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Dr. Angela's Approved Shoe List



I'm Dr. Angela and I am "The Plantar Fasciitis Doc". The first step in my plantar fasciitis recovery program is to transition to functional footwear.


The following list includes footwear that meets the criteria for natural foot-positive brands that I approve and recommend.


There are a few design features and shoe terms that you should know to help you better understand what makes a healthy shoe.


Design Features & Shoe Terminology:


Widest at the toe: A healthy shoe should have a wide toe box that supports the natural shape of our feet and toes. The toe box should be wide enough to allow for normal toe splay.


Zero Drop: Drop refers to the height difference between the heel and the forefoot. Zero drop is a shoe that is flat from heel to toe with no elevation of the heel. Elevation of the heel in footwear creates excessive stress on the forefoot, and a chronic shortening of our heel cord, our calf muscle and Achilles tendon.


Toe Spring: Toe spring is an upward angle of the toe of the shoe and should be avoided. A flat sole is ideal for proper foot function. You will find a slight amount of toe spring in a "transitional" shoes. As your feet become stronger, I recommend a shoe with no toe spring.


Stack Height: This refers to the total amount of material or cushioning on the sole of the shoe. I am not opposed to a higher stack height in the earlier phase of plantar fasciitis, but encourage less cushioning as your feet become stronger. I do not recommend a stack height of over 30mm.


Minimalist Shoe/Barefoot Shoe: These shoes are intended to closely approximate barefoot running or walking. They provide "minimal" interference with the natural movement of the foot. They have minimal stack height, have a highly flexible sole, and are zero drop.


Transitional Shoe: A transitional shoe is a shoe that has all of the characteristics of a barefoot shoe such as zero drop and a wide toe box, but has a thicker sole/higher stack height. This shoe can be a good option for someone new to my program, and who is accustomed to heavily cushioned shoes.


I often recommend a transitional shoe first before you transition completely to a barefoot shoe. As you progress in my program, I encourage a transition to lower stack height or minimalist footwear.


Towards the end of this post, I explain in more detail how to use a progressive time-frame to transition to minimalist footwear. Be sure you take a look at that.


New To The Program?


Are you new to my plantar fasciitis home recovery program? If you are in the early stages of plantar fasciitis where you are experiencing daily pain, the first type of footwear I recommend is a "transitional" shoe.


We defined a transitional shoe above. It has all the characteristics of a barefoot shoe, but has more cushioning, and some varieties have a very slight elevation of the heel.


I recommend this type of footwear initially because transitioning too quickly to minimalist or barefoot shoes may increase your symptoms. As your feet become stronger with the strengthening and mobility protocols in my program, I encourage a full transition to minimalist footwear.


Transitional Footwear For Beginners:



  • Torin 7: 30mm stack height, 0mm drop, comes in wide

  • Paradigm 7: 30mm stack height, 0mm drop, comes in wide

  • Rivera 3 or 4: 28mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • Provision 8: 28mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • Escalante 3: 24mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • Escalante Racer: 22mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • Solstice XT 2: 23mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • FWD: 26mm stack height, 4mm drop (PLEASE NOTE: this style has heel elevation)


  • Adapt Runner: 22mm stack height, 0mm drop



  • Magnifly 5: 25mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • ST-5: 14mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • Fli-Lyte 5: 23mm stack height, 3mm drop (PLEASE NOTE: this style has heel elevation)


Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Road Running:


Best running shoes for plantar fasciitis: Dr. Angela Walk

Transitional Shoes:



  • Escalante 3: 22mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • Escalante Racer: 22mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • Rivera 3: 28mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • Provision 8: 28mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • Torin 7: 30mm stack height, 0mm drop, comes in wide

  • Paradigm 7: 30mm stack height, 0mm drop, comes in wide

  • FWD: 26mm stack height, 4mm drop (PLEASE NOTE: this style has heel elevation)



  • Adapt Runner: 22mm stack height, 0mm drop


  • Magnifly: 25mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • ST-5: 14mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • Fli-Lyte 5: 23mm stack height, 3mm drop (PLEASE NOTE: this style has heel elevation)


Minimalist Shoe:



  • HFS

  • Born To Run

  • Speed Force

  • Prio



  • Primus

  • Motus



  • Primal 2

  • Primal Zen



Best Trail Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Trail Running:


Transitional:


  • Lone Peak: 25mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • Superior: 21mm stack height, 0mm drop



  • Runventure 4: 20mm stack, 0mm drop


Minimalist:



  • Scrambler

  • Mesa Trail


  • Magna

  • Hydra

  • Primus Trail



  • Trailhead

  • Mesa


Best Wide Toe Box Hiking Boots

Hiking Boots & Shoes:


Best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis: Dr. Angela Walk

Transitional:



  • LP Alpine: 25mm stack, 0mm drop

  • Lone Peak ALL-WTHR Low: 25mm stack, 0mm drop

  • Lone Peak Hiker 2: 25mm stack, 0mm drop

  • Superior 6: 21mm stack, 0mm drop


Minimalist:


  • Scrambler

  • Mesa Trail

  • Ridgeway - Waterproof

  • Alpine - Insulated Snow Boot



  • Tracker Decon

  • Magna

  • Primus Trail


  • Telluride Insulated

  • Chelsea Waterproof

  • Boulder Waterproof

  • Outlander

  • Trailhead

  • Mesa


Best Tennis & PickleBall Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Wide Toe Box Tennis & Pickleball Shoes:


Best tennis and pickleball shoes for plantar fasciitis - Dr. Angela Walk

Transitional:


  • Rivera: 28mm stack height. 0mm drop

  • Solstice: 23mm stack height, 0mm drop



  • Magnifly 5: 25mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • ST-5: 14mm stack height, 0mm drop


  • Haze Trainer: 10mm stack height, 4mm drop


Minimalist:



  • Kelso: 6mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • 360: 5mm stack, 0mm drop



  • Primal Zen: 11mm stack, 0mm drop (my new favorite pickleball shoes)

  • Primal 2: 9mm stack, 0mm drop


Best Golf Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Wide Toe Box Golf Shoes:


Best golf shoes for plantar fasciitis with wide toe box - Dr. Angela Walk


  • Lone Peak:25mm stack, 0mm drop

  • Superior 6: 21mm stack, 0mm drop



  • Scrambler

  • Mesa Trail


Best Cycling Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Wide Toe Box Cycling Shoes:




  • Prio

  • Prio Neo


Best Gym Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Wide Toe Box Gym Shoes:



  • Solstice XT: 23mm stack, 0mm drop


  • Adapt Trainer: 10mm stack, 0mm drop



  • Forza

  • Prio Neo


Best House Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Around The House/House Slipper/Slip-Ons:


Best house shoes for plantar fasciitis: Dr. Angela Walk


  • Sunrise

  • Pagosa

  • Aptos



  • Mim Felt Slipper


  • Drifter Fur Lined

  • Drifter





Best Casual Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Casual Wear:


Best tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis - Dr. Angela Walk

Women's Casual Shoes & Boots:



Men's Casual Shoes & Boots :



Best Women's Flats For Plantar Fasciitis

Wide Toe Box Flats For Women:


Best women's flats for plantar fasciitis with a wide toe box



  • Cassie

  • Phoenix



  • Opanka

  • Opanka Ballerina



Best Formal Dress Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis


Dress Shoes For Women:



  • Cassie

  • Phoenix


Dress Barefoot Shoes For Men:




Best Ankle Boots For Plantar Fasciitis

Casual Ankle Boots For Women:



  • Gobi Boot

  • Gobi Chelsea


  • Chelsea



Best Work Boots For Plantar Fasciitis

Wide Toe Box Work Boots:


Best work boots for plantar fasciitis with a wide toe box - Dr. Angela Walk

Transitional:



  • Lone Peak All-Weather Hiking Boot: 25mm stack, 0mm drop

  • Lone Peak Hiker 2: 25mm stack, 0mm drop


Minimalist:



  • Tracker Winter

  • Tracker 2 FG



  • Waterproof Boulder

  • Waterproof Outlander



  • Ridgeway Waterproof Hiker


Best Steel Toe Boots For Plantar Fasciitis

Wide Toe Box Steel Toe Boots:




The following two brands, the Keens and OrthoFeet, do not fully meet the criteria for functional footwear. They do have a wider toe box which is the most important feature, however, they both have elevation of the heel and arch supports. I've had a hard time finding composite or steel toe boots that meet the criteria. These are the best I could find.




Best Shoes For Prolonged Standing



  • Torin 7: 30mm stack height, 0mm drop, comes in wide

  • Paradigm 7: 30mm stack height, 0mm drop, comes in wide

  • Rivera 3 or 4: 28mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • Provision 8: 28mm stack height, 0mm drop



  • Adapt Runner: 22mm stack, 0mm drop


Best Shoes For Walking With Plantar Fasciitis



  • Escalante 3: 22mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • Escalante Racer: 22mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • Rivera 3: 28mm stack height, 0mm drop

  • Provision 8: 28mm stack height, 0mm drop



  • Adapt Runner: 22mm stack, 0mm drop


Best Sandals For Plantar Fasciitis


The most common design features to avoid are loose fitting straps, long toe posts, heel elevation, and extremely cushioned soles.

 

Many of the same criteria that apply to regular shoes also apply to flip-flops.

 

  • Snugly fitting straps that have a shorter toe post so that your toes are not forced to grip excessively

 

  • Avoid an elevated heel. Ensure the soles are completely flat, with the back of the heel at the same height as the ball of the foot

 

  • Avoid built-in arch supports. Arch supports weaken our feet overtime

 

  • A flexible sole to encourage enhanced foot strength

 

  • No added cushioning or shock absorption. A thin, flexible sole is ideal

 

  • Consider a back strap to secure your foot in place whether you are hiking or strolling around town 


Birkenstocks, Oofos & Crocs

 

Many people choose this type of footwear because it has built-in arch supports and extra cushioning. They have been led to believe that this is necessary to support your foot.


Unfortunately, this type of support only weakens your feet over-time. You may find these shoes comfortable and "supportive" in the early phase of PF, but we can't stay in these shoes and gain any real correction. 





Best Hiking Sandals For Plantar Fasciitis



Kids Shoes

Wide Toe Box Kids Shoes:


Wide toe box shoes for kids - Dr. Angela Walk






Best Toe Socks For Plantar Fasciitis


Socks can restrict and compress your toes and prevent normal toe splay. Once you begin wearing footwear with a wide toe box, your feet will start to expect more freedom. Some socks can hinder normal foot and toe function just like narrow toe box shoes.


In my program, I recommend wearing toe spacers to realign and stretch your toes back to their normal position. Wearing toe socks is another way to create much needed space between your toes.


I prefer to wear my barefoot shoes without socks, but occasionally, I need socks for those colder months. The following are the toe socks I recommend for optimal comfort and better foot function.




Shoe Brands That Do Not Meet The Criteria For Functional Footwear:


The following brands are excluded from my approved footwear list. They each have damaging features that can be contributing to your plantar fasciitis pain. Narrow toe boxes and excessive heel elevation are the 2 most common findings.

  • Hokas

  • Brooks

  • Asics

  • On-Cloud

  • New Balance


Footwear TO ONLY Wear Occasionally:


The following shoes brands have built-in arch supports, or slightly narrow toe boxes and will not allow your feet to function normally. Many patients enjoy these shoes as comfort or recovery shoes. They will not help strengthen your feet and that is the goal here.

Also, these are typically sandals, flip-flops, or slides and they do not have a back strap. I recommend the back strap to prevent excessive toe gripping. So, I recommend that you only wear this type of footwear on occasion.


  • Oofos

  • Birkenstocks

  • Chacos

  • Crocs

  • Vionics

  • Hey Dudes


How To Transition To Functional Footwear

 

Transitioning to functional footwear should include a slow, gradual approach. Most of you have been wearing footwear with narrow toe boxes and elevation of the heel.

 

Our feet and lower legs can become sore and tight from activating weakened foot muscles, and stretching short calf muscles.

 

Our gait and foot position is also changed (for the good), and our body will need to adjust and adapt.

 

Start slowly and wear your new shoes for only 15-20 minutes at a time. Slowly increase wear-time each week.

 

What is Micro-Dosing?

 

The best way to transition to functional footwear or barefoot shoes is with micro-dosing.

 

Micro-dosing is essentially taking small steps towards adapting to footwear with less stack height and zero drop.

 

After a couple of months of wearing "transitional" shoes, I recommend you begin to introduce your feet to minimalist footwear.

 

Our feet will accept this new concept more readily if you have been focusing on strengthening your feet and calf muscles with my recommended exercises.


Your feet will begin to strengthen internally and will no longer need extra supports such as built-in arch supports, foot orthotics or extra padded shoes.


Also, walking barefoot with toe spacers in a progressive time frame is also important to begin to train your foot core and help your feet to adapt to functioning without support.

 

Avoid Doing Too Much Too Soon

 

How do you know if you have done too much too soon? Your body will tell you!

 

Your PF symptoms may increase, your foot and legs may begin to cramp, you may experience soreness in your hips and lower back.

 

Decrease your wear-time until you experience relief of your symptoms.


Can I Treat Plantar Fasciitis At Home?


I specialize in foot and gait mechanics, and I have seen thousands of cases of plantar fasciitis. If you have this debilitating condition, here are my top 2 recommendations.


  1. Download my free guide. This is the first step on your PF recovery journey. I show you the exact steps to resolve plantar fasciitis at home.

  2. Follow my social media pages. I offer daily tips, exercises, and the latest insights on PF. You can also connect and learn from others with the same struggles. Join us: Facebook page & Instagram


Because there is a so much misinformation out there about plantar fasciitis, I spend most of my time educating people on what NOT to do.


Most rehabilitation efforts fail because they are relying on cortisone shots, night splints, orthotics, ineffective stretching, thick, cushiony shoes, and rolling on a frozen water bottle.


These methods are either ineffective or just short-term band-aids, and do not provide long-term correction.


In my (6) step free guide, I offer solutions through addressing multiple factors. Improving footwear, identifying areas of weakness in the foot and ankle, and restoring proper foot function.

Wishing you health & happiness,

Dr. Angela

The Plantar Fasciitis Doc



AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE:


Please note that some of the links on this site may be affiliate links. This means that I may earn a commission if you click on the link or make a purchase using the link. When you make a purchase, the price you pay will be the same.




4 Comments

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Guest
Apr 18
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.

Great info and thanks for the guide! Was wondering if there are any office appropriate women's footwear, preferably vegan, that you recommend? I looked at all the sites you referenced and couldn't find anything appropriate to wear with a dress, skirt, or suit. Thanks in advance!

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Guest
Apr 11
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Thanks for the great shoe list! I've been seeing ads lately for HIKE barefoot shoes...any thoughts?

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Guest
Apr 10

Hello. I found your video on YouTube and downloaded your guide, thank you. Looking over your shoe list is amazing! Thank you for such awesome information and a list! I have a question tho. What do you think of Vibram Fivefinger shoes? I noticed none are on your list and was wondering why? Blessings!

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Replying to

Hi, I love the 5 finger style, however, some of their models have narrow toe boxes and heel elevation. That's why they didn't make the list. I should include the 5 finger varieties though. Dr. Angela

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