The 9 Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis, According to a Podiatrist

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Waking up with plantar fasciitis pain is no walk in the park. But the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis make things far more manageable — and may even help you recover from the frustrating injury.

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Plantar fasciitis is caused by irritation of the ligament that runs from your heel to the ball of your foot. And if you’re one of the 2 million people who undergo plantar fasciitis treatment for this common foot injury every year, you may already know that although those first few steps of the day are painful, walking actually helps ease the pain from plantar fasciitis with each additional step.

But the shoes you wear matter. The best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis are supportive, comfortable, and cushioned. And no matter what caused your acute or nagging plantar fasciitis — standing for long periods, running, and even your foot shape can play a role — ensuring you stay mobile and not barefoot is crucial to your recovery, says Hilary Brenner, DPM, a New York-based podiatrist and foot surgeon. You want to protect the soles of your feet from the hard surfaces around your house and outside to allow the plantar fascia ligament to heal, she says.

To help speed up your recovery, we did the research and tapped Brenner and other foot health pros to share a comprehensive list of the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis. These sneakers and slip ons will help you heal so you can get back to doing what you love sooner. Note: If you still love a certain pair of sneakers that didn’t make the list for the best walking shoes, you can try insoles for plantar fasciitis — our foot pros recommend those from Superfeet, Cadence, Currex, or Birkenstock. Just swap the insole in your current pair for one with more arch support and stability — two key features to look for in plantar fasciitis footwear — to feel the difference.

Ahead, the top walking shoes for plantar fasciitis, backed by podiatrists.

The Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis of 2023

Hoka Bondi 8 Shoes

Best Overall Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

  • Size range: Women’s 5 to 12; men’s 7 to 16

  • Weight: 8.9 oz (women’s); 10.8 oz. (men’s)

  • Special features: Made for everyday walking and easy runs; “plush” level of cushion to relieve pressure on fascia

  • Pros: High amount of cushion

  • Cons: Lower heel-to-toe drop of 4 mm

  • Retailer availability:,,,

If you’re looking for a purchase backed by science, the HOKA Bondi is it. A January 2022 study published in Clinical Research on Foot and Ankle found that a maximalist, high-cushion shoe – specifically, participants wore the Hoka Bondi 6 — is best at reducing plantar fasciitis pain, compared to a standard athletic sneaker. The latest cushioned running shoe available is the Hoka 8, which still has the same great features as earlier versions, including soft, lightweight foam used on the in and outsole of these sneakers to ensure you feel like you’re walking on air with every stride. Hoka calls their Bondi 8 the “ultra-cushioned game-changer,” so get ready to find pain relief.

Hoka Bondi 8 Women’s Shoes

Price: $165

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Hoka Bondi 8 Men’s Shoes

Price: $165

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Tory Burch Good Luck Shoes

Best Women’s Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 

“The Tory Burch Good Luck Trainer passes my four-test rule,” says Brenner. It has a thick arch for support, a wide-chunky heel to stabilize the foot and offer shock absorption, a semi-stiff sole, and a wide toe box, she says. You can find these walking shoes for plantar fasciitis across multiple retailers online, and while there are currently four colorways available on the designer’s site, Zappos, for example, currently has as many as 11 different color options.

Tory Burch Good Luck Trainer at Tory Burch

Price: $278

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Tory Burch Good Luck Trainer at Nordstrom

Price: $278

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Tory Burch Good Luck Trainer at Amazon

Price: $278

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Tory Burch Good Luck Trainer at Zappos

Price: $278

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Tory Burch Good Luck Trainer at Bloomingdales

Price: $278

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Oofos Ooahh Sport Flex Shoes

Best Walking Shoes for High Arches and Plantar Fasciitis 

  • Size range: Women’s 6 to 21; men’s 4 to 19

  • Special features: Adjustable strap for customized comfort and fit

  • Pros: Absorbs impact, good arch support

  • Cons: Lower heel-to-toe drop

  • Retailer availability:,

Slip-on sandals are convenient for so many reasons — slide them on to walk the dog, run errands, or when you’re heading to the pool. But so many of these easy-on, easy-off footwear options provide little to no support — a big problem for those with plantar fasciitis. Oofos recovery footwear solves that problem thanks to its trademarked Oofoam technology that “absorbs 37 percent more impact than traditional footwear foam materials to reduce the stress on your feet and joints,” according to the company’s website. Paul Langer, DPM, a board-certified podiatrist with Twin Cities Orthopedics, loves these sandals for plantar fasciitis pain thanks to the increased arches support, which helps reduce the pressure put on the ligaments in the foot and ultimately speed up healing. They’re great shoes for standing all day.

Oofos Ooahh Women’s Sport Flex Sandal

Price: $79.95

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Oofos Ooahh Men’s Sport Flex Sandal

Price: $79.95

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Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 Shoes

Best Walking Shoes for Foot Pain 

  • Size range: Women’s 5 to 13; men’s 6 to 16

  • Weight: 9.2 oz. (women’s); 10.5 oz. (men’s)

  • Special features: Good heel-to-toe drop ratio for plantar fasciitis, maximum cushion

  • Pros: 8 mm heel-to-toe drop, designed for neutral or underpronation

  • Cons: Neutral, moderate support

  • Retailer availability:,,,

As the latest version in the Asics Gel-Nimbus family, this walking shoe’s “midsole is packed with the most cushioning that the series has offered to date,” according to the brand’s website. The heel-to-toe drop is 8mm, which falls nicely in the recommended range for those with plantar fasciitis, per Brenner.

Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 Women’s Shoes

Price: $160

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Asics Gel-Nimbus 25 Men’s Shoes

Price: $160

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New Balance 1540v3 Shoes

Best Walking Shoes for Overpronation and Plantar Fasciitis 

  • Size range: Women’s 5 to 13; men’s 7 to 16

  • Weight: 11.2 oz. (women’s); 14.9 oz. (men’s)

  • Special features: Encap midsole, rollbar system

  • Pros: Stabilizing design, prevent overpronation, available in many widths

  • Cons: Not available in many colors

  • Retailer availability:,,

The New Balance 1540v3 sneakers offer an encap midsole with a softer, supportive middle surrounded by a firmer rim, which means it’s able to combine cushion and support with stability. The rollbar technology helps to prevent overpronation. All of this is beneficial for someone suffering from plantar fasciitis. Brenner likes these walking shoes because they offer motion control to keep the foot in a neutral position and avoid compensation in your gait, which could put extra strain on the plantar fasciitis, she explains.

New Balance 1540v3 Women’s Shoes

Price: $179.99

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New Balance 1540v3 Men’s Shoes

Price: $179.99

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Related: The Best Stability Running Shoes 

Altra Via Olympus Shoes

Best Walking Shoes for Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis 

  • Size range: Women’s 5.5 to 12; men’s 7-15

  • Weight: 8.9 oz. (women’s); 11 oz. (men’s)

  • Special features: Forefoot rocker, max cushion

  • Pros: Altra’s trademark FootShape, 33 mm midsole

  • Cons: Chunkier look, designed for running

  • Retailer availability:,, 

Forefoot rockers have a stiffer outsole and a larger toe spring which has been shown to reduce pain of plantar fasciitis, says Dr. Langer. The Altra Via Olympus is one of the shoes he most often recommended to his patients who are looking for a forefoot rocker option. While Altra is known for its low-profile sneakers and natural-shaped toe box, the Via Olympus is an ultra-high cushion option that will keep your pain in your heels at bay while also allowing you to stay mobile and comfortable while healing from plantar fasciitis.

Altra Via Olympus Women’s Shoes

Price: $170

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Altra Via Olympus Men’s Shoes

Price: $170

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Hoka Clifton 9 Shoes

Best Walking Shoes for Shin Splints and Plantar Fasciitis 

  • Size range: Women’s 5-12; men’s 7-16

  • Weight: 7.3 oz. (women’s); 8.7 oz. (men’s)

  • Special features: Heel stability, made for everyday wear and walking

  • Pros: Lots of support, stable, and reflective heel panel

  • Cons: Neutral stability, 5 mm toe drop

  • Retailer availability:,,

“Hoka makes very very cushioned shoes, and this is often good for starting to walk with a painful foot,” says Meredith Warner, M.D., is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and inventor of The Healing Sole. She specifically recommends the Hoka Clifton 9 for walking with plantar fasciitis. This model is also helpful for anyone dealing with or looking to prevent shin splints, or injury to the muscle and bone tissue near the shins, as this latest iteration of the Clifton collection has an even cushier heel with 3 mm more stack height from earlier generations.

HOKA Clifton 9 Women’s Shoes

Price: $145

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HOKA Clifton 9 Men’s Shoes

Price: $145

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Adidas Gazelle Sneakers

Best Men’s Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis  

  • Size range: Men’s 4 to 14; also available in 5 to 11 women’s platform version

  • Special features: Sturdy, firm sole, heel stability

  • Pros: Stylish for everyday wear, stuff insole

  • Cons: Lacking on arch support

  • Retailer availability:,

While the Adidas Gazelle line of shoes is available in unisex, men’s, a women’s platform, and even youth models, the original collection is a great choice for an everyday men’s walking shoe for those suffering from nagging plantar fasciitis pain. The Gazelle “is a good zero-drop minimalist option that will allow more contact with the entire foot and therefore limit pressure just on the heel,” which can be a particular area of pain for plantar fasciitis, says Dr. Warner.

Adidas Gazelle Shoes at adidas

Price: $100

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Adidas Gazelle Shoes at Zappos

Price: $100

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Brooks Ghost 14 Running Shoes

Best Rated Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis  

  • Size range: Women’s 5-13; men’s 7-15

  • Weight: 9 oz. (women’s); 9.9 oz. (men’s)

  • Special features: 12 mm midsole drop, available in multiple widths

  • Pros: Customers love it, great for standing all day

  • Cons: Could be more arch-supportive

  • Retailer availability:,

Of the more than 7,000 results across Amazon’s online marketplace, the Brooks Ghost 14 shoes are among the top rated results for “plantar fasciitis walking shoes.” (Note: The Brooks Ghost 15 shoes are the newest version in the collection, but the 14 version come with one of our expert’s backing.) But it’s not just the ratings that make these sneakers special — experts agree they are a smart option for those dealing with foot pain. And don’t be turned away by the fact that these are technically “running” shoes, as “depending on how fast you walk, any good running shoe will work for walking,” says Dr. Warner. “The faster you walk, the harder the heel strike might be and a running shoe is designed to withstand that.” Bonus: The Brooks Ghost 14 are actually Amazon’s #1 best-selling women’s road running shoe.

Brooks Ghost 14 Women’s Shoes

Price: $140 $99.95

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Brooks Ghost 14 Women’s Shoes

Price: $140 $99.95

Buy Now

What to Look for In the Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 

While choosing the right shoe for you will be individual to your feet and your needs, these universal elements are important to look for in the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis.

  • Thick arch: Walking shoes designed for high arches, which have a high level of midsole arch support, will help reduce the strain on your plantar fascia ligament by providing shock absorption, says Brenner. “Arch support is more important than cushioning to relieve strain on the plantar fascia,” says Langer.

  • Cushion: While perhaps not as critical to relieving plantar fasciitis pain, adequate cushioning is still important to overall comfort. That level of cushion, however, is subjective, says Langer. It’s a matter of trying on several pairs of shoes to determine the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis for your needs specifically.

