They say basketball never stops – and for any hardcore fan or casual player, that is true. So even if you’re suffering from a case of plantar fasciitis, the urge to get out on the court and shoot some hoops might be too strong to resist. Fortunately, even painful conditions like plantar fasciitis can be managed to help make those quick strides across concrete or hardwood a lot more bearable. How so, you ask? It’s simple – invest in the best basketball shoes for plantar fasciitis.
We did the research and sifted through the market to give you the ultimate guide to buying basketball shoes for PF, as well as a few short reviews on our top picks.
What Individuals with Plantar Fasciitis Need to Look for in Basketball Shoes
Unlike typical considerations a person would make if they were in search of good basketball shoes, those that an individual with plantar fasciitis are substantially different. So if you’re not quite sure what to look for, make sure you take note of this list.
1. Removable Insoles
It’s rare that you’ll find a pair of basketball shoes that have the right insole topography to support plantar fasciitis. However because sole support is the most important feature to look for in any pair of shoes for plantar fasciitis, it’s ideal to choose a design that allows you to replace the footbed with your own custom insert. This way, you can achieve the kind of comfort and support that suits your needs without compromising fit. See our top picks of basketball shoe insoles.
2. Responsive Cushioned Outsoles
Individuals with plantar fasciitis spend at least 4% more energy on walking than people without it. That’s because more effort is exerted into positioning the feet and calibrating the stride and heel strike so that pain can be reduced. On the court, this can translate to premature fatigue, pushing you to sit out the rest of the game.
A pair of shoes with a responsive, well-cushioned outsole can help monumentally when it comes to energy economy. By saving up your momentum and cradling your feet from heel to toe, bouncy shoes can help manage the energy you spend to let you play for longer.
3. Roomy Toe Box
This has to be one of the most difficult aspects of a basketball shoe to perfect. The thing about any sort of athletic shoe is that it should fit well, and by that, we mean it should fit snug. But because plantar fasciitis can be painful especially when the toes are squeezed together, it’s important to find a shoe that provides snug stability while offering just enough space around the vital parts of the foot.
When it comes to this particular feature, you might want to consider the upper material used for the shoes. Breathable flexible mesh or knit can break-in easily and can fit perfectly while offering just enough room for the toes to move around.
4. Flexible Uppers
Some shoes, especially those that use highly reinforced uppers, can restrict range of motion. For anyone with plantar fasciitis, this can cause significantly more pain because they promote faulty gait cycles. Flexible uppers that permit a wide range of motion let you move freely, so you don’t need to compensate with poor biomechanics.
It’s also worth mentioning that shoes with little to no break-in are ideal, as they won’t require that you suffer through a few stiff uses before you get to appreciate the actual comfort they can provide.
The 5 Best Basketball Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis Reviewed
Now that you know what to look for in a good pair of basketball shoes when you have plantar fasciitis, let's take a look at some of the better options out there.
For anyone with plantar fasciitis, the Adidas Performance Crazylight Boost Primeknit Basketball shoes make an excellent investment. These comfort-centric shoes have all the features you’d need if you want to keep up on the court even with a bad case of PF.
The Crazylight Boost Primeknit Basketball shoes feature an ultra feather-light construction that makes them exceptionally easy to move in. They use seamless Primeknit uppers that are completely seamless inside, so there’s no need to worry about pressure spots. Rebound-wise, these shoes are particularly responsive, giving just enough bounce to cradle you effortless into the next step.
Aside from all of these features, the Adidas Crazylight Boost shoes are also designed with a deep 3D-molded heel that improves stability and optimizes weight bearing to reduce stress on the heel – a major benefit for PF sufferers.
Although high-cut shoes are rarely recommended for individuals with PF, the Adidas Performance Crazy Explosive Basketball Shoe is an exception. Designed with comfortable interior linings, a pressure-managing lacing system, and the most responsive cushioning the brand has to offer, these high-tops can be suitable for any case of plantar fasciitis.
They use soft, pliable Xeno uppers that are incredibly breathable as well. This helps improve range of motion, letting you stride and strike with total joint freedom. We also found the Boost cushion to be exceptionally responsive on this particular design. The bouncy outsoles work great to minimize energy consumption and help push your feet easily into the next step for a comfortable ride.
Lastly, we think the lacing system on the Crazy Explosive is nothing short of genius. Attaching to extended rubber that flares from the soles, the lacing prevents any sort of pressure from pushing down on the surface of the foot. This helps improve lockdown without sacrificing comfort.
If you’re more of a Nike fan, the Lebron Witness II basketball shoes might be a suitable pick. Sleek and subtle, these shoes feature specialized, hex-shaped Zoom Air units built into the soles to give them explosive bounce on the court. These also work well to reduce pressure throughout the length of the foot to give you a comfortable step.
To give you proper lockdown without adding too much pressure on your feet, these shoes feature an articulated, plush padded collar that holds the foot in its proper place. Up front, the Lebron Witness III boasts a roomy toe box that lets your toes spread comfortably especially during toe off to minimize the chances of pronounced pain at any point in your gait cycle.
Finally, if we’re talking prices, the Nike Lebron Witness III is one of the most affordable choices on the list. Costing just half the price of some of the other shoes we’ve mentioned, these shoes provide optimal comfort and performance without having to put too much of a dent in your wallet.
4. Nike Kyrie 3
With an upward curving forefoot, the Nike Kyrie 3 helps bring your foot from heel to toe with exceptional ease and effortlessness. For this reason, we feel the Kyrie 3 is the best when it comes to reducing the energy you spend on your feet.
Worth mentioning when it comes to the Kyrie 3 design is that unlike other Nike shoes, it features an Air Cushion located at the area of the forefoot. This works in combination with the responsive outsoles, allowing you to experience much more seamless toe off as energy is preserved and transferred from your heels upon heel strike.
Well-fitting, durable, lightweight, and pliable, these basketball shoes miss the top spot on our list for one reason. That is, the color fades quite noticeably after some time. So despite being a pretty handsome shoe, they may lose their appeal with just a few months of use.
What makes the Adidas CF Ignition Mid Basketball shoe a contender based on our review is its Cloudfoam cushioning. Adidas’ Cloudfoam tech is one of the most comfortable on the market, and they prove just how comfortable and responsive the system can be with the Adidas CF Ignition Mid.
The uppers are breathable, the interior lined with plush padding, and the durability, exceptional. The only thing that kept this particular design from snagging a higher spot on the list is the fact that it requires quite a bit of break-in before they really become comfortable enough. That said, if you’re looking for a shoe that feels like a dream straight out of the box, you might feel a little frustrated with the CF Ignition.
Nonetheless, it does offer great performance once it’s nice and used. So if you can bear with a few days of stiffness, then the Adidas CF Ignition Mid Basketball Shoe makes a great investment.
Don’t let a bad case of plantar fasciitis stop you from playing the sport you love. Lots of shoes on the market promise to make basketball a feasible reality even in the presence of PF, and we’re confident these 5 picks are some of them.
Based on our research, the Adidas Performance Crazylight Boost Primeknit Basketball Shoes are the best of the best, offering superb performance, comfort, and support, perfect for anyone who wants to spend a day on the court without being confronted by heel pain.
So if you’re looking for the best basketball shoes for plantar fasciitis, be sure to check out the choices on our list. These five picks are guaranteed to give you the best value for your money, and promise to help you stay in the game just like you used to