Tennis players around the world are experiencing heel pain and are actually fighting against a condition that few have heard of. This condition can worsen and lead to permanent injury. And to make matters worse, it’s downright painful. There is no specific treatment or cure. The condition is called Plantar Fasciitis, and it’s vital to find the best tennis shoes for plantar fasciitis to avoid pain and serious injury.
The unfortunate truth is that this condition is caused by an active lifestyle which is usually encouraged for health reasons. However, this is a common problem and it is one that must be addressed. In today’s day and age, we are all lucky to have the technology available that helps prevent a VAST majority of issues and conditions like this. It is only for the few that there will be a severe injury from plantar fasciitis. Many people know what they have when this happens to them. They even know what it is called. But, similar to shin splints, they don’t know why or how it occurs. Today, we will look at the best tennis shoes on the market for the prevention of Plantar Fasciitis. We will also look at what exactly it is, how this happens, and we will look at ways that shoes can help the condition by looking at how they are made.
Top Tennis Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis Comparison Chart
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
To begin, we need to define exactly what Plantar Fasciitis is. WebMd calls it the “most common cause of heel pain.” It goes on to tell us that the Plantar Fascia is a ligament or tissue, that joins the heel to the toes and supports the arch of your foot. So, if you strain this “fascia”, you are in for all kinds of pain. Suddenly your heel and/or the bottom of your foot hurts to do things as simple as stand up or walk. If you repeatedly do this, you can cause small tears in the tissue (ligament). Full disclosure here: I have some discomfort with this as I write right this very second. It is a consequence of overworking your muscles – I will admit that. I, like Jordan, have run way too much (as well as doing a lot of walking). So, who then, is the most prone to this condition, you ask?
Who Does This Affect?
Plantar Fasciitis inflicts its wrath upon middle-aged people most frequently. This is due to many reasons. Increasing weight can play a massive factor on this because the body simply hasn’t been used to supporting the extra weight. Joints, ligaments, and bones also get weaker over time, so it makes sense that this would occur at an older age.
Another group of people is athletes, of course! We looked at probably the most famous example on the web in Jordan Henderson and you got to hear my story as well. This is just so common because we are asking a lot from our bodies. When we run, we are taking our bodies for granted a lot of the time! We forget that the fast, striding movements cause a lot of tension as we slam down on the ground over and over again. This is amplified when we run on a hard surface, as tennis players so often do. And as many tennis players don’t pick up the game until they are middle-aged, this only compounds the potential problems! Keep in mind that any runners that run on the road are also very susceptible.
Another group to quickly bring up is that of soldiers. This is common in young athletes as well as young soldiers because of the significantly high level of stress that they are put under. Not only are soldiers always on their feet, they oftentimes have to run long distances supporting themselves and their packs and weapons. They are also asked to sometimes run on pavement, rocky terrain, or even sand. At this is all done in very high-stress situations, so typically proper form is going to be thrown out the window!
Other Factors to Consider
There are a few things that can cause Plantar Fasciitis to take its toll on a person. If you have one or more of these traits and you fit one of the categories above, then you may be a prime candidate for possibly getting PF. If you are someone that rolls your foot inward when you walk, you are very likely to deal with this at some point in your life. I walk outward and still have had to deal with this, so it can probably also go the other way. Basically, anyone without a normal gait (stride) when walking is going to be more prone to this and any number of other potential conditions because they are taking the human body and asking it to do something that it simply isn’t meant to do! There are a number of things you can do to fix a gait problem. One of them is shoe inserts. But buying the right pair of shoes will help go a long way to giving you relief!
If you have flat feet (guilty) and/or high arches, you are also very prone to this. Think of your feet as shock absorbers for a minute. Your flat feet are going to take an absolute beating in comparison to someone with some arch! I guess it’s no wonder why I’ve always been told (but can’t confirm) that the military used to deny people with flat feet!
If you walk, stand, or run for a long time, particularly on hard surfaces. We have pretty much gone over this, but it is amazing that just standing on hard surfaces can get you into a lot of pain! Obviously, if you are here, you are probably a tennis player. And since there aren’t many clay courts around that I know of, you’re going to be on very hard surfaces! Also, for any mill workers or people doing assembly work, this is something you’re going to have to consider when you are on the job. It will catch up to you eventually, so protect yourself!
If you are overweight. I know this one is a bummer. I’ve been there. Most of us have at some point. But it literally can hurt you to be overweight. And we’re not talking about 50 or 70 pounds overweight either. Anyone will any extra weight on them can be severely affected. When your body gets used to you being a certain weight, it’s going to fight back when it is suddenly feeling something completely different!
