The Best Walking Shoes for Men, According to a Trainer

New Balance 990V5 Running Shoe is breathable, cushioned, and supportive

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Best Walking Shoes for Men

Verywell Fit / Sabrina Jiang

Whether you walk for exercise or spend a lot of time on your feet, you need a walking shoe with good all-around cushioning and support to keep your feet from feeling fatigued and sore. The right pair of shoes will also help keep you from developing uncomfortable foot issues, like bunions and blisters.

Reviewed & Approved

New Balance 990V5 Running Shoe is breathable, cushioned, and supportive. ASICS Men's Gel-Venture 7 Trail Running Shoes not only have cushioned soles but help prevent plantar fasciitis pain.

When looking for a walking shoe, Dr. Miguel Cunha, podiatrist and founder of Gotham Foodcare in New York City recommends trying them on "at the end of the day to ensure a more accurate fit."

We researched dozens of walking shoes for men and evaluated them for material, comfortability, breathability, and price. Each of the walking shoes for men chosen in this article was determined to be the best of these factors.

Here are the best men's walking shoes for all your needs.

Best Overall: New Balance 990v5 Running Shoe for Men

4.9
New Balance 990 Running Shoe

Courtesy of Zappos 

Pros
  • Excellent cushion

  • Lightweight

  • Breathable

  • Comes in various widths

Cons
  • Expensive

We chose this shoe as our top pick because it has the perfect blend of firmness and high-energizing cushioning, so your feet will be sufficiently supported while walking. The lightweight, breathable upper helps keep your feet cool and dry. With a sleek, updated take on New Balance’s classic silhouette, the 990 version is an attractive shoe that goes well with athletic or casual styles.

The shoe comes in a range of widths, from extra-narrow to extra-extra-wide, so it’s easy to find a custom, comfortable pair you’ll never want to take off. The shoe comes in men's sizes 7 through 16.

Materials: Suede and mesh upper, leather sole | Cushioning: ENCAP midsole | Closure: Lace-up

Best Budget: ASICS Men's Gel-Venture 7 Trail Running Shoes

asics-gel-venture

Courtesy of Zappos

Pros
  • Excellent cushion

  • Helps prevent plantar fasciitis pain

  • Breathable

  • Comes in various widths and colors

Cons
  • Laces are flimsy

Asics shoes are extremely popular among runners, but their reasonably-priced GEL-Venture running shoe is a solid choice if you’re looking for a comfortable and supportive shoe for fitness walking, travel, or all-day wear.

Asics’ well-known GEL cushioning in the shoes’ heels enhances comfort, improves shock absorption, and helps prevent pain from plantar fasciitis. With a mesh fabric upper, these shoes are also very breathable, so you don’t have to worry about your feet overheating. They come in a variety of colors and in men's sizes 7 through 15.

Materials: Rubber sole, synthetic leather upper | Cushioning: Rearfoot GEL technology | Closure: Lace-up

Best Lightweight: Skechers Performance Go Walk Max

Skechers Performance Go Walk Max Walking Shoe

 Courtesy of Zappos

Pros
  • Excellent cushion

  • Durable

  • Comes in various widths and colors

  • Machine-washable

Cons
  • Not long-lasting

Despite their lightweight feel, these shoes from Skechers offer the maximum comfort and performance you’d expect from a heavier shoe. The shoe’s GOwalk Max midsole and outsole provide high-level cushioning and support, while the extra padded heel allows for a comfortable, glove-like fit.

Flexible, responsive, and durable, these shoes are ideal for long walks or all-day wear and are also a versatile choice to slip into your suitcase. The shoes come in black, charcoal, or navy/gray colors and in men's sizes 7 through 15.

Materials: Air-mesh upper, rubber outsole | Cushioning: Lightweight 5GEN | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Hiking: Merrell Men's All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water Shoe

Merrell Men's All Out Blaze Aero Sport Hiking Water Shoe

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Excellent shock absorption

  • Odor-resistant

  • Offers traction on dry and wet terrains

Cons
  • Doesn't come in various widths

Every step you take on the hiking trail will feel supported, smooth, and stable while wearing these Merrell All Out Blaze Aero Sport shoes. Made for off-road treks, each shoe features a contoured foam footbed and molded heel counter for stability and shock absorption.

