Plantar Fasciitis. The five-syllable words that are the bane of every fitness enthusiast’s dreams. If you have ever experienced a consistent and recurring pain (the stabbing kind) in your heel, the chances are that you have been introduced to this little bugger of an affliction already (yeah, remember those pains when you got out of your bed).
It is a common (relatively) orthopedic complaint that can cause continuous bagging discomfort. This might make walking and running an excruciating task. Statistically, this condition is quite common amongst sprint and marathon runners, but they are not the only niche affected by it.
It is not a solution-less problem, though. There are several ways of managing this affliction so that you can go about your daily (as well as adventurous) chores. Some of these methods include working on your choice of footwear for work, leisure, and play.
Exploring the unknown and beyond is an exhilarating experience and an exceptional workout (cardio mostly). However, setting off your adventure with the wrong sets of shoes can leave your feet sore, blistered, and full of fatigue. Shoes, especially hiking ones, should, by definition, be comfy and supportive in most terrains.
It led us to compile this list of best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis afflicted people, because after all, choosing the right kind of footwear can be the difference between pleasure and pain.
We do not recommend physical exertion with this kind of disease holding you back. However, if hiking flows through your blood, if you cannot let these obstacles block the way to your happiness, then you will have to prepare—a lot. You will need to have a longer recuperative time (to let your body heal) and start preparing beforehand, longer than any of your partners.
Now that we have established the prerequisites, some points need to be taken care of. While prepping for boots, you should (as a rule of thumb) go for those which support your arches. While hiking, avoid coming down on your heels too hard, frequently.
Reducing the weight that you’re carrying and the distance that you’re traveling will help also. Now while this won’t completely negate the effects of plantar fasciitis, it will sure make your hiking an adventurous as well as a pleasurable activity.
Top 13 Best Hiking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2021
Most hiking boots don’t have a lot of arch support, if any, but Merrell does. This model gives zonal arch and heel support to contoured footbeds, so they end up looking like comfortable sneakers. They’re also perfect boots for hiking in their own right. You don’t have to break them in. They’re fantastic right out the box.
The majority of users found the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof to be super comfortable. The outsole has impressive traction on slippery surfaces. Several buyers said that they re-ordered a pair to hold as extra due to its extremely robust durability.
It has excellent breathability and a glove-like fit. It also prevents the foot from slipping on ascents or descents inside the shoe. Therefore, it rightly claims its place on this list of best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis.
The boots are the right choice for customers looking for breathable, comfortable, and durable hiking boots. These boots can also sustain a reasonably good amount of everyday wear and tear and have very eye-catching looks.
- Very comfortable
- Excellent traction on slippery surfaces
- Has wonderful looks
- Long-lasting durability
- Glove-like fit without slipping or sliding
- Excellent Breathability
- Lackluster underfoot support
- Not as waterproof
Though these aren’t hiking boots, most of us own hiking boots or many boots with flat soles. Hence, rather than getting special boots with arch support, save all that money on a new pair of boots on some worthy pairs of insoles.
Apart from providing excellent arch support, the insert is also exceptionally dependable. The quality construction and design make it extremely trustworthy. It comprises a high-density foam layer that provides help and cushioning for the feet, especially for individuals suffering from plantar fasciitis.
It also features an organic, odor-control coating making sure that it eliminates the odor-causing bacteria.
It’s a high volume shoe insert with a design to help stabilize the foot, which reduces stress on your ankles, feet, and knees. The heel cup is substantial to maintain proper alignment and helps distribute weight properly.
The sheer features and affordability of this entry make it one of the best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis on this list. It offers the best of both worlds high arc support, and the deep heel cup has sufficient cushioning to absorb the impact from most daily activities.
- Excellent Arch Support for flat feet and high arches
- Easily hand-washed
- Easy trim to fit shoes
- Highly Durable
- Excellent Shock absorption
- It takes time to break-in.
- Not enough padding (subjective)
- Pricier than others
- Slightly uncomfortable for people with flat feet
With the company’s aim being to make “footwear for every adventure,” these are the boots to pick for any intense hiking. The shoes have excellent grip. No matter if it’s brutal rain and turbulent weather or climbing on the edges, the shoes fit snugly on your feet.
These shoes are for hikers and backpackers who like shoes that are lighter in weight and less constricting than hiking boots. All the while, they are more comfortable and safe than trail running shoes. Their most significant upside is that they are non-waterproof, ventilated shoes. They provide much-improved protection for the arch and a stiffer feel without losing space or comfort on the front toe.
It has a firmly lugged sole and substantial heel counter, which helps secure the heel and avoid plantar fasciitis. The boots are less comfortable and bulky than lined winter boots.
In the feet, they are also accommodating and cup them to help avoid blisters and the pronation that may lead to heel pain (rolling inward of the heel). In rugged terrain, the safety along the edge of the shoes is great for hiking. Your tootsies are covered by a beefy toe cap, while oversized side lugs provide lateral protection and traction.
Although the leather uppers give the shoe some structure, they also help protect against side impacts during rock scrambling and off-trail. But that isn’t all. After all, we know that these shoes would have to have some more features to be considered for the title of best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis.
The boots have mesh tops, lined with friction to reduce the foot’s interior to prevent blisters. It also removes dust and sand’s intrusion into the shoe’s interior and makes your socks filthy while also allowing the exterior mesh to evaporate sweat and moisture.
The inner lining also offers a surprising amount of padding in colder temperatures, making the shoe ideal for chilly days where the trails are coated in snow, ice, or mud in spring and fall.
- Very Breathable
- Intense Tread and clean lacing
- Very Heavy
- Can’t use it as casual wear
The shoes are designed on a few fundamental principles: more cushioning is added, light materials used, and a large rocker midsole created to help retain momentum and build a smoother ride. Initially, the shoes were sold to mountain runners, but now the company sells road shoes and race spikes.
Through the modification and placement of some of the lugs on the outer sole, the shoes have wonderful underfoot to maintain proper grip, ascending and descending on technical terrain. Small upper changes to refine how the shoe suits, looks, and rides on the foot while retaining a look and feel that is simple and streamlined. The shoes offer a ton of cushioning and support, their ideal as track shoes.
Unlike hiking boots, however, they don’t provide much protection. It shouldn’t be an issue for someone if you don’t need much protection. They are also excellent for everyday usage.
Doing technical runs with agile shoes that grip well or even road shoes that you use for longer, smoother runs, and you’ll enjoy the various surfaces more with more appropriate equipment too.
- An excellent option for both rookie and professional hikers
- Wonderful cushioning
- Easy to wear around
- A lot of foot support
- Not much protection
5. Targhee III
The Targhee III uses a breathable mesh to make you comfortable, making it suitable for cold and rainy weather, thus keeping water from soaking in. And critics agree these boots feel broken right out of the box, unlike certain other pairs, which helps keep blisters and arch aches at bay. They’ve got a lot of support as well. The footbed cradles the arch, and the mid-cut height helps avoid rolling of the knees, making them suitable for rocky paths.
They are incredibly durable and have good support around the ankles, and have excellent grip on the sole. They are incredibly waterproof even after prolonged usage. The boots are very wallet-friendly and offer the best value for the price.
It provides support and a boot and the comfort of a hiking shoe. It rightly boasts of its place amongst the best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Keen uses an ESS shank insert to allow the boot to walk easily on a more comfortable surface over rough and rugged terrain, where others felt foot pain from hitting the jagged rocks through the sole.
This boot has a large rubber toe bumper, as with most other Keen hiking boot styles we have worn, which offers foot protection against tripping over roots and rocks on the trail.
- Budget Oriented
- Soft and comfortable
- Good quality insole
- Decreased stability
- Not breathable
With these low-ankle boots, which are ideal for shorter walks, Keen makes it to the list for the second time. The higher heel and lower collar eliminate strain from the Achilles while also maintaining stability if you are vulnerable to plantar fasciitis.
It also has durable outsoles with strong traction designed to grip on the most challenging trails. They are great for hiking.
