Knee pain is one of the worst physical pains you can feel. It is even worse if you are a worker who is expected to put in many hours of hard work daily to make a living. Traditional or standard work boots are made in such a way that most of them feature ordinary materials, no safety features and no comfort features to protect your knee pain.
If you have knee pain, you should avoid ordinary or standard work boots. Because the fact that they have no comfort or ergonomic features means they can worsen your knee issue. Luckily, there are manufacturers who manufacture high-quality boots for your illness. In this article, you will discover the eight best work boots for bad knees below.
The Best Work Boots for Bad Knees in 2023
1. Thorogood Men’s Work Boots for Bad Knees
Thorogood is renowned for making work shoes that are innovative, comfy, and safe. Its work boots are also known for being super durable.
This particular work boot from the company is a masterpiece to say the least. It has everything you would expect from a Thorogood boot plus more.
Four things stand out about this boot.
First, it is a comfortable boot. Several things make this boot comfortable. Top among them is its dual density insole. This insole will make you feel very little impact with every step you take.
This boot also has a shock-absorbing Poron footbed. The Moc toe design of this boot also makes it comfortable. All these comfort features make this boot perfect for those with bad knees.
Second, it is a durable boot. This boot is made to last for a long time. It is a boot you will be able to wear over and over again for a year or two without noticing significant signs of wear and tear.
Third, it is a slip-resistant boot. There are many boots on the market but none is as slip-resistant as this one. It is slip-resistant because it has a high traction outsole. Because this boot is sleep resistant, it will offer you support and stability.
Lastly, it is lined boot. This ensures maximum comfort especially for those with sensitive feet.
This boot’s major drawback is the fact that it is quite pricey.
- This is pair of ultra-comfortable boots
- It is extremely durable because of its design
- It requires no break in
- It has a dual-density shock-absorbing footbed
- It has a cushioning wedge sole
- It is a highly-rated work boot made of quality materials
- It is not perfect for those with wide feet
- It is quite pricey
Despite being pricey, this boot is absolutely brilliant for those seeking a lightweight, comfortable, and safe work boot. So if that is what you are looking for, you do not need to read any other review.
2. Wolverine Men’s 8 Inch Work Boots for Bad Knees
This work boot from Wolverine is a high-performance work boot featuring multiple excellent features which make it ideal for those with bad knees. The features are ideal for workers with bad knees because they limit knee stress and pain hence improving performance.
If you have bad knees, the feature that will impress you the most about this boot is its PU midsole. This midsole lasts longer and it is known for excellent shock-absorption.
It makes it possible for people with bad knees to stand on for many hours and to do work without putting stress on their knees. You will also be interested in this Wolverine boot’s footbed which is well-cushioned for great comfort.
If your work environment has several hazards you will be glad to know that this boot is loaded with protective features.
First, it has an anti-slip outsole that will protect you from bad slips and falls even on slippery or oily floors.
Second, it has electrical hazard protection to protect you from electric shocks.
Third, it has a steel toe option to protect your toes from getting crushed. Lastly, it has an insulated material to protect your feet from freezing to death.
This boot has no significant flaws
- This is a brilliant long-lasting boot
- It offers electrical hazard protection and toe protection
- It has compression pads for shock-absorption in the sole
- It has a dual-density footbed for maximum comfort
- It has a supportive fiberglass shank
- It has a PU midsole for better shock absorption
- It is insulated and snow-ready
- It is not available in many colors
In my opinion, this is the great boot for people with knee pain because it has so many features that are meant to absorb shock and ensure maximum comfort and protection for the wearer.
3. Irish Setter Men’s 6″ Work Boots for Bad Knees
This Irish Setter pair of work shoes for bad feet and knees is engineered to provide top comfort. It does this through its EVA midsole that provides excellent cushioning and shock absorption.
Because of this boot’s midsole, you can wear it to a construction site even if you have bad knees because it will reduce the stress on your feet and knees.
