Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis: 2018 Buyer’s Guide
Read our guide to the best shoes for plantar fasciitis below to find footwear for any occasion that will alleviate heel pain, prevent re-occurrence, and minimise stress on the damaged heel.
As well as trainers and running shoes, we review men’s and women’s shoes for plantar fasciitis, as well as dress and work shoes.
Top 15 Plantar Fasciitis Shoes – Comparison Chart
Scan through our comparison table to quickly see the pros and cons of each pair of shoes that made it in the Top 15. If you’re not in a hurry, scroll further down to see our reviews.
|Asics Gel Nimbus 18||Buy Now at Amazon.com|
|New Balance 990v4||Buy Now at Amazon.com|
|Asics GT2000||Buy Now at Amazon.com|
|Easy Spirit Romy||Buy Now at Amazon.com|
|Brooks Addiction||Buy Now at Amazon.com|
|Ryka Skywalker||Buy Now at Amazon.com|
|Caterpillar Diagnostic Safety Boots||Buy Now at Amazon.com|
|Keen Utility Milwaukee Men’s Work Boot||Buy Now at Amazon.com|
|Keen Utility Detroit Women’s Work Boot||Buy Now at Amazon.com|
|Aravon Hilary||Buy Now at Amazon.com|
|Dansko Tenley||Buy Now at Amazon.com|
|Ecco Fusion Bicycle Toe Tie||Buy Now at Amazon.com|
|Orthaheel Tide Slide||Buy Now at Amazon.com|
|Spenco Yumi||Buy Now at Amazon.com|
|Vionic Bryce Toe Post Sandals||Buy Now at Amazon.com|
Plantar Fasciitis Shoes Reviews
Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
The Asics Gel Nimbus 18 running shoes come from one of the biggest and best known brands in professional running shoes. While the updated and slightly upgraded Nimbus 19 are available, they are more difficult to get hold of, are more expensive, and the improvements are not enough to warrant the additional price, in our opinion.
The greatest benefit of these shoes, and what helps make them some of the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis is the exceptional level of cushioning that they provide. A combination of gel, FluidRide foam, and a plastic stability plate ensure that the cushioned padding is springy enough that it retains its shape and continues to offer the support that your feet need. The gel cushioning also helps to reduce the levels of shock that your feet need to absorb, providing benefit to the whole lower leg.
The Comfordy Sockliner wicks away moisture, which is essential in a good pair of running shoes, and Asics’ Heel Clutching System means that you can tie the shoes snugly and tightly without having to worry about damage or slipping.
Considering the cushioning, the durability of the shoes, the comfort levels, and the surprisingly competitive pricing, these shoes are the pick of the best plantar fasciitis running shoes.
Asics are arguably the biggest name in running shoes, but New Balance also fare well. The New Balance 990v4 replace the already popular and well received v3. They have a 12mm midsole drop, which is very high, so if you are looking for a flat shoe then these are not the best option.
ENCAP midsole technology provides great arch support, and it is this technology that helps protect your foot from damage if you land heavy on the pavement. These New Balance plantar fasciitis shoes have also seen improvements in the fabric used to create them. The company claims that the mesh is 30% more breathable, providing your feet with greater comfort even after hours of challenging running.
New Balance 990v4 are very good plantar fasciitis running shoes, and could be your best option if you require a very high midsole, but they are pricier than the Asics shoes.
3. Asics GT2000
Asics has developed a reputation for providing very good quality running shoes and workout shoes that don’t break the bank, and the GT2000 running shoes fit this bill perfectly. The narrow toe box may be this shoe’s downfall, but if you have narrow feet and are looking for the best shoes for plantar fasciitis then they remain a very good selection.
Additional midsole support has been added, when compared to earlier versions of the shoe that featured Space Trusstic midsole design. Dynamic Duomax foam is springy and retentive, providing your feet with shock absorption every time it plants on the ground. Extra durable rubber, along with durable and long lasting mesh and other materials also ensure that these shoes will outlast many competitor shoes.
The GT 2000 running shoes from Asics represent a complete overhaul of this range, and the new design has paid dividends. The shoes are more comfortable than their GT predecessors, longer lasting, and they offer better support and cushioning.
Best Walking Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
Easy Spirit Romy are our choice as the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis thanks to their high levels of support, the range of choice in width fittings, and their reasonable price level.
A good walking shoe for plantar fasciitis sufferers not only needs to be comfortable and offer support to the feet, but it needs to be effective for walking on a variety of terrains, too. The Easy Spirit Romy shoe is not only great as a walking shoe, but can also be worn for light running too.
The leather upper and rubber soles are durable, but they retain lightweight properties. This ensures that the shoes are comfortable and will last without becoming badly damaged. They are designed to be orthotic friendly, so if you need orthotic inserts then these are also a good choice. They also come in a selection of narrow, medium, wide, and extra wide fittings so will fit any foot size.
While the Easy Spirit shoes are only available for women, you can buy Brooks Addiction walking shoes for either men or women. Brooks Addiction 12 are the latest in a long line of walking and running shoes by the same name, and they are popular with road runners, as well as with hikers and walkers.
Brooks DNA technology ensures excellent levels of cushioning while the design of the segmented crash pad offers exceptional heel to toe transitioning. The toe box is also considered large, which means that this pair of shoes are a good choice for people that need wide fitting shoes.
Some reviews have pointed to poor durability of the shoe’s upper mesh, but the extra weight of the Addiction 12 means that they are especially well suited to hiking and walking over difficult terrain. If you are serious about your walking, then these are worth the investment.
Ryka Skywalker walking shoes are inexpensive and offer good quality shoes for typical and moderate walking.
They are not considered the best shoes for long distance hiking, or for covering especially challenging terrains, but if you want something to walk around town or for footpaths and moderate trails, then these ensure that you don’t have to break the bank in order to find the best footwear for the job.
They are arguably the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis if you are buying on a budget.
The most beneficial feature of these shoes is the sockliner inside the shoe. You don’t need to wear socks, and the liner material and its snug fit will help ensure that you don’t get blisters even if you do go sock free. They also offer great levels of arch support, which is a critical feature when looking for the best plantar fasciitis walking shoes.
Best Work Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
Caterpillar Diagnostic safety boots are steel toe-capped, waterproof safety boots, and their incredible strength and durability, coupled with the protection that they offer your feet is what has made them the best work boots for plantar fasciitis. They are virtually bullet proof, although reports suggest that they are a little on the large side, so you should consider ordering half a size or a size smaller than you would normally order.
Despite the strength and the extra insulation, these work boots are surprisingly lightweight and extremely comfortable to wear. The extra wide tongue also makes it easy to slip them on and off, which is a great feature for those with sore feet, especially after a day’s hard work.
The high cut and internal padding make the boots very comfortable to wear, and steel shanks offer additional ankle support over other similar models of shoe. From a safety perspective, the boots are designed to be slip and shock resistant, and they have steel safety toes to protect your feet.
Despite the big name brand, and the bulky look of these boots, they are surprisingly affordable, while their durability means that you won’t have to keep buying replacements every few weeks too. A great choice as the best plantar fasciitis work boots for men.
Keen Utility Milwaukee work boots are a serious piece of footwear, and they have been designed specifically to protect all areas of your foot from damage.
Like most work boots and safety boots, they feature steel toes, but they also have an extra large toe box for additional comfort, and the KEEN protect system means that the outsoles of the boot wrap around the top of the toe to provide extra support and protection.
The boots are slip and oil resistant, while the forefoot design allows your feet to move. One complaint of safety boots is that they often tend to prevent movement of the foot, which can leave you feeling leaden footed, but Keen have gone out of their way to negate this problem and to provide you with some of the best work boots for plantar fasciitis sufferers. They are especially suitable for sufferers that have extra wide feet, or simply require more room in the toe box.
Women’s work boots are more difficult to find than those for men, but thankfully, Keen do make a number of pairs of high quality, durable, and comfortable work boots specifically for women. This includes the Detroit women’s work boot.
These are excellent all-round work boots that provide protection for almost every conceivable type of problem or accident that you might face. They are designed to be slip and shock resistant, including being oil resistant. They have steel toes and the sole also wraps up around the top of the toe. The wide toe box is also beneficial for those with wide feet, and the arch support and cushioning, as well as the comfortable lining, help to ensure that these are among the best women’s work boots for plantar fasciitis sufferers.
10. Aravon Hilary
Best Dress Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
Aravon Hilary shoes are great looking and comfortable Mary Janes that are ideal as work shoes. They are supportive and cushioned. They are also durable and lightweight, which means that they can be worn comfortably for the whole working day, or in the evening during a night out.
Available in normal, medium, and wide fittings, the Mary Jane design is especially suited to those with sore feet, because the strap can be tightened or loosened as required, and by also ensuring that you buy the right width of shoe, you will enjoy comfortable feet right through the day.
The durability of the shoe comes from the high grade materials that are used in its construction. Dri-Lex lining wicks moisture and sweat away from the foot and they are rated as being oil, slip, and shock resistant too. The outsole has an additional shank that offers further support for the foot too. These are arguably the best dress shoes for plantar fasciitis, and they really can be worn all day long.
11. Dansko Tenley
With a nappa or nubuck leather upper, the slip on design of the Dansko Tenley dress shoe runs the Aravon Hilary close as the best plantar fasciitis dress shoe for women. Lightweight construction and lightweight but durable materials mean that you can enjoy high levels of comfort right through the day, without having to sacrifice quality of the shoe or length of time that it will last.
The cushioned footbed is especially suited to those with plantar fasciitis, and the materials used help wick away from moisture from the foot too. There is also a shock absorbing rocker outsole, and this moves pressure from heel to toe as you walk, spreading weight across the whole foot and avoiding the plantar.
The shoe has been designed to be easy to put on and remove, and not only will these shoes last for years, but they offer total comfort and protection all through the day.
Available in brown or black, the Ecco Fusion Bicycle Toe Tie dress shoe is our pick of men’s shoes for plantar fasciitis because it offers a combination of style and comfort, while also being hardwearing and long lasting.
Whether you are looking for a pair of shoes to wear for a few hours a week, or many hours a day, they have the features and are made from the materials that will ensure that they are the most comfortable option for you.
The Nubuck leather upper is not only easy to maintain, but it helps make the shoes easier to slip on and off, gives them their great leather look, and provides additional padding and comfort. The polyurethane outsole is great for shock absorption, which is a critical feature in men’s shoes for plantar fasciitis. A great choice for work shoes or for dress shoes.
Best Sandals For Plantar Fasciitis
Sandals are inexpensive, allow plenty of room for movement, and they enable feet to breathe and move around more comfortably.
Whether they are your choice when at home, or you are looking for shoes to take with you on holiday by the pool or on the beach, Orthaheel Tide Slide flip flops are among the best sandals for plantar fasciitis because of the woven polyurethane upper, soft woven toe post, foam lined strap offer cushioning and support.
The deep heel cups also help to support and align the foot, so that the pain that you typically suffer when wearing shoes will start to subside. The wave patterned tread not only represents the design and the time when these sandals are most often worn, but they help provide grip and traction so that they are safe to be worn by the pool as well in the garden, on the balcony, or even while strolling around town.
14. Spenco Yumi
These sandals are stylish and attractive, as well as offering all the features that you need in a comfortable and functional shoe. They are ideal for plantar fasciitis sufferers because of the level of cushioning and support that they provide, while Spenco have also gone out of their way to make sure that the sandals have grip and traction so that they are practical and safe too.
The EVA footbed is moulded to accurately match the natural shape of the foot, and the midsole has been crafted so that it provides adequate support to the base of the foot. Additional arch support is also found in these plantar fasciitis sandals, and like the Orthaheel flip flops, they also have deeper cup moulding so that they are stable and supportive.
A synthetic strap and Total Support Cushioning System are among the extra features of the Yumi sandal that help create some of the most comfortable and enduring flip flops.
Vionic Bryce Toe Post sandals are billed as being athletic sandals and also have an orthotic design that is ideal for the plantar fasciitis sufferer.
The soft toe post is comfortable and cushioned, which not only provides the support that your foot needs but is also an ideal choice as a pair of shoes for recovering after athletic activities.
Triple density EVA footbed design ensures total support and excellent cushioning for the foot while the biomechanically contoured shoe design also means that your feet won’t be free to roam painfully around the shoe. The leather uppers not only look stylish, but they are durable and designed to last, and they do provide the cushioning and support that your feet demand in order to help avoid the pain that is associated with plantar complaints.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia are ligaments that connects your toes to your heel bone. They act to cushion the impact and to support the arch of the foot, but too much pressure can cause tears or damage to the ligament.
Damage to the ligament leads to inflammation, pain, joint problems, and a condition known as plantar fasciitis. General wear and tear can cause this condition, although runners as well as people that overweight are more prone to the ailment because of the additional pressure that is placed on the feet. In fact, it is one of the most common ailments suffered by runners; especially those that compete over long distances.
Home treatments, such as wearing suitable plantar fasciitis shoes and regularly applying an ice pack can help alleviate the symptoms. Cortisone injections may be used in more severe cases and, in cases where the pain is extremely severe, surgery may be an option. Ignoring the pain, which is usually the first and most prominent symptom, means that it will only get worse, and it can lead to additional heel and foot problems.
