Achilles Tendonitis....Help.....could it be my shoes?

MacMac ✭✭✭
edited May 2021 in Health + Injury
Hi, I have been plagued by Achilles Tendonitis for a while now.
It started ages ago but went away for a long time.
Over the last year or two it has returned and although I can ease it, even feel it is gone after a suitable period of rest (even several weeks), it doesn't take more than a week or so (at most) of running a max of 5 miles at a time (often 3-4 miles), 3 times a week (at most), to flare up again.
It's only my left foot, just above the heel.

I am wondering if my shoes have played a part in this and if changing them could help?

I am running in a pair of Brooks 'Ghost 11's' (black mesh shoe with orange detailing) and have had them from new, for around 18 months or so, perhaps longer.
I am a 58 year old man of around 13st in weight and 5'8" in height....so yes a little overweight right now but in my defence, it doesn't help that I can't get any momentum or regularity to my running due to this problem flaring up whenever I try!

I also over-pronate and have had orthotics for many years. In fact my current orthotics are the high density foam type and are quiet a few years old now.
The orthotics may have compressed over the years, thus perhaps, negating the 5mm leg length difference I was supposed to have, although for the life of me I can't remember which leg it was!
I wear my old orthotics in the Brooks, every time I run.

I also wear them quiet loose (I can slip them on still tied) so perhaps them being too loose is aggravating my Achilles? Is that a thing? Can a loose fitting shoes cause or aggravate Achilles issues?
Also I have also read that shoes with a higher heel and a turned-up toe or rocker under the toe will reduce load on the Achilles tendon? Is this true?
I'm not sure if this is correct but from what I have found online the Men's Brooks 'Ghost 11' specs are:-

  • Weight: Moderate | 10.2 oz
  • Heel-To-Toe-Drop: Very High | 12.7 mm
  • Heel Height: Very High | 35.6 mm
  • Heel Cushioning: Very Soft
  • Forefoot Height: Moderate | 22.9 mm
  • Forefoot Cushioning: Soft
  • Flexibility: Stiff
  • Stability Features: Moderate
  • Energy Return: More
It looks like the shoe already has a high heel and decent heel cushioning although it is fairly stiff, which from reading up, can also contribute to Achilles problems?

I'm not competitive and certainly in no danger of winning or even entering any races (unless I can get fitter anyway) but I would like to run with some consistency in order to get fitter and lose some weight.
I've tried cycling but frankly find it very uncomfortable, regardless of how I set up my bike or what saddle or handlebars etc. I fit.
Can anyone help?....I just want to run.....


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    MacMac ✭✭✭
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    Mac - that is a fairly high heel drop.   Certainly could be your orthotics aren't doing what they should now and putting extra stress on that foot.

    Maybe see a podiatrist?

    Try some different shoes too.
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    alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Having had to have an Achilles op in the past I understand your concerns, Mac! I will message you with an article that I have written that hopefully will give you even more to think about! 
    As Shades says, try some different shoes as well. Do you wear your orthotics in your everyday shoes? Do you get much pain in day to day life?
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
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    MacMac ✭✭✭
    Well, I tried running the other day in my existing shoes minus the orthotics.
    The Achilles seemed less aggravated, although still not fully healed.
    However, I noticed the beginnings of a blister on the outer edge of the ball of my right foot, for the first time in years.
    Looks like the orthotics are still doing something it seems?
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    alehousealehouse ✭✭✭
    Did you get my message, Mac?
    Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead.
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    MacMac ✭✭✭
    Hi, yes thank you. I've not had much time to read it fully yet (work is crazy right now) but will do over the next couple of days.
    Sorry for not replying sooner.
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    Sorry guys its unrealted.  But im trying ro make a thread. Just joined. It doesnt allow me. Is there some kind of rule or soemthing  first?
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    MacMac ✭✭✭
    edited February 2023
    Well, here I am again!
    I've had a while off running, partly due to the Achilles thing and partly other issues, during which I've bought a bike to try and keep at least some level of fitness.
    So, as much I enjoy riding my bike, I've now started to pick up my running again, and as such have revisited the Achilles issue. I have now ran several short (3-4 miles) runs, and so far my 
    Achilles is OK. My lower calves are a little tight but no injury.
    I have read a lot about shoes possibly contributing to Achilles issues, and my old orthotics are over 10 years old and frankly worn so thin as to be useless, especially on the heel. I know they were originally allowing for a slight leg length difference (4-5mm) by building in a raise on the left (the side I have Achilles issues with), which, due to compression and compaction over the years is no longer there or doing anything. So my left leg is now potentially feeling that length difference when running, thus (possibly) compounding the Achilles issue, even if not actually causing it?
    I'd love to ditch the old orthotics and run in support shoes, so I have tried a few pairs at the running shop and have shortlisted a few.
    I'd appreciate your comments and opinions on them?
    • Mizuno Wave 'Inspire' 19
    • Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22
    • Brooks Glycerine GTS 20
    • Hoka Arahi 6
    • New Balance X 860 v13
    • New Balance X Vongo v5 
    Or any others to consider for...
    • Max cushioning (13st and not a graceful runner!)
    • Moderate and decent stability to control pronation, but not intrusive or aggressive (like Asics Kayano's)
    I'd like something with some 'spring' or 'bounce' rather than a flappy or 'dead' feel underfoot but I'm not precious about weight, as I'm not a speed merchant and value comfort and injury protection more.
    I read that a higher heel lift can help with Achilles issues (thus the Brooks and Mizuno both having 12mm)
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