Most cases of Achilles tendonitis are not serious enough to warrant medical treatment. But they can nevertheless leave you unable to run or even go on a simple jog. The pain makes it difficult and sometimes almost impossible to hit the track as fast as you would like.
This condition is common in runners who suddenly increase their running intensity or run on soft non-supportive surfaces like mud and sand.
Wearing the wrong shoes can also increase the risk of injury to your Achilles tendon. Worn out and ill-fitting shoes leave your feet unsupported and can cause or aggravate Achilles tendonitis.
Unless your tendon has raptured, in which case you may need surgery, a good self-care routine is all that’s needed to heal the injury. It should involve wearing the right shoes.
The most important thing a pair of good shoes provides is support. Your muscles and tendons are not left to bear the full weight of your body when you are running.
Good shoes also provide shock absorption. The impact of hitting the ground hard repeatedly can injure your Achilles tendon if your shoes are not equipped to absorb most of the shock and vibrations.
We have curated the best running shoes for Achilles tendonitis based on customer feedback and design features. All these shoes are designed to offer maximum support and shock absorption. They are also lightweight and breathable to improve your running performance and keep your feet cool and dry.
1. adidas Women’s Ultraboost W Running Shoes
There are three important features that make this shoe good for those with Achilles tendonitis. First, it has a support cage that locks down the entire foot into a stable position. Support from the cage is enhanced by a moulded heel counter. It prevents the heel from shifting about when you are running and supports the Achilles tendon.
Then there is the torsion system, which is an Adidas technology that provides good arch support and allows the forefoot and rear foot to move independently of each other. This ensures your foot is getting enough support while still remaining flexible.
A special midsole design provides shock-absorbing cushioning without affecting performance. The shoes feel comfortable and light.
What we like about it:
- Available in 3 colour styles – dark grey, black and ash grey.
- Adequate support from the rear foot to forefoot.
- Cushioned midsole.
2. Asics Women’s W S Gel-Nimbus 18 Running Shoes
- UPDATED** Guidance Line Midsole Technology - Provides enhanced gait efficiency.
- UPDATED** Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Cushioning Systems - Strategically placed to minimise joint stress and maximise ride comfort.
- COMFORDRY Lasting - This lasting material features plush underfoot comfort while providing excellent moisture management and a high level of...
- Discrete Eyelets - Independently placed eyelets disperse lace tension, creating a customized fitting environment and enhanced upper comfort.
- COMFORDRY X-40 Sockliner - This premium sockliner features higher rebound properties while providing excellent moisture management and a high-level of...
If you want to maintain your performance without making your injury worse, get this pair of Asics running shoes. Every component from the mesh upper to the heel counter and the sole are designed to offer support and comfort.
The shoe uses the new Guidance Line Midsole Technology. This is a technology that aligns every component of the shoe to adapt to the wearers gait and movement. The Guidance Line unites the entire shoe bed from the heel to the toe in one fluid line that moves with the wearer. Not only does it improve performance, it also reduces stress and fatigue in your muscles and joints.
For shock absorption, the shoe uses the Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Cushioning System. Gel located in the rear and front of the foot absorbs vibrations and impact shock as you run.
A heel counter snugly holds the heel in place. The counter is lined with memory foam to provide further protection and comfort to your Achilles tendon.
The stretchy upper adapts to the shape of your foot for a perfect fit. It consists of a breathable mesh material to keep your feet cool regardless of the weather.
What we like about it:
- Advanced support and comfort technologies.
- Mesh upper for cooling.
- Available in 4 designs – 2 multicolour styles and 2 blue styles.
3. Brooks Women’s Ravenna 8 Running Shoes
Ravenna shoes are best known for their cushioning. If you have a particularly severe Achilles injury, these shoes can help. The cushioning does a good job of protecting your Achilles from impact shock.
The shoe uses a light breathable mesh that keeps your feet cool and provides a snag adaptive fit. The gum rubber sole provides durability especially for daily runners.
Overall, the shoe feels light, stable and supportive in all the right areas.
What we like about it:
- Lightweight and flexible.
- Cool mesh upper.
- Good support especially around the heel and midsole.
4. Nike Women’s Air Zoom Pegasus 33 Running Shoes
- Ref - 831356-002
- Brand - Nike
- Size - 38.5
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus is a good alternative to the Asics Gel-Nimbus. It has been around for many years and is well known in running circles for its support, comfort and durability. It’s perfect for runners who want to keep setting personal bests even with an injury.
The shoe consists mainly of a lightweight flymesh material. Most people are surprised at just how light and airy the shoes feel. The mesh upper also prevents heat and sweat build up.
When you put on the shoe, it feels really snug without being uncomfortably tight. Nike achieves this by combining laces with strong cables that wrap around the mid foot for arch support. A heel cup prevents your heel from slipping, which can cause or worsen an Achilles injury.
They have also added a rubber strip at the bottom – similar to the Guidance Line Midsole Technology in the Asics shoes – to create a fluid transition from heel to toes.
What we like about it:
- Available in 14 style options.
- Supportive exoskeleton and heel cup.
5. Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 20 (W) Running Shoes
- Air Mesh - Allows air to permeate the exterior providing breathability.
- Dynamotion Fit - Provides a fit that moves the way you do, actively working with your foot throughout the gait cycle.
- Removable Insock - Offers cushioning and comfort under the foot.
- SmoothRide - Minimising the rapid acceleration and decelaration of the foot during transition.
- U4IC - Provides high comfort and performance, while being extremely lightweight.
The Wave Rider shoes are designed to feel a fluid as possible. They use a technology called Dynamotion Fit to adapt to your feet’s natural movement. So as you run, the shoes feel as if they are part of your feet. They are natural, flexible and lightweight.
The shoe’s cushioning and support structure absorbs shock from impact. It also reduces stress on your joints as the foot transitions from heel to fore foot.
What we like about it:
- Cooling and lightweight mesh upper.
- Fluid natural feel.
- Available in 3 style options.
Frequently asked questions
1. How can I tell I have Achilles tendonitis?
Because this condition affects the tendon that links your calf muscle to your heel bone, you’ll experience pain at the back of your heel. The pain can be particularly severe in the morning or when you do an intense activity like walking or running.
You may also notice some stiffening, soreness and swelling.
If you don’t take corrective measures, these symptoms worsen. At some point, you may find it very painful to take even a light jog. It can also result in a raptured tendon, a situation that requires a doctor’s intervention.
2. Do certain types of running increase the risk of Achilles tendonitis?
Yes. Speed running and frequent uphill running increases your risk of a hurt Achilles tendon.
If your running style involves hitting the ground with your forefoot, you are also at a higher risk of Achilles tendonitis. That’s why it is important to practice proper running form to prevent injuries.
3. Which are the best running shoes for Achilles tendonitis?
Look for a pair of shoes that don’t worsen your injury. They should provide heel and mid-sole support, which in turn supports your Achilles tendon.
They should also have adequate cushioning to absorb shock and impact when you are running. This protects your foot from further injury.
4. Can I keep running if I have Achilles tendonitis?
Unless it has gotten really bad, you can keep running. But take measures to prevent further injury.
This includes wearing supportive and shock-absorbing running shoes, making sure you have good running form and avoiding too much stress on your foot.
It’s a good idea to reduce your running intensity to allow your tendon to heal as quickly as possible.
5. How can I heal Achilles tendonitis quickly?
In addition to wearing the right footwear (both when running and when going about your daily activities), cold and hot therapy can quicken healing.
You can also try heel-strengthening exercises, foot and heel massage and sleeping with a Strassburg Sock to reduce pain.
If the condition is more severe, your doctor or podiatrist may recommend an orthotic and plenty of rest.