SHOES & BOOTS

Best Women’s Walking Shoes: Listen to Your Heart… And Your Sole!

Best Women’s Walking Shoes
Jerry Mueller
Written by Jerry Mueller

In today’s world, being a woman on the go means navigating days filled with chaotic encounters, endless multitasking and a multitude of further happenstances that can leave even the most organized and put-together lady flat on her feet.

With such demand being placed on the backs of the modern woman, comfortable footwear is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.   No longer can women merely attempt to function amidst the stressors of their days wearing aesthetically pleasing shoes that provide no support or comfort.

Women of today are perpetually on the hunt for the best women’s walking shoes to not only help them survive their day, but to thrive.

Finding the shoe that is the best fit for you means dissecting your daily routine as well as your desired activities to uncover your needs.  Also, you’ll have to critically analyze your body style and stride to determine what type of support is needed.

These and other factors will be detrimental to figuring out which shoe will give you a better overall walking experience, without having to sacrifice style and affordability in the name of comfort.

Solely Right for You

When searching for the perfect shoe to provide you with walking comfort all day, it’s important to first understand your walking style.  All people have different strides and this plays a huge role in understanding what a comfortable shoe feels like to you.  Specifically, you have to take a look at the movement of the heel as you move forward.

When walking, does the outside of your heel make the initial ground contact each time, and then rolls in quite a bit?  If your answer is yes, you may be inclined to walk with something called “over pronation.”  Before having an analysis done, just check out the arches of your foot.

Walking shoes for women

If you have low arches or flatter feet, chances are you over pronate.  Then, check your current walking shoes.  If, on a flat surface, they lean inward, you probably over pronate.

Over pronation can cause shin splints, plantar Fasciitis, bunions and many more foot and ankle problems down the road for anyone wearing improper footwear.  The shoe you choose can easily help to prevent problems caused by over pronation.

Lean towards shoes that have increased padding, especially on the inside of the heel and under the ball of the foot.  The more support and structured cushioning, the better.  This will compensate for the added pressure placed on these parts of your foot.   Orthotics added to shoes may also provide additional comfort.

On the other hand, if you notice that your foot barely turns inward, and instead, that you put pressure mostly on the outer heel, you may be walking with under pronation (also called supination).  There are a number of health concerns associated with this as well, such as Achilles Tendinitis or plantar fasciitis.

Once again, placing your shoes on a flat surface, they will tend to lean outward if you walk with under-pronation.  For anyone with this walking style, cushioning is important, especially at the outer and heel, as this part of the shoe will experience the most wear and tear, and cause the most pain if not properly cushioned and supported.

On The Run or On The Clock?

Equally as important as determining your walking style is dissecting the activities you’ll be partaking in while wearing your ideal walking shoe.  Support, cushioning and overall design all encompass specific features that are tailored to your specific happenings; determining what is best for you requires an understanding of these designs and how they are meant to function.

On The Run or On The Clock

For example, the nurse that will be on her feet for 10+ hours per day will increasingly rely on the consistent and extensive cushioning of a shoe, while the specific flexibility and ankle support will have minimal impact on her impression of the shoe.

For women who plan to take their shoes and hit the trail, finding the perfect shoe will entail identifying additional support along with cushioning.  Long walks on uneven ground necessitates advanced ankle support with durable soles and cushioning for traversing rocks, streams and the like.

Fabrics will also play a role for any woman planning on doing a lot of trail walking.  Durable and breathable fabrics will make for a pleasurable walking experience as long as they accompany the previously mentioned needs.

Mainly, there are so many different types of potential walking shoes that after determining the style and build of the shoe you desire, shop around and seek out the ideal combination of the essential attributes you strive to gain in a good shoe.

Shoes Are Your Essential Accessory

Ultimately, as women, it is very important to feel good inside an out when picking any apparel.  A shoe may provide more comfort than you’ve ever felt, but if you think they are a ridiculously unattractive addition to your ensemble, you will probably opt for the less comfortable, yet fashionably appropriate option.

Shoes Are Your Essential Accessory

Do not choose a shoe merely because it fits well.  Consider the clothes that will accompany this shoe.  Does the shoes color match your wardrobe?  If not, they may end up at the bottom of your closet, never to be seen again.

On the other hand, it is important not to select your shoe based on looks, alone.  You may have some colorful kicks on, but if they are consistently causing you discomfort, you will most likely be taking them off half way through your day, blanketing your ankles with Band-Aids, or shelling out big bucks for some over-priced orthotics.

Top Products of 2017

Asics Gel QuickWalk

Asics Gel QuickWalk

Weight: 10.3 oz.

Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4 inches

Specific Features: Synthetic fabric with a rubber sole.  Foam padded tongue and collar with traditional lace-up closure and mesh lining.  Faux-leather upper.  C.M.E.V.A midsole and Rearfoot GEL® cushioning.

Best Use: Work related all-day walking

Description: This is a great shoe for those working in fields requiring a very comfortable and neutral-looking shoe, which can often be difficult to find.  Nurses and other women in professions where women are constantly on their feet find these shoes to be an ideal match.