They are waterproof/breathable membranes that keep outside moisture at bay while allowing inside moisture to escape. Speed hooks allow for easy lace adjustment. The anatomic flex grooves encourage natural movement, and KonnectFit heel-capture system creates a locked-in feel.
Removable dual-density EVA footbeds with arch support provide long-lasting comfort while stability shanks deliver lightweight support.
The lightweight mesh uppers make these boots perfect for warm conditions and light outings. But you should know that these boots do not hold up on longer, more strenuous walks. The critical attribute of the Terradora is their light feel and breathable structure, from the uppers to the laces, making them a perfect warm-weather boot.
- Solid design
- Extremely comfortable
- Lack of support
These hiking shoes will hold you stable on even the rockiest terrain with over-the-ankle protection, flexible lacing, and a firm grip on your feet. Weighing just 1 pound, 12.2 ounces, you’re not going to get weighed down either. And it’s especially suitable for rainy winter hiking, thanks to its waterproof, breathable top.
They are the most comfortable boots for hiking in all sorts of terrain. They’re lightweight, they hug your feet, give you grip, and with most outfits, they look good.
Female explorers may be floored by its remarkable lightness, exceptional ankle protection, and incredible degrees of comfort. These unique attributes are also made sweeter by the virtually non-existent break-in time of the boots.
That said, for others, this boot beauty may be too roomy at the toe, especially for those who have a forefoot on the slimmer side. About the fit problem surrounding its toe case, the boot nevertheless sparkles with outstanding traits.
To enhance support and minimize seams and binding, the top has been revamped and streamlined, improving durability and water resistance. The momentum that the latest soles have has amazed us. And these are pretty stylish as far as hiking boots go, too.
We would also advise you that these shoes suit a smaller foot, so that hikers may want to look elsewhere for broad feet. We still have to say that there are higher-performing boots out there for dollars. That said, few shoes look as good as the Montara’s, so they can be worn on and off the trail, making them a perfect first hiking boot.
- Good grip in different terrains
- Super-precise fit
- Decent arch support
- Sloppy toe box
- Flimsy construction quality
The Vasque Breeze III, considering its middle of the pack score overall, is the whole package. They have everything we look for- convenience, water-resistant, toughness, and support in a hiking boot. Vasque has refined this shoe for each new edition, and their third version is the best yet.
Right from the box, they were comfortable, taking little or no break-in time. Though still looking sneaker-like on foot, they nail the magic mix of offering help.
On the trail, these sturdy boots will provide protection all day. The Breeze III is durable and sticky for long hiking on uneven terrain. For rough climbing, these features make them perfect.
Comfortable immediately, straight out of the box. We have had similar encounters with Vasque models in previous years – they are quick to break into and are built with comfort in mind.
These boots, though still feeling light on the foot, are comfortable and well-cushioned. On both long and quick days on the trail, this makes them perfect, and hence deserves its spot on this list of best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis.
They shine just as well when it comes to supporting as they do in comfort scores. The Wind gives protection both underfoot and in the ankle, with a well-padded ankle and a stable midsole. The midsole-added Exo-plates provide the boot with a structure that holds you on your feet and stops the ankle from rolling.
The soles are also significant enough to provide protection underfoot, particularly after a long day on the trail—a combination of leather and abrasion-resistant mesh made for an upper that hardly shows signs of wear.
- Comfortable right-out-of-the-box
- Grips well in most terrains
- Adequate protection against wet environments
- Good support
- Cozy feel
- Shows signs of wear too soon
- It might be a bit narrow for some.
Salomon also manufactures these dashing trail-running shoes that hikers are looking for with all the specs, including a cushioned insole, a waterproof build, and crazy-good traction. Having a deep lug pattern that goes up to the toe section, check out the rubber outsole.
Without a problem, it’ll dig its grooves into the clay, mud, and gravel. The shoes are a game-changer for mountain running and climbing. They are light, and with both uphill and downhill terrain, the lugs help. And though it’s tough on the outside, on the inside, the EVA midsole prioritizes comfort.
Most buyers admire the sleek and durable nature of the Salomon Alphacross GTX. It suits you perfectly, and you can wear it very comfortably. It has good gripping potential on both wet and dry surfaces and outstanding potential for shock absorption.
