Hiking is a popular pastime around the world, and one that almost anyone can enjoy. Whether you’re the kind of person thinking about hiking the Appalachian Trail, or the kind of person who enjoys a nice hike around the neighborhood, or up the nearest trail, everyone needs a good pair of hiking boots, especially those who have a history of, or are currently suffering from, plantar fasciitis.
Here is a list of the Best Men and Women’s Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis
What is Plantar Fasciitis
What is plantar fasciitis? It’s a very common affliction that results in pain in your heel and bottom of your foot. This pain gets worse over time, unless you do something to alleviate the pain that it causes. It is a disorder that can be characterized by micro tears, breakdown of collage, and scarring at the insertion site of the ligament on the bone.
What are common causes of Plantar Fasciitis
The causes of plantar fasciitis, and what causes the plantar fascia to inflame and cause the pain in the heel, are not precisely known at this point, but there are a few things that seem to go hand-in-hand with it.
- Obesity. Obesity is a factor related to many afflictions of the foot and the leg, especially when joints are concerned. Excess weight on a body frame is generally not good for it, and liable to cause added stress to it.
- Excessive running and standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time have also been found to be risk factors for plantar fasciitis. Both of these activities put a lot of stress on our feet and on the ligament where the foot meets the ankle and the leg.
- Having high arches of the feet or flat feet. Most shoes are not made to support these unusual foot shapes.
- Uneven legs. There is also evidence that having a leg length inequality (that is to say, having one leg that is naturally longer than the other) is something that has been connected to plantar fasciitis.
- Inappropriate footwear. Something interesting in this case is that inappropriate footwear has been found to be a significant risk factor in the chances of suffering from plantar fasciitis. What is inappropriate footwear? Well, you’re wearing inappropriate footwear if you’re using the wrong shoes in the wrong situation (for example, hiking in high-heeled shoes), or if your footwear is falling apart (if the support has been worn down, or if the soles are thinned to the point of being nonexistent).
- Switching shoes often. Switching shoes between high-heeled shoes to flat shoes back and forth, and doing so often (like, for example, a businesswoman might do) is a risk factor.
- Various degenerative joint diseases. Arthritis, for example, can increase your chances of suffering from plantar fasciitis.
What makes Plantar Fasciitis worse?
Since the medical community can’t quite agree on the causes of plantar fasciitis, we can only look at the risk factors to try and avoid them. If you look at that list up above, there are a few things you and I can easily control. We can make sure, for example, that we are managing our weight. We can make sure that we’re staying active. We can make sure that we’re taking care of our feet when we’re not on them. We can make sure that we’re not being unnecessarily rough on them throughout the day. These are all fairly easy things for us to accomplish in our day to day lives.
But the easiest thing for us to do to prevent plantar fasciitis is to wear the right hiking boots while we’re hiking, and wearing the right shoes while we’re doing anything else.
Now, let us look at a baker’s dozen of great men’s hiking boots for those with plantar fasciitis!
Men's Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis
1. Keen Men's II Targhee II Mid WP
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
Keen advertises their Targhee II Mid WP’s as a boot that offers ‘four wheel drive for your feet’, and they deliver. The boot is constructed primarily out of leather and mesh, which is a good start to any hiking boot, especially one that you’re hoping will last you for years to come.
If you’re like me, you’re looking for something with added ankle support (something that I would suggest we look for in ANY sort of boot you’re going to be used for hiking), and this boot has it! With a mid-length design, it will give you all the support your angle could need.
Now, for those of us looking for some protection from plantar fasciitis, there’s some good news. The boot’s sole comes with large 4mm lugs that are meant to aggressively bite into the terrain. What this means for your feet is that the lugs are taking more of the stress off of your heel. Of course, there’s also the ESS shank, which provides torsional stability and takes more of the stress off of your heels, ankles, and your feet in general.
All in all, probably one of the better boots, especially when you consider the price point.
- Sturdy leather design.
- Designed to keep your feet dry.
- Great traction AND the design of the soles takes a lot of stress off your feet.
- If you’re the kind of person who wants extremely light boots, these are not for you.
- The shoelaces that it comes with are just terrible and fray easily. I would suggest you do what I do; buy some paracord. Cut an appropriate length of it, and then light the ends on fire to melt them.
