23 Best Shoes for Heel Pain Suffers 2021: Athletic, Casual, Dress, & Work Options - Shoe Reports (2023)

Millions of people suffer from heel and foot pain and often must wear an orthotic shoe insert or specialized orthopedic shoes to help provide proper foot support and alignment in addition to managing their pain. Sometimes foot pain is a long-term condition requiring long-term adjustments in footwear. Many foot pain sufferers assume finding comfortable, supportive shoes will be difficult and expensive. Many also assume that these shoes will be clunky, heavy and downright unattractive. Fortunately, that is no longer the case.

The shoe industry has come a long way in listening to customer feedback and has made strides in addressing customers’ desire to wear supportive, comfortable shoes that are also fashionable, trendy and affordable. As a result, new orthotic shoe companies have emerged in recent years to provide high quality, fashionable and affordable products. These new shoe companies have collaborated closely with medical doctors and engineers to design high quality footwear that incorporates the latest innovative orthic technology inside their footwear, while remaining aesthetically appealing and trendy. Also, longstanding shoe companies have created their own orthotic shoe lines in order to keep up and remain competitive and relevant within the market.

This article will serve as your shoe shopping guide that showcases top-rated shoe companies offering affordable, fashionable and supportive orthotic footwear for both women and men. You will also find shoe reviews, where-to-shop links, and shoe shopping do’s and don’ts so that you, the shopper, can make informed purchasing decisions and have a much more enjoyable shopping experience. But first, let’s explore the common causes of heel pain.

Top Shoes for Heel Pain Suffers Comparison Chart

ProductStyle/TypeUpperPriceWhere to Buy?
Midi Slip-on Women’s Comfort SneakerSlip-onVelvet$$Check Price On Amazon
Baldwin Lace-up SneakerLace-upLeather$$$Check Price On Amazon
Naot Verbena SandalSandal$$$Check Price On Amazon
Naot Julius SandalSandal$$$Check Price On Amazon
Birkenstock London Slip-on (Men & Women)Slip-onOiled leather$$$Check Price On Amazon
Skecher’s GoWalk Evolution Ultra-InteractSlip-onMesh Fabric$Check Price On Amazon
Skecher’s Elite Flex-WasickSlip-onMesh Fabric$Check Price On Amazon
Clarks’s Women’s Cloudsteppers TM Sillian Paz FlatsSlip-onTextile$Check Price On Amazon
Clarks’s Cotrell StepSlip-onLeather$Check Price On Amazon
Orthofeet Aviva Bio-heel High Heeled ShoeHeeled$$$Check Price On Amazon
Orthofeet Avery Island OxfordLace-up$$$Check Price On Amazon
FitFlop’s Deco Pearlised Patent Toe-ThongSandalPU/Textile-Lined$$Check Price On Amazon
FitFlop’s Bando Lizard Print Leather SlidesSandalLeather$$Check Price On Amazon
Carrera Fitness Plantar Fasciitis ShoeSneakerMesh$$$Check Price On Amazon
Quantum Fitness Walking Plantar Fasciitis ShoeSneakerMesh$$$Check Price On Amazon
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19Running ShoeMesh$$Check Price On Amazon
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18Running ShoeMesh$Check Price On Amazon
Mizuno Wave Rider 21Running ShoeMesh$$Check Price On Amazon
Mizuno Wave Rider 22Running ShoeMesh$$$Check Price On Amazon
Saucony Women's Hurricane ISO 4Running ShoeMesh$$Check Price On Amazon
Saucony Men's Hurricane ISO 4Running ShoeMesh$$Check Price On Amazon
New Balance Women's 1080Running ShoeMesh $$Check Price On Amazon
New Balance Men's 1080Running ShoeMesh $$Check Price On Amazon

Shoes for Heel Pain Suffers Buying Guide

Heel Pain: Common Causes

According to the Mayo Clinic, the most common heel pain is located either behind the heel, or directly under it. Heel pain under the heel is plantar fasciitis and is caused by the inflammation of the tendon running under the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes. Typically, this makes walking painful, particularly upon first rising in the morning. Additionally, long periods of standing or sitting then suddenly standing, will also aggravate the fasciae resulting in heel pain.

Heel pain located behind the heel is most often caused by Achilles tendinitis which is defined as an overuse injury caused by repetitive or intense strain on the Achilles tendon which connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. Achilles tendinitis appears to be more common among runners or athletic people who engage in sports or rigorous activity. There are also many other causes for heel pain, however these two conditions are the most common causes of heel pain and can make wearing shoes particularly uncomfortable or down right painful.

Shoe Buying: Pro Tips

Heel pain suffers should pay special attention to the types of shoes they purchase and must consider a variety of factors to ensure best fit and maximum comfort. Shoes with supported heel areas, cushioned soles, great arch support and flexibility are top features to consider when selecting the right shoe for you. Poorly fitting shoes can aggravate heel pain, and other conditions such as hammertoes, bunions, and flat feet. Below are some pro tip do’s and don’ts to consider when shopping for the best shoe for you.


  • Correct fit. Although you may already know your regular shoe size, it is good practice to measure both of feet as one may be slightly bigger than the other – differences could be in length as well as width, particularly if swelling is present. Knowing your exact measurements will assist you with making informed purchasing decisions, especially when shopping online, in order to select the best shoe for you. Most sites provide shoe dimensions and detailed product descriptions to assist with your selection.
  • Arch Support. Good arch support in a shoe assists with pain relief as it provides appropriate support to unsupported areas of the arch and assists with reducing pronation issues. More specifically, arch support reduces tension in the fascia and is considered the most important feature of a shoe.
  • Supportive Heel Areas. Deep heel cups will help provide you with the right fit and stabilization for your foot. A deep heel cup should also be cushioned to protect the heel bone and help control pronation and supination.
  • Adequate cushioning of the soles and heels are other important features to consider when shopping for shoes. An excellent cushion system within a shoe helps absorb impact and shock with every step and heel strike.
  • Another important feature to consider is the overall flexibility of the shoe. Many may think that a shoe with maximum flexibility is best as the shoe will be less likely to aggravate sore or tender spots on your foot. However, a good shoe should bend gradually and have some resistance as this resistance will properly protect the foot.


