By Amber Sayer
One of the best ways to whittle down the choices is to pick a shoe brand that you like based on how the shoes generally fit and then within the lineup of running shoes and other footwear from that company, choose the best running shoes based on your needs.
New Balance is one of the most popular brands for athletic footwear and casual footwear alike, serving runners, walkers, those interested in cross-training workouts, and everyday lifestyle shoes.
In my own 24 years of competitive distance running, I have owned and tested dozens of New Balance running shoes, New Balance walking shoes, and even New Balance cross training shoes, so I have become well-versed in the fit, feel, and performance features of New Balance shoes.
In this guide, I have specifically chosen the best New Balance shoes for plantar fasciitis, along with advice from two experienced foot doctors for what to look for in the best running and walking shoes for plantar fasciitis pain.
What Features Make a Shoe Good for Plantar Fasciitis?
Dr. Mauricio Garcia, MD, an Orthopedic Surgeon and the Senior Project Manager for Hyper Arch Motion Sneakers, says that there are several key features to look for in good shoes for plantar fasciitis.
“If you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis, cushioning—particularly in the heel and arch [of the shoe]—is essential. Look for shoes with proper arch support. Sturdy but flexible soles will offer stability and comfort, and a deep heel cup helps keep feet snug and secure in the proper alignment,” notes Dr. Garcia.
“Extra padding in the sockliner (footbed) of the shoe is a good idea, just to provide the bottoms of your feet with a little extra comfort and take some of the strain away from the plantar fascia.”
Dr. Timothy A. Karthas, DPM, a Podiatrist and marathon runner himself, also suggests looking for shoes with more surface area—like a broader sole or heel flare—when shopping for shoes for plantar fasciitis.
“I find that the best features are arch support to reduce overpronation and a foam or material that will reduce impact while providing the maximum surface area of contact with the whole foot, as they help distribute pressure from the areas of pain to areas that don’t normally bear as much weight,” advises Dr. Karthas.
“Rocker bottom shoes can also be effective for plantar fasciitis as they can reduce the strain on the fascia by decreasing some of the forces and motion on the forefoot and midfoot joints.”
Here are my suggestions for the best New Balance shoes for those with plantar fasciitis along with other needs:
1. New Balance 1540v3 - Best for Overpronation
The New Balance 1540v3 running shoe fits the bill for providing maximum stability and motion control for anyone who has plantar fasciitis and who also overpronates, has flat feet, needs extra stability, or has a heavier body size.
Even though the NB 1540v3 is technically a running shoe and a great one at that, you don’t even have to be a runner to choose this New Balance shoe. I still think it is the best New Balance shoe for overpronators with plantar fasciitis just for every day where and walking.
Although you might want to sport some kind of low profile or stylish lifestyle shoe, if you are looking for the best shoes for plantar fasciitis and you are prioritizing healing your condition, reducing symptoms, and controlling your foot as you walk (or run!) to prevent overpronation, the New Balance 1540v3 running shoe is really the clear winner.
In addition to running myself, I coach a lot of runners, and I consistently recommend New Balance motion control shoes for anyone who is dealing with excessive inward rotation of the foot and ankle when they run or walk.
To provide support for overpronation, flat feet, the plantar fascia, and your knees, the New Balance 1540v3 running shoe features a ROLLBAR stability post system, which is designed to control rear-foot movement for enhanced support with every stride.
There is also premium ENCAP midsole technology to provide a good balance of cushioning with a lightweight foam and stability and support from a polyurethane rim.
I also think it’s a good sign that the New Balance 1540v3 shoe is approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), which speaks to the quality of the design for being a high-quality running shoe for plantar fasciitis.
Another nice thing is that many of the best shoes for overpronation are super clunky and heavy, and certainly quality as being unattractive.
Although this New Balance stability shoe isn’t going to be a lightweight training shoe, for the amount of biomechanical control and foot support it provides, the NB 1540v3 running shoe is actually impressively lightweight and sleek.
Plus, this motion control New Balance running shoe is available all the way from narrow to extra-extra wide widths, so you should be able to find a size that fits your foot shape even if you have custom orthotics or special insoles that you have to add to the shoe for additional support and stability.
2. New Balance Fresh Foam X More V4 - Best for Overweight People and/or Who Have Arthritis
Dr. Garcia says that people who are overweight usually need running shoes that provide adequate support.
