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Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis 2024: Our top picks to get your feet back on track

Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis

With the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis, you can ease the strain and get back in the game

Whether you’ve suffered from an inflamed plantar fascia for a while or have just started to experience it, you’ll know it’s a painful inconvenience. Finding the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis can help alleviate unwanted discomfort and put a spring back in your step.

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common conditions causing heel pain. It concerns the plantar fascia, a band of fibrous tissue that runs along the sole of the foot connecting the heel bone to the base of the toes, and can be brought on by continuous exercise, foot structure, shoes, and adverse walking surfaces.

Although it’s not a critical issue, it can be quite the bugbear in everyday life, hindering your regular exercise routine or daily activities. However, we have selected the best running shoes to help keep your plantar fasciitis at bay, along with a handy buyer’s guide to aid your decision. If you already have an idea of what you want, be sure to check the at-a-glance list for our top picks.

Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis : At a glance

Best overallBrooks Adrenaline GTS 23 (~£135)Check price at Brooks
Best valueAsics Gel-Venture 9 (~£70)Check price at Asics
Best for comfort and stabilityBrooks Glycerin GTS 20 (~£165)Check price at Brooks
Best for long runsHoka Bondi 8 (~£150)Check price at Hoka

How to choose the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis

When it comes down to choosing the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis, it’s good to know what you’re looking for. Comfort, of course, is of the essence. However, several other key factors will help to ease your aches and pains.

Cushioning

It may seem obvious, but getting yourself a pair of runners with good cushioning will dramatically improve how your feet feel. Cushioning in a shoe is designed to absorb the initial impact when walking or running, helping to reduce the resulting vibrations sent through the body, bones in particular.

Studies have shown that 95.1% of runners have a rearfoot strike, compared to a mid-foot (4.1%) and forefoot (0.8%) strike. This means the first point of contact during a stride is the heel. As a result, continuous and isolated impacts while running can cause repetitive strain, especially if you don’t have suitable footwear and cushioning.

Finding runners with the appropriate insole thickness, heel stack and cushioning will put you on your way to combatting plantar fasciitis.

Offset

The offset – or heel-to-toe drop as it’s also known – is the difference in sole height found between the heel and forefoot. Measured in millimetres, it indicates how steep the shoe is, like a slope from back to front.

Running shoes with a higher offset help to facilitate a softer heel strike and improve the transition from rearfoot to forefoot during the stride. Besides working toward improved form, it will – more importantly – reduce the impact-related stress on the heel and Achilles tendon.

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Midsole

As the plantar fascia runs along the sole of the foot, it’s handy to have support in the arch area. Choosing runners with a rigid midsole will reduce flexion while running and, in turn, provide much-needed stability.

Shoes equipped with a medium or stiff midsole will help to prevent further discomfort, protecting the plantar fascia during exercise and, as a result, work towards reducing aches and pains post-activity.

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Design

As well as the above, there are a few other design features to look out for, one of which is a wide toe box. As you’ve probably guessed, the toe box is the forefoot part of the shoe. Having a wider toe box not only gives your feet some extra breathing space but also provides room for improved metatarsal foot splay, granting a more natural motion.

The other feature is a rocker design, and we’re not talking about eye-catching patterns here. A rocker design incorporates a thicker sole with a rounded heel, creating a convex soleplate in contrast to a flat base. The two main versions found in running shoes are:

Toe rocker: The most common among running shoes and trainers, it curves upwards from the ball of your foot to your toes, creating a raised front end that helps during the push-off.

Heel-to-toe rocker: A design that has seen a rise in popularity over recent years, it features an upward curve at the front and back of the shoe, rising up toward the toes and the heel to create a ‘rocking’ motion. The inverted arch helps to redistribute weight, reduce the impact on the heel and relieve plantar pressures in the mid and forefoot.

How much should I spend?

A decent pair of running shoes will set you back anywhere between £60 to £180, but you can save yourself money by knowing exactly what you need. For example, there’s no point in buying a pair of expensive trail runners if you only plan on doing a couple of 5k road runs a week. Our selections below cover the best options to suit a variety of needs, so you can make an informed decision without spending unnecessarily.

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The best running shoes for plantar fasciitis you can buy in 2024

1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23: Best overall

Price when reviewed: £135 | Check men’s | women’s price at Brooks

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23 running shoe against a white backgroundThe next generation up from the GTS 22s, the 23s are equipped with updated plush cushioning for added heel support and prevention of foot fatigue. Brooks’ latest edition features a 12mm offset to help absorb the impact on heel strikes, as well as GuideRail technology from the rearfoot to the midfoot. These rigid plates on either side of the foot provide added stability to create a natural stride and work against overpronation and supination.

If you’re looking for a great all-around shoe at a reasonable price, you can’t go wrong with the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23.

