When you're walking for long periods of time — whether you're working, exploring a new city, or running errands in your hometown — good shoes are absolutely critical. Even more critical? Shoes with good cushioning so your feet don't ache at the end of the day. The
best cushioned walking shoes offer a combination of soft footbeds, shock-absorbing midsoles, and extra features like padded tongues or heels.
While shopping around, the first thing to look at is material. The softest, most well-cushioned walking shoes will be constructed with high-quality footbeds made from materials such as EVA foam, gel, dual-density polyurethane, or OrthoLite. The midsoles will feature shock-absorbing properties which
allow your foot to rebound from the ground more smoothly, thus reducing foot fatigue and preventing metatarsal pain.
In addition to cushioning, you want your walking shoes to have sturdy soles with good traction so you can walk long distances without them wearing out easily, and so you won't have to worry about slipping and falling. Genuine rubber is usually one of the
best material for soles since it's grippy and offers great traction.
To help you find the perfect choice, I've scoured Amazon and put together a list of the
best cushioned walking shoes I could find, in a wide range of styles. I made sure each one has all of the qualities above, along with excellent reviews, so you can find the right pair for your needs. 1 The Best Overall What's great about them: With almost 8,000 reviews, these cushioned walking shoes have practically broken the internet in terms of popularity. Fans say they love not only that they're comfortable but breathable, too, so your feet don't get hot and sweaty. They're made with strong rubber soles and a dual-density polyurethane footbed that's designed to be soft on top and shock-absorbing underneath. Best of all, they're available in your choice of leather or mesh, and a wide variety of colors. What fans say: "These shoes had all the support and cushion I could have wanted, my feet never got sore even after walking 35+ miles in 4 days. I would recommend those socks with the little extra fabric behind the heel that prevent the sock from slipping down into the shoe as I did notice my normal socks would slide down a bit and the shoe would rub the back of my ankles but not enough to bother me." 2 The Best Budget Option What's great about them: These Skechers slip-ons are some of the best budget walking shoes out there. Like the first selection, they're enormously popular on Amazon, with more than 5,000 reviews; however, they're sold at roughly half the price. Although they're a slight step down from the OluKais, reviewers say they're still extremely durable — and comfortable, too. They're constructed with soft memory foam heels that provide cushioning and Resalyte midsoles for stellar shock absorption. On top of that, they have rubber soles combined with mesh uppers for ventilation and moisture management. What fans say: "I put these on [and] it was like walking on pillows. They are so comfy. The pink soles on the bottom provide extra cushion, the memory foam on the insoles make wearing these so great ... They fit perfectly. I will purchase more Go Walk sneakers from Skechers, they are so comfortable." Available sizes: 5 to 11 (regular and select wide sizes) 3 The Best Sneakers What's great about them: If you're looking for a comfortable pair of sneakers, look no further than these gel cushion shoes from ASICS. With more than 1,700 reviews, the popular sneakers showcase a maximum cushioning style that's super comfortable, whether you're using them for running, walking, or simply traipsing around town. The mesh upper portion is breathable so your feet don't get sweaty, and they have EVA foam midsoles for shock absorption, too. Additionally, they have tough rubber soles and come in a wide range of colors. What fans say: "They provide great support for running on the treadmill, and work great for biking or for the group training classes that I take. I feel like I'm walking tall and my feet are feeling cushioned and happy when I wear these. Definitely recommend!" Available sizes: 5 to 12 (regular and wide) 4 The Best Loafers What's great about them: Constructed with ultra-soft cushioning, these women's slip-on loafers offer a comfortable way to stay on your feet for hours at a time. Made from leather, they have durable construction paired with a comfy OrthoLite footbed and shock absorption, too. Multiple reviewers noted that they wear these at work, sometimes for 10- or 12-hour shifts, and their feet don't get sore. On top of that, fans say that the smooth upper portion lets you wipe them clean if you happen to spill something on them. What fans say: "These fit perfectly and were comfortable for all day wear (standing for 8 straight) right out of the box. I have plantar fasciitis in my right foot so I need shoes with proper cushion and support. [Clarks] delivers again." Available sizes: 5 to 12 (regular and wide) 5 The Best Boots What's great about them: Reviewers say these cushioned women's boots offer an exceptional degree of comfort paired with style, too. They feature synthetic leather (that's fully vegan) made from durable polyurethane that doesn't scuff easily, and a soft padded collar that's warm while still being breathable. The sturdy soles showcase anti-skid rubber, and they're designed with cute buckles and decorative zippers on the side. What fans say: "These boots are so cute! I can’t wait to wear them next month when fall fits. It runs a little bigger than my usual shoe size but it fits my wide feet. The shoes are high quality and I can’t imagine it ever breaking. It is comfortable and I feel like I can walk in them for hours without pain." Available sizes: 5.5 to 10 6 The Best Dress Shoes What's great about them: If you want a pair of shoes that are dressy but still comfortable enough to walk around in all day, these women's dress loafers are just the ticket. Designed with a 1-inch heel, they're made with a 100% genuine leather upper for durability and a tough rubber sole. The footbeds feature soft, well-cushioned OrthoLite that molds to your feet, and customers say they're easy to break in. What fans say: "I have a supervisory position that requires a ton of walking between sites across New York City, and [Clarks] shoes are the only shoes that hold up, feel comfortable and look stylish. I just bought these in the black and they are perfect!" Available sizes: 5 to 12 (regular and select wide sizes) 7 The Best Sandals What's great about them: Boasting 2,800-plus reviews, these popular women's sandals offer a fantastic combination of style and comfort. They have durable nubuck leather uppers with contoured EVA foam in the footbed that's lightweight and extremely comfortable, per reviewers. The midsoles are injected with polyurethane foam for extra cushioning and shock absorption. The soles, which are constructed with tough rubber, feature lugs that give them traction, too. On top of that, they remain comfortable even after long periods of walking, according to fans. What fans say: "I wore these shoes every day for three weeks while traveling in France. Most days we walked 5-9 miles and every step was comfortable -- on cobblestone streets, dirt paths, cracked sidewalks, up dozens of flights of stairs, in the rain, in the sun. They are just wonderful, comfortable and supportive. And they are really cute too. Something almost unheard of in comfortable shoes. Highly recommend." Available sizes: 4 to 12.5 8 The Best Hiking Shoes What's great about them: These lightweight, breathable women's hiking shoes are wonderfully well-cushioned yet also tough and durable. They're built with a blend of suede and mesh that makes them strong enough to withstand rough terrain with ventilation, so your feet don't burn up. They have soft padded tongues and air cushioning to cradle your feet, providing support, shock absorption, and stability. Additionally, their Vibram rubber soles have 5-millimeter lugs with great tread and traction. What fans say: "They cradle my feet when I walk making walking basically effortless. The soles are perfect for our mild winters. Enough traction to keep you from slipping but not waffle stompers! They are a cross between a comfortable tennis shoe and a hiking boot but fit like a comfortable slipper on my feet. ... This particular shoe will take good care of your feet all day long." Available sizes: 5 to 12 (regular and wide) Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently of Bustle's editorial and sales departments.