10 Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints Tested
Running is a high-impact, intensive activity that comes with its own share of factors to consider when taking up the sport. Since running comes with its own set of injuries as well as aches and pains that you need to watch out for, it is no surprise that we have an entire page dedicated to the best running shoes for shin splints. The shoes on our list will ensure that you can treat and prevent those pesky shin splints from occurring—so you can focus on your running and less on painful symptoms that accompany shin splints.
Continue below learn more about shin splints and find the right pair of running shoes for you!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Breathable, soft upper
Top 10 Picks
1. Hoka One One Clifton 3
Breathable, soft upper
Some buyers reported issues with quality
Some users found the toe box too small in size
Sizes run small
This third version of the Clifton model really 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 to prevent injury without slowing you down, and that's why it's #1 on our list.Read more
These running shoes are well-cushioned and designed to provide runners with the right amount of shock absorption. If you need a pair of running shoes that can handle the impact that comes with running and that will prevent shin splints, these are a great way to go.
Weighing only 7.4 oz. in the women’s version (add about another ounce for the men’s shoe) this lightweight shoe is easy to wear for miles and miles. 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. 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 features of this shoe.
If you are tired of dealing with running shoes that don't provide you with the right amount of support, you will love these. They provide enough support to ensure your arch is well supported and prevent injury and pain associated with lack of support.
Runners that suffer from shin splints need a pair of shoes that offer enough stability that ensures shin splints don't emerge will be happy to hear that these shoes offer more than enough.
Hoka redesigned the upper for greater durability over the previous version.
2. Asics Gel Nimbus 18
Cushioned heel and forefoot
Heel stability features
Some athletes find the toe box too small
The shoes have been found to run small by some buyers
At just two ounces heavier than our number one pick is the Asics Gel Nimbus 18. The Gel Nimbus line has developed a loyal following over the years and for good reason; it's a great shoe! Asics has recently released the 19th version of this shoe, but there is not yet sufficient user experience with it for us to recommend it in this category.Read more
As far as shock absorption, these running shoes offer excellent shock absorption to ensure that you can both treat and prevents shin splints. If you are tired of dealing with those pesky shin splints, these are some of the best shoes to choose from.
Appropriately named for a cloud, these shoes provide a soft and 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.
This model is a good match for our category because of its relatively light weight, excellent cushioning and Heel Clutching System Technology which contributes to overall stability by adding super stability to the heel which also promotes improved heel fit.
These running shoes are really durable thanks to their high-quality material that is incredibly durable and built to last. These will definitely last you for the long haul if you treat them right.
3. Asics Gel Venture 5
Forefoot and heel GEL infusion
Heel clutching system
Available with interesting features
Some feel the shoes run narrow
Some find the toe box too tight
Shin splints are a painful condition that can quickly make it almost impossible to run and get out and about like you want. If you struggle with shin splints and the pain and discomfort they cause, the ASICS GEL Venture 5 shoes may be exactly what you need to get you back on your feet and back in the gym or back on the trail!Read more
If you suffer from shin splints you need a pair of running shoes that offer the right amount of shock absorption. These running shoes offer a great deal of shock absorption so with every strike you take you won't have to worry that about dealing with those pesky shin splint symptoms.
This was done in order to ensure a custom, smooth run male runners as well as any female runners who so choose to use these shoes. The GEL cushioning adds support and comfort to a very stylish shoe, which only makes it all the more popular among beginner and experienced runners alike.
With the ASICS GEL-Venture 5 shoes, the designers chose specialized cushioning that was designed to support the larger and heavier frames of male runners. These shoes are designed to provide full foot and let comfort with their state of the art cushioning and GEL infusion sole. If you struggle with shin splints and have been unable to find shoes that meet your needs when it comes to foot and leg comfort and support then these new shoes from ASICS may be the answer you have been looking for!
This Asics model has additional features that ensure you get the stability you need to prevent injury and ensure that you strike you the ground effectively and efficiently every single time.
Moisture-wicking and breathable with an impact-absorbing, durable rubber sole, you get all the style you want without sacrificing road sensitivity and impact control.
4. On Cloud
Multiple cushioning elements
Clouds provide cushioning and stability
Light light light
Some buyers reported durability issues
Some users did not like the tongue
Both On Running 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, the On Cloud has earned a prestigious position on our list. In addition to being very light and comfortable, reviewers raved about the easy to use and highly effective lacing system.Read more
As far as shock absorption, these running shoes definitely have your back and will ensure your shin splints are both prevented and treated.
In addition to the Clouds that line the sole and move independently to provide cushioning precisely where you need it, this lightweight shoe has slip-on laces and a padded tongue that add to its comfort.
