The 15 Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis of 2023
Clothe your feet in comfort and support with a pair of these tested shoes
Rich Scherr is an updates strategist and fact checker for Dotdash Meredith brands, including Health and Verywell. He is a seasoned financial and technology journalist who served as editor-in-chief of the Potomac Tech Wire for nearly two decades, and is a regular contributor to the sports pages of The Baltimore Sun. He has also been a news editor for America Online and has contributed to the Associated Press and The Washington Post.
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Health / Kristin Kempa
It’s a staggering number, but it’s true: Plantar fasciitis is responsible for 80% of all cases of heel pain—a condition that is exacerbated by wearing the wrong shoes. On the flip side, choosing the right footwear can really help you feel more comfortable, which in turn makes it much easier to stay active.
And though there are a number of different causes for this overuse injury of the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot—such as a change in weight, activity, or footwear—you want to be sure your shoes allow you to heal instead of making the condition worse. To do that, you need shoes that offer a firm sole, adequate cushioning, appropriate arch support, and are comfortable enough to wear on a consistent basis.
The best shoes for plantar fasciitis not only reduce your heel pain, but provide enough cushioning so you can heal. They might even help prevent plantar fasciitis from developing in the first place. To come up with this comprehensive list, we evaluated 21 different shoes based on their fit, stability, responsiveness, cushioning, comfort, quality, and value. We also sought input from several podiatrists and foot ankle specialists to determine what makes a good shoe for plantar fasciitis. A podiatrist from our Medical Expert Board also reviewed the content in this article surrounding plantar fasciitis and selecting shoes to help with plantar fasciitis pain.
These lightweight shoes are supportive and stable, promoting pain-free movement and activities. They’re versatile enough for everyday wear, but supportive enough for athletics.
The brand only offers a few colors.
Having a solid set of sneakers is key to be able to enjoy everyday life with plantar fasciitis. From the moment we put these sneakers on to test them, we fell in love with them. Not only did they fit perfectly, but they also are extremely light and comfortable, without causing any chafing or blisters. We especially appreciate that the heels of the shoe are slightly elevated, while the grip on the back of the shoe keeps your foot stable.
Even more importantly, the arches on these shoes molded to our feet and did not cause any cramping that can sometimes occur in shoes designed for plantar fasciitis. The toe box also is roomy, providing just enough space for our toes.
But what really impressed us about these shoes is the stability they afforded us—in fact they were so supportive and stable that we even tested them out at a Zumba class and they allowed us to get our groove on—no stumbling, pain, or catching on different surfaces. We were able to enjoy the class with no plantar fasciitis pain to spoil the fun. The only downside with this shoe is the fact that the color options are so limited, so there are limited opportunities to express yourself.
Price at time of publication: $140
Equipped with two inserts, each with anatomical arch supports, this shoe allows you to customize your fit.
There is a chance that the extra insert could cause the shoe to fit differently.
The Orthofeet Coral Stretch Knit shoe is about as close to a custom sneaker as you can buy, thanks to the inserts that allowed us to customize the fit. The insert can act as a kind of booster for your arches, if you need it. We also appreciated the stability of these shoes and how they supported our feet and ankles.
The curve of the heel also caught our attention because of the way it absorbed the shock from walking—so much so that we felt like we were walking on soft carpeting despite the different terrain. The editor who tested these often has a pins and needles feeling while walking, but not so when moving around in these supportive everyday sneakers.
Even wearing these shoes with just one insert for an extended period of time did not compromise the support these shoes provide. We are confident that those who want a little more cushion and support will appreciate the option of an extra insert as much as we do. That said, some people may find that while they need the extra insert for support and cushioning, it causes the shoe to fit differently. When you order them, definitely take the time to try a few configurations to make sure the sizing is appropriate for the level of support you need.
Price at time of publication: $145
Springy and supportive, these shoes left us feeling energized while wearing them.
These shoes do not protect the arch as much as we expected while running.
