Beth's Posts

Published on September 12th, 2013 | by Kirsten Borrink


Best shoes for back pain: Reader Request

I reached into the mail bag and pulled out this special letter last week. It made me want to place my hand over my heart and stand proud next to this devoted wife, marine husband and four year-old daughter. For all you’ve sacrificed, I (and I’m sure all the readers here) salute you. I hope one of my suggestions over the next two days helps to bring you relief, and give you some ideas on the best shoes for back pain. 

Thank you firstly for your wonderful site. I have severe lower back pain exacerbated by lifting and caring for my husband who is total care after a severe brain injury (three tour marine in roadside IED). We also have a four year old. I broke two bones in my left foot catching up as his wheelchair flipped backwards and that full weight fell on me. I’m out if my cast though it is still painful. At any rate, I was hoping you could recommend a good shoe brand, styles, etc. that work best to alleviate or at least minimize back pain. I miss my heels and always still want some height. Fashion is still important too as it is a little perk to my days. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! God bless! 

Dansko Prima

The new Dansko Prima has a more polished silhouette than the Professional, but is constructed the same with an anti-fatigue rocker bottom that propels the foot while walking, protecting feet, legs and back. A fiberglass shank provides midfoot support. The Prima best fits a narrow to medium width foot. Read customer reviews at  Amazon where prices range from $89 – $145.  

Orthaheel Sasha

The Orthaheel Sasha II is one of their more visually appealing styles for fall with the contrasting criss-cross straps. Orthaheel footwear properly supports the arches to control pronation which often leads to back pain (read more at the Orthaheel site). The Sasha II and other styles are available for $30 – $80 at Amazon. Unfortunately many of the Orthaheel styles utilize faux leather, which is a bummer for the price. For real leather shoes with Orthaheel orthotic insoles, try the Dr. Weil for Orthaheel line. 

Naot Footwear

Naot. Like advil for the soles…and lower back. Instead of choosing just one style to showcase, I made a montage of some of my favorites. Warning. Most Naots cost more than $150, but owners will say they wear them day-in, day-out, all year long. Clockwise from top left:

1. Naot Kirei: Features a removable contoured cork and latex footbed that you won’t want to remove! See an infographic of the comfort features of the Naot footbed. $185 at Zappos.

2. Naot Attitude pump: A one and a half inch heel with the cork and latex Naot comfort footbed (non-removable). Best fits a narrow to medium width foot. $185 at Zappos, free shipping and returns.

3. Naot United sandal: A chunky, funky platform sandal with a three inch heel and a two inch platform. Cork and latex contoured footbed and a metal shank provide support and stability. $165 at Amazon

4. Naot Advance bootie: If you like the “fits-like-a-glove” feeling and have a narrowish foot, the Advance might work for you. Keep in mind the Advance runs a little small. $225 at Zappos.

5. Naot Pleasure: Another supportive heel option by Naot. $173 at Zappos.

I’ll be back tomorrow with more comfortable shoe suggestions to help alleviate back pain. In the meantime, do you have a favorite style or brand that works for you? Do share!

About the Author

Blogger, Wife, Mom, Dog-Lover, Coffee Drinker, Owl Watcher.

12 Responses to Best shoes for back pain: Reader Request

  1. Rehana says:

    I love Dansko Prima. They are very stylish.

  2. Barefoot says:

    i learn a lot.. love it!

  3. Carisa says:

    Just got the Orthahell Sashas and they are great! I have a wider foot and a high arch. They have great arch support and feel good with or without socks. Also they run true to size. Can’t wait to try them out all day at work. May have to get a second color since they’re so cute and comfy. Thanks for posting about them!

  4. Carrie Brady says:

    Love the shoes they make for the 5 and 6 year little girls. Why when the older ladies have the money, can’t we find stylish shoes to help keep us on our fee. Not spikes that come to a point please. But boots that ajust with a zipper or buckle. sandles with leather straps not plastic. Work shoes they don’t make us look like a MAN. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please take a look at what Wal mart and K mart is stocking in the way of little girl shoes. They so cute.

  5. Pingback: Best Casual Shoes for Back Pain -

  6. La Vera Neal-Thompson says:

    I am having Surgery this month. Would like to know which shoes would be appropriate for me to wear afterwards for walking.

  7. Chaines says:

    I am also having surgery – spinal fusion after 3yrs of debilitating back pain and 2 other conservative surgeries. In my “former life,” I was a shoe-aholic with roughly 75+ pairs. I am ready to get rid of all of them and buy a few solid very supportive pairs. (I have low arches and my chiro told me years ago to invest in orthotics – now I am kicking myself, figuratively of course.) Thank you for your blog & FB page!!! The information is so very helpful.

  8. Dana says:

    Help! I wear size 11 shoes but gave had 2 surgeries within 9 months of each other from breaking my 5th metartsal bone. I know gave a5 inch horizontal rod with 4 screws and swell up so fast! My left foot is a noromal all size 11. Also I have rods in my spine from my neck to butt, have also had 3 bone grafts in both hips. My disc were removed and replaced with cadaver bone and or bones removed from my ribs. I also nearly lost my left leg die to compartment syndrome and had a fasciotomy and 3 surgeries to save it. I need major help finding a cite Dali shoe I can wear without looking weird. Did I mention I’m 41. I’ve been living in chronic back pain since age 12 due to severe scoliosis, degenerative disc disease, edgers give joint disease, and I have Sjogrens. I also lean to the righ Andrews would need a lift. I do have high arches. Please find me sandles, casual and winter shoes I can wear! I also had an osteotomy on my right heal to reduce the pressure on my 5th metatarsal and I HURT e everywhere. HELP These conditions don’t identify me. I’m a permanently disabled nurse, yet a great wife, mother, friend, daughter, and aunt. Anything to lesson foot pain would save me!

  9. elizabeth campbell says:

    Please make suggestions for brands to wear with medial mensicus problems of the knee. T Thanks. EEC

  10. Donna says:

    Hi Kristen,

    I love your blog. Many shoes you recommend start in size 6. I am a 5, 5/12. What brands do you recommend for someone with small feet and bunions? I love Fly London but they don’t come in my size.


  11. Jenny says:

    Hey! I’m so happy to have found your blog! I’m wondering if you could do a review of Tieks and Bernie Mevs – these seem to be trending lately! I want to know what all the hype is about before purchasing!
    I’m a teacher and am on my feet ALL day. I’m still super young, but my back, hips, shins, and feet are already KILLING me. It’s a struggle to even get ON my feet after sleeping all night. YIKES. I have custom orthodics, but struggle to find cute shoes that will still fit my feet after adding the orthodic. I have a pair of Alegria shoes that I really like, but can’t wear them with a dress or ankle length pants (too bulky). Do you have any suggestions for shoes that look a little “younger?”

  12. Aurora DeLay says:

    back pain and knees

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