Why Your Feet Hurt When You Walk

closeup of a person wearing white sneakers and walking up stairs

6 Common Causes of Foot Pain When Walking

Your feet carry you from one place to the next whether you’re walking around your house, down the street, or through the aisles of a grocery store. We use our feet so often that minor aches and pains seem normal. When that discomfort does not go away, gets worse, or interferes with daily activities, it can be cause for concern.

The main reason most people’s feet hurt when walking is overuse that leads to problems like plantar fasciitis. PowerStep® orthotics are the best insoles for walking all day because they are clinically proven to prevent and relieve foot pain from most overuse conditions.

Continue reading to find out why walking makes your feet hurt, and how to relieve foot pain with PowerStep’s podiatrist recommended insoles.

In This Article:

  1. Plantar fasciitis.
  2. Metatarsalgia.
  3. Morton’s neuroma.
  4. Heel pad atrophy.
  5. Bunions.
  6. Flat feet.
man carrying work satchel while walking down a street in front of shops

How can I stop foot pain from walking?

Whether you’re an active person who takes daily walks or someone who works on their feet all day, constant pain in the bottoms of your feet makes everyday activities a challenge. If your feet always hurt after walking your dog or at the end of a shift, the source of your discomfort might be your shoes.

Wearing shoes that do not fit or lack proper support and cushioning puts unnecessary pain and pressure on your feet. PowerStep orthotic insoles with arch support and comfortable, dual-layer cushioning can help stop foot pain when walking.

With a clinically proven arch shape and deep heel cup, PowerStep walking insoles support your feet from heel to toe. Our premium cushioning absorbs the impact each time your feet hit the ground. This level of support promotes healthy alignment, improves comfort, and reduces pain to help keep foot, knee, hip, and back pain at bay.

man sitting in a doorway and placing blue shoe insole into black shoe

1. Plantar Fasciitis

About 15% of foot conditions are plantar fasciitis, which can cause pain in the heel of the foot when walking. Plantar fasciitis happens when the thick band of tissue running along the bottom of your foot becomes inflamed.

Symptoms include stabbing heel or arch pain that gets worse after walking or standing. Plantar fasciitis can also make your feet hurt when you wake up and walk out of bed. Heel spurs can also develop alongside plantar fasciitis.

For Relief:

Orthotic insoles help treat and prevent plantar fasciitis pain that gets in the way of daily activities. PowerStep Pinnacle orthotic insoles are the #1 podiatrist recommended insoles for relieving and preventing pain from plantar fasciitis.

Other methods include wearing night splints to speed up recovery and performing plantar fasciitis stretches with devices like the UltraFlexx® Foot Rocker.

closeup of a man sitting down and placing a blue shoe insole into a black shoe

2. Metatarsalgia

Metatarsalgia can feel like a sharp, aching or burning pain in the ball of the foot when walking. Other symptoms include numbness or tingling in the toes. It is caused by activities putting repetitive pressure on the balls of the feet like running, jumping, or wearing tight shoes.

For Relief:

Insoles with metatarsal support like PowerStep Plus Met insoles or PowerStep PULSE® Plus insoles for running take pressure off the balls of the feet, relieving and preventing pain. Exercises for metatarsalgia can also help treat and prevent the condition.

man sitting on an outdoor bench while placing a blue insole into a black shoe

3. Morton’s Neuroma

Morton’s Neuroma can also cause the balls of the feet to hurt when walking in high heels or tight shoes that put pressure on the toe area. This condition happens when the tissue around a nerve leading to the toes thickens from constant pressure.

You may feel tingling, numbness, or sharp pain between your toes when walking, or like you are walking on a pebble stuck under the ball of your foot.

For Relief:

Extra cushioning from metatarsal pads in your shoes can help absorb shock and reduce pressure on the balls of the feet. Orthotics for tight shoes with arch and metatarsal support like PowerStep SlenderFit® insoles for heels help distribute pressure evenly to reduce and alleviate pain.

closeup of a woman holding a pair of black heels with shoe insoles inside

4. Heel Pad Atrophy

The fat pad under your heel is a natural shock absorber that starts to wear away as you age. Without it, your heel bone is unprotected from the impact of your heel hitting the ground. This can give rise to calluses, inflammation, and pain that may evolve into other foot ailments.

For Relief:

Wearing cushioned shoe insoles like PowerStep ComfortLast® insoles with a gel heel relief zone absorb shock and soften the impact as you walk or stand. For adaptable arch support and energy returning foam, try PowerStep bridge® insoles. Adding gel heel cups to your shoes can also help substitute the natural deterioration of your heel pad.

closeup of a man placing blue and white shoe insole into a white shoe

5. Bunions

Also called hallux valgus, bunions are a common foot ailment. These bony bumps on the outer big toe joint can develop from wearing narrow shoes or from medical conditions like arthritis. Bunions change the foot structure and result in burning pain, redness, swelling and numbness that worsens when wearing shoes.

For Relief:

Although severe cases may require surgery, minor bunions can be treated by wearing customizable orthotics and shoes with wider toe boxes. PowerStep sandals with arch support give the toes plenty of room while supporting healthy alignment to relieve pain. Other treatments include wearing bunion splints and bunion sleeves.

closeup of a woman wearing black orthotic sandals and standing in a doorway

6. Flat Feet

People with flat feet are more prone to painful foot conditions like plantar fasciitis or ankle pain when walking. Whether you were born with flat feet or your arches fell overtime, having low to no arches can bring about heel and arch pain with physical activity.

Having flat feet can also make you overpronate, which disrupts the alignment of your feet, ankles, and lower body. This may lead to other types of pain when walking like back, knee or hip pain.

For Relief:

To relieve pain from flat feet, you need insoles with low arch support and a heel cradle. PowerStep Pinnacle Low insoles offer arch support for flat feet for increased comfort, stability, and improved alignment. Stretches for flat feet can also help with pain, while corrective orthotics like PowerStep Maxx insoles can help stop overpronation.

woman sitting on an outdoor bench while placing a blue insole into a walking shoe

When to See a Podiatrist

When you experience foot pain making it hard to walk, you should see a podiatrist if you have:

  • Pain that interferes with daily activities
  • Pain that continues despite rest
  • Visible foot deformities
  • Frequent swelling, redness, or numbness
  • Pain in your ankles, legs, knees, hips, or back

A podiatrist can properly diagnose and treat your foot pain. They may recommend using PowerStep orthotic insoles as the best insoles for walking shoes when you need everyday relief.

Walk Pain-Free with PowerStep Insoles

Walking helps you stay in shape and it’s essential to how we move during the day. Foot pain when walking happens when the tendons, joints, and muscles in the bottoms of our feet become misaligned or overstressed. Relieve foot pain and improve your foot health with PowerStep orthotic insoles for walking.

PowerStep does not diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please see a healthcare provider if you experience severe foot pain after walking. PowerStep insoles and orthotics are designed to help relieve and prevent pain caused by common foot conditions.


Kumar, J. (2022, May 27). Reasons Why Your Feet Hurt When Walking. Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey, PA

Nall, R. (2020, April 1) 9 causes of foot pain while walking. Medical News Today.

Santos-Longhurst, A. (2019, May 28) Why Do My Feet Suddenly Hurt When I Walk? Healthline.