Waking up with sharp heel pain can be demotivating, especially if you have to commute to work or run essential errands. Although medication provides some pain relief for plantar fasciitis, it’s a short-term solution. Besides, taking multiple doses per day for a prolonged period is not ideal. The key here is to take preventive measures, such as wearing supportive footwear. We spoke to several reputable podiatrists and compiled a list of the best shoes for plantar fasciitis. Keep scrolling to find the right shoes for you, whether you’re looking for running shoes, work boots, or something more casual.
First, What is Plantar Fasciitis?
According to the National Library of Medicine, the condition involves a biomechanical imbalance resulting in tension and inflammation of the plantar fascia (the band of tissue running across the bottom of your foot). It’s often nicknamed ‘runner’s heel’ and can be a painful hurdle in daily life.
If you suffer from this painful condition, don’t feel too bad for yourself; you’re not the only one. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot pain conditions, affecting an estimated 2 million people in the US.
Luckily, there are ways to ease the pain caused by plantar fasciitis.
According to Scholars at the Harvard Medical School, common treatments include various foot exercises, anti-inflammatory medication, and supportive shoes with cushioned soles and integral arch support. With the basics of plantar fasciitis explained, let’s dive deeper into our guide.
What Should You Look For In Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis?
For a detailed answer, we contacted several podiatrists, including Joel W. Brook, DPM, an experienced podiatrist for foot and ankle pain treatment and founder of the Dallas Podiatry Works. Dr. W. Brook told FixMyWalk, “Shoes should be solidly constructed, not too flexible, have built-in arch support, and should simulate being barefoot.” Expanding on the last point, he added, “Small heels and wedges are better than flat shoes as they alter the structure of the foot during ambulation to limit the amount of pronation.”
David Cheskis, DPM from the Advanced Podiatry of Long Island, Stated, “The best shoes for plantar fasciitis have a thick sole for shock absorption and a tapered design often with more lift in the rearfoot compared to the front of the foot, which keeps the ankle in a more lax alignment”. Additionally, he explained that these shoes have “a sturdy, more cupping design to the heel to control excessive pronation, which stems mainly from eversion of the calcaneus bone during weight bearing.”.
So, according to podiatrists, arch support, solid structure, shock absorption, and barefoot simulation are vital for dealing with plantar fasciitis.
Best Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
Below is a quick rundown of the best shoes for plantar fasciitis we chose with the guidance of qualified podiatrists and our team’s analysis of reviews, popularity, pricing, brand reputation, and shoe structure.
Jump To Section:
- Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
- Best Sneakers/Walking Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
- Best Casual Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
- Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
- Best Hiking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
- Best Work Boots for Plantar Fasciitis
- Best Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis
Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
Best Overall: Brooks Glycerin StealthFit 2
Brooks Glycerin StealthFit 2View On Amazon
- Great arch support
- Shock absorbing
- Light & breathable
- Some reviewers say these run small and recommend going ½ size up
Podiatrist Joel W. Brook recommends Brooks running shoes as one of his top shoe choices for plantar fasciitis. Brooks Glycerin Stealth20s are designed for maximum comfort and support through their DNA LOFT cushioning, which offers excellent arch support and shock absorption, reducing the condition’s impacts. We particularly love their soft, breathable upper, which adapts to the shape of your foot.
Most reviewers say these shoes are excellent for dealing with plantar fasciitis. “I was recommended these shoes by a co-worker after battling with plantar fasciitis for months. These shoes were the best shoes I have found. Instant relief.” one of the reviewers stated.
Best Value: Asics Gel Kayano 28
Asics Gel Kayano 28View On Amazon
- Very stylish
- Great arch support
- Take some time to break in
Asics is another running shoe brand recommended by Dr. Brook. We found Asics a cheaper alternative to Brooks and Hoka without sacrificing quality, an excellent value-for-money option.
