Best Shoes For Back Pain – 2018 Reviews (Top Picks) & Buyer’s Guide

Countless of people are affected by back pain, which can disrupt your quality of life and your everyday activities such as walking, sleeping, sports, sitting and exercise to name a few. It’s worth noting that up to 80% of people will have back pain at some point in their lives and a good portion of workers will experience symptoms of back pain at some point during the year. This is according to the American Chiropractic Association.

Back pain can be caused by many things, such as sitting in a hunched position. Overstretching, excessive walking and wearing the wrong pair of shoes can lead to you experiencing back pain. In fact, wearing the wrong type of footwear can wreck havoc on your lower back, as well as mess with your alignment and body posture.

The spine’s structure can be messed with too. When you suffer from back pain, then you may find it difficult to do the activities you normally would do, such as running, exercising or just going for a small walk. The quality of your life can suffer greatly.

If shoes are causing your back pain, then things will only get worse. Women take 5,210 steps each day, on average. Men take around 7,190 steps per day on average. Every time you take a step, you have the opportunity to do the right thing or you have the chance to reinforce the problems with your back. This is all because of wearing the wrong shoes. It is crucial to wear the right types of shoes.

You should consider wearing special shoes that have been designed to ease back pain or prevent it altogether. The right footwear can relieve back pain, as well as ankle foot and knee pain. The best shoes are the ones that provide the right amount of support for your feet, as well as one that has plenty of cushioning and that offers flexibility.

If you choose the right type of footwear, then your feet will have the chance to function better when you wear them, which will improve your spine’s health and alignment. Once the shoes start to work, you may find yourself being able to run, walk and exercise as you once did. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about feeling pain or being in discomfort.

If a physician cannot determine that lower back pain is being caused by a problem, then the gait may need to be looked at. Perhaps getting supporting shoes can help. You might also want to look into getting shoe inserts.

How the Wrong Shoes can Cause Back Pain

Wearing the wrong kind of shoes can leave your feet without the basic protection they need. If this happens, your body will try to make up for this loss of protection, which would have redistribute weight. If shoes are not doing this job, then the body will try to redistribute weight.

When the body takes on the task of weight redistribution, then the posture of the spinal cord could end up undergoing abnormal change. This is what leads to back pain. You don’t want to leave this task up to the body.

Shoes That Are Not Good For The Back

Shoes that affect your back and body are the ones that offer bad support or no support at all. High heels are some of the worse kind of shoes to wear and so are toning shoes and flat shoes, as well as flip flops. These shoes can lead to back pain because they disrupt your natural posture.

High HeelsFlip FlopsFlat shoesToning Shoes
High heels may look good and they have an elegant design to them, but they can wreck havoc on your back’s alignment and they can cause a lot of straight on your back. High heels can cause the person to lean forward and this forces the body to alter its curve of the back. When this happens, poor alignment can occur, which can result in back pain and muscles being overused.

Sure, flip flops are comfortable and convenient to wear for beach trips, but they can play a role in causing back pain. Flip flops do not have an arch to support the legs, lower back and feet. Arch support is important because it can prevent foot pain and it can provide both support and balance.

These shoes don’t do a good job at preventing back pain. The arches in our feet serve as a shock absorber and this means the impact on our lower back, knee, hip and ankles are lessen. People who have flatter feet tend to have more back problems because they do not have arches that are able to handle the task of weight distribution in an effective way.

Back pain suffers should stay away from wearing toning shoes. Researchers have discovered that people who wear these shoes, which are expensive, are more likely to experience aching joints and sore muscles. These shoes have thick soles, which means your feet won’t be able to flex naturally as you move around. Eventually you could end up experience back pain, as well as pain in your feet, hips and ankles.

