Buying Guide for the 9 Best Tennis Shoes for Knee Pain 2021

tennis shoes for knee pain

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The knee joint is one of the largest and strongest joints in the human body, and it can withstand a large load over time. Despite this, knee pain is a relevant topic for many of those who engage in physical activity.

Usually, knee pain that appears after run results from incorrect running technique, inappropriate tennis shoes, overweight, training at high and high difficulty levels.

“I have pain around the knee…” The pain is dull, deep, often associated with stiffness of the joint, sometimes accompanied by cracking or screeching. It is accentuated during the ascent and mostly the stairs’ descent during matches when the legs are crossed.

Knee pain in tennis

For tennis players, it can be even more troublesome to have painful knees. There can be several reasons for the pain. Perhaps you hit your feet too hard while running, or you are new to the sport and haven’t determined the correct posture, hurting your knee as a result. No matter what the cause, painful knees shouldn’t prevent you from playing tennis. Fortunately, the right shoe can make a lot of difference.

When it comes to relieving knee pain, a new study found that shoe choice is vital.

Speaking of support is one of the essential features to have in shoes for bad knees. It ensures reduced stress on the knee. Insoles are also crucial for necessary arch support and shock absorption if your heels strike the ground too hard and the shock goes up to your knee.

With all of these factors in mind, we have curated a list of the best tennis shoes for knee pain. These are based on customer reviews, so you can rest assured that the shoes are supportive and comfortable overall.

Our feet aren’t the only ones that suffer when we wear shoddy shoes. The type of footwear we also choose significantly influence back, hip, ankle and knee pain.

A summary of this buying guide:

These are the most important tips: 

  1. You should wear tennis shoes on foot like a glove on the hand. 
  2. If you are playing on hard courts, your tennis shoes should have sound shock absorbers inside the outsole. 
  3. The height of the sole in tennis shoes should be even throughout the shoe. 
  4. All types of shoes, especially tennis shoes, should have an outsole that supports the foot’s heel to distribute the weight loads along the foot.
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Brief summary of this buying guide:

These are the most important tips: 

  1. Tennis shoes should be worn on the foot like a glove on the hand. 
  2. If you are playing on hard courts, your tennis shoes should have sufficient shock absorbers inside the outsole. 
  3. The height of the sole in tennis shoes should be even throughout the shoe. 
  4. All types of shoes, especially tennis shoes, should have an outsole that supports the heel of the foot in order to distribute the weight loads along the foot.
  • Surgeons and orthopaedics recommend these shoes. That is why they are also a bit more costly, but we would say they are worth it. Not to mention, there are options for both men and women.
  • In terms of materials used, these shoes are made of mesh which is breathable and fits quite snugly on the feet. The firm grip of the rubber outsole on different kinds of surfaces provides good traction.
  • Some cons, however, include the weight and size. Seeing the support this pair of shoes provides, it is slightly heavy at 312 grams. It also runs smaller than its size, so you might want to buy a slightly larger size than your fit if you plan to be running or walking in these shoes.
  • The Adrenaline 19 is wider at the heel, which will give plus stability to the shoe and, logically, it will make it somewhat more suitable for heavier players.
  • Regarding knee pain relief efficiency, it has been shown to reduce the knee’s deviation, so the range of motion will be less extreme. Therefore, there will be less chance of an associated injury appearing.

The most fundamental element in shoes for knee pain

Cushioning, I cannot express this enough. Before getting into the entire list and buying guide, I’ll explain this point with a simple metaphor.

Let’s say you have a shoe made to withstand a 100kg player, but someone who weighs 65kg wears it. They would hardly even notice the shoe is on them!

It is like comparing the shock absorption of a truck and a mini car: If we take a mini and build it with truck shock absorption, are you going to have a smooth ride or are you going to feel every single bump?

The same goes for tennis shoes for knee pain.

List of the best tennis shoes for knee pain

  • They are airy because of the mesh, which lets your feet breathe. The midsole keeps them light and helps bouncing back.
  • With high cushioning, which is one of the best in its category, these shoes provide the support and alignment needed to correct your running and walking posture.
  • The outsole’s texture makes for a good grip.
  • The arches are flat to prevent your foot from rolling inwards. The Comfort Sock Liner provides softness for those who over-pronate and absorbs some of the moisture.
  • This pair minimizes shock and distributes your weight with the gel in the front and the back. This reduces the strain on the knees. It can even be used every day and not get worn out. The model is available for both men and women.
  • As it is a very comfortable shoe, it will be used for training and for those who want to use them in long races where the rhythms do not have to be the fastest, far from it.
  • It is probably no surprise that the best feature of these shoes is the gel technology. The fluid-filled upper is an excellent shock absorber and allows appropriate weight distribution throughout the body, keeping the pressure off your knees. Thus, it is best for knee pain when playing tennis.
  • The upper is made of mesh, thus provides breathability, and the toe box is supportive and keeps your feet stable.
  • The midsole includes Fresh Foam technology, a very light material that cushions and propels you with each step on the court.
  • Stability is further enhanced by the heel, locking your rear foot, so you don’t over-pronate.
  • However, it is a neutral shoe and suitable for those who don’t over-pronate and yet face knee pain.
  • The soft sole keeps the pressure off your knees. All of the support and cushioning ensures your comfortable play.
  • Available for people with wider feet, so if you are one of those people, you might want to check this out.
  • It feels light, comfortable, and well-supported enough that the knee’s pressure is reduced a lot.
  • It must be noted that the shoe is supportive yet light. These usually tend to be contradictory terms when it comes to sports shoes. However, these shoes manage the combination well, as customer reviews have proven. As such, they are an excellent option for your knees and help your locomotion on the tennis court with their incredible lightness.
  • This shoe model’s design is ideal for hard courts. It is the brand’s most cushioned design to date, and the midsole supports your feet well. The cushioning helps align your body in a way that facilitates natural striding of the legs and prevents each knee joint from wearing out and stiffening up.
  • The mesh upper doesn’t let sweat build up. Instead, it lets air pass through, keeping your feet fresh and dry. It is recommended if you have knee pain while running or are standing for long hours in the day. These are also podiatrist recommended.
  • These sneakers’ sole provides comfort and fluidity while running and provides cushioning that relieves your knees daily. The removable Ortholite inner part and EVA midsole further enhance these characteristics.
  • Although rather classic, these shoes, like all Hoka one One sneakers, fit slightly smaller than the norm. If you are hesitating between two sizes, it is preferable to opt for the larger size.
  • Thanks to its incredibly durable ComfortFrame sole and the long-term comfort that sneakers offer, this pair is an attractive option for a marathon. It is not among the lightest, but the softness offsets this characteristic felt on foot.
  • The cushioning in this shoe is excellent and makes for great traction on hard surfaces. Few other shoes could match that sturdiness. If the tennis court is a hard surface, this shoe would be an excellent choice to wear.
  • The sole is soft and comfortable enough to cover longer distances as well. The outsoles have an excellent grip that works on any surface and uses a durable rubber material.
  • The breathable mesh also ensures the same while making the shoes lightweight as well. This is ideal for the neutral foot.
  • The cushioning ensures any shock encountered when the heel strikes the ground is absorbed, thus protecting your knees.
  • This pair of shoes has a unique and stylish design. It comes in multiple colours that contrast with the neutral-coloured upper.
  • The best feature of these shoes would be sophisticated, cushioning technology. The injection-modelled midsole gives support and comfort to your underfoot, and the grid technology implements shock absorption.
  • It is moderately padded and includes a pocket to tie the quick tie system. The point to highlight is that they have included a Gaiter to prevent stones or grit from entering. This mesh is handy in areas of the ground sole.
  • The narrow shape of the shoe prevents the foot from moving when ascending, descending or levelling. This will significantly avoid many blistering problems.
  • The upper is well reinforced throughout the shoe. The sidebands make it challenging to tear at the slightest chance, and it shows in the ultimate durability of the shoe.
  • The shoe is well-cushioned, providing maximum support. Sensifit technology ensures a snug fit so that the shoes keep up with your feet while running. The built is focused on efficient performance and can withstand harsh weather and surfaces. This would be ideal for tennis courts set in the wilderness, as it would ease your journey towards it if you are the adventurous type.
  • The best thing about this shoe would be its tractability that is suitable even for trail running. These are ideal for tennis courts in mountainous or wild, natural areas if you are an adventurous type and want to play tennis in less tame, natural surroundings.
  • They are shoes great if you’re a demanding player looking for the highest performance. Originally developed to withstand the loads of running a full marathon, it will easily support your tennis game and give your knees relief.
  • Being one of the most comfortable on the market, specially designed to support all weights and provide the best balance between damping and response.
  • The mesh upper of this Brooks Shoe ensures an exceptional fit that would hug your foot like a glove while also providing flexibility and comfort. The soft midfoot offers support and prevent chafing and blisters. The outsole also enhances flexibility and gives excellent grip with its small lugs.
  • The midsole is the unique part. This is where the model gets its name from. The glycerin absorbs any shock incurred on the heel and prevents it from travelling up your leg to your knee. The impact is distributed evenly, protecting your muscles and joints.
  • As you can guess, glycerin is a pretty remarkable feature and sets this shoe apart. It prevents knee injury by efficient shock absorption and evenly distributes your weight, so there is no strain on your knees. These shoes are the right choice for sporty people with knee pain.

Common mistakes when buying shoes for bad knees

You have a favourite pair of shoes.

Wearing the same pair of shoes every day, even if it’s a style that’s good for your feet, can lead to overuse syndrome. Shoes force your feet to hit the ground in a certain way. Over time, this can strain your muscles, bones, and joints and lead to stress injuries.

You wear the wrong shoe size.

Research shows that most people force their feet into shoes that are too small. Each shoe brand makes their shoes meet a different standard, so just like jeans and T-shirts, you can have three different shoe sizes in your closet. Don’t force your feet into shoes that don’t fit you.

Buying Guide

How to prevent knee pain naturally?

The most important thing is to understand who you are and what your limitations are.

One of the best ways to prevent pain is to give the knee a rest; if you have activated the knee intensely, let it rest, constant and continuous pressure on the knee can lead to severe injury, also in case of tenderness, you can bandage the affected area with elastic bandages that help stabilize the knee.

Strengthen the knee through goal-oriented sports activities. With the help of a personal fitness trainer or gym instructor, adjust a training program to strengthen the muscles that support the knee. These muscles are the quadriceps and thigh muscles.

Invest in buying a pair of suitable tennis shoes. If you want to avoid knee pain, you should buy comfortable shoes that will support the footwell. The most recommended shoes are on this list. However, if you wish for a more specific treatment, you can always buy custom shoes locally.

Do shoes help with knee pain?

Shortly, yes. This research supports this claim. Do shoes matter? Does the type of outsole or specific characteristics affect how your joints are being struck with each step?

Let’s explain this one through a metaphor. Imagine a worn tire of your car.

I always explain the metaphor of the worn wheel.

If you’ve worn out your car tires, you know that they cannot go over speed bumps at high speed. The wheels can puncture or appear “buns” at any time, causing irreparable damage forever.

A stiff shoe “punishes” your joints, impacting them with more energy with each step. It cannot absorb energy.

With proper footwear, we can increase the suspension (I continue with the metaphor) and that, in the long run, it will be good for our joints.

What to consider when buying shoes for knee pain?

Support and stability

Since some knee issues may be from movement control issues or lack of stability, many of our choices allow us to provide additional support. These shoes may be suitable for other conditions such as overpronation or underpronation. Playing without the amount of stability needed for these types of foot conditions can add stress to the knee, causing more problems and additional discomfort during running.


Really, who wants to play with an uncomfortable shoe? Yes, no one wants that. Each of our picks has its unique foot and foot comfort technologies, but most have a lot in common. The models on our list should provide enough comfort underfoot to alleviate some of the stress transferred to the knee during play.

Type of sole

Look for firm outsoles if you have excessive pronation. This is a condition that is common in players who have low arches. Overpronation is one reason the lower knee and lower leg tend to rotate inward whenever your foot hits the ground. The rotation, in turn, causes painful strain on the knee.

Grip and traction

Nothing screams a painful crash like a pair of shoes that have poor traction on the very surface they’re supposed to be worn on. The best choices should provide a confident grip on any surface for which they are intended.


Not having a lot to do with the knees, but it is an essential consideration for all running shoes. The best choices must be breathable to contribute to the wearer’s overall comfort and prevent any potential problems caused by excessive moisture build-up in the shoe.


They should last as long as they are expected. To dig deeper, if you have a pair starting to crumble in the middle of a long run, there is real potential for injury. It could be a fall caused by the sole detaching, failing construction, causing lack of support if needed.

There is usually no quick fix for this type of pain unless you know exactly what condition you are in. Just as with some foot conditions, it’s just as important to know exactly what is causing knee pain. Unless you know where the problem is coming from, it is almost impossible to fix it.


I hope I’ve helped you with this guide to pick the best tennis shoes for your knees. The most common way of relieving knee pain and strengthening it by wearing appropriate shoes that provide adequate support and shock absorption. With a shoe that is well padded and offers good support, the impact on the knees is less. Stay healthy!.

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