Asics Gel Kayano 28s have their trademark Gel technology in the midsole, resulting in excellent shock absorption and heel comfort. These shoes have OrchoLite X-55 insoles and moderate to high arch support, which assists with stability and reduces strain on the plantar fascia, perfect for people struggling with overpronation.
Kayano 28s are also ultra-lightweight with a breathable upper mesh, reducing excessive sweating. In addition, we love the looks of these shoes featuring neutral light colors, which are highly popular in 2023.
Premium Pick: Hoka Bondi 7
Hoka Bondi 7View On Amazon
- Certified by APMA
- Extra-thick outsole
- Great arch support
- Quite expensive
- Style is not to everyone’s taste
When it comes to medically-approved running shoes, Hoka One’s Bondi Series stands out from the competition by a mile. Both podiatrists we consulted highly rate Hoka as a brand, and they’re not the only ones. These shoes carry the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) certification for their effectiveness in easing foot pain.
Bondi 7s are also a favorite amongst the FixMyWalk team; we love them for the unmatched comfort they provide. This model has unusually thick outsoles, excellent arch support, and extra-cushioned rubber insoles. All these features and medical approval make these shoes highly popular and sought after.
One reviewer stated, “I have plantar fasciitis and these shoes are amazing !! My feet do not hurt after being on my feet for 8 plus hours!” and another reviewer said, “These are the best shoes that I’ve ever purchased a little costly, but it’s worth every penny.”.
Best Sneakers / Walking Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
Best Overall: Hoka Bondi 8
Hoka Bondi 8View On Amazon
- Unmatched all-round comfort
- APMA certified
- Lightweight & breathable
- More expensive than most other brands
Although Hoka shoes are mainly classified as running shoes, most people use them as sneakers too. From our experience, the Bondi 8 model is perhaps the most supportive sneaker you’ll ever find.
When we researched these sneakers, we discovered a whole arsenal of fasciitis-combating features, including a thick midsole for shock absorption, a wide toe box, and a premium foam insole with firm arch support.
Like the Bondi 7s, the Bondi 8s are APMA certified. If you ask any podiatrist for the best shoe brands for plantar fasciitis, we would be surprised if they don’t mention Hoka. In a nutshell, if you want the most supportive sneakers out there, this is it.
Most Popular: New Balance 623 V3
New Balance 623 V3View On Amazon
- Timeless looks
- Thick IMEVA midsole
- Firm yet flexible structure
- Not as durable as high-end brands like Hoka or Brooks
Recommended by Dr. Cheskis, the New Balance brand creates retro-looking sneakers with essential foot-supportive features. If that’s your cup of tea, New Balance 623 V3 may just be your perfect match. 90’s style footwear has become popular in recent years, and the 623s are a prime example.
Surprisingly, these sneakers are also popular amongst people with plantar fasciitis due to their comfort. The 623 V3s provide great support, featuring a firm yet flexible structure, a thick midsole for shock absorption, and a comfortable foam insole.
“I ordered these to get me through a bout of plantar fasciitis, and they’re terrific.”, a reviewer stated. Another reviewer mentioned, “I have Plantar Fasciitis, and these shoes keep my feet feeling great!”.
Best Value: Skechers D’Lites
Skechers D’LitesView On Amazon
- Comfy padded collar
- Thick rubber midsole
- Suitable for budget buyers
- Arch support is not quite on the same level as Hoka shoes
- Can feel clunky
Skechers is known for its innovative comfort technologies. Rather than focusing on looks, the brand’s primary focus has always been to provide affordable yet comfortable shoes. The results speak for themselves. Since their inception in 1992, the demand for Skechers shoes has been booming. The D’Lites are one of their most popular sneakers.
We particularly like these sneakers for the exceptional cushioning throughout. The insole is ultra-soft and spongy but firm enough to support your arches effectively.
Reviewers on Amazon have a similar view. One of them stated, “These are my favorite shoes for work. I am on my feet as a nurse for 12 to 16 hours. I have plantar problems. By far the most comfortable and very cute. They are chunky, but I like that support.”.
