10 Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees

When you have bad knees, running can be grueling. The pain you feel in your knees can radiate through the feet and it can also stop you from running completely. Depending on your situation, a cushioned shoe can help a lot. If you are recovering and if you can start running again, the best shoes are the options to choose for your situation. There are different types of shoes which tackle knee problems directly or which are simply comfortable and which represent a leading solution for this issue. Generally speaking, runners should take good care of their knees and some of the following shoes can be recommended for preventive purposes as well.

Nike Men's Dart Running Shoe

With a cushioned construction, the shoes are among the most popular options for knee problems. They feature some of the proven Nike technologies and they offer a versatile solution for different types of surfaces. You can use them to run on the treadmill or outdoors on the track or on concrete. This is based on the blown rubber outsole. With a comfortable EVA midsole, the shoes are great for impact absorption as well.

The mesh upper of the shoes is also recommended for those who like above average breathability. It is why they can be a good fit for a large number of runners. They can be used even on the hot summer day since they are so comfortable. Lateral movements are a breeze as well due to the thickly-padded collar. With a design which is made to fit most runners, the shoes are among the most versatile solutions for your knee issues.


  • Can be used on different surfaces
  • Great comfort
  • EVA cushioning


  • Heel support can be improved

ON Women's Cloudrunner Sneaker

ON has been making some of the most shock-absorbing options for runners. They are easy to use and they represent a great solution when you want to use innovative designs which do a fantastic job of absorbing shocks. The come with the distinctive ON pods which makes them a valuable solution when it comes to comfort and stability. Featuring a mesh upper with overlays, they are also comfortable for long running sessions.

Since the shoes are made with such a distinct outsole, they are recommended for women who run on hard surfaces such as concrete and who need to protect their knees against impact and long-term damage.


  • Distinct design
  • Unique outsole lugs
  • Breathable mesh upper


  • Lateral support can be improved

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam Vongo Stability Running Shoe

Made with a design for maximum stability, the shoes are among the recommended options for added comfort while running. With a simple design, they work great when it comes to the best efficiency. The looks of the shoes are not bad either and they are more up to date than the previous versions. Made with foam cushioning, they are perfect to reduce the impact running has on your knees.

They are also among the new options made with an engineered mesh. With plenty of perforations and a lightweight material, they are recommended for the best breathability. At the same time, they represent a flexible solution for an upper which is made to offer plenty of support and comfort for the most dedicated runners. With added overlays, the shoes are also among the solutions which are made to last for miles and miles.


  • Modern design
  • Made for proper stability
  • Great breathability


  • Limited color options

Hoka One Hoka Bondi 5 Running Shoes

The shoes are among the top options when it comes to cushioning comfort. Made with EVA foam and the Ortholite sockliner, they are comfortable while offering the arch support which is needed for some runners. Their bulky design is based on the extra cushioning which makes them a top solution for your bad knees.

The shoes can be used to keep possible knee problems away too. With the help of the Meta-Rocker, the running shoes are a great solution when it comes to the ultimate heel to toe transition. With an outsole which can tackle any flat surface, the shoes are recommended for most indoor and outdoor running surfaces. Even the upper is comfortable with its padded collar. It makes the shoes a viable option when looking to improve comfort with all types of runners and pronation.


  • Great for cushioning
  • Durable rubber outsole
  • Ortholite sockliner


  • Bulky for some runners

ASICS Men's Gel-Venture 6 Running Shoe

The shoes are a staple in the industry for knee issues. Featuring the manufacturer’s gel technology, they are comfortable for all runners. The gel technology is among the leading technologies when it comes to shock absorption. Dispersing shocks, it allows the gel to take some of the pressure and to transmit a lesser impact to your feet.

With a removable sockliner, the shoes are recommended for all runners. The sockliner can be replaced with your own orthotics if you need specialized arch support and they represent one of the best solutions when it comes to proper support. With a rubber outsole which is based on the manufacturer’s high abrasion rubber design, they are also among the designs which last for miles. The breathability of the shoes is also tailored towards the average runner, regardless of the weather conditions. Made with a heel pull tab, the running shoes are also quick to fit, which is great when you are trying to change yourself in your running outfit quickly and to start your jog.


  • Durable rubber outsole
  • Gel cushioning design
  • Breathable upper


  • Thinner padding for the latest version

ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 24 Running-Shoes

Featuring the same impressive gel technology from the manufacturer’s latest releases, the shoes can be considered if you need a lightweight performer, great for knee issues. With the help of the Impact Guidance technology, the shoes are among the recommended options when it comes to proper heel to toe transition. At the same time, they are among the best options when it comes to midsole support and cushioning. Featuring the Fluid Ride Midsole, the shoes are among the leading options when it comes to a proper balance between bounce and cushioning. Even if they are not made with the highest midsole, they manage to offer a balanced performance which is right for most runners.

The upper is classical to what you would expect from the manufacturer. With simply mesh with perforations and overlays on the forefoot, the shoes are among the best solutions when it comes to breathability. But the shoes stand out with their heel counter which is among the most interesting solutions for heel lockdown and highly recommended for those who need the extra stability to reduce the pressure on the knees.


  • Engineered mesh upper
  • Flytefoam midsole
  • Impact Guidance technology


  • Roomy forefoot for some runners

Salomon Speedcross 4 Wide Forces Black

Trail running is typically very demanding on the knees. It is why you need to be careful when running off the beaten path not to put extra pressure and pain on your knees. But at the same time, you have the ability to choose the solutions which work great for you and your trail needs. With a rugged outsole made to tackle the uneven surfaces of the trails, the shoes are recommended for many runners. The outsole is designed with chevron studs which are made for the ultimate grip.

