Podiatrists Love These Comfy Walking Shoes Under $40 On Amazon

Doctor (and wallet) approved.

by Christina X. Wood
Originally Published: 
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When your feet hurt, it’s usually no longer fun to walk, run, shop, or dance. Sometimes that foot pain can cause a domino effect of discomfort, which only makes everything less fun. It all starts with your shoes. To find reliable shoes that can bring fun and comfort back to your adventures, Bustle tapped the experts and asked podiatrists just what to look for in a shoe.

When it comes to treating your tootsies — and maintaining your budget — podiatrists love these 30 comfy walking shoes under $40 on Amazon.


These Cute Slip-Ons That Are Made For Walking

“My favorite elements to look for with walking shoes are that the shoe should be made from breathable, man-made fabrics,” suggests Dr. Sondema Tarr, a board-certified podiatrist and foot surgeon at Direct Podiatry Arizona. “Shoes should also have a closed toe and heel to decrease the risk of skin or nail injuries when outside.”

These slip-on walking shoes are a great option. The stretchy and breathable fabric uppers move with your feet and won’t trap moisture while the memory foam insole helps protect your feet from impact. That they slip on without lacing and look adorable is just gravy.

  • Available colors: 22
  • Available sizes: 5 — 13 Wide


These Leather Loafers That Are Soft As Butter

“If you have any type of bony prominence because of the way your foot is [shaped],” LeBow recommends choosing shoes with a natural fiber upper. These flat loafers, for example, are made from soft faux leather. “That area will usually mold over that prominence,” he says, “[and] it won't rub. It might be tight initially but ultimately you'll get some stretch in those areas.”

These shoes also come in a ton of deliciously rich and bright colors, and have a padded insole and nubby driving-moc sole that’s both cute and grippy.

  • Available colors: 50
  • Available sizes: 5 —11


The Adorable Moccasin That Was Built For Comfort

When you are dressed for work or nonathletic adventures, as per Dr. LeBow, it’s still ideal to find a shoe option with a low pitch that lets your feet breathe — these moccasin-style flats are an excellent choice. The flat rubber sole is comfortable for your feet. A memory foam insole adds to the comfort. The slip-on style makes walking out the door so easy. And the cute perforated upper (in some colors) with decorative whipstitching is super cute.

  • Available colors: 6
  • Available sizes: 6 — 10


A Sneaker Disguised As A Dress Shoe

Dr. Bruce Pinker, a board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon at Progressive Foot Care, recommends you choose a shoe with a rubber outsole and make sure that it has “adequate traction for proper gripping of the walking surface.”

This pair of walking shoes from Skechers — the Performance Go Walk 4 — is all that and it can pass for a dress shoe at the same time. This is great if your work requires you to be on your feet or if you like to take a long walk whenever you have time and opportunity.

  • Available colors: 12
  • Available sizes: 5 — 13 (including some wide options)


These Fashion-Forward Sneaks That Wear Like Slippers

These casual walking shoes are another terrific breathable, closed-shoe option. The stretch mesh uppers are open and sock-like and the rubber soles offer a soft landing and excellent foot protection. These slip-on sneakers are somewhere between a slipper and a running shoe and are perfect for walking and running around all day. You can even toss them in the washing machine if they get dirty.

  • Available colors: 34
  • Available sizes: 5 — 13 Wide


A Pair Of Classic Reeboks With Sturdy Charm

“[If you are] not looking for minimalist shoes,” Tarr suggests going for ones that “have a sturdy, yet slightly cushioned sole, unable to be folded on itself at the arch.” The Reebok Walk Ultra has a cushioning system that moves air from the heel to the forefoot and back again as you walk to give your feet a soft landing while offering a firm sole with lots of traction and durability. “This provides the foot with added support to walk for long distances as pain-free as possible,” she says.

  • Available colors: 3
  • Available sizes: 5 — 12 Wide


The New Balance Cross-Trainer Shoe That Offers Solid Support

If you are walking any distance or running, consider a shoe with a bit of structure so your feet are protected and your arches are supported. “[Anything] too flimsy would more than likely lead to a lot of heel or arch pain in the majority of people,” says Tarr. These New Balance cross trainers are a good choice. They’re built with versatile physical activity in mind, whether you’re weight training or jogging; a sturdy rubber sole is combined with the brand’s patented FuelCell foam that offers some bounce. “They are PERFECT for hiit workouts,” one reviewer wrote. “Great ankle support, sole grip and cushion in the heel.”

  • Available colors: 8
  • Available sizes: 5 — 12W


These Lightweight Running Shoes With An EVA Midsole

Choose a midsole made from “ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA),” suggests Pinker. This material “provides shock absorption and cushioning, which helps to make for enjoyable walking and ... to prevent injury. [It is] highly recommended for the midsole.”

You may have to do your research to find specifics like that, but I’m here to tell you this Pure Running Shoe from Adidas has Cloudfoam cushioning, which features an EVA midsole.

  • Available colors: 9
  • Available sizes: 5 — 11


These Classic Sneakers From Under Armour

Sticking with Dr. Pinker’s suggestion, another option for an EVA midsole is this classic pair of sneakers from Under Armour. With a breathable mesh upper and that cushioned EVA midsole, these sneaks are built to be your wear-all-the-time pair. “Best shoe I’ve ever worn hands down,” one shopper wrote. “I’ve had them all and these are by far the best. They are so comfy and they don’t hug my toes or rub the backs of my heels.” They’re just over the $40 mark, but not by much.

  • Available colors: 21
  • Available sizes: 5 — 12 (including half and wide sizes)


A Pair Of Pull-On Walking Shoes With Lots Of Stretch

Giving plenty of thought to the insole is important, especially if you have custom or favorite inserts you like. “Some insoles are removable,” says Pinker. “[This] is preferred, as it allows for the placement of a custom-made orthotic (if necessary).”

These STQ walking shoes are a good example. If the arch support that comes installed in these cute, stretchy, breathable shoes doesn’t offer enough support for you, remove them and replace them with something that does. The bungee-style lacing on these makes them super easy to get on and off, which is always a perk.

  • Available colors: 9
  • Available sizes: 5.5 — 10


These Chic Boat Shoes That Are Cute & Comfy

Pinker suggests that, whenever possible, choose uppers that are durable. This is “preferred for longevity,” he says. Leather and nylon are good choices. These comfort boat shoes boast a breathable leather upper in a cute moccasin style with visible stitching and a nubby sole for traction on slippery surfaces. Some options even have cutout designs, which look cute and enhance breathability.

  • Available colors: 44
  • Available sizes: 5 — 12


A Classic Throwback For Serious Walkers

This Rennaisance sneaker from Reebok has all the throwback styling you are looking for as well as the EVA midsole Pinker recommends. They have plenty of traction and a sturdy design — with a thick platform sole for extra foot protection — yet they manage to remain lightweight.

  • Available colors: 3
  • Available sizes: 5 — 11 Wide


This Loafer With A Sock-Like Upper

When it comes to the toe box, says Pinker, “mesh material is preferred to allow for the exchange of air to prevent increased temperatures.” Not only does that air exchange make for happier and more comfortable feet but “if the foot becomes very warm and sweaty,” he says, “athlete's foot fungus (tinea pedis), toenail fungus (onychomycosis), and plantar warts [...] may develop.”

If you are ready to give up discomfort in your everyday shoe, this slip-on loafer with a stretchy sock upper is styled to wear with work clothes or everyday wear and is breathable. It also has an EVA sole, foot protection, and traction.

  • Available colors: 30
  • Available sizes: 5.5 — 10 Wide


A Pair Of Platform Loafers That Were Made To Move

“A firm heel counter is usually best for walking shoes to help stabilize the foot, especially upon heel contact with the ground,” says Pinker. And when that heel is optimized to look cute, as in these platform loafers, you have a shoe you can wear to work events or a day of shopping without downgrading your outfit or suffering.

  • Available colors: 2
  • Available sizes: 6 — 10


A Lightweight Slip-On That’s Easy On Your Feet & Legs

“When choosing a shoe for walking,” suggests Dr. Sidney Weiser, DPM at Quality Podiatry Group, “look for something that is lightweight to avoid shin splints.” This affordable and breathable slip-on sneaker is super light. This “also will allow you to walk more with ease and not feel tired or achy,” he says. The simple cinch-tie laces on these let you get a custom fit and the flexible sole helps you stay connected to the ground.

  • Available colors: 16
  • Available sizes: 6 — 10


The Barefoot Shoe You Can Take To The Trail & Beyond

Another lightweight option that really lets your feet connect with the ground is this pair of barefoot running shoes. The super minimalist sole is designed to mimic the feeling of running barefoot — but without the pain of stepping on glass or pebbles. A roomy toe box and fit give your feet the same freedom they would have without shoes and the (removable) insoles offer some arch support.

  • Available colors: 27
  • Available sizes: 5.5 — 12


The Ankle Boots That Are Like Wearing Socks

“The choice of material for a walking shoe is important,” says Weiser. “Breathable material will prevent moisture build-up that occurs naturally when you sweat. Flexible material will prevent blisters and help your feet accommodate uneven terrain.”

These lightweight sneakers are a terrific example of a shoe with breathable and flexible uppers. These are so easy to pull on, too. And they are so comfortable it’s like wearing socks — except they have an EVA outsole and plenty of traction.

  • Available colors: 36
  • Available sizes: 5 — 11


A Casual Loafer With Espadrille Vibes

Dr. Rebecca Stack, DPM at Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, suggests that you consider the sole when you shop. “I would look for shoes with a rigid sole, one that does not easily twist or bend,” she says. This loafer from Dr. Scholl’s is a pretty, comfortable flat with an Espadrille-inspired, jute-wrapped sole along with great cushioning and shock absorption. The fabric uppers are breathable, too. Comfortable and cute? Perfect.

  • Available colors: 7
  • Available sizes: 6 — 11


The Barefoot Shoe That’s Perfect For Everyday Wear

“If you have a wider foot, hammer toes, or bunions,” says Stack, “avoid narrow shoes and look for those with a mesh upper to prevent pressure.” This comfy pair of minimalist barefoot shoes has a wide toe box, a stretchy mesh upper, and a flat sole that helps you feel the ground and achieve excellent balance and posture when you walk.

  • Available colors: 5
  • Available sizes: 6 Wide — 11 Wide


These Lightweight Slip-Ons With Over 98,000 Five-Star Ratings

Stack also suggests that you “look for a shoe with removable inserts (ones where they are not sewn down) for easier cleaning and for use of orthotics if needed.” This is especially important in an everyday shoe because you wear it so often. These sneakers, pictured above in a beachy flaxen color, have a soft, removable memory foam insole you can replace or wash. With a high 4.7-star rating and over 9,000 five-star reviews, shoppers rave: “Where has this shoe been all my life??” and say they’re “possibly the most comfortable shoe I’ve ever worn”.

  • Available colors: 10
  • Available sizes: 6.5 — 10


An Affordable & Fashionable Running Shoe With Great Support

According to Dr. Jay LeBow, DPM and Chief Innovation Officer at jbrds (shoes made to support children learning to walk), “If you are an athlete or an adult that's working out, you [want to] wear a shoe that's ... supportive in the rear foot and stiff in the heel counter area — the rear of the heel. You want to minimize the pitch of the shoe.”

These features do not have to be expensive. These air-cushion sneakers are designed for running, with a stable, supportive, and cushioned heel and a breathable, stretchy upper.

  • Available colors: 30
  • Available sizes: 5.5 — 11


These Snazzy Asics Running Shoes With Room For Your Toes

Another athletic shoe with firm heel support that won’t break the bank, this JOLT 3 running shoe by Asics has a combination of mesh and stiched-down overlays for a secure fit. They sport an EVA midsole with a solid rubber outsole. It’s a shoe designed to support you through many runs or workouts and to look good doing it. They are available in wide sizes and have a roomy forefoot to give your feet freedom and space.

  • Available colors: 15
  • Available sizes: 5 — 12 Wide


A Breathable Woven Flat That Wears Like Sneakers

Aligning with Dr. LeBow’s suggestion for a low-pitch shoe where “the heel-to-toe ratio is ... flat, [rather] than the heel being elevated,” these woven walking shoes are a good example, featuring a supportive but flat sole. They are also “roomy in the forefoot,” another element LeBow touts, along with being made of “a material that breathes.” The woven upper here is cute, but it also lets in lots of air so your feet don’t suffocate.

  • Available colors: 3
  • Available sizes: 6 — 11


The Cork-Soled Sandal Your Feet Will Love

When the weather is warm, a pair of sandals that won’t destroy your feet is necessary. But, the cheap flip-flops that abound can contribute to foot damage. “I do like Birkenstocks,” says LeBow. “They have the cork insole that's very comfy and it molds a little bit.”

This pair of cork-footbed sandals is an affordable option with a similar walking surface. They have nearly 38,000 five-star reviews, indicating hordes of fans think this style of sandal is a winner, too.

  • Available colors: 24
  • Available sizes: 5 — 13 Wide


A Cork-Soled Espadrille That’s Secure & Adorable

If you want something dressier that you can wear with a skirt or shorts, this cork espadrille sandal is cute and also comfortable. The main purpose of sandals are to “[protect] your feet from the environment,” says Dr. LeBow, and this option does that while also helping you maintain a low pitch. The cork footbed is springy and molds to your feet but the stretchy ankle and front straps provide a bit of security. The jute-wrapped midsole is summery and sweet.

  • Available colors: 5
  • Available sizes: 6 — 11


Extra Tip: Don’t Wear The Same Shoes Every Day

“It’s not recommended that you wear the same pair of shoes every day,” says Dr. LeBow. “For proper foot health you should have at least three pairs of shoes and alternate them ... at least every third day ... because shoes wear in a certain pattern and may pitch over time inward or outward, depending on the way your foot strikes the ground.”

Basically, if you’re devoted to the same kicks day in and day out, you’re putting your foot into the same wear pattern without a break. If you have a few comfy favorites you can alternate between, “you won’t be stressing the joints to the same degree every day.”


These Saucony Running Shoes With Sturdy Support

“Your needs for walking shoes will differ depending on your foot type,” counsels Dr. Yolanda Ragland, Founder + CEO, of Fix Your Feet. “A pronated foot is one that rolls inward when [you walk or run], and a supinated foot is one that rolls outward excessively. For both pronated and supinated feet, extra support throughout the walking shoe will help prevent the foot roll and help avoid potential issues of balance that can lead to pain in the feet, ankles, or knees.”

Choose a shoe with a supportive footbed like this road running shoe with a sturdy outsole to give your foot a solid base when you walk. The extra cushion around your ankles will allow you to walk comfortably while helping scaffold your ankle against rolling one way or the other.

“Love these comfortable sneakers for my pronation issues!” said one reviewer.

  • Available colors: 10
  • Available sizes: 5 — 11 Wide


The Athletic Shoe That’s Secure & Flashy

Another option that addresses Ragland’s concerns is this nonslip athletic shoe with an air-cushioned, blade-type sole that helps absorb impact while preventing twisting and slipping. The padded ankle area and cinch-tight laces help keep your feet from rolling. This shoe comes in terrific colors for a sporty athleisure update to your wardrobe, too.

  • Available colors: 19
  • Available sizes: 5.5 — 10.5


These Sneakers That Have Great Arch Support

If you have flat feet, you may know from experience that you need to wear shoes with strong arch support. “A flat foot does not have a natural arch,” says Ragland. “So a walking shoe with a strong arch, or room for arch support inserts is key.”

This pair of comfortable sneakers is a good option for an everyday walking shoe. They come with arch-supporting insoles installed but those are easy to remove if you want to replace them with your own custom orthotics.

  • Available colors: 10
  • Available sizes: 5.5 — 10.5


The Cutest Comfort Shoes With Arch Support

These casual sneakers from Vionic are another great option if you need arch support. Vionic is all about supporting arches — and preventing pronation and supination — and even sells its insoles so you can add them to your other shoes.

The Pismo is an adorable sneaker that’s easy to slip on and off, is walk-all-day comfortable, and comes in so many colors and textures you will absolutely want several pairs (as someone who has many of these myself, I can attest). You can also take the insoles out and hand-wash them while the rest of the shoe takes a trip through the washing machine.

  • Available colors: 43
  • Available sizes: 5 — 9

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