10 Best Dress Shoes for Bad Knees (Complete Guide 2020)

In search for the best dress shoes for bad knees?

Most of the women with knee pain stop wearing high heels, why is this so? A simple answer to this question is that when you wear high heels, your toes have to bear all of your body weight, and your quadriceps struggle even harder to keep your knee in place, leading to knee pain.

Your walking speed will decrease with the increase in your heel height, and also it causes knee adduction to increase, which indicates a significant number of other reactive forces placed on your knee. As a result, the pressure on your knee is increased drastically that will alter your gait too and causes severe knee pain.

According to a study, women are more prone to back and knee pain because 40% of them wear high heels daily. Most of these shoes are not comfortable, and when you remove them after several hours, they leave adverse effects on your feet and knees.   

That’s why you always need to wear such shoes that are most comfortable and best for your bad knees. Dress shoes for bad knees are not regular dress shoes. They have some exceptional features that are required for your bad knees. A perfect dress shoe is the one that makes you more confident as you step in it.

In a hurry? Here are our top picks:

Dress shoes are the shoes to be worn at formal or semi-formal events like business meetings, parties, and special occasions. Dress shoes are the most elegant, subtle, sophisticated, and a slim, sleek figure. 

All the dress shoes available in the market are not similar. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, designs, and colors that makes it pretty hard to choose the best dress shoes for bad knees. The most comfortable dress shoes have features such as ample arch support, maximum cushioning, and proper shock absorption.  

Don’t waste your time finding the perfect pair for your bad knees that also complements your outfit and your overall appearance. We have chosen the best dress shoes for your bad knees in this roundup review. 

Scroll down deeper to find out your perfect pair!

Best Dress Shoes for Bad Knees (For Women)

You always need to provide additional support to your knees by choosing the correct footwear for your bad knees. Here are some amazingly perfect and comfy footwears for you. Dig down to get your perfect pair!

Clarks Women’s Padmora Oxford – Versatile

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These dress shoes promise to perfect your formal and casual dress-up days when you have bad knees. Clarks Padmora Oxford is the timeless and versatile shoe best for bad knees, and it gives you the sensation of cloud-like strides.  

This Oxford, inspired by Wallabee, features a suede or soft leather upper, and the stitching style of it gives it a smooth textured look.

The wide squared-off toe gives you lots of room in the toe box for the natural toe spread and allows your toe to wiggle freely. The upper of the shoe has distinct stitching and edging details that are also known as apron front.

The lace-up design has two laces eyelets that are very useful in adjusting the shoes right according to the width of your feet. The EVA midsole provides your feet with great comfort and support while standing or walking. The ortholite memory foam gives maximum heel-to-toe cushioning that gives super bounce-back effect and energy to your feet.

These shoes are the year-rounder and will become your go-to shoes as they have the perfect support, comfort, and cushioning that makes them best dress shoes for bad knees.

PROS

  • This shoe is effortless to wear.
  • The natural crepe outsole ensures maximum grip interaction.
  • It’s a classic and iconic shoe.
  • The toe box is roomy.
  • These shoes are very comfortable.

CONS

  • You might struggle with finding your perfect size.

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Dansko Women’s Liliana Wedge

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If you’re having a bad week because of your bad knees, Dansko Liliana Wedges will make it a little easier and comfortable for you. The durable and flexible crepe rubber outsole makes it the best dress shoe for bad knees.

Liliana is an exciting combination of a loafer and a wedge that makes it much more desirable among women who are looking for comfort and style within the same shoe. The molded EVA foam and the extra structured arch support in the footbed give your feet a cloud-like sensation and feel lighter on your knees. 

The upper is made of smooth and soft leather with a classic stitch style that adds more details to the shoe. The midsole is made of multiple layers with extra padding just to ensure that it feels lighter on your feet and especially on your knees.

There is little goring at the sides too. And the best part of this shoe is the hidden wedge that adds more height and makes it feel super comfortable. 

PROS

  • These shoes provide great stability.
  • The leather lining is very soft.
  • The V shape in the middle of the upper gives it a stylish appearance.
  • There is enough room for your toes.
  • The upper leather is supple and provides a perfect fit.

