With a growing list of shoe brands and models every year, sifting through the many options to find the right ones for you can seem overwhelming. Shoes for running are dominating the market, and it can be hard to know whether you as a walker will benefit from a shoe made for harsher exercise. Preventing injuries is just one of the reasons to invest in a good pair of walking shoes–the perfect pair can also improve your performance and increase the amount of exercise you’re getting.
Comfort should be the main priority when searching for the right shoes. Good performance and comfort go hand-in-hand. With the right shoes, your feet will resist fatigue, you’ll feel better, and you’ll be able to exercise longer. On the other hand, if you have to stop every few minutes because the wrong shoes are giving you aches and pains, you won’t be walking very far.
It’s also important to not overspend. With so many shoe options available, there are many easy opportunities to overspend on features you don’t need. Often, you can get a better value with a cheaper shoe.
We’ve parceled out the shoes that don’t deserve the price point, and found reasonable ones with great comfort and quality. Here’s the list of the best walking shoes on the market.
Top 3 Best and Favorites
Saucony Echelon 8
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Hoka One One Bondi 7
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Brooks Dyad 11
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Best Overall for Walking
1. Saucony Echelon 8
The Saucony Echelon 8 is the best all-around shoe we found for walking.
The Echelon 8 has a solid platform sockliner on the foundation that cushions your feet when you land. It’s great for avoiding sore feet during long walks.
This model is also a good choice if you have underpronation–when the arches on your feet don’t go flat enough when you walk. It’s common if you have high arches.
Walking with too much underpronation can cause injuries over time, so the Echelon 8 comes with a cushion that promotes your arches to flatten when you walk.
While these shoes do have some cons, we found they’re the best all-around choice. Arguably one of the more comfortable shoes for walking, they also come with a good springiness in the sole, which will take some pressure off of your legs and feet.
It’s not a groundbreaking pair of shoes, but if you’re looking for a reliable choice that won’t disappoint, you can’t go wrong purchasing the Echelon 8s.
- Great for people with underpronation
- Perfect for walking on the road
- Made of mesh to promote better airflow for your feet
- Not made for trails and harsher terrain
- Not as lightweight as other models
Best for Flat Feet
2. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21
Overpronation, or flat feet, is a condition where the arches of your feet go entirely flat against the ground when you walk. Flat feet can sometimes cause problems in the ankles and knees, but the right pair of shoes can help avoid this.
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 is one such pair. They come with a midsole that’s designed to encourage proper pronation by keeping your arches from flattening. Keeping your pronation correct will help avoid injuries when walking longer mileage.
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 also comes with BioMogo DNA, which helps with extra support in the heel and forefoot of the shoe. This technology gives you nearly 30 percent more cushioning than the industry average.
One customer said, “The Hollistic Support System supports the medial part of the arch and the lateral portion of the heel, thereby giving a balanced underfoot performance.”
Translation: overall, this is the best shoe for flat feet. You’ll get extra cushioning for your heel, strong support for your arches , and the comfort to put in the extra miles.
- Keeps your feet properly aerated
- Strong pronation support
- Strong platform for longer walks
- Could be uncomfortable for people without overpronation
Best for High Arches
3. ASICS Gel-Cumulus 23
Like the Echelon, the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 23 is a great choice if you have higher arches on your feet. Higher arches can sometimes lead to underpronation, so you’ll want a shoe to match how your feet hit the ground.
The Gel Cumulus 23 fits this need for feet with high arches, with the added benefit of having even more cushioning in the midsole than the Echelon. They are our choice for the best shoes on the market for high arches.
The shoe comes with ASICS Flytefoam technology throughout the full length of the shoe. This type of cushioning on the sole gives you a bounce-back that customers say makes them feel much lighter.
The Cumulus 23 also has gel padding that promotes a springier bounce when walking. This will put less stress on your feet, and less stress means fewer injuries.
A small, but nonetheless important detail, is that ASICS added reflective materials to this model for people that like to walk at night. The technology brightens the shoe during low-light hours.
If you have high arches and want to avoid injuries, the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 23 gives you the comfort and durability that you’ll want.
- Great for walking at night
- AHAR rubber for durability
- Extremely light
- Little tight in the heel
- Takes a little time to break in
4. Hoka One One Bondi 7
The Hoki One One Bondi 7 maximizes comfort and cushioning without sacrificing durability.
The Bondi 7 is as comfy as it is in part due to Hoka’s cushioned EVA midsole. The cushion is thick and molds to your feet with each step. The cushion is also made of mesh, so it won’t overheat your feet when walking.
The shoe comes with Hoka’s Meta Rocker technology that is built into the mid- and outsole. The Meta Rocker keeps your walking motion smooth and stable as your foot transitions from heel to forefoot.
Hoka is known for their shoes’ maximal cushioning style and tall profile. Devotees of the brand verge on evangelical when talking about the comfort level. One customer comments, “The cushion is amazing! It is light, responsive, durable and smooth!” If comfort is your priority, go with the Hoka One One Bondi 7.
- Better durability than its previous model
- Great for wider feet
- Most cushioned shoe for walking
- Not good if you want a minimalist shoe or less cushion
- Much bulkier due to the cushion
Best If You Have Bunions
5. Altra Paradigm 5
Bunions are bony, often-painful bumps that can form at the base of your big toe for a variety of reasons. Whatever the cause, they needn’t slow your walking routine down. We found the Altra Paradigm 5 is the best shoe to avoid getting bunions and for continuing to walk if you already have them.
