Best Running Shoes For Lower Back Pain For Men And Women

Table of Contents

Running a marathon? Looking to keep fit? Or are you just looking to brag to your mates on Strava about how far you ran this week?

Well, whatever type of running you’re planning on doing, make sure you get kitted out with the best running shoes for back pain. 

Studies have shown that runners wearing proper running shoes with soft, spongy soles were less likely to injure their musculoskeletal system than those wearing poorly designed trainers. Buying the right running shoe for you is so important to protect your lower back and knees, particularly if you’re planning on doing a lot of running! 

We’ve put together this guide to provide you with the best tips and advice on what to look out for when purchasing your next pair of trainers. It’ll also give you the rundown on the best running shoes for both men and women, which can help protect you from injuries and reduce your lower back pain.

Let’s get up and running with our first shoe…

5 Best Running Shoes For Lower Back Pain [Women]

ASICS Women's Gel-Kayano 28 Running Shoes, 9, Black/White

Asics are one of the most reputable running brands in the world. Providing running shoes and equipment to Olympic athletes and marathon runners around the world, you’ll know you’re getting a quality shoe when you purchase the Gel-Kayano 28.

We loved this lightweight shoe for its super spongy FlyteFoam sole and its Gel technology system. Asics’s FlyteFoam layer is spread out along the base of the shoe and is made of organic fibers that don’t compress easily when you put your whole weight on down on the sole of your shoe, with the foam layer springing you back into your step as you bound around the running track. 

Plus Asics’ world-renowned Gel technology system is spread towards the front and rear of the shoe, providing a layer of bouncy silicone that absorbs the shock of your heel and the sole of your foot hitting the track.

This greatly reduces the stress being placed on your knees and lower back as you run. These are the best shoes you can get to be free of back pain while running.



Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 22 Supportive Running Shoe -...

Brooks are renowned for providing their users with a truly comfortable and smooth ride, and it’s no different with the Adrenaline GTS. 

This trainer is designed to support the most injury-prone parts of the runner’s body, aka your knees, by installing what they call “guiderails” around the heel and instep your foot. As one of our favorite features, the guiderails keep you from swaying and moving within the shoe, ensuring your running action follows a natural gait. 

The shoe is well cushioned with its innovative BioMoGo DNA and DNA LOFT crash pad cushioned sole. It gives you the best responsiveness allowing you to spring into your run, but cushions each impact distributing the shock away from more vulnerable areas of your body like your knees and ankles.

We definitely recommend trying out this trainer if you get sore knees while you’re running.



New Balance Women's Fresh Foam X 1080 V12 Running Shoe, Pink...

Compared to other trainers on this list that provide added ankle support to your achilles, this sneaker gives more support to the midsole of your foot with its added layer of Fresh Foam cushioning around the ball of your foot.

The cushioning around the midsole is designed to better assimilate the shock of running, preventing excess stress from being placed on your back. 

Plus this shoe also has extra padding to the left and right of your ankles, giving you even more support, in case you turn your ankle on uneven ground. Its definitely one of our favorites, not just for style but also for its ergonomic features.

Plus this shoe also has extra padding to the left and right of your ankles, giving you even more support, in case you turn your ankle on uneven ground. Its definitely one of our favorites, not just for style but also for its ergonomic features.



Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 Women's Running Shoe Black/Pink...

This shoe is ultralight. Like seriously it’s like having two feathers on your feet. It’s ultralight upper perfectly fits around your feet and is like wearing a sock. The material is also very thin and looks very unassuming but does have some very subtly hidden ankle supports to the left and right of your ankle.

For us, the best bit about this trainer is its ginormous foam sole, designed specifically for long-distance road runners providing exceptional responsivity when you push off on your next step.

The shoe also has excellent shock absorption technology. You’ll notice the v-shaped heels that rise up the back of your foot.

This increased surface area means when you place your foot on the ground, you’ll plant the heel of your foot first, and roll it forwards, giving you even better shock absorption when you crash down onto your heel, reducing the stress being placed on your achilles.



Saucony Women's Kinvara 11 Aqua/Blue Running Shoe 7.5 M US

Optimized for speed to help you take down those personal bests, the Kinvara is one of the most flexible running shoes on this list, allowing your foot to flex and bend naturally.

You don’t want a trainer that will restrict your foot’s movement and keeping your foot rigid within your shoe can restrict your foot’s natural movements, and place greater strain on your back when you’re not flexing and running correctly.

The Kinvara’s PWRRUN cushioning can flex and transition easily as you glide across the ground, while also giving you the support you need to take on those long miles.

One of the great things about this shoe is that it also accommodates those with slightly wider feet. It has a wide breadth across its laces, meaning your foot won’t feel cramped when your pacing through the miles.



5 Best Running Shoes For Lower Back Pain [Men]

adidas Men's Solar Boost, Black/Grey/White, 11.5 M US

Whether you’re just going out for a quick jog, or you’re planning on running the New York Marathon, Adidas have you covered with these running shoes.

Designed with comfort in mind, the Solar Boost has a built-in Solar Propulsion Rail which propels your foot in the right direction as you run. It also takes the shock out of your step when your heel collides with the ground. That accompanied by the shoe’s Torsion System underneath the heel, gives your knees a real easy-going ride.

We loved these running shoes because of their stitched in support. Yes, that’s right, Adidas have reinforced their shoe by stitching in supports to your insole!

They call it a Tailored Fiber Placement and it’s designed to give you a more natural supporting feel to keep your foot upright as your run. This is a innovative move from Adidas as opposed to using a plastic or rubber alternative to support the inside of the foot.



New Balance mens Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe, Black/Steel,...

If you’re looking for the most natural running feel then look no further.

The stitched upper is super thin and flexible, stretching and contracting to the shape of your foot. It’s breathable too, keeping your foot cool as you stride through the streets.

But the Fresh Foam sole is probably one of the most spongy soles on this list, compressing when you stand on it to support your running style, but quickly expanding again to propel you back into your stride.

As the upper mesh on this shoe is basically a sock, you’ll feel like you’re running with nothing on your feet. As one of the lightest running shoes on this list, the shoe will almost certainly help you speed up your 10k time!



Brooks Men's Ghost 14 Neutral Running Shoe - Grey/Alloy/Oyster -...

Brooks have designed this shoe with those who don’t have as pronounced arch in mind. The shoe is not restrictive or tight around the midsole but rises and narrows towards your ankle, fitting the shape of the neutrals foot perfectly.

If you try this shoe on your feet will be so snug that you might as well be running in slippers! The Ghost also has a high energizing thick sole, meaning the kinetic energy you put into planting your foot will propel you forward faster and reduce the impact and therefore strain on your knees and lower back.

Plus this shoe has great grip, and its sole looks like it has teeth! This means you’ll be able to run on tarmac, woody trails, or even on grass. It is one of the best running shoes on the market, but if you have a neutral foot position, you should consider purchasing this shoe.



ASICS Men's Gel-Nimbus 23 Running Shoes, 8.5, Carrier...

This is probably one of the most supportive running shoes on the market, sporting Asics innovative Gel and FlyteFoam technologies.

But one of the great things about this trainer is the added bubble of FlyteFoam situated in the midsole of the trainer. If your midsole is not fully supported with little shock absorption points around it, the stress going through the ball of your foot will shoot up to your knees and lower back and put a strain on these two weak points.

This trainer combats against this with its Gel support situated at the heel, an explosive foam insole, and abrasive rubber placed around the sole of the shoe, giving increased durability when you’re pacing through rough terrain.



Nike Men's Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Running Shoe, Black, 10.5

How your foot transitions from your heel to toe can be one of the most common causes of back pain and increased strain on your knees. If your foot is not rocking naturally, you’ll find yourself running less efficiently too, using more energy. That’s where the Air Zoom Pegasus 38 comes in.

Its sole is beveled to give you that natural transition from heel to toe as you run. The sole is thicker and higher at the heel, with the heel collar raking away from the foot giving you an increased surface area as you land, to plant your heel and roll forwards onto the midsole of your foot.

Thus giving you a more natural running style and helping reduce the stress on your knees.

This is also a very lightweight shoe and is perfect for use in the gym or just generally walking around in. The thin mesh upper is comfortable and wraps snugly around your foot, with its FlyKnit laces, pulling your foot tighter into the sole of the shoe. This is a great option for anyone kicking off their running career wanting to use this shoe as an all-round trainer too.



Best Running Shoes For Lower Back Pain – The Ultimate Buying Guide

Here are our top tips on what to look out for when picking the best running shoe for you.

Know what your foot type is

You might have a high arch, a flat foot, or you might just have a neutral balance between the two. People with flat arches tend more to get sore knees, and bad backs while those with high arches tend to feel the pain more in the tendons in their feet and heels. The takeaway here is to find the right shoe that supports whatever foot type you have.

If you have a neutral arch, go for the Brooks GTS 20, or if you have a high foot arch then perhaps go for the Asics Gel-Kayano 27.


We can’t stress how important it is to purchase a shoe with extra cushioning, for comfort when you’re running but more importantly, to absorb the shock of the impact you create when you run to protect your knees and lower back. Check out the Brooks Adrenaline Gts 20 for a shoe with excellent cushioning.


No one likes blisters. Especially when you’re 15 miles into your marathon and you start to feel one on your heel. Always invest in the shoe that has the best and most comfortable interior padding. Check out the Asics Gel-Nimbus 22 for a shoe with an awesome interior lining.


You’re here not just because of fitness either. You’re here to beat your best PB, to win that 10k race at the weekend, and to show off to your mates on Instagram how fast your last run was on Strava. Well, to run fast, you’ll need a lightweight shoe so check out the Nike Zoom Pegasus for an ultralight running feel.


Especially if you’re running in the winter, or are running on a track or in the woods, you’ll need to be confident your shoe can grip the surface and give you the best traction to not slip or fall. We liked the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 22, as a running shoe with great grip.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! You can cause some serious damage to your knees and lower back if you don’t wear proper trainers. You can suffer tendinitis in your knees, and suffer muscular strain in your lower back running long distances without the correct footwear so make sure you get a shoe with a spongy sole!

Absolutely! Although you might think, I’m not a child anymore, why do I need to do this when I already know my shoe size?

Well, it gets a bit more technical than that. If you go into a running store to get your feet measured, the store will usually measure the breadth of your foot, the arch of your foot, and the heel to toe length, and will likely give you advice on the best shoe to buy on that basis. It’s definitely worth it if you’re serious about running.

Not necessarily, a good running shoe can come cheap, so long as it adequately provides the support you need to protect your back, knees, and ankles.

Granted the top of the range running shoes can set you back a pretty penny, but don’t get sucked into that if you’re a beginner. There are plenty of reasonably priced, formidable running shoes on the web that can cater to your needs.

Final Words On How to Make the Right Selection

Ready for a marathon now? I hope so!

You should now have a better idea of why purchasing a quality pair of running shoes is so important, as well as the types of running shoes you should be looking to pick up.

Don’t be off-put either by some of the large prices, running shoes are expensive and are well worth the cost in the long run. No one wants to spend the day in the doctors because they’ve strained their back, and personally the cost is worth it for that reason alone!

For both men and women, you’ll find a great variety of running shoes online, but also bear in mind, a lot of the shoes I have listed, particularly the Asics and Nike models, do also come in male and female equivalents too!

If you found this post helpful, make sure to share it on Twitter and Facebook, and let us know in the comments below the pair of running shoes you picked up!

Jessica Carter
Jessica Carter
Jessica is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and holds a Masters degree in physical therapy from the University of British Columbia. She has been working in the field for 5 years and writes as a freelance about all things fitness related.