The best walking shoes for men can be worn for everything, from walking the dog to hiking a local trail, commuting into town, or vacation travel with friends. However, there are so many models on the market that deciding which pair to buy can be difficult. You naturally want a product to last as long as possible when you buy it, and durability is essential when it comes to footwear.

For example, long-distance travelers choose high-quality materials such as leather. They’re not only long-lasting but also stylish. This, however, comes at a cost. Durable materials are also heavier than not as durable materials. As a result, the more quality the shoes are, the more expensive they will be. That’s why I’ve compiled a beginner’s guide to see what features work best when you’re looking to buy your next pair of versatile walking shoes for men.

Why Do You Need a Pair of Dedicated Walking Shoes?

picture of a person sitting beside a lake in a mountain
source: Jonas Ferlin on pexels

There are numerous advantages to investing in a nice pair of men’s outdoor footwear. The best choices will boost your performance by making walking easier and more enjoyable. Lighter treks, short approaches, summer rambles, and speedier and lighter mountain trips require proper walking shoes. Although you’d be better off with the extra support of boots for tough terrain, some of the top men’s walking shoes come in a ‘mid’ style, providing some support but allowing for greater ankle movement than a boot.

Best Shoes for Light Hiking

The finest style of shoe for on-foot adventures close to home is a light hiker outdoor footwear. The correct pair can help you get from the trail to town while saving you money and wardrobe space. It has less structure, more breathability, and is lighter than a high-top hiking boot. You might prefer the warmth and protection of a robust boot with a waterproof membrane if you plan to trek in cold, rainy conditions, although waterproof light trail-running shoes are also available.

Work Shoes for Standing All Day

picture of a person walking in outdoor footwear on tiles
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If your profession demands you to walk for a while and then stand for a few hours, seek shoes that provide extra support and stability. They should be appropriately measured in length and width, with enough room for the feet to swell over the day. Shoes with a stiffer and uplifted heel rather than a flexible forefoot are preferable for standing many hours a day.

Perfect Fit for the Fashionable Mover and Shaker

You need shoes with a full-grain leather upper for breathability, sturdy construction for increased forefoot flexibility, and a seam-sealed waterproof construction if you’re the type of guy who needs to move a lot throughout the day but still wants to seem slick and trendy. Bonus points for the lace-up clasp, which makes it easy to put on and take off. An excellent example of a fashionable shoe is the classic Oxfords.

Men’s Sandals With Straps for Summer Days

picture of a men in a sandals walking on a wood

If you plan on having an active day during warm weather conditions but still want the benefits and support that a full pair of shoes provides, sandals with straps might be the way to go. Sandal straps are designed to keep the foot in the sandal’s footbed, making it more difficult for the foot to wander around and prevent friction (which can cause soreness and calluses). Men’s sandals typically include adjustable straps, making them a versatile option for people with different tightening preferences.

Hiking Boots for the Frequent Hiker

Hiking boots are ideal for off-trail trips and individuals who choose more supportive footwear for challenging terrain. Hiking boots are popular because of their toughness, ankle support, and ability to keep your feet dry. Because fitness is a personal thing, what works for one person may not be the ideal option for another. The most comfortable boots allow your toes to spread out, have cushioning that supports your foot form, and have some flex in the upper so it moves with your foot. You probably shouldn’t invest in the most expensive hiking boots if you aren’t going to be using them as regularly.

Basketball Shoes for a Game (or Going Out)

person sitting on top of a building with his outdoor footwear in the air
source: Vinícius Pimenta on pexels

The most characteristic feature of a typical basketball shoe model is the lateral support or side-to-side mobility that stops your foot from rolling in or out. Basketball shoes usually contain grooves and more rubber on the shoe’s exterior to prevent slipping and allow for abrupt changes in movement during a game. Players have traditionally used runners for basketball, which can be troublesome because runners are only meant for a straight-line movement like running, not the side-to-side motion required by basketball and netball. As a result, basketball shoes can be as comfortable as running shoes while still protecting your foot and ankle. Many of these shoes will include a built-in heel lift that might help you walk more comfortably.

Additional Features

There are various characteristics of your outdoor shoes to consider depending on how often and how long you plan to walk. Sole traction, arch support, and stitching are examples of these features. Each one has a distinct purpose. Traction offers you an excellent hold and prevents you from slipping. Sandals or sneakers with arch support are comfortable for your feet and your entire posture. Finally, the quality of the stitching influences how long the shoes will endure and how much weight they can handle.