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 technology packed into these 7-ounce beauties earns them this slot on our list. The design, which is well-documented in videos 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 is well-supported by test runners and makes On’s Clouds a great choice for people with shin splints.
As far as durability, these running shoes are pretty good as long as you take care of them--remember, if you take care of them they will take care of you!
5. Mizuno Wave Inspire 13
Wave pattern on soles reduce and deflect impact
Shock attenuation midsole
A few cases of foot abrasion have been reported
Reports of quality issues
Though 9 ounces seems heavy in comparison with some of the other shoes on our list, the Mizuno Wave Inspire is still a very lightweight running shoe. Featuring good cushioning and stability, reviewers loved the special heel cushioning system and support system.Read more
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
The Wave Inspire’s comfort starts at the ankle and extends through the midsole to the toe box, with a shock attenuating and upper made of breathable yet supportive mesh.
These running shoes provide a great deal of support thanks to their well-cushioned system.
Since these shoes are well-cushioned they are a little heavier than others--however, these additional features also ensure that you get the right amount of stability.
These running shoes are really durable and built to last, however, they are not for all terrains.
6. Brooks Glycerin 14
Well-cushioned ankle collar
Impact dispersing sole panels
Some buyers report durability issues
Runs narrow on some wearers
The Glycerin 14, produced by the grand master of running shoes, Brooks, is ready to provide cushioning where you most need it, along with an upper that stabilizes with comfort.Read more
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.
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.
As far as support, this model has strategic cushioning to ensure that you get the support that you need no matter how far you run.
It is important to have the right amount of stability if you want to prevent shin splints. These shoes offer optimal amounts of stability and help prevent any injury or pain associated with lack of stability.
This model is pretty durable and able to withstand hundreds of miles.
7. Saucony Zealot ISO 2
PWRGRID+ midsole cushioning
Flexfilm shape-conforming upper
Tri-Flex sole – flexible and promotes stability
Shoes run narrow on some people
The shoes run small
Saucony’s Zealot ISO 2 provides comfort through a combination of cushioning and fit. The innovative ISOFIT construction allows the Zealot to have a custom-like fit, and hugs your foot for comfort and responsiveness.Read more
While this pair of shoes doesn't offer the most shock absorption, it certainly provides more than enough to ensure that you don't have to deal with shin splints.
The PWRGRID+ midsole working with the Flexfilm upper enables the shoe to conform to the shape of your foot for a comfortable, cushioned run.
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.
Thanks to the well-cushioned system these shoes have, you will find that they offer a great deal of stability--more than enough to ensure you don't have to deal with shin splints.
While these are not the most durable pair of running shoes they are definitely able to withstand the test of time if you treat them right.
8. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17
Fits most gaits and strike patterns
Soft interior, heel collar, tongue and mesh upper
Not very durable, the shoes have premature wear issues
Some buyers have reported that the shoes run wide
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 is one of the wonderful options for cushioned running shoes that is available for runners who suffer from shin splints. Reviewers who use these shoes love how comfortable they are, and even runners who have a bit of extra body weight find that these shoes provide optimal support and cushioning.Read more
The mesh upper material of the shoe is designed so it provides comfort and stability to the entire foot and the shoe is also made with a thick heel sole and wide toe box to reduce shock impact and protect the foot with every step you take.
Brooks aimed to create a good shoe for shin splint sufferers and developed the Brooks Women's Adrenaline Gts 17 in a way to the majority of female runners will find the shape comfortable and the sizing options acceptable to their needs
With every variation in foot strike, runners found the cushioning to be well-placed and to be very supportive and to be beneficial at relieving foot and leg pain.
he cushioning meets each runners’ needs without going overboard and compromising stability and control. The Brooks Women's Adrenaline Gts 17shoes are great for wearing at the gym, on the track, on trails, or for everyday errand running.
These running shoes are pretty durable, but definitely not built to withstand trails or tactical terrain.
9. Nike Air Zoom Vomero 11
Lunarlon foam in forefoot and toe
Air Zoom throughout sole
Cool and breathable
Flywire stability system
Some users feel the Zoom Vomero 11 runs narrow
Some athletes have reported premature wear issues
The Nike Air Zoom Vomero 11 has, perhaps, a more conventional appearance than the other shoes on our list because of the conservative look 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.Read more
Air Zoom Vomeros provide comfort through different applications of technology. Soft Lunarlon foam cushions the forefoot and a firmer foam cushion the heel and the entire shoe platform includes Zoom Air units for a sublayer of cushioning.
The Flywire system utilized by this pair of running shoes offer excellent facility and also ensure that they are well ventilated.
These running shoes are pretty durable but definitely not built for anything other than road running.
10. Saucony Cohesion 10
Heel and Toe impact protection
Maintains barefoot experience
Promotes forefoot strike
A few runners reported premature wear
A few cases of size issues have been reported
Runners get shin splints but some runners are more prone to the than others. If you are one of the unlucky runners to suffer with this condition, you now how important it is to find running shoes that support your feet and legs. The Saucony Women's Cohesion 10 is an example of a shoe that protects your feet and reduces shock impact and helps reduce the severity of shin splints.Read more
Designed to enable greater control over foot fall while reducing impact force on the feet, the Saucony Cohesion 10 is a lighter weight shoe that provides all of this and more.
As you run, the shoe hugs your foot, again imitating your natural footfall and running motion. It is made with supportive insoles and protective outsoles and is made with moisture-wicking materials as well. With a low drop design, high grip sole, and integrated toe protection, the Cohesion 10 is a perfect shoe for runners who need help with their shin splints without it costing them an arm and a leg.
For runners trying to overcome shin splints, the Saucony Women's Cohesion 10 running shoes are designed to help promote forefoot strike which many runners find supports recovery. They are also cushioned in the soles and are made of a soft yet supportive fabric that helps reduce foot and leg strain during your runs and workout sessions.
Fortunately for you, these running shoes provide greats stability thanks to their ample cushioning system.
When it comes to durability, these running shoes are pretty good--although they are definitely not the most durable options on our list of reviews. These shoes are perfect for those of you who need excellent shock absorption and are worth every penny. They will last if you use them in the right terrain and take care of them properly.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Check for the proper amount of stability. Make sure that the shoe will keep your feet in the right position to avoid any minor or major injuries. Also, select shoes based on your feet type. If you have flat feet, choose a pair which has support for flat feet. If your toes splay wide, you may want to look for a pair with a larger toe box.
For long distance running, it is necessary to be comfortable in your shoes. You should check the cushioning system of the shoe to make sure that it is comfortable and will support your weight and running style. Comfortability is also achieved by making sure you have the right size and fit running shoes. If you have high arches or splayed toes, be sure to look for shoes that accomodate your needs to make sure you're comfortable.
Since shin splints come from repeated use and shocks to your shins, having a running shoe with good shock absorbtion will definitely help you avoid this condition.
A shoe's shock absorbing capabilities typically come from the sole. Generally speaking, the thicker the sole, the more shock absorbtion that a shoe has, but this isn't always the case. By investing in research and inventing new technologies such as air pockets and different cushioning structures in the soles shoe companies have been able to increase shock absorbtion while decreasing the thickness of the sole. This is great because not all runners like their shoe's stack height to be too high. When looking for the right shoe for you be sure to take your running style and how heavy you are into consideration and you'll find a pair with just the right amount of shock absorbtion for you.
Every dedicated runner understands that their shoes take a beating. When you’re covering several miles a day, your shoes need to be able to stand up to all types of conditions for long periods of time. This means that they need to be made of durable material that’s also light and breathable. If the shoe is too tight, it can actually lead to fungal infections or further injury to the foot itself. It needs to be snug, prevent slippage, and offer you the right type of sole for the terrain that you choose. The last thing anyone wants is to spend 100 or more dollars on a shoe that falls apart in a month.
How supportive your running shoes are goes a long way towards avoiding shin splints and other injuries and makes a big impact on how you run as well. You want shoes that support your foot and ankle well, especially if you're a trail runner, but that aren't restrictive. When choosing a shoe be sure to look at the support structure it offers while also taking your running style into consideration. People who enjoy minimalist, barefoot style running shoes will want something less supportive, but it may still be a good idea to have a back up pair with more cushioning and support than you're used to for when you start to feel shin splints coming on. Likewise, heavier runners will want to make sure they buy a pair of shoes with lots of support to help protect their feet and ankles from the added strain the additional weight causes on your bones and joints.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If these shoes still don't help you eliminate shin splints completely, or if you want to continue running in your favorite shoes, then there's another option that can help you. Orthotic inserts can be purchased at nearly every footwear or sporting goods store that are specifically designed to prevent shin splints.
If your cases of shin splints are persistent and overwhelmingly painful no matter what shoes or inserts you wear, you may want to consider trying other forms of cardiovascular exercise. Some common alternatives to running that are easier on the shins include cycling, swimming, and using an elliptical trainer or rowing machine.
Other Factors to Consider
Good running shoes can protect your shins, knees, and even lower back from unnecessary injuries. They can correct your form and remove some of the stress on your shins. This can also help you to recover from shin splints without having to completely give up your workout. You may have to dial things back, but a good running shoe can protect you enough to get you through. We’ve looked at a huge number of factors and reviewed some of the best running shoes on the market for runners with sensitive shins.
