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Do you need a new pair of walking or running shoes?

You’ve just started walking/running and are noticing there is discomfort. Your feet and back are hurting you. You are not sure exactly what is going on but you are wondering how you are going to manage the pain. Well, it might be time to buy mama a new pair of dancing walking shoes.

I did a ton of research and looked at hundreds of reviews to help you with this. Scroll down if you want to jump right into the different types of feet and the best shoe fit for you.

Or you are starting out like I started out. You know you want to get healthier and you need to set yourself up for success and put your best foot forward (no pun intended). Take it from me, one injury is all the excuse you need to fall off track. You may want to skimp on the investment you should be making in yourself, but you must invest in the right pair of shoes.

Walking, running or any type of movement is so important for your health. It lifts your mental health and walking can help you lose weight and have a healthier disposition. You also deserve it. You deserve to focus on you and your health. See how walking and some other healthy habits helped me lose a pound a week and burn close to 300 calories a day

When it comes to losing weight there are many healthy habits that are important to work into your life. There is no silver bullet. Eating healthy and clean, exercising and meal prepping is a great start. It all starts with your keystone habits, which Noom has taught me a lot about. 

If you are looking to lose weight, go take a look at my “How to Walk for Weight Loss” post.  For now, we will focus on shoes. Shoes are perhaps one of the most underrated essentials of walking, with most probably not realizing the importance of good walking or running shoes. 

Shoes can provide more cushion, lessening how hard you hit the ground. They can also help prevent injuries such as blisters or calluses.

How to tell if your shoes are worn out

In general, shoes will get worn out after about 300 miles. For example, I walk at least 2 miles a day. So every 5 months (150 days) I should be getting a new pair of shoes.

You can also tell by looking at your shoes. Turn them over and look at the tread, if the tread is worn down you aren’t getting as much traction. Look at the sides, are the leaning to one side? They should stand straight up. Also, the tops and the back of your shoes are another place to look to see if you need a new pair of shoes.

Have your shoes seen better days? Take a look at the options below to see what may be the best fit for you.

Don’t have time to read now, pin for later.

15 Best Walking Shoes

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There is not a one size fits all for your walking needs

There is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to your feet. It depends on what your needs are. Someone with a flat foot is going to need something different than someone with high arches.

I’ve been walking for weight loss and better mental health for over 6 months now. I also work out 4 times a week at OrangeTheory. In addition to pulling from my own experiences, I scoured the internet looking at articles from experts and sifted through reviews for hundreds of shoes – all to develop a list for you of the best walking shoes for whatever you may be facing.

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Classic Leather Legacy

Which shoes provide the best support for walking? 

The four most important considerations are comfort, fit, support and breathability. 

Before purchasing a pair of shoes make sure you measure your foot. I was surprised to find that your foot size can change over time. If one foot is bigger than the other, then go with the larger size.

Another consideration for fit is the old ‘rule of thumb’ – if you can’t fit the tip of your thumb between the tip of the front of your shoe and the end of your longest toe then they are not big enough. Also make sure there is enough room to wiggle your toes. 

Know what type of foot you have. I’m flat-footed, so I know that I need shoes with a straight last and motion control and that my feet are prone to roll in when I walk – more on this later. Some people have high-arched feet or wider feet. We will look at each one of these and which shoes are rated the best. 

Regardless of the type of foot, comfort should trump all. If you purchase a shoe because of your foot type and it’s uncomfortable then go back to the drawing board. 

Why do my feet hurt when I walk or run?

There are many reasons your feet could hurt after your walk. If this is happening do some more research and reach out to your doctor to talk through what you are experiencing. 

Here I cover issues where a pair of the right shoes could provide some relief from the discomfort.

Some of the reasons why could be the following. We will go more into some of these areas below and many are interconnected. 

  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Calluses
  • Flat Feet
  • Metatarsalgia 
  • High-arched feet
  • Bunions
  • Arthritis

Many of these can happen because you aren’t wearing the right shoes or you don’t have the right fit.

For runners specifically it could be something as simple as your shoes don’t have enough cushion in them. Especially for running, you want to ensure you have the appropriate cushion. 

