“After you have put food on your table, make sure you invest in really good walking shoes and a good bed.” – John Callaway
Finding the best walking shoes for men is a very important decision to make. Wearing a pair of ill-fitting shoes can lead to joint pain, posture issues, or other health problems. When purchasing a pair of walking shoes you want to make sure you choose a pair that promotes a balanced stride and support.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Walking Shoe
When you are looking for the best walking shoes for men it is important to keep a few things in mind. Before you purchase your new walking shoes consider these tips to ensure you select the best shoes for you.
- Walking Style: Your shoe choice should reflect your walking style. If you are purchasing shoes for day-to-day casual wear, choose a shoe that is suitable to the environment where you will be doing most of your walking. If you are walking more on pavement, choose a running shoe, multisport shoe, or a casual walking shoe that offers optimal shock absorption and a lot of insole cushioning. If you often walk on uneven terrain, such as nature trails or dirt roads, you might want to choose a trail runner shoe or a light hiker shoe. They have the right outer sole and durability that these terrains need.
- Flexibility and Support: To gauge the flexibility and the support of your shoe, you must first try these tests before purchasing them:
- Hold the shoe by the heel and toe and bend the shoe upwards. The shoe should only bend under the ball of the foot.
- Twist the shoe sole while gripping the heel and toe. You want to be able to feel light to moderate resistance in the sole.
- Cushioning: Walking creates less impact than running, so they do not require as much cushioning in the heel as traditional running shoes. Instead, walking shoes should provide all-over cushioning support, especially in the ball of the foot.
- Waterproofing: Depending on when and where you find yourself walking you may want to consider a shoe that provides some water resistance. Some people prefer walking shoes without waterproof liners because the shoes have increased breathability and quicker drying times. But this feature all depends on where you do the majority of your walking.
Best walking shoes for men on the market
See more best walking shoes for women
1. Rockport Men’s We are Rockin Chranson
These stylish Rockport We are Rocking Chranson shoes are available in both black and brown leather. Perfect for wearing all day and fashionable enough to wear at the office, Rockport really hit the nail on the head with these shoes. Lightweight, these shoes do not put any added pressure or weight on each step. Despite its lightweight nature, these shoes are very durable and will not break down or wear out easily. These shoes do fit a little tight at first, so that you might even feel like you need to order an extra half size larger. But, if you give these shoes about a week long break period, they will fit snug enough to your feet that you will feel they are made for you. This is just because the shoes are made out of a leather material that naturally needs to be stretched out. This shoe also features an arch and heel support that gives your foot a more natural posture to help provide a better and more natural walking pattern. The support that is offered in these shoes also reduces any potential injuries or strains on your joints or ligaments.
- Break-in time needed
2. New Balance Men's MX608V4 Training Shoe
These training shoes are made from leather and feature a rubber sole with a suede upper dual-density collar and padded mesh tongue. The expandable lace-up technology allows for a snug, supportive fit. These durable training shoes feature a breathable textile lining and an EVA footbed that promotes full-body support and alignment. The shoes also feature an IMEVA midsole with non-scuff rubber outer soles. These shoes are featured in over twenty color combinations, so you will undoubtedly find the style and color that suits you.
3. Skechers Performance Men's Go Walk 3 Slip-On Walking Shoe
For a supportive, lightweight, slip-on walking shoe, look no further than the Sketchers Go Walk 3. The rounded heel offers support and cushioning to provide optimal comfort. The walking shoes are made from a lightweight, breathable mesh and feature a full-length GOga Mat insole with memory foam cushioning. These shoes also feature a Resalyte technology midsole to ensure impact absorption. The GOimpulse and GOpillars technology offers remarkable flexibility and responsiveness to enhance your walking experience. These shoes are also available in a number of colors so that you can enjoy both the look and feel of your new walking shoes.
4. New Balance MW577
The New Balance MW577 leather hook and loop walking shoe is incredibly comfortable due to its extra padding. The collar and heel support have extra stuffing that not only makes this shoe comfortable, but also makes these shoes fit snugly. The better the shoe fits, the more advantages it will have on your body while walking. Wearing an ill-fitting shoe can cause more problems, than not wearing shoes at all, such as shin splints, or even sprained ankles. The midsole of the shoe has ABZORB cushioning, which provides comfort and support. The ABZORB cushioning also helps with any shock to help prevent injuries, specifically when you accidentally kick something, or if you are walking on uneven terrain. The rubber outer sole created with a walking strike path will stabilize your feet and help you walk with a more natural gait. Instead of a lacing system, these New Balance shoes have a double hook and loop closure that fastens with Velcro. The Velcro is customizable so you can still fit these shoes to your feet, but without the worry that your laces will come untied.
- ABZORB Cushioning
- Durable rubber outer sole
- Not very stylish
5. New Balance MW411V2
Another great walking shoe made by New Balance, the MW411V2 walking shoe is great for being on your feet all day, or for walking for exercise; which can be a little more vigorous. With a padded collar and tongue, plus an IMEVA cushioned midsole, these shoes provide you with maximum comfort. The padding on these shoes are durable and do not wear out easily, so you will have these shoes for many years. As a matter of fact when they do finally wear out, you’ll love them so much that you will go buy another pair. These shoes also come in a variety of sizes and widths, including extra wide. Most shoes only have regular width and sometimes wide, but these shoes are built for anyone. Relatively inexpensive, they are a great investment. After spending all day walking around or standing, your feet will thank you.
- Different sizes and widths
- Upper lacing eyelets aren’t functional
6. Rockport Men’s World Tour Classic
The most important feature of the Rockport World Tour Classic Walking Shoe, like most shoes, is its comfort level. Since you will be on your feet all day or for long distances, comfort is the most realistic and important thing to consider. The midsole is created with an EVA closed cell foam, which provides both comfort and support. Plus, the padding of the tongue and collar are soft and will not cause any irritations or blisters. These shoes have a thick rubber outer sole that is durable, absorbs shock, and slip resistant on many different types of surfaces. These shoes are perfect for walking around all day casually or even in the working environment. Since they are made out of leather and come in many different colors they are perfect for the office.
- Slip resistant
- Perfect for the office
- Toe box is narrow
7. Skechers Sport Men’s Afterburn Strike
Skechers is a very popular shoe company that always keeps the customer’s comfort in mind. The collar and tongue are lined with a breathable padding to help keep your feet dry and comfortable. The innersole is made from memory foam so they will conform to your feet and provide a more individualized comfort and fit. These shoes have a raised heel that creates a natural forward moving posture. This natural posture for your feet can reduce any strain on joints or ligaments in your body. The Skechers Afterburn Strike walking shoes have a double hook and loop fastener with Velcro allowing you to tighten or loosen your shoes easily. Available in white/navy or black, these shoes are practical and perfect for being on your feet all day long.
- Breathable material
- Raised heel for natural posture
- Fits narrow
8. Performance Men's Go Walk 2 Flash Walking Shoe
This low-top walking shoe features ventilation and a cushioning, impact-absorbing midsole. The V-Stride technology allows for a balanced, confident stride. These shoes also feature an antimicrobial liner. With eight different color choices and a modern design, these shoes are both fashionable and functional.
9. Propet Men's Stability Athletic Walking Shoe
This sturdy, imported walking shoe features a supportive heel and a spacious, rounded toe. The durable rubber soles offer top-of-the-line traction support. The taupe color and subtle design give these high-quality walking shoes a stylish, rustic appearance.
10. New Balance Men's MW847 Health Walking Shoe
These American-made walking shoes are supportive, durable, and stylish. They come in black or white and have a rubber sole. Made from top-of-the line materials, these shoes feature breathable mesh with a reflective exterior, a twelve millimeter heel-to-toe drop, a moisture-resistant liner, and an interior foam cushion for optimal comfort. They are designed not to fit a certain image, but rather they are designed to fit. It could be said that New Balance thinks outside of the shoebox. New Balance designs top quality shoes that are ideal for all kinds of exercise or daily wear.
Tips for Purchasing Walking Shoes
- Look for a low, round heel: This will allow your foot to gently roll onto the ground and minimize impact. The heel should be supportive and gently cup the back of your foot. Avoid all types of heels, whether they are thick, high, or flared.
- Look for material that is lightweight and breathable: Lightweight shoes ensure ease when walking long distances. Proper ventilation is essential for keeping your foot dry and free from moisture. When you have ventilated shoes they are less likely to contain bacteria and produce terrible odors.
- Look for flexible soles: For a proper stride, it is important that your shoes have a flexible sole that bends easily at the ball of your foot. But you only want a pair of shoes that bend at the ball of your foot and no where else. This allows your foot to make a proper heel to toe transition.
- Ensure a proper fit. It is important that your shoes fit snugly, but they don’t put too much pressure on any parts of your foot. Leaving about a centimeter of space in the toe box is ideal. But it is important to remember that shoes naturally stretch with use. So you don’t want your shoes to end up too big, because even big shoes can cause issues with your feet.
