Shin splints, the catch-all term for a deep, muscular pain on the inside or outside of the shin, can drive runners crazy—and lead to significant injuries such as stress fractures. Luckily for most, shin splints can be avoided with the right training and the right shoes. While we at Janji are neither doctors or trained coaches, we know that wearing the right footwear really can make a world of difference with shin pain. That’s why we’ve gone over data from a company who interviewed over 11,000 runners to help find answer this question: what are the best running shoes for shin splints?
Below are the very best running shoes for shin splints divided into two categories: stability and neutral.
*Updated June 1, 2019
Best Stability Running Shoes for Shin Splints (Arch collapsing inward when running)
This shoe, designed for the mildly pronating runner, is soft, bouncy, and made with all the features that makes Brooks the top selling shoe brand in specialty stores. The shoe fits perfectly, is great for bunions, and feels incredibly easy to wear. Because of its cushion and comfort, the Ravenna 8 is one of the best running trainers for shin splints, especially if you’re a mild pronator.
The Brooks Adrenaline 19 is an amazing shoe. Part of the long running and best selling Adrenaline GTS series, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 feels bouncy, durable, and extremely comfortable. Few shoes ever made can match the quality of the Adrenaline GTS 19, and nearly every serious pronator suffering from shin splints would be wise to try it out. There’s a reason this shoe series has won Best Runner’s World Update year after year.
Rated as the number one stability running shoe to prevent against shin splints, the Guide ISO 2 hits the mark. The shoe has a moderate amount of stability, a lower heel-to-toe drop (8mm) than the above shoes, and an amazing “Everrun” sole that projects the foot forward. If you a buy a shoe at Wal-Mart it’ll lack the cushion, durability, and springiness you need, likely leading to aggressive, early onset shin splints. The Guide ISO 2 is no Wal-Mart shoe. It's the opposite. The Guide ISO is absolutely an amazing sneaker for anyone who’s a pronator and is looking to prevent shin splints.
Best Neutral Running Shoes for Shin Splints (Arch barely collapses inward when running)
The Ultraboost isn’t just a premium sneaker in style (and a favorite on the runway): it’s an uber comfortable shoe that works great at preventing shin splints. Adidas' high priced neutral shoe has all the necessary features for the runner suffering from shin splints: comfort, a springy insole, and cushion. Add in Adidas’ primeknit upper and you have a high quality shoe that, while quite expensive, is great for any neutral runner who suffers from pain in their shins.
The new Asics Gel-Nimbus 20 is part of Asics’ long running and highly popular “premium” neutral running shoe line. Cushioned almost to a fault, no shoe on this list provides such a soft, plush ride. For runners suffering from shin splints, that’s a good thing: shin splints can often be caused by wearing shoes that are too firm, since the impact of running can reverberate in the legs and cause pain in the shins. The Asics Gel-Nimbus 20 is more than a soft shoe; it's a practical shoe with plenty of impact cushioning. The Gel-Nmbus 20 has the Japanese shoe brand’s famous gel cushioning which also reduces impact across the body.
The Zealot 2 is a relatively new offering from Saucony, the Boston-based running shoe producer that’s now the number three seller in running stores. The Zealot ISO 3 has Saucony’s ISO Fit Upper, which helps keep the foot snug and barely moving within the shoe, as well as the company’s EVERRUN top sole, which makes the shoe feel springy. Exceptionally comfortable and shockingly lightweight for such a protective shoe, the Zealot ISO 3 is one of the best running sneakers for shin splints.
The Brooks Launch 6 is lightweight, protective, and incredibly inexpensive. Yes, it lacks the durability of the Adrenaline GTS and Ravenna. But if you’re willing to replace this shoe often, the Launch 6 is a fantastic choice for your shin splint woes. The shoe contains Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA midsole that’s perfect for a cushioned landing and Brooks’ blown rubber in the forefoot for a bouncy launch forward. Feel fast and don’t break the bank with the Launch 6.
Take the Zealot ISO and add more cushion, more EVERRUN, and an event softer ride. The Triumph ISO 5, like the Zealot, has been an incredibly popular shoe since it’s re-launch from the Triumph 11 a few years ago. And that’s for good reason. Like the Zealot ISO, it’s won numerous awards for the feel of the shoe as well as the bounce of the sneaker’s EVERRUN undersole. But best of all is the super snug, super comfortable ISO upper that makes the shoe fit like a sock. For the runner with shin splints who wants to fix their ailments on a super comfortable ride, the Triumph ISO 5 is the perfect choice.
While the Vomero might have been rated the third best neutral shoe for runners with shin splits, the Nike Air Vomero 14 might actually be the best looking shoe on the list. Slick and with great color schemes, the Vomero is fashionable and functional. The long running, plush sneaker from Nike has a Lunarlon foam midsole for a cushioned landing and flywire cables on the upper for a supportive fit. But best of all is the softness of the sneaker. It feels super soft to put on, and every run feels like running on pillows. Look great in one of the best running shoe for shin pain.
We’ll be honest: we did not anticipate Hoka One One Challenger ATR being rated as the number two running shoe for shin splints. This big ol’ moon shoe captured the hearts and shins of trail runners and for good reason. Made for the trails—the spiritual homeland for the maximalist footwear pioneer—the Challenger ATR is shockingly lightweight, has plenty of cushion, and a lace-up closure system to ensure the laces aren’t flying about on the trail. The shoe's cushioning coupled with its low heel-to-toe drop has worked miracles for many runners suffering from the worst shin pain.
The most popular Hoka One One shoe is, according to reviewers, the best running shoe for shin splints. Like the Challenger ATR 5, the Clifton 5 has a low heel-to-toe drop, is incredibly lightweight, and has an industry-leading amount of cushioning. In short, it’s a great shoe for the runner with shin splints who needs something that feels natural but, thanks to its extreme levels of cushioning, feels better than running barefoot. The Clifton is great on the roads and the trails, and has turned chronic shin splint sufferers into ultra marathon runners. A great, great running sneaker we can’t recommend enough. If you’re scared by shoe’s bloated look, give the Hoka One One Clifton 5 a try before you dismiss it. Your shins will thank you.