14 Best Shoes For Walking
The good news is that we've performed hours of research and testing to put together the list of the best walking shoes. All so you don't have to.
The buying guide below details multiple factors you should consider, in depth analysis of all 14 options, our evaluation criteria and of course answers to the frequently asked questions we've come across during our research.
Peruse the guide and find the perfect walking shoe today!
Skip the deep dive - here's our top pick for the best walking shoe.
Awesome support for long distance walks
Decent energy return for those faster paces
Cushioning offers impact protection on harder surfaces
Top 14 Most Comfortable Walking Sneakers
1. Hoka One One Bondi 7
Awesome support for long distance walks
Decent energy return for those faster paces
Cushioning offers impact protection on harder surfaces
Not a cheap shoe, but tends to be worth it o most people who take the plunge
The same stability and cushioning properties also make Hoka's Bondi 7 a great shoe for walking. These especially make all the difference on those longer walks, where you might find yourself going up and down hilly ground or moving at a faster pace while power walking.Read more
You don't have to be a hardcore runner to benefit from Hoka's cushioning and support. The Bondi 7 further improves some of the stability features and breathability properties that made version 6 work so well.
At first glance the Bondi, like a lot of the shoes from Hoka, looks like a big clunky shoe. Let's be honest. It is a good looking shoe, but does appear to have much more mass than some lower profile models that many other brands are putting out in recent years.
The shoe, even though thickly soled, is very light. And that thick sole, it provides the cushioning and remarkable responsiveness that get's the brand on the feet of many runners and fitness walkers alike. We like this one a lot for distance walking as much as we like it for long runs on steady surfaces.
2. ASICS Gel-Contend 5 SL
12 mm drop
Narrow toe box
What we love most about the Gel-Contend line of trainers is that they offer great support and cushioning without big and bulky materials weighing you down. Gel-Contend 5 has marked improvements that are more lightweight and easy to wear than previous iterations. The best part? It comes in at a super affordable price point.Read more
The most notable feature of this option is that it boasts a 10 mm drop. This higher differential between the toes and the heel help to absorb the impact from your knees and lower back. The midsole is composed of Amplifoam technology that helps absorb the impact of each and every step.
Many walking shoes boast a stiff and structured upper that isn’t very breathable. The Gel-Contend 5 works to correct that. It is made from a soft mesh knit upper that promotes airflow to keep your feet cool and dry. It also provides modest cushioning in the tongue as well as the heel.
If you are in the market for something lightweight and easy that you can wear all day long, this is a great option from Asics. It offers a good deal of support and cushioning without feeling too heavy or bulky. It is made from quality materials that hold up well over time and comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.
3. OOFOS OOmg
Great impact absorption
OOFOS may not have the brand power of Nike or New Balance, but they are a brand that is certainly worth checking out. This design ventures away from traditional materials to add a lot of extra cushioning between your feet in the ground. In fact, they are highly regarded as a great recovery shoe to ease your tired feet and joints.Read more
The most notable feature of the OOmg sneaker is that it is made from a very thick layer of unique foam that is only found in this brand that absorbs up to 37 percent more impact than traditional foams, such as EVA. YOur feet absolutely sink into the squishy foam on the footbed and are comforted with each and every step.
Another thing that users love about this sneaker is that it has a super lightweight and easy design. There are no laces, so you simply need to slip your feet inside before hitting the road. The upper is composed of a breathable mesh knit that helps circulate airflow to hot and tired feet.
If you are in the market for something that really helps that the impact off of your feet, this is a great option. With ample and unmatched cushioning in the midsole, you can stay on your feet long without your feet aching. Users wear them when out running errands all day, or as an alternative shoe after workout out at the gym.
4. Asics Novablast
If you're looking for some responsive bounce that will let you take your walk to a jog when you feel like picking up the speed a little, the Novablast from Asics is a good one to go with. You'll get the premium cushioning and support with a good amount of breathability and comfortable fit.Read more
All about responsive support, Asics' Novablast is an ideal shoe for all around general athletic use. An ideal pick for walking for exercise, the midole and outsole are very obviously built for cushion and impact absorption. The overall bounce back and responsiveness are great if you want to speed up your walk to a faster tempo, also allowing you to get more miles in comfortably.
