5 Best Work Boots for Bad Knees | 2023 Guide

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Last Updated on February 26, 2024 by Joe Strong

Suffering from knee pain is one of the worst feelings to suffer while working. Finding and using the best work boots for bad knees helps relieve from the pain. Sadly, most workers dealing with this problem are used to get very frustrated at the available options, mainly given to issues such as:

  • Low-quality materials that make the boots last less than a year
  • Lack of safety toes and slip-resistant outsoles which do not protect the toes and feet as they should
  • Unergonomic features that make using the boots very uncomfortable and bad for the knees

The good news is that there are some work boots out there that do solve all these issues. The problem is that they take time to find which is why I took it upon myself to do this.

The 5 Best Work Boots for Bad Knees In The Market

In this article, I’m gonna show you a list of work boots which are perfect for bad knees which I researched and tested myself:

1) Wolverine DuraShock High-Performance Work Boots

Comfort Features

The Wolverine DuraShock High-Performance work boots have several impressive features that make them the ideal footwear for bad knees as they have been designed to limit the stress on the knees, so the worker who is using them can keep working without lowering his performance.

Each part of the shoe appeared to have been made to reduce the strain I might have experienced during the testing period.

First, the polyurethane midsole, which lasts longer than the EVA midsoles, soaked up shocks produced by the high-impact activities I would do at the construction site where I work, such as walking in concrete for example. This would keep my knees safe from unnecessary stress.

These compression pads are found in the outsole of these boots.

Additionally, the boots featured a cushioned footbed made of a dual-density polymer which is a material that’s lighter than rubber but able to absorb more force, which protected my knees from unnecessary damage.

Protective Features

A good pair of work boots for bad knees gives you enough traction to keep you balanced and stable. One bad slip can seriously damage your knees, and keep you out for months.

Thanks to these boots’ DuraShock outsoles this was almost impossible to happen as they provided the necessary traction to walk on any surface.

Moreover, slips aren’t the only source of injuries, and these Wolverine boots offered me protection for a variety of conditions that could lead to a potential injury.

First, the Electric Hazard Construction protected me from electrical currents at the construction site, which is one of the accidents that I’m most scared of.

Also, I regularly work around heavy equipment, which is why I loved the fact that, when buying them, the boots came with a steel toe option that protected my toes from getting squashed by heavy falling objects at the construction site.

To conclude, a nice addition to the boots was the 400 grams of Thinsulate Ultra Insulation material that kept my feet warm through freezing outdoor temperatures during the testing period.

Durability Features

The design and construction of the Wolverine DuraShock High Performance work boots guaranteed me a boot that held up just fine, even after absorbing all kinds of abuse.

The boots still looked sharp after heavy use thanks to the full-grain leather upper that resisted the kind of stains and marks that might have typically damaged any other boots.

Also, they came with a unique design that featured both a closed-cell polyurethane construction and a direct-attach construction. A combination of construction methods that guaranteed me they would hold together no matter what type of usage I would employ.

Features and Specifications

  • Full-grain Wolverine Performance leather upper is scuff and stain-resistant.
  • 400-gram Thinsulate Ultra Insulation.
  • Direct-attach construction of sole and upper for longer-wearing durability.
  • Closed-cell polyurethane construction retains its spring for an extended life cycle.
  • Polyurethane midsole soaks up shocks, which is more durable than EVA midsoles.
  • Fiberglass shank for added support.
  • Steel toe option rated to ASTM F2413-05 MI / 75 C / 75 EH.
  • EH construction protects from electrical current on dry surfaces.
  • Sure-footed DuraShocks Shock Absorbing outsole.
  • Compression pads in the heel and forepart of the outsole compress under pressure to absorb shock and stress before it reaches the knees and legs.
  • Removable, dual-density polymer footbed weighs one third as much as rubber, absorbing four times the force.

Customer Reviews and Scores

There are more than 76 reviews on Amazon.com about this product at the time of writing and they have given it a 4.4 out of 5 rating on average. These reviews are positive overall.

