It’s a universal plight: the struggle of walking for long periods of time in shoes that are simply not made to be walked in for long periods of time. Sometimes the duration isn’t even that long; the shoes are just that uncomfortable. This fact of life is unfair to you, sure, but it’s duly unfair to your poor feet. Otherwise, pleasant experiences like, say, a nice after-dinner traipse, touring a new city, or a trip to Disneyland (okay, that one’s debatable) can quickly be ruined by shoes that don’t fit right or lack adequate support.
Whether you’re commuting, sightseeing, or walking for exercise, you need to treat your feet right while you earn those steps. But everyone’s shoe needs are different. Vionic Sneakers You might have high arches, flat or wide feet, or chronic pain in the heel or ball of your foot. Maybe you have weak ankles or deal with over-pronation. Perhaps you’re particularly sweaty (no judgment here). The bottom line is there’s a lot to consider, but the right walking shoe will cater to all of these factors. We looked to customer reviews, expert opinions, and the hands-on testing of our friends at the Good Housekeeping Institute and Women’s Health to determine which walking shoes can really go the distance. Below, shop 15 of the best pairs.
Gel Quantum 180 5
The Asics Gel Quantum was rated best overall in tests at the Good Housekeeping Institute. Not only did it score high in areas of support, cushioning, fit, and stability,Asics Shoes , but it also earned the stamp of approval from two expert doctors. Flat footers, take note—this model is ideal for you.
Devotion Plus 3 Walking Shoe
Women’s feet are, obviously, different than men’s—but not just in terms of size. The musculature and tapering of the heel are actually different, so it’s important to find shoes that are designed for a woman’s foot and not just settle for a unisex shoe in a feminine color. These Rykas are made for women’s feet and have extra support around the arch and heel.
Original Universal in Cherries Rhubarb
Teva has a legion of fans who swear by its sandals. Seriously, the brand’s following borders on cult-like, but it’s easy to see why they’re so beloved. The shoes are meant to carry you through all of your activities, from walking city streets to snorkeling in coral reefs. Don’t let the sandal style fool you, it offers ample support with great traction, and the straps hold your foot securely in place.
Although flat feet and high arches are opposite, both foot types require solid arch support. Enter the Good Housekeeping Institute’s pick for supported arches, Kuru’s Atom sneaker. Testers liked the shoe’s thick sole, durability, and the ease of slipping in and out. The Atom is also a great pick for anyone looking to improve their posture, or those dealing with plantar fasciitis, wide feet, or bunions.
Miles Active Sneaker
This lightweight sneaker is recommended specifically for those with wide feet. Available in whole and half sizes, as well as medium and wide widths, the breathable mesh upper won’t feel restrictive around your foot. Plus, the orthotic insole was specially designed by podiatrists.
Women’s Tree Runners
Let’s be honest, the sneakers that suit your feet are not always the sneakers that suit your style. In fact, they rarely are, which is why Allbirds have become so popular. The sustainable brand’s designs are versatile and stylish while maintaining maximum comfort. Plus, they’re machine washable, which is always a bonus for shoes that you intend to get a lot of use out of. For these reasons, testers voted this shoe best for travel.
For a purchase you can really feel good about, go with one of the most popular choices among podiatrists. After all, they know best. This model is perfect for anyone who over-pronates their ankles when they walk, as it helps with motion control. It also features impact-absorbing performance foam.
Women’s 411 V1 Walking Shoe
ELLE’s own Deputy Editor, Kayla Adler, swears by this New Balance sneaker, Nike Outlet calling it her “tried and true long distance walking shoe.” Her favorite part? The “squishy” sole that makes it feel like she’s walking on a cloud rather than pavement.
DailyFit DMX Women’s Shoes
In Women’s Health’s 2021 Sneaker Awards, this shoe won first place for all-day comfort. The DailyFit is made with cushioning engineered to “cradle” your arch.
Skechers Women’s Walking Sneaker
If you’re looking for something a little less sneaker-like and a little more stylish, these Skechers slip-ons are a sight for sore eyes—or sore feet. Customers report that the cooling gel and plush footbed make these feel perfectly worn from the very first time you unbox them. They’re also machine washable and have a wide toe box, making them great for wide feet.
This pair of Skechers is perfect for the chunky sneaker trend, but more impressively, it has more than 41,800 five-star reviews on Amazon. The lightweight shoe is made with cooling memory foam, among other comfort-boosting features. One devoted reviewer wrote, “I have worked 12 hr shifts in the hospital for 17 years. This is the only shoe I have found that allows me to get through an entire shift without my feet, legs or back hurting.”
Women’s OOahh Slide Sandal
Maybe you’re not looking for a sneaker at all. If that’s the case, direct your attention to Oofos. These cloud-like slides are recommended for marathon runners to give their feet a rest from running sneakers. They have cushioned arch support and come in a variety of amazing colors, but their real superpower? Shock absorption that reduces stress on your joints (plus the ultimate superpower: machine washability).
Women’s Triumph 19
This sneaker will put a literal pep in your step—reviewers rave about the way it offers a little bounce. They’re flexible, durable, and have an ultra-plush sole while maintaining consistent support for your entire foot.
If you like Balenciagas, the ones that look like socks, then you just might fall in love with these top-rated Amazon walking shoes. They’re slip-on yet non-slip, breathable, and have enough room to accommodate orthotic inserts. Happy customers say they’re a great value and that they outperform similar name brand sneakers that run for twice the price.
While Gel-Nimbus sounds more like a Harry Potter broom than a walking shoe, this Asics pair is designed for those with high to neutral arches with a neutral or overpronated stride. It features maximal cushioning, heel compression, and added support to help stabilize and balance your walk. It’s also available in a wider model that accommodates a roomier fit.