Running every morning is a great way to stay fit and healthy. Going for a run is also a great way to burn extra calories and lose weight. The popularity of running has resulted in many urban cities creating running trails that people can use.
While there are many benefits of running, something like a knee injury can quickly stop one in their tracks, especially if the proper precautions have not been taken by the individual to ensure their safety. Studies have revealed that running with bad knees is not dangerous and does not lead to osteoporosis, as long as one wears the right footwear.
Keeping that in mind, in the following lines we are going to take a closer look at the best running shoes for bad knees.
Importance of Wearing Running Shoes for Bad Knees
The good news for those people who like to run and exercise to keep in shape is that you can run even with an old injury or arthritis, provided you are wearing the right type of shoe. Just like we differentiate between work shoes and casual shoes, there’s also a big difference between the sneakers you wear for running on the trail or treadmill and the shoes you would wear if you’ve got bad knees. The obvious reason is that wearing running shoes that have been specifically designed for bad knees will offer protection for your knees while you run, while normal running shoes will not.
If you’ve been experiencing knee pain, then you must find shoes that provide comfort, support, and cushioning to your feet. This is crucial since running with the wrong shoes on can put unnecessary pressure on your knees and be extremely painful. If you wear running shoes that do not support your strike or shape of your feet then it could lead to other complications, which is why getting the best running shoes for bad knees is so important.
Since there are different types of shoes available in the market, you need to find the right running shoes for you. For instance, if you have got flat feet, which results in overpronation while walking or running, wearing a neutral shoe will not provide you with the kind of support your feet need for the inward roll of the shoe. This is why running in a neutral shoe while having flat feet almost always ends in a painful experience.
Knee pain can be caused by a whole array of different bone and muscle issues. While these issues should always be discussed with your doctor, wearing the right footwear for running or walking is always a good idea to make sure that your feet are safe and protected.
That being said, it is not uncommon for people to experience some form of pain and discomfort in their knees by simply wearing the wrong type of running shoes. To be on the safe side, even if you have been cleared from the doctor and do not have any knee pain it is important to get the best running shoes for bad knees as a precaution to avoid knee pain and discomfort.
Features of Running Shoes for Bad Knees
Buying running shoes for bad knees can be a tough nut to crack. If you want to look for a good pair of running shoes to invest in then you will need to do some research on different types of footwear. To make it easier, we have gone through some of the main features of running shoes for bad knees, so you don’t have it. Here are some of the main areas to focus on when it comes to getting running shoes for bad knees.
The Right Fit
Making sure that you get the right fit can prevent any pain or discomfort in your knees or your feet. While this might seem like an obvious point for those who are about to purchase running shoes, many people end up getting running shoes that do not provide the right amount of support for their feet or do not suit their feet’s shape and size. This can be a big mistake because it can lead to some serious problems, and the only way to solve it will be to invest in another pair of running shoes. To avoid the pain in your knees and wasting your hard-earned money, you should make sure you get the right size shoes.
When it comes to shoe size, many people make the mistake of either getting shoes that are large or too small. People tend to invest in running shoes that are a bit large because they feel it gives their toes more space while running. On the flip side, people get running shoes that are too tight, assuming that the shoes will loosen up once they start using it. While both of these are valid points, they seldom work out as planned for the person buying the shoes.
For instance, getting shoes that are bigger than your feet will cause your feet to slide to and fro as you run. The friction that is created can result in painful sores and blisters. On the other hand, getting tight shoes is equally dangerous because these shoes leave no space for your toes. This can result in pain and discomfort that will mainly generate from the toe area.
Getting tight-fitted running shoes on the assumption that they will loosen up as you use them will only result in numbing your toes and causing additional discomfort. Not to mention the tight fit around your feet will hinder the blood flow, causing other complications. The best way to keep these problems at bay is to invest in good quality running shoes that are the right fit and have been built specifically for running.
So, how does one go about getting running shoes that fit them perfectly? That’s a great question. Fortunately, there are ways in which you can make sure that you can get the right size running shoes for your feet. The first is to measure your foot size from the tip of your ankle to the tip of your large toe. Once you try on the shoes, there should be a thumb-size gap between the tip of your big toe to the shoe’s fabric.
It is difficult to find the right shoe size if you’re shopping online. Many shoe brands provide a size chart along with the footwear they offer. This can give you a good idea of the size of the shoe you are about to purchase online. If the manufacturer of the running shoes uses a different measurement for their sizing chart, you can always use free online conversion tools to convert the size of the shoes. This will ensure that you get the perfectly-sized running shoes every time.
Read Also: Best New Balance Running Shoes
Some would say that the insole is the most important part of any shoe, and they would be right. As the name implies, the insole is the part of the shoe that comes in contact with your feet. This means, that the insole is always about comfort, and in ensuring that your feet are protected. This makes it an extremely important feature of any shoe, especially if you’re buying running shoes for bad knees.
When it comes to running, there are instances where you might feel pain and discomfort due to the nature of the activity itself. This is where having that extra protection and cushioning of a comfortable insole helps keep any discomfort at bay. As with other features of running shoes, the design and materials used in the insole are going to vary depending on the manufacturer.
It’s safe to say that big-name brands are more likely to use the best materials and the latest designs when it comes to the insoles. Many shoe manufacturers have started to use memory form while designing their insoles. The materials and technology used to create memory foam allow it to mold to the design of one’s feet. This alone ensures that the comfort level of the wearer is significantly improved. Since memory foam insoles are designed to mold to the shape of your feet, the level of comfort that these insoles provide cannot be matched by regular insoles. That being said, many manufacturers offer shoes with regular insoles that are just as comfortable.
The insole of running shoes also come with a few other features that runners may find useful. One such feature is the use of moisture-wicking fabric. This minimizes the chances of blisters by stopping the build-up of moisture in the shoes. This is also another great feature for those who have to frequently deal with foul-smelling shoes due to sweating. While insoles made with moisture-wicking materials are a good choice for running, not all running shoes feature moisture-wicking technology.
The midsole is one feature that’s not given much importance. While running shoes don’t need to have midsoles, they can make a big difference when included in running shoes for bad knees. This is because normal soles act as an extension of both the midsole and the outsole, as in, they provide a little extra cushioning for our feet during impact.
Many manufacturers include a midsole into their shoe’s design as an additional feature. These midsoles are usually made from memory foam and can also contain ventilation holes, or any other feature that cannot be included in the outsole of the shoe. While this is often built into shoes as an added advantage that doesn’t necessarily mean that shoes with midsoles are more comfortable. Running shoes that have a midsole are often uncomfortable for those who run long distances.
While it is okay for your running shoes to have a midsole, since they provide extra padding for your feet, sometimes, too much padding can result in discomfort while running as well. This is the reason why it’s always best to make sure that the running shoes you are going to buy will have features that add to your comfort and not have the opposite effect.
At the end of the day, opting for running shoes that have extra padding is more of a personal preference than an absolute necessity, even if you are buying shoes for bad knees. If you are going on the occasional run, then the extra padding that a midsole provides is not going to be that important. However, if you are someone who goes on frequent sprints and runs marathons, then having that extra padded midsole won’t hurt.
The outsole of running shoes is the bottom-most part of the shoe. This is the part of the shoe that comes in contact with the surface you are running on. The outsole of running shoes is made from a variety of materials, such as rubber and leather. Since outsoles can be made from different materials, certain types of outsoles can provide better traction as compared to others.
When it comes to the outsole, the purpose of the shoe is a major factor when comparing traction, durability or waterproof features. For instance, running shoes will have a different outsole when compared to normal shoes, while running shoes for bad knees will be different from normal running shoes.
The outsole of running shoes makes a big difference when it comes to protection, especially if you have bad knees. Since this is the first line of contact between the shoe and the ground, you have to make sure that the outsole is tough enough and thick enough to provide your feet with the right amount of cushioning and shock absorption while running. If you have flat arches, the outsole of the running shoe can compensate for them, resulting in more comfort while you are running.
The thickness of the outsole is another important factor to consider when it comes to running shoes. This is mainly because thicker outsoles can provide padding for your feet so you don’t feel impacts while running on gravel or uneven surfaces. Wearing running shoes that have a thin outsole will result in you feeling more impacts as you run and will lead to pain and discomfort.
