As a woman, you’re always on the go! You walk at work, you walk around the house, you walk with your friends, and if you’re like many women, you walk for exercise, too. Walking is an ideal form of low-impact cardio, and can be part of anyone’s fitness goals. But it should never be uncomfortable. With the right walking shoes, you can stay comfy and healthy all through the workday as well as for those long weekend jaunts.
Whether you walk for fun, for work, or for fitness, there are great footwear options out there for you. In fact, there are tons of options! With so many choices, it can be hard to know where to start. We’ve got you covered!
We searched to find the best walking shoes for women available now. We compared them based on price, comfort, support, practicality, and, most importantly, reviews. Below, we’ve reviewed each of our top choices. Keep reading to find your perfect pair!
Here’s a quick look at our top three choices for best walking shoes for women 2017
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Dansko Womens’ Professional Patent Clog
Best Walking Shoes for Women Reviews
Best For Work
These Skechers are a slip-on with plenty of comfort. They’ve got lightweight foam cushioning with all the basic support you need in the arch and heel. Previous buyers say they’re practically weightless, and totally un-restrictive. That’s an airy, comfy recipe for an all-day work shoe! Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive. We think they’re a great choice for retail jobs and more casual dress environments.
- They’re extremely lightweight, and made from a breathable fabric upper. In the sole, Resalyte cushioning provides support without the weight of solid rubber. The sole and upper are both very flexible, and reviewers said that they felt like walking around in very nice slippers.
- They’re odor-resistant and machine washable.
- They’re fairly neutral, in terms of cushioning. They’re ideal for people who want lots of cushion, without aggressive arch support or heel control. Previous buyers liked the low, minimalist sensation, and said it was nice to be so low to the ground without getting sore.
- They’re incredibly inexpensive. You could buy 3 pairs of these for the price of 1 pair of other work shoes.
- They’re not super durable. Many reviewers found that the sole wore down over time, and eventually gave out. They especially won’t be practical in mud or off the pavement.
- Some people had trouble with incorrect sizing. These reviewers thought they were sized too small, and recommended buying up. We did find that there’s a pretty significant stretch period over the first week or so of wearing them.
- There’s not a great deal of arch support. Some people found the Go Walks therapeutic for their feet, and even said they helped with plantar fasciitis. However, some other reviewers said the lack of strong arch support aggravated their feet. We’d recommend consulting your podiatrist, to see if you need neutral or supported insoles.
These New Balances are built with maximum comfort and stability in mind. They’re the best option for those with foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, flat feet, or high arches. We love their stability roll bar and deep footbed. They’re compatible with nearly any insert, and they have a supremely comfortable combination of padding and stability to suit even severely compromised feet.
- With specially designed cushioning, reviewers raved that these are a nearly sure bet for solving foot pain issues. They use a deep foam footbed, cushioned sole, and a special insole to keep you comfortable all day long. Plus, there’s a mid-foot roll-bar and raised heel for stability and proper alignment. These are especially great for people with flat or high arches, who are more vulnerable to pronation or wobbly ankles.
- Previous buyers said they do wonders for balance issues and wobbly joints. They found that they had far fewer twists and scares with their ankles, as well as reduced pain.
- The leather upper is easy to clean and maintain. It also comes in a variety of colors and finishes to suit your particular style.
- Since they’re so comfortable, they’re a great choice for people who walk to work. With the easily maintainable sole, you won’t have to worry about weather, either.
- They’re expensive.
- As buyers admitted, these are hardly the most flattering pair on the market. These are a more utilitarian choice than some of our other recommendations.
A balance between lightweight comfort and support, these from Asics are practical and versatile. They’ve got an anatomically correct footbed, gel cushioning, and are comfortable from day one. We love their gel cushion cells, which provide the same boost as foam with more bounce and less clunk. There’s also no break-in period, so you can settle right into these.
- The mesh upper keeps your feet cool, and helps keep odor at bay. It’s also built around key gussets, which allow for movement like you’d find with a running shoe. This prevents any blisters or sweaty spots from building up.
- The insole includes basic support for arch and heel. It’s removable, and can be exchanged for an orthotic or other supportive insert. Asics are great because they actually provide the room for a real orthotic. Plenty of other brands have removable insoles, but size the toe boxes annoyingly and make inserts awkward.
- Overall, these live up to Asics’ great reputation for comfort. The upper has flexible sides for better fit and function. These will be able to stretch and contract as needed. The effect is a sock-like fit. Reviewers also said that the generous toe box was a welcome comfort.The sole itself uses lightweight gel compartments to cushion impact as you walk. Previous buyers loved the gel because it doesn’t pack down over time, and it’s lighter than rubber or foam.
- There aren’t many color options.
