Today, we’ll be looking at 16 of the best walking shoes for bad knees and OA pain (2020-2021).
Without further ado, let’s dive right into it…
Best 4 – Quick Comparison
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Best Walking Shoes for Bad Knees
- Brooks Ghost – Best for walking and running
- New Balance 928 Walking Shoes – Best for widths
- Vionic Classic Walker – Best for support
- Skechers GoWalk – Best slip-on
- Brooks Addiction Walker – Best for comfort
- Keen Presidio – Best for arch support
- Propet Stability Walker – Best for extended walking and standing
- Nike Air Monarch IV – Best for versatility
- RYKA Devo Plus 2 – Best for plush cushioning
- Rockport World Tour Classic – Best for durability
16 Best Walking Shoes for Bad Knees
Brooks Ghost 12
Great for: bad knees, bad ankles, back pain, Plantar Fasciitis, shin splints, Achilles Tendonitis, flat feet.
The Brooks Ghost line is one of the best running and walking shoes hands down. You can run in them, speed-walk in them, go to the gym in them, and they look great for regular everyday wear.
Coming in different widths, the Ghost fits like a glove, offers a comfortable cushiony ride, a wide toe box, and great arch support for flat feet.
The Ghost has a little bit more support in the midfoot and offers a smoother ride.
Derek says the Ghost provides great arch support and cushion for his bad knees. Read his review on Amazon.
Brooks are using their 3D-printed engineered mesh, which is going to allow for almost 0 to little stitching on this upper.
They’ve actually woven the midfoot area a little bit tighter than the Ghost 11 and that’s just going to allow for a much better snugger one-to-one fit.
The ankle collar has a nice nylon inner lining and it’s going to be really nice and plush back on your Achilles.
In the heel, Brooks is using their Brooks DNA Loft cushioning setup, which is their softest cushioning that they have.
It’s made up of EVA foam, air, and rubber.
For the rest of the shoe, it’s going to be their BioMogo DNA cushioning, which is just a little bit more firm and that’s going to allow for a nice soft landing but then still a snappy toe-off.
The outsole has this updated segmented crash pad and these Omega flex grooves, which will allow for a smooth heel-to-toe transition no matter where your foot lands in this shoe.
Vionic (Women / Men)
Vionic Walker Classic
- doing any sightseeing,
- running errands,
- chasing after kids or grandkids,
- trying to get your 10.000 steps,
- in a profession where you’re on your feet all day long,
… then this is how you’re going to protect your feet and how you’re getting all of that support and comfort.
This is one of Vionic’ most structured and one of their most supportive shoes.
It’s nice and flexible in the forefoot, firm and supportive through the rearfoot with a nice firm heel counter and wonderful padding.
This s a wonderful construction with EVA midsole and unparalleled midfoot support.
This shoe features a full-length relief Orthotic footbed that is what’s going to take this shoe to a whole new level.
This podiatrist-designed footbed offers fantastic arch support and a deep heel cup to help keep your heel in place.
It has curves and contours and that’s going to support not only your foot but your whole body. This gives you a wonderful sense of natural alignment.
The footbed is flexible in the forefoot with two shock-absorbing sections in the front and the heel to help with cushioning.
It also has a soft top cover that’s been treated with EcoFresh to maintain an odor and bacteria-managed foot environment.
It has a premium super comfortable full-grain leather upper with mesh inserts to help with breathability.
It’s very flexible in the forefoot and has a strong plastic heel counter to help keep your heel in place.
On that orthotic correction, the Walker has a soft padded lining that’s also been treated with EcoFresh to help reduce odor.
The Vionic Walker has a durable rubber outsole that offers great traction. It also has a TPR (thermoplastic rubber) shank to help with additional arch support.
I recommend that you wear them for a few hours at a time for the first few days to allow your body to adapt to the technology because they will feel different to your regular shoes.
This shoe is recommended by DR. Andrew Weil and it also carries the American APMA Seal of Approval. Podiatrists recognize this shoe is great for people’s foot health.
The Vionic Walker from Orthaheel offers fantastic support in a walking shoe. Last but not least, the all-black version is great for the service industry.
Again, the Vionic is one of the best shoes for arthritic knees.
Men’s version: Vionic Men’s Orthaheel Technology Walker
RYKA Women’s Sky Walk
Great for: bad knees, hips, ankle, and lower back pain, Plantar Fasciitis, heel spurs, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bunions, flat feet, wide feet.
This is a supremely lightweight lace-up walker with a breathable mesh and leather upper, memory foam and support in one shoe.
The lace-up design is fully functional to provide you with an exact fit.
A lot of women think they have to choose between memory foam and support. But Ryka, made by women for women, can do both in one shoe.
A narrow heel and a wide toe box
Ryka has been women’s first and only exclusive athletic shoe brand to use the mold of a woman’s foot, which is narrower in the heel and wider in the toe box.
So if you’ve ever had that sensation of your heel slipping in and out of the back of the shoe causing blisters and friction, that doesn’t happen in the Sky Walk.
The Sky Walk provides plenty of padding that’s molded around the shape of a woman’s foot.
The other thing that women need is more width in the toe box.
If you’re doing any activity or standing on your feet all day long, it’s important to be able to spread your toes and have that flexibility and extra width if your feet tend to swell.
The Sky Walker is a great shoe because it has molded EVA on the midsole for a ton of cushioning.
It is flexible and lightweight and has a midfoot TPU shank that runs medially and laterally to provide the support you need.
Most women need some structure and support right underneath the arch area because of their flat feet and because of the width of their hips.
The shank is designed to protect women’s feet, knees, muscles, and ligaments from taking a beating and getting fatigued.
The Ryka provides flexibility at the ball of your foot where you need to protect you from ball of foot pain.
The inside of the Ryka Sky Walking is nicely lined with not only a breathable mesh lining but a super soft and squishy memory foam footbed for unbelievable comfort.
The footbed is like having a stress ball you walk on. So every step you take, you actually feel the stress leaving the body.
The Ryka is very breathable and lets lots of air touch your feet while you’re wearing them and active throughout the day.
The Ryka is very soft. So if you have bunions, the shoe’s mesh panels are going to allow your bunions more space to splay.
You may not be able to actually walk on clouds with the Sky but you’ll feel you are.
RYKA Women’s Devotion Plus 2
Great for: bad knees, knee replacement, hips, and lower back pain, Plantar Fasciitis, heel spurs, arthritis, metatarsal issues, flat feet, wide feet.
When you go out and about and active with your kids, you have to be super comfortable.
The Devotion line has become one of Ryka’s customer favorite as far as how awesome it feels whether you’re doing a walk around the neighborhood, walking around the house, or power walking getting those 10.000 steps.
Ryka took a classic shoe and decided to update the upper and make it more beautiful and more feminine.
It also has a lace-up closure to make sure you’re fitting in it nice and snug while the padded tongue and collar give you that extra comfort around your ankles.
Exclusive key feature
Ryka shoes area designed on the last of a woman’s foot, narrow in the heel with more width in the toe box.
The mesh on the upper is breathable and is actually larger in some areas and smaller in others depending on where you are on the shoe.
It features no-sew Flex-Foil overlays which are extremely lightweight and give you structural support around your foot.
The inside has a super smooth fabric lining that feels really wonderful to the touch so you have a great in-shoe fit and feel even without a sock on.
The sock liner is removable. So if you wear a custom-built orthotic, you can always slide it in.
The footbed is a Q-contour footbed and it is anatomically designed around a woman’s foot.
It has a firm piece of foam at the arch area for extra support while the heel of the footbed is deep and cups around your heel.
The reason why it’s important to have a deep heel cup is that women have hips and by cupping around the heel it’s actually giving support to your heel and stabilizing it.
This way your foot and knees don’t get fatigued as they don’t have to work so hard trying to stabilize you.
Underneath your foot, you’ll feel two layers of Ryka’s RE-ZORB Active Foam, and what’s important about that is it is foam that doesn’t bottom out.
It’s actually responsive foam that puts that spring in your step and gives energy return back to your body. This translates to less fatigue at the end of the day.
This shoe features an EVA molded midsole giving you full heel-to-toe cushioning and shock absorption.
Internally, laying on top of that midsole is a full layer of Ryka’s heel-to-toe RE-ZORB foam.
The durable rubber outsole is also going to give you rebound while the pods give the type of sensation you’re walking on a yoga mat.
The pods also give you a little bit of more height when you’re walking but also add to the shock absorption.
Your bad knees, ankles, hips, and lower back are going to appreciate the extra layers of shock absorption.
The shock absorption provided by the Ryka Devo Plus 2 is great if you’re trying to get in shape, starting a new fitness routine, or if you are pregnant.
The Ryka Devo Plus 2 comes in medium and wide widths as well.
Great for: bad knees, knee replacement, hips, and lower back pain, Plantar Fasciitis, heel spurs, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bunions, flat feet, high arches, wide feet, Morton’s Neuroma.
This shoe is super lightweight and built with a woman’s specific fit in mind. It features a lightweight breathable open mesh with overlays for great breathability and excellent upper stability.
There’s a full lace-up closure for a secure yet adjustable fit.
It’s wonderfully lined on the interior and has nice padding in the tongue and collar for not only softness next to the skin but added breathability.
There’s a removable cushioned footbed that’s completely made to fit you anatomically because it’s an Anatomical Precise-Return™ footbed designed for additional stability, arch support and squish.
Since it’s removable, you can easily swap it out with your custom orthotic if you have one.
The Ortholite footbed promotes a nice and healthy foot environment for you every single time.
It has a full-length compression-molded shock-absorbing EVA midsole and a nice flexible construction along with a texture on the durable rubber outsole for a ton of stability.
The outsole provides the perfect balance of traction and flexibility.
You’re going to speed up your routine and be fast and furious with the Dash from Ryka.
New Balance (Women / Men)
New Balance 928 Walking Shoe
Great for: bad knees, knee replacement, hips, ankle, and lower back pain, Plantar Fasciitis, heel spurs, arthritis, bunions, flat feet, high arches, wide feet, Achilles Tendonitis, Morton’s Neuroma.
Consistency, support, cushioning, quality, and motion control are signature features of the well-loved New Balance 928v3.
It’s definitely one of the most comfortable and most supportive New Balance shoes for bad knees and Plantar Fasciitis as it helps relieve the pain almost instantly.
The upper is durable leather and has a nice deep toe box that is excellent for hammertoes and bunions.
It also has enough depth for those who want to accommodate a sort of thicker orthotic.
Built on an SL-2 last, the 928v3 also gives you much more room in the toe box which is great for wider-based feet, hammertoes, bunions, and diabetic feet.
This is going to accommodate you really nicely and it’s not going to cause any slipping in the heel.
Another very important feature of this shoe is the stack that it has. It has a nice stack to the back and a nice drop in the forefoot.
This shoe also has a bit of what’s called a rocker sole. This feature is going to facilitate the transition from heel to toe so you’re not forcing all the pressure on one part of the foot.
The 928v3 features the New Balance technology called the Rollbar.
The Rollbar is a dual support system that stops your foot from overpronating (rolling inward) or supinating (rolling outward).
By stabilizing the rear foot, Rollbar helps keep the walking motion steady and consistent.
This unique tread pattern is specifically designed to help guide your foot into natural motion.
The 928v3 is a really high-supportive shoe that accommodates orthotics easily. It also helps people with arthritis and many other foot issues.
If you’re experiencing foot problems, you stand or you walk a lot, you definitely want to look into this great walking shoe.
So technologies like the Walking Strike Path, Rollbar, and rounded heel all make sure that your walking gait is as healthy as can be.
Other great features you’ll enjoy are the ABZORB cushioning for plush but never unstable comfort and Lightning Dry liner to wick away moisture.
Last but not least, the 928v3 is available in both Velcro and lace-up and a full range of sizes and widths.
Last but not least, this is one of the best shoes for standing all day with bad knees.
New Balance 813v1 Walking Shoe
Maximize your walks with this plush walking shoe.
This New Balance features a supple leather upper with a logo detail for added appeal.
The upper is super cool and super stretchy and it’s going to contour to your foot beautifully and accommodate most foot types.
There’s a lace-up closure for optimal and secure fit and a padded collar and tongue for additional support.
The inside features a soft fabric lining with a removable Cardio Comfort cushioned footbed for lightweight comfort.
It features a lightweight ABZORB foam midsole that will give you a ton of added comfort and shock absorption.
Down at the bottom, there’s a durable Ndurance rubber outsole that will help keep you nice and steady along with deep flex grooves for better flexibility.
Get moving and grooving in these awesome walking shoes from New Balance.
Gravity Defyer Women’s G-Defy
Dr. Arnold Ross, D.P.M – Podiatrist Associate Professor, Western University LA recommends the Gravity Defyer for his patients for foot issues like bad knees, Achilles Tendonitis, foot and ankle pain, heel pain, heel spurs, Morton’s Neuroma, overpronation, Plantar Fasciitis, muscle pain, joint pain, arthritis.
If you walk a lot, walk for fitness, or if you’re just on your feet all day long, the Gravity Defyer is your go-to shoe.
What makes Gravity Defyer walking shoes unique?
Walking and running in normal shoes creates shock waves that run up your feet, knees, and hips.
This kind of forces you to absorb as much as 1000 pounds of harmful impact with every step.
The inside of the Defyer is not like any other regular shoe. The heel area is a kind of chamber that has three springs, a rubber trampoline heel, and space for air.
Is this just for show? Absolutely not.
The secret of the Gravity Defyer is the Verso Shock Trampoline sole that absorbs harmful shocks you may run into on a daily basis as we live in a world that’s a concrete jungle.
This technology also helps give you the energy return you need to propel you forward and eliminate fatigue.
The Gravity Defyer really makes a point of difference for walking and standing and absorbing that kind of shock.
You’re not going to feel the springs or feel unsteady as they feel super cushiony and you don’t know the work they’re doing.
If you’re going from maybe 3 to 5000 steps a day to maybe doubling that every single day and then you’re getting more in the next day, the Defyer is vital for your feet.
The G-Defy from Gravity Defyer meets the guidelines of the American Medical Athletic Association.
Skechers Squad SR
Great for: bad knees, bad hips, bad ankles, Plantar Fasciitis, heel spurs, arthritis, bunions, flat feet, high arches, wide feet
The Squad is a very comfortable cushy walking shoe that feels like walking on clouds, which is great for people with bad knees who come back home with sore feet and knees.
This best-seller has a soft smooth knit mesh upper. It offers smooth synthetic overlays at the toe, heel, and at the laces for added durability, and a good level of knee support.
The upper is a great fit and narrow or pinchy on your foot at all, which also great for bunions as well.
The inside has a soft fabric lining for a great next-to-skin feel and the footbed is memory foam cushioning that provides comfort and support.
There’s a front lace-up closure that you won’t have to tie all the time because the shoe is a slip-on style. You won’t have to worry about the laces getting undone all day, which adds to the comfort of the shoe.
You’re going to love how easy it to slip on and off thanks to the convenient pull tab at the back.
The lightweight midsole offers excellent flexibility and reliable shock absorption, which makes the shoe excellent for walking and standing all day.
At the bottom, there’s a sturdy rubber outsole that offers great traction even on oily and wet surfaces.
Seinfeld 37 says she comes home with no knee pain at all. Read her review on Amazon.
Skechers Performance Go Walk 3
Great for: bad knees, bad hips, bad ankles, Plantar Fasciitis, heel spurs, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and neuropathies, bunions, flat feet, high arches, wide feet, Morton’s Neuroma
The GoWalk started by being a slip-on easy answer to the comfort of a sneaker or a trainer.
Lighter than an iPhone and feels lighter than a feather, the GoWalk 3 from Skechers has long been known to be one of the most comfortable walking slip-on shoes.
This awesome slip-on is quite flexible in construction with an upper crafted from textile, canvas, or mesh material.
It has plenty of detail and stitching throughout. At the back, there’s a pull loop for easy on and off.
So the GoWalk brought something slip-on without laces and looks like a boat shoe or a ballet shoe with a sneaker outsole.
The outsole is almost like puffed air and you feel like you’re wearing a sock that happens to be attached to an outsole.
Famous Goga Mat
The Skechers GoWalk 3 features Goga Mat technology. This is like a yoga mat for your feet.
Goga mat is a fantastic squishy pad that feels like your feet are being cradled in a bed of fluff.
The Goga Mat feels wonderful, lovely, flexible, and spongy underneath your feet throughout the course of the day.
There’s a Resalyte midsole for added shock absorption.
All of that sits very comfortably atop a sticky and super spongy synthetic outsole.
It features Go Impulse and Go Pillar Sensors, which offers flexibility and responsive feedback for a better walking experience.
The Goga Pillars provide more shock absorbency, more cushion, and more bounce when you walk.
They also help support your feet by providing a balanced squishy surface.
When it’s time for some athletic walking, make sure you slip into something comfortable like the Go Walk 3.
Brooks Addiction Walker
Great for: bad knees, knee replacement, hips, and lower back pain, Plantar Fasciitis, heel spurs, arthritis, vein problems, bunions, flat feet, high arches, wide feet, Morton’s Neuroma.
Take strides of confidence because you’re going to be walking with ease and plenty of comfort.
The Addiction is a sleek walker that has smooth and supple full-grain leather that’s durable and easy to maintain.
It has a lace-up closure with a padded tongue and collar for Achilles’ support and extra comfort next to your skin.
There’s a padded tongue and collar that add to the cushioning around your ankle and Achilles tendon.
This shoe also features a wonderful removable insole which has a deep heel cup to keep your foot in place.
The insole is going to provide you with great arch support and plenty of underfoot support as well.
The Brooks also features the Hydro Flow Technology inside the midsole.
This fancy term means gel that’s designed to enhance the midsole cushioning, provide excellent shock absorption, and help stabilize your foot.
It also has a full-length innovative BioMoGo recyclable midsole compound designed to:
- stabilize the foot,
- reduce overpronation,
- provide you with plenty of underfoot support and protection.
The bottom has a nice durable outsole with a high-density carbon heel with flex grooves for great road feel.
The great thing about this is that it’s going to give you a balanced position offering maximum motion control and flexibility from heel strike through toe-off.
The outsole is slip-resistant and it’s great for various conditions. Wet or dry, you’re going to get a good grasp on a variety of surfaces.
Slip in to comfort and feel fantastic with one of the best shoes for flat feet and bad knees.
Keen Women’s Presidio
Great for: bad knees, knee replacement, hips, ankle and lower back pain, Plantar Fasciitis, heel spurs, arthritis, bunions and hammertoes, flat feet, high arches, wide feet, Morton’s Neuroma.
If you walk a lot or if you’re on your feet all day at work, the Keen Presidio is going to be your new best friend.
The Keen offers refined casual comfort with a rugged professional style.
A beautifully crafted shoe, Keen designed the Presidio with a really great leather upper which is water-resistant and features detailed side stitching as well.
You have a really nice generous toe box for a lot of nice width in the toes so you can get that natural toe splay and make your toes dance.
It’s got that classic oxford lacing system with metal eyelets and wide laces to give you a nice secure and customized fit.
This is an easy-going style that’s subtle but not too out of place in a working environment.
The Presidio also has Keen’s patented toe bumper which is going to add durability to the shoe and protection to your toes in all your daily adventures.
The inside features a really great breathable lining with a removable insole.
Around the ankle and the sides of the foot, it feels like it’s almost a body pillow wrapped around the entire parameter of the inside.
There’s a lovely leather lining right around the entrance for nice, soft, and supple wear over time.
The moisture-wicking fabric on the inside of the Presidio provides you with all-day dryness which translates to comfort and less odors.
You can rest assured you’re not stinking up the house when you finally take them off at the end of the day.
The insole is padded and offers a lot of support action making your steps comfortable.
Thanks to the removable Metatomical footbed which conforms to your foot, you’ll be able to focus on the task at hand and not how comfortable and stable your feet are.
The midsole offers a great level of support while the non-marking high-traction rubber outsole is going to give stability on all types of surfaces.
Being around for a long time with Keen, the Presidio’s support and comfort is truly one of the best.
Propet Men’s Stability Walker
Great for: bad knees, hips, ankle, and lower back pain, Plantar Fasciitis, heel spurs, wide feet, Morton’s Neuroma, Achilles Tendonitis.
This amazing athletic walking shoe is built to last with perforations on the vamp for added breathability.
The Propet was designed to keep you comfortable and stable while still keeping you looking good.
There’s a removable shock-absorbing footbed that allows you the opportunity to replace with your custom orthotic if you chose to do so.
