The 5 Best Hoka Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis, According to Experts

With the Well+Good SHOP, our editors put their years of experience to work to choose products—from skin care to personal care and more—that they’re sure you’ll love. While these products are selected independently by our editors, making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission. Happy shopping! Explore the SHOP

Shopping for shoes when you suffer from plantar fasciitis is no easy task, no pun intended. All throbbing, throbbing heel pain and swelling throughout the foot require slippers that do not exacerbate the symptoms even worse, especially during activities that place more impact on the foot and joints, such as walking, running, and hiking. Instead, athletic shoes with a thick, cushioned, shock-absorbing midsole, built-in arch support, and a “rocker” shape can help alleviate these symptoms. Fortunately, Hoka, the popular shoe brand approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association, has just what you need. Below are the best Hoka shoes for plantar fasciitis, all of which are podiatrist-approved.

So what is plantar fasciitis?

“Plantar fasciitis, or fasciosis, involves the tearing and scarring of a band of tissue in the arch of the foot,” says Nelya Lobkova, DPM, a podiatrist with Step Up Footcare in New York City. “It starts to tear at the plantar fascia attachment to the heel bone.” In other words… ow. Dr. Lobkova says that symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain in the heels (which can occur when walking or standing after a period of rest), mild swelling, and redness. “Chronic plantar fascia tear causes a buildup of abnormal or scarred fascia or tendon that can cause prolonged pain and discomfort,” she says.

What causes plantar fasciitis to occur?

“Many things can cause the ligament to become inflamed,” adds board-certified podiatrist and surgeon David J. Liss, DPM, of the Airport Podiatry Group in Los Angeles. The main culprits for plantar fasciitis are tight calf muscles, a very low or high arch, an increase or change in activities, and poor shoe choices. Liss says he should avoid shoes that “are too flat, too flexible, and lack proper foot support.”

How is plantar fasciitis treated and prevented?

There are a few doctor-recommended ways to treat the pain that accompanies plantar fasciitis.

Stretch it

“The best way to relieve plantar fasciitis is to stretch, stretch, stretch,” says Lobkova. Anne Sharkey, DPM, a podiatrist at the North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute, agrees, recommending daily calf muscle stretches to avoid straining the muscles that attach the heel bone to the plantar fascia.

don’t walk barefoot

Although some podiatrists recommend going barefoot or wearing barefoot sandals to allow the muscles in your feet to move freely and naturally, people with plantar fasciitis should wear supportive shoes. Dr. Sharkey says that going barefoot can lead to plantar fasciitis pain, and he says you should avoid prolonged periods of going barefoot, especially on hard surfaces.

Use an ice roller

One way to help relieve pain and pressure in your heel is by rolling ice. “An ice roller can be used under the foot to stretch and reduce pain and inflammation,” says podiatrist Marion Yau, also known as Miss Foot Fixer. Don’t have an ice roller ready? Don’t worry. “A bottle of water can be frozen and turned into an ice roller,” she recommends.

support your arches

Be sure to take care of your arches, especially if you have dropped arches or high arches. “Wear shoes with padded arch supports and cushioned soles when you walk for support and shock absorption,” says Yau.

no high heels

Wearing high heels can, gasp, lead to more than just a night of pinched toes and sore soles. If you really want to avoid plantar fasciitis, it might be time to ditch those sky-high stilettos in favor of more comfortable flats. “Constant wearing of high heels can exacerbate naturally tight calves,” says Dr. Liss.

What shoes should you not wear with plantar fasciitis?

Proper support is key to coping and combating plantar fasciitis flare-ups. When you’re looking for the best shoes for plantar fasciitis, avoid flat-soled shoes with no arch support or cushioning—”think flimsy, cheap flip-flops and ballerinas,” says Dr. Sharkey. Additionally, Dr. Sharkey recommends avoiding casual, flexible unsupported tennis shoes in favor of, you guessed it, more supportive styles, as the former “places excess stretch and tension on the plantar fascia, exacerbating pain.”

What shoes do doctors recommend for plantar fasciitis?

With so many sneakers on the market, it’s important to buy from a trusted source. “Choose a shoe company that focuses on product development, scientific testing, and proper shoe construction,” recommends Dr. Liss.

From there, follow these tips from Dr. Sharkey:

  • Choose shoes with shock-absorbing cushioning, “which helps relieve pain and pressure,” she says.
  • Shoes should have a firm heel, which is a piece at the back of the shoe that provides stability and better alignment. Look for ones with “adequate width throughout the shoe to support the arch and allow enough room for toe clearance,” she recommends.
  • Note the drop from heel to toe. “5mm and more is usually best for people with plantar fasciitis; the sweet spot seems to be 7 to 10mm heel drop for acute plantar fasciitis,” she says.

What are the best Hoka shoes for plantar fasciitis?

Hoka is a shoe brand dedicated to promoting foot health and good mechanics, so their styles are a great place to start. This is due to a variety of factors, including its marshmallow-like cushioning, its stability, and a rocker-like bottom that propels you forward during walks and runs. “Designed with extra cushioning, a wide midsole, and a low heel-to-toe drop, Hoka shoes are ideal for plantar fasciitis sufferers,” says Yau.

Below are the six best Hoka shoes for plantar fasciitis, ready to keep your heels happy and healthy.

The 6 Best Hoka Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Hoka, Lead 6 — $140.00

Available sizes: 5-12, in half sizes and two widths

According to Dr. Sharkey, the Hoka Arahi 6 is a must for greater stability throughout the foot. “It’s my most recommended shoe for people with flat feet or overpronation,” she says. Dr. Liss agrees, saying it’s “a great option for people who need maximum stability to prevent the ankle from rolling in too far.” In addition to its stabilizer frame, the Arahi 6 is prized for its combination of cushioning, lightweight design, and mesh upper with zones of breathability.

Weight: 7.6 ounces
Drop from heel to toe: 5mm

Colors: eleven

  • Extremely stable, excellent for overpronation
  • Balanced cushioning throughout the midsole
  • 5mm heel-to-toe drop
  • Great for both walking and running.
  • Wide range of colors and sizes.

Hoka, Bondi 8 — $180.00

Available sizes: 6-11, in half sizes and two widths

Dr. Liss says the Bondi 8 is a great choice for “everyday wearers, walkers, or runners who prefer a more cushioned, bouncy feel.” He also recommends this style for his older patients as it provides more cushioning. “As we get older, we tend to lose some of the fat padding on the bottom of our foot, and harder surfaces can cause pain,” she says. With a protective rear pad that offers a balanced ride from heel strike to forefoot transition, this Hoka shoe is an ideal choice (and a sleeker alternative to other orthotic shoes on the market).

Weight: 8.9oz
Drop from heel to toe: 4mm

Colors: twenty

  • Maximum cushioning and rear crashpad
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Padded ankle collar
  • 4mm heel-to-toe drop
  • Wide range of sizes and colors.
  • Neutral stability – may not be favorable enough for overpronation

Hoka, Seagull 4 — $136.00

Originally $170, on sale for $136

Available sizes: 5-12, in half sizes and two widths

Dr. Lobkova loves the Gaviota for its cushioning. “Excellent cushioning for the concrete streets of New York City, especially for long walks,” she says. It features the brand’s J-Frame™ enhanced support, a plush collar and tongue, and offers superior stability, so when looking for the best shoes for plantar fasciitis, these Hoka shoes are a great one to try.

Weight: 9.3oz
Drop from heel to toe: 5mm

Colors: 6

  • maximum cushioning
  • Extremely stable, excellent for overpronation
  • It features meta-rocker support to help relieve stress on your feet and ankles.
  • Wide range of sizes
  • There aren’t as many color options as other Hoka styles.

Hoka, Clifton 9 — $145.00

Sizes: 5-12, in half sizes and two widths

One of Dr. Liss’s favorite Hoka shoes for plantar fasciitis is the Clifton 9, which he says is one of the brand’s most well-rounded and neutral options. “It’s a little lighter than the others, but it’s still quite supportive,” he says. He recommends this style specifically for younger athletes who don’t have flat feet and don’t need as much cushioning.

Weight: 7.3oz
Drop from heel to toe: 5mm

Colors: 14

  • Balanced cushioning in the midsole
  • Made with recycled materials
  • 5mm heel-to-toe drop
  • Light and breathable design.
  • Neutral stability – may not be supportive enough or overpronate

Hoka Recovery Slide, Ora 3 — $60.00

Available sizes: 5-16

When you have plantar fasciitis, or if you’re trying to avoid it altogether, walking barefoot, especially on hard surfaces, is a no-no. One way to do this is to wear recovery sandals and slides during downtime at home. “I recommend avoiding walking barefoot and wearing recovery sandals around the house, rather than slippers, which often offer no support,” says Dr. Sharkey. He loves Hoka’s Ora Recovery Slide 3, which features four airflow channels for breathability, a wide, stable base, and an eco-friendly sugarcane insole.

Weight: 7.8 ounces
Drop from heel to toe: 6mm

Colors: 23

  • unisex style
  • Plush shock absorbing midsole.
  • wide stable base
  • Made of eco-friendly materials
  • No half sizes or wide widths
  • Limited-edition seasonal colors sell out fast

Our editors select these products independently. Making a purchase through our links may generate a commission for Well+Good.

Rate this post

Leave a Comment