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Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes pain and discomfort in the heel while walking and running. Finding a suitable shoe may be one option to help reduce discomfort and pain.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of pain in the bottom of the heel. Approximately 1 million people visit the doctor due to plantar fasciitis each year.

People with plantar fasciitis will likely require extra cushioning in their shoes to provide support and minimize foot and heel pain. Some people may also benefit from orthopedic shoes or other alternatives, such as insoles, to help manage plantar fasciitis.

This article explains what factors can make a shoe suitable for people with plantar fasciitis and what to avoid. We also provide a list of options people may wish to consider.

A quick look at the best shoes for plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition involving irritation and pain in the connective tissue called the plantar fascia, which connects the heel bone to the toes. A 2018 study notes that it is the most common cause of heel pain in the United States.

The most characteristic symptom is stabbing pain under the heel. Often, this pain is worse with the first few steps in the morning. The condition generally occurs due to overuse and stress in the area, such as prolonged standing or walking. Other risk factors include:

  • repetitive impact or pressure from exercise, such as running
  • having flat feet, high arches, or tight calf muscles
  • age, as plantar fasciitis is especially common in people between the ages of 40 and 60 years
  • being pregnant or overweight, which puts more pressure on the feet
  • having certain medical conditions, such as arthritis
  • wearing high-heeled shoes regularly

Additionally, wearing a shoe unsuitable for the structure of the foot may contribute to plantar fasciitis by putting pressure on different areas of the foot or not allowing it to take its natural shape while walking. Finding the correct shoe is an important part of limiting or avoiding plantar fasciitis symptoms.

Research notes that about 75% of cases go away on their own within 1 year. However, many people need to take long-term measures to avoid stress in the plantar fascia and prevent the pain from returning.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: MNT chooses products available for a wide range of budgets.
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  • Materials: MNT chooses products that use safe and durable materials and fabrics that are easy to clean.
  • Sizing: MNT chooses products available for shoe sizes.
  • Quality: MNT chooses companies that adhere to high quality manufacturing processes.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

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Many suitable shoes are available for people with plantar fasciitis. Below, we list 11 products that people may wish to try.

The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) has awarded the following shoes the APMA Seal of Acceptance/Approval.

Best for warm temperatures: Vionic Men’s Khai Casual Slip On

  • Price: around $150
  • Material: leather

Vionic offers a range of shoes designed for those with issues in the feet, such as plantar fasciitis.

The Vionic Men’s Khai Casual Slip On is a stylish yet casual option for general use. The shoes provide motion support, which may promote the natural movement of the foot, combining stability in the heel with arch support and cushioning in the forefoot.

It has a heel of 1 inch (in) and a removable footbed.

According to Amazon reviews, the Vionic shoes may be best for individuals looking for shoes to wear in summer. Reviewers state that they are true to size but may not offer warmth in winter.

Pros and cons

Vionic shoes come with the following advantages:

  • available in different sizes
  • offer motion support
  • offer stability
  • smooth performance

A person can also consider the disadvantages:

  • not suitable for low temperatures
  • some reviews raise concerns about durability
  • expensive

Best for foot pain: HOKA One One Women’s Bondi 7 Running Shoe

  • Price: from around $192
  • Material: ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) foam

HOKA provides several running shoes for various foot types. For females with plantar fasciitis, the Bondi 7 model may provide a lot of cushioning, which can help reduce impact while running or walking on hard surfaces. Different versions are available for males and females.

The product is available in more than eight sizes and a range of colors. It has a synthetic sole, a foam-padded insole, and breathable textile lining.

Positive reviews praise the quality of these shoes and state that they suit individuals who enjoy running. They may also benefit those with foot pain and who stand for long hours.

However, the shoes are expensive, and according to reviews, the forefoot area may be too wide for some.

Pros and cons

The advantages of these running shoes include:

  • suitable for running
  • relieve foot pain
  • breathable design
  • comes in a wide range of sizes
  • wide fit options are available

The disadvantages of these shoes are:

  • prices vary by size
  • many sizes cost over $200

Best ballet flats: FitFlop Allegro

  • Price: around $100
  • Material: leather

The FitFlop Allegro is a more formal ballet flat option. The manufacturer states that these shoes feature proprietary high-rebound cushioning technology to make them comfortable. FitFlop also notes that the shoes are anatomically contoured to support feet and that the midsoles are featherlight.

