Top 25 Best Walking Shoes | The Most Comfortable Shoes

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of walking shoes on the market today. While this means there is something for everyone, it can be difficult to slough through all of the companies and determine which pair best fits your need. Here are 25 of the best walking shoes for everything from motion control to wide feet. 

Best Overall Walking Shoe: Dr. Comfort Men’s Therapeutic Athletic Shoe

Dr. Comfort Performance Men's Therapeutic Athletic Shoe
  • Free pair of Gel Plus insoles included with purchase!
  • Sizes Available: 6 through 15
  • Widths Available: Medium (B/C/D), Wide (E/2E) and X-Wide (3E/4E)
  • These Shoes work great for a variety of foot conditions, including (but not...

Dr. Comfort is a great overall brand that makes a lot of podiatrist-approved shoes. This specific Dr. Comfort shoe is great for walking, boasting a reinforced toe-box for durability and built-in arch support for stability and comfort. The outer is constructed of leather for durability and mesh for breathability, and while they run a bit wide, they have the benefit of removable insoles designed for people who have their own custom orthotics.

Who is This for: Anyone looking for a high-quality, long-lasting walking shoe that supports their feet and offers a personalized experience. They are especially great for people with wider feet and those with preexisting foot conditions.

Pros
  • Durable leather and breathable mesh
  • Removable insoles for custom orthotics
  • Reinforced toe-box
  • Constructed for arch stability
Cons
  • Runs a bit wide

User Experience: Reviewers say they are long-lasting and great for walking with foot conditions such as neuropathy, but too roomy for those with narrower feet.

Verdict: These are an overall high-quality shoe that checks a lot of boxes, and are worth a look despite being on the higher end of the price range.


Best Walking Shoes for Men: Brooks Addiction Walker 2

Brooks Addiction Walker Suede Shark/Alloy/Oyster 5
  • MAXIMUM SUPPORT: Our Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar (PDRB) is a support...
  • SLIP-RESISTANT: An innovative outsole that's been certified (SATRA TM144:2011)...
  • SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA adapts to your stride, weight and speed, to make...
  • LONG-LASTING: Both comfortable and durable, this shoe will be a staple to your...

The Men’s Brooks Addiction Walker 2 walking shoes are all about support. You will feel safe and comfortable with slip-resistant outsoles, strategic arch support and comfortable cushioning developed by the company itself. The outsole is leather, which is durable and long-lasting. 

Who is This for: Great for men who either need some extra stability while they walk or just want the ultimate comfort experience. Reviewers also say they are great for flat feet as well, and many postal workers (who are on their feet all day) love them!

Pros
  • Has a durable outsole
  • Known for its supportive features
  • Slip-resistant soles
Cons
  • On the pricier side

User Experience: Reviewers are raving about this walking shoe. Those who have had foot issues such as flat feet and the pain that comes with wearing the wrong shoe have found relief in the Brooks Addiction 2. Overall, the consensus is they are comfortable and supportive, and many purchasers seem to be on their second pair. 

Verdict: This shoe is the definition of getting your money’s worth. While the price tag is a bit high, the payoff is even higher. 

Best Walking Shoes for Women: Easy Spirit Regine Walking Shoe

Easy Spirit Women's Regine Walking
  • A suede, mesh fabric and synthetic upper

The Easy Spirit Regine walking shoe is great for all-day comfort. In addition to lots of extra comfort padding including around the tongue and collar as well as removable padded insole, you also get the durability of leather uppers. Both the padding and the specialized rubber sole work to take the brunt of your step, giving it great marks for shock absorption. 

Who is This for: Any women who are on their feet all day, or who are looking for an ultra-comfy shoe to wear on your short to medium length walks. 

Pros
  • Durable leather upper
  • Foam-cushioned insole
  • Great shock absorption
  • Not too expensive
Cons
  • Not for the extreme walker

User Experience: Reviewers rated this shoe high on the comfy scale, so you know that the added comfort features are working. Likened to standing on “marshmallows,” these shoes are not just cushy, but also long-lasting according to purchasers who boast about their durability. 

Verdict: This is a great pair of shoes for the moderate walker, with so many comfy features you will forget you have shoes on at all. 


Most Comfortable Walking Shoes: New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam More v2

New Balance Women's Fresh Foam More V2 Running Shoe,...
  • Signature Fresh Foam midsole
  • Ultra Heel design adapts to your foot, providing seamless comfort and a modern...
  • Breathable lightweight mesh upper

New Balance has a wide array of different walking shoes available, and they all come in at different price points. The Fresh Foam More v2 is on the more expensive end of the scale, but with walking shoes you often see the midsole construction improve as the price goes up. Great for support and shock absorption, this shoe will keep you steady with motion control features in the heel. The midsole is built using the signature New Balance Fresh Foam and is not only lightweight but has more cushion than ever. 

Who is This for: Women who take long brisk walks, and anyone who needs extra support and shock absorption. While the midsole is great, the heel counter is going to help anyone who has overpronation issues as well. While this shoe is marketed as a running shoe, it has all the features that make a great walking shoe as well, as many purchasers agree. 

Pros
  • Ultra-cushioned midsole
  • Features reflective elements for safety
  • Snug heel design
Cons
  • High price-point

User Experience: Reviewers who have foot problems seem to really appreciate the support and comfort provided by the midsole. Speed walkers also appreciated the stability offered by this shoe. 

Verdict: Midsoles are important in any shoe, but those who need extra shock absorption or stability will greatly appreciate the make of these New Balance shoes. 


