Best Shoes for Heel Spurs Pain and Support

Designed with maximum cushion for shock absorption.

Updated on May 31, 2024

Shop shoes for heel spurs from KURU today!

If you have heel pain, you know how much it can hold you back. Heel spurs often present alongside heel pain, so you may be wondering how to find the best shoes for a bone spur on your heel. While a growth of extra bone on your heel sounds like it would be painful, the truth is that the spur itself is rarely the cause of the pain.

Heel spurs generally form alongside soft tissue injuries, like plantar fasciitis, so it’s common to have a spur in a spot where you are feeling pain. Fortunately, treating the plantar fasciitis or other underlying cause generally brings relief. These treatments are simple and can be done at home, but they do take time to work. That means the best shoes for heel spurs cushion and protect your heel as your body recovers.

What are Heel Spurs?

Heel spurs are small growths of bone that protrude from the bottom of your heel—sometimes as much as half of an inch! Heel spurs are calcium deposits, and they generally develop slowly over time. This buildup is caused by strain and wear and tear on your foot, and can be a response to inflammation. When inflammation occurs regularly, your body builds up extra bone to try and protect that area.

This means that heel spurs are very commonly associated with plantar fasciitis, which is the most common cause of heel pain. Your plantar fascia, which runs beneath your heel to the front of your foot, takes on stress and punishment every time you take a step. This inflammation can lead to the formation of heel spurs. Heel spurs, like plantar fasciitis, are especially common among runners and other athletes.

Fortunately, most heel pain is not caused by heel spurs–even when there is a spur in the area. The first step is to treat the inflammation or soft tissue injury that contributed to the spur in the first place, and most patients find that treating the inflammation resolves the heel pain without the need for surgery or other invasive treatments.

  • Man wearing KURU ATOM athletic sneakers for heel spurs.
Most Common Causes & Risk Factors
  • Strain & Stress
    Heel spurs form gradually over time as calcium deposits build up on the bottom of your heel. This takes several months, and the most common cause of these growths is strain and stress on the tendons and ligaments around the bone, particularly your plantar fascia. Your body builds up extra bone tissue over time to protect those areas from that repeated stress.
    Strain & Stress
  • Increased Activity
    Because heel spurs are related to ongoing stress, they are most common among runners and other athletes—as well as anyone who suddenly increases the amount of strain they are putting on their feet. If you are active, make sure any increases in your routine are slow and steady. And make sure you’re wearing supportive footwear that hasn’t worn out unevenly, as uneven wear patterns can alter your gait and increase your risk for injury. Good shoes for heel spurs will cushion the heel while offering enough support to keep you moving naturally.
    Increased Activity
  • Altered Gait
    Anything that alters your gait can increase your risk of heel spurs by increasing the amount of stress you are putting in one place. Things like over or under pronating, having one leg that is longer than the other, or gait disorders can all increase your risk of heel spurs.
    Altered Gait
  • Obesity or Rapid Weight Gain
    Those who are overweight are more likely to develop heel spurs and associated pain. Plantar fasciitis is also commonly associated with pregnancy, as any kind of rapid weight gain puts more strain on the feet than they are used to without giving them time to adjust.
    Obesity or Rapid Weight Gain

Symptoms and Diagnosis

To diagnose heel spurs, a healthcare professional will typically begin by conducting a thorough physical examination and taking a detailed medical history. They will inquire about the symptoms you are experiencing, the duration and intensity of the pain, and any activities or factors that may exacerbate or alleviate the pain. During the physical examination, the healthcare professional may palpate the heel to identify areas of tenderness and evaluate the range of motion of the foot.

In some cases, imaging tests may be necessary to confirm the presence of heel spurs and rule out other possible causes of heel pain. X-rays are the most common imaging test used, as they can provide clear images of the bony structures in the foot. X-rays can reveal the size, shape, and location of the heel spurs, helping the healthcare professional determine the most appropriate treatment plan.

Heel spurs themselves may not cause any symptoms. However, they can lead to pain and discomfort when they irritate the surrounding tissues, such as the plantar fascia. The most common symptoms associated with heel spurs include:

  • Pain
    The primary symptom of heel spurs is pain in the heel, particularly when walking or standing for extended periods. The pain is often described as a sharp, stabbing sensation.
    Pain
  • Tenderness
    The affected area may be tender to the touch, especially around the underside of the heel.
    Tenderness
  • Inflammation
    In some cases, the area around the heel spur may become swollen and red.
    Inflammation
  • Difficulty walking
    The pain and discomfort caused by heel spurs can make it challenging to walk or bear weight on the affected foot.
    Difficulty walking
  • Pain relief with rest
    Resting the foot and avoiding activities that exacerbate the pain can provide temporary relief.
    Pain relief with rest
Shop heel spur shoes from KURU today!

Facts and Stats

We take a look at some facts and stats you might not have known about heel spurs. Read on to find out more!

Treatment

Surgery to remove or reshape a heel spur is relatively rare. While heel spurs often form in response to inflammation and stress, the pain at the site is usually from that same soft tissue injury and not from the spur itself.

So while it’s not at all uncommon for there to be a heel spur at the site where you are feeling the pain, treating that pain is usually going to begin by treating the inflammation around it. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain and closely associated with heel spurs, treatment plans for PF are often a natural starting point.

The inflammation or injury can be in areas other than your plantar fascia, of course, but for most inflammation the first steps for treatment are going to be largely the same. RICE is a helpful acronym for remembering how to promote faster healing and reduce pain:

  • Rest
    Stop high-impact activities and try to limit your time on your feet. Consider switching from high impact exercises like running or basketball, to low impact exercise like swimming or cycling.
    Rest
  • Ice
    Apply ice to the injured area for 15-20 minutes at a time.
    Ice
  • Compression
    Apply pressure to the site with tape or wraps.
    Compression
  • Elevation
    Put your feet up (above your heart) to increase circulation and promote faster healing.
    Elevation
  • Night Splint
    For severe cases of plantar fasciitis, sometimes doctors will recommend you wear a night splint. This keeps your plantar fascia stretched out as you sleep, to promote better flexibility and reduce the chance of injury and inflammation.
    Night Splint
  • Shoes with Cushion
    Heel spur shoes are any shoe that is going to protect and cushion your foot as it recovers, and give you the support you need to avoid developing spurs in the future. The best tennis shoes for heel spurs or the best walking shoes for heel spurs will have deep heel cups that reduce impact, as well as inserts that support your arch and cushion the full-length of your foot. Every pair of KURUs comes with our three-part technology, engineered to reduce pain and guide you back to a healthier gait.
    Shoes with Cushion
  • Steroid Injections
    If the pain near a heel spur persists for several months after trying more conservative treatments, your doctor may recommend steroid injections. These injections help manage inflammation and reduce pain.
    Steroid Injections
  • Surgical Procedures
    There are also several surgical procedures your doctor might suggest, but most are oriented around releasing tension in your soft tissues or reducing inflammation rather than physically removing the spur.
    Surgical Procedures

Exercises and Stretches for Heel Spurs

In addition to preventive measures, specific exercises and stretches can help alleviate the symptoms associated with heel spurs. These exercises aim to stretch and strengthen the muscles and tissues surrounding the heel, reducing pain and improving flexibility.

Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or physical therapist before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have an existing foot condition.

Here are a few exercises and stretches you can incorporate into your routine:

  • Calf stretches
    Stand facing a wall, placing your hands on the wall for support. Step one foot back, keeping it straight and pressing the heel into the ground. Lean forward, feeling the stretch in your calf. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
    Calf stretches
  • Plantar fascia stretch
    Sit on a chair and cross one foot over the opposite knee. Hold the toes of the crossed foot and gently pull them back towards your shin until you feel a stretch in the arch of your foot. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other foot.
    Plantar fascia stretch
  • Towel Curls
    Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground. Place a towel on the floor in front of you. Using only your toes, scrunch the towel towards you, then release. Repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
    Towel Curls
  • Toe Extension
    Sit on a chair and place a rubber band around all your toes. Spread your toes apart as far as possible against the resistance of the band. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat for 10-15 repetitions.
    Toe Extension

Prevention

Prevention is always better than cure, and there are several strategies you can adopt to reduce the risk of developing heel spurs. By incorporating these preventive measures into your daily routine, you can significantly reduce the risk of developing heel spurs and other foot-related conditions.

Consider the following tips:

  • Wear proper footwear
    Invest in shoes that provide adequate arch support, cushioning, and shock absorption. Avoid high heels and shoes with narrow toe boxes that can increase pressure on the heels and toes.
    Wear proper footwear
  • Maintain a healthy weight
    Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the strain on your feet and lower the risk of developing heel spurs.
    Maintain a healthy weight
  • Warm-up and stretch
    Before engaging in physical activities, warm up your muscles and perform stretching exercises to prepare your feet for the impact.
    Warm-up and stretch
  • Gradual increase in activity
    If you are starting a new exercise routine or increasing the intensity of your workouts, do so gradually to give your feet time to adapt.
    Gradual increase in activity
  • Listen to your body
    Pay attention to any pain or discomfort in your feet and take appropriate rest breaks when needed. Ignoring pain can lead to further injury and the development of heel spurs.
    Listen to your body

FAQs

  • What causes heel spurs?

    A bone spur is a calcium deposit that builds up over time into a protrusion that extends out from the bone. When this occurs on your heel it’s called a heel spur. Heel spurs form in response to stress and strain on the body, in particular from inflammation. Your body begins to add extra layers of bony material to areas that receive repeated stress as a sort of defense mechanism. Because they build up slowly and don’t cause pain on their own, many people don’t realize they have a heel spur right away.

  • How do I treat heel spurs?

    Generally speaking you don’t need to treat a heel spur itself, but rather the soft tissue injury around it. The spurs themselves don’t often cause pain, though surgery may be required to remove it if the spur protrudes enough to be felt through the skin or is jabbing into sensitive areas. More often, the pain in question is from the inflammation in the ligaments and tendons around the spur. Treating the pain begins with treating that inflammation, and as such treatments for plantar fasciitis are among the most helpful.

  • What are the best shoes for heel spurs?

    You might be looking for shoes for bone spurs on the heel, but as outlined above the best thing is going to be shoes that help cushion your feet and protect them from the stress that causes inflammation. Deep heel cups that cradle your heel can help, and you also want a good mixture of both cushion and support along the full length of your foot. That’s why we build our three part technology into every pair of KURU shoes.

  • Can wearing certain types of shoes aggravate heel spurs?

    Yes, wearing certain types of shoes can aggravate heel spurs. Shoes with inadequate arch support, high heels, or improper cushioning can increase stress on the heel and exacerbate the symptoms. It’s advisable to wear shoes that provide good support and cushioning.

  • Is my pain from heel spurs or plantar fasciitis?

    A doctor is the best person to diagnose your specific cause of foot pain. But the research shows that while heel spurs often appear in areas where you are experiencing heel pain, they aren’t usually the cause. The most likely cause of the pain is inflammation or wear and tear on the soft tissues around your heel, most commonly the plantar fascia. That’s why many medical providers will recommend at-home treatments for plantar fasciitis before moving to more invasive treatments for heel spurs themselves.

  • Can heel spurs be treated without surgery?

    Yes, heel spurs can often be treated without surgery. The majority of cases respond well to non-surgical treatments such as conservative measures, lifestyle modifications, and targeted therapies. Surgery is considered only when other methods fail to provide relief.

  • Are there specific exercises or stretches that can help with heel spurs?

    Yes, certain exercises and stretches can help alleviate symptoms associated with heel spurs. These may include calf stretches, plantar fascia stretches, towel curls, and toe stretches. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional or physical therapist to determine the appropriate exercises for your condition.

In our study on foot pain across America, a total of 6% of our survey respondents with foot pain reported having heel spurs.

Explore the latest foot pain trends, common causes of pain, treatment and prevention plans for maintained foot health in our 2024 Foot Pain Trends Report!

Three Layers of Support

At KURU, we pride ourselves on our unique approach to shoe design. We believe that shoes should be shaped to fit the natural contours of your feet, which is why we create every pair in three distinct support layers, not just an insole.

 

Our revolutionary ergonomic design starts with a curved footbed and adds unparalleled triple-layer support that includes shock-absorbing KURUCLOUD, heel-cupping KURUSOLE, and arch-supporting ULTIMATE INSOLES. The result? Shoes that are so comfortable you’ll stop thinking about your feet.

  • 1

    KURUSOLE

  • 2

    KURUCLOUD

  • 3

    ULTIMATE INSOLE

  • How KURU brings relief

    KURUSOLE

    If you have heel spurs or heel pain, you are looking for ways to protect your heel. Our patented KURUSOLE technology rises to the occasion to cushion and support you, dynamically flexing with you as you walk to promote a healthier gait. You have a pillow of fat beneath your heel, and our technology cups and contains that fat pad to maximize your natural cushioning and reduce pain.

Our Secret

Animated GIF showing KURUSOLE tech in KURU shoes vs. typical flat interiors for plantar fasciitis pain.
Why Others Love KURU

Why Others Love KURU

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ratings.

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My first KURU but not my last. I have heel spurs and related plantar fasciitis spanning 6 months. Physical Therapy taught me how to manage this but the Quantum 2.0 provided instant relief of my heel pain and allowed me to return to walking my dogs. Best purchase ever. The support and shock absorption is helping to reverse the pain and inflammation. Thank you so much!

Linda P.

Best shoe ever. I have been dealing with planters fasciitis and heel spur syndrome for over a year. Foot doctor fitted me with orthotics and I wore them for months with not much relief from pain. I researched your shoes but because I have tried so many other shoes that were supposed to be good for foot pain I was sceptical that yours would be any different. Well frustrated that I wasn’t getting any relief from the pain I finally decided to give them a try. As it took a couple of weeks to work them in I am so very glad I switched to these shoes. Finally some relief from pain. I am from Canada so the exchange rate made the shoes a little pricey right before Christmas but because they have the option to make 4 payments it was easy on the pocket book. Thank you so much for your shoes they are a godsend. These will be my forever shoes from now on.”

Donna McElwain

Comfortable! I bought these shoes to help with a heel spur. So far they are very comfortable. Would buy again.”

Tom Z

Outstanding Shoes. These are my 8th or 9th pair of Quantums and they are hands down a god send. I was facing complex foot surgery and these shoes did the trick. Pain from neuromas, achilles tendonosis, heel spurs, all just went away. I can’t say enough good things about Quantum’s. They changed my problem feet to happy feet!”

Gail D.

Seventh pair of KURU shoes. 7th pair of KURU shoes I’ve owned. Best yet. Great arch and heel comfort with super side support. I know everyone’s foot is different but these are just what I need. As long as you keep offering shoes like this, I will not need the scheduled foot(heel spur removal) surgery.”

Frederic Van Order

Love them… This is about my 5th pair of Kurus. I absolutely LOVE these. I’m currently dealing with a heel spur/planter fasciitis and this shoes are SO helpful in eliminating pain!”

KAYT

Shop KURU heel spur shoes today!
Recommended Shoes for Heel Spurs

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