The Best Running Shoes for People With Bad Knees

These expert-approved running shoes will keep knee pain at bay and help you feel better with each step.

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Knee pain can be caused by a slew of different muscle or bone issues that should be discussed with your healthcare provider. 

According to the Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library, a particular way of walking or running—and overstressing your knees while running—can lead to knee pain. That can be done by leaning forward with your knees bent while running.

But many times, something as simple as wearing the wrong type of sneakers during exercise can be the culprit.

According to the ACE Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Institute, even the "standard" running shoe can have a raised heel higher than one inch. The elevated heel shifts the person's center of gravity and places more force on the knee joint—adversely affecting the entire knee. And the higher the heel, the more adverse the effect.

That is why improving your workout regimen and running form and finding the right pair of running shoes can help ease those aches. If you notice that knee pain is most prevalent while you're running or at the gym, then it might be time to invest in a new pair of sneakers. Here's what you need to know about the five best running shoes for people with bad knees.

5 Best Running Shoes for People With Bad Knees

These are the five best running shoes for bad knees:

What To Keep In Mind While Choosing New Running Shoes

Cushioning in a running shoe is controversial, and some running shoes have become increasingly cushioned. However, a study published in 2018 in the journal Scientific Reports found that highly cushioned shoes can amplify impact loading when running. And that can result in stiffer legs when landing—and more injuries. 

The outcome was more pronounced with faster running speeds. The researchers wrote that their discoveries "may explain why shoes with more cushioning do not protect against impact-related running injuries."

In addition to improving your shoe choice, Dr. Sutera recommended implementing lifestyle changes that can help ease knee pain even further. Those include orthotic inserts or insoles in your shoes that provide extra shock absorption and arch support, along with alternating shoe types throughout the week. 

"Always use shoes that are appropriate for [the activity you're doing]," added Dr. Sutera.

If you think your old, worn-out, or unsupportive shoes are the culprit of your pain, it's the perfect time to upgrade your running shoes. And if they meet the healthcare provider-approved guidelines, you may feel better with every step (or stride).

With those expert recommendations in mind, we've outlined five of the best running shoes for bad knees available to shop on Amazon below.

Expert Pick: Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 19

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19
amazon.com

Experts and casual runners often recommend Brooks shoes, and this super popular pair of Adrenaline GTS sneakers is no different. 

Both Dr. Sutera and Dr. Sharma recommended these shoes that provide ample support. The balanced cushioning is specifically targeted to prevent knee injuries and offer stability.

On Amazon, the Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 19 running shoes have an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars, based on over 30 reviews.

Price at time of publication: $180

Best Cushioned: New Balance Fresh Foam Women's Running Shoe

New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe
Amazon

A top pick for comfort and cushioning, these running shoes have an ultra-plush and springy texture thanks to the inclusion of New Balance's signature Fresh Foam material in the insoles. 

The durable rubber outsole offers extra stability, while the mesh fabric and perforations throughout the upper are breathable. Along with various size and color options, New Balance lets you choose from wide and narrow foot sizes, so you can always find the perfect fit. 

Nearly 2,000 Amazon shoppers awarded these lightweight sneakers a five-star rating, and at least 20 people mentioned how great they are for knee pain. 

One person said, "I have knee problems, and these shoes are very comfortable, and I have been able to run with minimal jarring to my knee." At the same time, another called them "a dream come true" for bad knees.

Best Shock Absorption: Asics Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes

ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes
Amazon

Recommended by Dr. Sutera, Asics sneakers are known for their stability and comfort. 

Each shoe employs the brand's signature FlyteFoam cushioning on the midsole, ball, and heel, which results in optimal shock absorption and a softer landing with every step. 

Made with a breathable and lightweight mesh fabric, the Gel-Kayano sneakers are one of Asics' most supportive styles, making them an excellent option for anyone with knee issues.

On Amazon, the Asics Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes have an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, based on over 9,000 reviews.

Price at time of publication: $48 for Size 8

Best Top-Rated Option: Saucony Cohesion 10 Running Shoe

Saucony Cohesion 10
amazon.com

Saucony is a trusted brand that uses advanced in-house technology to make super supportive and cushioned sneakers ideal for runners and athletes of any kind. 

And this famous pair offers a more flexible sole that's still very stable and a cushioned insole that's really soft and comfortable. Devoted brand customers love Saucony shoes for their comfort and broader fit, perfect for running and walking. 

On Amazon, the Saucony Cohesion 10 Running Shoe has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, based on over 9,800 reviews.

"I ONLY wear Saucony running shoes, as I have wide feet and heel spurs, and they are the most comfortable and supportive," said one reviewer. "I have worn these for three months and even taken them to the cobblestone streets of Portugal, and they still feel new and wonderful."

Price at time of publication: $60 for Size 7

Best Arch Support: Nike Zoom Winflo 6 Running Shoe

Nike Women's Zoom Winflo 6 Running Shoes
Amazon

Nike's Zoom Winflo 6 sneakers are a top choice for stability running shoes. They include superior cushioning and arch support in the insole, meaning they'll never cause your joints to hurt after pounding the pavement. 

According to Dr. Sutera, stability sneakers are "often recommended for people with knee pain to help promote proper leg alignment and balance." So, these sneakers are a great choice if you need extra support. 

However, since they provide such firm arch support, they may feel uncomfortable for people with lower arches. Numerous reviewers on Amazon mention this pair's "massive" arch support. One person said it makes running virtually "painless" for them. 

Others touted this option as an excellent pick for knee pain. "I've had a total knee replacement, and this style has been my go-to," said one shopper. Another mentioned the shoes are "especially gentle on the knees."

On Amazon, the Nike Zoom Winflo 6 Running Shoe has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars, based on over 2,400 reviews.

Price at time of publication: $71 for Size 5

While a new pair of good running shoes can help people with bad knees, it may also be like putting a Band-Aid on an injury.

If you experience knee pain that worsens, consult your healthcare provider. According to the National Library of Medicine, knee pain may be a symptom of a sprain, strain, arthritis, or iliotibial (IT) band syndrome.

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