Check price at Amazon.com

2) Timberland PRO Boondock Waterproof Industrial Work Boots

Comfort Features

Tired, achy feet are no fun. You work hard. You need work boots that will support you. You want comfort because you stand on your feet all day.

Timberland’s dual-density dynamic anti-fatigue technology absorbs shock and returns energy to key parts of the feet, making these boots one of the best pairs for bad knees.

During the testing period, I could actually feel more energy because the boots absorbed the impact generated in my feet due to work-related activities, instead of sending it directly to my weak joints.

It can be a real pain to ensure that your work boots are secure on your feet. Timberland’s dual-purpose top hardware provided me the convenience of fitting my boots easier.

Also, the fiberglass shanks, incorporated in the design of these boots, provided me the needed stability throughout the day, and, the padded top collar of these boots gave me a comfortable experience when putting on the boots.

Protective Features

Protecting your feet from injury is the main concern for many workers.

The dual-density polyurethane and thermal plastic urethane outsole incorporated in these boots helped me avoid dangerous slips and falls, which is essential for not injuring my knees.

The rigid external heel cup provided me with lateral stability for those times when I needed that extra support for my knees while standing.

Moreover, my toes are my most vulnerable part of my body, which is why I loved how the molded rubber toe protectors provided me the resistance I needed to avoid hurting my toes by falling objects at the construction site.

Finally, I think construction workers will definitely appreciate the premium waterproof leather membrane that encases these boots as it is designed to keep the feet warm and dry.

Durability Features

Timberland is a well-known manufacturer of work boots, and, with these boots they did a really nice job as one of the best features of these Boondock work boots is their exceptional durability.

These boots were made following a combination of Goodyear welt and cement heel construction methods, which are employed to provide years of durability to the boots.

Also, these boots’ molded PRO rubber toe protectors were highly resistant to abrasions during the testing period, which showed me how heavy-duty the materials used in these boots were.

Finally, a bonus feature I really like was the antimicrobial mesh lining designed to provide odor control.

Features and Specifications

  • Premium Waterproof Leather Waterproof Membrane for Abrasion Resistance and Dry Feet.
  • Padded Top Collar for Comfort.
  • Mesh Lining with Antimicrobial Treatment for Odor Control.
  • Dual-Density Polyurethane (PU) and Thermal Plastic Urethane (TPU) Outsole.
  • Molded Timberland PRO Rubber Toe Protector for Increased Abrasion.
  • Resistance and Durability.
  • Ever-Guard Leather Heel for Increased Durability.
  • Rigid External Heel Cup for Lateral Stability.
  • Dual-Purpose Top Hardware for Instant Lacing Customization.
  • Combination Three-Quarter Goodyear Welt/Cement Heel Construction.
  • Dual-Density Dynamic Anti-Fatigue Technology Absorbs Shock and Returns Energy.
  • Fiberglass Shank for Structural Support.

Customer Reviews and Scores

There are more than 76 reviews on Amazon.com about this product at the time of writing and they have given it a 4.1 out of 5 rating on average. These reviews are positive overall.

Check price at Amazon.com

3) Danner Vicious Composite Toe Work Boots

Comfort Features

The Danner Vicious work boots are structured for the comfort of the wearer.

The dual-density EVA midsoles provided me a great deal of shock absorption and kept away the stress on the knees that come with high impact activities from either exercise or work-related movements.

This led to less knee pain and thus knee injuries, which allowed me to achieve the best possible work performance that I could get without any injuries to go with it.

Also, the boots came with a trail guard platform that gave me a lightweight and seamless support which is something really good for the knees as an excess amount of weight could cause the feet to swing too much while moving, which could make knee injuries much more likely.

Protective Features

Besides, you can rest assured that you can avoid injuries because of the external structure of the shoe which will prevent you from slipping and falling. There is an oil and slip-resistant outsole with a 90-degree heel that makes this shoe extremely versatile.

Because of the structure of the outsole, there is excellent traction on the shoe, which is very good for stability. Not only will you not slip and fall with this out so, but your knees will not go off and cause unnecessary injuries.