During testing, these On Cloudflyer shoes put a spring in our step. The extra grippy sole serves a dual purpose of providing stability and cushion. In fact, wearing these springy yet supportive shoes left us feeling energized and ready to go. Not once did we feel hindered by our plantar fasciitis. We could do what we wanted and then some.
And as an added bonus, our heel felt cradled and cushioned and the inside support of the shoe is very comfortable—not the slightest bit rigid or cramp-inducing. Plus, these shoes do a great job of absorbing the impact of walking on a variety of surfaces.
Unfortunately, we did not have the same experience when running, as our editor’s arches were less supported than we would like. Still, these are great shoes and provide the support needed while walking, running errands, or playing with the kids.
Price at time of publication: $170
This shoe’s arch and the curve of the sole encourages the foot to relax, allowing for pain-free movement, even during intensive exercise.
The overall aesthetic of the shoe is not as stylish as we would like.
These Walk Hero shoes fit like a glove, and we immediately felt the cushion and support in the arch in particular. And that feeling only got better as we took our first steps in these shoes. Plus, these shoes provided ample room for our feet to breathe and our toes to move—yet didn’t compromise on stability in the process. Our knees, ankles, and feet felt fully supported. The editor who tried these is also a Crossfit instructor, who spends a lot of time on his feet. Even while doing squats, we noticed less pain in our knees and improved form, as these shoes allowed us to stay on our heels with no pain.
Plus, the curve of the sole helped our feet to relax as we walked, so we were able to enjoy longer walks on different terrains with no pain. The shoe also was efficient at both absorbing the shock of our movements and propelling us forward. We were able to push into the next step with minimal effort, as the cushion of the arch acted like a springboard.
The only downsides to this shoe are its overall aesthetic and the limited color options, which leave us wanting something a little more stylish. Still, during a plantar fasciitis flare, it’s hard to beat the comfort and support of these workhorse shoes.
Price at time of publication: $90
The amazing arch support in these shoes provide just the right amount of counter pressure to help ease plantar fasciitis pain.
These shoes tend to run wide, particularly in the toe box, which can cause narrow feet to slip.
When it comes to shoes for plantar fasciitis, we were impressed with the arch support provided by these shoes. The shoe did a great job not only supporting the arch of our foot but also providing counter pressure that helped ease our plantar fasciitis pain. What’s more, our heels felt like they were being hugged by a cushiony pillow. This combination between arch and heel support results in a one-two punch in defeating plantar fasciitis pain.
As a fairly responsive shoe, these Vionic Tokyo Sneakers also did a great job rocking us into our next step. This motion allowed us to ease into each step without strain or pressure on our foot. Overall, the sole absorbed the impact of our steps without feeling too squishy and did not feel like it was going to collapse.
And while we appreciated the wide toe box, we did find that our feet tended to slip while wearing these shoes, especially when particularly active. Consequently, the wide profile of this shoe is not really suited for narrow feet. If you have bunions or wide feet, though, you may find these shoes are ideal for you.
Price at time of publication: $130
As a form-fitting and comfortable shoe, these sneakers lend themselves to lots of movement while minimizing the likelihood of experiencing pain and discomfort.
While you want a somewhat stiff shoe for plantar fasciitis, these shoes are a little firmer than some might like.
Out of the 20-plus shoes we tested, these Asics Gel-Venture 9 shoes were some of the most form-fitting, comfortable shoes we tried. Not only did they fit perfectly, but our feet did not slide around at all. Plus, our heels remained secure and well supported.
It is also worth noting that the arch support is exceptional and the toe box is roomy. We never experienced any foot pain while wearing these shoes and they do not rub or slip at all—which are great characteristics when running. In fact, our expert loved these shoes so much that they have become their go-to shoe. We also love the relatively affordable price point.
