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Best Walking Shoes of 2022: These Shoes Were Made for Walking

Best Walking Shoes of 2022: These Shoes Were Made for Walking

Whether you are headed out to run some errands, taking a walk on a brisk day, or lacing up for your next training session, you need a pair of walking shoes that fit well, are comfortable, and provide support. Sure, we want them to look good, too, but the wrong pair of sneakers can lead to problems in your lower extremities—not to mention how frustrating it can be to drop a bunch of money on a pair of ill-fitting sneakers. But finding a good walking shoe can be daunting.

Ever walk into a store, psyched to snag your next pair of sneakers only to find yourself overwhelmed with aisle after aisle of options? How do you know which are the best walking shoes for you and which ones are for running?

Not to worry! In this roundup of the best walking shoes of 2022, we will share everything you need to know.

Best Overall – Brooks Ghost 14

Brooks Ghost 14

SPECS

  • Material: 3D-print mesh upper, rubber sole
  • Weight: 9.9 oz.
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: DNA loft cushioning
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 11.5mm
  • Available width: Regular

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Brooks is a tried-and-true sneaker company beloved by runners and walkers alike for their high-quality kicks. The Brooks Ghost 14 is one of the most popular choices for walking among Brooks lovers and our top pick for the best overall walking shoe. It is a comfortable, dependable, and well-cushioned shoe at a reasonable price. It is responsive with generous cushioning and a segmented crash pad midsole helps to prevent any jarring impact.

A breathable 3D mesh upper hugs the foot without being too tight, and users appreciate the flexibility in the midfoot which supports a smooth heel-to-toe transition. The 11.5-millimeter heel-to-toe drop may feel a bit high for some users, though.

What We Like

  • Flexible
  • Ample cushioning
  • Stretchy yet secure upper
  • Durable

What We Don’t Like

  • Will need to be broken in
  • Not available in wide sizes
  • Relatively high heel-to-toe drop

Best Walking Shoes for Women – adidas Women’s Supernova+

adidas Women's Supernova+

SPECS

  • Material: Rubber outsole, engineered mesh upper with reflective heel patch
  • Weight: 9.8 oz. (size 7.5)
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: Bounce cushioning
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 10mm
  • Available width: Regular

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Finding a great-fitting walking shoe that is as stylish as it is functional can be a challenge. Until you find the adidas Women’s Supernova+, that is! Once again, adidas has produced a good-looking pair of sneakers that are also comfortable, supportive, and made using recycled materials.

These shoes have a mono mesh upper with seamless zones providing support while remaining flexible. Some reviewers found that the seamless tongue design made the sneakers prone to rubbing, but most find the fit to be snug (in a good way). The impressive heel support and added forefoot boost also contribute to the Supernova+’s comfort while keeping the heel-to-toe drop number in a good range for walking purposes.

What We Like

  • Made using recycled materials (yarn in upper contains at least 50% Parley Ocean Plastic and 50% recycled polyester)
  • BOOST heel and forefoot
  • Breathable and comfortable
  • Can accommodate a wider foot

What We Don’t Like

  • Tongue may move during wear and cause rubbing

Best Walking Shoes for Men – adidas Men’s Supernova+

adidas Men's Supernova+

SPECS

  • Material: Primegreen textile upper
  • Weight: 11 oz. (size 9)
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: Boost and bounce cushioning
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 10mm
  • Available width: Regular

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Bringing together performance, comfort, and style, the adidas Men’s Supernova+ is our top pick for the best walking shoes for men. Available in several colors, the Supernova+ is both comfortable and functional, designed to support you mile after mile.

This shoe features adidas’ patented Primegreen materials, meaning that it is constructed from recycled polyester and is both lightweight and breathable. The patented Boost cushioning makes the shoe both flexible and responsive while remaining supportive. The moderate heel-to-toe drop of 10 millimeters encourages good walking mechanics. Some users found the Ultraboost DNA 5.0 to run narrow, which is something to consider if you have wide feet.

