The 10 Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis of 2021

Walk in comfort wherever you go

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Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

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Our Top Picks
This is a newer brand that is very supportive with firm soles but generous cushioning.
It features the brand’s FlyteFoam Propel Technology and exoskeletal heel counter that targets the problem area.
Best for Running:
Brooks Ghost 13 at Amazon
With its DNA Loft cushioning, it keeps the bottom of your feet—from the heel to the forefoot—comfortable in any type of surface.
This is a doctor-recommended, patient-endorsed walking shoe for people of all ages.
The super supportive insoles feature a soft memory foam layer and the brand’s Signature Aetrex Arch Support.
Made of high density foam to support and cushion the foot, they are shaped to take the pressure off problem areas.
This offers a dressy look with the comfort level of a clog or sneaker.
The most comfortable version of that It Girl boot you see in every magazine spread.
This company stands by their products, with boots that are known to last generations.
Able to absorb 37% more impact than traditional footwear foam materials, it can help reduce the stress on your feet and joints.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, approximately two million people are treated for plantar fasciitis—a common condition that causes pain in the bottom of the foot, often directly under the heel—every year. “The pain is caused by repetitive trauma to a broad band of connective tissue on the bottom of the foot, the plantar fascia. The repetitive trauma leads to inflammation and damage of the tissue,” Sean Peden, MD, foot and ankle surgeon at Yale Medicine Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation, tells Verywell Health

People in a wide age range, from young to old, can develop plantar fasciitis. However, Dr. Peden explains that it is more common in runners, laborers who work on their feet on hard surfaces, and people who are overweight. “It is also clearly connected to tightness in the calf muscle and Achilles tendon, as people with tighter calves are more likely to develop this condition,” he adds. 

The good news is, unlike arthritis, it can be episodic rather than progressive. “This means while the pain may be severe, in greater than 90% of cases the pain will go away with proper care and time, and not require surgery or injections to get better,” Dr. Peden explains. 

While you can’t cure plantar fasciitis, one of the best ways to minimize symptoms is by protecting your feet with proper shoes, he advises. “There is not one specific shoe that works for all people, but the research would show that shoes with more support and protection—meaning they are relatively stiff and cushioned—improve the symptoms of people with plantar fasciitis.” 

While some people opt to try to spend their way out of this problem—splurging on expensive custom-made orthotics that aren’t covered by insurance—Dr. Peden points out that “there is no good evidence” they will cure the condition. “Patients with this condition will often come to me with a big shopping bag full of inserts and shoes they have tried without success, having spent a small fortune in a short period of time, often months,” he reveals. 

Instead, he suggests investing in high-quality, supportive shoes that are known to help people suffering from the condition walk, run, and jump in comfort. He recommends starting your search by figuring out what kind of shoes you want to put mileage on. For example, if you spend the majority of your day in the house, having a good pair of house shoes or supportive slippers goes a long way. “You may be surprised you take a good portion of your steps walking around the house,” he says. If you exercise or take frequent walks, consider shoes for that. If you spend the majority of your day working on your feet, consider what type of shoes are required to do your job, and often the style and fashion do matter.

After you choose a pair, pay attention to how flexible they are before you even try them on. “A good shoe should be difficult to bend. If you can wring the shoe out like a wet dishtowel, it is too flexible,” he says. Then, try it on. “Know yourself. Make sure it is comfortable and something you will want to put on. Not all people like clogs, but a stiff clog is a great shoe for many people with plantar fasciitis if you like the feel.” 

Dr. Peden notes that he does not have any financial interest in any shoe store or shoe company. Instead, his recommendations are based upon his patients’ satisfaction and feedback.

Best Overall: HOKA ONE ONE Bondi SR Leather Trainers

Walk into almost any specialty running store and there’s a really good chance you will find a variety of Hoka One One styles. “These are a newer brand that is very supportive with firm soles but generous cushioning,” explains Dr. Paden, who maintains that they are excellent for people with all kinds of foot conditions. “My patients rave about that. They are dependable and seem to have good longevity.” 

