7 Best Work Boots for Plantar Fasciitis in 2021

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by  Karlton Miko Tyack | Last Updated: 

Plantar fasciitis can cause debilitating and lasting foot pain. If you’re not wearing the right shoes at work all day, it’ll only get worse.

Find relief and work the hours you need to with our seven best work boots for plantar fasciitis.

Best Overall
  • Flexible and lightweight fiberglass shank provides shock-absorbing stability
  • Dual density footbed actively maintains the contours of your foot as you walk, giving you support and comfort
  • Thorogood’s own polyurethane outsole features cleverly designed lugs that protect you from ankle and knee pressure related to plantar fasciitis
Best on a Budget
  • Skechers Relaxed Fit gives a spacious toe box for breathable comfort to combat swelling
  • Air-cooled memory foam is soft and supportive at the heel
  • Midsole is sturdy, shock absorbing, and flexible
Best Steel Toe
  • Asymmetrical steel toe provides roomy and breathable protection
  • Shock diffusion and energy-returning Anti-Fatigue technology alleviates pain generated by plantar fasciitis
  • Durable nubuck leather upper and Goodyear welt construction
Best Safety Toe
  • Carbon safety toe is lighter and cooler than metal and composites, but still offers EH rated protection
  • Ariat’s ATS comfort technology reduces inflammation and promotes good posture
  • Exceedingly waterproof, even in heavy rain
Best Composite Toe
  • Composite toe is lighter and cooler than metal, while still meeting the same safety standards as a steel toe
  • Combination of an EVA midsole, polyurethane footbed, rubber outsole, and heel bumper relieves heel pain and joint pressure
  • Carhartt’s FastDry technology wicks away sweat, which can aggravate plantar fasciitis
Most Comfortable
  • Deep and aggressive treads ensure the polyurethane outsole boasts superior traction, even in wet, oily, and dusty situations
  • Anti-Fatigue footbed and dynamic arch support system provide pain alleviation despite how heavy-duty the boot is
  • Padded collar and finger grip pull make it easy and comfortable to take on and off.

Wearing the wrong boots on the job site can feel like torture after a long work day.

If you’ve got plantar fasciitis, the wrong work boots can literally be torture devices.

That stabbing pain near your heel. The pressure on the ball of your foot. The overall agony and foot fatigue.

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. This isn’t just painful, but can cause real damage.

Relieve your suffering with our seven best work boots for plantar fasciitis in 2021.

How Did We Come Up With Our List?

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Since they’re built to be sturdy, it’s difficult to find work boots that can soothe your feet, regardless of whether you even have plantar fasciitis. With a little creativity and a lot of research, we got over this challenge.

Yes, we love doing hands-on research on boots, but we’re all built differently. When a long-suffering welder and warehouse worker tell you that one model of steel toes is better than the other for plantar fasciitis, you listen to them.

7 Best Work Boots for Plantar Fasciitis

Best Overall: Thorogood Moc Toe

Thorogood Moc Toe
The design of the Thorogood American Heritage Moc Toe not only considers the heel pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis, but all the associated problems that typically come with it. Its comfort technology is sophisticated, from the clever lightweight lug design to the protective, soft, and actively supportive footbed. This boot is perfect for alleviating and preventing heel pain.
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The Thorogood Moc Toe boasts several features that prevent fatigue and pain, but they also ease pressure that may already be there. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you know that heel pain can often come at you in the morning after a hard day’s work. 

This boot’s soft cotton lining is loosely woven and prevents damage from abrasion. The composite shank, built right into the outsole, is made from fiberglass. This provides stability that’s far more lightweight than even the lightest steel shank. It’s also shock absorbing and flexible, ideal for you loggers and firemen whose jobs require both sturdiness and agility.

Thanks to the dual-density foam footbed, your foot is cushioned and protected from the pressure of hard floors or being on your feet all day. The cushioned poron insole actively retains your foot shape without dulling each time you use it.

The rubber midsole—one of Thorogood’s distinct trademark features—is bendy and light, while the outsole’s lugs are comfortably unaggressive. Any kind of heel pain can cause additional strain to your ankle and knee, and this shallow tread prevents that. Still, the tread’s creative zig-zag waves provide excellent traction. It works smart, not hard.

Thorogood also makes their own polyurethane outsole, which lasts 25 percent longer than Vibram.

Its upper is made of durable full-grain leather, triple-stitched and Goodyear welted right here in the USA.

What I Like

  • The soft cotton lining prevents abrasion damage.

