The Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints in 2021

Natalie Cecconi
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Do you suffer from shin splints, plantar fasciitis, or aching calves? If so, one of the most common causes is wearing the wrong type of running shoe. If you have pain from running, your running shoes could be the reason why.

More commonly, it’s the poor running form that causes the problem with running shoes. Yet, I’ve seen many runners continue to wear the wrong shoes and carry on with the wrong form. The truth is, it’s actually quite simple to fix your running form.

If you’re an experienced runner who runs often and have been struggling with discomfort and pain, then you should read the guide below. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms now, this will help you prevent pain in the future and improve your running form.

NameCategoryProduct
Brooks Men's Glycerin 18Best OverallBrooks Men's Glycerin 18
Saucony Men's Ride 13Budget PickSaucony Men's Ride 13
Brooks Women's Glycerin 18Upgrade PickBrooks Women's Glycerin 18

1. Brooks Men's Glycerin 18

Our rating: 9 / 10

Brooks Men's Glycerin 18

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Pros:

  • The articulated foot frame improves comfort and bounce
  • Supportive midsole
  • Lightweight
  • Varying width of laces freely
  • Stabilizing technologies for better performance and comfort

Brooks Men’s Glycerin 18 is a top pick shoe for it’s cushioning and support features.

It has exceptional shock absorption which is good for runners who may be long distance runners or runners with shin splints.

This shoe features an innovative midsole that has more bounce and cushioning with its rearfoot and forefoot characteristics.

2. Brooks Men's Ghost 13

Our rating: 9 / 10

Brooks Men's Ghost 13

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Pros:

  • Excellent ventilation
  • Comfy padding and plush lining
  • Available in several color choices

Cons:

  • Top-heavy design might be uncomfortable
  • Not durable and can't be folded

If you need a stylish pair of running shoes that can keep up with your high energy levels while still keeping your feet in comfort, then the Brooks Men's Ghost 13 Running Shoes may be just the ones for you.

These come in several color choices including black, blue, red, gray, orange, and indigo. Sizes offered are men's 7.5-13. The shoes themselves are both breathable and lightweight. They've got integrated foam padding to keep you comfortable and the plush lining will also keep your feet feeling good. Low energy impacts and a healthy toe shape means comfort for all day use.

The Brooks Men's Ghost 13 Running Shoes will keep your feet comfortable during the day, but you do have to be careful about the size and the risk of getting blisters or sore spots. If you decide that these ones are for you, make sure you choose one with a size and shape that fits you well. This particular nice, comfortable pair runs the risk of putting holes in your heels or causing blisters depending on where you step. This is especially true if you don't choose a full size bigger than you need.

3. Brooks Women's Ghost 13

Our rating: 9 / 10

Brooks Women's Ghost 13

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Pros:

  • Modern style
  • Breathable
  • Grip-ready
  • Comfortable
  • Great traction
  • Midsole protection

Cons:

  • Non-adjustable fit
  • Can be costly for some
  • Not ideal for trail running

The Brooks Women’s Ghost 13 are a great pair of running shoes for the casual runner. When it comes to shoe fit, these running shoes come in two different sizes.

What’s more, they come with a sock-like lining that protects your feet from rubbing during running. In addition, the Brooks Women’s Ghost 13 have a padded heel collar for enhanced comfort and support.

These running shoes feature a lining made from Brooks’ own BioMoGo DNA which is a futuristic looking, breathable material that protects the wearer’s feet and allows for optimal airflow.

4. Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 20

Our rating: 9 / 10

Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 20

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Pros:

  • Extra support for midfoot
  • Extra cushioning throughout the sole
  • Well-padded tongue and collar for comfort
  • Great traction on all kinds of terrain
  • Adjustable lacing system
  • Solid quality materials
  • Visually appealing
  • Varied sizing options

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Does not offer a wide sole option
  • Some users prefer a higher heel

Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints

The Brooks Menâ??s Adrenaline GTS 20 is a classic, traditional running shoe with distinctive design features to achieve a high level of performance and comfort. The Adrenaline GTS 20 has a cushioned midsole and a well-padded collar and tongue for comfort. It has an adjustable lacing system for a snug fit. The shoe features a high level of quality materials throughout for durability and stability.

The shoe is not very heavy, coming in at about 10.5 oz. This light weight of the shoe combined with the cushioning it provides makes it an excellent option for running. The shoe has a medium-high profile that is suitable and attractive to most people. However, the profile of the shoe is not too high for some styles of running.

5. HOKA ONE ONE Women's Clifton 7 Running Shoe

Our rating: 9 / 10

HOKA ONE ONE Women's Clifton 7 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Skid-resistant
  • Durable
  • The shoe is very breathable
  • Nice color variety
  • Stability is great
  • The added support and comfort are amazing
  • Hardly need any break in time

Cons:

  • Take a while to get use to
  • They feel a bit tight
  • A bit pricey

Compared to the other running shoes, the HOKA ONE ONE Clifton is our top pick as the best running shoes for shin splints.

Some people consider the price to be too high for shoes. You have to take into account the fact that HOKA ONE ONE is a premium running shoe that is one of the best running shoes.

If you are one of the people who can afford it, this running shoe is absolutely worth the price. If you are not, you should consider a mid-range running shoe instead.

6. Brooks Women's Glycerin 18

Our rating: 9 / 10

Brooks Women's Glycerin 18

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Pros:

  • Puncture proof with an adaptive midsole
  • Many color options
  • Great cushioning for both high mileage and recovery
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Some users feel these shoes run small
  • Runners report that the arch support could be better
  • A bit pricey

The Brooks Women's Glycerin 18 Running Shoe is a running shoe that was released in 2015 by Brooks. It has been well-received by both athletes and runners and appears on many runner's top 10 lists for best running shoes.

This shoe is smaller than the Brooks Glycerin 17. In addition, the toe box has been reduced by around 1/4 of an inch to reduce the volume inside the shoe and the fit has been toned down to be a bit more snug. The interior has been changed from a lined mesh to a 3D printed mesh that is both lighter and stronger.

One of the most important features of this shoe is the Brooks DNA foam cushioning system that provides both plush comfort and responsive impact protection. The foam adapts to the runner's body without any break-in period as well as working to keep the foot anchored during a stride.

7. Brooks Womens Adrenaline GTS 20 Running Shoe

Our rating: 9 / 10

Brooks Womens Adrenaline GTS 20 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Stable and supportive
  • Good shoe for high arches
  • Superb stability
  • Heel cushioning is exceptional
  • Fantastic level of comfort
  • Gives your entire lower body support
  • These shoes will not cause blisters or rub against you
  • Reduces leg fatigue
  • High quality

Cons:

  • Narrow shoe design
  • The laces are prone to coming undone
  • Black color shows dirt easily
  • The tongue is uncomfortable

The Brooks Womens Adrenaline GTS 20 Running Shoe is a stylish yet comfortable shoe. Which is why it is included on our list of the best shoes for shin splints.

The shoe features a full length compression mold midsole which offers maximum responsiveness and cushioning.

They are perfect for helping you with overpronation, which is when your ankles roll inward.

8. New Balance Men's Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe

Our rating: 9 / 10

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Plenty of cushioning for those with severe shin splints
  • Plenty of support for those with mild shin splints
  • SUPER impressive grip!!! You will never slip in these shoes.
  • Flattering design. Great for working out in the gym, running, sprinting, or high intensity sports
  • Vibram outsole with plenty of tread and traction
  • Even though these are 'neutral' shoes, you will feel a slight arch in your step
  • Little to no break-in time required
  • Good price point for a quality shoe!

Cons:

  • Sizing is a bit odd. I wear an 11.5 in most brands, and I have to wear a size 11 in these. Please measure the width of your feet before purchasing ‗ they do run narrow.
  • If you have a high arch, these may be uncomfortable, even if they are the right size for you.
  • While the outsole sticks to the ground like glue, it also tends to pick up rocks and pebbles. This isn’t a big issue, but it can make your feet feel sandy if you run on dirt trails.
  • If you have wide feet or if you have a very narrow heel, there’s a chance the upper material will stretch out too much to stay put.