These Asics Gel QuickWalk are extremely light-weight and very supportive.  The midsole and rear food cushioning make for great all-day wear and will leave your feet feeling comfortable for extensive walks.

The rubber sole provides a very supportive grip for those slippery surfaces.  Oftentimes, these shoes can run a half size too small, so it’s suggested that you purchase a half size bigger in order to get that perfect fit.

Related: While this shoe is really comfortable and ideal for anyone on their feet all day, they are only offered in black and white.  If you are looking for a similar fit but with color variety, check out ASICS Women’s Gel Frequency 3 Walking shoe.

RYKA Women’s Radiant Plus Walking Shoe

RYKA Women's Radiant Plus Walking Shoe

Weight: 9 oz.

Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4 inches

Specific Features: Leather outter fabric and synthetic upper and sole with Precise-Return™ cushioning insole.  EVA midsole with Re-ZORB® cusioning and I.H.G model heel.

Best Use: Fitness Walking

Description: This is the perfect walking shoe for anyone planning to participate in charity walks, taking the dog for a walk, or heading out to run errands.

These RYKA Women’s Radiant Plus Walking Shoe are extremely breathable and offer stability and grip that will keep you safe during your daily activities.

These are designed with heel reinforments and tons of cushioning support that will providing long lasting comfort.

Anyone dealing with over pronation will find an optimal amount of comfort wearing these shoes.  For anyone concerned with heel slippage, this shoe has a uniquelly designed molded heel reinforcement, ensuring that your heel stays in place.

Related: This shoe is definitely ideal for any women who tends to deal with over pronation.  However, if you want to stick with this well-respected brand name shoe, but are interested in a more minimalist fit, check out the RYKA Women’s Dash Stretch Walking shoe for a lighter fabric and less midsole cushioning.

New Balance WW1065

New Balance WW1065

Weight: 9 oz.

Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4

Specific Features: Rubber sole with FantomFit n-sew support overlay with mesh padded collar and tongue.  REVlite midsole cushioning and strike path flex grooves.

Best Use: Leisure walking

Description: This is the perfect shoe for anyone wanting a narrow look and feel.  They are of the sleeker style of walking shoe and are minimalist in their cushioning for a more natural fit. New Balance WW1065 look great with any workout gear, and even can pair well with jeans.

This shoe is incredibly light as well, adding to their comfortability.  For those needing more arch support, these may not be ideal for you, as they are lacking in substantial support and padding.  But if you’re looking for a chic walking shoe that is breathable and consistent, and great for running daily errands these are definitely a good choice.

Related: These are a perfect minimalist shoe from a trusted brand.  If you are wanted to stick with New Balance, but suffer from over pronation or are in need of more support while keeping to the sleek and narrow body style, check out New Balance Women’s Training Shoe.

Saucony Originals Women’s Jazz Low Pro Sneaker

Saucony Originals Women's Jazz Low Pro Sneaker

Weight: 11 oz.

Dimensions: 11 x 7 x 4 inches

Specific Features: Sues outer with a rubber sole.  Lace-up front with padded color and tongue.  Cushioned insole and shock-absorbing low profile EVA midsole.

Best Use: Casual day wear

Description: For anyone looking for a casual and comfortable leisure shoe, these are a great match. Saucony Originals Women’s Jazz Low Pro Sneaker come in a variety of colors that are sure to match more than a few things in your closet.

They pair well with yoga gear, or any other every day wear.

They are soft and light, with a unique look and a variety of colors suitable for any style.  This brand is also well-known for being durable and consistent, which remains true for this particular style.  There isn’t much need to break these shoes in, as they are made with soft and pliable fabrics that fit to the foot nicely.

These are not running shoes, due to their lack of shock absorbency and suede exterior.  They come with two sets of laces in colors corresponding to the shoe color, so you can change up your style accordingly.

Related: If you are a fan of the Saucony brand and body style, then you may be interested in their other fashion-forward lines that incorporate other patterns and move away from the more traditional two-toned color scheme.  For an adorable polka dot design, check out their Saucony Originals Women’s Bullet Dots Fashion Sneakers.

Adidas Performance Women’s Energy Boost 2 W Running Shoe

Adidas Performance Women's Energy Boost 2 W Running Shoe

Weight: 11 oz.

Dimensions: 11 x 7 x 4 inches

Specific Features: Rubber sole and nylon mesh Tech Fit fabric, with an ethylene vinyl acetate midsole.  Welded TPU bands at rear for ankle security.

Best Use: Running, fitness walking

Description: This Adidas Performance Women’s Energy Boost 2 W Running Shoe fits snuggly to the foot, creating a sock-like comfortability that enables the shoe to move with the foot.

These will make you feel right at home anytime you head to the gym, as they are versatile and perfect for transitioning from the treadmill to the weight room.

