11 Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints Tested
If you’ve ever had the misfortune of experiencing a shin splint, you’re not alone. Up to 15% of running injuries are caused by shin splints every year. Many of these could have been avoided if the runner was wearing the right footwear. In this article, we’re going to go over the best running shoes for shin splints in an effort to help avoid this painful experience. The shoes on our list will help prevent these kinds of injuries so you can focus on your running.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Open engineered mesh upper
EVA foam midsole
Dense rubber outsole
Top 11 Running Shoes for Shin Splints
1. Hoka One One Clifton 7
Open engineered mesh upper
EVA foam midsole
Dense rubber outsole
Limited color options
What makes the Clifton 7 a friend of shins everywhere is it’s incredible cushioning provided in all stages of your gait. This trainer is engineered to be used on hard and unforgiving surfaces that can be brutal on your shins. While it offers excellent cushioning and support from heel to toe, it is still super lightweight and breathable for long-distance running.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it boasts a full-length EVA midsole that helps to cushion and absorb the impact of each and every step. To provide even more support, it also has a foam-padded insole that is able to be removed if needed. The dense rubber outsole really grips surfaces (such as slick sidewalks) and adds a little bounce to your stride.
While the outsole and midsole are packed with supportive features to protect your joints, the upper is lightweight and breathable. A high heel collar cradles your heel and prevents rubbing and chafing when traveling long distances. Open engineered mesh helps to lift hot air away from your foot to keep it cool and dry as you train.
If you are in the market for a neutral trainer that offers a good deal of support and comfort, the Clifton 7 is worth checking out. It may cost a little bit more than your standard pair of trainers, but the unmatched comfort, as well as durability, makes this design an excellent value.
2. ASCIS Gel-Nimbus 22
Many colors available
Trusstic System technology
Narrow toe box
The Gel-Nimbus 22 is a great option for those that want something colorful and stylish while providing unmatched support. We love that this design comes in a host of bright and neutral shades to match your personal style, and has a host of supportive features to provide excellent support through all stages of your gait.Read more
The most notable feature of this design is that it uses Trusstic System technology. This system works by utilizing lightweight materials and reinforced padding on high impact areas to provide excellent support without the need for bulky materials. It protects your foot without weighing it down, making it a great stability shoe for speed or long-distances.
What runners also love about this design is that the upper really hugs your foot in a cloud of padded comfort. The tongue and the heel offer thick padding to promote lockdown and prevent rubbing blisters into your feet. They may run a little hot due to the bulky upper materials, but they really shine when it comes to lockdown.
If you are in the market for something that provides a good deal of support and comfort without weighing you down, this is a great option that is worth a look. It’s important to note that it is one of the more expensive designs in the ASICS line, but we feel that it is worth every penny.
3. ASICS Gel-Venture 7
Rearfoot GEL technology
The biggest difference between the Gel-Venture and the Gel-Nimbus boils down to the build of the upper. The GE-Venture boasts a slimmer upper that is more breathable, but a little more stiff for added stability. What runners love most about this design is that it provides you with excellent support when running on hard surfaces, and superior lockdown will help support your joints as well as your shins.Read more
Gel-Venture is a style that is made to move. It boasts a Rearfoot GEL technology cushioning system that is light and flexible and provides targeted cushioning at the point of impact. This cushioning system is designed for those that overpronate or carry a little bit of extra weight. It’s the perfect system to help support your joints and shins as you train.
We also love that the upper is a perfect marriage between minimalism and stability. It is composed of a blend of synthetic materials that help support and enhance lockdown, and mesh panels that move hot air up and away from the foot. It comes in a wide variety of unique color and design options as well.
Gel-Venture 7 is a great option for those that want the extra support and stability to protect your shins from hard surfaces without all of the extra weight. Runners find this design to feel lightweight and flexible while providing excellent energy feedback and enhanced lockdown.
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 running shoes 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 to prevent shin splints 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 good shoes for 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 16
Supportive U4ic midsole
Tight toe box
If you are willing to spare no expense on a pair of neutral road runners that work to protect and cushion, the Wave Inspire 16 is a great choice. At first glance, it may look like a minimalistic trainer, but it is packed with modern cushioning technology to help comfort your shins and joints at every stage of your gait. Plus, it comes in a wide variety of color and design choices.Read more
The most important feature of the Wave Inspire 16 is found in the midsole. U4ic midsole technology works to absorb the impact of each and every step without the use of heavy and blocky materials. It is built as a stability trainer with the look and feel of a minimalistic trainer. The durable X10 outsole adds an extra spring in your step as well as lengthens the life of your shoe.
We also love that the upper is composed of lightweight and breathable materials that contour to the shape of your foot. It is composed of a blend of mesh and synthetic materials to keep your foot cool and supported at the same time.
If you are in the market for a stability shoe that doesn’t look or feel like a blocky stability shoe, the Wave Inspire 16 is a great choice. We love that the build of the midsole helps to protect your skins and joints from hard and unforgiving surfaces and works together with the outsole for easy and effortless support.
6. Adidas Adizero Adios 4
10 mm drop
If you love your minimalistic trainers but suffer from leg pain when training on hard surfaces, the Adizero Adios 4 by Adidas is the perfect solution. What we love most about this design is that it boasts a lightweight and easy frame that is packed with supportive features in the midsole and outsole to keep pain at bay. It is offered in a few fun color options at a price that won’t break the bank.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that they weigh in at just 8 ounces, making them one of the lightest options on our list. It boasts a Continental outsole that offers excellent energy feedback, as well as traction on slick surfaces. Plus, the 10 mm drop works to really cradle and protect your heel as you run.
We also love that the upper is composed of easy and lightweight materials that really hug your foot. The blend of synthetic and mesh work together to provide support while still lifting hot air up and away from your foot to keep it cool and dry.
If you want something that is super lightweight that won’t hold you back, this design from Adidas is a great choice. While it boasts a minimalistic frame, it hosts features that help to cushion and protect your feet and legs throughout your entire gait. Plus, it comes in at an affordable price point that makes it worth checking out!
7. Brooks Glycerin 18
Squishy DNA Loft midsole
OrthoLite sock liner
Heavier than most
Do you find that your current trainers not only wreak havoc on your shins but your knees and lower back as well? If you find that you suffer from the bad kind of pain after every run, the Glycerin 18 from Brooks is the answer to your problems. This trainer is designed for runners that feel that there is no such thing as too much cushioning. It may be a little bit heavier than some of the other designs that we have seen so far, but many runners find the extra weight is well worth it!Read more
What makes the Glycerin 18 perfect for sidewalks and other unforgiving surfaces is the ample DNA LOFT cushioning in the midsole. By simply lacing them up and placing you weigh on the midsole, you will feel the responsive springiness immediately. Unlike more stiff midsoles, you can feel your feet sink into the midsole throughout your entire gait.
We also like that the upper provides a plush fit to accommodate all sizes and shapes of feet. Utilizing stretch mesh materials, this upper is lightweight and breathable, and also promotes excellent lockdown. This means that this design is not only great for long distances, but it’s also great for activities such as cross-training or HIIT training.
If you want the ultimate comfort and cushioning, the Glycerin 18 is your best option. We love that it is composed of squishy materials that you can feel throughout your entire gait. It’s heavier than some of the other trainers we have seen so far, but the extra weight is well worth it if you want a cushion that you can actually feel.
8. Saucony Zealot ISO 3
Updated TRI-FLEX outsole
3mm EVERUN Topsole
Too much arch support for some
The Zealot ISO 3 by Saucony does things a little differently. We love that this trainer boasts a sleek minimalist style that is perfect for speed, but it is packed with hidden stability features to protect your knees, joints, and shins as well. If you want to go fast but your legs want you to take it slow, the Zealot ISO 3 is worth checking out! Plus, it comes in at a more affordable price point that won’t break the bank.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is the construction of the upper. It boasts a unique lacing system that is unlike anything else out there on the market. The design of these laces allows users to adjust the fit of the upper to contour to the shape of their foot to enhance lockdown. When your trainers are secured tightly on your feet, it reduces the strain on your legs and joints.