If you are looking for an everyday, all-around awesome shoe, the Bondi SR—the brand’s most popular style—should be your first contender as it offers more cushioning than any of their shoes. It has become a favorite amongst those who work in healthcare and the service industry, as its ultra-plus EVA midsole provides support and cushioning, while its water resistant leather exterior keeps it looking fresh. It is also ultra-grippy, and has been tested on surfaces with water, oil and soap for slip-resistance.

Best Budget: ASICS Gel-Nimbus 21

Dr. Peden maintains that Asics are a great sneaker for anyone on a budget. While many of the running or walking shoes on our list retail for over $100, this brand favored by many runners has many styles around the $80 price point. The Asics Gel Nimbus is one of their more popular running shoes and is a great option for anyone who suffers from heel pain. The shoe is supportive and well-cushioned, featuring the brand’s FlyteFoam Propel Technology and exoskeletal heel counter that targets the problem area. As far as aesthetics, it is available in a wide range of color combinations, all with reflectivity in order to enhance visibility.

Best for Running: Brooks Ghost 13

Brooks Ghost collection earned its name for one reason: they are so comfortable you will forget you are wearing shoes at all. It's the sneaker brand’s best-selling model and is incredibly popular at speciality running stores. The Ghost 13 is the latest offering in the collection. It features DNA Loft cushioning, keeping the bottom of your feet—from the heel to the forefoot—comfortable no matter what type of surface you're walking on. The shoe is also incredibly breathable, made out of air mesh that clings to your foot. The Brooks Ghost is offered in a variety of colors, sizes, and widths, making it easy to find the perfect fit.

Best for Walking: Brooks Addiction Walker

The Brooks Addiction Walker is a doctor-recommended, patient-endorsed walking shoe for people of all ages. While the shoe is incredibly simple in appearance, the construction of the highly-rated walking shoe is more complex. It features midsole HydroFlow technology, which adds extra cushioning with dynamic gel units in the heel and forefoot. As for arch support, which is key for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis, its Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar will cradle your tendons offering ample support.

Best Soft Inserts: Aetrex Casual Orthotics with Memory Foam

If you want to transform one of your current shoes into one that is plantar fasciitis friendly—or you just want to up your comfort level—inserts can be incredibly helpful. For those who prefer a softer insert, Dr. Peden suggests Aertex. “These inserts can be found in many stores all over the country. They are widely available and have a dependable product,” he says. The super supportive insoles feature a soft memory foam layer and the brand’s Signature Aetrex Arch Support, which helps align your body, while providing support and cushioning, transferring pressure away from high impact areas, such as your heels. They are sized in regular shoe sizes, so just order what you would normally wear.

Best Firm Inserts: Superfeet Blue Professional-Grade Orthotic Shoe Inserts

For those who aren’t a fan of soft inserts, Dr. Peden suggests Superfeet. “Superfeet tend to be a bit firmer,” he explains. Superfeet are available in a variety of “colors” each with a different combination of thickness and arch support. Blue is their most popular style catering to medium thickness and arch, or medium volume and profile. Constructed out of high density foam to support and cushion the foot, they are shaped to take the pressure off problem areas while offering all the support you need to comfortably get through the day.

Best Dress Shoes: Clarks Warren Slip-On Loafer

While Clarks shoes are “not dirt cheap,” they are “well made” and built to last, according to Dr. Peden. “They are the shoes I wore for years during my training,” he revealed. The brand dates back to 1825 and is still one of the best-selling shoe brands nearly 200 years later. Their popular Emslie Warren style is a heeled bootie, that offers a dressy look with the comfort level of a clog or sneaker. Basically, you get all the benefits of a comfortable shoe without sacrificing style. It features the brands trademark Cushion Soft foam comfort footbed, offering ample support, as well as a durable TR rubber traction outsole to keep you from slipping. It is available in a few color options as well as whole and half sizes and also different widths, so you can customize it to your foot and desired aesthetic.

