The Best Soccer Cleats For Shin Splints

As a soccer player, dealing with shin splints is a common issue and even the best soccer cleats for shin splints won’t heal it. Only rest, plenty of ice, compression, and time to heal will do that. Prevention is key, however, and picking the right cleats is the right start.

Avoiding shin splints is all about reducing the pressure and strain on the tibialis anterior muscle. To do that, you want to find soccer cleats with plenty of arch support. Since the muscle on your shin is responsible for stabilizing your ankle, you’ll also need ankle support.

Adequate support for your ankles and proper arch support reduces the amount of work your shin muscle has to perform, therefore reducing the potential for overstraining it and possibly causing more damage. 

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about:

  • Shin splints causes
  • Symptoms
  • How to deal with shin splints
  • Should you play soccer with shin splints
  • Best soccer cleats for shin splints

If you don’t allow for time to heal or continue to play with sub-par cleats, not only will your shin splints get worse, they will develop into stress fractures or something worse. 

Adidas soccer cleats on turf

What Causes Shin Splints?

Soccer is a game of running, pivoting, foot and body control, and jumping. Basically, it’s about everything that has the potential to create shin splints.

Ronaldo

Shin splints are caused by overstressing the tibialis anterior, which is the thin sheet of muscle wrapped around your shin bone (tibia).

Whenever you lift weights, you develop micro-tears in the muscle tissue. With proper time between weightlifting routines, those tears heal over and become bigger and stronger as a result. The concept is the same here, with micro-tears along the tibialis anterior.

The difference is, the tears are worse, and there’s no healing routine because you’re on your feet every day, especially if you’re playing soccer.

Without proper healing, the weakened muscle can no longer support your joints and ligaments, leading to stress fractures in the bone. 

Quick Picks

adidas Performance Men's Copa Mundial Soccer...
Nike Unisex Adults Mercurial Superfly 6 Elite FG...
Nike Mens Hypervenom Phantom III Dynamic Fit FG...
adidas Men's X 18.3 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe,...
adidas Predator 19.3 Firm Ground (mens) Bold...
adidas Performance Men's Copa Mundial Soccer...
Nike Unisex Adults Mercurial Superfly 6 Elite FG...
Nike Mens Hypervenom Phantom III Dynamic Fit FG...
adidas Men's X 18.3 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe,...
adidas Predator 19.3 Firm Ground (mens) Bold...
Dynamic Fit Collar
Positive arch support
Excellent arch support
Very comfortable
Claw collar for added support
$138.98
$184.99
Price not available
$68.31
$59.90
adidas Performance Men's Copa Mundial Soccer...
adidas Performance Men's Copa Mundial Soccer...
Dynamic Fit Collar
$138.98
Nike Unisex Adults Mercurial Superfly 6 Elite FG...
Nike Unisex Adults Mercurial Superfly 6 Elite FG...
Positive arch support
$184.99
Nike Mens Hypervenom Phantom III Dynamic Fit FG...
Nike Mens Hypervenom Phantom III Dynamic Fit FG...
Excellent arch support
Price not available
adidas Men's X 18.3 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe,...
adidas Men's X 18.3 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe,...
Very comfortable
$68.31
adidas Predator 19.3 Firm Ground (mens) Bold...
adidas Predator 19.3 Firm Ground (mens) Bold...
Claw collar for added support
$59.90

What Are The Symptoms Of Shin Splints?

Initially, there will be an intense period of soreness that only seems to be relieved when you relax and get off of your feet.

Without giving it a chance to heal, it will develop into intense and constant pain, especially when you are walking or using the muscles. 

You may also experience swelling in the lower shin and ankle areas but since it’s such a thin muscle, the swelling may be minor.

How To Deal With Shin Splints

The RICE method is always highly advisable when dealing with shin splints. Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation are key. Mostly, however, you need a period of rest and time off of your feet until it is properly healed.

You should not play soccer while enduring shin splints. As stated above, any additional stress will only exacerbate the injury and could lead to stress fractures, something which will definitely sideline you for a good period of time.

Best Soccer Cleats For Shin Splints

While it’s not easy to find everything you need in one pair of cleats, we’ve put together a list of the best soccer cleats for shin splints.

Added features are a bonus and here are some of the areas these cleats will cover:

The cleats that made our list are primarily chosen for their support capabilities, however, they are also some of the best cleats for soccer players, period. Performance, comfort, and style are a big part of it after all. 

Adidas Copa Mundial

The Adidas Copa Mundial is made of kangaroo leather and is designed with both structural support and performance in mind.

Aesthetically, there’s nothing flashy or innovative in design, with the original Adidas colors that made Adidas the household name that it is. 

Features

  • Extremely soft kangaroo leather
  • Durability
  • Uniform weight distribution

The leather type is what makes the shoe. The Adidas Copa Mundial has been around since the 1970s and is largely unchanged from the original release. They built things to last back then and it still shows in 2021. 

The uniform weight distribution makes this a very comfortable cleat, without sacrificing support and the arch support is excellent. However, these cleats were never designed to get wet and if you get caught out in the rain, it will waterlog quickly.

They are also a bit on the heavy side, with a wide, long sole that means you will need to order a size or a half a size below what you normally wear. 

One major benefit is the rounded studs. They distribute weight better than bladed studs, which is beneficial if you’re recovering from shin splints. 

ProsCons
Rounded studs for weight distribution
Soft leather for a comfortable feel
Built to endure Premium leather and old school aesthetics
Not waterproof
Larger than their size number
No ankle support

The Copa Mundials are still around because they are a beloved cleat for players. Little has changed over the succeeding decades to change the design or tech of this shoe. However, that’s simply because it was an amazing cleat, to begin with.

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Nike Superfly 6 Pro FG Flyknit Mercurial 

If the look alone were the primary selling point, the Nike Superfly would sell these cleats with no problem. This is a really nice-looking shoe but if that were all it had going for it, it wouldn’t have made this list.

Features

  • Dynamic Fit Collar
  • Textured Nikeskin
  • Comfortable design
  • Built for explosiveness
  • Good arch support

There’s more to the Nike Superfly than just the looks. Their dynamic fit collar gives you the added benefit of ankle support without stiffening the ankle. ITs a unique fit and wears like a second skin.

This brings us to the textured Nikeskin, which hugs the feet and keeps the cleat from feeling too firm and heavy. The material is designed to make this cleat—already designed to be explosive—lightweight and unrestrictive.

Despite the bladed studs, the Superfly Pro has good arch support, which is enormously helpful when it comes to shin injuries such as splints.

They do take a little time to break in as a whole, with slippage on the heel being the predominant issue when they’re brand new.

The split sole construction on the sole is not for everyone. 

ProsCons
Positive arch support
Dynamic fit collar
Comfortable, textured skin
Long-lasting
Explosive
Split sole
Break-in time
Nike Unisex Adults Mercurial Superfly 6 Elite FG...
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Nike Unisex Adults Mercurial Superfly 6 Elite FG...
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NIKE Men’s Hypervenom Phantom III

The general consensus on the appearance of this cleat is anything but general. Some love it while others are revolted. However, aesthetics aren’t what makes this shoe so good.

The Nike Hypervenom Phantom III is an improvement in every way from its disastrous predecessor.

Features

  • Very solid grip and traction
  • Adjustable straps
  • Excellent arch support
  • No break-in time

In the looks department, Nike was going for something that would make the Oregon Ducks do a double-take and they more than succeeded.

It’s an excessively exotic look. Fortunately, it is a shoe designed for explosive performance.

For those dealing with lower-body injuries, the Phantom III has a very snug yet exceptionally comfortable fit, protecting your ankles while allowing you a completely free range of movement.

With excellent arch support, this cleat is both stabilizing and able to boost performance.

There’s literally no break-in time, as this shoe is designed to have a broken-in feel right out of the gate. The adjustable straps allow you to customize how tight you want it to feel around your foot. 

They’re also very lightweight, which takes the load off of your lower legs. Though it looks like a boot, it fits like a racecar. 

The material can be aggravating sometimes. If you prefer thin socks these cleats may give you a blister or two, especially if you’re sweating and some moisture gets down in there. 

ProsCons
Excellent arch support
Adjustable straps
Excellent grip
Zero break-in time
Unique look
Very pricey
Causes blisters with thin socks
Vulnerable to debris
Nike Mens Hypervenom Phantom III Dynamic Fit FG...
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  • One-piece, tongueless design virtually eliminates seams

Adidas Men’s X 18.3 

Adidas sticks to the basics with many of their cleats that specifically target soccer players and there’s no exception here.

The Men’s X 18.3 strongly resembles the Copa Mundial and like the Mundial, this is a very comfortable shoe with a snug and secure fit. 

Features

  • Mesh Upper for stability
  • The perfect mix of bladed and rounded studs
  • Claw collar
  • Great arch support

The mesh upper really hugs your foot, helping with stability and overall comfort. It has a mix of bladed and round studs, giving you a good mixture of performance and stability, without sacrificing either. 

The X 18.3 has another special feature called the “Claw Collar.” the claw collar extends both the tongue and heel areas to create more stability and comfort. 

You’ll also get a higher level of customization with the asymmetrical laces, so the shoe will fit how you want it to. If you prefer it loose or tight, it’s up to how you tie it. Combined with a fit that slides on like a sock, this cleat has a solid stabilization effect. 

Like most Adidas sports cleats, an excellent level of arch support is built-in. The overall effect boosts performance while giving you plenty of stability and reliability. 

Traction is also important and the X 18.3 doesn’t disappoint, with a thermoplastic polyurethane outsole that gives you plenty of traction, increasing the overall stability of the shoe. Ultimately, there’s not a lot to complain about with this cleat.

There is a level of break-in time and it’s been known to come in one size too small, judging by the most common complaints.

ProsCons
Very comfortable, solid, and stable fit
Great arch support
Claw collar for added stability
Great traction and materials
Good price
Some break-in time
Sizes are sometimes off

Adidas comes through with another excellent soccer cleat, with plenty of stability, comfort, grip, and support. 

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Adidas Predator 19.3

The Adidas Predator 19.3 was a surprise release and a very successful one, as it broke sales records. It’s designed with long-term comfort in mind.

Features

  • Claw Collar
  • Lightweight TPU outsole
  • Lace Closure
  • Great arch support

The Predator 19.3 comes with extra padding for superior support and stability. Combined with solid arch support and lace closure to lock the cleats onto your feet, this shoe has an exceptional feel.

The TPU material of the outsole makes it very lightweight, which helps take the burden off of your lower legs, increasing endurance and reducing injuries.

It also has excellent traction and with the claw collar design, will help stabilize your feet to avoid those nasty ankle rolls. 

The lace closure gives you added support as it helps secure the fit around your foot. These shoes aren’t going to fly off after a brutal cut or a wind sprint. All of these features come together to help you maintain your explosive movements without sacrificing stability.

The external heel counter gives you that little bit of extra room while still retaining a snug fit. Flipping the heel counter to the exterior of the shoe makes it seem like the additional padding was designed to fill the gap with a more comfortable feel.

The exterior design is prone to picking up a lot of dirt and is very difficult to clean. That’s unfortunate, as the aesthetics of this design are really quite eye-catching. 

Also, this shoe was not designed for players who have wide feet. The narrow design is the same across the board, regardless of what size you opt for. If you have wide feet, stay away from the Predator 19.3. 

ProsCons
Claw collar for added support
Lace closure for another level of customization
Excellent arch support
Cool aesthetics
Lightweight
TPU outsole
Easy to get dirty and harder to clean
Not made for wide feet
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  • Lace closure
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All Things Considered

These five are some of the best soccer cleats for shin splints. Remember, they won’t heal shin splints if you already have them. Only time and the proper amount of rest can accomplish that. 

However, they’ll help prevent them and will also get you back into the game much quicker when you’re on the mend and back on the field.

References

  • Thomas (August 8, 2019). Adidas Men’s X 19.3 Firm Ground Soccer Shoe Reviews
  • Retrieved from: https://bestcleatsreviews.com/adidas-x-19-3/

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