Running Shoes For Bad Knees

What’s one of the best ways to stay active and get in shape that doesn’t require a gym membership? The answer is running! People have been running for years for both pleasure and as a great form of exercise.

Running is a great activity that everyone should give a try, but it may not always be that easy for some runners.

Many people suffer with knee pain from genetic issues or injury that makes running feel painful and unenjoyable. Many shoe companies want to help these runners get on their feet and have made special shoes for runners with knee pain.

Today we will take a look at five of the best running shoes for bad knees that were designed to provide a comfortable and supportive platform for the aspiring runner.

We will also look at what you should be looking for in a running shoe and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about running with bad knees.

Sketchers is one of the most recognized and respected sneaker manufacturers in the world with each of their shoes offering something different to the wearer.

They are known for their comfortable shoes that last for years without a fuss. Their Energy Afterburn sneaker takes what is great about all of their other shoes and makes it into a package that is perfect for runners with bad knees.

The upper portion of these shoes is made from a leather that allows the shoes to be incredibly durable and take on many conditions.

The leather upper also means that you will have a tighter fit than other shoes and will keep your feet feeling locked in. These shoes offer all the support you could need and have a very large upper lip that allows you to take the shoes off with relative ease.

If you plan on taking these shoes off the pavement, the traction provided by the sole will keep you firm and locked to the ground.

The very dense and substantial lower padding on these shoes makes them great for someone with bad knees as the various levels of rubber and padding help to protect your delicate joints and bones from the impact caused by running that other shoes can’t protect against.

What we like It

  • Durable leather construction
  • Easy to take off
  • Very supportive lower construction
  • Added traction from sole

Our Verdict

Sketchers knows how to make a great shoe, and the Energy Afterburn is no exception.

This shoe combines durable materials with practical features to make a very compelling sneaker.

The padding and protection this shoe were built with will keep your knees feeling great for many miles.

PUMA helps both professional weightlifters and runners get the performance they need out of their shoes and they are constantly looking to improve their designs.

The Tazon 6 FM is one of their running shoes that was designed to offer as much protection and support to the wearer as possible. Through a mix of material choice and a carefully designed frame, this shoe will help keep you running without pain.

Starting at the top, the shoe has a carefully constructed and laid out design that blends a synthetic leather and mesh for the best performance possible.

Having synthetic leather to provide structure and durability where it is needed most and mesh to allow for better breathing means that you will feel comfortable running in these shoes for many hours without discomfort.

The reinforced heel of the shoe will provide your feet and knees with plenty of impact resistance so you can feel comfortable going on rough terrain without worrying about injury.

The rubber sole keeps these shoes durable for many runs and also provides additional impact resistance to your feet. PUMA knows how to make shoes for support, and the Tazon 6 FM will keep you feeling safe and locked in.

What we like It

  • Stylish design
  • Supportive and durable heel
  • Carefully constructed design features
  • Rubber sole for protection

Our Verdict

The Tazon 66 FM blends many of PUMA’s best technologies together to create a shoe that makes them one of the best running shoes for knee pain.

A blend of durable materials and carefully supportive features means that these shoes will keep you feeling comfortable and safe when going on any run.

Many runners have chosen ASICS as their brand of choice for their immense comfort and support on all terrains.

The Gel-Venture 6 sneaker is one of ASICS running shoes that was designed to give wearers as much confidence as possible to take on any track or trail without having to worry about any pain.

Many people with knee pain use these shoes every day as the support and comfort they offer is hard to find elsewhere. A synthetic upper construction allows these shoes to feel light and breathable, so you never feel congested when running.

The internal cushioning on these shoes is also some of the best as it provides all around support to wearers whether you are on a run or just walking around town.

One of the highlights of these shoes is the lower sole that gives runner the traction they need on any surface to feel comfortable.

The GEL technology cushioning system on these shoes removes much of the harmful shock that your feet would normally feel and makes running feel like a breeze.

A blend of interior cushioning and exterior protection make these one of the best cushioned shoes for bad knees.

What we like It

  • Comfortable and versatile fit
  • Plenty of supportive padding
  • GEL technology for protection
  • Many color options available

Our Verdict

It is easy to see why so many runners choose ASICS for their shoes of choice and why they chose to keep the shoes on after the run.

