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There are two types of people in the world: Those who get an exhilarating thrill out of running several miles on any average day and those who, well — can’t seem to wrap their head around this thing called a “runner’s high.” If you fall into the latter category, that doesn’t mean you’re any less active or fit. You can find other, more enjoyable ways to move your body daily, like walking. Even though walking is a low-impact form of exercise that requires less exertion than bringing your body up to a consistent running pace, it’s still important for your health.
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According to the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, walking can promote weight loss as well as lower your risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. But just as with running, before you head out the door to embark on your walk of the day, it’s important to have an efficient walking shoe that caters to your foot.
Podiatrists agree that proper walking shoes should be supportive, flexible and provide a bounce to help you reach your maximum potential for speed, form, comfort and longevity of muscles and joints. A good pair of walking shoes is particularly important as you approach your 50s and 60s, as they will provide support and control to keep your body healthy and moving.
Like running shoes, the best walking shoes are specially designed to propel you forward, says New York-based podiatrist Dr. Jacquelyn Sutera. Before you assume you can wear just any sneaker for your daily walks, keep in mind basketball shoes or even a pair of the best tennis shoes for women won’t be great for walking long distances, as they’re made for lateral or side to side motion.
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The best walking shoes for women
Best Overall: Adidas Ultraboost 22
Best for Everyday Walking: Nike React Infinity Flyknit 2
Best for Plantar Fasciitis and Bunions: Vionic Tokyo sneaker
Also Consider for Plantar Fasciitis: Brooks Launch 8
Best Lightweight: New Balance FuelCore Nergize
Best for Flat Feet: Asics’ Gel Quantum 180
Best for High Arches: Hoka One One Clifton 8
Best Affordable: Ryka Devotion Plus 2
Best Hybrid Walking Shoes: Altra Rivera
Best for Ankle Support: Vans Sk8 Hi-Tapered Shoes
Best for Wide Feet: Nike Revolution Wide 5
Best for Narrow Feet: On’s Cloud Nexus
Most Breathable: APL Techloom Pro
Most Sustainable: Allbirds’ Wool Runners
Most Supportive: Saucony Echelon 8
Best All-Weather: Columbia Facet 30 Outdry
Best for Balance: On Cloud X
Best for Standing All Day: Reebok Adara 3
Most Stylish: Veja Venturi Sneakers
Most Durable: New Balance 840 V2 Walking Shoe
What to look for in walking shoes
Whether you’re always on-the-go or walking is your preferred method of exercise, Dr. Sutera recommends wearing options with arch support, cushioning and thicker soles. Fellow New York-based podiatrist Dr. Parker M Gennett says a good walking shoe should also have “a stiff heel counter, wide toe box, firm, protective sole and torsion stability,” adding that, “if you can twist the shoe like a pretzel, it’s probably not a good option.”
Without proper support, your feet and legs have to work harder, and you 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,” he explains. “The key is to find the right balance between a shoe with the right cushion and amount of control.”
Walking shoes for different foot types
Keep in mind, though, that the fit of shoes is very personal. It’s important to find a style that caters to the needs of your feel preference, and, of course, foot type.
If you have exceptionally high arches, you’ll want to find a shoe with 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.
He also explains that anyone with bunions will generally need styles with wider toe boxes. “Sneaker brands On, Brooks, 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.
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 can help with supporting flat feet, but you just have to make sure to find a sneaker that will accommodate them, like the Ryka Devotion Plus 2 featuring removable insoles. With flat feet, control is most important to avoid overpronation, which can cause pain in the foot and leg.
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, which typically causes pain in the heel area, Pensacola, 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 designed specifically for both comfort and recovery.
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 along with 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.
With all this in mind, we rounded up the 25 best walking shoes for women according to experts, customer reviews and this writer’s own hands-on product testing. We break down the best shoe for every type of foot. whether you’re searching for a general pair of the most comfortable walking sneakers for traveling and running errands or the best pair of work shoes for women like nurse shoes and orthopedic sneakers.
