Best Free Walking Apps for Fitness Walkers

Map My Walk is the best overall free walking app for its comprehensive suite of features

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Increased physical activity has a strong association with reduced health risks. Walking more can have a meaningful impact, and walking apps can help track just how much your efforts are paying off. Depending on your goals, one extended walking session may be better than multiple shorter sessions. A study comparing one 60-minute walk per day with two 30-minute walks in sedentary people found the longer walk helped improve strength, while the shorter ones improved quality of life.

Some apps track your walking workouts, showing your speed, distance, and route. Pedometer apps track all of your steps throughout the day. Some apps use GPS and an accelerometer chip in your mobile phone or connect with fitness wearables, such as watches. Review the best free walking apps for fitness walkers based on features, usability, and more.

Best Free Walking Apps of 2023

Best Overall : Map My Walk



Key Specs
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Paid upgrade available: $5.99 monthly or $29.99 annually
  • Additional features: Ad-free, personal training plan, monitor heart-rate zones
Why We Chose It

MapMyWalk is one of the most comprehensive free apps online. With features like audio feedback, labeled routes, easy-to-see maps, metrics tracking, and data analysis, this app is one you should try.

Pros & Cons
  • Walking route marked in red for easy viewing

  • Audio feedback as you walk

  • Easy-to-read charts and graphs

  • Support community and connect with friends

  • Create and save custom routes

  • Need to upgrade for access to premium features

  • Advertisements may be annoying

  • Can freeze while in use


MapMyWalk is part of the MapMyFitness family of apps. It has stood the test of time and deserves to be at the top of any fitness walker's list. When you start a workout, you can see a map of the area, and your route is marked in red as you walk.

During your walk, you can see elapsed time, distance, pace, speed, elevation, and calories burned. GPS data helps the app determine your speed. When you finish, you can upload and save your workout data and view it on the app and the MapMyWalk website. Routes can be saved and loaded again.

The app can announce your distance, pace, calories burned, and other data at chosen intervals as you walk. It also connects with other apps and wearables such as Fitbit, Garmin, Jawbone, and MyFitnessPal. You can view your daily steps as recorded by these devices or mobile phones.

Best for Hiking : Walkmeter Walking & Hiking GPS by Abvio



Key Specs
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Paid upgrade available: $9.99 annually
  • Additional features: Track daily steps, cadence coaching, treadmill support
Why We Chose It

Walkmeter stands out for its ability to track basic workouts like walking and running and complex activities like hiking and kayaking. 

Pros & Cons
  • Great for improving speed and distance

  • View time, distance, speed, and pace while walking

  • Records metrics for kayaking, cycling, hiking, walking, and more

  • Premium features require a subscription

  • GPS can be spotty if phone is not in the right place


The Walkmeter app has excellent features for fitness walkers who want to improve their speed and distance. It has features you used to have to get a fancy running watch and training coach to enjoy, such as splits, intervals, zones, and more.

It uses your phone's GPS to measure the distance of your walks and hikes. It includes audio and voice integration so you can hear alerts on your workout stats and listen to replies your friends send about your workout posts from Twitter while you walk. You can start and stop a workout with your earphone remote or use Siri voice commands.

This app maps your walk, and you can view time, speed, distance, and pace as you walk. It has many free training features. You can race against yourself or others on previous workout routes, getting updates on whether you are ahead or behind. The app has training plans for 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon events, or you can design your own and synchronize it with your iPhone calendar. You can set up repeating intervals and tempo workouts and analyze your performance afterward.

Upgrading from free to Elite is less than $10 per year, far less than with some other apps on this list. Upgrade features include tracking your daily steps, cadence coaching, treadmill support (distance and pace using your steps), and using the Apple Watch app.

Best for Tracking Calories : Argus by Azumio

Key Specs
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Paid upgrade available: $29.99 annually
  • Additional features: More fitness and diet plans
Why We Chose It

Argus by Azumio combines the best walking app features with an excellent calorie-tracking tool.

Pros & Cons
  • Measures heart rate, time, and distance

  • Food diary and barcode capability

  • Hourly graph tracks active time, distance, and steps

  • Does not work as well on Android

  • Accuracy is spotty

  • Premium upgrade is more expensive than other apps


Argus packs a lot into one lifestyle app. It functions as an all-day pedometer app using the motion sensor in your phone. But you also can track workouts with GPS.

The workout tracker displays your time, distance, and route map. When you finish, see your workout calories, steps, elevation gain, pace, graphs, and map.

Your daily step count updates from your phone's motion sensor data and includes active time, distance, calories, steps, and an hourly graph.

Measure your heart rate at any time using the integrated heart rate app (simply place your index finger on your cell phone camera lens). You can easily take your heart rate during exercise and at rest. You can also link to a heart rate sensor band.

The app also allows you to track your water intake, and it comes with a food diary (which includes a barcode scanner) and a sleep timer. Premium subscribers get a wide range of fitness and diet plans.

Best for Motivation : Fitbit App MobileTracker

Key Specs
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Paid upgrade available: $9.99 monthly or $79.99 annually
  • Additional features: Daily inspiration, advanced sleep and stress insights
Why We Chose It

Community support and challenges with friends made the Fitbit App a shoo-in for our list.

Pros & Cons
  • Does not require a Fitbit watch to use

  • Tracks daily steps and distance based on stride length

  • Tracks heart rate

  • Participate in challenges and virtual races with friends

  • Some of the essential features cost extra

  • Does work better with a Fitbit device


Did you know that you don't need a Fitbit device to use the Fitbit app? The free app can track your steps using the motion sensor on your phone (unless you have a very old phone). This is good news if your Fitbit died or if you aren't ready to buy one.

