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Best Running Shoes for Compartment Syndrome

Compartment syndrome is a painful condition that can develop when muscles are squeezed together in an enclosed space. When the pressure becomes too great, it causes pain and sometimes paralysis. The best running shoes for compartment syndrome will either have wide toe boxes or lots of padding to avoid putting pressure on your toes while you run.

For more information about what we think you should wear if you want to stay healthy during your next marathon, see our blog post!

running shoes for compartment syndrome

What Features of Shoe You Need for Compartment Syndrome

Wide toe Box

It is very important to have a shoe with a wide toe box. This will give your toes room so they can move around and not be squished together when you run.


It is also very important that the footbed of your shoes has enough padding for compartment syndrome; it should look like this if you are wearing good running shoes for compartment syndrome.

Narrow Heel Counter:

The best running shoes for compartment syndrome will have a narrow heel counter. This is because people with chronic exertional compartment syndrome often feel discomfort when they run, and putting pressure on the back of their heel can make this pain worse.

Narrow Insole

It should also be very important that your shoe has an insole that is not too wide. This way, you won’t put any extra pressure on your toes while running, which could cause more pain from being cramped together all day long.

Tight Laces

When it comes to what features are needed for the best  compartment syndrome shoes, tight laces might seem like something minor, but if you don’t tie them up correctly, then there’s no point having them at all! You need to

5 Best Running Shoes for Compartment Syndrome


Brooks Men’s Ghost 13 Running Shoe

Brooks Men's, Ghost 13 Running Shoe - Narrow Width

Product features:

This is the perfect shoe for carrying yourself through a marathon – or just a quick jog around the park. The Brooks Men’s Ghost 12 Running Shoe provides you with an ultra-responsive ride that’s light on your feet.

This version of this award-winning series includes enhancements to cushioning and flexibility, plus it scales back its weight enough to be considered fast and efficient underfoot.

It also offers a new tongue design for added comfort as well as sensible updates like being waterproof – courtesy of weather-resistant suede overlays – and offering additional colors.

These Brooks Men’s Ghost 12s Shoes are sure to get you moving, whether you’re on the road or in the gym. Dashing and daring, these shoes have a low heel to toe drop ratio with thick, durable midsole pillars that promote stability and pronation control for even wear across the footbed.

With plush cushioning throughout your foot, smooth textile upper, targeted forefoot flexibility, and high responsiveness, it helps with every step.

It is built for both long-distance barefoot running or forefoot and urban use. This shoe is the perfect match for any fit individual. The soft cushioning system underfoot will keep your feet feeling comfortable as you explore that new city block.

With DNA cushioning and segmented shocks to avoid foot pain, this handsome sneaker will never let you down.

With 3D Fit Print Technology in the upper that helps to mold your foot for a personalized fit, you’ll be able to stay securely in place without worrying about slipping out of your shoes while hitting your stride.


  • Soft cushioning system underfoot
  • Built for long-distance running and urban use
  • With DNA cushioning and segmented shocks to avoid foot
  • A handsome sneaker that will never let you down.


  • It is not a good option for the Achilles heel.


Nike Men’s Revolution 4

Nike Men's Revolution 4 Running Shoe

Product features:

Your feet are always moving. You never know where to go until it slows down. Until that happens, get more miles out of yours with the Nike men’s Revolution 4. This imported shoe has a very smooth and comfortable fit not only on your toes but also between them, thanks to its textile upper.

It’ll provide you with enough support while at the same time staying light without sacrificing durability because its synthetic rubber sole means you don’t have to find anything else outside of work.

Runners who are on their feet for hours or running on varied surfaces will appreciate the Nike men’s Revolution 4 shoes. They’ve been endorsed with design, technology, and durability.

The heel collar gives some extra focus to the Achilles, so your foot is secure. The revolutionary Dynamic Fit system locks down the contours of your foot using a stretchy mesh that’s lightweight yet durable to distribute pressure evenly across every part of your foot.

So whether you’re an elite athlete or someone who needs a responsive and comfortable shoe, these will support anything you put them through!

The Nike men’s Revolution 4 is a running shoe that features extra shock-absorbing padding. If you want to run longer and stronger, get the Nike men’s Revolution 4 in all black with contrasting white accents for a clean look.

You can’t go wrong with this shoe from head to toe box; it has just enough cushioning while still being lightweight and sleek for easy movement. Plus, it’s made up!


  • Lightweight
  • Shock-absorbing padding
  • Low profile
  • Durable
  • Breathable


  • not good for wider feet.


The Nike men’s Revolution is a great running shoe for runners who need extra padding. It’s also made from stretchy mesh that’s lightweight and durable, so it will support your foot no matter what you put it through!


New Balance Men’s Nitrel V3 Trail Running Shoe

New Balance Men's Nitrel V3 Trail Running Shoe

Product features:

The New Balance Men’s Nitrel V3 Trail Running Shoe is redesigned with a sleeker profile and lighter weight than the previous generation for high performance, boosted cushioning, and unbeatable stability you can count on for miles of adventure.

