If you are on your feet all day, the chances are that it’s not just your feet hurting at the end of the day. Your entire body hurts as you have just been hit by a truck – particularly your back.
Most people simply shake this off as a symptom of walking around all day – but what if the shoes were the problem? Wearing boots all day long can be quite tiresome – particularly if they don’t have what it takes to keep you comfortable. The wrong shoes can put pressure on your joints to the point that all the pain goes right up into your back.
If these symptoms seem familiar to you, then you have come to the right place. Not only will you learn what causes these problems and how to minimize them, but you will also get some insight into finding some good boots for this problem.
Most Comfortable Work Boots Comparison Chart
Keen Utility Pittsburg Work Boots
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Timberland Direct Attack Boots
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Timberland Pro Endurance 6” Work Boots
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Caterpillar Shift 6” Work Boots
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Thorogood American Heritage Work Boots
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Everboots Tank Boots
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Most Comfortable Work Boots (Top List)
1- Keen Utility Pittsburg Work Boots
If you are looking for something that combines comfort with durability, then the Keen Utility shoes are the perfect option for you. Thanks to the memory foam insole and the EVA midsole, these are the perfect work shoes for those suffering from chronic back pain.
These shoes will hug your foot nicely, forming a profile around it as it provides support to your feet. Thanks to the extra cushioning, you will not only be very comfortable, but you will also feel the pressure going off from your back – therefore reducing the pain.
The steel toe offers you protection from workplace accidents. Furthermore, thanks to the extra arch support and wide toe box, you will get more support if you are suffering from underpronation and overpronation.
Keep in mind that the boots have a break-in period – but compared to other boots, it is fairly small.
2- Timberland Direct Attack Boots
Not only are these shoes very stylish, but they are also perfect when it comes to back pain. Featuring a 6-inch arch, they are ideal for offering support for your feet and ankle. They are also great if you have troubles with under and overpronation.
The sole is made of rubber, providing it excellent traction. Furthermore, since it is also shock absorbent, it will take the pressure off your feet. It features comfort suspension that will immediately take the foot and back pain away.
Completely insulated, these shoes are perfect when the temperatures hit a very low level. At the same time, they are made with breathable material for higher temperatures – making use of the antimicrobial lining to prevent any odors from appearing.
As per most reviewers, these boots are very comfortable – and can effectively keep your foot stabilized while making you look nice and hip.
3- Timberland Pro Endurance 6” Work Boots
Once more, these are some shoes that were made to keep you on the field for as long as possible. Featuring anti-fatigue technology that absorbs concrete shock, they are great for workers on construction sites that have a fair amount of walking to do every day. The shock absorbing cones also help in this respect.
These shoes feature a contoured insole that provides extra support for those suffering from overpronation and underpronation. They will hug around your feet nicely, providing you with all the support that you need.
Made from leather, these boots are also very durable – making them perfect for environments where they are exposed to deterioration. The rubber soles also provide great traction, which is why you will not risk slipping over concrete surfaces.
Featuring a double rubber toe, these boots will protect you from any damage on the field. It may not be as hard as a steel toe – but it is more comfortable, and will still offer decent protection in case something “attacks” your toes.
4- Caterpillar Shift 6” Work Boots
In their slogan, Caterpillar says that their products are made for overtime use and that they thrive the most when they have been pushed to their limit. Made from full grain leather, these shoes are very durable in extreme conditions and will resist even if they are put to great abuse.
Featuring a steel toe, these boots are very protective in case of any unfortunate accidents. As a result, if you drop anything on your feet, you won’t feel anything – at least not on your toes. Plus, the soft, very supportive insole is perfect when it comes to supporting your arch and joints – therefore preventing any back pain from appearing.
Featuring an anti-slip rubber outsole, these boots are perfect not only for walking on slippery surfaces but also for climbing stairs. Plus, since the outsole is so dense, it will also protect you against any electrical hazards.
5- Thorogood American Heritage Work Boots
There’s no better feeling of confidence than wearing a pair of boots made with premium craftsmanship. Made entirely in the United States, these leather shoes are very comfortable to wear – regardless of the season. Plus, considering that they sport magnificent beauty, they are also the stylish option to go for.
Featuring dual-density ultimate shock absorption with superior cushioning, these shoes are not only perfect for working on concrete, but they are also a great option if you have pronation issues. Plus, the inserts are removable – so, if you have certain needs, you can add your special insoles in there as well.
