Top shoes for those suffering from knee pain

June 11, 2024

Top shoes for those suffering from knee pain

Knee discomfort can quickly evolve from a minor annoyance into a significant barrier to enjoying everyday activities. If you're an avid walker, a weekend warrior, or someone who stands all day at work, the right shoes can make a world of difference. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how choosing the right footwear can complement your style and help alleviate and manage knee discomfort, keeping you active and secure throughout your day.

What is knee discomfort?

Knee discomfort is a common complaint that affects people of all ages. It can manifest as sharp and sudden, or dull and constant pain. 

Here are some typical symptoms that might indicate knee issue:

  • Swelling and stiffness: Your knee may feel tight, especially after periods of inactivity or during movement.
  • Redness and warmth: These can be signs of irritation or infection.
  • Weakness or instability: Feeling like your knee might give out from under you.
  • Popping or crunching noises: These sounds can indicate cartilage damage within the knee.
  • Inability to fully straighten the knee: Restricted movement can be caused by swelling or mechanical obstruction in the joint.

It’s important to remember that because no two shoes fit the same, knee discomfort is always a unique ordeal. If your knees are giving you trouble, meet with a healthcare professional to understand what’s going on, especially if you can’t bear weight on your knee, see an obvious deformity, or are experiencing a fever in addition to the discomfort. 

What causes knee discomfort?

Knee discomfort can spoil your day-to-day hustle. It can explode from nowhere or build up slowly, becoming a persistent thorn in your side. Understanding what's behind this ache is key to tackling it head-on. 

Let’s break down some of the common causes that might be behind your knee pain:


Injuries are one of the most common causes of knee issues. Whether it's a twist during a pickup basketball game or a misstep on a morning run, your knees can take many hits. Ligament sprains or tears (such as ACL, PCL, MCL, and LCL injuries), meniscus tears from sharp movements, and fractures from falls or collisions directly impact knee health and comfort.

Medical conditions

Sometimes, knee discomfort stems from various medical conditions that affect the joints. Arthritis, including osteoarthritis from joint wear and rheumatoid arthritis from autoimmune attacks, is a top offender. Gout, which results from uric acid crystal deposits in the joint, can also cause severe discomfort.

Activity level and occupation

Have you ever noticed that your knees complain the loudest after a busy day? If your job or favorite hobbies involve squatting, lifting, or climbing, your knees are working overtime. This doesn't just apply to athletes; painters, landscapers, and even teachers can find themselves with achy knees after a long day’s work.

Mechanical problems

Issues in other parts of your body can lead to knee problems, too. If your bones aren't lined up just right, from your hips down to your ankles, it can make your knees take on more than their fair share of weight. And if you're dealing with flat feet or your feet roll in too much, your knees might end up in uncomfortable positions.

Age-related wear and tear

Think of your knees like your favorite pair of sneakers—over time, they start to show their mileage. Each year, the natural cushion in your knees wears down, making them less shock-absorbent. While this is more felt as you age, it starts younger than you might think.

How can the right shoes help with knee discomfort?

The right pair of shoes might help you with back discomfort more than you think. Here’s how slipping into the right sneakers can help keep your knees feeling good:


Good shoes act like your knees' personal bodyguards. They provide cushioning every time your foot hits the ground. Less jarring means less wear and tear.


When your shoes fit right, your body lines up. The right pair of shoes can maintain your overall health, keeping your feet, ankles, hips, and back in check. This alignment helps distribute your weight more evenly, which takes pressure off your knees and makes every step easier.


Shoes with good stability prevent awkward twists and turns that may tweak your knees. It’s about keeping your feet steady and supported so your knees don’t have to do all the hard work themselves.


When your feet are happy, it’s easier to stay active, which is key to keeping your knees healthy. Creating a cycle of wellness starts with what you put on your feet.

What are the best shoes for bad knees?

When you're dealing with knee discomfort, every is a big deal. The right shoes will make a difference. Between long days on your feet, a brisk walk in the park, or something stylish for a night out, we've got you covered. 

Here are five types of shoes that can help keep your knees comfortable and your style sharp:

1. Kiziks

At Kizik, we believe your shoes should help you live your life to the fullest—not hold you back. That's why our shoes are designed with extra cushioning and HandsFree Labs® technology for easy on and off. No bending down is required. 

Whether you're stepping out for coffee or stepping up in a meeting, our shoes provide the comfort and support your knees need throughout the day. Plus, they look great doing it.

