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There are a few reasons why finding the right women’s walking shoes for your foot type and foot problems is no easy task. For starters, many footwear experts consider the walking shoes market to be an untapped opportunity, yet according to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association, roughly 115.8 million Americans (age 6 and older) walked for fitness at least once in 2021. In 2020, walking became the dominant form of exercise as gyms closed during the pandemic, and according to SIFA, 56% of those walkers identified as women. Secondly, there are some big mistakes shoppers make when purchasing walking shoes, like purchasing the wrong shoe size. Before you head out the door to embark on your walk of the day, it’s important to ensure you are wearing comfortable women’s shoes that promote proper foot health. So even if you decide to wear a running shoe for walking, you should never have to sacrifice comfort for style when selecting the best walking shoes for women.
There are plenty of health benefits to walking, so you want to ensure you find your ideal women’s walking shoes to get your daily steps in. According to the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, walking can promote weight loss and lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Walking is also a great way to reduce stress and improve your mood.
Shopping for walking shoes can be difficult — we get it. Some shoppers might turn to tennis shoes or running sneakers for their walking needs from popular sneaker brands like New Balance and Adidas, while others might look at stylish “athleisure” footwear from companies like Allbirds and Rothy’s, and others might just be totally lost on where to begin their search. From walking shoe brands that utilize special technology for different foot conditions like Vionic and Kuru, to everyday walking shoes with arch support and a lightweight feel from athletic footwear brands like Ryka and Hoka One One, we surveyed the market, tested countless walking shoes, and read endless pages of customer reviews of the most popular shoe styles to find the best walking shoes for women in 2022. For walkers who suffer from knee pain, heel spurs, Plantar Fasciitis, or any other foot condition, we kept every type of foot need in mind. Whether you’re simply trying to find shoes that can go the distance for your upcoming travels or need 9-to-5 work shoes for women that will keep you comfortable while standing all day, like nurse shoes and orthopedic shoes, we got you covered.
Ahead, you’ll find our comprehensive guide to women’s walking shoes worth your consideration, as well as expert picks and tips from several podiatrists to keep in mind while shopping for walking shoes for women.
Top Tested Shoes for 2022
Related Story: The Best Walking Shoes for Men, According to Experts
Adidas Women’s Ultraboost 22 Running Sneakers
Best Running Shoes for Walking
- Weight: 10 oz.
- Materials: Rubber, foam, knit
- Support: Neutral
- Pros: Lighter than the Ultraboost 21, comfortable upper, excellent durability, great stability
- Cons: Expensive
- Best for: All types of walking, city sightseeing, walking outside, multiple activities
This popular Adidas style has won countless awards from multiple publications and currently has almost 1,500 near-perfect reviews on Amazon. If that’s not saying something, let us enlighten you with the gift to your feet, which is the Adidas Ultraboost 22. These shoes are known for their standout forefoot bending combined with an equally supportive heel, a feature usually overlooked in a sneaker. Sure, they’re running shoes, but their supportive, sock-like fit (among the best walking shoes for narrow feet) and responsive cushion make them ideal for everyday wear, too. Translation? You’ll never get tired of standing. These are one of the best Adidas walking shoes you can buy.
What Reviewers Say: “This is my third pair of Ultraboosts. They are my favorite shoes, the most comfortable and the most futuristic. I really enjoy the comfort. I can wear them all day when I’m on my feet and not be in pain at the end of the day.”
What Our Testers Say: “I have narrow flat feet, and the Adidas Ultraboost feels like royalty on my feet. I spent two weeks walking around Italy in these and had zero complaints of discomfort or foot fatigue. I am also a dog walker and wear them every day, walking miles around different neighborhoods. They allow me to power walk with an efficient cushion and supportive control.”
Related Story: Read Our Adidas Ultraboost 22 Shoe Review
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 Running Sneakers
Best Everyday Walking Shoes for Women
- Weight: 8.6 oz.
- Materials: Flyknit upper, foam
- Support: Neutral support with maximum cushion
- Pros: Household name, foamy footbed without throwing off balance, multiple colors, Nike’s most tested shoe, added cushion to the collar
- Cons: Expensive, run small
- Best for: All types of walking and running, city sightseeing, walking outside, multiple activities
A sneaker list without a pair of Nikes is like pizza without toppings: It just doesn’t make sense. One of the most popular Nike styles is the React Infinity Run Flyknit. This second iteration of the FlyKnit style is even more lightweight, stylish, and versatile. You get a midsole cushion you can rely on for countless miles. This sneaker works for everyone, providing a stable feel on your foot. Plus, the comfortably cushioned footbed and roomy upper make them ideal for those who walk with emphasis on their toes. They’re not only one of the best Nike walking shoes, but they also are one of the best sneakers in general.
It’s the type of shoe that instantly adds energy to your walk or run through its responsive foam. Plus, the cushioning absorbs impact and evenly distributes your weight, so you’ll want to keep moving without your feet hurting. The knit material feels more like a sock than a sneaker, adding more ease to this dreamy versatile sneaker.
What Reviewers Say: “I tried these on and didn’t want to take them off; they are so comfortable. They have a lot of bounce, tons of arch support, and just make walking feel better somehow. My left foot, ankle, and knee are messed up, and these add cushion to soften the impact and reduce pain.”
What Our Testers Say: “These sneakers are my go-to gym shoes when I’m going to be doing a little bit of everything. They are also my go-to errand-running shoes when I’m out and about for the day. They are stylish, simple, and comfortable. I have short wide feet, and I love how they fit and feel for hours on end.”
Vionic Tokyo Sneakers
Best Orthopedic Walking Shoes for Women
- Weight: 8 oz.
- Materials: Mesh and man-made uppers, removable EVA orthotic insert, cushioned outsole
- Support: Maxim support
- Pros: Available in medium and wide widths, extremely supportive footbed with excellent arch support, American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance
- Cons: Takes a week of wear for a proper break-in, runs slightly wide
- Best for: Women who want to alleviate foot pains and other discomforts in their lower extremities
Podiatrists highly recommend Vionic shoes because they make your feet feel good and perform easily. Specifically, the label’s Tokyo sneaker is its top walking shoe and is approved by the APMA for helping with foot problems.
This style offers a snug mesh upper, durable rubber outsoles, and a cushioned tongue and collar for added ankle support. It also features a removable podiatrist-designed orthotic insole for pain relief and an Advanced Motion System technology for stability. The result is better mobility and added comfort. They also have a breathable mesh fabric to help keep you cool and avoid moisture-induced infections like athlete’s foot. Vionic prioritizes combatting health issues, and the result is a game-changing sneaker that keeps you moving while you heal.
What Reviewers Say: “Love all my Vionic shoes, but especially the brand’s athletic shoes as they support my arch and keep my plantar fasciitis away when exercising. Recently, I noticed my feet ached, and my legs were especially tired after my long walks, and I decided it might be time for new Vionics. My last ones were the best I’d had to date, but the Tokyo style gives even more support and has a substantial sole. Tried these on and haven’t taken them off.”
What Our Testers Say: “I have high arches and wide feet, and these sneakers instantly brought me supportive relief. As I wore them on walks and around town, I especially noticed the breezy mesh that kept my feet from sweating. I also noticed the roomy footbed that didn’t cram my toes like some other sneakers I tested.”
