7 Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis in 2023

Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic on
7 Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis in 2023
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Based on studies, plantar fasciitis affects 1 in every 10 adults, both men and women. Whether you are an athlete or not, one of the ways to reduce plantar fasciitis is to wear comfortable shoes.

We have tested over 40 running shoes that are recommended for plantar fasciitis in our lab to help you find the best ones. And because you may have preferences regarding the level of support, cushioning, or price range, we have selected our top picks in different categories.

And if you want to learn more about this foot condition, read our in-depth article on plantar fasciitis and how to deal with it.

Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis overall

What makes it the best?

The Adrenaline GTS 23 is hands down the best overall shoe for people with plantar fasciitis. It has rock-solid support, ample cushioning, and high heel to toe drop that are ideal for runners who need that added bit of protection for their feet.

And it's hard to find shoes that keep feet protected as well as the GTS 23. Its GuideRails system did a great job keeping the foot from rolling too far inwards or outwards during our runs. The shoe's midsole width in the forefoot and heel are also 4.5 mm and 7 mm wider than average, and we appreciated the safe landing platform that the wide base provided.

The GTS 23 has a good amount of cushioning in the heel with 34.1 mm of foam, which we measured to be 20.7% softer than the average shoe. That combination of cushioning and comfort makes the GTS 23 ideal for cruising along in easy runs.

The GTS 23 also has a 12.6 mm heel to toe drop, which is 41.5% taller than the average running shoe. This is great since shoes with a higher drop help to put weight more in the forefoot and away from the plantar in the heel.

However, the GTS 23 doesn't quite hold up in terms of toebox durability. The shoe scored 1 out of 5 as the mesh upper was significantly destroyed in our standardized Dremel test. So those looking for a shoe with a more durable upper better look elsewhere.


  • Excellent stability without being intrusive
  • Ideal for easy miles
  • Specifically designed for heel strikers
  • Outstanding breathability
  • Comfortable and cushioned
  • Availability in narrow and wide sizes
  • Capable of handling tempo paces
  • Not expensive at all


  • The engineered mesh upper lacks durability
  • Lacks cushion for forefoot strikers
Full review of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23

Best lightweight running shoes for plantar fasciitis

Hoka Arahi 6

What makes it the best?

Hoka redefines the traditional heavy stability shoe with Arahi 6. A breath of fresh air on our feet, it offers consistent and subtle support through its balanced cushion and vast platform. The lab results show this but it's our actual runs that cemented Arahi 6 as the best lightweight shoe for runners with plantar fasciitis.

While most stability shoes weigh above 10.0 oz (283g) and the average running shoe is 9.5 oz (268g), Arahi 6 boasts a feathery 8.9 oz (252g). With its high-density foam and spacious platform, we’re surprised by how airy it is. 

Zooming into the midsole, Arahi 6 integrates the J-Frame technology — a firmer J-shaped foam outside the midsole for better balance and support. To enhance comfort, Hoka provides enough stack to mute out ground feel. It’s notably higher than average in the forefoot leading to a more leveled 4.1 mm heel drop. We noticed a more even weight distribution and less localized tension.

Further ensuring a steady ride is the platform that runs 2.1/7.4 mm wider than average in the forefoot and heel. This gives all types of foot-strikers enough room to land more stably.

We’re not too convinced with the outsole as it lacks the coverage to last long and the soft rubber for reliable grip.


  • Fits true to size
  • Balanced cushioning
  • Lightweight for stability shoes
  • Good lockdown
  • Stable platform
  • Fun to run in
  • Very comfortable
  • Improved lacing


  • Grip is not reliable
  • Durability problems
Full review of Hoka Arahi 6

Running shoes for plantar fasciitis with the best cushioning

What makes it the best?

The Glycerin GTS 20 is the stability version of Brooks’ popular and versatile daily trainer and is just as reliable and comfy. This incredibly supportive shoe pampers our feet throughout our daily runs. It’s truly second to none as having the best cushioning for plantar fasciitis.  