You can download the free Fitbit app for your operating system. Then when you set up the app, it will ask which tracker you are setting up. Choose "Just the app," and it will set up the MobileTracker. Now it will track your all-day activity sensed by your phone's built-in accelerometer. You'll get a step count and hourly graphs.

Whether you have a Fitbit tracker or not, you can track speed and distance using the Track Exercise function. From the home screen, tap the + icon and select Walk, Run, or Hike.

You will see the elapsed time and your average pace when you start a workout. You can get voice cues and updates at selected times and swipe to see a map of your route.

When you finish and save your workout, you can review it by tapping on the Exercise tile on the home screen. Review your route on a map, distance, time, pace, mile split times, calories burned, and steps for each workout.

Best for a Cause : Charity Miles

Charity Miles

Charity Miles 

Key Specs
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Paid upgrade available: No
  • Additional features: N/A
Why We Chose It

Charity Miles gives users a platform to donate money to a favorite charity and exercise at the same time.

Pros & Cons
  • Company donates money to charities on your behalf

  • Tracks several activities such as walking, running, dancing, and biking

  • Walking earns money towards your favorite charity

  • Not ideal for fitness tracking

  • Limited features compared to other apps

  • Interface is on the lower end of apps


Charity Miles gives your walking a purpose (and your running and biking, too). Open up this free app (iOS or Google Play) and choose a charity. Start a workout, choosing walking, running, or cycling. For each completed mile, you'll have earned a donation for your chosen charity. The basic rate is 25 cents for walking and running miles and 10 cents for cycling miles, subject to a periodic cap.

Along the way, you can view your exercise time and miles. When done, you must post to Facebook or Twitter in order to accept sponsorship and earn money for your charity. You can also form teams and work together to raise money for charities.

Best for Treadmills : Virtual Walk – Walk the Distance

Key Specs
  • Platform: iOS, Android
  • Paid upgrade available: $0.99 per walk
  • Additional features: Additional walks
Why We Chose It

The Virtual Walk – Walk the Distance app takes monotonous treadmill workouts and turns them into a scenic walk through the mountains, a popular tourist attraction, and national parks.

Pros & Cons
  • Tracks steps using treadmill speed

  • Virtually walk national parks, Appalachian Trail, Central Park, and Boston Marathon route

  • Additional walks available for a fee

  • Not as many activity tracking abilities as other apps 

  • Limited routes to walk 

  • Not able to customize


Virtual Walk is a motivating app that you can use to spice up your daily Walk indoors on the treadmill or outdoors. Your distance is plotted on a virtual walk through a scenic or historic place. These include the Appalachian Trail, the national monuments in Washington D.C., the Grand Canyon, and more.

At checkpoints along the way, you can view photos and information about the sights on your virtual Walk. Some routes are available for free, and others are for purchase. At the end of your Walk, you receive a medal.

Final Verdict 

Finding the right one to fit your needs may take trial and error when it comes to walking apps. The good news is all of the apps featured on this list are free to download and use. If you’re looking for a comprehensive walking app that can do just about everything, start with Map My Walk. The free tools are often enough for most people, but if you want access to more complex graphs and customization, you’ll need to upgrade. If step tracking and calorie counting are on your list of requirements, then consider Argus by Azumio. Its food diary and barcode scanner make this an excellent app for nutrition and fitness enthusiasts. 

Walking Apps vs. Running Apps

In general, walking apps and running apps share the same features. Both are designed to track metrics like steps, miles, speed, distance, and time. They often come programmed with routes, trails, and workouts. Some have extra tools like calorie counters and heart rate tracking capabilities. The main difference between walking and running apps is likely the programmed workouts. With a walking app, the workouts will be slower in pace and often shorter in distance. On the other hand, a running app will have programmed plans that cover a longer distance at a higher speed.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What Is a Walking App?

    Walking apps are simple programs that can be used on an iPhone or Android-based smartphone to help you track data, including your speed, distance, route, steps, calories burned, and activity. Some walking apps sync seamlessly with other wearables and apps, such as Fitbit, Garmin, Jawbone, and MyFitnessPal. Many are free to use, although there are opportunities to purchase premium features.

  • What Are the Benefits of Walking?

    From reduced risk of chronic diseases to improvement in mental health and well-being, walking has many benefits for people of all ages. Regular exercise, including walking, may help lower your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers. Walking can also improve bone health and strengthen muscles and is an effective way to manage stress, improve mood, and boost energy.

  • Can Walking Help Me Lose Weight?

    Walking more can increase overall health. One long walk per day tends to be more effective than multiple shorter walks per day, but both approaches have health benefits.

    Walking may help you lose weight, although weight loss will depend on many factors, including nutrition and overall health. Before starting a plan, consult a healthcare provider to develop a safe approach. Weight loss should not exceed one to two pounds per week.


To curate the list of best walking apps, we looked at six apps from reputable companies that offer platforms for both iOS and Android. All of the apps listed work for walking workouts and tracking steps. Most feature additional tracking abilities like cycling, fitness activities, running, and calorie counting. All of the apps on this list are free to download and use. And all but one come with the ability to upgrade for premium features.


jopstock / Getty Images

Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Monteagudo P, Roldán A, Cordellat A, Gómez-Cabrera MC, Blasco-Lafarga C. Continuous compared to accumulated walking-training on physical function and health-related quality of life in sedentary older persons. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(17):6060. doi:10.3390/ijerph17176060

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By Wendy Bumgardner
Wendy Bumgardner is a freelance writer covering walking and other health and fitness topics and has competed in more than 1,000 walking events.