Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best sandals for plantar fasciitis are, then I recommend the Birkenstock Arizona Unisex Leather Sandal for men and the Keen Women’s Whisper Sandal for women. 

sandals on a beach

Having plantar fasciitis can throw a rut in your summer plans when you don’t have supportive footwear to dissipate the pain and discomfort. Thankfully, the best sandals for plantar fasciitis can help keep you active and on your feet.

There are options for men and women on my list, including the beloved flip-flop style. Yes, you won’t have to go without those, either. But no matter what you choose, make sure that your foot is stable, has the right level of protection, comfort and arch support that you need.

The best sandals for plantar fasciitis are:

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

The name makes it sound more confusing than it is. The plantar fascia is a group of tissues connecting the heel bone to the toe. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, it can lead to pain and discomfort, especially upon waking.

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition, affecting around 10 per cent of the U.S population. It can happen to anyone, but risk factors include:

  • Age: Those between 40 and 60 years old.
  • Non-normative walking patterns: Excessive pronation, for example.
  • Arch difficulties: Flat feet or high arches.
  • Daily life: If you’re on your feet all day, on hard surfaces, in particular.
  • Stiff muscles: The calf or Achilles tendon lack flexibility.

Others affected more easily by plantar fasciitis include overweight individuals, runners and anyone who wears unsupportive shoes. This includes old shoes, worn out or simply lack the comfort and stability necessary to counteract the condition.

The good news is that all isn’t lost. While shoes may not be the be-all-end-all solution, they’ll certainly help you feel better supported and more comfortable daily.

If you do suffer from plantar fasciitis, then please check out our in-depth guide on the causes and remedies of plantar fasciitis.

Features to Look For

Not all footwear qualifies to help with this condition. Sandals, in particular, can be quite basic, and you don’t want to suffer come summertime.

There are a few key features to keep in mind when shopping. This includes:

  • Arch support: Arch support is crucial for those with flat feet, in particular. Arch support is an essential component to relieving the pressure on your feet that comes with plantar fasciitis. It can also help prevent the condition from returning over again.
  • Sturdy midsole: To avoid too much impact along the heel, the midfoot needs to stabilize properly. This means you want a semi-rigid midsole that offers enough cushioning and support to keep the foot from moving around.
  • Deep heel: A deep or firm heel cup will keep this area sturdy, as well. It’s one of the most essential features, given the heel is the primary location of fasciitis pain.
  • Contoured footbed: A footbed that forms to the shape of your foot helps you feel comfortable, with or without the pain from this condition. Look for a medium level of cushioning here.
  • Breathability: Who likes foot sweat? Exactly! I always appreciate sandals that incorporate breathable materials and odor-controlling properties. This is non-negotiable come summertime.

What to Avoid

This might seem obvious, but hear me out. Most sandals and flip flops, while stylish, offer little-to-no support.  No arch support for your midfoot, no cushioning for your heels, no non-slip grip to prevent you tumbling over and losing your balance

While they might be tempting—and even suitable—for a brief evening out, wearing them regularly can make plantar fasciitis worse. I’m not saying don’t buy them at all, but do be cautious about where, when and for how long you wear them on your feet.

If your plantar fasciitis is aggravated by a particular brand or type of shoe, you should take that as a sign and give your feet a rest from it. And sure that might mean you won’t be able to use heels at work or wear your favorite pair of brogues anymore as they cause your pain to flare up when at work or when out and about, but trust me on this you’ll save yourself a lot of pain.

Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis Reviews

Woman in sandals

I’ve scoured the internet and relied on my experience with foot pain and sandals to find the most suitable options. The following list includes options for both men and women:

1. Birkenstock Arizona Unisex Leather Sandal

This beloved sandal company brings us the best men’s sandals for plantar fasciitis. One of my favorite things here is that style isn’t lost to comfort and stability.

It’s one of the traditional Birkenstock sandals, featuring two, thick leather or suede straps up top. The material depends on the exact model you choose, but both kinds have an adjustable buckle closure.

These have a deep heel cup and a medium level of arch support to keep you steady on your feet during summer hikes. Also, the midsole is rigid, but that doesn’t mean there’s no give. This shoe conforms to the shape of your foot over time, thanks to the contoured footbed and cork insole. It’s as personalized of a fit as you can get.

This company has been in business for over 200 years. You can trace their origins back to Germany 1774 if you really want to do some digging. They are also produced the first-ever contoured insole for use by shoemakers in the production of custom footwear. So, if that tells you anything, it’s that they produce some of the best quality shoes and sandals for your feet on the planet and have done for hundreds of years. It’s a go-to for me, that’s for sure.

Choose between narrow, regular and wide widths, with sizing running from a 3 to a 17.5

Pros

  • Personalized fit.
  • Adjustable straps.
  • Deep heel area.
  • Good-looking sandals.
  • Three width choices.

Cons

  • Unisex sizes, so make sure to convert properly.
  • Some users report that the material wears down faster than expected.

2. Keen Women’s Whisper Sandal

This Keen pair is constructed of 100 percent polyester with a grippy, non-marking rubber sole that wraps up along the toe portion. The added traction along the bottom keeps you protected on various terrains.

There’s also a bungee lace system for securing the sandals and a molded EVA midsole for comfort. The footbed is made to provide arch support and fit the natural contours of your feet.

Included is a proprietary odor control system to keep bad smells at bay when you’re enjoying your time outside. A hydrophobic mesh system provides airflow and keeps a light amount of water away from your feet.

Do note that while these are machine washable, they’re not 100 percent waterproof, so they aren’t for full-on water sports.

Sizes run from a 5 to a 12, but no wider sizes are available.

Pros

  • Plenty of breathability.
  • Secure lacing system.
  • Sturdy sole with grip.
  • Contoured footbed.

Cons

  • Sizing may be off.

3. Oofos Unisex Active Sport Thong Sandal

The best flip flops for plantar fasciitis are unisex, so choose your size accordingly, ladies and gents.

These aren’t your standard pair, as they have added traction and comfort features. But the company claims these sandals absorb up to 37 percent more impact than most on the market. This indicates that your feet won’t feel every bump and bruise you come across on the ground, which is perfect for plantar fasciitis sufferers.

Furthermore, the footbed “cradles” the arch and heel. Oofos designed it this way to minimize stress on your joints and back by providing stable footing. 

If you fancy a day on the river, these flip flops float, so you shouldn’t lose them along the way. They’re machine washable, as well.

For women, these run from a 5 to an 18. For the guys, they’re available in a 3 up to a 16, but you won’t find wider sizes.

Pros

  • Unisex design.
  • Comfortable footbed.
  • Absorb a significant amount of impact.
  • Machine washable.

Cons

  • The paint job might scuff with high usage.

4. Vionic Unisex Wave Toe Post Sandal

This is another unisex flip flop, and it features orthotic arch support for added comfort. The EVA footbed is even grippy for when you’re enjoying a little water action.

There’s a medium level of flexibility in the midsole, which is also made from EVA, to absorb shock and save your joints and your foot from further discomfort.

In terms of material, the soft webbing up top, made from nylon, shouldn’t rub on your feet the wrong way, while the outsole is basic rubber with light traction for stability.

These popular sandals received an award from the American Podiatric Medical Association, and you and your feet will appreciate the nod of approval here.

Pros

  • Arch support.
  • Approved by medical professionals.
  • Soft, comfortable webbing.
  • Unisex by design.

Cons

  • The strap area is too large for some.

5. Propet Men’s Vero Sandal

These sandals come from a well-known company in the world of walking shoes. They’re another one of our best walking sandals for plantar fasciitis due to all the support they offer.

They’re fully adjustable on top, where they feature two velcro straps, which have a hook-and-loop closure system for keeping your feet secure in the sandals. There’s also a raised heel supported by an ergonomically designed rubber outsole to fit your foot with ease. 

The top portion is made from 100 percent nubuck leather with a soft neoprene lining. Microfiber lines the EVA insole, further adding to the comfort of these sandals.

If you struggle to find shoes to fit the width of your foot, there are regular, wide and extra-wide sizes available, running from an 8 to a 15.5.

Do you suffer from swollen feet? If so, I recommend sizing up, so you have enough space to account for that.

Pros

  • Adjustable straps.
  • Comfortable materials.
  • Different widths are available.
  • Raised heel.

Cons

  • A bit on the narrow side.

6. HOKA One One Mens Ora Recovery Slide

Hoka tend to focus on running shoes, but they have made some extremely comfortable sandals, especially for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. They manufacture three types of sandals. Firstly, the Recovery which has two versions, both an open toe if you like to feel the wind in your feet and a flip flop design. In addition, they have a pair of hiking sandals. But for now, this review is going to focus on the recovery sandals (both open toe and flip flop). 

The recovery sandal takes HOKA’s lauded design for both the oversized EVA midsole and meta-rocker bottom rubber outsole and puts them into a great pair of shoes. The wide midsoles are amazing for shock absorption, and the extra support in the heel keeps your foot safe and makes these one of the best pair of sandals out there.

Pros

  • Available as open-toe or flip flops
  • Meta-Rocker rubber outsole helps push you along as you walk.
  • Soft top layer for extra comfort.
  • Extra padded heel.

Cons

  • Prone to wearing out a little faster due to the two-layer design 

7. Powerstep Fusion Sandals

You may be more familiar with the brand Powerstep for the inserts that they make.  They’ve taken that knowledge and translated it into a pair of sandals for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. 

