The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis That Ease Discomfort

The HOKA ONE One Bondi Trainers feature a supportive and firm sole

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Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

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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, under the arch and heel—every year. One of the best ways to minimize symptoms of plantar fasciitis is by protecting your feet with proper shoes, according to Sean Peden, MD, foot and ankle surgeon at Yale Medicine Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation.

Reviewed & Approved

The HOKA ONE ONE Bondi SR Leather Trainers offer stability and support with its cushioned midsole. The Brooks Ghost 13 features soft cushioning and breathable mesh for running.

While there is not one specific shoe that works for all people, research shows "that shoes with more support and protection—meaning they are relatively stiff and cushioned—improve the symptoms of people with plantar fasciitis,” says Dr. Peden. When looking for shoes to help manage your plantar fasciitis symptoms, Dr. Peden recommends looking for one with support and flexibility. “A good shoe should be difficult to bend. If you can wring the shoe out like a wet dishtowel, it is too flexible,” he adds.

We researched dozens of shoes for plantar fasciitis and chose the best ones based on the following attributes: cushion, cost, materials, and sole type. We also consulted experts, including Dr. Peden. Each of the shoes chosen in this article was determined to be the best of these factors.

Here are the best shoes for plantar fasciitis.

Best Overall: HOKA ONE ONE Bondi SR Leather Trainers

4.9
HOKA ONE ONE Bondi SR Leather Trainers

Courtesy of Amazon

Made with the brand's ultra-plush EVA midsole, the HOKA ONE ONE Bondi SR Leather Trainers provide comfort and stability with each step, making it our best overall pick. “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.” It is also ultra-grippy, and has been tested on surfaces with water, oil and soap for slip-resistance. What's more, its water-resistant leather exterior keeps your feet dry while looking fresh.

Best Budget: ASICS Gel-Nimbus 21

ASICS Gel-Nimbus 21

Courtesy of Amazon

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 13

Courtesy of Amazon

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

Brooks Addiction Walker

Courtesy of Amazon

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

Aetrex Casual Orthotics with Memory Foam

Courtesy of Amazon

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

Superfeet Blue Professional-Grade Orthotic Shoe Inserts

Courtesy of Amazon

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

Clarks Warren Slip-On Loafer

Courtesy of Amazon

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

Nisolo Chelsea Boot

Courtesy of Amazon

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 8" Bean Boots

L.L. Bean Bean Boots
Courtesy of Zappos.

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

OOFOS OOahh Luxe Sport Recovery Slide Sandal

Courtesy of Amazon

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.

How We Rated Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best shoes for plantar fasciitis we reviewed. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These shoes for plantar fasciitis are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great shoes for plantar fasciitis, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These shoes for plantar fasciitis are just average.

3.4 and below: We don't recommend shoes for plantar fasciitis with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you treat plantar fasciitis?

    There are a variety of treatments that can be used here beginning with giving your feet a break from any activities that may be aggravating the condition and allowing them to rest. It also may help to ice your heel to help tamp down swelling, as well as to take over-the-counter pain medication like Aleve (naproxen) or Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen).

    Adam H. Kaplan, DPM, a podiatrist and member of the Verywell Health Medical Review board recommends an ice bottle massage. Roll your foot over a frozen water bottle with light pressure for 20 minutes, then rest for 20 minutes. He suggests repeating this for as long as you want, and to watch out for frostbite.

    You may also try to stretch and strengthen your foot, beginning with your toes. With a toe stretch, sit in a chair with just your heel on the floor. Reach down and pull your big toe toward you for up to 30 seconds. You can do this several times a day for up to four times each.

    It's also important to select new shoes with well-cushioned soles and good arch support. Shoe inserts or heel cups may also be helpful. But be sure to use these in both your shoes even if plantar fasciitis is only affecting one foot.


  • How long can plantar fasciitis last?

    That depends on your particular case. In some cases, pain begins to go away in just a few weeks after beginning treatment. Still, keep in mind it may take several months for this to completely heal. In some cases, it may even take as long as one year.

  • What causes plantar fasciitis to flare up?

    If you're prone to plantar fasciitis, you want to be careful when doing any kind of high-impact workout, especially if this is what led to the condition in the first place. Things that caused you to develop plantar fasciitis originally remain a risk.

    So, if your work requires you to stand on hard surfaces in particular for long stretches, see if you can modify this, perhaps by regularly wearing more cushioned shoes. If weight was an issue, keeping a few extra pounds at bay may help somewhat to reduce chances of a flare up.

  • What does plantar fasciitis feel like?

    According to Dr. Kaplan, the number one way to tell you have plantar fasciitis is if you feel pain after a period of rest. For example, if you feel pain as you take your first few steps after being seated or at rest.

    With plantar fasciitis, each time you walk, your heel may feel extremely tender, as though you have a bone bruise there on your heel right where it meets the ground. Every time you place your heel down, you may feel this stabbing pain.

    Sometimes the pain may also be in the arch of the foot and may increase after exercising. It's important to not ignore this and to reach out for treatment as soon as possible.

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4 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.

  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

  3. University of Michigan Health. Plantar Fasciitis.

  4. Cleveland Clinic. Plantar fasciitis.