Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis 

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis are, then I recommend the ASICS Men’s Gel-Contend 4 Running Shoes for men and the Gravity Defyer Women’s G-Defy Mighty Walk Shoes for women.

Person running on a road

Plantar fasciitis can be painful and difficult to deal with at times. If you enjoy running, you may feel like your condition is holding you back. 

Providing you have the right shoes, you can still enjoy running. With this in mind, I’ve found the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis to help you out. 

The best running shoes for plantar fasciitis are:

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is heavily attributed to heel pain due to damage done to the plantar fascia in the heel.

Being one of the most common causes of heel pain, occurs when damage is done to the plantar fascia, which is located inside the heel of the foot. 

Tissue that runs across the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes, becomes inflamed. This inflammation then leads to pain in the heel, often described as a stabbing pain. 

Causes

Plantar fasciitis is very common in runners, which is thought to be because of repetitive stress that’s placed on the heel and tissues. 

Repeated tensions placed on the fascia can cause it to stretch, which eventually leads to it tearing. When consistent stretching and tearing occur, the fascia becomes irritated and then inflamed.

Common causes are:

  • Obesity.
  • Being on the feet all day.
  • Age.
  • Specific exercises, including running.
  • Flat feet.
  • High arches.

Symptoms 

Stabbing pain occurs in the heel, making it difficult to walk on. The pain is usually worse after exercising and running, not during. This is why it’s important to wear supportive footwear to prevent pain from occurring. 

Complications 

When we have foot pain, it’s natural to want to walk in a different way to change where pressure is exerted, as well as to relieve pain. What we don’t realize is that this results in potential injury occurring to the knees, ankles, hips or back. 

The best thing we can do is to wear appropriate and supportive footwear that enables us to walk normally while relieving pressure, minimizing pain and maintaining comfort while moving.

People running at desk

Important Factors when Finding Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

You enjoy running, but you hate having to deal with the hours of pain that comes afterward. While you may have insoles that provide some support, having proper shoes will help further. 

It’s important that you have shoes that provide good support and stability for your feet, that maximize comfort and reduce pain occurring after you’ve finished your training.

More specifically, look for these factors:

  • Arch support.
  • Ankle support.
  • Shock absorption.
  • Chunky heel.
  • Deep heel cup.
  • Durable construction.

Arch Support

Shoes with firm arch supports hold the feet in their natural arched position, improving balance and stability. They also help to protect the feet from the impact of running.

Ankle Support

Protecting your ankles is as important as protecting your feet, and you can do this by ensuring you have supportive shoes with a lace-up system, high mouth and padded tongue.

Shock Absorption 

Shoes with cushioning pads will absorb shock and protect the feet as you land after each stride. The best pads are usually made from gel or foam to provide extra comfort. 

Chunky Heel

Better protection against impact comes from having a thick and chunky heel on your running shoes. Thin, flimsy heels provide minimal protection, and your foot takes more shock than necessary. 

Deep Heel Cup

Your feet will have greater stability, and you’ll have better movement control from wearing shoes with deep heel cups. They’ll keep your feet in place and support your foot bones to maintain their natural vertical position.

Durable Construction 

Shoes that are made with strong materials will last for longer. Usually, bigger brands pile more money into their products, which means the materials they use are more expensive and, therefore, of a better quality. Examples include leather, good quality fabrics and rubber. 

Rubber soles are more durable and give greater flexibility. Leather and textiles offer great foot movement and are great for temperature control. 

Man running

Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis: The Reviews 

I’ve found five of the best running shoes for you to choose from. Each of them has important features that offer support and protection for your feet while running and minimize the painful after-effects caused by plantar fasciitis. 

1. Asics Men’s Gel-Contend 4 Running Shoes 

The thick rubber sole on these shoes is chunky, helping to absorb shock as you run on all kinds of terrain. Extending over the toe area, too, the sole keeps your toes protected.

Gel cushioning is located in the heel of the shoe, providing comfort and protection for your heels. The cushioning will absorb shock and allow for a smoother running experience. 

Your feet will have greater stability with a built-in arch support, keeping them in a natural position as you’re running to minimize the risk of injury. 

The sock liner provides extra comfort, as it’s fully cushioned. Your foot will stay firmly in place, but your toes will still have room to comfortably move. Also, the sock liner can be removed if you wish to place an orthotic insole inside the shoe instead. 

I like how the cotton-lined material inside the shoe absorbs moisture to help keep your feet dry and odor-free. Mesh areas on the shoe also allow air to flow to your feet, keeping them cool. 

The strong lace-up system, as well as the shoes’ padded tongue, will help to keep your foot and ankle safely secure as you run. 

A small arch in the design of the shoe keeps your feet in their natural position, minimizing pain and discomfort. 

This shoe is currently available in sizes 6 to 15 for men. 

Pros

  • Over 10 different color designs and styles to choose from. 
  • Non-slip sole.
  • High mouth for greater ankle support.
  • Available in normal, wide and extra-wide sizes. 

Cons

  • Sizes run a little small.

