Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis Reviewed for Comfort
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain which occurs when the band connecting the heel bone to the toes becomes inflamed, causing a stabbing pain that is most pronounced in the morning, or after long periods of sitting. Although there are several factors that can contribute to the development such as age, weight, certain types of exercise or foot mechanics (flat feet, high arches, irregular walking patterns), there’s not one singular cause for the disease. Luckily, the condition can easily be treated with rest, ice, elevation, as well as with the correct choice of footwear.
Shoes that you wear can have a big influence on how your feet are supported and cushioned during all your movement, and you will find that the right pair of shoes can greatly help with treating the symptoms. These shoes need to be supportive with a low to moderate heel, good arch support and must have good shock absorbing properties. Furthermore, it is important that the entire shoe fits well, and allows for your foot to be in a natural position while walking so that weight is evenly distributed throughout the foot. Additionally, it is important to be diligent about purchasing new shoes, seeing that worn out shoes that have lost their shock absorbing and cushioning properties can actually do more damage than good.
- New Balance 990v4
- Cushioning Midsole
- Leather and Mesh Upper
- Orthofeet Gramercy
- Air Cushioned Heel
- Removable Insole
- Footminders Baltra
- Water Friendly
- Anatomically Molded
This list of the 10 best shoes includes a wide variety of styles, no matter your needs and preferences. From supportive athletic shoes to dress shoes, sandals to closed clogs, you’re bound to find the perfect pair of footwear on this list. Including styles by New Balance, ASICS, Orthofeet, Brooks, Vionic and other manufacturers, these shoes have been chosen for the support and quality they offer. If you find that you need even more information about the best way to pick out shoes, make sure to read the Criteria for Evaluation, as well as the Frequently Asked Questions sections, both of which include useful information that will help you make the best possible choice.
10 Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
1. New Balance 990v4
The New Balance 990v4 uses some of the latest technology to provide a supportive and cushioning midsole, made out of lightweight and durable ACTEVA LITE foam which works especially well for people who tend to underpronate or have flat feet. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you will find that these shoes can help prevent heel, arch, shin, and knee pain while providing you with plenty of cushioning and comfort.
Great for All Types of Activities
Although originally intended as running shoes, the New Balance 990v4 are often worn as everyday shoes thanks to their versatile design. The leather and mesh upper is breathable, the collar is padded with dual density foam, and the 12mm drop puts your feet in a favorable position for all-day wear. The blown rubber sole works excellent on all types of terrain, regardless of whether you’re wearing these to run, or just as a regular everyday shoe.
Cost and Value
These shoes rank average to high on this list, depending on the color you choose. Offering top quality craftsmanship, high levels of comfort and excellent arch support, you will find that these are a great choice, if you need a pair of stable and supportive footwear. Thanks to their iconic style, you can even wear these sneakers as a fashion statement, especially seeing that they come in a wide variety of stylish colors.
- ENCAP Midsole
- Blown Rubber Outsole
- Leather and Mesh Upper
- Padded Collar
- Medicare Eligible
- High Price
- Runs Narrow
2. Orthofeet Gramercy
The removable insoles in these shoes feature anatomically correct support and cushioning, ensuring that your feet are properly aligned and that the stress on your heel and joints is lessened due to the cushioning it gives. In addition, they use a system which helps propel the foot forward so that you can easily walk even after hours on your feet.
In addition to having the option to remove the insoles and substitute them with your own custom orthotics, these shoes have two sets of removable spacers which will give you the option of further customizing the fit of these shoes. You will find that this works excellent in combination with the soft leather, non-binding upper which eliminates pressure points for all-day comfortable wear.
Cost and Value
These shoes rank slightly above average compared to the other items on this list, but if you’re looking for a versatile pair of shoes to help you deal with your plantar fasciitis, these just may be the perfect pair. The air cushions on the inside of the shoe are an additional advantage over other models on this list, seeing that they ensure proper heel protection and cushioning that is anatomically correct.
- Seam-free Lining
- Air Cushioned Heel Pockets
- Non-binding leather upper
- Ortho-Comfort insoles
- Adjustable fit
- Run Small
- Slippery on Wet Surfaces
3. Footminders Baltra
These sandals feature an anatomically correct sole which will adapt to the foot, providing excellent arch support. This means that they’re a great option for those with flat feet, but can also be worn by people who just want a comfortable pair of flip-flops. The cushioning and shock absorbing properties of the EVA sole are especially beneficial.
