5 Best Running Shoes For IT Band Syndrome | Ease The Pain | 2021

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This is a review of the best running shoes for IT band syndrome. 

Are you tired of the pain in your hips and knees? Has exercising become increasingly more difficult for you? Are you looking for the best running shoes for IT Band Syndrome? Well, I can assure you, you have come to the right page to find what you are looking for!

With over ten years of running experience and dealing with my own bouts of chronic pain, I, unfortunately, am very familiar with overuse injuries- or IT band syndrome. It can make running, or any exercise, feel quite difficult. 

Iliotibial band syndrome is a common runner’s affliction. Symptoms often occur in runners who always run in the same direction on an indoor track. It is characterized as an overuse injury causing pain on the outside part of the knee, especially during running when the heel strikes the ground.

Inflammation and irritation of the iliotibial band can occur as it travels back and forth, crossing the femoral epicondyle as the knee flexes and extends, causing pain and tenderness in the area. 

IT band syndrome can make it hard to do everyday activities, such as walking or climbing stairs. However, it’s important to stay active during the recovery period (once the healing has started) as exercise is one of the best treatments for this condition. Finding proper supportive and cushioned footwear can be a great relief

In this article, I’m going to take a closer look at the best running shoes for IT band syndrome. I will also explain what to look for when buying running shoes for this condition. 

If you’re in a hurry and want my top pick, I compared several pairs and recommend the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 because of their stability and proper alignment, as well as the flexible and breathable design. 

Read on to discover the following shoes that stood out and made this list. 

My Top 3 Picks 

Product
Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 21 Running Shoe
ASICS Men's Gt-2000 9
New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 860v11, Blue/Indigo, 8 Medium
Image
Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 21 Running Shoe
ASICS Men's Gt-2000 9
New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 860v11, Blue/Indigo, 8 Medium
Shipping
-
-
-
Best For
Best Overall
Most Comfortable
Best Heel Support
Weight
2 lbs
1 lbs
0.2 lbs
Product
Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 21 Running Shoe
Image
Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 21 Running Shoe
Shipping
-
Best For
Best Overall
Weight
2 lbs
Product
ASICS Men's Gt-2000 9
Image
ASICS Men's Gt-2000 9
Shipping
-
Best For
Most Comfortable
Weight
1 lbs
Product
New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 860v11, Blue/Indigo, 8 Medium
Image
New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 860v11, Blue/Indigo, 8 Medium
Shipping
-
Best For
Best Heel Support
Weight
0.2 lbs

5 Best Running Shoes For IT Band Syndrome

1. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 – Best Overall 

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
  • THIS WOMEN'S SHOE IS FOR: Runners looking for a supportive shoe that's soft and smooth, the Adrenaline GTS 21 offers an improved ride and reliable support for however your body moves so you can forget the shoes and enjoy the run. This Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is a certified PDAC A5500 Diabetic shoe and has been granted the APMA Seal of Acceptance.
  • SUPPORT AND CUSHION: Provides just the right amount of stability and support, great for overpronation while providing high energizing cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor: Adrenaline GTS 20
  • BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: The DNA LOFT Crash Pad cushions each footfall and works with BioMoGo DNA to adapt to your every stride.

The GTS 21 is a phenomenal shoe for knee support, as it’s perfect for those with flat to medium arches and those who overpronate.

An amazing feature of this shoe is the GuideRails Holistic Support system which stabilizes the heel and foot, locking you in and preventing overpronation, which is a major cause of knee pain for runners dealing with IT band syndrome. 

I love that the Brooks Adrenaline offers proper alignment, with the midsole and arch taking the excess shock impact What’s more, the upper is mesh and breathable, which prevents irritation.

I do think the heel-to-toe drop may be too high for certain runners. The shoe is also too narrow, so consider going up half a size, and this may just be the perfect shoe for you and your IT pain. 

What I Like… 

  • Stability 
  • Prevents overpronation 
  • Proper alignment
  • Breathable 

What I Don’t Like… 

  • High heel-to-toe drop 
  • Too narrow (size up a half size) 

Similar Product: Brooks Women’s Glycerin 19 

2. ASICS GT-2000 9 – Best For Comfort 

ASICS GT-2000 9
  • Engineered mesh upper improves breathability:
  • Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Technology Cushioning System: Attenuates shock during impact and toe-off phases, and allows movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.
  • No-sew overlays: Improves support

Alright, let’s be real for a moment! IT band syndrome can be really painful, and I don’t know about you, but I desire the most comfortable shoe when I am recovering from this awful condition.

Luckily for -all of us- the Asics GT-2000 9 is extremely comfortable, but like the Brooks, is also made for overpronation and is delightfully lightweight so it won’t weigh you down. 

It has a lower heel-to-toe drop, which some runners actually prefer as it takes extra pressure off the toes, which can go a long way in relieving pain. For shock absorption, the FlyteFoam Lyte midsole with SpevaFoam coupled with GEL cushioning in the forefoot and rearfoot offers plenty of impact-absorbing properties.

To top it all off, I really appreciate the traditional lace-up closure which provides a snug fit, ensuring your foot is perfectly aligned. This reduces the chances of placing pressure on the IT band. 

What I Like… 

  • Optimal comfort 
  • Prevents overpronation 
  • Proper alignment 
  • Breathable & lightweight 

What I Don’t Like… 

  • Lower heel-to-toe drop 
  • The tongue may be too thick for some 

Similar Product: ASICS Men’s Gel-Excite 7 Running Shoes

3. New Balance Fresh Foam 860V11 – Best For Heel Support 

If you tend to overpronate AND consider yourself a heel striker, I guarantee you’ll appreciate the New Balance Fresh Foam 860V11 as it provides amazing support at the heel.