The reason the cushion and support is so important, is because it allows you to walk longer and faster with before fatigue sets in. You will probably notice right off the bat that many shoes on our list for walking tend to share a similar trend in thicker soles and support worthy of longer periods of use.
5. New Balance 860v11
Though a running shoe, the New Balance 860v11 is another example of a shoe that is also perfect for walking at a faster pace for longer distances. The overall support, stability, and fit are all in tune with what makes a super comfortable and effective walking shoe.Read more
If you're looking for a walking shoe purely for exercise purposes, and don't need to fit into a specific style for workplace dress codes or safety requirements, this running shoe is a great option.
Through the years we have watched the evolution of New Balance's 860 series, all the way up to the current version 11, and we've seen this model add feature after feature to evolve into a true performance shoe, which works really well for power walking.
6. Ryka Sky
7 Color options
Not as durable as other options
If you're looking for an affordable, stylish and most comfortable shoes for women, then the Ryka Sky is a great option. It's made of leather and mesh and has rubber soles.Read more
The Ryka Sky are lightweight, breathable, and comfortable walking sneakers for women. Their breathable upper is made of mesh to keep you cool and dry; Its EVA memory foam outsole will also provide you with the support and stability you need during your walks.
They come in 7 color options--all of which look great and pretty stylish for a walking shoe.
7. Vionic Walker Classic
Great for plantar fasciitis
Excellent energy feedback
Not very breathable
Tread wears down quickly
This design from Vionic may not be the most stylish design on our list, but it is one of the most effective. If you suffer from plantar fasciitis or heel spurs that make the simple act of moving around painful, this design is your best option. It has a stiff and supportive upper and cushioned footbed that comforts your feet as you move.Read more
The most important feature of this design lies inside. It has a removable EVA foam insert that your feet sink into for maximum comfort and support. The thick rubber outsole provides excellent energy feedback so that hard surfaces are a little bit more forgiving to your knees and lower back.
Another great feature of this design is that it has a stiff and structured upper for additional support. It is composed of a blend of mesh materials as well as synthetic leather to cradle your foot in place. While it may not be as breathable as some of the easier options, it shines in its ability to support your foot.
If you have painful feet issues such as bunions, plantar fasciitis, or heel spurs, this design is one of your best options to aid in recovery and keep you up and on your feet. It is made from quality materials that hold up well over time and comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.
8. Saucony ProGrid Integrity ST2
Break in period
Saucony is a well-known company in the running world so it is no surprise they have designed an excellent walking shoe as well. These shoes for women are highly affordable and provide you with essential features and benefits to make your walks comfortable, enjoyable, and efficient.Read more
These shoes are comfortable, flexible and breathable. They feature PROGRID cushioned outsoles for additional comfort and additional shock absorption. They provide you with a secure fit and give you additional stability and balance.
These walking sneakers for women are composed of full grain leather and come up to your ankles. Their style may not be everyone's favorite but they are specifically designed to be shoes for walking. They also come in 3 color options.
9. Reebok Walk Ultra 7 DMX Max
Simplicity and structure is the name of the game with this style from Reebok. It is composed of sturdy and durable materials that cradle and support your foot with each and every step. It offers a lot of cushioning not only in the midsole but also in the heel and tongue. Plus, it comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.Read more
Our favorite feature of this design lies in the super supportive DMX cushioning found in the midsole. The soft foam transitions support from your heel all the way to the tips of your toes with each and every step. They may be a little heavier than most, but they are well worth the easy bulk if you are on your feet all way.
The upper is not very breathable, but it is made from stiff textiles that help cradle and support your foot. The cushioning to your feet doesn’t just end at the bottoms, it also provides extra cushioning in the tops of your feet as well. Additional padding in the heel and tongue gives you 360 degrees of cushioning and support!
The Walk Ultra 7 DMX Max from Reebok is a great choice for those that want something that offers unmatched support. It is important to note that due to the ruse of heavy and bulky materials, these sneakers tend to run a little hot, and aren’t as breathable as most .
However, if you like to walk in cooler climates, this slight problem may be a desirable feature for your chilly morning walks.
