7 Best Fitness Walking Shoes in 2024

Laci
Laci on
7 Best Fitness Walking Shoes in 2024
We earn affiliate commissions at no extra cost to you when you buy through us. Why trust us

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, 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. Whether you prefer lightweight, easy-to-wear style, and quick-dry ability shoes, or something more rugged, we've got you covered.

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.

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.

Best fitness walking shoes overall

On Cloud X 3
87
Great!

What makes it the best?

Firm and fluid in the right places, the On Cloud X 3 emerges as the ultimate fitness walking shoe in our actual workouts and lab tests. It seamlessly balances freedom of movement with exceptional support, making it ideal for various activities. Plus, it’s got a stylish sneaker look that feels weightless on foot.

Our digital scales reveal its airy construction at 8.6 oz (243g), 19.0% lighter than the average walking shoe, due to its low cushioning that gives us high control over our footwork. Because of its grounded profile, Cloud X 3 is easy to bend as we perform lunges and burpees. Our flex test confirms it’s 14.1% more adaptive than average, boosting our agility.

We felt extremely well-planted while doing box jumps and lateral movements thanks to the shoe’s wide and stable base. Both the forefoot and heel have above-average measurements of 112.2/91.4 mm. On top of this, Cloud X 3 includes a stiff Speedboard plate in its midsole, making the shoe, and our feet, difficult to twist.

Durability isn't Cloud X 3's strength, as our tests found vulnerabilities in both the upper, especially during rope climbs, and the outsole, prone to quick wear outdoors. For longer-lasting options, consider alternative pairs.

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Highly breathable
  • Excellent ground feel
  • Stable platform
  • Flexible forefoot
  • Secure lockdown
  • Sustainable materials

Cons

  • No upper durability
  • Unreasonable price
Full review of On Cloud X 3

Best lightweight fitness walking shoes

Hoka Solimar
86
Great!

What makes it the best?

The Hoka Solimar was the best lightweight fitness walking shoe simply because it offered more than just a reduced weight. It ensured comfort by letting air in and out of it, ensuring that the foot never got toasted. This shoe also delivered toebox durability without sacrificing flexibility. 

Weighing only 8.18 ounces or 232 grams, this fitness walking shoe was lighter than average, which could go as high as 9.35 ounces or 265 grams. The lightness that it delivered allowed us to enjoy our walks much more.

Our enjoyment was taken to the next level when we learned that the upper was breathable. Air did not have issues going in and out of the shoe, and our feet were always dry after every walking session. The Hoka Solimar got an impressive 4 out of 5 in our breathability assessments.

The toebox also got a 4 out of 5, but this time, it’s for its durability. Our high-pressure Dremel drilling barely left a mark on it. We had no doubt that this shoe would last us long.

Just because the shoe was durable did not mean that its flexibility was compromised. Our digital force gauge reported that the Hoka Solimar needed only 20.6N to bend at 90 degrees. The typical fitness walking shoe would have needed as much as 29.4N.

Wide-footers should stay away from the Hoka Solimar, though. At its widest, the toebox was only 93.1 mm wide. This number is far lower than the 98.3 mm average.

Pros

  • Versatile for different activities
  • Breezy upper
  • Comfy interior padding
  • Grippy even on wet
  • Smooth and pleasant ride
  • Great stability
  • Lightweight
  • Affordable for being a Hoka

Cons

  • Too firm for some
  • Narrow toebox
  • Lacks cushioning for longer runs
Full review of Hoka Solimar

Fitness walking shoes with the best comfort

Nike Motiva
90
Great!

What makes it the best?

We thoroughly enjoyed our walks as Nike Motiva offered the most comfortable experience among fitness walking shoes. Even our lab results prove Motiva’s unique geometry, insane plushness, and robust outsole take walking shoes to the next level.

Each stride feels effortless with Motiva. Its rocker structure is already apparent upon first look but walking with it emphasizes the geometry more. Our heel-to-toe transitions feel buttery smooth, encouraging us to take the next step quickly. To sustain this, Motiva makes use of a rigid midsole that stands 46.0% stiffer than average in our flex test.

Motiva highlights superior comfort with its above-average stack made of ultra-soft foam. Our durometer registers a mere 15.0 HA, 40.2% softer than average. We feel like we can walk all day with its bottomless cushioning that oozes pure bliss. The unique waves underfoot contribute to even out the pressure on our feet.

