Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

walking shoes for plantar fasciitis

Living with plantar fasciitis is no easy feat, and wearing the wrong kind of footwear will only worsen the problem. Choosing a supportive, comfortable pair of shoes will make a significant difference on your ability to manage heel pain. Below you’ll find some of the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis available today! 

Plantar Fasciitis: In Short

Plantar fasciitis is an epidemic of modern life, affecting over 2 million Americans each year. This chronic condition of shooting heel pain results when the band of tissue spanning the heel and toes becomes overstressed and irritated. Heel pain is usually worse in the morning or after sitting for extended periods of time, and it can cause limping and other compensatory gait patterns. 

As a physical therapist, I treat many patients with plantar fasciitis; it’s an extremely common condition. Luckily, there are ways to both manage the symptoms and solve the problem. 

Treating and Preventing Plantar Fasciitis

Like many other musculoskeletal issues, plantar fasciitis is best treated through exercise, stretches, and lifestyle changes. You can check out my treatment plan for plantar fasciitis here

Whenever my patients come in for plantar fasciitis, one of the first things I address is their footwear. That’s because without proper support, your plantar fasciitis won’t entirely go away. An unsupportive pair of shoes will encourage poor posture and perpetuate pain in your feet. 

Whether you’re working on your feet, running errands, or walking the dog, a comfortable pair of supportive walking shoes will help you manage your plantar fasciitis and prevent further heel pain. 

How to Find Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

If you stand all day, then I don’t need to tell you that comfortable shoes are essential to living pain-free. You probably already know that high heels are out of the question. 

But beyond a comfortable shoe, you need a supportive shoe to counteract plantar fasciitis – one that is designed to relieve stress from your heel and promote proper standing posture. 

Here are some key features of comfortable, supportive walking shoes:

Cushioning

Your foot withstands hundreds of pounds of force with each footfall. A well-cushioned shoe will help absorb that shock so your heel doesn’t have to.   

Arch support

Regardless of your foot type, arch support promotes proper foot alignment and distributes pressure from your heel.

Heel drop

Perhaps one of the most important features in a supportive shoe, heel drop is the distance in height between the heel of the shoe and the toe box. Look for a heel drop of 8-12mm

Removable inserts

Besides being able to wash the insole, a removable insert means you can upgrade the insole for a more supportive one (like the ones I recommend here). 

Finally, none of these features matter if the shoe is uncomfortable or ill-fitting. If you are unsure of your shoe size or arch support preferences, I recommend heading to a shoe store to be custom-fitted. Getting the right pair of walking shoes for your plantar fasciitis will be worth the hassle and expense! 

Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

1. Brooks Ghost 13 for Men and Women

This pair of kicks ticks all the boxes for a comfortable, supportive shoe – and from a brand like Brooks, you’re guaranteed a quality product. 

walking shoes for plantar fasciitis

The Brooks Ghost line is good for walking or running, and you’ll find that despite the ample cushioning, these shoes are remarkably lightweight. The high heel drop might take some getting used to, but according to thousands of reviewers, heel pain doesn’t stand a chance in these shoes.

In a nutshell:

  • Cushioned but lightweight
  • High/medium arch support
  • 12mm heel drop
  • Removable insole
  • Well-rated for plantar fasciitis on Amazon
  • Made for running and walking
  • $130; Women’s 4.5-15, including wide, 25 colors; Men’s 7-15, including wide, 20 colors 
Brooks Men's Ghost 13, Deep Cobalt/Grey/Navy, 8 Medium
12,531 Reviews
Brooks Men's Ghost 13, Deep Cobalt/Grey/Navy, 8 Medium
  • THIS MEN'S SHOE IS FOR: The Ghost 13 is for runners looking for a reliable shoe that's soft and smooth. The Ghost 13 offers improved transitions for...
  • SUPPORT AND CUSHION: The neutral support type provides high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you...

2. Brooks Revel 4 for Men and Women

walking shoes

Another quality buy from Brooks, the Revel 4 is a moderate version of the Ghost line. With a shorter heel drop and medium arch support, this shoe is best for someone who wants a minimal shoe without compromising any support. 

Weighing in at less than 8oz., the Revel is lightweight yet sturdy enough to withstand daily abuse from walking, running, or standing. Reviewers laud the shoe for its plantar fasciitis relief, fun colors, and relatively low price tag. 

In a nutshell:

  • Lightweight (>8oz.) but ample cushioning
  • Medium arch support
  • 8mm heel drop
  • Removable insole
  • Well-rated for plantar fasciitis on Amazon
  • Made for running and walking
  • $80; Women’s 5-12, 19 colors; Men’s 5.5-15, 14 colors
Brooks Revel 4 White/Black 8 B (M)
3,898 Reviews
Brooks Revel 4 White/Black 8 B (M)
  • THIS WOMEN'S SHOE IS FOR: Neutral runners looking for a shoe that looks good and performs even better. This is a true do-it-all shoe that you can also...
  • BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA cushioning adapts to your stride, weight, and speed to help protect you by deflecting impact away from your...

3. Asics Gel Nimbus 23 for Men and Women

asics walking shoes

Asics is another brand that’s mastered the art of supportive, comfortable shoes you’ll actually like being seen in. Their sporty Gel Nimbus line has a big following among walkers, runners, and plantar fasciitis patients alike. In fact, these shoes are podiatrist-recommended for relieving pain from plantar fasciitis.

With maximum cushion, high arch support, and a steep heel drop, these shoes afford the best in footcare. They’re the priciest on this list for a reason.

In a nutshell:

  • Maximum cushion
  • Medium/High arch support
  • 10mm heel drop
  • Removable insole
  • Podiatrist-recommended for plantar fasciitis
  • Made for running and walking
  • $150; Women’s 5-13, including wide, 8 colors; Men’s 6-16, including wide, 9 colors
Sale
ASICS Men's Gel-Nimbus 23 Running Shoes, 11, Carrier Grey/Digital Aqua
1,373 Reviews
ASICS Men's Gel-Nimbus 23 Running Shoes, 11, Carrier Grey/Digital Aqua
  • Engineered Mesh Upper - Multi-directional mesh material improves ventilation and stability.
  • GEL technology cushioning - Provides excellent shock absorption

4. Vionic Brisk Miles for Women

Vionic earned a seal of approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) for its 3-zoned insole, providing arch support, cushion, and stability in every shoe.

There are a wide variety of Vionic walking shoes on offer, but the Brisk Miles are particularly well-rated. You’ll love the variety of colors, lightweight mesh, and polka-dot laces on this pair. 

In a nutshell:

  • Mesh EVA footbed
  • Medium arch support
  • Removable insole
  • Made for walking
  • APMA-approved
  • $100; Women’s 5-12, including wide, 10 colors; 
Vionic Women's Brisk Miles Leisure Sneakers- Supportive Walking Shoes That Include Three-Zone Comfort with Orthotic Insole Arch Support, Sneakers...
2,965 Reviews
Vionic Women's Brisk Miles Leisure Sneakers- Supportive Walking Shoes That Include Three-Zone Comfort with Orthotic Insole Arch Support, Sneakers...
  • Textile & Man-Made Upper. Removable Mesh Covered EVA Footbed. Durable Rubber Outsole.
  • Received APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) Seal of Acceptance

5. Orthofeet Edgewater Shoes for Men

Men's Sneakers Walking Shoes Athletic | Edgewater Black Orthofeet

Another specialty brand, Orthofeet has engineered a supportive, comfortable insole that gives any shoe an upgrade. Their Edgewater walking shoes take “comfortable support” to another level, featuring a roomy toe box, lightweight mesh material, and slip-resistant soles.

Also approved by the APMA, these shoes are great for relieving plantar fasciitis relief, as commended by thousands of reviewers.

In a nutshell:

  • Breathable mesh uppers
  • Wide toe box
  • Medium arch support
  • Removable orthotic insole
  • APMA-approved
  • $130; Men’s 7-15, including wide, 2 colors 
Orthofeet Proven Heel and Foot Pain Relief. Extended Widths. Best Orthopedic Plantar Fasciitis Diabetic Men’s Walking Shoes Sneakers Edgewater...
1,543 Reviews
Orthofeet Proven Heel and Foot Pain Relief. Extended Widths. Best Orthopedic Plantar Fasciitis Diabetic Men’s Walking Shoes Sneakers Edgewater...
  • GUARANTEED COMFORT! Test our shoes for up to 60 DAYS and see for yourself why Orthofeet is regarded by millions as the WORLD'S MOST COMFORTABLE and...
  • PLANTAR FASCIITIS? HEEL PAIN? FOOT PAIN? NEUROPATHY? Orthofeet orthotic shoes offer the BEST ORTHOPEDIC SHOE solution. Lightweight SOLE with ERGONOMIC...

6. Dansko Professional Clog for Women

Just because you’re shopping for support doesn’t mean you can’t also shop for style. The Dansko Professional Clog makes a classic statement in a plethora of colors – seriously, 73 – without compromising on comfort.

If you’re looking for a stylish shoe with high arch support, a deep heel cup and a roomy toe box, this is the pair for you. Who knew walking shoes for plantar fasciitis could be fashionable?  

  • 100% leather
  • Slip-on clog style
  • Deep heel cup and wide toe box
  • Temperature-control footbed
  • High arch support
  • Accepted by APMA
  • Well-rated for plantar fasciitis on Amazon
  • $135; Women’s 3-13, including wide, 73 colors 
Dansko Women's Professional Honey Distressed Clog 8.5-9 M US
19,097 Reviews
Dansko Women's Professional Honey Distressed Clog 8.5-9 M US
  • Leather and or fabric uppers
  • Padded instep collar for comfort when walking

7. Olukai Inana Trainer for Men

Give your feet a vacation with a pair of shoes from Hawaiian brand OluKai. Their line of active footwear will perfectly outfit a hike up a volcano or a trek to the market. 

Fun fact: the name OluKai comes from the Hawaiian words for “comfortable ocean.” And among their sea of supportive shoes, OluKai’s Inana Trainer is especially well-rated for arch support, insole cushioning, and style. Other loveable features include completely waterproof fabric, vegan materials, and a removable insole. 

In a nutshell:

  • Vegan and hydroponic
  • Single-layer mesh fabric
  • Removable EVA footbed
  • Medium arch support
  • Made for walking
  • Slide-in style convertible
  • Well-rated for support on Amazon
  • $120; Men’s 7-14, 3 colors

Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis: Insoles

Lastly, no matter which shoes you buy, the insole will make the biggest impact on your heel pain. If the manufacturer’s insole leaves something to be desired, consider swapping it out with an insert from Tread Labs. Since they’re engineered for comfort, arch support, and heel relief, a Tread Labs insole can turn any shoe into a great walking shoe for plantar fasciitis.

Tim Fraticelli DPT, MBA, CFP®

Tim Fraticelli is a Physical Therapist, Certified Financial Planner™ and founder of PTProgress.com. He loves to teach PTs and OTs ways to save time and money in and out of the clinic, especially when it comes to documentation or continuing education. Follow him on YouTube for weekly videos on ways to improve your financial health.