Best Shoes for Knee Pain

Featured shoe: Brooks Ravenna 11

There are several factors that contribute to knee pain during running (i.e. wearing improper footwear, being overweight, aging, weaker leg muscles, and lack of warm-up exercises) but regardless of these factors, knee pain occurs when your calcaneus or heel bone, which establishes the rear part of your foot, shifts too far inside (medial) or outside (lateral) during foot landing. Experts call this calcaneal shifting which is the movement that can cause not just knee pain but injury as well because it can alter the alignment of your knee affecting your balance.

During perfect alignment, your calcaneus should be right underneath your tibia, the larger and stronger bone that connects the knee to your ankle bones. If you can keep your calcaneus in perfect alignment, you’ll help ease the pressure going to your knee during foot strike. Why is it important to protect your knees during running? Your knees are the most injury-prone areas of your body when you run.

What are the best shoes for knee pain?

The immediate solution if you’re experiencing knee pain is changing your current footwear and shifting to the one with a superior technology that can secure your heel so it won’t shift too far inside or outside during foot landing. This will protect you from deviating out of your perfect run signature. The best shoe has bumpers that can prevent unnatural calcaneal shifting and too much roll of foot.

the best running shoes for knee pain

Best Shoes for Knee Pain

Here’s a list of the best shoes for knee pain (in no particular order):

1. Brooks Ravenna 11

This running shoe has GuideRails Holistic Support System, a technology that supports not just your feet but every part of your body that exert effort during running. The GuideRails in Brooks Ravenna 11 uses bumper systems on the lateral side and medial side. These bumpers help align your heel bone and prevent calcaneal shifting (lateral) and too much roll of foot (medial). This results to a perfect run signature which can prevent knee pain and injury.

See Brooks Ravenna 11 for Men »

Key features:

  • Support Type: Overpronation/Stability
  • Differential: 10 mm
  • BioMoGo DNA midsole which supplies long-lasting cushioning
  • GuideRails Holistic Support System on sides of shoe to keep the foot stable while you’re on the run
  • Midfoot Transition Zone which is designed to go from heel to toe quickly for a smooth transition

Most helpful testimonial:

They have supported my knees and back well, with no pain after my workout.

best shoes knee pain

2. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20

This running shoe has GuideRails Holistic Support System, a technology that supports not just your feet but every part of your body that exert effort during running. The GuideRails in Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 uses bumper systems on the lateral side and medial side. These bumpers help align your heel bone and prevent calcaneal shifting (lateral) and too much roll of foot (medial). This results to a perfect run signature which can prevent knee pain and injury.

See Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 for Men »

Award: Best for long runs, Runner’s World

Key features:

  • Support Type: Overpronation/Stability
  • Differential: 12 mm
  • GuideRails support system that helps protect the knees by keeping excess movement in check
  • BioMoGo DNA and DNA Loft midsole cushioning which work together to provide an ideal underfoot softness and support
  • Progressive Diagonal Rollbar®: tri-density midsole designed to promote progressive pronation control and smoother transitions

Most helpful  testimonial:

Now I can only wear adrenaline shoes as they support my alignment and help prevent knee and hip pain.

best shoes for knee pain

3. Brooks Bedlam 2

This running shoe has GuideRails Holistic Support System, a technology that supports not just your feet but every part of your body that exert effort during running. The GuideRails in Brooks Bedlam 2 uses bumper systems on the lateral side and medial side. These bumpers help align your heel bone and prevent calcaneal shifting (lateral) and too much roll of foot (medial). This results to a perfect run signature which can prevent knee pain and injury.

See Brooks Bedlam 2 for Men »

Key features:

  • Support Type: Overpronation/Stability
  • Differential: 8mm
  • GuideRails Holistic Support System which focuses on protecting the knee area and keeps excess movement in check
  • DNA AMP midsole that captures the energy created by each foot strike

Most helpful testimonial:

I overpronate and was having knee pain when I started running … got these shoes and the knee pain went away.

the best running shoes for knee pain

4. Nike Air Zoom Winflo 6

This running shoe has a full length Cushlon foam that works together with Zoom Air technology in the heel to deliver cushioning and stability. Nike Air Zoom Winflo 6 also has Cushlon crash rail on lateral outsole which cushions transitions and prevent calcaneal shifting.

See Nike Air Zoom Winflo 6 for Men »

Award: Most affordable, Runner’s World

Key features:

  • Support Type: Overpronation/Stability
  • Differential: 10 mm
  • EVA strobel which delivers a softer underfoot feeling
  • Cushlon crash rail on lateral outsole which cushions transitions

Most helpful testimonial:

I have a bad knee from a skiing accident and the extra stability here really made a difference.

best sneakers knee pain

5. ASICS GEL-Kayano 26

This running shoe has Heel Clutch technology which provides a heel counter that adjusts to the shape of your heel, minimizes displacement, and enhances stability and performance. ASICS GEL-Kayano 26 also has Impact Guidance System (I.G.S) which offers over one solution to deliver a holistic approach: External heel counter that can minimize ankle movement; Guidance Line which increases stability; Guidance Trussic which aids in smoother landings; and Dynamic DuoMax which boosts stability and supports without the added weight.

See ASICS GEL-Kayano 26 for Men »

Award: Best for stability, Runner’s World

Key features:

  • Support Type: Overpronation/Stability
  • Differential: 13 mm
  • I.G.S which employs linked componentry to enhance the foot’s natural gait from heel strike through toe-off
  • Dynamic DuoMax Support System which boosts stability and supports without the added weight
  • Heel clutch technology which features an exoskeletal heel counter that provides improved support and creates an improved heel-fitting environment
  • Guidance Trusstic System which integrates Guidance Line construction to enhance gait efficiency and promote mid-foot structural integrity

Most helpful testimonial:

Wearing them right when I got them and the knee pain from the old non-supportive shoes has gone away.

