In addition to selecting a new pair of sneaks, stretches and foot strengthening are essential to your recovery. Remember that in all likelihood, old shoes represented just one of several factors that led to the manifestation of plantar fasciitis. That said, looking into appropriate footwear, with solid arch support, is a good initial step, especially as you recover and avoid the future re-injury of your plantar fascia.
There are a lot of great walking and running shoes aimed at plantar fasciitis, so let’s narrow our focus down to just the ones that other podiatrists have recommended to their patients. Scott Oconor DPM, who practices out of central Illinois has provided these recommendations and helpfully broken them down by arch size, a key factor you should consider when choosing your shoe. You might be thinking though, “why is arch support relevant to heel pain?” In fact, the reason plantar fasciitis results in heel pain is because an improperly supported arch tugs at the heel tearing the connective tissues overtime. Dr. Michael King, the immediate past president of the American Podiatric Medical Association reports that many individuals try heel inserts, but that more or less misses the point.
|”Heel cushions have little effect. It’s an arch problem, not a heel problem.” Michael King DPM
Before reviewing the following guide, pause a second to consider your unique foot type. What arches do you have? If you’re not sure, you can measure your arch in less than a minute here.
The guide is broken down generally in terms of arch type and the relative degree of motion control to help you get started on finding the perfect fit for you. If you are particularly interested in a specific shoe, I invite you to check out reviews at Runners world, Runners Times, and Running Guru where a lot of the data for the following analyses were pulled.
VERY FLAT ARCHES
1. Brooks Addiction
It’s a heavy shoe, but that extra weight is the result of tons of stability components and oodles of cushion for a gentle strike. It has a very wide toe box and provides a great amount of security. It’s perfect for those with fallen arches and easily accommodates orthotics. The pride and joy of the Brooks addiction is the MOGO midsole which has one a few industry accolades for its superior ability to absorb striking forces.
At a glance: A cushiony dream awaiting feet bottoms flatter than a marble countertop
2. Aetrex V854 walker
Aetrex has long been established as a high quality maker of podiatrist recommended shoes. The Aetrex V854 is no exception. As part of the Voyager line, it was designed especially with rear foot stability in mind. Their footbridge is similar to New Balance’s Rollbar in offering support and motion control. That means this shoe is particularly well suited for overpronators (exaggerated outward rolling of the foot’s natural motion). The segmented pods integrated with the outsole provide unparalleled support and a smooth heel-toe transition.
At a glance: An awesome shoe designed by a company dedicated to orthotics
3. Asics Gel Fortitude
Surprise surprise, not everyone is a fan of the general look of orthotics shoes. Asics, a brand with a solid reputation for designing shoes with competitive arch support, has taken note and delivered an orthotic that well, doesn’t look it. While the Gel Frequency Fortitude offers much more than the average running shoes and is thankfully able to bring aesthetics back into the shoe design equation. Think of it as an orthotic shoe with some style.
At a glance: A well-cushioned shoe that doesn’t immediately shout, “Orthotics!”
4. New Balance 847
The New Balance 847 shares a lot of common traits with the previously review new balances with the exception that it is specially designed for those with lower arches.
The updated New Balance 847 walking shoe from is ready for your workout. Some wearers have been quick to report that these shoes felt a little stiff right out of the box, however the vast majority have rated this product highly. To be on the safe side either order them a half size up or first try out a pair in store to make the best-informed decision. The upper is constructed of well-ventilated mesh for enhanced air flow.
At a glance: New Balances take on a shoe for walkers with lower arches
5. New Balance 928/845
The New Balance 928 will provide the comfort you need to withstand a full day on your feet. The Rollbar technology mentioned in the 812 again stabilizes the foot with the added bonus that this shoe is made in several, extra wide sizes. Some wearers have even go so far as to recommend ordering a slightly wider size to be on the safe side, especially if you plan to use orthotic inserts which can make the fit more snug at times. 927 wearers were happy to announce that the 928 significantly more flexible. That’s good news for everyone hoping to avoid the dreaded break in period. As expected, this shoe incorporates a lot of cushion with special attention given to your midsoles.
At a glance: Less stiff than the 927, a great walker for those with wider feet
6. Asics Gel Foundation
Accepted by the America Podiatric Medical Association (APM), the Asics Gel-tech earned its seal of approval and status as contributing to foot health thanks in large part to two distinct layers of cushion. The Gel-technology absorbs the shock of each stride for a gentle feel, giving steps a plush feel, while the Ortholite footbed offers a second degree of cushioning that is springier and promotes all day comfort. One wearer commented that the Foundation Walkers were like stepping onto “a thickly padded carpet.” Foundation fans have noted that the cushion is one of the more durable designs currently on the market and requires little to no breaking in.
At a glance: A top pick recommendation among podiatrists, a ridiculous amount of cushion
7. New Balance 812
What makes the New Balance 813 more than just a plush stability shoe is the Rollbar, a piece of graphite material inserted at the midsole designed to reduce heel movements that place undue pressure on your plantar fascia. While some 811 wearers have noted and lamented a slight decrease in the 813’s shoe quality, the general integrity of the design remains strong thanks to the ample cushion and Rollbar technology. It’s still a great shoe, even if the 811 was perhaps a little better.
At a glance: 812 fans might be slightly disappointed, still a strong shoe overall