The Top 10 Best Walking Shoes Reviewed & Tested
Detailed and thorough analysis of the top 10 best walking shoes available in 2017. Must read if you are a serious Walker, Hiker or Active person!
While many people love staying active, not all can run or enjoy running. Walking, however, has the same exceptional benefits as running without the strain on your joints, muscles, and heart. For example, regular brisk walking can help you maintain a healthy body weight, prevent heart disease and high blood pressure, strengthen bones and muscles, improve mood, and improve balance and coordination. Older folks who regularly walk are more likely to stay active much later in life.
One incredibly important factor of walking for exercise is proper footwear. Without ample structure and support in a pair of walking shoes, a person can develop arch, tendon, muscle, or bone issues. In this article is our list of top 10 walking shoes. These choices are based on comfort, breathability, style and technology, versatility, support, and flexibility. Additionally, keep in mind what you will be doing in these shoes as well as where they will take you. You don’t want a thin, overly-flexible road shoe when you’re walking on rocky dirt trails in the woods.
You will find more factors to consider in this article below the top 10 list. Do your research by reading this article and studying all factors of your exercise regimen.
What to Look For When Buying a Pair of Walking Shoes
- ASICS GEL Quickwalk
- Rearfoot GEL Cushioning
- Asics GEL-Tech Neo 4
- Duomax support system
- New Balance 840v3
- Walking specific flex grooves
Perhaps injuries have slowed you down, your days of cranking through marathons have past, or you simply prefer a more sedate pace. If any of the above is true for you walking can be a great alternative.
10 Best Walking Shoes
1. ASICS Gel Quickwalk 3
The shoes have a combination of mesh and synthetic leather on the upper section that makes it very breathable and comfortable. This fabulous footwear has a lace-up closure and plush collar and tongue that add to the comfort. Quickwalk 3 features a fabric lining that is very breathable and helps to create an exceptional in-shoe feel. It also has a molded foam insole that provides excellent cushioning to make it the best shoes for standing all day. The Gel Cushioning System absorbs shock during impact and offers a smooth transition and the shoe also has a long-lasting AHAR rubber outsole.
Style and Design
The shoes have a synthetic leather and mesh upper section makes it very breathable and comfortable. Gel Cushioning System enhances shock absorption during impact and also ensures a smooth transition. Placement of AHAR in critical areas of the outsole minimizes wear to increase the durability of the shoe. This walking sneaker is light enough for long distance walking or running. The overall design and the detailed stitching on the upper section give it an appealing appearance. It has enough arch support for ladies with foot problems. The striking appearance means that it can also be perfect for casual or weekend wear.
- Extra cushioning compared to similar shoes
- Durable sole
- Formed insole
Overlays are stiff and are sometimes noticeable
Heavier than similar shoes
2. Asics Gel Tech Walker Neo 4
The shoes have a generous amount of gel, and are perfect for someone suffering from chronic arthritis with foot problems. The shoes fit perfectly and the cushioning is impressive. This makes the shoes be very comfortable for walking. A comfortable shoe to go walking in. Nothing too crazy!
These shoes are well designed and are a good value for your cash. These walking shoes for men have lightweight fabric and synthetic uppers with mesh panels. This allows heat and perspiration to pass through the uppers, keeping feet cooler and drier. The soles are made from durable natural rubber, and there’s a removable insole, which can be replaced with your own arch support. Gel cushioning absorbs shock and reflective details are a useful safety feature for walking after dark. Luckily, the Asics Neo 4’s is of the highest quality for a walking shoe, so it warrants the price tag.
Style and Colors
These shoes only come in two colors – black and white – which might seem like hardly any selection. The style is quite basic and able to suite many people, though they’re rather sporty, but you could get away with wearing them for different reasons other than walking around the block, like.
