Walking is one of the healthiest types of exercise, and you don’t have to be a marathon runner to be healthy. Before you leave the house, make sure you have the ideal walking shoes for you. You want a shoe that will keep you comfortable throughout the day, support your arches, cushion your heel, and look cute. With so many variables to consider, the Textiles Lab of the Good Housekeeping Institute put popular shoes to the test in order to determine the best walking shoes to buy.
We sent testers shoes in a variety of sizes and foot shapes. Before giving feedback on cushioning, support, comfort, traction, aesthetics, and more, testers walked for at least two hours. We weighed each footwear in the lab to eliminate clumsy models that will slow you down. Each sneaker was also sawed in two so that our experts could inspect the interior and insole. We collaborated with Jordan Metzl, M.D., a sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, and Emily Splichal, D.P.M., a podiatrist at the Center for Functional & Regenerative Podiatric Medicine in New York City, to examine 527 data points gathered during 170 hours of walking. In 2022, these are the greatest walking shoes to buy:
- Asics Gel Quantum 180 4 Sneakers are the best overall walking shoes.
Excellent shoes with excellent support
The fact that these sneakers are so light appeals to me. On day one, I walked for more than 10 hours in these shoes and my feet never ached. They offer excellent support, a comfortable cushion, and a fashionable appearance. The quality appears to be on par with that of an Asics shoe. I got them particularly for work since I walk on concrete and wanted the extra padding. So far, they’ve held up nicely, and I enjoy them a lot. These shoes are not made of cotton; the top is made of a synthetic fabric, most likely polyester. The size is accurate.
Tiosebon Athletic Walking Shoes are the best walking shoes for the money.
Suitable for walking.
It’s really relaxing. Excellent walking shoe. The top portion is made of a knit mesh fabric that feels like a sock, so it doesn’t exert any pressure on the top of the foot, preventing blisters and friction. Without socks, I suppose it would be a wonderful summer shoe, but I haven’t tested it yet. The bottom is well cushioned. In terms of sizing, I went by measurement rather than the specified US/Euro sizes, and the result was a good fit. I normally wear a size 8 in the United States and bought an 8.5. The size on the inside of the shoe is 39. If you have large, flat feet, be aware that the interior footbed feels a touch small.
- New Balance is the best lightweight walking shoe. Nergize Sneakers by FuelCore
If you’re a dedicated walker, you’ll want to invest in a walking shoe. I’ve been wearing New Balance for a long time and continue to believe in their quality and the research that goes into its development. Walking shoes have a lower heel than running shoes because you lean forward somewhat more when running than when walking, necessitating a higher heel. I always walk four miles first thing in the morning, and these shoes have exceeded my expectations. This is my first pair of this model, and I’ll keep buying them as long as they’re available. Every six months or so, I go through a pair of walking shoes. Make sure you don’t put off replacing your shoes for too long. Because I have a supinating stride, I usually replace my shoes when the outside heel wears down to the point where it impacts my stride. Your shoes may not appear to be in need of repair, and because wear is gradual, the alterations in your stride caused by wear may go unnoticed. I recommend that when you change a pair of shoes, you wear the previous pair for approximately two weeks and use that as a reference for future shoe replacements since you will notice the difference. Apart from the suggestion, I am extremely happy with these shoes and would recommend them. They aren’t the “coolest” shoes on your feet, but I’m just concerned with practicality because I use them for my daily stroll. If you’re looking for something cool, I’d recommend a different model.
- Adidas Ultraboost 19 Sneakers are the best cushioned walking shoes.
Training sneakers that are fantastic
These are fantastic footwear! I attend to Orangetheory, which consists of high-intensity interval training on the rowing, treadmill, and lifting weights. These shoes are used by a number of individuals there, and they appear to be ideal for any type of workout. It’s as though they’re walking on air. My customer suggested a $200 Nike Knit sweater or something similar. I got them at a local sporting goods store and despised them since they ached so much. These, on the other hand, are incredible. I even got a pair for my mother. When you wriggle your big toe, you can see where it collides with the shoe. They stay on and feel fantastic even with the additional room at the toe.
- Ryka Devotion Plus 3 Walking Shoes are the best shoes for walking all day.
Good for feet with problems.
This is the third pair of Ryka walking shoes I’ve purchased. I like how cozy it is. Every day, I walk at least 10,000 steps and often more. With high arches, a large toe region, and a tiny heel, my feet are horrible. I can walk for hours and miles in these shoes. I’ll replace these as they wear out.
- Merrell AC+ Range Sneakers are the best hiking and walking shoes.
I’m in love with these shoes and couldn’t be happier!!
These shoes were purchased because I liked the way they appeared. But now, due of the fit, I think I like them even more. In most other brands, I wear an 11 and these fit well. These offer some of the finest arch support of any other brand, and I have a high arch. These are your shoes if you’re searching for an alternative to Nike, adidas, or New Balance.
- Orthofeet Stretchable Sneakers are the best walking shoes for wide feet.
My left heel’s plantars faciatus discomfort was instantly alleviated.
I didn’t care what sort of shoe I required to obtain relief from my left heel’s excruciating plantars faciatus discomfort. For years, I’ve had this issue on and off. I initially tried on the Orthofeet sandals that I purchased. The relief was palpable. I immediately sat down and placed an order for sneakers and a pair of shoes. I’m thinking about getting another pair.
How do you choose the right walking shoes for you?
Walking sneakers have more flex and bend, whereas running sneakers have more control to brace for impact on the sole. Many walking sneakers include foam, which is especially beneficial for persons who are bigger and place more weight on the shoe because it returns some of the force to your body. Dr. Splichal suggests that long-distance runners wear just running footwear, especially those with additional cushioning.
Pick them up before putting them on. Avoid super-heavy styles that will make you feel sluggish. The only exception is if you have flat feet and require additional support. In that scenario, a heavier style may be preferable to provide enough control.
Make a twist in the shoe. Dr. Splichal recommends twisting the sneaker like wringing out a towel. If you have the ability to do so, our experts recommend styles with less control (and greater twistability) since they help you develop stronger muscles from your feet to your buttocks.
Try on as many different styles as you can. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all shoe. The sizing and fit of each brand — and even each style — will differ, which can have a significant impact on your foot.
Look for a good match. To ensure that the shoes are not too tight, wiggle your toes and walk a few laps around the store. Avoid shoes that pinch or squeeze your feet. If you have any existing foot problems, Dr. Metzl recommends going with the pair that “makes the pain go away while you’re walking around the store,” as this is a sign you’ve found a decent pair.
Choose convenience over everything else. Dr. Metzl emphasizes the importance of comfort. You should “be as objective as you can for support and comfort,” regardless of the product claims, and trust your intuition. Your feet will tell you which shoe is best for you. If your toes are cramping or your heels are rubbing when you’re trying on shoes, don’t keep them: they’ll just make things worse.
You’ll need the perfect pair of shoes to keep you pain-free on your feet all day, whether you’re walking large distances for fitness, travel, work, or running errands.