17 Best Walking Shoes for Women [2024 Update]

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If you are in a hurry and just want to know our top recommended walking shoes for women, then we suggest you check out Ryka Momentum for your daily exercise habit and Allbirds's Tree Runners if you want a stylish shoe for traveling and walking throughout the day.

Walking is an extremely underrated form of exercise.

In fact, there are a wide range of benefits to walking that include improved circulation, reduced body fat, less impact on joints, strengthening your muscles, increased mental energy and even a reduction on the risk of Alzheimer's disease!

Unfortunately, even though walking is a great form of exercise, many avid walkers make one critical mistake when engaging in this type of exercise — they typically wear running shoes instead of walking shoes.

This mistake is due to a couple of factors like:

  • A lack of education on the basic differences between the two types of shoes
  • Manufacturers that primarily focus on marketing their running shoe lines
  • How to find that a walking shoe that's right for your personal situation.

So with all this in mind, we have put together a list of the best women's walking shoes for 2024.

Table of Contents

Best Walking Shoes for Women

1. Best Overall: Women's Tree Runners

Check Price on Allbirds!

These sustainable walking shoes hit the market in 2018 and changed the game when it came to caring for the environment while making comfortable shoes. Allbirds, the direct-to-consumer brand behind these shoes, has a strong commitment to environmental sustainability, which led them to release the “tree” collection of shoes.

These breathable walking shoes feature a mesh knit upper and are made with a silky-smooth–yet textured– fabric, offering a comforting and cooling feel. All of these materials are made from responsibly grown and sustainably harvested eucalyptus pulp, hence, the “tree” collection. According to Allbirds, this material uses only 5% of the amount of water and about 30% of the amount of land to manufacture when compared to typical sneaker materials.

The material used to make these shoes is noticeably cooling and can wick moisture away, making these shoes ideal for summer travel and all-day wear. The insoles provide the utmost comfort, keeping users coming back to buy multiple pairs.

When it comes to style, the women's options come in eight colors, so you can pick the style that best suits you. The thick laces offer a stylistic contrast to the form-fitting shoes, and the semi-muted colors allow these to match pretty much anything in your closet. Users report that these shoes (and their color) hold up well with time and show very few signs of wear.


  • Lightweight and breezy, helping your feet stay cool
  • Flexibility conforms to your feet
  • Machine washable
  • Have a low carbon footprint
  • Made of soft material that will not give blisters


  • Run a bit large
  • Will not hold up on rugged terrain
  • These shoes don’t offer as much support as other options

2. Runner-Up Option for Walking Shoes: Ryka Momentum

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The Momentum walking shoes are from Ryka’s fEMPOWER collection, which is their elite line of shoes engineered exclusively for women. When compared with other shoes, this women’s collection offers a narrower heel, more room in the toe box, and softer cushioning for an unprecedented fit, comfort, cushion, and impact support. These shoes are made with the most up-to-date performance technology, allowing your shoes to be the last thing on your mind during your long walks.

Made with performance innovation in mind, these walking shoes feature a lightweight molded EVA midsole with full RE-ZORB® responsive cushioning to protect your body upon impact as you’re walking. This impact protection also absorbs shock with every step you take. Furthermore, the Anatomical Precise-Return™ soles are designed with extra support for women’s arches and heels, while still offering an ultra-lightweight footwear option.

These walking shoes are made with a stretch knit upper that is not only very breathable, but also comes with custom designs, offering an artsy, ombre decor with layered glassy overlays.  These shoes feature luxe details with pillow-soft, microfiber supportive lining that will last you the lifetime of the shoe. These shoes come in six colors: black, chambray blue, gray dawn, indigo, mauve chalk, and peach parfait.

They offer a lace-up front–allowing users to determine the exact fit–however, they are slip-on shoes with a small tab at the backs to help users pull them on. The stretchy laces can be adjusted as needed underneath the upper. They come with a durable, rubber plate outsole to ensure their long-lasting abilities.


