Top 10 Best Running Shoes for Knee pain


Knee pain is a common concern among all athletes—specifically runners. It’s a major concern because it can greatly impede your performance in sports and activity—and if you’re a runner it may make you have to cut back on your training. If it isn’t treated and addressed properly and promptly it can worsen over time and become a hindrance to your daily life.

In this guide we will discuss and address some of the causes, treatments and cures for knee pain. One of the best, and immediate, solutions for knee pain are running shoes that specifically address and help treat and prevent the issue. Below you will find a list of the best shoes for knee pain currently available in 2018, reviewed and researched to help you find the best option for you.

Last Updated: April 1, 2018
By Giselle Killebrew:

This newest update brings the Asics Gel Venture 6 and the Wave Rider 20. The Asics is a highly affordable option that will allow you to help address your knee pain. The Mizunos (while more expensive) allow you to keep your speed while also preventing and treating your knee pain.

New Balance 890v5
  • New Balance 890v5
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • REVlite midsole cushioning
  • Price: See Here
Asics GEL Kayano 23
  • Asics GEL Kayano 23
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • REVlite midsole cusioning
  • Price: See Here
Brooks Addiction 12
  • Brooks Addiction 12
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Adaptive DNA cushioning
  • Price: See Here


10 Best Running Shoes for Knee pain

New Balance 890v5

In the top 5 of New Balance running shoes, the 890v5 maintains pretty much all of the design and build features of the v5, with minor style updates. It remains the top contender among runners which makes then a solid choice for running with painful knee issues. Although a supportive shoe, the 890v5 performs really well at high tempos, with exceptional responsiveness.
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If you are looking for comfort, the supportive models from New Balance will certainly provide for most. In the 890's case, excellent comfort is also found by those who suffer from knee pain, especially from the cushioning offered by the responsive REVlite midsole. Even though the shoe has a fairly lower profile appearance, this model does provide great support. This makes quite the difference when it comes to problems like issues with the knees.

The breathability hasn't really been affected by updating the model. The upper is constructed of a breathable mesh, which allows the air to move well. This one is probably not a great choice for running in colder weather, but they are designed with good airflow in mind.

The 890v5 does have an update to the sole, with a rubber compound which performs well on most surfaces, during most weather. The addition of the new rubber compound also helps with durability. These are better kept on the road and other hard, even surfaces, so they might not perform great off road, as they aren't trail shoes.

If you have worn the the previous version of the 890, the v5 shouldn't fit any different. New Balance didn't play with anything that was already working right with these shoes. The midfoot section seems to fit a bit snug, but once broken in, they work well. The toe box does fit narrow, so you'll want to keep that in mind.

New Balance tends to put out a consistent product that will usually get you through plenty of miles. There are a few user reviews that suggest some issues with the length of time they will last, but the positives greatly outweigh the negatives.

Exceptional breathability and fit provided by the shoe's FantomFit design

REVlite midsole offers responsive cushioning

Seamless upper construction allows a irritation free fit.


Narrow toe box

Asics Gel Kayano 24

The Kayano 24 is an update from the 23 and remains a top stability shoe for running, which also makes it a top choice for some of the more common causes of knee problems. With a reduced weight, compared to the previous version, the Kayano 24 has a few upgrades which make it a top rated pick.
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As a golden child of the stability running shoes, the comfort of the Kayano 24 was made for runners who require or desire more support. In fact the stability factor is what really make these such a great option for those with knee problems, commonly by issues such as overpronation.
As with all Asics shoes, you get that famous gel cushioning, which absorbs a lot of shock from the impact on the terrain. In addition, the FluidFit seamless upper removes the chance of irritation from too many stitches inside. Along with the glove-like feel of the upper, the lacing system and the exoskeleton of the heel keeps feet secure inside the shoe.

The sole of the Kayano 24 is the exact same as the 23, so grip and traction control is just as good. The 24s are incredibly sturdy and stable and will leave you feeling in control whether you're running on flat grounds or transitioning onto a hill.

The overall fit is quite similar to the Kayano 23, except for the toe box still being a bit narrow on this newer version but also an improvement. The seamless upper allows the wearer to be protected from annoying irritation points inside the shoe.

