Our verdict

Even though it gave us strong grandpa vibes, very few shoes offer as much support as the Brooks Addiction Walker 2. Approved by foot doctors, this shoe is built with foot health in mind and even has the potential to relieve painful conditions like plantar fasciitis. Its stable construction helped our 8-hour workday feel like a breeze! The shoe's hard-wearing leather upper and rubber outsole help it outlast many other options of work footwear, while the austere design and basic colors allow it to blend into almost any occasion.

Pros

  • Unmatched stability and arch support
  • Broadly recommended by podiatrists
  • Incredible abrasion resistance and durability
  • Thick and lasting cushioning
  • Wide and steady platform
  • Great for cold and drizzly days
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • True to size and fit
  • Can match formal work attire

Cons

  • Heavier than average
  • Quite stiff, needs breaking on
  • Lacks slip resistance on wet tiles
  • Not breathable

Audience verdict

86
Good!

Who should buy

Having thoroughly tested the Brooks Addiction Walker 2, we can recommend it to people who:

  • need extra support for flat feet, overpronation, plantar fasciitis, diabetes, and other conditions (the shoe is podiatrist-approved and carries the A5500 code)
  • spend the entire day on their feet (be it casual wear or at work)
  • want a leather shoe for colder days and drizzly weather
  • look for high-quality work footwear with basic color options to match their work outfits and uniforms

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 review

Who should NOT buy

If you love the idea of an exceptionally comfortable and supportive shoe but can't stand the stern vibes of the Addiction Walker 2, check out the following alternatives from Brooks:

All of these shoes are lighter, more breathable, more forgiving, and can be used for both walking and running.

But if you do need a leather shoe for work, preferably one with a slip-resistant outsole, the Hoka Bondi SR may be a better choice. It has a stronger grip on wet tiles and more joyous vibes despite the monochromatic colorways.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 lab test

Breathability

The all-leather upper of this Brooks shoe makes it a poor choice for summer right from the start.

As our in-house breathability test shows, there is pretty much no airflow happening inside the Addiction Walker 2. Even though the tiny streak of vapor found its way through the eyelets, this pathway won't be very much available with the foot inside the shoe.

Even when we tried searching for ventilation holes in our transparency test, we didn't find a single aperture in the shoe's upper.

It would be wise to save this option for cooler days (50°F/20°C and below) if you want to avoid toasty and sweaty feet.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 1
Average 2.7
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Leather/Suede quality

Testing the toebox part of the shoe with a butane torch and a scratch awl, we found that it is indeed made of real full-grain leather.

At first glance, it looks like the Addiction Walker 2 uses the same kind of leather throughout the upper. But alas, Brooks cuts corners on the material quality in the midfoot.

As you can see, the upper caught fire and melted instantly revealing the material's synthetic nature.

Apparently, it is no longer possible to get a real leather shoe for $130 these days.

Toebox durability

But there are two sides to the coin. What causes the shoe's lack of aeration also makes it incredibly wear-resistant.

As our 12-second Dremel test shows, the full-grain leather of the Addiction Walker 2 doesn't give up so easily. It didn't let our tool leave more than a scuff on the topmost layer of its toebox material.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Toebox durability comparison

Compared to a typical mesh upper, this Brooks shoe will take much more abuse before it starts to show serious signs of wear.

Thus, we readily award the Addiction Walker 2 with the highest toebox durability score - 5 out of 5!

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 5
Average 3.1
Compared to 22 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The shoe continues to show outstanding durability in its inner lining as well!

A 4-second exposure to sandpaper at a 5K RPM speed only tickled the shoe's textile.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Heel padding durability comparison

Considering that most shoe linings end up with glaring holes after the same test, the inner fabric of this Brooks shoe deserves a high durability score of 4 out of 5.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 4
Average 2.1
Compared to 21 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

At the bottom, the Addiction Walker 2 is protected with a promisingly substantial rubber outsole.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Outsole hardness

Pressing our Shore C durometer against it returned a higher-than-average reading of 84.5 HC. It is a pretty hard compound that looks like it can take a beating.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 84.5 HC
Average 75.7 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
50.1 HC
Outsole hardness
92.0 HC

Outsole durability

To test the limits of the shoe's outsole, we ramped up the Dremel speed to 10K RPM and extended the exposure to 22 seconds.

And yet again, the shoe impressed us with its ability to resist abrasion!

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Outsole durability test

That barely visible scratch you see on the rubber is a mere 0.9 mm deep according to our tread gauge. That's notably shallower than the average of walking shoes.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 0.9 mm
Average 1.6 mm
Compared to 21 walking shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole wear
2.0 mm

Outsole thickness

On top of it all, the shoe's rubber outsole is a whopping 5.5 mm thick!

