One of the secrets to keeping yourself fit and healthy is running. When you do it on a regular basis, you’re sure to lose weight. Running also increases your bone density and it also makes your immune system stronger and the list just goes on and on.
But no matter how you love running, it will still put some stress on your body. If managed correctly, this stress can be beneficial but if not, it can bring some harm. Every single stride that you make brings a certain amount of stress to your body. If you’re using the wrong shoes, misalignment can happen which will then result in injury and therefore, pain.
That is the reason why it’s important to always protect your body whenever you’re running. If you fail to do so then the possibility of developing knee pain will always be present. And no one really wants to experience sore legs while running especially when you’re already halfway to your finish line.
Handling knee pain shouldn’t be that complicated. With the right shoe that fits well and comfortable, you will be able to run free from bad knees and other related problems.
Understanding Bad Knees and Running
There are those who think that running is bad for the knees and they are not that far from the truth. It is one of the most natural exercises that is available for you to do. Your body is born to move, it is designed to run and it also needs to breathe. Whether it’s hurting now because of a previous injury, errors in training, or arthritis, choosing the right shoes will help. Wearing a well-fitting pair of shoes really makes a big difference.
Bad knees are often made as an excuse by some to avoid running. You shouldn’t follow that trend though but instead, you need to start fixing the cause by finding the right running shoe that will help relieve the pain instead of causing it.
The Pros of Choosing the Right Running Shoe for Bad Knees
Knee pain is common but it doesn’t mean that you’ll just allow yourself to love with it. Finding a shoe that supports foot strike while offering cushioned comfort is one of the best things you can do to fix the problem. Running with the wrong shoe can definitely bring harm to your knees and cause it to be painful. You need to find a shoe that offers great support for your foot shape to prevent it from causing pain. I have plenty of friends who are into running telling me that most of the pain they experienced before just went away after they started using the right type of shoe.
For instance, let’s say you are flat-footed which results in overpronating, wearing a neutral shoe will not offer the right inward roll support. Wearing a neutral shoe when you know that you have flat feet will eventually lead to pain and injury. The size of your arches and the shape of your foot should be your basis in finding the right type of shoe for running.
You can then factor in some other aspects like cushioning, shock absorption, upper mesh material, and others so you can pick the best one for your bad knees. When you free your knees from pain, running farther and faster will then be easier to achieve. There’s nothing that will hold you back from reaching your full potential as a runner. Eventually, you will find yourself running more and avoid the post-run ice packs for good.
What You Should Look For in Running Shoes for Bad Knees
First of all, you will need to make sure that you know what type of foot strike you have. Bad knees come as a result of wearing the wrong shoe so its best to know the problem first by finding out what kind of foot you have.
- Find out whether you supinate, overpronate, or just have a neutral stride. There is a shoe that can help support these conditions. If you have flat feet, there’s a high chance that you also overpronate. In between supination and overpronation is a foot that has a neutral strike. So be sure to look for a shoe that will complement with your stance and stride the eventually move towards the other factors.
- After finding a shoe that perfectly matches your kind of foot strike, you will need to ensure that it actually has enough cushion. Having such a feature will help in absorbing shock which affects the knees whenever you’re running. The cushion is much-needed especially if you’re out running on the road. Simply put it this way, cushion is king when it comes to running pains and bad knees.
- One of the leading causes of the bad knee is overpronation. When you have a bad knee, you will most likely feel pain on the other part of the knee and as well as around the knee cap. It is also known as the “runner’s knee” and “IT band syndrome”. To help solve overpronation, you will need to find the right shoe which is designed to offer support. This extra support is going to help in achieving a natural footstrike to ease the pressure on the heels and toes. When you have a natural stride, your body finds it easier to be in alignment which prevents the knees from being too stressed.
Using a shoe that is designed for comfort, support, and something that complements your footstrike will help reduce or even eliminate the pain that you feel in your knees. It will also enable you to run further for longer on a regular basis. Below, we give you the top 8 shoes for men and women which will help in your bad knees condition.
The Top 8 Shoes for Bad Knees in Men and Women
1. Best Shoes for Overpronators – Asics Gel Kayano 24
This shoe has easily become the top choice for men and women who have bad knees. And it’s also one of the best-selling shoes around the world for running. Knee pain is considered as one of the most common injuries that affect runners, the Asics Gel Kayano 24 becomes an ideal choice. It is equipped with a guidance system that really works in maintaining stability and efficient foot roll for overpronators.
Its best feature is found in its name. Yes! The GEL Cushion Technology employed in its insole and sole material is the best in the market for absorbing shock both in the forefoot and rearfoot area. It effectively absorbs shock from the shoes in every gait cycle and also supports the heels from too much shock every time a heel strike happens.
