10 Best Running Shoes For Knee Pain and OA


Today, I’m going to be reviewing some of the best running shoes for bad knees in 2021.

Bad knees is something we hear fairly regularly in the running world. It’s something that can seriously hamper your training or leave you completely sidelined.

The running shoes I’m going to be reviewing below have actually helped either alleviate or prevent bad knees.

Before we dive in, if your heel pain is bothering you, these are some great running shoes for Plantar Fasciitis.

Let’s dive right into it …

Best Running Shoes for Bad Knees

Related: Best Walking Shoes for Bad Knees

Saucony Triumph 17


The Saucony Triumph 17 is similar to the previous iterations in that it’s still a great long-distance shoe and it’s still one of the highest cushioning shoes in the company’s lineup.

The ideal use for the Triumph is a long run or a day when your legs are feeling a little bit beat up and you want a little bit more support.


PWRUN Midsole

Saucony has introduced a new cushioning midsole foam. EVERUN is out and PWRUN foam is Saucony’s newest midsole.

PWRUN foam is a bit snappier than EVERUN and it’s also a little bit lighter, which you’ll notice immediately when you put the shoe on.

Saucony says the midsole is 25% lighter than the previous models so you’re still getting a ton of cushion but you’re getting a lot lighter weight ride.

The Triumph still has the 8-mm offset and it’s actually significantly lighter than the older version.

Related: Saucony Triumph 17 vs Saucony Ride 13


The Triumph 17 remains a neutral shoe meaning that it has no posting or support system through the midsole. This allows your foot to move more naturally.

The only way this shoe will guide your stride is through the heel counter which is relatively stiff. But that’s fine because the rest of this shoe isn’t controlling your motion at all.


The upper has also been reconstructed making it more breathable and the mouth of the shoe also has a highly padded counter meaning there’s no chafing while you run.

The Triumph 17 will be really well paired with something like the Saucony Kinvara 11 for your speed shoe and the Triumph is kind of the antidote to that for a longer day or a day when you need a little bit more support.

The heel counter is really nice and it really wraps around the heel. Saucony has been known to have a snug heel and a roomy forefoot.

The Triumph still stays with that fit and they just redesigned it to where it’s a little bit more snug but not to where it will give you too much pressure on your Achilles.


Saucony decided to put the ISOFIT lacing technology to rest. They felt that runners were not comfortable with that type of lacing system and thus decided to go back to a more customize traditional lacing system.

Related: Great Running Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis


While the company has changed their foam, they’ve stuck with the FORMFIT footbed. This will conform to the runner’s stride so that you don’t feel uncomfortable at all during your run. It does that through a highly flexible upper.

Saucony actually designed this shoe to form to your foot and have that bucket seat feel as if you’re in like a race car.

Again, this shoe feels noticeably lighter and snappier than the previous iterations. If you’re into a responsive shoe, you’ll be into the Triumph 17.


On the outsole, you still have your hard carbon rubber for your heel strike and the softer blown rubber up in the forefoot.

So, yes it’s a max cushion shoe, yes you can run marathons, you can go far, you can go short …

Where to buy (not affiliate)
SauconyFleet Feet 

Read the full review of the Saucony Triumph 17

Hoka Bondi 6




This is a max cushion neutral running shoe which is going to be great for most distances. If you’re an average runner just training for your first 5k,10k, or one of those ultra-marathoners, you could run in the Bondi for sure.

All Hokas share a few different qualities. All of their shoes have extremely cushioned midsoles, but you’d be surprised at how lightweight they are for how big they look.

Also, all Hokas have a Meta Rocker design, which kind of helps roll and drive you forward and it complements your natural gait cycle.

All Hokas have ProFly cushioning which is that dual-density foam that’s really soft in the heel for comfortable heel striking and a bit stiffer in the forefoot to, again, help propel you forward for a nice explosive take-off.


The upper has actually got some really cool updates. It’s got some ventilation panels throughout the upper.

So, the upper is a little more breathable and you could be on a hotter run and your feet would just feel nice and cool and dry.

Hoka also opened up the toe box a little bit to give for that nice space in the front, which feels really comfortable.

The loop on the Bondi 6 comes a little bit higher than the Bondi 5. This loop kind of works as a shoehorn to get your feet in and out super quick.


The midsole is full EVA foam throughout the whole shoe, which gives for a really nice plush feel.

What this oversized midsole does is it provides great shock absorption, comfort, and support all in one nice package.

It has that Meta Rocker geometry which kind of works like a rocking chair to kind of use the same amount of energy from you to propel you forward with less effort.


Actually, Hoka redesigned the outsole. It’s still going to have all that super cushion that you love in the Bondi, but it’s a little lighter in weight, which is awesome.

So, if you’re putting on those longer miles, you’re not going to feel that your shoe is weighing you down. It’s really going to work with your foot mechanics.

Overall, the Bondi 6 is the supreme cushioned model from Hoka. It’s sort of like having a mattress under your foot, which is super helpful especially if you’re coming back from injury or you have bad knees.

The standard width can bit narrow, but the Bondi 6 comes in wide as well, which makes it suitable for all types of foot shapes.

Last but not least, the Bondi is a great running shoe for Hallux Rigidus.

Where to buy (not affiliate)
HokaDicks Sporting Goods

Asics Gel Nimbus Lite



A Nimbus cloud is a low dark cloud which brings about rain. This is a fitting name for a shoe that has had a dark rain cloud looming over it for the last few versions.

The Nimbus series is always supposed to feel special, but this line of shoes hasn’t felt special for many years.

I always found the ride of the Nimbus to be boring.

The Nimbus Lite on the other hand has the X Factor, that one indescribable characteristic that makes you look forward to running in it.

The Nimbus Lite is a whopping 1.4 oz lighter than the normal Nimbus 22. It’s lighter, bouncier, and softer than the Nimbus 22.

But can the Nimbus Lite put the Nimbus series back on the map as one of the best cushioned shoes on the markets?


This is Asics’ most sustainable upper ever and most of it is made from recycled materials.

The forefoot is wide and deep with plenty of foot splay room. I go true to size but I could have gone down a half size because the upper is so roomy.

You won’t have any issues though because the superb lacing system allows you to lock the foot down and the padded heel counter ensures that your heel doesn’t move around.

The engineered mesh is very thin and breathable while the heavily padded tongue is not gusseted.

The heel has a reflective metallic external counter that provides structure and nighttime visibility.

The upper of Nimbus Lite is my favorite Asics upper to date. It’s more minimal than the GlideRide and the Cumulus 25 and feels just as luxurious.


The environmentally conscious theme carries over to the midsole. The midsole is made from biomass derived from sugarcane.


Asics is still calling it FlyteFoam but it shares nothing in common with the previous FlyteFoam iterations. This FlyteFoam is soft and springy.

If I have to compare it to another type of foam, it’s very similar to New Balance’s FuelCell which has nitrogen infused into it.

The Asics foam though is rough to the touch and has more cushioning depth. The new FlyteFoam has characteristics of the best super foams on the markets.

It’s as light as Hoka’s EVA, as soft as New Balance’s FuelCell, and has the cushioning depth of New Balance Fresh Foam X.

If you enjoyed the New Balance Propel, you will love this shoe because it’s even more cushioned and more bouncy.

There is significantly more foam in the forefoot than the Propel, but it doesn’t feel like it’s overly soft or mushy.


The outsole is full-contact Asics High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR), but it feels softer than the rubber used on the regular Nimbus 22.

Asics had to use a soft outsole rubber because the midsole is so soft. If hard rubber was used, you’d feel the rubber lugs through the midsole.

Gone is the Guidance Line which Asics has traditionally used to center the foot. The arch area is also filled up unlike the Nimbus 22, which results in a full-contact outsole with smoother transitions.

Overall, the Nimbus Lite has a comfortable upper and midsole, which makes it cushioned, light, and bouncy.

It does what the Nimbus is supposed to do and feels like what the Nimbus is supposed to feel like.

Again, this is a max-cushioned comfortable cruiser that glides over the road.

Where to buy (not affiliate)
AsicsRunning Warehouse


Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37



The Pegasus is a long-standing favorite. It is one of Nike’s top-selling shoes and I have to say the 37 has some really fantastic updates from the 36.

This is the best Nike running shoes for bad knees. It provides great support and cushioning and allows runners to run comfortably.

The Pegasus has long catered the runner seeking a reliable neutral shoe to carry them through heavy training. Now in its 37th year, the Pegasus continues to stay true to its ideals offering plenty of impact protection and lasting comfort for high-mileage training.

