Best walking shoes for men 2024: versatile footwear for walking and hiking

The best walking shoes for men can provide grip and protection without the bulk of boots

Best walking shoes for men 2024: Quick links

Person walking across a wooden bridge

(Image credit: StockSnap)

00. Top 3↴
01. Best overall: Timberland Greenstride Motion 6 Hiker
02. Best for arch support: Keen WK400
03. Best hybrid: Salomon Ultra 4 GTX
04. Best for comfort: Lowa Innox Pro GTX Lo
05. Best for technical trails: Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX
06. Best for plantar fasciitis: Hoka Anacapa Low
07. Best for durability: Danner Trail 2650 Campo GTX
08. Best for scrambling: Scarpa Mescalito
09. Best lightweight: Arc'teryx Aerios FL Mid GTX

The best walking shoes for men provide more protection and robustness than trail-running shoes and are far lighter and less bulky than hiking boots. Hiking shoes are ideal for everything from leisurely dog walking sessions to long days on the trails. Here, we collected the best options to suit all tastes, budgets and types of walking terrain.

Unless you're planning on carrying a heavy pack across technical terrain or tackling high alpine trails outside of the summer months – in which case you should consider a pair of the best hiking boots that offer ankle support, plus increased stability and protection – walking shoes are ideal for most foot-based adventures. Most of us spend our time on the trails exploring easy coastal and countryside footpaths, where heavy hiking boots are too much.

The best walking shoes are cheaper, lighter and more comfortable to wear. Below are T3's top walking shoes recommendations for men. (FYI: We have a separate guide to the best women's walking shoes.) Add the best walking trousers, the best walking socks and a good waterproof jacket for a comfy and versatile outdoor outfit. 

The Top 3

Best walking shoes for men to buy right now

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best overall

Timberland Greenstride Motion 6 Hiker reviewT3 Awards 2023 Logo

(Image credit: Matt Kollat/T3)
Best walking shoes for men overall

Specifications

Upper: premium leather and durable ReBOTL fabric
Midsole : EVA blend GreenStride sole foam
Waterproofing: "special treatment" to resist spills, stains, etc.
Outsole: Rubber outsole

Reasons to buy

+
Sole is made of 75% bio-based materials
+
At least 50% of leather used comes from certified tanneries
+
Stylish design
+
Treated upper offers some protection against spills and stains
+
Ideal for urban adventures and light hiking

Reasons to avoid

-
Hardcore hikers might find it too stylish to be taken seriously
-
Admittedly, the shoes have a 'style over substance' approach

The more we looked into Timberland and their Greenstride Motion 6 Hiker for our review (linked below), the more we understood and appreciated the shoes. It's comfortable, made sustainably and even looks great – what's not to like? We're sure the style of the shoes will put some walkers off, but that's okay. Plenty of traditional-looking walking shoes are available from outdoor brands in this guide.

The Timberland Greenstride Motion 6 Hiker isn't crazy expensive, and we hope the price will drop soon enough. We enjoyed wearing the Timberland Greenstride Motion 6 Hiker for our off-road adventures during testing and will continue using them wherever possible. If you need a comfortable, good-looking walking shoe, consider the Motion 6 Hiker from Timberland.

Read our full Timberland Greenstride Motion 6 Hiker review.

Best for arch support

Keen WK400 walking shoes

(Image credit: Jamie Carter)
Best walking shoes for men for arch support

Specifications

Upper: Performance mesh with TPU overlays
Midsole : High-rebound EVA
Waterproofing: N/A
Outsole: Higher-traction rubber

Reasons to buy

+
Encourages forward momentum
+
Arch support
+
Comfortable for long periods
+
Lightweight

Reasons to avoid

-
Water resistant only
-
Bulky
-
Offset lacing not for everyone

At the heart of these Keen WK400 walking shoes is the KEEN:CURVE technology, which gives the shoe a structure and shape to provide the wearer with the feeling of forward momentum. It's a combination of a curved plate to create a rolling movement and a high-energy midsole that cushions any rebound and gently propels the wearer forward.

What is immediately noticeable when you start wearing these shoes is the excellent arch support, which is an inevitable consequence of such a beefy midsole. The forward motion created by the KEEN:CURVE tech works best on flat ground where there's a feeling of one step rolling into another. The upper part of the shoe is constructed with an ultra-lightweight mesh, which is breathable, but also water-resistant (note – not waterproof).

Read our full Keen WK400 review.

Best hybrid

Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX walking shoesT3 Award Winner sponsored by Wiggle

(Image credit: Matt Ray)
Best hybrid men's walking shoes (walking/running)

Specifications

Upper: textile
Midsole: "special treatment" applied to ensure the fabric does not absorb water during light rain and showers
Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
Outsole: rubber

Reasons to buy

+
Built like a tank yet lightweight
+
Sturdy and stable
+
Roomy toe box

Reasons to avoid

-
Not great for very narrow feet
-
Sizes small

The Salomon Ultra 4 GTX combines the lightweight build and cushioned comfort of a trail runner with the added protection and sturdiness of a dedicated walking shoe. Given that the vast majority of hiking injuries are ankle sprains, the attention given to ankle stability is a welcome innovation.

It might not match the support you'll find in the best men's hiking boots, but the addition of an ADV-C Chassis in the X Ultra 4 GTX does deliver extra stability without limiting mobility too much. A roomier toe box helps avoid hotspots, although may not suit those with very narrow feet. The upper includes Activesupport 'wings' connecting the lacing system to the chassis, again to boost stability without adding too much weight, and the Quicklace fastening system is speedy and efficient.

Read our full Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX review.

Best for comfort

Lowa Innox Pro GTX Lo men's walking shoeT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Lowa / Future)
Best walking shoes for men for comfort

Specifications

Upper: synthetic
Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
Midsole: Dyna-PU midsole foam
Outsole: Lowa Multi Trac

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight  build
+
Cushioned and comfy
+
Vegan-friendly

Reasons to avoid

-
Grip is limited

If comfort is your priority, check out the Lowa Innox Pro GTX Lo walking shoe. These vegan-friendly, synthetic shoes are buttery soft and lightweight and offer plenty of cushioned comfort to prevent fatigue during long days on your feet. Gore-Tex provides reliable waterproofing to keep your toes dry in wet weather.

The soles use Lowa's own 'Multi Trac' technology, and while it's great on established terrain, it doesn't provide enough grip for really gnarly mountain terrain. If you're planning on spending a lot of time on groomed trails from spring through to autumn, these would be an excellent pick. (We've tested out the women's version of this shoe.)

Read our full Lowa Innox Pro GTX Lo review.

Best for technical trails

Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex Hiking ShoeT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Mark Mayne)
Best walking shoes for technical trails

Specifications

Upper: not stated
Midsole: No information available
Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
Outsole: Continental Rubber

Reasons to buy

+
Robust for the light weight
+
Supportive deep heel cup
+
Great build quality

Reasons to avoid

-
GTX version not super breathable

A summer 2021 update to the classic Adidas Terrex Swift R2, the Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex Hiking Shoe comes absolutely packed with tech and is surprisingly robust and secure feeling for the relatively lightweight (just 395g). There's a near-solid 'promoderator' midfoot to add stiffness to the sole – in fact, you might even feel a little heel lift initially – along with a rock protection plate in the forefoot.

This stiffer sole provides a great platform for use on sloping terrain, and a cushioned midsole keeps things comfortable. A deep heel cup offers extra ankle support, and the Continental rubber outsole with 4.5mm lugs delivers excellent grip on all but the slipperiest surfaces. You can choose between Gore-Tex and standard versions – the former being (of course) waterproof, while the latter is more breathable.

Read our full Adidas Terrex Swift R3 Gore-Tex review.

Best for plantar fasciitis

Hoka One One Anacapa Low Gore-Tex Hiking ShoeT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Mark Mayne)
Best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis

Specifications

Upper: leather, recycled polyester
Midsole: No infomration available
Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
Outsole: Vibram Megagrip rubber

Reasons to buy

+
Luxuriously plush, bouncy sole
+
City-friendly styling
+
Comfy out of the box

Reasons to avoid

-
Heel unit not built for precision

The styling might be unorthodox, but behind the Hoka One One Anacapa Low's big, bouncy exterior lies an actually very competent walking shoe. Where they particularly shine is on the comfort front: the deep sole unit, coupled with a flexible, lightweight nubuck and recycled polyester upper, makes this super-plush and deadly comfy straight out of the box.

While the aggressive tread pattern provides plenty of grip, note that the Vibram Megagrip doesn't extend across the whole sole, leaving the soft EVA midsole exposed under the foot arch – which could be potentially problematic in the long run if you're tackling abrasive surfaces on the regular.

Read our full Hoka One One Anacapa Low Gore-Tex review.

Best for durability

Man wearing Danner Trail 2650 Campo GTX walking shoes on mossy, rocky groundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Danner)

7. Danner Trail 2650 Campo GTX

Best walking shoe for men for durability

Specifications

Upper: leather and textile
Midsole: Danner PlyoGo Midsole
Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
Outsole: Vibram Megagrip

Reasons to buy

+
Stylish and streamlined
+
Hardwearing materials
+
Plenty of grip

Reasons to avoid

-
Not designed for serious mud

The Danner Trail 2650 Campo GTX conceals a sizeable roll-call of technology in a relatively lightweight and sleek package. Weighing in at a mere 340g per shoe, they're designed for long-distance hiking on reasonable surfaces, such as the epically long 2650-mile Pacific Crest Trail, after which these shoes are named. The upper blends old-school robust leather with textile panels, augmented with an all-new Gore-Tex membrane that’s bonded to the inside (dubbed Invisible Fit technology).

This aims to combine breathability with water resistance and toughness, with a side helping of comfort, thanks to the sock-like fit and membrane bonding. A TPU shank adds stiffness and stability – essential for long days on the trail, while that Vibram Megagrip sole will be grippy on most trekking surfaces, as well as around town if needed.

Best for scrambling

Scarpa Mescalito shoesT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Matt Ray)
Best walking shoes for men for scrambling

Specifications

Upper: suede
Midsole: Vibram Dynamis
Waterproof: water-resistant 1.8 mm
Outsole: Vibram Dynamis LBT

Reasons to buy

+
Stiff in the right places
+
Super-sticky sole
+
Suede upper moulds to your feet

Reasons to avoid

-
No deep lugs for mud

For tricky trails that involve technical scrambling or even bits of rock climbing, it might be better to don a pair of approach shoes, and our favourites are the Scarpa Mescalito. The Vibram MegaGrip sole delivers outstanding grip, and there's an extra rubber section over the toes to ramp up grip and protection further. Vibram Dynamis technology keeps weight down (around 780g per pair), while a bi-density midsole adds cushioning, making these comfortable over longer distances – not true of all approach shoes.

The breathable suede upper moulds to the foot over time (it's water-resistant rather than waterproof, but there is a heavier Gore-Tex version of these in the range). Note that it's not easy to get clean if you do end up encountering a particularly muddy match. If you’re staying on the flat, then you'll want to pick a less stiff shoe from our list, but if it's approach shoes you're after, this is our pick of the bunch.

Read our full Scarpa Mescalito review.

Best lightweight

Close up of Arc'Teryx Aerios FL Mid GTX boots worn by a person on rocky groundT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Future)
Best lightweight walking shoes for men

Specifications

Upper: mesh upper with TPU overlay
Midsole: Compressed EVA midsole
Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
Outsole: Vibram Megagrip

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and streamlined
+
Very flexible
+
Snug fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Waterproofing can be unreliable
-
Some may prefer a stiffer sole

The Arc'teryx Aerios FL Mid GTX are slightly higher cut than your average walking shoe, with a heel cuff that provides a little more protection and support around your ankles but dips to almost shoe height at the back (if you don't want the higher cut, the Arc'teryx Aerios FL GTX shoe is the same design but without the heel cuff). As you'd expect from Arc'teryx, these are minimalist, stylish and streamlined.

The sole is ultra-flexible, and the sticky Vibram Megagrip outsole delivers when it comes to grip, making these a great choice for situations where you want complete freedom of movement (for long hikes, we'd probably recommend something sturdier and more rigid, although in that case, you should really be opting for a boot in any case). They're great for warm weather excursions thanks to the breathable canvas upper and lightweight build.

Read our full Arc'teryx Aerios FL Mid GTX review.

How to choose the best men's walking shoes for you

So what do you need to consider when figuring out which pair for buy? The key is to pick a comfortable fit, as well as considering the terrain you'll be covering. The best men's walking shoes offer a reinforced sole (usually TPU) to fend off stones underfoot, a robust rand to protect the sides, and an aggressive, grippy sole. 

Many walking shoes will have a waterproof membrane built in, which can be useful in wet grass, for example, but can also limit breathability if you’re really gunning it, so if you're thinking of picking up a pair of these, it's worth considering how you’ll mainly be using your shoes. 

Unlike boots, rain resistance in walking shoes is a bit of a red herring, as without the closed calf of the boot your feet will be soaked in heavy rain, waterproofing or not. 

Others have made their lightness and flexibility around the ankle more of a benefit by incorporating sticky rubber and protective high rands to deliver a hybrid approach/scrambling shoe that can cope with pretty much anything in the hills. 

More aggressive tread patterns are ideal for muddy conditions, but handle rocky smearing poorly, while stickier rubber will wear out faster and can be slippy in muddy conditions.

Although spec is important, getting the right size is absolutely essential. It's a good idea to try on a few pairs to get a good idea of any potential issues. Also, keep in mind that if you are planning high-energy walking pursuits, you might want to size up as you would for running shoes, because your feet will swell over longer stretches.

How we test the best men's walking shoes

To put together this ranking of the best men's walking shoes, we call the shoes in (or hand them over to outdoors gear experts) and take them out to put them through their paces. We'll try them out on a range of different kinds of terrain and weather conditions, to get a good overview of how they hold up in various circumstances, and review them based on things like comfort, grip, waterproofing, weight, and support. To get a rounded view, we'll also look at reviews from other customers, and see if there are any downsides we've missed. We'll also use our knowledge of the wider market to gauge how these weigh up against the competition. 

Sometimes, we'll have tried the women's version instead of the men's, but in these cases it'll be clear in the product blurb. Very occasionally, we might not have been able to get hold of a product, but feel it's worthy of inclusion. In those situations, we research what other customers and reviewers have said, and combine that with what we know about the specs and brand to put together an informed blurb for you to base your decision off. Find out more about how we test at T3 here.

FAQ

Do I need a pair of dedicated walking shoes?

The reasons for getting a good pair of shoes for walking are many and varied. The best options will improve performance by making your hiking easier and more comfortable. Plus, once you're done you'll be able to pop your muddy shoes in the boot and drive off in a fresh pair. 

Proper walking shoes are ideal for lighter hikes, short approaches and summer rambles, as well as faster and lighter mountain expeditions. Although you'd be best off with the extra support of boots for the really rough stuff, some of our best men's walking shoes do offer a ‘mid’ style, providing some support akin to a boot but with more ankle movement. 

Unsure which type of footwear is right for you? Take a look at our walking boots vs walking shoes guide to discover the key differences.

There's also a whole sub-category of walking shoes dubbed ‘approach shoes’, which build in more scrambling and rock climbing orientated traits, like sticky rubber and extended lacing to grip the entire foot tightly.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.

With contributions from