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The Best Walking Shoes for Women That Look Just as Great as They Feel

Arch support, cushioned soles and the feeling of walking on air? Yes, please!

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

The Best Walking Shoes For Women That Look Just As Great As They Feel Ecomm Via Merchant2rd.com, via merchant (2)

These shoes were made for walking

We’ve all had the unfortunate experience of realizing that our brand-new, comfy-looking shoes are anything but comfortable. The blisters, the achy arch and the joint pain—ouch! And all from a shoe that seemed sensible. The problem is, we weren’t looking at the right things when purchasing them. Finding the best walking shoes for women all comes down to “shock absorption, arch support and cushioning,” explains Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, a podiatric surgeon with City Podiatry in New York City. “Walking shoes should be specifically made for walking, which is a forward movement.” The best walking shoes for men offer many of the same facets, of course.

Whether you’re walking long distances for fitness, leisurely strolling around the neighborhood after a meal, running errands or spending the day at work, the right pair of walking shoes is your key to long-term wear that’s pain-free. Check out these doctor- and stylist-approved picks to keep you on your feet, and then fill out your closet with the comfiest sandals, flip-flops and slippers so you have the perfect shoe for every occasion.

How we chose the best walking shoes for women

We chose the best walking shoes for women based on high user reviews, overall quality and comfort and a consideration of what activities the shoes were best for. We also looked for shoes based on Dr. Sutera’s suggestions, keeping an eye out for “shock absorption, arch support and cushioning.”

Women's Rivera 2 Ecomm Altrarunning.comvia merchant

Best overall women’s walking shoe

Altra Rivera 2 Sneaker

“Look for styles with rubber outsoles that are bendable and mesh with lightweight leather or fabric uppers” if you’re walking for fitness, advises Dr. Sutera. The Altra Rivera 2 sneaker is a new generation of the brand’s original Rivera shoe, offering a snug fit that’s designed for both walking and running, so you can pick your preferred method of fitness in style. The light, breathable mesh material is incredibly flexible, while the heel cushion offers shock support and impact absorption that’s great for everything from a neighborhood stroll to the type of on-your-feet-all-day action nurses and teachers are prone to. Here’s how to clean shoes to keep these eye-catching kicks looking fresh for years.

“These are so comfortable,” shares verified reviewer Kathy. “I’m having zero issues with my achilles and can walk for miles in them. They’re so light too. I feel like I have so much energy and bounce, and perhaps I’m getting more fit from loving walking in them.”

Pros

What we like about the Altra Rivera 2 Sneaker:

  • Outsole technology encourages natural movement
  • Balanced Cushioning platform supports proper alignment and form
  • Snug fit
  • Available in half sizes
  • Available in four colors

Con

Consider this before buying the Altra Rivera 2 Sneaker:

  • Some reviewers recommend ordering a half or one size up

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Dailyfit Dmx Slip On Women's Shoes Ecomm Reebok.comvia merchant

Best budget walking shoe

Reebok DailyFit DMX Slip-On Women’s Shoes

This slip-on style sneaker with a textile upper and a crystal rubber outsole is perfect for low-maintenance, no-fuss wearing that offers support and style. And it’s a wallet-friendly, sneaker-style walking shoe that will escort you from the gym to outdoor adventures. Because of its built-in contoured sock liner with arch support and underfoot cushioning, it’s also one of the best walking shoes for women who prefer to go sock-free. The sole offers air-circulating technology that makes each step feel like a cloud walk, so you can stand on your feet, walk around town or do just about anything else with ease. Pair these with leggings or denim for a polished casual look.

Pros

What we like about Reebok DailyFit DMX Slip-On Women’s Shoes:

  • Affordable price point
  • Breathable, air-circulating technology
  • Made with at least 30% recycled materials
  • Available in half sizes
  • Available in four colors

Cons

Consider these factors before buying Reebok DailyFit DMX Slip-On Women’s Shoes:

  • Some reviewers have found the shoe runs small, so you’ll want to order a half or full size up
  • The slip-on style fits more snug, so wearing thin socks is recommended

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One One Clifton 8 Running Shoe Ecomm Nordstrom.comvia merchant

Best hybrid walking shoe

Hoka One One Clifton 8 Running Shoe

This Hoka running shoe is one of the best Nordstrom shoes money can buy thanks to its lightweight yet durable design that goes the distance—walk or run. An open-weave mesh upper and gravity-defying foam sole place an emphasis on the wearer’s comfort, while the shoe’s Meta-Rocker technology ensures support during any activity. Plus, the cushioned insole is removable, so wearers can swap it for their custom orthotics.

Pros

What we like about the Hoka One One Clifton 8 Running Shoe:

  • Hybrid shoe that’s comfortable for walking or running
  • Meta-Rocker technology ensures support and comfort while walking or running
  • Removable insole can be swapped for custom orthotics
  • Lightweight design
  • Available in several colors
  • Available in half sizes and two widths

Con

Consider this before buying the Hoka One One Clifton 8 Running Shoe:

  • At $140, this walking shoe is on the pricey side

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Dearfoams Women's Sophie Slip On Sneakers Ecomm Macys.comvia merchant

Best everyday walking shoe

Original Comfort by Dearfoams Sophie Shoes

These cushy, slip-on walking shoes feel more like slippers than actual shoes, which is what makes them the best for everyday wear like running quick errands and impromptu out-the-door moments. The knit design is breathable, perfect for warmer days and climates to keep feet cool and blister-free, while stretch inserts allow them to be slipped on or off almost instantly. The lightweight one-inch vinyl sole also offers loads of cushion and heel support—two essential elements on Dr. Sutera’s list of must-haves.

Pros

What we like about Original Comfort by Dearfoams Sophie Shoes:

  • Stylish yet comfy for everyday wear
  • 3D two-tone upper and stretch lycra offers flexibility
  • Breathable knit upper
  • Vinyl sole offers heel support and shock absorption
  • Machine washable
  • Available in half sizes
  • Available in several colors

Con

Consider this before buying Original Comfort by Dearfoams Sophie Shoes:

  • Some reviewers have found this shoe runs big, so you may want to order a half or full size down

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Bogs Sweetpea Boots Ecomm Zappos.comvia merchant

Best waterproof walking shoe

Bogs Sweetpea Rubber Rain Boot

This stylish ankle bootie is the most comfortable walking shoe by far for rainy days, thanks to a modest one-inch heel, 100% rubber construction and inner arch support. They’re great for rainy days, gardening and even hitting outdoor sports events in the mud. Since they’re made of rubber, they may get a little sweaty on warmer days, so be sure to wear them with socks to keep shoes smelling fresh.

Pros

What we like about Bogs Sweetpea Rubber Rain Boots:

  • 100% waterproof rubber upper
  • Slip-on style with back pull loop for extra assistance
  • Fights odors with DuraFresh bio-technology
  • Lightly cushioned footbed
  • Lighter weight than a standard rain boot
  • Fits true to size

Cons

Consider these factors before buying Bogs Sweetpea Rubber Rain Boots:

  • Limited color and width options available
  • No half sizes
  • Some reviewers have found that the rain boot offers moderate to minimal arch support

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Ugg Dinale Genuine Calf Hair Paneled Leather Sneaker Ecomm Nordstrom.comvia merchant

Best fashion-forward walking shoe

UGG Dinale Paneled Leather Sneaker

This walking shoe from UGG is just as stylish as it is comfortable. A cushioned insole guarantees comfort with every step, while the lace-up closure keeps feet secure. The leather panel adds subtle detailing to match casual and dressed-up outfits.

Pros

What we like about the UGG Dinale Paneled Leather Sneaker:

  • Subtle yet statement-worthy paneled design
  • Cushioned insole
  • Fits true to size

Con

Consider this before buying the UGG Dinale Paneled Leather Sneaker:

  • Not available in other designs or multiple width options

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Naot Buzz Shoes Ecomm Zappos.comvia merchant

Best work-friendly walking shoe

Naot Buzz Sneakers

These work-appropriate walking shoes for women offer a lace-up closure and sleek on-trend trims that meld athleisure with sophisticated style. You’ll love the hand-sewn construction that offers durability and long-wearing flexibility, as well as the removable, anatomic cork and latex footbed that molds to the shape of the foot with each wear. The outsole is made of a slip-resistant material that offers easy walking and traction, and this one has even received the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for promoting good foot health.

Pros

What we like about Naot Buzz Sneakers:

  • Comfortable yet stylish for wearing to work
  • American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance
  • Footbed molds to the wearer’s foot shape
  • Available in two colors

Con

Consider this before buying Naot Buzz Sneakers:

  • Not available in half sizes

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Emerson Natural Sandal Ecomm Bearpaw.comvia merchant

Best sandal walking shoe

Bearpaw Emerson Sandal

The adjustable hook-and-loop heel strap on this walking sandal makes it an easy choice for warm summer days, and the microsuede contoured footbed offers just the right amount of gentle support to keep your tootsies strolling along anywhere your adventurous side may take you. They’re also a vegan-approved option, thanks to synthetic uppers and a shock-absorbing rubber sole, and the macramé trim will instantly elevate any ensemble.

Pros

What we like about the Bearpaw Emerson Sandal:

  • Microsuede contoured footbed adds more support than standard sandals
  • Stylish macramé trim
  • Heel strap
  • Available in four colors
  • Affordable price point

Con

Consider this before buying the Bearpaw Emerson Sandal:

  • Not available in half sizes
  • The sandal style isn’t ideal for cold weather

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Sky Walk Walking Shoe Ecomm Dsw.comvia merchant

Best active walking shoe

Ryka Sky Walk Walking Shoe

Those who have physically taxing jobs and hobbies that require prolonged standing and moving about (we see you, nurses and teachers) will love these aptly named Ryka Sky Walk walking shoes. These sneaker-like shoes really do feel like little bursts of weightless air beneath your feet, thanks to a built-in memory foam sock liner, breathable mesh uppers with supportive leather overlays and lightweight molded midsoles. The rubber outsole provides traction, durability and shock absorption that take the edge off standing and walking marathons and keep foot and shoe pain in check.

