Best Men’s Walking Shoes for 2021: All Terrain
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise you can partake in. It is low impact, it burns fat well, and it gets you outside and into the fresh air. Be it a routine morning stroll or epic hike, quality footwear is important. To help you choose the right pair for your adventures, we’ve pulled together this Buyer’s Guide featuring some of the best men’s walking shoes available on Amazon. It’s far from comprehensive, but it does provide a decent cross-section from some quality brands.
The best men’s walking shoes feel comfortable, don’t give you blisters, and keep your feet safe from any conditions your daily dog-walk or commute decides to throw at you. Good walking shoes for men will also last a while and feature quality materials only. Finally, the top-rated men’s walking shoes will look good — transcending that “dad shoe” look all the stylish youths of today love to mock on TikTok.
Before you dig in on your search for comfortable walking shoes, take a moment and peruse our Buyer’s Guide and FAQ section. It’s going to help you know what to look for as you look through our recommended products.
- Best All-Around: Skechers Men’s Afterburn Men’s Walking Shoes
- Most Versatile: ASICS Men’s Gel-Venture 7 Men’s Walking Shoes
- Best Casual Active Shoe: New Balance 608 V5 Men’s Walking Shoes
- Most Stylish: Skechers Classic Fit-Delson-Camden Men’s Walking Shoes
- Most Rockin: Rockport We Are Rockin Chranson Men’s Walking Shoes
- Best for Big Mile Days: New Balance Men’s MW877 Walking Shoe
- Best Pedigree: Nike Air Monarch IV Walking Shoes
- Best Crossover Hiker: KEEN Men’s Targhee Vent Hiking Shoe
- Best All-Leather Option: Skechers Men’s Energy Afterburn Lace-Up Sneaker
- Best-Looking Trail Shoe: KEEN Men’s Austin Walking Shoes
- Best Slip-on: Merrell Men’s Jungle Moc Slip-On Walking Shoes
- Most Normcore: New Balance MX608V4 Walking Shoes
- Most Stylish (Runner Up): Skechers Equalizer 2.0 True Balance Sneaker
- Best Cross-over Hiker (Runner Up): Merrell Chameleon Slam II
- Best Two-Tone Styling: Reebok Royal Astrostorm Walking Shoe
- Best For Water: Mohem Poseidon
- Most Convenient: Skechers Performance Go Walk 3
The Best Men’s Walking Shoes
What makes this one of the top walking shoes for men? Well, if you are looking for a walking shoe with lots of support and padding at a decent price, here’s your Huckleberry. The Sketchers Men’s Afterburn features a thick slab of memory foam to cushion feet against concrete and long days, while the rubber sole is grippy enough for slick surfaces like wet pavement or freshly mopped kitchens.
A mesh upper provides a little bit of ventilation, though, with this much padding, this shoe is still going to be a little toasty in the high heat of summer. Don’t expect much waterproof capability out of this shoe. The heel stack is super-high at about 1.5 inches. If you tend to heel strike when you walk or run, you want a shoe that features this much heel padding — and Sketchers delivers. For more footwear that goes well with any outfit, check out our list of the best all-black sneakers.
Thick, cushioned heel
- Weight12.24 ounces
Inexpensive and functional
Not that stylish
Might feel clunky
Asics is known for running shoes, and indeed this Gel-Venture 7 is built for jogging over walking. But anything you can run in, you can walk in. Asics designed the durable rubber outsole with trails in mind, so this shoe might be a great option if you are looking at taking a stroll off the concrete. The synthetic and mesh construction should hold up moderately well to the trials and tribulations of a well-maintained trail, though don’t expect it to last under fire from serious abrasion.
We like the neutral support type and responsiveness of a low heel, not to mention the lightweight design and snappy response that comes with the overall design. The foam insole is removable if you want a little more ground feedback.
Well established running shoe brand
Synthetic and mesh construction
- Weight2 pounds
Ideal for walking on slippery terrain
Might not provide enough cushion for some people
Who says your walking shoe has to look ugly? Not us. This 100% leather upper cross-trainer from New Balance adds a touch of class to the walking game while still providing plenty of cushion through the heel. Foam around the ankle aims to prevent chaffing and irritation, while a flexible outsole provides ground feedback while keeping your feet safe from aches and pains after a long day of walking.
Even better for those searching for a perfect fit — this shoe comes in three widths. Dialing in shoe width is a thing a lot of people ignore to their detriment. Spend some time figuring out what your piggies like, and then deliver!
