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4105 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Feb 2, 2011 8:17 AM by lenzlaw
Snerb Pro 140 posts since
Jan 27, 2011
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Jan 30, 2011 8:15 AM

Shoe Recommendations For Bad Knees

I've read some reviews that suggest the Nike Zoom Vomero, Nike Air Pegasus, and the Adidas Response Cushion are good for runners with sore or bad knees (that's me, btw).


Any experience with any or those or any other first hand knowledge of other shoes that will reduce the impact on my knee(s)?


Thanks in advance.




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  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
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    1. Jan 30, 2011 12:17 PM (in response to Snerb)
    Re: Shoe Recommendations For Bad Knees

    I don't know where you read these reviews, but I can't imagine that any reputable reviewer would suggest that a particlar shoe model would reduce impact on your knees.  There is no simple answer.  But you would do better to pay attention to your form. Shorten your stride, try to keep your cadence high (around 180), plant your feet under your hips/center of mass.  Try to run with a midfoot or forefoot strike instead of heel striking - there's some evidence that this causes less impact on the knees, though more on calf/achilles/ankles.  The problem with the few studies along these lines is they don't measure impact at the knees, rather at the foot.




  • ColoCorredor Pro 97 posts since
    Dec 14, 2010
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    2. Jan 7, 2014 6:35 AM (in response to Snerb)
    Re: Shoe Recommendations For Bad Knees

    The Adidas Response Cushion is great option if you are suffering form bad knees.  Some shoes are built with less cushion to make them lighter, or more of a minimalist shoe, and that may be the problem you are running into.  However, the Response Cushion provides everything that its name says:  its extremely responsive, and offers tons of cushion that work together to reduce the impact on joints (read "knees"), and dissipate shock more evenly through your stride.  Good luck & I hope this helps!

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  • Expert 50 posts since
    Feb 6, 2010
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    3. Feb 1, 2011 6:58 PM (in response to Snerb)
    Re: Shoe Recommendations For Bad Knees

    Have you been fitted by a running store?  I had some knee pain when I first started training for a half marathon last year.  I went to my local running store, and they watched how I walked, and also used a computer that analyzed my feet.  They determined which shoe would be best for me, and put me in a shoe that was a size and a half bigger than I had been wearing.    Anyway, long story short, the new shoes were great.  After a few weeks my knee pain went away.  I've put nearly 300 miles on these shoes now and have been very happy.  I'd recommend getting fitted at least once by a running store.

    My running and weight loss adventure is chronicled at:

  • crl8686 Legend 1,313 posts since
    Nov 11, 2007
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    4. Feb 1, 2011 9:33 PM (in response to Snerb)
    Re: Shoe Recommendations For Bad Knees

    There is no one correct answer to your question, since it depends on what's causing the bad knees in the first place. Knee problems have a wide variety of causes - poor running form, overuse, shoes that are not well matched to your running style and biomechanics, weak leg muscles (particularly quadriceps), congenital alignment or structural issues...etc etc etc.  Hence the shoes that may work great to solve knee problems for one runner may not work for you. Generically, you can reduce some impact by adding cushioning to a shoe, most easily by taking out the standard issue insole and substituting a cushioned insole (you can buy a number of brands at most sporting goods stores or running stores). That may work for you... or perhaps not. Besides working on your running form (as Len mentioned), strengthening the muscles around your knees, especially the quads, is worth trying.

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  • skypilot77 Legend 1,077 posts since
    Dec 16, 2009
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    6. Feb 2, 2011 6:47 AM (in response to Snerb)
    Re: Shoe Recommendations For Bad Knees

    The shoe you are currently wearing may be the exact right pair for someone else.


    As stated above you need to have your running style analyzed.


    I had used the same shoe model number for years -- or at least the successive generations of the same shoe model number


    Unbeknown to me the new generation I bought in June was changed to have mid-foot stabilization. Two months on those shoes killed my legs from the knees down. I was just thinking it was fatigue from the hot weather of July and August and my increased mileage. Wrong.


    In September I went back to a neutral gait shoe. My legs began to feel the healing almost immediately.


    The correct shoe will work wonders.

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Feb 2, 2011 8:17 AM (in response to Snerb)
    Re: Shoe Recommendations For Bad Knees

    Ah! If you have some knee stability problems, then follow crl8686's last piece of advice.  Work on strengthening the muscles around your knees, with emphasis on the quads.


    If you want to know a little more about the effect of shoes (in this case versus barefoot) on the knees, look at this article.

    Note that they measured torque forces, not impact.  The implication is that a higher heel (note the mention of a previous study of women's high-heels) increases certain torque forces compared to a lower heel (i.e. barefoot).


    Here's another article comparing heel strike to forefoot and shoes to barefoot.

    The impact in this case is measured at the foot, with no indication how this affects impact at the knees.


    From theswe articles you may see why it's almost impossible to say that a particular shoe will reduce impact at the knee.  Nobody seems to know.  It's entirely possible that a more cushioned shoe will cause more knee issues, because the heel is higher and might cause more heel strike.  But again, nobody really knows.




    P.S.  And now that you're thoroughly confused . . .

    It may take some experimentation, but find the shoes that feel best when you run and stick with them.


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