None of Nike walking shoes describe themselves as walking shoes – you see running shoes, trail runners, and athletic footwear. But what makes a walking shoe a walking shoe? Does what you call a thing matter? As the old saying goes, if it walks like a duck… Not that the best Nike walking shoes will make you walk like a duck.
The entire purpose of walking shoes is to protect and support your feet as you go about that natural activity of walking. Walking is the way humans get about, and we master the skill early on because our brains are hard-wired to get us on our feet and moving sometime before our second birthday.
Then we put shoes on our feet, and the shoes we choose can either assist or hinder us in our walking ability. Different shoes serve various functions, all of which fall within the category of walking.
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How The Reviews Are Organized
In the first section, I discuss the best Nike walking shoes for comfortable walking from sight-seeing in city streets or hiking along an exciting trail. I highlight the Nike technology found in each shoe and other important qualities that make it an ideal walking shoe for various environments and terrains.
In the Buyer’s Guide, I discuss in detail the different Nike technology found in Nike walking shoes so that you can fully appreciate what each offers to your walking experience.
Anyone walking on the most extreme trails in severe winter should always opt for a traditional hiking boot style, but Nike walking shoes suit a range of leisure walks from urban fitness to reasonably challenging trails. You match your needs to the Nike walking shoes that give you the performance you need for your walking type.
In the following article, you will discover that Nike walking shoes offer you a lot of sophisticated footwear technology, in addition to some exciting colors and styles. However, that is not to say that it will suit everyone.
If you have not found exactly what you are looking for, I would recommend the following:
- 9 Best SAUCONY Walking Shoes With Super Comfort – For more traditional-looking walking shoes with very well thought out designs for walking comfort, Saucony is an excellent choice.
- 11 Best SKECHERS GO Walk 5 Shoes – Skechers supplies lots of its own footwear technology in their walking shoes. However, in addition to a traditional sneaker style, Skechers also offers that same technology in fashionable walking shoes for work or more sophisticated outfits.
- 14 Best RYKA Walking Shoes – These walking shoes are specifically designed for the unique features of a woman’s foot. Most manufacturers’ footwear, including Nike, simply shrinks down a shoe designed for a man to a woman’s size.
Best Nike Walking Shoes
Here are 11 of the best Nike walking shoes. Some are just for men or women, but most are unisex. That means they are either exactly the same and offered to both men and women but with different sizing, or the same style but in different color options and sizes.
Nike Walking Shoes For Casual Walking On Roads, City Streets, And Trails
Nike Flex Experience 8 For Men
Nike Flex Experience 8 For Women
- Lightweight with combined midsole and outsole.
- Knit fabric upper conforms to the foot for comfort and flexibility in movement.
- No-sew overlay reinforces lace holes and toe tip.
- Hexagonal, flexible grooves on the outsole give a natural barefoot foot movement with extreme flexibility.
- Flat, comfortable laces and a slight heel and toe rocker for smooth transmission in walking gait.
These Nike walking shoes offer a lot for a long day on your feet. A flexible sole allows you to walk as close to barefoot as possible while still retaining under sole cushioning and protection. They are lightweight because they combine the midsole and outsole cushion, thus reducing the amount of heavy rubber in the sole. You get a tread pattern that gives plenty of grip and a comfortable knit fabric upper in a range of colors to match your style.
These Nike sneakers are lightweight casual wear that lets you spend the day walking around town or in the park, running and playing around with your family.
Nike Walking Shoes For All Terrains
Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 5 For Men
Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 5 For Women
- Zoom Air heel cushioning for shock absorption.
- Rock plate in midsole to protect against sharp stones and other trail hazards.
- Multilayer mesh with flexible overlays combines breathability with targeted waterproofing.
- Skin overlays for durability.
- Protruding lug pattern gives excellent grip on unstable surfaces and designed to shed mud.
Nike walking shoes intended as trail runners are more robust and allow you to walk on more challenging trails with comfortable feet. The rock plate gives underfoot protection, protecting your underfoot from punctures found on mountain trails.
The deep lugs give you traction on an uphill or downhill trek and the multidirectional pattern allows them to shed mud and debris, thus keeping your feet light and retaining traction on slippery surfaces.
The breathable mesh upper keeps your feet cool, and the slick overlays provide strategic waterproofing. These are the best Nike walking shoes if you intend to tackle some difficult walks.
Nike Walking Shoes For Long Walks On Hard Surfaces
Nike CruzrOne For Men And Women
- Underfoot cushioning provided by high-performing React Foam – most found under the heel and tapers to the toe.
- Heal and toe rocker for a smooth natural walking gait.
- Low cut collar and thick padding for super-comfort.
- Wool lining is soft and quick drying.
