Plantar Fasciitis is a foot disorder that causes extra pain in the heel and the lower part of the foot. This condition can often get even more aggravated after a walk or a day at the gym. The pain and discomfort that comes with this condition can hinder physical exercise and fitness.
However, wearing the right kind of shoes is very important for people that suffer from this condition. Shoes that are designed specifically for support in the areas of the foot that are affected by plantar fasciitis can help reduce the symptoms. By choosing the right kind of shoe you can easily manage your plantar fasciitis while maintaining a fit and active lifestyle.
10 Top-rated Running Shoes for Both Men and Women
1. ASICS Gel Nimbus 18
The ASICS Gel Nimbus 18 is one of the best shoes available on the market for people with high foot arches. It is specifically designed to provide support to the arch of the foot and cushion any shocks from running or landing too hard.
The unique design of this shoe is also great for easing the pressure on knees while running or standing. These shoes also come with the FluidFit technology. This technology makes use of a special mesh fabric that is very flexible. This FluidFit mesh shapes itself according to the type of foot that is inserted into it. This makes it very recommendable for almost any kind of foot out there.
Another special thing about this shoe is the gel cushioning system. Their gel is cushioning both in the forefoot area and the rearfoot area of the shoe to provide a maximum amount of support while heavy running.
- Supportive sole
- Good for preventing knee pain
- Great cushion for heavy running
- Highly durable materials
- Fade resistant.
- These shoes tend to be unsuitable for large size toes
- Less comfort while standing
- Fabric a bit thin in the front
- Wide around the sides.
2. New Balance 990V4
The New Balance 990V4 is a winner of a shoe, made with high-quality leather and fabric, and a sturdy rubber sole. This version of the New Balance shoe is a vast improvement from previous versions on many accounts. For starters, they’ve made the fabric of the show more breathable. So this means reduced sweating and heat and better ventilation for your feet.
Another great advantage of this shoe is that is designed in such a way that the tongue flap of the shoe remains in its place without moving around. The weight of this shoe is also very light, which adds to the ease of mobility and comfort while wearing it.
The midsole of the shoe is designed using ENCAP features, which gives great support to the foot arches. This is great for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis and have arch related problems. The layered padding also helps.
- Great midsole support
- The weight is lighter than previous models
- Good and strong laces
- Good for stabilizations
- Good for chronic pain
- Extra padding on the heels.
- Not much color variety available
- The suede is prone to attracting dirt
- A bit hard to clean.
3. Brooks Adrenaline Gts 17
Unlike its prior model, the Brooks Adrenaline Gts 17 has much more integrated heel cushion support. These shoes are great for running and walking for people who have heel problems. For people who suffer from flatter feet, such as in mid-stage plantar fasciitis sufferers, this shoe offers great support. The middle of the flat foot gets great support with the cushioning in this shoe.
The toe part of the shoe also has more room in it by being wider so it gives you more space to wiggle around in. Although the price of this model is much higher than the GTS 16, it is completely worth it.
Compared to the GTS 16, these shoes are also much more durable and last a long while. This durability makes up for the added cost and is well worth the investment. The heel cushioning in this shoe is also much better than the GTS 16, which is best for plantar fasciitis sufferers.
- Support for the arch is best in this model
- Great for feet with over pronation of feet.
- The weight of this model leans toward the heavy side
- The fabric is designed a bit thicker.
4. Saucony Guide 10
The Saucony Guide 10 is a shoe that was developed especially keeping the needs of people with plantar fasciitis in mind. This shoe has great stability and cushioning that is designed for providing maximum comfort.
The Saucony Guide 10 also has great responsiveness to heavy-duty running and gives a great deal of traction to the foot. These shoes also come with a new technology known as the PowerGrid technology. This technology helps absorb shock in the midsole area and provides great stability while standing or running.
It also comes with an all-new shock absorbing technology called EVERUN technology. The great thing about this technology is that it takes in the shock of a harsh landing of the foot, and distributes the shock all over the shoe. This puts less pressure on any single area of the shoe and the whole shoe manages the shock and weight.
The heel also contains extra cushioning in the form of SRC technology which is great for people with plantar fasciitis. All of this comes with good durability and money value.
- Extra support for heels
- Good durability.
- Sizes can be inaccurate due to the different toe box.
5. Mizuno Wave Rider 20
The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 is one of the most competitive running shoes on the market currently. They have a good price and they hit all the sweet spots when it comes to specifications for a good staple of a running shoe.
