12 Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees (Men & Women)

best running shoes for bad knees

Millions of runners can attest to the many health benefits of running – from weight loss to better overall health. But running places stress on the body, not the least of which is stress on the knees.

If you suffer from knee pain, it’s crucial to choose the best running shoes for bad knees, such as the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 because the right choice keeps you on the road or trail, and not on the sidelines.

We’ve put together a shoe review and buyer’s guide geared toward runners who suffer knee pain while covering subjects such as buying tips and advice for running with bad knees. We’ll also look at 12 men’s and women’s running shoes designed to help you deal with knee issues.

Quick summary

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bb2-table__imageBrooks Men’s Adrenaline Gts 19
  • Perfect for overpronators
  • Offers stability while being well-cushioned
  • Improved mesh upper
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bb2-table__imageNew Balance Women’s 1080V9 Fresh Foam Running Shoe
  • Upgraded design with improved outsole
  • Fresh foam cushioning all over
  • Very stable
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bb2-table__imageSaucony Men’s Hurricane ISO 4 Running Shoe 
  • Great fit
  • Full-length Everun midsole
  • Improved breathability
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bb2-table__imageBrooks Women’s Ghost 12 Running Shoe
  • Plenty of cushioning
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Great knee support
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bb2-table__imageAsics Gel-Venture 6
  • Suitable for underpronators
  • Outsole offers superior traction on all surfaces
  • Gel cushioning is shock absorbing and comfortable
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bb2-table__imageNike Women’s Revolution 3
  • Great arch support
  • Lightweight and slick, yet comfortable
  • Very versatile, suitable for all activities
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bb2-table__imageHoka One Men’s Bondi 5 Running Shoe
  • Offers comfort that lasts
  • Effective on hard surfaces
  • Lightweight construction
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bb2-table__imageMizuno Women’ Wave Rider 20 
  • Ideal for all kinds of runners
  • Lightweight but comfortable
  • Wave technology, enhanced flexibility
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bb2-table__imageAdidas Performance Men's Galaxy Trail Runner
  • Great ankle and knee support
  • Comfortable and breathable
  • Affordable
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bb2-table__imageASICS Men's GEL-Nimbus 20 Running Shoe
  • Knee and ankle protection
  • Lightweight construction
  • Ample cushioning
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bb2-table__imageNew Balance Men’s M890V4 Neutral Light Running Shoe 
  • Supports the knees and ankles
  • Lightweight enough to be worn all day
  • Plenty of cushioning
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bb2-table__imageReebok Women’s Zquick 2.0 Running Shoe
  • Excellent arch support assists knee pain
  • Midfoot construction is responsive to your stride
  • Stable and comfortable
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Before You Buy: 6 Things to Consider When Purchasing Running Shoes For Bad Knees

Choosing the wrong pair of running shoes for your needs can cause additional problems, including increased knee pain, and even injuries. Use your best judgment, a bit of caution, and help from someone who specializes in running shoes.

It also helps to keep the following tips in mind as you shop for your next pair of running shoes:

1. Know Your Foot Strike

If you’ve ever watched a bunch of runners out for training runs, or anyone taking part in a weekend race, you can instantly see the differences in running stride, gait, the heaviness of foot impact, etc.

Despite the multitude of readily-apparent differences, however, a person’s foot strike comes down to three things: overpronation, underpronation (supinate), and neutral. The amount and kind of support you need in a running shoe depends mainly on your foot strike.

  • Overpronation – This refers to the foot rolling naturally inwards each time it impacts with the ground. This movement puts extra pressure on the knee joint.
  • Underpronation – Underpronation, or supination, refers to the tendency of the foot to roll outwards when you’re running.
  • Neutral – A person with a neutral stride neither overpronates nor supinates. If you fall into this category, look for shoes with extra cushioning to help protect your knees.

2. Fit

Saying that a shoe is as only good as its fit isn’t an exaggeration. Look at this way: a shoe that doesn’t fit is one that A) you won’t wear for long, and B) can cause foot, ankle, and leg issues that can keep you on the sidelines and off the running trail.

Evaluate your shoe’s fit in all areas, including heel space and comfort, the roominess of the toe box, and whether the shoe fits snugly, but not too snugly that it’s constrictive. And if you have wide feet, you want to make sure that there’s enough room for your toes to splay naturally.

The bottom line is that your shoes shouldn’t inhibit the natural behavior and movements of each foot. Those that do can exacerbate and increase your knee issues.