With a durometer reading of 23.4 HA, the Glycerin GTS 20’s midsole is about as soft as our current lab average. However, the shoe’s robust stack, which we measured to be 0.9 mm and 3.1 mm higher than average at the forefoot and heel respectively, means we had lots of protective foam underfoot during our test runs. The result is a ride that feels extremely protective and softer than the durometer leads us to believe. 

Additionally, the Glycerin GTS 20 employs Brooks’ GuideRails system, in the form of firm pieces of foam integrated into either side of the midsole, for excellent support and stability. This manifests itself in a high level of torsional rigidity, which we scored 4 out of 5 in our manual assessment. By mitigating how much our foot is able to move laterally, the shoe helps us maintain proper alignment during our stride and, in that way, prevents worsening any foot injuries. 

Tipping the scale at 10.9 oz (309g), the Glycerin GTS 20 is certainly a chunky monkey. This is especially the case for those used to neutral road shoes, which on average weigh 9.42 oz (267g). Even stability shoes tend to weigh in under 10.6 oz (300g).


  • Excellent for heel strikers
  • Provides protective cushioning
  • Offers comfort on easy running days
  • Ensures smooth transitions
  • Features a secure heel counter
  • Comes with a soft, stretchy upper
  • Good breathability
  • Effective GuideRails system


  • Midsole may feel overly firm for some runners
  • Pricier than many alternatives
  • On the heavier side
Full review of Brooks Glycerin GTS 20

Best daily running shoes for plantar fasciitis

What makes it the best?

After our runs and lab tests, we found that Adistar 2.0 is the best daily trainer for athletes with plantar fasciitis because it’s a flexible, neutral shoe with subtle stability elements. It focuses on comfort through its loose build and vast platform, while the dual-density foam provides support without altering our natural form.

Like most daily trainers, Adistar 2.0 is uncomplicated and doesn’t resist our movements. Putting it against our 90-degree bend test, it stands 22.8% more flexible than average. Despite being a supportive shoe, we could stride naturally.

Its midsole is the main star — with two layers of foam balancing comfort and stability. The top layer feels very comfy and our durometer confirms it’s 7.1% softer than average. The second REPETITOR+ foam feels much firmer, especially in the heel area. Measuring 30.6% firmer than average, it keeps us centered and steady.

Further promoting stability is the wide platform with extra allowance in the heel and forefoot areas. Locking down our foot in place is the stiff heel counter that scored 4/5 in our manual assessment. On average, heel counters are less rigid (2.7/5). 

Landing on our heels feels pretty harsh because of the firm cushion in this area. We recommend extreme heel-strikers to look elsewhere.


  • Cushioned for long miles
  • Supportive for a neutral shoe
  • Wide platform
  • Secure foothold
  • Well-padded interiors
  • Highly breathable
  • Great for casual wear
  • Value for money
  • True to size


  • Heavier than average
  • Firm heel landings
Full review of Adidas Adistar 2.0

Best running shoes with a wide toebox for plantar fasciitis

What makes it the best?

Saucony Guide 16 claims the best with wide toebox spot among plantar fasciitis running shoes with its accommodating and comfortable fit. It includes a spacious toebox, while the cushion and heel hug our feet in place. As a modern stability shoe, it still promotes our natural foot movement despite its supportive features.

Those with wide feet will be pleased to hear that the toebox measures 100.1 mm, 2.0 mm wider than average. This is partnered with a landing platform that’s 1.1 mm more spacious as well, allowing our toes to splay naturally with every stride.

We cut the shoe open to find the main support of Guide 16 — the HOLLOW-TECH frame. It effectively supports the arch as our feet sit inside the carved-out cushion (not on top). The firm cushion distributes our weight evenly, reducing localized tension. Adding to our steadiness is the rigid heel counter that keeps our runs balanced and centered. 

Despite the stabilizing elements, the ride feels smooth because of the flexible midsole that adapts to our movement instead of resisting it. Our 90-degree bend test validates it’s 32.8% more flexible than average.

We warn caution about some mild rubbing in the upper when worn sockless. We recommend wearing socks with this pair.