The Best Shoes for Back Pain in 2018

  • ASICS Men’s Gel Kayano 20 Running Shoe
  • New Balance Men’s MW577 Walking Shoe 
  • KEEN Utility Men’s PTC Dress Oxford Work Shoe 
  • Rockport men’s World Tour Classic Walking Shoe 
  • Vionic Unisex Wave Toe Post Sandal 
  • New Balance Women’s W1340v2 Optimum Control Running Shoe 
  • Dr. Scholl’s Women’s Friendly Ballet Flat
  • New Balance Women’s WW928 Health Walking Lace-Up Sneaker
  • Orthofeet Chelsea Comfort Orthopedic Diabetic Orthotic Womens Loafers Slip On Shoes
  • Reef Women’s Fanning Sandal

Comparison Table – Men’s Shoes

Name  ASICS Men’s Gel Kayano 20 Running Shoe New Balance Men’s MW577 Walking Shoe  KEEN Utility Men’s PTC Dress Oxford Work Shoe  Rockport men’s World Tour Classic Walking Shoe  Vionic Unisex Wave Toe Post Sandal 
Rating 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5
Price $$ $ $ $ $
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Comparison Table – Women’s Shoes

Name New Balance Women’s W1340v2 Optimum Control Running Shoe   Dr. Scholl’s Women’s Friendly Ballet Flat  New Balance Women’s WW928 Health Walking Lace-Up Sneaker  Orthofeet Chelsea Comfort Orthopedic Diabetic Orthotic Womens Loafers Slip On Shoes Reef Women’s Fanning Sandal 
Rating 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5
Price $$ $ $$ $$ $
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It is highly recommended that you read the buyer’s guide provided at the end of the article.


Reviews of the Best Men’s Shoes for Bad Back


Men’s Shoes #1: ASICS Men’s Gel Kayano 20 Running Shoe

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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For a stable running shoe, the ASICS Men’s Gel Kayano 20 Running Shoes are ideal for those suffering from low back pain, especially people suffering with overpronation. This choice has been at the top of the market for almost two decades, this fact itself speaks volumes. Relieving lower back pain is all about having a snug toe fit, the mesh construction of the uppers focuses on exactly this need. In a few words, this choice is both functional as well as practical.

If you find yourself either walking or running over the same kind of terrain day in and day out, the ASICS Men’s Gel Kayano 20 Running Shoes will provide you with ideal cushioning and support for your specific needs.

In fact, let’s put that exceptional toe box into the limelight for a moment. It has enough space for the foot to expand when it comes in contact with the ground. This naturally acts as a shock absorber the moment the foot spreads out on the surface. It is true that the damping material makes the shoe that little bit heavier, however since your foot is getting the maximum cushioning it does seem like a small price to pay.


Men’s Shoes #2: New Balance Men’s MW577 Walking Shoe

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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The New Balance Men’s MW577 Walking Shoes are all about offering a great shoe choice for lower back pain, in fact after wearing these shoes all you will want to do is keep using them. This shoe choice offers excellent comfort so that even the idea of lower back pain can seem like a distant worry.

It is the excellent features providing ultimate cushioning and comfort that make these shoes such a great choice for preventing and relieving back pain. In fact, the ABZORB midsole cushioning, Strike Path outsole, padded tongue as well as the collar and walk specific footbed are excellent features which I find really make a difference to the lower back pain which I experience.

The New Balance Men’s MW577 Walking Shoes are not just about eliminating the chance of lower back pain, but also about preventing foot pain. The abundant padding mean you can wear these shoes for long periods of time, in fact this makes them a great option for people who love to walk. For people who want to invest in a pair of comfy shoes that will ease lower back pain without being overly sporty, this could prove itself to be a good choice.


Men’s Shoes #3: KEEN Utility Men’s PTC Dress Oxford Work Shoe

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Offering a stable rubber cap to minimize the risk of toe injuries and a thick sole for comfort, these dress shoes are certainly worthy of consideration. To give extra comfort as well as stability you will find a memory foam footbed and compression molded EVA midsole. In addition, the outsole is designed to grip surfaces and hence prevent the risk of injury.

One negative element to this shoe is that it lacks heat vents so feet may get warm in some conditions. However, if your work does not require you to be in hot or humid conditions, this dress shoe should be a good choice for looking great, yet still preventing back and hip pain.


Men’s Shoes #4: Rockport men’s World Tour Classic Walking Shoe

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Rockport provide yet another great choice, the World Tour Walking Shoe is sure to take you wherever you want to go. They offer padded tongue and collar to give a great fit and maximum comfort. The full-grain leather and lace-up design gives support and cushioning as well as a durable traction sole that provides flexibility. The rubberized EVA footbed is removable and gives lightweight cushioning while the padded collar and tongue cut down on painful blistering. The walking platform is all about giving support and the solid rubber outsoles is designed to grip surfaces.


