Best Shoes for Shin Splints

Engineered with a cushioned sole to absorb shock upon impact.

Updated on May 1, 2024

Shop the best shoes for shin splints

Do your shins hurt? You may be one of many people suffering from an extremely common overuse injury called shin splints. Pain from shin splints is usually felt in your lower legs, and that pain can be on the front, the outside, or the inside of your leg.

Shin splints are common among runners, dancers and other athletes in high-impact sports. Running, jumping and other motions put consistent stress on the shin bone, both directly from impacts and indirectly as your muscles and other connective tissues pull and tug on the bone. That stress can cause swelling and irritation that weaken the bone, and cause pain.

The pain from shin splints starts slowly and builds up over time. Fortunately, resting and icing the injury usually brings relief. Wearing supportive shoes can help you recover from shin splints more quickly. Even better, the right shoes can help guide you to a natural gait and reduce the force of impact–making you less likely to suffer from shin splints in the future.

What are Shin Splints?

Shin splints are the common term for medial tibial stress syndrome. Medial refers to the middle, and the tibia is your shin bone. Shin splints, then, involve repeated stress on the middle of your shin bone that ultimately leads to inflammation and pain.

Whenever you walk, run or jump you are applying force to your shin bone. On top of that, you’re also stretching the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your legs. Some of these connective tissues attach to your shin bone and can tug and pull on the bone as you move. These stressors are normal, but when you overdo things physically that regular stress can start to add up. Repeated stress without enough rest causes inflammation, which leads to pain and stiffness.

Shin splints are considered an overuse injury, meaning that they develop over time rather than in response to a single accident or trauma. The more active you are, especially if you ramp up your level of activity suddenly, the more stress you put on the bone and the more likely you are to get shin splints. That’s why shin splints are common among dancers, runners and other athletes.

Fortunately, there are exercises you can do to alleviate the pain, such as the seated towel stretch demonstrated in the video below.

  • Woman wearing KURU ATOM shoes for shin splints.

Most Commons Causes & Risk Factors

  • Overuse
    The most common and general cause of shin splints is simply overdoing it physically. If you suddenly ramp up how hard you exercise or how often, or switch to high-impact activities, the increased strain and impact on your shin bone and soft tissue can lead to shin splints.
  • Weight Gain
    Pregnancy or other rapid weight gain can increase your risk of shin splints simply because the greater weight increases the load on your legs. If you are overweight it becomes extra important to begin any new exercise routine slowly, so you can give your body time to build up strength and adjust without overdoing it.
    Weight Gain
  • Flat Feet
    Another major risk factor for shin splints is flat feet, which can as much as double your risk for shin splints. People with flat feet get less shock absorption with each step than those with more defined arches, meaning those impacts add up all the more quickly. The amount your ankle rotates may also be a factor, but it’s not clear if this is a cause of shin splints or simply another symptom of having flat feet.
    Flat Feet
  • Abnormal Gait
    While flat feet is among the major risk factors for shin splints, most things that alter the way you walk can increase your risk. Over pronation is one example, and having one leg longer than the other is another. These imbalances put increased strain on your legs as your body tries to compensate for the difference.
    Abnormal Gait
  • Improper Footwear
    Wearing shoes that lack good support, have worn out, or that have uneven wear patterns can all increase your risk of shin splints. The issue here is two-fold. First, supportive, comfortable shoes like KURUs simply protect your body from more stress and impact. Second, worn out or unevenly worn shoes alter your gait, leading to the same issue described in the section above. The best walking shoes for shin splints will cushion impact while encouraging a healthy gait.
    Improper Footwear
Shop shoes for shin splints

Facts and Stats


Shin splints are a very common injury so it’s easy to find yourself falling victim to these aches and pains! Fortunately, treating shin splints is generally easy as well. Many at-home treatments are effective against shin splints, but you may want to see a doctor or gait specialist about any underlying causes if the pain persists or returns frequently.

Here are some options for treating shin splints:

  • RICE
    The go-to for inflammation and pain is often this simple course of treatment.
  • Rest
    Give your shins a break! Try to walk, run and stand less if you can. Consider switching to low-impact exercises like swimming, cycling or yoga.
  • Ice
    Apply ice packs to the areas you feel pain for 15-20 minutes at a time. This can help reduce swelling and the associated pain and stiffness.
  • Compression
    Use bandages or athlete tape to wrap your shins. This can boost circulation.
  • Elevation
    Another way to boost circulation and promote faster healing is sitting with your feet elevated.
  • A Stretching Routine
    A regular stretching routine helps you improve strength and flexibility, which in turn reduces your risk of overuse injuries like shin splints. There are a variety of stretches that can help prevent shin splints. Look for ways to activate your Achilles tendon, your calves, and the muscles and ligaments around your shin.
    A Stretching Routine
  • Anti-inflammatories
    Over the counter drugs that reduce inflammation, like aspirin or ibuprofen, can help manage the pain and swelling from shin splints.
  • Weight Loss
    Because shin splints are the result of excessive stress and impact, losing weight can reduce the load on your legs and make you less likely to develop shin splints.
    Weight Loss
  • Supportive Shoes
    It’s important to discard shoes that have worn out and no longer support you, or shoes with uneven wear patterns that disrupt the way you walk and run. Wearing supportive shoes like KURUs gives your body more cushion and protection from impact, helping you prevent shin splints or recover from them more quickly.
    Supportive Shoes
  • Analyze Your Gait
    This is less about treating shin splints and more about understanding and treating any underlying causes there might be. If you have persistent problems with shin splints or other treatments don’t seem to help, you may have an abnormal gait that is putting extra stress on your body. Physical therapists and some running stores offer gait tests and can give you guidance on a path forward.
    Analyze Your Gait


  • What are the best running shoes for shin splints?

    Shin splints are a common problem for runners, so you may be on the hunt for the best women’s or men’s running shoes for shin splints. Good running shoes for shin splints will feature the right balance of cushion and support to protect your shins from impact and reduce the strain on muscles and tendons as you move. If you have flat feet, high arches, or differences in leg lengths you’ll also want a shoe that helps balance out those differences for a more natural gait.

  • Why do my shoes give me shin splints?

    Shin splints can be very closely related to the kind of shoes you wear. Shock, stress and impact all contribute to this painful condition, so the best type of running shoes for shin splints are those that cushion each step. Shoes that lack cushion, or have too much cushion and not enough firm support, make your body take the full force of each step or jump. If your shoes are worn out, or have uneven wear patterns, you may be putting extra stress on certain parts of your body. Or your body may be doing extra work to compensate for the changes to how you move. Either way, the result is extra stress on your shin and a greater risk of shin splints.

  • Will shoe inserts help shin splints?

    Preventing or recovering from shin splints is all about protecting your body. Adding cushion and shock absorption can help reduce the load on your shin bone. If you have flat feet, high arches, pronation problems, or other health conditions that alter your gait then extra support customized for that issue can also be important. That’s why we build ULTIMATE INSOLES into every pair of KURU shoes, so you can get the support you deserve without making an extra purchase.

  • Are KURUs orthopedic shoes?

    While KURU shoes are not currently considered orthopedic by a medical standard, we have received thousands of positive reviews from customers who say their KURUs helped reduce or eliminate their pain—from plantar fasciitis to flat feet.

    In fact, many of our customers find that after switching to KURU they can leave their clunky inserts or unsightly orthopedic footwear behind for a more stylish option with just as much—if not more—comfort!

Three Layers of Support

At KURU, we pride ourselves on our unique approach to shoe design. We believe that shoes should be shaped to fit the natural contours of your feet, which is why we create every pair in three distinct support layers, not just an insole.


Our revolutionary ergonomic design starts with a curved footbed and adds unparalleled triple-layer support that includes shock-absorbing KURUCLOUD, heel-cupping KURUSOLE, and arch-supporting ULTIMATE INSOLES. The result? Shoes that are so comfortable you’ll stop thinking about your feet.

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  • How KURU brings relief


    Your heel has a natural pillow of fat underneath it: a built-in cushion to protect you from impact. As we get older, wear and tear on this fat pad causes it to stretch and wear out. Enter our patented KURUSOLE. More than just a deep heel cup with plenty of cushion, it contains your fat pad to maximize your natural cushioning and protect you from foot pain.

Our Secret

Animated GIF showing KURUSOLE tech in KURU shoes vs. typical flat interiors for plantar fasciitis pain.
Why Others Love KURU

Why Others Love KURU

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One of the best pairs of shoes I’ve owned! I have very flat feet, which causes frequent shin splints and calf pain. I was able to get through my first workout with these on with NO pain!

Christa K.

Very comfortable! I bought the Chicanes a few weeks ago and they have been very comfortable. There was virtually no break-in time required. They fit right and felt right the first time. I was afraid that the arch support might be hard to get used to, as I have had trouble with inserts in the past, but I didn’t have any problem with the arch support at all. I purchased these shoes to help with a shin splint issue that I believe it due to flat feet. Time will tell, but it appears that my shin splints are starting to go away.”


These shoes are amazing. I suffer from constant shin splints and sever joint pain in my ankles, knees, and hips from inflammation due to lupus. I also work in rugged terrain outdoors and take 3 flights of stairs to my office. I had been coming home in so much pain that I did not want to move. I have been wearing the Kuru atom sneakers for a week and the joint pain is nonexistent and my shin splints have been able to heal. 10/10 recommend. My next pair will not be black, as working outside they absorb a lot of heat, but that was a poor color selection on my part. I absolutely love these shoes.”


Best shoe ever. I bought my first pair in desperate search for something to help prevent shin splints. To complicate matters, I also tend to have plantar fasciitis. I put the Kurus on and had instant relief. It was amazing. They feel like they were made specifically for my feet. They hold your foot in the proper position and I haven’t had a single problem with my feet or legs since I started wearing them. I won’t buy any other athletic shoe again. I now have 3 pairs of Kurus and bought my husband a pair as well.”



Amazing shoe. I bought these shoes specifically for a trip to D.C. I wore them a couple of times prior to the trip to break them in. On the first day I walked 12 miles according to my health app on my iPhone. All told I walked about 50 miles in the week. I put on my dress shoes to walk to dinner and immediately started getting shin-splints. I didn’t have one problem all week and all 50 miles. The first day I thought I broke them because my socks were stuck to the insole and they tried to come out of the shoe. I will have these shoes for a long time and use them on a daily basis for walking and hiking. Couldn’t be happier! The fit was great with no sore spots nor tight spots. The narrow sole is a bit tricky to get used to, but once you just start enjoying and forget about it, they are super!”


No Shin Splints! I bought the Kinetic in Froth/Amazonette/Tulip and I love the color. It is a light colored shoe with some pizzazz. I got this shoe for two reasons: First I have a size 5 foot and this shoe said it ran small, so I ordered the 6. It fits perfectly! I am so glad I found a good supportive shoe that fits my foot. The second reason I bough this shoe is because I needed shoes that I could wear to walk my dog. I always get lateral shin splints when I do any exercise from walking my dog, zumba, etc. The first time I wore these shoes I took my dog on a hike. When I got home my husband asked how my feet were feeling, because usually I come home with bad shin splints. My feet felt wonderful! I had no pain at all! That week I took my dog hiking every day and not once did I get shin splints. I have been getting them since I was 12 and have been to many physical therapy sessions. I even have custom orthotics I am supposed to wear, but they are hard and hurt my feet. I am happy to say that my Kinetic’s are comfortable and supportive and I never get shin splints when I wear them. These are the only shoes I will wear for any kind of exercising. Thanks KURU!”


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