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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.
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.
- Best for warm temperatures: Vionic Men’s Khai Casual Slip-On | Skip to review
- Best for foot pain: HOKA One One Bondi 7 | Skip to review
- Best ballet flats: FitFlop Allegro | Skip to review
- Best sandals: Naot Krista Backstrap Sandal | Skip to review
- Best supportive: Chaco Men’s Davis Lace | Skip to review
- Best for running: ASICS Men’s Gel Nimbus 22 | Skip to review
- Best recovery shoes: Kocota Recovery Slide Sandals | Skip to review
- Best insoles: Dr. Scholl’s Performance Insoles | Skip to review
- Best for sore feet: Saucony Women’s Omni Walker 3 | Skip to review
- Best waterproof: Keen Targhee II Women’s Hiking Shoes | Skip to review
- Best flip-flops: Skechers Arch Fit | Skip to review
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.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
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 they are true to size but may not offer warmth in winter.
- offers motion support and stability
- available in various sizes
- provides a smooth performance
- not suitable for low temperatures
- expensive in comparison to some competitors
- some reviews raise concerns about durability
Best for foot pain: HOKA One One Women’s Bondi 7 Running Shoe
- Price: from around $200
- 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.
- wide fit options available
- available in various sizes
- suitable for running
- price varies by size
- many sizes cost over $200
Best ballet flats: FitFlop Allegro
- Price: from $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 four 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 frequently 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.
- suitable for everyday use, especially for those who have to stand for long periods
- available in various sizes
- simple slip-on design
- some customers had problems with returns
- some reviewers mention sizing problems
Best sandals: Naot Krista Backstrap Sandal
- Price: around $150
- 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 walking long distances regularly.
However, some complaints mention that the sandals may be too wide, and others found they broke after a few uses.
- the footbed offers arch support
- available in various sizes and colors
- suitable for long distance walks
- uses leather, which is unsuitable for those following vegetarian or vegan lifestyles
- unsuitable for those with a latex allergy
- some customers report the sandals do not last long
Best supportive: Chaco Men’s Davis Lace Loafer
- Price: around $45
- 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.
The shoe appears to only be available in one size and color choice.
According to reviews, the shoes are supportive and comfortable and may suit people who walk a lot.
However, some individuals write that the shoes do not last.
- more affordable than many options
- does not use animal products
- uses recyclable materials
- limited colors and sizes available
- some reports from customers that the shoes do not last
Best for running: ASICS Men’s Gel Nimbus 22
- Price: from around $90
- Material: EVA sock liner, rubber sole, synthetic mesh outer
These ASICS shoes 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.
- lightweight and breathable design
- uses some sustainable materials
- suitable for exercising
- some users found the shoes worsened pain
- may not be affordable for some individuals
Best recovery shoes: Kocota Arch Support Recovery Slide Sandals
- Price: from around $36
- 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 two sizes and four 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.
- more affordable than many competitors
- flexible, simple, and supportive design
- lightweight product
- according to some reviews, may shrink in the sun
- limited range of sizes
- only suitable for warm, dry weather
Best insoles: Dr. Scholl’s Performance Insoles
- Price: from around $34
- 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.
- suitable for all-day wear
- do not require trimming
- price varies between sizes
- some buyers found the insoles caused calf pain
- unsuitable for those with a latex allergy
Best for sore feet: Saucony Women’s Omni Walker 3
- Price: $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.
- comes in a range of sizes
- some buyers found these shoes improved plantar fasciitis
- may help with overpronation
- limited range of colors available
- newer models of this shoe may not be as comfortable, according to reviews
- shoes must be unworn to be eligible for returns
Best waterproof: Keen Targhee II Women’s Hiking Shoes
- Price: $145
- Material: leather and EVA
Keen’s waterproof walking shoes are suitable for hiking. They come with multi-directional lugs that increase traction. The shoe has lightweight, external support 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 three 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.
- wide range of sizes available
- provides arch support
- contains a removable insole
- uses animal products
- expensive in comparison to some competitors
- the low-cut design may not support the ankle
Best flip-flops: Skechers Arch Fit
- Price: $62
- Material: foam and Goga Mat footbed
These flip-flops from Skechers have a contoured footbed, which Skechers claims provides podiatrist certified arch support. This contoured footbed should mold to the foot, reducing shock and encouraging weight dispersion.
It also features lightweight and responsive Ultra Go cushioning.
The shoe has a 1.5-in heel height and flexible traction outsole.
Currently, there are only three sizes and two colors to choose from.
There are only six customer reviews on the Skechers website. Positive comments touch on good arch support and comfort. Some users comment on the shoe being a size larger than normal.
- lightweight design
- users comment on good arch support and comfort
- Skechers says the arch support is podiatrist certified
- limited sizes and colors available
- shoe may come up larger than normal according to reviews
The below table provides a comparison between the products mentioned in this article.
|Product||Materials||Number of sizes||Other features||Price|
|Vionic||leather||2||• 1-in heel height|
• arch support
• rubber outsole
|HOKA||EVA foam||12||• rubber sole|
• breathable textile lining
• shock-absorbing design
|from around $200|
|FitFlop||leather||11||• slip-on design|
• elasticated heel
• breathable microfiber lining
|Naot||leather, EVA, and latex||11||• arch support|
• lightweight design
|from around $150|
|Chaco||waxed cotton and polyester blend||1||• synthetic sole|
• canvas lining
|ASICS||EVA sock liner, rubber sole, synthetic mesh outer||9||• lightweight|
• removable sock liner
|from around $90|
|from around $36|
|Dr. Scholl’s||natural rubber latex||10||• shock impact reduction|
• arch support
• motion control
|Saucony||rubber sole||14||• lightweight|
• overpronation support
|Keen||leather and EVA||13||• anti-odor design|
• secure fit
|Skechers||foam and Goga Mat footbed||3||• podiatrist certified arch support|
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 important in limiting or avoiding plantar fasciitis symptoms.
Research notes that about
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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, 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 other risk factors.
Additionally, manufacturers design minimalist shoes 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.
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 sessions may be helpful in many cases. A physical therapist may recommend stretching and strength training exercises to help ease symptoms in the feet.
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 shoes should I wear to prevent 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.
What really works for 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
What are the best sneakers for working out with plantar fasciitis?
This will vary among individuals. Some may find one material more supportive and comfortable than another.
A person should consider their budget when looking to purchase a sneaker for plantar fasciitis. They should ensure the sneaker provides good arch support and appropriate cushioning around the heel.
Do special shoes help with plantar fasciitis?
Shoes containing appropriate heel cushioning and arch support may be beneficial for plantar fasciitis.
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 consult a podiatrist or physical therapist for advice on devices, exercises, and other techniques to help alleviate symptoms.