Training Best Running Shoes For Bad Back And Knees For Men And Women

Best Running Shoes For Bad Back And Knees For Men And Women

Running a marathon? Looking to keep fit? Or are you just looking to brag to your mates on Strava about how far you ran this week?

Well, whatever type of running you’re planning on doing, make sure you get kitted out with the best running shoes. 

Studies have shown that runners wearing proper running shoes with soft, spongy soles were less likely to injure their musculoskeletal system than those wearing poorly designed trainers. Buying the right running shoe for you is so important to protect your lower back and knees, particularly if you’re planning on doing a lot of running! 

We’ve put together this guide to provide you with the best tips and advice on what to look out for when purchasing your next pair of trainers. It’ll also give you the rundown on the best running shoes for both men and women, which can help protect you from injuring your lower back and knees.

Let’s get up and running with our first shoe…

Asics Women’s Gel-Kayano 25 – Great For Shock Absorption

ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 25 Running Shoes, 8M, Carbon/MID Grey
2,731 Reviews
ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 25 Running Shoes, 8M, Carbon/MID Grey
  • Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Technology Cushioning...
  • I.G.S (Impact Guidance System) Technology - ASICS...
  • Guidance Line Midsole Technology - Vertical flex...
  • Guidance Trusstic System Technology - This...
  • SpevaFoam 45 Lasting - Employs 45 degree full...

Asics are one of the most reputable running brands in the world. Providing running equipment to Olympic athletes and marathon runners around the world, you’ll know you’re getting a quality shoe when you purchase the Gel-Kayano 25. 

We loved this lightweight shoe for its super spongy FlyteFoam sole and its Gel technology system. Asics’s FlyteFoam layer is spread out along the base of the shoe and is made of organic fibers that don’t compress easily when you put your whole weight on down on the sole of your shoe, with the foam layer springing you back into your step as you bound around the running track. 

Plus Asics’ world-renowned Gel technology system is spread towards the front and rear of the shoe, providing a layer of bouncy silicone that absorbs the shock of your heel and the sole of your foot hitting the track. This greatly reduces the stress being placed on your knees and lower back as you run.

Pros

  • Lightweight shoe. 
  • Made of a breathable mesh upper that allows your foot to breathe. 
  • Gel technology reduces impact and helps reduce the stress on your knees and lower back. 
  • FlyteFoam provides support. 
  • Comfortable internal lining prevents chafing.

Cons

  • The sole does not have the best grip compared to other brands, but that’s not a necessity if you’re running on the road. 
  • Not the greatest option for those with high or medium arched feet.

Brooks Women’s Adrenaline Gts 20 – For The Smoothest Ride

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 Grey/Pale Peach/White 7.5 2A - Narrow
3,064 Reviews
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 Grey/Pale Peach/White 7.5 2A - Narrow
  • THIS SHOE IS FOR: Runners who need a perfect blend...
  • SUPPORT AND CUSHION: Provides just the right...
  • BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: The DNA LOFT Crash Pad...
  • MODERNIZED FIT: A new streamlined, engineered mesh...
  • GUIDERAILS HOLISTIC SUPPORT SYSTEM: We've shifted...

Brooks are renowned for providing their users with a truly comfortable and smooth ride, and it’s no different with the Adrenaline Gts. 

This trainer is designed to support the most injury-prone parts of the runner’s body, aka your knees, by installing what they call “guiderails” around the heel and instep your foot. As one of our favorite features, the guiderails keep you from swaying and moving within the shoe, ensuring your running action follows a natural gait. 

The shoe is well cushioned with its innovative BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT crash pad cushioned sole. It gives you the best responsiveness allowing you to spring into your run, but cushions each impact distributing the shock away from more vulnerable areas of your body like your knees and ankles. We definitely recommend trying out this trainer if you get sore knees while you’re running.

Pros

  • Trendy design. 
  • Breathable lightweight mesh upper keeps your feet cool. 
  • Smooth easy ride. 
  • Guiderails stop non-natural movement in your foot while you run, helping to protect your knees. 
  • Responsive and springy sole provides great cushioning.

