If you have plantar fasciitis, you might cringe every time spring and summer roll around. During the rest of the year, you wear supportive, cushioned shoes. But when everyone else is wearing sandals and flip flops, you feel left out.
In the past, those types of shoes have been uncomfortable because they don’t offer enough support. But that’s just because you haven’t found the right ones.
The best sandals for plantar fasciitis are out there. Learn more about what to look for. Then, read the reviews to find out which shoes might work best for you.
- 1 Our Top Picks
- 2 What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
- 3 What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
- 4 What Does Plantar Fasciitis Feel Like?
- 5 How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis
- 6 What to Look for in Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis?
- 7 What Types of Sandals are Best for Plantar Fasciitis?
- 8 Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis Reviews
- 9 Conclusion
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Choice: ECCO Yucatan Offroad Hiking Sandal
- Best Premium Product: Chaco ZX2 Classic Athletic Sandal
- Best Value Product: PR Soles Massaging and Recovery Sandals
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Do you have plantar fasciitis and don’t even know it? Doctors treat about 1 million people for this problem every year.
The condition causes inflammation in the band of tissue that runs from the ball to the heel of your foot. The pain is usually located underneath the heel, but it can shoot out to other parts of the foot.
The fascia in your foot works to absorb shock. It connects the bones of your toes to the bone behind your heel. It also supports the arch of your foot. As you walk and move, the fascia expands and contracts.
These movements are normal. This is what the plantar fascia was designed to do.
But overuse can strain the tissue. If it develops tears or weaknesses, it has trouble doing its job correctly. Damaging or injuring the fascia can cause inflammation, which in turn produces pain. It’s not always easy to tell precisely why plantar fasciitis occurs. Physicians usually diagnose it based on symptoms without doing diagnostic tests.
In other words, you don’t generally need an ultrasound or MRI to tell you that you have plantar fasciitis unless you want to rule out another problem or medical condition.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The causes of plantar fasciitis are different for everyone. If you think about it, the plantar fascia supports your entire body. It’s located at the bottom of your feet and takes the brunt of every step that you make.
Therefore, people who are on their feet a lot are at a greater risk of developing the condition than those who sit down for a large part of the day. Athletes, especially runners, are prone to plantar fasciitis because they’re repeatedly striking the ground with a forceful impact. Military personnel, teachers, and people who work in factories stand on hard surfaces for long periods of time and may be at risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
Some other factors can increase your risk of developing the condition. Plantar fasciitis is more common in adults between the ages of 40 and 60 than younger people. Age is a risk factor because your tissues can become weak over time. Plus, the more time that you’ve spent on the feet throughout your life, the more likely you are to strain the fascia.
People with abnormal foot mechanics are also prone to developing plantar fasciitis. Your gait and arch construction can influence the way that you distribute your weight when you walk and stand. People with flat feet or high arches may put more stress on these ligaments than people with normal arches.
Because your feet are subjected to so much pressure, carrying extra weight may put you at risk of developing the painful condition. People who are overweight or obese may require added support in their shoes and sandals to alleviate plantar fasciitis pain or prevent the issue from occurring.
What Does Plantar Fasciitis Feel Like?
Plantar fasciitis usually causes sharp pain underneath the foot. The discomfort typically occurs below the heel and is worse after resting for long periods. For example, you might wake up in the morning and feel a stabbing pain when you take your first few steps.
Depending on the severity of the problem, you might not feel the discomfort while you’re walking or running. The pain might come on after you stop exercising. However, as the day goes on, the pain may return. It often gets worse after you’ve been on your feet for a long time.
If you go to a doctor, the physician may press on the bottom of your heel. If you feel pain in this area upon palpation, you might have plantar fasciitis.
The pain can occur in one or both feet. It may get worse when you walk barefoot on a hard surface.
How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis
Because plantar fasciitis makes being on your feet uncomfortable, most people with the condition avoid activities that exacerbate the problem. Resting your feet can be the best way to allow the fascia to repair itself.
But the condition can be disabling. It may prevent you from wanting to walk at all. When you do, you may alter your gait to accommodate your discomfort. Doing this can cause pain in other parts of your body, such as your knees, hips, and back.
