10 Best Running Shoes For Shin Splints Reviewed In 2019

Shin splints can be quite painful and for runners and athletes, it can shut them down. A pair of the best running shoes for shin splints is just what you might need!

10 Best Running Shoes For Shin Splints

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Hoka One One Clifton 4

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Hoka One One Clifton

The Clifton 4 is a neutral maximal cushioned running shoe that’s versatile and works well for a variety of runners at different distances and paces. The Clifton series is the best Hoka shoes for shin splints.

For those unfamiliar with the brand, Hoka One One makes maximal cushion running shoes using an oversized midsole that provides unparalleled shock absorption and comfort. This unique design makes for a different type of running shoe that just begs to be tried and tested.

Unlike many highly cushioned shoes, the Clifton 4 weighs in just over 9 ounces. While it’s able to provide a tremendous amount of cushion, it does so without feeling overly heavy or clunky. Those who are familiar with the Clifton series, the Clifton 4 is a little firmer and more responsive than previous models.

Midsole

The heart of the Clifton 4 is the unique midsole. It’s made of full-length EVA foam and has a stack height of 28 millimeters in the heel and 23 millimeters at the forefoot for a heel-to-toe drop of 5 millimeters.

It also uses a Meta-Rocker design that allows for a smooth transition from heel to toe while being very efficient for mid to forefoot strikers. This feature is also great for some forefoot conditions and runners with Morton’s Neuroma and Metatarsalgia.

Outsole

Hoka One One Clifton 4 outsole

For the outsole, the Clifton 4 uses high-abrasion rubber located at specific points for increased durability and traction while keeping the weight down.

Upper

The Clifton 4 has a breathable mesh upper with 3D overlays for additional support. It comes with an Ortholite sock liner insole that provides some arch support and a little more cushioning.

The Hoka One One Clifton 4 is an excellent choice for any runner who wants a shoe that offers plenty of cushioning, maintains some feel for the road, and transitions well from faster paces to longer distances. You can bring this shoe out for almost any type of daily training that you do.

It feels really good on those longer days when you just need a reliable shoe to get the miles in, but it’s also great on those slower recovery days when your body is going beat up and you need something softer on the foot.

The Hoka Clifton 4 is simply a staple in a lot of runners’ daily training and it’s a shoe you’ll come back to day in and day out.

Related: 

Hoka One One Rincon vs Clifton 6

Asics Gel Nimbus 20

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Asics Gel Nimbus 20

The Asics Gel Nimbus series is known to be one of the more reputable high-cushioned road shoes out there. Over the years, the Nimbus has seen some slight changes including the Nimbus 20.

Also, they’re considered as one of the best running shoes for shin splints and Plantar Fasciitis.

So, what does this version have to offer?

Upper

The upper continues to improve upon the last version by using Asics seamless FluidFit 3D Print upper. This is essentially a multi-directional outer layer mesh that stretches slightly allowing for an adaptive fit while still maintaining the structure of the shoe.

The inner layer of the upper is thin but works well with keeping the fit smooth and irritation-free. The snug wraparound fit isn’t too tight but feels secure.

The mesh itself feels a bit more open and breathable compared to the Nimbus 19. Asics tries to keep the upper overlays at a minimum, which helps for a more natural fit.

Heel Counter

Asics Gel Nimbus 20 heel counter

Asics also modified the heel counter of the shoe. They’re using what they call their Exoskeleton Heel Clutching system. This heel counter works well for most runners. It’s not that the 19’s heel support was bad, but the 20’s does seem a bit more reinforced. Your feet will stay in place and there is hardly any heel slipping.

The inner padding of the shoe is plush and comfortable but it doesn’t seem like it is too much padded. Since this shoe is considered a premium cushion shoe, the overall comfort is the main thing that Asics is going for.

Midsole

The Nimbus 20 is using a combination of the Gel technology with their newer FlyteFoam material. There are gel units in the forefoot and in the heel, which helps tremendously with the impact protection while on the roads for long periods of time.

The FlyteFoam allows the shoe to have some response and adds to the comfort of the shoe. These two technologies working together is what makes the shoe so comfortable. It worked well in the Nimbus 19 and continues to do the same in this version.

Outsole

Asics Gel Nimbus 20 outsole

The outsole is very similar to the previous model. There’s extended High Abrasion Rubber around the perimeter of the shoe that handles typical surfaces very well.

