If you have insertional achilles tendonitis then the choice of shoe is very important, much more so than regular achilles tendonitis. I never realized just how important until a physical therapist mentioned to me how important it was to minimize the amount of irritation to insertion point from the heel cup of your shoes.
How Shoes Contributed to My Achilles Problem (I think)
I don’t know for sure, but I truly believe there are two reasons my achilles got injured:
- I’m one of the most immobile/inflexible bodies on the planet, according to every trainer and physical therapist I’ve worked with.
- As a big believer in the theory behind minimalist shoes, I think they’re great…for everyone except guys like me, who already had shortened tendons from their inflexible and extremely tight calves, hips, etc.
A couple of years ago I switched from traditional sneakers with the big heel rise, to minimalist shoes. I have wide feet, so my choices are pretty much limited to New Balance. That was fine, because I liked the look and feel of the New Balance Minimus line. I wore them and found them really comfortable for a couple of years without issue. However, I never ran distances. With the occasional tabata sprint sessions on a track, or once a month session on a treadmill that was usually less than 10 or 15 minutes, I was/am no road runner.
Once I injured the tendon this time, I ditched the minimalist shoes for good, and went back to the Brooks Adrenaline shoes I had bought for the few times when I would run distances.
Comfort In the Heel – Very Important!
After the physical therapist mentioned and pointed out to me the pretty inward angle of heel cup on the Brooks shoes, I started looking and comparing. I was shocked to see how angled the Brooks were in comparison to other shoes. Not sure why – I guess there is some advantage for typical runners. But when it is digging into my achilles, it’s not good for me!
See the comparison images below, showing the difference in angle. Trust me when I say it makes a huge difference if your achilles is still sore at the insertion point.
I’ve had the Asics for over a week now and love them. Truthfully, I wish I could go back to minimalist shoes but I just can’t risk that anymore, so the Asics are the next best thing for now.
So check out the Asics – I highly recommend them even if you don’t have an achilles issue, as I find the Asics have been just a much more comfortable shoe overall. Can’t wait to be able to run in them! : )