Even the most stylish walking shoe probably won’t see the light of day if they cause foot pain when you walk. Blisters, bunions, ingrown toenails, calluses, heel pain, and shin splints are often the result of poorly designed, unsupportive footwear. If you spend the majority of your day on your feet or like to walk for exercise, you need a proper walking sneaker.
So, what are the most comfortable walking shoes for women and men? The footwear experts at Vionic are here to answer this question and provide our best tips for finding the right pair. Let’s get started.
8 Comfortable Shoes for Walking
When you’re on the go, you shouldn’t be thinking about your feet—that is, unless you’re thinking about how incredibly good they feel. If you love fitness walking but experience frequent pain or discomfort, you should select your footwear carefully.¹
The eight most comfortable types of shoes for walking include a walking sneaker, athletic trainer, casual tennis shoe, leather slip-on, loafer, supportive boot, active sandal, and contoured toe-post sandal.
1. Walking Sneakers
Are sneakers good for walking? This might sound like a no-brainer, but walking shoes are the best shoes for walking. With a structured design and a firm heel counter, this type of sneaker is made to accommodate a low-impact heel-to-toe stride (AKA walking).²
When you shop for a walking shoe, look for options with a molded EVA insole and durable rubber outsole, like the styles we carry at Vionic. Our podiatrist-designed men’s and women’s walking shoe options have built-in orthotics, a sturdy yet flexible rubber sole made for traction and shock absorption, and biomechanical support for your entire foot.
The Vionic comfortable walking shoes for women and men received the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) seal of acceptance. They’re engineered to benefit foot health, no matter where you’re headed, how fast you walk, or how far you go.
Removable insole options with 0.5-inch elevation help you achieve a smooth heel-to-toe strike. Also, the polyester mesh lining, padded tongue, and PU foam base minimize friction against your skin as you walk.
But that’s not all—an anti-bacterial topcloth helps control odors and wick moisture. Our lightweight walking shoes come in various colors with a premium water-resistant leather upper and either action laces or adjustable hook-and-loop straps.
2. Athletic Sneakers
Are active sneakers good for walking? As a matter of fact, they’re a close runner up to walking shoes. This type of footwear is typically lightweight with breathable uppers and performance outsoles. Though some trainers are designed to support side-to-side and vertical movements, running shoes can make good walking shoes.³ The difference between walking shoes vs running shoes is minimal. However, do keep in mind that a walking shoe may not always work as a running shoe.
If you want to be sure you’re getting a comfortable, supportive pair, check out the styles from Vionic. Our men’s and women’s active sneakers have breathable options from a mesh upper, neoprene upper, or leather upper (or a combination of materials) with standard tongues and lace-up or hook-and-loop fastenings.
The outsoles are made of durable rubber, and each pair has removable mesh-covered EVA footbeds. Thanks to our innovative orthotic technology, you can count on good arch support, extra cushioning, and stability. The athletic shoes and trainers from Vionic also help align your feet into their natural position.
3. Casual Sneakers
A casual tennis shoe is another great option for walking, though you should be mindful of styles without proper arch support and cushioning. With Vionic’s casual sneakers for women and men, you’ll get built-in orthotics without sacrificing fashion.
Whether you’re partial to retro-vibey styles with vintage details, contemporary sneakers with modern embellishments, or timeless wear-anywhere options, we’re confident you’ll find something you love.
Each of our laid-back sneakers have an EVA removable insole, reliable rubber outsoles, and fashion-forward uppers with laces or slip-on features. Unlike many others in their category, Vionic’s casual kicks offer substantial support, flexibility, and cushioning.
4. Leather Slip-On Shoes
Up next on our list of comfortable walking shoe footwear is leather slip-on shoes. This versatile style can be dressed up or down, pairing effortlessly with work attire, streetwear, and semi-dressy ensembles.
