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There was some point between college graduation day and my mid-twenties when I knew my running days were over. Recreational 13-20-mile days were great when my knees could bounce back, but it seems creakiness snuck up on me all too soon (followed by a meniscus surgery as I wrapped up my second decade), so I knew that I had to transition to lower-impact activities, like walking. More specifically, power walking.
While it forced me to slow down, it also allowed me to step away (literally) from the lightweight, speed-focused running world in favor of a more supportive, cushioned walking shoe lineup better suited for calmer paces and a different strike pattern. I’ve gone through seemingly dozens of brands and shoes to find a range that did work.
The following are eight of the best walking shoes for men. These shoes are for all different types of walking, no matter where the path may take you.
8 Best walking shoes for men
Although the Swoosh’s newest walking-specific shoe was designed for women (which we applaud and definitely would like to see more balance in design choices), it has plenty to offer for men as well. The Motiva was built to reduce disruptions in the physical flow of walking, meaning the strike from step to step is less taxing on your feet and legs. It’s a wider, more comfort-driven fit that feels like a new direction for Nike, aiming more for longer-duration wear as opposed to something more geared for running a specific distance.
HOKA Anacapa 2 Low GTX
HOKA can seem to do no wrong at the current moment, and its newest hiker is no exception. There’s a certain ideal blend of GORP and “dad shoe” here, with the Vibram Megagrip outsole as a good excuse to retain the extra cushioning HOKA is known for. There’s also a compelling movement here into more responsible materials with a partial sugarcane midsole, recycled yarn meshes and 70% recycled polyester face fabric. For those humid walks where the clouds start to look angry, this is a great go-to walking shoe.
On Running Cloud 5 Coast
Traveling with shoes is always kind of a pain, but companies are finally catching on and producing decent-looking sneakers actually meant to fold down to take up less suitcase space. This is an ideal walking shoe for long days on the pavement, especially if that pavement is chopped up and old (such as a summer excursion to Europe). The shoe also happens to look great and could be somewhat dressed up if needed.
Samuel Hubbard Men’s Tailored Traveler
The loafer is going through a bit of a renaissance, ditching hard old-school soles in favor of something closer to a casual bottom while retaining the dressy look. The Tailored Traveler is a nice take on this trend with four color choices and classic styling.
Brooks Running Glycerin 20
There’s a lot to love about powerwalking, and you could do much worse than taking on a new sport with the latest iteration of the Glycerin. This is a shoe with great flexibility, a comfy upper and all sorts of colorways to match your fit. It’s a shoe that doesn’t require much break-in, either. Just get up and walk.
Ecco Men’s Street Lite Luxe Sneaker
Ecco’s reputation for comfort is even better when it’s built into a handsome pair of casual shoes like these. These sneakers will flex with you, and you don’t have to sacrifice any cushion to get a pair that will match with whichever outfit you had in mind for the day.
Forsake Cascade Peak Mid
The Cascade is an all-around great hiking shoe. The mid just takes that excellent base and adds some ankle support up top. It’s waterproof, yet breathable, light on the step and comfortable for longer treks. It also has proven durability with this writer still using an original pair from a few years ago with not much change at all from how they fit out of the box.
After all that walking, you’re going to need a bit of recovery time. If you have any hard walking surfaces in your home (wood, tile, etc.), you’ll want to wear something indoors to protect your feet, and let them bounce back on something softer. That’s where the Kane Revive comes in. A not-so-insignificant amount of time and research went into crafting a recovery shoe that actually does what it says — helps your feet recover. The brand also has a great post-use return program when a pair of Revives reach the end of their useful life.
Bonus: grab some insoles
If you’re really serious about making walking a thing, then a good pair of insoles is worth your time. Find a shoe store near you that can fit you appropriately, as different brands have different standards with different insoles for different activities. We’re fans of Superfeet’s range of active insoles and the in-shop customization system at Roadrunner Sports. These can be an investment, but your feet will thank you.
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