Best Shoes for Spinal Stenosis

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In this article, we review for you some of the best footwear for folks with spinal stenosis. The table below gives a quick snapshot of our top picks, and we go into more detailed reviews next.

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Spinal stenosis is a fairly common spinal condition in older folks and is characterized by narrowing of space within the spine, causing pressure on the nerves within the spine. Key symptoms are numbness and weakness in the foot, back pain, and cramps in the leg. It can be the result of a range of causes, including overgrowth of bone, a herniated disk, a tumor, or just natural wear and tear. Approximately 250-500 thousand people in America experience spinal stenosis symptoms. [1]

Here’s a brief video describing Spinal Stenosis and how to test yourself for it:

While there currently is not a cure for spinal stenosis, there are a multitude of treatments that can help to alleviate its symptoms.

Many of these treatments involve pain relief medications, physical therapy, and surgeries in more complicated cases. However, wearing suitable footwear when walking or running has the potential to help resolve symptoms at the root. These footwear have a host of important features that promote a comfortable and correct walking posture in order to reduce unwanted pressure on the spine as much as possible.

Best Recommended Shoes for Spinal Stenosis 

#1 – Dr. Scholl’s Madison Sneaker

Dr. Scholl’s is perhaps the most recognized orthotics brand on this list, and recently they have been expanding into the shoe game. Designed with their expertise in orthotics, the Madison Sneaker is one of the best options for those with spinal stenosis. With a memory foam insole and a padded collar these shoes are sure to promote comfort while keeping the user’s heels in place to create an excellent fit.

Dr. Scholl’s Shoes For Spinal Stenosis

Features and Benefits

  • Comfortable Insoles: These shoes have soft and comfortable memory foam insoles with anatomical cushioning, which provides excellent comfort and support. It also has three distinct zones that stabilize the metatarsal area, midfoot, and the heel simultaneously. 
  • Rubber Sole: The outsole for these shoes is made from premium quality rubber. Rubber is a very flexible and durable substance, which makes the shoes more long-lasting. 
  • Super Soft Inner Lining: These shoes have a super soft foam inner mesh lining. This inner lining makes the shoes breathable and also provides comfort to the user. It also contours to the user’s foot shape.
  • Slip-on Style: These shoes have a slip-on design, which requires less time and effort to wear and remove.

Why should you buy it?

With an easy to wear slip-on design, as well as an ultra soft lining and breathable memory foam insoles, these shoes are great for folks with back pain from lumbar or cervical spinal stenosis.

Note that as comfortable as these shoes are, they are lower in height and will provide less ankle support than higher topped shoes. In addition, a few users have found their shoe soles to detach after a few months. Do check the quality control of your sneakers before settling on them.

Why It’s Our Top Pick

The Dr. Scholl's Shoes Women's Madison Slip On Fashion Sneaker, Black Python, 5 is our top choice for Best Shoe for Spinal Stenosis and they have a great round-up of relevant features:

  • Plush, Breathable Insoles: Anatomical memory foam cushioning and arch support for comfort and fatigue reduction. Zero sweat and moisture resistant.
  • Slip Resistant: Rubber outsole for additional stability.
  • Abrasion Resistant: Rubber sidewalls prevent the skin from getting rashes.
  • Slip-on Design: Easy and comfortable to put on and take off.

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#2 – Orthofeet Sprint Orthopedic Shoes

The Orthofeet Sprint are some of the best in class orthopedic shoes that provide relief from foot pain, heel pain, spinal stenosis, and more thanks to its ergonomic design. These shoes have a very lightweight ergonomic sole, which reduces burden on strain on the feet, legs, and spine. Its premium orthotic soles also provide both arch support and extra heel cushioning so that there is as much support and as little excess pressure as possible.

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Features and Benefits

  • Premium Orthotic Insoles: The orthotic insoles have anatomical arch support and multiple cushioning layers. The arch support provides ultimate comfort and eases spine, feet, or knee pain, hence its usefulness for spinal stenosis.
  • Arch Support: As mentioned, the ergonomic sole paired with the orthotic insoles together create an anatomical arch support. Multiple cushioning layers provide soft, pillow-like support that works wonders to enhance comfort and eases the pain on the foot and heel, knees, hips, and lower back caused due to flat feet, overpronation, and arthritis.
  • Unique Therapeutic Design: These premium shoes have a unique design with extra width. The extra width provides more room for the feet and helps alleviate pain and stress from the joints and spinal discs, which in turn can encourage better walking posture.
  • Soft Upper:  The orthopedic shoes have a very soft upper with smooth interior lining and extra padding, protecting the feet from heavy strikes or impact. This superior lining and padding also makes these shoes a great pick for those with sensitive feet.

Why should you buy it?

With their multiple layers of cushioning support, including an orthotic insole specially designed with anatomic arch support and extra heel cushioning, these shoes are great for those with cervical stenosis, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, or flat feet. They also come in wide and ultra-wide sizing for those with wider feet. 

A few users have found that the soles of their Orthofeet shoe detached from the upper due to poor quality control of the stitching, so please check the sturdiness of your shoes after buying.

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#3 – Dr. Comfort Double Depth Shoes

These double depth shoes by Dr. Comfort have a highly breathable mesh upper, which provides excellent ventilation to the feet by regulating heat and keeping the wearer’s feet cool and dry. They also don’t skimp out on arch support and comfortable cushioning, which are both important for providing relief from lower back pain.

Dr. Comfort Double Depth Shoes

Features and Benefits

  • Arch Stability: These shoes have a lightweight cross-trainer athletic design with additional arch supports. The arch supports help properly to properly align the legs, and in turn the spine, benefiting those with spinal stenosis and other spine and back conditions like a herniated disc
  • Additional DepthThese shoes have a quarter inch of extra depth than average sneakers, which can providing a bit of extra ankle support, as well as accommodate those with internal braces, edema, or hammertoes.
  • Removable Insoles: These orthotic shoes have a very soft and plush removable insole that contours to the shape of the user’s feet. With the insoles in direct contact with the feet, they can help reduce fatigue and stress on the feet by providing a comfy and soft platform to stand on.
  • No Tie Lace Elastic Closure: The super convenient elastic closure is easy to adjust and does not require tying or untying. The closure also has a seamless design that does not irritate or cause harm to the skin.

Why should you buy it?

These shoes have a very breathable and lightweight upper mesh that can help regulate heat and prevent sweat, which is sure to benefit certain elderly and diabetic patients who may have a greater tendency to sweat. The double depth of the shoes is a key feature that can provide more ankle support, as well as accommodate those with other feet-specific conditions. Dr. Comfort supplies these in wide sizing for those with wider feet.

As a drawback, some folks have found the shoes to be a bit on the heavy side, and the shoe upper to be a bit rigid due to all the paneling around the mesh. 

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#4 – Orthofeet Sandy

These are the second shoes in our selection by Orthofeet, and they come with a premium outer shell made from high-quality synthetic mesh fabric. The mesh fabric is stretchy and perforated, allowing them to conform to the wearer’s foot shape whilst being very breathable. They are also durable thanks to the fabric’s high tensile strength.

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Features and Benefits

  • Anatomical Arch Support: These Orthofeet shoes have a specially designed orthotic insole with anatomical arch support, multiple cushioning layers, and a very lightweight design. The arch support provides substantial and rigid support for the wearer, which also prevents the feet from overpronating. Special support reduces fatigue from the neck, legs, feet, lower back, and spinal column, which may help to reduce pain from spinal stenosis.
  • Extended Width: These shoes have extra room because of their extended width design. As a result, they are suitable for people with wide feet, such as oversized people and tall people.
  • Wide Toe Box: These shoes also have a wider metatarsal area compared to other shoes. The extra room can help in alleviating strain and stress on the joints.
  • Suitable for All Skin Types: These Orthofeet shoes provide superior comfort as they have extra foam padding with a smooth inner lining, protecting all types of skins from scratches or rashes.

Why should you buy it?

These shoes have excellent arch support, which can help to protect the feet from overpronation. With the arch support, as well as its stretchable, flexible design, these shoes can also reduce pressure in the spine, thereby decreasing pressure on the nerve root and relieving spinal stenosis symptoms or a disc herniation. They also come in wide and ultra-wide sizing for those with wider feet.

The Orthofeet Sandy come in only a light grey textured colorway, although Orthofeet produces a wide range of similarly supportive and comfortable shoes in other color options if these do not suit you.

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#5 – Gravity Defyer G-Defy Mighty Walk

The Gravity Defyer G-Defy Mighty Walk are a shoe you may have seen in our shoe selections for other health conditions, and we pick it again for good reason.

These shoes are designed to relieve pain in the ankles, legs, and back via their branded VersoShock technology, which is a patented spring system that absorbs shock from the ground up, converting it into renewed positive energy.

