Rick is a former news reporter who decided that the corporate world wasn't for him and took off to travel the world. He's been to every continent (yes, even Antarctica!) and has tried out a multitude of outdoor gear along the way. From tents to hiking boots, he's probably tested it all. Now, he's one of our full-time product testers and experts.
Bryan is one of our leading experts since he's got a vast expertise in practically everything connected to the outdoors. He's been hiking since he was a young boy, was an organizer of kayaking tours which later led to another passion of his - kayak fishing. Now, he's a part-time expert consultant involved in our multiple product tests and topic research.
Last updated: June 09, 2022
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Are you a fan of hiking, but foot pain is bothering you on your trips? Wearing the suitable shoes can help to reduce or even eliminate the foot pain and maximize the comfort during long walks. Right pair of hiking shoes will be a great investment, and you will be able to enjoy your hiking trip. In this article, we are looking for the best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Our team reviewed 52 shoes designed by various manufacturers to eliminate heel pain. After comparing all the top-rated models, we picked the Keen Men’s Wide Targhee II as our favorite. The shoes are comfortable and durable, as well as waterproof. On top of that, they look beautiful and combine aesthetics and functionality. If you feel that this model is not for you, check out reviews of nine other popular alternatives to ensure you picked shoes that fit you the most.
The statistics indicate that we spent more than 66 hours trying to select only the best shoes to eliminate foot pain. We browsed official websites, read customer reviews, and talked to experts to learn more about each product. We will take a closer look at the models for both men and women. It is vital to choose the right size, as well as go with products that were constructed with premium materials. Apart from upper and sole material, you should also consider lacing. It is essential to ensure the shoes will keep optimal tightness while you are walking. First, take a quick look at the shoes we are reviewing in our comparison table. Next, move on to in-depth reviews of each model. And finally, don’t forget our buying guide with all the details you should keep in mind during the purchasing process.
More features: waterproof, breathable leather lining, durable, contoured heel lock
If you are a serious hiker, rainy weather won’t stop you from heading outside. Keen has designed wonderful waterproof hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis that will help your feet to stay dry.
The manufacturer used leather and textile to ensure optimal durability. The special mesh lining provides comfort and makes the shoes suitable for long walks. These reliable boots are what you need to give rest for your heels.
The heel is approximately two inches, and the shaft is about 4.5 inches from the arch. The company went with rubber soles, and the shoes have convenient standard lacings with hooks. The pair comes in two different designs, with the dominating colors being shiitake and black olive. It is interesting to note that even the manufacturer suggests buying a size larger than the one you usually wear.
More features: rubber toe cap for added protection, the outsole provides extra grip
If you are looking for comfortable hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis, you can’t go wrong with this model designed by Vasque. The product looks sleek. Especially because the upper part is made of suede leather.
The highly-adjustable lace system will allow you to find the right fit easily. The manufacturer used EVA midsole, rubber outsole, and arch/heel stabilizer that keeps comfort at a maximum level during long walks.
You can choose between five different colors, and some of them are unusual combinations. That means everyone will find a model that suits your preferences, whether you like to keep things classic or get creative with your outfit. Although the shoes are versatile, you will need to be a bit careful on wet surfaces because, for some people, they seemed to be slippery.
Overall, many hikers go for this model, as they find it very attractive and convenient.
What makes it stand out?
Very comfortable to wear
The lacing system is easy to adjust
Attractive design with a suede leather upper section
More features: protective rubber toe cap, heel counter provides stability, shock absorption
Here is another candidate for the best men’s hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis. Merrell is a reputable brand, and this is the seventh edition of their Chameleon series.
The design is quite classic, but you can choose between four colors to suit your style. The manufacturer went with a slip-on approach to make putting the shoes on and taking them off easier.
The shoes are made from 100% leather, and they feature a special Vibram sole and outsole. You can wear them for hours since they are lightweight, but that doesn’t affect their durability. These shoes are suitable for all surfaces because of the high-quality materials used for their construction.
A minor downside is that you may expect some squeaking, but you shouldn’t have those issues after a couple of days of wearing the shoes.
What makes it special?
Slip-on design makes them easy to put on and take off
Upper material: 100% suede leather and textile (mesh)
Sole material: synthetic
More features: breathable mesh lining, 5mm lug depth, closed-cell foam tongue keeps moisture and debris out, breathable, targeted heel cushioning
It is time to switch our focus to women’s shoes, and we are starting with a pair designed by Merrell. As a reputable brand in the hiking industry, the company never disappointed us with different models as well as with this pair for plantar fasciitis.
