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10 Highest Rated Work Boots for (Lower) Back Pain in 2020

best work boots for back pain featured image

Most jobs that require you to wear a duty boot are not for sissies. Physically demanding jobs like an oil rig, construction or farm duty take a heavy toll on your feet. Whether it's standing for long periods, walking around on the hard concrete floor, or climbing scaffolds and ladders, your legs and feet will take some bashing.

But that not all. In addition to your feet and legs, site duty can also be just as hard on your lower back. Granted how painful and disabling back problems can be, how can you prevent it without giving up your demanding but well-paying site job?

Thankfully, all hope is not lost. We are about to show you how a seemingly simple change of footwear can make all the difference.  You may not realize it now, but wearing the right work boots for aching back will help you down the road.

Importance of Wearing the Right Boots to Prevent Back Pain

You may wonder, how does your duty boot affect your back? Several ways of wearing the wrong pair of duty boots could spell trouble for your back. However, we shall look at the two main ways that your duty boots may betray your back:

Poor-fitting boots: these can make your gait unnatural. Poor walking gait will also cause muscle imbalances, strain your lower back, and force your body to try to compensate.

Poor arch support: a duty boot that offers little or no support to your arches misaligns your body. This misalignment is often associated with back pain and in some cases, disc issues.

Don't see the link on how your choice of duty footwear may affect your back yet? To be able to see this, you must consider the human body as a unit where an imbalance anywhere could have ripple effects elsewhere.

So when you wear ill-fitting boots or shoes that do not have sufficient support, every uncomfortable step puts pressure on your feet, which is then transmitted through your whole body.

Select boots that are fitting and comfortable. You should have enough room to wiggle your toes. Also, ensure that it has adequate arch support.
These two seemingly simple considerations will go a long way in protecting you from backaches.

So, which work boots meet these criteria?

Our 10 Top Picks of Work Boots for Back Pain Reviewed

Chippewa - Insulated Steel-Toe

Chippewa is known for its tough, reliable boots. The Chippewa logger orthopedic duty boot is made not only loggers but for anyone who enjoys the comfort and a solid performance at duty.

A combination of the best safety and orthopedic features puts this duty boots among the top ten list of best orthopedic duty boots.

The Chippewa is made of oiled black leather. These logger orthopedic duty boots have a 9-inch shaft for maximum protection. The main features of the Chippewa include Chip-A-Tex waterproof membrane, Dri-Lex membrane on the inside to absorb any sweat, and a 3M Thinsulate insulation for warmth in cold weather. It also has a Vibram Tacoma outsole and an ASTM–rated steel toe.

Chippewa Logger Boot image

Most importantly, the Chippewa Logger orthopedic work boots come with removable orthotic insoles to cushion the feet. Additionally, the arch is supported with a solid steel shank. These features ensure that your back will not be strained.



  • Comfortable

  • Arch Support

  • Waterproof

  • Maximum Protection

  • Sweat Absorption

  • It's a bit stiff

Timberland - Waterproof Membrane

The Timberland PRO Endurance series is made to care for your feet and by extension, your back. It features the proprietary Anti-fatigue Technology comfort system, which absorbs shock and redistributes energy at key points on the feet to provide stamina and comfort. This Timberland boot is ideal for those that work long hours on their feet.

This innovative design reduces foot fatigue using shock-absorbing cones that compress and rebound. Thus, your foot is fully supported, and you can go on working for much longer without any back issues.

Timberland PRO image

The contoured insole supports your foot at the main pressure points and impact areas such as the heel and ball of the foot.

In addition to these super-comfort features, the Timberland PRO Endurance series comes with a TITAN-shaped Steel toe for superior protection and fit.

A puncture-resistant plate underfoot completes the protection structure. The leather upper is full-grain and offers comfort as well as unmatched durability. It has a mesh antimicrobial lining that eliminates odor while enhancing foot comfort. The outsole is slip, abrasion, and oil resistant and provides full protection from electrical hazards.


