Today, we’ll be reviewing 17 of the best running shoes for Achilles tendonitis.
Like the Greek warrior, Achilles, you could be battling your own worthy opponent called Achilles Tendonitis.
But with the help of proper footwear, you could probably win your fight.
The good news is the running shoes reviewed below have actually helped a lot of runners with their Achilles tendon problems.
Before you start, this post is an updated version of the 2018 and 2019 lists of running shoes for Achilles pain. Luckily, the 2020 list now includes 17 running shoes.
In a hurry?
6 best running shoes for Achilles Tendonitis compared
|Achilles Tendonitis (Amazon review)||Achilles Tendonitis (Amazon review)|
|12mm Drop||10mm Drop|
|Comfortable & breathable mesh||Reinforced engineered knit|
|Great stability & cushion for the Achilles tendon||Great stability & cushion for the Achilles tendon|
|Achilles Tendonitis (Amazon review)|
|Comfortable mesh upper||Comfortable mesh upper|
|Heel counter is angled away from the Achilles||Great Achilles Tendon lock|
|Achilles Tendonitis (Amazon review)||Achilles Tendonitis (Amazon review)|
|8mm Drop||12mm Drop|
|Flexible & breathable upper||Supportive upper construction|
|Great cushioning for Achilles tendon||Great Achilles cushioning|
Best Running Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis
- Brooks Ghost 12 Running Shoes – Best for in-shoe experience
- Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 Running Shoes – Best for breathability
- Asics Gel Nimbus 22 Running Shoes – Best for comfort
- Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 Running Shoes – Best for grip
- Hoka Bondi 6 Running Shoes – Best for superior cushioning
- Saucony Triumph ISO 5 – Best for responsiveness
- Mizuno Wave Rider 23 Running Shoes – Best for support
- Saucony VersaFoam Cohesion 12 Running Shoes – Best for budget
Best Brooks Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis
Brooks Ghost 12
The Brooks Ghost 12 is actually one of the best men’s and women’s running shoes for Achilles tendonitis and Morton’s Neuroma.
A lot of runners have the Ghost 12 in their running shoe rotation. It’s the perfect go-to shoe for easy runs, long runs, and pretty well an everyday shoe.
The Ghost 12 is very similar to the Ghost 11 but I will pick up little changes. The good news is the Ghost 12 will become a one-shoe-fits-all kind of trainer. It’ll pretty well encompass every single type of run you do.
Essentially, the Ghost 12 is a very traditional-looking trainer. The upper has a couple of layers of engineered mesh at the front with quite wide holes which give great ventilation.
The toe bumper around the front is just really a denser form of that engineered mesh. It’s slightly more flexible than the Ghost 11 for those who are used to that.
The toe box is a little wider than the 11, which gives more than enough room for the toes to splay during a run and especially for a bit of swelling on those longer runs.
Coming across the midfoot, there’s a slightly denser engineered mesh as well as 3D overlays in the form of those stripes both laterally and medially.
The overlays provide the structure and the way in which the shoe wraps and hold the foot in place throughout your run.
The overlays work pretty well and provide an element of stability even though it’s a neutral shoe.
This means the Ghost 12 can be suitable for not just the true neutral runners but probably a wide range of runners who need a slight level of overpronation control within their running technique.
There’s a lot of cushioning inside the heel cup, which we’ve come to expect from the Ghost series.
This makes the 12 that comfortable trainer that many of us have come to know and love especially around the heel cup. There’s a plastic insert inside the heel collar to hold the heel comfortably.
So, as soon as you put your foot in, it feels comfortable and well-held throughout the run.
You won’t feel a lot of movement around the midfoot and the heel, but you do have that space at the front for the toes to move around.
The midsole is almost identical to the Ghost 11’s. There’s 31mm in the heel and 19mm in the forefoot for a heel-to-toe drop of 12 millimeters.
This midsole is created from two types of foam. The first is the DNA Loft foam which forms the crashpad on the outside of the heel.
This is ideal for heel strikers because it provides a really solid platform with the DNA Loft designed to really cushion that landing and transition you into the push-off.
The remainder is using Brooks’ BioMogo foam which is a slightly firmer foam and is designed to give you great transition and toe-off.
The shoe features much deeper flex grooves between the segments on the outsole. This feature makes the Ghost 12 more flexible than the Ghost 11.
The outsole on the 12 is more aggressive than the previous iterations with deeper lugs combined with the grooved midsole.
What this means is you can take the Ghost 10 not just on very easy off-road trails but actually on something a little bit more technical.
For many runners, the Brooks Ghost could be the ideal choice for marathon training and also for running your marathon race.
The shoe will allow you a turn of speed for a tempo session or an interval session on the road and even the occasional track session.
Because the Ghost 12 isn’t a fast shoe, you might have to work harder to get the pace out of it than maybe some other shoes that are designed for that.
However, as a versatile shoe, the Ghost 12 is one of the best versatile running shoes that can do that just fine.
In terms of durability, the last two versions were both able to give the majority of runners 700 miles and the Ghost 12 does no different than those.
So, I guess the Ghost series is one of the few shoes that can provide the best durability you can have out of any running shoes.
It’s probably going to come as no surprise that I really recommend the Brooks Ghost 12 for Achilles tendonitis.
For many runners with Achilles issues out there, this could be the only running shoe you’ll need for road running.
If I was going to pick one shoe for my rotation to take me on to every road run I do, it would have to be the Brooks Ghost 12 in all honestly.
It may be a bit of a cliché to say it, but putting on a pair of Brooks Ghost is like putting on a pair of slippers at the end of the day. It’s comfortable and it feels good.
Which one to pick up
Now, the question that you would ask yourself is whether you go for the 12 or whether you pick up a pair of the Ghost 11 and save about $40?
The difference is very little in terms of the look and feel of the shoe and how it’s going to ride.
However, the $40 difference is big for a shoe that has very little difference in terms of build quality, style, and what they’re going to give you as a runner.
The choice is yours, but the Brooks Ghost 12 is a fantastic shoe and the greatest thing about it is they really haven’t changed an awful lot.
So, the Brooks Ghost 12 delivers everything you might expect from the Brooks Ghost line.
Last but not least, the Brooks Ghost 12 is also a great walking shoe for Achilles Tendonitis.
- A bit pricey (but really durable)
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19
The GTS 19 is also one of the best running shoes for Metatarsalgia, Bunions, Plantar fasciitis, Shin splints, Knee pain, Hip pain, Flat feet.
The Adrenaline that lots of runners out there know and love just got smarter. This is the updated version of Brooks’ most popular lineup.
The Brooks Adrenaline falls in the stability category, which means it’s going to definitely have extra support for anyone who either overpronates or has excess movement in their foot strike that makes their knees and other parts of their body have more movement than they like.
Stability – GuideRails
Being a stability shoe, there is going to be support built into the shoe that helps to eliminate some of that movement and give us a more neutral strike.
The Brooks Adrenaline 19 is a little bit different than what we’ve seen in the past from the Adrenaline and that’s because they have a new support system.
The Adrenalin 19 now has a GuideRail system. This system gives you support on the outside of the shoe and on the inside.