This boot also provides comfort through its PU footbed. This feature is cushioning and provides comfort throughout the day. This boot’s padded collar also makes it comfortable.
This boot is excellent for those with knee pain and knee problems because of the above-mentioned comfort features. It is also best for those seeking a protective boot because it is loaded with tons of protective features.
Top among the features is the high traction outsole it has. This outsole provides very strong traction and grip. It makes this boot stable and balanced. In other words, it makes this boot absolutely perfect for workers with bad knees.
Another protective feature is the fact that this boot comes with EH protection that will protect you against electric hazards. The fact that this boot’s outsole is heat-resistant also makes it more protective.
This boot’s major drawback is that it is not versatile enough like many modern work boots. Nevertheless, I really like this boot and its excellent features.
- This is a top pair of support boots for bad knees
- It is made of superior quality and flexible leather
- It provides supreme comfort and support
- It has a high-gripping outsole for great stability
- It comes with a padded collar and an excellent footbed
- It features welt construction for maximum durability
- It has a loop for easy on and off
- It is not very stylish
- It is not very versatile
If you do not care about style and you just want a pair of great work shoes good for knees, you should strongly consider this Irish Setter Men’s boot. This is because it is a tough boot engineered to provide maximum protection and comfort.
4. Timberland PRO Men’s Boondock 6″ Work Boots for Bad Knees
Ever had sore feet? If no, do not even imagine it. It is no fun experience at all. If you have sore feet or knee pain, you should get this Timberland PRO boot.
It will provide your feet with all the comfort you need not to have sore feet at the end of the day. The main way this boot provides comfort is through its dual-density anti-fatigue tech.
This tech absorbs shock excellently sparing your feet and knees from the normal impact they would feel with every step and with standing all day. This is why this boot is absolutely perfect for people with bad knees.
Many work boots nowadays do not come with shanks. However, this one does. It comes with lightweight fiberglass shanks that provide great support and stability.
This means you will enjoy more balance with this boot and experience less foot fatigue. Therefore, if you work any job that requires you to put in many hours, this is the boot you should go for.
With regards to safety, this boots has several safety features including a slip-resistant outsole to prevent dangerous falls, a rubber toe cap to protect your toes from getting crushed, and a waterproof membrane to prevent water from getting to your feet.
To close this review, let me mention one thing I do not like about this product and that is its cost. It is quite an expensive work boot. However, it is worth every dollar.
- It is very waterproof boot for dry feet
- It has a padded collar for max comfort
- It has a breathable and anti-odor membrane
- It provides great shock-absorption
- It is extremely durable and rugged
- It is very well made for maximum durability
- It is an anti-fatigue and shock-absorbing boot
- It is a very costly boot
This Timberland PRO boot is regarded as one of the best-made work boots ever in the history of work boots. It is just so well-engineered for comfort and safety and, therefore, ideal for those with bad feet.
5. Carhartt Men’s CMF6366 6 Inch Work Boots for Bad Knees
Carhartt is a very popular shoe brand. The company has been making durable work shoes since time immemorial.
The Carhartt CMF6366 is one of their best work boots. It is made rugged to handle harsh work environments. Despite its rugged and strong design, it is a lightweight boot. Therefore, it will not strain your knees with every step.
This boot’s outsole has a special lug pattern. The pattern will give you balance and stability when you wear this boot. And this will make it less likely for you to slip and strain your already bad knees or suffer bad injury.
My favorite feature of this amazing Carhartt boot is its Rugged Flex Technology. This tech enables the boot to stretch more readily than work boots made of real tough leather.
The fact that this boot can stretch means it can adapt easily to the size and shape of your feet making it very comfortable.
Speaking of comfort, I believe you will be excited to know that this boot has a special Ortholite support insole and a cushioned midsole. These two things will keep pressure off your knees and feet and make life more comfortable for you at work.
