Best Shoes for Lower Back Pain Relief and Back Support

by jacky chou
Updated on

The most common reason for back pain and, more specifically, lower back pain emanates from the straining of the bands of muscles that surround the spine. Most commonly, if not all, most lower back pain cases can be traced back to not having the right footwear, which further leads to foot problems which include plantar fasciitis or severe pronation.

In the situation that your weight is not properly distributed across your walking shoes, your foot pressure becomes uneven, giving greater strain to your ankles, knees, and lower back. Over time this may result in painful and repetitive stress injuries. Wearing supportive shoes, especially when exercising, or shoes with an arch support insert can be highly effective in preventing lower back pain and relief of lower back pain even in its earliest stages.

If you’ve experienced back pain for more than one month, the pain may be worsening over time or developing into new neurologic symptoms such as weakness or numbness on your feet.

The Best Shoes for Lower Back Pain

1. Vionic Men’s Bowery Chase Chukka Boot

Vionic Bowery Chase - Men's Shoe Chukka Black - 7 Medium
  • Suede or Leather Upper. Removable Leather Covered EVA Footbed. Durable Rubber Outsole.
  • Received APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) Seal of Acceptance
  • YOUR NEW FAVORITE BOOTS: You'll love the combination of a weather-resistant suede or leather upper and durable rubber outsole in Bowery Chase, making this chukka style boot readily wearable for any...
  • EVERYDAY SUPPORT: A podiatrist-designed footbed built into every pair of Vionic sandals, slippers, active shoes and flats promotes stability from the ground up.
  • VIONIC SHOES: Vionic brings together style and science, combining innovative biomechanics with the most coveted trends.

Rated best footwear for ankle pain, the Vionic Men’s Bowery Chase Chukka boots are orthopedic ankle boots that specialists recommend to help relieve lower back pain and other foot conditions. Vionic Men’s Bowery Chase chukka boot has a suede or leather upper construction, a leather-covered EVA footbed, and a rubber outsole.

The upper is gives this boot a chukka style and is weather-resistant to give orthopedic walking shoes. Its podiatrist-designed footbed and the rubber outsole give more stability and add extra support to your foot. These chukka boots cover the style and science to give the highly-coveted trendy boot.

Key features include:

  • A soft full-grain leather/ suede upper
  • The lacing-up system gives a better fit
  • The rubber outsoles are more durable and sturdy for added support
  • It uses an Orthaheel technology
  • It uses a biomechanical orthotic footbed
  • Pros
  • It is made of durable and high-quality materials
  • It has a weather-resistant construction
  • It comes in trendy chukka style
  • Its construction is made up of a combination of weather-resistant suede or full leather upper and a durable rubber outsole in its Bowery Chase, making it wearable for different occasions
  • It has a durable rubber sole
  • It has a removable leather-covered EVA footbed
  • Cons
  • The heel easily falls apart

2. New Balance Men’s 990v5 Sneaker

New Balance Men's Made in US 990 V5 Sneaker, Navy/Silver, 7
  • Heritage Style: The 990v5 is an iconic sneaker, built with a pigskin and mesh upper in a classic running silhouette designed to look amazing anywhere from morning run to runway
  • Supportive Fit: Venture on, wherever the day takes you, with the New Balance 990v5 lifestyle shoe. An ENCAP midsole combines lightweight foam with a durable polyurethane rim to deliver all-day support
  • Helps Protect Ankles: Designed for all-day comfort, these everyday running shoes from New Balance also include dual-density collar foam that offers support and comfort for your ankles
  • Built to Last: These New Balance everyday shoes are designed with a durable blown rubber outsole that stands up to daily wear and helps provide comfort in every step
  • Made in the USA: Manufactured in the US for over 75 years and representing a limited portion of US sales, New Balance MADE is a premium collection that contains a domestic value of 70% or greater

The New Balance Men’s 990v5 sneaker is a high-end shoe in premium quality, with superb comfort and a stylishly youthful design. It is most suitable for people suffering from lower back pain and foot pain.

These men’s running sneakers have a breathable mesh upper for a comfortable, lightweight, cushioned stability. The mesh upper allows air to flow through the shoe to keep your feet fresh and dry. Furthermore, its ortholite insoles cushioning and the dual-density collar foam help provide your body with overall support.

These shoes have a blown rubber sole and ENCAP midsole technology which offer maximum durability and shock absorption to protect you from back pain.

Key features

  • It has a breathable mesh upper
  • It has a dual-density collar foam
  • It has an ortholite shoe cushioning
  • It has an ENCAP midsole technology
  • Pros
  • It is breathable and super-comfy
  • It has a timeless styleIt has great cushioning and stability
  • The no-sew engineered mesh offers breathability for a comfortable fit
  • It has a strong outsole for durability and protection against back pain
  • It has a molded footbed for your underfoot comfort
  • These running shoes can become your new daily shoes to protect you from back pain
  • The New Balance shoes give a truly a premium underfoot comfort experience, with a great fit and feel that lasts you from morning to night
  • These shoes protect you from back pain
  • Cons
  • It is relatively highly-priced

3. Brooks Women’s Addiction 14 Walking Shoe

Brooks Womens Addiction 14 Running Shoe - Oyster/Alloy/Marlin - B - 10.5
  • THIS WOMEN'S SHOE IS FOR: With its maximum support and generous fit, the Addiction is great for both runners and walkers. If you’re looking for comfort or pain relief and haven’t found it in...
  • SUPER-SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA, our proprietary cushioning,adapts to your stride, weight and speed. Why? So it can help protect you by reducing impact on your joints.
  • MAXIMUM SUPPORT: Our Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB) is a support system for your entire body. It strategically positions arch support to guide and keep your body in its natural path of...
  • GENEROUS FIT: Sometimes you need a little extra room to move around in. So if you need a roomier shoe for flat or high-volume feet or specialized orthotics, your search is over.
  • WEAR TESTERS SAY: "I like the fit and cushioning of the shoes. The shoes were extremely comfortable when you first put them on. This is one of the key indicators that I will mostly likely buy the...

Brooks Women’s Addiction 14 walking shoes not only give maximum support, comfort, and durability, but they also help alleviate back pain and help relieve back pain. These shoe supports the lower arch, reduces the impact of your sole, back and spine while offering a safe landing on each shoe stride.

It has full-grain velvety nubuck upper and soothing fabric lining that offers comfort and shock absorption on the shoe. It completely aligns to the heel and your forefoot.

The shoe insole helps to reduce the impact on your joints, back and also return the energy since it is enhanced with BioMoGo technology and Hydroflow technology. In addition, its slip-resistant outsole has a firm grip for traction to prevent skids.

Key features

  • It has the maximum back support
  • It has a soft cushioning and sole
  • It is slip-resistant
  • It has a BioMoGo and Hydroflow technology
  • Pros
  • It has a good arch support
  • FIt has a firm grip on its soleIt is a durable wearIt has an Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB), a support system for the entire body and back that guides and keeps your body in the natural path of motion
  • It is a Brooks style shoe that is also a certified PDAC A5500 diabetic shoe
  • Once the BioMoGo DNA adapts to the stride, speedy, and weight
  • It adapts to make each step comfortable and also reduce impact pain on joints
  • It is both comfortable and durable for lack pain relief
  • It has a refreshing designed upper material that offers a modern style.
  • Cons
  • It is not suited for long walks in the rain 

4. Alegria Women’s Essence

Alegria Women’s Essence is a trendy and professional sneaker for people who predominantly have flat feet, suffer from plantar fasciitis, or have a fallen arch. It supports and gives your maximum back comfort. Alegria Women’s Essence sneaker has a leather upper with perforated details and a breathable mesh lining.

The lace-up closure also allows you to adjust and tie the shoe for a perfect fitting to prevent back pain. The Alegria Women’s Essence shoe is perfect for you especially, if you have a bunion.

The outsole is slip-resistant and is a wear that is made out of non-marking rubber with memory foam and a polyurethane footbed. The contour of your foot and even distribution of pressure while wearing this shoe make you stand in this Alegria Women’s Essence wear all day long.

Key features include:

  • They are trendy and attractive
  • They have a perforated-detail leather upper
  • It has a lightweight removable memory foam and polyurethane footbed
  • It has a skid-resistant outsole
  • It has a non-marking rubber sole
  • Pros
  • It is trendy and attractive
  • It takes the pressure off protecting you against back pain
  • It is rated as the best wear for bunions
  • Cons
  • The leather upper requires a lot more attention for wear

5. Vionic Serena Ankle Boot

Vionic Women's Joy Serena Ankle Boot - Ladies Everyday Boots with Concealed Orthotic Arch Support...
  • Weather Resistant Suede Upper. Removable Microfiber Wrapped EVA Footbed. TR Outsole. 1.8" Heel Height.
  • Received APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) Seal of Acceptance
  • YOUR NEW FAVORITE BOOTS: Boho-chic is the essence of Joy Serena's low-heeled ankle boot, featuring premium upper suede, zipper tassel detail and seam piping for a kick of extra-added flair.
  • VIO MOTION SUPPORT is concealed within every Vionic shoe, supporting every step from the ground up so you can confidently move in unmatched comfort. Full biomechanical contact hugs your foot's natural...
  • Vionic supports you, so you can Walk. Move. Live.

Vionic Serena Ankle is a dressy wear boot with generous arch support. These are ladies' boots for wearing every day that comes with a concealed orthotic support. The Serena ankle boot has a suede leather upper, the best seam piping, and a zipper on each side, giving the boot a unique appearance.

Moreover, the uppers of these boots for women are treated by a protective coating that makes wearing and walking in the Serena ankle boot comfortable against the weather conditions. Vionic Serena ankle boot also comes with a removable microfiber-wrapped EVA footbed with a TR synthetic rubber outer sole.

It provides back support, maximum stability and prevents skidding. In addition, the ankle boot is capable of supporting your arch to reduce that pressure off your feet and reduce back pain.

Key features

  • It has a protective-coating of suede upper
  • It has a zipper tassel detail on its side for a free and easy slip on and off
  • It has a removable microfiber that is wrapped in EVA.
  • It has a 1 3/4 inch heel
  • Pros
  • It is stylishIt is durable
  • It has an easy slip in and off
  • It has an arch foot support
  • It is 100% suede
  • It has a weather-resistant suede upper
  • The Microfiber wrapped EVA footbed is removable
  • Cons
  • It has a small size
  • The leather material can be a little stiff

Factors to Consider When Picking the Best Shoes for Lower Back Pain

A) Moderate Heel Height

Find the right shoes with a small heel since slightly elevated heels allow the ankle to turn a little and even rotate differently, thus helping alleviate back pain. Going for a heel that’s the same height as or slightly lower than the toe of your shoe, in turn, affects the way your leg and pelvis turn. In the long run, these affect your spine and lower back to cause back pain.

A podiatric doctor points out that the American Podiatric Medical Association recommends something that's under 2 inches and never higher than that. So even as the heel height is more of a typical concern when it comes to women, this heel height concept applies to men as well.

B) Shock Absorption and Cushioning

The best shoes for back pain relief are well cushioned not only help give pain relief by reducing the impact but also help relieve stress on your lower back. How well your walking shoes absorb shock directly relates to how well your lower back feels.

Some people walk the ground harder than others sending waves from the feet up the legs to the lower back. So always go for shoes that aren’t as hard or too soft. Inside the best shoes for back pain, the midsole is what protects your foot from that impact, while the outsole under the midsole is cushioned when either running or walking.

Generally, it is the midsole that's the main component that absorbs shock. Most midsoles are made of either Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate (EVA) or polyurethane foam. Generally, shoes with these EVA midsoles are lightweight, while the shoes with polyurethane midsoles are rated more durable.

Always choose a midsole based on your arch type and posture. For instance, having a high arch means go for a soft midsole. On the other hand, a firmer midsole is best since it gives more motion control. To check the shoe cushioning of the insoles, you can push your thumbnail into the shoe's midsole to determine its firmness.

Running shoes, 'maximalist' footwear with optimum cushioning, have become popular amongst ultra-marathoners and even people with a high-arch foot type.

C) Rocker-Bottom Soles

Rocker-bottom soles are thick soles that are curved up at the front of the shoe to enable your foot to move through your normal walking motion with less pressure on your joints and the bottom of your foot, but they also aren’t for everyone.

Rocker-bottom soles/heels are a common feature in therapeutic shoes that are prescribed to people who have diabetes-related foot problems. These heels have also become a common feature in some sneakers models, running and walking shoes.

D) Arch Support

Generally, sandals and flip-flops don’t provide much support; however, special orthopedic sandals are an exception, provide the right amount of arch support and good posture. The arch support is the first factor you need to consider when buying the best shoes for lower back pain.

Your foot arch can either be high, neutral, or low, so determine your foot arch type when choosing the most suitable shoe for you.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Shoes for Lower Back Pain

1. What shoes should I avoid with lower back pain?

a) Avoid shoes with a negative heel - non-orthopedic slips or flip-flops aren't recommendable all-day footwear, especially if you suffer from back pain, but they are acceptable for a quick walk down the beach or around the block.

b) For back support, avoid a shoe that is either too hard or too soft since you want some shock absorption from your shoes.

c) Avoid minimalist shoes because of their extremely thin soles, which aren't good shoes for back pain

 2. Are casual sneakers good shoes for back pain?

Casual sneakers such as the old-time classic All-Stars Chuck Taylor Converse are problematic since they are flat, narrow, and lacks support. Chucks were originally designed for feet back in the 1950s, which were narrower compared to the feet today since people have gotten bigger.

Running shoes are often the best footwear for lower back pain since they are designed to help absorb the shock that hits your feet as you walk or run. High-quality running shoes are well built with a well-cushioned, breathable posture and arch support.

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jacky chou


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