Best cushioned walking shoes

ASICS Novablast

ASICS Novablast

The support type on these shoes is neutral. These are highly-cushioned shoes that support key areas of the foot. Reviews spoke to how they provided more than ample cushion. There were also reviews that noted that they are narrow in size, so these would not be for someone with wide feet. 

HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7

HOKA ONE ONE Bondi 7

These shoes provide maximum cushion and are best for those that need neutral to underpronated support, so those with high arches. Reviews also spoke to how the cushion has helped with knee pain and the toe area is wider which can be helpful if you have bunions.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v9 Women's WIDE D Running Shoe Air, Vintage Indigo

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080v9 Women’s WIDE D Running Shoe Air

These shoes have various cushion densities and details like modern double jacquard upper and a comfortable Ortholite® insole to help those that need neutral to underpronated support – those with high arches. Reviews speak to strong stability, substantial cushioning, and them being light-weight. Reviews did note these are not easy to clean and best for flatter terrains vs. hiking, etc.


How does foot type play a role in the shoes you should buy?

There are different types of feet and therefore different types of support you may need. You could have flat feet, wide feet or high arches.

Those with high arches are more prone to underpronation, those with flat feet are more prone to overpronation. Both can cause various types of injuries which we will talk about more. Some shoes or various orthotics can solve these problems, so you avoid injury. 

Best walking shoes for women with high arches

If you have very high arches that don’t flatten enough you could be susceptible to supination, which is underpronation. This means your foot is not rolling inward enough when standing, walking or running. You could be prone to ankle injuries and plantar fasciitis. Here flexible and comfortable shoes are going to be critical. 

Are you not sure if you underpronate? Check the wear patterns on your shoes. If you see more wear on the outer edge of your shoes and you have high arches you may be a supinator. 

Shoe recommendations for high arches

Brooks Launch 5

Brooks Launch 5

The Brooks Launch 5 provides energized cushioning, lightweight fit quick transitions for running, and is made specifically for those with a mid to high arch. Reviews are glowing for this shoe, with a lot of focus on comfortability.

New Balance Women's Fresh Foam 1080v7 Running Shoe

New Balance Women’s Fresh Foam 1080v7 Running Shoe

These were made to provide support for those with high arches. Lightweight with excellent midfoot support. On Amazon, reviews are a 4.6 out of 5. Reviews speak to how comfortable they are, the level of cushioning they provide. Many comments on how they’ve helped with plantar fasciitis and knee pain.


Best walking and running shoes for women with flat feet

If you have flat feet you could overpronate, which means the ankle rolls too far downward and inward with each step. You could be prone to plantar fasciitis, knee pain, lower back pain, hip pain, and shin splints. I experience knee pain and lower back pain, which is likely attributed to me being flat-footed. You can also get bunions on the outside of your foot. 

Not sure if you overpronate? Put your worn-down pair of shoes on the table. Are the heels tilting inward? If they are then you may overpronate. 

Here motion-control shoes, orthotics and insoles are important.

Shoe recommendations for flat feet

Saucony Women's Redeemer ISO Running Shoe

Saucony Women’s Redeemer ISO Running Shoe

These shoes are for those that are very flat-footed and they have a sock-like fit. They also accommodate orthotics. These are wider and can work for those with wider feet. Reviews spoke to how comfortable these are for those that overpronate (flat-footed) and because of their width have been helpful for those with bunions.

Asics GT-2000™ 7 Women's Running Mist

ASICS GT-2000 7 Women’s Running Shoes

These are light-weight and have a nice midsole formulation that provides cushion that reduces the impact on your body and is good for runners.  They are designed to provide support for those that are flat-footed and the reviews support that they work for that purpose. Also durability stood out in the reviews, with these typically lasting about 400 miles.


Best walking and running shoes for women with wide feet

There are many reasons why you could have wider feet. Those with flatter feet tend to have wider feet. Age can make your feet wider and longer, which is why it’s important to measure your feet every now and then to see if your shoe size has changed. 

Wider feet also puts you at greater risk for bunions, hammer toe and calluses. Why does this happen? Because many people with wide feet wear shoes that are too narrow. 