Enhanced Lateral Stability
The Footminders BALTRA sandals feature a deep heel cup that helps properly align the foot, promoting better balance and walking motion. This is a feature which is especially important seeing that it ensures you are walking in the right way, putting equal weight on the entire foot, and aren’t putting too much stress on any joint in the body.
Cost and Value
The cost of the Footminders BALTRA Orthotic Sandal is perfect for the amount of support it gives the foot. Ranking lowest on this list when it comes to price, this pair of sandals is a great choice for the summer months. It looks great on, like a normal sandal, but works hard to keep you safe and pain-free. It is a great everyday shoe to help get you back to walking normally.
- Deep Heel Cup
- Comfortable Upper
- Great Arch Support
- Excellent for Beach Use
- No Half Sizes
- Slightly Heavy
4. Brooks Addiction Walker
The midsole in these walking shoes uses advanced technology to provide you with a fit that offers plenty of cushioning, shock absorption, and supports your arches and properly aligns your foot in order to prevent overpronation that can result in pain in the joints or foot. The Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar is a feature which will ensure that your foot is correctly placed through every phase of your gait cycle.
Roomy Toe Box
In addition to being a good choice to all problems related to the arch of the foot (flat feet, fallen arches, etc.), the Addiction Walker also provides a roomy toe box which means that they’re a great option if you suffer from bunion pain, hammer toes, or have a wide foot that needs plenty of room to allow for the proper placement of the forefoot while walking.
Cost and Value
These shoes rank average on this list when it comes to price, and you will be happy to find that they are one of the favorite styles of people who also suffer from plantar fasciitis and require a supportive, motion control shoe that prevents pain and enables long hours of walking or standing. In addition, these shoes are sturdy, which means that they will put up with plenty of use in addition to being a great choice for people who are overweight and need a strong supportive shoe.
- BioMoGo Midsole Technology
- Diagonal Rollbar
- Ensures Proper Alignment
- Great for Flat Feet and Overpronation
- Roomy Toe Box
- Short Laces
- Quickly Loses Traction
5. ASICS GEL-Kayano 25
Although the most important aspect of the shoe may be located underfoot, it’s important that the upper is equally comfortable and supportive. The GEL-Kayano 25 is made with a stretch mesh upper with supportive reinforcements, and a seamless internal fit system that perfectly molds to the foot. The exoskeletal heel clutching system ensures that your foot is in the optimal position to minimize the pressure put on your arches.
The cushioning found in the GEL-Kayano 25 is made with the newest Flytefoam - Flytefoam Lyte in the back that’s 55% lighter than standard EVA, while providing excellent energy rebound, and a Flytefoam Propel forefoot that is a durable shock absorbing system that’ll help you go further and longer.
Cost and Value
The ASICS GEL-Kayano 25 is an averagely price pair of running shoes, specially designed for those who tend to heavily overpronate - that means that in addition to having flat feet or low arches, their foot is not doing well with natural cushioning. With plenty of guidance features, this shoe will make you walk with proper alignment, which will take some of the stress off your arch, and will reduce or even eliminate the pain that you are experiencing.
New Flytefoam Cushioning
Stretch Mesh Upper
May Rub at Ankles
6. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18
These shoes feature Brooks’ bio-degradable foam midsole which provides excellent arch support, and it is combined with the Progressive Diagonal Rollbar which prevents overpronation and properly aligns the foot so as to ensure that the tendons in the arch do a good job at cushioning each of your steps. The insole is plush, while the roomy toe box is a great addition for anyone with wide feet.
Light and Flexible Upper
These shoes are very comfortable out of the box thanks to the mesh upper which is stretchy enough to accommodate any foot shape, but still supportive enough to provide a stable fit. A 3D Fit Print and TPU saddle pull from the heel, locking it in for a fit that won’t allow for movement inside the shoe. Available in 18 fun colors, you’ll definitely find a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18 that goes perfectly with your favorite outfits.
Cost and Value
This is a pair of running shoes that ranks average on this list when it comes to price, and considering the fact that they are a flagship footwear item, this means that you’re getting all the quality at just a fraction of the price you would be paying with other manufacturers. They are an excellent go-to shoe, especially if you’re a runner or athletically inclined person who happens to suffer from plantar fasciitis or has low arches.
