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Best Running shoes for bad knees

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There are different reasons why you might develop bad knees as an athlete. If you have a bad knee, it should not be the end of your outdoor physical activities. We have thoroughly researched the best running shoes that would help you continue your activities. These shoes have been designed to give the cushion and comfort your bad knee needs.


Running is great for your heart, it builds stamina, encourages blood flow and keeps you in shape. On the flip side, running places stress on your feet. To balance this out, you need to use proper running shoes when engaging in physical activity. Using the wrong shoe could allow you to cause injury to your legs.


There are different issues that might affect your knee including pronation (your feet roll inwards while you run), Supination (your feet roll Outward while you run) and neutral position (your feet stay central while you run). Depending on your type of feet, you should pick shoes that would prevent you from having injuries or knee problems.


There are so many benefits to choosing the right shoe. Once you start experiencing knee problems it is always important to change your running shoes to one suitable for your knee problem. The wrong shoes could worsen or even permanently damage your knees. Consult a physical therapist so you would know what exactly is wrong with your knee and get the shoes best suited for you.


In this guide, we have curated 10 of the best running shoes for bad knees and their features, what to look for when you’re buying shoes for your bad knees and some frequently asked questions you which might help answer some of yours. We hope by the time you are done with this, you would have the information you need to buy the right running shoes for your bad knees.


Top 10

The Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees


As an athlete, it can be very disheartening to hear about your sports injury from your doctor. Sometimes having an injury might mean you have to stop sporting activities while your body heals. Other times it might mean you wouldn’t be able to carry out sporting activities anymore.


Luckily, with bad knees, there are shoes that can help you heal or manage the injury. Depending on the reason for the bad knee their different shoes with different features and purposes. Having a bad knee should not be the end of your sporting activities.


Some bad knees are much more severe than others are. It is very crucial to consult your doctor about your knee before buying any shoes. Not all knee problems can be alleviated of managed with running shoes.


Here are 10 of the best running shoes for bad knees on the market. Each of these shoes is well crafted and would help alleviate your knee when performing physical activities. We have carefully researched and curated this list so making your decision would be easier.



The New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v6 is a running shoe built with the runner in mind. The shoe is very spacious and makes uses of New Balance’s signature fresh foam technology. Using data and the experiences of runners, this running shoe was built to give the right all-round functionality to aid athletes with knee problems.


The shoe offers a lot of support for your knees and is good for a number of different knee problems. The shoe is very breathable with a lot of room for your toes and feet so your comfort is assured. The outer design of the shoe gives it terrific traction and this makes it suitable for running on all types of terrain and surfaces.


The overall design of this running shoe makes it a suitable companion for your knee problem. It can be worn even when you’re not engaging in any physical or running activities. Although a bit pricey, you get good value for your money when you buy this shoe.


An important selling point of this shoe is its very comfortable fit and breathability. With this combination, you never need to worry about your knee or moisture in your shoes. This shoe is Ideal if you engage in a lot of outdoor physical activity.




  • Snug and comfortable fit that is suitable for all feet sizes.
  • The fresh foam gives great support and helps relieve stress from your knees.
  • It is very durable and lasts longer than average.
  • The shoes can also be worn casually when you’re not engaging in any intense activity.
  • It is breathable and can be used for longer distances.







The Adrenaline GTS is great for both long and short distance use. It is a super fitting show because it comes with an adjustable saddle, this means no matter your actual shoe size, you can resize the shoe to fit perfectly. The outsole is designed to withstand wear and tear using special rubber formulation.


The show has a mesh design covering the upper section of the shoe to promote breathability. It also sports a lightweight design for easy mobility and swift movement when running. The shoe has a midsole made from BioMogo, a new innovative material that gives super protection from during high intensity running and generally cushions your feet.


The Brooks Adrenaline GTS is a good running shoe for bad knees. If you are an extreme athlete and you need a shoe to use for your long and intense runs while your knee heals then this is a good shoe for you. The shoe is also perfectly suited for shorter and less intense runs as well.




  • Gives great support to your knee and cushions your feet.
  • Very durable and has great breathability
  • It is lightweight hence great for runs.
  • The rubber sole provides traction, protection, and a cushioning effect.










The Mizuno Wave Rider is a high performing shoe. It offers great comfort and support for your knee. What makes this shoe so special is its ability to absorb a lot of shocks while you engage in activities. It is a great high-intensity shoe and would be a good fit if you engage in such activities. It is lightweight so there is minimum resistance when you are running


The shoe has a uniquely designed sole that protects you by evenly distributing the shock from your activities. This helps to reduce the stress that these activities can cause. Having bad knees should not stop you from engaging in your running activities and the Mizuno Wave Rider makes sure of that.


The insole of this shoe is detachable and easily removable. For people who need external implants such as medical orthotics, it makes it easier to add them for better comfort and balance. As an added bonus this shoe comes reasonably priced with all these great features. This is definitely the running shoe if you’re on a budget and want great returns on your money.




  • Heavy-duty rubber sole.
  • Lightweight shoe
  • Breathable
  • Removable insole
  • Cloud wave technology









This running shoe is a high-performance shoe made to provide comfort and support. It has a super cushion effect that can absorb high impact when running. The Asics Gel Venture protects your feet for both long and short distance runs and activities. It protects you and ensures you do not experience any pain or endure any strain.


For people dealing with knee problems, the insole of the shoe is very crucial to their ability to partake in sporting activities. This running shoe comes with a removable sock liner and n extra cushioned midsole. The shoe also affords you the option of using your custom orthotics.


Asics Gel Venture is a well crafted running shoe that would be very helpful for your bad knee. It has so many features that would make you enjoy your running without having to worry about putting a strain on your knee. It is also reasonably priced so you do not have to break the bank to achieve this.




  • Removable sock liner
  • Durable outsole
  • Gel cushioning
  • Deep gel heel cup










Salomon speedcross is a running shoe best fitted for rough and unpredictable terrains. Forests, hiking paths, and other natural trails are perfect for this shoe. This shoe has a great fitting midsole that allows the shoe to fit properly. It also has a strong grip which boosts the support substantially.


The shoe, through its special Sensifit feature, gives your feet great comfort and a secure feel so your shoes never come off while you run. It also has a quick one lace pull feature that allows you to easily take off the shoe. No matter how tough the terrain might be, Salomon speed cross would take care of your knees.


Traction is very important when running. It is more important when you have a bad knee because any slip or trip could significantly worsen your knee injury. It has a feature called contagrip which gives the shoe a very tough grip. This tough grip is what makes it suitable for running on rough terrains.


If you are into intense hiking or running in rough terrains and are concerned about your knee, this show is definitely for you.




  • Tough grip
  • Water-resistant
  • Very comfortable and durable
  • Snug Fit
  • Durable














This is another versatile shoe on our list. It can both be used for sports and worn casually because of its stylish look. Although at first glance it might look more like a fashion accessory than a sporting shoe, it offers great support and durability. If you wish for a shoe that would support your bad knee both when you’re running and during casual walks then you should seriously consider this shoe.


It has a unique heel pod that helps to improve its shock-absorbing abilities and protect your knee while you engage in any activity. The slight elevation of the heel pod adds extra comfort and as an added boost, is good for people with Achilles heels. The high level of functionality this shoe offers both on and off the track/trails is what makes it a top contender on this list.


The Puma Tazon 6 is very breathable and keeps and prevents moisture from gathering in the shoe. Another great selling point of this shoe is its super durability. The Tazon 6 is a long-lasting shoe that would give you good returns for your money. It is a shoe worth investing in if you have plans for a long term shoe purchase.


Something you might find quite surprising us that it is not overly priced and is a shoe you can buy if you’re on a budget. The support this shoe gives to your knees is unbelievable for a shoe not totally performance-driven. It is a good investment and you should definitely purchase it if you want something that can both be sporty and stylish all at once.




  • Breathable sock liner
  • Raised heel for improved stability
  • EVA Heel pod
  • Midfoot Saddle
  • Very breathable







The New Balance 990V3 is an absolute beast. Designed from start with performance in mind, New Balance has created their ultimate performing shoe. It is shock-absorbing and limits the amount of stress on your knee. The shoes reduce the risk of injury or strain drastically.


It protects your knees and prevents you from feeling any shock when your feet touch the ground during running or walking. The midsole employs the latest technology to give you comfort, support, and the right fit. The New Balance 990V3 was created to ensure that you have a shoe to carry out your heavy running activities even when you have knee problems.


The shoe comes in a wide range of sizes so there is one for almost any feet size. The 990V3 is very spacious and roomy so you do not have to worry about extremely tight-fitting. It also supports orthotics if your knee problem requires you to have them in your running shoes for extra support. It comes in three different width sizes (Narrow, medium and wide widths) so there is a size for everyone.


This shoe is pricey but you would enjoy its performance and durability. The excellent support also makes it worth your investment. It is durable and very rugged and is sure to help you with your knee during high-intensity activities.




  • Multi-fit (suitable for different sizes of feet)
  • Dual-density collar
  • Reflective detailing
  • Rubber forefoot






Adidas Ultra Boost is one of the most comfortable shoes available. From the first time you see it, you notice that the shoe is stylish and has visual appeal. It is an excellently comfortable shoe with the support that makes you feel like you’re running on foam instead of the ground.


The shoe is good for both indoor and outdoor activities. It had a specially designed outsole do both wet and dry outdoor time. The superior comfort that is offered is why this shoe is recommended for people with knee trouble. The outsole also has a spongy design that aids you while you run or walk on uneven or rough terrain. The Adidas ultra boost provides strong arch support which enables you to have better runs.


Although this shoe might be the most expensive on this list, it is worth the buy. Supporters, durability, and comfort would have you totally forget about your knee pain while you’re running, walking or engaging in any other physical activities.




  • Removable Insole.
  • Stylish design.
  • Support cage for foot stability.
  • Molded heel.
  • Increased stability and durability.











Super breathable, comfortable and durable, the Nike pegasus 33 is a shoe to buy for your bad knees. Nike is known for constantly creating shoes that are above others in the market. The pegasus is truly a beauty and another great shoe in a long line of Nike masterpieces. The pegasus is also available in different styles and designs.


This running shoe is great for both the serious user or the casual one. Whether you run long distances or just take a stroll to the mall, this shoe is a good fit for you. It offers comfort, durability, and is lightweight. It allows for easy movement and maneuvering without placing any strain on your knee.


This shoe is one of the few lifestyle running shoes available on this list. You can combine the durability and comfort for either running or leisure. If you have a knee problem and you need a shoe to help you with your knee even after you are done running, this is the shoe for you.




  • Breathable material
  • Variety of designs available
  • Midsole cushion
  • Zoom Air
  • Flywire cables








The Zquick Dash from reebok offers you first and foremost excellent arch support. It has an effective cushion system and is a great natural running shoe. The shoe can be used even when you’re not engaged in any physical activity. Unlike most traditional Reebok shoes which are built for sport, only this shoe offers you versatility.


Aesthetically, the Reebok Zquick Dash is pleasing to the eyes. It may not be the most sturdy running shoe on this list but it has decent grip and durability that you would need as a runner. It is also abrasion-resistant because CRTek rubber was blended into the rubber used to make the sole. Your knee is definitely in safe hands here.


The midsole of the Zquick dash contains EVA material, has good cushioning for your feet and knee during runs and a shock absorption system that neutralizes all the shock when you run. The final feature that makes this shoe good enough to get reviewed on this guide is its Reebok specific Z design which improves stability and traction.




  • Moderately priced
  • Comfortable
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Good stability


How to choose running shoes for bad knees


Choosing the wrong shoe when you have an issue with your knee would cause you to place more strain on it. Increased strain on your knee would worsen it and lead to more complications. Although knee pain can be a severe problem it shouldn’t stop you from being an athlete.


There are so many running shoes on the market that promise to help you with your bad knee. To choose a good shoe, there are some features you need to consider before determining if the shoe is good for you or not.


The reason much emphasis is being placed on the art of choosing is that not all knee problems are the same. Some knee problems are worse than others. Depending on your own knee problem, the right running shoe for you might be different from someone else.


When looking for good running shoes for your bad knee there are over important factors to consider. In this section, we have listed some of these factors. It is important that you consider these criteria before making a final decision because picking the wrong shoe for you might worsen your current knee situation.