The improved features of this design make it the perfect option for training on hard surfaces. The TRI-FLEX outsole has been updated to offer a supportive but flexible fit that is perfect for all types of training, not just long-distance running. Users love that this outsole is incredibly durable, and really grips the ground under their feet.
If you are in the market for a great pair of minimalist trainers that still provide support for your feet and legs, this option from Saucony is a great choice. We love that it comes in a wide variety of color options to match your personal style and clocks in at a reasonable price point that makes them worth checking out!
9. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20
Guide rail system
3D print mesh upper
DNA Loft cushioning
Tight toe box
If you are in the market for a good pair of neutral runners that still offer excellent support and cushioning for urban running, you can’t go wrong with the Adrenaline GTS 20. Users love that it is packed with features to provide unmatched support without weighing you down. It’s a great option not only for long-distance running but also for HIIT training and high speeds as well.Read more
Often, pain in your legs is a result of overpronation. To help easily correct your stride, the Adrenaline GTS 20 boasts guide rails that naturally help to correct your gait to even out where you place your weight with each and every step. The midsole also boasts DNA Loft crash pads to provide excellent energy feedback and shock absorption.
The 3D print mesh upper helps to cradle your foot to help promote lockdown. Mesh materials help to wick away moisture and lift hot air up and away from your feet to keep them cool and dry when training on hot days.
If you are in the market for a perfect blend of stability and minimalism, the Adrenaline GTS 20 is a great choice. It may cost a little bit more than some of the other designs on our list, but we feel that it is well worth the extra cost.
10. New Balance M940V3
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
This is the third generation of New Balance’s 940 series and features some very noticeable upgrades and changes that include better cushioning, shock absorption, and stability. It offers runners a thick midsole for extra comfort, which is important if you suffer from shin splints. That why these landed on our list of best shoes to prevent shin splints.Read more
In order to improve shock absorption from the last model, New Balance made a huge upgrade to the midsole and added ABZORB foam. This not only provides better shock absorption but more cushioning as well. The ABZORB foam is used to cover the full length of your shoe to give you extra cushioning and comfort you won’t find in most shoes.
It also features a single-density medial post which not only helps improve control and support, but it also reduces the weight and stiffness of the shoe for better performance. In order to improve stability, you’ll find that this shoe has a lower drop than other models on the list. The outsoles also feature deep flex grooves for better traction and control.
The runner used to make the outsole uses Ndurance technology that makes this a highly durable shoe that is perfect for running on pavement and roads.
11. Saucony Cohesion 13
Lightweight Grid technology
Smaller than expected
Working with a tight budget? The Cohesion 13 from Saucony provides users with excellent support and comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank. We love that it boasts a wide frame that allows for a more natural movement of your foot, which works to take the pressure off of your legs when training on hard surfaces. It also provides great stability without weighing you down with stiff and heavy materials.Read more
Our favorite feature of the Cohesion 13 is found in the midsole. It utilizes VersaFoam cushioning that adds an extra spring in your step and supports your foot throughout your entire gait. By utilizing Grid technology, these trainers help to reduce the pressure on your joints with lightweight and easy materials.
The upper is composed of a blend of synthetic materials to keep your feet cool and supportive. The synthetic materials help to keep your feet stable and supported, while the mesh works to lift hot air up and away from your feet.
If you need a neutral pair of trainers that come in at an affordable price point, the Cohesion 13 is a great option. We love that they support your legs without the use of heavy materials, which makes them ideal not only for road running but also for cross-training and HIIT training as well.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
If you're looking for the best trainers for shin splints, stability is PARAMOUNT.
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 of shoes 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 accommodate your needs to make sure you're comfortable.
Read also about running shoes for girls.
Since shin splints come from repeated use and shocks to your shins, having the best sneakers for shin splints with good shock absorption 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 absorption 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 absorption 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 absorption 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 go 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 isn'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 barefoot-style running shoes will want something less supportive, but it may still be a good idea to have a backup 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.
Read also about running shoes for big guys.
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
The best shoe for shin splints can not only protect your shins, but also your 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. It's the natural inward rolling of one's 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. The 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: