Best Men’s Dress Shoes For Bad Knees in 2023

Wearing the wrong pair of shoes doesn’t only impact your feet, it can cause ankle and knee problems too.

And you don’t have to be an athlete for bad knees to hamper your daily activity. Something as simple as walking around the office or going out to dinner can lead to pain in your knees.

If sore knees are ruining your daily life, wearing dress shoes designed for bad knees could be the solution.

The best pair we’re reviewing is the Rockport Northfield Waterproof Oxford. They’re made from supportive full-grain leather, they’re waterproof, and they are designed to absorb shock as you walk.

Keep reading to see our top 10 picks for men’s dress shoes for bad knees.

Top 3 Best and Favorites

 

Rockport Northfield Waterproof Oxford

 

  • Hydro-Shield construction
  • truTech technology
  • Fiberlon shank
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Propet Villager

 

  • Medial arch stabilizer
  • Lightweight molded EVA midsole
  • Full-grain leather upper
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Drew Toledo II

 

  • Firm Heel Counter
  • Plus Fitting System
  • Mild Rocker Bottom
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Best Overall

1. Rockport Northfield Waterproof Oxford

These shoes can be worn anywhere from the office to a formal event. They are available in a variety of colors, so that whatever your dress code is you can look the part.

The shoes are constructed out of full-grain leather to give them a rugged look. It also provides some support from the outside, so it should help to keep your foot aligned when you walk.

The leather is waterproof and enhanced with Hydro-Shield, so you can wear these shoes in any weather.

The ankle collar and tongue are cushioned so you don’t get the feeling of the stiff leather rubbing against your foot and causing hotspots.

The outsole is made from durable EVA rubber and absorbs shock so that your ankles and knees are more cushioned. It is also rubberized so you can walk confidently on any surface.

The cushioning is lightweight but impact-absorbing and uses truTECH sport technology in the heel to dampen shock even more. The insole is removable, which is useful if you have your own custom-made orthotic that you want to use.

Kinetic Air Circulator technology keeps air circulating well, and a Fiberlon shank keeps the midfoot supported as well as the rest of the foot.

Just note that shoes may feel slightly narrow. You may need to order a size up or a wider size for it to fit comfortably.

PROS:

  • Hydro-Shield construction
  • truTech technology
  • Fiberlon shank
  • Rubberized EVA outsole

CONS:

  • These shoes can run narrow and you may have to order a wider size or half size up

Top Runner-up

2. Florsheim Medfield

Our runner-up men’s dress shoe is just as smart as our best overall choice.

You can choose a black or a brown shoe. They also come in a wide size so there will be something for every size foot.

A soft leather upper provides a smart look while also adding some support. The Suedotec linings inside are soft and smooth so your feet will have comfort right from the ankle.

An Ortholite foam footbed provides high-energy rebound so every step is cushioned from shock. If you want to add your own insole, the insole is removable.

Even the rubber soles are made to offer impact-absorption and safety. The soles are non-slip, so even if you’re somewhere that may aggravate a bad knee, you’ll be more sure-footed than normal and have a reduced risk of tweaking your knee.

Like the previous pair, these shoes can run slightly small so you may want to order a larger size.

PROS:

  • Soft leather upper
  • Ortholite footbed with high rebound foam
  • Suedetec synthetic linings
  • Integrated rubber cushioning

CONS:

  • These shoes can run large so make sure to order by width and size

Best Brown Shoes

3. Propet Villager

If you prefer brown dress shoes to black ones, it can be difficult to find a pair that is stylish as well as good for your knees.

These Propet orthopedic shoes are well-designed and look smart enough to wear to any occasion.

A rocker bottom helps to transition easily from heel strike to toe-off with as little impact and pain as possible. The molded EVA foam midsole features a medial arch stabilizer and is soft enough to absorb shock but firm enough to give you the stability you need.

If you want to, you can remove it and add a different insole and still get the other benefits of this well-made, hand-stitched,full-grain leather smart shoe.

An internal heel counter and a contoured heel stabilizer also keep your foot aligned and take the pressure off the knee by keeping the joints in the right position.

It is also medically approved as a diabetic shoe. The toe box is wide so your toes can spread out, which helps to improve your balance and posture. The rubber outsole is thick and designed with high traction so you can walk over any surface without the risk of your knees taking extra pressure.

Some individuals may feel that the sole is too rigid and doesn’t have enough flexibility. The rocker sole may take some time to get used to.

PROS:

  • Built-in contoured heel stabilizer
  • Medial arch stabilizer
  • Lightweight molded EVA midsole
  • Full-grain leather upper

CONS:

  • Some may feel that the rocker sole is too stiff

Top Black Oxfords

4. Drew Toledo II

This lightweight men’s dress shoe is our top black Oxford shoe.

The shoes have a more casual look than some of the others but they make great dress shoes too. They’re also diabetic shoes, designed to reduce pressure on your feet.

An innovative Plus Fitting System uses stackable cushioning. The shoes come with two footbeds. They are both removable, so if you want less padding you can take them both out. If you want moderate cushioning, you can keep one in. For extra padding, you can layer them one on top of the other.

Individuals who prefer to use an orthotic or have been prescribed one by a podiatrist can remove both the footbeds and insert their own one comfortably.

A Drilex top cover prevents discomfort and odor if your feet sweat as these shoes may be slightly less breathable.

The sturdiness of the shoe is reinforced by a firm yet comfortable heel counter and a slight rocker bottom which helps to propel you forward with less effort, reducing the impact on your knees.

Some individuals may find these shoes to be heavy on their feet.

PROS:

  • Firm Heel Counter
  • Plus Fitting System
  • Mild Rocker Bottom
  • Drilex Topcover

CONS:

  • These shoes are quite heavy

Best Waterproof Boots

5. Dunham Addison

If you live in a place that’s quite wet or you do work that requires you to get your feet wet, you may appreciate these waterproof boots. Not only will they keep your feet dry, but they will also help to reduce knee pain.

It’s a rugged-looking boot but is still quite smart so it can be worn for work or formal functions. The boot features a seam-sealed waterproof upper which will keep your feet dry in any weather. Your footing will also be stable in wet weather or on slippery surfaces, thanks to the rubberized outsole.

If overpronation or lack of arch support in your current pair of shoes is the reason for your knee pain, the nylon shank in the midsole of these boots will eliminate the problem.

It supports the arch and helps to align your foot in a natural position which takes pressure off the knee joint.

A removable EVA cushion also helps to absorb and reduce impact with every step, so your knees don’t get jarred as they normally would. Also, a traditional lace-up system means you can get a tight fit without it being uncomfortable, adding even more support.

These boots are also eligible for Medicare reimbursement, so if your foot doctor has suggested that you get these shoes, you may be able to be reimbursed for them.

PROS:

  • Seam-sealed waterproof upper
  • Fiberglass shank
  • Removable EVA footbed
  • Foam in the heel and forefoot

CONS:

  • The stitching where the tongue is sewn to the upper can cause a pressure point

Top Loafer

6. Apex Lexington

This comfortable and adjustable loafer could be the next best dress shoe in your collection. The full-grain leather construction is smart and the style works for both office and casual wear.

It’s also a diabetic shoe, which means it’s engineered for comfort but also to prevent hotspots and to keep the foot in the right position. Just having your feet in the right place can alleviate knee pain, it’s just like posture for the feet.

There’s a Velcro strap across the shoe so you can get a custom fit. It also makes it easy for the shoe to open up so you can get your foot in without a struggle.

Another thing that will help your knees is the EVA insole. It is well-cushioned and absorbs shock so your knees get a break. It’s also removable so you can add your own orthotic.

A firm heel counter absorbs shock when you step, reducing the bang on your knee. The outsole is made from polyurethane which is also shock-absorbing and also adds some traction. It may not have as much grip as those shoes that have rubber outsoles, though.

Apex’s diabetic shoes also have some specific features that are helpful for reducing knee pain. A rearfoot shank adds stability, and a wider and higher toe box means your toes can spread out naturally.