- Walk around when trying on shoes: Make sure you are not in a hurry and have time to walk around in your new shoes when you try them on. You should find a place where you have enough space to make complete strides at a moderate pace. Despite popular belief to only try on your dominant foot’s shoe, you need to try on both shoes and walk around in them to make sure they are alright.
- Walk down an incline when trying on your shoes: When trying on a pair of walking shoes you should walk down an incline to see how snug your shoes fit when your foot is being pushed to the front. If your toes are too crammed up against the front of the shoe you might want to consider a different size or style.
- Walk up stairs: Another way to test to see if your shoes are fitting correctly is to walk up a flight of stairs, taking two steps at a time. While doing this you should be able to tell how the heel lift works with this test. Proper walking shoes should not allow your heels to come off the insoles more than 1/8 of an inch when walking up an incline or stairs. If your heels are constantly lifting up and down, the back of the heel will rub against the shoe and cause painful blisters.
- Try on your shoes in the afternoon or evening: Feet naturally swell during the day, so trying on your shoes in the late afternoon or evening will allow you to properly gauge how your shoes will feel after a day of walking. Swelling generally increases the more you walk; so another thing to consider if you plan to walk very long distances is purchasing a pair of shoes that is a ½ size bigger than you would normally wear.
- Wear proper socks when trying on shoes: It is important to make sure that you try your shoes on with the same socks you would normally wear, or plan on wearing with your walking shoes. The style and thickness of your socks changes the size of your feet and could result in the difference between different shoe sizes.
- Keep track of how many miles you walk in your shoes: It is highly recommended that you replace your walking shoes every 300 to 600 miles. To extend the life of their shoes, some people choose to rotate them with other pairs. This allows the shoes to regain their shape after walking and allows you to have different pairs of shoes for different activities. Some shoes are designed to be more durable than others. If your shoes are very lightweight, keep in mind that they may wear out sooner than a pair of thicker durable shoes. If you are overweight or do activities that wear down your shoes, such as hiking on rough terrain, you may want to consider replacing your shoes after 300 miles rather than 600 miles.
Features of Walking Shoes
The way walking shoes are built are to enhance their fit and functionality. Knowing the basic features of good walking shoes can help when you are selecting your next pair of reliable shoes. It is important that you remember that not all walking shoes feature gel pads or roll bars; however, many have features that provide stability and cushioning. Here are a few features to keep in mind when choosing your next pair of walking shoes.
- Achilles notch: This reduces stress on the Achille’s tendon
- Ankle collar: This cushions the ankle and ensures proper fit of the shoe.
- Upper: This holds the shoe on your foot, and it is usually made of leather, mesh or synthetic materials.
- Insole: This cushions and supports your foot and arch. Removable insoles can be taken out and allowed to dry when needed, or replaced with new insoles.
- Midsole: This provides comfort, shock absorption, and cushioning.
- Outsole: This is the part of the shoe that makes contact with the ground. The grooves and tread can help to maintain traction when walking on many different surfaces.
- Toe box: This provides space for the toes; a roomy area for toes prevents calluses.
- Gel pad: This cushions and reduces the impact when walking.
- Roll bar: This helps to stabilize your foot if it tends to roll inwards when striking the ground during walking.
Why Your Choice of Walking Shoes Is More Important Than You Think
Your choice of shoes can have lasting effects on your overall health, comfort, and athletic performance. When choosing a pair of walking shoes you need a pair that will provide support that will help keep a balanced spine and joint alignment. This support will give long term comfort and prevent injuries. When buying shoes it is important to ensure that the pair you choose provides stability, flexibility, and comfort. Purchasing improper walking shoes could greatly increase your risk of uncomfortable chronic health problems.
Foot problems are the number one issue associated with wearing improper footwear. Over 80% of people in the United States report experiencing at least one type of foot problem at some point in their life. Common complaints include toenail pain, pinched nerves, stress in the balls of the feet, and tendonitis. These issues could be prevented by wearing the right kind of properly fitting shoes.
Wearing shoes with stability and flexibility can also improve posture, joint alignment, and back health. Back pain is related to numerous factors; improper alignment, poor posture, and an unbalanced gait. All of these issues can be prevented if you invest in a good pair of walking shoes. Additionally, proper posture and joint alignment are thought to slow the effects of joint pain and other age-related ailments.
There are many reasons as to why finding the proper walking shoes will benefit you in the long run. Choosing the proper walking shoes can keep your body healthy and your joints strong. If you use the tips and the suggestions here, you will be well on your way to finding a great pair of walking shoes that will provide you with comfort, flexibility, and stability.