“Look for shoes with maximum cushioning to help distribute the impact evenly across both feet and ease any stress on the joints. Shoes with a wider base offer more stability, and reinforced midsoles help to maintain proper arch support,” explains Dr. Garcia. “Make sure to pick shoes that provide a comfortable fit, and are not too narrow to avoid friction or rubbing that can lead to painful problems like sores or blisters.”
“For people who are overweight, I usually recommend either motion control sneakers, hiking shoes, or boots,” shares Dr. Karthas. “These options have more structure and are made of heavier, sturdier materials to resist deformation over time.”
I love the New Balance Fresh Foam Fresh Foam X More v4 - New BalanceX More v4 as the best New Balance running shoes for heavy runners or runners with plantar fasciitis and knee pain.
Think of this as the best running shoe for runners with plantar fasciitis that identify themselves as belonging to the “Athena/Clydesdale running club.”
Personally, I don’t really like to use the term “overweight runners,” because even though we have things like body mass index (BMI) that the medical community may use to classify someone as “overweight,” I like running to feel as inclusive as possible and don’t believe it’s my place to say that a runner is “overweight.”
That said, if you do identify as an Athena runner or Clydesdale runner based on your body weight, or you are a heavier runner, it can certainly help to have running shoes with extra cushioning and support, particularly if you are dealing with knee pain along with plantar fasciitis.
Maximal cushioning will help reduce added impact forces from having a higher body weight.
Even if you aren’t overweight, if you have joint pain or arthritis, I think you’ll be very happy with the tremendous amount of cushioning in the New BalanceX More v4 running shoes.
This plush New Balance shoe uses the most Fresh Foam in any New Balance running shoe to date, and there is a huge platform of the cushioning material that extends the entire length and width of the shoe.
This gives you a very stable platform in addition to having the shock absorption from the Fresh Foam material.
Studies have found that highly-cushioned running shoes can reduce joint impact stresses and muscle soreness after running.
Basically, the New Balance X More v4 shoes have a nice wide base of support, sort of like a bucket seat, which helps provide stability no matter how you land on your feet when you run, walk, or even stand. This then reduces the workload of all of the little muscles in your feet as well as the plantar fascia, meaning that you are sore, achy, or even painful plantar fasciitis may finally get a relative break.
Plus, the shoe is more stable with the wide platform, so not only are the forces distributed along a greater surface area, but the nuanced instabilities that otherwise require muscular stabilization are also pared back.
The New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 running shoe also has a data-driven outsole, designed using strategic placement of superior cushion zones and specific flex zones to help promote a natural stride.
There is also a rocker bottom sole to facilitate a smooth transition from heel strike to push off. The upper is breathable. Perhaps most importantly, and indicative of the reason the New Balance Fresh Foam X More v4 running shoes are the best New Balance cushioned running shoes for plantar fasciitis, is the fact that this particular New Balance running shoe has received the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) for being ideal footwear to support healthy foot function.
3. New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3 - Best Trail Running Shoe
If you prefer trail running, hiking, or generally tend to walk on unpaved surfaces, I highly suggest the New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3 the best New Balance trail running shoe for anyone with plantar fasciitis.
What is great about these trail running shoes for runners or walkers with plantar fasciitis is that the shoe has a two-part Fresh Foam X midsole for exceptional cushioning.
Of all of the New Balance trail running shoes for hiking or running off road, the NB Fresh Foam X More Trail v3 trail running shoe has the highest all-terrain stack height, which cuts down on the need for your plantar fascia and smaller stabilizing muscles of the feet to actually engage and stabilize your foot on the uneven trails.
These cushioning materials aid shock absorption and reduce the necessity of your foot muscles to control your arch.
While this may not necessarily be optimal long-term in terms of strengthening your feet, if you are dealing with plantar fasciitis already, this maximal cushioning, coupled with the wide base of support can reduce plantar fasciitis symptoms.
Therefore, this is the best New Balance running shoe if you already have plantar fasciitis and want to do hiking or running on trails because it will alleviate rather than exacerbate your plantar fascia symptoms.
The New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v3 also has Toe Protect technology to keep your feet protected from ramming into rocks, roots, and debris on the trail and the low 4 mm drop helps keep your calves and Achilles stretched so that you aren’t putting a lot of strain on the arch of your foot and altering the natural biomechanics of how your foot is designed to walk and run.
4. New Balance 840v5 - Best for Flat Feet or Overpronation
“The best shoes for overpronation are shoes that are going to keep your feet in place and prevent any inward rolling,” advises Dr. Garcia. “Shoes should have a firm midsole and extra arch support to help feet stay in a neutral position. Sturdy heel counters along with structured uppers add extra stability and support, holding feet in the proper alignment.”
I have been running competitively for over 20 years at this point, and have incredibly flat feet; in fact, I have been wearing orthotics since I was three years old and can remember back to a time when I was just a toddler and I had hard plastic orthotics squished into my shoes to try and give my flat feet a little bit of arch support, so I know how important it is to have supportive shoes.
My choice for the best New Balance running shoes for people with flat feet or who overpronate is the New Balance 840v5 running shoe. I consider this to be an excellent stability running shoe and one of the better New Balance running shoes for plantar fasciitis due to the stability and cushioning.
One of the challenges of finding good running shoes for flat feet is that you need extra arch support and pronation, and many stability or motion control running shoes just don’t provide enough support or they are too rigid and thus aren’t comfortable.
Although virtually all of the best New Balance shoes are highly supportive and known to be well designed, the NB 840v5 is one of the premium stability shoes and I think definitely the best New Balance stability running shoe for anyone with plantar fasciitis.
Due to the robust midfoot posting and supportive insole, the New Balance 840v5 provides excellent arch support and control for overpronation.
The plush ABZORB midsole attenuates shock while providing good energy return to help you feel light and fast on your feet as you run. The materials used for the midsole are engineered to be compression resistant, which means that even after repetitive compression as you run, walk, or even stand all day, the material retains its thickness to best cushion your foot.
With a super breathable mesh upper, your feet get plenty of air flow to prevent overheating, while still having enough stability to make sure that your foot is held in a good position so as not to exacerbate plantar fasciitis symptoms.
5. New Balance Fresh Foam X 840F Slip Resistant - Best for Standing all Day at Work
If you stand on your feet all day for work, perhaps you work in the healthcare industry or food service industry, you need not only a supportive shoe to alleviate your plantar fasciitis symptoms, but footwear that will be safe and compliant with your work environment.
My pick for the best New Balance shoe for healthcare workers or those who stand on their feet all day and deal with plantar fasciitis (or hope not to!) is the NB Fresh Foam X 840F Slip Resistant.
These New Balance walking shoes have all of the features of the best shoes for plantar fasciitis such as the luxurious cushioning from the Fresh Foam X midsole and a low heel drop so that you aren’t overstressing your feet and shifting the pressure application to your metatarsal heads.
But, what makes them the top rated New Balance shoes for food service workers or healthcare workers is that the outsole has been specifically designed to confer slip resistant properties that are tested according to ASTM F2913 standards to provide superior traction under various surface conditions.
I also like that the New Balance Fresh Foam X 840F Slip Resistant shoes have received the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA).
6. New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13 - Best for Walking
The New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13 is as bright and fun as it is lightweight and functional. The shoes weigh just 254 grams (9 oz).
Designed runners and walkers needing just a bit of extra stability, these running shoes feature a soft foam compound, and dual-layer midsole for optimal support and cushioning mile after mile.
There is a supportive medial post to help maintain your arch, but you also get the plush experience of Fresh Foam.
The lightweight mesh upper is designed with strategic zones of support and breathability to keep your feet cool.
7. New Balance NB Nergize Sport - Best Training Shoe
For the best New Balance training shoes or everyday lifestyle shoes for those with plantar fasciitis, we like the New Balance NB Nergize Sport. It’s not only a cute and women’s athleisure shoe with a slip-on design, but New Balance NB Nergize Sport is also surprisingly well cushioned, which is really helpful for those with plantar fasciitis.
The cushioning comes from the NB Memory Sole Comfort Insert and the REVlite midsole.
The combination of the memory foam insole and the proprietary fresh foam midsole construction makes for a super lightweight, well-cushioned footbed.
Because memory foam insoles mold to the anatomical contours of your foot, the New Balance NB Nergize Sport training shoes help distribute pressures evenly across the entire foot, minimizing pressure (and subsequent pain) along any specific tissue.
Memory foam shoes are helpful for plantar fasciitis because the material also helps absorb shock, which reduces stress on the bones and joints of your feet.
The end result is that even though the New Balance NB Nergize Sport shoe isn’t particularly supportive and doesn't have thick cushioning, it is still relatively effective for decreasing plantar fasciitis pain.
“Shoes aren’t just accessories, they’re an important component of your overall health and fitness,” reminds Dr. Garcia. “When choosing footwear, it’s important to focus on comfort, support, and alignment.”
For more ideas on the best footwear for your needs, check out our guide to the best HOKA shoes for plantar fasciitis here.