None of us want to be held back from hiking by a foot condition, right?
Especially when the benefits of walking in nature are so widespread for our health and wellbeing.
Hiking with plantar fasciitis is definitely possible provided you wear the right kind of boots.
This article will list the best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis so that you can get out there and breath in the sunshine without any crippling foot pain!
Check the bottom of the page for extra useful pointers and tips.
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- Top 17 Best Hiking Boots & Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2021
- Keen Men’s Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots
- Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe
- Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 3 GTX Backpacking Boots
- Hoka One One Men’s Tor Summit Hiking Shoe
- Adidas Outdoor Men’s Terrex Swift R GTX Shoes
- Salewa Men’s Mountain Trainer Mid Gore-Tex Boots
- Vasque Men’s Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Hiking Boots
- Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Boots
- Oboz Women’s Bridger B-DRY Hiking Boots
- Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Boots
- Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots
- Merrell Women’s Chameleon 7 Waterproof Hiking Shoes
- Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boots
- Ariat Women’s Terrain H2O Hiking Boots
- Timberland Women’s Chocorua Trail Boots
- New Balance Women’s WW1400v1 Walking Boots
- Chaco Women’s ZX/1 Unaweep Sandal
- What Should I Look in Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis?
Top 17 Best Hiking Boots & Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis 2021
Keen Men’s Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots
Review: Comfort is pretty high on the priority list if you have plantar fasciitis and Keen boots are literally made for comfort.
They are so well cushioned and with just the right amount of support, you can’t really go wrong. They are also waterproof and breathable, with great traction, making them ideal for a range of conditions.
- Stability shank provides torsion control.
- No breaking in required, comfortable out of the box.
- Heel lock and EVA foam midsole are great for plantar fasciitis.
- Wide fit and good arch support.
- Runs half a size small so size up.
Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe
Review: As a shoe alternative to the highly popular Moab mid-rise boots, these shoes provide all the same arch support and cushioning but in a lighter, more versatile package that is perfect for people just getting into walking and recovering from more serious plantar fasciitis.
Their waterproofing and top of the line traction make them a year-round option for hiking.
- Removable insole makes it possible to add custom inserts.
- Merrell air cushion and nylon arch shank provide cushioning and support.
- Vibram outsole with durable tread.
- Waterproof outers.
- Wide option available
- Sizing may run small.
Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 3 GTX Backpacking Boots
Review: These boots are a pretty unique combination of hiking boot support with a running shoe feel. They are high-rise boots and yet have a very lightweight feel with a huge amount of stability and support.
Their OrthoLite sock liner provides extra comfortable cushioning making these a pretty complete package for plantar fasciitis sufferers.
- Gore-Tex lining for breathable waterproofing.
- OrthoLite sock liner and heel foam provide comfortable cushioning.
- Contragrip outsole.
- Excellent heel support.
- Better suited to narrow feet.
Hoka One One Men’s Tor Summit Hiking Shoe
Review: Hoka One One produce a pretty unique range of footwear known for its incredible cushioning.
These hiking shoes come with an engineered midsole which is also very supportive making it a great option for people with painful plantar fasciitis.
- Extreme cushioning.
- Supportive midsole.
- Leather uppers with waterproof membrane.
- Vibram MegaGrip Hi-Traction sole with 4mm lugs.
- Hoka shoes have a pretty unique feel that not everyone’s going to like so make sure you try them first.
Adidas Outdoor Men’s Terrex Swift R GTX Shoes
Review: These are another pair of low cut shoe style hikers that are an excellent alternative to boots if you can get away without the ankle support.
The removable foam insole leaves plenty of room for your own custom orthotics while the ADIPRENE cushioning provides great shock absorbance in the heel.
- Lightweight EVA midsole.
- High traction rubber outsole.
- Breathable and waterproof Gore-Tex lining.
- This is a neutral shoe so the support won’t be quite enough without an extra insole if you’re an extreme over-pronator.
- The bungee tie system may be annoying if you prefer laces.
Salewa Men’s Mountain Trainer Mid Gore-Tex Boots
Review: These mountaineering boots are ideal for technical terrain with steep ascents and descents.
They are designed to be supportive while maintaining flexibility, making them comfortable for long periods of time which is important for plantar fasciitis sufferers.
- Ergonomically designed midsole.
- Gore-Tex lining.
- Crampon compatible.
- A little heavy.
- Insole isn’t cushioned enough so you’ll need a custom one.
Vasque Men’s Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Hiking Boots
Review:This is a really popular hiking boot with a lot of people finding it comfortable and with reliable ankle support.
They are made of leather and synthetic upper with a Vibram sole and dual density footbed.
- Excellent ankle support.
- Well-suited to narrow feet.
- Gore-Tex lining for waterproofing.
- A little narrow in the toe-box region so buy the wide size if unsure.
