Best Walking Shoes

Walking Shoe Top Picks and Reviews by Shoe Type

Walking shoes come in many varieties. You may want shoes for your fitness walking or comfortable shoes to get you through a day of work or travel.  See top picks for walking shoes by type of shoe. What kind is right for you? Check the walking shoe guide to find out the basics of what to look for in a shoe to match your walking style.


ASICS Gel-DS Trainer 20
ASICS Gel-DS Trainer 20. Courtesy of Amazon

If you enjoy brisk walking workouts and are looking for a performance shoe, explore these top choices. Fitness walkers with a neutral gait do well with a flat, flexible, lightweight shoe. These shoes should have just enough cushioning for comfort, but not so much as to make the shoes heavy. Very often, the best performance walking shoes are running designs that meet the needs of walkers. In this category, you'll see the Asics Gel DS-Trainer and the Brooks Ghost as two models that work well for walkers.



Brooks Glycerin
Brooks Glycerin. Courtesy of

Walkers need enough cushioning to prevent fatigue when walking long distances or standing for extended periods of time. Walkers generally have less need for cushioning than runners, since walkers put far less impact force on the foot with each step. Cushioned shoes usually do not have any motion control correction and have minimum support. Instead, they have lots of midsole cushioning for comfort. Top choices in this category include the Brooks Glycerin and the New Balance 1080.



Brooks Beast
Brooks Beast. Courtesy of

If you overpronate, these firm and heavier shoes help correct your gait and may reduce your risk of injuries that can result from overpronation. Heavier walkers who overpronate especially benefit from motion control shoes as they are built to be sturdy. If you see excessive wear on the inner side of the sole of your shoe, you may need motion control shoes. In this category, the Brooks Beast and Brooks Ariel are top choices.



ECCO Sky Comfort Shoe
ECCO Sky Comfort Shoe. Courtesy of

What shoe can you wear all day that is comfortable, provides the right support, and may help relieve your foot pain problem? Comfort shoes come in various designs to address different needs. Some are super-cushioned and work well if you stand most of the day. Others have orthotic designs for better support for foot conditions. Some are minimalist designs that feel great to slip into. If you have foot pain, it is wise to consult a foot health expert to get a recommendation for your specific problem.



Vasque Mantra 2.0 GTX Hiking Shoe
Vasque Mantra 2.0 GTX Hiking Shoe. Courtesy of

Boots aren't the only choice for walking on rough trails. For example, walkers on the challenging Camino de Santiago prefer Brooks Cascadia shoes. Trail shoes give you the stability, traction, and protection you need for rough uneven surfaces, slippery slopes, and rock protection. Traditional boots can be very heavy and inflexible but have their use for backpacking and extreme day hiking. But today's trail running shoes have good traction but are lighter in weight and flexible. These top picks have suggestions for each use of trail shoes.



FitFlop Skinny Backstrap Sandal
FitFlop Skinny Backstrap Sandal. Courtesy of

Some walkers simply prefer sandals, even for longer walks or trail walks, and definitely for beach walks. But many sandals don't provide good support for protection for your feet and flip flop designs don't let you walk with a proper heel-to-toe motion. We have picks for sandals that are better designed for various types of walking. Some sandals have orthotic footbeds while still being stylish. Trail sandals have toe guards and a sole rugged enough for natural surfaces.



RYKA Revere Walking Shoe
RYKA Revere Walking Shoe. Courtesy of

Stability shoes provide good support and durability. Heavier walkers with a neutral gait are often steered into stability shoes as they will last longer than lightweight performance trainers. Stability shoes vary as to whether they provide motion control or not, and it is important for walkers to know whether they actually need motion control. Stability shoes tend to have thicker heels, which walkers don't need, so look for those that are less beefy.



Mizuno Wave Universe
Mizuno Wave Universe. Courtesy of

Racewalkers need a very flexible and lightweight shoe as they roll through each step from heel to toe. Very often they turn to racing flats to get a shoe that is flat from heel to forefoot. But if they are racewalking longer distances, they still need a little cushioning. This is a balance that can be hard to find. Here are choices for those walkers who want to go fast.



ABEO R.O.C.S Aubrey
ABEO R.O.C.S Aubrey. The Walking Company

Toning shoes were a very popular shoe category in past years and they aimed to work your muscles differently with a rocker sole, instability pods, or minimalist designs. They either force the foot into a greater range of motion with each stride or are unstable so the body has to keep balancing constantly. Many brands had to retract claims that they burned more calories, and there was a rash of settlements and refunds for unsupported advertising claims. But many walkers still find they like these designs, and shoe companies such as Skechers and Walking Company produce models to satisfy them. Here are good choices.


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