Walking is good for you—like, really good for you—but the best walking shoes for men haven’t exactly always screamed “sex appeal.” Until now. Given the explosion of interest in running’s less strenuous cousin over the past year, walking shoes have, ahem, stepped up their game. They’re still packed with all the cushion-heavy outsoles, breathable uppers, and vital arch support you need for a long day on your feet, but now they’ve got the style to match. Some borrow design details from sleek modern runners, some take their cues from retro silhouettes, but all of the ones here will help you get that daily step count in while looking primo with just about anything you’ve got on. Whether you’re heading out for an hours-long stroll or just making a quick trip to the bodega, these are the 23 best walking shoes for men to lace up now.
The Best Trail-Ready Walking Shoe
A surprise fashion-crowd favorite, the Salomon XT-4 is the rare mountaineering shoe with plenty of city-ready appeal. It’s packed with uber-functional tech—bungee-style lace-up closures, a heavily-padded collar, treaded rubber outsoles—to help you dominate the trails, but will look just as at home anchoring a pair of wide-legged cords.
The Best Old School Walking Shoe
The latest iteration of Asics’ most slept-on silhouette nods to the mid-2000s with a construction that couldn’t be more 2021. The Gel-Preleus draws inspiration from lofty heights—its upper half was designed to mimic the movement of the clouds—but its product specs are grounded in everyday practicality. It boasts the brand’s signature gel cushioning, along with a proprietary support system for extra stability when you’re hoofing it for hours on end. What you get is a sneaker rooted in Y2K aesthetics—the kind of kicks you might’ve laced up to kickbox with Billy Blanks—that somehow, inexplicably, looks like one of the coolest shoes on the planet right now. (And they’re on sale!)
The Best Fully Freaked Walking Shoe
When Balenciaga dropped the Runner last year it quickly elicited snickers online for its uncanny resemblance to the Asics Gel-Kayano 5, a certified aughts banger that retails for a little over 100 bucks. But anyone upset about the similarities was missing the point. Balenciaga doesn’t try to hide its references. It embraces them—openly and without qualification. In Demna’s hands, imitation really is the sincererest form of flattery. Lovingly plucking a cult-y—but not, y’know, especially cool—running shoe off the feet of the carb-loading set and selling it back to the no-carb crowd at a sky-high premium? It’s fashion, darling. Or at least funny. (That, and they are really comfortable.) Wearing them means you’ll probably have to deal with a few incredulous comments and a guffaw or two, but all that fuss should only steel your resolve: plant your tongue firmly in your cheek and power on.
The Best Hardcore Walking Shoe
Hoka’s signature sneaker is beloved by serious walkers and serious aesthetes alike. The most cushioned shoe in the brand’s thick-soled repertoire, the Bondi 7 offers a consistently smooth, luxurious walking experience—no matter the distance involved. Yes, the shoe is engineered with the brand’s standout EVA midsole, breathable mesh uppers, and an ultra-soft memory foam collar specially designed to cradle your heel. But it’s also—dare we say it?—downright sexy, a rarity in a market largely dominated by sneakers that place function high above form.
The Best Dad-Approved Walking Shoe
Long before they were fashionable, New Balance had the comfort shoe market cornered. The Boston-based brand has been churning out some of the chunkiest, daddest (in a good way!) sneakers around for over a century, and every shoe in its 990 series has rightfully achieved icon status. Almost any pair of NBs will treat your feet with the dignity they deserve, but this one—handcrafted in England with key hits of pigskin suede and a specialized sole to maximize shock absorption—is particularly suited for long days on the move.
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