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View Full Version : Best Shoe after an Achilles Rupture


Brad Bartlett
03-11-2005, 07:44 AM
51 year old, 4.5 player who ruptured his Achilles Tendon in early January on the court and had surgery. Just STARTING to think about coming back and was wondering if anyone had any experience coming back from a rupture and surgery and what shoe worked best. Doctor said to change shoes and I have always been a K Swiss 7.0 guy, but he recomends NB CT 1001.
E-mail to BradKBartlett@aol.com

christo
03-11-2005, 08:32 AM
Don't even think about NB CT1001, I bought these and hate them, they felt very stiff on the court , the forefoot has some kind of synthetic stiffener in it and the edge of the sole in the forefoot has a lip on it which tends to catch as you move laterally . Almost blew out my knee. Plus there is very little cushioning in the heel. I truly despise this shoe and am sending it back to NB.
I too have achilles pain and feel the Nike Air shoes are the most comfortable, but right now I'm wearing the Barricade III and I think it is very good. BTW can you tell us Achilles tendinitis sufferers what led up to your rupture? Did you have prior pain or injury to it? I have to tell you it is the one pain I have that worries me on the court and any info would be much appreciated. Also what is your rehab like?

NoBadMojo
03-11-2005, 08:55 AM
i had very chronic achilles tendonitis for years and what finally solved my problem was rigid custom full length sports orthotics with firm heel lifts built into them. this pretty much takes the shoe out of the equation, and you just remove the insole from your shoes and slip the orthotics in. altho a good idea not to play with old shoes that have become soft and mis shaped and worn.

baselinebrawler
03-11-2005, 09:27 AM
I had my achilles tendon completely tear but, not playing tennis in 2000. For those of you who know what I am talking about it is a long journey back. My podiatrist recommend that I get orthodics as well as any New Balance tennis shoe that is a mid to high top. Maybe the CT 802 OR 725. My orthopedic surgeon had told me to pay very close attention to my tendonitis in my achilles. And when it happens to stop all activities and make sure you rest the tendon then stretch consistently. Hope you find a good shoe for you and all the best on your road to recovery.

BreakPoint
03-11-2005, 10:53 AM
Hmmm....just wondering if New Balance tennis shoes are really that good for your feet or if NB just does a lot of marketing to podiatrists? Already two of you have mentioned that your doctors have recommended switching to NB shoes, but another one says that his experience with NB tennis shoes was terrible (or at least the CT1001 was). I've never used NB tennis shoes before but was thinking of trying some in the future since I've liked some of their non-tennis shoes (e.g., cross-trainers) for other activities. I've tried on a couple of pairs of NB tennis shoes in stores, however, and they did not seem very comfortable. I thought perhaps they just need a long break-in period?

tom-selleck
03-11-2005, 11:06 AM
i ruptured my achilles two years ago.... it is a long frustrating road back...

i have wide feet and terrible supination..... seems like the guys at the running room here in canada (leading running retailer here) recommend the new balance very highly (878, 879 etc. i think they just keep changing the #). i think new balance is the leader in shoes for difficult feet. if you have good feet, i think you can wear almost all the other brands.

not sure if my supination had anything to do with the ruptured achilles, but my guess is that it did.

went for high end orthotics... they're o.k. but i really missed the cushioning in shoes.... for the orthodics i got, you have to take out all the cushioning....

so i chose to go with reasonable support, great comfort and affordibility over optimized orthotics......

FWIW, it seems like my "healed" ruptured achilles is much, much looser than the other one....

baselinebrawler
03-11-2005, 11:13 AM
Hmmm....just wondering if New Balance tennis shoes are really that good for your feet or if NB just does a lot of marketing to podiatrists? Already two of you have mentioned that your doctors have recommended switching to NB shoes, but another one says that his experience with NB tennis shoes was terrible (or at least the CT1001 was). I've never used NB tennis shoes before but was thinking of trying some in the future since I've liked some of their non-tennis shoes (e.g., cross-trainers) for other activities. I've tried on a couple of pairs of NB tennis shoes in stores, however, and they did not seem very comfortable. I thought perhaps they just need a long break-in period?

Breakpoint,

My podiatrist just recommened the NB's because I have wide feet and NB seems to be the shoe company that pays the most attention to people with specific feet conditions. He also recommened the high top versions to me because my right ankle has been damaged so much from my younger days. So it is really just personal preference.

Marius_Hancu
03-11-2005, 11:18 AM
i have wide feet and terrible supination..... seems like the guys at the running room here in canada (leading running retailer here) recommend the new balance very highly (878, 879 etc. i think they just keep changing the #). i think new balance is the leader in shoes for difficult feet. if you have good feet, i think you can wear almost all the other brands..

I guess this is understood, one must use different shoes for running and for tennis. Totally different requirements.

I was an NB client myself, until the 800s damaged my heel, while playing tennis, for 1.5 years. Not flexible enough in the right area of the soles. Thus OUT with them for tennis. Switched to Nike Air Oscillates (and Wilson) and Spenco full length insoles. Cured now.

Still using NB for running, with no support.

Check this
http://www.drpribut.com/sports/heelhtm.htm
esp the tests to be made on tennis shoes for proper sole flexibility

tom-selleck
03-11-2005, 06:43 PM
marius, sorry... the running room guys loved new balance and the sporting life (tennis) guys loves new balance too.... i think the ruptured achilles, suppination and wide feet are all related.......... but i think new balance is the best shoe company for special feet concerns.... frankly, wal-mart (foot joy brands) is pretty good on wide feet too.

NoBadMojo
03-11-2005, 06:56 PM
tom also high rigid arched people are candiddates for achilles problems, along with either pronation or supination as you say.i am wearing the NB's 820's now and i like them because they are wide enough in the heel so that my orthotics fully seat in the heel area..shoes like some of the barracades are just too narrow in the heel for many i feel. i wouldnt wear the 820's on a hardcourt though because the bottoms feel too hard for me, but i bet they are durable.

Ronaldo
03-11-2005, 09:14 PM
NoBadMojo is on it, an orthotic with a raised heel solves most ills if you wear them daily. Had severe achilles tendonitis but no tear. After wearing a sleeping cast for a month, and after three cortisone shots, that left achilles is much more flexible than the other. So much so that I can wear ANY shoe as long as I wear those orthotics. However, a shoe that mimics the running shoe last like the Reebok Bonzer may feel more comfy than other shoes. To prove my point, currently wear NB CT 790, Head Games, Adidas A3(great last, high heel), Reebok Bonzer, and Nike Resolves. None feel as good as my Brooks Beasts to workout in though.

Ronaldo
03-11-2005, 09:17 PM
Btw, ECCO shoes make great daily walking shoes for those that replace the insoles w/orthotics

Stewart Cohen
03-12-2005, 03:23 AM
As a long term ankle guy, I switched to the K-Swiss preventor last time I tweaked my ankle. I've never had better support. That being said, they're heavy, and run somewhere about an E width I think. However, you already know they work for you. I went through two pairs (which took 1.5 years, playing 3-6 times a week!!) and have now switched to New Balance. New Balance shoes are popular with podiatrists because orthotics fit in them. You may have to buy a half-size up, and a width out (i.e., from D to EE) but then you can use them. I've always liked a low center in a shoe, and when I saw the 820's I drooled. They play better than they look. What's amazing is how much support I get from their least supportive shoe. The folks at my club with 800/801/802's love them, and their support. The 1000 series are reportedly more comfortable, but less responsive. In sum, if you're brave enough to start playing again, I'd stick with the K-Swiss, but if you get orthotics, you may need to switch to NB. You would also have the option of bringing in your K-Swiss and favorite walking shoes and have your orthotic set up to fit them width-wise. By the way, I use acupuncture to treat chronic Achilles problems. Most of the chronic ones come from not respecting the injury fully. Once it has been injured, any misalignment from the foot will increase abrasion and therefore tendinitis. The advice above to use orthotics all the time is very important. Ecco shoes are great, as are 1803. Mephisto's are unaffordable, but awesome.