Cons

  • Not great for those with flat feet. 
  • Can be annoying and become heavy if the mesh upper layer gets wet. Your feet will also get wet… 

New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam 880v10 – The Most Natural Feeling Trainer

New Balance Women's 880v10 Running Shoes (Light Slate/Bali Blue,...
62 Reviews
New Balance Women's 880v10 Running Shoes (Light Slate/Bali Blue,...
  • 10 mm drop; due to variances created during the...
  • Fresh Foam midsole cushioning is precision...
  • Engineered Hypoknit upper designed to provide...
  • Blown rubber outsole at the forefoot provides...
  • Molded external heel counter helps control heel...

Compared to other trainers on this list that provide added ankle support to your achilles, this sneaker gives more support to the midsole of your foot with its added layer of Fresh Foam cushioning around the ball of your foot. The cushioning around the midsole is designed to better assimilate the shock of running, preventing excess stress from being placed on your back. 

Plus this shoe also has extra padding to the left and right of your ankles, giving you even more support, in case you turn your ankle on uneven ground. Its definitely one of our favorites, not just for style but also for its ergonomic features.

Plus this shoe also has extra padding to the left and right of your ankles, giving you even more support, in case you turn your ankle on uneven ground. Its definitely one of our favorites, not just for style but also for its ergonomic features.

Pros

  • Stylish shoe. 
  • Enhanced midsole support provides greater lower back support. 
  • Blown rubber outsole provides good responsivity when running. 
  • Extra padding around the ankles to provide additional support. 
  • Comfy and soft inner lining fits around your foot.

Cons

  • Can be fairly expensive costing around $120-150, but that’s a good price for the quality of the shoe!
  • Not a great shoe for those with wide feet or high arched feet either.

Nike Women’s Zoom Pegasus – The Most Lightweight Option 

Nike Women's Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 Anti Winter Running Shoes...
138 Reviews
Nike Women's Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 Anti Winter Running Shoes...
  • Style#: BV7766-100
  • A partial inner sleeve from toe to mid-foot,...
  • The rubber outsole helps absorb impact and provide...
  • Engineered heel collar tapers away from foot for...
  • Angled heel optimizes initial touchdown and...

This shoe is ultralight. Like seriously it’s like having two feathers on your feet. It’s ultralight upper perfectly fits around your feet and is like wearing a sock. The material is also very thin and looks very unassuming but does have some very subtly hidden ankle supports to the left and right of your ankle. 

For us, the best bit about this trainer is its ginormous foam sole, designed specifically for long-distance road runners providing exceptional responsivity when you push off on your next step. 

The shoe also has excellent shock absorption technology. You’ll notice the v-shaped heels that rise up the back of your foot. This increased surface area means when you place your foot on the ground, you’ll plant the heel of your foot first, and roll it forwards, giving you even better shock absorption when you crash down onto your heel, reducing the stress being placed on your achilles.

Pros

  • Massive sole with a big surface area. 
  • Great for shock absorption, protecting your achilles. 
  • Ankle supports.
  • Ultralightweight mesh upper. 
  • Great for running fast!

Cons

  • Its relatively flat and not very grippy sole means you’ll struggle to grip slicker surfaces, but these are a perfect shoe if you’re running on the road. 
  • Synthetic mesh upper is not very durable and can tear easily if you’re putting the shoes through their paces.

Saucony Women’s Kinvara 11 – The Most Flexible Shoe 

Sale
Saucony Women's Kinvara 11, Aqua/Blue, 8.5 Medium
254 Reviews
Saucony Women's Kinvara 11, Aqua/Blue, 8.5 Medium
  • PWRRUN cushioning maintains the lightweight...
  • The flexible sole is designed to quickly...
  • FORMFIT conforms to your foot to provide the...
  • Neutral
  • Offset: 4mm (28.5/24.5)

Optimized for speed to help you take down those personal bests, the Kinvara is one of the most flexible shoes on this list, allowing your foot to flex and bend naturally. 

