15 Best Shoes For Shin Splints: Reviews, Ratings & Comparisons

best shoes for shin splints

As a runner, you’ve surely felt the pain of shin splints. It can spoil your daily exercise routine and cause walking to become just as uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are some shoes that can help you deal with shin splints once and for all. By taking the time to find the best shoes for shin splints, you can keep on running pain-free.

Follow our comprehensive guide to learn what causes shin splints, how you can control them and what to look for in a high-quality pair of shoes.

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Product Name
Type of Shoe
Material
Price Guide & Amazon Rating
View Product
ASICS Men's GEL-Nimbus 16 Running Shoe

ASICS Men's GEL-Nimbus 16 Running Shoe

Running Shoe

Synthetic

$$$$

Hoka One Men's Clifton 2

Hoka One Men's Clifton 2

Running Shoe

Synthetic

$$$$

Saucony Men's Omni 12 Running Shoe

Saucony Men's Omni 12 Running Shoe

Running Shoe

Synthetic

$$$$

ASICS Women's GEL-Kayano 21 Running Shoe

ASICS Women's GEL-Kayano 21 Running Shoe

Running Shoe

Synthetic

$$

Saucony Women's Guide 8 Running Shoe

Saucony Women's Guide 8 Running Shoe

Running Shoe

Synthetic

$

Propet Women's W3851 Wash & Wear Slip-On

Propet Women's W3851 Wash & Wear Slip-On

Slip-on

Leather

$

Skechers Women's Shape Ups Metabolize Fitness Work Out Sneaker

Skechers Women's Shape Ups Metabolize Fitness Work Out Sneaker

Sneaker

Leather/Synthetic

$$

Hush Puppies Women's Heaven Slip-On Shoe

Hush Puppies Women's Heaven Slip-On Shoe

Slip-on

Leather

$$

Hush Puppies Men's Lunar II Slip-On Loafer

Hush Puppies Men's Lunar II Slip-On Loafer

Slip-on

Leather

$$

Propet Men's Galway Walker Slip-on

Propet Men's Galway Walker Slip-on

Slip-on

Leather

$


Shin Splints Explained


Shin splints are a broad term used to describe lower leg pain. This often occurs below the knee on the front outside (anterior shin splints) or on the inside of the leg (medial shin splints). Most people that suffer from them are active or engaged in sports such as running, dancing, soccer or tennis.

This injury is generally regarded as an overuse issue. It will develop over time but could also occur after one bout of exercise. Shin splints are an inflammation of the soft tissue that surrounds the bone lining of the tibia.

Richard T. Bouché, D.P.M. says that shin splints are “essentially an inflammatory reaction involving the connective tissue of the leg at its insertion into the inside or front aspect of the leg bone.”

Most times, this broad term of shin splints is an exercise-induced injury. You’ll find that many podiatrists will use the term shin splints loosely when referring to most types of leg pain.

Runners who don’t take the time to build up their mileage gradually tend to suffer from shin splints on a regular basis. It can even happen to seasoned runners that change their workout routine abruptly. Sometimes a runner will go from running on flat surfaces to running on hills which can be to blame.

The proper name for shin splints is medial tibial stress syndrome or MTSS. An easy way to remember this condition is to think too much was done too soon.


Who Can Get Shin Splints?


Shin splints can easily affect anyone but generally seem to strike those participating in high-impact sports. Men, women and children all enjoy sports and running, so it’s possible for someone of any age to develop shin splints.

Military personnel, runners and dancers alike can all suffer when their training routines get changed or the muscles become overworked.

Shin splints seem to account for an estimated 11% of injuries to male runners and 17% of female runners. Aerobic dancers seem to have the highest rates of about 22%. While it mainly affects people participating in high-impact activities, it could also affect someone that is just walking. This is especially true if the person increases the distance or speed quickly.


Ways of Controlling Shin Splints


Most experts agree that it’s important to stop running while you let the muscles and bones heal. A reduction in pain could take up to three to six months depending on how damaged the area is. If the pain is severe, take an over-the-counter painkiller and ice the shins.

Here are some other ways to control shin splints:

Fix Your Running Form

It’s possible to learn proper running form. It’s imperative that you lift the toes, roll the arches upward and then strike the ground using as much of the outside of your foot as possible. When you do this, you will gently roll the foot inward and lift your heel.

