Best Cushioned Walking Shoes

One of the most important features in any walking or running shoe is, of course, CUSHIONING. Cushioning aids in absorbing impact and provides a soft platform for your feet to rest on.

There are many varieties of walking shoes with cushioning from a vast range of materials and technologies used that you can choose from today. In addition, most sports and athletic brand running and walking shoes automatically add a supportive and shock-absorbing cushioning system.

So in our article, we will look at some of the best-cushioned walking shoes in various brands and models available today.

The Importance of Cushioning for a Walking Shoe

When you walk or run, particularly on hard or concrete surfaces, there is an impact on your feet, in some cases, mostly on the heels and the balls of your feet. This impact, in turn, can cause much stress and strain on your feet, heels, ankles, knees, and even back and directly affects your joints.

Foot pain and conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis and heel, back, and knee pain can result from a shoe with improper cushioning or impact absorption characteristics. As a result, the impact is more excessive when running or walking.

Besides this, Cushioning provides a comfortable platform for your feet and aids in balance and stability; cushioning likewise prevents pressure and can help when you have Painful bunions or other conditions under your feet.

Cushioning Types in Walking Shoes

There are so many materials used today for cushioning in the insoles, footbed, and midsole of your shoes, as well as a variety of innovative technologies.

Here are a few materials and technologies mainly used in popular running and walking shoes today.

memory foam cushioning demo

  • Air Cushioning – Air bubbles are used in Gel and other materials to form a cushioning and shock-absorbing layer.
  • Foam Cushioning – Foam is used in many ways and can be filled with air to create a more cushioned effect.
  • Memory Foam Cushioning – You can use memory foam to create a soft platform for your feet that molds and contours to the natural shape of your feet while providing plush cushioned comfort.
  • Gel Cushioning – Gel insoles, particularly gel forefoot and rearfoot pads, are used in many athletic shoe brands to absorb impact and provide cushioning in the areas where there is most pressure.
  • EVA Foam – EVA foam is a prevalent compound used in many shoe brands for cushioning insole, midsole, and even the outsole. EVA stands for Ethylene Vinyl Acetate, a very elastic material similar to rubber yet much softer. EVA plastic can be foamed with bubbles for a more cushioned effect or used as-is for firmer cushioning.
  • Phylon Cushioning Foam – Phylon is also made from EVA by using compression molding techniques to expand the EVA, creating a foam that is loaded into a heat press for compression molding. This allows the bubbles in the foam to expand more to have a springy and lighter-weight midsole.
  • Open Cell Design Foam Cushioning – Open Cell Foam is created from a spongy, porous material that allows air and water into its structure. Open Cell foam makes an excellent insole as it absorbs moisture and breathes easily.

Features & Materials of a Good Cushioned Walking Shoe

New Balance Cushioned Walking Shoe
Orthotic type isolates can be found in orthopedic shoes; they provide orthopedic cushioning ideal for sensitive feet, conditions such as Bunions, hammertoe, Diabetes, and Peripheral Neuropathy.

Here are a few more features to look for in a Cushioning Walking Shoe;

  • Uppers – Look for comfortable and breathable uppers. leather, textiles, knit, mesh, and synthetic leather upper are ideal. Also, look for a moisture-wicking interior lining.
  • Cushioning and Support – Good support features such as stability or arch support are ideal. In addition, look for a cushioned insole and a foam or cushioned midsole for shock absorbency.
  • Outsole – The outsole needs to be a durable rubber with a lug pattern to offer grip and traction for walking.
  • Fit – As you will see, many walking shoe models also offer wider width options so that you can get a better fit, as well as half sizes and extended sizes.

Reviews: Best Cushioned Walking Shoes

These are the most plush and amply cushioned walking shoes that you will find on the market today.
We hope you love the shoes we recommend!
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Memory Foam Cushioned Walking Shoes

These two shoe models from Skechers are super lightweight, amply cushioned, and comfortable, with model characteristics for walking and even just leisure everyday wear.
  • Leather and synthetic upper construction with Ghillie lace-up system for a secure and comfortable fit.
  • A thick and durable rubber outsole for better grip and shock absorption.
  • The tongue and collar are padded for comfort.
  • Inside, you can look forward to the plush Memory Foam insole that contours to the shape of your feet, offering superb support and comfort.
  • The D’Lites for women likewise feature a shock-absorbing athletic midsole.


Air Cushioned Running and Walking Shoe

Nike is known as one of the top brands with the best cushioning systems and the most advanced cushioning technologies in their shoes.
  • The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus is a running and walking shoe with flexible and breathable Flymesh uppers.
  • The thick rubber outsole offers excellent traction and shock absorbency and is very durable.
  • There are reflectivity insets on the heels enabling better visibility at night.
  • A Fitsole sockliner conforms to the shape of your feet, keeping them dry and comfortable.
  • The Premium Cushlon ST Foam is unique to Nike and offers superior cushioned comfort.


Gel Cushioned Walking and Running Shoe

The Gel-Cumulus from Asics is one of their most popular Gel Cushioned running and walking shoe models that feature many comfort and support characteristics.
  • Breathable and lightweight mesh and synthetic upper construction with an easy lace-up closure system and comfortable tongue and collar.
  • An Impact Guidance system and the Guidance Line Technology Vertical Flex grooves enhance gait efficiency and functioning.
  • Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL pads offer cushioned comfort and excellent shock absorbency.
  • The AHAR outsole reinforces critical areas for high abrasion resistance and excellent traction.
  • A FluidRide Midsole provides a combination of cushioning and bounce back.
  • Available in a few color options for your perusal.


Orthotic Cushioned Walking Shoe

Orthofeet offers you orthopedic cushioned comfort in an extra depth design shoe, with comfortable Ortho-Cushioning and a removable insole, allowing you the use of your own orthotics.
  • It comes with a premium cushioned Orthotic insole that provides anatomical arch support and extra cushioning in the heel, which conforms and contours to the shape of your feet.
  • The Orth-Cushioning System ensures enhanced Gait with lightweight cushioning that softens every step that you take.
  • The cushioning system is likewise bio-mechanically engineered to alleviate stress on your joints and relieve pain.
  • A non-binding and extra depth design with added toe room to accommodate conditions such as hammertoe and Bunions.
  • Seamless interior lining and soft and flexible, breathable upper design, with a shock-absorbing, high traction rubber outsole.


EVA Foam Cushioned Running and Walking Shoes

New Balance is one of the top name brands for high-performance and comfortable athletic shoes. The 990V4 is one of their best sellers in running shoes, which could also be used as a walking shoe. This model features EVA foam infused cushioning, one of the latest techniques and advancements in cushioned comfort.
  • Suede leather overlays with mesh insets for a secure fit with excellent breathability.
  • A supportive and shock-absorbing rubber sole, ideal for walking and running.
  • The outsole has blown rubber for cushioning, a dual-density collar, an ENCAP PU ring, and an EVA core in the heel with foam cushioned support.
  • Available in plenty of color choices to choose from for every taste and personal preference.


Cushioned Walking Shoe

A lightweight and high-energy return cushioned walking shoe from Skechers.
  • Breathable and lightweight mesh uppers.
  • A Goga-Max high-rebound insole.
  • There is 5Gen cushioning for a lightweight response.
  • Durable and high traction rubber outsole.


Gel Cushioned Walking Shoe

One of the best sellers from Asics as running and walking shoes is the Gel-Venture with the Gel cushioning technology.
  • Breathable and lightweight mesh and synthetic uppers are available in many color options.
  • A rearfoot GEL cushioning system and comfortable cushioned removable sockliner.
  • Excellent shock absorbency and energy return.
  • AHAR high abrasion-resistant rubber outsole.


Cushioned Walking Shoe

New Balance is a top athletic and sports brand; the 411 walking shoes are one of the best-cushioned options that you will find.
  • The Upper is a durable leather with perforations for breathability.
  • Color variations are available.
  • A durable and shock absorbing thick rubber outsole.
  • They use the popular CUSH Midsole cushioning technology.
  • Walking strike path technology for motion control.
  • The tongue and collar are padded for further comfort.


Slip On walking Shoe with Cushioning

One of my favorite walking shoes is from the Go Walk Range from Skechers, the Go Walk slip-on shoe, and the Apprize model, the latest in this range.
  • Easy slip-on and off style and availability in many colors.
  • The uppers are flexible, lightweight, and breathable, entirely made from mesh; the uppers are seamless, so there is no friction.
  • Inside is an Air-Cooled Goga Mat insole for comfort and support.
  • The Lightweight and dual-density Ultra Go outsole offers comfort pillar technology and exceptional shock absorbency.
  • What is more, you can machine wash and line dry this shoe for convenience.


Stability Walking Shoe with Cushioning

One of the most popular stability and cushioned walking shoes is, of course, the Propet Stability Walker, which is available in a velcro strap closure or lace-up closure model.
  • Many neutral color selections are available with leather uppers perforated for breathability.
  • A D-Ring lace-up system for fast and secure lacing and a snug fit.
  • Rocker bottom style sole from durable rubber for better stability and traction.
  • Inside is a removable cushioned orthotic insole.
  • The EVA midsole is molded for superb shock absorbency and cushioning.


Cushioned Walking Shoe

The Vionic Walker is a comfortable leather walking shoe, similar to the Propet, that features a Biomechanically designed cushioned footbed for complete cushioned support.
  • Durable leather uppers from full-grain premium leather that are water-resistant.
  • Available in a few neutral color selections.
  • Action lace-up system.
  • Inside is a breathable and moisture-wicking cool mesh liner with a PU foam base for comfort.
  • There is also a Biomechanical removable orthotic footbed with an antibacterial covering for comfort and cushioning.
  • The Motion control design footbed prevents excessive pronation and ensures excellent arch support.

Index Table: Top Rated Cushioned Walking Shoes

No.ShoeMen ♂Women ♀FeaturesBrandScore
1Skechers® - Memory Foam Cushioned Walking Shoes Vigor D’Lites
  • Memory Foam Footbed
  • Lightweight
2Nike® - Air Cushioned Running and Walking Shoe Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Air Zoom Pegasus 38
  • Cushlon ST Foam
  • Flymesh Uppers
3Asics® - Gel Cushioned Walking and Running Shoe Gel Cumulus 24 Gel Cumulus 24
  • GEL
  • AHAR Outsole
  • IGS System
4Orthofeet® - Orthotic Cushioned Walking Shoe Lava Verve
  • Orthotic Insole
  • Extra Depth
5New Balance® - EVA Foam Cushioned Running and Walking Shoes 990V5 990V5
  • Foam Cushion
  • EVA
  • PU Ring
New Balance98
6Skechers® - Cushioned Walking Shoe Go Walk Max Go Walk 15901
  • Goga-Max
  • Cushioned’Mesh Uppers
7Asics® - Gel Cushioned Walking Shoe Gel Venture 8 Gel Venture 8
  • Rearfoot Gel
  • Removable Sockliner
  • AHAR Outsole
8New Balance® - Cushioned Walking Shoe 411V1 411V1
  • ABZORB Cushioning
  • Breathable
New Balance96
9Skechers® - Slip On walking Shoe with Cushioning Go Walk 5 Apprize Go Walk 5 Apprize
  • Goga Mat Insole
  • Air Cushioned
  • Breathable
10Propet® - Stability Walking Shoe with Cushioning Stability Walker Stability Walker
  • Cushioned
  • Stability Features
  • EVA Midsole
11Vionic® - Cushioned Walking Shoe Walker Walker
  • Water Resistant
  • Cushioned
  • Biomechanical Insole
  • Motion Control Footbed

About the Author

David Alegeta

David is a long-distance hiker, a writer and an editor whose favorite topics include backpacking and trail running. He is an adventure athlete who covered over 20,000 miles. He frequently speaks to groups about the benefits of proper footwear and has written numerous articles on this subject. He lives in Dallas, Texas with his family.