Hoka Bondi 8 Sneakers
Best Women’s Shoes for Walking on Concrete
- Weight: 8.9 oz.
- Materials: Engineered mesh, memory Ortholite foam, hybrid sock liner
- Support: Neutral
- Pros: Heel pull tab, breathable, extreme foam comfort, comes in regular, wide, and extra wide; the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance
- Cons: Some people think the extra foamy footbed throws off balance, big for narrow feet, heavier than other Hokas
- Best for: Both running and walking on hard surfaces, city sightseeing, women with wide feet
You’ve probably seen the name Hoka (or Hoka One One) tossed around as the brand gained massive popularity over the last few years. Each of their shoes is designed with extreme cushion that’s ideal for anyone with high arches and back pain. Hoka One One’s Bondi 8 boasts marshmallow-like cushioning with full compression EVA midsoles and a plush collar to ease pressure on the Achilles tendon. The added cushion, however, makes these fit slightly more snug, which can make for better support.
The maximalist design is unique but also functional as it helps absorb shock without putting too much pressure on your knees. Combined with a supportive fit, the Hoka Bondi 8 brings the best of all worlds to the table. This sneaker also received the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance. Any product with this seal is reviewed by a group of APMA podiatrists to ensure it promotes proper foot health.
The style comes in an array of colorways and extended sizes, while the Meta-Rocker design promotes a smooth transition from heel-strike to toe-off. These are designed to propel you forward, so power walking (and running) can be done with ease. They’re a great option for all types of walking and will become that sneaker you won’t ever want to take off, even after a long day.
What Reviewers Say: “They have good arch support. I stand for at least six hours a day and find them to be comfortable all day.”
What Our Testers Say: “I walk and run a lot on a treadmill, which is usually hard on the knees. Once I started wearing Hokas, I noticed a major difference not only in my walk/run pace but also in the way I landed with each step. My knees felt energized, and I no longer feared the impact. I tested over 10 different shoes for this story, and these Hokas are my favorite. I have slightly wide feet with high arches.”
The Best Hoka One One Shoes, According to Customer Reviews
The 8 Best Hoka Running Shoes, According to Experts
New Balance FuelCore Nergize Sneakers
Best Lightweight Walking Shoes for Women
- Weight: 5.3 oz.
- Material: Synthetic soft knit and rubber sole
- Support: Moderate
- Pros: Low profile memory foam adds on the ground comfort, is easy to slip on and off, super lightweight, and travel-friendly
- Cons: Run slightly small
New Balance’s FuelCore Nergize is a great lightweight option and one of the best New Balance walking shoes you can buy. It features a durable and responsive Revlite foam midsole and a sleek knit upper. They’re extremely weightless, making them a great style to pack for vacation. With almost 55,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, this sneaker is among the best walking shoes for any woman’s arsenal.
Not only do these shoes bring comfortable cushioning, but like your favorite pair of sweatpants, they are breathable and flexible via feel-good mesh. Multiple testers say to go a half size up as these sneakers run small.
What Reviewers Say: “Comfy shapes with exactly the support I was expecting. Wear them around the house, and my feet, knees, and back are much happier.”
What Our Testers Say: “I love how lightweight these sneakers are. I have flat feet, and the slight arch support was just enough to support me. These are easy to slip on, throw in a gym bag, and pack. They will definitely be my go-to travel sneaker when I’m tight on space.”
Kuru Atom Sneakers
Best Women’s Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
- Weight: 10.6 oz.
- Materials: Synthetic upper, linings, Kuru Cloud EVA Midsole, rubber outsole
- Support: Maximum support
- Pros: Specifically designed for foot aliments (you can shop by type of foot pain directly on the site), comes in medium and wide widths
- Cons: Extra long shoelaces, slightly heavier than others
- Best for: Long days on your feet
With almost 1500 near-perfect reviews, Kuru is doing something significant in footwear. The brand brings relief to a variety of foot ailments and has attracted quite the cult following. The Atom sneaker provides heel-hugging comfort, a special Kurusole made from the Kurucloud. These patented materials redirect impact forces from the ground and support each step for healthier, younger, and less fatigued feet. The midsole blends lightweight foams with on-the-ground comfort for an energizing yet supportive return. They also have a wide toe box which is great for plantar fasciitis, bunions, and heel spurs, since the toes are able to spread and the feet are able to move naturally.
What Reviewers Say: “I have been wearing a shoe recommended for plantar fasciitis and heel spurs with a little relief, but by the end of the day, my feet hurt. I tried these Kuru Atoms, and OMG, what a huge relief. I don’t want to take them off. They do not compare, and I wear them all day. I have purchased 2 more pairs, and all I can say is THANK YOU!!!!”
What Our Testers Say: “I tested multiple pairs of sneakers for this story, and these by far have the most attention to detail. Before knowing anything about the brand, I thought these were made for people like me with all sorts of foot problems. I have neutral arches and a neutral width but experience knee pain and suffer from plantar fasciitis. It feels like Kuru did a case study to fix my problems. I will be wearing these for the foreseeable future.”
Related: These Are the Best Stretches to Treat Plantar Fasciitis Foot Pain
Brooks Adrenaline GTS22 Sneakers
Best Women’s Walking Shoes for Travel
- Weight: 9 oz.
- Materials: 100% DNA LOFT cushioning for a soft, smooth ride, breathable mesh upper
- Support: High support, best for women with high arches
- Pros: Comes in medium, wide, narrow, and extra wide widths; GuideRails technology adds support by keeping excess movement in check, so you stay in your natural stride, and reliable; APMA seal
- Cons: The latest version has a more flexible upper which some users complain about for stability compared to the previous model
- Best for: Walking long distances
For 20 years, the Brooks Adrenaline sneaker has been known as a perfect walk shoe and, thus, has become an icon. The latest iteration, Brooks Adrenaline GTS22, is lighter, more breathable, and has an improved cushion for support. We consider this an optimal outdoor walking shoe for comfort and support, especially for walking long distances when exploring a new city. Additionally, the silhouette features seamless internal construction for a lightweight barely-there feel.
The best thing about this pair is the moderate cushion adds just enough spring to your step while supporting the body’s natural forward walking/running motion. It offers a perfectly balanced ratio of responsiveness and control and a cushion that softens impact without feeling too squishy. The combination of comfort and support makes these an excellent shoe for those with plantar fasciitis. This shoe received The American Podiatric Medical Association seal, which means it’s exceptional for overall foot health.
What Reviewers Say: “Brooks have become my go-to brand. I exercise four to five times a week and have plantar fasciitis, and I don’t even need to wear my orthotics anymore. They have great support and look good.”
What Our Testers Say: “I have high arches and usually find sneakers with sufficient arch support to be clunky and heavy, but that was not the case with these. If you’re looking for a low profile, lightweight sneaker that you can walk and run in, these will be a good fit.”
Lululemon Chargefeel Sneakers
Best Women’s Walking Shoes for Training
- Weight: 8.6 oz.
- Materials: Upper advanced mesh knit with foam and rubber dual-density midsole
- Support: Moderate support
- Pros: Great ankle support, extremely lightweight, very comfortable for how low profile the footbed is, no break-in period, easy to clean
- Cons: Difficult to get on and off because of the high top, ankle support causes slight blisters for some
- Best for: All forms of exercise
When you first open the box of Lululemon’s new Chargefeel, you see the words, “run, jump, HIIT, sprint, box, lunge, kick, chill, squat, skip and dance.” That’s exactly what these shoes can do, and then some. We declare them the best all-in-one walking shoes to take you around the block, to the gym, and much more. Lululemon’s recently debuted “female-first” trainer are made with dual-density cushioning to provide just the right amount of bounce and comfort without removing the agile support for lateral training work.
The upper material is constructed from breathable mesh that hugs your foot and ankle ever so slightly while contributing to a better, more custom fit with stretch and ventilation. Your foot is supported and secured without compromising cushion and energy return. These sneakers are best for women with narrow to neutral feet and provide a second-skin feel and extra support.
What Reviewers Say: “The most comfortable pair of shoes I own. After I received these shoes, I bought 2 more pairs in different colors. They are basically the only shoe I wear now. I love them for all activities. I had bilateral foot and ankle surgery when I was a kid, and these shoes are so comfortable and do not cause me any pain. Don’t sleep on buying these shoes. Worth every penny! Also, I sized up a half size because I have wide feet, and they fit perfectly!”
What Our Testers Say: I love how much you can do in these shoes and feel supported. They are probably the best walking shoes that are also great for lateral movements. They are a little difficult to put on and take off, but it’s worth the great comfort, support, and overall vibe these sneakers bring.”
Asics Gel Nimbus 24 Sneakers
Best Podiatrist-Recommended Walking Shoes for Women
- Weight: 8.9 oz.
- Material: Mesh upper, rearfoot and forefoot gel technology, OrthoLite X-55 sock liner, Asics Lite rubber, reflective details
- Support: Neutral
- Pros: Softer than the previous versions of the Nimbus, extremely efficient support to cushion ratio
- Cons: Some users believe the mesh breathable tongue does not provide enough cushion and rubs across the top of the foot.
- Best for: Walking on concrete
The Asics Gel Nimbus 24 has almost 500 near-perfect Amazon reviews and rightfully earns its spot on this list. It’s the best walking shoe for women with high and neutral arches, as it offers the necessary stability and control via a firm-but-not-too-firm gel-infused footbed. The result is a sneaker that allows your feet to feel supported on the ground with a layer of bouncy gel for a cloud-like feel. Plus, the strategically designed footbed provides shock absorption at the heel and a responsive pep in each step. Many of the popular thick and foamy footbeds do not offer this same level of grounded control.
These sneakers create a softer landing with each step with a gel footbed that almost feels like a memory foam pillow. Testers say it runs slightly on the narrow side, making wider-foot women size up.
What Reviewers Say: “The most comfortable sneakers I’ve ever owned. I just feel like my whole foot, especially my heel, is wrapped around a comfortable gel. I bought these sneakers right before my trip to Europe. I spent 10 days wearing them back to back because they were SO comfortable. I did not want to use my other pairs. The days are long, and you’re constantly on the go, walking and hiking and these shoes were definitely put to the test, and they passed with flying colors.”
What Our Testers Say: “A lot of my friends are runners and rave about how great these sneakers are, so when it came time to test, I jumped on the opportunity. I am not a runner, but I started wearing these for my daily walks instead. I have moderate arches with slightly wide feet, and I can’t get over how great these have been for not just my feet but my energy. I never thought sneakers could be this comfortable and supportive. I used to look forward to my walks ending, but these sneakers keep me going. I might even consider running a mile or two now that I know what the buzz is all about.”
Altra Outroad Sneakers
Best Trail Walking Sneakers for Women
- Weight: 8.8 oz.
- Materials: Ripstop mesh, foam footbed
- Support: Moderate
- Pros: Ample room for toes to sit happily without feeling cramped, best walking shoes for women with bunions, this style has a slimmer foot shape than other Altra models, grippy MaxTrac provides a combination of grip, traction, and durability on any terrain
- Cons: Some users do not like how the foot shape looks
Designed for comfortable all-day wear, Altra’s Outroad is a wonderful trail option for various foot types and especially great for women with bunions or cramped toes. The most notable feature from Altra is the brand’s patented FootShape. It’s a unique design and shape that gives your feet more space to sit naturally compared to the average sneaker. To the eye, you can visually see how the toe bed appears boxy instead of narrow at the toes.
The Outroad is flexible with balanced cushioning that allows for a lower-impact landing. It can be used for running, too. If you’re not totally sure of the “type” of foot you have, the Altra Rivera is a safe choice because it has a little bit of everything you need in a good walking shoe with an efficient outer tread to keep you from slipping in any weather conditions.
Responsible for making some of the best workout shoes that can also double for walking, Altra has a cult-like following, with fans claiming they can’t wear sneakers from any other brand. While the brand typically makes the best sneakers for wide feet, this style is a slimmer silhouette with a roomy toe box, making it one of the best trail sneakers for women of all foot types.
What Reviewers Say: “I absolutely love this brand. At 75 years of age, my arch has fallen. My second toes are longer than my big toes, and they tend to rub the top of my shoe. I purchased a half size larger, and with the excellent arch support, I’ve had no issues.”
What Our Testers Say: “I’ve been a fan of Altra for a while because the wide toe box aids in any type of toe cramping (I have moderately wide feet). These sneakers were even better than I remembered, now with trail capabilities. I wore them for multiple-day hikes and a cross-country run or two. They kept me feeling secure and breezy even on super hot days.”
Nike Revolution Wide 5 Running Sneakers
Best Walking Shoes for Women with Wide Feet
- Weight: 8.5 oz.
- Materials: Breathable mesh, foam bottom
- Support: Neutral support
- Pros: Great price, soft foam midsole offers a smooth and stable ride, soft sock liner, household name
- Cons: Specifically for women with wide feet
- Best for: Beginners who are incorporating walking into their exercise routine
While these aren’t the only pair of Nikes you’ll find on this list, the Revolution Wide 5 sneakers are definitely worth a call out — mostly due to their 13,000+ near-perfect reviews on Amazon. Specifically, they meet the demand of women with wide feet looking for minimalist sneakers that are supportive, comfortable, and stylish.
These have a super soft foamy midsole with a firm stack that kicks back and keep you bound. They also feature a lightweight knit textile that wraps your foot in total breathable comfort. You get durable traction combined with the flexibility that almost feels like a super supportive sneaker. They’re a great option for those that stand on their feet all day.
What Reviewers Say: “I am a nurse and on my feet most of the day. I bought a pair for work and loved them so much, I bought a second pair. One thing I really like about them is ankle support; it just feels good around my ankle.”
What Our Testers Say: “After testing a few different pairs, I was beginning to think it’s impossible for me to find a pair of sneakers for walking that fits my wide feet. Then I put these on. It was instant comfort with minimal break-in period right away. Since receiving them, I’ve worn them to the gym, around a city, and grocery shopping.”
Related: The 30 Best Shoes for Wide Feet, According to Experts
APL Techloom Zipline Sneakers
Most Breathable Walking Sneakers for Women
- Weight: 7.7 oz
- Materials: Seamless Techloom construction, pointelle knit
- Support: Maximum
- Pros: Most stylish sneaker, fits true to size, unisex, heel loop for easy on and off
- Cons: Very expensive, the lighter color mesh can be slightly see-through
- Best for: All foot types, running errands, cardio exercise, airports
When shopping for a pair of new walking sneakers, it’s important to look for function first and style second. APL’s Techloom Zipline, however, hit both nails on the head. Lightweight, flexible, and arch support, the Techloom Zipline is APL’s new signature running shoe with a cult following. Sure, they are uber-stylish, but they’re also undeniably comfortable thanks to thick and foamy FutureFoam cushioning strategically angled for a smooth flow of energy throughout the midsole and outsole. You don’t get on-the-ground comfort like the brand’s lower-profile sneakers, but you do feel like you’re walking on a cloud propelling your forward.
Inspired by a zipline through the founders’ travels, the breathable mesh is a flexible fabric that molds to whatever type of foot while keeping your foot in check like a hollow cord. It’s a single-layer mesh, making your foot feel extremely supported without compromising flexibility.
What Reviewers Say: “The Ziplines are a cross between the Streamlines and the Techloom tops. Not only are these shoes great looking, but they’re also incredibly comfortable too! Lots of padding on the sole, and the knit upper fits perfectly around my foot. I love them! Might need to get another colorway.”
What Our Testers Say: “I normally wear Hokas, and these sneakers come close to the cloud-like foamy footbed. The difference is the stretchy knit lining that perfectly hugs the foot. I love how comfortable and breathable this feels without taking away support. I’m quite the sneakerhead and can confidently say that APLs are worth the hype they receive. They are super comfortable and cool looking and fit my high arch, wide feet very well.”
Rothys The Slip On Sneakers
Best Slip-On Walking Shoes for Women
- Weight: 9.3 oz.
- Materials: Knit upper made from plastic bottles and cushy midsole
- Support: Low support
- Pros: Removable insole, easy on and off, not-so-sporty lifestyle sneaker
- Cons: Flexible knit doesn’t provide traditional support of a performance sneaker
- Best for: Going for a casual dinner, sporting event, or travel
Rothys are best known for their soft and flexible yet supportive 3D knit upper combined with a cushy midsole. Their Slip-On Sneakers are super lightweight and easy to slip on and off, making them the perfect on-the-go companion. Best of all, they are washable and durable so that you can get that out-of-box feeling repeatedly. Plus, you don’t have to worry about your feet sweating since they feature a breathable knit material that absorbs very well.
These lifestyle sneakers have over 11,000 4.5+ reviews and are a stylish option that will make your feet very happy.
What Reviewers Say: “I absolutely love them. I just went on vacation and did a lot of walking. I wore them practically the whole time. They looked great with all of my outfits and felt so comfortable. My feet never hurt. I even wore them out for an evening outing and got quite a few compliments. I am very happy and will recommend them to more.”
What Our Testers Say: “I love the slip-on ease of these shoes. They almost feel like slippers — extremely soft, cushy, and comfortable. They don’t provide support like a proper athletic shoe, but for a slip-on lifestyle sneaker, the footbed support and flexible knit that hugs you are a killer combination.”
Related: The 18 Best Women’s Slip-On Shoes for Every Style and Budget
Hoka Ancapa Sneakers
Best Hiking Boots for Women
- Weight: 1 pound 12 oz.
- Material: Nubuck leather/GORE-TEX
- Support: Maximum support
- Pros: Exceptional ankle support, protective leather, breathable mesh, heel loop makes it easier to pull on and off, minimal break-in period
- Cons: Heavy
- Best for: Rigorous hikes
If you’re walking beyond your neighborhood sidewalk into the woods or mountains for a day hike or even something more intense, consider investing in a walking shoe with all-weather tread. The Hoka Ancapa hiking shoe has become an icon. It is a blend between a sneaker and a boot, lighter than most, with an exceptional cushion that will keep you energized for miles.
Among the best hiking boots for women, these are designed to support your feet as you walk on any terrain and in any weather conditions. When wearing this shoe, you can go to great lengths without fear of getting your socks wet, as the style is equipped with a weatherproof and slip-proof GORE-TEX. They are made with Hoka’s signature technology — a compression-molded midsole for a balanced and cushion ride. — and are the perfect combination of function, style, and ease of wear for the gnarliest of hikes.
What Reviewers Say: “These were supportive and provided a secure grip on rocky, slippery inclines, and I wore them through shallow puddles. I did not have time to break them in at all and had no foot pain or blisters. I wore them with wool socks. My custom orthotics fit in these.”
What Our Testers Say: “I’m an avid hiker and have gone through several pairs over the years. The first thing I noticed about these Hoka hiking boots was how instantly soft they felt. I didn’t want to speak too soon by saying they didn’t need a break in period but later confirmed that after a short day hike followed by a rigorous one a few days later. These Hokas kept me protected while providing a roomy, foamy footbed they are known for. My hikes got longer, and my fatigue lessened. I don’t think I can ever wear another hiking boot now.”
Related: The 20 Best Hiking Boots for Women, According to Pros
Ryka Activate Sneakers
Best Women’s Walking Shoes with Arch Support
- Weight: 7.4 oz.
- Materials: EVA midsole cushion, breathable mesh
- Support: Maximum
- Pros: Comes in three different width sizes, extremely lightweight, noticeable arch support, pull tabs for easy on and off
- Cons: None
- Best for: Reducing stress on your feet
Multiple testers reported a “wow” reaction after slipping on Ryka’s Activate sneaker for the first time, with a similar reaction with each later wear. The cushy anatomical footbed is extremely comfortable and responsive with on-the-ground control and support through a shockingly lightweight design. It’s a sneaker specifically designed for women and is thus crafted with women’s unique build, foot shape, and muscle movement in mind.
Aside from the breathable mesh, the most notable characteristic of these is the exceptional arch bridge through the Skeletal Guidance System, or SGS. The curved support keeps the foot in proper alignment, taking pressure off the knees with a balanced step, making these sneakers best for women with knee pain. This style also comes in three different widths for a custom fit.
What Reviewers Say: “I love these shoes. I have knee issues, and with other shoes, if I walk a lot, my knee kills me by the time I am done. I have had no issues with my knee when I wear these. They are very comfortable and cushioned when I walk.”
What Our Testers Say: “I have very narrow flat feet and was blown away when I first put these on. They were the most lightweight sneakers I’ve worn in a while, but they also provided support where I needed it. I walked around my town (two miles a day) for a week straight and noticed how well they kept up with no break-in period. I also noticed a faster pace and traction that kept me from slipping on a wet sidewalk.”
Related: The 26 Best White Sneakers for Women That Go With Everything
Saucony Guide 15 Sneakers
Best Women’s Walking Shoes for Balanced Cushion and Support
- Weight: 7.9 oz.
- Materials: PU-based footbed, EVA-based midsole, breathable mesh, rubber bottom
- Support: Neutral
- Pros: Available in medium and wide widths
- Cons: Run slightly narrow
- Best for: Power walking
The Saucony Guide 15 strikes the perfect balance of foamy cushion and secure support through a unique webbed design. Inside, you’ll find a lush footbed with a contoured midsole that feels like a cloud but doesn’t sink in too deep. These sneakers are great for walking outside thanks to their durability and rubber tread support. They also provide breezy mesh for consistent airflow and flexibility.
If you can’t decide between on-the-ground support with a structured arch and the popular thick foam, these offer a great in-between. Plus, they are super lightweight to help keep moving without pain. They are among the best sneakers for women with narrow feet and high arches.
What Reviewers Say: “Very comfortable and supportive. I needed a good shoe for walking while supporting high arches, and this does the trick!”
What Our Testers Say: “I have extremely high arches and found these sneakers to be superior to the others I tested. Usually, around a mile or so, I start to feel my foot cramp up, but not when wearing these. I love the big foamy bottom and the air holes that keep me from getting too sweaty down there.”
Allbirds Tree Flyers Sneakers
Most Women’s Walking Shoes for Overpronation
- Weight: 8.01 oz.
- Materials: FSC-certified TENCEL (eucalyptus tree fiber), SwiftFoam midsole, ZQ merino wool heel lining, Sweetfoam insole, FSC-certified natural rubber outsole
- Support: Neutral
- Pros: The supportive eucalyptus fiber is extremely breathable to keep the air flowing, flared heel counter helps balance the foamy comfort
- Cons: The thick foam is better for neutral to high arches, not flat feet
- Best for: Walking around a city, light runs, power walking, warm weather
Former “Glee” star Lea Michele is among many celebrities who love Allbirds for running errands and everyday walks. However, its Tree Flyers are best for those who prioritize sustainability and support. These shoes are comfortable, responsibly made, and available in various colors. They feature uppers made of ethically sourced and renewable eucalyptus tree fibers and plush insoles composed of castor oil and merino wool.
One important element is the new midsole, which is incredibly lightweight, clocking in as 30% lighter than SweetFoam, to provide a serious amount of cushioning, stability, support, and bounce. The flared external heel gives even more support while the toe spring eases the gait’s transition between the back of the foot to the front, making these great for brisk power walking. Also, thanks to the pleasant breathability of the eucalyptus tree fiber, your foot will be kept cool all day long.
What Reviewers Say: “This is my second pair of Tree Flyers, and I just adore them. They’re complete perfection — they fit true to size and are completely comfortable for walking around endless hours.”
What Our Testers Say: “All Birds have gained quite a buzz over the years. I’ve tested all their shoes so far, and these are my favorite. The breathable mesh actually feels breathable, and the angled outer creates this cushy footbed that inspires you to keep moving. I also want to call out how great the bottom tread is for running outdoors on a variety of natural surfaces.”
Related: Read Our Full Allbirds Tree Flyers Shoe Review
Dansko Penni Mesh Sneakers
Best Women’s Walking Shoes for Diabetics
- Weight: 11 oz
- Materials: Breathable mesh, EVA footbed, and midsole
- Support: Maximum
- Pros: Removable footbed for orthopedic inserts, APMA seal of acceptance, odor control, toggle closure means your shoes will never be untied
- Cons: Orthopedic bold style, better for women. narrow to neutral feet (if wide, consider sizing up)
- Best for: Long days on your feet, city sightseeing, women with high arches
Dansko’s Penni Mesh sneakers offer exceptional arch support and control with enough bounce to keep you moving without fatigue. They are one of the few walking sneakers for women on this list that received the APMA seal of acceptance. Dansko is known for its arch-supportive clogs, and the brand brings that same Dansko Natural Arch Plus technology to this sneaker. The result is a shock-absorbing heel cushion. The Penni also features a lightweight cushioned EVA midsole and a durable rubber outsole for long-lasting wear.
Other notable features include a 3M Scotchguard protector for stain resistance, a bungee lacing system with a toggle closure for a custom secure fit, and textile linings treated with Aegis Microbe Shield for odor control.
What Reviewers Say: “I bought the Pennis because their footbed was very similar to my Dansko clogs, only with more flexibility. They look good; I like the color! They feel good with the support that’s just right for my feet. They are the perfect walking shoe for city site seeing.”
What Our Testers Say: “These sneakers instantly felt supportive and comfortable like I could walk for miles and miles. As I broke them in, they just kept getting better. Like Dansko clogs, the arch support felt like it adjusted to the natural alignment of my feet. I have narrow feet and usually find sneakers to feel slightly big for me, but not these.”
Related: The 10 Best Stability Running Shoes, According to Experts
Fitflop Chrissie Shearling Slippers
Best Women’s Walking House Shoes
- Weight: 7.8 oz.
- Materials: Textile, rubber sole, iQushion midsole
- Support: Neutral
- Pros: Average width fit, cozy shearling lined, moisture-wicking
- Cons: Clog style can fall off the foot easily
- Best for: Errands around the house
The best women’s slippers should not only feel warm and cozy, but they should also be supportive. Fitflop is a brand known for making some of the most supportive footwear in the game, which is why we declare the Fitflop Cushy Felt Clog slippers the best house shoes for walking. They are made with an airy foam and iQuushion midsoles for extra cushioning at the heel and forefront. Plus, they have built-in arch support, so you can feel stable in your house shoes as opposed to the average slipper. A bonus is the rubber sole which adds traction without the annoying slipper bottom noise.
What Reviewers Say: “I could not say enough good things about these slippers. They are my second pair. Great support, comfortable. Moisture wicking, no sweaty feet!”
What Our Testers Say: “Is there anything better than the shearling liner of a slipper? These are by far my favorite slippers I now own. Not only do they have that cozy feeling of a fuzzy blanket, they actually support the foot at the arch and protect it with a grippy tread. I don’t think I’d wear them outside, but they are great for garage runs and for walking around the house.”
On Cloud X Training Shoes
Best Women’s Walking Shoes for Bunions
- Weight: 8.1 oz.
- Materials: CloudTec, EVA midsole, engineered mesh
- Support: Moderate
- Pros: Extremely lightweight with thick and durable soles
- Cons: These require a break-in period, run slightly wide
- Best for: Both running and walking outside
On’s Cloud X is one of the most innovative styles on the market. A relatively new label, the Swiss company uses its patented CloudTec cushioning system that kicks in upon landing only when you need it. This system provides the proper cushion and balance so can remain in control. This shoe checks off all the boxes for stability, agility, and versatility. It has a minimal footbed that works smarter, not harder so you can still get the shock-absorbing factor that propels you forward.
This shoe also has a built-in sock that attaches the tongue to keep the forefoot snug and stop the tongue from slipping out of place. They fit slightly slimmer for a proper hug to the foot, but the toe box remains wide enough for people with bunions to avoid toe cramping.
What Reviewers Say: “This is the third pair of this exact shoe I’ve owned. I love how it fits and how it looks. You simply cannot find a more comfortable everyday shoe!”
What Our Reviewers Say: “I have a neutral foot width, and I noticed these sneakers, in particular, hugged by feet ever so lightly until the toe box. The toe box remained wide and roomy. The tightness at the mid didn’t bother me because it opened up around the toe. With that said, I absolutely love these sneakers. I noticed they got more comfortable and bouncy with each wear as if they were learning how I walk and move. I felt supported and propelled forward, but also as if my feet were on the ground for control.”
Related: The 19 Best Shoes for Bunions, According to a Podiatrist
Reebok Adara 3 Walking Shoes
Best Walking Shoes for Senior Women
- Weight: 6 oz.
- Materials: Foam and stretchy knit
- Support: Low
- Pros: Great price, extremely soft and cozy material
- Cons: The support feels more flexible than other, more structured sneakers
- Best for: Slow walks in malls or around the neighborhood
The Reebok Adara 3 is made specifically for walking because the angled foam footbed provides proper support and comfort. They’re extremely lightweight, breathable, and an affordable option you can confidently cycle through without breaking the bank. According to reviewers, these simple sneakers give you exactly what you need and nothing more.
The softness and ease of wear, combined with the efficient support, make these the best walking shoes for senior women and women with wider feet. Testers reported a cozy toe box with little to no cramping, even after long days of wear.
What Reviewers Say: “I spend a lot of time on my feet at work, and these are lightweight and comfortable. There is a lot of room in the toe area if that’s important to you.”
What Our Testers Say: “These sneakers felt super cushion-like with a soft lining as if I could wear them all day outside and inside. The comfort level mimicked a slipper version of a sneaker. They felt cozy and bouncy but also supportive. I wouldn’t feel comfortable running or jumping in these sneakers, but they are great for running errands and slower walks.”
New Balance 840 V2 Walking Shoes
Most Durable Walking Shoes for Women
- Weight: 10 oz.
- Materials: Leather, foam
- Support: Maximum
- Pros: Great support between your foot and the ground, durable
- Cons: Slightly heavier, chunky
- Best for: All walking adventures that require a protective outsole
It’s important to check in on the wear and tear of your walking shoes and replace them when they are past the point of no return. Some sneakers provide great comfort and support but can wear more easily than others. New Balance’s 840 V2 sneakers don’t accept defeat. This chunky style includes sturdier materials, such as a leather upper that enhances the structure, support, and longevity while providing a cloud-like cushion. They also have a wider toe box, extreme ankle support, and a mesh design, making these the best shoes for overweight women. The only trade-off is that they aren’t as easy to slip on and off.
What Reviewers Say: “Love these shoes. New Balance is the only brand that fits my feet well. I have plantar fasciitis and bunions, so I need the extra-wide shoes. I add my orthotics, and I am good to go!
What Our Testers Say: “These sneakers felt the most durable and protective. They felt slightly heavier and stiffer than others, which makes sense with this note. I especially noticed the roomy toe box and arch support that helped my feet stay in proper alignment without cramming.”
Dr. Scholl’s Check In Loafers
Best Women’s Walking Dress Shoes
- Weight: Exact weight not found, but lighter than expected
- Materials: Faux leather, Algae-based BLOOM foam insole with anti-microbial, anti-odor technology
- Support: Minimal
- Pros: 2-inch heel with orthopedic arch support, cushioned insole, grippy tread, anti-odor technology
- Cons: Faux leather construction isn’t as soft as real leather, slip-on style doesn’t let you customize fit, chunky
- Best for: Commuting, wearing to an office, dress shoes to stand all-day
Dress shoes are tricky when it comes to finding something stylish but also healthy for your feet. Basic flats can be just as problematic as heels, so that’s where a loafer comes in — Dr. Scholl’s Check In Loafer, to be exact. Dr. Scholl’s shoes are known for ranking at the top of the foot health category since it prioritizes everything a podiatrist would recommend. These top women’s loafers, in particular, are much lighter in weight than other styles we tested, and they come with an orthopedic footbed that truly makes it feel like you’re walking on a cloud. Say goodbye to the commuting sneaker because these leather walking shoes for women require no shoe swap for a comfortable alternative — they are already it.
What Reviewers Say: “They are so comfortable and super lightweight. Honestly would recommend it to anyone. It’s a high-quality product. Also, the back is tufted for comfort, the Achilles heel is quilted inside. That was a pleasant surprise!”
What Our Testers Say: “Compared to other loafers, these required no break in period. While they softened with each wear, I never felt the edges of the slip-on digging into my skin. I’m usually prepared with bandaids with a new shoe like this, but these didn’t need any. Also, they don’t claim to be weatherproof in their notes, but I noticed the tread bottom kept me from slipping on wet surfaces on rainy days. That’s a major plus in a dress shoe this comfortable.”
Related: The 20 Most Comfortable Dress Shoes for Women, According to Podiatrists
Vans SK8-Hi Sneakers
Best Women’s Walking Shoes for Ankle Support
- Weight: 1.3 pounds
- Materials: Cotton, canvas, rubber
- Support: Great ankle support, low arch support
- Pros: Padded ankle support creates support without abrasion, classic cool aesthetic, multiple color options, a favorite among women with flat feet
- Cons: Vans do not work well with people with high arches, some testers sized up and used a custom orthopedic insole for comfort
- Best for: Outdoor walks and activities
If you’re looking for an extra layer of support around the ankles, look no further than the iconic skateboarding hi-tops from Vans. The footbed on this style is flatter than those found in the extremely cushioned arched shoes on this list, but that’s intentional. It features a wider and spacious shape for comfort and is equipped with the famous Vans Waffle sole for seamlessly gripping the ground. The SK8-Hi is great for those who prefer to feel balanced and recommended for anyone who walks often and lifts weights. Your entire foot is grounded in these, with your ankle padded and locked in for total control.
What Reviewers Say: “If you’re on the fence about getting these, get them. I love them. They are much comfier than I expected. I am between 8 and 8.5, and I bought the 8. If you are in between sizes, I would suggest going with the smaller size.”
What Our Testers Say: “I have flat feet. These sneakers feel like they mimic the natural alignment of my foot and I love that. I felt in total control with each wear, as if my feet were just slightly elevated from the ground. I also felt more supported than other sneakers around the ankle thanks to their high top. The only thing I didn’t like is that they are quite difficult to put on.”
Teva Zymic Shoes
Best Walking Sandals for Women
- Weight: 8.9 oz
- Materials: EVA sole (30% recycled materials)
- Support: Neutral to maximum arch support
- Pros: Adjustable straps achieve a perfect fit for every foot, webbed upper includes light cushioning for added comfort
- Cons: Season-specific footwear, open style does not provide protection
- Best for: Long days on your feet, summer activities
Teva’s Zymic sandals aren’t your typical Tevas. Although we’re already a huge fan of everything, the brand offers (for both style and foot health), the Zymic reigns special in an entirely new category. Your feet have never felt an open-toe cushion quite like this. Not only does the footbed provide curved arch support, but the thick foamy outsole also provides a world of energy, bounce, and comfort. You can walk around town, trek through a lake, and even take a light hike in these babies. They have the most generous “MAX-COMF” sole, as the brand calls it, providing a lightweight and cozy feel you’ll never want to take off.
Plus, they come in a variety of stylish colors. So say bye to your other sandals because these will be your go-to grab on repeat in warm and cool climates — just pair them with socks!
What Reviewers Say: “These shoes literally feel like a GYM SHOE! They are so comfortable. It’s like walking on a memory foam mattress, but with more support. Every step is cushioned, especially in the heel. I have plantar fasciitis, and I can wear these all day. The straps are soft and comfortable with no rubbing or irritation. This is my 7th pair of Teva shoes. I usually wear a size 7, and the 7 fits fine in these. DEFINITELY BUY THEM! I plan to get them in another color.”
What Our Testers Say: “These shoes ruined me because I never want to wear anything else. I am a wardrobe stylist, so I am constantly on my feet, moving fast for up to 10 hours at once. The grippy bottom keeps my foot locked in, but my favorite part about these sandals is the foamy curved footbed. It feels like a true orthopedic shoe that supports with an incredible bounce to keep me moving swiftly. I wore them all summer for work and play and am now wearing them into fall with socks. Thank you, Teva, for making long days on my feet far more enjoyable!”
Related: The 16 Most Comfortable Walking Sandals That Provide the Best Foot Support
Clove Grey Matter Shoes
Best Waterproof Walking Shoes for Women
- Weight: 10 oz.
- Materials: Clarino™, a liquid repellant, stain resistant, easy-to-clean microfiber leather, plus a breathable neoprene ankle sock
- Support: Neutral
- Pros: Easy to clean, fluid-resistant, no break-in period, wide range of sizes from 5-12.5
- Cons: Slightly creased upon first wear, run slightly small (we recommend sizing up)
- Best for: Nurses, bartenders, anyone on their feet all day inside on a hard surface
Clove footwear is centered around nurses who spend long hours on their feet. The latest iteration of Clove’s Core sneaker is their best version yet. They are quiet, comfy, and supportive. So what makes them so unique? Aside from the ergonomic footbed and cushy bottom, they have a particular type of leather with a breathable neoprene ankle sock. The unique design has helped hundreds of nurses endure long shifts, especially over Covid.
While they are designed with healthcare workers in mind, we’re telling anyone who has to stand all day about them because they will significantly improve foot health and fatigue. In addition, they cater to people with all types of foot ailments to alleviate pain.
What Reviewers Say: “These shoes are absolutely beautiful, the color is on point, and the insoles have a beautiful design inside. When I started researching footwear for my job, I found that shoes intended for healthcare workers also make the perfect shoes for bartenders! My feet feel supported in all the right places, and I no longer suffer cramps in my feet and legs after a long shift. They are completely waterproof and easy to hose off after work. I took advantage of a sale, but they are seriously worth every penny!”
What Our Testers Say: “I am a nurse and was so excited to slip these on for my first 8-hour night shift. Right away, I noticed how comfortable they were out of the box. My feet didn’t get tired the entire time (and usually, they start to hurt around hour 4). I wore low socks the first few wears and noticed I started to get blisters around the ankle. The sock-like comfort in these feels great, but I recommend wearing a higher cut sock to avoid cuts and blisters when you’re breaking them in.”
Related: The 20 Best Shoes for Nurses, According to Experts
What to Look For in the Best Walking Shoes for Women
Look for Walking Shoes With High-Quality Materials
Like running shoes, the best walking shoes should be built with high-quality materials to guarantee perfect performance and a worthy investment. A shoe’s sole should consist of materials like rubber, leather, and polyurethane, all of which provide flexibility, durability, and traction. For the upper, consider finding walking shoes that feature nylon, polyester, and mesh because they’re sweat-wicking, breathable, and stretchy.
Look for Walking Shoes With Great Energy Return
Great walking shoes are essential as women approach their 50s and 60s, as they will provide support and control to keep your body healthy and moving. The best walking shoes are specially designed to propel you forward, says New York-based podiatrist Dr. Jacquelyn Sutera. Therefore, excellent walking shoes for women should be supportive, flexible, and provide bounce to help you reach your maximum potential for speed, form, comfort, and longevity.
Look for Walking Shoes With Arch Support
If walking is your preferred exercise method, Dr. Sutera recommends wearing options with arch support. Fellow New York-based podiatrist Dr. Parker M Gennett says walking shoes should also have “a stiff heel counter, firm, protective sole and torsion stability,” adding that “if you can twist the shoe like a pretzel, it’s probably not a good option.” If you have flat feet, look for sneakers with stiffer elements such as insoles and orthotics. If you have high arches, choose more flexible and cushioned shoes to help absorb shock.
Look for Walking Shoes With Breathability
If you do a lot of fitness walking, especially in warm weather, you’ll want a shoe that won’t make you overheat. Find shoes with thin porous fabrics so the air can circulate. Some key features include mesh panels, air vents, cooling inserts, or leather. Detachable insoles are also a good idea to fit the shape of your feet and accommodate more airflow.
Look for Walking Shoes With Stability and Control
Without proper support, your feet and legs have to work harder; therefore, you may have less control over your movement. “There are 18 muscles in the bottom of the foot, which will fatigue just like any other muscle in your body,” Dr. Gennett explains. “The key to finding the best walking shoes is to find a pair with the right balance between shoes with the right cushion and amount of control.”
Look for Walking Shoes With a Roomy Toe Box
The toe box is often overlooked when finding the right shoe; however, it should be kept top of mind because it can solve many foot issues. For example, if you’ve been dealing with blisters, bunions, or other foot pain, find a walking sneaker with a broad forefoot area so your toes can spread out and grip the ground for push-off.
Podiatrist Tips to Find the Best Walking Shoes For Different Foot Types
Remember, though, that the fit of shoes is very personal. So it’s important to find a style that caters to the needs of your feel preference and, of course, foot type.
Walking Shoes for Women With High Arches
If you have exceptionally high arches, you’ll want to find a shoe with an elevated cushion in the area where the force is greatest upon contact. With a high arch, the foot cannot adapt to the ground as easily, so people with this foot type should seek pairs that offer a better balance of cushion and control, Dr. Parker M Gennett advises.
Walking Shoes for Women with Bunions
He explains that anyone with bunions will generally need styles with wider toe boxes. “Sneaker brands On, Brooks, Altra, New Balance, and Saucony tend to run a little bit wider in the toe area and offer a specific wide-shoe fit,” Dr. Gennett says.
Walking Shoes for Women with Flat Feet
If you have flat feet, it’s key to find a shoe with great control. In this case, “the goal is not to create an arch; it’s to support the foot,” Gennett says. Custom orthotics and insoles can help with supporting flat feet, but you just have to make sure to find a sneaker that will accommodate them. With flat feet, control is most important to avoid overpronation, which can cause pain in the foot and leg. A shoe with “proper support, cushioning and posting helps neutralize abnormal stresses and forces,” Dr. Mark Mendeszoon, a podiatrist and owner of Achilles Running Shop in Pennsylvania, adds. The thicker the foam, the less control you have, so while foam brings energy and comfort, it’s key to finding a sneaker with great control and support in the footbed.
Walking Shoes for Women with Plantar Fasciitis
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, Fla-based podiatrist Dr. Grace Torres-Hodges says it’s especially important to choose styles with ample cushioning and rearfoot support — including features like deep heel cups, firm heel counters, and flared heels. The best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis are explicitly designed for comfort and recovery.
