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.

6. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 is an excellent shoe for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. In fact, the whole Adrenaline GTS line is designed as a support shoe. You get a 12mm drop from heel to toe which helps move your weight from the back to the front of the foot.

The Adrenaline GTS 19 also has excellent cushioning. This DNA loft technology is a lightweight but highly durable material found in this line of shoes. Alongside this, you get a Guide Rails Holistic Support System designed to lock your foot in place, particularly useful for those suffering from pronation or flat feet as well as plantar fasciitis. And a rollbar that minimizes flexion in the foot as you run which helps reduce the stress on your plantar.

Completing the design you get a cloth-like breathable mesh for the shoes upper, this is a lightweight and smooth material that doesn’t rub against your foot as you run. Overall you get a comfortable and secure shoe. However, there have been some issues with durability. So despite how good it is, you may have to replace it quicker than expected.

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Great support
  • Support for pronators and flat feet as well

Cons

  • Duabaility is a concern

7. Asics Gel Kayano 26

The Asics Gel Kayano 26 is yet another reliable running shoe from Asics. The Kayano gives a natural and comfortable experience, and there are several reasons for this. Firstly the insole is anatomically shaped to resemble your foot but also provides additional support on the instep for those of you who pronate.

The key to success with this running shoe is the midsole. The midsole is a blend of 3 ingredients, Flyte Foam Lyte, Flyte Foam Propel and of course the Asics Gel. Flytefoam Lyte helps with the shock absorption, whereas Flyte foam propel can be found heel to toe in this running shoe. The FlyteFoam Propel is softer and more responsive than the Lyte foam, giving you a better response from the shoe and the feeling of literally bouncing along. And last but not least the famous Asics gel which is used across the Asics range. This gel gives even more shock absorption and protection.

Overall you get a comfortable, stable running shoe with a focus on comfort. However, there have been a few criticisms mainly to do with the tight toe area and easy-to-unravel laces.

Pros

  • Reactive and comfortable
  • Breathable upper
  • Comfortable straight out of the box

Cons

  • Narrow toe box.

8. Hoka One One Bondi 6 

The Hoka One One is not only great for those of you suffer from plantar fasciitis but because of there design and cushioning they’re also a great running shoe for bigger and heavier runners out there. The comfort of this running shoe is its biggest selling point. There is a level of bounce and responsiveness that you get from the Hoka One One Bondi that you know that there is something special about them.

The Hoka One One midsole is constructed out of EVA foam which provides the majority of the cushioning, on top of that you get a lycra comfort heel to provide extra protection for plantar fasciitis. The heel cup technology ensures that your foot stays locked in place and isn’t buffeted around to cause you unnecessary discomfort.

The rubber outsole has been redesigned for this Hoka One One model, so durability is pretty good even after a couple of hundred miles, but the main selling point of the Hoka One One is the cushioning and plenty of users have commented on how the cushioning and the support are still prevalent even after the running shoes have had some wear and tear put on them.

Pros

  • Great cushioning
  • Great for alleviating front foot pain
  • Breathable upper

Cons

  • Can run a bit narrow
  • Tongue rubs against instep

9. Brooks Ghost 11 Running Shoe 

The Brooks Ghost 11 is still regarded as one of the best running shoes in the market. Now whilst the ghost has twice been updated since the v 11’s were released, the newer versions don’t provide the support that you need if you suffer from plantar fasciitis. The Brooks Ghost 11 is an extremely comfortable shoe with a sock-like fitting. It’s also has a high arch for those of you in need for some arch support from your running shoes.

But it’s the level of comfort and support that it brings to the table that makes it ideal for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. You get the DNA loft foam in the heel which feels springy and fantastic. And the midsole if the Brooks DNA+ BioMoGo, sounds flashy I know. Still, it’s a material that helps make the shoe more sustainable for when you do finally say goodbye to them as its degradable.

The outsole rubber is extremely durable, and reports suggest little wear and degradation after a fair bit of use. Overall it might be an old un, but it’s definitely a good un. The only real negatives are that it’s a bit bulky compared to some of its more modern alternatives and the mesh upper is not as durable.

Pros

  • Arch Support for those that need it
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Durable outsole

Cons

  • Mesh upper is not as durable

10. Mizuno Wave Inspire 16 

The Mizuno Wave Inspire series is one of Mizuno’s longest-standing stability lines. This being it’s 16th version. If that doesn’t tell you how popular this shoe is then nothing will. But what do you get in this 16th version versus all that came before it?

Well, you get a soft and as expected stable ride with this show. The midsole is comprised of SmoothRide Support wave technology that is designed to cushion and lighten your steps. The upper mesh is soft and breathable, as well.

However, you get an internal toe cap, and this has caused some user problems. For those of you looking for a bit of wiggle room and space in the toe box, then I would not recommend these shoes as they run quite tight. Also, some users have complained about durability. But overall for those of you who do suffer from plantar fasciitis you do get a very stable shoe that absorbs a lot of the impact and provides very good cushioning.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Vert stable
  • Padded tongue and collar provide additional support

Cons

  • No wide toe box, users have reported discomfort
  • Durability is questionable

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. 

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