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The Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

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Written by Jenna Cartusciello

Running shoes for plantar fasciitis aren’t much different from good-quality running shoes in general. However, certain sneakers are better than others at alleviating plantar fasciitis pain. The secret is in the footbed, outsole and overall shoe construction. So, how can you differentiate between a shoe that will reduce your heel pain and a shoe that exacerbates it?

Not every running shoe for plantar fasciitis will meet your exact needs, but you can narrow down your choices by first understanding your gait, foot type and arch level. In other words, speak to a podiatrist before buying anything! (A foot expert can also provide you with tips for reducing pain beyond buying the right shoes.) Once you have an idea of the product features that would alleviate your pain, it’s time to shop. We’ve created a comprehensive list of the best shoes for plantar fasciitis to help you on your next run, and we’ve based our recommendations on product reviews, testing and podiatrist-approved picks.

The 14 Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Finding the Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis: A Buyer’s Guide

Plantar fasciitis — pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia, a thick tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes — affects one in every 10 people. While researchers don’t yet understand why it develops, they know what exacerbates it: an increase in activity level and a lack of proper support and cushioning in your shoes.

In general, you’ll want to look for a running shoe that has a balance of support and cushioning with a contoured footbed. The outsole should also provide sturdiness to keep your foot in alignment and shock absorption to reduce the impact on your feet. Lastly, a higher shoe drop is considered better for plantar fasciitis patients. (The drop refers to the height difference between the heel and the forefoot. The greater the drop, the more your foot tips forward.) Below, we break down important factors to consider before buying a running shoe for plantar fasciitis.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Arch Support

A lack of adequate arch support is one of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis. Without it, the plantar fascia in your feet can become even more irritated and strained. So, we recommend choosing a running shoe that provides moderate to high arch support depending on the height of your arch. Ideally, that support places your feet in an optimal position and properly distributes your bodyweight.

Cushioning

Too much cushioning isn’t a good thing for plantar fasciitis because it doesn’t provide enough support. The right amount of cushioning, however, can alleviate heel pain quickly. Look for shoes that have padding in the heel and forefoot which helps reduce shock to the plantar fascia.

Contoured Footbed

A contoured footbed acts similarly to an orthotic without feeling too stiff. In an ideal shoe, the footbed keeps your feet in proper alignment without creating discomfort. It should also provide proper heel cupping, meaning they cradle the heel and distribute shock.

Outsole

An outsole can help alleviate heel pain if it provides good traction and shock absorption, both of which can reduce strain on the plantar fascia. Look for a running shoe that has a sturdy yet flexible outsole, which will allow your foot to move naturally. It should also have decent shock absorption to reduce impact on the heel. Generally, rubber is the best outsole material because it provides traction and extends the life of the shoe.

Price

There is a wide price range for plantar fasciitis running shoes, and the brand, shoe design, features and materials can all influence cost. In general, these sneakers cost between $50 and $300.

We chose to recommend shoes between $50 and $200. While we believe that investing in a good shoe is important, we recognize that all running shoes need replacing between 300 and 500 miles, and purchasing expensive shoes every time they need replacing isn’t financially sustainable.

What Are the Different Types of Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis?

While there aren’t specific categories to describe running shoes for plantar fasciitis, all running shoes can be broken down into three categories: stability, motion control and neutral.

Stability

Stability shoes are designed to prioritize proper foot alignment. They offer a balance of cushioning and support thanks to cushioned midsoles, soft interiors and ample arch support. Generally, these shoes feel firmer than motion control and neutral sneakers. They’re best for runners who overpronate, or have ankles that roll inward as they walk or run, but they tend to weigh more.

Motion Control

Motion control shoes, also called high-stability shoes, are great for flat-footed runners who weigh over 180 pounds. They’re the most stable shoe type on the market, and therefore they also work well for people with severe overpronation. These shoes have stiff exteriors and maintain a straight, inflexible shape as you run or walk.

