Top 16 Best Shoes for Back Pain 2020

Did you know that poor posture could result in back pain? Standing on your feet all day can lead to muscle fatigue, tight back muscles, and other issues.

I’ve found that investing in some comfortable shoes makes a huge difference for my back pain. Wearing shoes that feel more supportive reduces fatigue and helps me stay on my feet all day.

Here are our top picks for men’s and women’s shoes for back pain.

How to Choose the Best Shoes for Back Pain

It’s important to pinpoint the root cause of your chronic back pain so that you can address it and pick shoes adapted to your needs.

What Causes Back Pain?

Lower back pain is often the result of postural stress. Bad posture can put a lot of pressure on your spine and cause back muscles to tighten.

Postural stress is common in occupations that require you to sit or stand all day. Those who have to spend most of their day standing or walking are also likely to experience muscle fatigue.

Some conditions can worsen your back pain, including:

  • A strained muscle or torn ligament
  • Herniated discs
  • A pinched nerve
  • Scoliosis

How Can Shoes Help with Back Pain?

Shoes can help in two different ways:

  • Supportive shoes can improve your posture and gait. Shoes with a comfortable fit can help with muscle fatigue, and features like heel elevation can correct your hip and lower back alignment to reduce posture stress.
  •  If you have a condition like a herniated disc or strained muscle, wearing comfortable and supportive shoes will prevent this condition from getting worse.

Keep in mind that shoes can make a difference, but there are other steps you should take if you suffer from back pain. Light exercises, stretching regularly, and sleeping on a supportive mattress will make a difference if you’re dealing with chronic back pain.

Top Features to Look for in Shoes for Back Pain

Here are the most important features to consider when shopping for new shoes.

Arch Support

The arch of your foot is the area between the ball of your foot and the heel. Everyone has a unique arch shape, which can make finding comfortable shoes difficult.

A shoe that doesn’t provide proper support in this area can cause you to adopt a different gait to compensate. If your gait is slightly off, your legs, hips, and lower back might not align when you walk. This issue results in postural stress and can worsen back pain.

Arch support is an important feature because it promotes a normal gait.

Stability and Motion Control

Shoes that feel responsive and that provide stability with a wide fit can help you be more mindful of your gait and posture.

Responsiveness and motion control are two important concerns when designing performing running shoes, which is why wearing sneakers is often the best option if you’re suffering from back pain.

Running shoes typically use a molded foam footbed and additional layers of cushioning midsole to enhance bounce and give you precise control.

Comfort

Feeling uncomfortable means that you’re going to avoid stepping on some areas of your feet that feel painful, or adjust your posture to compensate.

Pain can come from wearing that are too narrow, swelling, or health problems like bunions. Comfortable shoes with features like foam or air cushioning, collar padding, and soft materials will keep you comfortable.

Heel Support

Pay attention to the back of the shoe and closure system. The closure system should maintain your shoes in place without feeling restrictive.

Proper heel support combined with a performing closure system means that it’s easier to keep your heel and ankle properly aligned.

Toe Box

Some shoes are too tight in the toe area, which makes it difficult to put pressure on the ball of your foot. A comfortable toe box will make it easier to roll off the ball of your foot when you walk and to adopt a gait that is better for postural stress.

Top Eight Best Men’s Shoes for Back Pain

Here are our top eight recommendations if you need shoes that will prevent and reduce back pain.

Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II

These lightweight hiking boots are one of our top picks for those who stand on their feet all day. The durable construction of these ankle boots makes them an excellent long-term investment.

We recommend these hiking shoes if you live in an area with cold winters. The rugged sole is perfect for getting traction on ice and snow.

The 5” shaft feels supportive and promotes healthy posture when standing or walking. The 1.5” heel is slightly higher than the 0.5” platform, which is an important feature to reduce back pain.

The midsole is one of the standout features for back pain. The midsole cushioning allows for optimal energy return, which means that the foam will compress when you walk and release energy to give you a more powerful stride. It’s a comfortable feature that reduces the amount of effort and energy required to stand or walk all day.

We also like the slip-free rubber sole that provides excellent traction and the waterproof design.