We also appreciated that the heel cup hugged our heel and the soles were great at absorbing the shock of our movements. Even the transitions in these shoes were a breeze due to the curve of the sole and the responsiveness of the shoe. That said, these shoes are not super flexible—which is a good trait for people with plantar fasciitis—but could be too much for some.
Price at time of publication: $80
The tongue of this shoe contains wide, elastic material that attaches to the side of the shoe, providing a snug fit plus extra stability and support.
There is only one narrow reflective strip on the back of the shoe, which does not make the shoe as visible at night as we would like.
As supportive and cushioned shoes, a pair of Dansko Pace provide both arch support and solid security for people with plantar fasciitis. But what is really interesting about these shoes is the unique rim around the edge of the heel cup as well as the small oval cushion in the heel for extra comfort. These features do a great job reducing pain from plantar fasciitis.
We also were impressed by the fact that the arch support is solid and firm and doesn’t flatten out with wear. What’s more, the sides of the tongue are attached with wide, elastic material to the sides of the shoe allowing the shoe to provide an extra snug and supportive fit. This feature gives the shoe extra stability and discourages slipping.
The only downside to the shoe is that it only contains a very small reflective strip on the back of the shoe. This hinders the shoe’s visibility at night, should you be a big fan of evening walks.
Price at time of publication: $140
These shoes do an excellent job of alleviating pressure and pain in the arch and heels, while still looking appropriate for work.
We would love to see additional colors for everyday wear.
For people who have to be on their feet a lot every day, we love these Fitflop Superskate Leather Loafers. Not only do they allow easy transitions from one type of flooring to the next, but they also are very supportive, alleviating pressure and pain in the feet, heels, and ankles.
We also found these shoes to be very comfortable with adequate room in the toe box for our toes—which is particularly important if you are going to be on your feet a lot. Overall, we loved how our feet felt while wearing these shoes. We were able to walk around all day and did not experience any pain.
Our only complaint about these shoes is that they do not offer many colors other than black and white. It would be nice to have a tan or brown option as well. But when looking for a loafer for work, we felt these shoes were top-notch.
Price at time of publication: $120
These boots provide good stability and support while still allowing just the right amount of foot movement. Also, they’re waterproof, and have a strong grip.
The height of the boot on the calf is slightly higher than we like.
These boots were definitely made for walking—our feet, ankles, heels, and arch all felt good even after spending a considerable amount of time walking around. Not only do these boots provide good stability and support, but the tread on them is extra grippy and supportive. We also appreciated the shock absorption these boots provided and the fact that our feet could roll through each step despite being nestled inside a pair of boots.
Because these are boots, they are heavier than other everyday footwear, but they still provide some squishiness and kept our feet and legs from taking a pounding like more traditional boots might have. Plus, they do a great job alleviating the pain and discomfort of plantar fasciitis.
That said, we do wish the boot was not quite so high so that we could have a little freer movement. But even with that minor design issue, we thought these waterproof boots did a great job keeping our feet comfy, even in inclement weather.
Price at time of publication: $160
Though these shoes provide excellent support on their own, there is still room for orthotics if you have them.
The higher arch support may be a little too much for some people.
These New Balance Fresh Foam sneakers have a dual-layer foam midsole that cushioned our feet when we were walking around—which was exactly what we want to alleviate the pain and pressure caused by plantar fasciitis. Even after all-day wear, our feet still felt fresh and comfortable. Plus, these shoes offer excellent support and stability, particularly for people with high arches.
They also provide a natural bounce that did a fantastic job absorbing the shock of our movements, even when jogging on pavement. And while these shoes offer plenty of support on their own, we found that there was still room for orthotic inserts. Overall, these truly are very adaptable shoes that help alleviate plantar fasciitis pain and promote healing. And while we loved the higher arch support, it could be a little too much support for some people. While most shoes for plantar fasciitis are designed for comfort over style, the editor who tested these had to steal them back from her teen daughter, who liked the look of them.
Price at time of publication: $140
Not only are these shoes easy to take on and off, they also are surprisingly stable for a slip-on shoe.