We recommend speaking to a podiatrist before purchasing motion control running shoes, because they may not be the right kind of shoe for you. Your podiatrist may recommend them if you have chronic injuries or a certain foot abnormality that affects your gait.

Neutral

Neutral running shoes are the most common type of running shoes. They’re designed for runners who have a neutral pronation — when the foot rolls inward only slightly during walks or runs but stays in alignment. Generally, neutral running shoes provide a good balance of cushioning and stability while still allowing your feet to move as they normally would.

1

Best Overall: Asics Gel-Kayano 28

Pros

  • Reasonably priced
  • Great stability
  • Cushioned midsole supports plantar fascia

Cons

  • A little heavy
  • May cause blisters
  • Elastic in tongue may irritate skin

Type: Neutral | Drop: 10 mm (men), 13 mm (women)

The Asics Gel-Kayano 28 is a popular running shoe for all runners thanks to its well-placed cushioning and stable outsole. It’s our top pick for runners with plantar fasciitis because it isn’t over cushioned and it provides great stability, keeping your feet in alignment. We love that the cushioning in the midsole (called FlyteFoam Blast) supports the plantar fascia and prevents strain.

However, this shoe feels a little heavier than some of our other picks. Some buyers have experienced blisters with these shoes and the elastic in the tongue can irritate the skin.

2

Best Value: Asics Gel-Venture 9 Running Shoes

Pros

  • Great for trail running
  • Keep feet in alignment
  • Decent cushioning

Cons

  • Not bouncy
  • Cold in winter
  • Mesh upper wears down over time

At $60, the Asics Gel-Venture 9 Running Shoe is a steal. It has great cushioning and shock absorption and keeps your feet in alignment so that your run will feel stable. This shoe is great for trail running and hiking, and works well on pavement.

Note that these shoes don’t offer the bounciest ride, so you may feel like you need to do more of the work on your run. And while these shoes are perfect for summer because of the mesh upper, they get cold in the winter. Lastly, the mesh upper wears down over time because it is so breathable.

3

Best on Amazon: Skechers Women’s Arch Fit Keep It Up Sneaker

Pros

  • Insole molds to feet
  • Mesh upper prevents heat buildup
  • Decent shock absorption

Cons

  • Could use more arch support
  • Run small
  • Could use more traction

What we love about the Arch Fit Sneaker: The insole is podiatrist certified and moldable to your feet, so it provides custom support for plantar fasciitis. We also like that the mesh upper prevents heat buildup and the outsole offers decent shock absorption.

What could be improved: Some people would benefit from greater arch support in these shoes, and the women’s sneakers run small. We also think the synthetic outsole could use more traction.

4

Best Neutral Running Shoe: Brooks Ghost 15

Pros

  • Lightweight cushioning reduces heel impact
  • Sturdy rubber outsole maintains proper alignment
  • Great for everyday runs

Cons

  • Stain easily
  • Not great for standing
  • Pricey

The Brooks Ghost 15 is a cushion-y, light and supportive trainer that’s great for everyday runs. We like that the midsole provides lightweight cushioning to reduce impact on the heel, and the rubber outsole is sturdy enough to keep the foot in alignment.

The downsides? These shoes stain easily, and some buyers found that they didn’t work well for long periods of standing because the cushioning became compact. They’re also pricey at $140.

5

Best Stability Running Shoe: Asics Gel-Kayano Lite 2

Pros

  • Sole flare prevents overpronation
  • Lightweight
  • 60% recycled material

Cons

  • Snug in front
  • Runs small
  • Mesh upper may tear

If you need a shoe that will really keep your foot in alignment while you run, opt for the Asics Gel-Kayano Lite 2. Its key feature is sole flare — where the midsole extends further out than the upper sole, creating an even platform for your foot and preventing overpronation. Despite this extra stabilizing feature, these shoes manage to feel light and squishy.

