Most sportswear brands sell walking shoes, but boy are they ugly. They just don’t offer enough when it comes to colors or materials.
Walking in running shoes is possible? That’s for sure! First, you need to differentiate the two types of exercise: walking and running.
When we run, two feet are in the air at some point. One way to contrast this with walking is when one foot stays flat on the ground while the other toes touch the earth.
Thus, transitions happen more slowly when one walks because of the gradual increase in weight placed on toes than to heels.
If you are familiar with Solereview’s shoe guides, then you will know what process is needed for such an undertaking.
The shoe should have a beveled (angled) heel: Unlike running, which one could forefoot strike or heel strike, walking only employs the heel- and there is no way to avoid it. This accounts for why an angled sole makes for a smoother landing of one’s foot after it has been placed on the ground for each step taken.
The outsole should cover as much ground contact as possible: Weight loadings happen gradually, so a large gap in the middle of the shoe is not desirable. A bridge of rubber should be used to connect and cover the entire foot.
The forefoot should be flexible: A consequence of long walks is that the foot will flex less than if it were running. Therefore, a stiff midsole would cause the foot to fatigue quicker than one which was flexible -unless there were rockers within its structure enabling smooth roll-offs.
For example, the Asics Glideride 2 and adidas UltraBoost 22 are exceptions to this rule. The Nike ZoomX Invincible also gets a hall pass for its other strengths.
The shoes should have sufficient cushioning: If you plan on spending long hours on your feet, the midsole of the shoe needs to be comfortable.
There are many shoes that provide cushioning without feeling too squishy, but overly squishy or flexible shoes will take away from the comfort of walking and may even cause you to feel tired.
The Nike Invincible Run has been included in this guide because of its responsive cushioning which leads to an exceptional level of comfort.
Whether it’s too tight or too loose, shoes that do not fit the foot are unsuitable for walking. When you walk long distances, the feet swell; there has to be enough room for them to relax and spread out accordingly. On the flip side, if the upper of the shoe is too lose, it may create friction and lead to painful blisters.
Socks are an important factor in long walks. Thick, loose fitting socks can bunch up and cause blisters; avoid them at all costs. Get yourself a nice pair of moisture-wicking socks that are comfortable. Most running-socks will meet this criteria.
Asics Gel-Nimbus 24
The Nimbus 23 and 24 are up there with the best shoes NIMBUS has ever released. They’re perfect for leisurely running, or if you just want a comfy pair of shoes to wear while you take your dog on an evening stroll around town.
Just like Cumulus 24, a single-density layer of Flytefoam provides for a smooth transition from heel to toe. A firm piece underneath the heel helps with stability.
Designed to be plush and cushioned, the Nimbus 24 now features Flytefoam Blast. Our review page provides more information on this technology.
They include an extra insole to make walking comfortable for hours at a time, and come with durable outsoles to prevent slipping or rolling over onto one’s foot. With wide soles that allow you to turn easily without tripping up, these are perfect shoes for walking around town or taking care of chores around the house.
The Nimbus 24’s upper is smooth, fitting well without uncomfortably squeezing around my feet, and stays true to size – qualities that make it a prime candidate for comfortable walking shoes. The elastic tongue also provides a snug feel throughout the foot for optimal comfort.
Asics Nimbus Lite 3
Although the Nimbus Lite 3 has only been around for a few months, it feels much more comfortable to walk in than the previous models – Asics Nimbus and Cumulus.
These two shoes may be great for walking but the Nimbus Lites do not have a dual density construction. They don’t have an obvious rearfoot Gel window or any kind of molded stabilizer either.
As a result, all that remains is an extremely cozy Flytefoam midsole and rounded heel with a full-contact outsole. Unlike running, walking requires much slower loading which means the single density sole does wonders for this type of activity.
Also, the soft cushioning does not feel limp and mushy. The Flytefoam sole makes it easy to walk in this shoe. The flared toe box provides comfort when you are walking or running.
It’s great that the upper has improved this time around. It makes sense because the tongue doesn’t use EVA foam padding anymore; it instead has a thinner, lighter one which provides for more room – and that’s exactly what we want in a walking-friendly shoe!
New Balance Fresh Foam 1080V12
If you need a high-quality midsole to keep your feet comfortable, the New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V12 will be perfect for what you need.
Since the 1080 was reincarnated as a Fresh Foam avatar, it has come a long way. The 1080 V12’s deep, yet gentle cushioning makes for an excellent walking shoe.
