If you’re a runner and you wake up one morning, feel an extreme pain in your heel when you first stand up, you may just have plantar fasciitis. A common running injury, plantar fasciitis is the result of a strain on your plantar fascia—the flat band of tissues that connect your heel to your toes. This pain may lead many runners to ask: can I run with plantar fasciitis? The short answer is probably no. However, with the right stretches and (although there’s no perfect one) the right running shoes for plantar fasciitis, you can avoid plantar fasciitis or, once its healed, lessen the likelihood of it returning. To help you avoid plantar fasciitis, we at Janji culled the data from a 4,000 person study to find the best running shoes—man and woman—for plantar fasciitis.
Below are the best stability and neutral shoes for plantar fasciitis.
11. Saucony Kinvara 8, Men, Women, $110 Neutral Running Shoe
One of the key causes of plantar fasciitis is not running in the right shoe for your individualized stride. If you’re a “neutral” runner (i.e your arch barely collapses when you run) it’s critical to be in a well-made neutral shoe. If you’re a stability runner (i.e your arch collapses when you run) it’s critical to be in a well-made stability shoe. The Saucony Kinvara is a lightweight, well-built neutral running shoe that’s a wonderful option for neutral runners looking to avoid plantar fasciitis. However, this shoe has its problems: it’s not sturdy in the heel and, because it’s lightweight and flexible, may cause problems for runners who land hard on their heel when they run. But if you have high arches and are a neutral runner looking for a lightweight shoe, the Saucony Kinvara 8 is a good option to test out.
10. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33, Men, Women, $110 Neutral Running Shoe
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus has been a popular neutral trainer for decades. It’s good looking, feels comfortable, and is even great for Achilles tendonitis. But the reason reviewers rate this shoe as one of the top plantar fasciitis running shoes in the world is because it has a sturdier heel, enough (but not too much!) cushion, and limited flexibility in its rear sole. The combination of this makes the Pegasus a great, daily trainer for someone who wants a solid, inexpensive running shoe for plantar fasciitis. And because the Nike Pegasus 34 is out now, you can find the 33 for cheap.
9. Brooks Glycerin 14, Men, Women, $150 Neutral Running Shoe
As will become almost ridiculously apparent from this list, Brooks makes some incredible shoes for plantar fasciitis running. In fact, in most running stores around the country—and for many podiatrists—Brooks is the top running shoe brand. The Brooks Glycerin 14 represents the best that the Seattle-based brand has to offer. The shoe is soft, but not too soft. The shoe is built with Brooks’ Super DNA Midsole, which is adaptable without being overly flexible. And it has a wonderfully constructed interior that keeps the foot firmly in place. For a non-pronating runner who wants a soft (but not too soft!) running shoe that is exceedingly well built, look no further than the Brooks Glycerin 14.
8. Brooks Transcend 4, Men, Women, $160 Stability Running Shoe
The first stability shoe on the list, the Brooks Transcend 4 is the pronation controlled sister shoe of the Brooks Glycerin 14. That’s because it has many of the premium features of the Glycerin—a Super DNA Midsole, superior fit, and plush comforting—but with a supportive Guide Rail System that ensures the pronating runner doesn’t roll their arches aggressively inward when they run. As mentioned above, one of the key factors causing plantar fasciitis among runners is overpronators not being in a shoe that controls for overpronating. The Transcend controls for that as well as—if not better than—any shoe on this list.
7. Mizuno Wave Rider 20, Men, Women, $120 Neutral Running Shoe
The Wave Rider 20 is the flagship, neutral running shoe from Mizuno, a Japanese brand that traces its heritage to the turn of the 20th century and is best known for durable running shoes. The Wave Rider 20, the company’s most popular shoe, represents the best Mizuno has to offer: its wave plate undersole makes it unusually durable; its mesh upper fits well and breathes well; and its firm feel makes it perfect for plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can often stem from running in broken down shoes that are too soft and/or too flexible. The Mizuno Wave Rider’s incredible durability (its midsole breaks down far after the traditional 400 miles) and its firm build means that you can be running in mile after mile, without feeling heel pain.