Made for both genders
A lighter weight option
Good option for walkers with plantar fasciitis
Gel cushioning in toe and heel
Fits as anticipated
Need break in time
Limited color options
Not available in wide sizes
Arch support is not liked by all reviewers
3. New Balance Men’s MX608v4
This pair of New Balance walking shoes is very comfortable with their rubber sole, dual-density collar, firm density foam for excellent support and IMEVA midsole that provides flexible cushioning. These sneakers have a cushioned foot-bed, come in two sizes to offer a more snug fit for people with wide feet and feature a thick rubber sole for traction and balance when you work out. What’s more, they come in leather or suede, have features that make your workout fun, and are good for long walks as well as casual wear.
At less than $100, they are some of the most affordable shoes on our list even though they are a highly recognized brand. They are definitely worth your money.
Style and Design
New Balance offers them in a variety of colors, from red, blue, grey, to brown, black, white, and more. While they may not be the most stylish pair around, they get the job done and ensure that you can take a walk without ever having to pay attention to pain in your feet.
some durability issue over time
4. Reebok Work and Cushion
The shoes have impressive utility with regards to comfort. They are able to prevent pain brought by long walks. With this shoe, you are assured of comfort, reliability, and good quality.
They are amongst the affordable walking shoes in the market. They totally add up to their price tag in terms of features and utility.
Style and Design
Their design might not seem as appealing as some would like. Its made of a synthetic product while its sole is rubber. It upper part is faux leather and has a beveled heel, which gives a forward momentum. Also, its outsole is slip resistant
- breathability is a bit less than others on our list
5. Saucony Grid Omni
The Omni Walker provides superior feet cushioning and heel-centered stability for a safe and balanced stride. The Saucony Grid Omni Walking Shoe features a Walk Trac patented outsole design for a smooth walking transition. The engineered Asymmetrical Sole provides a more bio-mechanical fit. Includes a premium sock liner for enhanced cushioning and comfort. These shoes are constructed from a responsive EVA/rubber compound that provides plenty of cushioning and support in the right places.
Just like any other shoes from Saucony, the Saucony Omni Walking Shoe is affordable and is a good investment in terms of purchasing a good walking shoe.
Style and Design
This is definitely an athletic shoe to help people go further when they feel they are not able and while there aren’t many color choices in the male or female ranges, there are vast sizing options and some interesting components. This includes the rear foot grid system for stability, “bio-mechanical fit and large toe box, features that have aided tendonitis and other conditions and offered a comfortable way to continue walking.
- Available for men and women
- Optimal for people who have collapsed arches (over pronation) and / or flat feet)
- Available in different widths
- Wide toe box
- User praise their cushioning.
Only two colors (black, white)
On the heavier side
Some users complain about them being "squeaky
6. New Balance 840v3
As mentioned above, the strong point of the 840v3 is the plush cushioning of their full length EVA midsole with ABZORB shock absorbing foam. This layer of foam in the build of the midsole disperses the shock from impact, allowing bounce back and protection.
The upper is put together pretty well, consisting of an outer layer of sparse mesh covering the Phantom liner which actually maintains the structural integrity of the shoe. The combination is really quite breathable, offering decent airflow for those longer walks.
The tread on the outsole is ideal for walking. It isn't at all aggressive, but does provide a good amount of grip on most surfaces that one would likely encounter when out on a walk. The traction is made better by the addition of the blown rubber which covers the treads.
Exceptional amount of cushioning
Blown rubber covering the tread adds durability
Full-length foam strobel board adds comfort and extra support
Some felt the sizing was different from the previous version
7. Skechers Go Walk 4
The 5GEN midsole cushioning offers a highly responsive design to keep you energized throughout your walk. Within the midsole is a bamboo lined footbed designed for antibacterial odor control. (No one likes stinky feet!) The mesh upper expands and contracts naturally to your foot with each step. Goga Pillars on the outsole of the GOwalk 4 have a streamlined style so it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing clunky shoes that slow you down. The midfoot tapers in design for improved arch support. Overall, the shoe is very lightweight. The women’s size 7 weighs only 5.25 oz. The heel measures 1.25 inches for a natural, down to earth feel.