  • Softer, more comfortable upper
  • Breathable
  • Excellent lockdown
  • Good guidance without being too intrusive
  • Protective and fairly responsive
  • Good grip
  • Natural-feeling ride
  • Roomy toe box
  • Lightweight
  • Best for daily miles and as a walking shoe


  • Uncomfortable for going sockless
  • Firm cushioning
  • Does not like to go fast
  • Durability is so-so
Full review of Saucony Guide 16

Best trail running shoes for plantar fasciitis

What makes it the best?

When it comes to conquering the trails, those suffering from or prone to plantar fasciitis need to be sure to choose the right shoe, as traversing uneven terrains and hills is likely to aggravate their injury. Therefore, a supportive and protective shoe is what’s needed, and the absolute tank that is the Salomon XA Pro 3D v8 fits that bill like no other, making it our #1 pick for the best trail shoe for plantar fasciitis. 

We were barely able to bend or twist the shoe in our manual assessment, earning the XA Pro 3D v8 a torsional rigidity score of 5 out of 5. This is thanks to the eponymous 3D chassis found at the bottom of the shoe, which had us feeling extremely surefooted and stable as we scampered along the uneven trails. It also acts as a rock plate, effectively shielding us from hard objects underfoot that might exacerbate injuries. 

The 3D chassis also lends the shoe a high level of longitudinal stiffness, as demonstrated in our 90-degree flex test where a whopping 44.7N of force was needed to bend the shoe. This is 45.1% stiffer than average and means that the shoe puts up a lot of resistance to our natural foot flexion as we run. In preventing our foot from bending excessively, the shoe mitigates the amount of stress put on our ligaments for a comfy and supportive ride. 

Pressing our durometer against the midsole gives us a reading of 36.9 HA, which is 36.7% firmer than the average trail shoe. While this plays a role in the shoe’s tank-like feeling underfoot, it didn’t provide us with nearly enough cushioning for longer runs where our feet felt like they were being battered by the latter mile markers.


  • Highly stable and supportive
  • Great for hiking and backpacking
  • Grippy on various surfaces
  • Durable construction
  • Versatile: trail-to-road
  • Lots of foot protection
  • Generously padded inside
  • Breathable mesh
  • Quick and easy lacing


  • Stiff and bulky for running
  • High heel-to-toe drop
Full review of Salomon XA Pro 3D V8

Best value running shoes for plantar fasciitis

ASICS GT 2000 11

What makes it the best?

The ASICS GT 2000 11 is an easy choice for our top value shoe for people with plantar fasciitis. This lightweight stability shoe delivers a lot for just $140, as it has the right combination of gentle support and comfortable cushioning that can ably protect plantar fasciitis-afflicted runners. 

At 9.95 oz (282g), the GT 2000 11 doesn't weigh as much as other stability shoes (10.5 oz or 298.3g on average) due to its less robust stability elements. But its LITETRUSS system is still more than capable of providing that added support. We didn't feel it as much during our runs, but it was certainly there when needed.

The overall comfort of the GT 2000 11 was hard to miss, though. We measured the softness of the dual-density midsole at 29.3 HA, which was 17.7% harder than the average running shoe. But we felt that it had a nice balanced cushioning that was neither too soft nor too firm.

And while the GT 2000 11 is far from the stiffest stability shoe — our 90-degree bend test showed it was 24.8% more flexible than average — it still has a good amount of spring from the FF Blast in the forefoot.

However, the GT 2000 11 runs a bit narrow in the forefoot area. We measured it at 95.6 mm, 2.3 mm narrower than the average. However, ASICS does offer the shoe in wide and extra-wide options.


  • A gentle stability shoe
  • Well-cushioned
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Responsive ride
  • Light for its kind
  • Secure lockdown
  • Breathable
  • Great value for money


  • Narrower-than-expected toebox
  • Overly padded tongue
Full review of ASICS GT 2000 11

Comparison of the 7 best running shoes for plantar fasciitis

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What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the pain in the arch of the foot that is caused by the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick ligament that connects the heel and the front of your foot. The repetitive pressure on the ligament can cause lots of small tears that result in pain and inflammation.

