Best Work Boots for Plantar Fasciitis of 2022



Published Jul 14, 2022 1:38 PM

A sharp stabbing pain in the heel followed by an ache that travels all along the bottoms of your feet. Those are the telltale signs of plantar fasciitis. Some one in ten people will suffer from plantar fasciitis in their lifetime with more than 2 million people worldwide seeking treatment for the condition each year. While the best treatment for plantar fasciitis is to stay off your feet, giving the fascia time to heal, most of us can’t afford to take time off from work to do so. 

Luckily, there are work boots that can bring relief if you suffer from this painful condition and prevent it from returning. You just need to know what to look for. Boots that take pressure off the plantar fascia have good arch support and cushioning in the midsole and footbed that support the foot and absorb shock so your foot doesn’t have to. If your feet are suffering from this condition, then read on to find out more about the best work boots for plantar fasciitis. 

Things to Consider Before Buying Boots for Plantar Fasciitis 

What is plantar fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is the ligament that runs from your heel bone to the ball of the foot. Think of it as your foot’s midsole. It provides spring and shock absorption, helping to stabilize your body and protect your knees and hips by absorbing some of the impact from walking and standing. When the fascia becomes inflamed as a result of long hours standing and walking on hard surfaces it causes the fascia to tighten and become less flexible, making it painful to walk. This discomfort is most noticeable in the mornings when the fascia is especially tight.  

The Right Size Shoes

While many suffer from plantar fasciitis, there is no one style of boot that best alleviates this condition. Rather, the best boot for plantar fasciitis relief is one that first and foremost fits properly. A good fit is dependent not only on getting the right shoe size but also on making sure that the insole properly supports the arches of the foot. Not enough arch will put more pressure on the foot, exacerbating the plantar fasciitis while too much arch for those with low arches or flat feet will create uncomfortable pressure on the foot with each step. 

Cushioning

After getting the right size shoe, the next major factor is cushioning. People who suffer from plantar fasciitis have lost some of their foot’s natural ability to absorb shock, so the boot midsole and insole need to compensate with ample cushioning and shock absorption. Look for boots that provide support and cushioning specifically in the heel and ball of the foot for maximum relief. 

Look for boots with midsoles made from high density polyurethane foam, which does an excellent job of absorbing shock while returning energy to the legs. A good boot for planetary fasciitis should also have a footbed with either foam or gel cushioning. 

If your workplace is indoors on smooth concrete surfaces, then consider going with a wedge style work boot. This type of work boot has an outsole that has more surface area contact with the floor than a standard lug boot. This design alleviates plantar fasciitis pain by distributing pressure throughout the entire foot instead of on the ball and heel. 

Protection 

All work boots need to provide foot protection in the workplace. If working with heavy equipment or freight, boots must have crush protection in the form of a steel or composite toe cap. A good work boot will also have a 6-inch boot shaft that protects the ankles while also providing support to prevent injury while working on uneven ground. Many work boots also have outsoles with anti-slip treatments that prevent falls when working on slick surfaces. 

Best Overall

Why It Made The Cut

Wolverine’s DuraShock system is well designed to take pressure off the plantar fascia. 

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 7 – 14
  • Materials: Rubber sole with leather upper
  • Safety toe: Soft

Pros

  • High density foam footbed
  • Durashock system ideal for plantar fasciitis
  • Genuine leather upper

Cons 

  • Materials not as durable as some pricier boots

It should come as little surprise that Wolverine offers some of the most comfortable work boots for those with plantar fasciitis. The boot maker is, after all, well regarded for its DuraShock system, which takes pressure off the soles of the feet. The Durashock system uses compression pads in the heel and forefoot of the outsole, identifiable by their blue color, that help to dissipate impact. Wolverine says the removable insole in the boot can absorb four times the force of the average work boot due to its high-density foam construction. 

In addition to those comfort features, there are other things to like about these work boots. Wolverine goes with a lightweight nylon shank in the midsole that’s more flexible than a standard steel shank. They also feature a 100 percent genuine leather upper with a lace-up opening that allows you to get a secure fit around the foot and ankle. The 6-inch shaft provides support for the ankles without being so tall that it impedes movement. The interior of the boot is equipped with a mesh lining that helps to wick away moisture, keeping the feet dry. 

Best Lightweight

Keen Utility Men’s Lansing Work Boot are the best lightweight work boots for plantar fasciitis.

Why It Made The Cut

This Lansing combines the comfort and lightweight design of hikers with the safety features of a work boot.

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 7 – 15
  • Materials: Rubber sole with nylon and leather construction 
  • Safety toe: Steel

Pros

  • Lightweight hiker design
  • Tread designed for outdoor or indoor use
  • Waterproof construction 

Cons 

  • Expensive for hiker style boots

Sure, Keen’s utility work boots may look a lot more like hiking boots than the kind of footwear you’d find in the workplace. In addition to those outdoor adventure looks, they’ve got the goods for 9- to 5-weekday work—including a toe box protected by a steel cap and a slip-resistant outsole that improves traction while working on the smooth concrete surfaces found indoors. 

