It’s important to take care of your knees at all times, but more so after a knee replacement.
You should be gently stretching and walking with the help of a cane or walker to help regain full mobility.
But you should also reconsider your footwear. Choosing the right shoes is not only important for your feet, but also for your knees as they absorb shock and provide support.
Our top pick is the Hoka One One Gaviota 3. It’s supportive, has tons of cushioning, and will help you walk with its meta-rocker design.
We’ve found more shoes to wear after knee replacement surgery. Read on to see which would be right for you…
Top 3 Best and Favorite
Hoka One One Gaviota 3
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New Balance 577
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New Balance 940v4
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1. Hoka One One Gaviota 3
The Hoka One One Gaviota is a motion control shoe that’s extremely well-cushioned.
It would be suitable for those with a neutral foot as well as overpronators, due to the non-intrusive J-Frame design, which provides support.
It has a naturally wide base, which increases the feeling of stability on the ground. To prevent the foot from rolling due to overpronation, Hoka has created a dual-foam midsole with a J-shaped section of firm foam to provide support on the medial side of the shoe.
This is a much less intrusive form of support than the usual medial post, and it makes the shoe suitable for neutral feet as well. The rest of the foam is a softer, spongier foam that offers shock absorption on every step.
The plush cushion absorbs vibrations, which helps to keep the knee joint safe from jarring. There’s also a late-stage meta-rocker in the sole, which helps to create a smooth and easy heel-to-toe transition with less fatigue on the feet and legs.
A cushioned collar and tongue offer extra comfort and prevent chafing.
Just note, that this shoe is quite wide and will most likely not fit those with narrow feet comfortably.
- Plush midsole cushioning
- Late-stage meta-rocker
- Padded heel collar and tongue
- J-Frame midsole
- Not ideal for those with narrow feet
2. New Balance 577
The New Balance 577 has a leather upper, which is soft but supportive.
It features perforations on the upper and at the heel for breathability. A plush collar and heel make it soft around the ankle for comfort on every step. A lace-up closure provides a good lock-down, preventing your feet from moving inside the shoe.
The midsole is made of polyurethane, a high-density foam. It holds its shape over time and is highly durable. It’s also an excellent shock absorber, protecting the knees and other joints from vibrations while walking.
This foam is paired with ABZORB cushioning in the heel, which offers energy return and more impact absorption for added protection.
The outsole features full-length rubber, with two horizontal flex grooves in the forefoot and one on the heel that improves flexibility.
Walking Strike Path technology is a thick vertical flex groove that guides the foot through the gait cycle to keep it in a natural position as you walk.
- Soft, leather upper
- Full-length PU midsole
- Walking-specific footbed
- ABZORB cushioning in the heel
- Some people may find the tongue to be a bit too long
Best For Stability
3. New Balance 940v4
The New Balance 940v4 is a stability shoe. It’s designed to provide strong support for overpronators to keep their feet in alignment, which will help prevent knees from twisting when walking.
The upper is made of engineered mesh and has printed overlays for light support. Perforations provide ventilation for the foot chamber. In the rearfoot, extra padding around the heel locks the foot down and keeps it comfortable at the same time.
A full-length ABZORB cushion absorbs impact and saves the replaced knee joint from being affected by vibration. On the medial side of the midsole, the foam is higher in density to provide support for the arch.
There’s a T-Beam shank between the midsole and the outsole. This is made of TPU and provides constant support to the arch.
High-wear sections of the outsole feature New Balance Ndurance rubber. This is highly durable and grippy, providing traction and longevity. There’s softer blown rubber in the forefoot for enhanced grip but it also adds some shock absorption.
Some may find this shoe to be heavy, as the ABZORB foam is somewhat heavier than regular foam.
- Engineered mesh upper with printed overlays
- Full-length ABZORB cushioning
- Dual-density foam
- T-Beam midfoot support
- Some may find this shoe to be slightly heavy
Top Ankle Support
4. ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23
In some cases, weak ankles can play a role in weakness in the knee. If you need ankle support in a pair of shoes, consider the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 23.
The premium mesh of the upper moves easily with the foot. Synthetic overlays offer subtle support. The traditional lace-up closure system has a unique eyelet design to disperse pressure over the top of the foot.
Some may find that the tight-knit of the upper reduces breathability, which may be more apparent in hot weather.
The heel is kept still and aligned by the Heel Clutching System, which uses an external heel counter to provide a firm lockdown. This helps to keep the ankle in place and aligned, as does the plush ankle collar and tongue.
A FlyteFoam Propel midsole provides good cushioning that’s both lightweight and durable. It uses nanofibers that don’t flatten when used often. There’s also gel cushioning in the heel, for exceptional impact absorption and protection of the lower joints.
A Trusstic device—Guidance Trusstic System—provides support and is gender-specific, being slightly different for men and women to cater for differences in the anatomy of the feet.
There is also a slightly higher heel-to-toe drop for the women—13 mm—than for the men—10 mm. This reduces strain on the lower limbs.
- Heel Clutching System
- Flytefoam Propel midsole
- Gender-specific TRUSSTIC device
- Gel heel padding
- May be less breathable in warm weather
5. Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2
If you live in a warm place and you need a breathable shoe to keep your feet cool, the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 could be the shoe for you.
The Flyknit upper uses sections of differently knit mesh to provide both support and breathability. Wider knit sections allow for good airflow, while Flywire cables support the foot in a subtle way.
A full-length piece of Nike React foam in the midsole is softly comfortable and provides good energy return. The meta-rocker shape takes strain off the lower legs and reduces fatigue.
The high stack height of this shoe absorbs impact and keeps the joints—including the knee—from being affected by vibrations on each step. There’s also a wide platform and a rigid heel clip to help keep the foot aligned, preventing torsion and possible strain on the knees.
A carbon rubber outsole keeps you safe on almost any surface, preventing slipping that could jar your newly operated-on knee.
- Breathable Flyknit upper
- Full-length React foam
- Firm heel clip
- Carbon rubber outsole
- Some people feel that this shoe is bulky
Best For Wide Feet
6. Brooks Addiction 14
The Brooks Addiction 14 has been designed with a roomy fit and a generous toe box. Those with wide feet will find that there’s more than enough space in this shoe.
It’s a stability shoe so it’s designed for overpronators. But those with a neutral foot will find the extra support beneficial as it prevents unnecessary foot movement that could put excess strain on the knees.
The BioMoGo DNA midsole has ample cushion and absorbs shock efficiently. Also in the midsole is an Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar. This support structure delivers rigid arch support to keep the feet in their natural alignment.
The foam insole also adds cushioning. It’s removable in case you would like to add a custom orthotic for better support.
On the outsole, there’s a Heel Segmented Crash Pad, which helps create a smooth heel-to-toe transition. HPR Plus rubber gives you safe footing on most surfaces so there’s little chance of twisting the knee in the case of slipping.
Some people may find that the 12 mm heel-to-toe drop is a little on the high side and feels uncomfortable on the feet and the knees.
- Wide, spacious toe box
- Mesh upper with structured saddle
- BioMoGo DNA midsole cushioning
- Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar
- The 12 mm drop may be uncomfortably high for some
Top Walking Shoe
7. Hoka One One Arahi 5
The Hoka One One Arahi 5 features low-profile cushioning that provides effective shock absorption while walking.
It’s also a stability shoe with added support that helps to protect not only the foot but the knee as well.
The engineered mesh upper is lightweight and breathable thanks to large perforations across the forefoot and tongue. A flared heel collar is comfortable and non-chafing, keeping your Achilles comfortable which promotes a natural gait.
In the midsole, there’s a J-Frame made of firmer EVA foam than the rest of the midsole. This stops the foot from collapsing inwards and forcing the rest of the leg out of alignment, which can place pressure on the knee.
An early-stage meta-rocker in the sole takes strain off the feet and lower legs and helps you to move through a natural gait more easily. The platform is wide and stable thanks to flat-waisted geometry, which makes this shoe even more stable.
An outsole with strategically placed rubber increases the durability of the shoe and also allows you to stay stable on your feet on most surfaces.
The laces of this shoe are long and stretchy and some may find that this makes it hard to get a tight and locked-down fit. You can replace them with your own if this bothers you.
- Early-stage Meta-Rocker
- Low-profile EVA foam midsole
- J-Frame stability technology
- Flared heel collar
- Some may find that the laces are too long and stretchy to get a locked-down fit
Best Lightweight Shoe
8. ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23
The ASICS GEL-Cumulus 23 is a plush neutral shoe that’s lighter than many others with this level of cushion.
The men’s shoe weighs 10 ounces and the women’s weighs 8 ounces, but there’s a lot of supportive technology in the shoe for that weight.
Seamless mesh uppers allow for good airflow through the shoe. There are 3D-printed overlays in the midfoot for added light support.
To absorb shock, there’s a generous piece of FLYTEFOAM cushion in the midsole. It’s engineered to be 55 percent lighter than regular foam, providing padding and subtle responsiveness.
In the heel, a GEL unit adds more cushioning without adding a lot of weight to the shoe.
Support is provided by innovative gender-specific 3D Space Construction in the heel. This consists of pillars placed in strategic places in the midsoles, which compress in the area that your feet need it most, to provide extra dense cushioning and stability without being intrusive.