Shoe recommendations for wide feet

Reebok Women's Runner Wide D MT Sneaker

Reebok Women’s Runner Wide D MT Sneaker

These are breathable so your feet won’t sweat during long runs or walks and the cushioned midsole helps reduce impact. These are available for those with wide feet. These have a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars and reviews speak to how lightweight they are and the great support they provide.

Rebook WALK ULTRA 7 DMX MAX WIDE WOMEN'S SHOES

Reebok WALK ULTRA 7 DMX MAX WIDE WOMEN’S SHOES

These have substantial foam cushioning which moves air from your heel to your forefoot, distributing the cushion to where you need it the most and this shoe comes in a wide fit. Most of the shoes featured in this post are for running/jogging. These are designed specifically for walking. You can wear running shoes for both, but you do not need as much cushion when walking vs. running.


Walking shoes for foot issues

Best walking or running shoes for women with bunions

Per the Mayo Clinic, a bunion is a bony bump that forms on your toes. Wearing narrow or tight shoes can cause bunions and not having the right fit can definitely exacerbate the issue. 

Shoe recommendations for bunions

ALTRA Women's Torin 4 Plush Road Running Shoe

ALTRA Women’s Torin 4 Plush Road Running Shoe

This shoe is perfect for those with bunions because of the wide, rounded toe box. Highly cushioned and super lightweight. Reviews are a 4.5 out of 5 and many speaking to how incredibly comfortable they are.

New Balance Women's w940v3 Running Shoe

New Balance Women’s w940v3 Running Shoe

This shoe is listed as one of the most comfortable shoes for bunions on the market. These also work for those with wide feet. 
Includes deep flex grooves for optimum shock absorption. Reviews are 4.5 out of 5.


Best walking or running shoes for women with plantar fasciitis

Excessive supination can lead to plantar fasciitis. Supination means that when you walk your weight favors going to the outside of your foot. If you notice that your shoes are worn out on the outer edge of the sole, you may be a supinator. This can also cause calluses and bunions on the outside of our foot. 

Shoe recommendations for plantar fasciitis

Asics GT-2000™ 8 Women's Running Shoe Diva Pink, White

ASICS Women’s GT-2000 8 Running Shoes

This lightweight shoe with extra cushioning in the heel offers the support you need for those that have plantar fasciitis. Reviews are 4.6 out of 5. Many reviewers noted they have been dealing with plantar fasciitis for years and that they’ve finally found a shoe that helps.

Vionic Women's, Brisk Miles Sneaker

Vionic Women’s, Brisk Miles Sneaker

The Vionic Women’s ​Brisk Miles Sneaker has been designed for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. These are also super cute and the midsole absorbs shock and will put some bounce in your step. Reviews are 4.2 out of 5 and many speak to how they’ve helped with knee pain and other ailments too.


Back, hip, and joint pain when walking or running

There is perhaps nothing worse than wanting to be active, trying to stay in shape, and having some type of injury or pain hold you back. Many things can cause back, hip, and joint pain. I suffer from back and hip pain and will share in another post (coming soon) what I’ve learned. 

It’s not just us though. Lower back, hip and joint pain is pretty common. It could be a degenerative disc, a torn muscle or muscle fatigue. If you are experiencing pain you may be tempted to pause being active. Though you do want to modify and listen to your body, I’ve found that movement helps me greatly. It helps to loosen up the muscles. Of course always check with your doctor. Just speaking to my experience. 

Shoes can help. Your feet do have an affect on your back and spine. When you walk there is pressure which creates impact to your back and spine. If you don’t have shoes that absorb the shock to your back/hips, etc. or redistribute it, you could be causing yourself more problems. 

Overpronation (more common in those that are flat-footed) can cause back and hip pain. Orthotic insoles can help to prevent overpronation and can help to align your back, hips, and legs properly. Good cushioning is also important here. 

Shoe recommendations for lower back and hip Pain

Glycerin 18

Brooks Glycerin 18

These are designed for road running and the midsole has been reconfigured to allow for a more cushioned underfoot for extreme plushness, which is just what you need for your lower back pain – something to absorb the impact. Reviews are 4.7 out of 5. Reviews note how comfortable, but yet lightweight they are.

HOKA ONE ONE Womens Bondi 6 Running Shoe

HOKA ONE ONE Women’s Bondi 6 Running Shoe

This HOKA One Bondi running show is one of the most cushioned shoes in their product line. The reviews on Amazon rave about how these shoes have helped countless women reduce their back, foot, and hip pain.


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30 Comments

  1. Really thorough breakdown of the running shoes, am saving for later so I can go through again when I get my partner some shoes, to make sure I get ones that suit her. Thanks a lot for the tips.

  2. I didn’t realize how much thought could go into finding the perfect shoe. You provided the perfect variety of options and I think it would be impossible to not find a shoe from this list! I also love that you gave additional tips such as knowing when it’s time to buy a new pair and reasons why your feet may hurt from walking/running.

    1. Thank you ? Makes me so happy to hear that this is helpful. I really did try to ensure that I covered whatever issues someone may be having that could be holding them back from walking and being active.

  3. I have been a runner for years, and my issues are always foot issues, not knees or hips. This is great advice for people like me who want to keep running, but protect our precious joints for as long as we can. I definitely think it’s time for a new pair of runners.

    1. I didn’t think I had foot issues, but I think my feet being flat may be contributing to my back. I have good shoes, but for my next pair I’m going to focus on getting motion-control shoes and see if that helps more. I saw so many great reviews on the ASICS and the Saucony’s for flat-footed women.

      So glad you found this helpful ?

  4. Thanks for doing all of the research for me…after reading this not only do I need a new pair of shoes, but I need the RIGHT pair. You definitely made me want to start walking more as well, I can’t wait to read more about this on you site.

    1. Right?! Who knew there was so much around shoes. Me putting more focus on me has had me a lot more interested in what I put in my body and how to exercise and stay healthy, but also what tools I can use to make sure I’m setting myself up for success. A year ago I wouldn’t have told you that one of those things was shoes. ?

      Let me know what pair you wind up getting. ?

  5. Great suggestions! My husband and I were working with a personal trainer at the Y for several months and then COVID hit. I was doing pullups, which was nuts, but I struggle to have the same motivation here at home. One funny thing was, I was getting shin splints when I ran and the trainer asked me how old my shoes were–I had gotten them at the Goodwill years before,lol! So I finally broke down and ordered some good ones and that made all the difference 🙂

    1. Pull-ups! That is nuts. I wish I could do pull-ups. It is hard to find the motivation. I started going to Orange Theory and I find that has helped. You are so right, shoes do make all the difference. I’m about ready for a new pair too and I usually get Asics, so I think I’m going to upgrade to the ASICS GT-2000 7 Women’s Running Shoes.

    1. Thank you! ?I’m likely to overpronate as well and also have Asics. I think I’m going to upgrade soon to the ASICS GT-2000 7 Women’s Running Shoes, as my current pair are starting to wear down.

  6. I live for running shoes ? as a runner and these are great tips! And monitoring my miles with my shoes is so important to prevent injuries

    1. Thank you ? Do you monitor your miles with an app and go off of that? I have in my mind that about every 5 months I need a new pair of shoes. You made me think though, with me walking in the mornings and doing Orange Theory I should probably be looking at my mileage in my app. I’m likely over 2 miles a day on those days that I do both.

  7. Really insightful post, I have flat feet so definitely have to make sure I get the right walking shoes otherwise I can end up being in lots of pain at the end of an active day! I don’t really run at the moment but I do like going on hikes so having a good pair of trainers is essential! Thanks for sharing xx

    1. I’m so glad it was helpful ? Same here, with the flat feet and pain. When I’ve had the wrong shoes I’ve noticed that my feet will actually hurt, but also my knees and hips bother me. Thank you for your comment ?

  8. Really thorough list and really helpful! I definitely need new walking shoes, and I’ll be coming back to this list to help with my decision! Thanks!

    1. Thank you! I have ASICS too! Though the ones I got 6 months ago, before I knew all this, aren’t that great for my flat feet. I’m going to try to find a pair of ASICS that are for flat feet this time around.

  9. Thanks for putting this list together! I’ve tried several of these and although I have Some Nikes now, I think I want to go back to ASICS. They’re a really good sturdy shoe for walking and running.

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