Achilles pain sucks. Pain in the Achilles tendon can derail a runner from a day to decades. Once Achilles tendonitis rears its ugly head, it can often prove frustratingly challenging to heal. That’s why it’s so important to treat your body right while running. Achilles tendinitis can arise from not stretching calves, increasing mileage too quickly, and excessive hill running or running on surfaces like mud and sand. But running in the wrong pair of shoes also can cause the pain, especially if the running shoe is inflexible and poorly constructed. That’s why it’s so important to find the best running shoes for Achilles tendonitis. Using data from over 4,000 runners from this company, we’ve discovered the best running shoes for Achilles tendon problems.
Whether a pronator or neutral runner, the following are the best running shoes for achilles tendonitis
The Asics Gel-Kayano is a heavy duty, super soft running shoe that has serious durability. The shoe is meant for pronators, or runners whose arches collapse slightly inward every time they run. Such runners are more susceptible to Achilles pain than neutral runners, and the Asics Gel-Kayano 23—a shoe with significant pronation control—can control that pronation. The Asics Gel-Kayano 23 is incredibly cushioned, has Asics’ signature gel cushioning to help with impact control, and has a FlyFoam Midsole, which enables the shoe to maintain a springy bounce for hundreds of miles. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the shoe has Asics’ Discrete Heel technology that provides excellent shock absorption in the heel, helping it be one of the top running shoes for Achilles pain.
Today, Brooks is the most popular selling running shoe brand in the country. The Brooks Ghost 9 is their flagship neutral trainer meant for the everyday training run. The shoe, which also has a proven track record helping with IT band issues, carries all the essentials of a great running shoe for Achilles problems: a flexible outsole, a springy midsole, and a segmented crash pad that offers stability for a smooth heel-to-toe transition. The shoe keep the foot snug while propelling it forward. There’s nothing inherent unique about the shoe, but its superior collective features make it one of the best running shoes for Achilles tendonitis.
Like all Hoka One One shoes, the Clifton 3 certainly doesn’t look like a standard sneaker. But it’s a shoe that is well-built, deceivingly lightweight, and surprisingly flexible—all three of which help make it a great pair of running shoes for Achilles tendon pain. Many running experts hypothesize that Achilles pain can often come from a traditionally constructed shoe that takes humans away from our biological adaptations of running barefoot. The Hoka One One Clifton 3 mimics natural running without accepting the premise that, given the modern landscape, we’re better off running barefoot. The shoe has a low heel-to-toe drop, a wider forefoot to allow the toe to splay, and extreme flexibility, which all contribute to a natural ride. Runners rave about the shoes cushion, and many claim that the shoe helped cure Achilles issue without forcing them go barefoot in a world that’s unforgiving to bare feet.
What is the Triumph ISO 3 better at than every shoe on this list? Combing cashmere cushioning and a phenomenal fit. For runners who suffer from Achilles pain, wearing a shoe that is properly cushioned and fits superbly can make all the difference between nipping the Achilles pain in the bud and having it linger for years. The Triumph ISO 3’s stellar fit derives from Saucony’s signature ISOFIT technology, which has an upper that adapts to a runner’s foot. The Triumph’s cushioning is a result of a plush interior as well as the shoe’s bouncy, Everrun material that sits across the midsole of the shoe. This shoe has won award after award for its quality. If you’re suffering from Achilles pain and have a neutral stride, this is a must try.
The Ride 9 is Saucony’s daily neutral trainer. Not as cushioned as the Triumph ISO 3 or as lightweight as the Kinvara 8, the Saucony Ride 9 is nevertheless a superb running shoe for Achilles tendon pain. The Ride 9 has an 8mm heel-to-toe drop, which is smack in between a minimalist and traditional shoe. The shoe has Saucony’s Everrun technology in the shoe’s topsole and a mesh upper with Flex Film overlays , giving the shoe a sock-like fit. To prevent Achilles pain, the shoe has a carbon rubber material in the heel that distributes the shock of landing. The Ride 9 is a sturdy and simple daily trainer that can fend against Achilles tendonitis.
