Achilles tendonitis, also known as insertional Achilles tendinopathy, is a common overuse injury that affects many runners. It occurs when the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, becomes inflamed and irritated from repetitive stress and strain.
Symptoms of this condition can include pain in the back of the leg near the heel or ankle area, swelling in these areas, stiffness in your lower leg after periods of rest or physical activity, difficulty stretching or flexing your foot upwards toward your shinbone (dorsiflexion), and tenderness when applying pressure to either side of your Achilles tendon.
If left untreated it can cause long-term damage so it’s important to seek medical attention if you believe you may have this condition.
What to wear for Achilles Tendinopathy
Now for mid-portion Achilles tendinopathy, it’s usually a little more willing to accept a bit more stretch. If it’s insertional tendinopathy, it usually doesn’t handle stretch and the position of dorsiflexion very much or very well, because it compresses that part of the tendon on the heel and it can make it worse.
So a trainer with a bit of a heel-toe drop of around 10, or 12 degrees can be a bit more comfortable rather than a flatter trainer. Now it doesn’t matter how much stability it has in it, it depends on your foot.
So there’s no one size fits. What I would say is, I wouldn’t go for one of those super cushioned trainers because if you’ve got an issue with your tendons, then too much cushioning isn’t necessarily going to help you out at all. It’s going to give you more stretch which will inflame your tendons even further.
The best type of shoes for someone suffering from Achilles tendonitis are those with mild cushioning that promote stability through your gait cycle when running or walking; this will minimize any additional stress placed on your Achilles tendon while also helping support your feet in the correct positions during movement.
Look for shoes that have good arch support and enough room in the toe box so that your toes don’t feel cramped which could add strain to your Achilles tendon as well as other parts of your feet and legs.
Many brands offer specialized shoes designed specifically for people dealing with various foot problems like plantar fasciitis or bunions; these types of shoe designs may be helpful if you’re dealing with Achilles tendonitis as well since they often provide extra cushioning and support in specific areas such as heels or arches where you need them most.
Softer or Firmer?
While it might be tempting to buy super soft and comfortable Nike trainers, they won’t give you the same support for running. Opt for a firmer shoe with a significant heel-toe drop that still provides cushioning and flexibility – this will give your tendons more support during runs. You’ll also get better motion control from this type of sneaker, so you can run in greater comfort.
The good news is that you don’t have to make a decision right away. You can always experiment with different types of shoes to see which one feels the most comfortable and then decide from there. Trying out different heel-toe drops will help you find the best shoe for your needs.
A lower drop may be beneficial if you’re looking for a more natural running experience, while a higher drop could be the solution to an Achilles tendon issue. Ultimately, it all comes down to your individual needs and preferences when it comes to finding the best shoe for your feet.
Minimalist Shoes and Achilles Tendonitis
If you’re a fan of minimalist shoes but now have Achilles tendinopathy, don’t despair. A simple adjustment might be all that’s needed to enjoy the benefits of your preferred footwear.
If you have insertional Achilles tendinopathy and high arches to boot, lifting your heel a bit could help reduce compression on the tendon. This could mean the difference between successful treatment and continued discomfort.
So if you’re a believer in minimalist shoes, don’t abandon them just yet – there may still be a way to make them work for you. Give it a go and see how it feels! You never know, it might be just the tweak that helps you get back to enjoying your favorite shoes.
Things to remember before going ham in Minimalist Shoes
It’s important to be mindful of how often you’re running in minimalist shoes. When not monitored, the increased stress on your tendons can lead to overuse injuries like tendinopathy.
To avoid this, it’s best to gradually increase how much time you spend wearing these shoes and take breaks in between for your muscles and tendons to rest. It’s also important to maintain proper form while running in minimalist shoes and make sure you aren’t pushing your body beyond its limits.
If you have any pre-existing conditions that could be aggravated by using minimalist shoes, it’s best to consult with a physician before making the switch. Taking these precautions can help ensure that you get the most out of your minimalist shoes while staying safe at the same time.
Transitioning back to minimalist shoes
When you transition back to minimalist shoes, start with short runs at first and gradually increase your mileage. To make the transition smoother, you may want to consider using a heel lift or cushioning insole.
These can help reduce the impact of running on hard surfaces as well as provide better shock absorption while running. You should also focus on building strength and flexibility in your lower body muscles so that you can build up your running endurance over time.
So make sure to get the right size and fit for your feet—this will help prevent any discomfort or injuries while out on the run.
Best running shoes for Achilles Tendonitis
Here are the 5 Best Running Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis, based on the advice and recommendations of experts in the field:
1. Brooks Ghost 14 Men’s Neutral Running Shoe
- Excellent fit and support help people with Achilles Tendonitis.
- High Midsole Drop helps relieve pressure on the tendons.
- The seamless upper makes this shoe relatively lightweight and breathable.
- Guide Rails technology provides just the right amount of support to prevent overpronation.
- The cushioning may be too soft for some runners.
- Some people find the lacing system to be too tight.
- The price is a bit on the higher end.
The Brooks Ghost 14 is an ideal running shoe for those with high arches, as its midsole helps to cushion the feet while running. This means that your Achilles tendon won’t be subjected to as much stress during exercise, which can help reduce inflammation and pain in the long run.
The midsole drop of 12 mm helps relieve pressure on the tendons, while the BioMoGo Gel and DNA Luftfoam Midsole Cushioning System provide additional cushioning and comfort for a smooth, fluid ride.
The Ghost 14 also includes a no-sew overlay design so you can experience a comfortable fit with minimal irritation from seams. It is an excellent choice for athletes looking to take their running recovery to the next level.
2. Mizuno Inspire 17 Women’s Running Shoes
- Excellent support system.
- The midsole protects your joints and tendons.
- Wavy pattern on the sole makes it easy to run.
- Tough outsole makes your shoe long-lasting.
- Despite support and features it’s a lightweight running shoe for low to flat-arches runners.
- It might not fit large or wide feet types.
This supportive running shoe offers a shock-absorbing midsole, wave cushioning in the sole of the shoe, and an impressive heel-to-toe offset.
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 features an advanced midsole that offers superior shock absorption qualities when compared to other running shoes. This is perfect for runners suffering from Achilles tendonitis because it helps protect the joints and tendons from unnecessary strain during each stride.
The Wave pattern cushioning technology provides a responsive feel with every step you take. This helps ensure that your feet are adequately supported while also providing reliable traction so that your grip is never compromised.
The lightweight design of this shoe makes it ideal for runners who need extra support for their low or flat arches. The stability offered by this shoe means that your Achilles tendon won’t have to work as hard during the upward swing of each stride. That can make all the difference if you have been struggling with Achilles tendonitis symptoms.
3. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 Running Shoes
- Offers exceptional cushioning as well as support to reduce the impact on your Achilles tendon.
- Mesh upper provides breathability means keeps your feet cool and dry during long runs and makes this shoe lightweight.
- Proper positioning reduces the risk of injury.
- GuideRails Technology provides durability and softness in the midsole.
- It can be a bit narrow for some runners.
- The arch support may not be enough for people with high arches.
This lightweight running shoe is designed to provide optimal support for your Achilles tendon, all while delivering superior cushioning and durability for your feet. For maximum comfort, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 features a seamless mesh upper that ensures breathability during long runs.
It also has a heel-to-toe drop of 12 mm which helps keep the proper position of your Achilles tendon in check whilst running. The GTS 22 is highly unique due to its incorporation of Guide Rails technology from Brooks.
This technology provides as much support as you need, making it easier and more comfortable for you to run further distances without feeling fatigued or strained by extra weight on your feet.
Thanks to Guide Rails technology, the midsole delivers greater cushioning and durability than most other shoes on the market right now.
4. Asics Gel Cumulus 23 Running Shoes
- It provides extra comfort and supports your Achilles area.
- Helps keep your foot aligned correctly which reduces the risk of Achilles Tendonitis.
- High and efficient heel-to-toe drop dramatically reduces stress on your feet.
- Durability is top-class and can last through many runs.
- It may be too heavy for some runners.
- The cushioning can be too much for people with low arches.
The Asics Gel Cumulus 23 is designed to provide superior cushioning and comfort with every stride. The guidance line strip on the tread of the Asics Gel Cumulus 23 helps keep your foot aligned correctly as you run, allowing you to run more comfortably and efficiently. This is especially helpful for runners with Achilles tendonitis, who may experience difficulty in keeping their feet properly aligned when running due to the discomfort caused by their condition.
The firm ankle cup cradles your heel and ankle, keeping them secure while providing support to the affected area. This helps prevent further injury or aggravation of existing pain from running.
The 10mm heel-toe drop is higher than average, which helps provide extra cushioning and shock absorption while running. This can be especially beneficial for those suffering from Achilles tendonitis who need extra cushioning to protect their joints and tendons from further damage or pain.
The heel has a shock-absorbing gel pad while the front of the sole has a springy gel, providing extra cushioning and comfort while running. With these features combined, you can enjoy an enjoyable and comfortable run regardless of your pre-existing condition.
5. Saucony Ride 14 Running Shoes
- High heel offset gives ease to Achilles pain.
- Help natural pronation and cushioning with firm support.
- Extra traction and premium running feel.
- Custom-fit and stretchy upper combines with a traditional lacing system.
- The heel is not suitable for people with high arches.
- It may not be narrow enough for some runners.
The Saucony Ride 14 running shoe is an ideal choice for runners who suffer from Achilles tendonitis due to its 8mm heel offset. This feature helps to reduce stress on your Achilles tendon by providing cushioning and support when you’re running. The heel offset also helps to properly align your foot so that the impact of each step is minimized, reducing pain in your Achilles tendon even further.
The rubber sole of the Saucony Ride 14 provides excellent traction while also allowing for natural flex and movement as you run. This gives you better control over your movements, helping you maintain the proper form which can reduce pain and fatigue in your Achilles tendon.
The traditional lacing system of the Ride 14 combines with its soft, stretchy upper to provide a custom fit that molds to your foot shape for added comfort and protection. This will not only make it easier to tie up the laces but also ensure that your foot doesn’t slide around or become too loose within the shoe, preventing further injury or strain on your Achilles tendon.
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 who are 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 amount of 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 of time (30 minutes – 1 hour) before slowly increasing how long you wear them each day until you reach an amount of 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 keep in mind 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 prior to 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 in order 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, wearing 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, which is essential for maintaining your healthy lifestyle. Taking all of this information into consideration, now you have all the relevant information to get shopping for the best pair of shoes for your needs.
Good luck with your shoe hunt!