2. Ariat Men's Terrain H20 Hiking Boot
Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
Ariat’s H20 hiking boot, aside from having a very fashionable-sounding name, is another great boot for those who have suffered from, or are suffering from, plantar fasciitis. It’s also another entry that makes for a good hiking boot, even if you don’t suffer from PF (which is what we will now be using to refer to plantar fasciitis).
This is another booth that is mostly made of leather, which is good. Leather is famed for its durability and for its ability to stand up to tough use, after all. Their Waterproof Pro treatment is designed to keep the water out, and given that leather is already a fairly impermeable material, I’d have to say that there wasn’t much work left to do on that note.
If you’re a sufferer of PF, though, the real good news here is that not only is there a shank designed to provide you with torsional stability, but you also get to take advantage of the Duratread soles, which will lessen the stress on your feet and heel, and thus lessen your suffering at the hands of PF.
- Leather boots are great for daily use, and the leather is extremely durable and waterproof.
- The quality shank helps with taking torsional forces.
- The quality sole takes the weight off of your feet and heel
- Yet again, terribly cheap shoelaces.
- Due to the almost entirely leather construction, not very cool to the feet. You will sweat on a longer hike.
3. Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
The Lowa Men’s Renegade GTX mid-length hiking boot is a good design that does many things right. Yet again, we’re looking at a lot of leather used in the construction, although in this case there is a mixture of leather and synthetic materials. This is good for anyone who hikes a long way, as it helps keep the foot from overheating and sweating too much.
The boot has a full-length nylon shank, providing additional stability while you’re on the move, as well as providing some additional rigidity, which will help to keep the stress off of your feet and joints. But the real winner here is the Vibram sole.
Yes, the Vibram sole not only is designed to take much of the stress off of your feet while you’re on the move, but it is also designed around the idea of shock-absorption. This means that your feet will not only be cushioned when standing, but the stress you will receive from any step is greatly reduced.
- I can’t say enough good about this Vibram sole.
- A full-length nylon shank provides additional support.
- Almost entirely made of leather, which makes it heavier and hotter.
4. Merrell Men’s Moab Ventilator Mid Hiking Boot
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
I was first introduced to Merrell footwear over a decade ago by a veteran of the Vietnam war who used them as his ‘around the house’ slippers. He had PF (among a slew of other foot maladies), and those slip-on shoes provided enough support for his feet that he was never afflicted by it again.
The MOAB Ventilator is another mid-height hiking boot that will provide you plenty of ankle support. The boot is made of leather and ‘synthetics’, which hare what they use to describe the mesh you see between the strips of leather. That mesh provides help with moisture wicking, keeping the feet dry and reasonably cool, and is a real boon on long hikes.
Where it really earns its fee, though, is the mixture of Vibram synthetic sole and shank, with an added Ortholite anatomical footbed. With this combination, not only will you not be experiencing symptoms of PF, but you’ll find that a long walk is much less stressful on the joints and the feet (and, of course, the heel) than it would be in other shoes.
A great combination of materials and design that comes together to earn the title ‘Mother of all boots’ (which I assume is what MOAB stands for).
- Another boot that makes good use of the Vibram sole.
- Leather and mesh come together to create a boot that is sturdy, has moisture wicking applicability, and keeps the feet dry and cool.
- Ortholite anatomical footbed provides added support and protection against PF.
- Not waterproof, and even if you try to waterproof them yourself with a spray or similar, it won’t work well due to the mesh construction.
5. Timberland White Ledge Men’s Waterproof Boot
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
Yes, Timberland actually makes boots for hiking. This may be a surprise to people who (like myself) haven’t seen them on the feet of a hiker in years, but they do make a serious hiking boot that can help alleviate your PF symptoms.
This is another mid-length boot, which means that you are going to be getting the benefit of additional ankle support (if you actually lace it up to that sixth eyelet, instead of just lacing four up like they show in the image). It’s made of almost entirely leather, which means that not only is it well waterproofed and actually capable of keeping water off your feet while you’re hiking, but that it will also last a long time under very harsh use.
