PS: This is a long article, so if you just want to know which shoes us and our readers love the most - quickly check our Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis 2016 - 2017 List below:
If you've recently been diagnosed with Achilles tendonitis (or, more accurately, Achilles tendinopathy), you are probably looking for a new set of shoes that will help alleviate the pain and help you get back to doing the things you love. There are many factors that contribute to your purchase, and it’s important to note that every individual situation is unique.
We have rounded up some of the best shoe choices available online for treating your symptoms (in no particular order) as well as a short description. We have tried to evaluate all of the areas that customers care most about.
So… Which one will you choose?
Table of Contents
- ASICS Men's GEL Nimbus 17 Running Shoe
- Skechers Sport Men's Shape Ups XT All Day Comfort Oxford
- ASICS Men's GEL-Contend 3 Running Shoe
- Mizuno Men's Wave Creation 17 Running Shoe
- PUMA Men’s Cell Surin Cross-Training Shoe
- Clarks Men’s Portland 2 Easy Slip-On Shoe
- Tendonitis vs. Tendinopathy: What’s the difference?
ASICS Men's GEL Nimbus 17 Running Shoe
Here at Pick and Review, we’re big fans of ASICS shoes. They offer high-quality shoes that help with a number of different problems. Nimbus 17s are brilliantly designed to absorb shock placed on your ankle during walking. It pays particular attention to the area surrounding the Achilles tendon, as well as the arch of the foot, to provide a smooth, comfortable experience.
They also have a multi-directional massaging upper flex that further helps the Achilles tendon, and a unique heel-clutching system that makes them phenomenal with heel spur sufferers as well. The two-part gel cushioning system offers unbeaten shock absorption.
In terms of looks, these shoes are gorgeous, and available in flashy colors, as well as black. No matter what your personal style, there’s a Nimbus to match it. These run true to most other sizes, as well, which means you don’t need to have them specially fitted. And as for the name? Well, customers say they feel like they’re running on clouds!
Some repeat customers reported that they didn’t enjoy them as much as previous Nimbus offerings. Many have reported that the shoe begins feeling a half size tighter than the same size in the 16, but then after only around 30 miles, they have stretched out to a half size too loose. The vast majority of customers love their 17s, though, and feel that it’s worth the extra money to simply keep an extra pair. After all, you never know when your shoes are going to go out – it’s best if you’re prepared.
One thing that customers love is that ASICS knows you’re going to love their products, so they offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, no matter what condition the shoes are in when you return them. This is comforting for those who think the price tag is a little high. Truly, if you’re looking for a comfortable, durable shoe that helps with a variety of chronic foot conditions, the Nimbus 17 is an excellent choice.
Skechers Sport Men's Shape Ups XT All Day Comfort Oxford
Next we have these Skechers Shape-Ups for men. They come in dark, neutral colors to complement any wardrobe, and an incredibly cushy insole. While there have been reports of these exacerbating any pronation problems, they work wonders for shock absorption. This is because the entire Shape Ups line is built on top of a slightly rounded cushion, which helps to guide the foot in a more fluid motion.
These shoes are not intended for runners as the bottoms are rounded, and it does take a while to get used to walking in them. It’s best if you give yourself time to adjust before participating in any long walks. (I wore a pair of these when I was walking 35 miles per week, and they held up surprisingly well.)
These are marketed as a weight loss shoe, but the reason they work is because they make walking a gentler experience. Like the Nimbus, these offer an incredible cushioning power, but with a much lower price tag.
One caveat of this particular shoe is that it’s noticeably different than previously marketed versions. There were legal ramifications involved with people not giving themselves time to adjust to the shoe, which resulted in significant injuries. For those who fell in love with the original Shape Ups brand, these may be a disappointment.
Additionally, for those who do an extended amount of walking, these might not hold up as well as a more expensive shoe. The average user should be able to get 3-4 years out of them, but those who walk more than 20 miles per week may need to replace them much sooner.
Overall, if you want to slowly add walking into your daily routine without the pain of your Achilles tendonitis getting in your way, Skechers Sport Men’s Shape Ups XT are a wonderful purchase at a bargain price.
ASICS Men's GEL-Contend 3 Running Shoe
It’s no surprise that another ASICS shoe made our list, but the Contend 3 is something special. This shoe offers a versatile rear foot gel cushioning system that eases the impact of your strides. The removable sock liner is washable, which is definitely a solid plus.
There aren’t as many color options as with the Nimbus, above, but the color choices for the Contend are attractive and versatile. They are well suited to work environments that require you to be on your feet for an extended period, and they are attractive enough for women, as well.
We still think that ASICS are one of the best running shoe brands on the market, but there are a few complaints about the Contend. Many customers reported that there were significant quality control issues, particularly in regards to sizing inconsistencies. Some customers also reported that there were lumps or holes that affected the experience of wearing them.
Overall, most customers are happy with their ASICS purchase – as with the company’s many other offerings. Additionally, these shoes come with the same standard of excellence and remarkable any-condition money-back guarantee for the first 30 days. Even if you’ve run a hundred miles in them!
Mizuno Men's Wave Creation 17 Running Shoe
If you’re looking for a highly attractive shoe that will also help cushion your running gait, the Mizuno Wave Creation 17 is a beautiful design that gives a very futuristic feel. The comfort and fit is out of this world, too, with maximized cushion that provides a soft massage to the affected tendons. The cage design of the rubber outer sole helps you get a firm grip on the ground while still allowing for adequate push and liftoff.
These shoes are targeted towards those training for distance, and it shows. The solid design will hold up after many miles of wear and tear. The comfortable expanding mesh creates a perfect fit around your foot, which is so important for those with Achilles tendonitis issues in particular.
While the Wave Creation line has seen many changes over the years, Mizuno fans heralded this shoe’s likeness to the much-loved Wave Creation 13 – a design that was done away with far too soon. This design is done in such a way that there are no pinch points or blister risks – these are shoes that will feel comfortable from the very first run.
Our only complaint was that the laces that come with them are a bit long, so you would be best to either buy new laces or double-tie them. Overall, that’s a minor inconvenience when you factor in the overall quality of these Mizunos. The Wave Creation 17 is a high-quality shoe that is expected to last.
PUMA Men’s Cell Surin Cross-Training Shoe
While this particular shoe is marketed as a cross trainer, the Cell Surin is a great choice for anyone with Achilles tendonitis as it has a unique TPU shank. This additional feature, when combined with the added cushioning at the heel, allows for the shoe to stay perfectly in place during your workout.
PUMA’s color selection for this model is a fair balance of color splashes and neutral tones, allowing you to coordinate with a single outfit or match to all of them. Their casual comfort allows you to wear them around the house, on the basketball court, and the track – all without any pain.
These aren’t the most feature-filled shoes on our list, but they are one of the most attractive. The all-leather construction offers an alternative to the majority of running shoes, so for those who hate mesh, these are definitely the best. They don’t offer as much heel support as the other options on our list, so runners be warned – this probably isn’t going to solve all of your problems.
If you’re looking for a nice shoe that will match anything you wear with it, PUMA is well-known for providing a striking look. Just be sure that you order a half size up from your typical size, as they are also well-known for running small!
Clarks Men’s Portland 2 Easy Slip-On Shoe
For those who are on their feet with tendonitis but won’t necessarily be working them out, there’s no reason to splurge on a fancy running shoe, especially when there’s a slip-on that works just as well as a dress shoe as it does for a brisk walk.
We love that the Portland 2 has a classic design that pairs well with jeans, slacks, or shorts, and it doesn’t require all the thinking that the running shoes do. They’re not going to last a hundred years, but with the lower price tag, they don’t need to.
These shoes have a wonderful Ortholite foot bed, which helps to cushion the entire foot. This may help those who are suffering from arthritis as well – the gentle cushioning acts as a bonus shock absorber that might help to take some of the weight off your lower joints.
Some customers complained that these were not the same as the old Portlands, and if you were a fan of the older style you might be disappointed by the updates. However, we found that most customers were thrilled with their purchase.
Clarks isn’t going to win any awards with this one, but if you’re just looking for an inexpensive shoe that helps you stay on your feet without any pain, these do the job at a fair price. Let’s face it – not everyone needs something high-tech! Sometimes simple is the better option, especially when simple happens to be so attractive.
Tendonitis vs. Tendinopathy: What’s the difference?
Really, there is no difference. Most doctors refer to this injury as tendonitis, although the technical definition of -itis doesn’t actually correspond with the injury itself. (-Itis, in general, refers to swelling and inflammation – and the Achilles tendon is incapable of swelling.) However, in this case, the word tendonitis is used to refer to the weakening or dysfunction of the Achilles tendon. This causes the person pain when walking, running, or bicycling. It may also cause pain without athletic activity.
What are the things you need to think about when choosing shoes to help alleviate the symptoms of tendonitis?
- Your budget. While higher priced shoes are generally of better quality, you should never spend more than what you can afford to spend. After all, these are “just shoes” in the end, and while they may help with your discomfort, they shouldn’t be uncomfortable to your wallet, either.
- Your specific problems. Some shoes may help with additional symptoms as well, and if you have multiple conditions, it may be best to invest in a single shoe that helps with as many as possible. There are insoles that can help with some issues, if necessary.
- The fit of the shoe. When shopping for any type of orthotic footwear, it’s best to be measured by a professional before buying your first pair. Once you understand your needs, you can determine which shoes would be best for you.
- Your style. Many shoes come in a variety of attractive color options, so it’s easy to find a pair for each of your running ensembles. Others come in neutral color selections so they’ll match with anything.
- Shock absorption. Since the Achilles tendon is responsible for your “suspension” while you’re walking or running, those suffering from Achilles tendonitis should choose a shoe that has a built-in cushioning system. These cushioning systems come in a variety of different methods, at multiple price points.
Over all else, your choice should be one that you are confident about. Try to purchase from a company with a fair return policy if you are buying online, since you will be unable to try the shoes on first.