Men’s Shoes #5: Vionic Unisex Wave Toe Post Sandal

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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This orthotic sandal is all about relieving pain and discomfort caused by a variety of foot ailments. The biochemical orthotic footbed has textured dots and gives better grip while the deep heel cup gently cradles the foot. In contrast to the majority of flip flops, this choice can minimize pronation due to its tri-planar motion feature which eases the foot back into its natural position.


Reviews of the Best Women’s Shoes for Bad Back


Women’s Shoes #1:  New Balance Women’s W1340v2 Optimum Control Running Shoe

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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It is one of the best running shoes that can actually reduce back pain. The company took a completely different approach because the shoe is highly absorbent and very structured. Therefore, when your foot hits the ground, the shoe keeps it straight to avoid any pronation. These trainers are perfect for running and are actually the best training shoes for athletes.


Women’s Shoes #2: Dr. Scholl’s Women’s Friendly Ballet Flat

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Are you looking for the best work shoes that actually reduce back pain? Well, you have made the right choice. The pair comes in multiple colors. You can also use the footinsole Arch Support insoles for more support. The gel pads provide enough support to the arch and also massage the underfoot for increased comfort. The shoe also absorbs shock and impact making it a perfect well-rounded shoe for the workplace.


Women’s Shoes #3: New Balance Women’s WW928 Health Walking Lace-Up Sneaker

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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It is a much better looking shoe than the predecessors in the same line. It provides the most ideal arch support as well as controlling motion. Therefore, the shoe makes it comfortable to walk on hard surfaces. Currently, the shoe comes in 3 colors, plain black, plain white and also beige. You can wear the sneaker during your morning run or during any strenuous activity that might actually cause backpain.


Women’s Shoes #4: Orthofeet Chelsea Comfort Orthopedic Diabetic Orthotic Womens Loafers Slip On Shoes

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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Are you looking for a shoe that is the complete package? Well, this is the right choice. It has an extra depth that offers assistance with arch support, cushioning, gait and provides enough space for your insoles. The shoe provides the best arch support, the best protection in your pressure points and also a non-binding and relaxing fit. It has been manufactured with the orthotic gel insole and an ergonomic cushioning sole, which softens your steps, facilitates natural foot motion and also enhances stability. It has also been designed with a deep toe box allowing you to relax and spread your toes for additional comfort.


Women’s Shoes #5: Reef Women’s Fanning Sandal

Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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It is a flip flop and casual sandal with enough support and comfort to your feet. It is useful for alleviating back pain and perfect for people with other health conditions. The outsole is very durable while the midsole is very supportive. The bottle opener found at the bottom part of the shoe is an added feature with more benefits. The shoe is entirely PVC free.


Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Shoes for Back Pain

Many people think that shoes for lower back pain take a specific shape and style. Namely, orthopedic shoes that are big, heavy, and awkward to wear. That may have been true at one time, but not anymore. These days, it’s much easier to find shoes that blend seamlessly with your wardrobe. They look great but don’t cause the back pain. If you’re looking for the best shoes for lower back pain, here’s a few things you should keep in mind.

Types of Shoes

Remember, you don’t necessarily have to shop in the orthopedic section when you’re looking for shoes to help treat your back pain. There is a veritable treasure trove of shoes that look great and keep your feet comfortable while giving you the support you need for your spine to stay the shape it’s in.

That said, there are shoes you’ll need to avoid if you want to keep yourself safe from back pain. Shoes that don’t provide proper support, such as flip flops and flats, or shoes that make you stand in awkward positions like heels should be avoided. Supportive, flexible shoes are what you should look for. Make sure they provide enough cushion for your feet, as well. Sneakers, tennis shoes, and running shoes can all work fairly well. Still, not all such shoes are properly supportive. Make sure the shoes you get are well designed.

Make sure that whatever shoe you decide on, it’s appropriate for the activity. Not all shoes are appropriate for all activities. This is more than things like high heels being terrible for running. Even shoes that seem similar can be terrible in the wrong situation. Walking shoes are different from running shoes, for example. And running shoes aren’t very good for other sports.

Whether you’re buying shoes for work or simply walking around, consider the terrain you’ll be traversing. As an example, if you stand or run on concrete, you’ll want the extra cushion in the bottom of the shoe. If you go hiking through the woods, however, you’ll want boots that support the ankle as well as the bottom of your feet.


