One of the most common causes of heel and lower foot pain is plantar fasciitis; a condition typically existing in people with flat feet. While plantar fasciitis can be a debilitating condition, there are special shoes that can work wonders to soothe your pain.
To assist you in finding the best shoes for plantar fasciitis, we have compiled top 10 best shoes for plantar fasciitis 2017. We have chosen these shoes after thorough research, and are confident that we’re providing the premier plantar fasciitis shoes on the market.
Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2017 Reviews and Top Picks
- Of the women’s shoes reviewed, the ASICS Women’s Gel-Kayano 21 Running Shoes are the best because of their premium heel support and comfort. They are technologically-advanced shoes that can be found for as low as 76.99 on some online retailers.
- The New Balance Women’s WX711 Graphic Training Shoe is a great and inexpensive shoe if you are a sedentary person who is not into exercise. But, the shoe’s soft cushion and lack of arch support can cause pain if you wear it for exercise.
- Overall, the Vionic by Orthaheel Kona Mesh Lace Up Women’s Sneakers have a lot of heel and arch support. Their problems lie in how wide they are and in the lack of cushion they have in their heels.
- Brooks Women’s Ghost 8 Running Shoes are fantastic running shoes for people with plantar fasciitis, as they provide the premier heel and arch support in the world of running shoes. Unfortunately, they are not great shoes to wear casually, as they will eventually start to cause you some pain.
- While the Saucony Women’s Ride 8 Running Shoes provide great support and cushion for people with plantar fasciitis, they have their flaws. In particular, they are very narrow and lack durability, meaning you would have to buy new pairs quite often.
- Of our men’s shoes reviewed, the Mizuno Men’s Wave Alchemy 12 Running Shoes provide the most structure and heel support, making them our favorite choice for people with plantar fasciitis. They could very well be worth the price if they provide you with healthy feet.
- New Balance Men’s M990v3 Running Shoes have been proven to heal injured feet and provide excellent heel support in doing so. But they also have the tendency to fall apart after a short amount of time, making them less desirable.
- While ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 21 Running Shoe is a great shoe for providing heel support as well as limiting heat build-up, it tends to be a bit narrow for people with wide feet. It’s also not the most durable shoe on the market.
- ASICS Men’s GT 2000 2 Running Shoe is a great shoe for plantar fasciitis, as it provides cushion and heel support. The problem is that it might also provide you with knee pain.
- Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 16 Running Shoe undoubtedly gives you excellent heel and arch support, making it a great shoe for walking and running. But, it is not a very durable shoe, and might also be a little too narrow for people with wide feet.
Best Women’s Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
1. ASICS Women’s Gel-Kayano 21 Running Shoe
- Great heel support
- Provides excellent breathability
- Reduces existing foot pain
- Sizes run very small, especially in the toe area
- They are expensive if not bought online
ASIC’s Gel-Kayano 21 running shoes are the latest edition of their Gel-Kayano series of shoes, which are known for providing excellent heel comfort and stability. Made from a synthetic material with rubber soles, the shoes provide the customer with firm, but forgiving feel and excellent breathability.
The shoe’s 1.5” heel is equipped with the new Heel Clutching System, giving the customer great arch support with very little slippage. This will keep the foot in place and reduce risk of straining the muscles that are already stressed by plantar fasciitis.
Also accommodating the heel is FluidFit multi-directional stretch with a rear and forefoot GEL cushioning system. This will allow the foot to move freely in any direction with cushion supporting it at all times. Inside the shoe there is a Moisture-wicking Ortholite X-40 sockliner that serves to absorb any sweat that might build up in the shoe so that you won’t developer rashes or sores.
These shoes do a great job at maintaining excellent foot health, with several customers noting that their pain had actually disappeared after a couple weeks of wearing them. Many customers also spoke of the general comfort provided by the shoes, with one customer saying the shoes make you feel like you’re running on clouds.
2. New Balance Women’s WX711 Graphic Training Shoe
- Great heel support
- Very breathable
- Excellent walking shoes
- Limited arch support
- A little too much give in the sole when it comes to exercising purposes
New Balance has a reputation for making stellar running and training shoes, and the WX711 Graphic Training Shoe upholds that reputation. The shoes have rubber soles and are made from a combination of synthetic and textile material. Providing heel support in the shoe is a heel pillow comfort insert. This insert cushions your heel but also gives your heel a firm, stable service that serves to keep it from moving around and coming down too hard.
The synthetic mesh fabric provides your foot with excellent breathability and ability to move freely in each and every direction. Your foot won’t feel like it’s trapped and unable to behave naturally. The breathability of the shoe will ensure that your foot doesn’t become waterlogged with sweat, keeping it fresh and dry, and reducing foot rash.