If you have tight Achilles tendons or tight calf muscles, you can develop this issue as well. This is something that you can fix and prevent with things like stretching or yoga. But you have to commit to doing these things as regular part of your routine. It can’t just be a one-time fix!
If you wear shoes that are worn out or shoes that don’t fit you well, you are just asking for problems. Wearing shoes that are worn out is something that I would never recommend. First, you are bound to slip and fall because of a lack of tread anyway. And then you’re allowing yourself to have little to no support or cushioning because it’s all been worn away through time! And this whole “I’ll just get these, they fit well enough” thing drives me insane. You are risking your own health when you wear a pair of shoes that do not fit you well. You can cause any number of problems, including Plantar Fasciitis by doing this. So please just don’t!
How Shoes Can Help this Condition
Tennis shoes can help combat and prevent Plantar Fasciitis if you choose the right pair! The first and most important thing is to make sure that you go try on a pair of shoes. I always encourage people to do this, even if they are going to buy them online. As far as I know, shoe stores do not charge people to try on shoes! So go and make sure that you find the proper size. I would even try on the shoe I plan to buy so I can see how it feels to me. You may hate it, and then your paying shipping and handling to send them back. But you must ensure your shoes fit well. As humans, we have shoes to help protect our feet. This being the primary goal of shoes, it is negated when we decide to wear shoes that are not fit for us. Like we discussed some earlier, the body is meant to do certain things. It does not like to do new things and it will rebel and let you know when you do this. So, the first thing is to make sure your feet aren’t sliding like you’re wearing Dad’s shoes when you were six or that you aren’t constricted like a ballerina. Once there, you can go forward looking for other things.
Support is very important as well. After you have the right fit, you need to determine what kind of foot you have. Are you flat-footed or do you have high arches? Thankfully, we have great technology today that can help you combat heel pain and stop it before it happens. Shoe manufacturers are making shoes that are tailored to you. So, there are shoes for flat footed people and shoes for people with high arches. There are also shoes being made for all of you people that have normal feet… I’m jealous! This is great because each helps eliminate the specific problems you may have and allows you to move forward without hopefully ever getting this because of the added support you receive.
Shock absorption is also important. Flat-footed people like me will know how important this is, but it is also very important for everyone that is a runner. No matter who you are, you are going to be pounding your feet into the ground. Make sure to protect yourself by getting out in front and being proactive. Then you’ll have no worries. Shoes must have a good shock absorbing system if you want to keep Plantar Fasciitis away.
Having soft cushioning is also vital. This gives you a platform on the inside of your shoes to be comfortable. It does you no good to have soft cushioning if your feet are sliding inside of your shoes like a duck swims under the water, however. Soft cushioning on the inside allows you to take those continuous hard hits and keep coming back more for tomorrow!
There are treatments that can help aside from a great pair of shoes. For example, we really like the HEEL THAT PAIN insert. It’s really the best one out there at the moment!
The last thing here is to make sure that you have great arch support, no matter what type of gait or what type of feet you have. This is vital because Plantar Fasciitis is caused at this point, so we must protect your arch, or all of the other attempts will just be futile.
Last-Minute Tips to Combat Heel Pain
Before we go into the top 10 and reviews, you need to know a few things. First, this is something that I hope you realize is very person-specific. There aren’t going to be any quick magical fits. There aren’t going to be any “one size fits all” solutions here. So you are going to have some trial and error. That is unfortunate because once you do get Plantar Fasciitis, it can be hard to deal with. So if you experience the least bit of pain, you may want to consider doing something different immediately so that you do not risk your health and well-being. Remember, these things aren’t going to just fix your issues if you already have Plantar Fasciitis. However, they can help relieve some of the issues. In addition to this, selecting the right pair of shoes can help in preventing it in the first place. Keep in mind that the best way to do this, is to make sure that your shoe both tightly and comfortably lock in your foot which restricts your foot from having to deal with repeated stress.
Best Tennis Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis Reviews
I know, I know. New Balance makes the best looking person look dorky. But this list isn’t about looking cool, it’s about keeping you safe and free of Plantar Fasciitis. Plus, this pair is very reasonably priced. So, this shoe takes the top of the list. Its design gives you shock absorption as well as an “S-curved” sole for stability. It is breathable as well with mesh. This pair will support you as you move laterally and gives you traction, both of which should reduce the tension on your heel. This should make all the difference in the world. The MC806 also can be bought in medium, wide, and extra wide, so there is no excuse to not find a great fit!