- Breathable Mesh Upper
- Stable Midfoot Support
- Roomy Toe Box
- Great Traction
- Excessive Heel Drop at 12mm
- Not Suitable for Speed Work
7. Orthofeet Avery
The Avery was designed to provide you with the best possible cushioning - the anatomical arch support will ensure that your feet don’t have to work overtime, preventing cramping and pain, and the multiple layers of cushioning accommodate better shock absorption in the heel area for an improved walking and standing experience.
In addition to its amazing support under the foot, the Avery wraps the entire foot in a padded, seamless inner that’s made to reduce pressure points and prevent any rubbing. The insole is removable, which means that you can even use it with your own custom orthotics, and it’s available in several widths, all of which promote a healthy, constraint-free environment for your feet.
Cost and Value
With a cost that’s just slightly above average, the Orthofeet Avery is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a smart looking pair of footwear that will be so comfy you will easily make it through the day wearing it. It promotes foot health, regardless of whether you work a desk job, have to stand or walk throughout the day. You’ll even be able to wear this shoe at formal events, which will easily make it your go to pair of footwear that looks and performs great.
Easy Lacing System
Anatomical Arch Support
Limited Color Options
8. Vionic Noble Laurie
The midsole on these shoes is made out of EVA foam which absorbs shock and offers excellent support, both in the arch, as well as in the forefoot and heel sections. The deep heel cup helps with proper foot alignment, while the contoured forefoot prevents slipping and prevents hammer toes and metatarsal pain.
Stylish Leather Upper
These sandals come in four very stylish colors with small buckles that enhance the style without being too much. Easy to maintain, these shoes can be cleaned with just a dry cotton cloth. Seeing that there is not much material in the upper, these will require a minimal break-in time, however, it is advised that you wear them for a few hours around the house before going out in them.
Cost and Value
These shoes cost a little bit below average when compared to the other items on this list. Designed to be stylish and supportive, while still allowing for some heel height, these shoes are unique in their focus on looks that doesn’t sacrifice comfort.
- Contoured Forefoot
- EVA Midsole
- Deep Heel Cup
- Adjustable Straps
- Prevents Overpronation
- Unsuitable fro Bunion Pain
- Can Develop Odors
9. Alegria Pesca
The outsole of the Pesca is made with polyurethane in a shape that’s unique to this company. With a slight rocker bottom, the outsole is flat and stable, and promotes proper alignment, preventing you from overpronating or putting too much pressure on the inside portion of your feet. In the long run, this will make walking much easier, helping minimize the pain you are experiencing on a daily basis.
As a pair of sandals that are comfort oriented, the Alegria Pesca gives plenty of small improvements that contribute to your general foot health. The upper is made from a rich, soft leather, while the inner also features a leather lining. The closure is a disguised hook and loop strap that’ll allow for a customized fit, and the footbed is made with suede, and is removable, replaceable, and can even be substituted with your own custom orthotics.
Cost and Value
With a price that’s slightly higher than the average for this list, the Alegria Pesca is one of the top options you can get when it comes to summer sandals. It comes in three colors, all of which are easy to match, and is a durable pair of footwear that you’ll easily wear for years to come. The removable and replaceable footbed is a huge pro, one that’s sure to greatly extend the lifespan of your sandal.
Leather Upper and Lining
Removable and Replaceable Footbed
Promotes Proper Alignment
Hook and Loop Closure
No Half Sizes
10. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20
One of the reasons ASICS shoes are so popular is the GEL cushioning they use in most of their footwear. The GEL-Nimbus 20 is no different, featuring pouches of gel that absorb shock during all levels of the gait cycle. Combined with a Flytefoam midsole, you get a cushioned, responsive running shoe that gives the perfect amount of energy return, and doesn’t pack like traditional foam materials.
Guidance Trusstic System
Placed in the outsole of the shoe, the Guidance Trusstic System is a line located at the bottom of your shoes that ensures that all your steps are properly aligned. Preventing the shoe from bending in areas which would allow you to walk/run out of alignment, and allowing it to flex in places that need to be more flexible, it greatly contributes to your running experience - especially if you’re a beginner who’s just starting out.
Cost and Value
Ranking high on this list when it comes to price, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 20 may not be for everyone’s budget. It’s an excellent neutral running shoe you may even enjoy wearing as an everyday pair of footwear, and it’s comfortable throughout, thanks to the number of high end technologies used in the design and manufacturing process.
Highly Adaptable Stretch Upper
Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Cushioning
Moisture Wicking Sockliner
So there we go, our choice of the fifteen best pairs of shoes available for purchase that are sure to help you if you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis. No matter which of these models you opt for, make sure you are getting a pair of footwear that fits your feet well, does not squeeze or pinch, and provides adequate arch support that is comfortable for prolonged wear.
