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

If you suffer from the overuse injury, these shoes can help you find your stride — pain-free.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Shape / Marcus Millan

While some discomfort can be expected after running (it is a high-impact sport, after all), excruciating pain along your arches and heels should never be ignored. In fact, these symptoms could indicate an overuse injury known as 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 Hillary Brenner, D.P.M., a New York-based podiatrist. "The thick band is known as the plantar fascia, and when it becomes inflamed it's called plantar fasciitis." FYI, symptoms of plantar fasciitis include localized pain at the bottom of the foot — most often in the heel, but also in the middle of the foot or the inner aspect of the heel, where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone.

Unfortunately, there's no one clear reason why someone might get plantar fasciitis, but there are certain risk factors for the injury. “These factors include particular foot structures (such as flat feet or high arched feet), gait abnormalities including overpronation and oversupination, decreased ankle dorsiflexion range of motion and tight Achilles tendons or tight calf muscles, running,” says Lauren Schnidman, D.P.T., owner of In Motion Physical Therapy in Chicago, Certified Running Gait Analyst and Certified Tennis Performance Specialist. “Indirectly, under-supportive or over-corrective shoes can contribute to over-pronation or over-supination, respectively.”

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. After talking with podiatrists to better understand the causes of plantar fasciitis, we researched the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis that will help you prevent the injury in the first place and address certain causes that might lead to its development.

Our Recommendations

Best Overall for Plantar Fasciitis: Hoka Bondi 8

Hoka Bondi 8


Why We Like It: The thick sole assists with shock absorption and reduces the load on your plantar fascia.

It’s Worth Noting: They’re not as responsive as other shoes.

We tested this shoe ourselves, and the Hoka Bondi 8 earned top marks for fit, comfort, and stability — all crucial to runners battling plantar fasciitis. “I love these shoes,” said Donna Freydkin, associate director of testing. “They fit perfectly. My toes can wiggle around easily. The heel is cupped perfectly without ever rubbing or being too stiff.” That’s thanks to the combo of extended heel width and rear “crash pad,” which supports a neutral, balanced ride.

Plus, between a full-length foam midsole and molded Ortholite footbed, your entire foot is cushioned to the max in these high-performance running shoes. These are an especially 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.

Our testers did notice that the shoe was less responsive than other running shoes we tested, and they felt a little heavy too.

Price at time of publish: $165

Sizes: 5 to 12 | Width options: B (Medium) and D (Wide) | Colors: 11 | Heel drop: 4 mm

Best Cushioning: New Balance Women's 1080v12 Fresh Foam

New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v12

New Balance

Why We Like It: The balance of cushion and responsiveness means you won’t sink into these shoes.

It’s Worth Noting: New Balance suggests ordering a half-size down.

These running shoes earned rave reviews from Holly Klamer, associate editor, who noted “I could wear them for hours.” 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 a breathable, stretchy knit upper that hugs the shoe to the foot without trapping heat. Besides comfort and support, you'll love that these running 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.

To avoid a too-big shoe (and the blisters that come with it), take note: New Balance suggests ordering a half-size down, which Klamer echoed. “I think it runs a little small — I usually wear size 10 in women’s shoes, and I wear a 9.5 women’s in this one.” That’s especially important to note, since it’s typically recommended to order running shoes in a larger size than your street shoes.

Price at time of publish: $160

Sizes: 5 to 13 | Width options: 2A (Narrow,) B (Medium), D (Wide), and EE (Extra Wide) | Colors: 18 | Heel drop: 8 mm

Best for Support: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Running Shoes


Why We Like It: It’s been granted an American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance.

It’s Worth Noting: The shoelaces are surprisingly short.

Brooks' signature shoe (which, BTW, is Jennifer Garner-approved) accomplishes 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).

A weird quirk of these shoes, however, is that the laces are incredibly short, which makes tying unnecessarily difficult. You might consider swapping in a new pair of laces.

Price at time of publish: $140

Sizes: 5 to 13 | Width options: 2A (Narrow,) B (Medium), D (Wide), and EE (Extra Wide) | Colors: 24 | Heel drop: 12 mm

Best for a Smooth Run: Mizuno Wave Inspire 18

Mizuno Wave Inspire 18


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

It’s Worth Noting: These shoes run narrow.

