Best Weightlifting Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis (2020)

Top 5 Weightlifting Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis Available on the Market

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common problems that a lot of weightlifters can suffer from due to excessive load on their heels. Even worse, finding suitable shoes for plantar fasciitis while lifting can be a bit problematic because of the contradicting requirements.

Your shoes need to be cushioned enough to soothe the heel pain while being hard enough to keep your balance intact under heavy weight.

So, instead of the hard heel cup in regular weightlifting shoes, you need to find a shoe with a supportive heel cup. This way you can have some cushioning while keeping your heels in place like in normal lifting shoes.

So what is the best weightlifting shoe for plantar fasciitis?  I recommend the Reebok Men’s Lifter Plus 2.0 Training Shoe. This shoe has the specific heel cup needed for plantar fasciitis, and includes a wide toe box, as well as a removable insole if you want to replace it with your own orthotics. 


Read on, if you want to know more about the condition from a weightlifter’s point of view and how to deal with it without compromising on your workout quality.

Top 5 Weightlifting Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis Available on the Market

Finding suitable weightlifting shoes is usually a challenging task for someone with no experience. Since a lot of people don’t know much about plantar fasciitis, finding suitable weightlifting choices for them can be even more overwhelming.

Luckily, there are a few options on the market that are suitable for weightlifting while preventing your heel pain from worsening meanwhile.

The top 5 weightlifting shoes for plantar fasciitis are:

Reebok Men’s Lifter Plus 2.0 Training Shoe – Best Overall #1 Pick
Rogue Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes – Runner Up – Wide Profile
Nike Men’s Fitness Shoes – Most Versatile
NOBULL Men’s High-Top Trainer – Best High Top
ASICS Men’s Gel-Fortius TR Cross-Training Shoe – Most Comfortable

Let’s have a closer look at them!

1. Reebok Men’s Lifter Plus 2.0 Training Shoe – Best Overall #1 Pick

Kicking off the list with the best overall training shoe to use for weightlifting if you have plantar fasciitis. The shoe has a perfect balance between rigidity needed for lifting and cushioning to ease the heel pain.

When it comes to durability, this shoe is designed using kevlar materials, which ensures a military-grade sturdiness and ability to stand the test of time.

Also, it comes in a variety of color options while staying decently affordable, which makes it a great value for its price.

Another great thing that puts this shoe above the competition is its removable insoles. This means that you can easily swap them with your own orthotics for better cushioning.

Unlike most velcro strapped shoes on the market, this one comes with a dual hook & loop straps along with a lace-up vamp. This helps in stabilizing your feet and makes up for the added cushioning in the heel area.

Pros

  • Available in a variety of color choices
  • Features two hook & loop straps for the highest level of stability
  • Relatively affordable price for a weightlifting shoe

Cons

  • Not a comfortable choice an everyday shoe

2. Rogue Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes – Runner Up – Wide Profile

A close runner up that has a lot of qualities that the Reebok model has is Rogue’s Do-Win Weightlifting Shoes.

This shoe is one of my favorite choices because of its noticeably wide toe box, which makes it ideal for a lot of conditions, such as lifting with plantar fasciitis as well as being a tall lifter who needs to maintain balance with their long femur.

The wide toe box makes it perfect for accommodating your own medical orthotic to give you cushioning while staying stable on the ground.

What’s great about Rogue’s products is that they’re always very durable and worth their price. This shoe, for example, has a sturdy layer of leather upper for longevity and handling the pressure of heavier weights being lifted.

Moreover, the shoe features two metatarsal straps that are specially designed to stabilize your feet and prevent them from going side to side while lifting.

Pros

  • Has a remarkably wide toe box
  • Features a breathable mesh for aeration
  • Double-stitched where it matters for durability

Cons

  • Not suitable for lifters with very narrow feet

3. Nike Men’s Fitness Shoes – Most Versatile

If your training routine contains a lot of running and jumping in addition to lifting, you’ll need a relatively versatile shoe that can ease off the plantar fasciitis without hindering you down.

As you know, running shoes aren’t ideal for weightlifting. Add some heel pain to the mix and you’ll have a recipe for a lot of issues.

Luckily, Nike’s fitness shoes can help you dodge as many pain bullets as possible while lifting. Although its appearance might suggest otherwise, this is a relatively lightweight shoe, which allows you to move freely without pressure.

Additionally, the shoes come with a firm foam midsole, which keeps you stabilized while being moderately comfortable for someone with plantar fasciitis.

It has a midfoot cage for stability along with cushioning for running. However, you should expect your lifting to not be as stable with these shoes, so you have to be careful not to go overboard with the weights.