If you’re in a lot of pain, you might want to see a doctor. However, most physicians recommend conservative forms of treatment that you can do at home, such as:
- Modifying your activity
- Icing the area
- Massaging or stretching your foot
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Weight loss
Your doctor will also probably suggest that you wear appropriate shoes. If your shoes are old or worn out, they’re not supporting your feet correctly. You might hear that you can’t wear sandals or flip flops. However, several manufacturers make sandals that are appropriate for people with plantar fasciitis.
What to Look for in Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis?
You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your comfort and style when you’re buying sandals for plantar fasciitis. As you shop for shoes, you should keep the following characteristics in mind.
Do They Have Excellent Arch Support?
If you have flat feet, you might roll them inward as you stand and walk. Pronation such as this puts added pressure on your arches and can exacerbate plantar fasciitis symptoms. Therefore, decent arch support helps you maintain the proper foot shape to avoid straining your fascia.
However, you don’t need to wear strong arch support all the time. Some experts say that going barefoot or wearing minimalist shoes can prevent plantar fasciitis.
If you only wear shoes with significant arch support, you don’t give your feet and calves the chance to develop the muscles to help your arches fire properly and support your weight. If you never wore shoes in your life, you would likely never develop plantar fasciitis.
But most people are used to wearing shoes. If you already have plantar fasciitis, walking barefoot can be dangerous. The stress on your feet is too great when your muscles aren’t prepared to handle the pressure.
Therefore, when you’re experiencing acute pain, you need shoes with arch support. You might be able to choose shoes with less support as your condition improves, and the pain diminishes.
Do They Have Contoured Footbeds?
When you walk, different parts of your foot receive varying amounts of pressure. If you’re walking on a flat footbed, your heels and balls of feet will take a lot of the weight. Disperse the impact by wearing sandals with contoured footbeds. You’ll distribute your weight so that it’s not loaded on one area of your foot.
While you’re looking at the contours of the shoe, seek out those with deep heel cups. Heel cups prevent the backs of your feet from shifting around. When your feet are in the right place on a shoe that fits well, you’re likely to maintain proper positioning for supporting your fascia.
Are They Cushioned?
When your feet are achy, you need plenty of cushioning underneath them to soothe the soreness. Walking on a hard footbed can make you feel as though you’re stepping on pebbles even if you’re just strolling down the street.
Plenty of padding will also absorb shock, which is important for helping your condition heal. The majority of the cushioning should be located at the heel and the ball of the foot.
The sole of the shoe also affects the shock absorption. Look for sandals with thick rubber outsoles. The traction will also prevent your foot from sliding around and putting you at risk of getting hurt.
What Types of Sandals are Best for Plantar Fasciitis?
Sandals come in all shapes and sizes. Some have straps that cover your foot, while others have a thong that slips in between your first and second toes.
Some people find that thong flip flops are uncomfortable. You have to hold onto those by scrunching your toes. If you have trouble with your plantar fascia, using those muscles can be tiring and make your arches ache. Also, using your toes to keep your shoes on tends to shorten your stride. You may experience pain in your legs as those muscles work harder.
Still, many flip flops are sturdy enough and offer plenty of support for people with plantar fasciitis. Look for those that are made of high-quality materials. Straps that wrap around the heel can keep your foot in place and prevent you from slipping out of the shoes.
Sandals with wide straps that extend over the top of the foot may be more supportive than flip flops. These may also have a strap around the heel, which can make things more comfortable for you.
Slides are also good options for people with plantar fasciitis. Those have one broad strap that extends over the top of the foot and open toes. They usually don’t have a strap around the back, though.
Read Also: Best Sandals for Men
Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis Reviews
1. OOFOS Unisex OOahh Post Exercise Active Sport Recovery Sandal
OOFOS creates comfortable shoes that are ideal for people with foot problems. The brand aims to help people recover from the stress that constant impact on their feet delivers. You can tell that the shoes are well-padded just by looking at them. They have thick soles and plenty of support.
