slip-ons / clogs / slippers for achilles tendon support?
May 21, 2019 11:00 AM   Subscribe

First thing in the morning I have achilles tendon stiffness and pain at the back of my ankles, just above my heels (like where an ankle bracelet would rest) ; it quickly abates as I walk around a bit, but I don't want it to get worse. Dr. Google says it's probably (encroaching? mild?) Achilles Tendonitis, and I need better slippers / home shoes to provide support. Looking for suggestions if you have experienced similar (and particularly wondering if Birkenstock Amsterdam Clogs would provide the necessary).

In my case, this is probably due to aging, plus wearing a lot of flat shoes and sandals with little/no arch (or any other) support (not from wearing high heels), and tight calf muscles (rather than over-exercise). And I do have a pretty high arch.

But on to the quest! I need slipper type shoes for the house, and since I work from home, this means what I will be wearing most of the day. I usually wear light, flat mules or moccasins with a fairly minimal rubber sole (light enough to easily slip on and off, but can also step outside if needed). What I'm reading is that these flat soles are a "no," and that I need arch support and cushioning. I'd prefer something backless, and I don't like the heavy clog aesthetic with the turned up toe part (like Danskos); I'd like to avoid leather, but don't like plastic / rubber, like Crocs. I DO quite like the minimal design, felted wool and cork sole of these Birkenstock Amsterdams, but don't know if they are helpful for my problem (and have never tried them for comfort).

Most of my searching comes up with solutions for athletes, runners, etc., so I'm wondering if anyone here has ideas or experience to share. Also, I'm in EU so some brands may not be easily available. Thank you for any suggestions or info!
posted by taz to Shopping (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
For me the best thing to wear around the house for this sort of pain, I hate to say, are ugly, horrible, Crocs. Nothing else I've tried work as well for my foot and ankle troubles and plantars fasciitis. In my experience Birkenstock-like shoes are too hard and don't provide the same relief from pain. Definitely not fake Crocs either, as they have crap support.
posted by fimbulvetr at 11:25 AM on May 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

Ugh, yes, the answer is Crocs. I have dealt with both plantar fasciitis and a neuroma and the goddamn answer is Crocs in the house. Some of them are less ugly than others, is the best I can say about them.
posted by BlahLaLa at 11:57 AM on May 21, 2019 [2 favorites]

My feet (and knees and ankles) get cranky without arch support, and I love my Birkenstocks and live in them when it’s warmer. They’re likely to work for you.

In case the above comments have swayed you from your anti-Croc stance but you still prefer the Birkenstock aesthetic, Birkenstock offers a few styles in a Croc-like material. They’re lighter and squishier than traditional Birks.

Arch support sleeves, either barefoot or worn with less-supportive slippers, might be a good alternative for around the house.
posted by Metroid Baby at 12:08 PM on May 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Worishofer's granny shoes are very, very comfortable.
posted by pinochiette at 12:44 PM on May 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

is there a reason your shoes need to be slippers specifically? There are lots of shoes out there that are easy to take on and off, but still enable you to put an arch support insert in.

By the way, I got rid of the same (crippling) pain just by eventually finding the correct arch supports. In my case, that involved trying tons of different ones. Eventually I figured out that supports meant for men's shoe sizes actually work for me, whereas the women's sizes I was trying originally turned out to have the arch in the wrong place for my specific foot shape.
posted by twoplussix at 12:46 PM on May 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Just came in to say that if you don't like Crocs, I have bad news for you, as the possessor of feet that need support and concrete floors - Crocs are the answer. The good news is that they make a lot of styles now, so you can get some fashionable flip flops if that is your speed (mine are similar to these). I also have a pair of the fuzz-lined ones for winter.
posted by Medieval Maven at 12:56 PM on May 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I dunno about Crocs, but my about-the-house shoes for my plantar fasciitis are Stedman wool clogs with cork soles. Plenty comfortable and good arch support.
posted by suelac at 2:32 PM on May 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Nthing crocs. I have a fleece-lined pair of clogs for the cooler months, and flip flops for the warmer months.
posted by okayokayigive at 3:24 PM on May 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

I wear Easy Spirit Traveltime shoes as my slippers and replace the insole with Powerstep original insoles for some arch support.
posted by loop at 4:29 PM on May 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Spenco Siesta slides helped me a lot when I was going through a bout of plantar fasciitis. Hopefully they're available in your area, because they seem to hit all of your other requirements.
posted by queensissy at 4:34 PM on May 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

Alegria makes great sandals for arch support in a variety of styles and materials. One might work for you. I have the feet of a nurse and Alegria is my go-to for shoes.
posted by SyraCarol at 6:36 PM on May 21, 2019 [3 favorites]

Giesswein offers similar support and additional footbed options for more of it in their houseshoes and lodge shoes.
posted by jocelmeow at 8:20 AM on May 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Birkenstocks with the "soft" footbed helped me with my plantar fasciitis.
posted by sarcasticah at 8:50 AM on May 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

(Just to clarify quickly, I don't have plantar fasciitis; the lower part of my achilles tendon at the bottom of the back of my leg / top of the back of my ankle is stiff and somewhat painful in the mornings until I "warm up" a bit by normal walking for a few minutes. I just don't want it to get worse, so I figure I need to step up my daily footwear game.)
posted by taz at 10:22 AM on May 22, 2019

I think we're just noting the plantar fasciitis thing because that also has a "needs to stretch the Achilles tendon" component.
posted by queensissy at 10:56 AM on May 22, 2019 [2 favorites]

Ah! Okay, thanks for that info!
posted by taz at 12:04 PM on May 22, 2019 [1 favorite]

Update: I tried the Amsterdams, and they aren't right for my feet (toe area too wide, upper part over my arch too tight, and I don't feel much arch support, I guess because my arches are too high. I like the look and material of the Giessweins, but they are quite pricey (likewise some other suggestions, like the Spenco Siesta, with shipping). I'll be checking for possible sales, though. I've found some Arcopedicos on sale online, which I may try out (similar to these), but I'll probably bow to the inevitable and get some crocs. At least I'll get some plushlined ones, so if I have to go ugly, at least I can go luxe ugly! (I actually have had crocs in the past, and just didn't really like the feeling of the plastic on my feet.)

Thank you all very much for your ideas, and I'm still interested in suggestions!
posted by taz at 1:08 PM on May 23, 2019

... Time passes. SO. What happened. About a month after posting this I slipped on a wet tile floor and broke my ankle and banged up my already bad knee. (Lesson: never bathe your dog)

The thing is, I had ordered a pair of Crocs as advised, and it took forever and when they finally came, the place got the size wrong, and I had to re-order the right size, so I should have already had them, and probably wouldn't have slipped if I did. But after this (when I was finally able to put weight on the foot), I wore the Crocs on one foot with my boot cast on the other because it was the right height to work with the cast, and then continued with the Crocs after the cast and/or boot were off. And basically, I've worn nothing but Crocs since then. And the achilles tendon pain has totally disappeared, and eventually my knee pain (that existed before I even fell and hurt it worse) disappeared, too, plus some off-and-on (nerve?) pain in the ball of my foot never happens with the Crocs.

So I have to say that the Ask Mefi advice on this was absolutely correct. Not that no other shoes could do the same, but the Crocs definitely did the trick. I have several pairs now, and the most comfortable for me are the Crocs Classic Mammoth Luxe (furry!), and the new LiteRide clog (which is more attractive than most of the Crocs clogs, I think).
posted by taz at 1:23 AM on February 18

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