The 9 Best Sneakers for Plantar Fasciitis of 2023, According to Podiatrists

The Hoka Arahi 6 provides the best arch support and maximum comfort

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Best Sneakers for Plantar Fasciitis

Verywell Health / David Hattan

Hands down, one of the best things you can do to prevent or treat plantar fasciitis is wear supportive shoes. This means choosing sneakers with firm arch support, deep heel cups, and a lot of extra stability built in to prevent pronation, or excessive rolling, of your feet while you move (a type of strain that can cause plantar fasciitis).

“Wearing a shoe with proper arch support is extremely important in reducing the pull of the plantar fascia muscle to its heel attachment,” Sidney Weiser, DPM, Founder of Quality Podiatry Group, told Verywell Health.

Reviewed & Approved

With a maximum stability rating, just-right cushioning, and lightweight construction, the Hoka Arahi 6 gets our best overall pick. It’ll take you anywhere you want to go, working with—not against—your foot’s natural step. If you can’t swing the cost of Hoka sneakers, though, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the quality (and price) of the ASICS Women’s Gel-Venture 7 Running Shoes.

But good arch support isn’t the only thing to keep in mind when choosing a sneaker for plantar fasciitis, our experts emphasize. It’s also important to consider the fit and structure of your sneaker, as well as choose the right type of sneaker for the kind of activity you’ll be doing (i.e. running versus walking). 

We researched more than two dozen popular sneakers with arch support to see which ones offer the most comfort to the plantar fascia while you’re running, walking, training, or just going about your busy day.

Best Overall

Hoka One One Arahi 6

4.5
Hoka Arahi 6

Amazon

Pros
  • Good for everyday running and walking

  • Max stability

  • Lightweight and breathable

Cons
  • Run narrow

It’s hard to choose between all the cushy, comfy Hoka sneaker varieties and, truth be told, most of them would probably be comfortable for just about anyone with plantar fasciitis. But the Arahi 6 ultimately gets our pick thanks to its extreme stability: designed with a firm, J-shaped frame that prevents overpronation (or rolling in) of your foot while you move, the Arahi 6 targets one of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis and keeps your foot locked in place (comfortably) during physical activity.

We also like that the Arahi 6 can be used for nearly any kind of physical activity, whether that’s running, walking, training, or even working on your feet all day. It comes in a range of both men’s and women’s sizes, slipping on with ease, and has the perfect balance of comfy yet responsive cushioning to protect your feet on impact. It has a firm midsole, so it won’t bend or collapse under your weight, and it’s even received The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance as a shoe that promotes good foot health. It’s basically a go anywhere and do anything sneaker—and it works for just about everyone.

Price at time of publication: $140

Material: recycled mesh | Sole material: rubber | Sizes available: men’s 7-15 / women’s 5-12

Best Budget

Asics Gel Venture 7 Shoe

ASICS Women's Gel-Venture 7 Running Shoes

Amazon

Pros
  • Shock-absorbing heel

  • Protects natural stride

  • Breathable, cushioned inner lining

Cons
  • Not for long-distance or long hours of wear

  • Not available in men’s sizes

If you can’t swing the cost of a sneaker like the Hoka Arahi 6, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for something less comfortable. The ASICS Gel-Venture 7 sneaker is a comparable alternative that doesn’t compromise on support even at a lower price point—and since it’s made for outdoor running, it can hit the hiking trails as easily as the office.

As far as specs, the Gel-Venture shoe focuses on heel and midsole support; the heel keeps your foot in place while boosting your shock absorption, and the midsole conforms to your foot without being overly flexible. We also love that the sneaker features an ortholite sockliner, which not only molds to your foot for max cushioning but also wicks away moisture for a more comfortable workout experience.