Our complete review of the 1080V12 details all aspects of this model.
The outsole geometry and material help me feel more comfortable when walking by providing an increased level of comfort.
The grippy treads made it easy for me to keep my footing even on slick surfaces.
The knit upper has an ideal fit with a near-seamless interior and expansive toe box. It’s snug for its size, but the stretchy and delicate mesh allows for comfort within.
Asics Gel-Cumulus 24
This article discusses how the Cumulus 24 is a step in the right direction for Asics. It retains the comfort from previous versions while improving upon some aspects of design.
The Upper has a new mesh that feels closer to the Nimbus. It appears to be improved on the outside, but when you explore further inside, you can feel its similarity with the Cumulus 23.
Laying at the top of the shoe right below the sole is a layer of single density Flytefoam – providing smooth transitions from heel to toe without hiccups. The firmer wedge above it helps with stability while riding.
Rubber lugs were spread across the sole of this shoe, so stepping was easy. With these rubber lugs also being spaced apart and with flexible grooves – it created a good feeling when transitioning from one foot to another.
Asics GlideRide 2
In addition to making for a nice running shoe, the preset features of the Asics Glideride 2 make it an enjoyable walker.
The Nylon plate created within the midsole is meant to help make a forward rolling motion when walking, which can sometimes be an arduous process for someone who has problems with the soles of their feet. The high toe spring aids in making this movement easier – all it takes is one quick roll of your foot and you’re done!
1. The midsole had raised sides for better support during running or walking and there were smoother surfaces in comparison to the lugs due to more foam created on top of them.
The midsoles are padded for comfort, so you can take long walks without feeling sore or worn out. The 5mm heel-to-toe offset is also present, just like the V1.
When it comes to running shoes, The Glideride 2 is among the best options out there. Read our full review here.
Adidas UltraBoost 22
The ultraboosts are perfect for runners who spend a lot of time walking. We’ve just published an in-depth review of a new pair if you’re in the market for a pair.
There are many features of the Ultraboost 22 which make it an ideal shoe for walking. With its wider-than-ever Boost foam, this shoe is far more comfortable than past versions and will provide a stable foundation while taking long strides down the sidewalk.
This new running shoe features a unique translucent outsole which is made of durable Continental rubber. However, it differs from the previous UltraBoosts in that it has geometrical design differences.
While the exterior of the shoe is made from harder rubber, there is a soft inner material in place for comfort. For stability, there are plastic shanks placed at critical areas such as the forefoot and arch to help reduce forward rolling motion.
In addition, it is also worth mentioning that there are no spaces in between the plugs from the Ultraboost’s soles. This style of shoe allows for an even distribution of weight while walking.
On the upper, a plastic midfoot cage can be found. And though it doesn’t make it very easy to go for long walks, they do ensure that all feet are supported. However, this is nothing new as there were similar materials used in the Ultraboost since its introduction.
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run
According to our review, the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run is currently the most cushioned and bouncy shoe available for purchase. There are no other shoes in existence that come close to its level of comfortability or bounce-worthiness.
The high levels of bouncy cushioning make it easy to walk around without soreness, thanks to the deep reservoir of ZoomX foam. Exceptionally soft and springy, the midsole is balanced with flares and heel clips.
The shoe is spacious enough to fit comfortably on my toes, and it has an inner lining for added comfort. It also offers some padding around the heel, which makes this footwear more comfortable than many others I’ve tried before.
Brooks Glycerin 20
Glycerin 20 is quite different from Glycerin 19 in terms of its production, but it maintains the same level of quality when it comes to durability.
Unlike the Nike ZoomX Invincible, the Glycerin 20 features a medium-soft ride that is combined with some firmness. Yes, there is cushioning but it gives support in doing so. Yes, the redesigned midsole has an updated Nitrogen-infused ‘DNA Loft V3’ midsole – but that changes nothing about its walking-friendly character.
The shoe offers good enough traction for both hard surfaces and some dirt trails – though it could use a little more grip in slippery conditions. The sole features deep grooves which provide great stability when transitioning from one foot to another.
This shoe has a cushioned feel from the padding of the heel and tongue. It is also very comfortable because it does not rub or poke at my foot like some shoes do. The only downside to this shoe is that sometimes when I run, the tongue slips forward which can be annoying.
The Glycerin 20 also comes in two variants – the GTS (a higher cut) and Stealthfit (a lower cut). We recommend sticking with the standard Glycerin 20 due to its snugger upper-shoe fit.