Plantar fasciitis is a pain. Literally.
Relief from heel and arch stress can come from several sources, but shoes for plantar fasciitis play a huge role in both temporary pain management and long term-recovery. We regularly help people who deal with mild to severe cases of this condition, so we have plenty of recommendations for styles and brands that can get you moving comfortably again.
Read on to learn more about plantar fasciitis, what to look for in shoes that treat plantar fasciitis, some of our top picks for plantar fasciitis shoes, and more.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that extends from the heel to the forefoot. This condition commonly arises from factors such as overpronation, where the feet roll inward while walking, excessively flat or high arches, or sudden fluctuations in weight or activity levels. All of these circumstances can lead to an overstretching of the plantar fascia, causing the tissue to detach from the heel and become inflamed. Additionally, repetitive stress such as running can lead to minor tears in the tissue.
The discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis is typically localized in the heel, arch, and inner foot. This pain is often more pronounced after extended periods of rest, such as upon waking up in the morning or standing up following prolonged sitting. This is because the plantar fascia readjusts to its natural shape during rest and requires time to comfortably stretch for movement again. The degree of pain from plantar fasciitis can range from a persistent ache to a sharp pain, and movement can sometimes alleviate it.
What to Look for in Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Although shoes can’t singlehandedly cure plantar fasciitis, they can significantly enhance comfort and contribute to recovery. Consider the following when selecting shoes for plantar fasciitis:
1. Arch Support: Adequate arch support reduces the pull that flat or high arches can have on the plantar fascia, which prevents excessive strain on the tissue.
2. Sturdy Midsole: Arch support is often complemented by a firm midsole, as the midsole plays a pivotal role in determining the shoe’s overall supportiveness.
3. Ample Cushioning: Discomfort from plantar fasciitis is especially noticeable when feet strike the ground. Well-cushioned shoes can absorb a portion of the impact before it reaches the heel.
Women’s Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis: Brooks Adrenaline GTS23
A standout running shoe that alleviates plantar fasciitis pain is the Brooks Adrenaline GTS23. The newest model of Brooks’ acclaimed Adrenaline line, the Adrenaline GTS 23 is notable for its lightweight cushion. Its midsole incorporates Brooks’ innovative DNA LOFT v2 Cushioning, which is a blend of resilient rubber and foam infused with air and nitrogen that ensures a soft yet long-lasting ride. The Adrenaline GTS 23 also integrates GuideRails® technology with firm foam positioned on both sides of the heel. This arrangement aligns your ankles and knees, mitigating discomfort and weariness from plantar fasciitis.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 is available in both women’s and men’s styles in store and online.
Women’s Dress Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis: Vionic Willa
Several Vionic styles are certified by the American Medical Podiatric Association (APMA) as promoters of good foot health, which is a notable pro for those with plantar fasciitis. One of these styles is the Willa loafer, which features Vionic’s legendary 3-Zone Comfort: stability in the heel, support in the arch, and cushioning throughout. The built-in orthotic is proven to effectively treat heel pain stemming from plantar fasciitis and other causes. Plus, it comes in several styles, such as the classic leather or crinkled suede.
Vionic Willa is available in women’s styles in Stan’s stores, the Vionic Store Milwaukee, and online.
Women’s Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis: Birkenstock Arizona
There’s seemingly no limit to reasons why podiatrists (aka foot doctors) love Birkenstock sandals for plantar fasciitis. Birkenstock is known for their cork latex footbeds, which mold to the shape of your feet and provide support where you need it, especially in the arch region. When it comes to plantar fasciitis, this targeted support is key to treating heel and arch pain. Birkenstock sandals also have deep heel cups, which stabilize your heel and help reduce pronation.
If you’re dealing with severe plantar fasciitis pain, try the extra comfort of Birkenstock’s soft footbed styles. These sandals have an additional layer of soft foam cushioning lined with cozy suede, enhancing your relief.
Birkenstock Arizona sandals are available in both women’s and men’s styles in store and online.
Men’s Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis: HOKA Arahi 6
With remarkable cushioning and support, the HOKA Arahi 6 showcases all of HOKA’s strengths. The patented J-Frame™ midsole excels in providing foot stability by providing firm cushioning in a “J” shape, curving around the heel and going up the inside of the foot. The midsole itself is crafted from compression-molded foam, which perfectly walks the line of making a noticeable difference without giving into excess plushness.
HOKA Arahi 6 is available in both men’s and women’s styles in store and online.
Men’s Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis: Vionic Walker
Much like the Vionic Willa dress shoes above, the Vionic Walker has an APMA Seal of Acceptance for foot health as well as Vionic’s 3-Zone Comfort. This walking shoe also features Vionic’s Active Motion System, which pairs a podiatrist-designed removable orthotic with a flexible outsole and water-repellent breathable upper. As if all of that wasn’t enough, the thermoplastic heel counter provides extra stability while the rubber outsole provides extra traction.
Vionic Walker is available in men’s and women’s styles in Stan’s stores, the Vionic Store Milwaukee, and online.
Men’s Recovery Sandal for Plantar Fasciitis: OOFOS Ooahh Slide
Recovery sandals are made for just that: recovery! Though typically used by athletes to take pressure off of their feet after a workout, recovery sandals are also excellent for plantar fasciitis treatment. Oofos is one of the most highly regarded brands of recovery sandals, with all of their styles being recommended by the APMA. Styles like the Ooahh Slide absorb 37% more impact than other footwear, and its cushioned footbed reduces stress on joints from your ankles through your knees. The footbed is also biomechanically engineered to increase circulation, which improves mobility of the plantar fascia.
Oofos Ooahh slide is a unisex style available in store and online.
Orthotics and Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis
One of the most common recommendations for those with plantar fasciitis is to add insoles and other orthotics to pre-existing pairs of shoes. Insoles provide additional arch support and guidance for feet that are in pain or that need help staying aligned. By taking pressure off of the arch, strain is removed from the plantar fascia. Our audience-favorite brands here at Stan’s are Aetrex, Superfeet, and Powerstep.
There are several factors to consider when choosing insoles, including arch height and amount of cushion needed. If you need help picking out which one is right for you, stop at any of our Stan’s stores. One of our friendly Certified Fit Specialists will scan your feet using our Aetrex Albert 3D foot scanner, which will give personalized recommendations just for your feet. Our stellar team and cutting-edge technology will ensure that you get the inserts that are right for you!
Plantar Fasciitis Shoes Near Me
Stan’s Fit For Your Feet has dozens of men’s and women’s shoes to treat plantar fasciitis. Our team of Certified Fit Experts is happy to help you find the pair that makes your plantar fasciitis pain a thing of the past! Visit us in Brookfield, Greenfield, and Glendale or shop online at stansfootwear.com.