Tested and Approved: The 10 Best Comfort Shoes for Walking and Running

Saucony Women's Triumph 19 running shoes feel secure and cushiony

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When shopping for everyday comfort shoes, start by zeroing in on walking shoes. According toShannon Thompson, DPM, is a Boston-area podiatrist and the owner of Ace Feet, you should “walking shoes are made to promote a heel-to-toe gait. Finding the right shoe and arch support really depends on each individual’s foot size, shape, and natural arch."

Tested & Approved

Our testers preferred the Saucony Women's Triumph 19 running shoes because they're lightweight and have a secure feel around your foot. Our top pick for men is the Men's On Cloud which has lots of cushioning and a breathable upper.

The right shoe will vary from person to person. For some, cushioning will be a priority. Others may need to focus more on arch support and stability. A roomy toebox and the overall weight of the shoe are other important factors.

To help you narrow down your search, we tested comfort shoes by going on multiple walks in each pair. We rated each for cushioning, responsiveness, upper comfort, fit, and value.

Based on our test, here are the best comfort shoes on the market.

Our Top Picks

Best Women's Overall: Saucony Women's Triumph 19 Running Shoe

4.6
Saucony Women's Triumph 19 Running Shoe

Zappos

Our Ratings
  • Cushioning
    3/5
  • Responsiveness
    5/5
  • Upper Comfort
    5/5
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Overall Value
    5/5
Pros
  • Hug and mold to your feet

  • Lightweight

  • Made from recycled materials

Cons
  • Not suited for very long walks

  • Socks are visible through mesh upper

Our best overall pick for women are the Saucony Triumph 19s. Whether you are looking for a shoe to stroll in, stand in, or go for a quick run in, the Triumphs have you covered. When our tester put these shoes on, she immediately noticed how secure her feet felt. Saucony’s FORMFIT design is meant to hug and mold to your foot, providing excellent support—which earned it a perfect score for both lateral stability and fit.

Compared to some of the other shoes we tested on this list, this shoe has less of a plush footbed. Our tester noticed she was able to feel her feet hitting the ground more than with some other shoes, so these shoes may not be suited for very long walks.

Despite less visible cushioning, Saucony has designed these kicks for a more lightweight and barefooted feel, while still providing soft landing. We also liked that the Triumphs feature a mesh upper for enhanced breathability.

Materials: Mesh | Type: Sneakers | Cushioning: Light cushioning | Weight per shoe: 9.1 ounces | Closure: Lace-up

What Our Testers Say

"They were great for standing and walking. My feet felt supported and secure. I did not feel any back or leg pain. I did notice that with a long walk, I started to feel the balls of my feet rubbing against the shoe a bit, so I wouldn't recommend these for very long walks." —Sydney Greene, MS, RDN, Verywell product tester

Best Men's Overall: On Cloud

On Cloud

REI

Pros
  • 90-day trial period

  • Made from recycled materials

  • Made with anti-microbial mesh

Cons
  • Runs small

  • Not machine-washable

Comfort shoes don't have to cost you style, and the Cloud sneakers by On are excellent proof. Designed for all-day adventures, the Zero-Gravity foam and CloudTec in the outsole provide soft, cushioned landings, whether you are strolling on pavement, trails, or gravel.

The shoe’s upper is made with breathable, antimicrobial mesh that provides stay-fresh comfort. We love that On gives shoppers 90 days to try out their shoes and return them for free if they are not happy.

Available in whole and half sizes and in 13 different colors, it's easy for walkers to find their perfect fit.

Materials: Antimicrobial mesh | Type: Sneakers | Cushioning: Light cushioning | Weight per shoe: 8.11 ounces | Closure: Speed laces

Best Women's Budget: Reebok Classic Leather Legacy AZ Shoes

4.3
Reebok Classic Leather Legacy AZ Shoes

Reebok

Our Ratings
  • Cushioning
    3/5
  • Responsiveness
    5/5
  • Upper Comfort
    5/5
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Overall Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Stylish

  • Made from recycled materials

Cons
  • Lacks arch support

  • Could benefit from more cushioning

The Reebok Legacy Shoes are significantly less expensive than many of the shoes on this list. Though these shoes have a more affordable price tag, they do not lack style or comfort. Available in 12 colors, you can find a color for every style.

