Plantar fasciitis can be a real pain – foot pain, that is. More specifically, plantar fasciitis can cause severe pain in your heel. With pain like this, it can be difficult for women to wear high heels. Considering how common, professional, and sexy high heels are considered in today’s society, it can be a real bummer to feel like you can’t participate in the trend.
We don’t want you to feel left out because of your foot condition, so we’ve taken some time to find some of the best high heels for plantar fasciitis.
Our Top Choices
- Best Overall: Vionic Noble Laurie Backstrap Sandal
- Premium Product: Naot Luma Dress Pump
- Best Value: Clarks Tarah Brae Dress Pump
Of course, we also have a list of more than ten high heel shoes that could be some of your best options. Save this page for later, or take a scroll through it now to learn what to look for and peruse some of the best shoes on the market.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
According to medical professionals, plantar fasciitis is one of the most prevalent causes of pain in the heel. When someone gets plantar fasciitis, the broad band of tissue across the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed.
This tissue is called the plantar fascia and connects from your heel bone to your toes, primarily covering the length of the bottom of your foot.
This condition is characterized by a sharp, stabbing pain at the bottom of your foot around the area of the heel. Though this pain isn’t present consistently, it can be triggered by bouts of exercise or long periods of standing and walking.
The pain is typically at its worst when you first get out of bed or when you stand after a long period of sitting down.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
In general, plantar fasciitis comes on as a result of excess tension and stress on this supporting tissue in the arch of your foot. It’s not uncommon for athletes to suffer from this condition, especially runners who put lots of pressure and stress on their feet.
When you put too much tension on this tissue, you can cause tiny tears in it. Over time, repetitive tears and stretches can cause the plantar fascia to become inflamed.
There are several factors that can play a role in plantar fasciitis, such as the following:
- Exercise – Any exercise that puts stress on your heel or arch can put you at risk for plantar fasciitis. Ballet, dancing, running – these can all affect your fascia and lead you to some pain in your heel. Athletes like soccer players, tennis players, and even swimmers are highly susceptible.
- Your feet – Every one of us has a uniquely-shaped foot, but some foot shapes make us more prone to specific injuries than others. If you have a flat arch or an excessively high arch, you may have a different pattern of walking or running that puts additional stress on your fascia.
- Weight – Of course, the more weight that you put on your feet, the higher your chances are to form some injury. Obesity can play a role in your taking on plantar fasciitis.
- Time on your feet – Like with athletes, anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet is at risk for plantar fasciitis. Professionals like teachers or nurses work long shifts of constant standing and walking and can do some damage to their feet.
- Age – Although plantar fasciitis can occur in younger folks, it is most common for those between the ages of 40 and 60.
While some people may feel that they’ll be able to plow through the pain, plantar fasciitis can lead to chronic heel pain. These large amounts of pain not only hinder normal, everyday activities, but they can cause further pain across your feet, knees, hips, and back.
What to Look for in a High Heel
If you’re struggling with plantar fasciitis, you may have come to the realization that you’re not able to wear all the high heels that you used to love. Although this condition can limit your options in footwear, you’re not at a total loss. There are some high heels left out there that might be suitable for you – even with the pain in your heel.
Let’s take a closer look at what details you should focus on when buying new shoes to support your plantar fasciitis pain.
The Correct Size
It may sound like a no-brainer, but wearing the correct or incorrect shoe size can have a significant impact on how your feet feel. Everyone knows that you need to wear the right size for your feet, but not everyone is actually doing it.
In truth, many women are not wearing the correct size – especially when it comes to their high heels. Women tend to go for a snug fit when they wear heels. Perhaps the reason behind that is a better sense of security; if the shoe is snug to your foot, it might be easier to walk in.
However, wearing tight shoes is not good for plantar fasciitis – or in general.
Your feet need room to move around, and you should undoubtedly avoid squeezing them into an unnatural position for hours on end.
The best thing you can do is get your feet accurately measured and sized by a professional. It’s not unusual to find that one foot is slightly larger than the other, so you should always play it safe and go with the size of the larger foot.
The increments between sizes may seem insignificant – as little as one-sixth of an inch – but it will make a massive difference in the long run.
Shape and Support
Though baffling to many foot doctors and specialists, it’s very common for high heels to feature a very narrow bottom. The reason this is so odd to doctors is that this is the very location of your foot that needs the most support, yet these shoes often lack material on the base.
We’ve all seen those heels that take on almost an hourglass shape. Coming down from the heel, the footbed grows narrower, and then it widens again at the bottom for the ball of the foot. Your midfoot, or your arch, gets the least support.
One of the critical things for you to look for in a good high heel for plantar fasciitis will be a wider, more supportive footbed and outsole that actually deliver the surface area you need.
Height and Stability
Though most doctors would advise against wearing high heels altogether, they also are aware that several of their patients are bound to ignore this recommendation for the sake of fashion. At the very least, you should take into consideration the height of your heels.
For plantar fasciitis, it’s best the keep the heel of your shoes at two inches or lower. Those who have a love for the dramatic might find this unreasonable, but it’s going to lead to fewer problems and less pain down the road.
At the same time, a thicker heel will always be better than a thin heel. Rather than balancing on stilts, wearing chunky block heels will leave you with more surface area to stand on. You will spend less time trying not to fall over and more time in comfort.
Wide Toe Box and Platforms
The narrower your toe box, the less room your toes have. Small toe boxes squish all of your toes together, which can disrupt your entire foot up to your heel. None of this sounds pleasant, but it seems even less enjoyable when you’re already dealing with a painful foot condition.
Look for heels that have full toe boxes, rather than sharp stilettos that come to a point. Your foot will be much more comfortable in a shoe that gives you plenty of room to wiggle around a bit.
You can also try to find a heel whose toe box features a little bit of a platform. When a high heel has a platform base, it lessens the height difference between the toes and the heel. Minimizing this effect can relieve pressure on your foot and its tendons and tissues, making them more comfortable and less damaging.
If you can, try to find a high heel that involves some cushioning. Many shoes are made with built-in comfort inserts that provide support and a luxurious feel.
Some companies make their footbeds with memory foam or gel inserts. You can always buy separate inserts to place in your shoes, but it’s a comforting thought to know that companies have already taken this notion into consideration with their original design.
You will feel a vast difference between your average shoes and your new high heels with cushioned footbeds. The extra padding will alleviate the pain in your heel as well as lessen the impact it feels from walking.
A deep, firm heel cup is your best option for a high heel with plantar fasciitis. This factor lets you sit your heel far back in the shoe and holds it in place. You should feel like your heel is being gripped by your shoes without too much squeeze or pressure.
Always take a walk around the store when you’re trying on shoes. If your heel feels like its slipping out as you walk, then the heel cup isn’t up to par.
At the same time, you shouldn’t feel like your foot is suffocating. As we mentioned earlier, wearing shoes that are too tight can be as much an issue as your heel popping out while you walk.
Read Also: Best High Heels for Plus Size
The Best High Heels for Plantar Fasciitis
After learning a little more about what’s essential in a high heel for someone with plantar fasciitis, it became apparent to us how we were going to choose the high heels that would ultimately make our list.
If you’re interested in continuing to rock high heels instead of switching to flats, check out the following products that implement the details we have discussed. You might find your next favorite pair of pumps on this list.
Wedges are recognized by women everywhere as one of the most comfortable yet stylish pair of shoes to own. They make adding a couple of inches super easy, and they always look adorable with jeans, shorts, skirts, and dresses.
The Naot Madison Wedge Sandal offers about one and a quarter inches of height through its cork and latex wedge. The slightly platformed bottom decreases the angle that your foot sits at, making it both comfortable and safe to wear with minimal heel pain and pressure.
Available in four different colors, this wedged sandal lets you showcase your fashion sense while remaining highly practical and super comfortable. The footbed is layered with suede, which naturally conforms and molds to the shape of your foot and delivers excellent support.
With stylish straps and adjustable fitting, you can’t go wrong to alleviate pain and maintain a sense of chic and functional fashion.
- Wide base supports the foot and provides balance and stability
- The heel is an appropriate height
- Suede footbed conforms to the shape of your feet for support
- The strappy design adds a touch of style
- Platformed bottom alleviates extreme angles
- Adjustable toe strap gives a secure fit
- Back heel strap is not adjustable
- Not suitable for high-class, elegant settings
If you’re looking for something a little more elegant and formal in the world of wedged sandals, then you should check out these Vionic shoes. The Noble Laurie Backstrap Sandal is adorable and practical, featuring a modest wedged heel and adjustable straps.
Both the toes straps and the ankle straps are adjustable, so you can ensure a snug fit that keeps your heel in place and your toes from sliding around.
The lightweight and flexible midsole is wide enough to provide all the support your arches needs. It was designed to absorb shock as well as minimize stress on your feet, ankles, and knees.
This shoe includes explicitly a deep heel cup, which is perfect for securing your heel in place in combination with the adjustable ankle strap. It also promotes a healthy foot shape as it works alongside a forefoot contour too.
