Run don’t walk is a phrase that’s thrown around often, but what do you do if you’re not a runner? What if you don’t feel like running and prefer to take it easy; tortoise-like, slow and steady, winning races and all that? Keeping fit at a slower pace requires the best walking shoes for men, which help you navigate steep slopes, uncertain paths, and long, never-ending trails with ease. Different from your standard sneakers, they provide support, comfort and breathability so you can march along soaking in the vast landscapes of your surroundings, instead of you cursing your feet once you get home.
You might not be the fastest strider in the pack, but it’s not about getting there first, it’s just about getting there, and with these walking shoes, you’ll be able to do it in style, too. So plan your route, pack your provisions, and don’t forget bug spray, we’re going on an adventure.
The Best Walking Shoe For Men
Our pick for the overall best walking shoes for men are the sweetly named Skechers After Burn Memory Foam Lace Ups, which come with a supportive mesh upper and cushioned mesh tongue for almost-unrivaled comfort during hikes both short and long. There’s more to it than that, though, and the memory foam insole molds to the contours of your feet, adding stability while also making the shoes feel more like yours.
The Articu-Lyte rubber sole is also an awesome feature and guarantees this pair of shoes will last longer than any other shoes you’ve had in the past – probably, anyway. They fit as expected, offer decent lace length to keep your feet secure all while combining comfort with style. This ensures your feet won’t ache, nor will you look out of place if you stumble across a party along with your hike. If you love hiking, make sure you check out our guide to the best hiking sandals.
Mesh upper provides crucial support
Cushioned mesh tongue
Memory Foam insole
Articu-Lyte rubber sole
- Weight12 oz
Fits as expected
Comfortable and stylish
Good lace length for security
The New Balance Mx608v4 may not have the snappy name of other walking shoes, but they’re still a great option to consider when looking for a new pair to hit the trails with. The EVA footbed complements the breathable lining, ensuring comfort from heel to toe, while the dual-density collar and padded mesh tongue ease the pressure of scaling steeper inclines than your average trek.
For tackling uneven terrain, these shoes come with increased forefoot flexibility, and the tough, durable leather exterior helps them last through hundreds – if not thousands – of adventures. If you like to find variety in your shoe collection, the myriad color options may make this decision a little more challenging than usual, but that’s likely to be the biggest struggle you’ll encounter with these.
Breathable textile lining with EVA footbed
Dual-density collar with padded mesh tongue
Increased forefoot flexibility
- BrandNew Balance
- Weight12 oz
Pull-tab at heel
Variety of colors available
Better supportive for walking than running
A solidly designed and constructed product, the Rockport Eureka Walking Shoes more than live up to their name, both at the beginning and the end of your hike. The San Crispino construction provides excellent heel support and stability, and the padded tongue and collar supply necessary comfort. The latex foam footbed is removable, which is perfect for those with larger-than-average feet. As for the toe, its Strobel design ensures remarkable flexibility that might surprise you.
This flexibility eliminates potentially awkward maneuverability, which is excellent for tackling treacherous tracks, and the moisture wicking lining contribute to refreshing breathability, keeping your feet as cool as a cucumber even in the driest, most desolate and baking-hot places. Their design also allows them to double as (relatively) smart-casual shoes, giving you a bit of style versatility and a reliable little bonus to show off. Our handy guide to the best CrossFit shoes features more great products like this.
Lace-up design with padded tongue and collar
Latex foam footbed
Moisture-wicking mesh lining for breathability
Flexible material for maneuverability
- Weight12 oz
Excellent ground traction
Extended widths and sizes to suit everybody
Full-grained leather upper
Minor discomfort during break-in period
The sleek and comfortable New Balance MW877 use ABZORB midsole cushioning to ensure you don’t encounter any problems along your walk, at least not where it matters most – that is: on the feet, of course. The Walking Strike Path Technology is an excellent addition that serious walkers will absolutely adore while the padded tongue and collar is something that’s appreciated by both novices and tread-heads.
They also come with a low heel which increases support and adds even more comfort. This is sure to be appreciated, especially when your feet feel as good as new at the end of full-day treks (or longer), but it runs the risk of being too comfortable, if there is such a thing. The breathable construction only adds to this, and the accurate sizing – something you don’t get in every pair of walking trainers – keeps your feet feeling great no matter where you step next.
ABZORB midsole cushioning
Walking Strike Path Technology
Padded tongue and collar
Low heel for increased support and comfort
- BrandNew Balance
- Weight12 oz
Classic synthetic-and-mesh with seamless logo
Laces not long enough
A rugged, manly-as-heck, and remarkably tough option, the KEEN Oakridge Shoe is a durable addition to any walkers’ inventory capable of lasting throughout all seasons, all terrains, and all environments with the greatest ease. The mesh upper comes with leather overlays, protecting your foot from external threats while also keeping it stable and secure inside. The protective toe cap is also useful for navigating tricky terrain which could best lesser shoes and their owners.
They’re not the most lightweight walking shoes available, but that’s fine. Lightweight isn’t really what they’re all about. Instead, you get a massively reliable, no-nonsense walking shoe that’s ready for whatever you throw at it while still being breathable enough to remain comfortable. Its hydrophobic mesh lining protects your feet from rain, but it doesn’t make them entirely waterproof, so don’t go thinking you can trudge through rivers and come out bone-dry.
Mesh upper with leather overlays
Protective toe cap
Hydrophobic mesh lining
Front and back pull loops
- Weight2.86 lbs
Reinforced material for durability
Ideal for summer hiking
Suitable for wide feet
Perhaps not as durable as other shoes
If you’re looking for walking shoes for men that out all others to shame, then look no further than our premium choice: the Mephisto Match Walking Shoe. The padded collar is, by now, expected, as is the durable construction, which with the Match is a smart but also versatile leather design suitable for a variety of purposes. This is accentuated further with the low-profile style, making them ideal for ambitious wilderness adventures but also casual, relaxed outings when summer rolls around.
With the Soft-Air technology, you’re also given comfort and support, and the rubber sole is ideal for easing late-day foot ache, especially if you’ve gotten just a little ahead of yourself. However, it’s a premium choice for a reason, and while they’ll definitely introduce you to a brand new level of walking shoe, they’ll also cost you a premium price. If you’re not yet super-serious about walking, there are better options out there, but if you know you could conquer all your local trails blindfolded (not that we recommend it), then you may as well invest in the best.
Low-profile design with D-Ring lacing system
Durable leather construction
Soft-Air technology provides comfort and support
- Weight2 lbs
Laid back style great for relaxing outings
Rubber sole helps ease late-day foot ache
Suitable for a variety of environments
Pricier than other options
At the other end of the spectrum, the Skechers Go Walk Max Sneakers are a quality option at a massively affordable price. Like all good walking shoes, they provide superb cushioning along with that essential lightweight design that keeps them cool and comfortable all day long. These Skechers appear to go a step or two further, with responsive 5Gen technology and a Goga-Max high-rebound insole.
These features further provide greater comfort, which for such a bargain may surprise some of you. The breathable mesh upper makes them perfect for summer treks while the overall design – both stylish and athletic – means they suit a variety of occasions. At this price, they’re perfect for beginners or anybody who loves to walk but rarely has the time to get out to their favorite trails, but will always make you feel like you’re walking on air whenever you get the chance.
Lightweight and responsive 5Gen cushioning
Goga-Max high-rebound insole for maximum comfort
Soft fabric lining
Breathable mesh upper
- Weight4 lbs
True to size
Only suitable for more casual walks
The Merrell Versent Kavari Lace Leather Sneaker magically balances both functionality and style to bring you a shoe you’ll be proud to wear pretty much anywhere shoes need to be worn. The breathable mesh lining means you won’t dread pulling them on for the day, while the Kinetic Base footbed – aside from sounding super scientific and, therefore, definitely a good thing – eases the pressure on the soles meaning you can keep going long after everybody else is thoroughly fed up with this whole walking thing.
The M Bound injected EVA outsole provides excellent traction on a variety of surfaces and terrains, and will even feel you’re walking barefoot with the surprising amount of flexibility you get with this. They don’t offer as much support as other shoes, but this takes nothing away from an excellent hybrid walking shoe that does just enough.
Breathable mesh lining
M Bound injected EVA outsole
Combined leather and mesh upper
Kinetic Base contoured footbed
- Weight4 lbs
True to size
Comfortable design ensures all-day wear
The ultra-lightweight Reebok Ever Road DMX are perhaps the most comfortable walking shoes you’ll find today. The rubber sole means you won’t feel you’re walking, but instead gliding gracefully towards your destination. Whether that is a mountaintop or friendly pub at the end of the trail, you’ll get there with energy to spare, ready to head back home after a quick pit stop.
It’s more than just a comfortable shoe, though. With a good-looking design, they also win many points as stylish walking shoes, too, maybe the most stylish we’ve selected for you. At a great price, it’s in the running for a great value pick, but it, unfortunately, lacks the support of other shoes. If you’re more of a casual walker, though, it’s still a top pick that’ll look as good with a pair of cargo hiking shorts as it would with a pair of smart straight fit jeans.
Reliable synthetic material
Well-suited for wider feet
- Weight9 oz
The most lightweight option
Tongue pull tab
Stylish design provides versatility
Lacks the support of other shoes
Our final pick is the Rockport Prowalker Catalyst 3 Walking Sneakers which are perhaps the truest walking trainers for walking we’ve found for you based on appearance alone. It’s a little more than just a sensible and effective looking product, though. The leather uppers ensure durability while the lace-up closure gives you confidence with a snug and secure fit.
