6 Reasons Why Your Work Boots Are Causing You Back Pain

You may have experienced pain in your feet during your long working hours radiating up to your back. Most of us are used to shaking this off as a symptom of being on our feet all day. But what if your work boots are causing your back pain?

If you aren’t using the right footwear for the job, you are putting a strain on your joints and feet, which causes pressure and misalignment on your lower back.

a warehouse worker having a back pain due to standing too long on his feet wearing work boots

It’s no secret that wearing high heels is harmful to your back, but did you know why your work boots are causing back pain?

Is wearing work boots bad for your back?

Yes, if you are wearing improper fitted or uncomfortable work boots, then you will most likely get problems in your knees and back. 

Consider your work boots as a tool, and every job requires the right tools for the job to be completed correctly.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, nearly 80% of back pain symptoms arise from wearing improper footwear

When we pack our feet into narrow and tight work boots, we paralyze our feet from their natural movement, and it will alter the way we function. 

It can also cause a problem in other parts of your body, such as ankles, knees, and lower back.

How work boots we wear affect our backs?

Uncomfortable work boots can strain your foot’s nerves obstructing the twist and turn of the ligaments and tendons in the feet. 

These types of work boots can multiply muscle stress, and as a result, it will affect your spine, which leads to severe back pain.
The bones and the nerves are all connected to your back.

The bridge that connects your spine to your feet is the pelvic bone and the bones of your legs. 

Therefore, any damage in the feet tissues, veins, and nerves directly affects the spinal cord, and you will experience pain in your back.

Why are some work boots so uncomfortable?

Work boots that are too narrow or short will hurt your feet and be uncomfortable. While extra-large boots allow too much movement can also cause hotspots and blisters on your feet. 

Ensure you are wearing the right kind of footwear for your job because they will provide comfort, support, and pressure relief to your body during work.

6 reasons why your boots are killing your back

Now let’s find out some of the reasons why your back suffers from back pain when wearing work boots. And some tips on what to do in order to relieve back pain caused by your work boots.

1. You’re buying cheap uncomfortable work boots

If your boots are not equipped with a high-quality and well-cushioned insole, then your feet connect closer to the ground, and it hurts. 

Cushions offer a soft base to the feet and absorb much of the body’s weight, which helps to reduce foot pain and make them comfortable.

You can also insert an extra orthopedic insole, which helps prevent the feet from pain better than your regular boot pads.

2. You do not have the right size for your feet

Wearing the wrong-sized work boots that are mostly smaller can make your toes feel cramped inside the boots, and the arch hurts the most. 

In this situation, the body’s entire weight concentrates on only a single part, which leads to discomfort or foot pain.

Make sure to choose a work boot with enough space to adjust your toes, and your heels don’t slip on either side. It will be best if your work boots have a lace-up system to ensure the boots’ proper fitting. Learn here about how your work boots should fit.

3. Standing all day in your work boots

Standing eight, nine or more hours a day in your work boots contributes to prolonged and significant muscle fatigue and back pain. 

This is terrible news for millions of workers who earn their living by standing on their feet all day on hard surfaces.

However, two hours of standing on the job is not an issue, but standing for an extended period is associated with multiple musculoskeletal disorders like backaches and leg cramps.

4. Wearing regular boots as work boots

Your normal boots have less chemical and abrasion resistance than a work boot. 

Work boots are specifically made to offer comfort and safety in your workplace and have more rugged durability with an anchoring disk in the heel for support and a shank beneath the midsole.

For this reason, your regular boots are not comfortable for your workstation and can cause foot and back pain.

5. Your work boots have no arch support

If your work boots don’t have proper arch support, the arch can collapse and stretches the foot along with nerves, ligaments, and muscles of the feet. 

It’s one of the leading causes of foot injuries and backaches. (Another one is slips and falls)

Your work boots must contain a midsole and arch support feature. These provide support to the feet and avoid any turns and twists in the foot’s ligaments and bones. 

Steel shank also offers the right amount of support to the feet.

6. Too much heel is terrible for your back

Another aspect of paying attention is the heel of your work boots. If your work boots have higher heels and inadequate internal arch support, then it’s going to affect your backbone directly. 

As with raised heels, your hips shift forward along with the center of gravity. The calf muscles contract and adjust to the new foot position, and your weight shifts from being well distributed to being mostly on the feet’s ball.

So the heels bear much more weight on the body and dissipate the pain directly to the spine.

The most appropriate heel is raised beyond a standard heel of the boot design which gives you shock absorption and adequate support. So prefer to wear work boots which have heels not more than 1” in height.

Wrapping up

There are probably more reasons why you suffer from back pain when wearing work boots. But if you take care of the points we’ve mentioned above…

  • Wear low heel work boots
  • Make sure your work boots have arch support
  • Avoid at all costs using regular boots as work boots
  • Take a few breaks during your long shifts and take your boots off while resting
  • Choose the right safety boot for your activity
  • DO NOT BUY CHEAP BOOTS!!! (I mean don’t go for cheap and bad quality. Here’s a list of great quality cheap work boots if you’re on a low budget )

… the chances of having back pain are reduced quite drastically!


Team Members Working On This Page

Adrian – Web Master / Construction Professional

Construction Professional, driver, crane operator, cleaner, head chef … these are just some of the jobs I did in the past. Working in all these different environments taught me that having good footwear to protect your feet from different dangers at work IS PARAMOUNT for any worker! On this website, I aim to share all my knowledge and personal experience in dealing with different footwear and foot care issues, and hopefully, you can get something out of it. Enjoy!


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