Ask Men’s Fitness: Will Running on Pavement Every Day Kill My Knees?

Pavement vs. treadmill running

Science would tell you to run on, brother. “There is a lot of research that shows your body and muscles can ‘tune’ themselves to whatever surface you run on,” says Reed Ferber, Ph.D., an athletic therapist and director at the Running Injury Clinic in Canada. “In other words, your muscles will adapt and minimize impact forces and joint loading regardless of whether you run on a hard or a soft surface.”

If you’re getting shin splints or knee aches, it may have less to do with the pavement than the way you’re running. Researchers in Finland, who published their findings last year, discovered that striking the ground with your forefoot—the ball of your foot—results in fewer knee injuries than landing on your heels. 

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