Welcome to our review of the top 10 walking shoes for plantar fasciitis.
After researching more than 25 brand name shoes, we selected the top 10 based on support, comfort, design, and overall effectiveness according to testing and reviews.
One thing we’ve learned during our research is that the wrong pair of shoes is actually WORSE for your aches and pains than just letting your symptoms be. The wrong pair could easily make symptoms worse, even to the point of causing a severe medical issue.
Don’t worry, a pain free life is in reach. Choose one of these 10, and you’ll be two steps closer to a life of no aches or pains. In fact, many of the positive reviews of these shoes claimed the wearer could stay on their feet 8+ hours with 0 plantar fasciitis symptoms.
Ready? Let’s find your dream shoe.
What Works for Plantar Fasciitis?
The pain can be so intense that you simply must stay off your feet, and this can cause a tremendous decline in your health and quality of life. Luckily, there are many things you can do to ease the pain of Plantar Fasciitis without surgery. At the end of this article I will recommend some exercises and lifestyle changes that can help. We will also provide sound advice to help you choose the right shoes, insoles and compression socks to promote healing and ease your pain.
The pain of a person suffering from Plantar Fasciitis cannot be comprehended. Plantar Fasciitis can however affect almost anybody. It isn’t just people who are obese nor the avid runners that are involved. While there are a multitude of techniques and remedies that are being prescribed, none of them are as popular as the use of shoes which are designed to the support the plantar fascia.
Best Walking Shoes for Heel Pain
1. Orthofeet Sprint - Best Arch Support Walking Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis
The Orthofeet Sprint is hands down the best, most comfortable, and most supportive shoe on this list, and ideal for anyone suffering from severe swelling, aches, heel pains, and arch discomfort.
No other shoe comes close to this level of support. The removable insole actually realigns your entire foot and body posture, and takes the stress off of your arch.
The result? No more aches and pains. Many reviewers claim they were on their feet for up to 12 hours with absolutely zero aches or pains. They’re great for the office too, since they almost look like dress shoes.
The secret is the arch booster under the orthotics insole. Unlike most shoes that just cushion your foot for added comfort, Orthofeet Sprint shoes have a dense latex foam pad right under the arch that boosts support and keeps your feet, knees, and hips aligned.
Instead of placing all that pressure on your heel, arch, and knees, the foam pad aligns your body properly and drastically reduces those aches and pains. Many users claim they can walk and even run again with zero issues.
2. Orthofeet Coral - Most Comfortable Walking Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis
And just about any other situation using your feet more than the average woman!
They come with all of the pain-relieving features of other Orthofeet shoes - arch support, arch booster, heel strap, and ultra protective heel cushioning foam - but what makes them special is they are actually roomy enough for your feet to move naturally.
Human feet were designed to work without shoes (obviously!). But rocks, and roads, and dirt, and all that other nasty stuff make that a not so fun proposition these days. The Corals are the next best thing. They have all that support plus an extra-wide design and wide toe box that keeps your foot in place while giving them enough room to move around as if you were exercising barefoot - just like nature intended. All of that results in the perfect blend of support, cushioning, and freedom - the 3 kings (or queens) of plantar fasciitis relief.
If you’re suffering from aches and pains any time you work, workout, or just hang out around the house, the Corals will put an end to your heel pains, swelling, and aches in no time.
3. Vionic Walker - Best Water Resistant Walking Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis
The Vionic Walkers are the ideal athletic shoes for high-level athletes, runners, gym rats, and anyone who likes being in motion instead of sitting still. No other shoe provides this much support, ankle stability, flexibility, and grip under intense pressure.
Imagine a shoe that did all of this:
Now imagine that it also came with the industry’s best moisture-wicking mesh lining to reduce skin burn, keep your feet dry, and ward off odors.
That’s the Vionic Walker. It’s a pro’s pro shoe. Any time you’re moving at high speeds or lifting at high intensity all day, these will keep you pain-free, reduce swelling, speed up recovery, and improve performance. They might even save you from stitches by keeping your feet glued to the ground (but no promises here!).
4. OOFOS Women's Sneaker - Best Shock Absorbing Slip-on shoe for Plantar Fasciitis
First off, these are slip-ons - not some fight-to-the-death-to-even-get-them-on type shoe.