Most Durable Walking Shoes: Saucony Women’s Progrid Integrity ST 2

Saucony Women's ProGrid Integrity ST2 Walking Shoe
  • Non-marking walking shoe with padded tongue and collar and durable XT-900...
  • Features offset of 12mm
  • Walk-Trac comfort outsole

With a durable outer that includes extra reinforcement in the areas known to experience extra wear, your money will be well spent on the Integrity ST 2. While it has basic support, the real draw to this shoe aside from its longevity is its comfort. With multiple foot width options available and it’s cushion and EVA foam layers, you will be safe and supported while on moderate walks in these Saucony brand shoes. 

Who is This for: If you are looking for a shoe that will last as long as possible, this is the one for you. It is also said to assist in relieving mild foot pain, and has some built-in motion control support for a mild overpronator. 

Pros
  • Comes in regular, narrow and wide
  • Reinforced high wear areas
  • Comfort cushioning system and EVA
Cons
  • Less supportive than other shoes

User Experience: Purchasers are raving about these shoes. From people who work on their feet all day to those with arthritis in their feet or plantar fasciitis all appreciate the comfort of this shoe in addition to its durability.  

Verdict: For its price, the Integrity ST 2 offers a lot of great features, most notably it’s durability. You would be hard-pressed to find a shoe that will last longer at the same price point. 


Best Walking Shoes for Casual Walkers: Sketchers Women’s GoWalk 5 – Lucky

On Sale
Skechers Women's GO Walk 5-Lucky Sneaker, Black/White, 8.5 M...
  • Lightweight dual-density Ultra Go outsole with comfort pillar technology
  • Skechers Air Cooled Goga Mat insole
  • Breathable air mesh upper
  • Machine washable, air dry

The GoWalk series includes a lot of different walking shoe looks and features. The Lucky offers a lot for the price point, providing a breathable shoe that is not too heavy but still has a decent amount of support and cushion. This is a great shoe for casual walkers because while it is not the most durable shoe, a low-key walker will get a lot of use out of it, while also reaping the benefits of the stable outsole and the responsive cushioning system.

Who is This for: Someone who walks under 30 miles per week will get a lot of use out of this shoe. 

Pros
  • A very lightweight shoe
  • Responsive and comfortable cushioning
  • Reinforced outsole for stability
Cons
  • Not very durable

User Experience: Purchasers with foot issue rave about the Sketchers, saying they are comfortable for walking even with arthritis. They are also widely considered an attractive looking shoe, with a less bulky frame. 

Verdict: If you are looking for a shoe that will support you on moderate walks, the GoWalk 5 – Lucky will provide attractive support and keep you pain-free.


Best Walking Shoes for Traveling: New Balance Men’s 577v1

New Balance Men's 577 V1 Lace-up Walking Shoe
  • Beat Foot Fatigue: Work or walk in supportive comfort with help from the...
  • Convenient Closure: Without the hassle of laces to slow you down, these handy...
  • Exceptional Shock Absorption: These comfortable walking shoes are equipped with...
  • Built to Last: These walking shoes are crafted with strong and stylish leather...

If you are planning on doing some traveling, you want a shoe that is durable and high-performance for long-lasting support as you put sight-seeing miles on them. The New Balance 577v1 fits the bill with durable leather uppers and midsoles with longevity. They also have outsoles made of solid rubber for durability. Beyond that, the 577v1 has great shock absorption, stability and cushioning, as well as a responsive fit due to the hook and loop closures replacing traditional laces.

Who is This for: Men who walk more than a moderate amount, anyone looking for a high-quality shoe that is long-lasting.

Pros
  • Durable leather upper
  • Cushioning shock absorption
  • Hook-and-loop closures
Cons
  • Not a lot of width options

User Experience: Reviewers say that they are comfortable enough to wear when recovering from foot surgery, and are exceptionally durable and long-lasting, though many aren’t crazy about the aesthetic.

Verdict: If you are a serious walker and are getting a lot of mileage in, you can’t go wrong with this durable, supportive shoe. 


Best Bang for Your Buck: Nike Men’s Air Max Torch 4

The Air Max Torch 4 has a lot of great features for its price. It falls towards the lower-end of the cost scale for walking shoes, but it does not skimp on great construction and shock absorption.

This shoe has a responsive fit that works with each individual foot, a signature cushioning unit, breathable synthetic uppers, and unbeatable multi-surface traction via a waffle outsole. The cushioning unit helps with shock absorption, but the real hero is the specialized forefront midsole that helps take on the shock of a step and doesn’t add undue weight. 

Pros
  • Great traction on soles
  • Air Max Unit for cushioning
  • Breathable upper materials
  • Responsive, snug fit
Cons
  • Runs narrow

Who is This for: Anyone who does a lot of walking, and is looking for a comfortable lightweight shoe that doesn’t slack on shock absorption. 

User Experience: Reviewers say that this shoe runs narrow, so be aware when you go to purchase it. While it is marketed as a running shoe, some purchasers feel it is best suited for walking, which makes it a great addition to this list. 

Verdict: If you have narrow feet, you will love the shock absorption features of the Air Max Torch 4. 


Best Motion Control: New Balance Women’s Made in US 1540v3

New Balance Women's Made in Us 1540 V3 Running Shoe
  • ENCAP midsole technology provides support and maximum durability
  • Manufactured in the US for over 75 years and representing a limited portion of...
  • ROLLBAR with Medial & Lateral TPU Posts for ultimate motion control
  • Synthetic/mesh upper

The 1540v3 is made with motion control in mind. If you are someone who experiences overpronation, when the foot sways inward as you walk, you can greatly benefit from a shoe that works to correct your alignment as you walk – reducing the risk of overuse injuries. This shoe provides support not just through specialized TPU posts for both medial and lateral control, but also with a midsole and heel-toe drop that will also keep you supported and in-line as you walk. 

Who is This for: People who experience overpronation and need motion control support. 

Pros
  • Motion control for moderate overpronation
  • Responsive support from foam midsoles
  • High heel-toe drop (10mm)
Cons
  • On the top of the price range
  • Runs narrow

User Experience: Purchasers say that the 1540v3 delivers on the great support and stability they boast in their description. Many purchased more than once, and some experienced improvements in their back or leg pain with use. Some say the shoe runs narrow, so be aware if you have a wider foot. 

Verdict: This is a great shoe for someone who needs extra support, especially with it comes to overpronation. However, if you have a wide foot, it might not be the shoe for you. 


Walking Shoes with Least Bulky Look: The Walking Co. ABEO Women’s PRO Ivanna

Many of the best walking shoes, while very supportive and well-made, have a bulkier frame. If you are looking for a more sleek model, the ABEO PRO Ivanna is worth a look. Despite it’s smaller frame, this shoe provides cushioned foam comfort that offers antimicrobial protection. It also features a molded EVA midsole for support and comfort and has a durable outsole. Best of all, despite its longevity the outsole also has great flexibility, making it responsive and good to help you avoid injury.

Who is This for: This shoe is great for people looking for a more modern take on a supportive walking shoe. The antimicrobial features will help with foot odor if you tend to sweat more or are not able to rotate your workout shoes.

Pros
  • Breathable upper construction
  • Cushioned antimicrobial footbed
  • Flex point for responsive fit
Cons
  • Not many color options
  • Only one width available

User Experience: Purchasers say that this has great arch support, and is generally very supportive and comfortable. 

Verdict: Priced on the higher end of the mid-range pricing, the ABEO PRO Ivanna might not be for everyone, but it has a lot of great features and a surprising amount of support for the look. 


Best Walking Shoes for High Arches: Orthofeet Women’s Sneaker

Orthofeet Proven Plantar Fasciitis, Foot and Heel Pain...
  • GUARANTEED COMFORT! Test our shoes for up to 60 DAYS and see for yourself why...
  • PLANTAR FASCIITIS? HEEL PAIN? FOOT PAIN? NEUROPATHY? Orthofeet orthotic shoes...
  • EXTENDED WIDTHS - These SUPER COMFORTABLE women’s casual shoes with soft,...
  • SENSITIVE FEET? DIABETES? ARTHRITIS? NEUROPATHY? Soft uppers with smooth...

People with high arches experience supination, and their feet tend to sway outwards with their steps. The Orthofeet Sneaker is designed to support each individual’s arches, making them great for high arches or people who have issues with plantar fasciitis.

They are one of the few supportive shoes that offer extended widths and come with removable orthotic insoles designed to decrease strain on the bottom of the foot. They also provide extra protection of diabetic feet through non-binding interiors. The wide toe-box as well as the non-binding design is great for bunions prevention.

Who is This for: People with high arches, those who struggle with plantar fasciitis, and people who have difficulty finding shoes that are wide enough for their feet. 

Pros
  • Ergonomic, cushioned sole
  • Anatomical arch support
  • Extended width sizes available
Cons
  • Outsole not very durable

User Experience: Reviewers rave about this shoe for walking. They have found that the comfort and arch support has no comparison, and they truly are a great shoe for plantar fasciitis. However, they do not seem to be the most durable, with some purchasers finding the outsoles wearing out in a short amount of consistent use. 

Verdict: While these are legitimately supportive shoes, you have to balance the support features with the durability. If you are a casual walker they might last a bit longer, but if not you should be ready to replace them sooner rather than later. 


Best Walking Shoes for Stability: Propet Men’s Stability Walker

Propet Men's Stability Walker Sneaker, Black, 11 5E US
  • Walking sneaker with leather upper featuring rocker profile, D-ring speed-lacing...
  • Molded-EVA midsole
  • Internal heel counter; Fit: This style tends to run small. For an accurate fit...
  • Removable cushioned orthotic

Stability shoes provide more structured control than motion control shoes and are great for extra support and better walking alignment. The Propet Stability Walker boats leather uppers that will last, a rigid heel counter to provide step control, and great arch support through the EVA midsole. The outsole is also made of durable rubber, making it a long-lasting shoe that should wear-out slowly. You can also remove the insoles to put in your custom orthotics if you need special support.  

Who is This for: People who need extra stability and motion control due to alignment or other preexisting foot issuesIt is also a diabetic approved shoe. 

Pros
  • Narrow to extra wide available
  • Durable leather uppers
  • Internal heel-counter
  • Built-in arch support
Cons
  • Narrow toe-box

User Experience: The reviews on this shoe are very positive, touting its durability, and the great value for its price. They are especially popular amongst people with diabetes for their high-quality make and reasonable price. However, some purchasers found the toe-box to be to narrow for comfort.

Verdict: These are great shoes for alignment, but be aware that the shoes might not give you as much toe-box wiggle room as you like. 


Best Walking Shoes for Knee Pain: ABEO Women’s Smart 3450

ABEO Smart 3450 - Women's Wide Athletic Shoes
  • Breathable textile upper with synthetic overlays for durability and support.
  • Padded tongue and collar provide support and comfort.
  • Breathable, mesh lining keeps feet dry and comfortable.

ABEO is generally a great shoe for walking, and the American Podiatric Medical Association agrees, awarding several of the shoes the AMPA seal. The Smart 3450 has a breathable but durable outsole made from synthetic leather and mesh and includes several moisture-control elements such as moisture-wicking insoles and a mesh lining.

However, the claim to fame for the Smart 3450 is its specially developed midsole that is geared towards reducing knee stress and also to assist those suffering from osteoarthritis.

Who is This for: This shoe is great for people with knee issues, and those struggling with sweaty feet while they walk. 

Pros
  • Stanford-tested midsole
  • Synthetic leather and mesh upper
  • Durable outsole grip
  • Moisture-wicking EVA insole
Cons
  • On the pricier side
  • Special ABEO orthotics sold seperately

User Experience: Highly spoken of, purchasers of the Smart 3450 generally find it to be everything it says it is. Comfortable, pain-free walks are taken by those who have tried out this ABEO shoe. 