6. Hoka One One Stinson 3, Men, Women, $160 Neutral Running Shoe
The Hoka One One Stinson 3, which also comes in an off-road version, is the first of a few Hoka One One shoes on the list. The brand, which has grown by leaps and bounds, has captured the attention of runners because its cushioned, yet “natural” build has led many runners to declare that Hokas are an injury elixir, from shin splints to IT band issues. For many reviewers, the Hoka One One Stinson—the plushest (and most expensive) in its line—is a miracle worker. The shoe has small, 6mm heel-to-toe drop, a touch of stability, and an enormous amount of cushion. Reviewers say the Stinson helps with plantar fasciitis because it is cushioned, yet has a fairly firm midsole. Also helping plantar fasciitis, the brand’s signature natural toe rocker ensures that the fascia will stretch with every step and every stride.
The final stability shoe (but certainly not the last Brooks shoe) to grace this list, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 is an incredible sneaker that protects over pronation while delivering an exceptionally fluid ride. For what seems like decades, the Adrenaline GTS has been one of the bestselling stability running shoes in the world. That’s because it’s a) inexpensive b) durable c) has a wonderfully comfortable midsole d) has a soft interior and e) has a firm heel and snug upper that ensures the foot movement is controlled—thus limiting plantar fascia overuse. The shoe is an amazing option for any pronating runner who asks this question too often: can you run with planar fasciitis?
4. Asics Gel-Nimbus 19, Men, Women, $160 Neutral Running Shoe
If you’re ok with a soft, neutral shoe for your plantar fasciitis problems, you’ve arrived at the right running shoe. The Asics Gel-Nimbus, like the Adrenaline, has been a popular running shoe for decades. That’s because it offers top of the line cushioning and comfort, while having plenty of gel support throughout the body of the shoe, which provides plenty of impact control. The latest version of the Nimbus, the 19, has a Fluid Fit upper for a snug ride, rearfoot and forefoot gel cushioning to absorb impact, and High Abrasion Rubber in the heel of the shoe to ensure the rearfoot rarely breaks down. Need a firm shoe? This isn’t your choice. Want a cushioned, impressively engineered neutral shoe? Give the Asics Gel-Nimbus 19 a try.
3. Hoka One One Clifton 3, Men, Women, $130 Neutral Running Shoe
Like the Stinson 3, the Hoka One One Clifton 3 is a uber cushioned shoe that has been exceedingly popular among runners who complain about plantar fasciitis. But what makes the Clifton 3 a slightly superior plantar fasciitis shoe to the Stinson is that it couples a better price point with a less plush design—and firmness can often be better for runners with heel problems. The shoe is deceptively lightweight, quite durable, and has a strong rearfoot sole that takes a long time to break down. So as long as you’re ok with the Clifton’s moon shoe design, you should give it a try if you want the best running shoe for plantar fasciitis.
2. Brooks Ghost 9, Men, Women, $120 Neutral Running Shoe
The Brooks Ghost 9 is the neutral version of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17: it has also the basic features you’d expect in the Adrenaline but is actually meant for the runner who barely pronates. The shoe’s BioMoGo DNA and Caterpillar Crash Pad are both tailor made for runners susceptible to plantar fasciitis—runners who rightfully worry about the wear and tear of the midsole and heel of their running shoe. There’s nothing too unique or fancy about the Ghost 9: it’s simply a great, daily neutral trainer for the runner who wants a pair of shoe that is exceedingly dependable.
1. Brooks Launch 4, Men, Women, $100 Neutral Running Shoe
The Brooks Launch 4 is everything a neutral runner suffering from plantar fasciitis could need: it’s well built; it has a firm midsole; it has a snug upper; it has a durable heel; and heck—it’s the cheapest shoe on the list! We’ll be honest: we did not expect to see the Launch 4 at the top of the list of best running shoes for plantar fasciitis. However, 4,000 reviewers can’t be wrong! Runners rave that the Launch 4 is incredibly lightweight, keeps the plantar fascia flexed, and has a durable enough midsole that will allow a runner’s heel to feel like a king in a castle, from the first step the final stride. One word of warning: these shoes aren’t nearly as durable as some footwear on the list, so make sure you replace them often to keep your plantar fascia happy!