The Best Walking Shoes for Women -- Allbirds, New Balance, Nike, Merrell and More
By Amy Sheridan
Each product has been selected and reviewed by our editorial team; however, we may receive affiliate commissions from some links to the products on this page. Prices listed are subject to change by the retailer. Promotions in this article are subject to availability, expiration and other terms as determined by partner.
2021 is here and everyone's preparing to crush their New Year's resolution or 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. These are blatant 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 of the best walking shoes, below.
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.
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.
Oprah Winfrey herself is obsessed with this podiatrist-approved shoe brand. Vionic shoes are super comfortable and stylish and, yes, queen Oprah has a number of pairs from this great walking shoe brand. Not only are they built with comfort in mind, but many Vionic shoes carry the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance, a distinction reserved for footwear that promotes foot health and provides proper support. Blending fashion-forward style with comfort technology (like a biomechanically molded footbed and a shock-absorbing midsole), these slip-on shoes are the perfect travel shoes to keep your feet happy for miles ahead.
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.
These Merrell Range AC+ lace-up sneakers are perfect for when you're ready for some action. This footwear has a 3D knit upper made with breathable mesh and a stretchy material. These sneakers are a stylish walking shoe option that can be worn as a street walking shoe and durable enough for hikes or for trail runners.
This Saucony Kilkenny XC8 Flat Track Shoe is designed with a sock-like fit and built for a multitude of surfaces, including grass, trails and gravel. One of the most popular walking shoes for women, they feature a lightweight foam insole and a thin yet durable (and breathable) mesh upper, plus a soft rubber outsole. The minute you lace up this athletic shoe, you will notice that you exude comfort and style.
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.
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.
This pair of ultra chic Adidas x Stella McCartney Ultraboost Sneakers have cushion and good arch support to allow for maximum comfort, even on longer walks. These comfortable shoes include a rounded toe box and rubber sole for traction. Oh, and the gold hue will make you feel and look like a million bucks when you wear this walking sneaker.
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.
Stability and comfort are the name of the game with these New Balance Fresh Foam Arishi v3 Walking Shoe, which feature a strategically engineered design that includes a lugged rubber outsole and premium cushioning to protect your joints while absorbing impact. If you're on your feet all day long, these shoes were made for you.
These New Balance Fresh Foam ROAV Fusion are rated as one of the best walking shoes around.
$84.95 AT SHOEBACCA
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.