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TOP 18 Best Running Shoes For Shin Splints Reviewed 2021 (Runner’s Guide)
Shin splints can be a pain, right?
We love running, so anything that’s going to stop us is annoying!
Luckily, the shoes you wear can make a big difference to your shin splints!
We’ve put together a list of the best running shoes for shin splints in 2021 so that you don’t have to waste time doing the research. Skip to the bottom of the page if you’re interested in more tips and info first.
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.
Review: Everun 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.
Lower heel drop.
Requires breaking in for toe box to loosen.
A reliable stability shoe for pronators that will reduce strain on shin splints through balancing support and cushioning.
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.
Snug fitting upper.
Low 4mm drop.
Not a fast shoe.
A very comfortable, light weight, well cushioned, moderately minimalist, neutral 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.
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.
Wool upper may be excessively warm.
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.
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.
Vibram sole with great traction.
Roomy toe box.
Minimum protection from rocks underfoot.
One of the best minimalist running shoes if you’re interested in resolving your shin splints through a change of running style and on variable terrain.
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.
Breathable mesh upper.
Not a lightweight shoe.
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.
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.
Comfortable, snug fit.
Bouncy and responsive.
Little stability in the midsole.
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.
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.
Wide toe box.
Wide width options available.
Unresponsive and slow.
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.
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.
Secure lace-up system.
Low heel-toe drop.
Not great in wet, muddy conditions.
The ATR 4s are some of the best trail running shoes for shin splints owing to their cushioning and light weight.
Review: Another reliable Asics choice with comfortable gel cushioning but designed for the trail is the Gel Venture 6. It’s a neutral shoe with a rugged outsole and a good amount of gel cushioning in the heel which together with a spacious toe box and reliable tread offers a complete package.
The cushioning may feel a little firm, but this doesn’t mean it’s not doing its job of shock-absorbing, and overall the stability of this shoe makes it a great choice for neutral trail runners with shin splints.
Very durable and rugged for the trail.
Good stability for neutral pronators.
Spacious toe box.
Cushioning may feel a little firm as is usually the case with trail shoes.
The Gel Venture 6 is a reliable option for trail runners with shin splints.
Review: One last reliable Brooks option, known for its extreme cushioning, is the Ghost. It makes all the lists where cushioning is important, providing a really stable and shock-absorbing ride. This is a workhorse of a shoe when it comes to cushioning, and if you have problem feet, you can’t go far wrong with the Ghost.
It’s not the fastest shoe on the block but when it’s shin splints we’re talking about, cushioning is more important than responsiveness.
The Ghosts are neutral road runners with 12mm drops making them well-suited to neutral pronators who heel strike.
Good stability for neutral pronators.
Spacious toe box.
Wide and x-wide sizing available.
A good shoe for a range of problems (bunions, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, etc).
May feel slow and a little heavy.
These are very good running shoes for shin splints and could be the best running shoes to prevent shin splints from coming back if they’ve been a problem for you in the past.
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.
Similarly, if you have narrow feet, the most supportive and cushioned shoe won’t solve your shin splints if your feet are sliding around inside. (We have an article with all the best running shoes for narrow feet if you think this might be you.)
If you’re a heavier runner, cushion will be really important, but also overall stability so that all that sponginess doesn’t have your ankles rolling around. Check out our article on the best running shoes for heavier runners if you think you might fall into that category.
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 – this one is essential.
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 above will set you up well for a speedy recovery while preventing further injury.
What Kind of Running Shoes are Best for Shin Splints?
The best running shoes for shin splints are shoes with plenty of soft cushioning and the right kind of support for your foot type. If you overpronate or have collapsed arches, you’ll need a really well-cushioned stability shoe.
Can Running Shoes Cause Shin Splints?
If the running shoes you’re wearing aren’t cushioned enough and you’re a heel striker, then yes, your running shoes could be the cause of your shin splints.
How do I Avoid Shin Splints When Running?
There are a number of things you can do to avoid shin splints. Strengthening your feet and lower legs, together with wearing well-cushioned, supportive shoes and only running on soft surfaces like grass are good places to start.
In the long run, you might want to consider switching to a barefoot running style but this isn’t a quick fix solution.
Is it Bad to Run With Shin Splints?
If your shin splints are painful, then yes, it’s best to avoid running on them until they’re healed – you don’t want to make the problem worse.
If they’re only very mild and not causing you much pain, then you may choose to keep up some light running, but you’ll need to make sure you address the problem otherwise you may end up with a stress fracture will definitely put a stop to any activity.
Should You Massage Shin Splints?
Massaging can be a great way to speed the recovery of shin splints. Check out the video below for a quick how-to guide for self-massage.
Why do My Shin Splints Keep Coming Back?
There are a number of reasons that you could be facing recurrent shin splints, from the state of your shoes to muscle imbalances.
Your best bet is to visit a professional who can assess your particular case
Do Compression Socks Help Shin Splints?
Yes, compression socks can help relieve shin splints through increasing blood flow and reducing inflammation – but they won’t solve the problem by themselves, they’ll just help the symptoms.
What Exercise is Good for Shin Splints?
There are a number of exercises that can help with shin splints through strengthening the muscles in your legs and feet so that your shins don’t have to do too much work. This article has some great advice.
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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Michael is a fitness expert and professional home/garage gym builder. His tutorials, guides, and reviews are backed up by his own experience and will definitely help you achieve your goals. He also loves putting mayo AND ketchup on the pizza for some reason!