The worst thing about this boot is that it does not provide toe protection.
- It is a very durable boot
- It is simultaneously stylish and rugged
- It is sold at a reasonable price
- It comes with a shock-absorbing midsole
- It is supremely lightweight
- It offers great traction and stability
- It is amazing for use as a construction boot
- It has no steel toe protection
This work shoe is almost flawless. The only flaw it has is that it lacks steel toe protection. However, it has composite toe protection which is pretty good. So in short, this is an excellent boot.
6. Danner Men’s Vicious 8″ Work Boots for Bad Knees
This pair of Danner shoes is one of the highest-quality boots for bad back and knees. It is extremely highly-rated on Amazon. And when I read the reviews left on Amazon and other websites about this boot, I noticed that most customers are really impressed by mainly four things about this boot.
First, they are impressed with the construction of the boot. The leather used to make this boot is top quality and the sole used is the high-quality Vibram sole that is very work-friendly. The boot itself is lightweight and is designed to be very durable.
Second, they are impressed with the comfort provided by this boot. This boot has a shock-absorbing midsole and an insole. These things make it quite comfortable for people with bad knees.
This boot is also very breathable making it great for warm weather. And at the same time, it is well-insulated making it perfect for cold weather.
Third, they are impressed by the many safety features that come with this boot. They include a slip-resisting outsole, a ninety degree heel, and a heavy duty lacing.
Lastly, they are impressed by the fact that this shoe does not require to be broken in. You can wear this shoe to work straight from the box.
The one thing that is not impressive about this boot is its lack of toe protection.
- It is a lightweight and comfy work boot
- It is as comfortable as a sneaker
- It is perfect for different weather conditions
- It can accommodate big or thick socks
- It is snow-ready
- It does not need break-in
- It does not come with advanced toe protection
- It is too tight for those with big feet
Despite lacking steel toe protection, this is one of the most amazing work shoes for people with painful knees. Because it is comfy, stable, lightweight, and breathable.
7. KEEN Utility Men’s Detroit XT Work Boots for Bad Knees
Many work boots causing knee pain are heavy. And it is their weight that makes them cause knee pain. Therefore, it is important that the boot you buy and wear to work is lightweight if you have knee pain.
This KEEN Utility Detroit boot is extremely lightweight compared to most work boots. This is despite being strong and durable. Because it is lightweight, you will not experience any knee pain when you walk around with this boot on your feet.
The lightweightness of this boot is complemented by how well it fits and how comfortable it is. This boot’s snug fit and its comfort features make it perfect for those with knee pain, sensitive feet or sore feet.
The thing that I appreciate the most about this boot is its protective toe box. It is wide and it protects the toes really well.
The thing I do not like the most about this boot is the fact that it needs to be broken in to become comfortable.
- This is a lightweight and highly comfortable boot
- It is highly protective with a steel toe box
- It fits those with regular size feet very well
- It has great flexibility and stability
- It is relatively cheap
- It features the reliable cement construction
- It requires a bit of time to break in
This is an excellent boot for those with knee pain. Because it is highly flexible, stable, and comfortable. You will love wearing it after the break in period.
8. Ariat Work Men’s Rebar Western Work Boots for Bad Knees
There is so much to love about this top work boot. Because like most ARIAT work boots, it is tough, strong, and extremely durable.
It is a boot that you can use daily for many months or even years without extensively wearing it down. It also won’t break down because it has a four-row stitch pattern to ensure everything sticks together.
The features that make this boot perfect for those with bad knees include a lightweight design, a flexible upper, and an advanced footbed technology.
All these things combined make this boot feel lightweight, extremely flexible, and supremely comfortable under the foot. You will just love how this comfort translates to less knee pain when you wear this boot to work.
What’s more, this boot is waterproof. Hence it can keep your feet dry even in a wet environment. Moreover, this boot is very protective. It offers toe protection and electrical hazard protection.
