3 types of walking shoes
Depending on how you are going to use your pair of walking shoes will help you decide on the kind of shoe you need. Here are the three most common categories of walking footwear based on their intended use:
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- a spacious toe box doesn’t constrain the forefoot
- flexible upper material stretches in the ball foot area
If you need even more space in the forefoot, go for wide and extra-wide walking shoes.
- 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.
Choosing the right material in walking shoes
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.
take longer to soak
some models are waterproof
||stretch to a small degree with usage
|easier to clean and maintain
require special maintenance