7 Best Shoes For Walking On Concrete in 2023

Laci
Laci on
7 Best Shoes For Walking On Concrete in 2023
We earn affiliate commissions at no extra cost to you when you buy through us. Why trust us

Standing long hours on hard surfaces will essentially take its toll on your feet and whole body. To help alleviate this pain, you must wear a nice pair of walking shoes suitable for concrete.

To help you out, we have gathered several recommendations that you can use for your difficult days at work or your next walking session. Mind you, we subjected these walking shoes to intensive testing before we even vouch for them. Read over our life-changing suggestions to make your walks and stands on concrete more fun and enjoyable. 

Best shoes for walking on concrete overall

Hoka Transport
82
Good!

What makes it the best?

While searching for the best concrete shoes, we looked for a shoe that’s tough enough to handle rough days on the job. We found what we were looking for in the Hoka Transport with its soothing cushioning, resilient outsole, and secure fit. These factors grabbed our attention when we tested them in the lab and on the streets, putting the Hoka Transport firmly above the rest.

The Hoka Transport’s cushioning felt heaven-sent as we pounded the streets in them. We looked into this further in our lab, where we pressed our durometer to its midsole to see how it compared to other shoes. We got a reading of 21.9 HA (after performing the test 4 times for improved accuracy), making it 23% softer than the average walking shoe - truly a gift for those who want to give their feet some pampering.

Since concrete can be a bit more abrasive than other surfaces, we found it great that the Hoka Transport’s sole is well-protected. Our durometer test on its outsole yielded a reading of 81.9 HC, making the shoe 13% firmer than the average. Even if something does make a dent, the Hoka Transport’s outsole is sufficiently thick to remove all worries about it wearing through. In the lab, we used our caliper to measure its thickness, giving us a figure of 3.7 mm which is impressive since the average walking shoe’s outsole thickness is at 1.7 mm.

Another thing we found amazing about the Hoka Transport is the way that it keeps feet locked in. After systematically pushing and prodding its heel counter, we gave its stiffness a reading of 3 out of 5 (where 1 is the most flexible), making it stiff enough to reliably resist ankle wobbling. We also found that it was able to embrace our feet well with its semi-gusseted tongue, giving us better lockdown.

One thing we must warn about is the Hoka Transport’s lack of breathability. It performed worse than the average walking shoe in letting air in and out, so we cannot recommend it for those who spend their days in sweaty conditions.

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

Shoes for walking on concrete with the best arch support

What makes it the best?

The most sidewalk-ready and arch-friendly walking shoe we’ve encountered is the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23. This shoe sure does soften the blow every time we strike our feet on concrete in addition to promoting the correct placement of our feet, rooting out the cause of our usual foot complaints!

With a 34.1 mm and 21.5 mm heel and forefoot midsole elevation, we found that the heel-to-toe drop of Adrenaline GTS 23 is equivalent to 12.6 mm. This is not only 43.2% steeper than the standard but also a rich amount to buffer shock, especially for heel stompers. For the softness of the midsole, we obtained a measurement of 19.5 HA, denoting that it’s 18.8% softer than most and providing our arch with structural reinforcement without losing comfort.

We also loved the spot-on fit of the shoe that didn’t cost us shoe bites despite strolling on pavements for extended hours. Our caliper read 99.9 mm when we gauged the shoe’s widest toe box area. This offered us a 1.8 mm additional room than the average, thus allowing us to have uncompressed feet.

As much as we appreciated the heel and outsole’s durability, the toe box area failed us. Employing our Dremel to determine the upper’s toughness led to the quick penetration of our tool through the material. If toe box scraping is your concern while walking, we think it’s a good idea to explore other shoes with robust uppers.

Pros

  • Excellent stability without being intrusive
  • Ideal for easy miles
  • Specifically designed for heel strikers
  • Outstanding breathability
  • Comfortable and cushioned
  • Availability in narrow and wide sizes
  • Capable of handling tempo paces
  • Not expensive at all

Cons

  • The engineered mesh upper lacks durability
  • Lacks cushion for forefoot strikers
Full review of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 23

Shoes for walking on concrete with the best cushioning

Brooks Ghost 15
89
Great!

What makes it the best?

We don’t want any other walking shoe but Brooks Ghost 15 when we leave our house and explore the outside world. Cruising on pavements is never better without this shoe because it’s like an actual pillow beneath the foot and we can walk on concrete for miles without the outsole giving up on us.

One thing that made us forget that we were wandering on asphalt was the incredibly soft foam. We double-checked this through our durometer and it reflected a 15.9 HA midsole, which is not only plush but 34.6% softer than the average! 

