Perhaps you’re running. Maybe you’re nearly at the end of your shift when all of a sudden, that pain comes again. You’ve been able to ignore it for a while — it might have even gone away for a bit, thankfully. But it’s back, and you can’t ignore it.
That’s what life is like with plantar fasciitis, a painful foot condition. Sometimes you’re able to ignore the stabbing pain by the heels. Other times you’re not. And when you can’t ignore that pain, it can take you right out of a good mood.
The best way to manage plantar fasciitis is with the proper footwear. But which shoes should you buy, you’re probably asking? We’ve included ten of the best pairs in this article.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Choice: Timberland Men’s White Ledge Ankle Boot
- Best Premium Product: Orthofeet Women’s Boots Highline
- Best Value Product: Skechers Men’s Relment Pelmo Chukka Boot
For a more in-depth view of what plantar fasciitis is, as well as to see the other shoes we recommend, keep reading.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Among a lot of things, plantar fasciitis is frustratingly common among non-disabled people. The condition involves a stabbing pain centered around a robust band of tissue running across the underlying portion of your foot. The muscle connects your toes to the heel bone.
You’ll know you have plantar fasciitis if, when you first wake up in the morning, you have a shooting pain centering around just above the heel. The pain usually dissipates when you stand up and move, if not completely disappear for a while. But that pain inevitably rears its ugly head when you rise from sitting for an extended period or from standing for too long.
The pain comes from tiny tears in the muscles of your foot, usually as a result of the tissue getting overstretched. The body then treats these tears by inflaming the area, thus bring about pain and discomfort.
Your plantar fascia, the torn tissue that causes plantar fasciitis, is supposed to absorb the shock of every step you take and support your foot’s arch. However, tension and stress can overtake the plantar fascia, thus straining the tissue and causing it to break.
Repetitive motion and lack of support in your shoes can exacerbate stress on the plantar fascia, but the exact cause is still unknown.
What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain in the lower portion of your foot around the heel. In some cases, you could feel pain in the midfoot as well.
While lots of people experience stabbing pain with plantar fasciitis, others experience dull pain as well. You could also feel burning or aching at the bottom of your foot that then protrudes from the heel.
If you wake up in the morning and find pain by your heels, there’s a good chance you have plantar fasciitis. Signs of the condition also include pain after sitting or lying down for a long time, as well as difficulty climbing stairs due to heel stiffness.
Another common symptom of plantar fasciitis is if the pain goes away while amid activity but reappears just after stopping. The pain could flare up again after sustained activity.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The leading cause of plantar fasciitis is tearing the plantar fascia — the tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. However, certain activities can increase your risk of tearing this sensitive tissue.
Of course, anything that involves staying on your feet for long periods puts you at risk for tearing the muscles and tendons in your feet. Dancing could be a major culprit, especially if you can’t wear shoes that provide adequate protection around your heels or arches.
Jobs that require you to stand on your feet for hours on end could also increase the likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis, as the weight of your body continually pressing down on your plantar fasciitis could be enough to tear the tendons.
Another cause is physical trauma to the foot. Should you get into a car accident, for example (which we hope you don’t), the damage done to your foot could tear the tendons without breaking it, causing you to develop plantar fasciitis after the accident.
However, the most common causes of plantar fasciitis are comparable to another well-known connective tissue disorder — carpal tunnel. While carpal tunnel is caused by a pinched or damaged nerve in the hands, you can use your familiarity with it to better understand plantar fasciitis.
Just as you have to continually practice proper typing posture and wrist placement to prevent carpal tunnel, so too should you take the proper precautions to avoid the repetitive damage that typically leads to plantar fasciitis — especially if you’re in one of the demographics most vulnerable to plantar fasciitis below.
Who is Most at Risk for Plantar Fasciitis?
Of course, plantar fasciitis can come about for any number of reasons beyond the ones listed below. However, the following increases the chance you develop plantar fasciitis.
- As we get older, our tendons and tissues weaken, making them more susceptible to damage. The same is true for plantar fasciitis. People between the ages of 40 and 60 are especially likely to get plantar fasciitis, as they’re not only generally more active than older generations but have weakened plantar fascia.
- That extra weight may cause lots of health issues, but it’s especially true for the plantar fascia. The tendons aren’t meant to handle more than the weight of a healthy human body, so carrying around the extra pounds can intensify tears in the tendons.
- Foot conditions. People with flat feet are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis due to the altered nature of where the pressure from every step you take goes. Having a high arch or an abnormal walking pattern can redistribute weight where it’s not supposed to go, thus damaging the sensitive tissue in your feet.
- Certain exercises. Some activities you do can put a lot of stress on your feet and the connective tissue within it. Aerobic dancing, running long distances, ballet dancing, jumping activities can all contribute to an earlier onset of plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is particularly common with runners.
- You are standing for hours on your feet. Even just the weight of your body can be enough to damage your feet — even if you’re not overweight. Waiting tables, giving tours, and working in factories all force you to stand on your feet, which can stress the plantar fascia and lead to problems down the line.
If you’re in one of these categories, consider taking extra special care to take care of your feet, as you might be placing undue stress on your plantar fascia and speeding up the rate in which you get plantar fasciitis.
What Happens If You Ignore Plantar Fasciitis?
Aside from dealing with the burden of chronic pain in your feet, ignoring plantar fasciitis could lead to deeper tears in your feets’ connective tissues. You could worsen the plantar fasciitis you have by not getting medical treatment as soon as you start noticing symptoms. As a result, you could pay for more expensive medical fees than if you had gone to the podiatrist soon after seeing issues.
Unresolved plantar fasciitis issues could lead to the pain traveling to other parts of your feet and legs, including the midfoot, knee, hip, or back.
Ignoring plantar fasciitis isn’t fun. You might have to stop doing the activities you formerly loved doing, including running, dancing, or taking long walks with friends or family. There are better ways to manage your plantar fasciitis than to ignore it, so we’re giving you the following advice.
How to Treat and Manage Plantar Fasciitis?
Once your plantar fascia has been damaged, it can take six to 12 months for the tissue to heal. In the meantime, you should take the following precautions to ensure you don’t further damage the injured tissue.
One of the best things you can do for your body when it’s injured is to rest and relax. There’s no point in constantly putting weight on your foot trying to work or run errands in an attempt to be productive when those activities only push back your recovery timeline.
Instead, try to keep the weight off your feet as much as possible. Doing so will allow your body to work through the inflammation period much faster and repair the damaged connective tissue.
Ice is another way to soothe the inflamed area and help alleviate any pain you feel. One of the best ways to ice your feet is to take an ice pack and wrap it around your foot with a towel. If you don’t have an ice pack, you can use a package of frozen peas or corn. If you don’t have that, ice cubes in a sealable plastic bag will do.
Conversely, you could also fill a shallow bucket or small tub with ice water and soak your heel in it. Just be sure you don’t soak the rest of your foot as well, as that can feel uncomfortable, if not painful.
Ice the plantar fasciitis region for about three to four times a day for 15 to 20 minutes every session. You can scroll through your phone or watch television to make the time pass — but be sure to not over ice your foot, as you could end up damaging tissue that way.
You can provide some relief by stretching your foot and the surrounding muscles in your legs. Point and flex your toes as much as you can. Then stretch your calves to loosen your Achilles tendon and the bottoms of your feet where the plantar fascia are.
Not only can light stretches reduce some of the discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis, but it can help make those tendons and muscles stronger in the future, which will help ease pain, stabilize the ankles, and lower the odds plantar fasciitis comes back.
If you need immediate comfort with your ailing feet, pop some pain meds. They’ll be especially useful when you’re in a situation where your plantar fasciitis acts up, but you can’t immediately address it through stretches or icing the afflicted area.
Just be sure to rely on other methods of alleviating plantar fasciitis pain. Pain meds are a quick fix to getting comfort, but they shouldn’t be the only one.
You can carry around some athletic tape in your backpack or purse and tape your midfoot whenever you feel plantar fasciitis pain. The tape supports your arch and heel and can provide relief until you’re able to rest your feet properly. Athletic tape is relatively inexpensive, so you can keep taping your feet until you’re ready to get professional medical attention.
Orthotics or Shoe Inserts
These are items you place in your regular shoe to provide further foot support. Lots of shoes are made with little padding or arch support, which can damage your feet over time. But with shoe inserts, you can not only make wearing your shoes more comfortable but protect your feet while doing so.
Lots of shoe inserts are over the counter, so you don’t need a prescription to get them. Just be sure you have your right shoe size and perhaps a measurement of your shoe’s sole proportions, as some shoe inserts are sized differently than others.
To treat plantar fasciitis, it’s essential to get shoe inserts with thorough padding and arch support. Your plantar fascia is inflamed, so it’s important to give them the proper cushioning necessary to allow them to heal.
Get Shoes That Help Plantar Fasciitis
One step above getting shoe inserts is to get shoes with plantar fasciitis in mind. If you plan on wearing these shoes for hours on end, such as for work boots, it’s vital that they’re not only comfortable and supportive but durable as well.
Best Work Boots for Plantar Fasciitis Review
Just note that while a majority of these work boots are labeled for men, there’s no reason why women can’t wear them either. If you’re working in the field, you shouldn’t be worried about looking pretty — you should be concerned about taking care of your plantar fasciitis.
For a steel-to boot that’s equal parts attractive and protective, try on the Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic Work Boot. The boot upper is made from leather with the sole being made from thick rubber.
The boot is insulated and waterproof as well, allowing you to work in all rugged conditions — wet or dry. The shoe even has a removable EVA foam insert to protect the sensitive connective tissue in your feet. Should you want to add your orthotic insert for plantar fasciitis, you can do so with ease.
The outer soles of the Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic Work Boots are textured and grippy, meaning no slips on the job. You really need that, as catching yourself wrong on your bad foot could make your plantar fasciitis issues worse. In addition, the ankle portion is padded and supportive.
Caterpillar is a hallmark company name for sturdy construction equipment, which is why they’ve made equally rugged work boots. While durable and protective, they won’t exacerbate your existing issues with plantar fasciitis.
- The Caterpillar Men’s Diagnostic Work Boots are solidly built, durable, and still affordable.
- There’s a removable gel insert that’s great for protecting your plantar fasciitis from further damage.
- The steel toe is a good touch.
- These boots are a bit expensive.
- Depending on how tough you treat these shoes, users report the sole separates from the upper faster than they’d like.
Like Caterpillar, Timberland is another company that’s known for its rugged gear — especially for men’s outdoor wear. The Men’s White Ledge Ankle Boot is not just something you could wear when the weather gets cold. The shoe is also durable and rugged enough to handle working in the field.
The upper is made from 100% genuine leather, and the outer sole from thick rubber. These boots are full-grain waterproof. The seams are sealed as well to repel water from touching your feet. The lace eyelets are rustproof, as the hooks will be exposed to the elements.
While the exterior of these boots is impressive, the surface is also supportive and comfortable for those with a variety of foot issues, including plantar fasciitis. The Timberland White Ledge Ankle Boot has a padded footbed that’s removable should you want more support for your plantar fasciitis.
Timberland says that these boots are trail-ready yet also fit for hiking or casual wear. Whatever your work needs are, these shoes are also capable of handing hours of work. They’re cushioned and protective enough to allow you to get the job done without exacerbating any existing plantar fasciitis issues you have.
- These are rugged yet fashionable work boots suitable for people with plantar fasciitis.
- The uppers are made from 100% leather with waterproofing sealed seams.
- The boots include a removable footbed in case you need more support for plantar fasciitis.
- Some users not that these shoes are not entirely waterproof — especially if you’ve had these boots for more than six months.
- You have to care for the leather constantly, especially if these shoes get wet a lot.
Behold, a shoe that’s not designed for aesthetics alone. It’s designed for people with lots of foot issues — including plantar fasciitis.
The Orthofeet Men’s High Top Boots provide the perfect cushioning for your sensitive connective tissue. In addition to providing protection for diabetic feet and extra room for those with wide feet, they provide thorough cushioning to help support the stressed plantar fascia.
The shoes come with a padded canvas upper, with cushioning around the ankle and heel. They also have three padded soles and a flexible rubber outer sole. The top inner sole, or the one you’d place your feet on, has ample arch support, so it’s perfect for plantar fasciitis caused by flat feet.
The rest of the soles help further cushion your feet. Best of all, these shoes don’t “look” like orthopedic shoes. If you want to protect your feet, get work done, and have a pair of shoes that could also double as casual wear, you should consider investing in a pair of Orthofeet Men’s High Top Boots.
- These shoes are excellent for those with plantar fasciitis as well as other foot conditions, such as diabetic neuropathy or flat feet.
- There are three interior soles to provide ample cushioning. The top one provides sufficient arch support to prevent plantar fasciitis from getting worse.
- The shoes have protective padding in the upper, especially around the ankle, and a durable rubber outer sole that’s also flexible.
- Some users note that these shoes aren’t as durable as they’d like, so you can’t work in rugged conditions with shoes. Yard work should be fine, though.
For rugged work boots that also prevent your plantar fasciitis from getting worse, these Timberland Pro Men’s Steel-Toe boots are a good choice.
They’re incredibly durable. Whether you plan to work around the yard or at an extremely demanding job, like construction, these shoes can withstand almost anything.
The leather upper is as protective as it is attractive, preventing moisture or harmful materials from getting into the footbed. The rubber sole is slip-resistant yet flexible so that they won’t hurt your feet after hours of standing.
The interior of these shoes is also great for people with plantar fasciitis. The padded footbed and arch support forgo foot fatigue, so you get the proper assistance you need to stop your plantar fasciitis from getting worse.
Many users say they thought these shoes wouldn’t survive what they were put through, often physically demanding jobs and hours of use. However, the Timberland Pro gets the job done, so they’re well worth the price. And if you have foot troubles from plantar fasciitis, even better — these shoes will help you accomplish what you need to.
- These shoes are extremely durable, with some users reporting that they last longer than expected in highly demanding jobs.
- The shoes provide the right amount of support for those with plantar fasciitis.
- These Timberlands have a slip-resistant rubber sole and ample padding to make the rest of your feet comfortable as well.
- These shoes are a bit expensive.
- Some users say that the heel is hard to break in. It can cause discomfort as the shoe’s material attempts to form to the user’s ankle.
Another great pair of shoes from a highly trusted company, the Orthofeet Women’s Highline Boots provide the same amount of protection and support for those with foot issues as the men’s. The women’s ensures the shoe looks good and maintains its performance through physically demanding jobs.
First and foremost, the interior sole of these shoes is incredibly soft. The reason is that these shoes have three internal pads for maximum support. The bottom two provide spacing between the interior sole and the outer sole, while the top-most one has the arch support needed to prevent your plantar fasciitis from getting worse.
The non-binding upper gives you a relaxed fit while softening the pressure landing on your foot’s pressure points — especially around the heel. The orthotic interior absorbs some of the shock from every step you take to help improve your mobility.
Orthofeet is one of the best companies designing footwear for people with diabetic neuropathy, bunions, flat feet, and other foot issues. They’ve also made the Women’s Boots Highline, which are perfect for helping you get the job done without your feet being sore afterward.
- These shoes have ample cushioning everywhere — not just in the interior sole but the ankle padding and upper as well. The ample padding is perfect for those with plantar fasciitis.
- These shoes are not only aesthetically attractive but are durable enough for outdoor work.
- They come in wide versions as well, so they’re great for people with wider feet.
- These shoes are not suitable for extensive hiking or highly physical labor, but they should be excellent for work around the yard.
- Some users report that these shoes run large, so you might have trouble finding a pair of shoes that fit your feet right.
Lots of people like wearing Skechers shoes because they’re affordable yet comfortable. The same goes for the Skechers Men’s Relment Pelmo Chukka Boot. These shoes have the typical memory foam padding found in lots of Skechers shoes, but they’re also designed to help you navigate your way outdoors.
These shoes are waterproof in the upper and the seams, meaning you can do work around bodies of water or in other moist conditions without your feet getting utterly soaked. These shoes also have air-cooled memory foam padding, which means your feet not only remain comfortable but at a steady temperature as well.
The soles of these shoes are rubber and slip-resistant, which is perfect for not only work on bare earth but in artificial, hard surfaces like concrete or asphalt. These shoes are not only comfortable, but they help you work for hours on end without getting foot fatigue.
These shoes are great for people with plantar fasciitis. Cushioned interior soles are crucial for ensuring the inflamed plantar fascia doesn’t develop more tears. Wearing shoes without proper support would not only be painful but exacerbate your condition, so it’s a good thing that these shoes have such ample internal support.
For an affordable pair of outdoor shoes that make great work boots for people with plantar fasciitis, consider the Skechers Relment Pelmo Chukka Boot.
- The Skechers Relment Pelmo Chukka Waterproof Boot is not only comfortable but highly durable as well.
- The interior memory foam padding provides the perfect amount of cushioning for people with plantar fasciitis.
- These shoes are waterproof, so you can work in a variety of outdoor conditions and ensure your feet stay cool and dry.
- Some users say that these shoes are more water-resistant than waterproof.
- The fit is a bit wide, so it could be uncomfortable for people with narrow feet.
The Timberland Pro Men’s Boot looks like they belong on the set of either a hardcore biker movie or an advertisement for a construction site. Either way, the message is clear — these are some high-quality shoes that will get the job done (biker vibes are a plus).
The upper is made from 100% leather, though the sole is made from a synthetic material, so it’s not entirely rubber. The heel of these shoes is about two inches, so you not only get proper foot support but a boost in your height as well.
These shoes are highly waterproof with a waterproof membrane, so your feet will stay dry no matter what work conditions you’re in.
The toes, of course, are reinforced and protected to give you ultimate support on the job. Not only that, but the footbed is made from polyurethane anti-fatigue technology, so you can be standing on your feet all day and not wake up with sore bones.
The outsole is designed with all-weather thermoplastic urethane, meaning you can wear these boots in the snow, rain, or other hard conditions. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, the Timberland Pro Boot will keep your feet protected from the elements and from worsening plantar fasciitis.
- These shoes are highly protective in a lot of areas — the toes, the interior footbed, the upper, and the outsole.
- These shoes are made with anti-fatigue technology so you can wear them all day without harming your feet.
- These shoes are highly waterproof, so you can work in snow, rain, or other outdoor conditions.
- The bottom soles are slip-resistant.
- Some users say these shoes run large.
- Other users report that these shoes are hard to break in when you first buy them, so these shoes could cause your feet discomfort when you first buy them.
For durable work boots that are not only built to last but to help your plantar fasciitis, check out the Carhartt Composite Toe Work Boot. They’re not only made from high-quality leather uppers but a comfortable and supportive interior that’s perfect for aching feet.
These shoes keep your feet protected all day. The oil-tanned leather upper is designed with longevity in mind, meaning they’re not only resistant to moist conditions, but you don’t have to moisturize them regularly as well. With the oil finish, you can ward off dry, cracking weather while looking stylish as well.
The work-flex fabric means these shoes don’t restrict your range of motion. Your feet can move wherever you need them to, but the flexibility does not hinder your foot protection.
The padded collar and tongue give your feet all-day comfort, and the cement construction is sure to last you for a while as well. The sole and the upper will not separate any time soon.
