Man Jogging on Open Road

Painful Knees? Here’s How To Find The Best Running Shoes

Knee pain could be due to a number of issues, which include wear and tear of the cartilage, knee arthritis, injuries during sports, or poor diet and lifestyle. Knee problems could also arise if you are running in the wrong pair of shoes for your stride and foot shape. With bad knees, it will not be easy for you to run, but choosing the right shoes can make your condition manageable.

The best running shoes should provide support to your ankles, feet, and knees, and at the same time keep them comfortable.

There is a variety of running shoes for bad knees, but to pick the best pair, it is important to consider your running style. Also, note that shoes that work best on the treadmills may not be the best for running outdoors. Therefore, take your time and select the best running shoes for your condition.

A Gait Analysis Will Help You Understand Your Stride Patterns. Image credit: JBJS Reviews

As you look for the best shoes for you, it is also important to have a gait analysis to determine the type of feet you have. This can be done at your local store by an experienced sales clerk. You may need to carry an old pair of running shoes so that they can be able to look at the wear pattern and determine your type of feet. These include:

Pronated Feet

If your feet naturally roll inward when you run, then you have pronated feet. Neutral runners will exhibit a slight amount of pronation, but overpronators tend to roll in excessively. Excessive rolling of the feet puts a lot of pressure on your knee joint, eventually leading to knee pain.

Therefore, it is important to choose a pair of shoes that will reduce the degree of pronation, and provide motion control and stability. The perfect shoes will have a thick, hard material in the arch point which will prevent the rolling in the motion of your foot.

Supinated Feet

This condition is rarer than pronation. If you have supinated feet, you tend to roll your feet outward while running. For a supinator, the best pair of running shoes should offer cushioning and flexibility and limit the rolling out motion. If you pick a stabilizing shoe, it will aggravate your knee problem because it exaggerates your rolling out motion.

Neutral Runner

You are considered a neutral runner if your feet do not roll excessively in outward or inward direction. The best shoes, therefore, offer more stability without laying emphasis on motion control. The shoes that offer more stability are especially important if you run a lot over uneven terrain. You will also need shoes with extra cushioning.

Tips for neutral runners to find the best running shoes for bad knees

As a neutral runner, keep the following in mind as you shop for the best running shoes for bad knees:

1. Buy shoes with a low heel and flexible sole

These are especially beneficial if you have knee arthritis. They tend to bend easily and keep your feet in the right position, therefore putting very little stress on your knees and feet.

2. Buy well-cushioned shoes

Well-cushioned shoes will absorb the impact of the foot after hitting the ground, especially the hard surfaces like concrete sidewalks. This means that the shock will not travel up and will keep your bad knees from getting worse. These shoes will make you feel like you are running on pillows. Some of the best cushioning can be found in Brooks running shoes, which feature plush cushioning, stability and fit, to ensure a smooth ride for those who need support.

3. Buy shoes that are half a size larger

Shoes that are half a size larger than what you normally wear will allow your feet to move around a little. This will help by taking the pressure off your knees.

4. Avoid heavy shoes

Bulky shoes do not necessarily offer the special stability features, and may actually make your feet rotate excessively. Your bad knee may even tweak in the process, which is bound to make it worse.

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 17 offer great cushioning for bad runners knees. Image credit: Brooks Australia

After finding a good pair of running shoes, you may also need to find supportive orthotics which will help solve your foot problems by maintaining its alignment. Replacing your running shoes every 300-400 miles is also important as it helps you avoid running on broken down shoes which are likely to cause poor alignment.

It is important to note that, if you do not do anything about your bad knees, they will get worse and eventually they will interfere with your daily movement. It is important for you to consult with your doctor before you start running if you have bad knees so that they can identify the cause of your problems and recommend the correct treatment. They may also be in a good position to help you identify the best running shoes for your needs.


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