Dec 5, 2020 15 min read

7 Best Running Shoes for Knee Pain for 2022 With Buying Guide

Best Running Shoes for Knee Pain

Knee pain can frustrate your jogs and slow you down. But with the best running shoes for knee pain, you stand a chance of improving your athletic performance. There are a few reasons why you should like the right running shoes.

First, the best running shoes for bad knees helps to cushion your foot and knee for shock that might worsen an existing knee problem. Second, they provide comfort and stability, which is vital for every day trail running. But finding the best shoe is a daunting task, especially with so many options in the market.

This article brings you some of the best running shoes for bad knees. So, be sure to read on for more information!

1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20
  • BioMoGo DNA foam
  • Dual-layer upper
  • Abrasion-resistant outsoles
4.7/5 StarsRead Review
For Men
2. Asics Gel Kayano 27 Asics Gel Kayano 27
  • They run true to size.
  • Excellent traction.
  • A bouncy heel.
4.6/5 Stars
For Men
3. New Balance 860v11 New Balance 860v11
  • 3D printed overlays
  • Sock-like fit for comfort
  • Foam midsoles for cushion
4.6/5 Stars
For Men
4. Hoka One One Carbon X Hoka One One Carbon X
  • PRO FLY X foam padding in the midsoles.
  • Rubber outsoles offer sufficient traction.
  • Carbon plates
3.7/5 Stars
For Men
5. ASICS GT-2000 8 ASICS GT-2000 8
  • The shoes have a responsive ride.
  • The rearfoot Gel™ cushions the heels.
  • The FlyteFoam midsole is lightweight
4.7/5 Stars
For Men
6. Brooks Ravenna 11 Brooks Ravenna 11
  • BioMoGo DNA cushions entire feet.
  • The insoles provide plush comfort.
  • GuideRails® prevents overpronation.
4.6/5 Stars
For Men
7. Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit
  • Flyknit Loft upper
  • Flex grooves
  • React cushioning.
5/5 Stars
For Men

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The Best Running Shoes for Knee Pain Review

Our Top Pick

1.Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20

Best Overall
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 Grey/Blue/Navy 9.5 D (M)Weight:

300 grams


12 mm  BUY Men’s   BUY Women’s

Things we liked Breathable upper. Padded tongues. Well-cushioned midsole. Abrasion-resistant outsoles. Dual-layer upper for durability. Roomy toe box. Outsoles have impressive traction.

Things we didn’t like It might not be ideal for fast pacers. The Brooks stability shoe is expensive.

If you’re looking to prevent overpronation, then Adrenaline GTS might be the right running shoe for you. The upper of this running shoe comprises a dual-layer FlexFit mesh that gives you a firm but flexible fit. The mesh also makes it breathable, thus keeping your foot fresh.

With a dual design, you can be sure to find an inner and outer layer on the upper. This design is essential to make this running shoe lightweight.

Adrenaline GTS also features well-padded tongues, which facilitates pressure distribution on tied laces. And with the 3D Fit prints on the upper, you get additional support.

The shoe’s midsoles also prevent overpronation, all thanks to the GuideRails® technology. This design makes it among the best running shoes for bad knees for running enthusiasts. The midsole has extra cushioning materials – the DNA Loft foam and BioMoGo DNA foam. They all work to cushion you from shock that would worsen the pain of bad knees.

The outsole is also high-quality since it is of blown rubber material. The rubber covers protects you from abrasion. All these features make Brooks Adrenaline GT a great option for bad knees.

Read Full Review here.

2. Asics Gel Kayano 27

Best support
ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes, 11, Black/Pure SilverWeight:

323 grams


12 mm  BUY Men’s   BUY Women’s

Things we liked Comes with shoelaces for good foot lockdown. Breathable upper material. They run true to size. Good traction. A bouncy heel.

Things we didn’t like They are expensive. They’re heavy.

The upper material of Asics Gel Kayano is an elastic mesh that takes the shape of your feet. Because of this, this running shoe for men and women provides a sock-like fit. The shoe is also highly breathable, thanks to its upper mesh. You also get flat laces that guarantee efficient lockdown, especially for people with flat feet. Besides, the flat design of the laces reduces the pressure on your foot’s top.

The 3D printed overlays give this running shoe upper efficient structural support. They also protect the upper from abrasive materials. As such, these right running shoes for bad knees are incredibly durable. The well-cushioned tongues help reduce and distribute pressure from tied laces.

