Shape Dubbed These Knee Pain-Friendly Sneakers ‘the Best Cushioned Running Shoes of 2023,’ and Shoppers Agree

Runners say they “check all the boxes.”

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Rei Sneakers
Courtesy of Rei.

As a Shape shopping writer, I test at least a hundred running shoes every year. Although I love running and walking long distances, I constantly need to manage knee pain, which is why I usually favor sneakers with a comfortable, secure fit and shock-absorbing padding. Consequently, when Shape announced the winner of the 2023 Best In Fitness Awards, my interest was piqued in the category of Best Cushioned Running Shoes

The award-winners in question, the Cloudstratus running shoes, come from my favorite brand for joint friendly shoes, On. The company is rising to fame for their eco-friendly and performance-ready designs that shoppers (myself included) are obsessed with — and this pair is no exception. The Cloudstratus sneakers feature a stabilizing built-in sock and grippy rubber outsoles. Most notable, however, is their layers of foam cushioning, which return impact on every step, protecting your legs from injury while propelling you forward. (BTW: Shape declared this dumbbell set the best adjustable weights of 2023 — and it’s $120 off right now.)

On Cloudstratus Road-Running Shoes

REI

Buy It: On Cloustratus Running Shoes, $178, on-running.com, rei.com, and shop.marathonsports.com

Shoppers and pros alike swear by these supportive sneakers. “These running shoes provide serious cushioning,” raved Shape news editor, Christie Calucchia.”They’re a bit chunkier than other options, but they’re super supportive on long outdoor runs,” she added. An REI shopper also noted that the shoe “checks all the boxes in terms of comfort, responsiveness, and versatility. (Pssst: Amazon shoppers can't believe these ‘ridiculously comfortable’ high-waisted leggings cost just $25.)

“Comfort” may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think about running, especially if you’re one of the thousands of people who deal with achy knees on a daily basis. However, the right pair of shoes can help even those with chronic pain find joy and, yes, even comfort while doing cardio. 

If you've yet to test out a pair of On’s rave-worthy running shoes, the award-winning Cloudstratus sneakers are a great place to start. 

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