Help Back Health With Proper Footwear

Posted by Bethaney Wallace on 7th Dec 2013

From sleeping, to sitting, to everyday posture, there are a number of factors that contribute to overall back health. Anything that can contribute to alignment and how one’s weight is dispersed can also help determine pain or comfort levels … yes, including your shoes. And over the course of an entire day, followed by hours of sleeping, it can be hard to keep everything in tip-tip shape. Humans naturally slouch and maintain poor posture; despite what our grandmothers told us, it’s not always comfortable to sit at a 90-degree angle.

However, due to these bad habits, it’s all the more important to take small steps (toward healing) when possible. This means sleeping on a proper mattress, stretching one’s back throughout the day, avoiding slouching, etc. These simple steps can help elude larger problems just by adjusting the way one lives their everyday life. By working on your body through decisions that already need to be made, small issues can be taken care of early on – rather than turning into chronic pains or issues that simply can’t be fixed.

Shoes that Support

One of the easiest ways to support the back is by wearing proper footwear. From sandals to everyday tennis shoes, investing in a good pair of shoes can greatly reduce back pain. This can mean spending more on an expensive model, but it also may take more time to find a set of shoes that best fits each foot. Your local shoe store will be able to help; it may be as simple as using a the right set of insoles in your favorite kicks.

Why Shoes?

When dealing with back health, it can often be confusing that aspects so far from the issues can be contributing factors. For instance, shoes. Because the body sits upright and is supported by the legs and feet, how one walks will have an effect on the rest of the body. For instance, walking barefoot or in too-thin of shoes can make the feet hit unevenly. The heels might hammer into the ground, causing tension and pressure to radiate upward.

When repeated enough times, a person will begin to feel the off-kilter effect throughout the body, such as the back. Therefore, when the feet aren’t supported, it can cause direct pain.

Supportive shoes, however, can help align and adjust walking patterns so the back is in good health. This is often done through arch support, padded sections, and durable soles – all of which work together for smooth, fluid walking rhythms.

In shoes, look for:

  • Thick stitching, which is often used in higher quality models
  • Labels or icons that describe extra padding or foot support
  • Doctor approval
  • Guarantees or warranties that ensure shoe lifespan
  • Reviews from previous customers
  • Fitting guides or certifications

Patients with recurring pains should first talk to their doctor before heading to the shoe store. As for those with intermittent pain or working toward preventative measures, a conversation with your shoe salesman/woman should work just fine. Be sure and tell them what you’re looking for, and how you hope to achieve it. And it’s important to find a style you like as well; don’t be afraid to ask around for a set that fits your taste.

Though we may not realize it, everyday decisions, such as which shoes to wear, can make a huge difference to our body’s alignment. Just by choosing a (stylish) pair of supportive shoes, you can work to improve back health. And when considering all the benefits, it’s a simple way to help combat any future posture-related issues.

To learn more about back health, check out our articles page.