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Plantar fasciitis happens when a strain to the plantar fascia, the thin ligament that connects the heel bones to the toes, causes inflammation. It can occur as a result of running on hard surfaces, wearing shoes with poor cushioning or support, or doing too much or overenergetic exercise.
- For a lightweight shoe: Asics Gel-Nimbus 22
- For improved stability: New Balance 1080v11
- For road and pavement runners: Brooks Glycerin 18
- For a thick and wide sole: Hoka One One Bondi 7
- For shock absorption: ASICS Gel-Venture 7
- For low arches: Saucony Liberty ISO 2
We refer to “women,” “men,” or both to align with how companies market their products, but there is no need to stick to one type or the other. A person should choose the product that best suits their needs.
Finding the right running shoe will help minimize foot and heel pain and may improve running performance.
I recommend that patients who suffer from plantar fasciitis consider contributing factors before buying a shoe. Running excessively, running on irregular or hard surfaces, overpronation with ambulation, and tight Achilles tendon should all be considered. Giving attention to these issues can help alleviate symptoms. When it comes to shoes, generally speaking, athletic shoes with good firm support, arch support, a higher heel drop, and rigid shanks (metal insert in the sole of the shoe) are good for patients with plantar fasciitis.
– Angela Bell, primary care sports medicine physician
Several companies sell running shoes that may be beneficial for people with plantar fasciitis. People should carefully consider the type of shoe and the support it offers before committing to a purchase.
Please note that the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based.
Asics makes several running shoes that may be suitable for people who experience plantar fasciitis. One of the more popular is the Gel-Nimbus 22. Available for men and women, the Gel-Nimbus 22 features cushioning at the front and back of the foot and added support toward the inside of the arch.
The company states that it has included more foam in the midsole area to reduce the impact when the foot strikes the ground. The company’s TRUSSTIC technology also makes the shoe light while giving it structure and stability. Asics has designed the Gel-Nimbus 22 for runners whose feet are neutral or supinated, meaning that they lean outward.
The Gel-Nimbus 22 also features a flexible mesh upper for breathability and comfort. These running shoes are available online for $150.
The New Balance 1080v11 shoe is part of New Balance’s Fresh Foam collection, a series of running shoes that have a thick foam midsole. This feature provides a good amount of arch and heel support for people with plantar fasciitis.
Best for long distance runners, this shoe has a laser-cut midsole, which eliminates extra weight and improves flexibility. The upper part of the running shoe hugs the ankles to provide further support, and the wide toe box allows the toes to spread for improved stability.
Brooks is another company that makes several shoes that may benefit people with plantar fasciitis. The Glycerin 18, which is suitable for road and pavement running, is one of their more popular shoes.
The shoe is made for runners with a neutral gait, and it incorporates plenty of cushioning without bulk or loss of responsiveness. An internal stretch bootie holds and supports the foot but expands with each stride, making the shoe comfortable and durable.
A two-way stretch mesh upper gives added breathability and flexibility, while a DNA LOFT zone allows for smoother transitions during a run.
Featuring the thickest and widest sole in this list, the Hoka One One Bondi 7 may not suit everyone. However, the extra depth in the sole provides excellent shock absorption and a good amount of cushioning for the heel and the ball of the foot. People with plantar fasciitis may find these shoes help relieve pain while providing plenty of support.
The company says that the low heel-toe drop of 4 millimeters (mm) in the shoes and the wider toe box provide extra stability. It also notes that the removable foam padded insole gives further cushioning and support while running. Suitable for pavements and roads, the shoe also features a rubber outsole to improve durability on rougher terrains.
An internal heel counter also helps improve the fit of the shoe, while the engineered mesh upper adds breathability and comfort.
This trail running shoe may be a good option for runners who prefer different terrains. The Gel-Venture 7 features ASICS’s classic cushioning, as well as extra cushioning at the rear of the foot to absorb shock on impact.
The company states that the Gel-Venture 7 molds to the shape of the runner’s foot, improving comfort with each run.
The Gel-Venture 7 also comes with a removable sock liner that allows runners to use shoe or heel inserts for extra support while running.
The Liberty ISO 2 is a highly cushioned shoe that may give people with plantar fasciitis extra comfort while running. It is suitable for runners with a normal-to-low arch and runners who have mild-to-severe pronation, which is when the foot rolls inward.
An ISOFIT upper provides a responsive fit, and the contoured footbed provides good support from toe to heel. The wider fit of the shoe also gives extra stability.
The company states that its EVERUN topsole helps deliver a more energized run and continuous cushioning. It also notes that the PWRFOAM midsole improves durability.
At the time of publishing, the Liberty ISO 2 has a list price of $160.
The table below compares the key characteristics of the different shoes.
|Asics Gel-Nimbus 22||New Balance 1080v11||Brooks Glycerin 18||Hoka One One Bondi 7||ASICS Gel-Venture 7||Saucony Liberty ISO 2|
|Weight||starts at 255 grams (g)||starts at 230 g||starts at 255.1 g||starts at 252 g||starts at 247 g||starts at 252 g|
|Heel-toe drop||13 mm||8 mm||no information available||4 mm||10 mm||4 mm|
|Arch support||suitable for high and neutral arches||suitable for neutral arches||suitable for neutral arches||suitable for neutral arches||suitable for high and neutral arches||suitable for neutral arches|
Without adequate cushioning and support in running shoes, people with plantar fasciitis may experience more pain in the heels and arches of the feet, especially after exercising.
Finding the right running shoe will help minimize foot and heel pain and provide support.
People prone to plantar fasciitis can choose from a range of suitable running shoes, which come in a variety of widths and colors.
Some running shoes come with removable socks or insoles, enabling people with plantar fasciitis to use their own shoe or heel inserts for additional support.