7 Best City Walking Shoes in 2024

Laci
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7 Best City Walking Shoes in 2024
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Enjoy long walks in the city with these high-quality walking shoes from across different brands. Whether you need a new pair or two of go-to street shoes for active rest days or all-day wear, we are a team of shoe fanatics who recommend a comprehensive selection of footwear that suits your needs.

In this guide, you’ll not only find top-rated pieces from trusted labels as well as proven brands, but you'll also find here what we genuinely liked and approved on our conducted rigorous testing. The extensive list includes well-cushioned and supportive pieces that deliver protection and comfort in your daily routine.

We’ve tested 90+ of the best city walking shoes available today in the market. Each shoe is thoroughly tested for our top recommendations, which we highlighted for faster browsing.

How we test walking shoes

To make the top list, all the footwear in this category is subjected to lab and field tests. We then come up with our own final assessments and top rankings.

We follow these steps for this selection:

  • We procure all pairs of city walking footwear from our own pockets. This is our approach to keep our reviews 100% objective and unbiased.
  • After walking around 10000 steps in each shoe, we rate its out-of-the-box fit, comfort, ankle support, cushioning, breathability, and durability, among others. We compare notes and insights with other testers to get a consensus.
  • We put the shoes to the wear and tear of walking in the city. Moreover, we double-check every essential parameter of each model inside our lab. We further evaluate the pairs by chopping them up into pieces.

Best city walking shoes overall

What makes it the best?

Gallivanting from town to town and scrutinizing shoes in our lab made us see that Allbirds Tree Runners is the best city pair out there. It’s the ultimate walking shoe for highways and other concrete roads because of how the cushioning acts like a fortress against soreness from walking all day. And with very slipper-like characteristics, we might be outdoors but everything in Tree Runners feels homey!

During our city tours, one thing is evident: any impact was deadened by Tree Runner’s cushioning. With a 13.1 mm drop, which for the record is 26% greater than average, the heel is greatly loaded with cushioning sponging up shock from solid ground. 

We loved how we were able to wander around with smooth heel-to-toe transitions while in Tree Runners. Consequently, in our lab, we bent the shoes using our digital force gauge and it easily caved in, exerting a low opposing force of 12.2N. For reference, the average flexibility is 19.1N,  making Tree Runners 36.1% more pliable.

Tree Runners was also a delight to be in for long trips because of its weightlessness. Our scale actually confirmed this: it displayed a 9 oz (254g) weight, which is 3.4% lighter than average. However, we discovered that it is not meant for heavy use. The outsole hardness we got from our durometer backed our judgment as the tool recorded 62.1 HC, which is 16.5% softer than average, making it more vulnerable to wearing out. We suggest picking up other extra robust pairs if long-lastingness is your top priority.

Pros

  • Extra comfortable interiors
  • Equally cozy in 40 and 85ºF
  • Can be worn without socks
  • Lightweight and packable
  • Flexible sole
  • Removable insoles
  • Easy to style
  • Machine washable
  • Sustainable design

Cons

  • No half sizes
  • Lacks arch support
Full review of Allbirds Tree Runners

City walking shoes with the best style

On Cloudnova
89
Great!

What makes it the best?

On Cloudnova is the best city walking shoe with the best style because it’s timeless. We are not only talking about its looks but also its delivered comfort that didn’t fade in hours of marching on asphalt. And its capacity doesn’t stop on city tours, it extends to 12-hour shifts and random day-outs!

This compliment-getter kept our feet, especially our heels, unvexed from the hardness of concrete during our town walks. Measuring both the heel and forefoot stack heights, we calculated a heel-to-toe drop of 15.5 mm, which is 49% greater than the average. This provided our heels with tremendous amounts of cushioning and protection.

Being out in the city for an extended period of time is something we truly enjoyed with Cloudnova. We checked the hardness of the midsole with our handy durometer, and it reflected 29 HA, making the average softer by 12%. This equated to a delightful balance between plushness and firmness on our feet, giving us relentless comfort.

On our breathability test, Cloudnova’s upper performed adequately. It exhaled a modest portion of the smoke we pumped inside the shoe so we rated its breathability 3/5. This is good enough but if you plan to wander cities during hot and humid weather, good enough is not good enough. We suggest picking up another pair especially if your feet are naturally sweaty.

