If you thought that just a single pair of shoes could see you through that painful case of plantar fasciitis, you thought wrong. When that long ligament is injured or inflamed, you’re going to have to put a lot of effort into trying to get it to heal. This includes taking the time to rest the affected limb, and wearing the right shoes in order to properly support your feet as they recover. However, because we tend to use our feet in different ways depending on our activities, there really isn’t such a thing as an “all-around” shoe if you’ve got PF.
What does that mean, exactly? It means you need to use a different shoe for every unique environment or activity you put your feet through. The bad news here is that finding the best shoes for plantar fasciitis can be a challenge considering all the different tasks you do in a day. The good news though is that we’ve done the research for you to guide you to the right choices in a snap.
Quick Look: The 11 Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Formal work shoe
Formal work shoe
Construction work boots
Ideal everyday walking shoes
Ideal everyday walking shoes
Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciits
It's important for runners to wear the correct shoes if trying to avoid plantar fasciitis or aid with the condition if you already have it. The aim is to find a running shoe that will stabilize the heel and keep it from moving around while running or jogging. Blood flow should not be restricted so finding sneakers with more than sufficient toe space is vital.
A good amount of cushioning to protect the plantar fascia from the stress of the impact of running is also important as is a pair of shoes that can support a high arch. Finally, the lighter the shoes the better, especially for those long distance marathon runners.
In the men’s category, the GEL Venture 5 from Asics tops our list as the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis. This premium design comes at a fairly reasonable price, but pretty much outperforms every other running shoe out there if you’re struggling with plantar fasciitis.
What makes it a winner is its Rearfoot GEL Cushion which provides optimal support and comfort to protect and accommodate your heels. The intuitive feature optimizes weight distribution and takes the load off your heel so that you can step and stride with minimal pain and discomfort.
Other than that, the Asics GEL Venture 5 boasts breathable mesh uppers, a trail-specific outsole, and reinforced construction that helps prevent damage and tear along high-wear areas.
For women, we’ve found the Saucony Guide 8 Running Shoe to be the top contender in the running shoe category. Although Saucony probably isn’t a popular brand in the plantar fasciitis market, they do hit quite a number of right notes when it comes to designing shoes for the condition.
With the Guide 8, the most prominent plus point is its PWRGRID full-length cushion. The feature works well to cradle the feet and provide a soft landing for each step, thus minimizing pain and discomfort. This works in combination with the shoe’s iBR+ midfoot outsole pods which generate substantial bounce and responsiveness to reduce the energy needed for each step.
Best Work Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Whether you're an office worker or in construction, we've got you covered. We spend most of our time on the job, and some of our occupations have us on our feet more than others. So it only makes sense that the shoes you pick in this department are perfect for assisting with your plantar fasciitis.
In the realm of men’s work shoes, the Harrington II Work Shoe from Dr. Scholl’s takes the cake. The shoe complies with SATRA TM63 and TM144 standards to give you a safe footwear choice to keep you aptly protected in a variety of work environments. It also looks like a pretty decent office shoe, so if you work a traditional 9 to 5, the Harrington II could be a suitable choice.
What makes it a good choice for users with plantar fasciitis is its Memory Foam Cool Fit insole. The specially designed footbed helps distribute weight properly across the sole so that there aren’t any pressure points. The interior of the shoe is also particularly spacious, letting your feet spread and move more naturally with minimal restriction.
While they do take a few uses to completely break-in, the Harrington II Work Shoes become really soft and pliable after around a week or two of use. Once you reach that point, they become really comfortable, and almost start to feel like a second skin.
The market for office shoes for women with PF is pretty slim. So finding the best work shoes for plantar fasciitis might not be the easiest thing to do. Thankfully, we found the Vionic Adeline Mule which rises to the top as our ultimate work shoes for women.
Its clean, simple aesthetic works well with a variety of office outfits. The open, slip-on silhouette is exceptionally comfortable and easy to wear. It also gives you the convenience of being able to slip the shoe off anytime at your convenience.
