Knee pain has become a very common ailment and those who suffer from this affliction know first hand the strain it can place on their quality of life. Wearing the right pair of shoes can significantly decrease this pain and provide some relief. In some cases, wearing the wrong pair of shoes may actually be the cause of pain in the knee.
Shoes that are intended to alleviate knee pain should have support in the heel and arch, as well as firm midsoles. Additionally, they should provide the wearer with cushion and comfort. It can be difficult to find the right shoe for knee pain, especially if shoppers do not know which features to look for. This list addresses all the features knee pain sufferers need to look for when shopping for high quality shoes and the best options to purchase to alleviate the pain.
Best Shoes For Bad Knees 2016 Reviews and Top Picks
Top 5 Best Women’s Shoes for Bad Knees 2016
- Brooks Women’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoes
- ASICS Women’s Gel-Tech Neo 4 Walking Shoes
- ASICS Women’s GEL Kayano 22 Running Shoe
- Merrell Moab Ventilator Women’s Hiking Shoe
- ASICS Women’s GEL-Resolution 6 Tennis Shoe
The price of these shoes fluctuates based on quality and brand. The two least expensive options in our list include the ASICS Women’s Gel-Tech Neo 4 Walking Shoes for Bad Knees and the ASICS Women’s GEL Resolution 6. The most expensive option is the ASICS Women’s GEL-Kayano 22 Running Shoe. Most of the shoes on the list come equipped with a rubber sole, however, if you prefer a synthetic sole, the Brooks Women’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoes might be for you, while the Merrell Women’s Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe has a vibram sole. Many of the most positive reviews for each of these shoes claims that they were extremely helpful in alleviating knee pain and well worth the price for some of the more expensive choices.
Top 5 Best Men’s Shoes for Bad Knees 2016
- Dr. Comfort Gary Flex-OA Men’s Shoe
- Asics Men’s GEL-Tech Walker Neo 4 Walking Shoe
- Merrell Men’s Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe
- ASICS Men’s GEL-Nimbus 15 Running Shoe
- ASICS Men’s GEL-Resolution 5 Tennis Shoe
The men’s knee pain shoes are slightly more expensive than the women’s. Three out of the top five shoe choices were created by ASICS, making it a consistently reliable brand when it comes to looking for shoes that will alleviate knee pain. The majority of these top shoes offer a rubber sole for support. However, the Merrell Men’s Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe offers a vibram sole, just like its counterpart for women.
Best Women’s Shoes for Bad Knees
1, Brooks Women’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoes
- MOGO Midsole
- Slip Resistant Outsole
- Excellent Shock Absorption
- Big and Heavy
The Brooks Women’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoes are a bit pricier than the ASICS Gel Tech Neo 4 shoes. However, many people found this price to be worth the quality. It has a synthetic sole, as well as significant cushioning and superior shock absorption. It also has a MOGO midsole which is one of the best features on the market and one of the primary reasons this shoe offers superior shock absorption and reduction. It also has a soft, leather upper for an added level of comfort. Additionally, this shoe offers a slip resistant outsole which reduces the likelihood of falling or tripping which could further contribute to an existing knee injury and is therefor extremely important to prevent.
2, ASICS Women’s GEL-Tech Neo 4 Walking Shoe
- Removable Insole
- Affordable Price
- Breathable with Gel Cushioning
- Runs a size smaller
- Less Stylish Options
The ASICS Women’s GEL-Tech Neo 4 Walking Shoe comes in two separate color schemes so you can pick the one that matches your style best. More importantly, it is one of the most comfortable shoes on the market for those suffering from knee pain. It has a soft rubber sole that is removable so you can contort it to your liking. It has great ventilation structures that allow your feet access to air and prevent a buildup of sweat. The gel cushioning allows for an easy transition from walking to sitting and does not require too much exertion on the knees. One of the best things about this particular shoe, in addition to its comfort level, is the attractive and affordable price.
3, ASICS Women’s GEL-Kayano 22 Running Shoe
- Removable Insole
- Gel Cushion
- Impact Guidance System
- Older Versions May Be More Comfortable
Although the ASICS Women’s Gel-Kayano 22 Running Shoe is the most expensive option, it has a lot of excellent and highly rated features. The multiple color options make this shoe stand out from the rest. The shoe is advertised as a running shoe, but offers a significant amount of foot and knee support to reduce pain. It has a rubber sole, a textured outsole, and a removable insole which allows users to customize their comfort level. It also contains both a rearfoot and and forefoot gel cushion that absorbs shock and reduces the impact. The Gel Kayano 22 has a specifically designed impact guidance system that guides the foot and provides stability to reduce pain and prevent any injury.
4, Merrell Women’s Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe
- Vibram Sole
- Ortholite Footbed
- Mesh Panels and Durable Grip
- Could use more arch support
- Designed for hiking
The Merrell Women’s Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe is a little different than the other items on the list as it is specifically designed for hiking. However, it still offers a lot of sole support and has several important features that can assist in alleviating knee pain. It has a vibram sole, as well as an ortholite foot bed that provides comfort to the wearer. There is significant cushioning at both the tongue and collar. The mesh panels around the shoe offer breathing room for the foot and prevents sweat from building up and making the wearer feel uncomfortable. It has a great grip that really hugs the foot and offers stability and durability. Most reviewers stated that the shoe fits as they expected it to and the fit was not too tight or large. It also is available in several color schemes.
5, ASICS Women’s GEL-Resolution 6 Tennis Shoe
- Toe Support
- FlexionFit designed for Women
- Variety of colors to choose from
- Lack of Arch Support
- Inconsistency in Improvement over other models
The ASICS Gel Resolution 6 has a select number of the sizes and colors that are offered. There are nine different color and style schemes to choose from for this particular shoe. It has a rubber sole with a padded tongue and color, as well as a high abrasion outsole. There are several unique features of this style shoe which include the FlexionFit upper and cushioning that is designed specifically for women, as well as the toe protector which can increase the durability of the shoe. This is one of the few shoes on our list that offers the toe protector. Additionally, there is rearfoot and forefoot gel cushion that absorbs the shock and can help reduce impact and pain. The design of this shoe really focuses on supporting the mid foot. These shoes are great for athletes, especially tennis players.
Best Men’s Shoes for Bad Knees
1, Dr. Comfort Gary Flex-OA Men’s Shoe
- X-Sole Relief Technology
- Developed by rheumatologists
- Reduces knee pain
- Not Wide Enough
- Not Enough Toe Space
The Dr. Comfort shoe was specifically designed as a therapeutic comfort shoe made of leather and mesh. It contains a revolutionary X-Sole Relief Technology that is meant to reduce and alleviate pain. These shoes stand out because they are specifically created to help with the pain from osteoarthritis and have actually been clinically proven to reduce stress and pressure on the knees by up to twenty percent. There are special Flexure Zones in the outsoles of these shoes that also help with motion and pain. Although Dr. Comfort’s shoes were developed by rheumatology experts to reduce pain, they do not have removable soles which may be a drawback for some potential customers.
2, Asics Men’s GEL-Tech Walker Neo 4 Walking Shoe
- Removable Insole
- Mesh Panel
- Padded Tongue and Color
- Holes May Start to Develop
- Caused Blisters for Some Customers
ASICS is a popular brand for both men and women looking for comfortable shoes that will help to relieve knee pain. They have a rubber sole, as well as a removable insole so the user can adjust the comfort level specifically to their like or replace the insoles. It is a very lightweight shoe, so it does not put too much strain on the user. It also has breathable mesh panels on the outside of the shoe to reduce sweat and add comfort. Additionally, they contain a padded tongue and a padded collar. The shoes come in two color sets; one is white, royal, and black, while the other is black and silver.
3, Merrell Men’s Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe
- Water Resistant Leather
- Rubber Toe Bumper
- Air Cushion Midsole
- Sizes may run small
- Designed for Hiking
The Merrell Men’s Moab Ventilator Hiking shoe has many of the same features and benefits of the Merrell Women’s hiking shoe, but with designed specifically for men. It has a vibram sole with water resistant leather and a mesh upper, as well as a rubber toe bumper and air cushion midsole. These shoes are meant to be comfortable and durable during long hikes or just for typical every day activities.
4, ASICS Men’s GEL-Nimbus 15 Running Shoe
- Gel Cushioning Midsole
- Full Length Guidance Line Flex Groove
- Bimorphic Fit Upper
- Different Models made with Different Materials, reducing comfort
Although the ASICS Men’s Gel-Nimbus 15 shoe was designed specifically for running, it can still be a very comfortable and effective shoe for reducing knee pain. It has a rubber sole, as well as cushion and comfort that was specifically designed for long distances. Additionally, this shoe offers a gel cushioning in the midsole, full length guidance line flex grooves, and a bimorphic fit upper.
5, ASICS Men’s Gel Resolution 5 Tennis Shoe
- Flexion Fit Upper
- Gel Cushioning System
- Stability, Durability, Comfortability
- Fell apart after only a few weeks
This is another ASICS shoe to make our list and is quite similar to its female counterpart. It comes equipped with a rubber sole, a Flexion Fit upper, as well as a rearfoot and forefoot Gel cushioning system. It also has memory foam in the collar and heel that mold to the shape of the user’s foot, making this shoe really stand out. Additionally, it has a cushioned solyte midsole. This shoe really focuses on upper support and flexibility, making it one of the more comfortable tennis shoes available on the market now.
How to Choose the Best Shoes for Bad Knees
- There are several things you should consider before purchasing new shoes meant to alleviate your knee pain. A good cushioning system is an important factor as it can help with shock absorption. You particularly want to look for a shoe that has a cushioning system in the rear because that can reduce the pressure felt from the heel, as well as a cushioning system in the front near the toes as that can absorb some of the shock in that area. Firm midsoles are another important feature to keep in mind when considering purchasing shoes for knee pain because they can also help with shock absorption which is one of the most important things a shoe can do to help reduce knee pain. Many of the shoes in our list offered benefits such as gel cushioned midsoles and toe support to enhance the comfort level and the durability of the shoe and reduce the pain the wearer might feel.
- All shoes should give you proper arch and heel support if you want to avoid any injury or pain, but it is especially important for those who already suffer from knee problems. It is crucial that the weight of your body be distributed evenly across the foot. Otherwise, one part of the foot may be absorbing too much weight which can be harmful and painful and push your alignment off. If your body is off center, you can cause serious damage to your knees, as well as other parts of the body. Additionally, you may want to look at your old shoes to determine your foot and walking pattern. Some people wear out their inner side quicker, while others wear out the outer side quicker. This all depends on the way your foot rolls and it is possible to look for shoes that specifically cater to that pattern. Many of the shoes on our list have benefits such as gel cushioned midsoles and
- Treating a knee injury immediately is extremely important. You do not to wear the wrong shoes and contribute to the injury, making it even worse. Some of the injuries that can result from excessive activity in the wrong shoes include a torn ligament, meniscal or tendon injuries, as well as a muscle imbalance. Arthritis is another medical ailment that may affect people’s knees and require certain types of shoes to alleviate the pain. A lot of people who suffer from these issues will see a doctor to discuss their options. Several reviews of the shoes that we have compiled on our list stated that these shoes were recommended by either their rheumatologist, podiatrist, or other specialists.
- Although comfort and proper structure should be the most important thing when considering what shoes to buy for knee pain, it is also important to consider price. Some of the more expensive options might not necessarily be the best option for you, especially since everyone might walk on different types of pavement or engage in different types of activities. However, it is important to keep in mind that you may have to spend more on this type of shoe than others, as they have added features and benefits that other shoes may not. Additionally, style might be something you want to keep in mind. Although it is not the most important thing, you still have to wear these shoes every day with different outfits and if there are limited choices and you do not like the way you look, you may grow to resent the shoes.
There are several things to consider before purchasing a new pair of shoes that you hope is going to alleviate your knee pain. The most important things would be a good arch, midsole, and heel and toe support. In our list, we have compiled the five best shoes for women and the five best shoes for men. Some of the shoes cater specifically towards certain activities, such as hiking, tennis, or running, but they still provide the support that is necessary to keep you on your feet all day without worsening or adding pain to an existing knee injury.
For women, the top choice would be the Brooks Women’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoes. These have everything you should be looking for including a firm midsole, a slip resistant outsole so you do not have to worry about falling and sustaining an injury, and have excellent shock absorption which is really the best thing a shoe can offer to reduce knee pain. The issue with these shoes is that they are slightly more expensive than some of the others on this list. In that case, women can go with the ASICS Women’s GEL-Tech Neo 4 Walking Shoe, which are cheaper. For men, the best option would be the Dr. Comfort Gary Flex-OA Men’s Shoe for Knee Pain which were specifically designed by doctors with sole technology to reduce knee pain and offer comfort.