It helps fix bad knees, IT Band, knees, flat feet pain, and hip and ankle issues. It’s actually one of the best running shoes for arthritic knees.

Let’s start with three really noticeable updates to the shoe.

  1. A revamped midsole
  2. A more substantial Air Zoom unit which is different for men’s and women’s models
  3. A refreshed upper

The Pegasus has a 10-millimeter drop from the heel to the toe. One thing to note about this model is the stack height is a little bit different than the 36.

Now, it is 24 millimeters in the back and 14 in the front.

So, the 10mm heel-to-toe differential is still the same, but the overall stack height of the shoe has increased.

It is a neutral everyday trainer that is ideal for the road or the track and this model has a lot of bounce.

The Pegasus 37 is a really pared-down shoe to deliver a lightweight fast feeling fit and that’s something you’re going to notice immediately when you put it on.


Are flat feet holding you back from your best run? Discover the game-changing running shoe options for flat feet in our in-depth article.

React Midsole

The midsole is made with Nike’s React foam. This shoe does have a very performance-oriented last and you’ll notice how it gets narrower in the midfoot and it also has this really tapered off edge and tapered heel that you’ve come to see in a lot of new Nike shoes these days.

The Pegasus has a lot of pop and it kind of really helps you focus more on your form, which translates into better running form and you can run even run faster than you intend to.

Part of that pep in your step comes from the Zoom Airbag that’s in the forefoot of the Pegasus and also Nike’s React foam throughout the midsole.

I really think the combination of the React foam and the concentrated Air Zoom pad in the front makes this shoe feel bouncier and more responsive.



The Pegasus also has one solid mesh overlay and that’s really to keep the weight down. The only overlays that you’re going to find on this shoe are around the eyelets to reinforce the lacing system.

The tongue is really lightweight with very minimal cushioning. It has a little cutout that fits around your ankle really nicely.

It also has some cushioning around the back of the shoe. Again, not a lot and it really has a streamlined feel that blends a plush everyday trainer with a high-end performance shoe.

The former version of the shoe felt a little narrower in the forefoot, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised that you have a lot of room for toe splay in the front and the shoe is really comfortable right out the door.

If you have a narrow heel, I recommend you incorporate the marathon lacing loop.

We’ve recently compared the Nike Pegasus Turbo 2 to the Nike Zoom Fly 3.


The heel collar also flares slightly away from the Achilles tendon and that really helps with reducing the amount of rub you’re going to get on the back of your foot especially if it feels a little bit looser back there for you.


There’s this really long groove that runs vertically from the toes all the way back to the heels and then horizontally across the forefoot of the shoe.

Both of those grooves are really in place to help guide the way that you land and to bend naturally with your foot.

Again, that’s another design element that takes this neutral shoe and allows it to become a tool to help you work on your running form.

Men’s vs Women’s

Something new with the Pegasus that a lot of shoe companies are now doing is the men’s and women’s versions are built differently.

Through early testing of the shoe, Nike found that women really wanted a more flexible shoe than men.

So, the Zoom Air pockets in the women’s models are slightly less inflated than the men’s.

Also, last year’s model had a full-length Air Zoom pad, but this year’s model only has that Air Zoom pad concentrated in the forefoot.

What’s more, despite shortening that air pad, designers also doubled its size. So, while it’s concentrated in one area, it’s now concentrated in the spot that runners said that they needed it most and there’s even more of it.


The midsole is coated in this durable rubber outsole. It’s the same design that’s carried on from previous models.

However, when I have tried this shoe in the rain on wet surfaces, I did notice a little bit of slipping.

All things considered, I think the Pegasus 37 is a really fantastic update to the 36. A lot of the features that Nike added to this shoe really did enhance the fit, feel, and ride of the Pegasus.

In conclusion, the Nike Pegasus 37 is a hybrid between performance racer and performance trainer and it’s the best Nike running shoes for knee pain in 2020.

If nothing else, when you head out the door in this shoe, you are going to feel faster and more confident.

Where to buy (not affiliate)
NikeRunning Warehouse

Mizuno Wave Sky Waveknit 3


The Wave Sky has a 10-millimeter heel-to-toe drop and it’s a neutral shoe. This is a really exciting shoe from Mizuno for a lot of reasons.



The Wave Sky has got a lot of padding on the tongue and the heel collar.

The upper is a knit upper which we’re seeing more and more of these days. This has a little bit of stretch to it but not a whole lot.

The upper feels like it’s really got a high-quality construction and the fabric is really smooth, too. There’s definitely no rubbing or any discomfort there.

Under the lacing system, it’s definitely a no-frills just standard running shoe lacing system and the laces themselves feel like they have a high quality.

Not all shoes do have an extra eyelet, but this one does and that’s a really nice feature if you do need to snug up the heel a little bit.

This extra eyelet is really useful here because the heel isn’t particularly narrow.

So, if you have a very narrow heel, you might have some forward slippage from your heel, but with the marathon lacing technique, your heel would feel secure and everything is going to great.

If you have a wider heel, you won’t need to change the lacing at all.


Cushion & Ride

Something new for this shoe is there is no Mizuno Wave plate. Normally, with most Mizuno shoes, you see the plastic on the midsole and you’ve got that kind of hole underfoot.

The Wave Sky WaveKnit does not have that. It has a new kind of foam called XPOP.

This brand-new system is great because you can really tell the difference from older Mizuno models from the heel to toe transition and it feels really smooth and natural.

I have always thought of Mizuno shoes as shoes that had a very firm feel. The WaveKnit 3 still has a good bit of firmness but it’s also soft if that makes sense.

So, I guess with Mizuno, we have entered the days of plush and responsiveness together as one.


With this shoe, Mizuno also added a carbon rubber to the outsole to increase the shoe’s durability. I would wager that this is going to be a durable and long-lasting shoe.

… which takes us to my top three favorite things about the Mizuno Wave Sky WaveKnit 3.

  1. Durability

This is just a really well-constructed shoe and I think it’s going to last a long time. I’m really impressed with the update and I think that the fabric is going to really withstand a lot of miles without any rubbing.

  1. Underfoot feel

The new foam and the lack of a Wave plate offer a really nice feel. It still offers the firmness that a lot of people like from Mizuno but without the hardness.

It’s still soft, it’s comfortable, and it gives you a really smooth heel-to-toe transition while you’re running.

  1. The outsole and the dependable traction we have come to love from Mizuno.

I really think that Mizuno’s historically have always had really superior traction even though they’re road shoes.

Where to buy (not affiliate)
MizunoHolabird Sports


Saucony Hurricane 22


The all-new Hurricane is an update to a Saucony stability favorite, the Saucony Hurricane 22.

Offering a high level of cushioning and stability, the Hurricane 22 is all-new from top to bottom and looks to be a great addition to the series.



We’ve got a luxurious jacquard mesh upper along with a FORMFIT design that’s really going to cradle your foot and create a nice and natural on-foot experience.

Their FORMFIT system locks you in from every angle keeping you comfortable and enjoying every step.


Starting off with the midsole, this shoe features Saucony’s lightweight TPU Guidance Frame and PWRUN+ for those who need added support and resilient cushioning.

PWRUN+ is going to be visually somewhat similar to EVERUN but it’s all-new. It is lighter, more responsive, and it’s got even more impact protection.

Looking at the heel of the shoe, it’s got a nice rocker design and in the forefoot, there’s a nice bit of toe spring.

The rocker-like heel and added toe spring propel you further to reach your goals. Overall, the shoe is going to be even smoother than before.

Moving on to the medial side, we’ve got a nice TPU medial posting. It’s going to offer all the stability you need if you’re a moderate to maximum overpronator.


On the outsole, we’re going to see that TriFlex crystal rubber which is going to offer a nice adaptable and flexible underfoot experience while also offering all the durability and traction you need on the roads.

Overall, if you’re looking for a maximum stability shoe that has all the cushioning you need for your daily miles, the Saucony Hurricane 22 is going to be the shoe for you.

Where to buy (not affiliate)
Dicks Sporting GoodsRoad Runner Sports

Asics Gel Kayano 26


Update: Asics Gel Kayano 27 Review

The Asics Gel Kayano series has been around since 1993.

So, if you’re somebody who overpronates and just want that little bit of extra support or that stable feel on the foot, the Asics Kayano does provide that quite well and has done so for quite a while now.



The Kayano uses that Trusstic system which is that firm piece of plastic that Asics have been using for quite a while. It’s coupled with the DuoMax up on the inside and the external heel counter.

This is the support system the Kayano has been using for quite a while. This shoe is supportive and it’s quite rigid throughout the gait cycle.


The outsole uses that carbonized rubber underneath. It’s nice and durable rubber and it’s very similar to the rubber Asics have been using for quite a while.

Taking a look at the flew grooves, one of the biggest differences from the previous model is you do have three flex grooves at the forefoot, which makes for that slightly more flexible toe-off.

It’s still really rigid around the back of the shoe and also throughout the midfoot area. Then, you also have these flex grooves running on the lateral side of the foot.

A lot of stability shoes do this pretty much so that you’re not flexing the inside of the shoe too much and you’re staying more so straight throughout your gait cycle.


Talking about the cushioning system, the Kayano 26 is still using the gel cushioning. This gel is rotated in a way that it’s supposed to give you a forward momentum as you do run in it.

Asics use it and they use it better than anyone else because they’re actually the only ones that use it.

The FlyteFoam Propel is that cushioning running throughout that midsole. It is one of Asics’ lighter, softer, and higher range cushioning.

This cushioning setup does what it’s supposed to do and it’s supposed to be a little bit more energized and give that nice snapback.

Overall, the Gel Kayano 26 does feel a lot firmer and a lot more rigid than the Nimbus. Don’t get me wrong, the Kayano is supposed to feel a bit stable because it’s a stability shoe and the Nimbus is a neutral shoe.


The Kayano has that nice external heel counter and padded collar which wraps around quite nicely.

The shoe’s fit and feel is really nice and fits fairly true to size. Asics have actually widened the toe box slightly from the Kayano 25.

For quite a while, Asics started to go quite slim, but they have gone back to that nice original Asics fit and feel.

The upper features jacquard mesh which does a great job at locking your other foot quite nicely.

It’s nice and seamless and you’re not going to get any irritation throughout your foot.

The Kayano still has that lace loop as they always do and also that detached tongue which holds your foot nicely.

If you’re someone who overpronates and/or has bad knees, the Asics Gel Kayano 26 will certainly provide you the support you’re looking for.

Where to buy (not affiliate)
AsicsRunning Warehouse

Saucony Cohesion 13



Runners, including myself, feel a bit apprehensive at first because the Cohesion is a lot cheaper training shoe.

However, after the first runs, the Cohesion 13 would massively exceed your expectations. It feels immediately comfortable, the fit is really good with plenty of room for your toes to move around, there’s good cushioning under your foot, and there’s decent padding around the heel cup and on the tongue.

This shoe doesn’t look particularly premium or modern. If you ask someone to describe or draw a traditional running shoe, they would do this.


The overlays over the thinner mesh are just like a printed pattern and the eyelets are just punched in.

Again, the Cohesion doesn’t look as premium, but when you put it on, it does feel comfortable straightaway.

The padding is really good, the tongue stays in plays and the shoe does a pretty good job with no gimmicks.


The outsole has got this really durable thick rubber on the bottom to help with grip without losing flexibility and without feeling heavy underfoot.

The outsole is also identical to the Cohesion 12. It’s got these arrow flex grooves and it flexes really well. This pattern means that the heel-to-toe transition is smooth and seamless.

You’ll have no issues with grip on grass, asphalt, or concrete.


The midsole is made from Saucony’s VersaFoam. When you go in this slower, it feels pretty cushioned and when you want to pick up the pace, it feels a bit hard under your foot.

The heel-to-toe drop on the Cohesion 13 is 12mm, which is pretty high. But if you’re someone that lands on your heel first or if you get tight calves when you’re running, this 12mm heel drop is actually good for you and it’s going to provide you with a little bit more support there.


The Cohesion 13 looks and feels like previous models. I tried the Cohesion 12 and I couldn’t find a difference between the two.

So, if you’re someone who’s looking to replace your 12 with a new model, then great.


The Cohesion 13 is a neutral running and it does not offer extra stability. So, if you’ve got a super high arch or tend to overpronate, this is probably not a shoe for you.

In this case, you should be looking at other Saucony shoes like the Guide 13 and the Liberty ISO.

These have got a lot more stability and structure in them, but they do come at a higher price tag, too.

If this is your first venture into buying a running shoe and you buy the Saucony Cohesion 13, I think you’ll be really pleased.

It does the job that it’s made to do. If you’re looking to replace an older version of the Cohesion and/or a similar entry-level and price running shoe, this is a really great choice.

However, if you’re looking for something that’s got loads of technology and is super-cushioned, super lightweight, and bright flashy talking point, this is probably not the shoe for you.

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Asics GT 2000 8



The GT 2000 8 covers the three most important factors for runners with bad knees:

  • great stability
  • exceptional support
  • excellent cushion.

The GT 2000 8 is a really popular model for the overpronating runners. Overpronators love it because it helps stabilize their stride.

They also love it because it provides the support needed for their knees and hips and prevents their feet from rolling in too much.

The GT 2000 8 combines the best cushioning technologies offered by Asics: FlyteFoam, Solyte, and the one-and-only Gel.

Compared to the previous model, the midsole is about 7mm thicker and now sits at 29mm in the heel with a heel-to-toe drop of 10mm.


The outsole of the Asics GT 2000 8 uses AHAR+ at the heel. This is a protective layer of carbon rubber that allows the shoe to resist abrasion much better, which, of course, improves the durability of the shoe.

In addition, the AHAR rubber supports the front part of the sole under the metatarsals as well.

AHAR is more flexible than AHAR+ and, together with the horizontal flex grooves, it offers good flexibility to the forefoot, which is particularly important during toe-off.


The GT 2000 8 uses FlyteFoam in the midsole. This is basically EVA coupled with super organic fibers along the entire length of the shoe.

This cushioning setup offers light and comfortable cushioning to maximize energy return for a dynamic stride.

In addition to that, there’s the famous GEL technology under the heel and under the forefoot. Gel does a great job of effectively absorbing shock when your foot hits the ground and making your heel-to-toe transition as smooth as possible.

So, the rearfoot and forefoot Gel cushioning makes running really enjoyable because it provides you with a lot of bounce back reducing and absorbing stress and impact on the knees, joints, ankles, and legs remarkably.

Also, this provides nice arch support which, in turn, helps with pain, especially on longer runs.

Support System

The GT 2000 8 is designed for mild to moderate overpronators and supports the Asics trademark Dynamic Duomax Support System which gently guides the inward roll of the ankle from overpronation and doesn’t give you the firm rigid posting that you see in many stability models.

Along with that, the Trusstic system is designed to stabilize your foot’s excessive overpronation (rolling inward) or supination (rolling outward).

On the inside, there’s a molded EVA foam sock liner that completes the shoe’s cushioning setup.

It is antimicrobial, it keeps the inside of your shoe healthy, and it prevents bad odors.


The upper of the Asics GT 2000 8 uses a multidirectional engineered mesh. It wraps your foot comfortably while being slightly stretchy to adapt to its movements.

The upper is well ventilated to keep the foot cool and dry especially in warmer conditions.

The Heel Clutching System also improves heel support by cushioning the foot comfortably, which also helps provide more stability for overpronators.

Finally, the tongue and collar are lightly padded for more comfort.

This GT 2000 is good for all different types of workouts, sessions, and distances. If you can run 10K in these shoes, there is no reason why it cannot take you to the marathon!

Overall, the Asics GT 2000 8 is a good running shoe for overpronators and offers generous, firm cushioning as well as a snug foot support.

Asics GT 1000 vs 2000

Both of the Asics GT 2000 and the 1000 are good for overpronation. However, the 2000 series shoes offer better overpronation control than the 1000s.


I guess this shoe fits slightly small and I would recommend you go a half size up.

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Asics GlideRide



The Asics GlideRide is putting Asics back in the running shoe discussion for runners around the world.

For years, many runners wondered when Asics will catch up with the times as the pace of innovation from the likes of New Balance, Hoka, Nike, and others seemed unstoppable.

I guess that wondering ended with the arrival of some cool running shoes from Asics including the GlideRide.

Asics thesis behind the GlideRide is straightforward. The shoe lets you run longer while expending less energy.

The Asics GlideRide is a neutral road running shoe with a generous stack height of 35 millimeters in the heel and 29 millimeters in the forefoot giving you that sleek 6-millimeter slope.



On the upper, Asics chose an engineered mesh approach. The material utilizes a multi-directional weave, which improves the shoe’s ventilation and stability.

The traditional overlays present in many Asics running shoes which help secure the upper over the top of the foot are also found in the GlideRide design.

