ental health breaks, meandering catch-ups with a friend, TikTok-inspired hot girl walks: No matter the reason for getting your steps in, comfortable and supportive walking shoes are a must.
Whether you’re logging a few miles per day or taking short laps around the block, you deserve the best walking shoes. Running shoes can double as walking shoes if you’re low on closet space. The top versions of both have minimal break-in periods and feel light on your feet. Dedicated Hoka Running Shoes walking shoes might have extra lateral support to stabilize your foot and ankle, plus a pillowy sole. “Since walking time tends to be more time on my feet than going out for a quick run, underfoot comfort and cushioning is mission critical,” Nike Running coach Jes Woods tells BAZAAR.com. The way walking shoes look is almost as important as the way they feel, especially if you’re wearing them daily. “When picking my favorites, I want a shoe that is supportive and feels easy to throw on—without sacrificing style,” Carbon38 co-founder and CEO Katie Warner Johnson adds.
You can easily have both in a single walking shoe. With input from footwear designers, athletic experts, and seasoned reviewers, we’ve gathered the 12 best walking shoes from tried-and-tested brands including Nike, Veja, Allbirds, and more.
Start with the walking shoes that Woods calls her favorite pair. “I can wear them all day from coaching to commuting to power walking because the React foam is not only plush, aka comfortable, but durable,” she tells us.
Reviewers who aren’t runners have found a similar fit. “I am not a runner. I just need shoes [with] support because I walk a lot,” one shopper writes. “These are cute and supportive top to bottom, front to back, inside and out.”
Condor 2 Sneaker
Warner Johnson of Carbon38 says she’s a big fan of Veja’s Condor sneaker. For her, it’s a matter of their lightweight construction and “sophisticated” color palette. “Plus, the upper is made of 100% recycled plastic and the sole is composed of bio-based materials like banana Oofos Outlet oil and sugar cane,” she adds. “Sounds, and looks, like dessert for your feet!”
Reviewers on other sites add that Veja sneakers only get more comfortable with each wear. Consider going a size up if you have wide feet. Some reviewers say they run narrow.
Some exercise regimens include walking, running, and HIIT in between. The Adidas Ultraboost can handle them all, in nine color combinations. As the flex upper knit stretches and conforms to your foot, the boost sole cushions you through your workout. Reviewers who wear them in casual settings say they’re great for hours of standing, giving them an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
x Staud 574 Unisex Sneaker
Count on Staud’s ongoing collaboration with New Balance for walking shoes with a pop of color. New Balance’s unassuming 574 sneaker has endured for decades thanks to its pliable soles and cushioned suede upper. With Staud’s primary color flourishes, it becomes a walking shoe you’ll want to wear daily.
Women’s Trail Runners
Hana Kajimura, head of sustainability at Allbirds, considers this responsibly-made pair her favorite walking shoe. “I find that when I’m traveling, I want one pair of Hey Dudes Shoes that can work for exploring a city or working out,” she says. They’re water-repellent for rainy days and versatile for all weather: Kajimura wears them with hiking gear and everyday cropped denim alike.
Trekky Raffia-trimmed Canvas Platform Sandals
On warmer days, grippy, supportive sandals can take the place of an athletic walking sneaker. Go for Arizona Love’s line of reimagined trek sandals, combining cushioned platform soles with straps in raffia, canvas, and gauze. The Velcro straps won’t budge after they’re fastened and the gently curved sole molds to your foot.
Anine Bing is one of BAZAAR editors’ top destinations for wardrobe basics, walking shoes included. Its sporty sneakers combine ’90s influences with all the support and flexibility you need for long walks, whether in the city or on a trail.
Blissfeel Women’s Running Shoe
I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it here: Lululemon’s first sneaker is worth the hype. While its cushioned, grippy soles are intended for running, they’re just as comfortable for walks long and short. More than 900 reviewers agree. “Love the fit, feel, and amazing comfort these shoes provide! I have narrow feet and they hugged my feet perfectly. Feels like walking on pillows,” one says. Want to see for yourself? Lululemon is offering 30-day testing trials. If you aren’t satisfied after a month, you can send them back.
Pegasus Trail 3 GORE-TEX Women’s Waterproof Trail Running Shoes
“For a shoe that can quickly transition from road to trail for a leisurely walk, hike, or trail run, I recommend the Nike Pegasus Trail,” Woods says. “It has the same soft React foam as the Infinity coupled with more traction so you can easily transition from concrete to countryside and stay stable and comfortable on both. Walking on soft trail terrain is going to help with less impact on the joints, which means you can walk for longer (or run).”