managing knee osteoarthritis. The best shoes to wear

Best Shoes for Managing Knee Osteoarthritis

Managing knee osteoarthritis effectively includes various treatment methods, one of which involves choosing the right footwear. Proper footwear can significantly alleviate the symptoms associated with knee osteoarthritis while complementing other treatment options such as strengthening exercises. In this regard, some key characteristics of shoes can make a considerable difference in comfort and symptom management for individuals living with this condition.

Characteristics of Ideal Footwear

When selecting footwear specifically for knee osteoarthritis, two main characteristics stand out as beneficial:

Rocker Shoes

  • Importance of Rocker Soles: Shoes with a slight rocker sole facilitate a smoother transition from heel to toe during walking, which can lessen the stress on the knee joint and alleviate symptoms.
  • Recommended Options:
  • Saucony Endorphin Speed Trainer: This model is highlighted for its effective rocker sole, stiff plate for foot stabilisation, and ample cushioning for comfort.
  • Ultra Shoes: Known for their wide toe box, Ultra shoes have recently introduced their first rocker shoe, providing an additional comfortable option for those preferring a wider fit.
  • Hoka Shoes: Another brand recommended for its range of rocker shoes, known to aid in a more comfortable heel-to-toe gait.

Supportive Walking Shoes

  • Benefits of Ankle Support: For knee osteoarthritis, shoes that offer more support around the ankle can provide a sense of stability, control, and confidence, making them a preferred choice.
  • Lightweight Yet Supportive Options:
  • Timberland Boots: Illustrated as an example of a not too heavy, supportive walking shoe.
  • The North Face vActive Range: These shoes are lauded for combining lightweight design with a supportive fit and even incorporating a rocker motion for added comfort.

Summer Footwear Alternatives

Considering seasonal changes, individuals with knee osteoarthritis may seek comfortable yet supportive summer footwear options:

  • Stride and Vionic Sandals: These brands offer off-the-shelf insole support, targeting arch support which is vital for knee osteoarthritis management during warmer weather.
  • Birkenstock: Although not mentioned in detail, it’s another brand recognised for offering arch support in sandals, making it a suitable summer option.


In summary, choosing the right footwear is a critical component in managing knee osteoarthritis effectively. The ideal shoes should either offer a rocker sole for easing the heel-to-toe transition, provide ankle-high support for overall foot stability, or deliver arch support for summer use. These characteristics in footwear have been found significantly helpful by individuals managing knee osteoarthritis, offering a balance of support, comfort, and stability. Remember, while the right shoes can help alleviate symptoms, they should be used in conjunction with other treatment methods for the best outcomes in knee osteoarthritis management.

The team at NK Active are here to support you in making the best choices to manage your Knee Osteoarthritis. Visit our arthritis page for more information.

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