Top 7+ Best Running Shoes For Compartment Syndrome in 2021


Compartment syndrome is when the calf muscles compress each other, causing extreme pain and paralysis for runners. For runners, a good pair of shoes that help support the disease is really necessary.

Therefore, in this article, we have researched and analyzed to select 7 best running shoes for compartment syndrome on the market. These are shoes that meet the criteria needed to support compartment syndrome.

Let’s explore together!

Buying Guides

To be able to choose the right running shoe for compartment syndrome, you need to base it on several criteria. You should take note some criteria as cushioning, flexibility and durability, and more.

1. Zero-drop

Cavity syndrome is the result of the heel touching the ground too much. As a result, this causes the heel to bleed and swell. Wear non-slip shoes to help your feet land smoothly, reducing pressure on your shins.

When shopping for shoes, you can confirm this by checking the specifications of the features. If not, you can also check the height of the heel and compare it with the size of the toes. A suitable pair of running shoes should not have a heel drop of more than 6mm.

2. Built-in cushion

While you need a pair of non-slip shoes, they must have enough padding under the feet to protect your feet from hazards.

You should take note that the cushion in the shoe, especially in the sole, will absorb the shock generated during impact. Plus, cushioning helps when you’re walking on uneven surfaces.

The cushioning in the shoe is mainly in the heel, foot, and ankle. To stay safe from compartment syndrome, you should always check your shoe’s padding. You can check by putting on your shoes and walking a few steps ahead.

3. Flexibility

In addition to slip resistance, the typical shoe for compartment syndrome must also offer optimal flexibility. This allows your foot to be flexible, which can be easily flexed and split to reduce running stress or injury.

4. Durability and breathability

Most minimalist running shoes have thin outsoles that make them easy to tear from sharp debris. So make sure your compartment syndrome running shoes are with quality materials so they can withstand hazards.

In addition to the shoes’ durability, the level of breathability inside the shoes also helps circulate air and dissipate heat effectively. This ensures that your feet stay cool and dry throughout the run.

5. Narrow heel

The best running shoes for compartment syndrome will often have a narrow heel design. This is because people with compartment syndrome often experience discomfort when they run. And it also puts pressure on the back of their heel can make this pain worse.

6. Wide toe

A very important part of a running shoe for compartment syndrome is a wide toe cap. This will give your toes space so they can move around and not squeeze together as you run.

The best running shoes for compartment syndrome in 2021

1. Vibram Men’s KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe – Best Overall

Vibram Men's KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe For Compartment Syndrome

Important specifications

  • Weight: 3.5 oz and 99g
  • Insole: 2mm EVA + Drilex sockliner
  • Outsole: 3mm rubber
  • Compound: Vibram XS Trek

Product’s highlights

Our first pick is the Vibram Men’s KSO EVO running shoes. This design is one of the top shoe for compartment syndrome.

The product’s technique is to ensure that you can run comfortably when you have compartment syndrome. With a rubber outsole, you will be assured of the durability of the shoe

Additionally, the shoe features the Vibram XS Trek on the outsole. Therefore, it is highly responsive and adaptable to the terrain. This Vibram technology also enhances flexibility and traction on wet surfaces.

These shoes have a lightweight and flexible sole design that gives your feet more freedom of movement. The outsole is both stiff and durable and doesn’t drop for improved natural traction.

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  • The shoe is very light and gives a great feel to the ground
  • The upper is very breathable and flexible
  • Good grip, stable, comfortable and durable
  • Very durable sole
  • Good price


  • When wearing shoes, the toes feel tension

Bottom lines

If you are looking for a reliable, high-quality, and high-performance shoe, this is a perfect choice. Vibram Men’s KSO EVO has great versatility and the ability to do everything you need when running with compartment syndrome.

2. Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove – Best for barefoot design

Merrell Men's Vapor Glove For Compartment Syndrome

Important specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 9 x 6 inches; 6 Ounces
  • Insole: Rubber sole
  • Sticky Vibram outsole for traction
  • Breathable mesh and thermoplastic polyurethane upper
  • Material: 100% Mesh, TPU

Product’s highlights

The Merrell Men’s Vapor Glove 2 Trail is perhaps the most popular and admired barefoot-inspired running shoe on the market today.

Its barefoot construction has certainly refreshed many barefoot-inspired running shoes on the market. The strength of this shoe comes from the barefoot structure. It is to improve foot muscle tone and biomechanics for both running and walking.

