How to Choose a Pair of Walking Shoes
What’s one of the best ways to get outside without too much planning or effort? Just walk! Whether you’re venturing out into your neighborhood, through a local park or along a casual trail, you’ll want to find a walking shoe that works for you. But first, it’s important to get to the bottom of what makes a shoe appropriate for your preferred outing. Let’s get going!
Step one when shopping for a walking or hiking shoe: consider what you’ll be doing outside and the amount of comfort – or cushioning – and stability you’ll need. The most stable shoes will have a more supportive footbed and plenty of traction, and are best suited for walking or hiking on rougher terrain.
Our most basic walking shoes are perfect for casual walks with friends and family on terrain that doesn’t pose many challenges, like pavement or flat, well-groomed trails. Consider these your do-it-all pair of sneakers – something cushioned, ultralight and flexible that allows you to move comfortably through everything from daily errands to light exercise.
If you’re an avid walker clocking a few miles a day, look for a walking shoe with better cushioning, which you’ll be able to identify in the added thickness along the bottom, through the heel and in the footbed of the shoe. This is the key to keeping you comfortable as you rack up the mileage on your walks.
Casual hikers will want to consider a hiking shoe that combines trail-ready ruggedness with all the best aspects of our walking shoes: stability and flexibility for uneven terrain, cushioning to keep you from feeling rocks and other rugged features underfoot, and traction to give you plenty of grip. Many of our hikers have versatile low-profile designs that perform on the trail and look great off of it.