Compression Socks or Calf Support

I suffer from shin splints (mainly on my left leg) and want to reduce the pain while running / improve recovery time. At first I thought I would buy compression socks but stumbled across calf supports too. I don't know which is the better one for me? 

The calf support I have found is made by Mueller and the compression socks by 1000 Mile. How much should I be looking to pay for my purchase?

Any help / recommendations would be greatly appreciated.



  • Neither will help with shin splints. Why did you think they would?

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Spend your money on seeing an expert. Why spend it on helping your calves when it's your shins that are giving you problems?
  • Hi Matt

    I’ve got shin splints and have been seeing a sports physio ever since (he is running his 13th marathon this year).  I can only advise what he has advised me and compression socks was not one of them.  I tape up for every run and I ice immediately afterwards.  I foam roll (not straight after my run) but usually if I run in the morning, I foam roll in the evening.  I have been given strengthening exercises with a band…it’s basically heel raises 20 times (3 times) and only do this on the days I do not run…(3 days a week)…..I came back into running with a gradual mileage build up…..but I have broken the rules a little because I ramped up the mileage too quickly and now have a sore calf muscle…if it ain’t one thing, it’s another… fault though….my shin splints are now very manageable and I can run about 11 miles without even thinking about them…..and the one thing I cannot do, is run on consecutive days….I have a rest day after each run because my shin splints are very sore afterwards but by doing all of the above…I am now running confidently knowing I’m not making my shin splints any worst.  Hope that helps!

  • Thanks for the advice Pipski!

  • Hi Philomena / Millsy1977, maybe I used the wrong wording with regards to calf support but I have been reading a lot of articles that recommend them including this one - which recommends shin splint supports.

  • Calf guards definitely help to keep my shinsplints under control. It's not just the calf muscle they compress, but the whole lower leg. Compression socks do the same thing, it just depends which you prefer. I like wearing toe socks, so go for calf guards. Which used to be Aldi compression socks with the feet cut off (cheapskate option!) until Santa brought me a pair of Compressport calf guards which are definitely far superior, if an absolute bugger to take off when wet, muddy and knackered...

  • Okay so it appears that we are all wrong and calf guards "definitely help keep shin splints under control". Quite surprising, since that even the manufacturers neither claim or hint at that they have anything to do with shin splints.

  • I didn't say you were all wrong.

    I also didn't say calf guards definitely help keep shinsplints under control.

    Please don't misquote me.

    I said they definitely help keep MY shinsplints under control, which they do.

  • That's a use of definitely most people wouldn't recognize. Shin splints tends to be something that beginner runners get. Since you wore them you never got them again. But then again you can only bee a beginner once. I would DEFINITELY say you made a huge assumption.

  • I would definitely say, so did you! I first developed shinsplints eight years after taking up running and four years after running my first marathon. Not quite a beginner. I do mostly ultras now, and I don't wear calf guards all the time while running, just during races and on particularly long or tough training runs. Because if I don't, I know from experience that my shins will be niggling the next day. So I think I'll stick with my assertion that they definitely help with my shinsplints.
  • Run with Dogs, I'm so pleased you've found something that keeps your shinsplints under control....I need a bit of that!   I've just come to terms with mine and that I just have to manage them...I've found now that if I take 2 days off after a long run, the pain dissipates....however when you're training for a marathon, you don't always have the luxury of a 2 day break.  This week has been a bugger, because I'm running 3 days in a row...and my shin splints are not happy (plus I've run out of tape!).    I'm keen to try these compression socks however I think taping is more subjective, because it is positioned /placed according to your injury.  I can only think that the compression socks make your shin splints feel more comfortable as your are less like to over pronate....if that makes sense?  However, I'm up for trying anything, if it helps.  Oh and I am a beginner...been running for about 7 years but this is my first marathon...I would say that classifies me as a beginner as I wouldn't normally go out for 17 mile jogs on a weekend.  Yourself and Philomena are very experienced runners who have I think have just different experiences.  I think Philomena is probably on his 12th marathon this year and I hope you get your 3hrs that you deserve....I hope you Run-with-Dogs, still manage to keep your shin splints under control whilst training for your Ultras....both are great achievements in mind mindimage

  • Lively debate is what it is all about Pipski. I have no problem with people having a different opinion to mine. We discuss it and listen to each others point of view before deciding I was rightimage Calf guards stop you pronating???

  • You always make me laugh out loud....Mr. Right.....yeh you're probably right again...they wouldn't stop you pronating......and I can't quite picture you wearing them either image

  • I do wear calf guards sometimes. I just don't expect them to perform miracles. On cold wet days they keep my calfs(calves?)warm. I prefer shorts and calf guards to long tights.

    Is it calf or calves? Why do butchers sell calves liver?

  • Both looks are cool if it is comfortable for you. I like to use calf guards for half marathons and long runs and also like to run with knee high compression socks for marathon races.

  • Tell me a bit more about the kind of running you do,and what you are running in. 

  • I do cool runnings and running in the sunshine oh masterful Ben

  • I assumed that you were probably wading through ankle deep sh1t at the moment, like the rest of us!

  • Yes running in the shite since Xmas but yesterday was sunny. I have a short memory. I was a goldfish in a previous life.

  • MACbMACb ✭✭✭

    Just for the record, I had shin splints many years ago and I did feel that calf length compression socks / guards helped me. But, since I was doing other things to aid my problem, like running more off road, treadmill and reduced mileage as well as doing more exercises to help, it is hard to say if it was responsible or not. But, in my opnion, it cannot doing any harm. Maybe sometimes the placebo affect of doing something can help. I also figured that even the worse case scenario was that they were keeping my muscles warmer and that was a good thing in the winter months. I would also assume that they help reduce the muscle vibration a little, at least in my simplistic view it does! But the most important thing to know about shin splints is that the only real cure is less or no running until the problem is fixed. It's a tough one for us runners to accept. 

  • I don't think anybody has suggested that wearing calf guards can cause harm so I'm not sure why you have pointed out that wearing them cannot "doing any harm".

  • MACbMACb ✭✭✭

    ……any harm in the cause to potentially reduce the effect or occurence of shin splints.

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