brooks vs hoka for plantar fasciitis: 4 factors to Concern

Plantar Fasciitis is a common foot problem that makes runners often give up their dream of running. But, with the right shoes, you can still run several miles without seeing signs of injury.

Instead of suffering from heel and muscle pain due to plantar fasciitis, it is important to reflect on the importance of proper footwear. Brooks and Hoka are two of the most famous brands for finding running shoes for plantar fasciitis. Both shoes have great features that make them ideal for treating the problem. We will discover it later in the article.

We have carefully crafted this article after doing tons of research and adding personal reviews. So, if plantar fasciitis is interrupting your daily routine, it’s time to stop it. Let’s uncover the truth behind plantar fasciitis and see which running shoes can be best for your feet.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

What is Plantar Fasciitis

We have a tissue at the bottom of each foot called plantar fascia. That is where the name of this foot condition comes from. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of this foot muscle. It causes severe pain and problems during foot movement.

Several factors might contribute to this foot condition. These include old age, increased activity, foot foot structure, or simply wearing the wrong shoes. 

While some people might disagree, not wearing the right shoes can develop plantar fasciitis at later life stages. Wearing the wrong shoes will put more pressure on the foot muscles. This will not distribute the body weight ideally and increase the risk of muscle pain.

Importance of Supportive Footwear

No doubt, supportive footwear is the key to managing plantar fasciitis pain. After all, your feet have to bear the pressure of your whole body. When the weight is too much and you go to the wrong places with the wrong shoes, your foot muscles cannot bear this weight. That is why it is necessary to choose your running shoes carefully, especially when you are suffering from plantar fasciitis. 

Even to prevent plantar fasciitis, you should look for supportive running shoes. Some features in these shoes should be optimum arch support, cushioning, a large toe box, and a sturdy sole with shock-absorbing capabilities. These features can help you prevent and even treat plantar fasciitis pain. 

So, don’t let your foot problems alter your daily routine. The hack is simple. Go for the right supportive shoes!

Brooks Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

Started in 1914, Brooks has come a long way since the introduction of running shoes in its collection. The brand proudly manufactures quality footwear. If you’re on this page, it will probably be because you’ve heard the name of Brooks among runners.

Over time, Brooks has incorporated the best technologies in its running shoes. Its keen observation of putting the right materials in specific shoes makes it the best choice for runners with foot problems. We also love the range of Brooks shoes with high-quality features. It makes them perfect for runners with plantar fasciitis. Let’s discuss more about the features of Brooks that make them suitable for preventing plantar fasciitis.

Arch support and cushioning is the first requirement of runners with plantar fasciitis. We believe that Brooks has taken a step ahead in it. The company has used new technologies that provide optimum stability. GuideRails technology in the shoes has helped Brooks gain massive satisfaction from customers.

Due to the this technology, Brooks running shoes have a supportive heel counter as well. We also noticed that Brooks shoes provide easy and quick shifts from feel to toe while running. Thanks to its amazing arch support and heel counter! 

Apart from this, most Brooks running shoes feature DNA LOFT foam to provide a soft and plush feel in the midsole. All these amazing features combine to provide stability and motion control while running. The new technologies for support in the shoes also prevent overpronation. The support from overpronation is the key factor for the popularity of Brooks among runners.

Hoka Running Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

hoka clifton 8

Starting as a regular shoe brand, Hoka has also gained much fame over the past few years. Many influencers loved the look and style of the shoes. Regular runners also started to give these shoes a try. No doubt, the soft and comfortable feel of Hoka shoes has left everyone in awe.

Hoka running shoes have the required features. Their style is the primary reason for their fame. Fashion-enthusiast runners love the sleek look and design options in these shoes. Thus, we can say that Hoka shoes deliver much more than great performance.

Even if you have plantar fasciitis, Hoka will not stop you from showing off those sleek running shoes. The brand has incorporated many unique features. They make it a great option for preventing plantar fasciitis pain. Doctors also recommend Hoka for plantar fasciitis. But, you don’t know what might suit you. Plantar fasciitis pain can be of several types. So, we will discuss what Hoka will suit you according to your condition later in the article.

But for now, let’s see some of the unique features of Hoka that can help prevent plantar fasciitis. Maximum cushioning and shock absorption are perhaps the most important features. Hoka shoes are packed with cushioning that makes your feet feel “hugged” while running. The optimum padding in the midsole is the reason for excellent shock-absorbing capabilities.

We personally love the Meta-Rocker technology of Hoka shoes. It makes the shoes a bit curved in the forefoot. Thus, you can get a better ground feel and gain energy. As the weight gets ideally distributed, you feel less pain in your muscles. This technology combines with the supportive midsole to prevent plantar fasciitis pain.

Also, several Hoka running shoes have options for wider toe boxes. Wide toe boxes are helpful for plantar fasciitis. It is because you get space inside the shoes for movement. Also, the weight gets equally distributed, preventing pressure on specific muscles. 

Brooks vs Hoka Comparison for Plantar Fasciitis

Hoka and Brooks are great for plantar fasciitis on their own. But are you worried you cannot buy both? If you’re stuck with which one to choose, we will help you out.

We will discuss the main differences between Hoka and Brooks. These differences will help you determine what features are good and bad, and how big the impact can be.

Brooks vs Hoka Comparison for Plantar Fasciitis

1. Cushioning

When talking about the cushioning, we already know that both shoes perform great. But Hoka wins the game with its extra soft and plush cushioning. The use of molded EVA foam makes it the most cushioned shoe. While Hoka’s cushioning is known to be “maximal”, it might give a caged feeling to your feet. 

On the other hand, Brooks shoes come with different types of cushioning. It is because their running shoes are for different purposes. Depending on the purpose, Brooks will use different padding at different places on the shoes. DNA Loft, BioMogo DNA, and DNA AMP are the famous kinds of cushioning in Brooks shoes. 

So, we believe that Hoka only focuses on providing maximum cushioning. But, Brooks aims to provide the right cushioning for specific shoes.

2. stability

Brooks’s stability comes from their roll bars. Brooks range is popular for its diagonal roll bars that prevent your feet from rolling inwards. Apart from this, the GuideRails technology in Brooks running shoes prevents plantar fasciitis. 

In comparison to Brooks, Hoka shoes have a broader base for providing stability. The plush midsole and larger and wider soles make them stable while running. The curve in the forefoot area also allows for motion control. Still, the GuideRails technology and roll bars make Brooks better for providing motion control. 

3. weight

We see that Brooks and Hoka pay close attention to keeping their shoes lightweight. Although Hoka has maximum cushioning, the shoes are still lightweight on average. It is due to the plush cushioning of the shoes.

On the other hand, Brooks shoes are considered to be heavier on average. When comparing the two best models, Hoka Clifton 9 and Brooks Glycerin GTS 20, we see that Hoka is better. Hoka Clifton 9 weighs 8.7 oz. Meanwhile, Brooks Glycerin GTS 20 weighs around 10.5 oz.

So, if cushioning and a lightweight feel are your preference, Hoka will suit you better. But still, the stability and motion control features of Brooks are like no other!

4. durability

The durability of both Hoka and Brooks is almost the same. After all, it depends on how you use them. However, the life expectancy of Hoka running shoes is between 400 and 600 miles. This lifespan is more than enough to make your shoes last for some years. On the other hand, you can expect Brooks shoes to last between 300 and 500 miles.

The better durability of Hoka shoes is due to their maximum cushioning. These shoes have durable features, and the maximum cushioning will not compress even after running hundreds of miles.

When talking about the price, you can expect Hoka shoes to be a bit pricey compared to Brooks. Well, that price also comes with a plus point. The brand’s reputation in manufacturing high-quality shoes allows them to get benefits over others. While Brooks shoes are also worth the hype, they cost slightly less than Hoka. 

Remember that if you want the best shoes for your foot problems, you will have to invest some money. Better features in shoes always come with a higher price tag. But they are definitely worth it.

Talking about the style, both Hoka and Brooks have sturdy looks. But, Hoka shoes are as comfortable on the inside as rigid as they might look from the outside. Similarly, Brooks shoes seem stiff and sturdy, with an optimum heel-to-toe drop. Hoka shoes have a larger base with maximum cushioning in the midsole. Thus, Hoka shoes feel more elevated from the ground.

Exploring the battle of comfort? Dive into our detailed comparison between Brooks and Hoka, not just for plantar fasciitis relief but also overall performance. Discover more in our comprehensive article: Hoka vs Brooks.

Recommendations for Severe vs Mild Plantar Fasciitis

hoka rincon

As we discussed before, plantar fasciitis pain can range from severe to mild. Therefore, your running shoes should be according to your condition. 

If you suffer from severe plantar fasciitis, Hoka running shoes will be a better choice. The extra soft and plush feel of these shoes is more than enough to provide support to your foot muscles. In plantar fasciitis, our foot muscles cannot handle enough pressure and stress that comes from running.

So, you might need to provide artificial support and cushioning instead of believing that your body will adapt to the condition. In such severe cases, Hoka shoes can provide superior pain relief with their soft and comfy features.

Mild plantar fasciitis needs support and better shock-absorbing capability in running shoes. For this purpose, the stability and arch support of Brooks shoes will suit your needs.

The average heel-to-toe drop of 10-12mm in Brooks running shoes is more than enough to provide optimum arch support. As discussed earlier, the GuideRails technology is also great for enhancing the stability. Thus, Brooks running shoes can deliver the optimum stability you need for running.

The best thing about Hoka shoes is that they keep things moderate. Their shoes include the right features in the right quantity. Whether it comes to stability, durability, weight, or support, Brooks shoes will go beyond your expectations!

Apart from this, you can use other tips if your plantar fasciitis pain doesn’t go away. One method is to add insoles to the shoes. These insoles provide extra cushioning and support to prevent pain. 

Taping is another method to adjust the body alignment and movement of muscles. While all these will help, you should also do exercises and different stretches to strengthen the muscles naturally.

Frequently Asked Questions

What causes plantar fasciitis?

The damage to the plantar fascia muscle causes plantar fasciitis. This muscle plays the role of connecting the toes and the heel bone. Several reasons can cause plantar fasciitis. These include old age, injury, poor foot structure, etc. 

Some people might not know that the wrong running gait can also cause plantar fasciitis. This directly links to wearing the wrong shoes.

When you disturb the body alignment by wearing the wrong shoes, your muscles will have to bear more pressure than normal. This will lead to damage to the muscles.

Do podiatrists recommend Hoka shoes?

Yes. Most podiatrists recommend Hoka shoes to their patients suffering from plantar fasciitis. Several clinical studies also suggest that Hoka shoes can be good for preventing plantar fasciitis. It is due to the maximum cushioning and maximalist nature of the shoes.

Podiatrists often like these shoes due to their cushioning, sturdy sole, and lightweight design.

What shoes should you not wear with plantar fasciitis?

You should not wear barefoot shoes or slippers if you suffer from plantar fasciitis. The best kinds of shoes for this condition are the ones that offer cushioning and support.

Flip flops are also not good for plantar fasciitis. They have flat soles and minimum cushioning. 

Similarly, shoes with high heels are not good for plantar fasciitis either. People with plantar fasciitis should also avoid barefoot or minimalist shoes.

brooks Glycerin-20-2

Are Brooks/Hokas good for other foot pain like metatarsalgia?

Hokas are the best shoes when it comes to metatarsalgia. Hoka Bondi are famous for their plush cushioning that reduces the pressure on the ball of the foot. Thus, while landing on the ground, the cushion of the shoes provides a safe landing. 

Brooks is also good for runners suffering from metatarsalgia. Their comfy feel and stability features make runs easy and smooth.

Do I need prescription orthotics with Brooks or Hoka shoes?

Yes. You can wear prescription orthotics with both Brooks and Hoka shoes. However, you don’t really need to wear them. 

Hoka Bondi is great if you want to wear orthotics. Brooks versions that go well with orthotics are the Adrenaline, Addiction, and Ghost. 

These shoes can work with orthotics. But whether you need them or not depends on your foot condition.

How often should I replace my running shoes if I have plantar fasciitis?

Shoes for plantar fasciitis should come with cushioning and support. With excessive wear and tear, the cushioning of running shoes can compress.

Therefore, the best idea is to replace your running shoes after 6 months of regular use. If you don’t run frequently, you can replace your shoes after 300 or 500 miles.


Brooks and Hoka are great on their own. However, the differences in their features make one suitable for severe plantar fasciitis. The other is suitable for mild conditions. The extra cushioning of Hoka makes them great for severe plantar fasciitis. On the other hand, the stability features of Brooks are ideal for mild plantar fasciitis.

The best choice is to visit specialty running stores and try the shoes yourself. Remember, the fit and comfort of all shoes are different for different foot types.

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