100% leather uppers
Duel-density collar foam
- BrandNew Balance
- Weight14 ounces
A little more stylish than most athletic shoes
Suede leather will stain
Leather doesn’t breathe as well as mesh
Now we are talking style! Check out this Sketchers Men’s classic fit Delson-Camden sneaker — one of the most stylish walking shoes for men we have on our list. The textile lower probably feels great on the toes and top of the foot, while the synthetic touches on the uppers look great and add a touch of class to the walking shoe world. The tongue loop is a nice touch, as is the bungee lacing system.
Sketchers says this shoe includes “air-cooled” memory foam. Having not tested this shoe, we can’t really say if that’s true or not. We know shoes that include memory foam tend to run hot, so buyer beware. That being said, the textile lowers probably allow for a lot of airflow, and the synthetic upper looks to have perforations as well. All in all, we’d recommend this shoe for those who want to take light walks around the neighborhood while taking personal style one step above “dad shoes.”
Air-cooled memory foam
- Weight11 ounces
The best-looking shoe in this guide
Breathable textile construction
Memory foam can run hot
Sole isn’t rugged enough for off-pavement travel
100% Nubuck leather isn’t exactly the most breathable shoe material in the world, which is why Rockport includes a mesh lining for moisture-wicking in this classically styled walking shoe.
We don’t recommend this Rockport shoe for the trails (the outsole just isn’t designed for it) or for long walking commutes, but for a casual stroll, it should be just fine! The latex footbed design will reduce foot fatigue, as will Rockport’s use of what they call “TruFLEX technology.”
- ModelWe’re Rockin’ Chranson
- Weight13 ounces
Smooth grained leather will wear beautifully
Not as breathable as some of our other options
Not a great gym shoe
New Balance is another brand known for medium-quality, affordable athletic shoes, so it’s worth taking a look when they design a shoe specifically for the act of walking. In the 877 Walking Shoe, they use a technology they call “Walking Strike Path” to “stabilize and guide the foot through the walking gait cycle.” We don’t really know what this means, but we can guess that this New Balance shoe is designed to strike on the midfoot (as you do when walking) rather than the heel (as some people do when running).
Suede and mesh uppers and reflective details give this men’s walking sneaker a sporty yet casual look — you might be able to dress these walking shoes up a bit if you are into the whole luxury tracksuit thing.
Designed with walking stride in mind
- BrandNew Balance
- Weight15.5 ounces
A stylish take on classic athletic shoe design
Assembled In the US
Suede takes a while to dry
Suede is hard to clean
Nike’s reputation as a leader in the athletic shoe vertical is well deserved. These leather sneakers are crisp and sharp-looking but perhaps best confined to short walks or trips to the gym instead of slick, mud-addled terrain.
That said, these Nike sneakers are likely comfortable shoes owning to the full-length air cushions and foam midsole.
Classic white design
- Weight15 ounces
This is a good looking shoe!
Lots of comfort features
White leather shows dirt and stains
Some have called Nike’s labor practices into question
Here’s another example of a walking shoe that can handle more than just city streets. The rugged, oiled Nubuck leather will shrug off water and abrasion, while the rubber soles are aggressive enough to take on roots and rocks. Toss in some mush panels and a speed lace system, and you’ve got a capable walking shoe that will hang with you no matter which trails you hit.
Oiled Nubuck leather
- Weight2.86 pounds
Rugged enough for trails
Heel loop for quick on and off
Leather takes a while to dry once wet
Even with the mesh, this shoe won’t breathe as well as more ventilated options
This option from Sketchers is another take on the Afterburner. You can get this walking shoe in a range of colors, but the basic features remain the same — exaggerated cushioning in the heel, rubber sole, and soft fabric lining. Unlike the Afterburner, this option is 100% leather — meaning it will wear with dignity and beauty — unlike synthetic materials, which often take on a shabbier appearance with age.
- Weight1 pounds
Comfortable and functional
Dad shoe alert!
Keen is a fairly well-established hiking and boot brand, so it’s no surprise that this crossover walking shoe looks rugged and durable. The material is a combination of waterproof Nubuck and full-grain leather, which, like all leather shoes, means they will require conditioning from time to time. The laces are thick and the style is modern — what more do you need?
The footbed is removable to aid in drying if any water does happen to soak in, and the textile lining should do a decent job of absorbing and wicking moisture away from your foot. That being said, we don’t recommend this Keen shoe for hot summer days — it isn’t going to breathe much, if at all.
Combination Nubuck/full-grain leather
- Weight14 ounces
Classic crossover design
Cushioned ankle wrap and chunky laces
Won’t breathe very well
Overkill for a walk around the block
Is this the perfect travel shoe? Depending on your needs, it could be. We love the slip-on design that makes it easy to give your feet some time and space outside of your shoe after a long day — just make sure you keep your feet inside your shoes while on the airplane. All in all, this looks like one of the most comfortable walking shoes for men on our list.
The 100% suede leather looks fantastic in the “gunsmoke” color featured here, though Merrell offers this model in a range of colors and finishes. The Ortholite footbed, compression-molded EVA, and air cushion heel should appeal to anyone seeking comfort, while the Merrell brand and leather construction attract those seeking a little bit of adventure in their daily walk. And peep that rubber outsole — it could be grippy enough for a little off-roading if you were feeling saucy.
100% suede leather
Molded EVA cushioning
Merrell pedigree and construction
Comfortable, easy on/off
Sure to show stains and wear
Won’t breathe at all
Okay, so this isn’t the most stylish option on our list. If you have kids, they are 100% going to call these “dad shoes.” But what do they know, with their TikTok dances and their PC culture and their weird desire for universal healthcare?
These New Balance shoes look comfortable and functional, which is all you need, right? An internal shank is going to add some stability, while the injection-molded midsole provides comfort. A chunky heel will pitch you forward a bit while you stand but gives fantastic cushioning at the same time.
- BrandNew Balance
- Weight12.2 ounces
Won’t show stains or dirt
Dad shoe alert!
Won’t breathe very well
If your feet run hot, you want a shoe with plenty of textiles and mesh to let them breathe. Check out Sketchers Equalizer 2.0 True Balance. This 75%/25% leather shoe looks great, has flowing lines, and features a relaxed fit knit upper for maximum comfort. Walk to the gym and then wear these as you bench-press — it’s all good.
The memory foam insole says it uses “Air Cool” technology, but we always think memory foam runs hot — so maybe it’s a good thing there’s so much breathable mesh in this shoe. Of course, it isn’t waterproof, so look out for puddles.
75% mesh/25% leather
100% knit upper
- Weight11 ounces
Likely very comfortable
Clean, stylish design
Look out for puddles!
Memory foam runs hot
If you’ve been scrolling this list wondering where all the overbuilt, rugged, trail-ready walking shoes are, look no further than the Merrell Chameleon Wrap II walking shoes. Let’s start with the Vibram outsole. Vibram is an industry leader in durable, grippy outsoles. The bulbous, organic tread pattern they use here looks ready to take on slippery stream crossings and icy pavement with equal ease.
The molded rand and toe bumpers offer great protection from rocks while on the trail, while the Lycra/neoprene stretch color is likely to feel wonderfully comfortable even as the day wears on into the evening. The injection-molded TPU instep acts much as a shank would and gives the shoe a little stiffness to better handle uneven terrain, so it works amazing as a hiking shoe, as well.
- Weight12 ounces
Take this shoe hiking!
Mesh is highly breathable
Less heel cushion than many of our options
Overkill for many users
This walking shoe from Reebok looks great and very modern, with a prominent single-piece tongue design and forward-thinking lacing system.
There’s lots of mesh here, so look out for water. The navy and white color palette are perfect for pulling off the athletic-but-stylish look.
- Weight9 ounces
Stylish, forward-thinking design
Likely won’t be very durable
Poseidon is the god of the sea, and you can be too if you slip on these highly breathable 100% mesh shoes. They are perfect for the beach, the pool, and paddle sports because they are lightweight and designed to shed water with maximum efficiency.
And at less than 8 ounces per shoe, you’ll barely feel like you are wearing anything at all. As a lovely final touch, these water shoes are inexpensive. We wouldn’t expect them to stand up to any sustained abrasion (or be able to log a ton of walking miles), but for some casual beachside strolls, it’s hard to think of anything better.
Wide mesh construction
8 oz per shoe
- Weight9.6 ounces
Highly breathable and water permeable
Great for summertime
Not a winter shoe
Not a lot of cushioning/support
There’s nothing like slipping on a pair of comfortable shoes without having to worry about the hassle of laces. Sketchers makes another appearance in our guide with this slipper-style, 100% mesh option that’s ideal for tossing on to walk the dog or run to the gym.
The mesh construction means it is lightweight, while the energy return insole and memory foam heel ostensibly add all the comfort you need. We like the range of available styles and colors as well!
Memory foam cushioning
- Weight8.5 ounces
Cold in the winter
Likely not very secure around the ankle
Men's Walking Shoes Buying Guide
Why Trust Us
I’ve walked more than 3,000 miles over my career as an outdoor lover and gear tester. And though I didn’t personally test any of these products, I do know what makes a shoe comfortable.
