Best Workout Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
Said to be one of the most common causes of heel pain around the world, plantar fasciitis can be a serious pain in the foot!
A sharp, stabbing pain (or sometimes, dull ache) that plagues the bottom of the heel, and sometimes, the arch of your foot, plantar fasciitis is a common orthopedic complaint around the world.
Amazingly, though, this infuriating foot condition can be treated by something as simple as wearing the right shoes and working on the condition to help correct it, which is why we’ve put together our list of the best workout shoes for plantar fasciitis.
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
All the Right Shoes!
You may be wondering what exactly footwear has to do with plantar fasciitis.
Can the answer really be as simple as all that?
Well, yes, because as Confucius said, “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”!
Let’s take a look at what the right shoe can do for your foot:
A Firm Heel Counter:
The heel counter is the back part of the shoe that goes around your heel bone. This little mechanism controls the “pronation” and “supination” of your feet, which basically means that a good heel counter will ensure that your body weight is equally distributed all over your foot, as opposed to just on the outside (pronation) or on the inside (supination).
Why this is important is because “pronation” and “supination” are important contributors to plantar fasciitis.
A firm heel counter will ensure that your feet and heel are firm and centered, also supporting your ankle properly. Squeeze the heel counter before purchasing to the shoe to check if it’s sturdy; a flimsy heel counter will only worsen your plantar fasciitis.
Flexibility of the Shoe:
Soles which are extremely flexible are not good for plantar fasciitis, as such shoes tend to collapse in the middle, which means they cannot provide firm support to your natural arch in the foot.
Such shoes will also not be able to withstand much wear and tear, so check the shoe by bending it in the middle to check the flexibility.
Size and Type of the Heel:
Generally, shoes with a heel length of 1 inch can help plantar fasciitis by taking some weight off the heels. A rocker sole is believed to heal plantar fasciitis; the more it rocks, the better! Shoes with flat heels or soles will only exacerbate your pain, as these may encourage the weight to stay on your heels.
Now that we’ve established the role of footwear in plantar fasciitis both as a cause and a remedy, remember that other factors such as your walking stride, the structure of your foot (high arch or flat feet), and your tendency to supinate or pronate all play a role in helping you pick the right shoe for you.
Just as the glass slipper fit only Cinderella, there’s a unique shoe out there for you too, based on all the above factors!
Additional things to look for if you are a runner:
If you’re a runner, ensure that you pick a shoe that can support your arch, provide shock absorption, and give you a good “cushioning” effect.
Generally, for runners who suffer overpronated feet, “stability” shoes and “motion control” shoes reinforce support to the arch of the feet and help counter plantar fasciitis. “Stability” shoes are used in milder cases, whereas “motion control shoes” are used in more severe cases of overpronation.
However, despite the subjective nature of picking shoes to help plantar fasciitis, the bottom line remains that shoes with strong heel support, good arch support and soft cushioning are standard features to look for in the same.
Here are our top 5 picks for workout shoes if you are diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.
ASICS GEL-Kayano Running Shoes
Fitting like a glove with its “FluidFit” technology, this shoe is as comfortable as they come! With a firm rubber sole and textured outsole for grip, this lace-up running shoe features numerous mesh layers that allow your feet to breathe.
Even better, the shoe comes with a removable insole for comfort and both rear and forefoot GEL cushioning systems that act as excellent shock absorbers, and is perfect for you if you have flat feet. These lightweight shoes may seem a little pricey but are available in 12 different color combinations in all standard shoe sizes.
However, as per customer reviews on Amazon, the product fit seems to be much narrower than your standard size, so opt for the next bigger size for a truly comfortable fit.
Snug and comfortable fit due to the “FluidFit” technology.
GEL cushions that are great shock absorbers.
Wide range of color options.
Does not fit true to standard size.
ASICS Gel Nimbus 18
The “Gel Nimbus 18” is perfect for those with high arches in their feet, with versions for both men and women.
Designed with a “FluidRide Midsole” that provides a bounce-back and cushioning property while keeping the shoe’s durability intact, this lightweight shoe also has rear and forefoot GEL cushioning systems like the “GEL-Kayano” for superior shock absorption.
With a “FluidFit Upper” technology that adapts to the athlete’s foot and a “Heel Clutching System Technology” where the heel counter provides great support and fit to your heel, this shoe does one better than the “Kayano” with its seamless construction. Seamless materials are used that reduce irritation and friction caused by traditional seams and stitches.
However, according to the reviews on Amazon, the shoe’s durability has come into question. Also, it is on the heavier side, especially when compared to the Kayano, which could be problematic for long-distance running or prolonged standing. Slightly pricey but in 6 different color combinations, this shoe is still impressive enough to make it to our top 5.
Perfect for high arches.
GEL cushioning in the rear and forefoot areas.
FluidFit Upper technology for snug fit.
Heel Clutching System Technology.
Saucony Guide 7 Running Shoes
Great for moderate overpronation as well as regular runners, the “Saucony Guide 7” shoes are perfect workout shoes for those with mild cases of plantar fasciitis.
Made of a synthetic-nylon combination and a rubber sole, these lace-up running shoes have mesh overlays for breathability and seamless accents for less friction.
