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Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

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Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis. You won’t wonder if you have it, you’ll know–especially upon rising in the morning and taking those first steps to the bathroom while your heels shout out, “ouch, ow, ow!!!” The fascia is a thick band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes–like a big, fat rubber band. A normal fascia acts as a shock-absorber, supporting the arch of your foot. It can become inflamed through activities such as long-distance running, or just through having faulty feet (flat feet, very high arch, abnormal gait) and being overweight doesn’t help either. Mayo Clinic does a nice job explaining it some more. And we have reviewed over 100 styles of plantar fasciitis shoes over time. The result? Sharp heel pain while walking.

I’ve developed a nasty case of PF this winter due to walking on our hardwood floors in socks. You would think I’d know better since my RA feet need cushioning, arch support and a shock-absorbing sole, but I hate wearing shoes in the house. I’m not necessarily a neat-freak, but I’m a mom of boys and mud comes with the territory. They know to take their shoes off at the door and I try to do the same. But lately, when I get up from the sofa at night to fetch another bowl of Skinny Pop (it’ll only make you skinny if you stick to the portion size, which is impossible), an intense pain in my heels induces hobbling. Thankfully, I remembered by trusty Haflinger slipper-shoes which truly help the heel pain while walking around the house, or on short dog walks.

But what are the best shoes for plantar fasciitis when we leave the house?

Yes, we can add orthotics and supportive insoles to fix-up our current footwear, but which shoes are built to relieve the pain in and of themselves? After scouring customer reviews, I’ve found these shoes hold promise for those with PF: good arch support, cushioning in the heel area, shock-absorbing outsoles with a bit of a lift at the heel.

Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Dansko Lois, Lulu & Lynn

  • Dansko Lois, Lulu and Lynn: Three sweet shoes that we hope stick around and don’t get discontinued! I just ordered a pair of Lulus in black leather because I have to see what all the online fuss is about. From what I read, these styles by Dansko are built on the same last with the perfect combination of comfort technologies for plantar fasciitis:
    • 1 1/2″ sculpted rubber wedge sole (shock absorbing and stable while providing just a little lift for the heel so it’s not flat against the ground).
    • Footbed contains extra memory foam cushioning at heel and forefoot.
    • Contoured footbed is removable to accommodate an orthotic, if needed.
    • Steel shank provides extra support and stability.
  • The Lois features an adjustable buckle closure at the ankle adorned with studs and a back zipper entry. $73.30-149.95 at Amazon, $99 at The Walking Company, $74.99-89.99 at 6pm.com.  
  • The Lulu is a similar version of the Lois minus the studs and back zipper. It features a wide ankle strap that fastens with velcro. $149.95 at Zappos, $80.23-149.99 at Amazon, $149.95 at Nordstrom
  • The Lynn is a shootie version of Lulu and Lois with stretchy goring on the sides for easy on and off. $55-169 at Amazon, $59.69 at 6pm.com, $69.97 at The Walking Company.
  • Vionic Spark Shoes (2)  Vionic Spark Minna and Spark Willow: I think it’s taken Vionic a few seasons to get it right, and they’ve finally succeeded with the Spark Minna and Spark Willow–two ballet-style flats with built-in orthotic support. The reviews are mostly positive for arch support and plantar fasciitis relief with the major complaint being the back of the heel comes up too high and can cause a blister (remedied with Heavenly Heelz back of heel cushions). The Vionic Spark Minna is available in medium and wide widths for $119.95 at Zappos, $50-120 at Amazon, $84.99 at 6pm.com. The glitzy Spark Willow is available for $119.95 at Zappos, $57.53-120 at Amazon, $84.99 at 6pm.com. 
Naot Kirei