It has a lightweight composition and a strong potential for oxygen. The shoe has just the right amount of cushioning, not too comfortable or too hard, and the midsole is tolerant of the foot’s movement and sensation.
The general response has been positive for the Salomon Alphacross GTX. Consumers are mostly pleased with the responsiveness, breathability, and lightweight design of this trail running shoe.
People also praised the cushioning system, longevity, and gripping capacity of the shoe. The shoe is ideal for runs and fun walks as well. Just a few customers do not like that the shoe is a little pricey and the insole is too firm.
- Stylish Design
- Comfortable wear
- Good shock Absorption
- Excellent breathability
- Lightweight structure
- The shoe doesn’t perform well in mud.
- Insole not soft enough
10. Tor Summit WP
After a long hiking day, tired of sore feet or back? Time to carry out the Tor Summit Full Soles. Hoka One One is known for its oversized, multi-density rubber soles, which provide their hiking shoes, boots, and road and trail runners with an uber-comfy step and excellent shock absorption.
With these puppies underfoot, the feet will keep new and comfortable relative to other versions, not dread long distances. This shoe isn’t a one-trick pony, though.
We were impressed that oversized was not equal to overweight, falling on our scale in the pack center. And this shoe features exceptional torsional flexibility despite not having a shank insert and facilitates quick backpacking trips. And, it’s waterproof when still breathing.
This is your shoe whether you’re about to say farewell to sore hiking feet or want to reduce tension on your knees. It is not cheap, but the increases in comfort are nuts. The top consists of nubuck and suede leather with a complete bootie construction with an eVent waterproof membrane.
The midsole is dense RMAT rubber, which, combined with a Vibram MegaGrip Hi-Traction Outsole with 5mm lugs, is often used in the middle of the outsole.
The toe protection isn’t robust, but we were less likely to stub our toes with our feet lifted higher atop the uber-thick soles.
The lacing mechanism having five sets of metal eyelets for the flat-style laces to slip through is simple. Tightening the laces as needed is simple, and the smooth leather upper does not resist snuggling up against the foot. The cushioned tongue allows us to pull the shoes on other models more tightly than comfortably.
- Outstanding arch support
- Virtually zero break-in time
- High comfort
- Unbelievable grip performance
- Extreme lightness
- Narrowness at the forefoot
- Thick midsole
- Not affordable
For the simple explanation that they’re stable, cheap, and come in large sizes, Merrell’s Moab 2 Ventilator Low Hiking Shoes are the best-selling non-waterproof hiking shoes of all time. It is a pretty chunky low trail shoe that offers far more security than most trail shoes or trail running shoes.
In specific ways, it’s shaped and made more like a backpack than a trail shoe, which is presumably why so many former boot users turn to them.
A nylon shank like a hiking boot for mid-sole protection from shock and bruising, it has a beefy toe and heel kicks to safeguard the forefoot and heel. Around the outside of the shoe, suede leather bars create a defensive shield around your foot, like the safety cage in a vehicle, while breathable mesh panels vent transpiration and keep you cold.
There is also very little lateral or torsional flex in the lugged Vibram sole, so it hikes even more like a boot, helping to minimize ankle turns because the sole is so broad and smooth.
Although there is already a rocker on the forefoot, it is considerably less curved than a trail runner. This blend of components makes the Moab 2 Ventilator Low a good option if you choose to turn to a low trail shoe without losing the familiar advantages of a trail boot.
The cover over the top of your foot is thickly padded, which helps lock your foot in place. The heel pocket is often narrow and shaped to avoid heel lift, with a softshell coating to wick transpiration away from your foot.
- Fantastically grippy outsole
- Stellar level of comfort
- Easy to break-in
- Supports arches well
- Heel slippage due to the lacing system’s insufficient number of eyelets
- Lack of breathability
- Not-so-cushy default footbed
- Slightly restrictive
These over-the-ankle boots, made with GORE-TEX safety, block water at the risk of penetrating the top, make it your go-to for hikes near the river or ascending a snowy mountain. This pair is also very comfortable!