Those with plantar fasciitis will appreciate the boots compression molded midsole, which provides the shock absorption and rebound needed to take pressure off sore feet. There’s also a foam footbed that provides cushioning and arch support. 

These boots are also notably lighter weight than a standard work boot, which means you can wear them for longer without the leg and foot fatigue of a heavier boot. Keen goes with a lower 5.5-inch shaft on these boots, trading a little support at the ankle for better freedom of movement, ideal for jobs that require a lot of walking, kneeling and crouching. They also have a hiker style lace-up fit that conforms to the foot. 

Sticking to their hiker roots, the boots are waterproof, making them ideal for outdoor use, and the lug sole has enough tread to provide good traction on loose surfaces. In fact, Keen recommends them for construction, landscaping, transportation and maintenance jobs.

Best Budget

Timberland Pro Men’s Pit Boss Work Boot are the best budget work boots for plantar fasciitis.

Why It Made The Cut

Despite its affordable price, this work boot features higher-end construction methods and materials.  

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 7 – 15
  • Materials: Rubber sole with leather upper
  • Safety toe: Steel

Pros

  • Welted seam construction 
  • Slip-resistant sole

Cons 

  • Not as much cushioning as some work boots

Let’s face it. Work boots are expensive. And, while you may be tempted to go for a budget set of work boots, you’ll more than likely end up regretting it later, especially if you have plantar fasciitis. This pair of work boots from Timberland is an exception. They cost less than other work boots, but still have much the same build quality, including a genuine leather upper and welted seam construction that you typically only find on pricier boots. There’s also a slip-resistant sole and a removable sock liner that helps to prevent blisters from forming along with a moisture wicking lining that prevents  feet from getting sweaty. 

In addition to its durable construction, there are also features to suit those suffering from plantar fasciitis. A plate in the midsole is designed to absorb shock, taking pressure off the plantar fascia while helping to save the knees and hips. Despite the fact that the Pit Boss comes equipped with a steel cap, it features a large toe box that allows for more flexibility while helping to better distribute pressure across the entire foot as and not just the balls of the feet and the heels. 

Best Waterproof

Thorogood Infinity FD Composite Toe Work Boots are the best waterproof work boots for plantar fasciitis.

Why It Made The Cut

Features such as a gusseted tongue, welted seams and full grain leather, make these boots ideal for wet conditions. 

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 7 – 15
  • Materials: Rubber sole with Full Grain Leather 
  • Safety toe: Composite

Pros

  • Premium construction methods and materials
  • Shock absorbing midsole and footbed ideal for plantar fasciitis
  • Waterproof construction 

Cons 

Thoroughgood boots tend to be some of the most expensive work boots on the market, but there’s a good reason for it. They feature construction methods not typically found on more affordable boots, such as welted seams and full-grain leather, a higher grade of leather than top grain. Not only does this make the boot more durable and watertight, but it also improves its flexibility, shortening the break in time. 

There’s also a gusseted tongue that prevents water from finding its way into the top of the boot while a liner allows water vapor from sweat to escape. And, while these construction methods make the boots pricier, you’ll make up the price difference on the back end by having to replace them less frequently. 

In addition to being durable and waterproof, the Infinity boots also have design features that should appeal to plantar fasciitis sufferers. A thick high density foam midsole absorbs shock while providing good rebound, helping to compensate for sore plantar fascia. Thoroughgood also places higher concentrations of foam under the balls of the feet and heels via the footbed, for additional shock absorption. 

Other notable features include a padded 6-inch column for additional ankle protection and support. The outsole consists of deep treads with a design that sheds debris, making them a good choice for more rugged conditions. 

Best Wedge

Irish Setter Wedge Wingshooter Work Boot are the best wedge work boots for plantar fasciitis.

Why It Made The Cut

Features such as a gusseted tongue, welted seams and full grain leather, make these boots ideal for wet conditions. 

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 7 – 15
  • Materials: Wedge sole with Full Grain Leather 
  • Safety toe: Composite

Pros

  • Wedge sole better distributes pressure throughout foot
  • Moc toe style creates roomier toe box
  • Waterproof construction 

Cons 

While a good lug sole work boot can suit a variety of work settings both indoors and out, for those whose job entails working almost entirely on smooth concrete surfaces, nothing beats a good wedge work boot. Whereas as a lug sole has a gap between the heel and ball of the foot, a wedge work boot’s entire outsole makes contact with the floor. So, instead of the bulk of the pressure being placed on the ball and heel, it’s spread out over the entire foot, which spells relief for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. The greater surface area of the outsole also allows for much better traction on the smooth hard floors of loading docks, factories, and warehouses. 