The design of the midsole makes it a stability shoe and cushions you from shock despite your running style. The brand’s mainstay gel insert makes this among the best cushioned shoe for knee problems. It will also help ease the landing impact, and this crucial if you are experiencing knee pain.

You can expect exceptional foot protection from the shoe’s AHAR outsole. The outsole is anti-abrasion, and has a remarkable traction. Besides giving you traction on wet and dry surfaces, the outsole is very durable.

You can rest assured that your running shoe will serve you long enough before you think of replacing it. The shoe’s flexibility and 12mm heel-to-toe drop gives it sufficient spring, making it a great option for sprinters. With all the extra features of this Gel Kayano, it is undoubtedly among the best running shoes for bad knees.

3. New Balance 860v11

Best Pressure Distribution
New Balance Men's Fresh Foam 860v11, Black/White, 12 MediumWeight:

312 grams


10 mm  BUY Men’s   BUY Women’s

Things we liked The shoe is lightweight in design. The upper is breathable. The heel collar provides support. Eva Foam midsole cushions your feet. Optimal arch support. The outsole has sufficient traction.

Things we didn’t like The shoe could be expensive. You get limited color options.

The New Balance running shoe for men and women has a synthetic mesh upper that guarantees breathability. As a result, your foot feel fresh all day. The mesh upper of this running shoe is elastic, making the shoe take up your foot’s shape for a sock-like fit.

The flat shoelaces also distribute the pressure based on your foot’s shape and running style. Given that the tongues are also cushioned and breathable, these New Balance trainers are comfortable and offer stability.

The overlays on the eyelets give impressive reinforcement and also help you customize the size without damaging the upper. Besides, the 3D printed overlays provide the upper support to prevent wear and tear and for protection from abrasive elements.

You also get extra cushion from the shoe’s new training fresh foam in the midsole. As a result, you will have a softer landing, which is essential if you are experiencing knee pain. The Eva foam also provides another function besides cushioning your heel and knee from pain – it gives you energetic takeoffs!

Runners with overpronation problems may also find this shoe useful. That’s because they have long-lasting medial posts beneath the arch area for arch support. The result is a highly comfortable ride inside your shoes. Besides, you will get all the comfort and stability you like if you’re having bad knees.

4. Hoka One One Carbon X

Best Padding
Hoka One One Carbon X

247 grams


5 mm  BUY Men’s   BUY Women’s

Things we liked The upper is breathable. Gusseted tongues keep debris out. Roomy toe box for wiggle. PRO FLY X foam padding in the midsoles. Rubber outsoles offer sufficient traction. Carbon plates guarantee springy movements.

Things we didn’t like Are a bit expensive. Hoka One has limited color options.

There are plenty of reasons why Hoka One One helps alleviate pain from bad knees. First, its upper is very comfortable to both men and women. The upper comprises a breathable mesh to let fresh air circulate within the shoe chambers.

The toe box is also roomy for sufficient wiggle as you are on the run. Besides, it comes with a wider forefoot, which is right for your foot to be more comfortable. The uppers still have gusseted tongues for sufficient padding. It offers great foot lockdown without excessive pressure from the flat shoelaces.

The midsole of Hoka One One comes with the brand’s PRO FLY X foam for sufficient padding and cushioning. You also get a responsive and cushioned ride in your shoes, all thanks to the firmer and resilient midsole. And this makes them ideal for runners with knee pain.

These trainers also have carbon fiber plates inside their midsoles for smoother and springy transitions. And with the shoes’ Meta-Rocker outsole design, you have a propulsive ride for improved athletic performance.

The rubber outsoles have sufficient traction on all surfaces and offer protection from rough terrains. They are also flexible and durable to permit free foot movements when running.

5. ASICS GT-2000 8

Best Stability
ASICS Women's GT-2000 8 Running Shoes, 7.5, Black/Rose GoldWeight:

283 grams


10 mm  BUY Men’s   BUY Women’s

Things we liked The lace-up closure offers a secure fit. Have a responsive ride. The rearfoot Gel™ cushions the heels. The FlyteFoam midsole is lightweight. You have enough color options. The outsole material is anti-abrasive.

Things we didn’t like Some runners claim they’re a bit heavy. They might not be the softest shoes.

First, you can get these shoes in plenty of colors for both men and women. Maybe you can choose a color that blends with the outfit you use to run. Aside from the color options, they have a multi-directional mesh in their uppers.

As a result, the upper hugs your feet right for a secure fit. The forefoot is wide for proper toe splay, while the midfoot is narrow for a snug fit. They also have a Heel Clutching System in the heel area. The function of the system is to provide heel stability during a run.

It gets better in the shoes’ midsoles. First, the rearfoot Gel technology provides cushioning to your heel as you run. As such, you will not feel like you have knee pain as you run. Another great midsole material – FlyteFoam™ – is good for shock absorption. It ensures your foot is well cushioned from shocks emanating from the rough terrains as you run.

The midsole material is also lighter, meaning you will not have something weighing you down when you want a heightened performance. This shoe is also rigid enough but still flexible since they pack the Trusstic™ that prevents twisting.

Away from the midsoles, they also have carbon rubber outsoles. The result is anti-abrasion performance on the track. They remain one of the best shoes for bad knees with all the cushioning you get on your heels and midfoot sections.

6. Brooks Ravenna 11

Best Comfort
Brooks Men's Ravenna 11, Black/Blue, 11.5 D (M)Weight:

255 grams


10 mm  BUY Men’s   BUY Women’s

Things we liked They permit great transition. The flex grooves promote natural flexion. BioMoGo DNA cushions entire foot. The insoles provide plush comfort. GuideRails® prevents overpronation.

Things we didn’t like The midfoot section restricts flexion a bit. They may offer excessive arch support.

The upper material of this shoe for running is a breathable single-layer mesh. The mesh also provides a comfortable wrap besides being very lightweight. Having cool and fresh feet could help alleviate some bad knees pain that you might have.

The upper also has sufficient structural support, thanks to the printed overlays on the shoes’ sides. Therefore, the upper provides the support that you like when running. You can also find more reinforcement on the shoes’ eyelets.

The flat shoelaces go into the print-reinforced eyelets to help you customize the fit. Also, the tongue and heel and ankle collar have enough padding to offer support and comfort. Your feet will not wobble, and this will improve your running experience!

The midsoles of this shoe use the brand’s BioMoGo DNA for a comfortable ride while running. The midsoles adapt to your feet’s contours, all thanks to the BioMoGo DNA design. You can also expect to have plenty of medial side support if you’re wearing these shoes.

GuideRails® technology works to prevent overpronation, and this reduces knee pains. Again, this is a good material for shock absorption, and makes your foot feel well cushioned during landing.

Moreover, this shoe features very soft insoles for plush comfort. Safety is something the shoe manufacturer takes seriously. That’s why you get blown rubber outsoles that protect you from abrasive material.

You can also flex your feet naturally since the outsoles also have flex grooves for the toe-off phase. They help alleviate knee pain since they have plenty of cushioning materials.

7. Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit

Best Plushy feel
Nike Men's React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 Running Shoes Black White Iron Grey Size 9Weight:

283 grams


8 mm  BUY Men’s   BUY Women’s

Things we liked React cushioning alleviates knee pain. The Flyknit Loft upper makes them durable. The upper is breathable and lightweight. The outsoles offer traction. The sock liner provides plush comfort. The lacing system helps customize the fit.

Things we didn’t like They offer excessive arch support. They are not for narrower feet.

The upper of the shoe comprise a Flyknit Loft design for both men and women. The fibers of the upper make the shoe flexible. You will have a sock-like fit since the upper material has a seamless construction that eliminates additional layers or stitching.

Besides, the one-piece upper makes them easy to wear for both men and women. The uppers feature the traditional lacing system that comes in handy when customizing the fit. Tighten the laces to achieve your preferred fit, and you will be good to go.

Nike has developed a proprietary material – the React – that cushions you from shocks. Besides, the material is durable and lightweight, making them to be lightweight overall. You will have plenty of heel support and cushioning if you invest in these trainers since they have heel clips that comprise injected thermoplastic polyurethane material.

The sock liner that lay right above the React material brings more comfort by guaranteeing a plushy feel. As a result, your shoes will have that luxurious feel that alleviates knee pain.

The rubber compound outsole is not only durable but also provides traction on all surfaces. And the flex grooves help you flex your feet without any restraining force. And this improves the shoes’ comfort and stability, making them ideal for runners with knee pain.

Buying Guide

If you’re looking to buy the best shoes for bad knees, you will consider the following features:

The Comfort Level

Running is a high impact activity. You will be transferring up to three times your body’s weight to your joint. And the situation could worsen if you’re a runner with knee pain. But with proper cushioning, your trainers will absorb all the shocks, thus reducing impacts that may hurt your knee. Therefore, find shoes with great cushioning material.