3. Comfort

Comfort and fit go hand-in-hand, but comfort also involves the amount of cushioning in a shoe. You want enough cushioning to support your stride and lessen the impact on your feet and legs, but you don’t want too much of it, or cushioning that feels mushy and too spongy.

Comfortable shoes mean less pain on your knees as you run.

4. Traction

You always want a shoe that has enough traction to reduce accidental slips. Traction also helps determine a shoe’s overall stability. Many running shoe outsoles consist of rubber – which provides excellent traction in most cases – while others have multi-directional treads that also influence their stability.

5. Durability

A shoe’s durability may not affect your knee issues like other factors, although running on a shoe that’s worn out can add to your knee pain. The soles should last a long time – some experts suggest buying new shoes every 300 to 500 miles – while the seams and stitching shouldn’t wear out prematurely.

6. Breathability

Whether a shoe is breathable or not falls under the comfort category. Good running shoes include technology that circulates air within the shoe to keep your feet fresh. Also, consider buying shoes that have insoles with mesh or textile linings that wick moisture away to help keep your foot dry.

Now let’s check out our choices for the best running shoes for bad knees.

The 12 Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees for Men & Women

1. Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 19

Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 19

While Brooks doesn’t specifically market its GTS 19 as a shoe for runners with knee pain – OK, maybe it does to some degree – it’s a shoe that covers all the right bases for runners with knee issues. For one, it bolsters the support and stability found in previous GTS 19 versions.

Perhaps more dramatically, it also features Brooks’ new GuideRail bilateral support system that keeps the heel in place while reducing heel eversion that may lead to knee issues.

The GuideRail system stems from Brooks’ understanding that there’s no “right way” to run, but that every individual has a unique running style. In turn, the ideal running shoe should adapt to the runner’s motion and style of running, and not the other way around.

The GTS 19 also helps take the pressure off the knees by reducing excess motion that begins in the ankle and continues up the kinetic chain.

Two additional updates also make the GTS 19 better than previous versions (which were plenty good, to begin with): an upgraded midsole that includes a foam made with a blend of air and rubber and an engineered mesh upper that provides excellent breathability and a better overall fit.

The GTS 19’s fit is snug and secure in the midfoot but roomier in the forefoot. There are a padded heel collar and tongue, as well as a sock liner under the foot that enhances the shoe’s interior feel. In all, the shoe blends softness with just the right amount of resiliency to help keep your stride smooth and comfortable.

While the GTS 19 qualifies as a “stability” shoe, it doesn’t have a heavier build like some other shoes that serve the same function.

It’s a great shoe for overpronators, who often experience knee issues, as well as for runners who regularly log high mileage. With the innovative GuideRail system and superior interior feel, your knees, feet, and ankles still feel good even in the last few miles of a long run.


  • Excellent shoe for overpronators
  • GuideRail system is second-to-none
  • Improved mesh upper
  • Provides a well-cushioned but stable feel


  • It’s not as useful for faster cadence running

Bottom Line

The Adrenaline GTS 19 advances an already superb line of shoes another step forward, which is saying a lot considering that it’s one of Brooks’ flagship shoe. Upgrades and innovations help make it a shoe that any runner who experiences knee pain should seriously consider.

2. New Balance Women’s 1080v9 Fresh Foam Running Shoe

New Balance Women’s 1080v9 Fresh Foam Running Shoe

New Balance added some updates to their popular 1080 shoe recently, and they’ve helped make a great shoe even better. They also continue to be an excellent shoe for anyone who suffers from knee pain.

For starters, New Balance enhanced the 1080’s fit by streamlining the upper. They removed some of the overlays found on the engineered mesh portion of the upper, which also trimmed about a half-ounce of weight from the v9 compared to the v8.

Overall, the 1080v9 offers a snug fit that doesn’t create any uncomfortable pressure, whether you’re logging a lot of running miles or standing on your feet for most of the day.

The upper also has a stylish design that’s suitable for casual work environments or as a travel shoe.

The v9 includes a generous amount of New Balance’s Fresh Foam that provides excellent protection when running on hard surfaces. The foam has a nice bounce to it but doesn’t feel overly thick or bulky. Like the v8, the Fresh Foam cushioning runs the length of the foot but, New Balance says, there’s a bit more foam this time around.

