Pain in the knees can be utterly debilitating if it is not treated. Of course, painkillers and physiotherapy are all excellent ways to help this problem, but did you know that having the correct footwear can also make a huge difference?
A comfortable pair of hiking boots will take a lot of pressure off the knees and will prevent shock with each step. It is essential to look at several features of the boots to ensure that they will keep your knees comfortable and protected while you continue to enjoy hiking your favorite trails.
In this guide, we will be giving you some handy tips on what to look for in your new boots and showing you 6 of the best comfortable hiking boots for bad knees.
What Causes Bad Knees?
Knee pain is one of the most common complaints, especially for people who are very active. If you spend a lot of time outdoors hiking trails and seeing the world, then this is likely a gratifying experience. However, all of this activity can lead to strains and pressure on the joints.
For this reason, it is vital that you take good care of your joints, especially the knees, and wear the right footwear. That being said, there are plenty of other causes for bad knees.
One of the most common causes is a knee injury; this might be from sports, a trip or fall, or simply because of pressure on the joint. If you are overweight, this can put a strain on the knees and cause significant pain.
However, there may be underlying medical conditions that could result in knee pain, such as gout and arthritis, as well as a series of other infections. If you are not sure where your knee pain is coming from, it is important to see your doctor.
But one of the leading causes of bad knees is weak muscles, and this problem can often be resolved by keeping the muscles strong and flexible. Exercise is a great way to do this, but when you are on your feet, you must have the right support so that you do not do more harm than good.
The Best Hiking Boots For Bad Knees
A huge problem with trying to source a good pair of boots when you have bad knees is that there are sadly a lot of manufacturers that throw together a pair of shoes without thinking about the issues faced by the general public. More often than not, these types of boots are typically designed for fashion purposes and without the practical features in mind that set apart a good pair of boots from the rest.
But we have done much of the hard work for you and put together a list of the best hiking boots for bad knees. Now all you need to do is choose your favorite.
1. Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3
Salomon has been an expert in the boot-making industry for many years, so you can feel confident that you will be getting the best quality.
Not only that, but these are extremely stylish boots. There have been a lot of suggestions over the years that a practical pair of boots won’t ever look good, but that could not be further from the truth. These boots will perfectly complement your hiking gear, keeping you both comfortable and on-trend. They come in a choice of four colors so you can further match your style.
The boots are made from synthetic materials and feature a hardy rubber sole, which will offer excellent initial protection from shock as well as provide you with incredible traction.
Women’s feet are a slightly different shape to men’s, and so these boots have been designed with the female anatomy in mind. This means that they will fit exceptionally well and offer unparalleled comfort.
They have a comfortable EVA midsole, which enhances the shock-absorbing abilities of the boots, and are suitable for use on all terrains. They have an easy lace-up system, so you can get them on and go.
If all of that wasn’t enough, these boots feature a Gore-Tex lining, which is perfect for keeping water out while still allowing the feet to breathe.
2. Zamberlan Men’s 996 Vioz GTX Hiking Boot
If you want a pair of boots that are going to look sophisticated while still providing you with the comfort and protection that your knees need, then you won’t find anything more suitable than these.
They come in a choice of two colors and are sleek and stylish, a real gentleman boot. But aesthetics aside, these are extremely functional pairs of boots that are ideal for anyone with bad knees.
They have a Vibram sole, which is one of the most effective where traction is concerned. They will keep you stable and offer support from the ground up. The boots are crafted from full-grain waxed leather, which gives you protection even when the weather is bad, thanks to their waterproof nature. They also feature a Gore-Tex lining to further add to this; where comfort is concerned; waterproofing is an essential feature.
There is a 4mm removable insole. This is great for those with bad knees since knee pain will affect each of us differently. You may find that the extra height inside the shoe is useful, particularly if you have flat feet.
Conversely, if you feel that this gives too much cushioning, you can simply slip it out. Furthermore, the PU midsole offers amazing shock absorption, preventing the knees from having to handle this.
3. Merrell Women’s Moab 2
Ladies who are looking for a comfortable and stylish boot that will help to prevent and ease knee pain would be hard-pushed to find anything much more effective than these. MOAB stands for Mother Of All Boots, and it is not hard to see why when you look at how diverse these boots are.
They come in seven colors, which gives you the freedom to choose a pair that matches your personality. They are quite a low boot with a 4.25” shaft; this is great if you do not need extra support at the back of the foot.
The boots are one of the most comfortable out there with an air cushion in the heel as well as a removable insole, both of which offer great protection against shock, making each step like walking on air – literally!
There is an M Select Dry lining, which will keep water out yet all while remaining breathable. This waterproofing is backed up by the 100% suede/ leather upper that helps to keep you dry, no matter what the weather decides to do.
4. Danner Men’s 453 5.5 Gore-Tex Hiking Boot
One of the most critical factors in any pair of boots is that they are durable; you do not want your boots to give way after a few wears, especially if you have spent a lot of money on them. These Danner boots are designed to go the extra mile and are extremely durable.
This is thanks to a variety of features, including the leather upper and the thick rubber sole. What’s more, there is an abrasion-resistant toe cap to protect the front of the boots and keep your toes safe.
