Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury that can cause pain and discomfort when you walk. It’s most common in runners and athletes, but it can happen to anybody who does a lot of walking.
When you increase the amount of walking or running you’re doing, or the intensity at which you’re doing it, the Achilles can become strained.
If you don’t rest it properly, it can get worse quickly. But not everyone can afford to stay off their feet, which is why we’re reviewing the best shoes for Achilles tendonitis.
We recommend the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 if you have Achilles tendonitis. It uses a GuideRails Support System, has a supportive padded ankle collar, and dual-foam midsole cushioning.
Whatever your preference or foot type, there’s a shoe on this list that’s perfect for supporting your feet.
Top 3 Best and Favorite
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
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ASICS GT-1000 10
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ASICS Gel-Cumulus 23
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1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 has a heel-to-toe drop of 12mm, which takes pressure off the heel and Achilles.
It also uses a GuideRails Support System, which consists of firm strips of plastic just above the midsole, on both the medial and lateral sides of the shoe for custom support.
These strips stop the foot from moving sideways inside the shoe, which can aggravate the Achilles tendon. Along with the 3D Fit Print mesh upper and traditional lacing system, this allows you to get a good lockdown of the foot, from top to bottom.
The 3D Fit Print technology uses an asymmetrical saddle that wraps around the arch for support. More structure is provided by the synthetic overlays. The ankle collar is well-padded, supportive, and keeps the foot in place comfortably.
Under the foot, a dual-foam midsole with both BioMoGo DNA foam and DNA Loft foam gives the shoe excellent cushioning. There’s a light foam insole that can be removed to allow for an orthotic if necessary.
To prevent any chance of slipping and hurting the Achilles even more, there’s an HPR Plus rubber outsole. Soft blown rubber in the forefoot offers excellent grip. A full-length Crash Pad and V-groove in the sole help with a smooth gait.
- Mesh upper with 3D print overlays
- Guide Rails Support System
- Padded ankle collar
- Dual-foam midsole cushioning
- The sizing can be inconsistent
2. ASICS GT-1000 10
The ASICS GT-1000 10 is a comfortable and supportive shoe that won’t break the bank.
It’s a stability shoe, which is perfect for overpronators as it stops the foot from rolling in too much while walking or running.
Support is provided by the DuoMax system, which features dense foam in the medial side of the midsole. This foam compresses less than the rest of the midsole, stopping the foot from rolling. There’s also a simple trusstic system in the midfoot to keep the foot as stable as possible.
For protection against impact, there are two types of cushioning in this shoe. FlyteFoam in the midsole is soft and responsive, while gel cushioning in the heel and midfoot offers excellent protection against shock on every step.
A 10 mm heel-to-toe drop is ideal to alleviate the pain of Achilles tendonitis. There’s a wide toe box, so even with the drop, your toes will have space to splay naturally.
Plush cushioning around the ankle and tongue offer a comfortable feel and good support, keeping the foot locked down.
AHAR rubber on the outsole and AHAR Plus in the heels offer good traction to keep a good footing on any surface.
- DUOMAX support system
- Rearfoot GEL technology
- Molded EVA sockliner
- FlyteFoam midsole cushioning
- Some may find the forefoot foam to be too little
Best Ankle Support
3. ASICS Gel-Cumulus 23
The ASICS Gel-Cumulus 23 has plush, thick padding in the ankle collar and tongue. This helps to keep the ankle well-supported and firmly in place when walking or running.
There are also welded overlays in the heel area to provide extra support. This heel counter keeps the foot in place from the bottom, complementing the ankle collar. A 10 mm drop is ideal for reducing the pain of Achilles tendonitis.
Flytefoam in the midsole provides a soft ride that still has some bounce to it. There’s a full-length soft piece of foam, and a firmer section in the heel. For even better cushioning, there’s a gel unit in the heel that provides shock absorption.
Innovative 3D Space Construction uses gender-specific pillars in strategic places within the midsole for compression without sacrificing stability. These hexagonal pillars are present in the heel and forefoot of the women’s shoe and only in the heel of the men’s shoe.
AHAR rubber on the forefoot and AHAR Plus on the heel provide exceptional traction, keeping you safe on your feet on almost any surface, dry or wet.
Some people may find the shoes to be narrow. If you have wide feet, it may be best to order a size larger for a better fit.
