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Can Shin Splints Be Caused By Bad Shoes?

Shin splints1 are a painful condition of the shin bone or tibia of lower leg caused by exercises due to overuse of the muscles. This condition is also termed as medial tibial stress syndrome2. It can develop in one or both the legs. Its pain is located in the middle of shin bone in between knees and ankles. Athletes, runners, dancers or military trainers are commonly affected by this condition. Flat foot, high arched or rigid foot contributes more to the shin splints. Bad shoes, poorly fitted shoes or worn-out shoes can cause shin splints condition.

Can Shin Splints Be Caused By Bad Shoes?

Can Shin Splints Be Caused By Bad Shoes?3

There are four types of feet that people can have, they are a normal, flat, high or very high arched foot. A normal foot is characterized by normal arch this helps in pronation. Pronation is a natural movement of the foot when it touches the ground. It is marked by inward or sideways movement of the foot. It is helpful to absorb the shock while walking and provide stability to the feet. Normal foot is not prone to shin splints, but if it has developed shin splint, then symptoms may remain for a long time.

A flat foot is a pronated foot that is marked by much movement. This condition is caused by over pronation. This foot appears flat when it has to bear too much weight.

This usually happens when the movement of the foot is too much increased. It results in stress on the muscles, connective tissues, and the shin bone, leading to shin splints. The shin bone may get hairline fracture due to the persistent stress. If you wear shoes that do not support or stabilize the flat foot, then there are chances that you may develop shin splints. If you already have shin splints, then bad shoes may make the condition worse. Orthotics and shin supports can help to reduce or prevent shin splints.

A high arched foot or very high arched foot is also known as a supinated foot. It is a rigid foot that moves inward after touching the ground and the force of walking or running cannot be distributed properly to the foot. The force is centered to a small area only. This type of foot will not absorb the shock correctly. It will wear down the outermost edge of the shoes sooner. These worn out shoes can cause shin splints.

Athletic shoes are designed to absorb the shock and impact force build during walking or running. They are highly helpful in case you have a high or very high arched foot.

It is better to wear right fitted shoes according to your foot type to prevent or reduce shin splints. Worn out or poorly fitted shoes worsens this condition more. Runners and athletes should opt for new shoes for running and training program. Shin sleeves or shin wraps also provide extra support and compression to the shin bone. Shoe inserts are also helpful if you have a high arched or flat foot.

Shin splints are the painful condition of the shin bone (front bone of the lower leg) triggered by exercises and strenuous activities. It is usually felt during exercises only. It is caused by overdoing exercises especially running or repetitive weight-bearing activities such as basketball, tennis, etc. Its symptoms are pain and occasional swelling on the shin bone in between knees and ankles. It is not a serious condition and may improve well when rested and the provoking activities are avoided.


Shin splints are a painful condition of the front of lower leg caused by overstraining of the shin bone, muscles and connective tissues around the bone. Flat foot or high arched foot can cause shin splints. Bad shoes, poorly fitted shoes or worn out shoes cannot distribute the force of walking and running appropriately leading to shin splints.


Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 21, 2020

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