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Gear and Technology

Run with care: A guide to choosing the best shoes for knee-friendly running

Run with care: A guide to choosing the best shoes for knee-friendly running
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Knee pain is a common complaint for both avid and casual runners. While it may be tempting to push through, ignoring the pain can lead to serious injuries and hinder performance. Luckily, with the right form, routine, and running shoes, knee pain can be reduced and even avoided.

When it comes to shoes designed with runners in mind, we have decades of experience developing technology that supports the joints. Here are some of our tips for avoiding and managing knee pain with the right running techniques and the best shoes for the job.

Common causes of knee injury

Common causes of knee injury

Running requires a repetitive motion and high impact on the joints, including the knees. Two of the most common knee injuries runners experience are patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee, and patellar tendonitis, also known as jumper’s knee. Runner’s knee happens when the cartilage in your kneecap becomes irritated and inflamed, and jumper’s knee is inflammation of the patellar tendon, the tendon that connects the kneecap and the shin bone. Both knee injuries can be caused by:

  • Overuse: Increasing mileage or intensity too quickly can lead to injuries from pushing your joints beyond their limits.
  • Poor running form: Overstriding or landing on the wrong part of the foot can put excessive strain on the knee joints and lead to injury.
  • Inadequate warm-up and cool-down routines: Skipping the stretches before and after a run can lead to stiff joints that are more prone to injury.
  • Improper footwear: Shoes that don’t provide adequate support can impact the alignment and stability of your knees.

The importance of proper running techniques

Proper running technique is a mix of posture, arm swing, foot strike, cadence, and breathing. While it takes time to master form, it’s worth the effort to optimize performance, prevent injury, and enhance overall running efficiency. Practice and gradually increasing mileage and intensity are the best ways to work towards the ideal interaction between the muscles, bones, joints, and tendons. Pushing yourself to progress too quickly can lead to knee pain and other injuries that may hold you back.

The right running shoes can help provide the support and alignment you need to focus on identifying any bad habits and practicing and perfecting your form gradually.

Tips and routines for knee-friendly running

Tips and routines for knee-friendly running

You already know that proper form is essential, but what exactly does that mean? While every runner will have a slightly different approach that works for them, there are a few universal tips and tricks for protecting your knees and improving run efficiency. Here are the most important things to focus on with every stride:

  • Check your posture: Keep your head up, back straight, and shoulders level and under your ears to maintain a neutral pelvis. Check in often to ensure you aren’t leaning too far forward or back when fatigue starts to set in.
  • Focus on foot placement: Try to land softly with a midfoot strike directly under your body. Avoid landing on your heels or toes, as this can increase impact on your knees.
  • Shorten your stride: You may instinctively try to lengthen your stride to increase speed, but taking shorter, quicker steps can help lessen the strain on your knees.
  • Engage your core: Engaged core muscles will help stabilize your body and help support your knees.
  • Proper footwear: Supportive, well-cushioned shoes will provide shock absorption and stability for your knees.

Brooks Running for knee protection

Brooks Running has a range of shoes for men and women that are specifically designed to support proper running technique. The Glycerin collection for both men and women is crafted with both comfort and performance in mind. The Glycerin adapts to your unique stride, the Glycerin GTS includes built-in stability support, and the Glycerin StealthFit has a compression mesh design that feels custom-tailored to the unique curves of your feet. Choose the right pair for your typical running conditions and specific goals.

The Ghost collection for men and women is another popular option for runners, equipped with our DNA LOFT technology for maximum cushioning from the first mile to the last. Perfect for everyday runs, whether you’re hitting the roadway, sidewalk, or track, the Ghost Max shoes are designed to provide cushion and protection. If you need the added benefit of waterproofing, try the Ghost GTX.

Finally, try out the Adrenaline GTS for men and women for maximum support, along with a cushioned midsole that promotes an aligned stride. Equipped with both the DNA LOFT cushioning technology and the GuideRails® support technology to promote alignment, the Adrenaline GTS is the ultimate running shoe for striving towards a new personal best.

Understanding Brooks Running shoe footwear technology

Understanding Brooks Running shoe footwear technology

Brooks Running is always developing new technologies, so runners have options that complement their running goals and keep them pain-free. Wearing proper footwear is one of the most important ways to avoid knee injuries, and we have a few features that focus on cushioning and support to choose from. Depending on your running routine and goals, here’s what Brooks Running shoes have to offer:

BioMoGo DNA combines softness and responsiveness to deliver the best of both worlds by taking a runner’s unique stride, weight, and speed into account. It’s also formulated using non-toxic additives, making it our most environmentally friendly option.

DNA AMP comes with the highest energy return by absorbing the force of your stride and returning the energy back to you instead of letting it disperse. This results in a springy, rather than soft, feeling.

DNA FLASH is our lightest weight cushioning built for speed. It’s available in our fastest racing and training shoes for runners who prioritize speed over everything.

DNA LOFT cushioning technology is a soft midsole cushioning made up of EVA foam, rubber, and air. DNA LOFT v2 builds on the benefits of the original formula, resulting in an even lighter option. The latest iteration, DNA LOFT v3, is infused with nitrogen for the softest, lightest, and most responsive experience.

When it comes to support, our GuideRails® holistic support technology is designed to keep your body aligned as you move. It addresses deviation in ankle and knee joints to keep your body on the right path.

Mastering proper form is an essential part of any runner’s journey to maximize running efficiency and avoid knee pain. Choosing the right footwear is the first step to ensuring your joints are supported with every stride. Look no further than Brooks Running for running shoes that meet your needs and help you avoid knee injuries like runner’s knee.

Wondering how to fix runner’s knee? Browse our top running shoes for men and women to find a pair that supports your joints with every stride.

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Disclaimer: Our writer's advice is intended for informational or general educational purposes only. We always encourage you to speak with your physician or healthcare provider before making any adjustments to your running, nutrition, or fitness routines.