Best Shoes & Sneakers for Lower Back Pain
Bad shoes and back pain are closely connected. Shoes, especially worn-out shoes, can really be horrible on your back. They do not give proper support, which causes the muscles to work extra hard to keep you balanced and upright.
So, if you are on your feet a lot, such as medical professionals, you may want to invest in the best shoes for lower back pain, walking, and running. In this write-up, we will give you some of the best shoes and sneakers for lower back pain, walking, and running. But, first, let’s take a look at how shoes can cause back pain and related joint problems.
How can shoes cause back pain?
• Shoes lacking in support will cause the muscles to work harder, and if they are not accustomed to such hard work, they may ache or even cramp. Shoes that lack support also cause joints to deform, which will put more pressure on your spine than it should be bearing, resulting in even more strain on your lower back.
• Shoes that are too tight will cause tension in your muscles, leading to pain, especially if you are on your feet a lot.
• Shoes that do not fit properly will cause your stride to alter, which can put a lot of pressure on the foot, and therefore the ankle and knee.
• Shoes with elevated heels will cause you to strain your back as instead of having a normal gait, you walk more on your toes, causing your pelvis to tilt forward. This is because it is difficult to balance yourself in such shoes as they result in your forward center of gravity.
• Shoes with too much cushioning will have you walking in a very flat-footed manner which again puts pressure on the heels and feet instead of absorbing shock as they should do.
Even though shoes cannot be overnight miracle cures for back pain, wearing the right kind will definitely help you manage your back pain and will also help you to avoid further damage.
Top 10 Best Shoes and Sneaker for Lower Back Pain for Walking, Jogging, and Running
While there are several good comfortable shoes in the market, below are our top picks.
#1 Vionic Spark Minna
This open shoe is perfect for people who do not like shoes or cannot wear one but still want to relieve their back pain. It is a sport sandal that can be worn indoor and outdoor. The design is funky, with interesting colors to choose from. It comes up above the ankle, which means there is no extra pressure on your heel or feet, allowing for a relaxed walk, great if you are on your feet during the day.
These shoes are constructed with leather on the outside and mesh on the inside. The outside is where all the support is given to help your back, with a strong TPU heel counter allowing for a natural grip. The insole is biomechanically designed to support your foot muscles, making these comfortable shoes for lower back pain, walking, and running.
#2 New Balance 928 V2 Back Support Walking Shoe
This sneaker from New Balance will be your best bet for a sneak that is designed with style and comfort in mind. New Balance 928 V2 has a lot of cushioning, which helps absorb shock so that your knees and joints do not take a beating. It has the right amount of cushioning to help absorb shock. Still, it also has an adjustable closure which means you can adjust the tightness according to your taste.
The outside of the shoe is made of synthetic leather and mesh. The midsole is Compression molded ethylene vinyl acetate. The sole is made of rubber, which allows for a lightweight fit. The inside is also lined with a soft fabric. Another reason we love this shoe is that it comes in two varieties for men and women, so it is perfect if you and your partner are looking to buy matching shoes for yourselves.
#3 Vionic Men’s Bowery Chase Chukka Boot
Vionic Men’s Bowery Chase Chukka Boot is anti-microbial and made of leather. They are designed to be worn in all seasons and come with an orthotic footbed that helps support your feet while walking or running. There are also removable insoles that you can take out if they get too bulky for your liking. And have a great-looking design for them.
If you are one of those who find it difficult to bend down to tie their shoe, then this boot from Vionic is the perfect choice for you. This is because it features a hook-and-loop closure system which means that all you have to do is slide your foot in and out. And if being hands-free appeals to you, then you will love the fact that these shoes lace up and look like a sneaker.
#4 ASICS Women’s Gel-Cumulus 20 (D)
The ASICS stylish and sturdy Cumulus 20 (D) is another of the best running shoes for lower back pain. This gel running shoe from ASICS has a mesh upper and is designed with women’s anatomical aspects in mind. And the best thing about these shoes for lower back pain is that they come in various colors to choose from, so you can pick the color that reflects your personality.
