Choosing the Best Shoe for Back Pain

Shoes can have a big impact on your ability to comfortably stand and walk for prolonged periods of time, especially if you suffer from back pain.  You may have already asked your physician or therapist what they think is the “best” shoe brand.  Unfortunately, the answer tends to come with a lackluster “it depends”, which leaves you more confused than when you started researching shoes in the first place.

Keep this in mind when choosing the “best” shoe for back pain



This should go without saying, but most importantly the shoes you choose should be comfortable!  Search for a snug fit with enough room in the toe box that will allow for good support without being too restrictive.


A shoe for working out will likely differ from a shoe you wear for work.  For running/cardio exercise, some things to consider are appropriate arch support, correct sizing (you’d be surprised how many people undershoot with shoe fitting), and again comfort. There are hundreds of types to choose from with varying levels of support, and each person will respond differently. If you are used to having more support, you should avoid a quick transition to a “minimalist” style running shoe.  Like most activities, we recommend that you slowly integrate these shoes into your cardio routine to avoid injury.  Ask a qualified therapist about graded activity options with this!  For work shoes it is important to wear level shoes that are (again) comfortable.  Avoid heels and narrow shoes if you are on your feet for prolonged periods of time throughout your work day.


Buying new shoes isn’t always the answer.  Using orthotic inserts can also make a significant difference in the level of support your shoes already offer.  Inserts can be found in many stores. They are easy to alter to fit your shoe size, giving additional support throughout the day.

The main takeaway with finding the shoe that’s for you is comfort, comfort, comfort.  There isn’t one perfect shoe brand, but there may be a brand that works best for you, your body, and your lifestyle.  If pain is limiting you and holding you back from the activities you enjoy, see how PDR Clinic’s team of therapists and physicians can help!