Because these shoes are slip-ons, they are slightly on the larger side.
For people who enjoy the convenience of a slip-on shoe, you cannot go wrong with the Kuru Atom Slip-On shoes. Not only is the arch support in these shoes solid, but the heel is also cushy, making them an extremely comfortable pair of shoes. This makes them ideal for walking longer distances, especially since they are lightweight and breathable. Plus, we loved the fact that these shoes are so easy to take on and off—perfect for busy people or folks who might have reduced mobility.
These Kuru shoes were also surprisingly stable and transitioned seamlessly between different surfaces. That said, they are not meant for wearing during a workout since there are no laces to tighten them when needed. Despite that, they are a very stable shoe when worn as they were intended.
And we fell in love with the balance of the arch and the comfy cushioning they provided. That said, they do tend to feel a little on the larger side, so they may not be ideal for people with narrow feet or those who prefer a snugger fit.
Price at time of publication: $145
Despite being a more low profile shoe, it does a great job absorbing impact and relieving stress.
These shoes are not suited for long walks due to the lack of heel support.
On the days when we wanted something a little less confining than a traditional shoe, we found that these slides were just what we needed. In fact, these Oofos OOahh Slides were extremely springy and great at propelling us forward. They also did a great job absorbing impact, which helped relieve stress from our arches throughout the day.
But while these sandals are extremely comfortable, they are not well-suited for long walks due to the lack of heel support. We also noticed that the design of the toe could lead to some tripping especially when walking up a hill. But as far as low profile shoes are concerned, these slides are exactly what we wanted and are easy to wear on a consistent basis. One nice bonus: they’re machine-washable, making them easy to clean if you wear them to cook or to the beach.
Price at time of publication: $60
As an extremely stable and secure shoe, they provide support in all the right areas and keep your body aligned.
The arch in these shoes is so supportive that there is an adjustment period in how your foot can flex doing regular activities like driving.
As a podiatrist-approved shoe, these Altra Paradigm shoes did an excellent job of supporting our feet, heels, ankles, and knees. We also felt very stable and secure when walking on all types of terrain including cracked streets and gravel. Even after our expert was on their feet for more than 10 hours, they still did not feel any of the dreaded heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis.
We also appreciate that the curve on the sole promoted a seamless and smooth transition between surfaces. And, the shoe did a great job propelling us into the next step—we rarely felt any plantar fasciitis pain while wearing these shoes on a consistent basis.
The only downside of this shoe’s really supportive arch is that it can take some time to get used to, especially when driving. Our feet seemed more restricted than we were used to, but once we adjusted to the feeling it became less of an issue.
Price at time of publication: $170
Despite being extremely rigid, these clogs are amazingly comfortable and supportive.
Though sturdy, they may not be ideal for long walks.
This clog received top marks from us across the board. Not only did we experience zero pain from our plantar fasciitis, but our feet, heels, ankles, and knees felt stable and supported every time we wore them out and about. They also provided adequate shock support and stability.
They also did a nice job propelling us from one stride to the next. And despite being comfy, they are rigid enough to provide the support our plantar fascia craved. As an added bonus, our expert noticed a vast improvement in their plantar fasciitis while wearing them. That said, while these clogs are great for everyday wear, long days on your feet, and running errands, they may not be ideal for long walks.
Price at time of publication: $150
As an easy-to-use pair of shoes, we especially appreciated how these shoes cradled and cushioned our feet.
They may not be supportive enough for those with severe plantar fasciitis.
Springy and supportive, the Oofos OOmg Sport slip-on shoes provided instant and continuous relief from our expert’s plantar fasciitis, even after a full day at the office. Plus, they are lightweight, cushy, and moderately responsive.
We especially appreciated the way the shoe gently cradled and cushioned our arch and our heel. However, due to the slip-on nature of the shoe, there is not a lot of additional cushioning on the sides of the shoe. Yet, the construction provided a snug and comfortable fit ideal for daily wear.
They also may not be optimal for those with a severe case of plantar fasciitis. But, we really enjoyed the ease of use with these recovery shoes and how they improved our symptoms.
Price at time of publication: $140
To find the best shoes for people with plantar fasciitis, we tested each shoe based on several critical factors, including fit, stability, responsiveness, cushioning, comfort, quality, and value. After assessing each testing attribute, we then rated each shoe and used these ratings to guide our recommendations.
We also documented every detail of the shoe—from the cushioning and the construction to the responsiveness and the arch support. We also paid close attention to the shoe’s fit and toe box and considered how comfortable the shoes were on our feet as well as how our plantar fasciitis responded to wearing the shoes.
Finally, we looked at each shoe's price point compared to its overall quality and allowed these factors to help determine our ratings and recommendations. Throughout this testing process, we also gathered input from the following experts and used this information to inform our recommendations:
Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury, and one of the most common causes of heel pain, Dr. Speilfogel says. This occurs when the plantar fascia—which is a thick band of tissue attached to the heel bone that runs along the bottom of the foot to the base of the toes—becomes strained and inflamed.
The pain is typically worse after resting and occurs when the foot first touches the ground. Activities such as sports, running, or standing for extended periods of time also put strain on the foot—all of which can cause plantar fasciitis.
People with plantar fasciitis often report debilitating pain that can range from mild to significant, Dr. Spector adds. Common characteristics include sharp, burning, or stabbing sensations most prevalent after being off your feet for a while. This condition affects patients of all ages and activity levels, with an estimated 1 million physician visits in the United States per year, Dr. Spector says.
People with certain foot types are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis, such as those with flat feet, high-arched feet, and Achilles tendonitis. You also are more prone to plantar fasciitis if you like to be barefooted or are an athlete, Dr. Spector says.
The primary goal of cushioning is to reduce the impact and stress on your foot. The shoe also should provide shock absorption, offer comfort, and protect your feet. Because everyone’s feet are different, the type and amount of cushioning will vary. For instance, those with higher arches might need more cushioning than those with a normal arch.
Ultimately, the amount of cushioning you need in your shoes will come down to personal preference. But, Dr. Pinker indicates that a cushioned midsole can be a very beneficial feature in a shoe and suggests looking for one with ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA).
If you have plantar fasciitis, it is important to select a shoe that has a firm sole and good arch support, Dr. Spielfogel says. Ideally, you don’t want the shoe to collapse under your weight or when you are moving or allow your foot to move or roll.
In fact, proper arch support that hits the foot in the right place means less stress and strain are applied to your foot. When a shoe lacks arch support, this leads to reduced inflammation, pain, and discomfort, Dr. Spielfogel adds. He says he advises patients that a supportive arch may not feel 100% comfortable from the start but it will be an important part of recovery.
If you cannot find a shoe that gives you the support and stability you need, there is a chance that you could benefit from custom-made orthotics or inserts to ensure your foot is supported.
People with plantar fasciitis should avoid shoes that have no support, as they will exacerbate plantar fasciitis, Dr. Spielfogel says. For instance, shoes such as flats, ballet slippers, or flip flops do not provide adequate support for the plantar fascia and should be avoided.
You also should avoid shoes that fit loosely and lack proper cushioning, Dr. Pinker adds. And watch out for poorly constructed shoes or those that lack durability. He suggests his patients look at New Balance, Asics, Brooks, and Saucony because they are well-constructed, durable shoes.
Here are four more shoes we tested. While these styles had some very notable characteristics, they also fell short in key areas.
Because the plantar fascia is a strong, thick fibrous band that spans the bottom of the foot to provide stability and support, it is critical to pick shoes that can help reduce the stress on and inflammation of this band to aid in your recovery, Dr. Spector says.
