Running can go very wrong if you accidentally trigger a very excruciating muscular pain in the shin. The last thing you want is to give up on your hobby, which is why investing in high-quality running shoes is crucial.
Best Running Shoes For Shin Splints Compared and Reviewed
Even marathon runners recommend investing in good shoes for better support and running power. For your convenience, we have compiled some of the best running shoes for shin splints as rated by others below. At the bottom of the reviews there’s a guide on how to approach shoes for shin splints if you need a helping hand.
1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20
Reasons to buy
- Breathable mesh
- Gel cushioning for comfort
- Plush upper
- Comes in multiple widths
Brooks is a high-quality, high-priced, and renowned brand for running shoes. The users have received the Adrenaline series well and the GTS 20, in particular, is a highly raved product. It is made for people susceptible to shin splints and has features like shock absorption and cushioning.
Moreover, the motion control mechanism – which uses a diagonal roll bar – helps with stability with every stride you make. Brooks’ addition of the cushioning of BioMoGo DNA aids in creating the perfect balance of comfort and softness.
They also stand out because of their weight. The shoes are incredibly lightweight, helping in making the shoes more supportive for the athlete. The lightweight feature also makes them quite breathable – an excellent option for those who run for hours at a stretch. However, they are also great for working out or even if you have a desk job.
The one thing you need to look out for is the width of the model. The ones with regular width come with a toe-box that is a bit narrow for people with a wide foot. Brooks, however, caters to all and thus offers the same shoe in a wide foot model as well.
They are made of a mesh upper and a rubber sole, while the closure is the lace-up kind. The Adrenaline line is an improvement of the Ghost one by Brooks. Even the GTS 20 is an improved version of the Adrenaline GTS 19. The GTS 20 caters to stability with the addition of GuideRails in the midsole portion. It is also lighter in comparison to the previous version.
However, the Adrenaline GTS 20 is not ideal if you run at a speed of 5 min per km or faster. It can be considered a neutral running shoe – not made for marathon runners. Simply put it is consistent and comfortable, but it won’t be suitable for someone who wants to run fast.
2. ASICS Gel-Nimbus 22
Reasons to buy
- Shock absorption
- Cushioning throughout
- Lightweight and breathable
- Comes in four widths
Reasons to avoid
- Narrow toe box
- Not the best option for speed work
The Asics Gel Nimbus is known for the support, comfort, and flexibility it provides to distance runners. It is particularly suited for people who have previously had shin pain. Apart from that, if you are on your feet all the time, then this is a highly recommended pair to opt for. It is a reasonably priced running shoe, especially for the many features it offers.
The shoes are designed with GEL cushioning in the rear and forefoot portions of the shoe. This mechanism provides superior comfort and shock absorption that runners seek. This also helps maintain a balance between the weight and bounce back of the shoe.
It also features FlyteFoam Midsole technology, which is needed when you run for miles at a stretch. Moreover, the heel counter in this shoe makes sure that your heels are fully supported.
Another feature it is known for is the Impact Guidance System Technology (IGS). It is known for improving one’s natural gait and thus comes in handy for those already dealing or recovering from a shin splint.
Its fluid fit system helps provide a good ratio of minimalism but also stability. The upper portion of the shoe is made of synthetic materials, which increase support and lockdown. These shoes do not add additional weight and protect your shins from potentially dangerous surfaces.
The Asics Gel Nimbus 22 comes in 3 width sizes and many designs and colors. It is an improved version of the Nimbus 21 – which was a mediocre and boring shoe. The softer midsole, comfortable ride, and heavier weight (11 ounces) enhance the shoe’s experience to an excellent running shoe.
While the upper of the Nimbus 22 is comfortable, the interior could still use improvement. The shoe is often prone to tongue slide because of a lack of gusset.
3. New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V10
Reasons to buy
- Softer than previous versions
- Stable enough for long-distance running
- Unmatched upper
- Lightweight for a thick midsole
Reasons to avoid
- Might be a bit firm for those who want soft cushioning
- The outsole is not durable
New Balance’s Fresh foam 1080 V10 is one of the best running shoes for shin splints out there. It especially caters to wide feet, is high quality (hence worth the high price), and is known for its cushioning. They provide excellent support for those looking for a shoe for daily runs, fartlek, and tempo sessions – a do it all running shoe.
1080 V10 features a dual-density rubber outsole, which increases stability and is less prone to wear and tear. You can run on any kind of terrain, and the shoes will still support and protect your feet. Moreover, the shoes have no-sew overlays, making them sleep and providing a comfortable feel to the athlete.
The synthetic mesh upper is great for breathability, so if you worry about your feet overheating, this is a good option to go with. The wide toe-box is another plus. It allows your fingers to spread with ease so that your feet do not feel tight or uncomfortable, preventing shin splints.
The tongue of the 1080 V10s is padded and filled with an adequate amount of foam while being gusseted simultaneously. This prevents tongue slide as the sides of the upper are attached to the tongue.
Moreover, they are made of reflective stitching of Trace Fibre technology which makes the structure extremely lightweight. It is a well-designed shoe that can pass off as a casual shoe. The outsole of the shoe is made of blown rubber and is segmented. The segmentation makes the forefoot flexible, but it also feels a bit lumpy – making the ride transitions difficult.
The New Balance 1080 V10 consists of updates compared to its previous version. The outsole, upper, and midsole are all improved. It is well made and is considered to be the plushest shoe from the New Balance line. However, it could be made bouncier, and the outsole can be less lumpy.
4. Saucony Triumph 17
Reasons to buy
- Responsive cushioning
- Durable outsole
- Plush upper
- Molds to your foot’s shape
Reasons to avoid
- Mostly large sizes available
The Saucony Triumph 17 is a great running shoe for those wanting lightweight shoes for long runs. Soft cushioning and shock absorption of this shoe are ideal in terms of shin splint injury prevention. The PWRRUN+ cushioning provides a springy and highly responsive underfoot touch. The cushioning is very uniform, which aids in the best running technique.
It has a Formfit design which in a way adapts to the shape of your foot – providing the right fit and comfort. The elastic fir for midfoot follows from the Kinetic Fit System (KFS). It is an all-around shoe for anyone looking for extra cushioning for running on hard pavement.
The upper has plushness that is unmatched while being more lightweight than its previous versions. The upper is a narrower fit compared to older versions, but at the same time, the plushness makes the insides airy. The outsole is made of Crystal rubber which provides a type of geometry that softens the midfoot even more.
The midsole is much thicker and wider while being fluffier and relatively less dense than older versions. However, no matter what speed you are running at, it will continue to be soft and even more responsive. It is ideal for a 6 min per km run, but it is not suitable for greater speeds. Moreover, its Polyurethane midsole is okay for colder months, but it is not as resistant to temperature swings as other running shoes.
It is, however, a very flexible shoe, and unlike the New Balance 1080, it does not have any roll-off effects. In addition, the upper of this shoe is quite durable because of the thick mesh and layer of the inner sleeve. However, it must be noted that it is not ideal for faster paces.
5. HOKA ONE ONE Clifton 6
Reasons to buy
- Highly cushioned midsole
- Bouncy and responsive
- Lightweight and breathable mesh upper
Reasons to avoid
- Some don’t find it appealing
- Sizing can be tricky
The Hoka One One Clifton 6 is a highly renowned running shoe for shin splints. The lightweight cushioning, along with a more adaptable fit, make it a must-buy. The EVA cushioning is made for shock absorption and minimal pressure at the heel and ball. Along with the lightweight feature, this shoe is one of the most comfortable options out there.
The thick soles ensure a comfortable and smooth glide with each step you take. The shoes are also known for their support and breathability – all thanks to the mesh upper, which allows for proper ventilation. The midsole, on the other hand, is made of full compression EVA mechanism foam.
The geometry is rockered to provide efficiency with each transition you make. The outsole is made of lightweight rubber, which is also hi-abrasion – coincidently also the same as the material of the midsole. The rubber is placed strategically, more towards the forefoot, less in the heel, to protect the midsole foam from wearing easily.
The upper features an embroidered design that reinforces the support of the midfoot. The toe-box is wider than its previous models, another reason to love the upper of the Clifton 6. The Clifton 6 is an improvement of the Clifton 5. It is lighter, has a more comfortable midsole, and has a snugger fit than the predecessor.
The Clifton 6 is a good option for training runs, especially on gravel or road. However, some may find that the excess cushioning makes the shoe feel a bit heavier. Moreover, because the outsole is made of rubber, it is not highly recommended for rugged trails, rocky paths, or muddy areas.
Overall, the Clifton 6 is a good fit for those who specifically want a highly cushioned shoe. The lightweight design, breathable upper, and comfortable midsole certainly make it worth the high price. However, it must be noted that it is still not a plush shoe. It is suitable for running on the road or gravel trails; however, because of the delicate rubber outsole, you will have to be careful of the terrain.
How To Choose The Best Running Shoes For Shin Splints
Factors have to be considered before choosing a good running shoe for shin splints. The features, sizes, and other considerations may vary according to your needs and requirements. Here are some things to look out for in this aspect.
When choosing running shoes, most of us want a comfortable shoe in terms of the cushioning or foam it is made of. Those who suffer from shin splints know that purchasing a shoe that has adequate cushioning is crucial.
Thus, the cushioning should be carefully considered when you pick your shoe – one that can hold your weight and style of running. Moreover, high-quality cushioning will be more shock-absorbing and will also reduce the impact on your foot caused by each stride.
Having a shoe with good support for shin splints is critical as it provides a good balance while running. You also need to know your stride before choosing the support. Overpronating, for instance, will make your feet roll inwards when you touch the ground, which exerts pressure on a specific area of the legs.
Whereas supination occurs when your weight falls on the outer edges of the feet. Both of these can cause shin splints, so choose a shoe that can balance your body well and uniformly distribute your weight.
There are more details on choosing the right shoes for your foot type available on our best running shoes for beginners guide.
Finding the right fit means it is neither too tight nor too loose from either the toe-box or the back. You want to make sure that your fingers spread naturally. Snug fit shoes are usually good and prevent excess movement inside the shoe. However, that does not mean that the fit is extra snug and tight.
Heel and Arch
The heel drop of the shoe is the drop from the heel to the toe in terms of the height difference between the two. For shin splints, opt for a lower heel drop to lower pressure on the shins.
However, if you have tight calves and a more aggressive heel strike, a higher heel drop would be better suited. The shoe’s arch support is also crucial. Usually, great arch support is better for shin pains.
Durability refers to the sturdiness and the ability of the shoe to withstand rough terrains and harsh weather conditions. Usually, shoes that are lightweight and durable are better for shin splints. In addition, the rubber outsole should also be able to withstand rough terrain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Running shoes may prevent shin splints and minimize the risk. However, the better the shoe caters to shin splints, the higher the chance of prevention.
Wrong shoes (running or otherwise) can potentially cause shin splints. Wrong shoes often lack proper support and cushioning and increase the chances of shin splints while running.
Wearing good-quality socks is very important if you are going for a run with shin splints. The sock adds comfort and can also help relieve pain.
Increase working out intensity gradually, and not all at once. Stretching before running is also a good idea. Moreover, if you often tend to get shin splints, avoid running on a sleep slope upwards.
Those suffering from shin splints know how important it is to pick the right shoe which is perfect in terms of comfort, durability, stability, and cushioning.
On the other hand, picking the wrong shoe can result in a very painful injury and often can make the shin splint worse. Choosing the best running shoes for shin splints should therefore be carefully considered and with proper research.
If you have the option to see a professional at a run shop and try different shoes on for size, then give that a go.
Marko Rakic is a trail runner and fitness enthusiast from Sydney, Australia. He is the lead writer for The Ultimate Primate and believes the best way to live a happy life is to take a holistic approach to fitness and health.