As for comfort (so you won’t wear them once and then never again), there’s a moisture-wicking fabric lining which absorbs sweat and keeps your feet dry even on the most intense treks. The cushioned footbed also offers excellent support, meaning you can enjoy scaling steep slopes just as easily as you would peacefully flat surfaces. It’s tough, it’s rugged, but it’s also elegant. For long walks, there are few options you’d rather have.
Leather uppers provide durability
Lace-up closure ensures snug, secure fit
Moisture wicking fabric lining
Cushioned footbed guarantees comfort
Wide enough for larger feet
Designed for long walks
Not as stylish as other options
Walking Shoes FAQs
Q: Is It OK To Wear Running Shoes For Walking?
A: Look, we’re not the walking shoe police so we can’t tell you how to live your life, but there’s no problem with wearing running shoes when walking, you just can’t do it the other way around. Running shoes and walking shoes are very similar, and features such as support, comfort, and breathability essential for both running and walking.
That being said, running shoes aren’t perfect for all walking conditions, and so you shouldn’t rely on them as a catch-all walking solution. If you do a lot of walking, it may be better to invest in dedicated walking shoes as these will be suitable for a wide variety of terrains and environments.
Q: What Is The Difference Between Walking And Running Shoes?
A: The differences between walking and running shoes are not immediately obvious at first glance, but there are a few subtle but important differences between the two.
The most essential difference is the design of the sole, which companies design and construct to provide optimum support. For running shoes, they accommodate the flat-landing of runners, whereas walking shoes will have a distinct heel to help the walker push off the ground, keeping up momentum while also providing stability.
Running shoes are also more lightweight than walking shoes to help balance out how high-impact running typically is. This same impact also requires thicker soles, which is better for absorbing the shock of the ground and preventing damage to your joints.
Another difference you’ll find is the type of material. While running shoes are solely made using synthetic and breathable material, typically nylon, walking shoes instead use either leather, synthetic material, or a mixture of both. The hybrid models will offer the best of both worlds, giving you breathability and lightness, while also offering the durability that leather shoes provide.
Q: How Tight Should Walking Shoes Be?
A: Walking shoes should be tight enough to provide the security necessary to get ample purchase on different terrains and conditions while also not being too tight they’re uncomfortable, as this can lead to blisters and other issues and potential injuries.
If you can find slip-on walking shoes, these will offer adequate tightness, but they may not be as reliable with lace-up shoes, as you can adapt the tightness to suit you.
Q: How Do I Choose The Right Walking Shoe?
A: When looking for the best walking shoe for you, there are a few key factors you need to consider.
The best walking shoes for men will offer you support from heel to toe and around the ankle (although they won’t offer as much ankle support as walking boots will, that’s a whole other factor). To ensure you don’t suffer an injury during your trek, you need the best support for your arch to ease the pressure you’ll exert on your feet.
Proper support will make your treks, hikes, and quick walk much easier and will prevent any next-day complaints.
You’ll have the option between leather or non-leather shoes (or a mix of both), so it’s smart to understand what the difference between leather and non-leather.
Leather walking shoes will provide durability to tackle tough areas and also providing a longer lifespan, they offer more waterproofness, and are easier to clean than non-leather counterparts. However, they’re also heavier than fabric shoes, often cost more, and will take longer to wear in. The leather isn’t as breathable as fabric, but with the right design, it can still allow your feet to be comfortable.
Non-leather walking shoes are lightweight, incredibly breathable, cheaper to produce and purchase, and are ready to go pretty much as soon as you take them out of the shoebox. There may be a slight wearing-in period, but this is nothing compared to leather. They aren’t the perfect shoe, though, and non-leather options won’t be as waterproof as leather and may need proofing regularly to keep them from falling apart.
In a perfect world, all shoes would fit exactly to our standard foot size. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world, and certain shoes won’t always run the same size as what we’re used to. The good news is existing customers will typically make a point if a product runs to large or two small so you know what size to purchase. The bad news is you won’t always know if it’s true until the shoes arrive.
Soles are important with any footwear, but they are perhaps most essential with walking shoes as you are relying on them to get you through the day. Too thin soles will make walking on uneven terrain uncomfortable whereas soles which are too thick will ruin your perception of where you’re walking.
You should also consider the effectiveness of the insole. Modern walking shoes will come with pre-contoured or memory foam insoles, which will mold to the shape of your foot for better comfort. These insoles don’t last forever, though, so change them if they feel ineffective.
Q: Are All Walking Shoes Waterproof?
A: You’d think they would be but unfortunately, not all walking shoes are waterproof, which is a shame, but not too much of a problem if you live somewhere wet weather is nought but a distant memory.
If you do live where wet weather is typically a problem, then you should invest in waterproof shoes. These are useful as they are suitable for both wet and dry environments, and will also prevent the depressing, soggy sensation that happens once the outer material breaches by sudden torrential downpour (because it always feels sudden and torrential whenever you’re going for a walk).
- Walking Shoes: Features and Fit that Keep You Moving - Mayo Clinic