Active Clothing

‘I’m a Podiatrist, and These are the Best Walking Shoes That Money Can Buy’

Zoe Weiner

Photo: Getty Images/ JGI/Tom Grill

Thanks to quarantine, walking has finally gotten the praise it deserves for being a legit workout—especially considering that for many of us, daily mental health walks have been one of the few things keeping us sane after nine months stuck at home. It’s known to be just as effective as running when it comes to longevity, and is far kinder to your joints than any sort of intense pavement pounding. But in order to get the most out of your walking workouts, it’s important that you’re wearing the right shoes whenever you set out to log those leisurely miles.

While most of us are likely repurposing our running or cross-training shoes for our daily walks, a good pair of walking shoes will make hitting your step count a far more comfortable endeavor. “Walking shoes are made for a rolling gait compared to running shoes which are made for more impact,” says Najwa Javed, DPM, a California-based podiatrist and creator of footwear brand E’MAR. “There is a greater need for cushioning and shock absorption in running shoes, whereas walking shoes have the need to be lighter and with more stability versus cushioning.”

To help you suss out which shoes fit the bill, Dr. Javed rounded up the best walking shoes money can buy so you’ll be stepping into 2021(or at the very least, the end of quarantine) in comfort and style.

1. Brooks Women’s Glycerin 18 Running Shoes, $150

Photo: Brooks

Though these are technically running shoes, they offer the stability you need for all those daily walks. They’ve got a cloud-like cushioning that helps to absorb impact, and are made with a stretchy material that moves as you do.

Shop now: Brooks Women’s Glycerin 18 Running Shoes, $150

2. Adidas Superstar, $85

Photo: Adidas

For a walking shoe that’s equal parts fashion and function, look no further than this classic, cult-fave style. They’ve got supportive insoles, and look just as cute paired with jeans as they do with your favorite pair of black leggings.

Shop now: Adidas Superstar, $85

3. New Balance Fresh Foam 1365, $90

Photo: New Balance

Thanks to a rolling foam sole, these shoes will make every step feel like you’re walking on air. They’ve got a thick insole that offers extra support under your feet, and are made with specially engineered mesh to enhance breathability and keep sweat (and odor) at bay.

Shop now: New Balance Fresh Foam 1365, $90

4. Asics Gel Kayano 27, $160

Photo: Asics

If you want a single pair of sneakers that can do it all, these are a worthy investment. They’re podiatrist-approved for both walking and running thanks to their high-impact shock absorption, and offer a “smooth ride” no matter how fast you’re moving.

Shop now: Asics Gel Kayano 27, $160

Another way to keep those feet functioning properly? With a regular stretch routine. Follow along with the series below to keep those dogs from barking. 


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