9. New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe

Our rating: 9 / 10

New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Massaging heel foam
  • Well-cushioned
  • Plenty of cushioning under the metatarsel
  • A little snug on the toes for some
  • Available colors are limited
  • Not the most stylish design
  • Order a size up if you’re a half size

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Sizing can be tricky
  • Sole is a bit stiff
  • Insoles don’t stay in place
  • Sizing may be a little different from other shoes

The New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam 1080 v10 running shoe is designed to help to improve your performance on the trails.

As a neutral running shoe with plenty of cushioning under the metatarsel, it is one of the best options for those looking for stability.

These running shoes have a snug fit, but they will break down after some extensive usage.

10. ASICS Women's Gel-Nimbus 22

Our rating: 8 / 10

ASICS Women's Gel-Nimbus 22

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(Best Overall)

The running shoe from ASICS is a great compromise among top-quality cushioning, support, and lightweight responsiveness. The forefoot Gel cushioning delivers excellent comfort and shock absorption and the rear-foot GEL cushioning adds to the comfort without compromising on the ride stability.

It has a well-designed stability system that helps make the shoe more responsive and able to make those slicing turns during your run. It’s also a great shoe for running on different types of terrain.

11. Saucony Men's Ride 13

Our rating: 8 / 10

Saucony Men's Ride 13

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The Saucony Men's Ride 13 Running Shoe are a neutral cushioned training running shoe that have a durable outsole, breathable composition, and lightweight construction. They are ideal for long distance runs and track workouts.

They have a dynamic ride frame, comfortable sock liner, and enhanced breathability. The best running shoes for shock absorption have an aggressively placed rubber along the rear quarter, heel cup and toe box for added durability.

The Ride 13 is an excellent choice for those looking for a good pair of running shoes without paying too much. They feature a breathable mesh upper and a low-to-the-ground ride that's built for long distance runs and track workouts.

12. ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes

Our rating: 8 / 10

ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes

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Pros:

  • Has cushioning and support for the entire foot
  • Best for runners that suffer from plantar fasciitis
  • Narrow heel cup for a snug fit
  • Great for high arches

Cons:

  • Runs small
  • The upper tends to break down over time
  • Doesn’t come in wide sizes

If you’re suffering from shin splints, plantar fasciitis, or just want to stay fit and healthy, these shoes are one of the best options available. In our list of top ten running shoes for 2016, the ASICS Women’s Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes stood out with its unique design and support options for the heel, mid-foot, and forefoot area.

These running shoes come in two different colors: black/ grey/ purple or true blue/ pink/ white. They’re a combination of grey and black synthetic leather on the upper.

The runner’s features include an offset lacing system that keeps your foot balanced and cushioned on the padding of the midsole. The cushioning is ideal for female runners as the Gel system absorbs the shock from your run.

13. Saucony Women's Jogging Trail Running Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10

Saucony Women's Jogging Trail Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Durable, high-quality materials
  • Excellent stability and support
  • Great for various terrains
  • Great for lighter runners
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Lacks cushioning
  • Can be uncomfortable for a long run
  • Tends to fit on the narrower side

The Saucony Women’s Jogging Trail Running Shoes are winning raves from women for whom running is their passion.

From the company famous for the Slides that Mary Poppins kept in her magic purse, this shoe is aimed at the serious runner looking for a lightweight and effective shoe with no fuss.

They have a sleek design with simple colors and thick support. They feature material overlays for added support when the terrain gets rough; an EVA insole and outsole for a comfy ride; and nylon webbing for a secure and adjustable fit.

14. ASICS Men's Gel-Nimbus 22 Running Shoes

Our rating: 8 / 10

ASICS Men's Gel-Nimbus 22 Running Shoes

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Pros:

  • Great value
  • Great comfort
  • Zero heel slip
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Lacing system makes for a secure fit
  • Outsole has improved cushioning
  • Plenty of padding
  • Good quality
  • Shoe looks great

Cons:

  • Heavier than most competitors
  • Outsole durability could be better

ASICS is a brand that can be relied on to produce a quality product and the Gel-Nimbus 22 is no exception. This shoe has great cushioning and is ideal for people with flat feet.