2. Gravity Defyer Women’s G-Defy Mighty Walk Shoes

These shoes are clinically proven to relieve pain and have been tried and tested on runners. 75 percent of users had less foot pain when wearing these shoes while working out.

VersoShock technology built into the heel of the shoe means that extra foam cushioning absorbs shock and reduces the impact on your feet as you run. Pressure is also reduced on the toes, providing better stability and helping to distribute weight evenly across the foot.

Rigid arch support reduces strain put on your feet with every step, promoting a natural positioning. A deep rigid heel cup also offers great stability and support for the heel, reducing pain and increasing comfort. Also, a seamless interior prevents irritation and ensures your feet are comfortable at all times. 

The mesh material provides breathability, helping to keep your feet dry and cool as you run.

Perfect for running, these shoes curve upwards towards the front. This helps you to easily stride from one step to the next, giving you greater motion control as you move. Also, the sole is thick, which helps to reduce stress and shock being absorbed by your feet.

These features combine well with the padded tongue and lace-up system, which both keep your feet secure and provides extra heel and ankle support.

Grab a pair in sizes 6 to 11, with wide sizes available for a more spacious fit.

Pros

  • Deep heel cup for stability.
  • Extra-wide toe box.
  • Insoles are removable. 

Cons

  • Rubber color fades easily.
  • Priced very highly compared to others.

3. New Balance Men’s 680v6 Cushioning Running Shoes 

With a full mesh upper half, these shoes are breathable by allowing natural airflow. This keeps them comfortable for longer, especially on hot days, as they’ll feel dry and cool as you run.

A thick rubber sole helps to absorb shock, and protection extends to the toes with the rubber toe cap located on the front of the shoe.

The shape of the sole helps a smoother run, and the arch supports your feet in their natural position. On top of this, the insole cushioning provides more comfort and support, absorbing shock as you run and protecting your feet from the impact as you land.

The lace-up system helps improve stability as you run and will keep your feet and ankles securely in place. Also, the padded tongue provides support for your ankle, helping to prevent injuries. 

These are great for big feet as they’re available from size 7 up to a spacious 18.

Pros

  • Traction grips on the soles provide better motion control. 
  • Available in normal, wide and extra-wide sizes.
  • Spacious toe box.

Cons

  • Sockliner isn’t removable. 
  • Tongue is a little thin.
  • Laces aren’t very strong.

4. Asics Men’s GT-2000 7 Running Shoes 

Gel technology is used in these shoes with two pads located in both the heel and forefoot. This provides maximum comfort for both the heel and ball, cushioning them against impact as the pads help to absorb shock.

The shoe is designed to keep the foot in its natural position, from the heel to the toes, with arch support in the middle.

High abrasion rubber is located in areas that are most likely to endure wear and tear, making the shoes extremely durable. The rubber sole is thick, particularly in the heel area, which also works to absorb shock and protect the heel.

The upper half of the shoe is made from mesh material, which allows the foot to have flexibility and movement control. The material is also breathable, keeping feet cool and dry as you run.

A padded tongue and strong lace-up system will keep your feet and ankles supported, promoting stability and improving balance as you move. 

Lastly, the heel cups are deep, keeping your foot upright in their natural vertical position. This helps with stability while supporting the foot and ankle. 

These are available in sizes 7 to 17 for men.

Pros

  • Breathable and flexible material.
  • Wide and extra-wide sizing. 
  • Sole grooves help with grip and traction control.

Cons 

  • Sole becomes thin toward the front of the shoe.
  • Laces are really long.

5. Saucony Women’s VersaFoam Cohesion 12 Running Shoes 

A thick and chunky rubber sole provides great durability while helping to protect your feet from impact. Additionally, crisscross grooves on the sole help to grip terrain, giving you more support and control.

The rubber sole extends to the front of the shoe over the toes, providing added protection for your toes.

Foam cushioning is built into the shoes, absorbing shock and reducing impact to your feet as you land. Your feet will feel comfortable, and you’ll still have room to move them without feeling squashed.

Breathable mesh material allows natural airflow to your feet. This helps to minimize nasty foot odors as your feet will remain dryer and cooler for longer.

The mouth of the shoe is high, providing more security and protection for your ankles. Your feet will be supported in their natural position, minimizing the risk of injury. 

A padded tongue on the shoe and the lace-up system helps with stability and will keep your feet and ankles securely in place as you run. 

This shoe is available in sizes 5 to 12.

Pros

  • True to size.
  • Lightweight, but still supportive. 

Cons

  • Users report a narrow toe box.

Summary 

Although you won’t find many shoes that are specifically advertised as being made for plantar fasciitis, many shoes can provide you with the needed support and comfort.

After comparing the best of the best, the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis are the ASICS Men’s Gel-Contend 4 Running Shoes for men and the Gravity Defyer Women’s G-Defy Mighty Walk Shoes for women. 

Both shoes provide cushioning that will absorb shock and protect your feet from impact while running. They’re both excellently made with a durable construction, so will stay with you for many miles to come. 

They’ll also keep your feet comfortable and minimize the pain that plantar fasciitis sufferers feel after running. 

Person walking up stairs

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