The best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis are numerous, but if you’re in a rush, our top choice goes to the Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX.
Plantar fasciitis can be a debilitating condition with horrible heel pain that worsens with time if you don’t find great support. Do you enjoy living an active lifestyle? It’s crucial to act fast and invest in proper footwear to help you revel in the outdoors pain-free.
In this article, we’re going to review the following hiking boots for plantar fasciitis:
- Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX
- Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II
- Merrell Men’s MOAB 2 Mid
- Merrell Men’s Accentor
- Timberland Men’s White Ledge
- Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Mid GTX
- Timberland Men’s Chocorua Trail
- Keen Men’s Targhee II Mid
- Vasque Men’s Breeze 2.0
Top 9 Hiking Boots and Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis
We’ve scoured the internet and pulled together a well-crafted list of the best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis.
These high-quality Salomon boots come in an assortment of colors including green, brown and black. Half sizes are available for a closer fit.
These boots come with an array of features for comfort and support, starting with GoreTex fabric throughout for the ultimate waterproof protection. The ergonomic tongue should feel cozy with wear and further keep moisture out of your shoe.
A proprietary Contragrip sole offers traction below and the 6-inch shaft should support your ankles sufficiently. For those that worry about sprains or strains, these should keep you stable on your feet.
The protective rubber toe cap further enhances the safety features of this boot, in case you bump into a rock or other unforeseen object.
One of the only downsides is that some complain it comes up narrow. You may need to order up, or at the least, give them a good trial indoors, before committing to the purchase.
Newton Ridge Plus II are mid-range, lightweight, inexpensive hiking boots.
They feature a 5-inch shaft with a 0.5-inch lug along the bottom, offering traction throughout and ankle stability, as well. Another supportive feature includes the reinforced heel and toe barrier, keeping you safe on both ends. The midsole offers plenty of cushioning for those long hikes.
A seam-sealed waterproof construction does appear promising, but some have noted that they don’t always hold up when the heavy rain comes.
These could withstand a drizzle and on the plus side, they’re breathable with the included mesh material.
Color options for this boot include brown, navy and black.
If you’re looking for the longest-lasting pair of waterproof boots, these may not be for you. Many state that they’re not waterproof enough and that the sole could separate after a few long hikes. With that said, others seem to have worn them for ages, so this could be a matter of poor care.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. The Vibram outsole provides ample traction for rough terrains. If you’re looking for superior comfort, there’s added heel and arch support, which are both areas prone to hot spots.
On the inside, you’ll get an EVA contoured footbed made to form in line with the sole of your foot. You shouldn’t get too sweaty either, thanks to the breathable mesh lining throughout.
A closed-cell foam tongue helps keep moisture and debris out, which should rest softly against your ankle.
Merrell brings us yet another hiking boot, that while offering some standout specifications, could fall short on quality long-term.
Let’s look at the positives first, including the unique antibacterial lining, which is especially useful for those that suffer from sweaty feet. There’s a breathable mesh upper that’s rather essential for hot, summer hikes, too.
The company incorporates another EVA footbed here and it’s removable to boot (pun intended). If you wear orthotics and need them on the trail, this footwear could be a good option for you.
Merrell didn’t leave out its air cushioning either and you’ll find it in the heel for added stability and shock absorption. The sticky outsole should also come in handy where stable footing is concerned, as well.
On the downside, many complain about quality issues such as insoles flattening out quickly and eyelets coming off. These little details may not seem like a big deal, but if you want your boots to last, it’s something to keep in mind.
Timberland is a brand synonymous with outdoor clothing and footwear. These hiking boots aren’t only great for keeping your feet dry, but you’ll look stylish in the process.
The company uses a seam-sealed construction throughout the 100 percent leather boot for protection against water. This footwear also features rust-proof hardware for the lacing system, which should hold up in the face of moisture.
Comfort is covered, as well, from the padded collar to the removable, dual-density and anti-fatigue footbed. The EVA foam midsole is compression-molded, so it should fit just right to the shape of your foot.
A pull loop at the back will come in handy when it’s time to slip the boots on. The shaft measures up to around 4.75-inches high, offering decent ankle protection, but it’s not the highest on our list.
The Moab 2 Mid boot is safe for rainy weather, thanks to the GoreTex membrane and closed-cell tongue that’ll keep both moisture and debris out.
The Vibram sole presents resistance to slippage on rocky terrain and your toes will stay protected, too, with the help of the rubber cap upfront. Added heel and arch support offer comfort for the remainder of your foot. You can also remove this EVA contoured footbed if you’d prefer to wear your orthotics instead.
Mesh along the upper portion should provide a substantial amount of breathability, in case you’re hiking in warmer seasons.
Out of all the options on our list, this boot takes the cake where styles are concerned. You have an array of browns to choose from, along with black and blue.
These Timberland boots meant to be comfortable straight from the box, with a low 1-inch heel and shaft that measures around 5-inches high.
There’s a fully-gusseted tongue that’ll keep anything out that you don’t want in. This includes moisture and various debris such as pebbles. You shouldn’t have a problem with water reaching other parts of the boot, too. A GoreTex membrane lines the inner with 100 percent waterproof leather on the exterior portion.
The rust-proof hardware around the lacing won’t corrode after being exposed to inclement weather conditions, either.
This company includes an EVA midsole and footbed for ultimate comfort during long hikes on the trail. They’re labeled as anti-fatigue, so you won’t feel every bump and bruise along the way.
Waterproofing doesn’t always come with breathability, but it does with Keen. This brand is a well-known name in the outdoor world and the company brings us this boot for rough, wet terrain.
The boot’s upper portion is made from Keen’s waterproof leather and there’s a proprietary, breathable membrane to keep the inner side dry, as well.
An ESS shank offers support throughout, while the mid-cut height protects your ankle against twists and turns. The aggressive 4mm outsole offers serious hikers and climbers plenty of traction here.
When it comes to comfort and durability, however, many claim that the boot won’t hold up. If you’re interested in light hiking from time to time, this footwear could serve you fine. For enthusiastic weekend warriors, you might want to opt for something else.
This lesser-known company brings us a hiking boot that offers up another chance to hit rough terrains. The Vibram outsole is aggressive for uneven areas and thermoplastic plates throughout provide added support and stability.
When it comes to joint protection, this boot’s shaft measures higher than most on our list at 6-inches high. Around the front, you have a gusseted, padded tongue to keep out little bits and bobs that could find their way into your footwear.
You won’t suffer from uncomfortable inners, either, starting with a breathable, yet waterproof GoreTex membrane. The shock absorbing EVA midsole is a major advantage when you don’t want to feel everything under you.
A wicking mesh lining will keep your feet fresh and dry, while the dual-density footbed provides extra comfort. This returns energy to your feet when you’re on them all day.
These could be a perfect choice for those with narrow or regular-width feet. If you’re on the larger side and happen to have wider footsies, make sure you give them a spin before committing.
What to Consider When You Have Plantar Fasciitis
While plantar fasciitis is a condition that requires rest and proper care, sometimes, you just need to be outdoors. You must wear shoes that offer plenty of support and comfort, so you can enjoy mother nature with ease.
As long as you’re not putting the muscles in your feet under too much strain, hiking can be beneficial. Walking helps, as you need to strengthen your feet and reduce the chance of the condition getting worse.
Certain stretches and exercises can help your recovery
Footwear to Avoid
With plantar fasciitis, you also want to look at the footwear you should avoid:
- Stiletto heels: Raising your foot into an unnatural angle puts a strain on your plantar fascia. We know they look pretty, but that doesn’t cut it.
- Flip flops or ballet flats: This footwear offers zero arch or heel support, which is the opposite of what you need.
- Worn out or brand-new shoes: Worn soles and shoes that are stiff are both hard on plantar fasciitis. For newly-purchased footwear, give yourself a chance to wear it in slowly before taking up a whole day in them.
What to Look for in Hiking Boots
They come with different features and some of this boils down to your preference. Keep the following in mind:
Support and Stability
The best hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis will be those with excellent support.
Ankle and Arch Support
This includes a stiff, tall shaft to protect the ankle area. If you’re looking for the tallest shaft available, our top choice (Salomon Quest) fits the bill with an option that’s 6-inches tall.
