The Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis, According to a Podiatrist

·8 min read
Low Section Of Woman Wearing Shoes Walking On Road - stock photo
Low Section Of Woman Wearing Shoes Walking On Road - stock photo

Javier Snchez Mingorance / EyeEm

While some pain can be expected after running—it *is* a super demanding sport—excruciating pain along your arches and heels could be a sign of something wrong. It could be plantar fasciitis.

"Plantar fasciitis is pain in the arch of your foot due to inflammation of a thick band that runs from your heel to your toes," explains New York-based podiatrist Hillary Brenner, D.P.M. "The thick band is known as plantar fascia, and when it becomes inflamed it's called plantar fasciitis."

Unfortunately, there's no one, clear reason why someone might get plantar fasciitis. While the odds are increased if you have flat or high arches—due to the extra strain put on your plantar fascia—or if you deal with arthritic conditions, there are plenty of other factors that could be contributing to the pain. It could be that you simply stand on your feet for long periods of time or don't wear shoes with the necessary arch support your unique feet anatomy needs.

While there are plenty of tools available for dealing with inflammation after the fact (read our roundup of the best recovery tools), it's better to tackle the root of the problem before it starts. In other words, one of the most important steps you can take is buying the right footwear, including a pair of supportive running shoes that are specifically equipped to take plantar fasciitis head-on.

Of course, the plethora of causes for plantar fasciitis means there's no single shoe that can fix your inflammation. Instead, it's important to wear a shoe with plenty of stability and arch support that helps your foot hit the perfect alignment, which prevents overstretching of the plantar fascia.

Dr. Brenner recommends using her four-point guidelines for finding a running shoe with adequate support: It should have a super thick arch, a wide chunky heel, and should not be able to bend in half in either direction. Additionally, you could use custom orthotics to ensure your foot has even more arch support, she adds. (Related: The Best Running and Athletic Shoes for Every Type of Workout)

To help you find a shoe that meets Dr. Brenner's recommendations, we've scoured the web to collect the nine best running shoes for plantar fasciitis. Here, you'll find the top picks with arch support, cushioning, shock absorption, and a chunky heel—so you can say goodbye to foot pain once and for all.

Best Overall Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis: Asics Gel-Nimbus 20

This high-tech design pairs gel cushioning in both the front and rear sole of the shoe with shock-absorbing silicone to make each toe-off during your run smoother than the last. Despite a lightweight feel on your foot, these shoes prove to be super stable, with a built-in Trusstic system along the sole to keep your foot stabilized and in a neutral position—a must for plantar fasciitis sufferers. One five-star reviewer with plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and high arches claimed these shoes not only felt like "a cloud for my feet" but also gave support in "all the right places."

Asics Gel-Nimbus 20, Buy It, from $60,

Best Cushioning: New Balance Women’s 1080v9 Fresh Foam Running Shoe

You can expect unparalleled comfort from New Balance's latest running shoe, which features an Ortholite sockliner and full-length foam midsole that gently cushions your foot. This unbeatable comfort was a standout feature for one reviewer suffering from plantar fasciitis, who said they were "very pleased" to finally find a shoe that works for their feet after searching for almost a year. Besides comfort and support, you'll love that these shoes for plantar fasciitis are also super durable—they even have a rubber outsole that was designed using data collected from actual runners to ensure it lasts mile after mile.

New Balance Women's 1080v9 Fresh Foam, Buy It, from $76,

Best Support: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19

If you're seeking a shoe with optimal support and stability, look no further than Brook's latest model. New additions to the brand's signature running shoe include a GuideRails support system to prevent excessive movement and a cushioned heel that gently softens the impact on your foot, without taking away from the responsiveness of the shoe. You'll also find unbeatable arch support—with a 12mm midsole drop between your heel and foot—and built-in pronation control to prevent injury from overpronation.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19, Buy it, $100,

Best for a Smoother Run: Mizuno Wave Inspire 15

This lightweight shoe features Mizuno's signature Wave technology, which uses a wave-shaped plate to smooth the toe-to-heel transition of your gait for a better (and more stable) running experience. A constructed, cushioned heel wedge and removable foam midsole work together to keep your feet comfortable throughout your run, while the mesh upper keeps the shoe breathable and lightweight. No wonder one wearer said these are great shoes for plantar fasciitis.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 15, Buy It, $130,

Best for Overpronation: Saucony Hurricane ISO 5.0

Unsupportive shoes can not only cause plantar fasciitis, but they also invite a whole host of other foot problems, like overpronation—when your foot rolls inward toward the arch with each step. To tackle both of these issues at once, opt for a pair of Saucony's super structured running shoes. Despite a stabilizing design that won't allow your foot to overpronate, they still offer plenty of comfy cushioning, enhanced energy return, and a durable crystal rubber outsole.

Saucony Hurricane ISO 5.0, Buy It, from $150,

Best for Supination: Hoka One One Bondi 6

Between a full-length foam midsole and molded Ortholite footbed, your entire foot is cushioned to the max in these high-performance running shoes. You'll be ready to hit the road—literally, they're roadrunners—from the moment you tie your foot into the structured yet breathable mesh frame. They're also a great pick for supinators—when the foot rolls outward with each step, the opposite of overpronation—thanks to the low 4mm drop between the heel and toe. What's more, they currently have over 22 rave reviews on Zappos from people plagued by plantar fasciitis that consider this pair their top pick for avoiding painful runs. (Related: 10 Trail Running Shoes to Help You Break Away from the Pavement)

Hoka One One Bondi 6, Buy It, $150,

Best for Wide Feet: Altra Women’s Torin 3.0 Running Shoe

A super tapered toe box can cause inflammation in your arches by disrupting the foot's natural alignment—meaning the narrow fit of many running shoes could actually be part of your problem. Luckily, the wide toe box on Altra's running shoes allows your toes to spread out evenly, while a 0mm heel-to-toe drop encourages low-impact landings. While the super lightweight design might be an unconventional choice for anyone suffering from plantar fasciitis, it actually encourages a natural alignment that multiple reviewers say saved them from plantar fasciitis pain. (Related: How to Find the Best Workout Shoes for Flat Feet)

Altra Women's Torin 3.0 Running Shoe, Buy It, from $50;

Best for Road Running: On Cloud 2.0

Prepare to feel like you're walking on clouds in these ultra-lightweight sneaks. They boast a dual-density insole that offers the perfect combination of stability and support, while a foam outsole cushions every step for a zero-gravity landing. Plus, you won't feel like you're fighting against the shoe's stabilizing functions—the adaptive outsole adjusts to the natural movement of your foot, while a stable footbed keeps your shoe from bending. While these shoes don't boast phenomenal arch support, they can easily accommodate custom orthotics, and they do offer the critical cushioning and shock absorption many plantar fasciitis sufferers need.

On Cloud 2.0, Buy It, $130,

Best for Trail Runners: Salomon Women’s XR Mission Running Shoe

Another trick to minimizing plantar fasciitis pain is buying shoes with the support needed for your specific type of running. Trail runners need extra stability and grip to tackle uneven road surfaces, in addition to maximum cushioning for shock absorption and comfort. Luckily, these trail runners have it all, along with a quick lace system that makes them easy to take on and off and a ventilated mesh upper for maximum breathability. One five-star reviewer shared that wearing Salomon shoes for a few weeks during a plantar fasciitis episode makes "the problem goes away."

Salomon Women's XR Mission Running Shoe, Buy It, from $100,