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5 Best Men’s Hiking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis | 2020 Reviews

man hiking on trail

Depending on where you are in your plantar fasciitis healing journey, you may or may not need arch support. During an active case of plantar fasciitis, it’s essential to get as much R&R as possible to allow the connective tissue to heal. Once your planta fascia begins to recover, it’s best to restrengthen your arch. This is done by choosing a good supportive hiking shoe without too much arch support. Now, on the flip side of the coin, arch support is good during a PF flare-up. The reason arch support is good during an active case is to relieve strain on the plantar fascia while it heals. In this guide, we share the best men’s hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis.

In the chart below, you’ll find shoes with arch support and others with minimal arch support. For PF sufferers, there are more important features than arch support, such as:

  • Ample shock absorption
  • Thick EVA midsoles
  • Heel cups
  • Air cushioning
  • Rebound
  • A chassis for torsional stability
  • A shank for support between the heel and forefoot
  • Supportive outsole

Let’s get started with an overview of the five shoes before moving onto the detailed reviews of each. After the shoes, we share a good orthotic insert for hiking shoes you may want to consider for added relief.

Top 5 Men’s Hiking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Shoe Description
#1) Oboz Men’s Bridger Low B-Dry Waterproof Hiking Shoe

  • Wide Width(s) Available: Yes (Wide)
  • Material: Waterproof Nubuck Leather & Abrasion-Resistant Textile Upper
  • Sole: O FIT Insole, High-density EVA, Granite Peak Outsole
  • Model: P1294971
  • Price: $$
#2) Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe

  • Wide Width(s) Available: Yes (Wide)
  • Material: Performance Suede Leather and Mesh Upper
  • Sole: EVA Midsole, Air-Cushioned Heel, Vibram TC5+ Sole
  • Model: J08871
  • Price: $
#3) Hoka One One Men’s Speedgoat Gore-Tex

  • Wide Width(s) Available: No
  • Material: Water-Resistant Mesh Upper, GORE-TEX Waterproof Bootie
  • Sole: Vibram Megagrip Rubber Outsole, Lightweight Foam Midsole
  • Model: 1106530
  • Price: $$$
#4) Hoka One One Men’s Challenger Low Gore-Tex

  • Wide Width(s) Available: Yes (Wide)
  • Material: Waterproof Nubuck Leather Upper, Gore-Tex Waterproof Bootie
  • Sole: CMEVA Foam Midsole, Podular Outsole, HOKA ONE ONE Cushioning
  • Model: 1106517
  • Price: $$
#5) Altra Men’s Lone Peak Trail Running Shoe

  • Wide Width(s) Available: No
  • Material: Durable Quick-Dry Air Mesh Upper
  • Sole: Dual Layer EVA / A-Bound w/ StoneGuard Midsole, MaxTrac Rubber with TrailClaw Outsole
  • Model: AL0A4PE5
  • Price: $

Reviews of the Best Men’s Hiking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Of the brands in this guide, Merrell is the most well-known, yet there are definitely some lesser-known, up-and-coming hiking shoe brands manufacturing excellent hiking footwear. The shoes in this guide offer you a range of trail runners and pure hiking shoes built for tackling all types of terrain.

One feature we look for when compiling our guides – especially for hiking – is a thick sole. Since plantar fasciitis pain typically starts in the heel with stabbing pain, the last thing you want to do is exasperate the issue by choosing a thin-soled shoe. Shoes with thick soles prevent rocks and uneven terrain from poking through the sole to your foot.

Below, we share detailed reviews of each of the five shoes from the chart above along with the pros & cons of owning them. The pros & cons sections are helpful to find positive and negative trends we identified in current owner reviews. Plus, we like to throw in the most important points to consider before choosing the best shoe for your foot.

#1) Oboz Men’s Bridger Low B-Dry Waterproof Hiking Shoe

The Oboz Bridger hiking shoe is one of the only models on the market that truly rivals the Merrell Moab 2, and there are some features that make us like it more for plantar fasciitis sufferers. From the footbed to the outsole, this shoe is literally action-packed with comfort features most other shoes on the market don’t offer.

