8 Top Travel Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis & Foot Accessories for Travelers

Last Updated on May 15, 2024 by Christine Kaaloa

Best travel shoes for plantar fasciitis
Best travel shoes for plantar fasciitis

 

I first noticed plantar fasciitis coming onto my scene on a trip to Tokyo. I go pretty hard with sightseeing and filming, so I’m on my feet from morning to evening and Japan doesn’t have much public seating. I have high arches that I always thought were like ballerina arches, but over time and with weight-bearing activities, there are days when I feel like they are struggling to hold everything up. In any case on that particular trip, I’d vascillate between stabbing or burning pains when I’d walk and had trouble wearing my shoes. Although flip flops are not ideal for sightseeing, I had to occasionally wear them to change things up and have a firm foundation.

I also freelance in the video/television/film production industry which are very physical jobs requiring you to be on your feet for long durations.This post shares the best travel shoes for plantar fasciitis.

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What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis can be brought on or become inflamed by high impact, weight-bearing and repetitive activity, such as walking, running, climbing, even standing. The degrees of pain can range from foot pain to stabbing pain in the heels, radiating from under the foot to the top.  They say plantar fasciitis can occur for those with high arches and flat feet, but I think it can occur for anyone who is on their feet for long consecutive periods of time. Standing on your feet in one position for long periods can aggravate it and I’ve even noticed gardening in flat shoes or flip flops. But when you’re a traveler it can certainly rain on your sightseeing trip when you know you are going to be on your feet

 What should you look for when buying shoes for plantar fasciitis?

  • Support
  • Firm Cushioning
  • Supportive Heel – Good heel stabiliization is important because it’s the rear of the foot and where most walkers/runners land first.
  • Firm and balanced for pronation and supination.
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8 Best Travel Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Best Fashion Sandal

1. Vionic Women’s Rest Amber Back

Vionic Women’s Rest Amber Back is a podiatrist-designed adjustable walking sandals with orthotic arch support. Vionic is another orthotic brand that receives an (APMA) American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance in its sandals, slippers and shoes. I have a flip flop style and have is quite heavy and more firm.  promises a three-zone comfort, that offers foot stability and natural alignment. Helping to relieve plantar fasciitis, flat feet, high arches, bunions, heel spurs, and lower back pain issues.Stylish and comfortVionic Women Rest Amber Back

Best Fashion Sneaker

2. Naturalizer Marianne Sneaker

The Naturalizer Marianne Sneaker is a fashionable slip-on sneaker made of synthetic leather. It’s designed to meet the contours of your foot, so you are in comfort as you sightsee throughout the day. The sneaker is made of sustainable materials.

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Naruralizer Marianne Sneaker

Best recovery slippers

3. Oofos Ooriginal Sandal Slipper

The Oofos Ooriginal Slipper is a perfect orthotic slipper. Its OOfoam technology absorbs 37% shock that minimizes stress on your feet and back. It relieves me of stabbing pains when my plantar faciitis really acts up. It offers a supportive arch that is firm and not too cushiony, but the rubber is soft and lightweight. It’s been heaven for relaxing. I use my Oofos Original Sandals at home to recover after a long day of work on my feet, because I have hard-wood floors in my house, which aggravate my plantar condition. .  Every Oofos style is designed with the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance.

On a down note,  Oola’s are a bit on the bulky side when it comes to packing but lightweight. The Oolas are great comfort if you have a bad case of plantar fasciitis though. Highly recommended- I love mine!

 

oofos original sandal

 

Best fashion flip flops

4. Clarks Breeze Flip Flops

Clarks has been in business for over 100 years, which makes it a favorite footwear that is tried and true. Clark’s Breeze Flip Flops are for those who want plantar comfort but are also a little more fashion conscious than Oofos. It’s more than flip-flops; it’s a nice looking sandal.

It has an Ortholite footbed and EVA outsole so that it feels ultra-light while, cushioning your feet. Travelers who’ve bought it love the arch and foot support they feel from it. Furthermore, it is made of a non-slip, thermoplastic rubber that provides good grip.

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Clarks Breeze flip flops

 

Best fashion activity sneaker 

5. Merrel Women’s Bravada 2 Waterproof Sneaker

Merrel has always been known for great hiking shoes with extra cushioning in the heel. The Bravada 2 is waterproof and has a sneaker – running shoe design, which is easier to match with casual clothing, such as jeans, even a skirt or dress! It is breathable, waterproof and light.  The ribber has grip and is great for all types of terrain.

