The 10 Best Running Shoes for Heel Pain

The 10 Best Running Shoes for Heel Pain

More than likely you found this blog because your heels are hurting. Maybe you have heel spurs, plantar fasciitis or maybe you just cannot figure out why they hurt! But to be more specific they’re hurting when you wear your
running shoes! If you keep reading we will talk about why your heels may be hurting when you wear running shoes. Additionally, we will give you a list of
The 10 Best Running Shoes for Heel Pain in 2021:

1. New Balance 990 V5

Best running shoes for heel pain: NEW BALANCE 990 v5
The New Balance 990V5 offers the perfect combination of cushioning and stability. The 990 features a blown rubber outsole that is lighter, softer, and more flexible than traditional rubber. Also, a dual-density foam collar adds additional padding and helps to hold the foot in place while you run, and keep stress to a minimum! The 990 also dons a mesh upper for ultimate breathability, and reflectors to keep you safe for those late-night runs. Last but not least, the midsole cushioning combines lightweight foam with a durable polyurethane rim to provide support and ultimate stability on all your runs or walks.
  • 7 Ounces
  • 12 mm Drop
  • ENCAP® midsole technology provides support and maximum durability
  • Dual Density Foam Collar
New Balance 990 V5 Shoes for Mens
New Balance 990 V5 Shoes for Womens

2. Hoka Bondi 7

HOKA Bondi 7 in Black White
The HOKA Bondi 7 is their most cushioned shoe yet! The game-changing Bondi 7 delivers a smooth, balanced ride over any distance. The full EVA midsole offers a ton of shock absorption, great for keeping Plantar Fasciitis pain at bay. The breathable, nearly seamless mesh upper keeps pressure off bunions. The signature HOKA Meta-Rocker technology mimics your natural walking motion, allowing your foot to relax and let the shoe do the walking. Added is a supremely plush collar. Made from ultra-soft memory foam designed to accommodate a narrower heel, the collar conforms to a wide variety of ankles, cradling the Achilles in cushy comfort.
  • Open-engineered mesh construction delivers breathable comfort
  • Memory foam collar cradles ankle in plush comfort
  • TPU overlays offer additional midfoot structure and support
  • Internal heel counter provides a supportive, locked-in fit midsole
Hoka Bondi 6 for mens
Hoka Bondi 6 for womens

3. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

Best running shoes for heel pain: BROOKS Adrenaline GTS 21
The women’s Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 in Black/Black/Ebony offers a responsive foam midsole that provides long-lasting cushioning. That responsive foam now extends throughout the entire midsole, adding shock absorption, comfort, and a smoother transition from heel to toe – fantastic for those who suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, Delivering on-demand support are the GuideRails® allows your hips, knees, and joints to move within their unique motion path while you walk. Enjoy a soft, secure fit with the 3D Fit Print Engineer Air Mesh upper that applies strategic stretch great for those with bunions These stylish athletic shoes will keep you feeling great all day long.
  • 6 ounces
  • 12 mm Drop
  • The asymmetrical 3D Fit Print saddle pulls from the heel and wraps around your arch for a secure fit
  • Integrated, streamline GuideRails offer smoother transitions
  • Improved structure in the mesh upper shaves weight
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 for mens
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 shoes for womens

4. New Balance 1080 V12

Best running shoes for heel pain: NEW BALANCE 1080 v10
The Fresh Foam 1080
by New Balance features Fresh Foam technology that is precision-engineered to deliver an ultra-cushioned and lightweight ride, which is ideal for combating heel pain. In addition, 1080 also features a Hypoknit upper that is designed to provide strategic areas of stretch and support. Also, the heel features a design that hugs the back of the foot for a snug, supportive fit. Lastly, a durable blown rubber outsole has pressure mapping colors to indicate zones of impact so you can see your running pattern after a run!
  • 4 ounces
  • 8mm Drop
  • Bootie Construction
  • Blown Rubber Outsole
New Balance 1080 V10 shoes for mens
New Balance 1080 V10 shoes for womens

5. HOKA Gaviota

HOKA Gaviota 3
The Gaviota by HOKA is one of their premium stability running shoes. With superior cushioning, perfect for aiding with heel pain. And HOKA J-Frame™ technology, you will be provided with support and protection while guiding your foot but without the use of rigid and unforgiving materials. The Gaviota 3 also offers superior breathability so you can run comfortably in any weather! The arch lock wing offers midfoot stability and support, offering you a tireless and confident run! New to the Gaviota 3 is more plushness, shock absorption, and durability than it’s predecessor.
  • 9 ounces
  • 5 mm drop
  • Premium Stability Shoe
  • The Gaviota 3 also holds the APMA seal of acceptance – The APMA Seal of Acceptance
    is awarded to products of exceptional quality that promote good foot health, manufactured with consumer’s comfort and safety in mind.
Hoka Gaviota 2 shoes for mens
Hoka Gaviota 2 shoes for womens

6. Brooks Ariel 20

Best running shoes for heel pain: BROOKS Ariel 18
The Brooks Ariel features an engineered air mesh upper that enhances breathability while you run. Also, Ariel has a super DNA midsole that provides twenty-five percent more adaptable cushioning, especially great supporting your heels. This also means more shock absorption, the less shock the less achy your heels will be at the end of your run. Additionally, Ariel features an Extended Progressive diagonal Rollbar that guides your body back into its natural motion path with added support. Lastly, the new improved fit of the soft, engineered air mesh upper offers a spacious toe box, structural saddle, and an external heel counter for reinforced stability.
  • 8 ounces
  • 12 mm Drop
  • Engineered-mesh upper with comfortable embroidered saddle: provides comfort and a spacious yet secure fit
  • BioMoGo DNA midsole: provides ultra-softness and durability
Brooks Ariel 20 shoes for womens

7. Brooks Beast 20

Best running shoes for heel pain: BROOKS Beast 18
The Beast by Brooks
is almost identical in support to the Ariel. The Beast offers an Extended Progressive diagonal Rollbar that guides your body back into its natural motion path, with added support. The new and improved fit of the Beast is soft and features an engineered air mesh upper that offers a spacious toe box, structural saddle, and an external heel counter for reinforced stability while you run! The ultra-cushioned footbed and structural outsole will help aid with the aches and pains in your heels. In addition, the Beast has a full-length segmented crash pad that accommodates any foot landing and delivers smooth heel-to-toe transition. Lastly, an engineered air mesh upper enhances breathability so you can run comfortably in any weather.
  • 8 ounces
  • 12 mm Drop
  • Engineered-mesh upper with comfortable embroidered saddle: provides comfort and a spacious yet secure fit
  • BioMoGo DNA midsole: provides ultra-softness and durability
Brooks Beast 20 shoes for mens

8. Hoka Clifton 8

HOKA Clifton 7
Soft. Smooth. Surprisingly light. Your new go-to daily shoe is here. Building on the Clifton’s best-loved qualities, the “7” continues to deliver the perfect combination of soft and light. Crafted with the same midsole and ride characteristics, the Clifton 7 features a streamlined silhouette and updated upper made from engineered mesh. Outfitted with a plush collar that eases Achilles pressure, this daily runner is equipped with an intuitive pull tab at the heel for easy on-and-off. Find your sweet spot in the Clifton 7.
  • Open-engineered sandwich mesh construction delivers the ultimate in breathable comfort
  • Lightweight mesh gusset prevents tongue migration
  • The reinforced eye stays provide increased durability
  • New vertical pull tab for easy entry
Hoka Clifton 6 shoes for mens
Hoka Clifton 6 shoes for womens

9. Brooks Ghost 14

Brooks Ghost 13
The Ghost 13/14 offers the smoothest ride yet with super soft cushioning extended beyond the heel, all the way to the forefoot. The new design optimizes the segmented crash pad’s transition from heel to toe — so steps feel soft and buttery smooth. This shoe is for anyone looking for a reliable shoe that’s soft and smooth.
  • DNA Loft provides the softest underfoot cushioning for lasting comfort
  • Super soft DNA LOFT offers plenty of cushioning underfoot, regardless of how your foot lands
  • The new Engineered Air Mesh upper hugs the foot for a secure — but still breathable — fit
  • DNA LOFT now extends beyond the heel, all the way to the forefoot, for an easy transition from landing to toe-off
  • Co-molding DNA LOFT and BioMoGo DNA delivers a softer feel and smoother transitions than other molding processes
  • Incredible stability makes this shoe great for Plantar Fasciitis
  • Comes in wide, fitting great for bunions
Brooks Ghost 12 shoes for mens
Brooks Ghost 12 shoes for womens

10. HOKA Akasa

HOKA Akasa in Frost Grey/Silver Sconce
The HOKA Akasa is an extra-plush easy strider. The HOKA ONE ONE® Active Foot Frame brings a reassuring “bucket seat” fit for the foot, while the rubberized foam adds extra responsiveness to make every step a confident one. This plush, maximum cushion shoe is truly versatile. Whether you walk or run, the Akasa by Hoka offers you comfort and support in an attractive, clean look.
  • Ultra-plush dual compound memory foam sock liner for all-day comfort
  • Rubberized foam outsole for traction and high-rebound cushioning
  • Engineered knit upper provides support, comfort, breathability, and a clean finish for active or casual use
  • Complete rubberized foam midsole offers a dynamic and responsive ride
  • Textured TPU toe reinforcement for added durability and support
  • Balanced Meta-Rocker
361 Spire 4 shoes for mens
361 Spire 4 shoes for womens

What Foot Problems Cause Heel Pain?

  1. Plantar Fasciitis – When suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, the volume of pain you’ll experience can vary from mild to severe, and most of the pain will be in your heels. The reason your heels are in so much pain is due to the weakest part of the plantar fascia is attached to the heel and when the plantar fascia is repeatedly twisted and pulled, due to lack of arch support, it pulls the connective tissue away from the heel and causes the pain and inflammation in and around the heel.
  2. Heel Spurs – Most of the time, a heel spur is caused by Plantar Fasciitis. A heel spur forms as the body tries to repair the torn plantar fascia by building extra bone where it has been damaged. It generally forms in response to pressure, rubbing, or stress that continues over a long period of time on the plantar fascia, a heel spur will feel like a bony protrusion.
  3. Over-Pronation – When the heel makes the initial ground contact but the foot rolls inward more than it should. The reason over-pronation can lead to heel pain is that the plantar fascia is being overstretched, which can then can lead to Plantar Fasciitis.
Running Shoes for Heel Pain
get your free foot analysis

What to look for in good running shoes

When shopping for running shoes, we cannot go solely off of looks. It is extremely important that you invest your time into researching and visiting stores that can help point you in the right direction, but for now, here are a few traits to look for. First, you want to find a shoe that is not flexible, it should not be able to twist and turn, especially fold in half. Secondly, find a shoe that fits your gait cycle. Did you know that there are shoes tailored to the way you walk and run? Finding a shoe that fits your gait cycle can play a big role in helping you recover from heel pain. Finally, you’ll want to make sure your shoes are for running. You never want to run in walking shoes, sure they’re lighter and less bulk but that also means a lot less support and no shock absorption. In all, keep these 3 helpful tips in your back pocket and use them on your next shoe hunt!

Who Is Most Likely to Suffer from Heel Pain?

When it comes to heel pain, it does not discriminate! Anyone, from young to old, short to tall can suffer from heel pain. Here’s a quick list of some people that may be more prone than others:

Runnerstend to put more strain on their feet due to hard impact and shock from running. Additionally, running causes your shoes to breakdown fairly quickly, depending on the surface you’re running on. If you do not replace your shoes when it’s due (around 300 to 500 miles after the first wear) or wear ill-equipped shoes, your body and feet are going to suffer the consequences, especially your heels.

Pregnancycauses extra weight that your body isn’t used to carrying. When this happens your arch becomes more flexible which can then lead to stretching of the plantar fascia. When the plantar fascia is stretched out excessively, this could lead to plantar fasciitis, whose main symptom is heel pain.

OverweightWhen we rapidly gain a large amount of weight over a short period of time our feet become weakened by the weight and cause similar traits to the foot as pregnancy.

Running Shoes for Your Gate Cycle

Did you know that when looking for running shoes, you should try to purchase a shoe that accommodates your gait cycle? But then that leads you to another question, what is my gait cycle? Take a look at the list below for the 3 types of gaits:

Neutral GaitWith a neutral gait, your heel strikes the ground first and then rolls in about 15%, and your weight is properly supported without any issue. Also, at the end of the gait cycle, you push off your foot.

OverpronationThe sequence is the same as a neutral gate, with the exception that your foot rolls in more than 15%. This means the foot is having problems stabilizing and supporting the body. In addition, at the end of the gate cycle, you push off more with your big toe and second toe leaving them to do all of the work.

SupinationWith supination, the heel makes contact with the ground, but the foot moves outward (less than 15%) and the impact is on the outside part of the foot. Lastly, in the push-off phase, most of the work is done by the smaller toes on the outside of the foot.

In the end, having a well-supported running shoe is what will help aid in the fight against heel pain. Cushion and stability will become your best friends when searching for a running shoe. If you follow these steps to finding a running shoe that will help with your heel pain then you will be on your way to healthier and happier feet!

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