Price at time of publication: $40

Material: synthetic, mesh | Sole material: rubber | Sizes available: women’s 5-12

Best for Walking

Ryka Women's Devotion Plus 3 Walking Shoe

Ryka Women's Devotion Plus 3 Walking Shoe

Amazon

Pros
  • Narrow heel support for stability

  • Extra room in the toe box

  • Extra arch support

Cons
  • May not last as long as competitors

  • Not available in men’s sizes

There are many things to love about the Ryka Devotion Plus 3 sneakers, from the arch and heel support to the cushy-yet-supportive shock absorption, but the most relevant detail is that these sneakers were designed for walking. Everything about them was made with long-distance walking in mind, most notably the way they lock your heel in place to reduce side-to-side movement and the roomier toe box, which not only keeps them feeling comfortable with long wear but also allows space for an orthotic insole, should you want to add one.

The only downside of these is that they were made with women’s feet in mind, so it may not be as simple as finding your size equivalent if you’re a man looking for supportive walking shoes (though Ryka does make other walking shoe styles for men).

Price at time of publication: $54

Material: synthetic | Sole material: rubber | Sizes available: women’s 5-12

Best for Running

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V12 Running Shoe

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V12 Running Shoe

Amazon

Pros
  • Designed to hug your feet for stability

  • Easy to put on

  • Made for long distance and high wear

Cons
  • Heel support may be too low for some users

Weiser specifically recommends New Balance sneakers to his patients in many instances, because he said they are usually deep and wide enough to accommodate orthotics. But with or without added insoles, the Fresh Foam 1080 V11 Running Shoe should give you plenty of springy support when you hit the pavement for a run. The foam midsole keeps these shoes lightweight but structured, so they won’t weigh you down or collapse under impact.

Also worth noting about the Fresh Foam is that they’re designed to hug your feet; in other words, you might not even remember you’re wearing arch support-sneakers when you slip them on. The back of the shoe is meant to slide right over your heel and stay in place, while the rest of the shoe is a breathable, form-fitting design that should—with the right sizing—fit and feel like a glove. 

Price at time of publication: $160

Material: synthetic, mesh | Sole material: synthetic | Sizes available: men’s 4-16 / women’s 5-13

Best for Training

Brooks Ghost 14

4.7
Brooks Ghost 14

Brooks

Pros
  • Designed for multiple types of physical activity

  • Shock-absorbing heel to toe system

  • Smooth transitions while moving

Cons
  • Runs small/narrow

The best training shoe can roll with all your punches, transitioning from one type of activity to the next without disrupting your flow. That’s why we recommend the Brooks Ghost 14 as our favorite shoe for training: the sole is cushy but ready to absorb shock, protecting your sensitive plantar fascia from impact, and it's also broken down into “crash pad” segments, which smooth out all those heel-to-toe transitions as you walk (or run…or jump…or whatever). 

The upper part of the shoe is also uniquely designed to mold to your foot, giving you maximum stability that’s customized to your own foot shape and size. It’s lightweight, shock absorbing, and supportive—a trifecta of plantar fasciitis-friendly features built for training. 

Price at time of publication: $100

Material: recycled synthetic | Sole material: rubber | Sizes available: men’s 7-15 / women’s 5-12

Best with Velcro Straps

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Shoe

4.8
Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Shoe

Amazon

Pros
  • Removable insole for custom orthotics

  • Protects natural stride

  • Easy on and off

Cons
  • Firmer, less cushioning

Whether you have trouble with dexterity because of arthritis or just don’t have the time and patience to correctly lace up your sneakers before going out, velcro strap shoes can come in handy—and these walkers from Brooks come with all the stability and cushioning you’d expect from the brand, minus the annoying laces.

With a diagonal roll bar built into the structure of the shoe, the Brooks Addiction walkers help maintain stability while preserving your natural stride; in other words, they’ll keep your foot from rolling in and out, but they’re still super flexible, not stiff. (No sore, aching feet here.) The sneakers are perfect for walking or running in all situations: they’re slip resistant, plus their cushioning is adaptive to your weight and reduces stress on your joints. And, of course, they’re easy to put on and securely fit to your feet thanks to the double velcro straps. 

