After extensive research, I discovered the best running shoe for peroneal tendonitis to be the Saucony Cohesion 14 thanks to its high drop, ample cushioning, and secure fit.
But it took some serious research.
As a former college athlete, I thought I had heard of every type of lower body injury, but peroneal tendonitis was one that was new to me. Maybe because less than 1% of all runners end up getting peroneal tendonitis.
Or maybe because I had it and just thought I was recovering from an ankle sprain.
Whatever the case, although not prevalent in terms of the number of cases diagnosed, peroneal tendonitis can be extremely nasty to deal with if you get it. With the right shoe and proper stretching, you should recover on your own in about a month. But if not, the condition can linger and may lead to surgery.
So while we can’t help you with the stretching aspect, we have you covered with the shoes. As mentioned, we like the Cohesion 14 for its overall feature set, but there are some other great options that came up in our research that can offer the drop, stability, and security necessary to overcome this condition.
Keep reading to find out about all of the best running shoes for peroneal tendonitis!
The Best Running Shoes for Peroneal Tendonitis Reviewed
Our top shoes for peroneal tendonitis reviewed.
Best Overall – Saucony Cohesion 14
The Saucony Cohesion 14 has everything you want to see from a shoe to help alleviate peroneal tendonitis: outstanding drop, ample cushioning, and an extremely secure fit.
At 12mm, the heel-to-toe drop is one of the highest on the market and will limit the amount the foot has to flex during strides. This makes it much less likely than more level shoes to aggravate the condition.
The VERSARUN midsole is extremely well cushioned, providing maximum shock absorption and reducing the risk of acute symptoms. This ample cushioning also naturally helps promote heel strikes, which will alleviate symptoms as well.
Finally, despite the lightweight and breathable upper, this shoe provides a remarkably snug and secure fit, reducing the risk of slippage that may result in an injury that sets back your recovery. Specifically, runners like how securely this shoe wraps from the forefoot to the midfoot, improving lateral stability and reducing the risk of rolling an ankle.
- One of the best drops on the market
- Well-cushioned VERSARUN midsole
- Lightweight and breathable
- Very competitive price point
- Isn’t a great shoe for high speeds
- Some runners don’t like the durability
Most Comfortable – Brooks Glycerin 19
As is the case when recovering from most types of injuries, highly cushioned shoes are generally the best option as they lower impact and reduce the risk of feeling symptoms. To this effect, you can’t get much better than the Brooks Glycerin 19.
With an increased amount of Brooks’ proprietary DNA-LOFT midsole cushioning, this shoe leaves the runner feeling like they are floating on air. However, despite the increased cushioning and shock absorption, runners don’t feel like their stability is compromised–a critical aspect of not re-injuring the damaged peroneal tendons.
- Industry-leading cushioning
- Impressive drop at 10mm
- Many runners love the durability
- Some runners feel this shoe runs small and contributes to blisters
- Much more expensive than other options on this list
Best Heel Support – Asics Gel-Nimbus 23
As you will read in greater detail in our buying guide, one critical aspect of alleviating peroneal tendonitis is choosing a shoe that has good heel support. You really need a strong heel counter to eliminate foot slippage and prevent flare-ups.
With this in mind, the Asics Gel-Nimbus 23 provides some of the best heel support on the market. Although this shoe tops many lists as a high-comfort shoe for recovering from various types of injuries, we like it here for its heel clutching system that keeps the ankle and heel secure and reduces the risk of further sprains.
- Asics Flytefoam midsole technology provides excellent cushion
- Solid drop of 10mm
- GEL technology in the heel makes for even greater shock absorption during heel strikes
- Although the heel clutch is stable, some runners find it uncomfortable
- Runs a bit small
Best Technology – New Balance Nitrel V4
If you are looking for a shoe that has high-tech features at every corner, look no further than the New Balance Nitrel V4.
It uses DynaSoft midsole technology to guarantee a responsive ride and high-level cushioning–both beneficial features for peroneal tendonitis. However, to further increase comfort, they add an EVA insole for extra padding.
