Top 10 Walking Shoes for Men

In today’s fitness-conscious world, people are learning and appreciating the value of staying active. And while “active” can be defined in many different ways by as many different people, the fact remains that whatever “active” means for you, a good starting point can be walking, which is becoming an ever-important component to daily activity levels.

Over the past decade or so, researchers at the Mayo Clinic have identified that walking produces several health benefits that have led to the 10,000 Steps Challenge at the office among colleagues, among peers at the gym, or just as a resolution to get in better shape. Companies like FitBit have invested a lot of money into science that supports the benefits of such challenges, going so far as to say that taking 10,000 steps each day will result in additional 2,000 to 3,500 calories burned per week. And since 3,500 calories amount to 1 lost pound of body fat, taking those 10,000 steps each day can translate into significant weight loss over a year.

It’s crucial to stay comfortable to get the best of any fitness goal. And with walking, the most important place to start is at your feet because, without comfort, the resulting pains, strains, and potential injuries make it easy (if not mandatory) to give up.

Below are the ten best walking shoes on the market today:

1. Skechers Performance Men’s Go Walk Slip-On Walking Shoe
From a company that built its reputation on durability and comfort, the Performance Men’s Go Walk Slip-On Walking Shoe has been identified as one of the most breathable shoes on the market. As a slip-on shoe with a synthetic sole, this Made-In-The-USA Sketchers shoe makes for a great option whether someone is just starting their fitness journey or for someone who needs a durable option for those late-night walks.

Key Features:

Breathable fabric keeps feet comfortable in hot climates
Slip-On for easy entry
Comfortable sole that doesn’t sag with use
Ideal for: Casual surface walks or light trail hikes.

Disadvantage & Alternative:

This slip-on shoe may not appeal to hard-core trail walkers or hikers. An alternative for the high-intensity trail walker or mountain hiker would be the Skechers Men’s Afterburn Walking Shoe.

2. Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe
On top of being one of the most highly-rated shoes by consumers, Merrell’s shoes are best known for their ruggedness and durability. Pair the company’s reputation for comfort and quality with a reasonable price and a long list of features, and it’s impossible to imagine not finding a Merrell model that will appeal to all levels of outdoor adventurists. The Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Slip-On Shoe makes for an ideal purchase for those looking for an all-around walking shoe. Its air-cushion heel translates in less sore feet and reduces the effects of lower back strain.

Key Features:

A high degree of comfort from a quality walking shoe
Odor-neutralizing technology helps keep shoes in new condition longer
Grippy soles mean fewer slips and slides
Ideal for: Casual walks or light-intensity terrain and/or trail hikes. Given its stylish design, the Jungle Moc can easily double as a casual shoe.

Disadvantages and Alternative:

As with the Sketchers slip-on shoe, the Merrell Jungle Moc Slip-on shoe will not appeal to hard-core hikers. An ideal alternative for hard-core hikers would be the Merrell Moab Men’s Prime 2 Sneaker or Merrell Zion GTX, both of which are more tightly-tuned for heavier-duty, trail-purpose hiking.

3. Asics GEL-Tech Walker Neo 4 Walking Shoe
Known as a top choice among high-intensity athletes on the court and track, one of Asics’s considers its patented gel technology among its best-kept secrets. The technology shows up across all of its models and is a significant contributor to what earns the Asics GEL-Tech Walker Neo 4 Walking Shoe a spot on this list of 10 best walking shoes for men. This technology redistributes impact weight throughout the shoe to minimize pain in the heel, foot, as well as legs and lower back, allowing long-distance walks without the aftermath that comes from a lesser walking shoe.

Key Features:

Virtually limitless distance achievable without suffering from the common pains associated with long walks
The breathable mesh structure is a life-saver in hot climates
Removable insole allows for easier cleaning as well as orthotics accommodation
Ideal for: Casual, flat-surface walks as well as light-trail hikes. It can also double as a cross-training shoe.

Disadvantages & Alternative:

The Asics Gel-Tech Walker Neo 4 Walking Shoe will appeal to flat-surface walkers (e.g., indoor/outdoor flat track or neighborhood walking groups). For someone seeking a more rugged alternative or a hard-core trail hiking shoe, Asics will not offer much.

4. Keen Men’s Austin Hiking Shoe.
Although “hiking shoe” appears in the model name, the Keen Men’s Austin Hiking Shoe excels in the area of durability and comfort. The non-marking rubber outsole offers substantial grip, and its insole construction provides support where it’s needed most. The Keen will appeal to those in non-urban settings who like to venture off the beaten path.

Key Features:

Grippy sole allows for a seamless transition to light trail terrain
Waterproof construction keeps feet dry, avoiding blisters or tears
Comfortable insole construction makes this shoe a favorite
Ideal For: Men who walk in natural, wetter environments such as grass or gravel trails, inclined terrain, as well as forest trains involving mild hiking.

Disadvantages & alternatives:

The Keen Men’s Austin Hiking Shoe is a mid-weight hiking shoe that will get the job done for most. However, for flat surfaces in urban settings, Keen might be overkill. Likewise, for the hard-core hiker, consider the Keen Men’s Voyageur and Keen Men’s Rialto series.

5. New Balance Men’s MW877 Walking Shoe
Those who are loyal to New Balance shoes will appreciate that the MW877’s sole is a derivative of the legendary 577’s sole, which means exceptional cushioning support. Rated highly by current and previous owners alike, the MW877 ranks as one of the most comfortable walking shoes on the market. And as a lightweight option — this New Balance Men’s MW877 walking shoe weighs just 13 ounces — this shoe can double as a trainer as well.

Key Features:

Supportive cushioning sole
Suede and mesh construction allows for casual wear and has the visual appeal of a much more expensive shoe
Flexible use as a walking shoe and indoor trainer
Ideal for: Spirited flat-surface walk and light-duty trail hikes

Disadvantages and Alternative:

Although loyal New Balance customers will appreciate the heritage and improvements, the MW877 Walking Shoe will not appeal to mid- to heavy-duty trail hikers. Consider the New Balance Men’s 510v4 trail runner if hiking or cross-country training and/or running is more your thing.

6. Rockport Men’s Barecove Park Slip-On Walking Shoe
From a company that built its reputation on high quality, classy footwear, the Rockport Men’s Barecove Park Slip-On Walking Shoe offers both comfort and class in a walking shoe that does double-duty as a Casual Friday favorite around the office. Its leather construction translates into a visually appealing, stylish design with the added benefit of durability.

Key Features:

Rockport quality and comfort stands out in this crowd
Moisture-wicking fabric keeps feet dry and comfortable
Stylist casual walking shoe is the Barecove Park’s alternate personality
Ideal for: Casual outdoor and indoor walking.

Disadvantages & Alternative:

The Rockport Men’s Barecove Park Slip-On walking shoe is ideal for light-duty walks and flat-surface trails. For those seeking comfort as well as a mid- and heavy-duty walking and hiking trail option, consider the top-rated Rockport We Are Rockin Chranson Walking Shoe, which can also double a comfortable walking shoe.

7. Nike Air Monarch IV
As far as shoe companies go, few can claim the brand recognition and R&D budgets of Nike. Although Nike Air Monarch IV has a long history, Nike has continuously improved this product. This shoe’s insole offers excellent support and diffuses impact and strains that are common after long-distance walks. Although its reputation as “dad’s shoe” might scare off some, consider that the Nike Air Monarch IV has the benefit of history to back its tenure as a top-rated, favorite walking shoe among men.

Key Features:

Time-tested comfort that others have tried to emulate
An iconic walking shoe
Legendary “Air-Sole” construction keeps feet happy
Ideal for: flat surface walks and cross-training in a gym setting.

Disadvantages & Alternative:

Although the Nike Air Monarch IV offers great all-around comfort and support for walking and cross-training, hard-core trail walkers will likely want something they won’t mind scuffing up or getting dirty. Nike has options, lots of them, including the dark-colored Monarch IV — although none are ideal for heavy-duty trail hikes, much less climbing. Consider the Nike Pegasus as a heavier duty walking alternative, but keep looking if you need a rugged hiking boot.

8. Adidas SolarBoost Running Shoe
Although the Adidas SolarBoost falls under a running shoe classification, its “solar boost propulsion system” technology offers an added bounce to your stride. This unique technology from Adidas not only helps with comfort but can help newcomers achieve their daily step goals without feeling exhausted at the end of their trek.

Key Features:

Heel construction helps direct foot positioning, reducing ankle twists and sprains
Insole reduces muscle fatigue and does not restrict Achilles movement
Can double as a training shoe
Ideal for: Indoor track and outdoor flat surface walking.

Disadvantages & Alternative:

The Adidas SolarBoost Running Shoe offers extreme comfort and minimizes muscle fatigue by ensuring the right movement and muscles are in use during a walk. For those in non-urban settings or those who refuse to stray from the Adidas brand and technology, an alternative surface and light-trail walking shoe to consider would be the Adidas NMD_R1 Shoes.

9. Reebok Royal Astrostorm Walking Shoe
Having built its business model on the court and track, Reebok brings a reputation of comfort and technology to its highly acclaimed Royal Astrostormd Walking Shoe. For walkers seeking the ultimate in comfort, this model also offers lateral support to help avoid ankle-twists and sprains.

Key Features:

Slip-on (although there are laces that can be pulled tighter, this is really a slip-on shoe)
Lateral support
Hand made sole offers Reebok running shoe-quality comfort
Ideal for: Indoor and outdoor surface walks and light-running.

Disadvantages & Alternative:

The Reebok Royal Astrostorm Walking Shoe is a perfect walking shoe for those who appreciate lightweight shoes with extra support. Unfortunately, Reebok does not offer a heavy-duty hiking shoe at this time.

10. Brooks Men’s Addiction Walking Shoe
As a lower-cost walking shoe, the Brooks Men’s Addiction Walking Shoe holds the top spot for value. Stocked with high-tech comfort features including an energy-absorbing midsole, the Brooks Men’s Addiction Walking Shoe also ranks one of the grippiest walkers on the market. Add full-grain leather construction, and it’s no wonder this Brooks model has been such a popular walking shoe.

Key Features:

Energy-absorbing midsole reduces heel and arch fatigue
Sticky sole reduces unwanted slips and falls
Leather upper adds comfort and durability
Ideal For: Flat surface walks and light-duty trail walking in both urban and rural settings.

Disadvantages & Alternative:

The Brooks shoe lineup is ideal for walking and flat-surface running. For trail runners, consider the Brooks Caldera or Brooks PureGrit models. For heavy-duty trail hiking, consider another brand.

Summary

Whether starting out with an office challenge during the lunch-hour or seasoned at the indoor walking track, the 10 Best Walking Shoes for Men listed above offer the most appealing options in terms of comfort, quality, and value. None of these options should leave a man’s feet feeling sore after a day of 10,000 steps — if so, it may be worth consulting with a podiatrist who may recommend orthotics as a solution for sore feet.

For those seeking a hybrid between walking shoes and hiking boots, consider the alternatives listed here or spend some time reading through our article about the 10 Best Hiking Boots For Men.

Happy walking!