For most of us, walking is something that is unavoidable. We all do it, some of us more than others. Many of you may take it up as a hobby. Those who talk walking seriously know how important it is to make sure you are in footwear that will give you the support and comfort you need. Nothing is worse than walking long distances with painful feet. Here we will take a look at the best walking shoes for men and break them down so you can decide what would be best for you.
Why do Walking Shoes Matter?
Putting down a lot of miles will obviously put a large strain on your feet, legs and the rest of your body. Putting yourself under physical strain like that requires you to have the kind of equipment that will support you and help you get the most out of your body. Cheap or badly made shoes won’t support your feet in the way you need and will leave you aching, blistered and tired way before you should be. You want the kind of shoe that brings you the comfort and the reliability knowing you will quit way before your shoe does.
How Do I Choose A Good Walking Shoe?
A lot of factors come into play when looking for the kind of shoe that is right for you. The type of walking you want to do, how far you would like to walk and any specific issues you may have with your posture, stance or body. Some shoes are much better in the city such as lightweight, non-waterproof trainer types whereas if you are looking to do mountain hikes then something much more sturdy would be needed. Maybe you have small arches in your feet and you need a stronger arch support. All of these issues need to be taken into consideration when choosing the right shoe for you. A look at this link will show you all you need to know about picking what is right for you.
What Features Make Walking Shoes So Special?
A good walking shoe will have a number of features that make them different from your regular shoe. They are specifically researched and designed for the activity. Here are a number of the things you should be looking out for:
A good gripping outsole – Whilst walking you will need all the grip you can get, especially if you plan to be out in adverse conditions.
A comfortable ankle collar – if you have a cheap or hard ankle collar your skin will be blistered and irritated over any period of walking.
Specialised innersole – Perhaps one of the most important parts of a walking shoe is the innersole. It will support your feet properly, help your feet stay cool and should be able to be removed and laundered for maximum comfort.
Upper and Tendon Protection – these two features combined will help your feet stay locked into the shoe, prevent you from moving around and provide the necessary support your tendons need for walking over long distances.
A decent sized toe box – this will give your feet and toes the space to move around and not become cramped and calloused.
What Types Of Walking Shoe Are There?
The variety of walking shoes is vast. There is a type for every different kind of walking. Many people like to buy walking shoes just for their every day walking. Perhaps you just need them for a long holiday away with the family or to get around the city you live in. If you have back problems or suffer painful feet then maybe a pair of casual walking shoes would be for you. They offer support and comfort that most shoes don’t. So the casual holiday walker or person suffering from a painful back may just go for a pair of the less professional but well-supported walking shoes.
Those of you who like to go on walking holidays to the mountains or too large outdoor places and plan to do many miles will need something with a bit more strength and endurance. You would be looking for something with a strong body, extra support and a durability that will see you through many many miles of rough terrain. The harder, lace-up boot style walking shoe would be the one to suit you.
Many people have taken up walking as a sport also. These walkers walk through the city park, streets and on other hard concrete surfaces. The lightweight but much more sportier trainer would suit the sports walker. These shoes will offer a lightweight and very breathable fabric, lightweight innersoles and a good grip on the outer sole.
Let’s take a close look at a few of the walking shoes out there. We will try to pick one from each type of walking shoe. There will be shoes for the avid walker, the sporty walker and the walker who just needs a bit of extra support and comfort. We can take a look at the Pros and Cons as we go.
1. Sketchers Performance Go Walk 3 Slip-On
This shoe is ideal for the average walker who needs to cover a few miles a day on their walk to work or just needs a bit of extra support when they are going about their daily business. A slip-on shoe means they are great for getting in and out of easily and will keep your feet nice and cool throughout the day.
Really easy to slip on and off.
Great memory foam cushioning heels for a moulded and supportive shoe.
Very flexible for added comfort throughout the day and the ability to do everything you would usually do in a regular trainer.
Supportive innersoles with a branded GOga™ technology to make sure your feet are looked after.
Mesh fabric outer means your feet stay cool and relaxed all through the day.
Not a great shoe for long distances, they are a much more casual shoe meant for support over short distances.
Slip on shoes offer little in the way of a locked in support system, they would not be suitable for adverse conditions.
Not waterproof at all so any wet weather or ground will make them very uncomfortable.
Not very durable. The life of these shoes is not very long if you use them very regularly.
2. New Balance MW411v2
These sleek trainer style walking shoes are made for the sporty walker. Their lightweight and sleek design leave the feet feeling free and yet still supported. They come in a number of cool and sleek colours and look less like the clunky traditional walking shoe and much more like a sporty trainer. Let’s have a look at how they weigh up.
Sleek and lightweight design means that you won’t be weighed down by a chunky and uncomfortable shoe.
Lace-up design means you can lock yourself into these trainers and make sure you have no movement and maximum stability when you are walking around.
Sleek and streamlined design. Breaking away from the traditional clunky walking boot these look more like a sports trainer.
A lightweight and shallow tread for better purchase on concrete.
These trainers lack any waterproofing and will not hold up in wet weather or in wet conditions.
The innersoles offer little support or any specifically special technology. They will not be as comfortable as a shoe that has put the research in.
Thin outer soles mean that your feet will be feeling the ground a lot more over time and give you aching feet.
Little to no arch support.
3. Rockport We Are Rockin Chranson
A low cut and serious looking walking shoe. The design reminds us of a walking boot but the low cut and streamline design tells us that this shoe is made for the walker who doesn’t want to get weighed down with chunky boots. Employing a few technologies to ensure greater comfort, stability and durability this is the walking shoe for people who want to put in a lot of miles.
A combination of suede, mesh and leather provides an excellent collection of materials guaranteed to help your feet breath, stay supported and stay warm.
A good amount of flex on these shoes provides the manoeuvrability you need without compromising support or durability.
A smart shoe which could be worn to a formal occasion or a place of work.
Light weight & won’t add extra strain to your muscles over long walks.
Embedded shock absorbers will ensure your feet feel better for longer.
Low-quality laces will not stay tied, you will have to replace them yourself.
Bad materials cause the shoe to fall apart very quickly
Heel support doesn’t work particularly.
4. New Balance MW877
Another walking shoe from New Balance but this time with a slightly higher top and a deeper Achilles tendon support. Again they have a very fashionable and sporty design. They look less like a walking shoe and more like running equipment. Designed more for the walker this time, they promise a few features that should keep you much more comfortable for longer.
Utilise Abzorb™ rubber technology in the midsole which reduces shock in the feet whilst walking and will take away a lot of the stress on your feet.
Mesh body allows the feet to really breathe and stay cool.
Suede gives an added comfort and forgiveness to the shoe whilst remaining light.
The toe box is a little flimsy and it is easy to wear through the mesh.
Not the deepest grip on the bottom so not great for extreme walkers.
5. Adidas NEO Cloudfoam™ VS City Shoes
A trainer that inspired by runners and advertised as being good for long distances of walking. The Cloudfoam™ technology inside promises to be incredibly comfortable. These trainers come in a number of different colours and definitely stand out from the rest with their very individual design. Let’s take a look at what makes them stand out.
Cloudfoam Technology creates a walking experience that is incredibly soft and springy, it takes a little getting used to but provides comfort all the way through the day.
The great colourful design makes you stand out from the crowd.
A good tight fit with a mesh outer that really holds the foot in place
Grippy rubber soles that don’t mark the floors around you.
Softness in the sole may not be the best for people who need a lot of support in the arches.
Not the most durable shoes in the world.
Designed very much for running so may not be good for mountainous conditions.
To Wrap it All Up
Finding the right shoe for you can be difficult, there is always so much to chose from and so many things to take into consideration. For us, though it has to be the Adidas NEO’s; they are the all-rounder that gives it all and doesn’t lack too heavily in any department. The support from the body and tight snug fit is complemented by their Cloudfoam™ technology that simply feels like you are walking on air. They may not have the rugged look or leather of the Rockports but we feel it is made up for in their breathability and grippy soles.