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Shin splints cause pain at the front of the lower leg, which may occur during or after exercise. Runners with shin splints should opt for shoes that adequately cushion and support their feet.

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We refer to “women,” “men,” or both to align with how companies market their products, but there is no need to stick to one type or the other. A person should choose the product that best suits their needs.

Shin splints are also called medial tibial stress syndrome. They cause pain along the inner side of the shin bone, where the muscle attaches to the bone. Pain is the most common symptom, and the intensity can vary from person to person.

The pain may be sharp or dull, and a person may have it before, during, or after exercise. A person’s legs may be sore to the touch, and there may be swelling along the shinbone.

Shin splints can result from rapidly increasing levels of physical activity. Too much repetitive motion can inflame the muscles, tendons, and tissue around the shinbone. Although any activity could cause shin splints, running is a common factor.

Beyond sudden increases in activity, some causes of shin splints include:

Learn more about shin splints.

Companies design running shoes to provide cushioned support that eases symptoms of conditions such as flat feet. Runners with shoes that fit well and have the right amount and type of support may be less likely to experience shin splints.

There is little research into how running shoes affect shin splints. However, a 2020 systematic review found that minimalist shoes with high flexibility, low weight, low heel-toe drop, and low levels of cushioning can increase the risk of injuries to the shin and calf.

This suggests that shoes with adequate cushioning may decrease the likelihood of shin splints.

In addition, it is important to replace running shoes that no longer provide adequate support. Unsupportive footwear is a potential cause of shin splints.

A person might consider these factors before purchasing running shoes:

  • Price: These shoes can be an investment, and carefully budgeting can be key.
  • Cushioning: Adequate cushioning absorbs the impact of the foot hitting the ground.
  • Support: Different running shoes provide different levels of support, so it is important to read product descriptions carefully when buying these shoes online.

Learn more about running shoes here.

Anyone looking for running shoes that may help prevent shin splints might consider the options below.

Please note, the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based.

Brooks Ghost 14 Road Running Shoes

These carbon-neutral running shoes are available in medium, wide, and narrow fits.

Brooks says that their plush Ghost 14 shoes are suitable for road running and have neutral support. It also says that the cushioning in these shoes prevents people from feeling transitions.

The company offers free shipping and returns, and a 90-day trial run policy.

The Brooks Ghost 14 Road Running Shoes are available in multiple colors and sizes for men and women.

At the time of publishing, the manufacturer’s recommended price (MRP) for one pair was $130.

Hoka Clifton 8

The Hoka Clifton 8 running shoes have neutral stability and balanced cushioning. The company says that they provide a smooth landing for runners.

These shoes have a breathable mesh upper and an extended heel crash pad, designed to increase comfort.

Hoka offers a 30-day return policy, as well as free shipping and returns. These shoes are available in multiple colors and sizes for men and women.

At the time of publishing, the MRP for the Hoka Clifton 8 was $130.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11

These shoes may be suitable for long distance runners. They feature foam cushioning, a stretchy knit upper, and a heel that provides a comfortable, supportive fit, their makers say.

Additionally, these running shoes have an Ortholite sock liner to provide even more support and comfort. They are available in multiple colors and sizes for men and women.

At the time of publishing, the MRP for the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11 was $149.99.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 17

These shoes are durable and provide optimal shock reduction, their makers note. The foam cushioning is responsive and springy, and a carbon rubber outsole prevents excess wear and tear.

Mizuno says that these shoes are suitable for people with flat feet and are available in several colors and sizes for men and women. The company offers a 30-day return policy.

At the time of publishing, the MRP for the Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 was $135.

Asics Gel-Nimbus 23 (4E)

These shoes are suitable for people with wider feet and for people who road run. They provide neutral support and maximum cushioning, according to their makers.

Their gel cushioning protects the body during high impact activities, Asics states. It also says that these shoes hug the feet and provide extra support while improving stability and durability.

The company offers a 90-day return policy.

At the time of publishing, the MRP for the Asics Gel-Nimbus 23 (4E) was $150.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

Brooks highlights the GuideRails support in these shoes, which it says helps runners maintain a natural stride.

The shoes have additional cushioning, the company says, and are suitable for soft landings and everyday runs. They are available in multiple colors and styles for men and women.

Brooks offers free shipping and returns, and a 90-day trial-run policy.

At the time of publishing, the MRP for the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 was $130.

Saucony Triumph 19

The foam midsole in these shoes provides extra cushioning, while the outsole offers flexibility, according to the makers.

These shoes are most suitable for people with neutral arches, Saucony states, adding that they have the company’s most personalized and adaptive fit, which molds to the shape of a person’s foot.

These running shoes are available in multiple colors and styles for males and females.

Saucony offers a 30-day return policy on unworn shoes.

At the time of publishing, the MRP for the Saucony Triumph 19 was $150.

Asics Gel-Kayano 28 (2A)

These shoes are suitable for people with narrow feet. Their makers say that the gel cushioning absorbs shock and helps create a softer landing.

These shoes have maximum comfort and neutral support, Asics says, and are suitable for people with neutral or flat arches.

The company offers a 90-day return policy.

At the time of publishing, the MRP for the Gel-Kayano 28 (2A) was $160.

Many people can manage shin splints at home. The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons suggests:

  • stopping running and other activities that cause pain
  • resting
  • taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), for the pain
  • applying ice to the area
  • wrapping the area in a compression bandage to manage swelling
  • gently stretching
  • gradually and carefully returning to physical activities

If these approaches do not work, contact a healthcare professional, who will recommend a suitable treatment plan.

Shin splints are a common injury, particularly for people who run and who rapidly increase their activity levels. Wearing shoes with an optimal mix of cushioning, support, and stability can help prevent shin splints.