These boots are made with a composite shank to provide support to your underfoot. At the same time, the wedge outsole provides electrical hazard protection – in the event that you have to work with these environments. They are protective from the inside-out, making them a great choice for everything and everyone.
6- Everboots Tank Boots
The Everboots shoes represent the perfect choice for any kind of environment – particularly if you suffer from back and foot pain. Thanks to their cushioned insole that can be replaced with a custom orthotic one, these are great if you have underpronation or overpronation.
There is a short break-in period – but it is not as significant compared to other shoes. Since they are made from leather, not only are they durable, but will also take a shorter amount of time until they “mold” around your feet.
These shoes are budget-friendly, making them perfect for those who are tight on cash. At the same time, they are of a very high quality for their price – and are very comfortable to wear for an entire day.
Moreover, the outsole is shock and slip-resistant. This makes them perfect not only for walking on concrete but for climbing stairs as well.
7- Carhartt Boots
If you dislike the heavy weight of steel boots, then you might want to consider getting a pair made with composite toes – such as the Carhartt pair. Plus, since they are more insulating when it comes to electrical hazards, they are also a great option if you tend to work around a lot of wires.
Featuring abrasion-resistance on the outsole, these shoes will not allow you to lose your grip on the ground, even after prolonged use. Furthermore, since they are made from full grain leather, not only will they be durable, but they will also keep you protected around the ankles.
Featuring a generously-padded, shock-absorbing insole, your spine will no longer have as much to suffer. It will act as a cushion to your foot all day long – providing you support even if your arch is not as “cooperative.” The Ortholite insole can be removed at any time in case you have your own custom soles to wear.
8- Timberland Pro Helix Work Boots
If your work has you climbing ladders all day long, then these shoes are the perfect match for you. Featuring a rubber outsole with an excellent grip, you will have great traction and will not risk falling from any high places. Unlike other boots, these also offer an outsole radius (ladder lock), which will make it safer for you to climb a ladder’s rungs.
These shoes are made from leather, providing decent durability – in conditions where your shoes are already exposed to wear and tear. They also feature a
breathable mesh lining that will ensure your feet stay dry, cool, and comfortable on both warm and cold days.
Equipped with a titan alloy safety toe, these boots will protect your toes from anything that might fall on them. At the same time, they are fairly lightweight – which means that you won’t tire out from wearing them all day long.
Featuring an open-cell, single-density, contoured footbed, these boots are as comfortable as they can be. For this reason, they are also a good option if the arch of your foot is not properly developed.
9- Keen Utility Detroit Boots
If you tend to do a lot of lifting at your workplace, then you might want to consider these shoes from Keen Utility. They feature a great footbed design that provides proper support to your arch and joints. Moreover, your lower back will no longer be under such great pressure. These shoes are also able to absorb the shock of a heavy lift.
The outsoles of these shoes feature a very good, anti-slip grip – one which will prevent you from falling when you are carrying a very heavy load. Plus, its shock-absorbing role will make it comfortable for you to wear them all day long.
The boots feature a waterproof design, making them a great option if you work in rain, mud, and other similar conditions. At the same time, the boots are very breathable, allowing your feet to stay dry and cool.
10- Timberland White Ledge Mid Ankle Boots
Driving or continuously sitting at a desk for hours at a time can also put a lot of pressure on your back. When you are driving, for example, your whole body vibrates from the road shock – therefore, sending stress to your spine.
This is made worse when you continuously have to load and unload things from the vehicle. This is why these boots with multidirectional rubber soles are such a great choice. They will absorb the shock, and regardless of the surface, you will have a very good grip on the ground.
These shoes are lightweight – to the point that you will barely even know that you are wearing them. Featuring a soft toe, they will flex nicely around your foot and offer decent protection in the event that small to mid-sized objects fall on your feet.
The breathable footbed is generously cushioned, providing you decent support to your arch. It will mold around your foot, mimicking your movements and allowing you to go pain-free around your day.
Made from full-grain leather, they are very durable and last more than the average shoes of this type. Furthermore, the price is very convenient – so, if you are shopping on a budget, these are the right shoes for you.
11- Dunham Cloud Mid-Cut Work Boots
Once more, if you are on a budget, these shoes might be down your alley. The name is also an appropriate one – as customers compare using them with walking on a fluffy cloud.
Made from waterproof and lightweight leather, these boots revolve only around the comfort – and obviously, the durability. The ankle collar is padded to reduce blisters – which is why the break-in period is short.
Furthermore, the shock-absorbent, memory foam padding is perfect for reducing shock to the spine. Thus, it can help with your back pain. It will provide proper support to your arch so that you walk in comfort all day long – without any painful issues.
These boots are also waterproof, making them a great choice if you are working near water. Your feet will stay dry – but they will also be able to breathe through the leather. Overall, for the price, they are a very convenient option.
12- Wolverine Raider Contour Welt Boots
Have you ever seen Wolverine complaining of back pain? The answer is “no” and this is because he knows precisely what shoes to wear. Made from high-quality, soft leather, these boots are perfect for going on errands every day – taking off the pressure from your spine.
This boot features a shock-absorbing outsole, which will offer good traction on the ground. No matter if you are dealing with concrete or a slippery area, these shoes will keep you on your feet – therefore preventing any damage that might occur. The insoles are also just as shock-absorbing, preventing any issues to your spine.
Thanks to the mesh liner, these boots are perfect even if you are working in hot conditions. Plus, thanks to the fact that they are waterproof, your feet will stay dry – but only in moderate situations. Considering the price that they are usually sold at, these boots are a very convenient acquisition.
Back Pain and the Main Causes
Back pain is so common among people that many of them seem to just ignore it and hope that it goes away on its own. However, the fact that it is one of the main reasons why people miss work and that it is a leading cause for disability, this should actually raise concern among individuals.
There are ways for you to take measures against recurring back pain episodes – and generally, only proper body mechanics along with home treatments will help fix this problem for you. Within a few weeks, you should be up on your feet and with no back pain.
In case you haven’t noticed yet, here are some common signs and symptoms for back pain:
- Muscle aches
- Pain radiating from the back and all the way down to your leg
- Stabbing pain in your back
- Pain that gets worse when you lift, bend, stand, or walk
- Pain that goes away once you are in reclining position.
Back pain usually goes away by itself when you use proper home treatment and rest. However, if you see that it is not improving – or that the symptoms are only getting worse – then you might want to contact your doctor.
Why Footwear Can Cause Back Pain
Footwear affects the health of our feet more than you may think. This is particularly true for those who stand on their feet for too long – every passing day. If you wear the wrong shoes, then even a short time spent on those shoes can be disastrous for your feet. You can end up causing stress to your vertebrae, as well as the soft tissue responsible for supporting them.
Many of us do not even give a second thought to the process of walking – and what very few people know is that is can be a very complicated operation. If you do not walk correctly, in time, you could end up with conditions such as sciatica, disc pain, bulging disks, and other spine disorders caused by degeneration.
The shoes we wear, along with the way we carry our feet can greatly influence the development of our feet. If we move our steps a certain way, our bodies will follow – and this will significantly affect the ways in which we develop.
When you make a step, it’s the heel that should be touching the ground first. After that, the arch will begin to pronate or roll inward, bringing the balls of your feet on the ground as well, followed by the toes as you push off and repeat the cycle.
However, in some cases, under pronation can also occur. When this happens, the arch doesn’t go forward far enough – resulting in improper absorption of the shock. If the shock is not properly absorbed, then your spine risks getting jarred – leading to hernias and other injuries to the spin.
On the other hand, overpronation happens when the arch is rolled inward too far, causing the rest of your lower body to rotate inward as well. This is a chain reaction caused by the bone movement and the muscle – leading to further stress in your back.
To solve these problems, you might want to look for shoes that can fix the effects of under pronation and overpronation. There are even more ailments caused by wearing the wrong boots. For instance, flatfoot can be quite uncomfortable. This is why we recommend that you look at the top work boots for plantar fasciitis as well.
What to Look for in Boots for Back Pain
When it comes to boots for back pain, there are certain things that you might want to look for – some of them more important than others. However, the more of these features you can find in a pair of shoes, the more they can help with your back problems.
The insoles of your shoes are probably the most important to look at when buying shoes for back pain – since they can help with the pronation of your feet. If the insoles are not well-made, this can lead to strain and stress to your spine. This is why you should go for boots that offer both a bounce-back effect and support.
Ideally, you will want the insoles of your boots to provide a rebound to the balls of your feet, as well as to the heel. This way, the strain will be relieved from your heel – which will prevent the pain from traveling all the way up to your back.
Wide Toe Boxes
If your toes are cramped in the toe box, it will prevent the blood from circulating properly, which can lead to some serious foot pain. The strain and stress will send the pain shooting upward – all the way to your lower back.
