I need some good long-distance walking shoes.

After my 10.8 mile walk last night, I decided I need some better walking shoes. The ones I have are Asics court shoes (they are the newest shoes I have, so I figured they would still have the best spring left in them).

They are OK, but I think using a dedicated walking shoe might be better. My only prohibition is no Nike shoes.

Anyone got a great pair of walking shoes (men’s walking shoes, preferably) they would recommend?

I have Timberland walking boots, and they’re nothing short of brilliant. Wore them every day on a year-long round the world trip and they’re still going strong. Not sure of the model, but they’re soft brown leather, comfy and light, and exceptionally durable.

However, looking at the Timberland site, there’s a “design your own boot” page (can’t link due to their silly site design), that, were my current ones not so hard-wearing, I’d be seriously considering buying.

Hmph. I retract what I said about the custom boot, since having attempted to customize a pair, it looks like the customization is merely choosing what color the trim is, and what your initials are. Rubbish.

I think most shoes categorized as ‘walking’ shoes are just fashion sneakers. I wouldn’t trust them for walks of that type. My recommendation is for an off-road (even if you are ‘on road’) running style shoe. These things were made to put on the miles, and provide adequate stability and support. Here’s a list sorted by popularity at Zappos. The NB 606 also scores high as basic road running shoe.


I also recommend Zappos. Buy two sizes to see which fits. Buy two styles to see which you like. By 10 pair. They pay shipping both ways if you return anything.

Personally I favor ankle-length boots for long distance and hard-going stuff. Not sure how accurate this is, but a podiatrist once told me that the best shoes you can wear are ankle boots one size too big, since (once you get over any abrasion - but the ankle-hold limits this) they allow your feet to spread properly when walking, while the ankle support reduces the incidence of twisting.

Thanks for the advice! I am a pain in the butt to fit, shoe-wise, so I will probably shop the stores first :slight_smile:

I’ve had good luck with New Balance.

I prefer Rockports over any kind of sneaker or running shoe. I’ve used the World Traveler and Brooklands styles. Between the two I’d choose the world traveler for a lot of walking. They’re both very comfortable and waterproof. I wish the soles lasted longer, though. I can do the two miles to work just fine with the Brooklands, but it’s more of a dress shoe and not as form-fitting as the world traveler. The World Traveler’s really a great shoe.

Good idea shopping at stores. I probably wouldn’t have picked the size that the guy at the shoe store did. I would probably have gone smaller. His pick was perfect.

Forgot - as others have mentioned, also consider a light waterproof hiking boot. I’ve enjoyed a couple pairs of Merrells. I only bought another pair because the last one was literally falling apart after 10+ years. I always go for the waterproof/gore-tex models. More spendy, but one less thing I have to worry about when it rains. I’m on my first pair of Montrail Torre GTX - a medium weight hiking boot that is comfortable as far as hiking boots go, but the eyelets are tough on laces.

If you have wide feet, try Vasque lightweight hiking shoes.

Honestly, I’ve been happiest walking in my Crocs. They arn’t particularly sturdy, and the look horrible, but it’s amazing how I can walk all day and not feel even the tinest bit of tiredness in my feet. They are more comfortable than being barefoot. Amazing shoes.

I would suggest against the running shoes, they are good at running, but not so much for walking, they seem to have more of a curved bottom, which makes walking feel a bit off.

Light hikers seem good, I would go against Gortext and get a well ventilated pair, unless you plan to do much walking in the rain, or in swamps. Gortex would be heavier and hotter.

But if you are walking on pavement you can expect to wear the souls faster then normal walking shoes.

General note - some hiking shoes have souls that are made of the same material as rock climbing shoes - on a rocky trail they are great, on a normal trail there is little difference BUT they wear down very fast.

I can walk all day in Merrells. I can almost stand in one place for a long time in them, which is very unusual for me (standing longer than 5 minutes usually gives me unbearable lower back pain).

Those are SO not men’s shoes :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the suggestions. I might look into the rockports and Vasques. Hiking boots are probably not the right thing. I’m doing the 3-day breast cancer walk, so it’s going to be early August, walking on pavement, and probably pretty warm. Ankle-wrapping hiking boots don’t seem like they’d allow my foot to breathe enough to keep cool.

But of course, I’ve been wrong before.

Around here the men seem to favor the bright orange. I’m not kidding.

Can I put in a good word here for the Ecco brand of footwear? On my travels I often find myself walking all day, for miles and miles, albeit usually within urban environments and only rarely going into wilder terrain. I have found Ecco footwear (sandals or boots) just unbelievably comfortable and long-lasting. I can walk around in them all day, on hard concrete pavements, without any discomfort or pressure. I strongly recommend that you at least check out what they have to offer.