While Merrell has its downfalls where long-term quality is concerned, their comfort features come out on top. These boots offer additional arch support where other footwear falls short. This helps distribute any pressure across the foot and keep you balanced.
Too loose and you won’t be steady in your boots, but overly tight could lead to other problems like hot spots and blisters.
Some boots offer half sizes to help you achieve a more custom fit and the lacing system will make a difference, too. Look for laces that cinch up easily and stay securely in place. The Keen Targhee boot offers this feature.
Footbed and Cushioning
Keep an eye out for cushioned or contoured footbeds that provide relief from the bumps you’ll encounter when on your feet.
We’d recommend any of the Merrell boots here because they provide air cushioning along the heel. The brand’s EVA footbed molds to the shape of your foot, as well. You shouldn’t feel uneven in your shoes.
Walking along rough terrains can certainly beat your shoes down and you don’t want your boots falling apart after a few hikes. Here are a few materials to look for:
Many boots feature a rubbery Vibram outsole, or other proprietary options, with differing levels of traction. If you’re hitting a wide variety of terrains, you’ll want deep lugs to help keep you steady on your feet, regardless of the ground below.
The Salomon boot comes with a branded Contragrip sole, giving you high traction on rocky areas. To our knowledge, these soles hold up over time, as well.
For the uppers, synthetic options, such as polyester and nylon, are easier to break in, lighter weight and dry faster than your other options such as leather. The primary downside is that they’re not water-resistant.
If you’re looking for a long-lasting waterproof variety, 100 percent leather will be your way to go. These boots will be heavier, and more costly, but you’re paying for durability, after all.
We’d like to recommend the Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX here because it comes in at a happy medium. These boots feature leather, synthetic and mesh materials offering the best of all worlds.
Do you find yourself sweating a lot while hiking? You’ll want a breathable lining on the inside of your boot, while some even offer antimicrobial treatments. The Keen boot provides an inner membrane that’s not only waterproof, but features sufficient airflow, as well.
Not everyone needs a waterproof boot but for those that do, pay extra attention as many customers complained that this feature doesn’t always present as advertised.
A fully waterproof boot offers protection along the outside and the inner portion. Closed-cell or gusseted tongues and collars are important too, as they keep moisture from leaking in through the top portion.
The Timberland Chocorua wins here as it provides 100 percent waterproof leather on the outside, a GoreTex membrane on the inner and a gusseted tongue up top. Furthermore, the rust-proof hardware, such as the eyelets, ensures these pieces hold up in the face of rain.
Plantar fasciitis sufferers can benefit from hiking shoes that are lightweight. There’s less strain on your calf muscles this way, which can impact your feet in return. You won’t feel as if you’re lugging around bricks, either.
One of the lightest boots on the list is the Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II weighing in at around 1 pound per shoe.
What’s the Right Pair for You?
Everyone is different and the level of pain you feel when walking is also a personal thing. If you don’t want your condition to worsen, finding a pair of hiking boots you can wear for long periods is essential.
You may not find a boot that hits every feature you’re looking for, so you need to prioritize here. Is added support and cushioning the most important thing? All of the choices brought to us by Merrell feature ample comfort.
Maybe you hike regularly in wet conditions and if this is this case, a durable waterproof option is essential. Both styles from Timberland could fit the bill.
Lastly, you don’t want to suffer from overly heavy boots that’ll weigh you down. When you’re shopping, make sure to look for a lighter pair, such as those from Colombia. Some manufacturers list the weight for one shoe or both together, so make sure to check this and don’t get confused.
The best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis will feature a stable support system, both inside and out, and be on the lighter side. You’ll need to strike a balance here since extra features ultimately come with additional weight.
We’ve chosen the Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX as our number one choice because it weighs in at around 1.3 pounds for each boot. They aren’t the heaviest, nor are they the lightest, but they do offer sufficient stability. This comes in the form of a Contragrip outsole and a 6-inch shaft, among other features.
The Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II has to be our second choice as it’s one of the lightest options on our list at 2 pounds per pair. They’ll be less waterproof than the option above, but again, you’ll need to pick and choose what’s essential.