Whether you’re on a vacation or just really like to get your steps in, sometimes having a regular sneaker doesn’t cut it. While shoes that lack in arch support and comfort have their time and place, every once and a while you need something that’s has more structure and stability to it.
Enter: walking shoes. Many shoes now are actively built and designed with sturdy, stable footbeds to fight conditions like overpronation (putting too much weight on the interior of your foot) and supination (too much weight on the outside of your foot). The goal here is to cradle your foot to keep it from rocking around too much, while still providing comfort. You don’t want to feel like your foot is in a vice grip, but you also don’t want it to feel like it’s swimming in your shoe, either. And while you may think walking shoes and imagine chunky sneakers of yesteryear, walking shoes have evolved. The incorporation of new tech makes these shoes look less like like moon boots and more like cool sneakers you’ll actually want to wear after you’re done prodding along. That new tech goes a long way to making the shoes lighter and more comfortable, without giving up the support that you may need.
So don’t feel like you’re going to have look like your dad–or maybe even your dad’s dad–in order to get the comfort you need. Here are 10 of our favorites to help up your step count.
1. ON RUNNING CLOUDSTRATUS SNEAKER
Swiss brand On Running quickly became the go-to running shoe for diehard runners, which means they’re in an expert spot to know what works well for walkers. While the Cloudstratus is definitely and out-and-out runner, its features are also applicable to walkers. With lots of cushioning and support, it will cradle your feet while still staying super lightweight (seriously, it’ll feel like there’s almost nothing there). It’s a perfect merger of technology and craft, tied up in a cool and stylish package.
2. REEBOK ROYAL ASTROSTORM SHOE
While walking shoes can quickly get expensive, Reebok’s Astrostorm doesn’t forgo features and stays at a price point that’s lower than other options you’ll find on this list. With a footbed that’s neither too wide nor too small, it’s sure to fit almost every single foot. Additionally, it has plenty of arch support for those all day excursions. And as an added bonus, the top loops make it easy to slip the shoe on and off when you’re done exploring for the day.
3. NIKE ZOOM PEGASUS TURBO SNEAKER
An upgrade on Nike’s beloved Pegasus runner, the Turbo was developed to push the latest and greatest technology even further. In this case, a layer of responsive foam was added to provide direct support under your foot for added cushion without weighing you down. That foam layer was developed alongside Kenyan elite marathoners to help them crush their times, so we’re confident it’ll give you the structure and comfort needed to keep you moving.
4. UNDER ARMOUR MEN’S HOVR PHANTOM CT
Much like how runners always strive to break their times and push themselves harder, Under Armour wasn’t satisfied with the previous version of their HOVR runner and decided to push it to its limits. Thus the HOVR Phantom was born. As its namesake reveals, the shoe is incredibly lightweight and supportive, with tech that helps to remove the harsh impact you feel from stepping. A sock-like feel wraps around your foot and provides comfort throughout the day. But more than that: the HOVR Phantom is ultra lightweight. At 10.20 oz, you’ll barely notice they’re there but still get the benefits of the good support and structure needed to keep you going all day.
5. ADIDAS DURAMO 9 SNEAKER
BEST FOR ATHLETES
For those who run almost more than they walk, or just absolutely cannot miss a day in the gym, the Adidas Duramo provides a strong core to ensure your feet are protected while you’re out. Constructed with a foam midsole (made from the brand’s premium Cloudfoam materiel) and OrthoLite sockliner, luxury comfort is the name of the game here. With an lightweight build, this is the perfect shoe for those that don’t want to miss a step.
6. ROCKPORT LET’S WALK SNEAKER
With all the benefits of a running-based upper (lightweight and breathable) combined together with walker staples (a cushioned foam sole and slip-on lacing), the Let’s Walk from Rockport is a hybrid runner/walker that can handle the rigors of both sports. On top of being a functional shoe for athletes, the Let’s Walk is also quite stylish, looking like it would fit in well in an Adidas or Nike product line. These sneakers from Rockport come in three subtly cool colors, from all black to white and gray, allowing you to be confident and comfortable wherever you stroll.
7. ASICS GEL-CONTEND 5 SL
With their dual gel comfort zones (one in the front and also in the back–just like Lil Nas X’s horses) the Asics Gel-Contend Walker is designed specifically to help support with every single step. Additionally, the liner feels like that of an ortholite sock, further raising the comfort profile. The result is an overall cushy shoe that’s able to keep up with all of your adventures.
8. BROOKS ADDICTION WALKER
In a swanky brown nubuck that’ll go from the office straight to the trail with ease, the Brooks Addiction Walker is for those who are, well, probably addicted to treks. Brimming with arch support (it’s structured with a dual density post for pronation control), the Addiction Walker also has extensive midsole cushioning for added softness. Think of it as the world’s fluffiest pillow, but for your feet.
9. MEPHISTO CHARLES WALKING SHOE
BEST LUXURY SHOE
Made in Portugal and known for their for incredible attention to detail and fine craftsmanship, the Mephisto Charles is the cream of the crop for walkers. The shoe is made from premium soft tumbled leather, which provides a great smooth feeling that will only get better with time. It’s versatile too, as the shoe looks closer to that of a dress shoe than it does a walker, which means it won’t look entirely out of place if you wear a pair to the office. And with a rich interior support system (complete with an already sturdy insole) it’s sure to be comfortable and stable enough that you might just never take them off.
10. ALL BIRDS TREE RUNNERS
MOST ECO FRIENDLY
You’ve probably heard of the now nearly ubiquitous All Birds shoes at this point, but the silhouette most are familiar with is their famed Wool Runners. The Tree Runners, however, are the cooler more stylish brother to that shoe: Still built from that great comfy foam outsole, but with an upgraded upper made from lyocell. That material is more comfortable and better at temperature regulation than wool and it’s a naturally-derived and renewable tree fiber. You’ll not only feel great about wearing them, but buying them too.