The Best Walking Shoe Brands

Most of us walk every day, whether we do it “hot girl” style or not. How hard could that be on our bodies? If you’ve ever walked a long (or even long-ish) distance in the wrong shoes, you already know the answer.

I’ve been there. Over the years, I’ve walked a lot in my own city and in new places I’ve never been before while on vacation.

I’ve also left the house without giving much thought to the shoes I was wearing, only to regret it hours later when my toes were painfully squished, my body was in pain from my soles to my lower back, and my feet were dripping with sweat.

On the other hand, good walking shoes can keep you moving all day without making your feet hurt or blister.

To help you find the best, we looked through our (large) collection of footwear stories and talked to several experts, like podiatrists, physical therapists, and experienced hikers, to make a list of the boots, sneakers, loafers, and flats that will keep your feet comfortable for hours.

Read on to find out which shoes are the best for walking right now.

Best walking shoe all around

Heimann says that New Balance has the most options for the different things we should look for in walking shoes.

“They usually have a nice toe box, some kind of pronation control and arch support, can be light and durable, and have good cushioning.

Podiatrists often recommend them.” Criscione and Lobkova both singled out the 990v5. Criscione said that the shoe has the “perfect” balance of support and cushioning.

“You can really walk all day in these, and your feet will still be happy at the end of the day,” she says.

Lobkova also points out that the midsole has a lot of cushioning and that the Ortholite insert has firmer arch support than other insole shoes.

This shoe comes in narrow, standard, wide, and extra-wide sizes, but the toe box works best for people with wide feet.

The upper is mostly made of mesh, which lets your feet breathe even if you walk a lot. The upper is made of mesh and suede, and the midsole is made of polyurethane.

Both parts are made to last. Criscione says, “They last for years and look good enough to wear to the gym or just out and about.”

Best walking shoe for less money

Skechers’ GOwalk line of slip-on shoes offer a lot more value than you might expect for $65 and the “good arch buildup” that Wu says the brand is known for.

Like the New Balances above, these have an Ortholite insole and a cushioned midsole that can keep you standing comfortably for hours.

Kevin Mercier is a professional travel blogger who has walked all over the world. He is about to order his second pair of GOwalk Maxes, which he calls “affordable but not cheaply made.”

“They’ve made my travels so easy that I don’t even know where to start,” he says. “I just can’t say enough good things about this couple.

They are easy to walk in because they are light and have extra padding in the heel. (The cushioning and insole of the GOwalk Joy style for women are the same.)

Mercier says that the mesh and insole make the shoe light and “perfect for hot summer days and can even be used as slippers.”

Even though you might not want to wear these shoes inside, the fact that they slip on makes them great for getting out of the house quickly.

Best shoe for walking on rough terrain

As someone who gets hurt easily, I always wear trail-running shoes, even if the ground is only slightly uneven or slippery.

And I’m not the only one. Leslie Gilmour, the experienced hiker and travel blogger behind Outdoor Scott, recommends the trail-runner-inspired Salomon X Raise 2 Gore-Tex for this kind of situation.

She says its best feature is “exceptional cushioning that provides all-around comfort and prevents blisters and hot spots.”

Gilmour says that even though these Salomons are soft, they are also very durable and protect your feet from sharp rocks on the trail.

This is because they have special TPU reinforcements around the toe area that absorb shock and protect your feet from sharp rocks.

“Fantastic support and stability are also guaranteed,” he says, as well as “very reliable” grip on rocky and muddy surfaces.

The Gore-Tex membrane makes sure that even if you get caught in the rain or step in a puddle, your feet will stay dry.

The best walking shoe for narrow feet

When you have feet like mine, which are very narrow, you tend to stick with the few brands that fit, like Nike. I’ve worn a lot of different styles in its standard width, and they’ve all fit well.

The same is true for the Air Zoom Pegasus, of which the 39 is the newest version. A few years ago, I bought the Air Zoom Pegasus 36 trail shoe, which is no longer made.

Yes, it’s a running shoe, but it works just as well for walking, especially if you need or want a lot of cushioning that makes every step feel like it’s giving you a little bounce.

Even though it doesn’t breathe as well as, say, the ultra-lightweight Skechers above, I’ve never had a problem with getting too hot in it, and I’ve worn it in warmer weather far more often than in cold weather.

Best walking shoe for feet that are wide

The Lone Peak is part of Altra’s “Original Footshape Fit” line, which is their roomiest fit. But what makes this brand stand out is that even in its narrowest styles, the toe box is made to be big on purpose.

Strategist writer Jeremy Rellosa, who has been wearing Altras for three years and has written about the many good things about the Lone Peak, says that he especially likes.

“Their toes can spread out, which is basically why Altra is such a popular brand among hikers,” he says.

“When I lived in Santa Fe, you could pretty much count on seeing someone wearing a pair of Lone Peaks on any nearby hike.”

Rellosa does wear his for hiking and walking on trails, but if your feet don’t feel like they have enough room, these might be worth it for any terrain.

One thing to keep in mind is that while the Lone Peaks have moderate cushioning, they don’t have built-in arch support because of their “zero drop” design. This means that the heel and toe sit at the same level to encourage a natural gait.

The best shoe for walking if you have bunions or plantar fasciitis

Lobkova says that to avoid a common walking injury like plantar fasciitis, there needs to be cushioning in the midsole to stop the heel from hitting the ground. This is what HOKAs are known for. Wu says that HOKA shoes feel like “walking on clouds” because they have so much cushioning and support for the feet.

One Zappos reviewer even says that their bunion “loves” them. They may also be good for people with other injuries.

Criscione was diagnosed with Morton’s neuroma, a condition that can “feel like you’re standing on a pebble in your shoe.”

She says she was frustrated when she couldn’t walk without being in a lot of pain. Before she found the Bondi, she tried athletic tape, ice, and many different kinds of shoes.

“The day I put them on,” she says, “I could walk again! I love how roomy they are for my bunions and how comfortable they are even when I walk all day. And they’ve held up after who knows how many miles in several countries.”

Leave a Comment