Many runners need to address minor or major issues with shin splints during their running careers. Luckily most of the time, shin splints are not an issue that necessarily ends your running career. One known contributor to shin splints is poor shoes, either in quality or because of deterioration. This does not mean purchasing one of the pairs of shoes on our list will cure your shin splints overnight, but running in high-quality, cushioned, stabilizing shoes will certainly stack the deck in your favor and minimize at least one damaging element in your running regime.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are Shin Splints?
Shin splints are a deep muscular pain that occurs inside and outside of the shin. This pain can ultimately cause significant injuries to the foot and cause health issues like stress fractures. Luckily for most, shin splints can be avoided with the right training and the right shoes. If you tend to suffer from the problem of having high arches or throbbing pain in the shins, its good to think about getting the best shoes for shin splints.
q: What Causes Shin Splints?
Below are some of the most prevalent causes of a runner having shin splints:
q: What is Pronation?
Pronation is very common among athletes, and is generally experienced by everyone to some degree. Its the natural inward rolling of ones feet or foot as we walk or run. People who are considered to be neutral runners have low levels of pronation but then there are runners who experience pronation at very high levels. These type of runners suffer from what we call over pronation. Those who experience very little pronation suffer from supination.
Runners with excessive pronation are advised to get running shoes that offer them extra stability combined with natural movement. Stability of the shoes is determined by the amount of pronation that a runner experiences during their running sessions or when walking around.
q: How do I know if I have shin splints?
Watch out for these symptoms so that you can determine whether you have shin splints or not:
- Pain & tenderness experienced in the lower part of your leg
- Experiencing discomfort and pain each time you flex your toes, especially upwards
- Leg pain, especially around the ankles and knees, after running a few kilometers
But it’s also important to note that not every pain you will experience in your legs (especially the lower section of the leg) is necessarily brought on by shin splints. To diagnose a shin splint condition, it's best you visit a specialist so that they can determine what the condition is. However, before going to the doctor you can consider using compression socks when you go for a run.
The socks might help in blood circulation, around that specifically affected compartment hence blood flows better, which in turn will relieve the pressure and reduce the amount of discomfort experienced. If you train regularly or run often, and you are always experiencing leg pain in the lower part around/ above the ankles but just below the knees, this could be due to a stress fracture (the microfracture can either be tibia). An X-ray done by a professional can be the best way to diagnose this condition.
q: How do I prevent shin splints?
Below are some of the ways of preventing and treating shin splints.
- Buy new running shoes: Most of the time a new pair of sneakers that can offer additional cushioning and support to your feet, especially the lower part of your legs, will bring relief to the feet, hence prevent further pain caused by shin splints.
- Compression Socks: These cause more blood flow in your muscles, especially the muscles around your legs. This means there will be a reduced chance of you having pain, discomfort, or inflammation.
- Foam Rollers: These are a must-have piece of gear for every athlete. Runners who tend to experience pain caused by shin splints should use foam rollers to get rid of the inflammation that tends to affect the lower legs on a regular basis.
- Compression Wraps for Shin Splints: compression wraps are designed to get rid of discomfort and inflammation that is brought about by shin splints. Try these compression wraps on your next run.
- Taping: Taping is another option when you are looking for a good way to relieve the pain caused by shin splints. The taping techniques help the body muscles to relax and reduce pressure which reduces inflammation and pain
q: What are the best exercises for treating and preventing shin splints?
It's crucial that you understand and know the different varieties of shin splint exercises. Even though it's unfortunate that most doctors and therapists will recommend not running when you have shin splints, there are some exercises workouts you can do to hasten the recovery and repair process of your leg muscles.
- Stretching the leg muscles: Stretch the Achilles tendon, the front shins, and the calves as much as you can to reduce the inflammation and pain caused by shin splint. Each shin splint stretch could either make or break the recovery, so diligence must be maintained while doing the stretches.
- Trace the alphabet using the big toes in your feet. The alphabet should be on the floor. This should be done for each leg as it will help in stretching and strengthening the front shin and calf muscles.
- Alternate walking with heels on the ground and toes off, and regular walking ( each for a maximum of 30 seconds) This should be done for each leg as it will help in stretching and strengthening the front shin and calf muscles. It also helps in avoiding shin splint pain and inflammation. You should make sure you do the 3 above exercises at least three times daily
If the shin splint worsens or doesn't get better regardless of doing the above workout sessions, you can then go for cross training. This can involve activities like weight training, cycling, or even swimming. These should be done until you have recovered enough to resume running. Once you resume running, make sure that you increase the rate of your mileage steadily but not more 10% of the distance covered in running daily.
q: How can I reliever may shin splint symptoms?
There are two methods of treating shin splints: surgical and non-surgical. The non-surgical ways are: