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Whenever I see someone wearing flat
, I have to hold myself back from walking right over and explaining how choosing footwear with such a lack of support could come to haunt them. My own experience in years of non-supportive footwear lead to 18 months of a seriously painful condition called Plantar Fasciitis (PF). I’m still preventingatively managing mine years later.
Plantar Fasciitis happens when your plantar fascia, the ligament that runs from your toes to your heel, tightens. Every step then causes the important ligament to tear a small amount, more and more, which leads to moderate to severe pain.
This pain has come to be the bane of my existence.
Kenneth Cornell, DPM, podiatrist at Austin Regional Clinic in Texas says this condition is the single most common reason he sees people with heel and arch pain. He adds, “One of the biggest culprits of plantar fasciitis is shoes with not enough support for your arch or heel.”
You know what that means? It’s time to go shoe shopping.
The best shoes for plantar fasciitis
Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis: Brooks Glycerin GTS 19, $150 on Brooks
Whether you’re getting back to running or just walking around the house, the Brooks Glycerin GTS 19 provides the ideal amount of cushion with each step reliable arch support, a lightweight feel, and a stylish look.
Best sneakers for plantar fasciitis: Dansko Pace, $140 on REI
Dansko Pace match our experts’ recommendations with its stiff footbed, strong arch support, and sub-2-inch heel height, plus they’re more attractive than most orthotic sneakers.
Best sandals for plantar fasciitis: Vionic Tide II Toe Post Sandal, $75 on Vionic Shoes
Vionic Tide II Toe Post Sandal is easy to slide on quickly, increasing the chances you’ll wear supportive shoes 24/7, and uses grippy “beads” to prevent your foot sliding around as you walk.
Best house shoe for plantar fasciitis: HOKA Recovery Slide, $50 on Hoka
Hoka Women’s Ora Recovery Slide feel like clouds underfoot and are the ideal slide to support your tendons as you walk around the house.
Best dress shoe for plantar fasciitis: Naot Oz/5041, $170 on Naot
Naot Fantasy Oz/5041 allow your foot to stay supported during fancier occasions, like a wedding or work meeting.
Best winter boot for plantar fasciitis: Dansko Bessie Taupe Burnished Nubuck, $190 on Amazon
The Dansko Bessie Burnished Nubuck boot are stylish, warm, and provide memory-foam cushioning and support during winter months.
Best shoes for plantar fasciitis for men: Ecco Soft 7 Men’s Street Sneaker, $79 on Amazon
Ecco Soft 7 Men’s Street Sneaker is the best option for men with plantar fasciitis with its cushy-yet-supportive footbed and stylish look.