Best Shoes for Back Pain
We tested over 60 pairs of shoes for this article. We worked alongside a doctor, who wrote our buyers guide. He/she also advised us on what features to look for when choosing the best shoes for back pain. From our research, we found the Dr Martens Men’s 8053 Oxford was the best shoe for men with back pain. For women, our testers voted the Vionic Kiara Pro Trainer the best overall choice.
When choosing shoes for back pain, you want to look for a design that gives your foot freedom of motion. This means a thin and flexible upper, minimal or no heel drop, and a flexible, slim sole. This type of shoe allows your foot to move naturally. It lets your feet absorb impact more effectively. Better shock absorption in your feet means less stress on your back.
Our testers loved the Dr Martens Men’s 8053 Oxford shoes. They tick all the boxes – the uniform sole and lightweight build deliver comfort, support, and stability. And they’re flexible, letting your foot move freely and naturally, to help combat back pain.
The Vionic Kiara Pro Trainer scored top marks as our choice for women. We loved the extremely comfortable, lightweight design. The orthotic insole gives great arch support, which takes pressure off your back.
We wanted to cover all the bases when choosing shoes for back pain. Our testers looked at exercise shoes for different types of workouts, including running shoes and shoes for strength sports. We researched hiking boots, and the best general boots for day-to-day wear. And we chose the best shoes for formal and social wear. This includes shoes that are versatile and comfy enough to wear from day into evening.
Keep reading to learn our top picks and read our buyer’s guide for advice on how to choose the best shoes for back pain.
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Table of Contents
Best Overall (Men)
These versatile shoes were a huge hit with our testers. As well as being extremely comfortable, they deliver great support and stability. They’re also flexible. Originally designed to combat foot pain, these shoes help alleviate back pain, especially when it’s caused by foot problems.
The midsole offers moderate, comfortable cushioning and moderate arch support. It helps to distribute your body weight evenly across your foot. The cushioning works as a shock absorber to limit impact on your spine and joints. The flat, uniform sole is flexible. It encourages a normal gait and your foot’s natural movement. This in turn reduces stress on your back.
The air cushioned outsole gives hardwearing foot protection. It is flexible, letting your feet bend and flex naturally. The tread pattern provides good traction on all surfaces, to prevent slipping and injury.
A lightweight leather upper is soft and supportive. The cushioned collar sits below the ankle, adding comfort whilst allowing the ankle freedom of movement.
This shoe offers excellent all-round comfort, support, and stability. The comfortable design and classic appearance make it a great choice for both work and leisure wear. It is available in black or brown.
- Delivers great support and stability
- Reduces stress on back
- Provides good traction
Best Overall (Women)
Kiara Pro is a highly comfortable orthotic shoe, lightweight, flexible, and supportive. It uses podiatrist designed technology to help alleviate your back pain.
The shoe’s EVA foam insole is designed to give a combination of comfort, stability, and arch support. The insole is removable, so you can replace it with custom orthotics if you prefer.
‘Vio-Motion Support’ technology promotes correct alignment of your feet and legs. This leads to better weight distribution. It gives support to your foot’s medial arch, improving posture and limiting foot fatigue. The deep heel cup cushions your rear foot, for extra comfort and support. All of this works to reduce pain in your back and joints.
Our testers liked the soft and lightweight mesh upper. It supports the foot, whilst the flexible mesh allows your foot’s natural movement. An adjustable lacing system gives a comfortable, custom fit.
The hardwearing rubber outsole protects your foot and limits stress to your back. It is slip resistant, for increased stability and to help protect you from injury.
This is a highly supportive, flexible shoe, suitable for all day wear. It comes with a higher price tag, but for that you get superior stability and comfort. It’s available in a range of stylish colors, with a choice of width fittings.
- Promotes correct alignment of feet and legs
- Improves posture
- Limits foot fatigue
- Slip resistant
- Highly supportive
- Higher price tag
Best Smart Casual Women's
Our testers like this supportive shoe. It is lightweight and comfortable. The stylish, streamlined design makes it a versatile choice for both informal and smarter occasions.
The all-leather upper is supportive and durable. Its low top design lets your ankle move without restriction. The interior has a soft textile lining and light padding on the collar and tongue. This gives a highly comfortable fit. The adjustable lacing system has flat laces, for a snug fit against your foot.
An EVA midsole supports your foot’s arch and provides stability. The engineered, lightweight cushioning system is responsive, flexible, and supportive. It promotes even weight distribution across your feet. This improves stability and balance, which in turn alleviates stress on your back. The cushioning provides a high level of comfort. It is breathable, to help keep your feet cool and comfortable.
A molded rubber sole protects the foot and is extremely hardwearing. The forefoot and heel areas of the outsole have rubber pods. These prevent slipping and give reliable traction.
Our testers say the shoe fits true to size. This is a lightweight, supportive, and comfortable women’s shoe. It comes with a reasonable price tag, in a variety of colors.
- Prevents slipping
- Alleviates stress on back
Best Smart Casual Men's
This smart/casual shoe is extremely lightweight, supportive, and comfortable. The stylish design is adaptable for a variety of occasions. The high comfort level makes it a good choice for all-day wear.
The shoe has a lightweight, all leather upper. It is comfortable, supportive, and durable. The low-top design allows your ankle to move without restriction. A lightly padded collar and tongue and supple, textile lining add comfort. The adjustable lace up system uses flat laces, which sit snugly against your foot.
The breathable cushioned interior promotes air circulation to your feet. This help keeps them comfortable and fresh.
The EVA foam midsole gives comfortable arch support and encourages your foot’s natural movements. The midsole uses ‘Grand.OS’ technology. This is a highly comfortable, lightweight cushioning system. It is flexible, supportive, and responsive. It helps distribute your body weight evenly across your feet. This gives you improved balance and stability, which alleviates stress on your lower back.
The outsole is molded rubber, which is hardwearing, and protects your foot. The heel and forefoot areas have rubber pods, to provide increased traction and prevent slipping.
Our testers found the shoe highly comfortable, and say it fits true to size. Its stylish design and lightweight, supportive build make it a multi-purpose, versatile choice. It’s available in a wide range of colors.
- Flexible and responsive
- Alleviates stress on lower back