"Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through these links."
Whether you're walking several miles per day or taking short laps around the block, the best walking shoes for women deliver on style and comfort at once. In my experience, walking shoes that can last for miles are flexible, breathable, and supportive. Plus, some are just as stylish as a pair of comfortable flats.
Experts recommend prioritizing comfort and fit above all other factors when searching for the best walking shoes. "Since walking tends to involve more time on my feet than going out for a quick run, underfoot comfort and cushioning is mission critical," Nike Running coach Jes Woods tells BAZAAR. And if you’re the type to wear your best sneakers on a daily basis, you’ll want to consider aesthetics as well. "When picking my favorites, I want a shoe that is supportive and feels easy to throw on—without sacrificing style," Carbon38 co-founder and CEO Katie Warner Johnson adds. That's where street-style approved walking shoes like the New Balance 574s or Golden Goose Superstars come in.
Ahead, I’ve gathered the 11 best walking shoes from tried-and-tested brands including Nike, Veja, Allbirds, and more that deliver on style and wear-all-day comfort. I tested as many pairs as I could myself; and when I couldn’t, I consulted the experts above along with other shoppers’ reviews. Read on for the best walking shoes designed to go the distance.
React Infinity 2 Road Running Shoes
For a fuss-free, reliable, and athletic walking shoe, the Nike React Infinity is one of the top-rated pairs on our list. Nike trainer Jess Woods gives them her expert stamp of approval. "I can wear them all day from coaching to commuting to power walking because the React foam is not only plush, aka comfortable, but durable," she said.
Material: Flyknit material, rubber
Weight: 8.6 oz
Heel drop: 8.4mm
What reviewers say: "I am not a runner. I just need shoes [with] support because I walk a lot. These are cute and supportive top to bottom, front to back, inside and out."
"I’ve worn many different brands of training shoe in the last few years & this one has really impressed me! The shoe provided great support, breathes well & feels so comfortable on. Excited I found this shoe!"
Motiva Walking Shoes
Nike's designers understand that your foot strikes the ground differently when you walk (or power walk) versus when you run. The Motiva, released earlier this year, has a chunky rocker sole that eases the impact of your foot's heel-to-toe forward motion at a walking pace. Then when you're ready to jog or run, the outsoles and insoles are designed to cushion and support your foot through higher intensities.
“In designing Motiva, we really went after removing distractions, addressing the discomfort that can go along with how you feel both during and after an activity,” Dr. Emily Farina, Principal Researcher in the Nike Sport Research Lab, said at the Motiva's release. “The result is a shoe that can help reduce disruptions in your stride to make moving feel smoother[.]” So far, reviewers seem to agree.
Material: Foam, lightweight fabric
What reviewers say: "I recently tried out the Nike Motiva Walking Shoes with a sleek design, and they definitely exceeded my expectations in comfort and style. When wearing them for my daily walk I noticed a cloud-like cushioning that provided excellent support for my feet. They were comfortable for my workout and then straight to running errands!"
"These are a great pair of shoes that make you feel like you are walking on air. As someone who deals with back pain, I am always looking for a pair of athletic shoes that are easy on my lower back. These shoes are fantastic and unlike anything I’ve worn before. The first time you put them on, you almost feel like you are rocking in them. After you get used to them, you immediately notice how the shoes are designed to take the pressure off of your pain points. And as a bonus, they look great! I’ve received multiple compliments from others on my new shoes. I do believe I’ve found a pair of shoes I intend to wear for a long time."
Trail Runners SWT
When you're logging miles on a cross-country trip or a trail deep in the woods, pull on these sneakers recommended by Hana Kajimura, head of sustainability at Allbirds. "I find that when I'm traveling, I want one pair of shoes that can work for exploring a city or working out," she says. They're water-repellent for rainy days and versatile for all weather: Kajimura wears them with hiking gear and everyday cropped denim alike. The treaded soles offer extra traction for uneven and slippery terrain as well.
Material: Wool, bio-based foam
Weight: 9.99 oz
Heel drop: 7mm
What reviewers say: "This is a great option for a good sturdy foot bed and traction. It’s breathable but has a good toe reinforcement that the other shoes don’t have."
"For the first time in years, I have no pain in my feet. And I love the style."
Clifton 9 Sneaker
Hoka's Clifton sneakers are a cult-favorite among walkers and runners. Recently, the brand updated its signature style to be even more comfortable and supportive on long walks. The upper gently hugs your foot with the same lightweight feel of past editions–but this time, it weighs even less and the heel is more plush. Wearing the Clifton 9 sneakers feels you're walking on cotton candy, down to the dreamy pastel colorways.
Sizes: 5–12, in regular and wide versions
Material: Recycled polyester
Weight: 7.30 oz
Heel drop: 5mm
What reviewers say: "Out of the box hit! I am a heavy footed walker and these were like walking on a cloud. I had no pain at the end of the day. Love!!!"
"I use these shoes for workouts at the gym, long walks in the park. They are very comfortable and cute. I receive compliments. Comfort is very important to me and these shoes have great cushion."
Unisex Arizona Essentials EVA Black Sandals
Fashion insiders are not-so-secretly fans of the Birkenstock walking shoe. Even Manolo Blahnik wears its sandals. While Birkenstock's flashier designer collaborations sell out quickly, a solid pair of its original Arizona sandals makes a reliable, and easily available, summer walking shoe. (You wouldn't want to log dozens of miles in a delicate velvet slide, anyway.)The essentials Arizona slide is waterproof, shockproof, and won't irritate your skin—with a molded footbed your feet will appreciate. It's a beach shoe and an everywhere shoe, if you want it to be.
Material: Molded EVA
What reviewers say: "So comfortable, better support than I expected, and easy to wash. These are great for walking the dog, running errands, and doing yard work."
"I've never worn Birkenstocks before. These are pretty comfortable... a little stiff but that was expected because of the synthetic material. Love that they are waterproof! I wear a 9 1/2 in just about any shoe. I ordered these in the size 9 and they fit perfectly! Love that they are as easy as a flip flop but offer more support."
Superstar Mixed Leather Sneakers
Golden Goose sneakers have an artist's edge that's unmatched, thanks to their ever-so-slightly distressed look. More importantly for women on the move, these kicks are comfortable enough to stomp around the city in for an entire day. (The legions of Golden Goose fans on TikTok would agree.)
What reviewers say: "They are so well made–pretty sure I will be keeping these for a while."
"I was hesitant to purchase a pair of Golden Goose sneakers initially, but now I’m so glad I did. They required virtually no breaking in period right from my first wear, and they’re already conforming to the shape of my feet. I can tell the quality of the leather is stellar, and the silver styling is classic and versatile; dressed up or casual. If you’re on the fence, don’t be! Buy these, you won’t regret it. 👍🏼 "
Condor 2 Sneaker
Warner Johnson of Carbon38 says she's a big fan of Veja's Condor sneaker. (Her original recommendation has sold out, but I tracked down another colorway at Revolve.) For her, it's a matter of their lightweight construction and "sophisticated" color palette. "Plus, the upper is made of 100 percent recycled plastic and the sole is composed of bio-based materials like banana oil and sugar cane," she adds. "Sounds, and looks, like dessert for your feet!"
Reviewers on other sites add that Veja sneakers only get more comfortable with each wear.
Materials: Recycled polyester, plant-based sole
Heel drop: 10mm
What reviewers say: "I love the Veja brand, their ethics, their mission, their style so I bought these on a whim to see if I liked their feel and fit. I was so delightfully surprised! They are so light weight, supportive, cute, and comfortable!"
Unisex 574 V2 Lace-Up Sneaker
Street style icons like Laura Harrier and Hailey Bieber can't stop wearing the New Balance 550s. But Bieber has another pair of New Balances that make even better walking shoes: the 574 V2. This pair comes backed with several five-star ratings praising their comfort, range of colors, and cool vintage look. The treaded sole makes them even more suited for walking long distances.
Materials: Suede, rubber
What reviewers say: "Super clean and actually look better in person than the pictures. Highly recommended!"
"I have crazy wide feet. Some companies make shoes in “wide” widths but they’re not wide enough for my crazy wide feet. Found these, loved the retro look, and thought I’d try them. These shoes are so wide and so perfectly cushioned that my feet give a nearly audible sigh of relief when I put them on. Each of my toes can throw their own party in these shoes. Since I got them, I have worn them every day and basked in the comfort. I just bought them in another color because my feet deserve it."
Devotion Plus 2 Walking Shoe
This walking shoe, available in 17 different color combinations, is one of those rare Amazon finds I almost want to gatekeep. (But I won't.) Reviewers say the entire sole cushion is comfortable, with the added bonus of extra padding along the tongue.
Materials: Mesh, rubber
Heel drop: 11mm
What reviewers say: "Have tried so many brand name (and even high end name) and these are the only shoes that have given me great comfort."
"More room in the toe box than the average sneaker and way more cushion in the heel. If you have knee, hip or foot pain then get this shoe. Good support for ankle too. Move over Hoka. Ryka is just as good if not better and way way more affordable. My mother has plantar fasciitis and it has alleviated her pain so she can walk again. I highly recommend."
Chargefeel Low Women's Workout Shoe
I thought Lululemon's first sneaker was worth the hype, and I've been even more impressed with the rollout of the label's additional shoe styles. The Chargefeel sneaker is ideal for active days that include a workout: It has a midfoot frame that cradles your foot through walks, runs, and bodyweight training. It's springy, but not overly bouncy—and the wavy design looks so sleek.
Heel drop: 9mm
What reviewers say: "I find the shoes are great for my daily 4K walk good support and a great amount of cushion for walking trails!"
"These shoes are very comfortable and I would recommend them to everyone. The choice of colors was also a selling factor for me."
Here's a walking shoe for those who prefer streamlined, minimalistic shoes to chunkier athletic styles. Koio's leather sneakers are beloved for their clean, responsibly sourced leather and subtly cushioned insoles for all-day wear. Across more than 1,400 online reviews, shoppers are impressed by this sneaker's versatility and comfort above all. This sleek design looks just as good with leggings and a sports bra for Pilates class as it does for exploring a European city in a sundress.
Material: Leather, 100% rubber sole, removable OrthoLite Hybrid insole
Weight: 1 lb.
What reviewers say: "This pair from Koio is 100% worth the price—they're impeccably made, and the leather is beautiful."
"Only had these two weeks and they are by far the most comfortable shoe I've purchased in years. Received tons of compliments."
Are women's running shoes good for walking?
Running shoes can double as walking shoes if you're low on closet space. The top versions of both sneaker styles have minimal break-in periods and feel light on your feet. Dedicated walking shoes might have extra lateral support to stabilize your foot and ankle, plus a pillowy sole. Meanwhile, the best running shoes for women have subtle features that enhance your speed and endurance.
What should I wear when walking all day?
If you're spending an entire day on your feet, the best walking shoes are only the start of what you'll need. Other gear you should consider for a day of comfort include:
Breathable and moisture-wicking base layers, like a matching workout set from Nike, Alo Yoga, or Girlfriend Collective
An extra layer (or two!) like a windbreaker or crewneck sweater
Sunscreen with a high SPF
Are cushioned shoes better for walking?
Generally, yes. Cushioned shoes offer support throughout your foot no matter how far you plan to walk. However, walking puts less force on your foot than running, so you don't need a shoe with a noticeable heel stack to feel comfortable.
Meet the Experts
Jes Woods leads guided runs and walks as a Nike running coach in New York City. She also coaches trail and ultra athletes in the Brooklyn Track Club.
Dr. Emily Farina is a principal researcher in the Nike Sport Research Lab.
Katie Warner Johnson is the co-founder and CEO of the leading luxury athleticwear store Carbon38.
Hana Kajimura is the lead of sustainability at the direct-to-consumer footwear brand Allbirds.
Halie LeSavage is the fashion commerce editor at Harper's BAZAAR and a recreational walker and runner. She tested shoes to recommend for this story.
Why trust Harper's BAZAAR
For more than 150 years, Harper’s BAZAAR has been the preeminent fashion, beauty, and lifestyle resource for women at every age. We cover what’s new and what’s next in fashion by working with the world’s leading authorities in ready-to-wear, footwear, accessories, and more. Every story we publish has been thoroughly researched and vetted by our team of editors and industry experts.
You Might Also Like