7 Best Walking Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis in 2022

Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic on
7 Best Walking Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis in 2022

Your feet deserve better than the stabbing pain in the heel area. Finding the right shoes is #1 step to stand in the way of this. The purpose of this guide is to go in-depth on which shoes are best for plantar fasciitis, why are they different from other shoes and what science has to say.

We have reviewed over 30 pairs of walking shoes that are recommended for this condition. Some shoes are better suited for people with wide feet, some feel extra light, and some offer extra slip-resistance on smooth surfaces. See our top picks in each of these categories in the carousel below.

Disclaimer: This guide was created for educational purposes and tends in no way to offer medical advice or diagnosis.

How we test walking shoes

We have implemented CoreScore - our systematic approach to shoe reviews. It allows us to remove spam and weigh reviews from true experts more. We gathered reviews from 139,209 users and applied the CoreScore. This way, all the shoes are rated 0-100 based on reviews. That’s how our collection of walking shoes for plantar fasciitis happened!

Best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis overall

Brooks Ghost 14
Brooks Ghost 14

Corescore

93
Superb!
4.7 / 5 from 38,433 users
91 / 100 from 15 experts

Pros

  • All about comfort!
  • True to size
  • Lots of padding
  • Smooth ride
  • Really stable, even on light trails
  • Breathable
  • Great out of the box
  • Built for longevity (500 miles, easily)
  • Great grip 

Cons

  • Lacks breathability for hot summer days
  • Not the best for long distances

Verdict

Getting to walk and be on your feet all day while basking in all the comfort and support your plantar fasciitis-stricken feet can get? This is no longer just a dream thanks to the Brooks Ghost 14 - the best of the best out of all plantar fasciitis walking shoes!

This may be technically a running shoe, but its overall construction also works wonders as a walking shoe based on our tests. 

The shoe’s balanced cushioning provides the perfect mix between softness and rigidity, creating a smooth, consistent ride that prevents further stress on our already problematic heels.

The upper material coupled with its wide toebox DOES NOT need any breaking-in, allowing us to go all out in our brisk walks as well as long, daily walks sans the pain and discomfort.

Say goodbye to the root cause of all our PF suffering, as this shoe’s stable design eliminates any wobble and prevents extensive stretching of the fascia. With above-average width both in the forefoot and heel area (113.8mm and 94.2mm, respectively,) staying surefooted even on mildly uneven terrain is guaranteed. 

The Ghost 14 may be priced higher than the average walking shoe, but the fact that you can go on runs AND walks in it makes it a steal!

Coming from one of the most recognized running brands, going on walks every day and even beating your previous personal best is now arm’s reach with the Brooks Ghost 14.

See our full review and facts

Best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis for flat feet

Skechers Arch Fit
Skechers Arch Fit

Corescore

91
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 34,330 users
N/A

Pros

  • Helps a variety of foot conditions
  • Plush underfoot
  • Firm and stable platform
  • Smooth heel-to-toes
  • Excellent fit
  • Exceptional durability
  • Surprisingly light
  • Great traction
  • Machine washable

Cons

  • Flimsy heel counter (use a shoehorn)
  • Laces need a double knot
  • Warm for summer

Verdict

Having plantar fasciitis almost always goes together with having flat feet or even overpronation. 

But don’t fret! There are plenty of shoes that can help with these foot ailments, and the Skechers Arch Fit came out on top of the best models for flat feet after plenty of testing!

Straight out of the gate, we were surprised at how light this pair feels! Maybe because the chunky midsole design deceived us into thinking it’s heavy. These are the kind of surprises we like.

The insole and midsole of the Arch Fit are excellent on their own, but their true power is felt when combined. The insole’s plush cushioning hugs our entire foot so cozily, while the firm midsole makes sure every step is steady and stable. This concoction made our dream of walking 10,000 steps a day possible!

In terms of treading wet pavements and rocky terrains, this shoe was pleasantly stubborn. It kept us upright and confident in our footing, thanks to its slip-resistant outsoles.

To top it all off, we were stunned that this creme de la creme walking shoe just sells for $85! How unbelievable is that? Get all these and more with the Skechers Arch Fit.

See our full review and facts

Best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis for wide feet

Hoka One One Clifton 8
Hoka One One Clifton 8

Corescore

89
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 14,335 users
90 / 100 from 18 experts

Pros

  • Comfy, comfy comfy
  • Fits true to size
  • Smooth rockered ride
  • Great durability
  • Grippy outsole
  • Lightweight for a daily trainer
  • Great lockdown
  • Good value at $130 

Cons

  • Runs warm
  • Doesn’t love to go fast

Verdict

The Clifton 8 feels so awfully good to our legs and feet. It’s as if our digits are cradled by a thousand pillows! Its 33.7mm-sized midsole paired with a 5mm insole feels so cozy and secure, we don’t ever look forward to taking it off.

The shoe rolls so smooth, our every step feels we’re wearing a silk-covered mattress perfectly shaped to our foot. It is so stable, as well, that our every stride feels surefooted and fixed.

This Hoka model has a broad design that the previous Clifton 7 model’s 2E width fits the same as the Clifton 8’s standard D option. Just imagine how many foot shapes this pair’s 2E width could accommodate?! 

Our worries of walking at night and in the cold weather are now things of the past, thanks to the shoe’s reflective details and uber-padded construction.

We can’t recommend the Hoka Clifton 8 enough to wide-footed walking enthusiasts, as we’ve been persuaded by how excellent it performs on the road!

See our full review and facts

Best slip-on walking shoes for plantar fasciitis

Skechers GOwalk Arch Fit - Iconic
Skechers GOwalk Arch Fit - Iconic

Corescore

90
Great!
4.5 / 5 from 7,581 users
N/A

Pros

  • Comfy
  • Fantastic arch support
  • Easy to put on
  • Timeless design
  • Excellent craftsmanship
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Weighty than anticipated

Verdict

The GOwalk Arch Fit - Iconic offers the same versatile, casual style and time-tested pleasurable experience the brand is known for. It is a walking shoe that covers all the essentials when it comes to intense days at work, recovery periods, or long-distance walks.

See our full review and facts

Best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis for heavy people

Brooks Addiction Walker
Brooks Addiction Walker

Corescore

87
Good!
4.4 / 5 from 19,891 users
84 / 100 from 1 experts

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Adequate foothold
  • Sufficient arch support
  • Stylish
  • Stable
  • Reasonably priced
  • No lace bite
  • Accommodates custom orthotics
  • Helps to relieve foot issues

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Lacks traction for some
  • Lacks ventilation

Verdict

What seemed like a simple daily walker ended up sending us into a frenzy.

After months of testing this pair along with other 100+ walking shoes, the Addiction Walker turned out on top of our list for providing through-the-roof comfort for full-figured people like us!

The midsole provides off-the-charts comfort to our feet. With its unrivaled 360-degree support, wobbling and ankle strains are ancient history. It allowed us to breeze through our errands as it eliminates any symptoms of discomfort and pain!

The Addiction Walker brings down the house when it comes to its staying power. We’ve beaten this shoe to its core by wearing it everywhere for months. It’s been with us every day, from work to errands and special occasions, and it’s still holding up and not losing its supportive prowess. How amazing is that?!

Another strong point that sold us is its slip-resistant soles and ground contact. Its grip and stability came off with flying colors as we’ve never felt like we would lose our balance throughout our tests. 

It’s a jackpot if you’re looking for long-lasting, supportive footwear that has the perfect blend of style and functionality.

See our full review and facts

Best value walking shoes for plantar fasciitis

Asics Gel Contend 7
Asics Gel Contend 7

Corescore

90
Superb!
4.5 / 5 from 28,456 users
100 / 100 from 1 experts

Pros

  • Fits true to size
  • Good heel lock
  • Stable
  • A fair amount of cushioning
  • Value for money
  • Durable, grippy outsole
  • Guidance line keeps the foot steady

Cons

  • Rubber outsole is squeaky
  • Not comfortable on longer runs
  • Inefficient arch support

Verdict

What can be more satisfying than buying a pair of shoes and getting more than what you paid for?

For $65, the Asics Gel Contend 7 packs a punch when it comes to its price-to-performance ratio. After thorough tests and research on 100+ walking shoes, this pair came out at the top as having the best value for money!

We are highly impressed with the shoe’s overall comfort. It kept our feet pain-free throughout all our trials. It may not have a very soft underfoot, but it consistently provided a smooth and persistent sensation for an offering at its price point.

And with its uber affordable price tag, we are dumbfounded how this pair can also cater to several foot conditions like supination and plantar fasciitis.

On top of these, the pair’s versatile aesthetic and excellent performance could also be used in the gym and while jogging. All for just $65!!

See our full review and facts

Do you need shoes for plantar fasciitis 

Yes, if you have plantar fasciitis. It is well known for the pain that happens in the heel area and might even spread to the midfoot area. The pain is present because the fascia that connects your heel to your toes becomes inflamed, usually because of the overuse. The best thing to do is to see a specialist about it - better than trying to self-diagnose. There are numerous possible causes for heel pain.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis 

In this review of the most current scientific literature on plantar fasciitis, the symptoms are listed as follows: 

  • A severe heel pain in the morning or after a rest period
  • The heel pain that gets worse with weight bearing 
  • Pain might spread from heel to the midfoot 
  • Soreness when palpating plantar fascia 
  • Discomfort when you bend your big toe by hand (passively)

7 features of walking shoes for plantar fasciitis

If you’re experiencing plantar heel pain you might experience difficulty with footwear comfort, fit and choice, as this research has shown. Don’t be discouraged, here’s the list of shoe features to help with the pain. 

Features-of-plantar-fasciitis-walking-shoes.png

These are the things you should look for in a shoe in case you have plantar fasciitis. The idea behind these features is to find a shoe that minimizes impacts when your foot hits a hard surface. 

  1. Comfort: shoe should be comfortable overall! 
  2. Wider forefoot area so your toes don’t feel pressure (avoid shoes that are snug in the forefoot) 
  3. Cushioning: appropriate amount of cushioning which decreases the impact forces while walking. Pay special attention to the heel area, it should have additional padding which takes the strain off the plantar fascia ligament.
  4. Arch support: in case you have flat feet. 
  5. Sturdy sole: offers highly needed stability features 
  6. Firm heel counter: keeping the heel steady minimizes additional stretching of the plantar fascia
  7. Removable insoles: you might need this option in case you go for special insoles for plantar fasciitis.

Not all these features are a must. Comfort comes first. Everything else is there to eliminate/lessen the pain and make your walking a comfortable experience. 

You should definitely avoid barefoot type of shoes, because they lack in majority of the features mentioned above.

Average price of walking shoes for plantar fasciitis 

For comparison, we’ve shown average prices of shoes for flat feet, for plantar fasciitis, and all walking shoes. Keep in mind that this is the manufacturer's suggested retail price - you can always look for discounts.

average-msrp-of-walking-shoes-flat-feet-plantar-fasciitis-all-shoes.png

Also, per our database, 28% of walking shoes are for plantar fasciitis. 

walking-shoes-market-breakdown-flat-feet-plantar-fasciitis-other.png

Treatment of plantar fasciitis 

It’s important to consult your specialist about possible treatments for your condition. The treatments that should likely be attempted first are those that are low-cost and low-risk such as stretching of the plantar fascia and/or Achilles tendon, education about the condition, and prefabricated orthotics (as explained here). 

This, however, is a general overview of how the treatment algorithm looks like: 

Treatment-for-plantar-fasciitis-timeline.png

If you’re dealing with chronic plantar fasciitis, this research offers an in-depth comparison between different inserts and insoles.

Don’ts for people with plantar fasciitis 

1. What happens if you ignore plantar fasciitis?

It will go from acute to chronic pain. It might even lead to pain in other body parts, because you’ll start walking differently in order to lessen the paint by changing the impact in the feet. This way, compensation will happen and other body parts will light up. In order to avoid new discomfort and pain, it’s important to treat plantar fasciitis while it’s in the acute phase.

2. Can I walk on the treadmill if I have plantar fasciitis?

Walking on a treadmill might make your plantar fasciitis worse. Basically, you’re doing more steps in a shorter period of time. The best suggestion for plantar fasciitis is to stop repetitive motion with impact forces in the heel. 

Some even advise activities such as elliptical machine or stationary cycling until the symptoms resolve, as shown in this study

3. Can I wear running shoes for walking if I have plantar fasciitis? 

Depends on the purpose. If you’re doing quick power walks, running shoes might do. Pay attention to how your feet feel. However, if you’re looking for shoes for casual walks, you should look for models made especially for walking. To read more on the differences between running and walking shoes, read our in-depth guide on walking shoes

4. Can I walk barefoot if I have plantar fasciitis? 

You should not walk barefoot. Plantar fasciitis means your plantar tendon is under too much pressure and you need stability features that shoes offer to help decrease both pain and pressure.

5. What causes plantar fasciitis?

The main cause hasn’t been discovered scientifically. However, there are numerous risk factors

Intrinsic risk factors: 

  • Obesity
  • Pes planus (flat feet)
  • Pes cavus (high-arched feet)
  • Shortened Achilles tendon
  • Overpronation (inward roll)
  • Limited ankle dorsiflexion
  • Weak intrinsic muscles of the foot
  • Weak plantar flexor muscles

Extrinsic risk factors: 

  • Poor biomechanics or alignment 
  • Deconditioning
  • Hard surface
  • Walking barefoot
  • Prolonged weight bearing
  • Inadequate stretching
  • Poor footwear
Author
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.