Your Achilles tendon is the thickest and strongest tendon in your body. In fact, it can handle up to 4 times your body weight while walking and be responsible for up to 50% of the force on your ankle while running.
Despite being so strong, the Achilles tendon is frequently overstretched. Achilles tendinitis occurs when the tendon is strained or torn. Sudden stops and starts, as well as hard falls and twists, can injure and inflame the tendon. The Achilles tendon can also tear over time if you perform intensive activities without stretching beforehand.
Athletes in sports involving sudden stops, like track and baseball, can be more likely to develop Achilles tendinitis. Interestingly, it is estimated that Achilles tendon injuries are responsible for as much as 50% of all sports-related injuries. Symptoms of Achilles tendinitis can include:
- Pain when walking up inclines or stairs.
- Tenderness near the Achilles tendon.
What kinds of shoes are best for Achilles tendinitis?
The Achilles tendon connects your calf muscles to your heel bone and allows your ankle joint to flex. It also allows you to lift your foot off the ground and flex your knee.
Since your Achilles tendon plays such a vital role in your mobility, protecting it can be crucial. Wearing the right shoes can be the best preventive step to reduce your risk of Achilles tendinitis while on the job or on the field.
If you’re worried about your risk of developing Achilles tendinitis, the best shoes to wear should include these protective qualities:
- Cushioning — The Achilles tendon can tear from sudden shock related to activities like jumping and running. If your feet slam into the ground, your Achilles tendon can instantly tear from the impact, leading to immediate pain. To avoid this from happening, the best shoes for Achilles tendinitis should have shock-absorbing cushioning that can protect your heel from overwhelming force. Without cushioning, you can be increasing your risk of Achilles tendinitis. The stiffer the shoe, the higher the risk of developing Achilles tendinitis.
- Heel support – Wearing shoes with proper heel support can drastically reduce the amount of strain placed on your Achilles tendon. According to a study, heel support significantly reduces tension in the Achilles heel. This is because heel support in shoes can redistribute your body weight across your feet and reduce the pressure on your Achilles tendon and calf muscles. You can therefore enjoy high-impact sports without worrying about a high risk of Achilles tendinitis.
- Ample space — A shoe that has a wide toe box gives your toes space to wiggle and shift during activities. Shoes that are too tight can squish the toes and other bones in the foot together. This can decrease blood flow throughout your foot, misalign your ankle and strain your Achilles tendon without you even realizing it. Finding a shoe that cradles your feet comfortably, while leaving enough room for your toes to breathe, can help you prevent Achilles tendinitis.
Biocorrect’s custom orthotics can be the best way to ease your Achilles tendinitis
Have trouble finding shoes with cushioning, heel support and ample space? Custom orthotics can help encourage your foot into alignment and protect your Achilles tendon no matter what shoes you wear. Our team of experts at Biocorrect can tailor an orthotic for your specific concerns. Contact us to learn more about the orthotics we offer or to set up an initial evaluation with one of our certified pedorthists.