When it comes to hiking with plantar fasciitis, having the right footwear is crucial. The wrong shoes can exacerbate the pain and discomfort caused by this common foot condition. Luckily, there are hiking boots specifically designed to provide the necessary support and cushioning for those with plantar fasciitis. In this article, we will explore the best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis, including the top choices in various categories such as overall performance, cushioning, affordability, and versatility. We will also delve into the symptoms and effects of plantar fasciitis on hiking, and offer some helpful tips on how to choose and use the right hiking shoes for this condition.
What are the Best Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis can have a significant impact on our ability to hike long distances. The discomfort it causes often worsens the further we walk, resulting in irritation. To prevent plantar fasciitis while hiking, it's important to choose proper hiking boots or shoes.
Having proper arch support and cushioning that suits your individual foot anatomy is crucial for keeping your feet comfortable on the trails. It allows you to fully enjoy the benefits of hiking. Different types of hiking boots and shoes serve different purposes, so it's important to consider the types of hikes you intend to go on and the conditions you'll encounter.
To provide you with a comprehensive overview, I will cover options for every style of hiking so that you can make an informed decision. Let's dive in!
Salomon Quest 4 GTX Hiking Boot
The Salomon Quest 4 GTX is considered the gold standard for hiking boots. It is specifically built to handle any type of terrain and excel in challenging conditions. One of its standout features is its lacing system, which utilizes locking eyelets around the ankle. This provides exceptional support and stability while hiking. Additionally, the ADV-C 4D chassis ensures a snug fit that you will notice as soon as you slip the boot on.
Hikers with plantar fasciitis will appreciate the support provided by the Salomon Quest 4. It allows them to confidently navigate unstable ground. The boot's GORE-TEX membrane ensures reliable waterproofing, keeping your feet dry through creek crossings, winter hikes, and muddy trails.
However, it's worth noting that the Salomon Quest 4 may be excessive for hikers who stick to smooth trails. The support and durability of this boot come at the expense of additional weight, making it heavier than slimmer options.
For more information, please check out our full review of the Salomon Quest 4.
For hikers seeking a top-notch boot that can handle any situation, the Salomon Quest 4 GTX Hiking Boot is one of the best options available. However, for casual hikers, it may be more than they need. See Men's Salomon Quest 4 GTX See Women's Salomon Quest 4 GTX
Best Cushioned Hiking Boot
HOKA Anacapa 2 Mid GTX Hiking Boot
A hiking boot with sufficient cushioning is essential for individuals with plantar fasciitis. It provides the necessary shock absorption to reduce stress on the plantar fascia. HOKA, a reputable brand known for its high-performance running shoes, offers the HOKA Anacapa 2 Mid GTX as its top offering in the hiking boots market.
The meta-rocker design of the HOKA Anacapa provides an efficient hiking motion, practically propelling you forward with each step. The boot's thick EVA cushioning offers a spring-like feel and proper arch support, which has been praised by users experiencing plantar fasciitis. Some reviewers have even stated that it's the only brand of shoes they can comfortably walk in after being diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. The HOKA Anacapa works well for both men and women and is recognized as one of the best women's hiking boots on the market.
One drawback of the HOKA Anacapa is its durability. It may not withstand punishment as well as a rugged boot like the Salomon Quest 4, making it less suitable for hikers who push their gear to the limit.
If cushioning and a comfortable feel are your main considerations, the HOKA Anacapa Mid GTX Hiking Boot is the ideal choice. However, hikers frequently traversing rough terrain may want to explore more durable options. See Men's HOKA Anacapa 2 Mid GTX See Women's Anacapa 2 Mid GTX
Best Leather Hiking Boot
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid is one of Lowa's top hiking boots, renowned for its durability and performance on the trails. Its leather upper ensures it can handle harsh treatment and last a long time. The boot features three locking eyelets and a snug heel lock, providing exceptional foot support and stability.
One of the key factors that make the Lowa Renegade one of the best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis is its midsole made of the DuraPU® compound. This material offers excellent shock absorption and good arch support. Additionally, the multi-terrain traction system ensures reliable grip on various types of terrain.
If you struggle to find the right fit in hiking boots, the Lowa Renegade has you covered. It is available in narrow, regular, and wide widths, ensuring there is a size that suits you. This inclusivity makes it one of the best women's hiking boots on the market.
However, it's important to note that the leather upper of the Lowa Renegade, combined with its GORE-TEX membrane, restricts breathability. Therefore, expect sweaty feet in warm weather. Additionally, this boot may require a break-in period due to its leather construction.
Hikers who prefer a leather boot will find the Lowa Renegade hiking boot to be an excellent choice. However, if breathability is a primary concern, this hiking boot may not meet your expectations. See Men's Lowa Renegade GTX Mid See Women's Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
Best Budget Option
Merrell Moab 3 Hiking Shoe
Hiking boots can be quite expensive, making them a significant investment for hikers. However, the Merrell Moab 3 offers an affordable option that delivers fantastic performance as an entry-level hiking shoe.
The shoe's breathable mesh lining ensures excellent breathability, though this comes at the expense of waterproofing. Additionally, the reinforced rubber toe box provides protection against accidental rock kicks that could lead to toe injuries. The Merrell Moab features a sturdy insole and midsole, offering the necessary support for hikers with plantar fasciitis.
Hikers on a budget will be thrilled with the value provided by the Merrell Moab 3. However, it may not be the best option for those seeking a more robust hiking boot with ankle support. See Men's Merrell Moab 3 See Women's Merell Moab 3
Best Versatile Hiking Boot
Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid is a versatile hiking boot that combines the design elements of a trail runner and a hiking boot. It features a sleek design and lightweight feel while still providing impressive support.
Hikers who want one boot to suit all their needs will appreciate the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid. It can tackle various terrains, from easy day hikes on smooth trails to multi-day backpacking trips.
Although it may not be the most supportive option available, the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid offers an impressive build considering its lightweight design. The ActiveSupport wings in the lacing system ensure a secure fit, hugging your foot and providing stability throughout your hike. Hikers with plantar fasciitis will still experience ample support as they walk along the trail.
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid is a fantastic choice for hikers with plantar fasciitis who need a hiking boot that can handle any type of terrain. However, hikers who prefer to stick to one type of trail or desire a boot designed for a specific purpose may find more suitable options elsewhere. See Men's Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid See Women's Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid
Best Lightweight Hiking Boot
La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX
La Sportiva is a leading brand in the hiking boot market, competing with well-known manufacturers. The La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid is one of their flagship options, offering a lightweight design without sacrificing performance.
With ample ankle support, a sturdy build, and waterproof GORE-TEX technology, the Ultra Raptor II Mid can handle rugged outdoor challenges. Its sleek design allows for mobility and flexibility on the trail, characteristics commonly found in the best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis.
The boot features a TPU lacing harness that wraps around the foot, ensuring a snug fit. A heel stabilizer provides additional support, particularly useful for hikers with plantar fasciitis. Moreover, an elastic sleeve at the top helps keep unwanted debris, snow, and water outside of the boot.
One notable downside of the Ultra Raptor II Mid is the tread, which uses a mild lug pattern that may not excel on wet surfaces. However, for most hikes, it will perform adequately.
If you prioritize weight without compromising performance, the Ultra Raptor II Mid is the perfect choice. Hikers frequently encountering loose scree or smooth rock may want to explore options with more aggressive treads. See Men's Ultra Raptor II Mid See Women's Ultra Raptor II Mid
Best Hiking Shoe
HOKA Speedgoat 5
The HOKA Speedgoat 5 is a highly recommended hiking shoe known for its iconic cushioned design. It offers an extremely comfortable feel that provides ample shock absorption to assist with plantar fasciitis. The shoe's Meta-Rocker profile enhances stability and propels you forward as you walk. The Vibram Megagrip outsole ensures impressive traction, and the multi-directional lugs provide suitable bite on both ascents and descents.
However, it's important to note that the sleek design of the Speedgoat 5 sacrifices support and durability. The low-cut profile means there is no ankle support, and the shoe is not waterproof, making it less ideal for extended treks over unpredictable terrain.
Hikers who prefer to travel light and fast will appreciate the HOKA Speedgoat 5 for its bouncy feel and high-tech stabilization. However, for long-distance treks or carrying a heavy pack, it may not be the most suitable option. See Men's HOKA Speedgoat 5 See Women's HOKA Speedgoat 5
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that affects the sole of the foot, specifically the thick band of tissue known as the plantar fascia. This band runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes. Its primary functions are to support the foot's arch and absorb shock during activities like hiking.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed and irritated, leading to pain and discomfort. One of the main symptoms of plantar fasciitis is a sharp or stabbing pain in the heel, especially during the first steps in the morning or after long periods of inactivity. While light activity may provide some relief, strenuous hiking can worsen the pain.
What are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis typically presents with specific symptoms that can vary in severity from person to person. The main symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Heel pain: The most noticeable symptom of plantar fasciitis is a stabbing pain near the heel.
- Pain after rest: Following long periods of sitting or resting, you may experience pain in the heel. This is because the plantar fascia can tighten during periods of inactivity, and the first steps after rest can stretch and irritate the tissue again.
- Pain with activity: Activities that put stress on the plantar fascia, such as walking, running, or standing for long periods, can exacerbate the pain. The discomfort may ease off with light activity but worsen with prolonged or intense use of the feet.
- Tenderness: The affected area of the heel may be tender to the touch.
- Stiffness: The foot may feel stiff, especially in the morning or after periods of rest.
- Radiating pain: In some cases, the pain may radiate along the arch of the foot or toward the toes.
- Worsening pain over time: If left untreated, plantar fasciitis pain can gradually worsen, leading to chronic discomfort.
How Does Plantar Fasciitis Affect Hiking?
The pain caused by plantar fasciitis can make hiking less enjoyable and may even prevent participation if the symptoms are severe. Taking a break from strenuous physical activity, including hiking, is often recommended as part of the treatment for plantar fasciitis. This means that you may need to discontinue hiking for a period of time.
Is your heel pain a symptom of plantar fasciitis?
In general, plantar fasciitis is associated with an intense pain in the heel when walking, which is particularly noticeable upon waking up.
Here are the typical symptoms that suggest your heel pain may be caused by plantar fasciitis:
- Stabbing pain around the heel or mid-foot area
- Severe pain when taking the first steps in the morning
- Pain that decreases as the day progresses
If you have recently switched to minimal or barefoot running, are overweight, have increased your mileage, strides, or pace, or don't stretch regularly, you may be more susceptible to plantar fasciitis. It's important to note that when plantar fasciitis first develops, it may start as subtle pain. However, the pain can become more intense about an hour after pushing yourself and when you wake up the morning after.
Features to Consider When Buying Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis
Oboz Mid B-Dry
When purchasing hiking shoes, ensure they provide adequate arch support. This support can come in the form of a removable insole or a shoe with a design that accommodates proper arch support. Having proper arch support is essential for hikers with plantar fasciitis.
Ample padding in your hiking boots is crucial to provide the comfort your feet need. Plantar fasciitis can cause significant pain, so having sufficient cushioning will create a soft space for your feet. Make sure there is enough cushioning for the arches and ankles.
To prevent pain while hiking with plantar fasciitis, look for hiking boots with strong laces. A snug fit is essential for comfortable hiking. Strong laces help keep your shoes securely fastened, preventing further aggravation of your plantar fasciitis. Hiking shoes designed for plantar fasciitis often prioritize strong laces.
Hiking boots should have ample space and padding for your heel. The heel is particularly susceptible to pain when you have plantar fasciitis, so it requires extra protection. Many hiking shoes lack sufficient cushioning and space in the heel area, so it's important to find boots that address this need.
Similar Article: Best Barefoot Hiking Boots
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Oboz Mid B-Dry Waterproof Hiking Boot
Men's | Women's
11 Best Hiking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis to Meet Your Hiking Needs
The DOUSSPRT women's walking shoes are designed to provide ultimate comfort and functionality with their Phylon sole. These shoes stand out with their mesh fabric and air cushion sole, ensuring your feet stay fresh and cushioned no matter what activity you engage in. The slip-on feature with an elastic cuff adds convenience for those who are always on the go. The MD outsole and air cushion provide ample protection between your feet and the ground. A notable feature of these shoes is the perforated arch design, offering excellent ventilation. Whether you're working, walking, dancing, or nursing, these shoes have got you covered for every occasion.
- Breathable fabric
- Comfortable fit
- Good value for money
- Wide range of color options
- Versatile use
- May not provide adequate arch support for some individuals
Timberland Men's White Ledge Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
The Timberland Men's Hiking Boot is a perfect combination of performance and style. These boots feature a sturdy rubber sole that offers durability and a strong grip on all terrains. With a 4.75" shaft from the arch, these boots provide optimal comfort and support. What sets them apart is their full-grain waterproof leather upper, supported by a seam-sealed construction. This ensures that your feet remain dry and comfortable in any weather condition. The rustproof speed lace hardware and hooks at the top ensure secure and hassle-free lacing. These boots are perfect for trail-ready adventures and are among the best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis.
- Constructed with 100% leather
- Comfortable fit
- True to size
- Can be easily integrated into various styles
- May be heavier than preferred for some individuals
Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus
The Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot is the ultimate trail companion. These ankle-high boots are made from 100% leather and textile and are equipped with advanced technology. They feature a seam-sealed construction and a TECHLITE lightweight midsole. These boots showcase a sturdy hiker design inspired by classic mountaineering style, ensuring exceptional traction and comfort. The Omni-GRIP non-marking traction rubber outsole stands out for its high grip on various terrains, making it suitable for three-season use. The reinforced toe and heel construction further enhance their durability, making them among the best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis.
- Superior traction
- Good value for money
- Waterproof design
- Made with high-quality materials
- Easy to hand wash
Salomon Men's X Ultra 3 Mid Gore-tex Hiking Boots
Pioneering innovation in outdoor gear since 1947, Salomon brings you the Men's X Ultra 3 Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boots. These boots are crafted from 100% synthetic material and are specifically designed for hikers seeking adventure and reliability. The mid-top arch, combined with a rubber sole, ensures comfort and reliable traction on any terrain. These boots shine with their waterproof construction, making them perfect for arduous descents and challenging trails. The Descent Control Technology adds another feather to their cap, excelling in the efficient tackle of technical hikes. The EnergyCell midsole made from high-performance EVA foam provides superior shock absorption.
- Amazing grip
- Excellent shock absorption
- Protective mudguard feature
- Anti-debris mesh upper
- May not be a budget-friendly option for all individuals
Skechers Women's Relaxed Fit Trego Alpine Trail Hiking Boot
You can take on the great outdoors in style and comfort with the Skechers Women's Relaxed Fit Trego Alpine Trail Hiking Boot. These boots are constructed from 100% synthetic material and are expertly crafted in the USA or imported. They are considered one of the best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis, featuring an air-cooled memory foam full-length cushioned removable insole. The design incorporates breathable comfort with mesh fabric panels at the tongue and collar. The rubber outsole and shock-absorbing midsole ensure safety and stability, even on challenging trails.
- Comfortable fit
- All-day wear
- Lightweight sole
- Roomy design
- All-terrain traction outsole
- May lack sufficient ankle support for some individuals
KEEN Women's Targhee 2 Mid-Height Waterproof
Engineered for top-tier outdoor performance, KEEN Women's Waterproof Boots deliver four-wheel-drive performance for your feet. These boots feature a special breathable membrane for optimal dryness and comfort. Bruise plate protection and a high-abrasion rubber toe guard enhance durability, making them suitable for uneven terrain. Made with premium leather and high-quality mesh, these boots align with the brand's commitment to sustainability by sourcing hides from certified tanneries. An external support shank, contoured heel, and mid-cut height contribute to balance and ankle support. Additionally, the removable footbed with arch support comfortably cradles your foot, and the resilient cushioning retains its form even with extended use.