There aren't any big complaints about the durability of the Kayano 24. They are said to hold up quite well on the long run, literally and figuratively. In all, these are solid, well built runners that will give the support needed to relieve some of that knee pain while you go.

Gel cushioning provides shock absorption to alleviate knee pain

Decent breathability

Same sole as 23 model - same exceptional traction

Ideal for knee issues and overpronation

Seamless upper for glove-like fit


A bit expensive

Still has a slightly tight toe box

Puma Faas 600 V3

Puma lands one of their models right in the middle of our list, with the Faas 600.
This brand shouldn't be overlooked, as they often surprise with models that perform right up there with the big dogs of the running shoe industry. Puma's Faas 600 is actually a great option for helping to remedy some of that pain while running. We added this one because it offers an affordable option to the list, but one which performs as well as the others in providing the necessary pain relief while running.
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The comfort found with the Faas 600 series is surprisingly great. It is even more then adequate for issues like the one we are focusing on in this particular guide. The proprietary cushioning system that Puma uses in this model is their FaasFoam Lite. It offers a lightweight yet springy responsiveness, and is as durable as it is supportive and comfortable.

The Air Mesh upper provides exceptional airflow, allowing a continuously comfortable and dry run. This shoe is probably not a super choice for those colder days, but performs really well otherwise.

This one grips the road and other similar surfaces as you would expect from a road shoe. It doesn't perform any magical feats, yet performs exactly the way it should. The traction is helped a bit by the addition of the Ever-Track+ compound to the outsole. It does aid in the overall grip, as well as the shoe's durability.

This is where this one seems to really shine. From the lacing system to the sock-like fit, the Faas 600 really seems to impress those who put them on and go for a run.

While these did make our list as suitable runners that will help relieve some of that pain, some did have a few concerns regarding the long term durability. In all the design and build is pretty good, but there are some reported issues with the outsole material.

Exceptional breathability

Designed to fit like a glove

The lacing system and overall fit offer a more secure and confident run

Reasonably priced


Some reported durability concerns with the outsole

New Balance 1080v7

New Balance gets another model on our list. The 1080v7 is part of New Balance's Fresh Foam series. The Fresh Foam midsole gives enough comfort and support to help relieve issues with the knees during your run.
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The shoe's sole is built with New Balance's one piece Fresh Foam midsole, which seems to work well for most in providing enough support to help deal with some of the pain. There are a few reviews which suggest the midsole is a bit too firm, but most seem to like it. The upper is designed to provide a sock-like fit. This really does a good job allowing more confidence in the fit for a more comfortable run.

The engineered mesh upper does a great job allowing a decent amount of airflow. In fact the mesh material used in this version seems to not have changed much from the previous version of the 1080.

These are intended to be used as road shoes. If you stick to solid hard surfaces these will perform well.

As mentioned, the design of this shoe's upper is built to provide a sock-like fit, which of course allows a more comfortable, worry free run. The sizing seems to be pretty in line with other New Balance models, so we didn't find too many issues there.

Durability is where New Balance seems to do quite well. The 1080v7 seems like it will follow that trend as well. We couldn't really find many issues worth noting any real concern other than a few users stated that there was an area inside the upper, near the tongue, which caused a little bit of irritation.

Good overall durability

Adequate breathability for lung runs

Fresh Foam midsole offers decent amount of cushioning and support

Sock like fit allows confident use


Run a bit stiff

The upper is not a seamless design

Saucony Hurricane 16

The 16th edition of the Saucony Hurricane deliver a formidable mix of protection and steadiness. This model is considered a very good choice for those dealing with pronation and they offer an agreeable amount of stability. On top of that, these shoes are very cushioned so you can run long distances comfortably and without any problem. These shoes are perfect if you´re on the heavy side and want to avoid injury. They are also ideal if you are out of shape due to prolonged inactivity.
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The Saucony Hurricane 16´s mesh is a mix of synthetic and porous, well finished in the forefoot with a high degree of breathability, despite the synthetic material. These shoes have both the breathability and the drying ability that is indeed remarkable.

This is actually one of the shoes strong points since they fit marvelously. They fit so well and leave so much space for your feet that you might even want to try a pair that´s a size smaller. From the arch support to the interior cushioning, everything was designed for an extra comfort that will take you that extra mile.

These shoes have a sporty and extreme style for those who love the outdoors and hard physical activity. They have a sporty, young, bold look that comes in different colors such as blue, black, orange, green and white, so it´s fair to say that traditional or neutral colors are not an option here. You can use these shoes for physical activity or informal social occasions too.

You can find these shoes at a price range from $59.95 to $150, depending on where you´re looking. You also get a free return on some sizes and colors with most of the sellers and if you buy directly from Saucony you can definitely ship the shoes back free of charge. You can also take them to the nearest Saucony store, be sure to take your receipt with you. You need to do this before 45 days after purchasing the product.

Sauc-Fit Technology enhances comfortability

Reflective parts of the shoes allow for safe running

Light weight protective rubber that provides cushioning

Great stability

Impressive ground contact


Maybe a little heavy for fast runners

Limited color designs

A bit narrow

Asics Gel Venture

Asics Gel Venture
These Asics shoes are a great running shoe if you are experiencing knee pain. They provide optimal support, stability, and comfort as well as excellent shock absorption and flexibility.
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The Asics Gel Venture shoes utilize a Rear foot GEL Cushioning System for maximum shock absorption. The additional padding that this provides allows you to maintain the comfort and cushioning you desire you need during your run. These shoes also come with a removable sockliner, so you can insert your own orthotic to help with your knee pain.

These shoes have a unisex design and have a variety of colors available. Some may find them clunky since they don't have a sleek design but they still look like most traditional running shoes.

These shoes are highly affordable. While they aren't the absolute best option available their features surpass their price point and they will definitely help you address and alleviate your knee pain.
  • Highly affordable
  • Rear foot GEL Cushioning System for maximum shock absorption
  • removable sockliner so you can insert your own orthotic
  • Comes in a few color options 
  • Durable 
  • Sizes run large 
  • Clunky design 

Asics Gel Nimbus 18

With this 18th edition of the Gel Nimbus, Asics gives us a highly cushioned shoe perfect for runners with knee pain. The plush fit, seamless upper, durable outsole, and comfortable lacing system give dedicated runners a durable and stable daily trainer. With a variety of colors, this line of shoes also makes for a fashionable everyday shoe.
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Numerous reviews praised the ample cushioning of the Nimbus 18. These shoes have supple plushness without a bulky look to them. The sole of the 18 remains quite similar to the 17, given a few minor updates. The sole contains seven (that's right - 7) different materials: the plush insole, the plush liner, a layer of foam, Gel, FluidRide foam, a plastic stability plate, and finally the rubber outsole. With this plethora or cushion, you are sure to find these shoes comfortable. The stretchy mesh upper, which uses fluid fit technology, adapts to your foot and the style of your running. Since the sneaker is lightweight, it does not feel heavy when you run, which means minimal effort when running. Lastly, the sock insert will soak up your sweat to keep your feet dry, so you can focus on running.

With a variety of both bold and subtle colors, the Nimbus 18 will please anybody. The sleek build is not bulky or heavy. The upper features smoother lines on the Asics logo and fewer bumps along the edges of the midsole. The overall overlay pattern is smoother and more organized.

Considering the high quality the price is exquisite. The price tag is your average $100 (more or less depending where you them). The only thing that is a problem is the sizing. The toe box has a tendency to be small, making the price an inconvenience for some people.

Ample cushioning with layers of plush support for runner with knee pain

Durable and stable daily trainer

Mesh, breathable upper

Lightweight sneaker for minimal effort while running

Variety of colors

Sleek design without a bulky feel


The toe box can be narrow for some runners

Mizuno Wave Rider 20

Mizuno Wave Rider 20
The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 is an excellent lightweight and comfortable options for runners who consistently experience knee pain. These shoes are cushioned to perfection while still maintaining their lightweight feature--so you don't have to sacrifice speed for additional support and stability.
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The lightweight and comfort these shoes provide are a perfect combination for runners with knee pain. They are highly responsive and allow you to maintain your space and agility throughout your runs. Their flexible nature combined with the U4icX cushioning technology they utilize allows them to maintain the same levels of comfort during your entire run.

