The Most Comfortable Footwear for Walking: Ranking the Top Options

Choose the footwear you think is the most comfortable!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 29, 2024 05:31
Step into the world of ultimate comfort and let your feet do the talking! Welcome to StrawPoll's exclusive ranking of "What is the most comfortable footwear for walking?" where your walking experience matters. Join thousands of fellow shoe enthusiasts as they cast their votes for the perfect sole-mate or propose an undiscovered gem. Don't let your feet be silenced – march on to explore, compare, and contribute to this ever-growing list of the most soothing and supportive walking footwear. The road to comfort starts here. Get ready to strut your stuff and click through to find your perfect pair today!

What Is the Most Comfortable Footwear for Walking?

  1. 1
    Running shoes
    Tiia Monto · CC BY-SA 4.0
    Running shoes are designed to provide maximum comfort and support for the feet, making them the perfect choice for walking. They have cushioned soles, breathable materials, and are lightweight, which makes them ideal for long walks.
    Running shoes are specifically designed footwear for walking or running activities. They prioritize comfort, support, and shock absorption to reduce stress on the feet and lower limbs.
    • Cushioning: Provides extra padding for a comfortable walking experience.
    • Arch support: Offers stability and reduces pressure on the arches of the feet.
    • Breathability: Promotes airflow to keep the feet cool and prevent sweat build-up.
    • Flexibility: Allows natural foot movement and stride variation.
    • Lightweight: Makes walking effortless and reduces fatigue.
  2. 2

    Walking shoes

    Various shoe brands
    Walking shoes are designed specifically for walking, with features that provide support and comfort for the feet. They have a wider toe box, padded insoles, and a flexible sole that allows for natural movement.
    Walking shoes are specially designed footwear that provide comfort and support for long walks. They are made with cushioning materials and features that reduce impact on the feet and lower body. The shoes are built to promote proper alignment and natural gait while walking.
    • Cushioning: Ample cushioning in the midsole for shock absorption.
    • Arch support: Arch support to prevent overpronation or supination.
    • Breathability: Breathable upper materials to keep the feet cool and dry.
    • Lightweight: Lightweight construction for less fatigue during long walks.
    • Flexible outsole: Flexible outsole for natural foot movement.
  3. 3
    Hiking boots
    DocteurCosmos · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Hiking boots