ASICS GEL-Kayano(r) 26 (Black/Blue Coast) Women's Running Shoes

6. New Balance 990v5

This running shoe has an ENCAP PU ring with EVA core which wraps the lateral mid-foot through the heel and around the medial mid-foot for enhanced stability. New Balance 990v5 also uses long-lasting Ortholite premium footbed which provides cushioning and arch support. Ortholite footbed is lightweight yet compresses only less than 5% over its lifetime to ensure you get optimum cushioning, fit, comfort, and performance.

See New Balance 990v5 for Men »

Key features:

  • Support Type: Overpronation/Stability
  • Differential: 12 mm
  • ENCAP PU ring with EVA core which wraps the lateral mid-foot through the heel, and around the medial mid-foot for enhanced stability
  • Ortholite premium footbed which provides cushioning and arch support

Most helpful testimonial:

I had a dislocated disk and also a knee injury just over 10 years ago, and since I switched to these sneakers because they are well padded and thick and soft to run, running has never been a problem.

New Balance 990v5 (Grey/Castlerock) Women's Classic Shoes

7. Mizuno Wave Inspire 16

This running shoe has an improved DynamotionFit technology which creates an upper that moves naturally with your foot. DynamotionFit locks down the heel during foot strike and delivers contoured fit that can prevent your foot from deviating out of your normal run signature. Even the Mizuno logo on the sides of the shoe seems to give support to lateral movements. Mizuno Wave Inspire 16 also has the famous Wave technology which provide a stable platform and a superior cushioning.

See Mizuno Wave Inspire 16 for Men »

Key features:

  • Support Type: Overpronation/Stability
  • Differential: 12 mm
  • Wave technology which offers energetic cushioning, support and a stable ride
  • U4icX midsole which delivers lightweight cushioning for a smooth transition and superior ride
  • Improved DynamotionFit Technology which creates an upper that moves naturally with your foot
  • SmoothRide engineering promotes a great transition from heel-to-toe with each stride

Most helpful testimonial:

I suffer from shin splints and knee pain from running and have felt neither so far.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 16 (Cloud Grey/Snow White) Women's Running Shoes

8. Hoka One One Arahi 4

Hoka One One shoes have an oversized base (or big footprint) which is stable, but if you need more stability to protect your knees, the Arahi 4 is one of your best options. This running shoe has a firmer EVA J-Frame which adds extra help on your stability by preventing your foot from overpronating. The J-Frame extends to the lateral side which helps align the heel during the gait cycle. Hoka One One Arahi 4 is one of the lightest stability running shoes in the world.

See Hoka One One Arahi 4 for Men »

Key features:

  • Support Type: Overpronation/Stability
  • Differential: 5 mm
  • Molded foam insole
  • Early Stage Meta-Rocker which promotes a smoother ride and faster transitions
  • Firmer EVA J-Frame which supplies lightweight support
  • Flat-Waisted Geometry offers inherent stability

Most helpful testimonial:

These shoes will save your knees, back, neck, etc.

Hoka One One Arahi 4 (Nimbus Cloud/Lunar Rock) Women's Shoes

9. Hoka One One Gaviota 2

Hoka One One shoes have an oversized base (or big footprint) which is stable, but if you need more stability to protect your knees, the Gaviota 2 is one of your best options. This running shoe has a firmer Firm RMAT J-Frame which adds extra help on your stability by preventing your foot from overpronating. The J-Frame extends to the lateral side which helps align the heel during the gait cycle. Hoka One One Gaviota 2 is one of the lightest stability running shoes in the world.

See Hoka One One Gaviota 2 for Men »

Key features:

  • Support Type: Overpronation/Stability
  • Differential: 5 mm
  • Molded OrthoLite foam insole
  • Late Stage Meta-Rocker which promotes a more stable base
  • Flat-Waisted Geometry which offers inherent stability
  • Firm RMAT J-Frame which supplies durability and rebound

Most helpful testimonial:

I have become so used to hobbling around in pain, I was in shock and awe when I tried this shoe along with my custom orthos and actually walked — upright — no ankle, knee, hip, back pain.

Hoka One One Gaviota 2 (Dark Shadow/Lantana) Women's Shoes

10. On Cloudace

This running shoe has injected TPU heel counter with 3D-molded heel pads which can keep the foot in perfect position, cradles the heel, and provide side-to-side support. On Cloudace can give you more comfort and cushioning with more padding on the inside.

See On Cloudace for Men »

Award: Best stability shoe, Runner’s World

Key features:

  • Support Type: Overpronation/Stability
  • Differential: 7 mm
  • CloudTec technology which delivers a soft landing followed by an explosive take-off
  • Injected TPU heel counter with 3D-molded heel pads to keep the foot snug and in the perfect position
  • Liquid-injected Speedboard in an extra-wide design that stabilizes the foot during rolling motion

On Cloudace (Sea/Almond) Women's Shoes

Final Thoughts

There are many shoe technologies that prevent foot pain and injury, but the ones that can protect the most injury-prone part of your body when you run (the knee) offer over one solution that deliver a holistic approach. What is common to the above list of the best shoes for knee pain, aside from they’re all stability shoes, is they all have combined support that can center your heel bone right underneath your tibia and prevent it from shifting too far inside (medial) and too far outside (lateral) throughout the gait cycle. This results to a perfect alignment of the knee which is the key in preventing knee pain and injury.

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