Best Shoes for Heel Spurs Reviewed
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 shoes if you suffer from heel spurs and related pain.
10 Best Shoes for Heel Spurs
1. 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
These shoes are 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.
- Memory foam cushioning
- TPU arch support
- PU molded heel support for added stability
- Full grain leather
- Durable outsole which will stand the test of time
- No padding on the upper portion of the shoe
- May not be suitable for wide feet
2. 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 of a pair of sneakers made by a top athletic gear manufacturer who made the product in the USA. You will definitely appreciate these shoes as they look good enough to be worn for most casual occasions, and more importantly, offer great cushioning, stability and durability.
- ENCAP midsole technology
- Foam cushioning underfoot and on the collar
- Men’s and women’s styles available
- Breathable mesh and pigskin upper
- Medicare / HCPCS code = A5500, may be eligible for Medicare reimbursement
- Heavier than most running shoes at 13.6oz
- Inner seams can come loose with rigorous training wear
3. Orthofeet Asheville
These slippers are an excellent choice if you have inferior or posterior heel spurs as they offer good orthotic support through the midsole which is contoured 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 shoes 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 the most affordable item 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.
- Soft leather upper with adjustable hook and loop closure
- Seamless inner lining
- Cushioned heel and great arch support
- Shock absorbing midsole
- Good for overpronation
- Synthetic lining will make these very hot for use in summer
- Unsuitable for outside use
4. Skechers Go Walk 4
The insole on these shoes 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.
Mesh Upper that Molds to the Foot
The upper of these shoes is made so as to provide you with a breathable, lightweight shoe that will adapt to your foot shape. There are air mesh side panels with fabric underlays, as well as synthetic overlays on the toe and heel to provide additional durability.
Cost and Value
As with most shoes made by Skechers, these come at an excellent, affordable price, but still offer a lot of value. You will love these shoes if you have average arches 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 for arch support is excellent for average arches
- Adaptable mesh upper
- Responsive 5GEN midsole cushioning
- Synthetic overlays for extended durability
- Seamless inner to eliminate pressure points inside the shoe
- Foam outsole may prove too soft for some surfaces
- Run snug and small, so order ½ size up
5. 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 shoes 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 training shoes 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 with almost 20 available styles
- EVA foam midsole and insole for great cushioning
- Excellent arch support
- Phantom liner distributes stress evenly across the foot
- Medicare/HCPCS code = A5500, may be eligible for Medicare reimbursement
- May be too narrow in the toe area for some users
- Heel lining may show signs of wear sooner than expected
6. Dansko Marta
The toe box of these shoes is softly rounded and provides plenty of space in the forefoot area. Furthermore, the shoes themselves 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 shoes 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 with 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 shoes 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, slightly rounded toe box
- Cushioned leather lined footbed
- Excellent arch support
- Energy returning outsoles
- More difficult to break in than most shoes
- Better suited for narrow feet
7. 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 walking shoes may cost a bit more than you are ready to shell out, but 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 that looks good with anything you wear
- Durable rubber outsole
- EVA midsole offers lightweight impact absorption
- Leather upper could be softer
- True to size in length, but run a little narrow
8. 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 the second most expensive pair of shoes on this list, 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 offer, you will definitely see a decline in pain in your heels.
- Gender specific cushioning
- BioMoGo DNA midsole
- Durable outsole made for road running conditions
- Breathable flexible upper
- Flexible forefoot area
- Soft upper deteriorates more easily
- Some users prefer previous versions of this shoe
9. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18
These shoes are popular because they are probably some of the softest footwear you can currently buy. They feature gel inserts in the front and back that will enable you to walk pain-free, on all types of surfaces.
The midsole in these shoes is made so as to provide you with plenty of cushioning and flexibility, while also helping with each step through an energy returning system. It’s lightweight and durable, while the heel cup in these sneakers provides additional support and stability when walking or running.
Cost and Value
Although these shoes may cost you quite a bit, they are definitely worth it, as they remain one of the most popular sneaker choices when it comes to comfort. They will adapt to your gait and will give you plenty of cushioning through the gel inserts in the front and back.
- Forefoot and Rearfoot GEL inserts
- Heel clutching system technology
- Cushioning and shock absorbing midsole
- Adapt to your natural gait
- Flexible, breathable upper
- Run slightly small, so you may want to order a ½ size up
- Quite a steep price
10. ECCO Track II Low
ECCO shoes are made so as to take the pressure of your forefoot, providing for a wider toe, and a snug fit over the heel and instep. This means that your shoes will provide you with plenty of stability while avoiding 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
ECCO shoes are pricey, and people who decide to purchase these know that they are investing in a pair of high quality shoes that will last two to three times longer than any other pair of shoes. 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, waterproof leather
- Moisture absorbent lining
- Removable insoles
- Airport friendly
- Stylish for all types of occasions
- High price
- Complicated sizing system, with users reporting of shoes running small
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, then 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 to 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 is the one that fits 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 on 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 in a pair of shoes 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. Shoes that hug 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 of your shoes 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 of shoes. 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 a pair of shoes that promote 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 feet such as with high heels or completely flat shoes. Look for shoes that have a heel to toe drop of approximately 10 to 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 shoes 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 shoes, but you will still be able to naturally walk and run thanks to the curve in the sole.
The ideal pair of shoes for heel spurs will do 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 is 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 shoes 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, either 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 fit you less 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 only noticeable with wear but they will still be undamaged, thus eligible for a return.
Finally, our last criterion is that of durability. For shoes 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 pair of shoes. If possible, opt for the most durable pair of shoes 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).
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, they should 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.