Shin splints are the bane of any runner, affecting between 4% and 35% of certain populations. They are caused by overtraining (otherwise known as excessive exercise) but have several other potential causes. Finding the best treadmills for shin splints is quite challenging because the main way to “cure” them is rest.
If exercise makes shin splints worse then how can treadmills be a solution? Well, treadmills can both prevent and treat shin splints. There are several factors that can increase your risk of developing shin splints (other than excessive exercise).
Being overweight is a major cause and exercising on a treadmill can prevent this. Running on hard surfaces is another major cause. Treadmills are often made with top of the range shock absorbing running decks which can reduce impact and prevent shin splints. Another potential cause is tight hamstrings, which can be prevented by exercising them more. Many treadmills provide incline and decline settings which can help you to exercise your calves and improve flexibility.
In this article we will be taking a look at treadmills that have excellent shock absorption and provide incline and decline functions. This will help us to find the best treadmills for shin splints.
|Life Fitness Folding Treadmill||4||3||5||3||4||19/25|
|NordicTrack T 9.5 S Treadmill||4||4||4||4||4||20/25|
|Bowflex BXT216 Treadmill||4||3||5||5||4||21/25|
|ProForm PRO-9000 Treadmill||5||3||5||5||5||23/25|
|NordicTrack Commercial 2950||5||3||5||5||5||23/25|
Best Treadmills for Shin Splints
We have picked out five of the best treadmills that we have encountered for people who suffer from shin splints. We have picked them based on their ability to create an incline, how durable they are, and how comfortable they are. We have also graded them on their power, though this may not be relevant to many sufferers! We have also picked a variety of differently priced treadmills to suit most budgets.
Best Treadmill for Shin Splints #1: Life Fitness Folding Treadmill
The Life Fitness Folding treadmill is the most durable treadmill on this list, it is the type of treadmill that you would expect to see in a busy gym. You know, where 40 people per day use it for 30 minutes each and it never breaks down. This is the type of treadmill we are talking about.
Its motor is quite interesting. Usually, a treadmill uses a continuous horsepower motor meaning that the motor uses the same horsepower throughout. This treadmill uses a variable horsepower motor, meaning that it stays at 3 HP for most of the time but can increase to 6 HP when you need to sprint. At 6 HP your motor is twice as powerful as a “normal” treadmill, and three times as powerful as a cheap treadmill.
The running deck is excellent, it uses the FlexDeck Shock Absorption System which will take pressure of your knee as well as your shins. The treadmill also offers an incline that increases in increments of 0.5% which will help you to work those calves.
Best Treadmill for Shin Splints #2: NordicTrack T 9.5 S Treadmill
We have two NordicTrack treadmills on this list, both are excellent treadmills, but they represent different ends of the market. The NordicTrack T 9.5 S treadmill is towards the affordable end of the market. But don’t let prices fool you, this treadmill is fantastic.
Considering that this is a cheaper treadmill than many on this list, you may be surprised at how good it is. The treadmill offers a 3.6 CHP motor which allows a top speed of 12mph, it also has a 12% incline setting, and the treadmill also offers great shock absorption through its use of FlexSelect Cushioning on the running deck.
There are many other cool features associated with this treadmill, it comes with a year’s subscription to iFit. An interactive program that you can follow on the 14-inch HD SMART touchscreen which comes with the treadmill. This will allow you to follow many different virtual race courses from across the globe, all from the comfort of your own home.
Best Treadmill for Shin Splints #3: Bowflex BXT216 Treadmill
The Bowflex BXT216 is such a great overall treadmill that it should be no surprise that it would feature in a list of the best treadmills for shin splints. With a 4 CHP motor, the treadmill can compete with the best of the best when it comes to power.
But it is the amazing running deck that will be of most interest to shin splint sufferers. Bowflex has patented Comfort Tech to use for shock absorption. Comfort Tech is described as the “Gold Standard” for running deck shock absorption due to its amazing ability to reduce injury risk and lower joint pain while you run.
There are many benefits that are unrelated to shin splints. It folds up amazingly well, using soft drop technology (a gas shock folding system). It also has a fantastic display (though not as good as those of NordicTrack sadly) and easy to navigate controls.
This is a seriously impressive treadmill that will really help shin splint sufferers to avoid any aggravation of injury while they run. The motorised incline will also help you to run better and at a higher intensity without having to increase the speed. The Bowflex also offers individualised workouts that are tailored to your needs and abilities. Perfect for new and experienced runners.
Best Treadmill for Shin Splints #4: ProForm PRO-9000 Treadmill
The ProForm PRO-9000 is one seriously good treadmill with a powerful motor, both incline and decline settings, and fantastic cushioning. It is also amazingly durable. If you have the money, then this treadmill is certainly worth your cash. It is perfect for anyone with shin splints.
The motor is particularly good, it has 4.25 CHP and a top speed of 12mph, meaning that it will be able to cope with you hitting the top speed for as long as you can manage it. The incline setting goes up to 15% and it also offers a 3% decline setting, this will be fantastic for working your calves as well as recreating running outside (though obviously much safer). The running deck uses ProSHOX Cushioning which is incredible at absorbing shock and allowing you to run without feeling pain or increasing your risk of shin splints.
This is a great treadmill for anyone with shin splints, it will last a lifetime, is powerful, and the value for money is excellent. But where it really stands out is in its comfort and the incline settings. This will help minimize any pain from shin splints and prevent them from cropping up again in the future.
Best Treadmill for Shin Splints #5: NordicTrack Commercial 2950 Treadmill
It is testament to how good the ProForm PRO-9000 treadmill is that the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 treadmill has had to share top spot with it, because the Commercial 2950 is an incredible machine! It is powerful, durable, great value for money, and above all it is comfortable. This is the last treadmill you’ll ever need to buy.
Offering a 4.25 CHP motor as well as incline and decline settings, this treadmill is going to withstand your toughest of workouts. The incline and decline will be perfect for rehab after you have been diagnosed with shin splints. The running deck uses Runners Flex ™ Cushioning, which is one of the best systems for shock absorption around.
The NordicTrack Commercial 2950 treadmill also comes with a 1-year subscription to iFit, an app that works seamlessly with the 22-inch HD touchscreen that this treadmill uses. You can use this subscription to recreate runs/hikes in incredible locations across the globe. All without actually having to leave your house.
The treadmills on this list are the height of comfort and will really help to reduce the impact of running and protect your shins from further pain. Shin splints is an annoying condition that requires a lot of rest at first, but when you are ready to return you need to ensure that you are running on the perfect surface, strengthening your hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles. All of these muscles can be worked by training at incline on a treadmill that provides amazing support.
It’s difficult to choose our favourite of the five treadmills as they all have unique benefits and are chosen to suit different needs. For the budget conscious, we would probably recommend the NordicTrack T 9.5 S treadmill. This is because it provides most of the benefits of a much more expensive treadmill but at a great price. It is powerful, has great shock absorption, and is very durable.
Our overall favourite treadmill really is a toss up between the NordicTrack Commercial 2950 and the ProForm PRO-9000 treadmill. It is really hard to pick a favourite as they are both equally great across all of our criteria. The NordicTrack has a beautiful touchscreen though, so we’ll give it the win. But really it’s up to you!