The fabric and the design of the shoes are made with maximum comfort in mind. The design is even great for those people who like to take their jogs and walks in the early mornings or late night time. This is because there is an excellent reflective strip on the outside of the shoes that alerts drivers in the dark about a potential runner.
The sole of the shoe has a really good grip, so people who have conditions like plantar fasciitis will have no trouble getting a grip on it with their foot. The toe area of the shoe is pretty wide and has comfortable wiggle room in it. The fabric of the shoe is very breathable and gives the feet more than enough air and doesn’t make them feel too stuffy.
- Feels light
- Good stability angle
- Flexible design.
- Not suitable for longer walks or runs
- The bottom is a bit hard.
6. ASICS Gel-Kayano 23
ASICS is one of the top Japanese shoe brands and has built a cozy niche for it in the shoe market along the likes of brands like Nike, Adidas, and others for comfortable, high-quality athletic shoes. The ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 is the shoe that people think of when they think of ASICS as a brand, and there is a big reason for that.
The shoe comes fitted with an Impact Guidance System in its shape to promote a natural gait. The Fluid Ride Midsole can provide cushioning to your feet while guiding it to bounce back to its next step. The FluidFit Upper provides a customized feel that fits the shape of your foot like a glove.
The forefoot and the heel are cushioned through gel which promotes traversing through uneven terrains. This shoe grants multiple features to promote comfort for your feet. The FlyteFoam on the ASICS Gel-Kayano 23 shoes uses 55% lighter foam material, which makes these shoes lighter than its previous iterations.
- Excellent outsole durability
- Great support for feet
- Snug fit for feet that molds over time.
- A disproportionate spread of cushioning
- The shoes are a bit heavy on the feet
- Not very flexible.
7. Saucony Kinvara 7
A relatively unknown company, Saucony has been around in the United States since the end of the 1800s. They have become known in the athletic wear company for their running shoes of great quality. This quality is shown in their Saucony Kinvara 7.
With excellent arch support, those people who suffer from plantar fasciitis can really reap the benefits of using the Saucony Kinvara 7 for their runs. The company, Saucony, implements their pioneer Grid system, which was among the first of the cushioning systems fit into athletic shoes.
Another great feature of the Saucony Kinvara 7 is the TRI-FLEX outsole, which provides the runner with more ground contact from their feet, which gives more of a natural feel to running, while providing flexibility as well. The TRI-FLEX outsole’s close to ground feel doesn’t compromise from the comfort though, as the EVERUN heel cushioning provides enough comfort to the feet for a notable energy return.
- The shoes provide optimal flexibility
- Lightweight design feels like you’re wearing nothing at all
- Minimal, but sufficient ankle support missing from most running shoes.
- Pro-lock lacing makes the feet feel constricted, rather than snug
- Not as durable as comparable prices and brands of shoes.
8. Brooks Ghost 10
A very neutral choice, the Brooks Ghost 10 shoes are not loaded with many features, but still, provide the minimum needed for a positive running experience. But for many with plantar fasciitis, the minimum may not be enough, as there are many choices taken in the shoe’s design that doesn’t help those who have legitimate concerns regarding the plantar fasciitis condition.
Though the Brooks Ghost 10 shoes don’t really have any named features, they do have certain creative choices and liberties that do set it apart. The lightweight design of the shoes really made people feel more comfortable wearing these shoes.
But the low, close to the ground design of the underfoot platform has been unfavorable to most runners with plantar fasciitis, noticing it correlated negatively with the cushioning of the shoes. Another problem was the fast deteriorating of the shoes, despite little use.
- Lightweight shoes feel like running on clouds
- Shoelace holder prevents laces from flopping around
- Good shop absorption in the midsole.
- The low underfoot platform makes for bad cushioning for many runners
- Shoes began falling apart within a few weeks to months
- The shoes had a poor grip on wet surfaces, like during rain.
9. Nike Dual Fusion 3
Nike is a brand that nearly anyone can recognize, and is one of the most notable brands. The enigmatic swoosh of Nike not only serves for brand recognition, but an assurance of quality being sealed by the logo. It is no surprise Nike, best known for their footwear, would be on this list.
The Nike Dual Fusion 3 is Nike’s flagship shoe for their line of running footwear, and it certainly looks it. Not only is Nike more than competent when it comes to functionality of their shoes. Wearing a Nike shoe serves also as a fashion statement.
