TOP 15 Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees Reviewed 2020

Jeff Baldelli
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If you suffer from bad knees, running is not your best option. Yes, it is great cardio, but your knees will thank you for going for alternatives to running

Sweating it out in the gym is also a plus, but don't forget to give yourself a rest to let your injured knee recover and heal.

Can you have the best of both worlds?

Discover some of the best running and running shoes for bad knees and injured knees in this article.

NameCategoryProduct
ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 26Best Overall
ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 26
Merrell Women's Bare Access Arc 4 Trail Running ShoeBudget Pick
Merrell Women's Bare Access Arc 4 Trail Running Shoe
HOKA ONE ONE Mens Clifton 6 Running ShoeUpgrade Pick
HOKA ONE ONE Mens Clifton 6 Running Shoe

1. ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 26

Our rating: 9 / 10


ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 26

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Pros:

  • Great shock absorbency.
  • More structured than the Kayano 25.
  • Not as bulky and stiff as the Kayano 23.
  • A more structured shoe makes it easier to run without any footwear.
  • Nicely coated 3D mesh on the upper.
  • Seamless upper is light and durable.
  • The logo on the heel came off quickly.

Cons:

  • Not the most accommodating shoe for people with wider feet.
  • Some shoes started having stitching issues in half a year.
  • Susceptible to tears in the midsole.
  • The product is slightly lower than the insole.

Let's begin our top 10 best shoes for bad knees review with an iconic running shoe designed for long distances.

The Kayano was originally created in 1992 by Yoshihiro Kizawa, as a shoe that would conform to the volume of the human foot and would control the motion of the foot during the heel strike.

The shoe has effectively been a part of many athletes' lives, from the North Pole Marathon to the Marathon du Mont-Blanc.

2. Brooks Womens Adrenaline GTS 20 Running Shoe

Our rating: 9 / 10


Brooks Womens Adrenaline GTS 20 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • One of the top rated shoes among professional runners for years. The dramatic shift to an Adaptive Fascia. Technology in this model makes this shoe an absolute must-have.
  • 20-30% lighter than previous models while still keeping the foot supported.
  • Most runners who switch to this femme fatale will never go back to previous versions.

Cons:

  • This model is geared purely toward the female athlete. Those seeking a beautiful and functional product may be disappointed with the frills and details accented on this design. Although the design exceeds expectations, the extra zipper compartment in the front right above the toe on the right foot might bother some.
  • Although used by many distance runners, heel strikers may find this shoe uncomfortable and should consider an alternative style.

This show is the most revolutionary product that Brooks has ever created. As one of the flagship companies within running shoes, it's always surprising to see a new product line with revolutionary design. Since the brand developed, Brooks has never presented a model quite like this.

For thousands of years, the core concept of making shoes has never changed. However, this iconic model may change the way that the shoe industry operates for years to come.

Let's take a look at the major reason for the success of the Adrenaline GTS model.

3. Mizuno Women's Wave Inspire 16 Road Running Shoe

Our rating: 9 / 10


Mizuno Women's Wave Inspire 16 Road Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Can handle long distance running for all fitness levels
  • Lightweight, flexible and comfortable
  • Breathable, quick dry materials
  • Great stability for those who need extra support
  • Many color and width options available
  • Fast shipping and excellent customer service

(Wide Width)

This Mizuno Women’s running shoe is a great option for the runner that has plantar fasciitis or prefers a cushioned shoe. It’s lightweight and comfortable and offers great arch support and is perfect for mild to moderate overpronators.

The Mizuno Women’s Wave Inspire 16 is a neutral shoe for a fast paced runner. The Mizuno Women’s Wave Inspire 16 weighs 10.6ounces and has a dense midsole that will provide a longer, more cushioned stride. The cushioning is an EVA foam which offers a nice, soft landing as well as a comfortable fit.

4. Brooks Men's Beast 18

Our rating: 9 / 10


Brooks Men's Beast 18

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Pros:

  • Removable, dual-density EVA insole
  • Upgraded snugger upper
  • Podiatrist-designed, biomechanically optimized support
  • Smoother transition between heel strike and forefoot progression
  • Carbon rubber outsole and midsole for added softness

Cons:

  • Some runners have found slight irritation on the midfoot.

The Brooks Men’s Beast 18 is a top quality CrossFit shoe with a whole lot of benefits. A few of the key features are the lightweight design, the breathable upper, and the traction of the outsole.

What makes it suitable for CrossFit is its stability and ability to keep your feet supported. It has a snugger upper, so it’s not bulky at all, and it really hugs the foot. Plus, the drainage ports and the perforated suede help reduce the swelling in your feet and keep your feet dry while you’re working out.

5. Brooks Ghost 12

Our rating: 9 / 10


Brooks Ghost 12

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Pros:

  • Decent support
  • Heel cushions
  • Minimal look
  • Better stability
  • Lightweight
  • Perfect for those with bad knees

Cons:

  • The scent is too strong for some.

6. HOKA ONE ONE Mens Clifton 6 Running Shoe

Our rating: 9 / 10


HOKA ONE ONE Mens Clifton 6 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Very light and comfortable
  • Perfect for neutral runners
  • Great cushioning for endurance miles on asphalt and concrete
  • The upper material is breathable and waterproof
  • Outsole on this specific model is not as comfortable as some other shoes

Cons:

  • A bit expensive
  • Might seem too narrow or narrow for some individuals

This running shoe from Hoka One One has a wide toe piece and wide mid-foot support for those who prefer a little extra space in their running shoes. The tongue of the shoe is worked in such a way that your foot stays in place.

It is incredibly comfortable, and it keeps your foot in a neutral position.

7. ASICS Women's Gel-Venture 7 Running Shoes

Our rating: 8 / 10


ASICS Women's Gel-Venture 7 Running Shoes

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Pros:

  • Good support on side-to-side movements.
  • Excellent comfort for high mileage running.
  • Breathable mesh upper for good ventilation, it wicks moisture away quickly.
  • Great shoe for any kind of training.

Cons:

  • A little more on the expensive side of the spectrum.

The Gel-Venture 7s from ASICS are strong contenders for the best running shoes for runners with bad knees. It has lots of flexibility with three distinct support zones. These support zones help with high-impact activities and provide lateral stability.

The shoe itself is well-constructed to handle any kind of terrain that you are likely to encounter during a run. The upper mesh is notably sturdy while the mid-sole provides cushion and comfort.

The only thing that might keep some women from choosing this shoe is the price. Although they’re well worth the money if you’re an avid runner, the ASICS Gel-Venture 7s are still a bit more expensive than some other options.

8. Saucony Women's Triumph 17

Our rating: 8 / 10


Saucony Women's Triumph 17

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Pros:

  • Wide toe box to accommodate wide feet.
  • Lightweight and comfortable.
  • Great for running and walking.
  • Great on trails and roads.
  • Generous in length from toes to heel.

Cons:

  • The ankle area is stiff and rubs against the skin.
  • Some reports of the sole wearing too quickly on the bottom.

The Saucony Triumph 17 is a hiking/running shoe designed with a more relaxed fit for women that comes up higher on the side and wraps around the ankle than previous styles. It is great for running and walking and is both comfortable and cushioned for long distances. It is a stable ride with support for your foot and arch areas and features a wide toe box that makes it a popular choice for women with wider foot and narrow heel issues.

The Saucony Triumph 17 is available in a variety of attractive colors and is made from breathable mesh and synthetic materials that keep your feet cool and comfortable when you are outside. It features a padded mesh lining and has molded removable insole that you can replace if you need a thicker or softer pair. Many women like the Saucony Triumph 17 because it fits all of the main areas that are often uncomfortable in a hiker: toes, heel and back of the foot.

9. New Balance Men's Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10


New Balance Men's Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Comfy, supportive “energy midsole” for more energy return
  • Modern sleek color combinations
  • Available in various widths
  • Price affordable for mid-level shoes
  • New Balance comes with flexible memory foam footbed
  • New Balance Men's Fresh Foam 1080 V1O Running Shoe is a very cushioned shoe

Cons:

  • Not an ideal choice for runners who overpronate
  • New balance 1080v1 should fit a half size larger
  • New Balance Men's Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe is better for wide feet

This is a comfortable casual shoe that pairs well with most casual looks. It is lightweight and has breathable mesh, making this a nice option for warmer weather.

This running shoe has a traditional lace closure and its New Balance Fresh Foam midsole adds just the right amount of stability for everyday wear. Advanced Abzorb cushioning helps absorb impact in just the right way.

Since New Balance is a universal brand you should know that their shoes are considered a unisex athletic brand. They typically are best for people who like a wide roomier shoe or have wider feet.

10. Saucony Men's VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12 Road Running Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10


Saucony Men's VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12 Road Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Comfortable. Breathable mesh and mesh lining, Flexfilm and foam outsole.
  • Cheaper than the rest.
  • Lightweight and soft cushioning.
  • Great support and stability
  • Extremely long lasting.

Cons:

  • Ventilation and cushioning properties' not very good.
  • Shoe laces become loose quickly

If you go through shoes quickly, you might not like the Saucony Men’s VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12 Road Running Shoe. However, if you can get the shoe around the 400-mile mark, you’ll find that it is a comfortable, lightweight trainer with solid support for the frequent runner.

The sole is made of high-quality foam that not only adds to the shoe’s shock-absorbing capabilities, but also gives off a nice, comfortable feel. On top of that, the upper is made of breathable mesh and mesh lining, and the shoe also has a Flexfilm and foam outsole, so it is able to maintain its comfort over time. You can expect approximately 400 miles out of this shoe, according to most customer reviews.

11. Merrell Women's Bare Access Arc 4 Trail Running Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10


Merrell Women's Bare Access Arc 4 Trail Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Fabulous fit that conforms to your foot well.
  • Maximum cushioning to treat your knees.
  • Can be worn to the gym as well.
  • Made from durable and breathable fabric.
  • Foam flexes and forms as you walk.
  • Rubber outsole has excellent traction for uneven terrain.
  • Bounce back is excellent as you run.

Cons:

  • The upper does not have a lot of support.
  • Aggressive lugs on the bottom of the shoes can wear out quickly.

This running shoe is a lightweight and flexible option that provides excellent traction and cushioning. The shoe has a breathable and mesh upper with a breathable and mesh lining. The upper is also lightweight and flexible. The shoe is a lightweight and flexible option that provides excellent traction and cushioning. The shoe has a breathable and mesh upper with a breathable and mesh lining. The upper is also lightweight and flexible.

The shoe has a full-length midsole made of the cushioning EVA material. The midsole is made to flex and form as you walk or run. The outsole has aggressive lugs and a durable rubber tread that keep the shoe stable on uneven terrain and asphalt.

12. Mizuno Women's Wave Rider 23 Running Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10


Mizuno Women's Wave Rider 23 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • It's versatile
  • Breathable upper
  • Lightweight design

Cons:

  • Not the most supportive
  • Not the best for neutral runners

The Mizuno Women's Wave Rider 23 is a beautiful running shoe that is perfect for runners looking for a shoe that is lightweight, comfortable, and versatile.

This shoe has a fabulous design and a cushy feel. You can run in them on any weather conditions from the road to the track. You will feel like you are walking on clouds in them. Many accessories are available for this shoe and has a nice variety of colors to choose from.

You will get a lot of compliments on this shoe. You will love the way they fit and feel.

13. New Balance Women's 890 V7 Running Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10


New Balance Women's 890 V7 Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Comfort, comfort, comfort!
  • Amazing fit.
  • Stylish.
  • Durable and holds up well to long-term use.
  • Great arch support.
  • Great for people with high arches, since they have excellent support and comfort.
  • You can also use it for walking, and it\'s good for walking because it fits well and provides very well with comfort.
  • Lightweight and comfortable.

Cons:

  • The heel part may not provide necessary support.
  • It may start to wear out faster if you do frequent high mileage.

This is a very comfortable, wonderful shoe for women. It has plenty of support and cushion, and I think it will be great for someone who is starting out running.

Plus, it is affordable and attractive. I think the best part is that it has a great fit and is comfortable, and provides your foot with good support, and you could use this for walking, exercising, and running, or just everyday use in general.

14. Vibram Men's V-Run Running Shoe

Our rating: 8 / 10


Vibram Men's V-Run Running Shoe

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Pros:

  • Includes a protective toe bumper as well as protective aluminum and rubber heel
  • Breathable shoe with an open mesh upper
  • 3.5 mm heel to toe drop
  • Updated range of motion and more breathable mesh than prior versions
  • Made from a durable rubber that is suitable for all running surfaces
  • Weight of 11 ounces in each pair
  • Uses full-length, active vegetable tanned leather which is remarkably soft
  • Innovative stretch tabs for quick size adjustments

Cons:

  • Outsole is thinner which might wear out more quickly than other options
  • The shoe is less cushioned than other options
  • Includes a softer midsole and updated toe bumper which make it more suitable for runners that have a quicker cadence than a slower runner might like
  • The shoe is not bootie construction, so it is not the best for winter use
  • The shoe can be difficult to find in conventional running stores

Performance with Style

The VIBRAM Men’s V-Run® Running Shoe is a performance driven running shoe by a company that is known for running shoes that are as minimalist as they are comfortable and attractive. They have limited outsole coverage, yet are solid enough for daily training.

15. Nike Men's Dart 12 MSL Ankle-High Running

Our rating: 7 / 10


Nike Men's Dart 12 MSL Ankle-High Running

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Pros:

  • Support, premium cushion, durability and Nike quality throughout.
  • A classic lace-up ankle bootie with premium cushion.
  • True to size and very comfortable.

Cons:

  • There are a few complaints about arch support.
  • The bottom sole wears out quickly.

Below we review and highly recommend the Nike Men\'s Dart 12 MSL Ankle-High Running Boot as one of the best shoes for bad knees.

These boots provide excellent support, premium cushion, durability and Nike quality throughout.

They are a classic lace-up ankle bootie with premium cushion. They are true to size and comfy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What type of running shoe is best for bad knees?

Any shoe works for bad knees if it’s the right shoe and your knees are the problem. Be honest with yourself. It’s you, not your shoes. If your knee hurt when you hesitate, then invest in a good pair. Many shoes are designed specifically for overpronators with ample support and cushioning.

A good pair of shoes can increase your performance which gives you a sense of accomplishment. Hopefully, the sense of accomplishment and the lower stress on your body will encourage you to run more and more.

Can running shoes help knee pain?

Since running is one of the worst activities for impacting your knees, wearing the right shoes can go a long way toward reducing the impact on these supports. With comfortable shoes, you can enjoy running without worrying about knee trouble.

The right shoes can help your knees by absorbing shock. Good shock absorption makes a significant difference in helping you avoid knee pain when running. Shoes with excellent absorptive capabilities also help keep you going for longer. They increase traction and stability too. Another benefit to getting the right running shoes is good support for your knees.

How Can I jog with bad knees?

That is why it's important to choose the right pair of sneakers and running shoes. You definitely need to be cautious when engaging in physical activities with bad knees.

Conclusion

Running has become a very popular activity over the past few years. In fact, some studies have shown that almost 20% of the world's population will regularly engage in some type of running activity.

Running is often thought of as a low-impact activity that involves little-to-no joint impact, this is simply not true. Running can wreak havoc on your knees if you don't wear the proper shoes.

What Makes a Good Running Shoe for Bad Knees?

There are many things that are considered when reviewing running shoes, such as quality, design, and technology. There are also a few things to keep in mind when considering a shoe for running with bad knees.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 26Best Overall
ASICS Men's Gel-Kayano 26
Merrell Women's Bare Access Arc 4 Trail Running ShoeBudget Pick
Merrell Women's Bare Access Arc 4 Trail Running Shoe
HOKA ONE ONE Mens Clifton 6 Running ShoeUpgrade Pick
HOKA ONE ONE Mens Clifton 6 Running Shoe