Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2016

By Simon Johnson -

Plantar fasciitis is a painful foot and heel injury that is often triggered by poorly fitting, worn down, or shoddily constructed shoes. In order to rid yourself of this annoying heel pain, you need to own a pair of good shoes. Since there are many different shoes for different occasions, this article will provide a number of different options for you to choose from. From the best sneakers to running shoes for plantar fasciitis to dress shoes, this article will attempt to cover the best shoes for plantar fasciitis for both men and women.

If you are unsure of what exactly causes PF have a look at our article: “What is Plantar Fasciitis?” or this infographic for a quick summary.

All the shoes in this list were chosen with PF in mind! Each and every shoe is highly reviewed by hundreds of people all suffering from PF themselves and proven to bring relief to your tired, sore feet. Some of these shoes were also created by expert foot doctors or “podiatrists” with years of experience.

Use the table of contents below to find the section that best suits your needs.

  1. Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis – Men
  2. Best running shoes – Women
  3. Dress shoes – Men
  4. Dress shoes –Women
  5. Best sneakers for plantar fasciitis – Men
  6. Best sneakers Women
  7. What to look for in shoes for plantar fasciitis

Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis | Men

1. ASICS Men’s GEL-Kayano 20 Running Shoe

ASICS Men's GEL-Kayano 20 Running Shoe

With over 2000 positive reviews on Amazon, the ASICS GEL-Kayano 20 is by far the best running shoe for plantar fasciitisThe heel height on this running shoe is a whopping 1.75″, which is perfect for limiting dorsiflexion while you run or walk long distances. This beautiful running shoe also features a “heel clutching system” for added heel support and shock absorption.  

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2. New Balance Men’s 990V3new balance shoes for plantar fasciitis

The New Balance 990 V3 is an improved version of the classic 990 series of new balance shoes. With over 1000 positive reviews on Amazon alone, this lightweight sturdy shoe is widely regarded as being one of the best new balance shoes for plantar fasciitis. Made in the USA,  the New Balance 990 V3 features dual density foam to not only cushion but support your feet as well. This shoes also sports reflective strips that highly increase your visibility while jogging at night.

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Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 14 Running Shoe

Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 14 Running Shoe

Last but not least, Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 14 is the perfect running shoe for pain-free high mileage running. Sporting “Omega Flex Grooves”, this shoe helps you to achieve perfect forefoot striking form and stability while firmly supporting your arches. This is the perfect shoe for anyone that wants to prevent plantar fasciitis or suffers from flat feet.

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Need more options? You’ll find plenty more running shoes here.

 

Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis | Women

1. ASICS Women’s GEL-Kayano 20 Running Shoe

ASICS Women's GEL-Kayano 20 Running Shoe

The GEL-Kayano 20 from ASICS tops our list of the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis for women. With 1500 positive reviews on Amazon and rising, this is easily one of the most popular women’s running shoes of all time. The GEL-Kayano 20 weighs in at 9.5 oz which is on the bit heavier side for a running shoe. This is because there is lots and lots of cushioning packed into this shoe, making for an exceedingly soft, stable and supportive run or walk on multiple surface types. This shoe also totes a “FluidRide cushioned midsole” to keep your arches happy and healthy. This shoe also comes in a myriad of style choices for those of you not a fan of bright colored footwear. 

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2. New Balance Women’s 711 Mesh Cross-Training Shoe

New Balance Women's 711 Mesh Cross-Training Shoe plantar fasciitis

The 711 Mesh Cross-training shoe is hand down the best of the New Balance shoes for plantar fasciitis on the market. This lightweight minimalist shoe features an “SBS visual tech heel crash pad” for maximum shock absorption whether you’re on concrete or hard dirt. This shoe also has an 8mm heel-to-toe drop which is right in the acceptable range for PF.

