Best Shoes for Heel Pain

Updated on February 16, 2010
B.P. asks from Hamlin, TX
10 answers

Hey Moms!

I have a lot of pain in my heel (pretty sure it's from a heel spur) and I need some new athletic shoes. I'm looking for a pair that, at the very least, will not hurt my heel any worse but I'm hoping for some that might actually make it feel better.

I've looked at Nike Shox and have heard really good things about them, but no one I've spoken to has heel pain like I do.

I know this is a pretty common problem and I'm curious to see what shoes you ladies have come across that have helped you out.

Thanks in advance!!!

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answers from Dallas on

I'd see a good podiatrist. I have trouble with my feet and I have custom orthotics ($400) but they have been worth it. I wear Asics daily with my orthotics. I don't have much trouble as long as I am consistant with my shoes. I went to Plano Orthopedic and Sports Medicine (FANTASTIC) Dr.s and my Dr. was very specific about the types of shoes I wear. Also, for non-athletic shoes, he said Merrill, Born and Earth are good.

I do go out on weekends and will sometimes wear my heels but I am right back to the orthotics when I do that. I no longer wear flip flops for a long period of time.

Good luck.

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answers from San Francisco on

I've found relief using Super Feet insoles (the green ones, which are meant for sneakers), and wearing Dansko clogs regularly. Both were recommended by my podiatrist. The clogs stretch the foot as you walk, and that's half the battle. I wear mine at least 2-3 times per week now that I don't have heel pain anymore- for prevention. Good luck.



answers from Tulsa on

I have a LOT of heel pain and i can share what I do. If the pain id under the foot, close to the arch then it may be heel spurs or fallen arch, a foot doctor can tell you more. I found a good article that I think explains it better.

Most of my heel pain is in the area that surrounds the heel, where lots of people get dry cracked skin, it is around the heel, not the bottom. My doctor told me that it's because I have always worn shoes with heels and my tendons and ligaments are shorter than then need to be so when I wear flater shoes it stretches those tendons and ligaments out and they get inflamed and painful. Cold soaks and massage really help the pain. Also anti-inflammatory meds help reduce the pain. Better that Tylenol, which only treats pain, not inflammation.

So, when I buy shoes of any kind I have to choose a shoe that has more heel to it, I cannot wear shoes completely flat. Lots of newer styles of athletic shoes have a more of a heel than just flat. I'm not saying a High Heel, just the heel is a bit higher than the ball of the foot.

I went to physical therapy for a month, 5 days a week. The best thing to help my foot pain was the stretches they taught me. Standing on a step,if no steps then a thick book, with the heels hanging off. Pushing down, stretching the heels out gently. Picking up marbles with my toes. Putting one foot back in a lunge tyoe stance and pushing that back foot down. Here's a link to show some and explain them better than I can.
Really good pictures here.



answers from Cincinnati on

When I was 1st diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, my doctor told me to get New Balance sneakers. They did help. I personally love the 608 cross trainers.

Ultimately, I had to see a podiatrist. He gave me a cortisone shot in my heel, and I had to buy $350 custom orthotics. It really did help, and was worth the money. I no longer need the orthotics, and only get pain if I wear shoes without support (like flip flops) for a while.

Good luck!



answers from Sacramento on

I have been dealing with plantar fasciitis for several months now. The x-ray showed a pretty significant heel spur. I had the cortisone shots done and had orthotics made. I also wore a night splint at night. Nothing helped until I bought some of those gel heel cups. I put them in any shoes I'm wearing. They work especially well in my jogging shoes because the fit is snug. My heel hasn't felt this great since last summer. You can find them at any shoe or sporting goods store. Good luck!



answers from Boston on

I use a pretty heavy-duty shoe - Brooks Ariel for superior motion control in addition to Sof Sole inserts. My foot pain decreased significantly once I started wearing them.


answers from Norfolk on

I had some horrible heel / foot pain a few years back. Standing up in the morning felt like I was walking on knives. It healed up fairly quickly with some good arch support. With Birkenstock sandals in the summer and clogs in the winter, my feet are completely pain free. They are not athletic shoes, but I've never had a sneaker that made my feet feel so good as Birkenstock s. I swear by them.



answers from Dallas on

I had severe heel pain a few years ago and mentioned it to my chiropractor. She in turn did a procedure on my feet and gave me some stretches and the pain went away. Just thought I'd share.



answers from San Francisco on

I have a similar issue and have been using SuperFeet insoles instead of the factory insoles. They might take a little getting used to at first, as there is a rigid bump in the arch that helps support and lengthen the plantar fascia, but it has done wonders at minimizing my heel pain. In terms of shoes, I'm a big fan of Saucony's running shoes. They provide great support and cushioning in the heel while I work out or run.

I"m not a big fan of Shox, particularly because they run narrow and don't provide adequate support for flat feet while running, but the one pair of Shox that did fit me well were very comfortable and didn't aggravate my heel pain.

Good luck and I hope your heels feel better soon.



answers from Indianapolis on

I'd check to see if your insurance covers a visit to a podiatrist. I have arthritis in both feet, fallen arches, etc. My husband has heel spurs. We both have orthotics for our shoes, and our podiatrist is VERY particular about what kind of running shoes to get - basically have to have no built-in stability for the orthotic to do what it's supposed to.

So, that would be my recommendation. Most insurances will cover the cost of the appointment as well as anything you might need (such as orthodics) to help offset the pain.

There was also a post yesterday about Sketcher's new shoes that everyone swore took a lot of pressure off of their back, legs, and feet.

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