The 13 Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

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If you’ve ever felt that stiffness in the back of your heel or aching in your lower leg after long runs, then you’re no stranger to Achilles tendonitis. 

(Condolences.) 

Feet in running shoes
For being named after a Greek God, your Achilles tendon is surprisingly vulnerable to injury
[Image: Hlib Shabashnyi/shutterstock]

But what you may not know is that investing in new shoes can be the best way to help relieve that nagging pain and even allow you to return to your regular activities sooner than later. 

So what makes a good shoe for Achilles pain? 

The key is minimizing stress on the tendon, and that requires excellent heel cushioning, plenty of stability, decent arch support, and a high heel-to-toe-drop. 

And while there’s no shortage of shoes on the market claiming to be the best options, determining the pair that are right for you can be more painful than, well, Achilles tendonitis. 

Luckily, we’ve done the leg work for you! 

We’ve sifted through dozens of shoes (and hundreds of reviews) and narrowed it down to this short, yet thorough, list of the best shoes for Achilles tendonitis. 

And to help you better understand – and more importantly, avoid – pain in the future, we’ve also included a few frequently asked questions that help explain what achilles tendonitis is, and what do if you’ve got it.

So, whether you’re looking for the best shoes for walking, running, or just going to the grocery store, this list of shoes for Achilles tendon pain will have you back on your feet in no time. 

At a Glance↓


The (Absolute) Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitits

Rounding Up the Most Comfortable Shoes for Men with Achilles Tendinopathy and Tendonitis

The Top Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

Overall Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis ↓

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22
Rating: 

4.7 Stars | 10, 836 Reviews

Features: 

✅ 12mm heel-to-toe drop reduces strain on the Achilles tendon
✅ Built-in GuideRails offer support and stability
✅ Narrow, Wide, and X-Wide sizing available

Why They’re the Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis:

With a long and reputable history in the running shoe industry, the Brooks brand not only takes our top spot, but also appears a number of times on this list. 

We’ve chosen the Adrenaline GTS 22 as our pick for best shoe overall because when it comes to the specific needs of people with Achilles tendonitis, it covers all the bases. 

For starters, the heel-to-toe drop is a generous 12mm — this is important because it shortens the tendon as you step as opposed to stretching it, which can be huge for improving Achilles pain.

Next, Brooks’ built-in GuideRails technology prevents excess shin and heel rotation, stabilizing the Achilles and holding the foot in optimal position. 

This is great news for overpronators, a condition that’s been linked to Achilles tendonitis, however, if you have normal pronation and don’t need the extra support, you may want to opt for a neural shoe like the Ghost 15 or Glycerin 20 (more on those models later). 

Lastly, the lightweight cushioning system delivers excellent shock absorption without being too soft, so you get less vibrations on the tendon as well as a plush feel underfoot.

It’s worth mentioning that they run a bit small, but with a range of widths available, finding the perfect size shouldn’t be a problem. 

Promising Review: 

This shoe is amazing! I just had Achilles’ tendon surgery in February and the shoe helps with the support of my heel. It also helps my flat feet. 

I highly recommend this shoe! I have already had many compliments on its color design.

Hadley Gordon

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Runner Up ↓

Brooks Glycerin GTS 20 

Brooks Glycerin GTS 20
Rating: 

4.7 Stars | 1,150 Reviews

Features: 

✅ Engineered with to prevent Achilles tendon injuries
✅ Soft and responsive cushioning technology 
✅ Neutral option available for normal pronators 

Why They’re the (Second) Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis:

Coming in at a very close second, the best-selling Brooks’ Glycerin line is actually designed with Achilles tendonitis prevention in mind. 

However, since it has a slightly lower heel-to-toe drop than the Adrenalines, it didn’t take our top spot. 

(The heel drop is still a decent 10mm, so really, we’re splitting hairs here.) 

Otherwise, this model boasts many of the same features and is therefore an ideal option for people with Achilles issues. 

First and foremost, it has the same ultra soft cushioning technology that absorbs shock and evenly distributes pressure across the foot, reducing the impact on the feet and ankles during running. 

Also like the Adrenalines, the Glycerin GTS model is a stability shoe, and therefore has the same GuideRails technology that helps keep the foot and ankle in a more natural alignment. 

But what’s cool is that for those who don’t want a stability shoe, they offer a neutral option within the Glycerin line as well. 

Finally, the shoe has a plush and breathable mesh upper that minimizes friction and provides a comfortable, secure fit (because who wants to deal with sweaty feet and blisters on top of everything else?).

Promising Review: 

I wanted stability, cushioning, and durability. I got all 3 plus a good looking shoe. A slightly larger size was perfect.

Gerry Peak

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Best Everyday Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis ↓

Kuru Atom

Kuru Atom
Rating: 

4.5 Stars | 918 Reviews

Features: 

✅ Proven pain relief for people with foot conditions such as Achilles tendonitis 
✅ Patented heel-cupping insole provides excellent support
✅ Patented heel-cupping insole provides excellent support

Why They’re Great for Achilles Tendonitis:

This brand is known for its innovative designs and focus on foot health, so it’s no surprise it ranks high on our list of shoes for Achilles tendonitis. 

