Whether you’re walking around your neighborhood or on a hiking trail, getting those steps in can benefit your overall mental and physical well-being. But before you decide on where to walk, you’ll need the proper footwear. Having a quality pair of the best walking shoes for women can certainly help in the comfort department while exercising. Did you know that even short daily walks can increase your lifespan?
Walking at a brisk pace for just 11 minutes a day slashes the risk of premature death by almost a quarter, new research reveals. A team from the University of Cambridge says around 1,100 steps protects against cardiovascular disease and some cancers. Results show just 75 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise lowers mortality rates by 23 percent.
Another study from Columbia University notes that taking five-minute walking breaks every half hour, can reduce blood sugar spikes by almost 60 percent in comparison to people who sit all day. They also leave you feeling less tired and significantly improve your mood. This also provided modest benefits for blood sugar levels throughout the day. However, walking every 60 minutes for either one minute or five minutes had no positive impact. The researchers found that walking significantly reduced blood pressure by four to five mm/Hg compared to sitting all day.
Ready to put some pep in your step? StudyFinds turned to ten expert opinions to find the top five best walking shoes for women to get active outdoors. As always, we’d like to see your own recommendations in the comments below!
The List: Best Women’s Walking Shoes, According to Expert Reviews
1. Hoka Bondi 8
These sneakers made of ortholite foam have the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance. “If cushioning is your first priority, look no further than Hoka’s cult-favorite Bondi 8 sneaker. This sneaker was made with lightweight foam and an extended heel, so your foot will feel cradled, supported, and balanced from every angle,” according to Women’s Health.
“The maximalist design is unique but also functional as it helps absorb shock without putting too much pressure on your knees,” notes Footwear News. They call the Hoka Bondi 8 the “Best Women’s Shoes for Walking on Concrete.”
These come in an assortment of colors and widths, too. “This is an undeniably chunky shoe, and it runs slightly wide, but your feet shouldn’t feel stifled thanks to the mesh upper—it should help them feel fresh, even on particularly long walks or days spent on your feet,” adds SELF.
2. New Balance 608v5
This affordable women’s walking shoe offers durability and heel protection. “This comfy shoe has a cushioned rubber sole and oversized heel crash pads for reduced impact and less stress on your joints. The grooves on the outsole allow some flexibility, but the shoe itself is still quite durable, with a molded foam insert that guarantees support and comfort,” according to MindBodyGreen.
Prevention points out, “these chunky-cute sneakers are ideal for walkers who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to hit the trail in comfort—just look at all of that cushioning and arch support!”
You can find them in four color options, as well as regular, narrow, and wide widths. “These New Balance trainers will provide all-day comfort and stability. They are designed with a dual-density collar that uses both a soft foam against the foot for cushioning and a more dense foam for support,” notes Today.
3. Skechers GOwalk Joy
This slip-on pair of women’s walking shoes from Skechers are great if you’re traveling. They’re also relatively budget-friendly. “These Skechers comfy walking shoes are lightweight, which means they feel great on your feet, and they are easy to pack, too, which is essential if you’re traveling carry-on only! The breathable mesh upper means these walking shoes hold up to long wear, even when it’s warm outside,” according to Travel Fashion Girl.
New York Magazine notes, “these include an Ortholite insole, as well as a solidly cushioned midsole that can keep you comfortably upright for hours on end.” Women’s Health points out, they’re “made with a lightweight, breathable mesh that’s great for sweaty feet (it happens to all of us). The ultra-cushioned midsole offers great arch support, too.”
However, some reviewers did note these aren’t ideal for colder weather.
4. Adidas Cloudfoam Pure
This lightweight, versatile offering from Adidas will keep your feet comfortable no matter where you’re walking to.
“The Adidas Cloudfoam line is the perfect way to balance comfort and style. They’re sleek enough to blend in with any wardrobe, whether you’re pairing them with jeans to run errands or with activewear for a workout,” according to Today.
Women’s Health notes these are “made to provide a steady, supportive base you can walk on all day long.”
“As a bonus, the Cloudfoams come in 14 different colors so you can get the perfect match for your travel outfits, and they’re made from at least 50 percent recycled materials,” adds Travel + Leisure.
5. Vionic Tokyo
This breathable shoe from Vionic boasts several comfort features. “Lightweight, flexible, and supportive, these comfy active shoes come in seven colors, with two widths and half sizes available. The mesh upper is breathable, while the rubber soles are firm yet flexible. Tokyo Sneakers have a removable podiatrist-designed EVA orthotic insert,” according to TravelAwaits.
“Podiatrists highly recommend Vionic shoes because they make your feet feel good and perform easily. Specifically, the label’s Tokyo sneaker is its top walking shoe and is approved by the APMA for helping with foot problems,” suggests Footwear News.
Reviewers note these run true-to-size, so keep that in mind when deciding what fit is best. Prevention points out, “because they’re mesh, you’ll never have to worry about sweaty feet again.” If there is a downside, it’s the price. They’re on the more expensive side.
You might also be interested in:
- Women’s Health
- Footwear News
- Travel Fashion Girl
- New York Magazine
- Travel + Leisure
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.