Best Cross Training Shoes for Bad Knees

7 Best Cross Training Shoes for Bad Knees 2021

The high impacts associated with cross training aren’t good for your bad knees. Best Cross Training Shoes for Bad KneesThat’s why you need proper shoes to cushion your knees against impact shocks. The cushioning and shock absorption in these shoes help in dampening the impacts before they reach your knees. So, which are the best cross training shoes for bad knees?

Here are the reviews!

Related: Best Men’s Running Shoes for Bad Knees

Reviews: 7 Best Cross Training Shoes for Bad Knees 2021

1. Puma Pacer Next-Cage Cross Training Sneaker

Next Cage is a versatile sports shoe which can be used in cross training, running and casual wear. It comes with a highly cushioned underfoot platform which enables you to perform your exercises with much energy and less strain on your joints and muscles.

Puma Pacer Next-Cage Cross Training Sneaker

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EVA cushioning is what gives the midsole of Next Cage a bouncy feeling and ability to absorb impacts. That means, every landing is followed by sufficient bounce-back which cushions your knees from impact shocks. Plus the EVA foam is molded to hug your feet so as to provide arch support.

The outsole offers adequate grip on surfaces which contributes to your overall stability during workouts. The ruggedness of its external layer gives it adequate grip on both hard and soft terrain. The rubber material utilized here is also flexible enough to enable your feet to bend without obstruction. Plus it has outstanding sturdiness which makes it last longer.

Comfortable and flexible is how you can describe the mesh making the foot compartment of Next Cage. It’s basically a knitted mesh which is lined with a soft and moisture-wicking fabric. This configuration is also designed to ventilate the foot compartment and allow heat dissipation.

  • Efficient cushioning and responsiveness
  • Supportive midsole
  • Adequate flexibility
  • Supportive and breathable mesh
  • Reliable traction
  • Runs small

2. Puma (FM) Men’s Tazon-6 Cross Trainer

With Tazon-6 FM, you get sufficient underfoot comfort to protect your already aching knees from impact shocks during cross training. Midsole cushioning and responsiveness is delivered by a combination of EVA heel pod and sock liner to give you a comfortable and energetic experience. The heel pod is also responsible for shock attenuation to minimise impact shocks on your knees.

Puma (FM) Men’s Tazon-6 Cross Trainer

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In addition, the sock liner and TPU shank works together to provide the necessary support under your feet.

The sole unit is built to provide dependable traction while giving the shoe substantial resistance to wear and tear.

The upper part comes with a synthetic mesh to facilitate foot cover and offer support. A stitched saddle covers the midfoot and heel to offer structural support and enhance lockdown.

Inshoe ventilation is made possible by the perforations located just above your toes and the tongue.

  • Comfortable
  • Impact protection
  • Reliable traction
  • Ideal foot support
  • Overall durability
  • Insufficient ventilation for hot days

3. New Balance Men’s Cross Trainer-624

Comfort and durability is what you get from this cross training shoe. You can also use it for running and as a casual wear. A plush platform is delivered by IMEVA foam which covers the entire midsole. Together with the EVA foam insole, the midsole provides adequate cushion and shock absorption to protect your knees, feet, ankles and back from injuries.

New Balance Men’s Cross Trainer-624

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Additional shock attenuation is offered by the ABZORB foam placed at the heel. Plus there’s a shank for proving support.

The sole unit is made with a rubber compound which is intended to provide reliable grip during indoor and outdoor cross training. It’s equipped with non-protruding treads which are ideal for both indoor floors and outdoors surfaces.

The forefoot of the sole unit is equipped with flex grooves whose purpose is to allow your feet to bend without restriction.

With the leather construction on the upper part, these shoes have undisputable sturdiness which offers sufficient foot support. A soft fabric lines the inside of the shoe to offer better inshoe comfort. Plus there’s a well-padded collar and tongue.

The upper unit also comes with perforations to offer ventilation and heat dissipation.

What’s more, having a leather upper makes it a durable shoe for your workouts.

  • Comfortable cushioning and responsiveness
  • Very supportive
  • Durable build
  • Adequate impact mitigation
  • Reliable traction
  • Multipurpose shoe
  • Relatively heavy

4. Adidas Icon Men’s Cross Trainer

Ion Trainer is designed for cross training workouts including weightlifting, plyometrics and so on. The low platform design makes it good for workouts that need adequate steadiness and stability.

Adidas Icon Men’s Cross Trainer

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Shock attenuation and underfoot comfort is provided by the foaming compound which makes the midsole. It’s responsive material whose responsiveness gives you sufficient energy return for performing workouts such as plyometrics and running.

The midsole is adequately shielded from abrasion by a durable rubber. The tread patterns enhance the gripping ability thereby heightening your safety. Plus its translucent and wave-like heel pattern gives it a stylish look.

The heather mesh utilized on the upper unit aims at providing a sturdy yet flexible foot chamber. Plus it offers inshoe ventilation so that your feet don’t get heated up and sweaty.

Icon Trainer also features strategically-placed overlays to reinforce the mesh and provide adequate foot support. The lacing system workouts effectively with the side panels to enhance lockdown and support.

  • Ample midsole cushioning
  • Flexible and supportive heather mesh
  • Stylish design
  • Durable and grippy outsole
  • Quality and durable build
  • Ankle support
  • Ankle rubbing

Related: Best Cross Training Shoes for High Arches

5. New Balance NB 517-v1

You don’t have to break the bank to get the right cross training shoes for your aching knees. At just below 50$, New Balance gives you a quality shoe whose performance in cross training is undisputed.

New Balance NB 517-v1

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An EVA foam midsole is what provides the responsiveness and shock mitigation needed to cushion your knees from excessive impacts during cross training. This configuration makes it possible to perform high impact workouts with minimal impacts on your knees.

Making the footbed is a polyurethane insert which is designed to provide arch support. You can replace with a more supportive orthotic if your foot arches need that.

The sole unit is basically an Ndurance rubber whose traction and durability has seen it being retained in New Balance’s shoe making technology. It’s also equipped with multi-directional flex grooves which give your feet appropriate flexibility.

With the non-protruding tread pattern on the sole unit, you won’t get dents or marks on your polished floors or gym surfaces.

Plenty of ventilation is offered by the upper mesh to keep your feet cool, dry and free from odor. Isnhoe comfort is offered by the soft and breathable fabric covering the inside of the foot chamber. Leather overlays are strategically placed to offer protection and support.

  • Comfortable and shock-absorbing
  • Ample breathability
  • Lightweight
  • Does not dent polished floors
  • Accurate sizing
  • Insoles are less cushiony

6. New Balance Men’s Cross Trainer 608-v4

Support, cushioning and shock mitigation is what makes 608 v4 an ideal cross trainer for individuals with bad knees. This is made possible by the IMEVA and ABZORB cushioning technologies employed in the midsole. The former offers a firm and flexible underfoot base while the later is responsible for impact absorption and distribution.

New Balance Men’s Cross Trainer 608-v4

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The footbed entails an EVA compound which contributes to your comfort by adding an extra layer of cushion under your feet. Plus the midsole is configured to deliver adequate arch support.

The sole unit is a sticky rubber which is equipped with non-protruding treads to enhance grip and avoid denting your indoor surfaces with tread patterns. Similar to the midsole, the sole unit exhibits adequate flexibility to allow your feet to bend naturally.

Making the entire upper unit is a leather material which is intended to deliver adequate support for your feet. The collar provides a soft but firm ankle support to keep your ankles stable. Adequate foot lock down is provided by the round lases which work in conjunction with the tongue.

What’s more, the tongue is intentionally made of mesh to provide inshoe ventilation and heat dissipation. Additional breathability is offered by the perforations at the forefoot.

  • Perfect underfoot cushioning
  • Shock absorbing midsole
  • Notable foot support
  • Overall durability
  • Minimal ventilation

7. Reebok CrossFit Nano 9

If your cross training entails weightlifting and other regular gym workouts, then Nano 9 cross trainer is an ideal training shoe. Nano 9 is also crafted to provide an acceptable running performance.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 9

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Underfoot cushioning and comfort comes from the EVA foam covering the midsole. Unlike conventional cushioning foams, EVA provides a lightweight and flexible platform which gives your feet freedom of movement.

The platform also provides adequate shock attenuation to ease pain on our knees during high impact cross training.

Midsole extensions help in providing lateral support which is very helpful during workouts that require multi-directional movements.

The outsole is built with non-protruding treads which make it ideal for indoor surfaces. That means your polished floors won’t be dented with tread patterns or marks. With the broadened heel you get adequate stability for weightlifting exercises.

The upper unit cover entails a Flexweave mesh which is preferred because it allows adequate foot movement during your workouts. The Reebok’s previous logo acts as a reinforcement for the mesh while giving upper unit good aesthetics. Plus it enhances foot support.

  • Comfort and stability is ideal for weightlifting
  • Supportive midsole
  • Can be used in running
  • Adequate flexibility
  • Breathable upper
  • Stylish
  • Runs large

Related: Best Cross Training Shoes for Wide Feet

Buyer’s Guide for the Best Cross Training Shoes for Bad Knees

Below are important considerations you should have in mind before you choose cross training shoes for your aching knees.

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Cushioning and comfort

The foremost remedy for aching knees is to avoid exposing them to high impacts during workouts. You can achieve this by wearing adequately cushioned cross training shoes to lessen the impacts reaching your knees.

Consider a type of cushioning that also provides adequate shock mitigation because it dampens the impacts before they reach your knees.

Ample cushioning and shock attenuation is what contributes to your overall comfort during your workouts.


Lateral and arch support are two important components that determine how your feet land during workouts. Good support provides the stability needed for effective landing. This helps in minimising strain on your knees as your feet try to gain stability.


Flexibility in your shoes is inevitable whether you’re running or cross training. It contributes to more efficient movements which in turn helps you reduce strain on your feet. In addition, it allows non-restricted foot movement which results in better foot control for enhanced grip on surfaces.

There’s difference between the flexibility needed in your running and cross training shoes. The flexibility in running shoes is typically oriented in a straight line to enable smooth heel-to-toe transition. However, during cross training, you need multi-directional flexibility because some workouts may involve multi-directional movements.


Everyone wants a shoe that is worth their investment. And with the intense activity involved in some workouts you know that durability is inevitable. Therefore, it’s advisable to go for shoes that can endure the rigorous activities associated with cross training.

More importantly, go for robust outsoles which can withstand abrasion on rough surfaces. Also, consider a sturdy upper unit which does not rip off easily because of numerous foot bending.


Without proper ventilation inside the foot compartment, your feet are prone to excessive heating and moisture build-up. These conditions are not only uncomfortable but they also promote bacterial growth which leads to bad odor.

For these reasons, your cross training shoes should have a means for ventilation and heat dissipation.


When you participate in high impact cross training, your knees are likely to experience pain because of the impacts. However, you can protect your knees by wearing well-cushioned cross training shoes.

Your shoes should also provide support to alleviate strain on your knees as you try to gain stability.

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