The 10 Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis, According to Experts (2024)

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You don’t (always) have to give up your runs if you are dealing with all-too-common foot pain, but you do need to wear the appropriate footwear no matter what. Here’s what to consider when buying the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis.

If you love to run, you know how frustrating it can be when an injury sets you back. No matter if it’s the endorphin rush that calls you to the pavement or a specific training plan for an upcoming race, the more you run, the more at risk you are for common ailments like dreaded plantar fasciitis. Statistics show that 42 percent of middle-distance runners and 25 percent of long-distance runners experience plantar fasciitis, so if it happens to you, know you aren’t alone. “Runners put an additional strain on the plantar fascia due to increased load bearing making them more prone to plantar fasciitis,” says Hilary Brenner, DPM, a New York-based podiatrist and foot surgeon. “In addition, if runners have biomechanical issues such as flat feet or high arches this further increases the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.”

A smart treatment plan will include stretches for plantar fasciitis, pain relievers, and choosing the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis. In fact, it’s particularly important for runners to choose the best shoes for plantar fasciitis as while staying mobile is advisable, you don’t want to push yourself too hard with poor footwear or you’ll simply prolong your recovery. (On the topic of recovery, slippers for plantar fasciitis and recovery slides are good options for off days.)

To set you up for success and get you laced up and pain-free faster, we tapped doctors and other foot health experts to share their picks — plus running shoes that are beloved by reviewers — for the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis for all kinds of athletes, foot types, and terrains. Shop the list, then keep scrolling for more tips for dealing with plantar fasciitis.

Top Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2024

  • Best Women’s: Brooks Ariel ‘20 Running Shoes
  • Best for Foot Pain: Nike Vaporfly 3 Running Shoes
  • Best Men’s:Asics Gel-Kayano-29 Running Shoes
  • Best for Plantar Fasciitis and Overpronation: New Balance Fresh Foam x 860v13 Running Shoes
  • Best for Heel Pain: Adidas Ultraboost Light Running Shoes
  • Best Trail Running Shoes: Asics Gel-Venture 8 Running Shoes
  • Best Carbon Plate Shoes: Hoka Carbon X 3 Running Shoes
  • Best for Flat Feet and Plantar Fasciitis: Altra Torin 6 Running Shoes
  • Best for High Arches and Plantar Fasciitis: On Cloudflyer 4 Running Shoes
  • Best Doctor-Recommended Shoes: Hoka Clifton 9 Running Shoes

Best Women’s Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Brooks Ariel ‘20 Running Shoes

Best for: Those who might need extra width
Size range: 6 to 13; medium, wide, and extra wide widths
Weight: 10.7 oz.
Special features: GuideRail technology for added stability
Pros: Maximum support, 12 mm heel-to-toe drop
Cons: Neutral overall stability, 5 mm toe drop

$160Buy Women’s At Amazon

The Brooks Ariel ‘20 sneakers are a women’s only running shoe that made the list of the best shoes for plantar fasciitis thanks to its high level of cushion and serious support systems. Notably, the design includes the brand’s GuideRails technology that offers stability on the sides of the feel to prevent movement, which is important when dealing with plantar fasciitis foot pain. “The grippy rubber outsole adds extra stability and can reduce overpronation, which, in turn, takes stress off the plantar fascia,” says Dr. Brenner of these comfortable sneakers for women.

Best Running Shoes for Foot Pain

Nike Vaporfly 3 Running Shoes

Best for: Runners looking to PR
Size range: 5 to 12 women’s; 6 to 15 men’s
Special features: Carbon fiber plate, midsole takes pressure off inside of foot
Pros: Bouncy feel, yet stable
Cons: Pricey, minimal colorways

$250Buy Men’s At Nike

Nike’s racing sneaker was built for those who love speed, but even if you aren’t planning to crush a race anytime soon, you’ll find that the Vaporfly 3 running shoes are crazy comfy, even on your worst foot pain days with plantar fasciitis. The midsole design was crafted to get wider around the heel in order to take pressure off the middle of the foot — exactly what you’ll need if you want to avoid aggravating the plantar fascia. “The carbon fiber energy return in the midsole will reduce the need for as much foot muscle work during running,” adds Dr. Warner. “This increases efficiency and can help take pressure off the connective tissues like plantar fascia.”

Best Men’s Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Asics Gel-Kayano 29 Running Shoes

Best for: Anyone looking for a versatile everyday run shoe
Size range: 6 to 16
Weight: 10.5 oz.
Special features: midsole cushioning makes for softer landings
Pros: Max cushion, 10mm heel-to-toe drop
Cons: Not recommended for underpronators or those with high arches

$160Buy Men’s At Asics

If you’re looking for comfortable shoes for men, these are are it. The latest version of the Asics Gel-Kayano (also available in women’s, for what it’s worth) is lighter and offers premium stability — important for keeping unwanted pressure on your plantar fascia. It’s “a stable shoe that has moderately high support,” says Dr. Brenner, who adds that this running shoe for plantar fasciitis also makes for a great everyday sneaker. “The more cushion the less of the strain on the plantar fascia and the rest of the foot structures.”

Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis and Overpronation

New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v13 Running Shoes

Best for: Everyday neighborhood runners
Size range: 5 to 13 women’s; 7 to 16 men’s
Weight: 8.6 oz. women’s; 10.9 oz. men’s
Special features: Foam cushion made in-part with renewable materials
Pros: 10 mm heel-to-drop, reflective accents for greater visibility
Cons: Women’s only come in two widths; men’s come in four

$140Buy Men’s At New Balance

$140Buy Women’s At New Balance

The New Balance Fresh Foam x 860v13 running shoes for plantar fasciitis were made for the “stability-minded every day runner,” per the brand’s website. So, you can confidently take on your next run, jog, or walk knowing you are going to feel supported with each stride. A key component to keeping plantar fasciitis at bay is to maintain your natural gait without over or underpronation, and these sneakers can help your foot stay in alignment thanks to a supportive medial post for better motion control, even as your legs get tired at the end of a run.

Related: The Best New Balance Running Sneakers

Best Running Shoes for Heel Pain

Adidas Ultraboost Light Running Shoes

Best for: Pain-free running in style
Size range: 5 to 12 women’s; 4 to 18 men’s
Weight: 9.2 oz. women’s; 10.5 oz. men’s
Special features: Tons of color options — 16 for men and 15 for women
Pros: Nice heel-to-toe drop, lightest design in the collection yet
Cons: Highly responsive so could feel unstable to some runners

$190Buy Men’s At Adidas

$190Buy Women’s At Adidas

The latest iteration in the Ultraboost family, the Adidas Ultraboost Light, is faster, lighter, and, frankly, brighter, than ever before. But if you are dealing with nagging heel pain from plantar fasciitis, you’ll immediately notice the obvious boost in heel cushioning. The Ultraboost Light sneakers have a 10 mm heel-to-toe drop with heel cushion at a whopping 30 mm. Prevent heel spurs and keep your runs feeling smooth with these running shoes for plantar fasciitis picked by Meredith Warner, M.D., orthopedic surgeon and inventor of The Healing Sole. Bonus: These top Adidas running shoes come in a variety of fun colors to keep things fun on the track. Read our testing review of Adidas Ultraboost Light sneakers for more info.

Best Trail Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Asics Gel-Venture 8 Running Shoes

Best for: Trail running
Size range: 5 to 12 women’s; 7 to 15 men’s
Weight: 8.9 oz. women’s; 12.5 oz. men’s
Special features: Shock-absorbing heel
Pros: Protects natural stride, sockliner molds to foot for custom feel
Cons: Trail runners are typically a bit heavier than road running shoes

$54.95Buy Men’s At Asics

$54.95Buy Women’s At Asics

If you’re looking to hit the trails for a light hike or a walk-run, these top trail running shoes from Asics will help keep your plantar fasciitis pain at bay. Thanks to Asics Gel-Venture running shoes’ shock-absorbing heel you can run with confidence and keep your natural stride, too, courtesy of just-enough stability, says Prestipino. The hybrid walking-hiking-trail running shoe is super versatile and breathable so no weather forecast can stop your next adventure.

Best Carbon Plate Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Hoka Carbon X 3 Running Shoes

Best for: Runners who want to invest in the latest technology
Size range: 5 to 11 women’s; 7 to 14 men’s
Weight: 6.6 oz. women’s; 7.8 oz. men’s
Special features: Meta-Rocker, carbon fiber midsole plate
Pros: Carbon fiber provides greater energy return, forefoot rocker
Cons: High price tag

$200Buy Women’s At Zappos

The Hoka Carbon X 3 running shoes for plantar fasciitis have a lot going from them. First, the carbon fiber plate in the midsole is designed to help with efficient energy return by adding structure and stability to the midsole foam, says Dr. Brenner. Next, the brand’s Meta-Rocker means you’ll feel like your foot rocket launches off the forefoot with every stride. This higher heel and forefoot rocker is a well-known benefit for those dealing with plantar fasciitis heel pain as it helps relieve pressure off the ligament.

Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet and Plantar Fasciitis

Altra Torin 6 Running Shoes

Best for: Flat feet or those who prefer a stiffer shoe
Size range: 5 to 12 women’s; 7 to 15 men’s
Weight: 8.3 oz. women’s; 9.9 oz. men’s
Special features: Zero-drop
Pros: High cushion, APMA-certified
Cons: Heavier than other road running shoes, zero drop not best for all foot types

$75Buy Men’s At Amazon

$75Buy Women’s At Amazon

Don’t be immediately turned off by the flat-sole of these shoes. Those with naturally flat feet will appreciate the stiff sole and natural feel to these Altra Torin 6 running shoes for plantar fasciitis. The balanced cushioning of these shoes means “puts your heel and forefoot at an equal distance from the ground, encouraging better alignment and form,” according to the brand. “I love Altras because zero-drop is much more natural to the [way] the human body was designed,” says Dr. Warner. “The Torin has a good amount of cushioning and will provide the initial feel of comfort many people desire.”

Related:
The Best Shoes for Flat Feet
The Best Sandals for Flat Feet

Best Running Shoes for High Arches and Plantar Fasciitis

On Cloudflyer 4 Running Shoes

Best for: Runners of all level
Size range: 5 to 11 women’s; 7 to 14 men’s
Weight: 7.4 oz. women’s; 9.9 oz. men’s
Special features: Trademarked Helion foam
Pros: Lightweight, plush cushion
Cons: Low-profile could lack ankle stability

$150Buy Men’s At Nordstrom

$170Buy Women’s At REI

The On Cloudflyer 4 sneakers will support the plantar fascia ligament and your arches, says Prestipino. The 9 mm heel-to-toe drop is right in the sweet spot if you’re looking for a mid-range forefoot rocker. The brand’s Helion foam is uniquely designed for rigidity where you need to feel stable and flexibility where you want to feel unrestricted. Either way, you’ll know that whatever your individual stride feels like, your plantar fascia will be protected. P.S., if you took time off running, these also make great walking shoes for high arches, too.

Related: The Best Arch Support Shoes for Women

Doctor-Recommended Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Hoka Clifton 9 Running Shoes

Best for: Those looking for a lightweight yet high-cushion shoe
Size range: 5 to 12 women’s; 7 to 16 men’s
Weight: 7.3 oz. women’s; 8.7 oz. men’s
Special features: Heel stability, versatile for everyday wear and runs
Pros: Lots of support, stable and reflective heel panel
Cons: Neutral overall stability, 5 mm toe drop

$145By Men’s At Nordstrom

$145Buy Women’s At Nordstrom

The Hoka Clifton 9 sneakers have been awarded the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance which means podiatrists have recognized the shoe as being beneficial for overall foot health. Not only do you have science behind this pick, but the Hoka Clifton offers a balanced cushion throughout the shoe and a breathable upper so you can stay cool on hot days. They’re one of the best cushioned running shoes that feel extra comfortable underfoot.

Will Running With Plantar Fasciitis Make It Worse?

Unfortunately, “yes, running can make plantar fasciitis worse due to the additional strain on the plantar fascia ligament because of the increased load bearing,” says Dr. Brenner. That said, it’s important to stay active if you have plantar fasciitis because keeping the ligament mobile can reduce mild plantar fasciitis symptoms. “Most people should simply avoid the activities that hurt while undergoing treatment,” says Dr. Warner. “Remaining totally inactive is probably the worst thing someone can do.”

There are a few key things you can do to prevent further damage and keep running while healing your plantar fasciitis. Dr. Brenner advises that anyone dealing with plantar fasciitis wear a maximalist, high-cushioned shoe (such as the Hoka Clifton or Bondi) to help reduce stress and strain on the foot when running.

What’s more, you can decrease the pressure on the fascia by limiting the mileage or amount of minutes running, says Melissa Prestipino, DPT, a licensed physical therapist and owner of Maize & Blue Rehab in Sparta, NJ. If you do take time off from running to kickstart your plantar fasciitis healing process, you’ll want to “increase your training program slowly to help re-adjust to running and the pressure placed on the feet,” says Prestipino.

She also recommends avoiding harder surfaces such as pavement or concrete opting to run on a cushioned track, if available instead and avoiding running up or down hills. Gentle stretching of the calf and hamstring muscles, which, when tight, can negatively impact the tension on the plantar fascia, as well as ensuring you adequately warm up the feet before jumping back into your runs, will also help you prevent another plantar fasciitis flare up, says Prestipino.

What to Look for In the Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

As with anyone else, runners can have flat feet or high arches and they may have a gait that is overpronated or supinated, all of which can lead to more inflammation of the plantar fascia, says Prestipino. That’s why the proper running shoes for plantar fasciitis are so important. “If the runner has the right fitted shoe, such as to keep the foot in neutral and to avoid excessive pronation or supination, this can help decrease the strain on the plantar fascia,” she says. Key features to look for in the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis are:

  • Cushion: Adequate cushioning will help decrease the forces through the feet and decrease the inflammation of the plantar fascia and is important to overall comfort. Consider a pair of the best cushioned running shoes.
  • Forefoot rocker: This isn’t a must-have feature, but some people with plantar fasciitis may find a shoe with a forefoot rocker or a toe spring may be helpful in relieving fascia pressure. A forefoot rocker is essentially an upward curve of the sole of a shoe underneath the ball of the foot and toes.
  • Firm heel counter: Supporting and stabilizing the heel can help to reduce the risk of developing a heel spur as well, as this is commonly associated with plantar fasciitis, says Prestipino. The best shoes for heel spurs are also a good choice if you already have the condition.
  • Strategic design for your foot type: It goes without saying that any shoe you wear should work well for your foot shape, type, and gait, but that’s even more important when looking for shoes for runners with plantar fasciitis. Consulting a footwear pro can ensure you find a shoe that’s made for say, flat feet that overpronate or feet with high arches with a supinated gait. By decreasing unnecessary movement in the foot, you’re taking stress off of the plantar fascia, says Dr. Brenner.
  • Stiff insole: Those with plantar fasciitis want to avoid shoes with super flexible soles, says Brenner. “You don’t want to be able to bend the shoe in half like a taco,” she laughs. “Instead, only the toe box should bend.” This helps to stabilize the foot which puts pressure on the plantar fascia, she explains.
  • High heel-to-toe drop: Heel-to-toe drop refers to the difference in thickness of a shoe’s sole between the heel and forefoot. A good range for the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis is 7 to 12 mm, says Brenner. Again, this will help put more pressure on the forefoot to therefore take some of the stress off the plantar fascia, she says.

What Are the Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis?

“Runners put additional strain on the plantar fascia due to repetitive microtrauma associated with persistent load bearing caused by excessive stress on the heel where the plantar fascia [ligament] attaches,” explains Dr. Brenner. Because of this, “it’s important for runners to find the right shoe that will help reduce stress and strain of impact forces.”

Looking for features including adequate cushion throughout the shoe — notably in the heel area — as well as a relatively stiff insoles to ensure stability, a 7-12 mm heel-to-toe drop and a forefoot rocker to put less pressure on the plantar fascia, and, of course, a well-fitting shoe overall will help you find the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis. In some instances, insoles for plantar fasciitis may be necessary for extra support.

Bottom line: “If the runner has the right fitted shoe, such as to keep the foot in neutral and to avoid excessive pronation or supination, this can help decrease the strain on the plantar fascia,” and keep you moving throughout the healing process, says Prestipino.

The Best Stretches for Runners with Plantar Fasciitis

When it comes to plantar fasciitis treatments, keeping your calf muscles limber as well as releasing tension in the ligaments of the foot itself will help ease plantar fasciitis pain and prevent it in the future, says podiatrist and marathon runner Tim Karthas, DPM. Tight calves up your risk for plantar fasciitis, as this can reduce ankle mobility and put more pressure on the fascia of the foot, he explains. Compression socks for plantar fasciitis are helpful to wear on off days, but stretching is key. Some plantar fasciitis stretches for runners, per Prestipino, include:

  • While lying on your back, raise a straight leg back toward your head with flexed feet. (You can use a yoga strap or towel to help guide the movement if your flexibility is limited.) Manually bend toes toward head to stretch calves. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3 times. Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Stand facing a set of stairs with feet on bottom step, heels hanging off the edge. Slowly lower heels to release tension in calves. Hold for 20 to 30 seconds and repeat 3 times. This can be done up to 2 to 3 times a day. This stretch should be avoided if you also have a heel spur (which can happen with plantar fasciitis).
  • Stand with staggered feet (one foot in front of the other, hips-width distance apart). Bend the front knee, while keeping the back leg straight. You can bend the torso toward the knee or foot if range of motion allows. This position should get into the soleus calf muscle for an even deeper stretch. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat 3 times. Repeat with the opposite foot in front.
  • Sitting in a chair, cross one leg over the other bringing the ankle of the lifted leg up to the knee of the other making a figure-4 shape. With flexed feet, gentle pull back toes, paying special attention to the big toe for a nice stretch. Hold for 15 to 20 seconds, and repeat 3 times. You can repeat this stretch up to 2-3 times a day.

How We Chose the Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

For more than 75 years, Footwear News has been the shoe authority. Our coverage spans top industry news, retail trends, head-to-toe fashion, athletic and outdoor analysis and more. Footwear News’ global network of editors has carefully curated all product selections featured using our expansive brand knowledge and thorough research to find quality, long-lasting items.

No matter if you’re looking for women’s running shoes for plantar fasciitis or men’s running shoes for plantar fasciitis, our process to find you the best of the best is the same. To put together this list, we consulted multiple experts in the field of podiatry and orthopedics. What’s more, some of them have experienced plantar fasciitis themselves and are also avid runners who understand the need to stay in the game without making foot pain worse. We also looked for shoes that had one or multiple features recommended by foot pros for the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis. When available, we consulted published research regarding plantar fasciitis and the type of footwear that is best for those with it. Customer reviews and footwear market research helped to round out our selection for the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis, so you can shop with confidence and get back to clocking miles in no time. Learn more about us here.

Meet The Experts

Hillary Brenner, DPM, is a New York-based podiatrist and foot surgeon and is also a spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). She has received extensive training in new foot care technologies such as shock wave therapy, which can be used to treat plantar fasciitis.

Meredith Warner, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon based in Louisiana. She’s also the founder of Well Theory, a health supplement brand, and inventor of The Healing Sole, a patented flip flop designed to help heal plantar fasciitis.

Tim Karthas, DPM, is a podiatrist based in Peabody, Massachusetts and a seasoned marathon runner who partners with the Oofos brand of recovery footwear. He specializes in foot and ankle surgery and podiatry and has previous experiences (and healed from) plantar fasciitis himself.

Melissa Prestipino, DPT, is a licensed physical therapist and owner of Maize & Blue Rehab in Sparta, NJ. She has treated many patients with plantar fasciitis over the years and has a special interest in foot problems as she has a background in ballet.

Meet The Author

Alyssa Sparacinois a content strategist, editor, and writer with a focus on fitness, health, and wellness with more than a decade of experience in digital media. She most recently held the role of editorial director at Shape Magazine. Her writing has been published in outlets including Shape, Health, What to Expect, Men’s Journal, Travel & Leisure, and more.Sparacinoholds a personal training certification with the American Council on Exercise.

For more than 75 years, Footwear News has been the shoe authority. Our coverage spans top industry news, retail trends, head-to-toe fashion, athletic and outdoor analysis and more. Footwear News’ global network of editors has carefully curated all product selections featured using our expansive brand knowledge and thorough research to find quality, long-lasting items. Learn more about us here.

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