CONS

  • The footbed may not provide ample flexibility.

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Orthofeet Women’s 817 Slip-on Shoes

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Orthofeet Women’s 817 Slip-on shoes guarantee unsurpassed cushioning and comfort; it is considered as the world’s most comfortable orthopedic shoe. 

The mesh upper has an extra foam padding in the tongue and collar that provides customized support. The two-way strap system of the shoe enables a snug fit and allows the upper to adjust any foot size and shape. 

The shoes come in all sizes to ensure a proper fit for your feet, and the therapeutic design of this shoe is just amazing and helps alleviate any stress or pain on your joints, feet, and knees. The toe box is spacious and eases any kind of pressure on your toe.

The cushioned insole provides maximum protection to your feet against various pressure points. This shoe features a super soft rubber outsole for ample traction and grip over different surfaces when you’re having bad knees or any other foot disease. 

PROS

  • This shoe offers pillow-like support to your feet and eases any pain.
  • The protective lining in this shoe is seamless and very soft.
  • The shoe has an overall stylish and comfortable appearance.
  • The shoe straps are adjustable and ensure a sock-like fit.

CONS

  • This shoe may not work well on slippery surfaces.

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Dr. Comfort Coco Women’s Therapeutic Dress Shoe

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Coco by Dr. Comfort is the go-to shoe for women who prefer elegance and sophistication in the shoe in addition to its comfort. The shoe is well-known for its BOA Closure System that allows a secure and adjustable fit.

The leather upper allows great ventilation and keeps your feet dry and cool; the leather is just so breathable and feels soft on the skin.

The toe box seems narrow from outside, but it has extra room for your toe to move freely and protect your toe against stubbing. There are multiple footbeds so that you remove them for the accommodation of your orthotics. 

This shoe is simply a combination of elegance, comfort, beauty, style, and above all, ample cushioning for your knees and joints. 

PROS

  • The patent forefoot design provides forefoot pressure relief.
  • The shoe is exquisite.
  • This shoe offers maximum support.
  • The closure system gives this shoe a fancy appearance.
  • The upper is made of the finest quality leather.

CONS

  • The shoe may feel a little tight on wider toes.

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Rockport Women’s Aubrey

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If you’re looking for something unique and super-comfy as well, then Rockport Aubrey is going to serve you properly. These shoes will add a new look to your wardrobe and a fresh feel for your bad knees.

The T-style strap design of this sandal is the most prominent feature among other features; the straps and closed-toe shoes are very airy and breathable. This shoe is best for the women who don’t usually prefer boots or any sort of shoe that suffocates their feet.

The footbed features contoured EVA foam, and additional arch support works excellent if you’re on your feet all day long or you have long strides. This soft cushioned footbed makes this shoe one of the best dress shoes for bad knees. 

The rubber outsole is thermoplastic to offer more traction and enables you to be more confident while having long walks. 

PROS

  • The shoe is very stylish and fashionable.
  • The footbed is very comfortable.
  • The textile lining of the upper keeps your feet feeling soft and breathable.
  • The strap design and adjustable buckle closure offer easy ON/OFF.

CONS

  • Wide feet women may feel a little discomfort while wearing them on.

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Best Dress Shoes for Bad Knees (For Men)

Best dress shoes and suits are the requirements for most of the guys to showcase their attitude at any occasion or their workplace. It seems to be an issue for men with bad knees. So, we have gathered the most comfortable and elegant dress shoes for you here.

ECCO Men’s Helsinki Oxford – Best Overall

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Oxford dress shoes are a part of men’s wardrobe essentials and can tie in your every outfit.  And ECCO Helsinki Oxford is the most comfortable shoe for bad knees and also adds more style to your outfit whether you’re going to your work or hanging out with friends at night that made it our top choice in this roundup. 

These shoes are very comfortable even for the men who are always on go because they feature moisture-wicking lining. The upper leather is of top-notch quality offers great support and breathability to the shoe.

