A reader asks:
Hello – I am looking for shoes that help with long-standing, severe plantar fasciitis as well as supination. I also have arthritis and metatarsalgia. I am hoping that the correct shoes would help with the metatarsalgia but really need some assistance in finding shoes that would help with these conditions. I have seen podiatrists and have had orthotics made. I have been referred to and have gone to physical therapists specializing in foot issues. The pain only continues to get worse and I really need some guidance that would help keep me mobile and continuing with strength-building activities. Thank you for any assistance you can provide. Deborah
Thank you for reaching out. If you have supination, your best shoes are neutral shoes with extra-cushioned footbed: level 4 to 5 cushioning. The supinated foot motion is rigid (or less flexible) during different phases of the gait cycle that is why it needs a flexible shoe that can allow your foot to be as flexible as possible without sacrificing support and comfort.
The most flexible shoes that can support supination are neutral shoes. So, if you have severe plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, arthritis, and supination, you’ll need a neutral shoe with very comfortable support in the heel and forefoot. With supination, you only need a normal arch support because your arch already absorbs impact well. In fact, your foot doesn’t roll inward during the impact phase and doesn’t need much arch support to correct it.
In our view, your best neutral running shoes are:
(1) Hoka One One Bondi 6
(2) Hoka One One Clifton 6
(3) New Balance 840v4
(4) New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v10
(5) New Balance Fresh Foam More
(6) Brooks Ghost 12
(7) Brooks Glycerin 18
If you prefer a walking shoe, your best options are:
(1) Hoka One One Bondi Leather
(2) Saucony ProGrid Integrity ST 2
It’s best to try the shoe on before buying.
Note: If you have tight calves and an aggressive heel strike, you may need a shoe with a higher heel-toe drop (8-12 mm) to stay comfortable on your foot, ankle, Achilles, and calf. But having a higher drop shoe may direct more stress to your knee and hip. So if you also have knee and hip issues, you may choose a heel-toe drop between 4 mm and 8 mm. Although the lower the shoe differential, the more calf flexibility and ankle mobility you need.
Wow. That was a lot of very specific information and I really appreciate it. Obviously I’m going to have to do a little homework to absorb it all and think I will forward that information to my physical therapist to get his thoughts. That was the clearest information I’ve ever received regarding what might be helpful for me so I’m very grateful. In the last few years I’ve developed some fear about my ability to walk and retain independence so I cannot tell you just how grateful I am that you’ve been able to give me such specific information from which to start. Obviously it would be best to be able to try on shoes with the help of someone who knew how to assess fit and function. Given the current situation with COVID-19 I’m not sure If that is going to be a feasible plan. Am I correct in understanding that you do reviews but do not actually sell shoes? You’ve been so helpful I’d certainly like to be able to give you the benefit of that help. If, In fact, you are a resource but not a seller then perhaps I could order many shoes at one time from a place such as Zappos where I could also return them with relative ease and save the opportunity for shopping with a pro when things open up a bit more.
Again, many thanks for starting me on the road to a shoe that might help my feet heal a bit. Deborah
That’s great. Yes, we only review shoes and not sell shoes. The list of shoes we have recommended also has testimonials from people with plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, and arthritis. We hope they’ll work for you. Let us know if you find the perfect one.
With that information, I will order several pair after talking with my physical therapist and probably end up sending most of them back but will hopefully have a starting point in finding the best shoe for me. Again, I cannot thank you enough for your help. Deborah