Built from lace-up leather upper to get your step done right. Engineered mesh lining allows water vapor to escape keeping the foot cool/dry while allowing perspiration vapors inside, resulting in maximum comfort.

Breathable and fast-drying mesh tongue keeps mud away from the foot.

Equal parts trail runner and city slicker. These shoes keep your feet firmly rooted in a fusion of the past and future. It has an 8mm drop that’s variable depending on how you use them–whether it be running through tall grass or navigating sidewalk cracks up close to cars.

This shoe is a good choice for chronic exertional compartment syndrome because the shoes are very comfortable, and it would not hurt the person if they were to wear them for a long period of time.


  • Light cushioning is the best option for those with compartment syndrome.
  • Comfortable and stable shoes that fit well without looking like clown shoes.
  • Great arch support, which you really need when your feet are constantly sore from running or walking around on hard surfaces all day long.
  • Good traction on the bottom of your feet, which is something that you really need when running in rainy weather.


  • The shoes are a little bit tight at first, but they loosen up with time and use. It’s recommended to order half a size bigger than usual if you have wide feet or plan to wear thicker socks.


ASICS Men’s Gel Quantum 90 Shoes

ASICS Men's Gel-Quantum 90 Running Shoes

Product features:

ASICS Men’s Gel Quantum 90 Running Shoes are for those who want to run with the best. These shoes feature a thinner and lighter midsole underfoot, which helps give runners a smoother ride than ever before.

With the Rearfoot GEL technology cushioning System, these shoes are not just light; They’re also exceptionally durable!

Shields your foot from harsh impact during the most brutal of activities yet has minimal break-in time. These shoes will last you long!

The all-new ASICS Men’s Gel Quantum 90 Shoes were designed to be a performance running shoe that provides responsiveness, fluidity, and durability. They are lightweight as they have an EVA Midsole with blown rubber in the forefoot for added cushioning you need so much during forefoot strike running.

The Ortholite sockliner is as comfortable and snug on your feet as it is to everybody else when they see you rolling around wide stance in these shiny kicks.


  • Extremely lightweight and durable
  • Has the Ortholite sockliner, which is as comfortable and snug on your feet as it is to everybody else when they see you rolling around wide stance in these shiny kicks.
  • Good for high arches
  • Stability Shoes


  • Might not be the best choice if you’re looking for a minimalist running shoe.
  • The durability might wear down with time, depending on how often the shoes are used and what kind of surface they were run on.


Best for high arches. It has the Ortholite sockliner, which is as comfortable.


Vibram Men’s KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe

Vibram Men's Five Fingers, KSO EVO Crosstraining

Product features:

It is designed for urban explorers, the Vibram men’s KSO EVO cross-training shoe is tough enough to withstand any adventure. It features a durable, lightweight sole with traction that grips both wet and dry surfaces like it’s walking on ball bearings.

These shoes are the stars of any workout. With an optimal balance of traction and durability, they allow athletes to train with confidence on unpredictable terrain. The lightweight design is as flexible as an elite runner with no need for a break-in period.

Vibram Men’s KSO EVO Cross Training Shoe is a sight to behold. With an FRS8 footbed, Ortholite insole, and a Soft Sprint rubber outsole these bad boys boast the perfect balance of stability and comfort so your feet don’t fall victim to compartment syndrome. You’ll be kicking butt on your next workout with this shoe!

It is built with a breathable mesh upper, this latest Men’s Vibram design is ideal for hot weather conditions. The new KSO EVO cross-training shoe protects your foot and gives you all the protection needed while stretching your range of motion in all directions with its dynamic fitting system that includes a stretchy suede polyester


  • Breathable
  • Breathable- Comfortable
  • Breathable- Comfortable- Durable upper materials
  • Free of stinky odor and chemical smells
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable mesh upper


  • Runs a bit small and narrow. Order one size up if you are between sizes.


The shoe is for most people suffering from compartment syndrome. It provides ample room, plenty of cushioning, and superior comfort so your feet don’t ache after a long day on your feet.

What Causes of Compartment Syndrome?

compartment syndrome
  • Compartment syndrome is caused by an increased pressure in the muscles, which pushes against the nerves and damages them.
  • This condition can develop when a muscle or group of muscles swells as it tries to heal after inflammation.
  • The swelling squeezes the blood vessels that supply these muscles with essential nutrients and oxygen so they cannot function properly, resulting in compartment syndrome.

Types of compartment syndrome 

Acute Compartment Syndrome:

The most common type of compartment syndrome is acute compartment syndrome, which develops suddenly and often results from injury or heavy activity.

Acute compartment syndrome can be caused by a fall on the outstretched hand that breaks a bone (especially in the wrist), pressure to any part of the body due to an accident or surgery, tight casts that restrict swelling, severe muscle strains or injuries such as quadriceps contusion.

Symptoms Include:

  • Pain at rest;
  • Numbness if nerves are affected;
  • Decreased range of motion because muscles cannot contract fully
  • Usually with no other symptoms present when it first starts

Chronic Compartment Syndrome:

This less frequent form may develop over time without any clear cause and typically does not result from trauma. Chronic compartment syndrome affects mostly elderly people.

