Best Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis – 2018 Buying Guide
If you're suffering from a condition called Achilles tendonitis, you're probably aware of how painful even the simplest of things (for example, walking) can be. And while you're working on getting better, it might be a good idea to invest in a new pair of shoes, one that will support your feet the right way, and make the healing process a lot faster.
But how do you know you've found the best shoes for Achilles tendonitis?
Don't worry; you've come to the right place – today we're searching for the best footwear on the market. And, as a bonus, I included some proven tips on how to pick the best pair, so stay tuned!
FOR WOMEN OR MEN
*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Causes And Symptoms Of Achilles Tendonitis
Let's start by explaining what Achilles tendonitis is, what causes it, and which symptoms you can expect if you've recently injured your Achilles tendon. Here's all you need to know on the subject:
What Causes Achilles Tendonitis?
Any intense or repetitive strain of the Achilles tendon could result in tendonitis. The fact that you're using the Achilles tendon every time you push up on your toes, jump, run, or just walk, only makes it that much easier to unintentionally strain it to the point of developing microtears or even full-blown ruptures.
Some activities will significantly increase your odds of developing Achilles tendonitis:
Any abrupt movement during one of these actions could end up being more than your tendon can handle, leaving you with a painful reminder to respect your body's limits.
Of course, these aren't the only factors that make you an unlucky candidate for Achilles tendonitis; check out this list to determine if your risk of tendon injury may be higher than average:
- Gender – I’m sorry, guys, but numerous studies have shown that men have a higher chance of suffering from Achilles tendonitis.
- Age – There’s not much you can do to prevent this; as we age, the Achilles tendon weakens, which makes it susceptible to injury.
- Flat Feet – If you have fallen arches, otherwise known as flat feet, and you’re not wearing proper footwear support, every time you take a step, you’re putting a lot of unnecessary strain on your tendon. In that case, developing Achilles tendonitis is almost inevitable.
- High Heels – Okay, ladies, listen up: while high heels make you feel feminine and confident, they also stress the tendon. If you tend to wear them on a daily basis, you’re at a higher risk of developing Achilles tendonitis.
- Inadequate Exercise Routine – Either you're not warming up correctly, or you're increasing the intensity level of your exercise too quickly; whichever it is, it may result in a tendon injury. Also, running on uneven or hard surfaces could lead to Achilles tendonitis, as well.
Speaking of running, if you’re interested in finding the best running shoes for Achilles tendonitis, you should check out my opinion on the matter.
Common Symptoms Of Achilles Tendonitis
Now that you've learned more about the risks, it's time to take a look at the symptoms. If you're worried you might have injured your tendon recently, but you're not quite sure if what you're dealing with is, in fact, Achilles tendonitis, these are the typical symptoms you can expect:
- You experience pain or a burning sensation above your heel whenever you move your foot.
- The tendon feels (and looks) swollen, or forms a bump.
- The area turned red or feels warm to the touch.
- In case of a completely torn tendon, you’ll hear a snapping noise as it happens, and a sharp pain will follow.
- You have difficulty pointing your toes.
- Severe pain occurs in the affected area after prolonged running or any other type of exercise.
- You experience tenderness or stiffness in the back of your injured leg, especially in the morning.
Achilles Tendonitis: Quick Tips For Relieving Pain
While it takes some time for your body to heal after an injury such as Achilles tendonitis, there are some things you could do to relieve the pain and discomfort you’re feeling. Here’s a list of the most popular – and efficient – home remedies for Achilles tendonitis you could try today:
- Cold Compresses – These will help reduce swelling, one of the usual symptoms of Achilles tendonitis. Just make sure you're not placing ice directly on your skin – always keep it wrapped in a cloth.
- Resting – If you're usually very active, this may be hard for you to hear, but you'll have to slow down a bit, relax, and give your body time to heal.
- Massages – An excellent way to increase circulation, reduce the stiffness, as well as swelling of the area, and relax the muscles in the back of your leg would be to perform gentle massages. For best results, you should use warm oil during the massage – olive, castor, or coconut; it's up to you.
- Warm Wraps – By wrapping a bandage around your tendon, you’ll compress the injury and reduce the stress placed on your lower leg muscles. Also, it will prevent the area from swelling too much, which is always a plus.
Can A Pair Of Shoes Truly Help You Recover From Achilles Tendonitis?
First of all, you need to know that, if you've ended up injuring your Achilles tendon, you probably weren't wearing the right shoes in the first place. The mere fact that you're suffering from Achilles tendonitis is a sign that it's time for you to make some significant footwear changes.
While a new pair of shoes won't be able to heal your injured Achilles tendon on its own, it will most certainly help by reducing inflammation and pain associated with tendonitis. So, don't dismiss the course of treatment recommended to you by your healthcare provider, and don't forget to massage the affected area.
Shoes can't be the cure for Achilles tendonitis, but if you pick the right ones, they'll speed up the healing process tremendously. But how can you be sure you did, in fact, choose the best shoes for the job? If you're pretty much clueless about what makes a particular pair an excellent choice for Achilles tendon injuries, keep on reading – some excellent tips are waiting for you in the next chapter.
Things To Consider When Choosing The Best Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis
Since you're here, reading this, I think it's pretty safe to assume you're set on finding the best shoes for Achilles tendonitis. I did promise you some tips on how to do that, after all, so, without further ado, here's what you need to know before you purchase your next pair of shoes:
Arch Support Is Crucial
As it was previously mentioned, one of the factors that increase the likelihood of Achilles tendonitis is „flat feet." And while that is true, remember that it could go the other way, as well – if you have an arch too high, the risk of injuring your tendon is still there.
What you need to do is find shoes that offer adequate arch support; whether you have low, standard, or high arches, you need a pair of shoes that can provide the right amount of support.
If you find a pair that fits in every other aspect, except this one, don't worry; just buy the right insoles, and you can easily insert them into the shoes.
Bending At The Right Place – The Ball Of Your Foot
Your shoes should follow the bending of your feet – it's as simple as that. Given the fact that a human foot bends at the ball of the feet, your shoes should do the same. If your shoes don't follow the bending of your feet, or they twist anywhere else (where it's not needed) they won't be able to provide the support your feet need, thus putting a strain on your Achilles tendon.
Consider The Height Of The Heel
We've established that high heels are a wrong long-term choice of shoes, as they increase your risk of injury. However, the same doesn't apply if you've already injured your Achilles tendon. We know it's confusing, but hear me out:
When you're trying to recover from Achilles tendonitis, it's advised to reduce the range of motion, which at the same time reduces the strain on your tendon. That is achievable with a little help from heel lifts or pads; these should only be used in your initial recovery process, though.
As you progress, you should gradually lower the heel height, as well, until you reach the full range of motion you've had before the injury.
The Right Amount Of Heel Cushioning
Now, you're probably wondering what's considered the right amount of cushioning. Neither too soft nor too hard. Here's why:
If there's too much heel cushioning, your heel will end up at a lower level than the rest of your foot; too little will also put an unnecessary strain on your already injured tendon. So, find the middle, and stick to it.
Remember, heel cushioning acts as a shock absorber, and if you're suffering from Achilles tendonitis, you need all the protection and support you can get.
5 Best Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis: 2018 Reviews
The market is full of options for those of you suffering from Achilles tendonitis, but I've managed to narrow my choice down to top five picks. Check them out!
FOR WOMEN OR MEN
*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Before you get put off by their unusual shape, hear me out:
Their design is the main reason why we've decided to include them on my list, in the first place. The fact that the soles are shaped in a more rounded manner (which, we have to admit, isn't a standard thing) results in moving the weight to the midsole. Do you get where we're going with this?
Once you shift the weight to the midsole, the pain you're feeling in the back of your leg should be alleviated. Long story short, these shoes ease the burden on your Achilles' tendons.
On top of that, the tongue and collar are padded, so they hug your feet tightly, which ends up giving your tendon a light massage and relieve the pain associated with Achilles tendonitis.
Oh, and my male readers will appreciate the fact that these Sketchers Shape-Ups are also available for men. There might not be much of a difference in their overall design, but you'll notice the slight difference in details and color options that make this a popular choice for my male audience, as well.
However, if you have lousy balance, getting used to these will take some time, and you're probably going to have a hard time standing on one foot.
I know that ladies pay a lot of attention to their shoes, and they're in a constant search for a fashionable, yet comfortable pair. You'll have to pick your battles with these, though – it's either style or comfort.
- The manufacturer used leather, which makes them breathable
- There's a mesh upper for added ventilation
- Rubber soles
- Excellent impact absorption
- They’re great for relieving the foot pain you’re dealing with
- The fully padded tongue and collar provide added comfort
- They're true to their size, which is essential for online purchases
- They’re not very stylish for everyday wear
- It’s hard to keep your balance when you’re standing on one foot
In addition to being noticeably lightweight, these Skechers shoes are breathable, as well, due to the fact that they're almost entirely made of a mesh-like material. But here's what makes them stand out: the slip-on design.
If you're always in a hurry, and you find that lacing your shoes up every time you need to go somewhere is too much of a drag, you're going to love these.
The entire Walk 3 series is known for their Goga Mat footbed. The concept is very similar to memory foam, and provides a high-rebound cushioning, meaning you'll get more bounce-back from heel to toe, which will keep the fatigue to a minimum. The generous amount of cushioning makes the entire insides of the shoe feel incredibly soft.
Now, let's talk about the soles; the Go Pillars are there to provide plenty of support flexibility with each step. They'll contract, then bounce back as you walk, giving you lots of impact absorption.
Of course, some things are to be expected from slip-on shoes, one of them being that they won't fit as tightly around your foot as a standard lace-up shoe would. That brings me to the main issue I had with these – your heels may be prone to slipping out of them.
If you decide to look past the issue mentioned above, the Skechers Go Walk 3 is an excellent choice if you're in the process of recovering from Achilles tendonitis.
- They mesh material makes them breathable
- The slip-on design makes them an excellent choice for those in a hurry
- Memory foam padding around the heel will provide a custom fit
- Go Pillars soles give you a remarkable level of flexibility
- They offer excellent impact absorption
- They’re extremely affordable
- Your feet may slip out of the back of your shoes easily
- The inner pad may move around under intense use
Before we move on to the actual review, we'd like to share an interesting fact about the brand's name with you. Have you heard the origin story behind the name ASICS? The founder picked the acronym because, in Japanese, it stands for „A sound mind in a sound body." It says a lot about the company's aim, doesn't it?
Now let's talk about the actual shoes.
The combination of synthetic and fabrics (a breathable mesh that covers the upper section of the shoe) makes for a durable, yet a breathable pair of shoes.
The Gel-Tech series features gel cushioning – hence the name – located at the rearfoot and forefoot. While this is primarily a comfort-oriented feature, it also provides plenty of shock absorption and rebound with each step.
On top of that – and you'll find this particularly important as an Achilles tendonitis sufferer – the tongue and collar are well-padded. They'll support your feet, and keep them in place as you go about your day.
However, I need to mention some significant issues, and most of them revolve around arch support. First of all, we've noticed an absolute lack of arch support. While you could quickly solve this with a pair of insoles, at this price point, you shouldn't have to worry about additional purchases.
Also, it feels like it's strangely positioned; quick research led me to believe that we're not the only ones who've noticed that. It made me question the manufacturer's quality control. B
But overall, if you decide to go with the Asics Gel-Tech Walker Neo 4, you'll experience an outstanding level of comfort – enough to aid your tendon healing process.
- The shoes are a combination of fabric and synthetics
- The soles are made from rubber
- They are lightweight and suitable for walking
- Padded collar and tongue for additional comfort
- They come with removable insoles
- They’re true to their size length-wise
- The arch support seems to be strangely positioned
- Also, there’s a significant lack of arch support altogether
- They feel a bit too tight around the bottom of the tongue
If you're looking for a quality pair of regular walking shoes, then the Saucony's Grid Omni Walker is an excellent place to start. The fact that they're so affordable makes them an exceptional option for those of you that can't spend a small fortune on a pair of sneakers. Also, it's nice to know that these are available for both women and men.
Now, let's take a look at what Grid Omni Walker has to offer for the price.
One of the most notable features is the rubber, asymmetrical sole. In case you were wondering: it's meant to provide a biomechanical fit. The Grid System, visible at the rear, consists of filaments made to provide outstanding cushioning, as well as stability.
What we're trying to say is, if you spend a substantial amount of your day on your feet, but you've recently suffered a tendon injury, these should be one of your top choices.
The shoes are made from a combination of leather and synthetic; the upper is full-grain leather, which has proved to be very durable. However, it seems like it also makes the shoes a bit stiff, which brings us to the first disadvantage worth mentioning:
It will take you quite some time to break these in, and even when you do manage to do it there's no promise that they won't feel tight around your toes. Also, they seem a bit heavy, which isn't necessarily an issue, but we just wanted to put it out there for those of you that are looking for something more lightweight.
- The shoes are made from a combination of leather and synthetic
- Rubber soles
- The asymmetrical bottom provides a biomechanical fit
- Visible rearfoot grid system will give you plenty of cushioning and stability
- Walk Trac outsole design offers a smooth transition
- They provide great arch support
- Fairly affordable pair of shoes
- They feel stiff and somewhat heavy
- They’re a bit tight around the toes
The Best Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis: Final Verdict
So, here we are at the end of the article, which, as you may know by now, means it's time to announce the winner of the round-up. But which of these should hold the title of the best shoes for Achilles tendonitis? And most importantly, why?
Given everything we talked about, it seems like the best shoes for Achilles tendonitis are the Skechers Women's Shape Ups Strength Fitness Walking Sneaker. They come two versions – male and female, and they provide lots of comfort and relief for your injured leg, due to how they’re constructed. If you’re willing to look past the not-so-stylish design, you’ll be in for a real treat.
What are your go-to shoes for Achilles tendonitis? Do you agree with my choice? Leave your comments below!