With running being such a high-impact sport, shin splints are a commonality for a lot of runners – in fact, over 30% of runners suffer with shin splints at some point during their running life.
Luckily, shin splints aren’t usually serious and will go away with rest, recovery and a little treatment. If left alone, you might find you are unable to run for some time and can lead to a more serious injury.
But shoes are often the culprit. Not enough cushioning to absorb impact, or overpronation from lack of support could be the cause of the pain. If your cushioning or support are old or otherwise inadequate, it might be worth investing in a new pair of running shoes.
What are shin splints?
Shin splints are an aching or tenderness of the muscles either inside, at the front, or on the side of the shins – starting at a dull ache, which can progress into a sharp pain. The main causes of shin splints are over-exercising (especially on hilly or hard surfaces), and not stretching after exercising, which can lead to tight calves.
Can I still run with shin splints?
The best way to help shin splints is rest, rest and rest! Running on shin splints can make the injury worse and further the pain, in some cases leading to stress fractures. At the very least, you should lower the intensity of your training or switch to a lower-impact sport like swimming or cycling.
If course, don’t forget to include treatment as well. The most effective ways are to massage the injured muscles and use ice packs to reduce inflammation. We have some great tips in Shin Splints and Running.
Will new running shoes help shin splints?
Very often, replacing your running shoes can really help with shin splints. The cushioning on your current running trainers may have compressed and no longer be absorbing any impact. The support in your trainers is also very important. Depending on your foot strike – whether you have a neutral gait or whether you supinate or overpronate – your running trainers should be offering you the right level of support.
If you are unsure of which level of support is right for you, having Natural Gait Analysis at one of our stores will help direct you to a selection of running trainers suitable for you. You will then be able to find a trainer catered specifically for you. Choosing something more cushioned, or that provides you with a greater level of support to prevent pronation, will help prevent and manage shin splints.
There is no such thing as the PERFECT trainer to defeat shin splints. That would be the dream! Nonetheless, depending on what is causing the shin pain, your trainers can make the world of difference. So, if you experiencing shin splints and are looking to replace your trainers, we have compiled the running shoes most likely to help you keep on running!
The Hoka One One Arahi 5 has a specially designed EVA J-Frame that sits in the midsole under the arch to reduce the over-pronation of your feet. This can alleviate shin pain by aligning you into a neutral running position. This trainer also has the typical wider Hoka base outsole, which provides you with extra stability when you land, making this shoe both supportive and stabilising.
To control your foot and decrease your over-pronation, the Saucony Omni 19 has a medial post built into the midsole underneath your arch and extended under your heel. This prevents your arch collapsing inwards and keeps your body in the proper alignment. This means you are less likely to suffer from injury or pain.
The Adrenaline GTS is rightly one of the most relied upon support shoes on the market. Its support features offer effective pronation control and the BioMogo DNA midsole gives a great cushioned ride. The Guiderail barrier also helps to prevent your ankle from rolling outwards, reducing supination.
Asics' Gel Cumulus 22 includes their Twist Gel technology on the forefoot to decrease the impact from running, while their Rearfoot Gel technology is a visible gel under the heel for shock absorption. This great lightweight neutral trainer also has an I.G.S (Impact Guidance system) to restore your natural running stride. The Guideline Trusstic technology, under the arch in the midsole, makes this neutral shoe very stable.
To offer you the best in shock and pressure reduction, energy return and durability, Saucony introduces the PWRRUN plus midsole, as well as a memory foam heel-counter. This provides you with ultimate softness and super energised bouncy materials for a plush feel and fantastic cushioning. This neutral shoe is also a great option for those naturally stable runners returning to running after an injury.
Hoka’s most cushioned neutral shoe in their range, the Bondi has maximum cushioning with superb shock absorption. Another fantastic choice for naturally stable runners to put on when you start to feel any niggles in your feet or legs, and for getting back into running after an injury such as shin splints.
The Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 a really good all-round shoe – great grip, cushioning AND stability. The midsole is updated with a new lightweight foam to make this running shoe lightweight as well as responsive. The fantastic traction will also ensure you feel light on foot and confident in stride, even on the muddiest of trails.
The midsole of the Brooks Cascadia 15 features BioMoGo DNA technology, which offers environmentally friendly long-lasting cushioning with dynamic response that adapts to your stride, weight and speed. It also cushions your foot in comfort and protects it by taking away the impact from running. The Ballistic Rock Shield also helps protect against sharp rocks and stones.
Your running trainers can make a lot of difference when it comes to shin splints. If you do find yourself suffering with shin pain, check your trainers for too much wear or compressed cushioning, which won’t be absorbing the shock from impact. It is also important to make sure that what you’re running in is suitably supportive – that is where Natural Gait Analysis comes in!
Of course, it would be best to try and avoid injury as much as possible. Stay true to your rest days, stretch whenever possible, and (perhaps the most important one) make sure your trainers are properly fitted, suitable to your running style and terrain, and preventing pronation. These will help avoid shin splints altogether!