It acts as an arch platform for the feet to encourage proper walking and standing gait. Having a supportive arch reduces pressure and fatigue in the feet, legs, and lumbar spine.

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Features and Benefits

  • Removable Insoles: The insoles are removable, allowing the wearer to insert their own custom insoles if they prefer a certain type of support or arch height. 
  • Seamless Interior: The interior of these shoes is seamless and made from a delicate and soft fabric that works for all skin types. This benefits those with sensitive feet or diabetes as it does not cause skin rashes or irritation.
  • Front Rocker Sole: The front rocker sole consists of an excellent, firm midsole that prevents and relieves plantar fasciitis symptoms, and accommodates a forward moving momentum. 
  • Extra Depth: These shoes have an extra depth, which creates extra spacious wiggle room in the toe box. The extra depth also allows for thicker custom insoles if needed.

Why should you buy it?

These shoes have a unique, patented spring system that provides extra stability and support to the user. Due to these features, these shoes are suitable for people who have weakened mobility or suffer from spinal and back-related issues. They also come in wide and ultra-wide sizing for those with wider feet, as well as a multitude of color options.

Note that with the extra depth and thickness of the midsole, these shoes are at the taller side than many sneakers. Additionally, it may provide lower arch support than some folks might prefer. Thankfully, the insoles are swappable as mentioned.

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#6 – Orthofeet Lava

Our third and final recommended shoes by Orthofeet, the Orthofeet Lava are sure to provide great comfort to the user. They are very stylish orthopedic shoes with an effortless and easily accessible lace-up closure, which provides a snug and comfortable fit.

Orthofeet Extended Walking Shoes

Features and Benefits

  • Orthotic Insoles: As described previously, people can increase their chances of developing and sustaining spinal stenosis with poor foot positioning and walking posture. The orthotic insoles in these shoes are specially designed with solid arch support and heel cushioning intended to help treat leg and spinal problems. 
  • Extra Room: These shoes have a special roomy toe box as well as increased depth, which provide ample breathing space and wiggle room. This is intended to help prevent and alleviate hammertoes and bunions. In addition, the upper shell is soft and non-binding, allow even more room for the toes and rest of the feet to breathe.
  • Superior comfort: The inner lining of these shoes has extra padding to provide a soft and comfortable wear.

Why should you buy it?

These shoes are designed with medical aid in mind, as they help to prevent the feet from overpronation and pain in the legs and spine by providing solid ankle and arch support. Though they do not come in wider versions, the default sizing is designed a bit wider for extra room. 

Some users have found these shoes to have lower arch support than they prefer, although they are advertised as having a bonus “arch support” included. If the arch support is not sufficient for you, be sure to try attaching the arch support, or otherwise consider removing the included insoles and swapping for thicker orthotics.

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#7 – Git-up Comfortable Walking Shoes

If you are looking for all-day comfort and great support for your feet with spinal stenosis pain, these shoes may fit the bill well. Designed with nurses in mind, who have to stand on their feet the entire day and be more prone to feet and leg pain problems, these are the only shoes in our list to feature a thermoplastic elastomer sole and Velcro straps instead of laces. They have a more sandal-like look, so keep in mind the uppers of the feet will be partially exposed. These may suit warmer weather as they are more breathable. 

Git-up Comfortable Walking Shoes

Features and Benefits

  • Easy closure: With easy Velcro straps, these shoes are sure to be quick to put on without the need to tie laces. 
  • Air-cushioned sole: The shoe has a special air-cushioned sole made of thermoplastic elastomer that provides bounce to your feet, providing impact and shock absorption and protecting from potential pain. 
  • Breathable fabric: Do you tend to perspire a lot? Do working in an environment that tends to be wamer? This shoe has an elastic knit upper that helps to eliminate moisture and keeps your feet cool and fresh all day long.
  • Arch support: If you have flatter feet, are an overpronator, or feel a lot of pain in the arch of the foot (possibly due to plantar fasciitis), these shoes can suit you as they have solid arch support. 

Why should you buy it?

If you are looking for all-day comfort, support, and pain relief from spinal stenosis pain, this unique shoe could do the job for you. Designed with nurses in mind, they would be great for those who expect to stand for a long time during the day. As a bonus, they offer a 100% guarantee for 100 days, in which you are free to try the shoes and may return them for a full refund if you are not satisfied in that timeframe. 

As a caveat, some users have found that the heel portion does not provide enough support, and this is plausible as Velcro straps typically do not hold shoes together as well as laces, as convenient as they are. Also, if the arch support of the included insoles is not sufficient for your use case, you may like to swap them for your own custom orthotics.

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Features to Look For When Finding Shoes for Spinal Stenosis 

Arch Support

Shoes that are good for spinal stenosis have an excellent and firm arch support as it helps to distribute pressure across the feet and support the midfoot.

It also protects the feet from overpronating, and this is particularly important for those with flat feet and tendency to overpronate. Adequate support for the feet encourages proper upper body posture, which in turn reduces the strain on the spine and its spinal nerve.

Removable Orthotic Insoles

Shoes with proper orthotic insoles like the shoes in our list are more likely to provide thicker, softer cushioning as well as the aforementioned arch support. Even better would be if the orthotic insoles are easily removable so that if the wearer has custom insoles or ones that suit them better, they can be swapped with ease.

Best Shoes For Spinal Stenosis

Breathable Mesh

The breathable mesh shoes are beneficial for people who have sciatic nerve disorders, as they may have a higher tendency to sweat. Excess sweating may promote the growth of bacteria and viruses. Mesh fabric has tensile strength so it is relatively durable while also conforming to the shape of the feet very well, contributing to comfort. 

Super Soft Inner Lining

The super-soft inner lining plays a significant role in maintaining the user’s comfort as discomfort and hard inner lining often cause skin rashes and blisters. These rashes are generally formed due to the constant rubbing of the user’s feet and the lining, whereas a soft inner lining supports and protects all skin types.


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Best Shoes For Spinal Stenosis

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is spinal stenosis?

Spinal stenosis is a condition in which the spaces in the spinal canal become narrowed. This narrowing can put pressure on the spinal cord and the nerve root within the spine. It commonly occurs in the neck and lower back. The condition is often caused by age-related wear and tear.

Q. Can shoes help with spinal stenosis and back pain?

Yes, shoes can help in reducing back pain. Good quality orthotic insoles that provide sufficient arch support can prevent hyper-pronation and help align the legs and the back properly.

Shoes with good cushioning properties can reduce the body’s impact with the ground when taking steps while walking or running, lessening compression and strain of the spine.

Q. What types of shoes are not recommended for those with back pain?

High heels or shoes with very highly pointed soles are harmful to the back as these types of footwear do not encourage healthy walking posture, and can add to the pressure on the spine and neck region instead of alleviating pain.

Flip flops are also not recommended as they often completely flat, lacking arch support and adequate cushioning.

Q. Aside from better footwear, what are some other treatments I can look into for spinal stenosis?

Some of the primary options for spinal stenosis treatment include medications for pain relief and seizures (to reduce pain from damaged nerves), physical therapies that focus on building strength, balance, and flexibility, as well as steroid injections, decompression procedures, and surgeries aimed at relieving spinal compression. Alternative medicine options include massage therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic treatment.

Best Shoes For Spinal Stenosis


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Parting Words – Comfy Support Runs from Foot to Spine

Having a quality pair of walking shoes is important not just for aesthetic reasons. As we explain in our article here, proper healthy walking posture begins from the soles of our feet.

With footwear that have sufficient arch support, cushioning, ankle support, and an adequate fit, those with spinal stenosis or other sources of back pain are more likely to lessen impact and pressure on their spine, promoting recovery and longevity of the spine.

Here, we have assembled some excellent shoes designed with these features and we hope they will give you a head start in your search for your perfect shoes on your road to recovery. 

In our opinion, the Dr. Scholl's Shoes Women's Madison Slip On Fashion Sneaker, Black Python, 5  is the best choice among the various options that we have considered because they are made by a reliable brand and come with a memory foam insole as well as a padded collar. The memory foam insole is sure to absorb shock and impact and the comfortable collar helps to cup in the heel and seal in the feet for a great fit. 

The No products found.  is our next best choice as it has an excellent ergonomic design and a supportive, lightweight sole that is intended to provide relief from foot pain and sources of back pain like spinal stenosis. 

If you are looking for a value for money option, you can also consider the Dr. Comfort Performance-X Men's Therapeutic Diabetic Double Depth Shoe, which offers great value and features at a very reasonable price point. 


If you or a loved one suffer from spinal stenosis, you may like to read our other articles about products recommended for preventing or alleviating spinal stenosis: