Three months ago, I sat on my yard confused by (1) where to get knee pain rehabilitation and compression socks after a week’s run, and (2) The shoe lingo of best running shoes for knee pain or patellar pain syndrome. I conducted some research. So, hopefully, this guide will help you.
To reduce knee pressure, misalignment and pain, as outlined in a recent study, the running shoes I recommend are Brooks Beast 14 and Nike Air Pegasus 34 as they’ll also prevent injury to your joints’ protective cartilage.
Rundown: 10 Top Running Sneakers for Knee Pain
|Brooks Beast 14||Textile||Flyknit|
|Nike Air Pegasus 34||Synthetic||Yes|
|Brooks Glycerin 14||Synthetic||Yes|
Reviews of 12 Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees – Men & Women
1. Brooks Beast 14: Best Choice for Overpronators
Brooks Men’s Beast 14 is the takes the top spot for the best running shoes for bad knees. It’s one of the traditional running shoes but still preferred by many because of its high cushioning and support to knees.
The Brooks Men’s Beast 14 features a linear design that offers excellent support and stability to your knees. Further, they are designed with a motion-control mechanism that controls pronation. Hence, are ideal for over-pronators.
Stability and Great Cushioning: Runners who experience over-pronation while running should consider the Brooks Men’s Beast 14. The shoe offers stability and great cushioning giving total support to the runner’s body. Furthermore, the shoe features a great linear platform that provides excellent support and stability to your feet.
Comfort: Its sock-liner technology and moisture managing mechanism will help regulate the temperature inside the shoe, leaving your feet feeling fresher. Furthermore, this running shoe features a breathable mesh and a super-light synthetic material that comfortably covers your feet, while giving your feet enough air to breathe.
Mid-Section Support: The Beast 14 is flat in design providing additional support to your foot’s mid-section. This shoe is ideal for those with flat feet type or those that need extra support and cushioning in their running or walking exercises.
For additional mid-foot support, the shoe has an asymmetrical saddle that extends to cover the feet inside the shoe. This ensures your foot is securely locked giving you a comfortable and enjoyable running experience.
Durability: Brooks Men’s Beast 14 is designed with durability in mind. It has rubber outsoles which help to extend the life of this product. The shoe also offers impressive cushioning, to enable both light and male and female heavy runners to use the shoe for an extended period without getting ruined. You can check more Brooks Men’s Beast design on Amazon.
Running and Bad knees – What’s the Correlation?
Running helps you keep fit, lose weight, stave off your creaky knees, boost your immune system & increase bone density. However: Running incorrectly hurts your knees. A recent study show Knee cartilage loves cyclical loading making cartilage cells divide faster and replenish knee tissue. But: For either ultra-marathoners or casual walkers, choosing a running pair of shoes that protect your knees is easier said than done.
Desirable features of Running Shoes for Knees Pain
As I had noted earlier, the main causes of knee pain are training errors or biomechanical issues. You can reverse the challenges by getting shoes that adequately balance the running load that lands on your knee joints.
- If you’re a neutral runner, you’ll need to get stable and extra cushioned running shoes. Notably, avoid the motion control footwear.
- If you are a supinating runner, your feet will be rolling outward. Therefore, you should get flexible and cushioned running shoes. Again, supinator must avoid the stable running shoes.
- Finally, if you’re an over-pronating runner, your feet will be rolling inward and hence put pressure your knees. Therefore, get running shoes marked for motion control or stability. Notably, such shoes have a thick and hard surface at your arch.
1. Durability and Comfort: The shoe needs to offer under-foot comfort to reduce the amount of stress transferred to your knee. They have motion control, DNA technology, and gel cushioning. You risk injuries and knee pain if you sport running shoes that crumbles down during your running.
3. Stability and Traction: Choose a shoe that provides appropriate motion control or proper balance. Choose shoes that have excellent traction to avoid cases of injuries. Your running shoes should offer a firm grip on all surfaces they were intended to be used.
2. Nike Air Pegasus 34 – Best Choice for Price
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 34 has Dynamic Flywire cables which comfortably enfolds your foot’s arch giving you support while running. With this shoe, you are guaranteed comfort, excellent cushioning, and a responsive ride.
This shoe has everything you might need to protect your knees. The footwear offers comfort, a responsive ride and an exceptional cushioning to make running sessions enjoyable.
If you want reliability and safety during your running sessions, whether as a beginner or an experienced runner, then Pegasus 34 will be an ideal choice for you. Go ahead and try it!