The big plus of the shoe is how the outsole is connected to the upper seamlessly that keeps your feet dry and comfortable even if you’re walking in the rain or wet surfaces. The men who suffer from knee pain can remove the insole and replace it with their customized soles.     

The insole of the shoe provides extreme cushioning and support to your feet, and the rubber outsole gives maximum traction to help you keep moving on any kind of terrain.

PROS

  • The shoe is very stylish and fashionable.
  • The square-shaped toe box accommodates wide feet comfortably.
  • The shoes remain odorless even after long strides.
  • They’re comfortable to wear with minimal tread wearing.

CONS

  • These shoes may come with a higher price tag.

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Orthofeet Broadway Men’s Loafers

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Orthofeet Broadway Loafers are those shoes that feature all of the Orthofeet’s comfort system. This feature of these loafers makes them much more than just being comfortable.  

The soft and seam-free inner lining of the shoe provides exceptional comfort and cushioning for sensitive feet. The insole of this shoe features deep heal-seat and anatomical arch support that offers relief to different conditions like heel pain, knee pain, or any other foot discomfort.

The upper is made of non-binding leather that offers a roomy toe box for your natural toe movement and eases the pressure on your joints and feet.

The sole gives ample cushioning as it features Ergonomic-StrideTM design that helps your feet move forward easily.

The shoe has a wide opening and a strap closure that enable easy on and off. 

PROS

  • This shoe offers great relief for knee pain.
  • The shoe insole has great cushioning and support.
  • The removable insole gives space to custom-made insoles.
  • The therapeutic design of the shoe helps alleviate pressure on joints.

CONS

  • The shoe may create a little odor.

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Clarks Men’s Wallabee Boot

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Wallabee hits the amazing spot between sneakers and traditional dress shoes that makes it stand out in the ocean of dress shoes. It has got the features of both the comfort of sneakers and the elegance of traditional dress shoes. 

The square-toed chukkas featuring blind eyelets ensure sock-like fit to your feet that help make your strides much more comfortable even if you’re having knee pain.

One of the essential features of this shoe is the crepe outsole that offers maximum grip interaction and traction on each kind of surface.

The wallabee has become an iconic and classic shoe across the globe, thanks to the structural silhouette and its moccasin construction. Overall, the shoe has the best features for relieving knee pain and other foot diseases.

PROS

  • The shoes come in a beautiful range of colors.
  • The suede/leather feels very soft against your skin.
  • Its appearance is very appealing among all ages of men.
  • The sole offers excellent traction and stability.
  • Wallabees provide you comfort with class.

CONS

  • Clark’s wallabee might feel a little heavier on budget.

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Dansko Men’s Wynn Slip-on Clog

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The reason why we chose Dansko Wynn Slip-on clog for best dress shoes for bad knees is the PU midsole of this shoe that adds excellent cushioning and comfort that helps relieve knee pain.  

The upper is made of fine quality leather along with the side goring details that not only adds to the appearance of the shoe but also facilitates easy on and off. The gore details also make sure that your feet fit correctly.

The style of this shoe is very versatile so that you can pair them up with every outfit, wear them up to work, or wear these clogs to any casual gathering. The footbed of the shoe is also removable, which means you can replace it with your own personal footbed according to your condition.

The outsole of the shoe is slip-resistant and made of rubber that provides you with maximum stability and traction.

PROS

  • The shoe offers great shock absorption.
  • These clogs provide all-day comfort to your feet.
  • The padded collar gives support.
  • The contoured footbed hugs your feet perfectly.

CONS

  • The sole may become a little loose after some time.

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Clarks Men’s Escalade Step

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Clarks Escalade step is the best choice for you if you’re going to work or a business meeting as these shoes are the most comfortable dress shoes that offer style with comfort.

The prominent feature of the shoe is the creative stitching style that plays a great role in deepening the personality of these Clark loafers.

The plush leather upper gives a classy appearance to the shoe, and its soft texture doesn’t rub against the skin. The toebox is square-shaped and offers a larger room for your natural toe-splay. The shoe has a Flexlight construction that means it utilizes lightweight leather and flexible soles.

