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8 Best Shoes for Back Pain 2020 – Top Picks for Men and Women

Our experts have tested and compiled some of the best shoes for back pain that you can find online. Each of the shoes mentioned in this extensive review has been tested over and over guaranteeing you confidence in our choices.

Overview on Best shoes for back pain

At one point in life, most people have experienced lower back pain. It starts with a dull pain in the lower back which worsens when you play sports or exercise. When your body is misaligned, it compensates in some ways and this compensation leads to a myriad of health problems that include pain in the back. Lower back pain is mainly caused by improper alignment of the entire body running from the head to the toe.

According to the American Chiropractic Association, most people visit the doctor have back pain. One of the fundamental methods of alleviating or managing back pain is by wearing appropriate footwear as well as doing enough exercise. People who have back pain or prone to it due to their physical activities are usually unaware of the impact a pair of shoes might be having on their health. What people don’t realize is that a human body runs like a reaction and any inappropriate footwear can cause pain to travel all the way to your back.

Back pain can be caused by a myriad of reasons apart from old age and injuries. These include:

  • Inappropriate handling of heavy objects
  • Overworking especially at work or during exercises
  • This is where there is a compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back
  • Sitting or standing awkwardly for a long phase of time
  • Strenuous activities in your day to day occupation
  • Inactivity
  • Obesity

Lower back pains have adverse effects on someone’s life. These effects may include:

  • Pain and low mobility. Back pain usually causes someone to be slow in their day to day activities. As the pain increases chances are that you will tend to perform a small number of activities in order to avert further pain.
  • Lower tolerance to stress and more sensitivity to everything. If you are in chronic pain chances are that tolerance to stress is lowered. You actually become sensitive to anything that might increase the pain. Furthermore, a person suffering from back pain tends to get moodier and more negative rather than having feelings of comfort and relief.
  • Frustrations hence avoiding spending time with friends and family. Once your mobility is affected, it trickles down to the ability of a person to actively engage in his or her family. With the increase in pain, you become irritated and start spending less time with your friends or family.
  • Uncomfortable sleep. The quality of sleep is dependent on the wellbeing of a person. Firstly, it is quite exhausting to have back pain leading to less sleep and rest. Sleep and rest are the fundamentals in the process of healing. Once you lack these, the healing is quite slow and painful.

Back Pain

How To Choose The Best Shoes For Back Pain

If you want to prevent or reduce back pain, what shoe should you wear? There are myriad choices when it comes to designs of shoes that help in easing or reducing the symptoms from musculoskeletal complains that involve knee, foot, hip, and back pain. The main issue to consider or focus on when choosing the precise shoe is to know your foot type and problem.

First and foremost, you want a shoe that can provide ample cushioning and support to your feet. Furthermore, the natural arch of your feet needs to be supported too. Shoes with shock absorbers are especially good for those who like walking a lot. Below are some shoe features for lower back pain.

  • Shoes that allow the middle part of the foot to strike the ground instead of heels. When taking long walks it is advisable to wear minimal shoes.
  • Motion control. Shoes that can regulate foot muscles movement while in motion are very good for the back. The best example is the running shoes.
  • Support to the feet. Shoes should be able to provide the necessary support to your feet thereby preventing irregular movement of the back which ultimately causes back pain.
  • Shoes that are from materials such as graphite or plastic help in preventing the peculiar motion of the feet.

So how do you go about choosing the best pair of shoes for the avoidance of back pain? Firstly, you need to find out the shape of your foot arch. There are three types of foot arch; normal, flat, and high. For determination of your foot arch, the wet test is recommended. Pour water into a low pan, wet your foot sole, and then place your foot onto a large piece of paper.

A normal arch is when half of your arch is filled in. A flat arch is when the entire arch is filled with water. When the footprint only shows the ball and the heel of your feet, it means you have a high arch. The shape of your foot arch can also be determined in a specialty shoe store.

Having known your foot arch, you are now able to choose your best shoes for prevention and managing back pain. If it happens you have a normal arch it means that you can wear any type of shoe. However, you should choose shoes that have arch support that provides stability to your feet.

For those having a flat arch, shoes with motion control and stability are best suited for them. This is common to heavier people.

Neutral cushioned shoes are recommended for those having a high foot arch since it offers maximum flexibility.

People suffering from lower back pain are advised to wear running or walking shoes instead of wearing footwear such as flats or flip-flops that don’t have arch support. The cushioning of the heel and the forefront is provided by running shoes. Meanwhile, walking shoes provide better flexibility through the ball of the foot thereby allowing better range in motion.

When it comes to shopping for the best walking shoe, look out for the snug heel counter. This is the area that holds the back heel. The midsole must afford better cushioning and support, while the insole must be contoured comfortably to the foot, and finally, the toe box must have adequate room for the movement of the toes freely.

Motion control should be one feature you should look out for when it comes to shopping for running shoes. This is far so for those whose feet roll excessively inward when the edge of the heel hits the ground. If your feet display an outward movement whilst in motion, shop for cushioning running shoes.

The insertion of orthotics or shoe inserts helps in improvement of how the feet articulate on the ground. For those having foot imbalance, prescription orthotics are prescribed.

Best Shoes for Back Pain

Top 8 Best Shoes For Back Pain

ModelForRating
ASICS GEL-Kayano 25Men4.8
OrthoFeet AshevilleMen4.9
Merrell Encore Gust Slip-On ShoeMen4.7
Saucony Zealot ISO 3Men4.7
Birkenstock Arizona Unisex Leather SandalWomen4.6
Brooks Ghost 11Women4.8
Crocs Classic ClogWomen4.6
Vionic Country Logan BootWomen4.5

Listed below are a few of my best shoe choices for back pain. In addition, I have added some reviews and features to make your decision easier.

1. ASICS GEL-Kayano 25

The Gel-Kayano 25 is an updated version with so much to offer in terms of characteristics.

  • Synthetic and mesh uppers that are breathable and flexible thus keeping your feet cool and more comfortable.
  • Dynamic DuoMax support system offers the best stability and support role.
  • Impact Guidance System and Trusstic system gives the midfoot the structural support it needs while enhancing the efficiency of the gait.
  • Premium Flytefoam helps in cushioning for better comfort and support.
  • Durable rubber

Kayano brand is specifically built for runners thus they have excellent arch support and impact reduction. With Kayano’s, there is less jarring and transmission of nerve jolts while running or walking which play a factor in back pain and worsening of injuries. To be on the safe side it is advisable to go for a half size up since they generally run a bit small.

As it is with all popular brands, Asics shoes are prone to knock-offs sold with the brand name. These knock-offs are of low quality, thus be sure to purchase from a trustworthy retailer.

2. OrthoFeet Asheville

With Orthofeet, you’re presented with both style and comfort as you wear these brown slippers. They offer anatomical arch support thereby enhancing the gait while at the same time providing your feet with deeper comfort with its cushioned and softly padded interior. The padded interior lessens the pain in both your heels and toes.

Lightweight sole with air cushioning allows for softer steps while at the same time helping in adding some spring to your step while walking making it a feet shock absorber.

Orthofeet offers the re-inserting of a new insole of your choice whenever you think of replacing the factory ones with custom orthotics of your choosing. Although the cost of these slippers is over the average, the price is worth the service they provide.

Features include

  • Cozy lining
  • Upper leather
  • Gripping rubber outer sole
  • Detailed designed stitching

3. Merrell Encore Gust Slip-On Shoe

The Merrell Slip-on shoe is the perfect choice for work and as a dress shoe. It offers both comfort and support features that help in alleviating back pain while improving your posture whilst walking.

Some of its great features include

  • Leather Uppers
  • Durable rubber M-Select grip sole for better grip and traction
  • Lycra Neoprene stretch collar that makes the shoes easier to put on and off
  • Resistance to odor and more breathability, it has an M-Select technology, pigskin, and a mesh insole lining
  • The metal arch shank that improves the back alignment
  • To reduce impact, it as the Merrell air cushioning plus an EVA insole that provides better cushioning
  • The shoe has an Ice grip outsole that is comfortable and warm making it ideal for winter

4.  Men’s Zealot Iso 3 – Saucony

Saucony brand is widely known for its creative designed shoes that aid in maximizing your performance while giving you better comfort and added support whilst you perform your day to day activities.

Saucony Zealot is basically a running shoe that is specifically designed to give you better support plus motion control. It is a great advantage for people that are suffering from lower back pain.

Saucony Zealot has the following features

  • Rubber sole for maximum traction and grip
  • Neutral cushion for support
  • Powergrid Midsole for support and stability
  • Breathable ISOFIT mesh and lightweight overlays that are synthetic
  • Padded collar and tongue for a cozy fit
  • EVERUN top sole and modernized Triflex that allows for efficient flexible movement

5. Birkenstock Arizona Unisex Leather Sandal

This shoe comes in different colors while emphasizing simplicity plus comfort. It gives your feet room to mold into the footwear with a super soft and comfortable footbed thereby distributing your weight on your feet thus giving your back the maximum support.

The suede fabric of the shoe ensures your feel secure from unwanted bruises and stings that are typical with materials that are hard.