- Some reviewers found them a bit “practical” in appearance. We’re the first to admit that they’re not as snazzy as a pair of Danskos.
Best Dress Shoes
These leather loafers are some of the best fashion-friendly walking shoes for women. They have a classy look that is great for both work and weekend wear. They combine a stylish, functional upper with a lightly cushioned sole. We love them because they look sleek but feel plush!
- The biggest praise these earned from reviewers was the fact that they’re a lot more comfortable than they look. The leather upper breaks in fairly quickly, and softens nicely over time. The sole provides basic cushioning, with mild arch support, a bit of heel boost, and full-length cushion. Previous buyers said they’re as comfortable as any orthotic model, but much less practical looking than most others.
- They’re very durable. The leather upper is easy to maintain, and will maintain its beauty over time. Reviewers found that the sole was also durable. These will last a long time for you.
- The removable insole can be exchanged for a gel support or orthotic insole. Most reviewers said the factory insole was surprisingly comfortable. It has basic arch support, a raised 1″ heel, and some basic shock absorption throughout the whole foot.
- They run a bit large. We’d recommend ordering half a size down or so.
- Some reviewers found the top strap either uncomfortable or annoying.
- Others wished they had deeper cushioning, and opted for other insoles.
These are some of the most popular footwear in the world for nurses, servers and other professionals who spend tons of time on their feet. They’re handmade from elegant leather and a specially designed clog bottom which maintains posture and stability. We love them for their simple, effective structure and super professional aesthetic. Previous buyers loved them for relieving joint and back aches. They’re ideal for extra-long standing shifts for medical professionals or in restaurant settings. The best part is that they last practically forever!
- The sole design and material is unique to Dankso. There’s an inner frame made of a combination of cork and foam. The cork provides stability, and a smaller foam layer provides cushioning to protect your feet.
- Dankso’s sole provides solid, structured support which encourage good posture and take stress off of your feet and joints. They’re designed to encourage natural, healthy posture and aligned stride. They’re a good alternative for people who don’t like super pillowy-cushioned shoes. These feel a bit less like you’re sinking in, and more like you’re standing on something that reinforces upright movement.
- The clog design provides a roomy toebox. It’s also reinforced on the top, so you won’t have to worry about squishing your toes.
- Inside, there’s a worked leather sock lining. This allows for a more comfy fit, and the soft leather material means it won’t break down easily with use (as opposed to cloth linings). We really love leather sock linings, since they actually improve with age, rather than degrade.
- These clogs have a terrific reputation for comfort based on their strong arch support. Reviewers found that this provided relief for plantar fasciitis and removed stress from the heel and toe.
- They’re not deeply cushioned. They work by providing strong support, not by pillowing your foot. As such, they’re not for everyone. We’d recommend
- There’s a break-in period. The leather upper as well as the foam footbed will break in gradually. We’d recommend giving them a while before deciding whether you like the fit.
- Dansko, like other European brands, are a bit funky with sizing. Online reviewers have provided lots of advice on how to adjust sizing, but you might want to try these on in a store first if you can. Make sure exchanges are free on your choice of style!
The Renova is a clog design similar to the Dansko, but with more of an emphasis on cushion. Timberland have developed an exclusive cushioning system which we love for long days of standing. These clogs also have a grippy outsole and heavily treated upper which make them ideal for messier workplaces where spills and slips are always a risk.
- Timberland’s patented anti-fatigue cushioning uses cones embedded in the footbed to counter pressure at key points in the foot, such as the heel and arch. They’re so confident you’ll love them that they’ve provided a 30-day comfort guarantee! We’d recommend the Renova’s over the Dansko’s for people who like a fair amount of cushion.
- The outsole is made from grippy rubber. They’re ideal for gripping on linoleum and other smooth floors, particularly in wet conditions. If you work in an environment that could have any spills or ice, these are for you!
- The leather upper is elegant and simple. Reviewers said these are easy to maintain and that the finishes are versatile enough to wear with lots of different outfits. They’re also a bit more industrially-finished than the Dansko’s or the Propets. If you’re looking for something to work with both jeans and business attire, these are ideal.
- They squeak. One reviewer pointed out that the problem was the insole rubbing against the outer casing. She recommended using a lubricant to stop the noise.
- Some reviewers said that the mouth of the shoes was originally quite tight, but loosened over time. Be prepared to break these in (as with any leather shoe).
Best Hiking Shoes
Merrell is one of the top makers of hiking clothing and shoes. The Moab Ventilators are designed specifically for women, and combine the comfort of a stability shoe with the all-terrain capability of a hiking boot. We particularly appreciate their anatomically-correct design, which modifies the traditional hiking shoe for a female foot. They’re light, airy, and comfortable from the first trip out.
