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These days you can get away with wearing almost any type of footwear in any setting (okay, fine, not Crocs at a wedding). But for certain adventures, a good pair of walking shoes is essential. There are so many different kinds to choose from, depending on the type of activity you plan to do. Whether you need extra support or care about style, using our handy guide should set you up with the best walking shoes for women that will last for years to come.
- Best long-trek walking shoes: Danner Women’s Jag Low 3-Inch
- Best walking shoes to avoid heel and foot pain: Gravity Defyer Mighty Walk
- Best waterproof walking shoes: Riemot Waterproof Hiking Boots
- Best walking shoe for all activities: New Balance Women’s 411 V1 Walking Shoe
- Best budget walking shoe: DOUSSPRT Womens Walking Shoes
What to look for in the best walking shoes for women
What most people don’t know is that even the most straightforward trail or path should be tread with appropriate, supportive footwear. A non-flat surface strewn with rocks and natural materials means your ankle needs to be supported to avoid any unfortunate twists or trips. A supportive walking shoe will not only minimize the risk of injury, but will also help prevent premature fatigue, allowing you to go further—and maybe even faster. The best walking shoes for women are actually the pair that keep you from thinking about your feet for a second, instead allowing you to fully enjoy what you are doing.
Get the support you need and your feet will thank you later
Buying a new pair of women’s walking shoes is a similar process to buying running shoes. Marathon runners will buy different shoes than cyclists, and serious trail hikers will buy different walking shoes than a casual country rambler.
There are thousands of models, shapes, and sizes out there in a range of budgets, but when you’re looking for the most comfortable shoes for women, you’ll need to consider what you’re going to use them for. Are you a first-time hiker and need something simple to get you going? Or are you a “I’ll-probably-do-Everest-one-day” type of hiker who needs all the bells and whistles? What is the climate like where you are going and do you need to opt for waterproof material to protect your feet from chill and damp? Are you recovering from an injury and need extra support in your heel or ankle? Do you want them to look great as well as be functional? Are you on a budget or are you treating yourself?
The best walking shoes for women are a significant investment, so it’s worth taking the time to consider all the elements you are looking for.
Best long-trek walking shoes for women: Danner Women’s Jag Low 3”
You may recognize Danner from the Reese Witherspoon film “Wild.” These comfortable shoes for women took her through miles and miles of walking, so you know you’re in good company with these Danner Timber Sauce shoes. These breathable women’s walking shoes are an investment for the future. Expect them to last for years to come due to their solid nubuck upper and waffle rubber outsole. This is a great option for those looking to do some serious walking or needing great support for a walk around the block.
Best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis and foot pain: Gravity Defyer Mighty Walk
If you’ve suffered from plantar fasciitis or had a foot injury you’ll want to have as much support as possible. That’s where these Gravity Defyer shoes come to your aid—they’ve got significant support for your feet, making them some of the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis. Each pair of walking shoes comes with a free orthotic as well, so your feet will be totally taken care of.
Best waterproof walking shoes for women: Riemot Waterproof Hiking Boots
You can’t always predict a dry day when you’ve planned a nice long walk. Be prepared for a downpour with these waterproof shoes for women so you can avoid the discomfort we’ve all experienced from soaking wet soaks. Alongside waterproofing, the micro suede insoles are cushioned and highly breathable. A removable top insole allows you to customize your fit easily.
Best women’s walking shoes for all activities: New Balance Women’s 411 V1 Walking Shoe
New Balances are some of the best shoes for walking that can also be used in plenty of other ways as well. These New Balance walking shoes are solid sports shoes, so you can wear them for tennis, jogging, or bike riding. If you want one pair of women’s walking shoes no matter the purpose these will be your best bet. A DynaSoft midsole cushioning gives your arch support and will allow you to walk for longer distances without any discomfort. The outsoles and rubber pods are super durable so you can put them to the test on a variety of surfaces.
Best budget walking shoes: DOUSSPRT Womens Walking Shoes
The DOUSSPRT shoes are some of the best women’s shoes for walking that are easy on your budget. They can work for casual strolls, garden work, or even a brisk exercise walk. With the cheaper cost, you’ll lose the added protection you get from more expensive walking shoes built for longer treks. But if you just want a simple pair, the air cushion sole will give you enough support to free you of any pain.
Q: What are the best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a common ailment in the area of the foot that connects your heel bone to your toes. It can be incredibly painful and ruin a nice walk. The best walking shoes for plantar fasciitis will be well-constructed with proper arch and heel support so that your foot stays in place. The more cushioning the better.
Q: What are the best walking shoes for all-day walks?
When going the distance, the best shoes for walking will need to have some weatherproofing. Higher quality walking shoes will keep your feet dry but let sweat out. This will allow you to be comfortable on mile 5, 6, 7, and onward.
Q: What shoes do podiatrists recommend?
The doctor will always point you towards shoes with loads of support. The right shoe for your foot will cater to your narrow or wide arch and fit snuggly but not too tight. The most comfortable shoes for women will help you avoid trips to the doctor after a walking injury.
The final word on the best walking shoes for women
With the right walking shoe you can explore the way you want to, in comfort. With quality build, the best walking shoes for women allow you to stay fit and enjoy yourself no matter the activity. For the epic walks across the country, you need the right long trek shoe for you—but for a casual walk to the market you still need a solid walking shoe that offers cushioning. You won’t regret the investment into a more supportive walking shoe.