10 Best Walking Shoes (Buyer's Guide)

Walking is rarely considered a fitness activity on its own. That’s why people usually go with their running shoes or gym trainers for taking strolls and getting around. And these shoes do get the job done in many cases.

But when your feet start craving for more comfort and support in your daily walks, it’s time to consider a dedicated walking shoe.

How we choose top-rated walking shoes

We are a team of shoe fanatics who has dived into the nitty-gritty details of 250+ walking shoes from over 10 brands. Our specialists spend 7 hours per product on average, putting hundreds of user and expert reviews into a concise summary.  

On the back-end, our proprietary algorithm collects all available user ratings for every shoe. The result comes back as a number from 0 to 100, which we call the CoreScore. Based on the users’ opinion only, it shows where the product stands compared to all other models.

Popular walking shoes aren't the better rated ones

70 75 80 85 90 95 100
High Popularity Low
10 best shoes
96 most popular shoes

3 things to consider when choosing a walking shoe

Style and color play a big part in our footwear decisions, but there is more to consider if you are looking for a genuinely comfortable walking shoe.

1. Use 

What do you need a pair of shoes for?

All-day wear

Shoes in this range are meant for walking and standing all day long, be it for leisure, errands, fitness, casual outings, or a trip to Disneyland.

They will keep you comfortable on concrete or any other urban surface, as well as cobblestone, and not too rocky trails.

Additionally, you can consider running shoes designed for walking to expand your options.

See our selection of comfy walking shoes for all-day wear.

Traveling

These are lightweight, airy shoes that are barely noticeable on foot. Most of them have a slip-on design, which makes them easy to put on and take off.

This footwear will cushion your feet in long airport lines, on sightseeing trips, and while meandering around your vacation spot.

Check out the full list of travel walking shoes.

Work

These models are meant for the workers of healthcare, food, and other essential industries. They typically come with a leather upper which makes them hard-wearing and easy to maintain.

The outsole often features a slip-resistant characteristic to keep the wearer sure-footed on dusty and wet tile floors.

Medical staff might specifically look into walking shoes for nurses.

See our collection of footwear for work.

2. Foot health

Do your feet have special needs? 

Be it a proven condition like diabetes or just a periodic heel pain, your walking shoe should relieve discomfort and not aggravate it. Here are some general guidelines on what type of footwear to choose for various health issues:

Flat feet / Overpronation

  • stabilizing components prevent excessive inward rolling of the foot
  • the heel is held firmly by a solid ankle collar or an external stabilizer

Go for stability walking shoes if the overpronation is moderate and choose motion control footwear in severe cases.

Plantar fasciitis

  • moderate cushioning: soft enough to protect the foot from the impact but firm enough to prevent wobbling
  • more padding in the heel takes the strain off the plantar fascia ligament
  • a broad sole ensures stability and cushioning in the entire heel area
  • the heel is locked inside a firm heel counter

See walking shoes for plantar fasciitis that meet these criteria, according to users.

Bunions

  • a spacious toe box doesn’t constrain the forefoot
  • flexible upper material stretches in the ball foot area

Consider shoes for bunions, recommended by the wearers. If you need even more space in the forefoot, go for wide and extra-wide walking shoes.

Diabetes

  • spacious toe box doesn’t cramp the forefoot and helps to accommodate foot deformities if any
  • a moderately-soft midsole keeps the foot cushioned and ensures stable movement
  • the interior is seamless, minimizing any chance of chafing and blistering
  • the midsole has supportive elements that don’t let the foot roll excessively

These shoes are marked with an A5500 code, which makes them subject to compensation by Medicare.

Heavy weight / Obesity

  • extra space in the toe box can fit a larger foot
  • firmer and thicker cushioning helps to absorb impact effectively under heavy load
  • more durable materials prevent the shoe from wearing out too soon

Consider shoes for heavy walkers recommended by overweight wearers.

Disclaimer: These recommendations are based on the general podiatrists’ advice and are not meant as a substitute for professional medical treatment.

3. Material

For a soft, light, and airy experience, choose knit or mesh walking shoes. You can expect a more supportive feel and longer service from shoes with leather or suede uppers.

 

Knit

Mesh Leather Suede

more breathable

softer feel

less durable

less supportive

soak easily

less breathable

stiffer feel

more durable

more supportive

take longer to soak (some models are waterproof)

stretchy, conforming moderately stretchy stretch to a small degree with usage
easier to clean and maintain

needs special maintenance

The best walking shoes in every category

Which walking shoes brand has better reviews?

Which brand is cheaper?

Now, are you ready to buy walking shoes?