Furthermore, when your feet are hurting, you will have the tendency of shifting your weight from one foot to another, leading to a misalignment of your disk. If you are not careful enough, this can lead to a hernia – which will obviously be very painful.
You might not think that traction is an issue when it comes to back pain – but if you slip and fall on a rocky or wet surface, it does become an issue. Indeed, it’s not directly related, and it’s not the kind of nagging pain that just appears at some point. You slip, you hurt your back, it starts hurting – and it keeps hurting on and on.
So, what do we do to prevent this kind of pain? Obviously, we try not to slip and fall. However, that is rather difficult to do if your boots do not agree with you in the slightest. As a result, you may want to look for boots that keep you rooted to the ground and that prevent any unfortunate accidents from happening.
Most back pains are caused by the shock your spine gets when you step over a hard or uneven surface. This is why you will need a pair of boots with the ability to absorb that kind of shock – a pair that sports insoles made from this polymer substance.
You may look for boots that can have their insoles changed. This way, if you have certain specifications, you can have the old insoles removed, and add a pair that has been custom-made for you. If you are particularly troubled by back pain caused by shock to the nerves, you might want to go for orthotic insoles.
To ensure that you get normal supination and pronation, most manufacturers use different kinds of techniques to ensure that you get the right kind of support. The most appropriate boots for these conditions are generally the stability and motion-control ones. However, sometimes, they are not as shock absorbing – particularly if the positioning of the cushioning is not really suitable for you.
Take your arches into consideration. Do you have a normal arch, a high arch, or a flat arch? A simple way to tell whether you pronate is if you place a piece of paper on the ground and if you step with your wet foot over it.
If you see what resembles an almost perfect outline of your foot, then you most likely have a flat arch. On the other hand, if the middle of your foot looks skinny – and barely touched the paper – then you are dealing with a high arch. Anything that is between these two is a normal arch.
For this reason, you might want to look for work boots that have arch support units. If they also feature heel support, then you may have found the perfect shoes for yourself.
Antimicrobial and Moisture Wicking
If your feet are wet and sticky, you will be uncomfortable all day. If your feet get wet and start sticking to the shoes, they will get swollen – and that discomfort will start sending pain signals down the spine. We don’t even have to get into how this will affect your back in the long run.
This is exactly why you may want to look for a pair of boots with antimicrobial properties – a pair that will make sure your feet stay dry throughout the rest of the day. If your feet are comfortable, then your brain will no longer send shooting signals to your spine – and you will be able to walk around comfortably, without any other worries.
Water-resistant vs. Waterproof
There’s a big difference between boots that are water-resistant and those that are waterproof. If the boots are water-resistant, they will prevent water and moisture from sticking in – but only for a short time. After that, the moisture will slowly start crawling in – which will obviously get your feet wet.
The waterproof boots are slightly different in the sense that they won’t let water sneak into the boots, regardless of the circumstances. The boots are sealed and treated properly – so, if you happen to step into continuous puddles of water in the rain, your feet won’t get all wet.
The finest waterproof boots (which we have reviewed) are slightly more expensive than those that are water resistant. If you are on a budget and work in a domain where water is not a problem, then you might want to invest in a pair of water-resistant boots. Otherwise, go for something waterproof.
Flexibility is the opposite of support provider – but they aren’t exactly negating one another. In truth, a good pair of shoes will relieve the foot pain while reducing the pressure that goes into your back.
Furthermore, a pair of flexible shoes will not be uncomfortable – and will, therefore, prevent any unnecessary injury. You need to look for boots that are firm enough to support your arch – but flexible enough to allow the foot to make a full motion.
The Link Between Footwear and Posture
For as long as shoes have existed, we have branded them to be the “protectors of our feet.” However, when fashion started making itself known, footwear took on a different turn. Right now, shoes can be either a hit or a miss – so, you can buy a great-looking pair of shoes that are so uncomfortable that they send shooting pain all up to your spine. Who knew that shoes would make you feel like and look like the Notre Dame hunchback?
Here’s the thing: our feet have a natural curve made to support the curve of our spine as well – gently, without us even noticing. If the curve is supported properly, then your posture will also remain correct. However, if the shoes do not take back support into consideration, then your feet and your posture will be the ones to suffer. And the damage done to your posture will not only be unsightly, but it can also be quite dangerous and lead to chronic pain.
