Best Walking Shoes for Men

It isn’t just about distance. It isn’t just about endurance. And it isn’t just about personal bests, fastest times or smashing through some imagined physical barrier while on a personal quest to improve your health and fitness. It’s about getting from A to B, from here to there to wherever it is you’re going as easily, comfortably, and efficiently as possible.

We live in an age of immediate gratification in which speed is of the essence and in which walking has become a pleasure rather than a necessity. While it wasn’t always this way, the frantic pace of modern life means that walking, much like jogging has become something that we enjoy in our leisure time. Something to be cherished and savored in those all rare moments when we can shut the rest of the world out, head toward the horizon at our own pace and let everything else fade into the background noise.

Walking may not be seen as being as physically demanding as running or hiking, but without the proper footwear, it can take its toll on even the hardiest of individuals. Like any form of exercise, the key to fully enjoying walking is to ensure you can do so without having to think or worry, about pain or discomfort. After all, no-one wants to spend even a fraction of their incredibly limited and precious free time nursing an injury that could easily have been avoided if they simply chose the right shoes.

Like all things in life, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. But sometimes, that can be far more difficult than it sounds. Finding the right tool for the right job, or the right shoe to fit whatever kind of walker you are, can, in a world filled with choice, be an arduous and daunting task.  With that in mind, we’ve chosen five of the best available options to help you spend more time doing the thing you enjoy the most; walking.

So let’s take a stroll through five of the best walking shoes for men…

Best Walking Shoes for Men

OUR TOP PICK

Skechers mens Afterburn M. Fit fashion sneakers, Black, 11 X-Wide US

Top of the list is Skechers Afterburn Memory Foam Lace-Up Sneaker.  For three decades Skechers has been at the forefront of the leisure shoe market, leading where others follow.  Building their name on comfortable, stylish, and hard-wearing footwear, Skechers reputation as the premier brand of sneakers for all occasions has been well earned.

Combining leather and synthetic mesh to encourage air circulation and durability, Afterburn sneakers are the cross purpose shoe that fits every walking requirement. Whether you’re looking to take a quick jaunt around the block or are setting out for a ten-mile hike, thanks to their memory foam inserts and flexible rubber soles, the Afterburn won’t let you down.

Some shoes rub your feet the wrong way, some shoes practically encourage blisters to form and corns to develop. With a cushioned mesh tongue, Afterburn sneakers feel like you’ve been wearing them forever when you slip them on and as for blisters, bunions and corns? They’ll never be a problem again .  

Skechers take pride in being all about a lifestyle choice and take great care in making sure that all of their products are designed and built to reflect this. The Afterburn epitomizes everything that Skechers is and should be; tough, fashionable, and easy to wear and walk-in.

 A classic sneaker that’s made to take whatever kind of abuse is thrown its way, Afterburn takes a licking, keeps on ticking, and refuses to give up or let your feet down. They were made to pound the trail no matter the distance and that’s exactly what they do.

Pros:

  • At just under fifty dollars, Afterburn are as affordable as they are comfortable and definitely won’t break the bank
  • Memory foam inserts mean that no matter how long you’re on your feet or how far you walk, you’ll always feel like you’re walking on air.
  • They’re not just comfortable, they look good too. And who doesn’t like to look good while they getting to wherever they’re going?
  • There’s a reason why Skechers is recognised as being one of the world’s leading sneaker brands. Everything they know, and everything that makes them who they are, is poured into every pair of Afterburn

Cons:

  • It’s a taste thing. They’re Skechers. You either love them or you don’t, there’s no middle ground, and the only person who knows which side of the fence you’re on is you.
  • Designed for the mass market, sizing can be an issue, so if your feet are as individual as you are it might take a while for them to get used to you and you to get used to them.
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Skechers mens Afterburn M. Fit fashion sneakers, Black, 11 X-Wide US
  • Lace-up sneaker featuring mesh upper with supportive overlays and padded collar
  • Cushioned mesh tongue
  • Memory foam insole

EDITOR'S CHOICE

ASICS Men's Gel-Contend 5 SL Walker Shoes, 11M, Black/Graphite Grey

The replacement for the incredibly popular GEL Tech Neo 4, ASICS Gel-Contend 5 was designed with the walker in mind.  Built for those of us who spend all day and every day on their feet, the Gel-Contend 5 is a lightweight, strong shoe that lets your feet breathe equally on both the most strenuous of walks and lightest of strolls.

Providing incredible, and much needed, underfoot support thanks to their Orthlolite sockliner the Gel-Contend 5 takes everything that the road can throw at it. It takes, and shrugs off, the damage so that you don’t have to And thanks to its shock-absorbing Rearfoot Gel cushioning system, you can take all of the unexpected bumps that your chosen route might also throw at you and never have to break your stride or slow down. 

Those sometimes all too familiar lower leg strains and pains? They’re also a thing of the past, as the Gel-Contend 5’s heel gradient makes sure that your weight is always evenly distributed to maximise your comfort and allow you to enjoy every second of every walk.

ASICS firmly believe in the mantra that gave them their name, anima sana in corpore sano (which roughly means ‘Healthy soul and healthy body) and their walking shoes, especially the accessible Gel-Contend 5, reflects this. It’s the shoe that not only wants you to be healthy; it wants you to be happy too. Happiness really is a pair of Gel-Contend 5’s.

Pros:

  • Competitively priced, the Gel-Contend 5 is a favourite among hardcore hikers and weekend walkers alike.
  • The Gel-Contend 5 cares about your feet.  Every inch of the shoe is fashioned to protect and serve the walker and keep you sharp and focused while out and about.
  • A newer model of a long-cherished shoe, the Gel-Contend 5 is made to transform the casual enthusiast into a life devotee.

Cons:

  • The pricing is uneven and depends entirely on size and colour. Which is a little bit like playing the shoe lottery and can feel like it’s shortchanging the walker looking for a slightly larger shoe.
  •  These shoes are made for walking, and as such might not be suited to, or suitable for, the more casual walker.
ASICS Men's Gel-Contend 5 SL Walker Shoes, 11M, Black/Graphite Grey
  • The ASICS® GEL-Contend® 5 Walker is built for the daily walker looking for a walking shoe with versatile style and long-lasting stability.
  • Predecessor: GEL-Contend 5.
  • Support Type: Neutral to underpronation.

BEST VALUE

Brooks Addiction Walker Black 9 B - Narrow

If you ask any serious runner what their chosen brand of shoe is, chances are they’ll tell you it’s Brooks. They’re the shoes that are made by runners for runners that are now being made for walkers.

Comfortable, lightweight and stylish and built around a mid-sole energy-returning system, Brooks takes walking to a higher level. Putting as much thought and care into their casual footwear as their professional, the Brooks Addiction Walker is the runners choice of walking shoe.

With an emphasis on style that few other brands take as seriously as Brooks, the Addiction Walker is meant to be worn day in and day out and as is as cozy and appropriate in the office as it is on the mountain trail.

Pros:

  • Brooks has been making shoes for athletes for nearly a century. They know what they’re doing. They make shoes that do everything asked of them and a whole lot more. And they look good too.
  • While too many walking shoes are made to look like sneakers or for outdoor pursuits,  Brooks Addiction is truly ubiquitous. A shoe for all seasons that are made for walking? One size really does fit every occasion.
  • They’re made by Brooks so you know they’re going to last. They’ll wear well and take whatever life throws at them.

Cons:

  • They not cheap and like most things in life, you get what you pay for. So be prepared. If you’re looking for a shoe that won’t make you think twice when you see its price, then maybe Brook isn’t the brand for you.
  • Brooks should have taken the title of Chuck Norris’ best film, Good Guys Wear Black to heart because the Addiction isn’t a shoe that looks good in white. If that’s the only colour you can find you might want to give them a wide berth.
Brooks Addiction Walker Black 9 B - Narrow
  • SHOE SIZE: "D" = Medium width, "EE" = Wide width, "B" = Narrow width, "EEEE" = Extra wide width
  • MAXIMUM SUPPORT: Our Extended Progressive Diagonal Rollbar strategically supports your arch to guide and keep your body in its natural path of motion.
  • SLIP-RESISTANT, SECURE FIT: The forefoot MC Pod construction and an innovative outsole sets your foot in an efficient, balanced, and stable position.

RUNNER UP

Rockport Men's Eureka Walking Shoe, Black, 12 D(M) US

When you’re looking to combine the best in athletic and casual footwear, there’s one name that should always be in the tip of your tongue; Rockwell.  The Eureka brings the outdoors to the office and the office to the outdoors and more than lives up its name.

Rockwell has always been pioneers and is forever pushing the envelope of what they do. As a company, they were the first to integrate the principles of athletic shoe design into more causal models and five decades of innovation have gone into making the Eureka everything that it is.

With inbuilt heel stability and a higher than normal collar and tongue padding to provide extra ankle support, the Eureka is a stylishly comfortable shoe that’s perfect for the more relaxed and easy-going walker. The Eureka is everyday footwear for the weekend walker.

Pros:

  • It may not look like it’s made for combat, but the Eureka, thanks to its sturdy construction, can handle just about any terrain it encounters.
  • They’re leather, they stretch and ninety-nine times out a hundred they fit straight out of the box without any problem at all.
  • You can leave the office and head straight to the mountains without even having to think about changing shoes. Your suit though, that’s a different matter altogether.
  • At around the sixty dollar mark and with the Rockwell seal of approval, they’re worth every penny of their price tag.