- Mesh and perforations for a breathable and stretchy upper.
- Flat laces for comfort in fitting over the foot.
- Segmented outsole for improved flexibility.
The heel and toe rockers and the placement of the React Foam mostly under the heel are all designed to allow you to walk on these Nike walking shoes with a smooth transition of body weight across your foot. Your heel strikes the ground first, then rolls forward onto your toe, where you are then propelled forward.
The low-cut collar leaves your ankle to freely move without rubbing, and the knit fabric upper with wool lining makes you feel like you are wearing socks, not shoes. There are lots of spots for breathability and quick-drying wool lining means that your feet stay cool and dry.
The outer sole segments let your feet flex naturally, and these Nike walking shoes eat up the miles with ease and style.
Nike Walking Shoes For All Types of Walking
Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 For Men
Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger 5 For Women
- Air Zoom unit in the heel for additional cushioning combined with React Foam in the midsole.
- Padded tongue and flat laces for comfort as your feet get hot and swell.
- Segmented rock plate (midfoot) gives underfoot protection and flexibility.
- Two-layer mesh upper (breathable) with overlays for additional support and targeted water – resistance.
- Deep angled lugs for traction.
- High abrasion rubber in the outsole.
- Sticky rubber pad in the midsole part of the outsole to improve traction on wet surfaces.
- Seamless construction of the mesh upper with a dynamic fit that conforms to your foot shape.
Another example of trail running shoes making excellent Nike walking shoes because you get better traction and underfoot protection. Nike walking shoes that perform on rocky and slippery trails are equally at home in the more refined but equally punishing concrete jungle.
You get two of Nike’s best cushioning systems. First, an air pocket under the heel to cushion this vulnerable area. Next, a layer of shock-absorbing, energy-returning React Foam gives you all-day comfort wherever you choose to walk. The mesh uppers conform to the shape of your feet making sure that your feet adjust and stay comfortable on uneven terrain.
Nike Walking Shoes On Hard Surfaces and Light Trails
Nike Joyride For Men
Nike Joyride For Women
- Tiny foam beads in two sealed compartments under the heel and midfoot provide custom support and cushioning.
- Extra cushion in the forefoot for comfort in roll through.
- Breathable mesh upper promotes excellent airflow.
- Durable rubber strategically positioned on the outsole at points of maximum wear.
- Heal and toe rocker for a natural gait.
- Visible windows to make the bead cushioning visible as a style feature.
The Nike Joyride cushioning is ideal for pampering tired legs and feet – the sensation is like walking on wet sand with custom support underneath. The flexible upper hugs your feet and gives you the comfort of wearing supportive Nike walking shoes that are light.
These Nike walking shoes are excellent for walking long miles, but the soft uppers are not protective against rough terrain. In addition, there isn’t any significant traction on the outsoles to deal with slippery or uneven ground so keep these Nike walking shoes for covering distance on city streets or civilized trails.
Nike Walking Shoes For Short Casual Walks
Nike Free Trainers For Men
Nike Free Trainers For Women
- Stable flat heel and rounded toe box.
- Flexible outsole supporting natural, close to barefoot movement.
- Flexible mesh upper with a sock-like fit.
- Low ankle collar for ease of movement and high back to heel for extra support.
- Dual foam cushioning.
- Hexagonal, flexible grooves on the outsole give barefoot natural movement with extreme flexibility.
- Durable rubber overlays on the toe and heel.
The main selling point of these Nike walking shoes is that they free your feet to walk naturally. The flat heel is super stable, and the outsole is all about giving you the barefoot experience without the discomfort of stones and sharp objects hurting your foot.
These Nike walking shoes are light and straightforward to pack for holiday walking as they cost a fraction of the price of more technical hiking shoes. They are ideal for casual wear and suit most outfits.
Nike Walking Shoes For Casual Summer Walking
Nike Tanjun For Men
Nike Tanjun For Women
- Flexible and breathable synthetic mesh upper.
- Streamlined design with combined midsole and outsole.
- Lightweight cushioning.
- Stylish sung fit molds to your foot.
- Decent traction for unchallenging terrain.
- Wide color range.
Tanjun means simplicity in Japanese, and these Nike walking shoes go back to basics as a streamlined pair of sneakers that are comfortable and stylish. You can wear them all day as casual shoes and enjoy exploring city highlights or parks. The uppers are breathable, and the cushioning is light but comfortable.
You wouldn’t use these Nike walking shoes for a marathon trek across the mountains or anything similar, but they are excellent for walking about on a city break.
Nike Walking Shoes For Casual Walking On Non-Challenging Surfaces
Nike Epic React Flynit 2 For Men
Nike Epic React Flynit 2 For Women
- React foam cushioning for shock absorption and energy rebound.
