Walking has a good number of health benefits. Whether you're walking for fitness, work, or just to have fun, the best-cushioned walking shoes will make your walk easier and more comfortable. These shoes also help to avoid pain, injuries, and other possible foot health problems.
A walking shoe with proper padding and support is key to staying injury-free and comfortable. You want to get a shoe that will remain comfortable all day, cushion your heel, support your arches, and is quite durable. However, with the wide range of options available, finding the best walking shoes for you can be challenging.
To help you get the perfect one, we have curated reviews of the five best-cushioned walking shoes, their pros, and cons, as well as a few factors you need to consider before buying a walking shoe.
5 Best Cushioned Walking Shoes
1. New Balance Men's Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe
- Cushioned Running Shoes for Every Runner: Part of the Fresh Foam X collection, these shoes use our latest advancements in data to design to deliver precise plushness exactly where you need it
- Support and Durability: This shoe features a Hypoknit upper designed to provide strategic areas of stretch and support, in addition to a blown rubber outsole for impressive durability
- Perfect Fit: These comfortable running shoes include a bootie upper construction and an Ultra Heel design, both of which hug the back of the foot for a snug, supportive fit
- Breathable and Lightweight Running Shoes: The supportive engineered knit upper includes synthetic and mesh materials for amazing breathability during runs of any distance
- Keep Your Feet Comfortable: The Ortholite sockliner in these performance running shoes helps keep your feet feeling fresh as you power through your toughest runs
The New Balance Men's Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Running Shoe boasts plushness and cushioning that ensures maximum comfort. Although they are specifically designed like running shoes, they also provide the needed comfort and protection while walking.
This shoe features a mesh on the upper, redesigned flex groove on the outsole to provide great traction, and the geometry of the shoe has been altered to provide a smoother ride. In addition, it comes with a Hypoknit upper that has been designed to offer strategic areas of support and stretch.
The bootie upper construction and ultra heel design hug the back of the foot for a supportive fit. These New Balance shoes include an Ortholite sock liner that improves the performance of these walking shoes by helping the feet feel fresh as you power through the toughest walks. You also have a variety of colors to choose from.
2. Brooks Men's Glycerin 18 Walking Shoe
- THIS MEN'S SHOE IS FOR: The Glycerin 18 is perfect for runners who think there's no such thing as too much cushioning. The upper enhances comfort by perfectly balancing stretch and structure.
- SUPPORT AND CUSHION: Provides neutral support while offering the maximum amount of cushioning. Ideal for road running, cross training, the gym or wherever you might want to take them! Predecessor:...
- SUPER-SOFT CUSHIONING: Increased DNA LOFT super-soft cushioning allows for even more extreme softness, without losing responsiveness or durability, while the OrthoLite sockliner provides premium...
- PLUSH FIT: The plush feel of an internal stretch bootie surrounds your foot and moves and expands with your stride. The engineered mesh upper enhances the fit.
- SMOOTH TRANSITIONS: The plush transition zone makes every move from heel to toe feel incredibly soft and smooth.
The Brooks Men's Glycerin 18 Walking Shoe features a stylish look designed to help those with a neutral gait feel. It made using synthetic materials and has a 3D printer that works together to ensure the shoe upper is well made to secure the feet.
With a weight of lesser than 11 pounds, these shoes are super lightweight. Moreover, their super DNA rubber sole, which is an improvement from the Brooks’ BioMoGo DNA, provides more cushioning for an improved comfortable walk.
The pressure zone technology helps to distribute weight across the shoe for better shock-absorbing power and smother glides. In addition, the walking shoes are true to size, which means you can order them in your natural size. However, if you have wide feet or your feet swell, you need to order up your natural size.
3. ASICS Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes
- Engineered mesh upper:
- AHAR Outsole: Acronym for ASICS High Abrasion Rubber. Placed in critical areas of the outsole for exceptional durability.
- Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL Technology Cushioning System: Attenuates shock during impact and toe-off phases, and allows movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.
- EVA Sockliner: Removable sockliner that provides cushioning performance.