Pros

  • Highly versatile options
  • Offers cushioning and midfoot stabilization
  • Multiple sizes and design options

Cons

  • Worn with caution while lifting

4. NOBULL Men’s High-Top Trainer – Best High Top

I frequently include the NOBULL trainer as a good alternative to deadlift shoes while mentioning that it’s not like traditional weightlifting shoes. It looks nice and feels slightly more comfortable than regular lifting shoes.

However, for the features it lacks for a weightlifting shoe, it can be a more suitable choice for someone with plantar fasciitis.

For example, the hi-top shoe has a relatively thick sole, which can be a drawback in regular lifting shoes. But, it counts as a simple compromise for extra comfort while walking around.

In addition to the lace-up design, the high-cut collar also acts as an extra ankle stabilizer to maintain the balance while lifting weights.

The shoes are also quite durable, thanks to its SuperFabric guard plates that allow it to handle extensive use and heavy loads.

Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing design
  • Fairly comfortable when compared to traditional lifting shoes
  • High-cut collar for extra ankle stabilization

Cons

  • Not the ideal choice for lifting after plantar fasciitis goes away

5. ASICS Men’s Gel-Fortius TR Cross-Training Shoe – Most Comfortable

The last entry to the list is dedicated to those who are looking for the ultimate level of comfort with little regard to its weightlifting properties.

ASICS Gel-Fortius TR Cross Trainer isn’t exactly what a solid weightlifting shoe should be. As the name suggests, the shoes have a gel cushioning, which makes it super comfortable for a lot of workouts, but weightlifting.

In other words, it depends mainly on the kind of activities you’re going to perform in the gym. If your workout routine is mainly composed of running, jumping, little weightlifting, and other movements in the gym, it should be an excellent choice to ease off the heel pain.

However, if you’re looking for a shoe that’s mainly optimized for squats (back and front), overhead press cleans, jerks, snatches, and similar workouts, then this one isn’t the ideal pick for you.

Despite being comfortable, the shoe is also rugged and handles excessive use nicely, thanks to its abrasion-resistant synthetic leather construction.

Pros

  • Super comfortable shoes
  • Highly durable and resists aberration
  • Anti-slip rubber soles for stability

Cons

  • ●     Not ideal for serious heavy lifters

Do You Have Plantar Fasciitis?

plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition that causes this tissue to generate a lot of pain in your heel area
Source Wikipedia

Before diving into the details of what changes you need to make to your lifestyle and adjustment to your weightlifting routine, you need to know what plantar fasciitis really is.

At your heel region, there’s a thick band of connective tissue that encapsulates the muscles running across the bottom of the heel and midfoot to connect heel bones to the toes. This tissue is known as “plantar fascia”

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition that causes this tissue to generate a lot of pain in your heel area.

In fact, it’s one of the most common causes of heel pain across different ages, but it’s more likely to happen as you advance in age.

The pain usually extends from the bottom of the foot to the center or the front center of the heel bone.

If you have plantar fasciitis, you might notice that taking your first step in the morning or after sitting with no pressure on the heel is usually the worst, which is no surprise because it’s known as the “first step pain”.

Most people with plantar fasciitis will notice that the pain usually starts to decrease as we get up and move but it might come back after standing or walking for an extended period of time.

Similarly, for weightlifters, the pain is also noticed right after workouts due to overstressing the inflamed tissues, especially after the ones that require a lot of pressure on the heels, such as deadlifts.

Related Article: Best Squat Shoes For Flat Feet (Top Reviews)

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?  Does Lifting Help or Hinder?

in the case of overloading and over-exercising, the rate of tears becomes higher than the rate of repair, which causes these tears to irritate and inflame the tissue surrounding the fascia, producing the inflammation

Up until now, science is yet to fully understand the reasons why plantar fasciitis occurs to some people, especially for those who aren’t that active.

But, there’s an explanation to some cases of plantar fasciitis, regarding those who may put stress on their knees.

The plantar fascia tissue doesn’t only connect your heel to your toes, it also has the shape of a bowstring, which supports the foot’s arch and contributes to the shock-absorbing mechanism as you walk.

However, it doesn’t perform as good when you’re running. As the stress and tension increase on the plantar fascia, certain parts of the plantar fascia tissue will tear and stretch.

This is perfectly natural in the normal conditions of casual running and walking, as the tissue heal themselves quickly.

However, in the case of overloading and over-exercising, the rate of tears becomes higher than the rate of repair, which causes these tears to irritate and inflame the tissue surrounding the fascia, producing the inflammation.

For that reason, plantar fasciitis is common among runners, overweight individuals, weightlifters who stress on their heels, and those who wear inadequate shoes with minimal support.

