The best women’s walking shoes 2017

From Keen to Salomon, we’ve picked out the best women’s walking shoes for those lighter walking trails

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Walking any route or trail requires decent footwear, but sometimes hiking boots might seem a bit OTT. If you often find yourself going on shorter, lighter walks, then walking shoes should provide you just the right amount of support you need, without feeling too cumbersome on your feet. 

Walking shoes tend to be lightweight and rarely require breaking in; unlike boots. This means choosing a pair of shoes that’s right for you can be an easier decision than picking the right boots because they’re more flexible. A walking shoe should feel extremely comfy like a trainer, while still supporting the ankle and cushioning your soles. 

Our pick of the best women's walking shoe at the moment is the Salomon Tibai GTX Low Shoe.

How to choose the best women's walking shoes for you

Not all walking shoes are waterproof, though, which is why they are generally better for short walks or fair weather. However, if you are after waterproof walking shoes, keep an eye out for brands like Keen, Salomon and Jack Wolfskin who tend to weave the latest waterproofing technologies into their designs.

Women’s walking shoes often come with breathable mesh outer material that keep your feet cool and comfortable with every step, but they won’t always provide the insulation you need if walking in the torrential rain or high winds. If you want something more durable and practical for all weather scenarios, check out our list of the best women’s hiking boots for sturdier, adaptable options. 

Remember, when buying walking shoes it is often recommended to go up a size as your feet swell when they get hot. You should make sure you have enough room to comfortably wiggle your toes even when the laces are tied as tight as possible. The best thing about walking shoes is that most are often stylish and comfortable enough to be worn on a day-to-day basis, and are light enough to pack in your bag for light walks when on holiday. If it is just light daily walking activity that you tend to do such as dog walking along pavements or short school runs, you could even consider a well designed walking trainer which would be more than sufficient. 

To give you a kick start in your search, we’ve rounded up some of the best options on the market right now to suit all styles and budgets. 

Our pick of the best women's walking shoes to buy today

1. Salomon Tibai GTX Low Shoe

A sturdy yet breathable shoe for low level trails

Specifications
Best for: Summer walks
Material: Leather & Synthetic Mesh
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Gore-Tex Lining+Grippy 
Reasons to avoid
-A little heavy  

If you go on lots of trail walks but you find boots too restrictive then the Salomon Tibai GTX Low Shoe is the next best thing. They have all the best features of boots, including Gore-Tex waterproof lining and Contragrip soles, but they are incredibly flexible and breathable. This means they would be the perfect choice for summer trails where you still might come into contact with water or rocky terrain and equally as effective for wet weather rambling. The gusseted tongue is a really handy feature to ensure your walking shoes are kept clean from debris, which many other walking shoes lack. These sleek ladies walking shoes have all the best features of a great hiking boot with the added benefit of extra comfort.

2. Asolo Women's Blade Low Rise Hiking Shoes

A lightweight shoe for that barely-there feel when walking

Specifications
Best for: Walking all year round
Material: Suede leather & Synthetic
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Gore-Tex Lining+EVA Soles
Reasons to avoid
-Light colours 

The Asolo Blade Low Rise shoe makes for comfortable walking all year round. Whether it’s clear blue skies or tipping down with rain, these waterproof walking shoes will keep your feet comfortable with every stride. They are extremely lightweight so they don’t feel like you are wearing a typical walking shoe, which is great for those who walk daily as well as those who walk trickier trails. They might get dirty quickly if you go off the beaten track, but for anyone looking for a light pair of walking shoes that don't weigh you down, this is the pair you need.

3. Mountain Warehouse Belfour Walking Shoes

A great pair of budget shoes that will keep you warm and dry

Specifications
Best for: Budget buy
Material: Suede & Mesh
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Very warm+Spongy soles
Reasons to avoid
-Come up small 

If you like the sound of the Asolo Blade Low Rise Hiking Shoes but are worried that they’ll get dirty easily, then these Mountain Warehouse Belfour Walking Shoes feature darker colours that are less likely to get ruined if you venture somewhere a little more muddy. Thanks to the EVA midsole in these walking shoes, they are super comfortable underfoot and have the added bonus that they are waterproof so will keep you dry on those rainy days. For anyone buying their walking shoes on a budget, these are great value shoes that don't scrimp on features. They do come up quite small though, so make sure you opt for one size larger than normal!  

4. Jack Wolfskin Women’s Texapore Low Hiking Shoe

A hiking shoe for long walks across all terrain

Specifications
Best for: Long walks
Material: Synthetic
Waterproof: Yes
Reasons to buy
+As sturdy as a boot+Stylish 
Reasons to avoid
-Come up big 

This ladies hiking shoe from Jack Wolfskin is leaning more towards a hiking boot than a shoe. However, if you want strong ankle support but you don't want the restriction of a boot, this is a great choice. They are extremely comfy and with their breathable lining, they will keep your feet feeling fresh even on long walks. The sturdy boot-like sole on these walking shoes makes them ideal for walking and trekking across uneven terrain and you won’t even need to break these in like you would with a full boot. These shoes are known to come up quite big, so make sure you check the size guide for Jack Wolfskin and be prepared to drop a size if needs be.  

5. Sketchers Go Walk 4-Pursuit Trainers

A slip on walking shoe that feels like you’re walking on air

Specifications
Best for: Comfort
Material: Synthetic
Waterproof: No
Reasons to buy
+Lots of colours+Easy to put on 
Reasons to avoid
-Not as supportive as others 

If you find lace-up shoes too restrictive on your feet and you are not planning on walking across muddy fields any time soon, then these slip-on Sketchers could be the answer. Although not designed for extreme trails, if you like to go walking along the beach or other flat routes, these shoes are incredibly comfortable making them perfect for everyday gentle walks. Those with injuries or weak ankles may find they need more support than these can offer, but in general the unbelievably spongy soles in these walking shoes are second to none. Putting these on is like wearing a pair of slippers and they have the added choice of a huge array of colours but you won't want to walk though puddles in them.

6. Women's UA Charged Push Training Shoes

A vibrant shoe for trails and training

Specifications
Best for: Versatility
Material: Synthetic
Waterproof: No
Reasons to buy
+Good grip+Bright colours
Reasons to avoid
-More of a trainer 

For a brighter, more stylish walking shoe, the UA Charged Push Training Shoes work nicely. Although not a specific walking shoe, they are a good all-rounder for working out at the gym, running or light trail walking making them a good investment. They are true to size and although not waterproof, are surprisingly durable for everyday use. You can take these trainers up muddy hills and across tricky tracks and they will perform just as well as a walking specific shoe. If you are looking for an attractive leisurely shoe that you can wear for more than one activity, these get the job done nicely.  

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