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—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.
- Saucony Cohesion 10
- Brooks Glycerin 14
- Nike Dart 12
- New Balance 890v5
- Asics Gel Kayano 24
- Brooks Adrenaline GTS15
- Asics Gel Venture 6
- New Balance 1080v7
- Asics Gel Nimbus 18
- Mizuno Wave Rider 20
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Running Shoes for Knee pain
1. Saucony Cohesion 10
Provides stability and support
Sizing runs small
This running shoe is a budget-friendly option that prevents and treats that pesky knee pain. They provide you with stability and support during your runs as well as the comfort you desperately need.Read more
These shoes are lightweight, comfortable, and well-cushioned. They have an injection molded EVA midsole for support and utilize GRID technology for shock absorption.
These shoes have breathable mesh uppers that will keep your feet cool and dry as well as prevent blisters from forming. Overall, this goes a long way to minimize any setbacks you may have in tracking your progress on the track.
Cost and Value
These are really budget friendly and a great option for almost all runners. Moreover, the fact that they are comfortable and have extra cushioning to give you maximum support and comfort shows that they are extremely valuable to those with knee pain and are looking for shoes that support their condition.
2. Brooks Glycerin 14
Can be pricey
Sizing runs small
Not as lightweight as other options
While the Brooks Glycerin 15 is already out, the Brooks Glycerin 14 is still the better options for those of you suffer from knee pain. They are well-cushioned and offer great shock absorption and traction--making it a top choice on our list.Read more
These shoes are responsive and provide great shock absorption. They are well-cushioned and have a midsole that provides you a more custom fit.
These shoes have a great ventilation system that provides you with great breathability and keeps your feet cool and dry. This is important because running is an intense sport that would mean a lot of sweating and breathability keeps your feet comfortable.
Cost and Value
These range from a moderate price to an expensive price and it depends on what style and sizing option you go with. Moreover, the outsoles of these shoes are made of durable rubber that improves your traction and grip and provides you with stability and support on almost every surface.
3. Nike Dart 12
Specifically designed for knee pain
Several color options
Provides stability and support
Sizing runs small
These shoes were specifically designed to address knee pain and help you treat and prevent the knee pain you are dealing with. These shoes are comfortable, stylish, and are available in several different color options.Read more
These shoes were made to be comfortable as well as responsive. They absorb shock and have a full-length midsole. Moreover, they are well padded to provide you with additional protection and stability.
The carbon rubber outsoles of these shoes make them durable and last longer than other shoes. They are made of high-quality material that is built to last and help you pack in those miles.
Cost and Value
These shoes run smaller and narrower so make sure to size up--and definitely try them on before purchasing them if you have wide feet. These shoes utilize mesh vents for ventilation and optimal breathability, therefore, they offer great value for money.
4. New Balance 890v5
Exceptional breathability and fit provided by the shoe's FantomFit design
REVlite midsole offers responsive cushioning
Seamless upper construction allows an irritation-free fit
Rubber compound sole to maximize grip
Narrow toe box
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 them a solid choice for running with painful knee issues. Although a supportive shoe, the 890v5 performs really well at high tempos, with exceptional responsiveness.Read more
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.
Cost and Value
The features that make this shoes fall into the top five suitable brands make it worth every penny. Moreover, if you have worn 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.
5. Asics Gel Kayano 24
Gel cushioning provides shock absorption to alleviate knee pain
Ideal for knee issues and overpronation
Seamless upper for a glove-like fit
A bit expensive
Still has a slightly tight toe box
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.Read more
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 makes 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 keep feet secure inside the shoe.
The sole of the Kayano 24 is the exact same as the 23, so grip and traction control are 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.
Cost and Value
There aren't any big complaints about the durability of the Kayano 24. They are said to hold up quite well in 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 so no matter how costly you may find them, they are definitely worth every penny.
6. Brooks Adrenaline GTS15
Well blend in terms of cushioning and stability
Soft heel to toe foot transitioning
BioMoGo DNA on the midsole enhances cushioning effect
High mileage capabilities
Smaller fit size
Uncomfortably high heel drop
These shoes are unlike Brooks's standard procedure in terms of footwear design, since they're much more neutral-footed in comparison to their lighter products. The GTS 15 features vast improvements in the realms of stability and cushion, all with a fresh coat of paint.Read more
The Adrenaline GTS 15 is a comfortable shoe made up of strong internal components. In order to prevent discomfort and provide adequate cushioning, a solid midsole with extra padding was added. To accommodate these benefits, Brooks also implemented an upper design that ensures a secure yet comfortable fit. And to tie it all together, the entirety of the Adrenaline GTS 15 is made with an eye for flexibility without sacrificing the stability of its ride.
While they are a far cry from the likes of Adidas or Nike, Brooks manages to consistently deliver stylish footwear products. The wide range of colorways are a nice touch that certain fashion-focused runners can appreciate, but it still isn't to the point where these shoes would pass as casual streetwear.
Cost and Value
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.
7. Asics Gel Venture 6
Excellent shock absorption
Removable sock liner so you can insert your own orthotic
Comes in a few color options
Sizes run large
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.Read more
The Asics Gel Venture shoes utilize a Rearfoot 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 sock liner, so you can insert your own orthotic to help with your knee pain.
Style and Design
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.
Cost and Value
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.
8. New Balance 1080v7
Good overall durability
Adequate breathability for lung runs
Fresh Foam midsole offers a decent amount of cushioning and support
The sock-like fit allows confident use
Run a bit stiff
The upper is not a seamless design
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.Read more
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.
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.
Cost and Value
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 and this makes the brand highly recommended.
9. Asics Gel Nimbus 18
Ample cushioning with layers of plush support for a 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
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 a 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.Read more
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.
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.
Cost and Value
Considering the high quality the price is exquisite. The price tag is your average $100 (more or less depending on where you get 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.
10. Mizuno Wave Rider 20
Comes in several color option
Great for those with wide feet
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.Read more
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 to allow you to select any color or a different pattern for your stylish look since they can be used as casual shoes too.
Cost and Value
These shoes have a higher cost to be sure and are far from the cheapest option in this category. However, the Mizuno Wave Rider 20 is well worth the price given all of the features it provides, so this can be considered an acceptable investment into quality footwear.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
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
The best running shoes for knee pain need to protect the wearer from experiencing pain in the first place. This can take the form of extra shock absorption but can also involve gait stabilization or a tight fit. However this is accomplished, the important thing is that the wearer no longer suffers from any chronic pain or soreness.
Aside from this, it's also important for any reputable pair of running shoes to protect the wearer's feet from a variety of hazards. In addition to knee pain, pains from other repetitive stress injuries need to be prevented. Protection from the elements is another important design aspect, especially if the wearer is interested in hiking or trail running.
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.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you're experiencing chronic knee pain and aren't sure how best to treat it, there are lots of effective ways to handle the situation. Whether its runner's knee, muscle strain, or arthritis, different methods of treatment exist that don't necessarily require talking to a doctor. For example, some homeopathic remedies such as massaging the effective area can greatly reduce swelling and soreness.
In the worst-case scenario where you experience unbearable knee pain while running with no way to treat it, you can always resort to alternative forms of cardiovascular exercise. Cycling and using an elliptical machine are easier on the knees, as is lap swimming. You could also try a seated rowing machine if even these exercises are too much to handle.
Other Factors to Consider
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 a tough terrain. Padded shoes also have the same features as well-cushioned shoes.
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 one of the reasons that the lower knee and leg tends to have an inward rotation every time the runner’s foot strikes the ground. The rotation in turn leads to a painful strain on the knee.
If your knee pain persists and hasn’t improved even after wearing specialized shoes, it might be time to consider using specialized orthotics. For this, you will need to consult a trained professional who will then take molds of your feet in different positions, in order to see how your foot position sparks knee pain. Using these molds they will create custom insoles which should align the foot and ankle better, hopefully putting an end to your medial or lateral pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is not advisable to run when experiencing pain in your knee. It is advisable that you visit a doctor for them to help determine the cause of your injury. However, once you determine what is causing the pain, your therapist might ease you in on the track and help you on your way to recovery.
You need to invest in the right brand and consider some that have just been described above. Depending on your spending cost, you might find the listed brands costly or not, but they are definitely worth the expense.
The shoe needs to be one that provides the best support and maximum cushioning. The shoe should also provide you with the needed joint protection and the right absorption of shock during step. Breathability, lightweight, cushioning and brand need to be perfect.
When having problems with your knee, no matter the cushioning or features of the shoe you have on, you need to run on a smooth terrain. This will help you minimize further injury and will preserve your shoe brand.