Best Athletic Shoes for Lower Back Pain 2019

Are you trying to get in shape or stay fit – but you suffer from nagging back pain that’s really dragging you down? Most people experience some sort of back pain during their lives, which is caused by a wide range of issues. And exercise itself can really aggravate your back, making it harder to stick to your goals and your workout routine.

Shoes for Lower Back Pain 2019

Luckily, the right pair of athletic shoes can make all the difference! But if you’re not sure which are the best shoes for back pain sufferers, prepare to be bombarded by an overwhelming, seemingly endless number of options. Don’t start shopping unprepared – instead, check out this article!

We’ve put in all the work and uncovered the best athletic shoes for lower back pain. Our recommendations will help you find the perfect shoes to get you on the road to recovery and on track to a healthier version of you.

Nike Air Zoom Vomero 13


The Nike Zoom Vomero series boasts unparalleled comfort and support, making it a bestselling neutral running shoe from this world-famous brand. 

With a specially designed foam midsole, this shoe offers comfort for miles, along with a responsive feel. 

No matter what road or trail you decide to tackle, the thick foam absorbs the impact, making these great shoes for back pain sufferers. And the custom-fit collar gives you extra ankle support, perfect for longer runs or rough terrain.

The Good

The Bad

Superior foam cushioning

Narrow toe box

Durable

Sizing runs a bit small

Unique Design Allows Diverse Workout

Reasonably lightweight

Rubber outsole for excellent traction

Great value

Mizuno Wave Inspire 14


If you have flatter feet, you may be prone to overpronating (rolling your foot slightly inward) when running, which can cause extreme lower back pain. Does this sound like you? Then check out the Mizuno Wave Inspire running shoe. 

This shoe offers a good balance of cushion and structure, with a bit more rigidity to solve your pronation problems. The cushioning on the inside feels great, but the overall firmness gives you the structure and stability you need, along with great responsiveness.

The Good

The Bad

Secure upper for support

Could be too rigid for some

Firm for overpronators


Great balance of cushion and support

Excellent responsiveness

Roomy toe box

Brooks Mens Levitate 2


Are you a new runner suffering from back pain? Then pick up a pair of Brooks Mens Levitate 2 shoes now! These neutral running shoes are an excellent choice for newbies looking for a highly responsive shoe with comfy cushioning. 

The best part of these Brooks shoes is the crash pad, designed to disperse your impact – perfect for heel-strikers. With trusted traction and a structure mesh upper that wraps your foot, you’ll feel snug and secure through any run.

The Good

The Bad

Superior crash pad

A bit heavy/bulky

Great traction


Comfy cushioning

Versatile, all-around running shoe

Hoka One One Bondi 5


The Hoka One One Bondi 5 running shoe is custom designed to help you alleviate back pain – it’s the shoe you’ve been searching for! This shoe is Hoka One One’s most cushioned shoe to date. 

It boasts a molded Ortholite footbed for maximum cushioning, while also giving you great support and balance. And the air mesh upper is breathable, keeping your feet comfortable during longer runs, while the padded tongue and collar keep your feet snug. These shoes top the list as one of the best sneakers for back support.

The Good

The Bad

Ultra-soft cushioning

Soles aren’t as durable as some competitors

Breathable and light

Pricey

Secure collar

Great for wide feet

Saucony Redeemer Iso 2


Raise your hand if you’re a flat-footed runner. If your hand is in the air, the Saucony Redeemer Iso 2 was designed with you in mind. This is a super stable shoe that provides amazing support, virtually eliminating back pain. 

If you tend to overpronate, which is common with flat feet, this motion-controlled shoe is perfectly suited for you. With its uniquely designed stretchy upper, you’ll get a secure fit, and the EVERUN inner sole offers plenty of cushioning as well. 

The Good

The Bad

Top-notch support and stability

Issues with fit

Decent cushioning

A bit heavy

Responsive

Roomy toe box

Adidas Ultra Boost


This shoe is aptly named – it gives you a true boost during your run. With advanced energy-returning technology, the Adidas Ultra Boost running shoe is responsive and lightweight, making you feel energized during your run. With a springy, cushioned feel, you’ll be ready to take on longer runs, even if you suffer from back pain. 

And with a sock-like feel, you’ll get a soft and comfortable fit that’s really secure without being too constrictive. Plus, this shoe offers good traction on a variety of running surfaces, including slippery terrain.

The Good

The Bad

Lightweight

Pricey

Full-length midsole for responsive cushioning

Narrow fit

Energy-boosting technology

Durable

Fashionable design


ASICS Gel Nimbus 20


This ASICS is a classic neutral running shoe that offers relief from back pain. The midsole provides plenty of bounce back, along with comfy cushioning. And these ASICS have both rearfoot and forefoot gel cushioning for shock absorbency and added comfort, making these ideal shoes for lower back pain.

ASICS is a great brand that’s been around for ages and is known for its durability – this shoe is no exception! The rubber outsole is not only durable but also excels at grip and traction on all terrains.
 

The Good

The Bad

Supreme gel cushioning

Narrow toe box

Durable


Breathable and flexible upper

Excellent grip and traction

Lightweight


Vionic Walker Classic


This shoe isn’t necessarily made for running, but it’s a great athletic shoe for everyday wear, walks, and workouts. Or wear it to the mall to make your shopping experience a dream!

The Vionic Walker is one of the best shoes for back pain. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, this is the shoe you’ve been searching for. It boasts top-notch side and arch support, and your legs, feet, and back will all thank you. And because it’s made from water-resistant leather, this shoe is extremely durable.

The Good

The Bad

Excellent arch support

Wide fit

Cushioned collar and tongue

Few color/design options

Durable, water-resistant leather

Help ease pain from plantar fasciitis

Brooks Addiction Walker


This is another casual, everyday walking shoe that will make you feel like you’re walking on clouds! The design is simple (not exactly trendy), but the cushioned support will win you over.

The Brooks Addiction Walker features amazing arch support and is ideal for overpronators, while the plush midsole ensures that every step is cushioned to the max. It also has a durable and thick rubber outsole to help absorb shock. And even though the look is a bit bulky, these shoes are surprisingly lightweight. I highly recommend these all-purpose shoes for lower back pain sufferers!

The Good

The Bad

Great for overpronators

Not the most fashionable look

Durable

Sizing tends to run large

Excellent low arch support

Super comfortable

Brooks Glycerin 16


Marathon runners, this one is for you. The Brooks Glycerin series features shoes that are extra light and extra soft, making them ideal for long runs. Plus, they boast plenty of cushioning and a soft, supportive upper.

Marathons can really wear out a pair of shoes fast – but these shoes are durable enough to go the distance. The Brooks brand is known for providing unparalleled comfort for athletes with back pain, and these Glycerin shoes check all the right boxes for one of the best sneakers for back support!

The Good

The Bad

Great for high arches

Pricey

Lightweight


Durable outsole

Soft and supportive collar

Pressure zones to distribute impact

Hoka One One Gaviota


The Hoka One One Gaviota gives you the best of everything: soft cushioning combined with superior support and responsiveness. Slip this shoe on, and you’ll immediately notice how great the shoe feels.

And with its stability and cushioning features, the Gaviota won’t aggravate your back or joints during training. This is a stable everyday shoe that can survive those longer runs with its traction and durability. Despite its thick sole and clunky look, this shoe’s light feel and extreme cushioning makes it worth trying out!

The Good

The Bad

Superior cushioning

Bulky look

Lightweight

Limited color selection (especially for women)

Stable and supportive

Great for overpronators



Saucony Guide 10


This is another great athletic shoe from Saucony! The supportive mid-foot section of the Guide 10 works wonders for those who tend to overpronate, and the overall cushioning makes these an excellent choice of shoes for back pain sufferers. 

The stability of this shoe is also top-notch, with a very supportive design and a secure upper that hugs the foot. For runners, the Guide 10 is lightweight and responsive, giving it great bounce back for a boost of energy on long runs.

The Good

The Bad

Great fit right out of the box

Narrow fit

Lightweight


Responsive and flexible

Great support for overpronators

Altra Torin 3.5


If you like a zero-drop shoe, then try out these Altra Torin 3.5 running shoes. While the zero-drop style may take some getting used to, it offers a more natural feel and stride, which is great for those with troublesome back pain. And these shoes still offer plenty of cushioning for a very springy, responsive ride. 

