Walking may be the simplest form of cardio, but it's also staggeringly effective in keeping us in shape in the long run. All you need is the right footwear to help you achieve that step count much faster than a pair of kicks meant for, say, hiking or tennis. Even if fitness isn't your goal, walking shoes are a boon for workers in the service industry with jobs that require staying on the feet for hours.
So, what's special about shoes designed for walking? These kicks factor in breathability, weight and space inside the toe box to alleviate strain and discomfort. According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, a good walking pair should be lighter than the typical running shoes, stable from side to side, and allow enough room in the front to wiggle your toes but little in the back to hug your heel.
It's important to test new shoes out when your feet are slightly swollen - luckily, with free returns on Amazon, you can be certain of your purchase.
We took these details into consideration, and drew up a list of the best-rated men's walking shoes by shoppers like yourself who've embarked on their own walking journey. Each pair is broken down further with pros and cons to help you decide. Remember to subscribe to Prime for free, same- or next-day delivery, and check out walking shoes for women, too.
1. Best Overall: Skechers Go Walk Max Effort
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Shock-absorbing cushion
- Breathable, light fabric
- Available in wide sizes
- Machine washable
- Isn't the most good-looking pair, say reviews
Consistently some of the best shoes out there for strolling about, the Skechers Go Walk range deserves to be on your radar. The Go Walk Max Effort pairs are available in extra-wide toe width. They're fitted with the signature Goga Max technology in the insole, which provides a high-rebound support and comfortable cushioning for your feet, while the midsole and outsole are made of 5GEN cushioning that's EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) based – meaning they're lightweight and shock-absorbing. Your feet will seldom turn sweaty, thanks to the athletic air-mesh upper. And, the best part is that you can toss them into a washer every now and then to maintain foot hygiene. Reviewers have cycled through other brands, but they're yet to find the same support as they do in these shoes. Some test the pair out during 12-hour shifts and leave five stars.
2. Best for Road: ASICS Men's Gel-Contend SL Walking Shoes
- Lightweight construction
- Great gel cushioning on the heel, absorbing shock
- Foam midsole for durability at softer densities
- Look sharp
- Outsole is slippery on certain surfaces
These athletic walking shoes by Asics are meant for walks on the road. The Gel-Contend SL pair features two technologies - foam and gel. An AmpliFoam midsole simply means your feet are going to stay stable on softer surfaces, and the rearfoot gel helps absorb shock as soon as your heel hits the ground, allowing you to smoothly transition to midstance. Then, there's the aesthetic value of these; with a clean-cut upper, they're smart enough to be worn to a casual outing or commuting to work, say reviewers. They're deceptively lightweight, and reduce impact on joints, especially the heel, buyers add. Their only qualm is that the outsole can be slippery on certain surfaces.
3. Best for Walking and Running: HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 8 Running Shoe
- Extended heel for a smoother transition
- Eliminates foot fatigue
- Durable outsole, even through water puddles
- Pull-up heel tab
- Great support for heavier users
Will you be breaking out into a sprint every so often? Then, you need a pair that does both spectacularly, like the HOKA Bondi 8 road running shoes. It shares its design with some of the trendier fashion sneakers, but the stylish extended heel is there to offer a smoother transition from heel strike to forefoot. The cushion bed does away with over-the-top technologies and keeps it neutral with just a higher bed of midsole cushion. Putting the pair on is made easier with a pull-on tab at the heel. Buyers experience no foot fatigue when they're in these trainers, even over cobblestone paths, and compare them to walking on clouds. The Bondi 8 are definitely a splurge, but the comfort and durability are all worth the investment.
Bonus: Buy with 0% installments and pay Dh58.67 for 12 months with select banks.
4. Best for Wide Feet: New Balance Men's 877v1 Walking Shoe
- Wide toe box
- Specially engineered strike path for a proper gait
- Mesh upper offers breathability
- Stylish suede accents
- Outsole wears out quickly, some reviews note
If your little toes usually feel squeezed and sustain blisters after a long walk, this pair could be the solution. The New Balance 877v1's are an instant crowd favourite for featuring a square toe box, offering relief for wider feet. The outsole is engineered in such a way that it stabilises and guides the foot through a proper gait cycle. In the midsole, the 877 walking shoe absorbs impact using cushioning and compression resistance. It retains a breathable mesh upper with suede accents for an everyday athletic look, inspired by New Balance's heritage designs. Reviewers take to the asphalt and concrete paths every day, and report back with pleased results. Those who wear orthotics or shoe inserts are also satisfied with the fit. However, do note that rough terrain can quickly wear the sole out.
5. Best Value: Under Armour UA Surge 3 Men's Running Shoes
- Enhanced ankle cushion
- EVA mid-sole and sockliner
- Rubber pods on sole for better grip
- Lightweight, breathable mesh upper
- Machine washable
- Some reviewers advise sizing up
Power walkers, here's a pair for you. Under Armour Surge 3 shoes cushion your every step with snug ankle support. The sole has strategically placed rubber pods beneath the heels and forefoot for reliable grip, wherever you're walking. Reviewers easily run and walk long distances in these thanks to the EVA midsole and the excellent ventilation system. They're a great fit, breathable and don't take too long to break in, either. Users cycle them through workouts, walks, jogs and runs, surprised at the shoe's versatility at this value. You also get to pick from a wide range of colour accents.
Bonus: Save Dh8.90 when you apply a coupon.
Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.