Ultralight, responsive, and fast: Pegasus 34 is uniquely designed to fit its size. Further, being a lightweight shoe, it’ll be safe and suitable for running while having knee and back problems. Also, it is covered with a Flymesh material which reduces heat buildup while you are running. You’ll love the support and cushion the Pegasus 34 will give you.
Best for beginners: For starters with bad knees, the Pegasus 34 is an awesome shoe for beginners. The shoe is comfortable and well-cushioned to prevent knee pain. With the Flywire cables, you’ll find the shoe to be adequately stable for beginning your running career with a knee injury. Also, it has a stable heel cup which securely wraps the arch of your feet giving you support and security against knee damage.
Amazing comfort: Air Zoom Pegasus 34 has incredible Zoom Air units that help to push you forward, making you benefit from more extended runs. It has a tremendous responsive cushioning which makes it the most comfortable shoes on the market today and thus ideal for bad knees.
In addition to its ligh weight Flymesh to help reduce overheating, the shoe is 285 grames, which make the footwear light enough not to strain your knees and ligaments, thus.
Smart design: Nike is widely known for providing unique shoe designs. The Air Zoom Pegasus 34 is no exception. The shoe comes in over 20 different unique color combinations to give you your best preference. Also, it has an exceptional rubber strip near the sole to help a runner easily and comfortably transition between the toe and heel.
The shoe offers a trendy and unique look for anyone using it. However, if you feel that the Air Zoom Pegasus 34 is not ideal for you, you can check on Amazon for previous Nike Air Zoom Pegasus designs or colors.
3. Nike Dart Shoes – Best Choice for High Arches
Nike Dart takes the top stop as its uniquely built to prevent and heel knee pain. Coming with a variety of colors, Nike Dart are both responsive, stylish and comfortable.
The shoe has appropriate padding to provide extra stability and protection.
It’s especially great for people with a neutral stride and who undertake daily jogging or running due to their great arch support and excellent cushioning.
Nike Dart has a mid-foot saddle that is molded to give you a supportive and lightweight fit, particularly to help with your under-pronating or neutral strides.
Fit: Nike dart tends to run narrower and smaller. Thu, be sure to take a size up or try them before buying. Further, it has carbon rubber out-soles that will that’l give you top comfort and grip.
Breathability: The shoe has mesh vents to enhance breathability and great ventilation. Further, its mid-sole runs full-length to increase your comfort.
4. Brooks Glycerin 14 – Best Choice for Comfort
Next on out list is the Brooks Glycerin 14. I know you are asking, what about the newer Brooks Glycerin 15 model?
Well, Brooks Glycerin 14 continues to stand out for preventing shock damage for people who suffer from knee pain.
Traction: This shoe’s out-sole is made from durable rubber providing awesome grip and traction for support and stability when you are on most surfaces.
Comfort: With bad knees, shock absorption is a critical aspect of achieving the required comfort and to protect your knees from excess stress. Luckily, Brooks Glycerin 14 has a custom mid-sole that will offer you a custom fit and it’s adequately cushioned.
Breathability: Besides protection against knee pain, you’d want your shoe to have the required breathability. Brooks Glycerin 14 has awesome ventilation to give you the need breathability and thus maintain your feet in a dry and cool condition.
GEL-Kayano 20 is designed with a gel cushioning mechanism that allows it to absorb excess shock. It also features a fluid fit and a fluidride for a great bounce back and an ideal fit.
The GEL-Kayano 20 shoe is one of the most preferred running shoes because of its excellent cushioning feature against knee pain.
It also helps prevent other knee injuries like Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury- a common knee injury affecting most runners. If you want stability and comfort during your running exercises, then this GEL-Kayano 20 Lite will do the trick for you.
Comfort: The Kayano 20 is designed with the safety and comfort of runners in mind. This shoe is specially made for those looking for that extra support. Because of its excellent stability, the shoe is highly recommended for runners with bad knees and those that experience over pronation when running.
This ASICS shoe, just like the rest of this model has great gel-cushioning which allows it to absorb shock, giving the runner comfortable running experience. Fluid Fit: The fluid fit upper eliminates any chance of foot irritation that might be brought by inside shoe stitches. Also, the fluid fit provides a stretchy cover on the whole shoe allowing it to wrap your foot in a glove-like fit securely.
Excellent grip and traction: The GEL-Kayano 20 has a fantastic rubber sole that gives it great grip and traction. Thus, it’s an ideal shoe for running and for those with knee or back pain. This shoe is exceptionally sturdy and stable, and it will give you that great feeling of being in control while doing your exercises.