- They’re easy to keep fresh and clean. These shoes have an odor-resistant fabric lining. The insole is removable and can be washed. The mesh upper also prevents heat buildup inside the shoe. These are a great choice if you live in a warm climate or your feet tend to sweat!
- They’re rugged. The Vibram sole is ultra-durable, and provides traction on any surface. The toe is also reinforced, and has a waterproof bumper.
- Gender-specific cushioning supports a woman’s natural gait. According to Merrell, the insole has been specifically designed to facilitate smooth, rounded strides without the clunk and jerk that you’d have with mens’ shoes.
- Reviewers agreed that they’re both stable and supportive. There’s a strong insole, a reinforced heel, and a cushion under the full length of the footbed.
- Some people found the insole uncomfortable, and found it didn’t line up with their natural walk. They switched it for a gel insert or orthotic. Thankfully, the Merrell’s insole is designed to be removed, which makes that process easy.
- The heel is narrow. This is designed to hold your foot in place as you hike, but some people found it restrictive.
With comfort and support features that you’d expect from a hiking boot, but the slim, light profile of a running shoe, the Voyageur is designed to go with you anywhere. It’s waterproof, supportive, flexible, and highly grippy. We love the lugged outsole for traction on slippy rocks and muddy trails.
- They fit like an athletic shoe, even though they’re rugged like a hiker. The waterproof upper is made from leather and breathable mesh. It’s flexible but secure, providing a sock-line slip-on fit.
- It’s very stable. The heel is elevated, and uses a support platform to maintain correct alignment. There’s an EVA midsole for cushioning, and strong arch support built into the shoe.
- The outsole is rugged. Designed for “off-roading,” it’s non-marking and lugged for maximum grip. This is the best shoe if you are a serious hiker. The lugs make a serious difference if you clamber on lots of rocks, or are climbing off-piste. Previous buyers said they work very well on wet, slippy rocks.
- Some buyers thought the heel opening was a bit wide, which made their feet slip. It’s definitely less restrictive than the heel on the Merrell’s.
- A few reviewers said they didn’t last as long as they had hoped, and that the sole separated from the upper after prolonged use. We’ve found that Keen’s quality control seems to be slipping, so we’d recommend giving your new shoes a thorough once-over when you get them, to be sure you’ve got a good pair.
If you’re looking for the most comfortable off-road walking shoe, look no further. Merrell’s top seller is a lightweight running shoe designed to provide the off-roading capabilities of a boot with the look and feel of a shoe. It’s even more like an atheletic shoe than the Keens, and has a more open, less-restrictive feel. Previous buyers loved the smartly-aligned cushioning and arch support. They also complimented the solid traction, and found these to be more nimble than other hiking options.
- These shoes are built around an Ortholite foam footbed with anatomically-shaped support. The sole is built low to the ground, so you won’t lose the feel of a shoe on the trail. It’s shaped like an all-terrain running shoe. And there’s a special lacing system to provide a sock-like fit and secure footing. The effect is a sensation that’s sleeker and lighter than most hiking shoes/boots.
- Even though it seems like the rugged, more boot-style hikers might be more stable, the low-profile sole of the Merrell’s helps you get a better sense of the ground with each step. It’ll save you ankle wobble and guesswork for scrambling hikes.
- Previous buyers said that while they seemed a bit counter-intuitive at first, they were soon converted. After a few wears, they said that the arch support and stability features felt natural and more supportive than other shoes they had worn.
- With a VIBRAM sole designed to stand up to any trail, and a special tongue and toe design, these will be your best friend when you’re running on a treadmill or a trail.
- Some reviewers who had owned previous versions of this shoe in the past weren’t pleased with the updates. However, some were just as satisfied. This seems to be an issue of preference. Dissatisfied customers said that the old version had a Gore-tex lining for water protection. Now, there’s a separate waterproof version without the mesh vents. They also thought the new versions seemed more cheaply made. That’s an ongoing trend, as we found with the Keen shoes as well.
Now that you’ve seen a range of what’s available, we hope you can see that you don’t have to compromise when searching for the most comfortable shoe, and won’t have to break the bank for a high-quality pair of walking shoes. Remember to get to know your feet, and shop for shoes with your foot type in mind!
Depending on your different needs, you might want one pair of shoes or many. Something like the Merrell Siren can be both a walking shoe and a hiking shoe, for instance. In any case, we hope you’ve seen something that catches your eye. With the right pair of new shoes, you can feel better, look better, and live better!
If you haven’t found what you’re looking for, or if you’re interested in our other choices for the best walking shoes available online, check out some of our other articles! We have handy guides to the Best Walking Shoes, the Best Shoes For Plantar Fasciitis, Flat Feet, and much more. Happy shopping!