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The Best Approach And Walking Shoes Of 2020

If you’re just starting out, recovering from injury or simply love walking in your local area, finding the right footwear is just as important for low-level activity as it is for climbing mountains. There are plenty of options to choose from, but it can be hard to know where to start and what’s right for you. Luckily, we’ve pulled together this expert guide on the best low-level and approach shoes this season and have included a handy guide on what to look out for when choosing the right footwear for any activity. Here are our top picks.

Merrel Men’s Moab 2 Ventilator Shoe

Out-of-the-box comfort and superior breathability for spring and summer walking, this is a sturdy and supportive shoe with excellent grip on a variety of terrains. Ideal for lightweight trekking or walking over trails and tracks, round your local park or woodland, or even just out with the dog. An Air Cushion in the heel adds extra support and stability to these all-round walking shoes.

Merrel Men’s Moab 2 GTX

A sturdy and supportive shoe with a GORE-TEX lining for excellent breathable, waterproof protection for when it’s a little wet underfoot or you’re down by the river. The Vibram TC5+ sole offers great grip and durability on different terrain, so you can stay upright, even on uneven or slippery surfaces. Great comfort, support and stability thanks to an EVA molded footbed and Air Cushion heel. Our go-to waterproof walking shoe. 

Scarpa Cyrus GTX

Smart, comfortable and versatile enough to take you from walking the dog in the park to exploring tourist towns, this rugged yet comfortable shoe has a clean, classic style for taking on a variety of activities in a day. This understated yet capable shoe is extremely versatile, boasting a GORE-TEX Extended Comfort waterproof and breathable lining to keep your feet dry and comfortable all day. A traditional look that wouldn’t be out of place on woodland or tourist trails. 

Keen Steens Men’s Waterproof Shoe

An affordable all-around trainer-style shoe for short hikes, and casual, active adventures with stable support on various terrains. This breathable shoe offers low-cut athletic performance in a lightweight and nimble package, with a durable leather upper and breathable mesh underlays for dry, comfortable feet. 

Meindl Caribe GTX

Designed for great fit and performance, the Caribe is ideal for lightweight hiking, walking, travel or other low-level activities. With a. GORE-TEX membrane, these shoes are not only waterproof, but also super comfortable for walking thanks to the Trail Activity Sport sole and velour stream mesh. 

Meindl Activo GTX

The ideal choice if you need a sporty, casual shoe in a wider fit. This ultra-comfortable shoe is as practical on the outside as it is on the inside: fully waterproof and breathable, with a duo-lacing system and a layered footbed with innovative Comfort Fit that contours to your feet, plus a Meindl Lite Trail rubber-grip sole, for excellent grip when paths become slippery or uneven.

Scarpa Vortex GTX

The Vortex may look like a lightweight, but don't let that fool you! With a sole unit capable of long distances, a GORE-TEX lining to protect against the rain, and a tried-and-tested Vibram Dynatech 2 sole unit for reassurance, this really is an approach shoe for all seasons. Versatile, waterproof and comfortable, this is ideal for lightweight hiking and walking on mixed terrain with plenty of freedom at the ankle.

Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX

A fantastic lightweight hiking shoe that allows you to move safely at speed though tricky terrain. Perfect for quick and nimble trail runners or walkers, the Sensifit technology really holds your foot in place while the Advanced Chassis provides underfoot support, stability and protection. The Descent Control technology allows you to maintain excellent grip even when going downhill whilst the GORE-TEX lining ensures waterproof and breathable protection.

The North Face Lightwave Fastpack II GORE-TEX Hiking Shoes

Go fast and stay agile with these waterproof and breathable walking shoes. With an OrthoLite footbed for long-lasting comfort and a supportive midfoot, this shoe will give you confidence on a range of terrain. Stay seen with reflective heel webbing for low-light conditions and keep your feet protected with a reinforced heel and toe. They're also light enough to pack for travels when you’re heading further afield.

The North Face Hedgehog Fastpack II

If you’re looking to go with a bit more pace and tackle rocky, steep or uneven terrain, this lightweight shoe is packed with technology to support, cushion and stabilise your journey on foot. With fine-tuned soles for stiffness, shock-absorbing mid-sole, cushioning insoles, and a Vibram outer sole for ultimate traction and durability, this shoe is incredibly supportive and comfortable. Combine all this with a waterproof upper and abrasion-resistant mesh, and you’re looking at an extremely versatile shoe able to handle wet and muddy as well as dry and stony terrain.

Keen Women’s Targhee III

The iconic walking boot, reimagined. Keen have carried over the fit, durability and performance of their award-winning Targee waterproof boot, and taken its rugged looks to a whole new dimension in this walking shoe. Complete with a waterproof, breathable membrane, leather mud shield, extra heel stability and natural odour control, this shoe is perfect for a variety of terrain and loose surfaces. 

Need a little more help? Check out our guide to finding the right footwear for your activity here. And if you can’t get to a store to have your shoes fitted for free by one of our experts, here’s a guide to doing it at home.