The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis That Help Ease Achy Arches (2024)

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The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis That Help Ease Achy Arches (1)

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, approximately 2 million people are treated for plantar fasciitis—a common condition that causes pain in the bottom of the foot, under the arch and heel—every year. One of the best ways to treat foot pain from plantar fasciitis is by protecting your feet with proper shoes, according to Sean Peden, MD, foot and ankle surgeon at Yale Medicine Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation.

While there is not one specific shoe that works for all people, Dr. Peden recommends looking for ones with support and flexibility: "Shoes with more support and protection—meaning they are relatively stiff and cushioned—improve the symptoms of people with plantar fasciitis,” he says.

We researched dozens of shoes for plantar fasciitis and chose the best ones based on the following attributes: cushioning, support, cost, and style. A podiatrist from our Medical Expert Board reviewed the contents of this article for medical accuracy surrounding plantar fasciitis and how to evaluate features like arch support and sturdy construction in shoes for plantar fasciitis. We also consulted experts, including Dr. Peden. Each of the shoes chosen in this article was determined to be the best of these factors.

In This Article

  • Our Picks

  • Where We Stand

  • How We Selected

  • Our Experts

  • What to Look For

  • FAQ

  • Why Trust Verywell Health

Best Overall

HOKA Bondi SR Leather Trainers

The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis That Help Ease Achy Arches (2)

Materials: Leather, EVA | Sizes: 5-11 | Cushioning: Foam | Arch Support: Moderate


  • Plush cushioning

  • Grippy sole

  • Water resistant


  • High price-point

  • Take time to break in

Why We Recommend It

Made with the brand's ultra-plush EVA midsole, the HOKA ONE ONE Bondi SR Leather Trainers provide comfort and stability with each step, making it our best overall pick. “These are a newer brand that is very supportive with firm soles but generous cushioning,” explains Dr. Paden, who maintains that they are excellent for people with all kinds of foot conditions. “My patients rave about that. They are dependable and seem to have good longevity.”

The shoe is also ultra-grippy and has been tested on surfaces with water, oil, and soap for slip resistance. What's more, its water-resistant leather exterior keeps your feet dry while looking fresh. It's no wonder these are top-rated shoes for nurses who are on their feet all day.

Keep in Mind

The soles are on the stiffer side and may take some time to break in.

Materials: Polyester, Foam, Mesh | Sizes: 5-12 | Cushioning: Foam | Arch Support: High


  • Plenty of cushioning

  • Heel-stabilizing system

  • Lightweight


  • May run small

Why We Recommend It

The Asics GT-2000 8 is our top women's pick thanks to its heel-stabilizing design and cushion that's plush without weighing you down. The Asics gel technology cushioning at the front and back of the shoe reduces impact as you land, which is great for lessening pressure on the heel and lower leg for those with plantar fasciitis.

Available in both wide and narrow sizes, this shoe also ensures you'll get a perfect fit no matter your foot shape. It's also available in eight colors for easy wear.

Keep in Mind

They run on the narrow side.

Materials: Foam, Rubber, Mesh | Sizes: 6-15 | Cushioning: Foam | Arch Support: Max


  • Available in three widths

  • Shock-absorption system

  • Compression system that helps with pronation


  • May not have as much stability for lighter people

Why We Recommend It

Asics Gel-Kayano 28 low-profile running shoes are a great choice for curbing plantar fasciitis symptoms. With a 10 mm heel drop, they take the stress off your foot without being bulky. The brand's FF Blast foam cushioning in the midsole keeps feet arches supported and comfortable.

We also like the shoe's external heel counter and Dynamic DuoMax Support System stabilizes feet as you walk, which is great for pronation and flat feet—a condition that's linked to plantar fasciitis. They're also available in three widths—standard, wide, and extra wide—for perfect fit and support.

Keep in Mind

You might find the toe box a bit small if you have wide feet.

Best Budget

Asics Gel-Nimbus 23

The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis That Help Ease Achy Arches (5)

Materials: Polyester, Foam | Sizes: 5-13 | Cushioning: Foam | Arch Support: Moderate


  • Shock-absorbing sole

  • Light-reflective details

  • Heel design targets plantar fasciitis


  • Run small

  • Fabric shows wear

Why We Recommend It

Dr. Peden maintains that Asics are great sneakers for anyone on a budget. While many of the running or walking shoes on our list retail for over $100, this brand favored by many runners has many styles around the $80 price point. The Asics Gel-Nimbus is one of their more popular running shoes and is a great option for anyone who suffers from heel pain.

