Good Shoes for Bad Knees

Updated November 21, 2016

Bad knees are a problem condition to live with. For some, the knee pain presents even during periods of rest and relaxation. Those suffering from both knee pain and discomfort need to choose footwear best designed to combat the pain inflicted while walking. Choosing the right shoe is best done by trying on multiple styles and options, taking a test walk around the store and then making your decision.

Athletic Shoes

Athletic shoes, those used for exercise, walking, working out or even just simply walking around the house or a store, can be a good shoe choice when you have knee pain. The extra cushioning inside of the shoe helps provide comfort while walking, and the complete coverage design keeps the foot in a proper position for walking. In addition, you can wear athletic footwear with built-in support for arches, spring-action heels or even angled soles. The variety of options allows you to counteract the reasons why you experience knee pain.


During warmer months, many people prefer to wear sandals to help keep feet cool. For those with bad knees, wearing the right sandal is important, as an improper choice may cause knee pain to flare up. The best sandals are those with a conforming foot bed which keeps ankles, feet and toes in proper alignment. You should also opt for a pair with top and back straps to keep the sandal in place and to prevent the shoe from sliding around, which could cause you to step down wrong and thus inflict knee pain.

Built-In Arch Support

Shoes designed with built-in arch supports, which are housed between the inside sole of the shoe and the bottom of the shoe, can provide relief for those with knee discomfort and pain. This type of shoe comes in styles such as dress shoes, casual shoes and even fitness or athletic styles. You must opt for a shoe which states arch support is built-in to reap the benefits associated with arch support. This type of support is stable and will reduce pressure on your knees every time you take a step.

Optional Arch Support

Regardless of the type of shoe worn, as long as the shoe is a closed-toe and high-side style, knee pain can be somewhat alleviated by adding arch supports to shoes. The arch supports slide in to the soles of shoes, making them an affordable and multi-use option. You can move the arch support to different pairs of shoes, depending on the situation. For example, you could slide the support into dress shoes for work and then put inside sneakers for evening walks.

Custom Designed Shoes

If you suffer from severe and constant knee pain, which is exacerbated while walking, having a custom designed pair of orthopaedic shoes may be the best solution. Shoes are crafted by taking multiple foot measurements and determining which sections of the foot must remain stable while walking. In addition, having custom designed shoes will also take into account the basis of your knee pain. For example, if pain is due to a twisted knee, the custom made shoes would correct your step to take that condition in o consideration.

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