8 Best Walking Shoes For Men in 2019 (Walking Exercise Shoes)

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You're ready for some walking exercise but wondering what are the best walking shoes for men this year.

Maybe you're dreading buying your next pair of walking shoes?

Worried about wasting your money on shoes that don't seem to fit properly and don't live up to the promises on the sales page?

Are you wincing as you remember the blisters and pain the last pair of walking shoes gave you?

Only you know your feet intimately, so getting the right size will be up to you – you'll find some tips on our post for measuring your feet and finding the right shoe size.

If you are a woman then you can check out your best walking shoes here.

As for information on finding the right pair of shoes for YOUR feet and circumstances, we have a load of information on that which you can jump down the page to using the orange button below (Note: the orange square button bottom right brings you back to the top of the page).

But for those who already have a clear idea of the type and style they are after, let's start with the reviews.

Links disclosure: We spend many hours researching our posts and provide links to important articles relevant to the topic of this page. We also link to products or services offered by third parties such as Amazon.com and other online retailers where you can see more information and images of the product or service and decide if it is right for you. We may receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you) if you make a purchase. We want you to know that we only recommend products and services we believe to offer you great value either through our thorough research or that we have personally purchased.

As you will understand, the term ‘walking shoes' depends on context – the type of walking you will be doing, on what surface and how strenuous it will be. The info section below explores this concept more.

But, for the purposes of this guide, we will be focussing on shoes that are suited to general walking exercise in dry conditions.

If you are an overpronator or supinator we have you covered here and you can find more suggestions on one of our guides for supination or overpronation.

If you have a specific foot shape or problem that makes finding a comfortable shoe difficult, such as wide feet or flat feet, high arches, or metatarsalgia then please check out the pages for those. More shoes for specific foot issues can be found at men's shoe guides by problem or just use the menu at the top of the page.

If you are looking for the best men’s shoes for general walking all day either casually or at work or just for general wear, then check out our article on the most comfortable men’s walking shoes which focuses on work and casual shoes rather than the walking as exercise shoes reviewed here.

The Best Walking Shoes for Men in 2019 Are:

Saucony Grid Omni Walker, Skechers Equalizer 3.0, ASICS Gel Kayano 25, SAS Time Out, New Balance 928v3, Brooks Addiction Walker, Saucony Echelon 7, Hoke One One Bondi 6. All are great shoes for exercise walking and more.

Let's get on with the reviews!

The table below gives a quick view of the shoes reviewed in this article.. Use the jump links in the table as well as in the reviews to jump up and down the page quickly and easily.


Best Walking Shoes for Men
Quick Navigation Table


Saucony Mens Omni Walker

SkechersEqualizer 3.0 Oxford

Asics Mens Gel-Kayano 25

Brooks Mens Addiction Walker


Best Walking Shoes for Men – The Reviews

1. Saucony Omni Walker

Best Stability Walking Shoe for Men

30% savings
Saucony Men's Grid Omni Walker, White
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Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on https://www.amazon.com/ at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Shoe Specifications
Style:Stability Walking Shoe
Use:Shoe for Walking Exercise
Sizing:7 – 15 with Half Sizes to 12.5
Widths:Medium & Wide
Upper:Leather & Synthetic
Cushion:Fairly Good
Sole:Dual Density Rubber
Insole:Average
Pronation:Neutrals & Mild Overpronators
Rating:80%

Overview

The Saucony Men's Grid Omni Walker has been around for a long time.

It is priced at the lower end of the scale for athletic walking shoes, providing the most essential basic features needed for a comfortable stability shoe.

The Omni Walker gives great value for money for slight overpronators and walkers with neutral gaits and in its price range one of the best walking sneakers for men.

Comfort & Cushioning

This stability shoe is moderately cushioned to a degree that allows it to fulfill its role in helping to counter moderate overpronation.

Given that pronation means the tendency for the foot to roll inwards as you transition through your stride. The nature of cushioning is to give way under pressure and so must be limited, at least underfoot, for the shoe to resist foot roll.

If you have a neutral gait the motion control feature will not hurt but then you could be looking for a shoe with more cushioning.

The shoe is comfortable and the cushioning good for the type and design of the shoe.

There is good cushioning around the ankles and the back of the heel (Achilles) as well as under the tongue beneath the laces.

Overall comfort and cushioning are better than average for a stability shoe.

Fit, Sizing & Support

These shoes come up true to size for most people with an ample range of sizes in length as well as a wide width fitting. Sizing should not be a problem unless you are a guy with very narrow or very wide feet.

Support to your foot arch is ample with higher durometer rubber used under the midfoot which you can see when looking at the shoe side on.

The EVA foam sole is harder than most which is a cheaper way of providing torsional resistance than rigid bars built into the midsole which are used by more expensive shoes.

The sole is designed to reduce pronation with impact protection coming from a mix of three different materials to absorb shock and provide stability and comfort.

It is a good stable shoe with gait alignment assisted by the design of the outsole marketed as WalkTrac™. If you want to learn more head over to my full review of the shoe.