Colors and Style
The GOwalk 4 is available in a variety of colors ranging from subtle black, gray, navy blue, and taupe to a bolder purple or rose. With its streamlined design, you are bound to find the perfect color and style for your walks.
With a price tag ranging from just under $40 to just over $100 (depending on size and color) you will definitely find a shoe you can afford.
5GEN midsole for support and response in each step
Bamboo-lined footbed for antibacterial odor control
Mesh upper expands and contracts with each step
Midfoot tapers for arch support
Available in both subtle and bold colors
Reasonable price tag
Some reviews claimed the shoe runs about 1/2 size small
A few reviews said the shoes were uncomfortable
8. Adidas NEO Cloudfoam Race
The shoe is very light and comfortable for running on all kinds of surface. With its good traction, responsiveness and stability, it helps the runners to run with confidence and hence increases their running performance.It is designed with the Adidas technology hence great support, cushioning and comfort.The shoe has a lightweight foot bed and sole that is also durable. It is true to size and will fit your feet perfectly.
This Adidas NEO Men’s Cloudfoam race running shoe is made with synthetic material and rubber outsole. The upper part of the shoe is made with mesh for great breath ability. In addition, the innovative cloudfoam sock liner for extra cushioning and comfortability. Not to mention the synthetic overlays for a plush look, seamless toecap with 3 stripe designs – the traditional design you often see in an Adidas product. You have a wide range of styles and colors to choose from including Black, white and grey. With the mesh design and construction, this pair of running shoes for men provides good air ventilation. With high quality material, it is very durable and can stand well against the test of time
Highly comfortable to use
Well supportive & Highly cushioned
Variety of color options
A little slippery soles
A little squeky also
9. Dream Pairs Sport
The lack of shoes laces doesn't affect their comfortability, and it is substituted by the upper mesh that is elastic and the shoe is also a slip on type. The Sports edition is light regardless of it being a little thick. The thickness offers a good amount of flexibility and cushioning when walking or running or rough terrain.
The running shoes form Dream Pairs happen to be among the most affordable running shoes in the market, even though they are still a new brand.
Style and Design
The shoes have a simple look. The Sport version has an upper mesh, and a good fit that is enhanced by its slip on feature and a collar that is padded. Good cushioning for maximum support and comfort of the feet.The out sole is non marked.The lack of shoes laces is substituted by the upper mesh that is elastic in nature and the shoe is also a slip on type. The Sports edition is light regardless of it being a little thick. The thickness offers a good amount of flexibility and cushioning when walking or running or rough terrain.
- The shoes are lightweight
- They are affordable Inexpensive
- Great comfortability
- High rate of soaking in wet weather.
- Insufficient ankle protection.
10. New Balance 577
The New Balance 577 Walking Shoes are indeed impressive. They are also very easy walking shoes to put on and take off, with straps, for anyone who doesn’t like laces. The leather uppers are perforated for good ventilation. They are more long lasting than sneakers and the synthetic sole is light, flat and ‘no-skid’, which is helpful for older people with balance problems. The straps give good foot support and stability and they are one of the best walking shoes for men with wide feet.
Not so very stylish but indeed a simple design with good durability. If you are a moderate walker then this shoes will be perfect for you. Good cushioning capabilities,with comfort allowing natural movement of the feet. The breathability of the shoes is also good. Additional features make the shoes have shock absorption qualities, stability and additional durability.
- Surprisingly lightweight
- Should not be used in hot sunny days
Us guys tend to internalize some variation of macho culture when it comes to working out, but there is no shame in walking. Walking can be meditative, perhaps in some ways more so than running (due to the lower energy expenditure). A brisk 20 minute daily walk can be a great addition to any fitness regime. Conversely if you want to be more serious about it, long distance walking can be just as taxing as any form of running.
