In the digital age, a growing number of individuals have access to pedometers and step-counting apps. This has made fitness walking more desirable and easily trackable. Not only that, but many people are taking walks for exercise and fresh air as they practice social distancing.
If you ask us, walking is a totally underrated form of exercise, and we’re happy to see more people embracing it as part of their regular routines. Vionic is dedicated to providing comfortable, supportive footwear for all occasions and activities, including walking. We have the perfect walking shoes for women and men.
If you’re like a lot of people, you might be wondering, Are sneakers good for walking? The short answer to this question is yes—sneakers are excellent dedicated walking shoes. But the long answer is that it really depends on the type of sneaker.
Here, we’ll explain why sneakers are good for walking, clarify which walking sneaker types are best, and explore whether a running shoe can be worn for walking. Let’s get started.
Why Are Sneakers Good for Walking?
So, why are sneakers good walking shoes? When you walk, your heel touches the ground first, followed by the ball of your foot, and then your toes. If your dedicated walking shoes aren’t flexible enough, it can put stress on your arches and shins.
A sneaker offers flexibility throughout the footbed, which allows your foot to complete this natural heel-to-toe strike. Wearing training shoes for walking can minimize pain and discomfort while helping to prevent various foot conditions and injuries.¹
Not All Sneakers Are Created Equal
As you’re probably aware, there are many different types of sneakers on the market, some of which are not good for walking. If you come across a particularly stiff pair or a style with very thin soles and no good arch support, you’ll want to continue your search for the right shoe. Why? Flexibility and good arch support are key for a comfortable walking shoe.
Additionally, some athletic shoes, like cross training shoes and basketball shoes, are designed for side-to-side movements and jumping. Walking and running sneakers, on the other hand, are made to support forward strides.
Walking Sneakers: What to Look For
What are the most comfortable walking shoes? When shopping for tennis shoes you intend to wear while walking, you’ll want to look for the following:
- lightweight construction
- good arch support
- contoured footbeds
- extra cushioning
- shock-absorption soles
If this sounds like a tall order, we’re pleased to tell you Vionic’s active sneakers check all the boxes for a comfortable walking shoe.
Our podiatrist-designed trainers and lightweight walking shoes are made with comfort and foot health in mind. Many of the styles from Vionic are approved by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), which certifies they benefit your feet and offer sufficient support.
Every pair features our proprietary Vio-Motion Support technology, meaning they have a premium orthotic insert, a molded EVA midsole, and a flexible yet sturdy outsole. Roomy toe boxes prevent cramping, and underneath the shoe, patterned tread provides traction, grip, and stability.
All of these attributes are ideal for anyone who takes regular walks, works on their feet, or lives an active lifestyle. If you suffer from heel pain, plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, overpronation, or general foot pain, you can rest assured knowing our sneakers are made to offer the foot pain relief you crave.
Vionic’s active sneakers have breathable mesh uppers as well, allowing for airflow and temperature control as your body heats up. And as a bonus, many also have built-in EcoFresh to wick away sweat and minimize odors.
Are Running Shoes Good for Walking?
Many people also wonder, Are running shoes good for walking? A running sneaker can be suitable for walking. This type of comfortable shoe tends to be slightly lighter and more flexible than walking shoes.² If you prefer these characteristics, it can be a good option.
Just bear in mind that the structured design of actual walking shoes is deliberate. It provides stability while decreasing the impact on your plantar fascia and ankles. A slightly more distinct structure also reduces stress on your joints and helps prevent overpronation.
While they both involve frontward strides, running and walking are notably different workouts, which is why walkers and runners usually require different footwear. Sometimes called walking sneakers or walkers, this type of tennis shoe is engineered specifically for a low-impact stride and generally offers the most comfort and support for this motion control movement.³
Also, although a running shoe can work as a walking shoe, the opposite is generally not true. When looking at walking shoes vs running shoes, a walking sneaker is typically not a lightweight shoe and is stiff. Plus, they’re made explicitly to support a heel-to-toe strike, which doesn’t work for those who run on the balls of their feet.
Orthotic Insoles for Walking
One way to ensure a pair of sneakers is suitable for walking is to get orthotic insoles. You can get them over the counter in stores or online from footwear retailers like Vionic. The shoe inserts go into your shoes, providing sufficient contouring where you need it most. This helps alleviate pain and discomfort not only when you walk but well after you remove your shoes.
You can find orthotic inserts based on activity, like walking or running, or foot condition, such as tendonitis or plantar fasciitis. With this in mind, Vionic carries both active insoles and relief insoles for men and women.
Orthotic Inserts: What to Look For
Unlike custom orthotics, over-the-counter shoe inserts are usually somewhat soft and flexible, allowing them to conform to most foot shapes. The best options will provide some level of arch support, cushioning, and shock absorption. When you browse Vionic’s selection of men’s and women’s inserts, you’ll find a wide range of options. In addition to active and relief-focused orthotics, we’ve got carry sizes extra-small through extra-large in full or 3/4 lengths.
Each pair provides soothing symptom relief, plush cushioning, arch support, stability, shock absorption, and EcoFresh for odor control—everything you need for comfortable walking. You can place them either on top or in place of your existing insoles.
Best of all, you’re not limited to sneakers because our orthotic insoles can be placed in any type of shoe. That’s right—you can use them with flats, loafers, dress shoes, boots, and even high heels.
Women’s and Men’s Walking Shoes and Active Footwear from Vionic
If you want the absolute best shoes for walking, you’ve come to the right place. Here at Vionic, we strongly believe in optimizing comfort, no matter what you’re doing or where you’re headed—and it starts from the ground up.
With Vionic’s comfortable walking shoes and sneakers, you’ll get:
- Premium orthotic midsole
- Optimal arch support
- Removable insole
- Lightweight, breathable uppers
- Padded tongue
- Flexible, cushioned footbed
- Moisture-wicking mesh lining
- An anti-bacterial topcloth
- An anti-friction PU foam base
- Firm heel counters
- Reliable, high-traction rubber soles
Our comfortable walking and active footwear styles are made for movement. As we mentioned, each pair has built-in Vio-Motion Support technology, but you wouldn’t know it just by looking. Our expertly engineered orthotics are hidden within the silhouette of the shoe. This gives you the best of both worlds: stylish footwear and ultimate comfort.
We carry men’s women’s walking shoes, sneakers, and trainers, as well as a range of other footwear styles, all with concealed orthotics. Vionic is known for comfy walking sandals, flats, dress shoes, wedges, boots, casual sneakers, and slippers.
Are you ready to step up your walking game? Shop our comfortable shoe collections today!
1. “Fitness”. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-20043897
2. Michele Stanten”Wearing Running Shoes for Fitness Walking”. Verywell Fit. Updated on Ju 18, 2021, https://www.verywellfit.com/can-you-wear-running-shoes-for-walking-3436327
3. “The Best Walking Shoes for Women”. Prevention. https://www.prevention.com/fitness/workout-clothes-gear/a19583767/best-walking-shoes-for-women/