The shoes you wear have an impact on more than just your feet. They can also affect your ankles, knees, hips, and back.
Back pain is a common problem for nurses because they are on their feet a lot. These are 5 of the best shoes for nurses with back pain.
*Disclosure: This article on the best shoes for back pain nurses may contain affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive a commission. For more info, please see my disclaimer.
- Best Overall: New Balance w990V4 Running Shoe
“offer a good amount of support and shock absorption”
- Runner-Up: Dansko XP 2.0
“excellent choice when it comes to comfort and support for back pain sufferers”
5 Best Shoes for Nurses with Back Pain
1. New Balance Women’s w990v4 Running Shoe
Our Top Pick
Supportive insole with a breathable mesh.
Running shoes offer a good amount of support and shock absorption and these New Balance Women’s w990v4 Running Shoes are no exception.
The ENCAP midsole technology provides superior support and durability so it can withstand long hours on your feet.
A polyurethane heel ring cups the heel so there’s minimal pressure placed on the back of the foot. The combination of soft suede and durable mesh is easy-to-clean and breathable so the shoe always looks and feels great.
- Supportive midsole
- Polyurethane heel ring relieves heel pressure
- Breathable mesh fabric on upper
- Sizing runs small
- Only 4 color choices
- Stiff upper fabric needs to be broken in
Check the price of the New Balance Women’s w990v4 Running Shoe on Amazon.
2. ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoes
A lightweight and comfortable option.
Lightweight and comfortable, these ASICS Men’s Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoes are perfect for male nurses who suffer from frequent back pain.
The special Impact Guidance System technology keeps the foot properly aligned and ensures a natural gait from heel to toe.
A flexible foam midsole moves with the foot and bounces back quickly so each step is fully supported.
The stretchy mesh upper is easy to put on and molds to the foot, providing a safe and secure fit.
A durable rubber outsole keeps feet firmly planted on the floor on slippery surfaces.
- Impact Guidance System technology
- Midsole bounces back quickly
- Stretchy, breathable mesh upper
- Complaints of blisters with frequent walking
- Tight toe box
- Wide sizes aren’t wide enough
Check the price of the Asics Men’s Gel-Kayano 24 Running Shoes on Amazon.com.
Related Article: What’s the Best Asics Shoe for a Nurse?
3. Dansko Women’s XP 2.0
Easy to clean with a wide toe-box. It comes in over 20 different color combinations.
Clogs are an excellent choice when it comes to comfort and support for back pain sufferers, and these Dansko Women’s XP 2.0 clogs provide that and more.
The slip-on design features a durable leather upper that comes in 26 different colors and designs.
A wide toe box gives toes plenty of room to move while a padded instep collar gives an additional level of walking comfort. The EVA midsole is lightweight but sufficiently cushioned, with a great amount of shock absorption for tired feet. The arch stabilizer is an added bonus that helps keep the body properly aligned.
- Easy-to-clean leather upper
- Wide toe box
- Lightweight EVA midsole
- Reports of black stains on socks after wearing
- Insole wears down quickly
- Sizing runs large
Check the price of the Dansko Women’s XP 2.0 Clogs on Amazon.
Related Article: What’s the Best Dansko Shoe for a Nurse?
4. Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 19 Running Shoe
Has a soft lightweight and durable midsole cushion.
The Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 19 Running Shoe helps relieve back pain in two ways.
First, the Guiderail Support System keeps the entire body supported, including the knees where a majority of back pain originates.
Second, the soft BioMoGo DNA LOFT midsole cushioning is lightweight and durable, bouncing back with each step so your foot never has to absorb the shock.
The mesh and 3D Fit Print upper looks great and is also breathable so your feet stay cool and dry.
The durable rubber outsole provides an additional layer of support.
- Guiderail Support System
- BioMoGo DNA LOFT midsole cushioning
- Breathable mesh upper keeps feet cool and dry
- Not ideal for flat feet
- Sizing runs small
- Narrow toe box
Check the price of the Brooks Adrenaline GTS-19 Running Shoes on Amazon.com.
Related Article: What’s the Best Shoes for Nurses with Flat-Feet?
5. Brooks Women’s Glycerin 17 Running Shoe
Slip-resistant rubber outsole and over 10 awesome color combinations.
The cool, sleek design of this Brooks Women’s Glycerin 17 Running Shoe is just one of its appealing features.
Everything about this shoe says comfort, from the DNA LOFT midsole cushioning to the internal stretch bootie that hugs the foot while you walk.
Twelve great color combinations feature a breathable mesh upper with a uniquely-designed rubber outsole.
The rubber outsole is slip-resistant so you can rest assured your feet will stay planted on those slippery tile floors.
There’s also additional toe protection so the shoe tends to last longer than other running shoes.
- DNA LOFT midsole cushioning
- Breathable mesh upper with cool design
- Slip-resistant rubber outsole
- Minimal support for flat or high arches
- Narrow toe box
- Sizing runs small
Check the price of the Brooks Glycerin 17-Running Shoes on Amazon.
Related Article: What’s the Best Brook Shoes for Nurses?
Shoe Buying Guide for Nurses with Back Pain
1. Arch Support
Proper body alignment starts with the arch of the foot.
Those with flat feet tend to walk with their feet rolled inward, which can put pressure on other parts of the body and lead to hip and back pain.
High arches can cause a similar problem because the feet don’t absorb shock as well, leading to a sore back.
If there’s not enough arch support in a shoe, you can place inserts that you purchase over-the-counter or from your podiatrist into the shoe for additional support.
Flat feet tend to need firm support while high arches benefit more from cushioned support.
2. Toe Box
The smallest portion of the shoe tends to have the biggest impact.
A toe box that is too tight can lead to cramped, sore toes which, in turn, can make the rest of the body overcompensate.
This overcompensating can lead to back pain.
A wide toe box can cause the toes to wiggle and slide around too much, leaving you walking abnormally to try to keep your feet from sliding around in the shoe.
A toe box should have an inch of space between the top of the toe and the front of the shoe with just enough room to freely wiggle your toes.
3. Midsole Cushioning
The bounce-back capability of a shoe is very important for back pain sufferers.
Shoes that aren’t sufficiently cushioned in the midsole can cause the feet, ankles, knees, hips, and back to absorb more shock than they can handle.
Over time, this additional shock can lead to soreness and other health problems like:
- Achilles tendon pain
- Hairline fractures
- Ankle sprains
- Plantar fasciitis
- Knee, hip, back pain
4. Slip-Resistant Outsole
If you’ve ever slipped on a wet surface and either fallen flat on your back or caught yourself before falling, you know that both can lead to some serious back pain.
Falling flat on your back can put you out of commission for days or even weeks.
Catching yourself before you fall can pull muscles in your back that you haven’t used in a long time.
The best way to prevent slips and falls is with slip-resistant footwear.
Rubber is the most slip-resistant material for outsoles.
You can also add things to your shoes, like an anti-slip shoe adhesive.
It helps prevent slipping.
5. Slip-On Shoes
Back pain can make it difficult to bend over and tie your shoes.
If you suffer from back pain, you might benefit from wearing slip-on shoes.
You don’t have to bend down and tie laces, which can be a more comfortable experience for you.
There are also several methods you can use to comfortably tie your shoes if you wear ones with laces.
The most important thing to remember is to keep your spine as straight as possible.
If the feet aren’t properly supported, the rest of the body can suffer, including the back.
It’s important to wear the right footwear to prevent pain and other problems from developing in the body.
All nurses can benefit from wearing these supportive shoes that help prevent or eliminate back pain.