Best Walking Shoes

UPDATED May 2024

Feel comfortable and secure in the right walking shoes.

SHOES 2024


Orthofeet designed the 465 for diabetics, but even if you don’t have diabetes, you’ll get all the comfort you need for walking and standing. While the foot box may be a little too big for some feet, most shoppers love the carefully crafted insole, which supports their arches.


This shoe uses real leather that is breathable to keep your feet from sweating. It comes with a specially designed insole inside that offers extra support for your arches.


The 465 is an extra depth shoe, which means that it has a wider foot box. It may be a little too wide for your own feet.


With the Skechers Go Walk 3, you can spend all day on your feet without experiencing any discomfort. This shoe comes with go pillars for added support and a foam insole. You may find that the insole comes out of the shoe or that the padding wears down though.


The insole uses an energy return design that returns the energy that you expend. The Go Walk 3 also had a foam insole for added comfort and go pillars that give you extra support.


Some users found that the extra padding inside the shoes wore down quickly. There is a chance that the insole may come loose too.


Women who run and walk like the ON Running Cloud because of the flexible sole that moves in time with them. They also like the added traction on the soles. This pair does have a curved toe box that can feel a little uncomfortable at times.


This pair of walking shoes comes in a number of different colors that let you match a pair to your everyday wardrobe. Deep grooves along the bottom provide extra traction and move as you move.


The steeply curved toe box may leave you feeling off balance when you first wear the shoes. Some find that the foot box on this pair is a little too narrow for their feet.


No matter what you do on a daily basis, you can feel comfortable in the Rockport Rock Cove. This walking shoe has a breathable mesh liner and a rubber outsole for extra traction. It does have thick leather pieces on the outside that can impede your movements though.


Thanks to a rubber outsole, you get the traction that you need when walking on wet or soft surfaces. This pair of walking shoes also features a mesh liner that allows your feet to breathe.


The leather used on the exterior of the sole can interfere with your freedom of movement. Some shoppers also found that the eyelets broke after a few months of use.


One of the more affordable options for walkers is the New Balance MW877. It features extra padding along the inside to wrap your feet and ankles in comfort. Some shoppers don’t like the inserts that come with these pair though.


Designed specifically for walking, these New Balance shoes have padding along the inside to cushion your feet. You’ll also find padding on the tongue and collar that keep the shoes from slipping off.


These shoes work better on stable surfaces like concrete and pavement than on dirt or grass. Some customers also found that they needed to replace the included inserts with aftermarket inserts.

Shopping Guide for Walking Shoes

Whether you have a job that requires you to spend hours on your feet, or you just enjoy doing a lot of walking, you need the best walking shoes. These shoes come with features like padding inside that surrounds your feet with comfort and grooves on the sole that give you the traction needed to walk across slick surfaces. 

The best walking shoe options of 2024 come from some of the top shoe companies in the world, including Skechers and New Balance. You may also find shoes from companies you never heard of before.

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Walking inside and outside, moving through grass and dirt, and trying the shoes on other surfaces helped us determine which pairs felt the best and which pairs held up to the challenges we put them through. You might prefer one with a narrow or wider fit or a pair that comes with a larger toe box. This article will help you find the perfect pair.

Shopping Guide for Walking Shoes

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Selection Criteria

To find the best walking shoes for 2024, first look at what customers have to say about those shoes. That helps decide what to look for when wearing these shoes out in the world. 

This list also includes walking shoes that come in a range of prices. Some shoppers want something affordable that they can wear at home or when running errands around town. You will find pairs priced at well under $100 on our list. 

Some of the pairs found here cost a little more and come in a range of prices due to factors like the colors or sizes that are available. We hope that you use our research and guide to find the best shoes for your own walking needs.

Top 3 Things To Look For

Selection Criteria - Best Walking Shoes
Whether the shoe offers enough support along your arches
Selection Criteria - Best Walking Shoes
If the toe box allows your toes to move freely
Selection Criteria - Best Walking Shoes
The way the shoe fits based on how it moves with you

The best pair for diabetics is the Orthofeet 465. Though the manufacturer designed the 465 for men, women will have no problem finding a size that fits their own feet. The 465 comes with a number of features suitable for diabetics and others who suffer from medical conditions that cause swelling in the feet. One of those features is a unique circular area of padding on the heel that absorbs the impact of each step you take. It also has padding along the center of the insole to support your arches. You’ll also find that the foam used in the insole is antimicrobial and will kill bacteria.

As a diabetic, you risk doing serious damage to your feet every day. Wearing shoes that are too tight can cut off your circulation and leave you unable to feel pain in your feet. If you wear shoes that are too loose, you won’t get the support that you need. The 465 has all the padding that you need, but this pair also comes with adjustable laces. You can adjust those laces to get the exact fit that you need.

Diabetics should look for shoes that are not too tight. Wearing tight shoes can cut off your circulation and cause foot injuries.

Though the Go Walk 3 from Skechers isn’t the most expensive shoe for women on the market, it’s a good walking shoe for women. It comes in just one color option, which features a bold white sole and shades of aqua and navy around the sides. The mesh used on the exterior allows your feet to breathe as you walk, which will keep your feet and the shoes from smelling.

One of the top features that many women like is the foam padding used on the inside. This padding molds to the shape of each foot. The more you walk, the more comfortable the shoes will feel. Skechers made the sole from two different pieces of foam and added a go pillar in the center. That pillar gives you more support than you would get from other pairs.

The Go Walk 3 comes with small pieces of foam along its sole. Those foam pieces absorb the shocks caused by your feet coming into contact with different surfaces to make you feel like you’re walking on a cloud. The sole has lots of traction too.

Best for Women

Did you know?

Skechers started in 1992 and originally sold skate shoes for men and boys.

Best for Women - Walkers and Runners

ON makes a number of different shoes for women, but Running Cloud ranks as one of the best pairs for women who both run and walk. You can choose from more than 10 different color options that include both bolder options and more neutral colors. All those pairs come with the same features that will keep you comfy as you walk and run.

The manufacturer designed a CloudTech sole that is lighter than the soles found on other shoes. It is also incredibly flexible and will move in unison with your own feet as you move. That sole has deeper grooves too that can actually make it feel like you have nothing on your feet.

Another nice feature is the insole inside the shoe. This is a built-in insole with a zero-gravity design that gives you more padding than you would in almost any other shoe. 

The mesh upper is completely breathable to keep you cool on a hot day, and but the mesh also does a good of keeping moisture out of the shoes. Once you set the laces, this shoe becomes a slip-on, which helps you put it on and off faster.

Best for Women - Walkers and Runners

The best option for men who spend a lot of time running and walking is the Rock Cove from Rockport. Though some customers dislike the hard and rigid leather panels on the exterior, others like that these panels give them more support and keep their feet from wiggling. 

Rockport designed this shoe to absorb more of the shocks that you encounter as you run and walk. Those shocks can cause discomfort and make your feet swell. This shock absorption feature helps you maintain the proper form when walking and will stop shocks from running up your legs.

The rubber outsole located on the bottom of each shoe lets you tackle any ground covering or surface you encounter. This rubber creates the grip that you need to stay upright when walking on wet or dewy ground. 

The Rock Cove also features a small fabric loop on the back that helps you slide the shoes off and on. Many customers like the breathable mesh liner in this pair too because it keeps them from overheating.

Did you know?

Rockport first began manufacturing shoes for men in 1971.

Though the Rock Cove is a great option for many men, some will prefer the MW877 from New Balance. As one of the only shoes designed by New Balance specifically for walking, this shoe offers support when sightseeing on vacation or hitting an amusement park with friends. 

It uses a combination of suede and mesh to make the shoe more breathable and to reduce its overall weight. The suede keeps your feet dry, while the mesh provides the airflow needed to keep your feet smelling fresh.

The MW877 comes with the ABZORB cushioning technology designed by New Balance to increase your comfort. That padding also supports your arches. This pair comes with Walking Strike Path Technology designed by New Balance too. This technology allows the shoes to follow your natural gait and to improve the way you walk. It actually guides your feet and stabilizes your movements.

Best for Men Who Frequently Walk

Parts of a Walking Shoe

It’s helpful to know more about the different parts of a shoe and what each of those parts does.

  • The upper refers to the portion of the shoe that sits on the top of your foot. It usually uses mesh or another breathable material to prevent overheating.
  • Located on the end of the shoe are the toe box and the toe bumper. The toe bumper protects your foot from injuries caused by your foot striking against a hard object.
  • The outsole is the exterior sole of the shoe. This sole will have grooves, ridges, or some type of texture that gives you more traction.
  • Inside the shoe is the insole, which is the part that provides you with added comfort. You may find extra padding or cushioning around your arches. This area also includes the collar, which is the part of the shoe that wraps around your ankle.
  • Many shoes also have a midsole, which is a type of padding used between the interior and exterior layers. The midsole is the part responsible for absorbing shocks and vibrations.
Parts of a Walking Shoe

Signs That You Need New Shoes

Experts will often tell you to replace your old shoes when you put too many miles on a pair. Not everyone keeps track of the miles they walk though, which can make it hard to determine when it’s time to replace an old pair. That’s why it’s best to look out for some of the more common signs that you need a new pair.

One of those signs is frequent or constant discomfort. When you walk, you should feel like the shoe supports you with each step. You should also feel comfortable when you slip out of those shoes at the end of the day. If you find that the shoe rubs against your feet or that you feel better when you take those shoes off, it’s a sign that you need a new pair.

Also, take a look at the soles. Check for signs of uneven wear, which occurs when you roll your feet as you walk. If you notice significant wear on the edges of the sole but not around the center, you need to invest in new shoes. Replace your old walking shoes when you notice any holes on the exterior as well.

Signs That You Need New Shoes

Caring for Your New Shoes

Using the right steps to care for your new shoes will extend the life of that pair. If you plan on walking around outside, always use a waterproof spray. This spray adds a coating to the surface that keeps water from damaging the shoes. Waterproof sprays will work on leather, rubber, and other shoe materials.

Take the time to clean your shoes when you come home. Use a cleaning wipe to remove dirt and other debris clinging to the exterior. You can also use a soft brush and some soap and water to remove grass and debris trapped in the grooves on the sole.

Cleaning the interior of your shoes is just as important as cleaning the exterior. Use an antimicrobial or anti-fungal product designed specifically for shoes. A small dab the size of a pea is all you need. 

Experts recommend using tea tree oil too because it has antibacterial properties. The tea tree oil will remove odors and kill bacteria living inside your shoes.

Expert Tip

Avoid using a waterproof spray on shoe soles. This can make the shoes slippery and make it harder for you to walk.

Cleaning Shoes in a Washing Machine

You can use your home washing machine to clean your new walking shoes. Coat the inside of each shoe with a sprinkling of baking soda. Let the shoes sit for several hours or overnight. The baking soda will absorb odors before you wash the shoes. You’ll also want to go over the outside with a stiff brush to remove as much dirt, grass and other debris as possible.

Before turning on your washing machine, place the shoes in a pillowcase. Tie the open end together to keep the shoes from coming out as the machine spins. The pillowcase will keep the shoes from doing damage to the machine. You can then put the shoes in the machine. Add a few tennis balls or large towels to the machine too. Using towels or tennis balls creates the feel of a full load and both stops the machine from producing loud noises and keeps it from going off balance.

Set the machine to a cold water setting and let it run. You can then remove the shoes from the pillowcase and let sit out to dry. It may take 24 hours or more for your pair to completely dry.

Arch Type Considerations

The type of arch that you have will determine the best walking shoes 2024 options that are right for you. You may have a high, low, or neutral arch. Located on the bottom of your foot, the arch moves frequently as you walk.

Those with a high arch have one that is higher than average. They have a harder time regulating the way they walk and absorbing shocks. 

A low arch is one that is so low that doctors often call this a flat foot. These individuals may need shoes that offer more support. 

A neutral arch is an average arch. If you have a neutral arch, you can usually get by with almost any type of walking shoe.

To check your arch, set your foot in a bowl of colored water or paint and then step down on a piece of white paper. Make sure that you step in a natural way to see what your arch looks like. 

Those with a low arch will see most of their foot on the paper. If you have a neutral arch, you may see a clear separation between your toes and your heel. High arches will leave behind a larger space between those areas on the paper.

What Does Your Footprint Look Like?

Arch Type Considerations

What to Look for During Your First Walk

Many people today lead busy lives, which makes it difficult for them to visit shoe stores and try on pairs. When you buy online, you have the chance to try out different shoes and check the fit before deciding whether to keep that pair or exchange them for something new. 

As the return window is quite small, it’s important that you know what to look for the first time you walk in those shoes.

  • Flexibility: Try moving your foot in a few different directions to check the flexibility of the shoe. The best pairs will move in unison with you.
  • Traction and stability: Instead of just walking around your house, step outside. Walk down the sidewalk, across your lawn, and across the road. This lets you see whether the shoe offers the traction and stability that you need on the surfaces you walk on daily.
  • Interior space: Move your feet as far forward inside the shoe and as far back as you can. If you pick the right size, your feet should barely move.
  • Weight: Good walking shoes should

Expert Tip

Always try on shoes while wearing the same type of socks that you would usually wear with those shoes.

Find Your Shoe Size

The average person’s foot size changes slightly throughout the day. You might go up a half-size or a full-size because your feet swell after running errands or doing other activities. 

Finding your current size is easy because you just need a measuring tape. Place the end of the tape measure at the back of your heel and pull the tape down until it reaches the end of your longest toe. 

This tells you the total length of your foot in inches. It’s helpful to measure both feet because one foot may be slightly longer than the other.

You can then check your measurements against a size chart to see what size you need. This also shows you the size you wear in designs for men or women. 

For example, a size eight shoe for women is equivalent to a size 6.5 for men. Some manufacturers use European or UK sizing, which is a little different too.

Find Your Shoe Size

Average Price of Walking Shoes

The average price of a pair of walking shoes varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. You may find that those that come with modern features and those that use new types of technology cost more. 

One of the more expensive pairs that landed on our list is the Orthofeet 465, which retails for around $140. Though this shoe is suitable for diabetics and those who have feet that swell, it’s a good choice for anyone who wants extra support and comfort.

Many retail shoes go for around $100. The On Running Cloud may cost more or less depending on which color option you choose. Other shoes retail for between $50 and $100. 

Higher-end pairs will cost at least $100. You can get a solid pair that will last for a few months or longer for as little as $50. Adding your own orthotics or insoles can make those shoes last even longer.

Frequently Asked Questions

A: The best time to try on shoes is late in the afternoon or early evening. After spending a few hours on your feet, they will naturally swell a little. When you try on shoes later in the day, you can find a pair that will fit your feet all the time.

A: You should replace your old shoes after walking between 300 and 500 miles. Some find that they need to replace theirs closer to the 300 mile mark because they put more pressure on their shoes.

A: Toe box refers to the area of the shoe that surrounds your toes. This box should be roomy enough that you can wiggle your toes without the shoe pressing back on your toes. A rounded toe box will also reduce the risk of you developing blisters.

A: If you spend hours walking every week, you can alternate which pairs you wear each day to keep one pair from wearing out faster than the next. This also keeps your feet from growing too comfortable with one pair.

Average Price of Walking Shoes

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