Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis in 2018
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common triggers for heel pain, especially among runners. You’ll feel the most extreme pain from plantar fasciitis after you wake up and begin moving around, but it can cause sharp pains as you run if you don’t wear proper footwear to support the heel.
In addition to completing simple stretches and wearing all-day shoes that support the heel and arch, runners should look for a running shoe that will give them plenty of support and cushion to alleviate symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
The most important factors to look for in the ideal running shoe for plantar fasciitis are a strong arch support, comforting cushion, and a high level of shock absorption. The following ten shoes we review are among the stand-out pairs ideal for runners who suffer from plantar fasciitis.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
HOKA ONE ONE CLIFTON 5
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HOKA ONE ONE GAVIOTA
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HOKA ONE ONE BONDI 5
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Best Overall Running Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis
Hoka One One Clifton 5
The Hoka One One Clifton 5 is a neutral shoe that provides tons of cushioning in a lightweight package. Like many running shoes made by Hoka One One, they look a bit funny with their high stack height and extreme cushioning. But the shoe is ideal for runners who need a soft landing to ease plantar pain.
This running shoe is an upgrade from previous versions, bringing more support and comfort to avid runners with responsive, supportive cushioning and a thick, durable frame to create proper positioning. The midsole area has increased use of material for extra arch support.
The outer layer has also been improved with mesh to increase breathability, paired with a modern design that leaves the shoe looking and feeling sleek and stylish.
For added support, the Clifton 5 has a widened midsole and a narrow heel area to keep the ankle and foot in the proper position while running.
Although the design might take some getting used to initially, it can significantly increase your comfort and decrease heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis.
- Very lightweight
- Fit runs a little big
- Responsive, well-cushioned heal is ideal for reducing and preventing plantar fasciitis pain
- Oversized, hugging cushion can give your feet support without feeling crowded or stiff
- Those who prefer a more rigid midsole may not find that this shoe provides enough support in that area
- Some runners report rubbing from the tongue
- May not offer long-term durability
Most Cushioned Running Shoe for Plantar
Hoka One One Bondi 5
As a runner who suffers from plantar fasciitis, stability should be one of the most important things you look for in a running shoe.
The Hoka One One Bondi 5 is a go-to shoe for runners who prefer a wide fit that gives you a stable feel throughout your run. This shoe has an enhanced fit that hugs the foot to provide stability, without feeling too stiff from extra materials. Technically, it’s marketed as a neutral shoe with no support. But because there is so much cushioning and the shoe has a lot of surface contact, it provides a stable ride.
Hoka also uses a 3D Puff Print technology to create the frame of this shoe. The design keeps your foot in place by gently hugging it, while making it breathable and lightweight.
- Extra-thick sole provides extreme shock absorption to lessen impact on feet, ankles, and legs
- Midsole offers incredible stability during all movements
- Lightweight, yet durable
- Right amount of toe room for a more natural position within the shoe
- Pressure from laces and tongue can become uncomfortable on long runs
- May not provide enough support for overpronators or those with flat feet
Best Stability Running Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis
Hoka One One Gaviota
Like most shoes meant for ultimate support for runners, the Hoka One One Gaviota targets the midsole as the prime area for stability. You’ll find arch support meant for low to flat arches, offering ideal support for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis due to a lack of stability in their current running shoes.
The Gaviota has one of the thickest soles you’ll see on a running shoe, which not only creates a unique design but also gives the shoe the ability to absorb a high level of shock on the road. You may notice less wear and tear on your feet and joints over time with these running shoes.
- Super-soft cushioning
- Does not rub against ankle
- High level of support ideal for overpronators
- Bulky design
- Remains stiff for a while
- Not as lightweight as other running shoes
Best Brooks Running Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis
Brooks Glycerin 16
Brooks Glycerin 16 provides some stylish options for runners, with several colors to choose from. And thanks to the newly redesigned seamless upper, the Glycerin 16 looks sleek and feels great when you put your feet in.
These shoes are good for runners who have medium to high arches. The arch support in the Glycerin 16s is neutral, meaning that it doesn’t provide the extra support needed for those with low arches.
You can find improved comfort in the midsole with these shoes over other Brooks running shoes, with 25% more cushioning in the area, complete with its brand new DNA Loft midsole. DNA Loft is soft and plush, but still allows plenty of responsiveness and durability.
The extra cushion can help reduce the impact your feet, ankles, and legs take while running to help ease the pain from plantar fasciitis.
The internal area of the shoe will give your feet comforting support, with a thicker, plusher feel, rather than stiff, unforgiving strength.
- Several color options for you to find the right design
- Plush transition zone for added comfort and smoother movements
- Adaptable cushioning in the midsole
- Cushion and design allow for the right amount of spring when running
- May show signs of early wear on the sole
- Little toe support
- Some customers state that they’ve noticed rubbing against their feet from extended wear
Top New Balance Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v8
New Balance FreshFoam 1080v8 may not provide as many color options as other running shoes, but they look sharp and sleek. New Balance built these shoes with comfort in mind, offering an engineered mesh technology that makes them more breathable and flexible than other models.
New Balance’s Fresh Foam technology is where you’ll find the support you need to reduce pain from plantar fasciitis. The company places extra foam cushioning in the midsole for increased arch support, while also dispersing foam throughout the heel and toe to absorb shock throughout your foot.
Where this shoe shines the brightest is in its ability to adapt to your foot shape to secure your positioning within the shoe. You may find that your ankle and foot feels more stable in these shoes once you wear them in.
- Fits true-to-size
- Thick sole with extra support in the midsole for a stable ride and shock absorption
- Mesh structure and design for flexibility
- Comfortable toe bumper
- Some runners notice quicker fatigue in these shoes than with others
- May not provide as much bounce as other shoes
- Can feel heavy, especially on long runs
Top Brooks Stability Shoe for Plantar
Brooks Transcend 5
The Brooks Transcend 5 is an upgraded version of the previous Transcend models. If you’re already a Brooks Transcend wearer, you’ll likely find that this version has plenty to offer in reducing your plantar fasciitis pain.
This model focuses on heel stability with its cradle design that lends comfort and an unmoving support to your heel. When your heel stays in place, the rest of your foot is likelier to do the same.
Thanks to the Brooks technology of IDEAL Pressure Zones spaced strategically through the sole, this shoe can absorb shock and distribute it throughout the foot to alleviate pain that comes from excess shock on certain parts, like the toes and heel.
- Gives the ultimate support for rotating heels, keeping them firmly in place with a cradling design
- Excellent shock absorption to spread pressure evenly through the foot
- Guide Rail support system is slightly higher than the Transcend 4 for extra stability
- Can feel somewhat stiff and can take several runs to break in
- Some customers note that the upper is uncomfortable and unresponsive, even after wearing in
Top Asics Neutral Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis
Asics Gel-Nimbus 20
The Asics Gel-Nimbus 20 is one of the most popular Asics running shoes for its comfortable performance and stabilizing technology. Runners with heel pain can benefit from the stiff outer design of these shoes that targets heel stability explicitly, creating a snug cradle to keep your heel in place on runs.
A common problem that runners often encounter is that the upper of the shoe is uncomfortable on long runs. The Gel-Nimbus 20 combats that issue with stretching mesh that adapts to your foot shape for a snug, yet comfortable, fit.
Asics made this shoe with gel cushioning on the heel that can absorb shock and allows the bottom of your heel to press into the shoe with ease as you run, which relieves and prevents heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis.
- Front and rear gel support and cushioning
- Responsive midsole for just the right amount of bounce
- Form-fitting mesh to cradle and support the foot
- Fit may be too narrow for some runners
- Some customers say that the toe box feels more cramped than previous versions
Best Asics Support Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis
Asics Gel-Kayano 25
The Asics Gel-Kayano line is a bit stiffer and more supportive than the Gel-Nimbus line, which is meant to be more fluid and flexible. You might notice more stability in the Gel-Kayano 25, especially if you require extra support for overpronation.
Although the midsole construction is much stiffer, you’ll get less movement within the shoe to prevent further pain from plantar fasciitis. Asics keeps it comfortable with a multi-directional mesh that continues to move with you as you run.
Thanks to the Asics FlyteFoam Technology, the sole on this shoe is thinner than others, yet still provides a good amount of bounce to help you take off and transition. It also lightens up what was a fairly heavy shoe. Gel cushioning in the toe and heel keep shock distributed evenly and comfort in place, in two areas you need it the most.
- Long-term durability
- Impressive mid-sole support and shock absorption abilities
- Lightweight for its high level of support, stiffness, and cushioned ride
- Excellent traction from the sole
- The upper may not cradle the foot enough
- Wide widths may still feel too narrow for some
Best Saucony Running Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis
Saucony Triumph ISO 4
If you’re looking for a durable, high-performing running shoe that still has a high level of comfort, the Saucony Triumph ISO 4 could be a good option.
This shoe takes most of what you can want in a running shoe that prevents plantar fasciitis pain with its 8mm offset cushioning system and ISOFIT design for comfort and TRI-FLEX technology for shock absorption and correct positioning as you run.
This model has a molded heel collar that cradles your foot to prevent too much movement within the shoe. This feature, combined with an EVERUN midsole that cushions and supports the arch, make these shoes ideal for runners suffering from overpronation or plantar fasciitis.
- Construction made for enhanced performance, right down to the upper, to improve energy return
- Engineered mesh upper gives you a flexible, breathable feel
- Heavily-padded tongue can reduce discomfort and rubbing on your foot
- More toe room than other models for a more natural toe splay
- EVERUN technology may reduce fatigue from prolonged runs
- A bit on the heavy side for runners
- Design is bulkier than previous models
- Some customers note that the fit of the ISO 4 is narrower than the ISO 3
Top Saucony Stability Running Shoe for Plantar
Saucony Hurricane ISO 3
The Saucony Hurricane ISO 3 is the upgraded model of the Hurricane ISO 2, a popular model itself. This version proves to be lighter weight, offers more color options, and provides more shock absorption and comfort in the forefront of the foot.
This shoe uses Everun Technology, which gives it extra comfort while also upgrading its performance. Its materials work together inside and out to improve takeoff, comfort while running, shock absorption, and responsiveness.
- Triflex technology spreads shock absorption more evenly throughout the sole to reduce stress points
- Evenly-distributed cushion throughout the heel and toe for ultimate comfort and support for plantar fasciitis sufferers
- Design eventually curves to the shape of the runner’s foot to provide stability and a personalized level of comfort
- The mechanics of the shoe may not provide quite enough support for overpronators
- Wide widths are too wide in the heels for some users
- Some runners note that the inner lining seems to wear quicker than it should
Can you run with plantar fasciitis?
The short answer is no, you shouldn’t. At least not right away.
Most experts advise waiting until you’ve been pain free for 4 weeks, then ensuring you can walk without pain and have no morning-after pain.
But at a minimum, you should stop running for at least 4-7 days when an onset of plantars comes on, especially when the pain is acute. Depending on how aggressive you want to be, you can try running on it once the most acute pain is gone.
Highly cushioned running shoes and inserts can help ease the pain. Some runners even report that plantar pain disappears during the run once you’re properly warmed up.
Like most running injuries, if the pain is too great or it impacts your form, you should stop until you’re fully healed. The last thing you want is another injury occurring because you’re compensating another part of your body for the plantar pain.
If you try to run and find the plantar fascia injury gets worse, then definitely stop running completely. Let it heal and try again when your feet are feeling better.
Will running with plantar fasciitis make it worse?
By itself, running won’t make it worse. But the root cause of your plantar fasciitis or the failure to treat it correctly can make it worse.
Make sure you monitor how your feet are feeling while running. If the pain intensifies, stop running and let your feet heal.
Will barefoot running help or cure plantar fasciitis?
There have been very few studies on barefoot running and plantar fasciitis. But anecdotal evidence seems to suggest it might benefit some runners.
When you run barefoot, your form changes. You’re more likely to land on your midfoot or the ball of your foot. It’s just too painful to heel strike without any cushioning. This shifts the running forces onto different parts of your feet, legs, and hips. And your feet get stronger in the front part of your foot.
It’s thought that strengthening the foot this way helps cure plantar fasciitis. It’s not dissimilar from doing calf raises to build up the front part of the foot.
A 2014 study provided some evidence that high-load strengthening (this basically means building foot strength with heel raises and dorsal flexing) helps heal plantar fasciitis. The theory is that when you run barefoot, you also strengthen that part of the foot by landing and toeing off on the ball of your foot.
There needs to be more studies to prove if high-load strengthening helps plantar fasciitis – some have questioned the study itself – and in turn does barefoot running help.
If you’ve struggled for a long time with plantar fasciitis, it might be worth trying barefoot or minimal running to see if that helps.
When should I start running after plantar fasciitis?
This topic is hotly debated in the running and medical worlds. Advice ranges from a several days to a month or longer.
As soon as you feel an onset of plantar fasciitis, you should stop running. Take this time to ice your foot, stretch the plantar, maybe even wear a night splint or strassberg sock.
When the pain begins to decrease, depending on how aggressive you want to be about getting back to running, you can start to ease back; however, most physical therapists and doctors recommend waiting until you are pain free to start running.
How long before I can run after plantar fasciitis surgery?
Surgery should indeed be the last resort after all other options have been unsuccessfully tried. Most often plantar fasciitis goes away on its own with time. Surgery should only be a consideration if you’ve had ongoing plantar fasciitis.
That being said, there are always risks when undergoing surgery. And there are risks about returning to running post-surgery.
According to Dr. Christopher Segler, your foot could become less stable. There could be scarring which might irritate your foot while running. Or you could experience weaker feet or stiffness.
But the real question about how long it takes to return to running should be discussed with your surgeon. And it will obviously vary person to person.
For a general estimate, MD, Anna Monroe, says studies indicate the average return time is about two and half months post-surgery.
How do I tape plantar fasciitis for running?
Taping your foot with KT Tape or some other type of kinesio tape can help relieve plantar pain.
To tape your foot, you’ll need 3 pieces of 6″ tape.
1. Begin by putting one piece of tape at the ball of your foot and peeling it back down the center of your foot to your heel, then around and over your achilles, finishing up along the backside of your calf.
2. With the next piece of tape, start just above the inside of your ankle. Wrap the tape around almost straight down the leg so it covers the point where your arch and heel meet. Follow the tape up the outer side of your ankle.
3. With the final piece, begin on the backside of your leg, just above your ankle. Position the tape at an angle and wrap it around your foot, so the middle part of your arch gets covered with tape. Continue up the other side of your leg.
I also have heel spurs – what’s the best running shoes for plantar fasciits and heel spurs?
Heel spurs and plantar fasciitis often go hand in hand. Heel spurs are small calcium deposits that develop under your heel right where the plantar fascia connects to the heel. They cause pain most often when walking or running.
To manage both, we recommend wearing a well-cushioned shoe with lots of heel cushioning.
For neutral runners or runners with high arches, the Hoka One One Bondi 5 is a good choice. This max cushioned shoe has plenty of padding and support throughout the shoe, but especially in the heel.
For runners with flat arches who overpronate, the Hoka One One Gaviota is very similar to the Bondi in terms of cushioning and support. But it has extra support on the inside arch to help control overpronation.
I also have bunions – what’s the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis and bunions?
For runners who suffer from plantar fasciitis and bunions, you should look for a running shoe with lots of support and a wide toe box that doesn’t put pressure on the bunion areas.
Altra running shoes have wide toe boxes and good support in certain models. They are also zero drop shoes, which encourage natural running form (where you land on the ball of your foot instead of heel striking). Anecdotal evidence suggests this might be a good way to help heel plantar fasciits.
Our favorite Altra running shoes for bunions and plantar are the Paradigm. This running shoe offers plenty of support and cushioning – and has the wide toe box for relief from bunion pain.
For runners with flat arches – or if you prefer a standard style of running shoe – we recommend the Asics GT-2000. The GT-2000s have great arch support and cushioning to help with plantar. And they have bunion “windows” – stretchy mesh at the bunion areas – that doesn’t put pressure on the bunion.
I also have shin splints – what’s the best running shoes plantar fasciitis and shin splints?
The best running shoes for plantar fasciitis and shin splints are quite similar: you want a well, cushioned supportive shoe. The cushioning should provide enough protection from the regular pounding your feet and legs take while running.
Our favorite running shoes for shin splints and plantar fasciitis are the Hoka One One Bondi, Hoka One One Arahi 2 (or Gaviota, if you want more cushioning), and the Brooks Ghost 11.
Another option is to try changing your running form with barefoot running shoes. We already discussed the potential benefits of landing on the ball of your foot to help heel plantar. But often changing your running form – moving from heel striking to landing on the your midfoot or toes – can help with shin splints.
If you want to try this, we recommend Altra Torins or Paradigms, which offer cushioning but also the benefits of running barefoot with a wide toe box and zero drop. The Topo Ultrafly is another similar option.
I also have pronation issues – what’s the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis and pronation?
There is a lot of overlap in the best running shoes for runners who overpronate and suffer from plantar faciitis. The biggest feature to look for is a shoe with plenty of support.
From our list above, we recommend the Brooks Transcend, Hoka One One Gaviota, Asics Gel-Kayano, and Saucony Hurricane ISO for runners who overpronate.
I also supinate – what’s the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis and supination?
Runners who supinate need a well cushioned shoe. It should be stiff to help with plantar fasciitis. From our list above, try these shoes: Hoka One One Clifton 5, Brooks Glycerin 15, and Asics Gel-Nimbus 20.
I heard Hokas are good for plantar fasciitis – what hoka shoe is best for plantar fasciitis?
Hokas are the most cushioned shoes on the market right now. Many runners find that their combination of cushioning and stiffness works well to minimize plantar fasciitis pain and prevent it from coming back. But not all Hokas are created equal. Some like the Hupana don’t have enough cushioning or support. The new Fly series – the Cavu and Mach – don’t have enough support in our opinion.
Try these Hokas instead:
- Hoka One One Bondi 5 – best for runners with medium to high arches
- Hoka One One Gaviota – best for runners with low arches or who want the softest shoe
- Hoka One One Clifton 5 – best for runners with medium to high arches who want a lightweight Hoka
- Hoka One One Arahi 2 – best for runners with low arches who want a narrower fit than the Gaviota
- Hoka One One Challenger 4 – best for trail runners
What are the best orthotics for running with plantar fasciitis?
Orthotics or inserts can take a regular running shoe and add additional arch support, heel cupping, and stiffness. They are good for using if you already own a pair of running shoes you love or you want additional support. Some orthotics can be moved between casual and running shoes.
Our favorites include: