As we get older, the needs of our bodies change drastically. Our joints may need a bit of extra love and attention as we grow older, but we won’t let that stop us from enjoying the pleasures of walking or the benefits of physical activity. We just need to find the right walking shoes for the job.
If you too love walking as much as we do and are an older adult, like we are, we’ve compiled a list of the best walking shoes for seniors in 2023 below.
Lace up, and let’s get started!
The 8 Best Walking Shoes
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List of the 8 Best Walking Shoes for Older Adults:
- Merrell Moab 2 – Our Favorite Walking Shoes
- Saucony Echelon 8 – Running & Walking
- Skechers D’Lite – Unisex
- Asics Gel Cumulus 23 – Best Arch Support
- Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 – Stylish?
- Orthofeet Coral – Podiatrist Recommended
- New Balance Fresh Foam Roav – Trail Experts
- Under Armour Charged Assert 9 – Best Value
Merrell Moab Edge 2 – Best Overall
This model comes with all the features required for a pain-free foot hike. First, the midsole is made of lightweight EVA material and contours the feet to provide support.
An air cushion is built-in under the heel to absorb shocks and any excessive impact.
A great walking shoe, an even better hiking shoe and not too pricey – a big tick!
Although not fully waterproof, the design of these Moab 2s means you’ll no doubt keep your feet dry in moderately wet conditions due to the wraparound outsole.
Walking in water with these shoes will provide a great level of grip.
We generally like hiking on dry or arid terrain and we’ve always found the Merrell Moab to be highly breathable with little of the constricted feeling you get.
For more on my experience of the Merrell Moab check out my article on the durability of the Merrell.
The firm heel support and substantial cushioning should help in negating any heel pain that can occur when suffering from plantar fasciitis.
There is a waterproof version of the Merrell Moab 2 that some other reviewers have suggested may not have the ventilation of this model. We had our own view when we reviewed the Gortex Moab 2 here.
If I’m being picky the latest Merrell Moab walking shoes I bought proved to be losing a bit of traction on suspect surfaces like a wet manhole cover.
Otherwise, really comfortable shoes for anyone off on a stiff walk.
Materials: Suede leather and mesh
Waterproof: not fully
- Constructed with recycled materials
- Breathable mesh uppers
- Soles that don’t slip
- Extra padded tongue
- Contour tread with extra arch and heel support
- Removable insole
- Available in 15 colors
- Some reviewers thought them too heavy.
- Not fully waterproof.
Saucony Echelon 8 – Walking or Running
We liked the Echelon 7 and we very much like the 8. There isn’t a lot of difference apart from there feels like there is more room at the toe end and across the widest part of the Echelon 8 in a standard fit.
Thankfully I feel a standardization of sizing in the models from the Echelon 5 to the 8, at least.
Saucony claims these shoes to be orthopedic shoes and “Orthotic Friendly”, and we couldn’t be happier about it.
Although predominantly walking shoes the Echelon 8 are suitable for both running and walking. The cushion, stability, and comfortable fit make these a good all-around shoe.
The heel-to-toe drop is just 8mm which I believe is a good drop for cushioning whilst running.
I, personally, wouldn’t use them for running though. I think there are better running shoes around and I have my favorites but they are good for both. I keep my running and walking shoes separately, but that’s just me.
This shoe’s foundation platform is particularly interesting because it provides a broader, more stable base for the foot.
These walking shoes have a removable insole to allow for custom inserts.
However, the included sock liner makes them comfortable shoes as well as being orthotic friendly.
- No slippage
- Durable outers
- Roomy toe box
- Good for running too
- APMA Certified and Orthotic Friendly
- We and other reviewers report high levels of comfort
- A little pricey
Skechers DLites – Great for Hard Surfaces
These DLites walking shoe, well, they’re a delight, especially for a lot of walking or standing around on hard surfaces. The comfort from the shoes cushioning holds up all day long.
The insole, made of “air-cooled” memory foam and the 1¼” heel helps in releasing pressure as you walk.
There are wide versions available if you need extra space.
This model which has been around since 2015 has proper leather uppers. The company made its name from the proprietory memory foam they use and forms the insole.
The extra padding around the collar and tongue adds to the overall comfort.
Further absorption from any pounding is due to a firm midsole. The solid ankle support adds a deal of stability to the shoe.
I love these walking shoes and have worn them a lot. They’re great for durability and comfort, especially for long periods.
I very much like the look. My preference is nearly always black although the DLites have a load of color combinations to pick from.
Skechers shoes have a range of many different classic and elegant designs. Plus, they’re friendly on the purse strings – nice.
The Skechers DLite model would be suitable for heavier people but there is a similar Skechers model, the slip-on mule sneaker which we reviewed in an article on the best walking shoes overweight walkers.
- Good value.
- Wide toe box
- Available in a large range of colors.
- Firm midsole
- Real leather uppers and breathable mesh.
- Comfortable memory foam insoles.
- We and other reviewers appreciate the ankle support.
- Insoles can’t be removed although I managed to rip them out.
- The wide version seems not wide enough for some users.
ASICS Gel Cumulus 23 – Extra Arch Support
With the extra cushioning, these are perfect shoes for the elderly looking for the best walking shoes that are gentle on the joints.
And because of the strong arch support, this walking shoe lends itself to support for those with flat feet.
The shock absorption is excellent, thanks to ASICS’ Gel™ technology. These shoes are also specifically designed to provide strategic support to help create a smooth transition from footstrike to toe.
I felt like my foot was in contact with terra firma longer than usual. For many people who feel unsteady on their feet sometimes this is a comforting feeling of stability.
Designed with high arches in mind, the Gel Cumulus 23’s would be perfect for those with arch pain or joint pain. The arch support is made to reduce pain in the joints and arches of your feet.
The shoes’ weight is 9.9 oz, a relatively average weight for a good walking shoe. With an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Asics’s website, these shoes will please a broader audience.
Along with Brooks, ASICS is one of my favorite brands. Check out Brooks vs ASICS for some more in-depth information on the brands.
- Top brand
- Supportive and comfortable
- Arch support – good for flat feet
- Great stability
- Breathable mesh upper
- Customers reported the shoe running small
Brooks Adrenaline GTS 22 – Style-ish
When I say style-ish, what I meant was more so than previous models of Adrenaline. I always thought this line of Brooks, although excellent, lacked a bit in style.
But these Adrenaline GTS 22 look pretty cool. Especially the women’s in a cool black.
These walking shoes have enhanced stability and support.
The better the support in the shoe, the more likely it is that foot problems won’t occur or at least get worse. It is more common, as we age, to need supportive walking shoes and the Adrenaline GTS 22 does just that.
Although a running shoe the Adrenaline series was always about cushioning and support and not aimed at elite athletes or for those activities that are hi-octane.
I was around 175lbs when I was running 50 miles a week and needed the cushioning. That was the reason I went through many pairs of Brooks Adrenaline. Those were the days.
The proprietary Brooks’ GuideRails® technology is designed to help support our ankles, knees, and hips in addition to our feet.
It keeps the body from straying into excess movement outside the natural motion path without overcorrecting.
Because of their high cushion and high support, these shoes are a bit over average weight, coming in at 10.4 oz, but reviewers report a smooth, easy, wearable feel.
- Advanced support technology
- Run true to size
- Wide toe box
- Option of 15 colors
- It may not work well for flat arches
New Balance Fresh Foam Roav V1 – Trail Experts
The Fresh Foam Roav V1 sneakers have a unique feature in the heel designed to hug the foot and create more support and a better fit.
The “bootie” design around the heel has some give in the material so that the shoe is actually a slip-on. The laces can then be tightened for a more snug fit.
This is really handy for those older people who have problems with arthritic hands and fingers, for instance.
New Balance’s “NDurance” enhances the durability of these shoes, particularly in high-use areas like the heel and the top of the foot.
Their breathable mesh upper is another of their touted features. Another average weight, these weigh in at 9.9 oz and feel lightweight.
Although both the men’s and women’s New Balance Roav V1 look good enough to go on the town they are well-cushioned walking shoes and especially good as trail shoes.
- Unique and stylish appearance
- Good price
- Slip on shoes
- No tongue, preventing slipping and shifting
- The wide option may not be wide enough for very wide feet
- The shoestrings are not sturdy
- Not best for overpronated individuals
Orthofeet Coral No-Tie Lace – Podiatrists Recommended
Diabetes foot doesn’t sound at all good as I found out when researching our article on the best neutral running shoes for orthotics.
The US makers of these Orthofeet shoes claim ultimate protection for diabetes feet. But as far as I understand the correct choice of activity shoes for diabetes foot would be comfort, support and a good fit.
These Orthofeet shoes are specifically designed for troublesome feet. But even for those people that don’t have foot pain or conditions like plantar fasciitis or shin splints, this Orthofeet walking shoe is comfortable and roomy.
These shoes should be helpful in reducing foot pain, especially when walking any distance.
There is good support and protection in the heel and arch, the parts of the feet that get a lot of friction and wear over the years although the overall support and rigidity of the shoe’s build is not as good as most others in our list.
The therapeutic shoes come with an ‘under’ gel to prevent slippage of an insole added.
They are sent with 2 additional insoles, each one a different thickness allowing you to somewhat customize your foot seating.
And they are all Medicare certified as therapeutic shoes making them most suitable walking shoes for seniors.
For more Orthofeet shoes check out Orthofeet reviews article.
Heel offset: Negligible
Size options: Regular, wide, extra wide
- Prescribed by podiatrists
- Orthopedic insole
- Good shoes for seniors
- Roomy toe box
- Removable insole and spacers
- Extra wide option
- Limited colors
- Not for running
- Not great support
Under Armour Charged Assert 9 – Best Value
Under Armour’s Charged Cushioning® midsole is used in this shoe, making it perfect for walkers who need a bit more stability to keep their body on track with its natural movement. This feature helps prevent both underpronation and pronation in users.
The Charged Cushioning® also absorbs and protects against impact, which your joints will thank you for. The shoes are lightweight and breathable, weighing in at only 9 oz.
Under Armour boasts these as an all-purpose shoe, perfect for walking, running, and more, and the reviewers tend to agree. Overall, on Under Armour’s website, the shoes receive a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.
- Good price
- Firm heel counter and sole
- The shoes can be slippery in the wet
- They can sometimes run too large, so check the size chart
- One or two other reviewers found stitching problems
Walking Shoes Buyer’s Guide
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and a helpful buying guide for choosing the best walking shoes for seniors.
And for those who like to track their steps check out these Pedometers.
What Should I Look for in My Walking Shoes?
When looking for quality walking shoes for a senior or yourself, always consider the following categories.
First and foremost, the most important quality to find in a walking shoe is the right fit. Even if your shoes are of the highest quality in the world, when your shoes are too loose or too snug, you can cause yourself severe pain. Make sure your shoes are the exact right size for you.
Weight and Breathability
If you’re hoping to wear these shoes regularly and feel your best during exercise, you mustn’t feel like you’re lugging around overweight, suffocating shoes on your feet.
Opting for more lightweight, breathable shoes will help with your flow of movement and will lessen the strain on not just your feet but your entire body.
Cushion and Support
In a similar vein, we can’t optimize our physical activity if our bodies are not supported in their movements. Of course, as we age, the level of cushion and support necessary to feel good may increase, and that’s okay!
Many options are available with a thick sole with gel or foam for cushion and sturdy stitching or an elongated design for foot and ankle support. Don’t forget to look for a cushion and support in the upper of your shoe, too—it’s just as important as in the sole!
How Do I Choose the Best Pair of Walking Shoes?
Any of the options above will be suitable for someone with no specific needs or areas of focus. If you have pronation or underpronation, joint pain, or an irregular gait, you need to search for the shoes best suited to that situation.
For example, the Gel Cumulus 23’s will be perfect for those with underpronation. Our list provides a good idea of what situation each shoe suits best. After your individual needs are addressed, it’s a matter of comfort and quality.
What Are the Advantages of Spending More Money on My Walking Shoes?
It depends! You should only be spending more money if you can ensure that a higher quality shoe is guaranteed in return.
For example, we know the Saucony Echelon 8’s are the most expensive on our list, but they are APMA Certified and “Orthotic Friendly”. They should be worth the higher price tag.
However, if this is out of your range, there are plenty of more affordable options, like the UA Charged Assert 9’s that still promises good, supportive, comfortable quality for their lower price.
Is it OK to wear running shoes for walking?
Generally speaking the correct, good running shoes for you would be suitable for walking.
But it’s not advisable to use walking shoes for running long term.
I like to keep the 2 types of sports shoes different to maintain their structural integrity.
What shoes helps to prevent falls?
Shoes with thick soles and complex treads tend to cause stumbles. Flat soles with simple treads are better although you lose the benefits of cushioning.
What are the benefits of walking
That is covered at https://midlifehacks.com/benefits-of-walking/
Sports shoes have a lot of complexity in their manufacture these days but shoemakers are having to look more and more into the sustainability of their products, thanks to public opinion.
For a lot more information on recycling sports shoes and the future of footwear and brands, check out our article on the best way to recycle shoes.
We have found that the overall best walking shoes for midlifers are the Merrell Moab 2 shoes. These shoes provide comfort, support, stability, and breathability, and I love them for their high quality, reasonable price and durability.
These shoes fulfill every category we look for when purchasing walking or running shoes for older adults, and for these reasons, they are clearly the best walking shoes.
The surprise package was the Under Armour Charged Assert 9. Not a brand of sports shoe I’ve been familiar with in the past but on testing, they not only had a lot going for them technically but, wow, what a great price!