If you don’t have time to read the entire review and just want to find out what the best running shoes for calf pain is, then we recommend the Salomon X-Mission 3 Running Shoes as the best choice.
Up to 56% of runners are injured every year because they don’t have the best running shoes for calf pain. Multiple factors contribute to injuries, having improper shoes being one of the most prevalent. Regardless if you are a beginner interested in improving your fitness or an advanced runner, it’s important for you to have the right pair of shoes.
The following five brands and styles are highly recommended to help you prevent calf pain and long term injuries which could keep you from running at all without medical consultation.
In this post, we’ve reviewed the five best running shoes for calf pain. These are:
- New Balance 410v5 Running Shoes
- ASICS GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoes
- Salomon X-Mission 3 Running Shoes
- ASICS Gel-Kahana 8 Running Shoes
- Altra Lone Peak 3.5 Shoes
Best Running Shoes for Calf Pain: A Review
The New Balance 410v5 Running Shoes is designed for trail running, which many would argue is more difficult and labor-intensive than running on paved pathways. With that said, these shoes pack a powerful punch with an assortment of features meant to keep you injury-free while running.
The top characteristics of the New Balance 410v5 Running Shoes include:
● Leather and Synthetic Overlays: To add to the overall durability of the shoes, you’ll notice they have both leather and synthetic overlays. Not only does this prevent wear and tear over time, but it also helps to maintain their shape and comfort.
● Improved Forefoot: Compared to the previous versions, these trail shoes are designed to have a more accommodating fit. Once worn, they will adapt to the genuine contours of your feet so that they don’t take away from your overall performance.
● Breathability: You’ll notice on the exterior that there is a layer of mesh designed for enhanced breathability to prevent sweaty and uncomfortable feet. This is a particularly important feature for long-distance runners.
● IMEVA Midsole and XLT Footbed: To prevent calf injuries, you’ll need shoes which offer ample support. With the help of the XLT footbed, you’ll have a substantial amount of padding to absorb shock. In addition, the IMEVA midsole helps to support your arches with every step.
● All-Terrain Outsole: The bottom of the shoes is particularly notable as they feature an all-terrain rubber with plenty of deep grooves to give you optimal traction regardless of where you are running. They’re particularly beneficial for dirt roads and running through the countryside.
● Easy On and Off: With a convenient pull tab on the back of the shoes, once they are laced, you can slip them on and off easily instead of having to readjust the laces constantly.
- Fantastic traction
- Feels incredibly lightweight
- Optimal arch and heel support
- Protects feet from sharp rocks
- Sole feels hard
- Needs to be broken in
The ASICS GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoes has a similar style to most other running shoes but it is one of the best pairs for runners with custom orthotics. With a rugged outsole and a high-quality exterior, these shoes are likely to last a long time with regular wear.
Some of the most notable features of the ASICS GEL-Venture 5 Running Shoes include:
- GEL Cushioning System: One of the most iconic things of newer ASICS running shoes is that they have the GEL cushioning system. This technology is recommended for runners who need superior shock absorption with every step. It not only protects your feet from rough terrain but also gives a lot more support than competing brands.
- Removable Sockliner: As mentioned, these shoes are highly recommended for runners with custom orthotics because the removable sockliner. This gives you the ability to create your own fit so that you’ll feel more comfortable after running for hours.
- Mesh Overlay: To assist with the overall breathability of the shoe, you’ll notice there is a mesh overlay with synthetic material accents. That will also protect the integrity of the shoe. You certainly won’t have to deal with excessive sweating, even in warmer weather.
- Rugged Outsole: With an outsole clearly designed for numerous types of outdoor activities, you’ll be glad to know that these shoes are recommended for basic to moderate terrain. They feature advanced grooves to give you adequate traction.
- Adequate toe box
- Good arch support and cushioning
- Easy to take on and off
- Treads don’t attract dirt
- Not recommended for wet weather
- Will require inserts
The Salomon X-Mission 3 Running Shoes is one of the more higher quality shoes on this list since it is designed with advanced runners in mind. With multiple colors to choose from and an assortment of great patented features, these shoes are equipped to prevent injuries and calf discomfort.
There are plenty of reasons as to why the Salomon X-Mission 3 Running Shoes are a good choice, including:
- Padded Collar: If you’re someone who has dealt with discomfort around your ankles while running, it’s likely because the tops of your shoes aren’t padded enough. These runners come with integrated padding around the collar to prevent chafing.
- Quicklace System: Getting your shoes ready for the day is simpler with the addition of the Quicklace system. You won’t have to worry about dealing with regular shoe laces, as these do not have any. Instead, you can easily slip them on and off.
- Molded EVA Midsole: The midsole of these shoes is particularly interesting as it is manufactured to adapt to various types of terrain. This feature is what makes them highly recommended for fans of a trail or urban environment.
- 3D Contagrip: If you’ve been searching for a pair of shoes which are reliable in wet environments, these are one of the top-tier pairs to consider. With the addition of 3D Contagrip, these shoes are designed to offer optimal traction in wet environments.
- Sensifit Technology: Achieving a custom fit without the need for orthotics is another huge feature of the Salomon X-Mission 3 Running Shoes. With their Sensifit technology, your foot will be comfortably snug and cradled along the entirety of the outsole for the best possible fit.
- Keeps feet cool
- Prevents injuries from rocks
- Limits running fatigue
- Useful for hiking and running
- Doesn’t show wear and tear
- Thin lacing system
- Stains easily from dirt
- Doesn’t allow tightness adjustments
The ASICS Gel-Kahana 8 Running Shoes is another pair of dual-purpose shoes recommended for trail hiking and running. With a combination of synthetic and textile fabrics, these shoes are highly flexible and comfortable to wear for long periods.
The main features of the ASICS Gel-Kahana 8 Running Shoes include:
- Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System: Most of the running shoes available from ASICS come with the GEL cushioning system which is designed to make it smoother to transition to your midstance. In addition, the cushioning helps absorb shock from the initial impact, so your feet and legs become less fatigued.
- Specialized EVA Midsole: The EVA midsole in these shoes is particularly advanced since it allows optimal bounce-back and decreases the deterioration of the midsole.
- DuoMax Support System: Stability and support are two of the largest advantages of these runners, which is particularly important for preventing calf pain. With a dual-density midsole, your feet will have the perfect amount of support for any sports.
- Ideal for rocky trails
- Prevents arch pain and fatigue
- Comfortable toe box
- Easily fits orthotics
- Grips well on inclines
- Heel may start squeaking
- Lacks cushioning
- May fatigue ankles
The Altra Lone Peak 3.5 Shoes is another great option for protective shoes designed to improve your performance. With a stable platform and an advanced midsole, these shoes are highly recommended for walking, hiking, and running.
The most interesting characteristics of the Altra Lone Peak 3.5 Shoes include:
- Natural Foot Positioning: When you’re wearing these shoes, you’ll feel as if they are an extension of your feet but they also help to ensure your foot positioning is improved. Your strides will become more effective and effortless.
- Zero Drop Platform: The platform on the bottom of the shoes helps to give you added height but also gives your feet an ample amount of support without the need for inserts or orthotics. You’ll find the cushioning in the platform is far more comfortable than with other runners.
- GaiterTrap: In regards to the heavy-duty outsole, you’ll appreciate the help of the GaiterTrap which is designed to make the bottom of the shoes easier to clean. You’ll also find they are unlikely to trap dirt and rocks when navigating through natural terrain.
- TrailClaw Outsole: Climbing through rough terrain has never been easier than with the help of the TrailClaw outsole. Specifically designed to give you optimal grip in all conditions, you’ll have the traction you can trust.
- Quick Dry Air Mesh: For enhanced breathability and weatherproofing, the Altra Lone Peak 3.5 Shoes has a layer of quick-dry air mesh on the top of the shoes. You’ll love how it keeps your feet cool and dry, even when hiking in rainy weather.
- Doesn’t need to be broken in
- Offers excellent grip
- Helps to prevent pain from bunions
- Optimal toe protection
- Comfortable for long-distance runs
- Superior ankle support
- Inconsistent sizing
- Ineffective lacing system
- Feels heavy when worn
There are plenty of points that go into the best running shoes, especially if you’re in the market for a pair which helps prevent calf pain and fatigue. You’ll need shoes with optimal support and cushioning, as well as plenty of other traits, including:
Advanced running shoes meant to reduce pain and fatigue are likely to be more expensive and as such, you’ll want to make sure you’re investing in a durable pair. Manufacturers have multiple ways to enhance the ruggedness of their shoes from the upper to the outsole. For a highly durable shoe, you’ll want a combination of natural and textile materials used to create the upper.
Also, the outsole of the shoe should be designed with optimal traction which is recommended for urban and natural pathways. This helps to make sure the shoes are highly versatile for all types of terrain and weather conditions so that you can run confidently.
2. Lacing System
Being able to control the front of your feet is ideal for inclines and declines, which is why you’ll want an innovative lacing system to allow you to adjust the tightness of your shoes. Without the proper lacing system, your feet will slide which can cause blisters and an ineffective fit. Not to mention ill-fitting shoes put you more at risk for shin splints and other injuries.
Newer pairs of high-end running shoes have specialized lacing systems which make the shoes easy to take on and off without having to undo and redo the laces. As long as the shoes fit comfortably, these types of lacing systems can be the most preferable.
There’s nothing as important as choosing a pair of shoes which has the perfect amount of support, even if you use custom orthotics. You’ll want to make sure your arches are protected but your heels also have the ideal level of support. If you do use orthotics, you should be able to remove the sockliner to create a more personalized fit.
4. Cushioning System
Shin splints and other calf injuries are more likely to happen if you have insufficient cushioning in your shoes. The main job of any cushioning system is to ensure the shocks from your steps are absorbed into the shoe, rather than your body.
The more cushioning you have, the bouncier your steps will feel and the longer you’ll be able to wear the pair of shoes. Instead of dealing with discomfort and fatigue, you’ll be able to work towards improving your performance.
It’s equally as important to find shoes that allow your feet to breathe as you run; otherwise, you’ll have overly hot and sweaty feet. Most running shoes will come with a breathable tongue or a mesh upper which allows a substantial amount of airflow. With that said, you’ll also want to make sure the mesh has some type of weatherproofing to stop water from entering your shoes if it rains.
Our Final Recommendation
The best running shoes for calf pain are the Salomon X-Mission 3 Running Shoes since it is well-rounded even without the help of custom orthotics. With superior cushioning and support, you’ll be able to protect your calves from discomfort and injury. However, they may require extra laces for you can customize the tightness of the shoes.