Best Walking Shoes for Women 2023
Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet
So it’s 2023 and you want to start walking to get in better shape, lose weight or eventually start running. Welcome to the team! If you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking for the best pair of walking shoes to get on your way.
Walking is one of the simplest things you can do to improve your overall health and well being. It can reduce cardiac risk factors such as high cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, vascular stiffness, inflammation and mental stress. It’s also easy to do from anywhere and fun to do with friends and loved ones—including the dog. Who doesn’t love a good stroll through the park?
If your goal is to eventually start running as well, using a hybrid walking routine like the run-walk method is a great way to safely build your stamina and endurance.
So where do you start?
Learning how to start walking for exercise begins with finding the right pair of shoes to slip into and lace up. You want to choose a pair that are comfortable, stable, and fit securely on your foot and heel with about a thumb’s width of space between the end of your longest toe and the end of the shoe.
Don’t worry if you can’t find walking-specific shoes that work for you—you can also use running shoes for walking.
If you want help with your walking journey, or even just some walking buddies, there are many Fleet Feet stores around the country that have walking or walk-to-run programs. Find a training program near you.
To help you take your first steps, literally, and build a lasting habit around walking, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best women’s walking shoes of 2023 (so far):
- HOKA ONE ONE Bondi SR
- New Balance Fresh Foam X 840 v1
- ASICS GEL-Kayano 30
- On Cloud 5
- Saucony Triumph 21
- Karhu Mestari Run
- Mizuno Wave Rider 27
- Altra Torin 7
- Diadora Mythos Blushield Vortice 8
[This article is part of the Fleet Feet Buyer's Guide for The Best Running Shoes 2023. Find all the best running shoes from the top brands for all situations.]
HOKA ONE ONE Bondi SR
Whether you're walking or working, the HOKA ONE ONE Bondi SR is one of the most comfortable shoes around.
The women’s Bondi SR sits atop a plush EVA foam midsole that provides a ton of soft cushioning for long walks or long shifts on your feet. HOKA’s oversized midsole ensures you’ll be comfortable from the first step of your walk to the last.
Designers draped the Bondi in a full-grain leather upper for a premium look and feel, and they only used one color so it blends in at work. Plus, HOKA included a slip-resistant (and non-marking) outsole and tread to make it safer for slick surfaces, like in restaurant kitchens or hospitals.
Want a sportier look? The standard women's HOKA Bondi 8 gives you the same cushioning without the slip-resistant outsole.
New Balance Fresh Foam X 840 v1
The women’s New Balance Fresh Foam X 840v1 is one of the best walking shoes for women because it delivers comfortable cushioning and performance.
New Balance used its Fresh Foam X cushioning to soften the feel, which gives you a well-cushioned underfoot experience, even when walking over hard surfaces.
With a stylish engineered mesh upper, the breathable New Balance Fresh Foam X 840 v1 shoes will keep you moving forward.
ASICS GEL-Kayano 30
The ASICS GEL-Kayano 30 is one of the best stability shoes that can handle endless evening strolls and long walks on the weekend.
Squishy PureGel pads positioned underneath your heel absorb the shock from the pavement, while ASICS FF Blast Plus Eco foam keeps the shoe lightweight for a smooth and easy ride. Plus, ASICS designers put an additional 4 mm of cushioning underneath your foot for a more comfortable walking experience.
We like the GEL-Kayano for walking because of its high cushioning and 4D Guidance System™ that helps overpronators and people with flexible arches stay on the straight and narrow during your walks. Read more in our ASICS GEL-Kayano 30 review.
On Cloud 5
The Cloud 5 is one of On’s best-selling shoes because it’s cushioned, comfortable and stylish, making it a great shoe for exercise or walking around town.
On built the Cloud with its signature CloudTec technology that uses geometry to help cushion the ride. The pods that create the Cloud’s midsole are called Cloud elements; each element collapses when your foot lands and springs back into shape when you take off to give you a responsive feel. On re-configured the latest version of the Cloud to feel even better underfoot and improve the fit.
