Why you should be checking your Footwear with Knee Pain - Essential Wellness

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October 15, 2018 4 min read

[Last Edited: 08/10/20]

Why you should be checking your Footwear with Knee Pain

Your feet are the first part of you to hit the ground, bear your weight and respond to different ground surfaces. You need to look after your feet in every way possible and this is also true when you are suffering with knee pain. Even though it is your knee that is hurting, problems can often start in the foot and ankle spreading to your knee; or the foot can be affected by changes in your walking, limping or with pain. When you are walking, you rely on your back, hips, knees, ankles and feet to work together to carry your weight and distribute it evenly through the soles of your feet.


Therefore, if you suffer from knee pain, you can help it a lot by thinking about how other areas in your body are coping with the strain. To reduce impact in the foot and knee you need to think about our footwear as a priority.


Footwear comes in all shapes, sizes and styles but when you feel knee pain with walking you should really look at your choice of footwear and how it can help you to deal with the pain. When you walk, the shock and impact comes through the heel and into the foot then transfers to the knee. The repetitive impact of walking can cause knee pain to worsen over time. This highlights just how important it is to choose the correct footwear.


There are several signs that you might need new footwear. It’s important to check these regularly with yourself to make sure you are doing the most to help your pain. We recommend every 3-6 months reviewing your trainers if you are active and every 6-9 months for other shoes that you wear day in and day out.


  • If you are noticing that you are getting more pain in the knee with walking or that you feel less stable with each step.
  • If you have a near miss with a slip, trip or fall or your shoes have less grip on the sole than they used to and are worn out.
  • If you can place your shoe on the table top and notice that they are leaning to one side or another and have lost some of their shape.


Selecting your footwear for knee pain

There are several options available to you when it comes to finding suitable footwear that is designed to help you with knee pain.


The first thing to consider before you purchase new footwear is the soles of the shoes and trainers you are buying. Shoes that come with softer soles and offer more support can reduce the impact on your knee. Some footwear is specially designed to help minimise the impact, which in turn helps to ease the pain. Seeing the extra value in footwear with more grip, softer insoles and supported arches may mean you have to spend more to get what is really right for your knee pain.



If you have knee pain around the knee cap it is common that walking in heels can cause more pain. A wedge heel is often better for knee pain than a stiletto heel or a completely flat shoe. The heel is the first place your foot hits the ground when walking and having the most support here can reduce the force into the knee when walking on hard surfaces.


Ankle Support

Buying a shoe with higher ankle support can help your ankle to feel more stable and supported. This allows the knee to stay in a good position more easily. If your legs have become weak over time with knee pain, this can have a knock-on effect to the ankle and extra support is needed to help you feel balanced and strong. Footwear with ankle support can go a long way to helping you feel safer when walking, especially on uneven surfaces.


Perhaps you have a pair of shoes you love and want to keep wearing then another option is to purchase new insoles for your current shoes. If you already have a pair of very comfortable shoes, then consider buying insoles as an alternative. There are many different types of insoles on the market but they simply slide into your shoe, providing you with extra cushion to help reduce the impact on the knees. We recommend starting with something simple such as a full length foam or gel insole which can start helping you straight away.


Improving pain relief with additional knee pain relief options


The importance of the right shoes should not be overlooked but thankfully there are other things you can use to help get pain relief that can really make a difference.


A knee support will help to deal with pain when walking and pain when you are at home. A support will give your knee a greater level of stability and strength while also giving you the confidence to remain active and mobile. The support is designed to help give your knee that extra level of support while helping to reduce pain.

While it can prove difficult to manage knee pain, when knee pain occurs, you might feel as though you need to take the weight off the knee slightly. Therefore, a walking stick will enable you to use it when you need to give the knee a rest in order to help ease the pain.

Finding a solution to knee pain is all about finding what works best for you, getting the best footwear for your needs is a key part of pain management long term. In addition, a knee support and walking stick can help you to find a way to put the spring back into your step. A combination of things is likely to work best to make walking easier and help you walk longer distances. Remember to check your shoes every size to nine months as a minimum and use insoles to help old shoes stay bouncing and protective of your joints.

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