13 Best Shoes for Nurses with Plantar Fasciitis

8 Min Read Published April 2, 2024
13 Best Shoes for Nurses with Plantar Fasciitis

Nurses can deal with a lot of aches and pains on the job—and I’m not just talking about the patients. Kidding! (Really, for legal purposes, that was a joke.) But one of the most challenging types of pain nurses can deal with is foot pain—foot pain can seem like a “small” thing, but when you work a job that requires you to be on your feet all day or night, having the right supportive footwear makes all the difference.

Thanks to long hours of walking and standing, combined with fast-paced work that involves quick pivots, lifting heavy loads, and unpredictable needs, nurses are especially prone to foot issues and a type of heel pain called plantar fasciitis. 

Plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation in the tissue between the toes and heels and can be especially painful for nurses because it can lead to severe heel pain. You might have plantar fasciitis if you notice your heel pain is worse when you first stand up after sitting or resting. If you have any sort of heel or foot pain, be sure to visit your doctor and have it evaluated and equally as important, be sure you are wearing a supportive pair of shoes while you’re at work. 

Many types of plantar fasciitis can be healed with the right arch support and cushioning, so choose a pair of shoes that works just as hard as you. 

Nurse.org may receive a portion of sales via affiliate links on this page. We strive to write recommendations that genuinely reflect our true opinion of the product or service.

The 13 Best Shoes for Nurses With Plantar Fasciitis

  1. Orthofeet Coral Stretch Knit


These shoes really have almost every feature a nurse could drool over: customizable and removable arch support (remember—sometimes plantar fasciitis is caused by a high arch, so the ability to choose your own level of arch support is key!)), antimicrobial and moisture-wicking material, heel cushioning, and a wide toe box to help support you in the many literal and physical pivots you will make during your shift. 

  1. Nurse Mates Bryar

Buy on Amazon starting at $71.08

Many of the reviews on Amazon for these shoes came straight from current or retired RNs who spoke to their comfort and support. They feature arch support, half and wide sizes, and a pillowtop foot bed for heel pain relief.  

  1. Alegria Debra

Buy on Amazon starting at $54.99

Leather shoes that remind us of slippers? Count us in! These stylish slip-ons are actually closed-toe clogs that are perfect for anyone who is looking for a little more heel support. Reviews speak to their excellent comfort and arch support and with a seemingly endless array of colors to choose from, even the most stylish of RNs will find something to suit them. 

  1. Skechers Loving Life

Buy on Amazon starting at $39.95

These slip-on sneakers by Skechers are as fun as they are functional. Featuring a splashy neon design, they also have memory foam construction and a breathable design. Because they’re slip-on and very breathable, reviews do mention that, while super comfy, they may not be the best choice for long shifts, so you might want to choose this shoe for when you’re off-shift and need some support around the house or yard. 

  1. Tiosebon Slip-On Shoes

Buy on Amazon starting at $19.99

Tiosebon offers another breathable slip-on sneaker that’s perfect for walking. They have a sleek profile while still boasting plenty of arch support that can help relieve plantar fasciitis. Reviewers love how these shoes seem to expand with their feet, so if you have any issues with your feet swelling by the end of a long shift (been there), these may be a great option for you. 

  1. Reebok Walk Ultra 7 DMX MAX Women's Shoes

Buy on Amazon starting at $42.99

Reebok offers a couple of different options that are great for nurses with plantar fasciitis (case in point: their popular Reebok Lite is currently sold out, but is an excellent and lightweight choice for support) but this choice is a classic shoe with a vintage feel that can keep you supported all shift long. Specifically, the design actually moves air from your toe to your heel each and every time you take a step, which is exactly the mechanism that’s involved with plantar fasciitis pain. 

  1. New Balance 410 V6

Buy on Amazon starting at $54.95

Trail shoes like this offering from New Balance offer ultimate support and stability: two things that anyone with plantar fasciitis needs more of in their life. Actually, now that I think about it, it feels like that’s something we all need, regardless of our foot pain status.

  1. Brooks Addiction Walker 2

Buy on Amazon starting at $85.95

Brooks is known for its popular running shoes, but as any nurse knows, there is plenty of fast-paced action to be held in any nursing position. This shoe offers a ton of helpful options for anyone with support needs, from arch support to a super-duty traction support outsole. Plus, this is a certified diabetic shoe, so it can be covered by insurance if you’re eligible. 



Honestly, just looking at this shoe made my feet feel better. It looks downright airy and comfortable, while still being sturdy and supportive, the perfect combination. While this is a good gender-neutral choice that will offer all-day support for someone with average feet, for a truly customized shoe that will fit all your needs, we recommend doing the quiz on Hoka’s website to find a shoe that matches your exact fit and needs. 

