Running Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

5 Best Running Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

When you have Achilles tendonitis, finding a running shoe that doesn’t aggravate your issue further can be difficult. 

Most of the time, regular running shoes will simply make the issue worse, and this can put you off running altogether. Before you know it, you’re going less and less frequently, until it becomes a struggle to motivate yourself and you stop running altogether.

But running and Achilles tendonitis doesn’t have to equal pain. 

With the right running shoes, you can easily recover from Achilles-related injuries. The ideal running shoe for Achilles tendonitis will have a high heel-to-toe drop, plenty of supportive cushioning, a lot of flex, and good ankle support. Overpronators will also need a shoe with added stability, while those with a high arch will want to prioritize cushioning. 

To help you find a pair of running shoes that ease your pain, rather than aggravate it, we’ve put together a list of the best running shoes for Achilles tendonitis, along with a handy buyer’s guide and FAQ section. This will enable you to make an informed choice on which shoes are best for you, to help get you back on track and well on the road to recovery. 

What is Achilles Tendonitis? 

You might be wondering what Achilles tendonitis is and whether or not you have it. 

It’s basically an overuse injury of the Achilles tendon, which is the band of tissue that connects your calf muscle to your heel bone. 

Achilles tendonitis is usually characterized by a mild ache in the back of the leg or above the heel after running or other activity, though you may experience bouts of more severe pain after prolonged running, stair climbing, or sprinting. Some people also experience stiffness or tenderness in the area, especially in the morning. 

Achilles tendinitis is prevalent in runners who have suddenly increased the intensity or duration of their runs, but it is also experienced by those who infrequently play sports, such as tennis or basketball, such as middle-aged individuals who aren’t used to intense activity. 

Best Running Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

Brooks Ghost 13

It’s well documented that the Brooks Ghost 13 is an excellent running shoe, and it just so happens to provide great for Achilles tendonitis thanks to its high drop and supportive structure. With a prominent midsole drop of 12mm, these shoes help relieve pressure on your tendon, while the BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT cushioning work together to provide softness underfoot while maintaining responsiveness, lightness, and durability. 

The DNA LOFT extends beyond the heel, all the way to the forefoot, allowing an easy transition from landing to toe-off, while the Segmented Crash Pad will cushion every step and stride for smooth heel-to-toe transitions while providing superior shock absorption. 

Brooks’ mesh and 3D Fit Print provide strategically-placed stretch and structure for a fit that is secure yet breathable, and the Ghost 13 provides an excellent combination of cushioning and energizing responsiveness with neutral support. 


  • 12 mm heel drop relieves pressure on the tendon 
  • Soft, plush cushioning which is also responsive 
  • Accommodates easy transition from landing to toe-off 
  • Crashpad provides shock absorption 
  • Strategic stretch and support for a great fit 


  • Brooks come with a high price tag which may not be ideal for inexperienced or new runners. 

Mizuno Men’s Wave Rider 24 Running Shoe

Lightweight and flexible, the Mizuno Wave Rider 24 features a ‘Wave Plate’ which disperses energy from impact to a broader area providing a stable platform and superior cushioning to reduce pressure on the heel of your foot. 

The U4ic midsole delivers optimal shock reduction and durability, while the foam heel wedge provides 7% more cushioning and 12% more energy return, providing a smooth transition from heel to toe on every step. Mizuno’s energy foam is more responsive and provides extra spring compared with other EVA technology, while the engineered mesh upper provides structural support without weighing you down. 

These running shoes also have excellent durability thanks to the X10 outsole made from durable carbon rubber that allows for longer wear. The Wave Rider 24 is innovatively light, well-cushioned, responsive, and resilient – all the elements you need to help you recover from Achilles Tendonitis. 


  • U4ic midsole for shock reduction 
  • 7% more cushioning for a soft, springy feel 
  • Breathable and lightweight mesh upper 
  • High drop is beneficial for runners with Achilles tendonitis 


  • Mizuno comes with a high price tag 

ASICS Women’s Gel-Cumulus 22

Ideal for high or neutral arches, Asics’ Gel-Cumulus 22 have a high 10mm heel-to-toe drop and plenty of cushioning under the heel to isolate impact. These shoes feature a redesigned heel that has deeper forefoot flex grooves and a softer midsole foam to give you a soft ride and protect your tendons from shock. 