A great thing about this boot is that it combines a shank, a dual density EVA footbed, and a rubber sole. Any of those things on their own would greatly improve the way that you’re going to feel after walking in t hem, even if you suffer from PF, but when you combine them into a single boot, you’re going to be getting some real comfort, thanks to their ability to negate and distribute properly the forces from your stepping and hiking around.
If you can get past the brand name, these are serious boots that will provide you with great comfort during a long hike.
- Mostly leather construction provides good waterproofing and an attractive look.
- The combination of shank, dual density EVA footbed, and rubber sole protects the foot from stress.
- The laces will fray easily, and will need replacing soon after use.
6. Tactical Research Mini-MiL Transition Boot TR111
Rating: 4.1 / 5.0
There are few groups on earth that can claim to have spent more money designing the best hiking boot as the United States military. Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, and Airmen log millions of miles every year during training and FTX’s (field training exercises), and their boots are designed to handle the stress not just of walking everywhere you go, but of doing so with a rucksack, twenty pounds of body armor, and a rifle or machine gun.
For a long time, service members I know who had issues with PF had no recourse. The military holds to extremely strict guidelines concerning what is and is not an acceptable boot for wear with the uniform, and failure to adhere to these standards results in punishment. This boot, the Tactical Research Mini-MiL, is the first boot to be cleared for military use in combat that is also good for those suffering from PF.
It’s a full-length booth, which I prefer. I’ve owned a number of combat boots, and while they may not be the best on comfort, they are very good about providing superior support for your ankles. These boots are made of suede leather and Cordura nylon, with an Aero-Spacer lining to make them breathable and to assist in absorbing moisture from your feet.
Where these boots really shine, though, is something that no other combat boot has; a Vibramsole, which will better disperse the impact pressures from your footfall. I can’t think of any other boot that offers this to the military, and if you’re looking for a boot that will be great for long-distance hiking in terrible terrain while also providing you with the best in ankle support and PF care, than this is the boot for you.
- Full-length boot
- Vibram sole
- Good ventilation and moisture wicking technology.
- Not waterproof, nor can it be made waterproof.
7. Timberland Men’s Flume Waterproof Hiking Boot
Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
Timberland makes a second appearance on my list, because they have been putting out a lot of boots lately that have various designs implemented that will help anyone with PF to manage it and to prevent issues from continuing. The Flume is a waterproof hiking boot that seems to be made to be a bit more affordable, and a bit more flash, than many of Timberland’s other offerings to the market.
Made almost entirely of leather, these Timberlands have a shank, of course, but the one thing that will be of note to those of us who have suffered from PF is that these boots have the EVA foam footbed. It may be designed for comfort, but if you’re suffering from PF, the mixture of the footbed and the rubber sole means that your feet will be well protected indeed. The Foam footbed and rubber sole combine to make sure that your feet will not be feeling the impact from your foot fall, which means you’re not going to be hurting your plantar ligaments.
Even though they’re just another competitor in a long line of mid-length boots, they’re still worthy of mention, and will make good hiking boots for anyone who has suffered from PF.
- Waterproof leather construction
- EVA footbed combined with the rubber sole makes for a comfortable experience.
- One of the most affordable Timberlands on the market.
- The shoe laces will not last. Be ready to replace them soon.
8. Salomon Men’s Quest 4D 2 GTX Hiking Boot
Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
Salomon is a company that has been making boots for quite some time, so their inclusion on this list should come as no surprise to anyone. Their boots are expensive (very expensive, in fact. The higher-end ones can easily be in the three hundred dollar range), but they are known for their quality and comfort.
Their Salomon Quest boot is stylish, there’s no doubt, and with a look that no other boot in their market seems to have replicated with any degree of success. It takes leather, synthetic materials, and textile fabrics, and brings them together to create a boot that has stability, durability, and a certain flair to it.
The boot is waterproof, as one would expect, and waterproofed with Gore-Tex materials (if you don’t know who they are, they’re basically the guys to go to for waterproof clothing and footwear).
But where the boot proves that it is worth the money you will spend on it is when we get to the way it helps you with your PF. This boot combines an updated Salomon Contagrip sole with a molded EVA Ortholite removable footbed and a Salmon 4D chassis for stability and protection, and comes up with a boot that cannot help but be comfortable. The Ortholitefootbed and Contagrip sole ensure that pressure from the force of impact is distributed across the foot evenly, prevent the entirety of it from being borne by problem areas like the heel.