The previous version had one medial posting on the inside that was meant to act as guidance against those who overpronate or roll inwards.
The GuideRail support is going to help eliminate all excess movement if you move outwards, inwards or any way that deviates from being more of a neutral straight back-and-forth ride.
The GuideRails system is new, but we’ve already seen it in some other Brooks shoes like the Brooks Transcend below and the Brooks Bedlam.
The Transcend and the Bedlam have both been able to support people for a while. And now, the Adrenaline is going to also have that same type of support.
Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean that because we have the GuideRails it’s going to have less support.
The Adrenaline is still going to be a great go-to option for those people that are looking for a stability shoe that has good cushioning and can be used for just about any type of run.
Besides the GuideRails, the new Adrenaline does have some different changes in terms of the upper.
It’s an engineered mesh with the 3D print on it that is going to give us a little bit more room and a little bit more toe splay than we might have seen in other models.
The Adrenaline also has a little bit more of a sleeker look with a more rounded toe box, which is going to just let the GTS 19 fit more like a glove or more like a slipper on your foot.
The last change to the Adrenaline which we’ve seen a little bit more movement to is a combination of foams from Brooks.
The Adrenaline GTS 19 features the Brooks BioMogo DNA and the DNA Loft foams, which are Brooks’ responsive and softer cushioning systems.
This combination gives you a nice bounce off the ground but at the same time also gives you enough comfort that we can have it on for those long runs or any type of run.
You can wear this shoe for quicker things, slower things, longer, shorter, you name it.
The Adrenaline has been there before and will continue to be there.
Why choose the Adrenaline GTS 19
- Provides excellent stability and cushion for the Achilles tendon.
- 50% of running injuries occur at the knee and that’s why GuideRails work to stabilize your body’s range of motion.
- GuideRails are like bumpers in bowling. When your feet deviate from the safe range of motion, they step in to guide your stride back.
- DNA Loft is Saucony’s softest midsole compound. It’s in the heel for a durably soft touch down while the BioMogo DNA in the midsole provides a responsive push-off.
- The segmented crashpad helps absorb the impact.
- The 3D Fit Print technology structures the upper.
- The Ride feels noticeably different, which may upset fans.
Brooks Glycerin 17
There are a few aesthetic changes from the previous version, but as far as how this shoe feels on foot, it is not much different than the previous version. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The mesh upper with the 3D Fit Print technology really does get the job done as far as being comfortable and being able to securing the foot.
The fit is a bit snugger than what you would get in a shoe like the Brooks Ghost above, but it’s definitely good across the board. So, the fit is good and breathability is decent.
The inner lining of the shoe is where the Glycerin really shines. It’s that shoe that your foot kind of just slides into and it feels comfortable out of the box.
Brooks doesn’t really take many risks and they don’t need to.
The midsole uses a full-length DNA Loft throughout the shoe. DNA Loft was introduced in 2018 and now it still provides one of the most comfortable rides out there.
By comfort, I mean that it’s soft and takes a lot of impact when running on hard surfaces.
You can run on road, grass, gravel and the Glycerin is definitely top-notch when it comes to longer runs. Going fast is possible, but it’s definitely not the purpose of the shoe.
For those who like a lot of heel cushioning, you got it. If you like a lot of cushioning in the midfoot, it’s there.
I would say that the Glycerin 17 is one of those daily trainer long run recovery shoes, not a fast shoe.
The outsole has rubber that extends through the transition zones of the shoe. That basically means there’s rubber between the flex grooves.
The rubber tends to add a bit more cushion to the ride and durability-wise, it gives no worries.
There’s plenty of rubber and that’s probably why the Glycerin 17 isn’t the lightest. Either way, the ride and transition are smooth.
If you’re looking for a higher cushioning neutral shoe that has no bells or whistles, then the Glycerin 17 should get the job done.
If you need a bit more stability, the Brooks Transcend 6 is a high-cushion stability option for those who like a more secure ride.
It’s for people with flatter feet or weak arches and may even be good for someone who overpronates.
Honestly, the Transcend 6 is just about the same shoe as the Glycerin with the added GuideRails on the lateral and the medial sides.
The Glycerin 17 will also fit right with those other high-cushion neutral shoes such as the New Balance 1080 series, the Hoka Bondi series below, or the Saucony Triumph below.
If you need a shoe that can complement a firmer or a faster shoe, the Brooks Glycerin 17 would be a great recovery option.
It’s more cushioned than the Brooks Ghost and it’s slightly lower drop. However, it’s going to weigh a bit more because of the extra cushioning that you’re getting.
- Can get a bit heavy if it gets really wet.
Brooks Transcend 5
The Brooks Transcend 5 is actually a support-to-stability shoe designed for people with arches that are medium to lower.
It’s for mild to moderate overpronators who have a tendency to overpronate. The shoe is going to help reduce that in-rolling motion.
The Transcend 5 has an 8mm drop from heel to toe, which is a little bit less than a lot of the other models from Brooks, but it’s nice because it can evenly distribute the weight on the foot.
Midsole – GuideRails
Brooks uses their higher cushioning system called Super DNA which Brooks says it’s 25% more cushioned than the regular DNA in other Brooks models.
It’s also very resilient and it reverses energy really well so you have a smooth transition from heel to toe.
The thing that is unique about this particular stability shoe is that it does not have your traditional medial posting.
To help correct overpronation issues, the Transcend 5 uses Brooks’ newest stability cushioning system, GuideRails.
GuideRails come along both sides of the foot and reduce that side-to-side motion. So you do have a little bit more of an efficient gait but not having to have the added weight of the dual-density medial posting.
Another feature that’s great for Achilles issues is the external heel counter which wraps around your heel to help give you a really nice solid stable hug to reduce motion and secure your heel and Achilles tendons.
The instep of the upper has 3D print overlays so that you get a real nice wrap to secure your instep when you’re running.
The outsole is level across the bottom so it helps you more fluidly transition from heel to toe.
The flex grooves underneath the forefoot are going to help you flex nicely as you roll forward off the toe and give you good flex.
The Transcend series is great for someone looking for a little bit more cushion under their foot but needs support through their run.
The Brooks Transcend 5 is also great for someone who has a knee injury like bad knees, Achilles Tendonitis, Plantar fasciitis, or someone who just wants a nice soft plush ride.
- A bit on the heavy side
- Not very responsive
Best Asics For Achilles Tendonitis
Asics Gel Nimbus 22
First off, the Nimbus is of the best running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.
Of course, where there’s Asics, there will be Gel.
Let’s start off with the upper.
The upper in the Nimbus 22 is the sleekest upper so far. It has an engineered mesh that seems to have made small yet appreciated improvements.
The upper has less overlays, a sleeker look, and the fit is actually quite nice.
The one actual good thing from the Nimbus 21 was the fit. Improving on that makes this a subtle upgrade.
While this is a neutral style of shoe, it does provide a supportive feel as far as the heel giving you a good lockdown, your foot staying in place, and an overall comfort feel.
The Nimbus is meant to be a heavy-duty trainer or maybe even a dedicated long-run shoe for some.
