For an athlete, a bad knee or knee pain does not have to mean the end of your hobby. This is not when you can get the right shoes for easing your pains as you run or train. With the best running shoes for bad knees, you can continue doing what you do best which is running.
We have, therefore, put up a review and a buying guide of 8 of the best shoes that would meet your needs.
- 1 The Importance of having the Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees!
- 2 What to Consider when Picking the Right Shoes for Bad Knees
- 3 Top 10 Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees Reviews 2021
- 4 For Men
- 4.1 1. New Balance Men’s 510v3 Trail Running Shoe
- 4.2 Overview
- 4.3 Features
- 4.4 Pros
- 4.5 Cons
- 4.6 2. ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe
- 4.7 Overview
- 4.8 Features
- 4.9 Pros
- 4.10 Cons
- 4.11 3. ONEMIX Men’s Lightweight Air Cushion Sport Running Shoes
- 4.12 Overview
- 4.13 Features
- 4.14 Pros
- 4.15 Cons
- 4.16 4. New Balance Men’s Fresh Foam 1080v7 Running Shoe
- 4.17 Overview
- 4.18 Features
- 4.19 Pros
- 4.20 Cons
- 5 For Women
- 5.1 1. Saucony Women’s Cohesion 9 Running Shoe
- 5.2 Overview
- 5.3 Features
- 5.4 Pros
- 5.5 Cons
- 5.6 2. NIKE Women’s Revolution 3 Running Shoe
- 5.7 Overview
- 5.8 Features
- 5.9 Pros
- 5.10 Cons
- 5.11 3. Brooks Addiction 12 for Women
- 5.12 Overview
- 5.13 Features
- 5.14 Pros
- 5.15 Cons
- 5.16 4. Hoka One One Women’s Gaviota Running Shoe
- 5.17 Overview
- 5.18 Features
- 5.19 Pros
- 5.20 Cons
- 6 Conclusion
The Importance of having the Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees!
Those who usually engage in running exercises, either as a sport or as a means of keeping fit recognize the toll it takes on the body. That is why some runners refer to it as both a traumatic and energetic type of sport.
In as much as running is effective in achieving fitness levels, it can also contribute to a degradation of your health. Running puts a lot of stress on your feet, legs and the knee joints. If you already have an inherent knee problem or pain, then you need to carefully consider your options.
Once your doctor clears you fit to run on your bad knee, then you need a specific type of shoes to eliminate the stress felt at the knee joint. Ordinary Running shoes will not do it for you, even for those not looking to be professional runners.
If you normally feel some sort of swelling, stiffness, popping noises, instability, fever or find it hard to flex and straighten the knee, then you need the best shoes for your condition. Here are some of the reasons why it’s important to invest in the best running shoes for bad knees.
- They provide adequate arch support
- These shoes offer cushioning against foot strike impact forces
- Prevents further injuries on the knee
- Minimizes the pressure on the knees
- Their midsoles provide substantial cushioning
- Improves your athletic performances
Basically, running shoes for bad knees must provide your feet with three things: Adequate support, protection, and cushioning.
What to Consider when Picking the Right Shoes for Bad Knees
When going out to buy the right shoes for your needs, there are certain features that you need to look out for. Otherwise, you might end up with shoes that might worsen your knee joint pains or swelling in the process.
1. Shoe Stability and Support
Some of the knee problems come about due to an improper balance in the running shoes. To get the right kind of support from the new shoes, you need to use the current ones as your basis. Is it too much or too little? Using this information, you can then work out the amount you need.
Fortunately, the shoes we have included in this review all have adequate support and stability to prevent rolling of the knee as you run around.
2. The Category of Runners you Fall into
You have to make this determination before you buy any type of running shoes, regardless of whether you have a bad knee or not. Choosing the wrong type of shoes aggravates an already existing knee situation further.
In this category, there are basically three types of foot conditions. The amount of support you would need is actually dependent on these.
This condition refers to the natural tendency of the foot to roll excessively inwards. People with this condition are referred to as overpronators. Such rolling tendencies put too much pressure on the knee joint.
If you fall into this category, look for shoes with a hard or thick material at the arch point to counter the rolling effects. Stability is ensured in the process.
It is the tendency of the foot to roll outwards when you are running. Less stability is needed in this case as it exaggerates the condition.
For these running shoes, you need those labeled as neutral shoes. To protect your knees, look for those shoes with extra cushioning material, more so if you run on a trail with lots of uneven surfaces.
In this review, we will mostly give preference to how comfortable the shoes feel when worn. Let’s face it, you will not run too far with stiff shoes on your feet. The cushioning system in the shoes should be satisfactory.
If possible, try out the shoes and see how snug and good you feel with them on. Comfortable shoes translate to less pain on your knee as you run.
With a bad knee, you will want to minimize the chances of you slipping as much as possible. It is why you would need a pair of shoes with the right kind of grip on the running surfaces. To some extent, traction determines how stable a pair of shoes is.
Look for running shoes with multi-directional treads on the outsole. Certain materials such as rubber also guarantee proper traction with the ground.
It does not have much to do with bad knees, but breathability is critical for running shoes/footwear. The best choice has to have a mechanism of circulating air inside the shoes efficiently to cool it off.
Either look for one with a meshed construction or a textile lining which wicks moisture away. Accumulation of moisture inside the shoes makes them pretty uncomfortable to wear.
6. Fit and Durability
Every pair of shoes is made to conform to a specific type of feet, which greatly impacts on the fit. Give special attention to your feet’s needs such as heel space, toe box size, and the snug fit of the shoes. If you have wide feet, ensure there is enough room for your toes to splay properly in.
Good shoes need to properly fit and conform to the shape of the feet. They shouldn’t constrict the natural behavior and movements of each foot. The lack of these accumulates to more pain on your knees.
In addition, your comfortable shoes need not fall apart after a couple of running sessions. The sole needs to be durable enough not to peel off and the seams should not wear too. Look for a pair of shoes with a rugged construction for an assurance of durability.
Top 10 Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees Reviews 2021
The New Balance 510V3 trail running shoes are great options when shopping for running shoes for those with bad knees. The shoes feature designs meant to absorb shock while your feet land on the ground while being comfortable at the same time.
With a shaft height of about 3 inches from the shoe arch, these shoes provide your ankles with sufficient protection from external elements. It has a rubber sole which is great for providing traction and shock absorption when running. This feature is essential when you are out on a trail.
An Injection molded ethylene vinyl acetate midsole gives the shoes an added amount of stability, as well as shock absorption. It works together with the rubber sole to prevent landing forces from being transferred to your painful or sore knees.
This ethyl vinyl acetate midsole and a Polyurethane sock liner ensure you stay comfortable. Secure fit and protection from exterminates are enabled through the use of an upper mesh lined with overlays. The result is a lightweight pair of shoes that does not weigh down your knees.
- PU sock liner
- IM EVA midsole
- Rubber sole
- 3” shaft
- Upper mesh
- Leather upper body
- Weighs 12.2 ounces
- Great traction
- Good stability
- Comfortable upper mesh
- Fits great
- Versatile for everyday use
- Superior arch support
- Moderate breathability
- Available in a wide variety of colors
- Durable construction
- Finding the right size is hard
- Quality control is poor at times
- Only meant for men
With a redesigned upper and a new type of midsole, the ASICS Men’s Gel Venture 6 is another option that I think you might love. When on a trail, the sole and midsole deliver adequate shock absorbing capabilities. This protection is great when you have an array of knee issues.
Your routine runs benefit greatly from the one-piece and rugged outsole. With lugs fitted in multiple directions, the design allows for better traction, hence slippage resistance. Moreover, the construction consists of a synthetic material and a toe bumper stitched downwards. These are included to offer your feet protection, comfort, and perfect fit.
As your feet lands on the ground, the resulting impact is countered by a rearfoot Gel Cushioning system. The system attenuates the shock, allowing for a smoother transition to a midstance as you land. In return, the shock waves do not reach your bad knee and worsen the pain.
A removable sock liner in the shoes can be removed if need be. You can then replace it with a medical orthotic to improve your feet functionality. Another great feature found on the outsole is the addition of high abrasion rubber on specific susceptible parts for durability.
- Removable sock liner
- Rubber sole
- Low top from the arch shaft
- Gel cushioning system
- Trail-specific outsole
- High abrasion rubber reinforced outsole
- Reinforced outsole for durability
- Removable sock liner
- Adequate traction down and uphill
- Durable synthetic construction
- Toe bumper keeps you safe from knocks
- Wide enough for those with wide feet
- Great value for the price
- Takes time to break into
- Not so versatile for long hikes
Fitted with a 360-air cushioning system, this pair of running shoes is one that you might consider if you have any type of knee complications. It is a design which helps to reduce the chances of foot rolling (overpronation). In effect, knee pains are reduced.
Another feature, the soft deodorant insole gives the shoes added cushioning that minimizes the amount of pressure felt by the knee joint. On the outside is an outsole made from waffle rubber. It is a form of soft, yet durable material that maximizes on the traction the shoes generates.
When you buy this pair of running shoes, you get extra accessories to better your track experience. There is a free pair of high-quality socks and an extra shoelace. On the shoe upper is a meshed synthetic construction which creates a breathable and comfortable wearing on hot days.
- Rubber sole
- 360 air cushion sole
- Soft deodorant insole
- Waffle rubber outsole
- Extra socks and shoelace for every shoe
- Size chart available
- Sizing chart availed for correct shoe choice
- Prevents foot rolling
- Relatively affordable
- Can be used for cycling or walking too
- Fun patterns on the body
- Excellent breathability
- Flexible and stable
- Great sense of style
- The sizing chart is a little confusing to read
- Some buyers find them small
For those with a neutral stride, the New Balance Men’s 1080V7 provides you with an additional cushion on your race day. Of all the features aimed at comfort, stability, flexibility, and cushioning, it is the fresh foam midsole that is most useful.
This feature is infused into the sole for an extra shielding layer from external impacts as you hit the road. However, you should note that this shoe brand is a neutral one. It means that those who overpronate or supinate might not get relief from the pain with these shoes.
Inside the shoes are plenty of spaces for your toes for a comfortable run. To complement the large toe box, a saddle design ensures the shoe snugly fits with your feet as it conforms to the shape of your feet over time.
A decent porous system is included on the upper body of the shoes to aid in air circulation. You do not have to get worried about overheating when running. The outsole is made of blown rubber to boost the traction properties of the shoes. It makes it possible to run on any surface.
- Fresh foam midsole
- Synthetic mesh
- Blown rubber sole
- Low-top from the arch shaft
- Removable insole
- Shock absorbent heels
- Slow to wear rubber sole
- Excellent cushion
- Spacious toe wiggle room
- Great feet support from the upper
- Lots of support by the midsole
- Snug fit
- Tends to feel stiff at times
- Can be too tight
The Saucony Women’s Cohesion 9 is a versatile running that’s a great option for those with either bad or good knees. Its features are such that it makes your running as comfortable as possible so as to alleviate any pains in your knees.
First of all, I find the padded collar and tongue really comforting, more so when your knees cannot handle the immense strain from running. Its laced-up closure is a good feature for making the shoes wrap up fittingly around your feet.
The upper body of these shoes is made from a synthetic mesh. This material adds to the overall breathability of the shoes when it gets hot. Traction and nonslip resistance are one of the features that might interest you. A flexible rubber sole makes this possible. The flex grooves on the forefoot are great at providing a flexible ride hence preventing pronation of your feet.
Heel grid system is embedded onto the midsole of the shoes. This midsole is made from a foam material and combines with the included heel grid system for improved stability. Additionally, impact cushioning is generated in the process.
- Breathable mesh
- Heel grid system
- Flex grooves on the forefoot
- Rubber sole
- 5” shaft
- Laced up closure
- Padded collar and tongue
- Weighs about 1 pound
- A very flexible forefoot
- Padded tongue for feet comfort
- Laces add to fit
- The decently spaced toe box
- Provides ample support for those with flat feet
- Great aesthetics
- Durable structure
- Runs small
- The construction can be too light at times
The Nike Women’s Revolution 3 is one of the best running shoes for bad knees that you can find, especially for women. It is a lightweight running pair of shoes made of a single-layered mesh. The overlays with minimal no-sew and soft foams include some of the features you might like.
At a first look, one of the most apparent features is the inclusion of a rubber outsole. The use of rubber offers an excellent traction when going through your paces on slippery terrains. Horizontal bellows cut inside the foam midsole makes the shoes responsive to your various movements.
A meshed upper body improves the aeration inside the shoes when it gets hot during intense workouts. In addition, a midsole made of soft foam makes for a cushioning effect as well as cutting down the weight.
When worn by someone with bad knees, the underlays located in the toe tip and vamp offers support within the structure. Another great feature is the midsized shaft height that measures about 3 inches from the arch making the shoes more comfortable and supportive to your ankles.
- Meshed upper
- Vamp and toe tip with underlays
- Horizontal bellows
- Rubber outsole
- Soft foam midsole
- 3” shaft
- Excellent breathability
- Great cushioning
- Good arch support for those with knee issues
- Versatile for other outdoor activities
- The exact size fits
- Looks great
- The shoe can be stiff at times
- Can be narrow for long distance runs
If you feel pain on the outside of your knee when you run, then the Brooks Addiction 12 for women is one of the best shoes for you. It is available in the Brooks addiction series of motion-control shoes which are loved by athletes. It is particularly good for those athletes who suffer from severe pronation and flat arches.
Pain and force reduction is done through the incorporation of a podiatrist style of manufacture. It reduces excess pronation that eventually is felt in the form of knee pains. One of the features that make it appealing to users is the motion control by balancing the heel to toe transition.
The full-length BioMoGo midsole on its part delivers an excellent energy return for shock absorption. Then, there is an extended progressive diagonal roll bar for an extra cushioning. This feature also limits pronation as you smoothly transition through the gait cycle.
A textile element is used to line the inside of the shoes for a greater moisture wicking ability. Your feet are, therefore, kept cool and dry as you sweat. To create a smoother landing on your feet, there is a heel segmented crash pad inserted into the shoe.
- Heel segmented crash pad
- Full-length BioMoGo midsole
- Textile element lining
- Meshed upper
- Synthetic overlays
- Internal support saddle
- Wide toe box
- Excellent moisture wicking
- Very comfortable
- Great stability
- Adaptive cushioning
- Gentle heel to toe transition
- Stylish yet simple neutral colorways
- Slightly on the heavy side
- The midsole is bulky
- Upper mesh less durable
The Hoka One One Women’s Gaviota is one of the running shoes that someone suffering from bad knees can rely on. It features a number of cushioning technologies that help to guide one’s feet. To accomplish this, padded and soft materials are used in place of the rigid ones.
A proprietary blend of EVA and rubber is used to reinforce areas exposed to high wear and tear (zonal placement of rubber). Such a technique improves the overall durability of the shoed. On the heel is a moderate Heel bevel for a smooth transition of the heel.
The arch lock wings generate a superior support for the midfoot, unlike in conventional shoe designs. A running shoe needs to be lightweight, which necessitates the use of a 3D printed Puff frame.
- Arch lock wings
- 3D Puff print frame
- The molded ortholite sock liner
- Late stage meta rocker
- EVA/Rubber blend
- RMAT J-Frame
- Performance not affected by rock getting between treads
- Awesome stability
- Stylish design
- Great for those with plantar fasciitis
- Amply cushioned
- Can be worn without orthotics
- Perfect heel to toes transition
- Easy on the knee joint
- The seams are poorly sewn
- Tight or loose at times
The best running shoes are indispensable for someone with bad knees. They work to reduce or completely eliminate these pains and discomforts that you feel after running for a couple of miles. To choose one, you need to carefully consider all your available options.
We hope this buying guide has proved useful in easing your search for your new running shoes. In the review, our top pick for the best running shoes for bad knees are the New Balance Men’s 510v3 Trail Running Shoe and Saucony Women’s Cohesion 9 Running Shoe
Their unique feature such as durability, comfort, traction provided for by rubber, excellent fit, and breathability are above the rest in the review. Additionally, they have great reviews on Amazon, which proof of how well they are regarded by runners with knee problems.