The 8 Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis of 2019

Add more comfort to your daily stroll

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Staying fit with plantar fasciitis is no easy feat: the painful condition occurs when the tight band of tissue that forms the arch of your foot becomes inflamed, creating deep discomfort in your heel. This changes the way your foot hits the ground as you walk, creating excessive pressure in your heel and forefoot and leaving you at risk for muscle imbalances or injuries. Symptoms usually improve if you kick back and relax for a while, but your overall health depends on regular activity, and you’ve got to keep moving to stay fit.

The right shoes can go a long way when it comes to plantar fasciitis. Sufficient arch support and generous cushioning can protect your feet from excessive pain when you’re walking. Here are our picks for the top walking shoes to buy for plantar fasciitis.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Brooks Addiction Walker

Brooks Addiction Walker

Courtesy of Zappos

Brooks is well known for their commitment to crafting superior running shoes, but their walking shoes are well worth a look, too. The Addiction Walker is recommended for plantar fasciitis pain across the web, and there are more than a thousand overwhelmingly positive reviews on Zappos to back that up.

These shoes are loaded with cushioning and arch support for plantar fasciitis as well as low arches and overpronation (which can occur alongside plantar fasciitis). The midsole HydroFlow technology enhances cushioning by adding dynamic gel units in the heel and forefoot, and the Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar provides robust arch support to cradle your most aggravated tendons.

Brooks fans on Zappos said these shoes made it easier to stay on their feet all day at work despite their plantar fasciitis, and many reviewers said these shoes were recommended by their doctor.

Best Budget: Saucony Grid Omni Walking Shoe

Walking your way to health with plantar fasciitis shouldn’t cost a fortune, and Saucony’s Grid Omni Walking Shoes support your feet without breaking the bank.

The super-plush, full-grain leather adds a touch of class to these well-cushioned walking shoes. A compression-molded midsole shields your arches from impact, and the engineered sole creates a biomechanical fit that guides your foot from takeoff to landing. Best of all, these shoes are ultra-affordable, so you’ll have no excuse for not getting up and moving.

Best for Women: Orthofeet Breeze Women’s Walking Shoes

Orthofeet’s shoes are designed with problem feet in mind. Their Breeze Women’s Walking Shoes are perfect for women who love staying fit with brisk walks but struggle to stay in stride due to plantar fasciitis pain.

This pair’s premium orthotic insole has anatomical arch support and a cushioned heel pad. The Easy Gait System combines a lightweight sole with air cushioning to soften your stride, reducing irregular pressure from plantar fasciitis for a lighter footstep.

Overall, this shoe's ergonomic design is perfect for troubled feet. It also comes in a Mary Jane-style, making this pair suitable for casual office wear as well as exercise.

Best for Men: Orthofeet Sprint Orthopedic Men’s Sneakers

Orthofeet makes another appearance on our list with their Sprint Men’s Sneakers, which have the roomy, extra-depth design men need for walking comfortably with plantar fasciitis. You may lean into your forefoot harder when you have plantar fasciitis, and this shoe’s non-binding upper and extra-wide toe box eliminates that excessive pressure. The seam-free interior lining prevents irritation from rubbing against stitching, and additional velcro adjusters guarantee a perfect fit every time.

One man with plantar fasciitis proclaimed that these were “magic shoes,” saying that this was the only walking shoe that gave him any relief from his plantar fasciitis pain while walking. Another reviewer said that these worked better on plantar fasciitis pain than his priciest orthotics.

Best for High Arches: Vionic Orthoheel Walker

Having high arches throws another wrench into walking with plantar fasciitis: your foot puts more weight on your heel with high arches, which doubles down on heel pain if you don’t have the right shoes. Vionic’s Orthoheel Walker has the American Podiatric Medical Association’s seal of acceptance for its special attention to the needs of people with plantar fasciitis and high arches.

This shoe’s removable textile-covered EVA footbed has an Active Motion System that provides flexible cushioning throughout your sensitive heel and forefoot. The removable textile-covered EVA footbed helps you smoothly transition from heel to toe with every step.

High-arched walkers with plantar fasciitis said that these shoes helped keep their feet, ankles, knees, and hips in proper alignment, and drastically reduced their heel pain while walking.

Best for Flat Feet: Brooks Ghost 11

Brooks Ghost 11

Courtesy of Zappos

Flat feet, or fallen arches, occur when loose tendons in your foot and calf cause your arch to fall and make full contact with the ground. People with flat feet are more prone to plantar fasciitis, and finding a great walking shoe for both conditions is vital for anyone looking to stay fit. The Brooks Ghost 11 model is listed as a running shoe, but it has all the qualities you’d want in a perfect walking shoe.

The Ghost 11’s full-length Segmented Crash Pad accommodates any foot landing and sets you up for smoother transitions. The removable foam insole adds extra cushioning (or you can take it out and replace it with a custom orthotic), while Brooks earth-friendly BioMoGo DNA cushioning design creates a dynamic ride for an energized walk.

Brooks fans on Zappos said that they became die-hard Ghost fans after switching to this shoe, saying that they’d never go back to other brands after experiencing this pair’s superior support for their plantar fasciitis and flat feet.

Best for Plantar Fasciitis with Heel Spurs: Dansko Professional Mule

Plantar fasciitis is no picnic, but adding heel spurs to the mix can take the condition from uncomfortable to unbearable. About 70 percent of plantar fasciitis patients have heel spurs, which are hooks of bone that protrude from the bottom of your foot. Finding a walking shoe that won’t aggravate both conditions and looks sleek enough for work or play is tough, but Dansko’s Professional Mule is a tried-and-true favorite.

This comfort-minded clog has a deep heel cup to cradle your heel spur and a roomy, reinforced toe box to keep your foot in place throughout the day. The rocker bottom supplies superior shock absorption, and the classic leather hue adds a professional flair to your most comfortable shoes yet.

Plantar fasciitis sufferers with heel spurs loved this pair, saying that they were comfortable in them all day even without custom orthotics.

Best Walking Sandals: Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed

Birkenstock Arizona Soft Footbed

Courtesy of Amazon

Sandals are a plantar fasciitis-friendly option for people with foot pain: the open heel relieves any pressure that standard shoes might create, and slip-on styles leave even more room for your aching heels. Birkenstock’s sandals are designed with comfort in mind for and easy, breezy summer walking sandal.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” definitely applies to Birkenstocks. The company has been making sandals for hundreds of years, and the simple design with a footbed that molds to your sole is perfect for plantar fasciitis. It distributes weight evenly across the sole of your foot, removing some of the burden from your heel.

Plus, these durable sandals come in dozens of color options.

Our Process

Our writers spent 6 hours researching the most popular walking shoes for plantar fasciitis on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 22 different shoes overall, screened options from 15 different brands and manufacturers and read over 32 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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