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Best Tennis Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

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If you’re acquainted with the pain from plantar fasciitis, you understand the importance of choosing appropriate footwear.

In this post, we’ve covered some different types of tennis shoes that might help alleviate this horrible, persistent, stabbing pain in your heel you’re most likely all too familiar with. 

Some of the best tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis are actual tennis shoes (meaning they’re designed for actually playing tennis) because they are built to provide a lot of cushion from impact.

We’ve also included a more general list of the best everyday “tennis” shoes for plantar fasciitis, for those who don’t care how the shoe performs on a tennis court.

Best for Tennis

New Balance MC806

(9.0)

Built for comfort, stability, and support on the tennis court.

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Best Cushioned

OrthoFeet Stretchable

(9.4)

Specifically designed to provide foot and heel pain relief.

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Best Minimalist

Xero Shoes Prio

(9.4)

An excellent quality zero drop athletic sneaker.

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Reviews – Best Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

We’ve split our reviews into 2 lists:

Best Shoes for Everyday Wear

Best Shoes for Playing Tennis

Before we jump into the reviews, let’s go over some things to keep in mind when you’re looking for a shoe to help with plantar fasciitis pain.

What to Look for in a Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis

There are at least two competing (or complementary, depending on your perspective) schools of thought when it comes to choosing footwear for plantar fasciitis.

  1. School of Thought #1: Wear cushioned, supportive shoes.
  2. School of Thought #2: Wear minimalist, natural shoes.

Most experts are hesitant to recommend a shoe for plantar fasciitis without an evaluation, since each person’s situation is unique. We recommend you consult with a physician to help you decide which type of shoe you want to try.

Let’s break down the thinking behind these two philosophies.

Cushioned, Supportive Shoes

The first school of thought says that you should use shoes that have great arch support, provide a lot of cushion on the sole and heel especially, use supportive orthotics.

It’s easy to understand the logic here. If you are experiencing pain in your heel, you should cushion it to help alleviate that pain. Like in the video below by OrthoFeet, our top pick for cushioned tennis shoes for everyday wear.

There are a lot of tennis shoes that offer this level of support and cushioning, since the stop-and-go movements on a hard court can be very hard on your feet. There are also a lot of “tennis” shoes that aren’t specifically designed for tennis, but which offer excellent support and cushioning for everyday wear.

Many experts who recommend wearing supportive, cushioned shoes will also agree that this may only treat the symptom. You should address the cause of your pain, or you else you will constantly be treating its effects.

You can also add your own custom orthotics to whatever shoes you want, which can help provide the right cushioning for your foot.

Minimalist, Natural Shoes

Minimalist shoes allow your foot to move more naturally, strengthen your feet and calves, and let your toes stretch out. They are meant to reacquaint yourself with your feet’s natural sense of motion that you were born with.

This video helps explain this philosophy.

Minimalist, zero drop shoes are becoming increasingly popular as running shoes and everyday wear shoes, with many saying they correct some feet problems like plantar fasciitis.

Playing Tennis in Minimalist Shoes

That said, there are some key differences between running shoes and tennis shoes. Frequent and sudden changes in speed and lateral movements make playing tennis a very different activity than running. The hard court surface feels especially hard when you stomp on it barefoot or in a pair of minimalist shoes.

Tennis shoes tend to have more ankle support for lateral movements, and a much tougher sole for repeated impact and sliding on a hard court.

However, some tennis shoes are moving in this direction (ironically enough to help provide better ankle support), like the Nike Flare, which we review later in this post. And one big player in the minimalist shoe movement was actually founded by a tennis player.

You can read our post on the best shoes for tennis players to learn more about the differences between running shoes and tennis shoes.

And now, let’s jump into our reviews. We’ve split our list into the Best Shoes for Everyday Wear and the Best Shoes for Playing Tennis.

Best Shoes for Everyday Wear

The first half of our reviews are the best “tennis” shoes (read athletic shoes in general) for everyday wear.

