If you’ve ever ended a long day feeling like you’re plodding, you already know the importance of good walking shoes. While sneakers may be the first type of footwear that comes to mind for logging steps, different brands offer different advantages. Among them is On, the Swiss shoe brand known for its uniquely responsive running shoes. It’s a particularly great pick if standing, running errands, or strolling around town consistently saps the pep from your step.
What should you look for when shopping for walking shoes?
Aside from proper fit and, ideally, cute colorways, your new pair of walking shoes should check the following boxes in order to keep your feet reliably comfy day after day.
Walking, running, and jumping require your feet to absorb a lot of impact, because these activities are bearing your body weight. A well-padded shoe can reduce some of that force and help your feet feel energized for longer, Jossie Abraham, DPM, a podiatric surgeon at Hartford HealthCare Connecticut Orthopedic Institute at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Connecticut, tells SELF.
Also known as “energy,” a shoe’s springiness and ability to encourage forward movement determines its responsiveness, Dr. Abraham says. She adds that shoes with rocker-shaped bottoms or stiffer soles around the toes can help boost this feature.
When a walking shoe is adequately supportive, it helps keep your foot stable and in place without rolling or slipping. A deep heel cup that hugs the back of your foot is a good feature to look for, Dr. Abraham says, adding that heavier, stiffer shoes will provide more support than thin-soled, lightweight ones. You can consider shoes designed for specific tendencies like pronation (when feet roll inward) and supination (when feet roll outward), or try out pairs that are marketed as “stability shoes.”
Dr. Abraham recommends looking for shoes that have breathable mesh toe boxes for the sake of flexibility and airflow (something to definitely keep in mind if your feet tend to sweat). Other materials to consider are waterproof membranes like Gore-Tex, which come in handy if rain is in the forecast.
Who should try On shoes for walking?
If you prioritize cushioning and responsiveness in your footwear, On could be a great brand to try (you could also consider Hoka or Nike). The brand’s CloudTec cushioning system, present in every On shoe, is made to feel plush yet springy, so your feet can stay comfy without feeling bogged down by heavy padding. That’s an excellent balance to strike if you find yourself dragging your feet by the end of the day. Plus, On offers a circular subscription service for its Cyclon line of gear: You buy the shoes, wear them out, then send them back—the brand will send you a new pair and recycle the old one.
Another reason to love On: Their shoes come in a wide spectrum of trendy colors. Sure, you’ll find standard blacks, whites, and neutrals that’ll go with everything—but the brand always has at least one colorway that’ll catch your eye, with pops of pastels or unexpected shade combos.
The best On Cloud shoes for walking
Here, we’ve selected the very best pairs of On shoes for all your walking, strolling, and trekking needs.
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