There are 11 sizes available, and a person can choose from seven colors.

The ballet flats have a leather sole and slip-on design. They come with an elasticated heel and a breathable microfiber lining.

Positive reviews come from people who work in schools or stand for long hours at work. These customers claim the shoes are comfortable and suitable for everyday use. However, some customers had problems with their sizing and could not return the shoes.

Pros and cons

These ballet flats have the following advantages:

  • suitable for everyday use
  • comfortable
  • slip-on design
  • comes in a wide range of sizes

A person should also consider the disadvantages:

  • some customers had issues with returns
  • sizing problems

Best sandals: Naot Krista Backstrap Sandal

  • Price: from around $98
  • Material: leather, EVA, and latex

These leather sandals have leather straps, an EVA sole, and a latex footbed.

The brand states they have a narrow to medium fit, absorb shock, and provide arch support.

They are available in over 10 sizes.

Positive reviews state that the sandals are lightweight and suitable for those who regularly walk long distances.

However, some complaints mention that the sandals may be too wide, and others found they broke after a few uses.

Pros and cons

The advantages of these Naot sandals include:

  • wide range of colors and sizes
  • suitable for long-distance walks
  • may absorb shock
  • footbed offers arch support
  • lightweight

The disadvantages include:

  • some customers report the sandals do not last long
  • may be too wide for some
  • uses leather, which is unsuitable for those following vegetarian or vegan lifestyles
  • unsuitable for those with a latex allergy

Best supportive: Chaco Men’s Davis Lace Loafer

  • Price: around $80
  • Material: waxed cotton and polyester blend

This Chaco shoe is a casual lace-up canvas-style option. The shoe features a proprietary footbed, which the manufacturer says provides contoured arch support. The shoe also features an outsole containing 15% recycled components.

The shoes have a synthetic sole, canvas lining, and metal eyelets.

People can choose between seven different sizes and two colors.

According to reviews, the shoes are supportive and comfortable, and they may suit people who walk a lot.

However, some individuals wrote that the shoes do not last.

Pros and cons

The advantages of this shoe include:

  • more affordable than many options
  • does not use animal products
  • uses recycled materials

The disadvantages include:

  • limited colors available
  • reports that the shoes do not last

Best for running: ASICS Men’s Gel Nimbus 22

  • Price: from around $95
  • Material: EVA sock liner, rubber sole, synthetic mesh outer

These ASICS shoes designed for males come with a rubber sole, a cushioning system that acts as a shock absorber, and a bounce-back response design.

ASICS describes this running shoe as lightweight and breathable. It uses a sustainable wood-derived material for the bounce-back midsole.

It also has a removable EVA sock liner that cushions the foot.

The shoe uses rubber on the outsole to enhance durability in key areas.

The product has more than 7,000 reviews on Amazon. Positive comments claim that it may suit people who run and exercise regularly. However, some users found that it worsened their plantar fasciitis, and others had problems contacting the customer service team.

There is also a women’s Nimbus 22 shoe available to purchase.

Pros and cons

The advantages of these shoes include:

  • lightweight and breathable
  • uses some sustainable materials
  • suitable for exercising
  • enhanced durability
  • shock absorbing

A person can also consider the disadvantages:

  • expensive
  • some users found the shoes worsened their pain

Best recovery shoes: Kocota Arch Support Recovery Slide Sandals

  • Price: from around $34
  • Material: EVA

Kocota offers EVA recovery sandals with a 0.75-in platform sole. Kocota writes they are suitable for post-workout recovery.

They have a flexible and lightweight design, and they cradle the foot to reduce pressure on the arch. The company recommends these sandals for people with foot and joint pain, bunions, and plantar fasciitis.

The manufacturer suggests wearing them as recovery shoes after working out, running, or walking.
There are four sizes and seven colors to choose from.

Positive reviews claim the sandals are comfortable and supportive. However, some users warn that they may shrink if exposed to sunlight.

Pros and cons

The advantages of these sandals include:

  • affordable
  • lightweight
  • flexible and supportive design
  • easy to put on and take off

A person can also consider the disadvantages:

  • may shrink in the sun
  • more limited range of sizes
  • only suitable for warm, dry weather

Best for hiking: Topo Athletic Men’s Trailventure Trail Running Shoes

  • Price: from around $92
  • Material: rubber compound sole, synthetic material inner and outer

These lace-up hiking boots have a rip- and waterproof upper. The rubber sole offers grip in wet conditions, and the boots include a rock plate in the midsole to protect a person’s feet from sharp and uneven surfaces.

Topo writes that it uses Zip Foam, a proprietary midsole compound that provides rebound.

The boots, designed for males, come in ten sizes and two colors.

Positive reviews focus on the quality of these hiking shoes.

However, some customers did not find them comfortable, and several reviews mention that the boots did not last longer than a month.

There is a women’s shoe available online.

Pros and cons

The advantages of these boots include:

  • lightweight
  • waterproof
  • suitable for hiking

The disadvantages include:

  • limited range of colors
  • reports of low durability
  • some customers did not find them comfortable

Best insoles: Dr. Scholl’s Performance Insoles

  • Price: from around $40
  • Material: natural rubber latex

If a person would like to adapt their shoes to help with plantar fasciitis, they can consider insoles. Dr. Scholl’s insoles come in different sizes, so individuals do not have to trim them. These Performance insoles offer arch support and motion control. They also help people use their natural gait while walking or running.

Dr. Scholl’s writes that the insoles reduce shock impact by 40%, which protects the feet and knees. The company also claims they can alleviate nerve compression, which reduces the risk of numbness.

According to positive reviews, these insoles are supportive and suitable to wear all day. However, some report that they are very thin and may cause calf pain.

Pros and cons

The advantages of these insoles include:

  • suitable for all-day wear
  • do not require trimming

A person should also consider the disadvantages:

  • some customers found them too thin
  • different prices for each size
  • expensive for one pair of insoles
  • some buyers found they caused calf pain
  • buyers should replace them after 300–400 miles of wear
  • unsuitable for those with a latex allergy

Best for sore feet: Saucony Women’s Omni Walker 3

  • Price: around $110
  • Material: rubber sole

The Omni Walker 3 shoes offer stability and a lightweight design.

The manufacturer claims they feature a durable outsole and upper and are suitable for all-day wear. Saucony recommends them for people who want a plush walking shoe and those who have moderate overpronation. This is when a person’s foot rolls inwards when they walk.

Some customers wrote that these shoes helped relieve their plantar fasciitis pain even after walking for a long time.

However, some reviewers note that Saucony is now selling a new version of the Omni Walker 3 shoes, which may feel less supportive than the previous model.

There is also a men’s version available.

Pros and cons

The advantages of these shoes include:

  • comes in a wide range of sizes
  • some buyers found they improved plantar fasciitis
  • may help with overpronation

A person should consider the disadvantages, which include:

  • limited range of colors
  • expensive
  • newer models of this shoe may not be as comfortable
  • shoes must be unworn for returns

Best waterproof: Keen Targhee II Women’s Hiking Shoes

  • Price: around $155
  • Material: leather and EVA

Keen’s waterproof walking shoes are suitable for hiking. They come with multi-directional lugs that increase traction. There is lightweight, external support built into the shoe and a contoured heel for a secure fit.

Keen describes its Metatomical Footbed design as a support mechanism that cradles the foot and provides excellent arch support.

They also have a speed-lace webbing system and a breathable membrane. A person can remove the insole and add a plantar fasciitis insole.

There are 13 sizes and four colors to choose from.

Positive reviews focus on the quality of the shoes. However, some note they do not hold up well to very rough terrain.

Pros and cons

The pros of this walking shoe include:

  • wide range of sizes
  • waterproof
  • provides arch support
  • contains a removable insole

The cons include:

  • uses animal products
  • expensive
  • the low-cut design may not support the ankle

The below table provides a comparison between the products mentioned in this article.

ProductMaterialsNumber of sizesOther featuresPrice
Vionic Men’s Khai Casual Slip Onleather, EVA2• 1-in heel height
• arch support
• rubber outsole
around $150
HOKA One One Bondi 7EVA foam13• rubber sole
• breathable textile lining
• shock-absorbing design
from around $196
FitFlop Allegroleather11• slip-on design
• elasticated heel
• breathable microfiber lining
around $100
Naot Krista Backstrap Sandalleather, EVA, and latex14• arch support
• shock-absorbing
• lightweight design
from around $99
Chaco Men’s Davis Lacewaxed cotton and polyester blend7• synthetic sole
• canvas lining
around $80
ASICS Men’s Gel Nimbus 22EVA sock liner, rubber sole, synthetic mesh outer15• lightweight
• breathable
• removable sock liner
from around $95
Kocota Recovery Slide SandalsEVA4• lightweight
• supportive
• flexible
from around $34
Topo Athletic Men’s Trailventure Trail Running Shoesrubber compound sole, synthetic material inner and outer10• waterproof
• lightweight
• lace up closure
from around $92
Dr. Scholl’s Performance Insolesnatural rubber latex10• shock impact reduction
• arch support
• motion control
from around$33
Saucony Women’s Omni Walker 3rubber sole14• lightweight
• stability
• overpronation support
around $110
Keen Targhee II Women’s Hiking Shoesleather and EVA13• anti-odor design
• secure fit • waterproof
around $155

Wearing supportive and comfortable shoes may help reduce the impact of putting weight on the feet. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) provides a guide to choosing the right footwear.

Generally, a shoe should support the foot while allowing it to move naturally. This helps minimize the pressure on sensitive areas such as the plantar fascia.

Shoes also provide varying levels of shock absorption to reduce the impact of walking on very hard surfaces. This feature may be especially important for people with plantar fasciitis.

While the best type of shoe may vary slightly from person to person, it is generally important to find a shoe with good heel cushioning and support, arch support, and a flexible insole.

This combination may help the foot move more naturally while reducing shock and impact.

There are also some things to avoid when seeking a suitable shoe for plantar fasciitis.

In general, shoes that are too restrictive or tight may not allow the foot to move naturally. They could increase pressure unnaturally throughout the foot, which may aggravate conditions such as plantar fasciitis.

Shoes that raise the foot significantly, particularly those that lift the heel high above the toes — such as very high heels or wedges — may also aggravate symptoms or increase some other risk factors.

Additionally, minimalist shoes, which manufacturers design to mimic the feel of walking barefoot, are not a good pick for people with plantar fasciitis as they may not offer enough support.

For some people, completely switching shoes may not always be possible. Certain alternatives may provide other options to manage plantar fasciitis.

Custom insoles

Insoles are a popular option, as they allow many people to add the extra support they need to almost any pair of shoes. Custom insoles require a trip to the podiatrist or another specialist, which can be costly.

However, a specialist will custom fit orthotics specifically to each foot. This personalized approach may give the user the exact type of support they need in their footwear.

Over-the-counter (OTC) insoles

OTC insoles may help support and cushion where a person needs them most. Many companies offer various options to support different foot types. These insoles are not custom fitted to each person, but they may provide general support and stability that are useful for many people with plantar fasciitis.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy sessions may be helpful in many cases. A physical therapist may recommend stretching and strength training exercises to help ease symptoms in the feet.

Splints

Some doctors may advise wearing splints at night to help ease pain. A 2019 systematic review of mechanical treatment options for plantar fasciitis found that night splints can sometimes reduce pain, but splints were not significantly more effective than insoles.

Below, we answer the most commonly asked questions about plantar fasciitis.

What brand of shoes is best for plantar fasciitis?

Finding the best brand of shoe for plantar fasciitis will depend largely on preference and budget. However, a person should prioritize shoes that offer arch support, cushioning, and shock absorption. They should also keep the feet in a natural position.

Before buying, a person should read what other customers think about their chosen brand and buy shoes from companies that offer returns or trial periods.

How do I permanently get rid of plantar fasciitis?

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) provides some tips that may help people ease plantar fasciitis pain, which include:

  • applying an ice pack on the painful area
  • engaging in gentle stretching exercises
  • using insoles
  • keeping the foot elevated

Physiotherapists may also suggest the type of exercises a person may perform.

Are soft or firm shoes better for plantar fasciitis?

A person should choose shoes with arch support and thick cushioning around the heel.

What aggravates plantar fasciitis?

The NHS recommends that people with plantar fasciitis avoid:

  • standing for long periods
  • wearing backless slippers
  • walking barefoot
  • wearing high heels

Plantar fasciitis is a common issue that causes stabbing pain in the heel. Opting for shoes that provide more cushioning and support may help some people manage or avoid symptoms.

Anyone managing plantar fasciitis should talk with a podiatrist or physical therapist for advice on devices, exercises, and other techniques that may help alleviate symptoms.