There’s a Guidance Line in the middle of the outsole that helps with maintaining a smooth efficient gate during your footstrike. There is also the Trusstic System that provides the midfoot some structure for added stability.

You can take this Nimbus on a light trail and it’ll still be fine, but once again this is meant as a road shoe.

So the Nimbus 20 has made a few changes, which is expected from the upgrades. But with that, some of the issues from the previous models still arise.

The shoe is very comfortable, but with that, it can feel a bit clunky if you’re used to running in a faster more streamlined shoe.

The weight of the shoe is on the heavier end of the spectrum, which can be expected for the amount of cushion the shoe has. But if you’re already used to high-cushion road shoes, you probably won’t notice much difference in weight.

Going fast in the Asics Gel Nimbus 20 is possible, but you’re going to have to work for it. I see this shoe as a long-run or a recovery shoe. It provides a smooth comfortable ride, feels great on foot, and can go the distance.

Just like Asics, some New Balance shoes are absolutely great for Plantar Fasciitis.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 14

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Mizuno Wave Inspire 14

The Wave Inspire has always been a very popular moderate shin splint stability shoe and a go-to daily trainer for moderate overpronators. The support, cushioning, and nice fit have made the Inspire line a global favorite.

The newest Wave Inspire 14 has become one of Mizuno’s most popular shoes in their running shoe line-up.

With a new design from top to bottom, the Inspire 14 should offer some nice updates over its predecessor while still retaining the classic Inspire feel.

The Wave Inspire 14 features a very traditional 12mm heel-to-toe drop, which is pretty common for daily traditional raining shoes.

Upper

The synthetic and Jacquard upper is a little more snug due to the DynaMotion upper around the midfoot. The tongue is nicely padded and has the standard lace-up system to keep everything in place.

Inside

Inside the Inspire 14, we find a nice thick removable insole that you can swap out with a custom orthotic or something like a Super Feet insole if necessary. The heel collar is nicely padded and plush feeling.

Midsole

In order to deliver plenty of cushioning for your daily training, this shoe continues to offer both the U4ic compound above the Wave Plate and the U4icX compound beneath the Wave Plate for a more springy feel with slightly softer underfoot sensation. This combination also helps provide multiple degrees of cushioning for a smooth landing and take-off.

This shoe also offers Mizuno’s new Cloud Wave technology that pairs with the more traditional fan-shaped wave for a responsive and stable ride. This Wave Plate gently mitigates against overpronation and provides support for mild overpronation.

Outsole

Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 outsole

On the outsole, small tweaks to the rubber design as well as flex grooves should continue to offer a fairly similar running experience. The X10 carbon rubber outsole is known for its durability and comfort.

One of the major differences between this model and the previous one is the toe box design. The toe box in this version is a little bit shallower than it was in the Inspire 13.

Is it too shallow?

It really depends on your foot and you’ll want to try on a pair Mizuno Wave Inspire 14 before you buy.

Weight-wise, the Inspire 14 is a bit heavier than the 13.

Brooks Glycerin 15

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Brooks Glycerin 15

The Glycerin series by Brooks is definitely their softest premium running shoe. It’s best for runners with a neutral gait.

A big draw to the previous version is the significant change in weight. Providing just about the highest amount of cushioning on the market, the Glycerin 15 is a fairly light shoe, over an ounce lighter than most other long-distance running shoes.

While the weight has stayed about the same in this shoe, the Glycerin 15 managed to soften the ride even more with added cushioning in the top stack.

It really sticks out more compared to its previous version. This is due to the new plush Transition Zones and improved full-length segmented crash pad that is designed to make those heel-to-toe transitions as smooth as possible therefore becoming a quicker stride.

Other than those updates, Brooks has made sure to continue the success of the last model’s features as well as stay true to what makes the Glycerin such a solid daily running shoe.

You’ll still get the super-cushioned Super DNA midsole, the ideal pressure zones which are evenly dispersed throughout the outsole to absorb the shock and reduce some of that extra stress on your body, and the 3D print upper which is a big improvement all the way back to the Glycerin 13.

Upper

The printed saddle and air mesh expand with your foot for improved fit and better ventilation. Lastly, you’ll get a lot of plush comfort in the interior of the shoe that you can even see it in the tongue pretty easily.