Naot Kirei

  • The Kirei is a longstanding Naot favorite and comes back each season in new colors and textures. I have a pair of Kirei’s sister shoe, the Naot Matai and I can see why they keep these two styles around. The reason I’m featuring the Kirei is that it’s one of a few Naot styles that comes in a medium and wide width. The suede-covered anatomical, shock-absorbing cork and latex cushioned footbed promotes correct posture and distributes weight evenly to release pressure on the spinal column and joints. The contours and arches of the footbed prevent slippage, help maintain balance, and protect the heel bone. This footbed is removable should you need to use a custom orthotic (but I think you’ll find the Naot footbed is all you need to protect your heels, arches and forefoot). The uppers are made of quality soft leathers and accommodate hammertoes and bunions well. $185 at Zappos, $99-185 at Amazon, $92.99 at 6pm.com, $184.95 at The Walking Company.

Honorable Mention: Romika Citylight 44 (casual dress), Cobb Hill RevChi (ballet flat), Aetrex Essence Julie (mary jane), Ahnu Chrissy II (cute, sporty flat), Saucony Ride 8 (walking/running/fitness shoe).

Do you have a favorite shoe that relieves the pain of PF? Please leave a comment and let us know!


About the Author

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



38 Responses to Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

  1. Mary Anne says:

    I love Kuru for PF relief. I’m on my second pair of sneakers, they are the only shoes I have found that stopped my heel pain form PF and bone spurs. They are amazingly comfortable. I also still put my 3/4 length orthotics in them for extra support but I do that with all my shoes. I would highly recommend Kuru for heel pain.

  2. Roberta says:

    I had the same problem when I moved to a condo with hardwood floors – ouch, ouch, ow! So I bought a pair of Vionic sandals and wore them as slippers ALL THE TIME, and my feet got better over about a year. Now I have no heel pain. I eventually bought an actual pair of Vionic fuzzy slippers, which are also great, but the first pair, with the roll bar under the arch, were like a massage every day.

  3. Sue says:

    I love the Aetrex Jillian sandals I bought last summer. For me, the relief is a 10 while my vionics are an 8. I will wear the Aetrix around the house in the winter with colorful socks! However, my daughter says not cool for going out of the house!! ?

  4. Anne says:

    I also suffer with PF – and now only wear Klogs brand shoes. They are very comfortable and can also be purchased on various sites, such as Amazon and 6pm.

  5. Lisa says:

    I’m going to Florida and need some sandals. Can anyone recommend a brand of sandals that will help my plantar fasciitis? Thanks so much!

  6. Kirsten says:

    Off the bat, I’d say Vionic Tide Sequins flip flops–awesome arch support and shock absorption and they’re fairly affordable for comfort sandals. https://www.barkingdogshoes.com/2014/07/vionic-sequins-review.html

  7. cedar says:

    I’d recommend Alegria or Aetrex or Taos (with back strap, not slip on).

  8. cedar says:

    I agree with Aetrex Jillian 100%. Love!
    I don’t love my Vionics. Too hard.

  9. Debra says:

    I finally found my favorite super comfy flats. Love the ara Bella!

  10. Mary says:

    I work in a biohazard lab environment & need shoes that impermeable to liquids. I usually wear a leather type of athletic shoe. I’m having a hard time finding shoes to help with the Plantar Fascitis & Achilles tendon pain ..any suggestions..? Thanks!

  11. Kirsten says:

    I’d recommend the Alegria Kayla or Kelli or the Klogs Naples or Mission 🙂

  12. Mary Anne says:

    Mary, Take a look at Kuru, they make leather models and are very supportive and comfortable for being on your feet a lot.

  13. Erica R says:

    Hello!
    I would absolutely Love advice!!

    I am a hairstylist and I stand about 8 hours a day 5 days a week. I recently developed planter fasciitis in my left foot, and possibly getting PF in my right. I had custom orthotics made from the foot doctor 1 week ago and they haven’t seemed to help; almost made it worse. 🙁

    I have very little cushion on my bottom of my feet (its always hurt to walk barefoot)
    One doctor said I have a low arch, another doctor two years later told me I have a high flexible arch.

    I’ve tried the clog style Alegria, ascis, sketchers non-slip sole and söft premiere brands.