Best Boots: Nisolo Chelsea Boot

If you are looking for a timeless boot that doesn’t resemble an orthopedic shoe whatsoever, Dr. Peden suggests Nisolo. “I love this brand,” he says. “Great style well made with ethical practices. An overall good company and I’m happy with their shoes.” The Chelsea is basically the most comfortable version of that It Girl boot you see in every magazine spread. Available in a nutmeg suede and a smooth leather black and brandy, it is a perfect addition to any of your outfits, ranging from jeans and leggings to skirts and dresses.

Best Winter Boots: L.L. Bean Bean Boots

L.L. Bean Bean Boots

L.L. Bean has been one of America’s go-to brands for decades—especially for those who suffer from foot discomfort. “L.L. Bean has a great line of boot options. This is a company that stands by their products and their boots are known to last generations,” says Dr. Peden. Their most famous style is undoubtedly their duck boots dubbed Bean Boots. While you can find this rugged style on the feet of the most stylish influencers, they are also favored by outdoor enthusiasts as they are waterproof, durable, and comfortable. In fact, they are so wildly popular that it isn’t uncommon for there to be a seasonal shortness as demand for the hand-stitched boots can exceed supply. They are available in a few different color options, lined and unlined, and as moccasins and different heights of boots.

Best Slide: OOFOS OOahh Luxe Sport Recovery Slide Sandal

Sandals are notorious for their flat footbeds, which aren’t ideal for anyone with plantar fasciitis. However, these luxury OOFOS slides are the perfect alternative. All of the OOFOS shoes are made with the same footbed, featuring their revolutionary OOfoam technology. It absorbs 37% more impact than traditional footwear foam materials to reduce the stress on your feet and joints, making them a much more comfortable alternative to your average slides. They come in whole sizes and are available in a few different colors.

Final Verdict

There are a number of great footwear options for anyone who suffers from plantar fasciitis. Obviously, you need to choose a shoe that works with your lifestyle. However, for an all-around shoe for daily wear, the Hoka One One Bondi SR is our top pick. It's a favorite of people who are on their feet the majority of the day for a reason. It’s simply one of the most comfortable and supportive sneakers on the market. It has also received the endorsement of many doctors, including Dr. Peden, and athletic enthusiasts. However, if it isn’t in your budget, or you are looking for a different style, you can’t go wrong with any of our picks.

What to Look for in Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Budget: First and foremost, always consider your budget before making any sort of purchase. While plantar fasciitis shoes range significantly in price, you should expect to pay a little bit more than your average shoe. After all, these shoes are carefully constructed using cutting edge technology and materials that offer the most support. 

Lifestyle: As Dr. Peden stated, when investing in a shoe for plantar fasciitis you should consider your lifestyle first and foremost. Are you looking for a workout shoe? Or, are you on your feet all day in the healthcare or service industry? Do you need something a little dressier? There are lots of different styles, you just need to choose the one that will service you best. 

Comfort: Most importantly, you need to select a shoe that is comfortable for you. Just because it works for other people or gets fabulous reviews, doesn’t mean you will find comfort in it. Luckily, online stores have lenient return policies for unworn merchandise. When you order a shoe, make sure to try it on in your home before wearing it out. That way, if it doesn’t fit correctly, you can exchange it for one that does.

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As an internationally recognized health writer and product guru, Leah Groth understands that nobody wants to waste their time or money on products that fail to rear results. Over the years, she has interviewed the world's top health experts and reviewed hundreds of items, to help readers like you discover the most effective health gadgets, goops, and aids that will help you look and feel your very best.

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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. OrthoInfo. Plantar Fasciitis and Bone Spurs. Updated June 2010.

  2. Schuitema D, Greve C, Postema K, Dekker R, Hijmans JM. Effectiveness of mechanical treatment for plantar fasciitis: A systematic review. J Sport Rehabil. 2019 Oct 18:1-18. doi: 10.1123/jsr.2019-0036