Moreover, we didn’t notice any scuffing on the outsole even though we really went the distance while wear-testing the shoe. To verify this, we let the outsole taste abrasion using our Dremel tool. Besides the 0.4 mm crater, which by the way is 60% less deep than the average, our Dremel failed to cause any significant damage to the outsole. 

The impact every time we hit the ground couldn’t reach our feet because of the beefy midsole of the Ghost 15. Utilizing our caliper, we recorded a 9.3% chunkier-than-average heel stack height of 36.3 mm and a 23.1 mm forefoot height that’s only 1.2 mm short of the average. Overall, this is more than enough to protect us from concrete’s hardness. However, the forefoot stack height might not be enough for forefoot strikers. In that case, we recommend looking for other pairs.

Pros

  • Supreme comfort
  • Plush, stable ride that's a delight
  • Optimized for heel strikers
  • No heel slippage
  • Great grip in wet conditions
  • Built to endure countless miles
  • Impressive value for $140
  • Great for both running and walking
  • Available in up to four different widths

Cons

  • Slightly heavier than its predecessor
  • Could use some improvements in breathability
  • Not a good one for forefoot strikers
Full review of Brooks Ghost 15

Best shoes for walking on concrete for wide feet

What makes it the best?

Our park and city saunters are ultimately complemented by Adidas Ultraboost Light because it mutes any distress and shock brought upon by long walks on concrete. The broad-footers among us especially enjoyed the excess space in the toebox that didn’t choke the veins in our feet. What even sweetens the deal is the lack of need to exert much effort in each stride.

The widest section in the toebox is 102.9 mm and this is amazing because it gave us 4.9 mm more room compared to the standard. Our heel-to-toe transitions in Ultraboost Light are also as seamless as can be – no stress whatsoever. Upon investigating in our lab, we learned that even when bending the shoe at a 90-degree angle using our digital force gauge, Ultraboost Light easily budged at a force of 18.6N. This is 38.8% lower than the average, therefore it’s also 38.8% more flexible.

Furthermore, Ultraboost Light’s cushioning also got us trotting because of how plush it is! We used our durometer to validate our impression, and we weren’t wrong: the midsole is 36.2% softer than the average at 15.5 HA.

However, we didn’t feel the most surefooted when walking on wet surfaces. We discovered that at 79.8 HC, the shoe’s outsole is as hard as the average and only 3.9% softer. A softer outsole corresponds to a better grip. In Ultraboost Light’s case, it isn’t soft enough to cling hard on wet cobblestones and the like. We suggest taking extra care if ever you decide on using this walking shoe while raining.

Pros

  • Cushy and responsive ride
  • Good for easy runs and long distances
  • Ideal for heel strikers
  • Suitable for wide feet
  • Effective stability elements for mild pronation
  • Snug and secure lockdown
  • Durable toebox and heel
  • Outsole built to last
  • Ready for winter runs
  • Works as a comfy walking shoe
  • Sustainably designed upper

Cons

  • Thin forefoot cushioning
  • Could be lighter
  • Slippery on wet surfaces
  • Not for speedwork
  • Average at best breathability
Full review of Adidas Ultraboost Light

Best slip-resistant shoes for walking on concrete

Hoka Bondi SR
85
Good!

What makes it the best?

Of all the hours we spent testing Hoka Bondi SR on streets and pavements, the number of times we ran into clumsiness hiccups is zero. This is because its treads are fastened to the ground at each of our steps, plus its reassuring lateral confine ensures that ankle sprain is not something we should worry about.

We inspected the Bondi SR’s outsole and learned that at 73.1 HC, it transcended the firmness of the average by only 1.1%. On our asphalt jungle trips, this resulted in remarkable traction even when the surface was wet.

Our surefootedness continues with the stability offered by the shoe. With a firm structure that scored  5/5 in our torsional rigidity test, combined with a solid heel counter that barely submitted when we forcefully compressed it, our feet definitely stayed in a neutral position. 

Continuous walks on solid ground are already straining as they are. This is why we found the stiffness of Bondi SR a bit hard on the foot. The shoe’s inflexibility is also apparent in our lab test where we bent it using our digital force gauge. It defied bending at a 52.7N force, winding up 192.8% stiffer than average! If you desire smooth stride progressions, we advise skipping the Bondi SR.

Pros

  • Comfort is off-the-charts
  • Extra thick cushioning for all-day support
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • Alleviates foot discomfort (podiatrist approved)
  • Stable for a neutral shoe
  • Slip-resistant outsole
  • Superior material quality
  • Water-resistant leather upper
  • Accommodating toebox

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky
  • Not breathable
Full review of Hoka Bondi SR

Best lightweight shoes for walking on concrete

Hoka Clifton 9
87
Great!

What makes it the best?

It is mindblowing how the Hoka Clifton 9 feels close to nothing on foot yet it provides us with insane support that turns our trips on asphalts an enchanting experience. We remain centered in the shoe, and as a result, our knees and hips are as far from pain as they can be. Not to mention that with every step, we land on a cloud-like foam!

Clifton 9 tipped our scales at 8.78 oz (249g), which is 7.1% lighter in comparison to other walking shoes. This lightness definitely translated on our walks, uncoupling our legs from fatigue. Even though we tested this shoe on solid grounds, our feet felt nothing but pleasure. We validated this by sticking our durometer against the midsole, which then clocked in a 20.4 HA softness. This is 16% softer than average.

Thankfully, the airiness and plushness of Clifton 9 didn’t lead to unstableness. One thing that contributed to our very balanced rides is the wide base of the shoe. With our caliper, we obtained the midsole widths in the forefoot and heel, which are 115.3 mm and 96 mm. They are 2.3 mm and 5.9 mm broader than the averages, allowing us to be as surefooted as ever.

However, wearing this out in the summer is not super ideal. It only scored 3/5 on our breathability test wherein we filled the interior with smoke and evaluated how much would come out. Due to this, we don't suggest those with extra sweaty feet to sport Clifton 9 on hot, humid days.

Pros

  • Thicker and more energetic midsole cushioning
  • Lighter than the v8
  • Easy on the knees
  • Durable upper
  • Available in wide
  • Good traction on roads and mild trails
  • Mild, unobtrusive stability elements
  • Can handle faster paces better than previous editions
  • Best for easy days and long runs

Cons

  • Narrow fit
  • Upper needs some time to break in
  • Average breathability
Full review of Hoka Clifton 9

Best budget shoes for walking on concrete

What makes it the best?

Wandering the mean streets with Adidas Supernova 2 left us elated because of how plain sailing our trips got. Our strides were as natural as they could be but without our gaits rolling uncontrollably. Beneath our feet, Supernova 2 was indeed super with two different Adidas foams – Boost and Bounce – that made our saunters interesting. What closed the bargain (literally) is the $100 affordable price, which is only around $11 more expensive than most.

When we took apart the parts of this shoe, we realized that the midsole used Boost in the heel and Bounce in the forefoot. Due to this, we drove our durometer twice, giving us 29.8 HA in the heel and 27 HA in the forefoot, which were 23.14% and 12.5% firmer than the average. These were the key factors in our cushiony yet bouncy strides as we hit the pavement.

When it comes to our walks on wet ground, we didn’t encounter any issues: we remained as surefooted as hell. When we jabbed our durometer against the outsole, we realized that it was 4.5% softer than the others at 76.3 HC, which indicated incredible traction, even on smooth surfaces. 

The drawback was that, due to its softness, the outsole was easily grated by our Dremel tool. Besides that, the toebox and sock liner of Supernova 2 were also no match against our Dremel. So if you prioritize longevity, we don’t advise getting this pair.

Pros

  • Generously padded and comfortable
  • Budget friendly daily trainer
  • Cushy midsole at the heel
  • Highly breathable
  • Secure lockdown
  • Comfortable and secure heel clutch
  • Grippy, even on wet surfaces
  • Feels stable underfoot
  • No lace bite

Cons

  • Not for long or tempo runs
  • Lacking in overall durability
  • Tongue slips
Full review of Adidas Supernova 2

Comparison of the 7 best shoes for walking on concrete

+ + Add a product
+ + Add a product
+ + Add a product
+ + Add a product
+ + Add a product
+ + Add a product
+ + Add a product
+ + Add a product
Best
CoreScore
Users rating
Experts
Best price
Ranking
Popularity
# of colorways

Choosing the best shoes for walking on concrete

Walking on concrete surfaces can be tough on your feet, causing discomfort and even pain if you're not wearing the right shoes. Fortunately for all of us, we are living through the middle of a true golden age in walking shoe technology and innovation.

The support and cushioning of today’s walking shoes are well-equipped for pounding pavement all day long.

on-cloudnova-review

The importance of proper footwear on concrete

Let’s face facts: human feet simply did not evolve to walk on hard surfaces like concrete. Proper footwear is an essential adaptation tool to keep your feet comfortable, protected, and injury-free.

Walking shoes designed for concrete surfaces offer abundant cushioning and support that not all walking shoes possess. They also have the style and versatility that many athletic shoes lack to make them suitable for work, city life, and travel.

Key features to look for in concrete walking shoes

Concrete is hard, unforgiving, and can get slick in wet or icy conditions. When choosing concrete walking shoes for accruing miles on sidewalks, roads, and paved pathways, a few features become more important to consider.

