Best Golf Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis
There are so many emotions in a game of golf that we take for granted. Take the movement of squatting, for instance.
You squat a little on your downswing to get more solid strike and to generate more distance on the golf ball.
You might squat on the green until you’re sitting on your heels to get a closer look at your line of putt.
Then there’s the simple act of walking the course from hole to hole, sometimes up and down many hills, stuck in bunkers, or wading through the rough or ‘cabbage’ as we like to call it. Imagine if all of those motions, and others, caused you pain.
We have found that a supportive and comfortable golf shoe, with a supported arch will help people who suffer with Achilles Tendonitis.
That’s what it’s like to suffer from Achilles tendonitis. It can take the fun right out of golfing and does for so many unfortunate people, but there are ways to help combat the problem of Achilles tendonitis.
One of the easiest steps you can take is to wear the appropriate footwear, or to make a purchase of footwear that will help alleviate some of the pain.
This means buying golf shoes that not only alleviates the pain that this condition causes, but are designed to prevent it from developing in the first place.
So, what kind of features should you be looking for?
Let’s examine the causes and symptoms of the condition to find out.
What is Achilles Tendonitis?
Are you familiar with the Achilles tendon?
It’s the tough, elastic tissue that connects the calf muscle to your heel.
This tendon works constantly. It is engaged whenever you flex your calf muscles.
Running, jumping, walking, squatting, all of these movements put some level of strain on the Achilles tendon.
To its credit, it holds up remarkably well.
It isn’t until we overtax it that there’s a problem. Achilles tendonitis means “inflammation of the Achilles‘ tendon”.
It occurs most commonly when we suddenly take on more strenuous activities or cause it to work for longer periods than are normal for us.
Even though golf is a lower impact sport, it puts enough tension on the tendon to pose a risk.
Once it the tendon becomes inflamed, you begin to experience pain in and around your heel and lower calf area.
It starts as a mild ache or soreness that you may feel during the round of golf you are playing or maybe other activities you are undertaking.
If you persist in doing the same things without giving your body time to recover and adjust, the pain will increase as more damage is done to the affected tendon. If you ignore the pain long enough, and it can become debilitating or require serious medical attention.
How Can Golf Shoes Help Alleviate the pain of Achilles tendonitis?
The right golf shoe can lessen the chance that you will develop Achilles tendonitis, or can help allow the golfer to actively recover from this aliment.
When you understand where the tendon is, and how it functions, you begin to see how certain golf shoe designs make the job easier, and how other golf shoes can do the exact opposite.
When shopping for golf shoes with this condition in mind, make sure they are designed with the following features:
1. Moderately elevated heels. You may have heard of people inserting heel lifts into their shoes to treat Achilles tendonitis, but the science is now against such this method of elevating the arch. If you are suffering from this problem then avoid wearing high heels and flats, in your normal day to day life. Research has shown that a moderately raised heel, 18mm (roughly 3/4in), is ideal.
2. Cushioned heels. The more support for your heel, the less the tendon will be harmed by the impact. Soft heel cups are available as inserts to meet this need, but it’s always best to have the feature integrated into the golf shoe itself, so you need a good solid shoe that will support you and help with stability when walking and making a golf swing.
3. Arch support. Both those with flat feet and high arches are more prone to developing this condition. Proper arch support, specific to your foot type, will remove this tendency.
The Best Golf Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis
Now that you know what to look for, you’ll see what makes the following offerings stand out. Here are the top 3 golf shoes for those suffering from Achilles tendonitis.
Footjoy Pro SL Golf Shoes
The FootjoyPro SL is really the standard in current golf shoes when it comes to spike less, I have had a number of these golf shoes and I have been very pleased with the quality and stability. I have found them extremely comfortable, they maintain a good level of grip, and look great. This extra support, around the shoe really does support the arch and the contours of the foot.
The Pro SL has a real good standard of foam support, and the shoe feels very solid when worn, which in my opinion helps me swing with club with confidence, knowing that I am supported and not going to slip when hitting the golf ball.
Let’s see what FootJoy are saying about the Pro SL.
They have redesigned the entire shoe which was going against the advice they received, from the PGA Tour golfers that were wearing them.
FootJoy are stating that the new Pro SL has 30% more points of traction, and have used a PowerHarness to wrap the foot in more comfort.
The guys are also stating that the new Pro SL has “GRIP THAT JUST WON’T QUIT” by improving ground contact by 17%.
The Pro SL is also 100% waterproof and has the Chromoskin leather outer to protect from the elements, this is a great golf shoe and one to definitely consider.
The Footjoy Pro SL has four colour choices
FootJoy Men's FJ XP Flex Golf Shoes
FootJoy is a brand closely associated with the PGA Tour, and it’s easy to see why.
These mesh bodied shoes are lightweight, and breathable, making them a comfort to wear all day.
While they are suitable for anyone, they also happen to have the features we are looking for.
The heel is elevation is near-optimal.
It appears to be slightly higher than the ideal measure, but not enough to be damaging. Where these shoes shine is their cushioning.
The midsole is made of EVA, a rubber-like vinyl material that provides better shock absorption than rubber soles, while also serving as a softer cushion and support.
Please also see our article on Top Five Men’s Best Spikeless Golf Shoes in 2020.
However, the arch support is slight, and may not meet your needs. To address this, the shoes have removable insoles, allowing you to swap in design with the level of support you require.
Adidas Men's Tech Response Golf Shoes
These highly rated shoes from Adidas come very highly rated, with a list of features that compare favourably to the FootJoy’s.
The body is mostly microfiber leather, with 25% mesh for improved airflow. They also feature EVA, but as the insole, so your foot is in direct contact with the material, which is more akin to the way a heel cup works.
The bottom line is that they are very comfortable and stable.
Arch support is much more pronounced in this shoe, making them the superior option for those with higher arches. The trade-off from the FootJoys is in heel height. It appears to be lower than the ideal here, though these shoes are not flat, and should not aggravate your Achilles tendonitis.
This shoe was our standout pick for Best Golf Shoes for Heel Pain Top Five check the article here
Nike Golf Men's Nike Lunar Control II Golf Shoe
Finally, we have the Lunar Control II from Nike, and we may have saved the best for last in this case.
Nike touts the ergonomic design of these shoes and it shows.
The heel elevation looks dramatic, but measured from the top of the outsole it’s actually in line with the ideal measurement. The interior by all accounts provides ample cushioning and comfort.
The star here is the special arch support solution. The shoe sports a microsuede arch band, that provides a variable level of arch support based on your foot.
Nike went all out considering the needs of those with painful foot conditions. This is a great buy.
Each of the choices above is great, but they are also meant to serve as examples.
Because each foot is different, not to mention each person’s style sensibilities, these shoes may not fit your needs.
But at least now you know exactly what to look for if you want to play golf comfortably while dealing with Achilles tendonitis.
We have also released an article on other Nike Golf Shoes we recommend?
Exercises for Achilles Tendonitis?
The Achilles control the foot and the series of motions the it takes. Besides a good quality pair of golf shoes, it is worth noting that a program of stretching some be undertaken before a game of golf.
This does not mean you have to take a long time doing this, but it will keep your calf muscles and Achilles tendon stretched out which will also help you prevent injury. Below is a video of the basic stretch but it is very simple to perform.
A quick rundown if you are not going to watch the video. You need to stand upright and place your hands onto a wall at around shoulder height. Place one foot in front of the other keeping your feet straight, keeping your real foot firmly on the ground bend your front knee forward until you feel a good stretch in the rear calf muscle. Keep the stretch for around thirty seconds, switch legs and complete each leg three times.
If you found this interesting we have a series of these articles, check out our article on Best Golf Shoe For Flat Feet?