This is a very versatile, lightweight trainer that boasts all-around comfort. Combine the ultra-cushioning and zero-drop aspects of this shoe, and you get a great athletic shoe that helps ease back pain in any workout.

The Good

The Bad

Excellent cushioning

Lack support in the upper

Lightweight and responsive


Zero-drop platform

Very versatile

Hoka One One Clifton 3


The Hoka One One Clifton 3 running shoes have it all. Somehow, these shoes manage to combine extra thick cushioning with a lightweight feel and an incredibly smooth ride. Why do these make the list of best shoes for back pain?

The curved arch keeps the midfoot well-supported, and the amazing cushioning minimizes the impact of each step. And if you go for a run in these shoes, you’ll love how their shape propels you forward. Round that out with a breathable upper and a perfect fit, and these shoes are a grand slam!

The Good

The Bad

Superior responsiveness

A bit bulky

Lightweight and breathable


Thick cushioning for maximum comfort

Great traction

Durable

New Balance 1540v2


This motion control New Balance shoe is made specifically for those with flat feet or severe overpronators. While they’re a bit pricey, these shoes are designed with superior stability and a supportive fit from heel to toe.

The wide platform of the New Balance 1540v2 enhances the shoe’s stability, and it offers maximum overpronation control, giving you much needed relief from back pain caused by a rolling foot. Plus, the interior cushioning protects your joints from harsh impact, and the rubber outsole gives you great durability and traction.

The Good

The Bad

Excellent arch support

Pricey

Roomy toe box

Not as lightweight as other shoes

Ideal for flat feet or overpronation

Breathable

Cushioned

ASICS Gel Kayano 25


The ASICS Gel Kayano 25 is a great shoe for overpronators or for neutral runners who like a little extra motion control and stability. But the great thing about this shoe is its versatility – it does just as well on a casual walk around the neighborhood as it does during an intense gym workout.

The ASICS design provides cushioned support from midsole to heel for optimal alignment, keeping your foot from rolling inward. And all that underfoot cushioning makes these shoes wonderfully comfortable – as well as perfect shoes for back pain sufferers.

The Good

The Bad

Super comfy

Not as lightweight as other shoes

Great stability and support


Versatile

Durable

Variety of colors and designs

Saucony Triumph ISO 4


For neutral runners who love the Saucony brand, the Triumph ISO 4 is definitely worth checking out. Featuring extreme cushioning and a superior fit, this shoe molds right to your foot – you’ll love the way these shoes feel! And the cushioning is in all the right places, with extra padding in both the forefoot and the heel. 

When it comes to shoes for lower back pain, that extra padding goes a long way. Serious runners will love the responsiveness, keeping them comfy and supported through even the longest distances.

The Good

The Bad

Soft and responsive cushioning

Pricey

Amazingly comfortable fit

Traction could be improved

Roomy toe box

Breathable

New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon


This is one of New Balance’s lightest and most responsive shoes. With a flexible, springy feel, this all-purpose shoe is great for everyday wear or to pound out high mileage runs. With a generous amount of cushioning (thanks to that thick foam sole), you’ll get a soft, comfy feel to help you manage your aching back pain. 

In fact, these shoes use a softer foam then some of the other Fresh Foam series shoes, making them that much more comfortable. And even with all that foam, you still get an insanely lightweight shoe.

The Good

The Bad

Lightweight

Foam sole is less durable than rubber

Plenty of cushioning


Versatile

Responsive and flexible

Altra Escalante 1.5


This is another great shoe that encourages as natural a walking and jogging style as possible, thanks to its very low drop and wide toe box. For a fairly minimalist shoe, the Altra Escalante 1.5 still has excellent cushioning, while still giving you a flexible feel. Just be aware that the minimalist design means a less supportive upper.

Overall, this is a great option for anyone who likes a natural, “barefoot” feel but still needs some moderate cushioning to help with nagging back pain. 

The Good

The Bad

Low drop for a natural feel

Lacks support in the upper

Very flexible


Excellent cushioning for a minimalist shoe

Lightweight

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19


Brooks consistently makes some of the best sneakers for back support, and these live up to the name. With a brand-new design, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 19 is ready to correct the stride of all those overpronators out there.

This shoe now features “Guide Rails,” which keep your stride in check, ensuring you land on your midfoot and don’t roll your foot. And this shoe still prioritizes stable arch support and cushioning to absorb the impact at each step. Also, if you’re a heel striker, the high drop of the Adrenaline GTS 19 is perfect for you.

The Good

The Bad

Great for overpronation

High drop may not suit everyone

Lightweight


Very comfy and cushioned

Very comfy and cushioned

Breathable and flexible upper


Most Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What are the best sneakers for lower back pain? 

A: When choosing the best sneakers for low back pain, there are a few things to consider.

First, check out the arch of the shoes – does it match the natural arch of your foot? For example, if you have low arches or flat feet, you may suffer from overpronation (where you tend to roll your foot inward). In this case, you’ll want a shoe that focuses on motion control.

Then, check out the overall fit. For example, if you have wide feet, you’ll want a roomy toe box.

Lastly, consider how flexible the shoes feel. Shoes that are too rigid may eventually hurt your feet – but you do need some support, so shoes that are too flimsy won’t work either.

Think through each of these factors to help narrow down your sneaker choices (which can be overwhelming!).

Q: Can shoes affect your back?

A: The way you move in one part of your body affects many other areas – this is known as a kinetic chain. That means that the shoes you wear can be a direct cause of your back pain. For example, if you wear shoes that have inadequate arch support, it can throw your entire stride off and create stress on your back (that’s why flip flops can lead to an aching back). Or if you wear high heels, it can throw off your alignment and really strain your lower back.

Not to mention, the wrong shoes can affect other areas of your body, leading to aches and pains in your calves and thighs.

Q: What are the best shoes for painful feet?

A: If you suffer from foot pain caused by plantar fasciitis, high arches, arthritis, or other foot problems, you can address these issues with the right footwear. By choosing supportive, comfy shoes, you can give your feet a break – they’ll thank you!

So, what are the best shoes to help with foot pain? It really depends on the type of pain you’re experiencing. If you have plantar fasciitis, for example, you need top-notch arch support. Or if you suffer from arthritis, you’ll want shoes that allow a little extra wiggle room. Look for shoes that accommodate your specific foot problems and kiss that foot pain goodbye.

Q: Are running shoes good for walking?

A: The answer is: maybe. It really comes down to priorities. If you only plan on walking in your shoes, then a dedicated walking shoe is probably the right choice for you – I mean, that’s what they’re designed for! And they typically cost less as well.

But if you plan on doing other activities (jogging, gym workouts, etc.), then a running shoe is probably the better choice. Running shoes typically offer more cushioning and support, and you can find a running shoe to fix any of your stride issues, such as overpronation. Plus, running shoes are way more fashionable and come in fun colors and designs.

Check out the question below for more details on the differences between walking and running shoes.

Q: What’s the difference between walking shoes and running shoes?

A: Walking and running require slightly different body mechanics. When you’re walking, your weight is fairly evenly distributed, moving from the heel to the toe in a rocking motion. And the impact isn’t too harsh. But when you’re running, you’re slamming two to three times your body weight into each step, and a certain area of the foot (typically the outer heel absorbs) most of that impact. This means that you need slightly different cushioning and design in a walking shoe versus a running shoe.

Walking shoes are typically more flexible in the forefoot and have great arch support. They also have a low drop (the different in height between the heel and toes). The cushioning in a walking shoe is usually spread out fairly evenly, but in general, walking shoes have less cushioning than running shoes.

Running shoes typically offer more cushioning in the heel and forefoot, where most runners strike the ground the hardest. They’re also typically made from a more breathable fabric because your feet heat up a lot during an intense run.

 Q: Are men’s and women’s running shoes the same? 

A: Almost every shoe on this list comes in both a men’s and women’s version. But are these shoes the same? Not exactly. Sizing is, of course, an obvious example of this – but the shape of the shoe is different as well. For example, women’s shoes are usually a bit wider in the forefoot and narrower toward the heel because women have leaner ankles and heels. Also, with many running shoes, women’s shoes have a flatter heel to accommodate the angle of a woman’s foot.

Lastly, women are more likely to be overpronators because of their wider hips, so women’s shoes usually have more motion control.

Leave a Comment:

14 Shares