If you have a spinal injury, you are even more predisposed to having bad posture. So, if you also add bad footwear in the mix, it is the perfect recipe for back pain. This happens more often than not, due to the fact that orthopedic shoes generally have bulky shapes or limited color options – making them not so stylish.
However, with today’s technologies, and with our help you can easily find a high-end pair of boots. They will offer you the support that you need without sacrificing on the style part.
These shoes will offer the right support to your back so that you no longer feel the need to shift back and forward or from one leg to another. This way, your posture should no longer be compromised – so, you will be able to develop nicely.
Good Posture vs. Bad Posture
If you have good posture, then you will be able to walk in the way that the least amount of strain is placed on your spine. Your muscles will be supported, as well as your ligaments as you are moving around. If you do a lot of field work, this is actually a crucial thing, particularly if you do a lot of weight lifting.
To maintain a good posture, you will need to ensure that you have proper strength and that you do not add unnecessary stress to your joints and muscles as well. If necessary, you might have to do some posture habit corrections that are completely unrelated to your shoes.
Bad posture makes you feel (and look) overall bad – which is why you may want to correct it before it becomes too late. The way you handle and control your body affects it as well. This is why you may want to learn how to properly correct your posture.
Tips for Sitting Properly
If you tend to do a lot of desk work – or you drive a lot – then you might have to consider a few tips that will allow you to sit properly and correct your posture. Here are the most important tips to remember:
- If your feet do not reach the floor, you might want to keep them on a footrest – and refrain from sitting with your feet in all kinds of unnatural positions.
- Refrain from crossing your knees. The ankles should stay in front of the knees, or at least in line with them.
- Make sure that you keep a small gat between the front of your seat and the back of your knees.
- Ascertain that the knees are either below or at the same level as your feet.
- Make sure to adjust the backrest so that it provides both low and mid-back support.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed and ensure that your forearms are parallel to the ground level.
- Refrain from sitting in only one position for a prolonged amount of time. Get up every hour for 2-5 minutes to move a little and stretch your muscles.
However, posture can be affected even as you are walking – or standing – which is why you may want to be particularly careful with the behavior of your body. Here are some pieces of advice for you to do so.
- Keep your weight mainly on the balls of your feet.
- Ensure that your knees are generally in a slightly bent position.
- Your arms should hang naturally down the side, parallel with your body.
- The feet should stay shoulder-width apart.
- Try to keep your stomach tucked in.
- Try to stand tall and straight, with your shoulder pulled slightly backward.
- Make sure that your head stays level – and that your earlobes are in line with your shoulders. In other words, you should refrain from pushing your head backward, forward, or to the side.
- If you have to stand for prolonged amounts of time, you may want to shift your weight from one foot to another or from toe to heel. If you add a pair of boots with proper back support, then it should be much easier for you to hang on to your posture.
In the beginning, this could be very difficult to do, as it might be very tempting for you to slip back into your bad habits. It will take a lot of practice – and a fair amount of memory jolts. However, after some time, it should become a natural thing to do – since your body will begin getting used to the new habits.
And just like there is advice when it comes to standing or sitting, there are also some tips to remember when it comes to the correct lying position. This can also cause back pain. So, here is what you should do – but also what you should refrain from doing:
- Make sure that the mattress you get is the perfect one for you. Technically speaking, a firm mattress is the recommended type – but some people find more support for their back on a soft mattress. It eases their pain, making it more comfortable – which is why you should find the mattress that works the best for your needs.
- Refrain from sleeping on your stomach.
- Use a pillow to correct any existent posture issues.
- Try to sleep on your back or your side as often as possible. These positions should relieve pain
As you can see, not everything is in the shoes. Sometimes, you may have to add other “helpers” – since the shoes won’t be able to do everything.
When you are shopping for the perfect pair of work boots, you should take into consideration various factors. To begin with, the boots you purchase should be both durable and comfortable – and will need to have the properties necessary for taking the soreness out of your back.
It would be best to should look for a pair of work boots that have generous cushioning – preferably, made with EVA and memory foam. The combination of the two will not only give you the support that you need but will also ease the back pain.
Each piece of footwear works differently for everyone – which is why you should be the one to know exactly what makes you feel comfortable. If you tend to stand around a lot or work on the field, look for traction and support. On the other hand, if you work at your desk, look for flexibility and comfort.
A pair of good work boots will be all you need so that you can get back home pain-free and in good spirits.