One common cause of bunions is shoes that are too tight or narrow. The Altra Paradigm 5 has ample room in the toe box, which avoids putting too much pressure on the sides of your feet. Rather than locking your foot in place like many high-performance shoes, this model allows your foot and toes the room to move a bit and splay naturally.
It’s not just your toes that are treated will in a pair of Paradigms. The midsole is made up of a strong plush cushion, giving you a lot of comfort without sacrificing the same spacious feel you have in the toe box.
One customer said, “My foot is more stabilized inside the shoe. Still great padding but not as squishy, and more responsive. Great shoe for flat feet and bunions.”
If you’re prone to getting bunions, go with the Altra Paradigm 5. You’ll get plenty of space for your feet, but also a strong stable base for your walks.
- Not tight on your feet
- Very low Toe-to-Heel drop
- Flexible in the heel
- On the heavy side
- Not great if you have narrow feet
Best for Wide Feet
6. New Balance 1080v11
People with wide feet are more prone to bunions and blisters, so the New Balance 1080v11 has a foam midsole that provides a wider space for your feet.
Sometimes shoes for wider feet can be too wide, though. Too much foot movement can be uncomfortable but also lead to injuries. So the 1080v11 comes with New Balance’s Ultraheel, which helps balance out the wider midsole. By keeping your heel locked in place, the 1080v11 can offer both roominess for wider feet and a solid fit to keep you injury-free.
One New Balance customer said, “This is by far the best-fitting and most comfortable neutral running shoe I have used, and I have tried many that come in my width.”
While the New Balance 1080v11s may not be ideal for narrow feet, they’re the best option if your feet are wider.
- Much lighter than the Altra Paradigm 4.5
- Great for road and trails
- Strong heel to keep your feet in place
- Don’t last very long
- A little narrow in the toes
Best for Heavy Walkers
7. Brooks Dyad 11
If you stomp your feet, or put a lot of pressure on your feet when you walk, the Brooks Dyad 11 balance your weight with a strong cushioned foundation.
These are the best shoes for heavy walkers.
Like the Adrenaline GTS 19 (another Brooks model), they come with a BioMogo DNA, giving you extra cushioning to balance your heavy walking. The BioMogo will also adapt to each step, molding to balance how much pressure you put on your feet.
- Strong air mesh for breathability
- Strong cushion for heavy walking
- Very stable to keep your feet from slipping
- Not as flexible as other Brooks shoes
- Not great if you have a high arch in your feet
Top for Narrow Feet
8. Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
Walkers with narrow feet can have a hard time finding shoes that don’t allow their feet to slip around. If you’re walking and your shoes don’t feet snugly, a host of problems can develop, from blisters and other discomforts to poor traction and a higher likelihood of twisting an ankle.
The Nike Pegasus is a legendary running shoe, and as with most Nike models, they come with Flywire cables inside that help keep your feet from slipping around. This should help narrow-footed walkers prevent injuries when walking uphill or on rough terrain.
The Pegasus 38’s have padding that extends down the lower side of your ankle, giving extra support for your Achilles tendon, a common location of fatigue after longer walks.
The Pegasus 38 also comes with a full-length Zoom Air unit that many people found to provide the best cushioning of any Nike shoes available.
- Holds feet snug without being uncomfortable
- Strong durability
- Slanted heel for a smoother transition when walking
- Some people find the extra cushion uncomfortable
- Not great for people with wider feet
Best for Bad Knees
9. Hoka One One Clifton 7
The most common injuries when running or walking occur in the knee. Many people have shoes that don’t properly support the feet, and this can transfer a dangerous amount of pressure to your knees.
The Hoka One One Clifton 7 excels at both comfort and support. Among marathoners, ultra-marathoners and other mileage monsters, this shoe has a cult-like status for its level of comfort over long distances. Beyond just being easy on the feet and knees, the Clifton 7 was specifically designed with hi-abrasion rubber zones to keep your weight balanced when you walk. This will take a lot of pressure off your knees to help prevent injury or soreness.
The Clifton 7 also comes with Hoka’s EVA midsole, which provides extra support to spread your weight across your body. The upper is made of mesh, so it won’t overheat your feet when walking.
Like the Bondi, the Meta Rocker technology keeps your forefoot smooth and stable. Smooth strides are comfortable strides, and that is sure to keep your knees happy.
- Extremely light for how much support it provides
- Keeps your feet cool
- The neutral model is good for higher arches
- Not great for trails and rough terrain
- Large heel-to-toe drop; not ideal for minimalists
Best for Walking on Concrete
10. On Cloud
If you don’t have a trail where you live, you’re likely walking on concrete. Over time, this hard, unforgiving surface can be stressful on your feet.
ON’s Cloud is the best shoe on the market for walking on concrete. Clouds have cushion on the platform of the shoe that focuses on impact protection. When walking on hard surfaces like concrete sidewalks, this protection becomes especially important.
The Clouds also have extra room in the toe box. When you step on harsher surfaces, you’re tempted to maneuver your feet to spread some of the weight. Often, the weight goes to your toes, which splay outward naturally to help absorb shock.
One customer said, “The soles have been great as well. They really lessen the impact of being on concrete.”
ON also uses their new V model heel, which has material to adapt to your feet. This will make sure your feet are snug in the shoe, but still have enough space for breathability.
- CloudTec rubber is very durable
- Lightweight for how much cushion is in the shoe
- Flexible heel strap that adjusts to your feet
- Many people complained about the soles letting stones inside the shoe