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The 10 Best Walking Shoes of 2023: Comfort At Every Level

CEO Tinh Phung
Finding the perfect pair of walking shoes can be a challenge. You want shoes that fit well, are comfortable, provide support, and look good too. The wrong pair of sneakers can lead to problems in...

walking on an outdoor trail in walking shoes

Finding the perfect pair of walking shoes can be a challenge. You want shoes that fit well, are comfortable, provide support, and look good too. The wrong pair of sneakers can lead to problems in your lower extremities and make your walking experience frustrating. To help you find the best walking shoes, we've narrowed down the top picks for 2023.

The Best Walking Shoes - Our Top Picks

  • Best Walking Shoes Featured Pick: Nike Pegasus 40
  • Best Overall Walking Shoes: Nobull Runner+
  • Best Walking Shoes for Arch Support: Kuru Quantum
  • Best Shoes for Walking and Running: Hoka Kawana
  • Best Shoes for Walking All Day: Skechers GO WALK Massage Fit
  • Best Walking Shoes for Travel: Nobull Court Trainer
  • Best Walking Shoes for Women: Kuru Chicane
  • Best Walking Shoes for Men: Kuru Atom
  • Best HOKA Walking Shoes: HOKA Bondi 8
  • Best Budget Walking Shoes: Nike Quest 5
  • Best Walking Shoes for Seniors: Reebok DailyFit DMX

Ever walked into a store, excited to buy a new pair of sneakers, only to be overwhelmed by the countless options available? It can be daunting to know which shoes are best for walking, running, or other activities. But don't worry! In this article, we will share everything you need to know about the best walking shoes of 2023.

Why Trust Us?

At ACTIVE.com, our editorial team relies on the expertise and experience of fitness and wellness experts, including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. We spend countless hours researching and reviewing equipment and gear to provide you with the most accurate and authentic content. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, so we only feature highly rated products.

Best Walking Shoes Featured Pick - Nike Pegasus 40

Best-Walking-Shoes_Featured-Pick

Specs:

  • Weight: 10.9 oz (men’s 10.5), 8.5 oz (women’s 8)
  • Closure type: Laces
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 10mm
  • Available width: Standard and wide
  • Sizes: Men's 6-18, Women's 5-12
  • Cushioning: Nike React technology, 2 Zoom Air Units
  • Materials: Single-layer mesh upper, Durosol rubber outsole

The Nike Pegasus 40 is the newest iteration of Nike's well-respected Pegasus trainer. It is a high-quality, versatile shoe designed to support both walking and running. The best walking shoe should provide neutral support, moderate cushioning, and a reasonable heel-to-toe drop, and the Pegasus 40 checks all those boxes and more.

Featuring Nike's React technology, strategically placed cushioning, and two Zoom Air Units, the Pegasus 40 offers smooth heel-to-toe transitions and an energized toe-off. The single-layer mesh upper enhances breathability, making it an excellent choice for all-day wear. Whether you're going for a stroll around the block or a long walk through town, the Pegasus 40 is there to support you.

Buy: Nike Pegasus 40 - Men's

Buy: Nike Pegasus 40 - Women's

Best Overall Walking Shoes - Nobull Runner+

Best_Overall_Walking_Shoes

Specs:

  • Material: Mesh, foam, nylon
  • Weight: 9.5 oz. (Men), 7.8 oz. (Women)
  • Closure type: Laces
  • Cushioning: 100% Pebax® foam midsole
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 8.5mm
  • Available width: Standard

The Nobull Runner+ is a masterpiece of performance and comfort. It provides support and responsiveness no matter how many miles you tackle. With 100% Pebax® foam padding in the midsole and a flexible nylon springboard for energy return, the Runner+ ensures your feet are secure and comfortable. The engineered mesh construction makes the shoes lightweight, breathable, and more flexible than other materials.

These shoes are perfect for all-day wear, regular walking, cross-training, running, or working long shifts. The sleek design and multiple color options make them a great choice for style-conscious walkers. While they may be a bit expensive, the comfort and stability they offer are worth it.

