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Best Lightweight Shoes Reviewed & Rated

last updated Mar 29, 2019

A lightweight shoe can help you run faster and longer, but it is, also, great for travel and work environments that require you to be fast on your feet. The most lightweight footwear is known as minimalist shoes, and they’ve gotten some flack over the years for not offering enough cushioning and support for the feet. Shoe manufacturers have taken these concerns into account and many have created more cushioned and more supportive footwear to protect your feet from injury.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 104 hrs of research

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Cole Haan OriginalGrand Wingtip
95.2/100 our score
Fit
92
Materials
96
Flexibility
95
Durability
95
Style
98
Cole Haan OriginalGrand Wingtip
Why is it better?

Leather Upper and Lining

Storm Welt

EVA Foam Cushioning

Rubber Outsole

Versatile

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Cole Haan OriginalGrand Wingtip
Test Winner: Cole Haan OriginalGrand Wingtip
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
21
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
14,222
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
104
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
20
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Ana Rockov
By Ana Rockov:

The latest update to this guide replaces 4 items, bringing you the highest rated lightweight footwear available for purchase in March 2019. With a more versatile number of options, you'll easily find the lightest shoes for any occasion, casual, formal and even athletic.

Sorting Options
Fit Materials Flexibility Durability Style By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
Fit
92%
Materials
96%
Flexibility
95%
Durability
95%
Style
98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Amazon Link
$119.98
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.6
Fit
95%
Materials
96%
Flexibility
94%
Durability
91%
Style
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Amazon Link
$44.79
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.6
Fit
94%
Materials
90%
Flexibility
92%
Durability
93%
Style
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Amazon Link
$79.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Fit
91%
Materials
93%
Flexibility
88%
Durability
94%
Style
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Backcountry Link
$95.96
See Deal
Amazon Link
$100.42
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Fit
83%
Materials
95%
Flexibility
96%
Durability
88%
Style
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Amazon Link
$55.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.4
Fit
87%
Materials
92%
Flexibility
93%
Durability
91%
Style
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Amazon Link
$74.83
Backcountry Link
$89.95
See Deal
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Fit
88%
Materials
91%
Flexibility
94%
Durability
84%
Style
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Backcountry Link
$129.95
See Deal
On Running
$129.99
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Amazon Link
$157.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
Fit
91%
Materials
89%
Flexibility
85%
Durability
84%
Style
87%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Amazon Link
$44.89
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.4
Fit
87%
Materials
84%
Flexibility
81%
Durability
78%
Style
82%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Amazon Link
$29.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.8
Fit
91%
Materials
78%
Flexibility
79%
Durability
74%
Style
82%
Price Comparison Last Updated (26.05.19)
Amazon Link
$23.99
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Cole Haan OriginalGrand Wingtip Cole Haan OriginalGrand Wingtip
  • Skechers GoWalk Evolution Ultra Reach Skechers GoWalk Evolution Ultra Reach
  • Rockport Style Leader 2 Rockport Style Leader 2
  • New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon
  • Saucony Kineta Relay Saucony Kineta Relay
  • Merrell Vapor Glove 4 Merrell Vapor Glove 4
  • ON Cloud ON Cloud
  • Ryka Sky Ryka Sky
  • Aleader Running Shoes Aleader Running Shoes
  • Dreamcity Water Shoes Dreamcity Water Shoes
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Lightweight Shoes

1. Cole Haan OriginalGrand Wingtip

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.2
Cole Haan OriginalGrand Wingtip
Amazon Link
Fit
92
Materials
96
Flexibility
95
Durability
95
Style
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$119.98
Pros:

Leather Upper and Lining

Storm Welt

EVA Foam Cushioning

Rubber Outsole

Versatile

Cons:

Cheap Insoles

Runs Small

This semi-formal shoe by Cole Haan became an instant classic back when it was released, mostly due to the fact that it combined the polished look of a wingtip Oxford with the comfort of a cushioned running shoe. But what’s important to note about the OriginalGrand is the fact that it weighs less than almost any other formal pair of footwear, while looking sleek and modern, and being appropriate for most occasions, including the workplace.

