Knee pain can occur to anyone, whether it is a new runner with an improper running form or an experienced runner that trained too hard. Furthermore, wearing the wrong type of shoes can cause knee pain. If you experience recurring knee pain, getting the best running shoes for bad knees is recommended.

Getting the right level of cushioning, breathability, and support is important to help you enjoy the run. In this guide, we have curated reviews of the five best running shoes for bad knees and knee pain, their pros and cons, as well as a comprehensive list of the factors to consider before buying your new pair of running shoes.

5 Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees

1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 21 Supportive Running Shoe - White/Grey/Silver - 9 Medium
  • THIS WOMEN'S SHOE IS FOR: Runners looking for a...
  • SUPPORT AND CUSHION: Provides just the right...
  • MODERNIZED FIT: A streamlined, engineered mesh...

The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 features ample cushioning and innovative stability features that will help protect the runners from a knee injury. In addition, it comes with a soft and high energizing cushioning that extends from the heel all the way to the forefoot, giving the runner a supportive and smoother transition from heel to toe.

The guide rails support system helps you run comfortably with no unnecessary movement, ensuring your knees are protected and stable. Furthermore, the streamlined and engineered mesh upper gives you a soft and secure fit for people with knee pain. It also features a DNA loft foam that provides cushioning with each footfall.

Additionally, it has BioMoGo DNA that helps you adapt to every stride. It is a certified PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe and has the Seal of Acceptance by APMA. It can also be used in other different settings, including cross-training, running, walking, and anyone looking for quality running shoes to diminish the pain in the knees.

  • Pros
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Lightweight
  • Durable rubber sole
  • Amazing cushioning
  • A variety of colors and widths
  • GuideRails holistic support system
  • Great stability and support
  • Versatile as it can be used for different activities
  • Cons
  • The sizing may run small

2. ASICS Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes

ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes
  • Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Technology Cushioning...
  • FlyteFoam Midsole Technology - Our FlyteFoam...
  • FlyteFoam Propel Technology - ASICS energetic foam...
  • Dynamic DuoMax Support System - This evolution of...
  • SPACE TRUSSTIC Technology - Reduces the weight of...

The popular Asics Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes has great innovative features and technical design that provides support and cushioning for runners with knee problems. It features a Flytefoam technology that helps the shoe get back to its original shape after every stride.

Furthermore, this shoe comes with a dynamic DuoMax support system that provides stability and support to your feel. It also features an impact guidance system that encourages a more natural grit. The GEL cushioning in the rearfoot and forefoot provide superior comfort and shock absorption.

These shoes are ideal for runners because the heel clutch technology gives extra cushioning and a secure fit which means you won't experience issues with your rearfoot sliding. The Space Trusstic System Technology minimizes the weight of the sole giving maximum stability while still retaining the structural shape of the shoe.

  • Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Great shock absorption ability
  • Great stability and support
  • Rearfoot and forefoot GEL cushioning
  • Breathable upper mesh
  • Improved heel fitting
  • Durable outsole
  • Cons
  • Doesn't come in wider sizes

3. Saucony Cohesion 13 Running Shoe

Saucony Women's Cohesion 13 Running Shoe
  • New versarun cushioning for comfort
  • Segmented rubber outsole for a smooth feel
  • An upper with a technical look and plenty of...

The Saucony Cohesion 13 Running Shoe features a Versarun cushioning technology that helps with shock absorption and minimizes the impact on your joints while running. Despite the great amount of cushioning, this shoe remains lightweight and flexible, ensuring you're comfortable even when running or walking for long distances.

This pair of shoes is proof that you don't have to spend a lot of money to get a high-quality and supportive shoe. It is a great option for marathoners, casual runners, and anyone looking for the best athletic shoe with great cushioning and support when engaging in different activities.

The shaft of this shoe measure approximately mid-top from the arch. Although it is not fully waterproof, this shoe features some water-resistant abilities to help you tackle wet surfaces. In addition, it has a durable rubber outsole that supports you on even the toughest surface.

  • Pros
  • Breathable upper
  • Great shock absorption ability
  • Lightweight
  • Durable and sturdy
  • Affordable
  • Well-cushioned
  • Offers great support
  • Cons
  • The water resistance abilities are not the best

4. New Balance Men's FuelCell 890 V8-Running Shoe

New Balance Men's FuelCell 890 V8 Running Shoe, Black/Multicolor, 7
  • Cushioned Running Shoes: These performance shoes...
  • Comfort Technology: These fitness running shoes...
  • Breathable Upper: The synthetic and mesh upper on...
  • Lightweight and Fast-Feeling: Don’t let shoes...
  • Eye-Catching Aesthetic: Inspired by bold running...

New Balance is a popular shoe brand known for manufacturing good quality shoes that are also quite a durability. With their sleek New Balance Men's FuelCell 890 V8-Running Shoe, they have made it possible for users to enjoy exceptional cushioning and stability in a lightweight shoe.

As one of the good quality and best running shoes for knee pain, it has a modern design with a great balance between style and performance. It features a full-length FuelCell midsole that delivers propulsion and energy return as well as gives a high rebound. The REVlite outsole with rubber pods provides a flexible response, lightweight cushioning, and abrasion resistance when needed.

It is made with synthetic and mesh material that provides a breathable upper and comfortable fit. It features an attractive modern design that provides a perfect blend of performance and sleek look. Like most New Balance shoes, these shoes are available in wide and regular sizes to help you get an accurate fit.

  • Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Great cushioning
  • Attractive design
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Flexible
  • Has several width sizes
  • Durable shoes
  • Abrasion-resistant rubber outsole
  • Cons
  • Lacks extra-wide sizes

5. Hoka One One Bondi 7 Running Shoe

HOKA ONE ONE Women's Gymnastics Shoes
  • Premium durable leather upper
  • Breathable textile lining for abrasion-free wear
  • Removable, foam padded insole for cushioning and...
  • Durable full-length EVA midsole to absorb shock...
  • Durable rubber sole for grip and stability

Although the Hoka One One Bondi 7 Running Shoe isn't the most stylish shoe, it features super cushioning with its wide and thick soles that provide great comfort. It features a durable and full-length EVA midsole that provides great cushioning, excellent shock absorption, and stability.

Despite the cushioning, this shoe still offers an optimal amount of rigidness to provide the needed support for your feet. Furthermore, the synthetic sole features grippy rubber inserts that add to the durability and comfortability of the shoes. The open engineered mesh construction provides unmatched breathable comfort.

However, the Hoka One One Bondi 7 shoe isn't very cheap, but they offer great value for money. It is a high-quality shoe with great support and cushioning to help relieve pain in your knees. Moreover, the TPU overlays provide additional midfoot support and structure, and the internal heel counter gives a locked-in and supportive feel.

  • Pros
  • Breathable material
  • Great shock absorption ability
  • Additional midfoot support
  • Excellent cushioning
  • Durable and high quality
  • Full-length compression-molded EVA midsole
  • Great value for money
  • Cons
  • A bit pricey
  • Doesn't come with a variety of width options

Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Running Shoe for Knee Pain

1. Fit

Depending on your foot type, injury history, and gait, it is important to find a shoe that you can comfortably fit right out of the box, with no break-in period. Ensure the toe box also has plenty of room for your toe to wiggle around. If you notice some irritation or your toes are being pinched while running, then the shoes have probably not fitted properly.

It would help if you never tried to make the shoes fitting by tightly tying the laces or wearing them with the hope that they will stretch out after a few uses. Depending on the material, the shoe might expand slightly but not enough to reduce a major discomfort. The top of the foot has tendons and nerves, which may easily be damaged when pressure is applied to them during intense activities like running.

This is why you need to find shoes that comfortably fit when tied properly or slipped in. The heel should be able to fit well and stay firm to avoid rising with each step you take. Constantly moving your feet may cause stability issues and lead to blisters and other irritations on your heel.

2. Comfort

Since running is a very high-impact activity, you will notice that every time your foot strikes the ground, the impact of your body weight will be transferred to your joints which might cause knee problems. To help reduce the impact felt on your joints, investing in the best shoes is recommended.

However, some running shoes may not give you the comfort you need while running. While most people might think that the more cushioning, the better the comfort but that's not always the case. The construction of the shoe also matters to ensure that it will absorb the shock and reduce the pain caused by bad knees.

3. Heel

If your legs are becoming sore after a run, it is probably time you should start thinking about getting another one. Running shoes will have an expiry date that affects the heel cushioning. It is recommended to find shoes with a good amount of cushioning, especially for people with high arches.

Depending on your type of arch, wearing a shoe that doesn't provide proper arch support will make you feel the impact on the heel and toes. This is because there is less surface area left for the entire foot to absorb the impact. It is crucial to find a shoe that matches your arch type to get the best heel support.

4. Traction and Stability

Depending on where and how you will be wearing your new pair of shoes, the sole can affect your stability and performance. You need to understand that some soles are not designed for certain terrains. Shoes designed for trail running will come with a soft rubber sole that ensures maximum grip and traction on slippery, muddy, and rocky terrains.

However, these soles might not be the best when it comes to cement, and they may wear out faster. The best way to avoid injuries and keep your performance strong is by getting a shoe with maximum stability and great traction. Replace the shoe once you notice some wear and tear to avoid foot and knee problems.

5. Support

When you start experiencing bad knees problems, you need to check the support of the current running product you're using. The support should neither be too much nor too much. When it comes to running style, there are two types of runners.

First, the neutral stride runner will maintain balance throughout the run, and this prevents any misalignment that will put unwanted stress on the joints and muscles. A shoe with a lot of cushioning will possibly cause pain to these runners. This is because it gives unnecessary support and alters the way your foot lands on the ground while running.

On the other hand, runners with pronation, for example, flat feet, will need to purchase proper footwear that corrects the problem and alleviates any pain you might experience while running. Whether you overpronate or under pronate while running, finding the type of shoe that matches your feet is recommended.

6. Durability

When getting new running footwear, you want to ensure that the shoe is durable enough to last for some months or even years. You need to make sure that the cushioning and support don't wear out quickly. It should also come with sturdy rubber outsoles that can hold up to abrasion and pounding from running on hard grounds.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Running Shoes

1. Are cushioned running shoes bad for your knees?

The heel cushioning of running shoes may affect the placement of the feet and motion control. Contrary to the common belief that the best-cushioned shoes are better for running, some cushioning may impair the foot placement, lead to a bigger exchange of momentum with the ground, leading to knee pain.

For this reason, it is crucial to find the right pair of running shoes that are well cushioned to prevent injury caused by highly cushioned shoes. In addition, ensure the shoe cushioning doesn't increase the stiffness of the leg, which causes a greater impact when the foot hits the ground.

2. Is running really bad for your knees?

Although knee pain is a common problem that runners face, the chances are that arthritis is the main cause. Studies have shown that regular running will strengthen the joints and protect against osteoarthritis. However, if you've had knee surgery or are overweight, engaging in an intensive running routine may cause knee pain.

About the Author Brian

Hello, I'm Cindy. I’m a super duper mega hiking enthusiast, with a love for everything that has to do with outdoors, hiking, gear, footwear and more.

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