Best Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

Well rounded, deep heel cup shoes for Achilles tendonitis.

If you feel an ache at the back of your leg or just above your heel, especially after you’ve been active, you may have Achilles tendonitis. Your Achilles tendon runs down the rear of your leg to connect your calf muscles to your heel bone.

Repetitive stress can cause irritation and swelling, which leads to aches and pains. This common injury is usually caused by overuse and is a regular foe for runners and basketball players. Fortunately it responds well to at-home treatments, and wearing supportive shoes for Achilles tendonitis can help you heal.

What is Achilles Tendon Pain?

Achilles was known for having a vulnerable heel, but he’s not the only one with good reasons to protect this crucial connection! The Achilles tendon attaches your calf muscles to the back of your heel, and it gets put to work each time you walk, run or jump. Wear and tear is natural, especially as we age, and overdoing it physically can cause swelling and irritation. This swelling and irritation (called tendonitis) leads to aches and pains just above the heel.

It is rare for a single injury or incident to cause Achilles tendonitis. This kind of heel pain usually shows up after repeated stress and overuse. This makes it a regular issue for runners, or people who jump a lot—like basketball and tennis players. And it’s easier to overdo it when you are sedentary most of the time with bursts of activity, like “weekend warriors” who are active only a few days out of the week.

  • Man wearing KURU ATOM athletic shoes for Achilles tendonitis.

Most Common Causes & Risk Factors for Developing Achilles Tendon Pain

Achilles tendon pain is a common condition that can cause discomfort and limit mobility in the affected area. There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing Achilles tendon pain. Below are some of the most common causes and risk factors:

  • Overuse
    Achilles tendon pain is often caused by overuse, which can lead to repetitive stress on the tendon.
  • Trauma
    A sudden injury, such as a fall or direct blow to the tendon, can also cause Achilles tendon pain.
  • Poor footwear
    Wearing shoes that do not provide adequate support or are worn out can put additional stress on the Achilles tendon.
    Poor footwear
  • Age
    As you age, the Achilles tendon can become weaker and more susceptible to injury.
  • Gender
    Men are more likely than women to develop Achilles tendon pain.
  • Sports participation
    Sports that involve running and jumping, such as basketball, tennis, and soccer, can increase your risk of developing Achilles tendon pain.
    Sports participation
  • Poor flexibility
    Tight calf muscles and limited ankle mobility can put additional stress on the Achilles tendon.
    Poor flexibility
  • Chronic medical conditions
    Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, can increase your risk of developing Achilles tendon pain.
    Chronic medical conditions

Symptoms & Diagnosis

Achilles tendon pain can be a frustrating and limiting condition that can cause discomfort in the affected area. There are several symptoms associated with Achilles tendon pain that can range from mild to severe. Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Pain: The most common symptom of Achilles tendon pain is pain in the back of the leg, near the heel or calf. The pain can be a dull ache or a sharp, shooting pain.
  • Swelling: Swelling around the Achilles tendon is a common symptom of Achilles tendon pain. The swelling can be mild to severe and can make it difficult to move the affected area.
  • Stiffness: Stiffness in the Achilles tendon is another common symptom of Achilles tendon pain. This can make it difficult to move the foot or ankle, especially in the morning or after a period of rest.
  • Tenderness: Tenderness in the Achilles tendon is a common symptom of Achilles tendon pain. The affected area may be tender to the touch and may feel warm or inflamed.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to rest the affected area and seek proper medical attention if the pain persists or worsens. Taking steps to reduce your risk of developing Achilles tendon pain, such as wearing proper footwear and stretching regularly, can help prevent future injuries.

Facts and Stats

  • Achilles tendonitis is a common condition that affects athletes and non-athletes alike. It is estimated that approximately 6 percent of the general population will experience Achilles tendonitis at some point in their lives. (Source: National Library of Medicine)
  • While the surge in rupture rates is partially attributed to increased sports participation among middle-aged individuals, it is noteworthy that men account for approximately 84% of all Achilles tendon ruptures, despite similar ages and sport participation times between genders. (Source: National Library of Medicine)
  • Overuse and improper training techniques are common causes of Achilles tendonitis. Engaging in activities with sudden increases in intensity, frequency, or duration without proper conditioning or rest can strain the Achilles tendon and lead to inflammation and pain. (Source: Mayo Clinic)

In our recent study of foot pain across America, we found that a total of 6% of our survey respondents (out of 2,500) reported having tendonitis. Tendonitis is most common in jumping athletes, runners, and those who ramp up their activity level too quickly.

Explore the latest foot pain trends, common causes of pain, treatment and prevention plans for maintained foot health in our 2024 Foot Pain Trends Report!


Achilles tendon pain can be treated with a combination of methods to speed up the recovery process. Here are some treatment options to consider:

  • RICE method
    Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Rest your foot, apply ice to the affected area, wrap with compression, and elevate your foot to reduce swelling and inflammation.
    RICE method
  • Modify physical activities
    Avoid high-impact activities and switch to low-impact options such as swimming or cycling to give your tendon time to heal.
    Modify physical activities
  • Stretching and exercises
    Regular stretches and exercises can help prevent future injuries and strengthen the tendon and the muscles around it. Runner’s stretches, calf raises, and eccentric heel drops are a few examples of exercises that can be helpful.
    Stretching and exercises
  • Physical therapy
    A physical therapist can guide you through stretches and exercises tailored to your specific needs and provide other treatments such as ultrasound therapy.
    Physical therapy
  • Medications
    Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen sodium can reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Surgery
    In severe cases where other treatments have failed, surgery may be required to repair or remove damaged tissue.


  • Which shoes are best for Achilles tendonitis?

    Treating Achilles tendonitis is all about giving your damaged tendon the space and rest it needs to recover. You may not be able to stay off your feet entirely, so what do you do when you have to be on your feet for work or to finish your to-do list?

    Shoes with plenty of cushion at the heel and support for the full length of the foot can reduce your risk of injury, and protecting your body from impact helps it heal more quickly if you’re already hurt. You also want to reduce strain on the tendon, so avoid high heels!

  • Can shoes help Achilles tendonitis?

    Yes, shoes can help alleviate the symptoms of Achilles tendonitis. Choosing the right shoes with proper support and cushioning can provide relief and promote healing for individuals suffering from this condition.

    Shoes designed specifically for Achilles tendonitis often feature features such as heel cushion, arch support, and shock absorption, which help reduce strain on the Achilles tendon and provide comfort during movement. These shoes provide a supportive environment for the foot, minimizing excessive stretching and allowing the tendon to heal.

  • Why do runners get Achilles tendonitis?

    If you’re a runner or know people who are, you’ve probably heard of Achilles tendonitis. What makes this condition so common for those who pound the pavement? Well, it’s just that: pounding the pavement. Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury, and high impact activities like running put intense stress and pressure on your Achilles tendon. This leads to inflammation and irritation that causes pain.

    You are more likely to suffer from Achilles tendonitis if you suddenly increase how often or how far you are running. Gradually work up to any new fitness routine, and make sure to wear supportive shoes to protect your body and help it recover!

  • Can I use custom orthotics with KURU shoes?

    Due to the anatomical shape of the KURUSOLE, custom orthotics with a rounded heel fit best inside our shoes.

    If the underside of the custom orthotic (the part that sits on the footbed) is squared off, then it may not fit into our deep heel cup—which is rounded like your foot.

    That said, many of our customers tell us the KURUSOLE technology offers better support and stability than they expected, and they don’t need to wear their custom orthotics with KURU shoes.

  • Are your shoes considered orthopedic shoes?

    Even though KURU shoes were not initially intended to be orthopedic shoes, thousands of our customers say they experience relief from various foot conditions—including bunions!

    While our shoes are not currently considered orthopedic by a medical standard, we have received thousands of positive reviews from customers who say their KURUs helped reduce or eliminate their pain.

  • Can shoes cause Achilles tendon pain?

    Yes, shoes can cause Achilles tendon pain if they do not provide proper support or if they have certain design features that can contribute to strain or irritation of the Achilles tendon. Wearing shoes with inadequate cushioning, poor arch support, or a lack of heel stability can increase the risk of developing Achilles tendon pain. Additionally, shoes that are too tight or have an improper fit can put excessive pressure on the Achilles tendon, leading to discomfort and potential injury.

    It is important to choose footwear that is suitable for your foot type, provides adequate support, and promotes proper alignment to reduce the risk of Achilles tendon pain. If you experience persistent or worsening pain in the Achilles tendon, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or a podiatrist for proper evaluation and treatment.

Alleviate Symptoms with Achilles Tendonitis Shoes

Achilles tendonitis shoes are specially designed footwear that can help alleviate symptoms associated with Achilles tendonitis. These shoes offer targeted support and comfort to reduce strain on the Achilles tendon. Here’s how they can be beneficial:

  • Cushioned Heel Collar
    Achilles tendonitis shoes feature a cushioned heel collar that provides gentle support and reduces pressure on the Achilles tendon, offering relief from pain and discomfort.
    Cushioned Heel Collar
  • Arch Support
    These shoes are equipped with ample arch support, promoting proper foot alignment and minimizing stress on the Achilles tendon. The arch support helps distribute the weight evenly, reducing strain on the affected area.
    Arch Support
  • Flexible yet Stable Sole
    Achilles tendonitis shoes have a sole that is flexible enough to allow natural foot movement but also offers stability to support the Achilles tendon. This combination provides a comfortable gait while protecting the tendon from further injury.
    Flexible yet Stable Sole
  • Pain Management and Inflammation Reduction
    Wearing Achilles tendonitis shoes can help manage pain associated with the condition. The shoes provide cushioning and support, reducing inflammation and discomfort, allowing individuals to engage in activities with greater ease.
    Pain Management and Inflammation Reduction
  • Improved Mobility
    By providing the necessary support and comfort, Achilles tendonitis shoes enable individuals to move more freely and comfortably. This improved mobility allows them to carry out daily activities without exacerbating their condition.
    Improved Mobility

Three Layers of Support

At KURU, we pride ourselves on our unique approach to shoe design. We believe that shoes should be shaped to fit the natural contours of your feet, which is why we create every pair in three distinct support layers, not just an insole.

Our revolutionary ergonomic design starts with a curved footbed and adds unparalleled triple-layer support that includes shock-absorbing KURUCLOUD, heel-cupping KURUSOLE, and arch-supporting ULTIMATE INSOLES. The result? Shoes that are so comfortable you’ll stop thinking about your feet.

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  • How KURU brings relief


    Patented to protect your heels, nothing feels quite like KURUSOLE. Ample cushion and supreme support are just the beginning: our technology works with your natural biomechanics to reduce stress on the Achilles tendon.

    Nature gave you a pillow of fat beneath your heel that acts as a cushion. This fat pad can get worn down and stretched out over time, but the dynamic flexing action of KURUSOLE cups and contains this pad of fat to maximize your natural cushion and reduce heel pain.

Our Secret

Animated GIF showing KURUSOLE tech in KURU shoes vs. typical flat interiors for plantar fasciitis pain.
Why Others Love KURU

Why Others Love KURU

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Beautiful and comfortable. These are such a beautiful design and color that I get compliments every time I wear them. I literally already want to buy more shoes from Kuru and I just got them. They are also helping my Achilles’ tendon feel better!


LOOK GREAT, VERY COMFORTABLE. The most comfortable shoes I have ever worn already and I have just started to wear them this week. I am excited to see how much the help out my problems with my Achilles tendons.


IMMEDIATE COMFORT. I took seriously the recommendation to have a “break in” period with my Kurus. But the shoes were comfortable right away. The fit was perfect. My problem was heel pain due to a weak achilles tendon, and the support around that area was excellent. The arch was a bit more than I like initially, but after wearing them for a while, that has become more comfortable. I am normally a barefoot shoe wearer, but barefoot shoes outdoors on uneven surfaces was providing discomfort. These Kurus are perfect for just going out to walk my dogs daily. Excellent service as well. Fast delivery, even to Canada.


KURU ATOM. The KURU ATOM is the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn. In my position as a high school principal I am constantly on my feet! Following a three month bout with Achilles tendonitis , this shoe has allowed me to return to full capacity.


COMFORT PLUS. I had been dealing with Achilles’ tendon pain for 6 month just no relief. Dr told me to look for a shoe specific for this issue and or planter fasciitis. Without a doubt best tennis shoe out there. After even one day wearing these shoes my feet were 90% better. They’re a must in my closet. And I’ve never received such thoughtful personal service. I would order a half size up I did find they run a little bit small. Easy effortless exchange or refund. Great company.


Recommended Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

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