The Criteria We Used For Our Evaluation Of Suitable Walking Shoes
How much comfort do they provide for most walkers?
While comfort can be relative to an individual level, quality components and careful construction are not. We made sure to select shoes that had the best chance at providing the most comfort to the widest range of individuals. Walking conditions and past injuries are never the same for two different people yet flexible midsoles and lightweight materials help make walking more of an enjoyment and less a chore. Our buying guide is packed with great all around walkers with high comfort levels.
A comfortable run is dependent on how breathable your footwear is. Breathable shoes are made of materials, like mesh, that allow air to flow through the shoe and around your foot. This not only keeps your feet cool, but also helps to evaporate sweat, preventing blisters, hotspots, and soggy socks.
Style and Technology
You no longer have to sacrifice style to have a good walking shoe. Manufacturers have listened to their customers’ requests for fashionable, comfortable and durable shoes. So no matter if you’re walking to the local coffee shop or clear across town, you’re sure to showoff your sense of style.
While some walk for the passion, others walk as part of their occupation. Whether you are on your feet all day by choice or by necessity, comfort in all situations is important. We have considered different walking situations and daily life transitions when building our list of walking shoes.
Support where and when it counts
Walkers and runners will tell you that you can’t tell how much support a shoe truly offers until you have worn it well past that “break in” period. Again, this is were research into long term users and their daily habits becomes of benefit. We made sure that the long term support of materials withstood high wear over long periods of time.
Flexibility in the Soles
Our experience with footwear gives us insight into subtle differences that most walkers and runners aren’t aware of. The foot of a walker hits heel first then gradually rolls from heel to toe. This means that walkers will benefit from a flexible upper, midsole, and outsole unit so that their feet can move naturally and encourage a proper stride.
Other Important Factors To Think About While Shopping Around
Although the metrics above are very important in choosing a pair of walking shoes, there are other factors to think about that will ensure the shoes you choose meet your needs exactly. Read below to get some more insight on how to pick the walking shoes that are best for your fitness and style.
What will you be doing in these walking shoes, and where will they take you?
It’s important to take the time and consider what you will be doing in these shoes. If you’re occupation keeps you on your feet all day and you come across wet surfaces then you may want to consider a low key, OSHA certified option. Likewise, if you’re going to be walking outdoors on the trails, you want to look for weather proof options that have a little more of an aggressive outsole. We found that city walkers typically look for a running shoe/walking shoe mixture that can be more versatile on a day to day basis. Make sure your selection is based on your needs first, then on style. Fancy uppers will not hold up on walking trails, nor will hiking shoes work out too well during the midnight shift at your local diner.
Know How to Properly Size Your Shoes.
Most runners and walkers agree that their feet swell to some extent towards the end of the day or after a strenuous outing. Take this into consideration when making your decision. Remember that you want these shoes to fit you best when you are on longer walks and utilizing them in more taxing role. Walking around in a shoe store won’t really give you a good idea, it’s important that you are your best agent. We suggest sizing your feet at the end of the day to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable walk.
Make a Selection Based on Your Environment.
There are plenty of options to choose from in terms of materials and construction. You know your city or town, commute, and daily routine better than anyone else. If you are going to be walking around in a climate that is hot or humid, you may want to select a walking shoe that is comprised of synthetic fibers and lightweight mesh for temperature control and breathability. A walking shoe that keeps your feet nice and breezy on a hot day can make all the difference in the world. If you know that your city or town is particularly rainy, then try to steer clear away from walking shoes that have a knitted upper, as these will get wet and stay wet for the majority of the day. Instead, try looking for walking shoes that have an upper that will not be affected by rain and that you could simply wipe off and keep on going throughout your day. Making sure that you take your environment and climate into consideration will also increase the life of your footwear, but more importantly: it will keep your feet happy.
Think about special requirements for a wider foot.