Outsole

Brooks Glycerin 15 outsole

The redesigned outsole and the forefoot grooves help in achieving a smoother ride. Even with its durability, you’ll still want to stick to the roads in this shoe.

Plus, if you’re on your feet all day, the Glycerin 15 can definitely work as an all-around shoe.

The Brooks Glycerin 15 has become a lot sleeker visually, which seems to be the trend this year. The Glycerin 14 was slightly narrower in the mid-foot and you’ll also want to consider getting a half-size up in this shoe as well.

Last but not least, the Glycerin 17 is a great shoe for Achilles tendonitis.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19

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Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19

There’s typically not much to say about the Brooks Adrenaline. It’s simply a go-to shoe when it comes to that standard stability running shoe and it has been for years.

At one point, the Adrenaline GTS 19 was Brooks’ highest-selling shoe

On its 19th edition, let’s see what this new Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 has to offer.

Upper

Brooks also improved the fit by adding engineered mesh and a 3D print upper for more structure and a proven fit with a streamlined look.

The upper has a bit of a stretch to it and it’s soft to the touch. It sure uses overlays that give you a bit more structure by blending them into the mid-foot design.

The heel and tongue are slightly more on the plush side and keep that smooth stepping comfort that is probably one of the best in any shoe.

The shoe itself feels a lot like the Brooks Ghost including the midsole cushioning.

Midsole

In the midfoot, you have the BioMogo DNA cushioning that provides a cushioned yet still responsive ride. There’s not a lot of gimmicks to it. It’s comfortable by most standards and will get you through most runs without any issues.

Towards the heel, you have the newer Loft DNA foam that has a bit more of squish to it. I find it to add a bit more in the comfort category compared to what I had tried in the last Adrenaline GTS 18.

This combo provides just the right amount of softness without losing any responsiveness and durability.

The stability component of the previous GTS 18 was using a medial posting that was essentially firmer density foam under the arch near the medial side to help compensate for some overpronation.

Well, Brooks has been putting in tons of research and they decided that for them, a medial posting was no longer the answer. So, they decided to transition to a new Guide Rail in their support system to help guide your foot through your footstrike while being less invasive.

This new system allows the foot’s natural range of motion, which helps engage your shins, your knees and your hips in their preferred alignment.

Guide Rails come in handy when you’re getting tired and need that extra push back to your natural stride.

Compared to the previous model, you’re not going to feel any stiffness in the support system if you don’t like that feeling of support.

Outsole

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 outsole

The outsole uses a blown rubber with a segmented crash pad for a smoother transition. The transition isn’t bad but the overall shoe just has that clunkier feel. There are some shoes like the Ravenna 10 that should run a tad smoother.

In a way, the Adrenaline GTS 19 is what it is. It’s a go-to support and it does exactly what it says it does – nothing fancy and nothing mind-blowing.

I just want to mention that the men’s version is about an ounce heavier than the previous model and the women’s is 0.6 ounces heavier than the previous model.

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 is not meant for everyone. It’s built for those who like a bit more guidance in their runs.

Last but not least, the GTS 19 is a great running shoe for Metatarsalgia or ball-of-foot-pain.

Saucony Hurricane ISO 4

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Saucony Hurricane ISO 4

The Saucony Hurricane ISO 4 breaks all the rules for stability running shoes and delivers a fantastic running experience.

With an 8mm heel-to-toe drop, the Hurricane ISO 4 delivers a high level of cushioning and support for your daily running needs. With huge updates over its predecessor, the Hurricane ISO 4 receives an overhaul for a completely new underfoot experience.

Midsole

The most interesting thing about the Hurricane ISO 4 is the new full-length EVRUN midsole. EVERUN is incredibly durable, incredibly flexible, and maintains its properties over the length of a run over the life of the shoe.

The EVERUN midsole also features a medial post. So, for those runners who need a fantastic amount of cushioning but also need a little medial control, the Hurricane ISO 4 really delivers.

Plus, the Hurricane has a topsole which is another layer of EVERUN. It’s a little bit softer and it’s positioned closer to your foot to help distribute the pressure of your foot pushing against the ground.

Upper

For enhanced comfort, the Hurricane ISO 4 features an updated ISOFIT upper with a more seamless design that conforms to all kinds of foot shapes.

