Shin splints can be caused by various factors, making the injury difficult to diagnose and frustrating to treat. People with flat feet or those who overpronate while running are susceptible to this injury and must wear the right shoes. An improper fit or incorrect style of running shoes is one of the most common reasons we've seen people get shin splints. At Holabird Sports, our experts will watch your stride and recommend the perfect pair of shoes to help you avoid injury.
Another cause can be a muscle imbalance, such as a weak core, ankles or hips. It's imperative to warm up your calves, ankles and Achilles before exercise and cool down afterward. Finally, make sure you aren't increasing your mileage too quickly. Shin splints are an overuse injury, so avoid doing too much too soon.
Overstriding mechanics while running is one of the most common causes of shin splints. Increasing your step rate or cadence by just 1 step per minute decreases your risk of shin splints and stress fractures by 5%! To determine your step rate, count how many times your right foot hits the ground in 30 seconds and multiply by 4 (or use your smartwatch to see the average cadence). Take that number, increase it by 5% and then run to a metronome or playlist set to that many beats per minute. You should be able to effectively imrpove your cadence by running to this new beat in as little as two weeks!