Best Women’s Shoes and Inserts for Plantar Fasciitis

While I don’t have plantar fasciitis, my husband does, and so do many of you! I often get asked for shoe recommendations from women who have plantar fasciitis so I decided to deep dive and see what options are out there these days. After a lot of research, I’ve found what I think are the best women’s shoes and inserts for plantar fasciitis, thanks to many of your recommendations.

HOKA CLIFTON RUNNING SHOE

Looking for more shoe recommendations? You may enjoy these posts:

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes. Plantar fasciitis is normally caused by overusing the plantar fascia or constantly putting strain on it. My husband was in agony when his flared up, so I know it’s not something you can just ignore. There are many things that can lead to this, but some of the most common are wearing the wrong footwear or adding lots of stress to your heels from being on your feet for extended periods of time during activities.

If you have plantar fasciitis, you’d know! It’s a sharp, stabbing pain in the heel or bottom of the foot that hurts, especially in the mornings when you first get up.

Where to Shop for Shoes with Plantar Fasciitis

Best Sandals

Comfort Sandal: Taos The Show

These sandals from Taos come equipped with a premium arch support system that helps gently distribute pressure evenly across the foot, alleviating the strain on the plantar fascia. The cushioned insole provides additional comfort, reducing the impact on the heel and arch, which is crucial for those suffering from plantar fasciitis.

Slip On Sandals:  Birkenstock Madrid Big Buckle

I love the big buckle Arizona sandals, but I thought this single-strap version was cute for summer. Birkenstocks have a contoured cork footbed that’s engineered to mold to the shape of your foot. They’re also made with a deep heel cup, which aids in absorbing shock and minimizing heel pain.

Athletic Sandal: Keen Elle Sandal

These sandals from Keen offer a stretchy, secure fit with a supportive elastic strap system. These would be a great travel sandal since the cushioned footbed and arch support will keep your feet comfy and stable all-day long. This light brown shade will go with most things, but they also come in some fun color combinations and patterns like tie-dye.

Recovery Sandals: Vionic Rejuvenate Recovery Sandal

Walking barefoot or in a thin, flat slipper can exacerbate plantar fasciitis because it provides little to no arch support. Instead, look for a recovery shoe with a comfy footbed and adjustable straps. This Vionic Rejuvenate Recovery Sandal is perfect for wearing around the house or garden.

Flip Flop: Vionic Tide II Toe Post Sandal

With a podiatrist-designed footbed and a comfortable toe post design, these flip-flops are great for running errands or for a trip to the pool. Vionic conducted a clinical study that found these shoes effective in treating plantar fasciitis, which is enough reason to give them a try in my book!

Wedge Sandals: Naot Footwear Kayla Wedge Sandal

If you’re looking for a wedge that you can pair with everything from dresses to denim that isn’t going to leave you limping at the end of the day, this strappy wedge from Naot with a contoured footbed and fantastic arch support is a great one to try. Similar to a Birkenstock, this cork footbed molds to your foot the more you wear it.

Best Sneakers and Tennis Shoes

Walking Shoe: Hoka Bondi 8

I’m sure most of you have heard of the Hoka Clifton 9, but let me turn you onto the Bondi 8. With a thick, plush midsole and a rocker-shaped outsole, this super supportive shoe provides excellent shock absorption and stability for everyday wear or just for your daily walk.

Running Shoe: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Supportive Running Shoe

Here’s a great running shoe for anyone with heel pain or plantar fasciitis. Its soft cushioning absorbs shock to keep your heels comfortable, while the special support system helps keep your feet in the right position, reducing strain on your arches.

White Sneaker: Vionic Winny Oxford

The white sneaker trend doesn’t seem to be leaving anytime soon, and I’m thrilled about it. They work great with my wardrobe, and I love the stylish, modern vibe they add to an outfit. If you want to try the white sneaker trend with a shoe that won’t make your plantar fasciitis pain worse, check out this pair from Vionic.