- Supportive heel counter
- FlyteFoam midsole cushioning
- Gel unit in the heel
- Padded heel collar
- Some people may find the shoe to be a bit narrow
4. New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11
The New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11 is an excellent all-around shoe. Whether you’re wearing it for daily activities and errands or exercising with it, it offers good cushioning and support for most people.
A single-piece, double-layer jacquard mesh upper provides good breathability, although it may run warm when doing exercise in hot weather. There are no seams to cause chafing, and it hugs the foot while providing ample room in the toe box.
The 10 mm toe drop takes strain off the Achilles and is comfortable enough for most people. If you need more cushion or support, you can remove the insole and add your own orthotic.
The midsole consists mostly of Fresh Foam, New Balance’s soft cushioning compound. It’s strengthened by the addition of another layer of EVA foam, which gives the shoe a bit of a spring.
The foam is exposed underneath the shoe but doesn’t touch the ground. Blown rubber across the sole provides unusually good traction in both wet and dry weather. Flex grooves across the forefoot allow for natural movement of the foot.
- Jacquard mesh uppers
- Fresh Foam midsole cushioning
- Molded external heel counter
- Molded footbed
- The double-layered upper may run slightly warm
5. Propét Stability Walker Strap
Leather shoes provide good stability and excellent durability.
The Propét Stability Walker Strap has a full-grain leather or nubuck upper, with a nylon inner lining for comfort and wicking away moisture.
Two hook-and-loop Velcro straps allow you to get a custom fit on your foot, without the need for tying shoelaces. A built-in heel stabilizer keeps the Achilles supported and prevents the foot from moving out of place.
Underfoot, a polyurethane footbed is removable to allow space for orthotics to be inserted. A gel layer in the heel adds more comfort and shock absorption, reducing jarring to the Achilles.
Underneath that, there’s a molded EVA midsole that offers great arch support, keeping the foot properly aligned and supported. The durable rubber outsole keeps you safe on any ground.
The Propét Stability Walker Strap runs a little small and narrow. You may need to order a size up for a good fit.
- Built-in heel stabilizer
- Leather uppers
- Molded EVA foam cushioning
- Rubber outsole
- This shoe seems to run small and narrow
Top For Walking
6. Vionic Walker
The Vionic Walker has been designed by podiatrists specifically for comfortable and pain-free walking for those with foot conditions.
The upper uses polyester mesh to keep your feet ventilated and dry, with leather overlays for stability and water-resistance.
There’s a 5-degree elevation in the midsole, which is enough to take pressure off the Achilles. A padded collar holds the ankle comfortably and solidly in place, and a deep heel cup and TPU heel counter prevents lateral movement of the foot.
The shoe uses a Tri-Planar Motion Control system to counter overpronation. This also eases tension on the Achilles by keeping the foot properly aligned.
The contoured orthotic footbed has been biomechanically designed. It can be taken out to make space for prescribed orthotics.
This shoe is also accepted by the APMA—American Podiatrist Medical Association—as being good for a variety of conditions, including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and pain in the heel, ankle, knee, and back.
Some may find that these shoes feel too heavy. The men’s shoe weighs 15 ounces and the women’s shoe weighs 13 ounces.
- Water-resistant leather
- Built-in elevation in the midsole
- Tri-Planar motion control system
- Contoured orthotic footbed
- These shoes are somewhat heavy
7. Hoka One One Bondi 7
The Bondi 7 is one of the most cushioned shoes you can find on the market at the moment.
It has a heel drop of 4 mm, which is less than recommended for Achilles tendonitis. But the cushioning helps to prevent jarring to the Achilles, which can be helpful for reducing pain.
The shoe is extremely plush, from the 30+ mm stack height to the thick, memory foam ankle collar and padded tongue. It also conforms to the heel and hugs the Achilles tendon comfortably.
The comfortable fit is also helped by the internal heel counter, which helps to keep the foot locked down and minimize movement in the shoe.
On top of the full-length lab of EVA foam—which is excellent for absorbing the shock of impact—is a molded Ortholite footbed.
An open-engineered mesh upper allows for good ventilation, and subtle synthetic overlays provide strategic stability.
To make every step easier on the muscles and joints, the shoe features an early-stage meta-rocker and a beveled heel.
