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!
Amazingly, though, this infuriating foot condition can be treated by something as simple as wearing the right shoes for treating plantar fasciitis and working on the condition to help correct it, which is why I have put together our list of the best workout shoes for plantar fasciitis.
There are lots of treatments for plantar fasciitis, but wearing the right pair of shoes can be the best foot pain relief products.
These are my top 5 choices:
**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).
A firm heel counter will ensure that your feet and heel are firm and centered, also supporting your ankle properly.
Tip: 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.
- Removable insole.
- Wide range of color options.
- Slightly expensive.
- Does not fit true to standard size.
ASICS Gel Nimbus 18
The “ASICS Gel Nimbus 18” are 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.
- FluidRide Midsole.
- GEL cushioning in the rear and forefoot areas.
- FluidFit Upper technology for snug fit.
- Heel Clutching System Technology.
- Seamless construction.
- Slightly heavy.
- Questionable durability.
- Slightly pricey.
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.
- Narrow width.
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 Brooks Adrenaline 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.
- Highly durable.
- 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!
We have previously reviewed the best New Balance shoes for plantar fasciitis sufferers and have found them to be very supportive and well designed.
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.
- EVA-foam midsole.
- 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.
- Questionable durability.
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!