To determine the adherence to supervised exercise training and underlying reasons for non-adherence amongst patients with inpatient treatment of symptomatic lower extremity peripheral arterial disease (PAD). This was a prospective questionnaire-based survey study of all consecutively treated inpatients with treatment for either intermittent claudication or chronic limb-threatening ischaemia (CLTI) surveyed at sixteen participating centres in Germany. A total of 235 patients (median age 70 years) were included, thereof 29.4% females and 34.6% with CLTI. The median time from first PAD diagnosis was 4 years (IQR: 1-8). Only 11.4% have previously participated in any walking exercise programme before the index treatment, thereby 10.0% in the IC subgroup and 12.0% with CLTI. Amongst all patients, 35.6% responded they were appropriately informed about the necessity and benefits of walking exercise programmes by their hospital physicians (25.8% by general practitioners), and 65.3% agreed that adherence to supervised exercise may improve their pain-free walking distance. A total of 24.5% responded they had access to necessary information concerning local walking exercise programmes. Amongst 127 free text comments on the reasons for non-adherence to supervised exercise training, 64% of the comments contained lack of information or consent on such measures. Less than 12% of the patients enrolled in the current study have ever participated in a walking exercise programme during their life course. Although all practice guidelines contain corresponding class I recommendations, especially for patients suffering from IC, most patients responded that they were not appropriately informed about the necessity of exercise training along with the fact that 65% agreed that exercise may increase the pain-free walking distance. Taken all together, these results emphasise that we miss an important opportunity in the patient-physician communication. Efforts should be made to improve acceptance and application of structured walking-exercise for patients with PAD.