Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis for Men and Women
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition that is caused by strain on the flat band of ligament that connects your toes to your heel bone. It is the most common cause of heel pain and causes pain when you walk or stand. Repeated straining of this ligament (plantar fascia) can cause tiny tears and lead to pain and swelling. Common causes of plantar fasciitis are:
- Rolling your feet inward when walking
- Having flat feet or high arches
- Running or walking for extended periods of time, particularly on hard surfaces
- Wearing shoes that are worn out or don’t fit correctly
- Having Achilles tendons or calf muscles that are too tight.
When you have plantar fasciitis you generally experience pain when you take your first steps after waking or after you have been sitting for a long period of time. You may also experience pain after walking up stairs or after standing for an extended period of time.
There are many treatments and home remedies for plantar fasciitis. Some suggest rolling a golf ball under your feet and keeping ice on it. Others say taking anti-inflammatories or cortisone shots will get rid of this condition. But one thing everyone agrees on is wearing the proper shoes makes a huge difference and in cases of flat feet or high arches, can even prevent it before it starts. We are going to count down the best shoes we have found to help ease your pain.
Before we get into the BEST shoes for plantar fasciitis, let’s start with some footwear DON’T’s.
First of all, no wandering around barefoot. We all know it’s nice every once and awhile to toss off your shoes and just go all natural, but with plantar fasciitis this is just not an option. With every step you take barefoot your heel will be striking the floor with significant weight and nothing to cushion the blow. If you absolutely insist on walking around barefoot, stick to soft surfaces, like thick carpet.
Next up is the all-time summer favorite, flip flops. We know, we know, don’t shoot the messenger. Flip flops offer no heel cushion, no arch support and no stability. All big no no’s with plantar fasciitis.
You know those old, dingy, worn out tennis shoes that you’ve had forever and a day? Yeah, they got to go. The insoles are probably thinner than a sheet of paper right now and the heel is most likely worn and uneven. This is a dangerous combination with fasciitis. Toss them out.
Many people I know wear heels to work every day and keep a spare pair of ballet flats in their purse for later. The adorable slip-ons go in and out of style all the time, but are terrible for plantar fasciitis sufferers. If you plan on being on your feet for extended periods or walking long distances in these, they’re a very poor choice. They offer absolutely no arch support and are pretty much the equivalent to walking on cardboard.
Life is hard. I know I just told you that you can’t wear flats, but heels aren’t a great idea either. Since people with plantar fasciitis generally have ankles that roll inward if not properly supported, high heels are possibly the worst shoes for you. If you just can’t give up your heels switch to a small heel with around an inch to an inch and a half of lift with good arch support and adequate heel cushion. This will help move weight and stress away from your heel, providing some relief.
Now that we’ve covered what NOT to do, let’s move on to the best shoes for your condition. The best shoes for plantar fasciitis should keep your feet in proper alignment and support your arches. Ideally they will also they will also minimize the windlass mechanism and reduce the weight on your Achilles tendon. A windlass is a device created to lift a large item by tightening a cable or rope. In this case, the plantar fascia represents the rope or cable attached to the metatarsophalangeal joints and the calcaneus. All that fancy talk means is that this mechanism causes the flex and point of your foot.
A few things to keep in mind when choosing your shoes for plantar fasciitis are:
- Foot size can vary throughout the day. Your feet tend to be smaller early in the day, as it expands after continued use. Go shopping for new shoes later in the afternoon or after a long walk for a more accurate size.
- The best tennis shoes/sneakers for plantar fasciitis will feel comfortable immediately, there should be no “breaking in” period.
- The outermost sole should be thick and stiff. If you hold the two sides of your shoes and try to bend or twist it the shoe shouldn’t give much.
- The toe area of your shoe should be wide enough to allow the middle and rear parts of your feet to roll over the forefoot but rigid enough to prevent harsh toe extension.
We have searched far and wide for the best possible shoes for your aching tootsies and think we have found the very best of the best. Ladies first…
#1 Klogs USA Landing Dress Pumps
The Klogs Brand is already pretty well known for their professional medical shoes and now they have ventured to go further into this field. They have created a non-marking, anti-slip, leather shoes with a synthetic sole. Their insoles offer an unmatched cushioned pillow for your feet. The insoles are made of polyurethane and are removable. These shoes are even available in three different colors which are black smooth, slate smooth, and even caramel. They transition well between day and evening as well.
These smart little shoes are available on Amazon for $87.96. A bit pricey but absolutely worth it to walk pain free. You can buy them here.