- Flyknit upper provides breathability and a sock-like snug fit.
- Flywire provides extra support and stability in the midfoot.
- Strategically placed durable rubber on high wear areas in the outsole.
- Heel and toe rockers for a smooth stride.
- Wide midsole and stable heel ensure all-day comfort.
These Nike walking shoes will allow you to walk all day for work or leisure, and your feet will stay supported and comfortable. They include Flywire technology which uses lightweight, flexible, and strong Vectran fibers in the upper to wrap around the foot at strategic points to provide additional support without excess weight. In addition, they supply a smooth walking gait with a heel-to-toe rocker movement and lots of supportive cushioning with a breathable upper.
These Nike walking shoes would not be ideal for challenging terrain. They do not have deep lugs on their treads, or any rubber overlays in the soft uppers to protect against abrasion.
Nike Walking Shoes For Wet, Cold Weather On Roads Or Reasonable Trails
Nike Odyssey React 2 Shield For Men
- React foam provides underfoot cushioning for shock absorption and energy return.
- Molded foam collar for comfort and support around the ankle.
- Removable and replaceable insoles.
- Heel and toe rockers for a natural, smooth transition from heel to toe.
- Sticky rubber outsole enhances traction on wet surfaces.
- Outsole design includes channels to move water away from your foot.
- Upper treated with a water-repellent coating and slightly insulated.
- Reflective elements improve visibility in poor light.
- Toggle lacing system is easy to adjust in cold, wet weather.
These Nike walking shoes can cope with less-than-ideal weather conditions if you are the type of walker that doesn’t confine their activities to the drier or warmer months of the year.
You get all the Nike trademark features of responsive cushioning and an upper that snugly fits your foot. Plus, you get water resistance and some additional insulation. The weatherproofing doesn’t stop at the upper. The outsole design includes sticky rubber for better grip in wet conditions, and channels that flow the water away, so you retain your grip without fear of slipping.
Nike Walking Shoes For Walking On Road Surfaces Or Reasonable Trails
Nike Pegasus 36 Trail Runner
- Zoom Air units in the heel and the forefoot.
- Mesh uppers with skin overlay for durability.
- Deep outsole lugs for multi-surface traction.
- Cushlon foam provides additional cushion and shock absorption.
- Heel collar tapers away from your Achilles tendon, and the upper feels like it fits like a sock.
The combination of air pockets and foam cushioning gives these Nike walking shoes a bouncy-walking-on-air feeling that reduces leg fatigue. The outsole lugs improve traction on wet and dry roads, but they don’t have the mud-shedding capabilities of a more aggressive trail runner.
The mesh uppers allow airflow around your feet and the reinforcing overlays provide some water resistance in critical areas, so shallow puddles are not a deal-breaker. The upper drys out quickly, so a wet walk isn’t that much of a problem. Ideally, these are the best Nike walking shoes for reasonable trails and exploring the urban cityscape.
Nike Walking Shoes For Casual Walking On Roads And Sidewalks
Nike Air VaporMax Plus For Men
Nike Air VaporMax Plus For Women
- Air cushioning (full length) provides lightweight support and bounce.
- Supportive floating TPU cage around your foot.
- Outsole features rubber pods in areas of maximum wear, increasing durability and traction.
- 10 mm heel drop.
- Whale-tail shank in the midsole for support against twisting.
- Vintage style with modern cushioning.
In these Nike walking shoes, the pressurized nitrogen air pockets give you support under your heel and forefoot, and you experience the fast responsiveness of walking on air – a Nike trademark.
The upper hugs the foot and feels warm and comfortable in use. You will pay upwards of $200 for a pair and for that, you won’t be taking them out on challenging trails. Still, these are stylish, comfortable, and ideal for exploring a new city all day on foot and then, enjoying some nightlife.
Buyer’s Guide To The Best Nike Walking Shoes
Different shoes serve various functions, but the shoes that work best for walking have the following.
The midsole and insole of your shoe provide the walking surface for your bare feet. The most pleasant surface for barefoot walking is soft and spongy. Your feet are happiest on a soft texture that gives you some energy when you push off on your toes.
If you spend your day walking on a hard, unyielding surface, your feet, back, and legs take a pounding from your body weight’s repetitive strike against the concrete. The proper cushioning minimizes that impact and reduces fatigue and physical stress on your bones and soft tissues.
The best Nike walking shoes use an impressive range of cushioning technologies.
Nike was the first sneaker manufacturer to use pressurized air in the midsole to provide superior cushioning for your feet. Today Nike uses environmentally friendly recycled and pressurized nitrogen in some shoes, and the Nike Air VaporMax shoe removes the foam midsole. Losing the foam means reducing the end waste in landfills.