Honestly, I think this is the most comfortable boot on the list, and easily one of the most comfortable I’ve had on my feet in my life.
- Extremely comfortable
- Extreme protection for your feet
- Waterproofed with Gore-Tex
- The price is high
9. Merrell Men’s MOAB Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Rating: 4.4 / 5.0
Merrell makes a second appearance on this list, with a boot that is very similar to the other MOAB that was reviewed. The main difference between the two (well, in my opinion, anyhow), is that the Ventilator was designed around making sure that there was a free flow of air in and out of the boot, and that means that water flows throughout the boot as well. On the other hand, the MOAB waterproof is, well, waterproof.
It is made from almost the same materials as the Ventilator. The big difference in the two is that the Waterproof model has the M Select DRY and the M Select FRESH. The M Select DRY keeps water out of the boot, and helps to wick moisture away from the foot, while the M Select FRESH is basically an anti-microbial defense, which helps to keep your hiking boots smelling fresh.
While these boots are ‘mid-length’, they’re not quite as tall as the usual mid-length boots, and so they don’t provide quite as much support to the ankle. However, the loss of that ankle support is offset by the sole and the molded EVA footbed which, together, distribute the pressure across the entire foot, ensuring that those who suffer from PF do not suffer often.
- FRESH and DRY technology help to ensure that the boots stay dry and smelling decent, which is good. I’ve had boots before that got to smelling so bad I wouldn’t keep them in the house, and that was only after a few months’ worth of wear.
- Not as tall as usual mid-length boot designs, robbing you of a bit of support you would otherwise get for your ankle.
10. Hi-Tec Men's Altitude Waterproof Hiking Boot
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
Hi-Tec is more of a ‘cost effective’ entry into this list ,but that doesn’t mean that they have given up quality of the product in order to achieve that lower price point. I’ve seen these boots compete with (and outshine, in some cases) plenty of boots that cost twice as much or more, and when you’ve got an inexpensive hiking boot, you’re not so likely to hesitate to replace them when they obviously need replacing (as you might be with, say, an expensive hiking boot that cost you hundreds of dollars).
This is one of the few boots on the list that I feel like I could wear into the office without being ‘too casual’ for it. It also doesn’t have that rubber safety toe cap that so many boots have these days, so that may have something to do with it. With a construction of mostly leather and synthetic materials, it looks like it could be a shoe that a professional might wear while at work.
For those of us suffering from PF, though, we probably don’t care so much about looks as we do about the cushioning and making sure that our heel isn’t in immense pain. Luckily, Hi-Tec brought along plenty of comfort. Their boots have a full rubber sole, as well as an injection-molded EVA midsole. These work together to make sure that the pressure (and stress) of walking or standing is well distributed along your entire foot, rather than being borne by a small section of the foot. The toe is also fairly flexible, but not as protected.
- Waterproof and semi-sealed
- Moderately priced
- Comfortable EVA midsole and rubber sole prevent a PF flare-up
- No safety toe
- The shoelaces are cheap. No way around it. But replacing them is easily accomplished.
11. Z-CoiL Pain Relief Footwear Men's Outback Hiker Composite Toe Boots
Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
The Z-CoiL pain relief footwear is a bit unusual in looks, but I think that it was built around the idea of protecting the feet of people with afflictions like PF, not around the idea of being the best hiking boot. Of course, it also wasn’t built around the idea of being affordable, either.
Just looking at this boot, you can tell that not only does it have a full rubber sole, but that this sole is strangely large. The sole is designed to be as large as it is, and in the way that it is, because it is taking as much stress off the plantar ligaments as it possibly can, distributing it to the extreme front and back of the foot. There’s also forefoot EVA cushioning, which is designed to reduce the felt stress on the ball of the foot and the toes. To add to that protection you’ve already got, there’s even built in Z-Orthotics designed entirely to protect the plantar ligaments.
Finally, we come to the Z-Coil, which is the reason that the sole on the heel is so insanely large. It is, literally, a conical coil of metal that is designed to reduce the impact absorbed at point of heel-strike. Some of the Z-Coil lines actually have the coil exposed, if you’d like to see what that looks like.
