Footwear

The 5 Best Shoes For Heel Pain Reviewed – 2018

Many runners experience heel pain at some point. Whether the pain is from an existing issue or from running we are going to help you get back out there!

With the right pair of shoes made specifically for those with heel pain, you can enjoy your running activities for years to come.

We researched and tested different running shoes for heel pain and list our top 5 choices below. Depending on your needs and style one of these shoes will help prevent heel pain while running.

Ready to check out our top Women’s running shoes for heel pain?

Quick Answer: The 5 Top Rated Running Shoes For Heel Pain

  1. Mizuno Women’s Wave Inspire 14 Running Shoe
  2. HOKA ONE ONE Hoka Bondi 5 Women’s Running Shoes
  3. ASICS Womens Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoe
  4. adidas Women’s Ultraboost W Running Shoe
  5. Brooks Womens Ghost 11 Running Shoe

For more of my recommendations, have a look through these popular Women’s Workout guide links: Folding Treadmills, Home Gyms, Rowing Machines.

Best Women’s Shoes For Heel Pain

 Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 Running ShoeHOKA ONE ONE Bondi 5 Running ShoeASICS Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoe
editorschoice
Upper:Textile & Synthetic fabricSynthetic fabric meshSynthetic textile fabric
Sole:RubberRubberRubber
Sizes:6 - 12 narrow, avg & wide5 - 11 narrow, avg & wide5 - 13 narrow, avg & wide
Other:Anatomical socklinerOrtholite® InsoleGEL Cushioning

Running Shoes For Heel Pain Reviews

Mizuno Women’s Wave Inspire 14 Running Shoe at a Glance:

  • Sizes Available: 6 to 12 in narrow, average and wide
  • Colors Available: 3
  • Materials: Textile and Synthetic
  • Soles: Rubber

The Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 Running Shoes are sporty, stylish and our Editors Choice as the best shoes for heel pain.

They are a great option for people who overall have issues with foot pain, including pronation, plantar fasciitis and heel pain.

These shoes are lightweight, and dare I say, feel like you have on almost nothing at all. The inner sole is cushiony, but not too much. They provide necessary support to ensure your feet will stay put and steady during running, which is important for keeping your whole body in alignment as well as for avoiding tripping or twisting an ankle.

They are true to size, but as with most running shoes, it’s best to order a size up in order to allow your toes to splay properly when making impact with the ground.

Not only is this shoe a good option for runners, it’s a practical choice for people who find themselves on their feet all day like nurses, servers, and cashiers. Due to the level of support they provide and the lightweight feel, they hold up to the job of keeping your feet comfortable throughout the day.


HOKA ONE ONE Hoka Bondi 5 Women's Running Shoes

HOKA ONE ONE Hoka Bondi 5 Women’s Running Shoes at a Glance:

  • Sizes Available: 5 to 11 in narrow, average and wide
  • Colors Available: 19
  • Materials: Synthetic fabric mesh
  • Sole: Rubber

The Hoka One One Bondi 5 Running Shoe comes in a whopping 19 vibrant colors for those runners who want to make a statement.  Not only are these good runners, they are great for any type of exercise that requires stability and support.

Made from a mesh fabric, the upper is breathable, reducing the build up of moisture when you’re in the middle of a hard workout.

The cushioning in this shoe is excellent. We selected the Hoka One One for its shock absorbing quality and its wide support. In addition to reducing heel pain, this shoe is protective against other foot ailments such as plantar fasciitis. Whether you’re training for a marathon, run occasionally, or are into sprinting, we feel comfortable recommending this shoe to protect against foot pain.

The rubber sole and fabric upper look durable and feel great. They provide enough give to not feel stiff, while feeling very supportive and sturdy.


ASICS Womens Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoe

ASICS Womens Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoe at a Glance:

  • Sizes Available: 5 to 13 in narrow, average and wide
  • Colors Available: 12
  • Materials: Synthetic textile fabric
  • Sole: Rubber

The ASICS Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoes have 10 color options, from your conservative black and gray to more the more daring purple and coral.

This shoe has a roomy toe box to allow your foot to expand as it hits the ground. You won’t feel any binding or rubbing against the toes, sides of your feet or heel. The wide version is quite wide, so take that into account when choosing the size.

They run true to size, but consider ordering one size up from your usual shoe size if you plan to wear these as a running shoe. Non-runners don’t need to shy away from the ASICS Gel-Kayano. They are comfortable for everyday wear, especially for those who have to be on their feet all day.

It’s a sturdy shoe that provides plenty of cushioned support, especially in the heel, which is why it’s a top choice for those who suffer from heel pain. Its stability is derived from the generous-sized sole that extends slightly beyond the base of the shoe.

The ankles and arch of the foot feel sufficiently stabilized when wearing this running shoe, an important quality when you’re engaged in high impact activity.


adidas Women’s Ultraboost W Running Shoe at a Glance:

  • Sizes Available: 5 to 11 in narrow, average and wide
  • Colors Available: 17
  • Materials: Textile and synthetic fabric
  • Sole: Rubber

The Adidas Ultraboost Running Shoe, with its slightly upturned toe, is a good-looking shoe. It comes in 17 colors.

Its mesh fabric upper feels breathable, allowing your feet some ventilation, reducing the build up of uncomfortable moisture. Ultraboost refers to the generous amount of cushioning in the sole which will protect the foot from excessive impact. This shoe is an one of the best choices to prevent and mitigate heel pain.

While the upper is made from stretchy mesh, this shoe doesn’t skimp on support. The rubberized “cage”,  which wraps around the foot and is secured with laces, provides a snug but comfortable fit.

Though we are reviewing shoes specifically for runners with heel pain, the Adidas Ultraboost would be good for any kind of high-impact cardio activity – like Zumba, for example. It’s stable enough that you will feel safe cross-training with these shoes. They truly are multi-functional.

The Ultraboost is true to the size of normal footwear, but runners should look at ordering a size up in order to allow for your foot to expand properly while running. Overall, we find the Adidas Ultraboost a quality-made and the best sneakers for heel pain.


Brooks Womens Ghost 11 Running Shoe at a Glance:

  • Sizes Available: 5 to 12 in narrow, average and wide
  • Colors Available: 5
  • Materials: Textile and synthetic fabric mesh
  • Sole: Rubber

Last, but not least, is the Brooks Ghost 11 Running Shoe. With 5 colors to choose from, this lightweight shoe is a winner for runners who have experienced heel pain with other shoes. They look great and provide a break for those who have suffered from running in less supportive shoes.

The Brooks Ghost 11 offers plenty of cushioning and support to allow for long runs. Also, they hold up well for The tread is designed to handle all surfaces, including wet ones. It feels sturdy and stable and should be able to hold up to inclement weather and various running surfaces.

The toe box is a bit smaller than Brooks’ previous version, the Ghost 10, so people with wide feet or bunions should consider another one of the shoes we reviewed. If either or these situations apply to you, you may find the front of the shoe digging into your toes and sides of the foot.

Having said that, for those without wide feet or bunions, you will appreciate the snug (but not too snug) fit of the Ghost 11’s toe box, as it lends a firmer feeling. If you are looking for the best running shoes for heel pain, you can’t do any better than the Ghost 11’s!


Running Shoes For Heel Pain Comparison Table

Shoes For Heel Pain UpperSoleSizesOther:Rating
Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 Running ShoeTextile & Synthetic fabricRubber6 - 12 narrow, avg & wideAnatomical sockliner4.4 / 5.0
HOKA ONE ONE Hoka Bondi 5 Women's Running ShoeSynthetic fabric meshRubber5 - 11 narrow, avg & wideOrtholite® Insole4.4 / 5.0
ASICS Womens Gel-Kayano 24 Running ShoeSynthetic textile fabricRubber5 - 13 narrow, avg & wideGEL Cushioning4.3 / 5.0
adidas Women's Ultraboost W Running ShoeTextile & synthetic fabricRubber5 - 11 narrow, avg & wideCounter molded heel4.4 / 5.0
Brooks Womens Ghost 11 Running ShoeSynthetic fabric meshRubber5 - 12 narrow, avg & wideHeel crash pad4.5 / 5.0

How To Choose The Best Running Shoes For Heel Pain – Buying Guide

If you fear having to quit a healthy exercise just because of heel pain, don’t worry we have the solution for you. By the time you are done with our guide you should have all the knowledge you need to choose the right pair of shoes.

best running shoes for heel pain

So after reading reviews of 5 shoes, how do you know which shoe will best protect from heel pain?  They are all excellent shoes, with plenty of cushioning and stability  to support the runner.

Sometimes it takes trying a shoe on to really know which one is most comfortable for your foot and gait.  Consider talking to your podiatrist or doctor, who may be able to guide you as to the specific features that might work best for your particular situation.

Cushioning

Cushioning is important to protect your heels from impact, but you don’t want a shoe that is too “squishy” because you will compromise support and stability.

The cushioning in shoes are usually made from rubber or foam which have different densities. Cushioning in some shoes on the market are made of manufacturer-patented materials. Regardless of the material, we feel confident in saying that all the shoes we reviewed have sufficient cushioning without being too giving.

Support and Stability

A running shoe should provide sufficient support to ensure stability when you run.  This helps you to avoid injuries like twisted ankles. It also helps to protect against tripping.

Size and Fit

For running, it’s recommended that you choose between ½ a size to a full size larger than what you would wear in normal footwear. This is to ensure that your foot has enough room to expand when it makes impact with the ground (or treadmill, as the case may be).

A secure fit is important as well, especially for those with heel pain. Your heel shouldn’t slip out of the shoe as you run.  Rather, the running shoe should fit snugly without binding or digging into any part of your foot.

