15 Best Workout & Cross Training Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

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15 Best Workout & Cross Training Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2021

Your podiatrist says the best shoes for plantar fasciitis are well cushioned, with plenty of arch support to reduce tension on the plantar.

Your CrossFit coach or cross training instructor tell you to get minimalist style shoes that are as low to the ground as possible, which seems to be the opposite of cushiony arch support.

The only things these two seem to agree on is that the shoe should be sturdy and stable, with a wide toe box and good heel lockdown.

How do you choose the best workout shoes for plantar fasciitis that help alleviate the PF and perform well for gym based exercises?

Glad you asked.

I plan to give you some hints on how to select the best workout shoes for plantar fasciitis and I personally review my top 15 choices below to give you some ideas before you hit the gym or head to your box.

Shoe Characteristics You Should Consider if You Suffer from Plantar Fasciitis

sport wear shoes closeup

Should you use Orthotics

You may hear some folks say that orthotics only mask the problem, but many podiatrists disagree.

You need to allow the plantar to heal first and then address the issue that is causing the PF. Maybe Orthotics are only a temporary solution, but they will put the foot in a position that allows it to heal.

What can orthotics do for you?

  • Offer Arch support – Both custom and prefab orthotics are molded and shaped to conform to the natural arch of your foot and prevent the arch from collapsing. When your arch flattens out, this stretches the plantar, putting tension on the fascia, preventing it from healing. Orthotics help the plantar fascia heal.
  • Orthotics keep pressure off the sensitive heel area – orthotics are designed to transfer weight and pressure from the heel to the mid arch, relieving pain at the heel.

Arch support

As we mentioned above, using an orthotic is a great way to get the arch support you need to relieve your PF.

Many of the shoes in my list below have removable insoles so you can replace the insole with your own.

In addition to that…

Many of the shoes I recommend below have ample arch support using the insole included with the shoe.


The arch must conform as closely to your natural arch as possible. Any gap will cause the arch to flatten, aggravating the PF.

Search for shoes that have some sort of mid foot post that supports the arch well.

Heel lift and “drop”

Many CrossFit coaches and athletes may say that 0 drop shoes are best for cross training, functional fitness, or gym based exercises.


At least in the case of weight lifting or squatting exercises, a raised heel is beneficial. At least that is what the science says.

One study showed that shows with an elevated heel helped ankle flexion which allows our shins to be aligned vertically, helping us squat deeper while keeping the chest upright and our torso straight.

Heel lockdown

You foot mush feel secure in the shoe. Any heel slipping or feeling like you will come out of the shoe, will cause you to compensate, usually by using your toes to re-adjust.

This can cause stress on the tendons in the foot and can aggravate PF. Not to mention, it’s just annoying and distracts you from your workout.

Look for shoes with a TPU or hard plastic insert in the heel. These help lock the heel in place and secure the shoe.

Some shoes also have a strap over the mid-foot that secures the shoe to your foot. Dedicated lifting shoes often feature this strap and it is a nice feature to have.

Always choose shoes that lace up and allow for adjustment. Slip on styles are a no no for cross training because you can not get a perfect, secure with them.

The Sole

Look for dual density shoes, or those that are solid at the heel and mid foot, and flexible toward the front.

You have probably heard from a friend or fellow athlete that the best shoes for cross training are flexible, but on the other hand many podiatrists recommend a rigid sole.

One way to bridge this gap is with the dual density material which stabilizes the heel and mid foot while being flexible in the forefoot.


Look for shoes with a roomy toe box.

If you plan to use orthotics, you may also want shoes that are deep enough to comfortably accommodate them, so shoes with a shallow depth will not work.

Now that you know what to look for, I have rounded up 15 shoes that will work for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis and want to workout in the gym using cross training style exercises.

I chose these 15 because they meet most, if not all of the criteria I laid out above, so lets jump in!

TOP 15 Best Workout Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2021

Reebok Men's Crossfit Lifter Plus 2.0 Shoe

Review: According to one study, having a slight incline at the heel engages the quads more than 0 drop shoes giving more power to your lift.

These Reebok lifters do have a 22mm drop and several other features that make them not only great for lifting heavy, but also for those who suffer from Plantar Fasciitis.


