Can New Shoes Cause Calf Pain When You Wear It?

Last week, my uncle bought a new shoe, quite an investment it was. Yesterday, he was whining about the pain of wearing that shoe.

Now, being as big as investment shoes are, it can be heartbreaking to feel pain when wearing your new shoe. Like my uncle, many people have experienced calf pain when wearing a new pair. So, obviously, it raises a question, can new shoes cause calf pain?

The answer is both yes and no. Some shoes are harder to break into, causing calf pain, whereas others don’t. Other issues that may cause calf pain are fittings, heels, or materials. Often your existing upset nerve or muscle tear can cause sharp pulling-like pain. Sometimes weak muscles cause it too.

Stay with us to know more about calf pain due to wearing your new shoes, the other causes, and how to manage it.

Can New Shoes Cause Calf Pain? – Learn The Reasons To Resolve

can new shoes cause calf pain

New shoes are often stiff and rigid. With this, many shoes need a break-in before getting a comfortable shoe. So, it is most likely that new shoes may cause pain in your calves, feet, and ankles.

However, there can be several reasons for this. Sometimes your shoe’s fit or the material creates the pain. But mostly, it is due to the shoe not being broken into yet.

Another reason for calf pain is the heel of the shoe. Flatter shoes are known to cause sharp pain in the calf. It changes your gesture and puts more pressure on your muscle, and your calves get overworked, leading to pain.

Sometimes other factors may cause calf pain rather than new shoes. You may have upset a nerve, causing your calves to ache. It often happens when you are running. If the pain is not your usual calf pain but something sharp and hurts a lot, it is most likely you have injured a nerve.

Furthermore, muscle tear pain can also feel like calf pain. Both have a similar sharp pulling-like pain and often cause some swelling.

Several Reasons For Calf Pain

Yes, it’s true; your new shoe can cause calf pain. However, it’s not the only instigating issue. Several other reasons may trigger the pain. These include-

  • Wearing new shoes.
  • Tight muscles.
  • A pull on a muscle or tendon.
  • A strained tendon.
  • Weak feet muscle.
  • Weak leg muscle.

Reasons That Rarely Cause Calf Pain

We know what may cause your calf pain. However, people tend to worry about a health issue, guessing the worse first, where they may rarely create the issues.

So, here are some issues that may not cause your pain.

  • In case of injury, it could be nerve pain rather than calves.
  • Diabetes will never cause calf pain.
  • Infection is one of the least likely reasons to cause calf pain.
  • Problems with your arteries.

Can New Running Shoes Cause Calf Pain?

Can New Running Shoes Cause Calf Pain

Your running shoes are one of your most crucial belonging as an athlete. And it is necessary to pair a new pair of running shoes now and then to maintain feet safety and hygiene.

However, wearing new running shoes is most likely to cause sharp pain from the midway of your calves to the foot. It happens if the new shoe is too different from the one you used before.

For example, wearing a shoe with soft cushioning, whereas your older shoe has a firm one, may cause calf pain. It would take time for your body to adapt to the changes and get used to the new one.

Furthermore, changes in the heel of your running shoes will also cause calf pain. It is because most athletes go for high-heel-drop shoes as they have more cushioning. If you go for a different one with lower cushioning, it will apply excessive pressure on your calves leading to severe calf pain.

Tips To Reduce Calf Pain On New Running Shoes

Here are 3 tips to help you reduce calf pain caused by new running shoes over time.

  • Change your running technique to align your shoes with better cushioning.
  • We recommend running a mile or two every day; so that your feet get used to the new shoe.
  • Try using orthotic inserts.

Do Flatter Shoes Cause Calf Pain?

Do Flatter Shoes Cause Calf Pain

It is one of the most common and unspoken reasons behind calf pain. Most runners are buying minimalistic shoes that claim they can make you run faster but give you nothing but calf pain.

Regular running shoes have a heel-to-toe drop, which gives you an idea of how higher your heel is than your toe. Standard running shoes have heel drops ranging from 12 degrees to 6 degrees. Whereas these minimalistic shoes have a 0-degree flat heel-toe-drop.

Now, it is very harmful because flatter shoes put more pressure on your feet. As mentioned above, it also changes your running (including your posture, alignment, and technique).

All these result in extreme stress on your calves, thus making them sore and overworked. Which will, later on, cause calf pain.

Do not worry; just because there are so many issues with flat shoes does not mean you can never use them. Here are some tips for transitioning from heeled shoes to flatter shoes.

1. Slow and Steady

It’s always best to go slow. Don’t overwork or overstress your feet in the flat shoes. Transition slowly by taking short runs every day. We recommend going on walks daily to make your body gets used to the new shoes.

2. Workout Helps

As flat shoes will be applying more pressure and stress onto your calves, some leg workout sessions to strengthen your muscles will significantly help. Strengthening your calf muscles will allow you to run more or apply more stress on it without it aching too much.

3. Avoid Blending

Lastly, if you are trying to transition to flat shoes; we recommend using them throughout the day. Do not use a mixture of flat and heeled shoes. If you want to adjust to flat shoes quickly, it is crucial to use them at all times.

What Shoes To Use If You Have Calf Pain?

What Shoes To Use If You Have Calf Pain

Well, if you ask us for our recommendation, we suggest buying shoes with a lot of cushioning. It will give your feet the most comfort and relief from joint pains. A well-cushioned shoe is ideal for reducing the built-up strain on your calves.

Now, you may ask why a well-cushioned shoe for calf pain?

A well-cushioned shoe will absorb the shock of impact when walking or running. It will reduce calves’ stress, reducing calf pain in the long run.

However, remember that even if you buy a well-cushioned shoe, you are still most likely to get calf pain or muscle stretch if you run without proper stretching. Make sure to stretch before and after running to ensure you don’t injure yourself.

However, what shoes are well-cushioned? Don’t stress too much; we are here to help.

Here are 5 well-cushioned shoes we recommend that you can wear to manage or avoid calf pain.



1.Gravity Defyer Men’s G-Defy Orion Athletic Shoes

  • Ethylene Vinyl Acetate sole
  • VersoShock Technology
  • Extremely Light
  • High breathability and flexibility.
  • Removable insoles
  • Calf Nubuck leather
  • Rocker sole for pain relief

  2. New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam Arishi V3 Running Shoe

  • Rubber Sole
  • Engineered to provide ultra-cushion and lightweight
  • Breathability and comforting fit
  • Highly Durable
  • Stylish.

3. Skechers Men’s GOrun Motion-Performance Athletic Running & Walking Shoe Running

  • Ethylene Vinyl Acetate Sole
  • Skecher’s well-designed cushions are made for the gym, running, etc.
  • Ultra go cushioning
  • Athletic mesh fiber upper
  • Air cooled Goga mat insole
  • Ortholite.

4. Saucony Women’s Cohesion 13 Running Shoe

  • Synthetic and mesh
  • Rubber sole
  • Grid technology for shock absorption
  • VersaFoam cushioning
  • Provides maximum comfort
  • Durable rubber outsoles are suitable for tough workouts.

5. New Balance Men’s Fresh Foam 1080 V11 Running Shoe

  • Synthetic and mesh
  • Synthetic Sole
  • Fresh Foam midsole
  • Made to provide maximum cushioning.
  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Supportive fit
  • Ortholite sockliner
  • Ultra heel design.

Tips To Prevent And Treat Calf Pain

Tips To Prevent And Treat Calf Pain

We all know calf pain can be excruciating. That sharp pain can leave your legs sore and in severe agony. Calf pain can occur for several reasons, such as ruptured tendons, flat feet, or ill-fitted shoes.

However, with the problem comes a solution, and for this problem, here are some tips you can follow to prevent or treat calf pain.


Use lifts. No, we do not mean lifts that get you to different building floors, but heel lifts that ease stress on your tendons and muscles.

Heel lifts can be found in your local athletic shoe store and are ideal if an injury causes your calf pain.

Rice(Rest, Ice, Compression, And Elevation)

These are the four horsemen of recovery if you want to eliminate that calf pain once and all.

  • After an injury, rest your calves for at least the first day or two.
  • Then apply ice on the areas that ache for 20 minutes every 2 to 3 hours.
  • If possible, compress the leg with an elastic bandage and elevate it above your head level.
  • Furthermore, if you like, you can apply a hot water bag or bottle to the injury after the first 72 hours.
  • Continue following these steps till recovery.

Arch Support

Arch support is another crucial factor for recovery. We recommend using arch support inside your shoes to help correct the mechanical imbalances that occur when you walk. It will reduce the pressure on your calves and promote further recovery.

Pamper Your Calves

If you haven’t had an injury yet, your calves hurt; maybe it is because of the footwear you are using or due to overworking. Try changing into a better pair of well-cushioned running shoes and massage your calves as often as possible. It reduces the built-up stress and decreases the pain.


  • Can shoes cause calf pain?

Wearing the wrong footwear can lead to calf pain. The common reasons for calf pain are overexertion, wearing a shoe that is not perfectly fit, and being on your feet for long hours.

  • Can new shoes cause calf tightness?

Yes, it is possible. Calf tightness is usually caused when your feet experience movement; it is not used to. For example, if you had heeled running shoes and suddenly shifted to flat shoes, you may feel calf tightness. Do not worry; it is temporary and will go away with proper care and time.

  • Can changing shoes cause leg pain?

Sometimes yes, it does. It is usually because either the shoe is not broken into or is different and unfit from the shoe you were wearing. If it is because of the shoe, then we recommend changing it, and if it is due to it being not broken into yet. The pain should go away over time.

  • What does calf pain indicate?

It usually indicates a mild injury or strain on your calves. Which will recover on its own with time and care. However, if the pain is too severe and lasts for a long time, it is essential to seek medical help.

Take Away

So can new shoes cause calf pain? Yes, it can, and the pain can be due to several reasons. But in most cases, it is because of wearing the wrong footwear rather than an injury. So it is important to choose footwear that fits perfectly and is not too different from your previous pair.

However, if you are transitioning into a different type of shoe, the pain will be temporary and go away quickly if you follow the tips and tricks we mentioned above.

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