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Best Long Distance Walking Shoes Reviewed & Rated

last updated May 23, 2019

Long distance walks are not only great for our physical health, but they are mentally uplifting. Whether walking alone or with a friend to catch up or ask for advice, you need a shoe that provides the comfort and support required for this type of activity. The last thing you want to think about during your long distance walk is how much your feet are hurting!

Below, we've listed the highest rated pairs of footwear suitable for walking, hiking, travel, and any other activity that requires you to cover great distances.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research

icon
Ahnu Sugarpine II
92.2/100 our score
Overall Fit
91
Comfort
89
Use
94
Durability
95
Advanced Features
92
Ahnu Sugarpine II
Why is it better?

Waterproof Upper

Aegis Antimicrobial Treatment

Lightweight

Vibram Outsole

Numentum Footbed

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Ahnu Sugarpine II
Test Winner: Ahnu Sugarpine II
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
9
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
15.7k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
15
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
15
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Ana Rockov
By Ana Rockov:

The latest update to this article replaces two pairs of footwear with higher rated models appropriate for walking long distances. Furthermore, a Bottom Line section has been added to give you a quick overview of the most important features to look for in your next pair of shoes.

Sorting Options
Overall Fit Comfort Use Durability Advanced Features 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.
92.2
Overall Fit
91 %
Comfort
89 %
Use
94 %
Durability
95 %
Advanced Features
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$79.95
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
Overall Fit
86 %
Comfort
95 %
Use
98 %
Durability
96 %
Advanced Features
82 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$51.91
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Overall Fit
94 %
Comfort
87 %
Use
94 %
Durability
92 %
Advanced Features
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$120.00
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Overall Fit
84 %
Comfort
97 %
Use
88 %
Durability
86 %
Advanced Features
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$48.24
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Overall Fit
90 %
Comfort
85 %
Use
86 %
Durability
94 %
Advanced Features
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$96.47
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.2
Overall Fit
92 %
Comfort
93 %
Use
86 %
Durability
87 %
Advanced Features
88 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$41.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
Overall Fit
96 %
Comfort
83 %
Use
84 %
Durability
88 %
Advanced Features
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$63.96
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.2
Overall Fit
92 %
Comfort
89 %
Use
92 %
Durability
84 %
Advanced Features
84 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$35.00
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Overall Fit
88 %
Comfort
93 %
Use
82 %
Durability
82 %
Advanced Features
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$157.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Overall Fit
82 %
Comfort
79 %
Use
96 %
Durability
98 %
Advanced Features
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.07.19)
Amazon Link
$96.76
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Ahnu Sugarpine II Ahnu Sugarpine II
  • New Balance 411v2 New Balance 411v2
  • Brooks Addiction Walker Brooks Addiction Walker
  • ASICS GEL-Venture 6 ASICS GEL-Venture 6
  • Merrell Moab Vent 2 Merrell Moab Vent 2
  • Easy Spirit Romy Easy Spirit Romy
  • Saucony ProGrid Integrity ST2 Saucony ProGrid Integrity ST2
  • Ryka Sky Ryka Sky
  • ON Cloud ON Cloud
  • Ariat Terrain H2O Ariat Terrain H2O
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Long Distance Walking Shoes

1. Ahnu Sugarpine II

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.2
Ahnu Sugarpine II
Amazon Link
Overall Fit
91
Comfort
89
Use
94
Durability
95
Advanced Features
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$79.95
Pros:

Waterproof Upper

Aegis Antimicrobial Treatment

Lightweight

Vibram Outsole

Numentum Footbed

Cons:

Unsuitable for Wet Grass

Slightly Expensive

Ahnu footwear is made for adventurers who are looking for durable products that have great comfort features. The second version of the Sugarpine is one such boot - functional, supportive and cushioning, it boasts a waterproof upper and a sleek look that works both on the trail as well as around town. Unlike most hiking boots, it even comes in a few color variations, so you can choose the one that will work with your outfits best.

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The upper of this model utilizes a mixture of durable leather and flexible yet durable mesh. What differentiates it from most similar models is the light weight - much lighter than you’d expect from a fully waterproof hiking boot. On the inside, you will benefit from Aegis Antibacterial construction which prevents odor causing bacteria to thrive inside the shoe, which means a much healthier environment for your feet.