The only thing you will not love about this boot is the fact that it is narrow. This makes it unsuitable for people with wide feet.
- It has a well-treaded outsole for maximum slip-resistance
- It comes with advanced footbed tech for max comfort and support
- It provides great stability even on oily surfaces
- It has a composite toe box to protection
- It provides electrical hazard protection (ASTM standard)
- It features mesh-lining for maximum breathability
- It has a cushioning EVA midsole for optimal knee protection
- It has a slightly scratching collar (needs to be worn with long thick socks)
- It is not ideal for those with wide feet
This advanced ARIAT work boot provides great comfort for those with knee issues. It is also at the same time very rugged and durable. Lastly, it is quite protective and ideal for many blue and pink collar jobs.
What Causes a Bad Knee? Consequences of Choosing the Wrong Work Boots for Knee Pain
There are several things that can make you have a bad knee. They include injury, mechanical issues, and arthritis. For workers, the main cause of bad knees is injury.
Several types of injury can cause bad knees. They include ACL injury, fractures, torn meniscus, patellar tendinitis, and knee bursitis.
ACL injury is caused by a tear of the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). This ligament is one of the four that link the thighbone to the shinbone. It is a common injury among workers whose work involves a lot of movement. It makes walking very painful.
Fractures also cause bad knees. A fractured bone is a broken bone. The breaking can be caused by a fall or a collision.
The breaking of a bone needs medical treatment. And after treatment, you need to wear a very ergonomic boot to avoid feeling any pain.
A torn meniscus, a knee bursitis, and a patellar tendinitis are all injuries that can cause intense pain in and around the knee. They can be caused by falling, knee trauma, heavy physical work, intense exercise, poor exercise form, and so on.
When you get an injury and your knees go bad, you’ve got to wear the right work boots aka the good shoes for sore knees. If you don’t, your knees will feel painful. In fact, the pain you will feel could be unbearable and could make it difficult or impossible for you to work.
However, as mentioned in the introduction, there are many brilliant boots that you can wear when you have bad knees to feel less or no pain in the knees.
How to Prevent Knee Pain for Workers?
If you have intense knee pain, you should seek medical treatment. Your problem could be eliminated by a single medicine or could be the sign of a much bigger problem.
If you seek medical treatment and you are just given medicine to manage instead of eliminate the problem, you should ask your doctor about exercises.
Certain exercises are usually recommended for workers to eliminate knee pain. And the best thing about knee pain-healing exercises is the fact that they are free to do and you can do them anywhere.
Where can you find the exercises to do to heal your knee pain as a worker? Search for them on YouTube. There are plenty of exercises there.
Pick a set of exercises from a channel that has good credibility and follow it religiously after consulting your doctor. You could prevent or event eliminate knee pain.
And while you are doing exercises, do not forget to wear the right boots to work. Pick a pair of best boot for bad knees from the list below. If you do this, you will help your knees stay in good shape and prevent knee pain while at work.
What Features Should You Look for in the Work Boots for Bad Knees?
To choose the best work boots for bad knees, you should make sure the shoes have a good outsole, an excellent midsole, and a cushioning footbed. You should also make sure they are lightweight.
A good outsole
You need to make sure the boot you choose has a good outsole. A good outsole is one that is wide and has excellent traction.
If you choose a boot with an outsole that is not wide enough and does not have good traction, your likelihood of slipping and falling at work will increase. This could exacerbate your knee injury or cause serious injury.
The highest-quality boots for bad knees are those that have excellent traction. When you wear one, you will be stable and balanced on any surface.
This will make it easier for you to do your job. It will also prevent your feet from turning awkwardly and causing more knee pain or injury.
An excellent midsole
You need to ensure the shoe you buy has an excellent midsole. An excellent midsole is one that provides excellent shock-absorption whenever you are walking and especially when you are hard at work.
Because you have knee pain, if you purchase a work shoe that does not have an excellent midsole, you could end up feeling a lot of pain in the knees when you start working.
