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As an avid basketball player, you know the importance of having the right shoes to keep your feet safe and comfortable. The wrong shoes can lead to a number of foot injuries, including Achilles tendonitis.
Quick Answer: The best basketball shoes for Achilles support and tendonitis in 2023 are “Nike Air Jordan Retro Dub Zero.”
The right shoes can help prevent Achilles tendonitis and other injuries. Here, I want to discuss the best basketball shoes for Achilles tendonitis that offer great support. I’ll explore the features you should look for when choosing the right basketball shoes and the best brands that offer shoes with these features.
I’ve also included some helpful tips on properly caring for your feet and ankles and choosing the right size to ensure maximum comfort.
Let’s dive in!
Best Basketball Shoes For Achilles Support – A Comparison Table
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How We Reviewed
If there’s anything I love more than playing ball, it’s testing basketball shoes, and testing basketball shoes for Achilles tendonitis is something that I take very seriously.
I know the pain from Achilles Tendonitis very well. It’s a very common injury among professional basketball players. Besides excellent cushioning and ankle support, the right shoes for any basketball player with this condition need to have proper heel support (ideally built-up heel) in order to remove the pressure from Achilles tendons.Adam Gotelli – professional basketball player and chief editor of Outdoor Basketball Hub
I invested 25 hours of research into finding the best basketball shoes on the market, consisting of reading buyer feedback and reviews. After carefully considering over 40 pairs of shoes, I narrowed my selection down to 5 pairs that made my best-of list.
I personally tested these shoes to evaluate the following crucial features:
- Heel-to-toe drop
Moreover, I consulted my LBA teammates in Potenza, Italy, to gain their insights on product analyses and in-game testing.
I also consulted a certified orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician for invaluable advice to ensure the basketball shoes I selected provide the best support, stability, cushioning, and snug fit.
Best Basketball Shoes For Achilles Tendonitis – In-depth Reviews
- Size: M 7-13
- Ankle: High-top
- Highlight: Classic Jordan styling, full-length Air-Sole unit, and exceptional traction make these shoes for Achilles tendonitis our top pick.
We all know the Air Jordan Retro Dub Zero basketball shoe is one of the most popular and iconic basketball shoes ever created. The shoe is designed to provide maximum cushioning, stability, and support for the foot, making it an ideal choice for those looking to play better and guard against Achilles tendonitis.
- Full-length Air-Sole unit provides a supportive fit for all foot types
- Molded rubber outsole prevents ankle rolling
- Reliable durability both indoors and out
- Secure lacing system for customized tension
- Available in multiple colorways
- Not as breathable as other basketball shoes on our list
Sneakerheads know that this model is known for its high level of comfort, durability, and style.
I own these shoe and use them to play outdoor basketball in them, but they look so good, I wear them casually as well.
These basketball shoes for Achilles are constructed with a full-length Air-Sole unit, which provides superior cushioning and responsiveness. The full-length midsole also provides excellent shock absorption, which helps to reduce impact when you’re rebounding hard in the paint.
When I was testing them, I forced myself to jump high and land hard to judge their impact protection and I must say it performed exceptionally.
I discovered through wearing the shoes for a month that the added molded rubber outsole is also very useful, providing durability and excellent traction on the court. This is something Jordan shoes are known for and any basketball player requires.
The Air Jordan Retro Dub Zero also features a unique lacing system that provides a secure fit and lockdown feel. This helps to keep the foot from slipping inside the shoe, which is one of the leading causes of Achilles tendonitis.
In terms of durability, the Air Jordan Retro Dub Zero is built to last. The upper is made of a combination of synthetic materials and leather for a durable, comfortable fit. The shoe also features a herringbone pattern on the outsole for added traction and durability.
The shoe also features a secure lacing system and durable materials, making it great for both indoor and outdoor use. Additionally, the shoe looks great and is available in a variety of colors and styles, making it easy to find a pair that suits your style.
Last but not least, thanks to the ergonomic design, these are suitable for shin splints as well.
