10 Best Running Shoes For Walking in 2021

Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen on

It’s undisputed — running shoes have the best cushion not just for marathons but also for your daily casual walks. If you want to have just one shoe to rock your daily jogs and stay comfortable all day long, there are a lot of running shoe options that can double as your pair of walking shoes.

And in this list, we are giving you the cream of the crop in terms of cushion, style, support, and price, which are the top-most priorities when it comes to choosing the right pair of walking shoes.

How we test running shoes for walking

There are a lot of things we consider before we choose the best running shoes for walking. And to make sure we end up with the finest, we put them through a series of tests in our own RunRepeat testing lab. Here we do the following: 

  • Cut the shoes into several pieces to measure them via 30+ parameters, including flexibility, strength, cushion, and more
  • Log 30-50 miles of running in various terrain and conditions

All the shoes we test, we buy with our own money to avoid brand bias. And to rank our shoes we: 

  • Gather thousands of user and expert reviews
  • Come up with a CoreScore of 0-100 to rank the shoe against 900+ running shoes for walking

Best overall

One shoe for everything? That’s the Brooks Ghost 14. When we took it out for our runs, it blew our minds. And when we settled into our walks, it’s nothing short of superb. 

The best walking shoes come with the best cushion, and that’s exactly what you get from the Ghost. The foam is very plush and stable, we can stand in it all day long! It’s the exact definition of luxurious. 

Intrigued by the oh-so soft midsole, we ran some tests on the shoe. In our lab, we have found that the Ghost 14 only takes 19.2N force to bend, while the average requires 40.2N. It’s as squishy as squishy can be! 

To be completely honest, we were a bit skeptical about the shoe’s stability because of its softness. But boy were we surprised. Even on trails, it remained stable. We had NO issues with missteps at all. 

Taking everything up a notch is the shoe’s grip. Regardless of the surface, it clings like a pair of claws! 

Like a true Brooks, the Ghost 14 is built to last. Raking in 500 miles in this beast of a shoe is not even a challenge. 

Overall, if you want a versatile, great-value shoe that can pace you through your runs and keep you comfortable in your walks, nothing beats the Brooks Ghost 14.

See our full review and facts

Who doesn’t love a budget-friendly shoe, right? Because we do, and the Asics Gel Cumulus 23 is everything you won’t expect from an affordable shoe. Even better, it’s all in the best ways possible. 

True to its name, it’s got a cloud-like cushion. Even plodding high mileages, our feet and legs didn’t need recovery. They were as fresh as ever. 

It’s not only due to the extremely soft foam, it’s also because of the tried-and-true Gel tech. With each pound on the pavement, it ate up all the impact.

Seriously, this shoe has got the makings of the more advanced running shoes on the market today! 

Just when we thought comfort couldn’t be more pronounced, the tongue proved us wrong. When we measured it, it was 8.2mm thick while the average is only 5.4mm thick. Now, that’s some major padding there. 

What’s great about it is it doesn’t only up comfort, it also betters the shoe’s lockdown. It doesn’t move around, and it keeps the feet tucked in place. 

And what more could you expect from an Asics? It’s built durable. As in, you can clock up 500 miles in it before retiring it in your closet

See our full review and facts

Best for flat feet

If there’s one stability shoe that we just can’t get enough of, it’s the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21. It even makes it to our list of best running shoes! 

You might be wondering why. The easy answer is it’s a very unique support shoe that defies all the stability stereotypes. It’s not harsh, and it doesn’t punish the feet. The support it provides is only there when you need it. 

Pretty much, it can be a shoe for neutral pronators in need of a little stability, and it’s just as terrific for those who suffer from flat feet. 

Support doesn’t stop in the midsole. It’s just as present in the upper. It hugs the feet so well, not once did we experience in-shoe wobbling and slips. 

Because we love to put our shoes through the wringer, we took the Adrenaline GTS to a couple of rough wear testing, and if it’s a tank-like design you’re looking for, this shoe will deliver. The outsole is free of wear and tear and the midsole is just as lively. 

At 10.2 oz, it’s heavy on paper and on scale. But with all the benefits it comes with, it’s totally not a deal-breaker for us. Even more, compared to its precursors, it’s much lighter. And we take it as a step in the right direction.

See our full review and facts

The Kayano 28 and the Adrenaline GTS 21 always go head to head, and it’s no wonder. They’re both really good stability shoes. 

The Kayano, like the Adrenaline GTS, has been around for more than two decades, and we love every bit of it. As a matter of fact, we love it even more! 

This time around, it’s a Kayano that responds. Because it’s more flexible, it has more pop, which past Kayanos never had. 

Not only is it lively, it’s also lighter. It weighs 10.6 oz, which tips our scales (vs. the average 9.4 oz in our lab test), but if it means more energy return and a versatile workhorse, it’s a shoe we’d take any day. 

And of course, it doesn’t make it to this list without its signature support. And what really won us over is how unobtrusive its ride is. It’s not rock solid, meaning it keeps the feet comfy and steady. 

Even better, it’s one hell of a durable shoe. The Asics Kayano has always been tagged as the sturdy stability shoe, and this edition doesn’t depart from that. It’s a heavy-duty all-rounder that will keep you surefooted through your strides.

See our full review and facts

Best cushion

The king of comfort is here. The Clifton 8 from Hoka is so darn soft, we didn’t want to take it off! 

It’s obvious. What makes the Clifton a star is its pillow-like plushness. It pampers the feet so well, it almost felt like we were walking on clouds. 

Because it’s superbly cushy, we thought it would lag behind in bounce. But, it’s got a few tricks up its sleeve - it’s peppy, and rolling through our strides was seamless. 

At 33.7mm stack, we were taken aback. We thought we’d be slipping off the platform, but nope. It’s as stable as it can get. Because of its wide base (115.5mm in the forefoot and 96.1mm in the heel), we never felt tippy. 

And due to its high stack, we thought it would drag our feet down. But again, it surprised us. At 9 oz, it’s definitely not heavy on paper. More importantly, it never felt clunky during our test runs. We were just breezing through the streets like it was nothing. 

We have logged 50 miles in the Hoka One One Clifton 8. And it sure doesn’t disappoint in the strength arena - the midsole is not bottoming out and the outsole almost looks completely untouched.

See our full review and facts

The Glycerin 19 is Brooks’ softest running shoe, and if you want unmatched comfort, this is THE shoe. 

From top to bottom, it screams cozy. The upper is very padded, and the midsole is just as soft. 

The cushioned upper doesn’t just take comfort up a notch, it also enhances the shoe’s security. It wrapped around our feet snugly, we had ZERO concerns with slips. 

When it comes to the midsole, it’s very comfy. It’s like a couch to the feet. However, it’s not the sink-in kind of soft that swears off stability. It’s also got some stiffness to keep the feet well-supported. 

Because we’re shoe geeks, we had to find out how this is so. And through our lab test results, we have gathered that the shoe is 37.2HA flexible in the forefoot and 39HA in the heel. Add in its very wide base (117.3mm), you get a very plush yet balanced ride. 

And because we’re talking about a Brooks shoe here, it’s not even surprising that it’s plenty durable. Clock up 400-500 miles in this baby, and only then shall you see serious wear and tear. 

If there’s one thing that holds back the Glycerin 19 as our top pick, it’s the rather bland ride. But for all the comfort we got out of it, it’s one that we can easily move past.

See our full review and facts

Best style

Adidas shoes need no introduction when it comes to style. They MADE style. And now on its 21st version, the Ultraboost continues to be the talk of the town with its looks. 

Because there’s so much rave about the Ultraboost 21, we just had to try it out. And it sure killed in the style department! It’s sleek and modern, you don’t have to put much effort to turn some heads. 

Even better, it’s not just a killer in style, it’s also a beast in performance. It’s got the right mix of pop, plush, and stability. 

Because it has more Boost, it’s among the cushiest Ultraboosts we’ve ever put on. And it’s very bouncy, it was like springs underfoot. 

With all the softness we got from its midsole, we had to see how tough its outsole is. And after a few tests, we found out that the Continental rubber is 72.8HC, meaning it leans toward the softer side. But what really took us by surprise is that 30 miles later, it’s still not scratched. 

After some heavy miles on both asphalt and cement, we are confident that it can withstand the test of time. Expect to log 300-500 miles before retiring it in your closet. 

At 11.9 oz, the Adidas Ultraboost 21 is one heft of a shoe. But all the weight it comes with is in the name of responsiveness, comfort, and stability.

See our full review and facts

When it comes to style, Adidas and Nike always find themselves in a stiff competition. And in our list, it’s still the case. 

Yes, the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 is just as much of a stunner as it is a solid daily trainer. And if you want your walks to be both fashion-forward and cushioned, getting this shoe is a no brainer. 

The Epic React Flyknit is not the flashy kind of shoe. It’s very simple and unencumbered, which is also the reason why it’s a standout.

Looks aside, it also stunned us with its featherlight weight. It felt like we had nothing on.

Even better, it’s a shoe that breathes. Under a 49-degree temp, it remained breezy. 

Having tested loads of Nike running shoes, this is by far, one of the comfiest we’ve ever tried. The React foam is not only very responsive, it’s also very cushy. 

At $150, it’s not the most affordable training shoe for walking. But if you’re after style, comfort, and a fun ride, the Nike Epic React Flyknit 2 won’t disappoint. 

See our full review and facts

Best budget shoe

The Nike Revolution 5 may be cheap in price, but it sure isn’t in performance. 

This shoe didn’t just astonish us with its price, it also blew us away with its first-rate lockdown. Seriously, it cupped our feet so well, they never slid out of the shoe. 

It may not be marshmallowy soft, but if you want a balanced sensation, this shoe can meet the bill. It’s neither too plush nor too rigid - it’s simply the best of both worlds. In this shoe, you get both coziness and support. 

Given this, it’s an easy pick for around-town walks, daily jogs, and easy runs. 

For the wide-footed fellas out there, fret not. We have large feet too, but the Nike Revolution has a very accommodating upper, making foot entry very easy and efficient. 

To top it all off, all of the Revolution 5’s support and comfort are loaded in a very stunning shoe. For $65, its looks is along the ranks of the more expensive shoes on the market.

See our full review and facts

Like the Nike Revolution 5, the Asics Gel Contend 7 is a running shoe that can go against higher-end shoes. It doesn’t have a lot of fuss, but it can surely deliver a solid performance on the road. 

Where it reigns supreme is in the comfort arena. It’s not only very cushy, it’s also very effective in dampening impact, credits to the Gel tech in the heel. Even after long periods of walking on pavement, our feet and legs felt like they could go another mile further. 

Although it’s a neutral shoe, it’s got loads of support underneath. Even those with flat feet and bad knees can enjoy it. 

The ride? Peppy and light! It’s so fun to put on because it makes you land on your next step with so much bounce. 

And what’s even greater is that it’s so darn comfy, you don’t really have to break it in. Fresh out of the box, it’s good to go.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true Asics without its hallmark on durability. It’s tough and sturdy, wearing it down will be a challenge. 

See our full review and facts

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Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.