Best Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis Reviewed in 2017
10 Best Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis 2018
Hikers, backpackers, and trekkers are no strangers to foot issues. From blisters and cuts to broken toenails and swollen legs, you've likely experienced these if you spend a good amount of time outdoors.
Another common problem is plantar fasciitis, which could put an outdoor enthusiast out of commission for some time. This repetition injury presents itself as chronic heel pain and occurs when the plantar fascia is torn and irritated. Footwear plays an important role in how quickly you can recover.
The best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis provide the right amount of support, comfort, and protection for your feet. There are plenty of hiking boots out there, but not all are suitable for plantar fasciitis. If you buy the wrong shoe, you could end up feeling worse and be forced to stay off the trail for longer.
So what are the best boots for plantar fasciitis? We've done the research and here are our top 10 picks.
Top 10 Best Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis
1. Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot
A shoe that lets you “play for days in the wilderness,” the Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot has been updated with a more ergonomic tongue, better laces, and new design details.
This boot is made with textile and nubuck leather, incorporating running shoe technology to offer stability and comfort without being too heavy.
If you're a backpacker, then the Quest 4D 2 was designed with you in mind. It features a high-top cuff for added ankle support and protection, as well as waterproof Gore-Tex fabric to keep the foot dry from the inside and the outside.
This boot also has a removable OrthoLite sockliner for better cushioning and heel support. OrthoLite is composed of recycled tire material and will retain its effectiveness over time.
- 4D Chassis for enhanced foot control and all-mountain traction
- Gusseted tongue keeps debris from entering the shoe
- Rubber toe and heel caps provide protection in tough environments
- Almost no break-in period required
- Does well against water; keeps feet dry when crossing streams, creeks, etc.
- Not as durable as expected, according to some reviews
2. KEEN Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot
Ideal for outdoor enthusiasts seeking all-day comfort, the KEEN Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot is a breathable shoe that delivers support while you tackle rough terrain.
Described as “four-wheel-drive performance for your feet,” the Targhee II has multidirectional lugs on the outsole for excellent traction, as well as an ESS shank for stability and security.
If you frequently explore canyons and mountaintops, you'll love the mid-cut height that adds ankle support.
Surely nobody likes having wet or sweaty feet. That's why the Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot is equipped with KEEN.Dry, a waterproof, breathable fabric that lets vapor out and prevents water from coming in.
The shoe also has an anatomically engineered footbed that follows you
r foot's natural shape and provides superior arch support.
- Not just for hiking; also great for working
- Very roomy toe box
- Suitable for winter, according to some comments
- Little to no break-in period
- Very light
- Some users complained that the shoe fell apart too quickly
3. Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Combining the comfort of a hiking boot and the performance of a running shoe, the Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is an improved version of the classic, well-loved Moab.
This boot is ideal for people who are not afraid to take on tough terrain, thanks to its Vibram traction outsole that provides stability and slip resistance.
Just like its predecessor, the Moab 2 offers an out-of-the-box fit and lasting comfort, with details like a wide toe box, precise instep, and snug heel. The blended EVA contoured footbed increases zonal arch and heel support as well.
And so you can enjoy the outdoors without worrying about the elements, the Merrell Moab 2 keeps out water, moisture, and debris with its bellows tongue and waterproof, moisture-wicking technology.
- Fits great out of the box
- Very light despite looking otherwise
- Keeps everything out
- Feet are able to breathe and do not sweat much
- Excellent traction on uneven or slippery surfaces
- Some customers had problems with sizing
4. LOWA Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
If you're looking for a boot that provides traction and grip for your outdoor activities, then look no further than the LOWA Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot.
Ideal for day hikes and light backpacking, this award-winning shoe is LOWA's bestselling style.
The Renegade is packed with features to bring you comfort, including a nubuck leather upper that secures the foot and minimizes toe strain when going downhill; a Monowrap midsole that boosts cushioning and brings down the weight of the boot; and a climate-control footbed that wicks away moisture.
Furthermore, the LOWA Renegade GTX has a seamless Gore-Tex lining to lower your chances of getting hot spots and a shock-absorbing Vibram outsole that lets you cover different types of terrain.
- Performs well in rough conditions
- Minimal to no break-in period
- Worth the premium price, according to reviewers
- Solid footing on wet and uneven surfaces
- Light and nimble
- Some users found the fit to be too snug
5. Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX Multifunctional Hiking Boot
The Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX Multifunctional Hiking Boot is a great choice for active individuals who value both comfort and style.