Additionally, the boots come with safety composite toes. So, if there are any falling objects at your worksite, this will definitely help keep your toes very safe from being injured.

They are also built with a material that is resistant to electrical hazards, which will prevent you from getting electrical shock injuries.

Moreover, these Danner boots come with a breathable and waterproof Gore-Tex liner that allows your feet to stay dry. You will not have to deal with either moisture from the external sources in your surroundings or sweat from your feet themselves.

Durability Features

These Danner Vicious work boots are also very durable, with abrasion-resistant toes and heel caps that will protect your feet and the shoes from external substances.

All in all, these Danner Vicious work boots are great for bad knees as they are structured for both functionality and comfort while you are in the midst of your workday, without sacrificing durability.

Features and Specifications

  • Trail guard platform provides lightweight, seamless support.
  • Abrasion-resistant toe cap for durability.
  • Composite toe rated ASTM f2413-11 I/75 c/75.
  • Electrical hazard resistant.
  • Dual-density EVA midsole for extra shock absorption and comfort.
  • The oil and slip-resistant outsole have a low profile 90-degree heel making it versatile.
  • Abrasion-resistant heel cap.
  • Waterproof, breathable Gore-tex liner.
  • Full-grain leather offers comfortable moisture protection.
  • Speed lace system for a secure.

Customer Reviews and Scores

There are more than 194 reviews on Amazon.com about this product at the time of writing and they have given it a 4.4 out of 5 rating on average. These reviews are positive overall.

Check price at Amazon.com

4) Irish Setter 83605 Work Boots

Comfort Features

These boots were designed for comfort.

In fact, they came with EVA midsoles that provided me with excellent cushion support during the testing period.

These midsoles absorbed the shock that came from the high-impact activities that I would do at the construction site where I work, which are generally activities that would put a lot of stress on my knees.

Thanks to this, it prevented many different instances of knee pain and knee injuries to happen, which is always nice as I hate suffering knee pain.

Additionally, these Irish Setter boots came with PU removable footbeds that provided me with comfort all day long.

Not only are these Irish Setter 83605 work boots comfortable while they are actually being worn over the course of the workday, but they are comfortable to put on as well, due to the padded collar that has been added for extra comfort.

Protective Features

The white rubber EVA Traction Tred outsoles gave me a better grip and stronger traction when I was walking on a variety of surfaces.

This helped me with balance as I moved around during the course of the day which acted as a stopping point to stress on my knees. This prevented knee pain and injuries to happen as imbalance is something that could really hurt the knees.

These shoes also met stringent electric hazard safety standards, which prevented electrocution from happening while I was at work. As you know, there are many potential electric hazards at any construction site where you could be working, which is why I think this is a really helpful feature.

Durability Features

These Irish Setter boots are made with Briar Turbo Vegas full-grain leather of extremely high quality that will last a very long time.

Also, they come with heat resistant outsoles that will be unaffected even at 475 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, which was something really valuable for me, as I normally walk on abrasive surfaces.

Finally, and adding to the durability description of these boots, the Irish Setter 83605 boots came built following the Goodyear welt construction method, which is very famous for its sturdiness, making them one of the most durable work boots I’ve ever tested.

Features and Specifications

  • Briar Turbo Vegas full-grain leather.
  • Traditional lace-up system with durable metal eyelets.
  • EVA midsole for superior cushioned support.
  • White Rubber-EVA Traction Tred outsole offers better grip and comfort.
  • Heat-Resistant outsole – resistant to melting at a minimum of 475 Fahrenheit.
  • Soft toe meets ASTM F2892-11, EH safety standards.
  • Padded collar for extra comfort.
  • Rear pull loop for easier on and off.
  • Goodyear welt construction provides dependable durability.
  • Removable PU footbed for all-day comfort.

Customer Reviews and Scores

There are more than 864 reviews on Amazon.com about this product at the time of writing and they have given it a 4.4 out of 5 rating on average. These reviews are positive overall.

