Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best shoes for plantar fasciitis are, then I recommend the Asics Men’s Gel-Nimbus 21 as the best pair for men and the Gravity Defyer Women’s G-Defy Mighty Walk as the best pair for women.

Running shoes

If you’ve ever experienced the pain of plantar fasciitis, you’ll know it’s something to avoid. It’s a pretty nasty condition that inhibits your normal life and is tough to get rid of. However, the more information you have about it, the better prepared you’ll be. 

I’ve gathered you the best tips on how to avoid or treat plantar fasciitis, as well as the shoes you’ll need to recover.

The current best shoes for plantar fasciitis are:

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a piercing heel pain caused by inflammation in the soft tissues of your foot. It affects the whole tissue, named fascia, that runs from your heel to your toes. This is why you’ll feel the pain in your whole foot, but most strongly in the heel.

The discomfort of plantar fasciitis is usually most severe in the mornings or after you’ve been sitting for long periods. It can ease up when you start walking around and the tissues warm up. However, it might also come back if you’re standing or walking.

Plantar fasciitis affects both sedentary and athletic people and can be caused by many factors. The most common ones include:

  • Fallen or excessively high arches.
  • Standing for long periods.
  • Running.
  • Being overweight. 

Muscle tension in the foot, the legs or even the hips can also contribute to it. This is why one of the most important factors for developing and treating plantar fasciitis is shoes.

How Can I Treat Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that takes a lot of patience and time to heal. The most important thing is to rest your feet. Avoid standing, running or walking if you can. You can also use ice to bring down the inflammation. 

Stretching and massaging your leg and foot muscles often brings relief to people suffering from plantar fasciitis.

To reduce your chances of developing plantar fasciitis or help speed up your recovery, you should pay attention to your footwear.

What Kinds of Shoes Are the Best for Plantar Fasciitis?

Every problematic foot is complex in its own way, and no single shoe will be good for everybody. Plantar fasciitis, especially, can be caused by so many factors that it can be hard to pick the correct shoe. A flat foot and a very high arch will respond to very different kinds of footwear.

However, both high heels and completely flat shoes are generally problematic for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis. That includes both your basic ballerina flats and your Chuck Taylors.

Most people will get the best results with shoes that give the heel and the arch some extra support. For some people, a shoe that lifts the heel can help alleviate the pain.

It might seem hard to find the shoe that helps you reduce the pain in your heel, but it’s not impossible. Here are some of the attributes you should familiarize yourself with before making a purchase:

  • Cushioning.
  • Balance.
  • Heel support.

Cushioning

I’d suggest this is the most important attribute in a plantar fasciitis shoe.

You can forget about those barefoot running shoes for a while. The best cushioning for plantar fasciitis is soft and thick. A stiff or slim cushion will keep your weight more on your heel and might make the recovery longer.

Balance

Plantar fasciitis is often caused by pronation problems that come from flat or high arches. This is why good arch support will be key in reducing it. You’ll need to find a shoe that really ties in around your midfoot and keeps it in place.

Many shoes for pronators include motion control. This means a support system along the foot that keeps your foot safely balanced. It helps your foot plant perpendicular rather than letting your ankle roll to the sides.

Heel Support

The back of the foot needs to be elevated to release some of the pressure on the heel, but not too much. Look for an inch or so and avoid wearing high heels!

Good heel support will also help you keep your foot in the right alignment. This goes not only for the sole but also the walls of the shoe. Make sure your heel locks in comfortably and doesn’t move from side to side in the shoe.

Woman massaging her own foot

The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

I’ve burned through the best shoes with cushioning and support to give you all the necessary information before your purchase. As a result, here are the best shoes for plantar fasciitis. 

1. Asics Men’s GEL-Nimbus 21

The GEL-Nimbus is a great shoe for neutral runners with plantar fasciitis. However, if fallen or high arches have caused your plantar fasciitis, it may not be the best choice.

Of note is that the back is a little elevated to help you take some of the pressure off the heel. Also, the outsole has a great grip for running outside.

Still, the padding is very soft, thanks to ASICS’ GEL technology. Overall, this shoe feels very bouncy and great for running longer distances, almost as if it did a part of the work for you.

The shoe has an exoskeletal structure that helps you lock in your heel safely and effectively. The midsole is soft and adds to the lightness thanks to the Flytefoam nanofibers. The whole shoe weighs 10.9 ounces in the men’s model, which makes this a pretty lightweight shoe.

You’ll find these shoes in sizes 8–15.

Pros

  • Very bouncy and springy.
  • A lot of arch support.
  • Great grip.

Cons

  • Neutral pronation—not the best for flat or high arches.
  • The heel structure can feel rigid.

2. Brooks Men’s Addiction

Brooks specializes in quality running shoes, but its classic walking shoe is also a great investment. It’s well-cushioned in the back, which is perfect for plantar fasciitis., and it’s also stable and secure, providing your stride some correction.

This shoe, in general, could be great for people with wider feet or pronation issues. Its slip-resistant outsole has a nice grip, which will further help you with stability. Additionally, the toe box is wide, which provides relief after long hours on your feet.

On top of this, they’re sleeker than many other models and don’t look like an orthopedic shoe. The upper layer is leather, providing a classic look with durability. It’s also very wearable for everyday use for a wide range of professions where long hours standing up are required.

Sizing runs from 7–15.

Pros

  • Sleek look for everyday wear.
  • Durable.
  • Great grip.
  • Soft cushioning in the heel area.

Cons

  • On the expensive side. 

3. Gravity Defyer Women’s G-Defy Mighty Walk

Gravity Defyer’s G-Defy is a shoe designed especially for pain relief, and women rave about this pair. It’s built with a rigid heel cup and midsole to reduce impact and stabilize your foot. 

This shoe has a supported midfoot area to relieve pressure and keep you pain-free for hours of standing or walking. The VersoShock technology in the foot absorbs shock and gives you a bounce in your step. Also, the rocker sole allows you a smooth transition from heel to toe.

The roomy toe box is great for people with bunions and to keep you comfortable after long hours on your feet. Another great feature is the removable insole so you can fit in your orthotic ones, if needed. 

Sizing is available from a 6 to an 11 with wide and extra-wide options.

Pros

  • Rigid and supportive heel cup.
  • Supported midfoot for stability.
  • Wide toe box.

Cons

  • High price.

4. Orthofeet Men’s Proven Foot and Heel Pain Relief Shoes

This one is a great men’s shoe you can wear to work or even dressier gatherings, being. The inside carries extra padding for comfort, and the lining is seamless, which makes these shoes a great option for men with plantar fasciitis, diabetes, neuropathy or arthritis.

The air cushioning reduces impact on your heel, while the orthotic insoles provide extra arch support. In general, the shoe is deep, and the insole is removable, so you can replace it with your own if needed.

Thanks to the laces, you can adjust the shoe to fit your foot tight to make sure it doesn’t move around. Extra-wide sizes are also available, with regular sizing running from 7 to 14.

Pros

  • Removable insoles.
  • Soft padding on the inside of the shoe.
  • Comfortable air cushioning.

Cons

  • The upper material is plastic, which is not to everyone’s liking.

5. Vionic Women’s Walker

Vionic is a brand known for podiatrist-created, stylish shoes that are appropriate for plantar fasciitis. They do everything from running shoes and casual streetwear sneakers for men and women to comfortable platform sandals and pumps with a reasonable heel. 

This brand uses supportive, balancing Orthaheel technology in all their shoes, and the Walker is a forever favorite for people with plantar fasciitis. It also comes in a men’s model and several different colors, with an upper layer that’s mesh with either leather or suede.

The shoe is great for people who don’t want to give up on their walking hobby due to plantar fasciitis. It’s also used by people who work long hours on their feet and need reliable shoes, such as doctors, nurses or postal workers.

This model’s balancing is great and helps keep your feet from pronating too much. However, the toe box is not big, which might cause you some discomfort if your feet are really wide.

Current sizing is 5–13. You should also consider ordering up to one full-size bigger than you’re used to, as the sizing is tiny.

Pros

  • Stabilization.
  • Amazing cushioning.
  • Not too expensive.

Cons

  • Sizing is a little snug.
  • Narrow fit.

The Winner

Overall, I found the ASICS Men’s Gel-Nimbus 21 to be the best men’s shoes for plantar fasciitis. 

They have excellent support for your heel and a lightweight GEL-cushioning system to not only absorb shock but to give you some extra bounce in your stride. Also, the exoskeletal heel structure will keep your foot from moving.

The Gravity Defyer Women’s G-Defy Mighty Walk is the best women’s shoe for plantar fasciitis. It’ll provide you instant relief, keep your heel in place, and provide amazing cushioning for an entire day on your feet.

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