Straight from the off, you can see the difference between these orthotics flip flops and the more traditional designs.  The arch support that they are known for is built into these sandals.  The cushioned midsole is excellent for shock absorption.  The straps are comfortable and don’t cut into you as you walk.   

The design includes a lightweight non-slip tread and a textured surface to give you better traction when walking in the wet. 

These are genuine orthotic sandals and can provide support and comfort for several different conditions, including plantar fasciitis and flat feet.

However, they do take some time to get used, and you will need to break them in to get the most from them.  So be warned that whilst these are a fantastic pair of sandals for plantar fasciitis sufferers, you will have to put the time in to break them in properly first. 

Pros

  • Cushioned midsole and comfortable straps
  • Built-in arch support.
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Narrow toe area
  • Break-in time, sandals can be slightly uncomfortable until they are broken in properly

8. Superfeet Men’s Outside 2 Sandals

So we’ve done Powerstep now it’s on to superfeet.  And once again they are a brand better known for their inserts.  In fact, they are so well known that you may even have heard of the long-running superfeet green vs orange debate.  I won’t go into that now but will definitely get an article written on that at some point in the near future. 

So whilst these are manufactured by an orthotics heavyweight, they actually resemble a traditional flip flop much more than some of the others that have been reviewed. 

Both the men and women’s sandals have a deep heel cup to help keep your feet firmly planted.  The heel cup and the contoured foot bed in the traditional super feet shape maximize shock absorption and protect your feet from repetitive impact injuries and general pain 

Pros

  • Contoured foot bed provides great support for your feet
  • Comfort straps, so no pain from the straps cutting into you
  • Slip-resistant with enhanced traction and stability

Cons

  • Issues around the toe wedge, some customers have complained about lack of comfort around the tow
  • Not as comfortable as some of the other models

9. Spenco Fusion 2 Sandals

The first thing you’ll notice about these sandals, whether it’s the men’s or the women’s sandals is the deep heel cupping. So for those with a particular susceptibility to heel pain alongside your plantar fasciitis, then these could be the sandals for you.

It’s not just for those with heel pain, though, the Spenco has excellent arch support. If you have problems wearing orthotics the cushioning in the Spenco’s may be just what you need. The Spenco’s double down by providing both a metatarsal dome and 5mm of a heel lift to help prevent and reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis.

The metatarsal dome relieves pressure and pain on the balls of your feet, and the 5mm heel lift alleviates some of the pain at the back of your foot and this combined with the excellent arch support that it provides makes this a great all-rounder.

Pros

  • Excellent arch support.
  • EVA foam for great cushioning and all-day support.
  • Total support designed to reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis.

Cons

  • Run slightly small.
  • No half sizes available either.

10. Chaco Men’s Flip EcoTread Sandal

The Chaco is a lightweight, low profile sandal that is pretty good across the board. It’s a straightforward and reasonably priced option. And it’s a great pair of sandals for plantar fasciitis. 

If you look at its construction, it ticks all the boxes in terms of things you’re looking for. Its midsole is a LUVSEAT Care+ EVA midsole which provides a nice bit of cushioning and support for your feet. The rubber soles offer additional support as you walk as they have 2mm lugs within them, ensuring that you don’t lose your feet whilst walking in the wet. And the contours in the footbed provides further support to your feet as you walk. 

Those looking for good arch support in their sandals shouldn’t fret either.  The Chaco has good arch support for those of you who need it.

Pros

  • Good arch support
  • Rubber lugs for non-slip support

Cons

  • Run slightly small.
  • No half sizes available either.

In Conclusion

The best sandals can help you enjoy your summer with less pain and discomfort caused by this condition. You won’t have to worry about missing out on the game of family baseball or going for hikes with your friends.  Whatever pair you pick, your feet will be grateful that you’ve taken the time to choose a proper pair.

I’ve chosen the Birkenstock Arizona Unisex Leather Sandal as my favorite, and not just because they look cool. Yes, they’re stylish, but they’re also super comfortable.

Choose between leather or suede straps—both styles feature a deep heel and rigid arch support to keep you stable. The footbed conforms to your foot over time and stays that way, providing a personalized fit to the “T.” Whether your feet are narrow or wide, there’s a size option suitable for you.

Ladies, if you don’t want a unisex option, look at the Keen Women’s Whisper Sandal. The sturdy sole with excellent grip offers stability but comfort, too. Also, the lace system ensures your feet won’t move around in the sandals, but maintain the excellent breathability of the sandals’ design.

If you are a plantar fasciitis sufferer, then please check out all our reviews on shoes for plantar fasciitis and see if you help find the right shoe to ease the pain in your foot. No matter what you decide I wanted to thank for reading this article today and I hope I’ve been able to give you just a little bit more info than you had when you started reading.

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