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. Most sports and athletic brand running and walking shoes automatically sports a supportive and shock absorbing cushioning system.
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, as well as heel, back, and knee pain, can all result from a shoe with improper cushioning or impact absorption characteristics. When running or walking the impact is more excessive.
Besides this CUSHIONING provides a comfortable platform for your feet and also 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 of the materials and technologies mainly used in popular running and walking shoes today.
- AIR – Air bubbles are used in Gel and other materials to form a cushioning and shock absorbing layer.
- FOAM – Foam is used in many ways and can be filled with air to create a more cushioned effect.
- MEMORY FOAM – Memory foam can be used 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 – 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 – EVA foam is a very popular compound used in many shoe brands for cushioning in the insole, midsole and even the outsole. EVA stands for Ethylene Vinyl Acetate a very elastic material that is 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 – Phylon is also made from EVA by using compression molding techniques to expand the EVA, creating a foam which is loaded into a heat press for compression molding. This allows the bubbles in the foam to expand more so that you have a springy and lighter weight midsole.
- OPEN CELL FOAM – Open Cell Foam is created from a spongy, porous material which 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
- Orthotic type isolates can be found in orthopedic shoes, they provide orthopedic cushioning that is ideal for sensitive feet, conditions such as Bunions, hammertoe, Diabetes, and Peripheral Neuropathy.
- EVA Foam, or EVA by itself makes excellent cushioning.
- Gel Cushioning in the heel, forefoot or entire length of the sole.
- Memory foam insoles or footbed.
- Open Cell Foam construction.
- Air Foam.
Reviews: Best Cushioned Walking Shoes
These are the most plush and amply cushioned walking shoes that you will find on the market today1
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 good traction and shock absorbency, as well as being 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 along with the Guidance Line Technology Vertical Flex grooves enhances 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.
- 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 when it comes to high performance and comfort 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 and a dual density collar an ENCAP PU ring and EVA core in the heel with foam cushioned support.
- Available in plenty of color choices to choose from for every taste and personal preference.
Index Table: Top Rated Cushioned Walking Shoes
|No.||Shoe||Men ♂||Women ♀||Features||Brand||Score|
|1||Skechers® - Memory Foam Cushioned Walking Shoes||Skechers||97|
|2||Nike® - Air Cushioned Running and Walking Shoe||Nike||97|
|3||Asics® - Gel Cushioned Walking and Running Shoe||Asics||97|
|4||Orthofeet® - Orthotic Cushioned Walking Shoe||Orthofeet||98|
|5||New Balance® - EVA Foam Cushioned Running and Walking Shoes||New Balance||98|
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Table of Contents
- The Importance of Cushioning for a Walking Shoe
- Cushioning Types in Walking Shoes
- Features & Materials of a Good Cushioned Walking Shoe
- Reviews: Best Cushioned Walking Shoes
- Memory Foam Cushioned Walking Shoes
- Air Cushioned Running and Walking Shoe
- Gel Cushioned Walking and Running Shoe
- Orthotic Cushioned Walking Shoe
- EVA Foam Cushioned Running and Walking Shoes
- Index Table: Top Rated Cushioned Walking Shoes