Guys, that whole walking 10,000 steps a day to be a healthy spiel? It’s a myth. Why do you think it’s such a neat number? Why is it suspiciously like Dr. Anders Ericsson’s oft-misunderstood 10,000 hours theory of practice and mastery? But to avoid getting all conspiratorial on you, we must hastily add—it’s not a myth that walking is good for your physical and mental health. And the best walking shoes for men help you fully slot into that walking rhythm without complication.
While being one of the Homo Sapien’s relatively foundation skills, walking can cause unnatural pressure on your joints if your gait is off. You might be getting fitter, but your body will be stressed and in pain, hence the need for supportive footwear. By adopting shoes with cushioned midsoles, supportive outsoles, good traction, and breathable uppers, you’ll be walking with ease.
The humble walking shoe is a necessity of every man’s wardrobe. They really do recharge your emotional and physical batteries. Now, all you need to do is find that sneaker amongst the thousands of options online. Fortunately, you can avoid the dull plod through the internet’s vast e-commerce nebulae because we took the time to label the best pair for each need.
If you want to find the best walking shoes for men (and why wouldn’t you?), then read on.
You rarely find a shoe that can do pretty much anything. Let’s walk away from the idea of it accompanying you to a Michelin Star dinner. Instead, check out the high-tech-looking toggle fastening system. Combine that with the dynamic pops of color and tasteful material interplay, and it’s one of the best walking shoes for men around.
The Boost technology nestled underfoot is formed by superheating thermoplastics to create pockets of air. The resulting material has the aesthetic and feel of a cloud. You probably noticed these are technically running shoes. But have you ever spent the day walking around in your running shoes? It softens the impact of hard surfaces on your joints and is a genuine pleasure. You simply must try it.
The GORE-TEX membrane upper loves eating up bad weather, as does the Continental Wintergrip. But in warm weather, when sweat is an unfortunate inevitability, the GORE-TEX keeps your feet happy by expelling water vapor.
Material: GORE-TEX lining, BOOST e-TPU Midsole, Continental WinterGrip Rubber Outsole, Synthetic Upper | Sizes available: 6-14 | Colors: 20 Color Options | Waterproof: Yes | Foot Width Options: No | Fits: True to Size
Cloud… 5. OK, so it isn’t quite “cloud 9,” but the pure comfort of these trainers sure is getting close to heavenly. The robust geometric design, the porous mesh, and the weather-proof seals all add up to a highly capable walking shoe. This pair, in particular, have been reshuffled to cater to the comfort and improved fit. It’s a shoe specifically designed to be worn all day, every day.
The unique CloudTec midsole and outsole combination provides maximum cushioning that dissipates the pressure across the surface area. The “Zero-Gravity” tech won’t allow you to levitate, but it will provide a lightweight platform with high shock absorption. Since you can’t literally float, you at least get a geometric wave pattern from the side that looks super modern and sleek. Be warned—they’re built for warm weather, so they’ll be chilly in the winter.
Material: CloudTec Super Foam Midsole (scant details about specific materials) | Sizes available: 7-14 | Colors: 9 Color Options | Waterproof: Yes | Foot Width Options: No | Fits: True to Size
This shoe is the most robust wet-weather walker going. The Contagrip rubber lugs are deeply treaded to help you retain stability on pavement, mud, or wherever your adventures take you. Then there’s the Gore-Tex technology underneath the recycled textile upper, providing you with sacrosanct dryness.
But, wait, what the heck is GORE-TEX anyway?
It is a film of expanded polytetrafluoroethylene membrane (ePTFE) specially designed to be windproof, waterproof, and breathable. It achieves this because its pores are 20,000 times smaller than a water droplet but 700 times larger than water vapor. Vapor can pass through, but not water droplets. Genius.
Supporting its outdoor capability is the plush EVA and Olefin (OBC) Energy Surge midsole technology. It returns energy with each plodding foot and will provide the same service on a casual stroll around the block. It’s ready for everything.
Material: GORE-TEX Lining, Recycled PET Textile/Synthetic Outer, All Terrain Contragrip Rubber Outsole, EVA + Olefin Midsole Cushioning | Sizes available: 7-14 | Colors: Blue/Orange, Black/Navy | Waterproof: Yes | Foot Width Options: No | Fits: True to Size
Flat feet (pes planus or pes valgus) is a condition affecting foot arch height, causing a high susceptibility to pain from extended walking or running. It leads to overpronation, where the ankle rolls inwards, causing overstretched foot tendons and excess strain on joints.
