Can Running Shoes Cause Shin Splints?
Can Running Shoes Cause Shin Splints?
Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome, is a painful condition that affects the lower leg and is commonly caused by running and other forms of physical exertion. While many are quick to blame their running shoes, the truth is that running shoes, on their own, are unlikely to cause shin splints.
What Is Shin Splints?
Shin splints refer to pain that is felt along the front of the lower legs. It is often the result of overworked muscles and tendons in the lower leg which are put under strain or stretched too far. The pain can range from mild and irritating to extremely severe and debilitating.
Why Running Shoes Don’t Cause Shin Splints
Shin splints are typically the result of incorrect posture, running techniques, and improper form. The wrong running shoes can exacerbate existing conditions, such as lower back pain or knee pain, that can contribute to the risk of shin splints.
It’s important to note that the wrong pair of running shoes, for your foot shape and running style, can contribute to shin splints. This is because the wrong type of shoe can put additional strain on the lower leg muscles, increasing the risk of developing shin splints.
What To Look For In A Running Shoe
When it comes to selecting the right pair of running shoes, there are several elements to consider:
- Arch Support: Look for a shoe that provides arch support, as this can reduce the risk of developing shin splints. Most running shoes will have good arch support, but it’s worth checking to make sure.
- Cushioning: Greater cushioning should be found in the middle of the shoe, particularly on the ball of the foot and around the heel. Cushioning can help reduce the impact on the feet and lower legs and can help prevent the development of shin splints.
- Flexibility: Look for a shoe that is flexible and has a lightweight sole, as this will allow for more natural movement and reduce the risk of developing shin splints.
While it’s true that the wrong pair of running shoes can contribute to the risk of developing shin splints, running shoes, on their own, are unlikely to be the culprit. Shin splints are typically the result of incorrect posture, form, and running techniques. When choosing running shoes, look for ones that provide arch support, good cushioning and flexibility to best reduce the risk of developing shin splints.
Shin splints, or medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), is a very common problem among runners. Many factors play into the development of this painful condition. Recently, there has been concern regarding the role that running shoes may play in the emergence of shin splints.
When running, an individual’s feet absorb tremendous amounts of shock. This can be mostly attributed to poor biomechanics, such as weak stabilizing muscles, arch collapse, and running on hard surfaces. Imbalanced muscles, overtraining, and inadequate warm up can also lead to shin splints. It is essential that runners factor these causes into their training in order to prevent injury.
There is evidence to suggest that the running shoes one chooses can also play a role in the etiology of shin splints. Shoes that offer too much cushion or do not have enough cushion can put the foot in an awkward and unstable position. This can cause additional stress on the lower legs and cause the muscles to become overworked and result in shin splints. Some studies have concluded that shoes with lighter construction and minimal medial supports may be beneficial in preventing shin splints.
Ultimately, getting the right type of shoe is the most important factor to consider in the prevention of shin splints. It is important to do research on the shoes that are intended to be purchased before they actually are bought. Try talking to a professional at a running store, such as a coach or salesperson. These professionals may be able to offer advice on the types of shoes that will be best for the individual’s feet, gait, and level of activity.
In summary, the etiology of shin splints is multi-factorial and running shoes can certainly play a role. It is important to choose running shoes that are well-suited for the individual’s feet and gait. Additionally, runners should consider other modifiable risk factors such as biomechanics, muscle imbalance, overtraining, and inadequate warm up to prevent injury.