Conditions Associated With Plantar Fasciitis & Lifting Weights

Conditions Associated With Plantar Fasciitis & Lifting Weights

As you already know, plantar fasciitis remains the most common reason for heel pain. The pain is usually at the same spot in every heel, so a doctor can easily pinpoint plantar fasciitis just by checking.

This means that it’s highly unlikely for you to undergo any imaging tests, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and X-ray.

In some rare cases, the doctor might request these imaging tests just to rule out some other conditions that might cause similar pain, such as stress fracture and compressed (pinched) nerves.

The X-ray can also reveal that you have a bone spur, which means a tiny sharp outgrown bone that is sticking out in the heel region and might cause some pain.

However, having a spur doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the reason for the pain, as some people who have it on the heels don’t report feeling any pain due to them.

What Can You Do for Plantar Fasciitis?

Luckily, after a few months (ranging from 6 to 12 months), plantar fasciitis should usually go away on its own. The speed at which your heel recovers depends mainly on how you take care of it.

On the other hand, ignoring plantar fasciitis won’t only slow down the healing process, but it may also produce a form of chronic pain that persists even as you sit, which prevents you from performing any of your daily activities, let alone lifting weights and exercising.

Some people might even go as far as changing the way they walk just to avoid or relieve the heel pain. But, this can actually worsen the problem, as it may lead to back, knees, and hip problems.

This was even confirmed in a recent study, which states that those who have plantar fasciitis heel pain are five times more likely to have back problems resulting mainly from ignoring the recovery phase.

Plantar fasciitis may or may not present swelling and redness in the heel area. However, you should do the following to help your plantar fasciitis heal quicker.

Resting

Extra weight, whether it’s your body or the weights you’re lifting, can hinder the recovery process greatly.

Treating plantar fasciitis as an injury and going easy on weights is one of the ways to help your heel recover faster, so you can get back on the track.

Unless you’re bound by a certain competition, reducing the overall daily load on your heels will help significantly in reducing the recovery period.

In fact, for some people, it’s wiser to let the heel treat itself and regain the lost muscle mass than training for longer on an injury and worsening the condition.

Icing the Heel

One of the best and easiest protocols to treat inflamed tissues is using ice. My favorite way is by using an ice pack with a towel wrapped around it. Make sure that the ice doesn’t come in direct contact with your heels.

Apply the ice pack on the pain area for about 15 to 20 minutes 3 to 5 times a day. This way you can concentrate the cold on the injured area while staying dry, which is easier than soaking your heel in iced water.

In that case, you’ll have to keep your toes off the water all the time, which gets uncomfortable very quickly.

Stretching your Feet

While standing on your feet can be a bit unpleasant, stretching your Achilles tendon and calves are great for easing the pain naturally.

In fact, if you have a history with plantar fasciitis, strengthening your lower leg and feet muscles will stabilize your ankle and prevent the plantar fasciitis from relapsing.

Over the Counter Medication

Using over the counter painkillers can help you overcome the pain in your heels. However, if you suffer from gastric issues that cause stomach upsets with these medications, you can ask your doctor to prescribe other forms of treatment.

Changes in Foot Support

In addition to strengthening your lower legs, you need to opt for a change in your foot support while on your day.

This includes multiple aspects, such as athletic tapes that help in stabilizing your feet while training, wearing proper weightlifting shoes during the plantar fasciitis phase, and using shoe inserts and orthotics. But more on that shortly.

Lastly, if none of these solutions helped with your plantar fasciitis, which is highly unlikely, your doctor might suggest various solutions, such as:

  • Surgery
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Physical therapy

Why You Need Proper Weightlifting Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

picking a shoe with these qualities will surely help in relieving some of the pain caused by plantar fasciitis while being able to lift properly

As you already know, changing your footwear to ease off the heel pain is one of the most common forms of treating plantar fasciitis.

For example, in your everyday life, you need a comfortable shoe with a supportive heel, which often means to have a bit of cushioning factor to it, such as gel or foam heels.

In fact, those who don’t wear suitable shoes for plantar fasciitis are much more likely to suffer pain. The choice of footwear during plantar fasciitis is confirmed to have a huge impact on the severity of the pain and the lack thereof.

In a 2004 study, it was found that wearing improper shoes can lead to the development of plantar fasciitis to cause pain in the medial calcaneal area. However, the study also showed that the condition was resolved simply by changing the type of shoes.

This can be easily applied to your daily life but not when you’re lifting weights, especially during squats and deadlifts.

Wearing shoes with a lot of cushioning at the heel won’t let you apply force properly through the floor. This leads you to shift your center of gravity forward, which easily throws you off balance while lifting.

For that reason, the best weightlifting shoes for squats are usually characterized by having a hard heel cup with almost no cushioning because you need to be pushing into a solid surface.

