Searching for a decent, affordable walking/hiking shoe, any help?

I am an older fellow with bad knees and suspect ankles from many years of abuse and mountain living, but now I reside in the flatlands. I used to hike the mountain areas out West, but now, not. I do, however, still find myself in situations where I need to walk a fair amount to enjoy visiting places and doing fun things. Usually, but not always, we're talking city, town, or normal hiking trails.

I know many of you live and work in cities and must do a lot of walking on pavement and I'd be interested in your take on comfort, primarily, and durability in a walking shoe. I don't need boots, I'm not climbing the Matterhorn here, so a regular shoe/athletic shoe will suffice. I like Merrells from past experience, but have seen so many new offerings courtesy of the web that I am finding myself completely baffled by the variety.

Any help out there in TKP land?

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I've loved the Asolo stuff I've worn. Instantly comfortable; no break in period was required. They not cheap unless you get them through Sierra trading post, or somewhere similar, with a coupon.

I primarily wear work boots and running shoes. I don't have much experience in hikers. Of shoes, I would recommend Asics GT-1000 or Venture for value pick or Brooks Adrenaline or Ghost if you want ultimate comfort.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

Came here to say that I've loved every pair of Brooks running shoes I've had (5-6 now). They have trail shoes also if you are looking for something a little more heavy duty.

Where's the beef?

My dad, age 85, started wearing Apex walking shoes on the advice of his podiatrist several years ago, and they have served him well. He walks anywhere from five to eight miles a day, and they hold up extremely well.

I started wearing them myself after my flat feet finally started causing problems around age 50. I liked them so much, I ordered some for my husband, who has a ton of old injuries to his knees and ankles (getting hit by a car on a motorcycle -it'll get after ya) and has a hard time finding comfortable shoes, He's been very happy with them.

They're a little pricey, and not the most fashionable looking shoes I've ever seen, but they get the job done and are very well-made. The only issue we've had was when my husband's developed a split after about a year. The company replaced them, no questions asked, even though he had run them through the wash — a no-no for leather shoes.

Happy shopping!

"Tajh Boyd over the middle . . . and it's caught for an interception! Michael Cole, lying flat on his back, ARE YOU KIDDING???"

Want to thank you all. I'm not looking for style, and my wife will be the final arbiter of that, but really for casual walking in casual clothes to light trail hiking. I spent a fair amount of time later in life working on a mountain survey crew, and all that that implies, and my legs took a beating. Really looking for a $100 maximum, and while waterproof would be nice, I'd rather put the money into comfort and support. Again, thanks for the ideas.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If you go trail running route, you should be able to get a premier shoe for under $100. even the better running shoes can usually be gotten for $100 on Amazon or by using the coupons at Dicks.

"You don't stare into a rearview mirror"

Wish I were able to do trail running, but even if I could, I wouldn't. Medium paced walking or hiking for pleasure is my speed these days, and sometimes I pay a good price for that in the knee department.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I have been rocking Danner Mountain 600s for going on 4 years now. They're a little pricey, between $100-$200 depending on style/color/material, but I think they have been worth every penny. They feel like a sneaker and perform like a light-medium duty hiker. They're pretty stylish too, if you were to ask an AssPocket about it. I wear them most every day.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

I've been loving Merrell MOAB 2's for the past few years and they go through Hell on my feet - roofs, crawlspaces, mud, hiking, DIY around the house, city streets, amusement parks - cuz I wear them everywhere I go.

For $100-$150 depending on features, they last a year or more with me. You can get models with composite toe protection, low or mid height, GoreTex waterproofing, high ventilation, and/or improved traction.

And the first time I put a pair on my feet, they felt like they were as broken-in as my old, black,all-leather Army boots.

Click here to destroy wall.

Yeah, I ordered a pair from Amazon and they were at least a full size too small and way to narrow. When I tried to reorder, the price had jumped $35 or so. I don't have the luxury of having close by places to buy that I can try the shoes on and I now feel burned by the experience, not to mention the 35 mile round trip to get to a UPS store to return them.
That's what prompted me to turn to this community for help. I'm getting a lot of good ideas, and Merrell is still in the mix, having worn their boots surveying for years and, well, loving Moab to pieces!

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Not certain why, but in Merrell sizes I apparently have Wide feet.

I've also never had a good shoe-buying experience from Amazon or Zappos so I feel you.

Click here to destroy wall.

I was just going to jump it a size and get the wide, but the extra bucks put me off so I thought I'd head out to the wider net. I don't think I'll do Amazon again, never done Zappos. And while I have had good experiences with Merrell, there are several intriguing suggestions here to research.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I wear a pair of blue North Face boots that look like moon-boots. Ran me about $130 but damn if they aint bad as hell. Got the gortex treatment and all. Just hiked 11miles in them today. Don't get me wrong, feels great to get out of them...but so does any work boot.

Amateur superstar and idiot extraordinaire.

Salomon's are good and you can pick them up under $100. I've used them for hiking the AT and running Navy Seal challenges and they're holding up great.

Tyrod did it Mikey, Tyrod did it!!

Brooks makes great shoes...totally resolved my plantar fasciitis. I have their Transcend series "running" shoe as my daily go to and their Addiction walking shoes I'll wear to work or a gig. Previous year model sales will get you within or very close to your price point.

I hike and work my bird-dogs over a lot of miles every year.
I agree with the Asolo from Sierra Trading Post.

With my supination, I also have found that adding the appropriate $50 Supershoes insert is always a good investment. The appropriate insert provides correction for the loading of your joints and results in a much more even wear pattern on the sole of the shoe (resulting in longer use).

I grew up chasing my Daddy's pointers. Bird hunting does take some hiking.
I will also investigate the insert idea. Thanks.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Thought I'd mention that the Trading Post is closed for the virus stuff. Can still browse, but can't buy. Too darned bad, I see they have several brands mentioned here and at their usual good prices. I used to buy from them regularly, but it's been a while since I needed to buy much outdoor clothing.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

i like sketchers memory foam, in the elastic slip on all leather, wide, for an inexpensive shoe that is very comfortable for doing a lot of walking without looking like an athletic shoe.

Sometimes we live no particular way but our own

Check out KURU footwear. They are an outfit out of Utah. Some interesting technology and from the reviews they are lifesavers. Ordered my wife a pair that should be here Thursday.

Frank was the Tank. Long live SW Virginia!

Altra makes a great shoe. Walking / running / etc. They have a wider toe box as well to let your toes naturally splay as your foot hits the ground.

If you don't want to recruit clowns, don't run a clown show.

"I want to punch people from UVA right in the neck." - Colin Cowherd

I second Altras. As a trainer, their zero drop is better for a more natural stride and the wide toe box is a big plus. Their trail versions are the primary shoes Appalachian Trail hikers use, but there are many other options for less daunting activities.

I'm encouraged and looking forward to doing some looking.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I run in Brooks Glycerins. Every Spring, I buy the previous model year when they go on sale. They're about $120.

I run a lot, and I have a bad knee that just can't take the constant pounding on pavement, and Glycerins have really good padding. Ghost is the model below, with not quite as much padding, you can get those previous model years for about $90.

I am bumping this thread to thank again everyone's input. To end the thread, I researched all brands mentioned to one degree or another, and went shopping. I found a lot of shoes in my price range that were recommended to me, but they were usually on sale, with my size not available, or some pretty funky coloration. While it would not have been my first choice, I did find Merrell Moab 2 ventilated trail shoes from LL Bean, of all places, on sale. After a lot of hassle returning my original shoes, I finally got everything straight, and just received my new shoes. If they end up sucking, I'll come back again, but otherwise, again, thank you to the community for helping me forth. When my wallet's a little fatter, I will revisit the brands mentioned, but I think the Merrells will see me through for a while.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

If you want a running type shoe for walking around the city and light trails that feels like you are walking on clouds, you have to try on Hokka. Just go to a running store, they should have some in stock and ask to try it on and walk on a treadmill or around the store.

Truth is, the virus really made it hard, along with my rural location, for going to stores (no running stores around I've heard of) and making a more leisurely search. I'll add the Hokkas to the list of shoes to check out, though. While I don't live in the city, my hikes are definitely light, but walking around the city on occasion is one reason I was in the market. Thanks for the recommendation.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

I will say some of the Hokka models may feel weird at first, and this will also be true with a lot of running shoe brands. Different running shoes will have different arch supports, different heel-toe drop which may feel weird at the start, and other different "technologies" that try to optimize how your foot strikes and moves on the ground. You really need to try running shoes on first to see if it feels natural or comfortable for your specific foot and how you walk.

Thanks and I agree that in a perfect world, I'd take several days and try on a dozen brands of shoes. One problem for me is that I've not worn structured shoes for a while now in retirement. Lotta Crocs, Keens, slipons etc. The Merrells are as you described, with support where my feet aren't used to it anymore, but they feel like I'll be comfortable walking in them when my feet acclimate to the structure.
My next shoe purchase will definitely be made in a big city with multiple shops and shoes to parse through, but that wasn't gonna happen this go 'round. My arthritic knees will also tell the tale after a few miles in the new hikers. I used to have feet that fit any shoe my size, but times have changed, as have my feet, and I don't see myself ever buying shoes online again. Too many variables.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays