Running is one of the most accessible forms of exercise. If you want to give your body a great workout, fewer activities are easier to prepare for than slipping on a pair of running shoes and heading out to your favorite park for a jog. Unfortunately, those with bad knees may fear that running could make a bad situation worse. So, what are the best running shoes for bad knees?
Fortunately, plenty of options exist for people who love running but suffer from knee problems. Several of the world's top shoe brands offer a variety of shoes to enable those with bad knees to go running without fear of causing further damage.
Why Are Running Shoes Important?
Running has multiple health benefits. These include helping you to maintain healthy body weight, keeping your mind sharp, and strengthening your knees.
However, proper footwear is particularly crucial because wearing shoes that are unsuitable for running can cause severe injuries and lasting damage such as stress fractures and Achilles tendinitis.
Signs that you may be wearing unsuitable shoes for running include the appearance of bruises on your feet and changes in your gait. If you've noticed any such signs, consider investing in a high-quality pair of running shoes to enhance your comfort while running and prevent further injury.
Benefits of Running Shoes
Running shoes offer a variety of benefits to runners. Because everyone's foot composition is slightly different, no one shoe is suitable for all runners.
Therefore, you must choose the right shoes for you so that you may continue to run regardless of existing injuries. Let's take a look at some of the benefits of wearing high-quality running shoes that suit your feet.
A running shoe requires the ability to absorb the shock created when your foot hits the ground at speed. High-quality running shoes, including the best running shoes for bad knees, feature firm cushioning to prevent damage to your legs.
For those with regimens that involve running several times a week, such as someone training for a marathon, firm cushioning is vital for preventing injuries that may hinder your progress.
Flexibility is crucial in running shoes because your feet need to be able to move naturally while running.
As humans in the modern world, we wear shoes to protect our feet. However, it must be said that walking and running barefoot allows your feet to move unhindered. Running shoes with adequate flexibility protect your feet while enabling them to move naturally. Therefore, your feet will not feel restricted in their movement.
Traction enables your shoes to grip the surface on which you are running. Therefore, traction is key to preventing slips and falls caused by a lack of grip.
This feature is especially crucial when running in wet weather or even on snow or ice. Slips and falls can cause nasty injuries. Thus, traction should be carefully considered when purchasing running shoes.
It is worth mentioning that a wide variety of "traction devices" are available. These can be attached to your shoes for running and walking on icy surfaces, allowing you to feel safe from slipping and harming yourself.
High-quality running shoes allow your feet to breathe. Breathability is particularly crucial for runners living in hot climates and those who enjoy running in warm weather.
Running shoes that do not allow your feet to breathe could result in excessive amounts of foot sweat during running. This could be problematic. Excessive sweating can lead to problems such as athlete's foot, bad foot odor, and toenail fungus.
Furthermore, breathable shoes prevent your feet from becoming uncomfortably hot while running.
Running Shoes Versus Training Shoes
Before we move on to the best running shoes for bad knees currently available, let's take a quick look at some differences between running shoes and training shoes. Many people make the mistake of thinking that training shoes designed for gym use are suitable for running. However, this is not necessarily the case.
The two main differences between running shoes and training shoes lie in heel movement and flexibility. Running shoes are designed for heel-to-toe motion, making them ideal for, well, running.
By contrast, training shoes must cater to a broader range of foot movements.
Therefore, training shoes tend to have flatter soles for greater flexibility. Note that training shoes are more suitable for gym workouts involving strength and agility training.
If you're a serious gym-goer and runner, the best-case scenario would be to own two pairs of shoes to cater to both types of exercise.
Next, we'll take a look at some of the best running shoes for bad knees on the market today.
How We Reviewed
For this look at the best running shoes for bad knees, we explored multiple reviews of shoes manufactured by some of the world's top shoe brands and recommended for runners with continuing knee problems.
We paid close attention to cushioning, flexibility, traction, and breathability and considered which shoes are preferable for each of these features. Finally, we considered which shoes give you the best bang for your buck.
All the products detailed in this article are reasonably comparable in terms of price. So, let's jump right into it. And all of them come highly-rated by customers.
The 6 Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees
Many people believe that running is bad for your knees. However, this needn't be true, especially if you wear suitable shoes. There are a few key features to watch out for when choosing the best running shoes for bad knees.
These include foot strike, namely how your foot makes contact with the ground when running, and cushioning, which absorbs the shock caused to the knees.
If you can find a shoe whose features are suitable for the characteristics of your feet, running should not cause you any harm, even if you already have knee problems.
Fortunately, many shoe outlets worldwide offer foot analyses. These enable store clerks to analyze your running gait, meaning they can then recommend suitable shoes for your feet.
Let's begin by looking at the Asics Gel-Venture 6, one of the most popular running shoes around.
1. Asics Gel-Venture 6
The Asics Gel-Venture 6 is specially designed with a high arch and Asics' unique GEL Technology Cushioning System at the rear of the shoe. This technology is beneficial for over supination, which refers to excessive weight being placed on the outside of the foot when running.
The strong cushioning of this shoe helps to absorb some of the extra shock that results from having high arches. A high arch in your foot leads to relatively little ground contact, and thus greater shock occurs.
The Gel-Venture 6 is suitable for use on a variety of terrains and is also comfortable and stylish. Therefore, it is a good option for runners with bad knees.
2. Asics Gel-Kayano 24
While the Gel-Venture 6 is preferable for supinators, the Asics Gel-Kayano 24 is an excellent option for overpronators. Overpronation, namely large amounts of weight placed on the inside of the foot, is the opposite of supination and occurs when one's gait involves the foot's arches rolling downward or inward.
Overpronation puts a person at risk of injury by damaging the natural alignment of the body and increasing the amount of impact when the foot hits the ground.
To mitigate the effects of overpronation, the Gel-Kayano 24 features a guidance system to maintain a stable foot roll. This shoes also feature Asics' GEL Technology Cushioning System.
However, this time, the technology is installed at both the rear and front of the shoe. Consequently, shock absorption occurs during both toe-off (the instance when the foot rises off the ground) at the front of the foot and heel striking at the rear of the foot.
Greater shock absorption means less stress on the knees, making this one of the best running shoes for bad knees currently available.
3. New Balance 1080v7
The New Balance 1080v7 seems to be one of the best options in this list in terms of comfort. Whereas some runners suffer from supination or pronation, others are lucky enough to have a neutral gait when running. For such runners, this shoe from New Balance is highly suitable.
The shoe's high level of comfort is due to New Balance's use of "fresh foam" technology. This technology provides extra comfort in the sole of the shoe.
As mentioned, for those with knee pain, firm cushioning is vital when running. The fresh foam cushioning provides high shock absorption.
However, don't forget that this shoe is designed for runners with a neutral gait. If you suffer from overpronation, the additional cushioning of New Balance's shoe won't prevent knee pain.
Therefore, be sure that you have your gait professionally analyzed before purchasing to determine whether this shoe is suitable for you.
In addition to the added comfort, the 1080v7 has an aesthetically pleasing design that enables you to feel not only fit and healthy but also stylish when out for a jog.
4. Mizuno Wave Rider 20
The Mizuno Wave Rider 20 is a high-quality option for shock absorption. Comfortable and lightweight, Mizuno's shoe features the company's innovative Wave technology.
Specifically, the shoe has a "wave plate" that distributes the energy caused by the impact of your foot hitting the ground. Therefore, the shock is absorbed over a wider area.
This feature makes the Wave Rider 20 an excellent option for those hoping to minimize the amount of knee pain experienced while running.
Note that the Wave Rider 20 is best suited to short distances, such as 5k or 10k runs as opposed to marathons. However, this means that Mizuno's shoe is suitable for everyday exercise.
5. New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo
New Balance's Fresh Foam Vongo offers excellent cushioning. Like the 1080v7, the Fresh Foam Vongo features New Balance's fresh foam technology, which provides both comfort and support for your knees.
Additionally, the Vongo is lightweight thanks to its air mesh design, which enables your feet to breathe while running.
The Fresh Foam Vongo is a reliable option for runners with a neutral gait looking to engage in long-distance running.
Furthermore, this shoe is also suitable for wear during classes at the gym or when walking over long distances.
6. Saucony Cohesion 11
Saucony's Cohesion 11 is known for being one of the best running shoes for bad knees in terms of price. This shoe is suitable for runners with a neutral gait and provides high levels of comfort and stability.
Moreover, the Cohesion 11 is suitable for both beginner and experienced runners. This shoe's low price tag compared with the other products listed in this article makes it a good option for those just getting into running but on a somewhat limited budget.
The Cohesion 11 features a durable outsole and a heel grid system that provides cushioning to prevent further damage to your knees.
Finally, the Cohesion 11's mesh design offers ventilation, which is especially important when running in hot weather.
Get Ready to Run!
If you're a runner with bad knees, a suitable pair of running shoes is a vital element in enabling you to continue running. Which pair suits you best depends on multiple factors such as your gait and your running goals.
Those with a tendency to overpronate may appreciate the Asics Gel-Kayano 24 with its guidance system for maintaining a stable foot roll. By contrast, those with supinating feet will likely feel more comfortable wearing the Asics Gel-Venture 6.
Several of the other shoes detailed in this article are high-quality options for runners with a neutral gait. Therefore, the choice depends on aspects such as whether you are looking for extra comfort or extra shock absorption, as well as how much you are willing to spend.
As mentioned, because of its relatively low price tag, the Saucony Cohesion 11 is a good option for runners on a tight budget. Beginner runners may like the Mizuno Wave Rider 20, which performs excellently over short distances.
By contrast, more experienced runners may prefer to splash out on the New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo. This shoe proves highly suitable for long-distance running.
Ultimately, the choice is yours. If you are in the market for a new pair of running shoes and hoping to find the best running shoes for bad knees, be sure to get yourself down to a running store to undergo a gait analysis to determine which shoes are right for you.
Are you a runner, or have you had experience of running in spite of bad knees? If so, be sure to leave your thoughts and comments on the products detailed in this article below.
Alternatively, if you have any further products to recommend, please let us know!