The 19 Best Walking Shoes for Women -- Adidas, Hoka, Nike, Ryka and More
By Amy Sheridan
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With the new year upon us, it's time to take stock of our health goals for 2022. Whether you are trying to stay fit or get healthy in the new year, having all of the gym equipment and attire you need is important. While some people want an intense workout and others prefer a yoga class, we've gone back to basics with walking.
Walking is one of our favorite -- and one of the healthiest -- forms of exercise. First of all, it's low impact, so you can maintain a conversation about last night's Bachelor episode while doing it. Plus, it's a safe, outdoor social activity for the latest pandemic surge.
But that doesn't mean walking is always easy-breezy. We've all been there: the foot pain kicks in -- your toes cramp and you have aching pain in the soles of your feet or shooting pains lifting through your arch or heel. That usually means it's time for a new shoe. In fact, these are the biggest signs that you need to replace your workout shoes with a good walking shoe. So, how do you find the right shoe?
What you are looking for is a shoe that is breathable and comfortable all day long with ample cushioning for your heel and arch support (so, it doesn't matter if you have wide feet, narrow feet, arched or flat, you'll always stay comfortable with the right workout shoes, no matter how many miles you're putting in).
The best part about walking shoes is that with such great lateral support and cushioning, they can double up for most of your workout needs. So no matter what fitness activity you plan on taking up in the new year, we can still help find the best workout shoe for you. (We see you, tennis shoes, cross training shoes, weightlifting shoes and strength training shoes, but you're not needed here!)
Below, ET rounded up some of the best walking shoes for women (or check out our best running shoes if that is your thing) that also happen to be sleek and stylish -- so you can accomplish your new year's health goals, all while looking fabulous. Browse through our favorite shoes below, and for additional fitspo, check out ET's New Year, New You.
The Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21 was crafted specifically to help support your knees. The GuideRails® technology is designed to limit excess movement and ease knee pain, making it a great stability walking shoe.
New Balance Fresh Foam 1365 is designed for consistent comfort with its plush Fresh Foam cushioning in the midsole. It has a thick polyurethane insert for extra support and instead of a rubber sole, it has an ethylene-vinyl acetate sole with rubber pods to make it the ultimate comfortable shoe.
The Ryka Devotion 2 is a walking-style sneaker with pillow-soft cushioning and firm heel support that provide the utmost in comfort. These affordable athletic shoes include memory foam, a rubber outsole and shock absorption, and they come in myriad colors to match your workout gear and personality.
The New Balance Fuelcore NERGIZE Sneakers happen to be slip-ons sneakers, which makes them extra convenient when your BFF texts after dinner to ask, “Want to go for a walk?” They also have removable memory sole insole, meaning they meld perfectly to your foot. They also have a mesh upper for maximum breathability.
If you're looking for women's athletic shoes for wet weather, the Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof shoe is great for hiking and walking on rough terrain. It's designed with a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry.
For a casual shoe, these white sneakers with a neutral arch from Ecco are well made and made for walking. It's also a comfortable travel shoe -- they're the perfect pair of sneakers to wear with pants, shorts or dresses.
This is a running shoe, but if you have flat feet or your feet are sensitive to hard surfaces, the Nike Air Zoom Tempo NEXT% may ease some of the pain associated with plantar fascia if you use them as a lightweight walking shoe. There's plenty of toe box room and you can actually bounce in these shoes. They are worth every penny.
As its name implies, the Asics Gel-Quickwalk 3 walking shoe has gel cushioning in the midsole and built-in shock absorption, which make your steps feel soft and steady. This comfortable women's shoe also features breathable mesh, lace-up closure and a padded tongue -- all of that will come in handy if you’re hiking in the woods or walking on uneven pavement.
You don't have to be a trail runner to appreciate this sturdy walking shoe from Salomon. Known for their hiking footwear, you can walk all types of terrain in these shoes. They have a breathable, sock-like textile lining and cushioned midsole.
If you've never tried a Hoka, the lightweight shoe is known for extra wide design and extra cushioning, but the Bondi 7 is the most cushioned model with full-length compression-molded EVA midsole. These are designed to be comfortable for hours of use.
If you're looking for a cute walking shoe, the On Cloud 2.0 is a multi-tasking athletic shoe that makes walking feel like floating on clouds. Made for all-day wear, they are also comfortable travel shoes.
Brooks has released a walking version of Addiction, one of its most beloved running styles. Not only does this comfortable footwear a round toe with a bumper, a padded tongue and collar, but it has good arch support. Additionally, the outsole is totally slip-resistant -- just in case your walk gets vigorous, fast.
If you're looking for a walking boot to get you through the winter, let us introduce you to the Teva Ember Commute Waterproof. This shoe provides all the comfort of a walking sneaker but it's crafted with leather and suede and has a rugged lug pattern for excellent traction in the snow. These are also waterproof shoes thanks to the bootie membrane that keeps out all things cold and wet.