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A Guide to The Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints

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Have you ever suffered from a dull pain in your lower leg even on the slightest of touch? Has it become impossible for you to run with the pain? Well, there may be a chance that you are suffering from shin splints. And, if this is the case, you must immediately stop training or running in your regular sports shoes, to minimize the risk of further damage.

Use of wrong shoes in shin splints can worsen your condition by leaps and bounds. To counter the issue and minimize the pain, you should strongly consider buying shoes specially designed for shin splints.

There are many running shoes on the market that promise optimum support and stability while running.

Keep reading to know more about the best running shoes for shin splints.

What is shin splints?

Shin splints is a very common complaint among the runners. It is basically a pain along the front edge and inside of the shin.

You can suffer from shin splints in two regions namely, anterior shin splints and posterior shin splints. It leads to dull and aching pain in the front part of the lower leg.

What are the causes of shin splints?

The most common cause of shin splints is overstraining of the muscles attached to the shin. Overstraining can result from poor leg and foot biomechanics, as well as faulty training.

Overloading/ Overtraining

Reasons that can lead to overloading:

  • Increasing the training way too quickly
  • Insufficient rest in between the training sessions
  • Running on very hard or angled surface

Biomechanical

Biomechanical causes of shin splints are:

  • Over supination of feet
  • Overpronation of feet
  • A less flexible ankle joint
  • Insufficient hip-knee-leg muscle control
  • Imperfect core stability
  • Weak quadriceps
  • Tight hamstrings and calf muscles
  • Weak foot arch muscles

Equipment

  • Wearing faulty footwear that doesn’t fit well and fails to offer adequate support

Other causes

  • Working out without proper warm-up

What are the symptoms of shin splint?

The common symptoms of shin splints include:

  • Tenderness and pain in the lower leg
  • Pain and discomfort on flexing the toes upwards
  • Pain in legs, typically between the knees and ankles, after running

Best Running Shoes for Shin Splint

Let us now look at the detailed review of best-selling shoes that have been labeled as outstanding running shoes for shin splints.

Hoka One One Clifton 3

Type   Running shoe for shin splint  
Price   $129.99 (Check out the latest rates here!)
Heel-to-toe drop  5 mm 
Heel Height  29 mm 
Forefoot Height  24 mm 
Upper   Air mesh 
Outsole Technology  Lightweight rubber material  
Midsole Technology  CMEVA 
Width   Normal 
Arch Support  Neutral 
Terrain   Road 
Weight   8.6 ounces (244g) 

Notable Features:

  • Use of lightweight rubber in the outsole
  • CMEVA midsole which offers excellent cushioning and responsiveness
  • The Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry in the midsole
  • Air mesh upper which offers optimal breathability
  • Inner sleeve preventing skin irritation

Sole Technology

  • Outsole Technology

The outsole of these shoes features an abrasion-resistant, lightweight rubber material. The Full Ground Contact ensures that the outsole rubber gets the maximum surface area to work with complete efficiency. This also enhances the traction and offers a natural and swift transition through the gait cycle.

  • Midsole Technology

The midsole of these running shoes for shin splints is made from CMEVA, i.e., Compression Molded Ethylene Vinyl Acetate foam which covers the entire length of the midsole. It provides excellent springiness and responsiveness. The midsole is thick enough to prevent your feet from impact.

The entire midsole features Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry which is basically a rocker design aiding to quick and effective performance. It allows you to take natural movements.

Upper

The upper design features air mesh with open construction. The material comes with pores that let the air inside your foot keeping it cool, as well as dry.

The structural overlays are infused into the mesh fabric. The absence of stitching works wonders by minimizing the weight and stiffness.
The seamless construction ensures comfort and prevents skin irritation and blistering.

Pros and Cons

Pros   Cons  
Breathable upper  Outsole rubber wears quickly 
Thick sole unit offering optimum comfort  There is an issue with sizing 
Inner sleeve falling easily on the skin    
Thick midsole dealing amazingly with landing impact   
Curved arch offering great support to mid-foot area   
Light in weight   
Excellent traction on different surfaces   

Asics Gel Nimbus 18

Type   Running shoes for shin splints  
Price   $92.67 – $222.02 (Check out the latest rates here!)
Heel-to-Toe Drop  10 mm 
Heel Height   23 mm 
Forefoot Height  13 mm 
Upper   Engineered Mesh  
Outsole Technology  Asics High Abrasion Rubber 
Midsole Technology  Asics Rearfoot and Forefoot Gel cushioning 
Width  Normal, Wide  
Arch Support  Neutral 
Terrain  Road  
Weight   10.7 ounces (306g) 

Notable Features:

  • Robust AHAR rubber in the outsole
  • Use of DuraSponge technology in the outsole
  • Asics Rearfoot and Forefoot Gel Cushioning in the midsole
  • FluidRide technology offering better cushioning and responsiveness
  • Guidance Trusstic System to lend good support
  • Breathable upper made with engineered mesh

Sole Technology

  • Outsole Technology

The outsole of Asics Gel Nimbus 18 comes with the excellent AHAR, i.e., the patented Asics High Abrasion Rubber which is highly durable.

The forefoot area of these running shoes features DuraSponge technology which provides flexibility and cushioning. The blown AHAR rubber in this area provides additional durability.

  • Midsole Technology

The midsole features Asics Rearfoot and Forefoot cushioning that amazingly absorbs shock making the ride immensely responsive.

Durability and added responsive cushioning are provided by the use of FluidRide technology.

The Guidance Trusstic System incorporated in the midsole offers lightweight support and provides unmatched torsional rigidity.

Upper

The upper of these running shoes are constructed using engineered mesh material which is very lightweight, as well as breathable. The upper construction does not feature seams and hence, offering an irritation-free experience.

A glove-like fit is ensured by the use of FluidFit technology in the upper.
The exoskeletal design of these running shoes comes with heel clutching system which wraps your heel and provides a secure fit.

Talking about the lacing system, it is much better and smoother than its predecessor. The discrete eyelets distribute the tension evenly and provide great comfort.

Pros and Cons

Pros   Cons  
Better shock absorbing capacity  Toe box is narrow 
The full-length cushioning is very responsive   Shoe feels a little tight 
Better gait efficiency because of enhanced midsole support  Heel area liable to wear-off quickly  
Excellent fit   Midsole is stiff 
The upper unit is breathable and keeps the foot dry   
Keeps back and knee pain at bay    
Durable and comfortable    
Very stylish; many color options available    

Merrell Vapor Glove 2

Type   Running shoes for shin splints  
Price  $64.95 – $149.97 (Check out the latest rates here!)
Heel-to-Toe Drop  0 mm 
Heel Height  6 mm 
Forefoot Height  6 mm 
Upper   Air Mesh  
Outsole Technology  Vibram Outsole TC1 
Midsole Technology  Compression Molded Ethylene Vinyl Acetate or CMEVA 
Width  Normal  
Arch Support  Neutral  
Terrain   Trail  
Weight   5.7 ounces (164g) 

Notable Features:

  • Vibram Outsole TC1 offers better traction
  • Groove pattern offering flexibility
  • CMEVA midsole offering responsive cushioning
  • Comfortable and breathable upper
  • Rearfoot sling for heel support
  • A non-removable microfiber footbed featuring M-Select Fresh
  • Toe bumper to protect debris accumulation

Sole Technology

  • Outsole Technology

The outsole of these running shoes features Vibram Outsole TC1 which is much lauded for the traction it offers. The material is known to provide a better grip on various surfaces including asphalt.

The groove pattern on the outsole unit makes these shoes very flexible and allows a more natural movement while running.

The outsole is very durable.

  • Midsole Technology

The midsole of Merrell Vapor Glove 2 comes with Compression Molded Ethylene Vinyl Acetate or CMEVA. The durable material provides a very responsive cushioning and adds to flexibility.

Upper

The upper unit of these running shoes is constructed using Air Mesh. It offers a comfortable and breathable coverage which is excellent for runners who sweat more.

A Rear Foot Sling made from TPU offers admirable heel support. The synthetic leather does not add extra weight and keeps the heel stable while running.

The makers have incorporated a Toe Bump at the forefoot area which is made using rubber. The intention behind using this feature is to offer protection from debris and preventing the foot from potential hazards.

Right above the midsole is a microfiber footbed featuring M-Select Fresh. This feature offers cushioning and also keeps the inner environment cool and clean. The footbed is non-removable.

Pros and Cons

Pros   Cons  
Breathable upper   There are issues with size  
Rearfoot sling offering support  The upper unit is not very durable  
Added protection offered by Toe Bump   
100 percent vegan-friendly construction   
Durable Vibram unit in the outsole    
Footbed is minimalist and offers a barefoot-like running experience   
Lightweight    

Mizuno Wave Inspire 13

Type   Running shoes for shin splints  
Price   $119.95 – $140.02 (Check out the latest rates here!)
Heel-to-Toe Drop  12 mm 
Heel Height  32 mm 
Forefoot Height   20 mm 
Upper  Air Mesh  
Outsole Technology  Mizuno X10 Technology and Blown Rubber Compound 
Midsole Technology  Wave Technology  
Width   Normal  
Arch Support  Stability 
Terrain   Road 
Weight   11 ounces (312g) 

Notable Features:

  • Use of blown rubber in the outsole offering better traction on different surfaces
  • Outsole unit offering better cushioning and durability
  • Flex Controllers offering amazing durability
  • Use of Wave Technology in the midsole unit providing a responsive ride
  • U4icX Heel Wedge offers better underfoot cushioning
  • U4iC midsole technology offers optimum protection from shocks
  • Gender-specific grooves
  • Breathable upper
  • Dynamotion fit to enhance comfort
  • Best for runners with overpronation

Sole Technology

  • Outsole Technology

The outsole of Mizuno Wave Inspire 13 is a concoction of Mizuno X10 technology and robust blown rubber compound. Together, these two outsole features offer unmatched traction on the road.

Amazing durability and cushioning can be accredited to the use of blown rubber compound in the forefoot region.

The presence of Flex Controllers on the high-flex areas provides better flexibility which in turn enhances the running efficiency without adding much weight.

  • Midsole Technology

The midsole of these running shoes uses the much-appreciated Wave technology which is known to improve the cushioning and hence, providing a very responsive ride to the runners. A smooth and swift heel-to-toe transition is offered by the presence of gender-specific grooves.

One of the most noted features of these running shoes is the double fan wave which helps in controlling over-pronation and offering a very stable ride. The use of U4iC midsole technology ensures that your feet stay safe from shock and impact injuries by absorbing maximum shock. This feature also enhances the durability.

The presence of U4icX Heel Wedge provides a soft underfoot cushioning. This latest feature is lighter in weight than its predecessor, U4iC version.

Upper

The upper of these amazing running shoes are fabricated from Air Mesh. The mesh material allows air inside the shoes to keep the internal environment healthy. It also enhances the flexibility of the shoes offering an excellent running experience.

The Dynamotion fit ensures a very comfortable forefoot fit. The appreciable collar fabrication provides added comfort.

The upper design features overlays on the medial, as well as lateral side, to lock the foot in place and hence, enhancing the stability.

Pros and Cons

Pros   Cons  
Roomy toe box   Loose fitting at the middle section 
The shoe feels great on road  Laces come loose easily  
Comfortable   Compromised cushioning at the heel area 
Better cushioning which is more responsive than other models   Hard and less flexible midsole  
Lightweight   
Durable    
The sizing scheme is excellent    
Apt for long running sessions    

Asics Gel Kayano 21

Type   Running shoes for shin splints  
Price   $249.58 (Check out the latest rates here!)
Heel-to-Toe Drop   10 mm  
Heel Height    
Forefoot Height    
Upper   Stretchable Mesh 
Outsole Technology  Asics High Abrasion Resistant Rubber  
Midsole Technology  Dual-density Foam  
Width  Normal  
Arch Support  Stability  
Terrain   Road  
Weight   10.8 ounces (309g) 

Notable Features:

  • Use of Asics High Abrasion Resistant Rubber in the outsole
  • DuraSponge blown rubber in the forefoot section
  • Flex grooves in the outsole offer added flexibility
  • FluidRide technology in the midsole offers better bounce and cushioning
  • Dynamic DuoMax Support System to offer stability
  • Gel Cushioning System provides better shock absorption
  • Use of ComforDry X-40 Sock Liner
  • FluidFit mesh lending a glove-like fit
  • Heel Clutching System supporting rear feet
  • Keeps overpronation in check

Sole Technology

  • Outsole Technology

The outsole of these running shoes features the brand’s very own rubber material, i.e., AHAR or Asics High Abrasion Resistant Rubber. The durable rubber compound is strategically placed on the areas that are more prone to wear and tear. This unit also ensures unparalleled traction.

The forefoot section of the outsole features DuraSponge, a kind of blown rubber which provides added cushioning and makes forefoot striking, as well as liftoff very comfortable.

The outsole unit also comes with flex grooves that allow for a very natural movement of the foot and enhance the running experience.

  • Midsole Technology

The midsole of these running shoes incorporates many technologies like the FluidRide feature that enhances the cushioning and bounce. It attributes for an efficient gait cycle and toe-off.

Another noted feature of the midsole is the Dynamic DuoMax Support System that improves the stability. The technology uses the dual-density foam in the mid-foot which supports the arch and keep away the inward rolling during the gait cycle. This makes it a better option for you if you have a tendency to roll your feet inward.

The Gel Cushioning System made of silicon unit aids better shock absorption during landing enhancing the comfort.

ComforDry X-40 Sock Liner is a feature that lends more cushioning to the shoes and offers a better rebound. The sock liner helps in absorbing the moisture and keeping the inner environment cool and dry.

Upper

The upper of the Asics Gel Kayano 21 running shoes is made using stretchable mesh. The mesh material can be stretched in multiple directions and offers a snug fit around the foot. The flexible and soft material does not irritate the skin and ensures a glove-like fit.

The upper also features overlays stitched to the fabric placed strategically enhancing the functionality, as well as aesthetics. They connect to lacing system and change according to the shoelaces.

Furthermore, the Heel Clutching System keeps the rear area of the foot stable and offers optimum support to it. This external heel counter keeps the wobbling and accidental shoe removals away.

Pros and Cons

Pros   Cons  
The FluidFit upper allows multi-directional movement providing a glove-like fit and enhances the efficiency  Interior lining not durable  
Heel Counter System keeps the rear side of the soot in place and offers a secure fit  The shoe is a little expensive  
Mid-foot stability keeps a check on over-pronation    
Durable outsole    
Sock liner helps in moisture management and adds comfort    
The gel-unit used in the midsole helps in better shock-absorption    

The Bottom Line

Running in the wrong shoe can exacerbate the pain associated with shin splints and worsen your condition. You must make sure that you have the best running shoes for shin splints to avoid any further damage to your shins.

The shoes that we have mentioned in this article are designed to provide you comfort and keep away the pain. Moreover, all the running shoes for shin splits mentioned in this article come with many coming-of-age features that make running an enjoyable experience.

So, make an informed selection and enjoy running while effectively managing shin splints.

Further read:

Powerstep vs. Superfeet: Which is Right for You?

A Guide On How to Pick the Best Trail Running Socks

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