Make sure the midsoles have sufficient cushioning. And don’t forget to buy those that have a cushioned heel section since your heel is a high impact zone. You can also look for those with well-padded tongues and collars for extra comfort. Besides, you will need all the comfort you could get from running shoes if you have knee pain.

The Support

Besides comfort, you also need plenty of support from your running shoes, especially if you have a bad knee. There is plenty of support that you could get from your running shoes. One such support is the arch support.

You will need this kind of support to help your foot distribute the pressure from your weight across the entire feet. As a result, no single section of your foot will take all the impact, which helps alleviate knee pain. But neutral runners may not need high arches support. Be sure to get running shoes that prevent pronation problems by offering the ankle support you need.


The outsoles provide good traction to prevent you from slipping. As a runner with a bad knee, the last thing you need is more pain in your knee. Therefore, you cannot afford to slip and fall. And that’s why you should buy running shoes with great traction on all surfaces. Also, make sure the outsoles’ material is a durable one so that they can serve you for years.

The Material of The Shoe

Durability is another aspect to consider when shopping for running shoes. High-quality materials will guarantee protection from shocks. Also, they will make the trainers very durable. It means they will protect you for a long time if you choose trainers with high-quality materials.

Rubber is one of the best materials for the outsoles. It is not only durable but also protects you from abrasive materials on the terrains. But look for outsoles with flex grooves for more flexibility.

The midsoles should be of high-quality for good shock absorption. Some of the materials to look out for are BioMoGo DNA foam for a sufficient cushioning feel. Besides, this midsole type is environment-friendly. Another great midsole material is PRO FLY X foam that also provides great cushioning of the feet.

The upper section of your shoes should be breathable for comfort. Those with upper mesh could be your best option. But you can be sure to find those with Flyknit upper that is equally as breathable. Also, they provide a sock-like comfort. As such, you should buy them.

The Fit

You want to run in trainers that fit you perfectly. And for this reason, choose the right-sized shoes. Buy trainers that don’t need a break-in period. They should fit you instantly so you can begin running as soon as they fit.

Look for running shoes with sufficient room for toe splay if you need them to fit you well. Oversized trainers could pose a danger since you will have internal slips. Also, such oversized trainers will slow you down since their weight will increase.

All these calls for running shoes that fit you perfectly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Could my overpronation be the cause of knee pain?

The arch plays a crucial role in distributing pressure across the feet. But overpronation affects your foot’s arch, causing it to distribute the pressure unevenly. And some of the shocks will transfer to your knee, thus causing knee pain.

Therefore, overpronating could potentially cause knee pain. The best remedy is to buy running shoes that prevent overpronation.

When should I replace my running shoes?

Footwear also wears out. And you will need to replace your shoes after some time. Once you have covered 400 miles in your shoes, you may need to replace them. You can also look for new shoes once you notice a change in how they feel. If the midsoles don’t cushion your feet as sufficiently as before, it is time to buy new running shoes.

Can I still run even when I have a bad knee?

You will run with comfort if you buy running shoes for bad knees. Besides, such shoes have well-padded midsoles to absorb all the shocks from impact. And this means no shock will inflict pain on your joints, especially the knee. But, be sure to buy shoes with high-quality midsoles if you need sufficient cushioning.

Should my running shoes for bad knees stretch?

Your running shoes should not stretch. And this means they should fit you immediately since they don’t need a break-in period. But they can be elastic, especially on their upper to accommodate your feet’ shapes. Buy shoes that fit snugly but not making you uncomfortable. Besides, a snug fit is essential to prevent internal slips that may put more stress on your joint muscles.

What is the best outsole material?

The midsoles protect you from impacts. But the outsoles protect you from abrasive materials on the running surfaces. They also protect you from slips and accidents.

As such, you should give your outsoles much thought when shopping for the best shoes for knee pain. Rubber outsoles provide exceptional performance since they offer more traction and remain anti-abrasive. Therefore, they should be the outsole materials to consider.


Running is a great way to exercise. But it could be a dangerous activity without proper footwear. If you’re a runner with knee pain, you should buy running shoes that alleviate your pain. And in this case, the best running shoes for bad knees are what to buy from the market.

This post has recommended some of the best shoes that might help you run with comfort despite having knee pain. The shoes have sufficient padding in the midsoles to absorb all the shocks from the impacts. As such, they work to alleviate knee pain. Be sure to look for other shoes that you may like.

I am a middle-aged runner with aspirations of qualifying for the Boston Marathon in 2022.

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