The manufacturer used a mixture of materials, including leather, textile, and mesh upper and lining. Thanks to that, the shoes are comfortable and breathable. You won’t have any issues with moisture even if you hike for hours.
The famous Vibram TC5+ rubber sole is a part of this model, and it is what secures optimal comfort. Apart from the contoured footbed, the manufacturer added heel and arch support. The closed tongue will ensure that no dust and debris get inside your shoes. Finally, it is interesting to note that the name of the model “Moab” is short for “Mother of All Boots”, and the company is not that wrong.
Colors: black, night cargo/base green, grey, legend marine/tech copper, grey five/active orange, black/bright blue, grey/carbon, raw steel/orange
Upper material: fabric
Sole material: rubber
Lacing: elastic laces with cord lock
More features: breathable, waterproof, designed for fast-moving in the mountains, cushioned textile footbed
Adidas has been in business long enough to understand what the customers need. If you are looking for hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis, the Terrex Swift R2 GTX can be a suitable choice.
The product is designed in a way to withstand hard surfaces, which can be vital if you like going off-trail. You shouldn’t have any problems with rain as the shoes are waterproof. The manufacturer offered numerous color combinations so that you can pick a suitable design. Adidas did everything to make their shoes very breathable, especially during long hikes.
The shoes have a durable design, but they might be a bit stiff. Ultimately, that is a question of preference. If you prefer sturdy footwear, you might find that these are the best plantar fasciitis hiking shoes out there.
Why did it make our list?
Durable and suitable for different types of terrain
Colors: black, dark brown, medium brown full grain, wheat, brown, brown nubuck
Upper material: 100% leather
Sole material: rubber
Lacing: standard with hooks
More features: waterproof, durable, outsole has multi-directional lugs
At very first glance, you can see that Timberland did all the things right. The company used 100% leather and included an oiled-leather finish to ensure the shoes look beautiful. The laces are easy to adjust, and the shoes are spacious inside. That might make these the best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis sufferers with wide feet out there.
The shoes have a rubber sole and a padded collar. Although they seem quite comfortable, the ventilation could be a bit better. Fortunately, you only realize that if you wear the shoes for a really long time in a warmer period.
The comfort won’t be compromised thanks to the footbed made of detachable dual-density EVA. The shoes are waterproof and rugged enough for uneven surfaces. You can choose between six available colors, but you can say that the shoes have an overall classic appearance.
Ariat believes that three things are crucial when designing plantar fasciitis hiking shoes. First, you need to provide optimal cushioning, which is why they offer a footbed with four layers. Next, you need to get adequate support from the shoe. That is why the company added a stabilizing shank that also doesn’t add much weight to the shoe and keeps it light.
Finally, the outsole should be durable to resist wear and tear, and the company designed a special outsole for maximum resistance. Add to that waterproof materials, and you get this shoe as a result.
Since it is a women’s shoe, a slight problem might be appearance. You can choose between two colors only, and the overall look is simple. However, you can change laces, or add details to personalize them to your preference.
Colors: black, blue, grey, green, purple, coffee, red wine
Upper material: fabric and synthetic
Sole material: rubber
Lacing: standard with hooks
More features: waterproof, molded TPU ankle support and moisture-wicking mesh lining, rubber toe cap for extra protection
Here is another candidate for the best women’s hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis. If you are an ambitious hiker or backpacker, this product will exceed your expectations. These are the real outdoor boots, and they are suitable for extreme weather and surface conditions.
The shoes are waterproof and can handle rain. You can also rely on them when hiking on uneven and rough surfaces. They will keep you comfortable, and offer excellent traction for rocky ground. Unfortunately, you may not find them the smartest choice for warm weather. The rugged construction is the reason, especially if it is hot outside.
But although they might not be suitable for all seasons, they are a great choice for a seasoned backpacker for colder weather. The shoes manage to combine aesthetics and performance, and they will last for a long time. Moreover, the price tag is budget-friendly.
When you are hiking for hours, you don’t want to have moisture issues. Keen understands that, which is why their breathable liner ensures to deal with it effectively.
Apart from odor control, the product is also waterproof. That means you do not have to watch the weather forecast and worry about whether your feet will stay dry. The product is fairly durable, and the comfort level they give is more than adequate.
The main disadvantages of them are that they are quite wide, and the sizes run a bit big. If you are a woman with small and narrow feet, you may want to choose a smaller size. The good news is that it shouldn’t be hard to find a color combination that fits your preference because you can choose between 26 different designs.
Why are we impressed?
The breathable liner does an excellent job in dealing with moisture
More features: 2-year limited warranty, durable, great foot protection, polyester linings absorb and disperse moisture, shock-proof footbeds
The first thing you notice is that these hiking boots for plantar fasciitis are incredibly light. Salomon did everything to come up with a product that will be convenient to wear.
The manufacturer used 100% synthetic and designed the shoes so that you feel comfortable while trekking. You shouldn’t feel fatigued even during long hikes due to the generous cushioning and optimal heel support. This is the fourth generation of shoes in this series, and the company perfected the construction to secure maximum comfort.
The design is attractive, and you can choose between four different color combinations. Although the company ensured that the materials are sturdy and used stitching wherever possible, many customers reported that the sole started falling apart after a few months of use. Still, this is a great model especially need if you hike on uneven terrains.
Why is it special?
Very light and comfortable shoes
Reduced risk of fatigue even during long hikes
An excellent choice for camping and backpacking
What are the flaws?
Might have durability issues
Things to Consider
Now that you are familiar with the top-rated models on the market, it’s time to discuss hiking shoes’ features. All the models listed above are of premium quality, but there are significant differences in the construction, and what they are best at. You can check out a detailed buying guide, and discover all the factors that may affect your ultimate purchasing decision. Don’t forget to read the answers to the most frequently asked questions about hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis, as it may upgrade your knowledge on the topic further.
Picking the best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis
What features should the best plantar fasciitis hiking shoes have? The first thing is to select the right size, and then you can focus on materials. You should consider the terrain you are hiking on, and keep that in mind while choosing. Many details will affect the ultimate comfort, which is why you shouldn’t rush your decision. Take a closer look at the most important features of hiking shoes, and learn how to pick a model that suits your preference.
The size chart may also vary from one manufacturer to another. Some companies may have sizes that run a little large, while others may run a bit small. That is why it is important to read the recommendations and check out the specific size chart.
It is vital that your shoes aren’t too narrow because you want to feel comfortable. They also shouldn’t be too spacious as that can cause fatigue and pain.
Always check the customers’ reviews to get a clear idea of which size you should be looking for.
The upper section material is very important for shoes. Its main purpose is to provide adequate protection from environmental factors. For example, if it is rainy, you should go with waterproof upper, as this will help to keep your feet dry.
The upper section can also affect how breathable the shoe is. If you plan on wearing your hiking footwear for hours each day, it is essential that there are no moisture issues.
The most common material for the upper section is leather. You can find various leather types, including full, split-grain, and nubuck. Keen Men’s Wide Targhee II Waterproof Mid – Wide is made from durable leather that guarantees the shoes will be a long-term investment.
Alternatively, some manufacturers use a mixture of synthetic, such as nylon mesh and other fabrics. Thanks to that, they manage to achieve admirable breathability while optimizing the price.
When it comes to the sole, it is vital to mention that we can divide it into three sections – outsole, midsole, and insole.
Here is an overview of each:
Outsole – that part will get in contact with the surface. That is why it should ensure optimal traction. The manufacturers usually go with rubber as the preferred material. Many of them also add lugs, whose task is to improve grip on wet and muddy surfaces.
Midsole – the two most common materials for the midsole include polyurethane (PU) and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). Most companies go with the latter option as it secures the required flexibility and support while remaining affordable.
Insole – you will find many manufacturers calling this section a footbed. Its goal is to provide optimal comfort and breathability. That is why you should go with moisture-wicking materials that resist bacteria and maintain freshness.
Users often focus on whether the shoes provide optimal comfort, but forget about the support. If you are looking for plantar fasciitis hiking shoes, it is vital to find a product with optimal support, especially if you hike for hours.
You can find different types of support, such as arch, heel, and ankle stabilizers, and other features. Most users find that hiking shoes offer more protection compared to regular sneakers, and that is because they are designed for long-term wearing.
Cushioning is an essential consideration for plantar fasciitis hiking shoes. You should always look for models with generous cushioning as that ensures improved shock absorption. It is a crucial factor in eliminating heel pain.
The majority of manufacturers implement at least some level of cushioning with their products. Some models like Adidas Terrex Swift R2 GTX Shoes are more generous than the others. It is interesting to note that some customers find extra cushioning counterproductive. That is why it might take a bit of trial and error until you find a suitable level for you. However, you should avoid shoes without cushioning, especially if you have issues with heel pain.
