If You Have Bad Posture, Podiatrists Are Urging You To Swap Your Shoes for These 7 Better Options

Photo: Getty Images / Mike Kemp
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Hunching your shoulders, looking down at your phone, and sitting in awkward, non-ergonomic positions on the couch are all major culprits of bad posture. To state the obvious, bad posture can lead to all sorts of back pain. But perhaps a less obvious piece of the puzzle is that posture begins from the ground up—and it starts with proper shoes. In addition to cat-cows and bird dogs (yes, animals make for the best posture exercise names), the best shoes for posture can bring your back into proper alignment.

When buying shoes for posture, look for arch support, according to Mohammed Rimawi, DPM, a New York-based podiatrist. "If the feet are the foundation, then the arch is the structure that holds everything upright. A collapse in the arch can disrupt the biomechanics in your gait, which can lead to problems in the ankle, knees, hips, and ultimately the back," Dr. Rimawi says.

You'll also want to make sure the shoe is properly fitted, as ill-fitting shoes can cause rubbing, blisters, and "make you walk awkwardly," which in turn affects posture, says R Randal Aaranson, DPM, a podiatrist at Mercy Clinic in Washington, Missouri. And, as an added bonus, the proper fit can also help your balance — again, your feet are your foundation!

With that in mind, check out these podiatrist approved shoes for posture. No more hunching or slouching with these kicks.

The best shoes for posture

new balance fresh foam
New Balance, Fresh Foam X 880v12 — $135.00

Sizes available: 5-13, in half sizes and four different widths

New Balance’s Fresh Foam 880v12 will help you get things back in line. Featuring a foam footbed and sturdy sole, the Fresh Foams offer stability and support to keep your back straight. “The additional advantage of them is that they will tend to run on the wider sider of shoe wear,” making it a great option for people with wide feet, says Dr. Rimawi.

Colors: 11

hoka clifton 8
Hoka, Clifton 8 — $140.00

Sizes available: 5-12, in half sizes and two different widths

A podiatrist-favorite, the Clifton 8s have an arch-supporting and cushioned midsole to support the biomechanics in your gait, improving back pain and posture. Not only that, they are “supportive and secure to withstand the ground and pound from day-to-day walking or running,” says Dr. Rimawi. Also nice: It has a roomy toe box and mesh outer that keeps things breezy (sweaty feet, no more).

Colors: 21

brooks adrenaline
Brooks, Adrenaline GTS 22 — $140.00

Sizes available: 5-13, in half sizes and two different widths

Not only can the Adrenaline GTS 22s help you go the distance on your next run, it “does a great job controlling excess heel motion,” explains Dr. Rimawi. Thanks to the soft-but-not-too-squishy cushioning, this shoe provides structural support to your arches, keeping your back and posture in alignment.

Colors: 25

asics gel kayano
Asics, Gel-Kayano 28 — $100.00

Sizes available: 5-13, in half sizes

When it comes to arch-supportive shoes, you can count on Asics. The Gel-Kayanos 28 come recommended by Dr. Rimawi and Dr. Aaranson for its foot-stabilizing sole and gel-like cushioning, which helps you to maintain proper posture. “Great for walking and for people who have issues with stability,” says Dr. Rimawi.

Colors: 14

hoka bondi 8, one of the best shoes for sciatica
Hoka, Bondi 8 — $165.00

Sizes available: 5-12, in half sizes and two different widths

Another podiatrist-approved Hoka shoe, the Bondi 8s have a super cushy footbed and rear crash pad for shock-absorbing walks or runs. It’s recommended by Dr. Rimawi for the ankle supporting design, which prevents posture-impacting injuries. Even more, it’s lightweight and breathable, so you know this shoe won’t bog you down.

Colors: 9

saucony guide 14
Saucony, Guide 14 — $130.00

Sizes available: 5-12, in half sizes and two different widths

Posture-promoting shoes have arch support and stable soles, and Saucony’s Guide 14 ticks all of those boxes. These kicks boast a responsive, foam sole that keeps your arch supported—which in turn aligns your back—and an effortless fit that doesn’t disrupt your gait. Aligned back, here we come.

Colors: 15

brooks addiction walker
Brooks, Addiction Walker 2 — $130.00

Sizes available: 5-12, in half sizes and four different widths

For people with flat feet, Dr. Rimawi recommends Brooks Addiction Walker 2, especially for folks with flat feet. It offers maximum support in the form of a biomechanical engineered arch to advance your gait and has a slip-resistant sole for safer walks.

Colors: 2

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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