The 11 Best Walking Shoes of 2021, According to an Expert

Stroll for miles in these comfortable kicks

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

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Our Top Picks
"Lightweight and breathable, these shoes feel great right out of the box and are ideal for folks who spend hours on their feet."
"With just the right balance of firmness and cushion, these shoes sufficiently support and protect your feet while walking."
"The breathable upper of this affordable shoe keeps your feet dry, while the outsole provides good traction in all conditions."
"This shoe's slip-on style makes removal easy while the thick heel helps with shock absorption, promoting a comfortable stroll."
"Ideal for folks with plantar fasciitis, this shoe features excellent cushioning in the heel for a consistently comfortable step."
"Complete with a roomy fit and a diagonal rollbar, this shoe corrects overpronation, which is common in people with low arches."
"With enough space to accommodate foot inserts or custom orthotics, this shoe offers a truly customizable fit."
"Thick cushioning allows for a smooth, efficient ride, and extra support helps people with existing knee or hip pain."
"The roomy toebox of this shoe helps prevent potential blisters, as well as any numbness or tingling in the feet."
"Perfect for folks who like to explore by foot, the memory foam-cushioned insole provides a comfortable, custom-feel fit."

Walking is a great form of exercise with lots of health benefits, but wearing the right shoes is key to staying comfortable and injury-free. Whether you walk for fitness or simply spend a significant amount of time on your feet, you need shoes that offer quality all-around cushioning and support to prevent fatigue and soreness.

Here are the best walking shoes on the market, according to a running coach.

Best Overall for Women: Rykä Devotion Plus 3 Walking Shoe

When it comes to everyday walking shoes, women can’t go wrong with this extremely popular, comfortable, and durable pair from Rykä. Lightweight and breathable, they feel great right out of the box and are ideal for women who walk a lot for exercise or spend hours at a time on their feet.

The design features Re-zorb, Rykä’s active foam technology, in the midsole and in pods on the outsole, so you get both shock and impact protection throughout the entire length of the shoe. It also comes in numerous fun color combinations and regular or wide sizes, so it’s a good fit for women who need some extra room in the toebox.

Best Overall for Men: New Balance 990v5 Running Shoe

New Balance 990 Running Shoe

A category leader in walking shoes, New Balance certainly delivers with this high-quality, comfortable shoe. With just the right balance of firmness and cushion, it sufficiently supports and protects your feet while walking. The shoe’s Ortholite premium footbed provides cushioning and arch support while the lightweight, breathable upper helps keep your feet cool and dry.

Whether you’re walking for fitness or need a solid shoe for all-day wear, this sleek, attractive shoe can work with both athletic and casual styles. They’re available in a range of widths, too, from extra narrow to extra-extra wide, so you can easily find a well-fitting shoe that will keep you moving comfortably.

Best Budget: ASICS Women's GEL-Venture 7 Running Shoes

ASICS Women’s GEL Venture Running Shoes

Asics is a popular brand for runners, but its reasonably-priced GEL-Venture 7 running shoe also works well for walkers who are looking for a comfortable and supportive shoe for exercise, traveling, or all-day wear.

With Asics’ rearfoot GEL cushioning, you get comfortable support and excellent shock absorption, as well as protection from heel pain. The breathable mesh fabric upper keeps your feet dry and comfortable while the durable, grippy outsole provides good traction in all types of conditions. Because the shoes hug your feet and provide shock absorption, they're ideal for protecting your knees when you're walking on concrete, which is especially beneficial for those who have bad knees.

Plus, we love that they can easily be worn in rainy conditions, too, as the rubber sole will ensure your feet stay firmly planted without slipping on slick pavement. Overall, they’re a solid choice for walkers looking for an affordable, lightweight, and reliable shoe.

What Our Editors Say

“As an avid runner and walker, I swear by Asics Gel-Venture shoes. I’ve worn various Asics Gel products for the past 15 years, and am sold for life. I love the cushioning system that reduces impact on my joints and carries me through countless miles. Unlike other shoes I’ve tried, these shoes transition well between walking and running, so you won’t need two pairs of sneakers for different activities.” — Eliza Savage, Senior Editor, Verywell Fit 

Best for Seniors: Skechers Performance Go Walk 5 Walking Shoe

With a sturdy, grippy synthetic sole, the Skechers Go Walk 5 Walking Shoe is a good choice for seniors, who are at a higher risk for slips and falls. The footbed is cushioned with memory foam and the thick heel helps with shock absorption, allowing you to stroll in comfort. The slip-on style also makes it easy to slide your shoes on and off with minimal effort.

Available in several colors and medium or wide sizes, this stylish shoe can be dressed up or down, making it a great all-around and versatile walking shoe.

Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Saucony Versafoam Cohesion Running Shoe

Saucony Men's VERSAFOAM Cohesion 12 Road Running Shoe

A forever favorite among walkers and runners alike, the affordable Saucony’s Versafoam Cohesion shoe has just the right amount of cushioning and support that people dealing with foot issues like plantar fasciitis need.

The shoe’s grid-like Versafoam cushioning offers exceptional comfort and stability in every step, making those miles fly by without any pain or discomfort. Meanwhile, the thick outsoles provide shock absorption and enhanced durability.