We all want our footwear to last as long as possible. However, the durability of your hiking shoes will depend on many factors.
The first one is the quality of construction and the materials used. Premium components should expand the longevity of the product. How long your shoes will last also depends on how frequently you use them, and on what surfaces.
The average durability of hiking shoes should be at least six months with regular use. Many of the models can last significantly longer than that. However, if you hike on rocky grounds and uneven terrains, it may affect the durability of your shoe.
It is vital to find hiking footwear with optimal moisture resistance to avoid problems that you might face during or after your hike.
Apart from establishing optimal odor control, moisture resistant footwear will keep your feet dry. If they get sweaty, you may become uncomfortable, and that could ruin your hike. That is why you should choose shoes with mesh lining and other materials that allow your feet to breathe.
Lacing and tongue are two features that you should also consider when choosing your hiking shoes. Now, the majority of models, such as Vasque Men’s Juxt Multi-Sport, use standard lacing. Some shoes will also have hooks that provide more stability and a snug fit. You can also find elastic laces with cord lock with models like the Merrell Men’s Chameleon 7 Stretch, which are an alternative to the standard type.
Apart from the lacing, the tongue is important for adjusting the optimal fit. You will notice that the manufacturers use nylon mesh and other breathable materials. Thanks to that, the tongue can contribute to keeping your feet moisture-free. You should also choose a tongue that has connections to the upper section. That way, it will keep dust and debris from getting in your shoe.
Here is the most important advice – you should get the footwear that’s comfortable. Mild discomfort can easily turn into blisters, heel pain, and other problems. The quality of materials, generous cushioning, and optimal fit contribute to comfort. It is important to pay more attention to the comfort of your heel. The best plantar fasciitis hiking shoes should also provide the necessary support because that will minimize heel pain and add more stability to your feet.
Your primary consideration is to reduce or eliminate heel pain. However, that’s no reason not to think about the aesthetics of your hiking shoes. Most manufacturers allow you to pick different color combinations. It seems that Keen Women’s Targhee II Waterproof is the leader in that category. It offers an impressive number of 26 different color combinations available.
Since most hiking shoes are made of leather, you will often find them in brown, black olive and shiitake shades. Some manufacturers stick with classic combinations, while others experiment with bright colors. The best piece of advice we can give is that your hiking shoes should match your style and the rest of your outfit.
There is no reason why your hiking would be limited by plantar fasciitis. However, you will need to be more careful about choosing the right shoes. Fortunately, many manufacturers specialize in designing footwear suitable for hikers that experience discomfort from plantar fasciitis. You want to find a model that suits your needs. That means you want to get the right size, but also comfort and support. As soon as you get high-quality footwear, it will decrease, and over time eliminate heel pain you may be feeling. It will be a worthy investment, as it will ensure to turn your hiking into an enjoyable experience.
Have you tried regular sneakers and discovered that they are giving you heel pain? If that is the case why you should steer clear from standard footwear. Instead, you should look for plantar fasciitis hiking shoes. Their benefit lies in a specific design that should minimize heel pain while hiking. You can even find footwear that is suitable for rocky grounds and uneven surfaces. Choosing shoes that provide additional support and comfort should help you during your hikes. Although they might be a bit more expensive than regular sneakers, you will appreciate the benefits you get.
Lacing is a crucial factor when choosing footwear for plantar fasciitis. Its task is to ensure that you achieve optimal tightness and snug fit. You can go for models with standard lacings. You already know them from regular sneakers, so it shouldn’t be a problem to get used to them. There are hooks on many models that provide more stability and support for your feet. Some manufacturers also offer elastic laces with a cord lock. They might make finding an optimal tightness easier, as well as they are easier to put on and take off. But the final choice is ultimately up to you.
At the end of our article, let’s make another quick look at the best plantar fasciitis hiking shoes out there.
You can’t go wrong with the Vasque Men’s Juxt Multi-Sport, either. The manufacturer exceeded all expectations with shoes that give extra grip and protection. Apart from being comfortable and easy to adjust, we can’t deny that they are also attractive thanks to the suede leather.
Our top-three list of the best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis ends with the Merrell Men’s Chameleon 7 Stretch. As the seventh edition in the same series, this footwear proved to be very durable. It is also light and easy to put on and take off, which makes the use more convenient.
Have you found your favorite model of hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis? By choosing the ideal pair, you have the highest chances of minimizing or eliminating heel pain while hiking!