With three unique styles – white snake, black, and tan leopard – you can maintain your fashionista style in comfort and confidence, even with heel pain.
- The quality shoe is made from robust materials like leather and rubber
- The midsole is broad, lightweight, and flexible for maximum support and shock absorption
- Contoured forefoot and heel cup ensures a snug fit
- Various pattern options for fashionable individuals
- Adjustable straps make the perfect fit
- Shoe sizes run wide
- Straps can feel rough against the skin
Women everywhere absolutely rave about the Clarks brand, and for a good reason. Clarks shoes are known for their specialized soft cushion technology and OrthoLite footbed – both of which deliver outstanding comfort and support.
The Tarah Brae Dress Pumps are no different.
These Clarks shoes are stylish, professional, classy, and practical. Sporting a two and a half-inch heel height, you can achieve the elegance and femininity you desire without sacrificing comfort or relief from your plantar fasciitis.
Though the heel is a higher height, it comes in a block style that delivers tons of stability and support. The rubber soles ensure a firm grip to the ground, while the leather design flexes and molds to your foot for the best possible fit.
Coming in three different colors – navy, black, and purple – this pump provides all the classic style you need. It combines the chic look of suede with the classic look of leather and displays a shiny toe cap to top it all off.
- Well-made shoes are comfortable from the start with a break-in period
- Shoes provide excellent arch support
- Block heel delivers top-notch stability and balance
- A very classy and fashionable look
- OrthoLite cushioned footbed is highly comfortable
- Not suitable for environments that require loads of walking
- Toe box could be wider
Don’t be fooled by the silly-looking shoe that made the Crocs name a popular one in households around the world. Crocs make more than shoes meant for working in the garden. In fact, they even make shoes with heels – such as these Asymmetrical Wedges.
Made from 100% stretchy synthetic material, these Crocs were made to form to your foot and deliver a secure and firm grip without the stiff feel that other shoes boast.
The solid synthetic sole delivers a sturdy feel and gives you a height boost with its wedge design. On the inside, you’ll find a fully molded Croslite base that offers superb support to all areas of the foot.
Though the shoe itself is very supportive, its also incredibly lightweight, making them easy to wear all day long. The closed-toe design looks clean and professional and provides plenty of space for your toes.
- Extremely comfortable to wear all day
- Professional appearance makes them suitable for various types of work
- Snug fit ensures a secure grip
- The wedged heel gives a bit of a feminine lift but provides stability
- Vegan design involves no use of animal fur or material
- Extra toe room can cause the foot to slide forward
- Shoes become slippery when wet
- Snug fit may be too snug for those with high arches
There was no way we were going to make it through this list without hitting another fantastic shoe by Clarks. With their high-quality designs and made-for-comfort fits, we couldn’t resist.
The Clarks Emslie Warren proves to be a staple in the Clarks collection, delivering cushion soft foam layers within the insole that serve to absorb impact and alleviate would-be pain as you walk. The soft fabric lining adds to the element of comfort, while the rest of the shoe showcases nothing but style.
Made with a leather upper adorned with metal buttons on the side, this boot has an appealing look coupled with a modest yet flattering heel. The block-style heel lets you keep your balance and your chic style. With options in black, brown, and navy, there’s a little bit of something for everyone here.
- Available in wide sizes for comfort
- The modest heel adds femininity without losing stability
- Chic leather appearance with additional adornments for style
- Easy on and off with elastic design and zipper
- Foam layers provide support and absorb impact
- Rounded toe box provides plenty of room
- The inner sole is not removable
- Footbed length is longer than expected
Every woman needs a highly fashionable and functional ankle bootie in their wardrobe, and this LifeStride pair is the one to reach for when you have concerns about heel pain. Made to be super comfortable, this ankle boot gives you enough height to feel fun and chic, measuring at one and a quarter inches high.
With a snug yet flexible fit, the Aldey Ankle Boot houses a plush layer of memory foam in the footbed, which supports your foot and forms to its shape for ultimate comfort. With plenty of traction in the sole and an easy slip-on fit, this shoe makes up the whole package to functionality and worry-free use.
With a faux leather upper and a strappy detail featuring metallic buckles, not only does this shoe feel good, but it looks good. The rounded toes offer ample room for a relaxed feel without squishing your toes.
- Available in medium and wide widths to accommodate the need for extra room
- Excellent style and design for fashion-forward wearers
- The outer sole offers excellent grip and flexibility
- Memory foam footbed provides additional comfort for more extended wear and more support
- Sizes run a little small
- Shoes need a break-in period to stretch
Pumps have a classic look that women just can’t say no to. Whether you’re rocking a pair of casual jeans or a formal suit to the office, you can pair your outfit with a stylish pair of pumps.