Verdict: While this shoe is a little bit pricey, if you are struggling with knee pain you will find that the ABEO Smart 3450 will provide them with relief. 


Best Walking Shoes for Circulation Problems: Dr. Comfort Women’s Grace Walking Shoe

Dr. Comfort Grace Women's Athletic Shoe - Seafoam 10 Wide...
  • WOMEN’S WALKING SHOE - A cross-functional walking shoe that provides style and...
  • REDUCED SEAM LINES - Reduction of seam lines help prevent skin irritation when...
  • PROTECTIVE TOE BOX - Protective toe box provides extra protection from toe...
  • TOP-QUALITY SHOE - Use of top-quality material and construction helps prevent...

The Grace Walking Shoe is great for a variety of different foot problems but is primarily used by people who have diabetes or experience poor foot circulation.

With lots of great features like reduced seam lines for sensitive feet, a solid heel-counter for motion control, and a reinforced toe-box that increases durability, this is a fantastic option for many different people experiencing many different foot issues.

Lots of durability features add longevity, and you have the option of removing one or two insole pieces for a customizable space for your personal insoles to go.

Who is This for: Primarily designed for people with poor circulation or diabetes, this shoe is also known to be helpful for anyone experiencing foot deformity, peripheral neuropathy, and any type of callus formation. 

Pros
  • Dual-density midsole
  • Two removable pieces for personal orthotics
  • Fewer seam lines
  • Reinforced toe-box
Cons
  • May run a bit small

User Experience: Users with nerve damage and custom orthotics rave about the comfort and painless experiences with these shoes. Some users recommend sizing up a half size. 

Verdict: While these shoes aren’t cheap, they are well worth it to improve your day to day walking experience and allow you to walk farther pain-free regardless of your foot issues. 


Best Walking Shoes for Extra Support: HOKA ONE ONE Men’s Gaviota 2

HOKA ONE ONE Gaviota 2 shoes are built to be stable and supportive. The sockliner and midfoot support both work to create a responsive, fitted shoe with strong arch support. The frame is built specifically for a supportive and responsive feel, which is furthered by the stability inherent in the overall design. Beyond this, the shoes are 100% vegan and are made to be breathable. 

Who is This for: Anyone who doesn’t struggle with extreme foot issues but would still like the ultimate in supportive walking shoes will find this shoe to be exactly what they are looking for. 

Pros
  • Midfoot arch support and stability
  • Sockliner for a responsive fit
  • Responsive rebounding foam frame
  • Great stability construction
Cons
  • Not for the narrow-footed

User Experience: Many purchasers say they experienced an increase in stability despite their minor foot issues or unusual foot shapes. However, some took issue with the wide, stable base, as it left too much room for those with narrower feet.

Verdict: If you have an average to wide width foot, and you are hoping for some extra stability, there is really nothing bad to say about the Gaviota 2s. 


Most Budget Friendly Walking Shoes: ASICS Women’s Gel-Contend 5 Walker

ASICS Women's Gel-Contend 5 SL Walking Shoes
  • The ASICS® GEL-Contend® 5 Walker is built for the daily walker looking for a...

Clocking in at just $65, the ASICS women’s Gel-Contend 5 Walker boasts a lot of bang for your buck. They have given you a little bit of everything, from an extra layer of durable and stabilizing outsole to a cushioned midsole for your comfort.

That’s not the best part, though: this shoe includes a sockliner (difficult to find at this price-point), a feature that works to make your shoe fit like a glove and respond to your every movement. There is also a solid heel counter that acts as motion control and keeps you stable and supported. 

Who is This for: This shoe has something for everyone, but that usually means it won’t be enough for people who have more extreme issues. If you don’t need a lot of motion control but you would benefit from some extra support, this shoe will have your back. 

Pros
  • Durable rubber outsole
  • Specialized cushioned midsole
  • Includes a sockliner for responsiveness
  • Solid heel counter
Cons
  • Runs a little large

User Experience: Reviewers say the Gel-Contend 5 Walker provides them all-day support with no pain. Some say the shoe runs a little bit large, so keep that in mind when you are going to make your purchase.

Verdict: This shoe is well-priced and packs a lot in, making it a great option for the walker on a budget. 


Best Walking Shoes with High Quality Materials: Brooks Men’s Addiction Walker

On Sale
Brooks Addiction Walker White 9 B - Narrow
  • SHOE SIZE: "D" = Medium width, "EE" = Wide width, "B" = Narrow width, "EEEE" =...
  • MAXIMUM SUPPORT: Our Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar strategically...
  • SLIP-RESISTANT, SECURE FIT: The forefoot MC Pod construction and an innovative...
  • SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA adapts to your stride, weight and speed, to make...

The original Addiction Walker, this shoe provides a lot of great support features such as certified slip-resistant soles, as well as great cushioning shock absorption and arch support via an internal Rollbar that helps align and support not just your feet, but your whole body while you walk.

The shock-absorbing cushioning is adaptable, meaning it works directly with your body to most efficiently and effectively receive the shock of each step before it reaches your foot.  

Who is This for: If you are looking for a shoe that has the highest quality materials, this is for you. The full-grain leather alone is a high-end material. Full-grain is unaltered leather, providing you the most durable and attractive shoes possible. 

Pros
  • Certified slip-resistant soles
  • Strategic arch support
  • Adaptable cushioning for shock absorption
  • Full-grain leather upper
Cons
  • Runs a bit large

User Experience: Reviewers were quick to be clear that the fit was a bit wider and roomier than expected. Many still considered them a step up from a traditional walking shoe, and that the comfort is unmatched. 

Verdict: If you are looking for a high-quality shoe with materials to match, these are worth checking out.


