch support which is great for foot pain relief
- A cushioning sole which is light and has the Ergonomic stride design to make stepping softer and to enhance foot motion and relieve the stress in the foot and leg joints
- The upper has a non-binding design. It has soft and smooth lining which is padded with foam, in order to remove any pressure points on the feet. The wide toe box is great for people with bunions or other foot problems
- A biomechanical design especially made for people with diabetes, arthritis and a number of other ailments and problems which affect the feet, legs and back.
Ensure that your feet are free of pain and are supported, cushioned and comfortable at all times with these slippers!
Haflinger Unisex AT Wool Slipper
These wonderfully comfortable slippers will make you want to never take them off. They will resolve the issues and pain you have with plantar fasciitis because they have the following characteristics:
- Sufficient latex arch support for a better fit and foot alignment
- Amazing cushioning and softness
- Made of natural boiled wool with a nice and soft insole liner which helps keep the feet at a proper temperature and dry at all times
- They have nice waterproof outsoles, which provide excellent traction both indoors and outdoors
- They are made by a famous boiled wool production company which has been making wool clogs and slippers for over 5 decades in Germany, and is known worldwide for making some of the most comfortable ones in the world
Choose the classic slipper producer to help you fight the pain in your feet, and buy a pair of these babies right away!
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Best Tennis Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
ASICS GEL-Resolution 5
Finding tennis shoes which are comfortable even if you have plantar fasciitis is not a very easy task. The Gel Resolution 5 by ASICS is one of the leaders in this list because it has a combination of features which are all great for alleviating the pain resulting from this quite bothersome condition, and make it possible to stay active and pain free at the same time, because of their:
- Rear and forefoot Gel cushioning technology which helps reduce and absorb the shock both during the toe off and the impact phases of walking and running, and also provides multiple plane movement of the feet to keep them from pronating
- Special gender-based cushioning and compression FlexionFit upper which is form fitting, supportive and comfortable
- A stability tennis shoe with a great external heel counter for added support and stability of the midfoot
- A padded tongue and collar for added comfort and support. The memory foam used creates a personal fit
- No break-in time required
- Provides much better cushioning and support than the preceding GEL 5 model!
Please, keep in mind that the men’s and women’s variant differ and are made to be gender specific, so pick the right shoes for your gender. These shoes are perfect for people with PF who want to run, train and stay active but without all that pain and misery caused by this condition.
New Balance 608V4
These sneakers from New Balance are perfectly suitable for men and women with plantar fasciitis due to the following characteristics they have:
- Full length comfort provided by the leading ABZORB cushioning technology
- Double density soft and firmer foam collars to keep the ankles cushioned and free of rubbing and irritation
- A flexible outsole
- A 10 mm heel-to-toe drop
- The EVA foam footbed providing nice cushioning
- The Injection molded EVA foam midsole providing firm and yet flexible cushioning
- An internal shank for stability and foot alignment
- They are eligible for Medicare reimbursement
- No break-in time is required
If you enjoy walking and you have PF, there is no doubt that these walking shoes from New Balance are the ones for you. With fascinating cushioning and comfort, as well as excellent stability and alignment of the feet, you will soon be happy and pain-free with them!
Wrapping It Up
So, we are glad that we could help you with our reviews and top picks for the best shoes for plantar fasciitis, but of course like with any shoe, every case is different, depending on the specific condition and shape of your feet, as well as the activities you like to participate in wearing these shoes.
It is highly recommended that you purchase different shoes for the different types of activities you engage in during your average day. For example, if you jog in the morning, you should choose running shoes; then for work – wear dress shoes or safety boots (depending on your work); for outdoor errands you can wear your tennis shoes or walking shoes, and so on.
Finding comfortable shoes for each activity will make it much more enjoyable and comfortable, and will also help prevent injury or further worsening of your plantar fasciitis.
Remember to look for supportive shoes with sufficient cushioning, which feel comfortable the moment you try them on. You are more likely to get PF, if:
- You are an overpronator
- You have high arches or flat feet
- You spend a lot of time standing up, walking or running, especially on hard surfaces
- You wear shoes which are with worn out soles or uncomfortable shoes
- You are overweight
- You have tight calf muscles or Achilles tendons
- You wear high heels excessively
Keep in mind also, that podiatrists recommend that the only time you do not wear shoes if you suffer from plantar fasciitis is while you sleep or are bathing, so do make sure you get comfortable slippers or flip-flops or other shoes to wear at home as well.
Plus, it is important to understand that in order to ensure that your days are pain-free you might need to spend some more money than planned to get a good quality pair of shoes which can help relieve and eliminate the pain from PF and eventually help you resolve the issue altogether.
In conclusion, remember that there are various therapies and treatments for this painful condition, but buying the appropriate shoes can save you a lot of money and a lot of invasive and possibly painful treatments, including surgery. So, make sure you always buy the appropriate shoes so you stay pain-free and happy whatever you are doing.