Key specs – Terrain: Road; Arch support: Stability; Weight: 298g; Heel-to-toe offset: 12mm; Cushioning: Plush; Flexibility: Medium; Rocker: Toe; Carbon plate: No

Check men’s price at Brooks Check Women’s price at Brooks


2. Asics Gel-Venture 9: Best value

Price when reviewed: £70 | Check men’s | women’s price at Asics

Asics Gel Venture 9 running shoe against a white backgroundThe multi-faceted Gel-Venture 9s are an excellent option for those who want quality without breaking the bank. The Venture 9s incorporate a cushioned, high-stacked midsole to provide comfort in the stride, while the extra gel padding on the heel reduces shock absorption during footstrike.

The runners also have an offset of 10mm which helps with the distribution of weight from the initial strike through to the push-off, reducing strain on the plantar fascia through the stride. All in all, the Venture 9s prove themselves to be excellent value for money.

Key specs – Terrain: Road, Trail; Arch support: Neutral; Weight: 300g; Heel-to-toe offset: 10mm; Cushioning: Balanced; Flexibility: Flexible; Rocker: Toe; Carbon plate: No

Check men’s price at Asics Check women’s price at Asics


3. Brooks Glycerin GTS 20: Best for comfort and support

Price when reviewed: £165 | Check men’s | women’s price at Brooks

Brooks Glycerin GTS 20 running shoe against a white backgroundBrooks Glycerin GTS 20s are designed to provide the feeling of ultimate softness. Created with nitrogen-infused foam, the GTS 20s offer plush cushioning for added comfort and a responsive feel underfoot. The 10mm offset helps to create a smooth transition in the stride, while the GuideRail technology – rigid support plates on either side of the foot –  keeps it neutral and protected, delivering all-around stability.

The Glycerin GTS 20s are also suitable for all strike patterns, so no matter your style or form, you’ll get high-quality support and comfort.

Key specs – Terrain: Road, Track; Arch support: Stability; Weight: 298g; Heel-to-toe offset: 10mm; Cushioning: Balanced; Flexibility: Medium; Rocker: Toe; Carbon plate: No

Check men’s price at Brooks Check women’s price at Brooks


4. Hoka Bondi 8: Best for long runs

Price when reviewed: £150 | Check men’s | women’s price at Hoka

Hoka Bondi 8 running shoe against a white backgroundIf you’re looking to head out on long-distance runs and want to ensure your feet don’t pay the price, the Bondi 8s will have you covered. The thick foam sole offers exceptional comfort underfoot and relief from repetitive impact on concrete surfaces, while the extended heel provides for a smooth transition in the stride.

They also feature zonal rubber placements on the sole to improve weight distribution and increase durability, while the wide base of the Bondi 8s offers added stability in the footstrike. So if you’re in the hunt for a long-distance running shoe, the Bondi 8s will help you to run true from start to finish.

Key specs – Terrain: Road; Arch support: Stability; Weight: 307g; Heel-to-toe offset: 4mm; Cushioning: Plush; Flexibility: Rigid; Rocker: Heel-to-toe; Carbon plate: No

Check men’s price at Hoka Check women’s price at Hoka


5. New Balance 880v13 2E: Best for wide feet

Price when reviewed: £140 | Check men’s price at Sports Shoes | women’s price at The Jog Shop

New Balance Fresh Foam X 880v13 against a white backgroundIf you’re getting a pair of runners, you need a pair that fits perfectly. Having wide feet can often put a spanner in the works, however, the New Balance 880v13s could very well serve as the solution. The model comes in various sizes: narrow, standard, wide and extra-wide, so whatever fit you’re looking for, the 880v13s will provide.

These runners benefit from a cushioned foam insole for exceptional comfort, helping to prevent foot fatigue during fast-paced runs. The sole is also made from durable rubber to give a responsive feel and comfortable landings in the stride, making these an excellent option for regular runners or just everyday wear.

Key specs – Terrain: Road, Track; Arch support: Stability; Weight: 300g; Heel-to-toe offset: 10mm; Cushioning: Balanced; Flexibility: Flexible; Rocker: Heel-to-toe; Carbon plate: No

 Check men’s price at New Balance Check women’s price at The Jog Shop


6. Hoka Challenger 7: Best trail running shoes

Price when reviewed: £150 | Check men’s | women’s price at Hoka

Hoka Challenger 7 GORE-TEX against a white backgroundWith undulating terrain and varying elevations, trail running can be quite a strain on the body. That’s why it’s important to find a pair of runners you can rely on. The Challenger 7s are designed for maximum comfort, absorbed landings and smooth transitions.

They feature a soft foam cushioning to increase stack height as well as a thicker rubber sole, to give a plush feel underfoot and reduce the impact strain on your ankles, knees and hips. Weighing in at only 275g, the Challenger 7s are also lighter than their predecessor, making them more than suitable for long-distance runs. If you’re looking for a long-lasting, comfortable trail shoe that’ll put a spring in your step, look no further.

Key specs – Terrain: Trail; Arch support: Neutral; Weight: 275g; Heel-to-toe offset: 5mm; Cushioning: Balanced; Flexibility: Medium; Rocker: Heel-to-toe; Carbon Plate: No

Check men’s price at Hoka Check women’s price at Hoka


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