Best Shoes for Heel Spurs Reviewed & Rated
Calcaneal or heel spurs occur as a consequence of stress on the rear part of the foot. In this case, a calcium deposit build-up forms on the bottom of the heel bone, creating a protrusion that can be felt through the skin; or alternatively, be detected on an x-ray. There are inferior heel spurs and posterior heel spurs, the former often being the result of plantar fasciitis while the latter will appear at the back of the foot at the insertion of the Achilles tendon, and may require surgical removal. With heel spurs, the only treatment is a lifestyle modification, which includes regular exercise to strengthen the calf muscles, correcting foot alignment, and the choice of correct footwear.
The footwear you use on a daily basis can greatly impact whether you develop heel spurs, as causes include walking gait abnormalities, overpronation, running or jogging on hard surfaces where the rearfoot suffers more stress, poorly fitted shoes that do not have adequate arch support, as well as, excess weight. The most important features you need to look for in your next pair of shoes are shock absorbing soles, a rigid shank, and plenty of heel support. Some professionals will, also, recommend wearing shoes with an elevated heel and a rocker sole, so as to shift some of the pressure off your painful heels. Below are our top ten choices for footwear if you suffer from heel spurs and related pain.
10 Best Shoes for Heel Spurs
1. New Balance MX608v4
This is a company that makes footwear for top athletes, so it is no surprise that one of their most popular models will offer you the best features available. The midsole is made out of injection-molded EVA and offers shock absorption and support, while the footbed is EVA foam.
Padded Collar and Heel Notch
The collar of these features dual-density foam which will prevent irritation in the ankle area and will help protect your posterior heel spurs. The tongue is, also, padded, while the leather upper is flexible enough so as to allow you to comfortably walk in these days in and day out.
Cost and Value
The price of these depends on the size and style you choose, but there are almost twenty styles you can opt for. This means that depending on the colors you choose, you can even dress these up and wear them to the office or for a night out. They are sure to keep you comfortable and pain-free.
- Leather Upper
- EVA Foam Midsole
- Arch Support
- Phantom Liner
- Medicare/HCPCS code = A5500, may be eligible for Medicare reimbursement
- Narrow toe box
2. Rockport Eureka
The latex foam footbed on these shoes provides plenty of cushioning, while shock absorption is provided by the EVA foam midsole, which is not only lightweight but, also, flexible enough to keep you walking for prolonged periods of time. The outsole features a San Crispino base which is extra wide to keep you stable and supported throughout the day.
This is another pair of shoes that is good both for inferior, as well as, for posterior heel spurs. The padded comfort collar will keep you irritation and blister free, while the lace-up design allows you to adjust the fit, as needed. You will, also, love the breathable lining with moisture-wicking properties.
Cost and Value
These are not too bad, in terms of cost, and you will find that they are well-worth the investment. They will serve you well on almost all occasions while providing you with a good fit that will take the pressure of your heels and provide you with plenty of cushioning under the feet, as well as, in the ankle area.
- Latex Foam Footbed
- Moisture-wicking Lining
- Leather Upper
- Rubber Outsole
- EVA Midsole
- Break-in period
- Size runs narrow
3. New Balance 990V4
What makes these shoes so comfortable for running, walking or plain everyday use is the midsole which features the latest technologies to provide you with comfort and stability. The fact that there is not too much flexibility is great if you suffer from heel spurs, while the ENCAP midsole technology uses ACTEVA LITE foam which provides plenty of cushioning and shock absorption. The polyurethane rim offers better durability, while the blown rubber is excellent for road conditions, as it provides a combination of cushioning, traction, and duration.
Dual Density Collar Foam
The collar of these shoes is padded with dual-density foam which will be appreciated by users with posterior heel spurs. In addition, the upper is made out of pigskin and mesh for achieving breathability and comfort, while you can rest assured that your shoes will be kept securely on your feet with the lace keeper addition which will prevent the tongue from moving and the laces from becoming loose.
Cost and Value
This pair of running shoes is quite expensive, which is expected made by a top athletic gear manufacturer who made the product in the U.S.A. You will, definitely, appreciate these, as they look good enough to be worn for most casual occasions, and more importantly, offer great cushioning, stability, and durability.
- ENCAP Midsole
- Foam Cushioning
- Breathable, Mesh and Pigskin Upper
- Medicare / HCPCS code = A5500, may be eligible for Medicare reimbursement
- Multi-color Variety
- Wide toe box
4. Tiosebon Athletic
LIghtweight, these are great at reducing the pressure associated with lifting a heavier shoe. Furthermore, lighter steps may mean lighter impact, as a result.