As for underfoot technology, these feature a Numentum insole that’s cushioned yet stable, a toe rand that is quite protective, as well as a Vibram outsole with a traction pattern made to work on a variety of surfaces, wet and dry. The Sugarpine II is resilient to tears and punctures, and won’t show signs of wear that easily. Combined with the high level of comfort, and a moderate price for this type of boot, and you get a definite winner.

2. New Balance 411v2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
New Balance 411v2
Amazon Link
Overall Fit
86
Comfort
95
Use
98
Durability
96
Advanced Features
82
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$51.91
Pros:

Genuine Leather

Mesh Upper

Padded Tongue & Ankle Collar

Lace-Up Closure

Removable Foam Insert

Cons:

Runs Small

For more than 100 years, New Balance has been working hard to create innovative footwear for all types of athletes. These sneakers are a perfect example of the quality features and materials this company uses in the creation of their shoes. This minimalist athletic style features a combination of leather and mesh to create a durable yet breathable shoe structure. Equipped with complete cushioning, the tongue, ankle collar and removable insoles are all created with comfortable padding.

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From the inside to the out, these shoes are created with quality materials which help to increase the overall lifespan. The durable rubber outsole is created with light traction and grip, versatile for use on a variety of surfaces, from natural to man-made. The real leather upper combined with the mesh creates a fit that is comfortable throughout its entire use and also helps keep your feet dry and cool.

The insides of these are created with soft fabric lining and a padded tongue and ankle collar. These features help to ensure the protection and comfort of your feet, even during your longest walks. These also come equipped with removable insoles that are made with form-fitting cushions which helps form to the shape of your foot. All around, the 411s were designed for keeping the pressure off your feet. Considering the high brand name reputation and the quality construction, these sneakers are priced at a very fair and affordable cost. The style is highly versatile and is created for long-lasting comfort, a great choice for those who are planning to spend a lot of time on their feet.

3. Brooks Addiction Walker

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Brooks Addiction Walker
Amazon Link
Overall Fit
94
Comfort
87
Use
94
Durability
92
Advanced Features
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$120.00
Pros:

Full Grain Leather Upper

Removable Sock Liner

MoGo Midsole

Shock-Absorbing Outsole

Wet Or Dry Traction

Cons:

Not For High Arches

For over a century, Brooks has been a leading brand in high-performance athletic gear. These cushioned walking sneakers are a perfect example of the quality features Brook’s uses in the making of their shoes. The thick, synthetic outsole is created with MoGo and MC Pod technology to enhance shock absorption and flexibility. The fabric lining is soft and comes equipped with a removable sockliner for easy cleaning. These are made to maximize motion control and balance. These features combined with comfortable cushioning makes for a great choice for long distance walking at work or in the neighborhood.

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The full-grain leather and the synthetic outsole are both created with high quality that helps to extend the lifespan. The midsole and outsole are both equipped with HydroFlow, MoGo and MC Pod technology to create support in the most vital areas of the shoe. The thick cushioning protects your feet while you wear them, creating an overall durable structure.

The Brooks team listens to all their user and does constant in-depth research to provide the most functional features you can have in your footwear. These features help to ease the pressure away from the foot with comfortable cushioning and shock absorption. You won’t just find one use for these, with so many features in one design, these are truly versatile. Depending on your color and size selections, these can be on the pricey side. Although the average price still ranges quite high, it’s important to consider the functionality of the shoe. With so many features equipped in this style, the long-term comfort and reliability is completely worth the initial cost.

4. ASICS GEL-Venture 6

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
ASICS GEL-Venture 6
Amazon Link
Overall Fit
84
Comfort
97
Use
88
Durability
86
Advanced Features
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$48.24
Pros:

Low-Cut For Easy On/Off

Removable Sock Liner

Protective Toe Cap

Breathable Mesh Upper

Rearfoot Gel Cushioning

Cons:

Runs Small

Newer Version Available

With over 65 years of experience, ASICS has worked hard to create a reliable brand name using their innovative technology and shoe designs. Mesh and synthetic overlays combine to create a comfortable upper that provides breathability and keeps your feet cool and dry. The durable rubber outsole comes equipped with reverse traction designed for long walks on outdoor trails. The removable sock liner provides enough space for additional insoles if needed, but also comes with built-in gel cushioning for extra comfort. All around, this is a great choice for long walks in nature.

