Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis & Heel Pain

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Plantar fasciitis (PL) is the most common injury of the plantar fascia, as well as the most common cause of heel pain. Approximately 10% of people deal with this issue at some point during their lifetime.

The heel pain characteristic of this problem is often felt on the bottom of the heel and is most intensely experienced during the first steps of the day. Runners who suffer from it usually have difficulty with dorsiflexion of the foot which is created when the foot is brought up toward the shin. This difficulty is usually created by tightness of the Achilles tendon or calf muscle, the latter of which is linked to the back of the plantar fascia.

Our Top 3 Picks
  • 5 out of 5
  • FluidRide cushioning
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Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15
  • Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15
  • 4 out of 5
  • Omega Flex Grooves
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  • ASICS GT-2000
  • 4 out of 5
  • Impact Guidance System
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What causes the this problem? This is a question asked by many new runners. You are more likely to have this problem if:

  • Your feet tend to roll inwards when you take strides (over pronation).
  • You often run, walk around or stand for prolonged periods of time, especially on hard surfaces.
  • You have high instep or flat feet.
  • You have sudden weight gain.
  • You have tight achilles tendons or calf muscles.
best running shoes for plantar fasciitis



Having a running shoe that supports your heels and arches should be the first thing on your list. The appearance. Ugly but comfortable shoes are going to relieve your pain 100x times more than ‘pretty looking’ rigid running shoes. It’s easy to buy those high tech-designs and cool looking shoes that everyone else is wearing. But, let’s look at the reality of the situation. You’ve had a moderate to serious condition that you’re trying to avoid making worse. For that very reason, we have put together this list of running shoes who’s features are more than suitable for runners with plantar fasciitis, and they also look good. So, you don’t have to worry about missing out on the style.

Moving on, let’s take a look at some of the shoes which include features that work well for this particular condition:

 Good cushioning and solid support are two important features, for PL, that we will be looking for in these running shoes. According many customer reviews, here are the top 10 running shoes suggested to help relieve the resulting pain.


Best Male Picks


NoNamePicturePriceOur Rating
1Asics GEL Kayano 21-224.9
2Brooks Adrenaline GTS 154.7
3Asics GT 2000

4Asics Gel Nimbus4.5
5New Balance 990v34.4

Best Female picks


NoNamePicturePriceMy Rating
1Saucony guide 749
2New Balance W15404.7
3Saucony Kinvara 54.6
4Brooks Addiction 114.6
5Asics Gel Exalt4.5


In depth review of the top 5 choices for men

(best picks for women if you scroll down)


ASICS GEL KAYANO 21 great against plantar fasciitis
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ASICS’ FluidFit™ upper technology combines stretch reinforcements with multi-directional stretch mesh which both adapt the Kayano to the athlete’s foot, offering a truly customized glove like fit. ASICS also utilizes FluidRide® in this shoe, which provides the ultimate combination of bounce back and cushioning properties, all with reduced weight and exceptional durability. In addition, the DuoMax® system used in this version greatly enhances stability and support, with enhanced platform support and reduced weight.


  • Great comfort and fit
  • Good road shoe, good for high-mileage
  • Great cushioning and support
  • Available in widths, large sizes and normal colors
  • Better breathability
  • Lightest Gel-Kayano ever
  • Good for runners


ASICS’ Gel Kayano 21 has an expensive price tag.


  1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15

The Adrenaline GTS 15 continues to be a solid design that provides a secure, comfortable fit as well as excellent stability. These benefits are complimented by updated cushioning from heel-to-toe for those runners who are seeking a shoe that delivers a smooth transition as well as a solid running experience. According to many reviews, after running a significant amount of miles in these shoes, the Adrenaline GTS 15 continues to maintain its integrity, without any reduction in cushion or support, making them great for plantar fasciitis.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15 running shoe reviewclick to see colorsamazon button


  • well- Balanced blend of the stability and cushioning.
  • Segmented Crash Pad was updated from heel-to-toe for softer transition.
  • Midsole updated with BioMoGo DNA offers improved cushioning.
  • Versatile shoe for fast runs or higher mileage.
  • Provides good support for those with plantar fasciitis


  • Fit is half size small.
  • Heel drop maybe high for some.


  1. ASICS GT-2000

ASICS GT-2000 great for people with plantar fasciitisclick to see colors
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ASICS produces very comfortable and well built shoes. With larger gel units in the forefoot and heel, this model will provide you that needed comfortability for the duration of your run or workout. The GT-2000 features the Guidance Trusstic System, which decreases the weight of the sole, while maintaining the shoe’s structural integrity. You will have great comfortability as well as a suitable amount of breathability with this running shoe.


