The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis, According to Experts

The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis, According to Experts

by Sue Jones
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To quote Cliff Clavin from Cheers, “if you’re not wearing comfortable shoes, life is just chaos.” If you have plantar fasciitis, you may agree. The best shoes for plantar fasciitis help relieve the tension and pain in your feet (especially your heels) and, ultimately, keep the chaos in check.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

In case you’re unfamiliar with plantar fasciitis, the plantar fascia is a fascial band or ligament that runs from the bottom of the calcaneus, or heel bone, to the base of the toes and helps support the long arch of the foot, Susan Eby, P.T., M.S., owner of Eby Physical Therapy in New York City, tells SELF. The plantar fascia becomes thicker with age and with increased body weight. This decreases the flexibility and shock-absorbing ability of the ligament. Plantar fasciitis is caused by repeated stress placed on the plantar fascia, resulting in fibrosis, or scarring of the tendon. It’s characterized by a stabbing pain in the sole of your foot, usually near your heel, and it tends to be more intense in the mornings or after you’ve been off your feet for a while.

Risk factors include tight calf muscles, being overweight, the repetitive impact from activities such as running, a rapid increase in weight-bearing activity, prolonged standing or walking, as well as having flat feet and very high arches.

Your choice of footwear can also be an aggravating factor, whether you’re running, walking, or standing for long stretches of time. By choosing better shoes for life in general, you can ward off this annoying foot pain in the future without missing too many steps.

How to Buy the Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

In general, the best shoes for plantar fasciitis will fit correctly (i.e., not too small, and wide enough to fit your foot comfortably) and have the right amount of support. Look for shoes or orthotic inserts that have substantial heel cups to help with cushioning and shock absorption to avoid heel pain, Eby says.

Here, we asked physical therapists and podiatrists what they consider the best shoes for plantar fasciitis (including workout shoes, dress shoes, flats, clogs, sandals, and slippers) along with their recommendations for removable insoles to make any shoe more plantar fascia-friendly. You’ll find stylish options from brands such as Teva, Dansko, Hoka One One, Clarks, Oofos, and Superfeet from retailers like Amazon, Nordstrom, REI, and more.

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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