After 6 weeks in sort of orthopaedic boot called an Aircast FP Walker for my ruptured Achilles tendon, I have finally been able to return to wearing ordinary shoes. Ironically, I am now wearing running shoes.
I was lucky that the rupture, although full depth, was not full width. I am told that it was hanging on by a thread! The Americans are great believers in surgery but Britain's NHS prefers a non-interventionist approach wherever possible. No doubt cost is a consideration but, in any case, I am very happy with the result. I am walking almost normally – not quite normally because my calf muscle needs to regenerate after its enforced idleness.
The Aircast walker is quite heavy and cumbersome but this is not entirely a bad thing as it motivates one to get out of it as quickly as possible. To be fair, it seems to be very well designed with a convex sole, a little bit like those 'Barefoot Technology' shoes. This allows you to rock forward onto the ball of your foot, even though you can't flex it. I have been walking to the shops and back almost every day for the last 6 weeks in it and I like to think that it has given me a good start on the road to recovery.