Running injuries are frustrating and detrimental to our progress.
There is one kind that catches most runners or trainers by surprise, and it’s called peroneal tendonitis. The fact that it’s uncommon is the reason it isn’t talked about as much. However, It can definitely make your running sessions difficult.
Peroneal tendonitis is felt at the back of the foot, ankle, and a little at the lower leg. Nevertheless, it can be prevented with the right pair of running shoes.
Best Running Shoes For Peroneal Tendonitis Compared and Reviewed
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best running shoes for peroneal tendonitis, so you don’t have to. These have been reviewed by purpose as rated by other users on the internet.
1. ASICS Gel Nimbus 23 Running Shoes
Reasons to buy
- Superb comfort
- Shock absorbent
- Topnotch cushioning
Reasons to avoid
- Some found it to be very expensive
Asics started in a humble home on a small island in Japan about 70 years ago. The first few shoes that were made by the founder Kihachiro Onitsuka, were actually basketball shoes, but very soon he expanded to running shoes. In 1953, the Marathon Tabi was released and the events that transpired following that only led to making Asics one of the most premier brands in the world of running to date.
The Gel-Nimbus is a line intended for long-distance running and its promise is a cushioned experience with maximum bounce all thanks to their technology. I think this is where their main advantage lies. The cushion of the 23 takes all pressure off from your tendons which is critical if you have peroneal tendonitis.
Adding to the comfort that the cushion brings is the mesh on the upper part of the shoe. It basically stretches or shrinks to perfectly fit the foot width of the wearer. This also provides added arch support and stability.
The FlyteFoam technology is also an added feature that will help people recover easier from peroneal tendonitis or totally prevent it. This makes sure that you get the most responsive ride.
I also wanted to focus on the midsole that’s lined with the brand’s Gel technology to ensure that impact is absorbed. The pre-shaped EVA midsole sock liners provide yet another layer of comfort and help your gait cycle to be more efficient.
While the shoe is packed, some users say it landed short on durability, needing to be replaced after a year of intense use.
2. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 Running Shoes
Reasons to buy
- Built for maximum stability
- Ultra-comfort through the BioMoGo technology
- Secure fit with the 3D fit scale
- Great response
Reasons to avoid
- Users say that the shoe is a bit pointer than desired
No doubt Brooks will be on my list as this brand has proven to be a great contender. Brooks began with ballet shoes and bathing shoes (yes, that was a thing in the 1900s). Things changed when an American athlete won the Olympic marathon and they started to focus on running shoes.
The GTS 21 has been constructed with different technologies that target serious runners or marathoners; especially for battling peroneal tendonitis. One of its major root causes is poor posture, and to combat that the Guide Rails Holistic Support System targets to check the knees ensuring proper posture.
Also, to make sure you have ultimate comfort during your run, the BioMoGo technology was applied, adding a layer of softness on your heels while maintaining the appropriate bounce.
The overall design of the GTS 21 aims to hold your feet as if it were a glove, which I think is necessary in order to avoid peroneal tendonitis or any other injury. Another favorite feature is the segmented crash pads underfoot that provide the smoothest heel-to-toe transition each time you land.
Lastly, the 3D fit print saddle keeps your heel in place and hugs your midsole so securely, you’ll definitely feel like it’s a second layer of your own foot. The GTS 21 has a cult-like following and it isn’t hard to see why.
3. Nike Air Zoom Structure 22 Running Shoes
Reasons to buy
- Midfoot fit is great
Reasons to avoid
- Upper mesh not as structured
- Users say it has a bit of a height from the ground
Nike is a brand that needs no introduction. It has made its name for almost all sporting activities. That may be a good thing or bad; let’s test that on the Structure 22 running shoe.
Designed to be the direct competition of the Brooks GTS, many runners say that Structure 22 is more for short to mid-distance runs.
Nike’s Dynamic Support provides a great lining on the internal medial of the shoe but is softer on the outside part. The upper portion of the shoe is made of an engineered mesh fabric that provides that much-needed breathability, especially for longer runs. You’ll definitely feel the fit with the loop-style lacing.
The major issue I have for this shoe based on user reviews is that its predecessors’ 20’s, 19’s and 18’s actually had a snugger heel fit. This one had a looser heel which implies more unnecessary movement that may not be a good thing especially if you’re trying to target peroneal tendonitis.
Another thing is that the insole is flat; which explains a lot about the loose-heel fit.
4. Saucony Triumph 18 Running Shoes
Reasons to buy
- Cushioning is exceptional
- Ultra comfort
- Made for long runs
Saucony is a brand known for its racing shoes: from tracking spikes to cross countries. They boast of incorporating the latest technology in their running shoes to address the needs of the modern-day runner.
The first impression on the Triumph 18’s is that it is forgiving on the legs and endures longer runs. This is all because of the 360-degree softness it provides. Some claim that you’ll feel like you’re running on clouds which is a testament to the brand’s promise to be lighter, springier, and more flexible than any other shoe they have.
Users say that you’ll definitely feel the springiness and bounce on each step. The PWRRUN+ foam that encases the whole shoe allows more cushioning, protecting the foot and knees from the hard impact as you hit the ground.
While most shoes that have exceptional cushioning might give you a feeling of ‘sinking’, the underfoot is not compromised despite the PWRRUN+ foam. In fact, when your heel lands, you feel bouncier and the response is exceptional. This is all because it absorbs 5% of the impact. It is also 25% lighter than its predecessors meaning you won’t add on too much weight.
The exterior is made of Saucony’s signature mesh and synthetic fabrics that ensure breathability while still providing security on your feet to avoid unnecessary movements. Overall, Triumph 18 is a great choice when it comes to battling peroneal tendonitis.
5. New Balance M1540 V3 Running Shoes
Reasons to buy
- Stability is exceptional
- Great response and cushioning
Reasons to avoid
- Breathability is an issue
- Some users say the sizing is not consistent
One of the things that you need in order to prevent peroneal tendonitis is a shoe that provides stability.
New Balance is known to make shoes that deliver the utmost stability and comfort to make you last longer on the pavement.
On the midsole, New Balance used the combined efforts of their Rollbar and ENCAP technologies to ensure stability. While this delivered its purpose, it fell short on landing comfort. The transition from toe-to-heel was quite rough as most users say and the rubber outsole was not as flexible to help a smoother land.
For the upper, you would expect a little bit more comfort but as expected on a sturdier and bulkier shoe, it fell short on that as well. While it provides the stability that you may look for, there are more comfortable options. And as expected, it’s not as breathable as it is made of layers upon layers of mesh, padding, and overlays.
While this shoe is a tad bit heavier than the Brooks and Nike Structure, it made up for it its durability. It may not be as breathable but it can be a great choice for protection in cold weather.
Let’s Talk About Peroneal Tendonitis
In order to address this injury, it is essential that you learn all about it first.
Peroneal Tendonitis happens when the peroneal tendons receive a lot of pressure from the increase in load which results in it rubbing against the bone repeatedly, causing the tendons to become inflamed.
There are actually two kinds of peroneal tendons: the peroneus longus and the peroneus brevis that run parallel to each other running from the outer border of your foot and your ankle. These are strong structures that connect the peroneal muscles of the calf to the foot.
This tendon is critical as it is the stabilizer of your foot. When you shift your load from one foot to the other, it provides protection from sprains. This will also allow you to roll your foot outward.
While this mostly happens to athletic folks, non-athletes are also not safe from it. Any middle-aged individual can be injured, the younger ones tend to have it dislocated.
What Are The Causes Of Peroneal Tendonitis?
Like any other tender or muscle in the body, excessive use and abuse of certain body parts will eventually lead to a form of injury. In this case, anything that requires repetitive ankle movements may be prone to peroneal tendonitis.
Other factors may be because of:
- An immediate change in training routine especially those that involve weights such as: running, jumping
- Improper training
- Improper footwear
- People with higher foot arches
- Misaligned lower body muscles
What Are The Symptoms Of Peroneal Tendonitis?
Peroneal tendonitis can be two things: acute- which means suddenly occurring, or chronic- basically, meaning it’s something you regularly experience. Let us focus on the 3 kinds:
- Inflammation or tendonitis – this may happen on the longus or the brevis, and could also occur on both. Immediately, you’ll see that the area around the ankle will be swelling and slightly red. The area is warm to the touch and may cause pain.
- Acute tearing – could happen with repetitive movements. Athletes are more prone to this kind due to training and their general routine.
- You will most likely feel instability on the foot and ankle when you have acute tearing. It will also be hard to execute any kind of movement due to the pain and swelling. Your foot will eventually change in shape due to the tearing and may have a higher arch than its original state.
- Degenerative tear – is the kind that seems to be consistently recurring as it may happen over longer periods of time, often years. The tendons become thinner and thinner until it eventually gives. You’ll definitely feel constant sporadic pain on the outside part of your ankle.
- Subluxation – this happens when the tendons slip out of place. Just thinking about it makes me cringe. The damage from this can eventually lead to chronic peroneal tendonitis.
You’ll be feeling a snapping pain around the ankle bone and have a hard time even walking.
What To Consider When Buying Running Shoes for Peroneal Tendonitis
‘Prevention is better than cure’, and as cliche, as this may sound, nothing rings truer especially with injuries like this one. As you found out that one of the main causes is improper footwear, this is definitely one aspect that you can do something about. When buying shoes against peroneal tendonitis, consider the following:
Ankle Support And Stability
While stability is important in your running performance in terms of your speed and longevity on the road, it is also critical to ensure that you are injury-free as much as possible.
If you are running with peroneal tendonitis, stability will significantly reduce the pressure on your ankles and distribute the impact equally on your whole foot. Support on your ankles is essential, so be sure to check your prospective shoes if they will provide padding on that area.
Look For Shock-Absorbing Features
Cushioning is another critical component of your shoes. As one of the pain points of peroneal tendonitis is at the outside corners of your foot, it is important there is sufficient comfort through a reliable cushioning system.
Ideally, the material in the shoe’s midsole will determine its shock absorption properties. I would recommend looking for materials that have gel components or BioMoGo technology.
Lightweight And Breathable
Even without considering peroneal tendonitis, a heavy and ‘suffocated’ shoe is very difficult to run in. For one, it will lock in sweat that may lead to slipping on the inside of your shoe.
A lightweight and breathable shoe would have its upper designed with mesh or similar materials. This will allow it to stretch and ‘hugs’ your foot for that snug and comfortable fit.
Your shoe should allow the smoothest heel-to-toe transition in order to reduce the risk of any injury. For this, you should look for flex grooves on the outsole. Segmented rubber on the outsole will also be a nice component to help with the flexibility of your shoes.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are cases when you need surgery to have your peroneal tendons repaired. This will all depend on the structure of your foot and the severity of your injury.
In general, a surgeon or doctor will be able to determine the appropriate treatment for your foot. Definitely, physical therapy is critical after surgery for a full recovery.
You can be subjected to immobilization meaning your foot will be covered in a cast to limit movement and allow it to heal. There are also oral and vaccinated treatments to help relieve the pain and reduce inflammation.
Some doctors will also recommend icing it or undergoing physical therapy for more severe cases. Definitely, the surefire way to know the best cure for you is to consult your doctor. Word of caution: the information I stated is only a possible treatment. The final and appropriate treatment for you should be dictated by your healthcare physician.
While this can be quite scary, peroneal tendonitis is a very rare injury. Some of the things that you can do now in order to reduce the risk of this happening to you are to take stretching and warming up seriously.
If you’re a beginner in running, try and take your time. There’s no rush in progression as we all have different bodies, fitness levels, and endurance. Competing with the man, or woman, in the mirror will be the best approach for the safest and most effective fitness journey.
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.