Check price at Amazon.com

5) Thorogood 814-4200 American Heritage Moc Toe Work Boots

Comfort Features

Designed specifically to provide comfort to those suffering from knee pain, these boots featured a removable dual-density cushioning insert that gave me comfort in every step.

The insert also worked to provide me exceptional shock-absorption capabilities that effectively reduced the force of any high-impact activities I would do at the worksite, on my knees.

Optimized to ease the stress of high-impact work on your knees, these Moc Toe boots reduced the risk of me getting a knee injury or pain when standing all day at a worksite. And let me tell you, I do spend a lot of hours standing up on concrete without any breaks.

And of course, this pain-free work experience I was able to enjoy meant better performance on the job, with less downtime and more efficiency.

Protective Features

These Thorogood’s American Heritage Moc Toe Boots also boasted some protective features that gave me great traction and excellent stability at the construction site where I work.

These boots had a highly durable rubber wedge outsole which came from Vibram, an Italian company known worldwide for its innovative rubber compounds.

These soles were resistant to oil and slips, giving me excellent traction to move around my worksite while reducing the risk of falls or accidents, which would add further damage to my already bad knees.

Additionally, these Thorogood boots included a strong fiberglass shank that added the much-needed stability to my work experience. After all, stability played an essential part in keeping my knees from going off and getting injured.

Durability Features

In terms of durability, these Thorogood Moc-Toe work boots were top-notch.

Made from a rich brown oil-tanned leather, the boots gave off a stylish, American heritage look.

Of course, the tough leather also provided outstanding durability in even the harshest working conditions I would test the boots in, keeping me protected from any dangers or hazards.

The boots were also made with the use of the Goodyear welt construction, a process in which a welt is stitched to the upper, and a strip of canvas is cemented to the insole as an attach-point.

This construction method is considered highly valuable, as the resulting boot is relatively waterproof and obviously quite strong. The process also ensures the boots are fully repairable, with resoling being a relatively easy task as long as the upper remains usable.

For all this, is why I think the quality leather upper and Goodyear welt construction are combined to help any worker get a long life out of the work boots.

Features and Specifications

  • Removable dual-density ultimate shock-absorption insert to ease the impact on knees.
  • Rich brown oil-tanned leather upper offers a little of style.
  • Cotton drill vamp lining is super-comfortable.
  • Goodyear welt construction means these boots are stitched rather than glued to the sole, and they’re fully repairable.
  • The durable Vibram rubber wedge outsole is oil and slip-resistant.
  • Fiberglass shank adds stability.

Customer Reviews and Scores

There are more than 1122 reviews on Amazon.com about this product at the time of writing and they have given it a 4.3 out of 5 rating on average. These reviews are positive overall.

Check price at Amazon.com

My Verdict: The Best Work Boots for Bad Knees are…

Danner Vicious Composite Toe Work Boots

There are various reasons that explain why I chose these Danner boots as the best work boots for bad knees. You can click the button down below to read why I selected them as the best.


Quick Comparison Table

1) Wolverine DuraShock High Performance Work Boots




2) Timberland PRO Boondock Waterproof Industrial Work Boots




3) Danner Vicious Composite Toe Work Boots




4) Irish Setter 83605 Work Boot




5) Thorogood 814-4200 American Heritage Moc Toe Boots




What Features Should You Look in The Best Work Boots for Bad Knees?best work boots for bad knees

Have you ever had a pair of boots, that after a long day on the job, all you want to do is take them off and throw them in the corner for the dog to chew on?

As invincible as we’d like to believe we are, a hard day on the job is going to wreak havoc on our bodies.

Moreover, there are a few things to consider when choosing the best work boots for bad knees…

Good Outsoles

Nobody wants to go to work and come back with a knee injury.

But if your work boots don’t have good outsoles they will not provide enough traction, and your body will become out of balance, or worst, you could end up slipping and falling.

That’s why the key to a great outsole is one that provides appropriate traction on any surface. Also, a good outsole will provide enough traction to prevent your foot from rotating inward and thus potentially causing knee pain and injury.

