fbpx

For most of us, walking is just part of life. But what happens when plantar fasciitis pain gets in the way of this everyday activity?

To help you solve that problem, here’s my list of the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis!

Plantar fasciitis (PF) is a very common problem I see in my patients. And I totally sympathize with them because I also suffer from foot pain. I’m on my feet all day at work so I know how important it can be to have a good pair of support shoes. When your plantar fascia ligament and achilles tendon flare-up, it can be painful just to walk.

Whether you’re a casual walker, a vocational walker, or an athletic walker, you’ll find recommendations for supportive plantar fasciitis shoes.

I hope this list will help you choose a pair of high quality and comfortable shoes so that you can live pain-free!

Best Women’s Walking Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Best Women’s Walking Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Here is my list of the best shoes for women. Many women have arch problems from wearing improper footwear, so make sure to find a pair of walking shoes with excellent arch support. You probably also want a pair that looks decent for wearing out.

And now here are my top picks for women’s plantar fasciitis walking shoes.

Orthaheel Women’s Action Walker Shoes

This walking shoe comes highly recommended. It might not be the most attractive shoe, but many wearers appreciate its supportive design.

Vionic Womens, Walker Classic Sneaker White Blue 8.5 D
10 Reviews
Vionic Womens, Walker Classic Sneaker White Blue 8.5 D

Key Features

  • Lightweight leather upper with durable rubber sole
  • Removable EVA footbed for maximum comfort and convenience
  • Half-inch elevation for smoother heel-to-toe strike
  • Active Motion System technology that makes use of podiatrist-designed orthotic

What People Love

  • Sole nice and firm for PF pain, but this can be a negative as well
  • Comfortable for all-day wear
  • Work well with custom orthotics
  • Wide toe box for added comfort

What People Hate

  • Clunky appearance
  • They run small
  • Weight can be hard to get used to
  • Arch support doesn’t always hit in the right place
  • Design causes discomfort on top of foot for some wearers
  • Very rigid

Recommended For

  • All-day wear
  • Wide or flat feet

Not Recommended For

  • Athletic use
  • High arches

New Balance Women’s WW928 Hook-and-Loop

A popular choice for many walkers, these good-looking shoes have a Velcro fastening that makes them easy to put on and take off. However, they’re a bit on the pricier side.

Key Features

  • Leather upper with synthetic rubber sole
  • Dual-density collar with foam padding
  • Motion control and ROLLBAR technologies for added stability
  • ABZORB cushioning system for comfort and shock absorption
  • Odor-resistant interior

What People Love

  • Roomy toe box
  • Removable insoles
  • Velcro makes them easy to get on and take off
  • Good style, many colors
  • Great support for PF, arthritis, and other foot issues
  • Good support for high arches

What People Hate

  • Not waterproof and difficult to clean
  • Stiff uppers
  • Bulky weight and are hot
  • Not enough cushioning in the sole for some people
  • Sizing tricky–some people found stuff too narrow or too small

Recommended For

  • Wide feet
  • High arches

Not Recommended For

  • Use in wet weather
  • Use in hot weather

New Balance Women’s WX608v4 Comfort Pack Training Shoe

These walking shoes are a very popular choice with good arch support and padding. They come in a large range of colors.

New Balance Women's WX608v4 Comfort Pack Training Shoe
4,633 Reviews
New Balance Women's WX608v4 Comfort Pack Training Shoe

Key Features

  • Leather upper with rubber sole
  • The shaft is low-top from arch
  • 1.75-inch heel
  • IMEVA midsole
  • Dual-density collar for additional cushioning
  • Firmer density foam for added support

What People Love

  • Excellent arch support and padding
  • The wide sizes are great for additional toe room
  • Fit as expected
  • Colors mean that you can find a pair for work

What People Hate

  • The ankle support digs in and irritates some
  • The toe box is too narrow for some
  • They cause blisters in some wearers
  • They squeak on hard floors
  • Too hard/inflexible and heavy for some wearers

Recommended For

  • Large feet
  • Wide feet
  • Flat feet

Not Recommended For

  • Wear in quiet environments
  • Sensitive feet

Orthofeet Verve Orthopedic Diabetic Athletic Shoes for Women

These relatively sleek and lightweight walking shoes come in two colors. They are on the higher end of the price range, but a great orthodic shoe.