While many pumps are too high and often don’t offer enough stability for those with plantar fasciitis, the Orthaheel Antonia Mid Wedge Pump combines the look of a pump with the reliability that tends to come alongside wedges.
Boasting a modest heel, this mid wedge pump gives a little bit of height that adds enough of a lift to grab attention and accentuate the leg. However, the wedge design of the heel lets you walk with confidence and grace, minimizing the worry of losing your balance or hurting your heels.
This specific heel also delivers Orthotic Support Technology, giving you the support that you need to mitigate pain and prevent further damage. With specialized Orthaheel technology, you also feel large amounts of comfort, allowing you to wear the shoe all day long.
To top it all off, the snakeskin design of this shoe is suitable for any fashionista longing to showcase her style over her foot condition.
- Comfortable heel height for stability and confidence
- Fashionable design is excellent for style
- Orthaheel orthotic support delivers great comfort and alleviates pain
- Leather design stretches and molds to your fit
- Rounded toe box provides comfortable room
- Shoe size runs small
- Fabric footbed gets hot after long-term wear
The Naot Luma Dress Pump has everything you could ever want in a dress shoe with all the extras that make it perfect for someone dealing with foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Made from 100% leather, this elegant and classy shoe delivers style is a seamless way.
You can buy this shoe in black leather or black velvet – whichever one better suits your style. The strap over the upper features an elegant, cut-out design that adds a touch of flair and uniqueness. The strap is a hook and loop design, making it easy for you to slip this shoe on and off.
A modest, thick heel works in collaboration with a half-inch platform on the ball of the foot, offsetting the height and severity of your foot’s angle for ultimate comfort.
Excellent arch support comes in the ford of a cork and memory foam footbed, all of which is removable should it prove unsuitable for your unique situation. The footbed is cover in microfiber, which prevents slippage and absorbs moisture.
Finally, the heel comes with a padded cup, which alleviates pain and absorbs impact for your most comfortable fit. With a rubber sole for a gripping walk, this shoe has everything you need in terms of fashion, comfort, and support.
- Unique design delivers a high-fashion appearance
- Cork and memory foam combination footbed offers excellent support
- Easy to take off and put on
- Padded heel cup absorbs shock and impact from heel
- Superior arch support
- The modest heel gives extra height and works well with the platform
- Higher price point
- Shoes run a bit tight in the toe area
Regardless of the doctor’s orders, we know that some of you out there have been waiting for this.
This black leather dress pump by Flexi houses a bold and brave three-inch heel, sure to deliver all kinds of sexiness and class that you’ve been waiting for. We know how hard it can be to quit the high heels – we get it – so we’ve found one that might work with your plantar fasciitis.
While any high heel puts you at risk for pain, this one combats that with its comfort foam footbed made to both soothe and support your feet as you wear them. The rounded toe not only gives you a classic look, but it provides ample amounts of space for your toes.
In addition, the ball of the heel is slightly platformed, which helps to offset the height of the heel and relieve a little bit of the pressure put on your foot.
Made from high-quality, all-natural leather, these shoes are breathable and flexible. The leather will stretch to fit your feet, and it will look amazing with any pair of jeans, a work suit, or a sexy black dress.
Because each pair of these shoes is handmade, you can be sure that they are high-quality and made with great attention to detail. This long-running company has a strong focus on making only the best products, and they certainly deliver with this timeless shoe.
- Made with high-quality materials and hand stitching for long-time use
- Comfort foam footbed delivers support
- The classic look is perfect for any occasion from casual to formal
- All-natural leather will stretch to your ideal size
- Breathable and lightweight with gripping soles
- Does not come in wide sizes
- Shoes might require heel inserts to keep heels from slipping out
Leather and suede are two of the best materials ever to hit the shoe industry. Whether your style is sleek and shiny or chic and smooth, you can reach for a pair of these Naturalizer Whitney Pumps and build yourself a fashionable outfit.
The classic look of a pump never goes out of style, and this shoe is no different. It comes in several color options that range from blue, tan, black, and red to all sorts of other shades. The leather design makes it breathable, comfortable, and flexible, allowing you to break it in and stretch it out for ultimate comfort.
Unlike stilettos, this pump comes with a wide, chunky heel that gives excellent support to your feet and improves balance and stability as you walk. The rounded toe is fashionable yet functional, and the rubber bottoms let you walk without slipping.
Using the Naturalizer N5 contour, you’ll get awesome support from these shoes. The insoles are also removable, allowing you to replace them if need be. A lightweight and flexible shoe, you will feel feminine, professional, and stylish in these three-inch heels without suffering any pain.
