7 Best New Walking Shoes in 2024

Laci
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7 Best New Walking Shoes in 2024
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When it comes to footgear, fresh kicks have this undeniable appeal, especially among the gents. If you are on the lookout for a pair of new walking shoes, we whipped up this article to help you.

Also, we have tested these fresh-from-the-oven walking shoes to make your shopping experience as hassle-free as possible. We chose not to rely on what the brands say, but instead, we found the truth ourselves. Whether you're looking for an impressive all-rounder or something that endures for months, we've got options to choose from.

How we test walking shoes

Here's our approach:

  • We buy new walking shoes for men using our funds. We can't stress enough how significant fairness and impartiality are to us. 
  • We walk in these brand-new kicks on a variety of surfaces to test each pair's strengths. During our strolls, we also keep tabs on wearability, comfort, durability, and others.
  • We gather more data by putting the walking shoes through different sets of tests inside our lab. One thing we like to measure is how much a shoe firms up when placed in a freezer. Using our durometer, we measure the midsole hardness at room temp and right after it is taken out of the freezer for 20 minutes. From there, we compare the percent change of the values. 

Not only that but we also cut the shoes into pieces so we have a clearer view of what's inside.

Best new walking shoes overall

Hoka Transport
82
Good!

What makes it the best?

For us, the best new walking shoe should have fresh features that make walking so much more satisfying. After testing several shoes in the lab and on the streets, we found the Hoka Transport to be exceptional in this regard. What put it ahead of the pack is its fine-tuned cushioning with just the right amount of stiffness, plus its one-of-a-kind sturdy construction.

As we spent our days testing the Hoka Transport on foot, we found it to be really on the money when it comes to providing a good mix of softness and firmness. We confirmed this in our lab by pressing our durometer against its midsole (four times for improved accuracy) which gave us a reading of 21.9 HA. This makes it 23% softer than the average walking shoe, but more importantly, places it in the balanced category by having enough structure so feet don’t just sink in.

We also felt that it provided a good amount of stability underfoot. We tested this in our lab by securing its tip with a clamp and measuring the force it exerts after bending it at a 90-degree angle with our force gauge. With a reading of 30.4N, we found that it is 45% stiffer than the average walking shoe. The Hoka Transport also comes with a rocker shape which we found helpful for transitioning from stride to stride smoothly.

What really wow-ed us was its sturdy construction. From extensive testing in the lab, we found it to be insanely tough, which is something we didn’t know was possible in a walking shoe. We discovered that its durability is comparable to hiking shoes after pressing our Dremel drill against its upper (with a force of 3.2N over 10,000 RMPS) and comparing the damage. We also found its sole to be hardy enough to withstand a lot of wear. Its outsole hardness is 81.9 HC (13% firmer than the average) and it has an outsole thickness of 3.7 mm (117% thicker than the average).

Since its upper is solidly built, air doesn’t pass through it as freely as in other walking shoes. We confirmed this in our lab by pumping smoke into its interior and observing how it moves. Because the smoke had a difficult time escaping from the shoe, we only recommend the Hoka Transport for those in cool conditions which aren’t sweat-inducing.

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

New walking shoes with the best comfort

Nike Motiva
90
Great!

What makes it the best?

Motiva is Nike’s first dedicated walking shoe and it impressed us greatly in our lab and wear tests. Among all the new walking shoes in the market, Motiva offers some of the most comfortable experiences. Its design stands out from the rest. Yet its luxurious cushion, smooth transitions, and robust outsole make each walk truly enjoyable.

Upon the first look, it’s hard to ignore Motiva’s exaggerated rocker. Yet wearing the shoe makes its presence even more felt by giving smooth heel-to-toe transitions with every stride. To maintain the forward momentum, we expect the midsole to be quite stiff. Our bend test confirms it’s 46.0% stiffer than average.

The cloud-like cushion feels squishy and thick. Our durometer shows it’s 40.2% softer than average and its 34.9/25.6 mm stack is above average. Long miles roll by with its pillowy goodness. Whereas the wavy sole levels up the compression, protecting our legs from feeling tired.