  • Forefoot rocker: This isn’t a must-have feature, but some people with plantar fasciitis may find a shoe with a forefoot rocker or a toe spring may be helpful in relieving fascia pressure. A forefoot rocker is essentially an upward curve of the sole of a shoe underneath the ball of the foot and toes.

  • Firm heel counter: This hard piece of material at the back of the shoes helps stabilize and control the heel and therefore prevent unnecessary movement and overpronation, says Brenner. “By decreasing overpronation, you’re taking stress off of the plantar fascia,” she explains.

  • Stiff insole: Those with plantar fasciitis want to avoid shoes with super flexible soles, says Brenner. “You don’t want to be able to bend the shoe in half like a taco,” she laughs. “Instead, only the toe box should bend.” This helps to stabilize the foot which puts pressure on the plantar fascia, she explains.

  • High heel-to-toe drop: Heel-to-toe drop refers to the difference in thickness of a shoe’s sole between the heel and forefoot. A good range for the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis is 7 to 12 mm, according to Brenner. Again, this will help put more pressure on the forefoot to therefore take some of the stress off the plantar fascia, she says.

Tips for Walking with Plantar Fasciitis

A light walk can help reduce symptoms of mild cases of plantar fasciitis. However, if the pain is a 5 out of 10, it’s best to rest instead. Specifically, the RICE strategy, or rest, ice, compression, and elevation is helpful to reduce inflammation of the ligament and begin the healing process, says Brenner. Light stretching, such as manually bending the toes gently back to release tension in the tight plantar fascia ligament, and over-the-counter pain medication should help.

If you must walk, limit your time on your feet to less than 10 minutes and avoid concrete terrains (hence why you won’t find a winner for best shoes for walking on concrete with plantar fasciitis), and wear shoes with lots of cushion, she says. Discontinue the activity if you experience stabbing pain or your heel becomes red or swollen, says Brenner.

How We Chose the Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

For more than 75 years, Footwear News has been the shoe authority. Our coverage spans top industry news, retail trends, head-to-toe fashion, athletic and outdoor analysis, and more. Footwear News’ global network of editors has carefully curated all product selections featured using our expansive brand knowledge and thorough research to find quality, long-lasting items. Learn more about us here.

To put together this list of the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis, we consulted multiple experts in the field of podiatry and orthopedics — several of whom have experienced plantar fasciitis themselves — as well as looked at the key features they recommended by present in optimal footwear. Additionally, we consulted studies, surveys, and other published research regarding plantar fasciitis and the type of footwear that is best for those with it. Customer reviews and footwear market research helped to round out our selection for the top walking shoes for plantar fasciitis, so you can shop confidently.


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Meet the Experts

Hillary Brenner, DPM, is a New York-based podiatrist and foot surgeon and is also a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). She has received extensive training in new foot care technologies such as shock wave therapy, which can be used to treat plantar fasciitis.

Meredith Warner, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon based in Louisiana. She’s also the founder of Well Theory, a health supplement brand, and inventor of The Healing Sole, a patented flip flop designed to help heal plantar fasciitis.

Tim Karthas, DPM, is a podiatrist based in Peabody, Massachusetts and a seasoned marathon runner who partners with the Oofos brand of recovery footwear. He specializes in foot and ankle surgery and podiatry and has previous experiences (and healed from) plantar fasciitis himself.

Paul Langer, DPM, is a board-certified podiatrist with Twin Cities Orthopedics and a part- owner of Fleet Feet Minneapolis who has experienced plantar fasciitis flare ups. He’s also a fellow at the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine.

Meet the Author

Alyssa Sparacino is a content strategist, editor, and writer with a focus on fitness, health, and wellness with more than a decade of experience in digital media. She most recently held the role of editorial director at Shape Magazine. Her writing has been published in outlets including Shape, Health, What to Expect, Men’s Journal, Travel & Leisure, and more. Sparacino holds a personal training certification with the American Council on Exercise.

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