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 couple years, walking shoes have, ahem, stepped up their game.
And now these semi-sporty hybrids have suddenly become the key to unlocking new sights in your city. Remember when you were able to walk for hours on end without tell-tale aches and needing to call it the day before happy hour? Turns out, you still can, you were just missing the right soles to set you straight.
Today’s walking shoe is 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 21 best walking shoes for men to lace up now.
The Best Walking Shoes Shopping Guide
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— equipped with a specialized sole to maximize shock absorption—is particularly suited for long days on the move.
The Best Dressed-Up Walking Shoe
So you’ve got a swankier-than-usual event to attend and would rather walk then take the train (because it’s a beautiful day and/or you’d like to keep your blood pressure stable). Doesn’t mean you have to turn up looking any less the part! Mephisto’s slick Match sneakers will keep you looking dapper, while the buttery smooth nubuck leather—set on top of an ultra-cushy, foam outer sole—will make sure your arches feel just as good as they look. Long gone are the days when beauty equaled pain–or stowing an extra pair of shoes in a bag and having to make a dash for the bathroom before anyone registers you’d arrived.
The Best Outdoors-Ready Walking Shoe
A surprise fashion-crowd favorite, the Salomon ACS 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 Walking Shoe of the Moment
We already told you that early-aughts running shoes were going to dominate the 2020s sneaker circuit, but now the trend has kicked into overdrive. The Gel-Kayano 14—the silhouette du jour for some of the most discerning fashion collaborators in the game—has all the paneling and mesh-y bits you’d expect to see on a style that debuted when The OC was the biggest show on TV. Asics’ signature running shoe has made major fashion strides in the last 20 years, which explains why a sneaker you’d otherwise wear to train for a marathon suddenly looks eerily well-suited to walking off a heavy brunch.