Plantar fasciitis can be a real impediment to living your life. Thankfully, this chronic foot pain is often the result of inappropriate footwear. So, when you fix your kicks, you fix your symptoms! Running long miles and working on your feet all day are always stressful, but manageable with the right footwear. If you buy shoes that properly support your arch, toe, and heel areas like our top picks here, you’re much less likely to run into trouble!
We’ve done the research, and found the best ones for you and your feet! We have great options for running shoes, sneakers, dress shoes, and insoles. Check out our top choices for the best shoes for plantar fasciitis 2017!
Best Sneakers for Plantar Fasciitis
1. Nike Zoom Pegasus 33
These lightweight runners from Nike are simple on the outside, and sophisticated underneath!
We love their special one-piece mesh upper. It works with a special lacing system to fit snugly and securely like a sock, while providing you with flexibility as you move! You’ll see the cables across the top of the foot–these distribute tension and keep everything in place. Plus, the upper material is super airy, so your feet stay dry and comfy.
In the sole, Nike’s Zoom cushioning protects your heel and gives you a bit of a boost in forward momentum. Previous buyers really complimented their solid arch support. They’re supportive enough for running with plantar fasciitis, but won’t be squishy or restrictive like a motion control shoe. These are some of the best athletic sneakers for plantar fasciitis. That’s clear when you look at the strong level of buyer loyalty with these shoes. People come back year after year for a new pair, because they feel so good!
This latest version of the Pegasus adds even better cushioning, and better durability in the upper. They’re available in both men’s and women’s models, and reviewers of both genders said these 33’s are the best Pegasus yet!
2. Asics Gel Kayano 22
The Gel Kayano is Asics’ best selling runner. Reviewers have called it “The Cadillac of Running Shoes,” and we can’t help nut agree! It’s heavily cushioned with extra stability and support for pronators. Like riding in a Cadillac, these shoes smooth out all the bumps and jolts of the road, protecting your feet and joints.
The cushioned sole has gel pockets built in, which provide plenty of cushioning at a much lighter weight than rubber. It has a lot more pressure and impact relief than the Pegasus, but it still doesn’t feel bulky. Think of it as running on springy clouds!
The Fluid-fit upper combines mesh and flexible reinforcements to keep everything securely in place. It’s similar to the Pegasus’s upper, but if anything, more like a sock.
Reviewers said the Gel Kayanos were a sure bet for reducing plantar fasciitis, joint pain, and other foot ailments. Because they have a maximum cushion insole, they’re a bit more elevated than the Air Pegasus or the Glycerin, making them one of the best bets if you have any sort of heel pain. Overall, they’re more of a stability style than the Nike’s, and more suited to people with severe symptoms!
Read the full Asics Gel Kayano Review
This updated version of the Glycerin is the lightest yet, and uses Brooks’ new Super DNA midsole to provide cushioning with a boost. It’s designed to enhance energy return and support while still cutting weight. This makes it one of the best running and walking shoes for plantar fasciitis.
We particularly like that the sole is redesigned to optimize pressure distribution along the foot. That means that impact won’t stress out traditional pressure points, such as the arch and heel! The upper is made from a lightweight, breathable mesh, and has durable reinforcements built into the toe and sides.
Brooks says these are meant for runners who have medium to high arches who need slightly stronger cushioning. Reviewers said they’re incredibly comfortable, and fit perfectly. They are perfect if you’re a serious runner facing plantar fasciitis.
Check out more of our Best Sneakers For Plantar Fasciitis
Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
These orthopedic sandals for women are a flip flop with serious comfort credentials! They’ve got the same sleek look as many other flip flops, but use a molded EVA footbed to provide arch support and heel cupping. It’s designed by podiatrists to provide stability, support, and realignment. There’s also a shock-absorbent midsole to give you some cushion as you walk. The outsole is made with high-durability materials which have slip-resistant tread.
Overall, we found that previous buyers said they’ve worked wonders with plantar fasciitis, and they’re super durable. These will also last you a long time, especially compared to your average flip-flops.
The Spenco Yumi is a fashionable option for men with plantar fasciitis. They’re a simple, elegant design, combining the look of a flip-flop with the feel of an orthotic shoe! Much like the Orthaheel, these are built more sturdily than typical sandals. The sole is sculpted to provide arch support and a clearly-defined metatarsal dome. It’s made of a faux-cork material, and molded from EVA foam. The upper is made of full-grain leather, and available in several colors. Both the leather and the sole are water-resistant, making these a great choice if you live in a rainy area.
