Running and foot pain don’t mix well. And plantar fasciitis might be one of the more dreaded ailments to plague runners.
The pain from plantar fasciitis can defeat the purpose of running and make it an awful experience. Heel pain is one of the more common foot pains, and plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain.
Typically, people with plantar fasciitis should wear shoes with support, cushion, and stability. This is especially important for running shoes. If you’re struggling with plantar fasciitis, getting the right running shoes can help you get on track to start enjoying running again.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
In the simplest terms, according to the Mayo Clinic, plantar fasciitis is basically a torn or inflamed plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the tissue band that goes across the bottom of your foot connecting your heel bones to your toes. The tearing or inflammation is usually caused by repeated stress and tension on the fascia.
There’s not one clear-cut reason for why the fascia tears. It can happen from daily wear and tear over several years. Or you might have a genetic predisposition.
But there are some risk factors involved, and, unfortunately, running is one of those risk factors. Some others are age, foot mechanics, obesity, or repeatedly standing on your feet for long periods of time. Basically, plantar fasciitis can be caused by anything that adds undue stress to your feet.
Letting your plantar fasciitis go unchecked can result in chronic heel pain that will eventually affect every aspect of your life. There is no clear cure for plantar fasciitis, but there are different treatments you can try. Some of them include physical therapy, stretches, steroid injections, and shoe inserts. These all help you manage the pain.
As always, it’s best to consult with a doctor or physical therapist to establish the best treatment plan for you.
Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
One way you can help manage your plantar fasciitis pain is through the shoes you wear. This is especially important for running shoes. A great place to start is with a trip to your local specialty running store.
Many specialty run shops have sales associates trained to help you to find the right type of running shoes for you. My go-to is Runner’s Corner in Orem, Utah. They have been in operation since the early ’90s and have helped tons of runners — including me — find the right running shoe.
I called and spoke with a sales associate at Runner’s Corner to ask him what shoes he would recommend for runners with plantar fasciitis. Following his recommendations up with some additional research, I landed on these five shoes as the best starting point for runners with plantar fasciitis.
It’s worth noting that there’s no perfect shoe that will help every single runner with plantar fasciitis. While these shoes have helped many runners with plantar fasciitis, they may not work for everyone. When picking out your next pair of running shoes, remember to make sure they work for you.
The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 22 is a breathable and comfortable shoe. It has a removable EVA sock liner that cushions your foot while providing support. And the shoe reduces the force of shock during impact and toe-off phases with its rearfoot and forefoot GEL technology cushioning system.
The GEL-Nimbus 22 helps with under-pronation and neutral pronation. The TRUSSTIC technology of the arch does triple duty: it provides stability, reduces weight, and helps extend the life of the shoe. Overall, the GEL-Nimbus 22 provides maximum comfort and neutral support while you’re running.
Drop: 10 mm (men’s); 13 mm (women’s)
Weight: 10.9 oz. (men’s); 9 oz. (women’s)
The Brooks Ghost 13 running shoes are great for runners with plantar fasciitis who enjoy road running. The BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT work together to provide cushion without feeling too bulky. The shoe fits well and moves with you because of the engineered mesh upper and 3D Fit Print technology.
The shoe has a Segmented Crash Pad, which is basically a type of shock-absorber for your foot. This Crash Pad cushions each step for smooth transitions. The support and stability of the Brooks Ghost 13 can help you manage the pain of plantar fasciitis while you run.
Drop: 12 mm
Weight: 10.1 oz. (men’s); 8.8 oz. (women’s)
The Brooks Glycerin running shoe is good for managing plantar fasciitis. It has an OrthoLite sock liner that offers plush comfort. And the DNA LOFT cushioning of the rubber outsole provides comfort without losing durability.
The cushioning also helps make every stride smooth and soft. The shoes are designed to fit well and move with your foot because of the engineered mesh upper and 3D Fit Print technology. The Brooks Glycerin is a good shoe for both dirt road and pavement running.
Drop: 10 mm
Weight: 10.2 oz. (men’s); 9 oz. (women’s)
The HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 running shoe delivers a balanced and consistent ride. It’s one of HOKA’s most cushioned shoes. It features Meta-Rocker technology that helps support your natural gait and increase your running efficiency. While the shoe may look bulky and heavy, it’s actually relatively lightweight. One additional bonus of this shoe is that it’s 100% vegan.
This shoe is designed for optimal comfort and breathability. The full EVA foam midsole helps make the Bondi 7 more comfortable and helps absorb the shock of the surface you’re running on. The Lycra comfort frame heel section provides added support and comfort. The rubber outsole was redesigned to help reduce the shoe’s overall weight.
Drop: 4 mm
Weight: 10.7 oz. (men’s); 8.9 oz. (women’s)
If you have plantar fasciitis but still want to go trail running, the Salomon X-Mission is a great pair of trail running shoes with good support. They have good traction because of the Contagrip outsole and work well on rough and smooth surfaces.
The midsole is made from high-performance EVA foam for added comfort and improved shock absorption. The upper part of the shoe has SensiFit technology that provides a secure fit. Because of the snug fit and comfortable midsole, these shoes are a good option if you have plantar fasciitis but love to hit the trails.
Drop: 10 mm
Weight: 10.6 oz. (men’s); 8.8 oz. (women’s)