17 Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints: Runner’s Guide & Shoe Reviews 2019

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Shin splints, or Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome, can be a huge problem for runners, impeding their training and even being painful to walk with if they get really bad.

But choosing the right running shoes can aid greatly in speeding recovery and preventing the occurrence of shin splints in the first place.

female runner lacing her sneakers

How do We Choose the Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints?

A cushioned midsole is the main criteria in order to reduce the amount of shock that the shin is forced to absorb when running.

However, depending on your foot type, the amount of support in the shoe will also be a factor in preventing the occurrence of shin splints and helping them to heal if you already have them.

Over-pronating exacerbates shin splints so if you have collapsed arches, then getting appropriate arch support will be an important criterion in choosing the best running shoes for shin splints.

There are no shoes specifically designed for shin splints per se that will solve the problem by themselves.

This would be a miracle, and let’s be honest, miracles are unlikely.

The best shoes for resolving shin splints are those that provide ample cushioning while providing the right kind of support for your foot type.

Finally, they must be a good fit! Try before you buy!

Other things to consider:

  • Compression socks and wraps to support circulation.
  • Using massage and rollers, especially deep tissue.
  • Strategic placement of tape to help support the inflamed muscles and reduce the stress.
  • Stretching the shin, calves, and Achilles.
  • Running only on soft surfaces such as grass.
  • Strengthening exercises for prevention.

There is no quick fix, so while choosing the right shoe will aid your recovery significantly, ultimately, rest and a gradual reintroduction to running will be essential.

Bearing this in mind, choosing a shoe from the list below will set you up well for a speedy recovery while preventing further injury.

17 Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints Reviewed 2019

While these shoes are divided into Men’s and Women’s, most of the shoes are fantastic options for both Men and Women, so if you like the look of a shoe in the Men’s category, chances are the Women’s equivalent will suit you, and vice versa.

Best men’s running shoes for shin splints:

HOKA ONE ONE Men's Clifton 5 Running Shoe

Review: The most popular Hoka One One shoe, this shoe has also proven popular with those afflicted with shin splints due to its extremely comfortable, soft and smooth feel.

It provides all the right support for high arches while also being great for long distance with its top of the line balance of cushioning and durability.

Full-length EVA foam and rockered geometry keep the shoe feeling cushioned and fast while the engineered mesh upper results in a breathable, snug fit.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Well cushioned.
  • Low heel-toe drop.
  • Natural feel.
  • Durable.
  • Wide fit available.

Cons

Takeaway

The best running shoes for shin splints and high arches with a serious amount of cushioning.

ASICS Men's Gel-Nimbus 20 Running Shoe

Review: Part of Asics’s Premium neutral running shoe line, the Gel Nimbus is one of the most well cushioned shoes out there and has retained its popularity for almost 20 years.

If cushioning is your priority and you don’t have issues with pronation, you can’t go wrong with this shoe.

The FlyteFoam midsole together with FluidRide provides maximum gel cushioning in both the forefoot and heel while gradient mesh forms the lightweight, breathable upper.

A moderate 10mm drop still promotes heel striking but if this isn’t a problem and you’re not looking to transition to a more natural running style then the Nimbus is an almost perfect choice.

Pros

  • Extremely cushioned.
  • Well structured.
  • Breathable upper.
  • Improved fit for narrow feet over previous versions.

Cons

  • Narrow forefoot.

Takeaway

The Nimbus is Asics’s top neutral cushioned shoe for conventional styled heel strikers.

Saucony Men's Guide ISO Running Shoe

Review: Everrun cushioning provides ample shock absorption while remaining very responsive. A lower drop (8mm) than most conventional running shoes results in a slightly more natural style while providing the necessary support for over-pronators to avoid shin splints.

It is a very stable, controlled ride which makes it a great choice for longer runs.

The upper consists of the ISOFIT system which is what sets it apart from the rest of the Guides, with a sock-like fit and secure heel lock. It is a moderate stability shoe so great for those who need a little arch support.

Pros

  • Supportive.
  • Well cushioned.
  • Good traction.
  • Responsive.
  • Lower heel drop.

Cons

  • Requires breaking in for toe box to loosen.