The good shoes for knee problems have an EVA midsole, a steel/fiberglass shank, or a midsole suspension system for shock-absorption.
A cushioning footbed
Walking and working on concrete and pavements all day can be tiring. It can also cause knee or underfoot pain. Therefore, you need to make sure the work shoe you buy has a cushioned footbed.
You should especially do this if you already have knee problems. A cushioned footbed will make you feel as if you are walking on a thick carpet barefoot even when you are walking on a thick concrete floor that does not even give an inch.
In my opinion, the best choices are the shock absorbing boots bad knees. This is because they directly prevent pain for those already having knee issues.
Work shoes with a cushioning footbed are also considered the best boots for standing all day with bad knees. Because they make standing more comfortable.
You need to make sure the work boot you get is lightweight if you have knee problems. Because if it is not, every step you make will feel bad for your knees.
And when you take many steps with a heavy boot throughout the day, you could end up with unbearable knees in the evening.
So buy no boot that is heavy if your knees are bad.
How Did I Test The Work Boots for Bad Knees?
For many who have bad knees, there is a need to check three important things – balance, shock absorption, and the weight – when purchasing a work boot.
If a work boot provides good balance and shock absorption and is relatively lightweight, it passes the test. In other words, it is good enough for people with bad knees. Below is how I checked or tested the three things.
The balance test
Did you know imbalance leads to knee pain? If you didn’t know, now you know. Before adding any boot to my list of eight best boots for bad knees, I checked to ensure it is balanced.
Because I know balanced boots are those that have excellent traction, I simply checked to confirm if a boot has excellent traction before adding it to the list. If it had and passed the other two tests below, I added it to the list.
The shock absorption test
I already talked about shock absorption in the section before this one. Before adding a work shoe to my list, I checked to ensure it provides good shock absorption. Only the boots that provide good shock absorption passed this test.
Because a boot without good shock absorption will exacerbate pain when one is doing heavy impact work, walking a lot on a concrete surface, or standing a lot throughout the work day.
The lightweight test
Only the work shoes that are lightweight passed this test and made it to my list of good boots for bad feet and knees. Because heavy work shoes would not only accelerate foot fatigue but also increase knee pain or the likelihood of triggering knee issues.
1. What are the best insoles for knee pain?
The best insoles for knee pain are those that are well-cushioned. Because by providing cushioning, they absorb part of the shock felt with every step and, therefore, do not cause knee pain. Orthotic insoles are also considered to be very good insoles for knee pain.
2. Are cowboy boots bad for your knees?
It really depends with the boots. Ordinary cowboy boots are heavy and do not provide a lot of cushioning. This makes them bad for the knees. In contrast, most modern cowboy work boots are lightweight, well-cushioned, and balanced. They are not bad for knees.
3. What is good for bad knees?
If you are a worker and you have bad knees, you need good boots for knee pain. Choose any of the eight boots I reviewed above and you will certainly have a pair of good boot for bad knees. They will prevent knee pain and ensure comfort.
Can bad shoes cause knee pain? Yes, they can. You now know that if you have knee problems, you need to where good shoes for knee pain.
The good news is that you now know all the best work boots for bad knees. It is now up to you to consider each boot Workwear Magazine reviewed individually to decide which one excites you the most and has all the exact features you want.
If you cannot decide, you should go for the Wolverine Dura-Shock work shoe. In my opinion, it is the best and most comfortable boot for workers with bad knees.
James Drakon, founder and research specialist of Workbootsdirect.com, is a driven and ambitious thirty-year-old with an unwavering commitment to safety and excellence. He is dedicated to providing the best possible selection of work boots for industries requiring specialized footwear solutions. With years of expertise in the field, he has been able to uncover the most innovative ways of researching, designing and creating high-quality, reliable safety boots. His passion and dedication have allowed him to become a leader in the work boot industry.