  • Stiletto Heels or Ultra-High Heels. I know, we get it. It’s going to be difficult to part with those beautiful and stylish stilettos. But stiletto heels and ultra-high heels are some of the worst shoes to wear if you suffer from plantar fasciitis and other heel and foot pain. Wearers also place themselves at risk for developing foot pain, if they have not so already. Ultra-high heels place the foot into unnatural positions and angles that destabilize the foot by raising the arch of the foot by placing an intense amount of strain on the plantar fascia tendon itself. Sprained ankles, an ankle break or other issues associated with wearing stilettos or ultra-high heels, are a few more reasons to bypass these shoes.
  • Flimsy Flats. Ballet flats are a trendy wardrobe staple that women wear everywhere from the office to a casual outing. Heel pain suffers, however, may want to rethink the ballet flats. Thin, flat shoes tend to offer very little support for your arch meaning that the plantar fascia tendon is not able to properly distribute your body weight. Without adequate arch support, arches are further strained and flattened likely due to over pronation.
  • Flip Flops. Although super cute and fun during the summer time, flip flops are among the top aggravators of heel pain and plantar fasciitis. Flip flops are very flat with skinny soles that do very little to absorb shock and impact when walking. Flip flops offer zero arch support towards supporting your body weight or the strain of physical activity. Often, there is little to no heel cushion which can result in sudden aggravation of heel pain or strain the plantar fascia or other muscles and ligaments in the foot.
  • Bare Feet. Yes, walking around sans shoes may feel oh so good and liberating, but it is not the best option for suffers of heel pain. Walking bare footed can significantly impact your arches and easily aggravate your plantar fasciitis. Without any shoe protection, the foot is left completely exposed to absorb the full impact of physical activity.
  • Ultra-Flexible Shoes. If you can fully roll up or twist your shoe, this is not the shoe for you. These ultra-flexible features are typically offered in athletic shoes, flats, and loafers to offer the wearer a “barely there” experience. However, people with heel pain will require a shoe with less flexibility and more stability. Ideally, a shoe will allow the toes to bend no more than 90 degrees. The heel box should remain stable and unmoving. On the flip side, it is not recommended to wear a shoe with minimal flexibility in the toe box. This is a typical characteristic in work boots which tend to be too stiff preventing the foot from moving properly. What typically occurs inside a stiff toe box is that the toes tend to strain and clench when walking which places extra pressure on the plantar fascia tendon triggering heel pain.
  • Old Shoes. Yup, I get it. You likely have had those shoes forever and I’m sure they are super comfy too. But for some odd reason, you just can’t seem to part with them, right? If you are a suffer of heel and foot pain, you may unfortunately need to consider parting with those favorite old shoes. Old, worn shoes can aggravate heel pain due to worn out soles and lacking arch support. Old, worn out shoes can inadvertently create gait issues, fallen arches, and reduce impact distribution from physical activity, which all contribute to heel pain agitation. So, make plans to part ways with those old shoes.
  • New Shoes. But, they’re new? Yes, new shoes can aggravate heel pain and be somewhat uncomfortable to wear at first. New shoes, especially leather shoes, tend to be stiff and tight and can place unnecessary pressure on the heel bone leading to heel rubbing, or cause additional pain and discomfort impacting gait. A trick for breaking in new shoes without subjecting your feet to further foot pain is to fill two zip lock-type bags with water and place inside the shoes. Then place the shoes inside the freezer overnight. Theoretically, the bags of water will expand as the water freezes to help stretch the shoe.

Question: So What Shoes Can I Wear?

Don’t fret. The long list of don’ts can seem rather limiting and a down right buzz kill to the joy of shoe shopping. Fortunately, orthotic shoes are no longer unattractive and clunky. Women can easily find cute and trendy shoes that won’t aggravate heel pain or ruin an outfit too. Over the years orthotic shoes have evolved and come a long way to incorporate fun and trendy styles for you fashionistas out there. Also for you athletic types, innovative orthotic technology has been incorporated into several athletic shoe brands to include main stream brands such as Nike and Under Armor. There are lots of options for fun and affordable footwear that provide you with support and comfort for your heel pain. Yes, you may have to put away the stilettos or ultra-high heels and may need to update your ballet flats or flip flops collection; however, all is not lost. There are appropriate versions for most footwear to incorporate into your shoe collection and compliment your outfit.

Below are the most popular shoe brands with built in orthotic technology that provide top quality shoes for maximum comfort as well as offer fun and stylish options for both women and men.

For Women Especially: Good Advice

When it comes to women’s shoes, there is an array of options, styles and features to choose from – heeled shoes, flat shoes, athletic shoes, sandals, flip flops, slippers, boots, winter boots and on and on. Given the varying features and wide selection of women’s footwear, women should be especially careful when shopping for shoes.

Podiatrists recommend the best shoe for women is a walking shoe with laces, a composition sole, a wider heel with a rigid and padded heel counter, with no more than three-quarters of an inch in height. High-heeled shoes either create or exacerbate foot problems. However, there are times when a heel will improve or dress up an outfit. If that’s the case, a heel of one inch or lower is recommended. Also, select a heeled shoe with a wide toe box – either rounded or squared. Limiting the amount of time wearing a heeled shoe is strongly advised.