OOFOS sandals are made with OOFOAM, which absorbs 37% more impact than the conventional EVA foam that’s incorporated in athletic shoes. It may not be as bouncy as the foam in the shoes that you’re used to, but it’s more stable.
The footbed of these sandals is also patented to cradle your arches. You might feel as though the arch support is exceptionally high on these shoes. Even so, the support is soft. The foam flattens out a bit as you walk on these shoes. Therefore, some people may prefer sandals with even firmer arch support.
These shoes also reduce the amount of energy that your ankles must exert to walk. Therefore, moving around is easier and less painful.
Many people who wear these shoes say that the footwear does more than relieve discomfort in the feet. Walking in these sandals may ease pain in the joints and muscles throughout the body. The combination of OOFOAM and the patented footbed allows the body to move as it is supposed to.
Because these sandals are 100% synthetic, they’re easy to clean. They don’t absorb mud or dirt, and you can easily wipe them off when they get soiled. They won’t pick up odors or stink when they get wet. Even better, the shoes are machine washable.
- Advanced foam technology supports and protects the foot
- Patented footbed cradles arches
- Easy to clean
- Easy to put on and take off
- Not the most stylish shoes
- May make squeaky noises when worn barefoot
- Straps are not adjustable
- Material feels fairly thin
2. Vionic Unisex Wave Toe-Post Sandal
These flip flops are developed for people with foot pain. Vionic is known for making shoes for people with plantar fasciitis. These sandals are no exception. Podiatrists designed the footbed, and the sandals have received the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance.
The fact that these sandals support your feet is obvious. You can see the contoured footbed and arch support just by looking at them. The arch isn’t extremely high, but it’s firm. It won’t flatten out as you walk on it.
The toe-post sandals are made with fabric uppers. The nylon webbing material is durable and can withstand moisture without rotting or developing mildew. The bottoms of the shoes are made of durable plastic and rubber.
You can wear them near water or sand without worrying about them getting ruined. Plus, your feet will feel comfortable in those environments.
- Excellent arch support for flip flops
- Help reduce overpronation
- Good quality straps
- Plenty of cushion
- Fabric between the toes may rub skin
- Strap ends up high on foot, which some people don’t like
3. ECCO Yucatan Offroad Hiking Sandal
This sandal is designed for the trail. It comes in versions for both men and women and is excellent for everyday wear or sportier adventures.
If you struggle with stability when you wear sandals, these might be ideal for you. They feel like sneakers but have the accessibility and ventilation of a sandal.
The footwear features a strap that goes over the toes and another that wraps around the ankle. Those are connected on the outer edge of the shoe with a vertical bar for added support.
You can adjust the sandals at three points. There is a hook-and-loop closure behind the heel, on the ankle, and across the toes. Being able to adjust the shoes to get the proper fit is crucial for people who struggle with foot pain.
These rugged shoes are made with nubuck uppers. They’re durable and can withstand the elements. Plus, the heavy-duty material is less likely to tear than some synthetics. The straps are lined with a layer of soft, stretchy synthetic material that feels like a second skin. This lining dries quickly and doesn’t stay wet against your skin, helping you to avoid getting blisters.
The footbed is constructed with molded EVA foam. It’s soft and lightweight. Plus, it conforms slightly to your foot as you wear it. Microfiber covers the footbed for a comfortable feel against the bottom of your bare foot.
There is a lot going on in the sole of this sandal too. The midfoot shaft enhances stability when the foot is planted firmly on the ground. The heel is tilted at a 20-degree angle to help you land on the right spot on your heel with each stride. Your foot will naturally roll from heel to toe. Dual flex channels in the sole maximize strength and responsiveness.
- 3-point adjustability
- Reactive and supportive outsole
- Soft EVA foam cushioning feels comfortable on painful feet
- Provide more arch support than most sandals
- Hug your feet
- Machine washable
- Lining can get stinky over time
- May not be ideal for wide feet
4. AEROTHOTIC Flouris Women’s Slide Sandals
If you want great sandals for plantar fasciitis that don’t look like orthotic shoes, you might want to try out these slides. They’re fashionable shoes that you can wear for casual and business-casual occasions.
