Which Running Shoes for Anterior Compartment Syndrome?

Anterior compartment syndrome or chronic exertional compartment syndrome is a problem with the muscle on the front of the leg (the anterior tibial muscle or tibialis anterior muscle) trying to expand during exercise when the fascia around the muscle is too tight and the muscle can not expand. This can become painful and is one of the causes of that term, “shin splints”.

The treatment options in the past were often limited and a surgical release of the tight fascia around the muscle was usually the better definitive treatment.

However, we now have this study on anterior compartment syndrome that shows it is good option to change from heel striking to forefoot striking to help this condition. From all reports it works pretty well and the rationale for it is sound. While this might be a good idea for anterior compartment syndrome, it would not be a good idea for other types of running injuries such as achilles tendon issues. The transition from rearfoot or heel striking to a midfoot or forefoot strike pattern needs to be slow to allow for the tissues to adapt to the loads.

What running shoes should be used for anterior compartment syndrome?

There is no specific shoes for runners with anterior compartment syndrome. There will be many personal preferences here, but it comes down to does the shoe allow or facilitate forefoot striking? A lower drop shoe will help with that. Less cushioning under the heel will help do that. The type or model of shoe is not particularly important in this case, its the running technique and the touch down angle that is important. That can be achieved in any type of running shoe.


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