Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Published on April 17th, 2013 | by Kirsten Borrink


Stylish, Spunky Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis Happiness

Of all the itis-es in the foot malady category, plantar fasciitis has to be the most irritating, hard-to-treat, recurring pain in the…well, heel. Roll your foot over tennis balls in the morning, wear a straight-jacket contraption for your foot at night, but what about during the day when you must actually wear shoes? Here are eight comfortable options (most casual, some dressier) that will cradle the heel, support the arches and give your toes room to spread out. Notice all have a bit of a heel from 1″ to 2 1/2″ so your heel won’t be flat on the ground…ouch.

Dr. Weil Orthaheel

1. Dr. Weil for Orthaheel “Zeal”: Aggressive arch support with a deep heel cup in a sandal! Great for plantar fasciitis and may be a good bet for hallux rigidus as the sole is more rigid than flexible. Update July 2014: Orthaheel is now known as Vionic with Orthaheel technology. Their collection of supportive footwear continues to grow every season. Check out the new styles!

alegria pesca cactus

2. Alegria Pesca: This newer Alegria style features a mild rocker sole (1 1/4 heel height)  to reduce heel and forefoot pressure and a cork and memory foam footbed that conforms to your foot shape with wear. A good fit for medium to wide feet. 
Earthies bindi

3. Earthies Bindi: If you must wear a ballet-flat type shoe, this is it. The Bindi has a cupped heel and cushioned footbed with built-in arch support. The heel has a little lift at 1 1/4″ so really isn’t flat at all.

Chaco Coral Ana

4. Chaco has a reputation for alleviating PF pain and discomfort, but up until now there were outdoorsy sandals and a few chunky closed-toe options. Enter the Coral Ana , a more streamlined mary jane with the trademark LUVSEAT footbed created with the assistance of a certified pedorthist. Updated July 2014: The Chaco Coral Ana is discontinued. Try the Chaco Gala MJ or Greer for a similar look and feel. 

Sanita dawn

5. Sanita Dawn: New for Spring 2013, the Dawn comes from Sanita’s Daisy collection of sandals with soft, contoured footbeds with good arch support and lightweight rocker soles. 

Haflinger oyser

6. Haflinger Oyster: If you have a pair of Haflinger boiled wool clogs, you know how wonderfully supportive they are–a deep heel cup keeps the foot stable. Why not invest in a pair of summer sandals with the same footbed? 

Dansko Ainsley

7. Dansko Ainsley: Need to wear custom orthotics? Remove the contoured footbed in the Ainsley and you’re set. The Ainsley is good for those with high insteps too with its adjustable velcro closure. Note the customer reviews at Zappos; quite a few PF sufferers love this shoe for all-day comfort. 

Naot Future

8. Naot Future: I continue to be impressed by Naot’s ability to put out sometimes funky, sometimes beautiful yet always foot-friendly shoes and boots. With over 500 styles to choose from, Naot’s footbed will alleviate discomfort from PF, Morton’s Neuroma, bunions, arthritis. I chose to feature one of their dressier styles, the Future with a 1 1/2″ heel, adjustable velcro strap (buckle is purely decorative) and best fits a narrow to medium. Update: Quartz leather is available at Amazon.

How about you? Do you have a favorite shoe that alleviates your plantar fasciitis heel pain? Leave a comment below and let us know or join the Facebook discussion!

About the Author

Blogger, Wife, Mom, Dog-Lover, Coffee Drinker, Owl Watcher.

24 Responses to Stylish, Spunky Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis Happiness

  1. Margaret says:

    I am relatively new to your site, but follow you religiously now as I am a suffering of the dreaded Plantar Fasciitis. I had been poking around your blog, looking at last year’s suggestion, hoping you would soon be posting some suggestions for *this* season. Tada! You must be psychic! Thanks for the recommendations. I can’t wait to go shopping!

    • LPG says:

      get laser treatments. After physio for my hurting feet, a friend recommended laser treatment and an orthotic. Healed my fascitis in 6 treatments. It honestly was a miracle. Checked your local hospital wellness center or physiotherapy center. I swear by this !

  2. Charlene says:

    I wear Naot’s all summer long. they work wonders on my PF. I do miss a good flip flop though

  3. Louise says:

    Total Naot fan here. Over the last several years, I have replaced all my shoes with Naots and can finally get rid of my custom orthotics. Their shoes are just perfect for my poor PF feet.

    I now have Naot boots, booties, oxfords, sandals, ballet flats, and heels. Like Charlene, I miss having flip flops, but it’s worth it to have so much less heel pain!

  4. Diana says:

    Another fan of Naots here! For summer, I like the cork footbed ones the best since they don’t make your feet sweat.

    Question about the Sanitas: how do they compare to the very similar-looking Dansko Sausalito family sandals (like the Sissy, etc)? I’m hoping they’re a little lower volume since my low-volume feet can’t really fill out the Danskos!

  5. Kirsten@BarkingDogShoes says:

    Good question, Diana. Don’t they look so much like the Sissy from Dansko’s Sausalito a few seasons back? This is a new collection for them and they seem to be taking cues from Dansko–the sole is lightweight, footbed is cushioned and moisture-wicking; sounds like the Sausalito line to me! My friend just got a pair, and I’ll ask her how they fit. I would think the adjustable forefoot would help with low volume foot. I do know they run a tad small.

  6. Theresa says:

    I just bought this pair of Earthies. VERY comfortable with my PF and really cute!

  7. says:

    2 questions:
    1. Has anyone tried Ziera (formerly Kumfs) have heard they are great for PF but very difficult to find in the US.

    2. Do Naots ever come in wide and if so, where can I find them?

  8. Bridget says:

    I treated myself to a pair of the Alegria Pesca shoes, which I’d never heard of before. I LOVE them, thanks so much for writing about them.

  9. Christina says:

    I don’t have PF, but extreme pain in the ball of my foot. I’ve done Birkenstocks which are fair to good. Allegria is ok, even a newer pair of sketched with a “bible” sole that has some decent cushioning. I can only wear any of them for a day or two & then must switch. I dread getting out of bed. The balls of my feet are painful as soon as I step on them. I also have high arches & a somewhat narrow foot. Any shoe suggestions. Some days my calves & feet feel like sausages that want to burst. I’d appreciate any help!! Thanks SO much!

  10. Nancy says:

    I am the Queen of PF with 3 surgeries and 7 podiatrists in my past. I have to wear custom orthotics and for 20 years have done well w/Clarks clogs. They hold the orthotic in place w/a deep heel cup. Until they stopped making that style. I’m stuck. I’ve tried various brands but anyone find a deep heel cup sandal or clog which will hold an orthotic? Too curvy a footbed, too supportive and that won’t work either. I hate feet and shoes.

  11. KT says:

    Any suggestions for winter boots in the UGG style?

  12. Deborah says:

    For shearling boots with arch support I like the Emu Australia line. The insoles are somewhat contoured, removable and replaceable. I do need to add a 3/4 length orthotic for additional arch support or my PF flares up but I lived in my Emus last winter. I have found them on sale occasionally on Amazon. I find the fit to be a little bit wider than Uggs. Same rules for sizing as Uggs, expect them to stretch during the first few wearings.

  13. Ladysylvia says:

    I have very high arches with PF. I’ve tried Orthaheel shoes but find the footbed very hard and I shutter to think about Birkens. I live in Florida so I wear sandals when I’m not working. Can you recommend a sandal with good arch support but has a soft footbed? I prefer not to be too flat, too so a one inch heel would work. I’m not price conscious because it’s for my health. I’ve looked at several shoes on line but would like your recommendations to help with decision.

    • Connie A. Feick says:

      I have the same high arches along with PF. Have relied on custom orthotics or Finn Comfort brand shoes, without them. Any of the Finn Comfort sandals will work for you. Most have the one inch heel, my favorite for comfort are the “Jersey.” I’ve accidentally purchased the “Sylt,” and returned them as the heel is slightly lower, and not quite as comfortable. Unfortunately they are very expensive, but the footbeds are removable, and easily purchased separately, so the shoes will last a very long time even with constant wear. If price is a serious issue, they are always on ebay, new and used.

  14. Valerie McGaha says:

    What would you recommend for a women’s shoe suitable for a wedding? My son’s wedding is August 5 and as the mother of the groom I need something dressy enough but that won’t kill my feet. My biggest problem is plantar fasciitis but I also have a narrow heel. My dress is tan/beige with a little silvery glitter throughout the dress and either right above or below the knee. I have looked on zappos and the walking company. Any recommendations would be GREATLY appreciated.

    • Janet says:

      I purchased a pair of black Dansko Tasha sandles a couple of years ago for two summer weddings. I have worn to four weddings and they are very comfortable and dressy. I have PF and bad knees, love them.

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