The best walking shoes for women who walk regularly or spend long hours standing are lightweight and offer breathability, arch support, and stability.

We use “men’s” and “women’s” in this article to align with how companies market their products, but there is no need to stick to one or the other. A person should choose the product with the fit, style, and features that work best for them.

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This article explores walking shoes in further detail, including some walking shoes available for purchase online.

A quick look at the best walking shoes for women

Shoes and foot health

Comfortable shoes should support a person’s skeletal structure. 

Research shows that wearing footwear that does not fit can lead to foot pain and foot disorders.

However, some footwear can improve the way a person walks and reduce the effect of physical issues a person may have, such as chronic ankle instability.

North Dakota State University provides some tips to help people choose well-fitting shoes, including:

  • trying on different pairs
  • wearing shoes with the same types of socks that one wears for walking
  • ensuring that the forefoot area is not too tight
  • checking that the heel does not slip up or down

The institution also recommends that people stop wearing their shoes if they notice less cushioning or start to experience foot or joint pain.

Each person has unique biometrics, so they will need shoes that support their needs.

For example, everyone has individual pronation, which is how the foot rolls to distribute impact while walking or running. Some people need shoes that help with overpronation, whereas others may need shoes for supination. Others may need neutral shoes.

What to look for

Below are some features that a person can look for when choosing walking shoes:

  • Stability: Walking shoes should be supportive, and a person should not be able to bend or twist them easily in their hands. 
  • Fit: People should follow the manufacturer’s sizing guide to ensure that they choose the right fit. 
  • Comfort: The shoes should have padding close to the feet and provide a snug fit at the heel and midfoot. They should also come with adequate room in the forefoot area. 
  • Achilles tendon protector: This reduces pressure on the Achilles tendon and provides a secure fit around the heel.

How we chose

Medical News Today’s methodology

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price: MNT chooses products available for a wide range of budgets.
  • Reputable: MNT chooses products from businesses that adhere to industry best practices.
  • Materials: MNT chooses products that use safe and durable materials and fabrics that are easy to clean.
  • Sizing: MNT chooses products available for various body shapes and sizes.
  • Quality: MNT chooses companies that adhere to high quality manufacturing processes.
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Some of the best walking shoes for women

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Below are 10 of the best walking shoes for women.

Best range of widths: New Balance 847v4

Image of a New Balance 847v4 walking shoe
  • Price: $149.99
  • Width: narrow, standard, wide, X wide, 2X wide

These walking shoes come in 15 sizes.

Features include:

  • two color options
  • full rubber outsole
  • a mesh upper for a lightweight feel and more breathability
  • synthetic leather construction
  • thermoplastic polyurethane heel inserts for support increased balance and stability

The pros and cons below are based on customer reviews.

Pros

  • cushioned design
  • stability 
  • width available in standard, narrow, wide, extra wide, and double extra wide 

Cons

  • a chance that the size chart is inaccurate
  • possible inability to exchange products
  • expensive
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Best memory foam: Skechers Women’s Flex Appeal 2.0 Sneaker

  • Price: around $45–153
  • Width: 4 inches

These walking shoes are flexible and suitable for most foot shapes and sizes. Features include:

  • 13 color options
  • air-cooled memory foam that provides pressure relief, comfort, and breathability
  • 100% knit fabric
  • rubber sole
  • flexible design
  • a weight of 12 ounces (oz)

Prices can vary by color on Amazon.

The pros and cons below are based on customer reviews.

Pros

  • good fit for people with foot problems, such as bunions and hammer toes
  • accurate size guide
  • lightweight design

Cons

  • chance of receiving a defective product
  • chance that the cushioning causes sweaty feet
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Best range of colors: Tiosebon Women’s Sock Walking Shoes

  • Price: around $34
  • Width: only one width is available

These Tiosebon walking shoes are available in eight sizes. The company has designed these shoes to fit like a sock, so the upper material is stretchy, breathable, and conforms exactly to a person’s foot shape.

There is also an air cushion in the heel to provide shock absorption.

Features include:

  • nine color options
  • a breathable knit mesh upper
  • a moisture-wicking insole
  • arch support
  • shockproof and nonslip outsole

The pros and cons below are based on customer reviews.

Pros

  • can provide arch support
  • come with anti-skid and grip ability
  • are ideal for walking, driving, and long periods of standing
  • upper material adapts to a person’s foot shape

Cons

  • may cause blisters
  • do not offer a lot of support on uneven surfaces
  • do not come in sizes below U.S. women’s 5
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Best for lower budgets: Propet Washable Walker Evolution Oxford

  • Price: around $31–75
  • Width: 4.2 inches

These walking shoes are machine washable, and the insole can accommodate orthotics. A person can remove the inner cushioning, and each pair of shoes has two sets of laces.

Features include:

  • three color options
  • rubber sole
  • removable footbed
  • outsole that provides high grip and traction

They are an affordable option for people working with smaller budgets.

The following are some pros and cons based on customer reviews:

Pros

  • can reduce foot pain
  • suitable for those with a narrow foot width size
  • good fit for people recovering from knee replacement
  • machine washable

Cons

  • stiff inner sole
  • limited color range
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Best leather option: Cobb Hill Women’s Paulette Flat

  • Price: $115
  • Width: M, N, W, XW

These shoes are suitable for people who want less athletic-looking walking shoes.

They come in various sizes and four widths, from narrow, wide, to extra wide. Some other features include:

  • four color options
  • leather upper for natural comfort and durability
  • accent and sidewalk stitching
  • lightweight outsole
  • metal button

The following points are some pros and cons based on customer reviews:

Pros

  • have a breathable design
  • provide support
  • do not cause swelling

Cons

  • have thin cushioning, so not enough support for some individuals
  • have a wide fit, even with socks
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Best for extra toe room: Altra Rivera 2

  • Price: $130
  • Width: slim

These shoes are suitable for people with narrow feet. The company states this design allows a person’s toes to spread naturally.

Features include:

  • available in six colors
  • Balanced Cushioning platform, which provides better alignment and form
  • Altra EGO foam for a responsive and comfortable feel
  • midsoles with grid-like grooves for flexibility and movement

The following are some pros and cons based on customer reviews:

Pros

  • suitable for walking and running
  • toe room allows for natural spread
  • snug fit around the heels

Cons

  • not suitable for those with wide feet
  • some claim the treads wore out quickly
  • lack of lateral support
  • too slim for orthotics
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Best for recycled materials: Merrell Gridway

  • Price: around $40–125
  • Width: 4 inches

These shoes weigh 15 oz and use recycled yarn. The company also states the midsole is made from sustainable ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA).

They come in three colors: brindle, glacier gray, and gold.

The main features of these walking shoes include:

  • made from a recycled yarn-knit upper
  • removable EVA footbed
  • traditional lace closure system
  • recycled webbing

The price varies depending on the color a person chooses.

The following are some pros and cons based on customer reviews:

Pros

  • lightweight 
  • supportive for walking
  • suitable for rough and muddy conditions

Cons

  • thin insole
  • may lose shape after few uses
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Best for warmups and cool-downs: Crocs LiteRide 360 Pacer

  • Price: $64.99
  • Width: standard

These LiteRide Pacer shoes from Crocs provide cushioning and support and a breathable upper.

Other features include:

  • available in two colors
  • Durable Croslite foam outsoles for all-day support and comfort
  • soft and lightweight foam insoles
  • breathable uppers
  • suitable for warmup and cool-down sessions

The following are some pros and cons based on customer reviews:

Pros

  • durable 
  • easy to clean
  • lots of room in the toe area

Cons

  • some found them tight, others found them loose
  • can become discolored after a few uses
  • can cause pain
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Best for walking on roads: Brooks Addiction Walker 2

  • Price: $130
  • Width: medium, wide, narrow, and 2E

The Brooks Addiction Walker 2 aims to provide maximum support and soft cushioning for a slip resistant walk. They weigh 12.9 oz and are made for walking on roads.

This shoe features:

  • two color options
  • a progressive diagonal rollbar to help maintain a natural stride
  • BioMoGo DNA cushioning designed to respond to a person’s weight, stride, and speed
  • leather upper

They are unsuitable for those following a vegan lifestyle due to the leather upper.

The following are some pros and cons based on customer reviews:

Pros

  • sturdy construction
  • suitable for walking
  • one user with tendonitis and plantar fasciitis found them helpful

Cons

  • not effective for wearing to work
  • squeak when a person walks
  • some users found them painful
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Best for breathability: Under Armour Charged Breathe Bliss Paint Splatter Sportstyle Shoes

  • Price: $85
  • Width: regular

The manufacturer’s website states this durable and stylish shoe provides cushioning, support, and traction. Its mesh upper makes it lightweight and breathable.

It includes the following features:

  • asymmetrical lacing
  • flexible gore forefoot strap
  • proprietary cushioning
  • full rubber outsole

It comes in two colors: white tile blue or brilliance white. It is only available in a standard width.

The following points are some pros and cons based on customer reviews:

Pros

  • users found them comfortable when walking and running
  • suitable for standing up for long hours at work
  • some found these shoes very stylish

Cons

  • fit may be better with a half-size up from a person’s usual size
  • sometimes causes painful rubbing at the heel
  • may be unsuitable for people with wide feet
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Comparison

The table below compares each of the shoes in this article.

 PriceWidthBest for
New Balance$149.99narrow, standard, wide, X wide, 2X widerange of widths
Skechersaround $45–1534 inchesmemory foam
Tiosebonaround $34only one width availablerange of colors
Propetaround $31–754.2 incheslower budgets
Cobb Hill$115M, N, W, XWleather option 
Altra$130slimextra toe room
Merrellaround $40–1254 inchesrecycled materials
Crocs$64.99standardbest for warmups and cool-downs
Brooks$130medium, wide, narrow, and 2Ewalking on roads
Under Armour$85regularbest for breathability

When to see a doctor

Signs that it is time to see a doctor about foot pain include:

  • feelings of numbness or tingling in the feet
  • swelling that lasts for several days
  • discomfort or pain that lasts for several weeks

Plantar fasciitis is a common source of foot pain, affecting about 10% of the general population and up to 22% of runners. The most common symptom is sharp pain at the heel of the foot, usually after periods of inactivity.

Movement may improve the symptoms, but doctors typically recommend that a person with the condition take time off from weight-bearing activities. If a person thinks they may have plantar fasciitis, they should speak with a doctor.

A person should see a doctor as soon as possible if:

  • they cannot put weight on their foot
  • the foot appears to be infected
  • swelling is severe

Frequently asked questions about walking shoes for women

Below, we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about walking shoes for women.

What are the best women’s shoes for walking?

The American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society recommends walking shoes with the following characteristics:

  • good shock absorption, especially in the ball of the foot and the heel
  • lightweight
  • comfortable upper
  • smooth tread
  • slightly rounded sole

Additionally, if a person has specific concerns, such as a tendency to overpronate, they should look for shoes with features that will address them. 

What walking shoes do podiatrists recommend?

According to the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine (AAPSM), a good walking shoe:

  • provides stability, especially side-to-side
  • is well-cushioned
  • supports a steady gait

Additionally, a good walking shoe should be a good fit for the person who wears it. People should look for shoes that provide enough length and room for the toes. They should hold the foot and heel snugly, but not too tightly.

Depending on where they do most of their walking, a person might prefer a walking shoe that is water resistant or more suitable for rough terrain.

Is it OK to wear running shoes for walking?

A person can wear running shoes for walking, as long as the running shoes provide enough cushioning and stability, and supports their ability to walk, according to the AAPSM

What are the best walking shoes with arch support?

Brooks, Asics, and New Balance shoes are popular with people looking for walking shoes with arch support.

A person should choose the shoes that fit them best and suit the walking they do, regardless of the brand.

Summary

Walking shoes have several features to support an individual’s foot, such as stability, anti-slip soles, and cushioning. 

A variety of walking shoes are available to buy online. Many companies also provide a sizing guide to help individuals make the right purchase. 

However, a person should stop wearing their shoes if they develop pain or the shoes start wearing out. They should also see a doctor if their pain does not improve.