The 6 Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

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Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a part of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain around the heel and arch of your foot. Classic signs of the condition include pain when getting out of bed in the morning.

You can usually help plantar fasciitis with things like rest, ice packs and comfortable shoes. 

You’re more likely to get plantar fasciitis from exercising on hard surfaces, wearing shoes with poor support and are at greater risk if you are very overweight.

best running shoes for plantar fasciitis

The 26 bones of the foot make up the arch. The arch of the foot is there to help absorb the shock and impact when you walk and run.

The Plantar Fasciitis tendon runs along the bottom of the foot and connects the arch from the heel to the forefoot.

With each step you take, the Plantar Fasciitis tendon stretches a little on impact and then retracts as your foot leaves the ground to bring the arch back into shape, ready to absorb the next footstep.

The excessive strain put on the tendon from wearing flatter, unsupportive shoes can contribute to the tendon becoming strained and the condition, along with the associated pain, developing.

Of course, the first point of call when treating Plantar Fasciitis (as well as any injury) would be to seek professional medical help, be it from a doctor or physiotherapist.

Self-help for the condition can include the traditional, rolling your foot over a tennis ball and applying ice to the area.

Whilst these two things may alleviate the pain, they won’t necessarily make the condition go away.

Further reading on the subject can be found here.

This research suggests that strengthening the Plantar Fascia tendon can have a positive effect in reducing pain in the region.

When considering the best shoes to wear when dealing with Plantar Fasciitis I would usually recommend a supportive shoe that both elevates the heel and helps control the stretch on the tendon, under the arch.

All these shoes for plantar fasciitis are available in both men’s and women’s styles and sizes. The stats provided are for a men’s size 8 shoe and will, of course, vary slightly.

plantar fasciitis

Best Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

#1 New Balance 860v13

New Balance 860v13

WEIGTH: 309g / 10.9 oz/ HEEL STACK: 27mm* estimate/TOE STACK: 17mm* estimate/DROP: 10mm

ProsCons
Good combination of cushioning and energy returnSome find the fit a little narrow, try before you buy!
All round supportive fit
Plush yet breathable upper

The 860 is a well-established support-type running shoe.

Now in its thirteenth season, the latest edition features the brand’s best cushioning to date, FreshFoam X.

Whilst FreshFoam X is featured across many of the brand’s modelled, in the 860v13 it takes the most well-rounded form offering a good balance of cushioning with a responsive feel.

A medial post of a firmer density sits under the arch region of the foot within the cushioning and works very well at both controlling over-pronation and, in this scenario, reducing the strain on the Plantar Fascia tendon.

Of course, medial posts and now seen by many brands as an ‘old fashioned’ method of controlling the pronation of the foot, but here, there’s no denying it works very well. 

Like many of the shoes for plantar fasciitis featured in this list, the upper of the 860v13 is an engineered mesh design and provides a neat and supportive fit.

A nice design touch is how the heel tab gently flares away from the Achilles tendon both to avoid irritation and welcome the foot into the shoe.

#2 Saucony Guide 16

Saucony Guide 16

WEIGHT: 269g / 9.5oz / HEEL STACK: 35mm / TOE STACK: 27mm / DROP: 8mm

ProsCons
Lightest shoes for plantar fasciitis shoe on testLong-term durability could be better
Fast ‘feel’
Rocker forefoot feels great

Another shoe with a well-established following, the Saucony Guide 16 provides that much-sought-after combination of cushioning and support. 

Here, the shoe bridges the gap a little towards faster, more race-type shoes thanks to a noticeable forefoot rocker that encourages a slightly fast gait cycle.

The PWRRUN foam midsole is a little softer than previous versions but with the benefit now of being a little more responsive.

It’s worth noting that in the new, somewhat confusing world of cushioning, where brands seem to use the same names across a range of models there are both PWRRUN and PWRRUN+ foams available from Saucony.

PWRRUN tends to be used in training shoes and PWRRUN+ is reserved for the faster models and racing shoes.

PWRRUN as featured in the Guide 16 is fine for an everyday training shoe and gives a capable enough performance while being lightweight.

The support comes from a medial arch ‘clip’, a small plastic arch inserted into the midsole cushioning.

The purpose of this support device is, of course, to provide control and whilst doing so it reduces the strain on the Plantar Fascia tendon.

The upper offers further support with a midfoot strap that incorporates into the laces to securely lock the foot in place. 

The Saucony Guide 16 is a great everyday supportive training shoe that works well for those wanting a shoe that can also offer a slightly livelier performance thanks to its forefoot rocker design.

#3 Puma ForeverRun Nitro

Puma ForeverRun Nitro

WEIGHT: 272gm / 9.6oz / HEEL STACK: 36mm / DROP: 10mm

ProsCons
Soft, smooth riding cushioningUpper could be improved (just a little)
Supportive without being intrusive
High energy return feel

Unlike many of the well-established models featured here, the ForeverRun Nitro is brand new this season.

Marking something of a return to the fold for Puma, this shoe is their support category model and it fills that space in the line-up breaking from conventional design.

The ForeverRun Nitro features a dual-density midsole. A softer Nitro foam cushioning sits within a slightly firmer, outer core.

This combination allows the foot to ‘sink’ into the cushioning and stabilise it. It works very well and at the same time feels soft and plush.

While the Nitro foam can feel highly responsive with a good level of energy return, here it feels a little toned down. It’s still a great feel and overall ride, just don’t expect carbon racer levels of toe-off!

Other design features contribute to the overall stability of the shoe such as the flared heel and external plastic heel counter.

The fit of the shoe is a little broader in the forefoot and as well as accommodating a wider foot, helps promote more stability.

PUMAGRIP rubber covers the sole and as has been noted by many users across several styles using this rubber, it provides excellent traction in any conditions.

#4 Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23

WEIGHT: 286g / 10.1oz / HEEL STACK: 36mm / TOE STACK: 26mm / DROP: 10mm

ProsCons
Great cushioning and all-round supportThere are no bad points, the GTS is a consistently high performer!
Versatile performer – suits a wide range of people
Available in width fittings

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS consistently features across many ‘best buy’ guides for a reason. It’s a great shoe.

It provides good levels of cushioning and support, fits well, is available in a good range of width fittings and is very well made.

When worn as a shoe to help with Plantar Fasciitis, the Adrenaline 23 provides support that is adaptable to many users.

The brand’s Guiderails are an extension of the shoe’s cushioning that wraps up around the rear of the foot.

If the foot should roll out laterally or inwards, medially, the Guiderails provide control and keep the foot centred in a neutral position.

Working, as the brand says like the rails at a bowling alley that can be put in place for children (or just poor bowlers!) the rails only come into play if required. By working in this manner, the shoe can cater for pretty much any runner.

Available in width fittings from narrow all the way to (double) extra wide, the already accommodating upper of the Adrenaline GTS23 can cater for the vast majority of users.

This upper is light and breathable, neatly padded and always put together well in a wide range of colour palettes.

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 is a great choice for both Plantar Fasciitis sufferers and a very wide range of athletes.

#5 ASICS GT2000v11

ASICS GT2000v11

WEIGHT: 275g / 9.7oz / HEEL STACK: 23mm / TOE STACK:15mm / DROP: 8mm 

ProsCons
Established performerNot as durable as some of the competition
Softer than previous versionsPrice increase – again!
Medial support is now less intrusive

One of the most established shoes here, the GT2000v11 has been around for over twenty years in various GT20XX iterations!

Always being billed as an everyday support category shoe, the GT2000 now uses the latest FF BLAST foam to reduce the weight a little and provide a slightly more responsive ride.

The familiar GEL cushioning is still present in the heel, or at least for now, as we’ve seen this disappear from the latest Nimbus and Kayano models so maybe the GT2000 will be next to see this go?

The support comes from a medial post-type design. In the latest model this posting, while still present is blended into the overall design, so it’s still effective, just less intrusive.

It makes for a smoother and more stable ride without the wearer being overly aware.

The GT2000 has, thanks to its longevity in the market gained many loyal followers and will remain a popular shoe.

It undoubtedly offers good cushioning and support. In this selection of shoes, it’s worth noting that it sits a little lower to the ground in terms of overall stack height.

So, as always, try to try the shoes before you buy, especially if coming from other higher-stacked shoes.

#6 Mizuno Wave Inspire 19

WEIGHT: 303gm / 10.7oz / HEEL STACK: 37mm / TOE STACK: 25mm / DROP: 12mm

Mizuno Wave Inspire 19
ProsCons
12mm drop reduces strain on the Plantar Fascia tendonSlightly slimmer fit than the previous version, try before you buy
Proven track record
Versatile and adaptable on most surfaces

Whilst there is no specific evidence for this, in my experience as a specialist running store owner for the last 20 years, over the course of the last ten or so of these years, the Mizuno Wave Inspire have consistently been the top shoes for Plantar Fasciitis sufferers.

Ok, so it’s anecdotal, but there just seems to be something about the Mizuno Inspire that ‘hits the spot’ for sufferers of the condition. I think it’s purely down to the internal shape of the shoe.

How the midsole and Wave support plate ‘fit’ under the arch creates a close and structured fit and feel that makes good contact with the foot to offer great support.

The Wave Inspire 19 now features a full-length Enerzy midsole. This is the brand’s unique cushioning foam that provides a relatively soft and high-energy return feeling.

Combined with the Wave plate, which here is a little ‘stronger’ on the medial side, the shoe provides great support and a structured fit.

The outsole provides excellent traction and works well on a wide variety of surfaces, even offering reasonable grip on light trails and gravel.

An engineered mesh upper is plush and fits well around the foot and is neatly padded around the heel collar. 

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Paul Freary really does have a lifetime of experience as an athlete. Paul’s father, Mike was British record holder over 10,000m in 1966, so Paul was almost born to run. With best times ranging from 3:56 for the mile to 13:55 for 5k, he also clocked a 2:39 at Berlin in 2022 at age 53 and hopes to go quicker this year. Having worked with several leading brands as well as in retail he also knows running footwear inside out and also has experience in gait analysis and orthotics. Paul writes regular running shoe reviews for our site and our Youtube channel!

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