Calf Pain

Have you ever wondered why you experience calf pain after taking a nice jog? The most likely culprit for your pain is your shoes.

In order to eliminate the issue of calf cramps for a new or experienced runner, you need to invest in a supportive shoe. With as many as 56% of runners reporting an injury each year, it is important that you ensure you have the proper support needed for your daily exercise.

Becoming physically fit is a priority of many people in our modern world. Running is one of many ways that people choose to tackle the goal of becoming more fit and joining the world of fitness.

Running shoes also double as appropriate shoes for many other fitness adventures as well. This is why choosing the right shoe for both running and other athletic activities is necessary for making sure that you take care of your body as you explore your fitness journey.

The shoe market is huge. Athletic shoes are abundant, so choosing the right style for you may seem overwhelming. That is where we come in to help. This guide will outline the five best running shoes for calf pain on the market today.

Our Top Picks

Budget Friendly

  • 15,000 Five Star Review
  • Midsole Cushioning
  • Lightweight Material

Premium Choice

  • 18,000 Five Star Review
  • Rearfoot Gel Cushioning System
  • Unique Traction

Great Value

  • 5,000 Five Star Review
  • DNA Loft Crashpad
  • Original Design

Jump to the Right Running Shoes For Calf Pain

The ASICS Gel Venture 6 running shoe is designed much like any of the other running shoes on the market.

Upon initial inspection you may not even notice that this running shoe is any different from the others on the market. However, the Venture 6 from ASICS is actually quite unique in design and comfort.

One of the best features of the Venture 6 running shoe is the Rearfoot gel cushioning system. ASICS patented gel cushioning system absorbs shock as the runner lands during a long run. This allows the shoe to eliminate calf pain often associated with long runs.

Another extremely unique feature of this shoe is the exclusive design of the outsole of this shoe. If you are a runner who likes to hit outdoor trails rather than commonly designed tracks, then this shoe is made for you.

Designed to handle hiking trails, the Venture 6 running shoe has unique traction built for leaving the comfort of a paved running track.

What we like It

  • Rearfoot Gel Cushioning System
  • Unique Traction

Our verdict

Under Armour is a brand that has really built a name for itself in the world of athletics. Athletes trust Under Armour to produce trustworthy shoe. They have not let us down with the Charged Assert 8 Running Shoe.

One of my favorite aspects of this particular shoe is that it looks really nice. It is built of lightweight fabric which is really good for calves.

When running shoes are built of heavy material, it can cause the calves unnecessary weight that can sometimes add to unnecessary pain.

Another unique feature of Under Armour’s Charged Assert 8 is the use of a charged cushioned midsole. This feature allows the shoe to reduce the impact of running on the body.

The cushioning is designed to maximize comfort and reduce the impact that the feet and legs absorb during a long run.

Under Armour’s Charged Assert 8 also employs a leather overlay. This allows the shoe to firmly hold your foot and ensure proper alignment of the shoe. This reduces calf pain by promoting posture and foot placement.

What we like It

  • Midsole Cushioning
  • Lightweight Material

Our verdict

I have always admired the classic style that New Balance shoes bring to the table. This shoe is no exception. It is designed to look like the classic style of running shoe that many of us have grown to love.

That does not mean, however, that this shoe is stuck in the past when it comes to pain-reducing technology.

On the contrary, this New Balance running shoe has a lot of features that speak to its ability to reduce pain and increase comfort for the runner.

One of my favorite features about this shoe is that the tread is designed for multiple uses. Because this shoe is advertised as a trail running shoe, we know that it is suitable for running trails and hiking trails.

However, this is a rare trail shoe that is also designed for maximum comfort on paved running trails as well.

This New Balance running shoe also uses New Balance’s patented CUSH + technology. Built of a ground breaking foam compound, the midsole of this shoe is built for maximum comfort.

This compound allows the runner to run without the risk of injury or pain due to an improper shoe.

What we like It

  • Cush Technology
  • Classic Design

Our verdict

The ASICS Venture 5 running shoe has a lot of really great things going for it. However, I cannot move on without complimenting the design of this shoe.

It is comfortable for everyday use and is cute to wear with just about any casual outfit. Further, this shoe is not overly bulky as some running shoe designs have been known to be.

This shoe has a cushioning gel insert between the insole and outsole of the shoe. This ensures maximum comfort for the runner.

The gel cushioning is designed to absorb shock as the runner’s feet meet with the ground. This keeps the runner from developing sore calves and painful conditions in the feet.

Further, this shoe is designed for optimal use. The traction on the bottom of the shoe is great for wearing on running trails or even to use for hiking.

However, the traction is not uncomfortable for everyday use or paved running conditions. This is a great women’s running shoe for calf pain.

What we like It

  • Gel Cushioning
  • Unique Traction

Our verdict

I was surprised to learn that this running shoe is simply an upgraded shoe that maintains the original design Brooks sold 20 years ago. This is a testament to how great Brooks running shoes really are.

They have a great, simple design and have all the technology that is expected of an upgraded running shoe.

Brooks has a sole that they call the DNA LOFT Crash pad. Similar to the way memory foam works, this sole allows the foot to land on the shoe with each step with little to no effect on the body.

This is a great feature for someone struggling with sore calf muscles after a long run.

Further, this shoe is made of mesh. This allows it to remain lightweight and breathable. A shoe that is lightweight and breathable is best for everyday runners.

Further, the shoe is designed for flexibility allowing it to move with the feet. This gives the runner the feel of running more naturally.

What we like It

  • DNA Loft Crashpad
  • Original Design

Our verdict

Buyer’s Guide To best running shoes for calf pain

Choosing a running shoe that will reduce calf pain may seem a bit overwhelming at first. After all, the shoe market is seemingly endless.

