The 7 Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis of 2022

Brooks' Women's Addiction Walker Walking Shoes offer arch support and cushioning

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Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Verywell / Sabrina Jiang

If you have plantar fasciitis, staying comfortable while active can be difficult. The painful condition occurs when excessive stress and pressure cause the connective tissue at the bottom of the foot to stretch and become inflamed. Symptoms improve if you give yourself a break, but may arise as soon as you return to physical activity. That's why having a good pair of shoes is important.

Reviewed & Approved

Brooks Women's Addiction Walker Walking Shoes are our top pick because they provide arch support, cushion, and durability. We also recommend Brooks Women's Ghost 11 Running Shoe because it offers smoother transitions for people with flat feet.

Finding the right pair of cushioned and supportive shoes is a proactive way to help with the pain. According to John Huenink, founder of insole company BioMoto, you’ll want to look for a walking shoe with a tight and structured heel counter. “You shouldn’t be able to fold the shoe directly in half—the shoe should bend only at the ball line, which is the metatarsal line,” he explains. Huenink also notes that the shoes shouldn't be able to twist excessively. “We call it torsional stiffness. If you take the heel and twist the forefoot, it shouldn't turn too much,” he says. 

We researched dozens of walking shoes for plantar fasciitis and evaluated them for material, price, breathability, arch support, and durability. Each of the walking shoes for plantar fasciitis chosen in this article was determined to be the best of these factors.

Based on our findings, here are the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis. 

In This Article

Best Overall: Brooks Women's Addiction Walker Walking Shoes

4.9
Brooks Addiction Walker

Courtesy of Zappos

Pros
  • Excellent cushioning

  • Provides great arch support

  • Durable

Cons
  • Limited color options

What do buyers say? 82% of 2,700+ Amazon reviewers rated these shoes 4 stars or above.

The Addiction Walker is recommended for plantar fasciitis because it is loaded with cushioning and arch support as well as low arches and overpronation, which is why it's our top pick. 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.

Price at time of publication: $120

Materials: Leather upper | Cushioning: BioMoGo DNA  | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Flat Feet: Brooks Women's Ghost 11 Running Shoe

4
Brooks Women's Ghost 11 Running Shoe

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Helps promote smoother transitions

  • Compatible with custom orthotics

  • Comes in various colors

Cons
  • Mesh isn't waterproof

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.

Price at time of publication: $133

Materials: Mesh upper, rubber outsole | Cushioning: BioMoGo DNA | Closure: Lace-up

Brooks Ghost 11 Women’s Road-Running Shoes

Verywell Fit / Danielle Directo-Meston

What Our Testers Say

"The Ghost 11s proved to be a comfortable, orthotic-friendly option for daily errands as well as longer excursions. Luckily, it was easy to swap the Brooks Ghost 11’s original inserts with my orthotics, and they fit comfortably within the shoe. The flexible mesh uppers conformed well to my narrow feet, and I found that the toe box offered the right amount of wiggle room." Danielle Directo-Meston, Verywell writer and product tester 

Best for Women: Orthofeet Proven Bunions Heel and Foot Pain Relief

Orthofeet Proven Bunions Heel and Foot Pain Relief

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Excellent cushioning

  • Breathable

  • Lightweight

Cons
  • Limited color options

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.

Price at time of publication: $130

Materials: N/A | Cushioning: N/A | Closure: Velcro

Best for Men: Orthofeet Proven Plantar Fasciitis

Orthofeet Proven Plantar Fasciitis

Amazon

Pros
  • Inner lining prevents irritation from rubbing

  • Lightweight

  • Comes in various widths

Cons
  • Sizes run small

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.

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.

Price at time of publication: $140

Materials: Synthetic upper | Cushioning: N/A | Closure: Lace-up

Best for High Arches: Vionic Women's Walker Classic Sneaker

4.8
Vionic Walker Classic Sneaker

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Excellent cushoning

  • Helps promote smoother transitions

  • Helps keep proper alignment

Cons
  • No extra-wide size option

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 walking shoes. Vionic’s Orthaheel 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, ensuring a smooth 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.

Price at time of publication: $110

Materials (upper, sole, etc): Leather upper, synthetic sole | Cushioning: N/A | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Plantar Fasciitis with Heel Spurs: Dansko Women's Professional Clog

4.7
best-kitchen-shoes

Courtesy of Zappos

Pros
  • Deep heel cup

  • Excellent shock absorption

  • Comes in various colors

Cons
  • No extra-wide size option

Plantar fasciitis is no picnic, but adding heel spurs to the mix can take the condition from uncomfortable to unbearable. About 70% 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 Clogs are 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 upper 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.

Price at time of publication: $140

Materials: Leather upper, polyurethrane sole | Cushioning: N/A | Closure: Slip-on

Best Walking Sandals: Birkenstock Arizona Leather Sandal

Birkenstock sandal

Birkenstock

Pros
  • Sole molds to your feet

  • Distributes weight evenly

  • Comes in various colors

  • Durable

Cons
  • Expensive

Sandals can be a plantar fasciitis-friendly option for people with foot pain, as they can be slipped on first thing in the morning to prevent "first step pain." Contoured sandals are as effective as shoe inserts in reducing pain, although it is important to distinguish them from flat flip-flops. Birkenstock’s sandals are designed with comfort in mind for an 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.

Price at time of publication: $135

Materials: Leather upper, synthetic sole | Cushioning: EVA | Closure: Slip-on

How We Selected the Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

To choose the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis, we first asked John Huenink, founder of insole company BioMoto, Dr. Ami Sheth, DPM, FACFAS, a podiatrist, and Alan Bass, DPM, a podiatrist, for their expert opinions on which features every pair should have.

After that, we researched dozens of shoes from the most popular, trusted brands. We considered cushioning, support, price, and style. We also examined the type of shoe, which materials it was made with, and how much arch support it offered.

What To Look For in Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Shoe Type

Unlike running, walking doesn’t require a specific shoe. There are multiple options to choose from, including sneakers, clogs, sandals, and athletic shoes, but you want to remember the intended use of the shoe before wearing one.

"Are you wearing flats and walking for miles? Then, your feet will hurt,” says Dr. Ami Sheth, DPM, FACFAS. “Just like you aren’t going to play soccer with house slippers on, you have to remember to dress your feet for the appropriate job you’re going to ask them to do,” she says. She recommends thinking about shoes as exercise equipment and using the shoe appropriately. 

Cushioning 

One of the main factors contributing to comfort is the footbed cushioning, and without a comfortable shoe, someone is less likely to wear it in the first place. Sheth says that cushioning is a good shock absorber. “Some people with plantar fasciitis also have an inflamed heel pad, so cushioning can help soften the blow when your heel strikes the ground,” she says. 

Arch Support

It’s important to pay attention to arch support because those with plantar fasciitis have a plantar fascia that wants to extend more than it should, causing inflammation. A supportive arch on the footbed helps prevent the foot from stretching, limiting the pain and irritation caused by plantar fasciitis. “For me, it’s one of the most important parts of treatment and one of the most successful,” Sheth says. 

Materials

Between the footbed, the insoles, the lining, and the upper, a walking shoe has multiple materials that contribute to overall comfort. Sheth notes that there is a variety of rubber and foam soles on the market, and some of them (like Brooks' Women's Addiction Walker Walking Shoes) use gel or air to provide additional cushioning. In terms of fabric used, you want to make sure it suits your needs and where you’ll be walking—mesh is breathable, nylon is sweat-wicking, and leather is durable.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are walking shoes good to wear if you have plantar fasciitis?

    Yes, wearing supportive and well-cushioned walking shoes can help alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis and prevent a recurrence. "Another benefit of wearing walking shoes is that most of them have removable insoles, so they can accommodate a functional foot orthotic," says podiatrist Alan Bass, DPM, a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association.

  • Can walking make plantar fasciitis worse?

    Walking, especially for long distances, through the pain of plantar fasciitis can often lead to more pain and result in months of recovery, especially if you’re walking in the wrong type of shoes. Wearing flimsy flip-flops, unsupportive sandals, or shoes without much cushioning while walking can exacerbate plantar fasciitis symptoms.

  • How much does a pair of quality walking shoes for plantar fasciitis cost?

    You can expect to pay $100-$150 for a high quality pair of walking shoes for plantar fasciitis. Cheaper pairs might not have enough support or cushioning, especially if you stand or walk around all day long. More expensive pairs may be more stylish, and will likely last longer. The cheapest shoe on our list, Vionic's Women's Walker Classic Sneaker, is often available for under $90. Our top overall pick, Brooks' Women's Addiction Walker Walking Shoes, was $120 when we published this list.

9 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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