Wearing running shoes with thin outsoles can also result in pain or injuries later on since there’s not going to be much padding between your feet and the surface. Since there’s no way of dampening the effects of the impact of every strike, most of the force goes straight to your ankles, knees, and legs which increases the chances of experiencing pain that lasts even when you are not running.
Sores and injured knees are common among those who like to go out running. Proper running shoes provide your feet with that much-needed support that you can’t get while wearing normal shoes. Investing in running shoes that provide excellent support for your feet and ankle area will prevent trips and falls that can lead to even more injuries and discomfort.
Running shoes that do not provide you with the right amount of support can also result in an injury taking longer than usual to heal. While having shoes with poor support is worse than having no support at all, when you are running with bad knees, you need all the support that you can get. When choosing running shoes for bad knees, always go with the options that have the most comfort, safety and support features to get the most bang for your buck.
Who would want to run in painfully uncomfortable shoes? The answer is nobody. This is why manufacturers of running shoes always seem to be on the lookout for materials and technologies that can improve the overall design and comfort of their running shoes. With the advancements in technology, many features are integrated into the design of running shoes that provide better cushioning and support for your feet.
Some of the most notable features that have now become a must-have for running shoes include EVA foam, DNA technology, Gel cushioning, and the REVlite midsole, which are included in running shoes to improve their comfort.
One issue that most people have when it comes to running shoes is that they wear out easily. While normal wear-and-tear is expected over time, shoes that have not been built properly often start to crumble after just a few months of use. Once you’re running shoes starts to fall apart, there’s no choice but to replace it with a new one.
When choosing running shoes for bad knees, it is always good to go with the shoes that are durable and provide protection for your feet. The running shoes that are designed by well-known brands have multiple protective features that ensure that the shoes can go the distance.
Another reason why it is important to invest in durable running shoes is that if the shoes start to lose their protective features, it could lead to your injuries taking a lot more time to heal. Keeping that in mind, the best running shoes for bad knees are those that are durable and can keep your feet protected.
Traction is the grip that the soles of the shoes provide while running. The better the traction of the running shoes, the better you will be able to run or scale on rough or slippery surfaces. Shoes that have been built for better traction keeps you from getting hurt by slipping. There are various ways in which shoes offer better traction, from the shape of the outsole of the shoes to the design of the outsole where the shoes come in contact with the ground.
If you are already running with bad knees, then slipping and falling can have more complicated consequences, and it should be avoided at all costs. Running shoes that provide good traction takes away the stress that’s put on your feet while running in rain or snow, or wet surfaces and gravel.
One word that pops up whenever one talks about running shoes is pronation. Simply put, pronation means the motion of one’s feet when they are walking or running. Pronation is measured by a bit on the hell and the ball of the foot. Knowing what’s the pronation of your feet will be useful in identifying the best running shoes for you. Focusing on pronation is especially important if you already have bad knees.
Since all running shoes are not made equal, and come in various designs and features, knowing the pronation of your feet will allow you to make a more informed decision when it’s time to get running shoes. There are three types of pronation which are as follows:
- Neutral Pronation — This is also known as normal pronation and is where one’s ankle stays straight and does not roll outward or inward while they walk or run. Having normal pronation can help absorb impacts and can also relieve any pressure on one’s knees while walking or running. In other words, this is the best type of pronation to have.
- Overpronation — In overpronation of the feet, the ankle tends to roll downward or inward. This reduces the heel’s ability to absorb the impact and results in discomfort and injury. Feet that have been diagnosed with overpronation need shoes that provide extra support and stability. It should be noted that in overpronation, the ankle rolls more inward the farther you run in one session, so if you are a long-distance runner, getting shoes that provide motion support will be extremely helpful.
- Underpronation —Underpronation is also called supination and is the complete opposite of overpronation. Those that have been diagnosed with Underpronation mean that their feet tend to roll outwards when the walk or run. Underpronation is more commonly found in those whose feet have high arches. Finding running shoes that provide more supportive features is again necessary since Underpronation can increase the chances of foot, ankle and knee injuries.
The heel of the shoe also carries out an important function which is to absorb impacts and provide a cushioning for the heel area. This feature is especially important for those who are looking for running shoes for bad knees. The first sign that the heel of your running shoes is giving way is when you start to notice that your feet start to sore after a run. If you notice that the outer or inner side of the heel has started to show signs of wear and tear, it’s a good time to get yourself a new pair of running shoes.
When getting running shoes for bad knees your best bet is going to be those that have a bit more cushioning for better arch support in the feet. This is because the extra padding helps with absorbing shock while walking or running. The best way of telling whether the running shoes that you have bought are good or not is that you will feel the stress of each impact on your toes and heel when wearing shoes that are not suitable for running. This happens because the surface area is not enough for the entire foot to absorb the full impact.
The easiest way to find out what type of arch support you need is by dipping your feet in the water and stepping on a piece of paper. The imprint of your feet will get you a better idea of what type of arches support you should be looking for in your running shoes. There are three types of arches that you should know of when it comes to getting running shoes for bad knees:
- Flat Arch — If you can see the entire surface area of your arch, you have what is called flat feet. This means that your feet tend to roll inwards whenever you walk or run. While this can be great for absorbing shock, it will not be good for your knees.
- High Arch – If the print that your foot makes on the paper is a thin line or no arch area you have a high arch. This type of feet requires extra cushioning while running so you might want to consider getting running shoes that have a midsole and added padding.
- Natural Arch — This is the most common type of arch that’s found in people. It is identified if nearly half of the arch area is filled then you have a natural arch. Having a natural arch means that your feet can absorb all the pressure that is generated by your body weight while running. Since this is the most commonly found arch, finding the right running shoes should be easy.
Our Top Three Choices
Best Overall Choice: Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 19
Premium Product: Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Running Shoe
Best Value: Puma Tazon 6 Running Shoes
Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees
Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, it’s time to take a look at some of our top picks for the best running shoes for bad knees.
The Puma Tazon 6 boasts of both a stylish design and incredible functionality, which is what you’d expect from a brand like Puma. These shoes feature a heel pod that is made from highly durable foam which results in unmatched shock absorption. You also get a sleek upper that is scratch and stain-resistant. However, one of the standout features of the Puma Tazon 6 has got to be its amazing shock absorption capabilities.
It’s easy to see that these running shoes have been designed keeping the user in mind. Apart from its incredible design, these shoes also feature a full synthetic leather upper and a midfoot saddle that provides the wearer with the maximum amount of comfort. You also get the EVA footbed that offers incredible heel absorption and can easily absorb the impact generated while running or walking.
Other features of the Puma Tazon 6 include the breathable sock liner which has been constructed using eco-friendly materials. The moisture-wicking ability of these running shoes means that you do not have to bother about the buildup of sweat in the shoes that can result in blisters on your feet and a nasty odor from the shoe.
- Made from high-quality materials
- Features a breathable sock liner
- Raised heel design for better shock absorption
- Features EVA heel pod
- Sturdy rubber sole
- Takes time to break-in
The ASICS Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoes’ claim to fame is that these shoes are one of the top choices for people who are dealing with overpronation. ASICS is one of the best-known brands when it comes to sports footwear and the Gel-Kayano is just another feather in their cap. The running shoes boast of a list of features that have been included to give the user the best in comfort and protection.
Some of the standout features of the ASICS Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoes include the FlyteFoam midsole that offers added padding. IGS minimizes the chances of overpronation, which is common amongst runners. The FulitFit upper ensures a tight, comfy grip that minimizes the chances of slipping or falling. These running shoes offer a decent amount of traction control and arch support for your feet which makes running in them an absolute pleasure.
- Made from premium materials
- Rubber sole
- Features Impact Guidance System technology
- Features FlyteFoam Midsole Technology
- Best choice for those with overpronation
- Heel clutching system technology
- Fluid Fit Upper for a better fit
- Some might feel it narrow in the toe area
The Salomon Speedcross 4 offers a bold upper design that looks unlike many of the running shoes that are available in the market today. But, that’s not the only thing going for the Speedcross 4. These running shoes have been fitted with a few impressive features that make running in them a breeze. Some of the most notable features of the Salomon Speedcross 4 includes a thick rubber outsole, which is great for providing you with shock absorption when running long distances.