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The trail-specific outsole has reversed traction lugs to help you with all your traction needs. You will not have to worry if you walk through a wet spot or up loose dirt paths, your shoes will provide great traction no matter where you decide to walk. Equipped with AHAR technology, the outsoles are also enhanced with extra durability in the critical high wear areas. This is another great feature for eliminating impact and pressure away from your feet.

It is always so disappointing when you are trying to keep your shoes looking nice and within the first year, there are stains or scuffs. The GEL-Venture 6 has an outdoor-ready mesh outside and very neutral colors to disguise any dirt or marks. The rubber outsole is also made to last and placed specifically in high-wear areas. You will be able to wear this sneaker for days on end before needing to clean them. While the overall cost depends on your color and size selections, the average price is decently affordable for the functionality that the shoe provides. ASICS has a high brand name reputation that delivers only quality made products, so overall the value is great and the GEL-Venture 6 are completely worth the cost.

5. Merrell Moab Vent 2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.8
Merrell Moab Vent 2
Amazon Link
Overall Fit
90
Comfort
85
Use
86
Durability
94
Advanced Features
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$96.47
Pros:

Rubber Outsoles With Traction

EVA Foot Frame

Vibram Sole

Breathable Mesh Upper

Water-Resistant Leather

Cons:

Runs Narrow

Merrell is a reliable brand that is known for making quality footwear for the outdoors and this pair is a perfect example. The combination of waterproof leather and mesh materials in the upper create an all-around breathable fit that also provides extra durability as well. If you are doing any long distance walking in the outdoors in warm to very hot climates, this is your ideal pair. The design and features are created for support, but also for keeping you cool and your feet feeling free and less constricted.

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The model is built very durable, so if you constantly kick rocks, hard surfaces, or wear the shoes regularly on long hikes, it will hold up to that wear and tear. The water-resistant leather and mesh upper protect you from any weather-related obstacles and keep your feet dry and comfortable. The M Select Fresh prevents moisture and sweat to affect your shoes. The antimicrobial agents prevent any reproduction of odor.

An air cushioned midsole supports a range of arch needs and keeps you comfortable during your long walks. This model also has Vibram lugs that provide great stability. These lugs are located under your arch so your foot can flex more naturally. If you are looking for a cooler climate model, or to go through a range of terrains, this may not be the best value. However, if you are mainly hiking or walking in warm climates and do not need extra ankle support, this pair is very reasonable and excellent value.

6. Easy Spirit Romy

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.2
Easy Spirit Romy
Amazon Link
Overall Fit
92
Comfort
93
Use
86
Durability
87
Advanced Features
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$41.99
Pros:

Leather or Suede Upper

Foam Cushioning

Padded Upper

Wide Fit

Affordable Price

Cons:

Declining Support

Less Padding

Made specifically for those who wish to cover long distances on a daily basis, the Romy by Easy Spirit is one of the highest rated pairs of footwear you can find for this type of activity. A bestseller that users come back to time and time again, it is a simple sneaker that comes in both suede and leather versions, as well as a number of simple and fun colorways, from simple whites and blacks to pinks and greens.

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What differentiates this model from others featured is the design that facilitates both support and cushioning, as well as a high level of flexibility. This means, that while you wear the Romy, you will be free to walk naturally, all while your feet enjoy the benefits of a footbed that is supportive, but absorbs shock, preventing fatigue and keeping you comfortable. Other notable features include a generously padded tongue and collar, as well as a soft textile lining.

As for the type of use the Romy is suitable for, you’ll be happy to know that these can be worn both as casual, and as workout shoes. The rubber outsole features a simple but effective traction pattern that grips all surfaces, and it is durable enough to withstand daily exposure to abrasive surfaces such as concrete and treadmills. As for cost, this is a pair of footwear that ranks well below average for this list, so if you’re after a quality pair that won’t break the bank, it is definitely recommended.

7. Saucony ProGrid Integrity ST2

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
Saucony ProGrid Integrity ST2
Amazon Link
Overall Fit
96
Comfort
83
Use
84
Durability
88
Advanced Features
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$63.96
Pros:

Leather Upper

Flexible Forefoot

PROGRID Cushioning Outsole

Rubber Sole

Lightweight

Cons:

Little Arch Support

Saucony is another reliable company that has more than a century of experience in the creation of athletic shoes. Their in-depth knowledge and innovative technology are used to create durable, comfortable models like these pair of walking sneakers. This athletic style sneaker is created with a full grain leather upper and PROGRID cushioning outsoles. The non-marking rubber outsole is versatile for use in both the indoors or outdoors, absorbing shock and providing lightweight grip along the way. The forefoot is also equipped with a stretch zone that provides more flexibility and ease during movements.

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The rubber outsoles of these are extremely durable and are made to provide lightweight cushioning and impact protection. Equipped with a slight curve and non-marking cut out traction, these outsoles will help provide an ease of movements on all types of surfaces, indoors or outdoors. The feel of these will keep your feet protected and relaxed during all your walking adventures.

These sneakers are designed with a slightly higher structure around the ankles to provide a more secure fit. The padded tongue and ankle collar helps to provide a comfortable, cushioning barrier between your foot and the shoes. The lace-up closure also helps to ensure a form fit that is able to be adjusted to your foot shape. These sneakers are relatively affordable considering the quality construction and durable materials used in the shoes. Saucony is known for providing long-lasting, quality comfort to all of their users, making these a great value.

8. Ryka Sky

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.2
Ryka Sky
Amazon Link
Overall Fit
92
Comfort
89
Use
92
Durability
84
Advanced Features
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$35.00
Pros:

EVA Midsole

Leather And Mesh Upper

Memory Foam Sockliner

Wide Range Of Sizes And Colors

Cons:

Narrow Toe Section

Rkya got its start in California in 1987, and since then has become a popular women-focused footwear brand. Men's and women's feet are very different, so Rkya strived to make high-quality products that are designed specifically for women. Featuring an EVA midsole, memory foam sockliner, and mesh panels, the Ryka Sky are made for walking.

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The midsole is the "heart" of a shoe and is what provides the majority of its shock absorption and support. It works with the outsole to protect your feet from hard or sharp objects, and it also works with the insole to provide the right amount of cushioning and support you need. EVA is a foam polymer that is one of the most common midsole materials and is prized for its energy return and supportive properties while being lightweight enough to not significantly impact the weight of the shoe overall.

Remember a decade or so ago when memory foam beds were the next big thing? Nowadays, memory foam technology can be found almost anywhere, even footwear. Memory foam will form to the unique shape of your foot to provide custom support and works with the midsole to promote efficient energy transfer. While prices will vary based on size and color options, the average price for the Ryka Sky is affordable. While not as well-known as brands such as Asics and New Balance, Ryka has been committed to making high-quality footwear for over thirty years. The Sky is a great choice for those just starting out with long-distance walking who don't want to spend too much or budget-conscious people who want a high-quality product.

9. ON Cloud

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
ON Cloud
Amazon Link
Overall Fit
88
Comfort
93
Use
82
Durability
82
Advanced Features
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$157.99
Pros:

CloudTec Sole

Breathable Mesh Upper

Lace-Up for Snugness

Padded Ankle Collar

Protective Toe Cap

Cons:

Runs Small

If you haven’t familiarized yourself with this brand, you are truly missing out. They make fantastic running and walking sneakers for a variety of needs. Featuring synthetic and mesh materials in the upper, these are durable and provide proper air circulation needed to keep your feet dry and cool. The ON Cloud has a range of color combinations to fit all styles and will provide comfort for long hours on your feet or long walks outside.

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The design is for a slip-on and speed-lace fit that blends in perfectly with a fast-paced lifestyle. When you are on your feet for long hours, you will forget you even have these on. The form fit and complete cushioning will make your feet feel like they're walking on clouds even during your longest days.