These are also a suitable choice for anyone wanting footwear they can multitask in.  These are perfect for walking, running, weightlifting and running errands, making them a do-it-all shoe.  They do narrow at the front of the shoe, in which case, for those with wider feet, a half size up may be in order.

The design incorporates Engineered Stretch Mesh wish allows for more breathability and pliability, making for a great running shoe overall.  They come in many different colors that are sure to add to that colorful gym look or stylish errand attire.

Related: If you are a lover of Adidas and wish to opt for a more traditional style that foregoes the narrowing toe that is seen on the Energy Boost 2 Women’s running shoe, check out the Women’s Response Boost 2 Techfit Running Shoe.

New Balance Women’s WT610V4 Trail Shoe

New Balance Women's WT610V4 Trail Shoe

Weight: 11.5 oz.

Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4 inches

Specific Features: Rubber sole with upper mesh and webbed overlays.  Lace-up closure with injection-molded ethylene vinyl acetate midsole and textured outsole.

Best Use: Trail running, hiking

Description: Any woman planning to hit the trails with a comfortable and sturdy shoe will be very pleased with these trail shoes.

New Balance Women’s WT610V4 Trail Shoe are comfortable from the moment you put them on and their design is on the wider side, allowing for a more comfortable and relaxed fit.

They come in a variety of feminine colors adding to their classic look.  They also offer sufficient arch support as well as sturdy ankle support for traversing over rocks and all manner of uneven ground.   Their colors, while all stylish, are designed with stain resistance in mind and avoid whites and pastel light colors, making for the perfect hiking shoe.

Related: While this shoe offers support that is perfect for trail walking, it is not the most versatile of the New Balance styles.  If you are interested in a style of shoe that is more universal, check out the New Balance Women’s Outside in the Pack Classic Running Shoe.

Vans Classic Slip-On

Vans Classic Slip-On

Weight: 15.2 oz.

Dimensions: 12 x 6 x 5

Specific Features: Padded collar and foot bed with Vans signature waffle outsole and perforated leather outer.  Slip on shoe with elastic side accents.

Best use: Casual wear

Description: For anyone looking for a comfortable slip on shoe that is stylish and unique while still affordable, Vans Classic Slip-ons are perfect for almost everyone.  These come in a wide variety of colors while maintaining the same signature style that is commonly associated with this brand.

The platform of this shoe is unlike other walking shoes in that it is flat and not designed for arch support.  They are ideal for those who wish to wear shoes that don’t narrow at the front like many other walking shoes.  The wide design provides comfort and flexibility.

Related: The Classic Slip-On style is great, but if you are looking to keep the unique styling of the Vans brand but prefer to lace up your shoes, check out the Vans Unisex Era (heel pop) Skate Shoe

Conclusion

Finding the perfect walking shoe for any woman depends on a number of factors.  You have to find that perfect balance between comfortability, support and style.

Choose your Women's Walking Shoes

Oftentimes, women will make the difficult choice to sacrifice their foot health for the sake of wearing an attractive shoe.   Women should not have to choose between the two; as long as you search in the right places, you won’t have to make that choice.

Keep an eye on your feet as you go about your day.  Identify where you most commonly feel pain after a long day’s work or an extensive hike.  Listen to what your body is telling you, and pick out the shoe that is correct for you based on your specific wants and needs.

You do not have to experience health issues down the road due to unsatisfactory footwear.  You can find that sweet spot between ease and elegance.

And don’t forget to leave us a comment or share your stories with us.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Mueller
Jerry Mueller

Jerry ‘Boy Scout’ Mueller spends 99% of his time camping or teaching others how to live in the wild. He became an Eagle Scout which is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting division when he was 17 and after that he still lives the scout life. Jerry always plans neatly every trip, takes leadership very seriously and if you listen to his tips and stories, you can learn tons of useful things.

  • Elisa Blair

    My favorite walking shoes are definitely RYKA’s Radiant Plus! They are very comfortable right out of the box, are wonderfully supportive, and look awesome! The mesh really helps keep my feet cool and that is really nice! I walk on hard pavement at least 4 miles a day and these shoes never let me down.

  • Jerry Mueller

    When you’re walking a lot, it pays to get a pair of walking shoes that offer great support for your feet and your back. It’s important to get trusted brands so you don’t suffer any injury or have bunions on your feet! Traction is also important so make sure you get one that offers the best.

  • Abbie Knight

    It probably sounds ridiculous but the pair of Adidas Energy Boost 2’s that I have motivate me to go out walking and running simply because of how stylish they look! I just want to show them off! The cushioned sole ensures that both walking and running are extremely comfortable and I’ve found that the shoes do actually seem to give you a ‘boost’ allowing you to bounce off the ground and push away, if that makes sense? Would love to know if anyone else has experienced that sensation or whether I’m just going crazy?!

  • Jerry Mueller

    You’re saying that it actually boosted energy, huh? 🙂
    I’m taking your word for it and since most of my buddies are experiencing the same with the Adidas Energy Boost 2s, you’re not getting crazy! No wonder everyone loves this brand.

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