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

From Brooks to New Balance, you won’t believe how good your feet feel in these podiatrist-guided picks for the best shoes for plantar fasciitis.
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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

Extra gel cushioning in the heel reduces shock absorption to make this style a top pick for plantar fasciitis sufferers.

The entire midsole is crafted with the brand's lightweight foam cushioning for unbeatable comfort mile after mile. 

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.  

The brand's signature wave-shaped plate allows a smoother toe-to-heel transition for an easy ride.  

A stabilizing guidance frame and sturdy construction provide maximum support, while also preventing feet from rolling inwards.

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.  

The shoe's wide toe box won't cramp your toes and disrupt the foot's natural alignment like many narrower designs. 

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.

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.

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Best Overall Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis: Asics Gel-Nimbus 23

Buy It, from $118

This high-tech design maxes out on cushioning with both foam and gel cushioning dispersed throughout the sole. Bouncy, lightweight foam in the midsole helps propel you forward with every step, while extra gel in the heel maximizes shock absorption. The combo makes the model great for road runners or anyone needing a comfy pick for longer hours on their feet. Despite packing the cushioning, you'll still get decent support thanks to a built-in Trusstic system along the sole that keeps your foot stabilized and in a neutral position. (FYI, the latest Gel-Nimbus model launches in December 2021 and may be worth pre-ordering if you want an even lighter shoe than the 23, which weighs just over 9 ounces.)

What Reviewers Are Saying: "I am a nurse that is on her feet for long hours and in the past 4-5 months has developed plantar fasciitis. My feet scream at me and my beloved brand of nursing shoes I have worn for 14 years are now a thing of the past. I had to find something else and after a google search recommending these, I had to try them. The cushion is outstanding. I can easily go 12 hours on my feet."

Best Cushioning: New Balance Women's 1080v11 Fresh Foam Running Shoe

Buy It, from $125

Expect unparalleled comfort from the latest model in New Balance's ultra plush FreshFoam lineup. A full-length foam midsole cushions your entire foot without adding excess weight or reducing the shoe's flexibility. The attention to comfort continues with breathable, stretchy knit upper that hugs the shoe to the foot without trapping heat.  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.

What Reviewers Are Saying: "I've struggled with plantar fasciitis for years. These are more comfortable than my custom made orthotics. My daughter is a nurse and she recommended them as all the ER nurses wear them. You won't be sorry."

Best Support: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

Buy It, from $115

While a new Adrenaline model launched earlier this month, this older version still reigns supreme with more than 10,000 five-star ratings on Amazon. It does the impossible by combining cushioning with unbeatable support. The secret to its success is the GuideRails support system, which prevents excessive movement without taking away from the responsiveness of the shoe. You'll also find unbeatable arch support — with a 12-millimeter midsole drop between your heel and foot — and built-in pronation control to prevent injury from overpronation (aka when your foot rolls inwards).

What Reviewers Are Saying: "I've struggled with plantar fasciitis for years. These are more comfortable than my custom made orthotics. My daughter is a nurse and she recommended them as all the ER nurses wear them. You won't be sorry."

Best for a Smooth Run: Mizuno Wave Inspire 17

Buy It, from $73

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. Plus, the latest model of the Wave Inspire fixed previous issues with sizing, according to a reviewer who reported they were actually true to size.

What Reviewers Are Saying: "The foot box isn't as roomy as the older versions, like 14, but these are still comfortable. The line[s] really keeps my knees and plantar fasciitis from hurting during short runs and long walks. These are my everyday shoes."

Best for Overpronation: Saucony Guide 14

Buy It, from $92

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. Their stabilizing design combines a secure upper with an underfoot guidance frame that prevents the shoe from twisting when you step. Of course, they still have plenty of comfy cushioning and offer enhanced energy return.

What Reviewers Are Saying: "Fit is absolutely perfect. True to size. I'm looking for a sneaker that looks unique but functions well for plantar fasciitis. I put Superfeet green (for high arch) in shoes. So far so good. Very encouraging. I'll order another pair."

Best for Supination: Hoka One One Bondi 7

Buy It, $160

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 4-millimeter drop between the heel and toe. (Related: 10 Trail Running Shoes to Help You Break Away from the Pavement)

What Reviewers Are Saying: "I am a nurse and used to wear Danskos — that is until plantar fasciitis set in. My friend recommended these, and I could tell [a] difference almost immediately. Not only is my plantar fascia healing, but my knees are happier, too."

Best Running Shoes for Plantar
Credit: Zappos

Best for Wide Feet: Altra Women's Torin 5 Luxe

Buy It, $155

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. Just be sure to order the Luxe model: It fixes the issues with the painful tongue seen in the regular 5 version. (Related: How to Find the Best Workout Shoes for Flat Feet)

What Reviewers Are Saying: "These shoes have helped my plantar fasciitis, and with the wide toe box, a corn on my little toe has started to heal. Not to mention that my knees and hips feel better! I feel like, where have these been all my life?"

On Cloud 2-0
Credit: Zappos

Best for Road Running: On Cloud 2.0

Buy It, $130

Prepare to feel like you're walking on clouds in these ultra-lightweight sneaks thanks to foam cushions on the outsole making every step feel like a zero-gravity landing. Their dual-density insole offers the perfect combination of stability and support by staying dense at the arches and getting softer in the heel and toe. 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.

What Reviewers Are Saying: "I bought these shoes when I was dealing with plantar fasciitis and have been buying them ever since. They are not called 'cloud' for nothing!"

Best for Trail Runners: Salomon Women's XR Mission 3

Buy It, from $87

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. 

What Reviewers Are Saying: "I tried these on a whim, and they are the most comfortable shoes I have worn! They have the perfect amount of arch support, the heel is elevated (so it helps with my plantar fasciitis), has plenty of heel stability, and there is plenty of room for my toes! I also really like the colors and the quick lace system. I will be purchasing more… These shoes are a lifesaver."