A hard-wearing AHAR rubber outsole compound has been placed in key contact areas to provide extra durability, while the FlyteFoam Propel Technology provides supreme bounce thanks to a unique elastomer compound. As well as plenty of cushioning, these running shoes also have a 3D Print Upper to increase forefoot support and comfort, as well as an engineered mesh upper for improved ventilation and stability.

The Cumulus 22 also feature a soft upper for long-lasting comfort on distance runs, and a wider toe box to accommodate a range of foot types. Asics have also added a layer of EVA foam directly under the insert for additional comfort. 


  • High 10mm heel-to-toe drop 
  • Gel cushioning isolates heel impact 
  • Durable rubber outsole 
  • 3D Print Upper offers structure and support 
  • EVA foam for a plush feel 


  • The amount of cushioning may weigh these shoes down slightly 

Brooks Women’s Glycerin 18

Brooks’ Glycerin 18 shoe offers maximum cushioning combined with neutral support and is by far one of the best running shoes for achilles tendonitis. The increased DNA LOFT provides super-soft cushioning underfoot while allowing for a plush feel without losing responsiveness. They also have an OrthoLite sock liner which provides step-in comfort, as well as a plush transition zone that makes every move from heel to toe feel energized and smooth.

The upper enhances comfort by perfectly balancing stretch and structure, while the Brooks flexible 3D Fit Print mesh upper and interior liner stretches to adapt to your stride to provide a close yet comfortable fit. The 10mm midsole drop will ease pressure on your heel and tendon, offering soft and protective cushioning with every stride. 


  • Level 3 cushioning for a super soft feel 
  • OrthoLite sock liner for step-in comfort 
  • Plush transition zone for smooth strides 
  • 3D Fit Print mesh upper and liner stretches to adapt to your foot 
  • 10mm drop eases pressure on the tendon 


  • The snug fit may not be for everyone 

Saucony Women’s Ride 13 Running Shoe

The Saucony Ride 13 has an 8mm heel offset, which helps to cushion the Achilles and reduces pressure on your tendon. It’s ideal for those who have neutral pronation and for runners who want some cushioning to help ease Achilles’ pain but don’t need a ton of extra arch support. 

The PWRRUN cushioning protects your heel from impact and provides a soft, yet responsive feel underfoot, while the FORMFIT exterior surrounds the foot in 3D comfort and the engineered mesh provides just the right balance between stretch and structure. 

The Ride 13 provides just-right cushioning with a flexible, blown rubber outsole which provides responsiveness and durability. It contains give and support in all the right places, to make acceleration and deceleration less traumatic for your tendon. 


  • 8mm heel offset to cushion your tendon 
  • PWRRUN cushioning for responsiveness 
  • Formfit exterior for 3D fit
  • Durable blown rubber outsole 


  • Drop isn’t as high as some shoes, so if you need more support they’re probably not the best option for you.

Buyer’s Guide 

Whenever you buy running shoes, regardless of whether you have Achilles tendonitis or not, you need to ensure you select a shoe that has been designed for your arch type. 

Arch support 

The height of your arch affects the extent to which your foot pronates. Here are the three most common arch types: 

  • Neutral arch – the foot rolls to a healthy spot.
  • Low arch – the foot rolls excessively inward, also known as overpronating.
  • High arch – The foot rolls in only slightly at impact, also known as underpronating. 

The right shoes for you 

Stability Shoes – for neutral arches 

If you have neutral arches, you’ll be best suited to stability shoes, which will provide gentle cushioning around the arch and additional rear-foot stability, which will also help with your Achilles tendonitis. 

Motion Control Shoe – for low arches and overpronation 

Those who have flat feet and a tendency to overpronate will require motion control shoes to prevent the feet from rolling too much. 

These shoes are stiffer and typically have rigid devices made out of plastic, fiberglass, or high-density foam to help keep the foot in place. 

The extra rigidity in these shoes prevents the heel from rolling outwards, though if you have Achilles tendonitis, you’ll also want to ensure the shoe has a cushioned heel for extra comfort. 

Cushioned Shoes – for high arches and underpronation 

For those with high arches and a tendency to underpronate, cushioned shoes will provide good arch support, with a high drop and soft cushioning for comfort as you run. These are also ideal for issues with the tendon, as they’ll reduce pressure on the heel. 

Heel support 

Regardless of your arch type, if you suffer from Achilles tendonitis you’ll require cushioning around the heel to help soften your run and reduce the pressure in this area. Shoes with a ‘crash pad’ or any technology which reduces impact and absorbs shock are good for this. 