The Gel-Venture 6 sneakers offer a great mix of comfort and protective features that are sure to keep your knees safe whether you are going on a hike or just walking the dog.

Not very runner will want to be sticking to the roads and tracks, so Salomon decided to make the ideal shoe for runners looking for a supportive off-road shoe.

The Speedcross 4 Trail running shoe gives runners to confidence and features required to take on a forest path without having to worry about the elements. These shoes were designed to give you all the grip and support necessary for a trail run.

Just one look at these shoes and you will know that they were designed for the trails. The sole was designed with an aggressive grip that keeps your feet locked to the trail when in the forest and will provide the traction necessary on slippery and unpredictable surfaces.

These shoes are designed similar to athletic cleats so that you have as much surface are to touch the ground with for maximum grip.

Alongside the many gripping features to keep you safe from falling, the shoe has many other features that are designed to keep you comfortable and snug inside the shoe.

A very precise and close grip style means that your feet will feel locked in and supported by the inside of the shoe. The laces of this shoe can all be pulled at once with the one-pull lacing system for maximum convenience. If there is a trail you want to take on, these shoes will take you there and bring you back with comfort and style.

What we like It

  • Ideal for trail running
  • Unique and gripping sole
  • Plenty of protection internally
  • Takes on any terrain

Our Verdict

These shoes are like the SUV of sneakers that will allow you the support and grip you need to run on nay surface without pain.

A snug and comfortable fit blend perfectly with the gripping exterior features that makes the Speedcross 4 one of your best options if you want to hit the trails without knee pain.

ASICS continues to improve an adapt their shoes for the needs of modern runners. The Gel-Kayano 25 is one of their most advanced and feature packed shoes on the market.

A blend of modern materials and technologies keeps this shoe at the top of every runners wish list. A mesh upper construction with a very modern design gives you breathability and support from the top for hours of comfort when running.

The Impact Guidance System that AISCS uses with this shoe is designed to enhance the foot’s natural running pattern to provide support and protection to your most essential areas.

This pairs well with the Guidance line midsole technology to give the wearer a sense of efficiency and comfort that keeps the shoes feeling like an extension of your foot rather than something you need to wear out of necessity.

For internal comfort, the Ortholite x-40 sockliner gives a premium feel of support and protection while also being able to last for many miles of abuse.

The sockliner helps keep you feet protected on the inside of the shoe while the DuoMax support system enhances the stability of the shoe and reduces the overall weight of the shoe.

If you want one of the most advanced and supportive running shoes, these have your back.

What we like It

  • Natural running pattern support
  • Premium sockliner already included
  • Modern and etchnology packed
  • Stylish and tasteful design

Our Verdict

The Gel-Kayano 25 is the 25th version of the shoe, and it really shows. Every element of this feature has a special technology associated with it and no compromises are made with the shoe.

The many supportive elements that keep your feet safe and knees protected will see you running many miles in these shoes.

Buying Guide Best Running Shoes For Bad Knees

With so many great shoes to consider, we want to give you some buying advice so that you can see which shoe would be best for your needs. 

We will look at some of the most important factors to take into consideration when buying running shoes and see why they will help keep your knees safe.

best running shoe brand


All shoes need a certain amount of grip that allows them to keep you connected to the ground when running. Traction is what will be the difference between you feeling comfortable running on various surfaces and you slipping on a run. 

Most running shoes are designed with enough traction to stick to various surfaces so that you have the ability you run on many surfaces without having to worry.

Running with knee issues means that even a simple fall or slide of the foot could be devastating. Special shoes that are designed to help with knee pain like the ones we looked at above all have a jagged sole design that is made specially to get as much grip out of the shoe as possible.


The cushioning your shoe has will directly affect how comfortable you feel wearing them and how much they will do to protect your feet. 

The cushioning provided by your shoes will be determined by several factors that include the sole material as well as what the sockliner is made out of. Cushioning can be immediately felt in a shoe when you take a few steps and feel a level of bounce.

The cushioning a shoe has will directly affect how much support and protection your knee is getting from the impact made with the ground.


The material your shoes are made out of can have many affects on how much they do to protect you and can also determine how long they will last. Materials like rubber, mesh, and leather are all used for very specific purposes to make shoes suited for certain situations.

For example, a shoe with leather on the upper section will have more protection from wear and tear than a shoe that is made purely of mesh.

Many manufacturers use a mix of materials for this very reason so that you can have the best of multiple materials without making a big sacrifice.

Having issues with your knees means that you will be needing shoes with extra padding and sole protection to help avoid painful shock damage. This is done by using special rubber on the soles of the shoe and interior padding to give your feet the materials they need to stay protected.


No matter what you plan on using a shoe for, you will want it to be comfortable. Comfort may be a somewhat subjective experience, but we feel there are some important comfort elements to look for when you have a bad knee.

Most of the comfort you will get from a shoe will be on the inside. The padding and cushioning you receive from all angles will be what your feet directly feel when wearing the shoe.

Many running shoes also have special sockliners that are designed to provide additional comfort to the bottom of your foot.

Having a bad knee means that you don’t want to feel pain when walking. Shoes made for this purpose will focus on comfort, so your pain is greatly reduced and isn’t an issue.


Support is arguable one of the most important considerations to have because this determines how safe your knees will be. Support can come from a snug upper or from a responsive and durable sole. 

You will feel the support of a special running shoe when you take some steps and feel locked in and safe.

The shoes we looked at above all do different things to improve the support to your feet and reduce pressure on your knees.

Special elements are implemented into the shapes to make them better suited to running and help take the shock out of your feet and keep it leveled out.

frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What are the best running shoes for bad knees?

Running with bad knees used to be a real challenge, but new technology and shoe designs are making it much more viable. 

Of the shoes we looked at, all of them offers something unique to different types of runners. However, we feel that the best running shoe of our selection is the ASICS Gel-Kayano 25.

This shoe has a little bit of everything that the other shoes offer and brings it all together for an excellent package.

A modern design and plentiful features make it one of the most modern sneakers around. These shoes are some of the best for men, and also come in a variety that makes them the best women’s running shoes for bad knees.

What are the best shoes for knee problems?

Knee problems can greatly reduce your mobility and comfort if they affect you, so having shoes to help with your problem is a great help. 

Many shoe manufacturers make shoes with extra padding and support that are designed to protect and secure your feet. Having this layer of protection means that you knees will face less impact and stress from the hard ground.

We recommend a sneaker that can provide comfort and support for everyday life, like some of the offerings by ASICS or Sketchers, that can be both used for running and walking.

These shoes look like normal sneakers while still providing the support and knee protection of specialized shoes.

What is the best tennis shoe for bad knees?

While most traditional tennis shoes are great for some people, they are not really that great for people with knee issues. Thankfully, many companies have made newer tennis shoes that are great for both running and bad knee issues.

The Puma Tazon 6 is an interesting offering that blends many of the traits of a tennis shoes with the practicality of a sneaker. 

The added support used by athletes benefits those with knee issues as there is an extra level of support and protection. Many of the other shoes mentioned are also great for knee support but don’t necessarily qualify as tennis shoes.

Are Hoka shoes good for bad knees?

Hoka has recently entered the shoe market and has been producing some competitive shoes that hope to give people and athletic offering with added support. They may not have the large name, but they certainly have something to offer for those who have bad knees.

Their main goal with their shoes is to provide a package that provides as much padding and support as possible while still maintaining a stylish and sleek frame.

Their ONE ONE shoe is their main seller, and it seems to be very popular among the community with knee and foot problems. If you are looking for an alternative to the main brands for knee issues, Hoka should have you covered.

What kind of running shoes are best for bad knees?

Bad knees can make running feel painful and nearly impossible if you don’t have the right shoes. AS we looked at earlier, there are several things you want to look for when choosing a pair of shoes for running with bad knees. 

We recommend looking for the attributes you find most important and then finding the shoes that best fit that description.

All of the shoes we looked at above also fill the essential requirements for bad knee running shoes. They all have more support than the average shoe and make sure that you are able to remain comfortable when running.

The primary goal of the shoes chosen is to keep you knees feeling safe and normal after going on a run.


So many people have wanted to get out and run, but their knee pain has prevented them from trying. With companies know trying to make shoes that are designed with comfort and support in mind, you can finally go out and start running.

We chose our five favorite running shoes for bad knees and looked at the features you should be looking for so you can grab a pair and start enjoying the joy of running in no time!

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