I’ve spent more than my fair share of time searching for the best walking shoes. It seemed like every time I bought new shows, I almost instantly regretted the purchase for one reason or another. They were too wide for my feet, they didn’t have enough arch support, they rubbed on my heels… You name it, I’ve had a pair of shoes that fit the bill.
Through all the years of trials – many band-aids and blisters later – I’ve finally got a good handle on what makes the best walking shoes for travel, and I know where to find them.
If you’re in the market for a new pair of shoes for travel, make sure you keep reading to find out what the best rated walking shoes are for travelers like us who spend hours walking around cities and exploring destinations.
Best Walking Shoes – Quick Pick Comparison
In case you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to read all of our reviews below, here is a chart containing all of our top pick shoes in each category. We hope you’ll stick around and read our full reviews below, but you can trust that we only added the best shoes to the list. The top 4 are women’s shoes, the bottom 4 are men’s shoes.
Best Men’s Walking Shoes
Best Women’s Walking Shoes
How to Find the Most Comfortable Walking Shoes
There isn’t one shoe that will fit everyone. There are too many different types of feet out there to be able to please them all with one type or style of shoe. So it’s very important, when looking for the right pair of walking shoes for you, that you understand your feet and what they need in a shoe.
The size of your foot is the most important criteria to know before purchasing a shoe. I bet it’s been a really long time since you’ve set your foot on one of those foot measurers at the shoe store and seen what your actual size is.
You’d be amazed to see that your foot can change size and shape over the years. If you’re ordering online it can be a big pain to find the right size, so always check the sizing guide and see what other reviewers have said about the fit.
If you don’t want to go into a store to have this done (because most of us order our shoes online these days!), you can buy a foot measuring device for home. They’re cheap and easy to use. It will tell you the length and width of your foot.
Another important thing to consider is the purpose of the shoes. When I say travel, obviously I expect you’re going to take them on a trip with you. But what kind of a trip is it? Will you be mainly walking around town? Will you be doing adventure activities? Will you be spending most of your time hiking?
These are all important questions to consider before purchasing. Like I mentioned before, there’s no one shoe that can fit every purpose. That’s fine if you don’t mind taking a few pairs of shoes with you. But for travelers who pack light, it’s really important to find a good all-purpose shoe.
⇒ Traveling in warm weather? Check out our guide to finding the best walking sandals.
This is the one I have the most trouble with. When we travel, I mostly need a pair of shoes that I can wear during the day to walk around town, but that will also fit in well when I put on a dress and go out for dinner later on.
Is there really a pair of shoes that can cover me in both situations? Think about what situation(s) you’ll be needing these shoes for. Will it be dressy, casual, or both?
If you’ve got a specific foot type or foot issue that you know you need to accommodate, it can be very difficult to find the right shoe.
For instance, if you’re trying to find the best walking shoes for flat feet or the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis, which I myself suffer from, you’ll need to dive a little bit more into the descriptions and reviews of the shoes you want to buy to make sure they meet you needs. Oftentimes, an insole insert will suit you best for these specific needs.
It will be easier to find an insole for your shoes than finding the right walking shoes with arch support. Although there certainly are some good, supportive walking shoes out there, buying a shoe with the support already built in can cause other problems, like back, knee and foot pain, if you don’t need that type of support.
Superfeet are my favorite inserts for different issues you may be facing. They have an insole for every situation. For instance:
- Support for flat feet: Superfeet Black
- Support for neutral feet: Superfeet Blue
- Support for high arches: Superfeet Green
Need a different type of insole? Check out our guide to the best insoles for travelers here.
Best Walking Shoes for Travel 2020
In this category, we list the best men’s walking shoes, followed by the best women’s walking shoes. You might be looking for something super casual, or something built to weather the elements.
We’ve got four different styles of shoes to choose from, starting with the most lightweight and comfortable and moving into sturdy and stylish.
Best Walking Shoes for Men
This chart lists the four top walking shoes we recommend for men. You can find in depth reviews of each shoe below the chart.
* Most comfortable mens walking shoes for travel – lightweight & slip on
You really can’t find any lighter weight shoes than these. Nick has been wearing Skechers lightweight shoes for years, for two reasons. They are the most comfortable pair of shoes to wear for long periods of walking and they are so light it’s no problem to add a second pair of shoes to your luggage.
A lot of the benefit of these shoes is in the fact that they are incredibly light weight, so they feel like walking around with clouds attached to your feet. You might think that means they must lack in support and features, but it doesn’t. They have a very comfortable memory foam insole and shock absorbing midsole. They also have a padded collar for your ankle. They come in a lot of different colors. Some are all mesh, some have a mix of mesh and fabric.
Pros: Extremely lightweight, comfortable and airy. Slip on for added convenience. Good padding for long distance walking.
Cons: Squeak on certain floor types. They aren’t exceptionally durable and don’t last longer than a year. Can be hard to find the right size.
* Style and comfort – these go with everything
These Vans are fashionable, but still comfortable for walking. They’re a good combination shoe to wear all day when traveling, because they are comfortable but also stylish. You can take just this one pair of shoes when traveling. They go with everything and don’t look too sporty, like sneakers.
Both are made with canvas and have a sturdy rubber sole. The canvas upper makes them not quite as breathable as the New Balance – keep that in mind if you have naturally sweaty feet. They have a padded footbed for extra comfort and good shock absorption.
The tongue and collar are padded. The rubber sole provides good grip and doesn’t slip easily on slick or wet surfaces. They come in dozens of colors.
The only issue with these shoes is that they are very casual, so you can’t wear them with nicer clothing and get away with it. For those of us who are light packers, this usually means you’ll have to pack two pairs of shoes.
Check out the entire line of Van’s Men’s Shoes.
Pros: Comfortable for long periods of walking, rubber soles, breathable, versatile.
Cons: They can start to fall apart on the sides quicker than expected. Fabric fades.
New Balance Mens MW877 Walking Shoe
* Best walking shoes for men – walk long distance with comfort
New Balance is one of the top and trusted shoe brands. Once you find a pair of New Balance that you like, you don’t usually go back to looking for a different brand. These 877s are great for walking because of their superb cushioning and flexible, breathable material. Even the tongue and collar are padded.
New Balance utilizes two types of innovation in their shoes to make them especially comfortable. One is called Abzorbs, which is a rubber content that absorbs impact and increases cushioning in the midsole. The other is Walking Strike Path technology that helps stabilize your foot as you walk.
These 877s are much more casual looking and lightweight than the popular 577s. There’s plenty of room in the toe box, even if you have a wide foot, because of the mesh material, which is flexible. You also won’t have to worry about your feet getting hot and sweaty in these shoes because the mesh is breathable.
Pros: Comfort padding, rubber soles, breathable
Cons: The laces aren’t high quality and are too long. Wide toe box.
* Best looking travel shoes for men
If you’re looking for a pair of shoes that are nicer looking than the typical pair of trainers, these are a great choice. They don’t sacrifice comfort for appearance. They still have the cushioned memory foam insole that Skechers are so well known for, but the outer is made of leather and can fit into just about any situation, even fancy dinners.
There are a few different color choices – brown to black – so you can find the pair that fits you best. They’re easy to clean and don’t scuff easily.
Pros: Great stability and arch support with the comfort of the memory foam insole.
Cons: The construction could be better. Additional insoles would make walking long distances more comfortable.
Best Walking Shoes for Women
This chart lists the four top walking shoes we recommend for women. You can find in-depth reviews of each shoe below the chart. We’ve included slip-ons, ballet flats, sneakers and hiking shoes. All of these shoes are available in a range of colors and fabrics.