  • Come in a variety of colors and designs
  • Breathable
  • Offers great traction
  • Absorbs shock well
  • Lightweight


  • Run narrow
  • Some find the cushioning takes some “breaking in” before it softens up
  • Some users do not like that this shoe has no tongue

3. Most Affordable Walking Shoe for Women: Saucony Women's ProGrid Integrity ST2 Walking Shoe

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Saucony is a relatively new brand which is taking the athletic footwear market by storm. Although not as widely popular as New Balance quite yet, Saucony is expected to be quite a refreshing new treat.


  • These shoes are the most inexpensive ones on this list. Although the price range isn't quite fixed, it can be almost as low as $25.
  • They provide stability for neutral arched or low arched people.
  • They have extra padding for shock control.
  • They have a complete leather front insole covering.
  • The heel drop measurement is within the suitable limit.


  • The product isn't for people with high arched feet. It can be a dream come true for low to neutral arched people. However, a high arched person would receive no shock control or stability from them. You can always add arches to shoes if you'd like.
  • It isn't as light weight. Almost 2 pounds.

4. Most Cushioned: Hoka One One Bondi 6

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Unlike some versions of the Bondi in the past, the Hoka One One Bondi 6 comes with a rocking chair-like shape in the sole to make for a smooth stride and enhanced feel.

This year’s update also comes with updated “marshmallow” cushioning to offer a softer step, making it the best shoe on the market if you’re looking for great cushioning.

Moreover, the thick, double-layer midsole adds the perfect amount of forgiveness–yet the firm cushioning offers a maximalist shoe while minimizing the impact of each step.

With a 36 mm midsole, these plush shoes offer a good amount of lift, however, with a more precise fit than previous versions of this shoe, they feel very stable–even if you have to take a sharp turn. The heel collar offers more padding in addition to heel-stability, allowing you to feel secure when wearing these shoes.

The redesigned upper is very breathable, made using a combination of engineered mesh and lycra. This keeps the front of your feet feeling especially cool, and your feet maintaining an airy feeling throughout the day. HOKA also redesigned the Bondi 6’s rubber outsole, making it wider and more durable than before without compromising the shoes’ lightweight feel.

These forgiving shoes work well if you need an everyday training shoe, but they’re also great for those who want to try to keep running in the face of overuse pain or while going for a slow recovery walk or run.


  • The cushioning capacity of these shoes is superior to all others
  • Each step absorbs shock and returns energy to the foot
  • Many love wearing these shoes to work
  • These shoes come in a variety of colors and runners appreciate how the colors schemes catch attention
  • The upper is very breathable–in fact–more breathable than previous versions


  • Some find this shoe to be too narrow.
  • The tongue may uncomfortably rub against the instep
  • The rubber outsole is not very durable
  • The underfoot is slightly stiff

5. Best for Pain-Free Walking: Orthofeet's Coral Gray Stretchable

Best for Pain-Free Walking | Orthofeet's Coral Gray Stretchable

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Orthofeet's Coral Gray Stretchable shoes offer exceptional comfort and a sure, non-binding fit. With a stretchable upper, they will form to fit the unique shape of your foot. They’re also padded with foam and have no overlays in areas that could be tender on your feet, allowing your feet to feel relaxed.

They provide extra room in the toe box so you can freely and comfortably move your toes around without feeling pressure on your feet. However, they still offer extreme protection in areas of pressure points using a soft, seamless interior lining.

Orthofeet’s Stretchable walking shoes have anatomical orthotic insoles and ergonomic soles, providing users with support and thorough cushioning. The premium insoles have an anatomical arch support along with multiple layers of cushioning.

This helps reduce pain because it improves foot alignment, which eases the stress and pressure that’s put on your body as you’re walking. Furthermore, they are made out of an anti-microbial fabric, which prevents odors from forming. The shoes also have a padded collar on the back, making them easy to slip on and off as needed. 

The Ergonomic-StrideTM soles include air pockets beneath the heels, which is ideal for people who suffer from heel pain after (or during) walking. The air cushioning softens your steps and improves your stability. Users report that the soles help propel your feet forward as you’re walking, which adds spring to your step as if you’re walking on clouds.

These features make this option great for anyone who suffers from plantar fasciitis, diabetes, neuropathy, hammertoes, heel pain, or bunions. These shoes qualify as women’s therapeutic shoes and are certified by Medicare, making them a great solution for women who are looking for diabetic sneakers.


  • Great for reducing pain
  • You can try these risk-free for 60 days
  • Users report these shoes make them feel like they’re walking on clouds
  • These shoes come with fitting spacers to further help customize the fit to your foot
  • Users report liking the style of these shoes


  • These shoes fall in a higher price-range
  • Not great for users with heel bone spurs
  • Some users report that the support in these shoes wear down within months of use

6. Stylish Walking & Running Shoe: Allbirds Tree Dashers

Stylish Walking & Running Shoe | Allbirds Tree Dashers

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This is the first model of running shoes that Allbirds has put out, and they certainly do not disappoint. Allbirds Tree Dashers are great if you’re looking for an option that you can wear to work and while running, as they don’t display any logos, overlays, or graphics.

The understated and simple look of these shoes is unlike many other running shoes, making them appropriate to wear almost anywhere. Allbirds is famous for the comfort that their shoes offer, and these are no exception.

The midsoles of these shoes are filled with materials derived from sugarcane coupled with negative green EVA, which is appropriately known as SweetFoam. The soles are great at absorbing impact as you walk, but they are still firm enough to use for running.

Users report these to be “middle of the road” in terms of cushioning, meaning they work well for most people, most of the time. The rubber coverage in the forefoot and heel help extend the life of these shoes. Also, the base of the Allbirds Tree Dashers is wide, so they offer good stability as you’re walking.

These shoes have a 7mm drop, which is neither too thick nor too thin. The stretchy knit upper adds to the comfortability of these shoes, as they offer your feet a bit of freedom and will mold to your feet. The knit is made from recycled materials and eucalyptus, making it very eco friendly.

The heel collar is also all natural, as it is made using Merino wool. This material is firm enough to keep your feet in place while also maintaining comfort–plus, it helps users be able to easily step in and out of these shoes. 

Allbirds Tree Dashers are ideal for both running and walking. They offer users a sense of security because they’re snug through the midfoot, however, they become wider around the ball of your foot, which keeps them comfortable for long days on your feet.

Users have noted that they’re great for people who are just getting into running because of their ability to conform to your foot. These are definitely a great shoe to have on hand for traveling, as walking for miles upon miles in them will not be a problem.


  • These shoes are a neutral style, making them ideal for many situations
  • They’re made out of sustainable material
  • The upper is secured internally by a thin microfiber layer to help hold your midfoot in place
  • Versatile and appealing to people who have a variety of tastes
  • Offers protection and performance


  • These shoes are firm, so they’re not ideal for people who prefer extra cushioning
  • Users should wear socks with these to prevent heel slippage
  • Offers very little grip, so these shoes are not recommended to wear in the rain

7. Best Walking Sandal: Vionic’s Lupe Sandal

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If you need comfortable footwear while walking in warmer weather, or if you prefer less coverage than what a pair of flats provides, a pair of sandals might be a better choice. And with Vionic’s Lupe Sandal, you’ll be certain to find a pair that fits you perfectly.

Their Lupe sandals are available in whole and half sizes, as well as in medium and wide widths.

They come in three colors: cream boa, black leather, and tan leather. Each one is elegantly designed, with a strap across the thong upper, giving them a chic, minimalistic look and providing support and comfort while you’re walking.

Each pair of Vionic footwear is biomechanically designed to support the feet’s arches with a built-in orthotic. They’re effective in easing heel pain (plantar fasciitis), as the sandal cradles the whole lower part of the foot while you’re running or walking.

In the Lupe sandal, this support system is found in the microfiber-covered EVA footbed. It is a shock absorber for every step you take. This makes the sandals the ideal footwear for those who have experienced foot, leg, or ankle injuries.

The Lupe sandal features a rubber outsole with a patterned tread, providing added stability during every step, regardless of surface.


  • Dependable traction and stability.
  • Elegant design means they go well with any outfit.
  • Provides stylish comfort.
  • Great alternative to closed walking shoes.
  • Provides relief for heel pain.


  • A break-in period is required before you can wear them for extended periods.
  • Limited color choices.
  • Some users report that the arch support tends to be too firm for comfort.

8. Best Balance of Lightweight & Cushion: New Balance Women's WW1865v1 Walking Shoe

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New Balance is one of the world's leading brands when it comes to sports wear. The absolute greatest thing about New Balance is the fact that they take criticism very seriously and you can always expect their products to keep getting better and better.

New Balance Women's WW1865v1 Walking Shoe is yet to be severely criticized by any of the people who bought it, however, there are some minor complaints here and there. The reason why this product made the top of the list is because of it's insane popularity among walkers.


  • This walking shoe is one of the lightest walking shoes you can expect to find in the market today. You might feel like the overall product is not durable enough for long-term use because of it's weight. However, this isn't true since there's enough padding within the shoe to compensate for anything you might think it's lacking.
  • The material is synthetic.The product is durable.
  • It comes in a very attractive price range. This is the main reason why the product has gained such popularity among walkers everywhere.
  • Even if you walk for long periods of time, these shoes won't hurt your feet. This is mainly due to the extra layer of cushion added to the shoes.


  • The arch isn't as high as some people might've wanted it to be. You might have to wear thicker socks to compensate for this.
  • The sole might be softer however, your foot can easily poke into it. Thus, when you're walking, you would feel like it doesn't carry your shoes all the way up, all the time.
  • The product isn't as breathable as some of the other walking shoes manufactured by New Balance. It's mainly because of all the extra padding that your toes aren't left with a lot of wiggle space.

9. Perfect for Walking & Standing All Day: Orthofeet’s Whitney

Perfect for Walking & Standing All Day | Orthofeet’s Whitney

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Orthofeet’s Whitney offers users exceptional comfort, making them ideal for those who have to walk and stand all day. These lace-up shoes are form-fitting, yet non-binding, providing extra space for users to freely move their toes and have full protection against pressure points.

They feature soft, flexible uppers and a seamless fabric lining to give users extra comfort and protection–even those who have sensitive feet. The Whitneys are orthotic-friendly, meaning they feature an extra deep design and come with removable insoles, giving users ample space to insert custom orthotics, if needed.

These shoes contain premium, anatomical orthotic insoles and lightweight ergonomic soles, which provide support and exceptional cushioning, making these shoes a great option for women who suffer from plantar fasciitis, bunions, and other foot pain. 

They also feature air cushioning and extra foam padding, giving users “pillow” support to ease existing pain and prevent future injuries. This also adds spring to your step, which softens the pressure you’re putting on your body when walking in these shoes.

These leather sneakers come in extended width sizes, so users can be sure to find a suitable pair. They’re available in medium, wide, extra-wide, and extra-extra-wide widths, helping everyone to find a comfortable fit.

Whitneys are certified by Medicare, plus they’re qualified as being “therapeutic” under code A5500 of the Diabetic Shoe Bill, making these shoes a good option for women who need diabetic walking shoes. The unique design of these shoes offer superior comfort, helping alleviate pressure on the joints, increase stability, and improve mobility.


  • You will stay comfortable in these shoes if you have to walk or stand all day
  • Many users have found these to actually heal their foot problems
  • You can test these shoes for 60 days to make sure you like them and return them if you’re not satisfied
  • Available in extended widths, up to extra-extra-wide
  • The ¼” thick insoles are removable for those who have custom orthotics
  • Designed with an unprecedented Ortho-Cushion system, and engineered with proprietary comfort features


  • These shoes offer function over fashion
  • Expensive
  • Last about a year with frequent wear

10. Best Shock Resistant and Cushioned Choice: Vionic Women's Walker

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Orthaheel prides itself with it’s intricate designs and affordable prices. Another brand to look out for in the future.


  • Vionic Women's Walker are affordable.
  • There's padding inside and the shoes are specifically designed for shock resistant therapy.
  • Perfect for people of all arch types.
  • Provides stability.
  • Waterproof exterior.


