Best Shoes for Hip Pain
We tested 12 pairs of shoes and found the Propét Stability Walker Sneaker to be the best shoe for hip pain.
For this article we took expert advice from a doctor experienced in treating hip pain. We wanted to discover what hip pain sufferers should look for when choosing a pair of shoes. The doctor wrote our buyer’s guide. He/she explains what features are important when you’re choosing shoes for hip pain. He/she also says what you should avoid.
We also spoke to ten people who experience hip pain. We wanted their views on which brands and styles they find most comfortable and supportive.
Our testers were highly impressed with the Propét Stability Walker Sneaker. This shoe delivers excellent cushioning and arch support for men and women. The shoe’s lightweight construction increases stability and encourages a healthy gait. This all leads to less stress on your hips and body.
We wanted to find the best shoes for general day to day activities for people who experience hip pain. We looked at the best shoes to wear if you have an active job or do lots of walking. We also looked at the most supportive shoes for you to wear at home and for sedentary activities. Finally, we found the best shoes to wear for sport and exercise.
Keep reading to discover our top picks. And check our buying guide for expert advice on what you should look for when you choose a pair of shoes for hip pain.
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Table of Contents
Best Overall (Men)
Our testers awarded top marks to this excellent walking shoe. They loved its cushioned support and flexibility.
The breathable leather upper is supportive and supple. A custom lacing system gives stability and comfort.
The lightweight EVA foam midsole provides moderate cushioning and arch support. It is flexible to allow your foot’s natural movement. A removable orthotic insole gives additional arch support.
The uniform heel promotes correct foot posture. A firm heel counter secures your foot and prevents pronation and supination. The rocker sole aids stability and a smooth gait. This limits stress on your knees, hips and back.
This quality shoe comes in four width fittings. The manufacturer says this design runs small, so you might want to go up a size when buying.
- Promotes correct foot posture
- Prevents pronation and supination
- Design runs small
Best Overall (Women)
This supportive, flexible walking sneaker was a hit with our testers.
A supple EVA foam midsole supports the arch of your foot, and limits pronation and supination. Lightweight, comfy cushioning works as a shock absorber. It also encourages your foot’s natural movement. A removable orthotic footbed provides extra arch support.
The uniform sole and sturdy heel counter improve foot posture. They improve your balance and stability. Good foot posture alleviates impact on your hips, back and knees.
A flexible rocker sole improves stability and promotes a healthy gait. This again takes stress off your hips.
The comfortable leather upper is flexible and breathable. Adjustable laces give a snug fit and increase stability.
This lightweight, supportive shoe comes in a range of versatile colors. It’s available in four different width fittings.
- Improves foot posture
- Promotes healthy gait
Best for Work & Walking (Men)
This versatile, lightweight shoe is stable and supportive. It is suitable for both work and leisure wear.
The durable rubber outsole features a non-slip herringbone tread pattern. The molded design adds arch support. A wide shoe base and roomy toe box add comfort and stability.
Flexible C-CAP cushioning in the midsole comfortably supports your foot’s arch. It absorbs shock and alleviates stress on your hips. ABZORB is a compressed foam and rubber compound which cushions and supports the heel and forefoot.
A TPU rollbar system prevents your foot from twisting inwards and outwards. It increases stability, supports your foot’s arch, and promotes correct foot posture.
The shoe comes in three widths and in white, black, and grey colorways.
- Durable rubber outsole
- Prevents foot from twisting
Best for Work & Walking (Women)
This supportive lightweight shoe is a reliable choice for work or leisure activities.
The Freshfoam midsole features dual cushioning. It supports your foot’s arch, and limits impact on your hips, back and knees. A TPU shank in the midsole prevents supination and pronation. This is when your feet roll inwards or outwards. It encourages good foot posture and stability.
A hard-wearing rubber outsole gives reliable grip. It is molded to support the arch of your foot. The shoe’s wide base and roomy toe box add comfort and stability.
The leather upper is supportive and breathable. A removable sockliner has wicking properties, to keep your feet cool.
The shoe comes in three widths and in white, black, and grey colorways.
- Features dual cushioning
- Encourages good foot posture
Best for Standing, Sitting & Home Use (Unisex)
An exceedingly stable and comfortable shoe, thanks to its generous fit and supportive footbed.
The trademark Birkenstock footbed molds to your feet and delivers comfortable cushioning. It supports your foot’s arch and encourages even weight distribution through your feet. This in turn promotes good stability and foot posture. It also reduces impact on your hips, legs and back.
The generous width aids stability and a wide toe box lets your feet flex and splay. There is room to insert an orthotic if you need to do so.
The outsole is durable and flexible, encouraging your foot’s natural movement.
Our testers loved this high quality, unisex shoe. It’s supportive, comfortable, and great for all day wear.
- Encourages weight distribution
- Promotes good stability
- Promotes foot posture
Best for Sports (Women)
This versatile sports shoe is an excellent all-rounder. It’s ideal for running, lifting and interval training.
A molded EVA foam insole provides comfortable lightweight cushioning. It delivers arch support and increased energy return.
The upper features an AdapterFit Met-cradle casing over a supple elasticated mesh liner. This combination snugly supports and protects your foot whilst still enabling natural movement. Our testers like the extra stability from the TPU heel counter. A generous toebox lets your toes splay naturally.
