Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Bad Knees 2024

While some use rehabilitation and medications to treat knee pain, others look for the right choice of shoes to solve their problems. But how to choose best cushioned running shoes for your bad knees. You can check my article to learn more about this problem and choose the best running shoes for your life.

What is Knee Pain?

Knee pain is a popular problem that can affect people of different ages. The location and severity of pain are different depending on the structure involved. The signs that often come with knee pain are swelling and stiffness. Or sometimes fever, instability, creaking or popping noises, inability to straighten or flex the knee completely.

Knee pains can affect everyone, regardless of how healthy and active they are. Whether you’re a long-time runner or just starting for the first time, you’ll likely end up having to deal with sore, sore, or worn-out knees. That makes it temporarily much more difficult to complete your usual career goals. Even if you are not a frequent runner, having knee problems can be uncomfortable, and even something as simple as walking around your own home can become a painful experience until your knees heal properly.

Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Bad Knees


best cushioned running shoes for bad knees

Hoka’s GAVIOTA 2 ​​is the company’s choice for overpronators. With more cushioning and stability than even the Arahi (another Hoka shoe), the GAVIOTA 2 ​​is one of Hoka’s softest running shoes and has enough stability to correct overpronation.

A common cause of knee pain comes from the runner’s foot rolling too much (overpronating). It’s not uncommon to find that a good shoe solves those problems, both by providing greater cushioning and comfort and by helping to control and guide your feet during running when running. Because of J-Frame, it does both.

The J-Frame is a J-shaped support net designed throughout the shoe to provide medial (interior) support to the feet. This is exactly where you need it when you have knee problems caused by overpronation. Thanks to EVA foam and rubber, the cushion of this shoe could be described as “cloud-shaped”. GAVIOTA 2 ​​is one of the softest shoes in Hoka!

  • Plush and padded
  • Smoother ride than a traditional stability shoe
  • High levels of stability for overpronators
  • At 10.5oz, this is a heavy shoe

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees


best cushioned running shoes for bad knees

Another great shoe from Hoka One, Bondi 6 provides serious cushioning power. Using many of the same technologies as the Seagull, this model provides 43.5mm of cushioning right at the heel. Whether you’re looking for a road warrior or a marathon running buddy, this is a great option.

Thanks to Bondi’s deep cushioning, runners report that they feel the shoe conforms to their feet so that they run in their shoes, not on them. Although Hoka presents it as a neutral shoe in the market it has for the overpronation.

This shoe is very stiff and helps guide the foot to the correct stride. It has a consistent curve at the bottom of the shoe, which helps smooth the transition while running. It also provides enough stiffness that can often help runners with arthritic fingers.

You’ll notice a great heel response as well as a stylish look. The Bondi looks a bit funky with its high stack height, but its smooth ride will help ease any knee pain you’re experiencing.

  • Excellent road shoe due to its curved sole and cushioning
  • It provides strong support and stiffness to help correct gait
  • Strong midfoot protection for added arch support
  • Rocker on sole takes getting used to
  • Some have complained that the sole wears out quickly

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees


best cushioned running shoes for bad knees

The Glycerin 18 is a luxurious, ultra-cushioned running shoe, making it a great choice for people whose knees are actively hurting. It’s 10.4 oz, which is a little heavier compared to other running shoes. But what you gain in weight, you make up for in overall comfort.

Due to the DNA loft foam used in the midsole, you can enjoy its cushioning that lasts longer. The shoe is surprisingly sensitive. But the great feature here is the soft cushioning. This helps relieve pressure on the outer corner of the knee, relieving pain and discomfort. The heel cushion adds to the overall smooth landing of glycerin.

No upper seams also keep the shoe light and reduce potential irritation. In general, soft cushioning is what is needed for knee pain.

  • Plush and padded
  • Very high level of comfort
  • An exclusive midsole technology that provides a great arch support
  • Quite heavy
  • Not as safe in the midfoot as previous versions

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees


best cushioned running shoes for bad knees

Hoka Clifton 6 is its best-selling model. It’s lightweight, has great cushioning, and looks a bit more “shoe-like” than some of the other Hoka models.

It has a mesh overlay and a foam platform that combines to create a very powerful show from a respected company.

The 37mm cushioning in the heel gives you an idea of ​​the type of foam and comfort available in this shoe, but runners report that even with all the extra cushioning (resulting in less pressure on your joints, including your knees), the Clifton is still very responsive.

The tight and firm mesh makes this shoe breathable, which you will love if the weather is hot and humid or if you just have trouble keeping your feet dry. This is an updated Clifton with improvements in the porous mesh and durability.

This version is softer than previous models but has proven to be durable. The shoe weighs on the lighter side for a cushioned shoe (10 oz). But you can still feel it’s heavy if you’re used to a normal trainer. Anyways, it has a good cushioning that will allow you to go the distance without increasing your knee pain.

  • Stiffness provides additional ankle support and helps with high arches
  • Good forefoot takeoff
  • More durability and softer than previous versions
  • Very light but not as light as previous models

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees


best cushioned running shoes for bad knees

Similar to the Hoka Clifton, the Challenger is optimal for trail runners who have knee problems. With its all-terrain outsole and low drop (just 5mm), it provides great traction and stability on light to moderate trails.

The Challenger’s oversized EVA midsole provides firm comfort where it’s needed. And the dual-layer mesh upper provides added protection from gravel, rocks, and sticks. The shoe has 4mm lugs on the sole that remove mud and stick to the trail, helping to keep it marked on the trails.

At 9 oz., This is a lightweight shoe for a cushioned trail shoe. Additional cushioning will help mitigate knee pain. The meta-rocker midsole helps push your foot forward so you don’t hit the heel.

  • Great off-road coaches
  • Very soft forefoot and heel for comfort.
  • Strong toe box to prevent your foot from sliding forward
  • Aggressive tread makes this shoe not good on the pavement

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees

6. NEW BALANCE 1080V10

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees

The New Balance 1080 is a neutral shoe that provides high levels of support for the knees, shin splints, or plantar fasciitis, even if it is not prone or supinated.

The engineered mesh upper is comfortable thanks to its breathability, and its toe is supportive and helps provide additional stability by keeping your foot on the support platform. The new heel cup gives a comfortable running experience.

This model tends to be wide, so if you have a wide foot, you will appreciate the construction of this shoe. The Fresh Foam midsole is powered with support and comfort.

  • Super luxurious cushion for a comfortable ride
  • The low heel-to-toe drop means a more natural run
  • Breathable upper
  • Wide toe
  • A quite thick cushion, so unsuitable for anything besides running on pavement or light trails
  • Drop down the ankle

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees


best running shoes for people who have bad knees

The Asics Fortitude is a great shoe with solid cushioning for walking or running all day. What people with knee pain especially appreciate about this shoe is its ability to take a brace. Whether it’s an over-the-counter insert or your podiatrist has prescribed a custom brace or wedge. Having that extra space prevents the top of your foot from crushing inside the shoe.

Thanks to its wide toe, the Fortitude is also very suitable for tall or thick individuals. The gel cushioning system is strong but light and helps reduce bumps during the impact and propulsion phase. This means that the impact stops at the heel and does not travel to the knees.

An upper directional upper mesh with elastic gussets adapts to the shape of your foot on the go.

  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Neutral shoe
  • Accept orthoses easily
  • A stable comfort because of ASICS gel cushioning
  • A wider base can be inconvenient for people with narrow feet
  • It may feel awkward for some runners

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees


best running shoes for people who have bad knees

The Asics Gel-Kayano 26 has a very good stability and cushioning system for your knee protection. This newer version of the Kayano is enhanced by FlyteFoam from Asics, a lightweight, high-performance foam.

FlyteFoam is composed of foam reinforced fibers. She manages to add the stability and strength that her tired knees crave, but she does it without adding weight. You’ll find the cushioning feels firm and responsive, but it adapts to your feet for comfort throughout the day.

There is a lot of Asics gel cushioning in this shoe. The Kayano 26 has even more heel gel than previous models.

This is a shoe designed for overpronators, perfect if you are dealing with knee pain, there is a good chance that you are overpronating.

Also new in version 26 is a redesigned upper that is breathable and has some stretch. But the Kayano maintains its plush feel combined with a snug fit at the midfoot and heel.

  • Low-profile heel for a better silhouette and a more streamlined feel
  • Extremely durable for hundreds of miles
  • Gel cushioning in the forefoot and heel provides superior cushioning as you accumulate miles
  • Heavy
  • Expensive shoe

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees


best running shoes for people who have bad knees

The Hoka One One Arahi is designed for overpronators who don’t want the inflexibility and stiffness that normally comes with stability shoes. In this iteration of the Arahi, you will find what Hoka calls its J-Frame technology.

J-Frame Technology is a J-shaped piece of engineered foam designed to provide strength where you need it (along the inner or inner edge of your shoe) and comfort and cushioning where you need it (along the heel and the side edges). This is designed in such a way that provides a cushioned ride and reduces weight in a good way.

Reviewers love the stability this shoe provides, perfect for those aware of causing more knee, shin, or ankle injuries.

  • J-Frame engineering provides weightless stability
  • Denser foam under the arch prevents it from rolling
  • More breathable textile on the upper part
  • Lightweight (9.6oz)
  • A very high profile could offset some of that sleek feel

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees


best running shoes for people who have bad knees

If you are a fan of the fantastic Saucony sneakers and have knee pain, this is the perfect shoe for you. Ideal for moderate overpronators, this shoe has built-in cushioning, stability, and performance characteristics at all times.

The EVERUN landing zone under the heel creates a kind of trampoline effect that gives you maximum responsiveness and increased performance with less power output. The EVERUN landing zone which is under the heel, has some kind of trampoline effect that increases performance and responsiveness.

Reviewers note that the energy in this shoe is excellent – they feel faster. The PWRRUN + midsole is Saucony’s lightest, most cushioned foam to date. And the flexibility of the FORM FIT system adapts to your feet for a custom fit.

  • Great energy return
  • Greater cushioning throughout
  • Dynamic mesh upper designed for better support
  • Quite uncompromising, which could decrease comfort

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees

What Causes Knee Pain?

As I said, knee pain has a different type and location depending on the reason it causes it. About only about 25% of cases are caused by execution. Other conditions cause knee pain.

Knee pain when running

Bursitis: Falling, overuse, or repeated knee and flexion can irritate the pouch (a sac of fluid) that lines the kneecaps, causing swelling and pain.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome: – The Iliotibial Band is a piece of resistant tissue that extends from the hip to the outside of the knee. If it becomes inflamed then it can cause pain outside the area of the knee.

Bone chips: Breaking bone fragments or cartilage from a knee injury can get stuck in the joint and possibly cause swelling and pain.

Osgood-Schlatter Disease: Below the knee, there is a tendon from the patella that connects to the shin, where there will be a painful lump if this tendon is overused and irritates. This problem is the most popular among adolescent girls and boys (ages 13-14).

Dislocated Kneecap: This problem is not caused by injury but is a poor result of a physical defect in the legs. In this case, the kneecap of your leg slips out of position causing swelling or pain in the knee.

Patellar Tendonitis: The tendon is a band of tough tissue that connects muscles to bones. Overuse can cause pain and inflammation of the tendons. The inflamed tendons surrounding the knee, of course, cause knee pain.

Lastly: Knee problems can be caused by wearing the wrong shoes for your type of foot shape.

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees

Bad Knee Sneakers Buyer’s Guide

Buying running shoes is difficult enough, but finding the best cushioned running shoes for bad knees is a completely different problem. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, it’s very easy to end up buying something that ends up being less useful than you expected, and you might even have a hard time maintaining a regular exercise routine because of it.

The Adjustment

The best way to prevent unnecessary pain is to buy running shoes that fit you. Although it may seem like a really obvious point, many people end up paying for shoes that don’t fit the shape and size of their feet. This can cause a wide variety of problems, and there is no easy way to solve them, except to buy a brand-new pair that fits better.

To start with, an oversized shoe is very easy to trip over, no matter how careful you are. This can lead to minor and major injuries and puts your feet in much greater danger than they should be. However, if you have faulty joints, it is also easy to trip in a way that makes your joints worse, or those open injuries that were already healing. If you already have faulty knee joints, something as slight as a small sprain may be enough to keep it from moving properly for a while.

Shoes that are too small can cause similar problems, although the damage and injuries are more direct. It can end up with blisters and bruises on the feet, which makes it more difficult to use them properly in the future. And there is always a possibility that Your toes will be squashed uncomfortably after using them for an extended period.

The Outsole

The sole of your running shoes makes a big difference in how much your feet will protect your feet, as well as the amount of padding they will offer overall. They help offset the shape of your feet if your arches are flat or very high, and a thin outsole will generally make you feel more impact while walking or running.

A bad outsole can also lead to more long-term injury as it won’t have as much between you and the ground. Stumbling over something or falling from a higher height than normal can be a much bigger problem as there is no material to help cushion the impact and absorb physical shock. Because of this, more of the force from each impact goes directly to your feet and legs, making it much more likely that you will end up hurt like that.

The Midsole

White midsoles are not always necessary, they can make a big difference in certain circumstances. The average insole will function as an extension to the sole and midsole. Providing a little more cushioning and physical protection along with what the existing parts offer.

However, in some cases, a midsole will be constructed from materials that are not used anywhere else. Things like memory foam or ventilation holes, cannot be used safely on the sole and may be too cumbersome to use on a template.

Running shoes without midsole isn’t necessarily worse, and sometimes they can add too much padding to feel comfortable. So it’s mostly down to personal preference as well as what you’ll wear.

Too much cushioning may seem unnecessary if you’re just jogging or walking, but sometimes it can be an almost necessary feature if you regularly participate in intense races and sprints, including things like marathons or self-set challenges.


The insole is all about comfort, and making sure your feet are secure is an important part of wearing any exercise shoe. However, when running, there are many situations where you can end up in pain simply due to the activity itself. Especially if you don’t have all the cushioning necessary to keep your feet safe and protected.

Some insoles are also designed to mold to the feet in certain ways, which can have a significant impact on how they feel. For example, things like memory foam will provide a very comfortable and personal fit, which isn’t possible with regular insoles unless you get them custom-made.

On the other hand, some people prefer to use insoles that wick away moisture, allowing their feet to stay dry and sweat-free in humid climates or during intense exercise. Again, this is mainly due to personal preference, especially if you only participate in certain exercises or live in a climate where a certain characteristic is much more important than others.


The grip offered by your soles is very important in almost any terrain. Since it allows you to climb rougher ice and deal with slippery terrain without falling and getting hurt. If you have joint pain or knee problems, a slip can be much more serious.

Not having the grip to stay on your feet can make rain, ice, wet surfaces, and loose terrain incredibly risky. It limits where you can go and what kind of activities you can do.

Keep in mind that traction also makes a difference when going up and down slopes, especially in bad weather. Sliding down a slope can lead to more than just a small injury, and bad knees will make lifting on inclined surfaces difficult, making it extremely difficult to scale things that are not relatively flat.

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees

Support For

When it comes to sore or injured knees, one of the most important features you’ll need is foot and leg support. Lack of support can cause you to fall frequently or cause more injury to yourself while away from home.

And it can also lead to injuries that don’t have the right type of support to allow you to heal properly. This often makes the lesions last longer or keep coming back without healing completely.

Poor support is worse than no support as it can cause injuries to heal and repair incorrectly. While this is not a big problem for smaller injuries, it can lead to larger injuries being much more severe than normal.

There is also the problem of a slip or fall that causes more damage. Since there is not enough support there to keep the feet in the correct position or to absorb some of the force that will end up going to the legs.


Having worn shoes is always a problem. But it’s even more of a problem when you trust them to prevent pain. The less durable your shoes are, the more likely they are to start to crumble in certain places or under certain conditions, and things like rainwater and mud are much more likely to cause damage if you don’t keep them dry and clean.

This is especially important if you have medically diagnosed problems or injuries that need to be taken care of over a long period. A shoe that does not last long may lose some of its protective characteristics.

That leads to injuries that heal more slowly than they are supposed to; If you wear items like orthopedic insoles or custom-made supports and molds, they could also end up going bankrupt if something damages your shoes.

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees

How to choose the right shoes for knee pain?

However, as we know there are many causes of knee pain. In this article, I want to focus on the causes of knee pain due to running. It is due to biomechanical problems or training errors. And the best solution to solve these cases is to choose the best cushioned running shoes for bad knees.

Studies have shown that the type of footwear you are wearing can affect the load on knee joints and make knee pain better or worse. But, to do this, you must first have an analysis of the gait to determine that it is too pronating, neutral, or a supine runner to choose the right shoes with the necessary support.


your foot naturally rolls in when you run it’s called pronation. However, if you are an excessive pronator, your foot rolls too far inward while putting more pressure on the knee joint.

Therefore, running shoes with stability or motion control is necessary for the legs. Shoes with a thick, hard material at the arch point will provide you with an amount of stability that prevents your feet from sliding too far inward.

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees


This foot condition is not as popular as overpronation. You have this condition that your feet roll out when you run. The best running shoes with cushioning and flexibility are highly recommended for the supinator.

Please note that stable shoes are not suitable for this foot condition or, in other words, they may exaggerate the deployment motion of the supinator and increase knee and other joint problems.

Neutral Ground

The best neutral running shoes are stable but they are not motion control shoes. Also, your knees may need a pair of shoes with extra cushioning if you run on an uneven surface.

But there are generally some common tips to keep in mind when choosing shoes for your feet. Pay attention to well-padded footwear that will help prevent knee shock.

These well-padded shoes can absorb the impact of your foot on the ground. Or reduce the impact when walking on hard surfaces like concrete sidewalks. You will want to walk or run on the pillows.

The next tip is to check the sole. Firm midsoles can help reduce overpronation (a popular type of gait for people with low arches).

Combining well-constructed sneakers with supportive orthoses will also help resolve foot conditions and maintain good alignment.

It is important to replace your running shoes every 300-400 miles to avoid breaking shoes that can cause misalignment.

best cushioned running shoes for bad knees

Treatment for Knee Pain

In addition to choosing the right shoe, there are also some treatments you can apply to reduce your pain. They include:

  • Let your knee relax for a few days and, above all, avoid heavy activities.
  • Use ice even to reduce pain and swelling in the knee. Do this about 20-30 minutes every 3-4 hours within 2-3 days or until you no longer feel pain.
  • Compress the knee with straps, sleeves, or an elastic bandage to reduce swelling or for additional support.
  • When lying down or sitting, rest your knee on the pillow to reduce swelling.
  • Take anti-inflammatory pain relievers like Advil, Aleve, or Motrin that can help you reduce swelling and pain. However, you should not use them regularly because these medications can have side effects.
  • Practice stretching and strengthening exercises if suggested by your doctor.
  • For people with bursitis, it is necessary to have excess fluid drawn from the knee. Besides, surgery may be suggested to repair a dislocated kneecap or remove bone chips.

Best Cushioned Running Shoes for Bad Knees


If you treat your feet well, your knees will benefit. Knee pain always causes discomfort and slows down movement. Choosing the right running shoes can help you do your daily activities with happy feet and better performance. I hope that from the above list of shoes with highly recommended running shoes for knee pain, you can choose the most suitable one for your leg.

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