A smartphone can be a great helper if you want to improve your health or lose weight. There are apps (they are called walking directions ones) that you can install on your phone and use for all of the above purposes. In addition to its basic functions, the walking route program can be used as a planner or navigation app.
Below you'll find the best navigation apps for walking directions on mobile (including Android and iPhone). Let's turn our attention to the features of mapping a walking / hiking route.
Table of Contents
You can download the mentioned navigation apps via the links below the description.
The main features of walking GPS app
When you look at reviews of a navigation app and the description of its features, you'll see that often their primary focus is on drivers and public transport users. However:
- many users use navigation apps when walking and hiking;
- not to mention tourists, athletes, mushroom pickers, hunters and fishers;
- navigation apps will also be useful for cyclists;
- unlike automobile routes, pedestrian routes often display paths, sidewalks, and other transportation options rather than roads or highways;
- navigation apps from Google Play (for Android) and AppStore (for iOS) don't always offer optimised paths and are often limited to highways.
|Developer: Google LLC|
|App rating: 🐱🐱🐱🐱 4.3 out of 5|
Google Maps is one of the best free navigation apps for walking directions which supports the mapping of walking routes. It's a great help for tourists when there is a need to build a path for later offline use.
A manual on how to create routes for pedestrians in the Google Maps app:
- Your Internet must be enabled.
- Specify your destination on a map (by clicking on it) via the "Route" button.
- The "Go" button is the icon with the image of a person.
- My location is "Where".
- Instead of "Where", if necessary, set the destination point.
- Google Maps will select the best walking route taking into account the area you're going to.
- If there are several options available, you can choose the one that suits you best.
- Besides, the distance and traveling time with steps and turns are also displayed.
Google Maps developers note that the walking mode is under testing, so there may be some inaccuracies and errors. However, this isn't very crucial for a pedestrian, similar to driving fast in a car, when the app must respond quickly to travel conditions.
A nice bonus for the mobile version (Android/iOS) users is that Google Maps works offline. It's a useful and often indispensable feature for walking and hiking.
You can download a map and travel to different countries without having to worry about an Internet connection. However, it's impossible to map a walking route without the Internet; therefore you'll have to use GPS coordinates only.
|- Regular updates |
- Free of charge
- Partially operates autonomously
- Google Maps is convenient as a navigation app for pedestrians and tourists not bound to a region.
|- Alas, without the Internet, its functionality is significantly limited |
- You can't set the optimal route automatically.
|App rating: 🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱 4.6 out of 5|
In 2022, Yandex Maps were improved with a lot of additional features, both for Android and iOS. The developers adapted the app for walking directions, hiking and walking. Now via it, you can build the routes you need. However, this applies only for users from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Turkey and a dozen other countries.
Coming back to the topic of our review, here are the main Yandex Maps features:
- Creating walking routes with time and distance calculation
- Building alternative routes (via bicycle or public transport)
- Comparing all routes with the one you chose by time and distance
- Mapping a pedestrian route between buildings and other objects.
A grid of paths, trails, and sidewalks is used to build walking routes. The final way of navigation differs from the highways. As Yandex developers state, drawing up maps of such kind for pedestrians is a process with a complex algorithm. Map updates are done by volunteers.
|- You can view maps and track your position without the Internet |
- This navigation app will be useful for pedestrians and tourists in Russia
- The maximum distance of a route is 50 km
- You can't set walking routes without online access
- Doesn't work in Europe
|Developer: MAPS.ME (CYPRUS) LTD|
|App rating: 🐱🐱🐱🐱 4.3 out of 5|
It's also another free walking navigation app. Maps.me is suitable for motorists, cyclists and, of course, pedestrians. It can also be used for hiking, walking and tourism.
Maps.me walking directions features are available for all maps. Its navigation is implemented in much the same way as in Google Maps. If necessary, a required map section (city, region) is downloaded, which will be available for offline use in the future.
If you often go for a walk, not in the most popular places, you might have already noticed that the Internet isn't available everywhere. So its autonomy is a big pro of this app.
Data from the OpenStreetMap (OSM) service is used for creating maps. These maps are often more detailed when compared to the other navigation apps mentioned in this review.
The maps are quite comprehensive, which is vital for both hiking and cycling trips. A pedestrian will find necessary or exciting places, and in general, is less likely to take a wrong way. In a small unfamiliar city, the chances to find the right house or at least a street are much higher.
How to create a walking route via Maps.me:
- Select the destination address – "Here".
- Click on the pedestrian icon – "Start".
- Maps.me displays the speed, route and travel time and distance.
|- OpenStreetMap maps are frequently updated by the user community |
- It contains a full range of features that are unavailable in Google Maps and similar navigation apps
- Its maps are very detailed with options for displaying layers
- There is a night mode (turns on after sunset)
- Alas, the information isn't always up-to-date
- High location accuracy location when hiking
|App rating: 🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱 4.5 out of 5|
Many people aren't big fans of the excessive functionality of some mobile navigation apps. And such gadgets as Garmin are quite inconvenient for simple tasks, moreover, they aren't distributed for free.
"IGH" LITE is a perfect app for mushroom pickers and fishermen due to having essential functions for building walking routes. It's extremely easy to use the app. Even the elderly who face difficulties with remembering the way or navigating in the forest will cope with it.
First, you need to enable the navigation on your phone and wait for it to connect to satellites. We recommend doing it in an open area so that there will be no interference that prevents from syncing with the satellite.
"IGH" LITE features:
- Remembering the initial coordinates on a map, i.e. the place where you have to return to (for example, your car).
- Saving points with names and descriptions on a map in any form.
- Mapping a route from your current coordinates to a given point
- Work in a home mode with voice-over capability
|- The app is free (but ads are shown)||- You can't save maps|
|Developer: MapMyFitness, Inc.|
|Price: €4.37 - €32.99|
|App rating: 🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱 4.7 out of 5|
A popular navigation app for walking with a wide variety of features. To start using it, you need to register (authorization through Facebook is possible).
The application doesn’t work offline. After registration, enter your data - your height and weight. The next step will be a notification that the app requires permission to use location data. Once all permissions have been issued, the app will register your profile. This may take some time.
MapMyWalk GPS features:
- The ability to select the type of activity you are currently doing: walking, running, athletic walking, walking your dog. Many other options can be selected by clicking on the "all activities" button.
- Turning voice notifications on and off during your workout
- Hold live training sessions with your friends. You can track and review their activity on the map
- Turn off screen locks while you're using the app
- Customizing setting goals for motivation
- Detailed statistics during exercise and route review
Premium account has some additional features such as:
- heart rate monitoring
- daily steps counting
- connection with other wearables
- personal training program management
|Measurement||When you activate the tracker, the distance run (in km), time, calories burned, current walking pace, and average pace during your workout are measured.|
|Saving training data||Yes|
|Gadget and app support||The app supports smart wearables. It syncs with Garmin, Withings, MyFitnessPal, Suunto, Samsung Health, Heart Rate Monitor.Connects to Apple Watch.|
|Weight Reset||The app has a handy calorie counting feature. Via the premium version you can customize your workouts based on your height and weight.|
|Price: Free / 1,99 € - 9,99 €|
|App rating: 🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱 4.6 out of 5|
One of the most accurate walking training apps.
How to use "StepsApp" for walking:
- When you first start up, you can choose the measurement system - metric or English.
- For more accurate calculations, you need to enter workout data: gender, height, weight, year of birth.
- it is necessary to turn off the battery optimization. In this case, the phone will not switch to sleep mode.
- It is desirable to calibrate the accuracy of the pedometer (motion sensor) according to the instructions.
|- The notification panel displays the distance traveled and the time. |
- The app works both with geodata turned on and with it turned off.
- Handy calendar with activity for each day, week and month.
- Set goals: number of steps walked.
- In the premium version, you can set goals for calories burned, kilometers walked, and time.
|- The pedometer does not turn off and works all the time. |
- In the notification panel, the information screen cannot be disabled.
- There is no visual map and routes in the app.
- There is an advertising at the bottom of the screen.
|Measurements||Calories, steps and kilometers|
|Saving training data||Automatically saves the minimum information: distance traveled, steps, and kilometers.|
|Review your route||There is no map in the app.|
|Connection with other wearables||Google Fit|
Download for Android
Walking for Weight Loss
|Developer: Fitzeee Fitness|
|App rating: 🐱🐱🐱🐱 4.3 out of 5|
One of the easiest walking trackers for Android. Very simple, lightweight app that does not slow down your device.
How to use the pedometer to track walking workouts:
- At first, you need to enable geolocation - otherwise the app will not work correctly.
- Registration and data entry are not required to enhance your walks, .
- When you turn on your GPS and motion sensor, you will immediately see the map and the "Start" button.
- Via the Settings, you can enable calorie counting and workout data collecting.
- It is desirable to calibrate the sensitivity of the motion sensor.
- There is an opportunity to turn on the dark mode immediately.
- It is possible to switch from "maps" to "step counting" mode with a small button on the bottom right side of the screen.
- It is possible to view the walking statistics and track your walking workouts, which is very convenient.
- When viewing the workout data, a full screen advertising pops up, which you can turn off only after 10 seconds. This may be inconvenient during an active workout.
|Measurements||Calories, daily steps, speed in km/h, steps, and distance traveled.|
|Saving training data||Automatically saves in your history.|
|Weight loss||No. As the calorie data is too approximate and many parameters, such as height, are not taken into account.|
Download link: Google Play
|Developer: Abvio Inc.|
|Price: Free / 10,99 €|
|App rating: 🐱🐱🐱🐱 4.2 out of 5|
A small free app for measuring steps while walking. It has a familiar design and interface. At the same time, Walkmeter GPS has a lot of settings, which will be difficult to deal with without proper knowledge of the specifics of such pedestrian navigators.
|Measuring indicators||Travel time, distance, calories burned, distance (by default the unit of measurement is miles, but you can switch to km in the settings).|
|Saving training data||It saves automatically|
|Routes saving||Save automatically at the end of your workout.|
|Connection with other wearables||Apple Watch|
|Weight reset||No, the app is too inaccurate to even count calories, and there are no other weight loss aids.|
Footpath Route Planner
|Developer: Half Mile Labs LLC|
|Price: Free / 2,09 € - 24,99 € (pro)|
|App rating: 🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱 4.8 out of 5|
A walking tracker that combines a simple, non-laggy interface and a large number of features to enhance your walks. You can choose different workout methods - cycling, walking, etc.
The app converts the drawing into a full route, calculates the path to it and shows the different options for achieving the goals. You can review your route after the process.
Download links: Google Play
|Developer: OsmAND B.V.|
|App rating: 🐱🐱🐱🐱🐱 4.5 out of 5|
The first time you start the app for directions, it prompts you to download walking maps based on your current location. However, you can skip this item. You can always download maps in the settings section "Downloading maps".
OsmAnd's layout is simple and pleasing to the eye. You can add markers and favorite places. One of the pros is that the city map can be downloaded by typing the name into the search. To use walking functions on OsmAnd, you still have to download offline maps.
In addition to walking routes, the navigator can build ski, equestrian or bicycle routes. Mode, scale, road style, language, etc. are configurable.
There is a built-in speedometer. The navigator itself is voice-controlled. For example, it voices how long it will take a particular walking direction and the remaining mileage to the end goal, not to the nearest turn. There are no ads in the app, as well as features available only in the premium version
Download link: iOS
Can I use Waze for walking?
The short answer is no, Waze is not used as a walking direction app. It will be useful for motorists. Below we will try to answer this question in more detail.
The main feature of Waze maps is the active participation of users in the app performance. For example, if you know for sure that there is traffic jam or repair works on a certain section of a road, you can report it via the app and this information will be updated in real time, so that other road users will choose to rebuild their routes due to the received information. The app is completely free and available for downloading for iOS and Android users.
What differs Waze from other apps for navigation:
- The app does not support pedestrian mode, maps do not contain maps for walking;
- The capability to communicate with other users directly via the app, as well as to share routes, create meetings and track movements via maps;
- The app users are involved in the process of maps creation by alerting to important events on roads;
- This navigation app is aimed at the youth and it combines a navigator and a game mode: for helping to inform other drivers you'll get points and ranks and complete levels which adds an interactive aspect.
- Waze maps show traffic jam and information from other users such as current prices on gasoline at popular gas stations.
- Waze can work in offline mode, but it will perform only the navigator features and provide no information on traffic. Besides, the app works well even offline.
- The service uses its own maps in combination with geodata by Google, so it will help you to find a route almost in any part of the world.
- It voices everything that is happening and allows you to record your options for voice messages.
Thus, the Waze does not work as an app for walking directions. Most of the functions and features of the Waze app are focused on automobile functions. The navigator does not support walking routes, it does not have appropriate maps, and there is no any walking options.
Best app for walking directions: our top 5 - 2022
Google Maps is the best app for walking directions if you need a navigator to travel around the world. The application supports offline maps, with them you will be autonomous and you do not need an Internet connection. The navigator is extremely convenient for pedestrians and hikers, works on Android (installed by default) and iOS.
The StepsApp walking directions app has a high rating (4.6) for a reason. It is great for workouts - running, athletic walking. There are many settings for the route, supported by a voice assistant that will notify about changes along the way. Choose this app if it is important for you to maintain daily activity.
Maps.me is a great option for walking routes that other navigators don't have. Unlike Google Maps, it supports a lot of not-so-popular walking routes. OpenStreetMap maps are available for free, and they are very well detailed.
MapMyWalk GPS is the optimal walking navigation app for alternating between different activities: running, walking, hiking. The voice assistant helps you meet goals and navigate the route. The navigator is also very useful for keeping and viewing statistics.
IGH LITE is the best walking gps app for those who often go to the woods to gather mushrooms or hunt. The navigator helps to navigate in an uninhabited area, in nature, in the woods. Perfectly works with GPS-coordinates, allows you to create a hiking route of any complexity.
Google Maps or Yandex.Location inaccurately indicate location. How can I fix it?
Try reconnecting your mobile Internet connection. Problems often occur due to a network failure. Move to another place: there might be an ill satellite connection where you are. If it doesn't work, restart your device. Another way is to reinstall or update the app.
If you don't manage to fix the issue via the described methods, please report it to the developer. You can do it via the "Leave a review" menu item or Play Store.
Why are pedestrian maps not as accurate as drivers maps?
First of all, maps were created for highways. Walking routes were drawn later, and they haven't been made for all areas yet. Moreover, there are highways with sidewalks and highways where people aren't allowed to walk. Cartographers who are in charge of transport routes don't always note pedestrian zones near them.
In addition to it, walking routes are much broader and more variable than them, so it slows down the process of marking them on a map. Tourist maps for walking trails aren't systematized separately from highways.
What kind of improvements do the developers plan to make to the Google Maps service for pedestrians?
From time to time, adjustments are made: changing tabs appearance or adding new ones, equipping the navigation app with quick access to saved placemarks and objects located nearby and improving routes details. Useful functions are created, for example, information about public transport congestion or transport stops are specified. Also, data on train conditions are entered: temperature, availability of seats for women in train carriages. There is an option of showing the level of street lighting in the beta version, which is currently under test.
Ilia is a professional writer. He has expert knowledge in GPS and cartography with 15 years of experience. Additionally, Ilia has extensive experience in data recovery on PC and mobile. He started his career as a journalist by reviewing PC and mobile apps. His current responsibilities are to keep track of users' questions on MGT and answer them.