Cons:

  • While they’re every bit as tough as most of their competition, Eureka’s don’t exactly look the part and if you’re at all self-conscious and worried about being seen in ‘dad shoes’ while out walking, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere.
  • There have been rumblings among the Rockwell faithful that maybe the quality control isn’t what it used to be when it comes to sizing.
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Rockport Men's Eureka Walking Shoe, Black, 12 D(M) US
  • GENUINE LEATHER: Leather upper is easy to clean and maintain, so these walking shoes for men look and feel even better with time
  • FATIGUE-FIGHTING FOOTBED: Latex foam footbed generously cushions the foot to help reduce foot fatigue as you stand and walk
  • BREATHABLE LINING: Moisture-wicking mesh lining offers breathability to create extra-comfortable walking shoes for men

RUNNER UP

New Balance Men's 608 V5 Casual Comfort Cross Trainer, Chocolate Brown/White, 17 W US

The New Balance 608 is the sneaker that does it all and then some for under a hundred dollars. While it sells itself as a cross-trainer that looks like its catering for the more serious fitness fanatic, the New Balance 608 provides all of the balance and stability that a good walking shoe needs to.

Tough, rugged and with enough support to keep the leaning Tower of Piza in place for the next two centuries, the New Balance 608 is the quintessential crossover shoe. It’s got everything that beginning walker needs and everything that the die-hard hiker will ever want.

Described as utilizing ‘cushioning on cushioning’, the New Balance 608 is all about comfort, grip, longevity, and making sure that you can go that extra mile when you need to.  This is the walking shoe that the Six Million Dollar Man would have worn if they’d been around in the seventies. But they weren’t, because they’re made for the modern, demanding market and the walker who not only wants but also demands, more from his footwear.

Pros:

  • Strolling in at less than a hundred dollars means that the New Balance 608’s are one of the best-kept secrets in the cross-training world. They’d be cheap at twice the price.
  • As they’re primarily geared toward the cross-training market, their unique blend of balance and traction makes them an ideal walking shoe.
  • The New Balance 608 comes in all shapes and sizes, so there’s a 608 for everyone. You just have to find the right pair for you.

Cons:

  • Do you remember when we talked about how much the Six Million Dollar Man would love them? Well, that’s because they’re not exactly the most fashionable of footwear and have a whiff of the nineteen seventies about them. They’re fine if you like that sort of thing but if the decade that gave the world punk rock isn’t your thing then you should scratch the 608’s off your list.
Brooks Dyad 11 Black/Ebony/Blue 10.5 D (M)
  • THIS SHOE IS FOR: The Dyad 11 is perfect for runners who want a secure fit and a stable feel. Runners with slightly wider feet will also appreciate extra room in the forefoot.
  • SUPER-SOFT CUSHIONING: BioMoGo DNA, our proprietary cushioning, adapts to your stride, weight and speed. Why? So it can help protect you by reducing impact on your joints.
  • GENEROUS FIT: Sometimes you need a little extra room to move around in. So if you need a roomier shoe because of flat or voluminous feet, your search is over.

Best Walking Shoes for Men - Buying Guide

There are a number of important questions that you need to ask yourself before buying the right pair of walking shoes.  The most important parts of the equation are you, what you need and what you’re looking for. With that in mind, you might want to ask yourself some of the following questions before venturing into the market place

What kind of walker are you?

Do you just enjoy an evening constitutional or do you prefer getting out into nature, putting the miles in and covering as much distance as possible? If it’s the former, then a more casual pair of interchangeable shoes are almost certainly what you should be looking for. If it’s the latter, comfort and durability should be at the top of your must-have list.

How often do I venture into the Great Outdoors?

Again, are you more inclined to experience, and enjoy nature in all of its unfettered glory or are you happy to just stroll down the street without a plan, come what may? It’s that divide, the one that separates the more determined walker who wants to push himself that little bit harder from the more relaxed, take life as it comes stroller that makes all the difference in the shoes you’ll need. Are you looking for longevity and toughness or casual comfort?

What do I want? Who am I? What sort of shoe am I looking for?

Nobody knows you like you do.  You know what’s important to you when it comes to choosing footwear.  Would you rather be comfortable or fashionable? Or are you looking for a combination of both? Do you intend to cover the sort of distances that would make Forrest Grump nod in approval or are you more of a just amble to the store when the mood takes me type of guy? Maybe you don’t know. Maybe you think that you’d like to do a little of both. When you’ve finished asking yourself these questions remember the most rules when it comes to walking shoes

A good walking shoe needs need to be durable. A good walking shoe needs to be comfortable.  A good walking needs to provide all the foot and ankle support that you need it to. And a great walking shoe not only needs to do all of those things, it should also make you want, and look forward, to put it on and getting out into the world.

Happy trails!

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