In terms of comfort, ther Adeline Mule is nothing short of exceptional. The soft, anatomically contoured footbeds are very easy on the feet. The interior is also particularly smooth, so there are not stitches or edges that could dig into the skin and create pressure points.
Thorogood has to be one of the top brands for buyers looking for work boots. The company has been in the industry for over a century, so they definitely know what they’re doing when it comes to manufacturing high quality boots. Now, although they don’t really have a specific design that’s built with plantar fasciitis in mind, they did manage to hit all the right notes with the 6” Moc Toe.
This boot features durable yet pliable leather uppers, a thick, fairly responsive rubber outsole, and a Dual Density Ultimate Shock Absorption Footbed placed over a Poron 4000 Comfort Cushion. Basically, what this mouthful means is that the Thorogood American Heritage 6” Moc is made for comfort, so each step is exceptionally soft and easy on the feet to give you a pain-free ride even during the daily grind.
Best Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis
You may be an adventure seeker and love hiking. However, this may be difficult when suffering from plantar fasciitis. Don't let this condition stop you though, as with the proper hiking boots one can still enjoy trekking the outdoors and harsher terrains.
We’re not exactly sure whether Timberland had special feet conditions in mind when they designed the Euro Hiker Fabric Boot, but given how all its impressive features come together, it’s safe to say the boot fits. Unlike other hiking boots that use heavy duty leather, the Euro Hikers go the opposite direction and use soft, breathable fabric that makes it much more lightweight than many other options.
Its EVA midsole offers exceptional comfort and bounce which works well with the design’s soft footbed that cradles the arches of the feet perfectly. The uppers, unlike other boots, are pliable and flexible straight out of the box, letting you move and step with no limitations.
Of course, the fabric material might not be the easiest to clean especially after hiking through a muddy path. But all things considered, the Euro Hiker makes it possible for people with PF to enjoy a trek minus the pain and discomfort, so it’s definitely worth the purchase.
In the women’s category, the top performing hiking boot would have to be the Danner Mountain 600 Full Grain Hiking Boot. This beautiful boot looks just as good as it performs, giving you the perfect marriage between form and function which works even for the most challenging ascents.
What makes this boot particularly impressive is the fact that it incorporates an open-cell PU Ortholite footbed. This material is exceptionally comfortable, bending and flexing where your weight is so as not to disrupt your sole’s natural biomechanics. The insole offers just enough give without letting you lose support, so each step is optimally stable and comfortable.
The uppers on the Danner Mountain600 Full Grain Hiking Boot are also quite impressive. While they are made from full grain leather, they’re pliable and flexible right off the bat, so there won’t be a need for a break-in period to get them to acclimate to your stride and step.
Best Dress Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
If you're looking for a pair of dressy shoes that match aesthetics with comfort then the following are great choices, for both women and men.
The Nunn Bush Messina Plain Toe Oxfords can easily transition from a dapper casual look to a sophisticated formal ensemble with its versatile dress shoe silhouette. This is one of the many reasons why we found them to be the best dress shoes for plantar fasciitis. These plain toe oxfords feature a classic aesthetic, and use the finest leather to achieve that clean, simple, yet classy style that works well with a variety of outfits.
For individuals with PF, the Nunn Bush Messina can be particularly impressive because of its KORE Technology. This specialized tech brings together a variety of components including a dual density outsole, an EVA midsole, a rolling impact zone, and a responsive comfort gel. Essentially, these different parts make for a bouncy, effortless stride and step, letting you move with freedom from pain.
Price wise, the Nunn Bush Messina shoes are surprisingly affordable. At less than a hundred bucks, these dress shoes can be a suitable purchase for users who want quality without having to break the bank.
Finding dress shoes for women can be slightly more of a challenge because of the general style that they come in. In order to achieve that ultra-sleek aesthetic that works best for women’s dress shoes, manufacturers often sacrifice support, comfort, and stability.
