Best Running Shoes For Lower Back Pain: The Secret To Pain-Free Runs

As the weather improves, lots of people (especially those that prefer running outside) are beginning their search for a new pair of running shoes to kick-start their workout regime after a long winter.

And while those that suffer from back-related issues are no different, they usually have a much harder time finding the right footwear, and here's why:

There's a lot more to consider when you're trying to find the best running shoes for lower back pain than you might think.

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If you're one of those people, do not despair – I'm here to make your search easier. Keep on reading, and I promise you'll have a pair of running shoes by the end of this article.  

If back pain is a long-term issue of yours, you might want to consider looking into the while you’re here. 

*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Footwear And Lower Back Pain: Where’s The Connection?

Rare are the people that haven't experienced lower back pain at least once in their lifetime. And while the cause is sometimes pretty obvious – a recent sports injury is a good example – other times you might be left feeling clueless.

It's entirely understandable if your feet aren't the first thing that comes to mind when you're experiencing lower back pain. I mean, how can something so far removed from your back possibly be the cause of your problems, right?

Wrong.

The connection between the two is much more prominent than you might realize, just because our bodies work as complex biomechanisms. And when you have all these parts working together, due to something called a kinetic chain, everything affects everything, meaning you can't have issues with a particular section without it making an impact on your entire body.

That can be even more pronounced in runners because they partake in strenuous workouts, which is precisely why you should take the time to find the right footwear.

Note:

Since today we're searching for the best running shoes for lower back pain, I'm not going to talk about the „dangers" of wearing flip-flops and high heels. However, keep in mind that all these types of shoes do is throw your entire body's alignment off, and don't support your arches.

Here’s How To Pick The Best Running Shoes For Lower Back Pain

Before you even start looking at different models in your search for the best running shoes for lower back pain, there are some things you have to consider first.

Don’t forget to do the following:

  • Get Your Feet Measured – I know most of you are perfectly capable of answering the question about their shoe size, but I’ve noticed (by observing family members and fellow runners) that people are prone to relying on past experiences in such occasions.

Everyone’s ready to jump to conclusions regarding their shoe size, without taking a moment to measure out their feet correctly, which often results in a wrong fit – especially with orders placed online.

To avoid that, please take the time to measure out your feet (both length and width) before you even start your search for the best shoes for lower back pain.

  • Check Your Arches – All you need to do is perform the so-called „wet feet" test. It's a relatively simple test that doesn't require more than a piece of thick paper or cardboard and, of course, your dampened feet.

Once you’ve left the prints of both your feet on the surface, take a moment to examine them – you’d be surprised at how much a simple test like this can tell you about your arches and, in turn, the type of shoes you’ll need.

  • Take Running Surfaces Into Consideration – Before you can decide which are the best running shoes for lower back pain, there's one more thing you need to take into account: your preferred running surface.

For example, if you have a habit of running on packed sand or grass, you generally won't need a lot of cushioning; the thing you should focus on is the support. Whenever you're dealing with uneven terrain, you have to make sure your shoes will provide the much-needed stability.

Asphalt, on the other hand, requires a lot of cushioning – your best running shoes for lower back pain have to be able to reduce some of the impacts.

Searching For The Best Running Shoes For Lower Back Pain: Things To Look For  

Here’s how to recognize the best running shoes for lower back pain:

Cushioning

Even if you’re more of a casual runner who likes to wear their running shoes during their daily activities, as well, chances are you spend the majority of your day on hard, unforgiving surfaces. Remember what I said about kinetic chains? Well, this is where it all comes to play.

When you’re running on hard terrain (asphalt, for example), every time your foot strikes the ground, it sends a tremendous impact through your legs and all the way into your spine. That’s why the best running shoes for lower back pain must have a proper amount of cushioning, that will absorb as much as possible.

Stability

The next vital characteristic to look for in the best running shoes for lower back pain is stability. Again, it all comes down to the way our bodies work. You need a supportive pair of shoes if you want to avoid damaging your knees and, in turn, prevent any future problems with your lower back.

Let’s just put it like this:

If you don’t feel like the shoes you have don’t provide any balance, they’re pretty much worthless.

Flexibility

Another, often overlooked, feature that the best running shoes for lower back pain should have is flexibility. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t quite understand the importance of having a flexible pair of shoes.

What’s the big deal, you ask?

I feel like a broken record, but ultimately, it’s all in the way your body moves as you run. Many people would think that rigid footwear is the way to go, but they couldn’t be more wrong:

Greater flexibility results in less stress on your entire spine, particularly your lower back.

Speaking of flexibility, it may be a good idea to perform some hip stretches for lower back pain. You’d be amazed at what a difference these stretches can make!

Note:  best back brace for lower back pain

Best Running Shoes For Lower Back Pain: Top 5 Models On The Market


*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.


The thing many of my female readers fear when trying to find the best shoes for lower back pain is that they'll end up with a pair that looks more like it belongs to their grandma. But let me assure you that won't be the case with this Orthofeet model – these have all the benefits of an orthopedic shoe, minus the looks.  

All of the significant advantages of these shoes are closely related to their soles and insoles. For instance, the bottoms are lightweight, yet provide a sufficient amount of cushioning due to the air pockets.

The insoles, on the other hand, are designed to conform to the shape of your foot. Moreover, they feature a gel pad located right under the heel, plus outstanding anatomical arch support.

The only issue is the sizing. These shoes run up to a size small, so to get the right fit, make sure you measure out your feet first (I told you it was something you should do, anyway), then go up half a size when placing the order. I'm pretty sure that will be enough to get the right fit.


Pros

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    Anatomical arch support
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    Gel heel pad Insoles conform to the shape of your foot
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    Ortho-Cushion System makes the sole lightweight
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    Air cushioning
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    Extra depth keeps your feet stable
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    Anti-microbial fabric on the inside

Cons

  • They run a size small


Via Amazon.com


Don't worry, gentlemen, I didn't forget about you! My second choice for the round-up is the Guide 10 running shoes by a brand known and loved by runners around the globe – Saucony.

But what makes them so unique that they deserve a place on my list of best running shoes for lower back pain?

As I said previously, flexibility is essential when you're dealing with lower back pain. Saucony understands that – the Tri-Flex sole does not only make the shoes flexible, but it also helps disperse force over a greater surface area, too.

At the same time, the Everun sole provides an outstanding amount of cushioning, evenly distributed throughout the shoes thanks to the 8mm offset.

And if pronation is the cause of your problems, you'll be glad to learn that Guide 10 addressed that, as well. You'll notice how supportive these running shoes are as soon as you put them on for the first time.

These run small in size, though. Longterm fans of Saucony will also notice that this particular model, the Guide 10, seems a bit more narrow than their previous ones. Keep that in mind while you're placing your order, and you should be fine.


Pros

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    Tri-Flex sole allows outstanding flexibility
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    Everun sole provides cushioning
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    8mm offset distributes cushioning more evenly
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    Great pronation control
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    Flexfilm upper makes them lightweight 

Cons

  • They run small in size
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    They’re a bit more narrow compared to older models

Women

Men


Via Amazon.com


What makes this Brooks model, the Glycerin 15, stand out from the crowd is the fact that they're targeted at supinators. Since supination is so rare, yet able to cause a lot of problems for runners that have to deal with it, I was pleasantly surprised to find a pair targeted at this particular issue.

Thanks to the smooth transition zone, every heel to toe movement will feel a lot more comfortable, and soft, which often isn't the case for supinators. On top of that, the upper, with its plush feel and 3D Fit Print design, will surround your ankle and give it the stability it needs.

Don't worry about the cushioning, either. One significant improvement I saw in this model (compared to the previous ones), is the Super DNA midsole – it will give you 25% more cushioning than the older models.

Brooks is infamous for their shoes running small in size, though. To ensure you ordered the right size, go to your local shoe store and try a similar model, to see which size fits you. It sounds like too much work for an online order, but it will eliminate the possibility of having to return them if they don't suit you.  


Pros

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    Super DNA midsole provides extra cushioning
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    Smooth transition zone
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    They feature improved flexibility compared to previous models
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    Comfortable and plush upper for extra stability
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    Lightweight running shoes
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    Excellent for supinators 

Cons

  • They are notorious for running small

Women

Men


Via Amazon.com


Another candidate for the title of the best running shoes for lower back pain is the Ultraboost 3.0 by Adidas, and this one is for my male readers out there. I've had a few fellow runners recommend these shoes as a model to include on my list.

I'm pretty sure every avid runner has bought a pair (or at least considered it) at some point in their life. Here's what makes them an excellent choice for those that suffer from back-related problems:

First of all, the responsive cushioning is there to make each step a bit more energetic, yet comfortable. At the same time, the combination of the Primeknit upper and the supportive cage will make sure your feet stay in place at all times. The same goes for Fitcounter design in the heel area: natural fit has never felt more natural.

Other than being a bit pricey (which, I think, is to be expected from a brand like Adidas), these shoes also feel quite narrow. Of course, I didn't check this myself for obvious reasons, but I've had a couple of friends point this out when I told them I'm planning on including Ultraboost in my round-up.


Pros

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    Ultralight Primeknit upper
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    Responsive cushioning gives energy to your steps
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    Supportive cage locks down your midfoot
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    Fitcounter design of the heel area provides a natural fit
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    Performs well in both dry and wet conditions 

Cons

  • They are quite narrow
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    A bit pricey

Women

Men


Via Amazon.com


Since I included a pair that's perfect for supinators, it's only fair that I offer overpronators a suitable option, as well.

What indeed makes them stand out is the amount of motion control they can provide. You'll be able to sneak in a few extra miles without regretting it later when your lower back pain strikes.

Another thing worth mentioning is the cushioning. The heel area is exceptionally well cushioned (so is the rest of the shoe), and I'm sure you'll notice the difference. That amount of cushioning is more than capable of reducing the impact running has on your ankles and, in turn, your lower back, to a minimum.

The best thing is they managed to do so without sacrificing flexibility!

The only real issue I've had with these is the toe box – it feels a bit narrow. And while it wasn't much of a problem for me, some of you may not like it, so make sure you pick the right width. The same goes for length; since these do run a bit small, so go half a size up when you place your order.


Pros

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    Motion-control technology
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    Padded tongue and collar for comfort and ankle support
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    Increased cushioning absorbs impacts
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    Torsional stability and arch support
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    Provides support without compromising flexibility 

Cons

  • The toe box feels a bit narrow
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    The size chart is slightly off

Women

Men

Did You Find Your Best Running Shoes For Lower Back Pain Today?

I promised you something at the beginning of this article, didn’t I? So, did you find the best running shoes for lower back pain among the five models I recommended?

Don’t worry if you didn’t, though. With the tips I provided, I’m sure you’ll be able to do so on your own!

For me, the best pair seems to be the Orthofeet Coral Women's Comfort Orthopedic Arthritis Diabetic Orthotic Sneakers.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!

Bella Williams
 

Hi! I'm Bella. I love running. I write this blog to share everyone about running.

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