Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis – TOP 17 Shoes for Men & Women 2019
Is Plantar Fasciitis putting the breaks on your running routine?
Whether you just got back into running after a loooong break, or are running to lose weight or training to run your first marathon, a bout of plantar fasciitis may feel like the end of the road for your running career.
Many runners overcome plantar fasciitis and go on to achieve whatever ambition they are chasing.
One tool in the runner’s injury prevention and recovery arsenal is a good pair of running shoes.
Well designed running shoes can help ease the pain and aid recovery from plantar fasciitis.
In this quick guide, I will show you how to find the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis for you and review 17 running shoes that have helped others with plantar fasciitis.
I am no doctor, but my advice is to try each way and experiment.
Note: pain that does not subside or discomfort that lingers should be checked out by a professional.
In my review of the 17 best running shoes for plantar fasciitis, I included a few minimalist shoes and several others that offer more support and cushion.
All the shoes I reviewed are those that real runners like yourself found helpful to alleviate plantar fasciitis.
What to Look for: Choosing the Right Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Are You an Under, Over or Normal Pronator?
People who overpronate need a “stability shoe”.
What does that even mean?
If you overpronate, it means your foot tends to roll inward as you run. A stability shoe is designed to limit the motion of your foot and keep it properly aligned as you run.
Stability shoes may have “guiderails” built in or feature a denser material on the inner sole to prevent your stride from straying inward.
These features keep your foot properly aligned.
Shoes for overpronators may also have a built-in post or shank in the arch for additional support in this susceptible area.
If the arch of your foot flattens as you run, this puts a strain on the muscles and ligaments that create the foot arch.
Poor arch support combined with repetitive impact is often the cause of plantar fasciitis.
Under Pronators aka Supinatiors
Take a look at the soles of an old pair of running shoes.
Do you notice more wear to the outside edge of the sole vs the inner sole?
If so, you are probably an under-pronator, meaning your foot tends to roll outward as you run.
The problem with under-pronation is that since the foot does not land properly, the impact from your stride is not fully absorbed and your knees take the brunt of the unabsorbed force, causing knee pain.
Under-pronators need shoes with flexible soles and ample cushion.
Normal pronators will notice wear at the ball of the foot and heel, which indicates that the biomechanics of your gait are normal and the impact of your stride is being properly absorbed.
Normal pronators need a “neutral shoe”.
Note: it is possible to be a normal pronator and still have heel and arch pain. If a shoe does not support the arch, your arch may flatten, causing pain in the heel and midfoot.
A stiff heel counter, the area of the shoe that wraps around the heel, keeps the heel in place. The heel counter adds stability and prevents the foot from rolling.
A deep heel cup also keeps the heel in place and helps prevent flattening of the arch of the foot.
If you are struggling with plantar fasciitis try a pair of shoes with a sturdy heel counter and deep heel cup.
Avoid a flat insole because it won’t hold your foot in place and make for an unstable landing.
Look for a shoe with ample cushion and a form-fitting footbed. Extra cushioning will help absorb the extra impact created by a pronation issue.
The cushioning will also prevent the arch of your foot from flattening out as you run, which can strain the arch and cause pain in the heel, arch or top on the foot.
The Shoe’s Drop: the Height Difference Between the Heel and Forefoot
The shoe’s “drop” is a measurement of the difference between the heel height and the height of the forefoot.
If a shoe is 15mm high in the heel, and 5 mm high at the toe, the drop is 10mm.
Why does the shoe’s drop matter?
The shoe’s drop affects two things
First, a steep drop, say 10 mm or more, pushes you forward slightly as you run. These shoes forward motion make some runners feel like they are moving faster.
Second, a shoe’s drop affects where the foot strike occurs. A low or medium drop shoe tends to strike near the front or midsole. A steep drop encourages heel striking.
The Toe Box
A good running shoe for plantar fasciitis should be snug in the heel and midfoot.
The front of the shoe where the toes are, called the toe box, should be roomy and wide enough for your toes to splay naturally while you run.
Why do my toes need room?
When your toes have enough room to land as nature intended, this keeps the bones of your foot in proper alignment.
A narrow toe box squishes the toes, throwing the bones and joints out of alignment, causing painful blister, bunions and puts stress on tendons and muscles in the midfoot, which may cause the pain associated with plantar fasciitis.
Review: The NIKE Pegasus line has been a popular running shoe for over 30 years.
The Pegasus 34 continues to be great, providing good cushioning that is not too soft nor unstable. This is a neutral running shoe, designed for average pronators and the arch support works well for folks with high arches.
Fast responsive cushioning.
Good arch support- can be used by folks with high arches.