We’ve all had that moment: with great intentions, you’re out for a brisk run to keep your health and weight in check. You’re proud of yourself for finally getting off of the couch and doing something to really benefit you.

With music blasting in your ears, and adrenaline rising, you’re wondering to yourself why you haven’t done this sooner.

All of a sudden, it strikes.

The sharp pain shoots through your knee. You keep going, hoping to walk it off. Soon, it becomes almost debilitating, and you have to walk home, discouraged.

Actually, knee pain while running is a very common worry for many active men and women. According to experts, over half of all athletes, every year endure it. In this guide, we’re going to show you the best running shoes for knee pain so you don’t have to.

Top 5 Of The Best Running Shoes For Knee Pain In 2018

For people who have knee pain, selecting footwear that alleviates the condition is more important than the style or color.  However, we picked out models that are great for knee pain and look good. Take a look at the best running shoes for knee pain in 2018 in the handy table below.

ModelCushioningUpperSole 
ASICS GEL-Kayano 22GEL cushioning systemsSyntheticRubber, with textured outsole
New Balance M890v4ABZORB shock-absorbing cushioningSyntheticRubber
Saucony Hurricane ISOPWRGRID+ CushioningFabric/ SyntheticRubber
Hoka One Clifton 2High-impact polystyreneMeshRubber
New Balance 1080Fresh Foam CushioningFabric/SyntheticRubber

Now that you know you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort, let’s take a more detailed look at the best running shoes for sore knees.

ASICS GEL-Kayano 22 – Best Overall Support

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The ASICS GEL-Kayano 22’s are perfect if you’re looking for a shoe with more bounceback. With their FluidRide technology, you receive 20% more bounceback than with other models, all while keeping the shoe light while maintaining durability and cushion.

The new model features a more sleek design, with the seamless upper and a new heel-clutching system that provides a more stable fit.

Their Impact Guidance System provides some of the best knee support, by enhancing the natural gait process. From heel-to-toe, you’ll immediately notice a more stable ride, with a natural feeling.

It’s almost like hitting the “reset” button and re-aligning your body.

While these are all great traits to have in a shoe, it won’t provide as much help as it should with knee pain without great cushioning.

The 22’s GEL-cushioning in the rear and forefoot provides advanced shock-absorption, making the blow to the ground seem almost nonexistent. This shoe is best for mild to moderate overpronators.

What We Liked

  • GEL cushioning makes for excellent shock-absorption
  • FluidRide bounceback technology
  • IGS assists with natural gait process

What We Didn’t Like

  • Sizes run a little small/tight

New Balance M890v4 – Most Fashionable Product

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The M890v4 is consistently one of the number one choices in running shoes when it comes to alleviating knee pain. Its lightweight feel will make it feel like you’re not even wearing running shoes, because of its FANTOMFIT upper and REVlite foam midsole.

Despite them being so light, they provide superb durability and support. Shock absorption is essential to those who suffer from knee pain while running, and the ABZORB cushioning technology caters to this. The technology reduces the impact of every time your feet make contact with a hard surface.

The 8mm heel-to-toe drop ensures that your heels feel like they’re on clouds. If that’s not sufficient enough, you can easily add orthotics inside the shoe, as the toe box is nice and roomy. These shoes are excellent for slight to moderate overpronators.

What We Liked

  • ABZORB cushioning offers supreme impact shock
  • 8mm heel-to-toe drop reduces heelstrike impact
  • Roomy Toe Box
  • Lightweight REVlite foam midsole

What We Didn’t Like

  • Not ideal for extreme overpronators

Saucony Hurricane ISO – Best Technology

best shoes for knee pain relief for 2018

The Saucony Hurricane is taking the running world by storm with their cushy, yet controlled shoe. Its breathable mesh upper makes it super light, ensuring there is no extra weight while you’re running.

What makes it a great option for those who have knee pain while running, is the large pod placed right in the arch of the shoe, to correct overpronation.

It’s ISOFIT upper adds, even more, stability by ensuring a stable, sock-like fit, without being too tight. The thick PWRGRID+ midsole in addition to thick foam under the forefoot means a comfy ride with near-maximum cushioning.

The heel-toe drop of 8.5mm along with a heel support frame makes sure the heel is in place while reducing the pressure on each heel strike.

Some reported having issues with the outer wrap being a bit too firm, causing pressure points, but overall it’s a comfortable and stable shoe with a lot of cushions.

A medial post in the arch of the shoe provides additional protection for pronation, without weighing down the Hurricane.

What We Liked

  • Lightweight ISOFIT upper
  • PWRGRID+ midsole and thick foam creates a cushiony ride
  • Solid heel support frame
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Medial posts creates protection from pronation

What We Didn’t Like

  • Stiff outer wrap can create pressure points

Hoka One Clifton 2 – Underdog Product

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Just by looking at the Hoka One Clifton 2, you can tell right away that it’s like walking on a dream. Its seamless upper makes it almost unbelievably light and breathable, along with its “speed frame technology”.

The cushy upper and tongue give you the confidence to tie your shoes tight without worrying about pressure points or blisters forming.

Its Meta-Rocker midsole geometry encourages a natural and correct gait, ensuring you’re not overpronating while you’re running. Pair that with it’s incredible cushioning and CMEVA foam midsole, and you’re looking at one of the smoothest rides you’ve ever had.

While it’s not as well-known as some of the others on this list, it is definitely one of the best running shoes for bad knees.

What We Liked

  • Speed frame technology and breathable upper keeps shoe lightweight
  • Meta-Rocker geometry corrects gait
  • Foam midsole and added cushioning absorbs shock

What We Didn’t Like

  • Sole wears a little faster than other brands

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v6 – Best Cushion

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The Fresh Foam 1080v6 is, as the name says, very light and foamy. This results in an overall comfortable sole. In fact, the upper is almost bootie-like, ensuring a fit that wraps around each foot, adding stability and comfort.

The forefoot is an open mesh area, that also has a molded bumper on the toe, creating even more space for natural toe-splay. While the collar is comfortable, the softness of it translates into a sub-par heel grip.

The Fresh Foam midsole has created a thick, soft cushioning that reduces the impact of heel strike and makes it appealing to anyone looking for a more cushy ride.

The lateral sidewall can be more easily pushed-down than the inner wall, making this shoe great for those who tend to overpronate, as well.

What We Liked

  • Luxurious Fresh Foam midsole
  • Soft and pillowy collar and tongue
  • Soft lateral sidewall that helps with stability

What We Didn’t Like

  • Stitching can create pressure points
  • Sub-par heel grip

Top-Rated Running Shoes for Knee Pain – Consumer Buying Guide

Footwear has a serious impact on the health of our knees, which means the type of shoes you select can affect your knees either positively, or negatively. To ensure you’re being proactive in alleviating your knee pain, follow this buying guide.

Cushion

Cushioning is not only luxurious but essential for diminishing knee pain while running. The reason being is that cushion eliminates or minimizes shock to the knees. The cushion is meant to absorb that shock, and can even reduce the impact of standing or walking on hard surfaces.

Sole

The sole is crucial. A firm sole is needed to decrease overpronation or an unbalanced gait, which is typically the cause of knee pain while running.

Overpronation is when the foot rotates inwards during the gait process, instead of straight. Subsequently, this causes the ankle and lower leg to follow, creating added pressure on your knees.

By taking a look at your already-used shoes, it can tell you a lot about your gait. If you spot more wear on the inner part, or if the heels of your shoes turn in, this means you overpronate.

Arch Support

Arch support is also very important. Many people that overpronate have very low arches. This makes it easier for their feet to turn inwards. Having a solid rod or piece of material built into the shoe model creates added stability.

According to Dr. Miho J. Tanaka, “When shopping for walking or running shoes, it’s important to consider the fact that each individual may vary in terms of the type and location of arthritis in their knees.” Not every knee affliction is the same.

It’s important to find out the cause, before looking at shoes.

Conclusion

While all of these shoes offer some of the best knee support, there was one that really stood out from the rest. The Asics GEL Kayano model. It’s hard to beat the FluidRide technology, which offers 20% more bounceback than other models.

Not only that, but the rear/forefoot GEL cushioning system reduces the impact on your knees and makes for a ride more comfortable than a limousine. The sleek, seamless upper is synthetic, but is still very lightweight, meaning no trudging around at the end of your run.

Of course, all of the shoes listed here are very comfortable, but not all of them offered the same stability as the Kayano.

The solid heel-clutching system keeps the foot in place, while the pronation control keeps everything in line. The use of their high-quality materials ensures that you will have a comfortable and healthy ride for a long time to come.