One major issue facing habitual runners is the possibility of developing plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of connective tissue on the bottom of the foot caused by overpronation of the foot. Plantar fasciitis can cause a burning, painful sensation on the bottom of the feet that can be severely exacerbated while running or playing a sport like tennis and basketball. It can become so painful that some people even use night splints and do special exercises for plantar fasciitis. That is why it is imperative to find a suitable running shoe that alleviates and prevent symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
The best running shoes for plantar fasciitis will give your arches and heels the right support to keep your feet comfy while running. We have picked the best products in virtue of their comfort, foot support, and durability that work even better combine with insoles. So sit back as we go over the 11 best running shoes for plantar fasciitis.
But before! Read the common mistakes you need to avoid when choosing running shoes for plantar fasciitis:
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Avoid These Mistakes When Buying Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
There are many running shoes on the market which can make narrowing down your choice difficult. Make sure to avoid these mistakes when buying running shoes or your feet may regret it further down the road (pun intended):
Low Arch Support
The number one issue that causes plantar fasciitis is insufficient arch support. Bad arch support allows your foot to overpronate inward, stretching connective tissue which causes the inflammation and pain associated with plantar fasciitis. That’s why good running shoes for plantar fasciitis have high arch support, particularly on the inside part of the arches. The special arch support may make them feel a bit strange at first, at least compared to normal running shoes, but it’s worth getting used to alleviate pain and discomfort from running.
Another important thing to look for is the amount of cushioning. Plantar fasciitis can be aggravated by the force of your feet hitting the ground, especially if you frequently run on hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete. While you don’t want your running shoe to be so soft that you get no spring in your step, you also need to have the right cushioning in the right places to absorb shock on the arches and heels. Running shoes with thin cushioning offer virtually no protection to your feet from the force of hard surfaces. Make sure to check reviews to see if the level of cushioning is adequate.
Bad Quality Materials/Low Durability
Running shoes for plantar fasciitis are specially designed and therefore tend to be a bit more expensive than ordinary running shoes. As such, you want to make sure the shoes you get are made out of quality materials that will last. Nothing is more frustrating to drop a pretty penny on something only to have it break within the first month or two of use. Before you buy, makes sure to check product reviews regarding the quality and durability of shoe materials.
What Are the Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis of 2020?
1. New Balance Women’s 1080
New Balance has bee a customer favorite brand of athletic shoes for quite some time. The New Balance Women’s 1080 running shoe provides very high arch support and a comfy composite foam midsole that absorbs shock and prevents pain from plantar fasciitis.
The shoe is described as having an 8 mm drop from heel to toe, though many users note that this is an approximation and not an exact measurement. The flexible mesh uppers are breathable and tight so the shoe stays hugged on the feet but is also flexible enough around the toebox. Sizing runs a bit inconsistent though, and the foam tongue is a bit stiff and scratchy. It does come in a bunch of different color options, so that’s a plus.
2. Mizuno Wave Rider
The Mizuno Wave Riders are a great series of shoes for both men and women who suffer from plantar fasciitis. The first thing to notices is its Cloudwave footbed that is exceedingly cushioned and comfy while also being lightweight. This cushioning is backed by a firm durable midsole that keeps the shoe firmly supporting the arches and heels.
The footbed has enough extra space if you need custom orthotics and the mesh uppers are very light and breathable. The quality control seems to be a bit hit or miss though, as some reviewers point out their shoes did not last very long. They also may feel strange for those who prefer the feeling of hard contact with the ground, but if you have foot problems these are a great buy.
3. Saucony Guide 10
The first thing to notice about the Saucony 10s is that they make you feel like running on a cloud. The shoes are ultra plush cushioned, which is strategically placed to provide the right shock absorption on the arches and heels. The firm midsole does a good job of keeping the foot angled properly but is also flexible enough to let it flex with your toes while moving.
The sizing runs a bit small so make sure you order large. They also have a bad tendency for the treads to wear down, but regular cleaning and dusting can prevent premature wear and tear. The thin mesh uppers make the shoes very light but not very good at absorbing moisture so they can become waterlogged or soaked in sweat.
4. Brooks Glycerin
The Brooks Glycerin is a comfortable shoe that will last you a while. The plush interior footbed is very soft and mixes comfort with support well. The arch support is pretty good, but may not be high enough for those who have severe plantar fasciitis pain. They do a great job of alleviating and preventing mild to moderate symptoms though.
Perhaps the most unique feature of the Brooks is the 3-D printed mesh uppers. The strategically placed holes are meant to vent moisture and be tough while still remaining light and flexible. They do run a bit small and are not very water resistant, so the mesh can actually end up absorbing water making the shoes heavier.
