Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis seems to affect every runner at some point, and if you’re searching for running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis, it sounds like you’ve joined the movement…

We’ll detail what causes Plantar Fasciitis (aka. Plantarfasciosis or Plantarfasciitis – it’s all the same condition) as well as what you can do to get on top of this condition.

As part of the fix for your foot pain, we’ll go through the best running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis and what they offer. We’ll also help you with advice on how to select the right match for you.

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Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis
Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis
Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis

What causes Plantar Fasciitis in runners?

The Plantarfascia is a dense band of connective tissue that runs from the base of your toes to your heel.

The design of it is a little bit of genius in that its simple, very effective and gives us our movement efficiency – without it, you’d need to work a lot harder to walk or run.

It’s responsible for storing energy as we walk or run, to be released as we push off.

It’s part of a system of connective tissues that stores energy as it stretches, like a very thick elastic band, and helps generate force as your toes bend back and your calf muscle pushes off.

It also makes the foot rigid at the key time during walking and running, giving us a very stable block to launch from.

The foot is quite bendy and pliable to adjust to uneven surfaces but it needs to become rigid as your push through it, otherwise your push off force would be lost with a floppy connection to the ground.

All that might sound academic, but understanding what it does is the key to fixing it.

What causes the pain in Plantar Fasciitis?

The condition itself is not inflammatory and it doesn’t need tissue damage to cause pain (although degenerative or torn tissue could be one cause of pain).

The simplest way to explain our current understanding is that abnormal loading through Plantarfascia causes a non-inlammatory reaction – basically it gets angry and sensitive.

The abnormal loading might be too much force, force applied in an abnormal direction or force coming on too fast, the most common of the causes.

Those last two are the biggest problems – they create a self-reinforcing cycle. Abnormal loading causes pain, pain causes a limp, the limp is more abnormal loading, and so forth.

How to fix Plantar Fasciitis

Simply put, you need to control the abnormal loading for long enough that the angry, sensitive tissue can settle.

This can be achieved through strength work and mobility exercises. There are also taping techniques that can temporarily support the fascia while you get started on your exercise program.

But the improvements from strength and mobility programs are gradual, typically taking months to eventually fix the issue.

Finding the right running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis on the other hand, can make an immediate difference.

It’s also crucial to allow you to move normally so you can start an exercise program without creating more abnormal loading patterns.

Choosing the best running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Each of the running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis listed below offers a different feel and fit, and it’s important to match that with your personal preference.

If you like plush running shoes, your body (and brain) will respond best to them and you’ll move better when running or walking.

If you prefer to feel the ground and have a more responsive shoe, your control of the movement of the leg will improve with a lower profile or firmer shoe.

Hoka One One Bondi

Hoka’s Bondi is an extremely cushioned shoes with a rocker bottom. The design allows you to land with less muscle work needed and rolls through the foot action of runnig or walking, to reduce the sudden stretch of the fascia.

(Side note: you won’t find these shoes on special or discounted anywhere – it seems to be Hoka’s policy).

But they are one of the most popular and best running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis for good reason!!!

Hoka One One Arahi

Much like the Bondi, this shoe provides a plush cushion with a rocker bottom. Unlike the Bondi, the Arahi includes additional stability to reduce the tendency of the foot to roll inwards.

It offers a unique combination of plush cushioning and moderate support, not found in any other shoe on the market.

On a list of the best running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis, it’s the top 5 Physiotherapist’s recommendations as it also supports bad knees and can help with shin pain.

Asics Kayano

The Kayano from Asics has been around for so long, it may have been mentioned in the Bible (not quite true, but it’s got a 30+ year history).

It provides firm stability for the foot along with generous cushioning (more supportive but less cushioned than the Arahi).

That stability reduces sudden stretching of the Plantar Fascia during running, one of the main irritants of Plantar Fasciitis.

That feature, along with the fact that this model has been around since the dawn of time, puts the Asics Kayano at the top of the leaderboard for running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis.

Saucony Guide

Another supportive option, the Saucony Guide provides similar stability to the Kayano.

The Saucony Guide will be a better option than Kayano for anyone who prefers the fit of Nike, Adidas and (obviously) Saucony.

Not as popular as the Kayano or the Bondi but Saucony is making huge in-roads with the Guide after some recent design updates.

Asics GT-2000

This running shoe is consistently the most popular shoe model worldwide, and has been for so many years.

The 2000 provides moderate foot stability with good cushioning and is better priced than the Kayano.

Better still, it comes with width options – available in a wide fit (2E for men, D for women) and in a range of colours.

Brooks Adrenaline

The Adrenaline had a makeover in 2020/2021, and mostly for the better.

The new model is lighter, more comfortable and better fitting than previous models according to most reviews.

It’s available in a wide fit (D for women, 2E for men).

It used to be towards the top of the list for supportive options in the best running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis but the recent design changes have shifted it towards a more cushioned approach.

If you loved the old Adrenalines for their support, you may be better off exploring the Mizuno Wave Inspire which has support and is also available in a wide fit.
For US buyers, head here for a huge range of regular and wide fit color options.
UK runners can find Inspires here with free delivery/returns.
Aussie buyers can see the best options in different widths here.

Best trail running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis – Salomon Speedcross

This Speedcross is designed for rugged, mountainous conditions and provides a firm, well-fitted trail option.

That combination makes it one of the best running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis on trails and hugely popular throughout Europe, although it’s not as well suited to harder trails found elsewhere in the world.

The grip is super aggressive, so you won’t be able to use it on road without shredding the lugs off pretty quickly.

I wouldn’t recommend the waterproof Goretex lining version (denoted as GTX) – it’s only useful for water that doesn’t flow over the top of the shoe (about 8-10cm deep) so it’s useless for most creek crossings. The Goretex model is also prone to overheating in hot weather conditions.

New Balance Fresh Foam 860

A light shoe for effortless comfort. If you suit the shape of Brooks or New Balance, this will fit nicely.

If you’re buying in Australia, we have two contenders for the best price. Check out TAF and Sportitude to see who has the best specials on at the moment.

Mizuno Wave Rider

High heel-toe offset of 12mm, neutral/no support, high stack height of 36mm and smooth lug-type road grip. Also available in a wide fit.

While it doesn’t offer support, the high heel-toe offset is helpful for anyone with very stiff ankles (reduced dorsiflexion) contributing to their Plantar Fasciitis.

The Rider will fit anyone who likes Mizuno or Asics fits.

Click here for local pricing in Australia.

Brooks Ghost

High heel-toe offset of 12mm, neutral/no support, high stack height of 36mm and smooth road grip. Also available in narrow and wide fit.

Same as the Rider, the Ghost will help anyone with stiffer ankles.

Fits well for those who like Brooks or New Balance models.

Click here for local pricing in Australia.

Disclaimer for Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

**Special note: this article has Physiotherapist-recommended products with affiliate links to trusted vendors, selected for their fast & reliable service and great prices. The article was written prior to sourcing the affiliate links and the links in no way influence our recommendations.