Finding the best walking shoes for women can be a tedious and difficult process if you don’t know what you’re looking for. When buying walking shoes for women — or anyone, really — Miguel Cunha, D.P.M., founder of Gotham Footcare in New York City, suggests trying on three different pairs before buying, since sizing differs across brands and the length and width of your foot changes over time. He also says you should always perform the toe test. "Make sure the tip of your thumb fits between the end of the shoe and the end of your longest toe," he explains.
Walking shoes for women should provide plenty of shock absorption, arch support, and cushioning, says Jacqueline Sutera, spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). These walking shoes for women all fit the bill, so nab a pair and hit the track, treadmill, or sidewalk for a sweaty workout.
"With a rubber console and breathable mesh, the New Balance 1080s offer the stability and support walkers are looking for," says Erin Dolan, C.P.T. "They're not super soft on the inside, which makes them a great option for walking or light running."
"These are soft and comfy, but it’s best to stick to light jogging or walking when you're wearing them," Dolan says. "When a shoe is too soft, it can actually hurt your feet if there isn’t enough cushion to support your body and absorb impact." These are great for lower-impact days.
The Nike Air Max cushioning in this walking shoe protects against the impact of your foot hitting the ground, in turn propelling you forward with each step. Plus, the breathable Flyknit fabric conforms to the natural shape of your foot for a sock-like feel that maximizes comfort.
These ultra lightweight sneakers are perfect for commuters, thanks to their slip-on moon sock construction that perfectly hugs the ankles.
"With memory foam and cushioning, the PUMA Dare AC Sneaker is supportive enough to support you being on your feet all day, but not enough to wear for long runs," Dolan says. Get the all-black version and you can dress it up and down, making it an appropriate shoe for casual work settings.
"When it comes to shoes for athletes, ASICS are known for their support," Dolan says. "Unlike the Kayano, this model is lighter, so it's designed for jogging or walking. If you work a nightshift or have a job that requires you to be on your feet all day, you can definitely find comfort in the GEL Nimbus 20s."
"Brooks are usually on the more expensive side, but it's worth the investment," Dolan says. "With midsole cushioning and a rubber sole, these durable and supportive shoes are great for walking, hiking, long distance, [and any other] mild to moderate activity."
Dr. Sutera says this sneaker’s “Rapid Rebound” technology, combined with its extra-cushioned midsole and forefront support, offers the stability you need in a comfortable walking shoe. It's also designed with synthetic material, which she says makes it durable for long-term use.
Dr. Sutera worked in the Vionic innovation lab to help develop the foot-friendly design of this shoe. The breathable mesh uppers, for example, help hold your foot in place without overheating. And the duel-density midsole has a contoured arch that makes it a solid choice for anyone suffering from foot-related pain, including plantar fasciitis.
“Even though this shoe is a running sneaker, it is also perfect for walking,” Dr. Sutera says. The reason: This shoe’s technology allows for high energy return, meaning some of the energy you expel while walking will come back to you, rather than being absorbed by the ground (and forcing you to work harder). The absorbent crash pads also allow for smooth transitions as your foot moves through a full step.
Dr. Sutera is a fan of the cushion technology of this shoe, specifically the proprietary active foam with built-in cushion for extra comfort and support. The engineering behind the shoe's design also offers adequate shock absorption, which she says will keep joints happy.
If your pronation (the natural way your foot rolls inward while walking) is basic — meaning your foot rolls slightly while it evenly distributes your body weight — this moderately-cushioned shoe may be your new BFF. “I highly recommend them for people with a neutral or low arch as they provide great stability, as well as extra padding for shock control,” Dr. Cunha says.
The top-selling sneaker is popular on Amazon thanks to its memory foam insole, flexible outsole, and shock-absorbing midsole, all of which come together to form an insanely comfortable walking shoe.
Not only are these absolutely perfect for walking, you can pretty much use them for any type of activity due to their support.
These all-white sneakers are not only so cute, but they are lightweight and made from breathable fabric so you won't have to worry about stinky shoes at the end of the day.
These Reeboks are made specifically for walking all day, so don't forget to pack them for your next trip to Disney.