The fit, the snugness in the midfoot and the open toe box is all most runners needed the Nimbus to have.
The overall aesthetic is just better.
As far as the cushioning, the Nimbus 21 wasn’t that good. The Nimbus 22 is in every way better than the 21 and it’s not as overly stiff.
The Flytefoam in the midsole actually has some give. This is not a mushy soft but more of a supportive soft.
Whether you land on your heel or on your midfoot, the Nimbus 22 protects and absorbs shock just as well as you would expect in a nimbus shoe.
The Nimbus 22 is by no means supposed to be a speed shoe, but as far as being a durable sturdy comfortable shoe, it gets the job done.
The outsole of the Nimbus provides just as good an outsole as you would want in a heavy-duty trainer.
The rubber is grippy and adds a good layer of protection. Also, the Nimbus 22 actually has a little bit of flex and it isn’t a stiff brick, which I couldn’t really say about the Nimbus 21.
Anyway, you still have that Trusstic System which keeps the shoe stable for transition.
The overall durability of the outsole is not really a question. This shoe is built to handle whatever you throw at it.
If you’re someone who liked the previous Nimbus 19 and 20, then this Asics Gel Nimbus 22 will feel right at home.
It’s not as smooth as the Saucony Triumph 17 or the New Balance 1080V10, but it has that particular feel that you can only get in an Asics.
- A bit pricey.
Asics Gel Excite 6
The Excite 6 is a budget shoe that you would never guess is actually a budget running shoe.
This shoe tends to look very sleek and stylish and kind of looks like some expensive running shoe like the Gel Cumulus 20.
It’s very traditional-looking but at the same time very modern-looking. Also, the inside is comfortably roomy for any kind of insert you want to use.
The fit is actually excellent and the shoe has a traditional D width foot fit with plenty of room up-front for feet thanks to its stretchy mesh upper that expands with your feet.
The upper almost feels like a sock that you will not feel like your toes or the sides of your feet are pinched.
The heel is very firm and rigid and it really holds the rearfoot in place when you’re running, which works really well for people with Achilles Tendonitis.
The midsole is comprised of two types of cushioning, Gel cushioning and AmpliFoam.
AmpliFoam is a new cushioning system that Asics has implemented lately and it runs the full length of the shoe.
I guess this combination of Gel and AmpliFoam is better than older Excite models that just had the Gel cushioning and then just plain rubber upfront.
I feel like the AmpliFoam cushioning definitely makes this something you can run in comfortably.
The outsole is hard durable rubber. The rubber is not AHAR (Asics High Abrasion rubber), but the rubber used on the Excite 6 is really good and it’s going to protect your feet.
The only exposed midsole foam on the bottom can be seen through the Asics Guidance Line.
The outsole is designed pretty well to give you the balance and support from the ground up.
- Great for shorter distances up to 5k.
- Fits most people with an average foot width.
- Comes in wide a model for people with wide feet.
- Looks cool that you can even wear it with jeans around town.
- Can be a one-shoe-does-it kind of shoe that can get you a lot of different activities (running, treadmill, elliptical, gym workouts, walking).
- Not for long-distance running because it doesn’t have enough cushioning.
Best Nike Running Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35
The Pegasus has been around for 35 years and it’s known for being a good reliable running shoe. Performance-wise, it just meets all the requirements that you need in a running shoe.
The upper features an outer engineered mesh and an inner liner throughout the entire shoe. This is something cool because it provides a nice comfortable secure fit. The support on the upper is really good. It also has double-FlyWire that’s going to hold your foot down to the footbed.
The heel area has got a nice strong section around your Achilles while the collar is nice and thick around your ankle to give you some good support there.
Another feature that’s great about the upper is the sloped heel. The heel counter is angled away from your Achilles to prevent any chafing.
The midsole features a full-length Zoom Air Unit that sits on top of a Cushlon midsole. In the past, the sole was Phylon, but now Nike has changed it to Cushlon. This is supposed to make the shoe more bouncy to give you that springier. The midsole provides a stable, very comfortable ride and it can also handle some speed.
The heel area is well cushioned and that’s where you get most of your cushion. As you move on to the midfoot and forefoot, you don’t have so much there.
Looking at the bottom, the Pegasus 35 has a nice light rubber outsole and that’s going to provide a lot of durability. What keeps the Pegasus light is the fact they’ve cut out a lot of the rubber on the outsole.
The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 35 is a very versatile running shoe. It can handle pretty much everything and it can be your daily trainer for your easy runs and even your threshold runs. It can also be used for your intervals on the track.
The traction feels really good, but it does struggle a bit on wet surfaces.
- The upper is a snug secure and supportive upper.
- Great for heel strikers because it’s well-cushioned in the heel.
- The midsole is stable and comfortable.
- Can handle different distances and paces.
- Good arch support.
- Midsole cushioning material seems to struggle with heat.
Best Hoka Running Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis
Hoka Bondi 6
The Hoka Bondi 6 is one of the best-cushioned running shoes for Achilles tendonitis and Hallux Rigidus.
This shoe has a massive 37mm in the heel and 33 in the forefoot for a heel-to-toe offset of 4mm. Although it looks like it’s heavy, the size 9 comes in at 10.8oz.
The Hoka Bondi 6 is the most highly-cushioned that Hoka has to offer. The midsole was modified to create a smoother ride and a more enhanced underfoot feel.
Hoka utilizes a full engineered mesh upper. They also fuse on the Hoka logo to reduce weight.
Behind that and going all the way around the lateral and medial side of this shoe, you’ll see that fused piping as well. This is used to give the Hoka a little bit more structure and allows it to take shape.
The engineered mesh is really breathable from the toe box through the ankle area. The ankle collar is nice and plush inside. It looks like it is made of a nylon material.
The back area features an internal heel counter to give you that nice one-to-one fit to make sure that your foot doesn’t slip out of the shoe.
There’s a little bit of padding around the collar. It fits fine on the Achilles and you’re not going to experience any heel lift or any Achilles rubbing.
The Ortholite insole is removable while the footbed is punched to let the shoe breathe well and actually reduce weight even further.
Midsole – Meta Rocker Design
Hoka uses an EVA foam for the Bondi 6, but this EVA is largely believed to be 30% lighter than all other brands across the running spectrum.
The dual-density midsole really does a nice job of keeping your feet comfortable and keeping your legs fresh especially after those tough workouts.
It doesn’t feel stiff in your stride because it comes down and rolls through on that rocker design and you keep your momentum and your smooth stride going that way.
That’s the redeeming quality of the shoe being as big and cushioned as it is, it rolls through your stride with efficiency.
When you touch this EVA, it’s really nice and soft and springy. It kind of feels like Nike React foam on the Nike Zoom Fly.
Another part of this midsole worth mentioning is the Meta-Rocker design that Hoka geometrically places within their shoes.
If you’ve ever stepped foot in a Hoka, just walking around, you’ll notice it sort of propels you forward and that’s the Meta-Rocker design.
When you run and toe-off, it just helps you toe-off with a little bit more ease.
The outsole features full ground-contact EVA foam with strategically placed high-abrasion rubber to make sure the Bondi 6 doesn’t weigh a lot.
Lastly, the heel bevel aids in transition as you land and go to toe-off.
If you love the Hoka Clifton and you want a higher-cushioned version shoe than that, the Bondi 6 is the shoe for you.
The Hoka is a great choice for people with a 10 to 12-hour shift and that want something really comfortable to go home with happy feet.
Is the Hoka Bondi 6 a fast shoe?
This is not a fast shoe and you’re not going to be able to run fast in it because it is built for comfort.
The Hoka One One Bondi 6 is a great option for you if you’re looking for that extra comfort and speed isn’t really your thing.
If you just want a shoe that feels comfortable for your daily miles, this shoe could do that for you.
- Outsole is not very durable due to the amount of exposed midsole cushioning. (Hoka does that on purpose to cut down on weight)
Hoka Clifton 5
The Hoka Clifton 5 is packed with all the features that Hoka is known for. Let’s start with the midsole.
There’s a huge amount of EVA cushioning which is kind of necessary when you’re out on those long runs or when there’s a lot of altitude shifts during your run.
You might think that this oversized midsole would make the shoe quite heavy. This is not the case because Hoka always uses the lightest responsive and durable cushioning available that protects without compromising performance.
Another key feature of the Clifton is the Meta-Rocker design, or wheels for your feet, in the midsole.
This design will make your running smoother and help you maintain your momentum from stride to stride.
This rocker design will help any runner’s gait cycle on any surface and any pace.
The Clifton 5 is also slightly curved on the heel part, which kind of makes it easier to run downwards and also reduce the impact on the heel and Achilles by transferring the impact forward and reduce vibrations.
At first glance, the Clifton may look unstable due to the amount of cushioning. However, Hoka uses an Active Foot Frame that beds the heel and foot deeply into the midsole as opposed to sitting on top.
This means that every Hoka shoe offers guidance without the need for posts or other constricting elements.
The Active Foot Frame functions like a bucket seat in a race car by cradling and supporting your foot.
Down at the bottom, there’s high-abrasive rubber on the key zones of impact. By dividing the rubber like this, the Clifton 5 is able to be even lighter.
The upper has seen quite a few changes from previous models. It comes equipped with a more open engineered mesh construction with fewer overlays than previous versions. This was done to optimize breathability and comfort.
The Clifton 5 is made for short or medium or very long-distance running and it’s for the neutral or mild overpronators thanks to the Active Foot Frame.
No matter who you are, where you’re going or how much you’re going to run, the Clifton will get you there as long as you don’t go fast.
Last but not least, orthopedists suggest the Hoka One One Clifton 5 to people who need supportive well-cushioned shoes to walk or stand the whole day in.
- Outsole is not very durable due to the amount of exposed midsole cushioning. (Hoka does that on purpose to cut down on weight)
Hoka Arahi 3
We’ve recently reviewed and compared the Hoka Arahi 5 to the Clifton 5.
The One One Hoka is known to be the max-cushion brand that many people seem to gravitate towards when they want that extra protection.
The engineered mesh that Hoka uses on the Arahi feels light on foot yet still sturdy. The Arahi 3 has gotten rid of those extra overlays and made the upper even more breathable.
Also, it has an adaptable fit and feel and kind of gave the shoe a better aesthetic.
Everything from the midfoot lockdown and how the tongue and the heel cup fits around your foot, the fit is nice.
The heel cup does give you the support that you would expect in a stability shoe, which is obviously the goal here, stability, and support.
The best part about the upper is that it has a pull tab.
Midsole – Meta Roker Design
The midsole uses Hoka’s special blend of EVA which feels good. Combine that with the Meta-Rocker design, you’re going to get that slight rolling forward sensation during your stride.
If you land on your heel, it’ll roll you through your gait and if you land on your midfoot, it’ll just push you off from there.
The Meta-Rocker design is something that you would either like or hate.
J-Frame Support System
The change-up in this model from other Hokas like the Clifton or the Bondi is the inclusion of the EVA J-Frame. The J-Frame is Hoka’s way of providing support in the shoe without the traditional medial posting.
This means it provides support without filling it as much or it feeling invasive.
Compared to other stability methods like the Brooks’ GuideRails system, the Hoka’s J-Frame support is less noticeable while running.
You know it’s there, but the Arahi still feels like a normal shoe, which is a good thing.
The Arahi 3 is a stability shoe without the clunkiness. The J-Frame support system itself kind of wraps around your heel and helps guide your foot for those who need more support. It may also be a better option for those who overpronate.
The outsole has rubber in the higher-wear spots and then exposed foam will take the hit pretty fast, but it really does not affect performance.
There’s also some extended rubber on the heel. Durability-wise, it’s OK. Hokas aren’t known to be the longest-lasting shoes. They have a lot of foam, but it compresses over time.
The Arahi 3 feels like a firmer more stable Hoka Clifton above. It does have a bit more of an engaged feel.
The midfoot and the forefoot still have that cushion pop to it, but the heel is definitely more stable.
You can almost use the Arahi 3 as a more responsive Clifton but can still go the distance from everyday runs to longer runs.
Since the Hoka One One Arahi 3 isn’t terribly heavy for a stability shoe, you can go fast in it.
- Collar is not padded enough.
Best Saucony Running Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis
Saucony VersaFoam Cohesion 12
There’s a lot to like for an amazingly low price in the Saucony Cohesion 12. What this running shoe lacks in technology, it makes up for a consistent and comfortable ride.
The Cohesion checks in as the cheapest neutral shoe by Saucony. It is designed for the beginner and budget-minded runners.
It competes against other brands such as the Adidas Duramo, Nike Winflo, Asics Gel Contend above, and many others.
This shoe is obviously not as flashy as the Triumph ISO, but it’s a solid-looking shoe and the upper has a lot of visible stitches.
The upper fits true to size, but it’s quite narrow all the way around. The heel is narrow and feels secure in locking the heel in, but it doesn’t seem to widen out pretty much over the length of the shoe.
The midfoot and the forefoot are pretty narrow, although not painfully so. Saucony still uses some of the rubber overlays to keep your feet locked in, which adds some structure and protection to the upper.
In this model, Saucony still uses older methods in a way to keep costs down. Because of that, the upper is fully seamed and doesn’t include a sock liner.
This is not a pair of running shoes you would want to run in without socks, however, the upper does use some pretty nice breathable materials that keep your feet at a cool temperature.
The Cohesion uses a single layer of VersaFoam cushioning on the midsole with 29mm of cushioning under the heel and 17mm under the forefoot for a 12mm-drop. This provides ample cushioning for most runners.
The VersaFoam material has a very nice and soft feel and is more durable and responsive than traditional cushioning foam.
What you get with VersaFoam is a cushion that can help you log the miles, but it gets sluggish when you do turn up the pace.
The outsole uses durable rubber material with some decent flexibility. However, this layer of rubber loses most of its grip on wet surfaces. The ride is smooth and consistent, if not amazing.
The Cohesion 12 is by no means the best shoe in this list, however, it is solid and knows what it is.
It’s designed to log miles and just keep rolling. It is not designed to pick up the pace.
It can keep taking every punch that you throw at it, but I’m pleasantly surprised by a shoe that’s about 40 to 50 bucks cheaper than most running shoes out there.
The Saucony VersaFoam Cohesion 12 is all about the combination of price and value, and it definitely delivers that.
It’s a daily trainer that can log a lot of miles despite the low price tag.
- The Cohesion 12 maintained the Grid Heel cushioning support system
- Features a redesigned upper with supportive overlays placed in key areas for structural support and added durability.
- The upper is nice and breathable throughout the entirety of the shoe.
- The outsole features an extremely durable rubber to keep you running longer.
- Plenty of cushion
- Supportive upper
- Easy shoe to log miles
- Incredible value for Price.
- Slightly narrow in the forefoot
- Outsole isn’t grippy in wet surfaces
Saucony Ride ISO
This neutral daily trainer is all about providing excellent comfort and cushioning without losing a responsive feel.
The Ride ISO is the first Ride to receive the ISO treatment in the Ride series. Combined with a much more accommodating fit, the ISO midfoot wrap may have been what the Ride series had been missing.
The Saucony’s ISO Fit construction is made of a floating support cage that wraps the foot evenly maintaining flexibility due to the independence of the lacing system. This makes it easy to accommodate various foot shapes.
The engineered mesh upper feels great on foot and the toe box is wide enough to splay out your toes.
It creates a sock-like fit while keeping the lightweight upper breathable while the overlays don’t seem as forced.
The woven heel collar helps to secure the foot further providing a little stability. The overall design just feels much more sleeker compared to the older models.
The midsole uses a combination of the PWERFOAM technology with the EVERUN topsole layer.
POWRFOAM is both responsive and durable and the EVERUN full-length topsole offers plenty of cushioning to keep things comfortable all while maintaining plenty of energy return.
The midsole is contoured, which helps to center the foot providing some stability.
Compared to the previous version, the Ride ISO has just a bit more sense of plushness. It still feels responsive enough to be a good all-around shoe.
When running, the cushioning holds up nicely by having a nice consistent feel. When going faster, the shoe still offers some sense of responsiveness. The Ride ISO feels light on foot, which is good for a variety of paces.
The outsole uses carbon rubber throughout the bottom. This rubber isn’t as fancy as the crystal rubber outsole on the Saucony Freedom, but it’s really durable and gets the job done.
Traction on normal dry conditions is good, but it’s not the best on wet grass.
The Tri-Flex Grooves allow for additional flexibility during the toe-off phase, which gives the shoe a more natural ride.
For anyone looking for a comfortable neutral running shoe that can handle high-mileage comfort, the Saucony Ride ISO makes a great option.
Yet, it is a versatile road shoe that can be great for those who want a shoe that can do well for most runs.
- Might feel narrow to some.
Saucony Triumph ISO 5
M. Dolack says the TRiumph ISO 5 did the trick at relieving his heel and Achilles pain.
If you’re hoping to run double-digit miles this year, this is a shoe for you. First, it’s the most cushioned trainer in the Saucony lineup.
The Triumph ISO 5 is great for any distance from a 5k to ultra-marathon.
The new thicker midsole features a 2mm full-length EVERUN foam which is very high-cushioned and gives you resilient cushioning from heelstrike to toe-off.
The Triumph ISO 5 has more EVERUN underfoot than ever before to make the longest runs fly by.
EVERUN is not your traditional standard EVA foam, EVERUN is actually made of durable polyurethane which can withstand many kinds of weather, hot and cold.
With your traditional EVA foam, the force would come from underneath and then impacts into the midsole.
But with polyurethane foam, it comes and disperses in all directions and then you get a more cushioned ride.
Instead of being one of those shoes that are very high-cushioned and mushy, this actually provides some very good energy return and response making it a lot more versatile.
A disadvantage though with all that cushioning is that you do get a little bit heavy shoe.
The upper is made of lightweight knit mesh that offers.
The Triumph 5 features a jacquard mesh upper that offers structure, Achilles support, stretch, and flexibility without discomfort.
It’s highly padded meaning you don’t get any pressure on the Achilles tendon at all.
Combined with the ISO Fit technology, the jacquard breathable mesh upper will keep your feet cool, comfortable, and locked-in.
Something you’ll love about the upper is the versatile lacing system. All the sections leading up to the eyelets are all separate meaning that the shoe adapts to really any foot and you get some good lockdown there.
The toe box is pretty roomy and if you do have a narrower foot, you mind find this toe box a bit wider for your liking.
A new Form Fit contoured footbed cradles your foot giving you a custom fit and cloud-like comfort.
The crystal rubber outsole is just as durable as the previous editions, but it’s thinner by 2mm making it lightweight without losing traction.
Saucony combined the crystal rubber with XT-900 rubber for added durability.
The crystal rubber provides some good protection for your feet against rocks, but it does get a bit slippery on wet grass and wet surfaces.
So what you get with the Saucony Triumph ISO 5 is very soft high-cushioned low impact landing with great energy return and response.
It’s a bit heavy shoe, but it’s designed for training and not racing.
- Highly-cushioned versatile shoe.
- Amazing response.
- Very soft.
- EVERUN topsole can withstand hot and cold weather.
- Strong and supportive upper.
- Really durable crystal rubber outsole.
- Poor traction on wet surfaces.
- A bit heavy.
Mizuno Wave Rider 23
The Rider 23 is a must-have running shoe as it provides great protection for the Achilles Tendon. It’s also one of the best running shoes for high arches.
This is Mizuno’s most iconic shoe in the neutral cushion category. For this 23rd version of Mizuno’s iconic performance and iconic comfort shoe, there weren’t a whole lot of changes.
The Rider 23 is one of the ideal shoes for the high-mileage runner with a neutral foot type and wanting responsive feeling underfoot.
Most of the upper is what got the update, though. The 23 has a brand new engineered mesh and strategic eye placement so that you’re feeling that you’re running in the shoe and not just on it.
The upper is much more breathable with a lot more perforations on top and a much better, snug, and secure fit in the forefoot.
It’s impossible to look at a Mizuno shoe and not look at its signature Cloud Wave technology.
With the Wave Rider 23, Mizuno is using a parallel wave plate which is flexible from heel to toe for a smooth ride.
The midsole features two layers of EVA, a really soft U4ic X heel wedge on the bottom and the U4ic material just above to just provide good durability as well.
The U4ic X heel wedge provides a soft and cushioned landing upon heel strike, which is ideal for heel strikers.
The Wave technology is really great at absorbing the impact forces from the ground and sending them horizontally instead of into the body, which gives the shoe a really amazing ride.
It also is firm from side to side giving it a stable feel for a neutral shoe.
Again, the Cloud Wave technology provides a stable and supportive landing and a smooth transition through the mid-stance.
In the outsole, there’s an X-10 carbon rubber which is grippy on the road and even for some of the trails should do just fine.
The outsole of the Mizuno Wave Rider 23 has lateral decoupling in the heel and an increased number of flex grooves through the forefoot to help provide a much smoother transition from heel to toe.
- A bit firm for some.
