Best Shoes for Heel Pain 2019 Reviewed & Rated

Heel pain is more common than you think, and if you are reading this article, then you probably suffer from it in some form. There are many things which you can do to combat the discomfort of heel pain, but one of the most effective is investing in and choosing the best shoes for heel pain.

Choosing the correct footwear is essential to our daily comfort. A pair of shoes which fits badly is only going to irritate our feet, but that irritation is made so much worse when heel pain is already present. But, there is hope.

Heel pain is not something which is confined to one type of person. It is not defined by age, gender, or physical activity. Heel pain can afflict anyone at any time, and it is often suggested that surgery is the best option. Well, we are here to tell you that there is another option. You can forego the risks, cost, and discomfort of surgery in exchange for the right shoe. A shoe which will take the pain away and allow you to walk and run in comfort.

If you know what to look for, you can find a shoe which will bring you comfort. So, what should you look for?

Best Women’s Shoes for Heel Pain

What are the Causes of Heel Pain?

Before we choose the correct shoe for your heel pain, we need to know a little about what causes heel pain. Some heel pain comes with wearing the wrong shoes; some pain can be about the way you walk; while some pain can only be solved by surgery. We are not doctors and do not claim to be, but if your pain persists even after you change your shoes, you should consult a medical professional. Thankfully, most heel pain can be solved with a few simple changes. So, let’s look at some of the main causes.

  • Badly Fitting Shoes

This is one of the most common causes of heel pain. If you have recently developed heel pain, then it may be because of your shoes, and you should start there. If you have recently bought new shoes, they may not fit you correctly. It may also be that your feet have changed size and shape over time (as they do when we grow older), and you have continued wearing your old shoes.

The main culprits of a badly fitting shoe are shoes which are too wide or tight. When you are trying shoes on, even the shoes that you wear every day, you should make sure that they do not squeeze any part of your foot. They should fit snug, but they should not constrict your foot. Your toes should also have room to spread out in the toe area.

Shoes which lack the correct support can also lead to heel pain. There should be enough cushioning and support in the shoe to hold your foot in a natural position which cushioning it from any impacts and shocks. Thankfully, if heel pain begins to develop with new shoes, you can get rid of them and invest in more comfortable shoes. We will tell you soon what you need to look for, but let’s look at some other causes of heel pain.

  • Medical Conditions

Plantar fasciitis is another common cause of heel pain. The ligament which runs from your heel to your forefoot can become inflamed and tear slightly. Haglund’s deformity is when a bone on the back of your foot swells and rubs against your shoe. Achilles tendonitis comes from overuse of the Achilles tendon and gives pain when the foot is pushed against the ground. Retrocalcaneal Bursitis is when the bursa between your help bone and Achilles tendon becomes inflamed.

You can also have heel pain if you fracture your heel bone. If you have fallen recently or impacted you heel in some way, then you may have to rest it for a few weeks to heel. If you do have any pain in your heel, then we always recommend speaking to a medical professional.


Now that we have talked about the possible causes of heel pain, we can get down to some of the cures. Of course, not everyone will react in the same way. Not everything may work for everyone, but by following some of my tips, you will have the best chance of alleviating your heel pain and cushioning is the best place to start.

  • Cushioning

Cushioning may not be able to solve your heel pain, but it will go a long way to combatting it and is one of the most important factors in getting rid of the pain. If you have a medical condition, cushioning will take away impacts which can worsen the pain. If your pain is caused by impacts on your heel, then the added shock absorption is also going to help. One of the most common causes of heel pain which we have come across is a lack of cushioning for the heel. No matter what the problem is, the correct cushioning can help.

The most important area, of course, is the heel. Depending on the type of shoe, you may need more cushioning. If the shoe has a raised heel of any sort, then you are going to want more cushioning inside. The same goes for athletic shoes where the impact is going to be greater. If the heel is elevated, look for some compression to absorb any impacts.

The heel is important, but it is also important that you have to cushion across the entirety of your shoe. If your entire foot is cushioned, then any extra pressure is taken off of your heel. Look for good support in the arch of your shoe, especially if you have high arches. If you have a lot of pain in your heel, then look for cushioning in both the insole and the outsole.

