10 Best Athletic Shoes for Lower Back Pain 2020

If you are wondering why there is an article about the best athletic shoes for lower back pain, you should know that a lot of surveys have identified back pain as one of the most common reasons why people visit the hospital, and when you have a back pain, you would find it very difficult to run or exercise. Back pain can be caused, or made worse, by the shoes that you are wearing.

Back pain can be caused by sports injuries or unhealthy sleeping positions, and it can be aggravated by the footwear you are wearing. When you are running with the wrong shoes, it can become worse and this is why you should take note of the shoes you wear.

Worst Shoes for Back Pain

Before we move on to the best athletic shoes for lower back pain, let’s look at the shoes that actually cause this back pain. Just because they cause lower back pain doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear them, it just means that you shouldn’t wear them often.


This is the main and most common culprit that adversely affects your back. Don’t think that high heels only refer to open toed shoes and stilettos, because boots with high heels can also affect your back. Basically, any shoe that has high heels can cause lower back pain, and the higher the heels, the worse the pain.

This is because when you wear heels, you walk in a specific way that would strain your back. At first, your knees would get affected, but the pain would move up and eventually affect your back.

Flats and Flip-Flops

Surprisingly, our most comfortable and common footwear can cause back pain when they are worn too often. Flats and flip-flops do not offer any support when you walk and so they can affect your legs and from your legs to your lower back.

Sometimes, your curl your toes whole wearing flip flops and this would affect your hips and eventually, your lower back. This is the same with flats, because as you walk when wearing flats, your legs are strained and the pain travels to your back.

Toning Shoes

Toning shoes are the first choice for someone who wants to tone their thighs and legs, but with toning shoes, your muscles and eventually your back gets strained because of the curved bottom of the shoes.

These type of footwear can be harmful to your health and strain your muscles when you wear them for too long.

Athletic Shoes

How to Choose the Best Athletic Shoes for Lower Back Pain

Some people have the belief that when picking the best shoes for lower back pain, they just shop at the orthopaedic section of the mall or buy chunky shoes, but you just need to consider some factors when choosing the best shoes to prevent lower back pain.

You can get shoes that fit in with your wardrobe or outfit and still prevent back pain. Here are some things you should do and look out for when choosing the best athletic shoes for lower back pain.


Before you even start shopping for shoes, you should get your feet evaluated first. This would help you find the perfect fit and prevent any strain in your legs, muscles and back. When evaluating your feet, you would find out if your feet are medium, wide or narrow. If you have very wide feet, it might be hard for you to find the perfect fit and but you should not compromise for a smaller size.

How Well It Fits

You have to get the perfect fit for your feet after going through a proper evaluation. One major cause of back pain that is caused by shoes is wearing shoes that are too big or worse, too small. When you wear right shoes, you’re straining your muscles. Your shoes may not fit well because you bought shoes that were on sale and even when the pair of shoes did not fit perfectly, you bought them anyway.

Sometimes you buy shoes because of the style and sacrifice your comfort or you wear someone else’s shoes. When you do these things, the shoes would have an adverse effect on your body posture and your lower back, and you might find yourself in the doctor’s office if you wear it too often.

The Arch

The arch of the shoes that you want to purchase can also have an effect on how comfortable it is and if it can cause you pain. The arch of your feet can be completely different from the arch of someone else’s feet, even if you both wear the same size. This is why wearing other people’s shoes are discouraged because of the different natural arches. You must ensure that the arch of the shoe fits with the arch of your feet.


When choosing the best shoes, you should also avoid buying the shoes that are more rigid than others. Rigid shoes stress your feet out when you are walking or moving about, because of the tightness, your feet would not have breathing space. Just because rigid shoes can hurt your feet and then your back doesn’t mean that you should purchase flimsy shoes either. Get shoes that would give your feet breathing space and space to wiggle your toes.

Tested and Trusted

You should also purchase athletic shoes that have the seal of acceptance from different companies. Look out for reviews and if you are trying to prevent lower back pain, look out for the seal of acceptance before you buy it.

