Do Heavy Boots Hurt Your Knees?

We’ll get right to it. Yes, heavy boots can hurt your knees, and there are a variety of reasons why. As mentioned in our related article, ordinary work boots can cause knee pain because of their heel size or sole stiffness, so why do heavy boots hurt your knees? 

Do Heavy Boots Hurt Your Knees

The Main Reasons Heavy Boots Hurt Your Knees

Wearing heavy boots for any period of time can affect your knees. If you’ve noticed that your knees have begun to hurt after wearing heavy boots, then you can likely attribute it to one of the following reasons.

Reason #1: Walking Posture Change

Heavy boots can make you change the way you walk without you even realizing it. When you wear heavy boots, you can easily change the way you walk to accommodate the boot’s weight. So, what may seem like an improvement to compensate for heavy boots may actually be doing the exact opposite. 

Changing your walking posture can cause strain to your joints because they are being used unnaturally or awkwardly. In addition, doing this for any period of time can cause pain in your knees. 

Reason #2: Lack of Cushion in the Insole

Heavy boots are often designed with heavy features, like steel toes and hard soles, but one feature you may not have considered is the cushion of the insole.

Heavy boots often lack the kind of cushion you may be accustomed to. This lack of cushion can cause hard impacts on the arches or heels of your feet as you walk, ultimately causing strain on your joints. 

Reason #3: The Outsole Has No Traction

Heavy boots that lack traction on the outsole can easily cause you to hurt your knees. Not only are the boots heavy, but the lack of traction can cause you to slip more easily when walking.

In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 50% of all same-level falls (meaning falls that occur on level ground and not from a height) result in more than 10 days away from work due to strains, tears, sprains, and dislocations to the lower extremities of the body.

Reason #4: Heavy Swing Foot Trajectory

Your feet will create a trajectory as you walk, and it will continue to follow the trajectory that is created. As you continue to walk, your feet will swing at the knees.

When you wear heavy boots, the weight of the boots will pull on your knees during the swing of your foot trajectory.

For heavy boots, the weight of the boot can cause knee strain during the time when your knees are putting one foot in front of the other. 

Reason #5: Your Boots Are the Wrong Size

Sometimes wearing boots that are the wrong size can cause knee pain. Incorrectly sized boots can cause you to change the way you walk to try to make it as comfortable as possible while wearing the boots. Combine this with the weight of the boot, and you have set your knees up for unavoidable pain. (Mens Boot Sizes: The Definitive Guide)

Reason #6: No Waterproofing or Water-Resistance 

When boots with no waterproofing or water resistance get wet, they will absorb water and become waterlogged. This can add additional weight to the already heavy boots.

This additional weight of the boots can hurt your knees and can cause other foot problems down the road. 

What Happens if I Continue to Wear Heavy Boots?

If you are already suffering from knee pain or a knee injury due to heavy boots, you need to correct the issue now.

Waiting too long to correct the heavy boots causing your knee problem and pain can lead to significant issues later in life, with some issues happening sooner than you expect.

1.) Bursitis

Bursitis is a painful condition that is caused by continuous strain and damage to the knee. As a result, sacs begin to form throughout the damaged knee.


These sacs are called bursae, and they become filled with fluid. The sacs cause pain when they become inflamed. Anti-inflammatories and rest are recommended with bursitis. 

2.) Back Pain

The knees play a major role in your overall posture. When you suffer from knee pain, you can inadvertently strain the muscles in your back.

Even a small adjustment that you make to your posture or your gait to help relieve knee pain can affect your back. This can lead to various back pain, including back spasms and sciatica.

3.) Knee Repair Surgery

The most severe risk of wearing heavy boots is damaging your knees so badly that you need knee repair surgery. This can include meniscus repair, tendon repair, or knee revision surgery.

Knee repair surgery is needed when the knee has become so severely damaged that it causes persistent knee pain with no relief. 

Wearing heavy boots can cause everyday pain and discomfort but going untreated can lead to more serious problems later in life. 

4.) Knee Arthritis

Heavy boots can also cause knee arthritis or increase your current arthritis pain because the heavy boot puts too much of a load on the ball of your foot.

It also increases the load on your knees, causing more knee joint pain. When you have knee arthritis, you may experience stiff and swollen joints, and this can make it difficult to bend your knees. 

What Features Should I Consider When Purchasing Boots?

The weight of the boots should be the first feature you should consider when purchasing boots. If the boots feel too heavy at all, you should avoid them and choose a lightweight boot option. 

Other features you should consider include the following:

      • Comfortable insole
      • Traction 
      • Ergonomic 
      • Removable footbed 
      • Water-resistant/waterproof or fast-drying material
      • Chemical or oil-resistant sole for added traction
      • Extra padding and comfort

Why Should I Choose Lightweight Boots?

Lightweight boots will help you save your knees, joints, and back muscles in the long run. Any additional strain on your joints can have significant impacts on those joints. Your joints will eventually weaken over time, whether they have been injured or not. 

It is when they are injured that joint deterioration occurs quicker than it should, ultimately resulting in excessive pain. 

Choosing lightweight boots will prevent the expedition of deteriorating joints, averting your joints from causing you excessive and debilitating pain. 

Final Thoughts

Do heavy boots hurt your knees? Heavy boots will eventually wear on your knees even if you don’t notice it.

Therefore, it’s important to consider the weight of your boots when you choose the right boots for you. If boots are too heavy, you can conclude that knee pain will likely be unavoidable over time. 

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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