What We Like:

  • Great for all-day wear and regular walking
  • Versatile for different environments and training methods
  • Full-length nylon springboard for responsiveness
  • Breathable engineered mesh construction
  • Stylish design and colors

What We Don't Like:

  • Expensive
  • Not as much traction on wet surfaces
  • May not work well for long-distance running

Buy: Nobull Runner+ - Men's

Buy: Nobull Runner+ - Women's

Best Walking Shoes for Arch Support - Kuru Quantum

Best_Walking_Shoes_for_Arch_Support

Specs:

  • Material: Synthetic uppers/lining, rubber outsole
  • Weight: 12.4 oz. (Men), 10.5 oz. (Women)
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: EVA foam
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 8mm
  • Available width: Medium, wide

Finding comfortable shoes that provide extra support for those with low or high arches can be a challenge. However, the Kuru Quantum is designed to meet those needs. With patented three-layer technology for all-day comfort, these shoes offer shock absorption, responsiveness, and superior arch support.

The Kuru Quantum is particularly renowned for providing long-lasting comfort to those with conditions such as plantar fasciitis, heel pain, fallen arches, and bone spurs. These shoes also come with excellent customer service, including fast, free shipping, and hassle-free returns and exchanges. They are available in medium and wide widths, making them a great choice for individuals with specific foot requirements.

What We Like:

  • Best-seller for users who need extra arch support
  • Roomy toe box
  • Available in medium and wide widths
  • Excellent customer service
  • Free shipping

What We Don't Like:

  • Not as many color options for men
  • Not as lightweight

Buy: Kuru Quantum - Men's

Buy: Kuru Quantum - Women's

Best Shoes for Walking and Running - Hoka Kawana

Best_Shoes_for_Walking_and_Running

Specs:

  • Material: Engineered mesh, durabrasion rubber, foam
  • Weight: 10 oz. (Men), 8.4 oz. (Women)
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: Compression-molded EVA foam
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 5mm
  • Available width: Standard

Made with recycled materials and vegan rubber, the Hoka Kawana is the perfect shoe for both everyday wear and high-intensity training. The well-ventilated engineered jacquard mesh upper, extended SwallowTail™ heel crash-pad, and meta-rocker design ensure a comfortable and responsive walking and running experience.

The Kawana features a compression-molded EVA foam for comfort and responsiveness, and the thick rubber outsole provides excellent traction on uneven terrains. These shoes are suitable for individuals who are on their feet all day, regular mall walkers, or avid distance runners. The Kawana offers great value for its price and is available in multiple colors.

What We Like:

  • Easy to transition from walking to running
  • Made with recycled and vegan materials
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Extended heel pull
  • Great value for the price

What We Don't Like:

  • Not very lightweight for a running shoe
  • Not as waterproof
  • Low stock/color variety for women

Buy: Hoka Kawana - Men's

Buy: Hoka Kawana - Women's

Best Shoes for Walking All Day - Skechers GO WALK Massage Fit

Best_Shoes_for_Walking_All_Day

Specs:

  • Material: Engineered mesh, synthetic upper, foam
  • Weight: Not listed
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: HYPER BURST® foam
  • Heel-to-toe drop: Not listed
  • Available width: Medium

When you're on your feet all day, you need walking shoes that provide ultimate comfort. That's where the Skechers GO WALK Massage Fit comes in. These shoes are designed with a "foot massage" aspect, thanks to their Massage Fit™ wave midsole that gently kneads your foot with every step. The HYPER BURST® foam cushioning adds to the comfort, making these shoes perfect for long hours of walking.

These shoes are great for people with foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis and provide excellent support. They are easy to break in and machine washable, ensuring they stay clean and fresh for longer. The Skechers GO WALK Massage Fit offers exceptional value for the price and comes in two versatile colors.

What We Like:

  • Massage comfort midsole
  • Great shoe for people with foot conditions like plantar fasciitis
  • Easy to break in
  • Machine washable
  • Excellent value

What We Don't Like:

  • Limited color variety
  • Not as much fabric stretch
  • No information on weight and drop

Buy: Skechers GO WALK Massage Fit - Men's

Buy: Skechers GO WALK Massage Fit - Women's

Best Walking Shoes for Travel - Nobull Court Trainer

Best_Walking_Shoes_for_Travel

Specs:

  • Material: SuperFabric® upper, EVA foam
  • Weight: Not listed
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: EVA foam midsole
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 4mm
  • Available width: Standard

The Nobull Court Trainer is the perfect shoe for travel. While it's designed for sports like CrossFit, it is also great for everyday walking and provides comfort and durability. The shoes are made from a seamless SuperFabric® that is breathable, durable, and resistant to scuffs and abrasions.

