A List of the Best Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis According to a Board-Certified Podiatrist (Exclusive)

"If you have plantar fasciitis, you need to wear shoes with more support, cushioned soles, and laces that securely anchor the shoe to the foot," Dr. Jason Gold tells Green Matters.

Bianca Piazza - Author

Mar. 28 2024, Published 11:47 a.m. ET

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The average adult will walk approximately 75,000 miles throughout a lifetime. As noted by the Independent, that's like taking three journeys around the globe.

Considering many of us spend so much time on our tootsies, taking thousands and thousands of steps a day, life can get difficult when foot issues arise. More specifically, discomfort in the heel and/or arch of the foot can be a sign of plantar fasciitis, and finding the best shoes for feet afflicted with this kind of inflammation is important.

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"Plantar fasciitis is defined as inflammation of the plantar fascia, most commonly at its anchor site at the plantar medial tubercle of the calcaneus. The plantar fascia is a ligament that extends from the bottom of the heel to the ball of the foot," Dr. Jason Gold, DPM, FACFAS, a board certified podiatrist at Foot, Ankle & Leg Vein Center, exclusively tells Green Matters via email.

"Plantar fasciitis happens because the arch ligament is not properly supported and is tight, so it begins to pull on the heel bone, causing a heel spur with time," he continues.

 Photo of a podiatrist checking a patients foot and ankle
Source: iStock
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Dr. Gold relays that pain usually hits when someone takes the first step of the day or gets up to walk after a long period of sitting.

"This is defined as post-static dyskinesia. The pain results from the ligament fibers tearing or stretching after they have contracted during resting or sleeping. Eventually, inflammation occurs around the heel spur," he explains.

Dr. Gold notes that developing plantar fasciitis is associated with exercise strain, obesity, shoe type, and walking barefoot.

When looking to treat or prevent plantar fasciitis via footwear, the foot doc suggests "supportive shoes with a good arch and shock-absorbing soles," which can "help reduce the stress placed on the plantar fascia."

"Most of the shoes I recommend are running shoes from New Balance, Brooks, or Hoka," he clarifies.

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And though a firm, supportive shoe can do a lot, Dr. Gold recommends getting an MRI if the condition has stuck around for more than three months.

"Sometimes, there can be other conditions like stress fractures of the heel bone or ruptures of the plantar fascia that need to be diagnosed," he says.

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Heels aching? Here are the best shoes for plantar fasciitis.

From running shoes to flip-flops, Dr. Gold shared a few of his favorites with Green Matters. Read on to check out his top picks, favorite brands, and a bonus option for plantar fasciitis relief.

Brooks Ghost 15 Running Shoe

"Brooks Ghost 15 are good running shoes. They have a supportive midsole and cushioned sole," Dr. Gold tells us.

The Brooks runner offers "improved cushioning, smooth transitions, [and an] enhanced upper," as per the company. It's a Runner's World 2023 Shoe Award winner, a certified CarbonNeutral product, and has earned the American Podiatry Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance. (There's also a men's version!)

Shop Now — $109.95
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New Balance 1540v3 Women's Running Shoe

Though Dr. Gold approves of New Balance shoes generally, he specifically recommended the New Balance 990 V6 model. However, because the 990 V6 contains leather, we wanted to offer a vegan option.

Featuring two layers of lightweight foam and ENCAP and Rollbar midsole technology that provides "rear foot movement control," the New Balance 1540v3 Women's Running Shoe has also earned the APMA Seal of Acceptance.

Shop Now — $179.99

Hoka Arahi 7 Women's Everyday Running Shoe

The "surprisingly sleek stability shoe" is another product with the APMA Seal of Acceptance. With balanced cushioning and zonal rubber for increased durability, the Hoka Arahi 7 features the brand's J-Frame technology, which was "designed to prevent excessive inward roll, or overpronation, without overcorrecting your gait."

Shop Now — $145
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Hoka Hopara All Gender Hiking Shoe

This chunky hiking shoe-sandal is perfect for anyone looking to confidently traverse wet or dry terrain. With drainage cutouts, grippy 4-millimeter lugs, and a rubberized EVA midsole that provides a "responsive yet cushioned feel," the Hoka Hopara will provide balanced cushioning and neutral support to the most adventurous souls.

Shop Now — $135

Oofos Men's OOriginal Sandal

"Try to buy sandals with a lifted, supported arch, and make sure they are supportive and not flimsy," Dr. Gold shares before naming Oofos, ECCO, Orthofeet, and Xelero as his favorite supportive flip-flop brands.

The Oofos Men's OOriginal Sandal features OOfoam technology — which the company claims "absorbs 37 percent more impact than traditional footwear"— and a patented footbed that minimizes stress on the feet, knees, ankles, and joints. Plus, this model is machine washable!

Shop Now — $59.95
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Orthofeet Lyra Women's Sandal

Product photo of a woman's feet wearing Orthofeet Lyra sandals next to a potted succulent plant
Source: Orthofeet

The Orthofeet Lyra Women's Sandal showcases "anatomical arch support" and "heel pain relief," making it a stellar option for plantar fasciitis patients. Additional specs include a stretchy fabric upper and an ergonomic sole.

Each Orthofeet shoe has a biomechanical orthotic sole, which is said to help "relieve heel and foot pain, reduce pressure on the bottom of the foot, provide excellent support for flat feet, [and] help alleviate corns and calluses."

Shop Now — $104.95

Teva Zymic Women’s Hiking Sandal

Health's "The 14 Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis" article recommended the eco-friendly Teva Zymic Women's Hiking Sandal for its cushioning, support, and "walking on air" feel.

The MAX-COMF sole technology boasts "a dual-density foam bottom," a cozy footbed with plenty of cushioning, and a "thick responsive midsole."

The sandal features a 30 percent recycled EVA midsole, a 20 percent recycled EVA outsole, an upper filled with 100 percent recycled plastic via "traceable REPREVE polyester yarn by Unifi," and an 80 percent recycled mesh heel strap.

Shop Now — $80
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