Although these sandals are attractive, they’re designed for comfort. No one will know just how enjoyable they are to walk in. But, just so that you know, they feel like a dream.
They have one strap that goes over the foot. It’s cushioned and smooth. As it molds to the shape of your foot, it won’t rub or chafe.
The polyurethane sole is soft and absorbs shock while proving some support underfoot. They make you feel like you’re walking on clouds.
Moreover, these shoes are extremely lightweight. They’ll add a spring to your step. The manufacturer describes the experience of walking in these shoes as ethereal.
The soles have a subtle platform of about 1 inch in height. They’ll give you a little bit of height. Some people with plantar fasciitis find that it’s more comfortable to wear slightly sloped shoes than flat footwear.
What makes these shoes more comfortable than most is the wavy design in the footbed. The texture massages the soles of your feet as you wear them, relieving pain and soothing aches and pains.
Even though these look more like fashion shoes, these could certainly be shower shoes. They’re completely waterproof and ideal for all wet-weather activities. They’re open and airy and will also keep your feet cool in the summer.
Although these sandals only come in whole sizes, they’re true to size. You can go down a size if you have narrow feet and size up for wide feet.
- Soft sole and cloud-like support
- Cushioned upper won’t chafe your skin
- Entire shoe is waterproof
- Fashionable style is appropriate for everyday use or the office
- Only available in women’s sizes
- Only offered in whole sizes
- Don’t offer great traction
5. Chaco ZX2 Classic Athletic Sandal
Trail walkers and outdoorsy people swear by Chacos. This brand has an excellent reputation for making high-quality footwear that can go off-roading with you on all of your adventures.
It’s not a minimalist shoe, but it offers your foot plenty of ventilation. The 100% polyester jacquard webbing straps are narrow enough to give you freedom of movement but secure enough to hold your foot in place.
The straps are woven through one another to produce an interesting web-like effect. They look intricate on your foot, but they’re simple to slip into. Plus, the different straps adjust to your foot automatically while you walk, delivering support exactly where you need it.
A few straps go over your big toe to hold it in place. This feature provides more forefoot control than you’ll get from other athletic sandals. Another strap runs diagonally from that toe to the outside of your foot, while one more travels to the inside of your foot, securing at the arch and ankle.
You can adjust the size of the band that goes over the top of your foot. Another strap wraps behind your heel. High-tensile heel risers are durable and may make walking and standing more comfortable for people with plantar fasciitis.
The ChacoGrip rubber sole is designed to traverse uneven landscapes. The medium lugs help your feet hold onto slippery rocks and other surfaces. Plus, the durable materials resist fraying and chipping.
One of the reasons that these sandals are so great for people with plantar fasciitis is that they have a LUVSEAT platform. It’s contoured to allow your foot to rest inside naturally. It provides enough arch support for a long hike. However, these sandals are not as cushioned as some of the less sporty options that we reviewed.
- Comes in regular and wide size options
- Non-marking outsoles won’t mark up your floors
- Polyester jacquard straps dry quickly when they get wet
- Straps can be custom-adjusted to fit your feet
- Styles are available for men and women
- No half sizes
- Some people find the toe loop uncomfortable
6. PR Soles Massaging and Recovery Sandals
These are not the type of sandals that you could wear to the office. However, they’re ideal for helping your feet recover from pain. If you’re an athlete, stand for long periods of time or have plantar fasciitis, you should find some relief while you wear these shoes.
The footwear is marketed as pre and post-workout sandals. However, they work well for people with aching feet, even if they aren’t athletes or sporty types.
The footbed is highly cushioned and takes on your foot’s shape. The shock absorption in the heel also alleviates symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
What’s really special about the footbed is that it features a patent-pending ACUPOINT design. The bumpy texture massages your feet and enhances circulation. It can help break up the acids that accumulate in your feet and lead to soreness after a workout.
PR Soles sandals have also been shown to relieve pain in your legs and back. They stimulate nerves that extend to other parts of your body to keep you comfortable. Plus, the massaging insoles may reduce swelling and tension.
If you buy these shoes, you should know that they’re not like walking on a cloud. Although it’s padded and absorbs shock, the footbed isn’t particularly soft. The green acupressure bumps are somewhat hard—that’s how they do their work.
Therefore, these sandals might take some getting used to. You might want to wear them with socks if the soles of your feet are sensitive.
The sandals don’t come in traditional shoe sizes. They’re available in a wide variety of sizes, though, from XXS to XXL. You’ll have to compare your shoe size to the company’s sizing chart to ensure that you have an accurate fit.
The strap that goes over the top of the foot is not adjustable. If it’s too tight when you first put the sandals on, you should know that it should stretch out over time. But that means that your shoes could end up too loose for you if they start out feeling perfect.
- Massaging footbed stimulates acupressure points
- Easy to clean with soap and water
- No arch support
- Plastic materials make noise when you walk
- Design is not incredibly attractive
7. Dansko Women’s Sophie Sandal
Dansko Sophie sandals are durable and comfortable for people with plantar fasciitis but maintain a fair level of attractiveness. The upper is made of 100% leather for resilience and breathability. The synthetic sole is water-resistant and not too heavy.
If your foot pain feels better when you wear shoes with heels, you might want to try these. The back of the shoe measures about 2.25 inches from the ground. The front is about 1.25 inches off of the ground. You’ll elongate your legs and gain some height without feeling like you’re wearing huge heels.
You’ll probably be wearing these sandals without socks. Sometimes, that can lead to a slippery feeling between your foot and the shoe. These have a Dri-Lex sockliner to prevent your feet from sliding around.
The footbed provides plenty of support. It has a shock-absorbing foam midsole that reduces impact as you walk around. These aren’t the most cushioned shoes around, but they’re sturdy and accommodating. This style of sandal has received the American Podiatric Seal of Acceptance for promoting foot health.
Your foot slips into these sandals easily. They don’t have intricate closures to mess with. If you need to, you can adjust each foot strap separately for a custom fit.
The adjustable feature makes these shoes ideal for people with narrow, average, or wide feet. If you’ve had issues with the width of your sandals for plantar fasciitis in the past, you might want to try these, which may be more accommodating.
If you have sweaty feet, you might want to take some measures to protect these shoes from odor. The footbed liner soaks up moisture and can start to smell over time. Make sure that you air these sandals out after every use.
- Excellent arch support
- Shock-absorbing midsole
- Fashionable sandals
- Sock liner absorbs sweat and moisture
- Adjustable straps
- May run small
- Available in women’s style only
8. Mephisto Women’s Helen Thong Sandals
These sandals are just about everything you could hope for if you have foot pain or plantar fasciitis. They’re relatively flat but have a slight drop from the heel to toe, which many people find comfortable. They have a casual look that’s not too sporty.
Therefore, you can wear these shoes to just about every casual occasion in the summer. You can walk for hours in them without sacrificing your style.
The durable leather matches with any outfit and resists tearing. It’s pliable and comfortable against your feet. Furthermore, the material isn’t too tight or rigid. It moves with your feet every time you take a stride. You can adjust the strap to help it fit you perfectly.
The cork and latex footbed features soft-air technology that’s firm but flexible. Soft contouring beneath the foot puts pressure on all the right places. It supports high and low arches. It also absorbs shock, making long walks more comfortable.
It takes some time to break in the footbed. You need to allow it to contour to your own foot. Therefore, be patient when you first buy these shoes.
These sandals don’t have the pillowy feel of some of the others that we have reviewed. But it does absorb more shock than many similar sandals that feature a cork footbed. Many people with plantar fasciitis say that these sandals feel great and relieve their pain, even when they’re on their feet all day.
The non-slip rubber sole provides excellent traction on smooth and slick surfaces. You don’t have to worry about where you walk—you’ll be prepared when you have these Mephisto thong sandals.
- Cork and latex footbed is supportive and responsive
- Non-slip sole provides excellent traction
- Footbed molds to your own feet
- Adjustable strap makes these ideal for narrow or broad feet
- Not ideal for wearing in water or to the beach
- Leather can stretch out over time
- Run small
9. Drew Shoe Men’s Warren Open Toe Sandal
These sandals are similar to the ECCO Yucatan. However, they’re designed just for men. The premium leather upper is soft, comfortable, and durable. The fabric linings beneath the leather are breathable and conform to your feet.