So, anytime you need to run outside, run down to the store, or just laze about the house, you can slip them on and off in two seconds WITHOUT damaging them.
The secrets here are the footbed and mesh fabric. OOFOS designed these to reduce load, support mobility, and beef up the arches. The result? Walking is easier, you recover faster, and you feel way better.
If you need a workout shoe, grab the Corals. But if you just want something simple to wear around the house or at a casual gathering, the OOFOS are 100% what you’re looking for.
5. FitVille Sneakers - Best Wide Toe Box Walking Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis
The PropelCore Sole adds an intense amount of cushioning and protection that minimizes impact and foot fatigue, helping you stay on your feet longer without suffering from aches and pains. Some FitVille customers claim they are on their feet 8-10 hours per day without any pains (and they usually have intense pains).
The best part is that FitVille ONLY makes wide width shoes, so their shoes come in wide and extra-wide. These shoes normally provide up to a half-inch more space and plenty of room for your toes to wiggle around comfortably.
If you have big feet and want to get rid of hammertoes, bunions, arch pains, and joint pains, FitVille’s extra-wide shoes are exactly what you’re looking for.
6. Kuru Atom - Best Breathable Walking Sneaker for Plantar Fasciitis
The Kuru Atoms are the best breathable walking and intense running shoes for plantar fasciitis.
They’re shaped just like a natural human foot - rounded heel cups, arch support, and curved insole - so they stick to your feet like glue while providing maximum support and comfort.
These shoes are so light and breathable, you’ll probably forget you’re wearing them. The ultra-lightweight breathable mesh is the closest thing to barefoot running that you can find in a shoe for plantar fasciitis.
If you’re looking for a barefoot running experience, while still relieving plantar fasciitis symptoms, this is your best bet. This level of breathability can’t be matched anywhere else.
7. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 - Best Diabetic Walking Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22s are perfect for anyone suffering from diabetes or pre-diabetes, but who still wants to stay active. So much so that they’re actually PDAC A5500-certified as a therapeutic shoe for diabetes.
The cushioned, energizing design takes the stress off your foot and joints, helping to fight ulcers, strains, calluses, and general pains. And it does this all while providing a nice “rebound” that propels you forward and gives you that extra edge when you need it most.
The GTS 22s were designed specifically to help you compete in high-intensity sports and daily activities like:
The combination of motion control guide rails to keep you stable and extreme cushion to keep you comfortable are great for diabetes, pronation control, general plantar fasciitis, and any type of foot pain.
Birkenstock Arizona - Best Walking Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis
Need a casual shoe for everyday use at the beach, restaurants, bars, or cafes?
The Birkenstock Arizonas fit in just about anywhere and don’t make you feel like you’re wearing an “old person’s diabetic shoes”. But they still give you long-term pain relief and active recovery from plantar fasciitis and related symptoms.
The contoured footbed offers firm and stable support, taking the pressure off of your joints and keeping your body aligned correctly. And the design encourages a natural walking motion, keeping your feet and toes in the optimal position and encouraging blood flow.
The real secret though is in the extra-deep heel. You won’t find this in any normal Birkenstock or sandal. It cups the heel and provides that extra oomph needed to prevent severe pains and provide all-day comfort with style.
Long story short, if you want to relieve plantar fasciitis, but still look good doing it and blend in anywhere, these Birkenstocks are for you.
10. OrthoComfoot Women Canvas Shoes - Best Slip-on Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis (Cheap!)
If you’re looking for a comfortable, stylish, and supportive slip-on shoe for plantar fasciitis that doesn’t cost more than $100, this is the best - and most popular - one on the market.
You don’t get quite the same level of support or comfort as the other shoes, but since these are about half the price of higher-end models, you might want to take a look.
If budget is more of a concern than your foot pains, there’s nothing wrong with getting a budget pair of shoes. Save up your money and get a better pair in a few months!
11. Gravity Defyer Pain Relief - Best Walking Sneaker for Plantar Fasciitis and Knee Pain
Gravity Defyers are great women’s shoes, but overall they just didn’t measure up to the Corals or OOFOS during our research. And they aren’t that much cheaper at all, so we don’t really see a reason to get them…except one.
The majority of positive reviews stated the extra heel support worked wonders for their heel pain and knees, something we didn’t see much of OOFOS reviews. So, if you suffer from intense heel pain or knee pain, then the Gravity Defyers are perfect for you.
12. Hoka Bondi 8 - Best Cushioned Walking Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis
Hokas are THE NAME in walking shoes for plantar fasciitis and other foot pains, so it was really hard to leave them off the list.
However, these shoes are REALLY expensive compared to most other models. And, to be totally honest, they didn’t really measure up in our research.
That, and their reputation has been going down as of late with newer, better brands entering the market. If you like the brand name and reputation, be our guest. But be prepared to pay a good deal more than you should for the recognition.
How Do You Know You Have Plantar Fasciitis?
If you do have plantar fasciitis, you will are very likely to feel pain in the heel the moment you get out of bed in the morning. This pain will diminish as the day progresses.
You may also feel pain when you:
Clearly this constant pain can hamper your activities and dampen your enjoyment of life. Take heart, though! If you put a bit of effort into getting well-fitted shoes, the right insoles and effective compression socks, you can greatly reduce or even eliminate your pain in less than two weeks time.
Find The Right Shoes For Avoiding, Coping With & Treating Plantar Fasciitis
Very often, plantar fasciitis is caused by poorly fitted shoes. This is especially true for very active adults, as well as people who are overweight and/or have diabetes. Wearing the wrong shoes for your chosen activity or wearing shoes that just do not align and support your heels and arches can cause over pronation (excessive stress on the arches). When this happens, the arches collapse and the plantar fascia becomes loose and prone to develop calcium deposits.
Some of the worst culprits among poorly fitting shoes often seem as if they would be very comfortable. Unfortunately, soft shoes, those with ultra-flexible soles and those that claim to provide a “barefoot” walking experience simply don’t provide the structure and support needed to avoid Plantar Fasciitis.
Finding Supportive Shoes, Boots & Everyday Footwear For Plantar Fasciitis
Footwear designed for the care of plantar fasciitis are available in varying degrees of support and in a wide variety of styles. You can choose mild, moderate or maximum support. Your choice would depend upon the degree of over-pronation you have; your size, weight and fitness level and your intended activity.
Having the right shoes for the task is of the utmost importance. Be sure to get tennis shoes for playing tennis, aerobics shoes for aerobics, hiking boots for hiking and so forth. Shoes are designed to provide specific support for specific activities. You can damage your feet and cause yourself a surprisingly great deal of pain and discomfort by wearing the wrong footwear.
What to Look for When Buying Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis Add Support & Comfort
Orthotic insoles are specially designed to provide good arch support, stabilize your heels, align your feet and ankles and cushion the soles of your feet. Equipping your existing footwear with well-designed insoles for use by people suffering from plantar fasciitis can help prevent or soothe the condition and support recovery.
Look for these important features:
Arch support is available in three levels:
- 1Cushioned Support: Bubble cushioning is lightly supportive of the arch.
- 2Semi-Rigid Support: Firm, yet flexible arch support.
- 3Fully Rigid support: Rigid, inflexible arch support.
Compression Socks for Plantar Fasciitis Can Be Used With Any Footwear
Compression socks are toeless socks that you can wear with any sort of footwear and in conjunction with any insoles. These socks apply strong compression directly to the arch of the foot. This pressure raises the arch, relieves pain and prevents cramping.
This extra support helps tears in the ligament heal faster and reduces pain quickly and significantly. Many wearers report immediate relief. For some it may take a day or two to feel the full effect.
When choosing compression socks, it’s important to get the right size. It is very important not to go up a size because this will compromise the amount of support the socks can provide.
When you put these socks on, they should fit like a second skin. Be sure to smooth out any wrinkles to prevent sore spots and blisters. They should be very snug and may be a bit difficult to put on. Just bear with it and be patient.
Because compression socks are so tight and form-fitting, you can wear them with footwear that would not accommodate an insole. For example, you might use them with formal shoes covered by opaque hosiery. You could use them with thong sandals if you wear Japanese Tabi socks or toe socks.