The New Balance team also made some changes to the 1080’s outsole, adding three extra flex grooves to the forefoot to up the total to five, with the intent of creating a more natural bend in the shoe that makes for a smoother lift-off with each stride.

The outsole consists of blown rubber which is durable and provides the type of traction you can trust. New Balance also upgraded the design of the heel and molded foam collar to enhance the shoe’s overall fit and comfort.

All in all, the v9’s many features that offer superior protection, stability, and cushioning that helps decrease the force on your knees.


  • Upgraded design
  • Ample Fresh Foam cushioning
  • Sturdy, durable outsoles


  • Helps reduce knee pain

Bottom Line

Finding the right running shoes for knee pain relief isn’t always easy, but New Balance’s updated 1080v9 is a great option. You’ll like how this shoe lessens the impact on your knees.

3. Saucony Men’s Hurricane Iso 4 Running Shoe

Saucony Men’s Hurricane Iso 4 Running Shoe

The combination of stability and ample cushioning help make the Saucony Hurricane Iso 4 men’s running shoe a great choice for any runner who suffers from knee pain.

Of course, plenty of running shoes provide an excellent balance of stability and cushioning, but the men’s Hurricane Iso 4 climbs to the top for a variety of reasons, including:

  • A full-length Everun midsole that provides stability and motion control for a smooth, comfortable ride
  • Exceptional cushioning
  • A secure fit that’s not too tight or too roomy, and not too wide or too narrow.
  • A rubber outsole that provides plenty of grip on all types of surfaces
  • Versatility – you can use the Iso 4 for other activities, such as gym workouts
  • The outsole includes Flex Grooves for better overall flexibility and stability
  • The mesh upper is stronger, yet breathable, than previous Iso models
  • It fits true to size

Another thing we like about the Iso 4 is that it’s very flexible, which isn’t always the case with “stability” shoes.


  • Everun midsole
  • Upper is more breathable than previous Iso versions
  • Ideal fit


  • Heavier than some models

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for plenty of support without sacrificing cushioning, then it’s worth it to check out the Saucony Hurricane Iso 4. It’s more comfortable than previous versions of the Iso, which is saying a lot.

4. Brooks Women’s Ghost 12 Running Shoe 

Brooks Women’s Ghost 12 Running Shoe

The Brooks Women’s Ghost 12 Running Shoe is built for neutral runners – it offers a brilliant combination of comfort, support and security. They are ideal for any woman looking to run on the road or sweat it out on the cross trainer, though they are very versatile and can be great for any number of activities.

What makes them so great?

Well, firstly their DNA Loft cushioning provides a great deal support and softness under your foot, while allowing for real responsiveness. They are also incredibly light and easy on the ankles and knees, while being highly secure and sturdy.

The mesh and 3D Fit print upper provide tons of stretch and space, for a really adaptable and comfortable fit. Plus they provide plenty of toe room and breathability for the front of the foot and have flex grooves, which allow for fantastic flexibility and freedom.

The mesh gives significant breathability and makes running feel completely free, just like it should. Plus the integrated shock absorption system provides great support and keeps your motion clean and unlaboured

They are also hugely durable and will last even through tough running conditions. Plus they come in a huge range of colours and have a very nice, classic trainer style to them.


  • Super cushioning
  • Great support for the knees
  • Very light and breathable


  • They are fairly expensive – though worth it!

Bottom Line

The Ghost 12s are a total knock-out for any woman wanting to take running seriously without jeopardising her knees. They are comfortable, secure, look great and feel better. Perfect!

5. ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 6

ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 6

ASICS Women’s Gel-Venture 6

ASICS Women’s Gel-Venture 6

Not all runners who suffer from knee pain are overpronators. People with high arches tend to underpronate and can experience knee pain and other issues that may keep them from training.

Luckily, ASICS has the underpronators in mind with its Gel Venture 6, which is excellent for folks with high arches, and also the best running shoes for bad knees and supination.

ASICS addresses the issue of high arches and supination with its Gel Technology Cushioning System that absorbs some of the extra shocks of impact. When you have high arches, there is less foot to ground contact, which distributes much of the shock to a smaller area of the foot.

The Gel-Venture 6 also comes with a removable sock liner that provides additional cushioning and support. While high arches might not be the only reason for your knee pain, it’s nice to have a shoe that has you covered just in case, and you can add orthotics to the Gel-Venture 6 if needed.

The Venture 6 outsole consists of ASICS’ High-Abrasion Rubber placed strategically in areas of excess impact, and which offers exceptional durability. The outsole also includes reversed lugs that help provide uphill and downhill traction on all types of terrain.

ASICS’ iconic gel cushioning located in the rearfoot of the shoe helps to absorb some of the impact of your foot hitting the pavement or another type of surface. It also allows for a smooth transition into your next stride.


  • Great shoe for underpronators
  • Gel cushioning for superior comfort and shock absorption
  • Outsole provides excellent traction on all types of terrain


  • Takes a little longer to break in

Bottom Line

The Gel-Venture 6 is a great shoe if you have high arches or have knee pain caused by overpronation. It provides all the cushioning and comfort you’d expect from an ASICS shoe.

6. Nike Women’s Revolution 3

Nike Women’s Revolution 3

Choosing the best Nike shoe isn’t always easy – there are a lot of contenders, after all – but we think the Women’s Revolution 3 is for any runner who experiences knee pain and other knee issues.

What’s to like about this shoe? The better question is what’s not to like because the Revolution 3 has a variety of features that make it not only great for running, but also for other activities such as walking, sightseeing, or even casual wear.

Versatility aside, however, the Revolution 3 is an excellent choice for knee pain-sufferers, thanks to underlays in the toe tip while the shoe’s vamp – the part that covers the top part of the shoe from toe to heel – offers additional support within the shoe’s structure.

The Revolution 3 also features a midsized shaft height that makes it more supportive and comfortable for your ankles.

What else? Well, the Revolution 3’s rubber outsole offers excellent traction on all kind of terrain, including on slippery surfaces.

The midsole, meanwhile, is constructed in a way that makes the Revolution 3 responsive to your movements and natural running style. The midsole also includes soft foam that delivers responsive cushioning that’s not too bulky; the Revolution 3, as a whole, is very lightweight.

The shoe features a mesh upper body that offers plenty of aeration within the shoe when your feet get hot during intense or long workouts. We think the breathability on the Revolution 3 ranks near the top of women’s running shoes.

Last, but not least, the Revolution 3 has excellent arch support, another plus for runners with knee issues.


  • Versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Excellent arch support


  • May feel a bit stiff to some runners

Bottom Line

The Nike Revolution 3 is an ideal choice for any runner who experiences knee pain thanks to an excellent design, support and cushioning.

7. Hoka One Men’s Bondi 5 Running Shoe

Hoka One Men’s Bondi 5 Running Shoe

Not as many runners develop arthritis in their knees as you may have been led to believe. The fact is, sports such as weight lifting and soccer seem to increase the risk for knee arthritis later in life more than running.

A key question, however, is whether you should run if you have arthritis in your knees? The answer is open for debate – and some physicians advise against it – and at the least, you need to monitor your mileage and discomfort carefully.

You also need a shoe that’s excellent on hard surfaces, such as the Bondi 5 by Hoka One. The Bondi 5’s design is built for running on hard, artificial surfaces, which is a good thing for any runner who suffers from knee issues and makes it among the best shoes for knee arthritis.

The Bondi 5 is the most cushioned Hoka One shoe for the road thanks to a variety of features, including an Ortholite molded insole; a Meta-Rocker midsole that acts as a “rocking chair” for your foot; and a plush EVA material that’s part of the midsole construction that provides long-lasting cushioning and comfort.


  • Excellent on hard surfaces
  • Lightweight
  • Provides long-lasting comfort


  • Check the sizing carefully

Bottom Line

Runners with bad knees can count on the Hoka One Bondi 5 to provide the cushioning and stability they need to run comfortably.

8. Mizuno Women’ Wave Rider 20

Mizuno Womens Wave Rider 20 Running Shoe

Mizuno ensures the comfort and cushioning of its Wave Rider series with technology based on the motions of actual waves. No surprise there, given the name, but when you think about a wave – about how it crashes down and then disperses more gently – it makes sense.

When you combine Mizuno’s innovative Wave Technology with an upgraded shoe featuring even softer cushioning, as does the Wave Rider 20, you have a shoe that’s very comfortable for runners who experience knee pain.

The Wave Rider 20 has many other features we like, including:

  • Triple zone engineered mesh for extra breathability and comfort
  • The wave plate spreads the shock over a wider area to help provide a smooth and stable ride
  • It’s a very versatile shoe and idea for a variety of activities, such as gym workouts and for running at shorter distances in which speed is optimal
  • The Wave Rider 20 platform is very flexible and enhances each stride’s lift-off
  • The midsole includes Mizuno’s U4icX cushioning technology for a more robust feel
  • The overall fit is wide and roomy, but not too spacious that your foot moves around within the shoe
  • It’s a lightweight shoe with enough cushioning that’s comfortable for even heavier-set runners
  • It has a removable insole

The Wave Rider 20, like many of the other shoes on our list, represents another step forward regarding innovation and comfort from previous versions. Neutral runners will love this shoe, but so will any runner who suffers from knee pain.


  • Wave Technology
  • Lightweight, well-cushioned
  • Ideal for neutral runners


  • Some say the toe box is too large

Bottom Line

Mizuno continues to innovate while seeking new ways to improve its robust product line. The Wave Rider 20 has all the features you need in a shoe that helps alleviate knee issues.

9. Adidas Performance Men’s Galaxy Trail Runner

Adidas Performance Men's Galaxy Trail Runner

Adidas is one of those brands that is so well-loved and all-conquering that it’s hard to have an unbiased opinion on their products. Nevertheless, the Adidas Performance Galaxy Trail running shoes are an undeniably strong shoe.

Because they’re specifically designed for trail running, they have a ton of great support and shock absorption build in, which is not only good for those tough terrains but generally works wonders for men with bad knees.

There many reasons to love the Performance Galaxy Trail Runners:

  • The Cloudfoam midsole offers lovely cushioning and plenty of responsiveness
  • The traction is great, with strong gum rubber soles absorbing shock very well and taking the pressure off your knees
  • The synthetic upper mesh is super breathable and makes your feet feel light
  • But they also keep your feet very secure, minimising rub and avoiding your ankles taking over any impact
  • They have quite aggressive lugs, which give you great leverage on tough terrains
  • They look undeniably cool and come in plenty of different colours

All this, and they’re shockingly affordable, too!


  • Fantastic support for the ankles and knees
  • Incredibly comfortable and breathable
  • Affordable, especially considering Adidas’s brand clout!


  • Some reviewers report experiencing hot spots in the forefoot or around the toe box.

Bottom Line

Adidas delivers a great trail running shoe which will do wonders for men with knee problems and any men looking to run on tough terrains

10. Brooks Women’s Glycerin 15

Brooks Women's Glycerin 15

Perhaps the best scenario for when you have knee problems is that you can continue to put in high mileage without worrying that pain will kick in and interrupt your training.

The Brooks Women’s Glycerin 15 is a best-scenario shoe in that it’s excellent for runners who log a lot of miles because it helps ease the stress on your feet, ankles, and legs. In turn, it helps prevent and reduce the pain of other foot issues – such as plantar fasciitis – and, when it comes to running, ranks among the best orthopedic shoes for knee problems.

You’ll appreciate the cushy feel of the Glycerin 15 and how it provides a springy ride from mile 1 to mile 10, and beyond. It’s lightweight but has a supportive fit thanks to a molded midfoot saddle, while the transition from the heel to toe feels soft and natural.

The rubber outsole is durable and built to last, as you’d hope from a shoe made for high mileage, and offers excellent support for anyone with high arches. Additionally, the Glycerin 15 features a breathable mesh upper that helps keep your feet fresh while you crank out the miles.

We think you’ll also like the Glycerin 15’s roomy toe box and supportive heel cup.


  • Great shoe for long-distance runners
  • Cushioned, springy ride
  • Lightweight but supportive


  • Sizing may run small

Bottom Line

The Glycerin 15 provides a smooth, comfortable ride for all runners, including those who put in a lot of miles, while reducing stress on your knees and feet.

11. ASICS Men’s GEL-Nimbus 20 Running Shoe

ASICS Men's GEL-Nimbus 20 Running Shoe

ASICS knows a little something about running shoes, and their Gel-Nimbus 20 running shoes are fantastic for men with bad knees.

The FLYEFOAM technology makes sure there’s plenty of bounce back and cushioning. On top of this, the FluidRide midsole combines a lightweight sponge and a high bounce sponge to great effect, allowing the GEL-Nimbus 20s to absorb shock and rebound whilst remaining light and easy to wear.

The overall effect is a reduced weight on the knees and improved fluidity and freedom when you’re running, especially at higher speeds or on tougher terrain.

