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Running is an addictive sport, especially when the weather is pleasant and gives you all the more reasons to grab your running shoes and hit the trail. However, with running come muscle and joint pains that can sometimes lead to severe tissue damage.

While knee, hip and shin pains are the common types of discomfort expressed by runners, the most dangerous one is related to the calf. If preventive measures are not taken to curb this type of pain, it could lead to permanent injuries carried forward to old age.

Calf pain is often associated with serious underlying problems that can lead to health issues such as Achilles Tendonitis – an ongoing pain condition starting from the back of the leg to the heel of the foot. Furthermore, chronic calf pain can also be the result of improper running techniques and inconsistent movement – all of which are associated with the weight, inner padding, size and comfort level of your running shoes.

From sore muscles to Achilles Tendonitis, it is essential to find the best running shoes for calf support. Read on for a buyer’s guide on some shoe shopping advice and tips:

Cushion Systems

The best running shoes for calf support will have cushioning systems that are placed to add comfort in the shoe. The primary reason for this is to minimize the impact of your body touching the ground and rid feelings of stiffness or stress on the calves.

Different cushioning systems provide comfort in their own distinct ways. Simply by absorbing the shocks that accompany feet hitting the ground, a shoe provides the calves and heels with the ultimate support they need.

The more cushioning a shoe has, the ‘bouncier’ your steps will feel – adding to the longevity of wearing those shoes. If you are at the store, try on a pair of running shoes and jump in one place. Notice the impact the jumping has, and if your heels feel as if they are directly hitting the ground. If that is the case, you might want to opt for another pair.

Lacing Systems

This refers to the way your running shoes are loosened or tightened. The lacing system is an important part of the shoe as it determines your control over the fitness of the shoe.

Innovative lacing systems that allow you to adjust the tightness will be beneficial for inclines and declines while running. An ineffective, loose shoe can cause blisters and a higher risk for shin and calf pain.

Newer running shoe brands have mechanized the lacing system that allows you to wear or remove the shoes without actually loosening or tightening the laces. As long as the shoe feels comfortable and allows your foot to breathe, you should always opt for these high-end versions.

Breathability and Flexibility

A participant of the lacing system but also not limited to it, breathability and flexibility are closely tied to how the foot essentially feels inside a shoe.

As heat escapes our body through our extremities, it includes places such as the hands, head and feet.  If your foot is unable to breathe in the shoe, it would eventually lead to hot, sweaty feet that can cause blisters. Shoes that are designed to be breathable for the runner allow for healthy running and flexibility, automatically reducing the chances of added calf pain.

Most running shoes comprise of a mesh upper that permits airflow. However, you want to make sure that the mesh is made with waterproof material that prevents water from entering your shoe during rainy season. Furthermore, the mesh is not supposed to cause suffocation on the top of your foot. If they become too tangled with the laces, you’ll need to opt for another pair.


Some of the best running shoes for calf support will provide consistent durability. Advanced runners opt for these types of shoes as they last long and are manufactured with the best materials, despite their high price.

Manufacturing companies have the ability to modify the ruggedness of a shoe, from the upper to the outsole. Most durable shoes are often made with a mix of natural and textile materials used on the upper or top portion of the shoe. This makes them feel comfortable and soft.

It is also highly recommended to check the outsole of the shoe for optimal traction. This helps to ensure that the running shoes are adaptable for all kinds of terrains and weather conditions without quickly wearing out.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Should I run with calf pain?

You can provide the best answer to this question. If you feel the pain is durable, then you can continue running. However, it is highly recommended to visit a specialist to avoid any future injuries and your pain to worsen.

What are the best running shoes for calf pain?

There are various brands out there which design shoes specifically for calf pain. You should consult your doctor on the level of calf pain and vary out your options depending on availability, prices and running experience.

Why do I feel stress on my calf while running?

Calf pain can increase due to high-intensity terrains or a sudden surge in running speed. Your shoes also play an important role in the amount of stress your calf takes up, and any bad quality running shoes can be an added burden on a prevalent injury.

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