If you plan on racking up your steps throughout the day, be sure to get a pair with adequate support, like the comfortable shoe options from Vionic. Our slip-on shoes are the perfect balance of sophisticated and sporty, with plenty of contouring along the footbeds.
The uppers are made of full-grain leather. Some have neoprene or twin-gore elastic components, which makes them easy to get on and off. Like all Vionic shoes, you’ll also get mesh-covered insoles and sturdy rubber outsoles.
If you’re looking for something on the dressier side, you might consider a pair of loafers. This is one of our favorite shoe styles for men and women because it’s incredibly comfortable but also polished and professional.
Does Vionic carry comfortable loafers for walking? You bet! We’ve got options with full-grain leather, patent leather, and suede uppers in a variety of styles and colors. Choose from neutrals like black, brown, tan, and beige, or more striking hues like blue and olive.
Each of our loafers has built-in orthotics, which are entirely hidden within the lightweight sole of the shoe. With durable rubber outsoles, PU-covered footbeds, and roomy toe boxes, you can count on comfort. Walk, strut, or dance from the office, to after-work errands, to happy hour, and all the way back home without any pain or discomfort.
6. Supportive Boots
What about when the weather gets cold, wet, or slippery? In that case, we recommend having a pair of supportive weather-resistant boots on hand. Vionic carries several styles for men and women, including heeled boots, sneaker booties, Chelsea-style boots, chukkas, and western-inspired styles.
Many of our men’s and women’s boots are weather-resistant, and some are even waterproof! That’s right—you can take the weather in stride and make a splash as you walk outside through the rainy season.
With co-molded EVA compound midsoles and expertly engineered cushioning, Vionic boots feel like walking on a cloud. And with sturdy all-weather outsoles, you won’t have to fret about getting them wet.
7. Active Sandals
Now that we’ve covered year-round footwear and winter walking shoes, let’s switch over to warm-weather styles. If sunny days are ahead or you have a tropical vacation on the calendar, we suggest getting a pair of active sandals.
This type of sandal will have straps across the toes as well as around the ankles, which provides the support and stability you need for walking.⁴ Aside from adjustable straps, the walking sandals from Vionic have contoured footbeds and premium rubber soles with patterned tread underneath. And thanks to our built-in orthotics, our active sandals help you achieve natural alignment. Choose from our wide range of comfortable sandals for men and women to bring on your next vacation.
8. Contoured Toe-Post Sandals
Toe-post sandals aren’t the number-one recommended shoe for walking, but the styles from Vionic are worth mentioning. Why? Unlike other flip-flops and thong-style sandals, the innovative footbeds hug the shape of your foot, which prevents flipping, flapping, and flopping as you walk.
What’s more, a peer-reviewed study showed that Vionic’s contoured toe-post sandals provide more relief from heel pain than standard flat flip-flops. Not only that, but the study concluded they’re just as effective at relieving pain as our best-selling orthotic inserts.
Orthotic Insoles for Walking
Speaking of orthotics, if you need to walk in less-than-comfortable shoes, insoles are a great solution. Whether you have a cute pair you want to wear to a work event, a specific style you’ll be wearing to a wedding, or shoes you’d love to wear out on the town, Vionic’s orthotic inserts can make all the difference.
We carry options for walking, running, and other workouts, as well as insoles designed specifically to provide soothing relief. Vionic inserts are made with the same innovative technology we build into every pair of shoes. Whether you place them in sneakers, flats, pumps, or dress shoes, you’ll get all-day relief, optimal comfort, and walkability.
Comfy and Stylish Walking Shoes from Vionic
Research suggests our chic and sophisticated shoes can reduce overpronation and minimize other aches and pains associated with walking, like plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, tendonitis, knee pain, and lower back pain.
Are you ready to walk the walk in a pair of comfortable, stylish shoes? Vionic’s footwear designs never sacrifice support or fashion—you’ll get the best of both worlds every time. Shop our comfortable walking shoes for men and women today!