Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis – Tested and Reviewed by Real People

Plantar Fasciitis is a particularly nasty disorder that affects 1 in 10 people worldwide.

It affects the heel and arch area with a sharp pain, often after sitting or lying down for a lengthy period.

For most people, the symptoms can be slowly treated over the space of 6 months, yet for others, the symptoms will never truly go away.

If you’re a frequent sufferer, the best way you can help alleviate your symptoms is to wear shoes and trainers specially designed to support your feet.

These shoes are referred to as “orthotic” and offer far greater arch support and a heel area that’s designed to cushion the impact of standing, walking or even running long distances.

Check out a pair if you are in a hurry: Men | Women

Top 7 Shoes for Men

ImageDescriptionBest forPriceRating
New Balance Men's MW928 Leather/Mesh Walking Shoe,White,8.5 2E USWalking$$4.9 out of 5
ASICS Men's GT 2000 2 Running Shoe,Titanium/French Blue/Lightning,10 M USJogging$$4.8 out of 5
New Balance Men's MC1005 Tennis Shoe,White,11 D USTennis$$$4.6 out of 5
Vionic Lucas - Mens Casual Slip-ons Black - 8.5Casual$$4.7 out of 5
Timberland PRO Men's Pitboss 6" Steel-Toe Boot,Brown/Brown,11 MBoots$$4.8 out of 5
Haflinger Unisex AT64 Boiled Wool Hard Sole Slipper, Grey Speckle, 42Home$$4.9 out of 5

Top 7 Shoes for Women

ImageDescriptionBest forPriceRating
New Balance Women's WW928WS Health Walking Laced Shoe,White,6 2E USWalking$$$4.8 out of 5
ASICS Women's GT-2000 3 Trail Running Shoe Lightning/Hot Pink/Navy 8 B - MediumJogging$$4.9 out of 5
New Balance Women's WC1005 Tennis Shoe,White,11 D USTennis$$$4.7out of 5
Aetrex Women's Zoe,Black,8 M (B) USCasual$$4.8 out of 5
Sanita Women's Dakota Boot,Brown,40 EU/9-9.5 M USBoots$$4.8 out of 5
ORTHAHEEL Women's Relax Slipper, Black Terry, 8.0 MHome$$4.9 out of 5

Comfortable Shoes

If you’re a suffer from Plantar Fasciitis and regularly have to stand or walk, we’ve chosen a wide range of footwear that not only looks stylish, but helps you to avoid the pain.

One for The Guys – New Balance Men’s MW928 Walking Shoe

If you’re a regular purchaser of orthotic trainers, then you’ll likely know the New Balance brand.

They’ve been manufacturing high-quality sportswear for over 100 years and are widely known for their supportive range of trainers.

This MW928 pair, feature a full leather upper with a quality rubber sole. As with all New Balance trainers, this pair feature rollbar technology which helps support people who over-pronate when walking, plus Abzorb cushioning across the midfoot section.

Both of these technologies are designed to help sufferers avoid rolling on the balls of their feet and putting too much stress on them.

To test these shoes, we picked 2 staff members in the office who both suffer from Plantar Fasciitis. James, our staff writer, suffers from overpronation which leads to bouts of Plantar Fasciitis on a regular basis. Claire, our receptionist also suffers from it caused during pregnancy some years ago, she hasn’t been able to shake the condition since.

James tested the MW928 trainers a few weeks ago, finding them comfortable and offering a type of support that naturally made him walk on the front of his foot rather than the back.

He loved the balance of the New Balance shoes, and the sole is extremely supportive when out walking. The only negative for us is the rather drab styling which might not suit young people.

Verdict: A super comfortable and scientifically designed trainer that should provide ample support. Unfortunately, the styling might not be quite to your taste. 

One for The Girls – New Balance Woman’s WW928 Sneaker

It’s not just men’s shoes that New Balance cater for. Women’s trainers are well represented under the New Balance brand too. This WW928 pair sport a full 100% leather upper and rubber sole, Rollbar technology and Abzorb midsole foam complete the inside of the sole.

As with the men’s trainer, the WW928 is specifically tailored for these needs, with anti-roll technology that stops you from walking on the ball of your foot.

Abzorb foam in the midsole helps to support the arch of your foot.

The upper is available in white, tan and black, with the tan being a suede fabric, rather than leather.