What We Like

  • Responsive cushioning
  • 8 colors to choose from
  • Made using recycled material
  • Breathable
  • Great for beginners going from walking to running

What We Don’t Like

  • Runs narrow
  • Fabric can wear after vigorous use

Best HOKA Walking Shoes – HOKA Bondi 7

HOKA Bondi 7

SPECS

  • Material: Rubber outsole, open-mesh upper
  • Weight: 8.9 oz.
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: EVA cushioning
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 4mm
  • Available widths: Regular and wide

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HOKA has gained a lot of traction in the world of sneakers as a brand known for comfort, cushion, and stability. From their great line of shoes, we found the HOKA Bondi 7 to be the best for walking. This sneaker features Meta-Rocker technology which combines a low heel-to-toe drop with a rounded sole to promote a natural walking stride. This design encourages a smooth transitional roll between the heel and toe. The ample cushioning limits shock to keep your joints healthy.

The Bondi 7 is equipped with an open mesh upper for breathability and TPU overlay to enhance stability. This shoe has a memory foam collar around the ankle intended to accommodate a variety of ankle sizes. However, not all users like this feature, finding it constricting. It is important to note that the Bondi 7 does not have much arch support, so it may not be the best shoe for people with flat feet.

What We Like

  • Lightweight
  • Memory foam collar on ankle
  • EVA cushioning
  • Breathable
  • Low heel-to-toe drop
  • Durable

What We Don’t Like

  • Not much arch support
  • Runs narrow
  • Looks bulky

Best New Balance Walking Shoes – New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v11

SPECS

  • Material: Synthetic/mesh upper
  • Weight: 9.3 oz.
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: Fresh foam midsole cushioning
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 8mm
  • Available widths: Narrow, standard, wide, extra-wide

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If you are a fan of New Balance sneakers and are looking for the best walking shoe, the 1080v11 may be for you. Its moderate heel-to-toe drop, top-of-the-line cushioning, flexibility, and stretchy mesh upper was designed to provide ultimate comfort and support. Featuring New Balance’s signature Fresh Foam cushioning technology, the 1080v11 is a responsive shoe that minimizes the impact of each stride.

The 1080v11 is engineered with a breathable mesh upper that provides zonal stretch which accommodates the natural foot swelling that occurs after spending time on your feet. It is designed to hug your foot for a snug but not too tight fit. There are some users who found the toe box to run small, however, the 1080v11 is available in narrow, standard, wide, and extra-wide widths, so some customization is an option.

What We Like

  • Flexible
  • Moderately low heel-to-toe drop
  • Stretch in upper
  • Good cushioning
  • Breathable
  • Several width options

What We Don’t Like

  • Toe box may feel narrow
  • Reports of rear heel plastic cracking

Best Nike Walking Shoe – Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36

SPECS

  • Material: Mesh
  • Weight: 9.4 oz.
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: Moderate with Zoom Air technology
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 10mm
  • Available widths: Regular, extra-wide

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The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 is a high-quality, cushioned, responsive, and uniquely designed shoe that supports you in all the right places, which is why it’s our top pick for a walking shoe out of Nike’s extensive line of sneakers. This shoe is equipped with dual Zoom Air Bag technology in the heel and forefoot that work together to promote a smooth heel-to-toe transition. In addition, flex grooves that span over the width of the forefoot provide more flexibility, a spec appreciated by walkers.

The Nike React foam provides lightweight cushioning with extra padding in the tongue. The engineered mesh upper feels snug yet is breathable and flexible. Unique to Nike, and a large part of why this shoe fits walkers so well is their use of Flywire lacing system. Cables are placed along the midfoot that work with the laces for a more precise fit for proper walking form.

What We Like

  • Moderate heel-to-toe drop
  • Breathable
  • Flexible
  • Smooth heel-to-toe transitions

What We Don’t Like

  • ZoomAir technology may feel bumpy at first
  • Some reviewers report inconsistent quality

Best Arch Support Walking Shoes – Salomon PREDICT SOC 2

Salomon PREDICT SOC 2

SPECS

  • Material: Textile/synthetic MCL upper
  • Weight: 8.32 oz.
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: Maximum cushioning
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 8mm
  • Available width: Standard

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Finding a comfortable and stable shoe that effectively provides support for those with low or high arches can be a challenge. But with the Salomon PREDICT SOC 2, you can find all the cushioning, arch support, heel padding, and comfort you need in a solid walking shoe. This ergonomically designed shoe has independent support platforms on the outsole that move and adapt to provide support for your unique footstrike. Additionally, a molded sock liner conforms to the shape of your foot providing even more arch support.

Featuring extra heel padding, a flexible upper, and maximum cushioning that guides the foot forward, the shoe offers a smooth and stable walking experience. Solomon’s patented EnergyCell technology provides a highly responsive rebound in the midsole for comfort and stability.

What We Like

  • Flexible
  • Maximum cushioning
  • Good arch support
  • Ergonomic design
  • Good stability

What We Don’t Like

  • Some users report lack of durability
  • Not as many color options as others on this list

Best Budget Walking Shoes – New Balance MX608V5

New Balance MX608V5

SPECS

  • Material: Leather upper
  • Weight: 13.5 oz.
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: Moderate (Abzorb midsole cushioning)
  • Heel-to-toe drop: N/A
  • Available widths: Standard, wide, extra-wide

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The New Balance MX608V5 is a classic walking shoe with several comfort and support perks delivered at a reasonable price. The MX608v5 features an oversized heel crash pad with soft cushioning, a durable rubber outside, and molded insert for a relaxed fit. The result? A durable walking shoe at an affordable price.

These trainers have a leather, suede, and mesh upper engineered to provide a snug yet breathable fit. Since the MX608v5 is available in three different widths, it may be a good choice for those with wider feet. They are on the heavier side, so they could feel clunky to some people.

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly
  • Moderate cushioning
  • Durable
  • Available in 3 widths

What We Don’t Like

  • Heavy
  • Not suited for intense walking workouts

 

What should you look for in a high-quality walking shoe?

Many people inaccurately assume that the best running shoes will also make for a great pair of walking shoes. The truth is that some running shoes can be good for walking, but there are specific qualities of a walking shoe that make them a superior choice.

Fit

A pair of properly fitting walking shoes can prevent nagging issues such as foot pain, bruised toenails, and blisters. A good fit is snug enough to feel secure and prevent your foot from moving around, but not too tight. Specifically, a sneaker should hug your heel and midfoot, but you should be able to wiggle your toes around. Ideally, there should be a finger’s width of space between your tallest toe and the end of the sneaker. The socks you plan on wearing will affect fit. For instance, hiking socks tend to be thicker, so consider how you plan to use the shoe.

Cushioning

Walking shoes need ample cushioning. The cushioning serves two purposes: It is what makes the shoe feel good and what absorbs the shock of each footfall. While walking is not as jarring as running, there is still a good amount of impact with each stride. As such, a generous amount of cushioning is necessary.

Flexibility

The mechanics of walking differ from running in the way the feet strike the ground. People typically land on their heels and roll their feet forward when walking. Because of this rolling motion, walking shoes should have flexible soles. To test out the flexibility, hold the shoe in your hand and bend the heel toward the toe box. The sneaker should bend where the ball of your foot will be located.

Heel-to-Toe Drop

Heel-to-toe drop measures the difference in cushioning beneath the heel of your foot and the toe. Measured in millimeters, walking shoes should have a lower drop number. While this spec is more of a concern for runners, it is important for walking as you want to avoid large drop numbers which will alter your walking mechanics.

FAQs About Walking Shoes

 

What walking shoes do podiatrists recommend?

Every podiatrist has their top picks for shoe recommendations, but they all agree that the qualities you need most in any good walking shoe are flexibility, moderate cushioning, and a lower heel-to-toe drop to promote smooth transitions that match the natural walking stride.

Is it OK to wear running shoes for walking?

The answer here is yes and no. It is OK to wear running shoes for short durations, but walking has inherently different mechanics which makes certain shoes better suited for walking. While walking has less impact than running, your foot is on the ground for longer which is why you want a good amount of cushioning along the bottom. What differs most between walking and running is that when walking, your weight typically transitions from the heel rolling forward toward the toe. This means you want flexibility in a walking shoe, a quality not always seen in running shoes.

How many miles should a walking shoe last?

The rule of thumb is that a good walking shoe should last between 300 and 500 miles of wear. This may vary from person to person, however. If you have a heavier footfall, or over or under-pronate, a walking shoe may not last as long.

Should walking shoes be stiff or flexible?

Walking shoes should be flexible. Flexibility allows for the shoe to support the natural mechanics of walking promoting a smooth heel-to-toe transition.

 

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Best Shoes

12 Best Walking Shoes for Women That You Can Wear Everywhere

Best Walking Shoes for Women

If you’re anything like Ree Drummond, then you’re a big fan of comfortable shoes, whether they’re wedge espadrilles or laid-back cowboy boots. Of course, Ree’s go-to footwear for everyday activities on the ranch is always sneakers. Wondering about her go-to walking shoes? Look no further than this list, which includes Ree’s all-time favorite sneakers: a colorful, slip-on pair that’s equal parts fun and functional! (And did we mention they come in four more cool colors?) There are plenty more great options where they came from, too.

Our collection of the best walking shoes for women features picks with arch support, cushioning, and shock absorption, for guaranteed all-day comfort. Some of these comfortable sneakers for women make great running shoes, too, so you can slip them on whether you’re running a mile or just running errands.

We’ve got more tips for choosing your new perfect pair: For starters, Maryland-based podiatrist Priya Parthasarathy, DPM, says you should look for sturdy shoes that can’t be bent completely in half. They should also have a removable insole (bonus points if it’s memory foam!) and a firm, supportive heel. Shop the products below to find your ideal pair of walking shoes today, so you can start getting your steps in with style!

 

On Cloud Running Sneakers

On Cloud Running Sneakers

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Ree Drummond’s go-to sneakers are cute, comfy, and perfect for walks on the ranch. The elastic laces and socks-optional style make them the ideal shoes to slip into as you walk out the door.


New Balance Women’s 608 V5 Casual Comfort Cross Trainer

New Balance Women's 608 V5 Casual Comfort Cross Trainer

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These 100 percent leather sneakers feature a PU foam insert for long-lasting comfort and support. Plus, they’re cute enough to wear with everything from athleisure to casual dresses and more!


Rothy’s The Sneaker

Rothy's The Sneaker

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The beauty of walking shoes is that they can provide all-day comfort and still be this cute. These fun leopard print slip-ons are neutral enough to go with whatever you’re wearing. Plus, they’re washable and sustainable!


AllBirds Women’s Tree Pipers

AllBirds Women's Tree Pipers

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Allbirds sneakers are known for their comfort, style, and sustainability, and this classic low top is no exception. They’re made with breezy eucalyptus fiber for next-level comfort and breathability.


Skechers Arch Fit Sneakers

Skechers Arch Fit Sneakers

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Looking for more arch support? This fashionable lace-up from Skechers has got you covered. It features a podiatrist-designed shape and a removable insole system that absorbs impact and shock.


Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 DNA Shoes

Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 DNA Shoes

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Meet you new go-to shoe for walking and running. It’s made with a special technology that’s designed to boost energy and improve stability.


Easy Spirit Women’s Romy Sneaker

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This lightweight customer favorite is made for walking and light running, with plenty of cushioning and shock absorption. It also features a removable sock liner for added convenience.


Ryka Women’s Devotion Plus 2 Walking Shoe

Easy Spirit Women's Romy Sneaker

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Here’s a shoe that keeps loyal customers coming back for second and even third pairs over the years. Fans swear by the cushioned footbed and breathable mesh upper.


APL Women’s Techloom Phantom Sneakers

APL Women's Techloom Phantom Sneakers

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With its shock absorption and proprietary cushioning, this pair is perfect for power walks around the park. Customers say they require minimal breaking in.


Saucony Women’s Versafoam Excursion TR13 Trail Running Shoes

Saucony Women's Versafoam Excursion TR13 Trail Running Shoes

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Hitting the trails for some long walks? This is the shoe for you. It features a triangular-lugged outsole that’s designed to grip the terrain—so you’ll never miss a step.


Adidas NMD_R1 Shoes

Adidas NMD_R1 Shoes

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This popular running shoe features an ’80s-inspired style with cutting edge technology. Plus, there are 14 fun colors to choose from!


NOBULL Lilac Knit Runners

NOBULL Lilac Knit Runners

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This unisex sneaker features a breathable, stretch knit upper that moves with you, whether you’re running a mile or just running errands. Plus, how gorgeous is the lilac color?

 

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