How Your Shoe Choices Affect Your Back and Spine

There’s no argument with the fact that the back and spine pain problem is the most troubling health issue of all ages. Many things- your sitting and sleeping posture to lifestyle can trigger back pain from time to time.

But have you ever wondered if it’s your shoes that are the reason behind your back and spine problem?

Well, from a medical point of view, your shoes have a significant impact on your spine and back. And the wrong choice can cause permanent damage to your spine, leading to lifelong back pain. 

The pressure on your lower chamber kinetic chain is the reason your shoes can be the ultimate reason behind the back pain.

So without wasting any minute, let’s go through the article to know how your shoes are affecting your back and spine.

Read Also: 8 Best Hoka Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis

How Shoe Choice Affects the Back and Spine?

It may look like it’s nothing but shoes with less fitting and wrong shape do cause a lot of damage to your spine, leading to back pain. Suppose you’re wearing running shoes for degenerative disc disease while suffering from plantar fasciitis. Even if you take proper care of your feet, the shoes you’re wearing may fail to help your healing process.

Earlier, we mentioned that shoes affecting the kinetic chain in the lower chamber lead to back and spine pain. The kinetic chain relates to the connections between the joints and how they interact. The lower limb kinetic chain includes the knees, ankle, hips, and spine.

As the ankle takes the absolute pressure, what kind of shoes you’re wearing matters the most. If the shoe sole can’t provide you comfort or keep the ankle, hip, and spine in the proper position, then it can end up influencing your back and spine negatively.

Read Also: Best 10 Skechers for Arch Support

What Happens If You Choose the Wrong Pair of Shoes?

how shoe choice affect your spine and back

Things can go back and forth only if you choose the wrong pair of shoes to wear. People tend to shoes out of style rather than thinking about how the pair will affect their ankle in the long run.

There are many consequences if you end up choosing the wrong pair of shoes. The wrong pair of shoes can do both mild to permanent and severe damage. Moreover, wearing the wrong size shoes can cause falls and accidents on the road.

Several studies have stated that the wrong pair of shoes can cause these problems given below:

Ankle pain

One of the most common problems a pair of wrong shoes can cause. If your shoe sole is not perfect according to your ankle, then there’s a high chance you will suffer from pain after every time you take a walk or go for a run.

Kneecap dislocation

Wearing the wrong shoe pair can place permanent strain on your knees. Strains and uncomfortable placement while walking wearing wrong shoes may cause kneecap dislocation. 

Ingrown Toenails

Too short or congested shoes cause your toenail to grow under the skin. Ingrown toenail affects the skin around your nails and infects them badly.

Corns and Bunions

Shoes that are too big for your feet or with high heels cause developing corns in your shoes. It becomes uncomfortable to walk with corn and bunions once having them on your feet.

Read Also: How to Choose Running Shoes for Concrete

How to Choose the Perfect Pair of Shoes?

So till now, we’ve talked about what a wrong pair of shoes can do to your back and spine. Now let’s go to the bright side and talk about how you can avoid wearing the perfect pair of shoes.

Choosing the perfect pair of shoes sure can be tricky, but it’s not as hard as it seems to most people. Before heading to the market to buy a pair of shoes, make sure you have all the answers to the below-given questions:

What Kind Of Feet You’ve?

All shoes might seem the same to you from the outlook. But the manufacturer also considers feet types to make the sole of shoe pairs. We can demonstrate the feet types into three groups:

  • Normal Arch- Causes one to roll the feet into a healthy spot. 
  • Low Arch- Causes feet to march inward.
  • High Arch- Causes the feet to roll only when it’s slightly impacted.

You can determine your foot type from the picture here.

Slightly soak your feet and use paper to imprint the feet image and match it to the given image.

Foot pronation

What to Look for In Shoe Heels?

After determining your feet type, now it’s time to choose the heel type that matches perfectly with your feet. Knowing the different types of heels is crucial as they will affect your back and spine.

For Normal Arch, consider these factors to look for in the shoes

  • Stability
  • Curved shape
  • Soft cushioning.

For Low Arch

  • Straight shape
  • Removable insole
  • Neutral bend at the toe point.

And, lastly for High Arch

  • Motion control
  • Slightly curved
  • Cushioning to compensate.

If the given features can match your feet types with the shoe, you can go for the pair without any doubt.

Read Also: High Heels vs Wedges: Which is more comfortable?

Types of Shoes For Back & Spine Problem

If you ask which type of shoe affects your back and spine, we’ll say all of them. Choosing a shoe pair without considering your feet type, feet problems that you’re suffering causes the pain. Here’s the list of the shoes with the proper specifications that you can choose to avoid back and spine problems:


Slides are the easiest ones to wear when you’re in a hurry. They’re also one of the most comfortable types you can find in the market. To buy a pair of sliders, make sure-

  • The sole and strap are not too tight or sturdy.
  • Look for models that have a soft and thick sole cushioning. 


Heels are not the pair you’ll find comfortable to wear. They often lead to back pain for the user. Still, occasions and festivals demand wearing a pair of shoes. You can choose a pair of heels with-

  • Round toe heels.
  • Less high heels.
  • And a perfect fitting.

Running Shoes

The best care you can offer to your feet by using a shoe is by choosing running shoes only if it fits perfectly and comfortably. Features that make a running shoe pair perfect for you are-

  • Arch support.
  • Comfortable cushioning.
  • Ankle support.

Read Also: Best 10 Hoka Shoes for Walking

Casual Sneakers

The next type is sneakers, considered comfortable and fashionable among the younger generation. Sneakers and running shoes are the same types, known with different names on different continents. Sneakers are known for their trendy outlook. Look for these features in sneakers-

  • Adjustability
  • Heel between 1 inch.
  • Enough room inside the pair.

Wrapping up

If you are suffering from the back and spine or are concerned, we hope the article could provide you with adequate information to determine whether you’re wearing the right pair of shoes or not.

The wrong choice of shoes can cause permanent pain and damage your back and spine. And if you’re already suffering, then the circumstances can get worse with every step you take wearing the wrong pair.

You can ask any question or suggestion to us any tips you’ve learned from your experience in the comment section below.

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