Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis Reviewed
If you’ve recently upped your regular exercise routine or workout, you may have developed a swelling and a burning sensation along the back of your ankle just above your heel. These symptoms are caused by stress or injury to the tendon that connects your heel bone to the muscles in your calf.
It’s the tendon that gives us the ability to walk, run and jump, and it’s also the strongest of all the connective tissue in your body. Every time you push off from your toes, the Achilles tendon will transmit as much as three times your body weight. And if you run fast, you create even more stress. That’s a powerful muscle. What are the causes of injury? And what can you do besides ice it and wait? You’ll be glad to know there’s an easy answer. You need to find the shoes that will support you the best.
- Adidas Ultraboost Uncaged
- Knit Upper
- Nike Flex Experience RN6
- Rounded Heel
- Adidas NEO Cloudfoam VS City
- Cloud Foam Cushion
You can cause this injury by doing repetitive activities, including running for long distances or moving into your routine or workout without adequately stretching your calf muscles. And you don’t want to cause a trauma to your Achilles tendon, such as a tear. Also, an inflammation can grow into a condition that is much more serious. If you’ve experienced this, then you need to consider the absolute best sneaker to avoid further injury. If you are not preparing for your workout with the right shoe, you can even develop scar tissue over time that will leave small bumps on the tendon itself.
It’s time to take prevention seriously and protect your foot health for the long-term. You’ll be glad to know that you can actively search for and find sneakers that will protect you from further injury, and give you the support you need as you continue your preferred workout routines and speeds.
10 Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis
1. Adidas Ultraboost Uncaged
The Adidas Ultra Boost Uncaged sneaker features the high-quality Ultraboost Technology™, giving cushioning energy to each footfall of the runner, and providing a springy liftoff.
The boost™ mid-sole consists of thousands of very lightweight TPU pellets that have been molded together and are highly responsive to the energy of the runner.
Cost and Value
These sneakers lie near the top of the price point for other sneakers featured here. But the unique styling and fashion component, as well as the advanced Ultraboost Technology make the Adidas Ultraboost Uncaged a popular choice that users consider well worth the expense.
- Superior cushioning
- Upper wraps securely around foot
- Ultraboost Technology™
- Boost™ mid-sole with TPU pellets
- Elastic Rubber outsole
- Garter at top of shoe is irritating for some users
- Wearers with wide feet might need to take out the insole
2. Nike Flex Experience RN6
This flexible and patented Phylite Midsole is able to adjust to your foot with every step or footfall, creating a very smooth transition experience for walkers as well as runners.
Rubber Traction Outsole
It’s hard to believe that Nike has over 42 years of experience in traction technology. And part of that know-how has allowed them to develop a rubber traction insole to give this shoe extremely effective traction in indoor as well as outdoor environments.
Cost and Value
This Nike shoe does come in at the higher end of pricing for a shoe of this quality. But its superior features and quality make it a choice that some runners make over and over again as repeat buyers.
- Absorb footfall impact well
- Lightweight construction
- Comfortable for all day use
- High breathability design
- Good for arch support
- Insole does not have a lot of cushioning
- This shoe can be a bit narrow for some users
3. Adidas NEO Cloudfoam VS City
The cushioning properties of the Cloud Foam in the midsole give many wearers the opportunity to stand all day long without experiencing pain in their feet.
EVA compound heel pad
This newly developed feature of the EVA compound element of the heel pad in the midsole offers a high level of underfoot cushioning for any activity.
Cost and Value
One of the lower priced sneakers available at this quality level, these shoes receive high marks from their users for their superior comfort and durability.
- Great styling for women
- Provide great comfort
- Excellent fit
- Cloud foam insole
- High level of cushioning
- Some users find these sneakers don't offer enough support
- Users sometimes prefer these sneakers for walking rather than running use
4. Mizuno Wave Creation 17
these sneakers offer even the most intensive running workout a very comfortable ride. The flex grooves at the foreplate work with the articulation of the wave plate to propel you forward. There's also an enhanced sock-liner for more comfortPerfect for running, this lightweight breathable shoe has great cushioning and some report they don't even feel the footfall!
The carbon rubber outsole on the Mizuno Men's Wave Creation 17 running shoe also features SmoothRide Engineering for great traction on many surfaces.
Infinity Wave Construction
For great follow-through motion, the U4ic and Infinity Wave Construction cushioning offers a fast and effective heel-to-toe transition. These shoes are comfortable for the largest or tallest runner's needs.
Cost and Value
At a price point that lies in the medium to high -medium range for similar sneakers, these shoes are well worth the price for many users who rate these shoes very highly and purchase them again and again.
- Lightweight sneaker
- Very strong support
- Large toebox for comfort
- Great arch cushions
- High level of breathability
- Some users report that the uppers wear down quickly
- Sole can separate after several 100 miles running
5. Clarks Portland 2 Tie
The excellent cushioning and support of the Ortholite footbed is highly versatile and can be easily removed for inserting any orthotic.
This shoe features a rubber outsole that not only lasts a very long time but also provides great traction for the user in any environment. And it's still stylish enough to wear with khakis and jeans if desired.
Cost and Value
The Clark's Portland 2 Tie Men's Casual shoe is a great value for the price. The leather and inner materials are high quality and extremely durable, and most users find the shoe is tops in comfort and wearability.
- Great cushioning fit
- Highly padded insole
- Extra support for heel and toe
- Shoes last a long time
- Water resistant
- Upper can detach from shoe
- Some users have reported a "squeaky" sound during use
6. PUMA Cell Riaze
Offering a great level of comfort for running, the Cell technology of this shoe is second to none, featuring a single integrated cell footbed made of long-lasting polyurethane elastomer cells, which protects your foot from injury and lasts much longer than foam.
EcoOrtholite Sock Liner
In addition to real durability in a quality sneaker, the EcoOrtholite sockliner offers a great fit and is designed to withstand the use it will undergo during a woman's daily workout routine.
Cost and Value
The Puma Women's Cell Riaze Cross-Training Shoes are priced at the mid-range level and are highly prized by wearers who love the look of the shoe, the Cell Technology feature, and the comfortable cushioning throughout.
- Cell Technology design
- Highly padded interior
- Room for orthotics
- Snug fit for foot support
- Good cushioning in Arch
- Fabric behind heels wears out quickly
- Some users find the shoes are not suitable for running
7. PUMA Cell Surin
Puma makes shoes with a single integrated cell footbed. This is made of long-lasting polyurethane elastomer cells, which protects your foot from injury and lasts much longer than foam.
The thermoplastic polyurethane shanks are an important feature that runs through the shoe’s center. These TPU shanks provide protection for your heels as well as your arches during any workout.
Cost and Value
The Puma Men's Cell Surin sneaker is priced at a mid-range level. The shoe is not as expensive as the ASICS Gel-Nimbus, but it is higher than the ASICS Gel-Contend, and provides excellent value for money as a high-quality Puma sneaker.
- Full Leather upper
- Durable and last for several years
- Very lightweight
- Clean up is easier than with mesh shoes
- Some find the shoe does not offer enough cushioning
- Air cushion bubble sometimes fails
8. ASICS Gel-Nimbus 18
The FlyteFoam used in the midsole is very responsive and gives the wearer a nice bounce sensation with each step. It is designed in such a way as to hold up over time, unlike similar foams on the market.
ASICS FluidRide® midsole allows for the shoe to be lower in weight while still remaining durable. The cushion helps propel your foot forward with every step.
Cost and Value
These sneakers are at the top range of price levels for athletic shoes, but many users don't consider this an issue. They consider these shoes well worth the price for the unique and highly-developed technology that is present in every component of these sneakers.
- FlyteFoam® Midsole Technology
- FluidRide® Midsole
- 3D printed overlays for support
- Bounce back low-density foam
- Super fit for most users
- Toe area can be too tight and narrow for some users
- Shoe tongues are sometimes too short in length
9. Skechers Shape Ups Strength
Many buyers are enthusiastic about these shoes, and point out the fact that they were unable to walk without pain until they found these sneakers for their daily use. The curved soles create a flexible motion that prevents pain for those who from Achilles Tendonitis and other foot conditions.
Users find that the comfort midsole is generously padded, and gives their feet to all the support they could wish for, whether these sneakers are used for long distance walking or other activities.
Cost and Value
These shoes are a bit more expensive than the ASICS Gel-Contend. But considering the leather featured in the shoe, the stylish shape, and the top quality padding and cushioning, they are an excellent and popular choice.
- 100% support for the entire foot and ankle
- Comfortable for those who have foot injuries
- Eliminate foot pain for many foot conditions
- Sole roundness relieves lower back pain for some users
- Very durable and long-lasting shoes
- Soles sometimes separate from the shoes
- Foot bed is not always accommodating for orthotics
10. ASICS Gel-Contend 3
The comfort and springiness of the roll-through functionality with these sneakers creates a super-comfortable experience for wearers even up to 16 hour-long days, and long-distance running as well.
These sneakers, in addition to their comfortable and snug feel, also feature a gel cushion in the heel to further support and protect your Achilles tendon as you work out.
Cost and Value
Many users love this sneaker due to the fact that it provides excellent quality at such a low price. So low that people will buy a pair for indoor use and another for outdoor use. And often, once they buy a pair, they find they love the sneaker so much that they often become repeat customers.
- Roomy toe box
- Sneakers are durable and last a long time
- The price point is great for the quality
- The shoes are extremely lightweight
- Wearers buy these sneakers again and again
- Can be a bit stiff just out of the box till they break in
- Some users find they need more cushioning than these provide
Now that you’ve had a chance to review our top 10 picks for Achilles Tendonitis sneakers, ranging from low to higher price, which one looks like the best choice for you? Which features are most important to you? Your choice of shoes is going to make all the difference in the world for your comfort, and also prevent you from further injury. It’s also going to be great to know that you are providing the best support for your feet during your activities, no matter what you might be doing. And it will also give you the staying power to up your game just a little more because your feet will be perfectly balanced and benefiting from the most recent technology and research that guided the design of your shoes to protect your Achilles Tendonitis condition. Whether you’re going for style and comfort, or a low or higher budget shoe, any of the above options will fit your requirements perfectly for your workout needs.
Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis
When you are selecting the best Achilles Tendonitis Support Sneaker for your physiology and condition, you must be aware of how important the choice is to the long-term health of your feet, as well as the short-term health considerations.
Of this you can be certain: wearing the proper sneakers for your foot type and chosen activity will make all the difference in your overall comfort, safety, and enjoyment for years to come. It’s also very important that you select shoes that take into account any previous injuries you may have, as well as the amount of pronation and foot movement you experience in your activity.
Let’s look at some of the most important considerations below.
Offset and Heel drop
Research has shown that a heel lift can help to minimize Achilles Tendonitis. Put simply, a low heel drop (heel to forefoot height differential) may be too low to offset the “load” stress experienced by runners.
Will you be better off with a low heel drop or a higher heel drop? It’s going to be different for everyone, but it’s important to note one powerful factor. Often wearers of new models of sneakers think they are buying the same heel drop they had in their previous pair, but the reality is otherwise.
For example, over the past several years a number of manufacturers have created a “minimal” version of a shoe or product line. And in that process, it has been noted that one particular sneaker which originally featured a 12 mm heel drop now has only an 8 mm drop. If you are making a change to another shoe then this is an important factor to consider. It can make a huge difference to have that 4 mm back in your shoe of choice. In spite of the fact that 0 to 2 mm are often a suggested range, but certainly not for everyone. The best solution is to find a shoe that has a heel drop that is perfect for your particular comfort needs. Many runners find that changing the heel offset can make all the difference in their foot health.
Room for orthotics
If you have a podiatrist-prescribed orthotic for a foot problem, you will want to use it with the sneakers to reduce the stresses on the tendon due to the “whipping action” It’s important to know that the Achilles Tendonitis shoe that you select has room for your orthotic insert without causing a problem for comfort or fit.
The proper orthotic insert will reduce the reaction force you experience and minimize unwanted rearfoot motion. The effect of your orthotics on foot motion and impact will make all the difference in your workout or workday use. Your orthotics have been prescribed by your doctor to align your feet properly to avoid injury. Or they could be prescribed and designed to protect your feet from moving within the shoe improperly due to a previous injury. Whatever the reason, there must be room in the sneakers to accommodate them.
Some of the sneakers mentioned have a removable footbed, but you should also look for plenty of room and width in the toe box to accommodate any orthotic your podiatrist has designed for your particular foot problems. If your sneaker does not allow for the orthotic to be comfortably inserted, then you can have a serious problem that may cause you to develop further tendonitis issues.
More cushioning is desirable for running or high-impact activities if you suffer from Achilles Tendonitis, to decrease that 3x your body weight factor on toe-off. If your Achilles tendon feels pain after running, then you know you must begin to take it seriously before further injury might occur. And that’s exactly what any of these sneakers will protect you from – further injuries and stress to your foot.
Some prefer gel, some prefer foam, and some prefer air. Every step you take can make or break your activity when you have an Achilles Tendon weakness or sensitivity. They will give you a good flow between heel-strike to toe-off, but also maximum protection for foot movements. You’ll find that you can walk or run much further than you usually can with greater comfort.
Overpronation and Achilles Tendonitis
Choosing the right shoe for overpronation is essential for foot health, as it is directly linked to developing Achilles tendonitis. But how do you know whether you have underpronation, overpronation, or if you are in the neutral category? If you see that the outside of your shoes often shows the most wear, then you are adjusting to the outer side of your shoes as you walk or run, this wear pattern will pinpoint you as an underpronator. If you are neutral, then the soles of your shoes will show wear in an S-shaped pattern. You will see extra wear under the ball of the foot and the inside of the heel if you are an overpronator. Once you or your doctor have determined what is your general tendency within these categories, you can find a shoe with the exactly right support and cushion for your foot to avoid tendonitis.
If you’re an overpronator, you should look for sneakers that provide more stability. You will need maximum support and cushion that is structured to distribute the impact of your footfall and minimize your pronation. This is the condition that most often leads to tendonitis.
If you’re an underpronator, you are often more prone to shock-related injuries, so you should always look at a shoe with a lot of cushioning.
If you have read only a few testimonials from shoe purchasers online, you will often see that someone says they wish they had known they needed to order a somewhat larger size of sneaker than they normally do.
With the Achilles Tendonitis shoes discussed above, users of the sneakers do not always need to order one size large, especially with some of the softer sneaker sock top styles.
It could be that you also may need to purchase a size of shoe that is half to one size larger, as well as one width size up from your normal width. And in the case of orthotics, this is even more of a consideration.
So the sizing will vary accordingly. Be sure to check the testimonials of the Achilles Tendonitis support shoe you have selected, to see if the shoe you have chosen has users who say that they should have ordered one size up. Then you will know the tendency of that particular brand in terms of sizing and can order with confidence.
Naturally, from the materials with which they are constructed, some sneakers are going to be much lighter than others. Though it may seem like a few extra ounces would not make a difference, it’s something to consider, depending on the main purpose that you have in mind for your arch support sneakers.
Are you planning to use your sneakers for hours and hours of extensive hiking? Or are you planning to use your sneakers more for the purpose of having to be on your feet for eight hours a day and walking around indoors assisting customers or warehousing, for example.
Recent studies have shown that running with heavier shoes increases energy expenditure, as well as causing slower times.
As you look at the difference in weight on the shoes you are considering, now’s your chance to compare. A few hours or even a day of wearing an extra 5, 10 or even 20 ounces could make a big difference in your foot health over time. Look for synthetic materials that are especially light for the upper part of your sneakers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What type of support for my midsole is best?
A: All shoes that are constructed with Achilles Tendonitis take the midsole very seriously.
Q: How much room should there be in the toe box?
A: The amount of room in the toe box is dependent on so many factors. It has to do with your running or walking style, the shape of your foot, and even the thickness of the socks you wear. If you are using orthotics, then that is another consideration. But generally speaking, your toes should be able to move independently, as well as wriggle around, without any friction or rubbing. But at the same time, you should feel a comfortable and somewhat snug fit.
Q: Will soft-top sneakers like the Uncaged type of sneaker style stretch with wear?
A: Sneakers made from natural materials have the potential to stretch somewhat with wear. Manmade synthetic materials are less likely to do so. If you need to have a little more room because your new sneakers are not as comfortable yet as you’d like them to be, there are options. Take the sneakers to a shoe repair shop and ask that they stretch them out a bit for you. There are actually machines that do this. In this way, you can skip a month or two of breaking them in. So don’t put up with that tight-shoe pain, and do something constructive about it.
Q: What is the main consideration when choosing a lighter, less constructed sneaker over a heavier one?
A: A lighter sneaker will feel more weightless on your feet, and is often less clunky and minimalist in style and design. The surface that you will be primarily using the shoe for will require a lighter or heavy styling as well. A heavier shoe is often going to last longer because the materials it is constructed with are often more durable. But it will not be as flexible as a high-quality lighter sneaker made for running or cross-training. That is something to consider when you choose for the newer styling of the Uncaged sneaker, for example.