10. Skechers Go Walk 5
Lightweight and breathable
Minimal seam lines
Who needs laces? The newest addition to the Go Walk like from Skechers made this just a little bit easier by ditching the laces for an easier (and more lightweight) design. Users love this updated model because it serves as the perfect sneaker to slip on after a grueling session at the gym, or for running simple errands.Read more
The upper of this design is made from a lightweight mesh knit with minimal seam lines. The fewer seam lines mean there are fewer areas that can rub or dig into your skin. It also boasts a structured and padded heel for additional support.
Inside, it boasts comfort pillar technology that provides excellent energy feedback and support with each and every step. You can actually feel the midsole squish under your feet as you walk. The outsole is made from dual-density Ultra Go that really grips surfaces, even when they are slightly slippery from an afternoon rain shower.
You can’t really go wrong with a pair of Sketchers. We love Go Walk 5 because it is made from simple yet effective materials that are built to help keep your feet cool and comfortable no matter where the day takes you. Plus, they come in at a pair point that enables you to buy a few different colors!
11. New Balance 608V5
ABZORB heel crash pad
New Balance is known for quality stability shoes that help support and comfort without weighing your down too much. The 608V5 is no exception to that rule! This newest update to the 608 line of New balance sneakers has a few notable upgrades that make it a little more comfortable, and a little lighter to keep up with your fast-paced lifestyle.Read more
The first thing that we want to discuss with this design is what lies inside. It is packed with comfortable insoles and EVA foam materials that cradle and support your feet. This design also boasts an ABZORB heel crash pad that absorbs the impact on your heels to take the pressure off of your lower back and knees.
The upper of this design is a little boxy, which isn’t for everyone. However, when compared to other designs in the New Balance line, it is less boxy than some of the other iterations of this sneaker. We love that the structured caged upper is padded in the heels and tongue to provide 360 degrees of comfort as well as support.
New Balance knows a thing or two about providing comfort to tired feet, and this updated design fits the bill perfectly. It is composed of quality materials that hold up well over time, and will soon become your go-to pair of daily casual sneakers. Plus, it comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank.
12. Brooks Addiction 14
BioMoGo DNA midsole
Breathable mesh upper
Narrow toe box
If you want stability and comfort to last all day, Brooks is the brand that has you covered. What we liked most about the Additiocio 14 is that it provides wearers with a lot of support without weighing them down. The biggest update to the Addition style is that the upper is now made from a lightweight breathable mesh material. It may pack a hefty price tag, but it is well worth it, especially if you love racking up the steps throughout the day.Read more
While the inside provides wearers with a lot of support, the upper is lightweight and easy. Many walking trainers boast heavy and bulky uppers that aren’t very breathable. Brooks works to change that signal by offering a lightweight mesh upper that still offers a stability cage to keep you from overpronation.
As with all Brooks trainers, this design uses BioMoGo DNA foam in the midsole that provides excellent energy feedback with each and every step. What makes the BioMoGo DNA great is that it adapts to everyone’s unique gait. This means that no matter how you walk, this midsole will be able to adapt to give you unmatched comfort.
If you are on the market for something that comes from a trusted brand, the Addiction 14 is a great choice. It is made from quality materials that hold up well over hundreds of miles of continued use. It may cost a lot more than some of the other designs that we have seen so far, but we feel that given the durability, it is an excellent value.
13. Saucony Grid Omni
Available for men and women
Optimal for people who have collapsed arches (overpronation) 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
When looking for a top rated sneaker for exercising with comfort and support, the name Saucony often comes to mind for users with foot complaints and high expectations. The Saucony Grid Omni Walking Shoe is a carefully designed shoe within their massive range that lures buyers in with the promise that it “pampers your foot as you take each step”, which suggests the ideal source of comfort and care on long walk.Read more
This shoe provides both amazing cushioning and stability, resulting in a safe and balanced stride. The Saucony Grid Omni Walking Shoe also features a Walk Trac patented outsole, designed for smooth transitions while walking. The engineered Asymmetrical Sole provides a more biomechanical fit. Includes a premium sock liner for enhanced cushioning and comfort. These women's walk 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.
