Best Hiking Boots For Bad Knees (Men’s & Women’s)


I used to hike a lot in the past. Nevertheless, it didn’t matter if I walked up or downhill; pain in my knees was more than familiar. At first, I was introduced to different hiking techniques to minimize the pressure on my knees. I’ve learned how to lean and that I shouldn’t lock my legs, especially when I hike downhill. Still, I kept getting this sharp pain as I walked long distances. Then, I started to think about footwear and wondered what the best hiking boots for bad knees are.

To answer this question, I began researching. I realized that too much ankle support might do the opposite to the knees. Also, researches have found that proper footwear could be an inexpensive solution for this particular pain:

ankle braces may cause an increase in the knee axial rotation indicating higher risk of knee injury (source).

Insoles and footwear offer great potential, as simple, inexpensive-treatment strategies for knee osteoarthritis (source).

Based on these assumptions, I went on Amazon and searched for people who had experienced knee pain and what hiking boots had worked for them. I haven’t tried these myself; however, the reviews were great and in general, look promising.

Here is a list of the best hiking boots for bad knees:

  • Ariat Terrain H2O Hiking Boot
  • Danner Mountain 600 4.5″ Hiking Boot
  • Vasque Mantra 2.0 Gore-Tex Hiking Boot
  • Skechers Men’s Morson-Sinatro Hiking Boot
  • Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Hiking Boot
  • KEEN Men’s Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

1. Ariat Terrain H2O Hiking Boot

The reason why this hiking boot is on top of my list is that it is ankle length. The shaft can provide support to not only the ankles but also to the entire leg. Besides that, the excellent rubber sole, along with the grip, reduces the pressure on your knees.

Get more details on this pair on Amazon, here for men’s, and here for women’s.

Glad I switched back. My knees feel so much better and my feet aren’t so tired at the end of the day.

Sole

The boot consists of the rubber sole. The advantage of the rubber sole is that it is not only highly durable but also provides you with a grip on any surface.

With the help of a dura tread outsole, it is easy for you to hike on variable terrains. Moreover, it has a self-cleaning outsole as well, which is an advantage of its own.

The heel stabilizer on offer reduces the amount of energy which you need to expend to get the grip. It minimizes the rebound or any impact on your leg. Due to this very reason, the heel stabilizer and the outsole can protect your knees in more ways than one.

Construction

One feature which I like about this hiking boot is that it consists of 100% leather. It means that apart from the rubber sole, the footwear is entirely leather.

The advantage of this construction is that the durability increases significantly. With the help of a full-grain upper, which is waterproof due to a lining membrane, you can use this in any weather.

It also consists of a padded collar that can provide you with proper comfort. When it comes to the footbed, it is gel-cushioned. The cushioning increases the comfort level even further.

The lining on offer can also keep the moisture away from you to prevent blisters and bad smells. Thus, when you look at the construction, you will realize that it is not only durable but also highly comfortable.

Variants

The Ariat Terrain H2O comes across the size spectrum. It means that you can find the precise size you need. Besides that, it is available in 2 different color options as well, which is another advantage. In terms of aesthetics and choice, there will be no problem at all.

Other Features

Another feature that I like about these hiking boots is that they are breathable. Due to this very reason, even when wearing them for long hours, you won’t face any issues. With so many features, it does not come as a surprise that it is on top of my list.

2. Danner Mountain 600 4.5″ Hiking Boot

The USP of these hiking boots is the Vibram Fuga Outsole, which in offer. This outsole means that it can provide a superior grip over any surface. It works well over dry and wet surfaces.

As a result, the pressure on your knee lowers significantly. While it in itself is a great feature which can make it suitable for bad knees but it also offers a lot of other features which I will highlight below.

Before that, you may check the price and comments for this pair on Amazon, here for men’s, and here for women’s.

They allow me to walk normally and not bother my knees or hips.

I suffer from arthritis in my right knee. These provide all day comfort while looking great at the same time.

Sole

The Vibram Fuga outsole of this hiking boot has an excellent grip. When you look at the midsole, it has Vibram SPE midsole. The combination of these means that controlling your ascent and descent is quite easy.

The midsole absorbs any rebound. Due to this very reason, even when you wear it on longer hikes or treks, you will be entirely comfortable.

Construction

Apart from the Vibram midsoles and outsoles, it consists of suede upper. The full-grain leather upper means that durability is not a problem.

With the shaft of 5.25 inches, it can provide proper support to your entire feet. Also, it consists of an ortholite footbed, which means that your feet will be entirely comfortable.

With the help of waterproof protection, you can use it in any weather with ease. As you can see, the construction of the boots is such that it becomes highly versatile.

Variants

If you’re looking for design options, these boots will not disappoint you. They consist of 14 different design options spread across the size spectrum. It means that choosing the right color and the size which you want is quite easy.

Other Features

The hiking boots also offer a TPU heel frame. With the help of this, the boots can cushion any impact and increase stability. It is one of the reasons why these hiking boots made it to this list.

Thus, the multiple features to cushion the impact and improve the stability make it suitable for people with bad knees.

3. Vasque Mantra 2.0 Gore-Tex Hiking Boot

Are you looking for low-cut hiking boots with the same stability? If yes, this one is a perfect choice. In spite of the low cut, it can provide excellent grip, which provides relief to your feet. I will now highlight some of its features below, which will help you understand why it is such a good option.

Before that, you may find the price and more reviews on Amazon, here for men’s, and here for women’s.

They are comfortable, light enough not to hurt my knees, tough as hell and waterproof.

These shoes have enough room to use orthopedic inserts without being too tight and this is essential for keeping ankles knees and hips healthy.

Sole

The Vibram outsole means that in terms of stability and grip, you will face no problem at all. It also offers a heel of 1.75 inches, which again can help you get the hold which you want while negotiating any terrain.

Construction

The 100% leather construction makes it pretty tough. It also consists of GORE-TEX technology. The hiking boots are completely waterproof and breathable. Due to this very reason, wearing them for long hours is not a problem.

It consists of 1.8 MM Nubuck leather. It also has a coating of abrasion-resistant mesh, which increases breathability. With the help of a speed lacing system, wearing and removing the boots is quite easy. The convenience which the construction has to offer makes it a choice which you cannot miss.

Variants

While the color option available is single, it is available across the entire size spectrum. You can even get the size for the wide feet as well.

Other Features

One feature which I particularly like is that it consists of a dual-density EVA footbed. It increases the comfort level significantly. The combination of leather construction and the Vibram sole is the reason why it is on this list.

4. Skechers Men’s Morson-Sinatro Hiking Boot

The Hiking boot, which I’m highlighting now, consists of a synthetic sole. The slip-resistant sole provides you with comfort as well as the grip which you need.

Before you make your decision about these hiking boots, go through my explanation below to understand why it is suitable for individuals with bad knees.

Nevertheless, you may already check its price and reviews on Amazon here.

I wear these while standing and playing keyboard and I have noticed less pain in my knees after the gig.

Sole

The synthetic sole on offer is specially designed to provide an excellent grip. The construction also makes it highly durable, which ensures that you will not have to search for replacements anytime soon.

Construction

The leather construction of these hiking boots makes it is durable as other options on this list, if not more. It consists of a shaft of 5.5 inches, which can provide support to your feet. In spite of the leather construction, it is waterproof. The slip-resistant sole also means that getting the grip is not a problem.

Variants

The pair comes only in two different color options. Nevertheless, when combining the various size options, finding the precise hiking boot which you need shouldn’t be an issue.

Other Features

The boots also consist of cold memory foam. The air-cooled design ensures proper ventilation. So, your feet will remain cool entirely. The waterproof design means that you need not worry about the weather outside. It is one of the best hiking boots for people with bad knees.

5. Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Hiking Boot

Are you looking for women’s hiking boots that will go easy on your knees? If yes, this option will meet your requirements. The rubber sole of these boots is the reason why it is on this list.

Apart from that as well, it offers quite a few features. These features make it suitable for women with bad knees. I will highlight these features and more in the review below.

However, you could check them already on Amazon here.

I run and have some knee issues with heels, so these are perfect!

Excellent fit, not heavy and supportive to my aging knees and ankles.

Sole

The outsole consists of rubber material. It adds not only to the durability, but the design provides excellent traction as well. As a result, walking on any terrain is not a problem.

The midsole on offer consists of Techlite EVA. It means that the midsole can handle high load and does not undergo consistent wear and tear. The dual tread pattern provides excellent support, which is another reason why it is suitable for women with bad knees.

Construction

One of the main advantages of these hiking boots is that it consists of rubber, nylon, and leather material. The blend of these materials makes these boots highly durable.

Moreover, the construction of the boots is such that they can absorb any impact and shock. As a result, your feet, especially the knees, will be safe.

The shaft of 5.25 inches provides proper support, as well. The full-grain leather construction is waterproof and also consists of a mesh tongue that keeps your feet comfortable throughout the trip. These construction features ensure that the hiking Boot is perfect for women to get an excellent grip.

Variants

The boots are available in 6 different color options and are available across the size spectrum. Hence, finding the pair which suits you best should be easy.

Other Features

The feature of these hiking boots, which sets them apart, is the feminine design. All the color combinations are such that they are quite feminine.

Moreover, the lace-up closure means that adjusting to get the right fit is possible. So, when searching for the best hiking boots for bad knees for women, this is an option which you should not miss out on.

6. KEEN Men’s Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

The lugged outsole and the contoured heel lock of these hiking boots are the reason why they are on this list. Besides that, they are one of the lightest hiking boots on the market.

With the weight of just 494 g, you can be sure that they will not put excessive pressure on your knees. I will also highlight a few other reasons why they are better than the others.

Before that, you may check their price and other features on Amazon, here for men’s, and here for women’s.

My husband has had great success with wearing keen boots, as he has lower back pain and knee pain wearing other boots, and has does not experience this with keen boots.

Sole

The rubber outsole of these boots consists of multi-directional lugs. The contoured heel locks offer excellent grip. The entire design of the outsole is such that irrespective of the terrain, you can use the boots.

Construction

Nubuck leather construction makes them quite comfortable. The opening measures 20.5 inches, which means that wearing and removing them is quite easy. The low-profile upper provides excellent security. Also, the boots consist of a padded collar and tongue. With the help of a breathable liner, keeping your feet fresh is quite easy.

Variants

With 17 different color options, choosing the boot color is not a problem. All the color options are available in different sizes as well, which makes your buying decision even more natural.

Other Features

The design is such that you can wear and remove them in a jiffy. Moreover, the lightweight construction of just 494 g is one of the main reasons why you should not ignore this boot.

The lightweight construction and excellent grip ensure that these boots can keep you comfortable even on the extraneous hikes.

What to Consider When Buying Hiking Boots For Bad Knees?

If you’re confused between these six options as well, I will certainly help you out. With the help of my buying guide below, it will become easier for you to choose among them.

The Grip on Offer

The 1st thing which you need to look at is the grip on offer. It will be dependent on the outsole as well as the construction of the hiking boots.

You must pick a pair with a proper grip and low heels.

This will distribute pressure evenly on your joints and knees in particular (source). Once you look at these factors, it will become easy for you to decide which hiking boots offer the perfect grip.

Construction Quality

You have to check the construction quality on offer as well. The materials used in construction will determine the durability of the hiking boots.

Generally speaking, those who are made of leather and Gore-Tex membrane are usually durable.

Cushioning Effect

If the hiking boots provide a proper cushioning effect, they are an excellent choice to consider. They should consist of at least one feature which can absorb and reduce the impact on your knees.

Nevertheless, make sure that this padding is distributed evenly within the insole and doesn’t create an angle.

These are the three factors you should always keep in mind when choosing hiking boots for bad knees. When you compare the six options on these four factors, it will be easy to make the right decision.

Can These Hiking Boots Avoid Hiker’s Knee?

Hiker’s knee is a common problem which you can face, especially during descent. In most cases, hiking boots can help you avoid that problem.

However, that can only happen when you follow the tips and techniques precisely. If your descent technique is not up to the mark, even these boots cannot prevent the issue.

On that matter, I highly suggest you read an article I’ve written on how to climb a mountain without getting tired. In there, I embedded videos that will show you the right ascending and descending techniques.

Do I Need to Take Other Precautions While Hiking With Bad Knees?

Yes, if you want to avoid the problem altogether, there are a few other tips that you need to follow even when using these hiking Boots. These include:

  • You have to follow proper ascent and descent techniques.
  • You should wear thick socks to minimize the impact.
  • You have to avoid knee-jerk movements.
  • You should try to shift weight on your hiking equipment like trekking poles, ropes or carabiners, instead of on your knees.

These four simple tips will help you reduce the pressure on your knees further.

Conclusions

Are you looking for hiking boots that can support your bad knees? If yes, my list above will certainly help you out. The general perception is that if you have bad knees, you cannot hike.

However, that is not entirely true. With the right gear, you can provide proper support and cushion to your bad knees. In that case, you can go on a hike. The first piece of equipment which you need to choose is the hiking boot. It will ensure that the pressure on your knees reduces significantly. 

The question is which hiking boots provide proper support for bad knees? For that, I’ve gone through numerous options to cherry-pick these six hiking boots, which are not only up to the mark but which can make hiking easier for you in spite of your bad knees.

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