That’s why there’s always a tough balance to strike when it comes to picking suitable weightlifting shoes if you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis.

Your shoes need to be cushioned enough to soothe the heel pain while being hard enough to keep your center of gravity and heel balance intact.

So, instead of the hard heel cup in regular weightlifting shoes, you need to find a shoe with a supportive heel cup. This way you can have some cushioning while keeping your heels in place like in normal lifting shoes.

The shoes should also have good straps to make up for the stability loss by keeping the foot from moving side to side.

Since the pain extends to the midsole, make sure that the shoe also has a comfortable insole and a wide toe box to further ease the pain.

Picking a shoe with these qualities will surely help in relieving some of the pain caused by plantar fasciitis while being able to lift properly.

Yet, you should keep in mind that, to some degree, such shoes won’t be as comfortable as your everyday walking shoes for plantar fasciitis.

Shoe Considerations For Lifters With Plantar Fasciitis: What To Look For

As you can see, plantar fasciitis is a self-limiting injury that relies mainly on how you deal with it. Now that you know that choosing your footwear is one of the critical points of its treatment, it’s time to know how to choose the ideal one for plantar fasciitis.

In the following section, you’ll find all the essential aspects that you need to consider and look for before buying your weightlifting shoe.

Comfortable Insole

Cushioning isn’t ideal for weightlifting because you want to keep your feet constantly pushing against a solid ground while lifting to stay balanced.

However, if the shoes have slight cushioning while staying stabilized, they can still get the job without a huge compromise on your balance.

You may consider looking for shoes with minimal but present cushioning or shoes with removable insoles if you’re planning to swap it with an orthotic, such as Reebok Men’s Lifter Plus 2.0 Training Shoe

Ankle Support and Stabilization

Since your heels aren’t offering their full potential for stabilization, you need to rely on other anchoring points in your feet to keep you balanced while lifting a ton of weight.

For that reason always look for shoes that keep your ankle and Achilles tendon region stabilized and optimized for staying put while pushing against heavyweights

Strapping

Most lifting shoes with cushioning and arch support will push the load of the weights from your heels towards your midarch, which puts most of the pressure on it while countering the weight.

To make sure that your rep doesn’t fail, you need to keep the area supported and prevent it from wobbling left or right. This can be easily done by incorporating tight strapping.

Whether it’s lace-up, velcro, or hook and loop strapping, make sure that it’s easily tightened and won’t release itself due to the pressure from the weight.

Wide Toe Box

Some people overlook the width of the lifting shoe toe box because they believe that it has no effect on the heel pain.

However, if you have a tight toe box, your toes will conform to the shape of the shoe, and therefore, affect the stability and position of your heel, which can easily aggravate its pain.

Not only that, but while lifting heavy weights, your toes act as an anchoring point that allows your entire foot to stabilize itself to the ground. By going for a narrow toe box, you’ll prevent your toes from performing this anchoring grasp.

This puts even more load on your injured heels, which can get you to lose your stability midway and cause even worse injuries.

Lastly, the importance of the spacious toes box is also noticeable if you’re using medical shoe inserts.

With a wide toe box, you’ll have enough room and depth for the orthotics to be added comfortably.

Should You Wear Orthotics?

Orthotics are medical inserts that you swap your shoes’ insoles with for better alleviation of plantar fasciitis pain.

While it’s not a direct treatment of the problem, it’s a great temporary solution to train without pain.

These orthotics mainly work by providing arch support that conforms to the natural arch of the foot.

By keeping the feet supported at their natural arch, the tension of the fascia is removed and transported from the heels (the tender spot) to the mid arch.

The reduced pressure on the heels promotes quicker healing. According to a study that evaluated the effect of using orthotics in plantar fasciitis, using these orthotics is effective in allowing the inflammation to heal quicker.

Final Thoughts

There you have it. A complete guide that hopefully provides you with all the necessary information you need to know about this condition and how a weightlifter should deal with it without affecting their stability.

Ideally, I recommend Reebok Men’s Lifter Plus 2.0 Training Shoe because it strikes that tough balance between comfort and rigidity.

While it’s not comfortable enough to be used as an everyday shoe, it has enough cushioning to ease the plantar fasciitis pain while keeping your feet stabilized upon lifting.

However, if you’re looking for the maximum level of comfort while lifting, you should go for the ASICS Men’s Gel-Fortius TR Cross-Training Shoe.

Despite not being a solid weightlifting shoe, it’s also comfortable and versatile enough to double as an everyday cross-trainer.

This makes it a great choice if you do a variety of movements in the gym without a specific focus on squats, overhead presses, cleans, etc.