10 Best Walking Shoes of 2024 (2024)

Best Casual Shoe for Men


Hoka Clifton 9


REASONS TO BUY

Lightweight

Thick foam footbed

Gentle rocker

REASONS TO AVOID

Lacks responsiveness

Not great on uneven terrain

The Hoka Clifton 9 offers a lush amount of cushion without compromising weight. The foam is dense with a gentle rocker, and this, plus a deep footbed, results in a more stable ride. The soft side walls and wide-toe box add to the overall comfort of this shoe, keeping your foot centered. The gentle rocker helps keep you moving forward, yet won't be uncomfortable if you're standing in place. We never had any problems with our feet getting too warm in the Clifton, thanks to a lightweight and breathable upper. A slightly recessed heel cup helps keep your foot steady, while upper ankle padding provides extra support and comfort. Whether it's a long workday or a casual stroll around the neighborhood, this shoe is comfortable and firm.

There isn't much to dislike about the Clifton 9. That said, it isn't the most responsive, which is to be expected with how cushioned they are. These high-stack shoes might not be the best option to take on uneven terrain. The amount of exposed foam also gives us concerns about overall durability, though we didn't have any troubles with this during our testing. With excellent comfort and a stable ride, we feel pretty confident that most people will love this shoe for daily strolls. We also like the On Cloudsurfer 7 as a comfortable daily walker.

Read more: Hoka Clifton 9 Review


Best Casual Shoe for Women


Hoka Anacapa 2 Low GTX - Women's


REASONS TO BUY

Balanced cushion

Breathable

Stable

REASONS TO AVOID

Narrow fit

Minimal arch support

As a combination of a hiker and a sneaker, the Hoka Anacapa 2 Low GTX offers both reliable stability and comfort. The thickly padded sole absorbs most impacts with ease, providing a plush underfoot feel. This, along with the SwallowTail heel and Vibram Megagrip outsole, add to the shoe's overall stability. The breathable design includes a recycled mesh upper, which is flexible on your feet and kinder to the planet. The Anacapa is made even more versatile thanks to its waterproof build. Whether you're walking the dogs around town or venturing on trails, these Hokas will keep your feet protected and comfortable.

Those with high arches might find the support of the Anacapa 2 to be a bit lacking. However, this can be solved by swapping out the insole for something with additional support (we've outlined our favorite insoles here). The Anacapa's sizing runs a bit large, which can help compensate for the narrow fit. That said, if you prefer a natural toe-box shape, these might feel slightly restrictive. Still, the Anacapa 2 is a great all-around shoe worth a spot in anyone's closet.

Read more: Hoka Anacapa 2 Low GTX Review


Best Distance Walking Shoe for Men


Saucony Endorphin Speed 3


REASONS TO BUY

Supportive

Comfortable footbed

Rocker shape

REASONS TO AVOID

Less support

Lacks stability

The Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 is a highly cushioned and responsive shoe that offers unbeatable comfort for those big days out. Featuring PWRRUN RB foam, it provides a perfect balance of compression and support. The lightweight design makes it an excellent choice for long walks, while its versatility allows for a smooth transition into a reliable running shoe. The foam's impressive shock-absorbing footbed reduces foot strike impact, enabling you to go the distance with less fatigue. Additionally, the rebound effect of the foam paired with the slight rocker shape propels you forward and keeps you moving. These shoes excel in comfort and are an excellent choice for a leisurely stroll around town or a paced treadmill walk.

Though these shoes are an excellent option, they lack lateral stability and support. However, this shouldn't pose a significant issue for everyday activities and walks. Because these are built for road running, they won't be the best choice to take on uneven, rocky ground. Additionally, the steep toe-off might take some getting used to, though once familiarized, these shoes will be an easy go-to for longer walks. If you want a shoe that's more supportive on light trails, check out the Hoka Anacapa 2 Low GTX.

