IMO Skechers Tubes are not proper running shoes. They're very squishy and unsupportive. You say you're a heavy runner? Unless you have perfect biomechanics and gait your ankles could be put under a lot of pressure running in these shoes....
I would definitely say, so did you! I first developed shinsplints eight years after taking up running and four years after running my first marathon. Not quite a beginner. I do mostly ultras now, and I don't wear calf guards all the time while running, just during races and on particularly long or tough training runs. Because if I don't, I know from experience that my shins will be niggling the next day. So I think I'll stick with my assertion that they definitely help with my shinsplints.
I love my foam roller and wouldn't be without it. That and my tennis ball/golf ball for targeting calves, soles and piriformis. Generally use them every couple of days for 10 mins at a time but every few weeks I have a monster session and spend a couple of hours with them ironing out all my tight bits and niggles.
I didn't notice but my boyfriend pointed out to me that each time I have beat him in a race or set a new PB, it's always been within a few days of one of these long sessions. Easing off all my tight bits seems to make me run much faster!