Best Shoes For Heel Spurs And Plantar Fasciitis

A heel spur is a bone spur that forms on the underside of your foot, usually at the back of your heel. The pain associated with this can be debilitating, especially for people who are active and on their feet. In fact, according to some estimates, about half of all Americans will experience a heel spur at some point in their lives.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to treat this condition and get back to your daily activities. We’ve put together a collection of our best shoes for heel spurs and plantar fasciitis so you can find something that feels good and gets you moving again.

Best Shoes For Heel Spurs And Plantar Fasciitis

The Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Shoes for planar fasciitis

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A quick look at the best shoes for plantar fasciitis

  • Best lightweight shoes for plantar fasciitis: Asics Gel Nimbus
  • Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080
  • Best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis: Hoka One Bondi 7
  • Best affordable walking shoes for plantar fasciitis: Saucony Omni Walker 3
  • Best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis: Keen Targhee
  • Best lounging shoes for arch support: Kocota Recovery Slide Sandals
  • Best sandals for plantar fasciitis: NAOT Krista

If you’ve ever experienced a persistent stabbing pain on your heel — especially when you get out of bed in the morning — then you know all about plantar fasciitis.

This common orthopedic complaint can cause nagging discomfort that makes walking almost unbearable. While many runners battle this condition while exercising, it can also affect your daily life.

The good news? There are several ways to manage plantar fasciitis, including choosing and wearing the proper footwear for work, exercise, and leisure.

We reached out to several experts to get their input on the best shoes for plantar fasciitis. We’ve also chosen seven shoes you may want to consider. Read on to learn more.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that affects the bottom of the foot, specifically the bottom of the heel. When the ligament that runs along the length of the bottom of the foot — called the plantar fascia — becomes irritated, it can cause pain.

You’re more likely to experience plantar fasciitis if you:

  • have tight calf muscles
  • have high arches
  • participate in high impact activities like running
  • recently started a new activity or ramped up your training

In most cases, treatment for plantar fasciitis involves taking a break from activities that make the pain worse.

Other treatment options may include:

  • icing the area to relieve inflammation
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • exercises and stretches to improve flexibility

If you’re having severe pain that doesn’t let up with rest, consider seeing a doctor who may recommend:

  • cortisone injections
  • custom orthotics
  • other medical treatments

Wearing a good, supportive pair of shoes that’s appropriate for your gait and foot anatomy is also key to preventing stress injuries like plantar fasciitis.

How we chose the best shoes for plantar fasciitis

Many experts, such as podiatrists and physical therapists, are hesitant to recommend a specific shoe for plantar fasciitis. That’s because each person needs to be evaluated to figure out what’s best for their particular feet.

“Oftentimes, people will go to a shoe store and be ‘fit’ for a certain shoe based on criteria which the sales associate determines to be important without factoring in the most crucial characteristic: comfort,” says Cody Meashaw, PT, DPT.

Unfortunately, shoes that are not comfortable due to over or under cushioning, size, or construction may result in an altered gait pattern and thus may lead to further discomfort.

However, experts do say some brands have a better selection if you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis. Below are recommendations for running, walking, and hiking shoes, along with suggestions for sandals.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $110
  • $$ = $110–$150
  • $$$ = over $150

Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis

Asics Gel Nimbus

Asics Gel Nimbus
  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: lightweight, made to provide arch and heel support
  • Cons: some reviewers say the standard width sizes have a narrow toe box
  • Available sizes: men’s and women’s
  • Available widths: standard and wide

When it comes to hitting the road for a run, the Asics Gel Nimbus may be worth your consideration. Designed with a stiff outer design, the Gel Nimbus has a cushioned heel and was created to offer runners a stable, yet comfortable ride.

While most wearers like the durable design and soft, supportive cushioning, some complain that the toe box is too narrow.

Best foam running shoes for plantar fasciitis

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080
  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: designed to provide good arch and heel support, made for longer runs, lots of width options
  • Cons: reviewers say they run small
  • Available sizes: men’s and women’s
  • Available widths: narrow, standard, wide, extra-wide

Another option is the New Balance 1080, which has a wide toe box and was designed with cushioning and shock absorption in mind.

Reviewers like the well-cushioned midsole and appreciate the surprisingly lightweight construction. The cushioning is a bit harder than some would like, but users say the design makes for a stable ride.

