Choosing the best and most comfortable walking shoes to buy is not an easy task. Whether for travel, exercise or just a leisurely walk, it’s crucial to find the best option for you. Walking is an extremely popular form of exercise, especially during the coronavirus pandemic. Don’t let uncomfortable shoes slow you down!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 145 million adults include walking in their physically active lifestyle. More than six in 10 people walk for transportation, fun, relaxation, exercise or activities such as dog walking.
There are many health benefits to walking, including weight maintenance, preventing heart disease and high blood pressure and improving overall mood.
Podiatrists told The Healthy which sneakers and walking shoes they recommend. The following shoes are suitable for both men and women and are great for travel, exercise or daily use.
What Should You Consider?
Everybody has unique feet, so the perfect shoe for you might not be right for someone else.
Here’s what you should consider when trying to find a good pair of walking shoes:
It’s crucial to feel a sense of balance in your shoes while walking. Not only will stability provide comfort, but will also prevent injury.
The greater your mileage, the more critical it is for your arches to feel supported. Correct arch support will give your big toe joint more mobility and support proper alignment.
Remember, sizes vary depending on the brand of shoe, so get your foot measured! Often times, shoes run small or large. Don’t think the shoe will stretch out with wear; it won’t.
Leading podiatrist Miguel Cunha, DPM, says if shoes feel comfortable at the end of the day, they’ll likely feel comfortable throughout the day. That’s because your feet are most swollen at the end of the day.
Ample airflow makes a huge difference in-shoe comfort. You may think you found the perfect shoe, but forget to see if it allows for ample airflow. Your feet will end up sweaty and uncomfortable, and you’ll be wishing you considered breathability.
FYI: Stores will often allow you to try out shoes for a certain amount of time to test breathability before making the purchase.
Wide toe box
We’ve all experienced extreme discomfort due to your toes being overcrowded. So, to avoid that discomfort, ensure your walking shoes have a wider toe box. Benefits of a wide toe box include: Helps prevent bunions and hammertoes, improves balance and agility, and helps maintain a strong arch.
The flex point is where the shoe bends while walking. It should match the bending point of your foot because problems may occur if it doesn’t.
Now, you’re probably wondering which shoes on the market incorporate the aspects you should be looking for when choosing a walking shoe.
A feature’s importance will vary depending on the individual buying the shoe but continue reading to learn what podiatrists believe to be the best walking shoes.
10. New Balance 1165v1 Fresh Foam
The foam cushioning in this walking shoe is incredible. It’s one of the lightest shoes and the market, so no need to worry about feeling weighed down. Plus, the synthetic material makes it durable for long-term use.
Price: $17- $185 (depending on size)
9. HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 6
For all those walkers out there who can endure a lot of mileage, the cushioning in this sneaker will support you and keep your feet comfortable. It has excellent stability and has a built-in Meta-Rocker. Additionally, the shoe’s light weightedness makes it perfect for seniors.
Price: $125-$294 (depending on size)
8. Asics Gel Contend 5 Walking Shoe
If you incorporate walking into your daily routine, this pair is for you. It has solid stabilization, and the AmpliFoam midsole provides an excellent cushion. Not only is the fabric inside breathable, but the shoe also has an Ortholite sock liner that provides support, comfort, and wicks away moisture.
Price: $43- $138 (depending on size)
7. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20
This will be your go-to shoe, hence “GTS.” That’s because of the BioMoGo DNA technology it’s built with, designed to adjust to foot and movement patterns.
Every unique foot will be supported by this shoe. In fact, it is one of the brand’s most popular models. It’s recommended that people with low or neutral arches consider this shoe. The investment is well worth it!
Price: $115- $239 (depending on size)
6. Vionic Classic Walker
The water-resistant membrane and moisture-wicking mesh liner in this shoe make it great for those who live in areas with harsh weather. It will keep your feet cool or dry, depending on conditions. Plus, it has an antibacterial top cover, keeping your feet smelling fresh!
Price: $66- $123 (depending on size)
5. New Balance 990v5
This pair of shoes from New Balance gives you a classic and iconic look. Not only will you look trendy, but your feet will be supported and comfortable. No wonder this sneaker has retained a good reputation for 70 years.
Price: $140- $310 (depending on size)
4. Asics Women’s Gel-Quickwalk 3
Are you heavy-footed and go through shoes fast? Well, then this shoe is made for you! It has gel cushioning in the rear meant to absorb and reduce the shock your foot gives. You’ll have a much smoother, more comfortable walk with these durable shoes. What’s more, is they’re designed for all arch-types!
Price: $55- $123 (depending on size)
3. Orthofeet Women’s Sneaker
Another stylish yet comfortable option! This shoe is perfect for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis, heel pain or other foot issues. It provides air cushioning and a protective interior. Not to mention they are orthotic friendly, wide toe boxes, great arch support and heel cushioning.
If you’re not sure these are the ones for you, try them out for 60 days, and if they don’t work out, you’ll get a full refund.
2. ALTRA Torin 4
These are “zero-drop” shoes, meaning the amount of cushioning is balanced, so the heel and forefoot are at equal distance from the ground. It may take some time to get used to these shoes due to the lack of heel drop. However, they keep your feet in optimal alignment. If your heels are average width, but you require a wide toe box, definitely consider the ALTRA Torin 4!
1. New Balance 928v3 Women’s Walking Shoe
If you’re looking for a low profile, comfortable walking shoe, look no further. Although these shoes look basic, they are far from it. The compression-molded EVA lined midsole does an amazing job providing your feet with cushion and support. The endurance outsole can is very durable, and the wider toe box accommodates most pedal deformities.
Price: $140-$222 (depending on size)