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5 Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis, Podiatrists Say

Soothe your symptoms with these doctor-approved shoes.

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Plantar Fasciitis is a common and gradually worsening foot condition that causes heel pain. Various factors, including your choice of shoes, foot structure, and physical activity, can all trigger its onset and exacerbate its symptoms.

"It is characterized by inflammation and weakening of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel to the metatarsals," explains Maggie Trevillion, MCPod, MSc, an award-winning podiatrist and founder of Callen Olive. "This inflammation typically causes an aching pain in the heel and or arch, especially with the first steps in the morning or after prolonged periods of rest."

While there can be many contributing factors, Trevillion notes that regularly wearing the wrong shoes is often to blame. "Approximately 90 percent of the patients I see in my clinic with plantar fasciitis are in footwear which is too small and or lacks support," she tells Best Life.

Trevillion notes that people with heel pain should prioritize proper arch support, cushioning, and shock absorption in shoes, which can "help distribute pressure evenly across the foot and minimize stress on the inflamed tissue."

When you try footwear on, your toes should not touch the top of the shoe—there should be at least a one-centimeter gap between your toe and the shoe, Trevillion adds.

Keeping that advice in mind, here are the five best shoes for plantar fasciitis.

RELATED: I'm a Podiatrist and I'd Never Wear These 3 Pairs of Shoes.

Hoka One One

pale yellow Hoka One One running sneakers

Hoka sneakers are popular athletic shoes beloved for their comfort, shock absorption, and style. Trevillion recommends the Hoka One One for people with plantar fasciitis.

"With plush cushioning and a feather-light feel, they're like walking on clouds. Their meta-rocker technology mimics your natural walking motion, ensuring every step feels effortless. Plus, Hoka offers a wide range of styles and colors to match your unique style, all with a snug fit and durable soles. It's like giving your feet a warm hug with every stride!" she says, noting that she wears them to work regularly.

$174 and up at Amazon
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Kuru Atom Sneakers

blue Kuru Atom sneakers

Kuru is another doctor-approved shoe brand that focuses solely on serving those with plantar fasciitis. Jacob Van Den Meerendonk, DPT, a doctor of physical therapy who goes by Dr. Jacob on social media, shared in a TikTok video that he recommends Kuru's Atom sneakers and Quantum 2.0's.

"Especially in the early stages of plantar fasciitis, we want to decrease plantar fascial loading and give the foot the support that it needs to reduce irritation to the bottom of the foot—specifically the heel and the mid-foot arch," he explains.

"One thing I love about all Kuru shoes is the Kuru sole, which has patented heel-hugging technology in every pair," he says in the video. "This response technology dynamically flexes with every step you take, giving your heels a little hug—which is exactly what they need."

Kuru's Atom sneakers are also available in wide width and waterproof options.

$160 at Kuru
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RELATED: 5 "Comfortable" Shoes That Are Actually Bad for Your Feet, Podiatrists Say.

Strive Footwear Stellar Lace-up Supportive Sneaker

Strive Dakota sneaker in white

Strive Footwear is a line of orthotic shoes specifically made for people with plantar fasciitis. Trevillion says they're an "oh so comfy" choice for anyone experiencing the condition or looking to prevent it.

"Strive stands out for its footwear crafted by podiatrists and footwear experts, featuring biomechanical footbed technology," she explains. "This means your feet, ankles, and legs are properly aligned, reducing strain and promoting a natural walking gait."

She adds that they're made from breathable, durable materials that emphasize comfort. "They've been my go-to for summer strolls for the past five years!" she says.

$70 and up at Amazon
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Altra Via Olympus 2 Road Running Shoes

light blue Altra Olympus running shoes

Altra's sneakers have a wide toe box, great arch support, and ample cushioning, making the brand perfect for those with plantar fasciitis. Their Via Olympus 2 Road Running Shoes are a fan favorite.

"Altras—these I most often recommend for my runners and walkers," said Angela Walk, DC, a sports chiropractic physician and plantar fasciitis specialist, in a recent TikTok post.

$165 at Amazon
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Merrell Bravada Breeze Hiking Shoes

gray and mint green Merrell Bravada running shoe

Finally, Merrell is another brand that's trusted by podiatrists and ideal for people with plantar fasciitis. Their Bravada Breeze Hiking Shoes are a particularly popular pick.

"Merrell shoes are the epitome of reliability, versatility, and style. Crafted with premium materials and built to last, they're perfect for any adventure," Trevillion says. "Their cushioned footbeds and supportive midsoles ensure all-day comfort, whether you're hiking trails or pounding pavements."

The podiatrist adds that she personally loves Merrell for their unbeatable combination of quality, comfort, and fashion-forward designs, which she says make them "perfect for rambling and everyday wear."

$100 at Amazon
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RELATED: If You're Over 65, Don't Wear These 5 Shoes, Podiatrists Warn.

Don't forget about inserts and indoor footwear.

Woman putting insole in shoe

Even if you opt for shoes specifically recommended for plantar fasciitis, you can increase their therapeutic effects with the help of orthotic inserts.

"Custom or over-the-counter orthotic inserts can provide additional support and cushioning, correcting any biomechanical issues that may contribute to plantar fasciitis," says Trevillion.

Lori Grant, DPM, a podiatrist at Orlando Health, also recommends trying heel cups, which add cushioning under the heel for added comfort and support.

Investing in a supportive pair of slippers or indoor-only sneakers can also help improve your symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

"Walking barefoot or on hard surfaces can exacerbate symptoms, so wearing supportive footwear, even at home, is advisable," says Trevillion.

RELATED: The 7 Best Walking Shoe Brands.

Other ways to improve symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

Young woman massaging her painful foot from exercising and running Sport and excercise concept.

In addition to choosing the right shoes and inserts, there are several other ways to improve your symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

The first that Trevillion recommends is regularly stretching and strengthening the calf muscles and the plantar fascia, which she says can help reduce tension and improve flexibility, easing pain and discomfort. Your podiatrist or physical therapist can help guide you when you're first getting started.

Applying ice packs can help reduce inflammation and relieve pain, offering short-term relief to your plantar fasciitis symptoms.

Grant recommends filling a plastic water bottle and freezing the contents. Then, roll the foot on the frozen water bottle, applying gentle pressure to massage the affected area.

A night splint—a soft boot that holds the foot in a therapeutic position while you sleep—may also be beneficial if you suffer from plantar fasciitis.

"Wearing a night splint can help maintain a gentle stretch on the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon while sleeping, which aids to significantly reduce morning pain or getting up to the restroom during the night," says Trevillion.

Additionally, "Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce pressure on the feet and alleviate symptoms of plantar fasciitis," Trevillion notes.

In fact, having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or above can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis by up to six times, some podiatry groups say.

If you're still suffering, your podiatrist may also be able to recommend certain in-office treatments to help alleviate your symptoms.

Trevillion says she's a "major fan" of extracorporeal shock wave therapy, which uses either focused shockwaves or radial pressure waves to accelerate recovery. Besides plantar fasciitis, this outpatient procedure is often used to treat chronic tendonitis, Achilles tendonitis, and other conditions affecting the tendons and joints.

"It's quick, safe, and non-invasive, with an 80 percent success rate. It accelerates healing and reduces downtime," the podiatrist says.

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more
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