Heel-to-toe drop 

This is one of the most important features to look out for if you struggle with Achilles tendonitis. The ‘drop’ of a running shoe is the difference in height between the heel and toe. This enables the foot to be angled forward and downwards, which eases the pressure on the heel. 

Running shoes will range from a high drop such as 12mm, to a low drop of 4mm or a ‘zero drop’ which is designed to imitate a natural, barefoot running feel. If you struggle with Achilles tendonitis, a higher drop running shoe will help place less strain on the Achilles and less pressure on the heel. 

Even if you don’t normally go for a high drop shoe, when recovering from Achilles tendonitis, it’s best to do so, to minimize the amount of impact on the heel and tendon.  


Runners with Achilles tendonitis need a running shoe with good support, even if they don’t overpronate. 

A supportive shoe will feel structured and stiff to keep the foot in place, with little flex. Those who overpronate and have Achilles tendonitis will benefit from added motion control and support in a running shoe. 


Running shoes have built-in cushioning to cushion your stride and limit the impact on your feet, ankles, and knees. Those with a high arch need the most amount of cushioning, and some brands will categorize their cushioning, for example from level 1 to 3. 

Runners who are recovering from Achilles tendonitis need some cushioning but not too much, as this will cause strain to the Achilles. It’s best to look for a neutral level of cushioning that helps absorb shock but still provides responsiveness. 

Other things to consider

Pay attention to the exterior of the shoe, as well as the interior. You want a shoe that is breathable and lightweight, but one that still provides structural support to reduce the strain on your tendon. Shoes with ‘3D’ mesh technology can be great for this as they cling to the foot while adapting to its movements to maintain flexibility. 

You should also consider the outsole of your shoe, as when it comes to running shoes, they’re more prone to wear than everyday shoes as they’re subject to more impact and abrasion. A rubber outsole provides good traction when running outdoors, while still providing a ‘springy’ quality for extra responsiveness. They’re also more durable. 


There are hundreds of brands to choose from when it comes to running shoes, but there are some distinct front runners you should consider, such as Brooks, Saucony, and Asics, particularly when it comes to finding a shoe that’ll cater to your Achilles tendonitis.

These running shoes may not be cheap, but you’ll find that they’ll offer better support than the cheaper brands, and they’ll be more durable. 


How much you spend on running shoes really does depend on your personal budget. However, it’s important to buy a good-quality running shoe, particularly if you have Achilles tendonitis as a shoe with insufficient support or cushioning (or too much) will only aggravate the issue further. We recommend spending between $50-$150 on your running shoes, depending on how often you run. 

if you’re new to running, you may wish to spend less at first as you ease yourself in, though remember that a poor pair of running shoes are only going to demotivate you further. A good pair of running shoes will also help you recover more quickly from your Achilles injury. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can bad running shoes cause Achilles tendonitis?

Bad running shoes can definitely render you more vulnerable to Achilles injuries. Worn-out running shoes that lack cushioning mean your heel is more prone to impact, causing greater strain on your tendon. 

Tendon pain also occurs more frequently in cold weather than in warm weather and running on hilly terrain also can predispose you to Achilles injury as it puts a greater strain on this part of your foot. 

Which Asics are best for Achilles tendonitis?

For Achilles Tendinitis, we’d recommend the Asics Gel Cumulus 22.

These provide the best support in the Asics range, with responsive gel cushioning, supportive overlays, and a redesigned heel to reduce pressure and impact and provide a smoother stride.

Is barefoot running good for Achilles tendonitis?

There’s been lots of debate over whether or not running barefoot is better or worse for our feet, and it seems the answer is not too clear. 

Interestingly, barefoot runners appear to report fewer knee injuries and less heel pain compared to those who run in shoes.

On the other hand, barefoot runners do report more calf and Achilles tendon injuries, so it seems running barefoot may not be great if you’re prone to Achilles tendonitis. 

The other danger is transitioning too quickly from running in shoes to running barefoot, as this can overload the muscles and tendons if the transition is rushed. 

What is the fastest way to heal Achilles tendonitis? 

  • If your pain is bad, you may need to reduce your physical activity at first 
  • Gently stretching your calf muscles can help, and later building strength in them 
  • Icing the area after exercise or when you experience pain
  • Elevating your foot to decrease any swelling
  • If the pain is particularly bad, you may need to wear a brace or walking boot to prevent heel movement
  • Physical therapy may be helpful for some 
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medication, such as aspirin or ibuprofen for a limited time
  • Wearing the right kind of shoes – such as one with a high drop to take tension off your Achilles tendon