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Women's Walking Shoes: 6 Best Picks From Podiatrists

Published on   Dec 14, 2022

When was the last time you really thought about the shoes you wear when you go for a walk? The best walking shoes aren't just fancy or trendy - they should be comfortable, supportive and durable. And while you don't necessarily need to buy a pair of sneakers specifically for walking, it can't hurt.

 

Yes, walking shoes are technically different from running and hiking shoes. "Walking shoes are designed to provide stability during a walk," explains Saylee Tulpule, D.P.M., a podiatrist at Foot and Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic in Maryland. "Compared to running shoes, walking shoes are heavier, which helps maintain a slower, more consistent pace.

 

But with thousands of options vying for a role in your next walk, it can feel impossible to find the exact right pair. Start by considering the needs of your feet. "People try to squeeze their foot into a shoe instead of choosing a shoe that fits your foot," says Dan Giordano, D.P.T., C.S.C.S., co-founder and director of physical therapy at Bespoke Treatments in New York City. "Look for a shoe that doesn't squeeze your foot into the shoe, that gives you room in the toe area and that holds your heel securely."

 

Ready to get started? Read on to find out how to find the running shoes that work best for you, and then discover the absolute best pairs as determined by podiatrists and reviewers.

 

1

Via Amazon

Outdoors
New Balance Women's 608 V5 Cross Trainer
$ 45.33 AT AMAZON
  • PROS
  • Affordable
  • Available in wide and narrow widths
  • Few internal seams to avoid irritation
  • CONS
  • Some users find the vamp of the shoe uncomfortable

Sometimes there's no way around the classics. These chunky, cute sneakers are available for less than $60 and offer plenty of much-needed support. They're ideal for hikers who don't want to spend a lot of money to walk around comfortably - just look at all that cushioning and arch support! "It's a miracle! I can walk without my feet hurting. I can stand longer now," reports an Amazon reviewer with plantar fasciitis, bone spurs and poor circulation. "I love these shoes!"

From an US Amazon user : Carol
This is the same shoe model I've worn for years. Size changes and a few changes to the look but otherwise this shoe has been perfect for me. These are my everyday walking shoes. I have 2 pair that I wear on alternate days. (I tried a pair of strong Nike running shoes; they were comfortable but don't offer the support I need.) I started wearing New Balance back in 1988 or so, when I was a regular workout gym user. They gave me support for aerobic dancing then. Since I'm overweight now I need good support from my shoes. These give that support and are comfortable too.

2

Via Amazon

Outdoors
Saucony Women's Echelon 8 Running Shoe
$ 103.95 AT AMAZON
  • PROS
  • Available in regular and wide widths
  • Orthotic-friendly sock liner
  • The American Podiatric Medical Association Certified
  • CONS
  • Some reviewers find the heel uncomfortable

This sneaker from Saucony is designed to hug the foot with a contoured footbed, added energy return, and plenty of cushioning, ensuring a comfortable running experience all day long. They're also suitable for those who need to wear insoles (which slip in easily) and for people with pronation.

"These shoes are extremely comfortable and provide plenty of cushioning and support while I work out," raves one Amazon reviewer. "I no longer feel the fatigue and numbness in my joints that I experienced with other brands.

From an US Amazon user : quiltlover
I have been wearing this brand for many years, but was unable to buy locally this time when I needed them. These are exactly what I have purchased in the past. Will rebuy when I need again. Perfectly packaged. I am very happy with my purchase. Thank you.

3

Via Amazon

Outdoors
Ryka Women's Devotion Plus 3 Walking Shoe
$ 83.00 AT AMAZON
  • PROS
  • Rubber sole
  • Anatomically correct foot bed
  • Available in wide width
  • CONS
  • Some users reported the sole coming loose after wear

These shoes are good for your feet and look great. With a rubber sole and an anatomically shaped footbed with precise rebound, these shoes will keep you comfortable every day. A lightweight, molded shoe with a RE-ZORB platform and full-length insole round out these sneakers. And since they're available in six different colors, there's sure to be a style to match your wardrobe.

"I did my research before purchasing these shoes and I've to say I love them! I'd my meniscus removed a year ago and have arthritis in my knees," says one satisfied reviewer. "I love to walk and was walking up to five miles before my tear. These shoes really allow me to walk better and with more confidence. I'm no longer afraid of tripping and falling. I'm buying a second pair!"

From an US Amazon user : Richlynn
Most comfortable shoe I’ve ever bought! I have restless legs and since buying these my legs do not hurt when I get home and I can sleep soundly without kicking my husband all night!

4

Via Amazon

Outdoors
ALTRA Women's AL0A4VQV Rivera Road Running Shoe
$ 110.00 AT AMAZON
  • PROS
  • Great for exercise and every day
  • Cushioned footbed
  • Shock absorbing
  • CONS
  • Some users say they are not for running

These sneakers are ideal for any activity - your daily walk, the gym, errands, or a run - because they're super flexible and absorb shock, and they promote better running form. And each sneaker features FootShape technology to fit both narrower and wider feet with ease. "

Give yourself room to maneuver! Working out in shoes that are too tight can be uncomfortable and won't motivate you to exercise," says Emily Breeze, a personal trainer.

From an US Amazon user : Natalya Murphy
Feels like walking on a cloud: One of the most comfortable running shoes I've ever owned. They made an annoying squeaking noise for the first few days I wore them but it went away after more use

5

Via Amazon

Outdoors
Crocs Women's Literide 360 Pacer Sneakers
$ 65.00 AT AMAZON
  • PROS
  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Offers ventilation
  • CONS
  • No alternative widths availale

If you're looking for featherweight kicks, this is the pair for you. Made from the same soft foam as the brand's iconic clogs, these sneakers offer great support and cushioning without weighing you down.

They also offer great ventilation to keep sweaty feet at bay, and look damn good too. "I stand IN PLACE in a pharmacy for 8+ hours a day. This shoe offers great shock absorption and the rubber soles feel like no other expensive shoe brand I've ever had," said one reviewer. "So much cushioning, just add your own supports and voila, the ideal shoe."

From an US Amazon user : Elysian
For some, these are the only shoes that provide enough cushion so that we can get through our lives without pain. It’s not a fashion decision. It’s a pain decision. So I’m gonna give Crocs their due. I absolutely love the different insole. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to wear socks with the new tounge-less design but I’m gonna try. I spent 35 years on my feet working 10 to 12 hours a day, 5 to 7 days a week and I have spent all kinds of money on shoes for pain relief. I’ve worn the first launch croc sneaker for years. I buy a new pair every few months. So this new design sneaker is acceptable and feels great. I’m not gonna size down because it feels roomier and doesn’t slip.

6

Via Amazon

Outdoors
Best Arch Support: Dansko Pace
$ 140.00 AT AMAZON
  • PROS
  • Available in wide width
  • Lots of color options
  • Great for those with plantar fasciitis
  • CONS
  • Some reviewers found the shoes squeaky

These walking shoes from Dansko, recommended by Tulpule, are ideal for people with high arches and conditions like plantar fasciitis that require good arch support. With a roomy toe box, cushioned heel and breathable lining and upper, they're great sneakers all around.

"They've this great Dansko arch support," writes an Amazon visitor with "nasty" plantar fasciitis. "They're extremely comfortable without being too bulky

From an US Amazon user : IK
I was in severe foot pain, suffering a combination of having a flat foot and a plantar. The local orthopoedic store recommended these and they saved my life. I have a pair to wear at home and a pear to where outdoors, and another waiting in the closet for when one of these wear out.

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