  • Anti-fatigue Technology Comfort System

  • Shock Absorption

  • Good for Working Long Hours

  • Great Pressure Relief

  • Puncture-resistant


  • Small and Narrow-sized

Timberland PRO 52562 - Abrasion Resistant

The Timberland PRO 52562 is a performance duty boot. It's designed to care for your feet and back through a superior support system which ensures you can comfortably duty all day in them.

This level of comfort and support is enabled by a plethora of advanced features chief of which include Anti-fatigue technology, Timberland PRO® Rubber outsoles, and a Steel-Flex® puncture-resistant plate.

Timberland 52562 image

It's patented Anti-fatigue technology features conical geometry in the polyurethane midsole to absorb shock and reverse energy to the foot. To further add to the comfort, there's a contoured single-density open-cell polyurethane footbed with antimicrobial cover. This improves breathability, comfort, and odor control. A fiberglass shank adds further structural support.

Its rubber outsole takes care of your stability no matter the terrain. It's slip, oil, and heat-resistant. The rugged outsole also features the Ladder Lock™ outsole radius for a better grip on ladder rungs.

The toughness and durability of the Timberland PRO 52562 are guaranteed with Timberland PRO® Rubber "double toe" and Timberland PRO® rubber backstay.


  • Great Support

  • Comfortable

  • Puncture-resistant

  • Shock Absorbent

  • Breathable


  • Loose Stitching

Wolverine Men's W04821 - Ankle-High

Wolverine Buccaneer orthopedic work boots can fit right in an upscale bar as well as the construction site.

Built for comfort and style, these are not really safety boots but are great for working on your feet and standing for long hours. They offer excellent foot support and comfort, which places them in the top ten of any orthopedic work boot lists.

Wolverine W04821 image

These boots have a detachable full-length cushion bed that act as shock absorbers and also supports your weight. They come with lightweight nylon shanks that support your arch, making it possible for you to stand for long without fatigue.

The Wolverine Buccaneer orthopedic work boots have full-grain leather uppers. These are durable but yet flexible enough to allow the natural motion of the feet. The leather is also waterproof, and the mesh lining inside keeps your feet dry and odor-free while being soft on the feet.

The rubber outsole has a semi-aggressive lug pattern and is resistant to water, oil, chemicals, heat, scratches, and slipping. The included Multishox technology reduces the impact of each step and distributes the energy to make it easier on the feet.


  • Excellent Support

  • Stylish

  • Comfortable

  • Shock Absorbent

  • Durable

  • Waterproof


  • The leather might scuff easily

Dr. Martens Ironbridge - Extra Wide

Dr. Martens Ironbridge, water-resistant orthopedic work boots, in keeping with the brand's tradition, is made to the highest standards in safety and comfort. These classy leather boots offer therapeutic benefits for your foot, legs, and back.

Aside from their safety credentials, these work boots are built tough and reliable with aggressive soles. Dr. Martens ranks as one of the best in orthopedic work boots.

Dr Martens Ironbridge Wide image

The Ironbridge orthopedic work boots have tumbled grain leather uppers with seams stitched to seal against water. The boots' water-resistance is further enhanced with the water-repelling oiled finish.

The insides are lined with Cambrelle, which feels soft against the feet. The Cambrelle absorbs moisture to keep your feet dry and free of odor. Also, all the pressure points on the feet are made soft for foot comfort.

These orthopedic work boots come with the trademark Dr. Martens air-cushioned sole. They are joined to the uppers through Goodyear welt construction that makes them easy to re-sole. Aggressive lug patterns on the sole give you traction on just about any surface. Steel toe caps offer compression protection, and the boots also offer protection from electrical hazards.

The Dr. Martens Ironbridge orthopedic work boots are designed for Comfort and Support. The wood shank enables them to absorb shock while remaining lightweight. The air-cushioned sole properly supports the feet together with soft mesh-draped EVA insoles.


  • Water-resistant

  • Pressure Relief

  • Steel Toe Protection

  • Lightweight

  • Shock Absorbent


  • Narrow for Wide Feet

KEEN Utility Pittsburgh - 100% Nubuck Leather

The KEEN Utility Pittsburgh work boots evoke the toughness and industry of the city of Pittsburgh, which they are named for. These work boots, employing the latest technology, are designed to keep off fatigue, so you put in your best at work.

These boots have all the comforts and fit of a hiking boot with the performance of a true work boot. The fit on the heels feels natural, and the toe box is spacious. The asymmetrically designed toe box protects all your toes while allowing them room to flex.

KEEN Utility Mens Pittsburgh image

The internal support system is designed with the anatomy of the foot in mind. Hence, it provides excellent arch support and gently cradles the contours of the foot.

More comfort is provided through a waterproof, breathable membrane that locks moisture out and lets perspiration from your foot escape. Thus, your foot remains comfortably dry and odor-free.


  • Durable

  • Comfortable

  • Spacious Toe Room

  • Great Support

  • Waterproof


  • A bit pricey

Caterpillar - Removable Gel-Based EVA Midsole

The Caterpillar Diagnostic orthopedic work boots pull out all the stops to provide you premium comfort and support. They combine some pretty innovative technology to support you all strenuous-workday long. It's therefore easy to see why it makes the best orthopedic work boot list.

This work boot features a removable gel-based EVA midsole. This midsole absorbs the energy applied by your feet and returns it back to it to give a spring to your steps. The undersides of your feet also benefit from the excellent cushioning of this hi-tech midsole. The arch is well-supported by a steel tank that takes in the shock from walking on difficult terrain.

Caterpillar Mens Diagnostic image

This work boot features a removable gel-based EVA midsole. This midsole absorbs the energy applied by your feet and returns it back to it to give a spring to your steps. The undersides of your feet also benefit from the excellent cushioning of this hi-tech midsole. The arch is well-supported by a steel tank that takes in the shock from walking on difficult terrain.

This Caterpillar boot has leather uppers that stand 6 inches above the arch. They are watertight and will keep your feet dry in wet conditions. The uppers are cemented to the sole to keep out water. The Thinsulate insulation protects your feet in frigid weather while keeping them cool in hot weather. There's also nylon mesh to keep your feet dry always.

The boots have an ASTM-rated steel toe to protect your feet against falling heavy objects. The tough CAT SRX slip-resistant rubber soles give you a perfect grip on ladders and challenging terrains. They also protect against electrical hazards.


  • Great Support

  • Comfortable

  • Shock Absorbent

  • Good Insulation

  • Steel Toe Protection


  • Not good for long wearing

Dunham Cloud - Memory Foam Insole

The Dunham Cloud Mid-cut orthopedic work boots are very lightweight and versatile. They are used for jobs that require plenty of motion and minimal risk of falling heavy objects.

Their exceptional comfort levels earn them a place on this line-up.

Dunham Cloud image

This boot cradles your feet with a full-length detachable shock-absorbing memory foam insole and a polyurethane midsole. A lightweight but robust fiberglass shank supports your arches. They absorb the impact of stepping on stones and other hard objects. Rollbars help straighten your feet and encourage proper gait while walking.

These boots stand a mere 4.5 inches from the arch, which makes them very lightweight. The leather uppers are waterproof and come with a gusseted tongue to completely seal the boot against water. The ankle shift has padded collars that are soft around your ankles. The sole has multidirectional lug patterns for a solid grip.

Although they do not come with steel toes, they have a toe-bumper and may not be accepted at some job sites.


  • Lightweight

  • Versatile

  • Comfortable

  • Shock-absorbent

  • Great Support


  • May not be accepted in some sites

Timberland White Ledge - Rugged Rubber Outsole

The Timberland White Ledge is primarily a hiking boot. But it can be used for work sites with less rigorous safety requirements. It features a full-grain leather upper that is seam-sealed to keep your feet dry.

We included this boot to our list because of their superior comfort and support. Perfect for a long grueling day at work.

Timberland White Ledge image

What makes it so comfortable? It features an assortment of high-end features such as a detachable, dual-density EVA footbed that is perforated for maximum foot comfort. The perforations allow air to circulate and wicks away moisture, leaving your feet dry and odor-free.