Alright, so right off the bat, these aren’t exactly the most appealing of looks either. But there are many options to choose from, and they don’t look awful. But getting past that, these are shoes that can help those that already have heel pain and just simply can’t go a day without being on the courts. They have great ventilation for your feet on those hot days as well as good traction systems for running crosscourt. They are also very high quality and durable, which isn’t always the case in shoes. These can be reasonably priced, but they also can get expensive depending on where you purchase them from They are definitely worth a look!
ASICS is a VERY underrated brand in the shoe market, buried and overlooked because of the big boys. But this pair of shoes not only looks great, but they help you play better and feel better out on the court. For a shoe on the higher end of the price spectrum, you get a range of color choices as well their signature gel and shock absorbing midsole that will help protect your heels. These are also very cushioning despite all of the durability that is also built in, so it gives you the best of both worlds. For an added bonus, it has memory foam that takes the form of your foot (heel), which greatly reduces the stress on you!
If you’re anything like me, you probably thought K-Swiss was just a designer for casual wear. Well, we’d both be wrong on that one! K-Swiss presents a moderately priced model for sale here that looks great and plays great on the court. A cool aspect that I noticed right off about this pair of shoes is that they have a heel grip which grips your socks to the back of the shoe, which minimizes slippage. This can be crucial in not only preventing Plantar Fasciitis but all kinds of other injuries. Its rubber outsole protects from abrasions of any kind and helps make them more durable. These look kind of like basketball shoes and have that comfort as they have a padded tongue and a snug fit.
Here’s a straight-up functional shoe from one of the world’s premier sport shoemakers. These look exceptional, but they can get quite expensive as well. Keep in mind, you’re paying for the brand, but I wouldn’t let that stop me. These are excellent performance shoes. They are great for those that are already dealing with Plantar Fasciitis as well because they support you by providing comfort and shock absorption. The foam used to reduce the shock to your joints is also breathable and it holds up over time. They have a heel stabilizer system that is used in conjunction with a torsion system, which allows you to move your toes and feet freely while still being secured! The AdiTuff sole rubber is a welcome feature since it reduces wear on the soles during competition.
A little more of a classic look from Adidas this time come from the Barricade 7.0. It is priced toward the medium/high range but in our opinion, well worth it. Adidas does have a long history with running narrow, so if you do have wide feet, you need to look elsewhere or you will cause yourself problems. The thing that sticks out most about these is the soles are specially curved to fit your feet into them snugly while also minimizing and/or preventing pain. There’s a seamless forged mesh upper designed with areas of support and stretch to help ensure a custom fit that adapts to each specific movement of your foot. And of course, the abrasion-resistance of Adituff wrap on the mid-foot and toe area are welcome. That helps for keeping long term integrity of the shoes if you use them for extreme lateral movements (which is pretty much every move in tennis!)
Coming in a number of colors and for a very reasonable price, this pair of Adidas shoes differs from the other two, but still can help you with your pain or pain prevention. These are very lightweight shoes that can help you fly around the court and they are great for people with high arches. They absorb shocks through this system of high arch support and they also give you breathability as well. There is little room, however, for custom inserts to be put in, so keep that in mind when considering this great pair!
With the highest-priced entry on the list so far, Nike brings a lot to the table. They have an insane number of colorways to choose from, and they feature an ingenious Dynamic Fit technology that contours specifically to you. That means each pair is a custom fit pair! Because of this, your heels and feet are protected. They also have great cushioning and Roger Federer loves them, so this may be your new pair!
The name probably is meant to tip us off that these aren’t going to look great, but they serve a great purpose. These are reasonably priced and offer up a non-slip option for players who want to play in wet conditions. Once again, this is a shoe for people with high arches. They are also very durable as the shocks keep the insole intact for longer than it would otherwise. They also great cushioning which gives you increased comfort, which is always a good thing when combating Plantar Fasciitis.
To combat Nike and Adidas for the title of the “coolest” look, Wilson comes in with a pair of shoes that can get pretty expensive. A reinforced mesh construction with an endofit midsole interior give this shoe serious support while still allowing excellent movement of the foot in a natural way to enhance the comfort factor, these shoes offer stability and breathability at the same time. In addition to this, they have a snug fitting heel while still providing you room to move your toes in the front. They also have great heel support, so you should be covered there. The Duralast rubber outsole combined with a herringbone pattern sole should give you the traction and durability you’d expect from the most expensive of shoes!
Other Methods to Relieve Heel Pain
Keep in mind that you can also do a number of things to help your Plantar Fasciitis. Because of the swelling, you can take anti-inflammatory medication to help. There are also a number of wraps, inserts, and even special-made socks to help nowadays. Many people have found a way to fight through it, and you can as well!