The 7 Best Performance Walking Shoes to Buy in 2019

These cushiony, lightweight shoes will let you walk miles comfortably

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A performance walking shoe is lightweight, well-balanced, and has just enough cushioning for you to put in the miles in comfort. These shoes are best for walkers with a neutral gait . While the current trend are minimalist shoes, these shoes have more structure and cushioning to protect your feet.

Our Top Picks


Best Overall: Asics Gel-DS Trainer

ASICS Gel-DS Trainer 20
ASICS Gel-DS Trainer 20. Courtesy of Amazon

The DS Trainer is a favorite for a lightweight training shoe that also provides some stability. It is called the gold standard of the performance-trainer category by Runner's World. The models keep getting lighter, and the weight is down to just over 7 ounces. They also made the upper seamless so there are fewer spots for irritation and possible blistering. If you walk in the rain, you'll appreciate the Wet Grip outsole that gives you better traction on wet pavement. This is a good choice to check out when you are shopping for a performance training shoe.


Best Budget: Ryka Indigo

Ryka Indigo
Ryka Indigo. Courtesy of

The Ryka Indigo is a lightweight neutral running shoe that has a good amount of cushioning. It is flat and flexible, very appropriate for fitness walkers as well as runners. It has a little bit of arch support in the insole. They come in regular and wide.


Best Lightweight: Brooks Ghost

Brooks Ghost 9
Courtesy of

This shoe is impressive in how light and comfortable it is. It is designed for heel-strikers, which is good for a walking stride. The Ghost has a nearly seamless upper. For those who need a waterproof shoe, it comes in a GTX version with Gore-tex to keep out the rain. This is a shoe that can see you through a tough 9-mile hike and many 6-mile walking workouts. They are a joy to wear.


Best for Wide Feet: New Balance 1080

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080
Courtesy of

The 1080 has been a favorite model for New Balance for several years. Now they've improved it and rebranded it as the Fresh Foam 1080. It has more cushioning and an extra-wide footprint. Walkers will appreciate the addition of flex grooves in the midsole and outsole that improve its flexibility. If you have difficulty with your shoes having a sloppy fit, the interior bootie fit system will help keep your foot in place. This shoe is built for neutral feet and is flexible and comfortable. It has enough cushioning for longer mileage, such as training for the half marathon distance. New Balance shoes come in widths, which is appreciated by those with wide feet. New Balance has been changing its shoe lasts, so be sure to try on this shoe if you've worn past models to ensure it still fits you right.


Best for Women: Saucony ProGRID Kinvara

The lighter the shoe, the faster you can walk. The Kinvara borders on being a minimalist shoe, with very lightweight construction. Wearers love them for being light and flexible yet providing enough support and cushion for your walking workouts. They would probably be best for walks of two hours or less rather than long-distance training.

The minimalist upper fits more closely around the ankle and feels more secure compared to the previous versions, according to women who have bought this model. The toe box shape changes from version to version so you may want to try on a pair of these shoes at a running store. These shoes are very flat, with a heel drop of only 4 millimeters, which is very good for a walking shoe. Saucony also says they have made this version even more cushioned and flexible while not adding any weight.


Best for Men: Nike Air Pegasus

This lightweight, flexible shoe has been a favorite lightweight performance shoe for many years. The Pegasus comes in widths, including narrow, normal and wide, and in male and female specific designs. Since the Pegasus 31 model, the upper has been redesigned and the shoes have an even lower heel drop of 10 mm. That means they are flatter, which is better for walkers. They have become even lighter while maintaining good cushioning for longer walks. The upper features an interior bootie to give you a good fit. It won the Best Buy Award from Runner's World.


Best for Preventing Blisters: Brooks Pure Flow

Brooks Pure Flow
Courtesy of

Brooks launches into the new trend of flatter shoes and rounded heels, which are design elements that walkers need. They also construct it with a split-toe design that lets you toe-off more powerfully. Those elements help walkers achieve a quick, powerful stride. Yet it has enough cushioning for a cushy feel. It has a seamless upper to eliminate edges that can rub your feet wrong and lead to blisters.

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