Cleats on the durable rubber outsole provide reliable traction. Flex grooves let your feet bend and flex.
This stylish shoe is available in two widths and in a range of attractive colorways.
- Delivers arch support
- Increases energy return
- Protects foot
- Provides reliable traction
Best for Sports (Men)
Our testers gave the thumbs up to this multipurpose trainer. It’s perfect for power lifting, running and HIIT.
The flexible upper combines an AdapterFit Met-cradle casing with a soft elasticated mesh liner. It adapts to your foot’s natural movement and supports it during rapid lateral and medial moves.
A sturdy heel counter gives extra stability during squats and weightlifting. The roomy toe box allows natural foot splay.
The lightweight molded EVA insole delivers moderate cushioning along with arch support.
The rugged rubber outsole has geometric cleats for dependable traction. Flex grooves let your feet bend and flex.
This versatile shoe comes in two widths and a variety of colorways.
- Allows natural foot splay
- Delivers moderate cushioning
- Provides dependable traction
Buying Guide for Choosing the Best Shoes for Hip Pain
Nearly 4 in 10 individuals have some sort of hip pain. The condition is especially common among athletes and the elderly. There are many different reasons for hip pain. However, wearing the wrong shoes will make the pain worse regardless of the underlying cause.
This is because we spend most of our time on flat, hard surfaces. Standing, walking, and running on these stresses the body – including the hips. If this leads to pain and discomfort, the body starts overcompensating.
This usually means wider steps that start from the hip rather than the foot. Driving your steps from the hip this way is unnatural – and leads to a negative impact on your joints and more hip pain. It can also lead to conditions like flat feet, knee pain, back pain, and more.
The good news is that a good pair of shoes can help us manage hip pain. They won’t fix serious problems – but they will make walking easier on the feet, knees, and hips. By doing this, they stop hip pain and prevent the long-term postural problems described above.
A Moderately Cushioned Sole
Hip pain is often a result of mild foot pain caused by an uncomfortable shoe. Foot pain forces your body to adjust away from its natural posture. This brings other joints and bones into misalignment, overloading them. Over time, this creates more pain and makes it harder to move freely. This creates new postural adjustments and starts the cycle over anew.
To stop this cycle of pain, we need moderately cushioned soles. These act like a “crumple zone” and minimize striking impact. At the same time, they let the foot go through its maximum range of motion. This gives the foot as much cushioning and protection as it can get. By reducing foot stress and pain, it stops the foot-hip pain cycle before it gets out of hand.
With a flexible, cushioned sole, the muscles of the entire musculoskeletal system are in optimal posture. This leads to pain-free walking, gives you a healthy gait and preventing hip pain. EVA foam and gel/air inserts are good, both for the outsole and the insole.
A Uniform Heel
Wearing a high heel or heel drop disrupts your natural standing posture. It causes bad foot placement and shortens the Achilles tendon, causing abnormal flexion. It reduces your feet’s natural ability to cushion your body against impact. As you can imagine, this contributes to hip pain and bad posture.
We want the opposite: a uniform heel. A heel like this gives you natural posture and helps weight distribution. All of this gives your body a healthy, natural gait that keeps hip, knee, and back pain at bay.
A Relaxed Fit with a Wide Toe Box
Tight shoes lead to hip pain. They squeeze your feet, stopping the toes from moving freely. They bring the feet into supination and/or over pronation; they contribute to fallen or high arches. All of this makes your body overcompensate by applying excessive force through the ankles, knees, hips, and back… Which eventually leads to hip pain.
You want to get a relaxed fit shoe with a wide toe box. A shoe like this lets your foot and your toes move freely and with good posture. This leads to natural, healthy biomechanics through the whole body and unloads the hips.
Fallen arches reduce your ankle’s range of motion. They also affect your foot placement, which in turn affects your knee biomechanics. This is one of the main reasons for hip pain and movement problems.
To correct this, we need quality arch support shoe features. Shock-absorbent, pronation-limiting, arch-supporting insoles and footbeds are best. Outsoles that are reinforced around the middle or feature a rigid arc frame are good too.
Another common reason for hip pain? Pronation and supination, i.e., the feet rolling inward or outward. When this happens, more torque travels through our limbs causing hip pain. To stop and correct this, we need a shoe that stabilizes the foot and corrects its placement. A medial post, a contoured sole, a heel counter, and a supportive lacing pattern are all good.
A Lightweight Build
A heavy shoe build makes your muscles and joints work harder. This can lead to poor hip biomechanics and resulting pain. Conversely, having a lightweight shoe will relieve hip joint stress, reducing the pain.
If you have hip pain, talk to your doctor before doing anything else. You may have a problem that requires immediate medical attention. If – and only if – this isn’t the case, get one of the pairs of shoes on this page. It may help reduce the stress on your joints, leading to less pain, better posture and improved long-term biomechanics.
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- Walking barefoot decreases loading on the lower extremity joints in knee osteoarthritis (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/art.22123)
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- The Real Dangers of Flip-Flops (https://www.orthobethesda.com/blog/the-real-dangers-of-flip-flops/)
- Greater reductions in knee OA pain seen with supportive rather than flexible shoes (https://www.mdedge.com/internalmedicine/article/234572/osteoarthritis/greater-reductions-knee-oa-pain-seen-supportive?sso=true)
- Running in highly cushioned shoes increases leg stiffness and amplifies impact loading (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-35980-6)