Ronaldo
03-12-2005, 04:16 AM
WOW, never saw those Mephisto's before. Must be the Manolo Blahniks of the walking shoe, eh?

Marius_Hancu
03-12-2005, 04:34 AM
marius, sorry... the running room guys loved new balance and the sporting life (tennis) guys loves new balance too.... i think the ruptured achilles, suppination and wide feet are all related.......... but i think new balance is the best shoe company for special feet concerns.... frankly, wal-mart (foot joy brands) is pretty good on wide feet too.

I could care less about what others are thinking, I will always mention my experience. And as you can see, there are two negative reports on NB in this thread only.

I used NB for tennis too before the 800s and didn't have problems.

Not sure how more recent NB shoes are, but 800s were very bad for me in terms of flexibility and caused me huge heel problems and this made me change for ever from the company in terms of tennis shoes.

And I will continue to tell others about it, in order to be aware that they should not trust without testing and without opening their eyes to what happens to their feet while using a model or another.

Marius_Hancu
03-12-2005, 05:12 AM
New Balance shoes are popular with podiatrists because orthotics fit in them. You may have to buy a half-size up, and a width out (i.e., from D to EE) but then you can use them.
Orthotics fit in many shoes, even in Nikes, which are in many cases narrower. I am able to switch my Spenco full support from Nikes to Wilson with no problems, even if I have a wide foot (EE to 2EE in terms of NB sizes).

I am not sure about the rigid orthotics, those might be more difficult to fit.

However, many companies are producing now shoes which are wider, even if they don't have sizes for them, as NB does. Wilson has generally a wider fit.

But you just have to take your orthotics to the store (and your socks, esp if wearing thick ones, such as Thorlos) and try until you're satisfied.

I am not sure how the NB 820s fit in terms of low to the ground, because the NB 800s certainly weren't so.

The Nike Oscillates, which cured my heel problems together with the Spenco orthotics, have good support, are low to the ground and are flexible. Practically impossible now to obtain in North America, but available from sites in Europe (clay models). It's plain stupid for Nike to have stopped their distribution here.

Do not forget to perform the shoe flexibility test given at the first link in my posting:
Great Fitness Sites
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=33800
at the Heel section
which is
http://www.drpribut.com/sports/heelhtm.htm

Also, in general, when I am looking at medical problems, I am not looking at the positive reports about a product, but at the negative ones.

Why should I care that 80% of the people do not have problems with say Luxilon strings or PD+ rackets when the rest of them do? That's indicative of a deficiency and I do not want to put my body at risk. No company would pay me for my insuing problems.

NoBadMojo
03-12-2005, 06:11 AM
just a caveat about the orthotics which i highly recommend....introduce them slowly and dont wear them playing tennis as soon as you get them....you will find that the orthotics totally change the way your foot strikes on each step (your foor aint used to landing straight) and you could damage tissue surrounding the achilles or in the ankle or in other parts of your body because they totally realign how things impact including your knees and back (i made the mistake of wearing mine too early and i was damaging other tissue surrounding the achilles).....so i say wear them walking for a while, then wear them jogging (if you jog), then fnally wear them playing tennis..if your pronation or supination isnt so bad and your condition mild, here is a poor man's remedy that kept me on court for quite a while before i finally discovered the orthotics....
Remove the insoles from your tennis shoes and take them to a good shoemaker (you know how most towns have an old shoe maker who can do all kinds of magic with shoes?)..ask him to build 3/8" heel lifts into the insoles out of a firm material...my guy used a hard type of felt and feathered and tapered the heel lift so it was very comfortable..i was out the door for 20 bucks....wear these in the course of your day and when you play tennis....they keep your achilles from hyperextending on the vertical axis and may be all you need if you dont supinate or pronate to much..they really do take alot of the stress off the achilles ..they do wear out afer a while and then you repeat the process in some other insoles from your new shoes.

Ronaldo
03-12-2005, 08:23 AM
Your podiatrist should give advise on how long to initially wear your new orthotics in writing. Posted this before but if you live near a Nike Outlet, found the Air Oscillates in nearly every size under $40/pr. Just not ready to drive 75-140 miles to buy them

BreakPoint
03-12-2005, 10:11 AM
Ecco shoes are great, as are 1803. Mephisto's are unaffordable, but awesome.