Feature Highlights
  • Available in multiple widths
  • Lightweight ergonomic sole
  • Premium orthotic insoles for anatomical arch support
  • Excellent cushioning provides pillow-like support
Feature Highlights
  • Seamless interior for sensitive feet
  • Extra roomy toebox
  • Removable insoles for custom orthotic support
  • Patented VersoShock Technology helps absorb shock from ground

Xero Shoes Prio

(9.4)
$$$
Feature Highlights
  • Minimalist shoe with zero-drop design
  • Wide toebox
  • Very lightweight
  • Helps with posture and strengthens your feet and calves
Feature Highlights
  • Stabilizing internal heel counter gently helps your foot remain in its natural line of motion
  • ORTHOLITE sockliner provides excellent cushioning that molds to the shape of your foot
  • Durable rubber sole
  • Available in multiple widths
Feature Highlights
  • Asics high Abrasion Rubber sole
  • Removable foam sockliner accommodates orthotics
  • GEL cushioning system provides excellent comfort
Feature Highlights
  • BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning provide a soft and protective cushioned feel
  • Guiderail Support System helps provide knee support

Best Shoes for Playing Tennis

And now, here are our top picks for the best shoes for playing tennis with plantar fasciitis.

Pros
  • Available in multiple widths
  • Excellent stability and support
  • ABZORB cushioning makes for a comfortable feel
Cons
  • Some issues with durability

New Balance is well known for their comfortable, wide tennis shoes. This makes them a great option for players with feet pain, wide feet, or flat feet.

Our recommendation: The New Balance MC806 is an excellent shoe for tennis players with plantar fasciitis who still need excellent support and stability for tennis play.

Nike Flare

(8.9)
$$$
Pros
  • Extremely breathable
  • Lightweight
  • Provides minimal, but excellent cushioning
Cons
  • Only available in women’s

The Nike Flare was designed with the help of Serena Williams, who wanted a shoe that was lower to the ground to help prevent ankle rolling. This is one of the few shoes designed for tennis that could be considered more minimalist or zero drop.

Because of it’s design that’s similar to a zero drop design, it’s a great option for players with plantar fasciitis who are trying to use more minimalist shoes.

Our recommendation: The Nike Flare is an excellent choice if you’re a female tennis player looking for a minimalist, lightweight shoe that still provides excellent cushioning.

Pros
  • Boost technology for great comfort, especially in the heel
  • Wider toebox (could use Correct Toes or other toe spacers)
  • Great stability
Cons
  • Not as durable as you’d expect for the price

The Adidas Solecourt Boost is extremely well cushioned, especially in the heel. This makes it a great option for tennis players with plantar fasciitis. It also has a wider toebox, so you could use toe spacers, which many find help with foot pain.

Pros
  • Well-cushioned and comfortable
  • Very lightweight and responsive
  • Several colorways
Cons
  • May be ruined by washing
  • Hard plastic section in middle of outsole may cause scraping sound
  • Not the most durable

The Nike Air Zoom Vapor X is a very lightweight and responsive shoe, built for speed. That said, it’s also also surprisingly stable.

It’s very well cushioned and comfortable, making it a great choice for players with foot pain.

Pros
  • Stable and supportive
  • Excellent traction and control, with substantial tread
  • Great cushioning
Cons
  • May require a break-in period

The Asics Gel-Challenger 12 is an all-around excellent performance tennis shoe, at a slightly lower price point. Some find the Gel-Challenger 12 to be just as good as the more expensive Gel-Resolution 7.

Summary & Recommendations

If you’re dealing with plantar fasciitis, we sincerely wish you the best and hope you can manage to alleviate and eventually eliminate the pain. We hope you found the information in this post helpful.

To recap:

If you’re looking for a shoe to play tennis in, we recommend the New Balance MC806.

If you’re looking for a cushioned shoe for everyday wear, we recommend the OrthoFeet Stretchable.

And if you’re looking for a minimalist shoe to help address the root cause of your pain, we recommend the Xero Shoes Prio.

There are several other great shoe options in this post, and we hope you’re able to find the right tennis shoe for you.

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