Mizuno Wave Inspire 16
Relieve the pain in your Achilles with these awesome looking shoes from Mizuno. It is also a great running shoe for bunions and hammertoes.
The new Wave Inspire 16 was released January 12th of 2020 and this is the first time ever that the Inspire will be offered with two different uppers, a knit upper as well as an engineered mesh.
Despite the different uppers that are offered this season, the basic specs are still the same.
The Wave Inspire 16 falls in the stability category. It is also considered an everyday trainer.
You’re probably going to use this on the roads, track, treadmill more to get your base everyday mileage in.
The Wave Inspire 16 is available in wide widths but only in the engineered mesh option. So, that will be 2E for men and D width for the ladies.
Compared to Mizuno Wave Inspire 15, the 16 has a slightly sleeker and cleaner look, which is a plus.
If you’ve worn Mizuno before, a good thing to note is it still has that tried-and-true midsole, wave plate, and ride that you have come to love.
One thing I did want to point out that’s different from the Inspire 15 to the Inspire 16 is that the 15 had an external toe cap. You can’t see it on the 16 externally because it is now built inside the shoe.
The knit upper is the one that is new for the season and if you’ve been following footwear at all you know that knit is all the rage.
As you know, knit uppers can be super loosey-goosey and the foot isn’t very stable.
However, this particular knit from Mizuno is very soft and it’s also very adaptive. The knit upper gives you a real snug and secure fit.
Mizuno designed this specific wave knit with a heat embossing on the midfoot and unlike other knit models, it just feels much more substantial.
So if you’re running in it, or even if you’re using it for some sort of lateral movement activity, it’s just going to give you a little bit more support than traditional knits.
Engineered Mesh Version
Let’s talk about the engineered mesh version of this shoe. This is a pretty traditional mesh that you’re used to seeing from most shoe companies.
Compared to the 15, it does have fewer overlays. Fewer overlays from all the updated models of shoes seems to be the theme today.
Comparing the knit versus the engineered mesh, the mesh version actually has a little bit more volume compared to the knit.
The knit gives you a snugger more glove-like fit and you have a little bit more volume and a little bit more wiggle room in the engineered version.
What’s the same between these mesh and the knit versions?
Basically, the entire midsole construction, the cushioning, the Wave plate, the specs from the drop, and the weight are all the same regardless of whether or not you get the engineered mesh or the knit version of the Inspire 16.
If you have never been a Mizuno wearer before, one thing I really want to point out that they do differently is the wave plate in their midsole.
Most running shoe companies use some sort of EVA in the midsole, which is typically that white kind of squishy material, but what Mizuno does is they actually carve out some of that EVA and put in a plastic wave plate.
What that does is it gives the shoe a little bit more stability and a little bit more firmness.
Sometimes, when you buy a really soft running shoe, you can feel when it’s done. You go out on a run and it feels super flat.
With Mizuno Wave Inspire 16 shoes, they really hold that first feel much longer into the life of the shoe.
How do you decide which model is best for you, the knit or the mesh?
When we compare these two uppers, I would say the knit upper is softer and stretchier and more adaptive, whereas the engineered mesh provides more wiggle room.
However, the engineered mesh wouldn’t be as adaptive compared to the knit upper.
- Might be bulky for some.
- Lacks energy return.
Mizuno Wave Sky 2
Some shoe brands have a reputation. Mizuno running shoes have always been responsive but a little stiff and kind of firm underfoot.
For some runners, this has been a big positive, but for others, not so much.
The last couple of years, Mizuno has been working to offer something a little softer but still with their characteristic feel. That’s what brings us to the Wave Sky 2.
The Mizuno Wave Sky 2 is supposed to be Mizuno’s higher-cushioning neutral option.
It’s almost a beefed-up version of the very popular Wave Rider series. Mizuno says it will feel great out of the box and for the long miles on the roads.
The Wave Sky’s upper comes with engineered mesh with some overlays to help maintain structure. There’s a good amount of ventilation over the toe box, which is nice.
It breathes well and keeps the feet in place. There’s plenty of cushioning around the tongue and the collar, which makes it really comfortable next to your skin.
There’s a low soft cuff at the back that holds the heel really well, which is good for your Achilles.
The change from the original Wave Sky is the AeroHug upper, which gives a more secure fit eliminating space between the foot and the shoe.
The midsole uses Mizuno’s Cloud Wave technology. This technology seems to be the bread and butter of Mizuno running shoes.
The wave plate really gives the Wave Sky 2 some response considering this is a high-cushion shoe.
With all this cushion, you could expect a heavy shoe, but that’s not the feel at all. The Mizuno Wave Sky 2 is obviously not ultra-light, but it doesn’t add fatigue on long days.
The midfoot/forefoot area feels a bit beefed up, which is a nice feature for those who land on their forefoot.
Compared to other high-cushion shoe brands, this is isn’t the softest but it does provide a good amount of impact protection.
The ride of the Wave Sky 2 is pretty luxurious and the shoe is made for the long run with lots of U4ic X rubber in the midsole. This reduces the strain of repeated pounding, especially for heel strikers.
Whether you’re going medium or slow paces, the Mizuno Wave Sky 2 can handle it fine, but I guess it does feel a bit clunky when picking up the pace.
The shoe has a 10mm heel-to-toe drop, which is pretty common and helps with forward transition.
The outsole has you covered with rubber throughout the bottom. There’s also some kind of midfoot shank near the medial side to give some support through transition.
The outsole can even handle non-technical trails, but it’s on the roads that the shoe performs best. It’s so comfortable you may just want to wear it all day when you’re not running.
The Mizuno Wave Sky 2 feels a bit stiff, which gives it a more supportive feel. In many ways, the Wave Sky 2 is s long-run specialist.
With lots of cushion and a supportive feel, it gives the kind of run that makes the miles flow relatively effortlessly.
The engineered mesh on the Wave Sky 2 doesn’t breathe as well as most Mizuno running shoes. It may leave your feet hot and sweaty especially on steamy days. Yet, you’re going to love the shoe in cool seasons.
Best New Balance Running Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis
New Balance Fresh Foam Boracay
The Boracay is a shoe that’s great for Achilles Tendonitis, Metatarsalgia (ball of foot pain), and Plantar Fasciitis.
New Balance actually split the Fresh Foam Line into two different shoes. The Boracay is actually the update to the original 980 that launched back in 2014.
The big thing with the Boracay is cushioning. New Balance uses what they call Fresh Foam midsole, all one density with no plastic shank giving the runner a smooth transition through the shoe no matter where they strike.
So if you’re a heel striker or if you’re more of a forefoot runner, or even if you tend to strike on the outside a little bit more, the Boracay provides a smooth transition from heel-strike to toe-off.
Another unique feature on the Fresh Foam midsole is New Balance’s ability to get stability through geometry.
What I mean by that is that if you take a look at the midsole, you’ll see there are certain areas of the foam that are concave and certain areas that are convex to add more support in certain areas where runners need it and more release in where they don’t.
So where the foam is convex, generally runners need a little bit more stability. Conversely, if you take a look at the lateral side, most of the foam is concave, meaning that generally in those areas runners don’t necessarily need as much stability.
Another key update to the Fresh Foam Boracay is the upper. New Balance uses a two-way stretch mesh which should provide a little bit more of a generous fit than the original Fresh Foam 980.
New Balance also uses some heat-welded overlays to provide additional stability but keep the shoe lightweight.
Also, New Balance added a little bit of a neoprene piece so where the tongue ties into the shoe, you can still pull and it has a little bit of give to it.
So after you tie the shoe you can still be able to pull on the tongue without getting any of that creasing or pulling in the toe box.
The Boracay still maintains that 4 mm hell-to-toe offset that was originally found in the 980. So checking in at 9.3oz on the men’s side and 7.6oz on the women’s, you can still expect a lightweight cushioned ride from the Fresh Foam Boracay.
This is one of the first times New Balance has named a shoe rather than giving it numbers.
The idea on the Boracay is because of the plush ride and the smoothness of the shoe New Balance has named the shoe after a Beach in the Philippines, super-soft, exotic and beautiful.
If you have Plantar Fasciitis flare-ups, New Balance running shoes are great for pain relief.
- Inner tongue edges get scratchy when worn barefoot.
End of article: Best Running Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis
Achilles Tendonitis – FAQS
What are the best running shoes for Achilles tendonitis?
If you have Achilles Tendonitis, get some athletic shoes for Achilles tendonitis that don’t have a very high back or a deep heel cup. These shoes can rub and irritate your Achilles tendon.
If you already have a pair of running shoes that you’re in love with, go ahead and get some orthotics or two heel lifts and just insert them in the back of the shoe to elevate your heel just enough. This should shorten up the Achilles tendon and take away the irritation.
After some research, I found that the majority of people with Achilles Tendonitis run in lower to zero-drop shoes.
So, some of them switched to higher-drop running shoes, and their Achilles issues started to go away.
If you’re wondering what the best heel-to-toe drop for Achilles tendonitis is, nobody can answer that. Just try some higher-drop shoes and see what works for you.
Your running shoes should:
- Fit you like a glove.
- Be flexible and bend where your foot naturally bends.
- Have a secure and padded heel area.
- Feature a springy midsole, a wider toe box, and a soft interior.
- Have a high-to-toe drop.
What causes Achilles tendonitis in runners?
Sore Achilles Tendonitis is not really a condition that plagues couch potatoes. It is common in people who exercise vigorously and continuously like runners.
Your Achilles tendon plays a rather crucial role in running, walking, jumping, and anything that involves you pushing off from your foot.
As a result, it needs to be able to withstand huge amounts of force repetitively.
Also, bad loading like running and jumping too soon is detrimental to the tendon because it can cause damage.
Achilles Tendinopathy tends to be common in runners who increase their mileage too quickly especially during the days leading to a marathon.
So, this happens frequently in marathon runners who start a new marathon training program and bump up their mileage.
It’s also common in triathletes who progress from Olympic distance to Ironman distance events.
It’s also seen in otherwise sedentary individuals who start a vigorous running training program without the help of a coach.
I hate to break it to you, but the stats actually say that men are more susceptible to Achilles Tendinopathy than women.
According to this study, the Achilles tendon load parameters are significantly greater in male runners in comparison to females.
According to this other study, Achilles Tendinopathy does increase with age due to the fact that connective tissue is naturally getting a little bit more brittle and weaker.
Achilles Tendonitis in now more accurately known as Achilles Tendinopathy. Common causes include:
- A sudden increase in activity.
- A change of footwear or training surface.
- A change in running shoe drop especially going from high-drop to lower drop shoes.
- Weak or tight Achilles or calf muscles due to improper stretching.
- Running uphill and overpronation.
- Overpronation, or excessive rolling of your foot inward.
- Flat feet.
Can Running Shoes Cause Achilles Tendonitis?
One thing is sure; you definitely need to run in proper running shoes for your Achilles Tendonitis.
Running in the wrong pair of running shoes is one of the leading causes of Achilles Tendonitis.
Wrong running shoes aren’t necessarily worn out. They can be brand-new, and if they don’t fit you perfectly or if they’re poorly constructed, they may cause some issues on the long run.
You need to ask yourself some questions, do you:
- need motion control features?
- have flat feet, high arches, Plantar Fasciitis?
- need stability features in your shoes?
- Are you a heel striker, forefoot runner, neutral runner, overpronator, underpronator/supinator?
So if you have the foot conditions above and you get the wrong running shoes, then yes, your running shoes can cause Achilles tendonitis.
On the contrary, if your running shoes do support and are suitable for your foot condition, then you should be fine, to some extent.
Can I Keep Running With Achilles Tendonitis?
One question that is often asked is ‘can I run with Achilles Tendonitis/Tendinopathy?
There is no hard evidence to suggest that you’re actually jeopardizing the tendon if you run when there’s Tendinopathy present.
Yet, it’s not a good idea to run through the pain caused by your Achilles Tendonitis. As you know, Achilles Tendonitis is caused by overloading the Achilles tendon from repetitive overuse.
So running through the pain is just going to make your Achilles issues worse and prevents the swelling around the Achilles from healing.
Once the pain and swelling are beginning to resolve, you can gradually start your strength training.
In order to keep your fitness, other sports like cycling and swimming are recommended, but running is best avoided while the pain and swelling are still there.
Once the pain starts to resolve, you can gradually start to run.
How Should Runners Treat Achilles Tendonitis?
According to Claire Wheller, physiotherapist at Claire Physio Practice, the tendon tissue is like a spring and needs to be stretched but not over-stretched and then recoil.
The other fact we have to take into consideration with the Achilles is its poor circulation, which makes healing take that much longer.
The problem is bad loading like running and jumping too soon is detrimental to the tendon because it can cause damage.
So you need to decrease the loading and you need to therefore decrease the pain. It’s the body’s way of making the tendon have the ability to take load.
The best research that has been shown for tendons initially is to get that loading and that tensile strength back in the tendon.
The research advises you do very slow loading of the calf so that you’re strengthening both aspects of your calf muscle, gastrocnemius, and soleus to regain the tensile strength back in the tendon.
People tend to do things too quickly because their Achilles hasn’t got enough tensile strength, which is different to the muscle.
How do you know when it’s ready to start loading?
It’s good to be doing it alongside with a physiotherapist so that they’re slowly bringing in the eccentric loading to then gradually get the tensile strength back in that, then bring it to a contraction and then slowly working into the plyometric training before you go on to doing your walking and running.
What are some of the recommended exercises?
The sort of exercise that you want to do is put a dumbbell across your lap taking your toes right up and then SLOWLY lowering yourself down.
Your toes start at the top and then you come off a platform to slowly get that tensile strength back into the tendon.
Do 10 to 12 reps of those 3 times, 2 to 3 times during the day. These are some of the first exercises you want to do.
Once you’ve got the tendon strength again, then you can start rebuilding it. Yet, don’t try to do things too soon.
How heavy you load?
Actually, the research has shown that you want a real sort of like sandbag or something really quite heavy on you like a little child.