The exoskeletal heel counter is ingenious too: it adds an extra level of support and comfort for your heel, stopping it from passing up strain from the ankle to knee.

These are also an incredible comfortable pair: they have a seamless upper, which reduces rubbing and all the rest. And they have FluidFit technology which uses multidirectional stretch mesh so that it adapts to the foot and allows for a great, snug fit for every foot.

As far as durability goes, they seem to take a bit of beating and stay standing. Thought durability wouldn’t be an obvious selling point, many will want to know that they’ll get their money’s worth, and it seems fair to say the GEL-Nimbus 20s seem as durable as most other shoes in this price range.


  • Fantastically comfortable fit and kind to the feet
  • Great shock abortion and support for the ankles and knees
  • Great for sprinting


  • They seem to be less good over very long distances

Bottom Line

The GEL-Nimbus 20s match up to ASCIS’ high-standards, and are fitted with all sorts of smart technology to keep your knees supported and help you compete.

12. Reebok Women’s ZQuick 2.0 Running Shoe

Reebok Women’s ZQuick 2.0 Running Shoe

A lightweight design combined with plenty of support and cushioning help make the Reebok ZQuick 2.0 a quality shoe for any woman who experiences knee pain while running.

It’s also, incidentally, inspired by high-performance Z-rated tires (hence the “ZQuick”) and, says Reebok, designed to deliver sports car handling for your feet. While you won’t be blazing down the home stretch at 200 mph, you can feel secure that your shoe provides the ultimate in traction and stability.

The ZQuick 2.0 has many attributes, including midfoot construction that’s secure and responsive to the natural movement of your stride, as well as a removable Ortholite sock liner that delivers additional comfort. The shoe also offers ample arch support and the kind of stability you need for cutting back on knee pain.

The outsole, designed with Reebok’s metasplit flex grooves, naturally flexes when you run and, as mentioned, provides plenty of traction. It’s durable, as you might expect from a “high-performance” sole, and made to resist abrasions.


  • Great arch support
  • Responsive midfoot construction
  • Very comfortable design


  • Sizes can run small

Bottom Line

The Reebok ZQuick 2.0 is another shoe that provides the support and stability you need without adding extra weight to the shoe. Many wearers like this shoe’s design and how it feels on their feet.

Running With Knee Pain: 5 Tips To Make It Easier

It would be easy to use knee pain as an excuse not to exercise, or to run. But there’s nothing that says you can’t run with bad knees, as long as you’re not suffering from a serious injury.

1. Switch to a different running surface

Running exclusively on hard surfaces such as concrete places extra stress on your knee joints and can lead to knee pain. Try running on softer surfaces instead, such as grass, dirt, wood chips, etc. If you run a softer surface, make sure that it’s stable and has good traction; you don’t want to slip and potentially cause further damage to your knees.

2. Stretch, stretch, and stretch

Properly stretching your legs before you run is even more critical when you have bad knees. Stretch your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves to help keep your knee joint flexible, while also keeping you from over-compensating for tight muscles and placing undue pressure on your knees.

3. Don’t run in shoes with excess mileage on them

All running shoes have a limited lifespan. Most are good for 300 to 500 miles, and if you run consistently, you’ll reach that limit before you know it. If changing your shoes twice a year seems excessive, and it may be your reality if you regularly run long distances, consider that shoes with worn-out cushioning place extra stress on your knees (as well as your feet, ankles, and lower leg).

4. Pay attention to your running form

Maintaining proper running form is essential for all runners, perhaps even more so if you suffer from knee pain. Improper form can exacerbate your knee issues and lead to more extensive injuries. Here are some things to keep in mind as you pay attention to your running form:

  • Lean forward – Always maintain a forward lean while running so that your foot isn’t coming down in front of your body, which creates a “braking” action that sends the impact straight to your knees.
  • Don’t heel strike – When you over-stride and let your feet get ahead of you, you’re more prone to heel striking, which – again – creates an impact akin to putting on the brakes. The force of the impact goes to your knees, which aren’t meant to serve as shock absorbers. Instead, always lean from your ankles while letting your stride open up behind you. Your feet should land beneath you instead of in front of you.
  • Monitor you knee lift – Excessively lifting your knees and reach forward for a longer stride is fine if you’re a sprinter but not so good if you run any distance longer than a mile. Lifting your knees means that your feet hit the ground in front of your body and cause the braking action we’ve discussed. Instead, keep your knees swinging low while bending your knees at the back end of your stride. Also, let your heels float up behind you.
  • Aim your feet – It sounds obvious, but you should always keep your feet pointed in the direction you’re headed. In other words, don’t let your feet splay outward, which twists the knees and may cause inflammation of the iliotibial band. Instead, rotate your entire leg slightly inward until your feet are parallel and pointing forward at all times.

