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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis and Flat Feet

Plantar fasciitis and flat feet are common foot conditions that can cause significant pain and discomfort. Selecting the right footwear is crucial in managing these conditions effectively. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best shoes specifically designed to alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis and provide optimal support for individuals with flat feet. From stability and cushioning to arch support and proper alignment, we will cover all the essential factors to consider when choosing the perfect shoes for your needs.

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis and Flat Feet

Understanding Plantar Fasciitis and Flat Feet:

Plantar Fasciitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Plantar fasciitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. It commonly causes heel pain and stiffness, especially in the morning or after periods of rest. Causes can include overuse, improper footwear, high-impact activities, and tight calf muscles. Treatment options range from rest and stretching exercises to orthotic inserts and physical therapy.(1)

Flat Feet: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Flat feet, also known as fallen arches, occur when the arches of the feet collapse, causing the entire sole to make contact with the ground. This condition can lead to pain, fatigue, and instability. Flat feet can be inherited or develop over time due to factors such as weak foot muscles, injuries, or obesity. Treatment typically involves exercises to strengthen the arches, orthotic support, and proper footwear.(2)

The Importance of Proper Footwear in Managing Plantar Fasciitis and Flat Feet

Wearing appropriate shoes is crucial for managing plantar fasciitis and flat feet. The right footwear can provide adequate support, cushioning, and stability, reducing pain and promoting proper foot alignment. Key features to consider include arch support, cushioning, stability, motion control, and heel support.(3)

Key Features to Consider in Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis and Flat Feet

  1. Arch Support: Look for shoes with built-in arch support to provide stability and maintain proper foot alignment.
  2. Cushioning: Opt for shoes with ample cushioning to absorb shock and reduce pressure on the feet.
  3. Stability: Choose shoes that offer stability features to prevent overpronation, which can exacerbate symptoms.
  4. Motion Control: Shoes with motion control features can help maintain proper alignment and prevent excessive foot rolling.
  5. Heel Support: Adequate heel support is essential to reduce strain on the plantar fascia and provide overall stability.

Top Shoe Brands for Plantar Fasciitis and Flat Feet

  1. New Balance: Known for their extensive range of shoes with excellent arch support and cushioning.
  2. Brooks: Offers a variety of shoes designed for stability, motion control, and maximum comfort.
  3. ASICS: Provides footwear options with superior cushioning, stability, and support.
  4. Saucony: Offers shoes with excellent arch support, cushioning, and overall comfort.
  5. Vionic: Specializes in orthotic footwear, providing excellent arch support and motion control.
  6. Orthofeet: Focuses on shoes for foot conditions, including plantar fasciitis and flat feet, with enhanced support and pain relief features.
  7. Hoka One: Known for their maximalist shoes with superior cushioning and support.

Best Shoe Types for Plantar Fasciitis and Flat Feet

  1. Running Shoes: Designed for shock absorption, stability, and motion control during running or other high-impact activities.
  2. Walking Shoes: Ideal for everyday walking, offering comfort, cushioning, and proper arch support.
  3. Athletic Shoes: Suitable for various sports and physical activities, providing stability, support, and shock absorption.
  4. Casual Shoes: Designed for everyday use, offering a combination of style, comfort, and support.
  5. Dress Shoes: Formal footwear options with built-in support and cushioning for individuals with plantar fasciitis or flat feet.

Recommended Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis and Flat Feet

  1. New Balance 990v5: Known for maximum cushioning and exceptional arch support.
  2. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21: Offers stability, motion control, and excellent cushioning.
  3. ASICS Gel-Kayano 28: Provides enhanced cushioning, stability, and support for long-lasting comfort.
  4. Saucony Guide 14: Features arch support, cushioning, and comfort for individuals with flat feet.
  5. Vionic Walker Classic: Orthotic shoes with excellent arch support and motion control.
  6. Orthofeet Asheville: Lightweight shoes with enhanced support and pain relief for plantar fasciitis and flat feet.
  7. Hoka One One Bondi 7: Offers plush cushioning and superior support for maximum comfort.

Additional Tips for Managing Plantar Fasciitis and Flat Feet:

  1. Perform stretching and strengthening exercises recommended by a healthcare professional or physical therapist.
  2. Consider using orthotic inserts or insoles for added support and alignment.
  3. Avoid high-impact activities that may worsen symptoms and opt for low-impact exercises like swimming or cycling.
  4. Maintain a healthy weight to reduce strain on the feet and alleviate pressure on the plantar fascia.
  5. Regularly replace worn-out shoes to ensure adequate support and cushioning.


Finding the best shoes for plantar fasciitis and flat feet is a critical step towards reducing pain, improving comfort, and enhancing overall foot health. By considering essential features such as arch support, cushioning, stability, and heel support, you can make an informed choice that suits your specific needs. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or podiatrist to determine the most suitable footwear options for your condition. With the right pair of shoes and proper foot care, you can alleviate discomfort, promote healing, and regain an active lifestyle. 


  1. Riddle DL, Schappert SM. Volume of ambulatory care visits and patterns of care for patients diagnosed with plantar fasciitis: A national study of medical doctors. Foot Ankle Int. 2004;25(5):303-310. doi: 10.1177/107110070402500504
  2. Kulig K, Burnfield JM, Reischl SF, Reischl EP. Effect of foot orthoses contour on pain perception in individuals with patellofemoral pain. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2005;42(6):809-816. doi: 10.1682/jrrd.2005.02.0035
  3. Redmond AC, Crosbie J, Ouvrier RA. Development and validation of a novel rating system for scoring standing foot posture: the Foot Posture Index. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2006;21(1):89-98. doi: 10.1016/j.clinbiomech.2005.08.002

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 23, 2023

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