Best Shoes for Shin Splints
Alongside a sports doctor, we tested over 25 pairs of shoes. The best shoes for shin splints we found for men are the Lava Sneakers from Orthofeet. For women, the best option is the Sandy Sneakers, also from Orthofeet.
If you’re reading this, you already know that shin splints can be debilitating. We teamed up with not one but two doctors to ensure all the shoes on this list will help you live your life even while suffering with them.
We asked one doctor to write the buyer’s guide. He’s an orthopedic surgeon who deals with shin splints on a regular basis. He’s well placed to advise us all on what is needed from shoes for shin splints. As for testing, we employed the help of a sports doctor who is well versed in treating and preventing shin splints in their patients.
Between our doctors and shoe testers, we concluded that the Lava Sneakers are the best men’s shoes for shin splints. The best women’s shoes are the Sandy Sneakers. Both shoes are produced by Orthofeet, a company born to produce top quality footwear for those suffering with severe pain and disabilities.
While those shoes are our top overall choices, certain activities require even more specialised footwear. For example, the best shoes for runners with shin splints are the Asics Gel-Kayano running shoes. They feature rearfoot and forefoot GEL technology, as well as FlyteFoam, which absorbs impacts and protects your shins from heavy footfalls.
Read on to see which shoes will be most suitable for you!
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Table of Contents
Best Overall (Men)
This is the best overall men’s shoe for shin splints. It has a thick footbed and flexible sole, along with a very supportive arch.
The synthetic knit upper is stretchy and allows you to flex your toes and move your feet comfortably. It’s padded with foam to accommodate sensitive feet and eliminate any pressure on the toes. It also has a wide toe box to accommodate foot movement.
This shoe has a thick, cushioned footbed. The insoles are designed to encourage forward movement with minimal stress to your joints. They’re designed to fit the human foot closely, supporting your arches and correcting overpronation.
The sole is ergonomic with thick cushioning and air pockets for more shock absorption. Despite the chunkiness, this is a very lightweight sole. Even though the sole appears thick, it keeps your feet level and has very little heel drop.
These shoes provide enough cushion to absorb shock with every step you take, whether you’re walking or running.
- Absorbs shock
Best Overall (Women)
This is the best overall women’s shoe for shin splints. With strong arch support, a wide toe box, and a flexible sole, it will keep you comfortable whether walking or running.
The stretchy knit upper on this sneaker provides room for toe movement and overall flexibility. It has a seamless design padded lightly with foam to protect your feet, and a wide toe box for maximum comfort.
The shoe also has an orthotic footbed designed to offer solid arch support and lots of cushioning on high-stress areas of the foot like the heel. The footbed is covered by a moisture-wicking polyester insole and a layer of foam. There’s also an EVA midsole for extra cushioning.
The sole is flexible, ergonomic, and designed to encourage forward momentum to keep you walking with less effort. The rubber outsole absorbs shock, thanks to air pockets in the heel. There’s also only moderate heel drop in this shoe, so you can keep your feet level and reduce strain on your feet.
With this shoe, you can go for a walk or a run with equal comfort.
- Orthotic footbed
- Absorbs shock
Best for Running (Men & Women)
The synthetic knit upper on this shoe is breathable and lightweight, with a heel counter overlay at the back of the ankle.These shoes are rated for neutral pronation or overpronation.
The midsole is made of FlyteFoam, which offers better cushioning and is lighter weight than other foams. The footbed also has superior arch support compared to most running shoes.
The sole shape is designed to match the natural placement of your foot, and there are even a few differences to the men’s and women’s soles. The men’s shoes have more support at the inside of the arch. The women’s shoes have deeper grooves to promote forward motion and include more foam support.
This shoe features gel cushioning in the heel and the forefoot, to absorb as much shock as possible.
The sole has very little heel drop, which means you can keep a natural stance and gait when wearing these shoes.
- Provides superior arch support
- Keeps natural stance
- Absorbs shock
Best for Cross Training (Men & Women)
These shoes are versatile enough to follow you through an entire cross-fit routine, from lifting weights to doing squats. The flexible sole comes in handy when doing exercises like burpees that require a lot of foot movement.
The upper is synthetic, with a Met Cradle overlay that supports your midfoot snugly, especially during fast movement. It also has an arch frame that gives lots of support for your arch.
The interior has a mesh liner that is breathable and fits snugly against your foot. This shoe is a fit level 3, placing it right in the middle of Inov-8’s width scale. The midsole is designed specifically for endurance exercises, and it provides lightweight cushioning.
This shoe has a synthetic sole with a sticky rubber outsole at the forefront to give you more secure foot placement and help with grip. The outsole has specialty grooves, including a Meta-Flex groove at the metatarsals that helps the shoe keep up with your natural movements.
- Provides lightweight cushioning
Best for Walking (Women)
This sneaker is the best shoe for women walking with shin splints. It cushions your feet, supports your arch, and absorbs impact from the ground.
The leather or suede upper on this shoe is stylish and long-lasting, and there are strategic perforations to keep your feet cool during wear. The shoe collar and tongue are both padded for maximum comfort.
The insole is very cushioned, including a gel heel pad and cushioning ridges. The footbed is removable so you can add your own orthotics if necessary. The EVA midsole keeps your arch supported as you walk, and provides more cushion.
These sneakers have a chunky rubber outsole with a heel at 1.5”. The thickness mostly comes from the footbed, insole, and midsole, so expect a lot of cushioning. The sole and heel base are wide enough to keep your gait stable. The outsole on this shoe is rugged and provides a lot of grip.
These shoes tend to run small, and they come in a variety of width options, including XX-Wide.
- Absorbs impact
- Supports arch
- Provides a lot of grip
- The footbed is removable
- Tends to run small
Best for Walking (Men)
This sneaker is the best shoe for men walking with shin splints. It has a thick, shock-absorbing sole, lots of cushioning, and good arch support.
This shoe comes in a leather or suede upper. It also has a perforated, breathable upper to keep you cool. The d-ring lacing system allows for speedier lace-ups.
It has uniquely cushioned insoles, with ridges of cushioning to support your foot shape and arches. There’s also a gel pad at the heel, and a heel counter to keep your foot in place. The insole is orthotically designed, and it is removable if you would prefer to insert your own orthotics.
The chunky heel on these sneakers provides plenty of room for the midsole, insole, and footbed. The midsole is made of molded EVA for cushioning. The outsole is wide, and it keeps your feet stable on walks. The durable outsole is made of rubber and has lots of grooves for flexibility and extra grip.
This shoe is cut small, so consider sizing up from your usual size. It comes in 5 width options, from narrow to XX-Wide.
- Breathable upper
- Allows speedier lace-ups
- Orthotically designed insole
- Fit: one size smaller
Best for Work & Casual Use (Men)
This is the best work and casual shoe for men with shin splints. It supports your arches, and promotes a natural forward movement as you walk.
This tennis shoe has a quality leather upper, and a removable EVA footbed lined with leather. The sole is flat and level, so your weight is evenly distributed across your foot in a way that avoids aggravating shin splints.
The footbed was designed by a podiatrist and supports every part of the foot. It adds stability to the heel, supports your arch, and cushions the forefoot. It’s approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association.
The classic style of this shoe helps it make the transition from work to the rest of your life. The leather is easy to clean with a dry cloth.
The outsole is a durable rubber that will stand up to plenty of walking, with a non-slip design. The thick outsole has enough cushioning to absorb impact and save your shins.
- Designed by a podiatrist
- Promotes a natural forward movement
- Avoids aggravating shin splints
Best for Work & Casual Use (Women)
This is the best work and casual shoe for women with shin splints. It has lots of arch support, a flat sole, and enough cushioning to keep your feet comfortable.
This slip on shoe has an upper that comes in leather, novelty leather, or cow hair. The leather is easy to wipe down with a clean cloth. This shoe has elastic gussets on both sides that make it easy to slip on and off.
The shoe has a canvas-covered EVA footbed that can be removed and replaced with a custom orthotic if desired. Vionic’s footbeds are biomechanically designed to keep your feet naturally aligned. These shoes support your heels, arches, and forefeet individually.
The manufacturer recommends wearing these shoes at home for several hours before wearing them outdoors, to give your feet time to get used to the unique fit.
The outsole on this shoe is a durable rubber that will last plenty of miles. The flat sole means there’s no heel drop, and your gait in these shoes will be stable and natural.
- Biomechanically designed footbeds
Buyer’s Guide: Best Shoes for Shin Splints
You may be having shin pain while reading this guide, shin pain is common among athletes.
You can get shin pain when you start running, dancing, or start exercising as a military recruit. Even if you are a seasoned runner and walker, you may experience pain in your shin if you change something in your routine, such as walking down a hill.
For example, run faster, increase your running distance, or switch to a fresh pair of shoes. This medical condition is termed as shin splints. You may experience a severe pain or a dull ache on the medial side of your shinbone when you walk or run.
You may notice a mild puffiness of the leg, in the middle of your ankle and knee. If this is your first time experiencing shin pain, it will likely stop when you stop moving.
This is typical for shin splints. If it remains to hurt after a while of rest, it could be a stress fracture.
Shin splints occur because of recurrent inflammation of the tissues surrounding your shinbone i.e. muscle and tendons; it is believed to be caused by repetitive strain and misuse.
This typically ensues when you abruptly increase your exercise activity, by beginning a new exercise or by altering roughly your existing exercise program.
Have you newly considered hills, jagged ground, or hard concrete roads to your running course?
Have you added more days and miles to your workout?
The arch of your foot can also be considered as a significant risk factor, with shin splints existence is more expected to be seen on people with flat feet or rigid, high arches.
Wearing old, worn-out models or having new models of shoes can increase your risk of getting shin splints.
Some good news that the splints are a treatable condition, it can go away with enough self-care.
You will need to evade running over hard surfaces until your shin splints are healed. Alternatively, you can choose a low-impact training like cycling or swimming. If you do not overdo your exercise routine, you can say goodbye to the shin splints.
In this article, we will guide you on how to get the best shoes for shin splints.
A Flat Sole
Who does not love a modern shoe? You might be wearing an athletic shoe with a heel drop.
Well, this is somewhat may be the cause of your shin splints! Wearing a high heel drop will elevate the heel, missing with your postural and weight distribution.
Moreover, this will reduce the natural cushioning effect of your heel fat pad, causing more stress, thus more pain over your shinbone.
What is our advice for you? We advise you to get a flat sole shoe. A flat sole will help redistribute the pressure and weight over a flat area, giving more comfort and pain relief.
You have a special occasion and have to wear your fancy, modern shoes? Well, you can wear them for no more than a couple of hours.
A Flexible Sole
A very important additional factor in developing splints is having a strong strike.
To absorb these strong strikes, you need your foot to be able to move flexibly through a full range of motion inside the shoe. This will require you to get a flexible yet thin sole to reduce the stress applied over your shin.
A foot that moves through its full range of motion freely can absorb striking impact better. This means a flexible sole can reduce stress on the shins.
A Moderately Cushioned Outsole
You will need to find a shoe with moderate cushioning throughout. This will provide you with needed comfort and softness without being too comfortable to feel unsupportive.
Moreover, this will lead you to step with a higher impact step aggravating the condition more. So, seek for rubbery and moderately thick outsoles, not the foamy thick ones.
A Well-cushioned Insole
The midsole is the key part of the shoe that is responsible for cushioning. Unexpectedly, cushioned insoles do not lessen the energy that goes through the shinbone all that much.
However, they do increase the time taken for that force to transfer through your bone, so it will have enough time to adapt, reducing the arch collapses and your step fluctuations.
Over and over again, landing hard on the ground will cause hurting to your shins. You will need a well-cushioned insole to help stop this.
Collapsing arches play a major role in the shin splints, when you have falling arches your foot will lose flexibility and strike impact resilience.
This will give you hard times running or walking because more force is transmitted throughout the shinbone.
Flat foot is a condition in which foot arches are disturbed, leading to hard heel rides.
Arch supports or what is known as orthoses are used to treat pain in the foot and other problems related to the function of the foot and lower leg.
The mechanism of treatment depends on the principle that states a well-supported arch absorbs more force and distributes it more evenly.
Various types of arch supports are available; they are made of many types of material to suit your needs.
When looking for an appropriate shoe for your condition, you must be looking for a shoe that offers you a suitable amount of ankle freedom and stretch.
Make sure that your shoe has a room of at least 1-2 cm at the back of the shoe. Your shoe is supposed to be wide enough to allow ankle mobility but snug enough to your comfort.
To sum up our guidance, the best solution to your splints is to seek regularly for a well-fit, well-cushioned shoe that will support your foot.
Shock absorbent shoes are an excellent choice, but try to get the ones with sturdy arch and comfortable soles. These measures will help you with pain and keep your activity rolling.
Finally said, it is better to manage your foot health with cozy shoes than treating pain with meds and surgeries.