Breathable, this gear for your feet carries your health in mind; that is, the breathable environment promotes better foot health, overall. Stay cooler during those warmer days.
Cost and Value
These are easy on the budget and a great choice for overall comfort. Lightweight and made with good-quality materials, this is worth adding to your footwear wardrobe.
- MD Outsole
- Latex Arch Insert
- Size runs narrow
5. Orthofeet Asheville
These slippers are an excellent choice if you have inferior or posterior heel spurs, as they offer good orthotic support through the contoured midsole with an anatomical arch support and a cushioned heel that will ensure that you do not suffer any unnecessary stress while walking.
Alleviate Stress on the Feet During Walking
These feature Orthofeet’s Ortho-Cushion™ System which is a lightweight sole with plenty of shock-absorption features that will take the stress off all the joints in your feet, as well as, your knees and hips. They help adjust your gait cycle, so that your feet are in the correct position with each step, and offer a propelling energy that will help you walk, even when you are tired.
Cost and Value
This is one of the most affordable items on this list, but it still offers premium quality and excellent features. You will, simply, love wearing these slippers around the house, and will probably even be tempted to wear them outside. They are, also, an excellent choice if you tend to overpronate or suffer from arthritis and other foot-related ailments.
- Leather Upper
- Seamless, Inner Lining
- Cushioned Heel
- Shock-absorbing Midsole
- Hook-and-Loop Closure
- Better for indoor use
6. Brooks Ghost 10
The midsole of these shoes features Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA technology which combines earth-friendly materials with Brooks DNA and provides you with a highly-responsive, adaptable midsole which will cushion your every step.
Stability Above All Else
The soles of these shoes feature a Stability Crash Pad which is designed to adapt to your gait with each step you take, no matter how your foot lands. In addition, they were made for road conditions which means that you will get plenty of wear out of them, as they can last a long time.
Cost and Value
This is up in the upper range in cost; however, the investment is well worth it if you want maximum comfort and don’t need a pair of shoes to wear to a smart office. With the cushioning and shock absorption, as well as, the stability these offers; you will, definitely, see a decline in pain in your heels.
- Gender-specific Cushioning
- BioMoGo DNA Midsole
- Durable Outsole
- Breathable, Flexible Upper
- Flexible Forefoot Area
- Size runs narrow
7. Dansko Marta
The toe box of these clogs is softly rounded and provides plenty of space in the forefoot area. Furthermore, the clogs feature a cushioned, leather-wrapped footbed that will provide you with excellent arch support, which is exactly what you want if you have heel pain. The adjustable leather strap at the back will allow you to wear them as tight or as loose as you need.
PU Outsoles Made for Long Wear
The outsoles on these are made out of PU and are slightly elevated in the front. What this allows for is to lower the level of stress your heel area suffers from each stress, but it will, also, return more energy; making each next step as easy to take as the previous one.
Cost and Value
As all clogs and mules made by Dansko, these do not come cheap. The leather upper and high-quality soles contribute to the high price, but you will, definitely, be wearing these for a long time. Not only are they super-comfortable, they will last you several years and still look as amazing as on the first day you got them.
- Full Grain Leather Upper
- Roomy Toe Box
- Leather-lined Footbed
- Arch Support
- Energy-returning Outsoles
- Break-in period
- Better suited for narrow feet
8. ECCO Track II Low
ECCOs shoes are made so as to take the pressure off your forefoot, providing for a wider toe, and snug fits over the heel and instep. This means that your shoes will provide you with plenty of stability while avoiding the ball of foot pain. In addition, the removable insole is made so as to cushion your feet with each step, allowing for plenty of air circulation, and lined with antibacterial and odor-resistant materials.
Anatomically Correct Polyurethane Soles
The soles on these shoes are made so as to last 2-3 times longer than traditional shoes. They provide plenty of shock absorption, are flexible, and won’t need long to be broken in. The material is known to retain its shape longer than others, meaning that you get the same support even after wearing these for a long time, as on the first day you tried them on.
Cost and Value
ECCOs are pricey, and people who decide to purchase these know that they are investing in a pair of high-quality footwear that will last two to three times longer than any other gear for your feet. The leather used on these is made in the company’s own tanneries, while this footwear is appropriate for all weather conditions, due to the GORE-TEX membrane that is used in the production process.
- Full Grain Leather Upper
- Moisture-absorbent Lining
- Removable Insoles
- High price
- Size runs small
9. Skechers Go Walk 4
The insole on these offers plenty of cushioning and support, with a tapered midfoot design that hugs your arches and makes sure you walk with a correct gait cycle, taking pressure off of your heels. The footbed is lined with bamboo that provides antibacterial odor control.
The upper of these is made so as to provide you with a lightweight shoe that will surround your foot in a world of sturdy comfort. The suede is gorgeous and will go with just about anything.
Cost and Value
As with most made by Skechers, these come at an excellent, affordable price, but still offer a lot of value. You will love these if you have average arches and if you want something light and breathable with good cushioning and shock-absorption capabilities that will allow you to walk, as much as you need to.
- Tapering Midfoot
- Suede Upper
- Responsive 5GEN MidsoleSynthetic Overlays
- Seamless Inner
- Goga Max Insole
- Size runs snug/small
10. Dansko Loralie
These shoes have a removable footbed that is contoured, so as to provide plenty of arch support; as well as, memory foam cushioning which will keep you comfortable throughout the day. In addition, the molded PU wedge will offer support and stability in the heel area.
Padded Peek Heel
This footwear is an excellent choice if you suffer from posterior heel spurs, as the back of the heel features a padded section that sits where your Achilles meets your heel bone. In addition, the whole interior of the shoe is lined with a soft textile for all-day comfort.
Cost and Value
As with most Dansko shoes, you will have to pay extra to receive the top quality they provide, but it will prove to be a great investment. The removable footbed and the fact that these shoes will fit your custom orthotics is a big plus, as is their design that can be worn both on formal and more casual occasions.
- Leather Upper
- Accommodates Orthotics
- Contoured, PU Footbed
- Memory Foam Cushioning
- Tight toe box
So, there it is; our top ten choices for footwear if you suffer from heel spurs, or just want to prevent them from occurring. Always remember, it is crucial that you choose footwear that fits you well, and that you feel comfortable walking in them. Arch support and cushioning are very important, but so is a padded collar to keep your ankles from irritation. If you can, splurge for a pair of shoes that will have better shock-absorbing properties and that will fit you best. It’s always an excellent idea to order shoes in several sizes than return the ones that don’t suit you, as in this way you can, actually, make sure you are getting exactly what you need.
If there is any additional information that you may need, feel free to browse our criteria for evaluation section, as well as, read up on the answers to our frequently asked questions; both of which will prove to be a great help in choosing the best shoes for you if you have heel spurs.
Criteria for Evaluating the Best Shoes for Heel Spurs
The best pair of shoes are the ones that fit well. This is, especially, true if you happen to suffer from a condition that is affecting your everyday life, such as heel spurs which can cause not just pain and inflammation in your feet but can lead to more serious damage and chronic pain. These shells of calcium build up on the underside of the heel bone will cut into the fatty part of your foot, and will cause the tissue to be damaged and inflamed. The reason behind this is, usually, insufficient support in the foot; and heel spurs are, most often, the result of plantar fasciitis. Luckily, the problem can usually be solved without medication or surgery, and a well-fitted pair of shoes or high-quality inserts can take care of the problem and offer you some much-needed relief. In compiling our list of top ten shoes for heel spurs, there were a few criteria that we kept to, in order to ensure that the chosen footwear would be suitable for wear by those individuals who suffer from this condition.
The most important thing to look for, if you suffer from heel spurs (or want to prevent them), is the level of support this footwear offers for your specific foot type. With the correct support, you can make sure that your feet are in the right position throughout the day, and that no unnecessary stress is put on one part of the foot. The most important support you want to have in your next pair of shoes is arch support. Footwear that hugs your arches in the correct way can make a difference between footwear you can walk miles in, and a pair that will start hurting your feet just minutes into wearing them.
The arch of your foot is the curved lower part of your foot that starts at the ball of the foot and extends to the heel on the inner side of the foot. As everyone’s feet are different, there is a distinction between low, normal, and high arches. Different types of arches will require various levels of support, in order to make walking as comfortable as possible; but, also, to ensure proper alignment and no unnecessary shock on the joints in your body, including the ankles, knees, hips, and back.
The insoles and midsoles are in charge of hugging and supporting your feet in the right way. The midsole is the portion which needs to provide a stable but flexible surface that absorbs shock as you walk, while the insole gives additional cushioning. When purchasing shoes when you suffer from heel spur related pain, you need to get a pair of shoes that will give you enough support so that your fascia is not under pressure, which will stop your body from producing additional calcium buildup to protect the arch. Always check the kinds of arches a particular shoe was made for (running shoes are excellent because they will always state the type of foot they are most suitable for), or try to get shoes with a high level of arch support, or ones that have removable insoles and can fit your own custom orthotics.
In addition to this, you will want to have ample heel support in your next pair. This will ensure that your heels are closely hugged, without any unnecessary pressure on the bottom or at the back of the heel, and will help in the proper placement of your feet when walking, standing, and running.
Gait Cycle Control
A good option to have in your next pair of shoes is gait cycle control. It is probable that your heel spurs could be a result of incorrect foot placement when walking, and the correction of your gait could not only get rid of your heel spurs but it can have a positive effect on your overall health.
You will want to get footwear that promotes a natural gait cycle. This includes the elimination of overpronation and underpronation, which can bring your ankles out of alignment, putting unnecessary stress on the inner or outer part of your feet, toes, and affect your whole body. Most shoes, made for low arches, will be a good option if you tend to overpronate (walk putting too much pressure on the inside of your feet), while shoes for underpronation will have reinforced portions on the outside section of each shoe.
A slightly elevated rounded heel is, also, an excellent idea, as this can help with the distribution of stress on the whole foot, instead of allowing it to affect just one part of the foot, such as with high heels or completely flat shoes. Look for shoes that have a heel-to-toe drop of approximately 10-30 millimeters, as this is the best heel height for optimum comfort.
This is a factor that is closely connected to the support you get from your shoes. Sometimes, heel spurs can occur from wearing shoes which are too flexible, which means that, with your next pair of footwear, you need to go in a different direction. What you want is more support, which will result in a more rigid sole that won’t let your feet move as much. This means that you need your soles to be of a certain shape so that walking and running are even possible. That’s why the ideal pair of shoes for heel spurs will have a rocker toe. This means that when looking at the footwear sideways, it will have a raised toe that does not touch the surface below. Once pushed down, the whole shoe will shift forwards. How this translates to your walking and running is that your feet will be fully supported and in the correct position when wearing this type of footwear, but you will still be able to naturally walk and run, thanks to the curve in the sole.
The ideal pair does well at absorbing shock from walking or running, regardless of your weight, pronation, or type of gait cycle. The shock-absorbing properties of any shoe are located in the midsole; and are, most usually, there; thanks to the materials used, such as ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) which comes in various densities, thus levels of firmness. The softer the midsole, the more shock absorption it will provide; however, it will wear down faster. That’s why, with conditions such as heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and hallux rigidus, a firmer midsole is preferred, as it will provide more stability and support. Firmer shoes will, also, be heavier than those with a lower density midsole, which can, also, be an important factor for some users who are prone to experiencing energy loss with prolonged walking or standing.
In order to make up for the more firm midsoles and more rigid soles of the shoe, your next pair of footwear that you purchase for wearing with heel spurs will have to provide you with ample cushioning inside the shoe. The best materials to look for are, of course, gel, silicone, and memory foam; all of which will provide plenty of softness you will appreciate when walking long distances, or on hard surfaces. Some make use of softer lining materials, such as leather or suede, while others will have high-tech cushioning solutions, such as air cushioning. It is important that the pair of shoes you choose are the right ones for you. What you can do to ensure you get the right kind of cushioning is to take a look at your most comfortable footwear, and look at where they provide you with softness and where they could do with more. All products on this list include some level of cushioning, either on the full length of the foot or in the forefoot and/or rearfoot area. With the wide choice of shoes on the market, you can make sure you get a pair that will serve you just the way you need it to.
Upper Material and Padding
In order for a pair of shoes to be comfortable enough for all-day wear, you need to make sure the upper fits you, just as well as the bottom. Otherwise, an ill-fitting upper can, actually, make you alter your style of walking, which may put too much pressure on certain parts of your feet. Choose a pair of shoes that will fit you well in width, especially across the toe box. If your toes are able to spread out comfortably inside the shoes, this will ensure that you can use this part of your foot completely, relieving some of the pressure you would, otherwise, put on your heels. It is, also, a good idea to get a pair of shoes with a flexible upper, made of mesh, leather, or suede. A customized fit can be of great benefit in ensuring that your shoes are secure across the whole of your feet while having padding can be crucial, especially if you suffer from posterior heel spurs. You can look for shoes with a padded collar, as these are less likely to cut into your Achilles tendon, putting pressure on the sensitive back area of your heel.
If there is, simply, one piece of criteria that need to be met when choosing your next pair of footwear, it would have to be a good fit. Never, ever, wear shoes that do not fit you correctly. Look closely at sizing charts before you order online, and take the time to read the reviews on how a pair of shoes will, actually, fit (some will run large, while others will prove to be smaller than other shoes labeled to be the same size). If you can, visit a brick and mortar store and be fitted for a shoe before ordering online. If this is not an option, you can order two or three sizes; then, return the ones that don’t fit well. It is, also, a good idea to wear your shoes around the house for a bit before taking them outside. This way, you can make sure that there aren’t any fit issues that are, otherwise, not only noticeable with wear but they will still be undamaged; thus, still eligible for a return.
Also, choose your fit according to you; that is, listen to your feet. They will, gladly, let you know if something is quite not right, or if the fit happens to be just perfect. Some uppers will stretch more than others (e.g. leather versus knit), and this is something to consider, as well. It can become frustrating to find the ‘perfect’ fit, as it were, only to lose the glorious fitting via a stretched-out upper. So, pay attention to the material of the upper when mulling over the concepts of the fit, as this will give you a clearer idea of what to expect in the long-term.
Finally, our last criterion is that of durability. For the footwear which you purchase when you want to address your heel spurs or plantar fasciitis, it is important to get a pair that will serve you well for a longer period of time. All footwear will lose shape and become less supportive with wear, so it is crucial to make sure you have the right amount of arch support and cushioning, as long as you wear your chosen footwear. If possible, opt for the most durable pair on the market. Although these may be more expensive when you buy them, they are, more likely, to serve you a long time; eliminating the need to buy a new pair of footwear every few months. You can, also, prolong the lifespan of your shoes by using them in appropriate conditions, taking the time to care for them in the correct way, as well as, performing regular maintenance, such as replacing worn-out insoles every once in a while (podiatrists suggest you replace your insoles once every three months).
Living with Heel Spurs
No one desires to live with pain, such as found in relation to heel spurs. When you are hurting and feeling miserable from the pain, the days seem to become longer, and they never do in a good way. Furthermore, the footwear you wear can and will determine the difference between pain management and recovery, and the day spent in sometimes agony.
The good news is that we gathered as much information as possible; in order to give you the most up-to-date and relevant sources available. In this, we desire that the world is pain-free. But, until it is, we will do our part to help the best we can.
Choosing the gear for your feet, by following the recommendations in this article, you will be well on your way to overcoming the pain. And as always, consult your physician and ask questions. There is no substitute for professional, medical advice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is surgery the only way to treat heel spurs?
A: If you are not sure whether you have heel spurs, it is best to consult with your doctor who will do a thorough examination, including an X-Ray to make the correct diagnosis. If you, indeed, have developed a heel spur, your doctor can prescribe different treatments, depending on how severe your condition is, as well as, other factors including your weight, age, and physical fitness. While most heel spurs can be treated with non-invasive methods, it is possible that you will be prescribed medication or that you will need a surgical intervention.
Q: What does a perfect pair of shoes for heel spurs include?
A: If you have heel spurs, your perfect pair of shoes will offer plenty of support in the arch and heel area, will be well cushioned, will fit perfectly, and will have a harder sole with a rocker bottom to ensure the correct foot position, pronation, and gait cycle.
Q: Can I wear regular shoes / running sneakers / high heels if I have heel spurs?
A: Unless your shoes of choice match the description above, you would be best advised to put them away and opt, instead, for a pair of shoes that is appropriate for your condition. Most running shoes are too soft and flexible for people who have heel spurs (some even so far to say that they are often the cause of heel spurs), high heels are out of the question, while other flat shoes may be too narrow or offer too little cushioning and shock absorption to be considered appropriate footwear.
Q: I need to look a certain way at my workplace / at a special occasion. What type of formal shoes should I look for?
A: If you work at a corporate job, chances are, you can’t go to work wearing sneakers. A good idea is to wear the most comfortable shoes possible for your commute, then change into more appropriate footwear once you are at your job/the event you are attending. Your formal pair of shoes should provide plenty of support, be cushioned, fit well, have plenty of room in the toe area, and not put too much stress on any part of your feet. It could, also, be a good idea to invest in a pair of inserts that are, specifically, designed for heel spurs which can make your shoes more comfortable and less likely to cause any further damage to your feet.