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Thread: Achilles - cutting heel tabs

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mr1470's Avatar
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    Achilles - cutting heel tabs

    Has anyone cut the heel tabs off their shoes?

    Had an achilles injury for a year now, and seen various people but never really thought that anyone's got to the bottom of it.

    It occured on my BG attempt last year, did 56 miles and it felt like the heel tab had rubbed my achilles the whole way. I've been told that the achilles itself seems quite strong, but the sheath around it swells up after long runs now.

    Uphills don't bother me at all, downhills is what makes it sore....which again points to the heel tab causing irritation.

    I read something online this morning from a medically-type person saying that this is very common, pain may stay for months or years after the initial instance, but that once the heel tab is cut away, training can be continued as normal.

    Any thoughts or experiences?
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    Re: Achilles - cutting heel ta

    I'm sure a friend of mine from K&C cuts the back of his running shoes to prevent irritating a long standing Achilles issue. I'll probably see him this evening and if I do I'll ask him for his thoughts
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    Senior Member Mr1470's Avatar
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    Re: Achilles - cutting heel ta

    Quote Originally Posted by Derby Tup View Post
    I'm sure a friend of mine from K&C cuts the back of his running shoes to prevent irritating a long standing Achilles issue. I'll probably see him this evening and if I do I'll ask him for his thoughts
    Smashing, thanks DT.

    I'll try and find the link to the article I read, the author really seems to think it's a major issue. And I strongly suspect that's what causes my problem.

    Of course, there's an underlying gait issue, 'cause I don't irritate the right achilles.....but one step at a time!!
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    Grandmaster IanDarkpeak's Avatar
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    Re: Achilles - cutting heel ta

    Have you tried steaming the heels to soften them and shape them to a better fit?

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    Senior Member Mr1470's Avatar
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    Re: Achilles - cutting heel ta

    Quote Originally Posted by IanDarkpeak View Post
    Have you tried steaming the heels to soften them and shape them to a better fit?
    I have done that, and that certainly stops any rubbing on the heel.....but this is the tab rubbing up against the achilles about 5cm+ above the heel.

    I've got an old pair of Inov 290s which have pretty much had it....I think I'll give it a go. I'm "worried" that cutting out the heel tab will mean the shoes not stable when going uphill and my foot will keep slipping out.
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    Senior Member alanj's Avatar
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    Re: Achilles - cutting heel ta

    Hi Rich, I used to train with a chap who would always cut a couple of nicks, about 2cm apart, into the heel tabs on his shoes. He said it took the pressure off his achilles, much as you describe. He was a big-miles road runner and 2.35 marathon runner so seemed to work for him. Don't know if that helps, you may be compromising some of the stability on the hills if you do this but on the roads I've seen it work ok. Cheers Al

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    Senior Member Mr1470's Avatar
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    Re: Achilles - cutting heel ta

    Quote Originally Posted by alanj View Post
    Hi Rich, I used to train with a chap who would always cut a couple of nicks, about 2cm apart, into the heel tabs on his shoes. He said it took the pressure off his achilles, much as you describe. He was a big-miles road runner and 2.35 marathon runner so seemed to work for him. Don't know if that helps, you may be compromising some of the stability on the hills if you do this but on the roads I've seen it work ok. Cheers Al
    Ow do Al. Thanks for that, I think I'll give it a go. I doubt if it'll affect the downhill stability and I can probably cope on the ups (I'll just have to shift all weight onto my right leg! )
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    Super Moderator Derby Tup's Avatar
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    Re: Achilles - cutting heel ta

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SUZ5xB_Skk

    Took me ages to find this. It didn't help that I thought it was Scott Jurek with the knife
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  9. #9

    Re: Achilles - cutting heel ta

    When I was struggling with my Achille injury, before operation, the physio said what you describe is a very common situation and to cut it often helps. But it did not apply to my case.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mr1470's Avatar
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    Re: Achilles - cutting heel ta

    Well, I cut the heel tabs off my Inov8 trail shoes yesterday, went out on club run last night and..........not a thing from my achilles, best run I've had for ages! Now that could be partly a mental thing rather than physical.....but I'll take it!!
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