Best Walking Shoes for Back Pain – Recommendations and Reviews

Chronic back pain can limit the activity throughout the day, and even walking becomes hard and tiresome. Back pain can be caused by a lot of different factors, but one of them could be bad shoes. A lot of people have back pain issues because they spend a lot of time on their feet, while not wearing the proper shoes to support them.

And those people that have back pain even though they are not that active, the first step to decrease and eliminate the pain is getting the best walking shoes for back pain they can get.

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*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.

How to know which shoes are good for back pain?

Back pain can sometimes have a significant impact on the quality of life. And sometimes it’s greatly impacted by the things we tend to overlook, like our everyday shoes.

Bad shoes can create and increase already existing back pain. It’s important to know which shoes we should avoid evading the lower back pain after walking.

Shoes that cause the back pain

Shoes that don’t fit well

No matter the type and the quality of shoes, if they do not fit well, they could cause some serious back pain. You might be doing all kinds of things to help yourself like back stretches for upper back pain, but the pain doesn’t go away.

And it can be all caused by the shoes you liked so much, that you bought them even if they don’t fit right. Or you thought that the size is fine, but you didn’t know how to determine the right amount of space your feet should have in shoes in the first place.

Here are few tips on how to determine the right shoe size:

When you put on the shoe, your longest toe should have space about the width of your thumb between it and the shoe. Pull your feet back to the end and see if there is enough space. The lack of space can result in pressure on your toes, improper walking posture and ultimately – back pain.

You shouldn’t feel pressure and pain anywhere when you try the shoes out. Your feet should have a bit room to move around, but not too much, so they don’t slip when you walk.

The upper part of the shoe should not rub against your foot. Uncomfortable upper part of the shoe can cause irritations and injuries.

The shoes shouldn’t be too tight nor too loose, when you take a step, the heel shouldn’t slip out, but it also shouldn’t be squeezed.

Most of the shoes do stretch out over time but don’t buy the ones that are too tight; they won’t stretch out that much. It’s ok if they don’t feel like your old shoes right away, but your feet’s movement should not be restricted.

Shoes with bad or no support

Shoes without support are the worst kind of shoes for back pain. Walking in shoes with no support can almost always result in poor posture and back pain. From the point the back already suffered the damages caused by the shoes with no support, the person wearing them will not only look for the best walking shoes for back pain, but it might also even look for the best back brace for lower back pain.

But, that can be prevented if the shoes have good support system implemented. Shoes with good support can also help with pronation and under-pronation. Your legs and your back can suffer from the shock being transferred to them if the shoes don’t absorb them.

Shoes with bad or no cushioning

Cushioning is very important for shock absorbing and preventing injuries. Shoes with poor cushioning can cause a lot of back pain. Shoes designed in a minimalistic way should be avoided if you tend to have back pain. They can’t absorb the shock or provide the comfort you need.

Old shoes

Worn out shoes lose their shock absorbing ability, and using them further can cause the pain in your back. Not only your back, but the ankles, feet, and legs can also be affected. When the cushioning is worn out, and the outsole is visibly damaged, it’s time to replace the shoes.

Factors that good walking shoes for back pain should include

Cushioning

Cushioning makes the shoes more comfortable, prevents the injuries and protects the legs, ankles and helps with back pain. It’s also important where the cushioning is. The cushioning in the upper part of the shoe doesn’t help your back, it just creates more comfort. The cushioning which is important is the one on the insole which can absorb the shock created with each your step.

Insole

Insoles are there to support the other features of shoes, and they also make a lot of difference in overall comfort. There are many sorts of insoles, but my personal favorite are the memory foam insoles. They are by far the most comfortable and they add up to the cushioning properties of the shoe. Or if one pair of shoes has all the qualities you need, but it doesn’t have memory foam insoles, you can always get them and replace them with the stock ones.

Midsole

Midsoles are between outsole and insole, and are usually made of foam. They cannot be replaced, so they have to be made of durable materials, to last long. Midsoles are usually the most responsible ones for the shoes cushioning and shock absorbing effect.

Outsole

Outsoles can provide a lot of shock absorption, some of the examples is the Nike’s air sole. Depending on the manufacturer and model, they can have some of the shock absorbing systems implemented throughout the entire outsole or only on the critical points, such as heel and the ball of the feet.

Support

To prevent and ease the back pain, shoes must have some kind of support. Some shoes can help with pronation and under-pronation which indirectly reduces the back pain, and prevents it from happening in the first place.

The shoes that offer better stability and motion control are also very good, because they help with the correction of posture and by doing that they help you keep your back healthy and pain free.

Extra cushioning and extra support

Some shoe models have extra cushioning which is provided by their manufacturers’ proprietary design. While providing standard cushioning, they might have arch support, flat feet support or some extra support on the upper part, like Reebok’s Pump running shoes.

Flexibility

The flexibility of the shoes is not that important for back pain issues, but it makes the walking easier and more comfortable. When we look at the walking shoes that should be good for back pain, they shouldn’t be too flexible, and they should have a good balance between support and flexibility.