Pros:

  • Outstanding energy return
  • Slight heel elevation
  • Supportive shaft
  • Excellent selection of sizes and colors

Cons:

  • Too warm for the summer
  • Some shoppers say the fit is narrow

Camelsports Men’s Hiking Sandals

Whether you have an active lifestyle or want to stay comfortable during the summertime, these open-toe sandals provide you with optimal support.

We like the hollow design of these sandals because they will keep your feet in place, which can be an issue with open-toe shoes. You will find an adjustable buckle in the back and an elastic band you can pull on to get a comfortable and supportive fit.

If you need to stand on your feet all day in hot weather, you will find that the non-slip design of the EVA foot pads makes a huge difference. It’s easier to adopt a healthy posture and reduce back pain when your shoes cradle your foot in place.

The sandals feature a front rubber cap to protect your toes. We like this feature because it makes the sandals a lot safer to wear compared to most open-toe shoes, and it also extends contact between your toes and the floor for a healthy walking posture.

The flexible construction and additional cushioning make these sandals an ideal option for work during the summertime and for outdoor activities.

Pros:

  • Protective rubber toe cap
  • Non-slip EVA foot pads
  • Adjustable buckle and elastic band
  • Keeps your foot in place

Cons:

  • Not ideal for cold weather
  • Open-toe design is dangerous in some environments

Propet Men’s Cush N Foot Slipper

These comfortable slippers are the perfect option if you’re looking for comfortable footwear you can wear around the house. We also recommend them if you need an extra layer of comfort and insulation while you recover from a foot injury or deal with severe back pain.

Diabetic men should consider these slippers because they’re comfortable and not restrictive, but keep in mind that you can wear them to reduce back pain at home even if you don’t have to worry about complications from diabetes.

The wide design of these slippers gives you plenty of breathing room. It’s an interesting feature because it reduces compression on your foot and prevents any circulation issues.

The slippers feature a wide closure system that feels supportive and keeps your foot in place. The 0.75” platform provides your feet with a comfortable cushion, and the 1.25” heel is high enough to improve your posture.

The neoprene upper is durable and does an amazing job of protecting you from cold temperatures. The slippers use an open cell PU insole that controls moisture and heat building. The durable synthetic sole can absorb shocks and is ideal for indoor and outdoor use.

Pros:

  • Choose between neoprene or corduroy upper
  • Plenty of cushioning
  • Heel elevation
  • Simple closure system

Cons:

  • Not very stylish
  • Only three colors to choose from

Orthofeet Lava Sneakers

Orthofeet is a brand that specializes in making orthopedic shoes for conditions like plantar fasciitis. We recommend these sneakers because they deliver plenty of arch support and cushioning. You should consider these comfortable and supportive sneakers if you want a pair of everyday walking shoes that will help with your back pain.

We love the sporty design of these shoes. At first glance, people won’t be able to tell that they’re orthopedic shoes.

The Lava sneakers use two different spacers between the sole and insole to support your arch and deliver more bounce when you walk or run, thanks to the air cushioning.

The stretchable upper feels extremely comfortable, and you can order these sneakers in a wide range of sizes, including wide and extra-wide sizes. A lot of manufacturers don’t carry extra-wide sizes, but it’s a feature that can reduce back pain if you’re dealing with bunions or simply have wide feet.

Note that you can easily remove the insole and replace them with custom ones if you need orthotic support.

Pros:

  • Plenty of air cushioning
  • Ergonomic sole
  • Wide and extra-wide sizes available
  • Sporty design

Cons:

  • Not waterproof
  • Only one color available

Skechers for Work Shoes

Restaurant workers have to be on their feet throughout most of their workday. It’s a fast-paced environment that can take its toll on your body and result in back pain. These Skechers shoes are a must-have item if you work in a restaurant or any other kind of demanding work environment.

The synthetic materials make the shoes easy to clean, and the slip-resistant sole will help you stay safe in environments where spills are likely to happen. The slip-on design makes the shoes easy to get on and off. It improves comfort since you don’t have to worry about restrictive closure systems.

We like these food service shoes because of their wide toe box and roomy heel. Staying on your feet all day can cause swelling, and these shoes can accommodate for fluctuation in size and blood flow throughout your workday.