Who This Guide Is For
You should know that this isn’t a guide for hiking shoes, though a few hiking shoes do appear. This guide is aimed at people who need a comfortable shoe to cover some miles during their day at work or on an afternoon stroll at the end of the day.
Features To Look For In Walking Shoes For Men
Weight - There's lots of interesting science out there that claims a lot of weight on your foot will wear you out faster than a lot of weight on your back. This research holds up in our experience. We recommend finding the lightest walking shoe that still has the durability and features you need.
Waterproof? - Only a few of the options in our Buyer's Guide of best men's walking shoes are waterproof. Many of our styles are hybrid mesh or fully mesh constructions, and we think that's okay.
No shoe is completely waterproof, and waterproof breathable membranes take forever to dry once they do inevitably wet out.
If you need a shoe that can keep your feet warm during wet and blustery winter walking commutes, look for something that features 100% leather. Otherwise, just let your feet get wet. They will dry, after all!
Lacing Style - We feature shoes with mostly standard lacing styles in this guide, though a few of our models are slip-ons.
Price - Every shoe will eventually wear out, especially walking shoes. After all, they are designed to be walked in! This isn't necessarily a hard-and-fast rule, but generally speaking, the more expensive a shoe is, the better the designing, engineering, and construction — up to a point. The obvious exception is so-called "designer sneakers" or high-end name brand, limited edition "drops."
Comfort - Comfort is perhaps the most significant factor to consider when purchasing a walking shoe. Are your feet wide or narrow? Do you need space for your toes to spread out? Do you have any foot injuries that need to be taken into account? Are you overweight? Are you on your feet all day? Do you need extra cushioning in the heel?
We've tried to point out comfort features whenever possible throughout our list to give you all the information you need to make an informed choice.
Support - Support is a thorny issue with athletic footwear. Just how much support does the human foot need, and why? We aren't going to wade into those waters very much here — partially because nearly all the shoes in our Buyer's Guide are "classically" built, with thick, cushiony heels and lots of foam and padding in the midsole.
If you are looking for minimalist shoes that don't over support your foot, this may not be the list for you.
Fit - Fit is also important when considering a walking shoe. Nobody likes a blister. Look for shoes that fit "true to size," and make sure and read the Amazon reviews if you are purchasing a shoe from the internet. Although we have our doubts about how useful trying on a shoe in-person can be (wink wink), it sure beats having to order and return shoe after shoe looking for the perfect fit.
Function - This is technically a Buyer's Guide for "walking shoes," but in this day and age, that could mean any shoe that you find comfortable to walk in. For that reason, this guide features shoes designed specifically for walking as well as shoes designed for running, cross-training, and other tasks. If you like it and it's built to endure at least some serial strolling, it's a walking shoe!
Walking Shoes For Men FAQ
Q: What are the most comfortable walking shoes?
A: This author prefers walking shoes that are minimalist in design, with low stack height, low heel drop, and minimal padding. But that isn't for everybody!
The best way to find a comfortable walking shoe is to closely examine your use case: terrain, time on your feet, distance, weather conditions, and so on. Once you know what problems you need to solve, you can begin searching for the best way to solve them.
Q: What are the best walking shoes for me?
A: See above. Perhaps no piece of athletic gear engenders more than footwear. Everybody has an opinion, and everybody can point to data that backs up the opinion.
The solution? Shop around, keep looking until you find something that feels right, and keep track of which features you like and don't like.
Q: What walking shoes are best for wide feet?
A: If you have wide feet, look for shoes with a wide toe box, or, barring that, shoes that come in different widths. Not everything does, but it should be pretty obvious in the features section on Amazon.
You may find the maker's sizing charts and the "Verified Buyer" reviews especially helpful when determining whether a particular style's box will work for you.
Q: What brand of walking shoe is best?
A: There isn't a good answer to this question. Each brand has its own take on the category — its own styles of foam and mesh, its own designs, and its own sources of material.
If you already have a favorite shoe brand, start there and then expand outwards.
Brands that have built a reputation for quality running shoes and hiking boots are also good places to look for walking shoes.
Q: Are all walking shoes waterproof?
A: This one is much easier to answer. No.
Many walking shoes are made of mesh that is quite permeable to water. If you want some waterproof walking shoes, be on the lookout for leather construction and waterproof breathable membranes like Gore-Tex.
- The Mechanics Of Walking – American Bone Health
- Walking Shoes: Features And Fit That Keep You Moving – Mayo Clinic