Can Running Shoes Cause Achilles Tendonitis?

Can Running Shoes Cause Achilles Tendonitis?

Running shoes can sometimes be the culprit behind Achilles tendonitis. This condition occurs when the Achilles tendon, located at the back of the ankle, becomes inflamed and painful. Wearing improper or worn-out running shoes can put excessive strain on the tendon, leading to injury. It is important to choose the right shoes that provide proper support and cushioning to prevent the development of Achilles tendonitis. In this blog post, you will learn: Can Running Shoes Cause Achilles Tendonitis?

One of the most common injuries to strike runners is Achilles tendonitis – and it’s a painful condition that can seriously derail your training.

What should I look for in a running shoe for Achilles tendonitis?

What should I look for in a running shoe for Achilles tendonitis?

When selecting running shoes for Achilles tendonitis, there are several key factors to consider. Here’s what to look for:

  • Heel Cushioning: Choose shoes with ample cushioning in the heel area to help absorb shock and reduce the impact on the Achilles tendon.
  • Heel Drop: For shoes with a moderate heel drop, which is the difference in height between the heel and forefoot. A slightly elevated heel can help reduce strain on the Achilles tendon.
  • Arch Support: Look for shoes that provide adequate arch support to help maintain proper foot alignment and reduce stress on the Achilles tendon.
  • Flexibility: Shoes with a good balance of flexibility and stability can help promote a natural foot motion while providing support to the Achilles tendon.
  • Proper Fit: Ensure that the shoes fit well and have enough room in the toe box to prevent excessive pressure on the Achilles tendon. Avoid shoes that are too tight or too loose.
  • Orthotic Compatibility: If you use orthotic inserts or custom insoles, choose shoes that can accommodate them without compromising comfort or fit.
  • Gradual Transition: If you’re transitioning to a new shoe or making changes to your footwear, do so gradually to allow your Achilles tendon to adapt to the new support and cushioning.

What is Achilles tendonitis?

What is Achilles tendonitis?

Achilles tendonitis is a condition characterized by inflammation and irritation of the Achilles tendon, which is the large tendon that connects the calf muscles to the heel bone. It is typically caused by repetitive stress or overuse of the tendon, leading to microtears and inflammation. Common symptoms of Achilles tendonitis include pain, swelling, and stiffness in the back of the ankle or lower calf. It can be caused by factors such as sudden increases in activity, improper footwear, tight calf muscles, or biomechanical issues.

Treatment may involve rest, ice, stretching exercises, physical therapy, and in severe cases, immobilization or surgery. It’s important to seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment of Achilles tendonitis.

Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis

Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis

The symptoms of Achilles tendonitis can vary in severity and may include:

  • Pain: The most common symptom is pain along the back of the lower leg or above the heel. The pain may be mild initially but can worsen over time, especially during activities like running or jumping.
  • Stiffness: You may experience stiffness and limited range of motion in the ankle, particularly in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
  • Tenderness: The Achilles tendon may feel tender to the touch, and there may be localized swelling or thickening of the tendon.
  • Warmth and redness: In some cases, the affected area may appear red and feel warm to the touch due to inflammation.
  • Crepitus: You may hear or feel a crackling or creaking sensation when moving the ankle or pressing on the Achilles tendon.
  • Weakness: Weakened calf muscles or difficulty with activities that involve pushing off the foot, such as running or jumping, can be a symptom of Achilles tendonitis.

How do I treat Achilles tendonitis?

How do I treat Achilles tendonitis?

The treatment of Achilles tendonitis typically involves a combination of self-care measures and medical interventions. Here are some approaches that can help:

  • Rest and Modify Activities: Avoid activities that worsen the pain and put strain on the Achilles tendon. Give your tendon time to heal by reducing or modifying your exercise routine.
  • Ice Therapy: Apply ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times a day to reduce pain and inflammation. Make sure to wrap the ice pack in a thin cloth to protect your skin.
  • Pain Relief: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Follow the recommended dosage and consult a healthcare professional if needed.
  • Stretching and Strengthening Exercises: Perform gentle stretching exercises to improve flexibility and strengthen the calf muscles. Consult with a physical therapist or healthcare professional for appropriate exercises.
  • Orthotics and Shoe Modifications: Consider using heel lifts, shoe inserts, or orthotic devices to provide support and reduce stress on the Achilles tendon. Proper footwear with cushioning and arch support is essential.
  • Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can guide you through specific exercises and techniques to promote healing, improve flexibility, and strengthen the affected area.
  • Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT): In some cases, ESWT may be recommended to stimulate healing and reduce pain. This non-invasive procedure uses shockwaves to target the affected area.
  • Immobilization: In severe cases, a walking boot or cast may be necessary to immobilize the foot and allow the tendon to heal.

Related To: Best Running Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis

Related To: Best Running Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis

Should you stretch for Achilles pain

Stretching can be beneficial for Achilles pain, but it should be done with caution and under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Here are a few considerations:

  • Consult a Professional: It’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional, such as a physical therapist or sports medicine specialist, who can assess your condition and provide specific stretching recommendations based on your individual needs.
  • Gentle Stretching: Perform gentle stretching exercises that target the calf muscles and Achilles tendon. Avoid aggressive or forceful stretching, as it can potentially worsen the pain or cause further damage.
  • Hold and Release: When stretching, hold the stretch for 15-30 seconds and then release. Repeat the stretch a few times, gradually increasing the duration and intensity as tolerated.
  • Avoid Bouncing: Avoid bouncing or ballistic movements during stretching, as they can strain the Achilles tendon and exacerbate the pain.
  • Warm-Up: Prior to stretching, warm up the muscles with light aerobic activity, such as walking or cycling, to increase blood flow and prepare the tissues for stretching.
  • Balance with Strengthening: Alongside stretching, it’s important to incorporate strengthening exercises for the calf muscles to provide support and stability to the Achilles tendon.

7 Signs You’re Wearing the Wrong Running Shoes

Faced with the endless possibilities in sporting goods or athletic apparel stores, there are a few standard methods people use to choose a running shoe. Some opt for the best-looking shoe. Others search the clearance racks for the best possible price. Some meticulously try on style after style until they find the perfect shoe, at the perfect price, with the perfect fit. But how do you know whether the shoe you just bought is the right one for your foot?

Related To: 6 Best Running Shoes For Women 

Related To: 5 Best Running Shoes For Men

1. You’ve had your running shoes for longer than 6 months or 300 miles

If you’ve had your running shoes for longer than 6 months or have already covered around 300 miles in them. It’s a good idea to consider replacing them. Running shoes undergo wear and tear over time, and their cushioning and support can deteriorate, leading to a higher risk of discomfort and potential injuries.

The 6-month or 300-mile guideline is a general recommendation. But it can vary depending on factors such as your body weight, running style, and the terrain you typically run on. If you notice any of the signs mentioned earlier, such as foot pain, lack of stability, or worn-out soles. It’s even more crucial to replace your shoes, regardless of the time or mileage.

2. Your feet ache during or after your run

If your feet ache during or after your run, it could be a sign that you’re wearing the wrong running shoes. Insufficient cushioning, improper arch support, the wrong shoe size or fit, inadequate stability, or training errors can all contribute to foot pain. It’s important to address these issues to prevent discomfort and potential injuries.

Consider getting shoes with proper cushioning, arch support, and stability features. Ensure that your shoes fit correctly and gradually increase your running volume while maintaining proper form. If the pain persists, consult with a professional to find the right shoes and address any underlying concerns.

3. You lose your toenails

Losing toenails during or after running can occur due to factors such as improper shoe fit, toe slippage, downhill running, or long-distance running. To prevent toenail loss, ensure that your shoes fit properly, neither too tight nor too loose. Consider adjusting your running technique for downhill runs and gradually increasing your mileage. If toenail loss persists, consult with a professional to address any underlying issues and find appropriate solutions to protect your toenails during running.

4. Blisters, calluses, and corns

Blisters, calluses, and corns are common foot issues. That can occur due to friction and pressure. Blisters are fluid-filled pockets that form on the skin. While calluses and corns are thickened areas of skin. These problems often arise from ill-fitting shoes, excessive rubbing, or repetitive motion. To prevent them, ensure your shoes fit properly, wear moisture-wicking socks, and consider using protective padding or lubricants. If these issues persist or cause discomfort, consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

5. You develop plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a condition characterized by inflammation and pain in the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that connects the heel to the toes. It can be caused by factors such as overuse, improper footwear, or biomechanical issues. Treatment may involve rest, stretching exercises, orthotics, and physical therapy.

6. You can’t get your shoes off without completely loosening the laces

If you find it difficult to remove your shoes without fully loosening the laces. It could indicate that your shoes are too tight or that the lacing pattern is too constricting. Tight shoes can cause discomfort, restrict blood flow, and potentially lead to foot problems. Consider adjusting the lacing pattern to provide more room in the shoe, or try loosening the laces slightly to improve ease of removal. If the issue persists, it may be worth considering getting shoes with a wider or more accommodating fit.

7. You develop tendonitis when you run

If you develop tendonitis when you run, it could be a result of overuse, improper running technique, or inadequate footwear. Tendonitis refers to inflammation of the tendons, which can cause pain, swelling, and discomfort. To address this issue, it’s important to rest and allow the affected tendon to heal. Applying ice, using compression, and taking anti-inflammatory medication may also help.

Additionally, evaluating your running form, gradually increasing mileage, and incorporating proper warm-up and cool-down routines can reduce the risk of tendonitis. Ensuring that you have appropriate running shoes with proper cushioning and support is crucial for preventing and managing this condition. If symptoms persist, consult with a healthcare professional for further evaluation and guidance.


It is crucial to recognize the potential role of running shoes in causing Achilles tendonitis. Wearing ill-fitting or worn-out shoes can place excessive stress on the Achilles tendon, leading to inflammation and pain. To prevent this condition, it is important to invest in proper running shoes that offer adequate support and cushioning. You known now Can Running Shoes Cause Achilles Tendonitis? Regularly replacing worn-out shoes and listening to your body’s signals can help avoid the development of Achilles tendonitis and ensure a safe and enjoyable running experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, shoes can cause Achilles tendonitis. Wearing shoes that do not provide proper support or have worn-out cushioning can put excessive strain on the Achilles tendon, leading to inflammation and pain.

When dealing with Achilles tendonitis, it is best to avoid shoes with high heels, minimal cushioning, or inadequate arch support. These types of shoes can exacerbate the condition and increase strain on the Achilles tendon.

Running shoes can hurt your Achilles if they do not provide proper support or cushioning. This can lead to increased strain on the Achilles tendon, causing pain and discomfort.

Yes, running shoes can help with Achilles tendonitis. Choosing shoes with proper support, cushioning, and a heel drop can reduce strain on the Achilles tendon and provide relief from pain and inflammation.


Hi, I’m Mr. Tiger! CEO of and have 30 years of experience in the Sports Shoe industry. This scientific and vast experience equipped me with the knowledge and understanding to assist you in finding the perfect pair of shoes for your specific sports and individual needs. I always stay up-to-date with the latest trends and advancements in sports footwear technology, ensuring that my recommendations are always relevant and reliable. Thanks for visiting my site. I hope you enjoy the resources.

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