Last updated on August 3rd, 2022 at 12:25 pm
A person retains stress in their body in various forms and back pain is just one of them. If your back problems keep you up at night and you are looking for the perfect solution. Then a pair of ideal running shoes, specifically designed to cater to back pain is the answer.
Our team spent 136 hours, researching the finest products on the market and concluded the list of the top 8 best running shoes for back pain.
How to tell if the shoes you are considering are the best running shoes for back pain?
In this article, we have covered all the things you need to know about the shoes that will prevent your back from hurting.
Buying the shoes that let you run without causing any back pain is quite tricky. You would require knowing a lot about your feet, shoe types, and the type of surface you run on before coming to a conclusion.
Read the following buying guide to know everything you need to know about such special shoes.
Types of feet
In order to prevent your back from hurting, you should always buy shoes that suit best to your feet type. Commonly there are three types of feet.
- Flat feet
These types of feet are flat from the sole and are very unstable. Due to this instability, people with flat feet are more likely to get muscular pains. In order to avoid such pains, people with flat feet are recommended to wear shoes that are specially made for them i.e. motion control shoes.
For flat feet, the best suitable shoes are the ones that offer the highest stability.
- High arched feet
High arched feet are a complete opposite of flat feet. People with this foot type usually have the worst balance. This lack of balance can make them slip, which results in various muscular pains. Special shoes that have extra cushioning are perfect for such feet.
- Neutral feet
Neutral feet is the most stable foot type. Any high-quality running shoe suits such feet. As they don’t require extra stability or cushioning.
People with flat feet or high arched are more likely to suffer from muscular pains. But that does not mean neutral feet can’t cause back spasm or other muscular pains. Any weak feet, no matter from which type it belongs, is prone to injury.
In order to make your feet strong, you would require running. And in the process, you would not like to hurt your back. So, choose shoes that ensure stability.
Types of shoes
There are typically three different types of shoes
- Motion Control Shoes
These types of shoes are specially made for people having an issue of over-pronation. These special shoes will prevent your feet from misaligning. This misalignment could prove to be very bad for your back pain.
- Stability Shoes
These types of shoes are specifically designed to offer the highest stability. They are not made for a special foot type. They offer stability at unstable surfaces. And come with very little cushioning.
- Cushioning Shoes
If your feet supinate, the most important thing for you should be cushioning. A good, cushioned shoe will absorb all the shocks before it reaches your lower back. And hence, protect your back from hurting.
Make sure that your shoes have the right amount of cushioning. Since excessive cushioning is also not good.
Types of surfaces
The surface that you usually run on is another factor that you should consider before buying a shoe. Different surfaces demand different shoes. The following are some of the common surfaces that are used for running.
Although grass surfaces are some of the softest to run on. But due to unexpected uneven patches in the ground, it could cause sudden instability leading to back spasms.
To run on a grass surface, you would require buying a shoe that offers the highest stability. Cushioning is not that important on such soft surfaces.
Running on hard surfaces like asphalt requires shoes that minimize the shocks before they reach your back. The shocks are produced as feet strike hard on the surface.
Cushioning is the most important factor that you should consider before running on such surfaces.
Loose sandy surfaces are the most unstable. Running on such surfaces would require a lot of support. The packed sandy surface on the other hand is comparatively stable and does not require special support.
A trail surface is not as hard as an asphalt surface, but it is hard enough to impact your back. Moreover, little rocks on the trail could sometimes lead to instability. The shoes that are stable and provide little cushioning are best suited to run on such surfaces.
List of top 8 best running shoes for back pain
1. Nike Men’s Zoom Vomero 13 – best running shoes for back pain
- Size: US 6.5-13
- Color: Available in 7 different colors
The affordable Nike Vomero 13 tops our list of the most comfortable running shoe for people with back problems. Having a foam sole, this shoe is made up of synthetic material.
It offers great support as its midfoot is wrapped with flywire cable. The outsole is made up of rubber which is quite sturdy and ensures durability. Its super-soft plush collar provides an enhanced running experience.
It is not advised to run with new Vamero 13 right away as it requires some breaking in. Running with new shoes right away could hurt your back badly. Give shoes some time. Start with walking for some days and then run when you feel like it has been broken in.
- Proper cushioning, especially at the heel area
- Excellent traction
- The shoe takes time to break-in
- Not ideal for people with wide toes
2. New Balance Men’s 1080v8 – most comfortable running shoes for back pain
- Size: US 7-15 (Comes with Wide and Narrow options)
- Color: Available in 4 different colors
The shoes are made for people with wider neutral feet. It is made from 100% synthetic material. The sole of the shoe is also synthetic. The midsole of the shoe is special as it is made from a single fresh foam.
The shoe is ideal for hard surfaces that require cushioning. Cushioning is necessary to absorb the shocks before it impacts your back. Although it is not one of the lightest, it is still quite comfortable. Its engineered mesh design prevents your feet from suffocating.
A few reviewers reported that its large heel area caused the heel to slip around while running. Subsequently, the shoe lacks friction.
- Wide toe box
- Best suited for people with wider feet
- 100% synthetic
- Slightly heavy
- Large heel area causes the heel to slip around
3. Brooks Men’s Ghost 11- Highly responsive running shoes
- Size: US 7-14 (Comes with X-Wide option)
- Color: Available in 12 different colors
If you have a medium to high arch, and your feet are on the narrower side, this shoe is made for you. The Brooks Men’s Ghost 11 Running Shoe is well-cushioned through DNA LOFT and BioMoGo DNA technology. Despite being well-cushioned, it is not the heaviest and weighs 11.04 Ounces.
With this product, you do not have to worry about uneven landing because its Segmented Crash Pad neutralizes the impact. Its breathable mesh prevents your feet from suffocating.
The toe box of the shoe is not ideal for people with wider toes. But overall, it is a highly rated shoe.
- Highly responsive
- Breathable mesh upper
- Segmented crash pad
- Slightly heavy
- The toe box of the shoe is not ideal for people with wider toes
4. Mizuno Men’s Wave Inspire 14 – best athletic shoes for lower back pain
- Size: US 7,8 &15 (Comes with Wide option)
- Color: Available in 5 different colors
When it comes to providing comfort and stability, these shoes tick all the boxes. These are special shoes made for people having a condition of overpronation. Its 10mm droplets you run even with back pain.
So, if your feet overpronate and you are looking for shoes that are well-cushioned and provide stability. These shoes are your best bet. They will provide you with extra arch support through their soft anatomical sock liner.
The material used is 100% synthetic. Its rubber sole makes it one of the most durable products on the market. But it’s a bit pricey.
- Very well-cushioned
- 10mm drop
- Comfortable mesh upper
- Roomy toe box
5. Hoka One One Men’s Gaviota – toprated running shoes for lower back pain
- Size: US 7-12
- Color: Available in 1 color
If you want to run despite having back pain. These shoes are good for you as they come with extreme cushioning that always provides stability while remaining fast and responsive.
These motion control shoes are lightweight. Despite being extremely cushioned, it has a drop of 5mm which gives the shoe a minimalistic look. It comes with a high sole that differs from a minimalistic shoe.
If you have wide toes, these shoes are not made for you as they come with a narrow toe box.
- Extreme cushioning
- Motion-control shoes
- Not ideal for people with wider toes
6. Saucony Men’s Redeemer Iso 2 – best sneakers for back pain
- Size: US 7-14 (Comes with Wide option)
- Color: Available in 4 different colors
For people with flat feet that are going through back pain and do not want to quit running, these shoes are ideal for them. It’s high energizing cushioning will provide the highest support needed.
The sole of the shoes is made from rubber which makes it last longer than other shoes. They are best for running on the road. Shoes are flexible and will allow your feet to move around freely. The mesh upper, however, is a bit suffocating.
Many users reported that, although they ordered the right size, yet the shoe did not fit them. So, it’s not true to size.
- Ideal for flat feet
- Mesh upper is a little suffocating
- Size issues
7. Altra Men’s Torin Knit 3.5 – back support shoes
- Size: US 7-13
- Color: Available in 3 different colors
These shoes offer moderate cushioning and will not further increase your back pain. These shoes are specifically designed to absorb the shocks released from the feet striking on hard surfaces.
An interesting thing about these shoes is that it comes with a zero drop. For a person who is used to the 12mm drop, it will take him some time to adjust to them. It’s flashy engineered knit is quite comfortable and will enhance your running experience.
Although it is a fine product some reviewers questioned the quality and durability.
- Moderate cushioning
- Zero drop
- Flashy engineered knit is quite comfortable
- Upper doesn’t provide much support
- Some users faced durability issues
8. Saucony Women’s Triumph ISO 4 – best walking shoes for back pain
- Size: US 5-12 (Comes with Wide option)
- Color: Available in 5 different colors
Although these shoes are expensive but there extreme cushioning makes it worth the money. Usually, the extremely cushioned shoes slow you down a bit. But that is not the case with these shoes. They provide extreme cushioning and stability without slowing your performance.
It comes with an EVERUN midsole and outsole. Its engineered mesh will prevent the feet from suffocating. Its ISOFIT upper fits well according to the user’s feet that provides a lot of comfort while running.
The shoes are slightly on the heavier side. Users have also reported some issues with its lacing eyelets.
- Extreme cushioning
- Flexible and responsive.
- Provides high mileage
- Fits well
- A little expensive
- Slightly heavy
- Users have reported some issues with its lacing eyelets
Take your time and choose the shoes that suit you best, according to your feet type, surface type, and the condition of your back.
We advise you not to start running from the get-go. Give your shoes some time to break in. Start from walking in it for a few days and then start running when the shoes have been broken in. Otherwise, a shoe that is not properly broken in or doesn’t suit your feet type will end up increasing your back pain instead of relieving it.
1. Can bad running shoes hurt your back?
Yes. A bad running shoe does not protect you from the instability resulting from accidentally stepping on an unstable surface.
When we run, shocks are produced as a result of our feet striking against hard surfaces. Direct exposure of these shock to the back can cause back problems.
A good, cushioned shoe will divert or absorb the shocks before it reaches your lower back. And hence, protect your back from hurting.
2. What are motion control shoes for?
Motion-control shoes are specially made for people having an issue of over-pronation. These special shoes will prevent your feet from misaligning. This misalignment could prove to be very bad for your back pain.
3. What kind of a track is ideal for people that want to run with back pain?
Avoid running on hard tracks like cement. Look for a softer track that does not have unstable patches in it. Rubber tracks are usually ideal for people that want to run while having back pain.
4. Can Shoes Help Back Pain?
Most people do not know that their back pain is due to their bad shoes. A good shoe can help a lot in relieving your back pain.
5. Should you start running right away in the new shoes if you have a back problem?
Don’t start running from the get-go. Give your shoes some time to break in. Start from walking in it for a few days and then start running. Otherwise, a shoe that is not properly broken in or does not suit your feet type will end up increasing your back instead of relieving it.
6. Which is the best running shoe for back pain?
The affordable Nike Vomero 13 tops our list of the most comfortable running shoe for people with back problems.