These factors can act as a buyer’s guide when you are purchasing the best athletic shoes for lower back pain, and it would help you avoid the shoes that would not keep your body healthy. The good thing is that you do not have to get your shoes custom made just to avoid back pain, but instead, you can purchase ready-made shoes that are designed to help prevent lower back pain.

10 Best Athletic Shoes for Lower Back Pain

New Balance Men's Beacon V1 Fresh Foam Running Shoe4.6
Altra AFM1837F Men's Torin 3.5 Road Running Shoe4.9
Adidas Ultraboost4.8
HOKA ONE ONE Mens Clifton 3 Running Shoe4.7
Mizuno Wave Inspire 144.9
Brooks Addiction Walker4.7
Brooks Ghost 114.9
Altra Escalante Running Shoe4.9
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 194.8
Vionic Walker4.5

1. New Balance Men’s Beacon V1 Fresh Foam Running Shoe

These shoes are ideal for athletes and would keep their feet comfortable while preventing back pain while they use it. The shoes are a hundred percent textile and synthetic and they pass the rigidity test because of the padded and breathable mesh tongue and rubber sole that would keep your feet comfortable and prevent your muscles from getting strained and affecting your back.

They also have a roll bar support system for your knees and a dual density collar foam which gives you a springy step. The amount of padding and foam in these shoes would prevent lower back pain and at the same time, the shoes are very lightweight. These shoes are also very durable and are ideal for those who are running to lose extra weight.


  • The shoes provide adequate cushioning.
  • They are very versatile.
  • The shoes are flexible and responsive.
  • They are lightweight and breathable.


  • The padding and foam in the shoes are not durable.

2. Altra AFM1837F Men’s Torin 3.5 Road Running Shoe

A unique feature of these shoes is its zero drop platform that has a low impact on your muscles when you are running or walking. It places your heel and forefoot on to the same distance and has a speedier look and feel. The shoes also have proper cushioning and an energy return compound that prevents pain in your feet and knees when running. It softens the impact of your feet on the ground. The shoes also allow your feet to breathe and gives space for your big toe so you do not have to squeeze into the shoes. While wearing these shoes, you would be surprised to know that your toes can spread out comfortably.

It has an inbuilt tongue and missile cushions that protect your feet. These shoes have so many features that keep your feet comfortable and prevent back pain. When wearing these shoes, you are protected from strained muscles and discomfort. The cushioning is also moderate, such that it’s enough to keep you comfortable but not too much to make the shoes heavy.


  • The shoes have enough wriggle space for your toes.
  • It is also highly responsive, softens the impact of your feet on the ground and are lightweight despite all the cushioning.
  • It has a zero drop platform.
  • They are versatile and allow for flexibility.


  • It does not have enough support in the upper.

3. Adidas Ultraboost

As long as you get your size of these shoes, you would have no worries because these shoes feature an adidas primeknit upper that would wrap around your feet. The shoes would not be too big, and definitely not too small. The shoes also have a rubber sole and an outsole that would keep you stable while running or walking.

When wearing these shoes, you would have a spring in your step because of the energy returning feature. It is also well cushioned and is stable during wet and dry weather conditions. These shoes give your feet flexibility and allow your Achilles to move optimally. It’s comfortable and supports your feet, knees and your back.


  • The shoes have technology that boost your energy while running.
  • They are also lightweight and they hug your feet.
  • They are highly durable and very fashionable.


  • Like most Adidas shoes, they are a bit expensive.
  • It might prove difficult to find the perfect fit.

4. HOKA ONE ONE Mens Clifton 3 Running Shoe

These lightweight shoes are known for their no-sew SpeedFrame construction that give breathing space to your feet and prevent any form of blistering or irritation in your feet. These shoes also have air mesh panels that allow for ventilation and air flow, so you don’t get sweaty feet when walking or running. It keeps the feet dry, cool and comfortable and its forefoot is accommodating for your toes, especially your big toes.