The gel sole doesn’t disappoint either. Both of these features will undoubtedly aid you in your effort to get a more comfortable walk and step. Since the insoles are removable you can also replace them when they wear down.

The Gel-Nimbus 22 is also a very comfortable shoe to wear. It has an internal lining that is very soft to the touch and the upper mesh is breathable which aids in keeping your feet cool and dry.

15. HOKA ONE ONE Men's Arahi 4 Running Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10

HOKA ONE ONE Men's Arahi 4 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Feels like running on a soft pillow
  • Great support

Cons:

  • Less breathable than most models
  • Not waterproof

The Hoka One One Arahi 4 running shoe is a high-end premium shoe that offers trail runners a blend of lightweight cushioning and support. A very comfortable shoe that is suitable for OCR, trail running or trail walking.

The midsole of this shoe offers a firm and supportive ride that provides excellent protection for your soles, ankles and feet. Stability and support are also kept top of mind during the design of this shoe.

This shoe is not waterproof. Please note that the shoes do not feature Gore-Tex lamination or a waterproof membrane.

16. Saucony Men's Triumph 17 Running Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10

Saucony Men's Triumph 17 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Great for runners with narrower feet
  • Very comfortable
  • Works well for short runs
  • Good for runners with wide feet
  • Very good quality for the price

Cons:

  • Narrow widths can rub the feet the wrong way
  • Runners with wider feet may need to size up

If you are looking for an affordable and good quality running shoe without compromising on performance, then the Saucony Triumph may be for you.

The Triumph is one of Saucony’s highest rated shoes with a durable rubber sole and thick inner sleeve that is moisture wicking with a designed to reduce odors. The shoe is made from breathable material and the insides are designed to reduce foot odor.

The support and stability that the Triumph can provide you with is exceptional. It’s constructed from both the uppers and the soles with reinforced materials. Its been rated by Runners World and is on our list of the best running shoes for shin splints you can buy.

17. ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes

Our rating: 8 / 10

ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes

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Pros:

  • Perfect balance of stability and cushioning
  • The design is comfortable and breathable
  • Top-rated arch support

Cons:

  • Run a half size large
  • Seam stitched upper wears out faster than non-seam stitched ones

The ASICS Men’s Kayano is a great running shoe that is lightweight and breathable. It’s popular among athletes of all levels due to its stability and responsiveness.

What makes this shoe so versatile is the fact that it is equipped with an eight-layer coil unit midsole and an ASICS High Abrasion Rubber compound. These features work together to protect joints from impact stress while also providing a chunky yet responsive cushioning response.

The shoe’s design is also quite attractive. It has an open mesh upper construction and overlays, a foot-locking heel counter, and a seamless inner sleeve cup.

18. HOKA ONE ONE Women's Arahi Running Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10

HOKA ONE ONE Women's Arahi Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Removable sockliner
  • Elegant design
  • Great durability
  • Outsole features a combination of molded (plastic) and pinched steel (metal)

Cons:

  • Can be a bit of a pain to put on
  • Some people don’t like the design
  • It’s not the easiest to clean
  • The fit is pretty narrow
  • It’s not the best option for people with flat feet

This is a 2 factor running shoe where the soft outsole and molded midsole are built from a proprietary midsole compound called HOKA ONE ONE EVO. The technique behind these running shoes is to offer amazing stabilization and cushioning in a lightweight package.

With the HOKA ONE ONE Arahi running shoe, you get ample heel cushioning without compromising midfoot flexibility. This would make it a good option for athletes engaged in mid-distance running. The heel stabilization is great for people who suffer from ankle and foot injuries.

The HOKA one one Arahi design features a high-quality mesh upper with an aggressively styled seamless molded sockliner. This provides a nice soft and comfortable feel for your feet. Also, the removable sockliner allows you to wash this after removing it.

19. Saucony Women's Triumph 17

Our rating: 6 / 10

Saucony Women's Triumph 17

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Pros:

  • Can be used for multiple kinds of distances.
  • Very breathable and lightweight
  • Delivers impressive cushioning and stability
  • Highly responsive midsole and outsole
  • Contains great arch support
  • Perfect for running long distances up to a marathon at a time.
  • One of the best running shoes for women, men, and kids

Cons:

  • Not as cushioned as other running shoes
  • A bit more expensive than your average running shoes.

What to Look For:

Arch Support:

If you have foot issues such as pronation, the arch support is one of the most important specs to consider. You do want your running shoes to provide your feet with adequate support. If you have flat feet, you may also want to look for extra support in this area. The Triumph provides comfortable arch support, with an injection-molded EVA midsole and a robust heel wedge to support your feet. This shoe is perfect for underpronators looking for an ideal running shoe.

20. HOKA ONE ONE Men's Clifton 7 Running Shoe

Our rating: 5 / 10

HOKA ONE ONE Men's Clifton 7 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Exceptional quality at a mid-range price
  • Low profile and light weight, better for high-impact activities
  • Excellent shock absorption
  • Can be used by beginners and professional athletes alike
  • Very durable even with regular use
  • The gait control feature makes it versatile and easy to use for various activities
  • It’s nicely ventilated for a premium feel and performance
  • Great traction thanks to the rubber sole design
  • The primary materials are breathable and lightweight

Cons:

  • Not enough cushioning for low-impact sports like walking
  • Needs break-in time

There’s a reason why the HOKA ONE ONE Men’s Clifton 7 is our top shoe for running shins. There’s a reason why this one has received top reviews for seemingly everything – from the weight, cushioning, durability, grip, and the Airea midsole venting system. It’s a premium choice for even the most serious of athletes. It also comes at a budget price, making it an excellent pick for beginners as well.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can running shoes give you shin splints?

One great benefit of running shoes is that they are supportive enough to give you the stability that you need to run long distances. Some people may think that this is too much support and that too much support leads to more bad habits. However, this is not an accurate observation. Wearing the wrong shoes can give you shin splints, but not overly supportive shoes.

The most common reasons for shin splints are the way you pronate when you are running and the shoes that you wear. If you have overpronated feet, when you run, your ankles will collapse and your shins will bang against your knees. When you overpronate, the muscles on the front of your shins get sore and can even become damaged. It is possible to change the way your feet and legs move when you run, but this process can take time, as it is a learned motion.

Wear proper shoes and you will have less chance of giving yourself shin splints.

Will running more help shin splints?

No. For shin splints, you need treatment. If you run more, you will only increase your injury.

But is running the right thing to do?

Well, it depends on how you define running. If you are referring to running fast, then no, you should not. You will only make the injury worse and run the risk of developing chronic injury. What if you define running as walking fast?

If you intend to run fast, then you should refrain from it. If you want to walk fast, that is fine if you want to. Walking fast for pain-free running is a great idea for you. Many runners walk fast as they recover, and this is perfectly fine.

So, should you run?

Running is a mixed bag of pros and cons. When you are healthy and able to run, run as much as you can and as fast as you can. Your body will thank you and reward you.

Can stability shoes cause shin splints?

Many people wear or have worn stability shoes, and they believe this is the cause of their shin splints. After all, if these shoes are designed to provide stability, why are they causing me pain?

The shocks and supports in shoes, such as those made with stability shoes, are designed to counteract overpronation in the foot. Overpronation is when a foot rolls in too much when running and can lead to a myriad of foot problems, such as shin splints. The issue residing with the stiffness of stability shoes is that not every runner has overpronation, and there are many causes of shin splints, all of which are different.

If you have a prescription to wear stability shoes, switch them out for a different type of shoe. But, be aware, switching out your stability shoes for another stability shoe won’t do anything for you.

Conclusion

Choosing the best running shoes for shin splints always depends on what type of feet you have. If you have low arches then you need shoes that offer a firm, underfoot feel. If you have high arches then the shoe should be flexible. The shoes should also have enough room in the toe box for your toes to have wiggle room as well.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Brooks Men's Glycerin 18Best OverallBrooks Men's Glycerin 18
Saucony Men's Ride 13Budget PickSaucony Men's Ride 13
Brooks Women's Glycerin 18Upgrade PickBrooks Women's Glycerin 18