Review: The Mizuno Wave Inspire 16 is a very popular and highly rated stability shoe. Its 12mm drop is designed for heel strikers with a medium arch.
It provides some of the best stability on this list as a result of Mizuno’s thermoplastic wave plate. This combined with U4ic and U4icX foam makes for excellent cushioning, shock absorption and responsiveness.
Excellent arch support.
Premium Sockliner provides an extra cushy footbed.
Durable but flexible outsole.
Toebox could be wider.
Light and comfortable, with excellent energy return. These are some of the best running shoes for men with plantar fasciitis.
Review: The Fresh Foam Vongo is a highly cushioned stability shoe from New Balance. It’s designed to be super comfortable for people with problems like bunions and back pain, but the plush cushioning makes it a great choice for plantar fasciitis too.
It has a 4mm drop which means it’s designed for forefoot strikers, which is unusual for highly cushioned stability shoes. But, it just might work for you.
Very well cushioned.
Wide sizing available.
Flexible and breathable engineered mesh upper.
Molded EVA insole for arch support and cushioning.
Some issues with heel fit.
This is a unique, low drop stability shoe for forefoot strikers with plantar fasciitis.
Review: The Newton Motion 8 is top quality but slightly lesser-known shoe compared to the others on this list. It only has a 3mm drop which is the lowest on this list so it’s definitely only suited to people with plantar fasciitis who already forefoot strike.
But, it is a stability shoe so it provides reliable arch support in the form of a medial post, while Newtonium foam and an ETC sockliner provide very comfortable cushioning.
Reliable arch support.
Lightweight and fast.
Responsive over long distances.
Very low drop.
This is a lightweight marathon shoe designed for people who forefoot strike but the combination of arch support and soft cushioning make it a good option for plantar fasciitis (provided you already forefoot strike).
Hoka One One Men’s Arahi 4
Review: Hoka One One shoes are known for their maximalist cushioning and the Arahi 4 is no exception. Specifically designed for plantar fasciitis, this shoe has pronation support, ample shock absorption and an extra soft sock liner for added comfort.
The pronation support comes in the form of Hoka’s J-Frame design while its Meta-Rocker provides smooth transitions from midfoot strike to toe off.
Very lightweight despite all the cushioning.
Securely fitting heel.
Plush sockliner provides a very comfortable footbed.
5mm drop is designed for midfoot striking.
A great running shoe for the overpronator who suffers from plantar fasciitis and appreciates maximum cushioning.
Review: The Brooks Ghosts are a highly cushioned neutral shoe but they still provide a nice, wide, stable platform which makes them a great option for plantar fasciitis sufferers provided your overpronation isn’t too severe.
It has a plush interior that adapts to your foot, Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA foam in the midsole and a segmented crash pad that provides superior shock absorption.
Wide sizing available.
Excellent for long runs and high mileage.
Very plush cushioning.
Toe box runs a little narrow.
Truly, some of the best men’s running shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Now, it’s time for the ladies!
My pick of the 8 best women’s running shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Review: The New Balance women’s w990v4 is a stability shoe with plenty of cushioning, making it a great choice if you have been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.
The 12mm drop is great for heel strikers, the newly included ENCAP technology provides really comfortable stability and shock absorption, and New Balance is also known for having a wider fit which is helpful for people with low or fallen arches.
Supportive with good arch support.
ENCAP midsole technology for cushioning and stability.
A little pricey.
Some of the best women’s running shoes for plantar fasciitis, the 990s are really comfortable with the perfect balance of cushioning and stability.
Review: The Asics Kayano 26 is another cushioned stability shoe designed for overpronators who heel strike. The Kayano has some of the most advanced stability technology out there making it the best choice for severe overpronators.
Aside from its top-quality arch support, it has gel cushioning in the heel making the shoe a comforting choice for plantar fasciitis sufferers.
Midsole returns energy for a responsive stride.
Designed with impact guidance system for proper alignment.
Gel cushioning for extreme shock absorption.
Toebox runs small.
One of the best running shoes for severe overpronation and plantar fasciitis.
Review: The Brooks Ravenna 10 is a popular option for people with foot pain. It’s a snappy road running shoe that won’t weigh you down but still provides a good level of arch support and firm, stable cushioning.
It’s not as plush as some of the other shoes on this list, but if the shoe fits… you get my drift.
BioMoGo DNA midsole.
Holistic GuideRails provide reliable arch support.
Wide toe box, narrow at the heel.
Blown rubber outsole makes for bouncier ride.
10mm drop is good for heel strikers.
Runs just a little large.
If you want a fast shoe that won’t slow you down, this is the one to go for.
Review: The Wave Horizon 4 is another excellent stability shoe with good responsiveness and comfortable cushioning. It’s a marathon shoe that’s designed to go the distance so it has a durable construction and long-lasting springiness.
The combination of stability, excellent shock absorption and a soft sock liner make this shoe a great choice for overpronators.
Shock absorbing midsole thanks to Cloudwave technology.
This depends on what is causing your plantar fasciitis. For this, you may need to get checked out by a professional.
Plantar fasciitis can be caused by a wide range of things. Anything from being overweight, being on your feet all day, to having tight muscles, an old injury or, most commonly, overpronating.
If you’re overweight or forced to be on your feet all day, these aren’t things that can be changed quickly so you’re better off going for supportive, well-cushioned shoes, and incorporating some stretching into your routine.
If, on the other hand, your pain is resulting from overpronation and tight muscles, this is something you can work with slowly to build up strength and flexibility.
I’d still recommend starting with supportive, well-cushioned shoes for your running, and work on your foot strength and flexibility in between runs. Once your pain is reducing, then you can start transitioning towards more neutral shoes.
Check out this video for ideas on strength and flexibility exercises for plantar fasciitis.
What to Look for:
Most people with plantar fasciitis tend to overpronate or have a degree of instability in their feet. For this reason, stability or motion control shoes are usually the most comfortable.
On the other hand, if you know that you don’t overpronate, you could still benefit from a neutral shoe that incorporates some stability features so that your foot muscles don’t go into overdrive and make your plantar fasciitis worse.
Lastly, in rare cases, runners with high arches who underpronate, or supinate, can also end up with plantar fasciitis. If that’s the case for you, be sure to have a read of our guide to the best running shoes for underpronators.
A sturdy heel counter and deep heel cup will help with stability and keeping the heel securely in place inside the shoe.
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 cushioning and a form-fitting footbed.
When you have plantar fasciitis, the muscles in your feet are enflamed and sore, so extra cushioning is important to stay comfortable.
But cushioning also means shock absorption. If your shoes aren’t well-cushioned, the muscles in your feet and lower leg will be forced to cope with the impact of landing repetitively which can make plantar fasciitis worse.
Good shock absorption will reduce the load on your muscles.
The Shoe’s Drop
The shoe’s “drop” is a measurement of the difference between the stack height of the sole at the heel compared to the forefoot.
If a shoe is 15mm high in the heel, and 5mm 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 10mm 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 higher drop encourages heel striking.
What does this mean for you?
It’s important that you already know whether you’re a heel striker, midfoot striker or forefoot striker, and that you match the drop in your shoes to match this.
If you’re a heel striker and you suddenly start running in a pair of low drop shoes, the muscles in your feet and lower legs will have to works harder and you’ll likely make your plantar fasciitis worse.
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.
Michael is a fitness expert and professional home/garage gym builder. His tutorials, guides, and reviews are backed up by his own experience and will definitely help you achieve your goals. He also loves putting mayo AND ketchup on the pizza for some reason!