2. Cushioned active shoes

Active shoes with extra cushioning are perfect for absorbing impact that can aggravate knee discomfort. Look for shoes with ample midsole padding to take the shock out of your walk or run to keep your knees feeling spry.

3. Supportive walking shoes

For daily strolls or errands around town, a good pair of walking shoes can be your best friend. Choose models with good arch support and a firm heel to help manage the load on your knees, ensuring you can keep moving easily.

4. Stability shoes

Stability shoes are the way to go if you're prone to overpronation or just need extra help keeping your gait in line. These shoes help prevent your foot from rolling inward, supporting your knees from unwanted stress and strain.

5. Lightweight loafers

Loafers are the go-to for effortless, stylish footwear option that doesn’t skimp on support. Opt for loafers with enhanced insoles and structured support to keep your knees from crying foul during long days at the office or relaxing weekends.

Which shoes should you avoid if you’re battling knee discomfort?

Not all shoes are created equal, especially when managing knee discomfort. Just like a snack that derails your diet, some shoes can throw a wrench in your comfort and mobility. 

Here are some types of footwear you’ll want to steer clear of if your knees are giving you grief:

High heels

Sky-high heels might elevate your style, but they're no friends to your knees. Wearing them can shift your body weight forward, forcing your knees to take on extra stress and throwing your posture out of whack. For the sake of your knees, steer clear of them.  

Flat sandals

At the other end of the spectrum, super flat sandals offer little to no arch support. Without proper support, every step can put undue pressure on your knees, so it's best to opt for sandals with more structure and cushion.

Old, worn-out shoes

Like an old chair that's lost its cushion, worn-out shoes no longer provide the support your knees need. Tired soles can lead to poor alignment and increased knee discomfort, making them a no-go.

Dress shoes

While they might look sharp, stiff dress shoes often lack the flexibility and cushioning needed for comfort. They can restrict natural foot movement, leading to more stress on your knees. If dress shoes are a must, look for options with more flexibility and a cushioned insole.


Flip-flops might be the ultimate convenience footwear, but they’re skimpy on support. They typically offer little arch support and tend to lead to an altered gait, which can strain your knees and hips.

What are some practical tips for keeping down knee discomfort?

Managing knee discomfort goes well beyond choosing the right footwear. Here are some top tips to help you stay active and keep those knees feeling good:

Warm up properly

A good warm-up is crucial before any physical activity. It helps prepare your muscles and joints, including your knees, reducing the risk of injury.

Muscle strengthening

Strong muscles support your joints. Focus on building strength in your legs, hips, and core to help remove some burdens from your knees.

Stay flexible

Stretching isn't only for yogis. Keeping your muscles flexible helps maintain a range of motion in your joints and eases the likelihood of discomfort and injury.

Maintain a healthy weight

Extra pounds put extra pressure on your knees. Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce stress on your knee joints and minimize discomfort.

Listen to your body

If your knees start talking, listen! Ignoring knee pain can lead to worse problems. Take breaks when needed and consult a healthcare professional if discomfort persists.

Choose low-impact activities

Swap high-impact workouts for gentler ones. Think swimming or cycling instead of running, which is tough on your knees.

Use proper technique

If you're at the gym or just carrying groceries, proper form can prevent undue stress on your knees.

Opt for supportive insoles

Sometimes, your shoes need a little extra help. That’s where insoles come in. 

Our Arch Form Insole offers firm support and serious rebound, which is ideal for long days on your feet. For those seeking ultimate comfort, our Super Squish Insole is like walking on clouds but with lasting bounce-back.

Wear the right shoes for the occasion

Different activities require different types of support. Wearing the appropriate shoes for each activity can prevent your knees from flaring up.

Regular check-ups

Keep up with regular medical check-ups, especially if you have a history of knee issues. Early detection of potential problems can save you a lot of trouble.

The bottom line

At Kizik, we understand that knee pain can throw a wrench in your daily groove, turning even simple tasks into challenges. That's why we're committed to crafting shoes that not only look good but are also supportive, cushy, and can manage knee discomfort. 

Each pair of Kiziks is designed to keep you moving comfortably, from hitting the pavement to cruising through your daily routine. Give your knees the gift of comfort and style, and step into a pair today!


Knee Pain and Problems | Johns Hopkins Medicine 

Knee pain - Symptoms and causes |  Mayo Clinic

Knee Pain: Causes & Treatment | Cleveland Clinic

Age-proof your knees | Harvard Health 

Why Good Footwear is So Important for Your Health | CHP 

Written By: Chris Fry

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