Are Flat Shoes Good For Sciatica? What Do Specialists Say?

Are you a sciatic patient? Then you must know how debilitating it is to bear this pain.

But do you know what causes sciatic pain? In most cases, it’s improper footwear. There are many other reasons though!

However, we often have a misconception that high-heeled shoes accelerate this pain and flat shoes alleviate it. But are flat shoes good for sciatica? 

No, they aren’t. Be it a flat or heel shoe, if it lacks adequate arch support and proper cushioning, it can contribute to sciatic nerve pain. As flat shoes cause rotational strain, it eventually spreads throughout the sciatic nerve and leads to unbearable foot and lower back pain.

So, no more wrong shoes to worsen the sciatic condition. Let’s explore what you should wear to get rid of it forever!

Must read: Best Shoes for Sciatica Sufferers

Are Flat Shoes Good For Sciatica

What Is Sciatica? 

Being the longest nerve of the human body, the sciatic nerve can cause pain from your neck to your knees. Generally, any pressure, irritation, or strain on this nerve creates this extreme numbness on the part of the legs, lower back, and buttocks.

It particularly happens when you are walking or standing in the wrong posture. That causes discomfort in the nerve and makes it stressed. Resultantly, the irritation travels through the nerve from the lower back to the legs and leaves you in tears to walk even a short distance. 

Actually, any sort of compression on the nerve can lead you to a sciatic situation. But it mainly occurs due to depending on wrong footwear, whether it’s heel or flat. 

Can Flat Shoes Cause Sciatica?

Yes, they can and they contribute a lot in increasing sciatic patients. Because of being less supportive and less cushioned, flat shoes are very dangerous for people facing sciatic nerve pain.

As you are already informed, the twisted sciatic nerve is the main reason behind this unbearable pain. Flat shoes accelerate this pain by inflaming the spine even more. 

In most cases, flat shoes lack arch aid due to their thin materials. Besides, they don’t provide adequate cushioning at all. These two major missings can worsen the condition of the patients. 

When your feet hit the ground wearing flat shoes or sandals, there is a rational strain that affects the sciatic nerves in the buttocks and lower back joints. As a result, the postural inconsistency continues to flare up the sciatic nerve imbalance. 

Thus, flat shoes contribute to 25% more sciatic disorder than shoes with heel platforms. 

Can Uneven Shoes Cause Sciatica?

Can Uneven Shoes Cause Sciatica?

Absolutely yes. In fact, any shoes without sufficient arch support lead to triggering sciatica. Uneven shoes with high heels deteriorate the piercing pain by shifting your body weight forward. 

The unnecessary curves in uneven shoes make the hips hold your body upright. Thus it initiates hip pains first which runs to your legs. Moreover, most shoes with uneven footbeds don’t come with cushioned midsoles to keep the feet relaxed.

Therefore, it creates irritation on the sciatic nerve by transferring the shocks coming from each step forward. Eventually, you experience extreme weakness, stretch, and burning sensation in your legs, lower back, and hip. 

What Shoes Should I Wear for Sciatica?

As sciatic conditions can be both triggered and controlled by proper footwear, people with this severe foot issue should be careful enough while choosing what to wear. 

Instead of wearing absolutely flat shoes or shoes with very high heels, go for slightly elevated ones with 1 or two inches heels. Also, running shoes are considered the first destination for sciatica patients as they include several pressure zones. 

However, this topic demands an analytical approach for your better understanding. That being said, you should consider the things below fight sciatica with your footwear-

  • A soft footbed with sufficient arch support is an absolute must for people facing sciatic pain. 
  • The shoes must have the shock-absorbing capability. Otherwise, the shock can inflame the sciatic nerve. 
  • You must try to avoid stressing your feet while walking. So, try to choose shoes with a comfortable bottom and enough room inside. Unless you put less pressure on the feet, they will not reduce sciatica pain, rather worsen it.
  • As proper posture is much needed for your feet to be relaxed, orthopedic sandals with immense ankle aid are suggested by physicians for sciatic patients. 
  • Being lightweight and ergonomic, running shoes are the best to fight sciatic conditions. As they are architectured with slightly elevated footbeds and several pressure points, the shock, pressure, and stress are equally distributed throughout the body. Thus, you can be relieved of the piercing foot pain.
  • The heel height matters when someone needs proper footwear for sciatica. You should go for no more than 2 inches heels. Although it’s better to have heels within 1-2 inches. Also, avoid entirely flat shoes. Instead, moderate heel height helps rotate your ankles with more flexibility. 
  • Need relief from back pain? Consider buying shoes with lightweight ergonomics. You might ignore the fact that back pain is also a special condition of sciatica. And heavyweight footwear stresses the sciatic nerve more to cause continuing strains.
  • Even if you choose heels, they must be snug with proper ankle support.
  • When it comes to materials, never compromise for less. Especially if you have sciatic problems, go for premium materials with a seamless interior. Furthermore, snug and cushy insoles reduce sciatica-related issues.
  • A poor-fitting can lead to endless foot issues which include sciatica as well. Always look for shoes with a comfortable fit, neither too taut nor too slack.
  • Above all, you need shoes with comfort, cushion, support, shock absorption, and breathability to minimize the impact of sciatica. On top of that, a memory foam insole is highly recommended to ensure ultimate relief when you walk or run.

Can Orthopedic Shoes Help with Sciatica?

As orthopedic shoes are designed with superb cushioning to the heels, toes, and ankles, they can significantly reduce sciatica symptoms to help you overcome them.

As orthopedic shoes are oftentimes customized, they can control your foot movements. Therefore, they can monitor the motions of your foot so that excessive leg movement cannot cause a cascade effect.

Above all, custom foot orthoses can bury the confusion- can flat shoes cause sciatica, should I go for flat shoes or high heels, etc. once and for all. 

Generally, orthopedic footwear are architectured for patients with the arch disorder, low ankle issues, plantar fasciitis, etc.- they come with moderately elevated platforms to alleviate sciatic pain as well. 

So, you need not worry whether your shoes have flat bottoms or high heels. 

Final Words

If you want to keep the sciatic pain at bay, never fall for the outlook of your footwear. Instead, you should focus on how comfortable they are. After all, only supportive footwear can let you get out of such terrible foot aches. 

However, the most popular misconception is that only high heels trigger pain in the sciatic nerve. But truly speaking, flat shoes are no good either. Rather they will deteriorate the condition by shifting the shocks from your footsteps throughout your body. 
Hopefully, your query on are flat shoes good for sciatica?has been well-answered throughout the discussion above. So, avoid flat footwear if you are a sufferer of severe sciatic pain.

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Jimmy Lewis

Jimmy Lewis, a travel enthusiast with professionalism and a hobbyist who goes around the world, leads an enjoyable life with remarkable comfort. I’m one of the men with expertise in traveling, hiking, trekking, and jumping over 5 years of experience in living a remarkable life to be happy! That’s what, about shoes, I built an amazing website named to express my gathering knowledge over decades. Learn more about my team

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