  • 22 mm drop lifters.
  • Strap over mid foot and forefoot keeps feet stable.
  • Arch support provided by removable insole, can also use your own orthotics.
  • Stiff wide sole.


  • Not comfortable for activities outside of lifting and WODs, eg, no for running, treadmill and so on.


Excellent shoes. The best CrossFit shoes for plantar fasciitis on Lifting and WOD days.

ASICS Womens GEL Noosa Tri 10 Running Shoes

Review: Asics is a brand well known for having good arch support and these shoes live up to that reputation with a high supportive arch and strategically places gel pads which are comfortable for those with PF.


  • Ample high arch support.
  • Removable insole, can use with custom orthotics.
  • Rear foot and fore foot gel that is soft and comfortable for the heel.
  • Lower profile sole that Asics popular Kayano shoe, perfect for cross training.


  • A bit smaller that the Asics Kayano.


Best women’s cross training shoes for plantar fasciitis in terms of comfort, can be worn all day.

New Balance Women's 711v2 Training Shoe

Review: These New Balance 711v2 shoes are extremely comfortable for those with PF.

They are well padded using New Balaences patented Cush + technology which promises a soft yet stable insole. These shoes also have ample arch support.


  • Extra padding at the heel.
  • High arch, great arch support.
  • Removable insole so you can use your own orthotics if you want.


  • The heel is so extensively cushioned, you may notice heel slipping.


Best exercise shoes for plantar fasciitis for lower intensity exercises and al day, every day wear.


New Balance Men's MX517v1 Training Shoe

Review: These New Balance shoes feature soft memory foam insoles which are very comfortable and offer moderate arch support, but if you have high arches, you may want an insert.

These are some of the most comfortable gym and cross training shoes out there.


  • Plenty of room for your own insert or orthotic.
  • Good for wide feet.
  • Decent arch support, better with an insert or orthotic.
  • Memory foam insole.


  • Not supportive for really high arches.


Best gym shoes for plantar fasciitis, as comfortable as wearing slippers.


PUMA Men's Tazon 6 Fracture FM Cross-Trainer Shoe

Review: Tazon 6 Men’s cross trainers are Puma’s most popular cross training shoe because of the comfortable insole, making them soft on the inside but they are tough on the outside.

The are also quite attractive and supportive enough to be worn by men with plantar fasciitis.


  • EcoOrthoLite insoles are sustainable, supportive and won’t go flat on you.
  • Strong TPU material shank that supports arches.
  • Good heel lockdown thanks to EVA heel pod.
  • Removable insole, could use your own.


  • Run small.


Best training shoes for plantar fasciitis that strike a good balance between looks and performance.

ASICS Men's Conviction X Cross-Trainer Shoe

Review: These Men’s Conviction X cross trainers are good for lifting, they have solid lateral support, a stable firm sole, and modest arch support, but not overly high.


  • Dense rigid sole.
  • 4 mm drop, good drop height for cross training.
  • Modest arch support.
  • Good heel lock in.


  • Not very wide.


For those who want a dedicated cross training shoe with just a little cushion and arch support, these are your shoes.

Ryka Women's Devotion XT Cross Trainer

Review: These Ryka Women’s Cross Training shoes are perfect for dynamic cross training movements like agility work.

They have excellent lateral support, strong stable heel support, are really cushioned well, and available in wide or medium width sizes.


  • Strong steady heel support ideal for ladies with plantar fasciitis.
  • Very cushioned ortholite insole, plus insole is removable if you want to use your own.
  • Available in wide or medium width.


Great cross training shoes by Ryka.


Reebok Men's Crossfit Nano 8.0 Flexweave

Review: The Nano 8’s have one o the softest insoles of all the nano shoes, which are known for being somewhat stiff.

They are not too cushiony, but for dedicated shoes made specifically for CrossFit, they have more cushion and support than other shoes in this class.


  • Removable insole if you wear custom insoles.
  • Stable somewhat stiff sole.
  • Wide toe box, with TPU heel.


  • Narrower mid foot than other Nano Models, may feel narrow even on normal width feet.


Best cross training shoes for plantar fasciitis for those with a narrow footprint.