Best Walking Shoes for Sustainability: Altra Men’s Wahweap

ALTRA Men's ALM1963P Wahweap Outdoor Running Shoe, Green -...
  • Weight: 8.8 oz / 252 g
  • Insole: Thin foam
  • Midsole: EVA
  • Outsole: "Siped" rubber

While it can be somewhat easy to find a high-quality vegan walking shoe, finding one that has sustainable features is another story. The Altra Wahweap, while not 100% sustainable, offers a 30% hemp upper that does something extra for the environment.

The outsole, while stiff, has been developed to provide traction on many different surfaces, and the shape of the toe-box was designed to allow your toes to spread naturally for better balance and comfort. 

Who is This for: Anyone looking for a minimal heel-toe drop, and hoping for a sustainable option to lessen their carbon footprint

Pros
  • Partial hemp upper
  • Outsole has multi-surface traction
  • Naturally shaped toe-box
Cons
  • Very stiff outsoles

User Experience: Reviewers say the stiff sole takes some getting used to, but they appreciate the minimalist approach and the foam cushion in the footbed. 

Verdict: For the price, it is not a bad option for someone trying to lessen their environmental impact while still getting a quality shoe. 


Best Walking Shoes for Trail Walking: KEEN Men’s Targhee II Hiking Shoes

KEEN Men's Targhee II Hiking Shoe
  • We've carefully selected leather uppers designed to last. Then again, if you're...
  • Easy-on heel pull and Torsion stability ESS shank. Hydrophobic mesh lining
  • Padded tongue and collar. 4mm multi directional lugs
  • Lugged outsole. Contoured heel lock. Dual density compression molded EVA midsole

If you like to walk on trails, you will need some extra support features in your walking shoe. Traction is especially important when walking on uneven or loose terrain, and the Targhee IIs boast a high-traction grip that should keep you upright and stable.

Puddles and rain are no match for this shoe which is 100% waterproof. Arch support is provided to keep you feeling stable each time you take a step, and the breathable mesh lining allows you to not get too bogged down in sweat as you go. 

Who is This for: This shoe is great for the short-distance hiker who needs extra support and high-traction but doesn’t want the clunkiness of a hiking boot. 

Pros
  • Waterproof nubuck leather outer
  • High-traction grip
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Arch support mechanism
Cons
  • Not the most durable outsoles

User Experience: Reviewers found them to be supportive enough to reduce the symptoms of plantar fasciitis and they also appreciate the sleeker look. However, some found that with hard use the outsole wore out quickly. 

Verdict: Low-key hikers or people who find themselves doing most of their walking on dirt paths will appreciate the traction of this shoe, but if you are going to be doing more than casual hiking you should look for a more durable option.


Best Walking Shoes for High Heel Toe Drop: Brooks Women’s Adrenaline GTS 20

Brooks Women's Adrenaline GTS 20
  • THIS SHOE IS FOR: Runners who need a perfect blend of support, cushion,...
  • SUPPORT AND CUSHION: Provides just the right amount of stability and support,...
  • BALANCED, SOFT CUSHIONING: The DNA LOFT Crash Pad cushions each footfall and...
  • MODERNIZED FIT: A new streamlined, engineered mesh upper with 3D Fit Print...

A high heel-toe drop is considered anything with a difference of at least 8mm from the heel to the toe. The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20 clocks in at a very high 12mm drop.

The GuideRails provide extra stability as you walk, keeping your foot stable and aligned to support the rest of your body. The snug fit allows the show to appear less bulky while still providing adequate support. There is also a saddle that secures your arch. 

Who is This for: Extra motion control features are great for people with weak knees, and high heel-toe drop provides extra stability. 

Pros
  • Responsive cushioning and shock absorption
  • Motion control GuideRails
  • Snug fit for structure
Cons
  • They run narrow

User Experience: Reviewers say they have great cushion and arch support, as well as good for nursing ankle and tendon injuries. 

Verdict: There is no reason not to try out this Brooks shoe if you need the extra stability and control a high-heel toe drop allows. 


Best Walking Shoes for Low Heel Toe Drop: Merrill Men’s Trail Glove 5

Merrell Men's Trail Glove 5 Sneaker
  • Vibram TC5+
  • Merrell Barefoot 2 construction for enhanced proprioception and stability during...

While many people swear by a high heel-toe drop for stability and comfort, others prefer a barefoot walking shoe that has little to no heel-toe drop. While there is no long-term research on barefoot shoes, many feel that they are the most supportive and natural shoes available.

The Merrill Trail Glove 5 offers a flat sole with no heel-toe drop for a natural feel, durable long-lasting outsoles, and antimicrobial features to reduce odor and keep bacteria growth within your shoe to a minimum.

Who is This for: People looking to retrain their step, and those who do not feel comfortable with a high heel-toe drop. People with high arches

Pros
  • Antimicrobial materials for odor reduction
  • Anatomical shape construction
  • Durable rubber outsole
  • 0mm heel-toe drop
Cons
  • They run big
  • Need high arches to wear comfortably

User Experience: Reviewer stand divided on the Trail Glove 5s, primarily due to the arch support. The arch support sounds aggressive, which is great if you have high arches, but too much for people with neutral or flat feet. 

Verdict: If you have high arches and want to jump on the barefoot shoe train, this is a great place to start.


Best Walking Shoes to Add Orthotics: Gravity Defyer Men’s G-Defy Mighty Walk

Gravity Defyer Proven Pain Relief Men's G-Defy Mighty Walk -...
  • VersoShock Technology - Patented Spring System Absorbs Shock From the Ground up...
  • Seamless interior for sensitive feet and diabetic neuropathy to prevent...
  • Bonus Free pair of Podiatrist-Grade CorrectiveFit Orthotic Insoles in every box...
  • Front rocker sole with a supported midfoot to prevent and relieve plantar...

