7 Best Walking Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis in 2023

Jovana Subic
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Your feet deserve better than the stabbing pain in the heel area. Finding the right shoes is the #1 step to stand in the way of this. Our guide goes 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!

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

Best overall walking shoes for plantar fasciitis

What makes it the best?

Crazy soft and delightful on walks minus the maddeningly shaky rides – this is what put Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 right at the top of all plantar fasciitis walking shoes. The fact that we stopped complaining about heel pain the moment our feet met this shoe already sufficed why it’s the greatest!

Upon measuring the stack height of GTS 23, we learned that its heel is 34.1 mm from the ground and 2.7% taller than the average. Meanwhile, the forefoot is 21.5 mm thick, and 11.5% closer to the ground than average. This yields a drop of 12.6 mm, which is above the others by 41.6%, and translates to moderately high heels that aid in toning down the strain on our feet, especially our plantar fascia. 

Additionally, our heels and ankles are securely hugged by the heel counter. The reason behind that is its stiffness, which we proved by personally evaluating it. After the pinches and presses, we rated the heel counter stiffness a 4/5. We also attempted to contort the whole shoe to determine the overall stability but it felt like it was against the twisting, so we also scored the torsional rigidity a 4/5. On our actual strolls? It’s indeed steady!

The deal-breaker is that it’s upper is not ready for excessive wear. When we applied our Dremel to its material, it was easily nibbled by the tool. Therefore, GTS 23 is not a good idea if you plan on using the shoes heavily.


  • 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

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Peacoat/Orange/Surf the Web (438)
Blue Moroccan Spring Bud (427)
Oyster/Ebony/Alloy (065)
Nine Iron/Folkstone/Sulphur (404)
Crystal Grey/Surf the Web/Grey (248)
Oyster/Black/Red Orange (017)
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Walking shoes for plantar fasciitis with the best arch support

What makes it the best?

ASICS Gel Kayano 30 supports the natural arches of our feet while still being an absolute treat. We are mounted in the shoe but our movements aren’t limited. Instead, our feet and ankles got the reinforcement they required, allowing us to walk without unnecessary side-to-side rolling.

Getting on the Kayano 30, we immediately noticed a difference: our weight was evenly dispersed on the cushion, reducing the localized tension in our heels. The one in charge behind this is the terrific arch support that maintained us in a nice center position. For a more analytical viewpoint, we measured the stack height of the midsole. In the heel, it’s 39.7 mm and 19.2% thicker than the average. In the forefoot, it’s 27.7 mm and 13.5% more substantial than others. These values resulted in a huge 12 mm drop that alleviated the pain in our plantar fascia.

Even though we are greatly above the ground, we never experienced any tripping tendency. This is all thanks to the uncompromising construction of Kayano 30, which received a 4/5 in our torsional rigidity test.

We also determined the midsole’s level of hardness using our durometer. The higher the measurement, the firmer it is. As expected based on our dreamy underfoot impression, the midsole is softer than most walking shoes by 32.2% at 16.4 HA. All of the shoe’s supportive features came with a price, and that’s weight. Kayano 30 weighed 10.7 oz (303g), which is 12.7% heavier than average. We recommend switching to lighter options if weight is of great importance to you.


  • Exceptionally cushioned
  • Impressively stable with 4D Guidance System
  • Lighter than it seems
  • Top-notch breathability
  • Effective maximalist design
  • Superior durability and comfort
  • Ideal for high-mileage runners
  • Ultra-plush FF Blast+ foam
  • Amazing build quality


  • Actual drop exceeds stated measurement
  • Midsole might require a break-in period
Full review of ASICS Gel Kayano 30

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Deep Ocean White (1011B548402)
Black Glow Yellow (1011B548003)
Foggy Teal Bright Orange (1011B548401)
French Blue Neon Lime (1011B548403)
Antique Red Ocean Haze (1011B548600)
White/Ocean Haze (1011B548100)
Black Sheet Rock (1011B548002)
Carrier Grey/Piedmont Grey (1011B548020)
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Best slip-resistant walking shoes for plantar fasciitis

Hoka Bondi SR

What makes it the best?

In our search for exceptional slip-free walking shoes for plantar fasciitis, we discovered that Hoka Bondi SR is the one to beat. Being slip-resistant is already on its name (SR) but we were still blown away by how we were able to traverse paths, whether wet or icy, without being anxious and without actually falling. Not to mention, our heels were in so much comfort and twinging was way out of the picture!

