Are Kuru Shoes Best For Achilles Tendonitis?

Achilles Tendonitis is difficult to treat, however finding the right shoe can make all the difference to your symptoms. Kuru shoes have focused their brand on delivering comfortable and supportive shoes, but are they right for people suffering Achilles Tendonitis?

The team at Click Physiotherapy have sampled a few varieties of Kuru footwear with the objective goal of writing a fair review on their ability to relieve symptoms of Achilles Tendonitis. (Disclaimer: These shoes were provided by Kuru footwear, nevertheless this review is strictly impartial)

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Before getting into the exact details of each shoe, it’s necessary to take a quick look about what Achilles Tendonitis is, and what we know of treatment already.

What is Achilles Tendonitis

Achilles Tendonitis is a degenerative process that begins with overload to the Achilles Tendon. Often this might look like doing a weekend hike when your body isn’t used to this activity. Or getting into a sport, where you haven’t trained for a few years.

Runners are also prone to Achilles Tendonitis if they increase their running load too quickly.

When extra force is applied to the Achilles Tendon, it reacts and over time if this isn’t addressed there will be changes that happen in the tendon like thickening.

Think of a rubber band being repetitively stretched, if it is continuously stretched too far it will eventually start to lose its elasticity and might snap. Similarly, if the Achilles tendon is overloaded it will become sore.

The hallmark symptom of Achilles Tendonitis is pain or stiffness in the morning.

Achilles Tendonitis is usually reversable without surgery. If the tendon is left without any treatment the tendon structure will start to change. Pain can still be managed although there could be permanent changes to the tendon. This would usually look like a lump or bump on the tendon.

What is treatment for Achilles Tendonitis

There are many ways you can treat the Achilles Tendon. If in the early stages of Achilles Tendonitis the tendon will respond well to strategies like taping, heel lifts, braces and sometimes massage.

The main treatment for Achilles Tendonitis will always be exercise and managing the excess load through the tendon. This will help to re-align the fibres inside the tendon and can help with tendon thickening and the tendon structure. Exercises like calf raises will be prescribed to load the tendon slowly over time.

Supportive shoes can also be helpful for a recovering tendon. These can change the load going through the Achilles and some patients find that the right shoe will make all the difference to their symptoms. It is also true that orthotics or heel lifts can both change the load going through the Achilles tendon.

Overview Of Kuru Shoes

Kuru shoes each have a supportive orthotic built into the shoe themselves. This means you don’t have to worry about buying your own orthotics and placing it into the shoes.

We know through research into orthotics that it doesn’t matter if the orthotic design is custom or just pre-fabricated, both will have the same affect with Achilles Tendonitis.

They also suggest their shoes are supportive, that they reduce stress on the Achilles Tendon, and that they are comfortable. Below we have given an overview of some designs we tested, with our thoughts on whether they would be useful for Achilles Tendonitis.

Kuru Flux for Achilles Tendonitis

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Kuru flux offers some trendy designs which in our opinion really do look good as a casual shoe. They have some great colour combinations including mashups of simple tones.

The shoe is lightweight and easy to slip on and off. They have laces however these are more for aesthetics as the shoe is designed to hug the foot and you simply slide the foot in or out.

Heel drop is an important measure in shoes for Achilles Tendonitis because this impacts how high the heel sits compared to the toes. In the flux model this drop-off is 8mm, we would usually recommend between 10-12mm.

Wearing experience

We were genuinely impressed the first time these shoes were slipped on. The orthotic insole hugged your foot, and you could really feel the immediate affect on your walking pattern.

The foam cushioning helped to relieve impact as your heel hit the ground and they felt very comfortable to walk even long distances.

Due to the laces being aesthetic there was just one seamless line of material covering the whole foot which felt almost like a sock.

The downside of the Flux model was that they put pressure on the back of the heel, hugging it as you walked. This pressure on the heel is something to avoid if you have Insertional Achilles Tendonitis.

This shoe also looked like it would be good for running, however there wasn’t a very firm heel cup and not much forefoot flex. For these reasons we would recommend the flux model for a casual shoe and not a runner.

Would we recommend Kuru Flux for Achilles Tendonitis

The Kuru Flux shoe was comfortable and supportive. It would be a great choice for mid-substance Achilles Tendonitis. This shoe would not be recommended for Insertional Achilles Tendonitis where the pain is right at the base of your heel.

Kuru ATOM for Achilles Tendonitis

Click Here To Buy Kuru ATOM


The ATOM design is arguably the best looking of all the KURU shoe models. They are a great combination of casual streetwear and jogger. A sleek design which comes in several staple colours, although none that are bright or too unique.

This design is like the FLUX model in that you can slip in or out of the shoe without bothering about the laces, however tightening these laces will give you a more snug fit.

The ATOM comes with a firmer heel cup and a heel drop of 8mm which is slightly under what we would usually recommend. The toe area of the shoe is very roomy and should work well to accommodate wider feet.

Wearing Experience

The ATOM also boasts a pre-fitted orthotic which really adds to the walking experience. Your feet arches feel supported, but the orthotic isn’t overly intrusive. After a while you barely notice its there until you put on another shoe again.

The firm heel cup and laces which tighten add to the stability of the shoe and makes it good for more all-round activities and even the casual basketball game etc.

Although branded as a casual jogging shoe, the forefoot is quite rigid, and the sole of the shoe is reasonably flat. For these reasons we wouldn’t recommend jogging any length of distance however they would do for short durations.

Overall the ATOM is a very comfortable shoe which is suitable in most casual situations and very comfortable even if you have to stand on your feet most of the day.

Would we recommend Kuru ATOM for Achilles Tendonitis

The ATOM is a comfortable choice that offers good stability and protection. These could be a good option to try for both Mid-substance or Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy.

Other Kuru shoes choices

Kuru shoes have many other choices that we were unable to sample. Contoured flip-flops and sandals can work similarly to orthotics, so if you have trouble with closed in shoes – these could be an option to trial. Based on the samples that were available, we are fairly confident the other footwear would have similar quality and comfort.


Kuru shoes stand out as a comfortable yet supportive shoe.

Due to the pre-built foot orthotic in the shoe it would be difficult to trial heel lifts which have evidence to relieve short term Achilles pain, although they do come with a drop of 8mm pre-built.

There are some designs that would be worth trialling for Achilles Tendonitis. Keep in mind, everyone will prefer different shoes so they may not have positive effects for everyone.


Munteanu SE, Scott LA, Bonanno DR, Landorf KB, Pizzari T, Cook JL, Menz HB. Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Br J Sports Med. 2015 Aug;49(15):989-94. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2014-093845. Epub 2014 Sep 22. PMID: 25246441.

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