If you have wide feet, don’t worry about these shoes being uncomfortable. They have extra room in the forefoot and won’t squeeze your toes or the balls of your feet. The Velcro hook-and-loop fasteners at the instep, heel, and toe allow you to adjust the shoes to fit your width.
Some shoes with Velcro fasteners lose their strength over time. As the hook-and-loop material collects dust and dirt, it doesn’t hold as securely. That shouldn’t happen with these sandals. The Velcro strips are long enough to stay secure even when you’re moving around a lot.
The ULTRON footbed is liberally cushioned and soothes your feet with every step. Plus, these sandals offer significant arch support. If you need even more structure under your feet, you can add an orthotic. These shoes are deep enough to accommodate extra padding inside.
You can walk, hike, or run in these rugged sandals. The outsole contains additional shock absorption. A steel shank is inserted into the midsole to provide extra stability there. That means that your foot shouldn’t flex while you’re traversing over uneven terrain.
Even with all of these features and support, these sandals are not heavy. They’re not as light as flip flops, but they’re weightless enough to make each stride feel free.
- Removable insoles
- Adequate cushion
- Plenty of arch support
- Excellent combination of firmness and stretch
- Supportive, comfortable footbed
- Accommodate custom orthotics
- Some people say that these aren’t ideal for extremely wide feet
- Toe strap is long and extends past the Velcro on narrow feet
- Not available for women
10. Chaco Men’s Flip Ecotread
This flip flop is designed for men’s feet. It’s easy to slip on and off and rugged enough to use at the beach or for other outdoor activities.
The polyurethane midsole is thick and durable. The contoured design slopes from the heel to the toe and provides some arch support. You’ll feel plenty of cushioning in the heel cup, which is fairly deep for a flip flop.
Like other Chaco products, these flip flops have a LUVSEAT sole. They have been proven to reduce pain from plantar fasciitis.
Plus, the sandals are eco-friendly. The rubber outsole is made of 25% recycled rubber. It’s also grippy enough to wear in situations where you would want the benefits of a textured sole. When you’re inside, you don’t have to be concerned about marking up your floors. The soles of these shoes won’t leave streaks on flooring.
The footbed is also slip-resistant. It has a diamond pattern on the surface, which provides some friction against sweaty or wet feet. If you’ve been avoiding wearing flip flops because your foot slides around in them, you might want to try these and see if you notice a difference.
- Easy to slip on and off
- Water-resistant upper and outsole
- Provide firm support
- Great for slippery conditions
- Don’t mold to your feet
- Not much cushioning in the footbed
The best sandals for plantar fasciitis provide the comfort and support that your feet need. They should have some level of cushion so that you’re not walking around on a hard surface. Plus, if your feet are already injured, they need rest to heal. Shock-absorbing footbeds and soles can help you get the relief that you need since you might find it difficult to stay off your feet at all times.
The ECCO Yucatan Offroading Hiking Sandals are our favorite all-around choice. They’re not the cheapest sandals, but they’ll last a long time. One of the reasons that you may have plantar fasciitis in the first place is that you’ve been buying inexpensive, unsupportive sandals. It might be time to step it up a notch.
The great thing about the ECCO Yucatan sandals is that you can wear them just about anywhere that you would wear sneakers. They’re great for hiking, running errands, or just taking walks in your neighborhood. They have excellent arch support and a comfortable footbed.
If you’d like something on the premium level, though, you might want to look at the Chaco Sandals. The main benefit of these is the self-adjusting straps, which hug your feet as though they were custom-made for you. The Chacos also feature a podiatrist-approved LUVSEAT footbed, which gives you the structure that you need to support aching feet or fallen arches.
Finally, a great budget choice would be the PR Soles Massaging Recovery Sandals. You probably don’t want to wear these shoes out in public, and you certainly can’t wear them to work. However, you get what you pay for.
These make ideal house shoes. Try trading out your slippers for these and pamper your feet at the end of a long day.