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. However, these shoes tend to run narrow, and Mizuno shoes in general reportedly run small.

Price at time of publish: Starting at $65

Sizes: 6 to 12 | Width options: B (Medium), D (Wide) | Colors: 5 | Heel drop: 12 mm

Best for Overpronation: Saucony Guide 16

Saucony Guide 16


Why We Like It: A stabilizing guidance frame and sturdy construction provide maximum support, while also preventing feet from rolling inwards.

It’s Worth Noting: It’s a little heavier than other shoes we tried.

Unsupportive shoes can not only cause plantar fasciitis, but they also invite a whole host of other foot problems, such as 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. Weight-wise, the shoe is a little heavier than others on this list, so if you prefer a lighter shoe, this may not be for you.

Price at time of publish: $140

Sizes: 5 to 12 | Width options: B (Medium), D (Wide) | Colors: 6 | Heel drop: 8 mm

Best for Supination: Asics Gel-Nimbus 25

Asics Gel-Nimbus 25


Why We Like It: The high-tech PureGEL technology maxes out on cushioning with both foam and gel cushioning dispersed throughout the sole.

It’s Worth Noting: They’re best used by runners with a neutral stride or under-pronation.

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 the extra 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. The soft knit fabric gently hugs your foot without stifling it, thanks to the advanced ventilation.

While it’s not necessarily a con, it is helpful to know that this shoe was design for neutral or underpronating (aka supinating) strides. If you overprontate, try the Saucony Guide 16 shoes for plantar fasciitis instead.

Price at time of publish: $160

Sizes: 5 to 11.5 | Width options: B (Medium) | Colors: 6 | Heel drop: 8 mm

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

Altra Women's Torin 5 Luxe


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

It’s Worth Noting: Make sure to order the Torin 5 Luxe; the regular Torin 5 has an uncomfortable tongue.

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 0 mm heel-to-toe drop encourages low-impact landings. (And in general, Altra offers shoes with a wider toe box, notes Dr. Schnidman.) While the 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.

Price at time of publish: $160

Sizes: 5 to 12 | Width options: B (Medium) | Colors: 2 | Heel drop: 0 mm

Best for Tight Calves: On Running Cloudflyer 4

On Running Cloudflyer 4

On Running

Why We Like It: The 11 mm drop offers a little more support for tight Achilles tendons or calves.

It’s Worth Noting: They’re pricier than other shoes for plantar fasciitis.

Power by Swiss engineering, the On Running Cloudflyer 4 shoes impressed us with their light weight (just over 9 ounces) and plush feel, thanks to dual density cushioning that literally feels like you’re running on clouds. A molded, socklike liner and external rear foot stability locks your foot in place, and the high-tech mesh is both breathable and durable.

“When my plantar fasciitis flares up, it's normally in the arch of my foot and heel, and it makes it difficult to walk with pressure on my heels,” explains Allison Widmer, associate director of partnerships. “These sneakers ease that tension. They are the most comfortable sneakers I have ever owned, supportive with a lot of cushioning but still very light which is important to me for long runs (or walks).”

But if you have tight calves, it’s not enough to just get the right shoes, warns Dr. Schnidman. Make sure you’re addressing the root cause of tight calves and incorporating stretches and strengthening work into your routine (with the help of a podiatrist or physical therapist). Then, once your calf tightness has improved, switch to a shoe with a lower drop. “Staying in a higher heel-toe drop shoe is similar to wearing high heel, which shortens the Achilles tendon and makes the calf muscles shorter as well (causing decreased calf flexibility) as well as places increased stress through the knees,” she explains.

Price at time of publish: $170

Sizes: 5 to 11 | Width options: B (Medium), D (Wide) | Colors: 4 | Heel drop: 11 mm

Best for Trail Runners: New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v2

New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v2


Why We Like It: The Vibram outsole gives you the secure grip you need to tackle trails with confidence.

It’s Worth Noting: The encasing around the laces rips easily.

