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If you’ve ever experienced a persistent stabbing pain on your heel — especially when you get out of bed in the morning — then you know all about plantar fasciitis.

This common orthopedic complaint can cause nagging discomfort that makes walking almost unbearable. While many runners battle this condition while exercising, it can also affect your daily life.

The good news? There are several ways to manage plantar fasciitis, including choosing and wearing the proper footwear for work, exercise, and leisure.

We reached out to several experts to get their input on the best shoes for plantar fasciitis. We’ve also chosen seven shoes you may want to consider. Read on to learn more.

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that affects the bottom of the foot, specifically the bottom of the heel. When the ligament that runs along the length of the bottom of the foot — called the plantar fascia — becomes irritated, it can cause pain.

You’re more likely to experience plantar fasciitis if you:

In most cases, treatment for plantar fasciitis involves taking a break from activities that make the pain worse.

Other treatment options may include:

If you’re having severe pain that doesn’t let up with rest, consider seeing a doctor who may recommend:

Wearing a good, supportive pair of shoes that’s appropriate for your gait and foot anatomy is also key to preventing stress injuries like plantar fasciitis.

Many experts, such as podiatrists and physical therapists, are hesitant to recommend a specific shoe for plantar fasciitis. That’s because each person needs to be evaluated to figure out what’s best for their particular feet.

“Oftentimes, people will go to a shoe store and be ‘fit’ for a certain shoe based on criteria which the sales associate determines to be important without factoring in the most crucial characteristic: comfort,” says Cody Meashaw, PT, DPT.

Unfortunately, shoes that are not comfortable due to over or under cushioning, size, or construction may result in an altered gait pattern and thus may lead to further discomfort.

However, experts do say some brands have a better selection if you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis. Below are recommendations for running, walking, and hiking shoes, along with suggestions for sandals.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $110
  • $$ = $110–$150
  • $$$ = over $150

Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis

Asics Gel Nimbus

  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: lightweight, made to provide arch and heel support
  • Cons: some reviewers say the standard width sizes have a narrow toe box
  • Available sizes: men’s and women’s
  • Available widths: standard and wide

When it comes to hitting the road for a run, the Asics Gel Nimbus may be worth your consideration. Designed with a stiff outer design, the Gel Nimbus has a cushioned heel and was created to offer runners a stable, yet comfortable ride.

While most wearers like the durable design and soft, supportive cushioning, some complain that the toe box is too narrow.

Best foam running shoes for plantar fasciitis

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080

  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: designed to provide good arch and heel support, made for longer runs, lots of width options
  • Cons: reviewers say they run small
  • Available sizes: men’s and women’s
  • Available widths: narrow, standard, wide, extra-wide

Another option is the New Balance 1080, which has a wide toe box and was designed with cushioning and shock absorption in mind.

Reviewers like the well-cushioned midsole and appreciate the surprisingly lightweight construction. The cushioning is a bit harder than some would like, but users say the design makes for a stable ride.

Best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis

Hoka OneBondi 7

  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: very well-cushioned
  • Cons: bulky
  • Available sizes: men’s and women’s
  • Available widths: standard, wide, extra-wide (men’s sizes only)

Although these are marketed as running shoes, the Hoka One Bondi 7 makes for a good walking shoe as well. This shoe features support, stability, and a wide footbed. It’s also been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association’s (APMA’s) Seal of Acceptance.

These ultra-cushioned shoes are great for people with wider feet and for those who need a bit of extra padding underfoot — including a very well-cushioned heel area. The downside is that you’ll have to deal with extra weight because of the added padding.

Best affordable walking shoes for plantar fasciitis

Saucony Omni Walker 3

  • Price: $
  • Pros: designed to provide ample cushioning
  • Cons: limited color options, lack of breathability
  • Available sizes: men’s and women’s
  • Available widths: standard and wide

The Saucony Omni Walker 3 is a less expensive option for anyone looking for support and relief from plantar fasciitis. It also carries the APMA’s Seal of Acceptance.

While the shoes definitely have a clunky look, they offer plenty of arch support, heel stability, and cushioning, according to the company. The toe box was designed to offer room to breathe, but if that still feels too narrow, the shoe is also available in wide widths.

The downside? Some wearers complain that the shoe isn’t breathable enough, which can lead to blisters.

Best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis

Keen Targhee

  • Price: $$
  • Pros: grippy outside
  • Cons: durability issues
  • Available sizes: men’s and women’s
  • Available widths: standard and wide

For hiking shoes, the Keen Targhee may be worth checking out. It comes in a variety of styles, including the Targhee II, III, and VENT. Designed to be waterproof, breathable, and durable, these hiking shoes should also be supportive enough for people with plantar fasciitis.

Reviewers love the grippy outsole and stable design, but some note that the outsole seems a little less durable than they expected.

Best lounging shoes for arch support

Kocota Recovery Slide

  • Price: $
  • Pros: designed to provide arch support
  • Cons: sizing is off, according to some reviewers
  • Available sizes: all genders
  • Available widths: standard

You don’t necessarily always want to lace-up to head outside. The Kocota Recovery Slide Sandals are a favorite among users, especially for walking around the backyard and dog runs.