The heel collar offers a comfortable fit and holds the heel firmly in place. I find this reduces the chances of heel slippage, which could lead to misalignment and cause more unwanted pain on the IT band. 

I adore the FreshFoam in the midsole, which gives a super soft, and cushioned ride, as well as the neutral post of the shoe- which, again, prevents any unwarranted movements/ pressure on the leg.

I do think the mesh upper is slightly stiffer than usual, but it offers that great locked-in feel to complement the amazing stability of the shoe. 

What I Like… 

  • Heel support 
  • Fresh foam midsole 
  • Durable 
  • Great overall stability 

What I Don’t Like… 

  • Too stiff for some 
  • It may be too narrow in the toe box 

Similar Product: New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam 1080 V11 Running Shoe

4. Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 – Best Lightweight Shoe 

Mizuno Wave Inspire 17
  • Enerzy Foam: Mizuno Enerzy Foam is more responsive and has more springy qualities compared to former Running EVA technologies - U4ic and U4icX.
  • U4ic Midsole: Delivers optimal shock reduction, durability, and a superior ride.   Innovatively light, well cushioned, responsive, and resilient.
  • X10 Outsole: Durable carbon rubber that allows for longer wear.

Are you looking for something that will give you structure and stability without weighing you down? Well, you’re in luck, because thanks in part to the Mizuno’s U4ic Midsole, the material of the Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 is made to be unusually light without sacrificing shock absorption, comfort, and durability! Now, I can get behind that! 

I really admire the featured “wave technology” of the Mizuno- which is designed to prevent overpronation and provide thorough support. The mesh upper is breathable, but snug and the lace-up closer I so desire provides all-important support and sturdiness.

If you’re looking for that perfect shoe that has ample shock absorption, comfort, AND durability all in one, I think the Mizuno Wave is a great choice, especially due in part to the support and sturdiness which is super beneficial for IT band recovery. 

What I Like… 

  • Lightweight 
  • Comfortable 
  • Supportive 
  • Durable 

What I Don’t Like… 

  • The midsole might be too stiff for some 
  • They don’t look great

Similar Product: ASICS Gel-Excite 7 Men’s Running 

5. ON Cloudstratus – Best Daily Trainer 

Sale
ON Cloudstratus
  • The On Cloudstratus running shoes double-up on the performance CloudTec, making them the perfect ride for medium-to-long runs.
  • Runner Profile: Suitable for wider feet; double the cushioning and support with slowing down.
  • Heel/Toe Offset: 8mm

The first thing I noticed about this shoe, was how sleek and striking it was, but you’ll also find that it has some amazing features packed in, particularly for medium to long runs, which is why I recommend the Cloudstratus as a daily trainer. 

This model provides great cushion and stability. Another impressive feature is the midsole, made of helion foam that absorbs impact without sacrificing flexibility.

I love that the Cloudstratus is surprisingly effective at reducing shock and taking pressure off the feet while still remaining light. Lastly, I appreciate the asymmetrical upper that reduces pressure points and the pleasant 8mm heel-to-toe drop. 

What I Like… 

  • Comfortable 
  • Great stability 
  • Flexible 
  • Lightweight 

What I Don’t Like… 

  • Too heavy for some 
  • Strange design 

Similar Product: New Balance Men’s Fresh Foam Running Shoe 

How To Choose The Best Shoes For IT Band Syndrome 

Fit 

Pay attention to your shoes offering enough heel space, sufficient toe box room, and enough space for wide feet. Your toes should be able to move freely without being constricted. If your feet cannot move freely and the toes are restricted, it can lead to more pain in your feet, legs, and knees. 

Comfort 

No one wants an uncomfortable shoe, but it’s especially important to make sure you have enough cushioning and support when you are dealing with IT band syndrome! Be sure to make sure the fit is correct and nothing is irritating you so you can assure a smooth ride and get back out there! 

Stability & Support 

It’s crucial to choose shoes that offer you stability and support, or you could end up stressing out your knee, which results in more pain and discomfort while running.

FAQ’s 

What Are The Causes & Symptoms Of IT Band Syndrome?

Iliotibial band inflammation is an overuse syndrome that occurs most often in long-distance runners, bicyclists, and other athletes who repeatedly squat, have poor training habits, poor flexibility of muscles, or certain individuals with anatomy issues- such as differences in the lengths of the legs, or an abnormal tilt to the pelvis. 

Can Running Barefoot Help Alleviate IT Band Syndrome?

According to this article, runners with ITBS may benefit from running barefoot or in barefoot-like running shoes as opposed to running in thickly cushioned running shoes. This is because running barefoot stabilizes the knee and is therefore useful for outer knee pain management. 

What Are Exercises To Help With IT Band Syndrome? 

The best corrective exercises for ITBS are side-lying hip abductions, hip bridge (with a resistance band), side planks, and the standing IT band stretch. 

Talk To A Doctor For Professional Medical Advice

As always: Talk to a doctor for professional medical advice. 

This article is in no way a substitute for medical advice. And if you or somebody you know is in pain, it’s always best to seek professional help from an expert. 

Final Verdict 

If you suffer from IT band syndrome, choosing a good pair of running shoes may allow you to get back on the trails and do what you love. Proper and supportive footwear, like the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 can provide great relief. 

The reason I recommend these shoes is because of the stability and proper alignment, as well as the flexible and breathable design.