This can help to prevent overpronation, but also provides support to those with a neutral foot or even underpronation.
AHAR—ASICS High-Abrasion Resistance—rubber on the outsole extends the lifespan of this shoe and also helps you to keep a safe and even footing wherever you’re walking.
- Seamless mesh upper
- 3D Space Construction
- Full-length FLYTEFOAM midsole cushioning
- Gel unit in the heel
- Those who prefer a slightly roomy fit may need to order a size up
Top Casual Stability Shoe
9. Brooks Addiction Walker Suede
The Brooks Addiction Walker Suede is a stability shoe with a casual style. Made of soft suede, it’s supportive and retains its shape well. Micro-perforations and a mesh lining create good ventilation to keep the feet fresh.
BioMoGo DNA foam in the midsole cushions the joints and protects them from the shock of impact. It also has an Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar, which prevents the foot from rolling inwards and compromising the alignment of the leg and knee joint.
There is also a removable insole which adds another layer of cushioning. If you want to use a custom orthotic, you can simply remove it and add your own for customized support.
Brooks’ anti-slip outsole keeps you safe from slipping and bumping your knee. There are also flex grooves in the outsole for increased flexibility.
- Soft suede upper
- BioMoGo DNA cushioning
- Removable insole
- Features the Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar
- Some people may find that the forefoot foam is to thin
10. On Cloudultra
The On Cloudultra has a double-layered upper made of polyester, with perforations for breathability.
It has a traditional lacing system with FlipRelease System. This acts as an extra set of eyelets and cinches the laces in to tighten them. If you need more space in the shoe because your feet are swollen or you’re uncomfortable, you can flip the toggle to allow for more room.
On Helion Superfoam and CloudTec technology in the midsole creates a layer of cloud-like pods, which disperse shock and protect the feet and joints. A Speedboard—similar to a meta-rocker—promotes a natural transition from heel to toe without straining the knees.
The Missiongrip outsole uses high-grip rubber and multi-directional lugs to provide optimal safety on all surfaces. You won’t need to worry about slipping and jarring your knee joint.
Some may find these shoes to be slightly heavy, at 12 ounces.
- Double-layered upper
- Helion foam and Cloudtec cushioning
- FlipRelease system
- Missiongrip outsole
- These shoes are slightly heavy at 12 ounces
What Should You Look for When Buying Shoes to Recover from Knee Surgery?
When looking to buy shoes to wear while recovering from knee surgery, you should choose shoes that have good cushioning to absorb the shock of every footstrike.
Ensure that the shoes offer the right support for your feet. If you have a neutral gait, a neutral or lightly supportive motion control shoe is ideal. These types of shoes are also a good choice for underpronators.
Overpronators should wear a stability shoe to prevent the ankle from rolling, which can put strain on the knee and prevent it from healing properly.
Do You Need New Shoes After the Knee Replacement?
After a knee replacement, your gait may change. You may find that your old shoes don’t provide optimal support anymore and they may not be adequately cushioned for your needs.
It’s a good idea to buy new shoes with fresh cushioning and firm support. If you prefer not to buy a new pair, investing in new insoles could be the solution to support and cushion your feet.
What Are Dos and Donts After the Knee Replacement?
It’s a good idea to apply the RICE principle when recovering from knee replacement surgery. You should rest from intense activity and sporting activity while recovering, but you should take a relaxed walk daily to keep mobility in the knee.
Ice the joint a few times a day if there’s pain and swelling. You should also elevate the affected leg for about 20 minutes twice daily to reduce swelling. A knee compression sleeve can help to maintain good blood flow through the joint, which helps to accelerate healing.
Be careful to position your knee comfortably while doing your daily tasks. You shouldn’t feel pain or pressure in the knee as a result of its position.
Also, you should ask a physiotherapist to explain how to use a cane or walker properly so you have a form of support while you’re getting used to walking on the knee again.
You should avoid putting the knee in any unnatural position while healing from knee surgery.
Don’t sit in a cross-legged position where the knee is bent for a long period of time. Also, be careful not to twist the knee when sitting, walking, or standing.
Take care not to put unnecessary stress on the joint. Don’t lift things that are heavy, as the legs take on the force and can aggravate the knee joint. Avoid motions like squatting, lunging, and leaning to the side of the affected leg.
Although you should elevate your leg, you should never place a pillow or towel directly underneath your affected knee. The knee should always be straight when lying down, which alleviates undue stress on the joint.
You should also avoid driving for between 6 and 8 weeks. Once the pain has gone and you’ve regained close to full mobility in the knee, you can begin by driving short distances again.