You don’t want a trainer that will restrict your foot’s movement and keeping your foot rigid within your shoe can restrict your foot’s natural movements, and place greater strain on your back when you’re not flexing and running correctly. The Kinvara’s PWRRUN cushioning can flex and transition easily as you glide across the ground, while also giving you the support you need to take on those long miles. 

One of the great things about this shoe is that it also accommodates those with slightly wider feet. It has a wide breadth across its laces, meaning your foot won’t feel cramped when your pacing through the miles. 

Pros

  • A very flexible shoe that conforms to your foot’s movements.
  • Its soft base gives you your knees and back added support as you run. 
  • Great for those with a wide foot span. 
  • Extremely lightweight and is a great option if you’re looking for speed.

Cons

  • Very little grip on the sole to give you enough traction to get up to top speed quickly. 
  • Doesn’t have the greatest heel support, leaving your achilles exposed to greater shock as you run.

Adidas Men’s Solar Boost Running Shoe – Best Cushioning 

Sale
adidas Men's Solar Boost, Black/Grey/White, 14 M US
269 Reviews
adidas Men's Solar Boost, Black/Grey/White, 14 M US
  • Weight: 11 ounces (size 9); Midsole drop: 10 mm...
  • Techfit upper is engineered for natural, flexible...
  • Stretchweb outsole flexes naturally for an...
  • Tailored Fiber Placement offers stitched-in...
  • Boost is our most responsive cushioning ever,...

Whether you’re just going out for a quick jog, or you’re planning on running the New York Marathon, Adidas have you covered with these shoes. 

Designed with comfort in mind, the Solar Boost has a built-in Solar Propulsion Rail which propels your foot in the right direction as you run. It also takes the shock out of your step when your heel collides with the ground. That accompanied by the shoe’s Torsion System underneath the heel, gives your knees a real easy-going ride. 

We loved these shoes because of their stitched in support. Yes, that’s right, Adidas have reinforced their shoe by stitching in supports to your insole! They call it a Tailored Fiber Placement and it’s designed to give you a more natural supporting feel to keep your foot upright as your run. This is a innovative move from Adidas as opposed to using a plastic or rubber alternative to support the inside of the foot. 

Pros

  • Built-in propulsion rail, provides a shock-absorbing spring to your step. 
  • Torsion system and its spongey outsole provide for great comfort. 
  • Rising heel supports give greater support to the back of your foot and achilles. 
  • Stitched in support is innovative and provides cushioning on the instep of your foot.

Cons

  • Again this shoe doesn’t provide the best grip on its sole and is quite flat. 
  • It’s not the most flexible shoe and its sole is fairly rigid as it struggles to bend with your foot.

New Balance Men’s Fresh Foam – A Great Natural Running Feel 

New Balance Men's Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe, Black/Steel,...
1,147 Reviews
New Balance Men's Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe, Black/Steel,...
  • Cushioned Running Shoes for Every Runner: Part of...
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  • Traction You Can Trust: Fresh Foam Arishi Trail...
  • Technology in the Toes: A Toe Protect reinforced...
  • Versatile Style: Wherever the trail takes you,...

If you’re looking for the most natural running feel then look no further. 

The stitched upper is super thin and flexible, stretching and contracting to the shape of your foot. It’s breathable too, keeping your foot cool as you stride through the streets. But the Fresh Foam sole is probably one of the most spongy soles on this list, compressing when you stand on it to support your running style, but quickly expanding again to propel you back into your stride.  

As the upper mesh on this shoe is basically a sock, you’ll feel like you’re running with nothing on your feet. As one of the lightest shoes on this list, the shoe will almost certainly help you speed up your 10k time!

Pros

  • Provides a very natural feel. 
  • Lightweight and flexible shoe. 
  • Yet the upper lining is very durable and tough. 
  • Spongy sole compresses and expands with your stride.

Cons

  • Provides minimal ankle support to protect you if you do turn or twist your ankle. 
  • The outsole does not have the best shock absorption technology to distribute shock away from weaker points in your body.