Slip On Sneaker: Skechers Go Walk Arch Fit Grateful

Slip-on sneakers are the ultimate go-to for convenience and style. Just slide them on and you’re ready to go without fussing with laces. These Skechers Go Walk slip-on sneakers have great arch support to keep your feet feeling good, and I love that they’re machine washable, so you can keep them looking and smelling fresh.

Clogs: Easy Spirit Traveltime Clog

ORIGINAL POST HERE

This Traveltime Clog is one of Easy Spirits’ all-time best-selling shoes, with over 12 million pairs sold. I was super excited to try these because they’re one of Easy Spirit’s most beloved styles.

This easy-on, easy-off backless sneaker is also orthotic friendly, with a removable footbed that provides hours of support for walking and standing. They come high enough on my foot that I don’t have to grip my toes to keep them on. That means no foot fatigue, no matter how long you’re on your feet.

Slippers: RockDove Original Two-Tone Memory Foam Slipper

Reviews say wearing these memory foam slippers is like walking on clouds! With its cozy memory foam footbed, your feet will thank you.

Best Inserts:

Heel Insert: PROFOOT Orthotic Insoles for Plantar Fasciitis & Heel Pain

Luckily, you don’t have to buy a brand new shoe to experience relief from your foot pain. There are a lot of insoles on the market, but this one is under $10 with over 9,000 5-star ratings on Amazon. It’s a 1/2-length insole, meaning it only extends from the middle of the foot to the heel, so it won’t crowd your toes.

Available at Drugstores: Dr.Scholl’s Plantar Fasciitis Pain Relief Orthotics

I’m sure you’ve all seen Dr. Scholl’s inserts at the grocery or the drugstore, and there’s a reason they’re a household name. This particular one is designed to treat plantar fasciitis pain by reducing heel pressure. It’s very highly rated, and reviewers say they offer immediate relief and are long-lasting.

These best-selling inserts are good for 12 months or 500 miles, whichever comes first. Like the others, they have a high arch and a deep heel cup, but what I like most about them is that they come with a top layer that’s designed to reduce odor.

Do you struggle with plantar fasciitis? I have a nasty bunion that is painful…what foot issues do you have?

More Women’s Shoes and Inserts for Plantar Fasciitis:

36 Comments

  1. According to my foot doctor wearing Birkenstocks (German version) or Mephistos (French version that is a bit more narrow) when and wherever possible is the best way to deal with Plantar Fasciitis. The shaped footbed gently stretches to shortened tendon that goes through the arch area and around the heel. Without surgery to shave down the mountain shaped calcium deposit on the heel it never really goes away completely but if the tendon is not grating over it there is relief. Cold laser, acupuncture, etc. also give relief. Once the Birkenstocks/Mephistos have done their job you can wear other shoes on a short term basis …..but if walking a lot on a holiday your feet need the support. The inserts and orthotics can go in almost any good walking shoe and provide that support for those long days of walking. Save the unsupportive “cute shoes” for dinner out, special events like a wedding, etc…..a few hours will be ok in unsupportive shoes if you do your “homework” (wearing Birks/Mephistos) most of the time

    1. Thanks Lauren. I’ve always found Mephistos very comfy too. This makes sense to me.

  2. I have extremely high arches and narrow heels (but normal-to-wide toe box), and MS has my balance all wonky, so I
    got a pair of Hokka Gaviotas for Christmas and I love them! Great shoe – comfy and stable. I also have a pair of Vionic flipflops, and several pair of Keen shoes (hiking sandals, hiking boots, shoes, etc.) and I love them. Excellent shoes, excellent company!

  3. Lorraine Williams says:

    GREAT!!! Topic. I walk my dog 10 miles a week and developed Plantar Fasciitis and boy is it painful. My doctor recommended Hoka Running shoes and I have three pair. He suggested change they out every week. They are still sensitive and I still need to rest them, but what a great and timely subject. I just ordered the Taos and the Vionic Recovery Sandal…Here’s hoping they work too.

