The Best Walking Shoes for Back Pain Reviewed 2023

Did you know wearing ill-fitting or worn-out shoes can throw your body out of sync? This can lead to pain in places you wouldn’t necessarily associate with your feet. Help correct this by wearing the best walking shoes for lower back pain.

Many often choose shoes based on aesthetics rather than functionality, but this can adversely affect your legs, hips, and back. We look at how shoes can play a role and detail our top 6 picks of the best shoes to prevent and alleviate the pain.


Our Top 6 Picks for the best walking shoes for lower back pain

1. Brooks Addiction Walkers

Brooks is a popular choice of walking shoes for many. They have cushioning and support throughout from patented technology to keep your feet and body correctly aligned. There are styles and sizes available for men and women.

Brooks Mens Addiction Walker Walking Shoe - White - D - 9.5
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Brooks Mens Addiction Walker Walking Shoe - White - D - 9.5
  • SHOE SIZE: "D" = Medium width, "EE" = Wide width, "B" = Narrow width, "EEEE" = Extra wide width
  • MAXIMUM SUPPORT: Our Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar strategically supports your arch to guide and keep your body in its natural path of motion.
  • SLIP-RESISTANT, SECURE FIT: The forefoot MC Pod construction and an innovative outsole sets your foot in an efficient, balanced, and stable position.
  • SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA adapts to your stride, weight and speed, to make every step comfortable.
  • LONG-LASTING: Both comfortable and durable, this shoe with a full-grain leather upper will be a staple to your wardrobe.

Brooks Womens Addiction Walker Walking Shoe - White - B - 5.0
  • SHOE SIZE: "B" = Medium width, "D" = Wide width, "2A" = Narrow width, "2E" = Extra wide width
  • MAXIMUM SUPPORT: Our Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar strategically supports your arch to guide and keep your body in its natural path of motion.
  • SLIP-RESISTANT, SECURE FIT: The forefoot MC Pod construction and an innovative outsole sets your foot in an efficient, balanced, and stable position.
  • SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA adapts to your stride, weight and speed, to make every step comfortable.
  • LONG-LASTING: Both comfortable and durable, this shoe with a full-grain leather upper will be a staple to your wardrobe.


2. Vionic Walker Shoes

Vionic brings us a shoe with all the support you need to prevent and alleviate back pain. Designed by a podiatrist, they help feet stay cushioned, supported, and stable. The American Podiatric Medical Association has given these shoes a seal of acceptance.

Vionic Women's Walker Classic Comfortable Leisure Shoes- Supportive Walking Sneakers That Include Three-Zone Comfort with Orthotic Insole Arch Support
  • Leather or Suede Upper. Removable Textile-covered EVA Footbed. Built in .5" elevation for a smooth transition in heel-to-toe strike zone. Durable Rubber Outsole.
  • Received APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association) Seal of Acceptance
  • YOUR NEW FAVORITE SNEAKERS: Make a move in our perennial customer favorite Walker featuring a leather or suede upper and dual-density EVA technology for maximum stability.
  • EVERYDAY SUPPORT: A podiatrist-designed footbed built into every pair of Vionic sandals, slippers, active shoes and flats promotes stability from the ground up.
  • Vionic active footwear features Active Motion System (AMS) technology, combining our podiatrist-designed orthotic with a flexible, cushioned outsole and a lightweight, breathable upper. Step into support for work, play and everyday.


3. Orthofeet Walking Shoes

The Sorrento from Orthofeet comes in a choice of widths, including extra-wide, and accommodates extra depth for your feet — you can remove the spacers to give up to 0.18 inches more room. The lining is seamfree, and the shoes offer support, stability, and cushioning.

Orthofeet Innovative Plantar Fasciitis Sneakers for Men - Ideal for Heel Pain Relief. Therapeutic Walking Shoes with Arch Support, Cushioning Ergonomic Sole & Extended Widths – Sorrento Brown
  • Men's orthopedic outdoor sneakers provide anatomic arch support to relieve foot and heel pain, making them ideal for sensitive feet and individuals with mobility issues who enjoy an active lifestyle
  • Ergonomic soles with rubber outsoles provide excellent grip and stability for people with balance and mobility issues. And a Cushioning sole with a mild Rocker improves the ease of walking
  • OrthoFeet shoes have unmatched cushioning and benefit 20+ conditions including foot and heel pain, plantar fasciitis, diabetes, arthritis, bunions, achilles tendonitis, hammer toes, and more.
  • Includes premium orthotic insole and arch booster in every shoe for innovative comfort, arch support, and advanced pain relief.
  • Fit & Sizing: Get a ½ size larger shoe. OrthoFeet shoes are designed with a wide toe box and soft leather and Fabric upper that offer a non-binding fit.