Made with at least 30% recycled materials, these shoes feature a lace closure, nylon and suede upper, and lightweight cushioning. If you are looking for lots of support and plush cushioning, this shoe is not for you. But we like that the shoes feature a substantial grip and durability and that they offer an exceptional fit, upper comfort, and responsiveness (earning a perfect score for all three categories).

Our tester found the sneakers easy to walk in and received lots of compliments on this pair during her test walks.

Materials: Nylon and suede | Type: Sneakers | Cushioning: Light cushioning | Weight per shoe: 12 ounces | Closure: Lace-up

What Our Testers Say

"I love these shoes because they are light and offer fabulous grip. I wish they had a bit more cushion and arch support, but they're still a comfortable shoe, especially for the price." —Sydney Greene, MS, RDN, Verywell product tester

Best Men's Budget: Saucony Integrity Walker 3

Saucony Integrity Walker 3

Saucony

Pros
  • Non-slip outsole

  • Very durable

  • Outsole won't leave marks

Cons
  • Not the most stylish option

  • Too rigid for some

The Men's Integrity Walker 3 by Saucony is an affordable and functional choice for comfortable shoes. Available in three colors, half sizes, and two different fits (regular and wide) there is an option for most walkers.

The upper is made with premium full-grain leather for maximum durability and comfort. These kicks feature neutral cushioning for even pressure across the entire forefoot, which helps the body stay properly aligned.

For those with jobs that require them to be on their feet all day, these shoes use Walk-Trac non-slip, a non-marking outsole design that delivers smooth transitions and increased traction, so you can focus on your job and not on slipping.

Materials: Full-grain leather | Type: Sneakers | Cushioning: Neutral cushioning | Weight per shoe: 11.05 ounces | Closure: Lace-up

Best Unisex: Hoka One One All Gender Bondi L

4.7
Hoka One One All Gender Bondi L

Hoka One One

Our Ratings
  • Cushioning
    5/5
  • Responsiveness
    5/5
  • Upper Comfort
    5/5
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Overall Value
    5/5
Pros
  • Stylish

  • Extremely cushioned

  • Wide toe box helps prevent blisters

Cons
  • Not ideal for overpronation

  • Expensive

  • Lacks arch support

The Hoka All Gender Bondi L might just be the best-looking shoe we tested. The dark blue leather upper combined with the thick white sole and red loop on the heel brought two compliments our tester's way while she was out on test walks.

Our tester noted that it took a little bit of time to get used to the thick sole and said that this shoe added at least one inch to her height. Our tester's walking companion noted that she seemed to be dragging the heel a bit at the beginning of one of her walks. But as she got used to the shoes, she felt more comfortable with the plush cushioning and was no longer dragging her feet.

These shoes offer incredible cushioning, and our tester noted that it felt like she was walking on a cloud, so we gave them a five out of five for both cushioning and fit. The wide toe box prevented blisters, earning it a perfect score for blister protection. Our tester also appreciated the responsiveness of these shoes, and noted that she felt like she was being propelled into the next step.

We would not recommend these shoes to those who overpronate, as the neutral level of stability may not help with overpronation.

Materials: Mesh and leather upper shoe | Type: Sneakers | Cushioning: Plush cushioning | Weight per shoe: 10 ounces | Closure: Lace up

What Our Testers Say

"These shoes are both attractive and extremely comfortable. They made me feel like I was walking and standing on a cloud. The shoe box is roomy and the shoe feels soft. I only wish they had a little more arch support." —Sydney Greene, MS, RDN, Verywell product tester

Best Women's Sandals: Crocs LiteRide Stretch Sandals

Crocs LiteRide Stretch Sandals

Dick's Sporting Goods

Pros
  • Affordable

  • Many color options

  • Stylish (especially for a walking sandal)

Cons
  • No half sizes; suggested to size up

  • May not fit wider feet

The Crocs LightRide sandals are made of Crocs Croslite foam outsoles that provide durable, all-day support and comfort. There is no need to worry about breaking these shoes in because the flexible gore uppers are meant to feel broken in from day one.

This shoe is an ideal choice for those looking to slip into something more comfortable after a workout or cruise around town. They also offer more durability at the beach.

We love that these sandals feature an affordable price tag and come in a variety of colors, and we find them a lot more attractive than most walking sandals on the market.

Materials: Foam insole and stretch gore upper | Type: Sandals | Cushioning: Plush cushioning | Weight per shoe: 10.5 ounces | Closure: Stretch straps

Best Men's Sandals: Chaco Men's Z/Cloud

Chaco Men's Z/Cloud

Chaco

Pros
  • Made of vegan-friendly materials

  • Very cushioned

Cons
  • No half sizes

  • Sole may dry slowly

Chacos may not have a reputation for being the most stylish shoes on the market but they just might be the comfiest. The Chaco Z/Cloud series feature a custom adjustable strap system, performance ChacoGrip rubber outsole, and an ultra-soft top layer for a comfy cushion underfoot. You can rest assured that these sandals will treat your feet right, as every style has been accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Exercisers can pick from four different colors and two different types of footbeds. Ideal for adventurers, these shoes can be worn on land or in water and have incredible grip. If you're planning on using these in water, note that some customers do say that the sole of these shoes may take some time to dry after submerging them in water.

We love that Chaco aims to support Mother Earth by offering the Rechaco program, a service that offers customers the option to repair their Chacos instead of buying a new pair.

Materials: Polyurethane sole and polyester jacquard straps | Type: Sandals | Cushioning: Plush cushioning |  Weight per shoe: 14 ounces | Closure: Adjustable straps

Best Women's Slip-On: Skechers Go Walk Arch Fit Grateful

4.5
Skechers Go Walk Arch Fit Grateful

Skechers

Our Ratings
  • Cushioning
    5/5
  • Responsiveness
    5/5
  • Upper Comfort
    5/5
  • Fit
    3/5
  • Overall Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Machine-washable

  • Podiatrist-designed

Cons
  • May not be suitable for cold weather

  • Fit isn't adjustable

  • Not suited for very long walks

For those who just want to step into their shoes and fly out the door, we highly recommend the ​​Skechers GO WALK Arch Fit slip-on shoes. These shoes feature a patented Skechers Arch Fit insole system with podiatrist-certified arch support. Our tester says she can vouch for this feature, as she found the arch support in these shoes to be "incredible."

We gave the shoe a perfect score for cushioning, responsiveness, upper comfort, and blister protection. If you are looking for a supportive shoe that will keep you comfy even when you stand for long periods of time, we recommend this pick.

When it came to long walks, our tester found that her feet started shifting a little in the shoes and that the elastic surrounding the shoe that's meant to keep feet secure didn't feel super supportive after many miles. Our tester was also surprised by how much the shoes exposed the top of her feet: "A word to the wise, these shoes are not appropriate to walk in cold weather!" she said.

This is the type of shoe that will require you to try on a few different sizes but once you find your fit, you will be glad you took the time to do so.

Materials: Athletic mesh knit upper | Type: Slip-on sneakers | Cushioning: Lightweight cushioning | Weight per shoe: 10.5 ounces | Closure: Slip-on

What Our Testers Say

"The arch support in these shoes is incredible. They are perfect for standing for long periods of time. If they were more snug on my foot I think they would be very comfortable to walk in." —Sydney Greene, MS, RDN, Verywell product tester

Best Men's Slip-On: Topo Athletic Vibe Running Recovery Shoes

Topo Athletic Vibe Running Recovery Shoes

Topo Athletic

Pros
  • Made with anti-microbial upper

  • Lightweight

  • Very packable

Cons
  • Fit isn't adjustable

  • Not machine-washable

Designed to be an active recovery shoe for athletes, the Topo Vibe shoe is also excellent for everyday wear. Topo shoes are all created with ergonomics in mind to give the same distinctive fit:  secure through the heel and midfoot with a generous toe box.

The cushion on this shoe is considered “balanced," meaning it gives a neutral level of support throughout your entire foot. For athletes looking for recovery and serious walkers, the Topo Vibes feature an Ortholite 3D Wave Sense footbed with ridges that lightly stimulate and massage the nerves along the bottom of your foot.

Available in half sizes, these shoes come in two color options: white and black. If you are looking for a great shoe to slip into for more gentle activity or wear, we highly recommend this pair.

Materials: Antimicrobial engineered knit mesh upper | Type: Slip-on sneakers | Cushioning: "Balanced" cushioning | Weight per shoe: 8.2 ounces | Closure: Slip-on (foot is secured by a layer of molded foam)

Best for Travel: Allbirds Wool Runner Mizzles

Allbirds Wool Runner Mizzles

Allbirds

Pros
  • Machine-washable

  • Made with renewable materials

  • Water-repellent

Cons
  • No half sizes

  • Runs small

The Allbirds are our top choice for travel because of their versatility, comfort, and durability. Walkers can choose from three classic colors or nine limited edition styles.

Allbirds made a splash on the sneaker scene a few years back and continuously ranks as a top comfort shoe, and for good reason. Made from renewable materials, these sneakers are water-repellent, feature thick wool for the cold, and are designed to conform to your movements—we gave them a perfect score for responsiveness for this reason.

You can finally say goodbye to smelly shoes and feet since you can easily throw these shoes in the washer after a long stroll and let them air dry. Super light, they fit perfectly in a backpack or tote bag.

A note on fit, these shoes are not available in half sizes and our tester found that they run a bit small, which is why they scored a 3 out of five for fit. If she was going to order again, she would likely size up. Though the soles are not super thick, we were pleasantly surprised by the level of cushion and comfort provided. Our tester found walking around in these for hours to be a breeze.

Materials: Wool, treated with an ECO PASSPORT Certified fluorine-free water repellent coating | Type: Sneakers | Cushioning: Moderate cushioning | Weight per shoe: 7 ounces | Closure: Lace-up

Final Verdict

For an overall great comfort shoe that offers a perfect fit and molds to your foot shape, we recommend Saucony's Women's Triumph 19 Shoes (View at Amazon). Our tester loved that these shoes are both lightweight and supportive.

For those seeking an equally comfortable shoe with a less "barefoot" feel, we recommend the On Running Cloud shoes (view at On Running). The anti-microbial mesh will keep your feet feeling fresh, and with the 90-day free trail, you can make sure that the fit is perfect for you.

How We Rated Comfort Shoes

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best comfort shoes we tested. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These comfort shoes are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great comfort shoes, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These comfort shoes are just average.

3.4 and below: We don't recommend comfort shoes with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

How We Selected and Tested the Best Comfort Shoes

Before picking the shoes for this list, we interviewed four different podiatrists to learn more about what makes an ideal comfort shoe. The experts discussed cushioning, blister prevention, arch support, and the top things to avoid in a comfort shoe. From there, we researched shoes that reputable brands described as “comfort shoes” and “walking shoes” and read dozens of customer ratings and reviews to help narrow down our search. We then took our research even further by testing five shoes on this list. To test each pair, our tester took different walks (a three-mile stroll, a three-mile brisk walk, and a six-mile walk) with each shoe.

We then evaluated each shoe for cushioning, responsiveness, upper comfort, fit, lateral stability and support, blister protection, and overall value (a score that compared the price of the shoe to the value that it provides) and scored each pair on a scale of one to five for each of these seven attributes. Finally, we determined the overall star rating for each shoe by averaging the scores it received in all seven attributes.

What to Look for in Comfort Shoes

Cushioning

There is a lot of discourse out there about what the right type of cushioning is in a shoe. Cushioning can be great for those with bonier feet, but too much cushion can make walking more laborious than it needs to be. "You’ll know that your shoe has too much cushion for you when you feel like your foot sinks into the shoe and rocks a bit to the sides with every step,” says podiatrist Shannon Thompson.

This is why it is important to try your shoes on before committing and walk around in them to really get a feel for the fit.

Style

Ideally, walkers will want to find a shoe that is comfortable and stylish. Sometimes a running shoe may be more attractive than a shoe designed for walking, and vice versa. As noted above, if the primary thing you're looking for is a comfortable everyday shoe, it is important to choose a shoe made for walking or comfort instead of a shoe designed for another more specific athletic activity. Some shoes may look good but may not be ideal for long walks or hours of standing.

Instead of picking a shoe based on looks or material, choose one based on function. “Avoid non-breathable materials for the upper. A mesh upper is comfortable, soft, breathable, and is less likely to cause skin irritation," says New York City podiatrist and foot surgeon Elizabeth Bonarigo, DPM.

Price

There is a wide range of price tags when it comes to comfort shoes. You may not necessarily need all the bells and whistles that come with more expensive shoes. You may get a better deal on shoes by strictly focusing on the function of the shoe and less on the design and style. Have your budget in mind and recognize that there are always trade-offs when it comes to budget-friendlier shoes.

Arch Support

How much arch support you need depends on several factors including your foot size, shape, and natural arch. You'll want to look for a shoe that matches the type of support you need. If you have frequent foot pain when walking or exercising, or have either flat feet or high arches, you may benefit from shoes with good arch support.

Weight

Comfort shoes vary greatly in weight. If you are doing a lot of walking or running, a heavier shoe may make your legs feel weighed down after a lot of mileage. You may want to opt for a light option. Heavier shoes are more suitable for shorter distances or hiking.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How can I clean walking shoes?

    The best way to safely clean your comfort shoes will depend on the material used in the upper. Some shoes on this list are machine-washable, whereas others will need to be spot-cleaned.

    You can read usually find out how to care for your shoes by heading to the website of the brand of shoes you're interested in. This information is usually included in the FAQs section.

  • How do I measure shoe size?

    To determine your shoe size, measure foot length (from the heel to the tip of the longest toe), foot width (widest part of the foot), and arch length. 

    “When sizing your shoes, for best accuracy, both feet should be measured while weight-bearing. Keep in mind that sizes may vary by brand or even among collections within the same brand," says podiatrist Elizabeth Bonarigo. If possible, measure your feet midday or early evening to capture natural foot swelling.

  • How should shoes fit?

    Preferred shoe fit varies widely depending on anatomy and gait. One way to assess shoe fit is in the toe box. “A shoe with a spacious, rounded toe box provides the best fit by allowing the toes to fit comfortably inside of the shoe. A shoe with a pointy, narrow, or tapered toe box forces pressure on the toes," Dr. Bonarigo says. This could result in calluses, corns, blisters, and deformity.

  • How do I break in shoes?

    The jury is still out on whether or not shoes need to be, or should be broken in. Some suggest walking around in your new shoes in your home before wearing them on long walks. But William Spielfogel, DPM, a New York-based, board-certified podiatrist and medical advisor for The Good Feet Store, disagrees. "In general, a perfect pair of shoes will not require ‘breaking in’ for anyone. Make sure you have appropriate support and stability," in your shoes, he says, and you won't need to break them in.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

Sydney Greene, MS, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist and a huge walker. When she is not seeing clients, you can find her taking long strolls or hiking in the mountains in Boulder, Colorado. Sydney encourages her clients to get outside and move whenever possible, and she knows how important a great fitting and comfortable shoe is to make this happen.

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