While many work boot brands offer wedge style footwear, Irish Setter’s are among the best. They feature a moc style toe that’s roomier than most, allowing the feet to spread out, along with a thick midsole that absorbs shock while putting some bounce in your step. The Wingshooters use welted seams that last longer than cheaper cement construction while making teh boots watertight. Inside is a moisture management that allows water vapor to escape while preventing water from infiltrating the boot. 

Best Women’s

Carhartt Women’s Rugged Flex Work Boot are the best women's work boots for plantar fasciitis.

Why It Made The Cut

Features such as a gusseted tongue, welted seams and full grain leather, make these boots ideal for wet conditions. 

Key Features 

  • Sizes: 6 – 11
  • Materials: Rubber sole with Oil Tanned Leather 
  • Safety toe: Composite

Pros

  • Ample shock absorption in the heel and toe box of the midsole
  • Cushioned footbed on the insole
  • Deep tread for ample traction while working outdoors  

Cons 

  • May not be the best choice for working indoors on concrete surfaces

These boots from outdoor workwear company Carhartt are lightweight with ample cushioning in the insole and midsole, making them an ideal work boot for women battling plantar fasciitis pain. The boots use flexible EVA material in the midsole for good shock absorption with a polyurethane foam pad in the footbed for additional cushioning. There’s also additional reinforcement in the toe box and heel that provides additional cushioning while standing or walking. 

The boots have rugged tread on the outsole that is ideal for working outdoors in rougher conditions, and they’re thick enough to provide secondary protection against electric shocks. The rubber sole prevents water from infiltrating the boot while an interior lining that wicks away moisture while fighting odors, and a composite toe protects toes from crushing hazards. Other features include a water-resistant oil tanned leather upper doesn’t require breaking in, and a 6-inch high shaft that provides ample ankle support and protection. 

How I Made My Picks 

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition to have, especially for those who must battle through it every workday. And while there are no work boots designed specifically for plantar fasciitis there are specific characteristics one can look for in a boot that will relive this condition. I based my selections on those attributes:

Shock absorption: The plantar fascia is responsible for absorbing the impact of walking by acting as the foot’s internal shock absorber. When the fascia gets overworked, it gets irritated. A good work boot should take some of these shock absorbing duties away from the plantar fascia, so I chose boots with ample cushioning in both the footbed and midsole.

Arch support: Unless you have flat feet, in which case you should purchase a boot with minimal arch support, you need footwear with arch support in the foot bed to take pressure off the plantar fascia. Keeping that in mind, we chose boots that offer ample support.

Protection: As with any work boot, one that’s tailored to those with plantar fasciitis should also protect the foot. We included boots with steel and composite toe caps along with non-skid outsoles and 6-inch shafts for ankle protection and support.  

FAQs

Q: How much do boots for plantar fasciitis cost? 

A good set of work boots for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis can range in price from as low as $100 to more than $200. This difference in price is due largely to the materials and construction methods used to make the boot. Whereas a more affordable boot may use cement construction with top grain leather, expect a higher end boot to have welted seams and full grain leather. While boots anywhere within this price range will be able to offer relief, higher priced boots will likely last longer than the more affordable options. 

Q: Can boots cause plantar fasciitis?

If you’re wearing the wrong work boots for your feet, they can definitely cause plantar fasciitis. Boots that lack the proper arch support can put an increased strain on the plantar fascia that runs from the heel to the ball of your feet, eventually causing the fascia to become inflamed and painful. Plantar fasciitis can also be triggered by wearing boots that lack the cushioning and shock absorption in the midsole and footbed needed to shield the feet from the impact of walking and long periods of standing. 

Q: How do you get plantar fasciitis? 

There are a variety of factors that contribute to one getting plantar fasciitis. Long periods of standing or walking on hard surfaces can cause the condition. Aging will result in a decrease in elasticity of the fascia, making them more prone to overuse and inflammation from walking and vigorous exercise. High intensity activities on hard pavement such as running or playing basketball can also lead to plantar fasciitis. Obesity, which places more pressure on the feet and fascia can also cause plantar fasciitis, and those with flat feet are also more prone to this type of foot pain. 

Q: What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

There are several symptoms that characterize plantar fasciitis. Most people who suffer from this condition wake up feeling sharp pain in the heels with an ache that runs the length of the foot. The foot may also feel as though it’s contracted. As the day wears on, this pain will typically subside as the fascia loosens up before returning again the next morning. 

Final Thoughts

The key to finding the right work boot for plantar fasciitis sufferers is by knowing what characteristics to look for. The boot needs to compensate for the shock absorption and bounce the plantar fascia would normally provide for the foot. As such, the boot should have plenty of high density foam in the midsole that provides bounce while cushioning the blow of each step the wearer takes. Additional cushioning in the footbed will also help support the fascia. 

Keeping those characteristics in mind, the Wolverine Durashocks, which focus on absorbing the impact of walking and long periods of standing, are the best option for those struggling with plantar fasciitis. Those looking for a more affordable work boot should consider the Timberland PRO, which comes equipped with a roomy toe box and shock absorbing nylon plate in the midsole. 



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