If you have a wide foot, forcing them into a pair of too narrow sneakers is not only going to be painful, but it will also be unhealthy for your feet. The friction between your feet and the upper can cause blisters and hotspots, and this will only worsen as your felt swell throughout the day. Purchasing a shoe in a wide width will allow your feet enough room to splay naturally and help you remain comfortable as you walk.
Finally, Pick a Style That You Like.
You’ve taken everything into consideration to ensure that you have a proper fit and have a great match for how your going to be enjoying your new walking shoes. Don’t overlook style when making your selection. Studies demonstrate that when walkers or runners are happy with the overlook of their footwear, they are more likely to use them more often and for longer periods of time. Motivation is the cornerstone of any healthy regimen and being proud to show off your new walking shoes may be just the nudge you need to get out there and walk.
Here are some commonly asked questions that most walkers encountered when making their decision. Hopefully, they will be of assistance to you along your way when you are making your decision.
Q: I have some old tennis shoes at the back of my closet; can’t I just use those for walking?
A: Not a good idea. While walking is less intense than running, it still provides a good amount of aerobic exercise and can provide you will great cardio benefits. You want a fresh pair of walking shoes to give achieve the maximum amount of benefits that walking can provide. You’re not going to get the same amount of comfort, support, or protection from those old beat-up tennis shoes.
Q: How soon do i need to get a new pair of walking shoes?
A: Determining how worn out your walking shoes are should not be rocket science. Apart from the evident physical appearance of the shoes, there is a general rule that guides the method of replacing old trainers. After every 300 to 500 miles of running or walking then you should get a new pair. Do not only concentrate on the appearance of the shoes to determine if it needs to be replaced. A shoe might still look good on the outside while the inner section and support has been totally worn out. The general consensus is every three hundred to five hundred miles. It’s important to remember not to go based on appearance. To avoid having very worn out shoes, its good to have two pairs that you can alternate using. This gives time for the midsole of the shoe to recover from any form of physical activity.
Q: Do I have to break in my walking shoes?
A: No, and yes. Allow for some clarification: While walking shoes don’t technically require a “breaking in” period, it’s a good idea to wear them around the house or on shorter walks if you are planning to go out on a long excursion. This is just to double check that you have the right fit, not really to break in the shoe. Take this time to make sure that your heel feels secure and that you have plenty of room in the toe box to wiggle your toes. This will ensure that you can go on a long, leisurely walk without having anything to worry about.
Q: Can I wear orthotic insoles with my walking shoes?
A: Absolutely. If you have over the counter orthotics that you are comfortable with or if your podiatrist have assigned a custom pair for you, it’s a great idea to incorporate them into your walking regimen. In fact, we made sure to list the models that offer a removable inner sole that can be a great fit for this very purpose.
This was our approach when selecting the right pair of walking shoes. Remember that walking consistently can offer a wide range of the same health benefits on par with running, while lowering the chance of injury. Whatever your age or experience level, incorporating just a little bit of running in your day can have an enormous impact on your overall health and mood. We hope this guide provided you with all the information you need when making you choice between some of the best walking shoes on the market today. Thanks for following along with us. Now lace up those new walking shoes and start a refreshing, healthy habit!
Here are some sources we used while conducting our research
It’s important to use a wide range of sources to ensure quality information. We like to utilize trusted clinical partners and manufactures when providing our readers with the most up-to-date statistics found in all our buying guides. We are also very interested in taking what everyday users have to say about specific products, and we perform our due diligence to make sure that quality research goes into every guide. Here are some sources which helped us with this guide:
- Wearing the Right Shoes for Walking, Informational health website, Aug 13, 2015 ,
- Selecting walking shoes, Informational website, ,
- Guide on selecting walking shoes, Clinical information website, Feb 18, 2014 ,
- Top 10 Best & Most Comfortable Walking Shoes for Men, Consumer Website, ,
- Best shoes for Walking on Concrete 2017, Consumer Website, ,