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The upper of this shoe uses high quality leather that gives it a polished look and durable wear time. It’s a model that’ll provide you with a good amount of support (more than you can expect of most Oxfords), plus the rubber outsole gives great traction on most surfaces.

The best thing about the OriginalGrand is the EVA foam sole that’s lightweight and cushioned, giving you the right amount of shock absorption regardless of how long you’re planning on standing or walking. It’s also flexible, notably more than other types of formal shoes, so you can easily go about your business without feeling held back. Depending on the color you choose, the price ranges from average to slightly more expensive, but overall, this shoe won’t break the bank, and it will look great with any outfit - from jeans to suits to shorts.

2. Skechers GoWalk Evolution Ultra Reach

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.6
Skechers GoWalk Evolution Ultra Reach
Amazon Link
Fit
95
Materials
96
Flexibility
94
Durability
91
Style
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$44.79
Pros:

Padded Mesh Upper

Pull Tab at Heel

Durability Overlays

Air Cooled Insole

Exceptional Cushioning

Cons:

Runs Large

Skechers footwear has become one of many people’s go to lifestyle brand thanks to the fact that they invest time and research into making footwear that both looks great, feels great and is durable. The GoWalk series does exactly what the name tells you - it provides you with footwear made for spending time on your feet, absorbing shock generated on impact, giving you a good amount of traction, all while ensuring a breathable environment.

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The cushioning in the Evolution is made to be both lightweight and responsive, while still giving you the required stability and support that you need in order to prevent issues such as arch and heel pain. It’s one of those shoes with high rebound, so that each next step is easy to take, while the entire shoe is one of the most flexible models on this list.

The upper is made with padded mesh that keeps the weight down, and the heel and toe cap overlays ensure durability, no matter how often and for how long you wear them. This shoe comes in several color options, all of which are easy to pair with any outfit, and the price is well below average, making this a great investment for those who are looking for affordable but quality footwear that will serve its purpose.

3. Rockport Style Leader 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.6
Rockport Style Leader 2
Amazon Link
Fit
94
Materials
90
Flexibility
92
Durability
93
Style
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$79.95
Pros:

Genuine Leather Upper

Padded Collar

Elastic Gore

Foam Cushioning

Moisture Wicking Lining

Cons:

Declining Leather Quality

Those who prefer loafers to lace ups such as Oxfords should definitely check out the Style Leader 2 by Rockport. A company who puts most of their focus on developing comfortable, cushioned and supportive footwear at reasonable (even affordable) prices, Rockport is always a good brand to turn to. This particular model is perfect for both formal and casual wear, comes in three classic color options, and is one of the rare models on this list you can get wide and extra wide widths.

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Because it is entirely focused on comfort, the Style Leader 2 has two notable features in the upper. The first one is a padded ankle collar that will prevent the shoe from digging into your heel and achilles area, while the other is the elastic gore that allows easy on and off, as well as a comfortable wear that won’t require any adjustments on your part, but will still give you a secure fit without squeezing too much.

The heel area has a truTECH cushion, while the insole is made from sponge EVA that will conform to the shape of your foot, giving you a customized fit. Other notable features include a moisture wicking lining that will prevent bad odors, as well as a flexible rubber outsole. The price of this model is slightly above average, but it’s an overall good purchase considering the material quality and comfort it provides.

4. New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
New Balance Fresh Foam Beacon
Amazon Link
Fit
91
Materials
93
Flexibility
88
Durability
94
Style
84
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$100.42
Backcountry Link
$95.96
See Deal
Pros:

Fresh Foam Cushioning Unit

Engineered Knit Upper

Padded Tongue and Collar

Blown Rubber Outsole

Weight: 213g

Cons:

Runs Small

Narrow Forefoot

The Fresh Foam Beacon is an amply cushioned running model that weighs less than some minimalist shoes available for purchase. For those looking for cushioned, responsive pair of athletic footwear, it’s a great choice thanks to the numerous comfort and functionality features that work great both for training, as well as for casual everyday wear. Available in three simple colorways, it’ll be easy to pair this model with most of your outfits.