Sturdy and Comfort Fit upper: This shoe offers comfort, stability, and fantastic support to allow you to enjoy a running experience without any pain. The smooth upper allows the shoe user to comfortably exercise without feeling any foot irritation experienced when using other shoe designs. The shoe fit is perfect and conveniently holds the toes and the heels in place for a smooth run. You can check on amazon other designs of the GEL-Kayano.
Best Women’s Running Shoes For Knee Pain
The New Balance W1340v2 features motion-control technology that gives your feet support and superior cushioning. This shoe is ideal for anyone complaining of knee pain or over-pronation as it’s fitted with TPU and T-BEAM mechanism which offers needed stability within the midsection of your feet.
New balance shoes have for a long time remained runners favorite which makes them a top choice for runners with knee pain. The W1340v2 is no exception.
This shoe features a durable rubber sole that gives excellent traction and grip on any terrain making it ideal for daily running routines.
Motion-Control Technology: The New Balance W1340v2 has motion control technology which reinforces a runner’s stride allowing them to go many miles without knee injuries. This shoe was designed explicitly for over-pronators, and it has excellent cushioning as well as a support technology that helps runners feel comfortable. This unique motion control technology ensures that you remain safe and healthy while protecting your knee from any injuries.
Lightweight, Supportive Design: The W1340v2 shoe model offers a supportive and lightweight design that combines a variety of colors to give your feet that sporty look leaving you feeling comfortable while working out. The lightweight feature makes the shoe ideal for running with bad knees. Your knees get the required cushioning and support to engage in your running routine comfortably.
Breathability: The midsole feature many New Balance technologies which give stability support to the shoe midsection. On the other hand, the upper has breathable synthetic material that helps the foot to remain cool and fresh all day long.
Durability: New Balance is known for producing consistent products that offer value for the money as well as years of use. However, if used daily, they might not last for long. Therefore, we recommend getting an extra pair to use alongside this one.
Comfort: The shoe offers excellent support giving comfort to those runners with knee pain. The REVlite midsole provides great cushioning to those with injuries, making the best-running shoes for bad knees. You can check more New Balance Women’s shoes on Amazon.
The Zealot ISO 2 offers a unique mix of protection and steadiness. Many runners agree that this shoe model is an excellent choice for those with knee complications like pronation as they provide the required level of stability.
Saucony strives to offer the top running shoes for knee pain, so if you have any knee issue, Saucony models are an excellent choice. The Zealot ISO 2 has low weight and considerable cushioning to give a runner a bouncy and a well-cushioned ride.
They are also well-cushioned allowing a runner to exercise without any significant issues. Furthermore, if you are overweight or have been inactive for an extended period and want to avoid any form of injuries, then the Zealot ISO 2 will be a perfect choice for you. You can check more Saucony Women’s Zealot Running Shoe on Amazon.
Quality Rubber Soles: Zealot ISO 2 has quality rubber soles giving you excellent traction and grip while running on hard impact terrain. When using this shoe, you don’t need to worry about injuries as the soles are designed to protect you against injuries.
Lightweight And Great Cushioning: Zealot ISO 2 is designed using lightweight material giving you essential cushioning while running. People with knee problems can comfortably exercise with this shoe as they are light enough, stable, and offer great cushioning
Breathability: The Saucony ISO 2 has a synthetic mesh material that allows a high level of breathability. Another feature is the high drying ability. All these features leave your feet feeling cool and fresh all day long.
Style: The Saucony shoes come in a variety of colors and style giving you a chance to select your favorite. This shoe has a unique sporty style which will provide you with the fantastic sporty look. The good thing is that the shoe can be worn even in informal events because of its attractive style and comfort.
The Bondi 5 Running Shoe features ortholite insole which offers extra cushioning, arch support, and comfort. The shoe is designed with meta-rocker technology to give your feet comfort and protect you against knee injuries. The footwear has considerable cushioning because of the EVA Midsole.
If you want cushion, stability, and comfort all in one shoe, the Bondi 5 Running Shoe will offer you just that! Bondi 5 has remained the top choice of running shoes for bad knees. The shoe has a rockered design which gives it an elongated shape on the toe and heel generating a seamless heel to toe transition.
For more Hoka One One Women’s Bondi
Excellent Redesigned Upper: The Bondi 5 features a unique redesigned upper that encompasses a seamless and engineered mesh construction. The upper engineered mesh gives the shoe Comfort and great cushioning. Most customers have praised the flexibility and smoothness offered by this shoe.