Saucony Hurricane ISO 4 outsole

Paired with a redesigned outsole configuration, the Saucony Hurricane ISO 4 offers a more flexible running experience that continues to provide reliable durability.

All in all, the result you get is a shoe that has an incredible bouncy lively great cushiony feel but provides the stability some runners need.

Asics Gel Kayano 25

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Asics Gel Kayano 25

Upper

The upper comes equipped with the Jacquard mesh FluidFit technology. While this isn’t anything really new, we would say it is a solid job across the board.

The upper feels structured and reinforced while still being breathable and not having an unnecessary amount of overlays. It is comfortable and breathable with no rubbing or irritation

The ventilation is actually pretty good, much better than expected and it fairs well in those hot summer days.

The fit is accommodating around the midfoot and it seems that the toe box has widened up a bit compared to the Kayano 24.

Heel

Asics Gel Kayano 25 heel counter

The heel area feels very stable and gives ample support. When your foot is in this shoe, you really feel this sense of security. The Kayano 25 doesn’t have an excessive amount of padding inside while the heel counter gives the shoe a very lock-in fit.

Midsole

The midsole technology in the Kayano 25 combines a few things. First, there’s the Gel technology which provides that classic Asics feel. For heel strikers, the padding in the heel will have you covered.

The Gel also provides a soft landing coming off transition near the forefoot. Combining the Gel with the FlyteFoam, the Kayano 25 has a sense of response, not a lot, but enough to just be a soft comfortable shoe.

The midsole density on the medial side of the shoe provides a bit more firmer feel, which helps support those who want a bit more guidance in their foot strike.

For those who feel that their ankles tend to roll inward too much or want a shoe that will accommodate for a flatter foot type, this may be an action worth trying.

Outsole

Asics Gel Kayano 25 outsole

The outsole uses Asics High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) which seems to hold up well and also provides some extra shock absorption while running.

Asics combines a few of the technologies to provide even more guidance support with their Guidance Trusstic System. During transition, the Kayano feels very in control and stable. Because of this, the Kayano 25 isn’t the most flexible shoe out there, but it still feels good to run in.

The biggest worry that we had was the weight. On paper, it feels like the Kayano is going to be a tank. And although this shoe isn’t considered lightweight by any means, the weight of the shoe doesn’t feel that bad.

The Kayano 25 does well for the purpose of being a highly-cushioned long-run workhorse shoe. I wouldn’t recommend you use it for fast days, but the stability and comfort are worth it to make it to your running shoe rotation.

Overall, the Kayano 25 is a good solid cushioned stability shoe. And for a shoe to be produced for 25 years straight, it has to be doing something right. It is about everything expected.

Last but not least, the Asics Gel Kayano 25 is a much better-looking running shoe than most in the stability category.

Nik Air Zoom Vomero 13

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Nik Air Zoom Vomero 13

The Nike Zoom Vomero is a neutral cushion shoe designed for people who have medium to higher arches, neutral gait to maybe a slight bit of overpronation, but it also works well for supinators.

With a 10mm heel-to-toe drop, The Nike Vomero is definitely one of the plushest rides that Nike offers.

Upper

Right off the bat, the Vomero 13’s upper has made some changes. This shoe has a Circular Knit Mesh upper which is the same upper on the Vomero 12 but with a thinner more open feel to it.

The upper moves easily with the foot and allows your toes to splay. It’s a little bit more open across the toe box for breathability.

Luckily, this doesn’t make the shoe any less stable. This is maybe because of the added overlays around the shoe.

On foot, the Vomero feels softer and lighter. Nike has updated the FlyWire technology which comes down underneath the knit on both sides to kind of wrap, hug, and hold your foot into place.

The Fly Wire on this version is wider, but it’s flat so it lays smooth across the foot. Also, there’s no issue with blisters or slipping in the heel.

The upper features a bonded overlay for durability and good wrap, an internal heel counter that’s really nice and snug to give your heel a nice cradle, and a moisture-wicking interior.

The padded heel collar does feel nice when wearing the shoe for longer hauls.

Nik Air Zoom Vomero 13 heel counter

The main takeaway is that the breathability has improved and overall, the upper is an upgrade from the Vomero 12.

Midsole

The Vomero 13 has a dual-density midsole that combines the updated Lunarlon cushioning that feels soft and plush while still having dual-Zoom air units that give the shoe some responsiveness.

This is what makes the Vomero stand out. It’s one of those shoes that can provide a great comfortable feel and still maintains some response.

The ride of the Vomero feels balanced and smooth during foot strike. Whether you’re going fast or having a conversational pace, this shoe can be a great option if you prefer a shoe that can provide some more protection than some of the lighter weight options.

Outsole

Nik Air Zoom Vomero 13 outsole

The outsole looks almost the same as the Vomero 12. Though the Pressure Mapped Rubber outsole with those protruding rubber units seem like they would not provide much traction or durability like the 12, it is safe to say that the Vomero 13 might last as about the same, durability-wise.

Nike also uses a durable denser rubber on the crash pad for durability.

The Vomero 13 allows for a decent amount of flexibility and it’s still one of the more stable neutral shoes that Nike has.

The Vomero does weigh a bit more than some shoes, but if you were a fan of the Vomero 12, the 13 feels lighter on foot and more refined.

This shoe is not a super-fast shoe and it’s not an overly cushioned shoe, but I think it is a shoe that can work for a lot of people. The fit is true to size and the toe box should work well for most.

So if you’re a runner who needs a plush workhorse, this is a great shoe for you because it’s got one of the softest rides in the Nike running collection.

The Nike Vomero 13 is one of those shoes that when someone tells you Nike doesn’t make good running shoes, you can show them these and just drop the mic.

Saucony Zealot ISO 2

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Saucony Zealot ISO 2

The Zealot ISO 2 stays at a 4mm offset platform. It is a neutral shoe and it sort of crosses between a trainer and a performance shoe in that it is on the lighter side of a performance shoe but a little bit more than a racing flat.

So, it’s got a lot of versatility for someone that wants to use the shoe for an everyday run, an up-tempo run or perhaps a 5k, 10k up to a marathon. It gives great premium cushioning and just overall great durability for a trainer.

Upper

Saucony will be continuing with the really nice ISO Fit upper that allows for a nice snug custom individual fit for every runner, again with a very lightweight breathable mesh.

Midsole

The zealot ISO 2 has EVERUN technology. EVERUN is contained under the sock liner. It’s a full-length layer heel to toe to add extra cushioning and great resiliency throughout the run.

The midsole is consistent with the current Zealot ISO 2 in that it is PWRGRID+. This is Saucony’s premium midsole material that offers great cushioning and great durability throughout the lifetime of the shoe.

Outsole

Saucony Zealot ISO 2 outsole

On the outsole, Saucony has transitioned to a triFlex outsole for great flexibility, great surface contact, and traction for the shoe.

They’ve added a few spots for durability with the XT 900 rubber and then for the forefoot the IBR+ injection blown rubber.

Brooks Bedlam

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Brooks Bedlam

Offering the design philosophy of the Levitate in an ultra-stable package, the Bedlam is built for the runners seeking the perfect blend of responsiveness and stability.

Upper

For added comfort and breathability, the Bedlam features a FitKnit upper. The flexible material helps your foot adapt to the shoe while a reinforced medial side helps deliver a supportive foot wrap.

Also, the Bedlam is made out of just two pieces of material for the upper. This means there’s fewer connection points and fewer places to get friction.

This is a great shoe whether you like to wear your shoes loose or tight. For those runners whose feet tend to swell when you run, you can tighten these up pretty well because the tongue is attached only on one side.

Another thing that’s really different about this shoe is the collar. A lot of running shoes have more of a cushioned collar and the Bedlam is no different. It’s got more of a rigid sock material almost like elastic and what’s different about this is that you need to wear higher socks than those you probably normally wear or else you could get a blister at the back of the collar.

So, along with a sock-like ankle collar and an internal bootie, the Bedlam provides a snug and comfortable wrap that further dials in fit.

If you use the lacing technique of lace lock to prevent heel slippage, it doesn’t work with these shoes because there aren’t additional eyelets to do so.

Midsole

It is a support shoe for those of you who do best in a support shoe. The main difference between this one and the other shoes like the Levitate is the black rail on the bottom Brooks is calling Guide Rail.

What the Guide Rail does is it provides a high level of support and stability that goes all around the shoe and is designed to guide your foot into alignment without the use of a traditional medial post. So no matter how your foot lands, you’re going to have support.

With a midsole composed primarily of DNA AMP, this shoe creates a springy ride with versatile cushioning.

A couple other things about this shoe that are pretty unique is it’s got a lot more of a responsive feel, which gives you more of a spring when you’re running.

Outsole

Brooks Bedlam outsole

On the outsole, the shoe offers a sticky rubber material for added durability and traction along with an arrow point design for flexibility.

So if you’re a runner who needs a support shoe and want something that’s pretty responsive and pretty fun to run in, I would definitely give the Brooks Bedlam running shoes a try.

So there you have it. Those were 10 of the best running shoes for shin splints. Let us what you know in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sore shins are the most frustrating pain. But what are shin splints? And how do you know if you’ve got them? And more importantly, how do you fix them?

Whar Are Shin Splints?

A: Shin splints are also called Periostitis and have to do with an inflammation of the lining of the bone. The bone becomes inflamed because of the muscles that attach there.

Those are the muscles that control our foot and ankle. Just through repetitive use, those muscles will pull on the bone and eventually that bone will become inflamed and you’ll develop shin splints.

Shin pain down the front fleshy part of your shin is actually less common. It’s only seen in about 10% of cases. But it’s a sign of exertional compartment syndrome. And this can actually worsen under load or during exercise.

But if you do have pain in a really small specific area, that it hurts to touch and only in that place, especially down the front bony part of your shin, then it could be a sign of a stress fracture. So, go and see a professional as soon as you can.

What causes shin splints?

A: There’s a myriad of different conditions and activities that can cause somebody to develop shin splints like:

  • Repetitive stress to the feet, ankles, and legs.
  • Excessive running.
  • Drastic increase in activity.
  • Running uphill or downhill.
  • Changing running surfaces.
  • Low-quality running shoes.
  • Poorly-fitting or worn-out running shoes.
  • Obesity.
  • Muscle imbalance.
  • Tightness in the calf muscle or even in the intrinsic muscles of the foot.
  • Abrupt stopping after running causing a quick stretch motion of the foot slapping the floor.

How to stop shin splints?

A: Well, here are 12 points on how to either prevent or get rid of your shin splints and stop them coming back.

  • Rest Up.
  • Icing.
  • Compression.
  • Stretch.
  • Worn Shoes.
  • Collapsing Arches.
  • Glute Work.
  • Tight Muscles.
  • Gradual Changes.
  • Fix training technique issues.
  • Speed Kills.
  • 10% rule.

Rest Up

So first on the list, and probably one that you won’t want to hear is rest. Your bone and the surrounding area need time to heal and recover. So if that means reducing your running or maybe even having no running, it will reduce the symptoms and help with the healing process.

Icing

An ice pack or a packet of frozen peas can help speed up the relief as it encourages the reduction of the inflammation between your muscles and your bones. So just place it on the area that’s sore.

Ice your shin splints for 30 minutes, every 4 hours, for 2 to 3 days. CLICK TO TWEET.

Compression

Compression socks will also help with inflammation and muscle recovery, post-run session, by increasing the blood flow. And wearing socks during your run, as well, can reduce the microtrauma of the muscles and the fascia. Just make sure that you’ve got a pair that fits correctly for their purpose.

Stretch

Don’t forget to stretch out those tight muscles.

Worn Shoes

Check your shoes. Make sure that they’ve got enough cushioning and that they’re not worn out.  And also that they’re providing the right type of support for your foot and running gate.

Collapsing Arches

Correcting a collapsing arch can make a positive difference straight away whether that’s just from getting new orthotics or changing your running shoes.

If, however, you want a more detailed approach, then I would recommend going to see a podiatrist and you can have orthotics specifically made for your own needs. Just make sure if you are using them, that you put them in a neutral running shoe.

Glute Work

Work on engaging and strengthening your glutes because this will have a knock-on effect on your foot control and the position which your foot makes contact with the ground.

Tight Muscles

Tight muscles and fascia contribute to pretty much all shin pain. So doing regular foam rolling will make a difference. For example, if you’ve got a really tight calf muscle that means that the muscles on the front of your leg are going to have to work harder to lift your foot.

So, whenever you’re doing any self-massage, make sure you work the front and the back of your lower leg. And also, if you’ve got tight fascia in your feet, you can experiment by relieving that using a golf ball and rolling your foot around on top of it.

Gradual Changes

Finally, make any changes gradually, whether that’s changing your running shoe, running on different terrain, or upping your weekly volume. Your body and legs need time to adapt.

Fix training technique issues

If you have poor technique, that can be driving shin splints no matter what you’re doing.

Speed kills 

The biggest thing that drives injuries is doing speed work as an athlete. Going from a normal pace to a really fast pace gets you into trouble.

10% rule 

Another thing which might get you into trouble is ignoring the 10% rule. In running, there’s a rule as you’re ramping up your mileage, you want to ramp up your total mileage or your total time 10% a week.

When people ignore that and they ramp up that volume too fast, that oftentimes gets us into trouble, too.

What are the best exercises for treating and preventing shin splints?

A: Well, these are some of the exercises that you can do to prevent and recover from the runners’ nemesis, shin splints.

  • Foam roll.
  • Massage Stick.
  • Strengthen weak muscles.
  • Stretch and strengthen calves.
  • Strengthen hip and core muscles.
  • Chiropractic adjustments as needed.
  • Stretch Gastrocnemius and Soleus.
  • Stretch both hip flexors.
  • Eccentric raises.
  • Core and Hip External Rotation.
  • Bridging.
  • Support feet.

Self Care

  • Foam roll.

Rolling on the foam roller is what finds the knots, the tightness, and the areas of stiffness. Letting your weight get on for 30 to 40 seconds breaks the knots down. So rolling finds the issue and setting on it releases it.

  • Massage stick.

The stick rolls over the muscles to find the issue and loosen it up. It’s quicker, it’s easier, it’s more efficient just doesn’t penetrate as deeply.

The foam roller and the stick are mandatory for athletes. They’re also great if you want to maintain elasticity and flexibility in your muscles.

  • Strengthen weak muscles

You also have to strengthen those weak muscles. You need to do it 3 times a week to every day. You need to build it up to 3 sets of 15 to 20, at least once a day, but twice would be preferable.

This is what is called being diligent. It’s not just about doing the once or twice, you really have to do them over time.

Balance Mechanics

  • Stretch and strengthen calves

You actually have to do both. You have to stretch your calves and you have to strengthen your calves. The calves have the tendency to be weak. So they need the power to keep you stable and not to get overworked when you use them, but they also have to have some elasticity.

  • Strengthen hip and core muscles

You need to strengthen the muscles on the feet to keep the foot straight and you also need to strengthen the muscles in the hips and pelvis.

  • Chiropractic adjustments as needed 

You need to make sure the joints are moving properly. if the joints aren’t moving properly, you can’t exercise or run properly.

Stretching

  • Gastrocnemius (calf muscle)
  • Soleus (calf muscle)
  • Hip flexors. Specifically stretch the upper hip flexor because that’s the toughest area to get to.
  • Hold 20-30 seconds, 3 times, 2 to 5 times a day.
  • Dynamic. Do dynamic stretching using a stretch strap. Static stretching is fine but dynamic stretching gives you a little more authority.

Gastrocnemius vs. Soleus stretching

How to stretch both hip flexors

Strengthening 

  • Calves – Anterior and Posterior tibialis
  • Gluteus Medius/Gluteus Maximus (the butt)
  • Hips and core

One of the best and easiest exercises for the calves is the eccentric loading of the calves.

Toes on a step, push up, hold 1, 2. You can down on one leg or you can go down on two, but it’s slow all the way down. It’s very important you go slowly down because when you run or walk you have to decelerate the pressure. That’s what prevents the muscles from getting torn and inflamed.

Building the correct calf strength for running with eccentric raises

Core and Hip External Rotation

Bridging

  • Support feet

Orthotics, taping/strapping, compression sleeves, footwear

You need to support your feet if necessary. Taping, Kinesio taping, supportive running shoes, or orthotics are good options.

Orthotics support your ankles and prevents them from rolling inward.

Wrap up

Obviously, no one wants them, but if you do have sore shins, then you need to know how to effectively heal them and stop them reoccurring.

In my mind, shin splints are one of the most frustrating injuries as there’s no hard and fast rule as to what will work for you or how long the recovery will take.

So with that in mind, I can’t emphasize enough that prevention is better than cure.

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