7 Best Fitness Walking Shoes in 2023

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7 Best Fitness Walking Shoes in 2023
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Lace up with any of these fitness walking shoes to take your workout to a higher level. From established brands like Skechers, ASICS, and On to relatively new labels like OluKai and Propet, you have several great options to keep your long walks comfortable and enjoyable.

Depending on the weather or the terrain where you’ll walk, there’s a perfect pair of walking footwear for you. If you prefer lightweight, easy-to-wear style, and quick-dry ability shoes, then the OluKai Inana will definitely fit the bill. For more known brands, Skechers’ Arch Fit and On Cloud Nexus are popular choices.

To help you get your ideal pair, we’ve tested and examined all the best fitness walking shoes out there. We also shared our in-depth reviews of each shoe. For you to have the top-running fitness walking shoes, we have selected the shoes that excelled in different categories during our scrutinization.

Best fitness walking shoes overall

On Cloudnova

What makes it the best?

After lab testing, hitting the streets, and hitting the gym on the side, we conclude that the best fitness walking shoe is On Cloudnova. Our feet and ankles experienced the juxtaposition between being free and bound. We are free to move our feet naturally while still being greatly supported, putting Cloudnova at the top spot for walking and other fitness activities. The cherry on top? It can take a beating!

By using our own hands to bend and twist the Cloudnova, we were able to infer that it was reasonably pliable. Thus, we scored the shoe’s longitudinal and torsional flexibility a 2/5, with 5 being the stiffest. However, with our device, a digital force gauge, we learned that Cloudnova took 29.9N force (56.5% stronger force than average) to counter the bending. In the real world, these data translated to smooth foot motions minus the wobbliness.

Roughing up Cloudnova on our power walks and workouts proved that it doesn't give in against heavy use. After clocking in miles in this shoe, we found no significant wearing on its outsole. Checking the outsole hardness in our lab justified our experience as our durometer logged an 83.5 HC hardness. This is 12.2% firmer than average, suggesting superb durability.

For a fitness walking shoe, we desire something in which our feet can breathe well. However, Cloudnova only performed moderately when we evaluated how much smoke could pass through its upper. While a score of 3/5 is close to the 2.9 average, we wish for better airflow. If you also prioritize ventilation, we recommend checking out other choices.


  • 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


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

Best lightweight fitness walking shoes

On Cloud 5

What makes it the best?

The best lightweight fitness walking shoe we established from endless hours in the lab, gym, and outdoors is On Cloud 5. Along with its weightlessness is a low and steady profile that grants us balance not only on our strolls but also while performing low-impact fitness exercises. What’s even more fantastic is the fact that we can last all day in Cloud 5 and it will still feel as comfy as the first hour!

We set the shoe down on our weighing scale and it detected a weight of 7.94 oz (225g), 14.4% airier than average. This lightness manifested when we were sporting the shoe as we barely felt it on our feet. Another great thing about Cloud 5 was the superb airflow that quickly dried up our feet even if we did light workouts. Based on our breathability test, a significant volume of smoke emerged from the upper after we pumped lots inside, so we scored it 4/5.

Underfoot, Cloud 5 felt comfortable without feeling squishy. Instead, it provided us with terrific support. We investigated in the lab and discovered that the midsole is 28.5 HA firm, which is 10% harder than average, confirming our impression. 

Our main concern was Cloud 5 isn’t the most accommodating shoe. With our caliper, we recorded 89.5 mm as the widest part of the toebox. However, it turned out that this was 8.3 mm narrower than the standard. So, if you’re a wide-footer, we suggest skipping this walking shoe.


  • 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%)


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

Fitness walking shoes with the best cushioning

Hoka Clifton 9

What makes it the best?

Whether for strolls or casual workouts, the walking shoe that outperformed the others in terms of cushioning is the Hoka Clifton 9. We maintained our balance even when we did more than walking and we felt boosted in every stride and movement. On top of that, pronation is not given a chance in this shoe.

Even when we landed hard on our feet, the comfort we felt in Clifton 9 overpowered the impact from the ground. This is due to the cushiony foam, which we gauged to be 32.7 mm elevated in the heel and 26.6 mm thick in the forefoot. The heel is 2.1% lower than the average but the forefoot is 8.6% higher. Overall, this rendered a superb underfoot feel. The even better news is the foam didn’t bottom out on every step. Using our durometer, we carried out more investigation on the midsole and we found it was 14.6% softer than the average at 20.4 HA soft, resulting in pleasurable yet bouncy rides.

Adding on to the bonus is the midsole is consistently soft in all seasons. What we meant is it didn’t turn into a rock-hard footbed when we stuck it in our freezer. It firmed up to 24 HA, but this is still more plush than the average in low temps by 20.5%, allowing us to enjoy the shoe even during winter. There is room for improvement in the breathability department, though. While the shoe scored 3/5 in our breathability test, in which the upper expelled a moderate amount of the smoke pumped inside, the shoe is not the best option for summer. We suggest looking for other more breathable pairs if this is your top priority.


  • 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


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

Fitness walking shoes with the best breathability

On Cloudrift

What makes it the best?

The shoe in which our feet are able to breathe superiorly despite going on power walks and even on workouts is the On Cloudrift. Thanks to the mesh-paneled upper, our meanders under the sun could only be described as 100% fresh!

Zooming into Cloudrift’s upper using our microscope, we captured a loosely woven upper that attested to why we experienced remarkable air circulation in the shoe. Adding to this evidence is the 5/5 breathability rating the shoe received when the upper liberated all the smoke we injected into its interior. 