  • Providing shock-absorbing stability, the fiberglass shank is more flexible and lightweight than a steel shank.

  • The supportive dual density footbed actively maintains the contours of your foot, while also giving the soft comfort needed to alleviate plantar fasciitis. 

  • Thorogood’s own polyurethane outsole features cleverly designed lugs for lightweight traction that protects you from ankle and knee pain related to plantar fasciitis.

  • This full-grain leather boot is made in the USA.

What I Don’t Like

  • During the break-in period, the upper’s triple stitching rubs uncomfortably on the top of your foot.

What Other Reviewers Say

From construction workers to warehouse guys, this highly rated boot is a popular choice for those with plantar fasciitis. True to its reputation, many reviewers are shocked at how light this heavy-duty shoe is.

A few mention that they didn’t experience a break-in period, but most report a short break-in anywhere from two to five days.

Many reviewers agree that this boot runs large, so you’ll want to size down.

The Verdict

The design of the Thorogood Moc Toe not only considers the heel pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis, but all the associated problems that typically come with it. Its comfort technology is sophisticated, from the clever lightweight lug design to the protective, soft, and actively supportive footbed. This boot is perfect for alleviating and preventing heel pain.

Thorogood Moc Toe
The design of the Thorogood American Heritage Moc Toe not only considers the heel pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis, but all the associated problems that typically come with it. Its comfort technology is sophisticated, from the clever lightweight lug design to the protective, soft, and actively supportive footbed. This boot is perfect for alleviating and preventing heel pain.
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Best on a Budget: Skechers Workshire Boot

2.
Skechers Workshire Boot

For a shoe easily found for less than $100, the Skechers Workshire boot offers excellent support and pain alleviation. If you don’t find it perfectly satisfying, experiment with some inserts to fill in any comfort gaps. At this price, additionally shelling out for a pair of new insoles will still have you at a lower price point than the next best thing.

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Sometimes, something as simple as fit can do wonders for pain. The Workshire Boot features a brand-specific sizing called Skechers Relaxed Fit featuring a roomy toe box that secures your heel while also giving effective ventilation. This helps alleviate the swelling and inflammation that plantar fasciitis brings on. 

Despite this support, the air-cooled memory foam provides low resistance, comfort, and flexibility. Pair that with a lightweight and shock-absorbing midsole, and you get a great balance of reinforcement and comfort.

​​

The Workshire Boot is a genuine work boot, with a protective toe and an EH-safe design to safeguard you from electrocution, perfect for linemen and anyone else working with open wires.

What I like

  • The Skechers Relaxed Fit gives a spacious toe box for breathable comfort to combat swelling

  • Its air-cooled memory foam offers soft cushioning and heel support.

  • The midsole is sturdy, shock absorbing, and flexible.

What I Don’t Like

  • Lacking water resistance, this boot isn’t the best choice for outdoor work.

  • The outsole isn’t slip-resistant in wet conditions.

  • With a lifespan of six to 12 months, it isn’t built for the long term.

What Other Reviewers Say

Several reviewers who suffer from plantar fasciitis and general heel pain agree that the Skechers Workshire is the best budget boot for comfort. Even reviewers whose shoe fell apart after six months (the lower end of the average lifespan), mention they’ll buy the same pair again because of how comfortable it is.

A few point out that the boot is comfortable enough for them, but use inserts to get the perfect fit, support, and cushion. 

The Verdict

For a shoe easily found for less than $100, the Skechers Workshire boot offers excellent support and pain alleviation. If you don’t find it perfectly satisfying, experiment with some inserts to fill in any comfort gaps. At this price, additionally shelling out for a pair of new insoles will still have you at a lower price point than the next best thing.

Best on a Budget
Skechers Workshire Boot

For a shoe easily found for less than $100, the Skechers Workshire boot offers excellent support and pain alleviation. If you don’t find it perfectly satisfying, experiment with some inserts to fill in any comfort gaps. At this price, additionally shelling out for a pair of new insoles will still have you at a lower price point than the next best thing.

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Best Steel Toe: Timberland PRO Pit Boss

Timberland PRO Pitboss Steel Toe
If you think it’s impossible to find a steel toe boot that’s equally as comfortable as a non-safety work shoe, allow the Timberland PRO Pit Boss to prove you wrong. Its asymmetrical toe is breathable and roomy, while Timberland’s Anti-Fatigue Technology brings energy back to your foot throughout the day.
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The Timberland PRO Pitboss is equipped with an asymmetrical steel toe, which is roomier and more unobtrusive than a symmetrical one, with just as much protection. It also boasts a rugged nubuck leather construction, Goodyear welting, and a slip-resistant outsole that won’t mark the floors.