- May be too warm for summer hiking if you get hot feet.
Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Boots
Review: These boots have an impressive amount of high-quality features for a Timberland boot.
They have multiple support mechanisms and a good amount of cushioning making them a solid mid-range option for people with foot trouble.
- Waterproof full-grain leather uppers.
- Dual-density EVA footbed and midsole with supportive shank.
- Rubber outsole with multi-directional lugs.
- The insole is the weak point, if you can replace with a higher quality insole, these boots will be a great choice for plantar fasciitis.
Oboz Women’s Bridger B-DRY Hiking Boots
Review: Oboz make some of the best boots for plantar fasciitis due to their excellent foot-beds and midsole support, eliminating the need for a custom insole in most cases.
The Bridger B-DRYs have an O Fit Insole with a sculpted and arch and heel cup which is perfect for plantar fasciitis.
The compressed EVA foam is shock absorbing and supportive making for a highly comfortable shoe.
- Excellent arch and heel support.
- Granite Peak midsole includes nylon shank for stability.
- Granite Peak rugged outsole and rubber toe caps.
- Oboz B-DRY waterproof membrane.
- Wide sizing available.
- Very hard to find a con for these boots!
Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Boots
Review: This is the non-waterproof version of the highly popular Moab, or Mother Of All Boots. It’s perfect for warm weather hiking when ventilation is more important than waterproofing.
It’s very comfortable, with great support and a decent amount of cushioning making it great for sufferers of plantar fasciitis.
- Excellent traction with 5mm lugs will keep you safe in rugged terrain.
- Heel support and zonal arch support.
- Contoured EVA and M Select Fit footbed.
- Plenty of ventilation.
- Not waterproof – check out the GTX or Waterproof versions if you need waterproofing.
Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots
Review: These are another top of the line pair of boots for plantar fasciitis due their incredible amount of support and durable quality.
They are constructed of a mix of leather and synthetic resulting in a very waterproof and stable upper, with a very high-quality Vibram outsole.
- Monowrap midsole keeps the weight down.
- Nubuck leather upper with Gore-Tex membrane.
- Nylon, full-length stabilizing shank.
- Rugged Vibram outsole provides cushioning and traction.
- You may need to boost the arch support and foot-bed cushioning with an insole.
Merrell Women’s Chameleon 7 Waterproof Hiking Shoes
Review: These shoes provide a great shoe alternative to the boots on this list. They are very waterproof, supportive and cushioned all at once making for a versatile year-round option.
The Chameleons are known for their waterproofing in particular, but also their comfort and reliable Merrell durability.
- Easily removable insole if you have your own inners.
- EVA foam molded footbed for comfort, support and cushioning.
- Air cushion in the heel provides support and shock absorbance.
- Highly waterproof.
- Sizing can be a bit hit and miss.
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boots
Review: These boots are designed for flat feet which makes them ideal for people with plantar fasciitis as the arch support will be reliable.
They have a great quality compression molded EVA foam midsole which provides support and cushioning.
- Well-structured EVA midsole for cushioning.
- Reliable, moderate arch support.
- Waterproof full-grain leather upper.
- Omni-Grip traction.
- Arch support may not be enough for everyone.
Ariat Women’s Terrain H2O Hiking Boots
Review: These boots are winners from a plantar fasciitis perspective for their overall stability and support.
The advanced torque stability technology combined with the thick Duratread sole makes for excellent shock absorption and support through the length of the foot.
- 100% leather upper is waterproof and durable.
- Solid shank and torsional support.
- Well-padded for increased comfort.
- Minimal breathability so possibly not ideal if you’re prone to sweating.
Timberland Women’s Chocorua Trail Boots
Review:Impressively durable and lightweight, these boots provide a good amount of support and extremely sturdy outsoles.
The overall balance of support and cushioning is what makes these boots great for plantar fasciitis, as the combination of arch support, ankle support and cushioning reduce tendon stress and discomfort.
- Gore-Tex membrane for breathable waterproofing.
- Cushioned EVA foam footbed and midsole.
- Comfortable ankle support.
- May feel stiff to begin with – require a little breaking in.
New Balance Women’s WW1400v1 Walking Boots
Review: New Balance are known for their excellent range of motion control running shoes, and these walking shoes have been given the same treatment.
These boots are well cushioned and cater perfectly for the wide, flat foot. The stability throughout the midsole is excellent making for a very comfortable and stable shoe.
- Midsole of compression molded EVA foam for cushioning.
- Rollbar lateral and medial stability posts for support.
- Rubber sole with reasonable traction.
- The traction won’t be enough for more rugged hiking.
Chaco Women’s ZX/1 Unaweep Sandal
Review: Sandals may not be your first thought when thinking about relief from plantar fasciitis – but maybe they should be!