Claire, our receptionist, tested this pair of New Balance trainers, taking them to the gym and also wearing them while looking after her 2-year-old daughter Mollie.

Claire found this pair extremely comfortable, her Plantar Fasciitis, which had plagued her since childbirth has dampened over the few weeks of testing, plus Claire has found her posture improving slowly.

Claire loved the style of these trainers and thought the tan colour would be perfect for the weekend and popping to the shops. We also think the black colour could be useful as a show for shop workers and others who spend hours standing or walking each day.

Verdict: Comfortable and stylish trainers with all the helpful New Balance technology to give you the support you need. 

Best Running Shoes

You would think that running and heel spurs don’t particularly go hand in hand, yet it’s not so much movement that causes most of the pain for sufferers, it’s standing and walking for long hours.

A good pair of running trainers, typically tries to do two things:

  • Take the pressure away from the heel of the foot and put it on the front of the arch / toes. If you watch an experienced runner, you’ll see this is their natural posture.
  • Offer more support to the arch area, often placing foam inserts to the sole that cushion the effects of running and ensure the heel spurs symptoms don’t similar migrate from the heel to the arch area – a common issue when running.

One for The Guys – Asics Men’s GT 2000 Running Shoe

Asics are a quality sportswear brand, well known for their tennis shoes.

They specialise in manufacturing trainers that have more support than normal and have a range dedicated to people suffering from joint / feet problems.

The GT 2000 pair has a synthetic upper and rubber sole.

This is par for the course with running shoes as they deal with sweat, odour and heat every day.

It’s common for quality running shoes to feature a synthetic upper consisting of fine grade mesh or material that “wicks” sweat to the top, rather like a Gore-Tex jacket.

This pair also takes advantage of Asics Fluid Ride technology. This means that the sole is more cushioned than normal trainers and helps you switch into a comfortable running motion.

It also means that this trainer has plenty of heel and arch support, designed to push the weight forward onto your front foot and avoid pronated feet.

James tested these during his morning runs for 4 weeks. He typically takes a tarmac route through a local park with plenty of uphill and downhill sections. His route generally takes 30 – 45 minutes to complete depending on the time he has.

James found the trainers easy to wear with no breaking in required at all, quite an achievement for running shoes under heavy load! He also found the arch and heel support good and found his Plantar Fasciitis was not worsening during use.

Usually, James sports a pair of New Balance trainers which up till now have provided excellent comfort. James reports this pair being the same, offering good support that’s easily up there with the best shoes from New Balance and the Nike running range.

As for negative points, James didn’t report anything at all. This is one pair of trainers that you can wear for the morning run without too much hassle.

Verdict: A quality pair of trainers that offer good arch support. If you’re looking to change up to a dedicated running shoe or you’re simply looking for a new pair to replace your old ones, Asics GT 2000’s should be right up there on your list. 

One for The Girls – Asics GT 2000 Women’s Running Shoe

The women’s version of the Asics GT 2000 range is almost identical to the men’s, save for a slightly more feminine colour scheme on the upper. Of course, you can ditch this is you want and purchase a more unisex style, the range of colours available is quite large.

This pair serves up the same Fluid Ride technology system plus a new idea called “Heel Clutching”. This means that your heel won’t flop out of the trainer during heavy running and keeps you in control at all times.

As with many running shoes styles, the GT 2000 women’s has a synthetic upper with plenty of ventilating mesh plus a flexible and supportive sole that takes care of the vulnerable arch and heel area most under attack.

Claire is a regular jogger with a gym membership regularly used for the treadmill. She took this pair of GT 2000 trainers for a spin a few weeks ago, using them for a week and clocking up 5 hours running time.

Claire found the Asics trainers comfortable to wear and didn’t require much breaking in. She wore them for a weekend looking after her child and doing general chores around the house before beginning her treadmill test on Monday.

Claire reports the heel and arch support to be perfect for her needs. She normally wears a pair of Saucony trainers and prefers the look of this Asics pair in comparison.

The fact they have flashes of pink with a nice duck egg blue colour impressed Claire, her current pair are all white and rather drab looking!

Claire was also impressed with the heat reduction technology. Her feet were very dry and cool while jogging, quite impressive when you consider how warm most gyms get!