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Outsole thickness

We are confident that the Addiction Walker 2 will outlast many options on the market. Even if you walk on concrete and asphalt all day and power through 8-10-hour shifts on your feet, this Brooks shoe is one of the most long-lasting walking shoes we've tested.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 5.5 mm
Average 2.6 mm
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Outsole thickness
5.9 mm

Weight

Being a well-cushioned and highly supportive shoe with a leather upper, it is no surprise that the Addiction Walker 2 comes with an extra heft.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Weight

Weighing it in a men's US size 9, we got 13.7 oz (388g) on the scale. That's about 4 oz (113g) heavier than the average walking shoe.

It is one of the heaviest models on our roster.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 13.69 oz (388g)
Average 9.81 oz (278g)
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
6.17 oz (175g)
Weight
14.25 oz (404g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The Addiction Walker 2 treated our feet to a thick-foamed and very well-cushioned sole.

Measuring its stack height with a caliper, we got 35.7 mm in the heel. The shoe did feel quite platformy underfoot.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Heel stack

But it also remained incredibly comfortable and supportive for hours on end. We wore the Addiction Walker 2 for a few days in our shoe-testing lab where we barely sat down to rest. It was amazing to find that our feet and legs didn't feel beaten up at all! 

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 35.7 mm
Average 32.7 mm
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
11.2 mm
Heel stack
45.7 mm

Forefoot stack

The shoe offered an equally generous cushioning for the balls of our feet as it did for the heels.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Forefoot stack

This is largely due to its thicker-than-average forefoot stack of 23.5 mm.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 23.5 mm
Average 21.9 mm
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
5.5 mm
Forefoot stack
31.2 mm

Drop

Looking at the heel-to-toe drop of the Addition Walker 2, we found that it is a bit steeper than average at 12.2 mm.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Drop

It is a pretty common setup for supportive shoes that are meant to ease the strain of certain foot conditions.

The elevated heel takes the load off the Achilles and enhances impact protection in the rearfoot.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 12.2 mm
Average 10.9 mm
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
5.7 mm
Drop
21.4 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

It is critical to note that the Addiction Walker 2 is NOT a plush walking shoe.

Pressing our durometer against its sliced midsole returned a reading of 25.9 HA which is the average of walking shoes in our lab.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Midsole softness

It indicates a moderately soft foam that doesn't have a whole lot of squeeze and is certainly not a mushy one.

Brooks uses a proprietary BioMoGo DNA foam which is a pretty comfortable EVA-based compound. It doesn't have much bounce to it, but we enjoyed the consistent ride it delivered for hours on end.

It is a great option for painful foot conditions like plantar fasciitis where a plush and wobbly midsole can do more harm than good. A thicker and firmer sole is also beneficial for heavyweight wearers.

As a nice bonus, "Bio" implies that the foam is biodegradable and, according to Brooks, it breaks down 20 times faster than your typical foam.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 25.9 HA
Average 24.9 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
7.8 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
32.9 HA

Difference in midsole softness in cold

Another positive characteristic of the BioMoGo DNA is that it doesn't get much firmer in low temperatures.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Difference in midsole softness in cold

After keeping the shoe in the freezer for 20 minutes and retaking the durometer measurement, we found that the shoe's foam got moderately firmer - by 20.7%.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 20.7%
Average 34.1%
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in midsole softness in cold
100%

Insole thickness

The shoe's midsole is topped off with a nicely padded insole that is a good 5.5 mm thick.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Insole thickness
Test results
Addiction Walker 2 5.5 mm
Average 6.2 mm
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
3.5 mm
Insole thickness
16.9 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

If you are someone with flat feet, overpronation, or other foot conditions that call for extra-supportive footwear, the Addiction Walker 2 must be on your radar.

The shoe features an Extended Progressive Diagonal Bar (PDRB) in the midfoot portions of the sole. Even though it looks a bit dated compared to the subtle stability technologies of today, it is still one of the most reliable types of arch support.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Extended Progressive Diagonal Bar (PDRB)

We found that this sturdy post supports our arch in the right spot minimizing our foot's inward rolling.

What's more, the Addiction Walker has earned a solid reputation among podiatrists over the years. It even received a Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatry Medical Association (APMA) as one that promotes good foot health.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 support

Torsional rigidity

The Brooks Addiction Walker 2 offers an unmatched level of stability with its sturdy midsole posting and supportive upper.

We found it nearly impossible to twist the shoe in our manual test.

Rating the shoe's torsional rigidity on a 1-5 scale, we gave it the highest possible score of 5.

It makes the shoe very safe and reliable not only for people with foot conditions but also for senior citizens for whom a solid footing is a must.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 5
Average 2.8
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

Another source of support comes from the shoe's moderately rigid heel counter. It received an average score of 3 out of 5 in our manual stiffness test.

Even though it's not the sturdiest we've seen in our lab, the heel counter has enough structure to keep our heels and ankles securely in place. There was no slipping out or sliding around inside the heel cup.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 heel counter

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 3
Average 2.3
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

Last but not least, the Addiction Walker 2 draws its stability from a slightly wider-than-average base.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Midsole width in the forefoot

Measuring the widest part of its sole in the forefoot, our caliper showed a solid 113.7 mm.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 113.7 mm
Average 111.7 mm
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
98.8 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
124.1 mm

Midsole width in the heel

As for the heel of the shoe, we measured 95.8 mm in its widest part. That is more than 5 mm wider than average.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Midsole width in the heel

Having a wider base to land on helped us feel more confident in our steps for sure.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 95.8 mm
Average 90.2 mm
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
75.6 mm
Midsole width in the heel
104.0 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

Do expect a much stiffer experience in the Brooks Addiction Walker 2 compared to your typical walking shoe, especially at the toe-off!

Its unforgiving construction was one of the first things we noticed about the shoe.

Measuring how much force it takes to bend this Brooks shoe to a 90-degree angle, our force gauge showed a high reading of 31.3N. That's a whopping 50% more than it takes on average!

The Addiction Walker 2 does get more pliable with time but stays on the stiff side anyway.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 31.3N
Average 20.9N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
1.1N
Stiffness
52.7N

Difference in stiffness in cold

And if you plan to wear the Addiction Walker 2 in cold weather, expect that it to get even stiffer.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Difference in stiffness in cold

Having kept the shoe in the freezer for 20 minutes, we repeated the force gauge measurement and found that it stiffened up by 20%.

Luckily, it's not as much as some other walking shoes change (up to 50% stiffer!).

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 19.9%
Average 49.5%
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
0%
Difference in stiffness in cold
139%

Grip / Traction

The Brooks Addiction Walker 2 proudly carries a certified slip-resistant rubber outsole (SATRA TM144:2011). We were happy with the traction it delivered on most surfaces like concrete, wood, and dry tiles of our shoe lab.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 outsole

But when it came to wet tiles... it turned out that the shoe's slip resistance was not enough! We wouldn't recommend it for kitchen and restaurant workers. You want to look towards the Hoka Bondi SR for that purpose.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 slip resistant

Another unfortunate discovery we had with the Addition Walker 2's outsole is that it squeaks quite a bit! Our colleagues could hear us approaching from the other room of the warehouse.

Size and fit

Internal length

We can confirm that the Brooks Addiction Walker 2 runs true to size in our regular men's US size 9.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Internal length

We also measured the shoe's internal length down to a millimeter (272.7 mm). It matches the men's US size 9 precisely, according to Brooks' shoe size chart.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 on foot

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 272.7 mm
Average 269.1 mm
Compared to 14 walking shoes
Number of shoes
264.5 mm
Internal length
275.9 mm

Toebox width at the widest part

The Addiction Walker 2 also proved to be on point with its toebox fit and felt tailor-made on our medium-sized feet.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 fit

Measuring the widest part of its forefoot with a caliper, we got 101.8 mm. It is exactly on par with the average.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Addiction Walker 2 101.8 mm
Average 99.1 mm
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
89.5 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
110.9 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

As a shoe that promotes foot health, the Addiction Walker 2 has a reasonable toebox shape. There is no aggressive tapering towards the front which is so common for dress shoes.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Toebox width at the big toe

Measuring its toebox width at the big toe, our caliper showed 77.3 mm which is a standard reading for D-medium walking shoes.

Fortunately, this Brooks shoe caters to people with wide feet too, offering wide and extra-wide options.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 77.3 mm
Average 78.3 mm
Compared to 23 walking shoes
Number of shoes
73.7 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
94.3 mm

Tongue: gusset type

We found that there are no gussets on the shoe's tongue.

We found this feature handy on the Brooks Beast GTS 23 and were hoping to see it on the Addiction Walker as well.

Even though a gusseted tongue would make the lockdown even more secure and eliminate tongue-shifting, it's not an essential part of a walking shoe anyways.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Addiction Walker 2 None

Comfort

Tongue padding

Offering a ton of cushioning underfoot, the Addiction Walker 2 also spoiled our feet with its generous in-shoe padding.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Tongue padding

We measured its thickness at 10.4 mm which is twice as thick as the average.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 10.4 mm
Average 5.0 mm
Compared to 28 walking shoes
Number of shoes
0.3 mm
Tongue padding
11.5 mm

Heel tab

We think that the Addiction Walker 2 could benefit from a pull tab of a finger loop to assist in the on-and-off (especially for senior wearers).

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Heel tab
Test results
Addiction Walker 2 None

Removable insole

If you wish to customize the in-shoe experience, you can replace the shoe's stock insole with our own. It is quite easy to take out.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Removable insole
Test results
Addiction Walker 2 Yes

Misc

Reflective elements

Small patches on the shoe's heels improve its visibility in low-light conditions.

Test results
Addiction Walker 2 Yes