However, this shoe is a little snug in the front which gets uncomfortable if you have wide feet. The women’s version also runs small, and the mesh upper may tear after frequent use.

6

Best Motion Control Running Shoe: New Balance Fresh Foam X 860 V12 Running Shoe

Pros

  • Durable
  • Guidance lines correct foot alignment
  • Instantly comfortable

Cons

  • Cold in winter
  • May feel too firm
  • Pricey

If you need extra stability because you overpronate or have a gait abnormality, consider the New Balance Fresh Foam X 860 V12 shoes. They correct your foot’s alignment with guidance lines, which shift stress to the outer soles as you walk or run.

Overall, this shoe has a firm and stable feel, so some buyers may prefer more cushioning. It’s also on the pricey side at $140 per pair.

7

Best for Overpronation: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Running Shoe

Pros

  • GuideRail system corrects alignment
  • Wide toe box
  • Durable

Cons

  • Drop may be too great
  • Stiff feel
  • Take a while to break in

Do you struggle to maintain a correct gait on your runs? The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Shoe should fix it. These are some of the most stable shoes on the market, thanks to a GuideRail system that corrects your alignment with every step. We also appreciate the wide toe box, which gives the toes room to spread.

However, the very high drop (12 millimeters) may be too much for some runners and cause the feet to constantly feel like they’re tipping forward. These shoes also take a while to break in thanks to their stiffness.

8

Best for High Arches: New Balance Fresh Foam 860 V11 Running Shoe

Pros

  • Sole offers great stability
  • Excellent arch support
  • Good traction

Cons

  • Narrow in front
  • Take a while to break in
  • Some buyers prefer more cushioning

Finding a shoe that reduces plantar fasciitis pain and caters to high arches is difficult, but thankfully, the New Balance Fresh Foam 860 V11 does both. It has a stable exterior, light cushioning in the interior and excellent arch support. We also appreciate that the outsole is long lasting and has plenty of traction.

What could be improved: Some buyers felt that these shoes were a little too narrow in the front, and others complained that they took too long to break in. The lack of a cushioned feel may also bother some runners.

9

Best Shock Absorption: HOKA Gaviota 5

Pros

  • Instantly comfortable
  • Cushioned outsole absorbs shock
  • Maintain proper foot alignment

Cons

  • Not the most durable
  • Expensive
  • Could use more traction

If you want to feel like you’re bouncing when you run, we recommend the HOKA Gaviota 5. These sneakers have a wide and well-cushioned sole that absorbs shock and feels springy. They also correct overpronation, making them a great pick for buyers with plantar fasciitis because they maintain proper foot alignment.

However, these sneakers don’t offer quite as much traction as similar shoes. The outsole also isn’t as durable as we hoped, and these shoes are one of our most expensive recommendations.

10

Best Lightweight: HOKA Arahi 6

Pros

  • Great for flat feet
  • Combats overpronation

Cons

  • Drop may be too low for some plantar fasciitis runners
  • Could have more spring
  • Not ideal for extreme overpronation

Oftentimes, lightweight shoes aren’t very stable because stabilizing features increase the weight. The HOKA Arahi 6 are an exception to this rule — they weigh just 9.3 ounces and offer strategic support throughout the outsole and midsole. We like that these shoes still have great cushioning to reduce impact on the heel, which is good news for runners with plantar fasciitis.

On the other hand, the low shoe drop (five millimeters) may be too low for some plantar fasciitis runners and place a little too much pressure on the heel. These also aren’t the best choice for runners with extreme overpronation or gait abnormalities.

12

Best for Wide Feet: New Balance 990 V5 Sneaker

Pros

  • Instantly comfortable
  • Good ankle stability
  • Cushioning reduces impact on heel

Cons

  • Materials stretch over time
  • Could be more durable
  • Inconsistent sizing

If you embrace dad shoes, the New Balance 990 V5 Sneaker is the pick for you. Features like a lightweight, foam insole and dual density foam for ankle stability make these a good choice for plantar fasciitis. Overall, these are great for short runs and add a little spring in your step.