As far as Claire believes, there are no drawbacks to this pair of trainers. They offer all the support a patient could need for running and are very cool while jogging, possibly a little too cool for outdoor use during Winter?

Verdict: A supremely comfortable and stylish pair of shoes, perfect for wearing to the gym. The only negative was the fact they might end up a little too cool during outdoor Winter use. Still, many a runner would take that over hot and sweaty any day of the week! 

The Best Tennis Shoes

This is where Plantar Fasciitis and shoes collide with each other, and the result can be messy! Tennis is a massively stressful sport to play for those with healthy feet, let alone those with heel spurs.

Thankfully, Tennis Shoes are designed specifically for the job and feature heavy padding, cushioned heels and some pretty trick technology to keep your feet dry and cool during a heavy game.

Tennis Shoes are so good at supporting feet that we would recommend them for the general trainer wearer too. They’re also available in far more styles than running shoes, part of the Tennis way of life.

One for The Guys – New Balance Men’s MC1005 Tennis Shoe

New Balance are a stalwart of the highly cushioned and support trainer niche. They’ve been producing trainers fit for years. They’re also making some significant gains in the tennis shoe industry due to the fact their shoes are so supportive and comfortable to wear.

For the MC1005 Tennis Shoe, New Balance have opted for a hybrid style with synthetic upper and flexible rubber sole – similar to most running shoes.

The real difference can be found inside. This pair has New Balance S-Curve technology which helps push the weight and movement onto the front foot while supporting the midfoot and heel properly. In the world of Tennis, this means better movement and quicker reactions.

S-Curve also means that far less weight is ever applied to the heel of the foot and that momentum pushed onto the front foot too, a welcome relief for most affected by the condition.

Unfortunately, James isn’t a Tennis player, but he agreed to take this pair out for a jog to check out comfort and balance instead. He clocked up 4 hours running time and discovered a pair of shoes that indeed changed his posture, helping to push the weight forward slightly and avoid his heels taking too much of the brunt.

James liked this pair of trainers, even opting to take them out after the review! In his own words “They do something, something that helps me avoid placing my weight at the rear.”

Needless to say, the arch pain was down that week and James felt he could push through his runs quicker and spend more time jogging too.

Verdict: James rated this pair and although he never saw a Tennis court during the test felt they would be an awesome pair of trainers for quick reactions and comfort. They certainly fit the bill for running lengthy distances. 

One for The Girls – New Balance Women’s WC1005 Stability

If you’re a woman who wants to take full advantage of the S-Curve technology, then New Balance WC1005 are the trainers for you.

They make full use of the technology and have all the refinements of the men’s pair.

Just as with the men’s pair, they serve up (Excuse the pun!) a fully synthetic upper and flexible rubber sole, padded well and with the all important gel / foam section in the heel.

Arch support is sublime, with foam inserts along the side which compliment the S-Curve design. The upper is well designed with a mesh fabric over the front foot and partially down the sides, this is one trainer that should keep your feet nice and cool during heavy use.

Claire took this pair to squash on three occasions, clocking up 3.5 hours of use and putting the on-court quality of the New Balance through their paces.

She found the WC1005 highly comfortable, cushioning her heel well and also pushing momentum and weight through the arch and front foot. Claire wasn’t sure if the S-Curve effect was better of not than other brands as far as quick movement was concerned but couldn’t fault the comfort and support on offer.

One thing Claire liked was the style. Claire loves bold style, and the review pair we received, black with great pink “splashes” really struck a chord with her. If you’re not quite so confident with your style, then plain white and a slightly more muted version with smaller pink and white piping is available.

Verdict: Comfort, style and a well-cushioned sole make this trainer a real winner. Claire was unsure about S-Curve and its effects but was more than convinced of the support, a real winner! 

Take a look at Top 5 orthotic inserts

Best Dress Shoes

For those of you who suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, standing for any length of time stores up huge pain in your heel, ready to be unleashed later when your resting or trying to get up in the morning.

For this reason, a decent quality dress shoe is essential and need to support the heel and arch completely.

This is even more crucial if you work in hospitality or catering where you’ll spend hours each day on your feet.

One for The Guys – Vionic Lucas Men’s Casual Slip-Ons

Vionic are huge players in the orthotic footwear industry. They’ve been producing footwear since 1979 and currently manufacture a huge range of shoes for those suffering from feet and lower limb complaints.

This pair, feature some Vionic trademark technologies, namely EVA midsole foam that’s specifically tailored to cushion and support the arch area while an all in one orthotic footbed helps to support that important heel area.

As with most Vionic shoes, quality is perfect with a leather upper and flexible rubber sole. This model is almost loafer like and should be a perfect accompaniment for office and dress wear.

I decided to take this pair for a spin during my weekly working week. Like many busy people, I work from 7 am in the morning till about 6 or 7 most nights with regular travel included.

I found this pair to be hugely supportive during the day. The arch support was a real bonus for me as I tend to get most of my foot pain radiating from the arch area. The Vionic shoes eased this for me and I don’t think I had any foot pain at all during the week I wore them.

That’s pretty amazing in itself!

The style is pretty much banging on for the money too. Available in black and dark brown, these shoes will make an easy add-on to most working guy’s wardrobes.

Verdict: A well styled, comfortable and supportive shoe. I suffered no joint or foot pain while using them which was a revelation for me, recommended 100%. 

One for The Girls – Aetrex Women’s Zoe – Black

If you’re a woman who suffers from Plantar Fasciitis, then you’ll know how painful wearing heels can often be.

Most models aren’t that supportive and force you to balance in any way you can, rather than to feel completely in control.

Thankfully, this pair of Aetrex shoes has a supportive footbed with arch support to avoid the common issues with over pronation. They’re also designed to look like a quality pair of standard heels, with 100%% leather upper and a delicate wood heel to the back.

Claire wasn’t looking forward to testing these. She is highly wary of heels since giving birth to her second child as it was this pregnancy which caused most of her issues.

Claire wore these to work this past week, carrying a pair of flats just in case! This is how worried she was. Thankfully, she needn’t have been! Claire reported the Aetrex shoes to be supportive, comfortable and perfect for wearing during the day.

Claire did report some pain, but only after wearing for a considerable length of time. (8+ Hours) Considering the worry she had at the start of the test we think that’s pretty impressive stuff!

As for the style, they’re a perfect office and dress shoes that don’t push the boundaries of what a sufferer could put up with. They look great, have a reasonably sized heel plus black goes with almost anything!

Downsides? Well, Claire probably won’t be wearing these for more than 8 hours at a time. However, they’ll make a great party or office shoe and at least, give a degree of choice and a chance to look more feminine.

Verdict: A excellent dress shoe that finally gives a little choice compared to flats and trainers! 

Check it out: Top 5 Sandals with arch support

Best Boots

Boots are a tricky shoe. You would think they offer supreme support, especially in the ankle area but as anyone suffering from the condition will tell you, it’s not the ankle that generally becomes affected by it.

A good boot for Plantar Fasciitis should support the heel and arch while combining all the other strong points of a boot. They should also at least try and place some momentum and weight on the front foot.

One for The Guys – Timberland PRO Men’s Pit Boss Boot

If you’re a construction or manual worker, then this pair of boots should provide you with all the comfort you need while ensuring you comply with healthy and safety guidelines.

This pair combines a robust and supportive upper, made of 100% leather with a similarly supportive and stable man-made sole.

As you would expect from a pair of work boots, the Timberlands offer up a heavy tread pattern that should keep you in control and steady whatever you’re doing.

The footbed is constructed from polyurethane, plastic that ensures that your foot is supported in all the correct places.

James wore these for 3 weekends in a row to give them a test. Unfortunately, we couldn’t review them on a construction site, but toe and heel steel protection is provided so they should keep you safe.

Comfort is very high, with a hugely supportive heel and arch section that appears to mold itself to your foot over time. By the second weekend James was in complete comfort and had the confidence to walk on uneven or wet ground with ease.

The leather upper is strong and well made in the way all good quality work boots should be plus the sole has a heavy tread too.

Overall James was impressed and felt this would be the go-to boot for heavy manual workers.

Verdict: A quality work boot that’s as supportive and comfortable as it is strong. One for heavy construction and manual workers everywhere that need to combine arch support with health and safety compliance. 

One for The Girls – Sanita Women’s Dakota Boot

The Sanita boot combines quite stylish looks with the type of safety and tread that you would expect from a working boot. It features a leather upper and man-made sole, perfectly normal for designed shoe.

Heel and arch protection is provided within the footbed plus there’s also a small feel on offer at 2 inches from the back.

The upper is nice and strong, although possibly a little too restrictive.

Claire took these for a weekend spin on the same weekend as James took his worker boots out. She found them comfortable to wear with that all-important heel and arch support keeping her rear foot happy. She also felt this pair of boots was quite stylish, especially for a boot designed for work use. This is one work boot that you can easily wear to town or in an office too.

Claire found the upper to be highly strong and supportive of her calf area while the tread is reasonably grippy for wet and slippery conditions.

Verdict: A stylish shoe that also doubles as a work boot. The Sanita boot is strong, stable and certainly delivers on the arch and heel support. 

Best Slippers

When you unwind at the end of the day, your shoes are not quite ready to stop protecting you. It’s precisely this time of day that your feet will be under the most pressure, as it’s when getting up that your feet will hurt the most.

A good pair of slippers for Plantar Fasciitis should offer a cushioned sole that helps to sooth your heel after a hard day. Arch support is not quite so important here.

One for The Guys – Haflinger Unisex AT Wool Slipper

A nice and comfortable slipper that will keep your feet warm, the Haflinger has a woollen upper, perfect for warmth whilst the sole is fully rubber. As you might expect from a pair of slippers, arch support is non-existent (Which doesn’t matter) but the heel is wonderfully spongy and cushioning.

I wore these myself during the evenings and found the wool construction to keep my feet lovely and warm. The heel is truly spongy and soothed my feet after a hard day walking around.

You could argue that the price is a little steep for a pair of slippers. Yet they are designed to help with heel spurs so should be a no-brainer for any sufferer who needs to relax and unwind!

Verdict: The ultimate slipper for wearing after a busy day at work! 

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One for The Girls – Orthaheel Women’s Relax Slipper

With the name Orthaheel in the title, we expect big things from this slipper and feel it should score highly.

It features a fleece-like fabric upper and man-made sole with soft, cushioned heel.

Although it doesn’t have arch support, it’s been designed to soothe your feet and minimize the effects of Plantar Fasciitis in the mornings. It does this my creating as soft a foot bed as possible.

The sole is non-slip and the upper is soft to the touch, although not particularly great at keeping your foot warm.

Claire wore these during the evenings and found them comfortable enough. She did complain that they didn’t keep her feet warm. However, this could be a useful feature if you live in a warmer climate.

The orthotic footbed was hugely soothing however and combined with orthotic footwear worn in the day, helped to alleviate the symptoms.

Verdict: A well designed orthotic slipper that helped sooth Claire’s feet after a hard day working. The only negative was the fact the upper didn’t provide must warmth. 

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How to Choose Good Shoes – Your Guide

The main things to worry about when choosing a pair of shoes heel pain are the heel and arch section:

  • Heel – Should be cushioned and try to minimise the impact and stress on the heel. It’s this area that most people suffer from pain.
  • Arch – Should have a supportive arch area that helps to roll your momentum and weight towards your front foot and avoid overpronation.

Generally speaking, most footwear is not designed for Plantar Fasciitis in mind, preferring to keep costs down. It’s for this reason that you should try and purchase shoes that are orthotic designed and steer clear of completely flat footbed designs.

If you’re suffering, you can’t go wrong buying a good set of running or tennis shoes such as the New Balance and Asics pair we reviewed earlier. For the ultimate protection, trainers are as good as it gets.

As far as dress shoes go, men have it slightly better as loafers can be easily adapted to offer good support, something we can see with the Vionic Lucas slip-ons.

Women can still benefit though, Aetrex offers a vast range of orthotic designed heels that will provide relief and good style at the same time, although you might not wish to wear them all day.

Ultimately, you need to ensure the arch and heel supports are intact and if you’re purchasing a non-orthotic shoe!

Why You Need those Special Shoes

Generally speaking, every shoe you purchase should have at least a heel and arch support. The ideal scenario is that all your shoes are orthotic designed but as we all know; the styles you want may not always be available.

For those looking for trainers, we like the New Balance range, especially the WW928 and MW928 versions. They impressed our review team and Claire actually wanted to purchase these next as her main trainer.

Dress shoes are always difficult to obtain. However, we think we’ve discovered some great options in the Vionic and Aetrex ranges, something all Plantar Fasciitis sufferers can rejoice too!