Dr. Spector also advises making sure you get sized appropriately and that you try not to size up or down. A shoe should feel supportive without any pressure points or rubbing and it should also be lightweight enough to not add any additional stress during activities, he says.
He also suggests doing the “bend” test and see if you can fold or bend the shoe in half, which will let you know how much support and firmness the shoe might offer. Shoes that have a higher level of support typically will not bend very much, he says—we incorporated this advice into our testing to ensure our picks offer enough support.
The more stability and support you provide your foot (and plantar fascia), the less likely your plantar fasciitis will act up and the more likely it is to heal, Dr. Spector says. That said, sometimes you may need additional treatment to promote healing. For instance, some people need orthopedic inserts, physical therapy, and cortisone injections to get relief, Dr. Pinker adds.
Your foot needs appropriate support in order to alleviate the strain on the plantar fascia. As a result, if you can tolerate wearing shoes all day, then you should, Dr. Spector says. But he acknowledges that most people have a hard time doing this, so he recommends a recovery sandal while not wearing shoes.
With proper treatment, Dr. Spector says he usually expects the condition to resolve in about one to three months depending on the severity. That said, there are numerous factors that can affect the duration of plantar fasciitis and every person is different in how they respond to treatment. The success (and length) of a treatment plan generally boils down to how compliant you are with the recommended treatments.
Sherri Gordon, CLC is an experienced journalist who has been covering health and social issues for more than 20 years. When writing tested reviews like this one, Sherri carefully considers medical research, the reviewers’ experiences, and doctor recommendations and works to add a layer of information and detail that enables readers to make a choice that suits their needs. For this review, Sherri paid special attention to how the shoes functioned after extended wear. As someone who walks several miles a day, Sherri knows how important it is to find shoes that not only fit comfortably but also do not exacerbate any pain or discomfort you have.
Umar H, Idrees W, Umar W, Khalil A, Rizvi ZA. Impact of routine footwear on foot health: A study on plantar fasciitis. J Family Med Prim Care. 2022;11(7):3851-3855. doi:10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_637_21
Schwartz EN, Su J. Plantar fasciitis: a concise review. Perm J. 2014;18(1):e105-e107. doi:10.7812/TPP/13-113Price at time of publication: $140Product Details:Shoe Type: Sizes: Widths: Materials: Heel drop: Cushioning: Price at time of publication: $145Product Details:Shoe Type: Sizes:Widths: Materials: Heel drop: Cushioning: Price at time of publication: $170Product Details:Shoe Type: Sizes: Widths: Materials: Heel drop: Cushioning: Price at time of publication: $90Product Details:Shoe Type: Sizes: Widths: Materials: Heel drop: Cushioning: Price at time of publication: $130Product Details:Shoe Type: Sizes: Widths: Materials: Heel drop: Cushioning: Price at time of publication: $80Product Details:Shoe Type: Sizes: Widths: Materials: Heel drop: Cushioning: Price at time of publication: $140Product Details:Shoe Type: Sizes: Widths: Materials: Heel drop: Cushioning: Price at time of publication: $120Product Details:Shoe Type: Sizes: Widths: Materials: Heel drop: Cushioning: Price at time of publication: $160Product Details:Shoe Type: Sizes: Widths: Materials: Heel drop: Cushioning: Price at time of publication: $140Product Details:Shoe Type: Sizes: Widths: Materials: Heel drop: Cushioning: Price at time of publication: $145Product Details:Shoe Type: Sizes: Widths: Materials: Heel drop: Cushioning: Price at time of publication: $60Product Details:Shoe Type: Sizes: Widths: Materials: Heel drop: Cushioning: Price at time of publication: $170Product Details:Shoe Type: Sizes: Widths: Materials: Heel drop: Cushioning: Price at time of publication: $150Product Details:Shoe Type: Sizes: Widths: Materials: Heel drop: Cushioning: Price at time of publication: $140Product Details:Shoe Type: Sizes: Widths: Materials: Heel drop: Cushioning: