Best Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis 2018
Welcome to Painful Feet, where I take a non-medical look at foot pains, problems such as solving the question of which are the best Plantar Fasciitis shoes and how to treat and recover from heel spurs.
As a sufferer of plantar pain myself for several years now, I found it hard to get information on the Internet that was not too "technical" or "medical", hence this website was created to help you, the people with painful feet, get information and impartial reviews of products or treatments that could help you.
Read the about us page for more information about me, my PF problems and what I have tried to do to help relieve the daily aches and pains that sore feet bring.
Why does plantar fasciitis mean I need special shoes?
If you have been diagnosed by your doctor or podiatrist as having Plantar Fasciitis, then you will certainly be looking for ways to relieve the pain and treat the symptoms.
You will most likely have been given a set of stretches to perform on a daily basis and been given advice about using shoe inserts or orthotics, but the best advice I have been given is to concentrate on wearing the right shoes.
The type of shoe you wear when you have plantar fasciitis is as important as any other treatment you have. Without the solid grounding of a good quality shoe, you might as well not bother with anything else.
Which type of shoes do I need?
The ideal footwear should provide support in the middle of the foot and have padding around the heel area, which is where sufferers of PF feel the pain the worst.
Shoes that are too flexible or too flat will not provide the support your feet need and will just end up causing more damage and stress to your plantar tissue and heels.
Should I buy "off the shelf" shoes?
You can buy some shoes that work "out of the box" and do not require any additional inserts to be added. They usually have adjustments to the inner and outer sole to ensure that the correct position of the foot is maintained at all times, reducing the stress on the fascia tissue.
However, there are always drawbacks with "off the shelf" shoes for bad heels like these.
Because they have been designed as a one style fits all product, you could find that your foot or particular needs are not well catered for.
There are also only a small number of manufacturers, so your choice will be limited and as they are unique, the price could be quite high and they will not come with any guarantee that wearing them will make a difference to you.
What to look for:
- Supportive and cushioned around the heel.
- Have good arch support.
- Not be too flexible in the middle area of the sole.
- Fit properly and be comfortable.
- Be sensible - no more high heels!
I have created a table below, showing the most appropriate footwear that has been designed specifically to manage the problem of foot pain and in particular plantar fasciitis.
You may notice that the table contains a list of shoes that are for women. This is due to there being a higher occurrence of Plantar Fasciitis and foot pain problems in women than men.
Due to the types of shoes that women usually wear they are more prone to getting foot related problems. If you are interested in shoes for men with plantar fasciitis, please click here for more information.
Plantars Fasciitis shoes.
Some people are confused about the spelling of "Plantar" vs "Plantars" and often look for the plural version, which is not the same.
So if you think you are looking for best shoes for plantars fasciitis, then you are still in the right place 🙂
Our choice - The best selling shoes.
The best sellers on this list are from a company called Orthaheel, with the most popular plantar fasciitis shoe being the Women's Walker.
These shoes have an excellent rating from the people who have purchased them and they are well designed and appropriate shoes that women can wear for a variety of occasions. Although they are more designed to support your foot properly and give relief from many different types of foot pain.
Check out the details of this shoe here and read the reviews - it does sound like this product is the best for treating plantar fasciitis problems.
Review of the Top 5 shoes:
1. Orthaheel Women's Walker
This shoe from Orthaheel is currently the best seller on Amazon due to the fact that it is a well made, supportive shoe that helps reduce foot pain.
Many reviewers have praised how comfortable they are and that they have made a difference to their feet. The Women's Walker shoes are available in 3 different colors, white and blue, white and pink and black - so there should be a color there you like.
They are also fully padded inside, including the tongue and are water resistant too, so you have no excuse for not going running or walking in the rain.
One big point to note is that they have been approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) - so you know they are good when you read that organisations like these have come on board to support them.
Reviewers of these shoes just sing their praises and some people have even gone as far as to say that they have "saved their life!".
People with plantar fasciitis and heel spurs as well as general painful feet have written glowing reviews for these shoes, which is no wonder that they have become the best sellers.
You can read the reviews here.
2. New Balance WW927
New Balance are also an excellent brand of shoes that are designed to be very comfortable and support your foot in the right ways to prevent injury and pain.
The WW927 walking shoes are another great example, with over 150 people rating them at 4.3 stars out of 5 - a very good score and good social proof that they are well made and good quality.
These shoes have lots of technical and mechanical design points that are there to help your feet. From C-CAP mid-sole compression and ROLLBAR features that prevent your foot from moving in the wrong way, to the enhanced strike path on the sole that keeps your foot positioned in the right place when walking, these shoes are a technological marvel.
Many doctors and podiatrists have recommended these shoes to people with sore feet, plantar fasciitis or heel pain and the results speak for themselves. Looking at the reviews on Amazon for these New Balance shoes, it is clear that they definitely do the job right.
Unlike other shoes in this review section, the WW927 walking shoes are leather and feature a quick drying inner liner. They also come in 3 styles, black, white and tan.
3. Skechers Shape Ups Strength Sneaker
It is amazing to read that people who suffer from plantar fasciitis or heel spurs get relief from wearing shoes that are designed to be proper-fitting, rather than specifically to treat their symptoms.
These shoes from Skechers (not Sketchers with a T) are a recent design fad, created to allow the foot to roll from heel to toe when walking, which helps reduce the impact on the heels, but also helps work muscles in your upper legs and buttocks.
A great side effect of this walking motion and the comfort of the shoes also means that people who have painful heels can get relief too. People who have suffered from PF or arch pain in their feet have found that these shoes have helped them. You may not be recommended to wear them by a podiatrist, but these shoes do help.
The Skechers strength shoes offer a thick rubber sole and a sporty look. They don't win any prizes for the use of high quality materials, but they are an excellent shoe for people with foot pains.
4. Orthaheel Brooke Slip-On's
I think you could buy any shoes from Orthaheel and see benefits to your foot pain problems. The fact that the company uses doctors and foot specialists to help design their shoes means that you will always get the right support for your feet.
The Brooke slip-on shoes from them are the 4th best seller on Amazon and for good reason. These are the ones that look least like a pair of training or running shoes, but also offer the proper support for problems such as arch pain or plantar fasciitis.
They come in 3 different colors, black, light grey or chocolate and are made from a synthetic material. What the Brooke shoes lack in styling and expensive materials, they make up in glowing customer reviews. Over 30 people have rated them 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon and the reviews people have left refer to how comfortable the shoes are to wear and that they are great for helping people with sore feet.
I also like the fact that they are slip-on's rather than lace ups. I can imagine putting these on to go shopping or for a walk and I think they look good enough to be an everyday shoe, rather than one that I would wear when I was training or walking for long distances.
Like I said earlier, any of the shoes from Orthaheel are a good buy if you have pains in your feet.
5. Orthaheel Slip On's Shoes
Orthaheel offers great support for your foot and therefore will give relief to people who suffer from Plantar Fasciitis or sore feet.
Designed to slip on and then tighten using Velcro fasteners, the Bartlett shoes are ideal for women who want to have a paid of shoes that are easy to put on, plus good for their feet - not a common combination these days.
These shoes are also available in Olive, Black, Brown and Taupe colorings, so there should be one that suits your tastes. Made from polyurathane and nylon, these sneakers are designed to stabilize your heel and realign your foot and ankle to a natural position when walking.
There are many scientific and technical benefits to these shoes, which you can read all about here and it seems that they really are designed well and the customer reviews are very positive, with many people suggesting that the shoes had helped them with their poorly feet.
Are orthotic inserts better than shoes for plantar fasciitis?
In my opinion, a great way to get the perfect pair of plantar fasciitis shoes, is to use the ones you already have, but get some proper orthopaedic shoe inserts.
Using orthotics is a great way to adjust your current footwear to cope with your aches and pains and they can usually be put into any type of shoe. Again, due to the one-size-fits-all type product, you cannot be 100% sure that these will work for you.
Many manufacturers claim that their inserts will cure plantar fasciitis, but this is often not the case. You may want to think twice before spending money on a costly set of orthotics from a store. They may not live up to the promises on the packaging.
Although they are good products, they are not specifically designed for treating plantar fasciitis and usually only provide additional cushioning and support for your feet.
Custom made orthotics - the holy grail for foot care?
Another alternative choice to buying new shoes to treat foot pain is to buy a set of custom made orthotics from a qualified podiatrist or orthopaedic surgery.
To get these made, you will have to have a session with the podiatrist and have your feet properly measured using a 3D scanner to ensure the correct fit.
Although these types of inserts can be expensive, they are usually made from carbon fiber and leather and will last for many years. If the leather wears away, they can simply be recovered and will be as good as new again.
Are custom orthotics better than off-the-shelf shoe inserts?
There has been some research around the topic of whether a standard pair of orthotics vs a custom measured and made pair are any better or worse than each other.
I too have heard anecdotal evidence that the more expensive options are just as effective and Douglas Richie, writing at Podiatry Today states that:
"Foot orthoses in various forms provide immediate, intermediate and long-term relief of plantar heel pain. There is weak evidence for any superiority of custom foot orthoses versus prefabricated devices to treat this condition."
Therefore, buying a good pair of plantar fasciitis orthotics from Amazon might be as effective as having a proper pair made by a podiatrist!