Trail runners know how tricky it is to balance stability with support while handling tricky terrain. The New Balance Fresh Foam X More Trail v2 impressed us by balancing premium cushioning and ground feel. We also loved the rugged outsole, which enhances your grip and helps you avoid tripping over errant roots and rocks.

While the upper on this shoe is fairly durable (and well-ventilated), the shoelace keepers are prone to ripping out of their stitching, which is a huge bummer for a genre of shoes that needs to be able to hold up to anything.

Price at time of publish: Starting at $145

Sizes: 5.5 to 11 | Width options: B (Medium), D (Wide) | Colors: 2 | Heel drop: 4 mm

How We Selected

To find the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis, we started by interviewing Lauren Schnidman, D.P.T., a physical therapist based in Chicago who's also a Certified Running Gait Analyst and Certified Tennis Performance Specialist, and Hillary Brenner, D.P.M., a New York-based podiatrist. These experts informed how we chose the winning shoe for each category and provided helpful information on different causes of plantar fasciitis. We then chose our winners based on previous testing, features, cushioning, heel-to-toe drop, and more. We plan on updating this piece regularly to account for the latest testing done by our team, as well as new shoe models and updated expert insights.

What to Know About Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

First, it’s important to know that there’s no one “right” shoe for all runners with plantar fasciitis. “You have to know the WHY behind the plantar fasciitis in order to know what features to look for in a shoe,” emphasizes Dr. Schnidman. “Seek out a physical therapist can help identify that.”


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. If you have wide feet, look for shoe brands that offer size D or wider for women and size E or wider for men. 

Overpronation vs. Supination

Overpronation refers to the ankle rolling too far inward with each step, and it’s seen most often in people with flat feet. “If you’re not using an orthosis or insert, a stability shoe may be recommended to help stabilize the foot and support the arch better,” says Dr. Schnidman. Supination, on the other hand, is when the foot rolls to the outside edge during a step, and it’s most often seen in people with high, rigid arches. “A neutral shoe is typically recommended with decent cushioning to absorb shock and allow the foot to adapt to the ground as much as possible,” shares Dr. Schnidman.

Heel-to-toe Drop

The heel-to-toe drop is the height difference (usually in millimeters) between the heel and forefoot area of running shoes. There are four categories of drop: zero-drop (0 mm), low-drop (1 to 4 mm), mid-drop (5 to 8 mm), and high drop (8 mm and beyond). In general, a high heel drop is better for runners with tight calves, tight Achilles tendons, or that land on their heel first. Medium or low heel drops are better for runners who land on the mid- or forefront of the foot.

Support and Cushioning

When shopping for running shoes with plantar fasciitis, you’ll choose the stability and cushioning level that best fits your needs. Stability refers to the support in your running shoes and includes neutral running shoes (usually best for supination), stability running shoes (often recommended for overpronators), and motion-control running shoes (which offer the most stability). Cushioning refers to how thick the foam in the midsole of the shoe is. Options will include barefoot (not recommended for runners with plantar fasciitis), minimal, moderate, and maximum.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What is plantar fasciitis?

    Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury that’s often caused by the repetitive strain on the plantar fascia, which is the connective tissue that supports the foot's arch and absorbs shock.

  • What causes plantar fasciitis?

    There’s no one cause for plantar fasciitis, but risk factors include foot structure, gait abnormalities, decreased ankle dorsiflexion range of motion, and tight Achilles or calf muscles. Running in shoes that don’t fit your gait needs can also be a contributing factor.

  • How do you treat plantar fasciitis?

    After consulting with a podiatrist or physical therapist, most plantar fasciitis can be treated at home with rest, icing, stretches for plantar fasciitis, and strengthening exercises.

Why Trust Shape

Kristen Geil is a senior fitness editor at Shape who’s been a runner for over 10 years and has dealt with recurring bouts of plantar fasciitis herself. As a NASM-certified personal trainer and USA Track and Field Running Coach Level 1, she’s uniquely qualified to provide recommendations on the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis. She conducted primary research to choose the shoes featured in this article (including expert interviews), and she also reviewed previous running shoe tests conducted by Shape to offer specific recommendations and resources.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles