If you suffer from plantar fasciitis pain, one of the best ways to prevent additional damage is by investing in high-quality plantar fasciitis shoes. The best shoes provide the support you need and absorb shock to your foot from walking or running. We talk about some of your best options in this post, including dress shoes, running shoes, and sandals. We have a mix of budget-friendly, as well as upgraded options.
Do I need plantar fasciitis shoes?
Plantar fasciitis occurs after damage to the plantar fascia in your feet. This fascia is a thick band of tissue that connects the ball of your foot with your heel. It supports the arch of your foot, providing stability to the whole foot. When this tissue is ton, strained, or irritated, it can lead to plantar fasciitis.
Most people with this condition first realize it when they experience moderate to severe foot pain in the morning. Generally, it diminishes over the day as your foot stretches out. Other symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Stiffness and soreness in the foot, especially in the heel and arch
- Burning or tenderness in the sole of your foot
- Difficulty going up and down stairs
- Tight calf muscles
Treatments for plantar fasciitis start with moderate, at-home stretching and strengthening routines. During pain flare-ups, you can also ice your feet to control swelling. Plantar fasciitis shoes or other accessories (discussed below) won’t cure your plantar fasciitis pain, but they can help you avoid further damage. With an appropriate stretching/strengthening routine and the right shoes, most people can recover fully from mild plantar fasciitis symptoms.
Moderate cases benefit from these practices, as well as additional orthotics and focused physical therapy. For severe cases, discuss surgical or interventional treatments with your doctor.
What are the best shoes for plantar fasciitis?
Always talk to your doctor before diagnosing your own plantar fasciitis. They can diagnose symptoms and ensure you don’t have any severe damage that could require physical therapy. Once you’re cleared by your doctor, there’s a few things to look for in the best shoes.
Look for plantar fasciitis shoes that have all or most of the following:
- Appropriate arch support
- A broad heel base to absorb shock
- Lighter designs, as you’ll want to avoid heavy shoes
- Removable insoles
- Back straps or support
- Deep heel cup
- Appropriately wide toe boxes
- Contoured and cushioned footbeds
- Flats, or heels of no more than two to three inches (avoid high heel shoes or stilettos)
- Rocking motion technology to reduce heel stress
Overall, you want to find a well-made shoe that provides good support to your arches and footbeds. The best shoes are made from lightweight materials. They have removable insoles so you can insert custom orthotics, if needed. And, if you’re looking at clogs or sandals, they have a back strap or support. This stops your foot from gripping to keep your shoe in place.
Find what works for you
The best shoes for plantar fasciitis, though, are shoes that really work for you. Others may rave about a certain shoe, but you won’t have the same right fit.
We encourage you to go to the store and try these on to get a proper fit. Or, if you’re shopping online, make sure there’s an easy way to return shoes if they don’t fit right. Depending on your job and situation, you may need dress shoes or heels. If you’re exercising (which is always important!), make sure to find a running or walking shoe that provides the right kind of support.
We think these are the best shoes for plantar fasciitis pain in 2018, separated by category. You may need to get a few different pairs depending on your lifestyle. At a minimum, we recommend one solid everyday support shoe and an exercise shoe.
(Note: PainDoctor.com does not endorse, nor do we make any money off the sale of these products. This information is provided for the benefit of patients based on patient reviews. Always ask your doctor if you have questions. Prices shown are at the date of the post’s publish date, and may differ.)
5 of the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis
Running or walking shoes are so important, as your feet may experience the most trauma while walking or running on hard surfaces. Good running shoe stores can perform detailed analyses of your walking and running gait for free. They can also accurately measure your feet for the best fit. If you’re planning to invest in a good shoe, it’s a great idea to go into a store to have this diagnostic done.
Some of the your best options for plantar fasciitis running shoes include the following. We’ve included both men’s and women’s running shoes.
Why you should consider these shoes: These shoes are a reasonable price and stylish. They’re made by Vionic, one of the leading makers of plantar fasciitis shoes.
Features: Rubber soles, arch support, both regular and wide-size options, multiple color options, and removable liners
What users say: “I am a healthcare professional. I was wearing rubber clogs to work. When I developed plantar fasciitis in my left heel, I switched to these and have noticed significant improvement in my heel pain.”
Why you should consider these shoes: These shoes provide premium orthotic support, engineered to help with a variety of foot pain conditions. They’re designed by OrthoFeet, another leading maker of plantar fasciitis shoes.
Features: Padded foam interior for people with sensitive feet, lightweight sole, and air cushioning system
What users say: “Omg, I love these shoes! I have had plantar fasciitis for over a year and have tried all sorts of insoles with limited relief. When these shoes first arrived my initial reaction was that they wouldn’t be anything different and I had just wasted my money. Let me tell you, these are magic shoes! I had no pain within a short period of time and was back to running around again! Magic shoes man, magic shoes!”
Why you should consider these shoes: Saucony creates some of the most reliable running shoes for plantar fasciitis pain. Their shoes are well-constructed and offered at affordable prices.
Features: Lightweight, synthetic materials, sole-based cushioning and stability system, and available in multiple fun colors
What users say: “I rarely write a review but it was a must for these AMAZING shoes. I have been suffering with severe plantar fasciitis pain for 6 months and have tried multiple products. After researching shoes for plantar fasciitis I chose these based on reviews and style compared other brands. I could not be happier! After day one I had 50% less pain, day 2 75% less pain, and day 3 90% less pain, no burning, and no more limping! I’m ordering another pair to have on hand when these wear out so I can remain pain free! Miracle shoes!”
Price: Depends on style and size, typically ~$60
Why you should consider these shoes: Gravity Defyer creates reliable shoes with innovative designs. Their patented shock absorption and stability features can help relieve your pain.
Features: Lightweight, shock absorbing design, increased mid-foot stability, reinforced deep heel cup, wide toe box
What users say: “I’m on my second pair they are great. I had a hard to walking after 5 back surgeries these shoes make it easier my back and legs don’t hurt as bad and I’m walking between 3 and 6 miles a day and loving every minute of it.”
Why you should consider these shoes: If you’re suffering from severe amounts of pain, and other shoes haven’t helped, many people with plantar fasciitis swear by Z-CoiL shoes. They look strange but include a patented heel spring that reduces 50% impact to your feet. Women shoes are shown here, but the brand sells many options.
Features: Patented heel spring, wide toe box, rocker bottom sole, forefront cushioning shields.
What users say: “Within a week, I was walking almost pain free, and can now jog again. My pain was so severe I couldn’t walk down steps without assistance. These shoes have done the paces, I have two dogs and we walk about five miles a day on some pretty steep hills, and I can now keep up without problems or pain. I tend to slam down pretty hard on my heels when I walk, these shoes absorb the shock. Just can’t say enough good about these shoes, I am a new active person again!”
Price: Varies depending on style, $185 to $270
Honorable mentions for plantar fasciitis running shoes
Don’t like what you see here? You can also check out:
- Xelero Summit Men’s Comfort Hiking Shoe With Leather Lace-Ups
- Vionic Women’s Action Emerald Lace-Ups
- Vionic Women’s Agile Adley Lace Up
5 everyday plantar fasciitis shoes
In addition to activities, you sometimes just need shoes that you can slip on to run errands. We’ve included some stylish examples of shoes below that can support your feet, but are easy to wear.
Why you should consider these shoes: These easy-to-wear clogs carry the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association.
Features: Roomy toe-box, superior shock absorption and flexibility, multiple styles, and easy to slip on
From Health.com: “People with plantar fasciitis should avoid wearing a heavy shoe. When you step down on a heavy shoe, the amount of force you’re putting on your foot is greater. The heels of these classic clogs from Dansko are made from polyethylene, not wood, so they won’t weigh down your feet.”
Why you should consider these shoes: These hand-sewn moccasin style shoes are long-lasting and proceeds benefit their charitable programs. Their EverFit technology is designed to deliver anatomically contoured comfort to your whole foot.