These shoes are great at absorbing shock. You can walk, jog or run in them with ease since they have superior cushioning due to the FluidRide technology used on them. The rearfoot and forefoot gel provides even better cushioning. Your heels are protected from injury by the DuoMax support system. If you have a narrow foot, then that is not a problem as they come in different widths to pick from.
#5 New Balance Men’s 990v5 Sneaker
The New Balance Men’s 990v5 sneaker is one of the best shoes for sore feet. It is made of leather and mesh, making it lightweight and breathable. The insole has a Memory Tech foam that conforms to the shape of your foot after a few usages, giving you a custom feel. It also has a removable insole allowing for an orthotic footbed to be placed inside the sneaker instead.
We love this shoe because it can be worn all year round and provides superior cushioning, making it great for walking and running purposes. The soles are made of rubber, which will last longer and provide optimal shock absorption for your legs, back, and feet. The mesh will also ensure that your feet stay cool all day. Well made, stylish, and affordable, what more could you ask for?
#6 Brooks Women’s Addiction Walker Walking Shoe
These walking shoes from Brooks are great if you want a shoe with support for your ankles due to their durability and cushioning. The BioMoGo DNA adapts to your stride, weight, and speed, making it a great shoe for walking and running. The outsole effectively distributes the shock from your feet, reducing the stress on other parts of your body, such as your back or feet.
The Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar is great for controlling the movement of your feet and gives you a natural walking experience. The insole is also removable and allows you to add your own insoles. In addition, the forefoot MC Pod construction provides ultimate comfort to your forefoot. Overall, we believe the plush cushioning on this shoe will be perfect for those looking for a lightweight pair of shoes that provide adequate support for your feet.
#7 Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Sieve
These agile, water-ready shoes from Merrell are a great choice for those who want a lightweight shoe with good traction. The upper fabric is breathable and allows water to flow through. This is perfect if you want a shoe to wear while kayaking or hiking.
The mesh lining allows your feet to breathe, and the molded footbed provides a comfortable environment for your feet. The outsole is durable and efficient in absorbing shock, reducing the stress on your legs, feet, and back. The outsole has a Merrell TrailProtect technology that helps protect your feet from sharp objects you might normally encounter when going hiking or running.
#8 Saucony Men’s Zealot Iso 3
Another excellent pair comes with breathable air mesh to keep your feet cool. The upper also features an Iso-Channelling design that reduces the buildup of heat around the feet, which keeps them cool and dry. You can use it on rough terrains or during hot summer days, making it a versatile shoe. We love that the company has designed it to be wider than most shoes, which gives your feet room to breathe.
The outsole is durable and made of carbon rubber, making it great on rugged surfaces. At the same time, the Tri-Flex design provides flexibility for your feet. In addition, the Iso-flex technology allows your foot to flex naturally without experiencing fatigue which makes these shoes ideal for those who have lower back pain. The heel counter is also lightweight and resists arch compression, which provides you with added comfort.
#9 Nurse Mates Velocity Medical Professional Shoe
The heavy-duty professional shoes from Nurse Mates are among the best shoes for standing all day with bad knees. It can handle different types of surfaces. And it has a proper grip on the outsole, which is good for reducing fatigue if you plan to use it during work. The shoe sole has a non-slip grip that will keep your feet in place, preventing it from sliding around while you are working.
Moreover, these stylish sneakers with arch support reduce stress during long hours of standing. Arch compression can cause tired feet, fatigue, or even back pain. By reducing the pressure on your feet with these shoes, you can properly align your spine to reduce lower back pain. Its adjustable stretch laces are great if you have wide feet because they allow for an adjustable fit. The stabilizing composite shank also provides added durability and support to the shoe.
#10 Vionic Women’s Alma
Finally, we have the Vionic Women’s Alma – the best shoes for heel pain when walking. That’s because these shoes feature a removable footbed which provides you with more room for adjustment. The Vionic technology on the insoles provides superior arch support and cushioning in the heel area. The toe box is wide, which provides plenty of room for your toes, preventing them from getting squished inside your shoe. Overall, this would be our top pick if we were looking for a pair of shoes with a wide toe box.
Furthermore, the outsole is made of rubber which makes it durable. At the same time, the Wave-Siping technology provides traction when you are walking. The wave-siped outsole gives you additional surface area on slippery surfaces, making it ideal for those who work in wet areas like doing the dishes. The shoes are also great if you want to go kayaking or hiking in slippery areas because of their excellent grip on most surfaces.
These are the top 10 best walking shoes for foot pain that we have found really helpful. Now let’s take a look at some buying tips to make the most of your purchase.
What to look for when choosing the best shoes for foot pain relief?
1 – Arch Support
When choosing your shoes, you should look for ones that will provide good arch support. This helps reduce stress on the lower back, knees, and ankles, leading to fatigue or pain after long hours of standing.
Some shoes have removable insoles that you can change to accommodate your own arch, while others come with a pre-built insole that you cannot remove. This is why it’s important to look at the insoles of the shoes before purchasing them. You should try them out first by walking around the store and making sure they are comfortable.
2 – Good Heel Elevation
Proper heel elevation is important in preventing lower back pain. You should look for shoes that have a wide heel base that does not put a strain on your Achilles Tendon. This can reduce pressure on the hips, knees, ankles, and feet which will ultimately help you remain more active if you are working long hours. We suggest going for a moderate heel height.
3 – Shock Absorption and cushioning
The outsole of the shoes for back pain sufferers should be designed to absorb shock from walking. Some shoes have a springy feeling when you walk in them, which is great for those who are on their feet all day as it reduces fatigue and strain caused by the constant impact. This also helps protect your joints as your weight will not exert excessive pressure on one area.
4 – Rocker-Bottom Soles
Some shoes employ a special kind of technology called a “rocker-bottom sole,” designed to evenly distribute the weight across the foot as you walk, making it more bearable. A rocker-bottom sole distributes pressure evenly across the foot. This gives your feet more of a push, reducing strain on muscles while also taking the pressure off your lower back and knees.
5 – Lightweight without compromising on durability
If you want the shoes to help with back pain, they should be lightweight without compromising on durability. Carrying around heavy shoes will make your ankles weak over time, leading to strains and other injuries when walking. A lightweight shoe will also enable you to move around freely and prevent you from getting tired fast. As a rule of thumb, remember that shoes with EVA midsoles will be lightweight, whereas shoes made with polyurethane midsoles will be much more durable.
What Kind of Shoes to avoid if You are Facing Back Pain?
Below are the type of shoes to avoid if you don’t want to go hard on your back.
1 – High Heels
High heels will put pressure on your feet and back, causing you to lose balance. It’ll also affect the way you walk, causing you to throw your back off balance.
2 – Flip Flops & Sandals
Flip flops and sandals will not support your feet, giving them no room to relax. This will cause your back to carry the weight of your body.
3 – Running Shoes without Support
Going long distances with proper running shoes is not a bad idea if they have good support for your lower back and arch area. However, it’s a whole different story if you are not wearing the right type of shoes.
4 – Too Hard or Too Flimsy Shoes
If the heel of your shoes is too hard, it will cause more stress on your feet and back. This will irritate the low back causing it to be fatigued. Likewise, if your shoes are flimsy, they will not give any support to your arches, making you shift your weight on one side of your feet. This can put pressure on the lower spine and cause pain in those areas as well as those parts of the body which is attached to those areas.
5 – Minimalist Shoes
-This kind of shoe can cause problems with your feet not being properly supported. It does not have to cushion in the heel, making it hard to keep your balance and giving you no room for proper posture or alignment.
That’s just about it. We hope after going through this extensive information, you are able to find suitable best shoes for lower back pain. All the options mentioned in our top 10 picks are good, but we particularly like the New Balance pairs. They are a bit expensive than others but work wonders when alleviating back pain problems due to bad shoes. Likewise, the Nurse Mates’s shoe mentioned above is a slightly reasonable option for people on a budget. It’s particularly good for people suffering from plantar fasciitis or other diseases like bunions. What do you think? Let us know in the comment section down below.