Price at time of publication: $130

Material: leather/nubuck | Sole material: rubber | Sizes available: unisex 5-12

Best Arch Support

Orthofeet Coral Stretch Knit Shoe

4.8
Orthofeet Coral Stretch Knit Sneakers

Amazon

Pros
  • Built-in and adjustable arch support

  • Roomy toe box

  • Extra heel cushioning

Cons
  • Not available in men’s sizes

  • Not appropriate for all foot types

No matter how much arch support a shoe claims to offer, you’re going to be uncomfortable if it’s not the amount of arch support you need for your foot type. That’s why the Orthofoot Coral Stretch Knit Sneakers got our pick for best arch support: instead of one fixed degree of support, these sneakers come with lower built-in arch support (for flat feet or neutral arches) and an additional insert for people with higher arches needing the max amount of assistance. 

While that alone makes these shoes worthy of a spot on this list, we can’t help but mention some of the Orthofoot Coral’s other notable features, like a heel plug for extra heel pain relief, a roomy toe box, a stretchy upper that hugs your feet, and antimicrobial fabric to beat back stinky sweat odors during your workouts.

Price at time of publication: $105

Material: polyester | Sole material: EVA/rubber | Sizes available: women’s 5-12

Best Casual

Vionic Beach Malibu Casual Women’s Slip On Sneakers

Vionic Beach Malibu Casual Women’s Slip On Sneakers

Amazon

Pros
  • Multiple colors and patterns available

  • Easy on and off

  • Three-zone orthotic support built into shoe

Cons
  • Not for running or physical activity

  • Not available in men’s sizes

Every other shoe on this list is made to help you exercise in a way that doesn’t aggravate plantar fasciitis, but what if you want to protect your fascia while just looking cute running errands? In that case, the Vionic Beach Malibu slip-on sneakers are the way to go. 

They don’t skimp on the comfort, offering three zones of support along the entire length of your foot (the heel, midsole, and toe) so your arches get all the cushioning they need. But they also don’t skimp on style: the low profile of these lace-free shoes is on trend and they come in 40 bright, playful colors and patterns.

Price at time of publication: $42

Material: canvas | Sole material: rubber | Sizes available: women’s 5-12

Best for Wide Feet

Kuru Atom Wide Athletic Sneaker

Kuru Atom Wide Athletic Sneaker

Kuru

Pros
  • Large range of wide sizes in men’s and women’s

  • Built-in arch support

  • Structured upper for added stability

Cons
  • Athletic fit runs a bit narrower

  • Limited colors/styles in men’s wide sizes

It can be hard enough finding shoes in wide sizes, let alone ones that can support your plantar fascia while you work out (and look cool doing it). We love the Kuru Atom Wide sneakers because they’re offered in nearly all typical men’s and women’s sizes, accommodating wide sizes up to E+. And, of course, they still have all the same great Kuru shoe benefits: a cloud-like midsole to cushion your steps, a heel collar made to form to your foot, high-performance foam soles for durability, and built-in stabilizers that help distribute your weight evenly.

While the men’s shoe options are a bit limited in terms of colors in the wide sizes, the same can’t be said for the women’s shoes—you can choose along a spectrum of black, gray, blue, purple, and pink. 

Price at time of publication: $160

Material: synthetic | Sole material: rubber | Sizes available: men’s 6.5-14 / women’s 5-12

How We Selected

To find the best sneakers for plantar fasciitis, we asked podiatrists to tell us what to look for and avoid when choosing a pair that could support your foot during many types of physical activity. They emphasized the importance of overall fit and structure, noting that above all else, the sneakers should feel comfortable and secure on your feet. They also stressed the importance of considering what type of physical activity you would be doing in the sneakers, as well as making an investment (when possible) in high-quality, well-made sneakers that will last.

We searched for popular sneakers designed with arch support and extra stability, meant to make your active life easier—from running to walking to training to working an on-your-feet job, these sneakers can keep up and keep you comfortable.

What to Look for in Sneakers for Plantar Fasciitis

Fit 

When it comes to finding the right fit for your sneakers, think like Goldilocks: not too big, not too small. Too-large shoes won’t give you the stability you need, worsening your plantar fasciitis and increasing your risk of sports injury, but too-tight isn’t the way to go, either.

“It is very important not to squeeze your foot into a sneaker, as tightness can cause friction that will lead to soreness and possible injury as well, with the formation of blisters and skin abrasions,” said Weiser 

If you’re not sure how to get the right fit, consider opting for a professional sizing appointment at a local retailer—or even measuring yourself for shoes at home with an online sizing tool. According to Patrick McEneaney, DPM, CEO of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, you want about a half a thumbnail to a full thumbnail of toe space from the very tip of the shoe to your longest toe.

Structure

You do want a sneaker that moves with your foot, accommodating your natural stride, but you still need to look for firm support; if your foot moves around too much inside your shoe, you run the risk of worsening your symptoms. 

“If there's movement inside of the footwear, [you’ll be] gripping your toes to try to keep your foot stable,” McEneaney said. “We don't want your foot to work as hard inside of the shoe, because once it starts working harder, all of your tendons, your ligament structure, and the musculature starts tightening.”

This tensed-up, contracted formation of your foot—especially while working out—is only going to make your plantar fasciitis worse. To avoid it, make sure to choose a shoe that doesn’t bend too much in the midfoot, McEneaney advised—a shoe that bends too much doesn’t have firm enough arch support.

Daily activity

Both of our experts stress the importance of thinking about the type of activity you’ll be doing and considering whether your sneaker can accommodate it. For example, said Weiser, playing basketball requires high top sneakers, while playing tennis requires sneakers that can support you during the side-to-side motion of the game. 

Furthermore, said McEneaney, you should think about how your feet behave during physical activity (like if they pronate, i.e. roll in, or supinate, i.e. roll out) as well as how many hours a day you spend on your feet and the type of work you do. 

“The kind of work people are doing guides the recommendation of footwear that I'm putting patients in,” McEneaney said.

Cost

Let’s get one thing clear: you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a pair of sneakers in order to get the right support, but you should make sure your shoes are made with long-lasting, high-quality materials. 

“It's not about the expense of the footwear, [but] you are going to wear [a cheaper] shoe out that much quicker, and then will just need to go and buy a new pair of shoes,” said McEneaney. “It's in your best interest to buy a good shoe up front instead of cheap shoes that won't offer you the support you need and will just wear out faster.”

This is especially important for people with plantar fasciitis, he added, who might lose features that provide necessary structure and support for their condition when opting for cheaper “budget” sneakers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are soft or hard shoes better for plantar fasciitis?

    According to Weiser, soft shoes are best. Soft, flexible sneakers are typically wide and deep enough, he says, to accommodate a custom-made orthotic if you choose to add one; this can give you the correct arch support, which will limit tension and strain on the plantar fascia.

  • Are there any sneaker styles to avoid when you have plantar fasciitis?

    You want to avoid backless sneakers, said Weiser, since the back of the sneaker has to be stable enough to support your heel and keep it in place during physical activity. Backless sneakers can’t really do that. 

    You should also avoid sneakers with insoles that can’t be removed or sneakers that run too tight, since this will limit your ability to customize your shoe to your needs.

    “The insole of the sneaker should be removed in order to accommodate a custom-made device that provides arch support,” said Weiser, “[and] the sneaker should be wide and deep [because those devices] take up space in your sneaker.”

Why Trust Verywell Health

Sarah Bradley has been writing health content since 2017—everything from product roundups and illness FAQs to nutrition explainers and the dish on diet trends, including several pieces on footwear for plantar fasciitis. She knows how important it is to receive trustworthy and expert-approved advice about over-the-counter products that manage everyday health conditions, from GI issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.

1 Source
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  1. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Accessed July 29, 2022.