The 10 Best Walking Shoes of 2023, Comfort At Every Level

walking on an outdoor trail in walking shoes

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Whether you are headed out to run some errands, taking a walk on a brisk day, or lacing up for your next training session, you need a pair of walking shoes that fit well, are comfortable, and provide support. Sure, we want them to look good, too, but the wrong pair of sneakers can lead to problems in your lower extremities—not to mention how frustrating it can be to drop a bunch of money on a pair of ill-fitting sneakers. But finding a good walking shoe can be daunting.

The Best Walking Shoes - Our Top Picks

Ever walk into a store, psyched to snag your next pair of sneakers only to find yourself overwhelmed with aisle after aisle of options? How do you know which are the best walking shoes for you and which ones are for running or other activities like tennis? Not to worry! In this roundup of the best walking shoes of 2023, the ACTIVE Reviews Team will share everything you need to know.

Why Trust Us?’s editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness and wellness experts including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated.

Best Walking Shoes Featured Pick - Nike Pegasus 40



  • Weight: 10.9 oz (men’s 10.5), 8.5 oz (women’s 8)
  • Closure type: Laces
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 10mm
  • Available width: Standard and wide
  • Sizes: Mens 6-18, Women 5-12
  • Cushioning: Nike React technology, 2 Zoom Air Units
  • Materials: Single-layer mesh upper, Durosol rubber outsole


The Nike Pegasus 40 is Nike’s newest iteration of the well-respected Pegasus trainer continuing its legacy as a high-quality, versatile shoe designed to support both walking and running. The best walking shoe should offer neutral support, moderate cushioning, and a decent but not too steep heel-to-toe drop. The Pegasus 40 checks all those boxes and then some making it a top contender in the world of walking shoes.

Its design incorporates Nike's React technology, strategically placed cushioning, and two Zoom Air Units, resulting in smooth heel-to-toe transitions and an energized toe-off. Additionally, the Pegasus 40 features a single layer mesh upper that enhances breathability, making it an excellent choice for all-day wear. For those with narrow feet, the shoe's design accommodates natural swelling, even when laces are tightly secured. Whether you are heading out for a stroll around the block or a long walk through town, the Pegasus 40 are there to support you.

BUY: Nike Pegasus 40 - Men's

BUY: Nike Pegasus 40 - Women's

Best Overall Walking Shoes - Nobull Runner+



  • Material: Mesh, foam, nylon
  • Weight: 9.5 oz. (M), 7.8 oz. (W)
  • Closure type: Laces
  • Cushioning: 100% Pebax® foam midsole
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 8.5mm
  • Available width: Standard


The Nobull Runner+ walking shoe is a masterpiece of performance and comfort, providing your feet with support and responsiveness no matter how many miles you tackle. Start with the 100% Pebax® foam padding in the midsole and flexible nylon springboard for energy return, and the seamless one-piece construction and double upper eyelet closure, keeping your feet secure with your heels locked in. Not a fan of the molded sockliner? No problem, it's removable. Also, consider the engineered mesh, made to be lightweight, breathable, and more flexible than other mesh materials.

We also love the lightweight rubber outsole for indoor and outdoor use. Reviewers especially appreciate the comfort and stability when cross-training, running, or working a long shift. When you add the "coolness factor" and streamlined design of Nobull shoes, you have a truly spectacular all-around walking shoe and an excellent pick for strength training or quick cardio intervals.