    Any advice will be helpful!
    Thanks so much in advance

  14. Sandy Levins says:

    Hate to say it, but all I could think of when I saw the photo of the Dansko Lulu was a bulky house-arrest ankle monitor. Still on the hunt for stylish shoes that don’t look like boats on my size 5.5 (scarce as hen’s teeth) feet … [sigh].

  15. Kirsten says:

    Hahahaha! I understand completely. I prefer wearing mine with narrow leg black pants (not skinnies), just the wedge shoe part shows. I love the cushion and support and my plantar fasciitis doesn’t act up when wearing them.

  16. Milah says:

    I have been suffering on and off from PF for years and have tried practically every insole. What I realized is that sometimes I was wearing the shoes with insoles and sometimes I would need to look nicer and wear dress shoes. What was happening is my arch would almost heal, then retear in the same places when I would walk barefoot out of bed or temporarily wear dress shoes and flats. I was lucky enough to get to try a prototype of this new minimalist orthotic. I put it into my dress shoes and slippers and walking shoes and my feet feel good! I highly recommend if this is your issue like me! Help support them in their kickstarter https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1448625616/soul-insole-shoe-bubble-best-orthotic-shoe-insole/backers/report/

  17. M says:

    I love the Lulu so much I wrote to Dansko, who replied and swore they were being kept in the catalog. However, they are available nowhere now, and I haven’t seen any new colours introduced this spring (I begged for pewter nubuck and something bright and fun). I’m so hoping they don’t discontinue it, as it has (literally) kept me on my feet this year. The sister-shoe, the Lois, is ok, but I greatly prefer the strap on the Lulu which is less fuss, and goes with more things. (I own both btw – I wear the Lois under jeans since the strap doesn’t show – and I still get the miraculous footbed – and Lulu when it’s going to be more visible, eg with dresses). They really are miracle shoes, and I”ve never worn them without being complimented on them.

  18. Kirsten says:

    I’m guessing they’ll let the Winter 2015 colors, sizes run out and then re-introduce in fall with new colors (crosses fingers)!!

  19. Cnith says:

    What about Clarks? I found some comfy shoes with them.

  20. CJ says:

    I need a comfortable water shoe with a wide toe box for playing in the ocean. I have pf and can not bear to be bare-footed.

  21. Clair Douglass says:

    Hello! I’m looking for a silver dress flat that will have good support for PF. Any suggestions?

  22. Shari D. says:

    Dansko has some patent leather shoes which resist liquids–and besides me, every nurse or professional on their feet wears them.

  23. Monika Mehta says:

    i’d like to get supportive closed toe and back sandals and dress shoes for work. I’d like arch support, and cushioned and anatomical footbed. I have both heel pain and pain in my achilles area and ankle. my foot tends to move around a round so the shoe needs to keep it in place. what would you recommend?

  24. Cheryl says:

    The one shoe that saves my PF feet are the kenkoh flip flops. I wear them all over the house and never go barefoot. They are found at happyfeetplus.com.

  25. Carol Sharp Schwaber says:

    Not only do I have Plantar Fasciitis, I have narrow feet with high arches. Does anyone have a suggestion of brands that are suitable for winter? I would appreciate any suggestions.

  26. Valerie Trapp says:

    Naots…… The best for my feet- high arch, high instep, and PF! Check on Zappo, Walking Company, Amazon…. and look for a store in your area to try them on. I only wear Naot sandals- some really pretty sandals with lots of support and long lasting. Naot Women’s Kumara Flat I sent a link from Amazon below for this shoe.
    https://www.amazon.com/Naot-Womens-Oxfords-Leather-Polyurethane/dp/B00DS6ZNKA/ref=sr_1_18?s=apparel&ie=UTF8&qid=1480292043&sr=1-18&nodeID=7141123011&keywords=Naot&th=1
    This shoe feels wonderful on my feet. I travel in these, shop, wear all day… even teaching…. when I dress more casual. I also wear this one: Naot Women’s Rongo Mary Jane Flat. I wore these sight seeing- two days straight! Feet felt terrific…..
    Also check out Vionic brand shoes. I just purchased a gray bootie and two pair of flats. Thank goodness shoes for my feet! are finally getting prettier 🙂

  27. Valerie Trapp says:

    Love my Naots! Check them out….. Pretty sandals…… [ Amazon, Zappos, Dillards, Nordstrom, and even stand alone Naot stores. ] I have worn these for years– long lasting and stylish too.