    1. Let us know how they work for you Lorraine. I LOVE my Hokas

  4. I had plantar fasciitis years ago and discovered Vionic Tide flip flops – I have walked over 7 miles/day at WDW in them without any issues, in fact my feet never bothered me. I have more pairs and colors than any one person should own up to. My podiatrist also put me in Pure Stride inserts that I use in my Vionic sneakers. I even put one of the inserts inside the orthopedic boot I had to wear for a stress fracture. Both have kept plantar fasciitis at bay for almost 20 years.

    1. Thanks for sharing those inserts, Alicia

  5. Mary Frances says:

    I can’t comment on PF as my feet have chosen other issues. But I have to say how much I love your white outfit with the thin puffer vest. The vest adds that third completer piece when a jacket would be too warm.

    1. Thanks Mary. I love vests for shoulder season weather.

  6. After a bout with PF, first on my right foot and then my left, I tried New Balance 928 v 3 and bought the New Balance orthotics. Within a week my foot pain was so improved I could walk my pups again!

  7. I too suffered from plantar fasciitis. My podiatrist told me to never wear “ballerina” shoes again or go bare feet for long periods of time. I do have prescription orthotics but I also have been using the Birkenstock orthotics in my shoes and they have been very helpful for my arches. I also wear Birkenstocks around the house and doing errands during the summer.

    1. I love my Birks for around the house. I love ballerina flats but never wear them for a whole day anymore unless I will be sitting for part of it.

  8. Jean Lamarre says:

    Hi Jennifer,
    Our local tv channel (Rhode Island) ran a story last night about a woman who recently spent $2300 on inserts bought at a non medical store. She ended up with other issues and her feet were no better. The store would only give her a credit.
    People should be careful who they get their orthotics from. I have a prescribed pair from my podiatrist that I can also buy on Amazon.
    Thanks
    Jean RN

    1. That’s a lot to spend on shoe inserts!

  9. This is a very informative post!
    I had planter’s fasciitis about 10 years ago. I had never heard of it, and it was so painful; I didn’t know what hit me! I sympathize with your husband and anyone else who has it.
    Luckily, it was summertime and I had in my possession the Vionic flip flops you list above. They were a lifesaver! They were the only shoe that I was able to walk in for a number of weeks. I highly recommend them for anyone who is suffering.
    Brooks and Hoka sneakers were just recommended to me by my doctor for support for issues with my back. I recently bought the Brooks Ghost 16, and Asics Gel Cumulus 26 sneakers, both for support, and had a custom insert made for them. I feel that the insert does for me similarly to what the Vionic flip flops did; with the arch and heel “cupping” support. (Hokas are next!) I would recommend both sneakers, even without the custom inserts because they are so comfortable to walk in.
    I’m going to check out the sandals you recommend above because I don’t want to wear sneakers every day, everywhere! Thanks Jennifer!

    1. Thanks for sharing, Nancy. I need to try those Vionics

  10. I’ve had two bad bouts with plantar fasciitis. Orthotics worked the first time but when the pain returned two years later, I discovered after many kinesiologist appointments and 6 months of pain that my orthotics were causing the problem. I was only able to walk 20 minutes/day before my feet were burning. My airplus inserts that I bought at the drugstore really helped. Thanks so much for providing us with a list of recommended shoes!

  11. My husband and I recently purchased Brooks Ghost Max white sneakers. They are running and walking shoes. We both love them for walking our little Havanese dog. Brent is starting to wear them all the time instead of his Skechers slip ins. I love them because they’re soft step but very supportive. Skechers are great around the house but are not supportive enough for walks. I’m new to Easy Spirit brand but now have sandals and sneakers in the brand and love them. I have severe osteoarthritis and peripheral neuropathy in my feet so I need brands with wide widths available, good arch support and a soft footbed. These all fit the bill.

  12. Great Topic Jennifer! Although I don’t suffer from planter fasciitis, I always want the most comfortable shoe possible and I can vouch for the Easy Spirit Traveltime Clog that you list; they’ve become my “house shoes. After seeing you in the white ones, I think I’ll buy a third pair for “outside shoes” since they’re so comfortable! There’s another Easy Spirit style called “Traciee” that is also very comfortable and fits similarly to the clog but has open toe front and side venting, so they’ve become my summer “house shoes” (don’t like going barefoot or wearing shoes inside the house that I’ve worn outside)! Also I like your review of shoe inserts and am always on the lookout for heel liners, gel and foam cushions, etc. to make shoes more custom fit! Thanks again for all your ideas!!

    1. Those clogs are sooo comfy. Perfect for a house shoe too.

  13. Timely as usual, Jennifer! This is such a thoughtful and detailed post. I’ve been struggling with plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, one fallen arch (!) and now now bone spurs where my PF and Achilles tendons attach, in addition to arthritis in my big toes and early bunions in both feet. To top it off, I have narrow feet.

    I bought full-length ProFoot inserts at my physiotherapist’s office years ago and found they were excellent for me. It might be time to replace them because they wear out over time. I might alternate between the PF and Achilles tendon half-sole versions ones for a while. For the one high arch and one low arch, I’ve compromised with medium support shoe inserts. I might be one of those people who need custom orthotics, due to all these issues simultaneously. I feel like I’m walking on marbles sometimes, and it throws me off kilter.

    Thank you for including the Naot sandal that comes in narrow widths. I’m wearing narrow Birkenstock Arizonas, which are more like a B width, but have two adjustable buckles. Saucony ProGrid sneakers are my main go-to. I see they have some pretty retro colors now. It’s important for me to have a dedicated full-length insole for my winter boots. Also, slippers of any kind don’t work for me at all, but aren’t Birks meant for socks? 😁

    1. I wear socks in my Birks around the house when it’s cold 😂

  14. I have the white Vionic Winny Oxford sneakers and love them!! For me, they took a little bit of wear to break in, but now they’re very comfortable and supportive shoes.

  15. These are all such great options for foot pain. I like that my Podiatrist said you really don’t need the expensive inserts, Dr Schools work great. I have great trail shoes but have trouble with sandals so these look like I could find a pair. Thanks for all the work!

  16. Super helpful post. Thanks for the info and suggestions.

    1. I’m glad it was helpful, Nancy

  17. I have those exact Taos sandals and so does my daughter. My feet love them! Plus I have at least four pair of Hoka and so does my husband. Wish Hoka made dress shoes. I find the Hoka sole wears out faster but can’t beat their comfort!

    1. I now have two pairs of Hokas and totally agree.

  18. Thank you for the recommendations! As a teacher, I spend a lot of time on my feet. I wish I’d known about these brands earlier in my career. I bought a pair of the Superfeet insoles but they seem so hard and rigid that I didn’t use them. But I love the Profoot half-sole inserts.

  19. Darla Hughes says:

    I’ve had plantar fasciitis twice. I lived in Birkenstocks and of all things cowboy boots. Not sure why the worked but they did. There were a couple of inserts that helped a little when I needed to wear a different type of shoe. Both times it took well over 6 months to get back to normal. I still wear Birkenstocks for my everyday shoes. They now have tennis shoes and boots as well as sandals and clogs.

    1. Cowboy boots are pretty inflexible. I wonder if that’s why it helped.

  20. Great shoe suggestions Jennifer. I’ve noticed a number of doctors and nurses wearing the Hoka brand. I had plantar fasciitis years ago when I ran marathons, and a home remedy for relieving the pain is to freeze a bottle of water and roll it under your foot. The combination of the cold and massage really helps.

    1. My husband did that too at the suggestion of his physical therapist.

  21. Ginger Finder says:

    Great suggestions! I can’t remember not having foot issues and had PF years ago in both feet! Experiencing a little flare up now. I’m a golfer – Ecco golf shoes are fantastic. I’ve used all sorts of orthotics at every price point including custom from foot doctor but a visit to The Good Feet store was a total game changer! Love Abeo, Vionic and Naot, too!

    1. Thanks for sharing. I love my Ecco’s an Naot are soooo comfy. I’ll have to try the others.

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