11 Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees in 2024

Last Updated: January 01, 2024 | Author: Dr. Benjamin Wallace

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 running shoes to ward off knee pain for a variety of preferences and situations, so you can make an informed decision.

Our Top Picks

Best Running Shoes for Knee Pain

Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3

Material Toe Box Arch Support Heel to toe drop Weight
Knit Upper Wide Neutral 8mm Men 310g

Because of its outstanding characteristics that cater to runners with knee pain, the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3 has had a considerable impact on the running shoe market. I can speak from experience when I say that anyone looking for a supportive and comfortable running shoe should consider the React Infinity Run Flyknit 3.

The knit fabric of the shoe gently molds to your foot and is flexible, breathable, and fits like a sock. The broad toe box of the shoe allows for natural toe spread, which lessens pressure and pain in the forefoot region. A more natural gait is provided by the 8mm heel drop, and the shoe weighs only 310g, making it a reasonably lightweight option.

One of the main things that set this shoe apart from its competitors is the responsive React foam cushioning. The ride is comfortable and less stressful on your joints because of the foam technology's great softness and support balance. The stability of the shoe keeps your feet in place and prevents excessive rolling, which lowers your risk of knee injury.

The ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23 and the Brooks Ghost 13 are two comparable products to take into account. The React Infinity Run Flyknit 3, on the other hand, excels in aspects like strength, comfort, and support, making it a great option for runners who experience knee pain.

For more experienced runners, the React Infinity Run Flyknit 3 may not be responsive enough, and some customers may find its price to be too costly. Yet, the shoe is a top choice for beginners searching for a dependable and supportive running shoe due to its quick toe-off, all-day comfort, and gripping rubber outsole.

Difference Between Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3 and 2

Upper Material:

The top material is one of the most considerable distinctions between the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3 and Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2. The new Flywire technology in the Flyknit 3 is designed to offer a more snug fit around the midfoot. Using a system of cables that are built into the laces and wrapped around the foot for a more snug fit, this technique utilises laces. The Flywire technology is not included in the Flyknit 2, which instead sports a standard Flyknit upper.

Heel Counter:

The heel counter is another notable distinction between the two types. The Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3 sports a higher heel counter, which gives the heel area greater support and stability. For runners who want additional support in the heel area, this is especially crucial. On the other hand, the Flyknit 2 has a lower heel counter, which offers less stability and support in the heel region.


Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3's midsole has been modified to offer extra support and cushioning. A broader platform of the shoe is intended to give the foot a more secure foundation. React foam from Nike, which is lightweight and responsive and offers a comfortable and responsive ride, makes up the midsole. The Flyknit 2's midsole, on the other hand, has a thinner platform and offers less cushioning than the Flyknit 3.


The outsole of the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3 has been changed to provide more traction and durability. The rubber outsole of the shoe is designed to provide grip in both dry and rainy circumstances. The Flyknit 2's outsole, on the other hand, does not provide as much traction or durability as the Flyknit 3.


Compared to the Flyknit 2, the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 3 weighs a little bit more. The upgraded midsole and top materials are to blame for this. In comparison to the Flyknit 2, the Flyknit 3 weights 10.9 ounces.

Reasons to Buy
  • ➕ Snappy toe-off
  • ➕ Comfortable all-day
  • ➕ Stable when legs are tired
  • ➕ Grippy on wet roads and light trails
  • ➕ Perfect for beginners
Reasons to Avoid
  • ➖ Lacks responsiveness
  • ➖ A tad heavy

Whom is it best for?
Best for runners who prioritize comfort, stability, and injury prevention during their daily training runs.

Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees Women's

Mizuno Wave Rider 25

Material Toe Box Arch Support Heel to toe drop Weight
Mesh Upper Medium Neutral 12mm Men 277g | Women 224g

We included the Mizuno Wave Rider 25 in our list of the shoes for women with poor knees because good running shoes are vital.

Examine the Wave Rider 25's benefits. Its innovative design and high-quality materials make the Wave Rider 25 one of the most comfortable running shoes. The mesh top keeps feet cool and dry, while the cushioned midsole absorbs shock and smooths the ride.

Overpronators love the Wave Rider 25's neutral arch support technology, but pronators love how stable it is.

The Wave Rider 25's 12mm heel-to-toe drop may be too high for certain runners. One of the lightest and most comfortable running shoes for long runs, the women's shoe weighs 224 g and the men's shoe weighs 277 g. It's great for runners trying to reduce weight. Shoes with good traction and durability can handle any terrain.

Runners may dislike the shoe's heel slippage and height. Not everyone likes the 12mm heel-to-toe drop.

A minor drawback of the shoe is that minimalist runners may not like the Wave Rider 25 due to its 12mm heel-to-toe drop. Also, long runs in the Wave Rider 25 can sometimes be difficult due to heel slippage.

Overall, Mizuno Wave Rider 25 running shoes are perfect for heel strikers with bad knees who want comfort and stability. It is lightweight, breathable, and pronator-friendly.

Reasons to Buy
  • ➕ Lightweight
  • ➕ Comfortable
  • ➕ Breathable
  • ➕ Stability for pronators
  • ➕ Durable
Reasons to Avoid
  • ➖ Too much drop
  • ➖ Heel slip

Whom is it best for?
Best suited for neutral runners who prioritize a lightweight, responsive shoe for daily training and racing.

Best Running Shoes for Men with Bad Knees

Brooks Glycerin 20

Material Toe Box Arch Support Heel to toe drop Weight
Mesh Upper Medium Neutral 10mm Men 286g | Women 252g

Are you looking for the most effective running shoes available for men who have knee problems? There's no need to overlook this Brooks Glycerin 20!

As an expert in the field, I can say with confidence that the Glycerin 20 is a high-performance shoe with a soft cushion and a responsive ride. This makes it a great choice for runners with knee pain. The shoe's mesh upper and neutral arch support increase comfort, while the 10mm heel-to-toe drop makes sure that each stride transitions smoothly.

The Glycerin 20 may appear ample on the outside, but it's actually unexpectedly breathable and lighter with Men 286g and Women 252g weight. It is made to look like a tank, which makes it even stronger and more reliable for long-distance runners.

As compared to its rivals, the Glycerin 20 provides outstanding value for the money. Although the blocky ride of the shoe may not be to everyone's taste, it is a dependable option for any terrain thanks to its sticky traction on wet roads and dirt.

One drawback of the shoe is that the laces tend to come undone easily; however, this is easily fixed by tying a double knot. The Brooks Glycerin 20 is a superb running shoe that offers both comfort and performance.

P.S. If you have high arches, you are aware of how difficult it can be to find shoes that are both comfortable and supportive enough. Well, don't worry about it! Especially made running shoes for high arches can do wonders to relieve your discomfort. You may put an end to the pain and strain that conventional shoes cause by choosing shoes that are designed for high arches. I guarantee that your feet will appreciate it.

Comparison Between Brooks Glycerin 20 and Brooks Glycerin 19

Elements Brooks Glycerin 20 Brooks Glycerin 19
Upper Material Mesh with 3D Fit Print Mesh with 3D Fit Print
Heel Counter Updated design for better fit Similar to Glycerin 20
Midsole DNA LOFT foam for soft and responsive feel DNA LOFT foam for soft and responsive feel
Outsole Segmented crash pad for smooth transitions Segmented crash pad for smooth transitions
Weight Men's: 10.2 oz, Women's: 8.8 oz Men's: 10.6 oz, Women's: 9.1 oz
Flexibility Moderate Flexible

Reasons to Buy
  • ➕ Plush Cushioning
  • ➕ Responsive Ride
  • ➕ Comfortable Fit
  • ➕ Grippy Traction
  • ➕ Excellent Value
Reasons to Avoid
  • ➖ Laces Don't Stay Tied
  • ➖ Blocky Ride

Whom is it best for?
Best for neutral runners seeking a plush and cushioned ride for their daily training.

Best Running Shoes for Arthritic Knees

Hoka One One Bondi 7

Material Toe Box Arch Support Heel to toe drop Weight
Mesh upper / Vegan Narrow Neutral 4mm Men 323g | Women 252g

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 with EVA midsole cushioning 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.

Reasons to Buy
  • ➕ Secure collar
  • ➕ Well-cushioned
  • ➕ Neutral stability
Reasons to Avoid
  • ➖ Thick upper
  • ➖ Too wide

Whom is it best for?
These best shoes for Arthritic Knees are super perfect for wide feet runners looking for high-performance yet well-cushioned running shoes for arthritis knees.

Saucony Cohesion 15

Material Toe Box Arch Support Heel to toe drop Weight
Mesh Upper Medium Neutral 12mm Men 258g | Women 215g

Searching for an affordable, durable, all-purpose running shoe? Take a look at the Saucony Cohesion 15. There is a strong reason why this shoe is the best choice on the market.

The Cohesion 15 is ideal for daily runs without slowing you down thanks to its soft mesh upper and medium toe box. For runners with a typical gait, the shoe's neutral arch support and 12mm heel to toe drop make it the perfect choice. Moreover, the men's version weighs only 258g, while the women's version weighs only 215g.

The Cohesion 15 is distinguished by its excellent heel hold, which makes it ideal for thin feet. The shoe's remarkable traction extends to mild trails as well, making it a versatile choice for athletes who prefer to switch up their running surfaces. Comparing the shoe to other running shoes on the market, it is also a terrific bargain and is built to last.

The Cohesion 15 might not be the greatest choice for you if you have wide feet, though. Also, you might want to think about a different choice if you're seeking for a shoe with extra cushioning for longer runs.

Overall, the Saucony Cohesion 15 is a trustworthy and cost-effective solution for daily runs.

Reasons to Buy
  • ➕ Comfortable for Daily Runs
  • ➕ Great Heel Hold
  • ➕ Perfect for Narrow Feet
  • ➕ Grippy Even on Light Trails
  • ➕ A Great-Value Option
Reasons to Avoid
  • ➖ Not for Wide Feet
  • ➖ Lacks Cushion for Long Miles

Whom is it best for?
best for budget-conscious runners seeking a comfortable, lightweight and durable shoe for daily runs or light trail runs, especially those with narrow feet.

Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Bad Knees

Hoka One One Arahi 6

Material Toe Box Arch Support Heel to toe drop Weight
Mesh Upper Medium Stability 5mm Men 264g | Women 216g

According to experts or healthcare provider, cushioning in running shoes is important to avoid micro-trauma to the joints, especially runners who experience knee pain. Also bad shoes that cause shin splints with knee pain, so its always better to go for specialized shoes for better results, along with supportive and cushioned insoles, your shoes should feel flexible and lightweight on your feet.

Well, one such pair of running shoes that ticks all the boxes is Arahi 6 by Hoka One One. Unlike other stability running shoes, we were impressed with how flexible and soft these cushioned shoes for knee pain 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.

Reasons to Buy
  • ➕ Stability shoe
  • ➕ Very supportive
  • ➕ Responsive ride
Reasons to Avoid
  • ➖ 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 marathon runner looking for a soft stability shoe.

Best Walking Shoes for Bad Knees

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v12

Material Toe Box Arch Support Heel to toe drop Weight
Knit Upper / Reflective Wide Neutral 8mm Men 292g | Women 249g

For people with poor knees, the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12 is a great walking shoe. The shoe has a knit fabric with reflecting qualities that makes it very visible in dim light. For a comfortable fit, the broad-toe box accommodates people with bigger feet. The shoe's neutral arch support makes it the best choice for people who don't need extra assistance there.

The shoe has an 8mm heel-to-toe drop and weighs 292g for men and 249g for women. The shoe's cushioning offers outstanding protection, which makes it ideal for heavy runners with bad knees. The cornering is steady, and the ride is smooth and spirited. The sturdy, gripping outsole offers traction on slippery terrains like snow and slush.

The upper of the shoe is cozy and effectively secures the heel to avoid any slipping. Nonetheless, the shoe may feel bottom-heavy during quick runs and is not recommended for people with thin feet. The shoe's breathability may also be an issue, making it inappropriate for hot conditions.

Overall, the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12 is a great walking shoe with lots of padding that gives people with bad knees a secure and pleasant ride.

Reasons to Buy
  • ➕ Protective cushion
  • ➕ Lively ride
  • ➕ Smooth transitions
  • ➕ Stable when cornering
  • ➕ Comfy upper
Reasons to Avoid
  • ➖ Not for narrow feet
  • ➖ Questionable breathability

Whom is it best for?
Best shoes for neutral runners seeking a highly cushioned shoe for long distance runs.

Best Trail Running Shoes for Bad Knees

Hoka Challenger ATR 6

Material Toe Box Arch Support Heel to toe drop Weight
Mesh Upper / Vegan Narrow Neutral 5mm Men 278g

I'm an expert on running shoes, so allow me to share my thoughts on the Hoka Challenger 6 ATR and why I believe it to be one of the "Best Trail Running Shoes for Weak Knees."

In particular, for trail runners with troublesome knees, the Hoka Challenger 6 ATR is an excellent choice. The shoe is ideal for runners who need both more support and a lower drop because it has neutral arch support and a 5mm heel-to-toe drop.

The mesh material of the vegan sneaker is breathable and perfect for long runs in warm weather. The shoe provides a snug fit and avoids heel slide despite having a narrow toe box, resulting in a comfortable and secure ride. The soft, well-cushioned midsole provides excellent shock absorption for those who need it.

Among its other drawbacks, the shoe could lack some pop, which makes it less suitable for rapid runs. Also, it might not be the ideal choice for challenging terrain.

In conclusion, trail runners who require additional knee support and cushioning will love the Hoka Challenger 6 ATR. Running for extended periods of time is achievable because of its comfort and breathability, as well as its secure fit and absence of heel slip. The soft midsole of the shoe is a great option for those with knee issues, also helps to absorb shock.

Significantly related goods are the Brooks Cascadia 16 and the Salomon Speedcross 5. Despite the fact that both shoes provide exceptional traction and support, the Salomon is better suited for rough terrain, while the Brooks fits more closely and breathes better. It's definitely something to consider if you're looking for a pair of comfortable, supportive shoes for your future trail run as a running coach.

If you are interested to see more in trail and looking for the best trail running shoes for hiking, then look for the list I've put together of only the finest trail shoes, which is sure to catch your eye. Each shoe on my list has been chosen with consideration to provide you with support, a comfy feeling, and durability so that you can easily go out even on the toughest trail.

Reasons to Buy
  • ➕ Exceptional comfort
  • ➕ Secure fit
  • ➕ Breathable
  • ➕ True to size
  • ➕ Vegan
Reasons to Avoid
  • ➖ Lacks pop
  • ➖ Not for technical terrain

Whom is it best for?
Best for trail runners who want a lightweight shoe with exceptional cushioning and stability.

Top 3 Good Shoes for Knee Pain by Brands

Best Running Shoes for Back and Knee Pain

Asics Gel-Kayano 29

Material Toe Box Arch Support Heel to toe drop Weight
Knit Upper Wide Stability 10mm Men 299g

The Asics Gel-Kayano 29 is a top running shoe for back and knee problems. Let's examine this shoe's unique qualities.

The shoe has a soft, durable knit upper. Its big toe box lets your toes spread out when running. Overpronators will like the arch support's stability.

The 10mm heel-to-toe drop is great for runners who like cushioning. The Kayano 29's cushioned midsole protects feet and joints. The soft shoe is lighter (299 g) than it looks, making it simpler to wear for extended distances.

