The Best Women's Walking Shoes, Tested By a Personal Trainer

New Balance's 840 v4 Shoes are our certified personal trainer's top favorite

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If you're looking to maintain your fitness, reduce your risk of heart disease and other conditions, or ease joint pain, going on a walk can be a great way to improve or maintain your health and overall fitness. It’s a low-impact activity that can be done on a treadmill or outside and requires minimal equipment or training. The best walking shoes are properly fitted, made from durable materials, and provide ample support.

Tested & Approved

The New Balance Women's 840 v4 Running Shoes are our top pick because they're high-quality, durable, and well-cushioned. If you're on a budget, the Adidas Women's Cloudfoam Pure 2.0 Running Shoes are a fantastic choice.

Wearing the right shoes is key to staying comfortable and injury-free. “A good walking shoe can prevent injuries and can also decrease fatigue in your feet especially after long walks, due to the way it supports your foot,” Priya Parthasarathy, DPM, a podiatrist in Silver Spring, MD, says. When shopping for a shoe, look for ample cushioning, midsole and heel support, and good shock absorption.

To help you find the best walking shoes for women, we researched reviews and details about more than 55 shoes from 13 trusted shoe manufacturers. We then spent 60 hours testing each of our top walking shoe picks by going on multiple walks of varying lengths, both on roads and the treadmill.

According to our test, these are the best walking shoes for women on the market.

Best Overall: New Balance Women's 840 v4 Running Shoes

4.9
New Balance 840v4 women's running shoes

Courtesy of New Balance

Our Ratings
  • Cushioning
    5/5
  • Responsiveness
    4.5/5
  • Lateral Stability
    5/5
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Value
    5/5
Pros
  • Well-cushioned

  • Excellent shock absorption

Cons
  • May be too wide for some

The New Balance 840 V4 shoe impressed our testers and landed our top spot thanks to it's supportive and well-cushioned construction. Designed with ABZORB midfoot cushioning, the shoe offers exceptional shock absorption and plush comfort when your feet hit the pavement.

During test walks, our tester noticed the cloud-like comfort right away and didn’t feel any uncomfortable rubbing or tightness. The cushioning was supportive but still responsive and not overly firm. Our tester found that the durable rubber outsole offered grippy traction, even in wet conditions.

The shoe’s wide toe box offers plenty of room for toes spreading out or swelling in warm weather, which is crucial for women who’ve had issues with bunions or blisters. These shoes are deep, which provides good stability and also allows enough space for custom orthotics if needed. Made with a mesh upper, these shoes are breathable and built to last.

Available in several different widths, we think this comfy shoe is a great option for both outdoor and treadmill walks.

Material: Mesh and synthetic upper, rubber outsole | Cushioning: ABZORB | Weight: 10 ounces | Closure:  Lace-up

What Our Testers Say

“This shoe really hits the sweet spot between the right amount of cushioning and support. It’s a great choice for avid walkers who expect a lot out of their shoes in terms of performance, support, and comfort,” —Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, certified running coach, certified personal trainer, and Verywell Fit product tester

Best Budget: Adidas Women's Cloudfoam Pure 2.0 Running Shoes

4.5
Adidas Women's Cloudfoam Pure 2.0 Running Shoes

Source: Adidas

Our Ratings
  • Cushioning
    4/5
  • Responsiveness
    3.5/5
  • Lateral Stability
    3/5
  • Fit
    4.5/5
  • Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Well-cushioned

  • Made with recycled materials

  • Easy to get on and off

Cons
  • Not for cold weather

  • Not as firm as other options

We love that Adidas' Cloudform Pure 2.0 shoe comes at a more budget-friendly price than similar shoes, without sacrificing its quality or comfort. This shoe looks more low-profile and not as supportive as some of our other options, but it still provides good cushioning at a great price point.

Right away, our tester noticed the plush comfort and the upper’s soft, simplistic style. She found that the rubber sole provided a very stable base and good support during both short and long walks. However, the shoes aren’t as firm as some other options, so we don't recommend them for those who need a lot of stability. They’re lightweight, breathable, and work well for warmer conditions, but don’t provide much protection for cold weather.

With a streamlined, sleek design and a variety of neutral colors, we think the Cloudform Pure 2.0 is definitely a good choice for casual wear. Plus, the shoes are made with recycled materials, so you can feel good about helping to protect the environment.

Material: Primegreen material, rubber sole | Cushioning: Cloudfoam | Weight: Not Listed | Closure: Lace-up

What Our Testers Say

"These shoes are a great choice for all-day wear and casual walking. They’re attractive, comfortable shoes from a quality brand at an affordable price. But if someone wants a very firm and supportive shoe, this isn’t the shoe for them." —Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, certified running coach, certified personal trainer, and Verywell Fit product tester

Best for Standing All Day: Rykä Devotion Plus 3 Walking Shoe

4.9
Rykä Devotion Plus 3 Walking Shoe

Courtesy of Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Cushioning
    4.5/5
  • Responsiveness
    4.5/5
  • Lateral Stability
    4.5/5
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Lightweight and breathable

  • Excellent shock absorption

  • Durable

Cons
  • Laces may be difficult to change

  • Not for cold weather

If you’re on your feet for most of the day, you need to choose a shoe wisely, and we recommend the Ryka Devotion Plus 3 walking shoe. This pair features a Re-zorb platform—Rykä’s active foam technology—which offers exceptional shock and impact protection.

During test walks, our tester said they offered plush comfort, as well as good support, especially in the arch area. The shoes are also very breathable, another huge plus for anyone searching for an all-day wear shoe.

We also like the shoe’s spacious toe box, which cuts down on rubbing and irritation, helping to boost the shoe’s blister protection rating. Despite the wide forefoot, the rear of the foot offers a snug fit, and our tester didn’t notice any slipping while wearing the shoes.

They're available in a variety of stylish colors and regular and wide widths.

Materials: Rubber sole, synthetic and mesh upper | Cushioning: Molded EVA midsole and full-length RE-ZORB platform | Weight: 10 ounces | Closure: Lace-up

What Our Testers Say

“These shoes are a comfortable option for walkers, especially those who have had bunions, blisters, or other problems caused by too-tight shoes. The shoe’s spacious toe box definitely gives the toes plenty of room to spread and cuts down on potential irritation.” —Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, certified running coach, certified personal trainer, and Verywell Fit product tester

Best for Plantar Fasciitis: Hoka Clifton 8

4.5
Hoka Clifton 8

Source: Hoka

Our Ratings
  • Cushioning
    5/5
  • Responsiveness
    4/5
  • Lateral Stability
    4/5
  • Fit
    4.5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Excellent shock absorption

  • Thick and wide soles

  • Stretchy, supportive upper

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Not very stylish

If you’re prone to plantar fasciitis, you can help ease the pain by wearing a walking shoe that has ample cushioning, especially in the heel area. With plush EVA foam cushioning, we recommend the Hoka One One Clifton shoe for its excellent shock absorption that can help decrease pressure under your heel as you walk.

Our tester found them to be surprisingly lightweight and comfortable, without any need for a break-in period. The cloud-like comfort lasted from the first few minutes of wear through many miles of walking. We like that the upper is stretchy and conforms to the shape of the foot, providing good support without feeling constricting. We also found them extremely breathable, which helped keep feet cool and blister-free during test walks.

With Hoka’s signature thick, wide soles, the Clifton isn’t the most stylish walking shoe, but they offer a comfy, smooth ride and good protection for those with a history of foot pain.

What Our Testers Say

“I have a history of plantar fasciitis and the shoe’s exceptional cushioning, especially in the heel area, and overall support made me feel confident that my feet were well-protected,” —Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, certified running coach, certified personal trainer, and Verywell Fit product tester

Best Slip-On: Skechers GOwalk Arch Fit - Iconic

4.4
Skechers GOwalk Arch Fit - Iconic

Source: Skechers

Our Ratings
  • Cushioning
    4.5/5
  • Responsiveness
    4/5
  • Lateral Stability
    4/5
  • Fit
    4/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Good arch support

  • Durable

  • Stylish

Cons
  • Squeaky at first

  • May be too wide for some

The stretchy comfort, ample cushioning, and slip-on style make these Skechers shoes a nice option for casual walking shoes. Our tester noticed the plush comfort and good arch support right away, and was also impressed with the shoe’s secure fit. The stretchy material hugs the foot, while still allowing for plenty of flexibility.

The combination of minimal seams, breathable material, and snug fit resulted in no blisters or irritated areas during testing, which is why we gave this shoe a perfect score for blister protection. One downside is that the shoes were quite squeaky when our tester was walking on smooth surfaces, like wood floors or a treadmill, but the noise went away after several walks outside.

These shoes wouldn’t be a great option for running or cross-training activities, but we think they’re a solid choice for all-day casual wear. Plus, the shoes are machine-washable for added convenience.

Material: Mesh upper, rubber sole | Cushioning: ULTRA GO cushioning | Weight: Not listed | Closure: Slip-on

What Our Testers Say

I would recommend these to someone looking for a well-cushioned shoe with good arch support for casual walking. The slip-on style is very convenient and it can easily work for casual wear,” —Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, certified running coach, certified personal trainer, and Verywell Fit product tester

Best for High Arches: Brooks Women's Glycerin 19 Running Shoe

4.5
Brooks Women's Glycerin 19

Courtesy: Brooks

Our Ratings
  • Cushioning
    4.5/5
  • Responsiveness
    4/5
  • Lateral Stability
    4.5/5
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Very responsive

  • Lightweight and flexible

  • Durable and protective

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Run small

A popular favorite among walkers and runners, the Brooks Glycerin is a comfortable, supportive shoe, and our top pick for those with high arches. The shoe’s plush cushioning adapts to each step, offering great shock absorption and protection for joints.

Our tester, who has high arches, found the shoe provides cushioning and support exactly where she needed it most. As an avid runner who also loves going for long walks, she liked the shoe’s flexibility and impact protection for running and other activities, in addition to walking. And the wide soles definitely add to the shoe’s overall stability.

Our tester also appreciated the narrow fit in the heel, which helped prevent slipping. We like that there's also plenty of room in the toe box to accommodate for swollen toes during long walks.

We think these versatile shoes are a solid choice for walking, running and other activities, as well as all-day casual wear.

Material: Mesh upper, rubber outsold | Cushioning: DNA Loft foam | Weight: 9 ounces | Closure: Lace-up

What Our Testers Say

“As someone with high arches, I need a shoe that’s supportive but also well-cushioned. This shoe delivers in both areas. I love that it’s also very versatile and can be used for running as well as walking,” —Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, certified running coach, certified personal trainer, and Verywell Fit product tester

Best for Narrow Feet: Allbirds Women's Tree Dasher 2

Allbirds Tree Dasher 2

Allbirds

Pros
  • Good energy return

  • Breathable

  • Cloud-like comfort

Cons
  • Traction could be better

If you have narrow feet, you may find it challenging to obtain walking shoes that feel supportive and don’t slip. With a sleek, minimalist design, we like that the Allbirds Tree Dashers offer a flexible, snug fit, so your feet won’t slide around. Plus, like other Allbirds shoes, they’re made with sustainable, eco-friendly materials such as eucalyptus tree fiber, Brazilian sugarcane, and merino wool.

During test walks, our tester found the midsole responsive and flexible with each step. The seamless one-piece upper is extremely comfortable, and also provides good blister protection. Our tester found the heel counter helped to support and lock down the rear of the foot, preventing any movement in that area.

The traction on Tree Dasher 2s isn’t as good as some of our other options, so you won’t want to use it for trail walking or hiking. However, this shoe definitely works for fitness walking or all-day casual wear. They’re available in a range of bright and neutral colors.

Materials: Merino wool, eucalyptus tree fiber, natural rubber | Cushioning: SweetFoam EVA midsole | Weight: 10.3 ounces | Closure: Lace-up

What Our Testers Say

"In addition to being well-cushioned and supported, this is a great shoe for anyone who finds that their feet slide around or slip out of the back of the shoe. My heel and ankle felt very locked in when wearing these" —Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, certified running coach, certified personal trainer, and Verywell Fit product tester

Best for Wide Feet: New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 V11

4.5
New Balance Men's Fresh Foam 1080 V11

Courtesy of Road Runner

Our Ratings
  • Cushioning
    5/5
  • Responsiveness
    4/5
  • Lateral Stability
    3/5
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Well-cushioned

  • Lightweight

  • Streamlined and low-profile

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Not for very cold weather

New Balance’s 1080v11 Fresh Foam shoes have just the right amount of support and cushioning to make walking comfortable, no matter how many miles you have planned. With wide sizes available, it’s easy to get a custom-like fit that allows plenty of room for your toes to spread—making it our top pick for wide feet.

We like that the shoe’s full-length Fresh Foam midsole packs in a lot of cushioning without feeling heavy or bulky. Our tester noticed the cloud-like comfort right away and it held up for the test walks, earning the shoe a perfect score for cushioning.

The shoe’s flexible fabric hugs the foot, while the collar fits very snugly without feeling constricting. The close fit and breathable fabric cut down on irritation and sweating, securing the shoe a high rating in blister protection. Unlike other models that offer limited colors in wide widths, the 1080v11 comes in a variety of neutral and fun options.

What Our Testers Say

“This shoe’s cushioning feels plush and comfy, but the shoe is still very lightweight and doesn’t feel bulky. If cushioning and wider sizes are priorities for your walking shoe, this is an excellent choice,” —Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, certified running coach, certified personal trainer, and Verywell Fit product tester

Material: Knit and mesh upper, rubber outsole | Cushioning: Fresh Foam | Weight: 8.1 ounces | Closure: Lace-up

Best for Long Distance: Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 Running Shoes

4.9
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 Running Shoes

Nike

Our Ratings
  • Cushioning
    4.5/5
  • Responsiveness
    5/5
  • Lateral Stability
    4.5/5
  • Fit
    5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Very responsive

  • Breathable

  • Durable

Cons
  • Arch feels stiff at first

  • Expensive

If you’re really into fitness walking, you need a supportive yet comfortable shoe that can go the distance. We like Nike's React Infinity Run Flyknit 2 because it offers good support but is also very lightweight and breathable.

When first putting the shoe on, our tester noted that the significant arch feels a bit stiff, but once you start moving, it turns to comfy support. During test walks, the foam cushioning offered excellent bounce back with each stride. We love how the Flyknit material in the upper provides a flexible, sock-like feel and conforms to the contours of your feet for a custom-like fit.

The shoe’s padded collar enhances the overall comfort, while the pull tab on the heel is convenient for easy on and off. We think Nike’s attractive design and the shoe's cushioned support makes them a great pick for all-day wear.

Material: Flywire technology upper, foam midsole | Cushioning: Foam | Weight: 8.7 ounces | Closure: Lace-up

What Our Testers Say

"These shoes are the right combination of plush comfort, responsiveness, and supportive stability. They offered excellent bounce back while walking, as well as good support for a neutral walker like myself." —Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, certified running coach, certified personal trainer, and Verywell Fit product tester

Best for Travel: Propet TravelActiv Walking Sneaker

4.5
Propet TravelActiv Walking Sneaker

Source: Propet

Our Ratings
  • Cushioning
    4.5/5
  • Responsiveness
    4/5
  • Lateral Stability
    4/5
  • Fit
    4.5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Lightweight

  • Can accommodate orthotics

Cons
  • Not for trail walking or hiking

  • Traction could be better

Flexible and supportive, these Propet TravelActiv shoes are our top choice for long days of exploring and sightseeing on foot. When our tester first put these on, she was impressed by the lightweight design and generous cushioning. The upper has plenty of stretch, so it hugs the foot and is supportive in just the right places.

During test walks, our tester noticed that the cushioning in the heel area really absorbed the impact from the pavement or sidewalk. While walking, our tester also discovered one of the shoe’s best features: a flexible sole. They were very easy to walk in and didn’t feel heavy, even at the end of a long walk.

These shoes aren’t as athletic-looking as some others on our list, so they may be a nice option for those who don’t want a sporty look. They’re available in a range of widths from narrow to extra-extra wide. However, they do run a bit small, so we recommend sizing up at least a half size.

Materials: Rubber sole, synthetic and mesh upper | Cushioning: EVA foam | Weight: 5.9 oz | Closure: Lace-up

What Our Testers Say

"With a lightweight design and plenty of cushioning, this shoe won’t make your feet fatigued over the course of a long day of travel. For those who want a casual but not too athletic-looking walking shoe, it’s a comfortable and supportive option." —Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, certified running coach, certified personal trainer, and Verywell Fit product tester

Final Verdict

If you're always on your feet, we highly recommend the New Balance 840 v4 shoes. A versatile shoe that will provide you with comfort and support for hours on end, they're our best overall choice for a women's walking shoe. The ABZORB midfoot cushioning offers great shock absorption, while the grippy sole keeps you steady and secure on your feet.

For a shoe with similar features, but a less expensive price, the Ryka Devotion Plus 3 Walking Shoe is a solid choice. It scored high in cushioning, support, and responsiveness, and is our top pick for those who frequently stand all day.

How We Rated Walking Shoes for Women

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best walking shoes for women we tested. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These walking shoes for women are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great walking shoes for women, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These walking shoes for women are just average.

3.4 and below: We don't recommend walking shoes for women with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

How We Selected and Tested the Women's Walking Shoes

To select our top picks for the best women's walking shoes, we researched and reviewed more than 55 shoes from 13 trusted shoe manufacturers. We also consulted two podiatrists for recommendations on the ideal comfort, fit, support, design, and durability of a walking shoe. We then referred to the American Podiatric Medical Association’s list of shoes that received their Seal of Acceptance.

Once we narrowed down our ten top picks, we spent over 60 hours testing each pair by going on various walks in each, both outdoors and on a treadmill. Our tester—an ACE-certified personal trainer and certified running coach—walked at least 15 miles in each of the ten shoes and tested them during both short and long walks and at various speeds. She did at least one walk on the treadmill in each of the shoes to evaluate performance on a softer surface. To test the shoe’s traction and weather protection, she did at least one walk in wet weather conditions with each pair.

At the end of our testing period, we evaluated each shoe for cushioning, fit, responsiveness, upper comfort, lateral stability and support, and blister protection, and scored each attribute on a scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being a perfect score, and 1 a product that we would not recommend). We also gave each shoe a value score, which compares the price of the shoe with its overall quality and performance.

What to Look for in Women's Walking Shoes

Fit

Finding the right walking shoes for you depends on a number of factors, so it’s best to try shoes on in person to get the right fit, if possible. You can also purchase shoes online that you can easily return after a trial period. The shoe should feel snug and supportive, but not constricting.

“When buying shoes, you should try them on at the end of the day to ensure a more accurate fit,” Miguel Cunha, DPM, podiatrist and founder of Gotham Footcare in New York City, says. Finding the right fit at the end of the day will ensure comfort no matter how long you’re on your feet, as your feet will have swollen throughout the day. 

“Try not to get caught up on the size of the shoe, since sizing can vary greatly across different brands or styles of shoes,” Dr. Parthasarathy says.

Support

Look for shoes that have a firm, supportive heel counter and a sturdy sole with good flexibility at the toes. To test the shoe’s support, try bending it or twisting it. You shouldn’t be able to fold it in half or wring it out like a dishrag.

Cushioning

A good walking shoe should have a midsole with gel, foam, or air to cushion your stride and reduce impact when your foot hits the ground. When shopping, look for shoes that have enough cushioning for shock absorption but aren’t too heavy. That being said, you should avoid minimalist shoes that don’t provide much cushioning.

Materials

Choosing shoes that are made of high-quality, durable materials, such as rubber for the sole, is a good investment. If you plan to walk for long periods of time, you can get shoes to help with sweat, too. Look for shoes made of breathable material so there’s good ventilation. “Some shoes have antimicrobial insoles to help keep sweaty odors under control and keep one’s feet feeling fresh,” Dr. Cunha says.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long do walking shoes last?

    Walking shoes will last for about 350 to 500 miles, or six to eight months. “You should replace them when you can bend the shoe completely in half like a sandwich, that means the support has worn out,” Dr. Parthasarathy says.

    If you’re experiencing any foot issues, you should get new ones immediately, as they could be contributing to your problem.

  • What is the difference between walking shoes and running shoes?

    Although running shoes can be used for walking, there are some differences. In general, running shoes offer more cushioning, since runners strike the ground harder and need more impact protection. Running shoes also usually have a higher heel height, as they strike the ground with different parts of the feet than walkers do. Running shoes also have more of a flared heel for stability.

  • How do I make sure I buy the right size walking shoe?

    Go to a shoe store and get fitted by a professional. Make sure you walk around to ensure the shoe is flexible enough for your walking style. There should be at least a thumb’s width of space at the top of your shoe to give your feet extra room to swell as you walk.

    Dr. Parthasarathy also suggests a different method. “Take the insole out of the shoe and stand on it," she says. “If your foot spills over the side or is longer than the insole, then it’s not the right width or length for you.”

  • How do you clean walking shoes?

    You can clean your shoes with a mixture of cold water and mild detergent. Use a soft scrub brush to clean the shoes and wipe them off with a dry towel. Some walking shoes can be put in the washing machine on cold, but you should check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Do not place them in the dryer. Let them air dry instead.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

As a running coach, marathon runner, personal trainer, and fitness writer, Christine Luff, ACE-CPT, has spent years researching and recommending running and walking shoes to clients and friends. To walk in comfort and reduce injury risk, she suggests getting properly fitted for walking shoes and replacing them regularly.

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