We asked the experts about what to look for in a pair of walking shoes.
Whether you work out at the gym, drop off and pick up your kids from school or walk to and from work, getting your daily exercise is essential for physical and mental health. Unfortunately, some people experience sore soles, toe cramps or heel pain when walking, but a good pair of shoes can help. Walking and running don’t need separate athletic shoes – podiatrist and founder of Gotham Footcare in New York, Miguel Cunha, says any good running shoe is also a great walking shoe.
We spoke with the podiatrist to find out what to look for when choosing a good pair of walking shoes, and what to look for when trying on athletic shoes. They also explained the best way to break in a new pair of athletic shoes and highlighted a few of their favorite pairs.
Whether you’re an avid long-distance hiker, enjoy walking on trails, or just want a pair of shoes for cruising around town, it’s important to find the right shoe for your lifestyle and foot type. We’ve asked our experts to share their top picks, which offer ultimate comfort, extra cushioning and superior arch support to keep your feet feeling their best.
Brooks Ghost 14
This shoe tops our list of the best walking shoes because it is the most versatile option for walkers of all styles and those who want a supportive, versatile sneaker. It is very stable and has a grippy outsole for fast walking and less strenuous short trips on smooth and uneven surfaces. The cushioned EVA foam midsole absorbs impact during heel strike if you also need to do more intense cardio, such as running. Overall, there is very little activity you can’t do comfortably in the Ghost 14, and it is now the most stable shoe I’ve worn of all the shoes I’ve tested.
The Ghost has a curved insole to reduce arch pressure – very useful if you suffer from sore tendons, flat feet or long periods of standing. A little higher. With a heel thickness of 4.25 cm and a weight of 7.9 ounces, the shoe is mid-range compared to the other sneakers I tested: it’s a moderately cushioned shoe, which is a good thing, as the extra padding would reduce stability.
Skechers GoWalk Joy
Weisner’s advice to women over 50 is to “avoid stiff fabrics, tight-fitting cleats and inflexible soles that can cause blisters.” the GoWalk Joy fits the bill perfectly, and reviewers rave about the fit and durability of the design.
This slip-on shoe is flexible and lightweight, but doesn’t sacrifice comfort or style. The design features a breathable mesh upper, cushioned sole and traction support on the bottom. Another great walking shoe, it is also made of vegan materials and is machine washable.
One shopper said, “They’re easy to put on, which is really important to me. One knee replacement and 2 hip replacements have helped me walk comfortably, but sometimes it’s still hard to get the shoes on …… They are light but sturdy and provide decent support. I worked on the concrete floor for about 5 hours and had no pain when I was done.”
Hoka One Bondi 7
Yes, these kicks seem pretty intense at first – but with great cushioning, they’re great walking shoes, explains Dr. Tulpule. the Bondi 7 is one of the best cushioning options in the Hoka line, and it features an EVA midsole for comfort. Translation: if these clouds also provide traction, stability and comfort, get ready to feel like you’re walking on clouds. “These shoes are such a relief to my feet that I want to wear them everywhere!” said one reviewer who suffers from plantar fasciitis. “I am now happy to say that my plantar fasciitis pain has been reduced by 98%. These shoes have been an important part of my recovery.”
Women’s FUELCORE NERGIZE V1 Sneaker
FitnessTrainer’s ISSA-certified personal trainer Caroline Grainger calls these her “personal favorites,” categorizing them as “lightweight and supportive.
She offers this pro tip: “When you’re looking for a pair of walking shoes, I always recommend that you carry an old pair with you. Pay attention to how you wear out your old sneakers, and that will tell you what to look for in your new sneakers.”
While most running shoes are great for walking, the Supernova+ is one of our favorites because they feature high-end running technology that also offers great benefits for walkers. the Supernova+ combines two of adidas’ midsole technologies into one sole: the Boost material and the Bounce design. The Bounce sole is designed to be soft and comfortable, with large volume to provide stability. the Boost sole features a proprietary material made up of particles that provide powerful energy rebound, compression and bounce back after each stride, giving you a slight boost with each step. the Supernova+’s Boost particles are concentrated in the heel and forefoot, where they have the greatest impact on your misses.
The single panel mesh upper and padded tongue construction are designed to add a friction-free fit to your foot for comfortable long-distance wear. A reviewer on the Adidas website named elflynnel gave them five stars and said, “These sneakers are comfortable to wear and well made. I’m on my feet all day, so I can only wear shoes that are comfortable for 12+ hours. These fit the bill!”
Adidas website reviewer Carolmp recognizes them as walking shoes for people experiencing joint pain, writing, “Ideal for long walks. The sole …… will give you great support if you have knee problems.” This is partly thanks to the stability of the Bounce design. So if you’re looking for a shoe that will keep your feet energized and in place for a long time, then the Supernova+ might be for you.