Top 5 Best Running Shoes For Shin Splints 2023:
Shin splints are bad.
They’re painful, and if you don’t do anything about them, they can get worse.
We assume that you, like everyone else, don’t want your shin splints to metastasize, so we say it’s time to do something about it. The first step would be to look for footwear, which isn’t going to mess up your legs further.
Surprise, surprise! We just wrote an entire article about the best running shoes for shin splints!
What were the chances that you’d bump into us?
Fortunately, you did, and now it’s time to get to reading so that you can run painlessly again.
What To Know When Looking For Running Shoes For Shin Splints?
Shopping for running shoes that can alleviate the effects of shin splints is not that simple.
Due to the nature of this condition, there are specific characteristics that shoes need to have so that they don’t make things worse.
In the next few paragraphs, you can read about the factors that you have to consider when purchasing a pair.
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The magic ‘C-word’ is what usually sells running shoes, and it’s no different in the case of shin splints.
Now, the tricky thing here is that you need to find a model that doesn’t provide too much or too little cushioning, but just the right amount.
How in the world do you do that?
We regret to say that we don’t have a definitive answer, but we have some very useful guidelines.
The models that are too soft will lack stability, and the ones that are too stiff will not give you any shock absorption.
If you can, try on a couple of different models, and you’ll be able to form a clearer picture of what’s soft, what’s stiff, and how each feels on your feet.
Expect some trial-and-error when it comes to figuring out the ideal comfort level for you. Also, consult previous users and see what they have to say about the shoes in this regard.
Wait, there’s more.
Shin splints are caused by stress that your legs endure when you run, so make sure that the shoes you’re buying have sufficient shock-absorption properties.
The importance of the last part cannot be overstated.
Fit is as vital as the comfort, and if you don’t get it right, expect pain and discomfort.
Let’s see what’s the problem here:
Shoes that are looser than they ought to be will make you more prone to hurting your feet, legs, or even back. A loose fit will also inhibit your stability and the ability to stride correctly, so you won’t enjoy your run at all.
We don’t need to tell you why a too tight fit is bad, right?
Good. We’ll proceed to more important things then.
The thing that you do want is a snug fit, which envelopes your feet in a comfy way. Such a fit will make the shoe feel as if it was an extension of the foot, thus making your movement smooth and efficient.
But how can you find a fit like this?
Look for memory foam insoles and mesh uppers, as they are stretchy and adaptable. Also, don’t neglect the overall shape of the shoes and make sure they are right for your foot shape.
3. Condition-Specific Models
What do we mean by condition-specific? We are talking about conditions like overpronation and underpronation and shoes that are tailor-made to mitigate their effects.
“But I don’t have any -pronation!” you might say.
Well, how can you be so sure?
These conditions are common causes of shin splints, so you should definitely talk to a physical therapist and see what’s up.
One thing that you can do right now is to take your old shoes and see where they are wearing out.
If the wear is on either the left or right side of the heel, as opposed to the center, then it is quite possible that you have overpronation or underpronation, and you should look for running shoes accordingly.
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Running is technical and challenging, so why make it even harder with heavy shoes?
Instead, look for models manufactured from lightweight materials, but with a design suitable for shin splints.
Now, what you need to avoid here is the ultra-light, barefoot shoe, as they will probably make your problem worse. The reason for this is that such sneakers do not have the necessary cushioning for shock-absorption, which is much needed in the case of shin splints.
With that being said, you need to look for the optimal ratio of lightness and comfort. Think in terms of a thick sole and a light upper.
Synthetic materials, such as nylon, are your friends here because natural ones weigh more. Another one that you want is EVA; a material used for making soles which has excellent shock-absorption properties.
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High price does not translate to high quality. We know that you know this, but we still want to point it out.
You’ll often come across excellent shoes sold for a competitive price because the manufacturer is into the whole “best value for the cost” thing. Other times, you’ll see models that are way overpriced just because they wear a fancy brand name.
We, of course, stand with the former and wish to give you a few tips on how not to waste your money.
A shoe made from nylon or leather is probably going to last longer than the one made from mesh. Also, read about previous users’ experiences as they are a great, unbiased source of information about a product.
Basically, use your common sense and don’t buy a model that’s expensive but looks cheap.
That’s a big no-no!
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5 Best Running Shoes For Shin Splints In 2023: Detailed Reviews
With all the factors mentioned above in mind, we searched and found the top five running shoes for shin splints.
Of course, it’s hard to be completely objective when making such lists, but we tried to be as scientific as possible.
The following shoes are the way to go if you want to keep your shin splints at bay while still being able to enjoy your runs.
Take a look at the models we chose!
1. Asics Gel Kayano 24
It’s an understatement to say that Asics makes comfortable shoes, and they earned their reputation with the quality of their products.
With that being said, it is expected that they also made good shoes for runners with shin splints. Let’s check out one such model.
The Gel Kayano 24 has a place in our article due to its high-tech construction, which provides the runner with advanced shock-absorption. At the same time, the shoe is very stable and will mitigate overpronation in folks who have it.
One of the best things about this model is its snug fit. Thanks to the upper made from FluidFit mesh, the shoe can adapt to your foot shape provide it with just the right amount of pressure.
The forefoot and the heel are supported by special Gel cushioning, which successfully absorbs the impacts of running, and isn’t too soft nor too firm. The downside of this material is that it requires some break-in time, so the shoe might not be so comfortable right off the bat.
The cherry on top is the midsole and its Flyfoam technology. It gives the shoe overall light weight and makes it super comfortable to run in. However, it tends to wear out rather quickly.
- Adaptable, snug fit
- Comfortable gel cushioning
- Suitable for overpronation
- Sole may wear out fast
- Requires a break-in period
2. New Balance w940v3
Following Asics is New Balance, another renowned shoemaker. As expected, New Balance didn’t disappoint us regarding shoes for shin splints, and now we’re going to take a look at their w940v3 model.
Similar to the previous shoe, the w940v3 is suitable for, but not exclusive to, people who suffer from overpronation. The shoes are designed for maximum stability and support, which is exactly what you need in the case of shin splints.
One of the high points of w940v3 is the AZORB cushioning, which spreads through the entire sole area. It feels very soft and bouncy and does a wonderful job of absorbing all that unnecessary shock for you.
The upper is made from mesh reinforced with synthetic materials which grip the foot well, but not too tight. However, many people complained about the sizing and claimed that it is unreliable, so it would be best to try the shoes on before purchasing.
Another thing that makes this model special is the tall rubber sole. While it might not be for everyone, it does a good job of providing the runner with traction and shock-absorption.
Overall, New Balance w940v3 is an excellent running shoe, that goes for a decent price, but might be a bit heavier than you’d ideally want.
- Excellent cushioning (full-length)
- Slip-resistant sole
- Provides maximum stability
- Relatively heavy
- Sizing problems
3. Hoka One One Clifton 5
You like running fast, but your shin splints prevent you from doing that? Hoka One One Clifton 5 might help!
This model is designed for “speed freaks” looking for maximum comfort during their sprints, so let’s see if it’s any good.
Clifton 5 is explicitly made for “shin splinters,” but it suits the condition perfectly. The reason for this is its cushioning, which is exceptionally durable and doesn’t compress at throughout the shoes’ life cycle.
One more excellent feature is the full-length EVA midsole, known for its superior cushioning properties and the ability to retain its shape for a long time. To make the entire construction even more durable, the eyelets are reinforced.
The upper of this model is made from mesh, which gives it breathability and a nice, snug fit. However, the toe box is rather narrow and small, which is probably going to be an issue for people with wide feet.
The price of Clifton 5 is another factor that might throw off some potential buyers, as it is significantly higher than that of its competition. But, when paired with its excellent construction and sturdiness, we can’t say that it’s not worth it.
- Durable construction
- Cushioning doesn’t compress over time
- Narrow/small toe box
- A bit pricey
4. Adidas Ultraboost 19
Adidas’ trademark Boost technology has been somewhat of a hot topic in the last few years. If you’re a fan, then get ready to read about their Ultraboost 19 model, and see why we included it on our list.
Ultraboost 19 is all about energy return, meaning that the power with which you land translates into the power that will bounce you off the ground. This is extremely important for runners with shin splints as insufficient bounce probably earned them this condition.
Compared to other models in this article, Ultraboost 19 might look a bit minimalistic. One of the reasons for this is its simplistic textile upper, that’s designed to mimic a sock in the way that it fits a foot.
The second factor is the sole, which isn’t particularly short, but it does appear less bulky than that of other similar shoes.
An issue with such a construction is durability, or the lack thereof. Don’t get us wrong, the shoe is well-made and will probably last for a long time if taken care of properly. However, it cannot take a beating like some other running shoes.
Also, Ultraboost 19 is not the cheapest shoe out there, so keep this in mind.
- Very responsive sole
- Super comfortable upper
- Suitable for neutral pronation
- Lacks durability
- Sizing is too small
5. Nike Vomero 14
We saved the last spot for Nike so that you guys wouldn’t bash us for not including this iconic brand. Just kidding, this shoe earned its place fair and square, and now it’s time to meet Nike Vomero 14.
This model aims to help runners improve their performance; that’s what it was designed to do. It combines Nike’s Zoom Air unit and React technology to create bounce and responsiveness that is more than needed when running with shin splints.
The midsole is cushiony and soft throughout the shoe, and most folks will not have any problems here. However, the tongue doesn’t have any cushioning, which can be a significant problem as it may rub off your skin and irritate it.
Vomero 14 also lacks heel support. This is because of its sole’s designed, which has a curved heel and thus doesn’t have the stability of some other models.
When it comes to the upper, this shoe slightly resembles the Adidas Ultraboost series with their mesh material and “socky” snug fit. All in all, it feels good when put on, and is by no means too tight.
Nike Vomero 14 goes for a price similar to most other models on the list, which means that it’s reasonable, even though it isn’t objectively cheap.
- Snug fit
- Very responsive sole
- Zoom Air unit
- Tongue has no cushion
- Poor heel support
You’ve made it to the end of the article. Well done!
We swear that we’re not going to waste more of your precious time, so let’s announce the winner.
The first place goes to Asics Gel Kayano 24, a shoe that contains all the features needed for a runner with shin splints. Perfect fit, cushiony interior, and a nice bounce – this shoe’s got all of it.
However, it would be a crime not to mention how good the other four models are, so if any of them caught your attention, feel free to try it out. The chances are that you won’t regret it.