  1. Orthofeet Sprint Tie-Less


Designed for a male foot, these no-lace shoes (but they still have laces for the look and fit, which is genius) are basically designed to be foot pain blasters. They claim to relieve all kinds of ailments, from bunions to plantar fasciitis. They have a ton of nurse-friendly features like anti-microbial material, a heel grip to keep things stable, and of course, ample arch support. One note: the manufacturer does recommend going up a half size to get the best fit for comfort and support. 

  1. BALA Shoes

Buy on wearbala.com for $150

BALA rarely misses the mark when it comes to shoes for nurses, probably because they have real nurses who give their input on the design. These shoes feature one of the most supportive arches on our list, with a gorgeous design and color palette to boot. Plus, they’re built with proprioceptive and kinesthetic awareness in the arch and HRS cushioning for support that’s the best in the biz. Another bonus of BALA? They offer female-centric shoe design, which is a rarity since most footwear 

  1. Gravity Defyer Proven Women's G-Defy Mighty Walk

Buy on Amazon starting at $135

It doesn’t seem fair, but females are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis. To help combat that, this gravity “defying” shoe is built with the needs of women in mind, complete with forefoot foam, foam cushioning through the entire shoe, and VersoShock into the heel for targeted plantar fasciitis pain. Plus, each pair of shoes comes with a custom pair of orthotics—the goal with these shoes is to reduce all types of leg, knee, and foot pain. The shoes are also healthcare worker-friendly, thanks to breathable mesh, non-skid bottoms, and roomy toe boxes. 

  1. On-Cloud

Buy on Amazon starting at $135

Want a pair of shoes that feels like you’re walking on a cloud? This pair of running shoes might just come close, thanks to patented CloudTec cushioning technology that activates when your foot strikes the ground, a necessary part of healing plantar fasciitis. Reviewers love the breathable mesh fabric and non-skid sole that will come in handy for healthcare workers. 


How to choose the right shoes for plantar fasciitis?

The best choice of shoe for plantar fasciitis is one that is supportive and comfortable for you. However, everyone is different, so the best way to choose a shoe if you have plantar fasciitis is to visit a podiatrist for a personalized recommendation. Additionally, a podiatrist may be able to recommend exercises or even physical therapy to help you fix the plantar fasciitis and prevent future flare-ups. Some people with naturally high arches, for instance, may be more prone to plantar fasciitis and may need a specialty shoe to help heal the condition. 

What shoes should I avoid if I have plantar fasciitis?

Most people find shoes that are unsupportive to be uncomfortable with plantar fasciitis. If you’re working as a nurse, that means you’ll want to be sure your shoes are new, with plenty of support.  

Why is plantar fasciitis such a problem for nurses?

Nurses and healthcare workers are especially prone to plantar fasciitis for a few different reasons: 1) they spend long hours on their feet, which can inflame the ligaments 2) they frequently work on hard surfaces and have sudden starts in activity levels (think: Code Blues) 3) they may not always have adequate footwear 4) lack of stretching is involved and 5) health conditions like obesity. 

What exercises can I do to help with plantar fasciitis? 

The best exercises for plantar fasciitis involve stretching both the plantar fascia (the band of tissue on the bottom of our feet) and your calves since your calf muscles are directly tied to that area. Stretch your calves against a wall or sit on the ground and bring your toes towards you with your hands or with the help of an exercise band. You can also roll a cold water bottle along the bottom of your feet 4 times per day to break up the fascia, reduce inflammation, and help the muscles relax. 

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue and ligament that connects the toes to the heel of the foot. It can lead to heel, arch, and foot pain, but most often causes a lot of heel pain. One of the tell-tale signs of plantar fasciitis is pain that is more intense after you’re at rest—so for instance, your heels might hurt initially when you stand up, then decreases as you move around. 

What causes it? 

There isn’t one clear cause of plantar fasciitis, but it is common in people who have jobs that involve a lot of walking and standing, sharp changes in activity levels, long-distance runners, and those who are overweight and obese. 

Plantar fasciitis prevention and treatment

If you have had plantar fasciitis in the past, you may be more prone to getting it again in the future. The best way to help prevent it is to rest your feet after working a long shift, invest in supportive footwear (and be sure to replace your shoes often), and stretch as often as you can. For recurring heel pain, be sure to visit a podiatrist who can help you determine if you need physical therapy or more personalized treatment options. 

Chaunie Brusie
Chaunie Brusie
Nurse.org Contributor

Chaunie Brusie, BSN, RN is a nurse-turned-writer with experience in critical care, long-term care, and labor and delivery. Her work has appeared everywhere from Glamor to The New York Times to The Washington Post. Chaunie lives with her husband and five kids in the middle of a hay field in Michigan and you can find more of her work here

Read More From Chaunie
Go to the top of page