Best Work Boots For Bad Knees: Complete Buying Guide

Next to back problems, knee problems are the most common bodily complaint. Sometimes it’s the result of overuse and sometimes it’s the result of direct injury. Sometimes it’s from doing too much too soon. If you do a lot of physical work, you may find that you do depend on your knees. What shoes can prevent knee pain? What shoes can keep it from getting any worse?

What Does It Mean To Have Bad Knees?

The most common injury stemming from overuse is patellar pain syndrome. This refers to general discomfort, pain or soreness in the front of the kneecap or sometimes just slightly below it. This is often due to overloading the joint from repetitive movements such as miles of running or more squats and lunges if they are performed more than necessary.

best work boots for bad knees

What Shoes Are Good For Bad Knees?

You should look for shoes with these traits:

  • Cushioning – A good cushioning system lets the foot move about freely as it motions through the gait cycle while lowering the shock felt by the knee. Seek out a shoe that features a rearfoot cushioning system that absorbs the heel-strike impact plus a front-foot cushioning system that will lower the shock during the toe-off phase.
  • Arch and Heel Support – You need to wear shoes that aid you in keeping your posture and center of gravity properly while distributing your weight evenly on the foot. Improper shoes can add pressure to your knees that can bump them out of alignment. The result is knee pain and even possibly severe damage to the knee.
  • Overpronation and Supination – Before purchasing shoes, you need to observe the worn-out pattern on your old shoes to figure out if you supinate or overpronate. Should your sole be worn on the inner side, that indicates that your foot rolls inwards. That means you should wear shoes suited for overpronation.
  • Firm Midsoles – Shoes with firm midsoles will aid in the reduction of the shock while walking lowering knee pain and keeping knee injuries and damage from happening to start with.
  • A Sensible Heel – High heels are one of the main instigators of knee pain as they throw the entire body out of alignment. If you have a knee problem or bad knees you should not wear high heels because they put unwarranted stress upon your feet and knees.

The Reviews:

If you have bad knees but still need to work, we have compiled a list of the best kind of boots that will help you feel comfortable and at ease throughout your workday.

1. Danner Men’s Vicious 4.5 Inch Non-Metallic Toe Work Boot

Danner Men's Vicious 4.5-Inch Work Boot,Brown/Orange,12 D US

The Vicious is not your everyday Danner. It lives up to its name, but it’s vicious on working, not on your feet! The pressing need for a work boot that is lightweight and comfortable has challenged Danner to come up with something remarkable. The Vicious is one of the more comfortable non-traditional of work boots, and one that is made to last.

Features and Benefits:

It has a Vibram sole. The durable, waterproof leather upper features an abrasion-resistant heel cap. The patented GORE-TEX waterproof lining is breathable. The PU footbed is well-cushioned. The dual-density EVA cushioning and shock absorbing midsole provides extra durability on the exterior edges with a shock-absorbent cushioning on the interior for additional comfort and support underfoot. This non-metallic safety toe meets or exceeds ASTM standard F2413-11 I/75 C/75 EH.


  • The fit is ergonomic.
  • It is very supportive.
  • The boot is rugged and durable.
  • The boots are lightweight.


  • It is not very waterproof.
  • The laces are weak.

2. Timberland PRO 6″ TiTAN Composite Safety-Toe Work Boot

Timberland PRO 6" TiTAN Composite Safety-Toe Work Boot

The Timberland PRO TiTAN series delivers lightweight yet durable protection for a broad variety of uses. Manufactured with the TITAN alloy safety toe, moisture-wicking spacer mesh lining, PowerFit comfort system, and a breathable, moisture-wicking spacer mesh lining, the TITAN family of work boots also conforms to or even goes beyond ASTM standards.

Features and Benefits:

It is made with a premium, soft full-grain leather to comfort and minimal break-in time. It features an alloy safety toe shaped on the TITAN last to deliver lightweight protection and a supreme fit. The mesh antimicrobial lining brings odor control and comfortable feet. The Timberland PRO rubber outsole is slip-, oil-, and abrasion-resistant. The cement construction brings flexibility and reduced break-in time.


  • The boots are comfortable.
  • They are very durable.
  • Won’t set off metal detectors.
  • It is water-resistant.


  • The eye grommets break easily.

3. Under Armour Men’s Valsetz Rts Military and Tactical Boot

Under Armour Men's Valsetz RTS Military and Tactical Boot, Desert Sand (290)/Desert Sand, 12.5

It looks like a basketball high-top but it’s really a work boot. Like a high-top it surrounds your ankle, giving you lots of needed support. Under Armor lives up to its name, giving your foot the kind of protection that you desire. It is available in the desert sand, black, coyote brown and reaper camo.

Features and Benefits:

The sole is made out of flexible rubber. The patented UA ClutchFit technology wraps your ankle with a lightweight “second skin” for secure support and an incredible feel. The synthetic leather and textile upper features a welded, abrasion-resistant film around the outside of the foot. The lightweight TPU shank supplies midfoot support and the ideal amount of rigidity.


  • The boots are very comfortable.
  • There is plenty of ankle support.
  • They are light and breathable.
  • They are just grippy enough.


  • They tend to fall apart easily.

4. Wolverine Men’s W04821 Buccaneer Work Boot

Wolverine Men's W04821 Buccaneer Work Boot

Here’s something that will get you going from morning to all through the afternoon. Wolverine is an iconic American brand that was established in Rockford, Michigan back in 1883. They put together sublime materials and classic craftsmanship. Wolverine boots are engineered to stand up to the roughest of environments and deliver all day long comfort.

Features and Benefits:

The rubber sole is flexible. The leather upper features multi-shock compression pads molded into the outsole plus moisture-managing mesh lining. The footbed is removable for convenience and fully cushioned for comfort. A contour welt construction makes the boot durable.


  • They deliver plenty of protection and traction.
  • They are comfortable.
  • They are durable.


  • It takes a while to break in.
  • They scuff easily.

5. Thorogood Men’s American Heritage 6″ MAXwear Wedge Moc Safety Toe Boot

Thorogood 804-4200 Men's American Heritage 6" Moc Toe, MAXwear Wedge Safety Boot, Tobacco Oil-Tanned - 11 D(M) US

Thorogood has endlessly lasered in on craftsmanship, comfort, and innovation all the while taking note of the significance of footwear to your livelihood and getting your work done. They make boots for all the hard workers all over. You can get down to business in these durable but comfortable oil-tanned leather boots.

Features and Benefits:

The rubber sole is flexible. Removable Ultimate Shock Absorption footbed on Poron comfort cushion insole. The fiberglass shank provides support. The outsole is slip-resistant. The Goodyear welt construction is durable.


  • They are very comfortable.
  • They are extremely durable.
  • There is no break-in period.


  • Some people find it a bit too narrow.

What Causes a Bad Knee?

The three main causes of knee pain are injury, mechanical problems, and arthritis. An injury can be one of the following:

  • ACL injury. An ACL injury would be a tear in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). This is one of four ligaments that connect your shinbone with your thighbone. It is a common athletic injury.
  • Fractures. The bones of the knee including the kneecap (known as the patella), can be broken by collisions or falls. People with brittle bones can do this just by walking wrong.
  • Torn meniscus. The meniscus is made of tough, rubbery cartilage that performs like a shock absorber between your shinbone and thighbone. Twisting your knee can do this.
  • Knee bursitis. Some knee injuries are the result of inflammation in the bursae, the small sacs of fluid that cushion the exterior of your knee joint.
  • Patellar tendinitis. Tendinitis is irritation and inflammation in one or more tendons. These would be the thick and fibrous tissues that attach muscles to bones. Running and jumping can lead to this.

A body that is too loose, iliotibial band syndrome, dislocation of the kneecap and pain in the hips and feet can also lead to knee damage. There are over a hundred different types of arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid and gout.

Can Shoes Affect Your Knees?

It is very possible. Shoes change the position of your feet. This increases the amount of pressure inside the knee joint whenever you walk. Furthermore, this can alter the way your knee joints in position. This can be bad or good, but that depends on the type of footwear you select. This is why the correct shoes and total foot health are important.

Can Poor Shoes Cause Knee Pain?

If your shoes cause your feet to overpronate, meaning the leg will rotate inwardly toward the opposite leg. This can cause the knee to flex and extend while pointing inward rather than the normal direction. This can put stress on the knee. And then there is runner’s knee. This is when the impact of your foot hits the ground in a way that causes your kneecap to rub against the femur bone. Shock absorbent shoes can prevent this.

Will Good Shoes Help Knee Pain?