Sole Design

The soles of running shoes are usually made of rubber, and with good reason because rubber keeps you from skidding or slipping.  A good tread is important to minimize the risk of this happening. Keep an eye on your shoes as you use them over time. Especially for runners who frequent paved surfaces, the tread will wear faster than running on a treadmill or elliptical.

FAQs About Running Shoes For Heel Pain

Since you’re looking for a shoe that will specifically prevent or mitigate heel pain, you have things to consider when making a selection. We’ve compiled some FAQ’s that may answer some of the questions you have about shoes for your condition.

Q: How common is the problem of heel pain while running?

A: Heel pain is actually quite common among runners.  The main problem, though, is that many ignore it until the pain has become intolerable.

At that point, you’ve gotten to the place where your feet need a good break to heal.  Be smart and take it easy on your feet. The sooner you give them a chance to recover, the quicker you’ll get back to your favorite activity.

Q: Can heel pain be prevented?

A: Hard core runners likely won’t want to hear this, but if you already have heel pain, you really need to give your feet a break for several weeks (or whatever time frame your doctor recommends). Continuing to run while suffering from heel pain will only aggravate your condition.

In order to prevent heel pain from developing, make sure the shoes you choose fit snugly around the heel but aren’t binding.  Make sure that your heel doesn’t slip out of the shoe as you’re running. Your shoes should be firm enough to support the middle of your foot. They should only bend at the toes while you’re walking or running.

Other interventions you should consider is icing the heel if you feel discomfort. Gently stretching the foot can help as well. Make sure that you wear shoes, even when you aren’t running. Avoid going barefoot, and wear supportive shoes at all times.

Q: Should I consider motion control when buying running shoes?

A: When talking about running shoes, motion control refers to cushioning that supports the midsole but doesn’t have too much give, which compromises support.  Motion control shoes also have stiffer heels.

Runners who have  moderate to severe overpronation, will appreciate the design of a motion control design because of the stiffer heels and emphasis on midsole support.

Q: Do lightweight shoes provide support?

A: There’s no reason a supportive shoe should feel heavy. With today’s technology, even the most lightweight shoes can provide sufficient support to protect against heel pain and other foot-related conditions. Make sure to do your research, though, to ensure the shoe is both lightweight and supportive.

Q: Will the right shoes relieve or prevent heel pain?

A: The right shoes can help your heel pain diminish more quickly than continuing to wear a shoe that has outlived its usefulness.  Trading your old ones out for a running shoe that has a firm heel and supportive midsole will definitely help to prevent and relieve heel pain.

In addition to getting the right shoes, there are ways you can prevent heel pain from developing. Make sure to stretch the calves and feet before and after running. Icing sore heels can help with inflammation.

Tips For Running Shoes When You Have Heel Pain

Tip #1: Get a Shoe That is Breathable

Shoes made with a mesh upper offer more ventilation than those made from leather or non-breathable synthetic materials. A breathable shoe will keep your feet dry. Running shoes made with mesh fabric are designed with that purpose in mind.

Tip #2: Look for Durability

This is particularly important for the runner who plans to put a lot of miles into their running shoe.  It’s worth investing a little more in a good running shoe that will sustain the pounding that regular running requires. Obviously, the more durable the shoe, the longer it will last.

Tip #3: Evaluate and Correct Your Running Style

Your flexibility and strength determines the mechanics of your own running style. It’s important to pay attention to mechanics because running properly will make the activity more enjoyable and it will reduce the likelihood of injury.

Make note of your shoulders. Ensure they are relaxed, not pulled up toward your ears or hunched forward. Try to consciously be aware of the tension in your shoulders and release them if they are overly tight. In addition to your shoulders, keep an eye on tension in your hands. They should also be relaxed when you run.

The position of your torso and hips- make sure to extend your spine with your head held high. Run from your core, making sure your core supports  your overall motion while running.  While you want to have a straight spine, you want your hips to lean into the run. This will position your torso slightly ahead of your hips.

Believe it or not, the position of your head when running is important. Make sure to run with your sight immediately in front of you, rather than looking down at your feet, for example.

Pay attention to your arms. Your arms shouldn’t swing in front of you; rather, they should swing alongside your body from your hips up to your chin.

Finally, to your legs and knees; you shouldn’t be landing fully on either your toes or your heels.  Hitting the ground with your shin perpendicular to the ground will help to protect your joints from injury.  You knees should be right above your feet as they hit the ground.

Tip #5: Stretch Your Ankles and Feet Often

As mentioned above, in order to protect against injury, you should stretch regularly both before and after a run.

Strap on Your Running Shoes and Enjoy Your Run!

We hope these reviews and running tips help you to not only find the right shoe to protect against heel pain, but also take into account tips that will help make your running experience safer and more enjoyable.


I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best running shoes for heel pain to fit your needs. If you want to comment or recommend a pair of sneakers I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.

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The Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 Running Shoes won our editors choice award for the Best Shoes For Heel Pain with a combination of comfort and support.

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