With additional comfort padding in the tongue and stable lacing, these shoes ensure your feet stay secure. The EVA foam midsole provides excellent cushioning and comfort, making them suitable for all-day wear. The Nobull Court Trainer is sleek, stylish, and available at a lower price point compared to other Nobull models.

What We Like:

  • Versatile for travel and training
  • Durable enough for walking and daily wear
  • Less expensive than other Nobull models
  • Sleek and stylish
  • Reflective logo for visibility at night

What We Don't Like:

  • May not hold up for long endurance runs or walks
  • May require some breaking in

Buy: Nobull Court Trainer - Men's

Buy: Nobull Court Trainer - Women's

Best Walking Shoes for Women - Kuru Chicane

Best_Walking_Shoes_for_Women

Specs:

  • Material: Synthetic and Nubuck leather uppers, synthetic lining, rubber outsole
  • Weight: 13.16 oz. (size 8)
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: Lightweight EVA foam
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 12mm
  • Available width: Medium, wide

Finding a great-fitting women's walking shoe that is functional, comfortable, and stylish can be a challenge. The Kuru Chicane is designed to meet all those requirements. With a unique design and a blend of Kuru's three-layer all-day comfort technology, these shoes offer shock absorption, responsiveness, and superior arch support.

The synthetic and top-grain Nubuck leather upper and non-marking all-terrain rubber outsole provide durability, while the contoured foam and built-in arch support cushion provide exceptional support. The Kuru Chicane is an excellent choice for women who enjoy trail walks and hikes. They are available in medium and wide widths, and the brand offers free shipping and hassle-free returns.

What We Like:

  • Excellent choice for women who trail walk and hike
  • Available in medium and wide widths
  • Contoured foam for built-in arch support
  • Super supportive design
  • Free shipping and hassle-free returns

What We Don't Like:

  • Design/style may not work for everyone
  • Expensive

Buy: Kuru Chicane

Best Walking Shoes for Men - Kuru Atom

Best_Walking_Shoes_for_Men

Specs:

  • Material: Synthetic upper/lining, rubber outsole
  • Weight: 10.6 oz. (size 8)
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: Lightweight EVA foam
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 8mm
  • Available width: Medium, wide

The Kuru Atom is our top pick for the best walking shoes for men. With a combination of performance, comfort, and style, these shoes are perfect for both casual wear and adventure. The mesh upper is breathable and lightweight, providing a comfortable walking experience.

The KURUCLOUD, KURUSOLE, and ULTIMATE INSOLE materials offer responsive cushioning and arch support, making them ideal for beginners transitioning from walking to running. The Atom comes in six colors and offers a sleek and stylish design. Reviewers appreciate the support and ample toe box room these shoes offer.

What We Like:

  • Responsive cushioning in the midsole
  • 6 colors to choose from
  • Breathable, lightweight mesh upper
  • Great for beginners transitioning from walking to running
  • Sleek and stylish

What We Don't Like:

  • Those with wider feet may have issues putting these on
  • Expensive

Buy: Kuru Atom

Best HOKA Walking Shoes - HOKA Bondi 8

Best_HOKA_Walking_Shoes

Specs:

  • Material: Vegan rubber outsole, engineered mesh upper, foam
  • Weight: 10.8 oz. (Men), 8.9 oz. (Women)
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: Foam cushioning
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 4mm
  • Available widths: Regular, wide, extra-wide (men's only)

HOKA is known for its comfort, cushioning, and stability, and the Bondi 8 is the best walking shoe they offer. The shoe features a toned-down meta-rocker and a low heel-to-toe drop, promoting a natural walking stride and smooth transitions.

The Bondi 8 has an open mesh upper for breathability, TPU overlay for stability, and a memory foam collar around the ankle for a secure fit. While it may not have much arch support, it offers plush foam cushioning and is available in regular, wide, and extra-wide widths (men's only). HOKA offers several color choices to suit your style.