If you’re looking for the best boot to help you to protect your feet and to manage your PF, this is that boot. Just understand that it is expensive, and that it is not the best hiking boot in the world.
- This boot is literally built around the idea of preventing pain to the foot and associated joints. It is, without a doubt, the best boot where PF is concerned.
- The toe box is extremely wide to prevent irritation of the toe caused by rubbing against it.
- The Z-Coil. Sounds silly, but it works extremely well.
- The price. The price of anything in the Z-Coil line seems to be unusually high, but you’re paying for all the impact-reducing technology.
- They don’t sell half-sizes. If you need an 8.5, order the 9. They will, however, provide a free half-size insert to make it more comfortable and to ensure a proper fit.
12. Z-CoiL Pain Relief Footwear Men’s Prime Black Boots
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
I don’t think I’ve hidden the fact that I love the longer boots. Not only can you blouse your jeans or pants into a longer set of boots, preventing insects and snakes from getting in there, but you also get much more ankle support. That’s something I need after years of bad sprains, and you might need it too.
As far as what makes this boot comfortable for those with PF or any of the other foot issues you commonly get from hiking a lot, it’s the same as the other Z-Coil product I reviewed up above. In fact, most Z-Coil products are designed the same; they’ve got an orthotic insert which distributes impact pressures and stresses optimally, combined with a conical coil that helps to reduce the impact pressures altogether. Cover that all with a thick rubber sole, and you’ve got a hell of a boot design.
The actual construction of this boot is remarkably similar to most ‘tactical’ or ‘combat’ boot designs. It’s entirely leather, and the tongue is padded for extra comfort. It has a wide toe box to prevent irritation, which is nice and will prevent corns and blisters and the like.
Honestly, the only thing I can complain about with this boot is that the sole seems to be too thick for me to get a decent feel for the terrain, and that the price is steep. As in steeper than you would pay for most high-end boots that are comparable.
- Z-Coil design and the amount of effort put into protecting the foot is admirable.
- Leather construction is sturdy, and can be easily treated with waterproofing agents to make them more durable.
- Full-length boot has so many advantages, like keeping insects and snakes out and providing better ankle support.
- The price.
- The sole is just so thick that I don’t feel like I got a good feel for the terrain under my feet. Not necessarily a bad thing, as that’s how the boots are designed, but something that does take some getting used to.
13. Vasque Men's Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Waterproof Hiking Boot
Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
For the final men’s boot entrant, we have the Vasque Breeze 2.0. It’s much more affordable than the Z-Coil lines (as in between half and a third as much per pair), and it is a bit more fashionable, and with a slightly less ridiculous look to the sole.
The boot is made of mostly leather and synthetic materials, and it is an attractive boot. It is treated with Gore-Tex materials, too, which means that you are going to be hard-pressed to find a boot with better waterproofing that is also as breathable. That being said, let’s be honest with ourselves; you cannot have a boot that is both breathable and that is completely waterproof; it’s simply not possible.
As for the part you and I care about most, the PF specific characteristics, the Vasque offers a dual density EVA footbed, and a Vibram sole. Theses combine to make sure that you will be comfortable and that you’ll be PF pain free as long as you keep the boots in good condition, both lessening the felt forces from impact, and ensuring that your feet are carrying the force of impact along more of the foot, rather than in certain areas.
- Fashionable look to it
- Dual density footbed and a Vibram sole
- Waterproof and breathable
- Cheap laces that are going to need replacing soon and fray easily
Women's Boots Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis
1. Keen Women’s Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot
Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
Yes, I’m reviewing the women’s version of a boot I reviewed up above. In my defense, though, Keen’s Targhee II line is a line that provides good ankle protection, protection to those with PF, and more, so I feel that this is fair.
It’s a mostly leather boot, as is the men’s version, with the usual rubber sole and a nice rubber toe cap to protect you from stubbing your toe on the trail. It also has a breathable and waterproof membrane to help to prevent your feet from getting sweaty, while also trying to keep out the water from your feet if you should end up getting wet.
And as with the men’s boot, the women’s boot includes a dual-density EVA foam footbed that can be removed, if necessary, and an ESS torsion stability shank.
All this combines to make sure that the boot will not only protect your feet from PF, but will also be protected from injury on the trail in general, all while maintaining comfort at a reasonable price. A quality foot bed, when added to a quality sole, allows you to better disperse the forces of impact, away from the heel and the plantar ligaments, preventing PF pain and flareups.
- EVA foam footbed, ESS stability y shank, and rubber sole combine to keep your feet comfortable.
- Breathable design.
- The laces are still cheaply made and low-quality. You will have to replace them.
- A bit on the heavier side, especially for a woman’s boot.
2. Keen Woman's Targhee II Hiking Shoe
Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
I’ve been hiking long distances with women in my life before, and sometimes, they don’t want a big, heavy, mid-length boot. They want something that is more of a hiking ‘shoe’ than a boot, especially if they’re already carrying a lot or if we’re not going to be hiking somewhere that has ugly terrain. If that’s what you want, a light boot that also provides protection for those who suffer from PF, then Targhee offers a decent shoe.
Now, let me start out saying that this isn’t something I would ever get for myself, and if you have ankle issues or a history of ankle injury, it’s not something you want either. It offers very little support for the ankle, and that means sprains (which are easy to get while on uneven surfaces) are much more common.
As far as what it does to protect your feet, and how it is made, it has the same to offer as the Targhee II hiking boot. Really, the only difference is that it weighs a little bit less. If you’re looking for a lightweight hiking boot and not worried about ankle support (and I would argue you should ALWAYS be worried about ankle support), then this affordable shoe from Keen might be worth looking at.
- Lighter weight than the Targhee II Boot
- Same protection against PF as you’d get in the mid-length boot
- No ankle support
- Still using the same cheaply made shoelaces. Be ready to replace them
3. Z-CoiL Pain Relief Footwear Women's Prime Composite Toe Boots
Yes, I’m back to talking about the Z-CoiL pain relief boot series, and what better way than to go from talking about a Keen boot that offers you almost no ankle support to a hiking boot that offers as much ankle support as you’re going to get?
Theses boots are built around the idea of preventing and limiting damage to the foot, and that means that they’re not only great for those afflicted with PF, but for those afflicted with any number of similar foot issues. They combine a quality orthotic with the ‘Z-Coil’, a large and conical coil in the hell, to make sure that the impact forces are limited immensely. Combine that with an unusually thick sole, and you have a boot that is perfect for your PF (due to distribution of those impact forces), and one that is made of attractive leather.
Now, there is a downside. The price is the downside, namely. Other than that, these boots are perfect for hiking, or for any heavy-duty walking you may have to do.
- Designed to be good for those with PF and other foot afflictions
- Attractive leather construction
- The Z-Coil itself is amazing
- The price
- Hard to get a proper grip with a sole that big
- They don’t come in half sizes. They do, however, come with a half size insert, if you need it.
4. Z-CoiL Pain Relief Footwear Women's Outback Hiker Enclosed Coil Boots
Yes, it’s another Z-Coil. This one may not offer as much ankle support, but for those looking for a boot for long-distance hiking, or maybe for hiking a little bit faster and with less weight bringing your feet down, this is a boot you’ll want to consider.
Yet again, this is a hiking boot that is designed around the idea of making sure that your feet will be comfortable and will be well cared for, mitigating or preventing issues that are common in the feet, and PF just happens to be one of those. As with the above boot, the combination of Z-coil, orthotic, and a thick rubber sole will ensure your body is receiving much less force from any impact of a step or similar, and what impact you receive is well dispersed through the orthotic.
The only problem with this boot, as with all the Z-Coil line, really, is that the price is high. But, if you’re looking for the most comfortable boot on the market, and one that can negate issues related to PF and other foot afflictions, there’s really no other boot that will do as well in that mission.
- Attractive leather and synthetic design
- Thick sole
- The price
- The sole is still so thick that you don’t feel like you get a good grip on terrain
5. Z-Coil Women’s Z-Duty Boot
Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
I promise that this will be the last Z-Coil product I review in this post. And while it may be a ‘duty’ boot, it will work just as well as a hiking boot.