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The upper of the FF Beacon uses engineered knit for a good combination of support and breathability, and it’s one of the reason why the weight of the shoe is kept so low. Padding is added in the tongue and collar, and 3D print overlays ensure a supported gait cycle. As for the midsole, it looks chunky, but is actually one of the lightest in the industry. A full-length shock absorbing unit ensures that you’re protected and comfortable, whether you’re out running, or just getting things done.

The outsole manages to shed grams by placing blown rubber in high wear areas, while the rest uses ground contact foam with a traction pattern that ensures an adequate grip. It is surprisingly durable, meaning that you’ll be wearing these even if you plan on walking/running on asphalt most of the time. The price is higher than average, but that’s to be expected from flagship models such as this one. Overall, you can rest assured that this is a good investment, especially if you value comfort and cushioning.

5. Saucony Kineta Relay

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Saucony Kineta Relay
Amazon Link
Fit
83
Materials
95
Flexibility
96
Durability
88
Style
86
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$55.99
Pros:

EVA+ Cushioning

Traction Sole with Triangular Lugs

Fabric and Synthetic Construction

Rubber Sole

No-Tie Shoelaces

Cons:

Narrow toe box

Minimal arch support

The Saucony Kineta Relay is a stylish, sleek, and lightweight shoe that comes in a variety of color schemes. The men’s version weighs 6.8 ounces and the women’s version weighs 5.2 ounces. The Kineta Relay comes with a rubber sole to reduce the impact as you walk or run and it sports no-tie shoelaces for ease of use.

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The EVA+ Cushioning is light and flexible, making your day in these shoes comfortable. The cushioning protects your feet from injury and its flexibility allows you to move more freely.

You need to know your footwear won’t slip, especially in environments which have slick or wet floors. The traction sole on these grip the ground; so, you’ll be safer. The Saucony Kineta Relay has a midrange price tag but it, also, has a lot of available features, as well. Saucony is a high-quality brand and you can rest assured this a deal worthy of the investment.

6. Merrell Vapor Glove 4

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.4
Merrell Vapor Glove 4
Amazon Link
Fit
87
Materials
92
Flexibility
93
Durability
91
Style
84
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$74.83
Backcountry Link
$89.95
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Pros:

Vibram TC5 Outsole

Zero Drop

Mesh Construction

Vegan-friendly

Trail Protect Pad

Cons:

Size runs big

The Merrell Vapor Glove 4 is a sleek running shoe but it can be used in some work environments, as well; depending on the dress code. The men’s version weighs 5.8 ounces and the women’s version weighs a feather-light 4.8 ounces. Its synthetic mesh construction allows your feet to breathe and reduces odor and blistering from wet feet.

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The sticky Vibram outsole of these gives you maximum traction and safety in any environment. No more slips and falls. It’s excellent for working or running in slippery conditions. To reduce the impact of your feet on the ground on a hard run, this footwear sports a rubber sole. This sole cushions your feet to protect you from injury.

The Merrell Vapor Glove 4 rests in the upper-low price range. The Merrell Vapor Glove 4 is a sleek, stylish shoe with good traction, and it’s made without animal products.

7. ON Cloud

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
ON Cloud
Amazon Link
Fit
88
Materials
91
Flexibility
94
Durability
84
Style
85
best offer for today
more shops
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$157.99
Backcountry Link
$129.95
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On Running
$129.99
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Pros:

CloudTec Sole

Deep Flex Grooves

Mesh Construction

Padded Tongue and Collar

Supportive Synthetic Overlays

Cons:

Size runs small

The ON Cloud is built with athletics in mind, but it can be used for casual strolls, too. The men’s version weighs 7 ounces, and the women’s version weighs 5.9 ounces. It’s a little heavier than some of the other footwear on this list, but it compensates for that with padding and cushioning for maximum comfort on your run.

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The CloudTec Sole is unique in that it is soft only as your feet lands and it immediately firms up to support your feet, as you move to step off. The Deep Flex Grooves allow for more flexibility and a more natural range of motion, as you move. It follows your foot’s natural movement for maximum comfort and efficiency.

The ON Cloud can be found in the middle price range. The CloudTec sole and padded tongue and collar guarantee a comfortable walk or run, making it worth the price.