The research finds you need to get the tensile strength in that before you start trying to the plyometric work.
Again, people tend to that too quickly and that’s why they then go around in that vicious circle.
How could you progress from that?
You would probably do that for a good week to ten days of doing that. Plus, you could do some standing where you’re bringing your gastrocnemius and soleus loading it with your body weight.
Then you go back to your physiotherapist who progresses it on depending on whether you’re getting any symptoms.
They’d bring in some eccentric exercises. Once they know that the tendon is nicely healed and you’re not getting any symptoms, then they bring the plyometric hopping because you do need that elasticity to get that sprinting movement through with your running.
The other factor to take into consideration is when you’re doing your running and training is to always make sure you’ve got your strengthening program and your loading program in there at least twice a week.
Warning Signs of Achilles Tendonitis
The Achilles Tendon is the strongest tendon in the body. Connecting the calf to the heel bone, the Achilles Tendon helps propel us when we walk, jump or run and it keeps that spring in our step.
But when it’s irritated, you can feel it burning. So how do you know if you have Achilles Tendonitis? Here are some of the symptoms:
You’ve got to be really careful when you’re seeing any increase in swelling around your Achilles.
Look for any:
- Warmth around the area
- Difficulty when you’re trying to go up onto your toes
- Burning sensation
- A lot of cramping
- A sudden pick kick in the back of the calf
- Mild pain after running or exercising
- Localized pain along the tendon
- Tenderness near the heel bone with pain usually worse in the morning and a limited range of motion
- The tendon can have swelling and the tendon may become enlarged and develop little nodules.
How can you tell whether it’s a calf pain or an Achilles issue?
The thing is the problem with tendons is it can be something you’ve done a couple of months, you don’t pick up on it and it slowly builds.
With the calf muscle, you tend to feel that you’ve pulled it, you get the bruising, and you get weakness in that muscle straight away.
So muscular injuries are easy to pick up because they happen almost instantaneously
That’s why when runners are upping their mileage with marathons, for example, they don’t realize they’re getting the slight Tendinopathy because it can build over time.
To wrap this section up, Achilles Tendinopathy is a slow recovery process. So, I would seriously recommend doing all you can to prevent it in the first place.
If you do have any warning signs, then listen to them and do what you can about it to avoid too much frustration in the long run.
If you happen to be unfortunate enough to have an Achilles problem and you come out the other side and you’ve recovered from that injury, then let us know how you got on, what worked for you and you can share those in the comments section below.
How Do I Prevent Achilles Tendonitis While Running?
Achilles tendon conditions are very common in athletes who run and jump. Your calf and Achilles are being used most of the time during these activities.
It is much easier to prevent Achilles Tendonitis than to treat one. So simple preventive strategies include:
Frequent stretching of all muscles of the lower leg. Try stretching 3 or 4 times per day for 15 to 30 seconds each to get the tendon loosened and lubricated especially before a workout.
Stretch your calf muscles. This is fairly easy to do with calf raises and heel drops. It’s important to do heel exercises both sitting and standing as you work your calf muscles differently in each position.
Appropriate training. An athlete should begin with shorter easy workouts and progress as he or she gets stronger and more aerobically fit.
Well-cushioned running shoes with supportive insoles can reduce the shock of repetitive impact and do not put your Achilles under too much strain.
These shoes raise the heel off the ground a little bit to take the pressure off your Achilles tendon. This could help against setting up the early stages of Achilles tendonitis.
Surface is also important. Flat, even and soft surfaces like a track or a treadmill are better training tools than hill and concrete in the prevention of Achilles tendon injuries.
Try not to do something that your body can’t take in terms of the sport.
Take these steps and you should be able to remain active and injury-free.
Does Barefoot Running or Minimal Running Shoes Cause Achilles Tendonitis?
For the past few years, some runners warned against relying on running shoes and urged people to go back to natural barefoot or minimalist running.
These barefoot running advocates believed that barefoot running was associated with a reduced incidence of chronic running injuries.
Based on this increasing interest in barefoot running, some running shoe companies developed a large range of minimalist footwear like the Vibram Five Fingers.
A recent study has shown that footwear can actually influence the loads experienced by the Achilles tendon during running.
In their research Effects of minimalist and maximalist footwear on Achilles tendon load in recreational runners, doctors Hannah Shore, Jonathan Sinclair, and Jim D Richards found that minimalist footwear is associated with significantly greater Achilles tendon load compared to conventional footwear.
What’s even more interesting about this research is that they found that running shoes with rocker soles significantly reduce the forces experienced by the Achilles tendon.
The most famous running shoes featuring the rocker bottom technology is, of course, Hoka running shoes and above, we’ve reviewed some of the best Hoka running shoes for Achilles tendonitis.
Will Inserts or Orthotics Help With Achilles Tendonitis?
Abnormal pronation combined with a tight Achilles tendon can cause damage and twist.
A good orthotic device with a heel lift is designed to stop or reduce abnormal foot pronation and prevent Achilles tendonitis.
So, arch support inserts and orthotics:
- Can help control foot alignment like overpronation.
- Add shock absorption.
- Can include heel stabilizers and heel raises to reduce the tension and the pain associated with Achilles tendonitis.
Terms To Know
Drop or offset is the measurement between the height of the heel and the height of the toe.
So zero-drop means the heel and the forefoot are at the same height from the ground. Running shoe drop ranges from 0 to 13 millimeters depending on the model itself.
The question is what is best for everyone. That’s really impossible to answer because everybody’s foot and bodies are just different.
Just remember that if you switch from a running shoe with a high heel-to-toe drop to a zero drop shoe, that is just going to increase the loading on the tissues in the back like the Achilles and the calf.
Like I said before, runners who suffer from Achilles tendonitis tend to do better in high-drop running shoes as this places less strain on your Achilles.
Shoe Stack Height
Stack height can be defined as the amount of shoe material found between your foot and the ground.
Since different stack heights offer different underfoot sensations, I can break running shoes down to 6 different categories: barefoot, minimal, low, medium, high, and maximal.
Along this stack height spectrum, runners can pinpoint the right amount of underfoot cushioning suitable for their individual training needs.
Generally speaking, a medium stack height shoe will offer a midrange cushioning and is built to meet the needs of daily mileage.
As you move down along the spectrum, you can find lower stack heights which deliver more feel for the ground and tend to have a firmer more responsive underfoot feel optimal for shorter faster efforts.
On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll find shoes with higher stack heights which deliver more feel for the cushioning materials of the shoe and tend to have a softer more compliant feel ideal for longer runs or recovery efforts.
While many factors will have an influence on underfoot feel, stack height will be the biggest factor in perceived cushioning.
Talking about cushioning…
This feature is the combination of the midsole and the cushioning material in the running shoe. This helps the body to absorb the shock when landing.
Different companies use different cushioning materials.
- Asics uses Gel, FlyteFoam …
- Brooks uses DNA, Loft …
- Under Armour uses Hovr …
- Nike uses React …
- New Balance uses Fresh Foam …
That’s it for today. These were some of the best running shoes for Achilles Tendonitis. If you have some shoes that you wear by, please feel free to share your experience down below.