Reviewers said they were long-lasting and comfortable. Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive, especially when you consider that some other orthotic options cost twice the price! These are a great option if you’re dealing with P.F. symptoms on a budget.
These also have a footbed that’s designed by podiatrists. It has a deep heel cup, which supports and realigns the feet to their natural position. There’s also pronounced arch support and a lightweight EVA midsole. This runs the length of the foot to reduce pressure and help provide relief for your joints as you walk. The outsole is made from high-durability rubber, and has traction for smooth and wet surfaces.
These sandals are some of the only ones to earn the American Podiatry Association’s Seal of Acceptance, which means they’re clinically proven to help with plantar fasciitis! Reviewers said that after just a few days of adjustment, their feet were feeling much better in these sandals.
Check Out Our Full Article on the Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
1. Asics Gel Nimbus 18
Asics have an incredibly good reputation for making some of the best styles for alleviating plantar fasciitis. These are no exception! The Gel Nimbus is Asics’ model for the serious runner. According to the company, the goal is to provide a plusher, smoother run for longer jaunts and endurance races. Gel cushioning absorbs impact and helps you make smoother transitions as you run. The lightweight FluidRide midsole is designed to bounce back energy and provide ample cushion without adding bulk.
Reviewers said these were extremely comfortable, with excellent support for all parts of the foot. Previous buyers also said that they were very helpful with reducing joint and foot pain. The best part is the lightness, which helps you keep your speed up even with a stability pair. They’re a great choice if you’re a serious runner dealing with plantar fasciitis.
Brooks describes these as providing both stability reinforcements and full-foot cushion. They have an internal support saddle to keep your foot aligned with the sole, and use an internal sock-liner to keep your feet cool and dry.
We like them because they’re a bit more structured and a bit less pillow-y than the Asics–perfect for people who like a more natural road feel as they run. They’ve also got a fair amount of stability correction in the heel area, and reviewers who had pronation problems found relief with the Ariel!
Reviewers said they’re very comfortable for people suffering from P.F.! They fit true to size, and have no break-in period–always a plus for us!
Read the full Brooks Ariel Review
3. Adidas Supernova Glide 8
This pair from Adidas features the company’s new Boost foam. It’s designed to return energy back to you as you run. We’ve found it makes a real difference in helping you push off with each step. The footbed is supported by a full-length EVA frame, which provides stability for pronators. There’s also a Torsion system to correct mid-foot rotation. All of this is topped by a sock-fit mesh upper, designed to keep your foot lined up with the support features as you run. Reviewers said they’re very comfortable straight out of the box. They also found these to be ideal for workouts at the gym!
Check out our reviews for Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Best Dress Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
These podiatrist-designed loafers have a leather upper and durable rubber sole. They’re made with the same high-end materials most other dress loafers, and come in a variety of finishes, with elegant tassels and stitching detail. The footbed is Vionic’s signature orthotic design, with heel cupping and arch support. There’s also an EVA midsole for adaptive cushioning. We love them because they don’t look at all like a therapeutic style, but they feel every bit as good as you’d expect!
Buyers agreed that these were a great solution for P.F., saying the Abbies also helped with joint and back stress. Best of all, they’re relatively inexpensive! Reviewers advise ordering up, as these run small. A great therapeutic shoe for formal occasions!
These are orthotic shoes, but, like the Abbys, you wouldn’t know it from the outside! They are the best mens’ dress shoes for plantar fasciitis. They’re all class on the outside, with a classic brogue design and polished leather uppers. Underneath, they’re all comfort! The orthotic footbed elevates and cups the heel, as well as providing strong arch support.
They also have a full-length EVA midsole cushion for better impact absorption than other dress styles. This reduces pressure on the ankles and knees as you walk. Plus, they’re designed by podiatrists! Reviewers said they’re perfect for pronation control and plantar fasciitis. They also said they’re comfortable from day one, without a break-in period. You can put these on and be comfortable right away!
Dansko has a longstanding reputation for comfort and sophistication. They’re all about the support. The sole is designed to give you a firm base to create an optimal posture. It raises the heel slightly, and gives you strong arch support. But don’t worry–there’s a fair amount of padding, too! These clogs have an additional layer of memory foam on top of the traditional cork footbed.
Other comfort features include a soft leather sockliner, breathable footbed, and a rocker bottom, making them some of the best work shoes for plantar fasciitis. Reviewers said they’re great for reducing joint stress, and helped their posture while walking. And they look fantastic at the same time!
