Best Shoes for Back Pain

14 Best Shoes for Back Pain for Men and Women in 2022

The back is the primary area that supports the whole body, without which we could not stand.

Not surprisingly, when one of its components, both muscular and skeletal, is compromised due to particular pathologies or only due to incorrect postural attitudes, acute and annoying pain is felt.

Experts say the best remedy for back pain is to move. And running is the better way to move!

But what if running seems to worsen back pain?

It seems almost a paradox, I admit it, but it is a paradox that can be solved with the right shoes!

Read on to find out which are the best shoes for back pain.

Table of Contents

What causes back pains?

Over 60 percent of people suffer from back pain at least once in their life. There are many causes: too much sitting, too little exercise, and weak muscles. But often, it is also the active people who suffer from pain around the spine. The complaints are usually caused by wrong footwear or at least favored. Conversely, this means: The right shoes for back pain support the natural gait and increase well-being.

Many people with back pain are unaware that choosing their daily shoes can promote or alleviate back pain. Too many children and adults wear too wide or too narrow shoes, too long or too short, heels too high or the sole too hard. This results in blisters and pressure pains on the feet and shortening of the tendons, and deformations in the long term. But not only our feet are affected.

The wrong shoes immediately impact our spine, which is why back-relieving shoes are of great importance. Because if we step wrong due to our poor footwear, every step - and thus the shock that goes through the spine when it occurs - becomes more violent.

How to Alleviate Back Pain

Avoid High Heel Shoes:

Shoes such as high heels or simple pumps are probably the worst shoes for back pain. The big problem with a heel height shoe is that it shifts the center of gravity forward. To keep the balance, the body has to balance this posture - with sometimes harmful consequences for the spine.

The heels are unnaturally high on heel shoes; the ankle angle has changed significantly. The knees and pelvis are inclined to cushion every step on hard ground. And the spine itself is in an unnaturally bent position. In the long run, this can lead to a hollow back and misaligned feet. On the other hand, shoes for back pain relieve the back and prevent damage from incorrect "standard" footwear.

Heels No Higher Than 3.5 Cm but Not Too Flat Either:

To respect the back's physiology and the pelvis' natural positioning, the heels' height should not exceed 3.5 cm. Stilettos and pumps should only be worn occasionally. Indeed, flat, the body's weight is distributed approximately between 55% on the heel and 45% on the forefoot.

But when the woman is perched at 6, 10, or even 12 cm from the ground, the bodyweight is wholly tilted on the forefoot and the toes, forcing to move the center of gravity forward by tilting the pelvis, which causes an exaggerated arch and in the long run, low back pain.

Not to mention the corns, calluses, and other hallux valgus caused by the often too narrow shape of women's shoes and the risks of sprain linked to walking in precarious balance.

"But too flat shoes are problematic too. There must be a drop between the forefoot and the heel of the order of 3 cm to respect the physiological arches of the foot and the natural arch of the pelvis, especially female," insists the podiatrist.

Generally fitted with thin, poor-quality soles, made of elastomer rather than leather, ballerinas, flip flops, and other flat sandals do not absorb shock enough at the heels.

The impact is reflected in the knee, pelvis, and lumbar joints at each step. Therefore, this type of shoe is not designed for extended walking, unlike sneakers, which contain more shock-absorbing materials. But the problem is elsewhere: basketball shoes are too flexible and do not hold the foot. Adolescents who never leave them allow the foot to develop in a disorderly way and promote flat feet. Back problems will come later.

By dint of abnormally stressing certain tendons and muscles because the foot's arch is collapsed, the joints of the footwear out prematurely and become vulnerable to osteoarthritis.

Once the pain is there, the reflex is to change your pace to avoid pressing on the painful area, which disturbs the ankle/leg/thigh balance and affects the lower back," explains the specialist.

The ultimate secret is giving each shoe its original use: put on sneakers for sports, ballerinas for dancing, flip-flops on the beach, and pumps for going out to dinner.

In everyday life, to run after the bus, trample on the town or stay up all your working day, the ideal shoe is an ankle boot, in a flexible and breathable material like leather, with a heel with a broad base of 3 to 4 cm and an adjustable closure system such as laces or Velcro straps.

Tip from the pro: do not wear the same pair of shoes for more than three days in a row to not let your foot get used to it.

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Back Pain

How Do You Choose the Best Shoes for Back Pain?

Know Your Foot Type:

First, you need to understand your foot's shape: do you have flat, neutral feet or a very marked plantar arch?

Once you know it, you're already well on your way to choosing the right running shoes to help you with back pain.

The runner with flat feet or a very high arch is generally more prone to back pain resulting from stroke. Hence, stability (especially for flat feet) and cushioning (particularly for high arches) are significant characteristics.

However, if your foot muscles are particularly weak, you may experience back pain even with a neutral foot.

Likewise, regardless of foot type, if you have healthy feet, you will manage the impact of running better.

Therefore, strengthening the feet' muscles through specific exercises and spending more time barefoot could help prevent the stress of running, which is then generally transferred to other body parts, such as the back.

If you know you have weak feet, have just started running, or can barely walk barefoot, choosing shoes with the proper support and cushioning will be essential to relieve back pain.

Soft and Flexible:

Comfort is the key to footwear to avoid back pain, especially if you have to walk a lot or stand for many hours daily. It is also essential that the shoe you use for sports or a walk when you want is flexible, soft, and perfectly adapts to your foot.

Choose the Right Amount of Cushioning:

Comfort is the key to footwear to avoid back pain, especially if you have to walk a lot or stand for many hours daily. It is also essential that the shoe you use for sports or a walk when you want is flexible, soft, and perfectly adapts to your foot.

Cushioning plays a vital role.

The back pain may be felt, especially during the stroke phase, when the foot rests on the ground because the landing shock causes repercussions on the whole body (in particular, the lower back).

Running with shoes without adequate cushioning means that the back and spine muscles must absorb a big shock every time the heel touches the ground. So the right amount of cushioning and shock absorption are essential features.

Obviously, as with all running-related ailments, there are other things you can do to relieve back pain. Such as avoiding running excessively on asphalt, trying to train even on softer paths, and including a good stretching session in your daily workout routine.

However, choosing the right running shoes will significantly increase your chances of running painlessly.

Top 14 Best Shoes for Back Pain Reviewed

Brooks Glycerin Shoes Review

The Brooks Glycerin is extremely comfortable maximum cushioning shoes for neutral runners who will travel long distances.

Brooks has updated its DNA foam for a light and soft run in the latter version, making it a perfect marathon shoe.

The new upper offers excellent comfort and proper support thanks to a 3D printed layer on the upper part of the top without seams and an exceptionally soft collar that makes the shoe comfortable enough to be worn even without socks.

Thanks to the high comfort and the generous amount of cushioning, the Glycerin is among the best shoes for back pain.

In its 18th edition, the Brooks Glycerin 18 is one of the best-selling running shoes.

This shoe stands out in a market full of technologies for its simplicity and absolute comfort. Continue reading my full review if you want to discover features, opinions, and details on this famous sports shoe.

Brooks Glycerin 18 is a neutral, cushioned, and resistant running shoe, ideal for daily training and competitions (even long-distance). These are the best shoes for back pain sufferers. Brooks added cushioning and improved fit in this eighteenth edition, making it lighter than the previous version.

Brooks Glycerin 18: Specifications

  • Brand: Brooks Running
  • Model: Glycerin 18
  • Weight: 255 grams
  • Drop: 12 mm
  • Family: Glycerin

Brooks Glycerin 18: General Features

The Glycerin 18 is softer than ever thanks to the thick DNA Loft midsole, which in this version has been increased to guarantee even more softness without losing elastic return.

The shoe offers 360-degree comfort thanks to the engineered mesh seamless upper that guarantees excellent breathability. The interior is instead soft and infinitely comfortable, and the upper easily adapts to different shapes and sizes of the foot. It is also one of the best shoes for lower back pain.

It has a tight fit, especially in the heel area, with more space on the forefoot. The Ortholite footbed accentuates the close fit and the feeling of softness. It is not a particularly fast shoe, but it is comfortable, resistant, and energetic.

Let's find out more about the sole, midsole, and upper.

Brooks Glycerin 18: Sole

The sole of this best running shoe for back pain has been improved and can guarantee great flexibility and constant contact with the ground for a smooth and safe run on any surface.

In this 18th edition, Brooks alternated high abrasion-resistant rubber parts in the rear area with a lighter rubber layer in the forefoot.

This high rubber concentration in the sole makes the shoe last long, guaranteeing excellent traction and resisting wear even for several kilometers.

Pros and cons of the Brooks Glycerin 18 shoe


  • Convenient and comfortable upper
  • It adapts to a wide variety of foot shapes and sizes.
  • Lighter than the previous version
  • Soft but responsive
  • Nice design


  • No one in particular

And here is the latest version of one of my absolute favorite running shoes: the UltraBoost 20. Since they were announced in 2015, I have worn Ultraboost in many workouts because they are comfortable and the best athletic shoes for lower back pain. It is so beautiful to see that, and it is a shame not to wear them.

Adidas makes minor changes to the shoes it offers every year, mainly concerned the upper class, but honestly, it is not a modification of great interest.

We had to wait until 2019 for Adidas to propose an Ultraboost revolution, introducing us to the Ultraboost 19, representing a massive change in the line.

Initially, the Ultra Boost was primarily used by those dressed casually, and its role as a running shoe was secondary. But with version 19, there has been a change, of course, because Adidas has decided to focus on creating a performing running shoe.

Since the shoe aesthetic has been distorted, the change has been highly criticized: some Ultraboost line fans have not received it enthusiastically.

I have to be honest; I was one of those. But then I started reading reviews of those who had willingly accepted Adidas's proposed changes. Everyone was talking about the comfort of this shoe: much more comfortable than all previous editions. This feature made their overall sneakers better. This is one of the best sneakers for back pain.

Let's find out the general characteristics together.

Adidas Ultra Boost: General Characteristics

With the 2020 version, Adidas has decided to propose some adjustments.

He took something already great and made it even better. I am glad it was a slight change because I don't think I could have accepted any other significant changes.

One of the most tangible things that Adidas has done over time is the collaborations, and I'm happy to see that it is trying to continue on this line.

The central collaboration in the launch of the Ultraboost 20 is that with ISS National Lab, which communicated with the video "Goodbye Gravity."

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These shoes have the best insoles for back pain. A critical novelty concerns the ankle area, where there is still a Primeknit tongue. Still, a highly appreciated neoprene padded material has been added because it gives genuine comfort and makes you feel safer inside the shoe, pushing the foot a little forward. These would be good shoes for back pain sufferers.

The fit is a little tighter than the 19 edition, and this feature makes them more useful for better performance and, therefore, absolutely the right shoes for runners.

If you want to buy them to have a pair of casual shoes to wear every day or have a wide sole, I suggest you buy a larger size.

Another addition is the heel height strip. It catches the eye but goes well with the overall product design.

Adidas Ultra Boost: Midsole

As for the heel area, the 3D Heel Frame embraces it and holds it in place. It is still possible to find the old white sole, characteristic of the Boost line. Again, thanks to the collaboration with ISS, Ultraboost 20 is presented in seven colors, four of which have an iridescent midsole.

It looks flashy, so you either fall in love with it or hate it. I love these color combinations.

Adidas Ultra Boost: Sole

The outsole of these shoes for back pain is the usual Stretchweb in rubber Continental. It is suitable to have traction on multiple surfaces and the typical lightweight construction Torsion Spring, which gives support when the foot touches the ground.

With these shoes, you continue to have the best cushioning technology in the midsole. From version 19 onwards, Adidas has added 20% more support than previous models.

Adidas Ultra Boost: Upper

The first thing you notice is upper in Primeknit. This feature is common in Ultraboosts, in which Adidas makes only minor changes yearly. This version seems to be more flexible than the 19.

The most significant change in this year's model regarding the upper is TFP (Tailored Fiber Placement) technology: the complete details embroidered around the tip of the shoe give more excellent stability and make the shoe last longer.

This area is not as flexible and elastic as in the other versions, but it certainly plays a better role in keeping the toes steady. The upper is still soft and stretchy but manages to keep the foot always inside the shoe.

When you wear them, you seem to be wearing a sock, but it is a little thicker and less flexible than the previous versions.

I love the arrow-shaped pattern that allows adequate breathability in the tip of the shoe, which represents a slight step forward compared to the old Ultraboost.

The white or light gray laces pass through the new cage structure in the middle part of the foot, which I appreciate very much, and I think it is also aesthetically better than the previous edition.

In the Ultraboost 20, a cleaner and better-looking mesh is used than used in the 19.

