What are the best walking shoes for women? That's actually not an easy question, as everybody's feet are different. When you are looking for new footwear (especially for sports shoes), the most important thing is to keep your personal foot shape in mind.
In my buyer's guide you will learn what arch type you have and what your pronation level is. After you know more about your foot type, you will be able to make an informed decision about buying the optimal pair of sneakers for YOUR feet.
Last Reviewed on 3 February 2019 - Checked products and minor content revisions.
In case you're male and somehow ended up on this page: Read my guide about the best walking shoes for men.
Top Rated Female Walking Shoes: Comparison Table
In the following table you will find some of the best rated walking footwear for women of all ages. You can click on the column headings to sort the rows.
Hard & Normal
Hard & Normal Surfaces
Good for Overpronators
Good for Overpronators
Good for Overpronators
Good for Overpronators
How to choose shoes for YOUR feet?
If you ever felt like your feet are not like anybody else's, you're not just imagining things. Feet can be very individual and you'll need shoes to match. When shopping for walking shoes that provide the right kind of support and cushioning, the important words to remember is pronation and arch – or what your foot actually does when you walk.
- Arch is another important consideration when choosing the right walking shoe for your needs and actually goes hand in hand with pronation.
Differences between Motion Control, Stability and Cushioning Walking Shoes
Motion control, cushioning and stability shoes are not necessarily the same package. In this section you will learn more about the differences between each shoe type.
Motion control shoes are generally recommended for people with flat arches and overpronation. These shoes generally have a thicker midsole made of hard material designed to correct your gait and are a little heavier than most athletic shoes.
Use of these shoes could be used in conjunction with exercises to correct severe overpronation issues and strengthen the ankle to reduce the risk of the ankle rolling too far and resulting in injury.
A few of the best rated motion control walking shoes for women (click image for our review):
Neutral walking shoes are the ones that focus on cushioning instead of motion control and stability. This type of shoe tends to be a little heavier than the stripped-down minimalist styles because they add thicker midsoles and more durability. This makes neutral shoes the most common type for people who have high arches or make use of orthotics.
Stability shoes provide corrective support that is usually below the level of motion control shoes. These shoes can cover support needs for people with normal to high arches with a firmer material in the inner part of the shoe called a medial posting.
Some shoes may also have additional features that promote stability but, if it doesn't have the medial posting, it's probably not a stability shoe.
Are you Suffering from Plantar Fasciitis?
There are also walking shoes that can help with painful foot conditions such as plantar fasciitis, a condition in which the ligament that connects your heel to your toes swells up and makes walking, hiking or jogging painful.
This condition is most common in the middle-aged and people who do a lot of standing, walking or running, such as athletes.
Most doctors will recommend getting the weight off your heels and bottom of your feet as much as possible if you develop plantar fasciitis.
Walking shoes that offer excellent arch support, a firm outsole and a slightly elevated heel can help reduce the “wear and tear” on this ligament while it recovers from the inflammation.
Some of the best walking shoe brands
People who have tried motion control or stability shoes have indicated that it can be tricky to find a pair that works for them, so it's worth trying several brands to find the pair that best fits your support needs and possibly even looking online for a better selection.
New Balance has made the fact that its shoes are made in the USA a major selling point and many of its women's walking shoes features a lightweight EVA foam to save on the weight of the sole without sacrificing cushioning. For an especially good orthotic shoe from New Balance, look for their Dunham line, which features the ability to replace the removable footbed with custom orthotics.
ASICS' popular GEL and GT lines focus on advanced cushioning systems and guidance systems that encourage proper gate.
Skechers is one of the leading athletic shoe manufacturers in the USA, besides athletic sneakers they also offer lifestyle apparel. But still, their main sales products are shoes. When you are doing a lot of walking activity in the summer months: Skechers is offering some of the best walking sandals for women in their product line.
If your job requires you to be on your feet all day, you might especially look at the Caterpillar brand that is famous for producing durable shoes for people like you who work with those famous yellow heavy-duty machines.
There are some specialized orthopedic brands (Example: Vionic) that can be a bit pricier but may be more helpful when it comes to finding a pair that suits your needs.
What to consider before buying?
When shopping for a pair of walking shoes for ladies, the return policy of the retailer is one important factor to allow for the return of any pairs that just aren't working for you after you get them home.
Your orthopedic specialist may be able to recommend options and, in some cases, you may be better off shopping at some highly specialized stores or looking online to find what you need even if it means spending a bit more than you normally would for a pair of shoes.
Keep in mind that some shoes may solve one problem but cause another if you do not address any underlying issues that may be affecting your gait, so pay attention to any warning signals your feet may be sending you that show up within a few weeks of buying a pair.
Many experts also recommend shopping for shoes in the evening, when your feet are usually swollen after a full day on your feet.
Do you often walk or work on hard surfaces? Check out my guide about the best shoes for walking on concrete all day.
The most important thing to consider when shopping for the best walking shoes for women 2018 is that you should never settle for something that almost works even if it means spending a few extra bucks or putting in some extra effort to find exactly what you need.
Even when an orthopedic shoe costs more than $100, that's less expensive and painful than dealing with issues with your legs and feet that occur because they weren't getting the support (cheap shoes) they need while participating in fitness efforts like walking.
If anything at all makes you uncomfortable while shopping, including the occasional pushy salesman or a shoe department full of options that would have worked if they were just a little wider or came up a little more on the ankle, it's perfectly acceptable to just walk away and look elsewhere.
Sellers of women's walking shoes should center around your unique needs rather than trying to fit you into a pair of shoes that just aren't working. They care about their bottom line and you care about keeping the bottoms of your feet healthy with a pair of shoes that can correct problems with overpronation or underpronation by giving you the extra boost you need to correct your gait. That may mean having a list of requirements from your orthopedic specialist in hand to show the salesman, but it's worth it to get exactly the shoes you need.