The 7 Best Walking Shoe Brands
Step into comfort with these high-performance walking shoes.
When it comes to walking, there's no shortage of benefits for your physical and mental health. And because walking requires no special skills and has a low impact on your bones and joints, it can be a great way for people of all fitness levels to get their recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. If you're ready to start walking more regularly, the first step is to find a pair of walking shoes that offer superior arch support, cushioning, stability, and comfort—but this can often come with a hefty price tag. That's why we've rounded up the seven best walking shoes that are actually worth the price. Read on to hear stylists' and podiatrists' top picks.
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The 7 Best Walking Shoe Brands
For all-day comfort while walking or standing, Hoka offers an "ultra-cushioned" line of sneakers with a rear crash pad that helps absorb the shock of your steps.
The popular Hoka Bondi 8 model (it costs $165, but is worth every penny, doctors say) is endorsed with The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance.
Ashley Lee, DPM, a podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon who works with Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, describes these as the "ultimate cushioned shoe with a balanced support." She says the thick, supportive insole "protects the joint," but that the shoes are still "light enough to walk at a fast pace."
Primarily known for their well-designed running shoes, Brooks has successfully ventured into the realm of walking shoes, too.
"They have expanded their product line to include innovative technologies like adaptive cushioning and supportive midsoles, guaranteeing optimal comfort and stability during long walks," says Liis Hainla, head editor of the vegan fashion and beauty site Vegan Avenue.
Dmitry Mirosh, owner of the shopping marketplace STYLETYX, agrees that the company's focus on performance gives them an edge over the competition. "Brooks pays meticulous attention to details such as arch support and breathable materials," he tells Best Life.
The popular Brooks Addiction Walker 2 is currently sold for $130.
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ECCO is another brand that's renowned for combining style and comfort in their walking shoes, says Mirosh. At $160, the ECCO Biom 2.1 sneaker provides high performance with a stylish silhouette.
"Their designs often incorporate premium materials, ensuring durability and a luxurious feel," he explains. "ECCO's shoes feature anatomical support and shock absorption, providing optimal cushioning and reducing foot fatigue."
Hainla says Skechers are "perfect for casual walks and everyday use," thanks to their superior cushioning and lightweight materials.
"Skechers offers a diverse range of walking shoes that cater to different needs and preferences," Mirosh agrees. "Their footwear is designed with comfort in mind, utilizing technologies such as memory foam insoles and flexible outsoles."
Since the company keeps its prices reasonably low—most pairs will cost you between $60 and $100—they're also a great buy for the price. "Skechers' walking shoes are often praised for their affordability without compromising on quality," notes Mirosh.
Made for extended treks, Merrell more than meets the standards for an everyday walking shoe.
"Merrell is a trusted brand among outdoor enthusiasts, offering walking shoes specifically designed for rugged terrains," explains Hainla. "Their shoes boast exceptional traction and stability, ensuring a secure grip even in challenging environments."
The fashion expert adds that Merrell shoes are often waterproof, providing reliability in various weather conditions.
You can expect to pay between $75 and $100 for their popular Alpine Sneaker, which features a stylish retro suede look and a lightweight EVA foam midsole for stability and comfort.
6. New Balance
Another walking shoe brand that's well worth the price is New Balance, says Mirosh.
"New Balance is widely regarded for its commitment to comfort and support. Their walking shoes feature advanced cushioning technology and durable materials, ensuring a comfortable stride even during long walks," he says.
"These sneakers are so stylish and come in so many color variations to fit any style," she tells Best Life. "Their fine silhouette is very flattering on the foot and the cushioned soles make these an excellent choice for a busy walking day."
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Veja uses breathable, recycled, and organic materials to make top-quality walking shoes and sneakers. In particular, Hernández Fonseca recommends the Veja Venturi Trainers, which have a lining made of recycled bottles and thick soles made from natural rubber.
"These shoes have a lovely chunky sole that offers lasting comfort all day long. These are the perfect Pilates-to-Trader Joe's kind of sneaker: stylish, practical, and a little retro. I love pairing these with plush gym socks," she says.
Though they're a bit pricier than their competitors at $205 per pair, the stylist says they're worth the splurge.