Motiva stands resilient from dry to wet pavements, showing reliable grip with its waffle-like pattern. It barely shows any wear after our tests so we expect it to last long. Our durometer confirms a very high 92.0 HC, 22.3% tougher than average. Motiva combines this with a thicker-than-average 3.0 mm rubber, cementing its durability.

Unfortunately, its tightly packed upper lacks breathability for warmer days. We recommend exploring other pairs for summer walks.

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 new rocker-bottom walking shoes

KEEN WK400
83
Good!

What makes it the best?

Among fresh releases, KEEN WK400 rocked our strolls with the best-rockered experience. Other than its unique visuals, our lab shows it encourages seamless transitions and offers boundless cushioning that makes us spend hours on our feet with ease.

A defining feature of the shoe is its KEEN CURVE, which moves like a rocking chair to promote smooth heel-to-toe strides. It felt more natural to walk than to stand still. A rigid plate spans its length to retain the rocker motion and to enhance stable strides. And stiff it is, with WK400 needing a force 60.8% higher than average to bend to 90 degrees.

Eager to explore its unique midsole, the WK400 didn't disappoint with its remarkable 45.7 mm heel. This jaw-dropping figure is one of the tallest we’ve seen, offering maximum cushioning and impact protection. Coupled with a modest 24.3 mm forefoot, it boasts a significant 21.4 mm drop, surpassing the average by 10.4 mm, effectively alleviating pressure on our lower legs.

The midsole is also infused with a buttery yet springy foam, which our durometer reveals is 12.0% softer than average, contributing to a forgiving ride. However, all luxurious comfort comes with extra baggage. At 13.4 oz (381g), the WK400 is 40.1% heavier than average, making it one of the bulkiest walking shoes we’ve tried.

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

Best new walking shoes for all-day wear

Hoka Clifton LS
88
Great!

What makes it the best?

Out of all the best new walking shoes we tried and cut open in the lab, Clifton LS offers bottomless cushioning that's best for all-day wear. We spend long hours in these shoes without worrying about our feet because it’s so comfortable and stable. Moreover, its high-quality materials can stand the test of time.

Our legs feel fresh from day til night with Clifton’s generous padding. It rises to an above-average 35.2/27.0 mm stack with a rocker geometry that facilitates smooth toe-offs. The cushion feels soft enough to absorb the pressure of standing all day, yet supportive enough so it doesn't overcompress. Our durometer confirms a balanced 21.3 HA. Another stability element we noticed is the vast landing platform. Our calliper measures one of the widest walking shoes in the lab — 122.8/95.5 mm in the heel and forefoot. 

We have no complaints about grip but we’re impressed with the exceptional durability it displays in our lab tests. Our durometer shows it’s a tough 80.5 HC, while our calliper shows it’s a thick 3.6 mm. Both results are above average. We tested it further with our Dremel test and it emerged 60% more resistant than average.

The upper feels durable with its real leather and suede portions. Unfortunately, this sacrifices breathability. Clifton is a good place to be in all day as long as the weather is cool.

Pros

  • Very generously cushioned
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • Wider-than-average and stable platform
  • Exceptionally durable
  • Secure foothold with no heel slips
  • Excellent grip in various conditions
  • Amazing in-shoe comfort

Cons

  • Could be more breathable
  • Heavier than average
Full review of Hoka Clifton LS

New walking shoes with the best arch support

What makes it the best?

Fresh from the oven, we immediately brought Skechers Arch Fit 2.0 to miles of walking and hours of lab testing. It exceeded the traditional stability shoe by providing a cushioned experience and maintaining a low price of £100. Even in the lab, AF2 performed with flying colours, emerging as our top choice for arch support among new releases.

Zero pain and localised tensions, AF2 offers loads of cushioning to mute out the ground. Our calliper confirms we’re on cloud nine as the heel rises to a sky-high 39.2 mm, 6.6 mm above average. The forefoot's abundant 24.0 mm foam leaves a steep heel drop of 15.2 mm. While this sounds too much, it actually feels comfortable on foot as it reduces stress on our lower legs.

Despite its height, we felt effortlessly stable due to AF2’s supportive trio: a firm cushion, vast platform, and stiff midsole. Our durometer reveals the foam is 12.6% denser than average to avoid uneven compression. Meanwhile, our flex test confirms a greater level of resistance to bending with a force that’s 15.7% above average.