Another feature of these running shoes that makes it a good choice is the Sensifit technology that has been integrated into its design. With Sensifit, you can get a comfortable snug fit that keeps your feet safe and comfy while you are running. These shoes also feature the Quicklace one-pull tightening feature that secures the shoes firmly in place. You also get Contagrip, which is a newly added feature to the lineup of shoes by Salomon which does just as the name suggests: provides you with an incredible amount of grip when you are running on uneven or slippery surfaces.
- Made from high-quality materials
- Features a water-resistant design
- Breathable construction
- Moisture-wicking properties
- Features a mudguard and anti-debris mesh
- Laces can feel tight
The Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 19 offers many features in a simple package. The materials that have been used in its design is a type of perforated fabric that keeps the feet cool and comfortable in all weather conditions. This is one feature that is remarkably missing in many other types of running shoes. But, the good news is that you can get the most out of the GTS 19 if you tend to go out running all through the year.
Some of the other added features that have been included in the design are a high-quality foam insole that can mold to the shape of your feet. You also get padded soles that provide maximum shock absorption for your heels. The traction control system ensures that you can maintain your balance while running on uneven or slippery surfaces.
- Made with high-quality materials
- Features GuideRails support system
- Features DNA LOFT crash pad
- Built-in support system prevents discomfort
- Features a soft tongue and collar for a comfy fit
- Made from breathable fabric that makes it easy to wear for longer
- Moisture-wicking properties keep your feet dry
- Small toe box
At this point, no list for the best running shoes can be complete without including shoes from the Skechers brand. The company has been designing high-quality shoes for the past 25 years and their shoes are highly rated as being some of the best in the market. The Energy Afterburn has a lot to live up to, but the good news is, it does not disappoint. The Skechers Energy Afterburn has quite a few features that make it stand out from the rest.
Some of those features include the all-weather fabric upper, which means you can wear these running shoes all through the year. The lug rubber outsole not only offers increased traction but also absorbs shock while running. These shoes also come with slip-resistant properties and feature a compression-molded midsole for some extra padding. Overall, this is a well-made running shoe that wins full marks for providing a high level of protection and making you look good while you’re running.
- Made from high-quality materials
- Features scuff-resistant leather upper
- Features a padded collar for a snug fit
- Lightweight construction
- A molded midsole for extra padding
- Traction control rubberized outsole
- Do not have air inserts
The Saucony Cohesion 11 Running Shoes is just what you need if you are looking for running shoes for bad knees. This time around, Saucony has gone the extra mile with the design and the features of these shoes. The Cohesion 11 boasts of premium quality right off the bat. One of the reasons these running shoes stand out from the rest is that they offer premium quality at an affordable price.
Some of the main features of the Saucony Cohesion 11 Running Shoes include the GRID cushioning system that is great for supporting your heels while running. This feature is nicely complemented by the REACT2U feature which is placed along the midsole of the shoe providing even more padding for your feet.
Other features that make these running shoes a smart choice are its padded tongue which ensures a snug fit and the padded heel which provides great shock absorption. Apart from that, its breathable construction and moisture-wicking properties make this a good choice for those people who are looking for running shoes for bad knees.
- Made from premium quality synthetic leather
- Features a rubber sole
- Grid support cushioning for better shock absorption
- Supportive overlays for a snug fit
- Breathable construction
- Moisture-wicking technology
- Shoes might be a bit narrow for some people
The New Balance Men’s 1080v9 Running Shoes have been designed keeping the user in mind. These shoes offer an incredible amount of support and protection for your feet while keeping your feet comfortable at the same time. These running shoes boast of great design and a breathable upper that’s also stain-resistant to a certain degree. The attractive upper is attached to a high-quality, durable outsole.
These running shoes have been designed for comfort, especially while running long distances. The thick outsole provides your feet with just enough shock absorption to keep your feet protected during those long runs. Other features of the New Balance Men’s 1080v9 running shoes include its EVA sole which is comfy and protects your feet. The foot-supporting construction of these shoes makes them a great choice for those who have bad knees.
- Made from high-quality 100% synthetic leather
- Features a rubber sole
- Ultra Heel for better shock absorption
- Engineered Mesh
- Fresh foam for more comfort
- Features an Ortholite sock liner
- Breathable construction
- Takes a while to break-in
One look of the Hoka One One Bondi 6 running shoes is enough to tell you that these shoes mean business. These running shoes have been designed to ensure the comfort and protection of your feet while you are running long distances. For those who are looking for extra cushioning while running, these shoes provide an excellent amount of shock absorption.
These shoes have been constructed for neutral pronators. The versatility of these shoes means that they can be used for running a marathon or everyday wear. Some of the standout features of the Hoka One One Bondi 6 is a heel that is lined with soft lycra for better shock absorption and moisture-wicking properties along with an extra thick outsole for superior shock absorption.
You are also going to get reinforced eyelets and a pull tab at the heel which makes it easier to put on and take off. The midsole has been constructed with soft EVA foam which offers great shock absorption while keeping your feet comfortable and protected.
- Made with premium materials
- Moisture-wicking mesh lining
- High-quality rubber sole
- Features an EVA foam midsole
- Features Early Stage Meta-Rocker Geometry
- Takes time to break-in
Mizuno is a brand that has existed for more than 100 years. The company has got shoe design down to a science which is the reason behind its success in running shoes. The Wave Rider 20 Running Shoe is no exception when it comes to premium quality from Mizuno. These running shoes are chock full of features that enhance the comfort level and the protection that the shoes provide runners, and especially those with bad knees.
Some of the standout features of these running shoes include its durable Triple Zone mesh upper with is made from high-quality fabrics. Other features of these shoes include the U4icX foam and the blown rubber sole which improves your comfort while running. You also get an Ortholite Sock Liner which keeps your feet comfortable.
The Dynamotion Fit feature makes motion adaption possible in the shoes while the FLEX Controllers featured on the outsole improves the shoe’s flexibility. All of these features combine to provide an excellent shoe that’s a great choice for those with bad knees.
- Made from high-quality materials
- Breathable fabric
- Features a premium rubber sole
- Features U4IC midsole foam for enhanced comfort
- Not suitable for rough terrain
If you are looking for running shoes that protect your feet and make you look good while running, then the Nike Dart 12 running shoes should be right up your alley. These shoes have been designed to provide your feet with unmatched protection while you’re running, regardless of the terrain. Some of the standout features of the Dart 12 includes an incredible amount of cushioning with its thick midsole and a molded midfoot saddle that offers a lightweight and supportive fit.
Some of the standout features of the Nike Dart 12 running shoes are its comfy fit, arch support, and traction control that make it easier to run on slippery and uneven surfaces. The padded insole and midsole ensure that your feet will remain protected even while running long distances. Overall, the Nike Dart 12 running shoes offer excellent quality and functionality.
- Made with premium quality materials
- Durable outsole
- Shock absorption
- Moisture-wicking properties
- Arch support
- Some might have sizing issues
If you want to keep running with bad knees then you are going to need the right type of footwear for the job. If discomfort or pain in your knee persists for many weeks it is advised to show yourself to a doctor and consider custom orthotics. Using an orthotics insole will help minimize the amount of pronation on your feet while walking or running, and will also help you maintain alignment. It should be noted that if you choose to wear an orthotics insole along with the running shoes for bad knees, you will need to get shoes that have a removable insole.
Best Overall Choice
The Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 19 is a no-brainer when looking for running shoes for bad knees. These running shoes are chock full of features for your comfort and protection. The GTC 19 running shoes boast of a perforated fabric upper that improves breathability. These shoes also feature GuideRails Support System for better traction and balance while running on slippery or uneven surfaces. Other features include the DNA LOFT crash pad that offers extra padding for your feet and moisture-wicking properties, which means you can wear these shoes for long runs.
The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 Running Shoe comes from a brand that has been around longer than any other footwear brand. Mizuno has been designing high-quality shoes for over 100 years, which means the brand knows a thing or two about running shoes. Some of the features that set these shoes apart from the rest are its breathable fabric upper, moisture-wicking properties, the U4icX foam, blown rubber sole, and Ortholite sock liner. Together, these features ensure your feet stay comfortable while running.
Puma has been designing high-quality athletic shoes for quite some time now and the Tazon 6 Running Shoes is another reminder that Puma is one of the best brands out there when it comes to designing stylish and functional shoes. These running shoes boast of a sturdy rubber sole for better shock absorption, an EVA footbed for added comfort and a breathable sock liner that keeps your feet dry and comfortable.