If you’re looking to reap the benefits of walking, you’ll need to secure one of the best walking shoes first. A quality pair offers you enough support to log some miles, but will also look stylish with everything from your basic black leggings to your cutest spring dress. We tapped podiatrists to learn more about what makes a great walking shoe, and asked them for their personal faves. Plus, Glamour editors share the shoes they wear for travel days, long-weekend walks, short jogs, or everyday city living.

The best walking shoes for women, at a glance

What to look for in a walking shoe

To find the right walking shoe, start off by figuring out your foot type starting off with your arches (the the area between the ball of your foot and your heel). Picture stepping on wet paint: If you have a high arch you would see only a little of your footprint, if you see most of your foot then you have a low arch (or flat feet), and if you see about half of your foot then you have a neutral arch. “The height of the arch affects the direction of how your foot rolls—or pronates—when walking,” says Katrina Manos, DPM, podiatrist at Westside Podiatry Group in Rochester, New York. If you have flat feet, you may tend to roll your ankles inward, and you’ll want to pick a relatively rigid shoe to cradle the foot and keep it in place. People with neutral or high arches can get away with a bit more flexible shoes.

As for the sole, it should “have a curvature on the bottom to help propel the person forward,” says Nam Tran, DPM, podiatrist at Dallas Direct Podiatry. Then, take a look at the heel: It should have a decent amount of cushion to absorb impact, since this part of your foot strikes the ground first. The Nike Motiva shoes are a great example of a max cushion shoe.

Many people find that everyday running shoes can work for walking, says Tran, which is why a lot of our picks include running sneakers. You’ll also want to look for walking shoes made of the right material for the conditions: mesh is breathable and great for summer, while leather is more durable and waterproof but will heat up quickly. Check for brands that have the American Podiatric Medical Association seal of approval meaning they promote good foot health.

All products featured on Glamour are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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