Changing your running form takes time and may feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s well worth the effort because of how effectively it can help you deal with knee pain.

5. Don’t be afraid to take breaks

It’s OK to take the occasional break from running, especially if you have bad knees. Moreover, taking a break doesn’t have to mean sitting on the sidelines, i.e., you can break up your daily runs into shorter increments while resting between runs. For instance, if you run 30 minutes a day, you could break it up into two 15-minute runs instead.

9 Tips That Help Prevent & Fix Knee Pain

“Runner’s Knee” is a blanket term that covers a wide range of knee issues but doesn’t always originate from the knee. In some cases, a runner’s knee pain is due to poor running form or problems in the hips or lower back.

Preventing and treating knee pain often includes a multi-faceted approach that includes good old- fashioned rest, as well as strength exercises. Here’s a closer look:

1. Treatment 101: Find the Source

Finding the source of knee pain is an important first step in the treatment and prevention of knee pain. Again, not all knee pain originates from the knee but may be due to tension and tightness in the hips, lower back, quadriceps, and even the abdominal muscles.

Treating those areas first makes it easier to stabilize the knee, foot, and lower leg.

2. Reducing Mileage

Issues such as knee pain, and foot and ankle problems can occur when a runner increases their mileage too quickly. In those cases, reducing mileage – or even resting – can help clear up knee pain. Either way, it’s always a good idea to stop running until you do it pain-free.

3. Strength Training

Strength training is beneficial to your body and overall well-being in many ways, including that it can help prevent and alleviate runner’s knee.

Some exercises you can do include foam rolling – for both your quadriceps and knees – as well as back and hip exercises such as bridges, planks, and side leg lift. All are exercises frequently recommended by physical therapists and trained coaches as a way for athletes to avoid runner’s knee.

4. Treating Patellar Tendinitis

Patellar tendinitis is a form of runner’s knee in which you experience pain below the kneecap and at the top of the shin. The pain sharpens while you run when going up and down stairs. The force placed on the knee during a run can overly-strain the patellar tendon.

5. Stretching

If you’re a serious runner, you understand the importance of stretching as part of your overall running routine. Stretching also helps to prevent and even treat knee pain, especially stretches for your quadriceps and hamstrings.

6. Cross Training

As much as you love a good run and the routine you follow, as well as the many benefits running provides (hey, you may even be able to eat more than the average person), sometimes you need to rest and give running a break for a bit.

Not to worry, however, because there are many other physical activities you can do, either as a supplement to running or while your resting until you knee pain clears up. You don’t have to give up exercise altogether, but you do another form of physical activity, such as swimming laps, cycling, etc.

7. Use Extra Support or Orthotics

Arch supports and orthotic for your shoes can help with the positioning of your feet, which may help ease or eliminate knee pain.

8. Ice Your Knees

Regularly icing your knees can help reduce inflammation that’s causing knee pain. One method is to apply ice for 15 minutes, up to five times a day.

9. Be Patient

How quickly or slowly you heal is probably different than the rate at which someone else heals. Your recovery time depends on your body and the extent of your knee pain or injury.

The last thing you want to do is to rush things and resume your regular running routine before you’ve healed completely. Don’t run again until you feel no pain when you run, jog, or jump, or until you can fully bend and straighten your knee without pain.

How We Evaluated & Chose The Shoes For This Review

We considered several factors when selecting the shoes for this review, from support to comfort to traction to how they fit. We also factored in the different running strides – overpronation, underpronation, neutral – while trying to achieve a balance that worked for all types of runners.

Price was another consideration – running shoes aren’t inexpensive, and it’s essential to get the best bang for your buck – while design and fashion, while lesser concerns, were part of our evaluation, as well.


There’s often no reason for knee pain to keep you doing one of the things you love: running. Today’s running shoes combine innovation and technology with helping you cope with a variety of foot and leg issues while keeping you on the road or trail. The shoes we’ve listed above are excellent examples of that.

Are you a runner who experiences knee pain? What brand and model of running shoes do you use? We welcome your feedback and hope to hear from you.


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