Adventure is an everyday part of life and sometimes you just want to pack up your backpack and go for a scenic hike. But something gets in the way and this time it’s not the weather, but your feet! Hiking will be so much fun if you are fully prepared to conquer whatever nature throws your way, and sometimes that includes dealing with foot disorders like plantar fasciitis. It's important to be aware of the best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis as this could make your next hiking trip much less painful.
About Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is basically pain in the heels, due to the inflammation of the thick connective tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and joins the heel bone to the toes. People suffering from it naturally experience a stabbing pain that occurs after their first few steps in the morning and decreases overtime, only to surface again especially after an extended period of standing or getting up after sitting for a while.
The condition is very common with runners, overweight individuals and those who wear poorly constructed footwear. That is why it's advised to find and wear the best plantar fasciitis specific shoes day to day.
So, if you want to enjoy hiking without experiencing a visit from the pain-inducing plantar fasciitis, or minimise the amount of pain and discomfort, here are some things to look for.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for Plantar Fasciitis Hiking Boots
Heel pain sucks, and if you suffer from plantar fasciitis you want to go for a hiking boot that will provide sturdy support for the damaged plantar fascia while it is in its healing process.
Has a Good Arch Support
The first thing to keep an eye out for when shopping for your hiking boot is its arch support system. A good boot for plantar fasciitis should have a rugged support that perfectly hugs the arch of your foot while reducing the strain on the foot muscles. With proper arch support, your foot will always be aligned while hiking, no matter the condition of the ground. Those with flat feet can opt for orthotic insoles for an even better support.
Have Removable Insoles
Make sure that hiking boot you love so much comes with removable insoles, because this can be a lifesaving feature, depending on the circumstances. This is a smart choice because if the boot turns out to not have orthopaedic insoles, you can easily take them out and swap it with an orthotic one.
Thick Padded Midsole for Shock/Impact Absorption
With the pain your feet are experiencing due to plantar fasciitis, the last thing your feet want is to be a victim to reckless impact and shock. So when picking out a hiking boot, you want to gun for a boot with a thick midsole, with an excellently padded heel. This way the midsole will absorb the shock and further damage to the connecting tissue and ligament can ultimately be avoided. The padded heel gives even more comfort to the already-sore heels and prevents it from slipping around as you hike on rugged and uneven grounds.
Go for a Boot with a Slightly Elevated Heel
This is completely optional and left for you to decide, as most people naturally detest elevated shoes. However, a minimally elevated heel keeps the foot in a comfy position with enough room for flexing – this reduces pressure on the ligament.
Must Have a Wide Toe Box
Dealing with PF means giving your foot enough breathing space and room to move around, as this is highly beneficial to the healing process. When picking out a hiking boot, make sure it has a wide toe box. The boot should be bendable around the toe area, with a sturdy sole, as this will drastically tame the pain on the plantar fascia.
Generally, just keep in mind that when shopping for a hiking boot to help aid plantar fasciitis, it should ideally be good enough to prevent heel pain and not the other way around. It must provide good cushioning, with an adequate balance between durability and stability.
Top 5 Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis
So you might probably be wondering what are some good brands/shoes for hiking, suitable for plantar fasciitis; well, we have done the research on your behalf, so without further splurging of words, here are five (5) of the best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis.
The Chocorua Trail is an amazing hike boot when it comes to curtailing plantar fasciitis; it is stylish as it is comfortable, sturdy and weatherproof (without a doubt among the best waterproof hiking boot for plantar fasciitis). It has a bit of an elevated heel for proper foot positioning, a durably padded heel that cushions the amount of impact and enough midsole to absorb shock.
- Stylish and modernised look
- Weather/water proof (good for all seasons in the outdoors)
- Shock absorbing
- Comes with a good support system; the right amount of padding for complete and total ankle, heel and upper foot safety
KEEN really went all out with this impeccable product; the Targhee II is a game changer and absolute gorgeous hike boot superb for giving support to combat pain due to plantar fasciitis and is available for both men and women. Made from durable materials, the product features a rubber sole that has 4mm multi-directional lugs which gives an amazing balance to the feet while hiking.
- Sturdy and resilient to weather any hiking terrain without easily giving in to wear and tear
- Water resistant
- Has a mesh lining thus allowing air for breathability
- Midsole made from "EVA" foot bed for complete shock absorption
- Traction lugs and heel locks for better stability
The Montara is an excellent choice for every lady looking for a boot that is great for weathering through vast terrains while keeping the pain caused by plantar fasciitis at a minimum and a stylish look to go with it. The boot comes with eVent technology which helps add a good amount of breathability and is waterproof with a rubber toe cap protector.
- Lightweight and durable
- The sole is made wholly out of synthetic
- Features the pioneering Numentum Technology and eVent technology for adequate stability and breathability respectively
- Comes in various colors
- Bullet Point 2
The Moab from Merrell is an amazing choice and one of the best women’s hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis. It is aesthetically pleasing as it is ruggedly designed to make the hiking experience less painful and more enjoyable. The shoes features aggressive lug designs and mesh panels scattered all over for better ventilation. These shoes come in a natural grey color mashed up with a periwinkle highlight with interlocking laces.
- Sleek and aesthetically pleasing design
- Made out of durable materials (leather and fabric and features a Vibram sole)
- Comes with lug designs
- Lots of mesh for better breathability
- Comes with the Merrell's signature M-select dry technology
- Comes with protective toe caps
- Debris is kept off due to the presence of a bellows tongue
- Chemically treated with antimicrobial solution which keeps bacteria and odor at bay
The Vasque Breeze is a tremendous hiking boot for men in search of sturdy support and cushioning that is contained in a very stylish and appealing boot. The design is quite simple, yet classy and features a whole range of support for plantar fasciitis.
- Simple yet elegant
- Large toe box for enough flexibility
- Comes with Gore-Tex linings for comfort
- Thick soles for intense arch and heel support/comfort
- Double density "EVA" foot bed for superb cushioning
- A Vibram sole which prevents the foot from slipping around in the boot, regardless of the terrain
- Breathability is amazing
- Lightweight and waterproof
- The mesh panels are resistant to abrasion
Tips for Hiking if You Have Plantar Fasciitis
Okay, so now you have got the perfect hiking boot, it’s time to go out into the outdoors, hike and have some fun. Before you head out, here are some tips:
- Orthotic insoles are your friend! Regardless of if you have the best hiking boot in the world
- Make use of boot socks and night splints
- Soak your feet in cold water for a while after your hike session, to reduce swelling and inflammation
- Stretch your feet and massage it using a foot massager or essential oils especially before heading to bed after a day of hiking
- Always remember that a good trail shoe for plantar fasciitis should have a midsole as it helps in shock absorption – this cannot be overemphasised enough
- You can use a compression sleeve to manage the pain while hiking
When it comes to selecting the best hiking boot for plantar fasciitis, things can get a bit overwhelming as there are hundreds of hiking boots out there, and with careful selection and appropriate measures, hiking with plantar fasciitis doesn’t have to be THAT much of a painful experience anymore.
Out of the top five (5) boot recommendations above, our top pick for the best men’s boot for plantar fasciitis is the Vasque Men's Breeze as this is very versatile footwear that has everything you need to minimise plantar fasciitis pain. From its large toe box, to its meshed structure and unique midsoles, this footwear is superior on every side.
Meanwhile our top pick for the women is the Ahnu Montara as it is stylish, lightweight and provides a splendid comfort system for the foot using its Numentum technology.