Best of all, the Ortholite insert offers five layers of cushioning, meaning your plantar fasciitis is no match for the extremely comfortable support these shoes provide you. The EVA midsole also comes with a supportive pad for better anatomical comfort.
If you’re worried about being on your feet for too long due to your inflamed plantar fascia, you can rest assured that the Carhartt Composite Toe Work Boot will protect your feet from discomfort, both internally and externally.
- These shoes are made from high-quality leather, rubber, and cement gluing these shoes together.
- The inner sole has five layers of cushion, giving your plantar fasciitis the proper support it needs.
- The oil-leather exterior on the upper not only looks good but protects the leather from cracks as well.
- These shoes are a bit expensive.
- Some users report that these shoes take a while to break in, so your feet may experience some discomfort in the interim period.
Keen is known for its high-quality sports sandals, boots, and other footwear. The KEEN Milwaukee Steel Toe Work Boots are no different.
The uppers are made from 100% leather, with the rubber sole preventing slips and falls. The platform of these boots is approximately one inch tall, so you get a subtle height boost as well.
The locking metal hooks keep your laces in place while in motion, meaning you don’t have to stop working to readjust your knots constantly. The leather upper is abrasion resistant and ultra-tough, so they’re fit to handle whatever you throw at them.
Not only that, but the soles of these shoes are not only ultra-padded and comfortable but removable as well, so you can add your orthotic if you need further support for your plantar fasciitis.
For a pair of work shoes that are comfortable, durable, and supportive enough to wear for hours with plantar fasciitis, consider the KEEN Milwaukee Steel Toe Work Boots.
- The abrasion-resistant leather upper is not only resistant to scratches but tears and cracks as well.
- The padded interior sole is comfortable and removable, so you can add your orthotic if needed.
- These shoes have durable stitching, outsole boots, and an overall aesthetic that reads high craftsmanship.
- You might have to buy an orthotic insole depending on how bad your plantar fasciitis is, as some users report that these shoes don’t provide enough padding.
Last but not least, these work boots from Wolverine are also sufficient for working outdoors when you have plantar fasciitis. The Wolverine Dura shocks absorb some of the pressure from every step you take, which means less stress on your feet.
Not only that, but the durable cushioned inner sole is perfect for providing protection around your heel, which is exactly what you need when you suffer from inflamed plantar fascia.
The h-plate suspension helps stabilize your feet, meaning no crooked ankles, while propelling you forward. Taking all these characteristics into consideration, these Wolverine work boots give you all-day support while working in the field, at your construction job, or wherever else you need.
- These Wolverine shoes have a high-quality build.
- They’re made with a cushioned insole that provides excellent support for inflamed plantar fascia.
- These shoes absorb the shock of every step you take, meaning less stress on your feet and more working hours without fatigue.
- These shoes are a bit expensive.
- Some users report that they take a while to break in.
You’ve seen some of the best work boots you can buy to help you manage plantar fasciitis. You can’t go wrong with a pair on this list. But if we may, we’d like to reiterate why our favorites are our favorites.
Best Overall Choice — Timberland Men’s White Ledge Ankle Boot
Timberland is a company highly regarded for its superior craftsmanship, and these shoes are no different. For durable construction, perfect cushioning, and an upscale aesthetic, these White Ledge Ankle Boots give you maximum protection and working hours while suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Best Premium Product — Orthofeet Women’s Boots Highline
The best products tend to cost a little more, but investing in the Orthofeet Women’s Highline Boots is what you need when you have plantar fasciitis. These shoes are designed with foot issues in mind, so you not only have the proper support for your connective tissue but a durable shoe that’s suitable for working long hours outdoors.
Best Value Product — Skechers Men’s Relment Pelmo Chukka Boot
If you want to save a little money while not skimping on foot protection, the Skechers Pelmo Chukka Boots are the way to go. The memory foam interior padding and high-quality outer construction not only give you plantar fascia support but protection for working in rugged conditions.
Those were some of the best work boots for plantar fasciitis. While we’ve explained the reasoning of our favorites, you can’t go wrong with any shoe on this list.