Pros and cons of the Adidas Ultraboost 20 shoe


Some runners think that the look doesn't have to do with a shoe, but I'm afraid I have to disagree.

Looking at the Ultra Boost 20, you certainly cannot appreciate all the obvious distinctive signs, such as the label on the tongue or the line at the heel.

The tip is different when you wear the Ultraboost 20 compared to the UB19 because it is less narrow and more structured than the seams. It is also suitable for those who have a full toe or want ample space to let their fingers breathe.

The midsole is the same as version 19: a continental rubber that guarantees excellent support. The same Torsion Spring technology of the 19 is integrated into the midsole of the 20 to give the proper support and propulsion when placing the foot on the ground.


The shoe is slightly more massive than the previous editions, and this feature does not drive me crazy. The addition of support also justifies this weight gain. This sports shoe is not made for runners looking for a very light product for running at high speeds.


  • Brand: Adidas
  • Model: Ultra Boost 20
  • Weight:315g (M) and 270g (D)
  • Drop:10 mm
  • Family: Ultra Boost
  • Previous model: Ultra Boost 19

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Adidas Ultra Boost 20 suitable for?

This running shoe is perfect for runners looking for a shoe that offers the combination of maximum performance and style, indeed, slightly inclined towards style.

These are the best shoes for back pain relief. They are shoes that make you have fun when you wear them: soft and dynamic. Recommended for those with a large plant but not recommended for runners looking for high speed only.

How much does Adidas Ultraboost 20 cost?

The Adidas Ultraboost 20 varies from $60.00 to $350.00.

Where to buy Adidas Ultraboost 20?

You can buy Adidas Ultraboost 20 running shoes online and in specialized stores: discover the best Ultraboost 20 options for men and women on Amazon.

Adidas Ultraboost 19 vs. 20

What hasn't changed?

  • The Continental rubber sole
  • The Torsion Spring system
  • The shape of the midsole
  • The height of the ankle
  • The TPU heel
  • The inner sole
  • The laces

What has changed?

  • The materials in the heel area and the fastening system
  • The closing materials of the laces
  • Primeknit and upper
  • The label on the tongue
  • Reinforcement on the side of the forefoot

Brooks Adrenaline 20: Features

This year Brooks has decided to reduce the upper to its essential elements: a slightly elastic mesh wraps the shoe's upper part. At the same time, some overlapping features add a touch of structure around the middle section.

Aside from the Brooks logo on the sides of the shoe and a little reinforcement in the upper part of the big toe, no element breaks the shoe's sinuosity and silhouette for running.

Aesthetics aside, Brooks has decided to increase the shoe's length slightly: now, there is a little more space in the toe area than in the previous edition.

Under the laces, there is a padded tongue that helps distribute the pressure on the upper part of the foot, while in the rear area, there is a reinforcement able to block the heel without causing any slipping.

But how did my test go? Read on to find out more.

First Impression

The first time I wore the Adrenaline GTS 20, I felt similar to that experienced when wearing the Brooks Transcend: a soft and comfortable upper that seemed almost velvet. [See also: Best Running Shoes for Shin Splints]

The best shoes for back pain sufferers are not unusually broad, so if you are at the limit between one number and another, I recommend you opt for the larger size. At the same time, the midsole, the innersole, the GuideRail system, and the upper have immediately cradled my foot, making him feel comfortable.

But let's see together the detailed characteristics of the sole and upper.


The sneakers' area that has undergone significant changes compared to previous editions (in addition to the upper) is the midsole.

In version 19, there was a crash pad in DNA Loft in the heel and side area, while in this latest release, Brooks decided to add a BioMoGo DNA foam to support the rest of the shoe.

This feature, combined with Brooks' GuidaRails system, allows the foot to slide comfortably forward, helping the race transition.

The sole has the same design as the previous models, ensuring excellent grip on different surfaces. The deep grooves offer little flexibility, while the rubber reinforcements resist wearing for a long time.

Based on the previous edition, I am convinced that this sole can last (without showing particular signs of wear) for at least 500 km.


The upper of the Adrenaline 20 is lighter but still maintains excellent support. The shoe's tongue is soft, while the heel area shows a light padding that tapers as it reaches the central part of the shoe.

Brooks has inserted reflective fabrics in the rear so you can always be visible even in low light conditions. The height of the arch is medium.