Did you know that PF is also known as ‘Policeman’s Heel’? This is because a lot of the footwear that police have used for decades is not well made to support the foot, and the relatively thin soles and poor design means that the plantar ligaments are taking far more of the pressure than they should be. Now, in recent years, police departments have allowed officers greater leeway in choosing footwear, and boots are getting better, but no boot is as good for such purposes as the Z-Duty line, whether you’re walking a tough beat in the city or you’re a hiker who just wants a trusty boot with a lot of ankle support.
As with all the Z-Coil products, this boot has the orthotic and Z-coil in the heel, designed to ensure that your feet are not feeling too much of the impact forces from your steps. When combined with the giant rubber sole, this means that your feet are well protected, and those forces are properly dispersed across your entire foot.
If you, like me, need some ankle support to go with your support for PF and other foot issues, then you’ll find this boot is a good fit, and if you’re a cop or security guard, it can double as a work boot, too.
- Designed specifically for those with foot issues
- Z-Coil works well to dampen foot impact
- Will fill most uniform requirements for police departments
- The price is still high. We’re talking used electric guitar high
- The boots still take some getting used to due to the extra-thick sole
6. Ariat Women’s Terrain H20 Hiking Boot
Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
Yes, Ariat makes a boot for women as well as one for men, and yet again, it’s a pretty good boot, with a fancy name, and decent flair for fashion, and all at a decent price.
It’s a waterproof boot with moisture wicking technology, which will help your feet stay dry, although they may not necessarily stay cool. With all that leather, you get very little breathability of the boot, and that means more sweat.
But since we’re talking about boots for PF, let’s talk about the support this boot provides. To begin with, there’s the ATS ‘Advanced Torque Stability’ technology, which is designed to better distribute the torsion along your foot while also providing a stable platform. Add to that a thick Duratread sole, and you’ve got a boot designed to both provide long-lasting traction and to properly distribute the impact along your foot, and that means a good boot for anyone with PF issues.
- Decently priced
- ATS shank
- Duratread sole and shank distributes the forces evenly along the entire foot, meaning your heel and plantar ligaments are not bearing the brunt of the your step
- Not very breathable
- Moisture wicking technology with a boot that isn’t breathable tends to be a recipe for the growth of microbes that feast on sweat and create that sweaty boot smell
7. Merrell Women’s Moab Ventilator Mid Hiking Boot
Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
Merrell just makes great shoes in general, so I couldn’t help but mention that they make shoes and boots that are designed for women, too.
As with the men’s MOAB Ventilator, the women’s MOAB Ventilator is constructed from leather and a synthetic mesh. Because of the mesh, it can never be fully waterproof, and if you step in a puddle, believe me, you’ll know.
But for those suffering from PF or similar issues, the real blessing that this boot provides is the compression-molded EVA frame, the Vibram sole, and the 5mm lug depth. This is a lot of cushioning between your foot and the ground, and that means less felt impact, and that means less impact for your foot to absorb. The impact is also better dispersed throughout the entirety of your foot, which means less absorption in painful locations.
If you’re walking around in the desert, this may be the best boot for you, because it is so breathable. If you’re in a snowy or wet area of the world, you may want to look elsewhere.
- Decently priced
- Vibram sole with 5mm lug depth
- Very breathable
- Not waterproof
- Not great for cold-weather climates
8. Merrell Woman’s Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
Now, if you’re a woman who likes the Moab series, but you’re looking to do a lot of hiking somewhere that has a lot of water or a lot of cold weather, the Moab Ventilator is not going to work for you. But, they make the Waterproof, which will allow you to traverse all those wet and cold conditions. Between the two of them, the Ventilator and the Waterproof, you honestly could go hiking pretty much anywhere that doesn’t have extreme conditions.
The sole and the support is the same for both models. The only real difference is that the Ventilator has mesh and is breathable, while the Waterproof is waterproof and is not breathable at all. If you’re looking for a good boot for you PF, they’re both going to work well for you, so really, you should choose which one is right for you based on where you live and where you like to hike.
- Vibram sole
- 5mm lug depth
- Waterproof and good for cold-weather climates
- Poor ventilation
- You will sweat a lot in warmer climates
9. Lowa Women’s Ronan GTX Mid Hiking Boot
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
The word ‘ronan’, in Gaelic (as gaelige) translates to ‘little seal’, and if you look at the boot for long enough, you will probably begin to figure out why.
Their construction is almost entirely leather, which means that you’re going to get a boot that is not only warm, but also one that is well waterproofed. They are waterproofed using Gore-Tex materials, which are, of course, fantastic at waterproofing.
But we’re here to talk about those of us suffering from PF and good boots for our feet, and that is somewhere where the ‘little seal’ shines. These boots have a full-length nylon shank with a polyurethane midsole, which helps to make the impact forces conform better to the foot. Then, of course, there’s the monowrap sole, which provides lightweight support throughout the whole boot. These things mean that you won’t have to worry about putting too much stress on your heel and plantar ligament, and at the same time, you won’t have to worry about lack of stability, either; the sole is designed to distribute the force of impact across the feet evenly, which helps with making sure that your heels are not going to be screaming in pain.
A good cold-weather boot, but not one with the best breathability.
- Leather construction
- Monowrap sole and tons of support means your PF won’t flare up
- Waterproof and warm
- Not very breathable
- Again, the laces are prone to fraying. Be prepared to replace them
10. Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
Yes, I know that it may not be something that people like to hear, that many of the best women’s hiking boots for plantar fasciitis are the same as some of those on the men’s list, but it is the truth. The Renegade GTX mid-length hiking boot is a good boot when it’s made for women, too.
It is still a boot made almost entirely out of leather, with the exception of a Gore-Tex breathable membrane. The boot is also waterproof, which is a nice touch.
But when it comes to the support that your feet will get, we start off with a Vibram sole, which is always a good place to begin. Add to that a nylon shank, and we’ve got a boot that is fantastic for people who are suffering from any of the majority of foot issues, as well as one that will maintain stability. The Vibram sole better distributes the pressure of the step across your foot, and the shank gives you additional force when the shoe is experiencing torque.
- Waterproof and fairly breathable
- Vibram sole and full length nylon shank
- Not the best warm weather boot
- The shoe laces are still pretty cheaply made
11. Lowa Women’s Tibet GTX WS Hiking Book
Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
The final offering from Lowa is closer to being a full length booth than most of the other boots on this list that weren’t made for military, paramilitary, or ‘tactical’ uses, which is great, because not only is the padding great for your PF, but the additional support for your ankle means that you’re not so likely to injure it.
This boot is more meant for people who are backpacking, which basically means people who are not just hiking, but are hiking with a ton of additional weight. That means that the Vibram sole and the design of the boot in general is such that it is looking to help your body, specifically your feet and legs, to be better able to deal with the additional force of impact.
So, if you’re looking for good boots to disperse impact along your entire foot, while also being waterproof and comfortable, then this is a good boot for you, especially if you’re working in a cooler weather climate.
- Vibram sole
- Waterproofed and designed to help you carry extra weight
- Additional ankle support
- Not good for warmer climes, because they have very little ventilation. This is more of a mountain hiking boot, honestly.
- Still cheap laces, you will need to replace them sooner or later.
12. Timberland Women’s Chocorua Trail Boot
Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
And, for the last entry on the list, we have a boot from Timberland, the Chocorua trail boot. This is a boo that is shockingly well made, as well as looking somewhat fashionable.
It is mostly made of leather, with a Gore-Tex membrane to make it a bit more breathable. This Gore-Tex membrane will help keep the water out, but if you’re submersing your foot it will not be enough, just for the record.
But the real benefit to those with PF is that it has a very thick rubber sole. This sole will help to disperse the force of impact along the entire foot, as well as dampening the forces, and that means more comfort and less stress on your heel and ligaments for you.
- Leather and Gore-Tex construction
- Thick rubber sole
- Very comfortable, with padded tongue
- Not the best option for warm areas
These are just 25 of the best options out there for you if you’re looking for a hiking boot to help you deal with your plantar fasciitis. Any of these boots can fit your need, and they can, hopefully, help you to slowly recover.If you fear you are suffering from plantar fasciitis, please see professional physician immediately. If you’re wearing boots on this list, or if you’re wearing any kind of footwear and the plantar fasciitis doesn’t seem to be improving, it will be even more in your best interests to go and see said professional.Just remember that you put a lot of stress on your feet, and you need to take care of them over the long time, or else you’ll end up with feet like mine, and end up shuffling around slowl0079 well before your time.