- Size: M 7.5-14
- Ankle: High-top
- Highlight: Combining the retro pump feature with updated materials makes this a secure fit that provides extra support.
It's almost like the Reebok Shaq Attaq Retro Basketball shoes were designed specifically for basketball players to protect against Achilles tendonitis. They feature a unique combination of comfort and support that helps any basketball player perform at their best. Check those out!
- Ultra high-top design provides exceptional Achilles support and protection against ankle twists
- Old-school pump feature for extra cushioning
- Textile and synthetic materials offer breathability
- Orthopedic sockliner improves lateral movements
- Funky retro designs available
- Tongue is bulky due to the pump
- Hard to get an exact fit every time with the pump feature
The shoe’s upper part is constructed from synthetic and leather materials, providing incredible breathability and durability. This makes them great for playing outdoors in hot climates and prevents moisture build-up that causes slippage.
After the first time I wore them, I was really impressed with the tongue and collar, which are both padded to provide cushioning and comfort. This is necessary to achieve the best fit each and every time you lace ’em up. And yes, they have the pump feature to inflate and deflate cushioning around your foot, which feels great.
The midsole is made from a lightweight EVA foam that offers cushioning and stability, and the outsole of the shoe is made from a high-quality rubber that provides excellent traction on the court.
While you can wear these on outdoor courts, my testing revealed they are better suited indoors as the herringbone treads will last much longer.
The “Reebok Shaq Attaq Retro” basketball shoes also feature an Ortholite sockliner designed to reduce foot fatigue and keep feet dry and comfortable. This sockliner is also intended to help relieve stress on the Achilles tendon, providing additional support to the heel and arch of the foot.
The shoe has a high-top design, which offers greater ankle support, heel stability, and flexibility.
Overall, I found the Reebok Shaq Attaq Retro Basketball Shoes offer you a great combination of support, cushioning, and stability that are great for playing better and specifically guarding against Achilles tendonitis.
- Size: M 7-14
- Ankle: Mid-top
- Highlight: Formidable traction and a full-length Zoom Air unit mean you'll be fast and get maximum Achilles support.
Thanks to an incredible heel support and reduced weight, the Nike Giannis Immortality basketball shoes are an excellent choice for anyone looking to improve their game, style, and their Achilles support. Last but not least, their price is very attractive!
- Foot-conforming Flyknit upper material makes give these a supportive fit
- Full-length Zoom Air cushioning unit is excellent for all foot types, even low arches
- Unique mid to high-top design supports your Achilles tendon completely
- Incredible traction offers multidirectional grip
- Perfect combination of style and function
- Some players may not like the low high-top design
- Require long break-in period
I’ve been owning these kicks for a while now and they are one of my favorite pair of budget shoes.
The Nike Giannis Immortality shoes feature a Flyknit upper, which provides a comfortable, lightweight, and breathable fit. The Flyknit upper is designed to stretch and move with your foot, and that’s precisely what it does. This allows for greater flexibility and natural movement, so you can play your game and be confident that your shoes will be able to keep up with you.
The shoes also feature a full-length Zoom Air cushioning unit, which provides excellent responsiveness and cushioning for maximum impact protection. The Zoom Air unit is designed to reduce the strain placed on the Achilles tendon, so you can play harder and longer.
The shoe features a unique lacing system that helps keep your foot secure and prevent slipping on the footbed. I love that lacing system because it helps reduce the pressure placed on the Achilles tendon and arch support. This reduces the risk of Achilles tendonitis.
As far as the look, this shoe differs from its competitors as it features a high-top silhouette, providing additional ankle support and stability. While these aren’t the highest high tops (rather a mid-top shoe) I have on the list, they still act like high tops despite their lower profile look.
The rubber outsole provides superior traction and is designed to grip the court and provide excellent grip when making quick cuts and changes in direction. If these are good enough for Giannis, they will be top-tier for any recreational player.
