Can Maximalist Shoes Cure Your Plantar Fasciitis?

An article HERE explores “Can Maximalist Shoes Cure Your Plantar Fasciitis?”

I have worn Hoka One One maximalist shoes for several years. I started with winter after Elbrus Race 2010. That was winter 2010-2011. Previous to that Asics and Mizuno shoes worked well for me. I thought I was a supinator since most of the time my foot rolled to the outside. I had a running coach analyze my form and he said I was neutral with late-stage pronation. He suggested a neutral cushion shoe.

Winter Trailrunning in Maximalist shoes - Mafate WP from Hoka One One
Winter Trailrunning in Maximalist shoes – Mafate WP from Hoka One One

Maximalist Shoes I’ve Used

  • Hoka Mafate WP
  • Hoka Bondi.B
  • Hoka Stinson
  • Hoka Stinson EVO
  • Hoka Stinson Tarmac

I underlined the maximalist shoes I’ve especially loved over the years. As you can see, I’ve been using the Hoka One One brand for quite a few years, and literally thousands of miles. Check maximalist shoes by Hoka One One out on Amazon

Maximalist shoes and Plantar Fasciitis

My own story goes back to those Asics and Mizuno with the very solid plastic stability wedges and plates all over the midsole. Running in those actually caused me to slam my heel into the ground much harder than needed. That caused me much pain at the origin of the plantar fasciitis (where it connects to the heel). I focused on becoming a more mid-foot striker, slapping the ground with the ball of my foot as the heel lightly brushed the ground. I stopped running pavement as much as possible. I exercised my ankles and insteps to strengthen them. All of these were facilitated by my maximalist shoes. Especially the forward landing while running.

Bondi.B about 300 miles - the maximalist shoe that changed my running forever
Bondi.B about 300 miles – the maximalist shoe that changed my running forever

I think that adding maximalist shoes to my shoe rotation was instrumental in my eventually curing my plantar fasciitis. I actually recommend them to most of my friends with a few disclaimers. Make sure it fits. Use the thinnest insole it comes with. It’s relatively low drop, and there is very little stability, so get used to it gently.

In the article, linked at the top, LaMarche says. “The downside is the body does not do enough work and it can make you weak, possibly causing injury.”

On the contrary, there are several articles pointing out that the very soft foam is so forgiving and has so little stability, that many people experience extreme fatigue in their lower legs when they first start using maximalist shoes. This is important to train for. I recommend barefoot walking on a treadmill, and will put up an article soon with more information on that. If you want to make sure you see it, be sure to subscribe to the newsletter, to the right column. I’ll send you a notice when I publish the barefoot training article.

Remember, I’m not a doctor and I’ve never seen you run. Have your form and body analyzed by professionals and take my suggestions with a grain of salt. If it works for you great, but don’t hurt yourself. Thanks!