Adidas Women’s Ultraboost 22 Running Shoes
This popular Adidas style has won countless awards from multiple publications and currently has almost 1,500 near-perfect reviews on Amazon alone. If that’s not saying something, let us enlighten you with the gift to your feet that is the Adidas Ultraboost 22. These shoes are known for their standout forefoot bending combined with an equally supportive heel, a feature that’s usually overlooked in a sneaker. Sure, they’re running shoes, but their supportive, sock-like fit (great for narrow feet) and responsive cushion make them ideal for everyday wear, too. Translation? You’ll never get tried 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.”
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 Running Shoes
Best Everyday Walking Sneakers
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 extremely versatile. You get a midsole cushion you can rely on for countless miles. This sneaker literally works for everyone, providing a stable feel on your foot and comfortable cushioned footbed without compromising style. It’s not only one of the best Nike walking shoes, but also 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 on moving without your feet ever hurting. The knit material feels more like a sock than a sneaker, adding even more comfort 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.”
Courtesy of Backcountry
Vionic Tokyo Sneakers
Best Walking Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis and Bunions
Vionic shoes (in general) come highly recommended by podiatrists because they simply make your feet feel good and perform easily. And the Tokyo sneaker is approved by the APMA for helping with foot problems like plantar fasciitis and bunions.
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 orthotic insert to add bounce to your step throughout the day and Advanced Motion System technology for added 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.”
Courtesy of Nordstrom
Brooks Launch 8 Running Shoes
Also Consider for Plantar Fasciitis
Known as a really good running shoe (and almost a decade old), the Brooks Launch 7 is an icon. The latest iteration of this style is the Brooks Launch 8. The update is lighter, more breathable and improves on its cushioned response. We consider this an optimal walking shoe for comfort thanks to its BioMoGo midsole technology and cushioned rubber outsole. Additionally, the silhouette features a nearly seamless internal construction for a lightweight barely-there feel.
The best thing about this pair is that the cushion adds just enough spring in your step while supporting the body’s natural forward walking/running motion. It offers a perfectly balanced ratio of responsiveness and control, along with a cushion that softens impact without feeling too squishy. The overload of both comfort and support makes these a great shoe for those with plantar fasciitis.
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.”
New Balance FuelCore Nergize Sneakers
Best Lightweight Walking Shoes
Featuring a durable and responsive foam Revlite midsole, New Balance’s FuelCore Nergize is a great overall walking shoe and one of the best New Balance walking shoes you can buy. Found at a solid price point, the Nergize has a sleek knit upper that provides lightweight comfort, too. This pair is easy to wear and pack, making it a good fit for anyone’s sneaker arsenal.
Not only do these shoes bring comfortable cushioning, but like your favorite pair of sweatpants, are breathable and flexible via feel-good mesh.
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.”
Courtesy of New Balanace
Asics Gel-Quantum 180 Running Shoes
Best Walking Shoes for Flat Feet
With over 2,500 near-perfect Amazon reviews, Asics’ Gel Quantum 180 rightfully earns a spot on this list. This style is great for women with flat feet, as it offers the necessary stability and control for fallen arches via a firm-but-not-too-firm gel-infused footbed. (Women with flat feet should avoid choosing styles with foamy platform insoles.) The result is a sneaker that allows your feet to feel supported on the ground with a layer of bouncy gel for a cloudlike feel and responsive pep in your step.
This style comes in nine different color combos and fits true to size. It’s technically a running sneaker that provides everything you need in a walking shoe, too, making it a worthy investment.
What Reviewers Say: “I really like that these shoes are so light. I walked in these shoes on day one for more than 10 hours, and my feet never hurt. They provide great support, great cushion and are quite stylish. The quality seems to be what you would expect from an Asics shoe. I specifically bought these for work because I walk on concrete and needed the additional cushion. So far, these have held up well and I really like them.”
Courtesy of Amazon
Hoka One One Clifton 8 Sneakers
Best Walking Shoes for High Arches
Earning the American Podiatrist Medical Association’s (APMA’s) seal of acceptance for promoting good foot health, Hoka One One’s Clifton 7 boasts marshmallow-like cushioning with full compression EVA midsoles and a plush collar designed to ease pressure on the Achilles tendon. And the latest Clifton 8 is even better. You’ve probably seen the name Hoka tossed around as the brand gained massive popularity over the last few years. The cushion on these babies is no joke and should feel great for anyone with high arches, back and heel pain. Compared to Hoka’s Clifton 7s, the 8s come slightly lighter in weight with a bit more cushioning and mesh breathability. The added cushion, however, makes these fit slightly more snug, which can actually make for better support.
Sure, the maximalist design is unique, but it’s also functional as it helps absorb shock without putting too much pressure on your knees. Combined with a supportive fit, the Clifton 8s from Hoka bring the best of all worlds to the table.
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) feel like much less work. They’re a great option for walking and running and will become that one pair of sneakers 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.”
Courtesy of Nordstrom
Ryka Devotion 2 Walking Shoes
Best Affordable Walking Shoes
Featuring over 2,000 five-star ratings, the Ryka Devotion Plus 2 is equipped with a plush, multilayer construction that’s designed for reliable comfort and support. The sneaker’s gradient-style colorway and chunky multi-toned outsole also add an interesting touch to this walking shoe.
The foot pads are removable, making it easy to add insoles for additional support or a more customized fit. The shoes have a lovely cushion inside combined with a tread that can tackle a variety of terrain. They’re roomy (great for, but not limited to, people who have wider feet) with a soft-yet-sturdy fabric reviewers praise for providing out-of-the-box comfort.
What reviewers say: “This is the fifth pair of Ryka Devotion Plus 2 walking shoes I’ve bought. After having back surgery ten years ago, I find myself needing shoes with enough cushion and support to make sure my back won’t ache after I’ve walked for a while. These do the trick! I’ve been very happy with every pair. When I put the shoe on, it was like butter for my foot. These are very comfortable.”
Courtesy of Amazon
Altra Rivera Sneakers
Best Hybrid Walking Shoes
Designed for comfortable all-day wear, Altra’s Rivera is a wonderful option for various foot types, and especially great for women with slightly wider feet. 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 boxier instead of narrowing out at the toes.
The Rivera 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.
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 style is slightly wider than the average sneaker, the shoe’s comfort and balance make it a universally beloved option.
What reviewers say: “I absolutely love this shoe. 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. I find myself reaching for them every morning, whether I’m out for my three-mile walk or just moving around.”
Courtesy of Nordstrom
Vans SK8-Hi Tapered Shoes
Best Walking Shoes With Ankle Support
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 extreme cushioned arched shoes on this list, but that’s intentional. 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 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.”
Courtesy of Vans
Nike Revolution Wide 5 Running Shoes
Best Walking Shoes for Wide Feet
While these aren’t the only pair of Nikes you’ll find on this list, they are definitely worth a call out — mostly due to their 13,000+ near-perfect reviews on Amazon. It’s typically difficult for women with wide feet to find a pair of sneakers that’s supportive, comfortable and stylish. The Revolution Wide 5 meets that demand.
These have a super soft foamy midsole and are made with a lightweight knit textile that wraps your foot in total breathable comfort. You get durable traction combined with 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.”
Courtesy of Nike
On Cloud Nexus Sneakers
Best Walking Shoes for Narrow Feet
A lot of slip-on style sneakers don’t quite cater to those with a narrow foot. On’s Cloud Nexus sneakers, however, are a stylish exception. With a custom cinching design, otherwise known as a speed-lacing system, they are an adjustable slip-on shoe. You’ll never have to worry about your shoes coming untied, which makes these great for travel.
More importantly, they’re made with the brand’s iconic CloudTec technology, which provides extra cushion to absorb impact and distribute weight evenly across the foot. They also have a Zero-Gravity foam, which makes them virtually weightless for a smooth ride with each step.
APL Techloom Pro Sneakers
When you’re shopping for a pair of new walking sneakers, it’s important to look for function first and style second. APL’s Techloom Pros, however, hit both nails on the head. Lightweight, flexible and supportive, the Techloom Pro is APL’s signature running shoe with a cult following. Sure, they are uber-stylish, but they’re also undeniably comfortable thanks to Propelium cushioning throughout the midsole and outsole.
The small-but-mighty layer of cushion adds just enough foam without eliminating the foot-on-the-ground support. And the breathable, flexible fabric molds to whatever type of foot you have. New mom and former “Glee” star Lea Michele is among those who love to slip on a pair for running errands and everyday walks.
What reviewers say: “Very comfortable! I have tendinitis in my feet and ankles and very high arches, and these shoes are supportive and cushy.”
Courtesy of Nordstrom
Allbirds Wool Runners
Most Sustainable Walking Shoes
If you prioritize sustainability, consider investing in Allbirds’ Wool Runners. Available in a wide variety of attractive colors, these shoes are both comfortable and responsibly made — featuring uppers made of ethically sourced and renewable merino wool and plush insoles composed of castor oil. To top it all off, the merino wool construction makes the pair super breathable and machine washable, too.
A bonus is that you can go sockless in these without compromising comfort (say goodbye to foot odor and blisters). They’re an easy, stylish travel shoe that can handle days of exploring a new city and trekking miles around town. They feel like supportive slippers you won’t ever want to take off.
What reviewers say: “This is my second pair of Wool Runners, and I just adore them. They’re complete perfection — they fit true to size and are completely comfortable for walking around endless hours. And, they’re the only running-style shoe I’ve ever felt comfortable wearing without socks.”
Courtesy of Allbirds
Saucony Echelon 8 Running Shoes
Most Supportive Walking Shoes
A running shoe that provides cushion and support for walkers too is the Saucony Echelon 8. The sneaker has a roomy toe box made of mesh, so toes can breathe and move freely. Plus, the ultra-plush footbed is built to supply underfoot comfort for different activities.
But the most notable feature is the well-rounded support this sneaker brings to your foot. From the tread to the snug lacing system, your foot will be protected and supported to the max with the Saucony Echelon 8.
What reviewers say: “I have bunions and a hammertoe along with a bad back. Wearing these sneakers makes my life so much more comfortable when I’m out doing errands or just walking around my house. I’m so happy with this purchase!”
Columbia Facet 30 Outdry Hiking Shoes
Best All-Weather Walking Shoes
If you’re walking beyond your neighborhood sidewalk into the woods or mountains, consider investing in a walking shoe with all-weather tread. Columbia’s Outdry hiking shoe is a sneaker-boot that remains ultra-lightweight and breathable without compromising cushion or support.
Just like the best hiking boots for women, these are designed to support your feet as you walk on any type of terrain, and in any weather conditions (bonus: These will offer support while you run, too). When wearing this shoe, you can go to great lengths without fear of getting your socks wet, as the style is equipped with a quick-drying feature. It provides the perfect combination of function, style and ease of wear, with a self-lacing system and cool comfort for any off-road activity.
What Reviewers Say: “I’m just getting into hiking, and this shoe has been great. I don’t feel the rocks at all. It keeps me stable through any trail. It was a great buy!”
Courtesy of Amazon
On Cloud X
Best Walking Shoes for Balance
On’s Cloud X is one of them most innovative styles on the market. A fairly 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 amount of cushion and balance, so you’re not thrown off by a thick foamy bottom and remain in control at all times. That said, you still get the shock-absorbing factor that propels you forward with each step. It’s a minimal footbed that works smarter not harder.
On sneakers 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!”
Reebok Adara 3 Walking Shoes
Best for Standing All Day
The Reebok Adara 3 is made specifically for walking because of the angled foam footbed that provides proper support and comfort with every step. They’re especially great for those that stand and walk all day on hard surfaces. They’re extremely lightweight and breathable, plus 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.
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.”
Veja Venturi Sneakers
When it comes to the best walking shoes for foot health, these stylish Vionic sneakers offer great comfort and support. Not only do these sneakers have a great on-slip tread, but they’re also made with all-weather suede and optimal cushioning for all-day comfort.
The arch-supporting insole can be removed for custom orthotics, making these completely customizable. Plus, the pull tabs on both the tongue and heel allow for easy on and off access. With pink laces and a color-blocking design, this fashion-forward sneaker proves you don’t have to compromise your foot health to look cute.
What reviewers say: “They fit well and are super cute! Can be dressed up or down.”
New Balance 840 V2 Walking Shoes
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 walking sneakers don’t accept defeat easily. This chunky style sneaker is made with sturdier materials that hold up longer than most while providing proper support and cloud-like cushion. These also have a wider toe box, making them especially great for those who have plantar fasciitis and bunions, full-on ankle support and a mesh design that makes them breezy. 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!
How to know when it’s time to replace your walking shoes
You should replace your walking shoes at least once a year. With daily and weekly use, they will lose their cushioning and support over time. 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 all 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.
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