- All-terrain rubber sole
- Utilizes sustainable materials
- High-grip traction
- Provides a supportive fit
- Durable cushioning
- May require additional care for the leather material
Knixmax Women's Hiking Shoes
Knixmax Women's Hiking Shoes offer a perfect combination of style, durability, and comfort for outdoor enthusiasts. These shoes are equipped with suede leather and mesh uppers, providing a soft and breathable lining to keep your feet dry all day. The outsole is designed for maximum grip on mixed terrains, featuring a deep and aggressive lug pattern combined with gum rubber for extended durability. These boots for plantar fasciitis provide exceptional comfort with light cushioning, and the quick lace mechanism ensures secure one-pull tightening. With trendy colors and a classic design, these shoes are perfect for walking, backpacking, trekking, climbing, cycling, camping, and even daily work.
- Good value for money
- Breathable lining
- Aggressive traction
- Dual fitting insoles
- Roomy toe box
- Versatile application
- Potential adjustments needed for size
OrthoComfoot Women Canvas
OrthoComfoot Women's Canvas slip-on shoes are designed to provide supreme comfort and style while offering relief and support for various foot conditions. The upper is made from high-quality canvas fabric, ensuring breathability. The unique design allows you to wear these as slip-on shoes or slippers. These boots for plantar fasciitis provide strong arch support and a cushioning layer with a PU memory foam base, easing foot and heel pain while relieving foot pressure and fatigue. The shoes are super lightweight and feature an EVA midsole and rubber outsole, offering stability, flexibility, and grip on all surfaces and terrains. An extra pair of lower support insoles is included for an alternative comfort option.
- Versatile design
- Heat dissipation
- Super lightweight
- Excellent traction
- Easy to maintain
- Reference to size chart may be needed to ensure the correct fit
Merrell Women's Moab 2 Vent Mid-Hiking Boot
The Merrell Women's Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boot offers a perfect balance of durability and comfort. These boots have a breathable mesh upper and lining that provide exceptional ventilation. The traditional metal hook lace closure ensures a secure fit, while the bellows tongue keeps out debris, ensuring clean and comfortable strides. For enhanced support, these hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis offer a kinetic fit, an advanced removable contoured insole with reinforced heel cushioning, and a unique air cushion in the heel that absorbs shock and adds stability. The lightweight EVA foam midsole offers stability, while the Vibram TC5 rubber sole guarantees superb traction.
- Sturdy construction
- Available in various sizes
- Good value for money
- Enhanced foot support
- Made with high-quality materials
- Comfortable fit
- Might require a break-in period
Hoka ONE ONE Bondi 7 Men's Gymnastics Shoes Running
The Hoka ONE ONE Bondi 7 men's gymnastics shoes are designed to provide ultimate comfort and performance for runners. These shoes combine synthetic and mesh materials to ensure a dry and comfortable hiking experience. With a rubber sole, these shoes offer superior grip and durability, making them ideal for various surfaces. Their all-black design adds a sleek and versatile touch that effortlessly transitions from the gym to casual outings. The technology implemented in these shoes is dedicated to delivering an exceptional running experience, focusing on enhanced support and cushioning for longer and more comfortable runs.
- Versatile aesthetics
- Superior comfort
- Excellent support
- Durable synthetic material
- Breathable mesh design
- May require sizing adjustments
Foxelli Women’s Hiking Boots
Combining style and functionality, Foxelli women's hiking boots make every outdoor adventure enjoyable. These boots employ suede leather and mesh materials for an ideal balance of durability and breathability. Known as the best trail shoes for plantar fasciitis, they are equipped with a KingTex membrane that shields feet from moisture while maintaining excellent air circulation. These boots ensure all-day comfort with well-padded collars, tongues, and removable foam insoles, offering effective cushioning and foot protection. Their shock-absorbent midsoles lessen the impact on joints, while the flexible upper allows maximum freedom of movement.
- Stylish design
- Robust sole
- Superior comfort
- Waterproof design
- Excellent traction
The shoes included in this list will allow you to hike with confidence and style. Having the best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis can reduce pain, promote healing, and provide comfort as you enjoy your outdoor adventures.
How to Utilize Hiking Shoes for Treating Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a debilitating condition that stems from the inflammation of the plantar fascia ligament. This ailment often poses significant challenges for avid hikers. However, it should not hinder your love for the great outdoors. By carefully selecting and properly utilizing hiking shoes specifically designed to alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, you can enhance your hiking experiences remarkably.
The Importance of Appropriate Footwear
Before embarking on your hiking adventures, it is crucial to understand the significance of choosing the right hiking boots for managing plantar fasciitis. Footwear specifically designed for this condition offers additional support for the heel and arch, as well as cushioning and a roomier toe box. These features significantly reduce strain on the plantar fascia, improve your walking gait, enhance balance and stability, and prevent further aggravation of the condition.
Choosing the Right Shoes
Your path towards relief begins with selecting the appropriate hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis. Look for shoes that provide substantial arch support to alleviate tension on the plantar fascia. Cushioning is also a critical feature as it minimizes the impact on your feet. In addition, the shoes should have a sturdy heel counter for stability and a wider toe box to ensure comfort and space for your toes. Remember, everyone's feet are unique, so finding what suits you best is essential.
Consider Custom Orthotics
Custom orthotics, or shoe inserts, can offer additional relief and support. While hiking boots for plantar fasciitis typically come with their own insoles, replacing them with custom-fitted orthotics can cater to your specific case of plantar fasciitis. These inserts are designed to conform to the contours of your feet, providing personalized treatment.
Optimal Lacing Techniques
Properly lacing your shoes can help distribute pressure evenly across your feet. Techniques such as loop lacing lock, parallel lacing, or window lacing can alleviate tightness and tension on the top of your foot while ensuring a secure fit. By improving the comfort of your hike, these techniques contribute to an overall better experience.
Careful Hiking Practices
In addition to wearing the right shoes, certain habits and practices can aid in managing plantar fasciitis while hiking. It is essential to warm up before starting your hike and maintain a manageable pace, avoiding overexertion. Walking on softer surfaces whenever possible, taking regular breaks, and incorporating stretching exercises during these breaks can help reduce the strain on your feet.
Dealing with plantar fasciitis should not discourage you from exploring the wonders of the great outdoors. Despite your condition, you can successfully navigate hiking trails by understanding the importance of proper footwear, selecting suitable hiking shoes, considering custom orthotics, mastering optimal lacing techniques, and adopting careful hiking practices. Remember, embracing the journey means taking it one comfortable and supported step at a time.
Your feet serve as the reliable vehicles for your outdoor adventures. When hiking with plantar fasciitis, optimal support, cushioning, and arch design are not luxuries but necessities. Now that you have the best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis, we are excited to assure you that your hiking days are back. Just as you have always been indomitable, these hiking shoes are equally resilient.
Overcoming the challenges of plantar fasciitis should not dampen your adventurous spirit. With the right pair of hiking shoes specifically designed to provide relief and support, the trails are once again within your grasp. Embrace the comfort, relish the freedom, and step confidently and effortlessly into your next outdoor adventure. The world is brimming with natural wonders waiting for you to explore. Onward to your next journey, explorer!
Contributor: Plantar fasciitis by Mayo Clinic
In conclusion, finding the best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis is crucial to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable hiking experience. With our comprehensive list of the top 11 choices, you can easily select the perfect pair that caters to your specific needs. Whether you prefer the overall best option, the most cushioned boot, or the budget-friendly choice, there is a hiking shoe out there that will provide the necessary support and relief for your plantar fasciitis. Don't let foot pain hold you back from exploring the great outdoors – invest in the right hiking shoes and embark on your next adventure with confidence.