Shock Absorbing Midsoles and Cushioned Footbeds

Look for a midsole that provides good shock absorption for when you do high-impact activities at the worksite.

Your body takes a beating when it spends all day on hard surfaces and that is why you want to find a boot with a thick cushioned footbed, as the cushion will absorb the shock and return the energy to your feet.

And, a pair of work boots that has this feature will also help you deal with the stress that high impact movements, such as walking on hard surfaces, have on your knees.

Lightweight Structure

If you’re walking around feeling like you have a ten-pound weight tied to your ankles, you are wearing the wrong pair of work boots.

A heavy pair of boots cause you to make a big swing to move your feet forward, creating inertia that is bad for your knees, which is why the best work boots for bad knees are considered to be fairly lightweight.

Lightweight work boots will be more comfortable and make it easier to move around, which puts less stress on your knees.

How Did I Test The Best Work Boots for Bad Knees?

best work boots for bad kneesIf you have trouble with your knees, as I do, you know how important it is to find the correct pair of work boots that helps you to minimize your pain throughout the workday.

And, the best way to find the boots that fit your needs is to try out a few pairs and pay attention to the features of each one, right?

That’s why I tested, in various ways, many pairs of work boots and selected those I thought were the best. For those who are curious, the tests I made were the following…

Balance Test

Did you know that imbalance is the number one cause of knee pain?

When your knee is not properly balanced it can fall out of alignment, leaving it open to injuries that can result in a lot of pain and swelling.

That’s why while testing the best work boots for bad knees, I made sure to walk around on uneven terrain and slippery floors and take note of which boots helped me to stay stable.

Shock Absorption Test

One of the most important qualities to look for when you’re trying to find the best work boots for bad knees is how well they absorb the shock of walking on hard surfaces all day.

I made sure to test out the boots on flooring that mimics high impact surfaces like concrete or a construction site to see how my knees felt after dealing with those unforgiving surfaces.

Lightweight Test

Let’s face it: no one wants to feel like they’re trudging around with cinderblocks on their feet all day.

When I was testing out various pairs of boots, I paid special attention to how heavy they felt as not only heavy boots would make me feel exhausted by the end of the day, they could also throw my knees out of alignment which can cause unnecessary pain and swelling.

Benefits of The Best Work Boots for Bad Knees

Getting the right work boots for bad knees can help relieve the aches and pains associated with joint trouble. Here are three main ways proper work boots can help your knees.

1. Relieves Joints, Especially the Knee.

The best work boots for bad knees provide not only comfort to the feet but also guard the knees by absorbing shock from high impact activities which reduces strain on the knee and increases endurance.

With this type of support, the ligaments in your knee will be able to rest in between movements which help to reduce pressure and prevent any injuries.

2. Prevents Knee Pain

Unlike normal shoes, work boots designed to deal with bad knees come up high on the leg. This allows them to stabilize your core and lower limbs in a way that reduces strain on your knees.
Without stabilization, it is much easier to injure your knees through improper turning and strain.
These work boots will allow your knees to bend properly while minimizing any injury-causing side to side motion.

3. Supplements Muscles and The Passing of Age

Age inevitably takes its toll, especially on our joints.

As we age, the muscles, joints, and ligaments that hold our knees properly in place become worn down and susceptible to injury and chronic pain.

For this reason, it’s important that work boots are not only comfortable but also support the muscular system and increase your endurance.

When work boots fit properly and are designed well, they supplement the work your muscles do and make your movement more effective.

This reduces strain on both your muscles and your joints and helps previous injuries to heal. It also prevents new knee injuries and minimizes existing knee pain.

Consequences of Choosing the Wrong Work Boots for Bad Knees

Because the knee is a fairly weak joint that’s continuously tasked with complex operations, such as bending, straightening, twisting, supporting, it can be easily injured, and that’s why bursitis, the official “medical term” for what we call knee pain, is always present amid workers.

Bursitis is known for causing significant physical drawbacks, all of which are common symptoms among workers that suffer from bad knees.

