This may be pretty controversial, and I am no podiatrist, but I think most cases of shin splints can be attributed to modern running shoes. I have had recurring shin splint since 18 when I first got them running in combat boots at the Air Force Academy, and think I have finally solved my problem thanks to researching on the internet. And the running shoes that are supposed to correct ‘problems’ such as overpronation are actually the worst for shin splints. The theory on running shoes says that modern shoes are so focused on ‘support’ of your foot that they don’t strengthen the arches, hence weak ‘collapsed’ arches. They also promote incorrect strides. If you’ve ever run barefoot for any distance you know that you are forced to change your stride or it will be too painful. Running barefoot promotes, somewhat obviously, a much more natural stride. Running barefoot is also believed to reduce impact injuries. Forget what you have heard about heal then toe, the most natural stride is with the heal and toe hitting at nearly the same time, which you are forced to do by running barefoot. After your shin splints heal up, try it out on a grassy field, slowly at first to strengthen up your arches. Take a modern running shoe in your hands and try to flex it. I guarantee the only part that is going to flex is the toe box, tell me how that promotes a healthy stride.
Stanford track athletes train barefoot in the grass, many track athletes have known that barefoot training can lower their times, as stronger arches literally add more spring to your step. I know there is research to support this, though I haven’t looked it up in a while. I have had GREAT success with the Nike Free shoe, which is a shoe designed to mimic barefoot running. It is super light, though pretty fragile and a bit awkward at first, as it is considered a ‘training’ shoe. I use it for long runs though and haven’t had shin splints since I’ve used it. I had tried almost every major brand running shoe before and thought that I was just going to have to live with shin splints for the rest of my life. I even bought some super thin soled Diesel-brand shoes that are basically glorified mocassins to wear as my casual shoes. My feet have never felt better. [/quote]
Absolutely bang on, i was involed in a study (yet to be pubslished) as a lab assistant, on the effect of modern trainers heel elevation and the occurance of shin splints, the raised heal of the shoe causes the foot too meet the ground prematurely compaired too running barefoot. Running bare foot, nike free’s low guage or a running slippers can help.