7 Best City Walking Shoes in 2024

Laci
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7 Best City Walking Shoes in 2024
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Enjoy long walks in the city with these high-quality walking shoes from across different brands. Whether you need a new pair or two of go-to street shoes for active rest days or all-day wear, we are a team of shoe fanatics who recommend a comprehensive selection of footwear that suits your needs.

In this guide, you’ll not only find top-rated pieces from trusted labels as well as proven brands, but you'll also find here what we genuinely liked and approved on our conducted rigorous testing. The extensive list includes well-cushioned and supportive pieces that deliver protection and comfort in your daily routine.

We’ve field-tested and lab-tested city walking shoes. Each shoe is adequately showcased for our top recommendations, which we highlighted for faster browsing.

How we test walking shoes

To make the top list, all the footwear in this category is subjected to lab and field tests. We then come up with our own final assessments and top rankings.

We follow these steps for this selection:

  • We procure all pairs of city walking footwear from our own pockets. This is our approach to keep our reviews 100% objective and unbiased.
  • After walking around 10000 steps in each shoe, we rate its out-of-the-box fit, comfort, ankle support, cushioning, breathability, and durability, among others. We compare notes and insights with other testers to get a consensus.
  • We put the shoes to the wear and tear of walking in the city. Moreover, we double-check every essential parameter of each model inside our lab. We further evaluate the pairs by chopping them up into pieces.

Most comfortable city walking shoes

What makes it the best?

Gallivanting from town to town and scrutinizing shoes in our lab made us see that Allbirds Tree Runners is the most comfortable city pair out there. It’s the ultimate walking shoe for highways and other concrete roads because of how the cushioning acts like a fortress against soreness from walking all day. And with very slipper-like characteristics, we might be outdoors but everything in Tree Runners feels homey!

During our city tours, one thing is evident: any impact was deadened by Tree Runner’s cushioning. With a 13.1 mm drop, which for the record is 26% greater than average, the heel is greatly loaded with cushioning sponging up shock from solid ground. 

We loved how we were able to wander around with smooth heel-to-toe transitions while in Tree Runners. Consequently, in our lab, we bent the shoes using our digital force gauge and it easily caved in, exerting a low opposing force of 12.2N. For reference, the average flexibility is 19.1N,  making Tree Runners 36.1% more pliable.

Tree Runners was also a delight to be in for long trips because of its weightlessness. Our scale actually confirmed this: it displayed a 9 oz (254g) weight, which is 3.4% lighter than average. However, we discovered that it is not meant for heavy use. The outsole hardness we got from our durometer backed our judgment as the tool recorded 62.1 HC, which is 16.5% softer than average, making it more vulnerable to wearing out. We suggest picking up other extra robust pairs if long-lastingness is your top priority.

Pros

  • Extra comfortable interiors
  • Equally cozy in 40 and 85ºF
  • Can be worn without socks
  • Lightweight and packable
  • Flexible sole
  • Removable insoles
  • Easy to style
  • Machine washable
  • Sustainable design

Cons

  • No half sizes
  • Lacks arch support
Full review of Allbirds Tree Runners

Best city walking shoes overall

Nike Motiva
90
Great!

What makes it the best?

We thoroughly enjoyed our walks in the concrete jungle as Nike Motiva offered the best overall experience among city walking shoes. Our lab results prove Motiva’s insane plushness, unique geometry, and robust outsole take our strolls to new heights.

Speaking of height, Motiva highlights superior comfort with its above-average 34.9/25.6 mm stack made of ultra-soft foam. Our durometer registers a mere 15.0 HA, 40.0% below average. With its boundless cushioning, we could walk endlessly, enveloped in pure comfort. Its distinctive wave pattern not only catches the eye but also helps distribute pressure evenly across our feet.

Motiva's stride feels effortless, accentuated by its prominent rocker design. Its geometry is evident but it truly shines in action. With each step, our heel-to-toe transitions are silky-smooth, prompting us to stride forward effortlessly. To sustain this, Motiva makes use of a rigid midsole that stands 43.1% stiffer than average in our flex test.

The outsole cements its durability by combining a thicker-than-average 3.0 mm rubber with a tough 92.0 HC compound—one of the highest we’ve measured as it’s 21.4% above average. Despite its dense nature, it surprisingly has an effective grip on wet and dry pavements thanks to its waffle-like pattern.

Because of the squishy midsole, we recommend overpronators to go for a more supportive shoe since Motiva lacks the extra stability they need. 

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

Best city walking shoes for all-day wear

Hoka Transport
82
Good!

What makes it the best?

Hoka Transport is the number one city walking shoe from literally sunrise to sunset because of how blissful we feel on it even after a day. Our feet are housed in goodness, from top to bottom, with no ifs and buts. And the best part is we can wander in the shoe not just for hours but for years because of how hardwearing it is.

Wearing Transport while roaming around concrete jungles made it seem like we were walking on clouds. We probed the midsole inside our lab and discovered that it has a 21.9 HA softness. While this is 15.4% softer than average, on our walks, the cushioning didn’t feel disagreeably soft. Instead, it felt like perfection.

The comfort we felt carried on to the other parts of our feet on account of the generously padded interior. To verify this, we dissected the shoe and measured the tongue thickness. Our caliper evinced how padded it is, as it showed a 7 mm thickness, which exceeded the average by 70.7%.

Continuously gliding the outsole against asphalt didn’t worry us in wearing out the outsole as we found in our lab that it is 10.1% harder than average at 81.9 HC. The harder the outsole, the more durable it is. The downside is that Transport’s heavy. It weighs 10.9 oz (309g), 1.4 oz more than average. So if you favor light shoes, this is not it.