Best Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis
These inserts have a high arch support, and elevate the heel slightly for a secure cup and superior posture. They’re made from high-density closed-cell foam, and have an all-natural coating. They are cruelty-free, free of harmful chemicals, and prevent bacteria and odor. We think they’re ideal if you have a medium to high arch and want to wear your usual pair without the pain of plantar fasciitis.
Previous buyers said they’re comfortable, flexible, and very long-lasting. Plus, they’re available in lots of sizes! Just make sure you’ll be able to remove the factory insoles before you buy these.
Available in separate models for women and men, these half-length orthotic inserts are some of the best inserts for plantar fasciitis. They’re approved by the American Podiatrist Association, and are clinically proven to reduce and resolve heel pain. They’re made from a lightweight foam, which molds to your foot as it supports you. We particularly love the half-length inserts, since they can fit in dress shoes with narrow toe boxes.
Reviewers said they were a simple, effective solution. And they’re extremely inexpensive (less than $10!)
These best-selling inserts are made in the USA from a dual-layer foam cushion. We’d recommend them for people who want maximum padding. They’re covered with anti-microbial fabric, and are flexible enough to work with almost any shoe type. They have medical-grade foot support, and provide deep heel cupping for stability and pressure relief. You’ll also get moderate arch support and full-foot padding to make your footwear a bit more cushy.
Reviewers loved the extra support, and suggested giving these a few days to break in, so you’ll be able to judge the comfort better. They’re very cheap, but they last for years! They’re available in many sizes for men and women and are the best shoe inserts for plantar fasciitis.
How To Choose Footwear that Will Actually Relieve Pain
Plantar fasciitis is a condition which plagues people around the world. According to Wikipedia, it affects about 10% of people during their lifetime! Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia (the muscle tissue connecting your heel to your toes) gets stressed out. This muscle can stretch and eventually develop small tears, which can be extremely painful.
Symptoms for plantar fasciitis are generally felt along the arch or in the heel. You might feel stiffness at first, and need more time to warm up in the morning. Eventually, though, you’ll probably start to feel sharp pains in the heel and/or arch.
Several factors can contribute to plantar fasciitis. The first one is a change in routine. If you start running for the first time without easing into it, or start a new job that involves walking around all day, your feet won’t have a chance to adjust. Even if running and walking a lot is something you’ve done for a long time, you’re still at risk for plantar fasciitis if you don’t stretch and wear proper footwear.
Your foot type also plays a role. If you have a flat/fallen arch or a high arch, you’re more likely to have foot problems like PF. Which brings us to the last and most important factor–your footwear! To alleviate this condition, you’ll want to find a pair that provides you with more pronounced arch support. And remember, while shoes are an important step in your journey to pain-free walking and running, you’ll also have to stretch, rest, and exercise carefully.
Here are some key factors to consider when shopping for the best shoes:
The key to finding the best shoes for heel pain relief is proper arch support. The level of arch support you need depends on your foot type. For example, if you’ve got a very high arch, you’ll need a more severe arch support. Otherwise, your arch will have to stretch out every time you take a step, which will cause soreness.
Get to know your foot type before you shop. If you’ve got a high or low arch, your feet probably have some amount of pronation (side to side movement) as you walk or run. If it’s prominent, you might want to find footwear with a bit more stability built in. Generally, that will be around the midsole and heel. You’ll also want a fair amount of cushion. The more impact your footwear absorbs, the less impact your arch needs to handle. And, of course, you’ll want a cushioned, stable heel.
Remember to look for similar support features in all your shoes. The features that make the best dress shoes will be the same arch support, heel cupping, and enhanced cushioning that define the best tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis doesn’t need to interfere with your style! As you can see, we found plenty of options that look great but still support your feet properly. However, you should expect the soles to be a bit thicker. Remember that comfort is the most important priority. And if you need sleek, sophisticated shoes for work, you can use orthotic insoles to make them more functional!
It’s always a good idea to spend a little more for a well-made shoe. If you have plantar fasciitis, you know that cheaply made or poorly designed footwear is asking for trouble. Plus, you want your shoes to last. It’s a safe bet to buy a shoe from a well-known footwear brand. They’ll have put more money and effort into designing their shoes, and their shoes will have a lot more reviewer feedback. However, the best shoes for plantar fascitiis shouldn’t be much more expensive than any other high-quality footwear. Our top picks have a range of prices, and none of them will break the bank.
For more of our footwear recommendations, see the rest of our guides at http://bestwalkingfeet.com/