best running shoes for achilles tendonitis

How To Find The Best Running Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis

Perhaps you are a dedicated runner who loves nothing but the feel of the early morning breeze on the body as you complete your usual circuit around your neighborhood. Or maybe you are a professional who is training for the next ultramarathon, so that means you are logging in tens, if not hundreds, of miles each week. Whatever your situation is, you know that you were born to run.

However, you have recently started to feel some pain in your Achilles heel, a sort of stinging sensation that you experience each time you take a step. Whether it is running or walking, you are wondering just what it is all about, let alone trying to figure out how to heal it.

Little do you know that you have Achilles tendonitis, which is a common injury found in runners or those who tend to heel strike a lot in their daily activities, whether in sports or walking. It is essential that you take measures early on to heal the pain, or else risk it getting worse, which can ultimately debilitate you.

Aside from taking steps to get rid of Achilles tendonitis, consider investing in a pair of running shoes that can help you out. Read on in this article to learn more about getting the best running shoes for Achilles tendonitis, as means of healing it and otherwise making you more comfortable and well-supported when you run. Pretty soon, you can get back into the swing of things in no time.

Without further ado, let’s get started!


Things to Know About Achilles Tendonitis

First things first, what you need to know about Achilles tendonitis is that it is an injury of the Achilles heel, which specifically occurs in the tendon that connects the back calf muscles of the leg to the heel bone. It is characterized by symptoms such as a mild to strong, acute pain near the heel, especially when you are in motion, e.g. walking, running.

Achilles tendonitis comes about by not properly warming up and cooling down before and after a workout, respectively. It can also be due to a sudden increase in mileage or workout intensity, and it is likely to happen to beginning runners more so than seasoned ones (although the latter are not let off the hook, necessarily!). Even more so, it is not just a running-induced injury, but also it can happen to those who play sports such as tennis or basketball.

For more information on Achilles tendonitis, check out this video: 

Things to Do to Heal your Achilles

Although having Achilles tendonitis can be an excruciating experience, you do not need to let it dictate your life: by detecting it in its early stage and taking measures right after to combat it, we ensure you that it will help you heal faster than if you were to continue aggravating it, to the point of chronic injury.

That said, we have a few tips that you can take to heal your Achilles tendon:

1. Stop running.

This is not to say forever, but rather only temporarily while your Achilles tendon is healing. Continuing to run will not only aggravate the situation, but also make it even harder for you to heal. Depending on the severity of your condition, it can take a while for it to get better, but as long as you do not run, it will be a better situation.

This is also not to say that you cease all activities as you heal: instead of running, find other physical sports that do not rely on the Achilles tendon so much. Activities such as swimming or weight-lifting are good substitutes that can keep you in good shape otherwise.

2. RICE.

An acronym for “rest, ice, compress, and elevate,” this method of icing is universally known and used to numb the affected area, at least for a temporary amount of time. It helps to keep any form of swelling down, too, so that you can at least do a small bit of activity afterwards (however, we would advise keeping it to a bare minimum, in order to maximum the healing process).

Another thing to note is that you should not leave the ice on for too long, since doing so can actually do more harm than good. In fact, icing for over 30 minutes per Achilles heel can start to kill off nerve endings, which creates another problem to resolve. That said, aim for no more than 20 minutes per side, in order to get the healing benefits without the risk of damaging them.

For a demonstration on the RICE method, here is a video for you: 

3. Get a new pair of running shoes.

Perhaps what caused Achilles tendonitis in the first place was either wearing an improper shoe or wearing one for too long that it was worn down. In either case, they can cause you to develop an improper running form and even cease to offer any sort of support, especially in the heel area.

Hence, it is necessary to get a new pair of running shoes to at least help reverse the damage. Ideally, getting a pair with a good heel drop, i.e. extra support at the heel area, can be a good investment to make. Especially if you tend to heel strike a lot, it can be worth the effort to purchase. Having insoles in there is not a bad idea, either, for the sake of more cushioning and stability.

4. Take medication.

Sometimes, you just need some painkillers to take away the pain, in particular when it comes to the tendon acting up when you least expect it to. Drugs such as ibuprofen are solid choices, and even though it only works temporarily, at least it helps mitigate the problem then.

5. Consult with your doctor.

If it is especially a severe condition, then it might be necessary to talk with your doctor about surgical measures or physical therapy that you can do to get rid of Achilles tendonitis. Again, under serious circumstances should surgery be an option, but all the same, having a second opinion on the matter can be a useful, even crucial, part of the healing process.

For more strategies on how to heal Achilles tendonitis, watch this video: 

Top Five Best Running Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

Below, you'll see more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices, choose the colors and read customer's reviews on Amazon.