Arizona shoes come with different features such as

  • Easier to slip on and off
  • The comfortable soft footbed
  • Wardrobe adaptable colors
  • No breaking, molding

6. Brooks Ghost 11

This is one of the best shoes for running with its perfectly balanced cushioning and support. They boast comfortable features that ultimately help you in realizing your goals. These shoes are designed for road running with neutral support thus making them an excellent choice for those with normal arches.

The best thing about Brooks’s shoes is their cushioning respond that gives certain softness while at the same time being supportive which is quite crucial to bigger runners who need something for their weight. The DNA Loft heel crash pad is quite important since it saves the part of your foot from hard landings by dispersing the shock thereby providing you with an extra amount of energy.

The Ghost 11 is specially made with engineered mesh that features both structure and stretch that gives you a fit that will adapt to the shape of your foot while at the same time providing better support devoid of flexibility.

Some of the features of Brooks Ghost 11 include

  • Stretch Mesh Upper
  • BioMoGo DNA Cushioning
  • DNA Loft Heel Crash Pad
  • Ortholite Footbed
  • Segmented Flexible outsole
  • 12mmHeel To Toe Drop
  • 9 oZ
  • Gore-Tex Version Available

7. Crocs Classic Clog

Crocs are one of the recognizable names in footwear. When it comes to everyday wear, Crocs provide excellent comfort. With their fully molded Crocs Croslite material, heel strap for a secure fit, and a synthetic sole, they are great for casual home use and work environments.

This is a delight especially in the summer since they don’t compromise on your gait and total comfort. The ventilated upper to its wet dry material, this shoe is the perfect companion for your feet, leaving your back without discomfort and pain.

The ventilating ports provide breathing space for your feet with its pivoting heel providing a secure fit around your feet. These shoes are designed from Croslite material that is lightweight, soft, buoyant, odor resistant, and better grip sandal making it ideal for specialized or recreational uses.

Its main features include

  • Non-Skid Outsole
  • Easy to Clean
  • Snuggly Fit Straps
  • Water /Liquid Buoyancy

8. Vionic Country Logan Boot

There is the Vionic Chase for men and Vionic Logan for women. This shoe is an orthopedic ankle boot that assists in relieving back pain as well as many lower limb and feet conditions

It does so by aligning your feet naturally and improves the walking motion whilst providing terrific comfort in an attractive way.

Some of the Vionic boot features include

  • Buckle instep straps in the Vionic Adrie while the Vionic Ryan has the lace-up system ensuring a better fit and boosting its design
  • Durable rubber outsole for maximum support
  • Biomechanical orthotic footbed and Orthaheel technology that aids in aligning your feet naturally while reducing overpronation
  • Soft full grain leather design

Best Shoes for Back Pain

FAQs

Your feet are the most abused part of the body and thereby they can never be understated since they are more fragile. If something happens to affect your feet be very sure that your legs, spine, and ultimately your mood will be too. Therefore, purchasing the right shoes can go a long way in alleviating your back pain ultimately making your life much better and easier.

What should I look out for in a pair of shoes?

Doctors recommend a flat shoe with full arch support for reducing back pain and improving your posture. Having extra cushioning helps in reducing impact jolts that can be painful to your spine while at the same time giving adequate support for the avoidance of issues concerned with balance. Furthermore, since your feet need to be kept from overpronation, your arches need support.

Can orthotic insoles be better for my current shoes?

If a shoe is poorly designed, adding insole won’t fix the problem. Additionally, orthotic insoles are best placed in roomier shoes, therefore, guaranteeing better protection thus allowing your feet to rest flat.

When you place insole in shoes that lack room, the insole tends to slide around thereby increasing the pain while negatively affecting your balance. When you’re unsure whether to place insoles into your current shoes, it is advisable to consult your doctor before purchasing a product that might bring more harm than good.

What types of shoes should I not wear?

Considering that the support of the arch is crucial, shoes that lack support and cushioning should be avoided. At the same time, it is advisable to avoid high heels or any type of shoe that tilt your foot thereby placing more pressure on your ball or heel. These types of shoes not only adjust your balance but also create sharp jolts as you walk thereby transmitting this pain to your spine.

You need shoes that have better sole protection making it hard for you to feel every stone you step on.

Conclusion

The most common reason why people flock at the doctor’s office is back pain. Some of us believe that back pain is caused by factors such as injury or old age. However, to the surprise of most people shoes have a bigger effect on our feet and how it supports all the other structures like the spine.

The body is dependent on your feet for gait, posture, and support whether you’re exercising, standing, walking, or running. Therefore it is of utmost importance to get the right pair of shoes that will ultimately improve your balance while minimizing your back injuries and pain.

Wearing the right pair of shoes, your feet are mechanically strong to bear your spine and greatly result in back pain relief.

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