The Best Walking Shoes for Men He’ll Never Want to Take Off
Walk this way for comfort and support.
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via hokaoneone.com, via zappos.com, via Merrell.com
Your sole will thank you
Walking is one of the simplest and easiest exercises men can do, helping everything from brain function to weight loss, and it’s one of the most versatile forms of fitness because it can be done just about anywhere at any time. But the key to making the most of your walks is having the right footwear, and that definitely doesn’t mean your run-of-the-mill flip-flops or house slippers. You’ll want to find the best walking shoes for men, and that means looking for some very specific features.
“You want to make sure there’s enough shock absorbency,” says Michael Fishkin, a certified pedorthist at Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, of the best walking shoes for men. “You want to control all of that excessive motion from the foot that can affect your ankles, knees, and hips, back all the way up to your shoulders and your neck. It’s very important to reduce all of that stress that’s being exerted on the rest of your body.” While this can be achieved in a variety of footwear styles ranging from sneakers to more polished-looking kicks, the right fit is non-negotiable, he adds.
Ready to make your life really easy? Each of the stylish options below has been chosen for comfort and overall foot health, so you can scroll down, pick your favorite, and then stroll through your day without a care in the world—or a blister. If you’re looking for the best walking shoes for women, we have those, too, as well as some incredibly comfortable sandals and flip-flops you’ll want to live in all summer.
Vionic Tanner Casual Sneaker
Best for: Plantar fasciitis pain
How do you know if a shoe is a good walking shoe? “Make sure it has some type of structure, some type of shank in the midfoot or in the midsole of the shoe,” Fishkin says. And if you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you’ll want to “reduce the shoe from flexing at the midfoot,” he adds. That means finding a high-quality shoe with serious inner arch support and plenty of shock absorption in the heel, which these trendy-looking, business casual kicks from Vionic certainly offer. The brand, by the way, was created by a podiatrist and utilizes orthotics tech in its shoes, so your feet are in good hands, so to speak.
Pro tip: Wear these for just a few hours a day at first to let your feet adjust to the orthotic style; you should be good to go for all-day wear within a week or two. And protect your purchase by reading up on these genius tricks to make your shoes last longer.
Hoka Bondi 7
Best for: Fitness
If you’re focused on long walks, speed walking, or making your daily stroll a major part of your fitness plan, these Hoka sneakers should be on your short list. They’re the most cushioned road shoes in the Hoka lineup and offer smooth, balanced walks with their breathable mesh and memory foam that can conform to a variety of ankle sizes and widths. The result? Ultimate comfort and reduced shoe pain.
“A comfortable walking shoe should provide support and comfort in three zones: the heel, the arch, and the metatarsals,” says Timothy Oldani, DPM, a podiatrist in St. Louis. “The shoe should fit well to the heel, so there is no slipping or sliding of the heel that would lead to blisters.” The Bondi 7 checks all of those boxes.
Merrell Alpine Sneaker
Best for: Everyday walking
These colorful kicks are some of the best walking shoes for men who are always on the go. They’re a relatively lightweight sneaker-style shoe with leather and nylon uppers, breathable mesh lining to keep feet cool and well ventilated, and a proprietary Kinetic Fit removable contoured insole that offers flexible support when you need it most. The rubber outsole also offers traction and durability. Reviewers rave about how comfy they are—and how many compliments they receive when wearing them. The only downside is you’ll probably wear them so often that you’ll need to study our tips on how to keep your shoes smelling fresh.
Chaco Chillos Sport Sandal
Best for: Sandal devotees
Every summer wardrobe needs a great pair of sandals, and if we’re being honest, a lot of walking gets done in them, which is why upgrading your current pair of flip-flops to a more supportive pair makes sense. “Walking sandals should essentially function like a walking shoe, only in sandal form,” Oldani explains. “Many foot problems start in the spring or summer when wearing inadequate and unsupportive sandals. They should still provide ample support through the arch, extending to the ball of the foot.” These Chaco Chillos sandals offer easy summer comfort with a supportive contoured footbed and a back strap to keep sliding and shifting at bay. Before you buy, make sure you know these things a podiatrist won’t tell you.
Naot General Boot
Best for: Dressing up
This easy-to-style walking boot from Naot offers both form and function and looks just as great with a smart khaki as it does with distressed denim. “Quality walking boots still provide support through the heel and arch, but tend to be more lightweight than hiking shoes,” explains Oldani. “The sole of a walking boot will also be more flexible to allow for more comfort when walking on surfaces such as those one would find at work. This can be accomplished by having a shank built into the sole to keep the shoe lightweight and flexible.”
These Naot booties will be your new favorites for days at the office and nights out. They boast a smooth water-resistant leather upper, dual side zips for easy wear, and a removable anatomic cork and latex footbed that is wrapped in microfiber and leather to mold to the shape of your foot. While you’re shopping, check out these other brands you probably didn’t realize were on Zappos.
Rockport Mudguard Sneaker
Best for: Wide feet
This stylish shoe is a dream for both medium and wide widths, but especially the latter because it’s so hard to find trendy, supportive shoes in expanded size ranges. The rubber sole offers extra traction, while the cushioned, arch-supporting footbed offers you hours of comfortable walking, strolling, or carrying on with your day. They’re easily one of the best walking shoes for men who crave more even weight distribution and buoyant comfort with each step. Before you check out, take a look at these other Nordstrom shoes we’re obsessed with right now.
Atoms Model 000
Best for: Those looking for classic white shoes
“It’s always great to have fashion-staple shoes in your closet like a plain white sneaker,” explains Taylor Draper, a men’s fashion expert and founder of popular suiting company Inherent. “When looking for comfort and style, make sure the details on the shoe are minimal. You want the design to be timeless and classic.”
You can’t go wrong with these Atoms Model 000, especially if canvas low-top kicks were your faves for years. Much like those beloved classics, these provide sleek white styling that goes with just about everything, but they also boast a super comfy insole, an antimicrobial copper lining that keeps sweat stink under control, a pliable upper, and shoelaces that the company boasts you only need to tie once. Imagine all the time and aggravation you’ll save with laces that always come undone? The future is here, and it’s looking as bright as a pair of stark white walking shoes. Here’s how to clean shoes, by the way, so they stay in tip-top shape.
Oofos Oomg Fibre Low Shoe
Best for: Slip-on style
If you’re into slip-on-style shoes that offer both ease and comfort, you’re in the right place: This Oofos design is made of durable Fibreflex fabric that’s breathable yet boasts a thick, cushioned sole that molds to each individual foot perfectly. The foam sole has been tested to absorb up to 37 percent more impact than traditional footwear, and the entire shoe is even machine washable. Five-star Amazon reviewers rave about how great these shoes are for plantar fasciitis, ankle pain, spinal stenosis, neuropathy, and more. One happy customer writes, “I was shocked at how nice these are. Owning a pair of Oofos recovery slides, I bought these with high expectations. They have more than succeeded. Whereas many recovery shoes are ungodly ugly, these are casually wearable without fear of how they look. Buy them and enjoy.”
Skechers Performance Go Walk Max
Best for: Those looking for a vegan option
If your litmus test for the best walking shoes for men includes how animal-friendly they are, you’ll love these Skechers Performance Go Walk Max kicks—and be pleasantly surprised by their lightweight, comfortable design. They feature 100 percent textile and synthetic material construction with absolutely no leather or animal products, a supportive sole with added cushioning and high-rebound technology, and heel panels for stability.
The five-star reviews are pretty convincing, too—and there are more than 8,100 of them. Verified Amazon reviewer Robert Hannon writes, “I ordered the Go Walk Max-53601 to be used as my primary walking shoe during a four-week European trip. Europe, where so many roads are made of cobblestones and all that implies, requires a shoe that is tough and yet comfortable. Because of the material the uppers are made of, a mesh nylon, there was no break-in period necessary. They were very comfortable from day one.”
Dream Pairs Walking Shoe
Best for: Budget-minded shoppers
Hands down, these walking shoes for men are the best budget-friendly deal you’ll find. At under $25, they cost less than a couple of Starbucks lattes and come in a variety of neutral color offerings that guys of all ages and stages will like. They offer an EVA footbed and outsole, they’re exceptionally lightweight, and they offer medium support. All of that makes them a great choice for easy wearing on long vacation days while playing tourist, throwing in a gym bag, or just about anything else. Bonus: They’re machine washable.
Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
Best for: Hiking
These Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking shoes are Amazon best sellers because they’re great for rugged terrain, but they’re also amazing if you simply want to get your steps in outdoors. Even better? They perform marvelously in wet, slushy, and downright muddy places and hiking trails, thanks to a water-resistant performance suede leather with bellows and a closed-cell foam tongue. The protective rubber toe cap also comes in handy when you need more reinforcement, and breathable mesh lining helps keep you cool. They offer just as much shock absorption as the best walking shoes, but they were designed for a more adventurous lifestyle.
And this able-bodied Merrell, which has more than 14,500 five-star reviews on Amazon, hits all the right style notes, too. “When you’re looking for a hiking shoe you definitely want utility—it needs to have extra support and thick soles for the activity,” Draper says. “And a pair of light tan hiking shoes with dark soles will never go out of style.”
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37
Best for: Indoor walking and treadmills
From indoor tracks to treadmills, this padded pair of Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37 shoes is just what you need to make the most of your fitness plan. Technically, these were designed for indoor running, but walking enthusiasts credit the inner airbag design with some of the cushiest, most comfortable walking they’ve ever had on indoor surfaces. The light, flexible response makes them an easy go-to, and the translucent mesh makes them a stylish wardrobe piece. You don’t have to wear them indoors, but they’re on the more delicate side in terms of fabric, so you’ll want to take care of these the way you would any other treasured favorite.
Asics Gel-Quantum 360 6
Best for: Speed walking
These sleek-looking Asics sneakers have a gel cushion technology that adds spring to just about any step—it was specifically designed to cushion the entire underfoot to reduce fatigue, absorb shock, and add flexible comfort. The no-sew uppers also guarantee a snug-yet-comfortable fit, while breathable fabric keeps feet dry and stink-free even on the longest power walks.
Another thing to note: “The black sneaker is getting some attention right now because it’s the perfect in-between for going a little more formal but staying casual,” explains Draper. “Just like the white sneaker, it can be dressed up or down, but it can be dressed more formally because it’s black.” Yep, that’s stylist approval to wear a black sneaker with more than just workout gear!
Orthofeet Orthopedic Asheville Slippers
Best for: Indoor comfort
You probably won’t get the bulk of your daily steps in while wearing slippers, and they’re definitely not driving shoes, but these orthopedic slippers are the perfect way to make the most of your steps around the house or outside doing small tasks or tinkering. With a practical rubber outsole, they’re basically the lovechild of a house slipper and a comfortable around-town clog, but with added arch support, a fuzzy inside that adds warmth and comfort, and slip-on style. The brand also makes some of the best slippers for women if you’re into matchy-matchy comfort.
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