Walking shoes are one of the most important types of outdoors footwear you can buy, and during ourtesting we had a lot of fun (and racked up the miles) putting our top picks through their paces. This was a very hotly contested award, but in the end we fell for the plentiful tech and badass sleekness of the Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX Shoe.
- Best women’s walking shoes
There used to be a time (many years ago) when ‘proper walking shoes’ was code for ‘ugly outdoors shoes’, but that has never been less true than with the waterproof Aerios FL GTX Shoe. Available in men’s and women’s sizes (the colours vary), these lightweight shoes will see you from mountain pass to pub, then back to work… provided you aren’t suited and booted for your 9-5.
What we love about them is how they look and feel like minimalist sneakers, yet perform like robust hiking shoes, and all while offering the comfort needed for explorative days on the trail. That’s no surprise considering how the design is inspired by long-distance trail running shoes. Among other features, there’s a protective compressed EVA midsole and integrated TPU shank; the latter adds stiffness to the sole, reducing fatigue and increasing grip on uneven surfaces.
These Arc’teryx beauties also have a Vibram Megagrip outsole to provide extra grip, as well as a deep-cut lug profile for tackling muddy trails. Although, if you’re like us, you’ll probably cry the first time you get them dirty – they really do look that good on.
These Gore-Tex-toting walking shoes are highly breathable too, so we didn’t once succumb to sweaty feet when wearing them. We’ve worn them on all types of trail and felt supported, cool and comfortable with each step. In short, the Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX Shoe will eat your normal country park walk for breakfast, then keep you sure-footed and energised during more robust hiking and trekking.
Full shortlist: Salomon OUTline GTX, Arc’teryx Aerios FL GTX Shoe, Mammut Mercury III Low GTX, AKU Selvatica Low GTX, Keen Venture, Merrell Choprock
Check out more of this year’s award winners on our mainpage.