This is definitely an athletic women's walking 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, biomechanical fit and large toe box, features that have aided tendonitis and other conditions and offered a comfortable way to continue walking.
14. New Balance 577
Should not be used on hot sunny days
If you are looking for a pair of walking sneakers for women that is able to bridge the gap between white or brightly colored ‘trainers’ and smarter leather shoes very well, then you should get the New Balance 577 walking shoes.Read more
These are highly breathable, supportive, and flexible. They aren't stylish whatsoever, but an excellent option for walking They are also highly durable and offer the stability you need.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
The most important features for anyone looking for a quality pair of shoes is they need to be comfortable! No shoe is worth anything if your feet hurt when you wear them and they are not comfortable during your walks.
Comfort is one of those things that depends on the individual. We looked at the features each shoe provides to increase your comfort levels, but at the end of the day how comfortable they actually depend on your preferences as well as your anatomy.
That being said, we made sure to select shoes that had the best chance at providing the widest range of individuals with adequate comfort and support—regardless of their physical condition or past injuries. You will find that many of the shoes on our list have flexible midsoles and are made of lightweight materials that make walking more enjoyable for everyone.
Air flow is critical to keeping your feet comfortable during your walks. Without good breathability your feet will get hot and sweaty and you will be more prone to blisters and bruising. So keep your feet comfortable with good breathability!
Comfort and breathability often go hand in hand. If your shoes aren’t breathable then you are more likely to develop sores, chafing, and other uncomfortable side effects. Breathable shoes are made of mesh and provide excellent ventilation.
You will find the most breathable shoe use mesh that allows for optimal airflow. This will help keep your feet cool and dry during all of your runs. Breathable shoes will evaporate the sweat away, which will prevent blisters, hot spots, and soggy socks.
There are many styles of walking shoes to choose from and every one featured on our list allows you to get a stylish look without giving up any of the other features you want and need like support and durability!
While style is not the first thing you should look for, nowadays you no longer have to sacrifice style to have a good shoe. Manufacturers have listened to their customers’ requests for fashionable, comfortable and durable shoes. So no matter if you’re heading to the local coffee shop or clear across town, you’re sure to show off your sense of style.
However, it's important not to make your decision solely on style. Make sure to consider everything you need and the features you require--for example, if you have wide feet then make sure you first make sure the shoe is a good fit for those with wide feet. Once you know the shoe fits all of your needs then you can start making your choices based on style--and you'll be surprised to find that there are quite a few shoes that come in lots of color and design options.
Everyone needs good support from their shoes, but this is especially true if you have problems with your feet such as underpronation, bunions, arch issues, or other conditions that make walking painful or difficult.
Read also about best running shoes for long distance.
We can 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 where 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.
However, we made sure to look at in-depth reviews and the features each shoe provides. There are many on our list with additional cushioning for added support, removable sockliners, and special tech to ensure you have adequate stability and support.
Walk shoes need to have a certain degree of flexibility in order to be comfortable and effective. A flexible shoe can more easily grip the ground and helps ensure you have good traction and don’t easily lose your footing!
Our experience with footwear gives us insight into subtle differences that most people aren’t aware of. The foot typically hits heel first then gradually rolls from heel to toe. This means that you will benefit from a flexible upper, midsole, and outsole unit so that their feet can move naturally and encourage a proper stride.
Just remember that flexibility is an important feature you shouldn't overlook. Flexibility allows for your natural stride and ensures you get the most out of your walk. The shoe with the right amount of flexibility will adjust to your pace and prevent plantar fasciitis and other painful side effects from occurring.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
If you're planning on taking long walks, make sure the shoes you pick are right for your feet. Really right for your particular feet.
This means you should pay attention to your arch. Know if you have flat feet or higher arches. If you are dealing with issues such as plantar fasciitis, overpronation, or anything else that could cause discomfort, then choose something that provides that proper type of support.
The upper material of the shoes you choose should really depend on the climate where you live. True, leather uppers tend to be a bit more durable, but not very comfortable in super hot areas.
And likewise, something with a super ventilated upper construction might not be the most appropriate choice for those colder places.
One point many people get hung up on is figuring out how much to spend on a new pair of walking shoes. They look at the price tag and immediately thing the shoes cost too much. While you will have a budget you will need to stick to, it is important to focus on the value of the shoes more than the price tag.
Think about the benefits you can gain and what the shoes have to offer you and how it can benefit your runs and impact your performance. Shoes that fit well, feel good, last a long time, and improve your performance are worth a higher price and are therefore more valuable to you!
Other Factors to Consider
It’s important to take the time and consider what you will be doing in these shoes. If your 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 and shoes work out too well during the midnight shift at your local diner.
Most active people will probably 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 a more taxing role. strolling 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.
The part of the shoe sole you can see is known as the outsole. This is where the tread of the shoe can be seen and is where the majority of your shoes’ sole features are found. Good soles have tread that provides the traction and grip you need to maintain your balance and stability even when waking on uneven ground or in slippery conditions. The outsole is also part of the shoe that has a lot to do with the shock absorption and similar properties of the shoes.
Thicker soles protect your feet from impacts and added support and cushioning in the sole of your shoes will also help reduce foot pain and fatigue.
Here at RunnerClick we focused on the sole design for these shoes and wanted to include the best shoes that give you the traction and support you need for your walks.
Another feature of your shoes for walking that deserves a closer inspection as you search for your new pair is the heel design. The part of your foot that usually takes the brunt of impact from every step you take is the heel. This is why many running and hiking shoes are made with thicker heel soles so there is added support and cushioning for this area of your foot. Good shoes have thicker soles that are made from materials that help disperse shock impact and that support your feet and cushion the impact of each and every step that you take during your walks.
The RunnerClick team focused on heel design and features to ensure we presented shoes that will serve you well and that will protect your feet no matter when or where or how you enjoy your walks and runs and workouts!
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What are the differences between walking and running shoes?
As a general rule, walkers can wear running shoes for their walks but runners should never wear walking shoes for running. Here’s why.
Cushioning – Since walkers impact the ground with less force, their cushioning needs are less than for runners. Running shoes require more cushioning since runners hit the ground with more force than walkers. More cushioning in the heel and forefoot are typical of running shoes.
Heel Height -There is no need for a built-up heel on walking shoes since walkers strike the ground first with their heels. Running shoes with built-up heels provide more stability.
Heel Flare – Walking shoes need no heel flare, which impedes the rolling motion of walking. Running shoes may have a flared heel to provide even more stability.
Flexibility – Walking shoes should be flexible at the forefoot since walkers push off with their toes. There should be no bending in the arch area because that won’t provide the necessary platform for good walking form. A shoe that has no flexibility at all is unacceptable. Running shoes need more flexibility at the arch or the mid-/forefoot.
Sole – Walking shoes usually bend more easily than running shoes. Running shoes need more flexibility at the arch or the mid-/forefoot.
Motion Control – Although available in some walking shoes, the degree of stability is not as great as in running shoes. Many running shoes offer extra stability that keeps the foot in a neutral position.
Weight – Walking shoes are generally heavier than running shoes since speed is less important in walking. Running shoes tend to be lighter than walking shoes to allow the wearer to run faster.
If you do a bit of both running and walking, a running shoe with less build-up on the heel and no heel flare will best suit your needs.
q: I have some old tennis shoes at the back of my closet; can’t I just use those for walking?
Not a good idea. While walking is less intense than running, it still provides a good amount of aerobic exercise and can provide you with great cardio benefits. You want a fresh pair of shoes to 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 walk shoes?
First you have to decide how worn out your current shoes are and if they are too broken in, or old then it is time to get a new pair. 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 road time 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 have 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 sneakers?
No, and yes. 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 shoes?
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.
q: How do I clean my shoes? Can I toss them in the wash?
While many people used to wash old tennis shoe sin the washer, it is not advised to dot hat with newer shoes today. We now know that the wear and tear and heat of a washer and dryer can do a lot of damage to your shoes and can cause them to break down much faster than they would otherwise. The best way to clean your shoes is to brush away dirt and debris and clean anything stuck in the tread after each run.
If they are very dirty you can wipe them with a damp soapy cloth or wash them by hand and put them out in a sunny place to air dry.