Best Shoes for Bad Knees

Knee pain can be caused by various factors such as wear and tear or injuries due to sports and other types of physical activities. Some ailments can also contribute to knee problems including arthritis.  Wearing wrong shoes that do not fit properly can cause misalignment of leg and foot bones and lead to knee pain, as well. One of the most common causes of knee pain is pronation problem such as overpronation and supination. Thus, it is best to use the best shoes for bad knees that are not only comfortable but will correct your pronation instead of making it worse.

What to do if you have bad knees?

  • See the Doctor: The first thing you need to do is to find out the cause of knee joint pain. If it is due to the problem in pronation, a podiatrist will evaluate your foot and walking style and will recommend the appropriate pair of shoes.
  • Go to the local running shoe store: If you think you have an arch problem ( Flat feet or high arches) along with pronation problem ( overpronation or under pronation), then visit the local shoe store such as New Balance. They will recommend the best shoe according to your foot condition.
  • Avoid high heels which can put too much stress on the knee joints. Try to wear shoes with heels of less than one inch. Avoid wearing flat shoes because they do not offer much cushioning and arch support for shock absorption which can damage your knees.

Shoes for Bad Knees – Which One Is Your Best Bet?

Here we compiled a list of shoes for different foot problems. Make sure you have your gait evaluated to find a correct shoe for your foot pronation problem.

Dr. Comfort Flex-OA Flat and Flexible Shoes

Dr. Comfort Flex-OA Shoes for Knee PainThese shoes are clinically proven to reduce stress on knees by 20% and decrease the progress of osteoarthritis. The outsole that designed for natural barefoot movements reduces the load on knee joints. These are good shoes created by Dr. Comfort. They are also called Flex-OA mobility shoes. According to the study done by Dr. Najia Shakoor, they help in relieving the 20 % load on knee joints due to their flat and flexible sole. They are also available for diabetic people.

For those who experience pain in the knees whether arthritis or other conditions cause it, it is best to wear flat shoes that are flexible enough to minimize pressure on their joints. In fact, researchers have conducted studies on how various types of footwear can impact individuals who suffer from bad knees. They evaluated the amount of force that people experience on their knees when they wear athletic shoes, flip-flops, flat shoes and even going barefoot.

According to Najia Shakoor, an attending physician at the Rush University Medical Center, many shoes offer significant effects on people’s knees. Aside from going barefoot, there are several options to choose from when you experience knee pain. She also discovered that clogs and athletic shoes with stability features are linked with the highest load.

In a study led by Shakoor, 31 participants who suffered from knee arthritis were assessed as they wore different footwear types including flat walking shoes, clogs, flip-flops and athletic shoes. She and her team measured not only the gait of these individuals as they walked in these shoes but also the knee adduction moment or the maximum force on your knees with each step you take.

Among these shoes that offered the similar amount of load on the knee include flip-flops and flat walking shoes. On the other hand, there was a 15 percent load linked with wearing stability shoes and clogs. Although there is still a need for further studies, Shakoor suggests that wearing flat footwear with flexible features can significantly reduce the load on your knees. While flip-flops are flat, she is not advocating this type of shoe because of the risk of falling.

Other Options to Consider

Jeffrey Ross, DPM, MD, who speaks for the American College of Sports Medicine, claims that an athletic shoe with a neutral quality is more suitable for people who have bad knees. Shoes that can bend easily are excellent choices for those who suffer from knee arthritis as the footwear minimize the load on knees.

James Christina, DPM, the director of scientific affairs for the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association), stated that one’s choice of a shoe relies heavily on how the footwear feels and fits the person. In fact, there are no strict guidelines set by the APMA when it comes to choosing the right pair of shoes for bad knees. The main idea is to look for shoes with a cushioned insole and great flexibility instead of getting a pair that lacks motion control.

Although some specialists recommend flip-flops for bad knees, it is important to note that there are serious hazards linked with this type of footwear. For instance, flip-flops do not increase the force on your knees. Older individuals who suffer from knee arthritis are better off with a pair of flat walking shoes since there are risks involved in wearing flip-flops. There is a high chance of falling, which makes the footwear quite hazardous for these individuals.

New Balance 1080V6 – Neutral Cushioning Shoe

New Balance 1080As suggested by several specialists, choosing a neutral shoe is beneficial for those who have knee arthritis. Although these shoes fail to address under or overpronation, you will appreciate how this type of footwear provides ample cushioning and shock absorption that is good for those who have bad knees. Furthermore, these shoes have a neutral design that allows you to put inserts that are great for individuals with knee arthritis.

Other Right Choices of Footwear for Knee Arthritis

If you are still undecided when it comes to the proper pair of shoes that will suit your needs, then it may be worth considering these options. These all come with significant benefits that will minimize the stress on your knees while providing ample support and stability you need.

Skechers GoWalk Shoes

Skechers GoWalk ShoesThese shoes are very comfortable, very lightweight only 5 OZ. These shoes are super flexible in the forefront and offer stretchable upper and wide toe box which make them perfect if you have bunions, hammertoes or heel spurs. These easy to slip on shoes have cushioned footbed with moderate arch support. If you have arthritis of hip, knee or foot, these shoes may help in eliminating the knee pain. However, there is no study on Go walk shoes to support it, but many people found them comfortable with knee pain according to the Amazon reviews.

Vionic with Orthaheel Technology – APMA Accepted

Vionic with Orthaheel Technology shoes for knee painThese are designed by A Podiatrist and are based on Vionic Orthaheel technology that consists of a deep heel cup, cork bed midsole that is lightweight and Vionic EVA outsole for excellent traction. They are clinically proven for relieving knee pain, heel pain, plantar fasciitis. They are also recommended to correct overpronation due to flat feet.

They also have outdoor sandals also designed by the podiatrist with Vionic Orthaheel technology. They come with adjustable straps for perfect fit. They have a deep cup heel to stabilize and align the feet and prevents back pain and knee pain. The outsole is durable and provides excellent traction.The midsole is lightweight and provides shock absorption. It also helps in reducing strain on knee and hip joints.

New Balance 928 Shoes: Good for all foot problems

New Balance 928 ShoesIf you are leaning towards athletic shoes, you may want to consider getting one that suits you best. The New Balance 928 is perfect for individuals where overpronation is one of their primary concerns. These shoes provided great motion control and stability because of the stable and cushioned heel and midsole. So, if your feet tend to roll inward more than it should, you need shoes that promote excellent shock absorption and weight distribution such as this type of athletic shoes.

New Balance 928v2’s RollBar provides medial and lateral support to prevent overpronation and supination and thus realigns foot to its natural position. This natural alignment of the foot, leg and back alleviate the knee and hip joint pain by reducing stress on these joints.

Aravon Maya Pump for Women

Aravon MayaFor people who prefer low heels, then it is best to look for shoes with wedge heels, spacious toe beds, and rubber soles. Mia and Maya by Aravon from New Balance, for instance, are right choices since these have rocker soles that ensure stability and absorb shock while minimizing the stress on your knees.

The Aravon Maya can be reimbursed from Medicare with doctor’s prescription because Medicare approves it for Diabetes. The shock absorbing midsole is made of polyurethane and provides comfort and support for on feet all day. There is a stability shank which is embedded inside the midsole for additional support and smooth gait cycle.

The removable footbed is composed of polyurethane, memory foam and Absorb cushioning. The heel height is less than two inches.

Propet Walking Shoes for Mild to Moderate Overpronation

They come with the following features:

Propet Walking Shoes RejuveRejuve Motion Technology: The Podiatrist-designed deep heel cup helps in stabilizing the feet for a natural stride and relieve knee joint, hip joint and heel pain.
Lightweight Approximately 6 OZ
Flexible and cushioned
Moderate arch support
The other styles with Rejuve Motion Technology for knee pain relief are the Helen, Hailey, and Hartley Sandals.

These Propet men sandals are also designed with Rejuve Motion Technology. With its deep cup heel and excellent arch support, they help in stabilizing and align feet and that in turn helps in reducing stress on knee joints. If you are looking for flip flops with reduce motion technology, then take a look on Propet Harrison Sandals. Propet Anderson is another style that you may like.

Asics Gel Kayano 22 for Women and Men: for Overpronation

Asics Gel Kayano 22Active individuals who engage in running or walking exercises are better off with the Gel Kayano 22. This is a good model of stability running shoe that supports the needs of those who are prone to knee pain. Whether you have wide or narrow feet, you can find the right size for you as various widths are available to meet the demands of all people.


Dansko Sneakers for Women

Based on extensive studies, clogs tend to promote knee stress by adding higher load in this part of your body. These shoes are also not ideal to wear for those who have bad knees, specifically, clogs made of lightweight plastic. For people with arthritis on their ankle or arch, as well as those with swollen and stiff foot joints, clogs are poor choices.

On the other hand, you may find relief from shoes with a closed back, a rubberized sole and about 2 inches of heels. As long as these are well-made ones with quality materials, you can find these as reasonable options for your condition. Just be sure there is a closure on the back to prevent you from falling or slipping on these shoes.

  1. sir,
    I am a women Size of my foot is 26.5″.Toe is wide and I am almost flat footed. My knees are very painful, making walking difficult for me. I am a patient of Rhumotoid arteritis.
    Kindly suggest what knd of walking shoes I must use?


    • Most probably you overpronate because overpronation s common in flat foot. You can confirm overpronation by seeing a Podiatrist or local New Balance shoe store or any running shoe store. If you can not do that, then look at the sole of worn out shoe. If you see more worn out on the inside then that means you overpronate. If you see more worn out on the outside of an old shoe, then you may underpronate. The knee pain may have due to overpronation. Once you find a pair of correct shoes for your foot problem, your knee pain will be reduced or eliminated.

      If you overpronate which is most likely, then you need shoes with a very good arch support with a lot of padding. I recoomend Brooks Addiction Walker walking shoe( do not run in these shoes). If you underpronate and have flat feet, then I would recommecnd Brooks Dyad. I hope this will help.

Leave a Reply