To alleviate these symptoms, an insole with a higher arch to help add height to the middle of the foot invites natural realignment. But in terms of the footwear itself, stability and extra cushioning are key.
Enter ZoomX with its voluminous foam cushioning that soaks up the vibrations of movement like a pillow. The exaggerated forefoot width and the curved heel-to-toe transition make this shoe one of the most forgiving platforms around. If you suffer from flat feet, these shoes will help restore confidence, stability, and pain-free perambulations.
Material: ZoomX foam, Flyknit Synthetic Mesh, Rubber| Sizes available: 6-15 | Colors: Gray, Blue, Black, Red + | Waterproof: No | Foot Width Options: No | Fits: True to Size
Sometimes t’s not easy to work out as a larger man. The extra timber puts added pressure and strain on the joints, imbuing even the simple art of strolling with more potential for wear and tear. So if you’re in the market for a pair of the best walking shoes for men, you need a quality midsole with stability and comfort. The Vent Aero shoe by Columbia, with its TechLite midsole and Omni-grip rubber outsole, provides all the support and grip needed for hours of roaming. Walking will once again be a breeze.
Another often ignored element of walking when you’re larger is the propensity for sweating. That’s where these particular shoes come into their own. The mesh upper is specifically designed for heat release, while the cut-outs in the midsole then provide further ventilation down below for a cool, stable, comfortable experience.
Material: Mesh Upper, Synhetic Overlays, Omni-Grip Rubber, TechLite EVA Foam Midsole | Sizes available: 7-15 | Colors: Navy, Black, Cream, Blue Camo + | Waterproof: No | Foot Width Options: No | Fits: True to Size
These MADE in USA 990v5 Core shoes are widely regarded as one of the best walking shoes for men in their class. They come with a highly supportive Ortholite insole. Plus, the combination of mesh and suede paneling produces an upper with strength, durability, and breathability. These sneakers come with six (yes, six) options for forefoot widths with both an XX-wide and an X-Narrow option. They’re clearly the most egalitarian of all trainers.
The real clincher here is that while it can handle a walk or run, it has the panache that’ll withstand the scorn of fashion editors. It’s truly a stylish and timeless shoe. We suggest taking a note from the Aimé Leon Dore x New Balance campaign and adopting the slouchy-chic style with a pristine cotton tracksuit, large check overcoat, and a beanie hat for your walk.
Material: Synthetic Mesh, Suede, Foam, Rubber | Sizes available: 7-16 | Colors: Gray, Black, Navy, Silver + | Waterproof: No | Foot Width Options: Yes | Fits: True to Size
Looking like a million dollars doesn’t have to cost the Earth. The carbon footprint of this shoe is roughly half that of your average runner. For that, you can thank the algae bloom insole, Corn Spring® midsole, organic cotton, natural rubber, and carbon offsetting. Bonus—when the shoe has walked its walk, you can return it to Hylo Athletics for recycling.
The aesthetic is crafted by varying the porousness of the corn fiber upper. This creates large breathable areas plus the sense of paneling via the dense weave. This minimalist style, combined with the muted colors available, makes them ideal casual sportswear to combine with a chic outfit. They’ll look incredible with selvage ecru denim jeans and a knitted polo. Just saying.
Material: Corn Spring®, Corn Fibre, Natural Rubber, Algae Bloom™, Organic Cotton, Water-Based Glue, Polyester, Water-Based Ink | Sizes available: 6-14 | Colors: Gray, Blue, White, Black + | Waterproof: No | Foot Width Options: No | Fits
If you’re actively trying to make heads spin, try these Løci trainers. They embrace the more performative, La Passeggiata-inspired element of the walking pastime simply because they have such verve. Fear not the light shower of rain for a special nanotechnology coating ensures water repellent properties.
We recommend the navy, beige, and red colorways. Not only because it forms a dashing aesthetic but also because 10% of the profits go to Blue Marine Foundation—a charity focusing on overfishing. These shoes check a lot of cleaner economy boxes. They’re vegan. They use natural cork insoles and bamboo lining. They’re made from 100% recycled materials. To top it off, they’re vertically integrated (meaning they only build as many trainers as they need).