  28. Candace says:

    Not cool? I think they are really cute

  29. Candace says:

    oops! maybe she meant with the socks – ha ha I do that with my Birkenstocks in winter too

  30. Kathy says:

    I don’t have PF, but for my issues, same rules apply. And I need help. New yo the “specialuzed” shoe market. My feet feel fine until I’m on them too long (2-4 hrs) then I get severe toe cramping that seems to originate in the metatarsal area. Can barely walk. Have to rwmove the shoes and go barefoot if I’m in a store.This happens even with athletic shoes and otc superfeet insert. It doesn’t happen in my thick soled slide sandles. But there are limits to where that works for me, obviously.

    I have a narrow foot/narrow heel/low instep (if a shoe is open toe open heel, I go a full size down, or my toes go over the edge! If just open heel, just a half size down. One term I heard in relation to my foot: low volume. My last three toes curl under on both feet. I have a high arch with tendency to pronate/ (which eliminates MANY of the best options).

    A lot of shoes that address foot pain are higher instep, higher volume feet. (Dansko / Clark come to mind)

    Any suggestions of brands that make shoes for “low volume” feet that will still have the cushion/support I need? Hoping for sub-100 options, but give me all your ideas. I need most urgently a good athletic shoe. I have a job i want to apply for that will have me on my feet past my threshold. Want to see if the right shoe will make the difference.

  31. Kathy says:

    Correction…I edited a paragraph and forgot to move one sentence

    The part that says ” (which eliminates MANY of the best options)” should have come just after I explained my low instep/low volume foot.

  32. Lisa says:

    I have the dansko lulu’s in 5 colors. Looking at them, they do look a bit clunky, but when u put them on they are one of my most comfortable shoes I have. I have suffered with plantar fasciitis for years. And these shoes u can wear with pretty much. Give them a try, i love mine.

  33. Lisa says:

    Depending on what color ur looking for, you can find dansko lulu’s at the walking company.

  34. Rose says:

    Consider wearing KT tape. It is low-volume, stays on for 3-4 days at a time, and decreases pain while protecting and resting your fascia.
    Best tutorials are on YouTube for athletes (search KT tape for plantar fasciitis with Chris Harper). The 3 piece tape is easy and more effective than the others that require multiple pieces.
    On top of that i add the ankle support tape (also 3 pieces). If your PF is irritated, other parts of your gate are causing it. Find out what it is and work on that contributing factor. Otherwise, you are stacking up permanent injury for the future while constantly hunting for a magic bulletin pair of shoes—and they don’t exist.

  35. Julie says:

    Joyas & MBT’s are the best brands for softness for plantar. I still get the pain but these brands help more than any others. Forget orthotics – last century.
    I’ve tried them all and they made it worse.
    Joyas & MBT are very expensive but worth it. Don’t waste your money on all these ordinary brands unless your symptoms aren’t too bad. My case is excruciating.

  36. Annie says:

    I would avoid ABEO brand from The Walking Company. Although they are comfortable, at $100-$200 a pair, I have had sandals and boots look worn and ruined after a few wears. They do not hold up and aren’t worth the price. I like Dansko, Vionic, and Spenco (cheaper casual beach/pool flip flops with support).

  37. Julie says:

    The only shoes that eliminate my PF pain are Telics :). Absolutely no heel pain!
    Thank for your website!

  38. Subohy says:

    kindly tell me the heel size of the shoe.

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