Features: Naturally weather-resistant, moisture-wicking, with EverFit anatomically contoured footbed, multiple colors and styles
What users say: “Shoes seldom fit me correctly. I’ve had two surgeries on my right foot resulting in difficulty finding a decent shoe. This is that shoe. Will not bother with anything else. This large toe box is perfection.”
Why you should consider these shoes: Cute and easy to wear with most outfits, these plantar fasciitis shoes are reasonably-priced and made by one of the leading PF shoe brands.
Features: Advanced Motion System technology, podiatrist designed orthotics, lightweight support, multiple fun colors
What users say: “These are the first pair of Vionics that I’ve tried and they feel like heaven, even with a job where I am on my feet all day. I have had plantar fasciitis in both feet for about 7 months. I’ve spent hundreds on shoes and inserts, had 2 cortisone shots and have had minimal improvement. My doctor says my PF is mechanical, and I think these are the first shoes to address this issue.”
Price: Depends on price and style, start at $49.99
Why you should consider these shoes: Reliable, easy to wear shoes that are machine washable and designed to help with foot pain issues.
Features: Impact-resistant, superior arch support, bio-mechanically designed footbed, rocking design
What users say: “I’m an ICU nurse and I’m on my feet for most of my 13hr shifts. I developed plantar fasciitis in my right foot. The pain was terrible and I was limping out of work each day. I tried new balance running shoes, professional Crocks, Danskos, and Alegria. Nothing helped. So I gave Oofos a try in a last ditch effort. These are miracle shoes! Wore them a whole shift and while I still had a bit of heel pain I wasn’t limping. Started wearing them all the time and now the plantar fasciitis is gone! I’ve been singing their praises to my fellow nurses and soon my whole unit will be in them.”
Why you should consider these shoes: These provide support at an affordable price for casual days.
Features: Soft breathable leather, simple style that transfers from work to casual, multiple styles
What users say: “I loved the style and comfort. Nice to have a casual shoe that is fun to wear and looks good with jeans or casual slacks.”
Honorable mentions for everyday plantar fasciitis shoes
Don’t like what you see here? You can also check out:
5 dress shoes for plantar fasciitis sufferers
If you have to wear dress shoes for work, there are still professional looking shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Why you should consider these shoes: These come in a number of fun styles and patterns, but are specially made for people with plantar fasciitis and other foot issues.
Features: Fun designs, removable cushioned footbed
What users say: “I have seriously high arches, and struggle with plantar fasciatious. This is my third purchase of Vionic shoes; I also have their wonderful slippers and flip-flops. I am so delighted I have found this brand–wonderfully made, stylish, and perfect for someone with foot pain like me! Thank you for such an excellent product!”
Price: Depends on price and style, start at $29.92
Why you should consider these shoes: A basic leather shoe that works for all business styles, from a leading provider of plantar fasciitis shoes.
Features: Soft breathable leather, comfortable slip-on, and black and brown options
What users say: “Got these due to one of my heels hurting from plantar fasciitis. I must say that a few weeks later, I am in much butter shape – although not perfect. I can also say that these shoes have left my feet and knees feeling a bit less pained after a long day on my feet.”
Why you should consider these shoes: These are a lightweight stylish option, with some great back foot support. They’ll go with casual outfits or can be dressed up for work.
Features: Multiple styles, adjustable fit, soft microfiber insole, durable rubber outsole, and received Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association
What users say: “My feet over-pronate inward and my arches collapsed a long time ago. These sandals correct both these issues. The sandals have a strong arch and significantly reduce the over-pronation of the feet. It’s like having nice-looking sandals with built-in orthotics that no one can see which is a big plus.”
Price: Depends on price and style, start at $44.99
Why you should consider these shoes: While heels aren’t necessarily recommended for plantar fasciitis, short heels can actually help in some cases. And, for some people, heels are required at their job. These have wide heel support and a solid base, so you can wear heels without further aggravating your foot pain.
Features: Block-style heel, multiple colors, appropriately-sized heel, rounded toe box
From Prevention.com: “Will look and feel great while you’re on or off the clock. It features Naturalizer’s patented N5 Comfort technology, so it has extra cushioning to absorb shock and distribute pressure, and the heel shape is designed for stability and a secure fit.”
Price: Depends on price and style, start at $32.49
Why you should consider these shoes: With a relaxed fit and attractive design, these shoes work for the office or the weekend. They come with the KURUSOLE, a custom-made insole that provide molded support to your feet.
Features: Dual elastic gore stretch panels, easy on-and-of shoes, lightweight materials, with custom-fit insoles
What users say: “After a month or two, I noticed my feet felt better when I ran, no more heal pain or discomfort. I also appreciate how quiet they are, and the cushion. I’m already trying to decide on which model will be my next pair of Kuru. The shoes are great. My feet are happy, and so am I.”
5 sandals for plantar fasciitis
For the summer months, you need an easy shoe to wear that still has arch support to help prevent foot pain. Here’s some of our favorite options.
Why you should consider these shoes: Even though these don’t have back support, they’re still well-designed sandals that can help relieve pain. They have deep heel cups to stop your foot from sliding, as well as compression molded arch support.
Features: Anatomically-molded arch support, shock absorption, lateral stability, deep heel cups, come in two colors
What users say: “I developed plantar fasciitis and needed a simple pair of flip flops for daily wear in summer. These are perfect for me. And, no foot pain when I wake up in the mornings after wearing these the day before. I hadn’t tried the Footminders brand before, but I’ll be purchasing more of them.”
Why you should consider these shoes: A comfortable set of sandals, from great makers of plantar fasciitis shoes.
Features: Improved traction, flexible midsole, shock absorbers, with a cushy insole
What users say: “I can wear these all day and my feet feel GREAT at the end of the day, even if I have walked a lot or been standing for long periods of time. If you have plantar fascitis these will help you tremendously once you get used to them. They correct your flat feet and relieve the stress on the bottom of your foot. These sandals are super easy to clean, last many years, and your feet will thank you for them.”
Why you should consider these shoes: These plantar fasciitis sandals provide lightweight support that are super comfy to wear
Features: EVA footbed, TPR outsole, padded upper liner, multiple colors, lightweight
What users say: “I suffer from plantar fasciitis and with these shoes I can feel them supporting my arch. My feet do not hurt when wearing these shoes and that is a blessing!!! Highly recommend would get another pair!”
Why you should consider these shoes: These are a budget friendly and attractive option for foot support throughout the warmer summer months.
Features: Small platforms, arch support, lightweight materials, shock absorbers, unisex with multiple color options
What users say: “I bought these on recommendation of my podiatrist to help with plantar fasciitis pain. I bought my normal size and my only complaint is the toe thong was a little snug when first wearing. That said, it didn’t stop me from wearing them as much as I could possibly get away with. The high arch fit my high arch PERFECTLY! The first time I tried them on my foot pain immediately went away. I have stretched and iced and NSAID’d myself silly for over a month and putting these on was the first time I had no pain at all in months. I plan on getting another pair soon, hopefully the brown pair will be in my size soon. If you have PF pain, these are absolutely worth the money.”
Why you should consider these shoes: These are a great sandal from a reliable brand, especially if you dislike thong sandals.
Features: Textured footbed, lightweight shoe, thick padding, arch support, multiple color options
What users say: “I have Plantar Fasciitis in Both Feet and now Bone Burs in my Left Heel. OUCH!!! I’ve tried the Stretches and the Icing but nothing works. And I cannot “rest” as I am a busy busy mom to a 2 year old! So after trying store bought Orthopedic inserts and having two rounds of Cortisone Shots in both Heels…..The pain kept coming back. So my friend recommended this brand….and I promptly ordered it! OMG – They are like Heaven! For the first time in weeks I was able to walk around without any pain!!!”
Get help for severe plantar fasciitis pain
While plantar fasciitis shoes can help a lot with reducing your pain, they may not help all people. And, they’re best used in conjunction with other treatments, like physical therapy, strengthening, and icing. If your foot pain is severe and disrupting your overall quality of life, it may be time to get specialized help.
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