Choosing the best work boots for plantar fasciitis can be a daunting task.
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you know how important it is to have the correct footwear. Without proper support, the pain might worsen and interfere with your job performance.
We’ve taken the guess work out of choosing the right boots for this painful condition and put together reviews of our top five picks.
1. Timberland PRO Men’s Hyperion Waterproof XL ST Work Boot
Anti-fatigue technology incorporated into the insoles, could make these the most comfortable work boots for plantar fasciitis. This unique mechanism transfers energy from the impact of your steps back into the most needed areas of the foot.
- STAY ON YOUR FEET: These men's work boots have alloy safety toes, lightweight EVA midsoles, cement construction, premium leather with a waterproof membrane and Dynamic Anti-Fatigue Technology for ultimate comfort during long days on your feet.
- ANTI-FATIGUE TECHNOLOGY: A comfort system designed with shock-absorbing, geometrical technology that returns energy back to the foot to deliver all-day support and comfort.
- A SOURCE OF PRIDE: We know you take pride in your work, so our soft-toed shoes and boots and steel-toe boots and shoes are designed to provide you with enhanced job performance day in and day out. Wear them at work well as at home with comfort & style.
- QUALITY WORKWEAR: Timberland PRO assesses the unmet needs of those who work in the most demanding environments and then develops solutions that deliver ultimate comfort, durability & protection—all day long—from work boots & shoes to anti-fatigue insoles.
2. Sketchers USA Men’s Verdict Waterproof Boot
This boot has an overall wider fit. The waterproofing, and the Air-Cooled Memory Foam insole, make this a good choice for working outdoors in all kinds of weather. Its shock absorbing insole will be kind to your plantar fasciitis.
- Work boot featuring waterproof leather upper, padded tongue and collar, and lugged rubber outsole
- Cushioned insole
- Speed-lacing hardware on shaft
- Smooth fabric shoe lining
- 1 1/4 inch heel
3. Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss 6” Steel-Toe Boot
If want a lower profile work shoe, this might be the boot for you. The insole is a durable polyurethane that molds to your foot. This boot meets ANSI safety standards and has excellent traction for slippery surfaces.
- Rugged nubuck leather
- Padded top collar for comfort
- Electrical hazard protection
How do I Know if I Have Plantar Fasciitis?
Only a physician will be able to tell you for certain if you have plantar fasciitis. However, there are symptoms to be aware of that might indicate a trip to the doctor for confirmation of this type of injury. He or she should be able to give you specific recommendations regarding the care and treatment of this painful condition.
Possible symptoms include:
• Pain in the heel, especially when standing
• The pain is the worst in the morning or after long periods of inactivity
• Standing for long periods of time, climbing stairs, and standing on your toes aggravate the pain
• There is a reduction of pain with exercise, but it returns after exercise is completed and feet have had time to cool down
• You under pronate, rolling along the outside of your foot, when you walk
How to Choose the Right Work Boots?
This video covers the important features you should look for when purchasing shoes that will promote healthy feet. It also discusses how the right shoe can help, or prevent, plantar fasciitis.
The demands of your occupation will dictate some of what you require in your foot wear. Ask yourself the following questions:
Basic work boot features to look for:
• Do you need work boots with extra traction or waterproofing?
• Are you working in a warm or cold climate?
• Do you need electric hazard footwear, or other safety requirements?
• Should your boots have a non-slip sole for working in slick environments?
Keeping your job specific needs in mind, will help you narrow the list of options. There are certain features that could prevent plantar fasciitis or reduce its painful effects.
Things to look for when shopping for safety boots for plantar fasciitis:
• Good arch supports
• Insoles with impact cushioning
• Thick soles that are not overly flexible
• Slightly elevated heels to reduce pressure
• Solid ankle support
• Secure and adjustable instep closure
Why are these particular things so important in safety boots for plantar fasciitis?
Good arch supports will lift the plantar fascia, which attaches at the heel and the toes. This reduces additional strain and further injury.
Insoles with impact cushioning give your feet some help absorbing the energy and force inflicted on your feet with each step. On average, our feet support twice our body weight with each step, or more depending on individual factors. This repeated impact is more pronounced when walking on hard surfaces.
Thick soles that are not overly flexible lessen the pull on your plantar fascia by preventing the foot from bending excessively. Too much flexing of the foot could possibly worsen heel pain, where the plantar fascia attaches.
Slightly elevated heels will more evenly distribute your body weight over the foot. When you walk, you tend to strike heel first. A slight lift to the heel of your shoe will help cut back on the impact.
