9 Best Running Shoes for Back Pain 2024

Last Updated: January 01, 2024 | Author: Dr. Benjamin Wallace

Are you also on the list of back pain sufferers? Are you still facing severe back muscle pain when running? Do you want to know what are the main causes?

Running may get hard when you are not wearing comfortable shoes, and even gets worse if you have existing back pain and are still not replacing your wrong shoes with the right shoe that are specially made to comfort back pain problems.

What Causes Back Pain

best running shoes for back pain - Content

Almost everyone in our world has back issues that arise because of many things. Even exercising can cause back pain and can hinder the performance of your routine. Hopefully, a proper athletic shoe will make a big difference to everyone! But you will find endless possibilities when comparing the top shoe options available for back injuries. Don't buy unless you know everything and are ready! Our team has done the research to find top quality athletic shoes to relieve back pain.

Back core muscle is the main part of the human body that needs special care all the time especially when running. If this is not the case, then there may be higher chances that you face major injury in your back and you are unable to continue running for a longer period.

So it is always recommended to perform special care of your foot comfort when running to prevent major injury or future surgeries. Therefore, we bring out the best running shoes for back pain sufferers after detailed research conducted all by my team.

How We Tested Best Running Shoes for Back Pain

Best Nike Running Shoes for Back Pain

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39

  • ✔️ Extra Responsive
  • ✔️ More Stability than Peg. 38
  • ✔️ Lightweight than Peg. 38
  • ✔️ Extra Comfortability
  • ✔️ Strong Grip on slippery surfaces
  • ✔️ Ideal for Beginner Runners
  • ❌ Not roomy toe box for wide feet
  • ❌ Little warmer upper

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 is the latest unit from the famous Pegasus series. This shoe not only supports your back muscles but also gives a soothing and comfortable experience via its 2 zoom air units placed underfoot that provide extra cushioning. With its classic minimalist design, you always find yourself in a limelight because of this Nike running shoe.

When your foot is moved from heel to toe, it is often associated with back pain. If the foot does not rock, it will be less efficient. This will be the case with the Air Zoom Pegasus 39. Its beveled sole ensures a comfortable transition between heel and toe during running. The sole is thicker and higher at the foot and the heel collar is angled off of the foot which increases the surface area at landing. So gives you an improved running technique and helps to decrease knee pressure.

So, if you are a beginner or pro who wants to hit the ground in a slow, long, and faster way with support for back pain then this shoe should be your ideal choice.

Best Running Shoes for Lower Back Pain

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22

  • ✔️ Perfect fitting as per size
  • ✔️ Very durable
  • ✔️ Improved design
  • ✔️ Provide excellent grip
  • ✔️ All-rounder on all surfaces
  • ✔️ Ideal for daily runners
  • ❌ Heavier in weight
  • ❌ Little higher in price
  • ❌ Runs small for wide feet

This Brooks shoe is the latest edition from the famous Adrenaline series, with its level of comfort and attractive aesthetic design you always love to wear. Its durability always supports your running in all conditions.

It has a design that supports the knee and hips that cause the biggest injury and also includes an installation of what they call “guiderails” around the heel and ankle. It is a popular feature and keeps runners from sliding and moving within the shoe, allowing them to perform a natural walking action. It has an innovative DNA LOFT cushion on top.

It's not only comfortable for your feet but also provides extra relief to your lower back pain and prevents you from future injuries. This shoe is love for the daily runners who want to jog with ease.

Best Tennis Shoes for Back Pain

New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v12

  • ✔️ Ideal for Heavy Runners
  • ✔️ Protective Cushioning
  • ✔️ Roomy toe box
  • ✔️ Great grip for slippery surfaces
  • ✔️ Smooth running
  • ❌ Not suitable for narrow feets
  • ❌ Littler heavier for pace runners
  • ❌ Breathability is not up to mark

These New Balance athletic shoes are specially designed for people who need extra cushioning, stability, and comfort at the same time. Though this shoe is great for sports people who need excellent cushioning with a great heel grip for all surfaces.

New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12 offers a great roomy toe box for heavy runners or wide feet runners. With its super comfortable ride, you always find your feet in heaven even after long-distance running.

This New Balance shoe is very thin and flexible extending and contracting to your feet shape. It's breathable also helps keep you cool as you walk on the streets. The Fresh Foam sole, however, can easily be compared with the spongier of these shoes, compressing when standing to support running style but expanding quickly to bring the runners back to your stride.

Because the upper mesh of the shoe looks more like a sock, it will feel like you are running without shoes. This is a lightweight shoe that can easily increase your running time by a good 10k!

Best Shoes for Scoliosis

Brooks Ghost 14

  • ✔️ True size
  • ✔️ Superb comfortability
  • ✔️ Extra paddings
  • ✔️ Breathable mesh upper
  • ✔️ Great grip with a smooth ride
  • ❌ Not ideal for distance runners
  • ❌ Not much roomier
  • ❌ Not designed for recovery days

Brooks famous series Ghost is one of the leading series of all. This running shoe not only provides excellent mid-soft cushioning with additional padding within the foot which prevents pressure on your spinal cord.

Brooks's shoe has been designed to be worn with a wider heel. The shoes do not contain a rigid mid-sole and are rather high and narrow toward your ankle. It perfectly fits your foot shape on a neutral foot and is designed for your feet. The Ghost is also incredibly thick in the foot so that your foot's weight and energy can be increased to propel you further forward and therefore decrease the impact and strain. The sole is also very comfortable and has a good traction and the sole has teeth! You may run on asphalt, woodland trails, or even grassy paths.

Whether you are running on flat concrete, high trails, dirt, or slippery surfaces these motion control shoes will not let you down in any form due to their breathable upper that keeps your feet cool and superb grip that gives a boost on your running day.

Best Running Shoes for Degenerative Disc Disease

Asics Gel Nimbus 24

  • ✔️ True size fitting
  • ✔️ Cloud-like lightweight
  • ✔️ Stylish heel cups
  • ✔️ Perfect Stability shoes
  • ✔️ Reactive midsole
  • ❌ Less grippy
  • ❌ Bit narrow than old one
  • ❌ Too much breathable fabric

Asics Gel Nimbus 24 is a perfect shoe designed for runners who need a partner on recovery days. Its cushioning midsole provides support to your feet with the prevention of a condition that causes pain due to degenerative disc.

It's an iconic neutral running shoe that helps relieve pain. It offers excellent stability along with comfortable padding in its midsoles. This ASICS has both a front and a backfoot cushion for shock absorbance and comfort, making this a great shoe for lumbar pain.

Shoes from ASICS are an iconic brand and have an excellent reputation; they have great longevity. The rubber outsole is a high strength rubber that is also incredibly stable and grips the ground in almost all conditions.

Nimbus shoe is ideal for marathon runners who need help in recovery days with its enough comfortability which also extends to support neutral runners as well.

Best Running Shoes for Back and Knee Pain

Mizuno Wave Inspire 17

  • ✔️ Perfectly fitting
  • ✔️ Mid-level stability shoe
  • ✔️ Ideal for fast runners
  • ✔️ Very breathable
  • ✔️ Durable with good grip
  • ✔️ Cushioned smooth ride
  • ✔️ Outstanding lockdown
  • ❌ Heavy in size
  • ❌ Not many color variations

Mizuno Wave Inspire 17 is a super comfortable, smooth texture, and fast pace shoe which still inspires millions of runners. With its basic to additional features, it supports majorly back and knee pain sufferers and helps them to heal the current situation and prevent further injury by offering excellent cushioning.

These shoes offer a perfect balance between cushion and structure but have a little more rigidity for pronation issues. The cushions are great and the overall firmness helps you build the stability you need and provides excellent responsive power.

Though this great shoe is a little heavier in size but with the feature of breathability, stability features, and the right size fit provides a bouncy running style ride with durability up to the mark.

Best Running Shoes for Back and Hip Pain

Brooks Glycerin 20

  • ✔️ Great responsive ride
  • ✔️ Breathable upper
  • ✔️ Lightweight than its looks
  • ✔️ Fitting comfortability
  • ✔️ Strong grip sole on wet roads
  • ✔️ Plush cushioning
  • ❌ Hassle-free laces
  • ❌ Not feels an energetic ride
  • ❌ Not speedy shoes

Brooks Glycerin 20 is the latest edition of the famous Glycerin series. These supportive shoes not only provide comfort to your feet but also provides positive vibes that support back pain and hip pain if any.

Brooks Glycerin series offers softer shoes and lightweight soles which are ideal for long run. The upper has plenty of cushioning. Marathon shoes can get really worn out quickly. These Glycerin shoes are designed to be comfortable and a great option for back pain.

Brooks Glycerin 20 shoe is even considered the best running shoe to date. Due to its comfort and perfect support on recovery days and provide an additional boost to run miles.

BUYER’S GUIDE – Running Shoes for Back Pain

The most common question that every runner wants to ask is "What to look for when buying running shoes specifically for back pain problems". In return, we have collected a detailed guide with the points on which you need to focus more while buying shoes for back problems.

  1. Must be Arch Supportive

    Having strong and right alignment of the arch is important in order to put the right pressure on the foot. In case the arch is not strong and cannot bear enough pressure then the chances are more of facing serious injuries towards the back, hips, knees, and main foot points.

    Even if you are prone to arch issues, you should thoroughly check which type of arch you have and which type of shoe would support your arches. Because wrong arch shoe or shoe with missing arch support may lead to defamation of the foot.

    Therefore, a right shoe with the appropriate arch support is mandatory, whether you have a low arch, neutral arches, or high arches, shoes with arch support should be present when making a choice of sneakers for back pain.

  2. Cushioning Supportive

    Cushioning in the shoes needs to be comfortable, though there is various level of cushioning like soft, moderate, and hard. This completely depends on your foot whichever suits you best, some runners are comfortable with soft cushioning, but some demands moderate to hard cushioned in the midsole of the shoe in order to absorb shocks receive from the ground.

    In case you selected the wrong cushioned type that doesn't suit your foot then chances may increase that you will face pain while running. And if the correction is not done in timely then this pain may convert into a serious level of injury.

    Therefore, cushioning is as important as other factors while making a purchase decision especially when the cause is back pain.

  3. Shock Absorption Supportive

    Having shock absorption support is another additional feature but an important one to have in running shoes. The shock absorption feature is capable of absorbing shocks in the soul of the shoe and doesn't push vibrations towards the body i.e. knee, hip, back.

    Though there is a study that shows that shoes with shock absorption have a capacity of absorbing initial shocks up to 75% when done running 50 miles. And this capacity may start reducing if we continue running, like absorbing shocks up to 67% when done running from 100 - 150 miles. Though above is a general study and not pointing to a specific brand or shoe.

    Therefore, having a shock absorption feature is good to go for runners who want to prevent pain or injury while running on the trail.

  4. Traction and Grip Supportive

    This completely depends on your need because every shoe has a different level of grip and traction and has a different level of outsole design which helps to make a strong or light grip.

    Usually, trail running shoes have a strong grip because of the heavy lugged with high quality material used for the outsole with a textured pattern that helps to keep you stuck on the ground. However, the traction and grip of an outsole of trail shoes are more strongly aggressive and different than road running shoes.

    Missing good grip and traction may lead to more chances of slipping which can badly hurt your back pain. Therefore, having a good grip and traction is an important factor when making buying decisions on running sneakers for back issues.

  5. Fitting & Lockdown of the Shoe

    Fitting should be proper and lockdown should be done as per your foot size. If you have a wide foot then you should go for wide shoes and not consider normal shoes.

    In case you consider normal shoes for your foot then the chances are that your foot will not get a space to move and tightens at the same time and may face swelling which turns into serious pain after it.

    If you have a smaller foot and you consider wider shoes than your actual size, then the chances are that your feet have extra enough space to move due to which you will not get an ideal inner shoe grip. Also, your foot points not able to sit in shoe properly that leads you to bad fall which can hurt you badly.

    Therefore, fitting and lockdown of the shoe is an important factor that needs to consider rigorously when choosing shoes for back problems. Always wear shoes that fit.

  6. Breathability Supportive

    Breathable shoes support you in hot and cold weather and make your feet dry and cold according to the weather condition. Also, breathable supportive shoes prevent feet to have skin problems like rashes and other skin diseases that can occur due to sweating.

    However, you should consider breathability according to weather conditions for example wearing extra breathable shoes in winter may get cold feet. So, you should consider a breathable mesh with moderate support or as per the condition of the weather.

  7. Durability

    Having durability is an important factor to consider because when the durability of a shoe is down, other factors like shock absorption and cushioning are compromised. Also, this may lead to severe back pain when compromised.

    Therefore, always consider shoes that are durable enough for a longer period and can support you through your running journey.

    It is advisable to do thorough research about the durability from the reviews of the shoe that you have selected to buy, so you may know the actual situation of the shoe that was bought by the old customers.

Video Source: Fitness 4 Back Pain


Following shoes are considered an ideal choice for back pain:

  • Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39
  • Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22
  • New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v12
  • Asics Gel Kayano 28
  • Hoka Bondi 7
  • Brooks Ghost 14
  • Asics Gel Nimbus 24
  • Mizuno Wave Inspire 17
  • Brooks Glycerin 20

Yes, wearing shoes that are inappropriate and not comfortable for your foot can cause back pain.

Shoes that are not stable and cushioned enough to provide comfort may cause back pain.

Shoes designed specifically for back problems can heal and reduce pain big time and also prevent future injury as well.

Author Box
Dr. Benjamin Wallace

Dr. Benjamin Wallace

Dr. Benjamin Wallace is a podiatry specialist with over two decades of experience in treating issues of the foot, ankle, and lower leg. Record of successful treatments, from managing arthritic conditions and healing diabetic foot disorders to addressing foot deformities and sports-related injuries.