They are in different colors and two versions: Brooks Adrenaline for men and women, ranging from standard colors to the most vibrant to meet all runners' needs.


  • The GuideRails system guarantees excellent stability while remaining a fast, flexible, and energetic shoe.
  • Exceptional softness is provided by the mix between BioMoGo DNA and DNA Loft.
  • Present in different design options, from soft colors to more vivid ones.


  • Despite being light and flexible, Adrenaline GTS20 is not indicated for repeated or fast training on the track as other stable running shoe models could be.


  • Brand: Brooks
  • Model: Adrenaline GTS 20
  • Weight: 301g
  • Drop: 12 mm
  • Family: Brooks Adrenaline

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 suitable for?

Brooks Adrenaline is suitable for all runners who need a mix of support and cushioning for daily workouts, regardless of speed or distance.

It is recommended for both beginners and more experienced runners.

How much does Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 cost?

Brooks Adrenaline 20 has a price that is between 61 and 360$.

This is certainly not an economical option, but one that (in my opinion) pays off in the long term, as it is a running shoe with a resistant structure and midsole that can last a long time.

Where to buy Brooks Adrenaline 20?

I advise you to buy the shoe on Amazon. Click here to discover the best offers for men and women.

Brooks Adrenaline 19 vs. 20

There are no distinct differences between the nineteenth and twentieth editions of the Adrenaline, so if you are a fan of the previous model, you will undoubtedly fall in love with this last edition.

The most significant change is in the upper: Brooks has inserted overlaps in the midfoot area that give the sports shoe a cleaner appearance.

Version 19 also had oval holes that guaranteed excellent breathability. At the same time, this year, Brooks decided to insert more uniform openings with the same purpose (it is, therefore, a purely aesthetic improvement).

The heel's padding has a consistency similar to velvet but is made of a silky fabric to minimize any form of rubbing that could occur with a rougher material.

Despite the change, I didn't notice any particular differences between the two editions.

However, the mix between DNA Loft and DNA BioMoGo technologies ensures a better transition during the race at the midsole level.

On the other hand, the sole is practically identical and guarantees excellent traction on different surfaces.

The laces of edition 19 were flat, while those of 20 have a tubular shape and are considerably longer.

In conclusion, I would say that there are no distinct differences between the two editions. If you are a fan of 19, buy the 20 and be on the safe side.

Technical comparison Adrenaline GTS 19 Adrenaline GTS 20
Weight 312 g 301 g
Drop 12 mm 12 mm
Upper Engineered mesh Engineered mesh
Midsole BioMoGo DNA + DNA Loft BioMoGo DNA + DNA Loft
Laces Dishes Cylindrical
Support Guide rails Guide rails

The entire range of Hoka running shoes is based on a large amount of cushioning. This shoe is very cushioned and soft.

This allows you to "float" while the shoe does most of the work by absorbing the impacts of the foot's effects on the ground.

The Hoka Bondi is the ideal running shoe for runners who want to run without overthinking. Bondi is the maximum cushioning street shoe from the Hoka One One brand.

Now in its sixth version, the shoe has undergone many changes over the years. Last year's update has been loved or hated by many runners with no middle ground.

The Bondi line's loyalists were disappointed by the cushion change; they felt that the shoe had become too substantial and was no longer what it once was. I can say that I ran with this shoe and found it very soft and comfortable.

The latest model of best Hoka for back pain offers updated cushioning to ensure a softer ride and a redesigned upper using a combination of engineered mesh and lycra. The shoe also gained weight from 283 to 309 grams.

The first thing I noticed when I wore these best shoes for lower back pain was that the upper was comfortable. I was impressed by the feeling of softness offered by the lycra used in the heel of the shoe. The fit is similar to the Clifton 5 but is slightly more extensive in the finger area. The cushion is soft, and overall the shoe is very comfortable.


Bondi 6 features an EVA midsole.

This is the most cushioned shoe in the entire Hoka One One range. The sole has seen a slight addition of high abrasion rubber positioned along the whole length of the shoe's lateral area, which is the area where the impact usually occurs.

The EVA foam has been modified to provide a softer ride. This year, a similar modification was made in the new Clifton, and once again, it took me a long time to decide if its cushion was softer than the Bondi 5.

I had to try the old model on one foot and the new one on the other to try and find an answer. I am not surprised that I have come to the same conclusion.

The cushion is slightly softer, but don't expect an incredibly different ride and feel. Bondi 6 offers a smooth and soft running experience.

The geometry works well, compensating for the soft and less bouncy cushioning. The shoe is stable thanks to the broad base and the foot's position in the cushioning. This shoe significantly raised my feet despite running for hours on end.

The Bondi 6 is excellent for long distances covered at slow rhythms and unloading or recovery training. So far, the sole and midsole have proved nothing short of resistance.

The shoes I ran with have almost 320km on their shoulders. The rubber is still in fair shape, and the cushioning is excellent as on the first day.


This year's redesign brings some new functional changes.

  1. The first is a new mesh material designed to improve breathability and durability.
  2. The second is an area of ​​the heel redesigned and rebuilt in lycra.

The shirt is soft and has strategically placed cutouts to improve perspiration.

However, I must admit that the upper mesh is slightly lower than the Bondi 5.

The upper of the previous model was, in fact, thinner and allowed the shoe to breathe well. The new shirt looks slightly less breathable and more absorbent. If you run in a hot and humid climate, the pump may give you a wet feeling without absorbing sweat.

Adding a redesigned heel area of ​​the upper with lycra is top-notch. In addition to making it highly comfortable, it gives the shoe exceptional sensitivity.

The Bondi 6 looks more true to size than other Hoka sports shoe models but is still slightly smaller than many other brands. This aspect depends significantly on the shoes you usually run with.

As you can see, I have mixed feelings about this upper. I think the past year's shirt was better, even if an undeniably excellent job has been done on this model.

I also think the redesigned heel area is the best addition to a Hoka One One upper I've ever seen. It improves the comfort of the shoe.

In past years, Bondi uppers have never really stood out. Bondi 6 made me feel at ease and allowed me to travel hundreds of km without the shadow of chafing or blistering.

But how would I respond (sincerely) if someone asked me: "Which shoe has the most comfortable upper? "

The Bondi would probably not be present in the answer. Even if continuing to work in this way, they could also enter it someday.

Despite the less breathable and more absorbent shirt, I think that, on the whole, the redesigned upper is an improvement.

Pros and Cons of the Hoka Bondi 6 Shoe


  • Comfortable upper
  • New heel design
  • Soft ride


  • Slightly less breathable mesh material
  • Slight durability problems


  • Brand: Hoka One One
  • Model: Bondi 6
  • Weight: 309
  • Drop: 4 mm
  • Family: Haka One One Bondi 6

Who is the Hoka Bondi 6 for?

This is a shoe made for running on the road. It is more suitable for low-intensity daily workouts, long distances at slow rhythms, and recovery runs.

It is ideal for those who have actual weight and are looking for a shoe that accompanies them during their training.

Despite the excellent cushioning, the base's width gives this running shoe excellent stability, making it ideal for those weighing over 90kg.


These shoes are famous for their seamless construction, preventing blistering and other foot irritation.

The Clifton is also equipped with a breathable material that allows proper ventilation and constant airflow not to have sweaty feet when walking or running. It keeps your feet dry, fresh, and comfortable, and the forefoot is wide enough for the toes to breathe, especially the big toes.

It has shoe inserts for back pain equipped with foam that guarantees an excellent elastic return and cushioning that protects your muscles whenever your feet touch the ground.

These best Hoka for lower back pain provides excellent support, prevent back pain, and allows you to run or walk without pain.

Hoka Clifton 5 Review

The Hoka One One Clifton 5 is the most recent version of the famous Clifton. I had the opportunity to run and try every previous version of the Clifton.

The best shoes for back problems have undergone many changes over the past few years. Clifton 5 is a minor update compared to previous versions.

The midsole has been slightly modified to allow a softer run, and the upper has been redesigned to offer more excellent resistance and breathability.

In the new version, these best Hoka shoes for back pain had neither a significant increase nor weight loss. I noticed about Clifton 5 that they remember the previous version, especially for the midsole.

There are, however, some minor changes in the upper, and when you compare it with the previous version, you can see some distinct differences.

Compared to the previous version, the engineered mesh is similar, but you can see small integrated holes by looking closely.

Let's discover together sole and upper in more detail.

Hoka Clifton 5: Sole

The midsole features Eva foam along the entire length of the shoe. The foam is designed to be soft and responsive. This sole shows some strategically placed sections of lightweight, high abrasion rubber.

The Eva foam seems slightly modified to be softer, and the rubber on the sole has undergone a design update to optimize grip and elastic return.

Clifton 5 is soft and responsive. These are well-cushioned shoes, and their shape makes them run smooth and are pleasant to wear.

In the last version, many complaints were that the shoe was not soft. This year, Hoka attempted with Eva foam to soften these shoes. It took me a long time to decide if this new model had a softer midsole than the Clifton 4.

I did not agree very much during the first few races, but the shoe became softer during use.

Not being entirely sure, the only way to make a definitive statement about these shoes' softness was to wear them both, putting on one foot the Clifton 4 and on another the Clifton 5.

This way, I could feel a slight difference between the two, realizing that Clifton 5 is a little softer. In reality, however, I had to make a direct comparison to find out, so I could certainly say there is no considerable difference.

The sole reacts better than usual, and a lot of Eva foam creates direct contact with the ground. Usually, the foam parts that come into contact with the ground wear out much more quickly.

Even with the breakdown of some parts of the Eva foam, I had no problems exceeding 500 km using these shoes.

Hoka One One Clifton 5: Upper

The upper has undergone a slight redesign, including reinforced eyelets, fewer overlapping layers, and a new mesh to ensure better breathability.

Reinforced eyelets have a harder and denser material. This part of the upper seems to have been made with a resistant and more durable material.

The engineered mesh is soft and comfortable. There are small holes built into the mesh designed to allow better airflow. However, these little holes are small enough not to allow debris or gravel to enter the shoe.

At the top of the shirt, there are strategically positioned 3D overlays. These, in particular, are thin stripes along the upper base where the midsole meets.

If you need ample space for your toes, these shoes are not for you.

Compared to the previous model, there are only two changes regarding the upper. The first is that the tongue has been extended, while the second is that, for some reason, the heel better fits the shoe.

I believed that I would not find substantial differences with Clifton 4 regarding the stability of the heel. Instead, I was wrong.

The Hoka website said most of the upper changes were made to improve the shoes' breathability. In this particular case, I don't notice any differences in this regard, but I like the general feeling that this new fabric offers.

If you have already worn the two previous Clifton versions, I advise you to buy the same foot number.

If, on the other hand, you are used to running with a Nike, Brooks, or Asics shoe, you may want to consider an extra half size.

Pros and cons of the Hoka One One Clifton 5


  • To read
  • Breathable
  • Comfortable


  • No one in particular


  • Brand: Hoka One One
  • Drop: 5 mm
  • Family: Hoka
  • Weight: 266 gr
  • Previous version: Clifton 4

See also: Hoka Shoes Review with Buying Guide


The Kayano is among the best running shoes for someone with lower back pain and represents the perfect solution for mild to moderate pronators.

Asics Gel Kayano 26 wants to guarantee its runners excellent cushioning and stability. The FlyteFoam Lyte Technology provides continuous cushioning for these shoes.

To reduce the weight of the sole unit of Asics Gel Kayano 26, it used Trusstic System technology.

Kayano is famous for correcting excessive pronation (even over long distances) and alleviating all problems that derive from them, including back pain.

Characteristics of the Asics Gel Kayano 26

Compared to the Japanese house's previous proposals, the Asics Gel Kayano 26 has exploited technology's advantages. It has created the shoe using different materials, including the FlyteFoam Lyte for the lower part, the FlyteFoam Propel for the upper one, and the Duomax.

It is already clear from this mix that with the Asics Kayano 26, the Japanese company wanted to focus on softness and comfort during the race while still offering protection and safety.

With a weight of 315 grams and a drop of 10 mm, Kayano 26 sports shoes are used for road training.

Let's say that even from the presentation, it almost seems that it is a perfect shoe that every runner should have. Still, it is not so: in reality, the price starting from 130 euros (if found on offer) is high and, in any case, for this sum, Compared to the Asics Gel Kayano 26, the competition offers more competitive models on the running market.

Another note that, despite everything, stands in favor of the Japanese parent company is the color chosen for version 26, which surpasses the previous model (a little disappointing in terms of color) and marries the notes of yellow and red.

Following my tests over long distances, the shoes appeared stable and heavy on several runways.

More specifically, we proceed to the analysis of the individual components of the Asics Gel Kayano 26.


Designed to exceed the 25 models, the sole of which was considered quite bulky, the GEL-Kayano 26 pursues the goal of optimizing cushioning and, precisely for this reason, the company has enhanced some characteristics of the sole by significantly increasing the quantity of gel both in the components on which the heel rests and for the forefoot.

This "move" helps make the Kayano sole much softer and allows for a higher energy return and less friction during the race.

Flytefoam Lyte and Propel do their job, and it is also thanks to them that the Asics Kayano 26 has improved considerably compared to the previous version.

The cushioning capacity becomes a strength of this model, together with new technologies that guarantee more excellent stability, mainly provided by the DuoMax support system.

If the sole of the 25 numbered edition was bulky, it must be said that the one of the Kayano 26 fits tighter.

Other changes have involved traction, which appears more aggressive in this new proposal thanks to the ASICS High Abrasion Rubber system used for the sole, making the shoe more resistant.

ASICS is attentive to the news regarding robust technologies and confirms this is the use of the FlyteFoam for the midsole, of which Propel represents the absolute advantage.


No significant changes have been made compared to the 25 models, but the upper of the Asics Kayano 26 is made of a double layer of Jacquard and FluidFit fabric, which - acting as a whole - makes the shoes flexible.

Indeed, it is a resistant upper, made with intelligence, and suitable for facing many kilometers.

Even sweat has not been neglected, making the use of Asics Gel Kayano 26 optimal even in summer.

For the part of the heel, MetaClutch was used, and the upper part guarantees an excellent fit.

Another advantage is the choice of a seamless upper that adapts entirely to the foot. Resistant even in the wet, the top of the Kayano 26 has passed the "quality control, "confirming itself as an element on which Asics stands up well to the competition.

Pros and Cons

After analyzing the general and more specific characteristics, I decided to focus on the pros and cons of the Asics Gel Kayano 26.

So, to the question "Why should you buy Asics Gel Kayano 26?", The answer is easy.

It is a shoe that guarantees cushion and "pampers" the heel, equipped with valuable technologies for realizing the sole and resistance even on medium-long distances.

On the other hand, the Kayano 26 certainly is not the best on the market regarding long distances and, above all, also for the excessive price compared to models that, in my ranking, I know are in positions superior.


  • Brand: Asics
  • Model: Gel Kayano 26
  • Weight: 315 grams
  • Drop: 10 mm
  • Previous model: Asics Gel Kayano 25

Who are they for?

Notwithstanding that the Asics Gel Kayano 26 are well suited to the foot, it is also true that they are shoes designed for those with a narrower foot, given the regular fit that does not make them suitable for large plants or for those who prefer a sense of comfort.

The Asics Gel Kayano 26 is a reference for those needing stability, protection, and improved performance.

Comparison With Similar Shoes

Asics Gel Kayano 25 vs. 26

The most significant difference between models 25 and 26 is the amount of gel present in the heel.

Just place the two sneakers next to each other to notice the difference between the two GEL pads.

If the 25 used a wedge of GEL in the heel area, in its latest release, Asics decided to insert a wavy (and more generous) portion of it in the midfoot area.

The designers then redistributed the ventilation holes on the upper to allow the feet to breathe better.

However, Asics has shortened its Guidance Trussic Line under the shoe, which ran vertically from heel to toe.

In this way, the Japanese company claims that the Guidance Trussic Line works better to stabilize the shoe by concentrating the impact in the center rather than through a uniform plate.

The new Trussic Line should, therefore, contribute to the overall stability of the new Kayano 26.

Asics GT 2000 vs. Kayano

These are similar shoes, with small differences, such as weight, size (and price).

If your budget does not allow you to buy the Kayano, you can safely opt for the GT, which is less bulky and lighter.

It has extra support within the midsole, so direction or movement control changes will be more attenuated.

Final Words

We have ended up our review of the best shoes for back pain. I hope you found the best shoes for back pain women and the best for back pain men.

If you have any questions or doubts? Leave a comment, and I'll reply to you as soon as possible.

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About the Author

Hey, I'm Wayes. I'm passionate about reviewing shoes and writing!
I know to pick the right pair of shoes, not easy. Different people have different physical requirements, so it can be quite tricky for them to choose the best shoes. I help readers choose the most suitable shoes for them!

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