The air cushions can be under the heel, the forefoot, or both to give you the sensation of walking on air regardless of the terrain you cover.
Zoom combines elastic fibers and pressurized air for a fast response cushioning system that is ideal for the high-impact runner. It also makes the best Nike walking shoes.
The lightweight foam cushioning gives you energy return which is super for distance walking or hard surfaces. The weight reduction offers performance with a lighter shoe, again helping you have more energy at the end of the trail.
The first Nike walking shoes using Zoom – Nike Vaporfly and the latest – Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo both suit walkers and runners.
The two conflicting demands of runners and walkers are cushioning that is shock absorbing and then, gives energy back. Soft shock-absorbing materials, by their nature, absorb energy, rigid foams return it, so the two processes are in opposition.
It took 400 different combinations of chemicals to develop React Foam – a cushioning material that is shock absorbing and returns energy. After 2,000 hours of training under the punishing feet of basketball players, the foam was still responsive. After that, it was ready to be apart of a better running shoe and excellent Nike walking shoes. The bonus feature is that it is durable and gives you more miles from your Nike walking shoes. You find it in Nike Epic React Flyknit.
Remember the song that talks about “walking on the moon” and taking giant steps? Lunarlon is Nike’s approach to giving you the soft, bouncy ride that a reduced gravity walk would give you and your feet.
React Foam is replacing Lunarlon in Nike walking shoes, but you can currently get some older Nike walking shoes with this midsole and save a few dollars compared with a newer model.
Did you ever have a beanbag cushion? You flop into it, and the beads mold to your body shape giving you a custom fit. That is the principle behind the Nike Joyride shoes. Instead of air pads, you get cushioning panels of beads that respond to your body weight and impact with supportive cushioning that molds to your foot – it is 14% more effective at shock absorption than Zoom and available in bright color mixes. Most runners love them for their recovery runs, and that’s great news for walkers.
The human foot is a marvel of natural engineering. When you walk, your entire bodyweight moves smoothly from the heel through to the ball of your foot, and finally, your toes act as five mini launching platforms to spring your foot into the air. The repetition of heel strike, followed by a roll-through and push-off, makes walking possible.
Now think about what happens when you wear skis, snowshoes, or ice skates and try to walk – it’s physically tiring because your foot can’t go through the natural motion that makes your natural gait.
Comfortable walking relies on outsoles that flex in the right way. You don’t want to twist in the midfoot area because that is the wrong movement and results in foot damage. On the contrary, you want walking shoes with flex in the forefoot – the best Nike walking shoes achieve this with innovative materials and tread design. Support for the midfoot comes from using fibers with a high tensile strength to reinforce the upper and wrap around your foot.
There is a balance between a thin, flexible sole like the Nike Free Trainer, which is excellent for a walk under three miles, and the need for more protection and comfort on a longer distance.
When you are going for a walk exceeding three miles, you are better with a curved sole like the Nike CruzrOne, which helps a steady, but slower pace over many miles. Alternatively, Nike walking shoes with lots of cushioning like the Nike React Infinity will eat up mile after mile and still leave a spring in your step.
Walking on hard concrete is tough on your feet, but it is not as challenging as trails where you encounter rocks, roots, mud, slippery surfaces, and other natural hazards.
You want a tread pattern that gives you some extra grip and potentially a reinforced rock plate for some underfoot protection for this kind of walking. Nike Wildhorse 5 and 6 have React Foam cushioning coupled with many hiking boot traits like breathability and traction. Look for the ATG description for all-terrain gear if you want to go for a walk on the wild side.
Uppers On The Best Nike Walking Shoes
The uppers on your Nike walking shoes play many valuable roles:
- Support – your uppers help protect your foot from twisting or sliding off the cushioned platform provided by the sole. High tensile strength fibers increase support without adding weight.
- Waterproofing – if you intend to walk along wet and muddy trails, waterproofing may be a key feature, but you may also want some ventilation. Shield is the description that Nike uses indicating water-repellant uppers.
- Breathability – hot, sweaty feet are prone to slipping and abrasions. They are also vulnerable to fungal infection. Breathable mesh panels help improve airflow around your feet without sacrificing support. Flyknit describes an upper that hugs your feet like a sock and flexes as you move.
- Style – the upper displays your color choices, attractive overlays, contrasting or toning laces, and the trademark swoosh. They can make a fashion statement if that is what you want.
As expected, Nike offers a lot of exceptional walking shoes to fit different terrains, environments, and expected uses. Before purchasing, try and figure out how you think you will be using them so you can select the ones that supply the best cushion, support, breathability, and tread for you.