The more the shoe helps in absorbing shock, the more it eases the knees from the pain that is a result of pressure and stress brought by the wrong shoe. That is the reason why this shoe is very popular. Most users praise it for its snug fit and comfort. If a shoe is able to lessen or even eliminate the pain when you’re running, it is no longer just a shoe, it is actually a solution. That’s the reason why the Asics Gel Kayano 24 is one of the best-selling running shoes available in the market at present.
- Offers a snug fit and comfortable ride with its superior cushion
- Breathable upper mesh makes it comfortable for running on hot days.
- Flexible and stable, great for running great distances.
GEL Technology cushion system promotes great support for bad knees.
- Quite expensive and heavy
2. Best Bad Knee Shoe for Price – Saucony Cohesion 11
A great shoe which packs durability for a great price. The Saucony Cohesion 11 shoe is one that provides stability and comfort when compared to other neutral shoes out there. Whether it’s running for a long 5 marathon or you’re running for the first time, this shoe is going to offer some big help. Those who are new to running and want a shoe that does not cost too much will find this perfect. The best feature that this shoe has is its durable outsole rubber. If your footstrike is of the normal type and you need a shoe that will help relieve the pain on your knees, this one will also work great. It features Saucony’s signature heel grid system which brings a stable comfortable ride. Users love how it is reliable enough to be counted on even for endurance running.
- Flexible and breathable upper mesh material
- Signature Heel Grid system brings more stability and comfort.
- Durable outer sole which is guaranteed to last long
- Great quality and value for the price.
- Larger hit by half the size
- Tight toe box
3. Best Shoes for High Arches – Asics Gel Venture 6
Here’s the shoe that will work great for those who have problems with underpronation. Yes! It’s a shoe that is going to help runners with high arches and it’s priced reasonably. Users also love their stylish designs which make the Asics Gel Venture 6 just perfect for combating supination while still looking good at the same time. It is able to offer benefits for supinators because of its rearfoot GEL Cushioning System. Having a high arch means that there is less contact to the ground and shock is concentrated on a smaller area.
It is similar to someone stepping on your foot with just their heel compared to someone who does so with their whole foot. The former feels more painful right? The GEL technology in this shoe assists with better shock absorption. The sock liner is also removable adding to the great features that this shoe has. There are times that finding the real culprit for your knee pain becomes very challenging. But knowing that the pain is coming from high arches, you can give this shoe a try. And if you are wearing medical orthotics, you can simply take out the sock liner and replace it with what your doctor requires. Users also love how this shoe is perfect for every type of terrain because of its durable outsole and breathable mesh upper material. they also praise this shoe because of its ability to work perfectly on the road or on a trail.
- Provides good stability and comfort.
- Gel cushioning system makes it a great support for supination and a bad knee.
- Provides great traction and fits accurately.
- Narrow design and it takes time to get used to.
4. Best Shoe for Comfort – New Balance 1080v7
Are you looking for a shoe that is soft and comfortable on the inside? If you’ve got neutral stride whenever your run then the New Balance 1080v7 is going to offer some big help. It features offers to ease pain from bad knee with the signature “fresh foam” feature. It’s a technology that’s embedded in the sole so the shoe can provide better comfort. You will surely enjoy the extra cushion that it has especially if you’re suffering from pain on your knees.
Just remember that this is a shoe for runners who have a neutral stride. If you’re the type who’s got problem in overpronating, this shoe will not offer much help in relieving the pain no matter how much soft foam is used in it. But if its extra cushion that you need while running a marathon or hitting the treadmill at the gym then this shoe is going to be a great pick! Many users have praised the comfort it provides saying that it’s like running on a mattress whenever they have it on. They love the roomy toe box that it has. It is going to be an excellent shoe for providing a comfortable neutral run.
- Good shock absorption on the heel area.
- Durable outsole rubber used for slower wear and tear and long-lasting lifespan.
- Provides excellent cushion and eases the pain on any part of the legs.
Features an open toe box to give the runner enough wiggle room.
- Quite pricey and only serves those who have neutral footstrike.
5. Best Shock Absorbing Shoe – Mizuno Wave Rider 20
Next on the list is this innovative shoe for those who have a neutral stride. It provides comfort without adding too much weight so you can run faster and farther. Mizuno’s Wave Rider 20 employs a signature wave technology which mimics the way how the waves of the sea work. Placed in its sole is a wave plate that is able to distribute the energy produced by the impact of your foot to the ground.
This plate makes the shock be dispersed on a wider area which results in a stable and smooth ride. With it, you’ll surely get good relief from any type of leg pain including the pain on the knees. Users who are able to try Mizuno’s wave technology never tend to switch back to the previous brand they’ve been using. It may not be the best one for long-distance running but people love using this shoe for their regular exercise and even for everyday use.
Wave Rider 20 will be able to add the comfort and performance boost that you need for a 5K or 10K marathon. Mizuno isn’t one of the most popular shoe companies out there but it’s definitely worth wearing. If you’re having a hard time choosing a shoe for your neutral stride, something that offers comfort and stability ten this one is going to be a perfect choice. The Wave technology really works and some users even love that it provides superior comfort and a guaranteed boost in performance as it effectively relieves pain. This truly is an innovative shoe that is set to impress and improve your overall running experience.
- Comfortable and lightweight
- Responsive and stable
- Excellent cushion for the heel area
- Breathable upper mesh for added cooling on hot days
- Not the best shoe for long-distance running and it’s a bit expensive
6. Best Color Combination Shoe – Nike Dart 12
Some of us look for some style through color options and if you’re like that then the Nike Dart 12 shoe is going to be a perfect choice. Nike is known for designing the most stylish shoes for every purpose and the Nike Dark 12 does not fail on this because of the variety of color options that it has. You don’t need to worry about finding a matching outfit for this running shoe because you can choose the perfect color combination for the outfits that you have.
If you’ve got a neutral stride and you’re looking for a shoe that has great cushion and arch support that really works then this shoe is definitely worth a try. Its features a midfoot saddle that’s molded so it’s lightweight and capable of giving support for those who underpronate. Just remember that getting a new shoe means easing on your mileage so be sure to start low then eventually build up on your mileage. You will surely enjoy the snug fit of this show as you progress. Many users love the style and comfort that it offers. Nike is one of the top names in the shoe industry and they make some reliable and stylish shoes every time.
- Durable outsole material for longer mileage and lifespan.
- Snug fit and breathable upper mesh material.
- Affordable pair of running shoes for bad knees.
- Excellent selection of colors.
- Some users experienced issue in sizing.
7. Best Shoes for Smooth Ride – Hoka One One Bondi 5
One of the great things about this shoe is its “30-Day Guarantee” which is offered by Hoka One One. That means that they are confident about their shoe’s ability to provide comfort and smoothness. If you don’t love the experience then you have the freedom to return it. If that does not reassure you the I don’t know what else will. That thing alone makes me want to pick a pair of this and try them myself!
Bondi is Hoka One One’s first running shoe variant. Many runners of ultramarathon love their shoes and now, the Bondu variant already has 5 versions since the first one. Bondi 5 features a midsole that is made of full-length EVA providing it a smooth ride that really feels nice. It also fits better than the previous version of Bondis and is better in terms of comfort. It is lightweight but it doesn’t fall short on providing a smooth ride and comfortable feeling.
They’re great for taking a spin on a light trail. After covering miles running, a stable and comfortable shoe can start feeling heavy but this one will not. It may look bulky at first glance but their 3D puff print frame makes it stay on the lightweight category which is perfect for long-distance runs. They have some pretty cool color options for this shoe and users love them for the stability and comfort that it offers. Larger runners also recommend this shoe as it offers effective support every time!
- Provides comfort and a smooth ride.
- Stable and lightweight design.
- Available in different color options.
- Wide to box provides more room for movement.
- Superior cushion and smoothness.
- Some users feel that the tongue is a bit uncomfortable.
8. Best High Mileage Shoes – Brooks Glycerin 15
One of the strengths of the Brooks Glycerin 15 and many other shoes made by Brooks is high mileage. It seems that the company specializes in shoes that work great for long-distance runs. They know the things and features that are needed by a true marathon runner. And to prove this, the company actually has a community of runners who use their shoes.
Glycerin 15 is one of the company’s most cushioned shoe and it is built to provide comfort for long-distance runs. Running for long distances can bring much stress to the body and what this shoe does is it counters that stress especially on the leg area with its molded saddle on the midfoot section which gives it a lightweight feel and a fit that truly offers support. Moreover, there’s a transition zone that’s made of plush which aides in the smooth transition from the heels toward the toes making it feel more natural and soft. This then results in a smooth ride for long-distance runs for runners who have neutral to high arches. Runners love how this shoe gives them superior comfort in every long mileage run that they do.
- Uses durable outsole material to make it endure long mileage runs.
- Made of quality materials.
- Highly-breathable upper mesh material.
- Provides a soft, comfortable ride.
- Only has a traditional fit and it is somewhat expensive.
Experiencing pain in the knee while running is one of the most frustrating problems every runner would experience. But as you have seen in this article, solving it is as simple as choosing the right pair of shoes. You need to find something that really fits your feet and complements your footstrike in a perfect manner. The shoe must also be comfortable and should possess good shock-absorbing property.
Take time to look into the top running shoes that we’ve listed above and be sure to do the pointers that we’ve given in the guides and you’re sure to find the perfect shoes that will not only give you more mileage but also eliminate every pain that you’ve experienced before when you were still using the wrong shoes.