Pros

What we like about Ryka Sky Walk Walking Shoes:

  • Long-lasting comfort
  • Memory foam sock liner
  • Breathable mesh uppers
  • Rubber outsole provides traction for high- and low-impact activities
  • Available in two width sizes and half sizes

Con

Consider this before buying Ryka Sky Walk Walking Shoes:

  • Limited color options available

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Travelactive Axial Walking Shoe Ecomm Dsw.comvia merchant

Best walking shoe for narrow and wide feet

Propet Travelactive Axial Walking Shoe

Available in narrow, medium, wide, extra wide and even extra-extra wide, this Propet walking shoe is ideal for all foot sizes. It features a lace-up closure, and a breathable Open Cell footbed wicks moisture away from the foot. Wearers will enjoy the comfort of the OrthoLite open cell foam insole, which is removable for wearers with their own insoles. The heel is 1.5 inches high, adding extra lift with every step.

Reviewers give this shoe extra points for comfort. “I have finally found a company that makes extra-wide shoes that fit, are comfortable AND affordable!” shares one reviewer. “They have stretch and a decent-sized toe box to go with the extra width, which is so comfortable on my troubled feet! If you struggle with wide feet…these are for you.”

Pros

What we like about the Propet Travelactive Axial Walking Shoe:

  • Available in five widths, including narrow, extra and extra-extra wide
  • Removable OrthoLite foam insole
  • Available in half sizes
  • Fits true to size

Con

Consider this before buying the Propet Travelactive Axial Walking Shoe:

  • Limited color options available

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'targhee Ii' Walking Shoe Ecomm Nordstrom.comvia merchant

Best trail walking shoe

Keen Targhee II Walking Shoe

Go take a hike! Literally, though, because these Keen Targhee II walking shoes are the perfect hybrid of rugged outdoor hiking shoes and healthy walking footwear technology that will help you maximize all the fun things to do on your next hike. They offer a ground-grabbing rubber sole, a metatomical footbed with responsive support and added cushioning, and a genuine leather upper portion that’s designed to stay dry no matter which trail you choose to take. The inch-and-a-half heel offers a small amount of lift and extra shock absorption, while the removable insole signals just how well these shoes are made.

Pros

What we like about the Keen Targhee II Walking Shoe:

  • Rugged durability ideal for outdoor walking and hiking
  • Waterproof nubuck leather
  • Sturdy rubber sole for extra traction
  • Extra shock-absorption in heel
  • Removable insoles
  • Available in half sizes

Cons

Consider these factors before buying the Keen Targhee II Walking Shoe:

  • This shoe is built for the outdoors, so it may not compliment everyday attire or walking needs
  • The brand recommends ordering one size up, as this shoe fits small, but reviewers have found it fits true to size

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Vionic Women's Brisk Aimmy Adjustable Straps Leisure Shoes Ecomm Amazon.comvia merchant

Best walking shoe for plantar fasciitis pain

Vionic Brisk Aimmy Walking Shoes

This orthopedic shoe looks more like a trendy sneaker than anything else, but don’t let it fool you. It’s one of the best walking shoes for women who suffer from plantar fasciitis–related heel pain. The concealed built-in orthotic provides serious arch support you’d be hard-pressed to find in typical athleisure-style shoes, and the textile fabric uppers make them easy to wash and keep clean. They’re available in a variety of neutral colors, medium and wide widths, and have bragging rights to the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance. Reviewers “love, love, love” how comfortable they are. While you’ll probably want to keep these right by the door, since you’ll wear them so much, check out these shoe storage options for the rest of your collection.

“I have plantar fasciitis and have been struggling in the shoe department,” writes one verified Amazon reviewer. “After wearing these for several days, I could not be happier with them! They were comfy right out of the box and true to size. This brand has definitely made my feet happy without making me feel like I’m wearing old-lady orthopedic shoes. I highly recommend these!”

Pros

What we like about Vionic Brisk Aimmy Walking Shoes:

  • High-quality orthopedic shoe that’s also stylish
  • American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance
  • Removable footbed
  • Adjustable velcro straps
  • Available in multiple colors, sizes and widths

Con

Consider this before buying Vionic Brisk Aimmy Walking Shoes:

  • Some reviewers have found they prefer swapping the included insoles for their own orthopedic inserts

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Bryce Gruber
As Home Editor, Bryce Gruber is an expert in gift ideas, shopping, and e-commerce at Reader's Digest. You've likely seen her work across a variety of women's lifestyle and parenting outlets and on TV shows. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley with her five small children.
Madi Koetting
As Associate Shopping Editor, Madi is an expert at helping Reader's Digest readers find everyday household products to level up their life. She covers everything from Instagram-famous products to the internet’s best deals and discounts. When she’s not deep in a story, you can find her honing her at-home mixology skills and scouring TikTok for the next trendy product.