(You’ll also find them on our round-ups of shoes for heel spurs, hammer toes, and Morton’s neuroma). 

The Kuru Atom offers several key features that make it an excellent choice for people with Achilles tendonitis, particularly the brand’s patented heel-cupping technology that provides excellent support and heel cushioning, reducing stress on the affected area.

Secondly, the shoe has a breathable mesh upper designed to keep feet cool and dry, as well as a flexible outsole that provides excellent traction and allows for a more natural stride. 

Plus, the design is sleeker and more versatile compared to some of the bulkier shoes on our list, making it a great option for everyday wear. 

Interestingly, the heel-to-toe drop is 8mm, which is high enough to reduce some tension on the Achilles, but low compared to most of the shoes featured here. 

That said, heel-to-toe drop is just one factor to consider when choosing a shoe for Achilles tendonitis, and will vary depending on your specific type of tendonitis and what you find comfortable. 

Promising Review: 

Great shoes! One of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever put on my feet. Heel pain was 99.9% gone.

– Jimmy M.

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Best Running Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis ↓

Mizuno Wave Rider 27

Mizuno Wave Rider 27
Rating: 

4.9 Stars | 18 Reviews

Features: 

✅ 12mm drop takes stress of the tendon
✅ Sturdy heel counter that holds the foot in place 
✅ Upgraded lightweight upper and refined heel compared to previous models

Why They’re Great for Achilles Tendonitis:

A popular shoe line among runners with Achilles tendonitis, this iteration of the Wave Rider is relatively new to the market, so it hasn’t had much time to generate a ton of reviews. 

But fans of the Wave Rider will be relieved to know this model has all of the best features of its predecessors — plus, a few key upgrades. 

Technically a neutral shoe, it still offers decent stability mostly thanks to the Wave Plate that runs midfoot to heel, dispersing impact across a broad area and keeping the foot guided forward (ie: preventing overpronation).

The 12 mm heel drop helps deliver an easy heel-to-toe transition, while the rigid heel counter and padded collar keep the heel comfortably locked in, further preventing strain and inflammation of the Achilles tendon.

Compared to earlier iterations, the Wave Rider 27 boasts an even lighter upper and wider toe box for a more secure, comfortable fit. 

Promising Review: 

These are well made but still extremely comfortable. The design is lightweight which is perfect for jogging and running, but also excellent for other activities including gym wear. Highly recommended!

MSA

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Asics Gel-Kayano 29

Asics Gel-Kayano 29
Rating: 

4.7 Stars | 1,109 Reviews

Features: 

✅ Signature gel cushioning for shock absorption and comfort
✅ External heel counter provides rearfoot support 
✅ Supportive overlays for a foot-hugging feel

Why They’re Great for Achilles Tendonitis:

The Asics Gel-Kayano 29 running shoe is designed with a variety of features that may make it a good choice for individuals with Achilles tendonitis. 

With a 10mm heel drop, it eases tension on the tendon while being a good middle ground for those not used to a high heel drop. 

In terms of stability, the Gel-Kayano 29 is good for both neutral and overpronators, thanks to a low-profile heel counter that keeps the foot centered on impact. 

Additionally, it features Asics’ signature gel cushioning, that delivers lightweight shock absorption and responsive rebound. 

Plus, the breathable mesh upper with supportive overlays deliver a sock-like feel that hugs your foot and helps reduce friction.

Promising Review: 

Nice and cushioned. Best walking and running shoes I have bought. I used them for hiking and work just as well.

Roque Arteaga

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Best Low Drop Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis ↓

Hoka One One Bondi 8 

Hoka Bondi 8
Rating: 

4.4 Stars | 3,316 Reviews

Features: 

✅ Rear crash pad for a forgiving, smooth transition 
✅ Maximum cushioning for shock absorption
✅ Wide range of colors and sizes

Why They’re Great for Achilles Tendonitis:

The Hoka Bondi 8 is a great shoe for those looking for extra cushioning but prefer a lower heel-to-toe drop. 

What it lacks in the drop (just 4mm) it makes up for with an extended, beveled heel design and forefoot rocker that help reduce impact on the Achilles while providing a smooth transition as you stride.

While technically a neutral shoe, the wide platform, sole flare, and well-balanced rocker throughout deliver solid guidance and stability — about as good as you can get from a neutral shoe. 

Lastly, we’d be remiss not to mention the style and size selection: 

It’s available in an impressive number of colorways for those who love a bright shoe, plus a range of width options for runners with wide feet (which is good, because the fit runs on the narrow side). 

Promising Review: 

This is my third pair of HOKA’s and I’m very pleased overall. Comfortable shoe with excellent cushioning that greatly relieves Achilles Tendinosis!