The Flyknit upper and Zoom Air cushioning provides comfort and protection, while the lacing system and high-top silhouette offer additional support. The rubber outsole provides a superior grip for quick changes in direction and maximum traction.
If you’re on a budget, check out my article on the best shoes under $50.
- Size: M 8-16
- Ankle: Mid-top
- Highlight: These lightweight shoes offer more than just Achilles support as they are more streamlined for speed and agility than the other basketball shoes on this list.
The top-rated Under Armour 3Z6 basketball shoes offer a range of features that make them ideal for players of all ages and abilities who are looking for good heel and ankle support, which is perfect for those with pain in the Achilles tendon.
- Mesh upper gives these a lightweight design to add speed
- Full-length Pebax plate keeps foot centered on the footbed to keep ankle aligned
- External heel counter is unique to this shoe and provides good support
- Five colorways available
- Low-profile design is built for speed
- Not as much Achilles support as others
- Not suitable for players with wide feet
I own a few pairs of Under Armour basketball kicks and this model is among the top ones.
First and foremost, this basketball shoe is designed with a comfortable and supportive fit. The upper part is constructed with lightweight, breathable mesh, while the midsole provides great cushioning and stability.
A sturdy midsole is crucial to protecting your entire ankle area.
The foam midsole features Charged Cushioning and Micro G technologies, which work together to give you responsive cushioning and support. These are great for players who spend a lot of time above the rim; protecting your ankles on impact is imperative.
The shoes also feature a full-length Pebax plate, which is a huge help in preventing Achilles tendonitis. This is something that differentiate the shoe from other models on our list.
The plate runs along the bottom of the foot, providing stability and cushioning for the Achilles tendon. The plate also helps to ensure that the foot remains in a natural position while playing, which helps to reduce the risk of injury.
The shoes feature an external heel counter that helps to keep the foot in a stable position, while the midsole features an energy return system that helps to absorb shock and provide energy as the player moves. They also look sharp with a low-profile design that reduces drag and improves agility.
- Size: M 7.5 - 14
- Ankle: High-top
- Highlight: A simple yet effective design makes these great at protecting your Achilles tendon while also giving you top-tier traction and agility.
The Adidas ADIZERO Rose 1.5 RestoMod basketball shoe has a full-length, lightweight foam midsole that provides responsive cushioning for all types of players. They have just the right heel-to-toe drop (10 mm) that's ideal if you suffer from Achilles tendonitis.
- Internal bootie gives this basketball shoe a superior fit
- Mesh upper is breathable yet strong to provide ankle support
- TPU plate adds security to a very comfortable fit
- PureMotion outsole for a strong grip
- Wide lace system for extra support
- Only available in one color
- The midsole is a bit stiff
I bought these shoes because I was hooked with their style. Later on, when I tested them on both indoor and indoor courts, I was amazed by their performance, fit, and durability.
These basketball kicks have an engineered mesh upper with an internal bootie for a snug fit and a full-length TPU plate for an enhanced, stable fit.
The combination of these features makes the “Adidas ADIZERO Rose 1.5 RestoMod” basketball shoes a great choice for athletes looking to improve their performance and protect themselves from Achilles tendonitis. Morover, the design eases the pain from that condition.
The engineered mesh upper with an internal bootie is breathable and lightweight, allowing the foot to move freely. The inner bootie provides a custom fit that helps to keep your foot firmly in place, reducing the strain on the Achilles tendon.
The extra cushioning helps to absorb the impact of running and jumping, while the TPU plate adds stability. All of these features work together to help keep the foot in the proper position, reducing the risk of Achilles tendonitis.
In summary, the Adidas ADIZERO Rose 1.5 RestoMod basketball shoes are a great choice for athletes looking to improve their performance and protect themselves from Achilles tendonitis.
The combination of cushioning, stability, and a snug fit helps to reduce the strain on the Achilles tendon, allowing you to focus on your game and perform at your best.
Choosing The Right Basketball Shoes For Achilles Support And Tendonitis
Knowing that you need Achilles support is only half the battle.
You must look for certain aspects to find the perfect shoes for Achilles tendonitis, and here they are.
A high-top design is essential to provide additional ankle support and reduce the tension on the Achilles tendon.
In fact, according to a study, high-top shoes limit the tension on the Achilles tendon by 9.9% compared to shoes with low-top design. In addition, a high-top design will help to prevent the ankle from rolling, which can cause injury.
During a game of basketball, it’s crucial to move quickly and make quick changes in direction. High-top sneakers help support the Achilles tendon and provide stability as the player runs, jumps, and changes directions.
When the Achilles tendon or the ankle is unsupported, it is more susceptible to twisting, which can result in a sprain. The high-top design helps keep the ankle in place and reduces the sprain risk.
The ankle height of a basketball shoe also helps to reduce fatigue. When the ankle and the tendon muscles are supported, the player does not have to work as hard to keep their balance. This can help you to perform better for longer periods of time.
Overall, the ankle height of a basketball shoe is important to your performance and helps protect you from ankle injury. It also eases the tension on the Achilles tendon.
Shoes that are too stiff or too flexible can both cause ankle injuries and are also inappropriate for players with shin splints. Shoes that provide optimal ankle and heel support should have enough flexibility to allow for natural movement.
Breathability is also important for optimal support. Shoes that are not breathable can cause the feet to become sweaty and uncomfortable. This can lead to blisters, slippage, and other injuries.
Look for shoes that have porous mesh, such as the one in the image above.
Different Lace-Up Styles
It’s recommneded to play with shoes that have good lace-up closure to control the fit. Only choose your preferred lacing system once you’ve tried each one in a full practice session.
1. Standard Lacing System
This is the most common lacing system for basketball shoes with high-top designs. It involves threading the laces from the bottom of the shoe, up and through the eyelets, and then tying the laces at the top.
This type of lacing system provides strong ankle and Achilles tendon support, as the tension of the laces can be adjusted to provide the desired level of support.
2. Criss-Cross Lacing System
This type of lacing system involves threading the laces up and through the eyelets in a criss-cross pattern. This type of lacing system provides additional support, as the laces are stretched over a larger area, thus providing more tension to the shoe’s upper part.
3. Lock-Down Lacing System
This type of lacing system involves threading the laces up and through the eyelets in a criss-cross pattern but then tying them in a loop at the top. This type of lacing system provides the most support, as the laces are secured in a loop, thus providing the most tension to the upper part of the shoe.
4. Speed Lacing System
This type of lacing system is becoming increasingly popular in basketball shoes, providing maximum support with minimum effort. It involves threading the laces through the eyelets and then tying them in a loop at the top.
This type of lacing system provides maximum support, as the laces are secured in a loop, thus providing the most tension to the upper part of the shoe. It is also the quickest and easiest lacing system to use.
Here’s a useful video I recorded that explains how to tie basketball kicks well.
Cushioning and Heel Support
Optimal ankle support should also include cushioning to provide shock absorption and reduce the risk of injuries. Cushioning helps to absorb the impact of jumping and landing, which can be especially hard on the Achilles tendon.
Cushioning and support for the heel come in many different levels of stiffness. You don’t want it to be too soft as this will slow you down, but too firm may cause discomfort and puts you more at risk of injury.
High Heel-to-Toe Drop
Heel-to-toe drop, also known as the offset, is a measurement of the difference in height between the heel and the forefoot of a shoe.
In basketball shoes, the heel-to-toe drop is typically between 8-12 mm and is designed to provide maximum cushioning for wider feet and support for the ankle.
Heel-to-toe drop helps to provide stability and support for the ankle as it helps to position the foot in a more natural stance. As the heel is slightly higher than the forefoot, the foot is angled in a way that puts less strain on the ankle and distributes the impact of the foot landing on the ground more evenly. This helps reduce the risk of injury to the ankle and other body parts.
The drop also helps to create a smoother transition from the heel to the toe when running and jumping. It helps to reduce the risk of injury from sudden changes in direction or movements.
For players with Achilles tendonitis, it’s recommended that the heel-to-toe drop is higher – at least 10 mm, to prevent excessive tension on the tendon.
What Is Achilles Tendonitis?
For basketball players, Achilles Tendonitis can be especially troublesome.
Due to the repetitive jumping and running associated with the sport, the Achilles tendon is put under more strain than usual. This strain can cause the tendon to become inflamed, leading to pain and discomfort. If left untreated, the tendon can become weakened and even ruptured.
Achilles tendonitis is an overuse injury that affects the tendon connecting the calf muscle to the heel bone. The heel pain associated with Achilles Tendonitis typically starts as a dull ache and progresses to a sharp, stabbing pain.
By using proper care and getting the right shoes to treat Achilles Tendonitis, basketball players can reduce their risk of injury and improve their overall performance.
Common Symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis
Common symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis include:
- pain and tenderness along the back of the leg above the heel
- swelling and inflammation
- difficulty flexing the foot
The pain associated with Achilles Tendonitis can make it difficult for basketball players to perform at their best. It can also affect their ability to jump, run, and change direction quickly.
Pro Tips on Avoiding Achilles Pain
Treating Achilles Tendonitis typically involves resting the affected heel area and avoiding activities that put strain on the tendon. Applying ice to the area can also help reduce the swelling.
Physical therapy and stretching can help strengthen the tendon and improve flexibility. In some cases, medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed. Surgery may also be necessary in certain cases.
Here’s an useful medical article that explains some treatment practices in more detail.
The best shoes to wear with Achilles tendonitis will have a higher heel-to-toe drop, as this helps to reduce strain on the Achilles tendon because it contracts the tendon course. For basketball players, a good option would be the “Air Jordan Retro Dub Zero” or the “Reebok Shaq Attaq”. Both of these shoes provide good cushioning and stability, as well as a high heel-to-toe drop.
NBA players deal with Achilles tendonitis by following an individualized rehabilitation program involving rest and exercise. Resting the affected area is essential for allowing the tendon to heal, and players may wear a protective brace to limit movement and reduce stress on the tendon. Ice therapy can be applied to reduce inflammation and swelling while stretching exercises can help maintain flexibility and range of motion.
The best support for Achilles tendonitis in basketball is a brace or sleeve designed to provide compression and warmth to the affected area. Additionally, stretching your calves and Achilles tendon before and after playing basketball is important to help reduce the risk of injury. Other support options include changing shoes, using orthotics, and avoiding playing on hard surfaces. Finally, it is vital to seek medical help if the pain persists or worsens.
If the condition is mild and the player can still tolerate the pain, they may be able to continue playing basketball. However, they should take extra precautions to reduce the risk of further injury. This can include stretching the calf muscles before play and wearing the correct shoes. If the Achilles Tendonitis is more severe, it may be best for the player to take a break from basketball until their condition has improved. If they continue to play, they risk further injuring the tendon, which can cause long-term damage.
Some NBA players who have been reported to have Achilles tendonitis include Kyrie Irving, Stephen Curry, Carmelo Anthony, Andre Iguodala, and Kobe Bryant. Due to the fact that they wear the right shoes, the condition doesn’t stop them from playing long basketball games.
1. Pain and tenderness in the back of the lower leg, near the heel.
2. Swelling and stiffness in the area of the heel and lower leg.
The fastest way to heal Achilles tendonitis is to rest the affected area, apply ice to reduce inflammation, use compression bandages to reduce swelling and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. Stretches and strengthening exercises can also be helpful. If the symptoms do not improve with self-care, it is important to consult a doctor for further treatment.
Achilles tendonitis can be worsened by activities such as running, jumping, and other types of strenuous physical activity. Avoiding these activities and taking time to rest and recover can help reduce pain and inflammation associated with the condition. Additionally, using ice and anti-inflammatory medication can help reduce the pain and inflammation associated with Achilles tendonitis.
MayoClinic – Achilles Tendinitis