Hey there! Welcome to our best cushioned walking shoes review for 2023.
We researched and tested 20 of the top walking and running shoes for stability, cushioning, pain-relief, and security. These 7 came out on top.
If you’re suffering from bunions, arch pains, discomfort, hammertoes, or just general fatigue, these walking shoes will help you walk, jog, work, or hit the gym with 0 pain and get more out of every workout.
Ready to start walking pain free? Let’s find you the perfect walking shoe.
Most Comfortable Cushioned Walking Shoes
1. New Balance 1080v12
Buy Them If: You want the most comfortable walking experience possible (no foot or toe pains)
Don’t Buy Them If: You need a lot of stability and correction or you’re on a budget
From the second we put the New Balance 1080V12s on, we knew exactly why so many called it the most comfortable walking experience on the market.
You definitely feel like you’re walking in the clouds. No other shoe has this level of cushioning on the heel, toes, arches, or upper. You can barely feel your foot touch the ground.
It’s got that extra plush feeling, but doesn’t zap any of the energy from your stride, so you can use it for a walking shoe, running shoe, or even just weekend jogs.
It’s perfect for anyone suffering from severe foot pains, toe pains, blisters, and even minor plantar fasciitis.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking to walk for miles without feeling like you’ve broken your foot, this has your name written on it. If you need something with more stability, keep reading.
2. ASICS Gel Nimbus 25
Buy Them If: You want a great mix of stability, breathability, and comfort for walks or slow runs (especially if you have joint issues)
Don’t Buy Them If: You want maximum comfort or you need something for more intense workouts. The toe box is also very narrow
The Gel Nimbus 25s from ASICS are lightweight, breathable, and very comfortable while still providing comfort, cushioning, and support for your knees, lower back, and ankles.
The shoe has extra padding in the midsole to absorb more of the shock and wick it away from your knees. You’ll notice it instantly when your feet land and you barely feel the ground.
If you plan to just walk, then the New Balance 1080V12s are a better bang for your buck. But if you want to lightly jog, then the added stability around the ankle and joint support from the Gel Nimbus 25s are more your shoe.
Bottom Line: Not as comfortable as the 1080V12s, but more stability where it matters most. If you plan to walk quickly or even jog, these are better for you.
3. Adidas Ultraboost Light 23
Buy Them If: You want the ultimate women’s workout shoe for better comfort, energy, boost, and traction
Don’t But Them If: You don’t plan on doing any intense workouts
The Ultraboost Light 23s are an upgrade on all previous women’s workout shoes in every way:
The best part?
These shoes are so comfortable, they’re great for running errands, walking around the mall, walking anywhere in the neighborhood, and hitting the gym. They’re an excellent all-around shoe that are lighter and more comfortable than pretty much any other shoe out there.
We just don’t recommend them if you don’t plan to use them for anything remotely intense. If you want a shoe to just walk around the block at night, they aren’t worth the money. If you want to walk, jog, hit the gym, and run around all day without any pain, these are you.
Bottom Line: If you want all-day comfort and style for any environment or activity, these were made for you. If you just want to walk around the block, get something cheaper with cushioning.
4. Brooks Glycerin 20
Buy Them If: You plan on road-running and need stability and you suffer from bunions or arch pains
Don’t Buy Them If: You prefer plush comfort over stability
The Brooks Glycerin 20s are ultra cushy with a super smooth transition that propel you forward and make speed walking or road-running way more comfortable and productive. If you’re suffering from pains like hammertoes, bunions, arch or heel pains, or just general discomfort, these will let you walk for hours with 0 pain.
Long story short, shoes like this help you run further and get in shape faster with minimal pain. They’re definitely comfortable, but their real selling point is the extra security to keep you upright and prevent turned ankles:
The wide fit plus tight security make it ideal for anyone walking fast or running that suffers from bunions and hammertoes.
5. Hoka Bondi 8 - APMA Approved
Buy Them If: You suffer from heel pains and need podiatrist-certified support with great heel-to-toe transition
Don’t Buy Them If: You need a normal walking or running shoe, and don’t suffer heel pains
Hoka designed their Bondi 8s with everything you need to put an end to heel pain and walk, jog, or run pain free.
Here’s why it earned APMA accreditation:
...and, of course, the Hokas come with a “Meta-Rocker” that provides a perfect transition between your heel and toe as you step. The result? Your foot hits the ground without causing any pain.
Bottom Line: If you walk or run in constant heel pain, this is the answer to your problems.
6. Saucony Triumph 20 - Neutral Shoe
Buy Them If: You want super soft, daily comfort for walking and everyday activities
Don’t Buy Them If: You need added stability for intense training
The Saucony Triumph 20s are an elite everyday training shoe for walking, jogging, and long-distance runs at a steady pace. The super light build and added cushioning help you stave off fatigue longer AND get extra pop, so you can run further without pain or discomfort.
They might be a bit overkill for just a walking shoe, but if you want something you can do pretty much anything in without feeling pain, they’re perfect for you.
Saucony uses PWRRUN+ foam, which some say is the most comfortable foam cushioning technology in the industry with the best shock absorption. This newest model has more cushioning than ever before, and it’s right under your foot, so you won’t hurt your arches, heel, knees, or ankles.
The soles of these shoes were designed for maximum comfort no matter what you’re doing, so if you’re looking for something stylish that you can wear anywhere or do anything in, they’re exactly what you need (and they’re cheaper than most other shoes).
Bottom Line: If you want maximum comfort for speed walking, long-distance jogs, or just walking around town, these are perfect, especially if you’re on a budget.
7. Altra Olympus 5 - ( Wide Toe Box Trail Shoe)
Buy Them If: You need a comfortable, versatile shoe for hiking, uphill or downhill jogs, and any rough walking surface
Don't’ Buy Them If: You need max comfort or don’t like a wide toe box (or you plan to run)
Last up, we have a super comfortable, bouncy, and wide shoe for walkers or runners suffering from hammertoes and discomfort in the forefoot.
Altra’s Olympus 5’s are a beast of a shoe that are perfect for slow training, long walks, or jogs in any terrain and any weather condition.
Aside from the added comfort and stability, they have excellent traction with a sticky rubber outsole that provides glue-like grip in any terrain. So if you plan on walking on trails, in the park, in the mountains, or anywhere with mud and rocks, these shoes will keep you upright and out of the emergency room!
Bottom Line: Buy these if you need something with extra durability and protection for trails, parks, or walks in muddy or rocky terrain. They’re cushioned, but not the most comfortable shoe around, so if you just need something for walking around the block, choose something else.
That’s a Wrap!
These cushioned walking shoes will provide maximum walking comfort no matter your arch type, walking stride, or type of walking exercise you plan to do. We’ve researched and tested each for impact protection, stability, comfort in the footbed, and shock absorption, so if you’re suffering from aches and pains, any of these shoes will be perfect for you. Let us know which ones you chose!
Walking Shoe Tips to Help you Make the Right Choice
Walking is a great way to stay healthy and has been proven to lessen the chances of developing heart disease and diabetes in adults. So why not start today? If your answer is you don’t have a good pair of walking shoes, we have some simple tips to make sure you get exactly what you need. Let’s talk about things you should consider when shopping for walking shoes.
The most essential thing to look for in walking shoes is support. Very rarely are shoes designed with a footbed that matches your foot exactly. That’s why it’s crucial that the shoes you buy have a removable insole, that way you can insert a customized insole if you need one. Sometimes store-bought insoles are fine if you don’t have any major foot problems. If you do have issues with your feet, you can visit the podiatrist. He can prescribe custom inserts that match your feet perfectly and give you the precise support you need while walking.
Another thing to consider is finding a waterproof walking shoe. Walking on a treadmill can be very mundane. It’s much more fun to exercise outdoors. With that said, weather conditions aren’t always perfect and puddles can hide in shaded areas for a couple days after a heavy rain. It’s good for athletes to look for shoes that are waterproof so they don’t get ruined due to rain or mud.
Two Good Pairs
It’s great to have two pairs of walking shoes especially during the break-in period. Most shoes take a while to conform to your feet and aren’t as comfortable to wear at first as they will be in a week or two. Being able to alternate pairs of shoes during the first couple weeks can be a relief for your feet. It’s also good to have two pairs because it limits your down time. Obviously shoes you exercise in are going to get dirty. Having a second pair to wear when you are washing and drying out the other will keep you in the habit of daily walking.
Almost every physical activity under the sun will cause you to sweat. Unfortunately some pairs of walking shoes are not breathable and will let sweat pool into the shoes. This becomes a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi to thrive. Some brands of walking shoes now have moisture wicking properties designs to rid the shoe of unwanted moisture. While shopping you’ll definitely want to see if you can find a pair proven to wick sweat away from your feet.
The walking shoes that keep your feet feeling nice and breezy during summer months are probably not the same pair you want to wear on a chilly winter morning. A shoe composed almost entirely of leather is sure to keep your feet insulated when it is cold outside. Shoes with breathable mesh uppers will keep your feet cooler during hotter weather which is always a plus. Keep in mind the season you need shoes for when shopping.
An ideal outsole for walking should have good traction. You’ll likely face different terrains when walking outdoors. In case you run into loose gravel or slick sidewalks you’ll want to make sure your feet have enough grab on the ground so that you don’t go sliding. It’s also important that the outsoles be thick. Minimalist shoes are all the hype right now and are a good fit for some individuals who exercise indoors. For walking outdoors the soles do need to be relatively thick, or you may feel each pebble you step on.
If the doctor recommended you start walking because you are overweight, it’s best to look for a sturdy, durable shoe. The shoes will have to support your weight and flimsy walking shoes can fall apart quick. Be sure to read verified customer reviews to see what owners of each shoe have to say about how long the shoes stayed in tact.
In addition to new walking shoes, you may also want to get a few pairs of compression socks. Compression socks can support healthy blood flow to your muscles. Because muscles need oxygen to thrive, having better circulation can mean you can walk for longer and experience less muscular fatigue and fewer cramps.