ASICS Women's GEL-Fortius Cross-Training Shoe

Review: These shoes, made specifically for Cross Training, have all the durability features you would expect from the best CrossFit shoes, such as a RhynoSkin toe cap and abrasion resistant overlays on the outsole, plus they are great for folks who experience pain from Plantar Fasciitis.


  • Mid level arch support, plus you can use your own insole if necessary.
  • Low profile, low to the ground, safe for both WOD and Metcon type activities including jumping, climbing and lifting.
  • Stiff stable sole.


  • Not overly cushioned. If you need heavy cushion to relieve your PF, you might try the 711v2 by New Balance.


Best cross training shoes for plantar fasciitis with decent arch support, which many Cross trainers don’t have.

New Balance Men's MX608v4 Training Shoe

Review: These Men’s cross training shoes are extremely popular and highly rated for men who have PF because they are effective and relieving PF pain.

They have a wide, stable sole, solid arch support and the insole is removable so you can place your custom orthotics if desired.


  • Removable/replaceable insole.
  • Wide sole base, stiff and stable.
  • Snug and secure ankle lock in.
  • Good for wide feet and excellent for those with Plantar Fasciitis.


  • A little heavier than standard cross training shoes.


Best workout shoes for plantar fasciitis 2021 for men.

NIKE Men's Free Train Versatility Cross Training Shoes

Review: These Nike Free Train Cross Training shoes are so light they feel like you are not wearing shoes, yet they are supportive so men who suffer from PF will benefit from using them.

They are wider than average Nike models, have excellent heel lock down, and decent arch support.


  • Good for wide feet, ample toe box.
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Dual density midsole for both comfort and stability, the best of both worlds.
  • Removable insole.


Best exercise shoes for plantar fasciitis, especially considering their great price.

Reebok Women's Crossfit Nano 6 for lifting WODS

Review: These low profile, ultra stable Nano’s focus on lifting and WOD type activities, with a pretty thin sole that still offers a little arch support, more than other Nano models.

This model can be used with orthotics.


  • Wide toe box, stiff stable sole, low profile.
  • Tri blend foam fusion midsole offers comfort and support.
  • More arch support than other Nano models.
  • Softer ankle than the Nano 5.


  • While these Rebock Nano’s have more arch support than many other cross trainers, it is a modest arch support. Can be used with orthotics if needed.


Best cross training shoes for plantar fasciitis because they are durable and versatile, good for lifting, cardio and other gym based exercises.

NIKE Women's Lunarglide 8

Review: These Lunarglide training shoes are supportive, well cushioned and stable. They are very light and dynamic, great for energetic moves like plyo box jumps.


  • Supportive for high arches.
  • Stable sole.
  • Good for folks who over pronate.
  • Made with lunarlon foam which is super light and superior at dispersing impact, alleviating pressure points and helping those with plantars fasciitis.


  • Not great for running, especially outdoors as the soles hold onto pebbles.


Some of the best workout shoes for plantar fasciitis Nike makes.

Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 17

Review: Soft cushioned insole, support for the arch and mid foot and a stable sole make these Brooks Men’s GTS 17 training shoes a good choice for those who have PF.

These are a bit narrower than other models in the Brooks lineup and they have a removable insole which can be replaced with your own.


  • Good arch support.
  • Great shoe for over Pronators, with a built in “rollbar’ that keeps your foot properly aligned.
  • Lower to the ground than some other Brooks shoes, yet still well cushioned.


  • Run about a half size small, more snug than the adrenaline model.


Comfortable training shoes for those with heel pain.

PUMA Women's Cell Riaze Heather Cross-Trainer Shoe

Review: These stylish training shoes by Puma work well for women with PF because they have moderate arch support, without the arch being too high, they have decent cushioning with a soft foam insole.

Perfect for indoor and gym based exercises.


  • Supportive for flat feet and weak ankles.
  • Roomy enough for an orthotic insert to fit.


  • Too narrow at the midsole for wide feet.


Cute, comfortable Cross Training shoes.

I hope you have found this list helpful and find the best workout shoes for plantar fasciitis for you in this list.

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Until then, I will see you at the box!

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