Pros

  • Perfect for all-day wear
  • Great travel shoe
  • Attractive design
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Fits well straight from the box
  • High quality
  • 10% recycled materials

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Sole catches debris
  • Mid-cut is not for everyone
Full review of On Cloudnova

Best slip-on walking shoes for the city

On Cloud 5
89
Great!

What makes it the best?

In our search for the best slip-on walking shoes, our top priority was convenience and standout comfort. On Cloud 5 is exactly that, except over and beyond, making it the top shoe. A whole day out on the asphalt is nothing but indulgence. It doesn’t even matter if we are sockless or not, it’s all the same - no rubbing, no heel slippage, and no hotspots!

Sliding in and out of Cloud 5 is as easy as ABC. But that’s not what impressed us most. It’s the fact that our feet are kept locked down no matter how much city walking we do, thanks to its fully gusseted tongue. Furthermore, strolling from town to town didn’t steal away the freshness of our feet. We realized that it was because of the very porous upper of Cloud 5 which kept the air circulating. In our lab, we deposited smoke inside the shoes and we watched that there was a significant amount of smoke that fled off, scoring 4/5 in breathability.

Our heel-to-toe transitions in Cloud 5 are as natural and smooth as they can be. We referred to our digital force gauge to check how much Cloud 5 hinders bending. It turned out, not much. Our device displayed a 19.8N force, which is 3.7% lower than average, and thus more flexible. 

However, after depositing the shoe in our freezer for 20 minutes, we found that the stiffness increased to 44.6N, beating the average by 51.7%. Therefore, warming up the shoes is a must. If this is not ideal for you, we suggest looking for other walking shoes.

Pros

  • Perfect for all-day wear
  • Unbelievably lightweight
  • Can do low-impact workouts
  • Amazing in-shoe feel
  • Very breathable
  • Super easy on-off
  • Great flexibility
  • Regular laces are added
  • Sustainable materials (44%)

Cons

  • Not for wide feet
  • Lacks durability
  • Outsole catches pebbles
Full review of On Cloud 5

Best city walking shoes for all-day wear

Hoka Transport
82
Good!

What makes it the best?

Hoka Transport is the number one city walking shoe from literally sunrise to sunset because of how blissful we feel on it even after a day. Our feet are housed in goodness, from top to bottom, with no ifs and buts. And the best part is we can wander in the shoe not just for hours but for years because of how hardwearing it is.

Wearing Transport while roaming around concrete jungles made it seem like we were walking on clouds. We probed the midsole inside our lab and discovered that it has a 21.9 HA softness. While this is 15.4% softer than average, on our walks, the cushioning didn’t feel disagreeably soft. Instead, it felt like perfection.

The comfort we felt carried on to the other parts of our feet on account of the generously padded interior. To verify this, we dissected the shoe and measured the tongue thickness. Our caliper evinced how padded it is, as it showed a 7 mm thickness, which exceeded the average by 70.7%.

Continuously gliding the outsole against asphalt didn’t worry us in wearing out the outsole as we found in our lab that it is 10.1% harder than average at 81.9 HC. The harder the outsole, the more durable it is. The downside is that Transport’s heavy. It weighs 10.9 oz (309g), 1.4 oz more than average. So if you favor light shoes, this is not it.

Pros

  • Unbelievably comfy
  • Spacious toe box
  • Adequately cushioned
  • Superior traction
  • Reliable outsole durability
  • Easy to slip in and out
  • True-to-size fit
  • Easy to clean
  • Sustainable

Cons

  • Not great for warm weather
  • Squeaky during break-in
Full review of Hoka Transport

City walking shoes with the best support

What makes it the best?

Our wanders on the urban jungle are enriched by On Cloudnova Form because of its stance-fortifying characteristics. We found that it’s the finest choice for a supportive city walking shoe because the outsole could take lengthy contact with concrete, plus the interior created a reliable foundation for our feet.

During our wear tests, we felt that Cloudnova Form controlled our foot motions, saving us from harm that concerns over-rotation of feet. We tracked this back to its sturdy heel counter, which we gauged to have a 3/5 stiffness on our manual pinching test. Another factor that reined any unsteadiness is the shoe’s torsional rigidness, which we rated 4/5.

Also, we could go on city walks without worrying about the outsole wearing thin, especially when we discovered that it’s 13.1% harder than the average outsole at 81.8 HC. At this level, our Dremel struggled to shave the rubber and it only caused a 0.8 mm dent, which is 50% shallower than the average. 

Disappointingly, the upper and the heel padding don’t measure up with the outsole in terms of durability. Our Dremel easily ruined the materials, thus, we suggest looking for an overall robust shoe if you want a more long-lasting pair.

Pros

  • Excellent for all-day wear
  • Very stable and supportive
  • Great in-shoe comfort
  • Non-constricting toebox
  • Reflective elements
  • Sustainable materials
  • Appealing design

Cons

  • Lacks durability (especially the upper)
  • A little heavier than average
Full review of On Cloudnova Form

Best waterproof walking shoes for the city

What makes it the best?

The most splendid waterproof city walking shoe we ever scrutinized in and out of our lab is On Cloud 5 Waterproof. Pouring weather isn’t the only thing it can conquer but also the cold. Additionally, we felt very supported and unbothered by the hardness beneath our feet during our urban walk trips, so it’s really best out there!

Our city trips were extra enjoyable because of how bouncy the cushioning is. Checking the midsole, we discovered that it has a hardness of 30.4 HA, which is 17.4% firmer than average. This translated to springs on our walks. 

In our lab, we also took our waterproof testing to the next level and unleashed our microscope to take close-up photos of the upper. We observed an extremely interwoven upper, supporting how sealed it is for water and even coldness to enter. It also didn’t matter if it was snowing out in the city because Cloud 5 Waterproof didn’t inconvenience us with stiffening up. At ambient temperature, we measured its flexibility to be 23N. After dumping the shoe in our freezer for 20 minutes, the flexibility became 26.4N. While this was a 14.6% increase from 23N, it is still less stiff than average by 10.2%, making it great for wintry strolls. 

The catch is that the shoe is not ideal for humid weather. This is also confirmed in our smoke test where the upper didn’t let out any smoke we pumped inside. We suggest picking up other pairs to use for summer.

Pros

  • Perfect for all-day wear
  • Super light for its kind
  • Easy on-and-off
  • Amazing in-shoe feel
  • Sustainable materials (40%)
  • Regular laces are added
  • Reflective elements

Cons

  • Catches rocks and debris
  • Can get smelly
Full review of On Cloud 5 Waterproof

City walking shoes with the best sock-like fit

What makes it the best?

Of all the walking shoes we have tested in the metropolis, the one that exhibited sock-like characteristics in the most beneficial way is the Skechers GO WALK 6. Our visits to places with bustling crowds couldn’t be more carefree than with this shoe. It gave off a homey vibe even though we were out on busy streets.

The main thing that made this possible is the glove-like fit of the GO WALK 6. Using our caliper, we discovered that the widest part of the toebox is 98 mm, which sits around the 97.9 mm average. This complemented the elastic upper in providing us with a super comfortable fit.

The weight of this shoe also mimics a sock. We attested this through our digital scale that displayed 8.78 oz (249g), which is 2.8% lighter than average. What seals the deal is the very cushiony foam that led to our impact-free city excursions. The midsole is 35.3 mm high in the heel and 22 mm in the forefoot, which is 4 mm and 1 mm extra cushioned than the averages, respectively, delivering an excellent and sound underfoot feel.

However, we do not recommend this shoe for serious use on concrete because we found that the outsole is buttery soft at 50.1 HC. This is not only softer than the average by 30.7% but also more vulnerable to rubbing. We suggest searching for shoes with firmer outsoles for enhanced durability.

Pros

  • Pillow-like comfort
  • Cushioned for all-day wear
  • Amazingly lightweight
  • Surprisingly durable upper
  • Snug sock-like fit
  • Easy on and off
  • Super flexible
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Not breathable
  • Outsole lacks durability
Full review of Skechers GO WALK 6
Author
Laci
Laci
Laci is a contemporary dancer turned shoe aficionado. She is the most knowledgeable person when it comes to athletic shoes, size conversions and details people nitpick about footwear. She keeps the RunRepeat content gears turning 24/7. And she walks 20miles/week.