You’ll find plenty of memory foam padding in the insole of the shoes, comfortable elastic panels on the sides of the shoes, and a soft lining. The thick rubber sole features an elevated heel and will provide you with the traction you need in a wide range of settings.

Pros:

  • Comfortable slip-on design
  • Easy to clean
  • Plenty of room
  • Design promotes good posture

Cons:

  • No closure system
  • Memory foam might feel too warm

Timberland Pro Men’s Powertrain Sport Shoe

Timberland offers a versatile shoe that you can wear to exercise or use as protective footwear in an industrial setting. We also think this performing shoe is an ideal option if you’re dealing with back pain and need help with your posture.

The anti-fatigue insoles are a feature worth mentioning. If you suffer from back pain, you know that standing on your feet all day can make the problem worse. The anti-fatigue insoles absorb shocks and energy and transmit this energy to your feet to make walking or standing easier.

The breathable PU footbed helps with temperature control and feels very comfortable and supportive. It will cradle your foot and promote a better posture.

The shoes have different features that will keep you safe at work. There is a shank that protects your feet from injuries, safety toes, and built-in protection from electrical hazards.

The ripstop nylon construction makes the shoes lightweight and durable. The shoes feature plenty of padding and cushioning to keep you comfortable, and the soles deliver the traction you need to exercise or move around at work.

Pros:

  • Safety features for work
  • Anti-fatigue insoles
  • Plenty of cushioning
  • Wide design

Cons:

  • Safety features might be unnecessary
  • Color options are limited

Skechers Performance Men’s Go Walk 4 Shoe

We recommend these comfortable slip-on shoes from Skechers if you suffer from back pain because you spend most of your day walking. These lightweight mesh shoes will reduce fatigue, and the thick rubber sole provides the bounce you need to keep going.

The midsole design will improve your posture when you stand and help you adopt a healthier walking technique. The wide toe box is ideal if you experience swelling or need more stability. The insole delivers excellent arch support. This feature can make a significant difference if you suffer from back pain.

The heel feature plenty of padding, and the slight elevation is ideal for lower back pain. Skechers presents these shoes as a comfortable and supportive option for walking because of the flexible design and emphasis on features that enhance posture, but these shoes are an excellent option if you have a job that requires you to stand at a counter all day, thanks to their arch support and slight heel elevation.

We also like the breathable mesh upper that helps keep you cool and won’t feel restrictive, even if you experience swelling.

Pros:

  • Convenient slip-on design
  • Excellent arch support
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Heel elevation

Cons:

  • Lack of closure system
  • Not waterproof

Timberland Men’s White Ledge Ankle Boot

We recommend these supportive ankle boots if you need shoes for the winter or work in a demanding environment. These ankle boots would also be ideal for preventing back pain during a hike.

These durable and waterproof ankle boots from Timberland stand out thanks to their comfortable fit, protective features, and excellent ankle support. Getting more heel and ankle support can help improve your posture and reduce lower back pain.

The 4.75” shaft will help maintain proper ankle alignment and reduce fatigue if you need to stand on your feet for long hours. The sturdy synthetic sole gives you the traction you need on hiking trails, and the elevated heel promotes a better posture.

You’ll find two additional eyelets you can use to customize the fit of these ankle boots and get more ankle support if needed. We like the padded opening and tongue that maintain your feet in place without feeling restrictive.

These boots are an excellent investment because Timberland is a go-to brand for quality boots, and the durable seams make these boots suitable for a wide range of challenging environments.

Pros:

  • Sturdy and durable construction
  • Ideal if you need ankle support
  • Plenty of padding
  • Waterproof design

Cons:

  • Heavier than other options
  • Might feel bulky or warm

Top Eight Best Women’s Shoes for Back Pain

These products can alleviate back pain thanks to features like a wide fit, supportive arch, and cushioned sole.

Skechers Women’s Max Cushion Sneaker

These sneakers have somewhat of a retro 90s look with their chunky sole, but the added height and padding will make a significant difference if you suffer from back pain.

The sneakers feature a lightweight, breathable mesh upper that is ideal for warm weather. The padded tongue and collar feel comfortable and help maintain your feet and ankles aligned. The shoes have a wide design that gives you plenty of breathing room.

The thick soles are the most noteworthy feature of these sneakers. There is a built-in foam comfort platform in the midsole that supports your arch. The heel measures two inches, and there is a slight drop of approximately 1/4” to promote a healthy posture.

The soles use flexible groves for comfort. The mix of flexibility and support will help you adopt a more natural stance when you stand or walk. The toe cap also helps use the tip of your toes for traction to preserve energy when you walk. The shoes feature some overlays on the toe box and heel to improve durability and stability.

Pros:

  • 2” soles absorb shocks and improve posture
  • Durable and flexible construction
  • Supportive foam midsole
  • Plenty of padding

Cons:

  • Lack of ankle support
  • Heel height requires some adjustment

STQ Slip On Shoes

We recommend these slip-on shoes because they’re durable and versatile. It’s a pair of shoes you can wear at work or use for a wide range of outdoor activities.

The shoes use a slip-on design and keep your foot in place with an elastic cuff. It’s a comfortable feature that will keep you comfortable if you’re dealing with swelling from being on your feet all day. The shoes have a flexible mesh upper that stretches when you move around.

The outsoles feature an air cushion. This protective layer absorbs shocks and delivers optimal bounce. The air cushion can help with fatigue during long work shifts or workouts.

The shoes are slip-resistant, and the rubber soles use tight lugs to give you traction on a wide range of surfaces. The flexible construction of the outsole will reduce fatigue and can help you improve your walking posture.

The thick 1.96” rubber soles are another benefit of these shoes. They use a platform wedge design to deliver a comfortable and supportive fit. The platform is 0.78” high. There are 15 different colors to choose from.

Pros:

  • Convenient slip-on design
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Air cushion
  • Flexible sole

Cons:

  • No wide sizes
  • Not waterproof

Saucony Women’s Grid Excursion Sneaker

Light exercise can help with back pain. If you want to go for walks or engage in other physical activity to strengthen your core and reduce back pain, these sneakers are an ideal choice.

These shoes use a grid cushioning design that provides plenty of elasticity and bounce. The grid design helps reduce pressure on the heel, ball, and other pressure points. It absorbs shocks and transmits energy to give you the bounce you need when you walk or jog.

The sneakers use a mix of mesh panels and other synthetic materials to create a durable upper. The manufacturer claims that you can wear these shoes on hiking trails thanks to the sturdy upper construction. The soles deliver plenty of traction, which is something that can help with fatigue and back pain if you walk a lot during your workday.

We love the athletic look of these shoes, and there are some original color schemes available. You can also order wide sizes if you want more room.

Pros:

  • Grid cushioning
  • Durable upper
  • Plenty of traction
  • Athletic look

Cons:

  • Other shoes have higher heels
  • Doesn’t look professional

Skechers Performance Women’s Walking Shoe

These slip-on shoes use a deceptively simple design. We like the timeless design because you can wear these comfortable shoes with any outfits, and there are a lot of original color options.

Skechers uses proprietary materials to protect your feet and deliver a comfortable walking experience. The shoes feel lightweight, thanks to the different synthetic materials.

You’ll find an ortholite insole that provides cushioning and enhances ventilation. There is a built-in cushioning layer in the soles that use a proprietary material that provides support while molding to the shape of your feet.

The soles feature round sensors that feel flexible and responsive when you walk. It’s a design that helps be more mindful of your walking posture.

Shoppers report that it’s very easy to insert custom orthopedic insoles in these shoes. You can wear these shoes without customized insoles and see an improvement in your back pain symptoms, thanks to the cushioning layer and unique sole design.

Pros:

  • Versatile slip-on design
  • Lots of original color options
  • Cushioning layer
  • Round sole sensors

Cons:

  • Other shoes have more padding on the collar
  • Wide opening reduces support

Orthofeet Women’s Sneakers

We like these sneakers because of their wide, boxy design. This shape gives you more stability and can improve your posture if you have a wide toe box. It’s also ideal if you suffer from plantar fasciitis, bunions, or other health issues. The manufacturer offers wide and extra-wide sizes to help you find the right fit.

The ergonomic soles are shockproof, thanks to the built-in air cushioning layer. It’s a feature that can help correct your posture and reduce back pain associated with flat feet.