The outsole cements its durability by combining a thicker-than-average 3.0 mm rubber with a tough compound. Our durometer confirms a 92.0 HC reading, 22.3% tougher than average. It barely showed any signs of wear in our tests so we expect it to last hundreds of miles.

Because of the squishy midsole, we find that it lacks stability and support for overpronators and excessive lateral movements.

Pros

  • Rocker makes for effortless walks
  • Audaciously plush cushioning
  • Out-of-the-box comfort
  • Very wide and stable base (for walking/jogging only!)
  • Durable and grippy sole
  • Amazing wear resistance in the upper
  • A Nike shoe that's NOT tight and narrow

Cons

  • Lacks breathability for hot weather
  • Sole develops wrinkles easily
  • Rocker takes time to get used to
Full review of Nike Motiva

Fitness walking shoes with the best cushioning

Hoka Clifton 9
86
Great!

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.

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

  • Not for wide feet
  • Upper needs some time to break in
  • Average breathability
Full review of Hoka Clifton 9

Best rocker-bottom shoes for fitness walking

KEEN WK400
83
Good!

What makes it the best?

The KEEN WK400 impressively combines form and function, emerging as the ultimate rockered fitness walking shoe in our lab tests and real-world trials. The journey aboard WK400 is unforgettable with its unique geometry promoting seamless transitions and its generous stack offering otherworldly comfort.

At its core is the distinctive KEEN CURVE which moves similar to a rocking chair to ensure smooth forward strides. To retain its shape, a rigid plate spans the entire length beneath the midsole, which our bend test confirms is 60.8% stiffer than average. This level of stiffness also kept us surefooted.

The midsole is infused with a plush yet bouncy foam that further strengthens our forward momentum. Our durometer reveals it’s 12.0% softer than average. What blew us away was its staggering heel height of 45.7 mm, boldly surpassing the average by 13.1 mm. On the other end is a modest 24.3 mm forefoot, resulting in a rare and steep incline of 21.4 mm. While this may appear drastic, it actually encourages fluid strides and alleviates strain on the heel and Achilles.

Unfortunately, the WK400 is also one of the bulkiest walking shoes we’ve encountered. At 13.4 oz (381g), it’s significantly 40.1% heavier than average.

Pros

  • Rocker sole propels you forward
  • Copious amount of cushioning
  • Takes stress and pressure off the feet
  • Amazingly comfortable step-in feel
  • Highly durable and abrasion-resistant
  • More stable than it seems!
  • Can go from road to trail

Cons

  • Needs some getting used to
  • Heavier than average
Full review of KEEN WK400

Fitness walking shoes with the best arch support

What makes it the best?

We tested fitness shoes in and out of the lab to find the best arch support — it’s no other than Arch Fit 2.0. It offers excellent stability without compromising comfort, which we find ideal for people with flat feet, overpronation, and lower-leg conditions. On top of that, it falls below the $100 range.

On foot, we knew we had tons of cushioning but the heel still surprised us with a mindblowing 39.2 mm! Even the 24.0-mm forefoot sits above average, ensuring relief for all-day wear. This leads to a steeper-than-average 15.2 mm drop, which relieves the pressure off our ankles and Achilles.

Despite its skyscraper build, AF2 delivers a stable ride by keeping its cushion firm and its platform wide. We’re given generous room to firmly plant our feet on the ground. Each step feels surefooted since the foam doesn’t bottom out. Our durometer confirms it’s 21.1% harder than average for extra support.

Arch Fit doesn’t stop there and ensures our stability by adding some stiffness to the midsole. Our bend test confirms it’s tougher to bend than average by 18.6%. This is complemented with flex grooves throughout the platform to avoid being too rigid.

We learned that AF2's upper is not breathable enough for temperatures above 70°F/20°C. Best to find another pair for the summer season.

Pros

  • Amazing support for overpronation
  • Wide and stable platform
  • Tons of cushioning
  • Lighter than the Arch Fit 1.0
  • Perfect for all-day wear
  • Padded and cozy interiors
  • True to size and fit

Cons

  • Very poor breathability
  • Lacks durability
Full review of Skechers Arch Fit 2.0

Fitness walking shoes with the best breathability

On Cloudrift
72
Bad!

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.

Pros

  • 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%)

Cons

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