Your buddy here is Shock-absorbing EVA foam, plus the SensiFit device of the company cradles the foot, and the OrthoLite insole brings all the cushion you would need so that you can go trekking onwards.
Salomon’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX is a real star in the world of hiking boots. The boot nicely combines convenience, versatility, and rock-solid traction, considering its lightweight structure. Like other trail runner-inspired styles, the X Ultra 3 Mid isn’t thick and fluffy, but the stable midsole provides adequate isolation from sharp rocks.
It is worth noting that Salomon’s Quest 4D 3 offers much better security for overly technical and rough terrain. Still, most backpackers and hikers would find the X Ultra 3 to be plenty of boot, especially those who remain on the trail.
It sits very low for a hiking boot, but the ankle and tongue are both decently cushioned, so you can snug the foot down comfortably without sacrificing comfort.
Without losing long-term reliability or on-trail convenience, Salomon accomplished an impressively low weight, which is no small feat for a backpacking boot. Traction is excellent: the boot confidently managed terrain ranging from steep, loose rock to gravel, mud, and even snow.
Top-notch construction quality: after about a year of continuous use, the X Ultra 3 Mid displays very little wear.
- Lightweight construction
- Virtually no break-in period
- Comfortable boot
- Fantastic waterproofing
- Very supportive boot
- Excellent traction on a variety of surfaces
- Low rating in durability
- Lack of cushioning underfoot
- Runs narrow
13. Moab 2 WP Low
For hikers who choose easy to moderate day hiking, where this shoe offers adequate comfort and protection, the Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof is a perfect choice. On most surfaces tested, the Vibram soles acquired purchase, and the shoe provides excellent longevity.
Rocky soil and holding massive loads are not the strong suit of this model, and it did not do well in our water resistance metric. It is also the second-heaviest shoe as tested.
It is a comfortable shoe for hikers who want mild and simple trails for day hiking. The top consists of suede leather and nylon mesh lined with a patented M-Select DRY waterproof membrane. The sole comprises a combined EVA midsole, a molded nylon arch shank, and a Vibram TC5+ outsole.
With the fifth set of plastic eyelets at the top of the shoe, the lacing device consists of dense laces that feed into four webbing eyelets. The boots do not do well to absorb impact, and they also do not breathe well. They are warmer than other shoes for camping, too.
In tackling rugged terrain or jumping from boulder to boulder, hikers who have not built up a lot of foot and ankle strength typically choose a shoe with greater torsional rigidity. This shoe twisted smoother than any others tested, despite having a molded nylon arch shank.
In the support and stability department, this shoe has some good qualities. The forefoot is 4.75 inches at its widest point, offering a stable foundation for moving off with force.
We enjoyed the insole, which, on its back half, has an extra layer of denser foam. This shoe has ample space for day hiking and overnight backpacking trips for seasoned hikers.
This Merrell product line’s success reveals that many hikers do not opt for the most offensive, do-it-all shoe. It is a perfect shoe for several seasons of day-hiking on trails that do not need the highest degree of assistance, food safety, or water resistance.
- Good traction
- Comfortable boot
- Not built for backpacking
What Is Plantar Fasciitis? How Can I Prevent Or Reduce Its Intensity?
Plantar fasciitis is amongst some of the most common, if not the most common, causes of heel pain. Your heel is connected to your toe by a thick band of tissues.
It allows you to have complete control of both your toes and your heel. However, plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of this thick band of tissues that runs across the bottom of your foot. It is named so because it connects your heel bone to your toes and is called the plantar fascia.
This mildly painful yet highly irritating complication most commonly causes stabbing pains in your heel and the surrounding area, usually after any stagnation like sleep or standing without moving for a long time.
The pain is usually the worst while just starting your day off- i.e., it’s only after a siesta of considerable time, and it makes its real presence known after a workout or exercises session, not during it. So the chance of going about your day all the while hurting your heel more and more increases astronomically.
However, this does not mean that being mobile or healthy will reduce its risk. It most commonly affects people who rely on their feet a lot, like runners, hikers, and climbers. It also has an increased risk of appearance in overweight people. This is further compounded by the lack of the right choice of shoes.
One can prevent it by having a good routine. Pay attention to how you walk and fix your gait. Do not put all your weight on your heels and pay close attention to your feet when hiking and climbing.
These points alone aren’t necessary, though. You need to look for shoes that provide enough space for your feet while providing adequate ventilation and not compromising their build quality or endurance. So here are a few things to keep in mind before buying some of the best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis.
Sticking to foot-friendly brands that give a large enough toe box to match the width of your foot seems to do the trick when shopping for hiking boots. You should make sure that your hiking shoes meet your personal needs, especially if you have bone spurs, bunions, or hammertoes.
To provide more strength to the arch (this helps reduce the weight borne by your heels), it is often the best suggestion to go for hiking boots higher in the ankle and midsole support. Such traits can provide additional stability to the ankle and will avoid sprains.
You should also Bear in mind that with strenuous physical exercise, such as hiking, the feet swell during the day. So make sure that the socks you wear are not too bulky and make the boots too tight.
The season in which you hike can also play a part in the shoe style that you pick. In the summer, non-waterproof shoes will help ventilate your feet, but you will want to wear a waterproof pair for winter walks, especially when there is snow on the ground.
Hiking shoes that are flat and thin are something you want to avoid (even for people who do not have this affliction). Hiking boots ideally have a sturdy, thick sole and a small heel.
Best Hiking Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis – Conclusion
Plantar Fasciitis is a very irritating affliction to have. While it is not incurable, it does not have a permanent solution as well. With a little bit of extra care in your daily life, you can very easily overcome it. Small changes, such as the way you walk or jump, or even rest, can have a vast and lasting impact on the well being of your heels.
If such small things can have such massive effects, then it’s similar followers that footwear would have far-reaching consequences. Especially the ones that would protect your feet from the evils of nature in addition to providing you comfort.
Shoes with softer soles and the ones that allow more room for breathing have been shown to reduce the pain caused by plantar fasciitis, in some cases, even curing it.
Hiking is, by default, an activity that focuses on the lower part of your body. And while hiking, you need to keep a lot of information in mind. Amongst all this, you tend to forget things like your gait or the way you distribute your weight.
Amongst people with plantar fasciitis, this can result in your early pack up. Hence it is always suggested to research the type of feet you have and then choose a comfy yet sturdy shoe accordingly.
Again, like all the different guides out there, this one does not tell you about your type’s best one. It gives you the best to choose from so that you can then compare and research accordingly.
Every person is unique. And so are their feet. Every foot needs a different size and ventilation to perform to the best of its capabilities.
But there are a few tips to keep in mind while buying (or trying to buy) a pair of hiking boots for people afflicted with plantar fasciitis.
FAQs on Best Hiking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
Q1. Are All Heel Pains A Symptom Of Plantar Fasciitis?
It is not a rule of thumb. Many things can cause pain. Overworking your heel, hitting it somewhere, or just plain having a lousy sprain can all cause heel pains.
Plantar fasciitis has a very distinct sort of pattern to it. These pains usually disappear during work. They start hurting more after the activity has been completed. Moreover, after you wake up in the morning, the first step causes a relatively;y intense pain in your heel and its areas.
If you look for the symptoms and get it adequately diagnosed, you won’t have to suffer through the discomfort of having your heel rendered near useless.
Q2. What Is The Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis?
This is a pretty logical answer. Firstly, you need to stop any and all heavy exertion activities. You need to give your body some rest and time to recuperate from the damage.
Now you should look for a golf ball (or anything small enough and sturdy) and freeze it overnight. Then apply some pressure with your heel on it. Be sure to do this in the early morning, when the pain is at its maximum.
It helps your body to unclench the knots that formed over the course of your adventure. And finally, start working out incrementally. Increase your workload slowly. And make sure to stretch your hamstrings regularly.
Your hamstrings are your body’s natural shock absorbers, so keeping them in excellent condition has the apparent side effect of keeping your heel safe from overwork and damage.
These treatments are more homemade remedies, so be sure to consult your doctor before opting for any of these. Because after all, it differs from people to people.