Solid ankle support will help maintain proper foot positioning when walking. If you under pronate, roll from heel to toes along the outer edge of the foot, it could be a contributing factor to heel pain. Sturdy ankle support will assist the foot in moving normally, in a neutral, or straight forward and balanced, position.
Secure and adjustable instep closures are important for keeping your feet properly positioned in your boots. Investing in a good pair of safety boots for plantar fasciitis will be of no benefit if your feet slide around in them. Making sure your instep is adjustable is important because feet swell during the day.
How to Tell If a Work Boot or Shoe Has Good Arch Support?
Good arch supports are probably the most important thing to pay attention to when choosing work boots for plantar fasciitis. An arch is defined as a “curved structural member spanning an opening”. Shoes or boots should have insoles that comfortably fill that opening and provide reinforcement.
You can usually tell by looking inside the shoe if it has arch support. However, trying it on is the only way to be certain it’s a good fit for your arch. When trying it on, lace up and tie the shoe firmly but not too tight.
Test the insoles by moving as you normally would during your work day. You shouldn’t feel strain or excessive pressure on your foot. You may feel the rise of the insole against your foot, but it should be comfortable.
Reviews of The Best Picks On The Market
1. Timberland PRO Men’s Hyperion Waterproof XL ST Work Boot
- Waterproof with gusseted tongue
- Thick rugged tread
- Anti-Fatigue technology
- Rated EH for Electrical Hazard
- Alloy safety toe
- Not designed for use in snowy weather; they have thin insulation
- The sizing on these runs large and wide, so not a good choice for narrow feet
- Some people report finding the tongue position uncomfortable
- Lower ankle profile can allow water to get into the boot around the top
- Limited color options
The Timberland Pro Men’s Hyperion Waterproof XL ST Work Boot has several desirable features. The insole is embedded with anti-fatigue technology that returns energy from points of impact, to the most needed areas of your feet. Combine that with the thick mid-sole, and this boot provides good shock absorption.
Alloy safety toes provide protection from injury. Waterproofing on this boot is enhanced by a gusseted tongue, which helps prevent water from seeping into your boot.
For those of you who work on rough outdoor terrain, the deep treads on these boots will provide a solid grip..
2. Skechers USA Men’s Verdict Waterproof Boot
- Sturdy and supportive upper body
- Padded collar for comfort around the ankle
- Metal eyelets
- Good Winter work boot
- No steel toe
- Can take a while to break in because they’re so stiff
- Heavy for anyone who walks long distances
- Do not breathe very well, which could keep in too much moisture
This boot has a simple and traditional design. These boots do not have a steel toe, but do offer firm support where it’s needed. Sizing for these runs a little bit wide, but not too bad.
They are fully waterproofed and keep feet warm and dry in snow. The collar and tongue are padded for extra comfort and keeping in warmth.
The full lace-up insteps easily adjust to the unique shape of your foot and ankle. The insoles are slightly curved with light padding, adding a natural feeling support to the bottoms of your feet. A slight lift on these helps reduce pressure on your heel, great for plantar fasciitis.
3. Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss 6″ Steel-Toe Boot
- Excellent arch support, which is necessary for plantar fasciitis
- Rated for Electrical Hazard
- Sole is slip resistant and oil resistant
- Goodyear Welt construction
- Breathable to reduce moisture and risk of an infection
- Foot-bed liner is treated with antimicrobial for odor control
- Not waterproof
- Sizing runs a bit small
- Steel toe box tends be a little narrow
The Timberland PRO Men’s Pitboss Steel-Toe Boot features a non-marking sole, roomy toe box, and meets ANSI safety standards. The sole is also slip and oil resistant. Goodyear Welting is used to attach the sole to the leather upper portion of the boot.
Breathable and sturdy, these boots are comfortable for all day wear. They require a shorter breaking in period than many boots. Because they are not waterproof, these are probably not a good choice for working outdoors in bad weather.
These boots have the Timberland Pro Comfort Suspension System to protect the soles of your feet. It works by providing extra arch support and additional cushioning to reduce fatigue. Plantar fasciitis sufferers might find these things beneficial.
4. Danner Men’s Quarry USA 8″ Work Boot
- Durable Vibram mid-soles and outer-soles
- Double and triple stitched seams
- Longer shaft provides extra protection from moisture
- Meets ASTM EH standards
- Does not have steel toe
- Tend to run small so might need a larger size than normal
- Narrower in the ankles than the toes. This allows wiggle room for toes but could pinch wide heels
- Foot bed is adequate but could use more cushioning
Quarry work boots have been protecting the feet of workers for over a decade.