The minimalist aesthetic and meticulous details look as good on your morning walk as they do when you’re out for dinner.
Read more: On Cloud 5 review.
Saucony Triumph 21
Stylish and comfy, the women’s Saucony Triumph 21 is one of our top picks for long walks and days spent on your feet.
The Triumph 21’s new PWRRUN+ midsole foam is super soft and bouncy, giving you Saucony’s signature pep in your step, while also remaining soft and lightweight. Built to withstand heavy mileage from running, this shoe also has a durable rubber outsole that will hold up to your walks on gravel and pavement.
The upper mesh and laces feel plush and premium when you slip the shoe on, and Saucony revamped the upper to make sure that it fits better and is more breathable than ever before, something our reviewers loved in our Saucony Triumph 21 review.
Karhu Mestari Run
The Karhu Mestari Run might have “run” in its name, but it shines just as bright on walks because of its incredible fit and smooth ride.
The Mestari’s thick bed of cushioning helps absorb the impact of walking on hard pavement and gives you a plush ride on long walks. Plus, a Fulcrum unit positioned beneath your midfoot gives a sensation of light arch support and propels your foot forward effortlessly.
The upper features a stretchy knit mesh that wraps around your foot to keep it securely on top of the foam. Everything from the thick tongue to asymmetrical lacing screams comfort for your walks.
Mizuno Wave Rider 27
The Mizuno Wave Rider 27 enjoys long walks down country roads and afternoon strolls in the park.
Mizuno’s classic Wave Plate compresses as your heel strikes the road and rolls your foot forward for a smooth stride. This combined with pillowy-soft Enerzy foam gives you cushioned protection from the pavement and a responsive ride.
You can walk endless miles in the Wave Rider thanks to a durable X10 rubber outsole and a stretchy, breathable mesh upper that doesn’t rub the outer edges of your foot.
Comfortable and supportive enough to handle your daily walks or long hours on your feet, the Mizuno Wave Rider 27 will keep you out on the road.
Altra Torin 7
Pillowy and light, the Altra Torin 7 is a great shoe for daily walking and can easily transition into your running shoe when you use the run/walk method.
For walks on hard pavement or even during a quick gym session, the Torin 7’s plush cushion and confident grip feel energetic and responsive. The 0 mm heel-to-toe drop helps the shoe feel natural with each step, and a gloriously wide FootShaped toe box keeps your feet comfortable all day long.
The perfect blend of cushion and extra toe space makes the Altra Torin 7 popular not just with walkers and runners but with those who work on their feet for long hours. If you have a wider forefoot or like to wear thicker socks, the Altra Torin 7 is an excellent pick for your neighborhood strolls and long walks with friends.
Diadora Mythos Blushield Vortice 8
You will love walking in the Diadora Mythos Blushield Vortice 8 because of its unique fit and cushioned ride.
The midsole uses a super-soft lightweight EVA foam that feels bouncy and soft while a medial stabilizer on the inside of the shoe gives you premium arch support, stability and shock absorption.
An updated air mesh upper is breathable and wraps around your foot, but is also stylish to wear while touring your favorite city. Plus, the Vortice uses Diadora’s Blushield technology to help minimize asymmetrical foot placement and encourage a more dynamic, balanced gait. So your stride will feel smooth and easy.
How We Picked the Best Women’s Walking Shoes
We used data from our fit id® outfitting process, interviews with designers and real-life wear testing to determine the best women’s walking shoes for most people.
Standing Behind Our Picks
You can shop with confidence at Fleet Feet: We offer free shipping on all orders over $99, and our return policy means you have 60 days to return any gear if you don’t like the way it looks, fits or feels. Plus, with our price-match guarantee, you can make sure you never pay too much for a new pair of running shoes.