4. ASICS Gel-Kayano 26

This shoe can improve the way you walk with its Impact Guidance System. There’s gel in the rear and forefoot which assists with a correct heel-to-toe strike. Shock absorbency reduces impact, helping give stability and comfort to your feet.

ASICS Men's GEL-Kayano 26 Running Shoes, 6, MIDNIGHT/GREY FLOSS
  • I.G.S (Impact Guidance System) Technology - ASICS design philosophy that employs linked componentry to enhance the foot's natural gait from heel strike to toe-off.
  • SpevaFoam 45 Lasting - Employs 45 degree full length SpevaFoam 45 lasting material for a soft platform feel and improved comfort.
  • FlyteFoam Lyte Technology - ASICS lightest weight midsole formulation that provides continuous cushion thanks to organic nano fibers.
  • FlyteFoam Propel Technology - ASICS energetic foam formulation that provides supreme bounce thanks to a unique elastomer compound.
  • DuoMax Support System - A dual density midsole system positioned to enhance support and stability, positioned sport specifically.

ASICS Women's GEL-Kayano 26 Running Shoes, 8.5, PIEDMONT GREY/Silver
  • SpevaFoam 45 Lasting - Employs 45 degree full length SpevaFoam 45 lasting material for a soft platform feel and improved comfort.
  • I.G.S (Impact Guidance System) Technology - ASICS design philosophy that employs linked componentry to enhance the foot's natural gait from heel strike to toe-off.
  • FlyteFoam Lyte Technology - ASICS lightest weight midsole formulation that provides continuous cushion thanks to organic nano fibers.
  • FlyteFoam Propel Technology - ASICS energetic foam formulation that provides supreme bounce thanks to a unique elastomer compound.
  • Dynamic DuoMax Support System - This evolution of DuoMax system enhances stability and support, with reduced weight and increased platform support.


5. Hoka One One Bondi 6 Shoes

Hoka shoes with their Meta-Rocker technology are quite distinctive. The soles mimic the movement of a rocking chair for smooth, efficient motion. Lots of cushioning and support are built-in to these 100 percent vegan shoes.

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6. Nurse Mates Women’s Velocity Walking Shoes

We have one just for the ladies here. This lace-up walking shoe is lightweight, supportive, and has arch support. Its sporty style has either leather or printed polyurethane uppers and non-slip soles.


In Depth Reviews

Walking is a good exercise for back pain. To stay comfortable and avoid aggravating it you need the best shoes. Here are our top 6 picks of shoes to help keep you moving.

1. Brooks Addiction Walking Shoes

Brooks is well-known in the market of sports shoes. It has been producing them for more than 100 years.



The company’s distribution network is international, and they’re a popular choice with many. It has confidence in its products, offering a 90-day refund guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with your purchase.

These motion control shoes come in styles for men and women. There are arch and midsole support to correct your gait or overpronation, which makes them a good choice for back pain. The uppers are leather and come in a choice of colors, including white, brown, and black.

The sizes on offer are a 7 through 15 for men and 5 through 12 for women. You can also choose from four width fittings from narrow to extra-wide, which is great if your feet don’t conform to regular sizes.


Brooks’ has designed proprietary BioMoGo DNA cushioning which adapts to your feet. This includes the speed you walk at, your weight, and the way you walk.

It deflects impact away from your body, spreading the pressure throughout your feet. Support in the midsole further enhances the ability of these shoes to absorb shock.

An Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar system positions your arch, so you walk with a natural movement.

The front of the shoe is constructed for stability and balance in mind, curving upwards from the sole. They’re certified slip-resistant, making them a great all-terrain choice.

A mesh lining allows your feet to breathe, and the lightweight but supportive insoles provide more cushioning and support.

On the downside, some find the rubber peels off the sole at the toe after a few months of wear.


  • Sizes and widths for men and women.
  • Support for arches and midfoot.
  • Shock absorbency.
  • Slip-resistance.
  • Removable cushioned insole.


  • Soles might start peeling back after a few months.
These walking shoes have plenty of support in the midsole for low or flat arches, helping correct the way you walk. There’s cushioning throughout, and the uppers are breathable to keep feet fresh.


2. Vionic Walker Shoes

Many Vionic shoes have a seal of acceptance from the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association). Founded in 1979 by a podiatrist, their shoes are designed with the biomechanics of the back and lower limbs in mind.



Sizes available for men range from 7 through 13, and for women 5 through 13. There are two width fittings on offer, medium and wide, and a choice of colors including black, white, and taupe.

Vionic’s Active Motion System technology includes an insole designed by a podiatrist. The shoes have a lightweight, breathable leather upper which combines with a flexible, cushioned outer sole.



A half-inch elevation in the molded EVA midsole helps to correct the way your foot strikes the floor — ensuring you’re walking correctly from heel to toe. The odor control footbed aims to provide support and comfort to your legs and lower back, as well as your feet.

Moisture-wicking comes from the 100 percent polyester foot liner, which has a foam base to help reduce friction.

Thermoplastic gives stability and support in the heel counter, while traction comes from the rubber sole. This lace-up shoe is also water-resistant.

These shoes tend to run small, so you might need to size up.


  • Removable insoles.
  • Support in the midfoot and arch.
  • Leather upper.
  • Firm heel counter for added support.
  • Moisture-wicking, odor control lining.


  • Tends to run on the small side.
These shoes have orthotic insoles that help with overpronation and lower back pain. Leather uppers are supported by breathable, moisture-wicking inners with odor control. Support and cushioning throughout help correct your gait.


3. Orthofeet Walking Shoes

This rugged-looking option from Orthofeet is one of the best shoes for lower back pain for men. You have a choice of sizes from 7 to 14, and three widths, regular, wide, and extra-wide.



Inside the shoes are spacers, which are one-sixteenth or one-eighth of an inch depth, which can be removed to give you more room.

The uppers are mesh and have leather accents to provide more support. There’s no stitching or ridges on the inside of the shoes with their seamless finish.

Anatomically designed orthotic insoles give support to your arches and help cushion your feet. They’re designed to help relieve pain associated with many foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, overpronation, and bunions.

The lightweight soles have Orthofeet’s patented Ergonomic Stride. They add a spring to your step from the air cushioning and help provide stability.

These shoes look a lot like hard-wearing hiking shoes, but they aren’t suitable for rough terrains.

The ladies aren’t left out either; a similar design in a high top version for women is available from Orthofeet. It comes in sizes 5 to 12 with all the same great features as the men’s.


  • Extra depth available with the removable spacers.
  • Orthotic insole has arch support.
  • Air cushioning.
  • Seamless interior.


  • Might not hold up on all terrains.
Orthofeet brings us shoes with an adjustable depth, and in a choice of sizes and widths. They have seamless interiors and a roomy toe box. Orthotic insoles support and cushion your feet, legs, and back.


4. ASICS Gel-Kayano 26

These Asics shoes are loaded with technological enhancements to help correct the way you walk and relieve back pain.



For men, there are eight great color combinations, including midnight with grey floss, speed red with black and sheetrock with mako blue. There are reflective accents as a safety feature for walking in the dark. You can choose from sizes 6 through 15, in regular or wide.

Six colors are on offer for the ladies including midnight blue with frosted almond and laser pink with sour yuzu. Sizes range from 5 to 13, in wide or regular.



Patented technologies which Asics has incorporated in these shoes include:

  • Impact Guidance System helps improve overpronation for a natural gait.
  • Guidance Line along the base of the sole to improve the way your foot strikes.
  • Trusstic System reduces the weight of the shoes but retains the integrity of the sole’s performance.
  • Flytefoam Propel is an elastomer compound that gives bounce back to your feet.
  • Flytefoam Lyte is continuous nanofibers that cushion the midsole without adding weight.
  • Dynamic Duomax provides stability and support in the midsole.
  • OrthoLite X-40 sock liner to help feet breathe while providing rebound.
  • Full length Speva foam material for cushioning and comfort.
  • Gel technology in the forefeet and heels to absorb impact.
  • Asics High Abrasion Rubber (AHAR) placed in specific points on the outsole to give them durability.
  • HG10MM heel gradient places your body mass in the correct position to relieve stress on your lower limbs.

Mesh uppers stretch and adapt to your feet, and an external heel counter helps support and improve the fit of the shoe.

These shoes might have too much arch support if you have flat feet.


  • Shock absorption from gel in the soles.
  • Lightweight materials.
  • Patented technology to support and cushion the feet.
  • Designed for improved gait and motion control.


  • Some find the arch support too aggressive.
These shoes are loaded with technology, making them supportive and cushioned to keep your feet and body aligned. There are good arch and midsole support, and the shoes allow your feet to breathe.


5. Hoka One One Bondi 6 Running Shoe

Hoka is a relative newcomer in the market of sports shoes, founded in 2009. Its footwear bucks the trend of minimalistic design favored by many other brands. The shoes are chunky, but lightweight, designed to cradle and cushion your feet.


One distinctive feature is its patented Meta-Rocker, which they describe as “wheels for your feet.” It combines a low heel-toe drop, and a unique shape, a bit like a rocking chair base. This drives you forward while enhancing the natural way you walk.

There’s also a proprietary Active Foot Frame whose function Hoka likens to sitting in a race car bucket seat. It supports and cradles your feet seating them deeply into the midsole of the shoes.

For men, there are sizes 7 to 14, regular and wide widths, and colors including various shades of blues, greens, greys, and black. The ladies can choose from sizes 5 to 11, narrow, regular and wide widths, and colors including pinks, greys, and blues.



The uppers are open mesh allowing feet to breathe. An internal heel counter and Lycra comfort heel section provide support and comfort while locking your heels in place.

The midsole is compression-molded EVA, and the outsole is lightweight rubber. These shoes are 100 percent vegan.

They seem to be great for walking on flat surfaces, but take care if you walk on uneven ones, you could take a tumble.


  • Rocker sole for a natural gait.
  • Supportive and cushioned.
  • Breathable uppers.
  • Suitable for vegans.


  • Might not be suitable for trail walking.
Newcomers Hoka brings us shoes with a rocker-style bottom to encourage you to walk naturally. They’re supportive and cushioned with features to keep your heels locked in. The uppers are breathable mesh, and the materials 100 percent vegan.


6. Nurse Mates Women’s Velocity Walking Shoes

If you ladies want a stylish looking, lightweight walking shoe then these from Nurse Mates could fit the bill. You can get them in black or white full-grain leather, or cool patterned polyurethane uppers.



The sizes available are 6 to 11, and there’s a wide width option. They come with two sets of laces, one elasticated and one traditional. These shoes have a handy loop to help you pull them on.

An orthotic insole is designed to support your arches and align your feet for correct posture. A soft cotton lining allows your feet to breathe, and the tongue and collar are padded. The toe box is rounded, allowing for wiggle room.

There are non-slip soles that are cushioned and help absorb shock while remaining firm but flexible. A composite shank adds to the stability of the shoes.

Nurse Mates does warn that these shoes might need a break-in period, so wear them for just a few hours a day at first.


  • Lightweight and stylish.
  • Orthotic arch support insole.
  • Cushioning.
  • Non-slip.


  • Might need a breaking in period.
These lightweight shoes have good arch support from an orthotic insole. The uppers come in a choice of plain full-grain leather or patterned polyurethane. They’re non-slip and have built-in stability.


Can Shoes Cause Back Pain?

It’s tempting to buy shoes that coordinate perfectly with your wardrobe (we’ve all been there!) We don’t check their features, go on looks alone, and the next thing you know, your impulse purchase lands you in a world of pain.

The shoes you wear can change the way you walk. You adjust your feet and legs to compensate for the lack of support in the right places. After that, it’s a dreaded knock-on effect.

Incorrect fitting or worn-out shoes might cause you to tilt your pelvis forward. This can exert pressure on your lower back as your spine is out of alignment, which results in back pain.

Other foot conditions such as turning your feet in (overpronation), or out (supination), Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis can also affect the way you walk.

If your shoes or their insoles don’t give your feet the right support, these issues can be exacerbated, again, leading to lower back pain.

This video shows you how to walk correctly.

Some reasons you get back pain from wearing improper shoes include:

  • Ill-fitting: Shoes that are too wide, tight, long, short, can interfere with your body’s balance when you walk. You can get some tips on fitting footwear correctly, and their sizing, in our fitting and sizing guides.
  • Not enough support: Cushioning and support provide shock absorption, protecting your back, legs, and feet from impact. This is especially the case when you’re walking a lot.
  • Selecting the wrong type of shoes for walking: You shouldn’t wear heels or flip flops for walking. This isn’t their intended use, and they won’t protect your body from the rigors it can entail. Choose your walking shoes wisely to help prevent back pain.
  • Shopping for shoes early in the day: During the day, your feet and legs can swell. This means they’ll be larger in the late afternoon and evening. Shopping for, and trying on shoes when your feet are at their biggest will ensure a better fit.
  • Get some wiggle room: The latest fashions might not be a wise choice for your back. Those vertiginous heels push your feet forward and restrict the amount of room for your toes. This affects the way you walk and ends up giving you a backache.
  • You don’t choose the correct insoles: Whether built into your shoes, custom made or bought over-the-counter, insoles can correct many foot conditions. Failing to fix things like supination or overpronation means your gait is out of sync and you end up with pain in your back and lower legs.

Wearing improper shoes occasionally might not affect you in the short term. However, over time, you’ll begin to realize you have issues with your feet when the back pain manifests itself.

Can Shoes Help Lower Back Pain?

A supportive shoe that fits you properly can help correct imbalances in the way you walk. This can give the damaged soft tissues a chance to heal. The lasting effect will be a reduction in back pain.

In theory, the correct footbed in your shoes, and the support they can provide helps stabilize and improve your gait. This is achieved by realigning your feet, which then improves the way your whole body moves.

This video explains some of the reasons why the correct footbeds or orthotic insoles in shoes can help lower back pain.


Walking Is Good for Back Pain

Low impact exercise, like walking, helps relieve lower back pain. It has benefits which include:

  • Strengthens muscles and bones: The muscles in the legs, torso, hips, and feet are more conditioned when you exercise. This helps keep the body upright stabilizing your spine. Walking regularly can also help prevent osteoporosis by reducing the loss of bone density.
  • Helps circulation: Walking helps pump vital nutrients to the tissues in your spine and rid your body of toxins.
  • Improves your posture: Walking keeps your body limber and flexible. This makes it easier for you to stand correctly, supporting your torso and spine.
  • Helps keep your weight in check: Walking is a great exercise to help you keep your weight at a healthy level, especially as your metabolism slows with age.

Make sure you wear the best walking shoes to support your feet and legs while exercising, so you don’t make the condition worse.


Things to Look for in the Best Walking Shoes for Back Pain

things to look for the Best Walking Shoes for Back Pain

It’s essential that the shoes you choose don’t contribute to any foot issues which lead to back pain or make existing back pain worse. Some of the features to consider include:

  • Proper fit: We’ve already touched on this, but it’s important — your shoes need to fit you properly. Aside from trying them on in the evening, wear any insoles or socks you intend to use with them. Take a walk around your home or the store for five minutes or so to make sure they feel comfortable.
  • Support: A deep heel cup and the correct arch support position your feet so you walk naturally. If you have a foot issue like overpronation, metatarsalgia, or supination, make sure the shoes will help rectify this.
  • Cushioning: As well as keeping your feet comfortable, cushioning offers shock absorption. Lessening the impact of your steps takes the stress off your feet, ankles, knees, legs, and lower back.
  • Roomy toe box: Your toes need wiggle room in your shoes. Pinched and cramped toes can lead to foot issues that change the way you walk. This then affects the way you hold your body, leading to a backache.
  • Durability: Good walking shoes are an investment to benefit your feet and body. You want them to last, especially when you find the right pair. Look for strong mesh or leather uppers, and reinforced rubber soles.
  • Moisture-wicking and odor control: When feet get hot, they sweat, and wet feet can lead to blisters or fungal infections. Moisture-wicking will help keep feet fresh and dry, and odor control will ward off bacteria.


Frequently Asked Questions

Which Shoes Are Best for Walking on Hard Surfaces?

Sidewalks and concrete surfaces can be unforgiving on your body and feet. They don’t absorb the impact and can place stress on your joints and muscles.

Choosing shoes with plenty of cushioning helps with shock absorption and lessens the strain on your back.


What Are the Best Walking Shoes for Overpronation?

Overpronation happens when your feet roll inwards as you walk. This, in turn, can lead to foot conditions such as bunions, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis, and also give you lower back pain.

Choose walking shoes with good arch support, cushioning, and wiggle room for your toes. Find out more about walking shoes for this condition in our article on the best walking shoes for overpronation.


What Are the Worst Shoes for Lower Back Pain?

About 80 percent of the U.S. population will experience back pain at some point. One of the causes of this could be your choice of footwear throwing the body out of alignment.

Some of the worst culprits are high heels, flip flops, or shoes that are flat and have no arch support. So even your favorite sneakers or ballet pumps, if they have no arch support or cushioning, could cause back pain.


Walking Tall

Choosing the best walking shoes for back pain can help prevent it from happening or alleviate the symptoms. The cushioning and support they offer helps align your feet and body, relieving stress on your joints, and absorbing shock.Walking can help with back pain, so it’s important you wear the right shoes while you exercise. The shoes we’ve reviewed are all good choices, but ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference.

We hope you enjoyed our reviews of the top six picks of walking shoes for back pain. Please leave a comment below and don’t forget to share.


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