If you are an overpronator then you might also like our roundup of shoes made to help counter the effects of overpronation.

Conclusion

For a shoe that is at the budget end of the scale, the leather uppers and durable materials used for the sole and midsole make it a great value for money walking shoe.

The design is a little staid and it only comes in black or white but if you are not fussed about the best of the best technology then it provides a good solid shoe for the money.

It is an especially good buy for moderate overpronators who will appreciate the stability features.

Saucony Omni Grid Walker – Features of Interest

Good Things

Inexpensive

Good for Walkers with Overpronation

Moderate Cushioning

Light Motion Control

Leather Uppers

Quite Comfortable

Good Support for Flat Feet

Not So Good Things

Basic Feature Set

Limited Color Range

Looks Boring

A Bit on the Heavy Side


2. Skechers Equalizer 3.0

Best Memory Foam Walking Shoe for Men (Mid Price)

8% savings
Skechers Men's Equalizer 3.0 Oxford
$59.95
(As of: 2019/12/06 3:49 am - Details)
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Shoe Specifications
Style:Casual Sports
Use:Walking Exercise & Casual
Sizing:6.5 – 16 with Half Sizes to 11.5
Widths:Medium & Extra Wide
Upper:Textile Mesh
Cushion:Very Good
Sole:Flexible Rubber
Insole:Not Removable
Pronation:Neutrals
Rating:98%

Overview

Skechers are famous for their memory foam shoes. If you want some info on the material and the good and bad in detail then check out our post on memory foam here.

For comfort, memory foam is superbly soft and cushioning and sort of melds into your foot shape.

If all you want is comfort then you can't go far wrong with these shoes but be aware it is at the expense of durability as the insoles do not come out easily.

Comfort & Cushioning

The Skechers Men's Equalizer 3.0 is all about comfort and on that score it is possibly the most comfortable walking shoe for men.

Comfort is not everything and durability is the loser with memory foam. The foam gradually loses its spring and becomes flattened but at least it is flattened to your foot shape. But the cushioning will be mostly a thing of the past – like a poor quality mattress or one you have used way too long.

With removable insoles, you could swap them out for a bit more life but not with these shoes.

You do need to balance the poor durability against the cost of the shoe versus its competitors and on that score, it wins, which sort of balances the equation out somewhat in value for money terms.

The uppers are a nice breathable mesh which will help keep your feet drier and cooler, but again durability is the issue.

If you are prepared to replace the shoes in a year and can wrap your head around the fact they are about half the price of much better shoes then you are in a good position to make a decision.

Fit, Sizing & Support

There is not very much in the way of support because memory foam is not supposed to be terribly supportive but the shape of the midsole which is somewhat tougher does give some arch support.

You cannot swap out for orthotics though and the shoe is not quite roomy enough to be able to have them layered on the memory foam insole provided.

Aside from that issue, the shoes are quite roomy as they come with a good shape to provide a bit of space across the midfoot and the uppers are flexible to give some leeway too.

With medium and extra wide fittings available and a good lacing arrangement, these shoes should be good to fit most users if they do not have extra high insteps.

Conclusion

A really comfortable lightweight shoe that will give you many miles of use but does fall down on longer-term durability which is offset by pricing at the low end of the scale.

It is an excellent shoe for regular walking exercise that will not break the bank to buy.

Skechers Equalizer 3.0 – Features of Interest

Good Things

Best Seller

Great Cushioning

Lightweight

Oh So Comfy

Look Great Even in Wide

Multi-Purpose

Not So Good Things

Common to Memory Foam the Insoles Eventually Flatten

The Insoles Are Glued In (Least on My Pair)

Not a Great Choice if You Only Wear Leather?


3. ASICS Gel Kayano 25

Best Cushioned Shoe for Power Walking

ASICS Gel-Kayano 25 Men's Shoe
$160.00
(As of: 2019/12/06 4:27 am - Details)
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Shoe Specifications
Style:Power Walking Sports Shoe
Use:Power & Exercise Walking
Sizing:6 – 16 Half Sizes to 12.5
Widths:Medium
Upper:Mesh & Synthetic
Cushion:Good
Sole:Rubber Cushioned
Insole:Removable
Pronation:Mild Overpronators & Neutrals
Rating:97%

Overview

For fitness walkers and power walkers, the ASICS Gel Kayano 25 is a really great choice.

The shoe has plenty of support for your feet and high levels of cushioning in a lightweight package which is more important for strenuous walking.

An Impact Guidance system helps keep the gait straight and benefits mild overpronators but is mild enough to be inconsequential to you if you have a normal gait.

Comfort & Cushioning

There is a bevy of features to provide you with great comfort and cushioning for your hard walking sessions.

Excellent shock absorbance for your heels and forefoot help reduce jarring and distribute loading that can otherwise cause knee pain and pressure hot spots during a tough walk.

The midsole foam is light but flexible with a slightly softer SPEVA Foam layer under the insole to provide even more cushion without losing the support you need.

The breathable uppers are nicely flexible which is probably doubly good as the shoe last is a little skinny for some people and width fittings are not available.

The removable Orthalite insole is great for wicking away moisture and reducing odor at the same time providing good support and cushioning.

Fit, Sizing & Support

If you don't have normal width feet then you may as well forget this shoe.

That's a shame because it is a great shoe for intense walkers.

Support is fine and the shoe can be well-positioned thanks to the good heel counter, insole, and lacing system so if you are a medium width fitting then you are in for a treat with the Gel Kayano 25.

Conclusion

A really excellent shoe from ASICS that provides just about everything needed for you as a power walker.

The gait alignment systems are mild and well suited to slight overpronators but the lack of width fittings is a potential drawback for some.

ASICS Gel Kayano 25 – Features of Interest

Good Things

Consistent Cushioning

Lots of Color Choice

Good Support

Removable Insoles

Great for Treadmill Walking

Good Midsole Construction

Very Comfortable

5 Star Walking Shoe

Not So Good Things

Sizing Small

No Width Fittings

No Good for High Insteps


4. SAS Time Out

Best Overall Walking Shoes for Men

SAS Men's, Timeout Lace up Shoe
$186.95
(As of: 2019/12/06 3:49 am - Details)
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Shoe Specifications
Style:Casual Walking Shoe
Use:General Walking
Sizing:6 – 15 Half Sizes to 13.5
Widths:Narrow – Extra Wide
Upper:Breathable Soft Leather
Cushion:Excellent
Sole:Rubber Extra Cushioned
Insole:Removable & Anti-Bacterial
Pronation:Neutrals
Rating:92%

Overviews

I have to admit it.

For walking these are the best shoes since the discovery of water and vastly ahead of sliced bread!

They are the best walking shoes for men by some distance if the price is not the main deciding factor.

Handmade in the US to exacting standards by a company that makes exceedingly good shoes and has a care for its customers.

They are the best walking shoes for men with wide or narrow feet and the best shoes for seniors, pricing aside but for most price IS a deciding point so other shoes take the prize in those categories.

Comfort & Cushioning

Comfort and cushioning are at the top of the list for these shoes.

Plush high-quality padding is stitched into the soft, supple leather uppers around the collar of the shoe to provide a classy rim of comfort for your ankles and Achilles.

An excellent lacing system is protected from your instep by a softly padded tongue which is gusseted to stop dirt getting in so easily and to keep the tongue properly positioned.

The excellent midsole provides a slightly springy, soft step that still manages to give great support to your arches – unless you have really high arches.

Fit, Sizing & Support

A huge range of sizes and width fittings caters to everyone.

The fit is enhanced with a well thought through lacing system that provides plenty of options to secure the shoe to your foot and maintain positioning.

Metal eyelets to the central section of the lacing opening allow the laces to slide through for easy adjustment when taking the shoe on and off, whereas the top and bottom eyelets provide enough friction to keep everything in place. Brilliant!

Conclusion

The Time Out is a class shoe that is made to exacting standards using high-quality materials.

Good design and plenty of room in the shoe makes it a great choice for seniors with a suitable budget.

They are the best in class and are versatile in design so you can wear them casually as well as for walking exercise.

The best walking shoe for men in my book if you can afford them!

SAS Time Out – Features of Interest

Good Things

Excellent Comfort

Anti-Bacterial Removable Insole

High-Quality Materials

Easy Lacing for Fit

Roomy Foot Shape & Toe Box

Great Shoe

Not So Good Things

Ummmmm – Price?

They Don't Clean Themselves


5. New Balance 928v3 for Men

Best Walking Shoe for Heavy Guys

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Shoe Specifications
Style:Regular Walking Shoe
Use:Walking Exercise & Casual
Sizing:7 – 16 Most Half Sizes Men
Widths:Narrow to Extra Wide
Upper:Leather or Suede
Cushion:Good
Sole:Rubber
Insole:Cushioned
Pronation:Overpronators / Neutrals
Rating:88%

Overview

A walking shoe for men that comes in the full range of width fittings from Narrow right the way through to Extra Extra Wide.

This excellent shoe for overpronators will suit seniors too since your feet get wider as you get older and arches tend to flatten.

Good cushioning, good support and good quality materials throughout make this sporty looking sneaker a great option for you if you walk a lot.

Comfort & Cushioning

The New Balance 928v3 is a motion control shoe which has features of specific benefit to overpronators and so cushioning must be carefully designed not to allow too much inward roll of the foot which would defeat the object.

There is an anti-roll bar built into the midsole which helps your foot to reduce the amount of inward roll by stiffening the shoe against torsional flex.

Comfort is not all about cushioning though and the 928v3 does a good job of maximizing comfort whilst still retaining the design aims of countering overpronation.

There is ample cushioning around the shoe collar and in the tongue to distribute any pressure coming from tight laces.

The shoe has a quality midsole (marketed as ABZORB™) which provides good shock protection and also comfort from the soft spring it gives to add responsiveness. This makes the shoe comfortable overall and one of the most comfortable motion control shoes out there.

The suede uppers are more comfortable than the leather but do need a little more care and attention – beautiful always seems to mean higher maintenance (don't tell Jenna I said that!)

Fit, Sizing & Support

A huge range of sizes are available in this model in length as well as width fittings, so finding a fit for your individual foot should be no problem.

The supplied insole is fairly typical for the upper end of the athletic shoe market, providing quite good support but also removable to allow for individual orthotics to be fitted in their place if you need more support.

If it is intended to install custom orthotics then you should consider getting a slightly wider fit than normal and possibly a half size longer to allow a bit more room once the thicker custom orthotics are fitted.

The shoe has a good full lacing system which allows you to adjust the laces to ensure great, stable foot positioning in use.

Conclusion

If you need one of the best motion control shoes then it is a choice between the Brooks Addiction Walker or the New Balance 928v3.

If you were doing a comparison the 928v3 is the more comfortable by a small margin and looks a bit more up to date. The Brooks Addiction Walker has better support as supplied, is a little more durable, and is a little roomier in places that make it a better choice for swapping out for custom orthotics. Pricing is about the same so it is a toss-up as to which feels better really.

The 928v3 is a quality shoe that looks good and feels good and should be on your hit list if you are an overpronator or a senior (though the Brooks just beats it for seniors) or need a wider or narrow shoe.

New Balance 928v3 – Features of Interest

Good Things

Wide in the Midfoot

Classy Leather or Suede Uppers

Cushioned and comfortable

Rollbar for Overpronators

Good Range of Width Fittings

Versatile Sporty Casual Looks

Not So Good Things

Limited Color Styles

Slightly Heavier than Some


6. Brooks Addiction Walker

Best For Seniors, Overpronators & Flat Feet

Brooks Mens Addiction Walker
$99.95
(As of: 2019/12/06 3:45 am - Details)
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Shoe Specifications
Style:Casual Walking Shoe
Use:Work & Casual
Sizing:6.5 – 16 Most Half Sizes Men
Widths:Narrow to Extra Wide
Upper:Leather
Cushion:Very Good
Sole:Rubber
Insole:Removable
Pronation:Overpronators & Neutral
Rating:88%

Overview

A classic walking shoe from Brooks that has been at the top of the best sellers lists for motion control shoes for many years.

The shoe is restrained in style and offers plenty of room for your feet with a good roomy toe box and space for custom orthotics thanks to its anatomically squarer shape which does not squeeze in across your midfoot.

A great shoe for seniors as well as anyone needing a motion control shoe and the closest competitor to the New Balance 928v3.

Comfort & Cushioning

Cushioning is well provided throughout the shoe with the ankles, Achilles and instep are all amply taken care of and underneath your foot, the insole and midsole work together to give excellent support as well as a degree of softness and spring.

The shoe is intended squarely as a walking shoe with a diagonal progressive rollbar to provide the resistance to twist needed to control overpronation and with great shock absorbance to the heels particularly.

Cushioning is definitely better than the 928v3 but the suede uppers of the New Balance shoe just tips it for overall comfort.

Nevertheless, it is still a good, comfortable shoe.

Fit, Sizing & Support

An excellent range of sizes are available for this shoe which runs from narrow up to extra wide. Not quite as wide as the New Balance but we are talking of fractions of an inch.

Fit is very good though the width is slightly smaller across the midfoot so if you are deciding between two different widths then go for the wider one. Otherwise, the shoe runs pretty true to size.

The excellent lacing opening makes the shoe suited to a wide range of instep heights which can be fitted very well thanks to lots of eyelets running from the bottom of the instep up to the top of the shoe.

Support is excellent and better than the New Balance with plenty of room should you need even more support or arch support in a different position which can be accommodated by custom orthotics and still leave room for your feet without squashing.

Conclusion

The Brooks Addiction Walker wins the category for the best walking shoe for seniors because of its better support and overall shape and better durability over the New Balance 928v3 but it is a close call.

Both shoes are excellent in their sizing range and particularly suited for wider or narrow feet.

If you are an overpronator then the shoe is an excellent pick but it's also great for you if you have flat feet. Normal gaited people will also enjoy the shoe but have the option of selecting a more cushioned shoe with even greater comfort but lacking any stability enhancements.

Brooks Addiction Walker – Features of Interest

Good Things

Excellent Supportive Insoles

Good Cushioning & Comfort Throughout

Enhanced Shock Absorbing

Great Leather Uppers

Soft Cushy Feel Yet Stable

Rollbar Stability for Overpronators

Not So Good Things

Styling Old Hat

Not So Many Colors


7. Saucony Echelon 7

Best Walking Shoe for Male Supinators

Saucony Echelon 7 Men
$129.95
(As of: 2019/12/06 3:49 am - Details)
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Shoe Specifications
Style:Athletic Shoe
Use:Walking & Casual
Sizing:7 – 15 with Half Sizes to 11.5
Widths:Medium to Extra Wide
Upper:Mesh & Synthetic
Cushion:Very Good
Sole:Rubber
Insole:Removable
Pronation:Neutrals & Supinators
Rating:87%

Overview
The Saucony Echelon 7 is a shoe made for the flat-footed as well as supinators.

I know most flat footed people overpronate but there is a sizeable number of people who are flat-footed and yet supinate.

The arch support in these shoes gives great support under your feet thanks mainly to the provided orthotic which is substantial and effective.

Comfort & Cushioning

Cushioning comes from a combination of the provided insole as well as the midsole constructed of EVERUN™ which is a responsive foam developed to provide a soft cushioned feel. The contribution from the insole is more cushion and support.

The upper is constructed of engineered mesh which provides targeted flexibility that enables the shoe to give lateral support in strategic places and flexibility to fit your foot shape. It achieves this by variations in the knit pattern which makes the material more flexible or less flexible according to the knit pattern in each particular place.

There is plenty of cushioning around the collar and the Achilles as well as to the shoe tongue too.

Fit, Sizing & Support

The shoe is available in medium to extra wide fittings and so can fit the feet of most people.

The supportive insole provided is excellent and thicker than most insoles provided with athletic shoes. The toe box and shoe last generally is quite roomy too so making the shoe perfect if you need to wear orthotics. Just remove the already thicker than normal insole provided and slip in your own – you'll hardly notice the difference in space around your foot.

Conclusion

An excellent choice if you are flat-footed or like a little extra support under your arch and especially if you are a supinator. The shoe is flexible in the forefoot and allows your toes to spread out and do their job.

Plenty of size options, as well as overall comfort, makes this shoe very competitive in its price range with other, perhaps more widely marketed, shoe brands.

Saucony Echelon 7 – Features of Interest

Good Things

Purposely Made for Flat Footed Walkers

Also Made for Supinators and Neutral Gaits

Accommodating Fit

Good Roomy Toe Box

Very Comfortable

Orthotic Friendly

Multiple Width Fittings

Not So Good Things

A Little Expensive


8. Hoka One One Bondi 6

Most Cushioned Walking Shoe for Men

HOKA ONE ONE Mens Bondi 6
$169.93
(As of: 2019/12/06 3:49 am - Details)
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Shoe Specifications
Style:Cushioned Athletic Shoe
Use:Walking & Casual
Sizing:7.5 – 14 Half Sizes to 12.5
Widths:Medium to Wide
Upper:Mesh
Cushion:Good & Responsive
Sole:Rubber
Insole:Cushioned Removable
Pronation:Neutrals
Rating:90%

Overview

One of the most cushioned men's sneakers on the market and definitely the most cushioned walking shoe for men readily available.

The shoe is flexible and the plush cushioning makes the shoes feel light and airy and will put a soft spring in anyone's step.

An excellent shoe from this up and coming shoe manufacturer.

Comfort & Cushioning

Cushioning is the absolute design focus of the shoe and there is no doubt it provides it by the bucketload.

Although marketed as a running shoe, it is really not best suited to running, well not running fast anyway, and is much better suited to walking or jogging.

This is a neutral shoe that is not particularly heavy given the high cushioning provided.

Comfort is maxed out in this shoe as well, partly because of all that cushioning and partly from the many other design features.

The upper is breathable engineered mesh to provide a little lateral stability whilst keeping your feet cool and dry.

The sole is slightly rocker shaped which helps the natural motion of your foot as you walk and the full-length EVA midsole provides shock absorbance and support.

If comfort and cushioning is your main priority and you do not need motion control features then this shoe will be a good match.

Fit, Sizing & Support

The Bondi 6 does give support to your foot arches but to be honest the level is no better than average. The insoles are removable so you can fit orthotics if need be.

The heel section is framed to better position and support your heels and there is an internal heel counter to give the shoe some stability. In fact, the wider sole provides a lot of stability without reducing flexibility which is a benefit to overpronators as well.

The shoe comes in several width fittings but is not for the widest feet. The lacing system is good though so there is some flexibility to match various foot shapes.

The white color is not available in a wide fitting but other colors are.

Conclusion

Definitely the winner of most cushioned walking shoe for men and a favorite shoe of mine for regular walking.

I would not use it on the trail or in wet conditions but then that applies to almost all of the shoes in this list.

For a cushioned and comfortable shoe that is breathable, the Hoka Bondi 6 is a great choice. It is a shame they do not extend their width fittings a little more.

Hoka One One Bondi 6 – Features of Interest

Good Things

Very Highly Cushioned

Good Transition – Impact to Push-Off

Top Brand

Flexible Breathable Uppers

Great Sole Design

Not So Good Things

Occasional Availability Issues

Some Find it Hard to Adapt to Cushion


What Makes a Good Walking Shoe?

Good walking shoes for men are those that provide the best fit for your foot shape, the best cushioning and support suited to your gait and a design that matches the surface you are walking on and that are the most comfortable.

Sounds like it should be a simple task at first and most guys take the attitude that if they are about the right size, look cool with the right brand logo stamped on the side and seem like they will do a job, then they'll be good enough.

Let's face it, girls go check out every option in every store but guys just want to grab a pair and get on with life.

The only problem is you end up with foot pain, blisters and not feeling too happy with the pair you grabbed the other month and so are looking for another, better pair.

I hope I can help you narrow down a better choice this time using the information we have researched and set out for you right here.

Walking, Running and Cross-Training Shoes: What’s the Difference?

Can Running Shoes be Used for Walking?

Most types of running shoes can be used for walking with no problem but may not be as good as walking shoes. Types of running differ from long distance to trail to intervals and each style will exploit different features. The same is true of walking – power walkers need different features to exercise walkers for instance. Do not focus on the label, focus on the features you need for your type of walking.

In order to work out which features you need, you'll have to think about the surface and environment you will be walking in, whether you'll be walking very quickly or at a more measured pace and pay attention to your gait.

How to Tell if You Are an Overpronator

The perfect way to tell is to visit a store that has staff who can video your gait as you walk. From the video, you can see if your foot is rolling in too much and so needs a shoe that can help reduce the problem.

An easier and quite reliable method is to look at the bottom of a pair of sneakers you have worn. If you are an overpronator then the inside edge of the sole will be worn down more than the outside edge. This is so because as your foot rolls inwards more pressure is applied to the inner edge of your sole which wears more.

  • Overpronation happens when your foot rolls inward too much, creating instability when your foot and ankle have trouble supporting your weight and the foot's natural ability to absorb shock is compromised.
  • Overpronation also puts a lot of extra pressure of the big toe and second toe because they bear the brunt of shoving off again with the front of the foot.
  • Stability shoes are shoes with some resistance to torsional twist are useful to resist overpronation
  • Motion control shoes have reinforced midsoles which are more rigid and highly resist torsional twist and are best for people with severe overpronation or collapsed arches (flat feet).

There is a much more in-depth explanation of overpronation on my post covering shoes for overpronators – just skip down to the information section – the link opens in a new tab so you can come back here easily.

The Best Men’s Shoes for Walking on a Treadmill 7
Pronation & Supination Showing Right Foot

How to Tell if You are an Underpronator

As for overpronation, the foolproof way is to have your stride videotaped and examining your foot action. If you supinate your feet do not roll inward much as a normally gaited person's foot might. The result is that you tend to walk more on the outer edge of your foot.

An easy way to tell is to look at some worn sneakers you have been using. Instead of wear on the inside edge of the shoe as explained above for overpronators, you will notice the shoe sole worn on the outside edge of the shoe instead. This indicates most pressure is on the outside edge of the shoe which causes it to wear more and indicates you are likely a supinator.

  • Underpronation (also called supination) happens when the foot rolls inward at less than 15 percent, which puts more pressure on the outside of your foot and your little toes that take the brunt of the work when pushing off with that foot.
  • Cushioning shoes (also called “neutral shoes”) will provide the kind of flexibility and cushioning you need to better distribute pressure in your foot through your stride and arch support is essential to reduce stress on the small balls of your feet.
  • If you underpronate then avoid shoes with motion control or stabilizing technology as they will reduce any natural pronation you do have which is the opposite of what you want.

I have a much more in-depth explanation of overpronation on my post covering shoes for underpronators – just skip down to the information section – the link opens in a new tab so you can come back here easily.

Neutral Pronators

  • During normal pronation, the heel hits the ground first, and then your foot rolls inward about 15 percent to make contact with the ground and support your weight.

    When you push off with that foot, the workload is distributed evenly across the front of the foot.

  • This is the most common foot type. Normal pronators can choose most types of shoes since any technology to resist twist will be redundant given your foot does not excessively pronate anyway. As for shoes for supinators, these allow for flexibility which is also not an issue for the neutrally gaited.

What Are the Most Comfortable Men's Sneakers?

This is a question often asked and demands an answer that is going to be wrong for a lot of people.

Comfort is a subjective measure. What is comfortable for one person will be not so comfortable for another.

Fit is the most important factor for any shoe and that is determined by your unique foot shape. You may have low arches, a high instep and the highest point of your arch may be further toward the front of your foot than the next person. You may have wide or narrow feet across the middle of your foot or bunions that make the width across the widest part of your foot a fair bit wider than someone without bunions.

Some people feel comfortable in leather and enjoy the lateral stability the material gives while others may prefer a fabric knit with less structure.

You may like the soft ‘walking on clouds' feeling of memory foam shoes and accept the durability downsides whereas your friend may prefer a firmer feel offering more support.

Another factor is the terrain over which you are walking.

If you are walking the trail with weak ankles you will find rugged trail boots with high sides that provide ankle support, to be better than a shoe with no ankle support which may have you turning your ankle. The shoe may be more cushioned but would you rank it more comfortable if you twist your ankle?

You will also find shoes that are really comfortable for all day wear at the office or slippers you wear at home to be super comfortable in those environments yet totally useless for say walking in the park on a rainy day.

So the most comfortable sneakers will always have a large dose of subjectivity in the answer else we would all be buying the same shoes. We have an article on the most comfortable walking shoes for men that you might find interesting.

How to Choose Proper Running or Walking Shoes. Best Information.

Why Buy Walking Shoes (Won't my Old Sneakers Do?)

One of the most common causes of foot pain, and related upper body aches and pains), is from wearing shoes that are not suited for your particular foot. A lot of this is due to fit but also from a lack of support.

The materials used for shoe construction do degenerate over time and particularly the supportive qualities of foam (and particularly memory foam). Better quality foams last longer than cheap ones and more rigid foams are more durable than the softer foams that provide a more comfortable platform to walk on.

Not only that but as you age your bones and ligaments degenerate slowly and change shape making you foot size change. This is a common natural process that most people are simply unaware of thinking their foot size which they last measured in their mid-twenties is good for life.

Wrong!

So your old sneakers are probably no longer supportive, the wrong size and in any case not designed for the new you that has decided to start walking exercise again.

If you ignore this advice and struggle on with a pair of sneakers that were fashionable when Elvis was alive, then you'll likely end up with blisters, heel spurs, knee pain from repetitive shock, plantar fasciitis from lack of support, back pain or all manner of other potential annoyances. Why put yourself through it?

Get yourself a new pair of walking shoes and before you do head over to our page on shoe size and take five minutes to measure your feet to have half a chance of ordering the right size shoes.

You'll save yourself a bunch of hassle on returns in the process – all for a few minutes measuring.

How to Choose the Best Men's Walking Shoes (for Exercise Walking)

You are going to need to find the correct size and width shoe as well as consider a whole host of other factors.

Ultimately you will be striking a balance between support, lightness, flexibility, cushioning and then finding the most comfortable shoe that ticks all the boxes.

Let's explore some of those factors now.

Photo of light flip flops unsuitable as walking shoes
Are lightweight Walking Shoes Suitable for Exercise Walking?

Why Lightweight Shoes Should be Your Preference

Every time you lift your foot and take a stride your feet are weight lifting with your shoes.

Every piece of material or feature added to a shoe will contribute to its weight. It would be partly true to say that more features and more cushioning adds more weight and the lightest shoes will be those that are sparse in comfort – minimalist shoes if you like.

So the lightest shoes are NOT the best choice for your walking shoes because they will have neither the support nor cushioning you want for a comfortable shoe.

What you want is a shoe that has all of the comfort and support you need that is the lightest possible.

The rub here is that the lightest materials that provide the best support, cushion, comfort, and host of other features, tend to be the most expensive.

Now you will know that shoe companies spend a lot of money on marketing and paying superstars to wear their gear. You may think that One Slung Lo shoes from China are cheaper because LeBron is not wearing them every night on TV – and that is the difference between the cheap shoe from China and Nike's latest offering also from China.

Well, you would be right that you are paying a premium for high flying marketing but you are also paying for much much better materials that are the hallmark of a quality walking shoe.

And that, my friend, is why we never buy shoes that have no proven brand track record and why you shouldn't either.

Photo of shock absorbing dampres in station
Good Enough for trains – Good Enough for Your feet!

Why You Need Shock Absorption in Walking Shoes

Runners impose far more forces on their heels and toes than walkers do and so running shoes tend to focus heavily on shock absorption. The Gel, Air and other monikers that Brands adopt are often to describe the shock absorbing features of their running shoes.

Do walkers need the same shock absorbing features?

The problem is that when your heel hits the ground the force of your weight jars your foot. Your foot is designed to reduce this shock to protect the rest of your body and particularly your shins, knees, hips, and back.

The large fleshy pad on your heels is there to act as a sort of damper to spread out these forces before they travel up the body and thereby protect you.

When you are at the push-off phase of your gait, the weight of your body is resisted and thrust off by your metatarsals which are the joints at the ends of your toes as well as your toes. That is why you have the fleshy pads we call the balls of our feet and why the ends of our toes are padded with flesh. These fleshy pads are our shock absorbers.

As we get older these fleshy pads thin out and slowly their ability to absorb shock is decreased. This is why seniors should choose shoes with good shock absorption to augment that lost by the aging process on the balls of their feet, heels, and toes.

For walkers, shock absorption is still very necessary to protect from knee and shin damage as well as the hips and back. Even though the forces are less, they still act on and can damage those other joints.

The only real downside to the walker is the additional cost of the technology used to reduce shock and the marginal extra weight of the shoe.

So these are the reasons that walkers need shock absorbing qualities from their walking shoes, more so if they are power walking, a little less if exercise walking and a little less again for casual wear.

Naked Feet Showing Different Foot Shapes
Square, Narrow, Shapely, Wide – What's Your Foot Shape?

How Might Foot Shape affect Shoe Comfort

The problem for manufacturers is that feet come in all shapes and sizes.

In order to fit as many people as possible, there has to be some compromise. Shoes are made in a variety of lengths and widths but some shoe manufacturers seem only to make medium widths and seek to maximize profits by catering only to the largest segment of the market.

Then there is the shape of the shoe last (a sort of model the shoe is made to fit). Some are shaped more like a fit woman's waist and others are more box like. Just as shoes are made to different shapes, so are feet. Some taper in, waist like, and others are squarer. Some have high insteps and some low, your ankle joint may be lower to the ground than the next person's and so on.

If you try to fit your boxy feet into a shoe shaped like a super models waist then it is inevitably going to be tight. On the other hand, if you have a shapely foot and fit it into a boxy shoe then you will get no lateral support in the midfoot and the shoe will feel loose and sloppy in that area.

So you need to pick a shoe which has a shape that matches your foot close enough.

The shape of the shoe is actually the shape at the joint of the midsole and upper, rather than the shape of the sole per se. so if the shoe has a large overhang then you will need to mentally adjust the real shape by mentally subtracting the overhang from the supper/midsole joint.

Compare that to the shape of your foot and see if there is some sort of match. It is not an exact science unless you are having truly bespoke shoes made – but then you probably would not be reading this I guess.

What are the Most Comfortable Brands of Walking Shoes & Sneakers?

Typically, more expensive brands of shoes will be made of better materials so having a better chance of being more comfortable. A large part of comfort comes from the shoe actually fitting your foot properly; even more so than cushioning or support which are also important. Choose a shoe brand that makes a variety of sizes over a brand that just makes a medium fitting unless your feet match that particular brand last. Bear in mind that fit varies between models even within the same brand.

Some brands only make medium fittings throughout their range and others only make wide fittings in certain styles and colors. Their shoes do not magically change shape to fit your feet, they just do not bother catering for a lot of people at all. Mass production of a single size offers a lot to the bottom line of profit but offers little to your feet

Sucked in by marketing by their favorite sports personality, and social kudos, people end up squeezing into brand shoes that are only made in medium when their feet need a wider fitting – or they buy a size longer to get a little better fit in the width and end up with shoes that are poorly positioned on the foot.

Brands like SAS shoes as well as special purpose shoe manufacturers like Propet, Vionic and Orthofeet make a range of fitting sizes to suit most people.

SAS shoes are a favorite brand of mine. Excellent shoes!

Photo of ballet shoe flexibility
Just How Flexible Does My Walking Shoe Need to Be?

How Does Flexibility Affect the Comfort of a Walking Shoe?

Your foot arches and toes flex as you walk and it is important that the shoes you buy allow for flex in the right direction. For walkers, shoes should allow flex in the area under the balls of your foot, overpronators should have limited flex when twisting the shoe but neutrals and supinators are better off with more flexible shoes. Excess flex is bad though as it provides no lateral support to the foot.

If your feet are fighting to flex but being overly resisted by the shoe then your shoe is imparting unnatural forces on your foot which is going to cause problems in the long run.

Overpronators have a foot rolling issue that needs restricted torsional flex to help address it but even those shoes should allow flex under the balls of the foot in the metatarsal area.

There may be other mitigating factors for certain use types such as trail and hiking shoes or work boots that need thicker and more rigid soles for protective purposes which become more important than allowing natural flexing to occur unhindered.

Should Walking Shoes be Waterproof?

You don't need me to tell you that walking in wet conditions, (short wet grass or through puddles for example), and wearing non-waterproof shoes will end up with your feet getting soaking wet.

Wet skin gets much softer than when it is dry and is more easily damaged (think of the ease of scrubbing dead skin off your heels after a soak in the bath ). If your feet stay wet then you are also creating the perfect environment for fungus to start sprouting between your toes. Not nice.

So if you are walking through wet terrain then you should definitely get waterproof shoes.

If you are doing you walking in predominantly dry areas then waterproof shoes are counterproductive. This is because waterproof shoes not only keep dampness out but also keep dampness, predominantly sweat, inside the shoe. This is true even with breathable waterproofing materials although the problem is lessened.

Some shoes have specialized systems to wick away water via the insole and then ventilate the underside and this is an excellent option found in more expensive shoes. This all helps the shoe stay drier and so your feet. Regardless, in dry conditions, any waterproof shoe will make your feet damper than a non-waterproof shoe and will cost more to boot.

Of course, your walking may involve a lot of water in which case forget trying to keep feet perfectly dry and grab a pair of suitable water shoes for your activity. Dry your feet thoroughly though as soon as your activity is finished.

Do you often walk or work on hard surfaces? Check out my guide about the best shoes for walking on concrete all day.

Conclusion

When shopping for walking shoes the first thing to note is your foot size measured wearing your normal socks for the type of shoe you are thinking to purchase. Measure during the late afternoon after being on your feet a while and while standing with your weight mostly on the foot being measured.

Once you have determined the size of shoe you need, consider any pronation issue you might have as well as any foot condition that need special features.

After those conditions are satisfied then you should consider the type of surface you will be walking on and the style of footwear you need both for the situation (formal or casual or sporty) and for your preference.

Then buy the most cushioned shoe that meets all of the above criteria to get the most comfortable shoe for you.

Other Posts You May Find Useful:

Beginners Guide to Nordic Walking

Best Walking Shoes for Wide Feet

Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet

Footwear for Overweight Males

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