The G-Defy Mighty Walk shoes offer a lot of features for people who have existing foot issues. Circulation problems and bunions are addressed with the roomy toe-box, and the supportive Midfoot construction is great for the prevention as well as the relief of plantar fasciitis.

If you have extra sensitive feet and don’t like the feel of seams inside your shoes, this shoe will have you covered with a seamless interior designed just for you. The best part is that this shoe was designed with a removable insole specifically so you can put in your own custom orthotics. 

Who is This for: This is a great shoe for people who want some extra support to assist their orthotics. 

Pros
  • roomy toe-box
  • Shock absorption technology
  • Seamless interior construction
  • Built-in midfoot support
Cons
  • Not very durable

User Experience: While many users are in love with the painless experience they have wearing these shoes for long periods, they have also found that they are not the most long-lasting shoes.

Verdict: Considering the high price-tag, if you plan on doing more than a moderate amount of walking in this shoe, it might not be worth the cost. However, for moderate to casual walking with preexisting foot conditions, you can get a decent amount of wear out of it. 


Most Stylish Walking Shoes with Color Options: ASICS Women’s Gel-Excite 4

ASICS Women's Gel-Excite 4 running Shoe
  • Rearfoot GEL Cushioning System: Attenuates shock during impact phase and allows...
  • Removable Sockliner: A sockliner which can be removed to accommodate a medical...
  • AHAR Outsole: Acronym for ASICS High Abrasion Rubber. Placed in critical areas...
  • Reflectivity: Contains reflective materials designed to enhance visibility...

While it is billed as a running shoe, the Gel-Excite 4 has some great supportive features that make it a perfect walking shoe. The shock absorption gel system distributes the shock of the initial step impact to allow you to easily move to the next phase of your step.

The removable sockliner allows you to both have a structured and responsive fit while allowing you to easily wash away any bacteria growth without washing your entire shoe. It is reflective for visibility and provides a durable reinforced rubber outsole. Best of all, if you are looking for a pop of color, this shoe has you covered.  

Who is This for: This shoe will provide basic walking support for anyone who wants to be protected and stable but doesn’t have any larger preexisting foot conditions that require extra support. It comes in an array of bright and happy color schemes for a fun addition to your wardrobe.

Pros
  • Gel shock absorption
  • Removable sockliner for structured fit
  • Reinforced high-wear areas on outsole
Cons
  • Run a bit small

User Experience: Reviewers recommend sizing up on this shoe, but overall have positive things to say about its comfort for all-day wear as well as it’s support for walking.

Verdict: If you don’t have major support issues and want a fun walking shoe, this is the way to go. 


Best Walking Shoes for Wide Feet: Instride Newport Men’s Comfort Therapeutic

Instride Newport Men's Comfort Therapeutic Extra Depth...
  • When combined with non-irritating seamless linings, slip-resistant outsoles, the...
  • Developed in conjunction with Podiatrists, Pedorthists, and other medical and...
  • InStride Shoes feature the CFS - Custom Fit System - made with a series of...
  • Sizes: 8-14 - Widths: D, 2E, 4E - Shoe Cover: Soft Leather.

If you have difficulty finding shoes that are wide enough, you should check out these Instride shoes. Designed to be a comfortable and pain-relieving shoe for people experiencing a range of foot issues, this shoe provides extra depth with a removable insole, high-quality full-grain leather construction, and a seamless lining for those with sensitive feet. In addition, they cover the basics of shock absorption, slip-resistant soles, and plenty of cushion.  

Who is This for: People suffering from diabetes, bunions, and hammertoes will benefit from this shoe, as well as those who have wider feet. 

Pros
  • Offered in wide and extra wide widths
  • Outer made of durable leather
  • Developed with podiatrists
Cons
  • Definitely has the look of an orthotic shoe

User Experience: Truly living up to its reputation for width, reviewers love this shoe for it’s sizing, comfort, and balance assistance. 

Verdict: Sometimes it is necessary to choose function over aesthetics, and this shoe will not disappoint you when it comes to comfort and durability, especially if you have preexisting foot issues. 


Best Walking Shoes for Narrow Feet: New Balance Men’s 624v2

New Balance Men's 624 V2 Casual Comfort Cross Trainer
  • Versatile Training Shoe: The 624 from New Balance features a durable and stylish...
  • Enhanced Flexibility: This version of the 624 New Balance training shoe is...
  • Cushioned Comfort: Offering firm yet flexible cushioning, these New Balance...
  • Structured Design: Whether you’re walking for fitness or for fun, an internal...

If you are someone with narrower feet, it might be difficult to find shoes that come in narrow sizes. The New Balance 624v2 has many size options that come in the narrower widths, allowing you to reap the benefits of all of the supportive and durable features this shoe has to offer.

With a stability shank in the midsole, guaranteed flex-points for natural movement, and a combination of foams and liners offering cushion and shock absorption, you want for very little with the 624v2.

Who is This for: Anyone looking for a shoe that comes in a wide array of widths including narrower ones. 

Pros
  • Fully leather upper
  • Extra stability insole
  • Walking support in midsole
Cons
  • Back of heel sits low

User Experience: Users say they are durable for their price and have a high-quality comfort level. Some were not happy with the length of the back of the heel and found that the shoe slips too much when they take a step.

Verdict: If the back of the heel length doesn’t bother you, then you will get a lot of use out of the 624v2s. 


How to Choose the Right Walking Shoes

Curvy friends walking home after fitness exercise
Curvy friends walking home after fitness exercise

Walking seems like a low-impact activity that wouldn’t require you to buy a specific type of shoe to wear while you are doing it. While it makes sense that you would need a special shoe for activities like running or tennis, how necessary is it to buy a shoe that is made specifically for walking – something many people do every day in flip flops or dress shoes? 

While walking can be less strenuous than other forms of exercise, it is still important to be supported while when you walk for exercise. Injuries can occur when you are doing any activity, and if you are going to be walking consistently each week, having the proper shoes is necessary to avoid pain or discomfort and to keep you on your feet. Still, you might be wondering how one even goes about choosing a proper pair of walking shoes.

When choosing walking shoes, you will need to find a pair that appropriately supports your foot type. Durability, flexibility, cushion and taking the time to find your correct size are also important things to take into account.

Shoes that fit all of these criteria can be found at all different price ranges. You can easily find a walking shoe that supports you and lasts for many workouts as you reach your goal, whether it be to burn calories or reduce your risk of illness.  

Benefits of Walking as a Workout 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, those who walk regularly may experience an improvement in their health, including reducing the risk of cancer, heart attacks and stroke. It also may help to reduce the symptoms of certain mental illnesses like depression.  

While more strenuous or high-impact exercises like running, tennis or Zumba might be a good fit for some people, others will get the most benefit from daily walking. Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to participate in a fast-paced sport in order to reap the benefits of exercise. 

Inactivity in adults increases the risk of many health issues, but while the CDC recommends at least 2.5 hours of aerobic physical activity per week, not even half of U.S. adults meet this goal. 

Walking is a gentle and effective form of aerobic exercise that will get you on the road to better health with just a minor change in your daily routine. 

Walking: Your Steps to Health published in Harvard Health maintains that in order to derive benefit from any workout, you must balance three things: 

  • Workout intensity
  • Duration of the workout 
  • How frequently you workout

While you might get your workout done faster with a more high-intensity exercise, you can easily gain the same benefits from walking – you just have to do it for a little bit longer. 

How many calories you burn while you walk depends on a few factors, including how fast you walk and how much you currently weigh. 

Walking SpeedCalories burned in 30 minutes at 125 lbsCalories burned in 30 minutes at 155 lbsCalories burned in 30 minutes at 185 lbs
17 minute mile120149178
15 minute mile135167200
13 minute mile150186222
Source: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights Pub: Harvard Health

While you can get more calories burned in the same time frame while jogging (180 calories in 30 minutes at 125lbs according to the same article), you can easily walk for just a little bit longer and achieve the same benefits. 

What to Look for in a Walking Shoe

Smiling young sportswoman doing stretching exercises
Smiling young sportswoman doing stretching exercises

In an article by NBC News, two podiatrists weighed in on choosing the best walking shoes. 

Olga Shvets, DPM encourages those looking for a pair of walking shoes to know their foot type: 

Foot TypeHow Your Shoe Wears
PronatorInner ball and heel / Medial
SupinatorOuter ball and heel / Lateral
NeutralEvenly on back of heel / Centered

If you have pronation or supination, it will impact the type of shoes you should get. Those who have pronated feet will see more wear towards the inner edge of the shoe, closer to the big toe. Supination shows wear towards the outer edge of the shoe, closest to the little toes, and neutral feet tend to wear towards the center of the shoe, and evenly on the back of the heel. 

If you have pronation, you may be someone with rigid pronation or someone who experiences an inward rolling of the foot known as overpronation. This will also determine the type of walking shoe you should look for. For example, shoes that support overpronation will have features such as a stiff heel counter that helps with motion control. 

Beyond choosing shoes for your foot type, Miguel Cunha, DPM offers suggestions for the overall make of the shoe in the same NBC News article. He recommends looking for shoes that have:

  • Durable leather uppers
  • Flexibility 
  • Stiff Soles
  • Correct size

In order to get the most wear out of your shoes, finding one that has an upper made out of durable materials like leather is important. While leather shoes can be on the more expensive side, many companies make shoes with synthetic leather that will be similarly durable but more affordable. 

Flexibility and stiff soles would seem to be a contradiction, but what you really need is a shoe that has a sole that is stiff enough to be supportive, but is flexible where your foot bends. Where your foot bends is going to be slightly different for each person, so testing the flex-point (where the shoe bends) is important to avoid arch pain or other foot issues. 

Tip: Test the flex point by pressing the toe of the shoe into the ground while holding the heel. You should also test this while you are wearing the shoe to make sure it matches up optimally.

In order to get the appropriate size, make sure the toe box isn’t too tight and don’t rely on your known size – make sure you try the shoes on before you buy them to ensure you have wiggle room, and your toes are not pressed up against the front edge of the shoe. 

Additionally, cushioning will help with shock absorption and can be helpful depending on your specific foot type or any existing foot conditions you have. 

Related Articles:

Podiatrist Recommended Walking Shoes

If you have preexisting foot conditions, you might want to find a shoe that has the AMPA Seal of Acceptance or Approval. These are shoes that the American Podiatric Medical Association has determined promote good foot health after review by AMPA podiatrists. 

There are several companies and products that meet these standards, but here are a few walking shoes that currently have the seal: 

ABEO Smart Walking Shoe

  • Midsole tested at Stanford University
  • Good for: Knee stress reduction, preventing progression or onset of osteoarthritis

Dr. Comfort Grace Walking Shoe

  • Durable materials and firm heel counter
  • Good For: poor circulation in feet, diabetic foot conditions, foot ulcers, peripheral neuropathy, foot deformity and much more. 

Hoka One One Akasa Walking Shoe

  • Responsive frame, reinforced for durability, vegan
  • Good for: A good generally supportive and podiatrist-recommended shoe for those who want to support their foot health. 

Whether you have significant foot issues or not, you can rest assured that any shoe recommended by the AMPA is going to support you fully, and keep you from any unnecessary injury.

Related Article:

The Average Price of Walking Shoes and the Quality at Different Price Points

Now that you know what to look for in a walking shoe, you are probably wondering how much they cost. Like any athletic shoe, the cost depends on a few factors, like the brand and quality of the shoe.

Some well-known brands that make walking shoes include ASICS, Saucony, Sketchers and New Balance:

BrandAverage Walking Shoe Price
ASICS$90
Saucony $75
Sketchers$70
New Balance$65

Similarly priced compared to other athletic shoes such as running shoes, you can find walking shoes at a range of prices – averaging around $75.

While some brands offer less of a selection, (ASICS and Saucony for example only have a few options each for walking shoes), brands like Sketchers and New Balance offer a wide range of walking shoe options at a wide range of prices. New Balance specifically has a significant number of walking shoes available at $65 but offers some at prices as high as $175.

This begs the question of what you are getting at the different price points and what quality you can expect from a $65 shoe versus a $175 shoe. 

What you get for $65

  • Synthetic uppers
  • Lightweight features
  • Cushion

What you get for $100

  • Synthetic or leather uppers
  • Durability features
  • Higher quality midsole construction 

What you get for $150+

  • Most durability features
  • Sockliners
  • Synthetic or leather uppers

On the more affordable end of the scale, walking shoes that land around $65 tend to boast lightweight features, and comfortable cushioning.

Moving a step up to walking shoes that fall around the $100 price point, you start to see more durable upper materials like leather in some shoes. You generally see an increase in durability in the outsole as well, and some more attention is paid to the construction of the midsole leading to a more supportive but still lightweight shoe. 

At the high end of the price scale, shoes that run as high as $150 to $175 see a predictable increase in quality, from the midsole construction to the upper. Within this range, you will see more reinforcement in the upper of the shoe to increase the shoe longevity.  

Within this price range, you are also more likely to see sockliners, which give your shoe an individualized fitted feel and increased responsiveness, as well as more supportive midsoles made with higher quality materials that will last longer. 

Whether or not you need the extra durability and responsiveness of a more expensive shoe depends on how much you walk. You will appreciate the durability and extra features of a high-performance shoe if you walk at least 5 days a week, logging 5 or more miles per day. 

The Average Lifespan of a Walking Shoe

Sole of shoe walking in mountains on rocky footpath

Walking shoes generally need to be replaced after 300-500 miles of use. 

Miles Walked per WeekHow Long Walking Shoes Will Last
5 miles / week1 – 2 years
10 miles / week7 months – 1 year
15 miles / week5 – 8 months

While this is a good guide, you should pay attention to how your shoes are wearing and use that to truly determine when you should replace your walking shoes. Using worn-out shoes will increase your risk of injury because they will no longer support you.  

According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, you should replace your walking shoes when: 

  • The outsole wears down to the midsole
  • The shoe lays unevenly on an even surface
  • Creases show on the heel of the outsole
  • The heel counter becomes flexible

Athletic shoe soles have an outsole made of rubber, which encases and protects a midsole that is typically made of some type of EVA foam. You will be able to tell that the outsole has worn down too far and your shoe needs replacing when you can see the midsole. 

When your shoes lay unevenly on a flat surface or you can see creases forming on the back of the heel of the outsole, that means that the midsole has run its course, and it is time for new shoes. 

The heel counter is a stiff piece inside the back of your shoe that wraps around your heel and Achilles’ tendon. If you find that this stiff piece has become flexible, you will no longer have the support of the heel counter and you need new walking shoes. 

Benefit of Investing in Comfortable Shoes

If you have never had the experience of trying to walk around in an uncomfortable shoe, you can count yourself as lucky. When you have a comfortable pair of shoes on you can completely forget you have shoes on at all, as you go about your daily activities. However, when your shoes are causing you pain, you it is all you can think about. 

Additionally, if a shoe is causing you pain or discomfort, you are more likely to experience foot issues. The wrong shoe for your foot can increase your risk of tendinitis, plantar fasciitis and general issues associated with incorrect alignment such as knee, hip, or back. Investing in comfortable shoes is essential to keeping you safe and avoiding unnecessary pain. 

While they can be less serious, wearing an ill-fitting pair of shoes is likely to cause blisters, bunions and corns. Anyone who has had a blister before can attest to the burning pain of a shoe rubbing an area of your foot raw, and then the long wait for the blister to eventually go away, if it does not become infected. Bunions and corns take a lot of care to get rid of and can be painful in the meantime. 

All of these unfortunate foot issues are completely avoidable if you take the time to find a good pair of shoes that fits your foot type.  

How Comfortable Shoes Affect Travel 

Unrecognizable afro couple walking with luggage outside of airport

When you are traveling, you unfortunately cannot fit your whole closet into your suitcase. You must make the decision to bring only one or two pairs of shoes that will work for your entire trip. Bringing a comfortable pair of shoes is essential to enjoying your vacation, as you will be wearing them quite a lot. 

Depending on what type of traveling you are doing, there is a good chance that you will be doing a lot of walking. Sight-seeing often demands lots of miles on foot of moving from one spot to another to get as much local history and art in as possible before you have to head home. The last thing you want is to be thinking about your shoe the entire time. 

Getting a comfortable pair of shoes to wear while traveling will make a huge difference in your overall experience. You will be able to enjoy new places without worrying about painful blisters on your feet or distracting arch pain. 

Additionally, if you are going to be flying to your travel destination, you are likely to experience feet and leg swelling on the plane. While this is normal, wearing a pair of shoes that accommodates this and doesn’t leave you feeling uncomfortable and in pain is important. Your shoe shouldn’t fit loosely, but it should definitely accommodate your feet at the point of the day they are most swollen, usually in the evening. 

Choosing the best walking shoes is an individual journey and may take some time, but it is very much worth it when it comes to the necessary support you will get from the right shoe. If you have preexisting foot conditions, you will discover a huge benefit to finding a pair of shoes that are fully supportive of your needs, but even if you do not currently have any problems with your feet you will not regret investing in a pair of walking shoes. Walking is a form of exercise, and just like any workout, you need to make sure you have the right shoes. 

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Last update on 2020-11-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API