The 9 Best Boots for Plantar Fasciitis, According to Podiatrists

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The best boots for plantar fasciitis offer plenty of support, have a rounded toe and are neither too flexible nor too rigid.
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If you have plantar fasciitis — a condition where the plantar fascia, the band of tissue supporting the arch of the foot, becomes inflamed — finding a supportive, comfortable pair of boots for everyday wear can be challenging.

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Choosing the wrong shoes can lead to more pain for people with plantar fasciitis, says Tea Nguyen, DPM. "Chronic overstretching can lead to inflammation, which is why wearing the right shoes for the planned activity is so important," she says. "For example, I often see people wearing flip-flops to Disneyland or places where they will be racking up a lot of miles on their feet." (Opt for these comfortable sandals for plantar fasciitis instead.)

A safer choice for Disneyland — or the work site, hiking trail or literally anywhere you need to stand or walk comfortably — is a shoe with high-quality cushion materials and arch support, Dr. Nguyen says.

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Plus, you'll want to opt for a boot that allows for natural movement if you have plantar fasciitis, says Stephen Bui, DPM. "Natural movement means your feet can bend and flex freely, and they aren't altered with an elevated heel or rigid materials," he says.

Read on to find the best boots for plantar fasciitis.

The Best Boots for Plantar Fasciitis

How We Chose

In addition to interviewing three podiatrists for their choices on the best boots for plantar fasciitis, we incorporated the following key ideas into our selections:

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  • Intended purpose and/or activity
  • Other features that add to the quality of the boot, such as waterproof materials and easy on and off access
  • Whether the shoe or shoe brand has a seal approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) — although not all brands featured here do, those shoes that don't have an approval were selected directly by a podiatrist

A Quick Language Note

We make deliberate choices about the language we use when it comes to sex and gender, but most brands market their products to men or women. Shoes are no exception. The main difference between most men's and women's shoes lies in the shoe width and size.

Marketing aside, you can opt for any shoe that feels comfortable on your foot. Your best bet, according to the podiatrists we interviewed, is to try on a selection of boots before making a final selection.

1. Best Overall Boot: Abeo Footwear Urbana Metatarsal

Pros

  • Traction on the bottom allows for easy grip on wet surfaces
  • Soft inner lining provides extra comfort
  • Side zipper allows for easy on and off access

Cons

  • Only available in traditional women’s sizes

Sleek, stylish and supple, the Urbana Metatarsal from Abeo Footwear is a classic black boot that looks more high-fashion than orthopedic. But don't be fooled by its glossy aesthetic — the Urbana Metatarsal features a special built-in arch support system meant to take pressure off of the feet and help increase weight distribution.

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Bonus: This brand has the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) seal of approval for plantar fasciitis.

Sizes: ‌6-11 (women's)

Buy it:Abeo Footwear ($119); The Walking Company ($89)

2. Best Heeled Ankle Boot: Aetrex Frankie Boot

Pros

  • Stretchy material allows shoe to slide on and off easily
  • Lug soles on the bottom give extra traction

Cons

  • Slight heel could cause discomfort if plantar fasciitis is severe enough
  • Only available in traditional women’s sizes

For Janine Ferrigno-Taddeo, DPM, the Aetrex Frankie boot is a great heeled option for individuals with plantar fasciitis. That's because it features a removable insole that provides "proper arch support to help align your body from the ground up." She adds that the boots also contain extra cushioning in the sole that helps to reduce impact with each step and alleviate pressure.

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Sizes‌: 5-11 (U.S. women's) and 35-42 (E.U. women's)

Buy it‌: Aetrex.com ($169.95); Dillard’s ($170)

3. Best Non-Heeled Ankle Boot: Xero Shoes Tari Boot

Pros

  • Round toe won’t constrict movement
  • Smooth full-grain leather is soft to the touch and accommodates foot
  • Ultra lightweight design — a size 7 weight 9.6 ounces per boot

Cons

  • Only available in traditional women’s sizes
  • Only available in one width option (medium)
  • Not waterproof

A heeled boot is OK to slip on with plantar fasciitis, so long as you're not wearing them all day long, Dr. Bui says. For long-term wear, a flat, but supported, ankle boot is the best bet, and he recommends the Xero Shoes Tari Women's Boot.

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Sizes: ‌5- 12 (U.S. women's)

Buy it: XeroShoes.com ($134.99); Zappos.com ($134.99)

4. Best Men’s Work Boot: Men’s Carhartt 6” Steel Toe Wedge Boot

Pros

  • Leather upper contains a breathable, waterproof coating
  • A sweat-wicking liner keeps feet dry
  • Cushioned polyurethane insole helps to absorb shock

Cons

  • Only available in traditional men’s sizes
  • More expensive than other types of work boots

Work boots should perform two critical roles: protect against environmental hazards and provide all-day comfort on the job. The ultra-thick insole in the Carhartt 6" Steel Toe Wedge Boot, alongside its steel toe design, ensures safety and longevity within warehouses and construction sites, Dr. Ferrigno-Taddeo says.

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Sizes: ‌8- 15 (men's)

Buy it:Amazon.com ($120.40 - $174.99); Carrhartt.com ($174.99)

5. Best Women’s Work Boot: Timberland Hightower 6” Alloy Toe Waterproof Work Boot

Pros

  • A breathable membrane helps protect the wearer from diseases caused by blood-borne pathogens
  • Fabric is treated with antimicrobial properties to help reduce odor

Cons

  • Only available in traditional women’s sizes
  • Limited size options among cheaper retailers

For women with plantar fasciitis on job sites, Dr. Ferrigno-Taddeo is a fan of these boots from Timberland. Similar to the Carhartt boots, they feature a soft, cushioned insole that molds to the bottom of the foot. This boot also contains all of the hallmark traits a work boot needs for safety, including a waterproof design, alloy toe and electrical hazard protection.