For starters, the Oboz O FIT Insole is one of the most comfortable you’ll find, and it gives you an excellent chance of skipping the purchase of a separate orthotic insert. The O Fit Insole blends EVA pods, medium-density EVA, and a high-density EVA heel cup for maximum shock absorption, rebound, stabilization, and support right out of the box. These are all ideal features to look for when shopping for plantar fasciitis footwear.

Next, let’s go over the Oboz Granite Peak sole. The midsole features a stabilizing nylon shank, single-density EVA midsole, and a TPU chassis for torsional stability. For people with flat feet, PF, and overpronation issues, this is an excellent shoe. Finally, the Granite Peak outsole features deep lugs and a unique tread pattern to help you grip all types of surfaces with confidence.

A couple of final features we like are the rubber heel counter that protects your heel & keeps the shoe snug against your foot, along with the protective rubber toe cap. All in all, Oboz considered just about every worthwhile design element when it constructed the Bridger shoe.

Pros

  • Excellent all-around support for plantar fasciitis
  • Ample ankle support
  • The shoes fit like a glove, especially in the heel
  • Approved by big guys over 6’2″
  • A fairly short break-in period
  • They’re definitely built to last
  • Superb traction
  • They keep the feet dry in nasty weather

Cons

  • They may feel stiff out of the box
  • The shoe might feel narrow (especially if you’re used to Keen)
  • You may prefer a shoe with more flex that prevents heel lift

#2) Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe

The safest bet in this guide for plantar fasciitis is the Moab 2 hiking shoe. Merrell’s Moab 2 is well-known for being one of the most reliable and comfortable hiking shoes on the planet. There are several models available, plus Merrell offers them for both men and women. The toughest edition of the Moab 2 is the waterproof version with Merrell’s M Select DRY membrane that keeps moisture out while allowing it to escape.

As far as comfort, the beauty of this shoe for PF lies in the sole. Merrell starts with an EVA contoured footbed designed to give your foot both zonal arch and heel support. It then builds upon the footbed with a molded nylon arch shank and additional air cushioning in the heel for a cloud-like feel on the trail.

Once you move past the footbed, you’ll find a nice thick EVA midsole and premium Vibram TC5+ outsole. The Vibram outsole in the Moab 2 is one feature we like more than the Oboz Granite Peak outsole. We find that all the best footwear for PF from tactical boots to cowboy boots also feature custom Vibram outsoles. Lastly, the Moab 2 is built to take a beating and tackle any terrain it faces, unlike the trail runners in this guide.

Pros

  • The most positive reports by PF sufferers of all the shoes in this guide
  • Extremely durable materials
  • Good arch support
  • A good shoe for all outdoor activities including hiking, fishing, camping, and hunting
  • Great traction in snowy and slushy conditions
  • Solid footing on all types of terrain
  • Little to no break-in period

Cons

  • Some complaints about Merrell’s waterproof membrane not working as well as Gore-Tex
  • They tend to run small
  • The waterproof version doesn’t breathe as well as the Moab 2 Ventilator (Click Here to check them out)

#3) Hoka One One Men’s Speedgoat Gore-Tex

Now for the best trail running shoes for plantar fasciitis in our guide. If you don’t require the level of protection offered by the two shoes above, the Speedgoat is an amazingly comfortable – and probably the best all-around – shoe offered by Hoka One One. There are currently two models of Speedgoat available, with and without Gore-Tex. Plus, it’s available in both men’s and women’s editions.

The key to this shoe for plantar fasciitis is its neutral thick-sole design that gives your heel more than enough padding to prevent & ease plantar fasciitis pain. However, considering there’s less arch support in this shoe, you may prefer to add your own arch support until after your recovery.

A couple of key upgrades in the latest Speedgoat are the wider forefoot to accommodate wider feet and the upgraded foam in the midsole for an even more responsive feel than the previous Speedgoat offered. One feature we love in this shoe is the Vibram Megagrip outsole that gives you the surest grip on all terrains, particularly when running downhill. All in all, the Gore-Tex version is one of the most diesel trail runners on the market that’s built for all terrains.

Pros

  • The latest Speedgoat model features a wider forefoot to take care of the complaints about previous versions being too narrow
  • Very grippy lugs
  • They blow through snow, slush, and frozen puddles with ease
  • Well-balanced
  • Very comfortable right out of the box
  • Ortholite footbeds included
  • All-day comfort for people who are on their feet 10-12 hours a day

Cons

  • The most expensive shoe in our guide
  • Less protective than Merrell and Oboz hiking shoes
  • Some sizing issues reported

#4) Hoka One One Men’s Challenger Low Gore-Tex

The second Hoka One One model we’ve really come to like is the Challenger Low model. Compared to the Speedgoat, the Challenger Low is a more versatile shoe that’s an excellent choice for hiking, walking, and trail running. Additionally, the Challenger Low is available in wide sizes, while the Speedgoat is not. For travelers who do a lot of sightseeing and hiking, the Challenger Low is a fitting option that cuts down on the number of shoes you need to pack.

Similar to all Hoka One One shoes, the Challenger Low features a thick oversized EVA midsole that cradles your foot from heel to toe. Additional comfort touches in the sole include the signature Hoka One One cushioning and CMEVA foam for more cushioning at the most common impact points. One drawback to this shoe compared to the Speedgoat is it skips the Vibram Megragrip outsole, which makes it slightly less ideal for trail running.

Lastly, keep in mind that the upper material is nubuck leather with the same Gore-Tex waterproof bootie featured in the Speedgoat. Depending on your planned uses, you may prefer the leather upper in the Challenger Low over the open mesh upper in the Speedgoat.

Pros

  • More versatile and better for casual use than the Speedgoat
  • They keep the feet warm and dry in cold, wet weather
  • An excellent choice for travelers who hike during their travels
  • Comfortable for being on your feet 8+ hours per day
  • Good for fall and winter hikes
  • Tons of cushioning throughout the footbed
  • Excellent for hiking over rocky terrain

Cons

  • They may get warm during summer months
  • The leather upper is less ideal for trail running (Click Here for the Challenger mesh version)
  • No Vibram outsole

#5) Altra Men’s Lone Peak Trail Running Shoe

Last but not least is one of our favorite zero drop shoes for plantar fasciitis. Compared to Merrell and Oboz shoes, this shoe provides less arch support, but the level of cushioning from heel to toe is where this shoe really shines. Similar to a Hoka One One shoe, you may want to consider adding arch support if you’re still experiencing pain during the healing phase, however, you may find that the thick cushioning in this shoe is all you really need to keep PF pain at bay.

Some of the features we really like in this shoe are the roomy FootShape toe box, the super-soft EVA / A-Bound midsole, and the strategically-placed canted lugs in the TrailClaw outsole. Both veteran and beginner trail runners will appreciate the high level of traction at toe-off.

Several final highlights are the integrated StoneGurard to keep out gravel, Altra’s signature gaiter trap tech for quickly attaching gaiters, and the trimmed-down upper in the heel for more flexibility & breathability. Finally, at the time of this writing, the Lone Peak is the most affordable of the five shoes in our guide.

Pros

  • You may find that the zero-drop Lone Peak eliminates the need for an orthotic insert
  • Great for hiking in the woods and over rocks
  • Superb downhill traction
  • The very user-friendly lacing system
  • Spacious toe box for people with wide feet and PF
  • Great walking/trail running hybrid shoe
  • No feeling of rocks poking through the rugged soles

Cons

  • Not the best choice for people with high arches
  • Runs a bit wide
  • You might not like the trimmed down upper in the latest version compared to previous models

Bottom Line

These five are currently the best men’s hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis on the market. Merell Moab and Oboz Bridger shoes are the best for tackling all terrains because they’ll provide your foot with the most protection. Additionally, both shoes offer the most pertinent comfort and supportive features to look for when shopping for plantar fasciitis footwear.

As far as trail running, Hoka One One and Altra are the leaders in that department for PF sufferers. A couple of other worthy brands that you may want to consider are Keen and Salomon, though, you’re more likely to need to purchase an orthotic insert if you take that route.

Best Insoles for Hiking Shoes

As promised, we want to share our top insoles for hiking shoes for plantar fasciitis sufferers. Currently, Superfeet Green Insoles are our favorite for folks who require additional arch support during the healing phase. These are great to add to your existing hiking shoes if you feel as though they’re too flat or until you get your PF pain under control:

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