Us Weekly has affiliate partnerships so we may receive compensation for some links to products and services. Article originally written in June 2021.
Article updated on January 5, 2023.
Anyone who deals with serious back pain knows how much of a struggle it is to find the right pair of shoes. Maybe you don’t know where to begin to look, or what specifics you should actually be looking for. That’s why we’re here to help! We didn’t just do a simple search — we wanted to bring you professional advice and design details to pay attention to if you’re regularly struggling with discomfort.
According to Long Island Spine Specialists, the worst shoes to wear if you deal with back pain are flats, high heels and flip flops. While that may be the case, there are ways around this. You can still find versions of these types of shoes that may work for you! Savvy reviewers gave Us the insight we needed, and we also took what we learned from the experts to pick out exactly what we think will benefit you. Keep reading to shop all of these excellent shoe options for back and foot pain!
What are orthopedic shoes and do they help back pain?
- Orthopedic shoes are shoes that help pain relief.
- For back pain, these are the following options: Rocker soles (including Joya or Skechers), sports shoes (such as running shoes or tennis shoes with cushioned soles), sandals with toe room and support like Birkenstocks and more.
- Osteopath Tim Everett of The Bad Back Company states that Joya shoes may be the best choice, as their design causes “increased natural movement which gives your lower back muscles a ‘mini workout’ which is a positive benefit for your lower back.”
What to Look for in a Shoe
- Rocker shoes (curved soles) to encourage active posture
- Curved heels to avoid heel strike
- Arch support
- Fit (and return policies if they don’t fit properly)
What to Avoid
- Flip flops
Best for Support
Not only are these sneakers supremely supportive, their design is super stylish. You can team them with practically anything — including dresses!
Best for Plantar Fasciitis
These sneakers were designed with anyone who specifically deals with plantar fasciitis, and shoppers confirm these are absolutely incredible!
Get the Gravity Defyer Proven Pain Relief Women’s G-Defy Ion Athletic Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis for prices starting at $100, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, January 5, 2023, but are subject to change.
Best for Back Pain
Reviewers say they wear these shoes when they have to be on their feet for hours. These Skechers reportedly make the day so much more comfortable!
Get the Skechers Women’s Ghenter Bronaugh Work Shoe for prices starting at $41, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, January 5, 2023, but are subject to change.
Best for Walking
These simple slip-on shoes are strictly for walking — they have a supportive sole but a sock-like design up top which makes you feel like you’re walking on clouds!
We love these sneakers because their design is super stylish, and the amount of support they provide is unbeatable! You would never be able to tell they’re built like an orthopedic shoe at first glance. And as we mentioned earlier, these have been vetted by professionals!
Get the JOYA Women’s Vancouver Nubuck Trainers for prices starting at $173, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, January 5, 2023, but are subject to change.
Best Dress Shoe
These shoes are great to wear whenever you want to feel a bit more dressed up. They’re ultra-comfy, and they look amazing with a pair of sleek skinny jeans or wide-leg pants!
Best Everyday Flats
These shoes are reportedly highly recommended by reviewers if you’re looking for a dressier shoe that’s comfortable, and most importantly, you can walk all day in! The arch support may not be at as high of a caliber as a pair of sneakers, for example, but they’re still great for anyone who has foot pain.
These heels may not be the trendiest, but they are undeniably timeless and pretty much go with anything! Countless reviewers say if you’re looking for the ultimate pair of comfy heels, it can’t get much better than these pumps. Reliable, easy-to-wear and classic — there’s not much more anyone could ask for!
Get the Clarks Women’s Adriel Viola Dress Pump for prices starting at $58, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, January 5, 2023, but are subject to change.
They key to the comfort level of these shoes has to do with their flexibility, which is important to look for when shopping for boots. Typically, combat boots come out of the box stiff — and don’t improve too much after wear. Luckily, shoppers say these are comfortable right off the bat! In addition, they also have the arch support you want, plus cushioning that feels incredible. They come in both regular and wide sizes!
Get the LifeStride Women’s Knockout Ankle Boot for prices starting at $49, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, January 5, 2023, but are subject to change.
The incredible thing about these sandals is that the cork footbed actually molds to your exact foot shape over time, so you’re basically getting a custom pair of shoes.
Best Flip Flops
These flip flops are a serious favorite of shoppers who say they’re a miracle for anyone dealing with all types of back and foot pain!
Get the LLSOARSS Plantar Fasciitis Feet Sandal with Arch Support for prices starting at $30, available at Amazon! Please note, prices are accurate at the date of publication, January 5, 2022, but are subject to change.
Best for Nurses
Crocs have been known as a staple for nurses for years, and with good reason! They’re lightweight, easy to slip on and provide great arch support for long shifts.
- Best Shoes for Ball of Foot Pain
- Best Cushioned Socks for Foot Pain
- Comfortable Shoes for All-Day Wear
Check out more of our picks and deals here!
This post is brought to you by Us Weekly’s Shop With Us team. The Shop With Us team aims to highlight products and services our readers might find interesting and useful, such as wedding-guest outfits, purses, plus-size swimsuits, women's sneakers, bridal shapewear, and perfect gift ideas for everyone in your life. Product and service selection, however, is in no way intended to constitute an endorsement by either Us Weekly or of any celebrity mentioned in the post.
The Shop With Us team may receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. In addition, Us Weekly receives compensation from the manufacturer of the products we write about when you click on a link and then purchase the product featured in an article. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product or service is featured or recommended. Shop With Us operates independently from the advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback at ShopWithUs@usmagazine.com. Happy shopping!