Shin splints are often the price most of us have to pay for working our shin bones for too long. One of the best ways to get fast relief is by rolling.
A shin splints foam roller is designed to burst out the knots on your shins, promoting healing on the affected area.
Choosing the best foam roller for shin splints from the thousands on the market can be a bit tricky. But, we’ve got your back. In this review we look at 7 rollers that will give you the results you desire. We also cover how to foam roll shin splints and the mistakes to avoid. Let’s get started:
3 Best Rollers for shin splints at a Glance
Hollow cylinders roller offers more pressure than a fully cylinder roller!
Top 7 Foam Rollers for Shin Splints in 2019: Buyer’s Guide
- 1. PowerPro 2-in-1 Foam Rollers
- 2. TriggerPoint STK Handheld Foam Roller
- 3. Day 1 Fitness High Density Foam Roller
- 4. Rollga Genesis Fascial Foam Roller
- 5. TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller
- 6. NextRoller 3-Speed Vibrating Foam Roller – Best vibrating foam roller
- 7. 321 Strong Foam Roller
- Buyer’s Guide – How to buy the best foam rollers for shin splints
- Mistakes to avoid while rolling your shins
1. PowerPro 2-in-1 Foam Rollers
- Size: 24 inch foam roller
The PowerPro 2-in-1 foam rollers are our first pick. We like these rollers because of 2 reasons. One, the high-quality construction and unique design. Two, you get two rollers at the price of one.
Roller number one is features a smooth surface. This roller is ideal for beginners. It offers a gentle massage to the affected area. This smooth roller measures 24 inches which is long enough to roll your shins.
The second outer roller is a high density roller that ideal for experienced athletes. This roller comes with striations that match human fingers. It is designed to give a more concentrated massage. It also measures 24 inches and helps heal shin splints.
Both rollers are made from EVA foam. This material is sturdy and durable. You can be assured your rollers will maintain their shape. And to add a cherry on top, you get a free 17-page ebook to guide on how to use the foam rollers.
√ Both rollers are anti-bacterial and waterproof
√ Comes with a convenient carry bag
√ The smooth roller fits perfectly into the other roller, making transportation easier
× The other contoured roller is too hard for beginners
× Roller short compared to other rollers
2. TriggerPoint STK Handheld Foam Roller
- Size: 19.5 inches foam roller
- Weight: 0.75 lb
If you are looking for a handheld option, consider the TriggerPoint STK Foam Roller. It features a unique, flexible (hour glass) design. This design enables it to wrap around your shin and compress it as you roll.
It also features different sized wheels that efficiently roll across muscles. This in turn helps improve blood circulation and relieve soreness.
Its slim handles allow you to control the amount of pressure applied to your shins. You can also use your TriggerPoint Handheld foam roller on:
- Upper back
- Lower back
√ Travel friendly – Weighs just 0.75 pounds and measures 19.5 inches, allowing you to pack it into your carry-on luggage or backpack.
√ Comes with a one year warranty
√ Can be used when seated or standing which is convenient for most athletes.
√ More flexible compared to traditional massage sticks
× Not ideal for rolling the neck. For this we recommend the LuxFit roller
3. Day 1 Fitness High Density Foam Roller
- Size: 12-inch, 18-inch, 24-inch, 36-inch
- Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Weight limit: 300 lbs
Boasting of its ability to burst out even the toughest knots, the Day 1 Fitness Foam roller is a high performing roller that is ideal for both beginners and seasoned athletes. It is available in 4 different sizes:
- 12 inch foam roller that is ideal for small group of muscles
- 18 inch foam roller that is best for hamstrings and calf muscles
- 24 inch foam roller designed for rolling the back
- 36 inch foam roller best for pilates
For this review we will focus on 18-inch roller. The Day1 Fitness 18-inch roller is a muscle roller designed to trigger your body’s healing response. It is made of EPP foam. This material is sturdy and does not break or bend easily. EPP is also spill-resistant.
This 18 inch foam roller is able to give you a deep tissue massage, allowing you to recover from shin splints. Apart for treating your shins, you can use it to treat conditions such as plantar fasciitis, release toxin build-up from your body, and correct spinal abnormalities.
√ Made in the USA. So you are assured of its quality.
√ Measures 18 inches long and 6 inches thick which makes it ideal for travel
√ Helps stabilize your core, enabling you to get those abs
√ Available in several colors
× Does not come with instructions
4. Rollga Genesis Fascial Foam Roller
- Size: 18 inches foam roller
- Weight: 9 ounces
Now to a very unique pick on our list, an award winner in the Runner’s World Magazine, the Rollga Genesis Foam roller. The first thing you will notice is its unique design.
I must admit the first time I saw it I kind of thought, “Does it really work?” The simple answer is yes as evidenced by the thousands of positive reviews from its users.
Well, Rollga understands our bodies have curves and for this reason they constructed the Genesis foam roller to conform to the curves on the human body. This roller features an innovative design that enables to work on the muscles alone, avoiding contact with bones.
The Genesis foam roller features three zones. Zone 1 and 3 mirrors the thumbs and fingers of a massage therapist while zone 2 mimics an elbow massage. This roller works by enhancing blood flow to your shins. This in turn brings the regeneration of new tissue in the affected area, allowing you to recover from shin splints.
√ Avoids contact with your tibia
√ Easy to transport. Comes with a carry strap
√ Made from EPP foam and does not lose shape
√ Comes with a app to guide you through the exercises
× Takes time to get used to its shape
× Comes in one size only
5. TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller
- Size: 13 inch foam roller
- Weight: 1 pound
- Weight limit: 500 pounds
Let’s admit it: most of us are crazy about Trigger Point Performance products, most especially their rollers. So, it’s only natural to include at least 2 of their products on our list.
The TriggerPoint Grid Foam Roller comes highly recommended by massage therapists, coaches, and athletes.
It is designed to aid in muscle recovery and pain relief. Unlike other rollers like the LuxFit, the TP Grid features a surface with grooves. These grooves are designed to mirror the hands of a massage therapist. This allows you to apply different amounts of pressure on your shins.
The multi-density exterior is constructed over a hollow core. This innovative design is only found in TriggerPoint roller. It allows the roller to be lightweight and easy to transport.
The TriggerPoint Grid roller is made from high-quality, sturdy material so it won’t break or loose shape easily. It can handle up to 500 pounds.
This roller will help burst out knots from your shins, improve blood circulation, and help you recover from injuries. You can also use it on your back, neck and quads.
√ Perfect for stretching painful neck muscles
√ Can withstand long-term use without breaking or losing shape
√ Ideal for people of all ages
× Its popularity comes with some drawbacks, one of them being imitations. To avoid buying knockoffs, ensure your roller has a TriggerPoint logo on top, comes with a patent label, and exercise instructions.
6. NextRoller 3-Speed Vibrating Foam Roller – Best vibrating foam roller
- Size: 13 inch foam roller – 6 inches diameter
- Weight: 3 pounds
- Intensity levels: 3
Vibrating foam rollers are designed to work two times faster than standard rollers. This enables you to recover faster. The NextRoller vibrating foam roller is one of the best vibrating foam rollers on the market. It features a multi-density surface that mimics the hand of a massage therapist.
You get 3 intensity levels; low, medium, and high. Each level gives you a deeper myfascial release than the previous level.
NextRoller Vibrating Foam roller comes with a charger. When fully charged, it will give you up to two hours of continuous use.
√ Comes with a handle for easy transportation
√ Has a rotary knob that helps you adjust its frequency
√ 13 inch length enough to cover other parts of your body
× Costlier that standard rollers but worth every penny you will spend on it
7. 321 Strong Foam Roller
- Size: 13 inch foam roller
- Weight: 1 pound
- Weight limit: 500 lb
Our next selection is a roller that is designed to add some pop to your rolling routine. It also works perfectly to relieve paint associated with shin splints.
This budget foam roller is popular among runners, swimmers, crossfit athletes, and more. It features ridges and bumps which are rigid enough to give you a deep tissue massage.
It is made from EVA foam which is durable. You can use your 321 foam roller before workouts to increase flexibility and post workout to decrease muscle soreness. With this roller shin splints will be a thing of the past.
√ Easy to clean and travel friendly
√ Has 3 massage zones that provide varying degree of pressure
√ Durable. Made from 100% EVA foam
× Closed on both ends unlike TriggerPoint rollers
How to foam roll shin splints
One of the reasons I love foam rolling is because I can do it indoors or outdoors. Here is a simple video that shows how best to use a foam roller on your shins
Buyer’s Guide – How to buy the best foam rollers for shin splints
If you are still undecided on which roller to pick from our list, here is a short guide that explains more on what to look for when shopping for a foam roller for shin splints.
- Size: Foam rollers sizes mostly range from 12” to 36”. We recommend you pick a size that can roll not only your shins but your back too. An 18-inch roller is a great pick.
- Surface type: Foam rollers come with different types of surfaces. The most common surface types are smooth, grid, and ridges. A roller with a smooth surface is ideal for targeting large surfaces such as back. However it does not provide a deep tissue massage. A roller with ridges is ideal for giving deep tissue massage. Our recommendation is a roller that provides 3 different zones like the TriggerPoint Grid Roller. It has a smooth zone that mimics a palm massage, a zone with tiny ridges that mirror a thumbs massage, and a tubular zone that mimics finger massage. Your shins will get the best massages from one roller.
- Portability: Do you want to travel with your roller? The answer to this question determines the type of roller you will get. Personally, I prefer to carry my own roller to the gym. Yes, my gym has some rollers but I don’t playing Russian roulette with my health. This study drives the point home. If you are like me, get a portable foam roller. Rollga foam roller and NextRoller are a great option.
- Exterior hardness: Most foam rollers are made using EVA foam. The exterior of a roller can be soft or really stiff depending on the manufacturer. For beginners, we recommend you start with a soft roller. Here are some great examples.
Remember, it is important to contract and relax your muscles while foam rolling
Mistakes to avoid while rolling your shins
Here are some mistakes to avoid when foam rolling
- Rolling directly on the affected area: Shin splints are often as a result of force on your shin bone and the tissues around it. Rolling directly to the shin may increase the inflammation. If you are experiencing pain from shin splints, roll the back of your legs. If you want to avoid shin splints, roll both the front and back of your legs.
- Rolling fast: When rolling, your aim is to eliminate every kink and knot. This means that your movements have to be slow and more concentrated.
- Rolling for too long: We recommend you roll each leg for under 5 minutes. See, rolling one area for too long could lead to tissue or nerve damage. Now, we don’t want that, right?
Shin Splints Foam Rolling FAQs
1. Can a foam roller help shin splints?
Still doubting the power of a foam roller? Well, don’t. There are other exercises that can help you with shin splints but shin splints foam rolling still carries the day.
2. What size foam roller for shin splints?
We recommend you pick a high-quality foam roller that measures between 13 inches and 24 inches. Any roller within this range is big enough to foam roll shin splints and you can still use it on other parts of your body. Also, consider if you want to travel with your roller. If you are planning to travel with it, consider a hollow roller such as the TriggerPoint roller from the list above.
If you are like me, you can attest that shin pain is the most horrible pain you can get on your feet. It’s horrible. Foam rolling your shins is one of the best ways to relieve shin pain. It also helps increase your flexibility and mobility, reducing the risk of getting injured when working out.
The guide above covers some of the best foam rollers for shin splints. You can go for the handheld option, the vibrating option, or the standard option. I recommend you go with the TriggerPoint Grid Foam roller. It features a solid construction, is lightweight and will burst out the kinks and knots on your shins.
Last update on 2019-05-31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API