People say that you don’t really know someone until you’ve been in their shoes for a mile. We do know that as long as we have good walking shoes, we’d be happy to walk for miles.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) says, “Walking shoes provide stability through the arch, good shock absorption, and a smooth tread.” They say that walking has a “heel-toe gait pattern,” so a good sneaker will have a stable counter, which is “the back of the shoe that holds the heel in place.”
Even though this is good information, it doesn’t always help you figure out which brands are the best. So, we talked to people who work in shops and podiatrists to find out which ones last the longest. Read on to find out which stores sell the best walking shoes.
When it came out in 2016, this new kind of sports shoe made a lot of noise because it promised to be comfortable, eco-friendly, and good at its job. Stores started popping up on high-end shopping streets and in malls. Allbirds’ famous wool shoes are popular with runners, walkers, and Silicon Valley trendsetters because they can be washed in a machine.
There are a lot of different kinds to choose from, including waterproof ones that are great for traveling and unpredictable weather. They’re also some of the only shoes that look fashionable and are comfortable and supportive.”
Prices start at around $100, but fans say they are worth every penny. Ramhold says to sign up for the brand’s emails so you’ll know when deals are coming. Some styles are also sold in stores like REI, which sometimes puts them on sale.
New Balance has been making classic sneakers since 1906, but the company keeps coming up with new ways to improve comfort and performance. Ramhold’s Fresh Foam line, which is known for its thick, padded heels, is a good choice for walking shoes.
Ramhold says, “If chunky heels bother you (which some athletic shoes seem to have), there are enough Fresh Foam styles that you can find some that look more sleek.” “I can speak to how comfortable the Fresh Foam Arishi series is because they are the only shoes I own that let me stand for long periods of time without getting back pain.”
Even though you can shop at New Balance and find sales, Ramhold suggests you go to Joe’s New Balance Outlet “for lower prices in general and more deals.”
Skechers is a shoe company that has been around for 30 years. Many of their walking shoes don’t have laces, which is a feature that older customers like.
Ramhold says that their GO-WALK line is on a lot of best-of lists for walking. Skechers explains on their website that this line has four different technologies: Arch Fit, Massage Fit, Workout Walker, and Hyper Burst. You can choose one of these technologies based on the type of walking you do (regular vs. fitness walking) and your foot needs.
There are a lot of stores that sell Skechers goods, like Kohl’s, Macy’s, and even Costco from time to time. “If you shop at these stores instead of Skechers directly, the most important thing to watch out for is that coupons or sales may not include the brand, so make sure to read the fine print,” warns Ramhold.
Brooks is another standard brand for runners. It is known for its high-quality sneakers that offer support, comfort, and protection in a wide range of styles with features like shock absorption, arch support, and materials that let air in.
Daniel Pledger, the founder of ePodiatrists and a podiatrist, says, “If you’re looking for the best walking shoes, you should really think about them.” “The brand stands out because they are dedicated to making shoes that fit and support your feet the best. They put money into research and development to keep making their goods better, and they offer a range of widths and sizes to make sure that every foot type can find the right fit. Also, their walking shoes are made with sturdy materials that can stand up to daily wear and tear and keep feet comfortable for a long time.
Popular Swiss band On has been seen on fashionable feet for a while now. The brand is special because of its patented CloudTec cushioning technology, which uses tiny pods (called “clouds”) on the soles that compress with each step to absorb pressure. On is also known for its speed lacing system. This system uses elastic knots to make shoes easy to put on and take off.
“One of the reasons On Cloud is a good shoe for walking or standing all day is that its shape gives the foot more stability so that the leg is in the right place. “That will keep your knees and ankles from rolling inward, which can cause a lot of pain,” says Amanda Brooks, a certified running coach and author of the Run to the Finish blog. “On Cloud will give you support, a medium weight, and a medium amount of cushion. In fact, I like walking better in most On running shoes!”
A group of experts and testers for Good Housekeeping agreed with many of the reviews of the Hoka brand for walking: “The thick cushioning on the Hoka Bondi 8 might scare you at first, but it’s a game changer if you’re walking long distances or healing from an injury… The shoes come in medium and wide sizes and have neutral support and a lot of cushioning.
Sneakers aren’t always the right thing to wear, and sometimes they just don’t look right. Ramhold says, “I like Naturalizer and Brn for walking shoes that aren’t sneakers. Both make high-quality, comfortable, supportive shoes that are great for being on your feet all day and walking.” I once walked about 100 blocks in a pair of 3.5-inch heels from Naturalizer, and my feet were fine. I wouldn’t recommend a very high heel for all-day walking, but I’ve done it.
You can find these classic shoe names in shoe-only department stores and online at places like Nordstrom, which has a huge selection.
Classic “Blunnies” get votes for walking in the winter or bad weather because they look tough and stylish at the same time. Blundstone boots are light, soft, supportive, and last a long time. “I have friends and clients who swear by Blundstones once they are broken in,” says Ramhold.
According to the brand’s website, the boots made in Tasmania have “underfoot comfort systems that provide superior shock absorption and comfort” and “soles designed and engineered to reduce fatigue and orthopedic problems in the lower back.”
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