Walking Shoes for Women with Wide Feet
If you feel pressure on the sides of your feet while wearing shoes, you likely have wide feet. The best walking shoes for wide feet provide room and support without discomfort.
The forefoot of a pair of shoes should have ample room for toes,” says certified Pedorthist Dr. Michael Fishkin of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. He advises wiggling your toes when you try on shoes. If you can, that’s a sign of a proper fit. If your toes feel confined, move on. “They shouldn’t feel like they’re pinching or squeezing the feet adversely.”
Walking Shoes for Women with Heel Spurs
Heel spurs are the growth of bone on the bottom of your heel. The best shoes for heel spurs prevent and alleviate pain from this condition. “If you have a spur, you need a cushy heel,” Dr. Rushton says. Anatomical arch support is also helpful in promoting healthy foot alignment. Good alignment means the entire foot will absorb the impact of every step, rather than just the heel.
Walking Shoes for Women With Knee Pain
Finding the best shoes for knee pain begins by understanding the source of your discomfort, which can vary. Overuse injuries are one of the most common. “Most overuse injuries are related to faulty biomechanics in which people may develop muscle imbalances, stress on tendons or bones secondary to the foot being either too flat (hyper-pronated) or too high of an arch (caved foot),” Dr. Mendeszoon says. That’s why it’s extremely important to have a sneaker that caters to your foot type.
It’s also important to note that the support from a brand-new shoe doesn’t last forever. Mendeszoon recommends replacing shoes every 500 miles or sooner if you start feeling discomfort beforehand. To support knee pain, you want to ensure your shoe operates at its best.
Need a shoe for diabetics? According to Dr. Mike Rushton, co-founder and medical director of Forward Motion Orthotics in St. George, Utah, diabetics can experience odd sensations in their feet and poor circulation. He recommends wide-fitting shoes with “plenty of depth” to avoid rubbing and chafing that can lead to greater sores and injuries. “There are diabetic shoes on the market that boast all these qualities, as well as special insoles that decrease friction on feet,” Rushton explains.
How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Your Walking Shoes
You should replace your walking shoes at least once a year. This is because they will lose their cushioning and support over time with daily and weekly use. Typically, the standard is to buy a new pair every 300 to 400 miles (shoutout to all the mile trackers). But if you’re not one to count your steps, you can tell it’s time for a sneaker refresh when the soles begin to wear down and lose their original shape. Remember, it’s about striking the right balance between cushion and support. When you start to lose either, it’s time to do away with the old and bring in the new.
How We Tested the Best Walking Shoes for Women
Footwear News has been a leading authority in the footwear industry for over 75 years. Our experts know how to research, source, and test the best shoes for all activities and occasions. A number of writers and editors at Footwear News tested nearly 50 of the latest advances in women’s walking sneakers. This writer and the team at FN went straight to the source, requesting shoe brands to submit multiple shoe styles for consideration while cross-comparing them with various foot types to narrow it down our top picks for walking shoes for women. While testing these sneakers for multiple days at a time, we kept in mind break-in periods and out-of-the-box comfort. Style, price point, and value were also considered while prioritizing podiatrist-recommended tips and information from multiple experts.
Meet the Author
Vanessa Powell is an established editor, journalist, and stylist with over a decade of experience covering fashion, lifestyle, and consumer culture. She has contributed to national publications such as People Magazine, Health Magazine, Men’s Health, and more. Vanessa is at the forefront of all consumer trends with a keen eye for the latest, greatest, and classics of what people wear, buy and love. Whether walking the New York City streets or hiking the LA mountains, Powell is a bicoastal avid walker, always searching for the best new walking shoes for women.
Meet the Editors
Adam Mansuroglu is the Director of Commerce for Fairchild Media Group, overseeing and top editing footwear buyer’s guides and shoe reviews for WWD and Footwear News’ Shop vertical. Prior to his current role, the Brooklyn native has written and edited men’s and women’s fashion, beauty, and lifestyle trends for over 10 years. His writing, which includes shoe reviews and sneaker shopping guides, has been featured in a number of publications such as Cosmopolitan Magazine, Men’s Health Magazine, and Out Magazine. This editor has over a hundred pairs of shoes in his closet, including walking sneakers from Hoka, APL, Adidas, Nike, and more.
Nikki Chwatt is the Style Commerce Editor for Fairchild Media Group where she writes and edits shopping stories for Footwear News and WWD. Prior to her current role, she wrote countless buyer’s guides, trend stories, and reviews on fashion and beauty products, including shoe-focused stories for women. You can find her in stylish leather walking shoes when she’s running errands around New York City on the weekend or attending showroom appointments to check out the latest footwear trends during the work week.
Meet the Experts
- Dr. Jacquelyn Sutera is an NYC-based surgically trained doctor of podiatric medicine specializing in the prevention and treatment of foot pathology. She graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Philosophy. She later attended the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, where she earned the degree of Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM). She is a proud member and spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association and the New York State Podiatric Medical Society.
- Dr. Parker M Gennett is Binghamton, NY- based podiatrist certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and the American Podiatric Medical Specialties Board. With degrees from the University of Arizona, the Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine, and DVAMC Palo Alto/Stanford University Medical Center, he also serves as a diplomate of the American College of Foot & Ankle Surgeons. He has over 25 years of well-rounded practice at the Foot & Ankle Care Center with full staff privileges at Lourdes Hospital and United Health Services.
- Dr. Grace Torres-Hodges is a board-certified podiatric physician with surgical staff privileges at the Andrews Institute of Orthopedics & Sports Medicine and Baptist, Gulf Breeze, and Sacred Heart Hospitals. She completed her undergraduate studies at Vanderbilt University and was pursuing graduate studies in sports medicine at the United States Sports Academy. Prior to medical school, Dr. Torres-Hodges received her medical degree from the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, where she was a scholarship student. Dr. Torres-Hodges is a recipient of the FPMA Physician of the Year Award and recognized as a U.S. Top Doctor by HealthTap as one of the world’s best and most helpful online and mobile medical experts.
- Dr. Mark Mendeszoon is a PA-based multi-board certified podiatrist who treats all surgical and non-surgical conditions of the leg, ankle, and foot in adults and children. He specializes in trauma, sports medicine, diabetic foot, and ankle conditions, and reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, including Total Ankle Joint Replacement Surgery. Long after multiple degrees, he continues to be active academically as the director of the Advanced Foot And Ankle Fellowship with University Hospitals Richmond Medical Center, clinical professor at Ohio University Heritage medical school, and sports medicine director at Kent State University School of Podiatric Medicine. He is also an assistant professor at Iowa State University, where he lectures nationally and internationally.
- Dr. Mike Rushton is an OR-based podiatrist who became frustrated with the orthotic companies he used in his private practice. Dr. Rushton began creating custom molded devices that could be dispensed quickly and economically for podiatrists everywhere and now works as the co-founder behind JM Orthotics, which focuses on providing quality, unique products primarily for the podiatry profession.
- Dr. Michael Fishkin of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists is a board-certified podiatrist passionate about providing the least invasive, most effective treatment available to get you back on your feet.