  • The shoes aren't lightweight and do not have the best fit. In fact, you might actually have to take a size quite different than yours to get the perfect fit. You can always pick the right ones in a store.
  • They aren't well adapted for all surfaces, even though that's a necessity for walking shoes. In preferable surfaces where the shoe is amazing, it's amazing. In surfaces the manufacturers haven't adapted it to, it's not amazing.

11. Best Minimalist, Lightweight Shoe: Oofos Women's Oomg Low Shoe

Best Minimalist, Lightweight Shoe | Oofos Women's Oomg Low Shoe

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Oofos Women's Oomg Low Shoe feature a simple, slip-on design that is suitable for people with a wide variety of tastes. Furthermore, they’re available in nine colors, so you can personalize them to your liking. They’re made with breathable 4-way stretch fabric and a soft upper, which offers a lightweight, comfortable shoe that you won’t want to take off.

The three primary features that these shoes offer women are impact absorption, comfort, and arch support. These shoes enable users to engage in a natural motion as they’re walking. They offer superior support by cradling the arch of your foot.

The unique OOfoam™ technology that is used to make the Oomg Low shoes absorbs 37% more impact than regular sneaker foam materials, which reduces the stress that you put on your joints as you’re walking.

In fact, this patented footbed was designed with superior arch support to remove the stress that you put on your ankles, hips, knees, and lower back as you walk. This technology also speeds up the recovery process of existing injuries and creates a very secure and comfortable shoe that you can wear anywhere.

These shoes are often used by competitive athletes due to their beneficial features, however, many love to wear them on an everyday basis because they are an ideal lifestyle shoe.


  • Great option for anyone looking for a minimalist and lightweight shoe
  • Every OOFOS.com purchase contributes to research for finding a cure for breast cancer
  • Helps you recover from long walks, runs, and injuries faster than wearing a normal shoe
  • Reduces stress on sore joints
  • Machine washable and bacteria-resistant


  • Not available in half sizes
  • Some users have experienced rubbing that has led to blisters
  • The heels are a bit bulky

12. Most Comfortable Walking Shoe for Women: New Balance Women's WW928 Health Walking Lace-Up Sneaker

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Another of the best women's walking shoes is by New Balance. Having multiple brands of shoes on the list is quite an accomplishment for New Balance.

Especially considering the fact that many athletics manufacturers won't give women walkers the time of day. New Balance Women's WW928 Health Walking Lace-Up Sneaker has received much more positive reviews than the previous one, however, there's a reason why it didn't make number one: price.


  • The fit is perfect. It's breathable and fits smoothly without being loose at any end. No one has ever complained of the fit. In fact, even if you buy it online without physically trying it on, you will always get a shoe in the exact size that you ordered.
  • It's durable since it's made from leather with a rubber sole. If you're someone who likes to take long walks or hikes than this product can work for you.
  • It's light weight as well, however, not as light weight as number one. It does come in close at 11.4 ounces.
  • It has a rollball support system.


  • The price is way higher than the “woman's fitness walking shoe” made from the same company. Even though the company would argue that this product is better than the other one, to customer, the price really does matter and the other product is at a considerably cheaper price.
  • Customers have also made complaints over the confusion of the manufacturing country. On their website, it says made in the US. Where as the actual product is made in Vietnam.

13. Most Durable Walking Shoes for Women: ASICS Women's GEL-Tech Neo 4 Walking Shoe

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ASICS began manufacturing athletic shoes in 1949. Indeed one of the most experienced companies on this list. As the years went by, the quality of their product kept getting better and better. A definite buy with lots of great reviews.


  • ASICS Women's GEL-Tech Neo 4 Walking Shoe has medicare and is specially designed to make sure that you don't hurt yourself while walking on rocky surfaces or get blisters from walking too long.
  • The console is made of rubber and is removable.
  • The material used is all synthetic.
  • Designed for all arch types.
  • Incredibly durable. Can be used for years on end.
  • Walking in them is so comfortable that people have reported recovering from knee injuries or twisted ankles.