#2 Nike Air Max 2017 Running Shoes
Nike has finally released the 2017 Air Max’s, and they somehow managed to surpass what were already successful sneakers. Using a combination of mesh and synthetic materials and adding a series of wire cables as a lacing system, Nike has out done itself. The midsole offers vastly improved motion control for overpronation problems and the soft mesh and foam tongue gives a breathable surface. The Air Max is offered in 6 color combinations, from black to hot pink.
The Air Max 2017 is on the expensive side, coming in at $184.00 on Amazon.com. They are available here.
#3 New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v6 Running Shoes
New Balance is a brand that is already well known in the running community and they have outdone themselves this time. 1080v6’s are by far the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis we have found. The fresh foam insole offers great arch support and improves gait and overpronation more than adequately. Manufactured with imported synthetic fabric and designed for the sole purpose of providing comfort, these shoes are hard to rival for those with plantar fasciitis. They are available in 5 different colors, ranging from light blue to grey.
The 1080v6’s are a bit cheaper than the Air Max, at about $100.00. They are available here.
#4 Orthofeet Chelsea Orthotic Loafers
Orthofeet Chelsea is top among women’s orthotic shoes, and these are no different. These loafer come in 3 different color variations and are made of the highest quality leather. They come with a molded insole with gel padding and an anatomically correct arch to support your aching feet. The outer sole was made using a lightweight material with air cushioning that will soften as you wear them.
These beauties ring in at $129.95 on Amazon.com and can be found here.
#5 OOFOS OOriginial Thongs Flip Flops
I know, I know we told you no flip flops, but these are different. OOFOS has designed a super comfortable flip flop that is made of imported synthetic material. The height of the sole comes to a pain relieving one inch and the rocker design improves gait and motion control while reducing pressure on the more sensitive areas of your foot. These are offered in an amazing 15 colors including slate, violet, red, mocha, and white.
These are at the lower in of the price scale costing between $26.99 and $69.00. They are available for purchase on Amazon.com, here.
Now we didn’t forget the men! While some of the above are available in men’s, most aren’t. So here are out top 5 favorite men’s shoes for plantar fasciitis.
#1 Nike Dual Fusion Trail Running Shoes (Dual Fusion 3)
Available in both men’s and women’s varieties, these overpronation shoes tend to fit very true to size and pave the way for a comfortable walking or running experience. The Dual Fusion 3 is made up of breathable mesh and synthetic uppers with a hard rubber sole. These also sport a firm but lightweight phylon carrier and a very soft phylon core.
The Nike Dual Fusion 3 is available on Amazon.com and costs between $69.99 and $169.98. They can be found here.
#2 New Balance MW928 Walking Shoes
These shoes are possibly the most cozy and most comfortable walking shoes ever. They offer top of the line cushioning and stability and are known for being one of the best shoes for overpronation on the market today. This model has been around for a while, but continues to become more and more popular with those of us with plantar fasciitis. The stabilizing rollbar technology is supportive and the midfoot cushioning is unmatched. This smart design comes in 4 colors.
The New Balance MW928 is available here, and goes for between $124.95 and $135.00
#3 Asics GT 2000
This shoe is a specifically for men and comes in 6 different color variations. Asics has been well known for being a leader in creating shoes for people with chronic foot pain, and these are no exception. This shoes is particularly designed for those with overpronation issues and is made with synthetic leather. They have a rubber sole to reduce slipping and falling as well. This shoe is lightweight and even boasts an impact guidance system to guide your foot to proper placement! It doesn’t get much better than that!
These are, of course available for purchase thru Amazon and can be found here. They run between $101 and $119.
#4 Orthaheel Walker Athletic
This shoe boasts the American Podiatric Medical Associations seal of approval. A podiatrist even designed it! The Walker Athletic displays antibacterial, removable orthotic inserts for arch support and shock absorbing soles. These were designed with motion control in mind, forcing the wearer to walk and even stand properly which improves gait and balance.
They are available in 5 color combinations and range from $39.99 to $139.99. They can be purchased here.
#5 Brooks Beast 16
These shoes are highly recommended by podiatrists and top of the line in the plantar fasciitis arena. They feature a Diagonal Rollbar for added rigidity on the forefoot and midfoot. The cushioning is completely covered by the Full Foot Brooks DNA Cushioning Technology which adapts with each strike of the foot, to give optimal stability and balance. These shoes are highly rated by owners and come in 3 different color combinations.
While these shoes are on the pricey side of things, owners and doctors alike swear they are worth it. They can be purchased here on Amazon.com. They range in price from $112.79 to $505.89.
Having the right shoes when you are living with plantar fasciitis is essential for living with less pain. We have tried to include shoes for everyday living as well as more strenuous activities. Everything here is based on user and expert reviews and experiences. We truly hope we have help you “get back on your feet”!