These shoes have a nice sleek design and come in several options.

These shoes have a higher cost, but they are well worth the prices given all of the features they provide.
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • U4icX cushioning technology
  • Responsive Flexible
  • come in several color option
  • Great for those with wide feet
  • Expensive

Saucony Cohesion 8

The Saucony Cohesion is the newest inclusion in the catalog of Saucony running shoes. Having impressive features makes it among the best running shoes in the market with good breathability, comfort, and amazingly lightweight features.
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The Cohesion 8 is an inexpensive shoe that feels like a high-end sneaker. The durable comfort makes a great daily trainer for any level runner. The sole holds up well enough that the first few runs will feel as supported as the 50th run. The heel cup has a snug feel and the lacing system leaves a balanced tension over the foot - no irritating pressure points. The shoe gives a responsive ride without a clunky feel.

The sneakers are available in a wide variety of colors - subtle with accents or overall bright colors. The shoes are stylish enough to wear as everyday shoes. They range from gray-red-orange, gray-black-yellow, silver-blue, navy-purple, dark grey-blue-white, blue-green, silver-coral, silver-navy-pink, and much more. The laces not only look dignified but also are made from high-quality material with a tight fastening grip.

At approximately $60 to $80 (depending on where you buy them) the Cohesion 8s are a very affordable choice for any runner who is looking for a quality shoe on a budget.

Very affordable

Lightweight daily trainer

Breathable mesh upper

Very flexible

Good traction

Comfortable and supportive


Issues with durability

Brooks Adrenaline GTS15

The Adrenaline series is Brooks’ neutral, well-cushioned trainer, as opposed to some of their other models, which are more lightweight and minimalist. The GTS 15 brings a couple new things to the table over previous iterations as well, including improved stability and cushion, and more unique and stylish colors. The Adrenaline GTS 15 still offers great features and quality for anyone seeking a new pair of trainers.
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The Adrenaline GTS 15 is a comfortable shoe and the midsole are and the upper are strong components of this. The cushioning midsole material does a great job holding the foot while minimizing discomfort when striking the ground. The upper snugly holds the foot in place, giving a secure feeling. And finally, the overall flexibility of the shoe adds to its comfort as well. The Adrenaline GTS 15 is a comfortable shoe.

In terms of style, Brooks might not be in the same league as juggernauts like Nike and Adidas, but they certainly still hold their own. The Adrenaline GTS 15 has a fairly appealing design, and is offered in a myriad of bright colors for both men and women. For those seeking a running shoe that can double as an everyday shoe, the Adrenaline is probably not the best choice. Overall, the shoes are decently stylish for running shoes, and the color selection is broad.

Price is another very important factor when considering any pair of running shoes. The price for the Adrenaline GTS 15 is not really a strong or weak point of the shoe. It retails around the price of many common trainers nowadays. The shoes are neither a value or expensive, but somewhere in the middle.

Well blend in terms of cushioning and stability

Segemnted crash pad is updated from heel to toe for softer transition

BioMoGo DNA on the midsole enhances cushioning effect

Versatile shoe for higher mileage or fast run


Fit is half size small

Heel drop maybe high for some runners


Common symptoms and complaints

Patients complain about a dull, aching pain that leads to sharp localized pain in the front of the knee, especially while going up or down hills and stairs. They may feel stiffness and grinding sensation when bending, squatting, or climbing stairs. The patient may have the sensation of the knee “giving away” beneath them.


The Criteria We Looked For When Selecting The Best Running Shoes For Knee Pain

There are a few things that we looked at closely to make sure we found the right choices to help ease the pain of running with knees problems. Many runners experience pain, but don’t want to let it slow them down. The picks on our list should do just that, so it is important they each meet the criteria which we feel would make them the most suitable options.

Support / Stability

As some knee problems can actually stem from issues with motion control or lack of proper stability, many of our choices are also good for providing other needed support. This footwear can be suitable for other conditions such as overpronation or underpronation. Running without the necessary amount of stability needed for these types of foot conditions can actually add to the stress on the knee, causing more issues and further discomfort while running.


Really, who wants to run in a shoe that is terribly uncomfortable? Right, nobody wants that. Each of our picks have their own proprietary technologies when it comes to upper and underfoot comfort, but most have many things in common with each other. The models on our list have to provide enough underfoot comfort to alleviate some of the stress that will transfer to the knee while running.

With models built around things like DNA technology,  REVlite midsole and Gel cushioning, our choices are designed with comfort in mind


Although a pretty “wearer specific” consideration, the overall fit of a shoe plays a big part in providing comfort and preventing issues which may produce added pain over time. Good attention should be paid to your specific needs such as room for wide feet, enough heel space, and a toe box with enough room for your toes to splay properly.

The footwear should fit well and fit properly, but it should not constrict the natural function of your feet. keeping your toes from properly spreading can actually translate into other painful problems throughout the feet, legs and even knees.

If you need motion control type footwear, you still need to ensure your feet are able to function the way they are naturally intended to.

Grip / Traction

Nothing screams painful accident like a pair of runners that have poor traction on the very surface on which they are meant to be worn. The top choices should be able to provide confident grip over any surface for which they are intended.


Not having much to do with the knees but this is a big factor for any running footwear. It is important that the best choices are breathable, to aid in the overall comfort of the wearer, as well as preventing any potential problems caused by accumulating too much moisture in the shoe.


They have to last as long as they are expected, bottom line. Digging deeper into it, if you have a pair that starts to fall apart right in the middle of a long run, there is a real potential for some kind of injury there. It could be a fall caused by the sole peeling off, the construction failing, causing a lack of the much needed support.

The options we have chosen for our list of best choices have all passed the durability test, when it comes to major issues which might affect their function and performance.


Other Important Factors to Consider Before Setting Out To Make Your Purchase

There isn’t typically a fix all solution to this kind of pain, unless you know exactly what condition you are dealing with. Just like particular foot conditions, it is just as important to know exactly what is causing the pain in your knees. Unless you know from where the problem is coming from, it is nearly impossible to remedy.

Below are many of the things which you should be aware of before going out to pick up a pair of runners, hoping they will do the job. Is the issue coming from a genetic problem? Are there unattended foot problems which have now worked there way up the legs? These are only a couple of questions you should find the answers to in order to find the best remedy, as well as find the most appropriate footwear to help you keep running.


The Most Common causes of knee pain

Knee pain and best shoes for knee pain

Knee pain by running is very common caused by your body’s weight forcing stress up to the knee. This is a chronic problem caused by biomechanical problems or training errors. It may be an injury that is sustained while exercising. Luckily,  only approximately 25% of cases of knee pain are caused by running.


This condition is a frequent reason of knee pain in non-athletes and athletes alike over 60.

Patellar subluxation

In this situation, the kneecap becomes partially dislocated during motion, sliding out of position which will definitely cause swelling and pain. It’s often caused by physical defect in your legs, rather than an injury. This problem is  quite common with teenage girls, but can really affect anyone.


Tendons are tough bands of tissue that connect your muscles and bones . Overuse can make the tendons sore and inflamed . One kind of knee tendonitis is called ”jumper’s knee.”

Bone chips

Sometimes, a knee injury can be caused by breaking off fragments from the cartilage or bone. These pieces can get stuck in the joint. You may also have swelling and pain.


A bursa is a sac of fluid that protects and cushions your joints. There are several in different parts of your knee. A fall, overuse, or repeated bending can irritate the bursa, causing swelling and pain. Two types of bursitis are named ”housemaid’s knee” and ”preacher’s knee,” because they are often caused by kneeling. A ”Baker’s cyst” – a swelling of the bursa in the back of the knee — can also result from injuries and from conditions like arthritis.

IT band syndrome

The iliotibial band is a piece of tough tissue which runs from your hip down to your shin. When it’s irritated by overuse or other problems, it can be swollen and cause the pain on the outer side of the knee.

Medial plica syndrome

The plica is a fold of tissue in the knee joint. When irritated from overuse it can lead to swelling and knee pain.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease

This condition often causes a painful bump below the knee in which a tendon from the kneecap connects to the shin. It’s usually caused by irritation and overuse of the tendon. The pain can come and go over time. It’s actually quite common with younger ages, between 13 and 15 years.