However, the suede and mesh materials stretch overtime, leading to a loose fit. Some buyers question their durability on long runs, while others have experienced inconsistent sizing.

13

Best for an Easy Pace: HOKA Bondi 8

Pros

  • Create a smooth, even run
  • Stability throughout the foot
  • Moderate arch support

Cons

  • Could use more arch support
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Hoping to achieve a smooth, gliding run? Opt for the HOKA Bondi 8. The extra height of the soles combined with a small drop (4 millimeters) means these shoes create a soft and stable experience. We like that the outsole adds much-needed stability throughout the base of the foot, and the moderate arch support takes pressure off of the heels.

While these look like a bouncy shoe, they don’t create a ton of spring, and they could use more arch support. These sneakers are also a little heavy and expensive.

14

Best Orthopedic for Women: Orthofeet No-Tie Knit Coral Sneakers

Pros

  • Wide toe box is great for bunions and arthritis
  • Corrects gait
  • Alleviates heel pressure

Cons

  • Orthopedic insole initially feels uncomfortable
  • Take time to break in
  • Stiff feel

If you have bunions, arthritis or both (in addition to plantar fasciitis), Orthofeet’s No-Tie Knit Coral Sneakers will be a relief for your feet. They have a wide toe box to give your forefoot plenty of room, and the orthopedic interior corrects your gait and alleviates heel pressure. Overall, this is a great shoe for short runs, a trip to the gym or your daily walk.

On the other hand, the orthopedic insole is uncomfortable at first and can take some time to get used to. They also take some time to break in and feel stiff.

People Also Ask

  • Q: What running shoe drop is best for plantar fasciitis?

    A:In general, a higher shoe drop, between seven and 12 millimeters (mm), is ideal for plantar fasciitis. The higher drop puts less pressure on your heels and slightly more pressure on your toes, reducing the shock on the plantar fascia.

  • Q: Are Brooks or Hoka better for plantar fasciitis?

    A:Both Brooks and HOKA make running shoes that can alleviate plantar fasciitis. For a good, neutral running shoe (designed for people who don’t overpronate), we recommend the Brooks Ghost 15. For a very lightweight yet stable feel, consider the HOKA One One Arahi 6.

  • Q: What type of running shoes should you avoid if you have plantar fasciitis?

    A:If you struggle with plantar fasciitis, it’s best to avoid running shoes that have a flat footbed or very little arch support. We also recommend avoiding a very rigid or a very soft heel counter (tough material that wraps around the outside of a heel), either of which could exacerbate heel pain.

  • Q: How much do running shoes for plantar fasciitis cost?

    A:While the cost of running shoes for plantar fasciitis varies greatly, most fall between $50 and $300. Our recommendations fall between $50 and $200.

Why trust Us

At Us Weekly, we aim to inform readers to make smart purchasing decisions, saving you both time and money. Our editors are obsessed with finding products in a variety of categories from fashion and beauty, to home and fitness.

We try various products, so we can recommend our favorites, and we also summarize feedback and data from other customers. Data, like product reviews and ratings, helps us recommend the best product choices for individual price points and needs.

On top of that, we highlight unique product features for special use cases, ingredients preferences, and more. We strive to make sure you are discovering new products that can make your life easier, while keeping you up to date with the best product choices for types of items you already know and love.

Author photo

By Jenna Cartusciello

Affiliate Commerce Writer Jenna loves recommending great products to her friends and family, so helping the rest of the internet on their quest to find the best stuff makes tremendous sense! Though she mainly writes in-depth buyer’s guides these days, Jenna still enjoys crafting the occasional health article. In her spare time, she loves immersing herself in creative writing. Her favorite authors (for anyone who is willing to geek out with her) include Neil Gaiman, Cheryl Strayed, and Jennifer Egan.

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