Every day in clinic people with heel pain come to see us and ask what are the best shoes for plantar fasciitis? Do they need to be soft? Stable? Heels or flats?
Despite this, it never ceases to amaze me is how often people already know what shoes are best for plantar fasciitis by the decisions they have been making in the weeks leading up when their heel pain has been getting worse.
Most of us instinctively can tell that our heel pain feels worse when shoe A is on, and better when shoe B is on.
So what are the best shoes for plantar fasciitis?
What are the best features (feetures) 😉 to look for?
In this guide I’ll talk through some general “best” advice but everyone will be different. This guide takes into account the function of the shoes not necessarily their fit. So if you have plantar fasciitis and the shoe here does not fit your foot – it’s really not the best shoe for your plantar fasciitis!
Also, remembering that plantar fasciitis can be due to too much compression of the plantar fascia or too much tensile loading. Sometimes, it’s too much of both. You remember reading that here in this thorough guide on plantar fasciitis?
Depending on which overload of the plantar fascia you have will lead to improved results with certain types of shoes.
As always – the best thing you can do is to see your PridePlus Health podiatrist for your assessment and treatment plan.
The Absolute Best Shoe For Plantar Fasciitis
Get ready, this one is not for the faint hearted.
When wearing a moon boot your plantar fascia loading drops dramatically which means – pain relief is almost instant.
But, moon boots are a significant compromise with every day life. You cannot drive with them. There’s no running, and no cycling. Your risk of falls increases. Also, the muscles above your knee are going to be working much harder.
So, if your plantar fasciitis heel pain is significant, chronic, and in need of a shake up using a CAM Walker or moon boot is an option.
Clinically we only use this in a very few cases, we can usually work out compromises… Which look more like the following.
The Next Best Shoe For Plantar Fasciitis
What shoes do you pop on when you’re working out?
Your runners or trainers?
That’s because we want our shoes to provide more support when we are most active.
Considering that plantar fasciitis is an overload – it’s working harder than it can handle – we often need to use these supportive shoes to settle down your symptoms.
But if you’ve ever gone into a running shoe store like Sole Motive, looking at the wall of shoes can be daunting without some help.
Here’s my top 3 running shoes for plantar fasciitis.
The current model Brooks Ghost (12) is one of the greatest shoes going around for plantar fasciitis. It’s taken a lot from previous generations of the Brooks Glycerine – the flagship neutral shoe from Brooks as well as the Brooks Adrenaline (one of the most consistently supportive shoes with not too-much weight ever made).
The Brooks Ghost uses a midsole with plenty of cushioning and is laterally stable. This means that those of us who develop heel pain due to too much compression of the plantar fascia tend not to lean as much in this shoe versus others.
The 12mm drop (where the heel is 12mm higher than the forefoot) is another bonus to shift load away from the centre of the heel.
After a few seasons where Brooks’ shoes have not had as much tech in their upper, the current model Ghost has plenty of colour options and engineered mesh for less weight than traditional stitching methods.
Mizuno Wave Sky
Mizuno have been quiet achievers in the footwear world for some time. Using super plush midsole foams coupled with reinforcing via plastic “wave plates” their shoes have been steady favourites among runners and heel pain sufferers.
The Wave Sky has Mizuno’s highest level of cushioning and stable laterally due to the even distribution of the plastic wave plate.
Slightly heavier than the Brooks Ghost, the Wave Sky suits a heavier build of plantar fasciitis sufferer, and whilst still appropriate for running, is a fantastic walking shoe.
As a brand Hoka are absolutely smashing it at the moment. Excellent shoes with thick, plush cushioning under foot are their specialty.
The Bondi has the highest level of cushioning with the thickest midsole of the three shoes here. It would suit those suffering with heel pain from too much tensile loading.
Despite the thick midsole, the weight of the Bondi is not as much as you would think. Runners and walkers alike can enjoy the cushioning for 400 – 800Km depending on use and how heavy you are.
What About The Best Work Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis?
As comfortable as runners are, and pain free we feel in a moon boot, they’re not always an option for work. When it comes to work shoes whether they be more business or industrial in nature, there are not as many features within the shoes as what you can find with a running shoe.
This means that often these shoes are for more medium term plantar fasciitis – where your pain is reducing as you work through your rehabilitation activities.
Adding an orthotic to these shoes is another way of getting your plantar fasciitis symptoms back down to a comfortable level.
Business Style Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
For women, stable and comfortable shoes for plantar fasciitis have come along way in the last 5 years. Brands such as Frankie4, Bared and ECCO have joined the old school players (Ziera and Rockport) to have a few options.
Removable liners, a heel height of 2-3 cm and a sole that doesn’t completely fold up when twisted are key features.
The Best Work Boots For Plantar Fasciitis
There are so different demands when it comes to work boots. Steel cap? Slip resistant? But for heel pain it all comes down to the midsole.
Sandals For Heel Pain
When the Aussie summer gets into full swing it’s not always practical to be wearing shoes all the time. Deciding between support and comfort vs. heel pain can be tricky but these sandals all have some features to help heel pain.
Ecco Sports Sandal
Fashion and beauty are in the eye of the beholder. These sandals are a statement and not for everyone. But, if you’re game, you won’t find a more comfortable summer sandal for your plantar fasciitis.
For those who absolutely must live in a thong style of footwear, the Archies (an Aussie invention) are the best going around. Coming in a higher or lower arch style and plenty of colours you will be much more likely to enjoy your summer walking near the beach in these than a standard flat thong.
Getting your exact causes and treatment for your plantar fasciitis pain is the best way to get your symptoms reduced. When you see your podiatrist you’ll be given specific advice for you and your feet. This could well mean that the best shoe for your plantar fasciitis is not on this list!
If you need to make an appointment with our podiatry team you can do that here.
If you’re in Melbourne and you need the best running shoes for your feet then book in for Perfect Fit – Running Shoe Fitting with a Podiatrist. You can spend your consultation with an experienced podiatrist in side a technical running store getting the best shoes for you. If you’re interested you can learn more about that on our Perfect Fit page.