The lining is treated with Merrell’s odor-fighting technology to keep feet feeling fresh longer, while the lightweight, mesh upper ensures breathability. This hiker offers excellent traction and grip on both wet and dry surfaces, thanks to the Vibram outsole with 5-millimeter lug treads. The shoe comes in a range of earth tones and in men's sizes 8 through 14.

Materials: Synthetic sole, mesh upper | Cushioning: UniFly responsive cushioning | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Work: Rockport World Tour Classic

Rockport World Tour Classic Lace-up Sneaker

 Courtesy of Zappos

Pros
  • Excellent cushion

  • Prevents irritation and blisters

  • Comes in various widths

  • Durable

Cons
  • Shoe tongue is short

This attractive walking shoe delivers the out-of-the-box fit and all-day comfort that you expect from Rockport. A cushioned EVA footbed will mold to the shape of your foot for a custom fit, while a padded tongue helps to prevent irritation and blisters. With a wide, stable base and a resilient rubber outsole, you get plenty of traction and stability.

The premium leather upper (full-grain or nubuck) and lace-up ties give this well-constructed shoe a classy look that can be dressed up or down, perfect for your commute and workday. It comes in a range of colors and in men's sizes 6 through 17.

Materials: Synthetic sole, leather upper | Cushioning: Augmented | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Narrow Feet: New Balance MW577

New Balance 577

 Courtesy of New Balance

Pros
  • Durable

  • Offers traction on dry and wet terrains

  • Comes in various widths

Cons
  • May overheat feet in warmer weather

The leather New Balance 577 walking shoe is an excellent, reasonably-priced choice for men who need a supportive, comfy shoe for all-day wear. The cushioned, walking-specific footbed is made for enhanced comfort and impact protection. Equipped with a sturdy, rubber sole, the 577 walking shoe is extremely durable, regardless of what type of surfaces you’re walking on.

One con is that, while the leather outer layer is stylish, it can make your feet hot during warmer weather. On the other hand, these shoes offer more protection than lightweight shoes in colder months. They’re available in narrow widths, so they’re ideal for men who find some walking shoes to be too wide. The shoes come in men's sizes 7 through 15.

Materials: Rubber sole, leather upper| Cushioning: ABZORB | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Wide Feet: New Balance 608v5

New Balance 608 Walking Shoe

 Courtesy of Zappos

Pros
  • Comes in various widths

  • Compatible with orthotics

  • Durable

  • Offers traction on dry and wet terrains

Cons
  • Sizes run small

New Balance is a category leader in walking shoes, and with good reason. With several different width options, their 608 walking shoe is a good option for anyone who needs some extra room for wide feet or orthotics. The shoe’s Abzorb midsole will make you feel as if you’re bouncing with each step, giving you more energy to keep walking.

They’re comfortable, durable, and supportive, without being too bulky or stiff, even right out of the box. With a high-grade leather upper and a grippy, non-marking outside, the New Balance 608 shoe will handle all types of weather conditions and surfaces. Sleek and stylish, they can serve double-duty for fitness or casual wear. The New Balance shoes come in a variety of styles and in men's sizes 6.5 to 18.

Materials: Leather and mesh upper, rubber outsole | Cushioning: ABZORB | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Flat Feet: Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Shoe

4.8
Brooks Addiction Walker 2

Courtesy of Zappos

Pros
  • Corrects overpronation

  • Excellent cushion

  • Durable

  • Comes in various widths

Cons
  • Expensive

If you have flat feet, you need some extra support and cushioning when you’re walking. The Brooks Addiction Walker features an Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar that provides excellent arch support and corrects any overpronation, which is common with flat feet.

With a full-length BioMoGo DNA midsole, you get a soft yet stable feel that offers a cushioned step and excellent energy return. With a supple leather upper, the Brooks Addiction Walker is stylish but also durable, comfortable, and perfect for anyone with flat feet who walks a lot or spends hours standing. The Brooks shoe comes in a range of colors and in men's sizes 7 through 15.

Materials: Synthetic sole, leather upper | Cushioning: BioMoGo DNA | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Saucony Men's Grid Omni Walker Running Shoe

Saucony Men's Grid Omni Walker Running Shoe

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Excellent shock absorption

  • Affordable

  • Comes in various widths

Cons
  • Limited color options

A tried-and-true favorite shoe for walking, Saucony’s Grid Omni Walker offers the cushioning and support needed for those dealing with plantar fasciitis and other foot issues. The shoe’s compression-molded, responsive EVA midsole provides stellar shock absorption and cushioning, so you’ll get good injury protection.