The soft, antimicrobial liner is not only soft on your feet, but it wicks away moisture to keep your feet dry and comfortable.

PROS:

  • Reinforced shank
  • Full-grain leather upper
  • Antimicrobial mesh lining
  • Firm heel counter

CONS:

  • The outsole may not have as much traction as rubber soles

Best Slip-On

7. Rockport Dunham Blair

A slip-on can be much easier and more comfortable if you don’t specifically want a lace-up for a tighter fit.

The Dunham Blair is also constructed from leather, making it smart and stylish. But inside it’s geared for healthy feet and less painful knees.

It’s a flexible and lightweight shoe, using Rockport’s VersaLite technology. Even though it’s light, there’s a lot of useful technology inside the shoe to keep your feet safe and healthy.

Twin goring on either side of the foot is stretchy and allows the shoe to open up a little to make it easy to get your foot into it without damaging the shoe.

For cushioning, there’s a removable Ortholite foam insert that is comfortable, breathable, and antimicrobial. Ground-contact EVA foam makes the cushioning effectively impact-absorbing, and gives good traction so you can keep your balance and take rotational pressure off your knees.

They can run large, so you may want to order a half-size smaller than your usual size.

PROS:

  • Twin side goring
  • Nylon stability shank
  • Ortholite foam insert
  • Cushioning EVA heel cup

CONS:

  • These shoes can run large so you may want to order a half-size down

Top Strap-Style Shoe

8. Propet Pucker Moc

A strap-style shoe can be comfortable and easy to wear if you find that shoelaces hurt the top of your foot. These shoes have a wide strap across the top of the foot, that can be used to tighten the shoe without creating a pressure point.

Full-grain leather is durable and also comfortable on the feet. The lining is made of mesh for good ventilation, and the tongue and collar are extra padded for comfort. You can adjust the strap to fit you perfectly, and if the shoe is too tight on your foot you can remove the footbed for more space, or add an orthotic if you need to.

A firm heel counter reduces jarring when you walk. The polyurethane outsole also helps to absorb some of the shock of your feet hitting the ground, and it’s also durable.

This shoe is Medicare-approved as a diabetic shoe. Some men may be disappointed that the shoe is only available in black.

PROS:

  • Adjustable strap closure
  • Firm heel counter
  • Removable cushioned footbed
  • Leather upper with mesh lining

CONS:

  • Some men may be disappointed that this shoe only comes in black

Best for Wide Feet

9. Apis Mt. Emey 9501

Individuals with wide feet may find it difficult to find shoes that fit comfortably. This can make it much more difficult for men who have both wide feet and bad knees to find a pair of shoes that fits and doesn’t cause pain.

These shoes are available in regular sizes but also in extra wide, and 3X-wide. But not only are they wide, but they are also deeper than usual to accommodate swollen or higher than average feet.

There are three inserts that you can layer to create the best foot depth for you. If you have wide feet but they’re not very high, you can walk comfortably in these shoes using all three inserts. If you need extra room, you can remove one, two, or all three.

A high-density outsole is flexible enough to not hurt your foot when you walk but also firmly cushioned enough to prevent the shock from hurting your ankles and knees.

PROS:

  • Double-depth with wide toe box
  • Three removable inserts
  • Seamless lining
  • Injected solid EVA outsole

CONS:

  • The outsole may wear out quickly if you wear these often

Most Breathable

10. Drew Journey II

The Drew Journey II is one of the most breathable dress shoes you will find. The unique upper consists of both leather and stretch fabric, which improves air circulation around your feet.

The rest of the features also cater towards comfort, not just on the feet but the ankles and knees too. A wide Velcro strap can be adjusted however you like until you get a comfortable fit and your foot doesn’t move around in the shoe.

The shoe is double the normal depth, with two removable inserts. If you want to take them out there is plenty of room for custom-made insoles. The inserts you get are moldable to fit your own feet, align them properly and reduce whatever pain you may have.

A firm, extended heel counter keeps your heel in place so there’s no chance of knee pain caused by a misaligned heel. There’s also a shank in the outsole to support your foot better and relieve pain all the way up the leg.

PROS:

  • Plus Fitting System
  • Extended heel stabilizer
  • Drilex lined footbed
  • PU rocker bottom outsole

CONS:

  • Some people may find that the shoes leave black marks on the floor

FAQs

Why is it important to have comfortable dress shoes with cushioning and support?

It’s not always possible to wear your comfortable sneakers or sandals to work, functions, or weddings. This requires us to wear a dress shoe that is fitting for the occasion.

We spend hours walking, standing, or climbing up and down stairs and this means our feet and joints are constantly working. The soles of feet disperse our body weight evenly, but if you’re wearing shoes that don’t provide the right amount of support and cushioning this could have a negative effect on your knees.

When your feet are fatigued or sore, it changes the way you walk. This places strain on your knees and hips. When we walk, we place between 2.5 pounds to 3.5 pounds of pressure per square inch on our foot. That’s a lot of pressure to be putting on our feet just by moving!

The hips and knees are the largest joints in our body, but they’re also the joints responsible for supporting our weight!

By using shoes that provide enough cushioning and support for your foot type, it’ll help reduce the amount of stress placed on your knee, as the cushioning reduces the impact of your foot strike.

What do I need to consider when buying a pair?

When buying a new pair of dress shoes you need to take a few things into consideration.

The shoe must have a spacious toe box so that your forefoot and toes have enough space to wiggle. The sides of your forefoot shouldn’t be pinched on either side by the shoe. This may mean that you may have to get the shoe in a wide or go half a size up.

Look at shoes that have a removable foot bed, as this will allow you to insert insoles that may provide better cushioning and better arch support.

The material of the upper should have enough flexibility that your foot can still move naturally while being supported and kept in alignment. Leather is a good choice but is prone to dry rot.

Check the inside of the shoe. You want it to be seamless and not have any seams or tags that could irritate or chafe your foot. The material inside should draw moisture away from your feet, keeping them dry and warm.

Most dress shoes will come with a lining and some will also use anti-microbial materials that will eliminate odors.

The outsole should be made from a durable rubber that has enough grip so you walk confidently over wet surfaces. It should have some flexibility and help reduce the shock of impact from footstrikes.

The style and color of the shoe will come down to your personal preference. The color of most dress shoes is black, but you can find shoes in different shades of brown or that are even lighter in color.

Depending on what you’re going to be using the shoe for, you’ll find a dress shoe that will meet your needs here.

What can I do if bad knees remain?

If you’re still experiencing pain or niggly knees, then you should follow the RICE Principle.

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Compression
  • Elevation

Start by taking a break from your daily activities, as this will help to reduce the strain on your knee. It will also give your knee time to heal, which will help reduce any further damage to the joint. Check your knee for any swelling or bruising; if there is swelling you can look at taking ibuprofen—Motrin IB or Advil—which can help reduce swelling and alleviate pain. If the swelling is severe, you should consult with your doctor.

Apply ice to the area. This will help reduce the swelling and alleviate the pain as it “numbs” the area. Apply a compression sleeve to the knee, which will not only help to support the knee, but help prevent the build-up of fluid, and alleviate pain and swelling. Then elevate your foot, either resting your leg on a pillow or sitting in a recliner.

Gently massage the knee and do some light stretching, as this will help maintain the flexibility and range of motion. It will also stimulate the blood flow to the knee, which will help with recovery.

You can do some active recovery training by doing some light cardio exercises, but make sure they’re low impact.

Try doing some leg strengthening exercises that will help to strengthen the glutes, hamstrings, hip extensor muscles, and quads. Exercises like the straight leg raise, wall squats, calf raises, leg lifts and standing hamstring curls can help to strengthen the leg and reduce knee pain.

Check your shoes, as it may be time to get a new pair. They may seem fine on the outside, but the wear-and-tear to the midsole and inside cushioning may have flattened after repeated use and may not be supporting your feet adequately.