Beneath the updated athletic look, this second version of the X Ultra is equipped with various technologies that make outdoor activities easier.
The advanced chassis system, sandwiched between the outsole and the midsole, optimizes energy management and motion control while delivering stability and protection.
The shoe also has an EVA midsole that reduces fatigue, while Gore-Tex guards you from the harshest weather conditions.
Don't be surprised if you feel like you're wearing custom-made footwear with the X Ultra Mid 2 GTX. Thanks to Sensifit, the shoe cradles the foot all around for a snug and secure fit.
- Spacious toe box; suitable for wider feet
- Keeps feet warm and dry in wet conditions
- Mid-cut profile provides ankle support
- Light and flexible
- Great for working on hard surfaces
- Some people had issues with sizing
6. Vasque St. Elias Gore-Tex Backpacking Boot
Backpackers, the Vasque St. Elias Gore-Tex Backpacking Boot may just be the shoe that you've been looking for.
Especially designed for both lightweight and heavy-duty backpacking, this boot keeps you supported and comfortable even on the most technical of trails.
Features of the St. Elias include a natural rocker heel, low-friction lacing, a molded rubber toe cap, advanced midsole technology, and waterproof Gore-Tex lining.
The dual density midsole ensures easy steps as you're taking on the trail, while the weight-optimized Vibram outsole relieves some of the load of heavy backpacking.
Vasque's goal is to make shoes that inspire people to go on outdoor adventures. With the St. Elias' out-of-the-box comfort and reliability, the company may have achieved just that.
- Great for long, heavy-duty hikes
- Minimal break-in time
- Enough flexibility for agility
- Superior traction and grip on various surfaces
- Just the right amount of cushioning
- Runs narrow; not suitable for wide feet
7. Timberland White Ledge Waterproof Boot
One of Timberland's bestselling styles, the White Ledge Waterproof Boot is ideal for day hikers and weekend adventurers seeking durable footwear. From breathability to water protection, this shoe has got you covered.
With details inspired by the outdoors, the Timberland White Ledge Waterproof Boot comes with the BSFP (Brake, Support, Flex, and Propel) system to provide you with superior traction in any terrain: multidirectional rubber lugs allow you to climb with ease, while flex grooves follow the natural stepping motion of your foot.
The White Ledge also keeps your feet dry during rain and water crossings thanks to its seam-sealed waterproof construction and the gusseted tongue prevents debris from entering the shoe. The breathable EVA footbed is designed to provide comfort, but can be removed if needed.
- Roomy toe box; good for wide feet
- Complete, all-weather protection
- Also great as an everyday work boot
- Several users are very pleased with the quality
- Secure, rustproof lacing system
- Soles wear out quickly, based on some comments
8. Adidas Outdoor AX2 Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boot
Did you know that Adidas doesn't just make shoes for running and basketball? While these are certainly the brand's more popular styles, Adidas also has a line of outdoor footwear, including the AX2 Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boot.
Built from durable textile and synthetic materials, the AX2 Mid is a mid-cut, athletic-looking boot suitable for hikes and other uses. It is lined with breathable Gore-Tex membrane to block out water and keep feet dry all day long.
To ensure comfort and fit, the Adidas Outdoor AX2 Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Boot has a molded sockliner that hugs the foot and an EVA midsole for cushioning that lasts. It also features Adiprene, an exclusive cushioning material which responds to the movement of the foot.
- Fast and lightweight
- Majority of users agree that the shoe fits as expected
- High-traction rubber outsole
- Suitable for running or jogging around
- Looks stylish and modern
- Removable sock liner
- Doesn't hold up, according to some reviewers
9. Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid Gore-Tex Mountaineering Boot
Flexible and comfortable, that's the Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid Gore-Tex Mountaineering Boot. It's ideal for summer trekking, designed to facilitate ascents and descents on mixed and technical terrain.
You can wear it on longer hikes while carrying a heavier pack thanks to the ergonimically shaped, dual-density midsole that cradles the foot and the flex collar at the ankle which provides increased comfort.
Beneath the boot is a lightweight Vibram Wrapping Thread Combi (WTC) sole that makes it easier to walk in.
Salewa's patented 3F System ensures a good fit out of the box so that you will never experience blisters while wearing the Mountain Trainer. For added comfort and protection, the shoe is lined with Gore-Tex.