A prime factor of prevention when it comes to bursitis is finding the right pair of work boots for bad knees. Otherwise, an ill-fitting or poorly designed pair of boots could cause you, even more, knee pain.

In fact, from many specialists’ perspectives, choosing the wrong footwear is among the reasons why workers develop knee pain, and, the following are the consequences known to be the most common for this condition.

Burning Pain and Swelling

Wearing the wrong work boots while having bad knees can result in a sharp, paralyzing pain in the front of your kneecap, which will in turn affect your concentration and performance while at work.

Also, knee pain generates a burning sensation as well as a popping or a cracking noise when walking or kneeling. And, there is a big chance liquid and blood will gather on the muscles in your kneecap which will breed swelling, followed by persistent aches and pains.

Develops Other Pains and Conditions

Knee pain often doesn’t just stop there.

To deal with his profound knee pain, the worker will adopt a less-than-ergonomic posture, straining the back muscles to make small adjustments that can lead to spasms.

This will bring a new problem to the worker’s body, a glowing and severe back pain.

Risk of Surgery

Finally, the last and worst consequence of not choosing the right work boots for bad knees is wildly increasing your risk of needing surgery.

If you continue to deal with the same knee pain without making any changes to your life, the trouble will only persist until the last measure present to better this concerning problem is getting surgery.

This will mean spending large sums of money, struggling with pain, and wasting away months when you could have been working instead. Does that sound a good deal to you? HELL NO.

Why It Is So Difficult to Get a Pair of Work Boots for Bad Knees

If you suffer from knee pain and spend all day on your feet for work, you will know the importance of finding the right work boots.

Finding footwear specifically designed to reduce stress and strain on your knees while providing protection and stability can be difficult for several reasons. Most of these work boots, instead of having the right attributes, they offer…


Many work boots come with too much heel and less than optimal outsoles, causing an imbalance that puts added stress on knees.

Because the knee is a small and relatively delicate joint that isn’t built to handle continued stress, any imbalance caused by your work boots will increase the likelihood of knee injury.

They Are Too Heavy

Most work boots are too heavy for people with bad knees, which could cause terrible consequences.

Designed to compensate for their lack of ergonomic features by adding lots of heavy protective features, many work boots generate a “feet-swing” that could make the knee go off, causing the worker a knee injury.

For this reason, I always advise my friends and coworkers to invest in a lightweight pair of work boots to avoid such “swing”.

Not the right fit

Easily the most common issue when buying any kind of work boot is finding the right fit.

Because most work boots do not fit properly, they can get loose with wear and cause instability or imbalance.

This could, in turn, cause the worker’s knee to go off in the wrong direction.

Knees are small, weak, and easily injured, so any kind of stress caused by ill-fitting boots will likely make the knee suffer pain and be exposed to injuries.

Don’t deal well with high impact

Finally, most work boots simply aren’t built to deal well with the high impact situations that arise from standing on your feet all day.

Many of these boots don’t offer special shock-absorbing features designed to reduce the impact of walking on the worksite. And, the continued, high impact activities that workers are used to doing puts a lot of stress on the knees, which will also raise the chance of pain or injury.


2 thoughts on “5 Best Work Boots for Bad Knees | 2023 Guide”

  1. Shoes are symbol of attraction or flaws!!” We usually put on our shoes that match our personality, our attire and help us look & feel slim and attractive. But there are shoes when wrongly put on, may lead to the most irritating issue of pain in foot and knee. So, “A right pair of footwear is the biggest asset your feet want to wander around the world.

  2. Hey WorkBootsGuru,
    I noticed you linked to Knee Pain Health Center article on your page.
    I have one that just got published, Mine covers: –
    • Cure knee pain through exercise and workout.
    • Dos and Don’ts during knee pain.
    • Highly targeted at athletes and it is useful for others as well.
    • With as less as possible technical jargon.
    • Brief and straight to the point.
    You can check it out here: “Want to say bye to knee pain?”
    Vipul More
    (Health and Gym)


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