If you have plantar fasciitis, walking barefoot is against doctor’s orders. Podiatrists recommend investing in high-arched, cushioned flip flops and sport sandals that take the pressure off your inflamed areas. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best flip flops for plantar fasciitis.
For years, orthotic sandals and shoes got a bad rap for not being stylish. Thick-soled and clunky (but so, so comfy), they were often thought of as “old lady shoes.” Thankfully, shoe brands heard our pleas for more cute looks, and you can now find sandals and shoes for plantar fasciitis that are just as cool as any other sandal, but comfier. Even better? Buying orthotic shoes no longer breaks the bank. The sandals below range from $20-$140, so you don’t have to spend your paycheck for foot pain relief.
What are the best flip flops for plantar fasciitis?
These orthotic styles are great for walking around the house or running errands without foot pain.
- Best flip flops for plantar fasciitis : Crocs Kadee II Flip Flops
- Best dressy flip flops for plantar fasciitis : FitFlop Women’s Leather Lattice Surfa Floral Flip Flops
- Best stabilizing flip flops for plantar fasciitis : Gravity Defyer Mary Women’s Sandals
- Best orthotic flip flops : Vionic Tide II Orthotic Sandals
- Best dressy orthotic flip flops : Vionic Bella Orthotic Sandals
- Best strappy sport sandal for plantar fasciitis : Skechers Reggae Cup Oh Snap Sandal
- Best sport slides for plantar fasciitis : OOFOS Ooahh Luxe Slide Sandal
- Best orthotic slide sandals : Birkenstock Arizona Orthotic Sandals
You can also check out:
- 28 Best Sandals for Plantar Fasciitis in 2021 That You’ll Love Wearing
- 13 Best Dress Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
- 10 Orthotic Sandals That Are as Pretty as They Are Supportive
What sandals do podiatrists recommend for plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue connecting your toes and your heel becomes inflamed. These “flare ups” can be caused by certain exercises, obesity, age, and simply having flat feet. Doctors recommend treating plantar fasciitis with special stretches and wearing orthotic shoes whenever you can.
According to NYC podiatrist, Dr Emily Splichal, DPM, MS, CES, the best way to treat plantar fasciitis is to take the pressure off the affected area, and the best way to do that is to wear a shoe with ample arch support. “Typically in acute plantar fasciitis you want to look for a sandal that will take stress off of the arch or plantar fascia. A sandal from a brand like Vionic or Aetrex has built-in medial arch support and can take stress off of the foot and fascia.”
Are sandals bad for plantar fasciitis?
That depends on the sandal. Plenty of sandals and flip flops out there have little to no support — those can cause a flare-up or worsen your existing plantar fasciitis.
“In acute plantar fasciitis a sandal that is totally flat and thin can increase stress to the plantar fascia and heel,” says Dr. Splichal. “This increased stress can increase symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis such as sharp pain in the heel or along the arch.”
While it’s easy to assume sneaker-like sandals are the best option for stability and pain relief, Dr. Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, claims the strappier styles are just as effective. “The strappier the sandal the better, because it holds your feet in so you don’t have to over grip with your toe muscles. If the straps are adjustable that’s a plus, so this way you can accommodate for anything individualized like bunions, hammertoes, or a wide foot.”
What brand of shoes do podiatrists recommend for plantar fasciitis?
“Typically anything that takes stress off of the foot or controls flat feet (over-pronation) can provide relief in acute plantar fasciitis,” says Dr. Splichal. “There are many good sandal options with arch support which means that if you have plantar fasciitis in warmer months you are not limited to only sneakers.”
Here are all the shoe brands we love that have orthotic sandals for plantar fasciitis:
- Dr. Scholl’s
See more of our best product recommendations.
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Crocs Kadee II Flip Flops
Best flip flops For Plantar Fasciitis
Buy at Amazon, starting at $18.71
Why we like them:
- 11,000+ 5-star reviews
- Croslite foam footbed
- 16 colors and prints
When it comes to sporty comfort, you can always trust Crocs. More than 11,000 Amazon users gave these Kadee II flip flops 5-star reviews, many which claim to have found relief from their painful plantar fasciitis symptoms by simply wearing these sandals. Constructed of Croslite foam and a soft toe post, they evenly distribute your weight to avoid pressure on your most inflamed areas. Unlike some styles, these flip flops are orthotic without being bulky, and are lightweight enough to take anywhere. Check out all the colors — there are 16 of them!
Happy customer: “My PT told me to get a pair of Crocs for my plantar fasciitis condition. I have been wearing these for three weeks now and they have made a huge improvement in managing my pain. I carry these with me everywhere… I plan to keep them at work to use during the day.“
FitFlop Women’s Leather Lattice Surfa Floral Flip Flops
Best Dressy Flip Flops For Plantar Fasciitis
Buy at Amazon, starting at $40.88
Why we like them:
- 100% leather
- Microwobbleboard midsoles
- APMA Seal of Acceptance
If you want orthotic flip flops with some interesting detail, these floral lattice FlitFlops are a pretty option that will make your feet feel cushioned and cared for. Microwobbleboard midsoles — custom to FlitFlops — have a seamless arched contour and hold your foot in place, ideal features for those suffering from plantar fasciitis. They received the APMA Seal of Acceptance, a stamp of approval from podiatrists awarded to only the best orthotic shoes.
Happy customer: “I have plantar fasciitis and tendinitis in both feet and legs, so comfort and ease of wear are always very important to me. This shoe fits both bills easily, as well as being of high quality construction and materials. I have three pair and have had no issues with any of them, including the toe post position. They’re also affordable, so more high marks… I’ll definitely be owning more!”
Gravity Defyer Mary Women’s Sandals
Best stabilizing flip flops For Plantar Fasciitis
Buy at Amazon, $55
Why we like them:
- Wide toe bed protects your toes
- Water resistant and easy to clean
- Protective heel cup for balance and stability
- Ultra-soft EVA footbed
Gravity Defiers are a fan-favorite of those suffering from plantar fasciitis. Podiatrists recommend wearing flip flops like these to take the pressure off your inflamed tissues, and the Mary sandals’ embedded EVA footbed and G-Comfort arch support do just that. VersoShock technology converts the pressure into renewable positive energy, and a protective heel cup adds extra stability. They’re also water-resistant, so you can wear them in your yard without worrying about stains.
Happy customer: “I love my Gravity Defyer sandals. They are like walking on cushions. I bought them because I have Plantar Fasciitis and could not find any sandals that I could wear without causing pain. I bought these sandals and fell in love as soon as I put them on. I can actually go for walks again. I will be buying more of these. They are wide enough for my wide foot and the length was true to size.“
Vionic Tide II Orthotic Sandals
Best orthotic flip flops
Buy at Vionic, $69.95
Why we like them:
- Lightweight and flexible
- Soft woven toe post and foam-lined strap ensure a comfortable fit
- Vionic Technology is biomechanically designed to hug your arches and support your feet in comfort
When you need a pair you can slip on without a second thought, opt for Vionic’s Tide Sandal. They are made of a soft, supportive material that conforms to your foot’s arches and absorbs shocks to reduce pressure on your ankles, feet, and knees. Though they look like your average flip-flop, there’s a reason hundreds of people have awarded this sandal a five-star rating.
Happy customer: “”I recently was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, but I love my flip flops in the summer. I got these hoping but not convinced that they would feel good, help my feet and look good. I am soooo happy with them! They exceeded my expectations!””
Vionic Bella Orthotic Sandals
Best dressy orthotic flip flops
Buy at Vionic, $74.95
Why we like them:
- Lightweight, flexible EVA midsole absorbs shock
- Durable rubber outsole with a patterned tread provides traction on a variety of surfaces.
- Vionic Technology is biomechanically designed to hug your arches
Don’t let the pretty bow and floral pattern of the Bella sandal from Vionic fool you, this shoe offers some serious support. Made with the same Vionic Technology that everyone loves, these sandals cushion your heels while still molding to your feet to support your foot’s arches and alleviate pressure.
Happy customer: “These sandals are so much cuter on than you would think! I bought them thinking, I will wear them once or twice….I wear them a lot! Super cute on! Go great with summer dresses! I am a teacher and can wear them all day without my feet hurting. I have plantar fasciitis and these shoes support my feet well!”
Skechers Reggae Cup Oh Snap Sandal
Best strappy sport Sandal For Plantar Fasciitis
Buy at DSW, $39.99
Why we like them:
- Arch comfort footbed with 1¼” foam midsole
- Hook & loop slingback strap
- 100+ 5-star reviews
Strappy sandals are great for people who suffer from plantar fasciitis — they keep your foot secure and help to avoid the slipping that can cause inflammation. Not only does this style have soft elastic straps for stability, Skechers Reggae Cup sandals also have an adjustable hook-and-loop closure so you can find your perfect fit. They’re great for walkers aiming to hit 10,000 steps, but you can just as easily throw them on for a pain-free trip to the grocery store.
Happy customer: “I wear these every day, everywhere. They cradle my feet so well. The arch support is wonderful. I have knee, feet, and back issues that keep me from walking far without pain. Have been able to walk longer and farther in these sandals with no pain while walking or after.“
OOFOS Ooahh Luxe Slide Sandal
Best Sport Slides For Plantar Fasciitis
Buy at OOFOS, $69.95
Why we like them:
- OOfoam® technology absorbs impact
- Proprietary footbed design reduces stress on knees, ankles and other joints
- Machine washable
I know so many people who own these sporty OOFOS slides, and they all say they wouldn’t have found relief from plantar fasciitis without them. Built-in OOfoam® technology absorbs 37 percent more impact than traditional footwear, and the ultra-cushioned footbed relieves strain on your arches, legs, and knees. They’re also machine washable, so they’ll never smell!
Happy customer: “Like walking on a cloud. Sandal fit perfectly, gives arch support, and comfy from the get-go. I have a hammertoe, and a bunion and related foot disturbances so very happy to fit. I’ve had plantar fasciitis and it was creeping back. I think these sandals will help avoid a recurrence. Love the sparkly dark blue color.“
Birkenstock Arizona Orthotic Sandals
Best orthotic slide sandals
Buy at Amazon, $111
Why we like them:
- Suede covered SOFT footbed
- Built-in arch support
- Toe grip for added support and comfort
Birkenstocks are a tried-and-true classic orthotic sandal for women and men. From the soft fleece on the underside of the straps to the breathable suede footbed, these sandals are all about comfort. Add a deep heel cup to bolster the foot, arch support that runs the length of the footbed, a raised toe bar for extra grip, and plenty of toe room to prevent cramped feet, and you have a recipe for the best orthotic sandals — that are totally in style, too.
Happy customer: “It’s so comfortable and soft, they’re perfect for going into the beach or just taking a walk. Will definitely buy another pair when these wear out, which i’m guessing will be in a couple of years.”