Quality midsole: The Bondi 5 midsole has a soft EVA foam that overlays the whole shoe. This foam comes in the form of a thick layer to give you that critical cushioning. This shoe will make you feel a little taller if compared with other brands. The shoe allows your foot to rest on the cushioning comfortably, giving you comfort and stability.
Cushioned Running Shoes for knee Pain
ASICS Gel Kayano 24 is undoubtedly the best on a treadmill or road. It features double-layered form that securely holds the feet. The gel cushioning helps to absorb any excess shock.
The Kayano 24 remains the best cushioned and stability shoe for running or even walking.
As a result, it is considered a remarkable solution to some common causes of knee injuries.
The Kayano 24 has marked some significant improvements from the previous versions like reduced weight, making it a top choice among runners with bad knees.
Comfort: The Kayano 24 is for runners who need that extra support. The shoe is highly stable, making it ideal for runners with knee pain and overpronators. It has gel cushioning which helps to absorb excess shock while running.
Furthermore, the fluidFit upper eliminates foot irritation that may be caused by the numerous stitches inside the shoe. The exoskeleton and lacing system help to lock down the feet, so Kayano 24 guarantees you comfort while running.
Durable Sole Unit: Gel Kayano 24 features Dynamic Duomax cushioning and gel in the heel for shock absorption and managing overpronation.
The outsole also has a physical divide which helps to control the feet during running. Furthermore, new FlyteFoam provides additional cushion and a remarkable bounce-back for improving the durability of the shoe. The sole is unbelievably sturdy; you will always be in control as it allows great transition on different terrains.
Excellent Upper: The upper of Gel Kayano 24 features a seamless FluidFit fabric that allows the foot to fit in a glove-like design. Thus, your feet are wrapped up securely, allowing for flexibility and breathability.
Another great feature in Kayano 24 is the slightly wide toe box compared to previous versions. Hence, runners with wide feet can comfortably run on these shoes.
The heel of the shoe has an excellent exoskeleton clutching system which will securely hold your heel in place while running.
Another feature on the upper is the terrific lacing system. The laces distribute pressure evenly on top of the foot. While the additional overlays within the eyelets offer more durability, meaning they can last longer regardless of how tight you tie them.
Breathability: Having shoes on for an extended period can make your feet sweaty or smell. Therefore, investing in well-ventilated and sturdy shoes can be beneficial. The upper of Kayano 24 features a mesh which allows free air flow. Also, the shoe has an Ortholite sockliner on the inside, similar to the socks, which helps to regulate moisture.
Support: Kayano 24 features DuoMax technology to give the shoe extra support and cushioning. The rubber exoskeletal at the back of the heel prevents slipping. The gel provides cushion and support to the heel. As a result, your feet get support in all stages of running. The guidance line helps over pronators by shifting the excess weight to the sole.
The Nike Flyknit Racer has a breathable single-piece knitted upper to allow free airflow to your feet. Also, the upper is adequately stretched to give a perfect fit while offering additional support and cushioning.
Nike Flyknit Racer has become very popular among people with bad knees and those with other knee conditions.
The reason for the popularity can be attributed to the many features and benefits this racer has to offer. Its external design and an array of colors to choose from have made the shoe more preferred by many runners.
Excellent Cushioning: A running sneaker must have exceptional cushioning to protect you from knee injuries. Nike Flyknit Racer is highly responsive and has a lightweight midsole that features durable foam. Also, it offers excellent arch support and sturdy sole for added security and comfort while doing your exercises.
Size And Fit: If you want a shoe that is true to its size, look no further. The Flyknit Racer is available in a range of sizes and designs that conform to a runner’s likes and preferences. The heel, the forefoot, and mid-foot sections have medium sizes. Similarly, the shoe is also recommended for runners with narrow feet and medium feet.
Midsole: Nike Flyknit is equipped with a Phylon midsole that is lightweight, responsive, and low-profile making the shoe ideal for runners with knee pain. The midsole foam provides adequate cushioning for a more resilient run.
Upper: Nike Flyknit Racer has a single piece knit upper that provides excellent breathability to your feet. The top is stretchable enough to give a smooth, sock-like fit, accommodating runners with wide feet.
The Dynamic Flywire allows the shoe to deliver extra support, comfortable fit, and excellent cushioning while lowering the weight of the shoe. For added comfort and security, the footwear has a low-profile tongue and is lightweight making lifting your feet off the ground comfortable and enjoyable.
Outsole: Flyknit Racer delivers a durable and stable outsole which is equipped with carbon rubbers that offer excellent traction on different surfaces. As a result, runners can maintain an upright posture form when running on various surfaces.
Breathability: If you want an excellent breathable shoe, the Flyknit Racer will be your best bet. The knitted upper design and lightweight material ensure the free flow of air and an excellent breathable shoe. You will not have to worry about smelly or sweaty feet while exercising.
11. Brooks Addiction 12 – Best for Running
Brooks Addiction 12 features BioMoGo DNA cushioning around the midsole. The Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar provides consistent control during running. The Segmented Crash Pad facilitates soft and smooth landings.
Brooks Addiction 12 is among the most stable and supportive shoes in Brook’s collection. They offer excellent motion control, making them ideal for running on the road.
Athletes with flat arches or severe pronation or pain on the knee will benefit from this shoe.
Excellent Outsole: The outsole of Brooks Addiction 12 is best for road running. The shoe outsole features HPR Plus material that is quite solid compared to other outsole rubber. Thus it helps to boost the resistance level of the shoe against wear and tear particularly on hard surfaces like prolonged road use.
The shoe also features MC Pods that offer excellent flexibility without lowering motion control as well as improved road traction.
Fantastic Upper: The upper of Brooks Addiction 12 features breathable mesh material that has moisture absorbing properties. Further, the synthetic uppers provide the shoe with adequate protection on the toe box which allows the runner enough room to stretch their toes.
Also, the upper lacing system wraps the foot securely holding it down in place for a more comfortable and cushioned ride. The heel cup also helps to lock the foot to give it a more comfy and secure feeling during the run.
Brooks Addiction 12 is designed with a moisture absorbing mechanism to remove excess moisture from your feet. The breathable system, on the other hand, allows free flow of air inside the shoe. The synthetic overlays and the upper mesh function together to enable air pass through the shoe leaving feet feeling fresh and comfortable.
Another central feature of the Addiction 12 is the linear platform, which provides a lot of support and stability to the overall body, making it best-cushioned shoe for a bad knee.
Compared to other designs, the brooks 12 is straight up to the arch. This feature ensures more comfort to the midfoot, particularly for those with flatter feet or those that need additional help during their running routines.
Support: The Brooks 12 features a Diagonal Rollbar which protects runners against twisting their feet. It also protects runner with flat feet and those who experience overpronation. The shoe is equipped with EVA cushioning which is strategically placed on the midsole to protect runners from injuries, promoting injury free running sessions.
12. Asics Gel Nimbus 16 – Best for Running
Gel Nimbus 16 is our awesome running shoes to prevent hurting knees that feature gel cushioning and FluidRide midsole for an additional bounce back and energy. The FluidFit technology enables the shoe to quickly adjust to your strides and give you that glove-like fit while running.
If you are suffering from any knee pain or other knee-related injuries, the Nimbus 16 will be an excellent running shoe for you. The footwear offers impressive support and cushioning to your feet.
The shoe absorbs excess shock from ground impact while you are running leaving your knees, legs, joints, and feet feeling awesome.
The upper has an excellent FuidFit system which allows the top mesh to stretch appropriately to give you that personalized fit and securely holds your feet like a glove.
Also, the eyelets aids in removing excess tension on the upper. Another feature is the Exo-skeletal Heel Clutch System that provides extra stability, support and cushioning to your heel.
The inside of the shoe has a breathable mesh for increased comfort while the insole is adapted to fit your feet comfortably and you can also quickly remove it.
The midsole features an exceptional FluidRide technology that offers a unique combination of cushioning and bounce-back attributes. Also, the shoe provides forefoot and rearfoot cushioning. More than that, superior impact absorption on foot-ground impact will give the comfort and security required while running.
The heel has an additional height of 3mm to help relieve Achilles tension among women runners, making it an ideal running shoe for women with bad knees.
Furthermore, the outsole of the shoe has a guidance line with a flex groove which is made to give the runner a steady progression for improved gait efficiency. The Guidance Trusstic System also helps in the seamless transition that optimizes your gait providing extra midfoot support and cushioning.
People who run are at a higher risk of knee pain, although knee pain can be caused by other condition, investing in the right running shoe can save you from knee injuries. Any of the reviewed shoes for knee pain will offer you excellent cushioning, stability, and support.
- Active.com – How to Run having Knee Pain – A runner’s Online journal December 17, 2016
- RunnersConnect.com –Symptoms an causes of bad knee – Online Publication – July 04, 2014 Online Publication.
- Livestrong.com – How to Run having Knee Pain – An athlete’s Online Journal January 22, 2017.
- ncbi.nlm.nih.gov – Non-surgical treatment of osteoarthritis – Online Publication – June 24, 2011