The shoe is supportive and well-cushioned, featuring the brand’s FlyteFoam Propel Technology and exoskeletal heel counter that targets the problem area. As far as aesthetics, it is available in a wide range of color combinations, all with reflectivity in order to enhance visibility.

Keep in Mind

The mesh that covers the toes is comfortable and breathable, but it also wears down quickly.

Materials: EVA | Sizes: 5-13 | Cushioning: EVA Foam | Arch Support: Moderate


  • Lightweight and breathable

  • Available in multiple widths

  • Well cushioned


  • Narrow toe box

  • Not waterproof

Why We Recommend It

The Brooks Ghost collection earned its name for one reason: They're so comfortable you'll forget you're wearing shoes at all. It's the sneaker brand’s best-selling model and is incredibly popular at specialty running stores.

The Ghost 14 is the latest offering in the collection. It features DNA Loft cushioning, keeping the bottom of your feet—from the heel to the forefoot—comfortable no matter what type of surface you're walking on. The shoe is also incredibly breathable, made out of air mesh that clings to your foot. The Brooks Ghost is offered in a variety of colors, sizes, and widths, making it easy to find just the right fit—ideal for those who need a wider shoe to accommodate conditions like a hammertoe.

Keep in Mind

If short shoe laces bother you, you'll probably need to replace the ones that come with these shoes.

The 8 Best Hammer Toe Straighteners

Materials: Leather | Sizes: 5-12 | Cushioning: Gel | Arch Support: Max


  • Max arch support

  • Durable

  • Cushioned heel and forefoot


  • Limited colors

Why We Recommend It

The Brooks Addiction Walker is a doctor-recommended, patient-endorsed walking shoe for people of all ages, particularly those with diabetes-related foot issues. While the shoe is incredibly simple in appearance, the construction of the highly-rated walking shoe is more complex. It features midsole HydroFlow technology, which adds extra cushioning with dynamic gel units in the heel and forefoot.

As for arch support, which is key for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis, its Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar will cradle your tendons offering ample support.

Keep in Mind

If you prefer shoes with a lot of color and fashion sense, these might not be your favorite pick. The design is pretty basic, and they only come in two colors.

Best Dress Shoes

Clarks Warren Slip-On Loafer

The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis That Help Ease Achy Arches (8)

Materials: Leather | Sizes: 5-12 | Cushioning: Foam | Arch Support: Moderate


  • Grippy outsole

  • Half sizes and different widths available

  • Durable


  • Run narrow

Why We Recommend It

While Clarks shoes are “not dirt cheap,” they are well made and built to last, according to Dr. Peden. “They are the shoes I wore for years during my training,” he says. The brand dates back to 1825 and is still one of the best-selling shoe brands nearly 200 years later.

Their popular Clarks Emslie Warren style is a heeled bootie, that offers a dressy look with the comfort level of a clog or sneaker; you get all the benefits of a comfortable shoe without sacrificing style. It features the brand's trademark Cushion Soft foam comfort footbed, offering ample support as well as a durable TR rubber traction outsole to keep you from slipping. It is available in a few color options as well as whole and half sizes and different widths, so you can customize it to your foot and desired aesthetic.

Keep in Mind

The shoes run a bit small and narrow, so consider sizing up if you are between sizes or have wider feet.

Best Boots

Nisolo Everyday Chelsea Commuter Boot

The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis That Help Ease Achy Arches (9)

Materials: Leather | Sizes: 6-10 | Cushioning: Leather | Arch Support: Light


  • Water resistant

  • Memory foam footbed

  • Ethically made


  • Limited sizes

  • Light arch support

Why We Recommend It

If you are looking for a timeless boot that doesn’t resemble an orthopedic shoe whatsoever, Dr. Peden suggests the Nisolo brand, which incorporates supportive leather footbeds in their stylish boots. “I love this brand,” he says. “Great style well made with ethical practices. An overall good company and I’m happy with their shoes.”

The Nisolo Chelsea boot is basically the most comfortable version of that trendy boot you see in every magazine spread. Available in a nutmeg suede and a smooth leather black and brandy, it is a perfect addition to any of your outfits, ranging from jeans and leggings to skirts and dresses.

Keep in Mind

The boots are made from real leather and may take a few wears to break in.

Best Slipper

Orthofeet Charlotte Slippers

The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis That Help Ease Achy Arches (10)

Materials: Leather, Polyurethane foam | Sizes: 5-12 | Cushioning: Foam | Arch Support: High


  • High arch support

  • Anatomically-desgned orthotic

  • Sturdy sole


  • Not the most stylish

Why We Recommend It

If you're looking for a pair of slippers that actually help your feet while being cozy, Orthofeet's Charlotte Slippers are a podiatrist favorite. They offer plenty of arch support, vital for those with high arches, and an anatomical orthotic that provides proper foot alignment.