Best Casual Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
Best Overall: Dansko Fawna Mary Jane
Dansko Fawna Mary JaneView On Amazon
- Versatile looks
- Built-in arch support
- Not great for long walks
- Quite expensive
Finding casual shoes for plantar fasciitis can be challenging. Luckily, Dr. Brook gave us some insight, suggesting Dansko as one of the best casual brands for dealing with the condition.
Dansko’s Fawna Mary Jane shoes are simple-looking shoes. We like their versatility. Whether having a day in the office, shopping at the mall, or taking a stroll in the park, these shoes match almost any outfit. With built-in arch support, a wide toe box, foam insoles, and a small heel shape, these shoes prevent pronation and reduce symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
The reviews can confirm this, “I have plantar fasciitis and I don’t have to wear my orthotics with these shoes. I can wear them all day long. I love them so much I bought them in red!!” one of the reviewers stated.
Best Value: Vionic Pismo
Vionic PismoView On Amazon
- Simple design
- Excellent arch support
- Machine washable
- Not the most durable
- Some people don’t like the design
Vionic Pismo’s are another podiatric recommendation. “My favorite starter shoes that have built-in arch support or liner that’s supportive are Vionics,” Hai-En Peng, DPM, a foot and ankle surgeon, tells FixMyWalk.
Thanks to the simple canvas style available in 37 colors, these shoes match many outfits, including shorts, suits, and joggers. The built-in arch support, foam insoles, and a wide toe box reduce strain on the plantar fascia, making these a perfect choice for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. What impressed us the most was the affordable price tag. These shoes are half the price of the Dansko’s Fawna Mary Jane’s.
Best For Men: Gecko Man Slip-Ons
Best For Men
Gecko Man Slip-OnsView On Amazon
- Smart loafer style
- Wide forefoot and toe box
- Great arch support
- Not ideal for wet weather
Gecko Man’s Slip-On shoes are a popular option for men seeking casual plantar fasciitis shoes. These loafer-style trendsetters go perfectly with joggers, shorts, and suits, meaning you can keep your swagger without being in pain. A lightweight design and an easy, slip-on system limit the strain on your heel, while the arch support and soft suede insoles reduce the strain on the plantar fascia.
We found that these shoes are an absolute favorite amongst reviewers. “These shoes immediately started easing my foot and backpain from plantar fasciitis! They are super comfy”, one reviewer stated, while another added, “My husband, who is a teacher and has plantar fasciitis, thinks these are heaven! He has them on more than he has them off.”.
Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
Best Overall: Vionic Rest Bella
Vionic Rest BellaView On Amazon
- Casual style
- Comfortable orthotic footbed
- EVA midsole for shock absorption
- These sandals run small, one size up is recommended
Recommended by Dr. Brook, and approved by the APMA, Vionic is a brand that makes casual shoes for people with foot conditions, including plantar fasciitis. What we really liked about the Vionic Rest Bella’s is that they are very lightweight sandals. Still, at the same time, the chunky orthotic footbed is softly cushioned yet firm enough to support your plantar fascia effectively.
Most reviewers struggling with plantar fasciitis are impressed by their performance. “Very comfortable, not heavy, and I can walk for hours on these ones with minimal to no pain from fasciitis issues.” said one of the reviewers.
Most Stylish: Dansko Season Sandal
Dansko Season SandalView On Amazon
- APMA certified
- EVA insole for extra-cushioning
- Shock-absorbing midsole
- Not available in wide sizes
- Expensive compared to other sandals
Made by another brand recommended by Dr. Brook, and certified by the American Podiatric Medical Association, Dansko’s Season Sandals are ideal for women suffering from plantar fasciitis. These heeled sandals offer fashionable looks that work well with smart and casual outfits alike. Thanks to a thick EVA midsole and a thick orthotic insole, Dansko’s Season Sandals provide excellent arch support and shock absorption.