These shoes feature a lot of technology including a midsole foam for energy returning that adds a spring to your steps and cushioning that protects your muscles when your feet hit the ground. It keep your toes and feet healthy and comfortable, and consequently, it prevents lower back pain and allows you enjoy your running or walking.


  • The shoes are very breathable and protect your feet from blistering and irritation.
  • They are highly responsive.
  • They also have proper cushioning, are very lightweight and comfortable.
  • Great traction.
  • They are also highly durable.


  • They can seem a bit bulky for those with small feet.

5. Mizuno Wave Inspire 14

These shoes are ideal for those that have flat feet. This is because those who have flat feet usually end up curling your feet inward when running, this is called over pronating, and can cause lower back pain. These shoes solve the problem of over pronating with its fit in motion upper that allows for flexible support.

It also has a lot of room for your toes and is well cushioned for comfort. The cushioning has a soft anatomical sock liner that would also support your arch and a midsole that would keep your feet comfortable. The shoes are textile and synthetic, and have a rubber sole. It is firm and hugs your feet, and it keeps you stable. It also has a cloud wave that keeps the shoes light despite all the cushioning.


  • They are ideal for flat feet and can control over pronating.
  • They provide proper upper support.
  • They have good responsiveness and are highly comfortable.
  • It has a roomy toe box and provides space to wriggle your toes.
  • They are lightweight and have good cushioning.


  • Some say that it feels a bit rigid.

6. Brooks Addiction Walker

These casual shoes are also ideal for those with flat feet and have a lot of support for your lower arches. It also solves the problem of over pronating and is highly comfortable and durable. It is made of comfortable full grain leather and has a velvety nubuck upper which adds to the comfort. It also has a removable sock liner and fabric lining which adds to the convenience. The shoes feature a HydroFlow technology that has shock absorption and midsole cushioning. This helps with energy returning when walking or running and it protects your protect heel and forefoot.

The shoes keep your feet comfortable and prevent lower back pain. It also has a lot of flexibility from your heels to your toes and has a dual density post at the arch which also controls the over pronation. The shoes also have an outsole that is made of environmentally friendly silica that keeps your feet dry and provides skid resistance.


  • They are very comfortable, casual and fashionable.
  • They also control over pronation.
  • They provide ideal arch support.
  • They are highly durable.


  • They are usually better for those with larger feet and it would be hard to find the right fit if you have small feet.
  • They might not be fashionable to some.

7. Brooks Ghost 11

These running shoes are lightweight and so they pass the rigidity test, and they also have a smooth ride from your heel to your toe. It has high energizing cushioning despite the light weight and it also provides you with high arch support. Your toes would have enough space to stretch in these shoes and it gives your feet breathing space.

These shoes also have synthetic overlays, plush tongue and collar, the traditional lace up closure and for complete comfort, a soft fabric lining that gives your feet a nice feel when wearing the shoes. The shoes also have a foam insole that is removable and it accommodates your feet, especially your big toe. It also has a good grip on your feet as long as it’s your size with its rubber forefoot and this gives your feet proper flexibility. These shoes have all the technologies that would prevent lower back pain.


  • They are highly durable and lightweight.
  • They are ideal for high arches and provide proper support.
  • They have proper pressure zones that distribute the impact of your feet on the ground.
  • It also has a supportive collar and soft fabric lining.


  • It is a bit expensive.

8. Altra Escalante Running Shoe

For those that like to feel the natural barefoot feeling when wearing shoes, these shoes would do that with its moderate cushioning and at the same time it would prevent or control lower back pain. These shoes are ideal for walking, running, racing or training and it has enough space for the movement of your toes.

It also has the zero drop platform that would keep your feet from getting hurt when hitting the ground repeatedly. The only disadvantage of these shoes is that it does not really have a supportive upper because of its minimal design. But apart from that, these shoes allow flexibility for your feet, gives them breathing space and allows you to stretch your toes.


  • These shoes are very flexible.
  • They are also lightweight.
  • They give you the natural barefoot feeling.
  • It also has good cushioning.


