What are the best shoes for plantar fasciitis?

To relieve heel pain, some manufacturers have specially developed shoes for heel spurs. These are generally comfort shoes, with a removable insole so that you can insert a shock-absorbing heel pad or an orthopaedic insole. However, wearing good shoes for heel pain is one of the first conservative treatments for heel spur and plantar fasciitis.

Calcaneal spur is a bony outgrowth at the point of insertion of the plantar fascia on the heel bone known as the calcaneus. It is caused by chronic inflammation of the plantar fascia (plantar fasciitis). Excessive traction on this tissue can cause microtrauma and tears. As a result of the inflammation, bone cells proliferate and accumulate at the lower base of the heel, forming a heel spur.

Choosing the good shoes for plantar fasciitis and heel spurs and can help reduce inflammation and pain!


The importance of footwear in relieving heel pain

Unsuitable footwear is a major risk factor for heel spur and plantar fasciitis:

  • shoes that are too flat and give poor support to the arch of the foot and the heel;
  • shoes with a sole that is too thin or too hard, which does not absorb enough shock;
  • shoes with a counter that is too soft and does not stabilise the heel properly;
  • shoes that are too worn.


Associated risk factors

Having an abnormal morphology of the foot or arch is also a major risk factor for heel spur (e.g. flat feet, hollow feet). These morphological disorders cause excessive traction on the plantar fascia(1) and are also responsible for poor gait. They therefore also require appropriate footwear for plantar fasciitis, in particular orthopaedic insoles.

Walking or standing for long periods on hard surfaces also exposes the whole body to shock waves and creates excessive stress on the plantar fascia, leading to inflammation and pain(2).

Find out more about other causes and risk factors for heel spur.


Are there orthopaedic shoes for plantar fasciitis?

There aren't really any orthopaedic shoes for heel spurs, but rather comfort shoes with a removable insole that can be replaced by an orthopaedic insole.

During a consultation with your podiatrist, he or she can make you custom-made orthopaedic insoles that correct the morphology of your foot. In this case, you can insert them into your shoes for plantar fasciitis or into your usual shoes.

Alternatively, there are shoe models with insoles that offer the right support for the arch of the foot. Some manufacturers have also developed orthopaedic sandals or flip-flops for summer use.


What are the best shoes for plantar fasciitis?

Adapting footwear for plantar fasciitis is one of the first therapeutic recommendations. The aim is to reduce the overstressing of the plantar fascia that causes the inflammation. To achieve this, the best shoes for heel spurs:

  • have a comfortable insole with cushioning or memory foam;
  • give good support to the arch of the foot;
  • are in good condition (check for thinning or deformation of the sole, for example);
  • are adapted to professional and sporting activities: each activity requires more or less repeated and prolonged support, which requires specific cushioning;
  • have a low heel (< 3 cm);
  • have a sole and an insole that absorb as much shock as possible when walking;
  • are wide enough to comfortably accommodate the foot and heel.


Should I limit walking with plantar fasciitis?

Walking with plantar fasciitis is neither contraindicated nor recommended. In fact, rest is essential to reduce inflammation, and is one of the first recommendations in the treatment of plantar fasciitis.

You can walk with a heel spur if the pain allows it. Although pain can also occur during the day, it is more common in the morning and evening. The frequency and intensity of the pain will depend in particular on the stage of the condition.


How to walk with plantar fasciitis?

The intense pain caused by plantar fasciitis when walking occurs under the front of the heel. It can cause you to limp and use pain-avoidance strategies such as tiptoeing(3). However, it is possible to limit the factors that aggravate walking pain.

A number of solutions exist to reduce traction on the plantar fascia and create cushioning under the heel when walking. There are shoes inserts for plantar fasciitis, which are cushioning insoles or heel pads*, and orthopaedic insoles indicated in cases of static disorders of the foot. They provide cushioning in the heel area and help to correct foot deviations when walking(3).


Alternatives to footwear for plantar fasciitis

There are alternatives to shoes for heel spur or plantar fasciitis to reduce inflammation and relieve heel pain.

Heel lifts

By raising the heel a little in your shoes, heel pads relieve pressure on the plantar fascia, thereby reducing the inflammation that causes pain(2). We recommend using that kind of shoe insert with a flexible platform made from a shock-absorbing material.

Thanks to its materials, which have been validated by podiatrists, the EPITACT®’s heel pads* have excellent shock-absorbing properties when walking. For optimum comfort, they have a soft silicone core that relieves pressure on the painful area when walking. The heel pads are very easy to use and fit into all your usual closed shoes.

Orthopaedic insoles

By correcting the shape of the foot, orthopaedic insoles re-establish even tension on the plantar fascia and relieve pain. They are therefore mainly indicated if you have a morphological defect such as a flat or hollow foot, and are made to measure.

In general, they provide good support for the inner arch of the foot and have a cushioning layer under the heel(1, 4). By raising the heel slightly, they also help to relax the plantar fascia. Finally, some insoles have a depression in the heel to reduce the impact on the painful area.

There are also prefabricated insoles designed to support the arch of the foot(5).

To find out whether you need orthopaedic insoles for your heel spur, consult your doctor and/or podiatrist.


Our bonus tips to combat heel pain

In addition to wearing good shoes for plantar fasciitis, it is also advisable to(1) :

  • limit walking or prolonged standing on hard ground;
  • avoid activities that involve repeated impact on the heel (e.g. running, jumping sports, etc.);
  • lose weight if necessary;
  • apply cold under the heel;
  • massage and stretch the arch of your foot.

In addition to shoes to relieve the heel, orthopaedic insoles and heel lifts, other medical treatments may be added.

Adjusting your footwear if you have plantar fasciitis is one of the first treatment recommendations. In addition, you can use orthopaedic insoles if you have a morphological disorder, or special heel cups to relieve inflammation.


*This solution is a class I medical device that bears the CE marking under this regulation. Carefully read the instructions before use. Manufacturer: Millet Innovation. 04/2024



(1)Heil P. Tendon d’Achille et épine calcanéenne au cabinet médical. EMHMedia. 2018;18(1):13 5.

(2)Dalibon P. Affections rhumatologiques du pied. Actualités Pharmaceutiques. 1 oct 2018;57(579):50 3.

(3)Fulpius T, Gabay C. Talalgies plantaires : aspects cliniques et pratiques. Médecine&Hygiène. 2002;(2384):598 602.

(4)Fulpius T. Talalgies (aponévrosite plantaire) : comment les prendre en charge ? Rev Med Suisse. 2014;10:241 2.

(5)Bartold SJ. Fasciite plantaire. Le fascia plantaire comme source de douleur : biomécanique, signes cliniques et traitement. EMC - Podologie. 1 juin 2005;1(2):29 41.