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Sizes: ‌5.5-12 (women's)

Buy it:Timberland.com ($150); Zappos.com ($123.95)

6. Best Hiking Boot: Danner Mountain 600 Waterproof 4.5” Hiking Boots

Pros

  • Full-grain leather is soft (but durable)
  • A fully waterproof barrier shields rain and snow from getting inside
  • Grip on the outsole suitable for wet surfaces

Cons

  • More expensive than similar hiking boots
  • Only available in one width for women (medium)

"For hiking boots, the Danner Mountain 600 4.5" Hiking Boots are a great option," Dr. Ferrigno-Tadde says. "It is a weatherproof boot that has a removable footbed for customization for individual needs." That footbed is also made from a special polyurethane material that helps to reduce heat and promote air circulation (so it won't soak up tons of moisture on long treks).

Sizes: ‌5-11 (women's) and 7-14 (men's)

Buy it:Danner ($230 for women); Danner ($210 for men); Amazon.com ($169.95 - $299 for men); Amazon.com ($209.60 - $229.95 for women)

7. Best Winter Boot: Merrell Women's Encore 4 Tall Zip Polar Waterproof Wide Width

Pros

  • Inner fleece lining adds extra warmth
  • Inside zipper allows for easy on and off access
  • Lightweight design

Cons

  • Only available in traditional women’s sizes
  • Only available in one width (wide)

Dr. Nguyen notes that Merrell boots tend to be one of her favorite shoe brands for plantar fasciitis, as the brand specializes in outdoor footwear designed to withstand rugged trails with foam cushioning and major arch support. The boot is also waterproof and insulative and the brand features an APMA seal of approval.

Sizes: ‌5-11 (women's)

Buy it:Merrell ($160); Amazon.com ($74.05 - $206.49)

8. Best Tall Boot: Vionic Gwen Tall Boot

Pros

  • Suede material is also water-repellent
  • Full-side zipper allows for easy on and off access

Cons

  • Only available in one width (medium)
  • Only available in traditional women’s sizes

"I'm a huge fan of Vionic shoes, as they offer a lot of options," Dr. Nguyen says. Her favorite for tall boots with plantar fasciitis: the Vionic Gwen Tall Boot. This boot is water repellant (so you can wear it on mildly inclement days).

Dr. Nguyen adds that Vionic shoes have the APMA seal of approval for plantar fasciitis, which means just about any variety you choose from them will be suitable for arch support.

Sizes: ‌5-11 (women's)

Buy it:Vionic ($189.95); Nordstrom ($189.95)

9. Best Rain Boot: Tretorn Rain Boots

Pros

  • Price lower than many similar boots
  • Rugged soles offer extra grip
  • Inner fleece lining keeps feet warm
  • Pull tab allows for easy on and off access

Cons

  • Only available in traditional men’s sizes
  • Low ankle may not be suitable for heavy-duty work in wet environments

Trentorn Rain Boots tend to be a bit more flexible than the standard rubber rain boot, Dr. Bui says. This makes them particularly a particularly ideal shoe for plantar fasciitis.

Sizes: ‌6-13 (men's)

Buy it:Walmart ($49.95); Amazon.com ($49.95)

5 Things to Keep In Mind When Shopping for Boots for Plantar Fasciitis

1. Look for a Minimal Heel

Although a mild heel is perfectly fine to wear with plantar fasciitis from time to time, if you aim to wear the boots for extended periods or multiple days in a row, look for a shoe with a low heel, Dr. Nguyen says. "Generally speaking, boots without a heel height and have an arch support built in will feel the best on feet with plantar fasciitis."

If you do want a heel, Dr. Nguyen advises to pick a boot with a heel wider than one to three inches in width so there's a platform to stand on.

2. Be Prepared to Invest in Your Foot Health

As you may have gleaned from this list, orthopedic boots tend to be a bit more expensive than other types of boots. And while not all high-priced shoes are automatically going to be great, Dr. Bui says boots costing less than $50 should garner some extra research on the consumer's part.

"Most of the boots these days vary in price, but those that are under $50 are usually made with poor materials and usually don't provide the right protection," he says. "They're also likely to break down quicker and the materials are poor quality."

3. The Boot Should Have Some Flexibility, but Not Too Much

As Dr. Bui noted above, a boot that's too rigid will cause discomfort for someone with plantar fasciitis as it impedes natural movement. But the opposite effect is equally dangerous.

"Any shoe or boot that easily folds in half or twists too much means the foot is not going to be supported the way it needs to," Dr. Nguyen says.

4. Avoid Plastic Fabrics and Materials

Opt for a boot that doesn't contain plastic or non-breathable materials, Dr. Nguyen says. "[Choosing non-breathable materials] can lead to athlete's foot or toenail fungus, so choose a high-quality material."

Wearing 100 percent cotton, wool or bamboo socks, in addition to frequently airing out your shoes, can also help keep bacteria from breeding, she adds.

5. Look for Rounded, Rather Than Pointed, Toes

"Many boots are made with pointed toes, and I have a lot of patients that switch to these boots in colder weather and start having problems because they don't allow natural movement with your feet, particularly with your big and little toe," Dr. Bui says. "The big toe is responsible for balancing and push off, so if you squish that in or misalign it, it can cause problems. The natural shape is key to allow for natural, functional movement."

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Is this an emergency? If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, please see the National Library of Medicine’s list of signs you need emergency medical attention or call 911.

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