Best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis

Hoka OneBondi 7

Hoka One Bondi 7
  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: very well-cushioned
  • Cons: bulky
  • Available sizes: men’s and women’s
  • Available widths: standard, wide, extra-wide (men’s sizes only)

Although these are marketed as running shoes, the Hoka One Bondi 7 makes for a good walking shoe as well. This shoe features support, stability, and a wide footbed. It’s also been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association’s (APMA’s) Seal of Acceptance.

These ultra-cushioned shoes are great for people with wider feet and for those who need a bit of extra padding underfoot — including a very well-cushioned heel area. The downside is that you’ll have to deal with extra weight because of the added padding.

Best affordable walking shoes for plantar fasciitis

Saucony Omni Walker 3

Saucony Omni Walker 3
  • Price: $
  • Pros: designed to provide ample cushioning
  • Cons: limited color options, lack of breathability
  • Available sizes: men’s and women’s
  • Available widths: standard and wide

The Saucony Omni Walker 3 is a less expensive option for anyone looking for support and relief from plantar fasciitis. It also carries the APMA’s Seal of Acceptance.

While the shoes definitely have a clunky look, they offer plenty of arch support, heel stability, and cushioning, according to the company. The toe box was designed to offer room to breathe, but if that still feels too narrow, the shoe is also available in wide widths.

The downside? Some wearers complain that the shoe isn’t breathable enough, which can lead to blisters.

Best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis

Keen Targhee

Keen Targhee Hiking Boot
  • Price: $$
  • Pros: grippy outside
  • Cons: durability issues
  • Available sizes: men’s and women’s
  • Available widths: standard and wide

For hiking shoes, the Keen Targhee may be worth checking out. It comes in a variety of styles, including the Targhee II, III, and VENT. Designed to be waterproof, breathable, and durable, these hiking shoes should also be supportive enough for people with plantar fasciitis.

Reviewers love the grippy outsole and stable design, but some note that the outsole seems a little less durable than they expected.

Best lounging shoes for arch support

Kocota Recovery Slide

Kocota Recovery Slide
  • Price: $
  • Pros: designed to provide arch support
  • Cons: sizing is off, according to some reviewers
  • Available sizes: all genders
  • Available widths: standard

You don’t necessarily always want to lace-up to head outside. The Kocota Recovery Slide Sandals are a favorite among users, especially for walking around the backyard and dog runs.

Designed to offer a thick, comfy rubber sole, these sandals should offer cushioning whether you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis pain, or recovering from a tough workout. The arch cradle is actually specifically designed to offer support and help with plantar fasciitis.

Best sandals for plantar fasciitis

NAOT Krista

NAOT Krista sandal
  • Price: $$
  • Pros: stylish design
  • Cons: not for long-distance walking
  • Available sizes: women’s
  • Available widths: standard and narrow

The NAOT Krista was designed for wearing with stylish outfits. The sandal is dressy enough to wear to work, yet meant to be comfortable and supportive enough to take on vacation.

Although reviewers agree that the shoes are cute and offer a nice amount of arch support, some complain about durability issues.

What to look for in a shoe if you have plantar fasciitis

Whether your pain level is a 1 or a 10, the ultimate goal for your shoe is to provide support with comfort. Experts recommend that you look for these key features:

Arch and heel support

While cushioning can be great for comfort, Dr. Mohammad Rimawi, DPM, AACFAS, says support is key.

“It’s the arch and heel support, and not the cushioning provided by the footwear, that is crucial in the prevention of plantar fasciitis,” says Rimawi.

Extra rigidity in the sole and cushioning in the midfoot

When it comes to choosing shoes, Dr. Nelya Lobkova, DPM, says someone who has plantar fasciitis needs extra rigidity in the sole and cushioning of the midfoot to prevent impact on the heel, where there is pain associated with plantar fasciitis.

“A shoe that has a thick midsole or rocker bottom is an ideal shoe for someone with this condition,” she says.

Firm heel counter

Lobkova also recommends a firm heel counter, the back part of the heel surrounding the Achilles insertion.

“A firm heel counter minimizes abnormal stretching of the plantar fascia and diminishes pain and inflammation in the heel and arch of the foot, which are both associated with plantar fasciitis,” she says.

Soft impact with the ground

Moreover, Dr. Ricardo Cook, an orthopedic surgeon at The Centers for Advanced Orthopaedics, says in addition to comfort, patients with plantar fasciitis should look for a shoe that provides the least impact when the foot strikes a hard surface.

From there, he says the characteristics really depend on the specific person’s foot and what they are trying to control.

For example, if you have a higher arch, the joint is at an angle that restricts the range of motion, so Cook says rigid arch support would cause further restriction.

On the other hand, he explains that people with flat feet and plantar fasciitis should look for shoes with adequate arch support.

What to avoid in a shoe if you have plantar fasciitis

As far as what you should avoid, Lobkova says the most important shoe to avoid is a minimalist shoe, such as the Vibram FiveFingers.

“There is minimal stability in the sole, no cushioning under the heel, and maximum stress on the heel bone,” she says. All of these factors could exacerbate preexisting plantar fasciitis.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that minimalist shoes may work for some people. Work with your doctor to figure out the best style of shoe for your feet.

No matter the type, any shoe that causes uncomfortable pressure points or makes your feet hurt should be swapped for something more comfortable.

Shoes to avoid with plantar fasciitis

  • flip-flops
  • flats
  • high heels
  • worn-out shoes that no longer offer good support

When should you see a doctor about plantar fasciitis?

Your foot contains many bones, tendons, and ligaments aside from the plantar fascia that may become damaged from repetitive stress.

If rest, ice, and other home treatments don’t seem to help and you’re still experiencing pain weeks after the initial flare-up, consider talking with a doctor about your symptoms.

They can suggest other treatments and determine whether something else may be causing your pain.

Should you use orthotics in your shoes?

Orthotics are shoe inserts you put in your shoes to help manage specific conditions, such as:

  • heel pain
  • general foot discomfort
  • arch pain
  • plantar fasciitis

Depending on the severity of your pain, you can buy custom orthotics that are made specifically for you. But, they tend to be costly. Off-the-shelf brands are a more affordable option, but they’re not custom-made for your feet.

According to Lobkova, custom orthotics are made to keep the foot in an optimal position while walking to eliminate the mechanical forces that cause plantar fasciitis. Over-the-counter orthotics typically provide temporary relief for plantar fascia in the form of cushioning under the heel.

Orthotics are of great use when it comes to decreasing the tension and stress on the plantar fascia, says Rimawi. Plus, they can reaffirm any arch support that your shoe may lack. They also have a deep heel cup, which Rimawi says can help absorb shock with each step.

The 7 Best Shoes for Heel Spurs

a collage of some of the best shoes for heel spurs on a purple background

The best shoes for heel spurs have a rigid sole and an elevated heel.

In addition to plantar fasciitis and bunions, heel spurs — blood calcifications at the bottom of the heel — are another common foot ailment.

“The cause is chronic and repetitive micro-tearing of the plantar fascia or Achilles tendon,” says Nelya Lobkova, DPM, podiatrist and owner of Step Up Footcare in New York City. “Over time, the body deposits calcium where the tearing occurs as a reaction to the tearing.”

If left untreated, these spurs can lead to heel pain and inflammation. Luckily, the right pair of shoes can help you manage your symptoms.

The Best Shoes for Heel Spurs

  • Best for Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis:​ HOKA Bondi 8 ($165, Hoka.com)
  • Best for Heel Spurs and Achilles Tendonitis:​ On Cloudstratus ($169.99, On-Running.com)
  • Best for Walking:​ New Balance 990 v5 ($184.95, Nordstrom.com)
  • Best for Running:​ Brooks Dyad 11/ Levitate GTS ($129.95, Zappos.com)
  • Best Work Shoes:​ Oofos Low Shoes (From $133, Amazon)
  • Best Sandals:​ Birkenstock Milano Soft Footbed ($120, Zappos.com)
  • Best Insoles/Inserts:​ Green Superfeet (From $44.69, Amazon)

How We Chose

To put together this list of the best shoes for heel spurs, we tapped two podiatrists for their recommendations. In addition to their input, we narrowed down selections based on the following criteria:

  • Fit
  • Midsole
  • Stability
  • Cushioning

Why Are Certain Shoes Marketed to Men or Women?

We’ve included both men’s and women’s shoes on this list, as brands typically market their products based on gender. Anatomically speaking, though, men’s and women’s feet are similar. The key distinction between the two is a slight inward curve in a woman’s foot compared to a man’s foot. Because of this difference, shoes marketed to women have a slight inward curvature. However, “in reality, the differences are very small and almost negligible,” Dr. Lobkova says.

1. Best for Heel Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis: HOKA Bondi 7

HOKA Bondi 7, one of the best shoes for heel spurs

Image Credit: HOKA

It’s no surprise that Dr. Lobkova recommends the Bondi 7. They are extremely comfortable to wear and provide “great cushioning for concrete streets” or hard surfaces, she says.

Made of a cushioned midsole, the Bondi 7 absorbs shock to reduce heel spur pain and the outer layer is designed with a breathable mesh.

Additionally, each shoe has a memory foam collar to reduce heel friction and is designed to accommodate people with narrower heels.

2. Best for Heel Spurs and Achilles Tendonitis: On Cloudstratus

On Cloudstratus, one of the best shoes for heel spurs

Image Credit: On Running

Achilles tendonitis is caused by repetitive or intense strain on your Achilles tendon while walking, running or jumping. Having a cushioned and supportive shoe can relieve some of the pressure.

Made from the brand’s signature cloud technology, the On Cloudstratus work to absorb the shock during short and long-distance runs, and the shoe’s additional height relieves heel tension.

It’s also a “wide, supportive shoe made for everyday walking,” Dr. Lobkova says.

3. Best for Walking: New Balance 990 v5

Image Credit: Nordstrom

Having a good pair of walking shoes can help to eliminate heel spur pain, and this New Balance pair checks all the boxes.

This hybrid lifestyle and running shoe is recommended by Dr. Lobkova for its engineered sole, which supports the foot’s natural alignment and provides “mild arch support.”

If the sole doesn’t impress, don’t fret. You can remove the insoles for custom orthotics.

The shoe does come with a heftier price tag, but it’s reinforced with a durable rubber to withstand areas of wear and tear, making it worth the investment.

4. Best for Running: Brooks Dyad 11/ Levitate GTS

Brooks Dyad 11/ Levitate GTS, one of the best shoes for heel spurs

Image Credit: Zappos

Made with a foam insole and high cushioning, Brooks Dyad 11 offers heel support that allow you to go the distance. The soles have a gender-friendly cushioning design, which supports the natural running mechanics of your feet, and the heel crash pad absorbs shock upon impact.

Additional stability is offered in the firm plastic surrounding the midsole, Dr. Lobkova says.

The shoe is breathable, thanks to its fabric lining, and it received the seal of approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association for promoting good foot health.

(Psst: Check out our full guide to the best running shoes for every foot shape, running style and stability need.)

5. Best Work Shoes: Oofos Oomg Low Shoes

Oofos Low Shoes, one of the best shoes for heel spurs

If you’re on your feet all day, Dr. Lobkova recommends Oofos Low Shoes. They’re designed to cradle the footbed and prevent your ankles from being overworked.

The brand touts its highly absorbent foam insole, which absorbs 37 percent more impact than other foams and reduces pressure on your feet, joints and back.

Made of a breathable fabric, the outer layer allows airflow to prevent your feet from overheating.

6. Best Sandals: Birkenstock Milano Soft Footbed

Birkenstock Milano Soft Footbed, one of the best shoes for heel spurs

The Birkenstock Milano cradles all feet types with its contoured footbed, which molds to the shape of your foot with each wear.

The straps are made of acrylic and polyamide felt fibers to prevent irritation and skin friction. The sandal also comes in a style with a backstrap, but Dr. Lobkova recommends avoiding that pair if you’re experiencing posterior spurs.

Bonus: It comes in regular and wide widths to accommodate different foot sizes.

7. Best Insoles/Inserts: Green Superfeet

Green Superfeet, one of the best shoes for heel spurs

Shoe inserts are a great way to add more support to you shoe, and this one “adds a specified foam disk and heel spur pad in the area of the heel spur,” Dr. Lobkova explains.

Made of high-density foam, these insoles support and stabilize the rear foot. To use, simply trim the excess to fit into your shoe.

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