The Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis, According to Podiatrist Guidelines
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, 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.
The Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
- Best Overall for Plantar Fasciitis: Asics Gel-Nimbus 23
Extra gel cushioning in the heel reduces shock absorption to make this style a top pick for plantar fasciitis sufferers.
- Best Cushioning: New Balance Women's 1080v11 Fresh Foam
The entire midsole is crafted with the brand's lightweight foam cushioning for unbeatable comfort mile after mile.
- Best for Support: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
Stabilizing guides along the edges of Brooks' signature shoe ensure maximum support in the brand's 2020 design, which reigns supreme over the latest model.
- Best for a Smooth Run: Mizuno Wave Inspire 17
The brand's signature wave-shaped plate allows a smoother toe-to-heel transition for an easy ride.
- Best for Overpronation: Saucony Guide 14
A stabilizing guidance frame and sturdy construction provide maximum support, while also preventing feet from rolling inwards.
- Best for Supination: Hoka One One Bondi 7
A low 4-millimeter drop between the toe and foot reduces the risk of ankles rolling outwards, so you can tackle two foot issues at once.
- Best for Wide Feet: Altra Women's Torin 5 Luxe
The shoe's wide toe box won't cramp your toes and disrupt the foot's natural alignment like many narrower designs.
- Best for Road Running: On Cloud 2.0
The dual-density midsole is sturdier under the arches and softer at the heel and toe for a lightweight support that's optimal for running.
- Best for Trail Runners: Salomon Women's XR Mission 3
Extra stability, shock-absorbing cushioning, and a texture outsole ensure feet are protected on uneven trail terrain.
How to Find the Right Fit
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)
Not sure where to start? Below, discover the nine best running shoes for plantar fasciitis selected using Dr. Brenner's recommendations and customer reviews. These top picks have arch support, cushioning, shock absorption, and a chunky heel — so you can say goodbye to foot pain once and for all.