Best Shoes for Extensor Tendonitis

Extensor tendonitis is one of the most common foot problems, caused by a range of mistakes like sudden movements, imbalanced movement, and prolonged foot motion. It is also one of the most painful ones and, if not handled well with supportive and comfortable shoes, it will limit your foot movement and even spread to the leg and lower back.

However, finding the best shoes for it can be quite difficult because, to fight extensor tendonitis, the shoes will need to support the whole foot, including the arch, heel, and ankle.

But you don’t need to worry because I have scoured the internet to build a list of what I consider to be the best shoes for extensor tendonitis; three for men and two for women.

For further help, I have also included the criteria that I used to shortlist the products and my insights into some of the most important questions.

Key Criteria & Technical Features

How I Shortlisted the Best Product for Reason

Before moving on to the best products, I think it will be highly beneficial for you to know the precise criteria I used to find these shoes. By keeping these factors in mind, you will be able to find shoes that not only support the various parts of the feet but also prevent further damage and allow more stability as well as balance, hence helping fight extensor tendonitis.

1. Midsole & Insole

The most important consideration for choosing the best shoes would be the midsole and insole. For one, these should include ample cushioning and padding that helps support the arch as well as the heel and tendons, hence preventing further tension in the foot muscles.

These should be extremely lightweight as well so that your feet don’t have to carry a lot of weight. They might also include additional features like moisture-wicking abilities that help prevent damage to your feet due to moisture. Anti-microbial properties also help prevent various foot diseases.

Both of these should also be able to prevent odor and help align your feet so that the tendon muscles’ movement is limited, and, therefore, their healing is enhanced further. I would highly suggest getting an Ortholite insole as this will be able to better support your feet but, if it doesn’t fit your needs, you will be able to replace it with a better one easily too.

2. Support & Protection

Another important factor is the support and protection and this is affected by various parts, including the upper, outsole, and midsole. The upper should be flexible enough to reduce the stressing up of the muscles while breathability will help reduce the constriction. However, the more breathable they are, the lower the waterproofing will be.

Therefore, you will have to evaluate your needs and see whether you need more protection or support. The upper should also be able to expel moisture well and be well-insulated to prevent damage from heat and cold.

The outsole, on the other hand, should include a heel or some other feature to better support the heel muscles. Moreover, this should feature great waterproofing to protect the feet from external elements. Shock absorbance will also help reduce the tension in the tendon muscles, hence boosting extensor tendonitis recovery.

The midsole, as mentioned before, should feature amazing cushioning and padding. It should also be replaceable and moisture-wicking. Lastly, you should look for additional features like a padded collar or steel toe to better support and protect your feet.

3. Outsole Features

The outsole forms a major part of the shoes, and, therefore, cannot be overlooked. This needs to be able to adequately support your feet with a stiff structure but needs to be flexible enough to reduce the tension. It, additionally, needs to be durable so that you can focus more on getting better and a tight base will help prevent any twists or slips that can further damage the tendons.

However, it should be loose enough to provide the well-needed comfort too. Also, I would suggest that you make sure the shoes provide enough lateral and vertical movement and that you don’t feel trapped within. All this will greatly help reduce the stress within your tendon muscles, thus allowing you to recover notably faster.

In addition to that, the outsole needs to be shock-absorbent because any sudden impacts can cause the tendons to tear apart further, causing major problems. A rough texture will also add traction and grip, hence preventing injuries through slips that can cause more foot problems.

I would highly suggest rubber outsoles as they do well in most areas but there are better choices than that even.

4. Weight & Fitting

The weight will directly affect the tension placed upon the tendons, and, therefore, is quite important. For this, however, you will need to evaluate precisely what you’ll be using the shoes for, at what time, and for how long you’ll be wearing them. Normally, the more rugged the terrain and the longer the time, the lighter you’ll need them to be or they will cause fatigue.

For the fitting, you’ll first need to make sure that the upper is flexible enough to allow comfort and support. Other than that, the heel area should be deep and the toe box should be wide too. In case you have wide feet, shoes with an outrigger will be perfect for you and you should also make sure that the width and vertical length between the upper and midsole are adequate.

The pair also needs to include additional features that allow the shoes to grip your feet tightly, hence limiting movement. Lastly, I would suggest that you check whether there is ample space for socks as well and whether the materials expand in particular conditions.

Other Considerations

While considering the factors above will help you find great shoes, to find the best ones, you will have to look for some additional features. For one, there should be additional stitching features like Goodyear Welt Construction for durability while modern lacing systems like BOA will also be a plus.

You might also look for additional liners that can help with waterproofing or insulation. Additionally, the shoes can include spikes or other outsole features for traction, and heel cup technology can help improve the protection. There are also some brands that provide refitting and replacement services, which have proven to be quite beneficial.

Furthermore, any guarantees or warranties will help ensure trust and be proof of great-quality shoes. Lastly, you should consider wearability. Meaning, you should consider whether the shoes are set apart for any particular event or environmental conditions or if they can be worn at most, if not all, times.

product reviews

The 5 Best Shoes for Extensor Tendonitis

Moving to the best shoes for extensor tendonitis, I have divided this list into two sections for ease of access, one for men’s products while the other includes the best women’s shoes.

The price of the products ranges from around £42 ($59 approx.) to £275.75 ($391 approx.) and, when shortlisting them, I considered the factors mentioned above. For all of them, I made sure a range of additional features was available to select from as well, including FootShape, Stabiloid, GuideRail, FormFit technology, 3D Fit Print, no-sew foils, CloudTec, DuPont Sorona, and CleansportNXT.


Altra Men’s Paradigm 4.5 Running Shoes

This first pair is full of impressive features that can greatly help with extensor tendonitis. For one, the innovative design features the FootShape comfort that provides additional space, hence allowing comfort throughout the recovery process.

The well-balanced cushioning is also positioned great, supporting the heel and the forefoot, hence encouraging a better form, proper alignment, and low impact. The Altra Ego foam, on the other hand, is designed to provide additional energy return as well as a responsive and soft feel, in turn helping improve performance.

Best Shoes for Extensor Tendonitis - Altra Men’s Paradigm 4.5 Running Shoes

In addition to all that, the GuideRail feature works like a supportive highway guide rail and promotes natural foot placement, hence helping improve the foot structure and ease up the tendon muscles. The shoes also include the Stabiloid feature which, as the name suggests, is a stabilizing tripod that enhances the natural stability zones to prevent pronation or excessive foot collapse.

Furthermore, these shoes feature the 5 mm Sculpted Footbed that is extremely supportive and comfortable, and, therefore, helps improve the tendons’ structure. The knitted upper, with amazing breathability and flexibility, is equally impressive and, by reducing the tension, helps fight not just extensor tendonitis but various other foot problems as well.


  • ✅  FootShape feature, combined with the Altra Foam, helps improve the comfort.
  • ✅  The 5 mm Sculpted Footbed is highly supportive and comfortable.
  • ✅  Stabiloid feature enhances the stability zones.
  • ✅  GuideRail feature promotes natural foot placement.
  • ✅  The upper is highly breathable & flexible.



  • X    Some may find these a little heavier than competitor products.

Altra Men’s Paradigm 4.5 Running Shoes

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Saucony Ride ISO 2 Men 11.5 Grey

Successor to the Saucony Ride ISO, these shoes have improved considerably, becoming one of the best shoes for extensor tendonitis, especially for wide-footed people. Firstly, the immensely improved level of comfort through the cushioning will allow you to move for miles without any fatigue whatsoever.

In addition to that, the ISOFit upper, with the FormFit technology, is meant to keep the feet secure without constricting them, helping prevent tension and boot the recovery. The lacing system further enhances the fitting and the mesh toe box also prevents any kind of constriction. Also, the upper is sufficiently breathable and the rubber overlay provides some protection as well.

Best Shoes for Extensor Tendonitis - Saucony Ride ISO 2 Men extensor

The EVERUN topsole also provides softness and comfort while the PWRFOAM midsole absorbs the impact, thus reducing the stress in the tendons. Other than that, these shoes have particularly been complimented upon immensely improving the stability.

Moreover, these shoes are extremely flexible yet protective. The XT-900 rubber outsole features great traction and grip while also notably improving the durability of the shoes. Lastly, even though they aren’t the lightest shoes available, they do have ample added for more support and are known to last quite long.


  • ✅  Great for people with wide feet.
  • ✅  Immense support through the cushioning, upper, and padding.
  • ✅  The ISOFit Upper and FormFit technology keep the feet secure without constricting them.
  • ✅  The XT-900 rubber outsole allows stable movement and improves the durability.
  • ✅  There are other important features like wide toe box EVERUN topsole.



  • X    There are some lighter options available

Saucony Ride ISO 2 Men 11.5 Grey

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ON Men’s Cloudsurfer

With comfort and support in mind, the innovative design of these shoes I often complimented. For one, they don’t need any breaking in and provide amazing fitting, with a flexible upper, as well. Additionally, the two-layer mesh upper is extremely breathable and flexible, hence supporting the tendons better.

The inner layer also provides CloudTec cushioning which is great for the tendons while the coated toe box improves the protection. The no-sew foil also helps improve the durability immensely and the heel cage provides extensive support to the heel.

Best Shoes for Extensor Tendonitis - ON Men's Cloudsurfer extensor

On the inside, the strip running on the edges helps prevent friction and slips. The midsole and insole are also nicely cushioned for added support and the inner sock helps improve the protection and stability further. The laces also provide some stretch, hence preventing unnecessary pressure on top of the foot while the lightweight overall build reduces fatigue.

The outsole also includes an extra layer of cushioning for shock absorption, hence reducing the stress. Other than that, the is slightly unbalanced but this helps prevent striking when running. Additionally, the cloud pods help provide cushioned landings while also improving the traction as well as the grip. Lastly, they look very good and the fewer inside seams reduce the risk of chafe.


  • ✅  Cloud pods help provide cushioned landings with adequate traction.
  • ✅  The CloudTec cushioning helps provide additional support and stability.
  • ✅  No-sew foils improve the durability.
  • ✅  The two-layer mesh upper is extremely breathable and flexible.
  • ✅  The extra cushioning in the outsole improves shock-absorption.



  • X    The heel feels slightly unbalanced when walking.

ON Men’s Cloudsurfer

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Dansko Women’s Paisley Waterproof Outdoor Sneaker

In case you work in wet and cold conditions, I would highly suggest this pair. The Dansko shoes have a waterproof suede upper that has been 3M Scotchgard treated for added stain resistance. The padded tongue and collar also add to the support and comfort while the easy lace-up prevents pressure upon the tendon muscles.

The soft textile linings further improve the protection and comfort and the built-in shank enhances the stability and support immensely. Also, the durable and slip-resistant Vibram rubber outsole provides amazing traction on snow and dry surfaces alike.

Best Shoes for Extensor Tendonitis - Dansko Women's Paisley Waterproof Outdoor Sneaker extensor

In addition to all that, they feature the DuPont Sorona fiber which helps with moisture management, hence preventing various foot problems. The CleansportNXT also helps with odor control and the removable triple-density footbed adds supports in the arch, heel, and tendons, while also enhancing shock absorption. However, if it doesn’t fit your needs, you can easily replace it as well.

Furthermore, the shoes can easily accommodate most orthotics and the fitting has been appreciated often as well. Lastly, they are rather lightweight and look attractive too.


  • ✅  Waterproof suede upper with 3M Scotchgard treatment is flexible and breathable.
  • ✅  CleansportNXT helps with odor control while the DuPont Sorona fiber is great for moisture management.
  • ✅  Removable triple-density footbed adds support and can be easily replaced.
  • ✅  Vibram rubber outsole is slip-resistant and durable.



  • X    Some consider them to be water-resistant rather than waterproof.

Dansko Paisley Waterproof Outdoor Sneaker

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Brooks Women’s Adrenaline Gts 20 Sneaker

To end off, these are another incredible pair for extensor tendonitis. Firstly, the responsive BioMoGo DNA cushioning works with the DNA Loft Crash Pad work to provide extreme comfort with a touch of spring, hence helping improve shock-absorbance, and, in turn, reduce the pressure over the tendon muscles.

The GuideRails Holistic Support System is also known to help prevent injuries by keeping the excess foot movement in check. In addition to all that, the streamlined, well-engineered mesh upper includes 3D Fit Print that is extremely lightweight, flexible, durable, and breathable, everything helping boost the extensor tendonitis recovery. This also wraps around the arch and heel for a secure fit and protection.

Best Shoes for Extensor Tendonitis - Brooks Women's Adrenaline Gts 20 Sneaker extensor

The appealing design of the shoes also provides great traction and a springy toe-off for better shock-absorbance. Additionally, there are wide widths available and are available in a range of colors. Lastly, these shoes are extremely sturdy and the Achilles area is particularly well-cushioned.


  • ✅  GuideRails Holistic Support System for preventing injuries.
  • ✅  BioMoGo DNA cushioning works with DNA Loft crash Pad for comfort.
  • ✅  Mesh upper with 3d Fit Print is lightweight, durable, and breathable.
  • ✅  Wide sizes are available.
  • ✅  Particularly well-cushioned around Achilles tendon.



  • X    A few customers have said they found them slightly loosen after a while.

Brooks Women’s Adrenaline Gts 20 Sneaker

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Frequently Asked Questions

When searching the internet, I also came across the following questions and wanted to answer them before also giving some additional tips, hence helping ease your search.

1. What is extensor tendonitis?

Extensor tendonitis is often caused by continued friction between the tight shoes’ upper of lacing and the feet, which leads to inflammation. However, it can also result from continued uphill running or simply by the overuse of tendon muscles. The overuse can be during home improvement projects that require lots of moving, industrial work, various sports, or because of injuries caused by falls and slips.

During this, you’ll feel extreme pain and discomfort in the middle of the dorsal of the foot and, while this usually occurs in just one foot, it can be experienced in both feet as well. This pain will also continue to grow and potentially spread if you keep using the tendons.

The joint may also stiffen up and the muscles will also face redness, swelling, and warmth. Lastly, there’ll be a crackling noise at the affected site and you eventually won’t be able to move the joints a lot.

2. What are the best treatments for extensor tendonitis?

Because it is one of the most common foot problems, various treatments for extensor tendonitis have emerged over the years. One is the use of NSAIDs or Acetaminophen which will help reduce the pain and inflammation considerably. Along with these, you should also rest the tendon and ice it to promote blood circulation, hence quickening the healing.

Other than that, you should try various shoelace techniques that reduce the pressure over the tendons. Stretch exercises are meant to improve the flexibility of the foot muscles, hence helping improve their health, including that of the tendons.

Orthotics, on the other hand, have enhanced padding and support that helps reduce stress while steroid injections are for persistent pain. Right shoes can also help keep the foot and ankle upright during the recovery while physical therapy helps strengthen extensor muscles and promotes ankle stability.

You can also give compression socks a try as these will limit movement to promote healing and support various muscles. Lastly, you can consult a doctor and get a customized surgery. However, this is rare and reserved for only unique cases that don’t respond well to other treatments.

3. Does running with extensor tendonitis make it worse?

Because extensor tendonitis is caused by running and other such activities, continuing them will surely make it worse. It is so because, by continuing the pressure upon the tendons, you will cause them to slowly tear further apart, eventually keeping yourself from carrying out such activities altogether.

Therefore, if the main aim is to stay active, I would suggest that you simply try stretch exercises at home or walk at lower speeds as these, unlike running, will actually help improve extensor tendonitis.

However, if you need to run, you can reduce the impact considerably by simply maintaining a particular speed. You will also need to choose the right shoes and maintain proper balance if you want to reduce the damage.

4. Do foot braces help extensor tendonitis?

Foot braces help prevent motion of particular muscles, hence allowing them to rest well and heal quickly, and, therefore, are great for extensor tendonitis. You will, however, need to make sure that the ones you get support the feet well and don’t cause discomfort.

I would highly suggest the Ankle Brace Compression Sleeve for Men & Women by Crucial Compression as it will reduce the movement in a way that will not hinder blood circulation but provide pain relief. These can also help with injury recovery, swelling, and sprains. Other than that, these foot braces can help provide support to Achilles Tendon, hence healing extensor tendonitis while also preventing plantar fasciitis.

In addition to all that, they are extremely lightweight and breathable with added comfort too. The compression sleeves also fit really well and can be worn at all times, be it at work, sports, or walks, to achieve the best results.


Summary & Conclusion

Best Shoes for Extensor Tendonitis

I also wanted to explain which shoes I consider to be the absolute best and why before giving the last piece of advice.

Firstly, the ON Men’s Cloudsurfer seems a great choice for men as it features impressive traction with great support and stability. They, additionally, are highly durable, breathable, and flexible, all helping heal extensor tendonitis. They are also shock-absorbant and the only negative, the slight lack of balance, is actually meant to help with stability when running.

For women, on the other hand, I would highly suggest the Brooks Women’s Adrenaline Gts 20 Sneaker. These are not only highly durable but include extreme cushioning, particularly around the Achilles tendon, hence helping fight extensor tendonitis. They are also lightweight, flexible, and breathable, and wide sizes are also available. The pair is also quite stylish and the only con is how it might loosen after extensive use, which is somewhat solvable with a little care.

Lastly, I would suggest that you reduce your foot movement considerably and don’t just rely on your shoes for support. Instead, find other ways to reduce the tension in the tendons to recover faster or you might lose the foot movement completely for a while.

Written by Mark

Having researched and advised on hundreds of footwear products, I'm confident you'll find my articles insightful to the most common questions that's currently being asked online.

June 10, 2021

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