Designed to offer a thick, comfy rubber sole, these sandals should offer cushioning whether you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis pain, or recovering from a tough workout. The arch cradle is actually specifically designed to offer support and help with plantar fasciitis.

Best sandals for plantar fasciitis

NAOT Krista

  • Price: $$
  • Pros: stylish design
  • Cons: not for long-distance walking
  • Available sizes: women’s
  • Available widths: standard and narrow

The NAOT Krista was designed for wearing with stylish outfits. The sandal is dressy enough to wear to work, yet meant to be comfortable and supportive enough to take on vacation.

Although reviewers agree that the shoes are cute and offer a nice amount of arch support, some complain about durability issues.

Whether your pain level is a 1 or a 10, the ultimate goal for your shoe is to provide support with comfort. Experts recommend that you look for these key features:

Arch and heel support

While cushioning can be great for comfort, Dr. Mohammad Rimawi, DPM, AACFAS, says support is key.

“It’s the arch and heel support, and not the cushioning provided by the footwear, that is crucial in the prevention of plantar fasciitis,” says Rimawi.

Extra rigidity in the sole and cushioning in the midfoot

When it comes to choosing shoes, Dr. Nelya Lobkova, DPM, says someone who has plantar fasciitis needs extra rigidity in the sole and cushioning of the midfoot to prevent impact on the heel, where there is pain associated with plantar fasciitis.

“A shoe that has a thick midsole or rocker bottom is an ideal shoe for someone with this condition,” she says.

Firm heel counter

Lobkova also recommends a firm heel counter, the back part of the heel surrounding the Achilles insertion.

“A firm heel counter minimizes abnormal stretching of the plantar fascia and diminishes pain and inflammation in the heel and arch of the foot, which are both associated with plantar fasciitis,” she says.

Soft impact with the ground

Moreover, Dr. Ricardo Cook, an orthopedic surgeon at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics, says in addition to comfort, patients with plantar fasciitis should look for a shoe that provides the least impact when the foot strikes a hard surface.

From there, he says the characteristics really depend on the specific person’s foot and what they are trying to control.

For example, if you have a higher arch, the joint is at an angle that restricts the range of motion, so Cook says rigid arch support would cause further restriction.

On the other hand, he explains that people with flat feet and plantar fasciitis should look for shoes with adequate arch support.

As far as what you should avoid, Lobkova says the most important shoe to avoid is a minimalist shoe, such as the Vibram FiveFingers.

“There is minimal stability in the sole, no cushioning under the heel, and maximum stress on the heel bone,” she says. All of these factors could exacerbate preexisting plantar fasciitis.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that minimalist shoes may work for some people. Work with your doctor to figure out the best style of shoe for your feet.

No matter the type, any shoe that causes uncomfortable pressure points or makes your feet hurt should be swapped for something more comfortable.

Shoes to avoid with plantar fasciitis

  • flip-flops
  • flats
  • high heels
  • worn-out shoes that no longer offer good support

Your foot contains many bones, tendons, and ligaments aside from the plantar fascia that may become damaged from repetitive stress.

If rest, ice, and other home treatments don’t seem to help and you’re still experiencing pain weeks after the initial flare-up, consider talking with a doctor about your symptoms.

They can suggest other treatments and determine whether something else may be causing your pain.

Orthotics are shoe inserts you put in your shoes to help manage specific conditions, such as:

  • heel pain
  • general foot discomfort
  • arch pain
  • plantar fasciitis

Depending on the severity of your pain, you can buy custom orthotics that are made specifically for you. But, they tend to be costly. Off-the-shelf brands are a more affordable option, but they’re not custom-made for your feet.

According to Lobkova, custom orthotics are made to keep the foot in an optimal position while walking to eliminate the mechanical forces that cause plantar fasciitis. Over-the-counter orthotics typically provide temporary relief for plantar fascia in the form of cushioning under the heel.

Orthotics are of great use when it comes to decreasing the tension and stress on the plantar fascia, says Rimawi. Plus, they can reaffirm any arch support that your shoe may lack. They also have a deep heel cup, which Rimawi says can help absorb shock with each step.

Is it possible to permanently get rid of plantar fasciitis?

While it can take a few months to heal, most people recover with treatment. However, there is a chance the condition can return — especially if you don’t let the injury heal properly the first time around.

How long does plantar fasciitis last?

This depends on the severity of the condition. However, most people with plantar fasciitis recover within one year.

Are there any treatments for plantar fasciitis?

Yes. Plantar fasciitis is a very treatable condition. Treatments include at-home remedies like rest, ice, and NSAIDs. For pain that doesn’t go away with rest, a doctor may recommend steroid injections or other medical treatments. In rare cases, doctors may recommend surgery.

What causes plantar fasciitis flare-ups?

Things like increasing or new activity can cause a flare-up of plantar fasciitis. Shoes with poor arch support can also cause bottom of the foot pain.

When it comes to choosing a shoe for plantar fasciitis, your best bet is to talk with a specialist — either a podiatrist or physical therapist — and try on a lot of different styles.

While every shoe discussed in this article is designed to provide support and comfort, your goal is to find which one feels best on your feet.