Take a look at your feet. Are you wearing shoes with good arch support? It’s quite possible that those dirty old sneakers (even the wrong type of new shoes) may be exacerbating any foot and heel pain you are experiencing. And in a perfect world, you’d need to stay off your feet to let your “dogs” heal properly. But most of us work and do stuff all day… which is why we’ve got you covered and have rated the best shoes for heel pain.
Back to your shoes. When you look at them, do you notice obvious wear paterns on the heels of the outsole? How about the arch supports fitted on the inside of your shoe? Did you even realize it was there? If not, you probably don’t have enough support and your stride is suffering as a result, causing you to over-pronate (or supinate).
Its worth noting that if you have sharp morning pains that tend to return in the afternoon, you might just have plantar fasciitis – which you can probably imagine is no fun. Regardless of your condition, you will need to formulate a plan to correct your walking gait and provide the arch support your feet require.
Benefits Of Arch Support Shoes vs. A Normal Shoe
No doubt you’ve done your due diligence and scoured the internet for that one golden solution. The good news is that there is likely a solution out there tailored just for you. You just need to find it. And, if you’ve already been to a Podiatrist (or two, or five), they’ve probably already recommended changing your footwear to include good arch supports as an initial measure… or perhaps they’ve even suggested adding the proper insoles to the shoes you already have in order to manage the heel pain. Conservative treatment is always the first step in treating any sort of mallady, especially if you have plantar fasciitis.
Finding the best shoes for heel pain is no doubt tops on your list and, according to studies and other heel pain sufferer’s testimonials, should provide you with some initial level of relief.
So, why specially designed shoes over what you currently wear?
Shoes with Good Arch Support will provide…
Proper support for your fascia ligament
- Specifically designed mid and insoles for proper shock absorption
Motion control to correct Over-Pronation or Supination, which encourages proper walking motion
Normal Walking Shoes focus on other areas, NOT designed to treat ailment. They are…
Often constructed for breathability and comfort, not necessarily for total foot support
Comfortable, but not designed to correct improper walking gait
Both types of shoes may offer fantastic support. Shoes with good arch support, however, are designed for your situation and to stabilize improper walking form. Other shoes offer cushioning, flexibility and styling options, but may not fully support you where you need it the most. Your arches.
Of course, that’s not to say that they CAN’T work for you. Especially if you add the appropriate orthotic insert.
Common Complaints About Shoes With Arch Support
1. Expensive vs. non-specific shoes
2. Arch support shoes takes time to get used to
3. Company sizing sometimes incorrect
Group Studies and Statistics
Much like research studies on the benefit of a quality orthotic, the proper shoe – fitted with orthotic technology – reaps the same success. There are multiple studies proving the efficacy of arch supports in relieving pain for those with plantar fasciitis.
In one study, it was concluded that foot orthoses and night splints, together, provided a better quality of life through significant pain relief and better foot function in as little as 12 weeks, while still improving over the course of 52 weeks.
Foot orthoses and anterior night splints were effective both short-term and long-term in treating pain from plantar fasciitis.
There have been a number of other studies touting the same benefit of combined, conservative treatments… especially those incorporating the use of an orthotic device. You can see more studies on the benefit of orthotic support that have been referenced in this post.
SHOES WITH GOOD ARCH SUPPORT – MEN
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The Orthaheel Technology Walker is clearly rated the best shoe for heel pain. Not only are the reviews overwhelmingly positive as far as seeing a reduction in pain and overall purchase satisfaction, the Technology Walkers are among those as having the APMA Seal of Approval. They come with the patented Orthaheel contoured arch support with a deep heel cup specifically designed to correct your stride.
Pros: The most favorable reviews of all arch support shoes – Comfortable after break-in period – Provide overall heel pain relief – Great shoe for walking or working on your feet all day
Cons: Expensive versus other shoes – Sizing runs small and you will probably need to order up 1/2 or 1 full size
Another highly rated shoe with good arch support is the Addiction Walker, which gets plenty of support from the plantar fasciitis sufferers. It’s billed as more of a casual shoe, yet has the fit and feel of a running shoe. Leather constructed, with strong support and slip-resistant sole make this one of the best sneakers for plantar fasciitis and related heel pain.
Pros: Great for being on feet all day – Fine leather workmanship – Solid, stiff support – Can be used somewhat as a dressy shoe
Cons: Expensive versus other shoes – Sizing may run a bit smaller – Not the best for distance walking in comparison to others – May work best with separate insert
The MW928 is the newest edition to New Balance’s popular 920-series. This particular shoe line has been known to offer maximum stability and motion control, thanks to its patented Rollbar technology, which is fitted into the rear midsole to better support moderate-to-severe over-pronators.
Pros: Leather upper – Positive reviews from people with a “few extra pounds” – Sturdy fit – Good for standing jobs
Cons: May not be as good as its discontinued New Balance predecessors – Durability concerns – Too stiff
The GEL-Tech Walker Neo is engineered with their unique, dual density midsole system to enhance support and stability. Built as a lightweight shoe with a sporty look, this sneaker comes well-recommended for heel pain sufferers as well as having the APMA Seal of Approval.
Pros: Good shoe for longer distance walking – Sporty design – Lightweight with nice heel support – All around good arch support shoe
Cons: May be better replacing original inserts with better orthotics
The Saucony Grid Omni is a nice choice for the moderate pronator. It’s a sporty, plush walking shoe that keeps you comfortably upright for long periods of time, as well as providing stability from impact with its Rearfoot Grid System.
Pros: Good looking shoe that can pass for casual office wear – Leather – Noticeably corrects ‘foot roll’ – Good value for price
Cons: May be better with additional orthotic insert – Reports of shoe squeek
Other Men’s Shoes With Good Arch Support
SHOES WITH GOOD ARCH SUPPORT – WOMEN
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The Vionic Women’s Action Walker shoe comes with the patented Orthaheel arch support and deep heel cup, which has been specifically designed to correct your walking gait. And, since the founders of Vionic are Podiatrists, you can have faith in knowing the shoe was constructed for your condition. This is another shoe that has been given the APMA Seal of Approval. It might just be the best shoe for plantar fasciitis.
Pros: Overwhelming number of women who love these shoes – Great arch support – Comfort – Good for pronators
Cons: Possible durability issues – A little stiff out of the box
The Spira Classic Leather sneaker was created with comfort in mind. Its Wavespring technology has been designed to absorb shock on impact in the heel and forefoot. This shoe also has the Medicare seal of approval and rates high in several categories.
Pros: Great for those on their feet for long periods – Neat design – Comfortable – Effective for several plantar fasciitis users
Cons: May work best with extra orthotic insert – Hard arch support – Can feel spring coils
The Brooks Addiction Walker is another highly rated women’s walking shoe. It offers a leather upper and a slip-resistant outsole, but more importantly, it provides strong support for low arches to correct over-pronation. Brooks is always in the conversation when talking about shoes with good arch support.
Pros: Very comfortable – Plenty of toe room – Room for orthotic insert – Sturdy
Cons: One of the pricier shoes – Not very fashionable – Chemical smell out of the box
Orthaheel’s Mary Jane’s are perfect for women who prefer a lower profile shoe. Polyurethane upper, rubber sole and removable insert make this shoe somewhat minimal, yet still perfect for those on their feet all day. Their deep heel cups help with stability in order to realign your feet. How could you go wrong, they’re just plain good shoes for plantar fasciitis sufferers.
Pros: Cute shoe – Good price – Helps to correct walking gait – A few color options to choose from
Cons: Rubber sole somewhat slippery on water – Might need better insert – Somewhat cheap looking and scuff easily
The Brooks Addiction V-Strap is identical to the Addiction Walker that was rated slightly higher. The only difference, as you can probably see, is that they come with two velcro straps for the convenience of getting in and out of them quicker. Same shoe, same reviews… both fantastic for heel pain and motion control. See Pros and Cons for Brooks Addiction Walker.
Other Women’s Shoes With Good Arch Support
Well, there you have it, the absolute top shoes with good arch support, as per the people who have been through what you are going through and who have documented their recovery. These shoes have by-and-far the majority of supporters and have been chosen based on their success in treating several types of foot ailments. And why not, they work better to curb the aches and pains of being on your feet all day long! Take it from people suffering with plantar fasciitis, these are the best shoes for heel pain.
It’s worth noting that you should have a plan for supporting your feet around the house, on those hard floors or out and around the yard. Consider supplementing your shoes with a supportive house slipper or a good orthotic flip flop. Going barefoot will only aggravate your fascia ligament and exacerbate foot pain, so treat your feet right.