Plantar Fasciitis, or heel pain as it’s more commonly known, can be a real nuisance.
Luckily we’re here to help with our best shoes for plantar fasciitis buyer’s guide!
The principal cause of this common and uncomfortable condition is straining of the ligament which connects your toes to the heel bone.
When overworked, the ligament weakens and becomes inflamed, causing pain when you step on your heels.
If you have a demanding job that requires you to stand still or move about a lot, or if you are middle-aged and a bit out of shape, this condition can creep up on you and not go away until you change some of your habits.
Since switching jobs isn’t always an option, and a time machine hasn’t been invented yet, one of the only other options left to you is a pair of good shoes for plantar fasciitis.
The other one is exercise, but why bother when shoes are just as good?
In this guide we’ll be looking at athletic and everyday use shoes for men and women.
We’ll examine what makes them useful with your condition and offer advice on the best value for your money.
We’ll also cover some of the things you should consider before purchasing your next pair of plantar fasciitis shoes, like the degree of over pronation and specific foot structure characteristic to each individual that makes buying such shoes a bit more complicated than simply choosing a size and appealing color scheme.
By the time you’ve read through this guide you’ll have a solid number of shoes to choose from and will hopefully pick out a pair which will bring you relief.
Who knows, maybe getting those sweet running shoes will cause you to actually want to try them out for their intended purpose.
|Product||Type||For||Material||Comfort (Out of 10)||Looks (Out of 10)||Price|
|ASICS Men's GEL-Kayano 22||Running||Men||Synthetic||10||9||$$$|
|ASICS Men's Gel Nimbus 18||Running||Men||Synthetic||9||8||$$$|
|Brooks Mens Adrenaline GTS 14||Running||Men||Synthetic||9||8||$$$|
|ASICS Women's GEL-Kayano 21||Running||Women||Synthetic||10||10||$$$|
|ASICS Women's GEL-Kayano 20||Running||Women||Synthetic||10||10||$$$|
|ASICS Women's Gel-Nimbus 18||Running||Women||Synthetic||9||9||$$$|
|New Balance Men's MW928||Walking||Men||Leather||10||10||$$|
|Brooks Men's Addiction Walker||Walking||Men||Leather||10||7||$$|
|VIONIC Women's Walker Classic||Walking||Women||Leather||10||7||$|
|Alegria Women's Paloma Flat||Walking||Women||Material||10||7||$|
Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis for Men
1. ASICS Men’s GEL-Kayano 22(4.7 / 5)
If you are looking for the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis, you needn’t look much farther than the GEL-Kayano 22 by Asics.
Building upon the stability and durability already offered by previous models, this shoe will ensure you have as comfortable a running experience as possible, even with mild to severe over pronation.
ASICS have introduced the new FluidFit technology to this model’s upper, making it seamless and more comfortable.
You’ll feel the difference as soon as you try them on for the first time!
It’s improved mesh upper as well as adjustments made to the heel counter enable a snug fit that supports your heel when exposed to the stresses of running.
The outsole and midsole have a 10mm offset that helps both sufferers from flat footedness and plantar fasciitis. With these shoes it’s all about providing the maximum amount of cushioning and stability.
On one hand, the FluidRide midsole ensures underfoot cushioning is secure, while its forefoot and heel are GEL cushioned, making for a smoother, softer running experience.
Where stability is concerned, the Dynamic DuoMax Support System provides the GEL-Kayano 22 with stability by compensating for and controlling over pronation.
A staple of the previous models in the series, the Guidance Trusstic System, remains unchanged.
This feature helps control alignment when a runner’s foot strikes the pavement, providing a balance of support and stability.
As mentioned, the shoe also has a new upper mesh.
Engineered to provide both seamlessness and a way for your foot to breathe better, this new mesh is more lightweight and more responsive at the same time.
The mesh overlay envelops the entire foot and adapts to it while you run, regardless of your speed or the terrain the shoe is subjected to.
One of the crucial features of this shoe that you might not notice straight away is its improved heel counter.
It is now extended forward somewhat, and the new design has moved it up from where it was in previous models.
If taken together with other key features, this ensures you have all the support you need while also having the flexibility required for different running challenges.
Some customers did voice complaints over the overall build of the shoe.
Most seem to think that it is a bit too stiff, especially when new, and needs some time to take on the contours of your foot.
Others claim that they remain rigid and tight regardless of the time you spend running in them.
In the end however, the good far outweighs the bad.
Responsiveness, the focus on ensuring both proper padding and stability in all running conditions as well as a long tradition of models that continue to improve with every iteration make the Kayano-22 an excellent choice.
2. ASICS Men’s Gel Nimbus 18(4.5 / 5)
Asics continues to impress and provide high quality foot support with this model as well.
While not much has changed from its previous iteration, the Nimbus 18 still relies upon the fact that it is one of the cushiest running shoes out there while sporting a cleaner, more polished look.
The shoe’s sole features a 10 mm offset and incorporates the FluidRide technology which makes for smooth sailing, or in your case, running.
A lot of plush has been added to the sole, as well as a host of other materials.
As with the Kayano-22, these shoes come with the patented Trusstic System that prevent the shoe from twisting along its length, making for a more durable and long-lived product.
Both visually attractive and practical, the shoe’s forefoot and rearfoot gel cushioning system provides adequate shock absorption when landing and during take-off.
The rearfoot part of the system has been slightly adjusted to increase support.
The shoe’s upper looks streamlined and seamless, and Asics try their best to make your feet feel snug and look good at the same time.
The sockliner that wraps around your feet is of a high quality, drawing away perspiration and keeping your feet warm at the same time.
Another feature that helps stabilize your runs is the Heel Clutching System, a plastic heel counter that holds on tight and prevents your heels from slipping.
Coupled with that are durable metal eyelets that supposedly help redistribute and lessen lace tension.
Drawbacks include a somewhat steeper price tag than that of the Kayano-22, as well as the shoe being a bit too wide for some users.
These might not necessarily be the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis, but they are certainly up there.
A fluffy support system and high quality make are certainly enticing factors to consider when buying your next pair of running shoes.
3. Brooks Mens Adrenaline GTS 14(4.4 / 5)
A minimalistic approach to design coupled with an insistence on implementing new technologies is what makes the Adrenaline GTS 14 a contender not to be taken lightly.
What stands out about this model is the company’s patented DNA technology – a highly viscous fluid makes up gel cushioning along the whole shoe, making it react instantly to any kind of impact by hardening in the right place.
If you run faster, the gel becomes harder and gives a better energy return. If you slow down, its soft state cushions your foot providing comfort and stability.
The upper remains mostly the same as in previous models. Brooks’ 3D Fit Print technology makes the fit clean and flexible, while a lightweight, fast drying mesh makes sure your foot can breathe even under pressure.
The lacing design has also been given an overhaul, providing less strenuous lace pressure.
This model’s heel is somewhat less cushioned, so if you are chiefly buying these shoes for plantar fasciitis, take this into account.
All in all, the Adrenaline GTS 14 is a solid choice for your running needs. Its simple yet elegant design is bound to make you look good, while its overall support will make you feel good while doing so.
Top 3 Plantar Fasciitis Shoes for Women
1. ASICS Women’s GEL-Kayano 21(4.7 / 5)
As with its male counterparts, the Kayano 21 for women comes from a long line of constantly improving models which are sure to satisfy all of your running needs while providing optimal support to your heels and feet in general.
A sturdy sole forms the baseline for a durable yet adaptable shoe.
Shock absorbing gel padding is amply applied along the sole’s outer portion, making for a less strenuous run.
The Kayano 21’s treads are tough, made out of curving hardened foam. Expect them to last even under extreme conditions like running in the rain.
FluidFit makes an appearance in this model’s upper as well.
The way in which it is made allows for the upper to stretch and conform to your feet, producing a fit that is at the same time snug and that has room to breathe when required.
Unlike with previous models, the Kayano 21 makes use of the new Heel Clutching System which replaced the hardened plastic under mesh of yore with a less cumbersome but more secure plastic frame which locks your heel in place and keeps it from twisting, all the while ensuring that the fit isn’t too tight.
One of the obvious advantages this shoe has to offer is that it was designed with the needs of a female athlete in mind.
Its heel to toe offset has been increased to 13mm from the 10mm standard for the men’s variant.
Its midsole also boasts a lower density top layer.
That coupled with gender-specific cushioning allows pressure relief and a lessening of tension in the achilles’ heel
An immediate issue some buyers might take with this shoe is its steep price.
Cutting technology is all well and good, but that might not be enough to convince more frugal shoppers to part with their cash.
Most of the color schemes are also very bright and glaring, making for a potentially unwelcome sight in an otherwise stylish running outfit.
Finally, the characteristic stiffness some people are disliking is present in this model as well.
Whether you are a semi-pro who wants a good quality running shoe that can keep up with her, or a newcomer hoping to get in shape, the Kayano 21 establishes itself as a natural choice.
It strikes a fine balance between comfort and stability, leaning on the former a bit more while not sacrificing much of the latter.
If you’re willing to fork over the cash, go for it!
2. ASICS Women’s GEL-Kayano 20(4.6 / 5)
They might not be the newest iteration in the long-running (no pun intended) Kayano series, but these are still shoes for plantar fasciitis that have much to offer.
An intriguing way in which the Kayano 20 approaches structural design when it comes ti impact reduction is its FluidRide midsole.
Combining bubble-filled polymers with good old-fashioned rubber, the midsole provides both effective impact absorption as well as fast recovery due to the rapid contraction and subsequent expansion of gas bubbles inside of it.
The treads aren’t curved yet either, making for a less stable experience when facing harsh conditions such as running on snow.
They are perfectly suited for a road or track though, and their wide sole makes running on rugged terrain a possibility as well. Just don’t plan on running any alpine marathons while wearing them.
Since the Heel Clutch feature hasn’t been introduced in this model yet, it relies on a somewhat stiff exoskeleton to provide needed support in that area.
Most importantly – it fits. The spacious forefront allows for some wiggle room while ensuring your toes are in place, while the mid section hugs the sides of the foot.
Stiffening ribs on the uppers’s side are there to provide added protection to the foot, helping to envelop it by wrapping themselves around it.
This can cause them to bite into the foot as seen on other models, but the make of the Kayano seems to prevent it from happening with this shoe.
Even though some of the newer model’s more advanced features aren’t present, the Kayano 20 are still very much a viable product.
The advancements we talked about earlier probably aren’t enough for most people to justify the price difference, and you’ll be enjoying a comfortable, snug shoe whichever model you end up buying.
3. ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus 18(4.5 / 5)
Asics looks to be a manufacturer with their specific customer’s needs at heart.
When asked about shoes for plantar fasciitis they themselves recommend the women’s Nimbus 18. And for good reason.
Gel is all the rage as far as foot support goes and the Nimbus 18 prides itself in having plenty of it.
The newest update to the gel called Convergence, helps dissipate shock more effectively than previous models, which is a big plus when dealing with constant pain.
You don’t even need to use it as a running shoe per se – the Nimbus 18 can function as a normal day-to-day shoe without much trouble.
If your job demands that you stay on your feet all day long you’ll appreciate the added padding and support this shoe provides.
As with the other models, most of the aforementioned technologies are also present in the Nimbus, ensuring that whether you are running errands or preparing for your next 10k your feet will always be supported in a way that ensures stability and relieves pain.
Add to this the wider heel to toe drop and extra padding Asics provides for their female customers, and the Nimbus 18 cements its place among our top picks.
Casual / Work Shoes for Men
1. New Balance Men’s MW928(4.6 / 5)
After all of those brightly colored running shoes, finally a pair of sensible, no-nonsense plantar fasciitis shoes that you can wear to almost any occasion and still have your condition well under control.
