Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

If you’re in a hurry and just want to find out what the best shoes for Achilles tendonitis are, then I recommend the Asics Men’s Gel Nimbus Running Shoe as the best pair for men and the Skechers Women’s Shape Up Sneaker as the best pair for women.

Acupuncture in the achilles

I was a late bloomer to the world of running and didn’t know how alive my body would feel after a few weeks. Over time, this also meant I’d experience some unfortunate side effects, like Achilles tendonitis.

The best shoes for Achilles tendonitis can help ease the discomfort that comes with this condition. There’s a variety available on the market, from sneakers to sandals, and even every-day work shoes. Whether you want them for walking or running, you’re sure to find something suitable.

The best shoes for Achilles tendonitis are:

What Is Achilles Tendonitis?

Are you a runner, or maybe your job requires you to be on your feet all day? You could be familiar with this condition, which occurs due to overuse of the tendon that connects your heel bone to the calf muscles.

While Achilles tendonitis isn’t dangerous, per se, it can leave you feeling down and out due to the pain it causes. If it’s severe and keeping you up at night, there’s a chance you could’ve torn it.

If you’re not sure whether you suffer from this or not, I recommend you consult a trusted healthcare professional.

In the meantime, some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Stiffness around the tendon.
  • Tenderness or sore to the touch.
  • Discomfort, particularly in the morning.
  • Swelling in this area.
  • Tight calf muscles.

What to Look for in Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles tendonitis is usually treatable with simple measures, such as wearing supportive shoes. The best specifications to keep in mind while shopping include the following:

Achilles massage

Arch Support

One of the main goals in treating Achilles tendonitis is to lighten the load bearing down on the tendon. Proper arch support is one way to do that, and this is especially the case if you have flat feet.

Arch support helps distribute the impact throughout your entire foot and keeps your foot from rolling too far inward as you step.

Elevated Heel

Another way to decrease a load-bearing step is to lift your heel. In athletic footwear, this is referred to as “heel-to-toe” or “shoe drop.”

Shoes with an elevated heel portion cause greater flexion in the ankle, which can help relieve pressure and discomfort around the tendon. You’ll find this specification available in shoes other than just athletic styles, as well.

Roomy Toe Box

While a roomy toe box isn’t directly linked to helping Achilles tendonitis, it does offer more stability throughout the front of the foot. A splayed foot allows us to make use of all our toes properly, especially the big toe, which is essential for a solid step.

This additional stability can ease Achilles tendonitis and help those of us who suffer from it by keeping us sturdy and distributing our weight evenly.

Other Features

Overall comfort is essential when you’re looking around for the best shoes for Achilles tendonitis. This includes:

  • Breathability: The last thing you want is to be sweating in your shoes. Look for a pair that offers airflow in the form of mesh along the outside or a breathable inner layer. Some shoes will feature an antimicrobial treatment to aid in dispersing bad odors, as well.
  • Insoles: The best walking shoes for Achilles tendonitis will form to the shape of your foot. This may come as a memory-foam style or with gel inserts. If you prefer to use your own orthotics, try to find footwear that comes with removable insoles. This will ensure you have plenty of room to slide yours inside.

Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis Reviews

The best walking or running shoes for Achilles tendonitis come in a variety of styles, with something to appeal to everyone. Here are my top five:

1. Asics Men’s Gel Nimbus Running Shoe

ASICS is a well-known brand in the world of running shoes, and this pair comes in as my top favorite for Achilles tendonitis.

For starters, they have a slightly raised heel, combined with a heel-clutching technology, to offer a sturdy fit at the back of the foot. There’s also high-abrasion rubber placed throughout the entire outsole.

ASICS uses a FlyteFoam Propel technology in the midsole, which offers ample cushioning where we need it most. This bouncy feeling helps deflect shock as you run, so you don’t receive such a harsh impact during exercise.

Are you a night runner like I am? You’ll appreciate the reflective materials along the outside of the shoe, which enhance visibility.

The toe box is spacious, and there are gel inserts for extra comfort, too. Do keep in mind, however, that the shoe might run narrow overall. Wide and extra-wide options are also available, with sizes ranging from 6 to 15.

Pros

  • Roomy toe box.
  • Suitable for night running.
  • Proprietary technology for comfort.
  • Trusted brand.

Cons

  • Might run on the narrow side.

2. Skechers Women’s Shape Up Sneaker

The best walking shoe for Achilles tendonitis is for the ladies. It’s an every-day sneaker that offers loads of support underneath.

This includes a “rocker-style” outsole that’s thick, turned up at the toe and with a raised heel. A polyurethane frame offers support for the entire foot, with a foam midsole to help absorb shock and comfort around the arch.

Airflow isn’t lost here. The insole is air-cooled and made from memory foam to conform to the exact shape of the foot. Also, mesh fabric panels along the outside of the shoe aid in breathability. Furthermore, there are smaller details of perforation contributing to this factor.

Sizing is limited from a 7.5 to a 10.

Pros

  • Loads of comfort and padding.
  • Great for breathability.
  • Rocker-style walker.
  • Conforms to the shape of your foot.

Cons

  • Slow to break in, so be prepared.

3. Ecco Women’s Yucatan Hiking Sandal

ECCO brings us the only sandal on the list. It’s made for women as a “performance” sandal, which means they’re perfect for long walks and hikes. Summertime doesn’t mean you’re stuck without support.

The sandal is made from nubuck leather and a grippy rubber outsole to help you traverse different terrains. Dual flex channels along this portion provide ease of flexion during the push-off phase of your stride.

Comfort features include a dual-density footbed for extra cushioning throughout. There’s also a rocker-style toe and raised heel to relieve any pressure caused by Achilles tendonitis.

If you have trouble finding sandals that fit well, look no further. There’s a cozy stretch-fit lining to adjust to the shape of your foot, helping with any swelling that may occur during a long day on your feet. Three straps offer full adjustability up top, as well.

Sizing runs from a 4 to a 12.5, but no wide variations are available.

Pros

  • Perfect outdoor wear for summertime.
  • Personalized fit.
  • Cushioned footbed.
  • Flexible.
  • Supportive midsole and arch.

Cons

  • Women only, sorry dudes!
  • Some find the arch support to be too limiting.

4. Saucony Men’s Guide Running Shoe

Saucony brings us yet another best running shoe for Achilles tendonitis. The men still have plenty to choose from on our list.

Although this is a road-running shoe, that’s not to say you couldn’t wear it for trails or at the gym or every-day use while your tendonitis heals. Just keep in mind that the traction may not be sufficient enough for rough terrains.

There’s a slight lift in the heel and the toe portion, as well, reducing the load on your Achilles. Expect your entire foot to feel cushioned, too, with a contoured footbed and added support around the heel to help with pronation.

Breathability won’t be an issue here, with a mesh upper to help disperse that sweaty buildup that occurs. 

Medium and wide widths are available. If in doubt, order up in size, with options from a 7 to a 15.

Pros

  • Contoured footbed for an exact fit.
  • Mesh uppers for airflow.
  • Bright colors for evening runs.
  • Well-trusted brand.

Cons

  • Wide feet? These might run small.

5. Orthofeet Men’s Oxford Shoe

Orthofeet specifically makes shoes for those with foot problems, so I had to feature one of its pairs. While trainers are excellent to support the Achilles, for the guy looking for a work shoe, this is the one.

For instance, the ergonomic sole contains air cushioning throughout, in the form of three different layers between the outsole and insole. Also, the arch support is high, with additional cushioning, and there’s a very wide toe box to boot.

The shoes are made of leather with a protective lining on the inside to keep the inner from wearing down over time.

If you have wider-than-usual feet, choose from a medium, wide and extra-wide variant, with sizing running from 7 to 15.

Pros

  • Ergonomic sole.
  • Different widths available.
  • High arch support.
  • Suitable for the office.

Cons

  • Only available in sizes for men.

Support Your Feet

Man walking

The Asics Men’s Gel Nimbus Running Shoe comes in as my favorite for the guys. These runners could be used as walkers, too, with a lifted heel and grippy outsole.

The brand’s FlyteFoam Propel technology offers loads of cushioning throughout and adds a bounce to your step. Gel inserts in the spacious forefoot area provide relief, and there’s enough room to splay your toes, accordingly.

For the ladies suffering from Achilles tendonitis, have a look at the Skechers Women’s Shape Up Sneaker. The raised heel and rocker effect are excellent to support your feet in general, let alone that sore tendon. Skechers is also an excellent brand for shoes that mold to your feet and this pair is no different.

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