By Noel Paine
Hey, welcome to our running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis guide.
“A runner will typically average 1200 steps a mile on one foot. The gravity force on the body structure is 2.5 times the body weight with each step in the mid-stance phase of gait, no matter if you are running in perfect Kenyan style or in the heel-strike “jogging” pattern.” – Mark Cuzzella, M.D.
Plantar Fasciitis is two words and a condition that many runners have heard about but not everyone understands. The Mayo Clinic describes it as. “Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of each foot and connects the heel bone to the toes (plantar fascia).”
From what I know and have learned, feet that overpronate (overdo the arch’s action of compressing and absorbing shock for the foot) corresponds to what a US Physiotherapy website says; “Plantar fasciitis is most often associated with impact and running sports, especially those that involve toe running rather than heel running styles.
It is common in people who have just increased their intensity of walking or running, putting additional strain on the plantar fascia due to increased load. It is also common in individuals with poor foot biomechanics that stress the plantar fascia, such as flat feet or weak foot arch control muscles. This causes repeated overstretching of the plantar fascia.”
What does this boil down to? Something (an activity) is placing extra stress on your foot, specifically your plantar fascia that helps absorb shock when you walk or run.
What do I Need?
You need to take a look at your feet and figure out what kind of foot type you have. You also need to look at your current running shoes. Sometimes a shoe that is worn out and not helping absorb shock or support the foot, makes the foot do all the work and can lead to injuries like plantar fasciitis. You may need a new shoe!
You should also look at your shoe and see if it matches your foot type. I will list and talk about some shoes that may help people with plantar fasciitis and you may benefit from also looking at shoes for overpronators (if you find that is your foot type).
*Shoes should generally be replaced between 500-800 kilometres (300-500 miles) or when they start to feel worn out. This will depend on your shoe and how heavy a runner you are. How often should you replace running shoes? Many experts say every 300 to 500 miles, according to the American Council on Exercise.
What Kind of Running Shoe Will Help Me for Plantar Fasciitis?
If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis because your shoes are not absorbing enough shock for you and if you have a neutral foot (does not overpronate) – then a shoe with better cushioning might help you. If a shoe is too soft and causes too much motion when you are running, then a firmer cushion may also help.
If you overpronate then you should have a stability or motion-control running shoe depending on how much help you need. These types of shoes are designed to make it harder for the foot to roll over on the shoe when running.
The more you know your feet, the easier it is to choose a good shoe that may work for you.
Here are some shoes based on what foot type or need you may have:
Top Cushioned Shoes for Neutral Feet Suffering from Plantar Fasciitis
You may need shoes that have more cushion or a cushioned shoe that is cushioned but more stable (not too soft and causing your foot extra work to stabilize while running).
1. New Balance 1080V13
I have chosen this New Balance running shoe as it has extra cushioning from ample the Fresh foam midsole and the upper which they call a Hypoknit upper, is designed to provide strategic areas of stretch and support. So, this shoe will have lots of cushioning and a nice upper and should rule out shock absorption as a cause of your foot pain. A slightly softer and slightly less expensive option would be the New Balance 880.
The version 13 of this shoe has dropped a lot of weight going from 10.3 ounces to 9.3, quite a drop (due to a new version of Fresh Foam), otherwise it really seems to be quite similar to its predecessor.
I never had a case of plantar fasciitis but had the symptoms of my arch and plantar fascia being tired and sore. Try and know the signs and know when to give your feet a break and when to go ask for medical advice. Discomfort can be ok but not pain.
2. HOKA Bondi 8
If you are looking for lots of cushion, then the Bondi from Hoka should be something to try to ensure your feet are being protected from the impact of the road or pavement. They call the shoe ultra-cushioned. I really like Hoka shoes for their ultra cushioned feel without added weight. This version of the Bondi is said to use softer, lighter foams and a brand-new extended heel geometry (cushioning sticks out the back a bit). If you are thinking you need extra shock absorption help, this could be the shoe.
*Insane number of colour options for this shoe!
If you fall in love with the Bondi for running and want more, there is even an all black, water resistant version for everyday walking and life! Go check out the Bondi SR!
If you do have heel or arch pain that does not go away, see your doctor or a Podiatrist or Pedorthist for advice and information.
3. Saucony Echelon 9
This is a roomy fitting shoe with maximum cushioning. If you are a heavier runner with a neutral foot (no problems) or just think you want more shock absorption, this shoe is an option. This model has been designed with a thicker PWRRUN midsole and comes with the American Podiatric Medical Association, APMA Seal of Approval that recognizes products that have been found beneficial to foot health.
When recovering from plantar fasciitis, ease back into activity and gradually return to running.
*The company website says this model runs large, compared to previous versions. You may consider ordering down from your normal size.
4. Altra Paradigm 7
This is a really well cushioned shoe from Altra that has been designed with help from Olympian Kara Goucher. Its not their super, max cushioned shoe but its got lots of EGO™ MAX midsole foam. They say they have slimmed down the overall design while maintaining its key support features, which is good for someone who has plantar fasciitis and seems to have no foot issues. OS you can get good cushion, good feel while also getting a stable shoe. Try Altra shoes too if you have trouble with other shoes rubbing your big or little toes, their shoes are foot-shaped!
The new version of this shoe (6 to 7) has gotten lighter and has gone from 10.8 to 10.35 ounces. The shoe remains essentially the same but a touch lighter.
If your foot and plantar fascia are still a bit sore (usually worse in the morning), try rubbing and massaging your foot before walking around. When you foot is warmed up it will be easier on everything including your plantar fascia!
5. Adidas Adistar CS 2.0
Also Available at:
This shoe is slightly heavier than the others reviewed here, and it seems to be stuffed full of cushioning and support that accounts for the weight. Adidas says the shoe design was inspired by the idea of perpetual motion.
The shoe is a mix of a good deal of cushioning plus an internal support cage and REPETITOR+ support frame for stability along with using two densities of foam in the midsole. This shoe is great if you are a heel striker, a heavier runner and someone looking for a stable, well-cushioned shoe. The Adistar 2.0 has changed very little if you have worn the CS.
If your foot is still a bit sore, after a run or at the end of the day, use a water bottle you have filled with water and put in the freezer the day before, to roll your foot. It can help take down any inflammation.
Other potential well cushioned shoes to check out:
Brooks Glycerin 20
Skecher GO RUN
Reebok Energy 5
Top Running Shoes for Overpronators with Plantar Fasciitis
Great stability and motion control shoes for feet that overpronate suffering from plantar fasciitis:
6. Nike Structure 25
This is another shoe I am familiar with and have tried on many older versions of this shoe. Older versions had a dual-density foam approach to helping stop a foot from over-pronating, but this version uses a crash pad placement at the heel that helps provide extra cushioning for heel-to-toe transitions, supporting runners that tend to overpronate. If you think your plantar fasciitis is from your foot rolling in (overpronation) and its not too severe, this could a shoe to try.
The new version of this shoe has gotten slightly heavier going from 11 ounces to 11.4 and this they say is because they added more cushion. The shoe is meant to be a well cushioned, stable shoe but not springy and responsive as other sin the Nike running line.
*You can also get this up to a size 15 if you need.
7. Mizuno Wave Horizon 7
This is a really well-cushioned shoe with a good deal of support for the foot that needs it. A lot of cushion comes from their MIZUNO ENERZY Foam and the support comes from an asymmetrical foam wave (meaning its bigger in the inner side of the shoe) and a rubber wall to stop a foot from overpronating. If you like Mizuno and overpronate and have plantar fascia issues, this is a shoe to try.
Version 7 is much like version 6 but has gained some weight going from 11.2 ounces to 11.8 ounces. Weight gains with stabilities shoes is common as the focus on these types of running shoes is making them more stable or even adding foam.
*This shoe also comes in a wide option.
8. Brooks Beast GTS 23
If you find that you arch collapses and you really overpronate and you may have plantar fasciitis because of this, then the Brooks Beast can really help. This shoe is really a beast with lots of cushion and wrap-around support to keep the foot stable.
This version of a longtime staple of the Brooks running line is a touch heavier than the Brooks Beast 20 and slightly more stable with the addition of the GuideRail system to the shoe. This is a solid, well-cushioned running shoe for a foot that needs some help.
This shoe has been around for a long time, and I have tried various versions on. Great shoe for the right foot.
If you need a little less support, try the Brooks Addiction GTS 15.
9. ASICS GT-2000 12
Another shoe that has been around for along time along with the GT-1000 (mild stability). Love this shoe. Its light and well-cushioned with dual-density foam (FF-Blast plus gel in the heel and forefoot) on the medial side (inner) that tries to stop a foot from collapsing as you run. If you arch collapses more than a little but not a huge amount, try this.
The version 12 of this shoe is 5 grams lighter than the previous model and Asics has added what they call a 3D GUIDANCE SYSTEM™ to this version, that consists of wider basenets (to create a more stable platform) and an increased heel bevel and forefoot flare.
I always liked bringing this shoe out to someone who still wanted something fairly responsive and cushioned but also had some stability.
At least 50% of the shoe's main upper material is made with recycled content to reduce waste and carbon emissions.
If you try a stability or motion control shoe and it still does not help you foot, you may need an insole or orthotic to help support you foot.
10. Puma ForeverRun Nitro
This new shoe from Puma has both a lot of cushioning and good stability feature for overpronators. The midsole is made of NITRO (described by Puma as an advanced nitrogen-injected foam designed to provide superior responsiveness and cushioning in a lightweight package).
The midsole cushioning is formulated according to what they call RUNGUIDE where a firm density section of foam if placed to keep your foot aligned and centered through each stride.
I have not worn or tried this shoe, but it would be a great option to try for someone who needs support and good cushioning.
HOKA ARAHI 6
How Should the Shoe Fit?
Regardless of the kind of running shoe you buy, make sure it fits properly. The shoe should be comfortable, fit snugly, not tight and not sloppy. Nothing should be rubbing your ankle bones, or your Achilles tendon and make sure you have some room at the toe of the shoe.