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Not a runner? No worries. According to the American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, walking has many health benefits, including promoting weight loss as well as lowering your risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Before you head out the door to embark on a walk, it’s important to have a great walking shoe.
Experts agree that proper walking shoes should be comfortable, supportive and flexible.
As with running shoes, walking shoes are specially designed to propel you forward, says New York-based podiatrist Dr. Jacquelyn Sutera. Keep in mind that other styles like basketball or tennis shoes won’t be great for walking long distances, as they’re made for lateral or side to side motion.
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.
And if you suffer from plantar fasciitis, which typically causes pain in the heel area, Pensacola, Fla.-based podiatrist Dr. Grace 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.
With all this in mind, we rounded up some of the best walking shoes for women — all which also have hundreds of positive customer reviews.
In addition to being functional and stylish, some are machine washable for a quick refresh.
Keep reading to pick one.
Designed for comfortable all-day wear, Altra’s Rivera is a great option for various foot types. The shoe is flexible with balanced cushioning that allows for a lower impact landing. It can be used for running, too.
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.”
Adidas Edge Lux 4
With a stretch knit upper, plush cushioning and overall featherlight feel, Adidas’ Edge Lux 4 is one of the top comfort shoes in the sneaker world. Coming in a wide assortment of colorways, they’re stylish and comfortable enough to be worn outside the gym.
What reviewers say: “Absolutely adore these shoes and so happy I purchased! Super comfortable and lightweight. I use them mainly for running errands around town and also wore them while working one day and my feet didn’t hurt at the end of the day.”
Brooks Addiction Walker 2
Brooks’ Addiction Walker 2 features a smooth leather upper and the brand’s BioMoGo DNA cushioning that allows the shoe to adapt to your weight and speed as you wear it. Lauded for its arch support, it should keep you feeling comfortable all on your feet all day. Plus, it comes in wide-width sizes.
What reviewers say: “I thought the Addiction 1 was great but the Addiction 2 is equal or maybe even a bit easier on my feet. I love those walkers. In my estimation, nothing beats them. I have tried others but none help my stability like the Addictions.”
Hoka One One Clifton 7
Earning the 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 eases pressure on the Achilles tendon. Also coming in an array of colorways and extended sizes, the Meta-Rocker design promotes a smooth stride from heel-strike through toe-off.
What reviewers say: “Great fit! Really helped me with heel pain and back pain. Can feel the gel in the sole of the shoe and it makes all the difference. I also think they are really cute!”
Vionic’s Tokyo 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.
What reviewers say: “Love all my Vionic shoes, but especially 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 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.”
Ryka Devotion Plus 2
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.
What reviewers say: “This is the fifth pair of Ryka Devotion Plus 2 walking shoes I have 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 have walked for awhile. These do the trick! I have been very happy with every pair.”
APL Techloom Pro
Lightweight, flexible and supportive, the Techloom Pro is APL’s signature running shoe with a cult following. Not only is the sneaker stylish, but the Propelium cushioning throughout the midsole and outsole makes it super comfortable too. 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.”
Skechers Go Walk Joy
A slightly more affordable choice, the Go Walk Joy from Skechers is crafted with breathable mesh and can be thrown in the washing machine for easy maintenance. Meanwhile, the Goga Max cushioned footbed and 5 Gen midsole cushioning outsole provides shock absorption and support while you stroll.
What reviewers say: “I am a waitress and the previous shoes I had were killing my feet, so I decided to purchase these shoes. I am so glad I made this purchase. These shoes fit great and make it feel like I am walking on little pillows.”
Allbirds Wool Runners
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.
What reviewers say: “This is my second pair of Wool Runners and I just adore them. They are complete perfection — they fit true to size and are completely comfortable for walking around endless hours. And they are the only running-style shoe I’ve ever felt comfortable wearing without socks.”
Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit
Another sneaker that makes our the list is Nike’s React Infinity Run Flyknit. Its lightweight Flyknit uppers and React foam midsole cushioning are made to provide a supportive, stable feel without compromising your style.
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.”
Adidas Ultraboost 4.0 DNA
Adidas’ Ultraboost 4.0 DNA is crafted with Primeblue, a high-performance recycled material, in the upper and iconic Boost cushioning underfoot for premium comfort to help keep you moving. The beloved style also comes in a wide range of colorways and iterations, including slip-on versions.
What reviewers say: “Not one blister, no aching feet at the end of each day at Disney World! We walked about 9 miles a day and these Adidas were lifesavers! I noticed that a few of the workers at DW also had these shoes. Best investment in my feet ever! They washed up really well after the trip, too.”
Saucony Echelon 8
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.
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 am so happy with this purchase!”
Hoka One One Bondi 7
Customers love Hoka One One sneakers because of their chunky, cushy outsoles and trendy colorways. Great for going the distance, the Bondi 7 is an ideal pick for running or walking due to its breathable upper, compression-molded EVA midsole and an ultra-soft memory foam collar designed to conform to a wide variety of ankles. The style is also designed to provide a locked-in fit.
What reviewers say: “They are great for taking long walks. I had to buy them after suffering from plantar fasciitis. I started walking a lot and I guess it was too much too soon. I also have very high arches. Now I live in these shoes or my Hoka recovery slides. I am hoping my plantar fasciitis goes away soon but in the meantime, these are a lifesaver. You notice the comfort right away. They are extremely cushioned on the sole as well as all around the ankle and behind the ankle.”
Brooks Launch 7
Known as a really good running shoe, Brooks Launch 7 is also optimal for walking thanks to its breathable and supportive mesh upper, BioMoGo midsole technology and cushioned rubber outsole. The silhouette also features a nearly seamless internal construction for a lightweight barely-there feel.
What reviewers say: “The support of this shoe is outstanding. I just tried a different style but found it was not as supportive so went back to my standby shoe. I have had the Launch shoe for 8+ years. I won’t buy anything else from now on. Please keep selling this shoe.”
Available in various colorways, the Slowman Slip-On features a lightweight and breathable sock-like mesh upper, contoured footbed and air-cushioned soles. The stylish walking shoe will give you the right comfort at a good price point that won’t break the bank.
What reviewers say: “They are seamless, so there is nothing to irritate your foot and the outer sole is a heavy gel-type material that gives a springy feel while walking or running.”
New Balance FuelCore NERGIZE
Featuring a durable and responsive foam REVlite midsole, New Balance’s FuelCore NERGIZE is a great shoe for walking. Found at a solid price point, the NERGIZE has a sleek knit upper that provides lightweight comfort, too.
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.”