Like the similarly named Saucony Ride, the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 is a flagship, everyday neutral trainer that is a great running shoe for Achilles support. But that’s where the similarities end. The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 is a traditionally built shoe whose differentiator is the eponymous wave plate that rests on the bottom of the shoe. The wave plate, which is found in almost every Mizuno shoe, distributes the shock of impact throughout the body of the shoe rather than in the landing spot. This means that the impact to the Achilles is distributed rather than concentrated. The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 is for the neutral runner looking for a firm, durable shoe that won’t easily break down. For the runner looking for a flexible running shoe, this is not the right one for you.
This cushioned, premium shoe from Nike is nearly the polar opposite of the Mizuno Wave Rider 20. While both are neutral, well-constructed shoes that are two of the best running shoes for Achilles heel problems, the Nike Air Zoom Vomero 12 is plush rather than firm; flexible rather than stiff. The Nike Air Zoom Vomero also isn’t quite as durable as the Wave Rider 20. What the Nike Air Zoom Vomero 12 does have is comfort, a beautiful design, and a very responsive feel thanks to its flexiblye and springy Lunarlon midsole. If you want a great looking shoe that is soft and great for Achilles pain, certainly try out the Vomero 12.
One of the most popular running shoe styles of all time, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 is a simple trainer at its best. A less cushioned versioned of the Vomero, the Pegasus 33 nevertheless stands on its own as a great shoe for those suffering from Achilles pain. The shoe has a full-length cushion that pushes the foot forward, a seamless upper that keeps the foot snug, and Zoom Air in the heel and forefoot that makes the shoe incredibly responsive. The shoe is also extremely flexible and, at only $110, is the cheapest shoe on the list. With the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 now on the market, you can find the Pegasus 33 at a very reasonable price.
The Ravenna 8 is rated by overpronators as the best running shoe Achilles tendon pain. That’s because this moderate stability shoe combines all the elements of a shoe that truly prevents Achilles tendonitis. For one, it has an incredible upper that hugs the top of the foot, preventing any unnecessary movement. The shoe has Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA that creates a responsive, durable midsole that ensures the shoe doesn’t break down (and that your Achilles tendon doesn’t break down). The shoe also has plenty of stability control, a caterpillar crash pad for optimized heel-to-toe transition, and an outsole with great traction to limit any unnecessary slippage that can lead to Achilles tears. If you suffer from Achilles ailments and are a moderate overpronator, this is certainly one of the best running shoes for achilles tendon pain.
The neutral sibling of the Asics Gel-Kayano, the Gel-Nimbus 18 is cushioned, durable, and has plenty of great features to make it one of the top running shoes for Achilles problems. The Gel-Nimbus is soft; and we mean softer than a 500-thread-count-over-top-a-super-fluffy-duvet-soft. Simply put, no shoe on this list (save maybe the Gel-Kayano) comes close to its softness. This shoe is also great for high arches, midfoot striking, and forefoot striking, thanks to its snug build and layers of gel support on the underfoot. The Gel-Nimbus 18 also has Asics’ flexible FluidRide responsive cushioning and a flex groove that runs along the midsole to help improve gate efficiency. This incredibly soft shoe might not be the lightest footwear on the list, but its well-engineered design and soft interior will ensure you’ll be running for mile after tendonitis-free mile. The Gel-Nimbus 19 is now out, so you can fnd the Gel-Nimbus 18 at half off retail.
We mentioned in the intro that a great shoe that combats Achilles pain is flexible and well-engineered There is no shoe on the market, be it neutral or stability, that matches the UltraBoost’s incredible construction, flexibility, and durability. The UltraBoost might not be cheap (it’s the most expensive on the list) but it has all of the leading technology embedded into a single shoe. The shoe’s midsole is made with Adidas’ wildly popular Boost technology, which give the shoe a springy, yet soft ride that that last for hundreds of miles. The shoe is built with Adidas’ top-of-the-line Primeknit upper that is both seamless and moves flexibly with the foot. And did we mention that this is a great looking shoe? This shoe is as good as running shoe gets. Neutral runners should look no further: this is the best running shoe for Achilles tendonitis.