The interior features really nice plush cushioning all the way around while the padded tongue and collar a great for all-day comfort.
There’s a lightweight midsole that’s very shock absorbing. The midsole offers tons of shock absorption with built-in gel in the heel area for added comfort within the shoe.
This entire shoe is built to absorb shock and that’s what Propet does the best. The Stability Walker gives you the smoothest transition from heel strike to toe-off possible.
This shoe has added arch support for tons of stability too so you’re going to have lateral stability with every step for a smoother gait cycle that you can go for longer walks.
The sticky rubber outsole has a nice wide platform. It features an arch bridge that has plenty of texture and offers plenty of flexibility and underfoot support.
Get out there and have the walk of your life with this amazing walker from Propet. This is a lightweight sporty design that’s very stable and it just looks good.
Again, the Propet Stability Walker is one of the best shoes for hip and knee pain.
Dubbed the Cadillac of cushioning, the Air Monarch is consistently one of Nike’s best-selling models.
Featuring full-length air cushioning, the Air Monarch is one of the few Nike models offered in multiple widths, available in the standard ‘D’ and the extra-wide ‘4E’.
Along with the full-length Air cushioning system, the Phylon midsole absorbs tons of shock as well.
This fantastic shoe is made of a smooth durable upper. It has a traditional lace-up design with a unique system over the middle area for a secure fit. Then, of course, there’s a padded tongue and collar for additional comfort.
On the lateral side, leather composes the paneled upper with a silver 3M swoosh.
At the back of the shoe, the paneled leather upper wraps around the heel with a pull tab for easy on and off.
The Monarch features a soft textile lining that feels great against the skin while wicking away moisture.
It’s all on top of a durable rubber outsole which is treaded for additional stability and traction.
The outsole has a pivot point for enhanced performance.
Get yourself a sleek look with tons of comfort and cushioning.
Great for: bad knees, knee replacement, hips, and lower back pain, Plantar Fasciitis, heel spurs, flat feet, wide feet.
This great shoe is going to give you hours of comfort no matter how long you wear it.
It does feature a traditional lace-up design with exposed stitching throughout which translates to more durability.
There’s plenty of padding around the ankle and collar with an Achilles notch for comfort
You also have the ability to remove the insole which is perforated for breathability and contoured for a bit of comfort. It’s going to give hours of cushioning.
The midsole is very thick and goes the full length of the shoe and that’s going to help give you plenty of shock absorption from heel strike to toe-off.
The outsole has a great tread pattern with flex grooves for added flexibility.
Rockport Men’s M7100 Pro Walker
Great for: bad knees, hips, ankle and lower back pain, Plantar Fasciitis, heel spurs, arthritis, flat feet, neuropathy, high arches, wide feet.
The Rockport’s upper has been crafted with a genuine smooth full-grain leather upper that is easy to clean and maintain.
It has an incredibly sturdy construction. It features a traditional lace-up design with blind eyelets for a proper fit.
The Rockport has a padded tongue to prevent lace bruising and a padded collar to prevent blisters for continuous comfort.
The Rockport has a patented walking platform for support and stability. It also has a removable cushioned insole that is odor and fungus resistant and it also helps wick away moisture.
On the bottom, you’re looking at a very sticky and durable rubber outsole that provides durability whether you’re walking indoors or outdoors.
The Rockport 7100 proves that there is a difference between walking shoes and walking comfort, which makes it one of the best walking shoes for knee pain.
End of article: Best Walking Shoes for Bad Knees and OA Pain
What can you do to avoid bad knees?
You basically need to strengthen your stabilizing muscles on the inside of the knee and keep the outside of the ITB nice and loose.
The pain also comes a lot from the hips. So stretching well through the hips, piriformis, buttocks, hamstrings helps with keeping the knee and the knee joint in place.
I’m big on Stairmaster, elliptical, and swimming. These activities stretch through your stomach and keep your spine nice and straight and build your lower abs.
Running and knee pain
With running, you’ve basically got to get everything forward, hips, chest, and so on.
And so, it’s quite often tightness comes from your lower back, goes through your piriformis, and down your IT Band, gets your knee, pulls the tracking out, and that’s how you end up with knee problems.
So, I would probably have one day off in the program. I would run 3 to 4 days a week and the other days would be cross-training and strength training.