Brooks Ghost 12 – The Best Shoe For Those That Have A Neutral Foot Arch 

Brooks have designed this shoe with those who don’t have as pronounced arch in mind. The shoe is not restrictive or tight around the midsole but rises and narrows towards your ankle, fitting the shape of the neutrals foot perfectly. 

If you try this shoe on your feet will be so snug that you might as well be running in slippers! The Ghost also has a high energizing thick sole, meaning the kinetic energy you put into planting your foot will propel you forward faster and reduce the impact and therefore strain on your knees and lower back. 

Plus this shoe has great grip, and its sole looks like it has teeth! This means you’ll be able to run on tarmac, woody trails, or even on grass. It is one of the best shoes on the market, but if you have a neutral foot position, you should consider purchasing this shoe. 

Pros

  • Great for those with a low arch and neutral foot position. 
  • Its shape is perfect to not restrict or cramp your foot. 
  • Thick high energizing, reactive sole. 
  • Has a grippy outsole. 
  • Contains segmented crash absorbers that will take the sting out of however you land on your feet.

Cons

  • Shoe has little heel support to protect your achilles when you plant your foot on the floor. 
  • It is also a fairly heavy shoe, not the best for sprinting or keeping your feet cool.

ASICS Men’s Gel-Nimbus 21 – An Extremely Supportive Trainer

Sale
ASICS Men's Gel-Nimbus 21 Running Shoes, 8.5M, White/DEEP...
3,016 Reviews
ASICS Men's Gel-Nimbus 21 Running Shoes, 8.5M, White/DEEP...
  • FlyteFoam Propel Technology - ASICS energetic foam...
  • AHAR Outsole - Acronym for ASICS High Abrasion...
  • Reflectivity - Contains reflective materials...
  • Heel Clutching System Technology - Exoskeletal...
  • FlyteFoam Lyte Technology - ASICS lightest weight...

This is probably one of the most supportive shoes on the market, sporting Asics innovative Gel and FlyteFoam technologies.

But one of the great things about this trainer is the added bubble of FlyteFoam situated in the midsole of the trainer. If your midsole is not fully supported with little shock absorption points around it, the stress going through the ball of your foot will shoot up to your knees and lower back and put a strain on these two weak points. 

This trainer combats against this with its Gel support situated at the heel, an explosive foam insole, and abrasive rubber placed around the sole of the shoe, giving increased durability when you’re pacing through rough terrain. 

Pros

  • Provides superior support to your foot, ankle, knees, and lower back.
  • Gel and FlyteFoam reduce the stress and shock being placed on your knees. 
  • Also has reflective patches on it, to keep you visible when running in the dark.
  • Durable abrasive rubber soles mean the shoes can take a beating and will last a long time. 
  • Heel is fully secured to give your achilles better support.

Cons

  • These are quite a heavy shoe so aren’t the best if you’re looking for something you can sprint in. 
  • Doesn’t have the most breathable upper layer and are fairly restrictive around your foot.

Nike Men’s Air Zoom Pegasus 35 – Provides The Most Natural Running Transition 

How your foot transitions from your heel to toe can be one of the most common causes of back pain and increased strain on your knees. If your foot is not rocking naturally, you’ll find yourself running less efficiently too, using more energy. That’s where the Air Zoom Pegasus 35 comes in. 

Its sole is beveled to give you that natural transition from heel to toe as you run. The sole is thicker and higher at the heel, with the heel collar raking away from the foot giving you an increased surface area as you land, to plant your heel and roll forwards onto the midsole of your foot. Thus giving you a more natural running style and helping reduce the stress on your knees. 

This is also a very lightweight shoe and is perfect for use in the gym or just generally walking around in. The thin mesh upper is comfortable and wraps snugly around your foot, with its FlyKnit laces, pulling your foot tighter into the sole of the shoe. This is a great option for anyone kicking off their running career wanting to use this shoe as an all-round trainer too.

Pros

  • Lightweight. 
  • Perfect not only for running long distances but also for general use in the gym too. 
  • Provides you with a very neutral running transition. 
  • Comfortable and snug fit around your foot. 
  • Thick sole with pointed heel collar provides support to your achilles too.

Cons

  • Little ankle support provided. 
  • The Midsole of the shoe is not supported as well either as other shoes on this list.

Other Useful Training Articles

Best Running Shoes For Lower Back Pain – The Ultimate Buying Guide

Here are our top tips on what to look out for when picking the best running shoe for you.

Know what your foot type is.

You might have a high arch, a flat foot, or you might just have a neutral balance between the two. People with flat arches tend more to get sore knees, and bad backs while those with high arches tend to feel the pain more in the tendons in their feet and heels. The takeaway here is to find the right shoe that supports whatever foot type you have. If you have a neutral arch, go for the Brooks Ghost 12, or if you have a high foot arch then perhaps go for the Asics Gel-Kayano 25. 

Cushioning.

We can’t stress how important it is to purchase a shoe with extra cushioning, for comfort when you’re running but more importantly, to absorb the shock of the impact you create when you run to protect your knees and lower back. Check out the Brooks Adrenaline Gts 20 for a shoe with excellent cushioning. 

Comfort.

No one likes blisters. Especially when you’re 15 miles into your marathon and you start to feel one on your heel. Always invest in the shoe that has the best and most comfortable interior padding. Check out the Asics Gel-Nimbus 21 for a shoe with an awesome interior lining. 

Lightweight.

You’re here not just because of fitness either. You’re here to beat your best PB, to win that 10k race at the weekend, and to show off to your mates on Instagram how fast your last run was on Strava. Well, to run fast, you’ll need a lightweight shoe so check out the Nike Zoom Pegasus for an ultralight running feel. 

Grip. 

Especially if you’re running in the winter, or are running on a track or in the woods, you’ll need to be confident your shoe can grip the surface and give you the best traction to not slip or fall. We liked the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 21, as a running shoe with great grip.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it bad to run without proper running shoes?

Yes! You can cause some serious damage to your knees and lower back if you don’t wear proper trainers. You can suffer tendinitis in your knees, and suffer muscular strain in your lower back running long distances without the correct footwear so make sure you get a shoe with a spongy sole!

Should I get my foot measured before buying running shoes?

Absolutely! Although you might think, I’m not a child anymore, why do I need to do this when I already know my shoe size? Well, it gets a bit more technical than that. If you go into a running store to get your feet measured, the store will usually measure the breadth of your foot, the arch of your foot, and the heel to toe length, and will likely give you advice on the best shoe to buy on that basis. It’s definitely worth it if you’re serious about running.

Are more expensive running shoes better?

Not necessarily, a good running shoe can come cheap, so long as it adequately provides the support you need to protect your back, knees, and ankles. Granted the top of the range running shoes can set you back a pretty penny, but don’t get sucked into that if you’re a beginner. There are plenty of reasonably priced, formidable running shoes on the web that can cater to your needs.

Final Words On How to Make the Right Selection

Ready for the marathon now? I hope so! 

You should now have a better idea of why purchasing a quality pair of running shoes is so important, as well as the types of running shoes you should be looking to pick up. Don’t be off-put either by some of the large prices, running shoes are expensive and are well worth the cost in the long run. No one wants to spend the day in the doctors because they’ve strained their back, and personally the cost is worth it for that reason alone! 

For both men and women, you’ll find a great variety of running shoes online, but also bear in mind, a lot of the shoes I have listed, particularly the Asics and Nike models, do also come in male and female equivalents too!

If you found this post helpful, make sure to share it on Twitter and Facebook, and let us know in the comments below the pair of running shoes you picked up!

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Jonathan Rousselhttps://thechamplair.com
Jonathan Roussel is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader and Indigo League champion. He now chases the dream to become a part-time Jedi Master like Gandalf. He means to reach his goals by sleeping 14 hours a day and eating pineapple pizzas.

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