With a “HydraMAX” moisture-wicking collar and “ComfortLite” sock liner, these shoes are highly comfortable and durable, with full-length cushioning, a carbon rubber outsole, and midfoot outsole pods.
All these features serve to increase functionality and support without compromising on the shoe’s flexibility and cushioning.
What takes the trophy is that shoe is superbly lightweight at 10 pounds but doesn’t compromise on its stability.
These are slightly less expensive than ASICS and available in 7 different color combinations -these shoes are definitely a great pick!
Strategically placed stability points.
Mesh overlays and seamless accents.
Moisture-wicking collar and sock liner.
Comfortable and durable.
Full-length cushioning, carbon rubber outsole, and midfoot outsole pods.
Lightweight yet stable.
Slightly less expensive.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15
This shoe is as perfect as perfect gets, with a solid design, comfortable fit and excellent durability and stability.
With mesh overlays, rubber sole and adjustable saddle design for targeted support, the “GTS 15” has an extended “Caterpillar Crash Pad” that allows full ground contact of the sole and element linings that keep your feet breathing, protecting against moisture.
The “HPR Plus” technology delivers long-lasting durability and the “Omega Flex Grooves” allow for your foot’s natural movement and fluidity.
These Brooks shoes are easy on your feet and easy on your pocket. Available in 5 different colors, these shoes are a must-have!
Easy on the pocket.
Mesh overlays and element linings .
Caterpillar Crash Pad.
Omega Flex Grooves that allow for natural fluid movement.
Good support and stability.
Fit is smaller by half-a-size.
Heel maybe too high for some wearers.
New Balance Men’s Running Shoes
Perfect for arch support due to its EVA-foam midsole, the New Balance Running Shoes are suited for multiple foot types.
With a rubber sole, these lace-up running shoes feature breathable mesh upper layers and supportive leather overlays. Even more impressive are the blown rubber outsole, dual-density collar foam and the sturdy EVA-core 12 mm heel.
These lightweight leather-and-fabric shoes provide a perfect fit, great comfort, and can even be worn with inserts that are bought over-the-counter. Available in all standard sizes in 8 different color combinations, these shoes are definitely pricey at well over $100, but we think they’re well worth the investment!
However, if you read some of the reviews on Amazon, the shoe’s durability has come into question because of the seams ripping out, especially with an increase in the distance and mileage of running.
Rubber sole, breathable mesh upper layers, and supportive leather overlays.
Blown rubber outsole and dual-density collar foam.
Sturdy EVA-core 12 mm heel.
Can be worn with OTC inserts.
The Final Verdict
Well, there you have it! A little plantar fasciitis is no reason to stop working out, is it?
With these kinds of shoes that provide great support, comfort and stability, heel pain can take a backseat. However, ensure that you do pick the right shoe based on your needs and your feet’s needs.
Like we said, one size doesn’t fit all! Do your research, but remember that any shoe you pick, regardless of other qualities, should have soft cushioning, strong heel support and strong arch support.
Also consider the type of heel, the shoe’s flexibility, and the structure of your feet, as “supination” and “pronation” can influence plantar fasciitis.
If you think plantar fasciitis is an excuse to not workout, think again, because one of the worst things you can do for your foot is to just rest it and not actively work on bettering your condition.
With these shoes, life just got a whole lot easier and correcting or healing plantar fasciitis, a whole lot more comfortable.
So give these shoes a try and treat your feet to a bit of soft, spongy, yet stable heaven!
The “Lowdown” on Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis occurs due to the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a web-like and thin ligament that connects your heel and the front of your foot and supports your foot arch.
This ligament is crucial in helping you walk as it is a shock absorber, but in the process, experiences more wear and tear than that favorite pair of jeans some of us live in.
When the pressure gets too high for this little guy to handle (your plantar fascia, not your jeans), the ligament gets inflamed, causing stiffness and pain.
Though plantar fasciitis may not be viewed as a condition as serious as John Travolta’s failing Hollywood career, it can throw a spanner in the works by being a constant pain. Worse in the mornings or after long periods of sitting or lying down, plantar fasciitis can make the very simple task of climbing the stairs seem like scaling Mt.Everest.
Recognized by the symptoms of stiffness and pain (either dull, stabbing or burning) that generally only affects one foot in the heel and arch area, plantar fasciitis doesn’t just happen overnight. Developed over time due to natural aging, long hours on your feet, longtime running, weight gain, shoes that don’t properly support your foot, or obesity, plantar fasciitis can also occur in pregnant women, especially during late pregnancy, as well as long-distance runners and those in active jobs that involve long hours on the feet (like nursing or working in a restaurant).
Plantar fasciitis may also hit you if you have very high foot arches or very flat feet, or even tight Achilles tendons.
Generally, the risk of plantar fasciitis is highest for those between the ages of 40 and 70 and is slightly more common among the fairer sex. Luckily, like we already said, plantar fasciitis can be corrected within two or three weeks by something as simple as wearing the right kind of footwear.
Even better, we think that plantar fasciitis shouldn’t obstruct daily routines such as working out (and seriously, working out can do more good than resting for your plantar-fasciitis-ridden foot), which is why we’ve done one better and listed our top five picks for the best workout shoes for plantar fasciitis!