8 Best Walking Shoes For Older Adults: But They’re Still Cool In 2022
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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.

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 2022 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 Edge 2 – Best Overall

This model comes with all the features required for a pain-free feet 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.

There is a waterproof version of the Merrell Moab 2  (which we didn’t try) that some other reviewers have suggested they may not have the ventilation of this model. They’re a bit more expensive as well.

Tech Specifications: 

Materials: Suede leather and mesh
Weight: 27oz
Waterproof: not fully

Pros:

  • Constructed with recycled materials.
  • Breathable mesh uppers
  • Soles that don’t slip.
  • Under heel cushioning.
  • Contour tread with extra arch and heel support.
  • Removable insole.
  • Available in 15 colors.

Cons:

  • Some reviewers thought them too heavy.
  • Not fully water-proof.

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 Orthotic Friendly, and we couldn’t be happier about it.

I like the Echelon for both running and walking, and the design demonstrates it. The cushion, stability, and comfortable fit make these the perfect all-around shoe. The heel-to-toe drop is just 8mm making it suitable for walking as well as running.

I, personally, wouldn’t use them for running. I think there are better running shoes around and I have my favorites but they are good for both. I keep my runners and walking shoes separate, 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 shoes can be adjusted to be sued with an orthotics insert having a removable insole! 

However, the included sock liner makes the shoes Orthotic Friendly and provides plush comfort. A bit on the heavy side, these shoes come in at 12.5 oz. With an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars on Saucony’s website, these shoes are a real crowd-pleaser.

We have covered more on running shoes in our article asking the question “What is the best running shoes for older men and women”.

Pros:

  • No slippage
  • Durable outers
  • Good for running too
  • APMA Certified and Orthotic Friendly
  • We and other reviewers report high levels of comfort

Cons:

  • A little pricey
  • Heavy-ish

Skechers DLites – Great for Hard Surfaces

These DLites, 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 the 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.

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 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.

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 for overweight walkers.

Pros:

  • Good value.
  • Unisex.
  • 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.

Cons:

  • 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 – Good Arch Support

With the extra cushion, these are perfect for those older adults looking for a shoe that’s gentle on the joints.

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-off. 

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 paint. 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 good walking shoes. 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. 

Pros:

  • Top brand
  • Supportive and comfortable
  • Perfect for high arches
  • Great stability 

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • 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 shoes’ best quality by far is their enhanced stability and support. The better the support in the shoe, the more our bodies will thank us, especially as we age—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.

Brooks’ GuideRails® technology is designed to 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. These shoes are rated 4.7 out of 5 stars on Brooks’ website.

Pros:

  • Advanced support technology
  • Run true to size
  • Option of 15 colors

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • 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 the 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. On New Balance’s website, they have an overall ranking of 4.2 stars out of 5. 

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.

Pros:

  • Unique and stylish appearance
  • Good price
  • No tongue, preventing slipping and shifting

Cons:

  • The wide option may not be wide enough for very wide feet 
  • The shoe strings are not sturdy 
  • Not best for overpronated individuals

Orthofeet Coral No-Tie Lace – Podiatrists Recomended

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. Even for those without Plantar Fasciitis or shin splints, they are comfortable and roomy.

These shoes should be helpful in reducing foot pain, especially when walking any distance.

There is solid support and protection in the heel and arch, the parts of the feet that get a lot of friction and wear over the years.

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.

For more Orthofeet shoes check out Orthofeet reviews article.

Tech Specifications: 
Weight: 10oz
Heel offset: Negligable
Size options: Regular, wide, extra wide

Pros:

  • Prescribed by podiatrists
  • Orthopedic insole
  • Extra wide option
  • Good sized toe box
  • Extra heel and arch support
  • Removable insole and spacers
  • Customizable fit
  • Extra wide option

Cons:

  • Limited colors.
  • Not for running.
  • Thick outers.

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 under-pronation 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. 

Women’s

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.

Pros:

  • Good price
  • Lightweight
  • All-purpose

Cons:

  • 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. 

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. 

Fit 

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 under-pronation, 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 under-pronation. 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.

Sustainability

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.

Conclusion

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 we love them for their high quality 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 the clear overall best option.

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!

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Author
Mad keen runner of old. Now just mostly mad. But mad keen to research the best information for anyone wanting to get healthier and fitter regardless of age. Over 50 - definitely. Qualified in Australia as a PT in Sports & Recreation.

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