The insole is lined with padded and soft leather lining that is enough for providing support and comfort to your knees.

PROS

  • These loafers are available in wide widths.
  • The footbed is removable.
  • The padded collar provides your feet with extra support.
  • The open-cell foam technology used in these loafers gives unparalleled comfort and great shock absorption.

CONS

  • The stitching of the shoe might bother some people.

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Buying Guide

When choosing dress shoes for bad knees, there are some features you need to consider:

Top 5 Features to Look for When Buying Dress Shoes for Knee Pain

Maximum Arch Support

You want to be comfortable all day long, whether you have a sky-high arch or flat feet. And if you’re having knee pain, then proper and ample arch support is necessary to keep you comfortable and functional all day long. Buy shoes with insoles having firm support so that it’ll feel light on your knees.

Well-cushioned

When we talk about cushioning, we mean the thickness of the material underneath your midsole, so do check the midsole cushioning of the shoe very well while buying. Because it is the cushioning of the shoes that keep you activate all the time, whether you’re at work or going out for a business meeting. Bad knee means a bad day, and that day could be made much better by wearing a shoe with proper cushioning.

Firm outsole & Shock Absorption

The firm outsole is necessary for your comfortable strides because with knee pain; you don’t want to bear any kind of shock. So, proper traction of the sole and shock absorption will keep you from struggling while walking. Different technologies are used these days in the shoes to absorb more massive impacts very well, so it is necessary to choose such shoe that offers maximum shock absorption.

Stability

If your shoe is less stable, then it may lead to excessive pronation, which, in return, may result in further knee pain. So to prevent any of these issues, check the flexibility and stability of the shoe before buying. 

Uppers

The uppers of your shoes must be breathable and lightweight to avoid pressure on your joints and knees. The upper must hug your feet properly, and in case of sandal, the sandal straps must be adjustable so that your feet always remain in place to avoid any problem.

How to choose the perfect dress shoes for knee pain?

While choosing dress shoes for knee pain, some factors should be kept in mind such as cushioning, shock absorption, and stability. Don’t go for high heels if you’re having bad knees because high heel may cause further pain. The same is the case with flats. Flat shoes also don’t provide sufficient stability and shock absorption that is necessary for people with bad knees. So, always choose something in between that offers adequate cushioning and maximum shock absorption. 

What are the benefits of wearing the correct shoe for knee pain?

Wearing the correct shoes for knee pain offers the following:

Alleviates pain

You will feel less pain in the knees by just wearing the proper shoes, and these shoes will also help reduce knee stiffness.

Increases mobility

When you wear correct footwear, it will help you enjoy your strides more confidently as you won’t feel any more knee pain, so in this way, your mobility will also increase.

Protects your knee

As you wear the right shoes for your bad knees, you will protect your knees from injuries. Because the perfect dress shoes for knee pain offers maximum shock absorption to help prevent injuries. 

How can knee pain be prevented and treated?

Knee pain can be prevented by proper stretching and doing proper exercise regularly. The cause of knee pain is too much activity like running or heavy exercise and much little activity that makes your knees stiff. So in both cases, do proper stretching and see a doctor if it hurts more.

Knee pain can also be treated by wearing shoes with proper support, cushioning, and ergonomic soles.

Conclusion

We have our two winners in this roundup. Both of these winners are versatile and feature every single quality that is necessary to be the best dress shoe for bad knees.

Winners:  

Our winner for best dress shoes for bad knees (women) is:

Padmora Oxford by Clarks is the true definition of comfort with a class that is what is necessary for knee pain. The primary reason why we chose this shoe as our winner is the ample shock absorption and cushioning offered by this shoe that is required for bad knees. Choose this shoe on days when you want to have the comfort of a sneaker and attitude of a dress shoe.

ECCO Helsinki Oxford is the most elegant, classic, and iconic shoe for men. These shoes can be paired up with any outfit and give an overall sophisticated appearance. In addition to its style, it offers excellent cushioning, stability, and traction to help reduce knee pain.

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