Welcome to our post on best running shoes for bad knees! In this post, we will discuss some of the important aspects associated with the runners who have bad knees. Now we all know running is an extremely healthy activity. But running is not an easy task because it puts out the body and knees through stress. Some people do experience some issues with bad knees. If you don’t take precautionary measures then injuries can happen.
No one likes those sore knees during a run so the best way to cope with this problem is to wear a pair of shoes that can assist you with your bad knees.
So let’s get on the way with best running shoes for bad knees reviews.
8 Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees 2020
Gel Venture 6 by Asics
Asics constructed the upper of these shoes with modification to deliver astounding performance and durability. The pair’s top layer has synthetic mesh construction. Such a design will boast superb breathability along with comfort.
Furthermore, this material provides shoes with longevity and flexibility. The shoes also feature bumpers for your toes and they will keep your toes safe from impact. Why does this matter? You can run for long distances with more comfort and ease.
Venture 6’s midsole comprises of gel technology which is an essential ingredient in delivering that extra cushioning that your feet require to reduce shock and keep your knees away from pain. The signature gel technology is also present in the rear end of the shoes. Therefore, it can easily absorb shock while improving and easing up transition.
The best part? The feature that sets it apart from the competition is its outsole. This outsole makes running on the trails very easy while maintaining your balance and keeping your foot in right positions. Adequate feet positioning is a major factor when it comes to dealing with knee pains.
Additionally, Asics has used rubber (high abrasion) and placed it strategically to improve the flexibility and performance of the shoes.
- The Venture 6 is extremely comfortable and it can provide excellent traction.
- The shoes look very nice and have an appealing outlook.
- There is no issue when we talk about the sizing of Venture 6 because it is available in different sizes.
- The shoes are extremely flexible.
- Despite a number of features, this running pair from Asics doesn’t have a hefty price tag.
- The gel technology works like a charm it provides excellent support and stability to your ankles and knees.
- Job well when it comes to shock absorption.
- The heavyweight feel of these shoes makes the movement a bit difficult.
The Speedcross 4 is available seven different color combinations and the pair looks very stylish. Salomon has used mesh (anti-debris) for the upper and it is resistant to water as well.
The rubber soles of these shoes offer excellent responsiveness and they will provide you with steady grips during your runs. Its shaft to measures about low top from the arch, therefore; your feet will get maximum transition. Due to the aggressive grip of the rubber, the shoes can provide you with good quality traction even on soft ground.
These are one of the best running shoes, Why? Because they provide you with excellent support and stability.
That’s not all. . . The construction of these shoes makes sure that your feet maintain its natural position and you don’t develop any knee pains due to over or underpronation. The upper sole along with the midsole features plenty of cushioning and you will be able to sprint like a true professional without any issue.
- The rubber soles of these shoes offer maximum traction and superb rips even on soft grounds.
- This pair is extremely airy and highly breathable.
- The anti-debris nature of the upper works like a dream and your shoes remain clean for a lot longer period of time.
- There are different colors and sizes available in Speedcross 4.
- The price of this pair is very affordable.
- Very narrow
- The upper is not entirely resistant to water either.
Tazon 6 from Puma upper has synthetic leather. It not only makes the shoes very durable but highly breathable as well. The construction features T-toe shape while the lace system allows you to fit it as per your liking.
Proper fitting is utmost important if you want to be comfortable in your run. It will also prevent any injuries during running and will enable the shoes to perform their proper functioning. There is a saddle that has cushioning in the midfoot along with the EcoOrthoLite sock liner that snags well with your feet.
The best part? there is an EVA pod in the rear end of the shoes and it serves well as a shock absorber. Not only that, but it also provides the essential cushioning that your feet will need to keep the knees from pain. The TPU shank allows the shoes to provide your feet with improved stability. Puma has used imported quality fabric to make these shoes last for a long time.
Another benefit that these shoes have to offer is that you get to choose from different color combinations. Most women love to wear vibrant colors and you can all find here with Tazon 6. To add to that, the running pair comes at a very decent price.
- Synthetic leather contributes to increase the durability of the pair and make it breathable.
- TPU has an important role in increasing the pair’s stability.
- You can choose from seven different color combinations and keep your style intact.
- The lace-up system snags tightly with your feet for extra comfort and high performance.
- There is an EVA pod in the heel section of these shoes that works well to absorb shocks and protect your ankles and knees from pains.
- Its sock liner boasts highly breathable EcoOrthoLite for excellent fitting and support.
- The midsole of Tazon 6 is a bit too stiff.
The colorful Bondi 5 from HokaOneOne will assist you in running on those hard surfaces. When it comes to extra support and cushioning the Bondi 5 are the best running shoes for bad knees. The reason behind that is HokaOneOne has equipped these shoes with different innovative features as well as superior cushioning.
