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Lace Up: The Best Walking, Toning, and Hiking Shoes

We sweat-tested our way through more than 70 sneakers. Find out which walking, toning, and hiking shoes were our top-rated picks.

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Reebok EasyTone Grace
Michael Kraus
Michael Kraus
Michael Kraus
Michael Kraus
Michael Kraus
Michael Kraus
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The Best Toning Shoes

Winner: Reebok EasyTone Grace

Word on the Street: Thanks to mini podlike balls on the sole, "these made walking fun!" The cushioning was "just right," and the smooth-seamed upper was "supercomfy." Testers felt added toning in their abs, hips, thighs, and calves -- even after just a 30-minute walk. "You have to work harder to find your balance," and "the extra spring and bounce motivate you to walk longer than usual." ($125, reebok.com)

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The Best Toning Shoes

Runner-up: Avia i-Burn

Word on the Street: Designed with a double rocker technology that causes your heel and forefoot to sink and rise as you walk, the shoe "feels like walking at a five incline on the treadmill." "You feel every muscle in your lower body engage with each step," especially the outer thighs and calves, testers say. Because "they're so comfortable," one flat-footed tester was able to walk farther. ($120, avia.com)

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The Best Walking Shoes

Winner: Ryka Radiant

Word on the Street: Because they have "great arch support," a breathable, "keep your foot cool" upper, and "a satisfying combination of cushioning and support," these sneaks "feel like buttah." Multiple flex grooves in the outsole make for a more natural, heel-to-toe walking stride, while the sneak's comfy sock liner means "no blisters, no discomfort, no rubbing." ($70, ryka.com)

The shoe fits if:

  • you walk for exercise
  • you need more arch support than casual shoes provide
  • you spend tons of time on your feet

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The Best Walking Shoes

Runner-up: New Balance 615

Word on the Street:
This "sleek" shoe is just right for the power walker. With "the perfect amount of supportive cushioning," guide-your-stride flex grooves on the outsole, and an arch-stabilizing post in the midsole, you're guaranteed steady, "not stiff at all" footing. ($65, newbalance.com for retailers)

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The Best Hiking Shoes

Winner: Vasque Opportunist

Word on the Street:
"Just an all-around good shoe," this hiking-multisport trekker has a rugged rubber outsole that gives you a "great grip on smooth rocks and slippery surfaces." The "extremely comfortable" design also includes a waterproof upper, an EVA foam midsole that provides "plenty of shock absorbency as you walk," and an integrated plastic plate for added stability. They are "not too heavy or bulky, but not skimpy either." ($90 to $110, vasque.com for retailers)

The shoe fits if:

  • you hit the trails regularly
  • you're primarily a day-trip hiker
  • you don't hike through severe weather or changes in altitude

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What You Need to Know About Walking, Hiking, and Toning Shoes

Q. What should I do with all my old sneakers?

A.
Donate 'em! If your sneaks are just lightly worn, connect with One World Running (oneworldrunning.com), a nonprofit organization that collects low-mileage running shoes, cleans them up, and sends them to impoverished areas all over the world. Or, if your kicks have already paid their dues, take them to a Nike Reuse-A-Shoe drop-off location (nikereuseashoe.com) to be put through the grinder and magically reborn as new athletic surfaces, such as running tracks and gym and basket­ball-court floors. To find local places to donate, go to recycledrunners.com.

Q. What is the best way to clean mud-caked hiking shoes?

A.
"First scrub the outsides of your boots or shoes with a bristle brush to remove the dirt [Tip: For stains, use mild detergent on a damp cloth], then air them out somewhere that isn't dark and damp," says Lace Thornberg, an editor for the bimonthly magazine of the Washington Trails Association, a pro-hiking organization in Seattle. Once they're dry, dust the insoles with baking soda or baking powder, she says. "Regularly reapply a water­proofing solution, such as Nikwax [about $8.50, rei.com], to your boots to prevent them from getting too wet when you're outside," she adds. Whatever you do, don't stick them in the washing machine!

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, October 2010.

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karen_barbara wrote:

I search that some are not available on the list. Here you can find your desire brand boots http://www.hikingomatic.com

12/5/2013 03:20:13 AM Report Abuse
reggiepaq wrote:

A lot of these aren't available anymore! There is a much better list here: http://www.thebestwalkingshoesguide.com/stylish-walking-shoes/

10/25/2013 03:17:34 PM Report Abuse
whatjennysays wrote:

me toooooo!!! boo on you FMag for featuring a shoe that we cant find or purchase in this cool color .... i found the shoe in 3 hideous colors on zappos. i bet reebok has had a big headache over this.

11/13/2010 05:14:28 PM Report Abuse
seatown_lady wrote:

Amazon has 2 currently in stock in black. Try Zappos and Ebay as well. Also there are other Reebok Easy Tone shoes available (without the fur)at Famous Footwear. It is also suggested that you go down a size. If you where a 6.5 try on a 6. Hope this helps some. Also I don't know when this advertisment came out however it can take at least up to 2 months before you start seeing them in the store. They were also probably ranked by testers.

11/8/2010 06:07:28 PM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

Are there any shoes that help when you have to stand in one place all day long on your job?

11/8/2010 03:32:06 PM Report Abuse
brenda_lathem wrote:

IT"S UGLY !

11/8/2010 01:21:53 PM Report Abuse
lm_bowman wrote:

The Reebok easy tones run narrow. I wear a 7 1/2 AA and these fit me just fine with a pair of socks. I usually can walk right out of a pair of sneakers or they flop out. These don't do that.

11/8/2010 11:14:01 AM Report Abuse
zoeputjagco wrote:

Were MBT's in this "best toning" shoes? I have ben wearing my MBT over a yar and they are aewsome.

11/8/2010 11:03:58 AM Report Abuse
fitchick365 wrote:

I love SmartSole exercise insoles http://www.smartsole.com as they help burn calories as well as tone and tighten and you can put them in whatever flat shoe or sneaker you desire. I heard about these insoles from my trainer.

11/1/2010 02:18:57 PM Report Abuse
jspicker wrote:

Too bad they don't make these shoes in a narrow width for those of us who require such. Athletic shoes can be "the best thing since sliced bread" but if they slip around on your foot and cause problems from poor fit they are pretty much useless.

10/28/2010 10:00:43 AM Report Abuse
ktsacdalan wrote:

This irritates the heck out of me, why rank the "winner" a shoe that doesn't even exist for purchase. Makes me doubt the credibility (not to mention availability) of all the other "winners" Fitness picks. From sports bras to skincare I probably won't even be interested in their recommendations anymore. I have it on good authority that when this shoe does become available Champs Sports and Lady Footlocker are planning on carrying it (but no guarentees).

10/23/2010 01:05:54 AM Report Abuse
ktsacdalan wrote:

Yeh, (^%#@*&) this shoe HAS YET TO BE MANUFACTURED. I have heard (from Reebok) it may be available in the spring. Who wants a fur lined shoe in the spring! So, whoever did the review of it either got the one special pair, OR reviewed it in the brown, black or white model. But those are uglier so Fitness probably got a copy of the green color "LUSH" to put in the photo.

10/23/2010 01:05:13 AM Report Abuse
briannelkemp1 wrote:

According to Reebok these shoes are not available for sale yet. They told me they would be coming out soon but are usually for sale at retail stores before they are available on reebok.com. They said they have received several calls about these and so they expect them to sell out quickly. They told me that my best bet was to continue to google the shoe name. They were not able to give me a date as to when the shoe would hit the market, only could tell me that it would be soon.

10/8/2010 10:26:01 AM Report Abuse
nacho628 wrote:

Please help! Where can we find this shoe?!

10/7/2010 03:01:29 PM Report Abuse
briannelkemp1 wrote:

I spoke to Reebok customer service and they were also UNABLE to locate this shoe. They can only find it in plain black or brown and white. They told me they would send a request to higher up to find the shoe but I have not heard back from them. Any help on being able to purchase this shoe in this design would be great.

10/6/2010 05:08:34 PM Report Abuse
trish83608906 wrote:

hi - searched for this shoe - can't locate anywhere....not even on Reebok site. Can you please tell us where?? thanks trish8@optonline.net

10/5/2010 10:41:16 AM Report Abuse

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