10 Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints Reviewed

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Runners burdened with shin splints can find recovery very challenging indeed. There are many different treatments and differing opinions about successful approaches to recovery. The shoes on our list will not actively cure shin splints, but they will help create a supportive environment for treatment and recovery.

Hoka One One Clifton 3
  • Hoka One One Clifton 3
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Wider Fitting Forefoot
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Brooks Glycerin 14
  • Brooks Glycerin 14
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Super DNA Midsole
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Asics Gel Nimbus 18
  • Asics Gel Nimbus 18
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • FluidRide Midsole
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1. Hoka One One Clifton 3

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Many feel that this third version of the Clifton model hits the sweet spot, ideally balancing cushioning and weight. This lightweight favorite is ideal for runners with shin splints because it provides the essential cushioning and stability.
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Style
Weighing only 7.4 oz. in the women’s version – add about another ounce for the men’s shoe – this shoe is easy to lift up and put down over the miles. Hoka redesigned the upper for greater durability over the previous version. Though this new seamless mesh upper does not have the smooth look of its predecessor, it sits very comfortably on the top of the foot. Using the Hoka rocker technology that tapers up from toe to heel, the Clifton 3 gently encourages forward movement while maintaining a comfortable, stable foot strike.

Comfort
The Clifton’s foundation is a sole packed with a generous layer of CMEVA foam and a feather soft interior. The seamless, breathable, mesh upper is impressively flexible and an enlarged toe box add to the attractive appointments of this shoe.

Value
This is an average priced elite shoe.
Pros
  • Superior cushioning
  • Uncompromised stability
  • Lightweight
  • Toe box accommodates toe splay
  • Durable
  • Breathable, soft upper
Cons
  • Some runners report quality issues.
  • Some runners find the toe box too small.

2. Asics Gel Nimbus 18

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Two ounces heavier than our number one pick is the Asics Gel Nimbus 18. Asics has very recently released a 19th version of this shoe, but there is not yet sufficient user experience with it for us to recommend it in this category.
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Over its 18 years of experience running, the Gel Nimbus has been consistently popular. This model is a good match for our category because of its relatively light weight, excellent cushioning and Heel Clutching System Technology because of its contribution to overall stability by adding super stability to the heel which also promotes improved heel fit.

Comfort
Appropriately named for a cloud, these shoes provide a sweet ride. Both the rear and forefoot are GEL infused for impact attenuation and the seamless construction ensures to the best of its ability that your feet won’t blister. The FluidFit upper adapts to your foot for a customized fit and the FluidRide midsole balances bounce-back and cushioning.

Value
These are very good shoes at a good price and you may get a bargain now that the 19 is out.
Pros
  • Cushioned heel and forefoot
  • GEL-infused
  • Heel stability features
  • Good price
Cons
  • Some runners find the toe box too small.
  • Some runners feel these shoes run small.

3. Merrell Vapor Glove 2

3.	Merrell Vapor Glove 2
As investigation into running issues continues, analysts increase their knowledge of remedies, including for shin splints. There is evidence that some runners profit from revising their running mechanics from heel strike to forefoot strike. The Merrell Vapor Glove 2 is an example of a shoe that encourages forefoot strike as do many barefoot style shoes.
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Style
Designed to enable the feeling of barefoot running while providing some protection, the Merrell Vapor Glove 2 is extremely light (about 5 ounces) and is composed of washable mesh which provides ample air circulation for cooling and moisture wicking. As you run, the shoe hugs your foot, again imitating your natural barefoot. With a zero drop sole yet Vibram sole and integrated toe protection, the Vapor Glove is barefoot with a plus.

Comfort
For runners trying to overcome shin splints, these promote forefoot strike which many runners finds supports recovery.

Value
In comparison with elite shoes, these are not expensive, but some may find them pricey as there appears to be little shoe for the investment.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Heel and Toe impact protection
  • Sole reinforced
  • Maintains barefoot experience
  • Zero drop
  • Promotes forefoot strike
Cons
  • Some runners report premature wear issues.
  • Some runners report size issues.

4. Asics Gel Kayano 21

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Weighing about the same as the Nimbus, these Asics Gel Kayano 21 are as appropriate for runners with shin splints as the Nimbus, but the different characters of the shoes ensure them a separate place on our list.
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For the Gel Kayano 21s, Asics’ technology and designers determined on gender-specific cushioning ensuring a custom, smooth run for both genders. Asics’ FluidRide cushioning and rear and forefoot GEL cushioning add to the attractions of this long-time favorite. Moisture-wicking and breathable with an impact-absorbing, durable rubber sole, these Kayanos support your feet without pressure and cushion without sacrificing road sensitivity.

Comfort
Kayanos provide comfort from heel cushioning and GEL infusion through the gender-specific foam placement to the puffy tongue and forgiving sole.

Value
These moderately-priced shoes are a good value and come in models with special features such as the Lite-show that features glow-in-the-dark sole elements.
Pros
  • Gender-specific cushioning
  • Forefoot and heel GEL infusion
  • Heel clutching system
  • Moisture-wicking upper
  • Well-priced
  • Available with interesting features
Cons
  • Some runners feel they run narrow.
  • Some runners find the toe box too tight.

5. On Cloud

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Both On and Hoka One One have well-earned reputations for comfort and cushioning. Much depends on your individual running style, gait and running environment. Because of the emphasis on cushioning, On Cloud has earned a prestigious position on our list.
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On’s Cloud is their basic running shoe. Of course, On applies similar technology to variations on the Cloud for trail running and other specific conditions. The Clouds and technology packed into these 7 ounce beauties earn them this slot on our list. The design, which is well-documented in video on the company website, has open “clouds” on the soles that compress to cushion your contact with the ground and remain compressed for a strong push-off into the next step. This balance of cushioning and stability well-supported by test runners makes On’s Clouds a great choice for people with shin splints.

Comfort
In addition to the Clouds that line the sole and move independently to provide cushioning precisely where you need it, this lightweight has slip-on laces and a padded tongue that add to its comfort.

Value
These compare favorably with the other shoes in our ranking.
Pros
  • Multiple cushioning elements
  • Clouds provide cushioning and stability
  • Slip-on/off laces
  • Light light light
Cons
  • Some runners report quality issues.
  • Some runners did not like the attached tongue.

6. Mizuno Wave Inspire 13

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Though 9 ounces seems heavy in comparison with some of the shoes lower on our list, the Mizuno Wave Inspire is still a very light running shoe. Featuring cushioning and stability, this balanced shoe sits in the middle position of our list.
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The U4ic midsole provides excellent shock attenuation while the firm sole holds the foot to protect against slipping and pronation. The Waves reduce and redirect the force of each impact away from your foot for superior strike cushioning and sole responsiveness.

Comfort
The Inspire’s comfort is founded in the Waves and extends to the midsole shock attenuation and upper breathable yet supportive mesh.

Value
The Mizuno Wave Inspire 13 is a little more expensive than most of the other shoes on our list, but still in the standard range for elite shoes.
Pros
  • Wave pattern on soles for to reduce and deflect impact
  • Shock attenuation midsole
  • Heel cushioning
  • Firm stability
Cons
  • Some runners report foot abrasions.
  • Some runners report quality issues.

7. Brooks Glycerin 14

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The Glycerin 14, produced by the grand master of running shoes, Brooks, is ready to provide cushioning where you most need it and an upper that stabilizes with comfort.
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Style
The colors of the Brooks Glycerin 14 sole indicate the different pressure zones and how the sole is designed to disperse impact in each zone through specific impact panels.

Comfort
The saddle holds the foot without excessive pressure and the sole impact panels do double duty by providing targeted cushioning and a smooth transition from heel to toe. The ankle collar is spongy and responsive and the interior is silky.

Value
Considerably more expensive than most other shoes on this list. These shoes provide serious running with durable, comfortable wear.
Pros
  • Plush comfort
  • Stabilizing saddle
  • Well-cushioned ankle collar
  • Impact dispersing sole panels
Cons
  • Some runners report wear issues.
  • Some runners find the shoes run narrow.

8. Saucony Zealot ISO 2

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Saucony’s Zealot ISO 2 provides comfort through a combination of cushioning and fit.
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At about 9.5 ounces, the Zealot ISO 2 offers a 20% increase in cushioning through a Saucony midsole technology called PWRGRID+. The TRI-Flex sole composition improves force dispersion by widening the dispersion area while delivering excellent traction.

Comfort
The PWRGRID+ midsole working with the Flexfilm upper enables the shoe to conform to the shape of your foot for a comfortable, cushioned run.

Value
This shoe gravitates toward the higher area of our list.
Pros
  • PWRGRID+ midsole cushioning
  • Flexfilm shape-conforming upper
  • Stabilizing saddle
  • Tri-Flex sole – flexible and promotes advancement
Cons
  • Some runners find the shoes run narrow.
  • Some runners find the shoes run small.

9. Brooks Ghost 8

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The Brooks Ghost is the elite cushioned shoe of the Brooks stable. Balancing cushioning, stability and durability earns the Ghost this position on our list.
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The nexus of the Ghost is Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA midsole designed to respond to each stride you take. This is formed into a waffle pattern to hold the road in wet and dry conditions. With every variation on foot strike, runners find the cushioning well-placed for them. Through amply cushioned, the forefoot stiffens to provide a strong push into the next stride. This seems like magic, but much of shoe technology does these days. The mesh upper provides comfort and stability with a firm heel cup and wide toe box.

Comfort
Brooks aimed for the average foot with the Ghost 8 design, so most runners will find the shape comfortable with adequate room for heel and toes. The cushioning meets each runners’ needs without seeming too squishy and the mesh upper is soft as is the interior lining.

Value
These fall in the average price range for elite shoes and you can probably find them at a bargain price as Brooks has just released the next shoe in this line.
Pros
  • Wonderful cushioning
  • Stabilizing
  • Fits most gaits and strike patterns
  • Soft interior, heel collar, tongue and mesh upper
  • Durable
Cons
  • Some runners report premature wear issues.
  • Some runners report that the shoes run wide.

10. Nike Air Zoom Vomero 11

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The Nike Air Zoom Vomero 11 has, perhaps, a more conventional appearance than the other shoes on our list because of the conservative appearance of the sole. However, Nike Air shoes have been delivering comfort for almost 30 years and they don’t disappoint in the Zoom Vomero 11.
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These provide a stable midsole and good responsiveness while the Flywire technology secures the foot to prevent slippage in any direction for a secure, reliable strike. With a snug, stable fit, this shoe is comfortable without even considering cushioning. However, cushioning provided by air units and foam throughout the sole provide a smooth, uniform, soft foot platform.

Comfort
Air Zoom Vomeros provide comfort through different applications of technology. Soft Lunarlon foam cushions the forefoot and a firmer foam cushions the heel and the entire shoe platform includes Zoom Air units for a sublayer of cushioning. Add the Flywire system for stability a mesh upper for air circulation, and you have a comfortable shoe.

Value
These fall into the average price range in our list.
Pros
  • Lunarlon foam in forefoot and toe
  • Air Zoom throughout sole
  • Think insole
  • Cool and breathable
  • Flywire stability
Cons
  • Some runners feel the Zoom Vomero 11 runs narrow.
  • Some runners reported premature wear issues.

Many runners need to address minor or major issues with shin splints during their running careers.  Luckily most of the time, shin splints is not an issue that necessarily ends your running career.  One known contributor to shin splints is poor shoes, either in quality or through deterioration.  This does not mean purchasing one of these pairs of shoes will cure your shin splints, but running in quality, cushioned, stabilizing shoes will certainly stack the deck in your favor and minimize at least one damaging element in your running regime.

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