  • The product is among the heaviest shoes on the list. Although it weighs only 2 pounds, that's still considered a lot compared to 9.6 ounces. A walking shoe has to be lightweight so that the person can walk easily in them without having to put in extra effort to move his/her shoes along with them.
  • ASICS might manufacture some amazing shoes. However, at a huge price. Although the investment is worth it, many people would stray away from some thing that can cost up to $125.

14. Best Budget-Friendly Option: Ryka Sky Walk

Budget-Friendly Option | Ryka Sky Walk

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This lightweight, neutral shoe is perfect for those who aren’t looking to spend a lot of money. Ryka Sky Walk is designed and engineered for fitness walking, with a memory foam footbed, TPU midfoot shank, and extra plush cushioning and support. Furthermore, the insoles are softly lined, which helps them mold to the shape of your foot and distribute your weight evenly.

The low-cut upper is made from a breathable mesh fabric, which gives you full ventilation, ensuring your feet stay dry as you walk. These shoes also feature leather overlays in key areas that help provide lateral support as well. To increase security even more, these shoes have a traditional laced closure, so users can make them as tight or as loose as they prefer.

These shoes feature a padded tongue and heel collar, which helps give them their snug fit. The tongue will also protect your instep from potential irritation from the laces.

The molded EVA midsoles will provide you with even more cushioning. These midsoles also help absorb impact and feature a TPU shank to ensure the structure of these shoes does not become compromised by excessive use.

The soles of the Ryka Sky Walks are made of rubber, which gives walkers traction on various terrains. The durable soles are also both flexible and waterproof, so the conditions under which you walk are not limited.

Finally, these shoes come in five different colors, so you can pick whichever suits your style!


  • These comfortable shoes are budget-friendly 
  • Users love the stylish colors and designs offered
  • Fits as expected
  • These shoes accommodate various foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis and hammertoes.
  • Features a roomy toe box.


  • Some users have expressed that various parts of these shoes start to show signs of wear relatively quickly
  • These shoes offer less cushioning than other options
  • Some report that the Ryka Sky Walks aren’t able to keep the foot as steady as other options

15. Best for Trail Walking: The North Face Women's Hedgehog Fastpack GTX Hiker

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The North Face Women's Hedgehog Fastpack GTX Hiker are a lightweight hiking and trail walking shoe in one. They maintain a trail running shoe look, however, the majority of the padding is located in the heel of the shoe, which is perfect for walking or hiking.

These North Face shoes feature a waterproof Gore-Tex liner, which is a backup water repellent for the upper, which is synthetic and keeps the majority of the water out. They’re soft and flexible, which allow users’ feet to easily move from side to side without feeling too snug.

In terms of comfort, there is a lot of cushioning in the soles of these shoes in addition to a padded tongue. There is plenty of arch support as well, which adds to the comfortability. Additionally, the midsole is coated in PU leather and offers a dual-density EVA.

The soles of these shoes are a unique multicolor Vibram that is both attractive and functional, with soft and flexible inner rubber, which will also help you gain traction on slippery surfaces.. The design of the sole comes in the shape of either a flower or tree branch. On the forefront of the shoes, there is a small rubber toe cap that’s resistant to abrasion to help protect your feet against the elements of the trails.

This is a great option for the price if you’re looking for a middle of the line shoe.


  • Perfect for light hikes and trail walking
  • Waterproof
  • Has a rubber toe cap to keep your feet protected
  • High arch support
  • Great cushioning in the back


  • Runs slightly narrow
  • The soft rubber starts to show wear quickly
  • Less durable than other options

16. Best Women's Shoe for Plantar Fasciitis: Orthofeet Women's Verve-Turquoise Tie-Less Lace

best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis | best overall choice for women | orthofeet womens verve-turquoise tie-less lace

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These might be the right shoes for you if you have an active lifestyle. Orthofeet Women's Verve-Turquoise Tie-Less Lace shoes provide anatomical arch support, have a non-binding and relaxed fit, and provide the user with maximum protection in areas of the foot where pressure points are located.

They have a premium orthotic insole as well as ergonomic, cushioned soles that help soften each step you take while also improving your stability and allowing your feel to move in their natural way.