Best for Flat Feet: Brooks Addiction Walker 2 Shoe

Brooks Addiction Walker 2

With excellent support and cushioning, the Brooks Addiction Walker 2 is a great choice for anyone with flat feet. It features an extended progressive diagonal rollbar that provides maximum support and corrects any overpronation, which is common for people with low arches. The full-length midsole cushioning also offers a soft feel while still providing excellent energy return and responsiveness.

The shoe has a roomy fit and is available in several different widths, so it can accommodate orthotics or insoles as well. Whether you’re a fitness walker or someone who spends hours standing, the Brooks Addiction Walker 2 is a versatile and durable choice.

Best for High Arches: Asics GEL-Contend Walker Shoe

Asics GEL-Contend Walker Shoe

If you have high arches, the Asics GEL-Contend Walker offers the perfect blend of flexibility and cushioning that you need. Asics’ well-known GEL cushioning system in the rearfoot of the shoe allows for exceptional shock absorption while the AmpliFoam midsole provides lightweight-yet-durable comfort. The shoe’s Ortholite sock liner offers even more support and moisture management, so your feet stay dry and supported at all times.

With enough space to accommodate foot inserts or custom orthotics, the GEL-Contend is a versatile walking shoe and an excellent value for the money.

Best Cushioned: Hoka One One Bondi 7 Running Shoe

Hoka One One Bondi 7 Running Shoe

If you want a walking shoe with a lot of cushioning, it’s tough to beat Hoka One One’s Bondi 7 shoe. The Bondi’s thick midsole cushioning allows for a smooth, efficient ride, and the extra support helps people with existing knee or hip pain.

These shoes are pricier than many other walking shoes on the market, but they’re definitely worth the cost for the quality, durability, and performance.

Best for Wide Feet: New Balance 577 V1 Walking Shoe

If you’ve suffered from foot blisters, toe numbness, or other foot pain because of tight shoes, you may want to consider the New Balance 577 V1 walking shoe for its wide, deep toebox. It's available in a variety of widths, so it can accommodate a huge range of sizes.

Supportive and durable, it provides plenty of cushioning and comfort for neutral walkers. With a high-grade leather upper and a grippy rubber outsole, the New Balance 577 V1 shoe is ready for all types of surfaces and weather conditions. It's perfect for fitness walking, but stylish enough to serve as a casual, all-day wear shoe as well.

Best for Travel: Skechers Ultra Flex Harmonious Walking Shoe

Skechers Ultra Flex Harmonious Walking Shoe

Whether you’re exploring a new city on foot or speed-walking through the airport, the Skechers Ultra Flex Harmonious walking shoe makes for the perfect travel companion. Flexible and responsive, the shoes keep your feet comfortable and supported, even if you’re walking for hours. The memory foam-cushioned insole provides a comfortable, custom-feel fit while the Ultra Flex midsole offers further shock absorption and support.

With a sporty design and lots of color options, this versatile shoe will pair nicely with many outfits. The slip-on style, lightweight feel, and grippy sole also make it worthy of a spot in your suitcase.

Best for Golf: Nike Golf Roshe G Shoes

Nike Golf Roshe G Shoes

No matter the level of your golf game, you need the right shoes to provide comfort and stability for walking the course. Known for its high-quality, well-made golf shoes, Nike offers a versatile and stylish option with their Nike Roshe G golf shoe.

The injected foam midsole provides soft, lightweight cushioning while the breathable mesh upper keeps your feet dry and comfortable. And to help your game, rubber traction pods on the bottoms of the shoes give you added stability throughout your swing.

Final Verdict

With the perfect combination of comfort and stability, the New Balance 990v5 shoe is ideal for men who are looking for a reliable, all-day wear walking shoe. For women, the Rykä Devotion Plus 3 shoe is a comfortable and supportive shoe for fitness walking, travel, and casual wear. And if you’re looking for a less expensive but still durable and high-quality option, the Asics’ GEL-Venture 7 shoe is a solid choice as well.

What to Look for in Walking Shoes


A good pair of walking shoes should fit comfortably right out of the box—no break-in period required. Make sure there’s at least a half-inch of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. “You shouldn't be feeling any pinching or trouble moving your toes,” said podiatrist Ami A. Sheth, DPM, FACFAS.

If you wear custom orthotics or inserts, look for a shoe that’s deep enough to accommodate them or has removable insoles.


Look for shoes that have gel, foam, or air midsole cushioning, which reduces impact and helps with shock absorption as you’re walking.


Support is key when choosing a walking shoe, especially for those who have a history of foot pain and issues. “The shoe should have a good sturdy sole that is flexible at the toes only, not through the midfoot, and one that you cannot wring out like a dishrag,” said Dr. Sheth.


Walking shoes should be durable enough for all-day wear, so they’re supposed to be a bit heavier than most running shoes. Stick with shoes from quality brands that specialize in walking shoes and look for sturdy rubber outsoles.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a running coach, marathon runner, and fitness writer, Christine Luff has spent years researching and recommending running and walking shoes. To walk in comfort and reduce injury risk, she suggests getting properly fitted for walking shoes and replacing them regularly.

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