Walking is an underrated form of exercise. Whether you are walking as part of a fitness program, or you are just getting outdoors to enjoy some open air and recreation, the right pair of shoes will make your outings more enjoyable.
It’s tempting to think “I’m just going for a walk” and put on any pair of shoes. But walking shoes have some important differences from running shoes.
If you prefer walking to running, it’s worth investing in a well-designed pair of walking shoes. To that end, we’ve reviewed the best Nike walking shoes today. While some of these are designed for running, they are still great choices for walking.
We chose the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39 as our top choice. It has a full-length React foam midsole with a Zoom airbag in the forefoot for a nice bounce on the toe-off. It’s made from a breathable, lightweight mesh that won’t weigh you down.
But depending on your budget, style, and other needs, we have many more Nike walking shoes to choose from.
What to look for when buying Nike walking shoes
Nike Walking Shoes vs. Running Shoes
Nike walking shoes have more flexibility in the sole, while running shoes tend to have stiffer sole. You may notice that the walking shoe has more flex-grooves in the forefoot, which provides greater flexibility when walking.
Walking shoes may also have a rounded heel, which encourages a natural heel strike. This helps to minimize injuries and pain. You’ll find that walking shoes generallay have a plush and cushy feel, from all the cushioning in the shoe.
Some Nike walking shoes have a curved sole that allows one to walk at a slower pace, with each step being easy to make. The laces may have Flywire cable shoelaces, which will provide a secure and snug fit without placing pressure on your feet.
You’ll also find that walking shoes don’t come in bright, vibrant colors like their running shoes do, and they may have a limited number of colors to choose from.
What are unique technologies and materials used by Nike?
Nike uses recyclable material as often as possible to make their shoes, and 75 percent of their product line now contains recycled material. Using innovation to keep you on the road, you’ll be able to choose a Nike shoe that will best suit your walking needs.
Gearing their entire product line to be sustainable, you’ll find these technologies in most shoes, including the Nike Air range.
- ACG: “All Conditions Gear” that’s been tested to withstand any and all weather conditions. Hikers, adventurers, and trail walkers, this one’s for you.
- Air: The most cushioned of all Nike’s offerings, this is as cloud-like and responsive as they come.
- Flyknit: A snug-fitting upper that hugs your foot without restricting its natural movement and flexibility.
- Free: For the minimalist runners, this is as close to natural, barefoot running as Nike could make it.
- React: Soft, springy foam that’s fairly responsive and bouncy, and also keeps your feet comfy on the road.
- Shield: Ideal for being out and about in light rain as they’re water-repellent, but not great for running through puddles.
- Zoom: Lightweight and easy to maneuver, while still being responsive and adding a bit of extra speed and power.
What Makes Nike Shoes Different from Others?
Nike doesn’t just rely on technology and algorithms to design their shoes. They also listen to what their customers and athletes have to say. This feedback should not be downplayed. Nike sponsors a huge cast of A-list athletes in many sports.
With their input, top-flight performance is baked into just about every design. It might take a few years for the newest innovations to trickle down to the mid-level products, but the entire product line benefits from pros’ input. This has helped them design shoes that help runners run faster, minimize injury, but remain durable and comfortable.
Nike brings you technology that’s tested by athletes without compromising on the quality of their product, keeping their promise to the consumer. Nike embraces new technology and provides a wide variety of products so you can find the shoe that best fits your needs and helps you perform better.
1. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39
If you’re looking for a shoe that can be used daily, this could be the one for you. The Zoom Pegasus is the ultimate classic running shoe, and has been a mainstay in Nike’s line for nearly four decades.
A Zoom airbag in the forefoot and full-length React foam midsole create a plush foundation for every stride. Even at a slower pace, you’ll be able to feel how responsive it is, and you’ll find that you have a springy toe-off.
The upper is made from a lightweight, breathable mesh and provides a snug fit. The midfoot band provides stability and reduces any pressure points that could be created by the laces.
There’s extra padding at the back of the heel behind the Achilles, which helps to lock your foot in. Some people may find that the heel fit doesn’t feel as secure, or lock their feet in. The shoe is also spacious in the forefoot, which eliminates slipping inside the shoe, providing you with a comfortable walk.
The carbon rubber outsole is textured. Whether you’re walking on the pavement, over gravel or uneven terrain, you’ll walk confidently as the grip on this shoe is outstanding.
- Forefoot cushioning unit
- Full-length midsole
- Lightweight mesh upper
- Some may find the heel fit doesn’t lock the foot in securely
Top Stability Walking Shoe
2. Nike Air Zoom Structure 24
If you’re looking for a soft and comfortable shoe that offers stability, this one could be it. You’ll find this shoe to be very responsive, especially in the forefoot, as it has a Zoom Air bag and features a crash pad in the heel. This helps to provide extra cushioning as the heel transitions to the toe.
The midsole has a wide base and the lateral side rails help keep your foot centered as it transitions. The quality of the arch support is notable. Even with the extra support, the forefoot remains flexible and provides a comfortable walk at an easy pace.
An internal heel counter extends into the midsole and helps to securely lock your heel down comfortably. It also has a smooth inner lining and the lightly padded collar will make sure that every step feels like you’re walking on a cloud.
The upper is made from a perforated double-layered mesh for more airflow. This helps to keep your foot cool as you walk. The integrated tongue is padded and you won’t have to worry about it sliding around as you walk.
The outsole is made from hard carbon rubber with softer blown rubber on the forefoot and midfoot. The materials combine well to absorb impact. You’ll find the traction is great in both wet and dry conditions.
The Structure 24 is a significant redesign. If you’re a hardcore fan of previous versions, there’s always the chance you may not be happy with the updates. Fans may find this shoe to be a lot softer than the previous versions.
- Lightly padded collar
- Integrated tongue
- Reinforced heel
- Wide base
- If you’re a fan of the Structure shoes, you may not be happy with the changes made to the Structure 24
3. Nike Revolution 5
If you want a shoe you can use for multiple activities like short walks and aerobics, try the Revolution 5. The upper is a lightweight, breathable mesh that will keep your feet very cool on a hot day.
The soft upper has some stretch in the fabric, which makes it a good shoe for both a wide or narrow foot. A plush tongue and the classic lacing system prevent pressure spots while you’re walking.
The midsole is made from EVA foam, and there’s a non-removable molded foam insole for added cushioning. You’ll find that foam cushioning is responsive and consistent throughout the length of the shoe.
The rubber outsole features spacing in the tread, allowing for more flexibility while walking, especially in the forefoot. This would be great for walking on pavement, concrete, or even an indoor track.
- Classic lacing system
- Lightweight knit upper
- Plush tongue
- Roomy toe box
- If you get caught in the rain, your feet may get wet
Top Cushioned Walking Shoe
4. Nike React Phantom Run Flyknit 2
The Phantom has a laceless design, and the upper is made from triple-layered Flyknit Loft. The midfoot features Nike Flywire cables, which help keep your foot in place and provide some stretch without placing pressure on the top of your foot. The upper is seamless, which gives you a comfortable experience while walking.
The ankle collar is higher than usual, so socks are recommended more than usual with this shoe, to prevent chafing. The midsole uses Nike React technology, which provides support and cushioning on every step taken. The firm heel counter provides plenty of stability for the rearfoot.
Nike has added more rubber to the outsole, which provides better traction when walking on the pavement or uneven surfaces. You’ll feel more surefooted when walking in these shoes, and it makes the shoes long-lasting.
- Seamless upper
- Firm heel counter
- Flyknit upper
- Uses Nike React technology
- The ankle collar is high and could lead to chafing
Best for Long Walks
5. Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit
If you’re looking for a shoe that will be comfortable while providing sufficient support for long walks, take a look at the Infinity. The wide forefront and heel provide more stability while the shoe’s rocker helps you get onto the forefoot quicker.
Nike has added 24% more foam than in any previous versions. This higher foam stack height will feel like there’s no bottom to this shoe, and you’ll find that it provides ample arch support. The midsole features 100% REACT foam, which makes the shoe very responsive while being supremely comfortable.
The upper is seamless and made from Flyknit Loft. A one-piece opening will make you feel as though you’re wearing a sock. You’ll find the fit snug, and that the foot is comfortable yet secure, from the ankle to the top of the foot.
However, some people may find the heel collar is a bit loose, which could be frustrating. The material allows for flexibility as you move and the flat shoelaces allow you to adjust the tightness of the wrap without creating pressure points on the foot.
Nike has increased the rubber on the outsole of the shoe and the textured pattern provides excellent grip. This allows you to walk with confidence over uneven gravel, wet tar and wet grass.
- Wider forefront
- Increased outsole rubber
- Layered flyknit upper
- Higher foam stack height
- Some people may be frustrated by the loose fit of the heel collar
Most Comfortable Walking Shoe
6. Nike Air Zoom Vomero 14
If you want your feet to feel pampered, this could be the shoe for you. As a dedicated walking shoe, it makes no concessions in providing the right support and comfort for walking’s unique mechanics.
The upper of the shoe uses Nike’s Flywire technology with Dynamic Fit technology, which makes it seamless and very breathable. You’ll find that it will hug your foot while locking it in securely.
The material has enough stretch to adapt throughout your stride while you’re walking. Some may find that the toe of the shoe is a bit narrow, and this could lead to a tight fit.
The shoe combines full-length Zoom Air mayer with React technology foam. This gives the shoe a soft, cushy feel, while being very responsive. The cushioned insole is removable if you need to insert your own orthotic insoles. Foam pods inside the ankle collar help provide a secure feel when walking.
The outsole has a textured pattern on the lateral tread and hexagonal lugs on the medial side of the shoe. This helps to provide traction on pavements, tar, wet grass, and gravel paths. Walk confidently on uneven surfaces with the Vomero!
- Full-length Zoom Air
- Padded ankle collar
- Upper uses Dynamic Fit technology
- Heel cushioning
- The shoe is narrow in the toe, which could be a tight fit for some people
Best for Hiking Trails
7. Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 6
If you’re looking for a shoe you can use for day hikes on light trails, the Wildhorse is Nike’s best option.
The upper is made from tightly woven mesh, with welded overlays and ripstop material, which prevents the shoe from scuffing or getting damaged by rocks on a trail. If you’ve ever torn out the side of an expensive pair of road running shoes on a rock, you’ll understand the important of this little durability upgrade.
The Wildhorse has a full-length React foam midsole that helps cushion your feet and has 2mm more padding. There’s additional cushioning in the heel to create more stability and you’ll find the cushioning to be very responsive. It may add some bounce to your step.
The collar wraps around your ankle, which helps keep dirt and debris out of the shoe. A thin tongue with segmented padding helps reduce pressure on the foot from the laces.
The outsole is made from anti-clogging rubber that aims to keep the bottom of your shoes mud- and debris-free. The sizeable lugs provide great traction and grip, but not if they’re caked with dirt.
The shoe also features a segmented rock plate to help protect your feet while you’re on the trail. There is a small gap between the forefoot and midfoot segments, but that’s necessary for flexibility and isn’t big enough to let big impacts through.
- Thin tongue with segmented padding
- Full length React foam midsole
- Integrated gaiter
- Mesh upper with ripstop material
- Some may find the gap between the forefoot to midfoot on the rockplate may lead to some sore landings
Top Walking Shoe for Wide Feet
8. Nike Air Zoom Winflo 7
The Nike Air Zoom Winflo 7 has had a facelift and undergone some redesigning. It now has a tightly woven, breathable mesh upper, which will help keep you feet cooler on those hot days. It’s not waterproof, though, and could leave your feet wet if you get caught in the rain. Strategically placed overlays add durability to areas that are at risk for scuffing.
There’s light padding for both the tongue and the heel cup, which helps prevent chafing while you’re walking. The tongue stays in place while walking, as ⅔ of it has been stitched into the inner layer.
The sole of this shoe may look chunky, but that’s because Nike has added more cushioning, with a Nike Air Zoom unit in both the forefoot and heel. The Zoom Air bag in the forefoot is larger in size, to provide more comfort and cushioning on longer walks.
The outsole is made from long-lasting rubber, with a waffle-tread pattern that provides excellent traction on pavement, road and gravel surfaces. The flex grooves in the forefoot allow for better flexibility and allow a natural stride.
- Two Zoom Air bags
- Flex grooves on the forefoot outsole
- Padded heel collar
- Breathable mesh upper
- The upper isn’t made from water-resistant material
Best All Weather Walking Shoes
9. Nike ACG Air Nasu
If you like hiking or walking even if it’s raining, consider the ACG Air Nasu. You can use this shoe anywhere at any time, be it on the trails or the pavement. The first thing you may notice are the big ACG letters on the back of the shoe. This stands for All Conditions Gear, and to prove that it can withstand just about anything, Nike tested this shoe in the wilderness of Oregon.
Its upper is made from a breathable mesh with overlays that have been added for extra protection against abrasions and scuffing. The midsole features the Air Zoom units in the forefoot and the heel. These provide cushioning and comfort that will absorb impact as you walk.
The outsole is made from a hard, thick, sticky rubber sole with lugs to provide great traction on any terrain. These shoes do tend to run narrow in the toe box, so you should order a wide or half a size bigger.
- Thick rubberized sole
- Seamless upper
- Synthetic overlays for additional support
- Breathable mesh upper
- The shoes have a narrow toe box and you may want to get a pair that’s a half-size bigger
Customizable Walking Shoes
10. Nike Free RN 5.0 By You
This shoe allows you to choose between the 3.0 or 5.0 outsole, which gives you that “barefoot” feel. You can add some color to the shoes or even add a message of up to 8 alphanumeric characters to the sole for some motivation.
This sock-like shoe is made from thin material with no stretch, and has overlays to provide further stability. The seamless design will wrap around your foot and hold it in place, without restricting its natural movement. The tongue is thin, non-padded, and made from a softer material than the rest of the shoe.
Three foam pods in the heel help to keep your foot locked in, and provide additional cushioning. The midsole uses a firm EVA foam and has a low profile to provide more stability as you walk.
You’ll feel that part of the outsole is raised and the shoe doesn’t have full contact with the ground. This is due to the two rubber patches on the outsole, one on the heel and the other on the toe. While there is a lacing system, it Doesn’t allow for much adjustability to tighten the shoes when you need it.
- Phylon rubber midsole
- Seamless design
- Flex groove pattern
- Breathable mesh and synthetic suede overlays
- Lacing system doesn’t allow for much adjustability