Best Walking Shoes for Women 2021
Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet
Running is often seen as the standard for cardio exercise, but walking is also a great way to stay active and healthy. So, we rounded up the best walking shoes for women to get you starter.
Walking is a low-impact activity that delivers many of the same health benefits as running, like a lower risk of heart attack and stroke, and it’s easy to do with friends or your dog. The American Heart Association recommends adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like walking, each week—that’s a little more than 21 minutes each day or 30 minutes, five days a week.
If you’ve been walking that much or plan to start, it’s worth investing in a pair of women’s walking shoes. The best walking shoes for women are comfortable, durable and secure, so you can move without distractions.
While many top brands make shoes specifically for walking, you can also wear running shoes for walking since walking shoes and running shoes share many of the same characteristics, like cushioned midsoles, lightweight fabrics and durable materials.
If you’re in the market for a pair, we think these are the best walking shoes for women:
- Brooks Addiction Walker 2
- HOKA ONE ONE Bondi SR
- New Balance 840 v5
- ASICS GEL-Kayano 28
- On Cloud
- Saucony Triumph 19
- Karhu Ikoni 2021
- Mizuno Wave Rider 25
- Altra Torin 5
[Updated September 30, 2021. This article is part of the Fleet Feet Buyer's Guide for The Best Running Shoes 2021. Find all the best running shoes from the top brands for all situations.]
Brooks Addiction Walker 2
The women’s Brooks Addiction Walker 2 is an outstanding walking shoe thanks to its comfort and durability.
Brooks built the Addiction Walker 2 with a well-cushioned BioMoGo DNA foam midsole. The foam, which Brooks uses in many of its running shoes, is has a proven track record of providing consistent cushioning over the life of a shoe.
Strategic arch support helps give you control over your stride, and it makes the Addiction Walker 2 more stable. The full-grain leather upper lends the shoe a classic look and improves the shoe’s durability.
With a slip-resistant outsole, the Brooks Addiction Walker 2 is perfect for anyone who walks for exercise or work.
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 7 gives you the same cushioning without the slip-resistant outsole.
New Balance 840 v5
The women’s New Balance 840 v5 is one of the best women’s walking shoes because it delivers confident footing and comfortable performance.
New Balance used its Abzorb cushioning to soften the feel, which makes a well-cushioned underfoot experience, even when traversing over hard surfaces. The outsole of the shoe has a full blown rubber outsole, which makes it more durable and increases the traction.
With a stylish engineered mesh upper, the breathable New Balance 840 v5 shoes will keep you moving forward.
ASICS GEL-Kayano 28
The ASICS GEL-Kayano 28 is one of the best stability shoes that can handle endless evening strolls and long walks on the weekend.
ASICS 3D space construction improves compression with each stride and creates a more comfortable walking experience based on biomechanical differences between men and women when they walk.
Squishy GEL pads positioned underneath your heel and forefoot absorb the shock from the pavement, and ASICS FF Blast foam keeps the shoe lightweight for an easy and smooth ride.
We like the GEL-Kayano for walking because of its high cushioning and medial posting underneath the arch that helps overpronators and low-arched feet stay on the straight and narrow during your walks.
The Cloud 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.
The minimalist aesthetic and meticulous details look as good on your morning walk as they do when you’re out for dinner.
Saucony Triumph 19
Stylish and comfy, the Saucony Triumph 19 is one of our top picks for long walks and days spent on our feet.
The Triumph 19’s PWRRUN+ midsole foam is super soft and bouncy giving you a classic pep in your step that Saucony has become known for. 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 using lightweight and breathable recycled materials, so you can be light on your feet and light on the planet.
Karhu Ikoni 2021
The Karhu Ikoni 2021 shines as one of the best women’s walking shoes because of its incredible fit and smooth ride.
Super-lightweight Aerofoam cushioning helps absorb the impact of walking on hard pavement and gives you a plush ride on long walks. Plus, a Fulcrum unit positioned underneath your midfoot gives a sensation of light arch support and propels your foot forward effortlessly.
Shaped using millions of 3D foot scans taken during Fleet Feet’s fit id® outfitting process, the Ikoni 2021 practically feels custom made and fits a wide variety of foot shapes making it one of the best women’s walking shoes.
Mizuno Wave Rider 25
The Mizuno Wave Rider 25 enjoys long walks down country roads and afternoon strolls in the park.
In our review of the Wave Rider 25, Fleet Feet testers liked its stable and energizing feel during their walks and runs.
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 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 25 will keep you out on the road.
Altra Torin 5
Pillowy and light, the Altra Torin 5 is a great shoe for daily walking and can easily transition into your running shoe if you begin to use a run/walk method.
For walks on hard pavement or even during a quick gym session, the Torin 5’s plush cushion and confident grip feel energetic and responsive. The 0mm heel-to-toe drop helps the shoe feel natural as you 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 5 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 5 is an excellent pick for your neighborhood strolls and long walks with friends.
Read more: Altra Torin 5 review
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.