Are Barefoot Running Shoes Good for Shin Splints?

Yes, barefoot running shoes can help immensely with shin splints. For one, there is a 2.6 higher chance of injury when running in regular shoes rather than in minimalist ones.

Minimalist shoes reduce the impact on the shins by invigorating less ankle dorsiflexion when your foot touches the floor. As a result, the heel experiences less stress, helping prevent problems like shin splints.

The toe flexion at strike is also why barefoot pairs are better than regular shoes. This increased flexion contracts the arch muscles, leading to stronger, higher arches. This benefit also makes them a fantastic choice for those with flat feet.

However, people transitioning from regular running shoes to barefoot ones will undergo slight shin splints. This is because the toe flexion will also increase the outer shin muscles’ impact when you first start.

Barefoot shoes may also overburden the lower leg muscles, resulting in calf strain at first. The lack of cushioning can also cause some foot problems early on. For instance, the muscles might get tensed out too quickly or people with flat feet might feel a lack of support.

But, with time, the muscles will adapt and strengthen, reducing the chances of injury to a great degree. Therefore, if you are looking for a long-term solution, barefoot shoes are a great choice.

 

Barefoot Shoes Have Other Benefits Too!

Barefoot running shoes have a lot of other benefits too. For one, running in minimalist shoes will allow you to better connect with the environment. As a result, this will improve your experience a lot.

Barefoot shoes will also help enhance your performance and allow you to run faster. They let you do this by reducing contact time by around 10 percent.

They are also often lighter, requiring less exertion towards moving the muscles. Finally, such shoes enhance balance and coordination by activating smaller muscles in the feet, ankles, hips, and legs.

 

Other Tips to Prevent Shin Splints.

Even though it is one of the most common foot problems, runners usually do very little to prevent shin splints. If you happen to develop shin splints, you may experience numbness, muscle weakness, pain and swelling in the lower leg.

The pain grows further if you continue your physical activities, and it can take around three weeks to heal. If you do not take precautions, though, the time can extend to up to four months. So before we close, you may find the following tips recovery tips helpful, which we’ve taken from our article on the fastest way to heal shin splints:

  • •  Rest a lot to allow the healing cells to activate quicker.
  • •  Icing can help a lot, and so can elevating your foot for a few minutes a day.
  • •  Compression sleeves will limit foot movement, aiding in recovery.
  • •  Replace your shoes after every 400 miles.
  • •  Gradually intensify your workout. A slow increase will help your muscle adapt to the practice, reducing the chances of injury.
  • •  Try a diverse workout routine that does not focus on particular muscles.
  • •  Having a strong core reduces the risk of injury.
  • •  Look out for the shock-absorbent insoles as they will help reduce stress.

If you decide to stick with regular running shoes over barefoot ones, then take a look at our article that uncovers the best running shoes for shin splints. This article looks at shoes for people with wide feet, high arches and overpronation so you can find the perfect pair.

Written by Susan

I'm very enthusiastic around sports, fitness and general wellbeing. I write for a range of sites around these topics, and I hope you find my articles and information insightful to help you on your way.

May 22, 2021

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