5 Best Walking Shoes for Women, According to Podiatrists and Footwear Experts

You don’t have to be a marathon runner to be fit — walking is actually one of the healthiest forms of exercise. Before heading out the door, you want to be armed with the best walking shoes for you. You want a shoe that’s comfy all day, supports your arches, cushions your heel and actually looks cute. With so many factors to consider, the pros in the Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab partnered with medical experts to put popular shoes to the test to find the best walking shoes to buy, evaluating over 1,000 data points collected over 200 hours of walking.

Whether you’re walking long distances for exercise, travel or work or just running errands, you’ll need the right pair of shoes to keep you on your feet all day pain-free.

Shop the best walking shoes of 2022:

1. BEST OVERALL WALKING SHOES: ASICS Gel-Quantum 180 4 Sneakers

Testers loved the Asics Gel Quantum 180 for being comfortable, supportive, well-cushioned and having an excellent fit. Testers also loved the stylish appearance — these sneaks are available in eight colors from classic black and white to bright blues and reds. Dr. Splichal and Dr. Metzl both like these sneakers for providing excellent stability and control, ideal for people with flat feet. All testers reported that they liked these sneakers more than their current ones and would continue to wear them. 

WHY WE LOVE IT:

  • Loved by podiatrists for offering great stability and control
  • Trendy color options
  • Ideal for walking and running alike

TAKE NOTE:

  • Some reviewers prefer sneakers with more flexibility

2. BEST VALUE WALKING SHOES: TIOSEBON Athletic Walking Shoes

These slip-on sneakers by Tiosebon were popular for their cushioning. One tester said, “They didn’t look like clunky, orthopedic shoes, but they felt as if they were padded with four inches of memory foam.” Not only are they by far the most affordable sneaker in our round-up at just $20, they also have over 24,000 rave Amazon reviews. Dr. Splichal likes how lightweight they are, but testers didn’t rate the appearance as high as other styles.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

  • One of the lightest sneakers we evaluated
  • Soft cushioning for support
  • Over 24,000 rave Amazon reviews

3. BEST LIGHTWEIGHT WALKING SHOES: NEW BALANCE FuelCore Nergize v1 Training Shoe

These New Balance sneakers are among the lightest we tested, and they were popular with our testers for providing great cushioning and a comfortable feel. These are Dr. Splichal’s favorite sneakers, as they allow lots of freedom of movement with mesh in the front of the shoe. Testers also credited this front mesh for making the shoes breathable and comfy over bunions. With an impressive 38,000 Amazon reviews, our pros agree that these shoes are an excellent value for a top-tested sneaker.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

  • Favorite among podiatrists for excellent freedom of movement
  • Mesh offers flexibility to cover bunions
  • Testers loved how versatile these lightweight sneakers were

TAKE NOTE:

  • Less cushioning than other styles

4. BEST CUSHIONED WALKING SHOES: ADIDAS Ultraboost 20 Sneaker

Testers raved about Adidas Ultraboost sneakers’ “cloud-like” cushioning and support, thanks to the high foam levels and extra air pockets to cushion impact. All testers found the Ultraboost line of sneakers to be comfortable and said they would continue wearing them. Dr. Metzl likes the midsole of these sneakers and recommends them for those “complaining of joint aches.”

WHY WE LOVE IT:

  • Thick cushioning
  • 20 color options
  • Slip-on design for easy on/off

TAKE NOTE:

  • Cushioning wears over time with heavy use

5. BEST WALKING SHOES FOR FOOT PAIN: BROOKS Ghost 14

Prevent uncomfortable foot pain after exercise with a shoe that prioritizes stability and control. Brooks is a popular running shoe brand, but walkers especially love this style as it has ample cushioning and a comfortable heel. One tester with chronic foot pain said that she usually finds “no shoes comfortable to wear, but these are amazing.” Although some testers didn’t love the appearance, they got high marks across the board for cushioning, support and traction.

WHY WE LOVE IT:

  • High comfort scores from testers with chronic foot pain
  • Segmented crash pad for smooth walking
  • Allows freedom of movement with great cushioning

TAKE NOTE:

  • Lower appearance scores