Best Shoes for Back Pain

Why do I need certain Shoes to help my Back?

The quick answer is a good shoe that supports your back provides the basic protection and mechanical support for the foundation of your body. When your feet are supported with the best shoes, your entire body will be balanced and aligned. So if you have plantar fasciitis or foot arch pain, it is so important to have the correct shoe or support in your shoe. If you don’t have what’s considered the best shoes than this may lead to imbalances that can trigger abnormal compensation and ultimately result in back pain.

High heels are not the best shoes for back painThese are not the best shoes for back pain 

How do the Best Shoes for Back Pain help with Walking?

Just as your car requires good alignment of its tires to drive right, your back requires the best shoes to walk right. Without the adequate shoes, your body’s normal walking pattern may be off and the body will make up for this by changing the weight it puts on other areas of the body. 

These weight/force distribution and changes can cause how the spine should line up naturally and may lead to issues with lower back pain. Remember just like your issue with cars alignment can wear out the tires quicker so can the same be said about shoes and your back.

Why is Alignment so Important for the Health of my Back?

Follow along and you will see how the best shoes for back pain can have a tremendous effect. Alignment is basically how the following listed body parts line up with each other:

  • Head.
  • Shoulders.
  • Spine.
  • Hips.
  • Knees. 
  • Ankles.

These body parts must correctly interact and line up with each other. Proper alignment of the body puts less stress on the spine and leads to good posture. Basically, good posture is the ability to correctly balance the load from below and above that is put on the spine.

What are the Characteristics of the Best Shoes for Back Pain?

First of all, let’s discuss what the best shoes for back pain are NOT.

  1. Shoes that have higher heels:
    • Throw off alignment.
    • Alters center of gravity.
    • Causes back to compensate in a bad way.
  2. Flat shoes:
    • Little arch support.
    • Causes forces to be relayed to spine with negative impact.
    • Flip flops or sandals 

Physical Issues that may Influence what kind of Shoes you should choose Include:

  • Flat feet.
  • High arches in the feet.
  • Unequal leg length.

The biomechanical changes at your feet again causes force to act as a negative impact on the spine.  It's ok if you have these issues.  A good set of custom orthotics can help!

So how do I find the Best Shoes for Back Pain?

Start with the type of shoe you wear most often:

  • This is usually is going to be a sneaker type or tennis shoe.
  • It provides motion control and stability
  • The shoe has a wider sole/heel that distributes force evenly.
  • It allows flexibility that allows proper movement of the foot with your walking pattern.
  • The extra support that helps with normal movement.
  • Shoes made with composites of plastic or graphite for normal motion.

Follow these guidelines to achieve what is the best shoe for you.  Therapists usually recommend the brands of New Balance or Rockport for shoes.  But, other companies make good shoes depending on the anatomy of your foot. 

To learn more about shoes from JOI Rehab, please read the best shoes for your hip and the best shoes if you have bunions. 

Who can help me find the Best Shoes for Back Pain?

The clinicians at JOI Rehab can help you solve this puzzle in a host of ways:

Just like the best shoes, JOI Rehab can fit your needs for this issue.  To schedule an appointment with a JOI Rehab Clinician, please call 904-858-7045

To schedule an in-person or Telehealth Visit with a Foot and Ankle Orthopaedic Specialist, please call 904-JOI-2000 or click the link below. JOI also has ASAP Injury or Fracture appointments available. 

By: Jared Ernest, PT

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