- In-house contour design offers excellent support
- Wide chunky heels are easy to walk in and balance on
- Several color and design options suit any taste
- Offers a high heel with comfort
- Leather material is flexible and stretchable
- Professional design
- Sizes run large
- The shoe may need heel grips to keep your heels from sliding out
There’s always someone who wants to dare to rock the highest heel, even if it’s recommended otherwise. Rather than leaving you on your own to try to find a shoe to suit your fashionista demands, we decided to pick a bold shoe out for you.
The City Classified Comfort Classic Dress Pump is a risky choice with a heel measuring at a whopping four inches. But, it does have some redeemable features that are well-suited for someone suffering heel pain.
For starters, this heel features extra cushioning built into the insole, which offers more support than any other heel at this height. It also uses a rounded toe box, delivering plenty of space to keep your toes from feeling squished.
The half-inch platform on the ball of the shoe might not seem like much, but it does help to mitigate the distance between the toe and the heel, relieving a bit of pressure and alleviating pain.
Though made from synthetic materials, these heels do stretch out a little bit after breaking them in, which ultimately gives you a better fit and more room for your feet.
Available in a wide range of colors, it’s likely that a fashionable individual will find exactly what they need with this shoe, all while remaining more comfortable than they would with another heel of this height.
- Comfort padding offers extra support and soothes feet
- Available in several colors for an affordable price
- Rounded toe box delivers plenty of room for toes
- Gorgeous design and sexy appearance
- Materials will stretch with use
- The high heel is not suitable for some
- Sizes run small and do not come in wide
- Too much space around the heel, causing slippage
Plantar fasciitis is a very real risk for people of all ages, activity levels, and health. However, there are certain things that can increase your risk of taking on this painful condition.
If you find yourself in this sticky situation, know that there are things you can do to combat it and alleviate your pain. One of the steps you can take towards feeling less pain is wearing the right kinds of shoes.
For some of us, that means giving in a giving up on high heels. But if you refuse to sacrifice your style for a little bit of pain, then we have some solutions for you. The list above offers excellent options that you can look into.
Of course, every list has its favorites.
For the best overall, we decided to go with the Vionic Noble Laurie Backstrap Sandal. Not only is this wedge sandal adorable, fashionable, and chic, but it’s made to be extremely comfortable – even for those with plantar fasciitis.
What we love most about this high heel is that it features a contoured footbed that absorbs shock, alleviates the impact, and reduces stress throughout your legs.
It features a deep heel cup, which is great for soothing the heel and minimizing the pain. It also has contours on the forefoot, which prevent your feet from sliding around and offer unmatched support.
With adjustable straps both over the toes and around the ankles, you can change the tightness to ensure that your shoe doesn’t slide around, and you don’t lose your balance. The additional touch of unique and cute patterns and colors is a bonus at this point.
Our favorite premium product on this list has to be the Naot Luma Dress Pump. This shoe will serve to be a staple in your wardrobe, as it displays high levels of fashion paired with extreme levels of comfort and support.
From its removable cork and memory foam footbed to the cushioned heel cup, the entirety of your foot will feel contoured and comfortable. This shoe also features a very supportive arch. Even with its higher heel, your feet won’t feel pain because it’s offset by the heightened platform of the shoe.
If you want to look good and feel good, you can’t go wrong with this premium option. It’s worth the cost!
Finally, the best value shoe on this list is the Clarks Tarah Brae Dress Pump. This shoe offers a beautiful, professional design for an affordable price. Made with 100% leather and layered with gorgeous suede and a shiny strap adornment, you’ll love how these shoes look.
Even more so, you will absolutely adore the way these shoes feel. Clarks are known for their OrthoLite technology embedded right in the footbed, which provides a comfortable and cushioned feel for the bottom of your feet. In addition, the rubber soles are gripping and deliver a certain stability that won’t let you down.
The two and a half-inch heel is perfect for those who like the added height that heels deliver, but the thickness of it ensures that you’ll be able to balance and walk just fine. With excellent arch support for a good price, this Clarks pump is a fantastic choice for anyone who feels like they can’t wear high heels anymore.
Plantar fasciitis doesn’t have to be the thing that completely ruins your sense of fashion. There’s no reason why you should have to hold back in the way you dress just because of this inconvenient condition.
At the same time, you definitely shouldn’t have to suffer through in silence. Wearing heels and dressing up should be an enjoyable experience, and that’s why we felt it was important to address this issue and help women like you find the perfect pair of high heels again.
Take a look back through this list and see if your perfect fit is on there.