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The Best Walking Shoes for Women: 10 Comfortable Options to Suit Your Style

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Updated February 5, 2024

Walking is great for your health, whether you’re purposely walking to get your steps in or you’re someone who works on their feet all day. In either case, having a pair of good walking shoes is key to avoiding aches and pains that can come with all those steps.

Yet the sheer number of shoes available these days is a little overwhelming. That’s why I spent hours researching walking shoes for women, considering things like sizing, style, color, width options, and more to find the best options on the market now.

What to consider when buying walking shoes for women

Size

As with any shoe, it’s critical that you pick the right size walking shoe. Shoes that are too small or too large can quickly become painful. Similarly, you’ll want to find the right shoe width as well. If you’re not sure which width you should choose, you may want to measure your feet at home or pop into a store that specializes in women’s walking shoes and can help get your feet measured.

Colors

Sure, the perfect color walking shoe won’t really help you walk more comfortably. But if you like the color and style of your shoes, you’re much more likely to wear them. So take some time to find a shoe that’s comfortable as well as appealing to you. These days, everything from classic neutrals to vibrant neons are available.

Heel drop

Heel drop refers to the height difference between the heel and the height of the front of the shoe. Generally, 0-6mm is considered a low heel drop and 7mm or above is a higher drop. It’s important because this height difference can actually adjust the way you walk. For instance, low heel drops tend to have you placing the middle or front of your foot on the ground first, which can add some pressure or stress to your lower legs.

High heel drops tend to make your feet hit the ground from the back of the foot first, which transfers stress to your upper leg area, including your knee and hip. So, if you have ankle pain, you may want to consider a higher heel drop. On the flip side, knee pain may mean you’ll want to buy a shoe with a lower heel drop.

Our top picks for the best walking shoes for women

Best women's walking shoes for plantar fasciitis: HOKA Bondi 8 Running Shoe

If you’re someone who experiences plantar fasciitis, you’re well aware of how important a good shoe is. These have a heel drop on the lower side. And they are some of the best women’s shoes for those with plantar fasciitis since they’re soft and lightweight, yet they offer a rear crash pad to ensure a stable gait and a comfortable fit. (They also are one of the best running shoes for women.) Shopping tip: For more options to relieve this specific foot issue, take a look at the list of best shoes for plantar fasciitis.

Specifications:

  • Size range: 5-12
  • Colors: 14
  • Width: B
  • Weight: 10.8 ounces
  • Heel drop: 4mm

What we like:

  • Lightweight
  • Can be used for running
  • Removable insole with footbed

What we don’t like:

  • Only one width available
Best women's walking shoes for plantar fasciitis
HOKA Women's Bondi 8 Running Shoes, Size 12, Vanilla Cream

HOKA Women's Bondi 8 Running Shoes, Size 12, Vanilla Cream

Best walking shoes for women with high arches: Skechers Women's Performance Go Walk Arch Fit

People with high arches will breathe a sigh of relief after trying these walking shoes from Skechers. They’re a fairly lightweight option specifically designed to offer arch support. And there’s a removable, cushioned footbed, so you can customize the support if you’d like. The shoes come in 10 colors but only one width, which may not work for someone who needs narrower or wider walking shoes. Shopping tip: Experts consider Sketchers to be one of the best running shoe brands, so it’s worth a browse if you’re in the market for a new pair.

Specifications:

  • Size range: 5-12
  • Colors: 10
  • Width: Medium
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Heel drop: Not listed

What we like:

  • Slip-on style
  • Removable cushioned footbed Lightweight

What we don’t like:

  • Only comes in medium width
  • Heel drop not listed
Best walking shoes for women with high arches
Skechers GO WALK Arch Fit

Skechers GO WALK Arch Fit

Best walking shoes for women with bunions: Orthofeet Coral Women’s Sneakers

Bunions can be painful, so finding the right walking shoe can help keep you comfortable, whether you’re running errands or taking a few laps around the block. These sneakers are a slip-on style that looks like a lace-up shoe and they come in medium, wide, or extra-wide widths. They’ve also earned the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance, though the heel drop isn’t listed.

Specifications:

  • Size range: 5-12
  • Colors: 10
  • Width: Medium, wide, extra-wide
  • Weight: 9.5 ounces
  • Heel drop: Not listed

What we like:

  • Variety of widths available
  • APMA seal of approval
  • Slip-on shoe with laces

What we don’t like:

  • More expensive than others
  • Heel drop not listed
Best walking shoes for women with bunions
Orthofeet Coral Women’s Sneakers

Orthofeet Coral Women’s Sneakers

Best Nike walking shoes for women: Nike Invincible 3

Nike fans will want to check out the Invincible 3, which has extra cushioning for a softer fit that lessens the impact when walking. Because it is a breathable and durable option, you also won’t wear them out quickly. At 9mm, the heel drop is higher, so it could be especially helpful for people with ankle pain. The shoes only come in five colors, but if you become a Nike member, you can actually design your own pair of shoes. Shopping tip: Nike is a one-stop shop for anything fitness-related, where you’ll find the best tennis shoes for men, best tennis shoes for women, best walking shoes for men, best men’s workout shirts, best hoodies, best sports bras, best leggings, and more, making the free membership worth it.

Specifications:

  • Size range: 5-12
  • Colors: 5
  • Width: Medium
  • Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Heel drop: 9mm

What we like:

  • Extra cushioning
  • Use for running or walking
  • Breathable

What we don’t like:

  • Only fivecolor choices
  • Only available in standard width
Best Nike walking shoes for women
Nike Women's Invincible 3 Road Running Shoes in White, Size: 5 | DR2660-101

Nike Women's Invincible 3 Road Running Shoes in White, Size: 5 | DR2660-101

Best New Balance walking shoes for women: New Balance Women’s 928v3

If it’s tough to find your size in a good walking shoe, you’ll want to consider the 928v3 from New Balance. They come in sizes 5-13 with an impressive five width options, so they’re great for hard-to-find sizes. These shoes only come in neutral hues and the style doesn’t feel as modern as some, but they’re a solid pick with their removable footbed, shock-absorbing cushion, and ROLLBAR stability–all designed to provide extra support for the back of your feet.

Specifications:

  • Size range: 5-13
  • Colors: 5
  • Width: Narrow, medium, wide, X-wide, XX-wide
  • Weight: 11 ounces
  • Heel drop: Not listed

What we like:

  • Size range
  • Multiple widths
  • Removable footbed

What we don’t like:

  • Less modern appearance
  • Only neutral hues are available
Best New Balance walking shoes for women
New Balance Women’s 928v3

New Balance Women’s 928v3

Best waterproof walking shoes for women: SOREL Out N About™ III Low Sneaker Waterproof

Exercise is important to incorporate every day, even when it’s raining. These sneaker-style walking shoes are waterproof, so they’ll keep your toes dry even if you’re getting your steps in during a downpour. The leather used earned a Bronze rating from the Leather Working Group (LWG), meaning the brand met specific sustainability criteria, and the shoes are made of 20% or more recycled materials. These only come in medium width, and the color options are fun but limited.

Specifications:

  • Size range: 5-12
  • Colors: 6
  • Width: Medium
  • Weight: 13 ounces
  • Heel drop: Not listed

What we like:

  • Uses recycled materials
  • Bronze Rating from the Leather Working Group (LWG)
  • Removable insole

What we don’t like:

  • Only one width available
  • Limited color options
Best waterproof walking shoes for women
SOREL Out N About III Low Sneaker Waterproof (Black/Sea Salt 1) Women's Shoes

SOREL Out N About III Low Sneaker Waterproof (Black/Sea Salt 1) Women's Shoes

Best women's walking shoes for wide feet: Under Armour Women's Essential Sneaker

​​omen with wide feet will appreciate the roomy comfort of this Under Armour sneaker. ide widths aren’t offered in all the available colors, but the black and white is a classic choice and is offered in wide width for all sizes (5-12). These shoes have a cushioned heel for an extra comfortable stride, plus they are breathable, durable, and have a rubber outsole for better traction.

Specifications:

  • Size range: 5-12
  • Colors: 1
  • Width: Medium, wide
  • Weight: 1.24 pounds
  • Heel drop: Not listed

What we like:

  • Breathable
  • Cushioned heel
  • Good traction

What we don’t like:

  • Wide widths not available in all colors
Best women's walking shoes for wide feet
Under Armour Women's Essential Sneaker

Under Armour Women's Essential Sneaker

Best women's walking shoes for travel: Kizik The Prague Slip-On Sneaker

Security lines at the airport tend to feel rushed, and trying to get your shoes back on while also collecting your things can be a struggle. These have laces and look like a typical sneaker, but the collapsible heel lets you slide your foot in without having to bend down and use your hands. Wide widths are available in sizes up to 16.5 women’s, but the sizes start at 6 rather than 5, a more typical starter size. There are four colors available (all classic neutrals) and the shoes have a breathable canvas upper with a cushioned outsole. Plus, the insoles are removable and can be washed.

Specifications:

  • Size range: 6-16.5
  • Colors: 4
  • Width: Medium, wide
  • Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Heel drop: Not listed

What we like:

  • Hands-free slip-on style
  • Wide widths available
  • Sizes larger than 12 are available

What we don’t like:

  • Sizing starts at 6
  • Limited color options
Best women's walking shoes for travel
Women's Prague - Blackout 8 / Standard | Kizik

Women's Prague - Blackout 8 / Standard | Kizik

Best stylish walking shoes for women: KEEN Women's Ellecity Backstrap Sandal

These sandals offer a stylish yet practical footwear option for women who plan to do a lot of walking. The platform adds a bit of height and style, yet it contains dual density cushioning to better absorb impact when walking. The wider strap is also stylish yet it helps the shoe fit more securely on your foot, so you’ll keep your balance even while strolling a cobblestone street in Europe. Sizes only run to a women’s 11 and no wide widths are available, but the three neutral-toned color choices are easy to pair with any outfit whether at home or traveling.

Specifications:

  • Size range: 5-11
  • Colors: 3
  • Width: Medium
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Heel drop: Not listed

What we like:

  • The platform is stylish yet practical
  • Wide ankle strap
  • Colors are easy to pair with outfits

What we don’t like:

  • Wide widths aren’t available
  • Sizes stop at 11
Best stylish walking shoes for women
KEEN Women's Ellecity Backstrap Sandal

KEEN Women's Ellecity Backstrap Sandal

Best supportive walking shoes for women: Brooks Women's Ghost 14

Brooks is known for supportive shoes, and the Ghost 14 is an excellent pick for walking, running, or even heading to the gym for a workout session. With 36 colors available, it’s easy to find a shoe that shows off your style. The sizing tends to run small, so you’ll want to consider sizing up when buying these. Both medium and wide widths are available in sizes 5-12, so there’s a good selection for different types of feet. The 6mm heel drop is about in the middle of high or low drops.

Specifications:

  • Size range: 5-12
  • Colors: 36
  • Width: Medium, wide
  • Weight: 11.3 ounces
  • Heel drop: 6mm

What we like:

  • Size range
  • Color options
  • Good for running, walking, or the gym

What we don’t like:

  • Sizing tends to run small
Best supportive walking shoes for women
Brooks Women's Ghost 14 Running Shoes, Size 6, White/Blue

Brooks Women's Ghost 14 Running Shoes, Size 6, White/Blue

How we chose the best walking shoes for women

To curate the list of the best walking shoes for women, I spent time considering a variety of shoes. I took a look at everything from sizing, widths, colors, and more to narrow down the options to these 10 shoes.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How can I tell if my shoes fit properly?

Part of making sure your walking shoes fit properly is making sure they’re comfortable when you try them on. Beyond that, some general guidelines for fit include having a gap of about a half inch from your big toe to the tip of your walking shoe.

You’ll want to get a wider-width shoe if you tend to find that wide-width shoes fit best in other types of shoes. And be sure to wear the type of socks you’ll regularly wear with your walking shoes when you try them on.

What is the difference between walking and hiking shoes?

In general, hiking shoes are intended for use on surfaces that vary in terms of how level the ground is. They’re likely to be more rugged since hikers could be wearing them to walk on rocks, dirt, mud, or other outdoor terrain that can be challenging.

On the other hand, walking shoes are generally for ensuring your foot can function properly for walking by placing your heel down first, followed by your toes. Essentially, when you find the best walking shoe for you, it should actually provide a smoother step as you walk.

What walking shoes do podiatrists recommend?

Podiatrists are all different, so you’ll find different recommendations depending on which podiatrist you see. However, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) does have a list of brands and footwear stores that have earned their seal of approval, meaning the shoes promote good foot health. They allow you to search by company (like Nike or New Balance, for instance) or by type of footwear so you can find walking shoes with their stamp of approval.

Which shoes should you avoid wearing for long walks?

It’s best to opt for a walking shoe that isn’t too stiff if you’re on a long walk. You also may want to avoid shoes that don’t provide much cushioning. Similarly, you’ll probably be most comfortable avoiding flimsy sandals like flip flops with no arch support on longer walks.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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