Those who are suffering from this foot condition often notice acute pain in the morning, after a running session or after exercise. The pain also tends to become unbearable when standing for a long period.


5 expert tips to find the best shoes for plantar fasciitis

If you are experiencing plantar fasciitis, your goal is to find a comfortable running shoe that is cushioned and at the same time, supportive. In finding the right pair, consider these tips:


Good cushioning helps with pain relief

Cushioned running shoes will protect the plantar fascia from tension caused by repetitive impact while running. A reliable running shoe for plantar fasciitis offers excellent shock absorption as the foot strikes to the ground.

At the same time, it is not recommended to wear an overly plush shoe as it may cause instability in the foot and ankle.

Running shoes with balanced or firm cushioning are more suitable in the case of plantar fasciitis.

Adequate arch support is important

Arch support is one of the important elements to look out for if you have plantar fasciitis. No matter how expensive the shoe is, without proper arch support, the problem will continue. 

Depending on the severity of the condition, arch support comes in different levels. Some running shoes are better for high arches while others are best for low arches; thus, it is important to find a shoe that matches your arch needs:

  • If plantar fasciitis is accompanied by low arches/flat feet and overpronation, consider stability shoes. Previously, motion control shoes were recommended but they are more and more replaced with stability shoes now.
  • For those with normal or high arches, it is more beneficial to wear a softer, neutral shoe.


neutral shoe (left) vs. stability shoe (center) vs. motion control shoe (right)

Robust heel counter stabilizes the feet

A firm heel counter reduces the abnormal stretching of the plantar fascia. It also stabilizes the feet and keeps them aligned. A flexible toe box goes well with a robust heel counter, allowing the front of the shoe to stretch while keeping the back of the foot strong and stable.

Runners with plantar fasciitis can also benefit from shoes with deep heel cups as it also protects the heel bone and reduces pronation. 

Avoid minimalist running shoes

Minimalist running shoes are not recommended for runners with plantar fasciitis because they have less cushioning with little to no arch support.


Merrell Vapor Glove is one of the most well-known minimalist shoes

Minimalist shoes are bad for both heel and forefoot strikers since there is no enough cushioning to lessen the impact forces.

Consider wearing orthotics

Orthotics provide additional arch support that your running shoe may lack and the deep heel cup helps absorbs impact in every step. Orthotics are also great in minimizing the tension on the plantar fascia.


Both custom and over-the-counter orthotics offer plantar fasciitis relief. If you wear custom orthotics, consider buying a shoe with a removable insole.

For more guidance on custom insoles and orthotics, see our ultimate guide.

Plantar fasciitis and flat feet are often confused. They are not the same but they are related. 

Flat feet, sometimes called fallen arches,  refer to a foot condition in which the arches are flattened, so when standing, the soles of the feet touch the floor. Flat feet are linked with overpronation and those suffering from this condition are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis.


How to prevent plantar fasciitis

Prevention is always better than cure. Here are a few things to remember to avoid or address an early stage of plantar fasciitis. 

  • Do not wear uncomfortable shoes. Avoid heels and shoes with no support. Instead, choose running shoes with impact-absorbing heel support.
  • Rest as soon as you notice discomfort during or after running. Avoid running and other impact sports for a few weeks.
  • Keep doing leg and foot stretches.

How we test running shoes

Foot pain is no joke. It is our mission to help you find the best shoe to alleviate the discomfort of plantar fasciitis. Given our extensive knowledge base, we have developed a comprehensive review methodology to find out which shoes work the best.

  • To avoid bias, we purchase all running shoes with our own money.
  • Log at least 30 miles in each pair, indoors and outdoors, and on roads and trails.
  • Cut the running shoes open and measure 30+ different parameters.
  • Summarize our data and observations all in an extensive review.

Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic
Whether it's a vertical kilometre or an ultra, climbing in the Alps or exploring local mountains, Jovana uses every opportunity to trade walls and concrete for forests and trails. She logs at least 10h/week on trails, with no off-season, and 4x more on research on running and running shoes. With a background in physics and engineering management, she prefers her running spiced with data.