Proper footwear during walking or running is a crucial part of preventing AT in athletes. When the heel is not adequately supported, it can lead to pain during your daily run, and eventually Achilles Tendonitis. The tendon can become damaged by the pressure every time the foot strikes the ground. If there is no buffer to ease the force of impact, the tendon can become compacted and this amount of pressure can lead to damage in the tendon, as well as cause injury to the heel bones. In some cases of AT, specific shoes and other orthotic devices may help prevent, heal, or relieve the pain of the tendonitis.
- Shoes that include a softer heel can help reduce the irritation of the tendon.
- Heel lifts can also relieve the pressure placed on the tendon by supporting the impact in each step.
- Achilles sleeves, which are often made of silicone, can also help reduce irritation during running.
- You can find inserts that only support the heel in most department stores. They range in comfort and size, so you may have to try out a few before finding the right one.
- Sometimes runners choose “flats” or low-heeled minimal shoes to use during marathons. Excess use of these types of shoes is known to result in Achilles tendonitis because of the lack of support in the heel.
- Most running shoes typically have a mileage, and once you’ve ran past those certain amount of miles, your shoes can start to break down and lose their support. Take a look into buying some new shoes if you think that your shoes might be worn out.
- Talking to your doctor about orthotics is also advisable because you may not be able to find a specific shoe to support your tendon and may need to be prescribed an orthotic that can be customized to your feet.
- If the pain of AT becomes too severe, a “walking boot” may be prescribed. However, this is typically not recommended because extended use of a walking boot can weaken your calf muscles. Weak calf muscles mean less support for your Achilles tendon.