Walking Shoe Performance
Walking shoe reviews by consumers are a good source of information about overall comfort, which includes factors like stability, support, and fit. However, frugal shoppers shouldn't rely exclusively on reviews because the best cheap walking shoe for you depends on how it feels on your foot.
Walking Shoe Comfort and Support.For the most part, walking shoe reviews indicate the shoes on our list pass the test for comfort and support. Named the best walking shoe in 2010 by Fitness Magazine, the New Balance 760 (starting at $60) earns particular praise for its support and flexibility. One consumer writes in a walking shoe review on Amazon that the New Balance 760 provides all the comfort and support she needs while walking 14 miles at a stretch to train for a three-day walking event. The New Balance 760 also provides another user sufficient support following ankle surgery, according to a review on Sports Authority.
Consumers posting walking shoe reviews on ShoeBuy.com are high on the Avia A333 (starting at $38), noting that the cushioning and arch support keep their feet comfortable for hours at a time, and one wearer comments on Shoemall.com about the springy feel to the heel. Cushy, flexible, and comfortable are the terms consumers use in walking shoe reviews on ShoeBuy.com to describe the Ryka Radiant (starting at $60). Three-quarters of the 40 user reviews on Zappos laud its arch support; one 81-year old claims to walk two miles daily and arrive home dancing.
The slightly pricey Asics Gel-Tech Walker Neo (starting at $75) gets the runner-up nod for 2010 from Fitness Magazine, which commends its gel cushioning and arch support. Male and female consumers concur, with walking shoe reviews on Amazon saying these shoes are more comfortable than other top-rated brands and suit people with foot problems. The men's ProSpirit Jacorey (starting at $20) and the women's ProSpirit Rene (starting at $20) are likewise valued for comfort and flexibility, according to walking shoe reviews on the Target website, although there's little technical information about these shoes to back up reviewers' reports.
We didn't find many reviews for the Propet 6027 Exo Walker, but we did read a couple on Zappos and Endless.com that gripe about insufficient cushioning and inadequate arch support. Consumers do say, however, that these cheap walking shoes breathe well and keep their feet cool, and one highlights the comfort they provide his flat feet.
Walking Shoes Fit.The best and good cheap walking shoes generally get high marks in reviews for fit. But remember, everyone's feet are different, so use reviews as a rough guide and let your feet be the final arbiters. One thread running through many walking shoe reviews, however, concerns sizing -- many consumers suggest that you buy at least a half size larger than your regular shoes.
Reviews of the New Balance 760 are mostly positive in terms of fit. Women posting walking shoe reviews on Zappos have good things to say about the width, especially for narrow feet; one writes that there's plenty of room for her bunions although a few comment that the toe box seems a bit too snug. Men also like their version of the New Balance 760 even though reviews on Shoebuy.com caution that the shoe is not true to size and runs at least a half size smaller than the label states.
Another shoe that may require a bigger size than what you'd expect is the men's Avia A333. Several consumers posting walking shoe reviews on Amazon report needing a whole size larger, although one says the shoes fit perfectly in the walker's usual size. By contrast, fit doesn't seem to be a problem with the women's Avia A333. Users posting walking shoe reviews on Amazon assert that the shoes are true to size and fit like a glove.
The women's Ryka Radiant likewise wins praise for accurate sizing, with one review on Zappos noting the shoes need no breaking in. Both the women's and men's Asics Gel-Tech Walker Neo score high for fit, as well. Women like the roomy toe box and width that works for narrow or slightly wider feet, say walking shoe reviews on Zappos, and one male reviewer writes on RoadRunner Sports that the fit is perfect if you go up a half size.
Width seems to be an issue with the Propet 6027 Exo Walker. Although some reviews on Zappos say this model accommodates wide feet, other consumers posting walking shoe reviews on Amazon and Endless.com complain that the width isn't close to true, and thus causes pinching and discomfort.