Orthofeet Proven Plantar Fasciitis and Foot Relief. Extended Widths. Bunions Orthopedic Walking Shoes Diabetic Arch Support Women's Sneakers, Verve
526 Reviews
Orthofeet Proven Plantar Fasciitis and Foot Relief. Extended Widths. Bunions Orthopedic Walking Shoes Diabetic Arch Support Women's Sneakers, Verve

Key Features

  • Premium orthotic insole with arch support and contouring heel pad
  • Ortho-Cushion air-cushioned sole makes for a lighter, easier step
  • Extra Depth Design with wide toe box to eliminate toe pain
  • Seam-free interior lining designed for those with sensitive feet

What People Love

  • Wide design great for wide feet
  • Some people find they don’t need to use custom orthotics with these
  • Good arch support
  • Very comfortable to walk in
  • Fit can be adjusted with Velcro straps
  • Lightweight, much lighter than other walking shoes

What People Hate

  • Sizing is tricky–most people had to order at least one size up
  • Some quality issues with the shoes wearing out too quickly
  • The tapered toe box was too narrow for some
  • Too hard and inflexible for some wearers

Recommended For

  • Wide feet
  • High arches

Not Recommended For

  • People who require a wider toe box
  • People with diabetes or circulation issues

Saucony Women’s Grid Omni Walker

This white/silver walking shoe features a spacious toe box and versatile arch support. It’s a very popular choice among walkers.

Saucony Women's Grid Omni Walker Sneaker
1,666 Reviews
Saucony Women's Grid Omni Walker Sneaker

Key Features

  • Leather upper with rubber sole
  • Lace-up vamp and mesh tongue
  • Bio-mechanically engineered sole for a better fit
  • Walk Trac outsole for smooth heel-to-toe transition
  • A visible rearfoot grid system for stability

What People Love

  • Roomy toe box
  • They don’t take very long to break in
  • Very comfortable for a variety of conditions and complaints, including PF
  • Long-lasting wear for many people
  • Good support for both high arches and flat feet

What People Hate

  • Toe box too wide for some, causing slippage and discomfort
  • The manufacturer’s insert isn’t supportive enough, so some people use their own
  • They squeak against the floor
  • They are hot on the feet
  • Bulky and not very stylish looking

Recommended For

  • Flat feet
  • High arches
  • All-day/workwear

Not Recommended For

  • Use in quiet environments
  • Summer wear

Best Men’s Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Best Men’s Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

And here’s my list of the best walking shoes for men. It’s important that most men find a pair of shoes with good cushioning. This is especially true if you’re on the heavier side. You want to find a shoe that fully supports your foot and is comfortable to walk in.

Orthofeet Orthopedic Diabetic Mens Sneakers

These popular shoes are on the pricier side, but many people feel they’re worth it. They feature really nice cushioning and the Velcro allows for an adjustable fit.

Orthofeet Proven Plantar Fasciitis and Foot Pain Relief. Arthritis Diabetic Shoes. Extended Widths. Best Orthopedic Men’s Sneakers Sprint
902 Reviews
Orthofeet Proven Plantar Fasciitis and Foot Pain Relief. Arthritis Diabetic Shoes. Extended Widths. Best Orthopedic Men’s Sneakers Sprint

Key Features

  • Insole with anatomical arch support and a supportive heel pad to help with pain relief
  • Ortho-Cushion System to reduce joint pain and facilitate foot motion
  • Extra Depth Design to help with bunions and hammer toes
  • Seam-free lining to help soothe sensitive feet

What People Love

  • Well-padded and lightweight for ease and comfort
  • Come with extra lifts if you require additional arch support
  • Comfortable and durable, good support for those who are overweight
  • Can adjust fit with Velcro, also easier than laces
  • Good ankle support

What People Hate

  • Sizing can be tricky
  • Many people didn’t like the appearance
  • Quality issues for some as the Velcro or laces broke
  • Caused blisters and irritation for some

Recommended For

  • High arches
  • Flat feet
  • Diabetics

Not Recommended For

  • Workwear
  • Wide feet

Vionic Men’s Contest Active Lace-Up Shoe

This mid-priced shoe is available in four colors. It’s lightweight and might be a good choice for wear in warmer climates or during summertime.

Vionic Men's Contest Active Lace Up Shoe
281 Reviews
Vionic Men's Contest Active Lace Up Shoe

Key Features

  • Synthetic upper with rubber sole
  • Removable EVA insole

What People Love

  • Comfortable and lightweight
  • Special heel support is a nice feature
  • Keep your feet nice and cool
  • Fashionable, athletic appearance

What People Hate

  • Arch support not enough for some people/too much for others
  • Durability issues–don’t last long enough
  • Not a good fit for people with narrower feet
  • Some people had problems with pain/not enough support in the ball of their feet

Recommended For

  • Flat feet
  • Wide feet

Not Recommended For

  • Use in cold weather
  • Power walking

Orthofeet Orthopedic Diabetic Pacific Palisades

*These shoes are also available with a Velcro fastening here
These casual walking shoes are on the pricier side, but they’re a very well-regarded choice for PF pain. They’re available in both lace-up and velcro options.

Orthofeet Proven Foot Heel and Foot Pain Relief. Extended Widths. Best Orthopedic Athletic Shoes Diabetic Men's Sneakers Pacific Palisades Black
208 Reviews
Orthofeet Proven Foot Heel and Foot Pain Relief. Extended Widths. Best Orthopedic Athletic Shoes Diabetic Men's Sneakers Pacific Palisades Black

Key Features

  • Made from leather and synthetic materials
  • An orthotic insole that conforms to the feet to enhance comfort
  • Ortho-Cushion sole for a springier step
  • Non-binding design and wide toe box for toe comfort

What People Love

  • Comes with two thicknesses of soft spacers to adjust fit in the insole
  • Spacious toe box
  • Sturdy yet comfortable
  • Insoles can be removed, and custom orthotics fit well inside
  • Really good cushioning

What People Hate

  • Required some time to break in for some wearers
  • Can be heavy for walking shoes
  • Arch too high for some with flat feet
  • Shoelaces come untied easily (try the Velcro version!)

Recommended For

  • People with arthritis
  • Hammertoes and other toe issues

Not Recommended For

  • Flat feet
  • Athletic walking

Saucony Men’s Grid Omni Walking Shoe

This basic, mid-priced walking shoe comes in black and white models. They’re popular with people who have arch issues. They might be a good choice for cold weather.

Saucony Men's Grid Omni Walker Running Shoe
964 Reviews
Saucony Men's Grid Omni Walker Running Shoe

Key Features

  • Made from leather and synthetic materials with a rubber sole
  • Low-top from arch
  • EVA midsole to slow the rate of pronation
  • Asymmetrical outsole for a smoother step

What People Love

  • Good arch support
  • Comfortable for long walks
  • Good cushioning
  • Hold up well in wet environments
  • Minimal foot shift if you get the sizing correct

What People Hate

  • The toe box is a bit narrow for some people
  • The shoes squeak on tile floors
  • Too narrow for some people
  • Clunky design with an inflexible sole
  • Durability issues with the sole coming loose for some people

Recommended For

  • Fallen arches or other arch issues
  • Winter wear

Not Recommended For

  • Wear in warm climates
  • Wide feet
  • Toe issues

New Balance Men’s MW928 Walking Shoe

These athletic shoes are an extremely popular choice among walkers. They definitely look like a “comfort shoe,” but they’re moderately priced and represent good value for money.

New Balance Men's MW928 Walking Shoe
1,960 Reviews
New Balance Men's MW928 Walking Shoe

Key Features

  • Leather upper with rubber sole
  • Lace-up vamp and cushioned collar
  • ROLLBAR technology for added stability
  • ABZORB cushioning system for comfort and support
  • Odor-resistant Phantom Liner
  • Walking Strike Path outsole

What People Love

  • Cushioning is good for those with knee problems
  • Support for the entire foot
  • No break-in period necessary for many wearers
  • Really roomy, great for people with wide feet
  • The cushioning lifts your heel which moves your step farther back onto the balls of your feet, which is good for heel pain

What People Hate

  • Not very stylish or good-looking
  • Durability issues with the stitching coming loose for some people
  • They don’t provide good grip for ice and snow and wet
  • The insides of the shoe irritated some wearers’ feet
  • They squeak on hard floors

Recommended For

  • Wide feet
  • People with knee issues

Not Recommended For

  • Sensitive feet
  • Narrow feet

How To Choose The Right Walking Shoes

When you have plantar fasciitis, this means that your plantar fascia, the tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, has become inflamed. There are tons of ways to target and reduce the resulting pain. For instance, you might try some simple home remedies like icing or self-massage.

I always tell my patients to avoid going barefoot at all costs. When you’re fighting plantar fasciitis, you should be wearing shoes any time you’re walking around, even inside. You could invest in a good pair of flip flops to wear around the house.

When you’re doing a lot of walking, it’s vital to wear a supportive pair of shoes.

What to Look for in a Pair of Walking Shoes

So how do you choose the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis?

People with plantar fasciitis need to be picky about shoes. A good pair of support shoes should provide a deep heel cup, arch support, and a comfortable overall feel. A good rule of thumb is: the best athletic shoes for plantar fasciitis are usually the most comfortable ones.

Traits of Good Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

The most important things to look for when searching for a pair of plantar fasciitis shoes for walking are:

Flexibility

When you are suffering from PF pain, you want support and comfort. There is a fine balance here. You want to look for a shoe that has some give. However, if the shoe is too flimsy, it probably won’t give you the support you need.

Fit

Shoe fit is more than just a numerical size. You should consider whether you have narrow or wide feet. Maybe you need a roomier toe box. Would you prefer shoes that fit snugly or loosely? And don’t forget to leave space for the socks and inserts you might want to wear in the shoe.

Arch Support

Always look for shoes that support your arches. If you have high arches, you might require more support than someone with low or neutral arches. Whatever your arch type, the support should gently cradle the entire arch. Check out the product reviews to see whether or not a specific shoe worked well for people with similar arch types.

Heel Cupping

The heel cup of a walking shoe should hold your heel snugly in place. This helps prevent the problems associated with supination and overpronation.

Cushioning

It’s important to find a shoe that is comfortable to walk in, and that will absorb shock with each step you take. Walking shoes tend to have less cushioning in the heel and more in the ball of the foot.

Other Considerations

A few more questions to ask yourself when looking for the best tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis:

  • Will you be wearing the shoes in a cold or hot climate? This will affect what type of shoe you wear.
  • Are these shoes for fitness walking or vocational walking?
  • Do you require a shoe that can hold up in wet or slippery weather?

Popular Walking Shoe Brands

  • Orthaheel
  • Orthofeet
  • Saucony
  • Vionic
  • New Balance
  • Brooks
  • Asics

Common Questions About Walking Shoes

 

Is it OK to go walking with plantar fasciitis?

Yes, walking can be a great way to stay active while dealing with PF! But it’s imperative that you have the right shoes! Invest in a comfortable pair, use orthotics if you require extra support, and replace your shoes regularly. Remember, worn-out shoes contribute to PF pain.

You should make sure to stretch properly before and after walking. When you’re healing from PF, you might not be able to walk as far or as fast as you did before, but give it time. Soon you’ll be back on track!

Can I walk on the treadmill with plantar fasciitis?

Slow, easy walking on a treadmill is ok. When you’re on a treadmill, you’re doing more steps in a much shorter period of time. This can exacerbate overuse injuries. Many people also use the incline function, which makes things even worse!

Walking outdoors on softer surfaces, with good shoes is best. Alternatively, if you would rather hit the gym, you can try using an elliptical or an exercise bike instead. When you use these machines, your foot doesn’t go through the entire range of motion like it does when you’re running. This places less pressure on your foot and can mean less pain.

Can you wear running shoes for walking?

It depends on how you’re wearing the shoes. If you’re doing brisk walking for fitness, you might be able to get away with a pair of running shoes. However, if you’re looking for something for casual or workplace walking, you’ll probably be better off with a model made especially for walking.

What is the difference between walking and running shoes?

Walking shoes tend to have more cushioning and are better for standing. They’re often less flexible than running shoes and often a bit heavier. If you’re doing brisk/fitness walking, you don’t need quite as much cushioning because walking is a lower impact activity than running is.

If you need running shoe recommendations, check out my list of the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis.

How long do walking shoes last?

It depends on how much you’re using them. A good rule of thumb is to replace your shoes every three to six months or every 500 miles. This might seem like a lot of shoe-buying, but it’s better to spend the money than deal with the pain later!

Conclusion

I hope that answers all your questions about walking shoes for plantar fasciitis.

For women’s shoes, my top choice is the Orthofeet Most Comfortable Plantar Fasciitis Verve Orthopedic Diabetic Athletic Shoes for Women. They aren’t the prettiest shoe on the list, but they definitely helped a lot of people overcome PF pain.

And for men’s walking shoes, I’d go with a pair made by Orthofeet, the Orthofeet Proven Pain Relief Plantar Fasciitis Spring Comfortable Orthopedic Diabetic Mens Sneakers. Again, not the best looking shoe, but they’re supportive and come very highly recommended by many wearers.

If you want more shoe recommendations, take a look at my list of the best overall shoes for plantar fasciitis.

Whatever pair you decide on, I hope they help you in your quest to conquer PF pain!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

PROUDLY SERVING THE SPORTS MEDICINE COMMUNITY

Bjsm Logo
Mayo Clinic Logo Png Transparent
Amssm Logo Grey

Sporty Doctor provides advice to help weekend warriors and elite athletes alike stay active with non-surgical techniques and holistic treatment options. Sporty Doctor Is Founded By Dr. Kristina DeMatas, D.O.

© All rights reserved

Copyright © 2020 Sporty Doctor

Scroll to Top