At one point, Chris was barely able to walk due to plantar fasciitis. Years of chronic pain led her to treat it at home successfully.
I'm not a doctor. I'm a long-time sufferer of heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Based on what I learned from physicians, research, and my own experience, I know more than I ever wanted to know about this painful foot condition, the idiosyncrasies of my feet, and which shoes help the pain (or make it worse).
This article has detailed suggestions for therapeutic shoes, specific brands and models, tips on what to look for, and general advice for healing.
Don't miss my poll below about the best footwear brands! I have received over 8,000 responses from readers. Also, read through the comments from fellow heel-pain sufferers. They offer their own suggestions, experiences, and useful advice.
Why Is Footwear Important?
As you probably know by now, when your heel pain is caused by plantar fasciitis, the problem is that the fibrous plantar fascia on the bottom of your foot is inflamed, most likely because of a stress or sports injury. Pain occurs along with the inflammation. You may have noticed that the pain is usually worse in the morning and after any period of rest. It's noticeable as soon as you put your foot down and start to bear weight. Pain after sitting or sleeping is also common. It's more manageable though when you step straight into a pair of anatomical slippers and wear shoes designed to help this injury. Barefoot is bad, for the most part.
Correct foot support isn't enough, of course. When I have a flare-up, I manage the pain with an assortment of therapies involving exercise, stretching, massage, and hot/cold treatment. But first and foremost, I use specialized inserts and insoles, bandages, arch support, and special shoes.
Which Shoes Help Plantar Fasciitis?
It's something of a platitude, but it's true: Every foot is different. When I started having heel pain many years ago, the first thing I did was get new therapeutic footwear—new brands, new styles, everything. I still wear the same brands today to prevent flare-ups: Birkenstock, Haflinger, Brooks, Lowa, and Chaco. The Birkenstock Arizona is my current favorite, because it has the classic support I need for my wide foot without the newer soft footbed and it comes in the full-grain oiled leather that I've found to be so durable.
There are a lot more these days, and many are listed below. You may want to do what I do and use different brands for different activities, like running, walking, working, puttering around at home, and such.
Expect a trial-and-error process. No matter what the hype and sales pitches tell you, there's no single best shoe model for this condition. I mean, not only are your feet different from other people's, but your left foot is probably different from your right foot, and your stride and posture are individual, too. The best thing you can do is to talk to your doctor, read the recommendations below, and assess the shoe models yourself.
One more note about my background: Remember that I am not a health care practitioner. My expertise comes from treating my own plantar fasciitis and obsessively researching the subject each time I bought new shoes.
What to Look for in a Shoe
Your feet need proper arch support and good cushioning in order for the injured foot to heal. As I learned years ago, going barefoot or wearing the wrong shoe for the activity can slow down improvement by weeks or months.
When choosing boots, sandals, and shoes, make sure that the shoe has a removable footbed (also called an insole or insert) if the inbuilt footbed does not have contoured arch support that matches your foot.
If you run, play tennis, or play racquetball, or if you do any high-impact activity, wearing shoes with appropriate arch support as well as flexibility and shock-absorption is essential.
Read More From Patientslounge
The kind of arch support you need depends on...
- Your foot arch—do you have a flat or high arch?
- Whether your feet supinate as you walk (when the inner foot turns out) or pronate (when the inner foot turns in).
Your podiatrist can tell you whether you're a supinator or an overpronator, as well as whether there is anything irregular about your stride. Your podiatrist might recommend custom orthotics. I personally have used the cheaper option—heat moldable orthotics. I use the Sole brand (if you're interested, read my related article on footbeds). These inserts have a hard layer of support and a layer of dense cushioning. They fit into shoes after the removable insoles that come with the shoes are removed.
Whether or not you need orthotic inserts, plantar fasciitis is helped by good arch support. The shoes you pick will decide it.
Best Running Shoes
I wore the Brooks Adrenaline for athletic walking to help my foot with plantar fasciitis. The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine recommends that you get the proper shoe for the kind of motion control you need to correct overpronation or oversupination and that the shoes has good cushioning to help control trauma to the foot.
Check with a physical therapist or occupational therapist about what kind of motion control you need, as not everyone needs the very stiff motion control of some shoes, and the light motion control of others is insufficient to do the job.
Some models they recommend with extreme motion control include:
- New Balance 1123
- Asics Gel-Foundation 7 WSC or Evolution 3
- Brooks Beas
- Saucony ProGrid Stabil
Models with moderate motion control include:
- Brooks Adrenaline GTS 8
- New Balance 90
- Ecco RXP 1660
- Mizuno Wave Alchemy 7 WSC
Light motion control models include:
- New Balance 1010 / W / S
- Asics GT-2130
- Mizuno Wave Nexus 2
- Saucony ProGrid Echelon Score - 35
I also read that Ecco has designed the Ecco Women’s RXP 3060 to treat plantar fasciitis to help take the pressure off the heel. Reviews at FootSmart were very positive: 21 reviewers gave the shoe 4-1/2 stars. There is also a men's version that got a 5-star review from one user.
If you're looking for the best sandals or flip flops, there are special considerations, as arch support insoles won't work with sandals for plantar fasciitis. Make sure they have enough support, cushioning, and flexibility.
I have had good results with Birkenstock sandals mentioned above and Chaco, both of which have extreme arch support. The Chaco link goes to the ZX2 sandal I have. I love it for its water resistance, ingenious adjustability, cushioning, and anatomical footbed. The only problem I encountered was getting the toe loop to stay just-so - it keeps moving and chafes a bit on my feet, especially my larger foot. As with all shoes, your mileage may vary.
Some people might find that Merrell, Mephisto, or Teva work for them—others might find that avoiding sandals altogether is best. But remember, doctors usually say you shouldn't go barefoot with plantar fasciitis if you want your foot to get better as fast as possible.
Walking, Work, and Dress Shoes
Shoe makers such as Clarks, Dansko, Birkenstock, Ecco, and other European comfort shoe manufacturers regularly produce shoes with above-standard arch support.
If you're a nurse or other medical professional, chef, or somebody else who stands on their feet all day, you may want to look at Birkenstock Nursing Shoes for good arch support that would be suitable for nurses with plantar fascia pain. Birks have a contoured cork footbed that molds to the natural contours of the feet. I wore Birkenstocks for dress, work, and walking for almost an entire year and they helped a lot. (Note: I worked in a casual environment, so the style was right.)
I have a normal arch—not high, not flat—and I supinate slightly. I wore Birkenstocks Florida sandals, Paris shoes, and the now discontinued Santa Fe and Phoenix models. The Boston clogs never fit me properly, but I also wore Haflinger clogs as house slippers and they were as good and supportive as Birkenstocks. I would not necessarily recommend the Birkenstock Footprints collection, as these often have a lower arch, but shoes in the Classic collection have done very well for me. For plantar fasciitis sufferers with a high arch, the Tatami line may be the answer.
The CrocsRX Cloud clog for women and men has great ratings by users, although it's not always indicated whether or not the users have heel pain.
Whatever brand you choose, make sure the width is correct and the shoe feels comfortable at first wearing. Don't buy a shoe that a salesperson says will need "breaking in"—shoes shouldn't need to stretch out in order to fit. However, if you're not used to good arch support, you may need to accustom yourself gradually. Begin wearing the new shoes or inserts with arch supports just a few minutes a day and gradually increase until you get used to the feeling.
Poll: Which Shoes Help Your Plantar Fasciitis?
Tips for Alleviating Plantar Fascitis
- The use of old and worn-out shoes can contribute to the problem of plantar fasciitis. Replace your shoes—not when they look ragged, but when the arch support or cushioning has worn down.
- If you're not used to arch support for your feet, break in your shoes, insoles, inserts, or orthotics slowly. I can't emphasize this enough. Wear them just a few minutes the first day and gradually increase according to your podiatrist's recommendations.
- If you buy heel lifts or insoles for your plantar fasciitis, wear them on both feet, not just one foot, even if only one foot is affected (which is usually the case), so as not to set your posture out of alignment.
- Plantar fasciitis lasts so long because people get reinjured regularly—like every time they get up. Massage the feet and do calf stretches for plantar fasciitis regularly, and especially after resting, to condition the muscles, alleve the strain of weight-bearing, and help it heal.
- Consider changing your exercise. It may not be necessary to stop walking—in fact, walking can help plantar fasciitis in some cases. But stop doing the exercise that caused the injury for a while.
- If you don't have arch support insoles, tape your foot regularly during the day to help support the arch and if your doctor recommends it, wear plantar fasciitis night splints at night.
- Remember, check with your foot doctor about your pain to make sure it's plantar fasciitis instead of achilles tendinitis, a stress fracture, or some other foot problem.
Heel Spur or Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is sometimes erroneously called a heel spur, which is a calcium deposit that builds up on the bone of the back of the foot, but doesn't generally cause pain. Typically, it's the inflammation of the plantar fascia following degeneration of the collagen fibers that causes the heel pain, arch pain, and pain on the side of the foot.
Since my affected foot has improved beyond recognition, I've moved on to a new level of personal footwear—minimalist. Specifically, moccasins. Since "barefoot" walking can exacerbate a plantar fasciitis injury, I do not advise this unless you're already well on the way to complete healing, and then only with much care.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Questions & Answers
Question: Crocs were highly recommended to me, so I just ordered a pair. They were not on your list of favorites. Should I cancel my order and buy Birks instead?
Answer: To be completely honest, I remember reading something years ago about Crocs that put me off, and I think I tried them myself in the store. It was a personal thing - they didn't work for me - and I didn't hear of them providing relief for others back then - so I couldn't really promote them. Try them and see, I say! Birks have been the one shoe brand that's consistently helped me through the years. Today my plantar fasciitis seems to be gone for good (knock on wood), but I'm still wearing Birks, the classic footbed. I just ordered a new pair of London - clunky but roomy and comfy.
Question: My podiatrist recommends Hoka-brand shoes. Are they good shoes for plantar fasciitis?
Answer: I'm not familiar with Hoka, but PF-friendly shoes have become something of an industry, and lots of shoe companies are getting on the bandwagon with new styles, recycled styles, or remarketing.
Comments about Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Cindy on June 19, 2019:
Chacos are amazing if you get the original footbed with the heel cup. And Hoka one one is a life saver as well. The gaviota model as well as bondi and Clifton. Obviously, this all depends on your foot shape.
Bärbel on June 04, 2019:
I found Keen's sandals (Venice II Women) and shoes worked well and helped the foot heal last time I had this problem. This time, I haven't yet got rid of it - at four months it's early days yet - but it seems to stop things from getting worse ...
Donna on April 29, 2019:
I hate to go against the current here but it has been my experience that Keen shoes cause plantar fasciitis. I got a pair and several weeks later I developed plantar fasciitis. A couple months ago my husband got some Keens and now he has plantar fasciitis (first time for both of us and we have very different feet structures). They are great looking shoes but I will never purchase another pair.
Tanea Spanton on March 23, 2019:
Great article! I’m a PT assistant who suffers from Bilateral PF and am trying a lot of new styles for business casual women’s shoes. So far I like the Kuru and ABEO brands because of the great arch support. ABEO has a little more cushion than kuru. Great advice. People seem to think only doing one thing will fix the PF but it’s really a multi- angle treatment starting with great footwear.
Katy F on February 11, 2019:
Vionic (used to be OrthoHeel) was referred by my doc and I love them. A little pricey but they're an investment because I need nice work shoes. Also, I'm a girl and I want cute shoes.
Christine on December 27, 2018:
I wear Vionics. Whenever I wear fashionable shoes it’s Vionics as soon as I get home
Jessica on December 12, 2018:
Vionic brand has been the BEST for my plantar fasciitis!
Florence on November 02, 2018:
I've only had PF for a month but Telic's the best at home. They react to heat so wearing them in a hot shower may not be wise.
Alice on October 29, 2018:
Vionic house slippers have actual arch support. Closest I get to barefoot anymore.
Cynthia Carnes on June 26, 2018:
Fit flops. It is a British company but I find mine at Aussie outfitters, Nordstrom and Nordstrom rack, as well as the company website and of corse amazon.
DK on April 07, 2018:
Hoka’s recovery sandals are great. I wear them pretty much everywhere. For walking I wear Hoka’s Clifton 4.
Patty on February 11, 2018:
Amy on November 17, 2017:
Abeo from the Walking Co have worked the best for me.
Niki on November 10, 2017:
Alegria is heavenly
Medpolitic on October 29, 2017:
FitFlops--I can be on my feet for 14hours and not feel pain or feel tired. When I wear other shoes, it's after sitting for a bit that the pain is crippling. But when I wear my FitFlops--no pain!!
Mrs. C. on October 03, 2017:
I ordered a pair of Kuru shoes for plantars fasciitis and they are wonderful.
Kathy on October 02, 2017:
ann thompson on September 25, 2017:
I healed my PF when I stepped into leather Keds walkers that had a removeable inner sole. I felt comfort and relief theoment I tried a pair on. Within a few weeks I knew pain was history. I bought multiple pairs and wore only them for years. Sadly they stopped selling that model but thankfully I had several of the inserts even after the shoes wore out. They worked in other brands of shoes do I was happy. Then they too wore out and within 3 months signs of the condition began to return. Memories of the pain had me at the orthopedic and podiatry route. I spent hundreds on multiple tries at orthotics that I immediately could feel exacerbated the pain rather than ease it. Then I found Clarks shoes and had instant relieve as I did with the keds walkers . Have only worn Clarks since. Only certain styles as some have higher heels and others multi-level padded insole which causes pain on the bottom of my foot. I would love to find an insole similar to the ones from the Keds but to date have had no luck with that. Wondering if one of the insoles you recommend might be the right one for me. As a FYI, wearing the wrong athletic shoe on a long hike is what started the PF in the first place. The arch was struck in the wrong place for my foot even though it was my correct size. So important to feel those shoes before purchasing. Price isn't always a factor for proper fit.
Melissa Freeman on September 22, 2017:
Hoka and Oofos
AW on September 10, 2017:
I've had good luck with Vionic sandals after learning that wearing sandals would be difficult. I'm a teacher and so I'm on my feet all day. My classroom has wood floors so my feet get very sore if I don't have good footwear. I've also had good luck with Skechers. These two brands aren't as expensive as Birkenstocks and the styles are more flattering for my feet.
ml on September 04, 2017:
Walk/work on concrete floors 10+ hrs a day. Keen shoes helped for a number of years, but foot pain started to return. Switched to Hoka's - Clifton, Bondi and Stinson. Have normal arch and can wear the Hoka shoes mentioned w/out orthotics/inserts and am pain free at last. Wear Hoka recovery slides (sandals) around house. Can find Hoka shoes discounted through various sites. Hokas run on the small side, so I order 1 size larger than what I usually wear. Every person & foot is different so good luck!
Karen on September 01, 2017:
Spenco flip flop, Pro-Wellbeing flip flop, footbed sandals with an insole (Birkenstocks don't work for me). Pro-wellbeing slim 3/4 insoles fit into many shoes, I wear them in Skechers shoes all the time. Currently trying out Mephisto Helen footbed sandal.
Marlene on August 27, 2017:
Vionic, formerly Orthaheel.
Patpullano on August 14, 2017:
Vionic is the best for me
Julie on August 14, 2017:
Finn Comfort is wonderful for plantar fasciitis!
FeliciaM on August 01, 2017:
I've found that Abeo, Dansko, Tara M, FitFlop and Taos have been comfortable. Expensive, but you can find them on clearance!
zonkat on July 25, 2017:
Obeo is a great walking shoe. I wore them everyday in Italy on my 3 week vacation painfree!
Dolories on July 21, 2017:
I love my Vionic sandals. I slip them on first thing in the morning otherwise I feel I can't walk. I didn't have much luck when I tried the tennis shoes but my husband loved the comfort of the ones I got for him.
CynthiaJ on July 17, 2017:
Ahnu shoes have been fantastic for me.
Jay on July 15, 2017:
I use Kuru shoes to help my plantar fasciitis, and I have a pair of Spenco house slippers which are divine. I also have Birkenstock and New Balance (with Birkenstock or ProStep insoles) but I cannot wear them too long. My issue is that I don't only need arch support but a soft heel. I just got Vionic sandals, and they seem ok.
Leta on July 10, 2017:
Teva Shoes work great for the high arch and plantar fasciitis
Noreen M. Miñano on July 08, 2017:
Broomstick Arizona and MBT sandals work for me.
Kristi on July 07, 2017:
OOFOS or Kuru's
Chris on June 30, 2017:
Oofos flip flops (the classic style) and Vionic shoes in any style are my go-to's.
Tanya on June 17, 2017:
Okabashi flip flops with superior arch cured my pf. Wear them when getting out of bed and around house. They are cheap and washable. Ladies get the men's they run narrow and small. Must get superior arch footbed.
Julie on June 14, 2017:
Beautifeel (Israeli brand) and Munro American have worked very well for me. Both brands are comfortable with a lot of support. Munro has removable insoles.
Beth on June 11, 2017:
I wear Spenco flip flops and often can find them on Zulily!! When in other shoes I wear an orthotic that was casted by my podiatrist.
Perry on June 09, 2017:
I am healing better with these!
Lima on June 05, 2017:
Vionic shoes, sandles and slippers have helped me so much!!
Alice on May 31, 2017:
I have found superb relief from Vionic brand for plantar fasciitis.
Laura on May 22, 2017:
I use the Sketchers Go Walk shoes (with laces) and Dr Scholl p.f. inserts. I go through the Sketchers relatively quickly due to the soles wearing down.
Nicole on May 11, 2017:
I'm a nurse and the best shoes are the Alegria nursing shoes for nurses w plantar fasciitis. I have severe plantar fasciitis and can't walk across the room without limping when I don't have shoes on. once I put my Algeria shoes on I can't even tell I have problems w my feet.
Connie on May 10, 2017:
I tried many brands you mentioned but they did not give my feet the support needed. I found Aetrex sandals to be not only attractive but amazingly comfortable for my bad foot. I now own four pairs and wear them constantly, even on my week long trip to Disney World.
RHD on May 06, 2017:
I wear Dansko clogs for work (RN)- they are wonderful plus compression socks with an arch band. I'm a lady who lives in Florida so obviously sandals or flip flops.... ABEO, Vionic, Earthies- none are cheap. Boots and sneakers- I just buy whatever and insert my Sole or Abeo orthotics.
Lenora Johnson on May 05, 2017:
Vionic sandals seem to really be helping. I'm looking for some basic slip on shoes now and am starting there. The walking company claims they have shoes for PF as well
Lori on May 03, 2017:
Fitflops help with my heel pain.
Linda on May 03, 2017:
Krissy19747@hotmail.com on May 03, 2017:
In 11 years w this sickening co dition that has ruined my career and lofe the only shoe that gave me any relief was crocs rx relief which no dr ever recommended and now the idiots at crocs stopped making them and im screwed once again have tried all the expensive shoes and nothing has helped as they did
MARY on May 01, 2017:
I recently found Sketchers Go Walk 4 with memory foam to be so good for my Plantar Fasciitis. I also put ortho pads in the shoe and I can walk for miles. I read the quote from ' lifeguard' that he puts the ortho pads under the memory foam - I will try this. Also, I wear the brand 'Fitflops' sandals whilst in the house.
Dan on March 11, 2017:
I started wearing Keens 4 years ago and my foot pain is gone plus they have a wide toe box so I can their regular width fits. Whether its their sandals, casual shoes, or work books I have no problems anymore. Keep in mind, everyones foot is different so maybe a different brand is better for you. Best of luck if you're looking for relief from plantar fasciitis. I'm finally free of it.
Anonymous on March 04, 2017:
Bzees!!! They are amazing!!
lifeguard on February 27, 2017:
Thank you all of you for posting your opinions.
I am NEW to this world of , physical restriction and pain.
I had some knowledge as a male friend is a nurse whom HAD to wear New balance at work.
I started getting heel pain after I believe a stress injury although xray shows no breaks. Push real deep inside of heel and WOWZA
working as a lifeguard - you guess what kind of shoes I MUST wear on concrete at the pool in the heat and the cold and rain at times? SANDALS or flip flopps
I could no longer run, and when recently it affected my ability to surf -that was it .
I went nuts and threw many nice (yet past their time older) sneakers away, and sandals too. I am researching now and learning ...
I bought that swimmers tape that the athletes use when muscles are sore - it's waterproof and wrapped my heel arch and foot .
Same day went and bought two new pairs of Skechers the D lites and put a Scholls brand ortho pad UNDER the memory foam like the saleswomen said. Started walking and BOOM!
UNBELIEVABLE ... instantly combined with taped foot , ----
no pain -at all walking ----but a hint of sensitivity lingered. :)
I walked all day --no pain!
I also purchased the Skechers KOOKY or REGGAE sandal
for work days and the things are very supportive yet not big and clunky like the Brirkenstocks. I just do not get the Birkenstock thing , yet .
I am not even chancing this and gonna try more Brands -which led me here! I purchased a pair of TEVA sandals for another family member a lifegaurd also ..
I can say that the salt water actually makes the heel swelling go down.
I am hoping to be back to a normal life soon running surfing and will wear super thick sandals around my house,
I will never walk barefoot on tile again -god!!!!!
just want my foot better !
Leslie on February 25, 2017:
I have used Strutz arch supports every day for at least five years and they are the best support and aid for my plantar fasciitis.
Ramon on February 15, 2017:
I found that Telic flipflops help a lot. It has good high arch support. However...ITS HURTING THE SKIN ON MY SOLES! It feels like small pins puncturing my foot! But otherwise the plantar fascitiis pain is alleviated. Now to worry about the biting pain on my skin...maybe I can just put masking tape on the soles.
Lynne Clearfield on February 12, 2017:
HOKA sneakers! Awesome cushioning with great arch support. I never would have made it through PF without these shoes!!! HOKA ONE ONE is the brand. Shoes I got include Stinson, Valor and Bondi. All good, though Valor is best for narrow feet.
L H on January 29, 2017:
Apex "anti-shox" insoles! Where are they available now?
Tom on December 19, 2016:
Alice R. Dixon @ Retozon on November 10, 2016:
This is great info to know. I really like to be active Thanks for sharing.
erin on November 07, 2016:
361 brand running shoes worked the best for me.
Ness on November 04, 2016:
Joya shoes are the best .
I have these in joggers,slides and work shoes.They are so soft and relieve my plantar fasciitis pain,I have already had a plantar fasciitis release ,the best thing I did and am awaiting surgery for my other foot.
Orthaheel Vionic for flip flops/ thongs as we call them in Australia.
Andy Lee on November 03, 2016:
ARIATS!! These are horse riding boots with a steele shank - they are super comfy and supportive. The waterproof boots can get hot, fyi. In summer I use Birks or Tevas. I did try a pr of Kuru but while my foot was in strife I couldn't wear them. I also got good house slippers or wore inside birkenstock sandals (I only wore them inside) and never ever went without them. Stretch stretch stretch. I used the sleep sock to keep my foot flexed overnight. Took some getting used to but it really worked! Good luck.
KoKo on October 18, 2016:
I got PF when I tore my meniscus. About a year ago. It is just now getting worse to wear it hurts at all times. I have flat foot/arch and am shopping for a great show to wear to work in a professional setting. Does anyone have any suggesstions as to what brands will work for someone with feet like mine?
Shad on October 05, 2016:
Just adding what worked for me. Struggled with PF for 6 years, then decided to change things and went to barefoot shoes (or so i thought); used the Merrell Bare Access shoes.
A few years later, my PF has gotten a lot better, am able to stand up a lot longer (1 - 2 hours); with no issues.
Still working on the running as i get shin splints, but not PF pain. Love the Merrell Bare Access. had other Merrell shoes, but they exacerbated the pain, the bare access shoes has made things a lot better. It's amazing how similar shoes from the same brand can make such a difference, i.e. bare access really helped but another merrell shoes made things a lot worse.
Hope that's of some help!
Cheryl on October 02, 2016:
Thanks for the advice. I find my Crocs feel the best for my plantar fasciitis.
Cathedral on September 16, 2016:
Many shoes that are renowned for their arch support don't work for me and I think its because my arch is so high. My plantar fasciitis began in the fall and I purchased a pair of the blue Birkenstock insoles and put them in my boots (in Canada I wear boots from October to May) These Birkenstock insoles were instant relief for me. When the boots came off in summer the pain returned and I got a pair of Dansko sandals. Dansko and Finn support were the only two shoes that offered arch support. I now have Dansko clogs as well. Its awful to have such limited choice when you love shoes so the birkenstock insoles are great but the only reason I can fit them in some nice looking dress boots is because my fore foot is extremely wide while the rest of my foot is narrow. The bulky arch support ends up taking up the room that prevented me from wearing boots wide enough for my forefoot.
I recommend anyone with a high arch trying the Blue Birkenstock arch support. It comes in a heeled and flat version and in several widths.
Susan D. on August 29, 2016:
Oofos flip flops and clogs really ease the pain.
Emma B on August 24, 2016:
UK - I have chronic PF and over the years have tried many different brands of shoe. I wear Salomon Elios GTX every day (lucky enough to work for myself in a creative environment so no need to wear formal shoes!) They wear exceptionally well and remain supportive and comfortable even at the tail end of their useful life. They have the added benefit of drying out reasonably quickly when wet & going from town to countryside easily if like me you're an avid walker despite the pain! :) Can't recommend them enough! Merrell for me were a real no-go - the hard sole seemed to lack pressure absorption. Hotter shoes make one or two reasonable looking formal alternatives, however sadly as with many ranges the styles seem to be aimed at the older buyer. I can't give advice on heels for ladies as a bad ankle injury left me unable to wear them! As with all comments though, each will find their own best!
NVDFR on August 15, 2016:
I wear Skecher Shape Up Resistant Runners. The Kinetic Wedge technology really helps my Plantar Fasciitis. Unfortunately they don't make them anymore. I am on my last pair and don't know what to replace them with. I monitor eBay for possible auctions but haven't come across any lately. The arch support is magical!
Elaine on August 12, 2016:
For a flip flop type I wear Telic brand. They also make a slide in without the toe. Excellent for PT since the heel doesn't touch hard on the shoe and the arch support is high. For athletic closed shoes I wear Ascics Gel Nimbus. Highest cushioning, and great support with an arch insert. I LOVE my Abeo brand orthotics purchased from the Walking Company. I like the most cusioned "premium" model which is black with green stripe. Took my 2 year pain away in a few days. I also wear a Cadence arch insert in my athletic shoes. I wear Abeo in 1 foot and Cadence in the other since both feet required different arch supports. My tip: experiment. Don't give up your search for what will work for you.
Sarah on August 08, 2016:
My OOFOS sandals take the pain from plantar facetious away. I have a high arch. They give me support like no other show has. I wish they would make shoes for work
Arnoldo Lacayo on July 24, 2016:
I wear Drew shoes recommended by a podiatrist
Jan on April 08, 2016:
Kuru! I can wear them all day without pain, finally.
Johnny B on April 08, 2016:
TQ on March 13, 2016:
Fitflops work for me
56GMC on March 10, 2016:
Best shoe ever is Kuru. Helped my Plantar and Sciatica
Lisa on March 05, 2016:
Klogs Austin are Amazing! I wear these during fall and my planter almost goes away. However, when spring arrives and I wear alternative shoes/sandals then my Plantar rears it's ugly head again to severe level. Its embarrassing to be limping around town.
I've tried Berkinstocks, Metiphisto, Alegria, Naot, Fitflops, Asics. I'm sooo frustrated. Going on year three of bad plantar fascitis. I've tried the boot, shots, inserts, etc. Any summer shoe recommendations would be appreciated!!
Heel Pain on February 09, 2016:
Rex on February 06, 2016:
WHY. WHY? Do they have to be so ugly?????
Samantha on November 17, 2015:
I had really bad plantar fascitis. I did cortisone shots and PT and my dr wanted to do surgery.. I was doing several hours a week of zumba and wearing really bad shoes for my feet. Flip flops... I still wear flip flops but now i wear vionic brand. They are pricey but qvc carries them and u can get them in easy pay sometimes. I also had the dr schoalls inserts from walmart and now i have been pain free for several months with out surgery. But i stopped zumba and walking in the park. Im hoping im healed enough to start easing back into walking with the proper foot wear!
Saundra lee on October 13, 2015:
Spenco shoes helped me for a few years, as I wore them for gardening and general around the house (I cannot stand between the toe sandals) they had a shoe that was a slip on. However I have gained more weight and this year I began to experience heel pain (my original plantar fascitis diagnosis was maybe 15 years ago, and Clarks shoes with a heel were great for work but I needed a home and garden shoe and the Spenco shoe was awesome until recently). Now I need to find something to help with another aspect of plantar fascitis - heel pain - and a slip on.
Liss on October 03, 2015:
Fit flops are amazing for PF just wished they would be more fashionable my theory now is comfort over style
Jan on September 17, 2015:
Joya shoes are the best!
Shirley on August 30, 2015:
Holly on August 28, 2015:
Vionic by Orthaheel. They rival Birkenstocks. Both are awesome.
M Iler on July 13, 2015:
Fit flops are my relief!
Shady M on July 04, 2015:
Alegria!! Best ever for my pronation, fallen arches, and pf! A sufferer for 20+ years has had relief!
Steve I on April 15, 2015:
My PF really kicked in about 9 months ago. I think this was brought on by the fact that I began wearing flip-flops at age 47 then only replaced them with dress shoes. I've bought two pair of Vionic Bryce flip flops and they are doing wonders for me. Also, I highly recommend getting a night time foot splint which keeps your foot at a near right angle, stretching out the plantar fascia which tries to heal at night time. This is why it hurts so much in the a.m. - the foot tried to heal, didn't get very far, then we tear the repair with that first step in the morn. I wore one for two nights and can tell the difference.
Brenda on March 07, 2015:
I've struggled with PF for several years. I must be the only one but not a fan of Dansko at all. Not enough arch support and too high for me. Purchased the ortho heal insoles and they are a LIVESAVER in just about any shoe. This truly saved my budget for awhile. Then the PT made new insoles for me that were amazing (about the same price). I have been using these since but the PT did tell me that the integrity of any quality insole breaks down in 6-9 months. I will be on the hunt for sandals/cute flats next. Ortho heel sandals work well but would like other options too. Sooooo tired of foot and heal pain.
gail on January 27, 2015:
Fit Flop Gogh Clogs help my bone spur heel pain/fascia pain
Chaco shoe girl on January 19, 2015:
Chaco sandals are the only shoe I can wear without terrible pain. I even have to wear them when it is below freezing outside. I have bought 6 pair of the recommended shoes on this list. None of the 6 pairs helped me for more than an hour. I literally can not walk unless I wear my chacos.
Sam S on January 03, 2015:
The only relief I get is from a pair of Trimsole flip flops (they are toning flip flops ) it's not very good in cold weather though, so I'm looking for something to keep my feet warm too! Great article, I may have to push to see a foot doctor for some real help instead of being fobbed off by GP
theblabbihgtells on November 04, 2014:
Earth Shoes fixed it but can't get men's earth shoes anymore (Kalso) so after trying all the other brands, I am out of luck as nothing else seems to work.
Kris on October 05, 2014:
Oscar Jones from Monroeville, Alabama on October 03, 2014:
Then this was a good article from the well deserved author!! It evoked praise, critiscism, and great participation! shoes are like finding a relationship, just a little more gratifying and comfort giving. A comfortable shoe/ boot, is like having a tonic. hey hey! You don't have to decide today; enjoy the experience! thanks again!!
Brenda Malley on September 18, 2014:
After reading all the comments, I'm more confused than ever about which shoes to pick. It seems everyone has a difference experience with every brand of shoe.
Louise on August 22, 2014:
Regular Crocs were my saviour!
Only now my feet have spread wide, sometimes swell, and I can't fit in any of my regular shoes. But at least I'm comfy in crocs. :-/
Oscar Jones from Monroeville, Alabama on July 13, 2014:
In my article "Boots to work in" I primarily count on georgia giant workboots in my job as a truck driver. otherwise after straining the heel and being diagnosed with plantar fascitis in 08, it was a couple years before I found relief from the constant pain and discomfort. It was a sudden traumatic move on the baseball field that tore this part of the foot when I jumped long and landed hard! it is mostly ok now except I fully relate that sometimes I wake up and its obvious its not going to be a good day especially on my right foot with a deep radiating soreness. it passes eventually so I'm thankful for that. whether a "relapse" or caused by other, such as sciatic related, or simply sometimes from not remembering to remove my wallet from my pocket and sitting and driving, wheras the pain is related the next day, rather than at the time of offence. thanks for the article. take as little pain meds as possible, use the shoe that offers support and relief, as well as get off your feet as often as possible!.
Lacey on June 11, 2014:
I use orthaheel shoes or spenco inserts in sketchers tennis shoes. Works great!
Una Sapiets on April 05, 2014:
I found the best shoes for plantar fasciitis are KALSO EARTH as they have a negative heel which stretches the muscles up the back of the leg and ankle. Can be a little hard on front/ top of foot at first - I found sandals best. But made all the difference in that I could walk fine with PF compared to any other shoes which were agony at worst of PF pain. Sadly I have had to realise that heels are no good for PF - the most natural shaped shoes are best - i.e., what is called zero drop ( flat!) or negative heel to counter the effect of mainstream shoes which mostly have heels, even small ones. Also ALTRA ZERO DROP trainers are good for me, very wide. Also important to do stretches if your shoes don’t do this for you.
Shannon on April 03, 2014:
My FitFlops are a godsend. My Klogs USA clogs are almost as great. My PF went away wearing these shoes.