3. Vionic by Orthaheel Kona Mesh Lace Up Women’s Sneakers
- Great arch support
- Excellent breathability
- Very light shoes
- Too wide for some feet
- The heels of the shoes could use a little more cushi
Orthaheel is a brand that’s dedicated solely to making shoes for people with heel and foot pain. They have always been a leader when it comes to making plantar fasciitis footwear, and this sneaker is one of their best shoes on the market today. The shoe is made from mesh and has a sole with a great deal of texture, giving it excellent traction on a number of surfaces. Because of this, the shoes can be worn for just about any purpose, from athletic training to casual wear.
Its stellar arch support helps to balance the instep of your foot, keeping your foot from over stretching. This keeps injuries from developing or getting worse, leaving you in a state of constant comfort. The shoe’s design helps to re-align to, and keep the natural alignment of your foot, preventing foot injuries caused by improper walking technique. Your foot will land in the right and most healthy position with the use of these shoes.
4. Brooks Women’s Ghost 8 Running Shoes
- Very lightweight
- Excellent breathability
- Heel and arch support are top notch
- Tiny toe box
- May cause pain if you just intend to stand around in them and not exercise
Brooks is a lesser known shoe company, but they make products that are just as good as any other shoe company. Their Ravenna 7 running shoes are made specifically for people with mild foot pronation and provide a great deal of structure and support. The shoes are made with mesh, allowing your foot a great deal of breathability and ability to stretch in any direction. At the same time, they have a great ability to absorb external moisture, keeping your feet dry and comfortable.
The sole of the shoe is made of rubber and provides a great deal of give when running. Couple that with the inside of the shoe, which allows your forefoot and heel to act and move independently from each other, and you have a shoe that provides a great deal of comfort and support.
Because the shoe is very lightweight, it lands softly, making it a durable product that keeps you from having to put too much weight on your feet. This will reduce the chances of injuring or worsening foot pain.
5. Saucony Women’s Ride 8 Running Shoes
- Extremely lightweight.
- Fantastic breathability, reducing heat buildup and sw.
- Great heel and arch support.
- They’re narrow and have a tiny toe box
- Not the most durable shoe on the market
Saucony makes some of the most respected running shoes in the running community. Their shoes also happen to have a great deal of support to accommodate people with plantar fasciitis. The shoe’s exterior is made with mesh, allowing for excellent breathability and foot flexibility. It has a rubber sole which gives you a cushioned, but firm and shock-absorbent surface for your foot to come down on with each step.
The heel of the shoe provides fantastic support which means that your foot won’t slip in and out of the shoe, causing injury. It also has excellent arch support, which will keep your foot in line and comfortable. They’re very light shoes, which is good for you because it will keep your foot from landing with too much pressure. This reduces the risk of injury and of making your plantar fasciitis worse.
Best Men’s Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
1. New Balance Men’s M990v3 Running Shoes
- Very lightweight
- Are proven to heal aching and injured fee
- Great heel and arch support
- They’re on the expensive side
- They wear out rather quickly
New Balance has always made great shoes for people suffering from painful foot conditions, and the M990v3 running shoe is no different. Like all New Balance shoes, this shoe provides you with excellent heel support as well as stellar foot re-alignment. It’s made from a combination of leather and fabric, which gives your foot a firm, but flexible structure to move around in. The sole of the shoe is made from rubber, which absorbs shock and provides your foot with firm, but cushioned landing in each step.
The toe of the shoe is made with blown-rubber which reduces the weight of the shoe and ensures that you are coming down with reduced force in each step. This will lessen the strain on your feet, resulting in less foot pain, and reducing chances of further injury. The shoes have very good heel support, as the back of the shoe is very firm and wraps around your heel in a very snug manner. It provides excellent arch support as well, which is great for people with flat feet.
2. ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 21 Running Shoe
- Top-notch heel and arch support
- Have healed injured feet on many occasions
- Reduces heat build-up
- They probably won’t fit people with wide feet
- They’re not the most durable shoe on the market
Like the women’s Gel-Kayano 21 Running Shoe, the men’s Gel-Kayano 21 is one of the best shoes on the market for people with plantar fasciitis. It fits snugly and prevents heel slippage, acting as an extension of your foot. It’s made from a synthetic material that fits to your foot, but that also allows your foot excellent movement and flexibility. The sole of the shoe is made from rubber, giving your foot an excellently firm, but forgiving landing surface.
The heel of the shoe is elevated 1.5” inches, providing your heel with great support that keeps it from slipping and coming down too hard when you step. It will essentially force most of the weight of your step towards your toes, keeping the majority of the weight off your heels. The shoe also does a great job of not letting heat build up, giving the foot excellent breathability.
3. Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 16 Running Shoe
- Great heel and arch support
- Are great for running and walking
- Fantastic breathability
- Not very durable
- They are a bit too snug for people with wide feet
As one of the premier running shoes on the market, Brooks makes truly great shoes that produce foot comfort, and reduce foot pain. This of course means that they produce shoes that are great for people with plantar fasciitis. The Adrenaline GTS 16 is made from mesh, allowing your foot fantastic flexibility as well as excellent breathability. The shoe’s rubber sole gives your foot a cushioned landing as it absorbs shock and provides a firm, stable surface for your foot to come down on.