Despite the clunky looks, these sandals are really lightweight. Most reviewers with plantar fasciitis highly recommend this sandal. One stated, “I have bone spurs and recently had foot surgery for plantar fasciitis. These are one of the only pairs of shoes I own that don’t leave me in agony within a few hours.”.
Best For Men: Vionic Tide
Best For Men
Vionic TideView On Amazon
- Cushioned EVA footbed
- Certified by APMA
- Durable leather strap
- Not available in wide sizes
- Runs small
It’s time for something designed for men: Vionics Tide Sandals, an option recommended by Dr. Cheskis. These sandals are packed with fasciitis-friendly features, including a cushioned footbed with strong arch support and a thick foam midsole to absorb the shock waves from various activities. Wearing these feels really snug and soft on your feet. Plus, the leather strap is a nice addition, although it can’t be adjusted.
Best Hiking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Best Overall: Merrell Moab 2 Vent
Merrell Moab 2 VentView On Amazon
- Spacious toe box
- Built-in arch support
- Mostly-leather construction
- Moab 2’s can run small so it’s recommended to go one size up
- Need breaking in
Merrel’s Moab 2’s are one of the most popular shoes for hikers with plantar fasciitis. These shoes offer a durable leather shell structure and a breathable mesh upper, which helps with ventilation. We found these bad boys lightweight but durable enough to protect your feet in mountain scenarios.
Merrel’s Air Cushion technology in the heel works a treat, providing excellent shock absorption and stability. Moreover, the shoe’s wide toe box ensures your toes have room to breathe without being squeezed in.
Reviewers with plantar fasciitis seem to approve, “These shoes fit me perfectly! I have plantar fasciitis, and I have been walking in these now for months with NO issues!” one of them commented.
Podiatrist Approved: Hoka Anacapa Mid GTX
Hoka Anacapa Mid GTXView On Amazon
- Lightweight leather structure
- Great heel support
- Fashionable design
- High price tag
Dr. Cheskis highly recommends HOKA footwear for people with plantar fasciitis. Hoka One One is more widely known for its sneakers. The Anacapa Mid GTX model is their solution for supportive hiking shoes.
From our experience, these trendy-looking shoes provide support on par with the brand’s running shoes. The shoe provides excellent shock absorption thanks to a thick EVA midsole and superb heel comfort thanks to the geometric design. Furthermore, Anacapa Mid GTXs are fully waterproof and have a Vibram megagrip outsole, making them suitable for wet and slippery terrains.
Premium Pick: Keen Targhee 2
Keen Targhee 2View On Amazon
- Durable structure
- Contoured heel support
- Rubber toe guard
- Quite pricey
- Can feel heavy
Keen Targhee 2 is another popular shoe, highly rated for its durability and supportive properties. Although the boots aren’t made specifically for people with plantar fasciitis, they are definitely suitable. The contoured heel support combined with a wide toe box and a metatomical footbed gives you the support and comfort you need for long mountain trails.
Reviewers approve these boots for dealing with plantar fasciitis. “Great support, so comfortable! I have hard-to-fit feet, major plantar fasciitis, and other shoes hurt even with my orthotics. I can fit my orthotics in these and have no heel pain. Yay!” stated one of the reviewers.
Best Work Boots for Plantar Fasciitis
Best Overall: Carhartt Composite Toe Boots
Carhartt Composite Toe BootsView On Amazon
- Durable 100% leather
- Composite safety toe
- Cushioned OrthoLite insole
- Take time to break in
- Only four color options
Finding fasciitis-friendly work boots can be challenging. Luckily, there are some options offering the support you need, including Carhartt’s Composite Toe Boots. Carhartt, a brand known for its quality, paid close attention to proper cushioning when designing these. A prime example is the OrthoLite insole, which is completely removable and provides great arch and heel support. Besides that, the shoes have a spacious toe box and a thick midsole, which absorbs the shockwaves that come with hard work at the job site.
Workers with plantar fasciitis definitely approve of these boots, with one of them stating, “Bought these boots cause I have plantar fasciitis, and these boots have greatly helped with that issue. Only wearing them one week. I already see a difference.”.
Most Popular: Columbia Newton Ridge
Columbia Newton RidgeView On Amazon
- Thick EVA midsole
- Wide toe box
- Cheaper than most work boots
- You have to buy insoles for better arch support
Besides looking absolutely badass, Columbia’s Newton Ridge Boots offer three things: durability, practicality, and, most importantly, comfort. When sinking into these boots, you’ll be met with a soft cushioning feeling, which is rare in work boots. The wide toe box gives you the space you need, while a thick EVA midsole absorbs the shockwaves of heavy workloads. Plus, the Newton Ridge’s are a favorite amongst people with fasciitis.
One reviewer stated, “Solid, well made. Comfortable…I typically need secondary arch support to ward off plantar fasciitis; I have not needed them thus far.”.
Premium Pick: Wolverine Overpass
Wolverine OverpassView On Amazon
- OrthoLite insoles with arch-support
- Waterproof leather material
- Composite toe protection
- Just two color options
- High price tag
Wolverine, a brand that makes work boots that withstand the toughest scenarios, also pays close attention to comfort. Their Overpass model is a complete work boot, showcasing performance combined with support at its finest. These rugged work boots come with built-in OrthoLite insoles providing front, heel, and all-important arch support. Perhaps their only downside is that there are only two color options, not something an experienced tradie is particularly bothered by.
Reviewers on Amazon are nothing short of impressed too. One of them mentioned, “Biggest condition was that would it alleviate plantar fasciitis? YES . I work in plant/lab setting. Some days on my feet all day, and these boots have not caused any foot pain at all.”.
Best Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis
Best Quality: Superfeet All-Purpose Support Insoles
Superfeet All-Purpose Support InsolesView On Amazon
- APMA approved
- Built-in stabilizer cap
- Organic odor control
- Premium price tag
- Trim to fit
Podiatrist Hai-En Peng, DPM, stated, “If you add a good pair of arch supports, you can make any shoe good for PF.”. So, it makes perfect sense to invest in some quality insoles. Superfeets All-Purpose Insoles are precisely that: quality insoles that are built to last, offering outstanding support.
These APMA-approved insoles come equipped with high-density foam cushioning and a built-in stabilizer cap, a rarity among most other insoles. From our experience, Superfeet insoles can transform almost any shoe. We tried them on flat Vans shoes, and the difference in comfort is enormous. It’s a must-buy if you struggle with plantar fasciitis.
Podiatrist Approved: PowerStep Pinnacle Maxx
PowerStep Pinnacle MaxxView On Amazon
- APMA approved
- Firm but flexible
- Dual-layer cushioning
- High price tag
Highly recommended by Dr. Cheskis, PowerStep insoles are also approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association. These specialized insoles are loaded with fasciitis-reducing features, including dual-layer cushioning, deep heel support, and arch support. They are also firm but flexible, which is exactly what you want for optimal arch support.
Moreover, unlike most insoles, the insoles’ surface area reduces perspiration and doesn’t need trimming.
Budget Pick: Dr. Scholl’s Heavy Duty Orthotic Insoles
Dr. Scholl’s Heavy Duty Orthotic InsolesView On Amazon
- Very affordable
- Foam cushioning
- Decent arch support
- Doesn’t provide as much support as premium insoles
- Trim to fit
If you’re after something pocket-friendly, Dr Scholl’s Heavy Duty Insoles are an ideal solution. These insoles are affordable without sacrificing essential fasciitis-reducing features such as arch support, heel support, or thick cushioning. Of course, these insoles can’t compete with premium ones. However, they still provide a decent level of support all around.
Most reviewers with PF approve of their effectiveness. One stated, “The best insoles for plantar fasciitis I ever found…when I buy a new pair of shoes, the order isn’t complete with a set of these.”.
How We Chose The Best Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
Besides researching online reviews, fasciitis-friendly features, and shoe structure, we consulted with reputable podiatrists:
- Hai-En Peng, DPM – Experienced podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at the Align Foot & Ankle Center in Santa Barbara, CA.
- Joel W. Brook, DPM – Diplomate of the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and founder of the Dallas Podiatry Works.
- David Cheskis, DPM – Expert in corrective foot surgery and podiatry from Advanced Podiatry of Long Island.
These qualified podiatrists gave us valuable insight, pointing out three main aspects of selecting shoes for people with plantar fasciitis: arch support, barefoot simulation, and cushioning.
Arch support is key to preventing plantar fasciitis symptoms. The plantar fascia is the tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. Plantar fasciitis is typically diagnosed when inflammation and micro tears occur in that tissue due to excessive straining.
Arch support helps distribute weight evenly across your foot, reducing inflammation and pain. Furthermore, proper arch support promotes better foot alignment, greatly reducing overpronation and supination. These two happen when your foot rolls excessively inwards or backward.
Extra-cushioning is another aspect that can help alleviate plantar fasciitis pain. Cushioning materials often found in insoles and midsoles include gel, foam, or even air pockets.
Apart from being ultra-comfortable to stand on, these materials can absorb impact forces generated by activities like running or walking. This leads to a reduction in the jarring effect, a leading cause of plantar fasciitis. Like arch support, high-quality cushioning also helps with weight distribution and prevention of overpronation.
According to Dr. Brook, shoes for people with plantar fasciitis should “simulate being barefoot.”. Barefoot simulation, or how well the shoe adapts to the shape of your foot, is a characteristic that almost all shoe parts contribute to.
The flexibility of the insole, upper, and heel counter are key players here. Some materials are more adaptive than others. For example, leather is much less flexible than polyester mesh, hence why even casual shoes for plantar fasciitis are mostly made of breathable mesh rather than leather.
However, there’s one area where flexibility can work against you: the sole. According to Dr. Cheskis, “If you can bend your shoe in half, it is not supportive. The sole needs to be very sturdy and supportive enough.”.
What To Avoid When Choosing Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
Certain shoes can cause plantar fasciitis and should be strictly avoided if you suffer from the condition. We recommend staying away from:
- Shoes That Are Too Tight – According to a 2018 study by the National Center of Biotechnology Information, wearing incorrectly fitted shoes is directly linked to foot pain and disorders. Squeezing into shoes with a toe box that is too narrow can lead to ingrown toenails, leading to inflammation and heel pain.
- Flat Shoes With A Thin Midsole – “People, especially if they are flat-footed, should avoid very minimalistic shoes.”. Flat shoes, in particular, tend to have a thin sole, not supportive enough for optimal shock absorption. “Shoes like Vans, Converse, Drivers, Flats, etc. are bad options if you’re suffering from heel pain.”, Dr Cheskis tells FixMyWalk.
- High Heels – There’s a reason women struggle to find high heels for plantar fasciitis. According to the Alliance Foot & Ankle Specialists Clinic, high heels can cause plantar fasciitis and should be avoided. These shoes don’t provide any support and cause unnatural foot positioning, putting unnecessary strain on the arch of your foot.
Our feet are like these unsung heroes that help us get around every day. They deserve to be treated with care. Think of supportive footwear as an investment in your foot health. It seems like a small investment, but it can make such a huge difference. And it’s not just about your physical health; your mental and emotional well-being can also benefit.
That’s what FixMyWalk is here for. We’re here to help you choose shoes that will improve your day-to-day life with the knowledge of medical professionals. We hope our guide has helped you find the shoes you need, and if it has, please help others by sharing this guide with friends or family who suffer from plantar fasciitis too.