Over the past few years, walking has finally gained its much deserved spot on the "Popular Workout" pedestal. It's the perfect low-impact way to get your heart rate up, studies show that it is just as effective as running when it comes to longevity, it's gentle on your joints, and TikTok even has a #mentalhealthwalk trend because of all of the brain benefits that come with the activity. That said, to get the most out of your walking workouts, prevent injury, and give your feet the support they need, it's important to find the right pair of walking shoes.
"Walking shoes are made for a rolling gait, compared to running shoes which are made for more impact," Najwa Javed, DPM, a California-based podiatrist and creator of footwear brand E'MAR, previously told Well+Good. "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." When it comes to Hokas, Weimer says the shoes' Meta-Rocker geometry complements the natural gait cycle and reduces the height differential between heel and toe. "Some styles are equipped with carbon fiber plates, allowing for a propulsive ride as the plate curls under toes to deliver a smooth transition through the gait cycle," Weimer adds. Scroll down to shop the six best HOKA walking shoes that you'll want to add to your collection ASAP.
6 best Hoka walking shoes
The Clifton 8 is the latest pair in the award-winning Clifton franchise. The best-selling fan favorite works for a variety of activities, is versatile, comes in eight color combinations, and has a lightweight feel. The streamlined silhouette and engineere-mesh upper make for a great-looking shoe that hugs your feet perfectly.
“Delivering the best cushion to-weight ratio on the market, the Rincon 3 returns in an ultra light silhouette that features an asymmetrical tongue, thinner pull tab and a vented-mesh upper for ultimate breathability,” says Weimer. The enhanced rubber is also supremely durable.
The Bondi SR is an iteration on the OG version of its namesake. It has all of the cushioning of the classic Bondi road shoe, but a reworked silhouette, a plush EVA midsole, water-resistant leather, and a slip-resistant outsole. All of this makes it perfect to pair with more elevated outfits—and to keep you dry and protected from the elements.
Another stylish riff on a classic, the Bondi L has had a makeover and been adapted for everyday wear. It also has an ultralight EVA midsole and beveled heel design. “Engineered with an early stage MetaRocker for a smooth transition through the gait cycle, this street staple features a sleek leather upper and wide footbed for inherent stability,” says Weimer.
The Clifton L is a fresh new iteration of the popular trainer that combines Hoka cushioning and geometry with an incredibly lightweight ride. Designed for casual wear, the Clifton L has an airy EVA footbed and adds a leather upper with colorful accents for a classic street style look.
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