Waterproofing is effortlessly executed in these boots thanks to a Gore-Tex lining, which will stop water from getting in but also provide excellent airflow around the shoe.
Where comfort is concerned, you cannot go wrong with an EVA midsole, and these boots have an excellent one. Every step will feel effortless thanks to the tremendous shock-absorbing ability, and your feet will be cushioned.
Practicalities aside, these are also extremely stylish-looking pairs of boots. In a brown color and with a speed lacing system, you couldn’t ask for more.
5. Salomon Men’s X Ultra
Designed with the colder winter months in mind, these boots are warm, comfortable, and waterproof. If you are looking for something to take you through the rain and snow, then this might be the perfect solution.
They are crafted from 100% full-grain leather, which is incredibly durable and robust. Furthermore, they feature a Contagrip sole that gives some of the best traction in any pair of boots that we have tested. If your bad knees are the result of a fall, you may find that you are a little nervous getting back out on the trail. But with these boots, you can feel confident that you will always be stable and have an excellent grip on the ground, regardless of the terrain.
Not only this, but these boots are super comfortable. They boast a molded heel pad that fits your foot perfectly and also absorbs shock with every step.
They are lined with a Thinsulate material. This is ideal for winter wear as it will keep your feet warm and dry in bad weather.
If all of that wasn’t enough, or you were hesitant about the quality of these boots, then the two-year warranty will likely put your mind at ease.
6. Sorel Women’s Out n About Plus
It is evident by now that comfort is one of the essential features when looking for a pair of boots for bad knees, and these provide unrivaled comfort.
They are fitted with an EVA midsole, which will not only absorb shock but will provide a comfortable and stable base for your foot. On the outer part of the shoe, you will find a solid rubber outsole that delivers further shock absorption as well as excellent grip. The boots are stable and suitable for use on all terrains.
The comfort is further supported by the ¾ inch heel, which is an ideal height for this type of shoe. But comfort has not replaced durability; these are among the most durable women’s hiking boots on the market right now. They are made with a full-grain leather upper and top-quality materials.
There is a choice of six colors, which is great if you want to invest in a couple of pairs to match various outfits or simply a great way to express your style.
What To Look For In Hiking Boots For Bad Knees
As we mentioned earlier, there are some seriously substandard boots on the market, and even after looking at our top picks, you might still need to pick out certain features to determine whether the boots will be fit for their purpose.
This might sound like a daunting task, but once you know what you are looking for, you can feel confident that every pair of boots you buy from here on will be ideal for your needs.
The outsoles or the part of the shoe which makes contact with the floor are an essential aspect when looking at any type of shoe. You need them to be durable as this will make the boots last much longer.
However, this is not the most important thing when considering a pair of hiking boots for bad knees. The outsoles must have an excellent level of traction. Of course, primarily, this will ensure that you have a good grip on the floor and do not trip, potentially causing further injuries, but it will also help in absorbing shock, which we will look at in a little more detail in the next section.
Most hiking boots have a solid rubber outsole, and it is vital to check the quality of this before your purchase.
Every time your foot makes contact with the ground, energy is transferred from the ground to your body.
The level of shock depends on how heavily you take each step, but there is no denying that as this energy travels through your body, it will radiate pain where it already exists.
For this reason, it is imperative that your hiking boots have the ability to absorb shock, and there are several ways that they can effectively do this. Firstly, you should look at the outsoles.
We have already talked about the importance of a solid rubber sole, and having this will also help with shock absorption.
The last thing you will want if you are on your feet for long periods of time while suffering from bad knees is a heavy boot that weighs you down.
Fortunately, there are a lot of lightweight hiking boots on the market.
It is essential to check that the lightweight design does not mean that compromises have been made elsewhere, but if you are looking at a quality boot, then this should not be a problem.
Mid-soles & Insoles
You should also look at the midsoles; usually, these are made from either a polyurethane material or what is known as an EVA midsole. An EVA midsole tends to be a little more shock-absorbing and more comfortable, but they are also a little less durable.
You might also look at whether there are any removable insoles. Having these can provide an extra layer of protection against shock and will also add to the comfort of the boot.
The chances are that if you are going hiking, the weather may not be on your side. In this case, you will want to ensure that the boots have a waterproof lining and upper.
Many boots are made from waterproof materials, but some are more superior to others. For example, some boots have a Gore-Tex lining, which is a breathable material that will prevent water from getting in but also allow moisture to escape.
When you are looking for something comfortable, having dry, happy feet is a must.
There are many people around the world suffering from bad knees. This might be a result of an injury, weight issues, infection, or even a more serious underlying health condition. But whatever the problem, it is imperative to find the correct footwear to protect and support the knees.
It might not be the first thing to spring to mind as many people believe that a knee brace might be a better idea. But the truth is that every time you take a step, energy is transferred up the leg and into the knee, causing further pain and discomfort.
This selection of the best hiking boots for bad knees provides extreme comfort and soles that absorb shock, keeping your knees comfortable and allowing you to enjoy walking in the way that you deserve!