Make absolutely certain that the shoes you’re considering have proper arch support. Does the arch of the shoe fit the arch of your foot? Not every person has the same foot arch. Some people don’t even have the same arch on both of their feet. Just because a shoe works for someone else doesn’t mean it will be great for you.


The importance of flexibility can not possibly be overstated. When you’re looking for the best shoes for lower back pain, flexibility is the most important factor involved. The greater the shoe’s flexibility, the less strain your spine will suffer as you move around. So make sure your toes can flex and you can bend your ankles easily. Try to avoid shoes that squeeze your toes together. Women’s shoes are often designed to force the toes into a point. Some men’s dress shoes are, as well. Toes provide support and balance. When you shove them into a tight space, you lose quite a bit of that support.


Without proper balance, a shoe is worthless. Without proper balance, you’ll wind up injuring more than just your spine. You could wind up tripping over your own feet or even causing your knees to wear out and break down from the lack of support.


Proper insoles provide proper shock absorption. It can also make things more comfortable on your feet by cushioning the space between the feet and the rough terrain below. You should be certain there’s enough cushion built into the insole to provide this shock absorption. You can also buy separate insole cushions. These are generally fairly cheap and can turn a mediocre shoe into a great shoe.


Chances are, you spend most of your time standing or walking on hard surfaces that don’t have much give. Since you’re sending rough shocks from the bottom of your feet up through your legs and into your spine, it’s important that you have shoes that can absorb as much of that shock as possible.


The fact that your shoes should be comfortable seems obvious. Yet many people wind up buying shoes that are too big or too small. It’s an easy mistake to make. The smaller shoe may feel more supportive in the short term, but cause problems the longer you wear them. Make certain your shoes offer a firm yet gentle compression around your ankles, and are thick in the insoles.


People often fail to consider the fact that some shoes are much more rigid than others. When a shoe is rigid, it doesn’t move well. It doesn’t bend with your foot as you walk. Eventually, your feet will hurt because the shoe is forcing them into an odd shape. Flimsy shoes fall apart quickly and lose any support they might have way sooner than you might have hoped.

Seal of Acceptance

Unless you’ve been buying shoes for pain in your back for a while, you may not be aware that there are shoes specifically designed and tested to look great and feel great as well. If you want shoes that fit and work perfectly, look for that seal. It will tell you that the shoe has been properly tested. This means you can rest assured the shoes will work properly. Try looking for the seal of approval from the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Measure Your Feet

People often fail to measure their feet before they try on shoes. They feel as if they already know what their shoe size is, so there’s no need to be measured. However, people’s feet often change shape and size over time. Much like any other part of your body, your feet can change shape if you gain or lose weight. It may not be by much, but it can often times make you need a different shoe size than you think you need. If you buy shoes online, then you absolutely must measure your feet. Otherwise, you’ll find that the shoes you buy simply don’t fit right.

Replace shoes frequently

Shoes don’t last forever. Even well-made shoes will wear out over time. When shoes wear out, they lose any support they may have offered. Most shoes tend to wear out around the same amount of time. Running shoes, as one example, tend to last around 12 months if you’re an active runner.

Lastly, if you simply can not find shoes that fit right and look great, you can get them custom ordered.



People flock to the doctors due to back pain. Many people think pain is caused by aging and injury. However, shoes can play a major role in this.

It doesn’t matter what activity you are doing, you want to provide support for your feet. What this means is you need the right pair of shoes that can help reduce the risk of back pain, injury and a pair that can improve your balance. When you wear the right footwear, then you will be providing your spine with the support it needs and you may finally get relief from back pain.


Take Action

Comparison Table – Men’s Shoes

Comparison Table – Women’s Shoes



How to Choose Shoes to Help Reduce Your Back Pain, wikihow

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One thought on “Best Shoes For Back Pain – 2018 Reviews (Top Picks) & Buyer’s Guide

  • April 17, 2018 at 7:14 am

    I have been type 2 diabetic for the last more than 25 years and have benefited from the variety of diabetic shoes contribution made by various organizations. My fears are on injuries to the feet resulting in ulcers and possible amputation plus and including other ailments in the kidney, heart, eyes, brain etc The continuous increment in the world population will have a corresponding increase in diabetic cases and hence diabetic shoes for back pain etc Informed decisions should be made to encounter the increase of the corresponding cases for prevention is better than cure Your article is interesting to read and will go a long way in informing and educating the masses of the dangers and remedy of this slow and painful disease.


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