These shoes are engineered to help reduce pain while walking and improve comfort for people who have sensitive feet. They have a deep, wide toe box to let your feet take up the space that they naturally would if you were wearing no shoes at all.


  • Many find these shoes do not require the addition of their specialty orthotics.
  • It comes with an adjustable strap for the heel.
  • Easy to take the shoes on and off with the Velcro straps.


  • It has a prominent logo, which makes it clear to others you are wearing orthotic shoes.
  • Some find the toe box is too shallow.
  • Soles wear out quickly.

17. Best Women's Shoe for Flat Feet: Easy Spirit Women’s Romy Walking Shoe

Walking Shoe for Flat Feet | Runner-Up Option for Women | Easy Spirit Romy

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Easy Spirit Women’s Romy Walking Shoe is the best overall option for proper ankle and arch support, durability, price, and appearance. These shoes are incredibly lightweight and perfect for light running. 

They come in a variety of colors, which makes them a fashionable athletic option. The removable sock liner gives the user excellent cushioning and absorbs shock.


  • Has plenty of room for thicker socks.
  • Durable and long-lasting.
  • Has a high toe box.


  • Doesn't come in half sizes.
  • Some find these shoes do not provide enough joint support.
  • Users often have to tighten the laces.

What is the Difference Between a Walking Shoe and Running Shoe?

The difference is all in how it feels when you put it on.

A walker walks heel first as opposed to a runner who runs in-sole first. A running shoe will have a stiffer sole whereas a walking shoe will have more flex and blend to its design.

Keep in mind the fact that manufacturers put more thought into running shoes than they do in walking shoes, so what might seem the same to you might actually make a huge difference to you when you walk in them.

So with that mind, we recommend looking for 5 critical components when shopping for a walking shoe.

5 Steps to Shop for a Walking Shoe

As you shop for a walking shoe, make sure that the product you select fits your expectations in five ways.

#1. Flexible and Light Weight

In this case, you need to make sure that whichever shoe you picked is both flexible and lightweight. A good walking shoe would weigh between 10 to 32 ounces. The reason why you would need a lightweight shoe is that it's easier to move around in them on any surface. Same is the case with flexibility.

A good way to check whether the shoe is too flexible or just the right amount is to try twisting the shoe at the sole. If it twists to a certain degree without twisting completely, then it's at the right amount.

#2. Breathable but with a good fit

Try walking around for about 30 minutes before trying the shoes on. What this does is make your foot a bit swollen. When you wear the shoe, you can determine whether it'll fit perfectly after a long walk or will it be too tight. Your shoes don't have to be too fitted, however.

Make sure that there's an almost 1.3-centimeter space left between your toes and the tip of the shoe. The sides don't have to be too tight to the point of hurting you, however, they can't be too loose to the point where your foot falls off either.

#3. Flat

Your heel tends to touch the ground first when you're walking, so you would need shoes which lay flat. However, as I'm pretty sure you know, no athletic shoe is completely flat. This is referred to as the heel drop measurement. The difference in heights can be from 10-30 millimeters based on whichever design you pick.

I'd strongly recommend buying shoes with a heel drop measurement of 0-10 millimeters. If your heel is way higher than your toes, then you'll be creating more pressure there and as a result, blisters will form on your toes.

#4. Cushioning

All walking shoes have some sort of padding inside of them. The padding can make a huge difference id you're keen on comfort, as you should be. It's usually the padding which saves your foot from bruises, blisters or from poking your feet at rocky surfaces.

Look for a shoe with soft padding, it doesn't matter if it looks less in comparison to another shoe, what matters is the comfort.

#5. Price

A good women's walking shoe is one which doesn't put too much strain on your wallet. Trust me, a good choice for you with all the necessities I just mentioned is possible to buy in a specific price limit. I recommend focusing on the $60 to $120 price range.

Okay, to recap, here's what you need to look for when shopping for a walking shoe:

What to look for in walking shoes. | Women's walking shoes #gifts #shoes #womensshoes
What to look for in a walking shoe [infographic]

Walking Shoe Arch Types: A Quick Overview

One last thing to consider when shopping for a walking shoe for a woman is understand how your arches work. Our feet are able to form two types of arches for bodyweight distribution: sideways and longitudinal.

Sideways arches run from one corner of the insole to the other and longitudinal arches run from the bottom part of the insole till the top of your heel. If you're looking for the perfect walking shoes, then you need to determine your arch type first.

A quick test to identify what type of arch you have is to examine your foot prints.

If you're able to see all of your foot in the print, you have a low arch. If you're able to see the middle of your foot only sparingly in the print then you have a high arch. And, if you're undecided about what category to put your arch type then you're probably a neutral arch type.

Once you've identified your arch type, I recommend looking for walking shoe that matches it. Here is what to pick based on the three types of arches:

#1. Low arch type

You might want to go a little below the required amount of flexibility and a little less heel drop in order to stabilize your feet.

#2. High arch type

People with high arch type feet do not have good natural shock control. In order to compensate for this, you would need shoes with extra padding and curvature in their design.

#3. Neutral arch types

People with neutral arch types can refer to the section on the best features since this mainly applies to them. However, they might shift towards different heel drop measurements or padding based on where they think they're leaning to.

Should I Purchase a Walking Shoe for a Specific Type of Surface or Activity?

The short answer is typically yes.

Most walking shoes are adapted to a particular area. Even if the manufacturers say that their shoes are adapted to all surfaces, don't believe them! You might have noticed how some shoes hurt your feet while walking at a particular surface, whereas you're much more comfortable in another pair of shoes.

When buying walking shoes, and I mean actually buying them with the purpose of treating walking as an exercise, you need to go to the best athletics store there is. Even there, don't take the shopkeepers word for it.

Try the product out, walk on a few different surfaces you might find around the store and determine for yourself whether it's comfortable at the same level on both the surfaces or not.

Now, if you are dealing with a specific surface or medical issue, then I recommend checking out these specialized buying guides:

Final Thoughts on Women's Walking Shoes

Walking has a lot of benefits and there are people who think that unless you're jogging or running, you aren't losing weight. Those people will be left dumbfounded after you walk into the room looking better than you've ever looked and you'll owe it all to treating walking as a proper exercise.

Walking shoes for women are being made available for every one slowly but surely. Just follow this ultimate buyers guide to help you pick out the best walking shoes out there for you.

Finally, if you'd like to learn more about how to build a walking habit, be sure to check out our other information-packed articles on this subject.

Thanks for checking out this buying guide. I hope it helps you find the right walking shoe that fits your specific needs!

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12 thoughts on “17 Best Walking Shoes for Women [2024 Update]”

    • Unfortunately, most dress shoes seemed to be designed to NOT be good for walking. The best you can do is get a good slide in shoe cushion and try to wear walking shoes whenever you can get away with at work (in your office etc. changing out shoes before meetings)

  1. Thank you for the article . Very helpful. And I totally agree that New Balance Women’s WW928 Health Walking Laced is the most comfortable .

  2. Hi. Good article and I am interested in 1 pair however, its unfortunate that the shoes are so horrid looking. i work in a nursing and rehabilitation center and we have to wear tan and black as our uniform, so i always look for black shoes , but to kick it up a notch a lot of us try to wear “cool ” colored bright shoes because the residents love them. unfortunately its not always easy to find those kind of shoes. i wish the shoe industry would not always assume people who walk or have job types that walk a lot are always old and don’t want something cute and stylish. just saying..

  3. I checked on the ASICS listed in this article and according to their website, they were discontinued. Not a helpful review if this is the case.

  4. It seems that all shoes you listed above are “sporty shoes”, right? I love shoes from Newbalance but I’m looking for a pair is much more elegant and I can wear it on my work place

  5. This is the best list of running shoes for women but what about high arches women shoes that I described on of my post Can please read my article where i write about high arches women best shoes? Advance Thanks

  6. Hi, thank you for the list, I am hard to fit as I have hammer toes and a high arch. Have to have a lot of room in the ball area height wise and a high arch. Nike seems to fit well but the tread on the soles always fall off so I am fed up with them. Can you five me some advice?

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