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Whether you consider walking your main form of exercise or more of a necessary means for getting from point A to point B, walking requires good support. If you’ve ever stepped too far in the wrong shoes, you know how important it is to have the best walking shoes that meet your personal needs and feel comfortable no matter what.
That said, walking is a great way to get some exercise, and plenty of health experts recommend walking every day to stay fit. “Studies have shown that walking around 2.5 hours per week can lower the risk of heart disease by 30%,” says Todd Allen, CPT and instructor at Bande. “It can also decrease risk of diabetes and cancer, lower cholesterol and blood pressure and keep you mentally sharp.”
The good news is that you don’t have to walk a ton to reap the benefits, since 2.5 hours per week breaks down to only 20 minutes of walking per day, which is pretty doable for even the busiest schedules. If you like to track steps over time, 20 minutes comes out to around 2,500 steps a day to maintain a healthy lifestyle, says Allen.
What to Look for in the Best Men’s Walking Shoes
When shopping for the best walking shoes for men, you’ll need to consider several factors, including your foot needs (i.e. Do you have high arches? Flat feet? Pain?). You’ll also want to take into account your aesthetic and feel preferences.
“There are different schools of thought when it comes to shoes and various foot conditions such as flat feet, high arches and plantar fasciitis,” says Dr. Emily Splichal, a New York City based podiatrist. “Some experts will say structure is better, where others support a more minimal shoe,” she says.
Dr. Splichal prefers barefoot-style or minimal shoes for overpronation, high arches or plantar fasciitis since these types of shoes can help strengthen the foot muscles.
“Various research studies have shown a correlation between minimal shoes and strengthening of the foot muscles,” says Dr. Splichal. “Strong foot muscles can help control overpronation or a flat foot, as well as offset the stress to the plantar fascia.”
If you prefer a shoe with more cushioning and support, look for shoes with more cushioning and stability.
“I have super high arches, so I look for walking shoes with a lot of cushion in the heel and midsole,” says Allen. “I also look for an outsole that offers strong stability, traction and makes good contact with the ground,” he says.
When it comes to shoe fit, Allen recommends making sure your toes have enough room to move comfortably in the toe box. If you tend to sweat a lot, you can also look for shoes with removable insoles.
“I also prefer a mesh upper for breathability and removable insoles that can be thrown in the laundry or removed to dry after a rainy walk,” says Allen.
So, how do you know when it’s time to get new walking shoes? According to Dr. Splichal, the average walking shoe should be replaced around every 500 miles, when “a breakdown in the cushion and structure of the shoe typically occurs.”
You’ll also want to make note of any soreness or aches that tend to appear after wearing your shoes (if the problem persists, make sure to visit your doctor).
“It’s time for a new pair of walking shoes if you’re feeling extra soreness in your Achilles tendons, calves or shins and if there is any visible wear on the tread or outsole,” says Allen. “My general rule is to replace shoes after 300 to 400 miles of use. That equals anywhere from 633,600 to 844,440 steps.”
With all this in mind, we’ve rounded up the 20 best walking shoes for men to suit a range of needs and preferences. We included product recommended by Dr. Allen and that are bestsellers on sites like Amazon and Zappos.
New Balance 577 V1 Hook and Loop Walking Shoes
Best for Low Arches
If you’re looking for a leather walking shoe that’s easy to slip thanks to hook and loop closures, these are a top-rated pick. These New Balance sneakers scored an average 4.5-star rating on Amazon.com out of a whopping 12,000 reviews. One thing to note based on customer reviews is that these shoes are better for those with a lower arch.
Skechers Go Walk Evolution Ultra Sneakers
Best Slip-On Walking Shoes
One Amazon reviewer raved that these Skechers shoes are “absolutely the best-fitting and most comfortable shoes” they’ve ever worn. The lightweight yet highly cushioned shoe is great for those who like a lot of cushion, but don’t love a bulky-feeling shoe. The slip-on style is super convenient for those times when you’re rushing out the door and can’t be bothered with laces.
Rockport Men’s Eureka Walking Shoes
Best Leather Walking Shoes
These shoes from Rockport are a solid choice for a casual, but not too casual, walking shoe. One rave reviewer on Amazon notes, “They’ve exceeded all expectations! Like the reviews, these shoes are solid! They are also heavy, sturdy, comfortable and well-made.” These have over 13,000 reviews and an average 4.5-star rating.
Xero Shoes Prio Running and Fitness Shoes
Best Barefoot-Style Walking Shoes
Dr. Splichal recommends Xero shoes, which are barefoot-style, minimal shoes. The Prio style is suitable for running in addition to walking, and is a multipurpose fitness shoe. One perk of buying barefoot-style shoes is that they ensure less wear-and-tear, according to Dr. Splichal. “The difference and benefit with minimal shoes is that they don’t have the structure and cushion to break down,” she says. This means you won’t have to replace your shoes as often.
Wonesion Breathable Walking Shoes
Best Budget Men’s Walking Shoes
At less than $50, these shoes are a steal when it comes to sneakers. And if you’re picky about colors, you have options with 15 color varieties available. With over 15,000 reviews and a solid 4.5 star rating, you can’t go wrong with ordering a pair (or two) for yourself and taking them out for a stroll.
Hoka Challenger ATR 6 Sneakers
Best Men’s Walking Shoes for High Arches
Have high arches? So does Allen, who says these shoes are perfect for his needs. “I have super high arches, so I look for walking shoes with a lot of cushion in the heel and midsole,” he says. “This shoe is perfect for walking my dogs on roads or trails. They’re super cushioned and very stable.”
Skechers Men Go Walk 5 Sneakers
Best for Walking All Day
These earned the stamp of approval from one Amazon reviewer who said that the shoes came recommended by a 40-year career nurse who stands on her feet all day. Needless to say, these provide lightweight and responsive cushioning, whether you’re walking or standing all day.
Orthofeet Orthopedic Walking Shoes
Best for Foot Pain
If you have foot pain, you know how hard it is to find a shoe that supports you and doesn’t make your pain worse. These orthopedic walking shoes are top-rated on Amazon and come with a 60-day guarantee to try them out. The soft, cushioned shoes are designed to support people with issues like plantar fasciitis, diabetes and other chronic foot pain conditions. The shoes also come in extended width sizing, perfect for those who have trouble finding extra-wide shoes.
Aprilspring Walking Shoes
Best for Shock Absorption on a Budget
One rave reviewer says these are “the most comfortable shoes [they’ve] ever owned.” The soles of the shoe are designed to absorb shock and impact, and the fabric is breathable. These shoes come with an average 4-star rating, and at $35, are a total steal.
On Running Cloud Shoes
Best Modern Walking Shoes
On Running is one of the more popular shoe brands on the market these days, and for good reason. The brand is known for its unique Zero Gravity foam and “Cloud” elements, giving pairs a super soft feel. One reviewer even noted that these On Cloud shoes are more comfortable than the Adidas Ultraboosts they used to swear by.
Asics Gel Kayano 27 Sneakers
Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet
When you have flat feet or fallen arches, you need plenty of support to help you walk with comfort. Asics’ Gel Kayano 27 is a favorite among runners, but even if you don’t run, you can benefit from the style’s support, stability and gel cushioning.
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 Sneakers
Best Men’s Walking Shoes for Wide Feet
Sometimes, it feels impossible to find the right shoes when you’re shopping for wide feet. These shoes from Brooks come in wide and extra-wide widths, ensuring options and a comfortable fit for all sizes.
Brooks Ghost 13 Sneakers
Best for Metatarsal (Ball of Foot) Pain
When you have metatarsal or ball of foot pain, you need shoes that fit comfortably and don’t add stress to the area. The Brooks Ghost comfortably fits on the foot, provides soft cushioning and shock absorption.
Xero Hanna Leather Shoes
Also Consider Barefoot Shoes
Office attire and comfort don’t always go hand-in-hand. But these barefoot style shoes from Xero are definitely work-appropriate, and give you the same barefoot fit as Xero’s other more athletic-looking styles. The Hanna shoe has an extra-wide toe box, giving it a slipper like fit, according to the brand. Slippers at the office? Count us in.
Hush Puppies Gil Shoes
Best Walking Shoes for Seniors
Hush Puppies are a classic favorite for comfort and style. Seniors will have an easy time slipping these on and off since the shoes don’t have laces. They’re also supportive and comfortable enough for even the most sensitive and sore feet.
New Balance 900 V1 Walking Shoes
Best Backless Walking Shoes
These shoes from New Balance look like sneakers from the front, but are actually a slip-on mule. While they may not work for serious or fast walking, these should be supportive and comfortable for casual walks or walking around the house or yard. One thing to note, several reviewers said they run large, so keep that in mind when ordering the right size for you.
New Balance 1300 Trail Walking Shoes
Best Trail Walking Shoes
Plan on hitting the trails? You’ll need a special shoe for that. These New Balance Trail Walking shoes are a top seller on Amazon. No matter what your hike brings, these trail shoes can hold up with a waterproof exterior and rubber sole that gives you some traction.
Allbirds Wool Runner Mizzles
Best All-Weather Walking Shoes
Allbirds shoes are renowned for keeping feet dry and warm in even the worst (read: stormy) weather. The shoes are water-repellent and machine washable for those days when you sloshed through one-too-many mud puddles. Best of all, reviewers rave about how comfortable these sustainably-made shoes are.
Skechers Go Max Athletic Air Mesh Shoes
Also Consider Slip-On Walking Shoes
These shoes are the number one top-seller on Amazon in the men’s walking shoe category. Not only are these easy to slip on, they’re made of lightweight mesh, keeping you cool and comfortable. Still, they offer give plenty of support and cushion. With almost a perfect five-star average rating and close to 18,000 reviews, you can’t go wrong with these walking shoes.
Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 DNA Shoes
Best for Energy Return
Ultraboost technology offers a cloud-like, bouncy feel underfoot, which has made Adidas’ line featuring the tech popular for years. The Adidas Ultraboost 5.0 shoes also feature a stretchy, lightweight upper that doesn’t restrict movement in your foot or ankle. If you need more support around the ankles, however, go for a shoe with enhanced stability and support.