In most cases, women can power on through an event or occasion wearing some of the most daring dress shoe designs available. But for individuals with plantar fasciitis, smarter shoe choices need to be made.
The Meeshine Bow Point Toe Flat Slip Ons look clean, sophisticated, and classy, and work well with a variety of dressed up outfits. But even with their dressy aesthetic, these shoes don’t sacrifice comfort or support. They achieve this by way of their unique insole, midsole, and outsole design that offers superb responsiveness and flexibility despite its otherwise sleek appearance.
Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Incorrect walking shoes for plantar fasciitis can unfortunately be detrimental and make the condition worse or prolong the healing process. There's almost no way of avoiding walking everyday (and it's not advised anyway) so individuals with PF will need to make sure they equip themselves with the right shoes. Arch support, responsive outsoles, soft cushioned insoles, are just some of the features that make a great walking shoe.
It seems the Skechers brand has perfected the walking shoe design, giving buyers top performing footwear choices that work great for everyday use. For men, we’ve found that the best Skechers walking shoe is the Equalizer Persistent Slip-On.
Designed with mesh fabric uppers and a soft, pliable, responsive memory foam insole, these shoes make every step nothing short of a dream. They’re very flexible and lightweight, making you feel like you’ve got nothing on but a very supportive sock. They’re also quite stylish, allowing you to wear the shoes with almost any outfit.
In terms of price, these shoes come at a pretty reasonable cost. So while they’re not the cheapest shoes on the market, they are durable and comfortable, giving you a reliable pair of walking shoes that’s guaranteed to help ease your PF pain.
In the women’s department, Skechers takes the cake yet again. In our opinion, the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis are the Go Walk 4 Kindle Slip On shoes which feature similar design and materials when compared to the Equalizer Persistent – the top walking shoe in the men’s category.
The Go Walk 4 Kindle Slip-On feature breathable mesh uppers that are radically lightweight. This reduces the stress and fatigue your feet might feel after lurching around with heavy shoes all day. They also come equipped with a full length 5GEN midsole, which is the company’s premium midsole technology, adding substantial bounce and comfort to each step.
Inside, the Go Walk 4 Kindles are virtually seamless. With that, you can be sure that there won’t be any stitches, bulges, or other uneven protrusions that might dig into your skin and cause further discomfort or irritation.
Why Do You Need Proper Shoes for Every Situation if You Have Plantar Fasciitis?
Consider this – how differently do you walk or use your feet if you compare a day at the mall with a quick outdoor hike? Well, for starters, malls have relatively flat floors. Smooth indoor flooring requires shoes that have quite a bit of responsiveness to them, as the constant pressure of a flat step feel could be painful.
This is different in comparison to outdoor terrain that tends to be uneven. Not to mention the fact that they also ascend and descend depending on the difficulty of your chosen trail. That said, footwear for hiking and outdoor use should be comfortable and cushioned, with minimal responsiveness, as a bouncy step could easily make it difficult for you to get proper footing.
In the same way, your feet require different levels of performance when it comes to the other activities you do throughout the day. Shoes for walking, for work, or for running all need to deliver varying levels of support, comfort, responsiveness, and stability in order to properly accommodate plantar fasciitis. Adjusting your footwear choices to meet your needs depending on the tasks you’re anticipating can greatly improve recovery and pain management.
What to Look for in Plantar Fasciitis Shoes
When it all comes right down to it, deciding on the best plantar fasciitis shoes depends on what you plan to do. However, there are a few standard features you might want to look if you want to make sure you’re getting a suitable pair for your PF.
The most important feature to look for if you’re in search of a reliable pair of shoes for your plantar fasciitis is support. This is because PF affects the plantar fascia, which is basically a long ligament that travels from the heel towards the base of the toes, and functions to support the soles of the feet. When it’s injured, the plantar fascia will struggle to perform, requiring some form of assistance in the form of a supportive shoe.
There are two factors that can help you tell if a shoe will provide sufficient support for your feet. The first is the material of its insole and the second is its topography. Footbeds that have a substantial density to them are often better than those that feel too foamy and soft. However, anything that’s too stiff may also cause significant pain for individuals with PF.
As a general rule, it’s best to invest in shoes that have thick, well-padded insoles that have a little give to them when you apply your weight on them. This helps accommodate your natural arches while reducing the load on your plantar fascia.
Equally important is the contour of the footbed. Choices that take your natural arches into consideration will reduce the development of pressure points. You may also want to consider whether you have low or high arches, so you can determine whether or not a shoe’s insole will properly cradle your foot’s normal anatomy.
According to studies, some individuals with PF may feel pain even without stimulation. Once they actually do use their feet, pain can be so pronounced that walking becomes a herculean challenge. This is true in most moderate to severe cases, as the plantar fascia’s inflammation worsens, especially around the heel.
With that, it’s essential that your chosen shoes provide optimal comfort to help ease the stress and pressure in each step. In many ways, this factor comes hand in hand with support, as the level of comfort often relies on the material used for the footbed. Pliable yet dense materials are the most ideal, as they bend and flex to accommodate your weight and the movement of your feet, but still have the resilience to manage months of daily wear.
Breathability can also affect the comfort level of your chosen shoes. Lightweight uppers that permit substantial airflow help manage and reduce sweat production. This can also make shoes much lighter on the feet, which is ideal as heavy, bulky shoes tend to be cumbersome to walk in.
When a shoe doesn’t fit well, it places pressure on different points of the feet, thus making the process of standing or walking substantially more painful. So any design that pushes your toes to bunch together, or that presses uncomfortably against any part of the foot might not be ideal if you’ve got PF.
Consider the way that your shoes fit around your feet. A roomy toe box, a wide heel cup, and forgiving uppers should make it possible for you to get around without the added pressure from different parts of the shoe. You may also want to consider whether a shoe has enough space for custom insoles, especially if the footbeds that come with it don’t come off.
What Are the Top Brands Specializing in Shoes for PF?
Not every brand targets the market of special foot conditions. So you can expect that there are only a few that will actually provide you the relief and comfort that your PF requires. Here’s a quick list of some of the most reliable brands that manufacture shoes for plantar fasciitis to help you narrow down your options:
1. Dr. Scholl’s
Founded in 1906, Dr. Scholl’s is one of the oldest brands specializing in footwear and foot accessories for special conditions. The company is best known for their orthotic insoles that are designed to improve comfort and support. However, they also have quite a number of footwear designs specifically for individuals with plantar fasciitis. This is why they’ve become one of the best known doctor recommended shoes for the condition.
You may have come across the Vionic brand during your search for the best shoes for plantar fasciitis. This company has been in the market since 1979 and aims to provide buyers with fashion-forward, trendy footwear that doesn’t lose sight of comfort and support.
Although it wasn’t aiming to be a brand for special foot conditions, Asics has made quite a name for itself in the market. The brand is trusted by a large consumer base, and is best known for their athletic designs that work equally well for daily use and long bouts of walking.
Skechers is a brand that’s big on comfort, and they prove this with their Go Walk and Go Run franchises. The company dabbles between athletic and lifestyle footwear, and has come up with a variety of technologies that help make each shoe much more comfortable and practical for individuals with conditions like plantar fasciitis. Check out the top Skechers for plantar fasciitis here.
Clarks shoes are sophisticated, classy, and affordable, and they’re made in such a way that bumps up comfort and support ideal for individuals with PF. Most of Clarks’ designs are dress and formal shoes that take comfort into account, so they’re definitely a brand to look for if you’re in search of something a little more on the fancy side.
Do you have the right shoes for all the different activities you do in a day? Make sure to give your feet the proper support, comfort, and stability they need to see you through every task you might have lined up for you, and invest in these impressive plantar fasciitis shoes.
Check out our top picks and find out just why they’ve gotten such positive reviews from countless buyers. No doubt, your search for the best shoes for plantar fasciitis is guaranteed to end once you consider these top choices on our list.