We also recorded the shoe’s weight at 8.71 oz (247g), which put it behind the average by 3.5%. This lightness supplemented Cloudrift’s breathability in creating a delicate environment for our feet. What sealed the deal was the unshackling confines of the shoe. We validated this with the use of our caliper, which logged a 98.8 mm width at the widest area of the toebox. This exhibited a 0.9 mm extra space than the average, providing us with a comfortable spot-on fit.

However, as it transpired, the loose-weave upper is not only penetrable by air but also by our Dremel tool. The toebox suffered significant damage in our durability test, so it only received a 1/5 rating for sturdiness. So, if you want a shoe with a porous upper without putting the quality in danger, we suggest checking out other selections.


  • Super light on the foot
  • Great for all-day wear
  • Very flexible
  • Highly breathable
  • Comfortable in-shoe feel
  • Well-padded collar
  • Reflective logos
  • Sustainable materials (35%)


  • Very thin tongue that causes rubbing
  • Really lacks durability
  • Not a supportive shoe
Full review of On Cloudrift

Fitness walking shoes with the best stability

What makes it the best?

On Cloudnova puts the other walking shoes to shame when it comes to stability not only while walking but also while doing workout routines. It is truly the best in this category because, thanks to its bracing elements, we are unstoppable on the streets and in the gym.

We obtained 119.7 mm and 93.9 mm widths in the forefoot and the heel of the midsole, respectively. These are 9.1% and 6.6% wider than the averages, allowing us to move with utmost confidence that we won’t trip on our sides when performing fitness exercises. The confines of Cloudnova Form are also very reinforcing. This is also corroborated by our torsional rigidity test, in which we subjectively assessed the shoe’s stiffness. By the way, it scored 4/5 in rigidity, and it did restrict our ankles and feet from rolling excessively.

Our underfoot is also well upheld by the firm foam, which we discovered to have a hardness of 31.5 HA. At this level, Cloudnova Form’s midsole is 25% firmer than that of most walking shoes, giving us a non-squishy yet supportive ride.

The breathability could be improved, though. Through our microscope, we learned that the upper is closely knitted, proving that not much air could enter and circulate inside. If you prioritize proper foot ventilation, we suggest going for more breathable pairs out there.


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


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

Fitness walking shoes with the best arch support

Skechers Arch Fit

What makes it the best?

Skechers Arch Fit underpinned our arches so well that we are not confined to only walking. We got to also engage in fitness routines with this shoe while letting us have a taste of inconceivable comfort, making it our ultimate pick!

Along with the stability brought by the structured foundation and wide base of this shoe is the confidence to perform physical exercises without our feet surrendering to inward rotation. We love how the soft insole complemented the firm platform, ensuring the perfect combination of pleasure and arch reinforcement.

What also made Skechers Arch Fit even more of a delight in walking and other fitness activities is its incredible lightness. We found that it is very easy to carry along on our feet and legs because of its weightless construction. 

Sad to say, we discovered that working out using the Skechers Arch Fit made our feet sweat fast, especially during the summer season. Due to this, we recommend picking out more breathable shoes to wear during scorching hot weather.


  • Arch support for flat feet
  • Plush underfoot
  • Firm and stable platform
  • Smooth heel-to-toes
  • Excellent fit
  • Exceptional durability
  • Surprisingly light
  • Great traction
  • Machine washable


  • Flimsy heel counter (use a shoehorn)
  • Laces need a double knot
  • Warm for summer
Full review of Skechers Arch Fit

Best rockered fitness walking shoes

Nike Motiva

What makes it the best?

We got to experience the most unstrained and proficient walking gait in Nike Motiva in both our on-foot journeys and fitness training. Therefore, without a shadow of a doubt, this shoe is really the best rockered fitness walking shoe among all the pairs we have tested. 

Despite our minimal efforts, we smoothly glided in every step that we took with Nike Motiva. In return, we are freed from the aches in our hips, joints, and feet. What even sweetens the deal is we felt so balanced not just while walking but also while doing our thing in the gym.

We could wear Nike Motiva for extended periods with no trouble. We attributed this to the shoe’s strikingly soft cushioning that made us forget about time. Its upper which permits superb air circulation is also one of the reasons why walks and workouts in this shoe are just remarkable.

However, we have to admit that the rockered technology of this shoe took a bit of adjusting to. Therefore, if you need something that’s good to go right from the initial wear, we suggest searching for other options.


  • Makes for effortless walks
  • Can handle a LOT of activities
  • Airy upper
  • Extremely plush sole
  • Off-the-box comfort
  • Amazing arch support
  • Stable base
  • Grippy sole


  • A bit pricey
  • Sole develops wrinkles
  • Rocker takes time to get used to
Full review of Nike Motiva

Comparison of the 7 best fitness walking shoes

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How we test walking shoes

Each shoe comes with specific functions and commercial features. To identify the top performers for this list, we’ve examined each model inside our independent shoe testing lab. We test the shoes in an actual walking regimen covering around 10000 steps for each pair.

These are the steps involved in our selection:

  • We purchase the fitness walking footwear ourselves. This is the best way to provide 100% unbiased reviews and top rankings.
  • To assess the shoe’s comfort, ankle support, breathability, and durability, we walk thousands of steps to get a first-hand impression and our final assessments. We walk in these pairs on different surfaces to see each shoe's strengths and shortcomings.
  • We subject the shoes to a series of tests and scrutiny in our lab to check their cushioning technology, lacing system, heel protection, and all other key parameters. We even split the shoes in half to excavate every component there is in each pair. 
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.