10 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.
This is the best product on our list that is currently in stock:
Cushioned heel and forefoot
Heel stability features
Top 10 Running Shoes for Shin Splints
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 of top-rated running shoes for shin splints.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 21
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
This takes the place of ASICS Gel Nimbus 18 on our list, and the newer model comes with a lot of great features and upgrades. Some of these include Impact Guidance System Technology, SpevaFoam 45, and Ortholite X-40 Sockliner. These upgrades make this one of the most advanced and comfortable shoes on the list.Read more
Shock absorption is important when dealing with shin splints. You’ll find that the midsole uses FlyteFoam tech for extra cushioning and bounce. The micro-fibers that are used to construct the midsole also make it extremely lightweight as well.
In order to provide maximum comfort no matter how long you run or how rough the terrain is, SpevaFoam 45 runs the length of the shoe and provides your foot with a soft and lasting platform.
This features Otholite X-40 Sockliner, which not only provides a high level of breathability, but it also has higher rebound properties for extra support.
In order to improve stability and your foot’s natural gait, ASICS added Impact Guidance System Technology into the shoes. It also has a 10 mm drop from heel to toe and molded EVA that conforms to your feet.
ASICS is a well-known brand in the runners' world and for good reason. They use the best materials and technology when creating their shoes for high performance and durable products.
3. Asics Gel Venture 6
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
This is an upgrade to ASICS Gel-Venture 5, which it replaces on the list. If you prefer venturing out and trying new paths, no matter how rugged the terrain may be, these are for you. They have special cushioning and outsoles that can take on the toughest surfaces.Read more
In order to increase shock absorption and reduce the stress on your feet and knees, ASICS added their unique Rearfoot GEL cushioning. The design of these running shoes to prevent shin splints also helps a smooth transition to midstance.
The upper is made of high-quality mesh fabric that improves moisture-wicking for dry and comfortable feet. It also helps prevent bacteria and fungi from forming.
Everyone has different needs and issues with their feet. ASICS took this into consideration when designing these shoes and included removable sock liners which allow you to modify with a medical orthotic for extra support.
The outsoles were made to take on all types of terrain. It features reversed lugs which help increase traction when going uphill and downhill.
The outsoles also feature ASICS High Abrasion Rubber, a specially engineered material that is highly durable. Reviews have been very positive when it comes to the durability of these shoes.
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 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 running shoes for shin splints 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. 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.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.
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 running shoes are 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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: