Best Running Shoes for Women with Heel Pain – Firm Heel Counter and Extra Cushion!


Editor’s Note: This post has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy on May 2022 and reflects an up-to-date selection of the best running shoes for women with heel pain.

Did you know that wearing the correct type of shoes is the most effective way to treat and prevent your heel pain? Women who are active on their feet and stand for long periods of time are at higher risk of developing heel pain.

I have seen cases of women with heel pain that became so severe that just standing up first thing in the morning was unbearable.

If your heel pain is interfering with your everyday activities, you must take action immediately. Women who exercise, go for long walks and run on hard surfaces are more likely to develop heel pain. The main issue with heel pain is that it affects your foot health but also contributes to other issues such as knee, hip, and back pain.

I always encourage women to be proactive and don’t take the “wait and see approach” when it comes to dealing with their heel pain. The most common reason why women experience heel pain is from wearing unsupportive running shoes. The good news is that certain shoe styles provide targeted cushion and support around the heel area, which is going to reduce the impact that your heels take when they come in contact with the ground.

I have been fitting women’s shoes for the last 10 years which has helped me get familiar with which shoe brands and which shoe styles among those brands provide better support than others. I have helped hundreds of women with heel pain find the perfect pair of shoes to significantly reduce or fully eliminate their heel pain.

The best shoes for heel pain are going to help align your feet to their natural position and evenly distribute your weight across your feet. Thus, reducing the pulling of the plantar fascia which is a primary cause of heel pain. Let me show you an example of a specific shoe style that comes with a firm heel counter and provides targeted support to the heels:

Shoes With Ankle Support

Do you notice how there is infused gel around that specific area of the shoe?

I have found 3 specific running shoe styles made by the shoe companies Asics, New Balance, and Orthofeet that have proven to be the most effective ones for women with heel pain.

I am going to show you the best running shoes for women with heel pain shortly, but first I want to make sure that you know what features you must look for in your running shoes in case you don’t like any of the styles that I recommend.

Running Shoes for Women with Heel Pain – The 2 key Features!

✅ Firm Heel Counter: The shoes must come with a firm heel counter to provide heel support and minimize the impact that your heels take every time they strike into the ground. The heel counter is the back part of the shoe that provides heel support, and if you are not sure what the heel counter is located, take a look at the image below for clarification:

Always press on the heel counter of the shoes before buying them to make sure that the area feels firm and not flimsy.

✅ Infused Gel or ROLLBAR: The shoes must provide infused gel or ROLLBAR technology to better support and cushion your heels to minimize the impact that your heels take when they come in contact with the ground.

There is only a small selection of running shoes that provide these 2 features, but the good news is that I will help you find them.

Please note that you won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer if you don’t wear them in the correct size. This brings me to this next question:

Are you 100% sure of your exact foot size? I recommend going to your local shoe store to have your feet properly measured. However, if you don’t have a good fitting shoe store in your area take a look at the following article that explains how to measure your foot size from home:

How To Measure Your Foot Shoe Size – The Most Simple And Effective Way!

The shoes that I describe below are available in different widths such as narrow (N), medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW), so please make sure that you choose your shoe width accordingly.

Let’s take a look at the best running shoes for women with heel pain. Disclosure: Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases.

Women Running Shoes

Best Running Shoes for Women with Heel Pain ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Top Selling New Balance Running Shoes for Heel Pain

The New Balance running shoes that I recommend for women with heel pain are going to accommodate the shape of women with medium, wide, or extra wide feet. The styles provide extra depth so they are capable of accommodating a high instep as well.

The shoes provide a firm heel counter and feature ROLLBAR stability technologies to maintain your heel stable in place and keeps it from moving around. In addition, the shoes provide ABZORB technology to cushion and support your feet.

The shoes below provide extra depth and come with removable insoles to accommodate most over-the-counter arch supports and custom orthotics.

Top Selling Asics Running Shoe for Heel Pain: Gel-Kayano 25

These running shoe can accommodate the shape of women with narrow (N) or medium (M) width feet only. These shoes made by Asics are some of the most supportive yet lightweight and flexible walking/running shoes for women.

The Asics shoes below provide infused gel around the heel counter of the shoe for extra cushion and support. This feature is going to minimize the impact that your feet and legs take when they come in contact with the ground and protect your joints. The more gel the shoe has, the better support that it provides.

Top Selling Orthofeet Running Shoe for Heel Pain: Orthofeet

This particular shoe style by Orthofeet has also proven to be one of the most effective ones when it comes to treating and preventing chronic heel pain. Please note that this shoe style is going to fit women with medium (M), wide (W), and extra wide (XW) width feet only. This shoe style is also capable of accommodating the shape of a woman with a high instep.

What Shoe Size Should You Order?

Take a look at the description below the shoes that I recommended to find out what shoe size you should order.

If you happen to try any of these 3 shoe styles and your heel pain persists, the next step is to try a pair of heel cups inside the shoes. There are no other better shoes for women with heel pain, so before you jump the gun and return I recommend that you try a pair of heel cups inside your shoes.

Best Heel Cups for Women with Heel Pain

Heel cups fit in shoes that provide extra depth and they provide optimized shock absorption and cushioning, which is going to keep your heels protected and supported. The heel cup that I recommend is the #1 podiatrist recommended heel cup in the world, as it provides maximum shock absorption thanks to their patented waffle construction.

Tuli’s heel cups provide immediate pain relief from Plantar Fasciitis, Sever’s disease, shin splints, or any other condition that is causing your heel pain.

I have fitted this heel cup in several different women’s shoes, and in most cases, the pain fully disappeared or was significantly reduced. Below you can find the best heel cup for women with heel pain:

Sizing — Getting the Correct Heel Cup Size!

Sizing is a key aspect when trying to fit correctly a heel cup into your shoes, so please take into account the following considerations:

Small Size – Best for women under 80 lbs.

Regular Size – Best for women’s shoe sizes 9 and under. Men’s shoe sizes 7 and under. (Weight up to 175 lbs.)

Large Size – Best for women’s shoe sizes 10 and up. Men’s shoe sizes 8 and up. (Weight over 175 lbs.)

Are You Having a Hard Time Finding Shoes for Your Foot Shape?

You can ask your questions in the comment section below or contact me via email:

Have you found another particular running shoe style that has worked well in treating and prevent your heel pain? Please share your findings below so other women can benefit from your experiences.

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Shoe Sizing Chart


  1. Hi Pablo,

    You have given us the perfect article above for the best shoes for heel pain. Being someone who loves running, I have always been a big fan of ASICS for years. However post your article I think New Balance is also a brand I would like to try out. Thanks for sharing your insights on the same.

    • I am glad you found the article informative. I believe Asics is the best shoe brand when it comes to running. However, it is not capable of fitting women with extra wide feet or high insteps, that is the reason why I also recommend New Balance. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how much support a shoe provides, if they don’t fit the shape of your feet you won’t get any of the benefits that the shoes have to offer.

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