8. Ryka Sky

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.2
Ryka Sky
Amazon Link
Fit
91
Materials
89
Flexibility
85
Durability
84
Style
87
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$44.89
Pros:

Leather/Mesh Upper

Rubber Outsole

Lace-up

TPU Shank

EVA Midsole

Cons:

Size runs small

This walking shoe is perfect for those who have been experiencing high fatigue levels, in relation to a heavier shoe. Made with a leather and mesh upper, this is a pair which works to alleviate that. Furthermore, the TPU shank and EVA midsole provide stability and security while, simultaneously, giving you a decent amount of cushioning and energy return.

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This midfoot shank is lightweight, but more importantly, it is the right amount of stability for your feet while you walk through your day. This is a must-have for those in need of a lightweight, yet stable shoe.

Energy return and shock absorption is the norm for an EVA midsole. This means you will have less overall foot fatigue, as you make your way around the block in these.

This pair comes in at the upper end of the midrange in cost association. They are, however, a perfect walking shoe which is lightweight, durable, attractive, and made to reduce overall foot fatigue. In other words, they are a great buy for the buck.

9. Aleader Running Shoes

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.4
Aleader Running Shoes
Amazon Link
Fit
87
Materials
84
Flexibility
81
Durability
78
Style
82
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$29.99
Pros:

MD Outsole

Breathable Lining

Cushioned Insole

Hydro-grip

5-claw Overlays

Cons:

Size runs small/narrow

Minimal arch support

5-claw design in the overlays helps to provide you with stability in this pair of lightweight footgear. In addition, these have a hydro-grip MD outsole to handle multiple terrain types, such as a dry road surface to those unforeseen water spots. A cushioned insole provides comfort, and the lining is breathable to allow your feet decent airflow.

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These supportive overlays stabilize. In addition, they look rather unique in design and provide cool aesthetics. Moreover, this 5-claw design serves to provide your foot with security while you run.

Running raises the body heat, as we all know. So, it is nice to have a lining which gives an ample amount of breathability. When the feet breathe, they stay cooler. This is a nice cost-efficient pair to grab a hold of. They are budget-friendly and maintain a decent amount of technologies to give you stability and airflow; yet, they remain lightweight, as well.

10. Dreamcity Water Shoes

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.8
Dreamcity Water Shoes
Amazon Link
Fit
91
Materials
78
Flexibility
79
Durability
74
Style
82
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$23.99
Pros:

Rubber Outsole

Mesh Upper

Solyte Midsole

ComforDry Sockliner

Quick-dry Perforations

Cons:

May trap gravel and sand

A good pair of summer shoes will have to do a lot of things right, and the Dreamcity Water model is a great option for anyone looking for versatile, functional footwear. Although designed to be used around water - either at the beach or pool, it can actually work well as a pair of sneakers you'd wear around the garden. The upper is made with lightweight mesh that lets water evaporate quickly, while the sole makes use of Solyte material for cushioning, and a water-friendly outsole that will grip polished and wet surfaces, ensuring safe footing. The model comes in several simple color options, and the best thing about it is that it's affordable, even if you have a minimal budget.

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The midsole is lightweight; yet, provides decent all-around cushioning. It will have you feeling comfortable while you enjoy the day near the water. The upper has a breathable design and is perfect for those hot days when the water sounds really nice. Your feet will feel airy; that is, in between those walking dips into the water.

These are in the midrange of cost association when comparing to others on this list. They are durable, lightweight, and breathe well. Moreover, these are ready for water days. As such, these will make a great addition to your footwear collection.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Flexibility

Finding the perfect balance between flexibility and support can be difficult. A shoe that is too flexible will not help support the foot during the pounding it takes while running or walking. It should be flexible at the ball of the foot to provide natural motion. The flexibility involves several factors.

First, looking at the ball of the foot, your feet naturally roll when you run or walk. Some offer a rocker bottom which really enhances the correct motion of your foot. Support in the arch is, typically, a bit stiffer leading to the front where you see more flexibility. If the support in the arch is too long for your feet, you may find decreased flexibility, and that can lead to painful shin splints and days out of the activities you love.

A shoe that is too flexible will not support the foot as well as it needs to. Some people believe in the minimalist shoe. A minimalist shoe will not offer the support and cushion of other footwear, but they are, however, extremely flexible. Minimalist shoes make your feet do all the work and for some, that is an excellent feature, especially in the realm of ankle and foot strengthening.

The arch and heel of your lightweight shoes will be a bit stiffer. This is where extra cushion and support will help in force dispersion and pressure release. Your foot rocks from the back to the front. A supported heel means when you strike during your stride, your feet and joints will not have to absorb all that pressure. You want to make sure your footwear feels great and moves with your feet. A stiff shoe may break in after time, so do your best to find one that flexes correctly from the start and your feet will be able to hang with you through the toughest challenges.

Fit

Our feet naturally swell as our days go on. Depending on what your day looks like and what you do, you can see a lot of swelling by the end of the day. If your footwear is too tight, it can lead to pain, pressure sores, hotspots, and in general, uncomfortable feet. A shoe that is too loose can lead to a lot of the same problems. In addition, you will find ankle stability to be a real problem with shoes that are too loose.

Know your feet. That is the first step to making sure you are getting a fit that really promotes good posture, correct foot positioning, and of course, a comfortable ride. So, what do I mean by knowing your feet? Let’s start by talking about width.

Narrow
If you have narrow feet and have ever worn a shoe that was too wide, I’m sure you noticed your feet slipping and sliding around inside them. Why is this a problem? When your feet slide around, you lose stability and can, also, cause abrasions and blisters from excessive rubbing. If you find, even after tightening your shoe that your feet and ankles move around easily, you need to find different footwear. It is, also, important to note that extra ankle movement can lead to injuries like rolling or spraining of the joint. If this happens, you may find yourself out of the game for a while. The moral of the story here, my narrow-footed friends, is your shoe needs to hug your foot and support it, not let it wiggle around wherever it wants to.

Medium
Medium sizing is probably the easiest to deal with. Not really narrow and not really wide is easy for shoe companies to accommodate. Finding yourself in this category, you still need to make sure your footwear is not too wide or too narrow. As we stated above, if your shoe is too wide, you will not have the support in your ankle, instep, and other areas of the foot, because there will be too much room and your feet will have the ability to move around in the shoe. On the other side, if your footwear is too narrow, you will have pinched and painful toes. You may find, also, if a shoe is too narrow, it squeezes the arch which will make you very uncomfortable. Lastly, with a medium width, you still need to look at how the foot sits in the footwear to make sure you get that hugging feeling when you tie them up.

Wide
It used to be very difficult to find a quality lightweight shoe that fit wide feet. In recent years, however, it is becoming easier; due to the fact a ton of manufacturers listened to their customers and started giving the option for wide width. The point made with standard width and narrowness goes for wide feet, as well. You need a bit of room for your toes to spread out naturally and you want a comfortable, supportive, hugging fit on the rest. If you have wide feet, I am sure you have pushed into a pair of lightweight footwear, just to find your feet screaming because your feet were suffocating inside.

After you figure out the width you require for a great fitting shoe, then it’s just a matter of time until you find exactly what you have been looking for. Our guide gives options for all widths in life, and hopefully, you can find the perfect match.

Materials

How your lightweight footwear is constructed can really make the difference in any activity you find yourself in. An average adventure, or one that you crush because you are walking on air and your feet feel great, depends on the construction and performance ability of your shoes.

The outer panels of your lightweight footwear should be made of mesh and synthetic leather. Mesh is very breathable and helps to keep water out, due to its structure and design. Synthetic Leather is much lighter than natural leather. It aids in keeping water out and attaches well to the bottom of the footwear. In addition, synthetic leather is very flexible, durable, and it dries very quickly.

The outsole, also, plays a huge role in the construction and overall performance ability in lightweight shoes. When we say outsole, we literally mean the bottom of the shoe. If in need of lightweight footwear, you want an outsole that is made of a shock-absorbing, lightweight, even pressure dispersion, material. Typically, you will want to look for something made of blown rubber, polyurethane, or a mixture of the two. Blown rubber is definitely the lightest, followed by a mixture, and Polyurethane outsoles tend to be the heaviest.

Construction is not just about the outside of the shoe. It is, also, about how it fits on the inside. You need footwear that has an insole that keeps your feet cool, dry, comfortable, and doesn’t add a lot of weight. EVA insoles are great in all of those categories.

A lot of footwear, also, offers a sock-like liner. This hugs your foot and helps wick away sweat. Keeping your feet dry is always a top priority when trying to keep your feet healthy. A mesh or synthetic blend sockliner can help ensure your feet feel great at the end of a long day.

Last but not least, let’s take a minute and talk about the heel and toe of your footwear. The toe box should allow you enough room to stretch your toes out. Your feet naturally grip with your toes, as you walk. That natural movement is important in keeping your feet feeling good. If your toes are pinched, not only will your feet hurt but you will have a reduction in stability. The heel cup of your footwear should securely cup your heel. Holding your heel in place while you walk, run, hike, or participate in other activities, will stop painful blisters from forming and help in your performance; due to a lack of slipping around inside.

Durability

To assess each of the products on our list for durability, we not only read through thousands of customer reviews on our recommended products, but we also looked for some of the hallmarks of quality construction. From brand name reputation to their initial smell out of the box, there are a few ways of identifying a well-built, made-to-last product.

The Details
A zipper that doesn’t zip or snaps? Poor threading technique? A smelly, chemical residue on the shoe when you open the box? All these details were looked for an evaluated when assigning a score for durability.

Materials
Certain materials last longer than others, even if that comes at the expense of a higher score in the “comfort” criterion. Materials that are synthetic, thicker and firmer tend to score higher on durability.

Product Purpose
A shoe made for running and high-impact sports will not likely last as long as a good pair of general activity shoes and that’s okay. Being aware of the shoe’s purpose is critical for you as a reader and for us as a reviewer. Although shoes that will last longer score higher on this criterion, you might also see high scores to shoes with a more limited durability, if that product was specifically designed for certain purposes that involve high-impact and high-stress motions. We take into account the type of shoes you are trying to purchase when assigning scores to shoes in this criterion.

Brand Name
A product is a promise made, but a brand is a promise kept. A brand name is often a signal of quality and consistency in construction and durability from product to product. Although there are always exceptions to this rule, quite often brands that perform continue to perform. Brand names on our list tend to score higher in the durability score.

The final word on durability is that a higher score on this metric means the product will last longer than its competitors, given similar shoe purpose, type, age and usage. Again, it never hurts to read some customer reviews before hitting the “buy” button.

Style

While style is often a matter of personal taste, we've checked thousands of online reviews to see what people are saying about each of the products on our list. Some things, such as sleek design, seamless construction and overall weight and shape of the shoe, were common likes or dislikes among buyers of each product.

To evaluate style, we considered everything from the design, color, shape, weight, lines and overall construction of the shoe in question. While no one wants to wear an uncomfortable shoe, they also don’t want a comfortable shoe to be ugly on the eyes. We’ve selected all of those on our top 10 to be not only stylish, but also comfortable, true-to-size, supportive and durable.

The higher the score on the “style” metric, the more fashionable we and the community of buyers we surveyed deemed the product to be.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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#1
ico Flexibility
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#2
ico Fit
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#3
ico Materials
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#4
ico Durability
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#5
ico Style
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expert tips icon
Stepping Light To Reduce Foot Fatigue

With so many advances for lighter weight, yet durable materials for apparel, why not utilize that technology for your feet? Lightweight shoes help you feel as though more energy can be spent performing to your best, rather than lugging around heavy footwear when you walk.

Caring For Lightweight Footwear

Most lightweight footwear can easily be cleaned or washed with soap and water, if the materials are textiles or canvas. suedes or leathers need a bit more TLC, but stains can be removed by hand.
Keep your shoes away from direct heat sources, like radiators or the sun, to make sure their uppers aren't damaged, and the integrity of the shoe remains intact.

Other Factors to Consider

Bottom Line

Whether you are running, walking, or working, a lightweight shoe can lessen foot fatigue and support the natural movement of your feet. Minimalist shoes which are, generally, lightweight footwear with few bells and whistles, don’t have to be uncomfortable. Many come with cushioning and are made with flexible materials for optimum comfort. If you aren’t comfortable when you wear something, you probably won’t wear it again.