This shoe also uses an engineered mesh upper with no-sew overlays that help to provide support around the top of the foot without making it too restrictive.
Finally, the AT Tread outsole makes this shoe more durable than other shoes on the list. As such, the Nitrel V4 is likely the best option for trail runners who don’t want to miss a beat while battling peroneal tendonitis.
- DynaSoft midsole
- EVA insole
- Durable and high-traction outsole
- Not the most flexible shoe
- 8mm drop is good but not great compared to other shoes on this list
Best for Wide Feet – Mizuno Wave Rider 25
Although a wide toe box may not necessarily be the best thing for recovering from peroneal tendonitis, those people with wide feet or who suffer from bunions are going to need some extra space.
With this in mind, the Mizuno Wave Rider 25 offers the necessary space in the forefoot while also providing all of the other requisites for peroneal tendonitis relief.
The Enerzy Foam midsole provides the cushion you want to see, and the 12mm drop is right there with the best in the industry. And despite the spacious toe box, the upper is engineered in a way that the shoe remains tight-fitting and highly supportive, so runners don’t have to fear rolling an ankle.
- Extra room in the toe box without reduced stability
- Outstanding drop
- Lightweight yet durable
- A little on the expensive side
- Some runners don’t feel this shoe runs true to size
Buying Guide – Things to Consider When Buying Shoes for Peroneal Tendonitis
Generally, the best running shoes for peroneal tendonitis will have the same types of characteristics found in shoes for other types of tendonitis–ample cushioning, high heel-to-toe drop, and plenty of flexibility. However, it is not a carbon copy across the board, so let’s dig into some things to consider for battling peroneal tendonitis.
Although there is some debate on the subject, most research shows that forefoot and midfoot strikers are more likely to develop peroneal tendonitis than heel strikers.
The thought is that too much plantarflexion and eversion (outward rotation of the foot during strides) can contribute to peroneal tendonitis, and forefoot and midfoot strikers do this more than heel strikers.
As one of the characteristics of a good running shoe for heel strikers is a high drop, you should look for the same when battling peroneal tendonitis. Although anything over 5mm is usually considered high drop, try to find shoes that have between 8 to 12mm.
Not only will this allow for a more gentle rocking motion during strides that will put the peroneal tendons under less stress, but the high heel stack will help alleviate shock that will contribute to acute pain.
As with most running shoes purchased with an eye toward injury recovery, ample cushioning is a must when recovering from peroneal tendonitis.
Not only will increased cushioning in the midsole help absorb shock, but it will likely increase responsiveness and provide bounceback so the outside of your foot is not working so hard.
Peroneal tendonitis is more prevalent in runners with high arches. Without the proper arch support in their running shoes, those with high arches may:
- Feel the impact from strides throughout their lower extremities
- Have overpronation (inward rolling of the foot) issues
- Have poor running posture and stability
- Increase the pressure on their plantar fascia
As each of these issues can either directly or indirectly lead to peroneal tendonitis, it is best to look for shoes that have sufficient arch support.
Any sliding of the heel during strides will result in increased strain on the peroneal tendons.
Therefore, it is best to look for shoes that have an effective heel counter. This is a little plastic insert that cups the heel and increases support. It holds the heel in place, locks it into the shoe, and anchors against the midsole, guaranteeing that the foot is not sliding around in the shoe and reducing strain on the peroneal tendons.
When battling peroneal tendonitis, you do not want your foot encountering too much resistance. Therefore, shoes with firm midsoles and hard rubber outsoles should be avoided in favor of more flexible options that provide some give. Look for blown rubber outsoles that have some exposed midsole foam to optimize flexibility and not aggravate your peroneal tendonitis.
Design Features of a Good Running Shoe for Peroneal Tendonitis
Now that you know a little bit about what to look for in running shoes for your peroneal tendonitis, let’s take a look and see how the specific design features of the shoe can help with the condition.
Typically, a lightweight, breathable mesh upper with an ample toe box are highly desirable features in a running shoe.
