Best Free Walking Apps for Fitness Walkers

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Our Top Picks

Walking apps come in two basic types. Apps that primarily track your walking workouts show your speed, distance, and route. Pedometer apps track your all-day steps and activity. The good news is that many apps do both by using the GPS and accelerometer chip in your mobile phone. Many also connect with your other fitness wearables, which can help you track treadmill workouts. These apps are all available for free, although they also have an opportunity for an upgrade or in-app purchases.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Map My Walk

Map My Walk

 Map My Walk

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. 

  • 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 first consideration for any fitness walker. These are some of its best features:

  • When you start a workout, you can see a map of the area. As you walk, the route you have taken is marked in red. The map allows you to explore. By seeing the path you've taken you're able to find your way back to where you started.
  • As you walk, you can see the elapsed time, distance, pace, speed, elevation, and calories burned. Your speed is determined by GPS.
  • You can get audio feedback as you walk. The app can announce your distance, pace, calories burned, and other data every mile, half-mile, or another interval.
  • When you finish, you can upload and save your workout data and view it both on the app and on the MapMyWalk website.
  • See your mile-by-mile splits to analyze your performance.
  • You can also load a saved route to use again, or select routes that other MapMyWalk users have done in your area.
  • Connect with other apps and wearables such as Fitbit, Garmin, Jawbone, and MyFitnessPal. You can view your daily steps as recorded by these devices or by your mobile phone.
  • You aren't limited to walking. You can track over 600 different activities.

MapMyWalk is available for iOS or Android. An MVP premium membership allows an ad-free experience and unlocks even more features, such as interval training, live tracking, mobile coaching, training plans, heart rate analysis, and unlimited printed maps.

Best for Hiking: Walkmeter Walking & Hiking GPS by Abvio



Why We Chose It: Walkmeter stands out for its ability to track basic workouts like walking and running, as well as complex activities like hiking and kayaking. 

  • Great for improving speed and distance

  • Ability to 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 features that are excellent 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 not only be alerted as to your workout stats, but you can also listen to replies your friends send about your workout posts from Facebook and Twitter while you walk. You can start and stop a workout with your earphone remote or use Siri voice commands.

It 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. They have training plans for 5K, 10K, half marathon, and marathon 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.

This app is available for iOS, Android, and Apple Watch. It will not only do the basics but also can help you train for distance walking events such as the 5K, 10Khalf-marathon, or marathon.

Upgrading from free to Elite is less than $10 per year, far less than with some other apps, such as Endomondo. 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



Why We Chose It: Argus by Azumio combines the best walking app features with an excellent calorie tracking tool. 

  • 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 can also track workouts with GPS.

  • The workout tracker displays your time, distance, and the map of your route. 
  • When you finish, see your workout calories, steps, elevation gain, best pace, average pace, average cadence, 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 their 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 link to a heart rate sensor band.
  • Track your water intake with a tap.
  • You can use the app's food diary (which includes a barcode scanner) and sleep timer.
  • Premium subscribers get a wide range of fitness and diet plans.

Argus is easy to use and it has an interface that encourages you to interact with it and track many items for health and fitness. It's available for both iOS and Android.

Best for Motivation: Fitbit App MobileTracker



Why We Chose It: Community support and challenges with friends made the Fitbit App a shoe-in for our list.

  • 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 be used to 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 "No Fitbit Yet" 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.

  • When you start a workout, you will see the elapsed time and your average pace.
  • Swipe to see a map of the route you have taken.
  • You can get voice cues and updates at selected times.
  • When you finish and save your workout, you can review it by tapping on the Exercise tile on the home screen.
  • You can review your route on a map, distance, time, pace, mile split times, calories burned, and steps for each workout.

The Fitbit app also includes virtual adventure races and challenges with friends. If you have friends with Fitbits, you don't have to be left out of the fun. The Fitbit app is available for iOS, Android, and Windows phones.

Best for a Cause: Charity Miles

Charity Miles

 Charity Miles

Why We Chose It: Charity Miles gives users a platform to donate money to a favorite charity and get healthy, at the same time. 

  • Company donates money on your behalf to charities

  • 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.

The fitness tracking is minimal, but you can use it at the same time as other apps and put your miles to good use. For every mile you complete, you will earn a donation for your chosen charity.

Best for Treadmills: Virtual Walk - Walk the Distance

Virtual Walk

 Virtual Walk

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.

  • Tracks steps using GPS or 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 everyday 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 monuments in Washington DC, the Grand Canyon, the Pyramids of Giza, 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. The Virtual Walk Treadmill or GPS versions get better ratings than the Street View versions.

As you walk, view photos and information about your scenic or historic virtual destination. Use this app on iOS or Android devices.

Final Verdict 

When it comes to walking apps, finding the right one to fit your needs may take some trial and error. 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 MapMyWalk. 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 combined with 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 a walking app and a running app is likely the programmed workouts. With a walking app, the workouts will be slower in pace and often shorter in the distance. A running app, on the other hand, 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 get more out of your walks. Some apps track data including your speed, distance, route, steps, calories burned, and activity. Others also have social features that allow you to connect with other walkers to share routes, stats, photos to help you stay motivated.

Some walking apps sync seamlessly with other wearables and apps such as Fitbit, Garmin, Jawbone, and MyFitnessPal. Many walking apps 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, there are many benefits of walking for people of all ages. Regular exercise such as walking may help lower your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and certain cancers. Walking can also improve bone health, strengthen muscles, and is an effective way to manage stress, improve your mood, and boost energy.

Walking is an easy and inexpensive physical activity to start and continue as part of an active lifestyle. It also doesn’t require special skills or equipment, has a low risk of injury, and can be done almost anywhere.

Can Walking Help Me Lose Weight?

Walking is an excellent form of exercise that can help with weight loss efforts, especially when combined with a healthy eating plan. The more you walk, the more calories you’ll burn, so aim for a brisk walk of at least 30 to 90 minutes every day if you’re trying to lose weight.

As with any form of exercise, consistency is key, so it’s helpful and more effective to follow a plan, such as this walking workout schedule for weight loss.


To curate the list of best walking apps, we looked at six different 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 of them 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.

A Word From Verywell

Walking apps can help motivate you and turn your walking sessions into fitness workouts. You may be inspired to walk faster and go farther. Try a few before you pick your favorite—everyone likes something different.

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2 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.
  1. American Heart Association. Get Real About Getting Active. Updated November 2020.

  2. Arthritis Foundation. 12 Benefits of Walking. Updated November 2020.