Best Shoes for Heel Pain SuffersReviews

Top Rated Trendy Shoe Brands: Both Women and Men


It’s no surprise when researching top quality orthotic shoes that Vionic ranks on top. Vionic works closely with medical specialists and engineers to incorporate the latest orthotic technology into all their shoes creating a product that restores natural foot alignment while remaining stylish and chic. Vionic designs shoes for both women and men offering a variety of footwear from heeled shoes, wedges, loafers and slip-ons, casual shoes, athletic shoes, boots and booties, and lounging slippers. Vionic also has the distinct pleasure of offering theGemma Slipper– an ultra-soft, closed toed slipper, with a cushioned, rubber heel and sole – that was recognized amongst Oprah’s Favorite Things for 2018. Vionic shoes are available through the official Vionic website, third party shoe vendors, Amazon, and select department stores.

1. Midi Slip-on Women’s Comfort Sneaker

The Vionic Midi Slip-on has a fuss-free design and is perforated for breathability and texture. It is a classic little slip-on sneaker with a cushioned footbed and grippy sole. This shoe is available in different colors.


  • True to size and fit snuggly
  • Cute and stylish
  • Removable cushioned insole with arch support


  • Tends to stretch over time

2.Baldwin Lace-up Sneaker

The Vionic Baldwin lace-up is a great casual option for the weekend. It a polished leather sneaker with a low profile and waxed laces. This shoe is available in different colors.


  • Orthaheel Technology for superior orthotic support
  • Removable leather-covered footbed
  • Trendy and stylish


  • Hard to replace shoelace if they break


Naot is an Israeli shoe company who touts themselves as an “international success story” where the company began as a one room workshop in 1942 founded by members of the Kibbutz Naot Mordechai who produced simple work shoes and sandals. Naot became an international shoe business and is now Israel’s leading manufacturer and exporter of shoes. Naot manufactures a large variety of footwear with a unique anatomical footbed and a negative footprint – resembling the footprint left when walking in sand. Naot shoes are flexible, soft, shock absorbent, with supportive heels. Their footbeds are made of natural cork and latex. The uppers are made of high-quality Italian leathers. Naot offers a wide variety of footwear for both women and men, but do not offer athletic footwear. Naot can be purchased directly through the Naot website, other shoe websites likely at a discounted price, Amazon, as well as department stores and retailers.

3.Naot Verbena Sandal

The Verbena is a cool, trendy, transitional sandal with a full padded upper and a sturdy ankle strap. It has a removable footbed made of suede that soothes and comforts your foot. The Verbena Sandal is available in a variety of colors.


  • Very comfortable and supportive
  • Trendy and appealing
  • Removable sole


  • Available in medium width only

4.Naot Julius Sandal

The Julius is a fisherman inspired sandal with openings that allow your foot to breath. It has a heel cup for support and a removable suede footbed for maximum comfort.


  • Great heel support
  • Thick-cushioned, removable sole
  • Grippy traction


  • Available in medium width only


Birkenstock is a German shoe company who market their products globally with stores located in over 90 countries. Birkenstock is famous for their unique contoured footbed that is at the heart of all their sandals, shoes, boots and clogs. Birkenstock invented the contoured footbed in the 1930s for anatomically shaped insoles with incredible support. Cork is the most recognizable characteristic of their footbed and other materials include latex and jute. These materials provide the shoes with ultimate support and flexibility. Birkenstocks offer sandals, shoes, boots and clogs for women, men and children. Taking it a step further, they offer a line for professional fields such as medical and nursing, chef and kitchen, and gardening. Birkenstocks can be purchased directly through their own website, other shoe websites likely at discounted prices, Amazon, as well as department stores and retailers.

5.Birkenstock London Slip-on (Men & Women)

The London is a close-toed, slip-on shoe that retains the Birkenstock aesthetic. It has simple, clean lines with an adjustable buckled strap. Available in two colors and widths.


  • Contoured cork footbed conforms to your foot
  • Pronounced arch support
  • Deep heel cup and roomy toe box


  • Avoid extreme heat


Skechers is a casual shoe brand specializing in casual footwear catering to everyone – women, men and children. Their shoes are often casual, light weight, trendy, comfortable and affordable. Skechers offer orthotic products under their GoWalk Lite and GoSTEP Lite lines as well as their Relaxed Fit line. These lines include casual sneakers and walking shoes for both women and men. Many Skechers products do contain orthotic features with cushioned and flexible soles, uppers made from soft materials, and offer memory foam insoles. Skechers are widely available in their own stores, their official website, third party online vendors, Amazon, or in department stores.

6.Skecher’s GoWalk Evolution Ultra-Interact

Great walking shoe featuring lightweight, ULTRA GO technology. This slip-on is made of a soft woven mesh for comfort and breathability.


  • Lightweight and good arch support
  • Absorbs shock
  • Comfortable and durable
  • Available in wide


  • Potentially runs narrow

7.Skecher’s Elite Flex-Wasick

A comfortable slip-on walking shoe with a soft, mesh upper and a thick heel for comfort and shock absorption.


  • Lightweight and good arch support
  • Absorbs shock
  • Comfortable and durable
  • Available in wide


  • Potentially runs narrow


Clarks shoe brand offers an assortment of shoes for women, men and children with a variety of orthotic technologies incorporated into their products. Clarks offer three specific technologies for cushioning and support. The description for the Clarks Cushion Plus suggests this is likely their orthotics line that offers anatomically targeted, dual density cushioning intended to reduce strain on the ball of the foot as well as support the foot’s natural gait to provide pain relief and comfort. The Max Spring feature contains responsive underfoot gel cushion for shock absorption and flexibility for natural foot movement. The Air Spring feature is a trademarked Ortholite high performance footbed designed to provide sustaining cushioning, breathability and moisture wicking technology. Clarks are widely available in their own stores, their official website, third party online vendors, Amazon, or in department stores.

8.Clarks’s Women’s Cloudsteppers TM Sillian Paz Flats

Sleek and supportive slip-on shoe with rounded toe box and Clarks’s trademarked built-in orthotic technology offering maximum comfort. This slip-on is available in a variety of colors.


  • Very comfortable and lightweight
  • Good arch support
  • Great heel comfort


  • Can discolor and fade

9.Clarks’s Cotrell Step

A classic and sleek slip-on shoe for the office or casual wear. This is an oiled leather shoe with Clark’s trademarked built-in orthotic technology offering comfortable heel cushion and support.


  • Comfortable and true to fit
  • Great heel comfort
  • Good quality


  • Shoe can run big


OrthoFeet is a specialized orthotic shoe brand who offers comfortable and functional shoes, orthotic insoles and socks for both women and men. OrthoFeet collaborates with biomedical engineers to create innovative and specialized shoe technology combining athletic footwear technology and therapeutic features to build innovative foot products geared towards alleviating heel and foot pain. OrthoFeet has created an innovative bioheel – a high heel that allows wearers to customize the support under the arch and adjust the space inside the shoe to help provide the best fit. OrthoFeet offers an assortment footwear products such as comfortable shoes, therapeutic shoes, arthritic shoes, orthotics shoes, foot orthotics, removable insoles, seam-free socks, non-binding and non-constrictive socks. OrthoFeet products are available online through their official website, online third party vendors, and Amazon.

10.Orthofeet Aviva Bio-heel High Heeled Shoe

Black patent leather Mary Jane with a two-inch bio-heel with patented superior orthotic technology. Non-binding design offers high quality comfort and support for plantar fasciitis sufferers.


  • Low heel for plantar fasciitis suffers
  • Cute, trendy dress shoe
  • Superior orthotic technology for arch and heel support


  • None

11.Orthofeet Avery Island Oxford

This oxford lace-up is a comfortable dress shoe specifically for plantar fasciitis suffers. It is made of black leather with superior orthotic built-in technology offering superior comfort and support.


  • Superior orthotic technology and arch support
  • Removable orthotic insoles
  • Adjustable Fit


  • Not very trendy


FitFlop started 11 years ago where they incorporated precision ergonomics into a sporty looking, yet supportive, flip flop sandal-type shoe. FitFlop created their trademarked triple-density Microwobbleboard midsole and incorporated into their flip flop sandal as well as other shoe products such as their boots, clogs, sneakers, ballet flats and sandals. FitFlop shoes are all created with technology to support your body’s biomechanics helping to improve posture, body alignment and pressure diffusion. FitFlops are a great alternative to those of you missing your summer sandals and flip flops. All is not lost after all and you can still sport fun and cute summer shoes while supporting your achy feet. FitFlops are widely available through the FitFlop official website, online third party vendors, Amazon, department stores and other shoe retailers.

12.FitFlop’s Deco Pearlised Patent Toe-Thong

Decorate your feet with these beautiful toe-thongs. Shoes are made of glossy patent leather, sparkling beads and patented Microwobbleboard midsoles offering comfort and arch support. Other styles available.


  • Patented supercushioned, pressure-diffusing Microwobbleboard midsoles
  • Built-in arch contour
  • Slip-resistant rubber outsole


  • Thong material could be softer

13.FitFlop’s Bando Lizard Print Leather Slides

Trendy, chunky soled slip-on perfect for relaxing in the sun. The midsoles are built with the patented Microwobbleboard technology offering comfort and arch support.


  • Patented supercushioned, pressure-diffusing Microwobbleboard midsoles
  • Built-in arch contour
  • Slip-resistant rubber outsole


  • May run slightly narrow

Top Rated Athletic Shoe Brands: Both Women and Men


Kuru shoes are the top-rated athletic shoe for plantar fasciitis sufferers who enjoy an active lifestyle. Kuru incorporates patented medical-grade orthotic technology, into their footwear. Kuru athletic shoes offer a natural, anatomical shape offering more room for your toes allowing them to spread out comfortably. Their shoes have a rockered sole that allows the foot to naturally roll underneath as you walk as well as reduce impact to both your skeletal structure and plantar fascia tendon. Kuru has taken versatile styling into account and have created products for both women and men that are stylish and appealing. Kuru foot products can be purchased online only via the Kuru website only.

14.Carrera Fitness Plantar Fasciitis Shoe

This is a light weight fitness shoe rates among the most comfortable shoes offering supportive heel cushion and incorporates the KURUSOLE arch support for plantar fasciitis sufferers. The shoe incorporates moisture wicking materials for breathability and temperature control.


  • Very comfortable for long periods of standing and walking
  • Helps ease heel and foot pain
  • Extra supportive


  • Requires breaking in

15.Quantum Fitness Walking Plantar Fasciitis Shoe

This shoe rates among the most comfortable shoes for plantar fasciitis sufferers offering supportive heel cushion and incorporates the KURUSOLE technology for superior arch support. These shoes are great for both walking and running and are made with breathable, moisture wicking material.


  • Very comfortable and supportive
  • High quality arch and heel support
  • Helps ease heel and foot pain


  • Requires breaking in


Brooks shoes are another top option for an athletic shoe with orthotic support. Brooks shoes specialize in running footwear that incorporates the latest high-tech features in all their product. Brooks caters to a wide client base from serious distance runners to casual fitness enthusiasts. Brooks understands runners require a light-weight, well-cushioned, yet sturdy running shoe that can handle a beating on the road. People suffering from heel and foot pain, including plantar fasciitis, are all too familiar with how the road can beat up their body in addition to their feet. Brooks uses innovative technology in heel construction which aligns force through the center of the ankle to help reduce internal stress on the body and skeletal structure. Other points to consider are arch support, level of drop from heel to toe, shoe stability and breathability. Brooks are widely available in local Brooks retail stores, their official website, third party online vendors, Amazon, department stores and running specialty stores.

16.Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19

This is a neutral shoe that incorporates the GuideRails support system with soft cushioning and smooth heel-to-toe transitions. Other incorporated technology assists with improving responsiveness and durability.


  • True to fit and roomy toe box
  • Streamlined and supportive
  • Comfortable heel box


  • Inconsistent fits with annual model updates, so try on other models to find best fit

17.Brooks Adrenaline GTS 18

The men’s Adrenaline GTS running shoe is a neutral shoe with the GuideRails support system with soft cushioning and smooth heel-to-toe transitions. Other technology assists with improving responsiveness and durability.


  • Great for stability
  • True to fit
  • Springy and lightweight


  • Inconsistent fits with annual model updates


Mizuno running shoes have a long and respected history in the world of running. Dating back to the 1970s, Mizuno has been studying and refining their shoe technology and incorporating the best science and orthotics into their shoe construct. Their aim is to provide runners with the best product possible giving runners top notch support and comfort for every run. Mizuno understands the wear and tear a runner’s body endures and knows that a good quality running shoe will minimize injury. Mizuno incorporates a variety of features required to alleviate foot pain, to include plantar fasciitis — great shock absorption, firm midsole, sturdy heel counters, and a flexible toe box. Mizunos are available via the Mizuno official website, third party online vendors, Amazon, department stores or specialty running stores.

18.Mizuno Wave Rider 21

This is a light weight neutral running shoe redesigned for softer cushioning and enhanced responsive feel. The Wave sets a high bar for running shoes. The SmoothRide features creates a smooth heel-to-toe transition. Shoe contains a durable midsole for shock attenuation.


  • Very supportive and assists ankle alignment
  • Lots of cushion without a thick sole
  • Assists with pronation issues


  • Tends to run narrow
  • Not true to colors advertised online

19.Mizuno Wave Rider 22

This is a light weight neutral running shoe redesigned for softer cushioning and enhanced responsive feel. The Wave sets a high bar for running shoes. The SmoothRide features creates a smooth heel-to-toe transition. Shoe contains a durable midsole for shock attenuation.


  • Great arch support and ankle alignment
  • Available in wide fit
  • Great cushioning


  • Possible wearing after 100 miles


The Saucony shoe brand is serious about running and have a long-standing reputation among runners. Saucony noticed an uptick in running dating back to the 1980s. They initially catered to serious distance runners but have evolved to cater to a wider customer base that includes the casual, recreational runner. Saucony has extensively studied the science of running and understands the requirements to include in their products to reduce shock and internal skeletal stress to their customers. Saucony incorporates EVERUN cushion technology to help runners improve their running and provide energy boosts to help runners run better and longer. Saucony is ranked among the leading running shoe brands for plantar fasciitis sufferers and have received high customer satisfaction ratings. Plantar fasciitis sufferers have turned to Saucony shoes, specifically the Hurricane model, to run the Ironman race – a race that only the serious runners and athletes attempt to complete. Saucony shoes are widely available via the Saucony official website, third party online vendors, Amazon, department stores and specialty running stores.

20. Women’sHurricane ISO 4

This is a top-rated running shoe for stability that combines both durability and cushioning for people with mild to severe pronation. This contains the EVERUN technology in its midsole and topsole. This shoe is flexible and will move with your foot without sacrificing stability.


  • Great support and comfort
  • Roomy toe box
  • Lace up tightly to create a “bound” feeling


  • Not enough arch support depending on foot issue

21. Men’sHurricane ISO 4

This is a top-rated running shoe for stability that combines both durability and cushioning for people with mild to severe pronation. This contains the EVERUN technology in its midsole and topsole. This shoe is flexible and will move with your foot without sacrificing stability.


  • Great support and comfort
  • Minimal break-in time
  • Great heel support and cushioning


  • Inconsistent shoe sizing between model updates

New Balance

The New Balance shoe company has been in existence since 1906 where it initially began as an arch support company. New Balance has since evolved into a global company marketing high quality athletic shoes, supports and apparel around the world. New Balance incorporates the latest orthotic technology into their shoes offering top quality arch support and heel cushion. New Balance is also a top choice among runners suffering from heel and foot pain, to include plantar fasciitis. New Balance shoes and products are widely available via the official New Balance website, third party online vendors, Amazon, department stores and specialty running stores.

22. Women’sNew Balance 1080

Attractive running shoe made for performance and plantar fasciitis relief. Contains an asymmetrical heel counter for stability, the N2 heel cushioning for shock absorption, removable insole, and the FantomFit quarter for arch support.


  • Supportive and comfortable
  • Assists with pronation
  • Great heel cushion and stabilization


  • Slightly clunky appearance

23.Men’sNew Balance 1080

Attractive running shoe made for performance and plantar fasciitis relief. Contains an asymmetrical heel counter for stability, the N2 heel cushioning for shock absorption, removable insole, and the FantomFit quarter for arch support.


  • Very roomy
  • Pronation support
  • Great cushion and arch support


  • Not as soft
  • Sizing variations

ConclusionAnd Final Shoes for Heel Pain Suffers Recommendations

Regardless of which shoe you select, the most important factor is the fit. It’s all about the fit. If a shoe does not fit well, it will only lead to one thing – painful misery. Remember, regardless of the occasion or type of shoe you’re shopping for, the basic features to consider are the following:

  • Good arch support
  • Deep heel pocket
  • Sturdy heel counters
  • Thick heel cushion
  • Wide, flexible (yet not too flexible) toe box

Keep this list in mind and you should have no problem shopping for the best shoe for you. Fortunately, the shoe industry has made strides in listening to customer requests and delivering great fitting, supportive shoes that are trendy, fun and comfy all in one.

For you athletes out there, heel pain can be a show stopper to any athletic routine. But, with all the latest innovative advancements in athletic shoes and gear, athletes have a wide selection of shoes and features to choose from. The athletics industry has really studied the science of biomechanics and have incorporated their research into new orthotic shoe technology to offer athletes the best possible shoe experience available. Athletic shoes today do much more to reduce shock and inner skeletal stress on the body and help support sufferers of heel and foot pain, to include plantar fasciitis. So, with the right athletic shoe and orthotics, one can continue with their workout routines and physical activities without skipping a beat.

Few tips to keep in mind when selecting athletic shoes:

  • Sole Stability. Take the shoe and try to bend it. The shoe should only bend at the toe box, and only about 90 degrees. If the shoe bends in half, or bends in the middle, then the shoe is too flexible.
  • Torsional Stability. Take the shoe and hold it by the heel in one hand and by the toe box in the other and try to twist the shoe. The shoe should not easily twist. If it does, then it is not supportive enough.
  • Heel Counter and Cup Stability. Take the shoe and try to push the heel counter down. It should not move.

Overall, there is a shoe for you, for every occasion in your life, and many shoe brands to shop from. Orthotic shoes are now more affordable than ever before. For you bargain shoppers out there, you may want to consider shopping from third party shoe venders such as Zappos or Amazon to find great discounts and deals. Although, bear in mind there are benefits to shopping directly from the official shoe sites. Official shoe sites typically provide you with as free shoe repairs and tend to have easier return policies. Important point to consider in case your shoe prematurely wears out or is defective in some way.

Regardless where you choose to shop, don’t let heel and foot pain slow you down or stop you from enjoying your life. There’s lots of shoes out there to suit your needs. Happy shopping!

Frequently Asked Questions AboutShoes for Heel Pain Suffers

  • Why is built-in orthotic technology important?

Over pronation is a contributing factor in heel pain and research has consistently shown that the hard ground we walk on causes our feet to excessively pronate and collapse. Over pronation pushes the foot inward flattening the arch. Orthotics help align the foot placing it in a neutral position and realigns the foot from the ground up improving posture, alleviating knee pain and back pain. Vionic Shoes is a noted top-quality shoe brand who incorporates ortha-heel technology in all their footwear giving back your natural foot print.

  • Will minimalist shoes solve foot, ankle and calf pain?

No, not right away. Heel pain suffers who have been able to make the transition from the thick, cushioned shoes to thin, minimalist shoes were able to do so only after doing other strength work and physical therapy on areas contributing to over pronation and heel pain, such as weakened hip and back muscles and tight calf muscles.

  • What is a recommended athletic shoe for plantar fasciitis and heel pain suffers?

The Kuru Quantum mesh shoes is a great shoe for plantar fasciitis and heel pain suffers who are athletic and looking for a shoe with a sporty and trendy look. The Kuru Quantum is a fitness shoe best suited for walking, the gym or other activities. The Kuru Quantum shoe technology offers a cushioned heel box and lots of support in the mid-sole to help absorb shock. The shoe has a breathable mesh upper, a wide toe box, and appropriate shoe flexibility providing the optimum support for an athletic life style. Customers have described Kuru shoes as true to size, light weight, breathable with a good sole. Kuru has excellent customer service and easy return policy in the event the product doesn’t fit correctly or other issues are experienced. The Kuru Quantum comes in a variety of styles and widths and have a trendy athletic appeal offering both style and comfort.

  • What are some other shoe brands that offer trendy and stylish shoe options for younger consumers suffering from foot and back problems?

Pikolinos are a European shoe brand specializing in footwear that offers a variety of stylish, trendy shoe options ideal for those who wear lifts or inserts inside their shoes. Finding shoes with enough room to accommodate a shoe insert or a lift can be challenging because it causes your shoe to no longer fit properly or comfortably. Pikolinos are made in Spain and have been described as spacious enough that allow for the insertion of a lift. Pikolinos footwear can be purchased from the Pikolinos official online site or other sites such as Zappos or Amazon. The benefit of purchasing from the official Pikolinos website offers free shoe repair. This option is negated if purchased from other sites. The benefit of shopping on other sites is that they offer discounted prices. Pikolinos can have a high price point, however customers recommend waiting until they go on sale for a more affordable price. But don’t let the price deter you from sporting these ultra-cute and trendy shoes.

  • What are negative heel shoes and where are they sold?

Negative heel shoes were designed by a Danish yoga instructor in the 1950s. In the US, these shoes were marketed as Earth Shoes in the 1970s. The theory behind the negative heel technology is to place the heel slightly lower than the forefoot which would allow for automatic alignment of the spine and reduce stress on hips and knees. Most shoes offering orthotic technology do just the opposite – they lift the heel higher and offer more heel cushion which shifts the wearer’s center of balance forward during propulsion.

The negative heel shoe offers a wide toe box with a narrow heel box to support the foot’s natural shape. While walking, these shoes should feel as if the wearer is walking up a slight incline – 3.7-degree incline – which will stretch calf muscles, burn calories, and engage different muscle sets. According to customer feedback, suffers of plantar fasciitis highly recommend this type of shoe. However, these shoes may not be for everyone. Suffers with flat feet, Achilles tendon problems, chronic back pain, diabetes, arthritis, balance issues and short calf muscles may experience additional pain and discomfort, or no relief at all.

Kalso Earth Shoes are the recommended brand offering negative heel technology and their products can be purchased directly from the Earth Shoes website, other sites such as Amazon or in department stores.

  • What are some other options to improve heel and foot discomfort without having to buy specialized shoes?

A pair of slip-in orthotics can transform a shoe into a supportive platform for your foot. Heel Seats Foot Orthotics are non-prescription inserts designed to sit inside your shoe and provide appropriate support to feet and heels. Heel Seats appeal to a wide customer base to include everyone from marathon runners, causal walkers, or for people who are on their feet for long periods of time. Heel Seats are reported to alleviate pain for plantar fasciitis, shin splints, tendonitis, heel spurs, and other ailments naturally. Heel Seats may be initially harder and firmer than other products, so if you have sensitive feet, you may want to consider the Gel Heel Seats instead. Also, for those with high arches, you can try the High Arch Full Length Heel Seats. The regular Heel Seats are meant for normal arches or flat arches. Heel Seats can be purchased online at the Heel That Pain site, on Amazon, or in local drug stores. However, one must consider that using a slip-in may alter the fit of the shoe causing it to become tight and uncomfortable. There are shoe brands available, such as Pikolinos, that are built with more room in the heel and upper shoe area to accommodate orthotic inserts and slip-ins.

  • Is there anything available to allow heel and foot pain suffers to enjoy walking around bare footed?

Tired of wearing shoes and just want to free your feet but can’t because of heel pain and sore arches? Try wearing a foot wrap. Heel Seats make a Heel Seat Wrap simply for that purpose. There other types of foot wraps that surround and support your arches as well, but don’t offer the heel support feature of the Heel Seat brand. All are very good, and just depends on the level of support you require. But these can be worn while wearing shoes with little to no arch support such as ballet flats, flip flops and some sandals. These wraps can also be worn with other shoes to include work shoes, boots, athletic shoes and many more.

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What can I wear to help with heel pain? ›

Ideally, you should wear shoes that cushion your heels and provide a good level of support to the arches of your feet. For women, wearing high heels, and for men wearing heeled boots or brogues, can provide short- to medium-term pain relief. This is because they help reduce pressure on the heels.

Are Asics or Brooks better for plantar fasciitis? ›

ASICS GEL shoes are known for providing excellent cushioning, and that's one of the biggest things you need if you're living with plantar fasciitis.

What is the fastest way to cure heel pain? ›

Hold a cloth-covered ice pack over the area of pain for 15 minutes three or four times a day to help reduce pain and inflammation. Or try rolling a frozen bottle of water under your foot for an ice massage. Stretch your arches. Simple home exercises can stretch your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon and calf muscles.

What aggravates heel pain? ›

Achilles tendonitis — In most cases, Achilles tendonitis (inflammation of the Achilles tendon) is triggered by overuse, especially by excessive jumping during sports. However, it also can be related to poorly fitting shoes if the upper back portion of a shoe digs into the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel.

How do I keep my feet from hurting in heels? ›

Look for narrow heels with a snug but not tight fit to correct the problem. 2. Cushion, cushion, cushion. While a full-shoe insert can help, if you have pain in the ball of the foot -- or you'll be standing in your heels a long time -- invest in silicone metatarsal pads.

What shoes should I avoid if I have plantar fasciitis? ›

Not wearing supportive shoes

You should avoid shoes that put a lot of pressure on your feet, such as high heels. You should also avoid wearing cheap flip flops, which usually lack sufficient arch support.

Is walking good for heel pain? ›

Is walking good for heel pain? Depending on your specific circumstances, walking may help your heel pain, or make it worse. If you experience excruciating pain while walking, try to rest as much as possible until the pain subsides.

What is the natural remedy for heel pain? ›

If you're finding that heel pain is getting in the way of your daily activities, try these quick tips for relief.
  1. Apply lavender essential oil. ...
  2. Wear supportive shoes. ...
  3. Use orthotics. ...
  4. Wear a night splint. ...
  5. Replace old athletic shoes. ...
  6. Stretch. ...
  7. Massage. ...
  8. Apply ice.
Feb 5, 2018

Can I wear Skechers with plantar fasciitis? ›

We recommend the Skechers Max Cushioning Elite if you have severe symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis. The lightweight Ultra Go cushion platform softens the impact on the heel when walking for pain relief from Plantar Fasciitis.

What aggravates plantar fasciitis? ›

Activities that can increase the force through your feet and aggravate plantar fasciitis include: Running, walking or standing a lot in unsupportive shoes. Running, walking or standing on hard surfaces like concrete. Carrying a heavy object or gaining weight.

Are Skechers good for your feet? ›

As a consequence, Skechers can cause ligament and muscle stresses and strains. The memory foam could take on the 'memory' of a poor gait style causing destabilising foot, ankle, knee, hip and lower back pain.

What do podiatrist recommend for plantar fasciitis? ›

Treatment Methods

Most of the time, plantar fasciitis is treated through nonsurgical means. These methods include rest, icing, anti-inflammatory medications, supportive footwear, and cortisone injections. Rest is the best way to heal a damaged plantar fascia.

Which insoles do podiatrists recommend for plantar fasciitis? ›

Our pick: Dr. Scholls Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis. These shoe inserts for plantar fasciitis offer a reinforced arch that prevents further stretching of the plantar fascia. They also offer a shock-absorbing heel cushion, which will reduce the impact associated with this condition.

Why do podiatrists recommend Brooks? ›

Why do podiatrists recommend Brooks? “Brooks walking shoes provide both shock absorption and maximum support through the arch, both extremely important in treating and preventing plantar fasciitis,” he says. Finally, Brooks walking shoes also help prevent excess motion with built-in support on both sides of the heel.

What blood test for heel pain? ›

If a patient presents with bilateral heel pain in association with systemic symptoms, the blood should be screened for inflammatory markers, such as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B27, rheumatoid factor (RF), and antinuclear antibodies (ANA).

What is the difference between heel pain and plantar fasciitis? ›

The difference between a heel spur and plantar fasciitis is that one is a calcium deposit, or bone growth (spur), and one is inflammation of a ligament. These two issues are commonly confused with each other, though, because they can sometimes present in similar manners.

Why does my heel pain get worse as the day goes on? ›

Heel bursitis causes the bursa at the back of your heel to become inflamed, causing pain in your heel, especially after being on your feet all day.

How do I find comfortable heels? ›

The most comfortable heels will likely have a heel height that's lower than 3 inches, good arch support, and supportive cushioning, according to Dr. Brenner. "You want to buy a shoe with a heel that is wide and chunky, as opposed to a stiletto, which is narrow and can throw off the gait cycle," she adds.

Which shoes do podiatrists recommend? ›

What Shoes Should I Wear?
  • Brooks' Addiction.
  • Brooks' Adrenaline - Dr. Dailey wears his Brooks Adrenaline sneakers almost every day in the clinic and on his runs!
  • Brooks' Ariel.
  • Brooks' Beast.
  • New Balance 990.
  • New Balance 1012.
  • New Balance 1260.
  • New Balance 1540.

Why are Hoka shoes so good? ›

When compared to other popular sneakers, Hoka's shoes have a wider toe box, which allows for a more comfortable fit for those with a broader forefoot and can minimize the risk of developing uncomfortable conditions, like bunions or ingrown toenails, he adds.

What do podiatrists say about Skechers? ›

Sketchers DO NOT have appropriate stability in the upper fabric and the heel counter to complement an orthotic. As such, you will probably find the orthotic redundant, or in worse case contributing to the cause of injury. Remember, an orthotic does 50% of the work.

Do Hokas cause plantar fasciitis? ›

They found the opposite to be true—which is what sparks the HOKA controversy. The study showed that highly cushioned shoes come with a higher vertical average load rate and vertical instantaneous loading rate. Both of these promote overuse injuries like stress fractures and plantar fasciitis.

Should you avoid walking with plantar fasciitis? ›

In fact, walking may actually inflame the plantar fascia more, leading to an extension of your treatment. While it's not walking alone that could further inflame the ligament, if you're not wearing the right shoes or are exerting yourself too much, the plantar fasciitis can flare up.

Does walking barefoot help plantar fasciitis? ›

Walking barefoot at home is not recommended for the same reason walking barefoot outside is ill-advised, Dr. Peden says. “All kinds of footwear protect your feet. Over the course of weeks or months, the strain of walking barefoot can add significant stress to your arches, tendons, plantar fascia, and joints,” he says.

Do shoes help with heel pain? ›

Shoes offer protection and support to the feet, without which, heel pain is bound to develop. Without proper cushioning and ergonomic support, when you stand, walk, or run, your arches will absorb all the force due to a lack of shock absorption.

Is heel pain the same as plantar fasciitis? ›

Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of each foot and connects the heel bone to the toes (plantar fascia).

Are Hokas good for heel pain? ›

They produce many of the recommended shoes for conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel pain, fallen arches, flat feet, heel spurs, shin splints, metatarsalgia, Achilles tendonitis, and Morton's neuroma.

What shoes should you not wear with plantar fasciitis? ›

Not wearing supportive shoes

You should avoid shoes that put a lot of pressure on your feet, such as high heels. You should also avoid wearing cheap flip flops, which usually lack sufficient arch support.

What does it mean when your heels hurt all the time? ›

The most common causes of heel pain are plantar fasciitis (bottom of the heel) and Achilles tendinitis (back of the heel). Causes of heel pain also include: Achilles tendinitis. Achilles tendon rupture.

How can I walk in heels without pain? ›

9 tips to walk in high heels without pain
  1. Make sure the shoe fits. ...
  2. The position of the heel is key. ...
  3. Get a padded sole. ...
  4. Leave space for the toes. ...
  5. Start small. ...
  6. Always bring a back up. ...
  7. It's all about posture. ...
  8. Look ahead.
Jul 20, 2015

Are Crocs good for plantar fasciitis? ›

This is why Crocs can help in treating plantar fasciitis. Not only do they fit the foot well, but they are also well-cushioned - guaranteeing comfort while walking. Moreover, they have rigid soles that provide firm support to the foot. The rigidity prevents twisting of the foot, which puts strain on the foot and leg.

What causes heel pain besides plantar fasciitis? ›

Less common causes of heel pain should be considered before a treatment regimen for plantar fasciitis is undertaken. These include sciatica, tarsal tunnel syndrome, entrapment of the lateral plantar nerve, rupture of the plantar fascia, calcaneal stress fracture and calcaneal apophysitis (Sever's disease).

Why do my feet hurt after wearing Hokas? ›

Resultantly, the researchers concluded that running in Hoka One One or other maximalist running shoes may increase the risk of injury due to the fact that running in them subjected the legs to higher and faster forces and altered foot and ankle motion.

Why do doctors recommend Hoka shoes? ›

The line of shoes is very light and responsive compared to most brands. They don't require numerous walks or runs to break in. You put them on and go!” The other stand-out feature is the shoes' appearance—instead of looking like they're built strictly for comfort, they blend in seamlessly with other workout shoes.

What is the big deal about Hoka shoes? ›

Hoka shoes have a cushioned midsole that offers shock absorbency and added comfort to help protect your joints. Meta-Rocker: The Meta-Rocker technology uses a low heel-to-toe drop — meaning the height difference between the heel and the ball of the feet is minimal — plus a rounded sole to help propel you forward.


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