These well-known boots have earned a reputation for comfort and durability. The mid-sole is made from Vibram 12 Iron and the outer-sole is also Vibram with a rugged tread. The fairly stiff sole is helpful for plantar fasciitis.
If you work in wet conditions, you will appreciate the waterproofing and Gore-Tex lining in this boot. They are not insulated very well, so although they will keep your feet dry, you might need to add wool socks in the colder weather.
5. Thorogood Men’s Heritage 8 Inch Safety Toe Work Boot
- Light-weight for walking long distances
- Insole construction designed to reduce strain and
- Oil and heat resistant
- Slip resistant, non-marking tread
- ASTM rated steel toe
- Not waterproof, so limited outdoor use
- No insulation, not a problem inside or in warmer climates
- Collar is not padded
- If not properly fitted, irritation can occur at the site of the base of the instep stitching
The Thorogood Heritage Safety Toe Work Boots are well made, with Goodyear Welt construction and Vibram non-marking, slip resistant, wedge soles. They are rated for electrical hazard and have ASTM rated steel-toe protection.
A removable dual density foot-bed sits on top of a Poron 4000 comfort cushion. This provides the kind of support and resilience you might need if you have plantar fasciitis. It also helps reduce leg fatigue and back discomfort.
If heat or oil resistance are important for your work, these boots will provide both. They are not waterproofed or lined, but they are a good choice if you do not need to worry about cold or wet conditions.
Trying on Boots: Getting A Proper Fit
How do you make sure you have a properly fitting boot?
You have to try them on. This might mean you try on several pairs, in different sizes and styles, if needed. Manufacturers can be all over the place when it comes to sizing; some are true to size, some run larger, or smaller.
Even when shopping online, where you can usually find better prices, it’s easy to get a good fit. Customer reviews and Question and Answer sections will often give you an idea of how a particular pair of boots will fit. Most online footwear vendors have liberal return and exchange policies, making trading out pairs of boots an easy task.
When you try your work boots on, pay careful attention to the following items:
• Wear your work socks. You want to know how your new boots will fit at work, not at a formal gathering or sporting event.
• Try on both boots at the same time. Most people do not have perfectly matched feet. This is normal.
• Fully lace and tie the boots. How easy are they to adjust? Are they snug but not too tight?• Check the length of the boots with your feet slid forward. With boots on and tied, slide your foot as far forward as you are able. Your toes should not touch the front of the shoe.
• Check for room behind your heel. With your feet still slid forward, there should be no more than an index finger wide space.
• Check length with your feet in their normal position and laces done up. Ideally there will be about an inch of space between toes and the front of the shoe. If not, try going up a half size.
• Check for pressure points that could cause blisters. Are there any uncomfortable spots along the sides of the boots? If so, try a wider size.
• Does your heel move excessively? Walk normally a few paces to see if it slides around. This can sometimes be fixed by re-lacing.
• Check the amount of ankle support. While standing, try rolling your feet side to side. It should be firm but not uncomfortable.
• Last, move the way your normally would on a typical work day. Jump, squat, maybe even jog a couple steps. How do your feet feel?
It may seem like a long and time-consuming check-list of things to go through, but not when you consider how much of the day will be spent wearing these work boots. The health of your feet is important, not just for your ability to work, but for your overall quality of life. This is an investment in yourself.
Also, keep in mind that sometimes people will change the way they walk and move to compensate for the heel pain and other discomforts of plantar fasciitis. This could lead to even more problems with knees and hips. Properly fitted work shoes for plantar fasciitis might prevent a cascade of injuries.
A final tip for fitting your new work boots, try them on in the evening. Our feet swell throughout the course of the day, especially if we are required to be on them for hours on end. Trying the boots on at night can give you an idea of how comfortable your feet will be at the end of the day.
How to Wear Work Boots/Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis?
As with any new boot, you will go through a breaking in period. Start by wearing your boots for a few hours and increase that time daily. After approximately two weeks, they should be broken in, less if they were properly fitted.
To get maximum benefits from the features of a boot for plantar fasciitis, it’s important to be consistent in wearing them. Some people like to rotate their work shoes to extend the life of the shoe. It is better to have two pairs of work boots for plantar fasciitis, because switching between these and less supportive shoes may aggravate symptoms.
What About the Appearance of Work Shoes ?
Probably the last thing on your mind while working is how good your look in your boots. The boots we have reviewed are all well-made and represent a variety of styles. The additional features do not at all detract from the aesthetics of the boots.
