Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

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heel pain plantar fasciitis outdoor bold

Plantar Fasciitis Explained

We all tend to take the feet for granted, until that horrible day when the heel pain brings the fun to a screeching halt. For avid runners, this discovery can be truly devastating. Initially, you might think the solution is to immediately do some research and find the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis. And you’d be partially correct.

Technology and research have resulted in quantum leaps in the quality of plantar fasciitis running shoes. This is certainly good news for runners who are experiencing the often crippling foot pain of plantar fasciitis.

Abnormal Pronation and the best athletic shoes for heel pain

These days, there are many good running shoes for plantar fasciitis. A few, in particular, stand out. But it’s critically important to match your running shoe to your particular type of fasciitis. We’re going to quickly show you how to do exactly that. And then we’ll help you select the best running plantar fasciitis running shoes for you, personally.

First off, the heel pain and abnormal pronation go hand in hand – or foot in shoe in this case. Answering the question of which are the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis begins with understanding your unique foot pronation habits. This is a critical step toward the solution. The wrong shoe could make your condition worse, rather than better. Let’s take a closer look.

Pronation and foot stress

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Over-Pronation of the Feet

Overpronation

Over-pronation occurs when excessive weight is placed on the inside edges of the feet (see photo). When running, the over-pronator will push off primarily on the big toe and the second toe, come down on the outside of the heel and then roll inward.

If the inside edges of your shoes are showing excessive wear, then you fall into the category of the overpronator.

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Supination (under-pronation)

Supination (underpronation)

Under-pronation, which is also referred to as supination happens when your weight comes down on the outside edges of your feet. When running, the supinator will push off primarily on the smaller toes. Then the weight comes down on the outside of the heel with little or no pronation inward. Look for excessive wear on the outside edges to identify supination. (see photo)

Running Shoe Cushioning for Pronation and Supination

Modern running shoes feature three types of cushioning, usually referred to as Neutral, Pronation, and Supination. It’s extremely important that you buy a running shoe that matches your foot pronation habits, so as not to make your condition worse. So take a look at the bottom of a running shoe you’ve been using for a while to analyze your running habits.

Ankle_Pronation_Position outdoor bold
Ankle Pronation Position s
  • If the tread is fairly evenly worn, you’ll need a neutral cushion. The neutral cushion is also appropriate for very slight signs of extra wear on the inside edges.
  • If you are showing excessive wear on the inside edges you’ll want a shoe rated for overpronation.
  • If your shoe is showing excessive wear on the outside edges you’ll need a shoe for supination, also called underpronation.

NOTE: In the summaries below, you will see both women’s and men’s running shoes in the images and videos. Be aware that the described pronation correction is the same for both the men’s and women’s versions. The best running shoe for plantar fasciitis will be the same whether you’re searching for the best womens running shoes for plantar fasciitis or the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis for men. The important thing is to match your shoe to your pronation habits.


#1. Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis -2019

New Balance – For Normal & Moderate Overpronation

* New Balance 1080V9

The New Balance 1080V9 is an excellent shoe for runners with normal pronation or mild to moderate over-pronation. New Balance has listened to runners and made some big improvements to the 1080 with this version.

They’ve increased the mesh upper and added a firmly padded heel – resulting in more security. Keeping your foot comfortably locked in is a key element for mitigating heel pain.

They’ve also added more fresh foam in the midsole and increased the depth of the engravings on the lateral side. The added flexors on the bottom of the shoe solve the stiffness problems of the earlier versions of 1080. Now there is a comfortable flexibility from heal to toe. That’s going to give you a super-plush feeling in the long runs.

This running shoe has neutral cushioning. Consequently, runners report elimination of heel pain in mild to moderate cases of plantar fasciitis. The fit is secure and snug, providing a lot of support. This is an essential feature for those with plantar fasciitis. The fabric lining provides additional comfort for a better feel against the foot.

New Balance best running shoe for plantar fasciitis
New Balance 1080v9

Pronation: Neutral. Suitable for mild to moderate symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
For Foot Contact Type: Outside of the heel, with roll inward (pronates) to absorb shock and support body weight.
For Push Off Type: Even distribution from the front of the foot.
For Foot Type: Normal to moderately low arches
Avg. Weight:  Moderate | 9.2 women’s, 10.9 men’s
Heel Cushioning:  Firm
Flexibility:  High
Stability Features:  Highest
Review Summary: Average 4.5 out of 5 stars from 800 reviews


New Balance – For Moderate to Severe Overpronation

* New Balance 870V4

New Balance 870V4

The New Balance 870v4 is specifically designed for the moderate to severe over-pronator, providing the necessary enhanced cushioning and reinforced stability.

Additionally, it has the same comfort features as other New Balance models, with the breathable, slightly stretchable air mesh. The asymmetrical heel counter is lower laterally than medially which means excellent heel stabilization – another great improvement for the heel problems associated with plantar fasciitis.

The lightly padded tug and collar provide additional support and a soft fabric lining improves the comfort. The removable foam footbed allows you to experiment with mitigating symptoms of plantar fasciitis by replacing it with your own orthotic pad. My guess is you’ll find it perfect the way it is, though.

good running shoes for plantar fasciitis
Women’s New Balance 870V4
best womens running shoes
for plantar fasciitis

Pronation: Overpronation. Suitable for moderate to severe symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
For Foot Contact Type: Outside of heel, with roll inward (pronates) excessively, transferring weight to inner edge instead of ball of the foot.
For Push Off Type: Weight placed on the big toe and second toe, primarily.
For Foot Type: Low arches
Avg. Weight: Light | 7.7 oz. women’s, 9 oz. men’s
Heel Cushioning:  Firm
Flexibility:  Moderate
Stability Features:  Highest
Reviews: Average 4.4 out of 5 stars – 638 Reviews


#2. Asics – Best Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis -2019

Asics – For Neutral Pronation & Mild Supination

* Asics Nimbus 20 Running Shoe

The Asics Gel Nimbus 20 is built for runners with neutral or slight under-pronation. This running shoe features excellent bounce-back and a high level of responsiveness. The gel on both the forefoot and the heel absorb the shock very effectively. Reviewers frequently comment that running in this shoe is like “floating on air.”

The shoe includes a removable orthotic which allows you to use your own orthotic if you wish or experiment with more subtle adjustments in heel-cushion and arch support. This is an essential feature for fine-tuning the pain reduction of plantar fasciitis. Another benefit of the orthotic is a higher rebound and greatly improved moisture management.

This is also a very flexible shoe, more flexible than any other shoe we’ve tried out for the specific needs of runners with plantar fasciitis.

good running shoes for plantar fasciitis
Asics GEL Nimbus 20

Pronation – Neutral. Suitable for moderate symptoms of plantar fasciitis with slight supination.
For foot Contact Type: Slight outside of the heel, with slight roll inward (pronates) to absorb shock and support body weight.
For Push Off Type: Even distribution from the front of the foot.
For Foot Type: Normal or slightly high arches
Heel Cushioning: Firm
Flexibility: High
Stability Features: High
Avg. Weight: Moderate | 264 grams for women’s, 306 grams for men’s
Reviews – Average 4.5 out of 5 stars – 325 Reviews


Asics – For Overpronation

* Asics GEL-Kayano 26 Running Shoe

Asics GEL Kyano26

There have been some significant design changes in this version of the Kayano, which will be good news to runners experiencing heel pain from plantar fasciitis. These changes provide a softer, more comfortable running experience for the moderate to severe overpronator. 

The heel gel has been re-sculpted and now provides even better impact absorption. The contour of the sock liner has also been improved to enhance overall foot comfort.

These improvements, combined with the sturdier heel counter greatly reduces the inward rolling of the foot during ground contact, a common problem for those with plantar fasciitis.

The upper mesh has also been improved with a knit, providing additional support for the stress areas of the foot. OF course, the mesh provides a lighter weight shoe and good breathability.

asics best running shoe for heel pain
Asics Gel Kayano 26
Best running shoes plantar fasciitis

Pronation – Overpronation. Suitable for symptoms of plantar fasciitis with moderate to severe pronation.
For Foot Contact Type: Overpronation – The foot lands on outside of heel, then rolls inward (pronates), transferring weight to inner edge instead of ball of the foot.
For Push Off Type: Weight focused on the second toe and big toe
For Foot Type: Low arches
Heel Cushioning: Firm
Flexibility: High
Stability: High
Avg. Weight: Moderate | 11.1 oz Men’s – 9.2 oz Women’s
Reviews – Average 4.5 out of 5 stars – 525 Reviews


Asics – For Underpronation (Supination)

* Asics Dynaflyte 3

Asics Dynaflyte 3

This is a lightweight and flexible running shoe designed specifically for under-pronators. As with the other Asics models, the upper mesh provides a light-weight feel with no compromises on support.

This seamless upper is really the key to the remarkable comfort of this shoe. The slightly stretchable mesh accommodates various foot widths and will adjust even to wide feet without any toe compression.

The DynaFlyte 3 is not a finicky shoe and will tolerate a variety of running conditions. Keep in mind, though, even with their rugged diversity this is still a running shoe and doesn’t have the gripping power of a hiking shoe. The tread will slip on wet or muddy surfaces, and extremely rugged trail running is not recommended.

asics dynaflyte 3 best running shoe for supination
Asics Dynaflyte 3
Best Running Shoe for Supination

Pronation – Supination. Suitable for moderate symptoms of plantar fasciitis with supination.
Foot Contact: the outside edge of the heel, with roll forward onto the smaller toes.
For Push Off Type: Pressure is on the small toes (outside edge of the foot).
For Foot Type: Normal or slightly raised arches
For Foot Type: High arches
Heel Cushioning: Firm
Forefoot Cushioning: Moderate
Flexibility: High
Stability Features: High
Avg. Weight: Light | 9.6 oz
Reviews – Average 4.5 out of 5 stars – 325 Reviews


Summary

  • The New Balance 1080 v9 will be best for those with mild symptoms of plantar fasciitis and slight overpronation. This will be indicated by the most wear showing on the outside edges of your shoes. This will be the best selection for most runners, but if these aren’t the match for you we have you covered, so keep reading.
  • If you have more pronounced symptoms of heel pain and strong overpronation you will be better off with the New Balance 870V4. If this is the case your shoes will show excessive wear on the inside edges.
  • If you have mild supination you will be happy with the Asics Nimbus 20 Running Shoe. Supination causes the most wear on the outside edges of your running shoes.
  • For runners with more extreme cases of supination, the Asics Dynaflyte 3 will be the better choice. This will be indicated by your shoes being heavily worn on the outside edges.

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