The Best Walking Shoes for Women 2021 -- Allbirds, New Balance, Nike, Merrell and More
By Amy Sheridan
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With summer on its way, many of us are refining our 2021 fitness goals. Whether you are trying to stay fit, or get healthy, having all of the gym equipment and attire you need is so important. Some people want intense spin workouts, while others prefer yoga. 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. Another benefit is that people who walk at a moderate intensity regularly have a lower risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.
But that doesn't mean walking is always easy-breezy. We've all been there: Your "dogs start barking" and your toes cramp, you have aching pain in the soles of your feet or shooting pains through your arch or heel, or plantar fasciitis decides to kick in the second you wake up. That usually means it's time for a new shoe. In fact, these are biggest signs that you need to replace your workout shoes with a good walking shoe.
What you are looking for is a shoe that is breathable and comfortable all day long, cushions your heel and supports your arches. (Plus, it still should be a stylish walking shoe and look cute.) Supportive, well-made and comfortable walking shoe options or sneakers can make all the difference in how many miles you put in without foot pain.
We rounded up some of the best walking shoes for women (check out our best running shoes if that is your thing) that also happen to be sleek and stylish -- meaning you can wear 'em off-duty, too.
Browse through ET Style's top picks for the best walking shoes for women, below.
These are running shoes, 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 walking shoes. You can actually bounce in these shoes -- they are worth every penny.
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.
As its name implies, the Asics Gel-Quickwalk 3 walking shoe has gel cushioning in the midsole and built-in shock absorption, which makes your steps feel soft and steady. These comfortable shoes also feature 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.
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.
The plant-based foam insoles on these Dr. Scholl's sustainable walking sneakers are extra cushy and super comfortable shoes. But that’s only the beginning -- the linings and top cloth are made from recycled water bottles, and a blend of rice husks and a durable rubber outsole. This lace-up sneaker has a round toe design for a roomier fit and comes in both breathable mesh and full-grain leather.
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.
This super-stylish pair of Nike Air Max 270 React walking sneakers is proof that when form follows function, beautiful things can happen on your feet. Not only do these comfortable walking shoes have a literal air pocket for shock absorption, but they also include a foam midsole for a softer and spongier step. And because they're Nikes, they come in a ton of ever-changing (and brilliantly stylish) colorways.
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.
$150 AT ZAPPOS
Each product has been selected, and each product’s style has been reviewed, by our editorial team; however, we may receive affiliate commissions from some links to products on this page. Prices listed are subject to change by the retailer.