Seeing as they’ve been around the block for over a century, New Balance have a long tradition of providing customers with high-quality footwear.
The MW28 is no exception and can be considered one of the best shoes for heel pain.
Although running and athleticism are at the heart of these shoes, their appearance suggests a more serious approach to things.
The leather-made upper mixes well with the rubber sole, giving the shoe a more serious yet professional look.
Another plus style-wise is that the MW28 comes in either pure black or white among other color schemes, making them attractive to customers who are used to more traditional colors and eschew modern, sometimes gaudy trends.
The MW28 cones with the patented Rollbar posting system which helps provide optimal motion control, while the ABZORB SBS technology concentrated in the heel makes for a comfortable yet solid walk.
And if those hip sounding features aren’t enough for you, the Ndurance rubber outsole provides superb traction, allowing for unhindered walking in wet or slippery conditions.
As if that weren’t enough to order a pair straight away, a jewel density insert might seal the deal as it provides increased endurance without sacrificing flexibility.
Some customers complain that the newest version of these plantar fasciitis shoes is a bit narrower than before, citing the shoes being uncomfortable as their major downside.
On the other hand, most other users praise their durability and the cushioned ride they provide regardless of how long you’ve had them on.
In any event, the MW928 takes itself seriously, as it should.
A sensible shoe to go about your day in and also a totally viable walking / running shoe when you want to do something for your health other than managing your heel pain?
Sign us up!
2. Brooks Men’s Addiction Walker(4.5 / 5)
Does your job involve you standing all day without much opportunity to sit down and relax?
Are you not in the shape you once were and have more than a few extra pounds to boot and that only makes things worse?
Enter the Addiction Walker from Brooks, a pair of plantar fasciitis shoes that puts comfort for people like yourself above all else.
First of all, they’re sturdy. The buzzword of the day is MoGo, Brooks’ innovative midsole that, along with a slip-resistant outsole provides a tight grip both when you’re putting them on and when you’re pounding the pavement.
A lot of care has been put into making the Addiction suitable for people with a myriad of conditions – their arch support addresses flat footedness; their ability to realign the foot and keep it positioned correctly helps alleviate joint pain.
They even have a spacious toe box that has more than enough room for your painful bunions that are bound to get better now that they won’t be chafed all the time.
Add to that their straightforward appearance and sensible color palette, and there shouldn’t be any surprise that we consider them to be among the best shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Casual / Work Shoes for Women
1. VIONIC Women’s Walker Classic(4.4 / 5)
We’ve got to hand it to all of these shoe companies – they certainly know how to brand the technologies associated with their products.
It is no different for this sleek pair of women’s walking shoes by Vionic.
Orthaheel! Remember it ladies, because that might just be the word you’ll be very grateful you know exists after you’ve tried these plantar fasciitis shoes on.
The good folks over at Vionic claim that this cutting-edge technology consisting of a contoured heel cup coupled with tri-planar motion control will stabilize and correctly position your foot, allowing for long stretches of time spent standing in one place without feeling much pain, whichever part of the foot or leg may be affected.
Combine that with another marketing gem, the Advanced Motion System which provides “support, stability and comfort for women on the go”, and you have a shoe that keeps on keeping you on your feet.
The upper is made of leather and is water-resistant, lightweight and breathable.
It comes with something called an action-lacing system that supposedly helps you lace up and be ready faster.
The color palettes are cheerful yet unassuming so you can go down to the store as well as to the beach wearing a pair and have no trouble fitting in.
To ensure that the shoes are adequate for your specific foot, Vionic offers a medium-sized as well as a wider width option.
Most users agree that these walkers do an excellent job in managing one’s pain.
Some women however aren’t satisfied with their lacing system, preferring the traditional way over this one.
If you are an active woman that spends more of her time in the gym than on a rocky mountain trail, the Classic is the product you’ve been looking for.
Its emphasis on locking your feet into a proper and healthy position and keeping them there in comfort will help with those pesky burpees, and their minimalistic yet attractive design will make you look stylish while doing them.
Best shoes for plantar fasciitis for casual day-to-day use?
2. Alegria Women’s Paloma Flat(4.3 / 5)
All of the shoes discussed so far have their merits. How many of them can claim that a sizable percentage of a whole profession, in this case nurses, endorse them?
We’re not here to speculate on an answer, but to take a look at the shoe that keeps these ladies up and about, the Paloma from Algeria.
The Paloma’s greatest asset is its wide, flat sole. It was engineered specifically with a busy work environment in mind, its principal feature being unparalleled slip-resistance.
They’ve even been tested in actual lab environments and have demonstrated the ability to dig in when needed.
This does not adversely impact its orthotic use however – they come with a removable memory foam insole which adapts itself to your foot.
You can also swap it out and put prescribed orthotics in instead for added support.
The upper is made from hand-stitched leather and sports a wide variety of both full-grain and patterned designs allowing you to choose between more conservative and colorful styles.
Whichever you buy, the Paloma will keep your feet dry and breathing throughout the day.
All in all, the Paloma is certainly one of the best shoes for heel pain we’ve come across.
If it comes recommended by someone with as dynamic a job as that of a nurse, you know it’s worth getting.
Things to Consider before Making a Purchase
Now that you know what kind of shoes we consider worth looking at, also take into consideration the following factors to ensure a more streamlined and satisfactory buying experience.
Different degrees of over pronation – even though the products featured in this guide all have heel pain in mind, it is best to inquire about what degree of over pronation a specific shoe supports.
Having inadequate support for more severe cases can result in the pain returning or not subsiding even if you are using shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Some manufacturers like Asics say outright that their shoes support both mild and severe cases of over pronation.
With others that info might not be readily available, so make sure to ask if you feel your condition might warrant special consideration.
Athletic vs regular shoes – although relieving heel pain is the most obvious feature your next pair should have, it is a good idea to look at what kind of shoes fulfill your other needs the best, and what environment you plan on using them in the most.
Are you a sporty type that enjoys jogging in the park or half-marathons? Then a runner’s shoe is right up your alley.
If you don’t plan on exerting yourself too much, and if you work in a professional environment where some modern shoe colors simply wouldn’t fir in, a nice pair from our list of walking shoes will do just fine.
Size is not the only factor – whether your feet are petite or akin to Bigfoot’s, size isn’t always the best indicator of comfort and flexibility.
As we saw in some of the plantar fasciitis shoes reviews, there are a few models that remain rigid even when worn for a period of time after which they should have molded to your feet better.
If that is the case, don’t sacrifice your health and wellbeing for your sense of style. Foot structure is as important as the size of feet and needs to be taken into consideration.
Many stores offer a return policy and will more than likely accommodate your needs, within reason.
Some manufacturers such as Vioni offer more than one width per shoe size, so take a closer look at the options available for each model before purchasing.
There are other types of shoes to consider as well – your problems probably won’t go away as soon as the work shift or power walk does.
There are also orthopedic products out there, such as sandals for plantar fasciitis that will keep the pain at bay even in a casual setting.
While you’re at it, why not also buy a pair of slippers for plantar fasciitis to make those after midnight bathroom visits less of a hassle as well?
Now that you know what to look out for when managing your condition and have seen some of the best shoes for heel pain currently available, it might be time to start investing into your future self’s better health.
Although they’re primarily plantar fasciitis shoes, all of the featured products here have one more thing in common – their manufacturers are making a point that conditions such as this shouldn’t make you feel as if taking up a new and active hobby will have an adverse impact on your already swollen feet.
This is, in fact, their major selling point.
They are saying “We’ve equipped this shoe with a host of fancy-sounding orthopedic improvements in order to help you continue to do what you love or need to without the distraction and discomfort of pain”.
So why not take them up on that offer and alleviate the suffering?
So go out there, take a stroll, run a mile, or just have a productive work day without falling of your feet the moment you get home.
You’ll thank your new shoes for having helped you become a bit less stressed, and we’ll be glad to have helped.