The Nike Dual Fusion 3 is more than just a comfortable, shock absorbing running shoe, it is also one of the best looking running shoe on the list, with its minimal design and strong and bold colors.
- A large variety of colors to choose from a very appealing design
- Affordable price makes it a cheaper option compared to other shoes of similar quality
- Durable, but not heavy, due to outsole design.
- Arch may be too high for some people with plantar fasciitis
- The collar of the shoes may rub uncomfortably with some people’s ankles
- Maybe too narrow for wide feet.
10. Reebok ZigWild TR 2-M
Reebok is another well-known brand that is involved with athletic wear that is also very fashionable. Though it is not as well known as Nike, it is very much their direct competition, and the fact that it is not as well known gives the brand more valuable to the ones who prefer Reebok’s products over Nikes.
The Reebok Zigwild TR 2 follows suit with the previous product on this list, the Nike Dual Fusion 3, in being both incredibly functional but also very fashionable. But while the previous product opted for a minimalist design, the Reebok Zigwild TR 2 went wild and extravagant with its design that not only makes the shoes look good, but serve a function.
The first thing many will notice when they see the Reebok Zigwild TR 2 is its trademark outsole. The ZigTech design provides optimal cushioning in every step, as well as making it stand out from the rest of the shoes.
- The shoes provide a tight, but comfortable fit
- Great grip on the bottom of the shoes prevents slipping
- The very stylish design is as much fashionable as it is functional.
- Might be tight for people with wider feet.
How to Choose Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
1. Running Shoe Categories
There are different types of running shoes, each with their own specifications to match up with the task they’re designed for. Following are the three main categories of running shoes:
Road running types of shoes are those shoes that are made to be worn while walking on either pavement or gravel. These shoes are mostly light and provide cushioning against prolonged walks on a straight and hard terrain.
These shoes are made to be worn while trekking on bumpy routes like muddy or rocky trails. These types of trails are very unstable and you never know what to expect. This is why shoes designed specifically for trail running are thicker at the bottom to provide more cushioning against the bumpy terrain.
Cross training shoes are designed to have the least amount of padding and cushioning at the bottom of the shoe. This is important because in training and gym workouts the feet need to be in close contact with the ground as much as possible.
2. How Do You Run?
This is the natural curl of the foot inwards. In a normal pronation, the main pressure point of the foot is on the ball and the heel of the foot. This type of foot arch can adjust in any kind of running shoe.
This is when the foot is curled too much towards the inside, and this puts the runner at greater risk of all sorts of injuries of the knee and foot. These types of feet need shoes for maximizing stability.
This is the condition when instead of curling inwards, the foot tends to have an outward curl. This type of foot curl works the best when paired with a shoe that maximizes comfort and cushioning to absorb the shocks.
3. Factors to Consider
Heel support is very important for people suffering from plantar fasciitis. Ideally, you should look for shoes that are hard on the heels from the outside but soft and padded from the inside.
Midsole stability is another important factor to keep in mind for plantar fasciitis. For people who have problems with the arch of their foot, midsole support really helps. It stabilizes the arch region of your foot to make up for any irregularities.
Arch angle is sometimes improperly developed and arch support shoes can help with that greatly.
Feet with plantar fasciitis have a problem with natural shock absorption like normal feet. This is why it hurts and affects the foot even more during landings. For this, it is crucial to get shoes that offer sufficient shock absorption.
People who have a stiff toe box can benefit from shoes that have a more open and flexible toe area.
4. Other factors to Select The Most Suitable Shoes
Size: It’s very important to get your feet measure properly wherever you buy your shoes from. Usually, you’ll end up getting one size above or below your own because of the variations.
Buy the right shoes for running: There are many different types of running shoes to keep the category of the shoe in mind before making a purchase.
Shoes that match your pronation type: As mentioned above, each foot pronation type has a specific type of shoe that helps match it. If you align your pronation type with the shoe type that matches it, your pain will greatly be reduced.
When to replace your old shoes: Running shoes should be replaced by every 9 months, depending on the damage.
Consider aftermarket insoles: Aftermarket insoles can provide added comfort for your foot discomfort that shoes don’t.
Reviews: Make sure to check out the customer reviews before committing to a specific type of shoe. Usually, other people who suffer from plantar fasciitis can write helpful reviews regarding different types of shoes.