Symptoms May Include:

  • Gradual pain and ache in the affected aterior compartment that worsens with activity;
  • Swelling, tenderness, or loss of sensation over time as more fluid builds up inside the compartment;
  • A pinched nerve from too much pressure on a specific nerve branch due to swelling within one of the compartments.

Some people experience chronic symptoms without ever having acute ones first (known as “overlap syndrome”) but they are less frequent than those who have had an episode before.

If you suffer from chronic pains and numbness when resting, then it’s best to see your doctor for diagnosis because this could be caused by other serious medical conditions like diabetes or even cancer.

Compartment Syndrome Signs and Symptoms:

  • Pain in the affected compartment
  • Swelling and tightness of muscular tissue
  • Skin induration or erythema (hardening) around the involved area, which may be accompanied by a loss of hair over that area.
  • (in severe cases) Decreased sensation to touch on the skin surface near the inflamed muscle.

Late Sign of Compartment Syndrome:

  • Difficulty or inability to flex the muscles
  • Numbness and tingling in the skin near the affected area, which can progress into the numbness of the entire extremity with time.

How Can You Prevent Compartment Syndrome?

  • Limit the use of that particular muscle in the affected compartment.
  • Avoid compression garments unless prescribed by a doctor. Compression can worsen symptoms and may lead to tightness and pain around the muscles involved with compartment syndrome.
  • Avoid strenuous activity that might lead to an increase of pressure in the affected compartment.

Can Running Shoes Help Compartment Syndrome?

Excercises for compartment syndrome
  • Lay a towel on the floor and lie down with your back flat against it. Lift both of your legs up to 90 degrees, hold for 15 seconds then lower them again. Repeat this three times.
  • Sit in an armless chair or stool while you extend one leg out straight in front of you at shoulder height so that the foot can’t touch the ground (keep internal rotation).
  • While holding onto something stable such as a computer desk or countertop, slowly bend knee towards the chest until thigh is parallel to floor and then return to start position by extending opposite leg gently off chair/stool. Perform four sets of ten repetitions each day but be sure not to overdo it!

Can Running Shoes Help Compartment Syndrome?

Yes! Running shoes are a must if you suffer from compartment syndrome.
This is because running shoes typically have only one layer of material in the forefoot area, which means they allow your toes to spread apart more than other types of footwear such as boots or dress shoes.

So not only will compression and swelling be reduced by wearing these types of footwear, but also nerve endings that help you feel pain will get some relief too. What’s more, many people report feeling better after just two days with their new pair of running shoes on!

If this doesn’t sound like a good enough reason to make the switch, then consider this: when it comes time for Sports Medicine doctors or podiatrists (those experts who treat foot conditions)

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Run Through Compartment Syndrome?

Compartment syndrome is a condition in which pressure inside the muscles, nerves, or blood vessels of an arm or leg creates swelling.

The diagnosis of compartment syndrome requires that the diagnosis be made by a medical professional who has experience with this type of injury.

It usually involves compressing the nerve and tissue on one side of the body to reduce pressure. A doctor may need to inject steroids into the area to control inflammation and relieve symptoms.

If not treated, it can result in permanent muscle damage, loss of function, amputation, or death.

Can Compression Socks Help Compartment Syndrome?

Compression socks can help with the symptoms of compartment syndrome but are not a cure.

Compression socks can provide pain relief and decrease swelling in the affected leg, which is a sign that there is too much pressure on the muscles in your lower leg. Compression socks also allow you to continue exercising, even if it means continuing to do gentle activities like walking or swimming.

There are some benefits of compression socks over other methods of treatment:
• They are very affordable, making them accessible for everyone.
• You don’t have to wear them all day long; they’re just meant to be worn during exercise or while sleeping at night when you need them most.

Is Walking Bad for Compartment Syndrome?

Compartment syndrome is a condition in which pressure inside the muscles and nerves of a compartment leads to reduced blood flow, which can cause pain, numbness, muscle weakness, and loss of function.

Walking can lead to this condition as it causes increased pressure on the legs. This is why walking should be avoided for people with compartment syndrome unless there are other risk factors that need treatment first.

Does Ice Help Compartment Syndrome?

It depends on the individual, but there are many who find that ice helps reduce pain and swelling in the affected area. Ice can be applied to a swollen joint or limb to decrease inflammation, which can help with pain relief.


Compartment syndrome is a condition that can affect the body’s muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. It happens when the pressure in certain areas of the body becomes too high for tissues to function properly, causing pain or damage to those areas.

There are many things you can do to help prevent this from happening while running from wearing appropriate footwear with adequate cushioning and support, among other features, to training at an appropriate distance and intensity level.

Our pick for the best running shoes for compartment syndrome is the Brooks Men’s Ghost 12 Running shoe because it has met all of these criteria as well as providing excellent arch support, which helps keep your feet feeling comfortable throughout your run.