The upper is a breathable mesh layer to keep feet healthy and away from bacteria. Inside is a barefoot shape. Not lowering from heel to toe will double the natural distance you need when running with compartment syndrome.

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  • Good ground sensitivity
  • Good traction
  • Stretchy and breathable
  • Durable
  • Lightweight


  • The price is quite high

Bottom lines

Overall, this design by Merrell ranks as a running shoe with good traction, solid durability, and comfort. I believe the Merrell Vapor Glove 2 shoe will help improve your pain. It also enables you to fight the injuries associated with compartment syndrome.

3. Brooks Men’s Ghost 13 – Best for marathons

Brooks Men's Ghost 13 For Compartment Syndrome

Important specifications

  • Weight: 10.1oz / 286.3g
  • Insole: Rubber sole
  • Midsole drop: 12mm
  • Recommended for: cross-training, long-distance, road, treadmill

Product’s highlights

The Brooks Men’s Ghost 13 is the perfect shoe to get you running a marathon or just a quick jog around the park. This running shoe gives you a super-responsive, light ride on your feet.

This product includes improvements in cushioning and flexibility. Plus it has enough balance to make running quickly and efficiently. The shoe also offers a new tongue design for added comfort as well as staying waterproof while you wade through large puddles.

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  • Soft cushioning system underfoot
  • Built for the long haul
  • Simple and elegant design
  • Has good durability
  • Affordable price


  • Not a good choice for the Achilles heel.

Bottom lines

These Brooks Men’s Ghost 13 shoes are sure to get you running at your best. This model delivers great rides and great compartment syndrome support whether you’re on the road or in the gym.

4. New Balance Men’s Nitrel – Best for the breathable mesh material

New Balance Men's Nitrel For Compartment Syndrome

Important specifications

  • Dimensions: 13.15 x 8.27 x 5.12 inches.
  • Insole: Rubber sole
  • All-terrain outsole
  • Upper Material: 50% Fabric, 50% Synthetic

Product’s highlights

New Balance has cleverly researched this shoe model to deliver the exact features you need in your running shoe.

The upper features a breathable mesh material to ensure proper airflow in the shoe. Similarly, the mesh upper is lightweight and flexible for more range of motion.

Moreover, the shoe also has an extra padded collar and tongue to help keep your feet in a smooth state when running.

New Balance Men’s Nitrel V3 also ensures incredible traction and durability compared to any shoe. In contrast, the lightness of the shoe makes it much easier to move.

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  • Guaranteed comfort
  • Economical price
  • Increase traction
  • Has high durability
  • Support for good compartment syndrome


  • The tip of the toe is quite tight

Bottom lines

This type of shoe is a good choice for compartment syndrome. Because the boots are very comfortable and won’t hurt your feet if you have to wear them for a long time. This shoe ensures you get the most out of your energy.

Wearing these shoes will give your feet comfort, stability, and support to keep going for longer distances.

5. ASICS Men’s Gel-Quantum 90 Shoes – Best for Comfort

ASICS Men's Gel-Quantum 90 Shoes For Compartment Syndrome

Important specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 7.8 x 4.7 inches; 2.4 Pounds
  • Insole: Rubber sole
  • Department: Mens
  • Material: Synthetic and mesh

Product’s highlights

The ASICS Gel-Quantum 90 Running Shoe is for those who want to run at their best. These shoes have a thinner and lighter midsole that gives runners a softer feel than ever before.

Featuring the Rearfoot GEL technology cushioning system, these shoes are not only lightweight. But, they’re also exceptionally durable. Wearing Asics helps protect your feet during the most brutal running runs without too much rest.

The ASICS Gel-Quantum 90 Men’s Shoe is a performance running shoe that offers flexibility and durability. They are lightweight because there is extra padding in the middle. This design allows for optimized foot movement. So you will feel more flexible than others on the market.

Lightweight is also one of the most notable highlights of this brand.

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  • Extremely light and durable
  • Features an Ortholite insole.
  • Fits the feet
  • Good for people with compartment syndrome
  • Stable and comfortable shoes


  • Durability can decrease over time
  • Not a minimalist shoe

Bottom lines

The ASICS Men’s Gel-Quantum 90 may not be the best choice, but it is a shoe that offers the most comfort. This is essential for people with compartment syndrome.