Supportive and comfortable shoe aid in taking pressure away from the knee joint by encouraging the correct leg alignment and balance. It comes as no surprise that wearing such impractical shoes as high heels and flip flops is a very common cause of knee pain. If you are doing any physical exertion, the proper shoes are particularly important.

What Can You Do For Bad Knees?

While you do need rest (along with ice, compression, and elevation) some exercise is recommended. You need to keep the muscles strong and increase your flexibility. Keep yourself from falling by using sturdy ladders and handrails. Losing a little weight will take the stress off your joints. If you need a cane or crutch, by all means, use one. And of course, shoes with cushioned insoles are always a big help.

How Do I Tell If My Knees Are Going Bad?

You are in serious need of medical help if you cannot bear weight on your knee or if it feels unstable. If your knee is swollen or you cannot fully extend or flex your knee you also need medical help. If you have severe pain from an injury or the knee just looks “wrong” you need to see a doctor. If the pain comes with a fever, you need to get to a hospital.

What Should You NOT Do If Your Knee Hurts?

It’s like that old joke. The patient says “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” The doctor says “Don’t do that.” Don’t do things that just make your knee hurt more. Don’t suddenly change the intensity of your activity level. Gradually increasing the intensity will build up strength. Gradually decreasing without stopping will help you keep strength while allowing your bad knee to rest and recover.

When Should You See Your Doctor About Knee Pain?

If your knees are going bad, you need to see a doctor to help you come up with a plan to get better. If the pain comes with a fever, you may have some sort of infection. Any unusual swelling or deformity needs to be looked at right away.

Is Standing Bad For Your Knees?

Standing for long periods can put stress on the knees. This is why even the Royal Guards at Buckingham Palace are allowed to stomp their feet every once in a while. Remember to take breaks from walking or standing. Remember to adopt the correct posture so that you don’t put too much stress on your knees. Wear shoes that will not stress your feet. Also, consider the surface you stand on. An anti-fatigue mat or even a simple piece of cardboard can work wonders.

Can Your Knees Get Hurt From Standing Too Long?

Not only the knees, but the entire legs and back can be damaged from standing too long. It can lead not only to joint problems as well as varicose veins and circulation issues. This is especially true if you have bad posture.

How Can I Stand Without Hurting My Knees?

Slouching makes your weight uneven and that causes knee pain. Your head should be centered over your shoulders and your shoulders need to be centered over your abdomen and pelvis. Do not lock your knees. That’s a good way to jam your knees.

How To Relieve Knee Pain From Standing All Day?

Star Trek fans call it “The Riker Pose” and liquor aficionados call it “Captain Morgan”. You put one foot up on a chair and lean forward. Flex your knee as much as you can and switch. Doing figure-eight rotations with your hips can also help. Stretching the hamstring works as well.

How Do I Keep My Knees in Good Shape?

This has been covered but it bears repeating that there are six major methods to keep your knees in good shape:

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Stay active.
  • Strengthen the muscles that support your knees.
  • Practice good posture.
  • Wear the correct shoes.
  • Respond properly to knee pain.

How Can I Strengthen My Knee Muscles?

You can do leg lifts, hamstring curls, step exercises, chair dips, and wall squats. Remember to stretch before and after exercising. Make sure you don’t jerk or bounce and don’t arch your back. The foot must stay in a neutral position. If you’d like to try these exercises with weights, start small and work your way up. Work out on a stationary bike can also prove helpful.

How Can I Strengthen My Knee Cartilage?

Even a little exercise is good. You may want to try low impact work on the elliptical machine. Running is fine as long as you don’t overwork yourself and stop if it hurts. It could be just some walking is all you need.

How To Increase Knee Lubrication?

There are three ways to keep your joints moving smoothly. Do all of them for the best results. Get enough exercise. Eat foods high in omega-3s. Glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin supplements can help.

What Foods Help Strengthen Knees?

You need fats, but they should be the “good fats” like Omega 3. You can find that in avocados, salmon, walnuts and olive oil. Leafy greens are full of healthy antioxidants. Adding a dash of turmeric to your stir fry can help. Onions and garlic can reduce inflammation. Grapefruit contains both vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Black cherries can lower uric acid levels which can aid in the prevention of gout.


The knees are an important body part that can give out easily if put under too much strain. Take off some of this strain by wearing the right kind of shoe. Take care of your knees and they’ll take care of you for many years.


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