Pros

  • Unbelievably comfy
  • Spacious toe box
  • Adequately cushioned
  • Superior traction
  • Reliable outsole durability
  • Easy to slip in and out
  • True-to-size fit
  • Easy to clean
  • Sustainable

Cons

  • Not great for warm weather
  • Squeaky during break-in
Full review of Hoka Transport

Best slip-on walking shoes for the city

On Cloud 5
88
Good!

What makes it the best?

In our search for the best slip-on walking shoes, our top priority was convenience and standout comfort. On Cloud 5 is exactly that, except over and beyond, making it the top shoe. A whole day out on the asphalt is nothing but indulgence. It doesn’t even matter if we are sockless or not, it’s all the same - no rubbing, no heel slippage, and no hotspots!

Sliding in and out of Cloud 5 is as easy as ABC. But that’s not what impressed us most. It’s the fact that our feet are kept locked down no matter how much city walking we do, thanks to its fully gusseted tongue. Furthermore, strolling from town to town didn’t steal away the freshness of our feet. We realized that it was because of the very porous upper of Cloud 5 which kept the air circulating. In our lab, we deposited smoke inside the shoes and we watched that there was a significant amount of smoke that fled off, scoring 4/5 in breathability.

Our heel-to-toe transitions in Cloud 5 are as natural and smooth as they can be. We referred to our digital force gauge to check how much Cloud 5 hinders bending. It turned out, not much. Our device displayed a 19.8N force, which is 3.7% lower than average, and thus more flexible. 

However, after depositing the shoe in our freezer for 20 minutes, we found that the stiffness increased to 44.6N, beating the average by 51.7%. Therefore, warming up the shoes is a must. If this is not ideal for you, we suggest looking for other walking shoes.

Pros

  • 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%)

Cons

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

Best rocker-bottom walking shoes for the city

KEEN WK400
82
Good!

What makes it the best?

We confidently walked the urban streets with the best rocker shoe that serves both style and function—it's none other than KEEN WK400. With a design that keeps us moving and a mind-blowing amount of cushioning and support, it’s easy to last all day in this pair. Adding to its appeal is the tough outsole that can easily transition to rougher roads.

The journey aboard the WK400 is a delightful experience, courtesy of its plush and responsive cushioning that mutes out ground feel. Our durometer confirms it's 12.0% softer than average. Elevating comfort to new heights is its remarkably generous 45.7 mm heel—among the tallest we've encountered—paired with a modest forefoot that leads to a high 21.4 mm drop. This boldly exceeds the 11.0 mm average drop, keeping our forward momentum strong while alleviating pressure off our feet.

The main star, KEEN CURVE, has a rigid plate to retain its shape. Our bend test reveals it's 60.8% stiffer than average, enhancing our stability.

Lab assessments reveal the outsole rubber to be 12.7% harder and 2.4 mm thicker than usual, contributing to its exceptional durability and grip even on moderate trails. Hitting double-digit miles barely affected its appearance and performance.

We discovered the upper has two layers of fabric, which inhibits airflow on hot days. This pair is best suited for moderate to cooler temperatures.

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

City walking shoes with the best sock-like fit

Skechers GO WALK 6
91
Superb!

What makes it the best?

Of all the walking shoes we have tested in the metropolis, the one that exhibited sock-like characteristics in the most beneficial way is the Skechers GO WALK 6. Our visits to places with bustling crowds couldn’t be more carefree than with this shoe. It gave off a homey vibe even though we were out on busy streets.

The main thing that made this possible is the glove-like fit of the GO WALK 6. Using our caliper, we discovered that the widest part of the toebox is 98 mm, which sits around the 97.9 mm average. This complemented the elastic upper in providing us with a super comfortable fit.

The weight of this shoe also mimics a sock. We attested this through our digital scale that displayed 8.78 oz (249g), which is 2.8% lighter than average. What seals the deal is the very cushiony foam that led to our impact-free city excursions. The midsole is 35.3 mm high in the heel and 22 mm in the forefoot, which is 4 mm and 1 mm extra cushioned than the averages, respectively, delivering an excellent and sound underfoot feel.

However, we do not recommend this shoe for serious use on concrete because we found that the outsole is buttery soft at 50.1 HC. This is not only softer than the average by 30.7% but also more vulnerable to rubbing. We suggest searching for shoes with firmer outsoles for enhanced durability.

Pros

  • Pillow-like comfort
  • Cushioned for all-day wear
  • Amazingly lightweight
  • Surprisingly durable upper
  • Snug sock-like fit
  • Easy on and off
  • Super flexible
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Not breathable
  • Outsole lacks durability
Full review of Skechers GO WALK 6

City walking shoes with the best style

On Cloudnova
89
Good!

What makes it the best?

On Cloudnova is the best city walking shoe with the best style because it’s timeless. We are not only talking about its looks but also its delivered comfort that didn’t fade in hours of marching on asphalt. And its capacity doesn’t stop on city tours, it extends to 12-hour shifts and random day-outs!

This compliment-getter kept our feet, especially our heels, unvexed from the hardness of concrete during our town walks. Measuring both the heel and forefoot stack heights, we calculated a heel-to-toe drop of 15.5 mm, which is 49% greater than the average. This provided our heels with tremendous amounts of cushioning and protection.

Being out in the city for an extended period of time is something we truly enjoyed with Cloudnova. We checked the hardness of the midsole with our handy durometer, and it reflected 29 HA, making the average softer by 12%. This equated to a delightful balance between plushness and firmness on our feet, giving us relentless comfort.

On our breathability test, Cloudnova’s upper performed adequately. It exhaled a modest portion of the smoke we pumped inside the shoe so we rated its breathability 3/5. This is good enough but if you plan to wander cities during hot and humid weather, good enough is not good enough. We suggest picking up another pair especially if your feet are naturally sweaty.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

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