Although these slippers are a great pick for wearing around the house, we love that they're also suitable for short walks outdoors. They feature a plush faux fur interior, along with a sturdy sole that's perfect for continued support if you take them outside. They're a perfect pair to keep by the door for short morning walks in cooler temperatures.

Keep in Mind

The padding is warm and cozy, but might be too hot for long-term wear if your feet tend to sweat.

Best Sandal

Vionic Reyna Flatform Sandal

The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis That Help Ease Achy Arches (11)

Materials: Suede, Rubber, Leather | Sizes: 5-11 | Cushioning: Leather | Arch Support: High


  • Sturdy arch support

  • Straps keep sandals in place

  • No break-in period


  • Best for high arches

  • On the heavy side

Why We Recommend It

Vionic Reyna Flatform sandals prove that shoes don't have to be full coverage to be supportive. The straps on the top and back of the sandal keep the sandals in place with every stride, which is a crucial quality to look for when you're dealing with plantar fasciitis. The more your sandals slip and slide, the harder your feet will have to work to keep them in place, but that's not an issue with this pair.

We love the thick suede footbed, which provides just the right amount of support, cushion, and shock absorption. The arch support is also a welcome feature for anyone who has high arches. Despite the sturdy soles, we didn't find these sandals required a break-in period, and we wore them comfortably right out of the box.

Keep in Mind

Like most platform shoes, these sandals are on the heavier side. The arch support might also be a bit too intense if you have flat feet.

We Found the 10 Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis, After Testing 32 Pairs

Best Soft Inserts

Walk Hero Plantar Fasciitis Insoles

The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis That Help Ease Achy Arches (12)

Materials: EVA Foam | Sizes: Men's: 4-15; Women's: 6-14 | Cushioning: Foam | Arch Support: High


  • Deep heel cup

  • Cooling material

  • High arch


  • Run small

  • May wear out quickly

Why We Recommend It

If you want to transform one of your current shoes into one that is plantar fasciitis friendly—or you just want to up your comfort level—inserts can be incredibly helpful for alleviating a host of bottom-of-foot pains. For those who prefer a softer insert, Walk Hero is a popular brand for plantar fasciitis support.

The super supportive insoles feature a soft EVA foam layer and a deep heel cup, which helps align your body and give your feet proper positioning. It also provides support and cushioning, transferring pressure away from high-impact areas, such as your heels. They're sized in regular shoe sizes, so you can order the size you normally wear.

Keep in Mind

As with most insoles, the shape of these might not perfectly match your foot, but it's easy to trim the insoles to get a better fit.

Best Firm Inserts

Superfeet Blue All-Purpose Insoles

The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis That Help Ease Achy Arches (13)

Materials: Polyester, Foam | Sizes: Men's: 5.5-15; Women's: 4.5-13 | Cushioning: Foam | Arch Support: Medium


  • Wide size range

  • Odor control

  • Deep heel cup


  • Can be difficult to cut

Why We Recommend It

For those who aren’t a fan of soft inserts, Dr. Peden suggests Superfeet insoles. “Superfeet tend to be a bit firmer,” he explains. Superfeet are available in a variety of “colors,” each with a different combination of thickness and arch support. Blue is their most popular style catering to medium thickness and arch or medium volume and profile.

Constructed out of high-density foam to support and cushion the foot, they are shaped to take the pressure off problem areas while offering all the support you need to comfortably get through the day which can help reduce plantar fasciitis flare-ups.

Keep in Mind

The heel support is pretty firm.

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Where We Stand

Based on expert recommendations, extensive research, and real-life testing, our favorite shoes for plantar fasciitis are Hoka Bondi SR Leather Trainers. They provide unparalleled support and amazing comfort, and their top-notch quality guarantees they'll be a long-term investment. We'll update our list as new products become available, so be sure to check back for the most recent picks.

How We Tested and Selected the Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

The best shoes for plantar fasciitis support your feet with ample cushioning and sturdy construction. When selecting the shoes for plantar fasciitis, we researched dozens of products to find the most effective options. We also spoke to foot specialists to find out what other features you should look for when looking to treat plantar fasciitis symptoms. These experts included a podiatrist and a foot and ankle surgeon. To top it all off, we tried out select pairs of shoes to ensure only the best selections made the final cut.

To narrow down our list, we considered comfort, arch support, style, cushioning, and sizing when trying and researching products. Our list includes shoes that help to treat plantar fasciitis in any environment, from work to home, along with inserts to curb foot pain.

Our Experts

  • Sean Peden, MD, foot and ankle surgeon at Yale Medicine Department of Orthopaedics & Rehabilitation in Stamford, Connecticut
  • Adam H. Kaplan, DPM, a podiatrist and member of the Verywell Health Medical Review board based in New Jersey

What to Look for in Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

  • Comfort: One of the most important parts of finding a shoe for plantar fasciitis is fit. Shoes that are too tight can worsen your foot pain and further aggravate the plantar fascia, the band that runs from your toes to your heel. If you have wider feet, look for shoes that have multiple widths to ensure you'll get the best possible fit—especially important if you have other foot issues like a bunion on top of plantar fasciitis.
  • Cushioning: You should also consider cushioning when choosing a shoe. Plenty of cushioning can help arch support, especially for people with flat feet, but too much soft cushioning can aggravate your plantar fascia without supporting it.
  • Support: Shoes for plantar fasciitis should have good support, both in their cushioning and construction. Dr. Peden says you shouldn't be able to twist the shoe and wring it out like a wet dishtowel, since this means it won't offer enough support. Because plantar fasciitis affects the plantar fascia, a band that runs through the arch of your foot, arch support is one of the most important features to look for when treating many kinds of foot pain.
  • Style: As Dr. Peden stated, when investing in a shoe for plantar fasciitis, you should consider your lifestyle first and foremost. Are you looking for a workout shoe? Or are you on your feet all day in the healthcare or service industry? Do you need something a little dressier? There are lots of different styles; you just need to choose the one that will serve you best.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you treat plantar fasciitis?

    There are a variety of treatments that can be used here, beginning with giving your feet a break from any activities that may be aggravating the condition and allowing them to rest. It may also help to ice your heel to tamp down swelling, as well as to take over-the-counter pain medication like Aleve (naproxen) or Advil or Motrin (ibuprofen).

    Adam H. Kaplan, DPM, a podiatrist and member of the Verywell Health Medical Review board, recommends an ice bottle massage. Roll your foot over a frozen water bottle with light pressure for 20 minutes, then rest for 20 minutes. He suggests repeating this for as long as you want, and to watch out for frostbite.

    You may also try some foot and ankle exercises to help stretch and strengthen your foot, beginning with your toes. With a toe stretch, sit in a chair with just your heel on the floor. Reach down and pull your big toe toward you for up to 30 seconds. You can do this several times a day for up to four times each.

    In terms of how long plantar fasciitis can last, that depends on your particular case. In some cases, pain begins to go away in just a few weeks after beginning treatment. Still, keep in mind it may take several months for this to completely heal. In some cases, it may even take as long as one year.

  • What causes plantar fasciitis to flare up?

    If you're prone to plantar fasciitis, you want to be careful when doing any kind of high-impact workout, especially if this is what led to the condition in the first place.

    So, if your work requires you to stand on hard surfaces for long stretches, see if you can modify this, perhaps by regularly wearing more cushioned shoes. Ifweight is an issue, keeping a few extra pounds at bay may help somewhat to reduce the chances of a flare-up.

  • What does plantar fasciitis feel like?

    According to Dr. Kaplan, the number one way to tell you have plantar fasciitis is if you feel pain after a period of rest. For example, if you feel pain as you take your first few steps after being seated or at rest.

    With plantar fasciitis, each time you walk, your heel may feel extremely tender, as though you have a bone bruise there on your heel right where it meets the ground. Every time you place your heel down, you may feel this stabbing pain.

    Sometimes the pain may also be in the arch of the foot and may increase after exercising. It's important to not ignore this and to reach out for treatment as soon as possible.

  • What shoes should I avoid if I have plantar fasciitis?

    When treating plantar fasciitis, you should avoid shoes that put too much pressure on the foot, like high-heeled shoes and sneakers with a significant heel drop. Tight or poorly-fitting shoes can also stop the foot from moving naturally, which can aggravate plantar fasciitis symptoms.

    It's also important to select new shoes with well-cushioned soles and good arch support, avoiding flimsier shoes like flip-flops and sandals that don't offer support. Shoe inserts or heel cups may also be helpful. But be sure to use these in both of your shoes, even if plantar fasciitis is only affecting one foot.

Why Trust Verywell Health

As an internationally recognized health writer and product guru,Leah Grothunderstands that nobody wants to waste their time or money on products that fail to rear results. Over the years, she has interviewed the world's top health experts and reviewed hundreds of items to help readers like you discover the most effective health gadgets, goops, and aids that will help you look and feel your very best.

Additional reporting to this story by Jaylyn Pruitt.

The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis That Help Ease Achy Arches (2024)
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