A good foam in the insole will cushion your foot while taking the pressure off of it. With the outsole, look for rubber or synthetic materials which cushion and support you. The more cushioning you have, the less pain you will feel.

  • Support

Cushioning only works if you have good support in your shoe too. The outsole will go a long way to giving you the support and stability you need. Good traction will keep your foot from moving around too much and will limit the impact on your heel. There are also some specific heel technologies to look out for which will better support your heel and lessen the pain.

The heel counter is a rigid piece of material which sits inside the heel of your shoe, around the area below your ankle. This part of the shoe also holds foam to cushion and support your heel. You will find this support in an athletic shoe, but we have found that you can find them in all designs of the shoe if you look for them, and they are very helpful in reducing heel pain.

  • Flexibility

The cushioning and support of the shoe are prime factors in alleviating heel pain, but there is more for you to consider. Both of these factors can be rendered useless if you do not have enough flexibility in your shoes.

The first part of the shoe to think about is the outsole. Your outsole is the first defense against impacts. As soon as your foot hits the ground, the outsole will absorb the impact through some cushioning, but also through the flexibly of the sole.

If the outsole were completely rigid, the impact would shudder into your foot. With some flexibility, the sole will bend and curve, depending on the impact. Pick up the shoe, before buying it, and flex the sole. It should have some flexibility to it. Walk around in the shoe and feel how it reacts to different surfaces. Look for grooves which will provide traction but also flexibility.

The flexibility applies to the entire shoe, but you should also be looking out for some rigidity in the heel. The heel should be able to flex as your foot is placed on the ground, but it should not be able to twist. You want some flexibility to twist in the midsole to give you a great range of motion, but the heel should feel more rigid.

  • Do You Need Laces?

In my opinion, laces are very important to have in your shoe. Slip-on shoes are very handy for getting on and off, but they do not give you the support which you need to get rid of that nasty heel pain. When looking for a shoe, you need one which gives you a tight fit around your entire foot, and especially around the heel. The best way to do this is with laces. Laces give you the tightest fit for your heel while allowing you to not over-tighten the fit.

The better the fit for your heel, the less chance you have of your heel moving around, being impacted, and developing pain. Having your foot in the correct position also ensures that your foot is hitting the ground correctly when you are walking or running. The laces also help to stop your shoes from stretching outwards like slip-on shoes tend to do.

  • Can I Wear Heels?

Should women ditch the heels? Or, can you wear a heel comfortably if you suffer from heel pain?

The unfortunate truth is that you are better ditching the heels. A heel concentrates the pressure into a smaller point on your heel than a flat shoe would. Heels also tighten your calf muscles and tendons. If your heel pain is derived from the muscles or tendons, then you should stay as far away from heels as possible.

If you do want to wear heels and put up with any pain, then the shorter the heel, the better. A shorter heel puts less pressure on the ball of your foot. You can also add some extra cushioning to the heel of the shoe. Look for a foam or gel pad which gives you maximum cushioning while still being able to fit inside your shoe comfortably.

  • So, I Should Choose Flat Shoes?

Well, no. You want a shoe which has some support for your foot, especially the arch, to take any undue pressure off of your heel. Flat shoes are not designed to cradle and support your foot. Wearing flat shoes can be as bad as wearing heels. They can impact your muscles and tendons as much as heels can.

When you are lifting your foot from the ground, a flat shoe is so lacking in support that your foot has to work a lot harder. This puts more staring on your foot and heel. For the best support, look for something which gives support along the entirety of the shoe.


Heel pain may be something you have to live with your whole life, or it could be something which is solved by a slight change in your footwear; either way, a great pair of shoes can help to combat the pain. We also recommend taking care of your feet to combat the pain. Rest them when you can, massage them when needed, add heat or cold to relieve pain, stretch and exercise, and consult a podiatrist.

The best shoes may not fix the problem, but they will go a long way in relieving the pain. They will make walking and running manageable again. We do not claim to be a professional when it comes to foot pain, but we have suffered enough heel pain to know what works. The key is to focus on your entire foot and not just the heel. Pay attention to getting the best fit and support for your whole foot, and you will be making a stand against the pain in your heel.

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