I love Ecco shoes, too, but I think they are also very expensive to the point of being almost unafforable, as well. I do own three pairs of Eccos which I've purchased over the course of the last ten years, but they cost me a fortune, even on sale. I don't know if I would spend that much again in the future.

BTW, I have a friend that just started wearing NB 820's and he said the soles are already starting to wear out after just three outings. Is durability a problem with this shoe? I haven't tried them on, but they just don't look all that comfortable to me holding them in my hands. Maybe because they are so light, I just imagine they must not have much support nor cushioning?

Marius_Hancu
03-12-2005, 12:25 PM
ask him to build 3/8" heel lifts into the insoles out of a firm material...my guy used a hard type of felt and feathered and tapered the heel lift so it was very comfortable..i was out the door for 20 bucks....wear these in the course of your day and when you play tennis....they keep your achilles from hyperextending on the vertical axis and may be all you need if you dont supinate or pronate to much..they really do take alot of the stress off the achilles ..they do wear out afer a while and then you repeat the process in some other insoles from your new shoes.

this is a great point ...

indeed, without having the direct experience, I feel that for the people with Achilles problems, the heel should be slightly raised to reduce the stress

fedex27
03-12-2005, 02:13 PM
any diadora

dennis1188
03-17-2005, 01:19 AM
Are you sure about playing so soon? I had the surgery when I was 35 yrs. old (injuryed in a tennis tournament). After 4 1/2 months in a full above the knee leg-cast, the leg was just 'all bone' no muscle. Only after lots of rehab (ultrasound, heated waxwrap, hydro-water therapy, stretching, kneebends,wobbleboard,low impact rebound exercises. Approx. 6 months after the surgery before I got back to playing. Now many years later, I now follow a careful stretching routine w/warm shower to the legs before playing sports.
I always wear ASO ankle supports, thk. thoro socks, adidas barricade 2 or c10 prince shoes w/ ultra insoles. GOOD LUCK!

spam
03-17-2005, 05:26 AM
Try Asics-low cutaway at the back helped my tendonitis more than orthotics,also stretching tendon before and ice after.

NoBadMojo
03-17-2005, 07:56 AM
i cant stress enough how stretching a damaged achilles tendon may actually make the condition worse unless done very gently and for a very short period of time..after all, it is the hyperextending (stretching) of the tendon that caused the problem to begin with..i would certainly never do any weight bearing stretching like toe raises on the edge of a step or something similar where the tendon is supporting your weight

Brad Bartlett
03-17-2005, 12:16 PM
So here is an update. Went to Doctor and now officially off crutches. Suegery was January 11th. Until Tuesday I was in the boot BUT STILL ON CRUTCHES, just a lite strike with my left foot. Remember I was in a full cast for 7 weeks. I am walking great with little pain, putting neosporin on my incession and taking a shower without a trash bag on my leg. Ah, the simple things in life. Yes, I am wanting sooooooooo bad to get out and hit..........just balls dropped , no live action. But I am waiting until April 5th. That is when I am suppose to start theorpy. The boot is fine and I am going to the gym 4 days a week, but only for upper body and sit ups.......AND THE HOT TUB.................it feels so good right now...........you have no idea on how great it feels. Now the club keeps it at 109 degree's...........too hot for normal people.............but here in Dallas it is already warm and it feels great.
I can see how Hingis got tricked into thinking that you can come back early...............I feel right now like I could go out and hit today..............but MENTALLY I am a bit scared. And this is good. I am gonna wait until April 5th ..............that will be 13 weeks......and see if he will let me hit dropped balls..............I have this vision of improving my topspin......
We shall see.........I bought two pair of the NB CT1001 from Tennis Warehouse.........I have worn the right one around................I like it.......but my K Swiss were too big.........so I am gonna try them first...........the NB.......and get back with everyone.................AND YES.....MO JO......................I am getting fitted for custom orthotics. :)

NoBadMojo
03-17-2005, 01:00 PM
good good brad, just dont let them talk you into some gel or soft orthotics and you can actually get custom made ones online by a real doctor for perhaps alot less than you can thru your local guy..i think mine were about $150 for the pair. they send you these foam boxes you stand in which makes an exact imprint of your feet..you send the box back, and a couple weeks later orthotics show up at your door.there seems to be so many varied opinions on orthotics in the medical community amoung the sports physicians. let me know if you would like the info on where i got mine...full length light weight full length sports orthotics with rigid heel lifts built in..i also had them attach neoprene insoles to them so tey are easy to move from shoe to shoe and never slide on you..if they tell you to get the ones with leather those weigh a ton..so gel and leather=no good

spam
03-18-2005, 02:52 AM
Ed my tendonitis was caused by the sheath of the tendon rubbing against the back of a high back shoe.Stretching in this instance is important physio wise because the achillies has such a relatively low blood supply.Obviously I wouldnt recommend stretching a ruptured or torn achillies.

Brad Bartlett
03-18-2005, 10:54 AM
Good, I totally agree. I live in Dallas, and going to a guy that makes them speical, not even the do it yourself or the send away kind. For $229.00 you get the full boat treatment. Takes 4 weeks, and I got the time right now.
can move from shoe to shoe etc. Going today at 4:00 pm...............wish me luck.

Ronaldo
03-18-2005, 03:51 PM
Well, if you need a constant achilles stretch, http://www.earth.us/Spring05shoedetail.asp?Gender=men&cat=casuals&ID=555

Brad Bartlett
03-19-2005, 09:24 AM
All I can tell you is that I was having NO problem. Felt nothing before it happened. Here is how my memory recalls the exact occurance. Remember 51 year old 4.5, Playing a USTA Seniors Match, line 3 doubles. Had one the first set 6-1 and up 4-1 in the second. Honestly not a tough match. I am playin the duce court, guys serves to me , I return cross court, he hits cross court back, I take one step forward and I hear what I think is a gun shot, like a 22 rifle or a car in the distance backfire, and then just a fireball in my lower leg. My mind told me at first a tennis ball had hit me in the back of the leg or a baseball hitting me ???? in the back of the leg. I took one step and fell flat on my face. Could not get up. Guys on the court next too me hear the snap..........????.......... Team mate and opponunts helped me to the bench......................just a fire in my leg just below the calf. Ok, so how bad is this...............my shot was a winner so now we are up 5-1 and the guys who hear the snap on the next court are loosing, so I GOT OUT AND STAND AT THE NET WHILE MY PARTNER SERVES FOR THE MATCH AND WINS.
DID NOT go to the hospital that day, tough guy I am and thought it might just be a calf strain, but the next morning.................leg.......black and blue..................swollen..................... heel BLACK........
Went to Emergency room after calling a doctor on the plan and he did the Thompson Test...........lay on tummy and presses on your calf..........no response....
Surgery next day, Dr. says mine was shredded...........no a clean break...........from overuse over the years...............NOTHING I COULD HAVE DONE TO PREVENT IT...............could have happend walking the Mall

BreakPoint
03-19-2005, 10:42 AM
That's scary Bart! No warning and just one day...SNAP!!! Sorry to hear and sounds awfully painful. Just hope it never happens to me. But now I'm afraid to get on the court or to even get up off my butt to walk to the bathroom. I hope it heals fast for you. Good luck!

Brad Bartlett
03-21-2005, 10:51 AM
Now you know why I am wearing DEPENDS...........................heheheheh

dickstick
03-21-2005, 05:37 PM
If you can find a pair of Wilson DST 02's on the web, give them a try. I am baby boomer too, with one former ruptured achilles and both occasionally suffered tendonitis. But this shoe, which TENNIS rated #1 several years back (2002?), provides incredible support in the heel area, with no pronation, plus just enough cushioning, ventilation, and correction flex point. Average weight. Good wearing sole. I am not a wilson fan, but a made a bee-line to buy a second pair. When i am thinking about it, i also combine these with Thorlo sox.