    Various manufacturers
    Hiking boots are designed for outdoor activities like hiking and trekking. They are durable, waterproof, and provide excellent support for the feet and ankles. They also have thick soles that provide traction on rough terrain.
    Hiking boots are sturdy and durable footwear designed for walking on rough terrains. They provide excellent support and protection to the feet, ankles, and lower legs, making them a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts and hikers.
    • Material: High-quality leather or synthetic materials
    • Outsole: Vibram or similar durable rubber outsole for excellent traction
    • Waterproofing: Waterproof or water-resistant features to keep feet dry
    • Cushioning: Comfortable cushioning to absorb impact and reduce fatigue
    • Ankle support: Extra support and stability around the ankles
    Hiking boots in other rankings
  4. 4
    Sandals are comfortable footwear for walking, especially during the summer months. They are lightweight, breathable, and provide ample support for the feet. They are also easy to slip on and off, which makes them ideal for walking on the beach or in the park.
    Sandals are an open-toe footwear option that provides comfort and breathability during walking. They typically consist of a sole, held to the foot with straps or other fastening mechanisms, allowing for easy on and off. Sandals are designed to offer natural movement and support for the feet, making them an ideal choice for leisurely walks or casual outings.
    • Material: Sandals are commonly made from a variety of materials such as leather, synthetic fabrics, rubber, or a combination of these.
    • Sole Type: The sole of sandals is often cushioned, providing comfort and shock absorption while walking.
    • Strap Design: Sandals can feature various strap designs, including single strap, slingback, criss-cross, or adjustable straps to ensure a secure and personalized fit.
    • Arch Support: Many sandals offer built-in arch support to promote proper foot alignment and reduce strain on the feet and lower limbs.
    • Toe Protection: While most sandals have an open-toe design, some may include additional protection for the toes, such as a reinforced toe cap.
  5. 5
    Flip-flops are lightweight and comfortable footwear for walking short distances. They are easy to slip on and off, and provide ample support for the feet. However, they are not suitable for long walks as they don't provide enough support for the feet or the ankles.
    Flip-flops are a type of footwear designed for warm weather and casual occasions. They are characterized by a Y-shaped strap that runs between the big toe and second toe, providing minimal coverage and allowing the foot to breathe. The sole of a flip-flop is typically made of foam or rubber, offering a lightweight and flexible feel.
    • Comfort: Flip-flops provide a comfortable option for daily walks due to their cushioned sole and minimalistic design.
    • Breathability: The open-toe design and airy strap of flip-flops allow for excellent breathability, keeping the feet cool and preventing sweat build-up.
    • Ease of Use: Flip-flops are effortless to slip on and off, making them convenient for casual wear and quick outings.
    • Versatility: They are suitable for various occasions, such as beach visits, poolside relaxation, or casual strolls.
    • Affordability: Flip-flops are generally budget-friendly compared to other types of footwear, offering a cost-effective option for walking.
  6. 6
    Loafers are comfortable and stylish footwear for walking. They are made of soft materials such as leather or suede, and have a cushioned insole that provides support for the feet. They are also easy to slip on and off, which makes them ideal for walking around town.
    Loafers are slip-on style shoes that are known for their comfort and versatility. They typically have a wide and round toe, a low heel, and no laces or buckles, making them easy to slip on and off. Loafers are made from various materials, such as leather, suede, and canvas, and come in different styles including penny loafers, tassel loafers, and horsebit loafers. They are a popular choice for both men and women.
    • Comfort: Loafers are designed for comfort with their slip-on style and often cushioned insoles.
    • Versatility: Loafers can be dressed up or down, making them suitable for a variety of occasions.
    • Ease of wear: With no laces or buckles, loafers are quick and easy to put on and take off.
    • Wide toe box: Most loafers are designed with a wide toe box to ensure ample space and comfort for the toes.
    • Low heel: Loafers typically have a low or no heel, providing stability and reducing strain on the feet.
  7. 7
    Sneakers are comfortable and versatile footwear for walking. They have a cushioned sole that provides support for the feet, and are available in a wide range of styles and colors. Sneakers are also lightweight and breathable, which makes them ideal for long walks.
    Sneakers are a type of footwear that are designed for comfort and functionality, primarily intended for activities such as walking, running, and casual wear. They are known for their cushioning, arch support, and breathability, providing a comfortable and lightweight experience for the wearer.
    • Cushioning: Sneakers feature advanced cushioning technology to provide excellent shock absorption and reduce impact on joints.
    • Arch Support: They offer arch support to maintain proper alignment and stability during movement, preventing discomfort and potential injuries.
    • Breathability: High-quality sneakers incorporate breathable materials to keep the feet cool and dry, reducing the likelihood of sweat and odor.
    • Lightweight: Sneakers are made using lightweight materials, ensuring effortless movement and reducing strain on the legs and feet.
    • Flexible Outsole: They feature flexible outsoles to allow natural foot movement, enhancing comfort and overall gait.
  8. 8
    Clogs are comfortable and durable footwear for walking. They have a thick sole that provides support for the feet, and are available in a variety of styles and materials. Clogs are also easy to slip on and off, which makes them ideal for walking around the house or running errands.
    Clogs are a type of footwear that are known for their comfort and practicality. They are typically made of sturdy materials like leather or wood, and have a closed-toe design with an open back. The clog's unique construction allows for easy slip-on and slip-off, making them convenient for quick and casual wear. They are often favored by people who spend extended periods on their feet, as they provide excellent support and cushioning. Clogs can be found in various styles, ranging from traditional and rustic designs to more modern and fashionable options.
    • Material: Leather, wood, or synthetic materials
    • Design: Closed-toe with open back
    • Comfort: Excellent cushioning and support
    • Convenience: Easy slip-on and slip-off
    • Durability: Sturdy construction for long-lasting wear
  9. 9
    Ballet flats
    Montauk · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Ballet flats are comfortable and stylish footwear for walking. They have a cushioned insole that provides support for the feet, and are available in a variety of colors and materials. Ballet flats are also easy to slip on and off, which makes them ideal for walking around town.
    Ballet flats are lightweight, slip-on shoes designed to provide comfort and ease of movement during walking. These flats are inspired by the footwear commonly worn by ballet dancers, hence the name. They have a streamlined silhouette with a low heel or no heel at all, making them a popular choice for those seeking a balance between style and comfort.
    • Design: Streamlined silhouette with a round or almond-shaped toe
    • Material: Typically made of soft leather, suede, or synthetic materials
    • Sole: Thin and flexible sole for natural foot movement
    • Heel Height: Flat or low-heel design
    • Versatility: Suitable for various occasions, from casual to semi-formal
  10. 10
    Boat shoes
    Antontushnov · CC BY-SA 3.0