Support is crucial to choosing the right running shoes. Your bad knees would need all the support it can get so as to avoid placing extra strain on it. Poor motion control and lack of support is a cause of bad knees. Providing proper support would ensure your knee gets the help it needs to heal properly.


Running or engaging in other physical activities in shoes that don’t offer the right support would worsen your knee. Poor support would also cause you discomfort and place extra strain on your leg causing permanent damage.


Finding the right balance in support is crucial to helping your knee heal better and faster. Compare different shoes before making your final decision. Make sure to get the desired and appropriate support before buying your running shoe.




Getting value for your money is equally as important as buying the right shoe for your bad knee. Buying a shoe that would last should be near the top of your priority list. No one wants to spend money buying and replacing shoes frequently. Always ensure that the shoes are durable and long-lasting.


Running shoes with poorly constructed materials are sure to complicate your knee. If your shoe starts showing signs of wear and tear or the sole begins to come apart, it would damage your feet with prolonged usage. Durable shoes are essential to keep your pocket and your feet happy.


Your shoes need to be able to undergo the toughest of running sessions without falling apart. The sole needs to be strong enough and the shoe needs to do all this while remaining comfortable. Buy a pair of shoes with sturdy construction, your pocket and knees would thank you.




The cornerstone of a good running shoe is its quality. If the shoes aren’t well made and with the best materials, they could easily damage or worsen your knees. Shoes that are poorly made wouldn’t offer you the right, support, comfort, protection and traction that you need.


Always buy your running shoes from reputable suppliers and as much as possible avoid buying knockoffs. Some people think buying knockoffs to save money is a good deal, but it would cost you more in the end. Buy the right quality shoes to avoid damages to your feet and knees.




No matter the sport or physical activity, comfort is very important. As with most physical activities, you would be on your feet most of the time. You need shoes that would be comfortable throughout the duration of your physical activities. Running in uncomfortable shoes is bad for your feet because of the stress on it.


If you run in uncomfortable shoes, you damage your body gradually and over time. You might not notice the damages immediately but you will down the line. To avoid damages to your feet, ankles, and knees, buy running shoes with the right kind of comfort for you.


When you are shopping for running shoes, it is best to try them out and see how comfortable you feel in them. Buying uncomfortable shoes would lead to complications with your feet and could worsen your knee. It is important that you ensure your feet are comfortable in your running shoes before making a purchase.




Your running shoe should protect your feet from a variety of outdoor hazards. Properly made running shoes would protect your knees, cushion your feet to avoid injuries and prevent foreign objects from hurting your feet especially if you engage in hiking or other related activity.


The shoes should also prevent and protect your feet from having any sort of complications while you run. Good protective shoes would soften and neutralize the stress that running places on your feet. Before you buy you running shoes check to see if it would offer good protection do or your feet.




The last thing your knee needs is a running shoe without proper traction. Your shoe needs to have a proper grip to avoid accidents that could further damage your knee. Slipping and falling on a bad knee could worsen or permanently damage it. There is a high probability of accidents happening if your shoe doesn’t have enough traction.


The better traction your shoe has the more your steps would become firm and stable. Good traction would enable you to walk or run on your bad knee properly thought much stress on it. Depending on where you run (standard tracks or rough terrain) you need to pick a shoe with suitable traction to match your running routine.


Make sure to check the material of the shoe to ensure they have proper traction before you buy it. You should check the outsole of your prospective running shoe for multi-directional threading to ensure the shoe has a proper grip.


Shock Absorption


With each step you take when you run, you send shocks through your body. When you have a bad knee these shocks could cause your knee to take more damage as you run. Good running shoes should protect your knee from the shock by absorbing most of it. Depending on how bad your knee is you would need shoes to properly absorb the shock as you run.


Shock absorption is not only beneficial to your knee. It also helps your ankles and hips by absorbing the shock that would have been otherwise transferred to them. You should get shoes that would properly protect your knee from sustaining further damage.




There is no one size fit all when dealing with running shoes. The fit of your running shoes is dependent on the size of your feet. It is important to get shoes that would fit your feet perfectly. Ill-fitting shoes would cause damage to your feet, affect your form and in turn affect your knee.


Tight-fitting shoes should also be avoided as they are a source of immediate and long term discomfort. Tight shoes would affect the natural movement and flow of your feet thereby limiting it’s used and placing a strain on your knee. You should check the heel space, toe box size and general room for your feet to ensure it is well balanced.


