The best sneakers for your knees need this feature

WWhen it comes to shopping for sneakers, how the new kicks feel on your feet—wide in the toes, firm in the arches—and whether they’re supportive enough for your ankles tend to be the primary boxes people want to tick off. (Besides looking good, of course.)

What you may not realize, though, is that the shape of your shoes can affect different parts of your body, especially joints like your knees and hips. That’s because they’re all connected, creating a dynamic chain that moves—something to keep in mind when shopping for the best sneakers for your knees.

Every time you take a step, there’s a lot happening in your body to propel you forward, says Jensen Henry, MD, an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon at Hospital Special Surgery in New York City.. “Throughout the step, your hip muscles contract to stabilize your hips, at certain points your quads and hamstrings fire, and your lower leg muscles activate in a chain of events,” explains Dr. Henry. Meanwhile, the mobility of your knees works to stabilize your center of gravity, reducing your energy expenditure and absorbing the shock of your heels hitting the ground.

Sitting in the middle of this kinetic chain, your knee is affected by the health and function of the muscles and joints that reside both above and below it. So tight hips or hamstrings, for example, can affect knee stability. So you can wear sneakers. “A simple change in footwear, and foot position, can completely change the movement pattern and compromise your performance and balance,” says Dr. Henry.

What are the best sneakers for your knees?

“I generally recommend a sneaker with a stable, supportive sole and a design that ties in the toe,” says Dr. Henry said “Ideally, it maintains ankle motion and absorbs shock when your ankle hits the ground, both of which are important factors in reducing excess force across the knee.”

To test this, Dr. Henry recommends the following test: “If you can take the sneaker in your hand and curl it into a ball, it’s often very flexible for patients with foot/ankle or lower extremity problems,” she says.

There are other factors to consider when buying the best sneakers for your knees

Because fit is so important, Dr. Henry recommends looking for sneakers designed specifically for male or female feet. “Some footwear brands make gender-specific shoes, which account for differences in heel or forefoot width and may be better tolerated by some people,” she says.

Additionally, while finding your Cinderella sneaker is definitely a happy ending, it won’t last forever, especially if you’re someone who regularly likes to go on hot girl walks or otherwise be active. “It’s important to regularly replace old shoes that are worn out,” says Dr. Henry. “Running experts generally recommend every 300 to 500 miles, or every six months.

Finally, before you replace your worn-out sneakers, take a moment to inspect them. “If you notice that your shoes are wearing unevenly, it may be time to see a professional—we can identify if there are any alignment or movement issues that can be addressed,” says Dr. Henry.

With all this in mind, below are the options that include all the features of Dr. Henry says it should be the best sneakers for your knees

Hoka Clifton 8

Hoka Clifton 8 – $140.00

A perennial favorite of editors and hot girl walkers alike, these ultra-cushioned sneakers will keep your feet feeling fresh for 10,000 steps and beyond.

Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2

Adidas Terrex Free Hiker 2 – $200.00

The instability of unfamiliar, often-changing terrain underfoot can be hard on your knees and other joints, but the shock-absorbing soles of these trail sneakers help mitigate that impact. The high-top design provides extra support for your ankles, something that will also help your knees and hips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.