Shin Splints is one of the most common injuries for some athletes like runners. When there is pain along the tibial, it is very possible that you have shin splints. Beginning runners as well as runners returning back to running after an injury are the most susceptible to shin splints. This is because Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome as it is medically known, occurs when a runner has recently increased or changed their training activity and overworked their bone tissues, tendons, and muscles.
Although shin splints is a pretty common injury, it is really one of those recurring problems that runners at different levels truly dislike. And this is probably because of the nagging pain it brings to the victim and the fact that is a recurring problem.
Another thing that can contribute to and cause shin splints is the type of running shoes that a runner runs with. There are different types of running shoes. However, in order to reduce the risks of shin splints on a running athlete, there is a need to buy the best running shoes for shin splints.
Top 8 Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints 2019
|Hoka One One Clifton||Check Price|
|Hoka One One Clifton||Check Price|
|Asics Gel Nimbus||Check Price|
|New Balance 940V3||Check Price|
|Mizuno Wave Inspire 13||Check Price|
|Merrell Vapor Glove 2||Check Price|
|Nike Lunarglide Running Shoes||Check Price|
|Salomon Speed Cross 4||Check Price|
Before we address the causes and prevention and how to choose the right running shoes for shin splints, let’s give you a list of the best running shoes for shin splints in 2019.
1. Editor’s Pick: Hoka One One Clifton
Many runners love the Hoka One One shoes but one of the most popular Hoka One One shoe is the Hoka One One Clifton 5 which is not just great for reducing the pain and preventing shin splints but also provides great support for your high arches. The Clifton line, especially the fifth edition has a lot of advantageous features for runners.
One of these features which also makes it one of the best running shoes is the maximum cushioning. The EVA material cushioning is a very wonderful feature which makes for excellent shock absorption as well as a smooth and comfortable run. The shock absorption power of the Clifton line of shoes enables it to decrease the pressure to the heel and ball of your foot.
The full ground contact design of the Hoka One One Clifton line also ensures high stability. The upper designs give the shoe a breathable fit as the designed pores keep the feet cool and dry. The open construction also works with the air mesh upper design to prevent skin irritation and blistering.
The sole technology used for the Clifton line is also very good and it allows for a lot of responsiveness. The outsoles are made with a lightweight rubber which is resistant to abrasion. The CMEVA (Compression Molded Ethylene Vinyl Acetate foam) material of the midsoles provides the springiness needed to protect your feet from the shock from impact with the ground. The Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry design of the midsole also allows you to make natural and more effective movements.
- The midsole is made with CMEVA for effective responsiveness and springiness.
- Great amount of cushioning to protect your feet from impact with the ground.
- Air mesh upper design provides a breathable fit.
- The outer sole is made with a lightweight rubber material which gives it a cloud-like feel.
- Full ground contact design ensures maximum surface area and better efficiency.
- Not a great idea for low arches.
- Sizing issues.
Asics Gel Kayano is another great line that belongs to our list of best running shoes for shin splints. Asics Gel Kayano is lightweight, comfortable and even has a glove-like fit as well as cushioning and heel support. The running shoes are reliable for trail running and road running. It has a Gel-based cushioning system that is also good for shock absorption when landing. The mesh is FluidFit which allows runners to enjoy a glove-like fit. The rear foot is supported by the heel clutching system thereby reducing the chances or pain of shin splints.
The outsole of this running shoe is made with AHAR (Asics High Abrasion Resistant Rubber) which causes great traction. AHAR was also placed in the areas more susceptible to wear and tear to ensure the durability of this running shoe. Apart from this, Asics Gel Kayano has DuraSponge at the forefoot part of the outsole which increases the cushioning effect and makes lift-off more convenient and comfortable. Natural movement while running is also enhanced by the flex grooves in the outsole unit which makes for a great and smooth running experience.
The FluidRide feature of the Asics Gel Kayano enhances your toe-off and gait cycle. The Dynamic DuoMax Support System and the dual-density foam supports your arch and improves your stability. And the ComforDry X-40 Sock Liner ensures that the inner part of this running shoe is kept cool and dry and adds to the cushioning effect of the shoe. This running shoe also has the Impact Guidance System (IGS) that helps to improve your natural gait and corrects bad running technique. The upper is made with stretchable mesh which provides a flexible and soft glove-like fit.
- The Impact Guidance System can improve your natural gait.
- FluidFit upper ensures a glove-like fit.
- Gel-unit and supportive cushioning system for better shock absorption.
- The rearfoot and heel are kept secured by the heel counter system.
- The Asics Gel Kayano 25 has problems with its interior lining
Asics Gel Nimbus is a running shoe line that is very popular among distance runners or people who have experienced shin splints because they spend a lot of time on their feet. These running shoes can be very supportive for marathon races or casual jogging.
Asics Gel Nimbus has a FlyteFoam midsole and FluidRide that improves the cushioning effect for both your forefoot and heel. The gradient-mesh characteristic of the Asics Gel Nimbus provides a breathable upper design which makes this running shoe much easier to wear. The Asics Gel Nimbus line comes with an excellent patented AHAR that makes your running shoes much more durable. The DuraSponge technology in the shoes provides cushioning at the forefoot area.
The Forefoot cushioning provided by the DuraSponge technology and rearfoot cushioning is a great shock absorber that increases responsiveness and springiness. There is also a Guidance Trusstic System in the midsole of the Asics Gel Nimbus line that helps with torsional rigidity and lightweight support.
These running shoes for shin splints are constructed with engineered mesh which provides you with a breathable fit (which is in turn important for preventing and reducing the pain of shin splints). Since there are no seams in the upper construction of the Nimbus line, you can enjoy a smooth and irritation-free ride in these running shoes. The FluidFit tech as well as the heel clutching system that wraps your heels provides a glove-like fit and protects your heels.
- FluidFit technology and heel clutching system provide a glove-like fit.
- Gel cushioning at the rearfoot and forefoot for better shock absorption.
- Highly durable.
- The engineered mesh ensures breathability.
- Guidance Trusstic System for better stability.
- Narrow toe box.
- These running shoes might feel tight depending on your leg size.
- Stiff midsole technology.
The New Balance 940V3 running shoe provides runners with a lot of stability with its T-Beam support. It has full-length Abzorb cushioning which provides superior cushioning for your entire foot from your forefoot to your rearfoot and your heels. The shoe is great option for shin splints and overpronation. It can help you achieve a smooth and well-cushioned run.
- Simple design yet, very durable shoe.
- A great choice for overpronation with the unique medial post design.
- Too simple
- No special features or innovative sole technology.
Mizuno wave inspire 13 is made with robust blown rubber and Mizuno X10 tech to offer the best traction on the road, durability and a great cushioning effect. There are Flex controllers on the outsoles which enhance flexibility and better running efficiency.
Mizuno Wave Inspire’s midsoles are made with Wave technology which improves the responsiveness and cushioning of these shoes. The Mizuno Wave Inspire 13 has gender-specific grooves that provide a smooth heel to toe transaction for every runner. The double fan wave also controls overpronation and offers runners stability.
The Mizuno Wave Inspire line also uses U4ic midsole technology to absorb impact and prevent shock and impact injuries. The shoe also has a comfortable forefoot fit due to the Dynamotion fit and collar fabrication. The upper part of your Mizuno Wave Inspire 13 is fabricated with air mesh which keeps the inside of your shoes comfortable and healthy.
- The robust blown rubber in the outsoles provides a great cushioning effect.
- The Dynamotion fit and collar fabrication features improve fitting and comfort.
- Flex controller in the outsoles ensures flexibility and durability.
- Cushioning at the heel may not be adequate.
- The midsole is a bit hard.
- Middle section is loose-fitting.
The Vibram Outsole TC1 feature of this running shoe makes for great traction and better grip on different running surfaces. Natural movement and flexibility are encouraged with the groove pattern on the outsole.
Merrell Vapor Glove 2 comes with a CMEVA-designed midsole which provides good cushioning and improved flexibility and responsiveness. The air mesh construction of the upper part of these running shoes makes the shoe comfortable and breathable, especially for runners who sweat a lot. The Merrell Vapor Glove 2 has a rearfoot sling which is good for heel support. Toe bump feature of this running shoe protects the foot from debris and other potential dangers. The microfiber footbed (M-Select Fresh) feature helps to enhance cushioning.
- CMEVA midsoles for cushioning and better flexibility.
- The rear foot sling is great for heel support.
- The microfiber footbed is non-removable.
This is a running shoe that provides great support and cushioning for runners. It has unparalleled stability and comfort. Made with Lunarlon foam, it gives a plush feeling to your leg and facilitates a smooth and cloud-like ride. It also has a very supportive fit and keeps your shin pain-free. The mesh design is very breathable and it keeps your feet cool and dry when you’re working out.
- Has a great supportive fit.
- Mesh keeps feet cool and dry.
- Exceptional stability and comfort.
- It has vibrant and fun color choices.
- Sizing issues
If you do trail running, then the Salomon Speed Cross 4 running shoes are the best choice. They have a great grip of almost any surface. They are also lightweight. Salomon is a company that specifically builds running shoes for trail running. The shoe is also very rugged and durable. If you’re into mountain running and ultra-marathon running, you might want to get the Salomon Speed Cross 4 with its lightweight and great cushioning which protects your heels. It can also help to prevent shin splints because of its great shock absorption ability.
- Great shock absorption ability.
- Has a great grip for running on uneven terrain.
- Very durable.
- Reliable for trail runners and mountain runners.
- It is a specialized running shoe that works best for trail runners.
What is Shin Splints?
Shin Splints refer to pain along the front area of the leg at the shinbone. The pain is usually concentrated along the lower part of the front of your leg between your knee and ankle. This injury is a common one which occurs when you suddenly do high impact activities like running for an extended period of time when your body isn’t used to it. This injury is common to runners, military recruits, dancers and tennis players. Shin splints occur because of cumulative stress disorder, that is, when your physical activities put stress on the bone tissues, muscles and joints of your lower leg and prevent them from naturally repairing themselves.