Read more: Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 Review

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Best Distance Walking Shoe for Women


Brooks Glycerin 20 - Women's


Glycerin 21 Available Now
Brooks recently released the latest version of this shoe, the Glycerin 21, which includes updates to the upper and additional cushioning underfoot. The new upper is designed to increase stability of the shoe as well as breathability. You may be able to snag the Glycerin 20 we tested on clearance.

The Brooks Glycerin 20 is an all-around versatile shoe that can tackle anything from grocery store runs to distance power walks. This sneaker strikes the perfect balance between cushion and support without compromising its overall stability. The footbed is enhanced by DNA Loft technology, which incorporates nitrogen-infused EVA foam and rubber to create a plush and responsive ride. This version of the Glycerin is softer than previous iterations, and it is stable thanks to its classic running shoe shape and large launchpad. It's also available in a variety of widths.

It's challenging to find drawbacks regarding the Glycerin 20. However, it's worth noting that they fall on the pricier end of the spectrum (although with the release of the latest Glycerin 21, you can likely find the 20 on sale, so now is a good time to snag a pair). Additionally, they are slightly heavier than other running shoes of this style. Despite these considerations, we think these sneakers are well worth the investment, as they offer exceptional comfort, responsiveness, and stability.

Read more: Brooks Glycerin 20 Review

10 Best Walking Shoes of 2024 (12)


Best Trail Shoe for Men


Hoka Anacapa 2 Low GTX


REASONS TO BUY

Excellent tread

Great support

Durable

REASONS TO AVOID

Run a bit warm

The Hoka Anacapa 2 Low GTX is undeniably one of the most comfortable hiking shoes we've tested. Combining the features of hiking boots and trail runners, they are the perfect balance between comfort and stability, especially for uneven terrain. Able to handle just about any trail, these shoes have a 5mm deep tread pattern, a rocker sole, and an extended outsole for added stability. The snug heel cup and classic lacing system help provide excellent support and a secure fit. The Anacapa is built with thick materials that are more durable than classic trail runners, and that will help ward off any rolled ankles. Even so, these walking shoes are remarkably lightweight, weighing just 1.96 pounds for a pair of men's size 11. Furthermore, they have a Gore-Tex Invisible Fit membrane, so tackling those late-spring water crossings will be no problem.

Being a waterproof shoe, the Anacapa 2 Low GTX might be overkill if you live in a dry climate where it doesn't rain much. Though Gore-Tex is known for its breathability, if you're hiking through warm weather, your feet might get a little sweaty. Additionally, the traction might be more than you need if you plan on primarily wearing these around town. But if you're on the hunt for a durable and comfortable pair of trail shoes, the Anacapa 2 Low is a great option. If you don't need the waterproofing because you live in a warmer, dry climate, check out the HOKA Speedgoat 5.0, which is suited for trails and is more breathable.

Read more: Hoka Anacapa 2 Low GTX Review


Best Trail Shoe for Women


La Sportiva Spire GTX - Women's


REASONS TO BUY

Responsive

Comfortable

Minimal break-in period

REASONS TO AVOID

Expensive

Run large

If you plan on hitting the trails, you'll want the La Sportiva Spire GTX on your side. These rugged and reliable hikers thrive on uneven terrain, though they can tackle any trek you put in front of them. From the moment you lace them up, you'll be greeted with impressive comfort straight out of the box. We found many foot shapes and sizes were impressed by the Spire's comfort. They are stable and durable, with a robust outsole and structured arch support, and boast an abrasion-resistant mesh upper, which helps expel moisture while maintaining flexibility and trail responsiveness. Thanks to its incorporated Gore-Tex technology, the Spire GTX is well-equipped to handle run-off and river crossings.

Given they are waterproof, the Spire might not be the best option for warm climates where water crossings and snowmelt aren't present (the breathable Hoka Speedgoat 5 is a great go-to for warm and dry climates). Though the Spire maintains a breathable mesh layer, your feet might get a bit sweaty on hot, dry days. These shoes also tend to run slightly large, so you might want to order a half-size down for a more precise fit. Additionally, these sneakers are on the more expensive side. However, despite these considerations, the Spire GTX is an excellent shoe that had an outstanding overall performance in all our tests.