And while these aren’t necessarily bad features for those suffering from peroneal tendonitis, this is one case where you might actually want a little more substance in the upper.
Less restrictive uppers allow for more toe splaying, which is usually a very good thing, as it allows the runner to strengthen the proprioceptive muscles in the top of the foot and ankle.
However, as peroneal tendonitis is a condition that specifically affects these areas, too much toe splaying may actually aggravate your symptoms. As mentioned, plantarflexion and eversion can cause pain for those with peroneal tendonitis, and roomy toe boxes with lightweight or elastic upper materials can make it easy for the runner to perform these motions.
While you definitely don’t want your upper to be so restrictive that it leads to blisters or causes you to alter your gait, you probably want to look at something with a little extra stitching and reinforcement in the upper so that your forefoot isn’t moving around too much–at least in the early stages of the condition.
Once your symptoms start to abate, then you can consider moving to something a little more liberating to gradually build back strength in the affected area.
You definitely want to choose a shoe with a good amount of cushioning in the midsole. Look for shoes that have advanced EVA or TPU foam as opposed to more outdated materials that are harder and more closely resemble rubber.
Ideally, you will want a forefoot stack between 30-32mm and a heel stack between 36-38mm to get the desired amount of drop.
Also look for midsoles that employ the popular rocker design. This is a recommended midsole design for those recovering from injuries because it allows runners to “rock” through their strides, ensuring less violent foot strikes that would irritate the condition.
It is best to avoid solid rubber outsoles when coming back from this condition. While highly durable, it will be less forgiving during strides and may cause the runner to feel pain from the tendonitis more acutely.
However, you don’t want a completely soft outsole because enough traction is necessary to ensure that you don’t slip and make the problem worse. Therefore, the best outsoles for peroneal tendonitis will feature a nice blend of blown rubber and exposed midsole foam to ensure the perfect balance between traction, durability, and flexibility.
In addition, as it is best to use heel strikes when recovering from this condition, look for shoes that have a curved heel. This will give the runner more surface area to spread out the impact of each foot strike and facilitate the rolling motion through the toe.
A selection of the most common questions regarding peroneal tendonitis.
What Is Peroneal Tendonitis?
Peroneal tendonitis is inflammation of the tendons that run along your outer ankle bone and the side of your foot. There are two peroneal tendons, and they connect the muscles in your lower leg to the bones in your foot.
If you lift your toes to the ceiling, some people can feel the peroneal tendons on the outside of their ankle bone. They help stabilize and balance your foot and ankle.
What Causes Peroneal Tendonitis?
Peroneal tendonitis is generally an overuse injury. However, it can also be caused by acute injuries, such as an ankle sprain. The tendons or the lubricated sheath beneath them swell, making it difficult for the tendons to move smoothly.
It is also more common in people over 40, those who don’t stretch before running, have high arches in their feet, and are overweight.
How Do I Know If I Have Peroneal Tendonitis?
You may have peroneal tendonitis if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Ankle pain along the outside of the ankle
- Ankle pain that gets worse with vigorous activity
- Swelling, redness, or warmth around the peroneal tendons
- A mass or nodule that moves with your peroneal tendons
Due to its relatively low occurrence and the fact that its symptoms closely resemble those of an ankle sprain, peroneal tendonitis is often overlooked, so it is good for you to know the symptoms and broach them with your physician.
In Conclusion: The Best Running Shoes for Peroneal Tendonitis
If you have searing pain down the outside of your ankle that gets worse when you run, you may be battling peroneal tendonitis.
To help you recover from the condition, you need a running shoe that is up to the task.
We have identified the Saucony Cohesion 14 as the best overall for peroneal tendonitis thanks to its impressive balance of drop, cushioning, and security. But the Brooks Glycerin 19 is a great choice for the most cushioned option, while the Mizuno Wave Rider 25 is the top pick for those with wide feet.
Whatever your preference, don’t let peroneal tendonitis slow you down and use one of these shoes to help eradicate your symptoms!