Shin splints don’t have to necessarily be serious except you ignore its symptoms and continue your hectic physical activity. Shin splints can be treated with different self-help methods. If you don’t overdo your exercise and running routines, you can also prevent the reoccurring problem of shin splints.
Should I Run with Shin Splints?
No. Do not run with shin splints, wait for your shin splints to get healed. Or else, bear the consequences. Runners who continue running when they have shin splints end up prolonging their injury because they don’t allow the injured tissues and muscles to heal. Apart from prolonging your injury, your small injury that can be healed in two weeks or less can become full-blown tibial stress fracture. And you really don’t want this fracture which is a terrible worst-case scenario of shin splints.
How to Choose the Right Running Shoes for Shin Splints
To be able to choose the right running shoes to prevent shin splints, you should look for shoes with the following features:
1. Shock Absorption
You need to choose running shoes that have the right sole technology to absorb the shock from the force of your shoes hitting and leaving the ground while you’re running.
You definitely want a shoe with different features that cushion your forefoot and rearfoot as well as your heels. This is why you need to buy high-quality running shoes which have been designed with the right materials to protect your feet from injury or pronation.
3. Avoid shoes that are too tight
Wearing tight shoes or shoes with ill-fitting is one of the reasons why people have shin splints. You need to make sure that you use shoes that fit you either with a glove-like fit or breathable fit. If your shoes are too tight, your toes get bent or squeezed when you’re running. Therefore, when searching for your running shoes make sure they’re not tight.
4. Your running terrain
What kind of terrain will you be running on? This is an important part of choosing your shoes. You need to choose the right shoe with the right features fitting the terrain you will be running on.
5. The type of running you do
When choosing the best running shoes for shin splints, you need to consider the type of running you do. The shoes that would be more appropriate for marathon or long-distance runners may not work for a short distance or neutral runner. Gender is also an important thing to keep in mind. Some running shoes work better and are built specifically for women or men. For optimum result, choose the shoes that are more comfortable for your gender.
Shin Splints Treatment and Prevention
- Home remedies
Most times, when you have shin splints you have to take a break from your physical activity to let your muscles and bones rest and allow the discomfort to resolve slowly. The amount of time you need to take for your rest will depend on your doctor but is most times, it would be up to two weeks.
One very popular home remedy for shin splints is RICE involving rest, ice, compression and elevation.
Rest: Simply avoid all activities that cause you pain or discomfort.
Ice: Use ice packs to reduce the swelling in your lower legs. Wraps the ice packs with towels and put them on your shins for 15 to 20 minutes up to 4-8 times in a day during your rest period.
Compression: Wearing elastic compression bandages around the sore spots along your shin.
Elevation: You will need to keep your legs elevated with a pillow or chain to reduce swelling and inflammation.
- Try doing stretches for your shin splints
You can try some stretches to stretch out your muscles and relieve shin splints pain. These stretches can work with the RICE method to nurse you to good health in no time. You can try the Seated shin stretch, Soleus muscle stretch, Gastrocnemius muscle stretch, Calf raises and Foam rolling to relieve your sore shin.
- You can use pain relievers
You can also take anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen (Advil), Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or Naproxen Sodium (Aleve). But these pain relievers cannot be substitutes to your recommended home remedies (RICE) or stretching. They can just help with the pain.
Fasciotomy is the surgical procedure recommended by doctors for victims experiencing shin splints with severe pain or whose shin splints have refused to heal. During this surgical procedure, small cuts will be made to the fascia tissue in your calf muscles. However, surgery is hardly used to treat shin splints since home remedies usually work well.
- Wear well-fitting shoes with good support.
- Wear shoes with shock-absorbing soles technology.
- Do the right stretches and warm-ups before your exercise.
- Try strength training for building your calf muscles.
- Avoid exercising through pain.
- Observe and increase your exercise duration and intensity gradually.
- Get arch supports based on the type of arches you have.
- Avoid exercising on hard or uneven terrain.
What are the symptoms of shin splints?
Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome occurs when you start having a sharp pain or dull and throbbing pain in your shin. There may be mild swelling and the pain can usually be aggravated by touching the sore spot between your knee and ankle. At the first instance, the shin splints pain may occur only during your strenuous physical activity but it may soon become more painful and lead to a serious injury if not dealt with on time.
What causes shin splints?
Shin splints mostly develop when the muscles and bone tissues in your leg are overworked. This overwork can be caused by repetitive exercises or physical activity, or sudden changes to your normal physical activity (duration or intensity). It also occurs due to putting repetitive stress on the connective tissues attaching your muscles to your bone or putting stress on your shinbone. You may be more susceptible to shin splints because:
- You have flat feet or somewhat abnormal rigid arches.
- You exercise with the wrong footwear or worn-out footwear.
- You work out without stretches and warm-ups.
- You have weak ankles, hips and core muscles footwear.
- You run on uneven terrains such as hills or hard surfaces.
Prevention is better than cure, which is why it is wiser for you to prevent shin splints by wearing the proper running shoes and avoiding excessive strenuous activity that your body isn’t ready for. However, even if you already have or had shin splints, it is never too late to reduce the pain or prevent another re-occurrence with the best running shoes for shin splints.