The Gel-Kayano 29's supportive fit keeps your foot in position while running. The shoe's smooth ride and support make every stride seem like it's gliding.

No shoe is perfect. On hot days, the Gel-Kayano 29 can seem like an oven for your feet. Wide-footed people may not like the shoe. The Kayano 29 is expensive, but it's meant to last.

The Asics Gel-Kayano 29 is a great shoe for long-distance runners who require stability and support.

P.S. If you're suffering from severe back pain and in search of shoes designed specifically to alleviate your discomfort, look no further! These top running shoes for back pain have been carefully curated to provide the support and relief you need to take on every run with confidence. Stop letting back pain prevent you from doing things. Invest in the right pair of shoes to help you overcome your pain and enjoy running to the fullest.

Reasons to Buy
  • ➕ Excellent stability
  • ➕ Cushioned comfort
  • ➕ Impact protection
  • ➕ Roomy toe box
  • ➕ Durable
Reasons to Avoid
  • ➖ Not suitable for wider feet
  • ➖ Little on expensive side

Whom is it best for?
Best for runners who overpronate and require stability shoes and support in their shoes.

Best Running Shoes for Patellar Tendonitis

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

Material Toe Box Arch Support Heel to toe drop Weight
Mesh Upper Medium Stability 12mm Men 289g

For those experiencing knee pain/overpronation knee pain, there is a set of sneakers specially designed by Brooks to keep such injuries to a minimum with its unique technology — Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22. Designed to prevent a range of injuries for runners, these shoes sum all the good features of Brooks's award-winning shoes but not the so-many-cooks-in-the-kitchen situation.

Super recommended.

Reasons to Buy
  • ➕ Super durable
  • ➕ Efficient ride
  • ➕ Super comfy
Reasons to Avoid
  • ➖ Loose heel collars
  • ➖ Expensive

Whom is it best for?
Best for runners who overpronate and need a stable and supportive shoe for their daily training.

Best Knee Support Running Shoes

Saucony Hurricane 23

Material Toe Box Arch Support Heel to toe drop Weight
Mesh Upper / Reflective Medium Stability 8mm Men 323g | Women 278g

If you’re looking for a shoe that doesn’t only support your knees but feels easier for the whole body, you need to check out Saucony 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.

P.S. If you're dealing with real pain and in search of shoes designed specifically for Achilles tendonitis, we recommend checking out running shoes for achilles tendonitis. These shoes provide a broad range of running shoes made to fit your need and requirements that provide you the extra support. Find the most suitable shoes to help you get back to your best and stop letting discomfort hold you back.

Reasons to Buy
  • ➕ Responsive cushioning
  • ➕ Stability support
  • ➕ Snug midfoot
Reasons to Avoid
  • ➖ Expensive
  • ➖ Bit heavy

Whom is it best for?
Best for runners who require a supportive shoe with ample cushioning for long-distance runs.


Knee pain is a big show stopper for runners. If taken lightly, this can lead to knee pain with bigger problems such as arthritis. Therefore, it is recommended to wear knee protection gear and 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, heel shock absorption, and a good insole is all that you need. This article covers a range of best shoes for knee pain 2024 for a variety of situations and preferences to help you find the right pick for you.

Anyhow, if you really want to know more in detail about knee pain from running you can check listed 8 common causes of knee pain with the treatments. It will help you better understand why you are feeling knee pain when jogging or running. Looking for the root cause will allow you to take the right action accordingly and be able to rectify it and can continue pain-free running again.

Video Source: Holabird Sports


Author Box
Dr. Benjamin Wallace

Dr. Benjamin Wallace

Dr. Benjamin Wallace is a podiatry specialist with over two decades of experience in treating issues of the foot, ankle, and lower leg. Record of successful treatments, from managing arthritic conditions and healing diabetic foot disorders to addressing foot deformities and sports-related injuries.