The 10 Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees in 2021


Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees - Content

With every joint move comes its unique risk and standing still isn’t an option in life. Running puts so much stress (around three times your body weight) on your knees and wears out thin tissues in your knee joint. This causes next-level knee pain which opens the door to a host of ailments ranging from hip and knee pain, Achilles tendinitis to plantar fasciitis, and more.

Running shoes with sufficient cushioning, soft midsoles, and cushioned arch support and midsole that prevent shock very well is all that you need to blow a goodbye kiss to those frustrating knee pains.

In this article, we have rounded up our top finds of the best running shoes to ward off knee pain for a variety of preferences and situations, so you can make an informed decision.



Best 2021 Running Shoes for Knee Pain

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2

Best Running Shoes for Knee Pain

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 - Men
For Men
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Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Super durable
  • ✔️ Efficient ride
  • ✔️ Super comfy
Cons
  • ❌ Loose heel collars
  • ❌ Expensive
Whom is it best for?
They are ideal for anyone looking for a perfect-no-injury shoe for easy, recovery runs with 5 to 20K distances at moderate paces.


89

OVERALL SCORE

Weight 87%
Price 80%
Protection 96%
Comfort 95%

For those experiencing knee pain/overpronation knee pain, there is a set of sneakers specially designed by Nike to keep such injuries to rest with its unique technology — Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2. Fatigue, technical terrains, and random hurdles all pose a challenge for runners as they clock up miles.

With this in mind, Nike came up with their “React infinity Run Flyknit 2” which combines all the outclass features of their award-winning running shoes. With a rocker-like bottom that yields a more fluid transition from foot strike to toe-off and plush cushioning that molds to the shape of your foot, these shoes have been proven to be a silent savior for runners’ ankles and knees.

It is infused with a combination of biomechanical efficiency, plush cushioning, and rocker-geometry to promote stability, provides a natural forward feel of propulsion, reduces side-to-side wobbling and movement of your feet, and guides your feet in a smooth, straight line. It is one of the best shoes for knee problems, super recommended for run-related injuries.



Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21

Best Women’s Running Shoes for Bad Knees

Pros
  • ✔️ Super durable
  • ✔️ Responsive ride
  • ✔️ Comfy yet stable
Cons
  • ❌ Bit heavy
  • ❌ Feels stiff
Whom is it best for?
These shoes are perfect for runners, walkers, and anyone looking for an athletic shoe that can help prevent knee pain. Furthermore, it is a great option for female runners who need a balanced blend of support, cushion, flexibility, and reliability.


86

OVERALL SCORE

Price 79%
Weight 70%
Protection 90%
Comfort 93%

With the fusion of advanced stability features with comfortable cushioning, Brooks GTS is a well-known all-shoe that protects runners’ knees from pain and injuries. You will have Brooks plush soft and high energizing foam wrapping around your foot to get you smooth yet super supportive transitions from heel to toe. While there are Guild Rail support systems to allow runner’s hips, knees, and joints to move within their natural motion path, that really keeps knees stable and protected.

The best thing most of our testers appreciated about these shoes was their ability to absorb shocks, thanks to the combo of Brooks DNA LOFT and BioMoGo DNA cushioning that makes the shoe shock protective. The only thing that grinds your gears is the over the average amount of weight that it offers. But overall, it is a perfect set of women’s shoes for knee pain.



Brooks Beast 20

Best Men’s Running Shoes for Bad Knees

Brooks Beast 20 - Men
For Men
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Pros
  • ✔️ Dynamic Support
  • ✔️ Breathable upper
  • ✔️ Super comfortable
Cons
  • ❌ Catches debris
  • ❌ Bit too heavy
Whom is it best for?
It is an ideal choice for heavy-weight runners looking for supportive yet stable daily trainers plus any male runner who is more prone to injuries.


88

OVERALL SCORE

Protection 95%
Weight 65%
Price 80%
Comfort 90%

Male runners need motion control, stable and sturdy shoes when their knees begging for forgiveness. One such pair of the most popular shoes by Brooks is the Beast 20. These specific shoes were designed by the company with a special focus beyond the feet, to the parts of the body that is most prone to injuries for runners back and knee.

The innovative guide rails that the shoe is infused with is Brooks’s new approach to stability, where the rails extend into the upper and act as a bumper wall to help give support when runners need it. This is more of a comfortable feature that has been proven to prevent knee, back and plantar pain, however, some runners do not appreciate it.

Furthermore, these shoes are built to prevent shocks with Brooks’ level 5 cushioning that offers premium comfort. Overall it is one of the best running shoes for men with bad knees, but when it comes to the weighing department, it's insanely not all it's cracked up to be.



Hoka Bondi 7

Best Shoes for Arthritic Knees

Hoka Bondi 7 - Men
For Men
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Hoka Bondi 7 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Secure collar
  • ✔️ Well-cushioned
  • ✔️ Neutral stability
Cons
  • ❌ Thick upper
  • ❌ Too wide
Whom is it best for?
These shoes are super perfect for wide feet runners looking for high-performance yet well-cushioned running shoes for arthritis knees.


83

OVERALL SCORE

Protection 92%
Weight 80%
Price 76%
Comfort 94%

According to many experts, running can prevent arthritis in the knees. The reason is that repetitive motions are great for the joints in your knee. The constant motion from frequent running promotes more fluid in the knees, which eventually keeps them moving smoothly. However, if you have been suffering from arthritis in your knees, wrong running shoes can break the game.

There are some best shoes for bad feet and knee arthritis that we got to test, and Hoka Bondi 7 was on top. With a high stack height, these shoes have been proven to help runners with arthritic knees + the right amount of stiffness to help ease arthritic toes.

