A blog by runners. For runners.

Why Do I Have Pain in My Heel When Walking?

This is the second specific question that Dr. Nace has answered from a runner on WalkJogRun. He will be answering specific one time per month. If you have a question you'd like to ask Dr. Nace, click “ask the doctor” at the bottom of the page.

I read your posts on plantar fasciitis and had a question. I started running this year, as I'm a Peace Corps volunteer with limited exercise options. I love it, and got some great running shoes that have me not landing on my heel. I feel great while running. However, when I am walking in other shoes (shoes that had never bothered me before I started running) I have pain in my heel, which can get pretty sharp. Any ideas what this could be? Should I go see my medical officer about it?

Amy H., Peace Corps, Paraguay


From your description, it sounds like the pain could be a stress reaction to the heel and probably needs further evaluation. If shoe modification and stretching does not work and you are not experiencing the worse pain with the first few steps in the morning, this is not typical of plantar fasciitis. It would be a good idea to go see your medical officer for further imaging.

Running Injuries

Dr. James Nace, MD

James Nace, MD is an orthopedic surgeon-joint replacement and doctor of general orthopedics specializing in hip, knee and shoulder joint preservation and reconstruction. He practices out of the Rubin Institute for Advanced Orthopedics at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, Maryland. Throughout his career as a physical therapist and orthopedic surgeon, Nace has gained the most satisfaction from treating runners and all types of athletes for their injuries and helping get them back to training and competing.

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