2021-Cheapism-Choice_Best-Walking-ShoesEven if you don't walk for exercise, the right walking shoes can make all the difference if you're on your feet for long hours at work or walking all day while traveling. Professional tests and reviews of walking shoes (unlike other sports and fitness gear) are virtually nonexistent, meaning we had to rely more than usual on owner feedback to assess this crowded product category. To whittle down the candidates, we focused on the top-selling walking shoes for women and men — including styles for work, exercise, and leisure — from retailers like Amazon and Zappos. As with other kinds of footwear, such as hiking boots, pricing can vary widely depending on size and style. As always, we made our picks with price in mind, but expect to pay about $50 to $75 for a good pair of walking shoes; anything less won't make your feet happy over the long term. It's always best to try before you buy to get the right fit, but the big online sellers make it easy — and usually free — to return or exchange shoes.


Prices and availability are subject to change.


Related: We Asked Nurses: What Is Your Favorite Walking Shoe?

Our Top Pick

Saucony Integrity Walker 3
Our Picks
Saucony Integrity Walker 3

$80 from Zappos

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The Saucony Integrity Walker 3 is the successor to our previous pick, the Integrity Walker ST2 (which you can still find in some sizes). It's also ideal for jobs like nursing that require long periods of time on your feet and for persons with foot pain. The cushioning is moderate, and a subtle offset shifts weight from the heel to the forefoot, which can ease symptoms of plantar fasciitis, wearers say. (Others say they have no problem inserting custom orthotics for added support.) A stretch zone eases stress on the forefoot, a plus for those with bunions. This women's walking shoe comes in three colors and is made from perforated leather that users say is comfortable and breathable. Some reviewers note that the shoe's rather clunky appearance won't win any fashion awards, but most don't care, saying they bought it for comfort, not style.

New Balance Fresh Foam 860v11 – Amazon

$130 from New Balance

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Lightweight and cushy, these New Balance walking shoes are a Runner's World favorite hybrid shoe (for running or walking). Editors praise the breathable, flexible mesh upper and supportive midsole, noting that this shoe is sturdy enough for light running. It's also relatively lightweight for a men's walking shoe, weighing just 11.4 ounces for a size-10 pair, and several wearers say they could walk all day in these shoes. They come in widths from standard to extra-wide and in two neutral colors. Owners say this is a very attractive shoe that looks athletic yet appropriate for a casual workplace or for travel. New Balance also makes a version of the 860v11 walking shoe for women.

Easy Spirit Traveltime Clogs – Zappos

$69 from Zappos

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Owners praise Easy Spirit Traveltime Clogs for being comfortable and easy to slip on and off quickly at airport security checkpoints. The molded sole provides all-over foot support, and several wearers say the 1-inch heel drop and rounded toe box ease the discomfort of plantar fasciitis and bunions. The mule design also makes this shoe a good choice for people with edema, according to user feedback, because the open heel accommodates foot and ankle swelling. Most people say these clogs are suitable for walking moderate to long distances, although a minority say the open heel and lack of laces make them feel too loose for anything but short walks.

Skechers GoWalk 5 – Zappos

$65 from Zappos

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Skechers GoWalk 5 is the latest version of this popular line of shoes known for comfort. Many reviewers note that these slip-on shoes are a good choice for travel, as they can be removed quickly in the airport security line. They're also relatively lightweight  and several owners say the cushy, comfortable footbed feels like memory foam. A mesh upper contributes to the light weight and adds breathability. Skechers makes the GoWalk 5 for men and women in several styles, distinguished by names such as Apprize, Joy, Progress, and Trendy. (Women's styles far outnumber men's shoes.) One comment we saw frequently is that Skechers walking shoes run a bit narrow — something to keep in mind if you deal with bunions.

Rockport Ridgefield Eureka – Macys

$90 from Macy's

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Professionals who are on their feet a lot appreciate the comfort of this shoe, saying the molded heel cup and cushioned EVA footbed provide good support when standing and walking. The insole is removable to accommodate custom orthotics. A top seller on Amazon, these leather Rockports earn a 4.4-star average rating from more than 10,000 reviewers, with most owners saying they're equally ideal for the office, the daily walk to and from work, and weekend strolls on the greenbelt. They're also easy to wipe clean, according to reviews, and Rockport earns kudos for its customer service. These shoes also come in brown leather and are available in wide sizes.

Brooks Addiction Walker 2 – Zappos

$130 from Zappos

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If you need a comfortable walking shoe and also have very wide feet, the Brooks Addiction Walker 2 might be your new go-to shoe. An upgrade of the popular Addiction Walker, this shoe is one of the few that comes in an extra-wide 4E width for men and 2E for women (in addition to narrow, regular, and wide sizes). Reviewers say the sole provides enough support and stability to keep the foot from rolling inward and enough of a slope to ease plantar fasciitis, with Runner's World editors praising its "great all-day comfort." On the downside, even positive reviews acknowledge that this is a relatively unattractive shoe. It's also a bit heavy: 15 ounces for the men's shoe and 12 ounces for the women's. The Brooks Addiction Walker is available in black or white.

Birkenstock

$100 and up from Birkenstock

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Birkenstock likes to brag that its unisex Arizona sandal has gone unchanged since 1973, and there's a reason why: It's comfy. True, Birks do have a bit of a clunky hippie aesthetic that doesn't appeal to everyone. But reviewers and owners alike rave about how supportive the suede-lined cork footbed is, particularly for people with plantar fasciitis. Another thing that appeals to some buyers: Nearly any part of the sandal can be replaced by an authorized repair shop, adding years of wear. These days, you can find the Arizona in dozens of styles and materials, as well as regular and narrow widths for both men and women. Some reviewers note that the strapless heel may not provide a secure fit for people with narrow heels; in that case, look for a similar model like the Milano, which has a backstrap.

Ryka Devotion Plus 2

$50 and up from Amazon

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One Ryka shoe or another appears in every "best shoes for walking" roundup we've seen, and the Devotion Plus 2 is a top choice for serious walkers. More than 8,000 reviewers give it a 4.4-star average rating on Amazon, with many saying it's the most comfortable shoe they've ever owned. The insole features a full-length cushioned platform and the shoe is constructed of rubber, mesh, and synthetic materials. The mesh makes it very breathable, while the synthetic overlay helps it maintain its shape, adding stability and durability. Even plantar fasciitis sufferers say they find these shoes very comfortable to wear, even for long periods. People with bunions appreciate the wide toe box. The tried-and-true Plus 2 comes in more than half a dozen colors, and in medium and wide sizes. The similar Ryka Devotion Plus 3 gets similarly positive reviews, but it's more expensive.

Vionic Walker Classic – Vionic

$110 from Vionic

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Like some other highly rated walking shoes, these won't win any points for style. But Vionic, which was founded by a podiatrist, is repeatedly cited by experts for making some of the best shoes for plantar fasciitis, and tends to be cheaper than similar brands. Wearers praise the leather Vionic Walker Classic for its support and all-day comfort. There's room to insert orthotic supports if the insole's generous arch support is insufficient. Appearance aside, the biggest complaint from owners is that the shoes feel a bit heavy and don't breathe well. A handful of people who say they have wide feet also commented that the toe box was too tight and suggest buying a half-size up. These shoes are available in four colors and two widths.