- Dynamic DuoMax Support System: This evolution of DuoMax system enhances stability and support, with reduced weight and increased platform support.
As one of the most comfortable shoes, the Asics Gel-Kayano 27 Running Shoes are specifically designed for mild pronators and come in options for both men and women. This shoe features a skeletal crossing synthetic material with a breathable mesh on the upper to provide a stretch fit,
The Ortholite sock liner is antimicrobial treated to resist odor and bacteria and also wick away moisture. Moreover, it has FluidRide cushioning, which differs depending on the foot shape. The guidance lines and raised heel on the soles ensure proper foot placement.
Moreover, the rare and forefoot gel cushioning helps to relieve the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis. For most users, the toe area is comfortable. Although these Asics shoes are true-fit, if you have a swelling issue, you might want to consider ordering a half size or full size up, depending on your needs.
4. HOKA ONE ONE Women's Bondi 7 Running and Walking Shoes
- Breathable open engineered textile mesh upper with seamless synthetic overlays
- Breathable textile lining for abrasion-free wear
- Removable textile lined, foam padded insole for cushioning and support
- Durable full-length EVA midsole to absorb shock and offer stability
- Durable synthetic sole with rubber inserts for grip
The HOKA ONE ONE Women's Bondi 7 is a high-quality walking shoe that provides maximum cushioning for a comfortable and smooth ride. It is the most cushioned shoe of the Hoka brand and promises a pillowy soft comfort as you walk on any distance and different terrain.
It features seamless construction and a redesigned upper for durability. This Hoka shoe also includes firm rubber soles, which provide an excellent grip over different surfaces and keep your feet secure. Although these shoes are a bit pricier than other walking shoes on the market, they provide value for money in terms of performance, quality, and durability.
These shoes can be used as both walking and running shoes, and they come in a wide range of colors to match different needs and preferences. Moreover, their sizes are a true fit making it easy for you to find your perfect fit.
5. Skechers Men's GO Walk 5-Prized Sneaker
- The leaders in walking shoe technology continue to innovate with the Skechers GOwalk 5 - Prized. Features lightweight, responsive ULTRA GO cushioning and high-rebound COMFORT PILLAR TECHNOLOGY for the...
- UPPER: Soft engineered knit mesh nearly one piece fabric upper. Nearly one piece knit with texture detailing. Side panel with contrast stitch accents. Slip on comfort walking design. Engineered knit...
- MIDSOLE CUSHION: Lightweight, responsive ULTRA GO cushioning. INSOLE CUSHION: Skechers Air Cooled Goga Mat breathable insole provides high-rebound cushioning.
- OUTSOLE/BOTTOM: High-rebound COMFORT PILLAR TECHNOLOGY underfoot react to your every step for the ultimate comfort. Dual density outsole for added stability and support.
- MACHINE WASHABLE shoe design - wash on gentle cycle cold, hang to air dry. WEIGHT: 7.25 oz. per shoe in a men's size 9. HEEL: 1 1/2 inch heel.
The Skechers Men's GO Walk 5-Prized Sneaker is a great choice for older people who are at risk of slipping and falling. It features a sturdy synthetic sole, and the footbed is cushioned with a memory foam midsole. This midsole and the thick heel helps with shock absorption allowing you to walk in comfort.
It has a slip-on design that makes it easy to slip on the shoes with minimal effort. It is designed using a comfort pillar technology to provide ultimate walking comfort. The soft engineered mesh upper and the Air Cooled Goga Mat insole system provide even more comfort.
This Skechers sneaker comes in several colors and sizes, both for medium and wide feet. The platform measures approximately one inch. It is stylish and can be dressed down or up with any outfit, making it an amazing all-around versatile walking shoe.
Factors to Consider Before Buying the Best Walking Shoes
Different shoes are made using different materials, including synthetics, leather, mesh, etc. The material determines how well the walking shoe can perform in providing comfort and protection in different terrain and environments.
Ensure the upper, midsole, insole, and outsole of the shoe are all made of high-quality materials that keep your feet feeling great while walking. For example, while the mesh upper might be the best material when it comes to breathability, leather is the best when it comes to breathability.
It is important to the best walking shoes that fit well because shoes that are too wide or too narrow for your feet might cause injuries like painful blisters and calluses. While some shoes are true to size, others may require you to go a size up or a size down to find your exact fit.
Moreover, a toe box that is not high or wide enough may not leave enough room for the movement of the toes, especially for people with wide feet. This may lead to foot disorders like bunions and hammertoes. Find the right shoe size and width to ensure that you can comfortably enjoy your walk.
3. Arch Support
The arches determine how your muscles move as you walk on different surfaces or terrains. Different walkers require different arch supports, which helps them to distribute the weight every time they are on their feet. There are three common arch types;
- Low arch or flat feet- It means that you overpronate while walking, and this may lead to stress on the foot muscles and joints. For this reason, a shoe that has great motion control properties and a straight last is recommended to ensure your feet remain stable while walking.
- Neutral arch- Also known as normal pronation, the neutral arch is where you neither bend the feet outward nor inward, and your feet are not too flat nor too arched. This is why a shoe that has a semi-curved or straight last design and a firm midsole is recommended.
- High arch- This is when you only use the outside of your foot while landing, leading to supination. They may not be able to absorb shock well, especially when doing high-impact activities like jumping, which causes excessive pressure on the toe, ankles as well as other muscles and joints. If you have high arches, you are required to get a shoe with a thick and soft midsole as well as a curved or semi-curved last.
The design of walking will determine the comfort and protection properties you get. The best walking shoes should provide you the best design for maximum comfort. Here are a few parts you need to check;
- Outsole- This is the area that gets into contact with the ground. A rubber outsole is considered the best because it offers better traction and is also quite durable. A flex groove on the outsole also provides a better stride with a tread pattern that pushes the water away to prevent slipping.
- Midsole- The midsole is the area between the insole and outsole. A good midsole absorbs shock and ensures flexibility to ensure users can make strides with ease. Some materials used for the midsole are gel, foam, air, etc.
- Insole- The insole is the area that gets in contact with your feet. A good walking shoe should have insoles that are well cushioned to provide comfort and stability. Some shoes will come with removable insoles for convenience.
- Heel collar- When it comes to working shoes, the heel collar shouldn't be ignored because it is the area that protects the ankles from friction that might lead to painful blisters. However, for comfortability, the heel collar needs to be soft enough.
- Toe box- This is the area surrounding the toes, and you need to ensure that it is roomy enough for your toes to move comfortably. This is because, when it is too small, it might cause frictions which in turn leads to painful injuries.
When walking for long distances or during the summer season, most people tend to sweat a lot. To avoid or reduce sweating, a breathable shoe is recommended. While mesh is known to be the best material when it comes to breathability, it may compromise durability and protection.
However, there are best walking shoes with great construction that have a great balance of all the important features, including breathability. If you buy a shoe that is not breathable enough, you might end up feeling sweaty, which might also cause injuries.
You need to ensure that the shoe is safe enough for your intended. For example, the best walking shoes should be slip-resistant, waterproof or water-resistant, anti-static, etc. It is also crucial to check the shoe's height because low cut won't have maximum ankle protection as high ankles.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs) on Cushioned Walking Shoes
1. What walking shoe has the most cushioning?
One of the best cushioned walking shoes is New Balance Men's Fresh Foam 1080 V10 Shoe. This shoe boasts plushness and cushioning that ensures maximum comfort. In addition, this shoe features a mesh on the upper, redesigned flex groove on the outsole to provide great traction, and the geometry of the shoe has been altered to provide a smoother ride.
2. What are the most comfortable shoes for walking long distances?
Different shoes offer different levels of comfort. Ideally, the most comfortable pair of shoes for walking long distances need to be cushioned, provide arch support, breathable and stretchy material, lightweight, have safety features, and have a great build. There are a number of such shoes available in the market today, with our favorite being the New Balance 1080 V10 Shoe.