Despite this robustness, it’s virtually pressure-free, making it an efficient work boot for those with plantar fasciitis. For support and structure, its contoured shock-diffusion plate disperses heel discomfort and inflammation. Meanwhile, the open-cell foam footbed is soft and antimicrobial. The shock-absorbing midsole is also pretty flexible for such a big and robust shoe.

Timberland PRO is known for their proprietary Anti-Fatigue technology, which brings energy back to your foot. This helps reduce the pain generated from plantar fasciitis over time.

What I Like

  • The asymmetrical steel toe provides roomy and breathable protection.

  • Its sophisticated comfort system includes shock diffusion and energy-returning Anti-Fatigue technology. This eases pain generated by plantar fasciitis and provides more comfort over time.

  • It’s a rugged and protective shoe, featuring a durable nubuck leather upper, a non-marking slip-resistant outsole, and a Goodyear welt construction.

What I Don’t Like

  • They run small and narrow, so definitely size up.

What Other Reviewers Say

The reviews of this boot are remarkably consistent. The Pitboss is a steel toe boot that doesn’t feel as heavy or burdensome as steel toe boots tend to be. Additionally, the break-in period is fast and easy—just a quarter of a mile walk around the neighborhood, in one case. 

Another consensus? They run small and narrow. If you don’t size up, the back seam will likely irritate your ankle.

The Verdict

If you think it’s impossible to find a steel toe boot that’s equally as comfortable as a non-safety work shoe, allow the Timberland PRO Pitboss to prove you wrong. Its asymmetrical toe is breathable and roomy, while Timberland’s Anti-Fatigue Technology brings energy back to your foot throughout the day.

Timberland PRO Pitboss Steel Toe
If you think it’s impossible to find a steel toe boot that’s equally as comfortable as a non-safety work shoe, allow the Timberland PRO Pit Boss to prove you wrong. Its asymmetrical toe is breathable and roomy, while Timberland’s Anti-Fatigue Technology brings energy back to your foot throughout the day.
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Best Safety Toe: Ariat Stryker 360

4.
Ariat Stryker 360

If you’re an electrician, a wireman, or are looking for an EH-rated safety toe without the extra weight and warmth, go for the Ariat Stryker 360. Its posture-promoting ATS comfort technology also alleviates heel and knee pressure.

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Armed with a carbon safety toe, the Ariat Stryker 360 offers exceptionally tough protection, while also being lighter than both metals and composites. Also, it doesn’t get as warm as steel toes, but is still EH rated. It’s an outstanding work boot for an electrician or a wireman.

Ariat is known for infusing athletic shoe technology into their boots. Their ATS comfort system supports and energizes your foot as you move, thanks to its rebounding cushion insole and a lightweight, shock-absorbent dual-density foam midsole. 

Not only does this reduce pressure and fatigue, but it promotes good posture. This is an especially helpful quality if your plantar fasciitis is putting pressure on your knees, 

The moisture-wicking footbed ensures a dry and odor-free boot at the end of a long day.

What I Like

  • The carbon safety toe is lighter and cooler than metal and composites, but still offers EH rated protection.

  • Ariat’s ATS comfort technology reduces the heel pain and inflammation of plantar fasciitis, and also promotes good posture. 

  • This shoe is impressively waterproof, even in heavy rain.

What I Don’t Like

  • Its large silhouette makes this boot quite bulky. It’s still light, but it’s difficult to get through tight spaces and to discern just how much power you have on your feet.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers love the lightweight protection of this Ariat. Many rave about the easy break-in period, comparing it to that of an athletic sneaker. 

A few reviewers point out that the lightness in weight combined with the bulky shape and strong toe can be confusing. One farmer mentions that he once tried to separate one part of his wooden fence from the other by kicking it off, accidentally breaking one of the pieces of wood in half.

The Verdict

If you’re an electrician, a wireman, or are looking for an EH-rated safety toe without the extra weight and warmth, go for the Ariat Stryker 360. Its posture-promoting ATS comfort technology also alleviates heel and knee pressure.

Ariat Stryker 360
Ariat Stryker 360

If you’re an electrician, a wireman, or are looking for an EH-rated safety toe without the extra weight and warmth, go for the Ariat Stryker 360. Its posture-promoting ATS comfort technology also alleviates heel and knee pressure.

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Best Composite Toe: Carhartt CMF6366 Composite Toe

5.
Carhartt CMF6366 Composite Toe

If your plantar fasciitis is affecting your joints, go for the Carhartt CMF6366. It’s also an excellent boot if you need a safety toe that’s lightweight, EH-rated, and meets all the safety standards as a steel toe.

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The composite toe on the Carhartt CMF6366 is 30% lighter than a steel toe, which obviously makes moving around easier. In addition to this, composite toes help reduce leg fatigue. If your plantar fasciitis is affecting your ankle or knees, this is a good shoe to consider.

Still, this boot meets the exact same safety standards as a shoe with a metal safety toe, even meeting EH standards of up to 18,000 volts in dry conditions.

On the pain relief front, this shoe combines stability and comfort qualities. It has an EVA midsole, similar to a trail running shoe, to deflect high-impact stepping. The polyurethane footbed is low density, with high elasticity, and soft texture. 

It’s also equipped with a rubber outsole and heel bumper, which keeps you balanced even on uneven terrain. You can walk over rocky surfaces without putting pressure on your heel, toes, ankles, and joints.

What I Like

  • The composite toe is lighter and cooler than metal, while still meeting the same safety standards as a steel toe.

  • The EVA midsole, PU footbed, rubber outsole, and heel bumper provide relief from heel pain and joint pressure.

  • Carhartt’s FastDry technology wicks away sweat, which can aggravate plantar fasciitis. 

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s embarrassingly squeaky the first few weeks in.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers praise this boot’s superior arch support, quick breakin time, and spacious toe box. Even those with extra wide feet find the Carhartt comfortable and roomy.

Reviewers who have worn this boot for far longer than I have report a two to three-year lifespan with regular use. 

A common complaint is the squeaky insole. A few people claim to have returned the boot because of this, but I think they should have given it a few weeks. It eventually goes away once it’s perfectly conformed to your foot.

The Verdict

If your plantar fasciitis is affecting your joints, go for the Carhartt CMF6366. It’s also an excellent boot if you need a safety toe that’s lightweight, EH-rated, and meets all the safety standards as a steel toe.

Best Composite Toe
Carhartt CMF6366 Composite Toe

If your plantar fasciitis is affecting your joints, go for the Carhartt CMF6366. It’s also an excellent boot if you need a safety toe that’s lightweight, EH-rated, and meets all the safety standards as a steel toe.

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Most Comfortable: Wolverine Overpass Boot

6.
Wolverine Overpass Boot

Comfort plays a big factor in alleviating pain from plantar fasciitis. The Wolverine Overpass Boot is breathable, ergonomic, and flexible in the outsole, which provides a custom level of long-lasting relief.

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The superior comfort offered by the Wolverine Overpass Boot comes from several sources.

The PU midsole is durably shock absorbing, while the OrthoLite footbed’s open-cell structure is airy, soft, and compresses less than five percent than regular foam. The result is ergonomic comfort and long-term cushioning.

OrthoLite technology is also 95% to 100% breathable, letting air circulate around and in the foam. This provides moisture-wicking and cooling properties. As mentioned, letting your feet get too sweaty in boots can aggravate your plantar fasciitis. 

It’s built with Wolverine’s Contour Welt technology and MultiShox Comfort System, which utilizes individual compression pads that absorb shock, return energy, and allows the rubber sole to flex with your foot like an athletic shoe.

What I Like

  • A clever combination of ergonomic technologies provide nuanced and long-lasting comfort.

  • Wolverine’s Contour Welt Technology ensures the rubber sole bends and flexes with your foot like a sneaker does.

  • Waterproof membrane effectively keeps splashes and rain from seeping into the boot.

What I Don’t Like

  • It’s stiff in the beginning, but this goes away after a few days.

What Other Reviewers Say

Reviewers love that this boot’s ergonomic qualities provide comfort that’s specific to your foot shape. One even points out how impressively soothing these boots are to his aches and pains, since he’s 300lbs and suffers significant joint and heel pressure.

A few reviewers mention that the soles aren’t as grippy as others, especially in dusty situations.

The Verdict

Comfort plays a big factor in alleviating pain from plantar fasciitis. The Wolverine Overpass Boot is breathable, ergonomic, and flexible in the outsole, which provides a custom level of long-lasting relief.

Most Comfortable: Wolverine Overpass Boot
Wolverine Overpass Boot

Comfort plays a big factor in alleviating pain from plantar fasciitis. The Wolverine Overpass Boot is breathable, ergonomic, and flexible in the outsole, which provides a custom level of long-lasting relief.