Improper running form includes:

  • Not rolling the arches upward
  • Allowing the heel to strike the ground abruptly
  • Not lifting the toes
  • Overpronation of the foot which means to roll it inward and put stress on your toes

Moderation and Rest

Recovery of your muscles is important. If you face a minor injury, allow the muscles time to rest and resolve the situation. This will take far less time than aggravating the injury and making it worse.

If you can’t run because of injury, consider other forms of exercise like swimming or biking which will be easier on the shins.

Massage Therapy or Foam Rolling

Icing and massaging the calves along with foam rolling are simple ways to reduce the pain and swelling. Place the foam roller on the floor and position your body on top where the roller is beneath your calves. Then, slowly move back and forth on the roller.

Do this on the front of the leg and back as well. You’ll want to roll for about 30 to 60 seconds at a time and then take a small break. Ideally, you would do this exercise for a total of five to ten minutes per day.

Supportive Shoes & Compression Socks

When nursing an injury it’s important that you protect your shins from further injury. Choose the right shoes and insoles for your feet. Remember, to replace the sneakers once they’re worn out which is about every 350 to 500 miles.


Features of the Best Pain Relieving Shoes


When you’re looking for the best pain relieving shoes on the market, there are several things you’ll want to look for.

Durability

 

The material of your shoe is important if you want a durable sneaker. A mesh upper will also help to keep you cooler and more comfortable.

Comfort

 

While running or standing on your feet all day, you need superior cushion in your shoes. Comfort is also achieved by purchasing the right size and fit.

Stability

 

It’s important that your foot is kept stable during movement so that you can avoid injury.

Gender

 

Women have tibias that are narrower than a man’s. It’s important that you use shoes specifically designed for your body structure.

Brand

 

There are many brands available on the market, but the two most popular seem to be ASICS and Saucony. Nike and several other companies are also leaders in the market.

You’ll pay more to purchase a high-end brand, but it will be worth the extra cost based on how long they should last.

You can also shop based on your fashion preferences, but don’t let that be the driving force behind your decision.

Other Features

 

Each shoe can offer their own unique features. You may be able to find a brand and style you like that offers removable insoles. This will provide your foot with the additional support you might need to prevent shin splints.

In addition, various manufacturers have their own technologies that are worth checking out. While we can recommend the shoes that most people find to be helpful, it’s going to come down to your personal preferences on style, fit and brand.


15 Best Shoes for Shin Splints


If you’re suffering from shin splints or trying to prevent them from occurring, you need the best shoes for shin splints.

1. ASICS Men's GEL-Nimbus 16 Running Shoe

ASICS is a leader in the best running shoes for shin splints with this GEL-Nimbus 16 Running Shoe. This shoe was designed specifically with men’s feet in mind.  

This sneaker features support plus a good deal of cushioning that will help to prevent shin splints from occurring in the first place. 

It will also keep the foot supported during your running so that any current injuries will heal. Thankfully, this support will help you to relieve pain when running.

This ASICS model also features FluidFit multi-directional upper flex and the FluidRide midsole bounce-back cushioning. There are two styles to choose from.

ASICS Men's GEL-Nimbus 16 Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

90%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Superior support and cushioning
  • FluidFit multi-directional upper flex
  • FluidRide midsole bounce-back cushioning

Cons

  • Only two styles available
  • Not as durable as previous versions
Hoka One Men's Clifton 2

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

82%
 Chance of Success

2. Hoka One Men's Clifton 2

The Hoka One Sneaker is one of the best running shoes to prevent shin splints.

That’s because of the superior arch support, lightweight design and high-impact polystyrene. There’s also mesh on this shoe to ensure that it’s breathable and the air passes through freely.

Even when you wear this shoe for extended periods, you’ll remain comfortable and dry. There will also be no fatigue thanks to the superior shock-absorption system.

This will reduce pain and provide for the protection from shin splints. The low heel-toe differential also enables you to remain comfortable no matter what surface you run on.

Pros

  • Superior arch support
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Shock-absorption system

Cons

  • Only available in two colors
  • Pricey

3. Adidas Performance Men's Cloudfoam Vs City Running Shoe

This Adidas sneaker has been one of the best running shoes for shin splints in 2017 and it’s easy to see why.

It’s made of a mixture of fabric and synthetic material which creates the perfect combination for durability.

The rubber sole is flexible and there’s mesh on the upper level. You’ll also find well-balanced cushioning inside this shoe.

This sneaker provides the comfort you need, even after running long distances. The flat laces offer a lock-down fit to keep you secure from an accident on rough surfaces.

The unique, cloud foam midsole is ideal for step-in while the rubber outsole provides you with stable traction.

Adidas Performance Men's Cloudfoam Vs City Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

86%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Breathable
  • Offers support for minor injuries

Cons

  • Not designed for wide feet
  • Not available in many styles
Saucony Men's Omni 12 Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

89%
 Chance of Success

4. Saucony Men's Omni 12 Running Shoe

This shoe works on multiple levels to provide support. In fact, it’s one of the best shoes for shin splints and flat feet on the market.

They’re cushioned with a full-length PowerGrid midsole foam pad which offers some additional support. It also has a support frame designed specifically for the back of the foot.

There’s also a fully decoupled SRC crash pad for even more protection from shin splints.

Saucony uses medical technology and knowledge when designing their running shoes. You’ll pay a little more for this brand, but it’s available in four different color schemes.

Pros

  • Full-length PowerGrid midsole foam pad
  • Fully decouple SRC crash pad
  • Support frame for the back of the foot

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Can take time breaking in

5. Nike Flynit Lunar2 Men's Shoes

This Nike brand offers the best shoes to prevent shin splints. They’re comfortable and cushioned generously to provide adequate protection from shin splint pain.

Don’t let the lower price fool you; they are made with the same Nike brand technology you’ve come to love.

In fact, they offer a breathable mesh upper, Flywire technology which is woven into the upper and asymmetrical lacing set to the lateral side of the foot.

They offer superior traction and durability for the short distance or long distance runner alike. Plus, look at all the amazing styles you can choose from!

Nike Flynit Lunar2 Men's Shoes

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

74%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Flywire technology is woven into the upper
  • Low-cost for the Nike brand
  • Asymmetrical lacing set to the lateral side of the foot

Cons

  • Narrow toe box
  • Little arch support
ASICS Women's GEL-Kayano 21 Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

83%
 Chance of Success

6. ASICS Women's GEL-Kayano 21 Running Shoe

If you’re a woman in need of the best running shoes for shin splints, look no further than this ASICS pair of sneakers.

This shoe offers major cushioning levels and support that help to prevent shin splints from ever occurring in the first place.

The foot remains supported at all times so if you’re facing a shin splint currently, it will be able to heal. There’s also less chance of pain while nursing your injury.

On top of that, this shoe features FluidFit multi-direction stretch upper, a rearfoot and forefoot GEL cushioning system, a heel clutching system and the Guidance Line flex grooves at the sole.

You’ll be wrapped in comfort with the additional moisture-wicking Ortholite X-40 sock liner.

Pros

  • Rearfoot and forefoot GEL cushioning system
  • Heel clutching system
  • Guidance Line flex grooves on the sole
  • Moisture-wicking Ortholite X-40 sock liner

Cons

  • Can be too narrow
  • Some customers felt they are too cushiony

7. Saucony Women's Guide 8 Running Shoe

This pair of Saucony has been a favorite among the best women’s running shoes for shin splints. This shoe is one of the best choices if you-re also fashion-conscious because there are some amazing styles.

The main material is a textile and there’s mesh in the upper to allow for breathability. Its outer sole is made of rubber which is flexible and provides good arch support.

The PWERGRID midsole offers a smooth, responsive run. You could even use this pair if you have mild to moderate pronation.

Some of the other features include an SRC Impact Zone, Durable iBR+ midfoot outsole pods and traction outsole with smart-wearing XT-900 compound.

Saucony Women's Guide 8 Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

85%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Available in many styles
  • Offers many unique features

Cons

  • Not as durable as some other choices
  • To keep the mesh breathable, you need to clean the shoe often
ASICS Women's Gel-Excite 4 running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

77%
 Chance of Success

8. ASICS Women's Gel-Excite 4 running Shoe

ASICS is a major player in the running shoe industry and this one is on the top of the charts for the best shoes for shin splints in Women’s styles.

For what this shoe offers, it’s also a great value. They’re made from textile and synthetic materials which are high-grade and guaranteed to ensure longevity.

The shaft measures low-top from arch which is comfortable for most feet. In addition, it offers that famous GEL Cushioning System that so many people have come to love.

You can remove the sock liner if you prefer and it can accommodate a medical orthotic. The ASICS High Abrasion Rubber is critical to provide sturdiness.

