Sneakers are among the most comfortable shoes you could own. You can keep your Derbies, loafers and boots with their Goodyear welts and hard-wearing soles – if you’re truly in need of something you can wear all day without your feet hurting, there’s nothing better than kicks.
However, some models are more comfortable than others. Sometimes tech makes all the difference, whether it’s Nike’s Air unit or Adidas’ Ultraboost cushioning. Other times the materials transform a regular sneaker into a mattress for the foot.
Either way, if you’re on the hunt for a new walking shoe or just want to indulge your feet in the finest, softest pair money can buy, these are the most comfortable models around.
Adidas Ultraboost 22
You can’t go wrong with any of Adidas’ Ultraboost range when it comes to comfort. The innovative bit of tech sees hundreds of tiny Boost capsules fused together in the sole, creating a bouncy feel every time you take a step.
That said, the Ultraboost 22 model might be the most comfortable of all thanks to its recycled textured upper which fits snug to the foot, eventually moulding around its shape with continued wear.
Although designed primarily for running, this is an excellent choice for times when you know you’re going to be travelling long distances.
New Balance Made in USA 990v1
New Balance sneakers are renowned for their comfort, so you can expect your feet to be well looked after in any of its range.
But among the most comfortable (and stylish) has to be the iconic 990 model. Debuting back in 1982, this distinctive silhouette paved the way for all retro running shoes to follow. This version is made in the USA, featuring a luxurious pigskin suede and mesh upper as well as the brand’s signature ENCAP midsole cushioning for a soft landing every time.
Asics GEL-KAYANO 28
Asics produces some of the finest running shoes in the world, many of which are worn by the planet’s top athletes, so you can virtually guarantee that any of its designs are going to be both comfortable and long lasting.
The GEL-KAYANO 28 model is the best of the bunch, with its low-profile heel that wraps around the foot keeping it secure and supported (preventing blisters). It also features the brand’s signature GEL tech cushioning for impressive shock absorption whether you’re running marathons or walking to the shops.
Nike Air Max 90
Nike revolutionised the sneaker world when it debuted its Air tech back in the 70s. Never before had trainers had the kind of cushioning that made you feel as though you were walking on clouds the entire time.
Not much has changed since, with Nike’s Air models still among the most comfortable of any sneakers around. The classic Air Max 90 boasts a signature visible Air unit in the sole, while its soft leather and mesh upper provides a breathable, comfortable fit that moves with the foot.
Allbirds Wool Runners
Although relatively new to the scene, Allbirds’ designs have been engineered for comfort from the beginning, quickly making them popular within the Silicon Valley tech industry.
A highlight of its range is the Wool Runner with its incredibly soft ZQ Merino wool upper and cushioned midsole which offers all day bounce and support.
Yeezy Boost 350 V2
Kanye hasn’t always been a proponent for comfort, as evidenced by the way he dresses. But during one of his more stylish phases – where he favoured the oversized hoodies and track pants that set the foundations for modern streetwear – he released one of the most comfortable sneakers ever made: the Yeezy Boost 350.
The contemporary classic features Adidas’ Boost tech inside its chunky sole, while the upper is a single piece of Primeknit, essentially acting as a sock around the foot. It’s not for everyone, but there’s no denying its comfort credentials.
Nike Air Force 1
The basketball classic is arguably the most famous sneaker design of all time. Its minimal upper, large Nike tick and chunky sole have garnered fans all over the world, who love it as much for its throwback styling as its wide range of colourways.
Comfort is something that’s often overlooked when discussing the Air Force 1, but its large Air unit and slightly wider silhouette combine to produce a design that looks as good as it feels.
Hoka Bondi X
Hoka’s sneaker designs sit atop the running shoe food chain thanks to their impressive technical features and lightweight, foot-conforming materials.
The Bondi X is the latest in a long line of innovative styles, with its stretchy performance upper, carbon fibre plate for added support and signature crash pad heel counter, made from the brand’s softest ever foam.
On Cloud 5 Ready
Another brand that places comfort and performance over everything else is On. Its trademark flexible soles contain the brand’s CloudTec foam for ultra-lightweight cushioning and support on virtually any terrain, while its closed-channel forefoot makes for a seamless fit that hugs the foot all day long.
Another Adidas classic and one that’s morphed over time from football training shoe in the 50s to casual wardrobe staple today, the Samba is one of the more comfortable everyday sneakers around.
A soft leather and suede upper is paired with a foam midsole and gum rubber sole, which is both grippy and supple, ensuring all-day wear is effortless. Available in a wide range of colours,
Originally released during the 1972 Olympics, the Nike Cortez quickly became a casual staple that has been adopted by everyone from LA gang members to Forrest Gump over the years. The simple design is as well-loved today as it’s ever been, with its minimal nylon or leather upper, suede accents and signature zig-zag sole.
It’s also one of the most comfortable sneakers around and ideal for those with narrow feet. Soft and supple straight out of the box, as the foot is so low to the ground they feel more like slippers than traditional kicks.