While there are certainly brands who are better recognized than others, there still seem to be endless options of shoes even within your chosen brand.

We have compiled a comprehensive list of the factors you may want to consider when it comes time to purchase a new set of running shoes. Join us as we take a deep dive into each of the factors that contributes to a shoe’s comfort level.


The best running shoe for calf pain will have a cushioning system that is top of the line. Most running shoes have some sort of cushioning system in place to maximize comfort for the customer. However, it is important to know that not all cushioning systems are equally created.

The purpose of a cushioning system remains the same no matter the brand or style of the shoe you are looking at.

The main purpose of a cushioning system within a running shoe is minimize the impact of your body’s weight hitting the ground.

Different cushioning systems absorb that impact in different ways. By absorbing the shock of your impact, the shoe effectively saves your body from feeling the aftermath of the run.

Each shoe manufacturer uses different materials and methods for developing their cushioning system. One famous shoe manufacturer utilizes air pockets to create a shock system. AISICS uses gel to cushion the soles of their shoes. Others work with foam and other materials.

No matter which brand of shoe you choose to buy, if you struggle with calf pain, you will want to make sure that they have a solid cushioning system in place.

You may have to try shoes on in the store if you are not sure which type of cushioning system you prefer on your running shoes.


Most running shoes are made of a mesh material to increase the breathability of the shoe for the runner’s comfort. All of the shoes on our list are made from this type of material.

However, there are running shoes that are cushioned or crafted of leather. These shoes tend to be much less comfortable because they are less breathable.

Further, shoes crafted of materials like leather or thick fabric are less flexible. Less flexible shoes are more likely to cause foot pain in the person wearing them.

Not only are they far less comfortable when wearing them on a daily basis, but they are also uncomfortable when wearing them on a run.


Serious runners are probably going to be investing quite a bit of money into a quality pair of running shoes.

While runners who engage in daily exercise understand that will likely need to replace their shoes on a regular basis, there is still a need for making sure your shoes are built of quality material.

Shoes that have a nice mix of natural and textile materials making up the top portion of the shoe tend to be fairly durable.

Further, you will want to check the outsole of the shoe. Shoes that are designed for optimal traction tend to last longer than shoes that are not designed for optimal traction.


Even if you are a runner who chooses to use a custom insert for your comfort and support, you will still need a good level of support from the shoe you wear.

You want to ensure that the shoe you choose has a good level of support for both the arch of your foot and the heel of your foot as well. This will reduce the amount of pain associated with wearing your shoe while running.

If you choose to use an insert to boost the support provided to your feet, then you need to follow some simple steps. Be sure to remove the insert that comes from the factory of your running shoe.

You need to do this before you install your additional insert. This will ensure that your feet are properly fitting in the running shoe. Not following this step may result in unwarranted pain and discomfort.

Breathability and Flexibility

A good running shoe allows the runner’s feet to breathe as he or she is headed out on the run. Breathability is important to keep a runner from overheating.

Heat escapes the body through our extremities. While this includes the head and hands, it also includes the feet. Allowing the feet to breathe increases our ability to have a healthy run.

Research also suggests that flexible shoes are necessary for healthy running. Shoes that allow the feet to move in a natural manner are able to allow a runner to move as his or her body is designed to move.

On the other hand, shoes that are too rigid are liable to cause injury or pain for the feet and legs.

Lacing System

The lacing system of your shoe refers to the way it is either loosened or tightened on the top of the shoe. This is an important part of your shoe.

Whether or not you have control over the fit of your running shoe is dependent on the lacing system.

Some running shoes do not have a system that allows you to adjust the tightness of your shoe. You may want to make sure that you can change the lacing system to best support your feet if you are looking at a shoe that does not have a good lacing system.

frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Should I run with calf pain?

Ultimately, only you can answer this question. Some calf pain and soreness is normal for the daily runner. However, if you have an injury in your calf, such as a strain, it is probably best to allow the calf to rest before running on it again.

What are the best running shoes for calf pain?

There are a variety of shoes that are good for calf pain. Our top picks are listed above and are the five best running shoes for calf pain. Ultimately, you want to select a shoe that has good support and a solid cushioning system to further support your feet.

What are the best running shoes for lower leg pain?

Lower leg pain can indicate a variety of issues for the runner. For example, if the lower leg pain is in the shins, this may indicate that it is time to replace your running shoes.

On the contrary, if your lower leg pain is located in your calves, then this might indicate that you are dealing with a shoe that is not providing enough support for you as a runner.

What is the best cushioning system for running shoes?

Any cushioning system that adequately absorbs the shock from a run is a system that functions as it should.

My personal favorite cushioning system is usually in the form of a gel shock system. However, most cushioning systems are perfectly adequate for the running shoe.

What causes calf pain in running?

If a runner is attempting to suddenly increase their distance or speed, this can often cause calf pain to increase.

Further, if a runner has a weak support in their shoe or is running without a proper cushioning system in their shoe, then this can also cause significant calf pain.

Final Thoughts

Having a proper shoe for your daily run is critical in maintaining the healthy running lifestyle. Without the proper fitting shoe, adequate support, and a solid cushioning system then you could permanently damage your ability to run in the first place.

We have gathered the top five shoes available for people who suffer with calf pain. Our list is built to provide a comprehensive overview of everything you need to know to make an informed decision about your shoe purchase.

Our picks are shoes that come from reputable manufacturers. Because these manufacturers have built their names in the athletic market, we trust that they will provide quality running shoes.

Further, each of these shoes uses a quality cushioning system and has everything it needs to adequately support your feet. I hope that you find the right match for your situation by browsing this review.

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