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3. ASICS Women’s GEL-Exalt Running Shoe

ASICS Women's GEL-Exalt Running Shoe

ASICS has done it again with another great running shoe that’s perfect for helping with PF. At around $60, this running shoe is also extremely affordable. If you’re looking for PF relief on a budget look no further as this is the shoe for you. This shoe has a heel height of 1 inch and sports a Rearfoot GEL-cushioning system to soften the blow to your heel as you run. The GEL-Exalt is made of an extremely lightweight synthetic mesh. Weighing in at only 207 grams, this is the perfect shoe if you’re looking to run as light as possible.

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Best dress shoes for plantar fasciitis – Men

1. Vionic Joseph with Orthaheel TechnologyVionic with Orthaheel Technology Mens Joseph Dress Shoe

 This beautiful imported leather shoe is perfect for any formal event you need to dress up for. Whether it’s a funeral, wedding, dance or business meeting, this shoe is designed to keep you looking stylish while helping to relieve PF related issues. This podiatrist-designed shoe has a deep heel cup and an orthotic footbed to keep your feet in their proper positions. I have personally owned over 3 pairs of these shoes and find it to be one the BESTbest shoes for plantar fasciitis pain on the market. Period.

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2. Vionic Lucasdress shoes plantar fasciitis

Vionic has made our list again with another fashionable yet comfortable dress shoe with PF in mind. The shoe is the perfect mix of sporty and dressy that can be worn to a variety of different events. The Lucas dress shoe is available in both black and dark brown and is 100 percent leather with a long lasting rubber sole for superb traction on any surface. Perfect for the dance floor!

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Best dress shoes for plantar fasciitis – Women

1. Aetrex Essence Women’s Zoe Pump

womens dress shoes plantar fasciitis

We normally wouldn’t recommend that you wear high heels if you have PF, but these womens dress shoes from Aetrex Essence are an exception to that rule. These are the perfect shoe for women to wear to any formal occasion that may arise. These Zoe Pump shoes are equipped with insole supports for the arches of your feet and cozy memory foam to cradle them even after a long day of standing. These shoes also have an anti-odor coating to keep you smelling fresh all day. Out of our list of plantar fasciitis shoes, this one is our top pick for womens dress shoes!

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2. Taos Women’s Untold Ballet Flat

Taos Women's Untold Ballet Flat

 

These flats are the perfect stylish choice for a day at the office or a night out on the town with friends. They are unlike the usual womens flats we see today with little to no arch support. The Untold flats from Taos have a firm rubber sole with soft, yet sturdy support. These flats come in a variety of different colors and styles for you to be able to match with any outfit. We do realize these shoes are a little on the pricy side for flats, but your feet and comfort are worth the extra money.

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 For more great womens dress shoes we highly recommend you check out the brand: Taryn Rose

There are hundreds of stylish shoes from this brand that are also great for your feet!

So far we have gone over running shoes and dress shoes, now it’s time to tackle sneakers. Sneakers are more of a casual, all day wear shoe that you can slip into and relax in on your days off, a trip to the store, or the backyard BBQ you were invited to. There are quite a few options in this category, but we have it narrowed down to the top 2 sneakers for both men and women.

 

Best sneakers for plantar fasciitis – Men

1. OluKai Ohana Lace Up

OluKai Ohana Lace Up

 

The Ohana Lace Up sneaker from OluKai is engineered for extreme comfort and support. The versatile heel allows this shoe to function as both a slip on clog or a lace up shoe. The suede exterior comes in a variety of color options, making it easy to match this shoe with your clothing style. The synthetic microfiber footbed is removable and washable ensuring your shoes stays fresh even with extensive wear. This is our number one choice for a sneaker and the reviews back us up!

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2. Altra Men’s Instinct Everyday Fashion Sneaker

best sneaker for plantar fasciitis

 

Multiple readers have recommended this shoe to me as the best sneaker for PF. With so much positive feedback surrounding it I had to buy a pair for myself. I have to say this is by far one of the most comfortable, lightweight and springy shoes I have ever worn and certainly one of the best shoes for plantar fasciitis. This sporty sneaker from Altra is available in black and brown nubuck. This shoe also has a nice deep heel cup that cradles and protects your feet as you walk or stand. Weighing only 10.3 oz, it almost feels like there is nothing on your feet at all!

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None of these sneakers appeal to you? Don’t worry there are tons to choose from! Check out more sneakers for plantar fasciitis by clicking here.

 

Best sneakers for plantar fasciitis – Women

1. Vionic by Orthaheel Kona Mesh Lace Up Women’s Sneakers

womens sneaker for plantar fasciitisThe Kona Lace Up from Vionic is more than just a sneaker. Comfort and stability collide, bringing you one of the best shoes that money can buy.  This orthotic sneaker helps to keep your feet in their proper position which aids in feet, leg, and back support as well as alleviating pain in these regions. Don’t take our word for it though, read the reviews and see for yourself! Hundreds of people have experienced pain relief and long lasting benefits from wearing this shoe.

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2. Dr. Weil Rhythm Women’s Lace-Up Walking

Dr. Weil Rhythm Women's Lace-Up Walking

 

Last on our list today is stylish sneaker from Dr. Weil. Extremely light despite all its cushioning, this affordable sneaker accommodates any foot injury type with ease. Hundreds of people rate this shoe as the best for arthritis, heel spurs, leg pain, lower back/spine pain, and as one of the best shoes for plantar fasciitis. This shoe is also environment-friendly with 100 percent recycled rubber outsoles.

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Still not satisfied? Check out some other womens sneakers by clicking here

 

What to look for:

best shoes for plantar fasciitis
There are a few key elements you need to look for when purchasing a pair of good shoes for PF. They are as follows:

  • Good, thick heel section. The ideal pair of shoes should have at least a 10mm heel-toe drop. This means that in a good pair plantar fasciitis shoes your heel should sit at least 10mm higher off the ground than your toes or “forefoot”. This added height reduces dorsiflexion (your toes bending up towards your shin) while running and walking.
  • A firm midsection. A firm midsection with cushioned arch support is essential in everything from sandals or dress shoes to running shoes for plantar fasciitis. A good arch support reduces stress and absorbs shock on the arches of your feet. This in turn will help to reduce inflammation and tearing in the plantar fascia muscle.
  • Firm toe section. A firm toe section is another important quality to look for in good shoes. Having a firm, supportive forefoot area also helps to reduce dorsiflexion and relieve stress on your plantar fascia.

Many people make the mistake of buying the fanciest, newest high-end shoes thinking that they are the best. Please keep in mind many of these shoes are just made with looks or style in mind and are actually not good for your feet AT ALL! If you keep all these points in mind while searching for shoes you will end up wearing the best. Guaranteed.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid high heels. High heels are terrible when it comes to PF and often cause it or just plain make it worse. Unless they are designed with plantar fasciitis or other foot maladies in mind, you should avoid them in most situation.
  • Avoid being on your feet for long periods of time. Standing up for your job all day every day can take it’s toll on your feet and lead to PF. Having a decent pair of sneakers for plantar fasciitis can greatly reduce the odds of this strain occurring.
  • Test the shoe for flexibility thoroughly before making a purchase. If you can bend the shoe in half laces side up, avoid the shoe at all costs!
  • Throw away your old shoes! You may love those ancient holy sneakers, but your feet and back will thank you for replacing them.
  • Avoid flats. A common shoe amongst women these days is the flat. These are another type of shoe that are just awful for your feet as they do not provide any arch support whatsoever. As with high heels, avoid flats unless they are specifically made with foot comfort in mind.

Conclusion

We hope our list was helpful in you finding the perfect shoe or shoes to treat your PF. We spent an extensive amount of time researching and testing these shoes and ultimately determined  that they indeed among the best shoes for plantar fasciitis. If you disagree with our list or would like to see another pair of shoes included, please feel free to comment or message us with your suggestion.

Simon Johnson

Freelance problem solver. Avid social media fanatic. Infuriatingly humble creator. Aspiring foot doctor and blogger.