    Boat shoes

    Paul A. Sperry
    Boat shoes are comfortable and stylish footwear for walking. They have a cushioned insole that provides support for the feet, and are made of durable materials such as leather or canvas. Boat shoes are also easy to slip on and off, which makes them ideal for walking around the marina or the beach.
    Boat shoes, also known as deck shoes, are a type of casual footwear designed specifically for walking on boats and wet surfaces. They were initially invented in 1935 by Paul A. Sperry, an American inventor and founder of the Sperry Top-Sider brand. Boat shoes have since become popular as comfortable and versatile shoes for various activities.
    • Material: Mostly made of leather or canvas for durability and breathability
    • Non-marking sole: Designed to provide traction on wet surfaces without leaving scuff marks
    • Siped rubber sole: Enhances grip and prevents slippage on wet decks
    • 360-degree lacing system: Allows for a customizable and secure fit
    • Rustproof eyelets: Durable and corrosion-resistant

Missing your favorite footwear?


Ranking factors for comfortable footwear

  1. Arch support
    Shoes should provide good arch support, keeping your feet comfortable and preventing strain, especially if you have flat feet or high arches.
  2. Cushioning
    Adequate cushioning in the midsole and insole of the shoe can help reduce the impact on your feet and joints during walking, ensuring a comfortable experience.
  3. Fit and sizing
    The footwear should fit well without being too tight or too loose. This ensures that the feet stay securely in place without rubbing, blistering, or discomfort.
  4. Weight
    Lightweight shoes are more comfortable for walking long distances, as they put less strain on your legs and feet over time.
  5. Breathability
    Shoes with good breathability help keep your feet cool and dry, reducing the likelihood of sweaty feet, blisters, and odor.
  6. Flexibility
    Footwear with flexibility in the sole and upper allows your feet to move naturally while walking, offering greater comfort and reducing the chances of injury.
  7. Traction
    Good traction on the outsole of the shoe is essential to prevent slips and falls, particularly in wet or slippery conditions.
  8. Stability
    Shoes with good stability features, like a wide base and firm heel cup, can help prevent excessive foot or ankle movement and provide added support for long walks.
  9. Material
    Materials should be of high quality and durable, providing comfort and support while withstanding regular wear and tear.
  10. Shock absorption
    Shoes with good shock absorption can help reduce the impact of each step, minimizing the stress on your joints and resulting in a more comfortable experience.
  11. Heel height
    The heel height should be low to moderate, allowing for natural foot movement and providing adequate support during walking.
  12. Design and style
    While not directly affecting comfort, the design and style of footwear can have an impact on personal satisfaction and overall enjoyment while wearing the shoes.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most comfortable footwear for walking. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or shoe is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 181 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each shoe once every 24 hours. The rank of each shoe is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most comfortable footwear for walking

Walking is one of the simplest and most accessible forms of exercise, and it's important to wear the right footwear to make the most of it. When it comes to comfortable footwear for walking, there are a few key factors to consider. The right shoes should have good arch support, cushioning, and stability, as well as a comfortable fit that allows your feet to breathe. With so many different types of walking shoes available, from sneakers to sandals, it's important to find the style that works best for your feet and your walking habits. Whether you're strolling around your neighborhood or taking a long hike, the right pair of shoes can make all the difference in your comfort and enjoyment.

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