It can take months for any treatment to take effect, but you should stick with it if you want to enjoy pain free feet. While it might take time to remedy the situation, a vast majority of people recover completely within a year. Once you have recovered, you can take preventative steps to help ensure that the problem doesn’t rear itself once again.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The cause of plantar fasciitis isn’t usually clear, but some change in lifestyle will typically act as a trigger. If the ligament is placed under too much pressure, it can start to develop tears and other forms of damage. Continued pressure makes this damage worse, and the site will become inflamed. Pain is not only caused by the tears themselves, but also by the inflammation and stiffness that accompanies them.
Exercise is a common cause of the condition. Activities like long distance running, ballet, or other forms of dance, cause increased pressure on the fascia, and this means that these activities are often a trigger.
Any change in your foot mechanics can also cause damage. For example, if you suffer an injury or you experience pain in a certain part of the foot, this means that your body naturally changes your foot stance when walking and exercising. The change in weight distribution means a change in the amount and type of stress that the body has to endure.
Extra weight also means additional stress on the feet. People that suffer from obesity, are overweight, or have suddenly gained weight are at increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
If you spend a lot of time on your feet during the day, then this continued stress on the plantar fascia can have a similar effect to that of long distance running. Jobs that require you to stand for long periods, especially on a hard floor, are another major trigger.
Although the problem can appear in sufferers at any age, it is most common between the ages of 40 and 60.
If any of these potential triggers apply to you, then it is important that you take extra care of your feet. Plantar fasciitis is only one of a number of foot and posture conditions that could have a debilitating and long-term effect. If you believe it has already developed, choose the best shoes for plantar fasciitis from our reviews, consult your doctor, and use other remedies and treatments that are available.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
The primary symptom of the condition is heel pain. Most sufferers complain of a stabbing pain, and while many say that the problem is worse during the first few hours of the day, the pain is likely to be worst after excessive use of the feet or too much strain on the ligaments. The pain will not usually appear while exercising, but can appear straight after you have finished. Even simple actions like climbing stairs or standing on your tip toes can increase the pain levels.
Your doctor will ask you questions regarding the pain you are suffering, and any other symptoms that you are experiencing. They will also examine your foot. X-rays do not provide any conclusive evidence because ligaments do not show up in x-rays. However, they can be used to eliminate or identify whether you have other conditions such as arthritis or even fractures.
In rare cases, it may be necessary to have an MRI, but this is very rare. Other tests like bone scans and tests to determine the blood flow in your foot and lower leg may also be used in severe and difficult cases.
How To Treat Plantar Fasciitis
The good news for sufferers is that the condition can usually be managed and treated, although there is always the possibility of it returning later. The primary goal in treatment is to alleviate symptoms like pain, inflammation around the fascia and, ultimately, to enable you to go back to your normal daily activities. If your doctor identifies the trigger that caused the pain to start, then treatment may also be used to help cure any underlying problems. Foot problems can be corrected, which will reduce the tension being placed on the ligaments and should eliminate heel pain.
It may be necessary to make some changes in lifestyle:
- If you are overweight, and especially if you have suddenly gained weight recently, you may be encouraged to lose that weight.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs can help to reduce the inflammation, which could be adding to the pain that you are suffering with the condition.
- Swap your existing shoes for some from our list of the best shoes for plantar fasciitis. These have additional cushioning, which supplements the shock absorption that the ligament should be providing. They also offer ample arch support, which means less pressure is placed on the afflicted ligament.
- Exercises to strengthen the foot can also help ensure that your feet are capable of supporting your weight, and that you don’t place unnecessary pressure on any single part of the foot.
If the pain continues after using these treatment methods, your doctor may advise additional therapies to use in conjunction with them:
- Night splints are worn while you sleep, and they encourage a natural stretch to the fascia ligament. This can help to alleviate the pain, especially if you suffer the most when you first wake up in the morning.
- Shoe inserts and orthotics can be used to provide cushioning and support. If the problem and the pain are severe, the doctor may recommend that you have custom fitted inserts made for you, because these will provide exactly the support that is required.
- Corticosteroid shots may be used in limited situations. The shots may reduce pain for a short period, but having regular shots can cause additional damage to the heel and the shots themselves can also cause pain in sufferers.
Plantar Fascia Release Surgery
In very extreme circumstances, it may be necessary to have plantar fasciitis surgery. Plantar fascia release means cutting open part of the ligament, relieving the tension and reducing the inflammation. The procedure is usually performed under local anaesthetic and the patient must wear a cast for two or three weeks. Most patients return to normal activity within 6 weeks but it will take longer to experience relief from the symptoms. Strenuous exercise that involves putting pressure on the foot is not resumed until 6 months after the operation.
What Are Heel Spurs?
Heel spurs are often associated with the plantar fasciitis condition, and while they are often painless, some sufferers have been known to suffer pain from them.
A heel spur is a build-up of calcium which causes a bony protrusion underneath the heel bone. This area of the foot is used regularly, when we walk, and poor quality or ill-fitting shoes can make the pain much worse because of the lack of cushioning that is offered to the heel itself.
The reason that heel spurs are associated with plantar fasciitis is that they can be caused by a stretching of the plantar fascia, although there are other causes of this condition too. Another reason for the two complaints to be considered one is that the choice of correct footwear can help alleviate symptoms in both. In both cases, you should look for shoes that offer the greatest cushioning. This prevents further stress from being placed on the spurs, as well as on the plantar fascia, and this will inevitably lead to a reduction in pain levels. We have reviewed the best footwear for plantar fasciitis, but these shoes and trainers are also ideal for people that do suffer from heel spurs.
How To Prevent Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is caused by micro-tears in the ligament that connects the heel and the toes. Although the exact causes or often difficult to identify, there are triggers that are known to increase the likelihood of a person developing the complaint. If you exercise, ensure that you buy new plantar fasciitis friendly trainers and change your footwear often. You should also consider inserts that are especially designed to provide heel support, especially if you have suffered from the problem before.
Pregnant women can suffer from plantar fasciitis because of the extra weight gain. While it might not be possible to lose weight, it is possible to wear proper fitting shoes and try to avoid pressure on the feet that is typically caused through excessive exercise, or even through standing all day long.
Footwear is key, and buying the right work shoes, dress shoes, and trainers for plantar fasciitis, you can help reduce symptoms, enable the ligament to heal itself, or prevent the complaint from returning in the future.
If you do exercise regularly, ensure that you stretch, warm up, and cool down properly. Failing to do so can leave your ligaments and muscles overly stressed, making you more likely to damage them during exercise.
Exercising With Plantar Fasciitis
Daily stretching needs to become a part of your exercise regimen, and you should consider stretching more often to help alleviate the symptoms.
Stretching can help to reduce the likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis too and you should stretch both feet when performing your stretching exercises.
Again, however, the biggest and most important tip is finding the best trainers for plantar fasciitis. There is no single solution as to which is the best, because you should buy shoes or trainers that best fit the exact contours of your feet.
You can also add inserts or orthotics to your shoes to help offer further support. Most people wear the same workout shoes or trainers for too long; once the cushioning and the shock absorption of your shoes starts to wear out, you should buy another pair to help prevent the problem.
Footwear Features To Look For
- Arch Support Is Vital
- Heel Support
What About Plantar Fasciitis Inserts?
Many of the shoes, trainers, and even sandals above are designed so that they can be used with plantar fasciitis inserts.
These inserts, often also called orthotic inserts, are designed to increase the amount of cushioning for your feet, and the best of the available products are designed in such a way that they conform perfectly to the contours of your feet.
This is vital when choosing orthotic inserts, because ill fitting or poorly designed inserts could actually increase the amount of pain that you suffer and could serve to exacerbate your foot complaint.
Stride insoles are widely considered to be the best insoles for plantar fasciitis. You can choose from any of four different arch heights, ensuring that you buy the insole to match your foot’s shape and its requirements.
The top covers of the insole can be replaced, which means that you can have fresh smelling and feeling feet every time you wear them, and the firm design offers more support and better cushioning than the flimsier and softer arch insoles that are also available.
These insoles can replace the removable insoles that are found in most running shoes, trainers, and other shoes. They are also incredibly durable and this, coupled with the replaceable covers, means that they represent excellent value for money because they will last for a very long time.
Choosing The Best Plantar Fasciitis Shoes
Choosing the best plantar fasciitis shoes means choosing a pair that best suits your footwear requirements, and then ensuring that you choose the right size. Rather than simply opting for the same size of shoe that you always buy, you should determine whether the pair you are looking to purchase are a small or large fit for their size, and you should also make sure that you buy the right width and even arch height for your shoe.
Plantar fasciitis has a number of other foot and leg complaints that can be associated with the condition, especially because sufferers tend to alter their gait in order to reduce the pain that they suffer when they walk.
By ensuring you buy comfortable shoes that fit properly, you can reduce the likelihood of developing these additional problems, and you can also find shoes that provide comfort and support when you are walking, running, going to work, or even attending a formal party.
Once you find a pair of shoes that provides comfort, you can even buy inserts or insoles that further improve the cushioning available to your feet.
Buy plantar fasciitis shoes today and enjoy the pain relief and the comfort that they can bring.