With an 8-millimeter heel-to-toe drop, Saucony’s running shoe is a solid candidate to consider for purchasing, especially if you tend to heel strike a lot. Not only that, but it also comes with a reflective silver heel that can make you visible if you often run when it is dark outside. It also has an air mesh construction to help your feet breathe as you hit the trails.


  • Has an 8-millimeter heel-to-toe drop.
  • Comes with a reflective silver heel for visibility.
  • Has an air mesh construction to help your feet breathe.


  • Can be a bit too tight around the toe box.


I hit the road as soon as I got Saucony’s running shoe and I have to say that it is quite supportive and comfortable. The ample heel-to-toe drop is excellent, and I do appreciate the reflective silver heel for my early-morning runs. The toe box is too tight, though, as I have felt my toes get numb while wearing them.

As a low-profile trail running shoe, this product from Merrell is sure to make your running experience a comfortable one, all the while providing support for your heel. It has a breathable mesh lining, along with a 2-millimeter lug depth to cradle your feet while you run. Finally, its integrated EVA foot bed is a decent feature, too.


  • Has a breathable mesh lining.
  • Consists of a 2-millimeter lug depth.
  • Has an integrated EVA foot bed.


  • Arch support might not be very ideal.


Lightweight and well-padded, Merrell’s trail running shoe was a pleasant surprise for me when I first tried it on: it was so comfortable! Plus, they were breathable, and able to get dry quickly after taking it off from a long, sweating run. However, the arch support was lacking, since I tend to be very flat-footed and I found this pair to be geared more so to high-arched runners.

Although there is a zero-millimeter heel-to-toe drop with Altra’s running shoe, it does a good job of correcting your running form so that you can prevent Achilles tendonitis from happening later on again. It comes with a variety of features, including a dual-layer midsole with an A-bound top layer, as well as Innerflex midsole flex grooves for the ultimate comfort experience.


  • Has a zero-millimeter heel-to-toe drop feature.
  • Comes with a dual-layer midsole with an A-bound top layer.
  • Has Innerflex midsole flex grooves for a smooth, flexible experience.


  • Can be too wide at the front, risking blister development.


Altra’s running shoe was super comfortable; I felt like I was walking on clouds when I tried them on for the first time! Running in them was pretty good, for the zero-millimeter heel-to-toe drop helped me correct my form for a more efficient workout. Granted, I got blisters during my first couple of runs, but now it is all good.

Adidas’ running shoe knows no boundaries when it comes to constantly innovating the best pair to run in. Its engineered mesh upper provides maximum breathability for a pleasantly dry experience, as well as molded synthetic midfoot and heel overlays for stability and support. Finally, its 10-millimeter heel-to-toe drop makes for a good shoe for heel strikers.


  • Has an engineered upper mesh for maximum breathability.
  • Contains molded synthetic midfoot and heel overlays for stability and support.
  • Has a 10-millimeter heel-to-toe drop.


  • Can cause some ankle pain.


I was impressed with Adidas’ running shoe technology, for it came with excellent breathability and heel-to-toe drop features. I found them to be quite comfortable as well when I went running. However, I did feel some ankle pain after a couple of runs, but after stretching and loosening them up, it was fine.

Back to the basics, this running shoe from New Balance is classic in design while also offering a pleasant, supportive running experience. It comes with a dual-density collar, as well as a padded tongue to keep your upper foot comfortable. Its lightweight cushioning helps heel striking, and its reflective design lets you run at night without worrying about invisibility.


  • Comes with a dual-density collar and a padded tongue.
  • Has lightweight cushioning.
  • Consists of a reflective design for visibility at night.


  • Quality might be the longest-lasting out there.


Simple in design, but supportive in practice, New Balance’s running shoe was a decent pair to wear. Its lightweight cushioning was much-needed, and the upper support from the dual-density collar and padded tongue were much appreciated. I also tend to run in the early morning when it is still dark, so the reflective design for visibility was definitely a huge plus. Only issue I have with it is that it is not very durable: after only two months of running in them, I felt the material start to break off, which was not a good sign.

Winner of the Roundup

Although all of our selections were very good to begin with, the winner of this roundup would have to go to Adidas Performance Men's Supernova Glide 8 M Running Shoe (#4).

Not only did it offer an impressive 10-millimeter heel-to-toe drop to help support even the most severe Achilles tendonitis, but also it contained a breathable upper mesh feature to keep the foot comfortable and dry. This running shoe from Adidas certainly has been made with careful attention to runners out there, and so we encourage you to try it out.

Happy running!


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