It also features a rearfoot Grid system consisting of a woven configuration of Hytrel filaments, which help to cushion and center the heel on impact. If you’re looking for an affordable, comfortable shoe to relieve pain from plantar fasciitis, the Grid Omni is a great choice for walkers or those who spend a lot of time on their feet. The shoe comes in men's sizes 7 through 15.

Materials: Rubber sole, leather upper | Cushioning: Hytrel filaments | Closure: Lace-up

Final Verdict

If you're looking for a top walking shoe, the New Balance 990 Running Shoe (view at Amazon) offers the perfect blend of firmness and cushioning to keep your feet protected without sacrificing comfort. For a high-quality running shoe with fewer bells and whistles but available at a more affordable price, opt for the Asics GEL-Venture Running Shoe (view at Amazon).

What to Look for in Walking Shoes for Men

Fit

“When buying shoes, you should try them on at the end of the day to ensure a more accurate fit,” says Dr. Miguel Cunha, podiatrist and founder of Gotham Foodcare in New York City. He explains that your body is in equilibrium at the beginning of the day, and therefore, fluid has not been pulled down by gravity—causing your feet to swell. Finding the right fit at the end of the day will ensure comfort no matter how long you’re on your feet. 

Flex Point

“The flex point of a walking shoe should be the point at which it bends while walking,” explains Chuna. He says that for optimal comfort, the flex point of the shoe should match the bending point of your foot, and when it doesn’t align with your foot, it can lead to arch pain or plantar fasciitis. 

To check the flex point of your shoe, hold it by the heel and press the toe of the shoe onto the ground. The point where the shoe bends and creases is the flex point. 

Material

It’s advisable to find a shoe that offers as much protection and durability as possible without sacrificing comfort or flexibility. “Look for a shoe designed with a smooth, solid leather upper that is not only highly durable, but also flexible and comfortable,” says Cunha. He also explains that a breathable shoe is optimal, especially if you plan on standing or walking for a prolonged period of time. “Some shoes have antimicrobial insoles to help keep sweaty odors under control and keep one’s feet feeling fresh.”

Arch Support

Cunha recommends finding shoes with an arch incorporated into its design to provide support, shock absorption, and maximum comfort. “A thin and flat sole that provides no arch support or shock absorption can lead to heel pain, in particular plantar fasciitis,” says Cunha, adding that this can eventually lead to back and knee pain. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are running shoes good for walking?

    Yes, some running shoes can be used for walking, but it’s important to understand some key differences between running and walking shoes before choosing a pair. Running shoes are typically lighter and more breathable than walking shoes, which may be heavier and bulkier to help maintain stability. Walking shoes are generally more flexible at the forefoot, allowing walkers to have a better range of motion while pushing off with their toes. However, you’ll get more cushioning in the heel and forefoot with running shoes.

    For fitness walkers or those with previous foot issues, walking shoes may be a better choice thanks to their support and stability. If you do a combination of running and walking or you frequently walk in hot weather, go with a pair of running shoes instead. For advice on selecting the best shoes for your foot type, gait, and walking habits, visit a running specialty store to get a proper fitting.

  • How long do walking shoes last?

    In general, you should replace your walking shoes after 300 to 400 miles or six to eight months, whichever comes first, according to Saylee Tulpule, DPM, a podiatrist in Washington, D.C., and Maryland. Even if walking shoes appear to be in good condition, they should be replaced frequently. “The function of a proper walking or running shoe is to provide stability and cushion, so it’s important to assess the shelf life of a shoe in order to prevent injury,” says Dr. Tulpule.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a running coach and marathon runner, Christine Luff has spent years researching and recommending running and walking shoes. To walk in comfort and avoid painful foot problems, she suggests getting properly fitted for walking shoes and regularly replacing them.

Was this page helpful?
1 Source
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. Lee HJ, Lim KB, Yoo J, Yoon SW, Yun HJ, Jeong TH. Effect of Custom-Molded Foot Orthoses on Foot Pain and Balance in Children With Symptomatic Flexible Flat Feet. Ann Rehabil Med. 2015;39(6):905-913. doi:10.5535/arm.2015.39.6.905