The 10 Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees

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Last Updated on February 11, 2022 by Mandy Schmitz

Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees

Knee pain or bad knees can be a real challenge to many runners since it can negatively impact their runs, workouts, or emotional health. Therefore, getting the best running shoes for bad knees with excellent support and cushioning is critical for optimal shock absorption. These shoes for bad knees with an injection-molded EVA midsole will help knee pain through the durable rubber outsole.

A slew of various bone or muscle issues can cause knee pain. In addition, another culprit is wearing the wrong type of sneakers or casual shoes during exercise. Even after your doctor has cleared you of any severe cause, that does not make endless knee pain any less annoying. By wearing the best running shoes, you can upgrade your exercise routine, shock absorption, and ease these pesky aches.

The Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees

It’s a good time to invest in a new pair of running shoes to ease your knee pain if you feel that it is highly prevalent while in the gym or running. It can even get worse from repetitive stress on your knee joints, from excess body weight, jumping, or running. If you are still using your old or worn-out shoes, and wish to stop your knee pain, it’s time to replace them with high-quality shoes, ideal even for wide feet. You need good running shoes for support, shock absorption, and comfort.

Here is our list of the best running shoes for bad knees:

1. Best Overall Shoe for Bad Knees – Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

Brooks Men's Adrenaline GTS 21
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Overview

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 offers stability, shock absorption, and reliability for daily runners. Known for providing support for knee issues, runners know it for its adaptable support and smooth ride with stellar midsoles, like Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS. Runners will enjoy the best of the shoe’s BioMoGo DNA and DNA Loft technologies, providing the perfect balance of security and comfort for any stability shoe. Essentially, Brooks Adrenaline GTS is a top stability shoe and has a supportive and breathable upper with an updated engineered mesh of high-quality running shoes. The cushioning makes the shoe ideal for daily use and long rides.

Highlights

  • Sturdy shoe
  • Effective stability support
  • Smooth and steady ride
  • Great overall comfort
  • Under 300 g

Pricing

Starting from $156.

Bottom Line

If you want shoes with perfect, long-distance stability and shock absorption, your choice should be Adrenaline GTS 21. In addition, it is excellent for recovery days and marathons, and the average price makes it a good deal, even for casual runners with knee injuries.

Get your Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 today.

2. ASICS GT-2000 9 – Best Heel Shock Absorption

ASICS Men's Gt-2000 9 -best running shoes for bad knees
amazon.com

Overview

ASICS GT keeps its traditional stability by utilizing a rigid Trussic support system and denser foam under the arch. With that, it keeps runners from over pronating, like Mizuno Wave Rider. The lightweight shoe will ease your knee pain with a secure fit around the heel to make ankles feel well supported and have enough space in the toe box for great motion control. The Gel cushioning and FLYTEFOAM technology combo offer a smooth and soft landing with evaluation support, making every stride feel more energetic.

Highlights

  • Cheaper and lighter with good stability support
  • Perfect for mid to long runs
  • Lightweight upper
  • Perfect for all fitness levels
  • Stable ride
  • Durable and comfortable upper

Pricing

Get your pair starting from $102.99.

Bottom Line

ASICS GT will carry you well, and it was designed to last. It is a workhorse running shoe, perfect for long runs or a marathon runner. This running shoe is your go-to if you have knee issues.

Get your pair of ASICS GT-2000 9 today.

3. Best Daily Trainer – New Balance 860v11

best running shoes for bad knees
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Overview

The New Balance 860v11 comes complete with Fresh Foam mega improvements. The heel cup holds the ankle securely in place when running, making it an ideal option to support your knee pains. While the New Balance is functional with a good heel strike, it is also cool-looking, like every day wear even for wide feet. Its foam is firmer with less compression to provide optimal shock absorption for knee issues and make it more durable. The New Balance has a clean look, excellent breathable mesh uppers with gel cushioning, and an updated midsole. With that, the shoe maintains its reassuring stability.

Highlights

  • Outsole rubber provides durability and traction
  • The heel piece facilitates pulling on the shoe
  • Perfect arch support for medium-high arches
  • Stable sole wrapped by a thin blanket of cushion
  • Newly designed heel collar with gel cushioning
  • Fresh foam cushioning for shock absorption
  • Increased spring and lower weight for a stability shoe

Pricing

Get a pair of New Balance 860v11 from $99.95 to $311.61.

Bottom Line

The New Balance 860v11 adds a touch of comfort to a completely stable feel underfoot for more cushioning, with an outsole designed to provide most runners excellent shock absorption and traction for many miles and an upper that holds the foot securely.

Buy your New Balance 860v11 today.

4. Best Stable Fit – Brooks Launch GTS 8

best running shoes for bad knees
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Overview

Brooks Launch’s cushioning firmness EVA midsole is perfect for faster runs without the frustrating ride character of racing flats. The shoe is an excellent middle ground with extra cushion between road racers and bulked-up neutral running shoes. Lunch has lighter cushioning and GuideRails support with all the criteria to give a fun, fast ride. Its improved breathable mesh uppers enhance the ventilation and fit, providing knee support, eliminating the need for the internal bootie. More blown forefoot rubber makes it more durable and creates faster transitions. The heel’s extra, the firmer foam does not feel as aggressive when correcting users’ strides as a dual-density foam.

Highlights

  • Fairly priced
  • Spacious toe box
  • Firm ride that provides dynamic support
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • GTS version features Brooks’ guide rails stability tech
  • Lightweight BioMoGo DNA midsole
  • New air mesh upper offers more ventilation

Pricing

A pair of Brooks Launch GTS 8 costs $99.95.

Bottom Line

The Brooks Launch GTS 8 is one of the best shoes to support runners with a knee injury because it is adaptive, lightweight, and durable. It feels fast, providing a unique approach to stability and knee support, even for knee injuries.

Get your pair of Brooks Launch GTS8 by clicking here.

5. Best Men’s Shoe for Bad Knees – Brooks Beast 20

best running shoes for bad knees
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Overview

The perfect combo of cushion and support for runners’ maximum comfort makes Brooks Beast 20 the best shoes for those with bad pain. Many runners know this men’s running shoe for its lightweight and cushioned, soft ride, thanks to the improved GuideRails support technology. While the shoe has all the criteria to deliver smooth heel-to-toe transitions and ease knee problems through its full-length Segmented Crash Pad, it can also accommodate any foot. The embroidered saddle gives it a modern look.

Highlights

  • Comfortable embroidered saddle and engineered mesh upper
  • Enhanced fit
  • Enhanced comfort with the Ultimate Sockliner
  • Ultra softness and durability
  • Patented BioMoGo
  • Soft cushioning
  • GuideRails support keeps excess movement in check

Pricing

Get your pair of Brooks Beast from $159.00.

Bottom Line

While Brooks Beast is an old classic, the lightweight shoe makes you feel great on your knees, hips, and feet. It is indeed a game-changer of a shoe that you can wear when running or walking.

Buy Brooks Beast 20 today.

6. Best Cushioned Support – HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7

HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7
amazon.com

Overview

Hoka One One Bondi 7 won’t allow you to sit at home, with the 29 mm thick midsole cushioning in the forefront and 33 mm below the heel for excellent shock absorption. This stability shoe has all the criteria to be your perfect choice of shoes for running if you have knee problems because of its Meta-Rocker Geometry that secures a stable ride for shin splints between toe-off and the impact. The shoe is durable and safe for running due to the Meta-Rocker feature. The extremely thick, high midsoles provide a stable and appropriate ride-on floor tiles or steep slopes.

Highlights

  • Memory foam and padding in the heel
  • No slipping on a wet surface
  • Amazing comfort and cushioning
  • Engineered mesh upper
  • Great for racking up mileage without tiring legs
  • Improved heel cap with memory foam
  • Excellent motion control

Pricing

The HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 costs $149.50.

Bottom Line

If you want the most cushioned shoes on the market, the HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 is your option. This top stability shoe offers an internal stretch bootie for extra shock absorption and perfect for long or short runs and walking.

Click here to buy your HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7 today.

7. Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 – Best for Mild Overpronation

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2
amazon.com

Overview

Nike designed Nike React Infinity Run to give runners decent underfoot cushioning with a wider heel and toe box. This great shoe is one of the best shoes to help with knee pains with its heel-toe rocker geometry and extra cushioning that helps runners get their feet off and on the ground quicker. The outsole, midsole, and heel clip provide wide, soft forefoot nets for stability without medial rocker geometry or posting for a fluid transition and cushioning for impact absorption. The upper and underfoot of this great shoe make you feel cushioned, supportive, and protective.

Highlights

  • Versatile
  • Excellent foot lockdown
  • Smooth ride transitions
  • Deep, bottomless cushioning
  • Reasonable weight
  • Sturdy model
  • Wide and stable platform

Pricing

Get your pair of Nike React Infinity Run for $124.54.

Bottom Line

The Nike React Infinity Run makes easy-paced daily long runs and training simple with a versatile max-cushioned daily trainer and grid technology. The newly updated fresh foam upper enhances overall performance and foot lockdown.

Get your pair of Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 today.

8. Best Smooth Ride – ASICS GEL-Kayano 27

ASICS Women's GEL-Kayano 27
amazon.com

Overview

If you are looking for updated stability designed for a smoother and softer ride and will never disappoint, the ASICS Gel Kayano 27 fits this physical therapy specification. ASICS Gel Kayano has a new FlyteFoal Propel midsole and lightweight upper that work for almost any run while creating a balance of responsiveness, cushioned support, shock absorption, and softness. Its segmented heel design provides a plush landing, correct overpronation, and ease knee problems. The enhanced flex grooves give even a neutral runner a faster and smoother transition and long-lasting transition from the AHAR rubber outsole. Thanks to its Impact Guidance System, you can expect top-of-the-line stability from ASICS Gel Kayano.

Highlights

  • Durable
  • Very stable ride
  • Visual redesign
  • Flytefoam Propel Cushioning
  • More flexible
  • Comfortable fit
  • Smooth feel

Pricing

The price for a pair of ASICS Gel Kayano 27 is $88.72.

Bottom Line

Shoes like ASICS Kayano 27 will provide excellent stability and additional support regardless of pace or distance. It is the premier stability running shoe built to last. It offers excellent protection from over-pronation with the upper that gives a plush feel.

Buy your ASICS GEL-Kayano 27 today.

9. Best Ultra-Cushioned – HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 5

Hoka Women's Arahi 5
amazon.com

Overview

One thing that makes Hoka Arahi one of the shoes you need in your collection if you suffer from knee pain is because of the shoe’s super plush that offers runners additional support! While it appears clunky and big, it also tends to disappear on foot, making it suitable for the long haul on the road. The improved EVA foam midsole delivers a more responsive energy return and is lighter. They have also redesigned the upper to be more breathable than ever before. Enjoy the upgraded comfort with its new flared-heel design.

Highlights

  • Roomy toe box
  • Inherent stability
  • Protective and lightweight cushioning
  • Updated midsole promotes a stable ride
  • Revamped upper providing a more secure fit

Pricing

Starting from $235.91.

Bottom Line

The HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 5 has topped the stability category as one of the softest and lightest daily training shoes, like Mizuno Wave Rider. The modified design provides runners lightweight protection ideal for easy and long-running.

Click here to buy your HOKA ONE ONE Arahi 5 today.

10. Best Luxurious Foot-Conforming Feel – Saucony Hurricane 23

best running shoes for bad knees
amazon.com

Overview

The Saucony Hurricane 23 provides supportive guidance frameworks with the security of the upper guide to protect your step without feeling restrictive and a pure luxury with a progressive approach to stability. The combo of this running shoe with PWRRUN+ cushioning will give you an invigorating plush, soft that can conquer any obstacle. Our list is not complete with including this model as one of the models to buy for your knee pain because it offers a beautiful peppy bounce and is firm enough to keep the heel straight yet soft enough to absorb shock.

Highlights

  • True to size fit
  • Outsole swaps crystal rubber for a more premium grippier carbon runner
  • Thick ultra-plush cushioning that feels soft and not mushy
  • Pwrrun+ midsole delivers above-average energy return
  • Slightly lighter and more supportive

Pricing

A pair of Saucony Hurricane 23 starts at $95.46.

Bottom Line

Saucony Hurricane 23 can give you anything you may expect from premium stability running shoes. The shoe is your best option if you want optimal stability and comfort while eating up miles.

Get your pair of Saucony Hurricane 23 today

Our curated list of shoes for knee injuries mentioned above can help your feet realign properly and offer a ton of cushioning and excellent arch support. If you experience knee pain, you can read the list and get a pair of running shoes to make your runs comfortable.

Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees FAQs

1. What to Look for In the Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees?

As a runner, you can overcome any knee conditions with the right, adequately-cushioned running shoes. Proper form and strength training are also vital. However, how do you choose the right running shoes to prevent knee pains or even plantar fasciitis from recurring? While trying to find the best shoes for your knee injuries, ensure that your choice has some of these features:

Lightweight Construction

You can put unnecessary pressure on your knees wearing heavy boots and shoes. As such, it is critical to choose from the best shoes that will ease your knee conditions without weighing you down from heel to toe. While searching for a lightweight feel, ensure to strike a balance between cushioning and support.

Durability

You want to pick a durable shoe so the cushioning and support won’t wear out quickly. Choose from our list of shoes for knee pain with sturdy rubber outsoles that can withstand abrasion and pound from running on hard surfaces.

Supportive Upper

Look for moisture-wicking and breathable upper to keep you dry and cool. Ensure that the upper has targeted support and a glove-like fit. For instance, Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 is lightweight and durable, providing cushioning and support in critical areas.

Cushioning

Getting running shoes that provide plenty of cushioning and absorb most of the shock from hitting the ground is the best way to protect your knees. Some of the qualities of the ideal shoes for knee conditions include appropriately cushioned and properly supportive features to diminish the monotonous loading pressures of running.

2. Are Running Shoes Good for Arthritic Knees?

Running shoes are suitable for arthritic knees when runners with this condition wear flexible, flat-soled, supportive, and stable ones. While some experts recommended supportive, durable running shoes for people with knee pain, others suggested that flexible, flat shoes are better. However, many runners have discovered that stable and stiff running shoes with excellent cushioning are better than bendable and supple ones.

A recent study found out that more than 14 million Americans suffer from knee arthritis’ stiffness and pain, and the most common joint disorder in the United States is osteoarthritis. People with arthritic knees must wear supportive, stable running shoes with thicker cushioned soles instead of flat shoes with flexible, thin soles that have no cushioning.

Essentially, you can wear many shoes without the fear of having an injury if your foot supinates and pronates as a runner. However, high arches or flat feet may cause your foot to roll outward with an elevated arch. As such, wearing shoes designed for those with a certain foot type, including flat feet, can cause injury or pain.

Eventually, you may end up with knee pain. It can even lead to hip or Achilles problems. As such, it is critical to match your foot type to your running shoes. You will know what type of shoe is best for your foot by going through our list above. In addition, it can be painful and costly if you decide to figure it out through trial and error.

Choosing the wrong running shoes can be uncomfortable and put you at higher risk for injury. And when you have running shoes that are painful and uncomfortable, you will likely end up quitting.

3. Are Cushioned Running Shoes Bad for Your Knees?

Cushioned running shoes, especially cushioning under the heel, can be a significant risk factor for your knees. According to research, a thick-heeled running shoe can increase compressive loading in a range where degenerative changes happen at the knee joint. This running shoe can also increase knee flexion torque.

Essentially, the central nervous system may not detect surface hardiness or dimensions changes to optimize footstrike behavior regarding excessive cushioning in a running shoe.

Things may even get worse.

A running shoe’s heel cushioning can cause a greater exchange of momentum with the ground impairs foot-placement awareness, and influences over-striding, all of which lead to your knee taking a beating.

4. Can Wrong Running Shoes Hurt Knees?

Yes, wrong running shoes can cause strain on your hips or knees. This case is a big deal, even though many runners don’t pay any attention to it. The largest joints in your body are the hips and knees, and their responsibilities lie in supporting your weight. Therefore, it is critical to wear the correct type of running shoes.

When searching for the perfect shoes for your knee injuries, it is essential to know that not all shoes are ideal for running or walking. Some shoes can even damage your knees or joints. For instance, high heels may increase pressure on your toes or even the front part of your foot.

The right type of shoes is ideal for those with knee pain. These shoes provide runners and their joints with the best support and cushioning. Additionally, they help maintain good orthopedic health.

These shoes enable users to stride with ease, maintain a regular gait, allow flexibility, and fit well. This piece has offered you as much support and guidance as possible with the list of our best shoes that support your knee pain since we know it is not easy to find the perfect shoe. Read them again to pick your choice.

Conclusion

Overall, picking from this list of the best running shoes for bad knees can be challenging, especially when considering your preferences. However, our best overall shoe for bad knees is Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 because of its enhanced, updated cushioning and the engineered upper that wraps your foot for a secure and stable fit. In addition, if you are a runner with high arches, you can check out our review of the best running shoes for high arches.

In addition, we have reviewed other running shoes for specific conditions:

Mandy Schmitzhttps://mandyschmitz.com
Mandy Schmitz is a freelance consultant and project management expert with 10+ years of experience working internationally for big brands in fintech, consumer goods and more. Join me here on Changeaholic.com to learn how to optimize your business operations and find the latest product & software reviews.

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Mandy Schmitz is a freelance consultant and project management expert with 10+ years of experience working internationally for big brands in fintech, consumer goods and more. Join me here on Changeaholic.com to learn how to optimize your business operations and find the latest product & software reviews.

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