Everyone who suffers with back pain should take a close look at what shoes they spend most of their time in. While many other factors contribute to back health, such as posture, weight, back strength and sleep conditions, because most of your waking time is spent on your feet, what kind of shoes you are wearing must be considered.
Here are some tips for getting the best fit and optimal footwear for your feet and back:
Get a good fit. If the shoe feels tight, don't buy it. Shoes should allow for some movement of the toes in the front end and feel snug but not tight in the back. The old school of thought was that you would have to break in a pair of shoes so they should feel uncomfortable at first, but a shoe shouldn't feel tight even at the first fitting. Comfort is the primary factor when choosing a pair of shoes. If you aren't walking comfortably it will transfer to your posture and lead to preventable back pain.
Try on both shoes. While it may seem silly to have to say it, no two feet are exactly alike, so both shoes should be tried on and provide a good range of motion while staying in place.
Flat and Supportive. While it's unreasonable to think everyone will only wear flat shoes, it's absolutely necessary to mention that heels contribute to lower back pain. A low heel can be worn without placing much strain on the back, but the higher the heel the more you will compensate for the imbalance by leaning forward. It's this imbalance that causes us to perch forward, placing strain on the head, neck, shoulders and back. Additionally, not all shoes provide support, so it's important to get a professional fit and purchase the shoe that matches your footwear needs.
There are a variety of ways to ensure you don't aggravate any existing back pain. Wearing appropriate footwear will be good for both your feet and your back.