7 Best Walking Shoes in 2023

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7 Best Walking Shoes in 2023
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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 more comfort and support in your daily walks, it’s time to consider a dedicated walking shoe. 

We have tested over 80 pairs of walking shoes to help you find the best one. Understanding that people may expect different things from their walking shoes, we have selected top picks in different categories.

Best walking shoes overall

What makes it the best?

Allbirds Tree Runners is unparalleled in being the superior walking shoe out there and its maximum-extent functionality is what won us over. For all-day wear, work, travel, and everything in between, this walking shoe is definitely number one. As if that isn’t enough of a reason, Tree Runners also stands out in sustainability and easy-to-slip-on convenience!

A forever and a day didn’t feel like a long time when we were in Allbirds Tree Runners. One reason we found for our painless long walks is its delightfully firm midsole. We validated what we felt through our durometer, which reflected a 29.6 HA hardness that’s slightly softer than the 31.2 HA average. 

Another factor that got us through the day with ceaseless comfort is the shoe’s breathability. While Allbirds Tree Runners only scored 3/5 on our breathability test, our bright light revealed its very porous upper, which allowed our feet to feel superb airflow. Correspondingly, this shoe is also super lightweight. With a weight of 8.6 oz (245g), it is 22% lighter than average.

Although our caliper measured the shoe’s insole to be 7.2 mm, which, by the way, is 38% more cushioned than average, we still felt like it lacked arch support. That being said, we do not recommend this pair to people who require extra supportive shoes.


  • 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


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

Best shoes for walking and standing all day

Hoka Transport

What makes it the best?

In our search for the best walking shoe for standing all day, we looked for a shoe that feels amazingly soft yet secure on foot. Based on our time spent in the shoe and in the lab where we thoroughly tested it, the Hoka Transport is just that! It does all this with its perfectly balanced cushioning which comes in a very secure package.

We found it perfect for spending full days on our feet. It's plush underfoot but not squishy at all. Our lab tests confirmed this: we pressed a durometer against its midsole foam and it scored 21.9 HA, making it 23% softer than an average walking shoe while still providing a sufficiently firm platform to stand on.

What seals the deal when it comes to this well-balanced cushioning is that we felt no wobbling! No wonder, given that it is 45% stiffer than the average walking shoe. We tested this with our force gauge that showed 30.4N when we bent the shoe to 90 degrees. The semi-gusseted tongue and relatively stiff heel counter also helped us feel more secure in the Hoka Transport.

We do not recommend Hoka Transport to those who live in warm climates. As shown in our breathability test, this shoe is less breathable than average. Hello, sweaty feet!


  • 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


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

Best walking shoes for travel

On Cloud 5

What makes it the best?

On Cloud 5 really set the mark for being an outstanding travel walking shoe, thanks to its wanderlust-ready characteristics! Testing the shoe for a considerable amount of time, we learned that it almost feels like we are walking barefoot: natural strides, terrific airflow, and weightless trips all throughout the day.

Our on-foot roam around with Cloud 5 was just exquisite because we could walk in it with little to no effort. In our lab, we found that it was certainly flexible when we subjected the shoe to bending using our digital force gauge. It hardly resisted bending at a 19.8N force. This might be 10% less flexible than the average, but it granted us fluid foot motions. 

Even when we got out on sunny days, Cloud 5 took care of preventing or drying off sweat on our feet. We looked into it by flashing a bright light to the upper and discovered it is heavily perforated, especially around the toe box, allowing a smooth air passage. Much like air, the Cloud 5 also weighed next to nothing, as shown by our scale. It was 7.94 oz (225g), which was 12.1% lighter than others.

However, we realized that Cloud 5 was more fitting for occasional travels only and not frequent ones because it wasn’t the toughest shoe we tried on. Actually, after using it for a while, we noticed wear in the toebox area. We suggest being easy on Cloud 5 or sporting a more durable shoe if you can’t help being all out on your trips.


  • 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%)


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

Walking shoes with the best support

What makes it the best?

There are several factors we check up on in a supportive walking shoe, including arch, heel, and lateral support. All of which On Cloudnova Form offers in a way that ensures proper footing but still preserves a splendid level of in-shoe pleasure. This is why it’s undeniably our top pick for the best supportive walking shoe.

Our arches are well-cradled inside the Cloudnova Form and the credit goes to the non-squishy foam of the shoe. Through the use of our durometer, we corroborated the midsole hardness, which is 31.5 HA, demonstrating a 25% higher level of firmness compared to the average.

Cloudnova Form also maintained our balance even when we moved sideways. We investigated more in our lab and found that the structure of the shoe is tough. We attempted to deform the shoe using our hands, but it demanded a great effort to be twisted, thus receiving a 4/5 torsional rigidity rating. This effectively controlled our feet from pronating or supinating.

Allowing us to distribute our weight is the wide platform of the shoe which is 119.7 mm in the forefoot and 93.9 mm in the heel. This made the average trail behind by 8.4% and 6.2%. However, its lack of durability, specifically in the toebox and heel padding, limits the length of service of Cloudnova Form. These areas demonstrated no resistance against our Dremel, so we suggest going easy on these parts of this shoe.


  • Excellent for all-day wear
  • Very stable and supportive
  • Great in-shoe comfort
  • Non-constricting toebox
  • Reflective elements
  • Sustainable materials
  • Appealing design


  • Lacks durability (especially the upper)
  • A little heavier than average
Full review of On Cloudnova Form

Best lightweight walking shoes

Skechers Summits

What makes it the best?

Skechers Summits is the best lightweight walking shoe we ever put on our feet and brought back to our lab. Apart from its nearly weightless feel, we are especially pleased with the plump footbed combined with the memory foam that provides a delicate sensation underfoot.

There is no doubt that the weightlessness of Skechers Summits brought us bliss. What’s interesting is that this airiness also manifested in our lab when we weighed the shoe. Our scale registered a 6.95 oz (197g) weight, 23.6% lighter than the mean.

Even though Summits is as light as a feather, on our feet, it never felt like it cut back on cushioning. To be sure, we probed its midsole and measured its thickness with our caliper. It’s 36.4 mm at the heel, which puts the average behind by 16.7%, and 20.6 mm at the forefoot, which is just around the 20.8 mm average. These stack height values resulted in a 15.8 mm drop, which provided us with a substantial footbed.

What made our underfoot experience even special is the shoe’s very plush midsole. We stuck our durometer against it and got a 21.1 HA measurement, which suggests that it’s 17.3% softer than average. On the flip side, we aren’t thrilled with the softness of the Summit’s outsole, which we found to be 53 HC. This is 27.5% softer than average, indicating a weaker outsole. True enough, our Dremel tool easily ate the material away, leaving a 2.5 mm dent, 1 mm deeper than in the other shoes. Therefore, we advise picking up pairs with harder outsole if you prioritize durability.


  • Like walking on soft clouds
  • Super lightweight
  • Easy to put on and off
  • Very affordable
  • Highly flexible
  • Surprisingly durable upper
  • Suitable for casual attire


  • Lacks breathability
  • Exposed foam wears out fast
  • Memory Foam doesn't last long
Full review of Skechers Summits

Best slip-resistant walking shoes

Hoka Bondi SR

What makes it the best?

Only one pair got us head over heels when we tested for the ultimate slip-resistant walking shoe and that is Hoka Bondi SR. On the bottom surface, it creates an exceptional amount of friction against glassy surfaces that eradicates any chance of missteps and mishaps. Inside, it’s so inviting that we never want to wear anything but Bondi!

To learn more about the non-skid ability of Bondi, we made contact between our durometer and the outsole. With a 73.1 HC hardness flashed on the device, we learned two things: It is equally soft as the average and this allowed the shoe to cling hard on tiles and other smooth floors.

Aside from the slip protection, we also got our feet a home whenever we were out racking up the distance. We once again utilized our durometer, but this time we pressed it to the midsole, giving us a 20.4 HA softness, which is 20% softer than average. We also measured the tongue’s padding and a whopping 11.1 mm was recorded by our caliper. Not only did it surpass the average by 177.5% but the overall padding and cushioning rendered us more than satisfied, comfort-wise.

Too bad the Bondi’s upper did not emit the smoke we filled up its interior. Accordingly, we rated its breathability a 1/5, so if you plan on getting Bondi, make sure to use it bearing this information. Otherwise, we recommend choosing a more air-circulated pair.


  • Comfort is off-the-charts
  • Extra thick cushioning for all-day support
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions
  • Alleviates foot discomfort (podiatrist approved)
  • Stable for a neutral shoe
  • Slip-resistant outsole
  • Superior material quality
  • Water-resistant leather upper
  • Accommodating toebox


  • Heavy and bulky
  • Not breathable
Full review of Hoka Bondi SR

Walking shoes with the best style

On Cloudnova

What makes it the best?

When we look good, we also feel good. This is exactly what’s up with On Cloudnova, apart from taking us into a state of bliss because of its comfy interior. It’s our top walking shoe with the best style because we certainly can’t say no to a clean, versatile look that is perfect for leisure getaways or busy work days. The bonus is it also has reflective elements!

One thing that made every walk in the Cloudnova worthwhile is its bolstering insole which is the key factor in our enjoyable rides. Sticking our durometer to its midsole, we noted a hardness of 29 HA, 15.1% firmer than average. This is enough plushness underfoot without sinking our feet into a marshmallow. 

Cloudnova also prevented our ankles from uncontrollably rolling, which is pretty amazing for a neutral walking shoe. Having measured the platform’s dimensions, we reported a 116.9 mm width in the forefoot and 91.1 mm in the heel. These are 6.6% and 3.4% broader than the standards, offering a solid and stable base.

This walking shoe is worth £160 and is priced higher than the average. Unless you don’t mind paying 69.3% more than the cost of most walking shoes, then we advise searching for a pair that fits your budget.


  • 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


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

Comparison of the 7 best walking shoes

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# of colorways

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:

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.



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.

Walking shoes for flat feet, plantar fasciitis, and other foot conditions

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

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

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.


  • 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, minimising 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.

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.


Mesh Leather Suede


more breathable

softer feel

more durable

more supportive

take longer to soak

some models are waterproof


less durable

less supportive

soak easily

not waterproof


less breathable

stiffer feel

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

require special maintenance

Leather vs. mesh: difference in breathability

Hoka Bondi SR vs Hoka Kawana toebox durability

Leather vs. mesh: difference in durability

How we test walking shoes

We are a team of shoe fanatics who has dived into the nitty-gritty details of 80+ walking shoes from over 10 brands. We spend 7 hours of standing, walking, and generally doing daily activities per product on average, to deliver you the most comprehensive review about each walking shoe. And mind you, we got all the shoes using our own funds!

Our reviews would not be complete without our lab tests. We subject the shoes to different tests, and we emphasise the results of those that indicate the walking shoes' superiority in endless hours of wear. Flexibility, breathability, and lightness are just a few examples! It doesn't stop there: we delve even deeper by cutting the shoes in half to obtain other quantitative data, such as insole and cushioning thickness, which are both measured using our calliper.

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.