If a shoe that won’t last is a red flag, then we suggest looking elsewhere. Our Dremel brutally damaged the main parts of the shoe: the outsole, toebox, and heel.

Pros

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

Cons

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

Best new lightweight walking shoes

On Cloud 5 Push
88
Great!

What makes it the best?

After being released in August 2022, we immediately got our hands on On Cloud 5 Push for intensive testing. We learned one thing afterward: that it’s the best new lightweight walking shoe! With this shoe, not once did our feet ever feel dragged down or burdened. We may be wearing shoes but our feet were the most unrestrained in Push.

Our digital scale detected an 8.54 oz (242g) weight when we planted the Cloud 5 Push on it. This makes the shoe lighter than the standard by 8%. What made the shoe feel even lighter was the air that freely circulated inside, allowing our feet to be sweat- and odour-free. We verified this by assessing the volume of smoke that would retreat from the upper upon blowing smoke inside the shoe. By the looks of it, the smoke in was equal to the smoke out, therefore, it scored a 5/5 in breathability. 

We could also naturally move and bend our feet with the shoes. Consulting our digital force gauge, we learned that it didn’t take much to bend the shoe – only 15.5N of force – which is 18.8%  lower than average. Meaning, the shoe is also 18.8% more flexible.

Since Cloud 5 Push is a newcomer in the shoe scene, we expected tech-powered durability. That wasn’t the case on our durability test, though. Pressing our drill to the various parts of the shoes made us realise how quickly to abrade the shoe. Friendly expert’s advice: Take it easy on this shoe or else, buy a more robust pair!

Pros

  • Amazing in-shoe comfort
  • Excellent for all-day use
  • Super lightweight
  • Highly breathable
  • Flexible and natural ride
  • Quick and easy to put on
  • Attractive design and colours
  • Reflective elements
  • Sustainable materials (44%)

Cons

  • Poor upper durability
  • Not for wide feet
Full review of On Cloud 5 Push

New walking shoes with the best cushioning

What makes it the best?

We have certain expectations from the fresh-from-the-market walking shoes, and the Adidas Ultraboost Light, which was only released on March 2023, towered over the bar we set for cushioning. What’s special about this shoe’s foam is it has a remarkable springiness to it without sinking down upon a significant amount of time of usage.

While we established the midsole is 35.1% softer than the average at 15.5 HA using our durometer, on our walks, we got to enjoy the all-in-one combination of great support, bounce, and comfort. Even when the snow came in, the coldness hardly influenced its softness. We simulated the cold season by sticking the shoe into our freezer for 20 minutes. We then re-measured the softness, revealing 19.8 HA or a 27.4% increase from the initial state. Regardless, this is still 34.7% more plush than most shoes that we put in our freezer.

With heel and forefoot stack heights of 30.1 mm and 18.2 mm, Ultraboost Light brought forth an 11.9 mm drop, which is 35.2% higher than most. As we also enjoyed Ultraboost Light for quick runs, this drop is incredibly protective for the heel strikers within our team. On the contrary, the forefoot strikers among us aren’t impressed. If you believe this might pose an issue for the overall shock absorption capacity of the shoe, we recommend seeking other completely impact-proof pairs.

Pros

  • Cushy and responsive ride
  • Good for easy runs and long distances
  • Ideal for heel strikers
  • Suitable for wide feet
  • Effective stability elements for mild pronation
  • Snug and secure lockdown
  • Durable toebox and heel
  • Outsole built to last
  • Ready for winter runs
  • Works as a comfy walking shoe
  • Sustainably designed upper

Cons

  • Thin forefoot cushioning
  • Could be lighter
  • Slippery on wet surfaces
  • Not for speedwork
  • Average at best breathability
Full review of Adidas Ultraboost Light

Amidst an endless barrage of options from an ever-expanding set of footwear brands, choosing new walking shoes often feels a lot more overwhelming than it should.

Although the diversity of choices may feel like a curse, we’re here to make it a blessing. The best new walking shoes are more comfortable, durable, and stylish than ever before.

This article will help you make sense of the key shoe tech and design innovations showing up in the latest and greatest walking shoes to ensure you find the right pair for you.

The features behind the best new walking shoes

When choosing new walking shoes, there are a few features to pay particular attention to the following:

  • cushioning
  • stability
  • durability
  • weight

Cushioning

The best new walking shoes spare nothing when it comes to cushioning. Shoes from Hoka, On, and Skechers feature proprietary midsole foam materials. Walking-specific models often blend different foam materials.

For example, the Skechers GOwalk line of walking shoes has ULTRA GO foam – a blend of memory foam and polyurethane (PU) foam to maximise comfort and durability.

Based on our lab measurements, Skechers shoes tend to be 5 mm thicker in the heel and 25% softer compared to the average of walking shoes.

Other walking shoes, like those from On, employ ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA)-based foams. Stiffer than PU or memory foams, EVA-based midsoles offer more bounce and responsiveness.

On Cloud 5 Push Drop

On shoes tend to be 30 mm thick in the heel and are 20% firmer than average.

hoka-transport-inside.JPG

Hoka shoes tend to be the thickest (35-40 mm in the heel) and are 20% softer than average.

Durability

The lifespan of many shoes tends to land between 300-500 miles, but the best new walking shoes will be near or well beyond the top end of this spectrum. Compressed midsole cushioning or eroding outsoles are what usually spell the end of a shoe’s useful life. Well-made walking shoes extend this as far as possible by employing durable and high-quality materials.

We test the wear resistance of every new walking shoe with the help of a Dremel.

Even though the best walking shoes are usually more effective, their superior durability makes them more cost-effective than cheap walking shoes that only last half as long.

Skechers GOwalk 6 outsole durability

TIP: If you want a new pair of walking shoes to last longer, choose one with a full-length rubber outsole. Avoid exposed foams like this.

Support

In addition to supremely comfortable cushioning, the best new walking shoes also provide excellent support and stability. They do so through sturdy, ergonomic construction of features like heel counters and footbeds to cradle and support your feet through long days of walking.

Walking shoes also offer a precise balance of stiffness and flexibility to deliver adequate support without compromising comfort or natural foot movements.

TIP: If you have flat feet or your ankles roll inwards a lot (overpronate), check if the shoe has arch support. For example, Skechers introduced the Arch Fit series to address this need.

Weight

Lightweight shoes are easier to walk in for long periods of time, and they are usually constructed from breathable materials and high-tech foams that are air-injected to not sacrifice cushioning while still being featherlight.

Skechers GOwalk 6 cushioning

TIP: Walking shoes from On and Skechers GO WALK tend to be the lightest, averaging 9 oz (255g) in a men's US size 9.

New walking shoes: Sustainability considerations

Ultimately, the most sustainable new walking shoes are those that last you the longest. That is why durability is a top consideration for both the performance and the sustainability cred of any new pair of kicks.

But beyond durability, many brands are also making sustainability strides in the design and materials found in the best new walking shoes. The EVA midsoles of the Hoka Transport, for example, are now 30% derived from sugarcane – a renewable, nontoxic, and biodegradable alternative to traditional petroleum-based midsole foams.

hoka-transport-lab-test.JPG

Other top brands, like On, prioritise emissions and waste reductions relating to their core shoe technologies and are transparent about their goals and progress toward achieving them.

On Cloud 5 Push Heel tab

FAQs

What are the best new walking shoes?

The best new walking shoes feature cutting-edge materials and design innovations to make them supportive, lightweight, durable, and comfortable for long days on your feet.

Do you need to break in new walking shoes?

Some walking shoes with stiffer construction may require a break-in period. Others, like the Skechers GO WALK shoes, are insanely comfortable out of the box.

How do I tell if I need new walking shoes?

When your walking shoes develop widespread creases throughout the foam midsole or the outsole traction has worn away, it is time for a new pair. The best new walking shoes will often last for 500 miles or more.

What are the best new walking shoe brands?

The best new walking shoes come from brands that combine good design, style, functionality, and, most importantly, comfort. Hoka, On, and Skechers are among the brands pouting out the best new walking shoes that check all these boxes.

On Cloud 5 Push laces

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.