The mesh upper can stretch and feels very comfortable and flexible. These shoes are ideal for warm weather.

There is plenty of padding in the tongue and collar. The padding helps keep your ankle in place and makes a difference if you have to be on your feet all day.

The sole construction uses different spacers to deliver more support and relieve pain. We recommend these shoes if you have sensitive feet, need to manage diabetes, or want a comfortable option to reduce back pain.

Pros:

  • Wide and extra-wide sizes available
  • Spacers deliver more comfort
  • Air cushioning
  • Ideal for diabetes and other conditions

Cons:

  • Soles don’t feature deep lugs for traction
  • Other shoes have more heel elevation

ASICS Women’s Gel-Nimbus Running Shoes

We highly recommend these comfortable running shoes if you want supportive shoes for exercising or simply need sneakers for everyday wear.

The sneakers use a layer of gel to absorb shocks and cradle your feet. It’s an alternative to air cushioning that delivers a softer feel and eliminates the need for hard plastic shells on the sides of the air cushioning layer.

You will find a proprietary elastomer material that delivers plenty of bounce and reduces fatigue when you walk or run. We like the way these sneakers fit because the design gives you more room in the toe box while delivering a supportive fit around the ankle.

The shoes feature a heel overlay that improves support. This feature can reduce tension and pain in your ankles, legs, and lower back. The heel elevation will also help with reducing tension and improve your posture.

The construction of these sneakers is one of the reasons why you should consider this product. ASICS delivers a durable sneaker with reinforced seams, quality materials, and high abrasion rubber sole. These shoes are an investment that will last for years, even if you wear them every day.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable construction
  • Lots of original colors to choose from
  • Gel cushioning
  • Elastomer material delivers plenty of bounce

Cons:

  • Reflective bands make the sneakers look unprofessional
  • Other shoes focus more on arch support

Crocs Women’s Nerio Pro II

These clogs are an amazing option if you’re looking for comfortable, slip-resistant work shoes. The synthetic construction makes the shoes easy to clean and even disinfect. These shoes will dry quickly, and spills aren’t an issue either.

Finding supportive clogs can be challenging because these shoes typically use an open-back design. These shoes from Crocks have a heel that will keep your feet in place and improve your posture.

The thick sole provides you with plenty of insulation, and the elevated heel can make a difference for back pain. The lightweight feel of the clogs will reduce fatigue, and the shape of the insole provides excellent arch support.

We recommend these clogs because their roomy fit is ideal if you’re on your feet all day. The fit feels relaxed while being supportive. The wide collar and relaxed fit are perfect if you tend to experience swelling throughout your workday.

The shoes meet different ASTM and ISO requirements, and you can wear them if you work in a hospital or kitchen.

Pros:

  • Durable and easy to clean
  • Suitable for hospitals and kitchens
  • Thick rubber sole with arch support
  • Heel support

Cons:

  • Not as bouncy as other shoes
  • Other shoes deliver more ankle support

Vionic Women’s Rio Sandal

Sandals aren’t the most supportive shoes, but wearing open-toe shoes is fine if you want to beat the heat. We recommend these sandals because they’re fun and stylish while delivering the kind of support you need if you suffer from back pain.

The sandals feature a 0.75” platform that absorbs shocks and provides you with plenty of cushioning. The elevated heel and molded footbed help you adopt a healthy walking posture and can reduce tension in your legs and lower back. We like the molded footbed because it prevents your feet from rolling around in the sandals.

You won’t get much heel support with these open-toe shoes, but the textured footbed prevents slipping. The sandals also have a dual-density midsole that does a great job of delivering bounce, stability, and arch support. You can order wide sizes if you want more room.

Pros:

  • Stylish sandals with a good selection of sizes and colors
  • Comfortable fabric straps
  • Molded footbed
  • Dual-density midsole

Cons:

  • No heel support
  • Open-toe shoes are not always suitable

Wrap Up

We recommend the Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II if you need footwear that’s both durable and supportive. These lightweight hiking boots provide plenty of support and can correct your posture, thanks to the heel elevation.

We also like the Skechers Women’s Max Cushion Sneaker because these athletic shoes feature a thick sole that absorbs shocks and molds to the shape of your foot to improve stability and support you.

Leave a Comment