– Gilly

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The Best of the Rest 

Best Walking Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis ↓

Brooks Ghost 15

Brooks Ghost 15
Rating: 

4.7 Stars | 2,363 Reviews

Promising Review: 

Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, etc etc. these babies make my feet feel great.

Joe H.

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New Balance 990v5

New Balance 990v5
Rating: 

4.7 Stars | 7,790 Reviews

Promising Review: 

I have Achilles tendinitis and this is a great support shoe – made in the USA

Amazon Customer

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Best Tennis Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis ↓ 

Asics Gel-Resolution 8

Asics Gel-Resolution 8
Rating: 

4.4 Stars | 1,817 Reviews

Promising Review: 

I bought the Asics Gel-resolution 8 to help alleviate pain in my Achilles heels. With their high heel-to-toe drop, they saved the day.

John Manuel

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Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 40
Rating: 

4.6 Stars |293 Reviews

Promising Review: 

I love these shoes! Lightweight and breathable, the mesh upper layer molds my feet and makes them super comfy when running! The shoe also has a pretty responsive cushioning system that helps absorb shock and reduce impact on the feet.

Overall, a reliable and comfortable running shoe! Its combination of cushioning, support, and durability makes it a great choice both my daily and longer runs.

– Ashley A.

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Kuru Roam

Kuru Roam
Rating: 

4.2 Stars | 280 Reviews

Promising Review: 

Do not even need to put orthotics in them. What a dream. All-day comfort.

– Adam F

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Best Shoes for Underpronation ↓

Asics Gel Nimbus 25

Asics Gel Nimbus 25
Rating: 

4.6 Stars | 891 Reviews

Promising Review: 

Perfect fit. Great support. Good looking shoe. Great quality. 10.5XW. Fits true. Comfortable right out of the box. Love them

Joshua

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Saucony Triumph 21

Saucony Triumph 21
Rating: 

4.7 Stars | 891 Reviews

Promising Review: 

Seems like these get comfier each year! Fast shipping very happy with shoe and vendor.

Dan.

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FAQ 

What is Achilles tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis is a painful condition that affects the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It’s typically caused by overuse or repetitive stress, such as running long distances on uneven surfaces. 

An achilles injury can also be caused by trauma, such as a fall, rapid change in direction while playing a sport, or wearing ill-fitting shoes that don’t provide adequate support.

What are the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis? 

The symptoms of Achilles tendonitis may include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the back of the ankle or heel area. Pain levels can vary from mild to severe pain, and may worsen with activity. 

Other symptoms may include tenderness or a burning sensation in the back of the heel, limited range of motion in the ankle, and the formation of a small bump or nodule on the Achilles tendon. In severe cases, the tendon may rupture, causing sudden and intense pain, swelling, and difficulty walking.

How is Achilles tendonitis treated? 

Treatment for Achilles tendonitis may include rest, physical therapy, supportive shoes, and specific stretching and strengthening exercises prescribed by a physical therapist. Surgery may be necessary if symptoms persist. Pain relievers and creams containing pain relievers can also be used to relieve pain.

How can the right shoes help with Achilles tendonitis?

Wearing proper footwear can help to alleviate symptoms of Achilles tendonitis by providing arch support, cushioning, and stability to the foot and ankle. 

It’s a good idea to invest in a supportive shoe that offers a high heel-to-toe drop, lateral stability, plenty of cushioning, and a deep heel cup. These important features can help minimize stress and pressure on the Achilles tendon during the healing process.

Additionally, avoid wearing high heels, zero-drop shoes, or old shoes that no longer offer heel support in order to prevent aggravating Achilles tendonitis pain. 

How do I know which shoes are right for me?

The best shoes for Achilles tendonitis will depend on your individual foot type, needs and preferences. It is important to choose shoes that fit well, provide proper support and cushioning, and are comfortable to wear. You may also want to consult with a podiatrist or physical therapist for personalized advice on selecting the right pair of shoes for your specific condition.

Can I still exercise with Achilles tendonitis?

It is possible to engage in low-impact exercise with Achilles tendonitis, but it is important to take precautions to avoid further injury. This may include wearing supportive shoes, stretching properly before and after exercise, and gradually increasing the intensity and duration of your workouts. It is also important to listen to your body and rest if you experience pain or discomfort during exercise.


The Recap ↓

Overall Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

Kirstyn Brown

Brooks Adrenaline 22
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

Summary

With a generous heel-to-toe drop of 12mm and built-in GuideRails technology to prevent excess shin and heel rotation, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 helps stabilize the Achilles and holds the foot in optimal position. 

4.5

More Comfortable & Supportive Shoes:
About the Author
Kirstyn Brown

Kirstyn describes herself as a “coffee lover and cat lady,” but don’t let her humility fool you:

As the co-creator and former Editor-in-Chief of Strong Fitness Magazine, she’s a highly respected writer and editor with more than a decade of experience, whose work has appeared in top publications like Strong, Oxygen, Clean Eating, Girls Gone Strong and more.

Banner photo: Breslavtsev Oleg/Shutterstock; Illustration: Irreverent Gent