Flexibility is good, but if the shoe is completely flexible and that flexibility is achieved with the lack of support, it won’t do well for your back pain.

5 Best walking shoes for back pain

*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.

Via Amazon.com


Even though it comes only in two colors, they aim for that professional and classic look. They are best used in business occasions and around the office. They are made of leather which is durable and supportive option.

They are pretty deep and spacious; they should fit very well to people with wider feet. The insole is orthotic which provides arch support, and it has a cushion for the heel as well. Because they have that cushion pads, the shock absorption is over the top.

They use an ortho-cushion system which includes very light sole that has air cushions which provide extra comfort and support, all in favor of reducing the back pain. When we talk about the value, these shoes are a bit more expensive than the others, but considering all the cushioning systems and the materials used, I can say that they are not overpriced.


Things I Liked:

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    Special orthotic insole which provides great support and comfort
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    The complete ortho-cushion system
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    Leather upper part of the shoe, which is durable and of top quality
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    A lot of space for toes
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    Soft foam padding for shock absorption

Things I Didn’t Like:

  • The extra space in the toe box makes them a bit bulky


Via Amazon.com


The first thing that comes to your mind is that they look like crocs, but contrary to the plan rubber crock shoe, these are specifically made for comfortable walking and reduction of back pain. They are available in few different colors and a lot of sizes.

The toe box has plenty of room, so your foot won’t be exposed to pressure. The top is made of lining which lets the air go though, cooling and drying your feet. The heel area has air cushioning that does a great job in shock absorption.

These also have good arch support, the molded nylon is used to support the arch and reduce the pain in the feet and the back. These are slip-on shoes, so make sure you apply the rule of determining the right size for you.

The price to value ratio is pretty great. They are mostly found in the lower price range while providing all the support your feet need to avoid transferring the stress to your back.


Things I Liked:

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    Heel air cushioning for shock absorption
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    Arch support
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    Breathable upper mesh which cools and dries the feet
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    Wide toe box

Things I Didn’t Like:

  • As per usual with clip-on shoes, these are also prone to squeaking


Via Amazon.com


Another classic looking shoe, but this time there are a lot of color options available. With such wide color choice, they can be worn in the office and casually as well. The upper part of the shoe is made of leather, while the sole is made of synthetic materials.

The tongue is padded so the shoe won’t rub on your feet and ankle. The sole provides a lot of support while it’s flexible at the same time. The cushioning is great and it absorbs all the shock caused by walking. The cushioning and the sole combined work together to prevent the stress to transfer to your back.

This kind of supportive shoe with a lot of cushioning and flexibility is found in the upper price range. Which is expected, since the upper part is made of leather and all the cushioning systems included.


Things I Liked:

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    Flexible and supportive soles
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    A lot of cushioning
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    Padded tongue to prevent the rubbing of the foot
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    Leather upper part, which means they will last long

Things I Didn’t Like:

  • They require some period to be broken in


Via Amazon.com


With plenty of classic design choices, these are the a bit modern looking shoes. They are great in managing over-pronation and providing the much needed support. They will improve your posture and reduce the pain in the back.

They are made of leather, so you can be sure that they will last longer. They can be used in all weather conditions, all thanks to the leather top. The front and the heel area are filled with fluids that are great shock absorbers. Along with that, the midsole provides extra cushioning to preserve your feet and back.

They come in three colors, which all can be matched with various outfits. While mainly made for running, they make a very good walking shoe, especially if you have trouble with the pain in your back. They are kind of heavy, but thanks to the non-slip outsole, that won’t be a big problem.


Things I Liked:

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    A lot of room for toes
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    They are great for motion control and improvement of the posture
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    Non-slip outsole
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    The leather top is quality built and durable
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    A lot of cushion and support

Things I Didn’t Like:

  • They are a bit heavy, but they are built that way to help overweight people reduce the back pain

Women

Men


Via Amazon.com


Another great shoe for over-pronation and back pain. They have a shock absorbing midsole which reduces the stress transferred to the back. The midsole acts like a spring, reducing the effort you need to pun in walking.

They are primarily made for running, but they are not your standard sprinting shoe, so they can be used for walking as well.

They provide a lot of stability and protection; they use ASICS’s proprietary support system. They are aimed at running and continuous wear and tear, so they should last pretty long, especially since you will use them for walking.

The mesh upper part is very breathable and lets a lot of air through, keeping your feet dry and the shoe odor-free. Being the model of a bigger brand, these shoes are a bit pricey, but they provide the most support and protection compared to the others.


Things I Liked:

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    Cushioning midsole which acts as a spring
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    Upper mesh allows the foot to breathe
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    Great for over-pronation and back pain
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    A lot of color options available
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    They provide a lot of stability

Things I Didn’t Like:

  • They are a bit pricey

Women

Men

Conclusion

Cushioning and support are very important factors for the best walking shoes for back pain. And while providing all the support and protection, you need Brooks Men's Addiction Walker is not priced that high compared to the alternatives. That’s why I made it my favorite.

If you liked some other model, that’s ok, they are all good shoes for back pain, just make sure they will fit you well, using the method I mentioned.

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

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Bella Williams
 

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

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