Cushioning and shock absorption technology

Walking on concrete – or other hard manufactured surfaces – subject your feet to repetitive, unforgiving impact forces, leading to discomfort and fatigue.

The best concrete walking shoes feature relatively thick midsoles and insoles to provide lasting protection.

hoka-transport-heel-stack.JPG

At least 30 mm of stack height in the heel is essential for comfortable walking on concrete

Advanced shock absorption technology integrated into the midsole of your shoes can further counteract this effect. Look for features like gel cushioning, air pockets, or advanced EVA foam that effectively absorb and disperse shock, providing you with a smoother walking experience.

Flexibility

The ability of the shoes to bend and twist in line with natural foot movements enhances comfort and proper biomechanics.

Shoes that are too rigid can impede your gait and lead to discomfort, especially on hard surfaces like concrete.

Concrete walking shoes should offer a balance between support and flexibility, allowing your feet to move naturally while providing the necessary cushioning and structure.

Outsole durability and traction

The outsoles of concrete walking shoes are engineered for durability. Rugged outsole compounds and a thicker construction will help your shoes withstand the abrasiveness of concrete surfaces without wearing them out quickly.

hoka-transport-outsole.JPG

The traction pattern on the outsole enhances grip, providing you with stable footing even on smooth or wet concrete.

In our lab, we also use a durometer to measure how hard each shoe's rubber is. Generally, softer rubbers have better traction while harder compounds tend to last longer.

  Hoka Bondi SR Hoka Transport
Rubber hardness 73.1 HC 81.9 HC
Benefit slip-resistant, better grip more durable and hard-wearing

Hoka Bondi SR outsole durability test

In our durability test, the Dremel left a much deeper dent on the Hoka Bondi SR's soft rubber than on most shoes. Our tread gauge shows 2.5 mm of depth as opposed to the average 1.6 mm. But the shoe's slip-resistant capacities are phenomenal.

Brand spotlight: Top brands with walking shoes for concrete

Hoka

Hoka is well known for its max cushion approach to running and walking shoes. The Hoka Transport model is especially well-equipped to tackle the challenges of concrete surfaces. With its emphasis on cushioning and support, the Transport offers a comfortable and stable experience for long days on hard ground.

On

On's shoe design philosophy makes them one of the best brands for concrete walking. The Cloudnova combines style and performance, while the Cloud line offers remarkable cushioning and comfort. For cold and wet climates, the waterproof edition of the On Cloud is an excellent concrete walking shoe.

Allbirds

Allbirds is known for sustainable and stylish footwear, and their Tree Runners shine on concrete. Combining eco-friendliness with comfort and a city-friendly aesthetic, these shoes provide a lightweight and cushioned feel for walks taking you just about anywhere.

Style and design in concrete walking shoes

Concrete walking usually implies walking in the city or for work, so concrete walking shoes should be stylish and versatile in a way that many athletically-oriented running and walking shoes are not.

allbirds-tree-runners-review.JPG

The best concrete walking shoes feature sleek designs and thoughtful colorways to work with any outfit and social environment. Certain brands, like Allbirds and On have mastered this without sacrificing the all-day comfort, support, and cushioning that are needed for concrete surfaces.

Again, this is ultimately dependent on your personal preference, but the best concrete walking shoes successfully blend form and function to maximize their versatility.

on-cloud-5-lightweight

FAQs

Can I use running shoes for walking on concrete?

Many running shoes double well as concrete walking shoes, but not all will offer sufficient cushioning and support for concrete and other hard surfaces.

Running shoes also often have bright colorways and a sporty aesthetic, which is not always ideal for work or travel.

Concrete walking shoes will have versatile and stylish designs, along with excellent cushioning and support.

Brooks Ghost 15 outsole

You can find hundreds of great shoes for walking on concrete among our road running shoes.

How often should I replace my concrete walking shoes?

It's generally recommended to replace walking shoes every 300-500 miles. However, signs of wear and reduced cushioning can be indicators for a replacement.

How we test walking shoes

We have meticulously assessed and tested more than 80 walking shoes to help you find the best one for you. For honest and fair reviews, here is our approach:

  • We buy these walking shoes using our money.
  • We put these shoes through a series of wear tests to determine their comfort, durability, flexibility, and many other parameters. We walk, stand, and even lightly jog in them on various surfaces, focusing on cemented or concrete ones both indoors and outdoors.
  • We also do tests on them in our lab. We slice the walking shoes to get a better perspective on every piece. One essential characteristic we look for in the best walking shoes on concrete is stability. Usually, the criteria we focus on for this are midsole hardness which is measured using our durometer, base width that's acquired using our caliper, and flexibility which is picked up using our digital force gauge.
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.