Take note that the chunky midsole may stiffen up in colder climates. This can reduce the soft comfort of the shoe, although it should still provide exceptional shock absorption.
- Early-stage Meta-Rocker
- Molded Ortholite footbed
- Full-length EVA midsole
- Memory foam collar around the heel
- The midsole may stiffen in cold climates
8. Rockport Trustride ProWalker
If you like a slip-on shoe, the Rockport Trustride ProWalker is stylish and supportive enough for those with Achilles tendonitis.
You can get them in full-grain leather or nubuck uppers, both of which are supportive, protective, and durable. A side zipper tightens the fit after you’ve slipped them on, and the stretchy side panel makes it easy to slide your foot into.
There’s an EVA midsole for absorbing the shock of impact, and it uses truTECH technology in the heel for better cushioning. The inner lining wicks away moisture, and a removable footbed allows you to add your own insole if necessary.
A strobel design adds flexibility and a slip-resistant outsole provides stability on all surfaces.
- Removable ortholite footbed
- Flexible strobel construction
- EVA heel cup and midsole cushioning
- Moisture-wicking lining
- The sole is glued and not stitched, which makes them a little less durable
Top Dress Shoe
9. Dansko Wayne (men’s)
10. Dansko Franny (women’s)
It can be difficult to find supportive and comfortable dress shoes for Achilles tendonitis, but the Dansko shoes are an excellent choice.
We recommend the Wayne for men and the Franny for women. They’re very similar shoes, both featuring a durable leather upper with a soft, moisture-wicking inner lining.
Both shoes are also slip-ons. The men’s shoe has stretchy gorings on either side, allowing for easy on and off. The women’s has a single hook-and-loop strap across the top, which works with elastic lacing for a snug fit.
They also both have removable footbeds, which means you can add your own orthotic. Overpronators will be pleased to find that these shoes both come with a steel shank and tuck board in the midsole, which prevents overpronation and keeps the foot in a safe, neutral position.
They also feature rubber outsoles with slip-resistant properties for safety and comfort.
- Soft leather upper
- Removable footbed to accommodate orthotics
- Tuckboard and steel shank support
- Moisture-absorbing lining
- May not be suitable for people with a narrow heel
Best For Trail
11. Brooks Cascadia 16
If you enjoy trail running but need a shoe that will accommodate Achilles tendonitis, we recommend the Brooks Cascadia 16.
They feature an 8 mm heel drop and DNA Loft foam in the midsole. This makes it soft and shock-absorbing and prevents jarring on the Achilles. The midsole also has drainage ports in it to allow water to escape, keeping your feet dryer and lighter.
A midfoot saddle offers extra support and keeps the foot in place, preventing unnecessary movement that could aggravate the Achilles tendon.
To protect your feet even more on the trail, a Ballistic Rock Shield provides a barrier against rocks and sharp stones. It’s also flexible enough to adapt to rocky terrain, while the TrailTack rubber provides a good footing on wet or dry ground.
Other handy features include a gaiter tab on the heel and a lace keeper to keep your shoelaces safely out of the way.
Some may find these shoes a little heavy to move swiftly on the trail.
- Supportive midfoot saddle
- DNA Loft v2 midsole
- Ballistic Rock Shield
- TrailTack rubber outsole
- These shoes are a little heavy for quick moving on trails
What is Achilles Tendonitis?
Achilles tendonitis is an injury to the Achilles tendon, most often caused by overuse. You’ll feel pain and tightness in the back of your heel going up into the calf muscle, as the Achilles tendon is located in this area.
It’s most common in runners or other athletes who have increased their training volume or intensity suddenly. It can also happen if you don’t warm up
What Should You Look for in Shoes?
The best shoes for Achilles tendonitis need to be comfortable and supportive. You should first make sure you’re wearing the right kind of shoe for your foot.
For example, if you have a neutral foot you can wear a neutral shoe. But if you overpronate, you will need a stability shoe or a motion control shoe to prevent excess movement of the foot that could make the injury worse.
The shoe should also have a heel-to-toe drop that’s on the higher end. 8 to 12 mm is the best range for those with Achilles tendonitis, as it takes pressure off the back of the foot.
The shoe you choose should also have good ankle support to prevent lateral movement of the foot. Comfortable and shock-absorbing cushioning is always a good idea.