Whether you enjoy the odd countryside stroll or it’s part of your profession, it’s important to wear the appropriate walking shoes. However, poor shoes can make the experience very uncomfortable.
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Quick Buyer’s Guide
If you’re in a hurry and just want to buy the best shoes according to your needs, use the Quick Buy Guide below. Otherwise, scroll down to see each of the shoes in detail.
"Ultimate comfort for going that extra mile." I've experienced better walkings thanks to the shoes found here.
After testing dozens of different boots and shoes, we’ve curated this list featuring the 10 best pairs for walking:
- Performance Shoes: Salomon X Alp Spry
- Office-Friendly Shoes: Brooks Addiction Walker
- Trail Running Shoes: Salomon Speedcross 4 GTX
- Walking Boots: Asolo Fugitive GTX
- Cushioned Shoes: New Balance 840 V3
- Work Shoes: Keen Utility Flint Low
- Desert Boots: Lowa Z-6S
- Slip-On Shoes: SKECHERS Performance Go Walk 4
- Comfortable Shoes: Saucony Grid Omni Walker
- Walking Sandals: Keen Newport
If you’re looking for a particular pair, you can jump right to it using the links above!
If you want to face the slopes and rough terrain with shoes, then you’ll enjoy the Salomon X Alp Spry. Salomon is a premium French brand that’s been offering quality hiking shoes for decades. Therefore, it’s no surprise that they excel and shoes for walking too.
With the Sensifit, your foot is cradled from the lacing system and through the midsole, which ensures a secure and comfortable fit. Futhermore, the footbed is contoured with an Ortholite EVA footbed. Finally, a moulded shank adds extra stability.
The Alp Spry is available in two colour schemes. Our favourite is the grey, black and lime, which has a beautiful pop of colour. However, there’s also a Mallard blue with black and orange accents instead.
If you walk many miles for work and need an understated sneaker that doesn’t stand out, Brooks offer the best pair available. With the conspicuous design, you’ll be able to fulfil your duties whilst ensuring both comfort and support.
Featuring HygroFlow technology, the midsole cushioning and shock absorption are enhanced with gel that supports your arches. A diagonal roll bar also offers pronation control and added stability.
Available in black, white and even a suede brown, Brooks allow you to use these whatever your profession be it clinical, postal or even working in stores.
Trail running shoes are designed primarily for long-distance running through harsh weather conditions. However, they’re also fantastic for walking and offer an experience comparable to hiking boots but with added flexibility.
Salomon’s proprietary Premium Wet Traction Contragrip outsole appear as dense and prominent chevron-shaped lugs. These are ideal for wet and difficult terrain. Furthermore, the Gore-Tex membrane offers superior waterproofing but remains breathable. Meanwhile, OrthoLite insoles provide both arch support and cushion.
We prefer the colourful Fiery Red theme with orange soles. If you prefer, there’s also Hawaiian Blue and black. However,only the black pair appear to be available on Zappos but they’re still very stylish indeed!
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Founded in 1946, Italian brand Asolo continues to make premium shoes under the Zanatta family. Ideal for almost any terrain, the Fugitives are ideal for both short walks and long hikes alike.
With a suede leather and Cordura upper, the GTX also features a Gore-Tex lining. Furthermore, the Duo Asoflex midsole is made using two elements, which are melted together. A stiffer element prevents pronation, supination and torsion whilst the second, softer element, provides shock absorption.
There are three colour schemes to choose from when opting for these boots. Our favourite is the brown suede leather with black and red accents. Nevertheless, you can also choose either black and grey with burgundy accents or black with olive accents.
If you’re looking for more conventional athletic shoes that are ideal for walking, New Balance’s 840 V3 offer the best versatility as well as superior comfort.
Firstly, these shoes feature New Balance’s ABZORB midsole, which provides foam cushioning for long walks. Similarly, a full-length EVA strobel board makes sure that you are comfortable throughout. A breathable mesh with synthetic upper materials will keep your feet dry.
When purchasing the 840 V3, you can choose a grey colour with black, grey and blue accents. Otherwise, you can also pick black with white and grey accents. We’re fond of the former as it features a slight splash of colour.
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If you’re a contractor and tend to walk a lot for your job, Keen offers the ideal solution. Whether you’re trekking across huge sites or hopping from contract to contract, you can expect these shoes to never let you down.
Meeting ASTM and F2413-11 standards, Keen’s utility shoes are ideal for site work. The steel toe is anatomically correct for a roomier toe bow. Furthermore, you have a removable dual-density EVA footbed with non-marking oil and slip-resistant outsoles.
If you’re a stylish workman, then you can consider either the “Gargoyle” grey and shark colour. Alternatively, opt for the Shitake and rust red shoe instead, which is our favourite.
Whilst the above boots are perfectly suitable for typical summers, you’ll need something even more specialised for intense desert heat. However, desert boots aren’t to be confused with the Chukka boots’ cousins. These are far more robust for true walking.
With a climate control feature and Dri-Lex 3D nylon lining, you can be assured a dry and cooler feel even during long walks. Meanwhile, the PU MONOWRAP keeps the weight light without losing on stability and perforations helps improve ventilation.
Traditionally, desert boots come in a sandy colour for camouflage reasons. Therefore, it’s no surprise that these are only available in this colour. However, there are some accents with various shades in the mid and outersoles.
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You may not need rugged walking shoes if you enjoy intensive albeit short walks. Therefore, you might be more tempted by more casual and easy to wear shoes. SKECHERS offer premium footwear for walking that are still wearable on the streets too. However, don’t be fooled. They’re walking shoes!
Firstly, they’re easy to put on unlike lots of other walking shoes. Furthermore, the 5GEN midsole cushioning provides comfort and return. Meanwhile, the GO Pillars midsole and outsoles give you arch support and shock-absorption.
Although they’re also available in jet black, we’re fans of the light grey with an orange interior. They’re much more stylish and easy to wear outside of walking.
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Like the SKECHERS above, the Saucony Omni Walkers offer a more flexible and casual walking shoe. However, they offer a superior fit as they’re not slip-ons. If you’re looking for very comfortable walking sneakers, these are perfect.
Saucony is renowned for high-quality athletic footwear and their walking shoes are no different. The main feature is a Visible Rearfoot Grid System, which has a woven configuration of Hytrel filaments for superior cushion and stability. This also protects the heel whilst a midfoot support bridge preserves the ankles.
Saucony are usually limited in colour hues. With the Omni Walkers, you can simply choose between either white and silver or very understated black.
If you’re someone who enjoys the pure freedom of the air between your toes yet feel constrained by hefty walking boots, you might enjoy walking sandals. Although sounding like an oxymoron, these do exist and they’re great for short walks on reasonable terrain.
Designed for also wearing underwater, these hybrids are great for tackling rocky and slippery surfaces. For added traction, the sandals feature razor siped pods on the outsole. Meanwhile, there’s a toe guard to prevent injury whilst an antimicrobial EVA footbed controls moisture and offers comfort.
The Newport sandals are offered in either bison brown or gargoyle grey. Both options are nubuck leather and whilst we prefer the brown, the grey look just as good!
What Makes A Good Shoe For Walking?
Whether you’re walking a lot for work or leisure, having the right shoes is essential to ensure all-day comfort. If you wear shoes that don’t offer the proper support or cushion, you can experience injuries such as blisters or calluses.
As you’re focused activity will be walking, you’ll need something lightweight so it doesn’t become too burdensome over time. Nevertheless, it’s imperative that your shoes offer sufficient shock absorption to prevent wear and fatigue.
Important Features For Walking Shoes
Aside from the fit, which is paramount to avoid friction inside the shoe and cause blister, look for the following shoe characteristics for walking:
- Stable Midsole: Whether foam, gel or air, the midsole requires cushion to absorb the shock yet stable so you don’t lose balance or twist your ankle.
- Cushioned Footbed: Ideally removable, a quality footbed needs to be cushioned for adequate arch and heel support.
- Mesh Upper: The top of the shoe should be made from mesh or another breathable material like GoreTex. This reduces sweat during long walks.
- Spacious Toe Box: Although this relates to the fit, the toe box needs to be roomy so that your toes aren’t too cramped and don’t blister.
- Heel Counters: These protect the ankle and Achilles tending by gripping the shoe around the heel.
- Traction: The outsole ought to have grooves and treads to ensure that the you don’t slip in adverse weather conditions.
- Heel Collar: The heel collar is a cushion around the mouth of the shoe that offers both comfort and a secure fit.
Your Foot Type
Although this again relates to fit, it’s not just a question of foot size. Whilst our sizes can greatly vary, they can also have fluctuations in shape too. One well-known factor is the foot width but another is your arch type.
Typically, foot arches can vary between the following:
- Low Arches [Flat Feet]
- Neutral Arches
- High Arches
If you don’t yet know your arch type, you can easily test this with wet feet and by walking on a surface that leaves a print. As the graphic above illustrates, it’s important to know your foot type if you’re walking a lot.
For instance, feet with high arches tend to underpronate, which means that you roll your ankles outward when walking. This can give rise to ankle injuries and discomfort over long distances.
Meanwhile, low arches or flat feet can overpronate, which roll inward. This can also cause discomfort and pain as well as lead onto Plantar Fasciitis. Therefore, you need to have cushioning that matches your foot arch to not provide too much or too little support.
Keep Track Of Your Shoe’s Mileage & Age
Unlike leather shoes, which can have their soles replaced over time, sneakers and boots rarely have this luxury. Therefore, you need to keep track of the total distance travelled with your shoes and replace them when the time comes.
Quality shoes should give you between 350 and 500 miles (560 – 500 km) for running or a little more if you’re only walking. Similarly, they should be replaced once a year. However, this is mostly for sneaker-style shoes whilst walking boots should be able to last several years.
As these sort of shoes are usually made from synthetic materials, they will degrade with both usage and time. If you don’t replace them, you’ll find that they’re less effective at providing both cushion and support, which could actually cause injury or discomfort.
Having now read about the best men’s walking shoes, perhaps you’d like to peruse some of our other related shoes guides: