Can shoes cause Achilles tendonitis?

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Yes, shoes can cause Achilles tendonitis.

Higher risk of Achilles tendonitis in men

A study from the McKay Orthopaedic Laboratory found that Achilles tendonitis affects men 4 times more than women. In fact, 75% of all sudden ruptures of the Achilles tendon in men in their 30s and 40s occur during sports.

Furthermore, scientists say there are many more incidents from March to August than from September to February. This is because many people play sports between March and August. Scientists have also found that tendonitis is more common in the left leg.

One in four severe injuries, or 24%, is not diagnosed. This is especially true for people who are overweight or old. It’s also the case for those who have not injured themselves in sports.

They observed that more than 50% of injuries occur when someone pushes their legs down, extends their knees through, or jumps.

52% of those injuries occur during sports whilst 8-20% of injuries occur in amateur athletes. 37% of injuries occur at work, and 20% of injuries occur during everyday activities.

What causes Achilles tendonitis

Dr Georgios Goudevenos, a physiotherapist, has looked into this study. He mentions that there are three risk factors for tendonitis:

1) Wearing the wrong shoes (the ones that do not prevent vibrations)

2) Lack of warming up any training

3) And finally, bad weather

Types of Achilles tendonitis

Tendonitis, as he says, is an inflammation of the Achilles tendon.

There are two types of tendonitis:

1) Acute tendonitis, which can be cured in a short time (1-2 weeks) with timely treatment

2) Chronic tendonitis, which is caused by incorrect treatment of acute tendonitis.

He says that this second group is the most difficult to treat because it is complicated and takes a long time. In some extreme cases, surgery can be performed.

Achilles tendon pinch test (Thomson Test)

By compressing the gastrocnemius when the tendon is still intact, the end of the foot moves into plantar flexion. If the tendon tears, the end of the foot does not move and the test is considered positive. You can watch this test below:

How to cure Achilles tendonitis fast

New evidence from around the world highlights that patients should avoid all activity. Any kind of training would just further aggravate the pain.

Furthermore, the patient should wear anti-vibration shoes and orthotics.

Finally, there’s a great selection of physical therapy that one can be subject to. Such therapies could be ice therapy, cold patches, hydrotherapy, ultrasound and others.

Dr Georgios Goudevenos says the best way to treat tendonitis is to catch it early.

Treatment can take a while, but as he says, there is a risk that the inflammation will return if it is not done properly and with patience.

Bottom Line

Shoes can most definitely be the cause of your Achilles tendonitis. Make sure you pick a pair of shoes with proper vibration prevention.

However, if you already have Achilles tendonitis, then picking the right shoes to reduce your pain and help you heal faster, is truly vital.


I’m George and I’ve been a shoe enthusiast since I remember myself. The first shoes I bought with my own money were the Air Jordan XII and boy did I love them. Since then, I've been obsessed with all the latest news about shoes, their technology and the research processes of the manufacturers.

As I grew up and had to work (dammit) I also started researching shoes that can keep me comfortable whilst at the job but also keep my posture proper. I'm growing old y'all!

I hope the reviews and news I bring you will help you make the right choice.

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