Best Hiking and Weather Proof Boots for Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Updated on June 6, 2018
greenmind profile image

I am a teacher, parent, and fitness writer. I have struggled with knee and heel pain since running a triathlon in 2010.

You Can Still go Hiking, Even With Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a nagging, painful condition caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thin band of connective tissue that runs under the heel. This tissue takes a beating from the point of the heel bone, and every step can aggravate the irritation and damage. Hiking is a wonderful way to get exercise, but even more it's a way to get away from everything and connect with nature. Unfortunately, those of us with plantar fasciitis are often deprived of the experience.

Boots That Cushion Your Heels

This article is about hiking and all-weather boots that are designed with heel health in mind. Whether or not you have heel pain, these are high quality, affordable boots that will keep your feet both dry and feeling good.

Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis

I have experienced chronic pain in my heels due to plantar fasciitis for many years. The condition comes and goes, and sometimes it’s so bad that I can barely walk. If you have experienced the pain of plantar fasciitis yourself, then you know that the dull, nagging ache of every step can affect your whole life, making just walking an unpleasant chore. Fortunately, there are shoes that really make a difference and can actually allow your aching feet a chance to heal – Air Max shoes by Nike. These shoes have a unique heel unit built into the show, and it cushions your heels in a way that no other shoe I have found can match. I have written extensively on plantar fasciitis and the Nike Air Max heel unit, and I draw heavily on my own experience, from my plantar fasciitis diagnosis to my search for a shoe that I could wear in comfort.

If you’re active, like me, you want to have options for you life and your health. The boots in this article make it possible for people with heel pain to actually hike and take long outdoor walks. If you’re currently suffering through a bout of plantar fasciitis or other chronic heel and foot condition, this may sound impossible. But my own experience with the Air Max heel unit shows what’s possible if your have the right pair of shoes.

Plantar Fasciitis – My Diagnosis

At 45 years of age, I decided that I wanted to run a triathlon. My wife and friends were skeptical, since I was not an athlete and only in fairly good shape – I was definitely not one of those hard-body older men you see on billboards and pumping iron in the gym. But I was determined, and I trained religiously, and within a year I was ready for the big challenge. It helped that I listened to reason (and my wife), and had decided to run a “half triathlon,” which was a little more realistic for a noob like me. But it was still a pretty serious challenge – a mile swim, a 24 mile bike ride, and a six-mile run, with no rest in between. I figured just finishing would be my goal.

The big day came, and even though I did ‘t exactly leave a trail of scotched asphalt in my path, I did manage to finish, and ahead of a few people, too. It was absolutely exhilarating, and I recommend it to anyone who feels like they need a challenge in their lives and is in reasonable shape (but be sure to check in with your doctor before you get too far into your training!).

Near the end of my training for the triathlon, I was noticing a faint ache in the bottom of both heels while I was running. It was nothing serious, and at this point my knees hurt enough to cover up little pains like these. Then, about two weeks after the race, I went for a pretty ambitious run while on vacation in Wisconsin. This run was a little different from my training – the terrain was hllly, and my route had some challenging up-hill stretches that I attacked with my customary determination. During this run my heels started to hurt more than usual, but I finished and felt pretty good overall.

The next day, my life changed. Up and out of bed, I immediately noticed a pain in my heels that’s a little hard to describe – like a sharp ache that make every step hurt. I couldn’t walk without a little hobble, and as the day went on it got worse. “Oh well,” I thought. “A couple of days and it’ll get better.” Only it didn’t. It actually got worse. Some days I could literally barely walk. I hobbled in to see my doctor, and she was quick with a diagnosis – plantar fasciitis. I was doomed to months of heel pain, and unable to run or train as well. I felt like an idiot for running those hills.

Nike Manoa Boots

These boots have the high-quality Air Max heel unit that made such a difference to me as I battled heel pain. Nike Manoa all-weather boots are tough, weather proof, and good-looking, and I depend on them on days when the snow is falling and the temperature is plunging. Finding these boots made a huge difference in my day-to-day life.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition that is the result of the repeated impact of your heel bone on a thin band of connective tissue on the bottom of your foot. It's a nagging, chronic condition that tends to stick around for a long time and resist most forms of treatment. The heel bone has a pointed bottom, and too much running or even walking can make that pointed bone inflict damage on the tissues under your heel. Not surprisingly, plantar fasciitis due to running, walking, and other increased activity is a growing problem among amateur athletes. As us baby boomers start getting up there, strapping on the running shoes in the hopes of losing a few pounds means that we're asking for trouble.

Weight Gain and Plantar Fasciitis

Being overweight wasn't the cause of my heel pain, but plenty of other people get plantar fasciitis simply by gaining weight. It’s no mystery why added weight would cause trouble in your heels – if you eat a lot, you'll probably gain weight, and the part of your body that suffers the most from all that added weight your feet. Every "foot strike," which is the term that describes how your foot hits the ground when you walk or run, impacts that band of connective tissue under your foot. This cause of plantar fasciitis can be alleviated simply by losing weight.

How to Tell If You’re Losing Fat and Not Muscle

If you’re a little overweight and your heels hurt, you might get serious relief by losing a few pounds. I lost about seven pounds in my attempts to alleviate my heel pain, and I couldn’t have done it without this really cool body composition scale. These little units are also known as “smart scales,” and they work on the principle that knowledge is power. A smart scale tells you how much of your body is fat, water, or muscle. When you lose weight, you never really know which of these you’re losing. A high quality, affordable body composition scale lets you track the amount of actual fat you’re losing. Since we want to lose fat and keep muscle, this is really important! And once your body weight starts to drop, your heels will be under less pressure from every step that you take. One of the new, advanced scales like this EatSmart Precision Body Fat Scale can tell you what you need to know about your weight.

The First Nike Shoes Were Made in a Garage With a Waffle Iron

Yes, that’s right – the guys who started Nike began with foam rubber and a waffle iron. They went into the garage and “cooked” the foam in the waffle iron, making a very primitive version of the running shoe that we all know today. Before they did that, the only running or athletic shoes had flat soles – like Chuck Taylors and other Converse brands. Nike created an entire new world of athletic shoe, a “waffle” sole that morphed into a world-wide phenomenon that has changed the lives of millions upon millions of people. The man who invented the Nike shoe, Bll Bowerman, was having waffles for breakfast when he had an epiphany:

"As one of the waffles came out, [Bill] said, 'You know, by turning it upside down to where the waffle part would come in contact with the track, I think that might work.' So he got up from the table and went tearing into his lab and got two cans of whatever it is you pour together to make the urethane, and poured them into the waffle iron."

The waffle iron may have never the same, but there's no question that the shoe world was changed forever.

Long May You Run!

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image


        20 months ago

        I found shoes are most important for people with plantar-fasciitis. I do have this condition and wear Nike shoes with comfort soles for support. I also stretch the heel with certain exercises. Since then, my pain will only flare up on occasion when I over extend my walking or running. Good educational post for those who suffer from this condition.

      • creative scammer profile image

        creative scammer 

        20 months ago

        Its really helpful for our leg balance..

      • FlourishAnyway profile image


        20 months ago from USA

        That was awesome information about the waffle iron and Nikes. I've had plantar fasciitis before and it is so painful. You're right about barely being able to walk. My husband does the triathlons and marathons and I think he's crazy for abusing his joints like that, although I'm proud of him for setting an ambitious goal and achieving it at 48. Good for you that you also set a goal and went after it. His doctor is a personal friend and tells him anything over a few miles and you're not running for health but for other reasons; he tries to get him to switch to swimming but it's not working.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)