The Best Running Shoes for Knee Pain

Updated July 20, 2017

What to Look For

When looking for a running shoe to reduce knee pain, it is most important to buy a shoe that fits the shape of your feet. An August 2008 Consumer Reports overview of more than 200 running shoes stated, "No matter the model, when selecting a shoe, the bottom line is fit. A wrong choice can cause discomfort and fatigue, or even painful foot and joint problems." As feet types vary, the fit of a running shoe will be predicated on your particular foot type, pronation, supination and gait. The pronation and supination (the inward and outward rolling of the foot, respectively, which occurs during normal motion) of your foot will determine the level of padding your shoe should include. This padding will absorb shock that would otherwise be transferred to areas of your body such as the knees.

Common Pitfalls

Common mistakes when trying on running shoes include not trying on each shoe and not taking the time to try out how the shoes feel while running. Dr. Stephen M. Pribut, in his article "Selecting a Running Shoe" for the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM), suggests trying on both shoes, running outside the store, and leaving the shoes on for at least 10 minutes in order to accurately gauge how the shoes will feel and absorb shock. Just walking around a store will not allow you to determine how running on common outdoor surfaces will impact your knees. Furthermore, depending solely on the advice of a friend or review is dangerous, as a shoe perfectly fitting one person will not necessarily be right for your foot type and running style. How a shoe feels while you are wearing it is most important.

Where to Buy

Running shoes are widely available through many retailers, including department stores, and through many websites. However, Consumer Reports suggests visiting a local store specialising in running gear. Your best aid in selecting running shoes is an experienced salesperson who understands what types and brands of shoes best suit your particular foot type. Knowledgeable service can go a long way into not only finding a pair of well-fitting running shoes, but also a pair features the correct type of padding to prevent knee and other joint pain.


Running shoes vary greatly in price depending on where you buy. As of September 2010, brands such as Champion can cost approximately $35, whereas higher end running shoes, such as Nike, Asics, New Balance and Brooks, can cost $85 to more than $140. Of course, pricing can vary based on where and when you buy. Again, the most important factor when considering a running show to alleviate knee pain is not price, but fit.

Insider Tips

If you find a brand and model of running shoe that fits well and makes for a pain-free run, consider buying several pairs. As shoe companies frequently alter their running shoe models, your favorite kind may become extinct. Additionally, once you find a pair of shoes that fit your feet well, consider looking on the Internet for possible discounts on additional pairs for the exact make and model shoe.

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About the Author

Kyle Renner has been writing professionally since 2003. He has worked as a proposal writer for a subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company and been a reporter for "The Chautauquan Daily" and the "Salamanca Press." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and a Master or Arts in English, both from St. Bonaventure University.