Furthermore, our testers were impressed with some serious cushion power these shoes have― they conform to the shape of your feet and feel very comfortable. If you are a narrow-footed runner, these shoes might not be super impressive as they are a bit wide. We only wished the upper was a little less thick for better breathability.



Hoka One One Arahi 5

Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Bad Knees

Hoka One One Arahi 5 - Men
For Men
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Hoka One One Arahi 5 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Stability shoe
  • ✔️ Very supportive
  • ✔️ Responsive ride
Cons
  • ❌ Get a bit tight
  • ❌ Unstable at times
Whom is it best for?
They are an ideal choice for overpronators and runners conscious of causing further injury to knees, shins, or ankles. Perfect for shorter and longer runs and for runners looking for a soft stability shoe.



According to experts, cushioning in running shoes is important to avoid micro-trauma to the joints, especially runners who experience knee pain. For better results, along with supportive and cushioned insoles, your shoes should feel flexible and lightweight on your feet.

Well, one such pair of shoes that ticks all the boxes is Arahi 5 by Hoka One One. Unlike other stability shoes, we were impressed with how flexible and soft these shoes were. In this iteration of Arahi, the company engineered its J-frame technology that provides strength along the inside edge of the shoe and comfy cushioning right where you need it.

This innovative technology shaves off extra weight and provides a cushioned and responsive ride without making the shoe feel rigid.



New Balance 990 V5

Best Walking Shoes for Bad Knees

New Balance 990 V5 - Men
For Men
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New Balance 990 V5 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Comfy cushioning
  • ✔️ Wider sizes
  • ✔️ Orthotic ready
Cons
  • ❌ Bit stiff
Whom is it best for?
These are the best walking shoes for hip and knee pain, ideal for people who've suffered from a running injury, have weak arches, or joint pain in the feet.


84

OVERALL SCORE

Protection 89%
Weight 79%
Price 88%
Comfort 89%

New Balance 990 V5 shoes are high-quality and very popular running shoes from the brand, known for their arch & ankle support, stability, and comfort. It features an ABZORB midsole with the first level of cushioning that offers comfortable arch support (that most runners appreciate).

Furthermore, there are super durable rubber midsoles that offer nice traction. Our testers liked the reflective details that catch the light, and the stylish sporty look that complements your favorite casual and athletic outfits with ease. Super recommended for wide feet people.


Best from Brands

ASICS GT-2000 10

Best Asics Running Shoes for Bad Knees

ASICS GT-2000 10 - Men
For Men
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ASICS GT-2000 10 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Stable foot
  • ✔️ Well-cushioned
  • ✔️ Smooth interior
Cons
  • ❌ Firm forefoot
  • ❌ Runs slow
Whom is it best for?
The ASICS GT 2000 10 is a classic stability shoe, specially designed for heel strikers, perfect for big mileage, everyday training, and stuff, but we won't recommend if you’re lacing up for speedwork.


88

OVERALL SCORE

Protection 94%
Weight 80%
Price 85%
Comfort 90%

Asics GT-2000 10 is the best shoe from Asics to prevent knee pain, especially for heel strikers. Running with harsh heel strikes can cause shocks to transfer up the legs and damages the cartilage of the knees. Such cases require a shoe, dedicatedly built for heel strikers which lock the shocks to lead up to knees.

The GT-2000 10 has a plush bed of Asics EVA Foam midsole, ethics rubber outsole, and a padded insole that combine to provide the right amount of cushioning to the heel strikers. Highly recommended.



Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2

Best Nike Running Shoes for Bad Knees

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 - Men
For Men
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Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 - Women
For Women
Check Price

Pros
  • ✔️ Super durable
  • ✔️ Efficient ride
  • ✔️ Super comfy
Cons
  • ❌ Loose heel collars
  • ❌ Expensive
Whom is it best for?
These shoes are for anyone looking for a perfect-no-injury shoe for easy, recovery runs with 5 to 20K distances at moderate paces.


88

OVERALL SCORE

Protection 96%
Weight 87%
Price 80%
Comfort 95%

For those experiencing knee pain/overpronation knee pain, there is a set of sneakers specially designed by Nike to keep such injuries to a minimum with its unique technology — Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2. Designed to prevent a range of injuries for runners, these shoes sum all the good features of Nike's award-winning shoes but not the so-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen situation.

Super recommended.



Hurricane 23

Best Saucony Running Shoes for Bad Knees

Hurricane 23 - Men
For Men
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Hurricane 23 - Women
For Women
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Pros
  • ✔️ Responsive cushioning
  • ✔️ Stability support
  • ✔️ Snug midfoot
Cons
  • ❌ Expensive
  • ❌ Bit heavy
Whom is it best for?
It is an ideal choice for runners looking for a luxuriously cushioned shoe for recovery and long runs


88

OVERALL SCORE

Protection 95%
Weight 74%
Price 60%
Comfort 94%

If you’re looking for a shoe that doesn’t only secure your knees but feels easier for the whole body, you need to check out Asics Hurricane 23. It is one of the most luxuriously cushioned shoes that secure foot and eventually knees with thick yet supportive cushioning. We were amazed checking the springy ride and the overall feel.

It features a FORMFIT heel, which sets your heel into place & really helps prevent chafing and irritation of the Achilles. While there is ample cushioned arch support that maintains the ankle in a more neutral position, reducing pressure and stress on the knee joint.


Conclusion


Knee pain is a big show stopper for runners. If taken lightly, this can lead to bigger problems such as arthritis. Worn-out sneakers on the other hand can push runners’ feet, hips, knees, and back to hell. A well-designed and durable running shoe can change the game for you if chosen right. Just the right amount of cushioning, support, shock absorption, and a good insole is all that you need. This article covers a range of best running shoes for bad knees for a variety of situations and preferences to help you find the right pick for you.

Video Source: Holabird Sports

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