This might be the most asked question for runners: what’s the best running shoes for bad knees? This article will provide some great information and insight for people who run with bad knees.
To be fair, whether you have bad knees or not, running isn’t kind to your knees. It’s one of those things that comes with the territory.
Honestly, it’s not one specific shoe or brand that runners with bad knees should refer to as their “go-to” shoe. Instead, the best running shoes are the ones that provide lots of stability! Yes, stability is bad knees best friend. Trust me, I know!
When adidas debuted the Ultra Boost 1.0 in 2015, I was invited to the media launch in New York. I was one of the first people to experience running in what adidas called (at the time) “the best running shoe ever!”
That’s an extremely strong statement. So of course I was eager to run in a shoe that allowed me to “join the revolution,” as adidas staff yelled repeatedly at the event.
Long story short: I put 6 miles in the Ultra Boost, and shortly after my run I experienced knee pain like never before. Why? Well, the original Ultra Boost lacks stability, and my body was used to more stable runs. Although the Ultra Boost is very comfortable, it’s too bouncy for me, and my knees suffered because of that.
I had to take a break from running for a few weeks. When I felt better, the question I asked experts: what running shoe should I wear? I was advised to wear (at the time) the Nike Air Zoom Structure 18.
Nike’s ongoing Air Zoom Structure line provides great stability!
To be clear, I’m not saying the Zoom Structure fixed my knee pain because that would not be true. However, it helped relieve the pain and added great support during my runs.
The same goes for ALL stability running shoes – the shoe itself will NOT “fix” or heal bad knees.
Recommended best running shoes for bad knees
Here are some models to point you in the right direction:
New Balance Fresh Foam Vongo V3
How does stability running shoes help bad knees?
That’s a good question.
Without getting too technical, the keyword for a stability running shoe is SUPPORT. Look at it this way, running shoes that don’t offer a stable ride lack support, and that’s fine because some runners prefer less support.
However, just because a stability running shoe offers support doesn’t mean it’s uncomfortable. Each shoe will vary depending on the brand, but the biggest difference you’ll notice is the amount of support.
Every stability shoe is not the same. Some models come with mild support and some offer maximum support.
The focus is to relive the amount of pressure a runner feels from every foot strike while running. Also, stability running shoes help counter over-pronation.
Finding the right shoe comes down to personal preference. All stability shoes are not created equal, therefore opinions will differ. Some people may prefer a very firm fit, while others may prefer a nice balance of firm and cushion.
If you’re reading this article, I hope you found it helpful.
Oh yes, if you enjoy running, but have bad knees, also consider running on softer terrain such as dirt or grass trails to avoid the impact of pavement.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.