Takeaway

A reliable stability shoe for pronators that will reduce strain on shin splints through balancing support and cushioning.

Saucony Men's Zealot Iso 3 Running Shoe

Review: The Zealot ISO 3 is a well cushioned neutral shoe, similar to the Nimbus. The ISO Fit Upper ensures a snug fit for a secure ride while the Everrun top sole makes for good shock absorption.

It is also impressively lightweight for such a well-constructed shoe. The Zealot is a relatively minimalist shoe with only a 4mm drop which will discourage heel striking and so potentially benefit those with shin splints.

There is limited responsiveness meaning that this is an ideal shoe for recovery runs and long runs but not for speed work.

Pros

  • Snug fitting upper.
  • Well cushioned.
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Comfortable.
  • Durable.
  • Low 4mm drop.

Cons

  • Not a fast shoe.

Takeaway

A very comfortable, light weight, well cushioned, moderately minimalist, neutral shoe.

ON Men's Cloud Running Shoe

Review: The Cloud is On’s lightest and fastest shoe with a comfortable, snug fit and well cushioned sole. Swiss engineering prioritizes shock absorbance and energy return making the shoe feel springy.

The Zero Gravity Foam sole unit is responsible for the shoe’s extremely lightweight and yet cushioned construction. It is this extremely soft landing that makes these shoes great for shin splint sufferers.

Meanwhile, the Speedboard component in the midsole results in the shoe also being surprisingly fast and responsive for such a soft ride.

Designed to be a race shoe, it is extremely lightweight, so if you’re looking for a fast shoe which will also cushion, then the Cloud is a great choice.

Pros

  • Very well cushioned.
  • Stable.
  • Very lightweight.
  • Fast and responsive.
  • Includes options for elastic or regular laces.
  • Low 6mm drop.

Cons

Takeaway

A fast, light weight, well cushioned shoe.

Mizuno Men's Wave Inspire 14 Running Shoe

Review: The Wave Inspire 14 is a stability shoe with a seamless upper that is incredibly comfortable with a snug fitting heel and spacious toe box.

The outsole is flexible and grippy while the midsole uses U4ic foam which results in the lightweight, responsive ride.

Responsive and fast, and yet soft enough for long runs, the Wave Inspire 14 is the perfect all-rounder. It’s hard to find fault with this shoe, especially if you don’t mind the higher 12mm drop.

Pros

  • Well cushioned.
  • Responsive.
  • Comfortable upper.
  • Roomy toe box.
  • Stable ride.
  • Lightweight feel.

Cons

  • 12mm drop is a little on the high side.
  • Price is also a little on the high side.

Takeaway

Well suited for flat feet and an extremely comfortable, all round reliable shoe.

Brooks Men's Glycerin 15 Running Shoe

Review: This shoe can be described in one word: Plush.

It seems Brooks has taken comfort to a new level with all components of the design resulting in a high mileage, extremely well-cushioned shoe with a soft and stable heel to toe transition.

BioMoGo midsole cushions your landing while a sock-liner literally molds itself to your foot for a truly comfortable inner experience.

With a moderate 10mm drop, excellent traction and durability, it’s very hard to find fault with this shoe.

Pros

  • Well cushioned.
  • Durable.
  • Good tread.
  • Plush upper.
  • Comfortable insole.

Cons

  • Maybe none!

Takeaway

A high mileage shoe that prioritizes cushioning and comfort. A fail-safe option for shin splints.

Adidas Men's Ultraboost Road Running Shoe

Review: For the neutral runner, the Adidas Ultra Boost is designed to be springy and responsive. It achieves this through its full length Boost midsole which provides cushioning with an impressive amount of energy return.

The Prime knit upper is ideal for narrow feet, forming a snug fit which is comfortable but not so suited to wider feet.

Its main drawcard for shin splint sufferers is the Boost midsole, which, if the rest of the shoe fits well, is very appealing.

However, overall it is an expensive shoe that may not be worth it’s price point unless you’re a die-hard Adidas supporter.

Pros

  • Comfortable.
  • Well cushioned.
  • Great traction.
  • Responsive.
  • Snug fit.

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Wool upper may be excessively warm.

Takeaway

Depending on your taste and foot shape, this shoe could be a great option for resolving shin splint pain with its full-length Boost midsole. However, your wallet will hurt instead.

Merrell Men's Vapor Glove 3 Trail Runner

Review: The Vapor Glove 3 is a minimalist trail running shoe that is extremely lightweight and flexible. If you’ve been thinking about resolving your shin splints through going the natural route then these are the shoes for you.

They have no midsole cushioning so they will require a transition period to get used to toe striking and absorbing shock through the muscles of the foot.

However, if you’ve taken some time off running to let your shin splints heal and are ready to get back on the trails, then slowly transitioning to these shoes could prevent further occurrences of shin splints in the future.

However, make sure you’re familiar with the concept of barefoot running before making the switch. Have a read of our barefoot running shoe guide for more information.

Pros

  • Vibram sole with great traction.
  • Roomy toe box.
  • Flexible.
  • Comfortable.
  • Lightweight.

Cons

  • Fits small.
  • Minimum protection from rocks underfoot.

Takeaway

One of the best minimalist shoes if you’re interested in resolving your shin splints through a change of running style and on variable terrain.

Best women’s running shoes for shin splints:

ASICS Gel-Kayano 25 Women's Running Shoe

Review: The Kayano is Asics’s top stability shoe and for good reason. With this edition being it’s 25th, it has clearly been popular enough to warrant continued production, and with the addition of gradual improvements as technology advances, this shoe is now a true leader in its field.

Balancing stability, cushioning and responsiveness, the Kayano is renowned to be a comfortable workhorse, supporting you while you put in the miles and all with optimum alignment.

Using Gel in the heel and Dynamic Duomax cushioning, the Kayano’s shock absorbing technology is a fail-safe way to reduce the aggravation on your shin splints.

Pros

  • Extremely supportive.
  • Well cushioned.
  • Durable.
  • Comfortable.
  • Breathable mesh upper.

Cons

  • Not a lightweight shoe.

Takeaway

The Kayanos are easily the best running shoes for pronation and shin splints, balancing cushioning and stability to reduce stress on the lower leg.

Due to their superior alignment and support, they are also likely to be the best running shoes for shin splints and knee pain.

Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 18 Running Shoe

Review: The Adrenaline GTS 18 is the Brooks flagship stability shoe. Rivaling the Kayano, it is a very popular shoe that has stood of the test of time being a product of the long-standing GTS line.

The BioMoGo DNA midsole combined with the Progressive Diagonal Rollbar results in optimum stability and cushioning.

The streamlined mesh upper is extremely comfortable with a sock-like fit. It is also well suited for long runs with its wide toe box to cater for foot expansion.

The 12mm drop is standard for stability shoes but does encourage heel striking which may exacerbate stress on the shins.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • Comfortable.
  • Good arch support.
  • Segmented crash pad for shock absorption.
  • Durable.
  • Wide toe box.

Cons

  • 12mm drop.

Takeaway

Ideal for pronators, the Adrenaline GTS is among the best women’s running shoes for shin splints and flat feet.

Brooks Women's Ravenna 9 Running Shoe

Review: The Ravenna 9 is a well cushioned, light weight shoe, designed for mild pronators with a narrow fit. It is nowhere near as supportive as the Kayano but if pronation isn’t a serious problem for you, then the mild support combined with the excellent cushioning makes it an ideal shoe for battling shin splints.

For all intents and purposes, it seems as though the Ravenna is heading towards a minimalist design with its reduced midsole support and lightweight.

However, the 9 has retained its 10mm drop, BioMoGo DNA biodegradable cushioning while revolutionizing the upper with a snug fitting seamless mesh design.

Pros

  • Arch Support.
  • Well cushioned.
  • Comfortable, snug fit.
  • Bouncy and responsive.
  • Affordable.

Cons

  • Little stability in the midsole.
  • Narrow fit.

Takeaway

If arch support isn’t a priority and your feet are on the narrow side, then the light weight cushioning of the Ravenna makes it a great choice for shin splints.

Saucony Women's Guide 10 Running Shoe

Review: Saucony’s revolutionary EVERUN foam and SSL EVA midsole provides the cushioning in the Guide 10 resulting in a comfortable and responsive ride.

The Guide 10 manages to balance stability with cushioning in a way that makes the arch support almost unnoticeable which is always a plus.

This combined with the lower 8mm drop than most stability shoe means the Guide 10 encourages a more natural running style.

The engineered mesh upper provides an incredibly secure fit so you won’t experience any slipping, though the sizing tends to run a little small.

Pros

  • Supportive.
  • Responsive.
  • 8mm drop.
  • Well cushioned.

Cons

  • Narrow toe box.
  • Runs small.

Takeaway

The guide is another great stability shoe which will provide a comfortable ride for pronators making them great running shoes for shin splints.

Brooks Women's Ghost 11 Running Shoe

Review: The Ghost 11 is a fail-safe go-to neutral shoe that provides plenty of cushioning for relief from shin splints while still being responsive enough to keep you motivated.

Designed for under-pronators, the Ghost includes a segmented crash pad and Brooks’s BioMoGo DNA foam midsole, providing comfortable cushioning while remaining lightweight.

Its fantastic traction means it would stand up to some trail running while its extreme comfort level means the Ghost is an excellent shoe for long runs. All in all, the Ghost leads the pack of cushioned, neutral shoes.

Pros

  • Serious cushioning.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Wide forefoot.
  • Breathable.
  • Seamless mesh upper.
  • Supportive midsole.
  • Incredible grip.

Cons

  • Not water repellent.

Takeaway

Suited for those with medium to high arches, the Ghost will provide an extremely cushioned ride while remaining responsive and reducing stress on the shins making them good running shoes for shin splints.

New Balance Women's 1080v8 Running Shoe

Review: The 1080 is a neutral cushioned shoe, with FreshFoam technology providing maximum shock absorbance while encouraging natural pronation through the length of the foot strike.

This makes it a great option for under-pronators or supinators, while the midsole remains firm and supportive. The main drawcard to the 1080 is its wide fit and extreme amount of cushioning which makes it a fantastic recovery shoe for heavier runners.

The cushioning feels a little firm, but rest assured, it is doing its job. It won’t feel fast or responsive but it will provide an unbeatable amount of shock absorbance when battling shin splints.

Pros

  • Wide toe box.
  • Extremely cushioned.
  • Breathable.
  • Wide width options available.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • Not lightweight.
  • Unresponsive and slow.

Takeaway

These shoes are a great option if cushioning is your priority and you have wider feet. They are likely to be some of the best running shoes for shin splints and flat feet.

HOKA ONE ONE Women's Challenger ATR 4 Running Shoe

Review: The Challenger ATR 4 are a formidable summer trail shoe, combining cushioning, light weight and traction for reliably comfortable runs on both the trail and road.

The lightweight and extreme breathability make it a great shoe for hot summer temperatures.

The lower 5mm drop could provide unexpected relief from shin pain depending on your running style, while the incredible amount of cushioning for such a lightweight will result in an even more natural-feeling ride.

Pros

  • Very lightweight.
  • Well cushioned.
  • Secure lace-up system.
  • Low heel-toe drop.
  • Breathable.

Cons

  • Not great in wet, muddy conditions.

Takeaway

The ATR 4s are some of the best trail running shoes for shin splints owing to their cushioning and light weight.

ASICS Women's Gel Persue Running Shoe

Review: The Gel Pursue won’t win any competitions when stacked against the likes of the Nimbus or Kayano, but it is a solid Asics shoe and extremely affordable.

Good cushioning and with moderate support, the Gel Pursue is a neutral road shoe that still manages to include most of Asics’s top of the line technology.

The Impact Guidance System technology combined with the FluidRide midsole and Gel cushioning make this shoe a perfect contender for managing shin splints.

Pros

  • Well cushioned.
  • Moderately supportive.
  • Affordable.
  • Relatively light weight.

Cons

  • Less durable and supportive than other Asics shoes.
  • Not particularly responsive.
  • Fits small.

Takeaway

The Gel Pursue is one of the best entry level cushioned shoes for shin splints, being affordable while still being a reliable Asics shoe.

So there you have it, your guide to choosing the best running shoes for shin splints and a list of great options to choose from.

I hope you found this article useful.

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