What We Like:

  • Stable and responsive
  • Plush foam cushioning
  • Low heel-to-toe drop
  • Available in regular, wide, and extra-wide (men's only)
  • Several color choices

What We Don't Like:

  • Not every color is available in wide/extra-wide (men's only)
  • Not as good for high speeds
  • Can fit slightly snug

Buy: Hoka Bondi 8 - Men's

Buy: Hoka Bondi 8 - Women's

Best Budget Walking Shoes - Nike Quest 5

Best_Budget_Walking_Shoes

Specs:

  • Material: Synthetic mesh upper, rubber outsole, foam cushioning
  • Weight: 10.4 oz. (Men)
  • Closure type: Laces
  • Cushioning: Minimal
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 9mm
  • Available width: Regular

If you're looking for high-performance athletic shoes at an affordable price, the Nike Quest 5 is the best option. These shoes offer a great balance of comfort and functionality without breaking the bank.

The lightweight and breathable knit mesh upper, combined with the soft cushioned midsole, provide a snug and comfortable fit. The minimal outsole offers traction and flexibility. With the clean and iconic aesthetic, the Nike Quest 5 pairs well with various outfits and activities. These shoes come in many colors, allowing you to find your perfect style.

What We Like:

  • Budget-friendly option
  • Clean, iconic aesthetic
  • Many colors to choose from
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Versatile

What We Don't Like:

  • May not work for those with wider feet
  • Not as comfortable for long endurance sessions

Buy: Nike Quest 5 - Men's

Buy: Nike Quest 5 - Women's

Best Walking Shoes for Seniors - Reebok DailyFit DMX

Best_Walking_Shoes_for_Seniors

Specs:

  • Material: 30% recycled materials, crystal rubber outsole
  • Weight: Not listed
  • Closure type: Laces
  • Cushioning: DMX moving air cushioning
  • Heel-to-toe drop: Not listed
  • Available width: Regular

For active seniors or those looking to become more active, the Reebok DailyFit DMX is a must-have. These shoes offer a soft textile upper, padded heel, and highly cushioned midsole, ensuring comfort and support during everyday use.

Made from 30% recycled materials, these shoes are not only comfortable but also environmentally friendly. The crystal rubber outsole provides excellent traction and durability. The DMX moving air cushioning offers arch support and extra comfort by pushing air from the heel to the forefoot and back again. The Reebok DailyFit DMX's minimalistic design is stylish and suitable for various occasions.

What We Like:

  • Easy on and off
  • Made from 30% recycled materials
  • Air cushioning in the midsole for added comfort
  • Minimalistic design

What We Don't Like:

  • Limited color variety
  • May run small

Buy: Reebok Daily Fit DMX - Men's

Buy: Reebok Daily Fit DMX - Women's

What to Look for in Walking Shoes

Many people mistakenly believe that the best running shoes can serve as walking shoes. While some running shoes can be suitable for walking, there are specific qualities that make walking shoes superior. When shopping for walking shoes, consider the following factors:

Fit: Ensure the shoes fit securely without being too tight. They should hug your heel and midfoot, allowing your toes to move freely. There should be a finger's width of space between your tallest toe and the end of the shoe.

Cushioning: Walking shoes should have ample cushioning to absorb shock and provide a comfortable walking experience.

Flexibility: Walking shoes should have flexible soles to support the natural mechanics of walking and promote a smooth heel-to-toe transition.

Heel-to-Toe Drop: Opt for walking shoes with a lower heel-to-toe drop to match the natural walking stride.

FAQs About Walking Shoes

Q: What walking shoes do podiatrists recommend? A: Podiatrists recommend walking shoes that offer flexibility, moderate cushioning, and a lower heel-to-toe drop to promote a natural walking stride.

Q: Is it OK to wear running shoes for walking? A: While it is possible to wear running shoes for walking, walking shoes are specifically designed to support the mechanics of walking. Running shoes may not provide the necessary flexibility or cushioning for optimal walking comfort.

Q: How long do walking shoes last? A: On average, a good pair of walking shoes should last between 300 and 500 miles of wear. However, longevity may vary depending on factors such as footfall and pronation.

Q: Should walking shoes be stiff or flexible? A: Walking shoes should be flexible to support the natural mechanics of walking and promote a smooth heel-to-toe transition.

Finding the best walking shoes can make a world of difference in your walking experience. Consider the factors that matter to you most, such as fit, cushioning, flexibility, and heel-to-toe drop, to find the perfect pair of shoes for your needs. Happy walking!

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