Introduction to walking shoes for women
Ladies, listen up! Finding the perfect pair of walking shoes can truly make or break your walking experience. The right shoes provide the comfort, support, and breathability to keep you moving mile after mile. But with so many options out there, it can be tricky to know where to start.
That’s why we’ve created this definitive guide to the top walking shoes for women in 2023. We’ll walk you through everything from choosing the right size and style, to understanding key features that provide shock absorption and stability.
From tried-and-true favorites like Brooks and New Balance, to cool newcomers making waves, we’ve handpicked our top picks across a range of categories. And don’t worry, we’ve got options to fit every budget.
So lace up and join us as we explore the 15 best walking shoes to get you moving!
The Benefits of Walking Shoes vs Regular Sneakers
Before diving into specific shoe models, let’s quickly go over why walking shoes are a better choice than your average pair of sneakers for pounding the pavement. Here are some key advantages:
- Increased shock absorption – Walking shoes have more cushioning in the heel and forefoot to reduce impact.
- Motion control & stability – Features like rollbars and medial posts prevent overpronation and keep your foot alignment neutral.
- Durability – Walking shoes are designed to log serious miles, so they use sturdier materials and construction.
- Slip resistance – Walking shoe soles offer better traction for wet or uneven terrain.
- Orthotic accommodation – Many walking shoes have removable insoles to accommodate custom orthotics.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Walking Shoes
From foot shape to walking surface, there are a few key things to keep in mind when shopping:
- Comfort – Your shoes should feel great right out of the box, with no pinching or rubbing.
- Support – Look for features like arch support, stabilizing inserts and shock-absorbing cushioning.
- Breathability – Mesh panels and synthetic overlays allow airflow to keep feet cool and dry.
- Terrain – Are you walking primarily outdoors or at the gym? This impacts tread pattern and features.
- Foot type – Determine if you have high arches, flat feet, or other foot characteristics that affect fit.
Types of Walking Shoes for Women
With your individual needs and walking environment in mind, here are some popular categories of women’s walking shoes to consider:
- Stability – Provide pronation control and medial support for overpronators.
- Cushioned – Softer midsoles absorb shock for low arches and impact protection.
- Trail – Rugged outsoles and durable uppers for hiking and outdoor walking.
- Lightweight – Mesh and minimal overlays improve ventilation for hot climates.
- Slip resistant – Restaurant workers and nurses, these grippy shoes are made for you!
Best Walking Shoes for Women by Brand
Now for the fun part – our picks for top women’s walking shoe brands in 2023!
Brooks is the #1 walking shoe brand recommended by podiatrists, thanks to their focus on support and cushioning. The Addiction Walker offers smooth stability, while the Ghost gives plush neutral cushioning. The Dyad is great for diabetics and sensitive feet.
With heritage in athletic performance, New Balance walking shoes promote natural foot motion through innovative rollover technologies. The 847v3 has stabilizing overlays, while the 1540 has maximum support for flat feet.
Famed for their Gel cushioning systems, ASICS walking shoes provide exceptional shock absorption and smooth transitions. The GEL-Tech Neo 4 has cushioning tuned for long distances, while the GEL-Quantum 360 employs a full-coverage sole.
Must-Have Walking Shoe Features
Beyond brand names, here are some key features to look for:
- Removable sockliner – Allows you to insert your own orthotics.
- Shock absorbing midsole – Provides cushioning and protects joints.
- Rolling technology – Encourages natural gait and transitions.
- Breathable upper – Prevents overheating and blisters.
- Flex grooves – Enhance flexibility and comfort.
Choosing the Right Size and Fit
It’s crucial to get the sizing right, as improper fit can lead to discomfort, sliding, and blisters down the road. When trying on walking shoes:
- Shop late in the day when feet are most swollen.
- Wear socks you’ll use for walking.
- Leave thumbs width between longest toe and end of shoe.
- Walk around the store to test comfort and support.
- Consider sizing up if between sizes.
Walking Shoe Styles and Designs
While fit and performance take priority, today’s walking shoes also come in stylish designs to suit your personal taste:
- Sporty – Bold colors with reflective elements and sleek silhouettes.
- Casual – Low profile walking sneakers perfect for travel and everyday wear.
- Slip-on – Effortless on/off for those with mobility challenges.
- Sandals – Open and breathable for warm climates.
Comparing Prices and Retailers
The average price for a quality walking shoe ranges from $100-150. With smart shopping you can find sales in that range at retailers like:
- Specialty shoe stores
- Sporting goods stores
- Department stores
- Online retailers like Zappos and Amazon
Sign up for email newsletters and check for coupons to save on your walking shoe purchase.
Caring for Your Walking Shoes
To maximize longevity:
- Allow shoes to air and dry between wears.
- Spray with antibacterial spray to eliminate odor.
- Replace insoles every 6 months.
- Machine wash mesh uppers if very dirty.
- Use shoe trees to maintain shape.
The Takeaway on Finding the Best Walking Shoes
Hopefully this overview has provided a helpful primer on finding the perfect pair of walking shoes tailored to your individual needs. Aim for styles with ample cushioning, support, and comfort that align with your walking environment. Don’t hesitate to try on multiple options until you find that “just right” fit. Your feet will thank you in the long run!
Factors to consider when choosing walking shoes (comfort, support, breathability)