 

merrel 2 bravada waterproof sneaker. AC SX695

Best activity and sports sneaker

6.  ASICS Gel Nimbus 24

Asics is known for having supportive shoes for all types of athletic activities; they make good shoes for athletes. The Asics Gel Nimbus 24 shoes have a gel technology cushioning that is resilient; it keeps its bounce for a while. I love mine! It has great shock absorption, while being lightweight and flexible to movement.  Asics also has great color designs, so it’s easier to find colors to match your outfits.

asics gel nimbus 26

 

Best long haul activity sneaker

7. Hoka One One Arahi 7

Hoka is a popular shoe for travelers with foot problems, because it is approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association. Working on television and film sets, a lot of the crew wear it, due to the long hours we spend on our feet. Of the Hoka styles, there’s two popular ones that are often mentioned for plantar fasciitis: Bondi and Arahi.

The Hoka One One Arahi 7 is built for balance and firm cushion that supports arches and foot. I didn’t think I’d like it because it was firm and less spongy. But when my podiatrist added a plastic insert to give my shoes even more support, I realized the Arahi gives your foot that structure it needs to last a day walking on it.  Plastic insert or not, for me, the Arahi wins hands down and it’s really made me notice spongey shoes that feel nice when you try them on, but don’t keep you supported later on in the day..

 

 hoka arahi

 

8. Hoka One One Bondi

The Hoka One One Bondi is often listed in articles as being a best shoe for plantar fasciitis. It may be for moderate cases of plantar;  my plantar case is a tad more extreme so it is not the perfect match for me. I need more firm support than cushion as cushion makes my arches feel strained. But I’ve spoken with many television crew who wear it.  The Bondi is definitely a good shoe and it is the most cushioned.   I wouldn’t use it for hiking or sports, but more casual walking. Definitely test both the Arahi and Bondi to see which suits your foot best!

 

How can you cure plantar fasciitus?

You won’t want to hear this… the best cure is to stay off your feet until it goes away and it can take weeks to months.

There are stretches and exercises you can do. If you’re hit with it while you travel, you’ll notice your calf muscles get super tight. You must stretch calves often, because in doing so, you stretch your foot muscle and this helps tons.

You can also massage it by going to a masseuse and buying a foot roller (I like them better than golf balls, which can be painful)

Of course, in the meanwhile, you need to find supportive -and ideally- orthopedic shoes.

Relieving Foot Accessories for Plantar Fasciitis

What can you use to relieve or recover from plantar fasciitis?

Copper compression socks

Copper compression socks help increase circulation, oxygen flow and blood flow which helps with muscle recovery. They are great to wear on the plane and also when you sleep so you can get better recovery.

Pro-Tip: Your body repairs at night so try to hit the sack early to give your body time to go into deep sleep. I avoid eating too much before bed so my body energy can go into healing vs digesting food.

copper compression socks
copper compression socks
Theraband Foot Roller

One of the best foot accessories for travelers with plantar fasciitis is the Theraband Foot Roller Massager. It is a self-massage heaven for your exhausted feet. Sometimes I pack this in my in-flight bag, but I always take it traveling with me. It is made of rubber and has ridges for self myofascial release. It’s a more palatable version of rolling out your pain and is much more comfortable than a golf ball or a wooden prickly roller.

This roller helps massage, lengthen and stretch the muscles and fascia in the foot, toes and arch. It’s lightweight and portable. I have a few different foot rollers but this is by far my favorite and most comfortable I’ve found.

theraband foot roller massage
theraband foot roller massage
Gua Sha stainless steel tool

The Gua Sha stainless steel tool is a tool often used by physical therapists, who use it to treat muscle tightness and improve blood circulation. This gua sha soft tissue tool can be used for your head, foot, shoulder, neck and muscle pain, and help to treat surgical injuries caused by adhesions and scars and tight muscles.

Note: Do not overuse this tool. In this sense, a little goes a long way. See a physical therapist who can show you how to use it before you try it on yourself. It’s very sensitive picking up the adhesions and releasing tightened fascia around your muscles so that you can reform your fascia.

gua sha stainless tool for mayofascial release
gua sha stainless tool for fascial release

 

What would you recommend for best travel shoes for plantar fasciitis?

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