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These Are the Most Comfortable Walking Shoes You Can Buy

Woman's Day Logo By Nicol Natale, Alesandra Dubin, Elissa Sanci of Woman's Day | Slide 1 of 18: In the ideal pair of walking shoes, you probably won’t be thinking about your feet at all. But it’s only when you’ve been on your feet covering a lot of terrain that you know if you've chosen the wrong pair — because all you can think about is the pain, not just in your feet, but sometimes radiating throughout your entire body. Don’t get caught in a pair of shoes that makes you suffer when you should be getting exercise, sightseeing, socializing on the go, traveling, or generally enjoying active time outdoors. (And your shoes definitely shouldn't make you suffer if you're on your feet all day or night at work.) Instead, choose a pair of the best walking shoes for women based on criteria and recommendations put forth by podiatry professionals and outdoor lifestyle experts.Walking shoes for women should provide plenty of shock absorption, arch support, and cushioning, says Dr. Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). And Dr. Nelya Lobkova, DPM, board certified surgical podiatrist and founder of Step Up Footcare in New York City, says that choosing a good pair really matters. "Walking shoes should really be the shoe of choice for women when planning on commuting, hiking, or packing for a trip. Even when walking to the grocery store, a walking shoe should be worn to offer adequate grip and avoid injuries," she says. "Walking shoes offer enough stability and support for various walking surfaces, prevent multiple lower extremity injuries, and typically don’t wear out as fast as other shoes from heavy use." What to look for when shopping for the best walking shoesWhen shopping for walking shoes, Dr. Lobkova says it’s important to take into account the walking surface, average walking distance, and the climate. For instance, walking on concrete versus soil or sand requires different biomechanical support, Dr. Lobkova says. And in a warm climate, the optimal walking shoe will have a mesh or breathable upper, whereas a wet and cold climate needs a leather or Gore-Tex weather-proof upper."I see many women who work on their feet for many hours, for instance doctors, nurses, chefs, and painters. They have different requirements for shoes depending on work-related hazards," she says. But no matter their role, Dr. Lobkova says, they all benefit from a walking shoe that has these factors:A slightly elevated heel, so that there is reduced tension on the Achilles tendonA cushioned ball of the foot (instead of flat)Made of a material that is easily cleaned, so that the shoe won’t harbor bacteria and fungusEasily removable in case of emergenciesAnd while women’s walking shoes should be functional, there’s no reason they have to be unfashionable. Our roundup of the most comfortable walking shoes for women — with detailed recommendations from the pros — has attractive pairs you’ll really want to wear for every real-world scenario.Our picks: Best Overall Walking Shoes: Hoka Arahi 6Best Walking Shoes for Everyday Wear: Clarks Un Rio Tie Best Lightweight Walking Shoes: New Balance Women's FuelCore Nergize V1Best Slip-On Walking Shoes: Skechers Go WalkBest-Fitting Walking Shoes: Saucony Women's Triumph 18 Best Value Walking Shoes: Yhoon Sock Sneakers Best Cushioned Walking Shoes: Ryka Devotion Plus 2Best Walk to Run Shoes: Brooks Glycerin 19Best Travel Walking Shoes: Allbirds Tree RunnersBest Shoes for Standing All Day: Adidas UltraBoost Running ShoeBest Hiking and Walking Shoes: Keen Targhee Best Walking Shoes for Wide Feet: Vionic Miles Active SneakerBest Walking Shoes for Narrow Feet: New Balance Made in USA 990v5 CoreBest Walking Shoes for Low Arches: Women's Integrity Walker 3 Best Walking Shoes for Foot Pain: Kuru AtomBest Walking Sandals: Naot Santa BarbaraBest Walking Shoes for Indoor and Outdoor Wear: Crocs Classic Bae Clog

In the ideal pair of walking shoes, you probably won’t be thinking about your feet at all. But it’s only when you’ve been on your feet covering a lot of terrain that you know if you've chosen the wrong pair — because all you can think about is the pain, not just in your feet, but sometimes radiating throughout your entire body. Don’t get caught in a pair of shoes that makes you suffer when you should be getting exercise, sightseeing, socializing on the go, traveling, or generally enjoying active time outdoors. (And your shoes definitely shouldn't make you suffer if you're on your feet all day or night at work.) Instead, choose a pair of the best walking shoes for women based on criteria and recommendations put forth by podiatry professionals and outdoor lifestyle experts.

Walking shoes for women should provide plenty of shock absorption, arch support, and cushioning, says Dr. Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). And Dr. Nelya Lobkova, DPM, board certified surgical podiatrist and founder of Step Up Footcare in New York City, says that choosing a good pair really matters. "Walking shoes should really be the shoe of choice for women when planning on commuting, hiking, or packing for a trip. Even when walking to the grocery store, a walking shoe should be worn to offer adequate grip and avoid injuries," she says. "Walking shoes offer enough stability and support for various walking surfaces, prevent multiple lower extremity injuries, and typically don’t wear out as fast as other shoes from heavy use."

What to look for when shopping for the best walking shoes

When shopping for walking shoes, Dr. Lobkova says it’s important to take into account the walking surface, average walking distance, and the climate. For instance, walking on concrete versus soil or sand requires different biomechanical support, Dr. Lobkova says. And in a warm climate, the optimal walking shoe will have a mesh or breathable upper, whereas a wet and cold climate needs a leather or Gore-Tex weather-proof upper.

"I see many women who work on their feet for many hours, for instance doctors, nurses, chefs, and painters. They have different requirements for shoes depending on work-related hazards," she says. But no matter their role, Dr. Lobkova says, they all benefit from a walking shoe that has these factors:

  • A slightly elevated heel, so that there is reduced tension on the Achilles tendon
  • A cushioned ball of the foot (instead of flat)
  • Made of a material that is easily cleaned, so that the shoe won’t harbor bacteria and fungus
  • Easily removable in case of emergencies

And while women’s walking shoes should be functional, there’s no reason they have to be unfashionable. Our roundup of the most comfortable walking shoes for women — with detailed recommendations from the pros — has attractive pairs you’ll really want to wear for every real-world scenario.

Our picks:

© New Balance/Allbirds

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