An Extended Caterpillar Crash Pad gives the shoe great heel-to-toe transition, taking weight off your heel and reducing risk of injury. That, combined with top-notch heel and arch support provides your foot an excellent shoe capable of giving you proper foot alignment as well as an artificial arch needed for people with flat feet.
4. Mizuno Men’s Wave Alchemy 12 Running Shoes
- Very firm, which is great for people with plantar fasciitis
- Cushioned, despite their overall firmness
- Does a great job of limiting motion
- They tend to run a little small
- They are a bit bulky
This shoe by Mizuno is not as popular as some of the other shoes on the list, but it is just as effective. The shoe’s stiff heel gives you a very stable and firm structure to keep your heel from slipping in and out of the shoe.
Both the sole and exterior of shoe are made from synthetic material, with the sole also containing some rubber. The rubber-synthetic hybrid of the sole creates a shock-absorbent surface with a great deal of traction, lending itself to any style of terrain. The shoe’s Dynamotion Fit Technology ensures that it fits with great snugness, reducing heel slippage and unnecessary foot movement. This will give your foot a comfortable, structured fit that limits injuries.
5. ASICS Men’s GT 2000 2 Running Shoe
- Cushioned without sacrificing heel support
- Very durable
- Are proven to heal foot pain
- Have had trouble with parts of the sole falling apart.
- They cause knee pain in some options.
ASICS has a reputation for making great running shoes, and running shoes have a reputation for having great heel great support, so it should come as no surprise that another ASICS shoe is on our list.
The GT 2000 is made from synthetic material and has a rubber sole with a FluidRide mid-sole, giving the shoe excellent flexibility with a firm and stable build. This provides you with excellent heel-to-toe weight transfer, reducing stress on your heel, and reducing risk of injury in the process. A GEL cushioning gives the shoe some give to go with its firmness, providing you a soft, but stable surface to land on.
Does Plantar Fasciitis Always Necessitate Special Shoes?
While there are orthotics and heel braces available to help with plantar fasciitis, most doctors recommend wearing shoes that are made to accommodate people with plantar fasciitis. These types of shoes are more effective than simple orthotics or heel braces.
3 Benefits of Wearing Special Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis:
- They will cause you to use the muscles around your ankles and lower leg more. Because of this, the muscles will strengthen, thus helping to heal pains in the area.
- They will provide your heel a great deal of support, which will keep it from slipping and coming down too hard. This will keep your heel from suffering unnecessary stress.
- They will provide your foot an artificial arch. This will keep your foot from overstretching and causing injury.
What Makes the Best Plantar Fasciitis Shoes?
Special shoes are always recommended for people suffering from plantar fasciitis. Continuing to to walk around in shoes with poor heel support will result in continued and worsened pain, making your condition worse. Great shoes for plantar fasciitis have excellent heel and arch support, and have a firm, but cushioned landing zone. These shoes will serve to keep the majority of your landing weight off the balls of your feet, reducing the strain on your heel.
Here is What You Should Look for When Trying to Find the Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis:
- Shoes with firm soles. If the sole is too soft and flexible, you will begin to feel pain in the heel and lower foot.
- The proper fit. Having shoes that don’t fit your foot perfectly well cause your feet to slip or not align properly with the arch, causing pain.
- A shoe with a firm heel. The back of the shoe should wrap around your heel snugly and be strong enough to support your heel from slipping and moving around. Squeeze the heel of the shoe. If it’s firm, it has excellent heel support. If it’s soft, it does not.
- Shoes with an upward bending toe. The front of the shoe should not be flat with the rest of the shoe. It needs to curve upward, as this will help to take weight off your foot when you step.
- Strong arch support. Because plantar fasciitis is usually caused by having flat feet, you need a shoe with strong arch support to create a sort of artificial arch.
Unfortunately, not all shoes are created equally. And when you have plantar fasciitis you must be hyper-vigilant as to what type of shoes you’re purchasing. If you make the wrong purchase, you risk worsening your already severe foot pain, and perhaps even pushing it to the point that it can’t be reversed. It’s a delicate process that must be taken seriously.
We have helped you to find a shoe that provides excellent heel and arch support, and that locks your foot in so that it doesn’t slip all over the place every time you take a step. This is vital to healing your condition so that you walk comfortably again.
In our review, the ASICS Women’s Gel-Kayano 21 Running Shoe is our top women’s shoe for plantar fasciitis, and the Mizuno Men’s Wave Alchemy 12 Running Shoes is our top men’s shoe for plantar fasciitis. Each shoe is at the top of its class because it provides premier heel support, with a cushioned but sturdy sole that allows your foot to come down softly which each step. These shoes are also great because they fit almost every person who purchases them, and are proven to reduce foot pain in many customers.