Maybe you can only get outside and on your walks in the early mornings or when as the sun is setting. This shoe has reflective qualities so you will be safe and any car headlights will bounce off and alert the driver to give you room. This is a really important safety feature that helps to prevent all types of injuries. This is an excellent investment for someone who is on their feet all day. It is also an incredible outdoor walking model and with the range of color combinations, you will be sure to find one that fits your style. ON is a newer brand, but they already have a high-quality reputation for creating comfortable shoes. Although you may be paying a higher price, the functionality of these shoes is completely worth it.

10. Ariat Terrain H2O

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87
Ariat Terrain H2O
Amazon Link
Overall Fit
82
Comfort
79
Use
96
Durability
98
Advanced Features
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$96.76
Pros:

Protective Toe Cap

Padded Tongue & Ankle Collar

Moisture-Wicking Liner

Synthetic Outsole

Low-Cut For Easy On/Off

Cons:

Runs Small

For over 20 years, Ariat has been working hard to create high performance footwear for a variety of settings and activities. These are a perfect choice for specific hiking trips and everyday outdoor walks in rugged nature. Featuring a full grain waterproof leather upper and moisture-wicking lining, these lower cut boots are attractive in style and durable in functionality. Enjoy all of the great long-distance hiking shoe features you need with this stylish and timeless design.

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A very important aspect of long-distance walking is the fact that you may want your entire foot and ankle to be supported. This fact can lead to uncomfortable rubbing and can cut right into your ankle bone. This boot has a padded collar and the oiled full-grain leather provides great comfort. You will need to wear thick socks with this shoe, but it will not take nearly as long to break in as most hiking models. This shoe also has a moisture-wicking lining and waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry.

Enjoy the Duratread™ outsole on your long hikes and know you will be able to tackle all terrains and obstacles. This outsole is also very easy to clean so you can enjoy this shoe on many upcoming hikes. The waterproof features also ensure that you won't risk slipping in wet areas. If you are a casual hiker or hike less than 5 miles at a time, this shoe may be on the more expensive side. If you hike over 5 miles or are planning an extended hiking trip, this pair is of incredible value. Ariat is known for creating high-quality shoes so the higher price is going to come with a guarantee in quality construction and long-lasting comfort.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Overall Fit

Walking sounds easy when it’s just down the street, but when you’re spending long hours on your feet at work or hiking long distances in rugged areas of nature, your feet can tire out much more easily. For those of us who don’t have enough time to try on every pair of footwear out there, it’s important to make sure the fit of the shoe is still going to be comfortable and form fitting. A number of features affect the fit of a shoe:

  • Size:
  • You may know your size but since all walking models are created to be different, the size that may fit you in one brand may not fit you in another. When choosing the proper long-distance walking, you’ll want to take a close look at the shape of your feet so you can find the perfect fit.

  • Tightness:
  • Too loose or too tight isn’t an option for those looking to stay steady and consistent in their movements. A form fit is a must for keeping your feet comfortable for long hours at a time inside your shoes. Pairs that are too tight can cut off circulation to the foot and create irritation or blisters in the main points of contact. Sneakers and boots that are too loose will cause your foot to slide around in them creating a potential for blisters and sprained ankles, which is something nobody wants.

  • Foot shape:
  • When trying to find a proper fit, the shape of your foot is what should dictate the shape of the footwear. Take a look at the shape of your toes; are they squared, rounded or pointed? The shape of your toes will help you to figure out how much space you need in the toe area. Square-shaped toes should stay away from models with a narrow toe box and may require more width in the forefoot.

  • Arch shape:
  • Along with the shape of your toes comes the depth of your arch. Walking evenly distributes your weight against the bottoms of your feet so it’s important to find sneakers that fit your arch shape and provide a stable structure. Those of you with flatter feet or light arches won’t need to focus too much on arch support, however, if you have deep arches, you’ll want to look closely at the shape of the insole. The arch of your foot should come in direct contact with the arch of the shoe, so if you’re unable to find a comfortable fit, you may want to look into adding extra insoles.

  • Other factors:
  • A form fit can even be found in the outside shape and the way the material sits around the foot. Some people prefer over the ankles models for extra security while others prefer lower cut styles that provide a lightweight feel. Regardless of your preferences, if you pay close attention to the shapes of your feet, you’ll be able to find designs that provide form-fitting features.

    Comfort

    Comfort is a must-have feature in any good quality shoe, but for those of you who spend long hours moving on your feet, the amount of comfort provided in your footwear will either make it or break it in terms of reliability. Our feet’s ability to carry all of our body weight (and then some) is an amazing capability that cannot be overlooked!

    While it is intriguing how much pressure your feet can withstand, it’s important to provide them with the proper amounts of comfort to keep your feet healthy and happy. While your feet won’t ever tell you when they’re comfortable and feeling good, you’ll sure notice when they’re in discomfort. Uncomfortable shoes can make your feet feel like they’re screaming in pain and when spending your hard earned money for a pair of long-distance running sneakers, you want to make sure they’re reliable and provide long-lasting comfort.

    The first thing people think of when it comes to providing comfort in your footwear is cushioning. Usually located in the insole of the shoe, the cushioning provides a form fit and soft, resilient feel. The insole padding helps to create an ease of pressure that can become built up against the foot. Cushioning is also beneficial in other areas of the shoe as well. A padded tongue or ankle collars are also a great choice for providing a cushioned barrier between your foot and the shoe.

    Comfort isn’t only found on the inside, it’s found throughout the entire shoe structure. Inside and outside, the shoe’s materials should be durable and comfortable. Materials that are too tough can irritate your skin and materials that are too soft may not provide enough protection. Even the outsoles can provide comfort to your feet. Since they absorb most of the impact from movements against hard surfaces, it’s important to make sure the soles are sturdy and strong. Weak soles that wear down easily can cause damage to your feet and warp the overall shape of the design.

    When spending long days on your feet, it’s important to make sure that your shoes provide you with long-lasting comfort. While a padded insole may seem to provide you with enough comfort, during movement the overall shape or structure may cause discomfort. Take a look at all aspects when choosing proper long distance walking footwear. From the materials to the cushioning and even the shape, every detail is important for creating all-around comfort.

    Use

    Walking may seem like a simple activity with only one way to approach it, but shoe companies and athletes beg to differ. Walking is something that almost every single person is able to do on a daily basis. When walking long distances, the types of terrain or impact from the surfaces may differ and require different needs.

    When trying to find the best long distance walking shoes, it’s really important to consider the intended use of the shoe before narrowing down your choices. Not all long distance walkers are all athletes, some people walk constantly on their feet for work. From indoors to outdoors, the features you need in your footwear are going to be based on your intended use.

    If you’re someone who stays active on their feet during long work shifts, the models listed above may be a great choice for providing your feet with extra support and comfort. For the work setting, we’ve included a few casual styles that stray away from the typical athletic style in our best list. These are going to be more simple in design and paired with an attractive material like leather to keep the professional tone. You’ll also find comfortable cushioning and lightweight gripping soles with this style shoe.

    If you’re looking for more of the typical outdoor shoe for walking long distances on trails or in nature, you’ll easily be able to find this. Most of these styles embody the regular athletic shoe appearance with extra features like traction and comfortable cushioning. For the outdoors, your walking shoes are going to need to be more durable in structure and materials.

    If you’re walking outside, the type of surface is also going to play a large role in your experience. Walking uphill or at an incline can create uncomfortable movements without the proper footwear. Most outsoles are going to be created for versatile use on flat surfaces and may provide lightweight grip underneath. When walking outside, you may want the structure of the shoes to be more secure by forming over the ankles. Traction, durable soles and thicker materials are also a good choice.

    Overall, when trying to decide between shoe styles, if you consider your intended use you’ll be able to easily select a shoe that fits all of your needs. All walking isn’t all the same, so think twice before you click ‘buy’.

    Durability

    Long-term reliability should automatically come equipped in all long distance walking shoes, but since it doesn’t, it’s important to take a look at the overall structure of the shoe. A high price tag may mean the shoes are created with higher quality but for those who are on a budget, the price needs to go hand in hand with the reliability. Since most good quality walking footwear is going to be more towards the pricey side, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the proper value you deserve.

    Reliability can be found in many aspects of the shoe. Using materials that help to increase durability is great for creating a long-lasting structure. Once the shoe starts to wear down or holes start to form in the materials, it’s recommended to stop wearing it and replace it immediately. Having shoes that are built to withstand all types of use is great for getting your money’s worth, especially outdoors.

    The outsole is also extremely important for long-term reliability. The soles are what helps to absorb the impact against solid surfaces and are vital for providing proper comfort. Once the soles start to separate, that’s the end, so when choosing between shoe styles, take a close look at the quality of the outsoles and the stitching that holds them to the shoes.

    Sometimes the materials may be perfect but it’s the stitching the ends the life of the shoes. Small details like seams create a simple structure that holds the shoe altogether. Some shoe companies also use welding to create a more secure structure; either way, the shoe needs to be able to hold together throughout its entire use.

    When looking to wear a single pair of shoes for multiple hours at a time, comfort is truly key to success. Reliability isn’t just about how long they last, but also what they do for the user. When walking long distances, the pressure put against your feet can be very tiring or uncomfortable. When your footwear is able to provide comfort during all types of use, the reliability increases and you’ll be more likely to want to wear it. Versatility is just another great example of reliable walking shoes.

    Advanced Features

    Every type of walking shoe is created to be different. Each shoe comes equipped with different features that aid in the overall level of comfort. After you figure out your intended use, it’s much easier to figure out the features you need in your shoes. While there are some features that work well for everyone, there are also some others that are more specialized in your intended use.

    One extra feature that is great for providing extra comfort and protection around your feet is padded ankle collars. This lightweight cushioning creates a soft barrier between the sturdy structure of the shoe and your vulnerable skin. To avoid your shoes from rubbing against your ankles and causing blisters, this padding is a great feature to have.

    For those of you who spend most of your long walks outside, there are a few features that make for a more reliable and durable shoe choice. The first feature is waterproof materials. Don’t let the wet weather or rainy seasons keep you trapped in your house anymore. With the waterproof materials equipped in your shoes, your feet will be able to stay dry and comfortable.

    Traction is also a very important feature for those who like to hike or walk long distances in nature or off-trail. Models without any midsole or cushioning aren’t going to be any good for walking on dirt paths or steep inclines. Traction and grip can be found in the outsoles. Good quality walking shoes will have a slight curve and cut out patterns on the outsoles to help provide grip and ease your movements. If your long distance walking is on man-made surfaces you won’t need to worry about traction as much.

    There are a couple other features that aren’t as important for reliability but provide more of a comfortable feel or make the shoe more easy to use. Shoelaces that don’t need to be tied and come with an innovative pull system are great for easy on and off wear. Protective toe areas are another good feature for protecting the outer materials of the shoe and increasing durability. Last but not least, mesh ventilation is also another great feature that helps to add breathability and keep your feet cool and dry. Overall, no matter what extra features you have in your shoes, make sure that structure is comfortable and form fitting. Extra features are great for adding small details of functionality and it also helps to prove that every detail in the make of the shoe counts for comfort.

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    expert tips icon
    Going Long

    If you've ever walked anything over 5 miles, you're probably aware of how important your shoes become to keep going, especially in cushion and support.
    While the impact of walking is less than running long distances, it still can wear on your knees and back if you don't have proper support and cushion, as well as working up to the mileage.
    If you're training to go longer, a good rule of thumb is to add either 15 minutes, or 1 more mile, onto your longest weekly walk.

    Speed Walking

    Did you know? The olympics recognizes speed walking as a sport, and it's quite competitive! Contestants cannot let their feet leave the ground at the same time as in running, one foot must contact the ground at all times, creating an interesting racing gait for these athletes.
    One of the fastest miles recorded was by Tom Bosworth, completing a mile in 5:31.08 minutes.

    Other Factors to Consider

    Bottom Line

    There are a lot of reasons why everyone should invest in at least one pair of great long distance walking shoes - whether you’ve decided to take walking up as a hobby or form of exercise, whether you cover a lot of mileage as part of your job, or just want something reliable you can use on days off and during travel, a truly great pair of footwear can really make a difference.

