The 9 Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis, According to Podiatrists

If you have plantar fasciitis, sneakers with good arch support, plush cushioning, shock absorption, and a chunky heel are what you want.

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Best Running Shoes
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Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common triggers for heel pain, especially among runners. Regularly stretching is a good start, but you may also want to invest in a running sneaker that helps alleviate foot pain. Below, explore the best running shoes that won't aggravate plantar fasciitis, plus podiatrist-recommended tips for finding the right fit.

The 9 best running shoes for plantar fasciitis to buy

What is plantar fasciitis?

"The plantar fascia is a shock-absorbing bowstring-like thick ligament that connects your heel to your toes," explains New York City-based podiatrist Dr. Miguel Cunha, DPM. "When you stand your arch collapses, causing this bowstring to stretch out leading to the formation of micro-tears in the ligament that can result in weakness, swelling, and irritation of the plantar fascia."

As for the key symptoms to look out for, he continues, "The most common sign of plantar fasciitis is stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot when you get out of bed in the morning, after standing for prolonged periods of time, or when you stand up after sitting for a while. It's also common to experience pain after you exercise, not during your workout."

While supportive footwear is always recommended for alleviating pain, Dr. Grant Duong stresses that a new pair of shoes won't fully heal your plantar fasciitis. "The truth is, shoes won't really help with plantar fasciitis," the Australia-based podiatrist tells Health. "The problem lies within the actual foot posture and foot and calf muscles." It's best to consult with an expert to determine the root of your foot pain and learn the proper posture and footwear that supports your arch and gait pattern.

What to look for when shopping for running shoes

While there aren't plantar fasciitis-specific running shoes, there are some smart features to look for when shopping. Experts recommend choosing sneakers with good arch support, supportive cushioning, shock-absorbing soles, a deep heel cup, and a spacious toe box to keep plantar fasciitis symptoms at bay.

"A well-cushioned footbed and anatomical arch support to hold the plantar fascia and prevent it from collapsing to minimize fatigue and pain," Dr. Cunha shares. "Increased rigidity of the heel cup can help maintain proper foot realignment and maintain pressure relief of the plantar fascia by withstanding the impact of each heel strike." He adds, "A bio-mechanically engineered shoe with superior cushioning and a durable rubber sole with maximum shock-absorbing properties to maximize motion control, minimize fatigue of the plantar fascia, and ultimately allow for a smoother and more natural motion."

It's generally smart to choose a heavier shoe, since lightweight sneakers don't deliver much support, says New York-based podiatrist Hillary Brenner, DPM. "You don't want to bend the shoe in half like a burrito," she explains.

Here are the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis you should add to your workout wardrobe if you're suffering from this foot condition.

Best Overall: Asics Gel-Cumulus 22 Running Shoe

Asics Gel Cumulus 22
ASICS

The exoskeletal heel counter in this shoe from Asics (Dr. Brenner recommends the brand) provides support, while additional height relieves Achilles' heel tension. It's also shock-absorbent and allows for movement in multiple planes as the foot goes through the gait cycle. It's also a favorite of Dr. Chanel Perkins, DPM, who notes, "This shoe has a very neutral fit and is almost compatible with any foot type since it will not try to correct the running gait. It's designed with layers of cushioning for maximum comfort during runs." For reviewers, it's the perfect level for running.

"I started wearing the Gel-Cumulus sneakers several years ago when my podiatrist recommended them for plantar fasciitis," wrote one reviewer. "I have had no problem with [it] since. They provide cushion, support and they are so comfortable."

Best for Short Distances: On Cloud 2.0 Running Shoe

On Cloud 2.0
Zappos

Recommended by Dr. Cunha for short distance runners, the On Cloud 2.0 Running Shoe is lightweight and designed to cushion your foot at every stage of your stride for optimal performance and support. It has a foam speedboard to promote the natural movement of the foot, a snug molded heel that ensures your foot has full freedom, and a central channel between the medial and lateral sides that allows the outsole to adapt to your foot's movement path.

"They are really, really comfortable," shared one Zappos customer. "The hype is true. I mainly use them for 30 to 45 minute interval HIIT training workouts and running 3 to 5 miles."

Best for Long Distances: Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 Running Shoe

Saucony Endorphin Speed 2
Zappos

A top pick for long-distance runners, per Dr. Cunha, the Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 Running Shoe is specially designed to create a rolling forward momentum so it can deliver a springy energy return and prevent fatigue. Its XT-900 outsole has excellent traction and durability while its supportive FormFit foam midsole cushions. Plus, it's made from breathable and flexible materials for added comfort.

"Super light and comfy, like walking on a cloud but with support," one reviewer said.

Best for Road Running: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 Running Shoe

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
Zappos

Cushioned and contoured in all of the right places, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 Running Shoe, which comes recommended by Dr. Cunha, wraps around your arch for comfortable and supportive road running. It features a soft-yet-responsive midsole that enforces pronation control and a removable molded insole for light underfoot padding. Together with the segmented crash pad, they create smoother transitions throughout the gait cycle. And, it even helps protect the knees by preventing excess movement.

"Awesome fitting shoes," one runner reported. "No pain from my plantar fasciitis when I wear them."

Best for Trail Running: Hoka One One Speedgoat 4

Hoka Speedgoat 4
Zappos

If the trails are where you clock in most of your miles, then you'll need a well-tractioned and supportive sneaker like the Hoka One One Speedgoat 4. A top pick from Dr. Cunha, it has a tight grip for uphill and a secure fit for downhill, ensuring that your foot is always in place and cushioned where it needs to be. In addition to its impressive stability, it provides support to the midfoot with its foam midsole, and boasts a spacious toe box.

"I have plantar fasciitis and the Hoka's thick soles prevent heel pain," one shopper shared. "My partner has the previous model Goat's and is wearing these hiking instead of hiking boots. We work in Yellowstone National Park in the summers and hike quite a bit in rocky terrain."

Best for High Arches: Brooks Ghost 13 Running Shoe

Brooks-Ghost-13-Best-Shoes-for-Plantar-Fasciitis-Products
Courtesy of Zappos

High arches require a supportive shoe like the Brooks Ghost 13 that adheres to your foot shape while also providing the proper cushioning to alleviate plantar fasciitis pain. "This shoe offers ample support and cushioning throughout the midsole with multi-layer support for high arches," Dr. Perkins says of the DNA Loft cushioning, which extends beyond the heel and allows for an easy transition from landing to toe-off. Its mesh construction ensures breathability as well as flexibility to encourage your foot's natural movement.

"I bought a pair earlier this year after months of dealing with plantar fasciitis," explained one Zappos shopper. "Since the day I put them on, my plantar fasciitis has disappeared. I want to cry typing this. If you have ever dealt with [plantar fasciitis], you know how you would dread the first hour of your day. So grateful to be free of the pain."

Best for Flat Feet: Asics Gel Kayano 28 Lite-Show Running Shoe

Asics-Gel-Kayano-28-Lite-Show-Best-Shoes-for-Plantar-Fasciitis-Products
Courtesy of Zappos

The Asics Gel Kayano 28 Lite-Show Running Shoe cradles flat feet with its innovative gel cushioning technology, which anticipates and responds to the multiple planes in the foot's gait cycle. "This shoe has a firm foam support throughout the arch," Dr. Perkins says of the popular style. "The shoe design highlights stability for overpronation, which aligns with the biomechanics of a flat foot. In addition to being lightweight, it's also very soft, highly cushioned and largely breathable." It also has reflective details to create higher visibility during early morning or late night runs.

Best for Wide Feet: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11 Running Shoe

New-Balance-Fresh-Foam-1080-v11-Best-Shoes-for-Plantar-Fasciitis-Products
Courtesy of Zappos

New Balance is another brand that gets Dr. Bass' vote, and these stylish running shoes combine fresh foam, cushy Ortholite insoles, and mesh uppers to ensure total comfort. The wide toe box helps stabilize, while thick midsoles provide superior cushioning and shock absorption while you run. Dr. Perkins adds, "This brand is traditionally known to accommodate a wider foot. These shoes come in standard, wide, and extra wide. This style is lightweight, comfortable and supportive for running." It also hugs your heel for added support and security for a more confident stride.

"Most comfortable and best running shoe I have ever had," raved one customer. "I have high arches, wide feet, and have had issues with plantar fasciitis. I have tried almost every brand—New Balance's 1080s are the best."

Most Supportive: Hoka One One Bondi 7 Running Shoe

Hoka-One-One-Bondi-7-Best-Shoes-for-Plantar-Fasciitis-Products
Courtesy of Zappos

Paul Langer, DPM, a podiatrist based in Minnesota, likes Hoka One shoes, and these kicks are arguably the most cushioned shoe on the market. With molded Ortholite footbeds, internal heel counters, and a wider fit for stability, these surprisingly lightweight sneakers offer the perfect amount of toe room for a natural position of your foot. Also great? The thick sole provides shock absorption to lessen the impact on your feet, ankles, and legs. For some reviewers, it makes a great everyday shoe, especially for those who are constantly on their feet for work.

"Hoka One One has completely eliminated my heel spur and my plantar fasciitis," one customer reported in their review. "This has been my 'go-to shoe' for many many years. I have tried other Hoka's but nothing feels as good as my One One's. They have terrific arch support (I also have a fallen arch, geez) and are just a sharp-looking ladies shoe."

Updated by
Emily Belfiore

Emily Belfiore is an experienced lifestyle writer and editor with a passion for shopping. As a buying guides writer for Health, she covers topics spanning across the fashion, beauty, and health and wellness verticals and is always in pursuit of the best reviewer-vouched products. Emily started her career as an Associate Editor for SheFinds, where she created shopping-oriented content, and has since grown her freelance portfolio by providing lifestyle coverage for Allure, BestProducts.com, Byrdie, InStyle, Real Simple, The Quality Edit, WWD, and more. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Communications and Journalism from Marist College in 2016. In her free time, you can find her testing products for articles, watching beauty tutorials, or catching up on the latest binge-worthy show.

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