Achilles tendonitis can be frustrating and painful for runners, damaging their passion for hitting the pavement. Finding the right footwear that provides comfort and support and alleviates the stress on the Achilles tendon is crucial.
Introducing the 10 best running shoes for Achilles tendonitis, tailored to enhance your running experience while minimizing the risk of further injury. These carefully selected options boast cutting-edge technology and innovative design features that cater to the specific needs of runners with Achilles tendonitis.
So, let’s embark on a journey to discover the ultimate footwear companions to help you conquer the miles ahead confidently and easily.
Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury that affects the Achilles tendon, the band of tissue that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone.
It is common among runners, especially those who suddenly increase their mileage or intensity without sufficient time for their bodies to adapt.
Recognizing the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis is essential for timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Here are some common symptoms to watch out for:
- Pain and stiffness: You may experience pain and stiffness along the Achilles tendon, especially in the morning or after periods of inactivity. The pain typically worsens with physical activity, such as running or walking.
- Swelling: The area around the Achilles tendon may become swollen, sometimes accompanied by redness or warmth to the touch.
- Thickening of the tendon: The Achilles tendon may thicken due to inflammation, which can be felt as a palpable lump or thickened area when touched.
- Limited range of motion: You may notice a decreased range of motion in your ankle, making it difficult to flex your foot or stand on your toes.
- Crepitus: You might experience a creaking or cracking sensation when you move your ankle or press on the Achilles tendon.
- Weakness: The affected leg may feel weak, particularly when pushing off the ground while running or walking.
Remember: If you suspect you have Achilles tendonitis, it’s important to consult with a medical professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Continuing to run with Achilles tendonitis can lead to more severe injury, such as a tendon rupture, which may require surgery and a longer recovery period.
Saucony VersaFoam Cohesion 13
Best for Long distance running
Mizuno Wave Rider 26 Running Shoe
Best for Speed and flexibility
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Running Shoe
Best for Runners needing extra support
Brooks Ghost 15 Achilles Tendonitis Running Shoe
Best for Competitive running, speed
Asics Gel Nimbus 25
Best for Lightweight running, smooth ride
Nike Pegasus 39
Best for All-day comfort
New Balance 990v5
Best for Stability for all distances
Mizuno Wave Creation 20
Best for Smooth transition for road running
New balance 1080v11
Best for Trail running
Saucony Ride ISO 2
Best for Balanced feel and durability
Best running shoes for Achilles Tendonitis
Here are the 10 Best Running Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis, based on the advice and recommendations of experts in the field:
1. Saucony VersaFoam Cohesion 13
- Saucony Cohesion 13 appears to have a traditional design with overlays and printed patterns.
- They offer a comfortable fit with plenty of room for toes to move around.
- Good cushioning is underfoot; additional padding is provided around the heel cup and tongue.
- Outsole is made of durable, thick rubber, designed for grip. It’s identical to the Cohesion 12 model, featuring flex grooves for flexibility.
- The midsole is made from Versafoam, a cushioning technology that offers comfort at slower speeds but tends to harden when the pace picks up.
- Cohesion 13 has a 12mm heel drop, higher for running shoes. This could benefit runners who strike with their heels first or those prone to tight calves.
As a runner, you might be sceptical about this shoe because of its lower price tag, but trust me; it’s worth trying.
When you first look at Cohesion 13, you might not be impressed with its appearance. It doesn’t have the premium or modern look of other running shoes, but don’t let that deter you.
As soon as you slip your foot inside, you’ll appreciate the comfortable fit and the ample padding around the heel cup and tongue.
You’ll find that the outsole is durable, featuring thick rubber with flex grooves that allow your foot to move naturally. I tested the shoe on various surfaces, including grass, asphalt, and concrete, and the grip was consistently good.
The midsole, made of VersaRun foam, provides cushioning when you’re going slower, but it may feel a bit hard when you pick up speed.
If you’ve tried the Cohesion 12, you’ll notice that the 13 is quite similar, with a 12mm heel-to-toe drop, which is great if you’re a heel striker or have tight calves.
Remember that this is a neutral running shoe, so if you have a high arch or tend to pronate, it might not be your best choice. Saucony does offer other models with more stability and structure, like the Guide and Liberty ISO, but they come with a higher price tag.
2. Mizuno Wave Rider 26 Running Shoe
- A thick layer of Mizuno energy midsole foam provides firm cushioning for a comfortable and supported ride.
- Wave plate runs from midfoot to heel, enhancing stability upon landing and promoting a controlled running motion.
- Plush padding around the ankle collar and a relaxed, stretchy material ensures a comfortable fit and feel.
- It offers a wide fit, providing ample space for feet to move comfortably.
- Outsole is equipped with a generous layer of X10 rubber, which improves grip and enhances overall durability, making it suitable for long-lasting use.
- X10 rubber on the outsole ensures reliable traction, especially on wet or incline/decline surfaces, giving runners confidence in their footing.
- Incorporating stability elements, including a wave plate and a wide base, contributes to a stable and controlled running experience, reducing wobbling and improving overall stability.
- This shoe is described as traditional-style, offering a reliable and supportive feel reminiscent of shoes from the past.
The Mizuno Wave Rider 26 is a reliable and stable running shoe that provides a comfortable and supportive experience. With its plush padding around the ankle collar and a relaxed, stretchy upper, the shoe offers a comfortable fit. Sticking to your true size is recommended to enjoy the ample space and wide fit fully.
Regarding cushioning, the Wave Rider 26 features a thick Mizuno energy midsole foam layer. While it may not provide the same bounce or energy return level as some other shoes, it offers a stable and supportive platform for your runs. The shoe’s wave plate, extending from the midfoot to the heel, enhances stability upon landing. A wide base and wave plate delivers a solid and controlled running experience, minimizing wobbling on various surfaces.
The outsole of the Wave Rider 26 is durable and offers excellent grip. The generous layer of X10 rubber enhances durability and ensures reliable traction, even on wet or incline/decline surfaces. You can trust that the shoe will keep you securely planted throughout your runs, allowing you to focus on your performance.
While the Wave Rider 26 may not be the most versatile shoe on the market, it excels as a reliable workhorse for slow, enjoyable or easy day runs. Its focus is on providing comfort and support rather than flashy features. This shoe is a solid choice if you value a stable and consistent running experience over advanced technologies.
3. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Running Shoe
- Mid-cushion stability design.
- Guide rails on both sides to keep feet centered.
- Flexible upper with 3D print design.
- Suitable for a wide range of arch profiles.
- Reduces pressure on hips, knees, and ankles.
- High heel-to-toe offset for a familiar feel.
- Designed for both men and women.
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 is one of the best running shoes. It’s a mid-cushion stability shoe perfect for people with pronation issues. The shoe has guide rails that help cradle your foot and keep you in the middle, taking pressure off your hips, knees, and ankles. What’s great about this shoe is that it does nothing unless you need it. So even if you run straight neutral and never have any side-to-side issues, you can still wear this shoe.
Compared to the older versions of the Adrenaline, the GTS 22 has an independent suspension on both sides, which is designed to keep you in the middle no matter which way you’re going. This shoe is a great all-around option, and there aren’t many applications you can’t use it for. It’s perfect for anyone looking for a shoe they can use for various distances, from a mile to a marathon. It’s also a great option for gym work, with guide rails to keep you straight and narrow.
What I particularly like about the Adrenaline GTS 22 is that it comes in various colors and widths so that you can find the perfect fit. The shoe is also available in men’s and women’s sizes, with the women’s shoe due out in early January. Another great thing about this shoe is its high heel-to-toe offset, making it feel familiar and easy to transition into if you’re new to running or new to a really good running shoe.
4. Brooks Ghost 15 Achilles Tendonitis Running Shoe
- Similar weight to the Ghost 14: 297 grams or 10.5 ounces.
- 12mm drop, slightly higher than most shoes in its category.
- Updated DNA Loft V2 foam in the midsole, providing a softer, lighter compound with more air for a less dense and softer feeling underfoot.
- Adjustments to the upper for a more secure fit, featuring classic mesh at the front, ample padding around the heel and tongue, and a plastic heel collar for added stability.
- Thick rubber outsole with a segmented Crash Pad for a smooth heel-to-toe transition.
- Maintains the classic design and style of the Ghost line.
The Brooks Ghost 15 is a dependable daily training shoe that offers improvements over its predecessor, the Ghost 14. The updated DNA Loft V2 foam in the midsole provides a softer and smoother ride, making it more enjoyable for easy runs and daily training. I appreciate the true-to-size fit, the secure hold around the midfoot, and the roomy toe box. The thick rubber outsole offers excellent grip and durability, which is valuable in a daily trainer.
However, Ghost 15 faces stiff competition from other versatile daily trainers, such as the Hoka One One Mach 5, Asics Novablast 3, and Puma Deviate Nitro 2. While I enjoy the Ghost 15 for its classic design and style, I am curious to see how it stacks up against these competitors regarding versatility and performance for faster or more dynamic runs.
5. Asics Gel Nimbus 25
- New design: ASICS Gel Nimbus 25 boasts a new design from top to bottom, differentiating it from previous versions in the series.
- Cushioning: They feature a full blast plus midsole, providing significantly more cushioning.
- Stack Height: Nimbus 25 has a stack height of over 40 millimeters, providing ample underfoot cushioning.
- Lightweight: Despite the considerable cushioning and stack height, the shoe remains lightweight.
- Outsole: They feature strategic rubber placement on the outsole for durability and grip, even in wet conditions.
- Upper: The upper has been revamped to offer a plush, luxurious fit, making it the best-fitting Nimbus.
- Gel Component: Nimbus 25 cleverly integrates the gel component into the heel.
The ASICS Gel Nimbus 25, the latest in the Nimbus series, is an absolute game-changer. From the moment you put them on, you’ll notice the complete design overhaul, making it the best version.
You’ll love the plush and premium feel that makes running a joy, not a chore. With each mile, your affection for these shoes will only grow. The show’s star is the full blast plus midsole, offering cushioning that stands out even from its predecessor, the Nimbus 24.
The stack height is over 40 millimeters, providing a cushioned underfoot feel that you will find beneficial, especially during recovery runs, easy days, or long runs. Moreover, despite its significant stack, the shoe remains lightweight – a feature you’ll surely appreciate.
Regarding performance, the Nimbus 25 is not about speed but smooth, protective, and comfortable cruising. The shoe is designed for effortless transitions through your gait cycle. Thanks to its wider base, you’ll experience enhanced stability, even on those high-stack shoes.
With strategic rubber placement, the outsole impresses with its durability, even after clocking in significant miles. And if you often run in wet conditions, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the Nimbus 25’s grip.
As for the shoe’s upper, it is nothing short of luxurious. The plush heel, soft materials, and overall amazing fit make this the best-fitting Nimbus.
The Nimbus 25 cleverly integrates the iconic gel component into the heel, offering a soft landing without adding unnecessary weight. It’s this thoughtful design and construction that sets the Nimbus 25 apart.
6. Nike Pegasus 39
- Two-stage cushioning technology.
- React cushioning.
- Air Zoom packet technology
- Soft foam that absorbs impact
- Return of energy when force is applied.
- Breathable upper
- Flywire technology for a secure fit in the midfoot
- Suitable for standing stationary.
- Suitable for running.
I recently got my hands on the Nike Pegasus 39, and let me tell you, it’s quite an impressive shoe. When you slip it on, you immediately notice the two-stage cushioning technology that sets it apart. The combination of React cushioning and Air Zoom packet technology is a game-changer. With every step, the soft foam of the React cushioning absorbs the impact, providing a comfortable and supportive feel.
But here’s where it gets interesting. As you put more force onto the shoe, the Air Zoom packet kicks in, returning energy back into your foot. It’s like biting into a fruit gusher – at first, you experience the softness, but as you go deeper, a burst of energy flows through. That’s exactly how it feels to wear this sneaker.
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Moving on to the upper, it’s breathable enough, although nothing extraordinary. It doesn’t restrict your foot, but it also doesn’t offer exceptional flexibility. You can tighten the laces using the Flywire technology to ensure a secure fit. However, remember that it mainly holds down the bridge of your foot rather than providing support for the forefoot.
One thing to note about the Air Zoom technology is that it works best when forces are applied directly perpendicular to the packet. So, if you’re making sharp turns during your run, you might not experience the full benefits of the energy return.
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7. New Balance 990v5
- Light gray suede mudguard.
- Premium mesh material on the toe box.
- Perforated dark gray leather panels.
- Small 3M accent in the center of the toe.
- Dual-density foam collar for comfort.
- Black ortho-lite insole with New Balance branding.
- Semi-translucent gray EPU panel, new to the 990V5 model.
- Encap midsole technology for durability and support.
The New Balance 990V5, in my opinion, is truly an underrated gem. What strikes me the most is the comfort it provides – it’s like walking on pillows! The shoe fits true to size, and what’s more, they offer six different width options, so you’ll find a perfect fit no matter your foot shape.
The quality of materials used is impressive, especially considering it’s a mass-produced sneaker. The suede, mesh, and leather all feel premium to the touch, and the shoe is made in the United States, which adds a nice touch of patriotism to your step.
The New Balance 990V5 isn’t just a shoe – it’s a statement. It’s versatile, worn by everyone from supermodels in London to dads in Ohio.
8.Mizuno Wave Creation 20
- Unique Aesthetic: Exhibits a distinct design, diverging from traditional running footwear.
- Mizuno Wave Technology: Utilizes proprietary technology, especially visible from the mid-foot to the heel region.
- Material Combination: Incorporates EVA and U4icX technologies in the forefoot.
- Colorful Straps: Features brightly colored straps that interact with the lacing system.
- Collar Design: Comes with a specific collar design for enhanced foot support and comfort.
- Versatility: Caters to various runners, including neutral runners and mild pronators.
If you love a unique design in your running footwear, you won’t want to miss the Mizuno Wave Creation 20. It showcases a distinct aesthetic that instantly grabs attention right off the bat. The max expression of Mizuno’s ‘Wave’ tech is fully on display, particularly from the mid-foot to the heel. It’s different and eye-catching, quite unlike other performance-oriented models out there.
The cushioning is impressive. It’s not just about looking good; it’s about feeling good too. The blend of EVA and U4icX in the forefoot offers more than just comfort – it gives that extra springiness in your final propulsion. You’ll feel the difference with every stride.
And versatility? The Mizuno Wave Creation 20 has it in spades. Whether you’re an occasional runner, a gym-goer, or someone who enjoys an elliptical session, these shoes work well for you. Even for daily wear, they’re a solid choice. The colorful straps on the shoe add a fun element while ensuring your foot stays stable when the laces are tightened.
If you’re a neutral runner or someone with mild pronation, these shoes have you covered. There’s a sense of excitement in trying them out – you can sense the promise of good performance. But, of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, or this case, the running.
9. New balance 1080v11
- Upper Design: Updated design with embroidery on the sides for added lockdown. The vamp has been opened up to improve breathability.
- Midsole Material: Uses New Balance’s Fresh Foam X technology, designed to provide cushioning and support.
- Weight: Men’s size 10.5 weighs approximately 9.98 ounces (283 grams).
- Voronoi Pattern: The midsole features a Voronoi pattern, a design inspired by a mathematical concept.
- Outsole: Features full coverage rubber for durability.
- Stack Height: Has a stack height of 27mm in the heel and 19mm in the forefoot, resulting in an 8mm drop.
- Gusseted Tongue: Includes a gusseted tongue, which helps to keep the tongue in place.
I recently had the chance to test out the New Balance FF 1080v11 and let me tell you; it’s a shoe you won’t want to miss. Retaining the best aspects of the 1080v10, this version continues the legacy of a top daily trainer.
The first thing you’ll notice is the updated upper design. You’ll love the added breathability, even during colder runs. Remember the veiny, organic look from the previous version? That’s been dialed back for a more sophisticated aesthetic.
Running in these shoes, you’ll appreciate the Fresh Foam X midsole, a feature that provides a soft, forgiving ride without compromising responsiveness. Regardless of your pace, these shoes got you covered. They might not be featherlight, but believe me, they feel light on the foot, offering a balance of cushioning and speed.
Now, let’s talk about durability. The full-coverage rubber on the outsole is a great plus. It’s a shoe that will hold up for many miles, making it worth your investment. Speaking of investment, they’re priced at $150 approximately, which is within the typical range for high-quality running shoes today.
10. Saucony Ride ISO 2
- Maintains ISO upper and form-fit construction.
- Powerfoam EVA midsole for cushioning and Everun top sole for comfort.
- New crystal rubber compound on the outsole for improved traction and durability.
- Includes 3D print detailing on the upper for increased structure and stability.
- Slightly different knitted fabric in the toe box for increased breathability.
- Carries Tri-flex grooves on the midsole for increased flexibility.
- Runs off Saucony 8mm offset, with 27mm in the heel and 19mm in forefoot.
I’ve enjoyed running in the Saucony Ride ISO 2 recently. I immediately noticed how much more responsive it felt, especially when I picked up my pace. This was a significant upgrade from its predecessor. The ISO upper snugly wrapped around my mid-foot, providing a comfortable and supportive fit. The Everun top sole added a plush feel that proved beneficial during longer runs. The same quality shoe at no additional cost is a major plus.
On the downside, the shoe could be lighter. The laces seemed to loosen during runs, requiring more frequent tying. The upper fabric showed signs of wear after only 50 miles, which concerned me. If you’re a heavier runner or prone to striking with your heel, the softness in the heel may not suit you.
The Ride ISO 2 retains the original’s features, such as the ISO upper and form-fit construction, Powerfoam EVA midsole for cushioning, and Everun top sole for comfort. It’s updated with a new outsole material for better traction and durability, 3D print detailing on the upper, improved toe box fabric for breathability, and Tri-flex grooves for increased flexibility.
People also ask:
Are Zero-Drop Shoes Good for Achilles Tendonitis?
Zero-drop shoes have become increasingly popular in recent years because they can help promote a natural walking gait by keeping the heel equal in height to the toes—in other words, there is no “heel lift” like traditional running shoes have.
This helps reduce strain on the foot, ankle, and Achilles tendon. However, for people not used to this type of shoe, it can put more stress on the Achilles tendon if not done correctly.
Strengthening Your Achilles Tendon Before Making The Switch
If you want to make sure that you don’t experience excessive pain when transitioning to zero-drop shoes, it’s important that you strengthen your Achilles tendon first.
This can be done through calf raises or heel raises over a step with extra weight added. Doing these exercises regularly will help build strength in the muscles around your Achilles tendon so that it can withstand the extra load of a flat shoe without causing pain or injury.
Wearing Gradually Increasing Amounts of Time in Zero Drop Shoes
Once your Achilles is strong enough for zero-drop shoes, you should gradually increase the time you spend wearing them each day until you are comfortable enough with them that they do not cause any pain or discomfort in your calf or ankle area.
Start off by wearing them for short periods (30 minutes – 1 hour) before slowly increasing how long you wear them each day until you reach a time where they are comfortable throughout your entire workout or walk/run session.
Achilles Tendinopathy – How Long Does Recovery Take?
When considering your expected recovery time from an Achilles tendinopathy, it’s important to remember that every individual’s case is unique and will require different levels of treatment based on their specific needs and circumstances.
While some people may recover within three months with conservative measures such as rest and physical therapy exercises, others may find that their recovery time could be longer—ranging anywhere from six months up to a year depending on certain factors such as age, general health status, level of activity before the injury, etc.
Furthermore, it’s essential to keep in mind that there is no quick fix for this condition and that patience and dedication are required to achieve full recovery!
The type of shoes you wear can play an important role in managing Achilles tendonitis. Whether you are a walker or a runner, properly cushioned and supportive shoes are essential to reduce pain and inflammation in the Achilles tendon. Investing in the right pair of shoes could help make walking and running activities more comfortable, essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Considering all of this information, you now have all the relevant information to get shopping for the best pair of shoes for your needs.
Good luck with your shoe hunt!
I’m Hamza, a passionate soccer player, and running expert. My love for sports started at a young age and has only grown stronger with time. Whether on the field or hitting the pavement, I pour my heart and soul into every step. I am committed to pushing myself to my limits and helping others do the same.