Appearance is an additional factor to consider, but should be the final thing you think about. It is helpful to first go over the basics list and then the list for options that will benefit, or possibly prevent, plantar fasciitis. Our reviews can help with that process.
Certainly, if you think something is hideous, you won’t feel comfortable wearing it. After narrowing your choices down, pick what suits you best. The goal here is to find the best possible work boots for plantar fasciitis, that will allow you to work as pain free, and be as productive, as possible.
How Durable Are My Boots and How Are They Made?
All work boots are designed to be durable, but some hold up better than others. The sturdiness of your boots depends on the details of construction.
We’ve already gone over how to evaluate the insole of work shoes, specifically for plantar fasciitis. Insoles are easily replaced if should they wear out.
But what about the out-sole, the part that actually comes into contact with the ground and the elements?
The out-soles of boots are usually hard rubber, with treads designed for a specific activity. For example, rugged terrain in the outdoors requires a much different tread than an oil-slicked floor inside. They key to all of them, however, is how they are attached to the upper portion of the boot.
There are three commonly used methods of attachment:
1. First is the directly attached sole. The sole is formed directly onto the upper portion of the boot. Commonly used, this is not a bad method, but it is the least sturdy.
2. Next, is adhesive bonding. Using a strong adhesive, the sole is permanently bonded to the boot. This is an excellent choice and very comfortable.
3. Finally, we have the Goodyear Welt. The Goodyear Welt involves sewing the sole onto the upper portion. Although it is the most durable, it is the least comfortable. This type of construction does allow for easier replacement of the sole, should the original wear out or become damaged.
This is an interesting How It’s Made video by Discovery Channel that demonstrates the construction of a basic steel toe work boot. It features a direct attachment method called vulcanization.
How Do I Take Care of My Boots?
After investing a significant amount of time and money in purchasing your work boots, you will probably want to do all you can to prolong their useful life. There are several ways to do this, depending on the material used to make the shoe.
Things to do daily:
• For all work boots you should brush, or gently wipe off, dirt from entire boot surface. This prevents an accumulation of filth that will only become harder to remove.
• Make sure the boots are placed in an area with good air flow so they can dry out overnight. Moist conditions shorten the life of the boot and can create the perfect environment for fungal or bacterial infections of the foot.
• You might also consider using a cedar shoe tree to help maintain shape and absorb odors and moisture.
Things to do as needed, or at least once a month:
• Deep clean with a product specifically made for your boot’s material
• Condition leather boots with oil. For nubuck, use a nubuck specific conditioner. This is not necessary for suede
• Waterproof your boots. Use a material specific product. Properly treated, water should bead up on the surface of the boot.
Additional ways to care for your boots:
• Rotate your boots. If you are lucky enough to own more than one pair, rotating them daily helps them stay fresher longer.
• Repair your boots as needed. Don’t toss good boots that can be fixed by a good shoe repair business. Check locally first.
• Wear your boots only for their intended purpose. If you don’t have to, don’t put undo wear and tear on your shoes.
So Which Work Boots Are Good for Plantar Fasciitis?
That is not an easy question to answer. It depends on your unique needs and job requirements. That being said, our top pick for best steel-toe work boots for plantar fasciitis are the Timberland Pro Hyperion work boots. The insole has superior technology and they work well in all kinds of weather.
Our top pick for best composite toe work boots for plantar fasciitis are the Danner Quarry work boots. The mid-sole and outer-sole Vibram construction of these boots provides the firm sole that plantar fasciitis benefits from. Not being overly flexible, they do not put undo strain on the plantar fascia.
We hope our reviews have been helpful in assisting you with your search for the best work boots for plantar fasciitis. Remember you are investing not just in your feet, but in your overall happiness and well-being.
1. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons,Plantar Fasciitis and Bone Spurs, Professional Orthopedic Organization – [ http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00149 ]
2. MayoClinic.org, Plantar Fasciitis: Symptoms and Causes, Comprehensive health website run by the Mayo Clinic. [ http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/symptoms-causes/dxc-20268536 ]
3. University of Illinois Department of Physics, Legs Supporting Weight While Walking, Question and Answer website run by volunteers from the University of Illinois Physics Department. [ https://van.physics.illinois.edu/qa/listing.php?id=179 ]
4. Arthritis Foundation, Help for Heel Pain, National organization for arthritis advocacy. [http://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/where-it-hurts/foot-heel-and-toe-pain/treatment/heel-pain-arthritis.php ]
5. WebMD, Plantar Fascia, Online clinical information [ http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/plantar-fascia ]