What We Like

  • Great for all-day wear and regular walking
  • Can transition between environments and training methods
  • Full-length nylon springboard for responsiveness
  • Breathable engineered mesh construction
  • Stylish design and colors

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Not as much traction on wet surfaces
  • May not work as well for long-distance running

BUY: Nobull Runner+ - Men's

BUY: Nobull Runner+ - Women's

Best Walking Shoes for Arch Support - Kuru Quantum



  • Material: Synthetic uppers/lining, rubber outsole
  • Weight: 12.4 oz. (M), 10.5 oz. (W)
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: EVA foam
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 8mm
  • Available width: Medium, wide


Finding a comfortable and stable shoe that effectively provides extra support for those with low or high arches can be a challenge. But with the Kuru Quantum, you can find all the cushioning, arch support, heel padding, and comfort you need in a solid walking shoe. This walking shoe has patented three-layer technology for all-day comfort; KURUCLOUD, KURUSOLE, and ULTIMATE INSOLE. These features combine to grant the wearer shock absorption, responsiveness, and a built-in "superior" arch support cushion that molds to your foot.

What we like the most about the Kuru Quantum—and why we selected it for this category—is the shoe's reputation for providing long-lasting comfort to those with plantar fasciitis, heel pain, fallen arches, and bone spurs. They also have an excellent track record for customer service (their representatives are called KURU GURU specialists) with fast, free shipping and no-hassle returns and exchanges. Lastly, reviewers who spend all day on their feet swear by these for support and comfort.

What We Like

  • Best-seller for users who need extra arch support
  • Roomy toe box
  • Available in medium and wide widths
  • Excellent customer service
  • Free shipping

What We Don't Like

  • Not as many color options for men
  • Not as lightweight

BUY: Kuru Quantum - Men's

BUY: Kuru Quantum - Women's

Best Shoes for Walking and Running - Hoka Kawana



  • Material: Engineered mesh, durabrasion rubber, foam
  • Weight: 10 oz. (M), 8.4 oz. (W)
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: Compression-molded EVA foam
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 5mm
  • Available width: Standard


Made with recycled materials and vegan rubber, the Hoka Kawana is the type of shoe that can easily transition from everyday wear to high-intensity training. This dynamic walking shoe has a well-ventilated engineered jacquard mesh upper, an extended SwallowTail™ heel crash-pad for impact reduction, and a meta-rocker to help propel you forward when in motion. The Kawana also uses a compression-molded EVA foam for comfort and responsiveness and is broader for smoother heel strikes.

Hoka Kawana is balanced well in that it is not too firm or too overly cushioned. They're easy to break in, and the traction of the thick rubber outsole can stand up to most uneven terrains. Whether you're on your feet all day, a regular mall walker, or an avid distance runner, these powerful performers can help you get the job done.

What We Like

  • Easy to transition from walking and running
  • Made with recycled and vegan materials
  • Breathable mesh upper
  • Extended heel pull
  • Great value for price

What We Don't Like

  • Not very lightweight for a running shoe
  • Not as waterproof
  • Low stock/color variety for women

BUY: Hoka Kawana - Men's

BUY: Hoka Kawana - Women's

Best Shoes for Walking All Day - Skechers GO WALK Massage Fit



  • Material: Engineered mesh, synthetic upper, foam
  • Weight: Not listed
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: HYPER BURST® foam
  • Heel-to-toe drop: Not listed
  • Available width: Medium


When you're on your feet all day, whether walking or standing, a lot of mileage is put on your feet, and those guys sorely need a shoe that can rise to the occasion. We selected Skechers GO WALK Massage Fit as the best shoe for walking all day because they're built to pamper your feet at an affordable price. The "foot massage" aspect comes courtesy of the Massage Fit™ wave midsole, which gently kneads your foot as you move. The midsole also contains patented HYPER BURST® cushioning that is responsive and lightweight. Additionally, the outsole has dual-density traction to keep you stable wherever you're walking.

There isn't a lot of variety when it comes to colors and styles—only two colors for men and women—but the shoes are machine washable, so you can keep them pristine for longer. Reviewers are a fan of the comfort and ease with little to no break-in period needed for these Skechers and the distinctive wavy midsole. If you're an all-day walker, we hope your feet will thank us for this walking shoe recommendation.

What We Like

  • Massage comfort midsole
  • Great shoe for people with foot conditions like plantar fasciitis
  • Easy to break-in
  • Machine washable
  • Excellent value

What We Don't Like

  • Limited color variety
  • Not as much fabric stretch
  • No information on weight and drop

BUY: Skechers GO WALK Massage Fit - Men's

BUY: Skechers GO WALK Massage Fit - Women's

Best Walking Shoes for Travel - Nobull Court Trainer



  • Material: SuperFabric® upper, EVA foam
  • Weight: Not listed
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: EVA foam midsole
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 4mm
  • Available width: Standard


Don't let the name fool you, the Nobull Court Trainer is just as effective off the court as it is on. These shoes were built for hard surfaces and a variety of sports including CrossFit. As for travel, these shoes can serve as the only pair you need when on the go as they're comfortable enough for a plane or car trip, excellent for physical activities for gym time, and stylish enough to wear out on the town in a new city.

The Nobull Court Trainer is constructed from a seamless SuperFabric® that is durable, breathable, and resistant to scuffs and abrasions. There is additional comfort padding in the shoe's tongue and the lacing uses internal webbing for stability. You'll also be happy to find out that this Nobull trainer has increased height in the EVA foam midsole for added cushioning and comfort. Just don't travel with them on the court, you'll likely get a penalty for that.

What We Like

  • Versatile for travel and training
  • Durable enough for walking and daily wear
  • Less expensive than other Nobull models
  • Sleek and stylish
  • Reflective logo for visibility at night

What We Don't Like

  • May not hold up for long endurance runs or walks
  • May require some breaking in

BUY: Nobull Court Trainer - Men's

BUY: Nobull Court Trainer - Women's

Best Walking Shoes for Women - Kuru Chicane



  • Material: Synthetic and Nubuck leather uppers, synthetic lining, rubber outsole
  • Weight: 13.16 oz. (size 8)
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: Lightweight EVA foam
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 12mm
  • Available width: Medium, wide


Finding a great-fitting women's walking shoe that is functional, comfortable, and stylish can be a challenge. Odds are that with the Kuru Chicane, you won't see another pair like these on your regular walking trail. The unique design is made for the outdoors and is a blend of Kuru's three-layer all-day comfort technology featuring KURUCLOUD, KURUSOLE, and ULTIMATE INSOLE. These elements combined create a shock-absorbing and responsive walking shoe.

Kuru Chicane shoes have a synthetic and top-grain Nubuck leather upper and a non-marking all-terrain rubber outsole. Reviewers are mixed on the break-in period for these shoes but love the lack of foot pain they're experiencing while consistently wearing. The built-in arch support, round heel cups, and ergonomic insole are a huge bonus as well.

What We Like

  • Excellent choice for women who trail walk and hike
  • Available in medium and wide widths
  • Contoured foam for built-in arch support
  • Super supportive design
  • Free shipping and hassle-free returns

What We Don't Like

  • Design/style may not work for some
  • Expensive

BUY: Kuru Chicane

Best Walking Shoes for Men - Kuru Atom



  • Material: Synthetic upper/lining, rubber outsole
  • Weight: 10.6 oz. (size 8)
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: Lightweight EVA foam
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 8mm
  • Available width: Medium, wide


Bringing together performance, comfort, and style, the Kuru Atom is our top pick for the best walking shoes for men that are both casual and ready for adventure when needed. Available in six colors with a minimalistic design, the Atom is both comfortable and functional, created to support you mile after mile, whether on the trail or treadmill.

This shoe features Kuru's patented KURUCLOUD, KURUSOLE, and ULTIMATE INSOLE materials, meaning its foam construction can keep your feet comfortable on long days. The synthetic mesh upper is lightweight and breathable, adding to the comfort levels. The moderate heel-to-toe drop of eight millimeters also encourages good walking mechanics. We like the Kuru brand, as this isn't the first time we've recommended it on this list. Reviewers who suffer from foot and heel pain love the support of these shoes and the ample toe box room.

What We Like

  • Responsive cushioning in midsole
  • 6 colors to choose from
  • Breathable, lightweight mesh upper
  • Great for beginners going from walking to running
  • Sleek and stylish

What We Don't Like

  • Those with wider feet may have issues putting these on
  • Expensive

BUY: Kuru Atom

Best HOKA Walking Shoes - HOKA Bondi 8



  • Material: Vegan rubber outsole, engineered mesh upper, foam
  • Weight: 10.8 oz. (M), 8.9 oz. (W)
  • Closure type: Lace
  • Cushioning: Foam cushioning
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 4mm
  • Available widths: Regular, wide, extra-wide (men's only)


HOKA has gained a lot of traction in the world of sneakers as a brand known for comfort, cushion, and stability. From their superior line of shoes, we found the next-gen HOKA Bondi 8 to be the best for HOKAs for everyday walking. This sneaker features a toned-down meta-rocker which combines a low heel-to-toe drop with a rounded sole to promote a natural walking stride. This design encourages a smooth transitional roll between the heel and toe, and the ample foam cushioning limits shock to keep your joints healthy.

The Bondi 8 is equipped with an open mesh upper for breathability and TPU overlay to enhance stability. This shoe has a memory foam collar around the ankle intended to accommodate a variety of ankle sizes with a partially-gusseted tongue that stays in place. However, some users may find this feature constricting. It is important to note that the Bondi 8 does not have much arch support for those with higher arches but may work for walkers with flat feet.

What We Like

  • Stable and responsive
  • Plush foam cushioning
  • Low heel-to-toe drop
  • Available in both wide and x-wide
  • Several color choices

What We Don't Like

  • Not every color is available in wide/x-wide
  • Not as good for high speeds
  • Can fit slightly snug

BUY: Hoka Bondi 8 - Men's

BUY: Hoka Bondi 8 - Women's

Best Budget Walking Shoes - Nike Quest 5



  • Material: Synthetic mesh upper, rubber outsole, foam cushioning
  • Weight: 10.4 oz. (M)
  • Closure type: Laces
  • Cushioning: Minimal
  • Heel-to-toe drop: 9mm
  • Available width: Regular


There’s a lot to love about the Nike Quest 5 shoe, starting with the price point. If you’re looking for a high-performance athletic shoe that costs well under $100, this may be the walking shoe for you. Nike proves with the Quest 5 that you don't have to pay a small fortune to get a decent pair of everyday walking shoes.

Additionally, we appreciate that this shoe can be worn casually, in the gym, or on your daily run. As for the construction of the shoe, the knit mesh is lightweight and breathable, while the relatively minimal outsole has plenty of traction to help keep the shoe flexible and responsive. As for the cushioning, the Nike Quest 5 has a super soft cushioned midsole to hug your foot with every step. Lastly, the clean, uncluttered design is instantly iconic. Reviewers love that this shoe feels great on their feet and looks good with practically everything.

What We Like

  • Budget-friendly option
  • Clean, iconic aesthetic
  • Many colors to pick from
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Versatile

What We Don’t Like

  • May not work for those with wider feet
  • Not as comfortable for long endurance sessions

BUY: Nike Quest 5 - Men's

BUY: Nike Quest 5 - Women's

Best Walking Shoes for Seniors - Reebok DailyFit DMX



  • Material: 30% recycled materials, crystal rubber outsole
  • Weight: Not listed
  • Closure type: Laces
  • Cushioning: DMX moving air cushioning
  • Heel-to-toe drop: Not listed
  • Available width: Regular


A must-have for both active seniors and seniors looking to become more active is a pair of good walking shoes for everyday use. We recommend the Reebok DailyFit DMX shoes in this category for their soft textile upper, padded heel, and highly cushioned midsole. They're easy to put on and take off, a time-saving function appreciated at any age. The shoe is also made from 30% recycled materials and has a durable crystal rubber outsole for extra traction. It may feel orthopedic—users with foot conditions like bunions especially appreciate the comfort of this shoe—but it certainly doesn't look like the average orthopedic shoe when it comes to style.

The Reebok DailyFit DMX has "triple max" adaptive air cushioning in the midsole that helps support your arches as you move by pushing air from the heel to the forefoot and back again. Additionally, the molded sockliner keeps your foot solidly in place. Reviewers have stated that these shoes seem to run small, so you may need to consider sizing up for comfort.

What We Like

  • Easy on and off
  • Made from 30% recycled materials
  • Air cushioning in the midsole for added comfort
  • Minimalistic design

What We Don't Like

  • No color variety
  • May run small

BUY: Reebok Daily Fit DMX - Men's

BUY: Reebok Daily Fit DMX - Women's

What to Look for in Walking Shoes

Many people inaccurately assume that the best running shoes will also make for a great pair of walking shoes. The truth is that some running shoes can be good for walking, but there are specific qualities of walking shoes that make them a superior choice.


A pair of properly fitting walking shoes can prevent nagging issues such as foot pain, bruised toenails, and blisters. A good fit is snug enough to feel secure and prevent your foot from moving around, but not too tight. Specifically, a sneaker should hug your heel and midfoot, but you should be able to wiggle your toes around. Ideally, there should be a finger's width of space between your tallest toe and the end of the sneaker. The socks you plan on wearing will affect fit. For instance, hiking socks tend to be thicker, so consider how you plan to use the shoe.


Walking shoes need ample cushioning. The cushioning serves two purposes: It is what makes the shoe feel good and what absorbs the shock of each footfall. While walking is not as jarring as running, there is still a good amount of impact with each stride. As such, a generous amount of cushioning is necessary.


The mechanics of walking differ from running in the way the feet strike the ground. People typically land on their heels and roll their feet forward when walking. Because of this rolling motion, walking shoes should have flexible soles. To test out the flexibility, hold the shoe in your hand and bend the heel toward the toe box. The sneaker should bend where the ball of your foot will be located.

Heel-to-Toe Drop

Heel-to-toe drop measures the difference in cushioning beneath the heel of your foot and the toe. Measured in millimeters, walking shoes should have a lower drop number. While this spec is more of a concern for runners, it is important for walking as you want to avoid large drop numbers which will alter your walking mechanics.

FAQs About Walking Shoes

What walking shoes do podiatrists recommend?

Every podiatrist has their top picks for shoe recommendations, but they all agree that the qualities you need most in any good walking shoe are flexibility, moderate cushioning, and a lower heel-to-toe drop to promote smooth transitions that match the natural walking stride.

Is it OK to wear running shoes for walking?

The answer here is yes and no. It is OK to wear running shoes for short durations, but walking has inherently different mechanics which makes certain shoes better suited for walking. While walking has less impact than running, your foot is on the ground for longer which is why you want a good amount of cushioning along the bottom. What differs most between walking and running is that when walking, your weight typically transitions from the heel rolling forward toward the toe. This means you want flexibility in a walking shoe, a quality not always seen in running shoes.

How long do walking shoes last?

The rule of thumb is that a good walking shoe should last between 300 and 500 miles of wear. This may vary from person to person, however. If you have a heavier footfall, or over or under-pronate, a walking shoe may not last as long.

Should walking shoes be stiff or flexible?

Walking shoes should be flexible. Flexibility allows for the shoe to support the natural mechanics of walking promoting a smooth heel-to-toe transition.

About the Author

Kristine Golden

Kristine Golden

Kristine has been immersed in the fitness world for nearly 20 years. She has competed in marathons and Ironman races and earned a spot to compete in the 2012 Age Group National Championship Olympic Triathlon.

See More from Kristine

Kristine has been immersed in the fitness world for nearly 20 years. She has competed in marathons and Ironman races and earned a spot to compete in the 2012 Age Group National Championship Olympic Triathlon.

See More from Kristine

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