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Best Non Slip: Timberland PRO Rigmaster

7.
Timberland PRO Rigmaster

Though you have to work to get there, the Timberland PRO Rigmaster is a high-traction boot option that, eventually, soothes pain, even if you have plantar fasciitis. If you work in slippery conditions, go for this rugged piece of footwear.

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The deep, aggressive, and durable treads on the Timberland PRO Rigmaster can fully guarantee you won’t slip and slide in wet, oily, and dusty situations. Despite how heavy-duty its traction-strong polyurethane outsole is, it miraculously won’t mark your floors.

The Anti-Fatigue Technology insole features Timberland’s proprietary inverted cone foam, which absorbs shock, then brings that back to your foot as you walk.  

The arch design is lightweight and flexible, serving up support to every foot shape and level of arch.

So yes, thanks to this reliable cushioning, you can stomp around in these slip-resistant heavy-duty outsoles without putting pressure on your hotspots. The caveat here is that the break-in process can last up to a month.

What I Like

  • Thanks to its deep and aggressive treads, the outsole of this boot boasts superior traction, even in wet, oily, and dusty situations. 

  • The Anti-Fatigue footbed and dynamic arch support system ensure that plantar fasciitis pain is lightened despite how heavy-duty the boot is.

  • It features a padded collar and finger grip pulls making it easy and comfortable to take this robust boot on and off.

What I Don’t Like

  • The break-in process is long and painful.

What Other Reviewers say

Most reviewers agree that the Timberland PRO Rigmaster is the best deep-treaded shoe if you have heel pain or inflammation. 

They also agree that the break-in period is too long.

If you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis, you don’t want to overdo it when you’re breaking this boot in. Many suggest wearing them every other day, with each session lasting as long as you can, without pressure mounting. Some even suggest having someone who doesn’t have foot inflammation to break them in for you.

Regardless, it’s an involved process that many deem worth it.

The Verdict

Though you have to work to get there, the Timberland PRO Rigmaster is a high-traction boot option that, eventually, soothes pain, even if you have plantar fasciitis. If you work in slippery conditions, go for this rugged piece of footwear.

Key Things to Look For When Buying Work Boots for Plantar Fasciitis

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When you’re looking for work boots, but suffer from plantar fasciitis, you absolutely must consider the following questions:

  • Where do you feel the worst pain? Everyone who suffers from this condition will feel inflammation in the midfoot and pressure in the heel. If it’s worse in the heel, you must prioritize support and softness in that area. If the midsection is especially inflamed, you need breathability and room.
Diagram of foot to show how boots should fit
  • Do you feel pain outside of your feet? Often, plantar fasciitis can also indirectly affect your ankles or knees. If your chosen boot is only alleviating your feet, the task is incomplete.
  • Seek medical help. Bad plantar fasciitis can lead to other problems, like bone spurs, which will make the pain worse. If it’s unbearable, you can’t bend your foot downward, or you can’t walk normally, see a doctor. 

Heal Your Heels

The Thorogood provides the most comprehensive pain treatment, while the Skechers is affordable and flexible. 

Thorogood Moc Toe

The Thorogood Moc Toe is an excellent value buy work boot. While I don’t think it’s as stylish as other alternatives, lightweight features like a fiberglass shank and Poron insole boost the rugged durability while cutting cost and weight. If you’re looking for a relatively inexpensive moc toe work boot, the Thorogood Moc Toe is my top choice.

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If you’re looking for a safety toe, the Timberland PRO Pit Boss is a steel toe without the bulk of a steel toe. Meanwhile, the Ariat’s carbon toe and the Carhartt’s composite toe are both lighter and less prone to heating up than metal protection.

Thanks to its ergonomic approach, the Wolverine Overpass is comfortable to wear all day. Work in slippery conditions? The heavy treads on the Timberland PRO Rigmaster have you covered.

Soothe your pain and work hard long days, even in the face of plantar fasciitis.

FAQs

Do boots help plantar fasciitis?

Yes, boots with the right support and comfort systems can reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis by alleviating stress and inflammation. Without this, the plantar fascia will inflame more.

Are Ariat work boots good for plantar fasciitis?

Yes, Ariat infuses work boots with athletic shoe technology. Many of their models offer arch support and all-day comfort.

What can you not do with plantar fasciitis?

While ice packs and cold compresses are a good way to relieve inflammation pain, never apply pure ice directly to your heel. This can create a backflow of fluid in the lymphatic system and make the inflammation worse.

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