Testers with plantar fasciitis among us were thrilled about the heel stack height of Bondi, which we measured at 39.4 mm. This was 23.9% thicker than average and it was exactly what we needed to cater our heel with extra support and protection.

We found that shoes that are too narrow are a no-go for plantar fasciitis. Good thing that when we measured the widest part of the shoe using our caliper, we found that it was very accommodating. At 100.3 mm, Bondi is 2.5 mm wider than average. 

We measured Bondi SR’s outsole hardness, and it didn’t come as a surprise when our durometer indicated a 3.7% softer value than average: 73.1 HC. This allowed the outsole to stick to different surfaces, especially smooth ones. The catch is the outsole’s not that durable. We confirmed this when we put our Dremel to use and pressed it to the outsole, as it caused a 2.48 mm dent compared to the 1.4 mm average. So we suggest seeking other pairs if durability is non-negotiable.


  • Comfort is off-the-charts
  • Extra thick cushioning for all-day support
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • Alleviates foot discomfort (podiatrist approved)
  • Stable for a neutral shoe
  • Slip-resistant outsole
  • Superior material quality
  • Water-resistant leather upper
  • Accommodating toebox


  • Heavy and bulky
  • Not breathable
Full review of Hoka Bondi SR

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Black (BBLC)
White (WHT)

Best lightweight walking shoes for plantar fasciitis

Hoka Arahi 6

What makes it the best?

For a fantastic plantar fasciitis-supportive walking shoe, the Hoka Arahi 6 is mind-blowingly light. Our feet and ankles felt braced but never slowed down, thanks to the airy build of the shoe. Arahi 6 really knows how to manage any discomfort, especially around our heels, so it’s definitely the way we recommend going!

When it comes to cushioning, Arahi 6 is not stingy. We recorded a stack height of 32.6 mm at the heel, which is 0.6 mm lower than the average. The forefoot, on the other hand, is 17.2% higher than the mean at 28.5 mm. The good amount of foam combined with a 41 HA hardness that’s 68.7% denser than most worked in our favor as it granted support and responsiveness that also led to relieved pains.

Arahi 6 got our scales to shift from zero to 8.89 oz (252g), which on feet, felt feathery light, especially for a stability shoe. What’s more, it’s 5.9% lighter than average. The drawback is that an even harder midsole came with the cold, as we confirmed upon depositing the shoe in our freezer for 20 minutes. The midsole got firmer by 53.7%, so we want to put emphasis on this if ever you take Arahi 6 out for a walk during the chilly season.


  • 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

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Outer Space/Bellwether Blue (OSBB)
Black White (112)
Black/Flame (BFLM)
Blue Graphite/Blue Coral (BGBCR)
Summer Song/Mountain Spring (SSMS)
Fiesta/Amber Yellow (FAYW)
Plein Air/Blue Fog (PABF)
Harbor Mist/Black (HMBC)
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Walking shoes for plantar fasciitis with the best cushioning

What makes it the best?

No wonder our feet are absolved from stress when we sport the Brooks Glycerin GTS 20 as we are basically floating in the shoes. Its cushioning is yet the superlative of all the plantar fasciitis walking shoes we have worn and scrutinized. 

We felt that the primary reason behind our acheless strides was the chunky foam that elevated our heels. We pursued more information about the midsole in our lab and learned that the heel is indeed lifted at a thickness of 36.5 mm. That’s 9.9% more than others. The forefoot stack height is 25.5 mm and 4.9% taller than average. Therefore, the heel-to-toe drop is 11 mm and 23.6% higher than average. In addition to relieving our foot pain, the cushioning served as an impact-proof platform for our feet.

Along with support, the foam of GTS 20 also endowed us with insane comfort. Measuring the thickness of the insole alone, we immediately understood where the fantastic underfoot feel came from. The insole is 5 mm thick, which is 13.6% beefier than the standard.

The bad news is the generous cushioning cost the shoe a slightly heavy weight. At 10.9 oz (309g), GTS 20 is 15.3% heavier than the average. We recommend getting this shoe if you don’t mind the extra load on the feet.


  • 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

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Blue Depths/Palace Blue/Orange (444)
BLUE (482)
White/Nightlife (135)
Grey/Chili Oil/Orange (034)
Black (006)
Black/Black/Ebony (020)
Jadeite/Alaskan Blue/Ebony (492)
Ebony White Nightlife (047)
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Walking shoes for plantar fasciitis with the best value

ASICS GT 2000 11

What makes it the best?

Although ASICS GT 2000 11 is 58.9% pricier than most walking shoes, we still chose this as the plantar fasciitis walking shoe with the best value because of its features that are truly invaluable! Our heels and arches are not only spared from pain but the shoe also accords us with stable and reactive rides.

We felt that our gaits were neutralized in GT 2000 11. As a result, we also noticed that our plantar fascia became free from inflammation. To look more into this, we dissected the shoe and discovered that the LITETRUSS system is incorporated in it, acting as an excellent stabilizing feature. The wonderful news is it didn’t rigidify the shoe. In fact, we were able to bend the shoe effortlessly using our digital force gauge which reflected a 24.9N counterforce. For reference, this is 18.1% more flexible than average. 

Underfoot, we are supported by a firm midsole, which we measured to be 29.3 HA hard and 20.6% firmer than most walking shoes. GT 2000’s wide base also prevented unsteadiness and the plantar fasciitis associated with instability. The forefoot and heel are 115 mm wide and 92.8 mm wide, which are 2 mm and 2.7 mm broader than the averages.

The problem is the fit itself is a bit cramped. The widest area in the toebox equates to 95.6 mm, which is 2.4% narrower than most. If you don’t have slender feet, we suggest trying out other walking shoes that are offered wide.


  • 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

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Island Blue/Indigo Blue (1011B441404)
Midnight/Black (1011B441403)
Black/Sun Peach (1011B441006)
Black/White (1012B271004)
Metropolis/Lime Zest (1011B441020)
Light Sage/Black (1011B441021)
Midnight/Olive Oil (1011B441402)
Lime Zest/Black (1011B441300)
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Best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis and wide feet

What makes it the best?

After conducting shoe trials both in the lab and the real world, we ultimately decided that Saucony Guide 16 takes the top spot as the best plantar fasciitis walking shoe for wide feet. It afforded us a spacious toe compartment while embracing our heels inside. The cherry on top is it still promotes our natural foot movement, despite its stabilizing characteristics.

The wide foot testers in our team are especially happy with the accommodating fit of Guide 16. In fact, in our lab, the widest section in the toe box is recorded to be 100.1 mm, which is 2.1 mm roomier than the standard. 

We cut the shoe open and discovered that its foam is integrated with the HOLLOW-TECH frame, which we found effective in carrying out its purpose: to support the arch and assist in steadiness. What even furthered the stability of the shoe was the heel counter that got us locked in and centered. On our assessment of compressing the heel, it is indeed very stiff that is scored 5/5 in rigidness. However, we still felt smooth transitions while strolling in the shoe. We validated this with our digital force gauge, which logged a 20.5N resistance to bending, making it 32.3% more flexible than the average.

Durability-wise, Guide 16 doesn’t shine. Its heel padding, for one, only scored a 1/5 in our durability test as it was easily reduced by our Dremel tool. If longevity is the most essential feature to you, we recommend skipping this one.


  • 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

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Black/White (S2081005)
White/Black (S2081011)
White/Gravel (S2081085)
Agave/Marigold (S2081025)
Fossil/Moss (S2081015)
Dahlia/Black (S2081016)
Wood/Black (S2081014)
Concrete/Viziblue (S2081022)
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Comparison of the 7 best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis

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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. 


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.


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


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: 


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

How we test walking shoes

Foot issues are something that we, at RunRepeat, take seriously. Walking might be an effortless form of motion, but with plantar fasciitis, a lot could go wrong even just for a few hours of walking in the wrong pair of shoes. That is why we scrutinized walking shoes in a well-thought-out manner.

Before anything else, we get our hands on these walking shoes using our own money. We like to give strong emphasis on this because we like our reviews done with complete fairness. After acquiring the shoes, we wear them right away. We bring them on our morning walks, trips to work, and daily runs of errands. We also tested them on concrete, cobblestones, and other surfaces. 

We assess our experiences and observations from the wear test. And we correlate them to the next and final step, which is lab testing. We conduct tests on the shoes and we measure and score different properties such as breathability, durability, platform width, and midsole hardness. We also split the shoes in half for a more extensive view of each.

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.