    This type of shoe will allow you to perform at your best while utilizing technologies that help you remain comfortable and pain free. There are a few key things you will want to look for in your next purchase, and these include:

  • A great fit both in length and width
  • An upper that is appropriate for the weather - waterproof and insulated in winter, breathable but still protective in summer
  • A secure closure system
  • Cushioning all around the foot, including the back of the heel and tongue
  • Shock absorption to prevent muscle fatigue and joint pain
  • Support to ensure proper alignment and to prevent knee and hip pain
  • Removable insoles for those who require custom orthotics
  • A great outsole that provides good traction on the surfaces you plan on covering
  •  

    Though all of these seem like a lot, we assure you that you can easily find the best pair for your needs, as long as you have a little patience. For the best possible shopping experience, we would recommend going through the pros and cons for each model listed, as well as taking a quick look at the customer reviews which will point out any issues that may be a dealbreaker for you. Other than that, make sure you try on your new shoes around the house before you wear them outside, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    q: What are the differences between walking and running shoes?

    a:

    While they may seem very similar, running and walking shoes are actually quite different from each other. While running, the weight of your body is shifted through uneven movements that can put large amounts of pressure against the heels of your feet. Walking provides more of an even distribution of weight through slower heel-to-toe movements. To aid in the ease of steady movements, most walking shoes are created with a slight curve at the outsole and the materials are usually more flexible. Running shoes tend to have more cushioning around the heel area to ease impact and since your feet tend to get hotter from the faster movements, these shoes are usually created with more lightweight, breathable materials to provide proper moisture management.

    q: Will any type of sneaker work well as a walking shoe?

    a:

    Some shoes that you already own may work well as walking shoes as long as they provide the proper comfort and structure. If your shoes are lightweight, flexible and provide all-around cushioning, then you’re off to a good start. The soles of your walking shoes should come equipped with light grip or traction and provide a slight curve to ease the flow of movements. Wearing shoes that are fully enclosed around the foot with some form of arch support is also good for providing a secure fit that is much needed for long walks. While your shoes may look like a good fit for long distance walking, they probably aren’t going to provide the proper comfort or structure needed. It’s always best for your health and safety to buy shoes that are specified for your type of activities, rather than going the cheaper route and using what you already have.

    q: How much of a difference is there between walking and long-distance walking?

    a:

    It’s not the walking that’s different but more the length of time spent walking and the impact the terrain has against your feet. A quick walk down the street doesn’t have nearly the same impact as an 8-hour shift on your feet or a 5-mile uphill hike. Long distance walking can tire out your feet, create hot spots and cause uncomfortable amounts of pressure in your shoes. This type of walking requires shoes that provide long-lasting comfort and a support structure. The soles of your shoes should be durable and provide some form of impact protection or offer resilience to help keep the foot relaxed. If you’re walking shorter distances, you won’t need to worry as much about the overall fit of the shoe but with long distances, every detail counts for creating complete comfort.

    q: Can good quality walking shoes be beneficial to your health?

    a:

    During any physical activity, the types of shoes, clothing, and equipment you choose to wear can either be beneficial or detrimental to your health. Poorly made shoes can cause a variety of uncomfortable health concerns from blisters to athlete’s foot. To protect your feet from any damage, it’s always important to do the extra research and come prepared with the proper gear. Good quality walking shoes will not only leave your feet feeling relaxed and comfortable, but they should also keep your feet protected with a sturdy structure and durable materials. Even sweat can be damaging to your health, so when it comes to staying in shape and avoiding health concerns, you’ll want to make sure you’re only wearing the best.

    q: Are long-distance walking shoes good for everyday use?

    a:

    If you’re someone who spends long days on your feet, whether at work or at home taking care of kids, these types of shoes may make a great companion for your long days on the job. The stability and comfort provided in the structure of the shoes are great for keeping your feet at ease during simple movements and everyday activities. If you stand on your feet often without moving, these long distance walking shoes may not be the best choice for everyday apparel. If you’re looking to wear these shoes every day, it’s important to keep the intended use of the shoes similar to your activities, so since these types of shoes are created for long distances and repetitive movements you’ll want to make sure your everyday activities are similar if you want to stay comfortable.

    Sources