These Løci trainers are both good-natured and good-looking.
Material: Recycled Upper, Bamboo Lining, Cork Insole, Recycled Rubber Outsole | Sizes available: 6-12.5 | Colors: 17 Colorway Options | Waterproof: Yes (water-resistant) | Foot Width Options: No | Fits:
Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of these
What makes this shoe is the extra-long hexagonal pattern tongue. It turns a plain shoe into something with a little more attitude and street-style worth. Cabell’s USP provides quality sneakers at a fair price, reducing the huge markup other brands tack on. Take advantage of this more authentic and honest pricing system. They’re absolutely worth it.
Material: Recycled PET Upper, Lightweight Injection-Molded EVA, Organic Cotton | Sizes available: 7-12 | Colors: Black, White | Waterproof: No | Foot Width Options: No | Fits
Ease—that’s what these slip-on shoes by Uniform Standard give you. Not just the ease of no laces, but the extra ease of the premium Italian leather inlining that guides your foot into place. They also ease the use of the planet’s finite resources (alright, so it’s a slightly stretched segue). Every other material component consists of recycled materials: the molded footbed, rubber outsole, the insole, the cotton bag, and the packaging.
Then there’s the ease of the minimalist aesthetic. The LWG Gold standard tannery and high-quality stitching on the Italian suede are soft on the eye and a pleasure to style. We suggest styling with lightweight and neutral accompaniments. Try loose-fitting linen trousers, a white tee, and maybe a loose-fitting chore jacket in navy. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself floating around your neighborhood, espresso in hand, greeting passersby with a soft “ciao.”
Material: Italian Suede Upper, Leather Lining, Recycled Rubber Midsole & Outsole | Sizes available: 7-13 | Colors: Earth, White, Black, Blue + | Waterproof: Yes (but will ruin material without suede protection spray) | Foot Width Options: No | Fits: Runs Slightly Small
What to Look for in the Best Walking Shoes for Men
Consider your usage. For waterproofing, look out for GORE-TEX, which is a membrane that’s both breathable and waterproof. For off-road use, the more tread, the less comfortable on pavements, etc. However, they are better adept for dirt.
For warm weather, consider if the material is breathable or not. Porous mesh material is great for warmer weather as it easily releases water vapor. Leather or suede is less breathable but far more resilient. Meanwhile, for the midsole—is there enough cushioning for what you’ll be using it for? Is it worth splurging on high-tech cushioning if you’re just going on short trips to the shops?
It’s paramount to get the fit right from the beginning. Some brands state if they run smaller or larger than your regular size. For the best walking shoes for men, brands will sometimes give you different width options. If you don’t know where your foot fits (literally) into all that information, take an educated guess. Don’t be afraid to spend some time getting the right fit. This is crucial. The return system is there for a reason.
Here’s the fun part—styling. The common mistake when purchasing the best walking shoes for men (at least best suited for you) is buying bright green or garish yellow shoes in the name of safety. If a shoe has reflective strips, do your outfit a favor and tone down the bright colors. Muted tones are by far the most stylish. Or, if you go with a zany color downstairs, make sure the rest of your outfit is subtle, offsetting the madness with some calm. It’s all about balance, folks, both for styling and movement.
The best walking shoes for men have a few traits to look for: comfort, supportive cushions, waterproof (soggy feet are pretty antithetical to comfort), breathability, ideal fit (forefoot width and foot height), stylish, and long-lasting. The priority of these will vary from person to person, but that’s why there are ten items on this list.
Walking = one foot always on the ground. Running = both feet off the ground during movement. Powerwalking = banned. Wearing running shoes as walking shoes is mostly fine, but there are key criteria to consider.
The increased impact of running means their level of cushioning is good for walking too. Make sure they have a large surface area on the outsole to dissipate weight as much as possible. Look for a flexible forefoot and arch to help facilitate the full heel-to-toe roll of a walking motion. A beviled heel will also help cater to that increased foot roll.
Don’t forget to consider that less of a heel or lower cushioning height might be closer to a more natural gait. There are some really chunky midsoles on running shoes these days, which aren’t great for walking. Running shoes and walking shoes are designed slightly differently, but they can be amiable walking partners if they meet the basic criteria.
P.S. While walking shoes can look drab, running shoes are more like their flash older cousin.