Good running shoes need to have a balanced fit. They should not affect your natural running or walking movement or cause pain or discomfort when worn. Over time ill-fitting shoes damage your legs and if you have a bad knee, they can worsen your condition. They should also allow you to fit in recommended orthotics if any and retain their snug fit.




Although breathability does not directly impact your knee, it is an important factor to consider when choosing running shoes. Breathable running shoes would prevent moisture from gathering inside the shoe. If you are an active athlete, you would need to pick the best breathable shoes you can find to prevent your shoes from damaging over time.


Breathable shoes would also offer you more comfort than non-breathable shoes would. Comfort is generally important to have a good experience while running. Being comfortable would also be an added bonus to your bad knee. Make sure to look for shoes with a system that allows air circulate inside or through the shoe or textile lining which deals with moisture.




In this section, we would be answering the frequently asked questions by people who like you, are also looking for running shoes for their bad knees. We hope these would answer any questions you might have.


Question: would my knee pain stop me from running?


Answer: When you start experiencing pain in your knee, it is best to find out the cause of the pain. This means that you would have to stop running until you have figured out the cause. It could sometimes be your shoes so you should consider changing those. Seeing a physical therapist is also advised.


Question: Is there a particular kind of running shoe best for a bad knee?


Answer: There is no single best shoe for a bad knee. There are different reasons why people could be having knee trouble. The reason for your knee trouble would determine the best solution for you. It is bad practice to copy someone else and use their own running shoes just because they have knee problems too.


Question: Are the best quality running shoes expensive?


Answer: Yes they are. If you are looking to get a top of the line shoe that would have the best support, breathability, shock absorption, proper fit, traction and protection, your bill would definitely be on the high side. Cheaper running shoes might be budget-friendly but won’t give you the same value for your money as the more expensive ones.


Question: How often do I need to change my running shoes?


Answer: Most times, as a rule, it is said your running shoes should be replaced after 400 miles of use. Generally speaking, if you begin to notice any wear and tear or feel any pain or discomfort while using your running shoe then you should change them. Failure to change your shoes when due could lead to injury.


Question: Can running shoes really cure my Knee problem?


Answer: The running shoes do n’t work like magic. They work in conjunction with other factors to ensure that your knee is better. They do not by themselves work as a remedy to heal your bad knee. Factors that affect your knee include your age, weight, your history with injuries and how to fit you are. When you experience pain in your knee, good running shoes help to relieve you of that pain and help you carry ok with your physical activities.


Question: do I still need my recommended orthotics if I am buying a running shoe for my bad knee?


Answer: Yes you do. Even though you are buying these shoes to help with your knee, you need to remember that your orthotics come recommended. Using your orthotics in conjunction with your running shoe would help you feel much better and more relieved. You should also remember that these shoes offer you room to attach your orthotics so please use them.





We have gone over some of the best running shoes that can help with you bad knees. When you go through them, it is our hope that you are able to pick a running shoe that would help with your bad knee. Remember to see a physical therapist for a check-up whenever you begin to notice pain in your knee.


When shopping for running shoes for your bad knee, remember the factors to consider so as to find the right shoe for you. Check the fit if it’s nice and snug, check breathability and support, grip, and comfort. Remember to use the guidelines whenever you want to buy running shoes.


Depending on the severity of your knee, you should consider alternative means of treatment. If you’re still experiencing a significant amount of pain after using any of these running shoes then you should consider seeing a specialist to recommend an alternative form of treatment which may require you to stop physical activities for a while.


There are different knee problems or conditions and some of them include, Medial plica syndrome, Bone chips, Bursitis and Tendonitis. There are different signs and symptoms of different knee ailments. To know your particular ailment you should see a physical therapist for proper diagnosis. You should avoid wearing or buying running shoes for your knees without seeing a specialist first.


We have curated this list to enlighten you about the best running shoes for bad knees. We hope that you have enough information to be the shoe you need to relieve your knee. If you still don’t know what to do or what shoe to pick, you could go over the features to look out for when shopping for running shoes for your bad knee. Seeking the professional opinion of a physical therapist is highly recommended before making a final decision.