In our study to find the best running shoes for back pain, we found that Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 is the best choice for stability, New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11 is the best for comfort, and Hoka One One Bondi 7 is the best overall.
We tested different shoes from various companies and compared dozens of credible online reviews to determine these three shoes. We also compared these shoes to previous models and cross-examined customer ratings on popular seller sites.
Best Running Shoes for Back Pain
- Hoka One One Bondi 7 – Best Overall
- Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 – Best Stability Shoes
- New Balance 1080v11 – Most Comfortable
Our Picks at a Glance
Our number-one pick is the Hoka One One Bondi 7 running shoes. These shoes provided the most lateral support and stability and were extremely comfortable and breathable.
While not the most stylish option, they are the best option if you’re a runner with back problems.
If you’re looking for comfort while still trying to have some back support, then New Balance 1080v11 road shoes may also be a viable option. These running shoes are great for those who don’t need as much support but would still like some cushion.
Some people need stability in their shoes to run with proper form. We have found that Adrenaline GTS 22 provide great strength through flexibility and cushioning.
We’ve compiled some in-depth mini-reviews below for you to know more about these running shoes and which one is the right for you.
Hoka One One Bondi 7 – Best Overall
The best overall running shoes for back support are undoubtedly Hoka One One Bondi 7 running sneakers.
These Hoka Bondi feature a memory foam collar, EVA foam midsoles, and more foam on the tongue to create a highly cushioned landing on each step.
They also include a slight 4 mm mid shoe incline to help alleviate pressure on the heels and are ideal for stability.
The Bondi 7 has a seal from the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), indicating that it has been scientifically proven to improve foot health.
- Great stability
Who It’s For
Bondi 7 road shoes are best for long-distance runners with moderate to severe back pain. They may also be beneficial for arthritis because the thick soles provide adequate joint support.
These shoes are ideal for runners that don’t care much about the shoe weight. Unfortunately, the Bondi 7 are heavier than similar shoes in the same range, with the weighting scale marking 12.35 oz for a 10.5 US size.
When you are running with back pain, probably your body may be prone to compensate and put additional stress on other parts of your lower body such as the knees and calves. The cushioning of the Bondi 7 is ideal to save you from knees and ankle injuries.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 – Best Stability Shoes
The Adrenaline GTS 22 provides some of the best stability and flexibility for runners with back pain. This improved version of the previous model has a firmer midsole and other minor quality changes.
The firmer midsoles allow the shoe to provide more support than the previous model, especially for those who run by rolling their feet.
Adrenaline GTS 22 has a 12 mm heel-to-toe incline, providing arch support and controlled flex. This creates a constant feeling of balance and stability while running. The shoe’s flexibility helps support the knees, heels, and back.
The shoes also provide a decent amount of cushioning and comfort that counteract hard landings on the foot, making them ideal for sprinters and marathon runners.
- Soft cushioning
- Smart support
- Running stability
Who It Is For
People who like running long distances, daily runs, and people who run by rolling their feet may benefit from Adrenaline GTS 22s the most. It is ideal for medium-paced runs from 10ks to half marathons.
They allow harsher running styles more leniency for the back, given their flexibility, stability, and cushioning. This may also benefit heavier runners and runners with joint arthritis.
The stability offered by the Adrenaline GTS sacrifices speed. However, if you are suffering from chronic back pain, chances are you are not looking for speed but comfort. And just for your reference, the ideal Brooks for speed may be the Launch GTS 8.
New Balance 1080v11 – Most Comfortable
The most comfortable running shoes that still provide back support go to New Balance 1080v11.
They have a snug, breathable fit, and a sleek, stylish design.
New Balance 1080v11 have “fresh foam” midsoles, synthetic upper mesh, and an Ortholite sock liner. These components allow for a comfortable running shoe that provides enough cushioning to alleviate back pain.
These shoes are ideal for everyday wear.
Their incline from the heel to the toes isn’t as intense as other competing brands, but it makes up for this with decent stability and running comfort.
- Extremely comfortable
- Soft yet durable
- Back support
Who It Is For
New Balance 1080v11 are everyday shoes that happen to be good for back support and running. They’re comfortable, nicely designed, and the most versatile option on our list.
While these shoes don’t offer the best stability or the most back support overall, they are still an excellent option for those who have minor back pain and those who prioritize comfort most of all.
We would recommend the New Balance 1080v11 for short to medium runs at a medium-slow pace. You may consider it for your recovery runs or walking on the treadmill. It is ideal to support rehab from chronic back pain.
It may be hard to determine the best running shoes for back support as there are numerous factors to consider before buying. Here are some things to consider when making a buying decision.
Given that these types of shoes can get a bit pricey, we’ve compiled a list of the most important things to look for in running shoes, so you don’t have to be stuck on which ones to get.
Be sure to take into consideration the incline from the heel to the toe, usually displayed in millimeters in the shoe description.
For more support on the back, you’ll want a steeper incline. Remember that the taller this drop is, the more the shoe will likely weigh.
If you run with moderate back pain, you’re going to want a medium drop, preferably around 4 to 6 mm.
Whether it’s a memory foam or some other type of malleable synthetic foam, you’ll want adequate cushioning in the heels, the midsole, the forefoot, and around the rim.
The cushioning helps absorb the impact of your foot hitting the ground when you run and provides a softer landing. This will ultimately help give your back and knees more support.
Also, be sure that there is enough cushioning around the shoe’s arch, which will help stop bouncing and give balance.
You ultimately want the shoe to be a comfortable fit.
If it’s not comfortable, why would you wear it? It may give back support, but discomfort means it’s likely causing other problems and is just a nuisance to run in general.
Here are some commonly asked questions around the web about running shoes for back pain.
Can Running Shoes Cause Back Pain?
Yes, running with shoes that are worn down, don’t fit, or aren’t meant to be run with can cause underlying health issues such as back pain over time.
Is It Okay to Run With Back Pain?
This depends on the person and their condition.
If you’re experiencing back pain, then the best course of action is to consult your doctor about whether it’s okay to run and about any other measures that should be taken.
Is Running Good For Back Pain?
Running with proper form and the right running shoes can have numerous benefits. While running won’t alleviate back pain, it may help prevent it.
To close out our review of the best running shoes for back pain, we would like to highlight that choosing the right shoes can be a game-changer in recovery from chronic back pain. However, the ultimate way to eliminate back pain problems is to run with adequate form and strengthen your core muscles.
Choosing the right shoes will depend on the severity of your back pain, however, our overall recommendation for the best back-supportive running shoes on the market is Hoka One One Bondi 7.
While some shoes excel in specific categories, Bondi 7 wins out overall with their top-tier comfortability, proven back support, and stability.
If you’re experiencing back pain and are looking to snag a pair, you can get them here for women and here for men.