  • accommodate many foot shapes.
  • high stability
  • firmer forefoot feel and Improved mid foot support
  • Improved aesthetics.


  • $10 price increase.
  • heavier and slower than the competition



The ASICS Gel Nimbus 15 running shoe is a great shoe for every runner wanting to maximize the amount of soft cushion in their trainer. This neutral trainer delivers cushion and comfort mile after mile. The outsole has a couple of very deep flex grooves, which provides the shoe with its flexibility. The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 15 is built with the new FluidFit Upper which has multi-directional mesh and stretchable reinforcements. This should offer improved breathability. In addition to their comfort and support, these shoes also meet the needs of many different sportsASICS GEL-NIMBUS 15 good support for heal strikers
click to see colors

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  • Plenty of soft cushioning
  • Luxurious feel
  • Flexible
  • Ideal for runners with feet or leg issues


  • A big, heavy shoe
  • Not suited for faster paces
  • Potential for hotspots
  • Expensive


  1. NEW BALANCE 990V3

NEW BALANCE 990V3 great anti plantar fasciitis shoeclick to see colors amazon button

This running shoe lightly provides a lot of benefits which runners often require, thanks to a midsole made of standard EVA foam that helps to protect from shock of impacts and it is suitable for multiple foot types with the classic style. The New Balance 990v3 running shoe has made a comeback, and is still considered to be one of the most reliable shoes, all around.


  • Perfect fit and great comfort
  • various width sizes available to choose from
  • Can wear with OTC inserts
  • Suitable for big runners


  • The Tongue slips to the side
  • Less the quality than other well known shoes
  • bad smell from the packaging

Related: Best running shoes for men

Female top picks for Plantar Fasciitis


  1. Saucony Guide 7

Not only Moderate overpronators and neutral runners get maximum support from Sacony’s Guide 7, but it also offers great support to most runners, even those with specific foot issues. Strategically placed stability zones provide increased support and functionality, while they still maintain a decent amount of flexibility and optimal cushion.

saucony Ride 7 overpronation styleclick to see colors amazon button


  • Great running shoes for race or long distance running
  • More lightweight than other but still provide great stability
  • Plenty of cushioning
  • Best choice for mildly pronating runners


  • Width runs a little narrow
  • Color choices are considered to be a bit eccentric
  • May not be better than the Saucony Guide 6


  • 2. NEW BALANCE W1540

    NEW BALANCE W1540 for people with plantar faciitis
    click to see colorsamazon button

The W1540 is attractive with great shock absorption and  midfoot cushioning. In addition, with New Balance’s proprietary Rollbar support technologies this shoe is considered one of the best running shoes for motion control.


  • Great comfort with great arch and heel supports
  • Work well when combine with the over counter inserts
  • Suitable shoe for heavy people


  • Expensive price than other famous running shoes


  1. Saucony Kinvara 5

Saucony Kinvara 5 great for pain in heelclick to see colors amazon button


The Kinvara 5 running shoe comes as an already highly-rated successor to its previous version. They are lightweight, have a lower heel-to-toe drop and also feature a wider toe box as an added benefit. The Kinvara 5 is an awesome sneaker with an already strong following.


  • Lightweight and fast
  • Supportive fit
  • Good for marathon or as a work shoe
  • Solid traction
  • Work to correct stride


  • Lack sufficient cushioning
  • May wear out quicker than expected


  1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15

    brooks adrenaline womans anti heel pain shoeclick to see colors

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The Adrenaline GTS 15 by Brooks is built around their proprietary DNA cushioning system, offering a smoother ride for runners in various sizes, as well good response and decent impact dispersement. beside that, this is not only highly appreciated by runners with flat feet as well as those who tend to moderately over-pronate, but its great motion control and support makes them an excellent option for several different types of foot problems.


  • Bringing to runners the great feel
  • Receiving positive feedbacks from overpronate runners
  • Awesome overall support


  • Lack of Color options
  • Not better than the Brooks Addiction 10 running shoes at reducing pain


  1. Asics Gel Exalt

    Asics Gel Exalt great for people suffering from plantar faciistisclick to see colors
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This last shoe on our list, which is highly recommended, is the ASICS Gel Exalt. Many runners like this shoe as an ideal solution for their problematic arches. The Gel cushioning in the Rearfoot  provides exceptional shock dispersion. Plus, ASICS’ Trusstic system is designed to maintain the functional structure of the shoe.


  • Inexpensive price compared to others
  • provides perfect fit with true sizes
  • Comfortable with plenty of cushion
  • Positive feedback for Achilles, knee and plantar fasciitis pains


  • Heavy weight
  • Less arch support than over-the-counter inserts


What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis (also known as jogger’s heel) is a common painful disorder affecting the underside of the foot and the heel. It is a disorder contact point between the ligament to the bone, and is characterized by inflammation, scarring or structural breakdown of the foot’s plantar fascia. Though it was originally said to be an inflammatory process, newer research has demonstrated structural changes more consistent with a degenerative process. According to new observations, many in the medical community have reported the condition should be renamed plantar fasciitis.

Group Studies and Statistics

Several studies have been carried out that link the benefit of conservative, multiple treatment options and the short term benefits which patients can receive from them. No Physician, however, will tell you how to get the best running shoe for this issue. That is going to be the pain management therapy and most effective for you. However, we can simply use our best judgment based on what we already know about this condition.

A group study was carried out whereby a group of 45 athletes without symptoms of plantar fasciitis were tested against another two groups, one of which included a group 43  athletes with symptomatic PL. The comparison between the ranges of motion showed that the group who shared the symptoms was more restricted when compared to the other two groups. The study expressed strength and flexibility deficits in those with PL.

Some new techniques of treatment for runners were laid out. This measure was for running patients to decrease their stride length and increase their cadence while waiting for their injury be resolved. Additionally, runners should avoid making first contact with their forefoot or mid as the heel strike is the recommended pattern, this would put an important role on wearing shoes that minimize shock absorption and provide excellent heel cushioning.

It is regularly noticed that running and other moderate exercises can put you at a high risk for PL. And, as you may know, once you get it, it will put a damper on continuing your training activities.

Your Physician has likely told you to moderate your training activities to protect your already-inflamed fascia ligament, so if you still decide to continue your running routine, it’s very necessary for you to at least get the support which your feet will be begging for. As mentioned above, some of the features that you will need with the right running shoe are those that protect your heels, arches, ankles, Achilles, etc…

  • Best types of shoe for people suffering from PF

After discovering what the main factoring causes are for your PL, the next step is choosing the most suitable shoes for your feet. Even though you could get some support from wearing orthotic inserts to combat some of the pain from sore heels while you are training or doing exercise, the best solution will always be getting a pair of good running shoes that supply strong ankle and arch support. What does all of this mean? The comfort which the proper running shoes provide for your heels and arch, does not quite compare to that of separately purchased inserts. That is why it is necessary you get the right pair. Although depending on how severe your particular condition is, you have most likely been advised to let your feet relax, and told not to do any activity that will strain your delicate arch. So if you feel the urge to go running outside, it’s important that you at least get right shoes to support that arch.

According to studies, around 90% of individuals with Plantar fasciitis will make a good recovery if they follow the right treatment program. One of the best ways to treat this problem is to get the appropriate shoe for dealing with some of the symptoms. There are some things that you will require the most appropriate shoes to possess.

Features that good running shoes should provide are:

  • Super comfortable cushioned back which will protect your heel from damage in future.
  • Shock Absorption to eliminate the direct impact, whenever you strike your heel on the ground. This makes sure that any particular part of your foot doesn’t receive the full impact, when running.
  • Shoes with a flexible toe-box and solid heel counters. Along with that, a firm midsole will function to keep your arch at the correct angle.
  • The shoe should only bend from the front half. While remaining rigid toward the rear for overall maximum safety of the delicate fascia.

Why Other Running Shoes Supply Less Benefit…

  • Designed with cheaper material
  • Offer less, or no heel and foot support, like Barefoot shoes
  • Too flexible and light to provide enough support

Common Complaints about Running Shoes And suffering from PF

There is no perfect shoe. Furthermore, as you already know; there is no one fix all cure for PL. It is mostly trial and error to see what is best suitable for you. You may not get it right the first time, so here are some of those complaints.

  • Can be more expensive than other kind of shoes
  • May not help to perfectly eliminate your heel pains, after all, most people land directly on their heels when running – which is not an exact therapy that your aching feet need.

Read more:


Tight footwear, worn out, loose, or run down sneakers, throw them away. If you still wear this type of shoe that I just mentioned, that means you are putting yourself at risk of suffering from PL. Good arch and heel support, great cushioning and flexibility are all important features you should remember when choosing the best suitable shoes for plantar fasciitis.

I hope that this was useful information, and thanks for following along.