All of these different symptoms depend on your specific knee injury. But the Pain is most often experienced when bending or straightening the knee. After a while you will probably notice obvious swelling as well.

We are going to mainly focus on knee pain that is caused by running, so having the right kind of footwear becomes an important thing to think about.

Knee problems form running often arise from wearing the wrong type of shoes for your particular foot. If you are unsure of any foot issues that you might have, a simple gait analysis can help you determine more exactly whether you over pronate, supinate or are a neutral runner. This is really vital information to know, especially when it come to choosing the most suitable shoes for your feet.


 Common Foot Conditions Which Should Be Identified

Turning Inward

Pronation is a natural inward roll of your foot when you run. Neutral runners show a slight amount of pronation, but overpronators roll in excessively that puts a lot of pressure on your knee joint. The best running shoes for overpronators are ones which provide stability or motion control. The amount of stabilization you need depending on your degree of pronation. The stability is provided by a hard, thick material in the arch point of the shoe which prevents the excessive rolling in of your foot.

Turning Outward

Supination is a rarer condition than pronation and is characterized by an outward roll of your foot. The best running shoe for a supinator often provides the cushion and flexibility. A stabilizing shoe will increase knee and other joint problems in supinators because it exaggerates your rolling-out motion.

Neutral positioning

The best shoe for neutral runners provides some stability, but is not labeled “motion control.” If you do lots of running over uneven surface, your knees may need a shoe with extra cushioning, too. Finally, you have to try on several shoes and determine which one works for you. There is no one shoe that is the best for every runner.


Shopping for knee-friendly footwear

For people who have knee pain, getting the perfect shoes doesn’t just involve getting your preferred style and favorite color. It goes beyond that and narrows down to comfortability this is because the shoes plays an important role in making sure your knee health is getting better and not worsening. This is because the type of shoes one wears has the ability to cause impact on one’s knee joints. When looking for the perfect shoes that will suit your knee health needs, it is good to consider the below factors:

  • Cushioning: consider getting shoes that have additional cushioning as this will reduce the shock impact on your knees.  These types of shoes have the ability to fully absorb shock, hence the shock can’t reach the knees. They will help if you are walking or running on very tough terrain. Padded shoes also have the same features as well cushioned shoes.
  • Sole Type. Look for firm soles if you happen to suffer from over-pronation. This is a condition that is common among runners who have  low arches. Over-pronation is the one of reasons of the lower knee and leg to have an  inward rotation  every time the runner’s foot strikes  the terrain. The rotation in turn leads to a painful strain on the knee.

The most important thing to always have in mind when concentrating on your knee health is that the way you treat your legs will determine how healthy your knees will be. Make sure you have the correct footwear that will provide you with daily comfort.

Other Treatments For People with Knee Pain


Consider Custom Orthotics

If specialized shoes have not yet made a difference in improving your knee pain, it’s time to look into using specialized orthotics. In order to know how your foot position sparks knee pain when acting naturally in a three-dimensional space, molds of your feet in different positions must be taken. Then they will be able to create insoles which will be better align the foot and ankle, to hopefully put an end to your medial or lateral pain.

Wearing well-constructed running shoes and orthotics will help limit pronation and maintain alignment . It is important to change running shoes every 300 miles to make sure the shoes have not broken down causing poor alignment. The patients likely experience pain relief within weeks and perfectly recovery within months (generally 2 – 3 months).


Here are some sources we used while conducting our research

In order to provide the best guidance, we have done our research. We put together a list of sources we used, that way you are able to do some research on your own if you want.



  1., How To Beat Runner’s Knee, Online running publication, Aug 12, 2014
  2. Live, How to Run With Knee Pain, Health & fitness publication, Sep 02, 2010
  3., How to Treat and Prevent Running Injuries: Runner's Knee, Online sports & fitness publication,
  4. Joint Health Magazine, Running With Knee Arthritis, Online health publication,
  5. RunnersConnect, Runner’s Knee: Symptoms, Causes and Research-Backed Treatment Solutions for Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, Online running publication,
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