Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints

Today we’re going to look at the best running shoes for shin splints, across four different groups.

The first group looks at shoes that just focusses in on the shin splints themselves. The next group looks at shoes suitable for people with shin splints and high arches. Then, there’s a few pairs suitable for people with shin splints and wide feet, followed by ones suitable for shin splints and overpronation.

Shin splints is common, and it makes up about 15% of all running-related injuries. When the muscles or tendons supporting the shins become overworked, inflammation is caused. Like every injury there’s many ways to recover, but one of the first things you need to do is get the right footwear.

Before we look at the shoes, it’s important I show you the key features you need. Running shoes that help shin splints are built in a particular way, so when I quickly go through this I will explain how and why.

Let’s look at the key features now, before we take a look at the shoes.

What Does a Running Shoe Need to Help with Shin Splints?

This is what you need to understand first before buying for the best running shoes for shin splints. You need to understand how the shoe is made, and how much it offers across the following areas.

Depending on how aggressive your shin splints are, will determine which features mean the most to you. But once you know what to look out for, picking the right pair of running shoes becomes easier. 

1. Cushion

A shoe with more cushion will have more shock absorption. Cushioning helps limit the amount of force put on the shins and the calves. Many shoe companies now make shoes that don’t need a thick sole. This approach allows brands to offer enough cushion to absorb pressure.

The differences in the cushion help you get the right fit for your running style. Some runners will find it more desirable to have a thick cushion with a lot of shock absorption. In comparison, others may prefer a more low-profile shoe.

2. Stability

Having added stability will help those suffering from shin splints due to overpronation. Stability is essential to ensure the foot and ankle stay aligned while running. Your running style will determine the type and amount of stability you need in your shoe.

When deciding the cushioning you need, you also need to consider the amount of stability your legs and ankles need.

3. Durability

The more durable your shoe, the more usage you get out of it, is quite simple. The main factor in determining how durable a shoe needs to depend on the surface you run on. For instance, running on a paved road will not wear the same as running off-road or on trails.

Worn-out shoes can add to the chance of having shin splints. So a durable option will ensure you get the most out of your running shoe.

4. Weight

Technology now helps shoes stay lightweight and offer high-grade durability, stability, and support. A shoe’s weight can factor into how much force passes on to the feet and lower legs. I have found that more lightweight shoes do reduce the amount of pressure applied. This stress reduction, in turn, provides a more comfortable run.

5. Fit

The ultimate factor in ensuring the most comfort in your shoe is to have the proper fit. A shoe that fits your foot will maintain its stability and support throughout your run. There are now different shoes are for narrow or wide feet, high arches or flat feet, or overpronated feet.

Choosing the right features will give the best fit, support and reduce the risk of shin splints.

product reviews

The Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints

with no other condition

These shoes are suitable for shin splint pains not caused by any condition. They will improve running performance and limit the amount of force on your lower leg.

Saucony Cohesion 10

The Saucony Cohesion 10 provides excellent shock absorption, better flexibility, and improved traction. The midsole has injection-molded EVA for more cushion and shock absorption. But the upper has a breathable mesh to keep the foot cool and supported. The Cohesion 10 also has a removable insole for added cushion.

The EVA injected midsole still provides stability. The foam cushioning has the right thickness for both low and high mileage runs both. Many have found, though, that the insole is quite flat and provides minimal arch support.

saucony cohesion 10 - best running shoes for shin splints

Changes to the outsole cause the Cohesion 10 to be a little heavier at 8.5 to 9.9 ounces. But, it is a light running shoe as promoted by retailers. The combination of the outsole rubber adds the required durability needed for running. The durability is best for road running, but the Cohesion 10 can handle light trails.

PROS

  • ✅  Affordable
  • ✅  Versatile shoe
  • ✅  Lots of cushion for comfort

 

CONS

  • X    Lacks arch support for those with collapsed arches.

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ASICS GEL Venture 5

The ASICS Gel Venture 5 is a rugged trail shoe. They perform on various terrains without sacrificing stability.

With its rubber sole, the synthetic upper mesh creates a durable shoe that will hold your foot in place. Even on uneven trails, this stabilizes the foot to prevent more pain in your shins and ankles.

Having a more rigid outer shoe does cause it to lack flexibility for arch support. But, this allows less tearing and cracking of the sole many long runs. These features combined will enable you to get more wear from your shoes. It provides stability for longer to limit the amount of pressure placed on the shins and ankle.

asics gel venture 5 - best running shoes for shin splints

The Gel Venture provides a gel cushioning pad for extra support on the heel. The toe box features a protective bumper to protect from debris when on trails.

PROS

  • ✅     Rugged shoe made to be durable
  • ✅     Gel cushioning pad for heel support

CONS

  • X    Lack of flexibility in the arch, so not suitable for those who need extra arch support

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New Balance M940V3

These shoes are well-cushioned, with a thick midsole for shock absorption. It gives more cushion than competitors while providing the ample flexibility required.

The midsole has a gel-cushioned heel for smooth landings throughout the entire gait. It keeps your ankle aligned with the leg, while gel cushioning gives the padded landing.

New Balance Men’s M940V3 - best running shoes for shin splints

These shoes have durable outer rubber and blown rubber around the front of the shoe to protect the toes. The T-beam within the center of the shoe provides stability and arch support. New Balance has a support system called Stabilicore, helpful for runners who overpronate.

The extra rubber insole used for stability does cause this shoe to be a little heavier than some. Yet, the 940V3 still only weighs 11.4 to14.4 ounces. As already said, though, the extra rubber allows for the right level of durability.

These shoes are not trail shoes but are suitable for light gravel, asphalt, and tracks.

PROS

  • ✅     Stable across many different terrain types
  • ✅     10-12mm drop, perfect for overpronating runners
  • ✅     T-Beam for additional stability and arch support

CONS

  • X    Additional rubber insole creates a heavier shoe

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The Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints & High Arches

High arches don’t disperse the force when you run. As a result, this can cause the muscles of the shins and calves to take on more work. Finding a shoe that provides an adequate amount of arch support will reduce the amount of stress.

So let’s take a look at the best running shoes for shin splints and high arches now.

Hoka One One Clifton 7

The Hoka One One Clifton features excellent support for high arches. They have firm cushioning, more durability, and a softer feel to help with pains while running.

They feature a full compression EVA midsole and meta-rocker to help keep the foot stable. The shoes provide a more stable gate for those who tend to have a midfoot strike.

hoka one one clifton 7 - best running shoes for shin splints

The Hoka One Clifton comes in at a lightweight 8.7 ounces. They have an engineered mesh upper that keeps weight off your feet. As a result, it decreases the amount of force on your leg and ankle while running. The molded Ortholite® sock liner wicks sweat and enhance the full-compression foam midsole.

The upper mesh features a high heel collar for added comfort. The mesh, in particular, prevents the shoe from rubbing against the heel during long runs.

In summary, the Clifton 7 is most suited for those with medium to higher arches or those with wide feet.

PROS

  • ✅     Engineered mesh upper
  • ✅     Early-stage Meta-Rocker sole
  • ✅     Removable foam-padded insole

CONS

  • X    Not suitable for people with flat feet

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The Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints & Wide Feet

If you have wide feet, it can be tough to find the perfect shoe. If they don’t fit, your shins and calves can overwork to fight against the forces from running.

I’ve found the best running shoes for shin splints and wide feet that won’t be too tight. They give the support you need for a much more enjoyable ride.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v11

The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 features a bouncy, lightweight feel with a soft midsole foam. The shoes help create a significant curve under the forefoot for a lot more support.

The upper of the shoe is an engineered knit, a single piece of fabric that stretches across the foot. This engineering creates a sturdy and very secure fit while you run. The Fresh Foam 1080 also features a molded heel for comfort while holding the heel in place.

The Fresh Foam 1080 features a lightweight with ample cushion. The midsole drop is only 8mm, though, so it may not be the most supportive and stable shoe for those who overpronate.

new balance fresh foam 1080v11 - best running shoes for shin splints

PROS

  • ✅     Significant amounts of cushion
  • ✅     Molded heel to reduce foot slipping in shoe

CONS

  • X    Small midsole drop

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Brooks Addiction 14

The Brooks Addiction 14 provides support and the correct pronation while you run. The shoes are well cushioned and help those with wide feet with any issue in their arch.

The midsole uses an Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar. As a result, it provides cushioning to the entire foot and extra arch support. The outsole has a Heel-Segmented Crash Pad for increased flexibility and durability underneath. The engineering of the inside of the shoe gives a soft feel, made of light fabric.

brooks addiction 14 - best running shoes for shin splints

As a result of the increased cushioning, the Addiction 14 is a bulkier shoe than others. This cushioning may be why the shoe weighs 9.8 to 12.0 ounces. But, the adaptive cushions are great for those who need extra arch support due to having a more flat, wide foot.

The Addiction 14 is also a good shoe for those who tend to have a midfoot to heel strike. The thicker amount of cushion on the heel is the reason for this.

The only downside I found with these shoes is that the toe area features much less padding. For those that run more towards the front of the foot, this may cause problems and discomfort.

PROS

  • ✅    Very well cushioned
  • ✅    Engineered to protect the bottom of the shoe to be more durable
  • ✅    Excellent arch support

CONS

  • X   Not made for those who run towards their toes

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The Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints & Overpronation

Overpronation occurs when the ankles cave inward and the arches collapse. Overpronation prevents leg alignment, causing strain on the musculature of the shins.

The best running shoes for shin splints and overpronation must support the ankle. As a result, this can help align the leg and reduce pressure on the shins.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20

One of the unique features of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 is the use of guide rail systems. These systems are near the back arch and heel to help maintain foot alignment. The guide rails are great for ankle alignment. They are also great for weight distribution across the entire gait of the foot.

The midsole of the shoe features DNA Loft foam. This foam creates a soft surface that is still stable for your foot during long runs. This foam will help to disperse forces from running to give you a soft cushion, as well as arch support for long runs.

brooks adrenaline gts 20 - best running shoes for shin splints

The Adrenaline GTS 20 also features a 3D-printed mesh upper. This mesh is to cradle the foot and hold it in place while still maintaining a cooling effect. This construction allows for a very lightweight and low-profile shoe. Although, this can be problematic to those with wide feet or whose feet swell during a run.

PROS

  • ✅    Guide rail system to maintain foot alignment
  • ✅    DNA Loft foam for cushion

CONS

  • X  Run narrow and are very slim

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Brooks Ravenna 9

The Ravenna 9 features a band that wraps from the top laces around to the back of the foot. This band allows for sturdy heel support while you run. The secure fit will promote a more stable strike as you run and keep the wearer from overpronation.

The Brooks Ravenna 9 is a supportive shoe with a lightweight midsole and narrow fit. The upper is a seamless, breathable mesh for a lightweight fit. They’re also light from cutting down on the amount of rubber placed within the midsole.

brooks revanna 9 - best running shoes for shin splints

The Ravenna 9 includes the BioMoGo DNA that adapts to the foot’s pressure as it strikes the ground. This technology makes it well cushioned as you run. Also, the sole features a divided blow rubber to provide better traction for all surfaces.

PROS

  • ✅    Very stable and secure fit
  • ✅    Supports for overpronation

CONS

  • X   Midsole lacks support that some may need if they need additional arch support

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Saucony Men’s Guide Iso Running Shoe

The main features that help with overpronation are midsole foam and medial post. The midsole foam provides a responsive cushion to help maintain proper foot alignment. Whereas the medial post helps prevent the arch from collapsing too much.

The EVERUN midsole promotes continuous cushion throughout the entire run. It also has an 8mm forefoot drop to help provide a bit extra stability within the heel. It is an ideal shoe for those who overpronate but want a sleek shoe, as the Guide ISO weighs in at 10.8 ounces.

Saucony Guide Iso Running Shoe - best running shoes for shin splints

The top of the shoe is sock-like and morphs to the foot to provide a secure fit. The Guide ISO also features a firm heel that will cup the foot to provide more stability to your ankle as you run. The upper shoe does feature a wider toe box that may not be suitable for those with a narrower foot.

PROS

  • ✅    Midsole foam for responsive cushion
  • ✅    Medial support posts

CONS

  • X   Runs wide

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Frequently Asked Questions

I felt it would be helpful to share feedback on some of the most common questions. I noticed people were asking these questions a lot during my research.

You will then have everything you need to choose the best running shoes for shin splints.

1. Why do I get shin splints when I run?

When the lower leg muscles overwork, it causes pressure on the tendons and bone tissues. Running is a high-impact activity that causes increased stress and work on the shins. You get shin splints as a result of this increased pressure.

Shin splints are more likely to occur if you don’t have the right shoes or because of your running style.

2. Can the wrong running shoes cause shin splints?

Yes, bad or old running shoes can cause shin splints. All shoes have a point where they become worn out and need replacing. In old or worn shoes, the amount of support or cushioning deteriorates which then causes pressure to build upon your lower legs, ankles, and feet.

However, if you have stable shoes then your muscles will not have to work as hard, which eases the pain and pressure out. This reduced pressure enables you and your muscles to focus on foot movement, promoting a natural style and more efficient run.

3. Are barefoot running shoes good for shin splints?

Yes, barefoot running shoes can help with shin splints, but more in the long term. We’re told that there is a 2.6 higher chance of injury when running in regular shoes, compared to running in minimalist ones. Minimalist shoes tend to reduce the impact on the shins as they reduce ankle dorsiflexion when your foot touches the floor. This allows the heel to experience less stress, helping prevent problems like shin splints.

But, as we discuss in our article about barefoot running shoes and shin splints, in the short term they may overburden the lower leg muscles. This short term is expected until your legs gain in strength and become used to your new style of running.

4. Do shin splints mean I need new running shoes?

The short answer is no, you may not need new running shoes because it may be something else at fault.

For instance, you may have increased the amount you train and thus put too much stress on the area too quickly. Or, it may also be that your legs don’t have sufficient strength so you might need to work time in the gym into your weekly routine.

5. Should you still run with shin splints?

The decision to run with shin splints is personal, but my advice is to seek a professional opinion. If the pain is moderate, then some runners do continue with care.

If you do decide to continue running, you should plan extra rest until the pain eases. If your pain causes issues, then you should stop running and seek professional advice.

While shin splints are a common occurrence, they should not ultimately limit your day-to-day life.

6. Do compression socks help with shin splints?

Yes, compression socks can help with shin splints. 

Compression socks help increase blood flow, which improves muscular pain and inflammation. Compression items increase the blood flow, helping to break down painful scar tissue. They also help increase the body’s ability to reduce inflammation.

There’s no harm in giving them a try to see if they help your run.

7. What is the fastest way to heal shin splints?

The fastest way to heal shin splints is to follow the RICE method, then stretch, and then improve your muscle strength. I wouldn’t recommend continuing to run whilst your recover, otherwise you will slow the process down.

The typical recovery time for shin splints varies, as it depends on the severity of the injury. It also depends on the steps you take to heal, too. However, shin splints should take around three to four weeks to heal if addressed immediately.

If the injury is quite severed, then the healing process could take as long as four months. Usually if the pain is still there on week five, people are advised to get a proper medical assessment. If you’d like to see a bit more detail on this then take a look at my the fastest way to heal shin splints.

8. How to start running again after shin splints

If you had to stop running to help your shin splints heal, the best way to start running again is to take it slow.

Listen to your body and break back into your routine with smaller runs first. Make sure you continue to stretch while also giving the legs enough time to heal.

Final Thoughts

Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints

It comes down to personal preference and how you feel to determine how you treat your shin splints. While a change of shoes can help, understand the causes behind shin splints is essential.

Stretch before and after your runs, and strength train at least once a week. This will strengthen your legs’ musculature and address breakdowns in your running form.

Aside from doctors, seek the advice of trained sports medicine professionals. These professionals can prescribe stretching and exercise programs. They may also spot discrepancies in your running form, which could also be having an impact.

If you’d like to learn more about running shoes, then you may be interested in our article about the best running shoes for wide feet.

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 5, 2021

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