To learn more about what to look for in a pair of shoes if you want to relieve heel pain, make sure to read the Criteria for Evaluation and Frequently Asked Questions sections, as this is where we go a little bit more in depth when it comes to the best features you can get for your condition.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a disease that is caused by repetitive strain injury to the ligament which connects the heel bone with the toes. Although it’s not directly connected to flat feet or low arches, and can just as easily occur in feet with high arches, it is connected to the insufficient support given to the foot by the arch. As this curved part at the bottom of the foot is in charge of contracting and expanding with every step in order to absorb the shock of the impact of the foot with the ground. When the arch of the foot is not doing an adequate job – either because of strain, physical limitation or too much weight, it occurs and is manifested through a recognizable pain that occurs first thing in the morning, or after long periods of standing.
A perfect pair of shoes will have a good arch support that hugs the arches of the foot and aids its role in the gait cycle. Furthermore, an anatomical arch in a pair of shoes will help improve the alignment of the entire foot, preventing overpronation (rolling of the feet inwards) or underpronation (rolling of the feet outwards), thus minimizing further complications and pain. This support to the arch area and plantar fascia can also be achieved by using custom orthotics which further improve the fit of any shoe, conforming to your foot so as to avoid any discomfort.
A Rigid Midsole
When looking for a shoe to help with your pain, you want a midsole designed to prevent you from injuring or stretching your plantar fascia anymore than it’s already been damaged. The midsole provides support directly to that area so it is an important part of looking for the best shoe. A weak platform means instability that will irritate the area and make any injuries worse, or more painful. It will also hinder any efforts of treatment or healing.
Heel support is important because you don’t want your foot rolling to one side or the other. Not having a stable stride can cause plantar fasciitis or can prevent the healing of your already developed issue. When you aren’t walking the correct way with good heel support, you put pressure on parts of your foot that don’t need it. Remember, it occurs where the plantar fascia ligament attaches to the heel. The heel is the area that will be affected most, and that will need a high amount of consideration in the design of the shoe. This means support of this area will give perhaps the best results of any other area.
An Ergonomic Sole / Insole
When you have plantar fasciitis the best thing for you is a shoe that’s made for comfort. That’s where ergonomic soles come in. They are going to take stress off your joints and soften the impact of each step. When looking for a shoe to help with pain, this is a feature that should be on your list. Look for footwear that is advertised as absorbing shock or impact. An ergonomic sole can resist odor and bacteria and keeps your feet from getting tired by increasing blood circulation.
Be sure to always consider custom orthotics and other inserts to get the most of your footwear. A bit of cushioning will be great, but there are some insoles that provide much more than that. Insoles can be made for support, and can even be 1/2 units for direct heel or forefoot support. This gives them a diverse use and makes custom inserts perfect. Make sure you look around as a bad insert can be just as bad as no support at all. Superfeet has some great orthotics, and we highly recommend checking them out.
Note: Remember that a shoe can only do so much. Do your part and stretch properly. Make sure to read our guide for dealing with heel pain, and don’t hesitate to see a doctor if you’re unsure of what is causing your heel pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is plantar fasciitis?
A: It is is when the tissue connecting your toes to your heel called the plantar fascia tears. It’s the whole support on your arch and if it gets stretched the small tears that occur can cause a lot of pain.
Q: How does it occur?
A: Really you can stretch the ligament doing anything. It can be caused by gaining weight, starting to run a lot more, or standing for long periods of time.
Q: How will shoes give me relief?
A: A shoe with a good arch support and a stabilizing build will help take the pressure off your plantar fascia. When this is injured you will feel pain if you aren’t doing something to support it.
Q: How long does it take for the heel pain to go away?
A: Each person is different, but with the right shoes it can dissipate in a few days. It’s soft tissue damage, so it needs time to heal.
Q: What shoe inserts are good?
A: You want to ideally get shoes that already have good arch support and you won’t need inserts. If you do need extra support inserts with extra cushioning will be ideal you want them to take the shock off your foot.
Q: Do I need ortho-inserts to cushion my foot?
A: It depends on the severity of your pain, but usually you can get away with just finding one of these shoes to take the pressure off.
Q: Do I need custom orthotics to cure it?
A: You don’t need custom shoes made in order to cure it. You only need shoes with good arch support for your foot.