These overlays reinforce the upper for additional stability as well as maintain the structural integrity of the upper material.

The heel counter feels like a tank. It’s the burliest heel counter you have ever seen and I guess the coming iteration of the GlideRide will pare down the heel counter thickness and overlay action in order to reduce some weight.


Again, the midsole on the GlideRide falls into the neutral category. But I can confidently say that this midsole is stable and shares the characteristics of a stability trainer.

The midsole uses the GlideRide Sole technology that strives to minimize lower leg movement specifically the flexion of the ankle.

It also increases energy efficiency through a combination of a curved midsole platform, stiff forefoot thanks to an EVA propulsion plate between the midsole and outsole, and a forward rocking alignment.

The GlideRide center of mass is closer to the heel speeding up the foot strike’s swing phase through the gate cycle.

This center of mass technology reduces fatigue in your leg muscles, specifically your calves so you can run longer with less effort.

Lastly, on the midsole, Asics placed a thin layer of Gel in the rearfoot just below the heel counter of the shoe to help absorb some of the impact through those long runs.

Now, why did the Asics GlideRide sneak into a lot of runners’ road running shoe rotation?

It’s that smooth-as-butter transition in the gait cycle and also because with the GlideRide, runners feel stronger and more in control of their legs.


You’ll immediately notice the large decoupled groove which travels from the heel all the way up to the toe box.

This outsole groove helps save just a little bit of weight and assists the foot strike transition. For the grip, Asics uses a carbon-injected rubber creating a diamond pattern on the outsole.

You’ll also notice that the entire outsole is covered with this injected rubber, unlike many other shoes on the market that choose to forgo rubberized protection specifically in the midfoot area.

This move by Asics lends to my thesis that this shoe is built for the long haul, at least 500 miles of training is my prediction.

Although the Asics High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) completely covers the outsole, that does not mean the landing is hard unlike some Asics shoes of the past.

Although this shoe is a little heavy, which is actually fine for longer training sessions, the rocker shape of the midsole coupled with the outsole lends itself to a faster-paced long-run trainer.

If you prefer a shoe with a little more mobility, then the Asics GlideRide is not for you. It’s definitely got a stabilized feel.

Where to buy (not affiliate)
AsicsFleet Feet


Well, there you have it. Those were some of the best running shoes for bad knees.

If you are someone that has experienced bad knees before and you perhaps have some really good advice that you’d like to share, please do drop them in the comments section below.

I’d love to learn from your experience and your advice.

What’s a Runner’s Knee

If the discomfort is dull and around or under your kneecap, you could have runner’s knee.

Vigorous activities may cause excessive stress and wear on the cartilage of the knee cap (patella). This can lead to inflammation and erosion, which can cause the cartilage to break down making it difficult to move your knee.

This condition most commonly appears in runners, but it can also affect those who participate in activities that require a lot of knee bending like biking, jumping, and even walking.

Some of the factors that may contribute to Runner’s Knee are:

  • Flat feet.
  • Tight or weak thigh muscles.
  • Muscle imbalance.
  • Inadequate stretching.
  • Misalignment.
  • Overuse or injury

There are at-home exercises that can help with Runner’s Knee like stretching and strengthening the hamstrings and low impact exercises that strengthen the quadriceps or thigh muscles.


Runner’s Knee Exercises

Running Shoes with Little or no Support & Cushioning

The best running shoes for bad knees should offer great arch support, a ton of cushioning, and should definitely help your feet realign properly.

Barefoot Running Shoes and Bad Knees

Some runners start having knee discomfort after they go barefoot running using shoes like the Vibram FiveFingers.

Barefoot-style shoes don’t have any support for the inside of the foot. Apart from barefoot shoes, there are tons of other shoes that don’t offer any support. So what happens with these running shoes is that the foot spreads the shoe out and starts to fold on top of itself.

Again, these are some of the best running shoes for bad knees and shin pain.

About Eric Barber

Eric Barber is a happy father of two little angels, a husband, and a runner. He eats, sleeps, and dreams anything foot related: running shoes, walking shoes, sneakers, you name it. It all started when Eric was a shoe store specialist watching and fitting people's feet day in and day out.

2 thoughts on “10 Best Running Shoes For Knee Pain and OA”

    • We’ve updated the list and now the Hoka One One Bondi 6 is one of the best running shoes for bad knees.


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