These sandals are so comfortable, well cushioned and with really good book support that will likely be your go-to option for summer walking and hiking.
- Lightweight and very comfortable.
- Contoured LUVSEAT footbed has great arch support and cushioning.
- Vibram sole with excellent traction.
- Unbeatable ventilation and quick-drying after walking through a stream!
- Sizing may run large so try before you buy!
What Should I Look in Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis?
The two main considerations when choosing the best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis are cushioning and arch support.
Plantar fasciitis is common in people with flat feet or very high arches who spend a lot of time on their feet and/or in shoes without enough support and cushioning.
Giving your feet the right support will prevent the problem from getting worse while wearing boots with plenty of cushioning will help to relieve any pain or discomfort caused by the condition.
This refers to ankle support, arch support, torsional, medial and lateral support of the foot throughout the foot strike and toe off. Look for boots that have a shank and a supportive midsole.
This refers to the amount of cushioning and shock absorbance in the outsole, midsole, and insole. Look for boots that have an EVA foam midsole and rubber outsole, ideally with some extra shock absorbance technology thrown in like air cushions in the heel.
Other considerations include brand quality, width, and shape of your foot, and style of footwear.
If you have plantar fasciitis, it really is going to be worth spending a few extra dollars to get boots from a reliable brand. Like the best tent brands, there can be a huge difference between an entry-level product and a product from a reputable outdoor clothing brand.
The shape of your foot will also play a big role in which models you can wear. Some boots and shoes are just better suited to narrower or wider feet. Check out my article on the best hiking boots for narrow, flat and wide feet for more ideas.
Lastly, it’s not a one-style-fits-all deal anymore with the best hiking boots for women. Just as there are great boots, there are also great shoes and even hiking sandals that can be great choices depending on the kind of hiking you’re going to be doing.
Other Tips and Tricks
Well-cushioned hiking boots do exist…
But, let’s be honest, if you’ve ever felt the cushioning in a running shoe, you may be wondering why hiking boot foot-beds have to feel so darn hard!
The cushioning is in the midsole and is more focussed on absorbing shock to protect your joints than giving your feet a cushy footbed.
But a hard foot-bed can be a deal breaker if you’re living with the pain of plantar fasciitis, right?
There is a very simple solution.
If you’ve found a pair of hiking boots that are a good fit for your foot in terms of shape and support but don’t offer enough cushioning, you can remedy this by buying a good insole.
There is actually a great range of insoles designed specifically for sufferers of plantar fasciitis. Three of the most popular options are by Physix Gear, Walk Hero and Dr. Scholl’s.
You could also try using a compression sleeve over your ankle, heel, and forefoot for extra support, increased circulation and pain relief.
But, at the end of the day, while buying the best products is going to give you a jump start, you’ll likely need to find treatment in other ways as well.
If you haven’t done much hiking but want to get into it, plantar fasciitis doesn’t need to stop you. But, you’ll need to be sensible and build up really slowly to prevent further injury.
While you’re building up the miles, make sure to ice your feet whenever they start getting painful.
You can also lie on your back with your legs up against the wall, and include anti-inflammatory foods in your diet to help speed recovery. Turmeric tea is always a great choice!
Know your body and know your limits!
Are Hiking Boots Good for Plantar Fasciitis?
The right kind of hiking boots can be very good for plantar fasciitis as they can be very supportive and well cushioned, relieving the tension on your foot and allowing you to walk without making the problem worse.
Should I Hike With Plantar Fasciitis?
Definitely! Provided you’re not crippled with the pain of course. Easy hiking could actually help relieve the pain by stretching and strengthening the muscles in your feet. Build up slowly though and wear the right boots!
Is it Bad to Walk Barefoot With Plantar Fasciitis?
This depends on how bad your plantar fasciitis is.
If you’ve never really walked barefoot and your feet are extremely painful, walking barefoot could make the problem worse or at least slow the healing as the muscles in your feet probably aren’t strong enough to handle barefoot walking.
But, if you’re in the early stages of the condition, or a fair way along the path to recovery, slowly adding some barefoot walking into your lifestyle could be a great way to strengthen your feet and prevent the problem from recurring.
Does Walking Make Plantar Fasciitis Worse?
As above, some common sense is required here. If your condition is really bad, then yes, walking will make the problem worse.
But, if your plantar fasciitis is mild, you are doing the required stretches and exercises for recovery and you have a good pair of supportive and cushioned boots, walking can be a great way to relieve the problem.
I hope you feel well-prepared to choose the best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis so that you can get back out on the trail.
So long as you have a good amount of cushioning and the right support, there is really no reason why you can’t continue to enjoy the great outdoors.
Please go ahead and share your experiences below if you’ve suffered from plantar fasciitis yourself.
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