- Great for really wide feet
- Cushy feel on the ankles
- Extremely well-made; quality construction
- Dual-density, Bilight Technology midsole supports the whole foot
- Breathable and waterproof
- Size runs small as it is made in Europe
- Quite expensive
- Not insulated
- Won't do much to keep your feet warm
10. Hoka One One Tor Ultra Hi WP Hiking Boot
If you've ever wanted the cushioning of a running shoe in an outdoor boot, you'll find it in the Hoka One One Tor Ultra Hi.
Designed for the trail, the Tor Ultra Hi WP Hiking Boot features plush cushioning for a pillow soft feel, an EVA/RMAT blend midsole for maximum underfoot comfort, and a Vibram MegaGrip outsole for full traction.
It also comes with moderate support, as well as midfoot geometry for a smooth ride and better stability on uneven surfaces.
Probably the most obvious characteristic that sets the Hoka One One Tor Ultra Hi WP apart from other hiking boots are the attractive color combinations.
While most hiking boots come in neutral shades, the Tor Ultra Hi does not shy away from brighter hues.
- Great stability on slippery, uneven terrain
- Excellent cushioning and ankle support
- Incredibly lightweight
- Built to last
- Comes in eye-catching colors
- Some users complained about the quality
What Is Plantar Fasciitis and How Does It Affect Your Body?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the ligament along the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone and your toes. Most cases of heel pain are caused by plantar fasciitis, which occurs when the plantar fascia is strained and becomes torn, swollen, and irritated.
While common among middle-aged individuals, plantar fasciitis can also affect younger people, especially those who spend a lot of time on their feet.
The stabbing pain caused by plantar fasciitis is usually the most intense after getting out of bed in the morning. It normally decreases with movement, but could return after extended periods of standing or sitting.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
You have a higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis if:
- You're overweight or obese.
- You're between the ages of 40 and 60.
- You have high or low arches.
- Your feet roll inward excessively when you walk or run. This is referred to as overpronation.
- You have tight calf muscles or Achilles tendons.
- You're on your feet all day, especially on hard surfaces.
- You perform activities that put stress on your heel and plantar fascia, such as long-distance running and ballet dancing.
- You wear shoes that are worn out, have inadequate support, or don't fit properly.
How to Determine the Best Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis
Fortunately, plantar fasciitis is a treatable condition, with only 5 out of 100 patients requiring surgery. Wearing the right type of footwear can help improve the pain and discomfort, so choosing a good hiking boot is very important.
First of all, if your current hiking boot is worn out, it's time to replace it with a new one. Wearing shoes without much cushioning or support left is comparable to walking on a hard surface or going barefoot, both of which are not recommended for people with plantar fasciitis as these activities aggravate the pain.
That said, the best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis should have:
- Good arch support. If you are flatfooted, you may want to swap the stock insoles with aftermarket cushioned insoles. These have been proven to alleviate pain by as much as 34 percent.
- A wide, cushioned heel. Ample cushioning will protect your heel from shock and allow your plantar fascia to recover faster.
Some Tips for Finding the Right Shoes
Here are more tips to ensure you find the most comfortable boots for plantar fasciitis.
- You may want to choose a hiking boot with a removable insole in case you need to replace it with an aftermarket one that provides more support.
- People have different feet, so there's no single pair of shoes that can solve the plantar fasciitis problem for everyone. What works for you may not work for someone else.
- If trying on boots at a store, go at the end of the day when your feet are at their largest. Bring your socks and orthotics (if you wear them) as these affect the fit.
- If shopping online, consider a brand you've worn before as the fit will likely be similar across different styles. Most companies tend to use the same foot model.
So there you have it. We've rounded up the 10 best hiking boots for plantar fasciitis available on the market today, plus gave you some tips on finding the right pair.
Our number recommendation would be the Salomon Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot. Its lightweight construction, advanced 4D Chassis, and OrthoLite sockliner make it a top choice for hikers with plantar fasciitis.
But also remember that everyone's feet are different, so we encourage you to
trust your own judgment and research. We're only here to provide some assistance in making the decision-making process easier. We hope that by using our guide, you'll be able to find the perfect hiking boot and get back on the trail in no time.
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I'm Sam Rondot, the person behind the blog Running Addicted. I'm a French entrepreneur and I'm passionated about running. I started running since 12 years old and have covered 16 marathons (at the point of writing).I enjoy running and the exhausted feeling I have after a long run. I always follow one rule: I try to do my best and run until I can’t. This makes me feel that I can do anything. I know you have that feeling, too. Running has taught me that I am capable of so much more than I have ever imagined.Learn more
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