But the upper is interesting as well. It is made from textile breathable materials with overlays to cater the needs of those who plan to run long distances. With modern lacing and an added heel counter, they are great for those seeking improved lockdown and stability, even in the conditions in which they are made to tackle uneven surfaces. The shoes are also quick to dry which is great for all types of running obstacles.


  • Mesh upper design
  • Modern lacing
  • Chevron studs


  • Roomy forefoot for narrow feet

Nike Womens Sock Dart Running Shoes

If you need a solution tailored for women which can offer proper support with good comfort levels to reduce the stress on the knees, the Dar running shoes can be a recommended option. Women can enjoy their impressive design and performance and turn them into one of the most interesting solutions when it comes to the everyday running. Since they come with an appealing design, the shoes are often used with casual wear as well.

Made with a knit upper with plenty of padding around the ankle, they prove comfortable. Their distinct identity comes with the molded midfoot strap which is breathable as well and which works as a practical solution for the ultimate lockdown. With a durable rubber outsole, the shoes can be among the solutions to consider for running on different surfaces.


  • Distinct casual design
  • Comfortable midsole
  • Improved midfoot lockdown


  • Not easy to clean

Adidas Response Boost LT

With a breathable upper, the shoes are among the recommended options to work with. They come with a simple and efficient design and they represent one of the classic solutions from Adidas for most runners. Made with the Stretchweb technology, the shoes are recommended for elasticity in the upper which is great for lateral movements as well. But since they are made with the BOOST foam midsole, they are among the comfortable options to run with. Even the outsole features a thin rubber for a more lightweight experience which is recommended for many indoor and outdoor flat running surfaces.


  • Stretchweb design
  • Foam footbed
  • Breathable tongue


  • Narrow forefoot

Adidas Men's Questar Ride Running Shoe

The shoes are among the latest releases which are made to add comfort to the Achille’s tendon. With a collar which faces away from the tendon, you can take better care of your feet, especially since you might also be experiencing knee problems. With a breathable upper, the shoes are recommended for running during all seasons.

Made with durable lacing and a futuristic upper, they also represent a great solution for casual outfits. But their foam comfort recommends them for running on different surfaces and the added tongue pull tab offers them a practical appeal as well. Available in 10 colors, the shoes impress with comfort and up to date aesthetics.


  • Recommended for comfort
  • Breathable upper
  • Protects the Achille’s tendon


  • Upper structure can be improved

What to look for in the best running shoes for bad knees

Dealing with knee problems is complex. As one of the most complex joints of the body, the knees have to support your entire weight. The last thing you want is to wear shoes which are uncomfortable or which can add to your feet’s problems. It is why you need proper cushioning, the best breathability, impressive support and a design which is up to date to entice you to wear them as often as possible.


The cushioning of the shoes is among the most important characteristics. You want to find the latest shoes on the market as they tend to be lighter with better cushioning. It is why you need to look at the different options from the main manufacturers for an improved fit. Even more, there are plenty of reasons to choose the products which come with adjustable cushioning. Using your own insole can be recommended for better arch support.

But the cushioning is not worthy of praise if it is paired with a poor outsole. You need a proper grip to support knee biomechanics and this can only be achieved with solutions which allow you to perform at the highest level. Rubber outsoles are not all the same. But make sure you choose the outsole which is right for your type of running needs. If you plan to get out on trails, you need specialized outsoles which are made to tackle dirt. You can slip very fast with the shoes which are made for track or concrete while out on the trail. It is why you have the ability to choose a product which works great for your specific needs, which was not the case in the past.


One of the main issues which get overlooked when dealing with knee issues is breathability. It is wrong to simply pick the shoes which feel most supportive at the beginning. The breathability of the shoes needs to be right. You have the ability to work with solutions which are made for the ultimate comfort and which will help you stay concentrated on actual running. In many cases, you have the opportunity to work with designs which come with engineered mesh, which is a top choice for breathability. Even some knit designs can work great if made to a high standard.


The support of the running shoe is among the most important characteristics to look for with knee issues. It is why you want to stay on point when it comes to the best results. At the same time, you have the opportunity to work with solutions which are recommended for the ultimate fit and the ultimate performance for your type of arch. Low arches are easy to deal with, as well as high arches, especially if your shoes come with replaceable insoles. With your own orthotic, you can have the right shoes catered to your needs in seconds. However, not all shoes come with a removable insole so you will need to check this characteristic before the purchase. With better results when it comes to support, you have the ability to run correctly, which is the first step towards healthier knees.


The design of the shoes is among the most important characteristics. It does not affect your knees but it can entice you mentally to wear the shoes. Since most of these shoes look great with casual outfits as well, they can be worn day in and day out to help you with your knee problems further. It also makes them one of the most respected options when it comes to proper comfort and improved aesthetics. Since solutions such as the Achille’s tendon protection from Adidas also look great, it is a living proof that the designs which are made to protect the feet don’t need to be unappealing.


When you look for running shoes to protect your knees, you will encounter different designs with different technologies. In theory, they all do the same things. They are getting lighter, bouncier, and more aesthetically pleasing. However, the reality of these shoes is somewhat different. They are not all the same and when it comes to knee issues, they are far from being perfect.

This is why you need to choose the shoes which are able to offer you the complete package, not just the support. With great designs and the ability to change the insole for your own needs, you get the freedom you want when it comes to proper knee support. At the same time, you get the ability to work with the best options for shock absorption, which is still at the core of reduced impact on the knees.

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