Pros

  • Works well on all sizes of feet
  • Durable
  • Flexible
  • Removable sock liner that works with orthotics

Cons

  • Some people find it isn’t wide enough
  • Heavier than some other brands

9. Mizuno Women's Wave Inspire 10 Running Shoe

This Mizuno Wave Inspire Shoe is one of the best shoes to prevent shin splints. Mizuno is one of the brands that has been used by competitive marathoners for years.

Whether you’re running short or long distances, you’ll find comfort in this shoe. It can even be worn to the gym.

This shoe is a little more expensive than comparable models but those who are loyal to the brand swear it’s worth it. The shaft measures 2.25” from the arch and there’s a dissolving fit upper with Dynamotion Fit technology.

This stable shoe design is great for mild to moderate overpronation and the lateral forefoot sculpting smooths the touchdown and transition.

Mizuno Women's Wave Inspire 10 Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

82%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Used by competitive marathon runners
  • Dynamotion Fit technology
  • Can be used for mild to moderate overpronation

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Can run small
Women's Brooks Ghost 7 Running Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

90%
 Chance of Success

10. Women's Brooks Ghost 7 Running Shoe

No matter what you do to stay in fit, you need the best workout shoes for shin splints to stay protected.

This pair offers superior stability for heavy runners. They also feature a BioMoGo DNA midsole plus the heel and midfoot segmented crash pad for support.

The omega flex grooves in the midsole help the shoe to move with you and the no-sew overlays are comfortable even on sensitive feet

The adjustable saddle construction offers a personalized fit just for you, but be prepared to pay a little extra for all these features.

Pros

  • BioMoGo DNA midsole
  • Segmented crash pad
  • Omega Flex Grooves

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Not many styles to choose from

11. Propet Women's W3851 Wash & Wear Slip-On

According to many users, this is one of the best shoes for shin splints.

They’re made from a high-quality rubber sole that absorbs shock while walking or running. It also features a two-layered rubber sole that makes the shoe cozy and comfortable.

There’s a removable cushioned insole which specifically reduces the shock that affects the shin.

It also has a molded EVA midsole to absorb even more shock. They’re a reasonably priced shoe that’s available in multiple styles and colors.

Propet Women's W3851 Wash & Wear Slip-On

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

76%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • High-quality, two-layered rubber sole
  • Removable cushioned insole
  • Molded EVA midsole

Cons

  • Toe area can be narrow
  • Fits small for some users
Skechers Women's Shape Ups Metabolize Fitness Work Out Sneaker

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

87%
 Chance of Success

12. Skechers Women's Shape Ups Metabolize Fitness Work Out Sneaker

If you want to enjoy walking but suffer from shin splints, then you need the best walking shoe for shin splints.

This shoe is made with leather and synthetic which offers maximum comfort to users.

The unique rocker bottom rubber sole distributes the weight evenly across the entire foot gait.

It also comes with a cushioned soft fabric lining that helps to absorb shock. It does seem to be on the higher price end of most walking shoes and only comes in 4 color choices.

Pros

  • Leather and synthetic materials
  • Rocker bottom rubber sole
  • Soft fabric lining

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Only available in four colors

13. Hush Puppies Women's Heaven Slip-On Shoe

Don’t let shin splint pain keep you from looking nice!

This pair of Hush Puppies are the best women’s dress shoes for shin splints I could find. The sole is made from high-quality leather and is well designed for those suffering from shin splints.

It features a padded tongue and collar with linings that are also made from leather. The removable contoured EVA insole is also made from high-quality ingredients as well.

It could easily accommodate wide feet and features a mesh lining for moisture wicking capabilities. The price is reasonable and there are three color choices available.

Hush Puppies Women's Heaven Slip-On Shoe

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

64%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Made of high-quality materials
  • Padded tongue and collar
  • Accommodates wide feet
  • Reasonably priced

Cons

  • Plain looking
  • Can run on the small side
Hush Puppies Men's Lunar II Slip-On Loafer

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

78%
 Chance of Success

14. Hush Puppies Men's Lunar II Slip-On Loafer

This shoe is much like the women’s pair above and is the best men’s dress shoes for shin splints I could find. The sole is also made from that high-quality leather and is a great option for those suffering from shin splints.

A padded tongue and collar with linings are fitted and are also made from leather,  providing for a comfortable fit.

The removable contoured EVA insole is also made from same high-quality ingredients as the women’s version. 

There’s room in the shoe for wide feet and they feature a mesh lining for moisture wicking capabilities.

The price is a little more than the women’s version and there are three color choices available.

Pros

  • Made of high-quality materials
  • Padded tongue and collar
  • Accommodates wide feet

Cons

  • Plain looking
  • A little more expensive

15. Propet Men's Galway Walker Slip-on

This stylish pair of Propet slip-ons is the best men’s shoes for shin splints. They’re entirely made from leather and have human-made soles.

They’re also sewn by hand and are flexible even if you have wide feet. They’re fully lined to provide your feet with additional comfort.

The removable air insole provides additional cushioning and absorption of both moisture and odor. There’s also an extended heel for support that lasts the entire day.

The outsole is lightweight and made from polyurethane. You’ll find superior shock absorption and traction when using these shoes.

Propet Men's Galway Walker Slip-on

Our Rating

Will These Shoes Fit Me?

80%
 Chance of Success

Pros

  • Leather
  • Sewn by hand
  • Removable air insole
  • Low-cost

Cons

  • Chemical smell at first
  • Can run large

Causes of Shin Pain


There are many reasons why a person might suffer from shin pain but they’re most commonly related to the repetitive activities that bring stress to the shinbone and connective tissue.

Stress to the connective tissue covering the tibia can result in inflammation. There are also some tibial injuries that can result in shin splints. They include Tendinopathy and Periosteal remodeling.

Shin splints can involve various muscles including the tibialis posterior (inside of the ankle), soleus (lower calf) and the tibialis anterior (from the shin to the top of the foot).

Overpronation

 

Another major cause of shin splints is overpronation. This is when the foot steadily moves downward and towards the center of your body. It places the arch in constant contact with the ground. You’ll find that with overpronation, more weight is placed on the inside of the foot than the outside edge.


This movement causes the leg muscles to fatigue faster and places additional stress on the shinbone.

Sports & Exercise

 

A sudden increase in the amount of exercise or the intensity can increase your risk of shin splints as well. This is especially true for runners who increase their time or distance too rapidly.


Other sports that are played on hard surfaces can be the cause. This is true when you have to stop or start suddenly like with basketball.

If you play sports or activities on uneven ground or slopes, you could be more at risk. This includes trail running.

Lack of Fitness

 

On the other end of the spectrum, someone who gets no exercise might suffer from shin splints if they begin to get active. This is most common in people that smoke as well.


Many people that don’t get adequate exercise can suffer from muscle imbalance or weak core muscles. This leaves them more susceptible to injury once they begin to move.

Shoes

 

It’s possible that the result of shin splints is simply due to the improper pair of shoes. Wearing shoes that are worn out or don’t provide adequate cushioning can all result in the user experiencing shin splints.

Foot Ailments

 

Those who suffer from other foot ailments seem to be prone to more shin splints. This includes people with weak ankles, tight muscles like the Achilles tendon or calf muscles and those with flat feet or high arches.


What About Preventing It?


The best way to deal with shin splints is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some suggestions:

Change Your Shoes


Switch to a shoe that limits pronation. It would also be good to use sneakers with arch support.

Supplements


Increase your daily intake of Vitamin D and calcium. Take 1,300 milligrams of calcium and 400 micrograms of D each day. You could also add in food items that are high in these vitamins like milk and yogurt.

Train Your Hips and Core


Strengthening your hips and core will make you a stronger runner. Overall, this improves your footstrike and body mechanics.

Shorten Your Running Stride


Do this in conjunction with increasing your footstrike cadence to generate better stride mechanics. This puts less load on your feet, knees and shins. An ideal footstrike is 85 to 90 of one foot per minute.

Start Slowly


When beginning any exercise program, you need to start slowly. Don’t build up more than 10 percent of the mileage or time each week.

Cross-Train & Stretch


Reduce the amount of stress you put on the legs by engaging in some cross-training activities. Instead of constantly running add in some upper body routines or yoga instead.

It’s also important that you stretch properly and pay careful attention to your calf muscles. Try some toe raises before and after each workout.


Conclusion


Shin splints can be a pain but they don’t need to stop you from doing the activities you love. Whether you want to enjoy a leisurely run or you need to be on your feet all day, the best shoes for shin splints are sure to help you feel more comfortable.

Take your time doing the research and pick a shoe that works for your style. Then, head out there and forget about that pain.

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Michael Dougie