The upper of this pair boasts well-constructed mesh. This seamless mesh improves the comfort level of your feet and also eradicates any moisture that might develop due to heavy activity. Mesh also keeps your shoes very flexible and allows you to move during heavy activity with ease.
Moreover, the midsole of Bondi 5 offers generous cushioning. The pair comes with midsole powered by EVA and will go all the way from your heel to toe. This pair provides you with a level of comfort that you will extensively take part in various running activities and will not feel any pain in your knees.
Bondi 5’s outsole involves abrasion rubber. This content is present in both toe and heel sections of your shoes. In the arch region, there is EVA plush stability cushioning. Furthermore, the abrasion rubber provides the shoe with longevity, exceptional support, and unparalleled grip.
The best part of the deal? The frame of the shoes is 3D puff print which significantly reduces the weight of the shoes. HokaOneOne has put the transition zone behind those metatarsal heads with early-staged Meta-Rocker. Consequently, such a construction makes your run very smooth and it makes the transition very quickly.
- The Bondi 5 features a unique frame that makes it a lightweight pair to wear.
- There is plenty of cushioning present in it.
- People who have wide toes will benefit from this pair because of its toe box is wide.
- The Bondi 5 is very durable and it offers excellent traction.
- The midsole section might feel a bit stiff.
- Due to a lot of cushioning this pair lacks responsiveness.
The Glycerin 16 from Brooks offers comfort and a high level of soft feel for women suffering bad knees. You will feel these shoes are very light in weight and wearing them will not tire you up. If you are suffering from bad knees then this is the amount of support and comfort your lower body section requires.
Like the previous entry in this list, the Glycerin 16 also features mesh with 3D Fit Print. Your feet will feel the enormous amount of flexibility and breathability. In the midsole, there is Brooks’ signature DNA foam.
The new version of foam comes with air bubbles that Brooks has integrated within the rubber. For this reason, the Glycerin 16 become highly responsive and it contributes to improving your performance as a runner too. This foam also contributes to making the pair lightweight. The midsole of the shoes come with multi-directional grooves for extra grip on different terrains.
In the construction of the outsole, Brooks has used HPR+ Rubber. This rubber is good when it comes to absorbing impact and it also improves the durability of the running pair. If you prefer wearing lightweight shoes then you don’t have to look any further.
- The DNA foam provides these shoes with a very soft feel.
- You will feel that these shoes are very flexible to wear and use
- The Glycerin 16 will absorb the shocks effectively.
- These shoes are extremely durable because of the abrasive rubber.
- These shoes are not your ideal choice for hot or humid conditions.
- If you get them wet, they will take a long time to dry.
Cohesion 11 from Saucony is all about performance. If you have a case of bad knees then Cohesion 11 is going to work wonders for you. The reason behind that is it comes with enough cushioning and support to keep your feet in an adequate position.
Like some of the other entries in our list, the Cohesion 11 also comes with fabric and synthetic materials. This means that the pair is going to be highly breathable. Ultimately, your feet will not develop any odor because there are no chances of sweat. This means that you can wear these shoes in hot or humid conditions too.
The company has used top-quality rubber in these shoes. Consequently, you can wear them on various tracks without the fear of wearing. There are supporting overlays along with the mesh in the upper and these overlays also keep the shoes very breathable.
In terms of breathability, Cohesion 11 is the best choice you can make from our list. For the purpose of flexibility, there is heavy padding present in the tongue and collar of this pair. The shoes are available in different price options and when it comes to sizing Saucony is one of the trusted brands to provide you the adequate product that fits you well.
- The Cohesion 11 comes with shock absorption and they will feel very comfortable for your knees while running.
- Its upper comes with fabric and synthetic materials and they boost the breathability of these shoes even in hot and humid weathers.
- There is a lot of cushioning in the heel section and the toe box. Your feet will feel very relaxed during your sprints.
- This pair comes in different colors as well for you to make your choice.
- There are plenty of sizing options also available at your disposal.
- You won’t find many color options here.
- The rubber sole tends to wear out pretty fast on hard surfaces such as concrete.
The 1080v7 from New Balance (NB) is best for those who suffer from bad knees because of Supination or similar other conditions. NB has used synthetic materials with 100% import quality textile in the manufacturing of these shoes.
The rubber soles of 1080v7 keep your stepping stable and provide you with excellent gripping over various terrains. You can remove the insole of this shoe if you want because there is no sewn overlay. The outsole features multi-directional grooves and these will allow you to move your feet freely in fast motion.
NB has used mesh in the construction of the upper. 1080v7’s bootie construction provides you with comfortable and secure fitting. It allows you to improve your performance exceptionally. The external overlay of midfoot ensures secure fitting while the foam collar supports your ankle. There is ultra-foam present in the midsole and it will cushion your feet on every step you take.
Its toe box keeps the movements of your feet pretty natural. Furthermore, 1080v7’s combination of plush cushioning and synthetic material keeps the support for your feet and ankles at an ideal level. It also keeps your thighs and knees safe from any impact and keeps the running smooth for you.
- Its outsole features a groove design that enables you to go for long distances.
- The ultra-foam in the midsole offers exceptional cushioning and keeps the movement of your feet as natural as possible.
- The rubber soles of this pair offer exceptional stability.
- You will find removable insole as well as and bootie construction for extra ankle support.
- Due to the superior cushioning, you will enjoy its top-notch flexibility and durability.
- It doesn’t come with enough ankle support and has poor construction quality.
- Doesn’t’ suit people with high arches.
Just like the previous entry from New Balance, Adidas has also used textiles and synthetic materials to construct the Ultraboost. These shoes are so breathable that your feet will not experience any sweat even in humid conditions. The sole of Ultraboost has rubber in it that doesn’t wear out too quickly. Its shaft measures approximately low-top from its arch. It provides a great deal of room for your feet for movement.
One of the best things about Adidas is that they don’t make you compromise on color options even if you go for their specialized shoes. Similar is the case with Ultraboost running shoes. There are so many color options here for you to choose from. Sizing is not an issue here either and you can easily find the right pair for yourself.
The construction of the upper involves Primeknit that features Adidas engineered torsion system. This system is there in the shoe’s midsection between the toe and the heel. Adidas has used high durable continental rubber and it can stand tall to meet the needs of your routine physical activities.
- Ultraboost comes in nine different color combinations.
- There are a lot of sizing options available in this pair as well.
- Ultraboost’s upper has Primeknit which ensures excellent fitting.
- The high-quality rubber that Adidas has used for the sole is extremely durable even if you go for a couple of rounds on hard surfaces too.
- The shoes are highly breathable due to the textile and synthetic materials used in the construction.
- Its toe box is very small even for the large sizes.
- Ultraboost’s top is pretty narrow and some of you might not feel comfortable when wearing it for intense activity.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Running for Bad Knees
There are some misconceptions associated with running. One of them is that running is bad for your joints and it may cause damage to your knees. Running is not bad for you if you do it in a controlled manner. Therefore overdoing it will only contribute to increasing your knee pain.
You must understand what the cause of your bad knees is. Is it overweight, or is it your flat feet or high arches! Work on the issue instead of giving up on running for good.
- Running will boost your immune system, your metabolism, and your blood circulation through legs. The muscles of your legs will have enough strength and endurance due to improved blood flow and your joints will have more flexibility.
- As your muscles are getting all the nutrients from the foods you consume, they will be better equipped to negate any tissue damage.
- With running the muscles and joints of your body particularly your legs will become stronger. The bone density will increase and your legs will become stronger as well.
- If you are overweight then running can worsen the pain in your knees.
- You might end up breaking knee muscles or may face joint inflammation.
- Choosing hard surfaces for running will also put your knees and ankles through a lot of stress and can cause increased knee pain.
How to Run with Bad Knees?
If you have bad knees due to any previous conditions or injury, you should not quit running. There are some precautionary measures that you can do to keep the running painless for your knees. Following are some suggestions that can prove to be very useful for you:
1. Choose softer surface to run
If you have done a lot of running on those hard surfaces, then your knees will start to feel the toll over time. For this reason, you can go for a softer surface. Wood chips, dirt or grass can work very well for you because these surfaces will lower the shock that your legs experience.
Most of the cross country races take place in golf courses exactly because of this reason. However, you must make sure that the softer surface is still firm and stable for avoiding slipping.
2. Running shoes with adequate support
It is important that you have the running shoes that provide you with an appropriate level of support and are a proper fit too. This is especially important when there is a case of bad knees. These pairs have a design to keep the stress of your leg joints including ankles and knees.
Most of the running shoes can last for 300 to 500 miles and you can reach these numbers very quickly if you run consistently. It is important to replace your shoes every six months. Nevertheless, if you run long distance on a daily basis than the timeline of durability reduces from 6 months.
3. Proper running position
It is crucial to be in a proper running position if you want to reduce any strain on your knees during running. The importance of the running position gets further amplified if you have bad knees. Ensure that you lean a bit towards your front while running and keep the knees bent.
This will create a natural cushion in your knees and it will also allow you to land on your feet with heel-to-toe motion and reduce the impact.
4. Take a break and do a lot of stretching
If you run a lot then you will put your knees through a lot of stress. Therefore, it is important for you to take some breaks. For instance, if you plan to run for 1 hour then go for four 15-min runs or three 20-min runs. Your body will get a chance to take some rest in-between your runs.
Moreover, you will still be able to achieve your cardiovascular activity target for a day. You should also stretch your muscles before you start your runs. Stretching will allow your hamstrings, calves, and quadriceps to relax and will reduce any stress on your knees. With stretching, your legs won’t have to overcompensate for the tight muscles before you go.
Of course, you want a pair that provides relief to your knees and ankles when you are running. Hence, there are some important features that you should consider before buying the best running shoes for bad knees. These are listed as follows:
How to Choose Running Shoes for Bad Knees
Support is the single most critical feature that you must consider before buying a running pair for your bad knees. Some of the issues with your knees can be directly connected with the improper stability or lack of motion control.
Therefore, adequate support is necessary as it can take care of other issues like Supination or overpronation. If your pair doesn’t provide you with enough support that your knees will experience additional strain and it will contribute significantly towards your discomfort when running.
This one is a no brainer because no one wants to run in a pair that is not comfortable at all. So each pair comes with a different set of technologies that play their role in providing your feet with comfort. However, usually, these are quite similar. The thing that you need to look for is underfoot cushioning. This cushioning will take care of some of the strain that your knees experience during running.
Your running pair must protect your knees from the pain in the first place. Your shoes can feature special shock absorption properties as well as gate stabilization. The idea is to provide you with any chronic pain relief.
Furthermore, your running pair must also keep you safe from any hazards while running. Aside from the knee pain, other pains caused by repetitive strains also need to be prevented. In terms of designs, protecting your feet from the elements is another concern especially if you are going for trail running or hiking.
You running pair for bad knees must last for the period as long as you expect them. It’s just as plain and simple as that. If your pair just begins to fall apart in the middle of your lap then it can cause some injuries. You peeling off sole can cause you to fall or failure in construction might not provide your feet, ankles or knees with enough support, causing you discomfort and pain.
5. Impact absorption
Impact or shock absorption is highly critical just like support in case of knee pains. The stability and support of the pair under consideration should be superb. It will enable your feet to land in a proper position. Excellent impact absorption system can transfer the impact from the foot to the shoe instead of your ankles or knees. For this reason, your ankles, knees, thighs, and hips will receive a less amount of wear.
6. Extra cushioning
You can look to buy a running pair for bad knees with some extra cushioning as well. Nevertheless, this can entirely depend upon your own preferences. If you think that the condition of your bad knees needs more cushioning, then you can go for it as per your own needs.
The idea is to prevent your feet from any shock absorption and you must prevent your knees from any kind of impact. You can use this option if you have to run on tough terrains.
If you have to deal with overpronation then you should look for firm soles. Overpronation is a pretty common condition among runners with low arches. Due to overpronation, legs and over knees rotate inwards as you strike your foot down the ground while running. Due to this rotation, your knees feel the pain that amplifies with the time or intensity of your activity.
If you are still experiencing pain in your knees even with the running pair design to cater bad knees then it’s time to use some accessories. You can go for specialized orthotics but you will need to consult a well-trained professional.
You will take the molds of your feet in various positions to see how the foot position initiates knee pains. With the help of these molds, they will then create customized insoles for you that will align with your ankle and feet.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I run with bad knees?
What you need is proper support for your feet along with adequate shock absorption. Therefore, if you can get your hand on a running pair that provides you with these features then you will find running a lot easier even with bad knees.
However, you must consult your physician before you hit the road. Your therapist will make it easier for you to be on track and will also assist you in finding the right pair for pain relief.
2. Will running shoes for bad knees allow me to run on any trail?
If you have bad knees then running on a trail is not advisable. Even if you have a lot of cushioning in your shoes, you should look to choose smooth terrains for running purposes. It will make sure that you don’t have to go through any injuries.
Yes, running with bad knees can be problematic and it can also do more harm than good. But you need to be more proactive and look for the gear that eases your activity for you. Having bad knees doesn’t mean that you should stop running altogether.
Now it’s time to declare the winner, the Gel Venture from Asics is the best running shoes for bad knees. It comes in a variety of color combination for you to choose. The pair is perfect when it comes wit provide your feet and ankles with excellent stability and shock absorption to keep your knees well protected from pains.
Highly breathable, these shoes feature a toe bumper while its midsole comes with gel technology, hence the name. The gel contributes significantly to smoothing the transition. There is additional cushioning that is excellent for impact absorption and keep you going for long distances.
You should look for the appropriate footwear and other gears to provide support to your knees and do your activity. But make sure that you don’t set yourself straightaway for a marathon. You can start humbly and increase your distances with the passage of time.
Time to run now!