5. Brooks Ghost
Another shoe by Brooks, the Ghost series of running shoes live up to their name and are so comfy you may forget they are there while wearing them. The shoes are a great choice for those with foot pain and do a good job of alleviating and preventing symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
The drop from heel to toes is about 12 mm; a good deal higher than normal, which may initially feel strange. The treads have good traction and are sectioned so they bend easily near the toe but keep your foot straight from the arches back. The shoes are very light, though some runners might prefer a weightier shoe to counterbalance leg movement. Overall though, the Brooks Ghost is a great running shoe for both men and women who suffer from plantar fasciitis.
6. Hoka One One Bondi
The Bondi series of running shoes from Hoka One One is one of the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis on the market. All Hoka One One Bondi shoes are certified by the APMA for relieving foot pain and feature generous padding with rock-solid arch and heel support. The extra thick outsole is very tough but may feel weird to those who are used to lower profile shoes.
The extra thick soles do a fantastic job absorbing shock and keeping your feet comfy while also giving good spring so you don;t feel like you are sinking in your shoes. They are more expensive, but that is to be expected from their special construction. The biggest drawback of the shoe is its appearance; the Bondi line looks clunky and awkward, especially with the extra thick sole. However, if you don’t really mind the appearance of your running shoe, the Bondi line is a great choice for men and women alike.
7. Vionic Women’s Action Emerald Lace Up
First things first, Vionic specializes in shoes for plantar fasciitis and other orthotic issues. Their Action Emerald line of shoes are made for women with plantar fasciitis who need a tough running shoe. The specially designed insoles take a few days to break in and get used to, but they are a godsend for runners with foot pain.
Along with the specially designed footbed, the Action Emerald has full mesh uppers for breathability and tight fit. The shoes are somewhat narrow and short so may not be best for large feet. You also cannot machine wash them as it might damage the inside supports.
8. Salomon Men’s Sonic Aero Running Shoe
The Salomon Sonic Aero running shoe’s main draw is its versatility, in that it is made for running on paved/flat surfaces as well as rough cross-country surfaces. Perfect for trail running, the ultra-durable rubber sole lasts for a long time and the footbed offers a generous amount of padding and support.
Despite the heavy-duty tough construction, the shoes are comparatively light. The arch support is very good for a cross-country shoe but not as high as some other brands. They can also be used for regular hiking if you want to enjoy a leisurely stroll through the woods. Overall, they are a solid choice if you have feet pain and want to run on a variety of surfaces.
9. Salomon Women’s XR Running Shoe
Another from Salomon, the XR is a cross-country running shoe designed with women’s feet in mind. The shoe features a very wide toebox for good balance and flex that is balanced with good cushioning and firm support. Designed for rough outdoor surfaces, the thick rubber sole absorbs shock and the cushioned footbed gives good arch support.
The mesh uppers are very breathable and wick away moisture on the feet. They are pretty heavy duty and so are a bit bulkier than other shoes. The included laces are cheap and break easily though and the lacing can be kind of a pain to do up.
10. Altra Torin Running Shoe
A lesser known brand, Altra makes shoes meant for long distance running. The Torin line of running shoes is noted for how good it is for runners with plantar fasciitis. The great heel and arch support keep feet properly angled and prevents overpronation. There is also a wide toe box that allows the toes to flex while moving.
The zero drop platform keeps your foot elevated at the same height, which may feel strange at first but can help with foot pain. Unfortunately, this does mean the tops of the shoes might rub against your toes, especially if you have tall feet. The Torin line of shoes from Altra is also certified by the APMA for alleviating pain related to foot problems. The tongue is described as a bit stiff though and the rubber treads can wear down if not regularly cleaned.
11. Saucony Hurricane
The last product in another from Saucony, the Hurrican line of running shoes. The Hurricanes have Saucony’s trademark EVERUN cushioning that cradles the feet and keeps the arches elevated while offering good shock absorption. The upper mesh breathes very well and gives a tight fit around the foot.
The shoes are a bit narrow around the toes and heel and some user report issues with durability. Specifically, the heel support seems to degrade over time and can come unattached from the inside of the shoes. Otherwise, the Hurricanes make a great running shoe for those suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Conclusions and Final Remarks
Finding the right running shoes is already a difficult task; doubly so if you need something specific for plantar fasciitis. Overall, the best running shoes from plantar fasciitis give arch and heel support as well as generous cushioning to shield feet from road impact. Following this list of the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis will help you make the right choice. Now, don’t forget your planter fasciitis sandals for when you’re relaxing in your backyard after a run!
- “Plantar Fasciitis FAQ”, WashU Orthopedics, Article
- “How to Know If You Have Plantar Fasciitis And What to Do About It”, Runner’s World, Article
- APMA Certified Companies, APMA website