Top 14 Best Running Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis for 2021

If you’re looking for the best running shoes for Achilles Tendonitis, you’ve come here and we believe you won’t search again after reading this article. 

We understand how difficult it is to run when you’re experiencing pain in the back of your lower leg. Luckily, wearing the right shoes will substantially reduce the chances of suffering with it. It’s the simplest and the most affordable method of preventing and treating Achilles tendonitis. 

There is a wide selection of running shoes for people suffering from this condition. We’ve shortlisted several models based on personal experience, customer reviews, and expert opinion. But first, it’s essential to understand what Achilles Tendonitis is and why it occurs. 

What is Achilles Tendonitis?

In the simplest terms, Achilles Tendonitis is an inflammation of the tendon that connects the calf muscle to the heel bone. It usually manifests as a sharp pain at the lower leg’s back, where this tendon is located.

What causes it? 

The leading cause of the disease is overstraining of the Achilles tendon, usually after intense physical activity. The Achilles tendon assists your calf muscle in flexing the foot when walking, running, or jumping. This tendon is the strongest and largest tendon in the human body, which takes a beating every day. This repetitive and excessive strain in it puts you at high risk of developing Achilles tendonitis. 

Who’s at higher risks?

Research suggests that middle-aged people who run or are involved in impact-based sports like basketball and tennis are at higher risks of developing this condition. Overweight individuals and people suffering from certain types of arthritis are also prone to Achilles tendonitis. 

Types of Achilles Tendonitis

To find the best shoes for Achilles tendonitis, it’s crucial to determine the type of Achilles tendonitis you have. 

There are two different types of Achilles tendonitis, namely Insertional Tendinopathy and Mid-Substance Tendinopathy.

Insertional Tendinopathy is characterized by swelling, pain, and stiffness on the calcaneum – the large bone forming the heel that attaches to the Achilles tendon. 

The Mid-Substance Tendinopathy, as the name suggests, is associated with pain in the central point of the tendon. Wearing the wrong shoes with an insufficient amount of ankle support can aggravate the pain. So if you find the right shoes that work for you, it’s best to stick with them.

What are the symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis?

Signs and symptoms are likely to develop gradually. They don’t suddenly manifest after a sports event or training. Some of these symptoms are:

  • Pain behind the ankle, usually close to the heel
  • Pain that gets worse when you wake up and subsides after a good rest
  • A tendon that is extremely sensitive to touch and press
  • Pain that intensifies during walking, running, or jumping 
  • Presence of lump near the ankle  

What are the risk factors?

As aforementioned, Achilles tendonitis is generally caused by strains on the Achilles tendon. It’s common among people whose activities include running and jumping, such as tennis players, runners, and soccer players. Here are other factors that can contribute to the development of this condition. 

  • The use of the wrong footwear for running or training 
  • Engaging in intense physical activities without warming up
  • Using the wrong running technique
  • Bad training plan. For instance, suddenly increasing the frequency and intensity of physical workouts
  • Rapid increases in speed or distance while running is a common cause
  • Running on inclined (downhill/uphill) surfaces
  • Having poor flexibility or weak muscles

How is it treated?

The condition usually resolves by itself within weeks or months. In the worst-case scenario, however, the tendon can tear or rupture completely, causing permanent disability. Fortunately, ruptures are pretty rare and happen more frequently in people older than thirty years.

With that in mind, the treatment of Achilles tendonitis is usually conservative. The earlier the treatment starts, the better. 

To treat this condition, the orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist normally conducts a physical examination of the patient’s heel and leg. They check for bumps, knots, swelling, and discoloration near the tendon. Depending on the patient’s condition, some podiatrists will perform multiple CT scans or radiographs to identify Achilles Tendonitis. Remedies include:

  • In most cases, this condition can be managed by over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs. The healthcare provider may prescribe diclofenac or ibuprofen for seven to fourteen days. 
  • You can make a few lifestyle changes to keep Achilles tendonitis from reoccurring. These include losing weight if you are obese. 
  • You can treat it with simple precautions—a change of training methods to reduce the risk of aggravating the pain. You can increase the duration and intensity of the physical activity gradually. The goal is to prevent excessive stress on the Achilles tendon.
  • Depending on the stage of the disease, the doctor may prescribe electrotherapy or laser therapy treatment to stimulate blood circulation and accelerate healing. Therapy is a very effective treatment. And it doesn’t have side effects. 
  • Get running shoes with extra cushioning and ankle support to absorb shock and align the tendon fibers. Also, in the acute phase, patients can relieve pain in the Achilles tendon with heel pads.
  • Steroid injections can relieve pain associated with Achilles tendonitis. However, this form of treatment is still controversial. Some researchers believe the side effects associated with steroids outweigh the benefits. 
  • If the inflammation causes unbearable pain that can potentially cause permanent disability, the podiatrist may recommend surgery. 
  • Other treatments may include physical therapy, painkillers, elastic bandages, orthopedic braces, and ice packs. 

Do running shoes help with Achilles Tendonitis? 

Yes, you can conveniently treat your pain using a pair of special running shoes. Wearing these shoes will provide pain relief and help avoid further damage to the tendon. Plus, it can serve as prevention against this problem. 

It’s advisable to go for a pair with extra cushioning, exceptional ankle support, and a higher heel-to-toe drop to ease the pain. Note that poorly designed shoes can heighten the pain and cause unnecessary discomfort. 

Thankfully, we are here to help. We’ve listed the best running shoes for Achilles tendonitis you can lay your hands on in 2021.

Best Running Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis for 2021

1. Brooks Men’s 13 Ghost

Our top choice for the best Running Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis is the Brooks Men’s Ghost 13. Brooks designed this shoe specifically for the anatomy of the male foot. The extra cushioning that absorbs shock is the main highlight of this shoe. 

The midsole drop of 12 mm heel-to-toe helps to minimize pressure on your tendon. The midsole also features BioMoGo DNA that guarantees a perfect fit and maximum comfort. They have a full-length heel extension for smooth landings and strides, thanks to the DNA LOFT foam.

The upper is made of breathable and lightweight engineered mesh to guarantee excellent breathability on hot days. You will also appreciate the 3D Fit Print upper, which is designed to adapt to your foot’s shape. 

A rubber and carbon support has been inserted on the heel, which increases its resistance to shocks and wears.

The advantages of this model are comfort and versatility. However, the laces are a bit short, and the durability could be improved. Overall, the Brooks Ghost 13 is a functional and good-quality running shoe, which is comfortable and well-cushioned.

What we like 

  • Soft and breathable design 
  • Beautiful design and broad combination of colors 
  • Balanced cushioning 
  • Amazing arch support 

What we don’t like 

  • Not durable 
  • Doesn’t offer enough ankle support 

2. Brooks Women’s Ghost 13

High-performing and durable, the DNA Loft and BioMoGo DNA reduces pressure and absorbs impact – providing relief to women with Achilles tendonitis. 

The mesh upper is lightweight and breathable, while the outsole is supportive and sturdy. Available in hushed violet and black, these are high-quality yet affordable options for female runners who are looking for an excellent blend of stability, cushioning, and durability. 

What we like 

  • Comfortable and breathable upper 
  • Lots of cushioning 
  • Lightweight design 
  • Smooth and stable 

What we do not like 

  • The shoe isn’t aesthetically pleasing 
  • The quality of the shoes leave a lot to be desired 

3. ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 25

The Asics Gel Nimbus 25 has held cult-favorite status among runners with various heel conditions. 

These shoes have neutral arch support and average weight. The design is elegant and straightforward, with few combinations available. The bouncy FLUIDRID midsole provides a significant cushion to your foot. 

Most users are grateful for the Dynamic DuoMax system, making the shoe more lightweight and stable during a run. 

The vertical flex groove is strategically positioned to improve the efficiency of the gait. The upper is composed of a synthetic mesh, a material that adapts to the lining to the foot’s natural shape. Additionally, the fabric helps to keep your feet cool and dry at the same time.

Overall, the shoes are a good choice for runners with Achilles tendonitis, providing significant cushioning, responsiveness, and breathability. 

What we like 

  • Exceptional springy properties thanks to the Ortholite X-40 Sockliner
  • Excellent heel grip and support 
  • Comfortable and stable forefoot 
  • Great cushioning and responsiveness 

What we don’t like 

  • The rubber sole has slippery plastic sidewalls 
  • Not the best running shoes for ankle support 

4. ASICS Women’s Gel-Kayano 25 Running Shoes

The Gel-Kayano 25 from ASICS gives female runners with Achilles tendonitis the maximum comfort and support they need. They sport the ASICS’ unique GEL Technology Cushioning System. This cushioning provides greater comfort in the rearfoot and forefoot and assists with shock absorption. The shoe also features Flytefoam midsole technology, which helps the shoe spring back to its former shape after every stride. You’ll find them in different sizes and widths. 

What we like 

  • Moderate comfort in the foot 
  • Great color options
  • Unrivaled gait efficiency 
  • Awesome responsiveness and flexibility 

We don’t like 

  • Poor arch support in the sole 
  • Lacks that bouncy feel 

5. Adidas Men’s Ultraboost 19

The Ultraboost is a highly cushioned shoe, recommended for neutral runners of medium weight who plan to run medium distances. The material uses an absorbent compound to create more energy return and comfort. The 3D Heel frame Fitcounter adapts to the shape of your foot. As a result, it offers a natural fit to allow the optimal movement of the Achilles. There is a torsion spring in the midsole to offer adequate support during propulsion at a toe-off and landing.

What we like 

  • Easy to slip in and out
  • Stretchy and comfortable 
  • Have a springy feel 
  • Quality finish and looks awesome 
  • Available in brilliant colors 

What we don’t like

  • May feel a little uncomfortable for people with wide feet

6. Adidas Women’s Ultraboost 19

The Adidas Women’s Ultraboost 19 running shoes provide excellent cushioning and stability. Yet, they still manage to remain lightweight, making them the better option for female runners with Achilles tendonitis. The Adidas’ Boost cushioning is responsive and offers adequate impact protection, regardless of where your foot lands. Overall, this is one of the best running shoes for women with Achilles tendonitis you can lay your hands on.  

What we like 

  • Like an incredibly bouncy 
  • Supportive and stretchy 
  • Great stability and traction
  • Attractive colors 

What we don’t like

  • The insoles come off pretty quickly   

7. Nike Men’s Air Zoom Pegasus 36

We particularly appreciated the fabrics used for the upper, well-fitting and with few seams.

However, it’s a bit firm and doesn’t have the springy responsiveness of the Adidas Ultraboost 19. Even so, it still manages to offer good cushioning because it features a blend of Cushlon ST foam. Even for the occasional run of 10+ kilometers, you’ll be pretty comfortable in this pair of shoes. 

The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 boasts a modern and attractive design, with neutral support for the arch. It has an average weight of 1.8 pounds. 

The tread is wide and equipped with grooves to increase grip during landing and thrust. The forefoot consists of a spongy rubber compound for greater durability and resistance. 

The heel features a gum rubber to improve grip and bumps. The upper has a well-breathable fabric lining able to keep your feet dry and cool. The lacing system allows you to customize the tightening of the shoe.

Overall, the shoe has a refined aesthetic, and excellent cushioning that manages to cushion the shock and impact. It is versatile, comfortable, and sturdy. 

According to some users, the heel tends to slip a little. The durability is also quite questionable, especially with intensive use. 

What we like 

  • Great value and durable
  • Great color options 
  • Study and strong 
  • Sturdy and comfortable

What we don’t like 

  • Average cushioning
  • Not ideal for tempo runs 

8. Nike Women’s Air Zoom Pegasus 36

The Nike Women’s Air Zoom Pegasus 36 shoes offer the smoothest and most comfortable ride. They feature a slim design, making them one of the most lightweight running shoes you can lay your hands on. The biggest reason we recommend this pair is simply because of the Cushlon ST foam, which provides spongy, responsive cushioning. They aren’t the lightest or responsive shoes on the market, but they strike a good balance between flexibility, stability, and breathability. 

What we like 

  • Comfortable and fits well
  • Very lightweight and durable
  • Beautiful design and attractive colors 

What we don’t like 

  • Not ideal for ankle support 

9. New Balance Men’s Zante Pursuit V1 

The New Balance Fresh Foam Zante V1 are shoes designed specifically for running. They have neutral arch support and a weight of 8.2 ounces.

Customers appreciate the flexible and durable tread. For adequate foot protection while running, the midsole integrates New Balance’s efficient Fresh Foam cushioning system. The structure can absorb the shocks coming from the impact, giving you a pleasant feeling underfoot.

The insole offers arch support while remaining relatively neutral. The upper mesh is breathable and comfortable.

What we like 

  • Great arch support 
  • Comfortable and breathable upper 
  • Lightweight 
  • Excellent shock absorption

What we don’t like 

  • A little slippery on wet surfaces 
  • The foam is less stretchy  

10. New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam Arishi V2 

Women with Achilles tendonitis have had lots of luck with the Fresh Foam Arishi V2. The model has several advantages, from the sizing to the elegance of the design. The NB Memory Sole Comfort Inserts offer superior cushioning to handle long distances.

In our opinion, the New Balance Fresh Foam is inexpensive but good quality training shoe. It is reliable running footwear that still has plenty of room for improvement. Even so, it seems like a sturdy shoe that will last. 

What we like 

  • Flexible and durable tread 
  • Affordable 
  • Breathable upper 
  • Removable insoles 

What we don’t like

  • The insole lacks sufficient cushioning 

11. Mizuno Men’s Rider 23 Running Shoe 

If you’re looking for the best running shoes for Achilles tendonitis, the Mizuno Men’s Rider 23 can be the shoe for you. The fit is seamless but has complex details that allow it to support the foot and provide stability where needed. The reinforced heel cover makes you feel safe in the tread, and thanks to the smart lacing, the shoe adapts easily to the shape of your foot. The shoe is so comfortable on the foot that you will want to wear it on more occasions than when you run.

Thanks to the elastic upper, which is well ventilated, the shoe fits both runners with normal and broader feet.

Although they have a high degree of cushioning, they are not perceived as spongy. But they are relatively light and don’t weigh your leg down.

The Mizuno Men’s Rider 23 is suitable for all runners who want a light running shoe that provides maximum comfort and extra cushioning. 

What we like 

  • Customers appreciated the spacious toe box 
  • Lightweight design 
  • Comfortable and elastic 
  • Somehow pocket-friendly compared to competitors in the same category 

What we don’t like 

  • Not aesthetically pleasing 
  • Average cushioning and arch support  

12. Mizuno Women’s Wave Rider 23

Female runners with Achilles tendonitis and other heel problems have always appreciated the Wave Rider 23 for its stability and cushioning. The midsole uses U4icXand U4ic technologies for a responsive ride and neutral cushioning. The shoe was designed for slight overpronators. If you are a moderate overpronator, we recommend the Wave Inspire 15 or the Wave Horizon 3. 

What we like 

  • Excellent built quality 
  • Quite attractive shoes 
  • Created with moderate pronators in mind 
  • Breathable and comfortable upper 

What we don’t like 

  • The interior lacks adequate cushioning 
  • Lacks flexibility 

13. Under Armour Men’s Assert 8

The Under Armour Men’s Assert 8 is not the most aesthetically pleasing shoe out there. But as soon as you pick the pair out of the box, you’ll feel how light they are. The shoes have nice basic stability and incredible shock absorption, making it a joy to run on rough terrains.

The shoes’ size is “true to size,” which means that you can buy your regular size that would fit perfectly. It is firm enough so that no gravel will enter, but at the same time soft enough that they will never strain the foot. It is worth noting that the shoe can feel a bit narrow in the front if you have wide feet.

What we like 

  • High-quality, durable material 
  • Fits great 
  • Comfortable and flexible 
  • Breathable material 

What we don’t like 

  • A little wide 
  • Flat inner sole makes it unsuitable for people with flat feet

14. Under Armour Women’s Charged Assert 8 

We love the Armour Women’s Charged Assert 8for its leather overlays, which offers unrivaled stability. You will appreciate the support of the EVA foam stock liner that cushions your foot as you land. The charged cushioning midsole offers a comfortable ride for runners with Achilles tendonitis. 

The material on the upper side of the shoe breathes very well, and even during longer distances, no excessive heat builds up. 

What we like 

  • Comfortable and supportive 
  • Breathable material 
  • EVA foam stock liner offers excellent cushioning
  • Superb stability and flexibility

What we don’t like 

  • Looks slightly cheap 

Conclusion

After reading through our guide on choosing the best running shoes for Achilles tendonitis, it will be easy to pick one from this list. There are many shoes out there claiming to help runners with this condition, but only a few stand out.

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