  • It does not have proper support for your upper.

9. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19

Another pair of a sneakers made by Brooks that help with controlling over pronation, have a cushioned feel and properly supports your upper. Brooks are known for their sneakers that support your lower back and prevent lower back pain or any strain in your muscles and these sneakers are not an exception.

These shoes have a unique feature called Guide Rails that control your stride by preventing you from curling your foot when walking. It also makes sure you walk with your midfoot. The shoes have high arch support and it would help those who strike their heels regularly while walking.


  • They also control over pronation.
  • They have proper cushioned support and are lightweight.
  • They have breathing spaces for your toes and a flexible upper.


  • The high drop feature does not appeal to everyone.

10. Vionic Walker

These athletic walker shoes are made with hundred percent, water resistant leather. They are not made for running but rather they work better when used for walks, work our sessions, or just wearing them every day while you to about your day to day activities.

The shoes prevent back pain and for those who have plantar fasciitis, these shoes would solve the problem. The shoes also support your arch and prevent straining in your muscles so you would not have any feet, legs and lower back pain. The shoes are also highly durable.


  • They reduce the pain from plantar fasciitis.
  • They are also durable and are made with water proof leather.
  • They provide ideal arch support.
  • They have a cushioned collar and tongue.


  • There are limited design options available.
  • They are a wide fit.

Best Athletic Shoes for Lower Back Pain

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Men and Women Wear The Same Running Shoes?

Men and Women running shoes are not the same and so both genders cannot interchange shoes. This is because of the size and the shape of the feet of men and women.

Women usually over pronate when walking or running because they have wider hips than men and so they have shoes that have more motion control to correct their stride. They also have lean heels and ankles and so women’s running shoes have wider forefoot and narrower heels that accommodate their feet. Their shoes also have a flat heel.

Are Running Shoes Ideal For Walking and What Are The Differences?

For the first question, the answer depends on what exactly you would be doing more often. If you are only going to be running, then there is no point purchasing walking shoes because they are not designed for running and some don’t have the energy returning feature that would add a spring to your steps when running. But if you have no interest in running, then just get walking shoes.

If you are going to jog, do work out sessions or go to the gym regularly, and you should get running shoes because of all the features they provide to support your arch and your heels. They also have proper cushioning and they control over pronation and fix your stride. Walking shoes do not have all those features

One main difference between walking and running shoes is the energy returning feature. When you are running, you are hitting your feet on the ground repeatedly and your body weight is three times more than usual, thus it adds pressure to your feet. This is why running shoes have a different support system and cushioning to prevent back pain.

Running shoes also have breathable fabric and this would keep your feet dry and give your toes space when running. It prevents sweaty feet that is likely to happen when running. Walking shoes on the other hand just have a good arch support and allow for flexibility when you are walking. They also have evenly distributed cushioning but it is not as much as the one in running shoes because when you walk, your body weight is even and there is no heavy impact on your feet.

What Shoes Should I Wear If I Have Painful Feet

These are different types of pain that your feet can experience like arthritis, plantar fasciitis, high arches amongst others, and to prevent it or get rid of the pain, you basically need the ideal footwear that would support your feet and keep them comfortable.

If you have arthritis, you should use running or walking shoes that have space for your toes to stretch and have breathable fabric for your feet. For plantar fasciitis, shoes that have high arch support would be ideal and solve the problem. Ensure that you purchase the right shoes that would solve your foot issues and get rid of the pain.


The best thing about the list of shoes mentioned above is that you do not have to sacrifice comfort for style or the design. Running or walking shoes that help with lower back pain come in different attractive style and come in different options. You must remember to take note of the certain factors to consider when choosing the best athletic shoes for lower back pain and make sure that the size is right.

If the shoes do not fit you right, it would not solve the problem of lower back pain and even hip, leg and feet pain. These custom made shoes would add a spring to your step, keep you happy and comfortable while you exercise, go through vigorous work out sessions or if you are just going out to the mall or to work. So pick out the best athletic shoes for your total comfort.

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