Read more: La Sportiva Spire GTX Review


Best Barefoot Shoe for Men


Vibram V-Trail 2.0


REASONS TO BUY

Tough traction

Minimalist feel

Durable build

REASONS TO AVOID

Takes some breaking in

Style isn't for everyone

Barefoot shoes are meant to make you feel connected to the ground below you, and the Vibram V-Trail 2.0 does just that. These shoes have a minimal 3.7mm between your feet and the ground, so you can feel just about anything underfoot. However, the tough rubber has no problem protecting you from sharp rocks and rugged terrain. The outsole traction has large triangular lugs, which are great for traversing bumpy trails. The FiveFinger design is unique, to say the least, individually housing all ten toes like a winter glove to allow your foot to splay out as though walking barefoot. With how minimal this shoe is, you might think durability is a concern. However, the V-Trail 2.0 proved to be far from short-lived. They are composed of a tough Cordura-like nylon upper and a 3D Cocoon Mesh, so you can feel confident taking these on whatever walk your day holds.

If you've never worn this type of shoe before, it will take some time to get used to the FiveFingers design of the V-Trail 2.0. At first, it might feel like your toes are being restricted. The 0mm heel-to-toe drop might also cause some discomfort as your body adapts. However, after the break-in period, you'll be met with the pleasurable barefoot experience that so many rave about. As far as barefoot shoes go, these aren't the most sensitive, though they are far more responsive than the traditional sneaker. We also found the lug pattern to be a bit slick when descending trails, specifically on rocks. However, with a unique and minimalist approach, the V-Trail will keep you feeling more connected to the ground around you. If you're interested in a barefoot-style shoe but just can't hang with the toe separation, check out the Merrell Vapor Glove 6.

Read more: Vibram V-Trail 2.0 Review

10 Best Walking Shoes of 2024 (22)


Best Barefoot Shoe for Women


Xero Shoes HFS - Women's


REASONS TO BUY

Minimalist profile

Lightweight

Responsive

REASONS TO AVOID

Minimal support

Can be uncomfortable for those new to the profile

Loved by our testers for years, the Xero HFS have earned high marks, and for good reason. These barefoot shoes embrace a minimalist approach, featuring a 0mm heel-to-toe drop and light cushion. The outsole is 5.5mm, which helps give that barefoot feel. They include optional insoles measuring an additional 2mm. This optional sole makes this an excellent first pair of barefoot shoes, as they provide more cushion than most others, making the transition from traditional sneakers is smoother. The natural toe box allows for an unrestricted feel and allows your toes to splay. Designed to only feel like a light layer between your feet and the ground, the HFS is flexible with just enough support.

The outsole of the HFS is primarily designed for low-traction surfaces and road use. While occasional use on gravel and light trails is doable, if you're planning on more intensive hikes, you might consider a shoe with burlier traction. And, although they might not be the lightest among barefoot walking shoes, they still offer a significant reduction in weight compared to regular sneakers. As with any zero-drop shoe, if you're not already wearing barefoot shoes, these might need some time to get used to.

Read more: Xero HFS Review

10 Best Walking Shoes of 2024 (26)


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REASONS TO BUY

Highly comfortable

Lightweight

Breathable

REASONS TO AVOID

Not the most durable

Lacks responsiveness

The Hoka Mach 5 envelopes your foot in a cloud of cushioning from the moment you slip it on, all while maintaining a lightweight build. Though these shoes are great for just about anyone, we think they are a particularly great option for those who spend long hours on their feet. The thick foam underfoot helps prevent fatigue by absorbing some of the foot-strike impact. The sole isn't too soft, though; it will spring back and promote step-by-step relief. The Mach 5's uppers are constructed with lightweight materials that promote breathability, and the thinly padded tongue ensures a secure fit. Furthermore, these sneakers are stable and supportive while retaining a neutral fit.