As you are looking for your perfect footwear, consider the drop from heel to forefoot. Lower drops will lessen the impact of each step on your feet. The best incorporate some form of cushioning, even if it isn’t much. Some cushioning is better than none. Many on this list were vegan-friendly, which is something you may want to consider as you shop, as well.

When you’re looking at different lightweight shoes, don’t just grab the one with the smallest weight. Consider what you are willing to sacrifice in the design of your footwear. Hopefully, this list has helped you pick out an excellent pair; or at least, gave you some ideas for where to look.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: What is the difference in a lightweight shoe and a regular shoe?

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The simple answer is the weight of the shoe is lighter; however, there is a lot more to it than that. The weight of your footwear depends on the cushioning and construction and different activities will require a different amount of cushion. Lightweight shoes that are not of the minimalist variety do great at absorbing and distributing shock. This is very important when walking or running on hard surfaces. Heavier shoes add weight and stress to the runner’s joints and muscles. A heavy shoe can decrease a runner’s performance dramatically, as well.

Lightweight footwear is built for performance. If you find that you have fallen in love with running, walking, or joining in at the local gym, a great pair can help you go that extra mile. If only talking about your daily wear gear, lightweight shoes can be great if you are on your feet all day. Superior shock absorption and the walking on a cloud feeling will help you feel great, even at the end of a long day.

q: My feet hurt, will lightweight shoes help me?

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Lightweight shoes may help your sore feet. Depending on what type of footwear you are currently wearing, you may need to look at what part of your foot is causing you pain. Flat feet, plantar fasciitis, high arches, supination, or pronation could be part of the issue.

Discovering the root of the problem will help solve what you need to buy to help your feet feel great on a daily basis. Lightweight footwear will help a variety of foot-related problems and help you feel better at the end of a long day. It is important to note: lightweight shoes have vast differences and you not only need to find the root of the problem but, also, look at what footwear will give you support where you need it. Our guide has included a variety of supportive, comfortable, and lightweight shoes, and we are sure there is a pair that will have you feeling great in no time.

q: When should I replace my lightweight running shoes?

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We know how difficult it can be to part with your favorite pair of running shoes. It is, however, important to make sure your feet are getting the support and shock absorption that is required to keep your muscles and joints feeling great.

Most quality running shoes are reliable for 300-500 miles. Depending on how your stride and heel strike impacts your footwear, this will decide how many miles your shoes will stay reliable. When your shoes need to be replaced, you will start to notice it. You will have more impact and, therefore, your joints and muscles will take a bigger beating and you will feel it. If your favorite pair is at this stage, it’s time to bite the bullet and get a new pair.

Ideally, you should try to buy a new pair before your favorites are completely unwearable. This gives you time to wear the new ones a few times intermittently with your broken in comfortable pair. Breaking in new running shoes can take time and integrating them in over a span of time can decrease blisters, abrasions, and sore feet that tend to occur when getting used to a new pair.

q: What are the benefits of wearing a lightweight shoe compared to a stability control shoe?

a:

Lightweight shoes work wonderfully for anyone that has a neutral position from their ankle to their heel. If you have a problem with overpronation, however, you may want to avoid lightweight shoes, altogether. Overpronation is when the ankle rolls in and the heel then tilts out. This type of positioning needs footwear which provides stability and keeps the ankle from rolling when landing, as this can lead to injuries.

If overpronation is not a problem for you, then lightweight shoes will be a great addition to your shoe collection. They are great for short races or beginning runners. They will help increase your speed, and your muscles and joints will thank you for the shock-absorbing ability of a great pair.

q: What do I do if I sit a lot?

a:

If you find yourself standing in the same position all day, this can, also, lead to very sore feet. A stability control shoe may be a little constricting for this type of situation. Superior lightweight footwear can make your feet feel like they are standing on air and, therefore, offer a quality you are looking for if you have to stand all day. Rocker-style shoes are, also, really excellent for those who stand a lot. The natural motion encourages you to move and helps circulation and comfort on those long days.