The Best Running Shoes for Heel Support

young woman runner tying shoelaces on stone trail
A woman is tying her tennis shoes. (Image: lzf/iStock/Getty Images)

Your heels can take a pounding when you run regularly, and without heel protection, runners are at an increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a wide band of muscle along the sole of the foot. It is typically damaged by poor foot placement during running, or by wearing the wrong type of running shoes. Runners with heel problems benefit from shoes with heel cups or heel pads, or from orthotic insoles.

Supporting the Heel

The best running shoes for heel support will be rigid and only bend at the toes. The shoes should have a solid heel cup that is inflexible. Test the shoes by holding the toe and heel and bending them. If the shoe bends in the middle, it won't support your heel properly. The shoes need to provide stability at the heel and the middle of the foot, otherwise heel pain may spread from the heel to the arch. In addition, replace your running shoes when they show excessive wear on the heels and soles.

Selecting Shoes

Try different options at a store with the help of employees who have specialist knowledge of foot biomechanics. Most of the top brands have running shoes with heel support, including New Balance, ASICS, Brooks Pure Cadence and Nike. Alternatively, choose an orthotic heel cup made from silicone or leather that you can insert in your favorite running shoes.

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