One aspect to consider is that the outsoles of the Mach 5 lack rubber, which may impact their long-term durability. However, this design contributes to their lightweight nature. If you're planning on only wearing these indoors, they won't be subject to as much wear and tear, but outdoor wearers might find they break down quicker. Additionally, due to the emphasis on cushioning, these shoes aren't the most responsive option available. But if what you're looking for is lovely cushioning for long days, these are a favorite of ours.

Read more: Men's Hoka Mach 5

Read more: Women's Hoka Mach 5

10 Best Walking Shoes of 2024 (27)


Best Budget Walking Shoe


Brooks Divide 4


REASONS TO BUY

Inexpensive

Versatile

Protective

REASONS TO AVOID

Runs narrow

Average weight

Throw on the Brooks Divide 4 for a walk around town or a stroll in the woods. These versatile sneakers will get you from point A to B without breaking the bank. With a stable and rigid neutral platform, the Divide ensures that your foot remains securely placed throughout your entire walk. As these shoes prioritize foot protection, they are well-equipped to handle the occasional toe strike or jagged rock. These comfortable shoes accommodate a wide range of foot types, and both our men and women testers loved them. The breathable upper allows heat and moisture to escape, while the water-resistant outsoles help keep your feet dry. Furthermore, the Divide's moderate traction makes it a great option for those who frequent various types of terrain on their walks.

While they perform well in most conditions, the Divide isn't the burliest option for rugged trail walks nor the most sensitive. These shoes are about average when it comes to weight, not too heavy but not the lightest either. Our women testers found these sneakers to run on the narrower side, which might not be the best for wide feet. Outside of these things, whether you're strolling through the neighborhood or exploring less demanding trails, this shoe is a great contender to keep your feet and wallet happy.

Read more: Men's Brooks Divide 4 Review

Read more: Women's Brooks Divide 4 Review


Most Comfortable Sandal for Men


ECCO Yucatan


REASONS TO BUY

Supportive contoured footbed

Well-cushioned

Adjustable straps

REASONS TO AVOID

Pricey

Not stylish

For those warm weather strolls, the ECCO Yucatan provides impressive open-toed comfort. These sandals boast a contoured EVA footbed that supports the foot and remains comfortable throughout the entire stride. The first time you put these on, you'll be met with a cushiony underfoot and soft straps. The neoprene straps are quick-drying, well-cushioned, and can be adjusted for a variety of foot shapes. This, along with the heel cup, keeps these sandals securely in place step-by-step, wet or dry. The thick platform is wide with excellent traction, making the Yucatan stable for all types of terrain. These sandals are our go-to for warm-weather walks, thanks to their unbeatable comfort and performance.

The Yucatan is a high-performing, well-loved sandal by our testers. But, given its price tag, this certainly isn't a budget-friendly option. However, its sturdy build should last for years to come, and its comfort is undeniable. These aren't very fashion-forward walking shoes, but if you prioritize comfort over style, the Yucatan will do wonders for your feet.

Read more: ECCO Yucatan Review


Most Comfortable Flip Flop for Women


OluKai Ohana - Women's


REASONS TO BUY

Comfortable

Quick-drying

Available in many colors

REASONS TO AVOID

Heavy

Pricey

Time and time again, we find ourselves slipping on the OluKai Ohana to wear around town. It's hard to beat the comfort these sandals provide as they mold to your feet. The arch support and contoured footbed allow them to stay stable and structurally supportive. The footbed material is designed to feel like you are standing on a sandy beach, remaining comfortable to wear even when wet. The padded synthetic nubuck straps are wide enough to prevent hot spots, and they dry fairly quickly. With impressive traction, you'll be able to wear these flip flops on most types of walks. The Ohana's are available in a wide selection of colors, all of which can easily be dressed up or down.

The Ohana runs on the wider side, so if you're in between sizes or have narrow feet, we recommend sizing down. For flip flops, these are also on the heavier side, so they might not be the most packable pair if you like to pack light for travel. Additionally, they are pricey. However, the superb comfort and versatility are hard to deny, and excellent craftsmanship means these flips will easily stick around for many seasons to come.

Read more: OluKai Ohana Women's Review

10 Best Walking Shoes of 2024 (37)


Best for Slick Terrain


La Sportiva TX2 Evo


REASONS TO BUY

Great for wet surfaces

Versatile

Recycled materials

REASONS TO AVOID

Minimal support

Lower durability

While approach shoes are primarily used for rocky hikes leading up to technical rock climbing routes, they are also excellent options for walking around on slick ground. Throughout our years of testing, we have found the La Sportiva TX2 Evo to be one of our favorite pairs for both men and women. These shoes are somewhere in between hikers, climbing shoes, and classic tennis shoes. While most shoes of this style are on the rigid side, the TX2 Evo remains soft enough for casual day-to-day use. The uppers are constructed from a lightweight sock-like knit, while the outsoles are made from Vibram Idrogrip. This grippy outsole is what makes these shoes an excellent option for walking on dry or wet terrain and even slippery rocks. Providing a snug yet comfortable fit, the TX2 Evo has a thicker padded lining just above the heel along the Achilles. This, paired with the tight lacing pattern, allows for a precise fit. As an added bonus, these sneakers are made from recycled materials, and the ESS Resoling platform means the soles can be replaced.

These aren't considered heavy-duty approach shoes, which is part of what makes them so versatile. That being said, the knit material lacks structural support and durability. Still, the TX2 Evo is heavier than traditional hiking or running shoes. However, when compared to other approach shoes, they are some of the lightest. Overall, if you plan on spending any considerable amount of time on slick, wet ground, it's worth looking into a pair of shoes like these. While there are many great options out there, we love the versatility the TX2 offers.

Read more: Men's La Sportiva TX2 Evo Review

Read more: Women's La Sportiva TX2 Evo Review

10 Best Walking Shoes of 2024 (41)


Why You Should Trust Us


Year after year, we dive deep into searching the market for the best shoes out there. Following our research, we order the most promising pairs for rigorous back-to-back testing. We check every box, testing each model for comfort, support, traction, weight, durability, and more. Our hands-on trials conducted by various well-equipped testers allow us to fully grasp each shoe's overall performance. Every walking shoe in this lineup has been tested on multiple terrains, including sidewalks, riverwalks, trails, roads, and around town. Furthermore, we tested these out at various distances to see how they hold up with extended use. This comprehensive review highlights some of our favorite walking shoes that we've found over the years.

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Our experts in the hiking shoe department are Trish Matheny and Ryan Huetter. Trish has been exploring Rocky Mountain trails for nearly 15 years, concurrently finding her passions for climbing, split boarding, trail running, and yoga. Ryan has traveled around the world, climbing and making major ascents. Now an IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide, he spends over 200 days a year on trails. These two are pro's when it comes to finding comfortable shoes for more rugged terrain.

As for our more casual road shoes, Ally Arcuri, Nathaniel Bailey, and Matthew Richardson lead the team. Ally has a degree in kinesiology from Cal State Fullerton that allows her to search for shoes with proper biomechanics in mind. Working with physical therapists for many years and being an experienced ultrarunner, she brings a wealth of exercise science knowledge to the table. Nathaniel has spent many years running and cycling. Now, he is on a personal mission to break road-racing PRs, which always involves a trusted pair of sneakers. Matthew's biggest passion is running, with a top-ten finish at the Telluride Mountain Run. When he's not running, you can catch him bikepacking, backcountry skiing, and playing guitar.

Many more reviewers and testers worked diligently to bring you this review, including Jon Oleson, Hayley Thomas, Jacob Clark, and Rebecca Glades. Jon is a Clinical Herbalist and spends much of his time caring for his medicinal garden. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, camping, swimming, and spending time with his two young children. Hayley spends most of her weekends exploring the mountains, whether hiking or climbing. She has spent the last 15 years in Colorado and has found a perfect balance between city-dwelling and mountain life. Jacob has a rich background in climbing, backpacking, trail running, and guiding. Rebecca spent her COVID years working as an intensive care Respiratory Therapist. During that time, she walked anywhere from 5-10 miles a day. After many tiresome days, she gained a deep appreciation for a comfortable pair of walking shoes.

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How to Choose the Right Walking Shoes


First and foremost, when looking for a good walking shoe, you should consider overall comfort. Many aspects go into this, especially when taking different preferences and activity levels into account. To further narrow it down, a few key elements should be considered.

Cushioning


Most shoes will offer some level of cushioning, though it can span a wide range. If you're not used to wearing either very minimal or maximal cushioning, there can be a bit of a transition period when getting used to the profile. On the minimal side, these shoes might have just a couple of millimeters of cushion. These "barefoot" models have just a thin layer protecting you from the ground with the intent of allowing you to feel more underfoot. These minimalist models are very responsive but not the most protective. On the other end of the spectrum, maximum cushioned models will have a thick footbed that helps absorb shock to avoid leg fatigue. Though these thick footbeds feel relieving, they aren't very responsive and aren't a great choice for quick movements.

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Support and Stability


More stable shoes help keep your feet properly aligned and minimize excessive movement, reducing the risk of injury. Shoes that are more stable will have a supportive midsole, snug heel cup, ample arch support, and a durable upper. Highly-cushioned walking shoes tend to be less supportive. This is due to the softer underfoot that prioritizes comfort and flexibility. As your foot sinks into the sole, the shoe becomes less responsive and often less stable. Based on your planned activities, you can get away with more or less stable options. Shorter and more casual outings that don't require constant time upright won't need an excessively rigid build. Whereas, for plans that include hikes or uneven terrain, look for more structurally stable models, like trail-specific walking shoes.


Heel-to-Toe Drop


With zero-drop shoes becoming more and more popular, it's important to first understand what this means. Heel-to-toe drop is the difference between the stack height of the heel and the toe. Barefoot and zero-drop shoes have no drop. Minimal toe-drop shoes have 1 to 4mm of drop. Both of these are best for those who land on their mid-foot or closer to the toe during foot strikes. Moderate and maximum shoes have a drop of up to 10mm or more. These shoes are best for those who land heel-first. Neither high nor low toe-drop is a one-size-fits-all all. However, selecting the right differential for your foot strike can provide more comfort and relief. Transitioning to shoes with different toe-drops can be challenging at first. You might experience some slight discomfort in your calves and feet, but this should dissipate over time as your body gets used to the new drop. It's important to make changes slowly and incrementally to avoid potential injury.

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Waterproofing


Waterproof shoes certainly have their time and place. Those walking in wet climates or on trails that are subject to snowmelt and run-off will want to pay particular attention to this feature set. Some manufacturers make their own unique waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry, whereas many other companies add a layer of Gore-Tex (sometimes written "GTX"). Regardless, these membranes are designed to keep water out of your shoe while still allowing your feet to breathe. The downside to this is that these shoes aren't as breathable as non-waterproof versions. If you mostly walk in a warm, dry climate, you'll likely find your feet pretty sweaty. Therefore, those dry climate dwellers should consider a non-waterproof option.

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Consider Terrain


You might be planning on walking primarily indoors, on a treadmill, or on sidewalks and roads. If that's the case, you likely won't need a shoe built for the trails. These "road shoes" have minimal traction to cut down on weight and bulkiness. However, if you plan to spend most of your walks on uneven terrain, it's worth considering a trail shoe with bulkier tread and more overall stability. If you're just getting started or you venture out in various conditions, a trail shoe with less aggressive traction might be the best option. A versatile shoe like this will have you covered for all terrain types, but it won't be too bulky for everyday use.

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Conclusion

Regardless of where you plan on walking, this list of top performers will have you covered. We understand how intimidating it can be to choose just one pair of walking shoes, which is why we are happy to pass on our knowledge of the best to you. Whether you're set on ultimate comfort or trying out a new pair of zero-drops, we hope we've made it a breeze to choose your new pair of walking shoes.

Nathaniel Bailey, Trish Matheny, Ryan Huetter, Ally Arcuri, Matthew Richardson, Jon Oleson, Hayley Thomas, and Rebecca Glades

10 Best Walking Shoes of 2024 (2024)

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