This boot features a rugged rubber outsole with the B.S.F.P.™ motion efficiency system. This B.S.F.P. (Brake, Support, Flex, and Propel) system gives you excellent traction. It consists of a sturdy rubber outsole with lugs that assist you in braking, and accelerate easily.

Responsive flex grooves behind the ball of the foot and in the toe area help stabilize your gait. A padded collar and tongue further enhance the comfort levels.


  • Keeps Your Feet Dry

  • Comfortable

  • Great Support

  • Good Traction

  • Responsive Flex Grooves


  • Takes time to break-in

Caterpillar Second Shift - Steel Shanks

Caterpillar Second Shift Steel Toe work boots provide complete comfort and safety at an affordable price tag.

Caterpillar is known for its heavy equipment, which has become a symbol of hard work and reliability. This value is at the core of their work boots, and the Caterpillar second shift is a prime example.

As the name suggests, the Caterpillar Second Shift is built to keep your feet safe and comfortable even through the second shift.

Caterpillar Second Shift image

The uppers are made with full-grain leather uppers, which are waterproof. The ankle well stands 6 inches from the arch and is topped off by padded collars. The uppers are stoutly connected to the sole via Goodyear welt construction.

This orthopedic work boot comes with a removable contoured insole that provides comfort even for flat feet. Steel shanks give proper support to the arches. The steel shanks are useful for absorbing shocks from impacts on stony grounds, thereby protecting the feet, legs, and back. Also, the nylon mesh interiors ensure your feet are kept cool and dry.

This boot comes in two models: with a steel toe for heavy industries and without.


  • Comfortable

  • Safety Protection

  • Durable

  • Waterproof

  • Good for Flat Feet


  • Sole tends to separate

What to Consider in Choosing a Great Work Boot for Backache

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The insole is a significant part of the features that support the foot in the best orthopedic work boots. Work boots insoles are designed to give enhanced comfort and premium support for your feet. They improve and protect the general health of your feet, preventing and in some cases curing foot ailments.

When choosing a work boot, look out for those with removable insoles. This is necessary so that you can replace them with custom-made insoles that are designed for the unique shape of your arch or to take care of your particular foot problem. All the boots featured in this list have high-quality detachable insoles.


The comfort offered by a work boot depends on a lot of factors such as structure, material, and form. Leather upper with padded collars feels easy on the ankles. Look out for extra cushioning in the insole and midsole to absorb shocks and protect your feet from impacts.

A well-designed sole and shanks can offer comfort to those with foot issues like heel spurs, corns, and calluses, plantar fasciitis, etc. Some footbeds and midsoles come with additional support facilities to protect the feet from fatigue and pain.

Arch Support

This is a critical consideration in choosing the right work boots. Good footwear is supposed to support the shape of the arch of your foot. When this is lacking, as you take a step, the foot arch collapses and puts stress on ligaments, muscles, and nerves of the feet. This is known as over-pronation, and it causes plantar fasciitis – one of the most common foot injuries.

The work boot with the proper arch support prevents these foot issues. You need to determine the shape of your arch to know the proper arch support for your feet. If your foot arch is high, you'll need more cushioned support. While flat arches mean you'll require firmer support.


The workplace, most times, is an accident waiting to happen. One of the more common hazards is slippery surfaces – likely due to oil or other spilled fluids.

The ideal work boot should be equipped with outsoles with the right kind of lugs. An aggressive lug with good traction will keep you on your feet in the most unstable of terrains. For best results, they are usually designed to tackle different kinds of surfaces – loose stones, oily and slippery wet.

Safety Features

Since you are getting the work boots for work, on top of your list of considerations should be the included safety features.

As any experienced site worker would know, the worksite is replete with potentially dangerous scenarios. Lives and millions of manhours have been lost due to accidents at job sites. Therefore, personal protective equipment is paramount for any site work.

Apart from a coverall and a helmet, a work boot that offers all-round protection for your feet is a must. The features to look out for are steel/composite toes to safeguard your feet from compression from heavy falling objects; slip-resistance to keep you on your feet on treacherous terrain; waterproofing to keep you dry and comfortable; and electrical hazard resistance.


Work boots tend to pass through lots of hard usages. And unfortunately, many tend to fall apart quickly. However, we have chosen the orthopedic work boots on this list for their ability to withstand the wear and tear of constant abuse.

You can see how tough a work boot is by examining the material and the construction. Reinforced seams, solid wear-resistant soles, scratch-resistant uppers, and a robust lacing system all indicate how well a work boot will wear.


No matter how good a work boot is, it's only going to spell disaster for your health if they don't fit your feet properly. Working with bad fitting work boots will eventually lead to feet, ankle, legs, and lower back pain and issues.

Make sure to wear the boots and walk around in them to see how they fit. You should watch out for any pressure on any part of your feet. Your heel shouldn't slide all over the back nor come up out of the boots. At the same time, your feet shouldn't slide forward, so your toes hit the end of the boot. Also, ensure your toes have at least an inch of wiggle room in front of them.


A lightweight work boot will put less stress and strain on your feet and legs than their heavier counterparts. More so, if your job entails moving around for long hours, heavier boots will overwork the muscles of your feet and legs. At the end of the workday, you'll end up with stiff, tired, and sore muscles.

However, lightweight work boots allow you to move around with ease. With the advancement in material science, modern work boots now feature materials and construction technology, which keeps them lightweight without sacrificing safety and function.

Leg Length Inequality

Discrepancies between the lengths of the leg is a common cause of lower backache. Slight differences between leg lengths are normal because the human body is asymmetrical.

However, it could cause significant problems if the difference in length exceeds 5 millimeters (1/4 inch). The difference in leg lengths could be structural or due to poor pelvic alignment.

Other Causes of Back Ache

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Leg Length Inequality

Discrepancies between the lengths of the leg is a common cause of lower backache. Slight differences between leg lengths are normal because the human body is asymmetrical.

However, it could cause significant problems if the difference in length exceeds 5 millimeters (1/4 inch). The difference in leg lengths could be structural or due to poor pelvic alignment.

Bad Posture

Slouching while sitting, standing, or walking is one of the most common causes of backaches. Assuming a bad posture puts excessive stress and strain on the muscles, joints, and discs, causing pain.

Always make it a habit to maintain a good posture to reduce or eliminate back pain. Also, ensure your workspace both at home and at the office is appropriately set-up to support correct posture.

Flat Feet

Flat-footedness is the absence of foot arches or shallow foot arches. It can cause a misalignment in the ankle, which changes the way joints connect, which can lead to misalignment in the knee joint. This, in turn, can affect your hips, which will affect your gait. Finally, a poor gait will affect your spine, especially your lower back.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe for sufferers to stand and work all day?

Depending on the cause of your backache, prolonged standing may aggravate the symptoms. However, if you wear well-fitted orthodontic work boots, it could help relieve the pain and discomfort caused by standing all day long.

You can also incorporate simple exercises like squats and stretches into your daily routine to reduce pressure on your spine.

Are slip-on types recommended?

Slip-on work boots do not come with laces. Thus, they have the added convenience of letting you get into and out of them quickly. While they may not be allowed on some job sites due to safety regulations, slip-on work boots can be built to offer the same level of comfort and support as laced-up boots.

Are heavy guys more prone to having backaches?

Heavier people are more at risk for backaches. But it's not yet established if being overweight was a direct causative factor. Whatever may be the case, being heavier puts more stress and strain on your hips and spine. The extra weight may also aggravate an already existing condition.


If you are searching for the best pair of work boots for your back pain, any of these boots in our line-up will serve your purpose. They have been reviewed and carefully selected because of their excellent qualities, which eliminate the soreness in your back and allow you to work all day in comfort.

The most critical characteristic and the feature that made these work boots stand-out is the availability of extra cushioning and proper arch support, which make them ultra-comfortable to work in.

Other features include breathability to keep your feet cool and dry; safety features such as steel/composite toes to protect the feet from falling objects, and outsoles with superior traction to keep you upright in any terrain.

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