When you have plantar fasciitis, even treading lightly can cause pain. Although the pain is more noticeable in the morning when you get out of bed, it’s always there and can make walking uncomfortable.
Sometimes it’s treated with steroid injections, or even surgery if it’s bad enough. But just making the change to a pair of walking shoes that treat your feet better can provide enough support and cushioning for your feet to reduce pain and inflammation.
Our first choice is the Hoka One One Bondi 7,]. It has a full-length EVA midsole with a molded Ortholite footbed and an internal heel counter to keep your foot locked in place and supported.
We’ve found many other great options that fit within a range of styles and budgets. Read on to see them all…
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Hoka One One Bondi 7
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Nike Revolution 5
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Brooks Addiction Walker 2
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1. Hoka One One Bondi
Hoka One One shoes are known to have amazing cushioning, and the Bondi 7 delivers impressive softness, bounce, and support all in one shoe.
That’s why we chose them as our best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis. They are Hoka’s most cushioned road running shoes.
They are best for neutral runners or those who supinate slightly, and they have a short 4mm heel drop. This means the weight of the foot is evenly distributed so there are no pressure points.
Bondi 7s are designed for soft comfort while retaining support. An EVA midsole running the length of the shoe gives a bouncy but comfortable energy return, and an early-stage Meta Rocker sole aids in an easy push-off.
The rest of the shoe is also made for comfort. A padded collar and tongue, as well as the fabric lining, reduce chafing. Engineered mesh uppers are breathable and supportive.
The semi-rigid mesh and the internal heel counter work together to keep your heel in one place and prevent it from moving around in the shoe and being susceptible to pain.
Some walkers may find a wide fit to be more comfortable on their feet, so you may need to order a wide instead of the standard if you have wider than average feet.
- Molded Ortholite footbed
- Internal heel counter
- Full-length EVA midsole
- Mesh uppers with synthetic overlays
- Some people may find the fit of the shoe to be snug, especially in the toe box, and may want to order a wide fit
2. Nike Revolution 5
This shoe may be a minimalist shoe, but it has good support and cushioning for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis.
The soft EVA foam midsole absorbs shock on every step and reduces the impact that can cause heel pain.
The heel drop is 9.3mm. This takes some pressure off of the heel because of the positioning of the foot, making your plantar fasciitis feel even better while you’re on your feet. A reinforced heel also offers more padding than usual.
Extra support comes from the knot textile upper, and a spaced rubber tread underneath offers good traction that won’t have you jarring your feet if you slip.
The shoes may run about half a size large, so consider buying a half-size up to fit them properly.
- Wide-knit mesh upper
- EVA foam midsole
- Reinforced heel
- Forefoot flex grooves
- The shoes run approximately a half size small, so order a half size bigger for a comfortable fit
3. Brooks Addiction Walker 2
You can’t get more stable than the Brooks Addiction Walker 2.
If you need extra support for overpronation as well as relief from plantar fasciitis symptoms, this could be the shoe for you.
The leather material is stylish and durable and allows for flexibility in the feet. One of the reasons this is such a good stability shoe is because of Brooks’s Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB). It adds extra support in the form of a dual-density medial arch post and keeps high arches comfortable. This can also help relieve plantar fasciitis symptoms by keeping your foot in the right position.
The BioMoGo DNA midsole is biodegradable, but it’s also removable so you can add in a custom PF-specific insole if you need to. A solid heel cup keeps the heel where it needs to be.
The men’s and women’s are slightly different in style, but don’t vary in technology.
- Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB)
- BioMoGo DNA
- Heel cup
- Padded collar and tongue
- Some people may find this shoe to be firmer than what they’re used to
Top Running Shoe for Walking
4. Brooks Ghost 14
If you want a shoe you can run in when you feel up to it, the Brooks Ghost is a good choice. It’s created to really absorb shock and protect the feet when running. The shoes provides the same when you’re walking.
With DNA LOFT cushioning running from forefoot to heel, there’s no part of the foot that isn’t cushioned. From heel to toe, the shock absorbency of these shoes is impressive, with the BioMoGo midsole working together with LOFT to create a soft, springy return that will make you feel like you’re walking on clouds.
To absorb even more impact, these shoes feature a segmented crash pad on the outsole that helps with heel-to-toe transitions. If an orthotic is the only thing that helps your PF symptoms, you can remove the insole and add your orthotic to these shoes.
- DNA LOFT technology and BioMoGo DNA
- Mesh upper with 3D Fit Print technology
- Segmented Crash Pad
- Removable foam insole
- Some may find that the heel of the shoe fits tightly, causing discomfort
5. Saucony Grid Omni Walker 3
This is specifically a walking shoe. It is made to offer the right mix of cushioning and stability to keep your feet as protected and supported as possible while still staying comfortable.
If you like all-white shoes, this is the best we’ve found for walking with plantar fasciitis. They use a PWRRUN midsole, which is light but gives good energy return, and is soft on the feet – especially if they’re tender.
A heel ProGrid and forefoot cushioning mean that both sides of your foot are taken care of. Even the tongue is padded, to provide a bit more softness and make you feel like your foot is being hugged.
The double upper is made from leather, and some people may find that it isn’t breathable enough for them.
- PWRRUN midsole
- Heel Progrid
- HRC forefoot cushioning
- Padded mesh tongue
- Some people may find that the leather upper isn’t very breathable and creates hotspots in the shoe
Top Shoes with Velcro Straps
6. New Balance 928v3
Sometimes you don’t need lace-up shoes to walk in. Shoes with Velcro straps can be a good alternative, especially if you have painful or swollen feet due to plantar fasciitis. The New Balance 928v3 is our choice.
These shoes are Medicare-approved, so they’re specifically made to soothe sore feet. The midsole features Abzorb technology, which creates a blend of cushioning and support, and helps to absorb shock as your foot comes down each time.
They also include Walking Strike Path technology and ROLLBAR technology, which both prevent the foot from moving into positions it shouldn’t be in and aggravating aches and pains.
If you want to use an orthotic to relieve your pain, you can remove the footbeds to make space for it.
- Walking Strike Path® technology
- ROLLBAR technology posting system
- ABZORB technology
- Removable polyurethane footbeds
- New Balance recommends that you order a half size bigger than your normal shoe size, as this shoe runs small
Best Women’s Shoe
7. Orthofeet Breeze Stretchable
Ladies especially will benefit from this shoe, not only because it looks pretty but because it will help you to walk comfortably and alleviate pain from plantar fasciitis.
These shoes are made specifically to ease foot pain. They’re lightweight and ergonomic, with orthotic insoles, and they offer arch support and good cushioning.
The cushioning on the shoe is different than many others in that you can customize it to an extent. There is a gap between the outer sole and the insole, and a number of spacers can be fitted in there to make it as padded as you would like. It comes with two spacers, 1/8″ and 1/16″ thick, and you can get other thicknesses.
The shoes are easy to get on and adjust to the right size using a two-way strap system. Some women might find that this shoe doesn’t hold its shape very well if they wear it very often.
- Anatomical arch support
- Ortho-Step orthotic insole
- Deep heel seat
- Removable spacers
- Some people may find that the shoe stretches and doesn’t hold its shape
8. New Balance 840v2
Some people feel more comfortable in lightweight shoes, so we have chosen the New Balance 840v2 as our top lightweight walking shoes.
New Balance makes comfortable, well-padded shoes that are good for the feet. The 840v2 is no different. The shoe is easy on the heel and toes while staying light and being easy to move around in.
Even though it’s very light, the upper is made of leather to add extra durability and support. The collar and tongue have mesh, to allow for good airflow. Lightning Dry technology in the lining wicks away moisture.
This shoe’s outsole is made from two different types of rubber, which helps lighten it. New Balance’s Ndurance rubber has been designed specifically to be more durable and lighter than normal rubber. It gets placed on high-abrasion areas, and blown rubber is used on the rest.
- Full-length ABZORB midsole cushioning
- Flex grooves in the forefoot area
- NDurance rubber
- Removable, foam-cushioned insole
- Some people may find that the stitching on the side panels comes loose quickly
Best for Hiking
9. Salomon X-Ultra
You shouldn’t just wear normal walking shoes for hiking, so we bring you the Salomon X-Ultra for hiking. It is rugged and tough and will help keep your feet stable and pain-free while you’re out in the wilderness.
An Advanced Chassis™ helps to keep the foot stable even on uneven ground. To help even more and prevent the foot from turning over, SensiFit fits snugly around the foot to create an almost skin-like fit.
Salomon is also known for great cushioning, so you’ll feel like you’re floating when you hike while wearing these. Other things these shoes offer are GoreTex waterproofing, Contagrip traction, and an OrthoLite die-cut sock liner.
These shoes may run narrow and you might need to buy one size up.
- Advanced Chassis
- Durable toe-cap and heel cup
- Features Contagrip TD sole
- Some people may find that the shoe runs narrow
10. BIRKENSTOCK Milano
If you prefer open-toed shoes to closed-toed shoes, then this pair of sandals could work well for you and your feet. They might not look like much, but they’ll keep your feet happy.
The EVA sole is light and absorbs shock well. It’s also quite durable. The contoured footbed molds to your foot the more you wear these, so they become more and more comfortable.
The toes are slightly raised, which encourages movement in the toes to stimulate blood flow. Just that can help relieve symptoms of PF. A deep heel cup keeps your heel aligned, distributing body weight in a better way and relieving pressure on certain parts of the foot.
- Contoured footbed
- Deep heel cup
- Flexible EVA outsole
- Raised toe bar
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What is Plantar Fasciitis?
There is a thick section of tissue running down the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes. This band of tissue is called the plantar fascia. When it becomes inflamed, it’s known as plantar fasciitis.
One of the most common signs of plantar fasciitis is a stabbing pain close to the heel, which is often worse in the morning when you first wake up and put your feet onto the ground.
How can I treat Plantar Fasciitis myself?
There are no specific ways to cure plantar fasciitis, but you can treat it and ease the symptoms by taking steroid injections, having physical therapy, or even having surgery in extreme cases.
With mild cases, it’s a matter of resting your foot and managing the inflammation. A number of self-massage tools, such as massage balls, can be used. If you’re the DIY type, a frozen water bottle rolled under your foot is effective treatment for mild inflammtion.
Other things you can do to help ease plantar fasciitis:
Make sure you’re wearing the right kind of shoes. This can sound like a silly thing, but your shoes need to support your arch and fit without chafing anywhere.
Exercising more often and stretching that underfoot can have a positive effect. It’s suggested to exercise 3 to 5 times a week for 20 minutes to half an hour. Don’t forget to stretch first. Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury, and can develop if you increase distance or intensity too quickly.
If you keep having heel pain after you get back from your speed walking group, it may be time to reevaluate.
As much as you may feel good otherwise, slowing down can actually help. Try:
- Walking shorter distances
- Slowing down
- Avoiding hills
- Rest if you feel you need to
What features does a good walking shoe need?
The best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis will depend on you and your feet. But these are some things you need to look at:
- Generous cushioning
- Flexible but not soft midsole
- A removable insole (if necessary)