6. ALTRA Men’s ALM1953G Superior – Best for Minimalist Design

ALTRA Men's ALM1953G Superior For Compartment Syndrome

Important specifications

  • Stack height: 21mm
  • Weight: 7.9 oz. / 274 g
  • Insole: Rubber sole

Product’s highlights

While these shoes are not barefoot running shoes, they have a zero midsole designed to encourage midfoot movement. The purpose of this is to minimize the pressure exerted on your shins.

The shoe’s midsole cushioning includes a thin layer of Quantum foam. This is to give you better ground control to minimize heel impact. So this Ultra is a minimalist shoe perfect for running on trails where you might encounter rocks, debris, and sharp edges.

The shoe also comes with a woven fabric that fits over its upper to give you a comfortable ride. Both overlays stitch and print combine to provide adequate support and protection for your feet.

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  • Encourage middle leg movement
  • Cushion suitable for running on rough surfaces
  • Good traction
  • Not heavy
  • Breathable, compartment syndrome support


  • The lanyard is quite long

Bottom lines

For those with compartment syndrome, a minimalist shoe is essential. If you do not know which product to choose, this pair of ALTRA Men’s ALM1953G Superior 4 is one of those bright candidates.

7. TSLA Men’s Trail Running Shoes – Best for a flexible feel

TSLA Men's Trail Running Shoes For Compartment Syndrome

Important specifications

  • Dimensions: 11.57 x 6.93 x 3.74 inches; 13.76 Ounces
  • Outsole: Synthetic Rubber
  • Suitable for: Walking, running, training, exercising, jogging, and other sports.

Product’s highlights

The ideal minimalist running shoe for compartment syndrome is none other than the Tesla Men’s Trail. This shoe is more affordable, flatter, and feels more like a slipper than other designs.

The outsole provides a natural feel and helps your feet land wonderfully. These shoes help keep your forefoot securely aligned while protecting your foot from injury. Besides, the sole can protect the bottom of the foot firmly on any terrain.

The Tsla sole also features various cuts and grooves for a lighter, more flexible and agile experience. The upper is a soft and lightweight material that can flex to your foot shape during your run.

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  • Lightweight
  • High ground sensitivity
  • Good price
  • Flexible
  • Enduring


  • Not breathable

Bottom lines

Despite its design with compartment syndrome features, the Tsla isn’t breathable. So, these shoes are ideal for times when temperatures are cooler.

Overall, these shoes are fast enough for racing and are a better choice for runners with compartment syndrome. As they offer a minimalist approach to running.

See more: Best Running Shoes For Hallux Rigidus

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What causes compartment syndrome?

There are many reasons why compartment syndrome occurs in a person. The most common cause is a broken bone that causes severe bleeding and swelling in the leg area.

Other possible reasons include burns, crushing trauma, limb compression, vascular surgery, blood clots, or vigorous exercise.

2. Who is at risk for compartment syndrome?

Everyone is at risk for compartment syndrome. However, chronic compartment syndrome mainly affects male and female athletes under the age of 30. This happens because of the intensity of the workout they do too much.

3. Can I jog with compartment syndrome?

If there’s any good news about compartment syndrome, it’s that the recovery time from surgery is pretty short. You can start cross-training in the pool or on a bike within one to two weeks of surgery (right after the incision heals). And you can return to running in six to eight weeks.

4. Can running shoes help reduce compartment syndrome?

Running shoes for compartment syndrome are a must-have. This is because running shoes for compartment syndrome are usually designed with a single layer of material in the forefoot.

This means they allow your toes to separate more than other footwear like boots or work boots.

This not only reduces the compression and swelling when wearing these shoes, but the nerves that help you feel pain are also reduced.

What’s more, many customers corroborated this product with the numerous feedback. They feel better after just two days of switching to wearing running shoes for compartment syndrome.

5. How to choose the right running shoes for compartment syndrome?

Choosing the right shoes for compartment syndrome is an important, necessary thing that you need to pay attention to. A good pair of shoes will help you run more smoothly and help reduce pain and treat disease extremely effectively.

You should rely on the criteria of a running shoe for compartment syndrome. The specific criteria are as cushioning, anti-slip, flexibility, durability, breathability, narrow heel, and more.

Closing Points

With that, we’ve rounded up the 7 best running shoes for compartment syndrome you should own. We hope the above information will help you to alleviate some of your pain. Hope you find the perfect item for yourself soon!