Best women's walking shoes 2022: comfy, sturdy, versatile footwear

We review the best walking shoes for women, from Merrell, Scarpa, Salomon and more

best women's walking shoes: Woman walking up a grassy incline wearing Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX
(Image credit: Salomon)

The best women's walking shoes are for more than just walking; they can be an incredibly versatile footwear option. A pair of walking shoes is ideal for taking the dog out or going for a stroll in the countryside, but it's also just the thing for any activity that means you're going to be on your feet for a long time. We've reviewed a wide range of options from leading brands to put together this guide to the best women's walking shoes you can buy today (and yes, of course we have a guide to the best men's walking shoes as well).

As far as we're concerned, the best women's walking shoes at the moment are the Salomon Women’s X Ultra 4. They're fantastic all-round shoes that provide plenty of support, with chunky sole lugs bringing all the grip you need and a Gore-Tex lining keeping things nice and dry. We found them to be comfortable straight out of the box, but it wouldn't hurt to ease yourself into them with the help of a pair of the best walking socks to help prevent blisters

The benefit of a good pair of hiking or walking shoes is that they're typically lightweight, offer freedom and flexibility, and won't look out of place going for a coffee. If you are taking on a tougher walk or heading up any mountains, you should probably opt for a pair of the best women’s hiking boots, or even some approach shoes for climbing/walking style trails, though. At the other end of the scale, if it's mild weather and flat routes, you could try a pair of the best walking sandals.

The best women's walking shoes 2022, reviewed

Lowa Innox Pro GTX Lo Hiking ShoeT3 Best Buy badge

(Image credit: Sian Lewis)
The best women's walking shoe for most people

Specifications

Upper: fabric, synthetic
Sole: Lowa Multi Trac
Waterproof technology: Gore-Tex
Weight: 325g

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and comfortable
+
Vegan-friendly

Reasons to avoid

-
Quite pricy
-
Limited grip

If comfort's your top priority when you're shopping for walking shoes, the Lowa Innox Pro GTX Lo should be high on your list. These lightweight walking shoes are super-comfortable right out of the box, with deep, cushioned inner soles that feel like they mould instantly to your foot as soon as you put them on. They also feature breathable Gore-Tex waterproofing, making them shoes that you can happily wear all day, even if the weather's on the turn.

They're great all-rounders, however the grip's a little limited, which means that they're better suited to established trails than rough mountain terrain. If you're planning to spend plenty of time on groomed trails throughout the summer months and into the autumn, you won't go far wrong with these. Find out more in our Lowa Innox Pro GTX Lo hiking shoe review.

Salomon Women's X Ultra 4 reviewT3 Award Winner sponsored by Wiggle

(Image credit: Aoife Glass)
A lightweight yet rugged women's walking shoe

Specifications

Upper: Textile / synthetic
Sole: Rubber
Waterproof technology: Gore-Tex
Weight: 390g

Reasons to buy

+
Superb grip in all conditions
+
Firm, supportive sole
+
Lightweight yet rugged

Reasons to avoid

-
Tongue can shift during wear

The Salomon X Ultra 4 are supremely comfortable to wear thanks to a softer ankle and heel cuff, they're waterproof and, despite their lightweight build, impressively rugged. The firm rubber sole delivers fantastic grip on just about any surface, and a mesh layer means you won't find stones and other debris making their way in. The quicklace system is nice and easy to use, although depending on foot shape you might find the tongue shifts around a bit in wear. If you're looking for a reliable and comfortable shoe that'll see you through walks in any season, you'll have a tough time beating these. Head to our Salomon Women's X Ultra 4 walking shoe review for more info. 

Inov-8 Roclite 315 GTX women's walking shoe in black with aquamarine detailsT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Inov-8 )
These supremely grippy shoes are perfect for fast and light hikes

Specifications

Upper: X-PROTEC synthetic
Sole: Rubber
Waterproof technology: Gore-Tex
Weight: 315g / 10.67oz

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and flexible 
+
Big lugs give excellent grip

Reasons to avoid

-
Laces are a bit fiddly

The Inov-8 Roclite 315 was already an impressive and flexible shoe, aimed at trail runners but also brilliant for walking. Lightweight and with plenty of grip, the latest version adds a Gore-Tex membrane to stop water getting in and making it an even more versatile choice. The Gore-Tex prevents water from getting in through the sides, however you wouldn't want to submerge it completely. The inner incorporates a Powerflow midsole, designed to deliver 10 per cent better shock absorption than standard midsole units to give a smoother walking experience overall. There's also padding to cushions and hold the heel in place and help the shoe move with the foot to reduce the chance of rubbing.

A seriously chunky tread give these superior traction, making these perfect for anyone who feels nervous walking over trickier terrain. The large toothed lugs are spaced out enough that they won't get choked up with mud. One niggle is that the laces are finer than on other walking shoes we tested, but overall we were seriously impressed with these women's walking shoes. They offer a great balance of comfort, support and flexibility, and will help you tackle varied and unpredictable terrain with ease. Head to our Inov-8 Roclite 315 review for more info.

361 Camino WP walking trainersT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Sian Lewis)
A trainer-style all-rounder with plenty of grip

Specifications

Upper: Fabric, synthetic
Sole: Rubber
Waterproof technology: Waterproof membrane
Weight: 322g

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Good support and grip

Reasons to avoid

-
Not great for distance running
-
Water-resistant rather than waterproof

Designed to bridge the gap between walking shoes and running trainers, the 361 Camino WP is a sporty-looking option that combines the sleek look and feel of sports shoes with the sort of rugged and bouncy soles that you need when you're out walking. And while those hefty soles rule the Camino WP out for distance running, for everything else they're a great fit, especially if you're not really looking for a traditional walking shoe.

The WP in the name signifies waterproofing, and we'd take that with a little pinch of salt; we'd suggest that they're water-resistant rather than waterproof, and best suited for summer walks with maybe a risk of slight rain. You wouldn't want to rely on them to keep your feet dry in a downpour. Beside that though there's a lot to like about them; they're light and comfortable and provide an impressive amount of grip, even on challenging terrain, and they look great too. Need to know more? Our 361 Camino WP walking trainers review can fill you in on all the details.

Merrell MQM Flex 2 hiking shoe for womenT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Merrell)
The best lightweight women's walking shoes

Specifications

Upper: Vegan-friendly synthetic
Sole: Quantum Grip rubber outsole with Air Cushion and Kinetic Fit BASE insole
Waterproof technology: GORE-TEX; waterproof mesh upper
Weight: 290g

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight – excellent for long distances
+
The right blend of support and flexibility
+
Chunky lugs grip well in muddy conditions

Reasons to avoid

-
Other options offer more protection

Comfortable, practical, supportive and stylish, the Merrell MQM Flex 2 GTX is an excellent lightweight shoe provides just the right blend of stiffness and support for long hikes combined with flexibility where you need it and plenty of off-road grip. This shoe takes inspiration from trail running shoes, and Merrell has used a bonding system to integrate the Gore-Tex membrane inside, as well as TPU overlays on the outside, to remove bulk and streamline the design. As a result, they're fairly minimalist, and you do sacrifice a little in terms of support and ankle protection. 

That said, these shoes are the ones we found ourselves reaching for most out of all of those tested. Comfortable, versatile, and (if you manage to keep them mud-free) nice looking enough for urban bimbles as well as off-road adventures. We tested the men's version of these – head to our Merrell MQM Flex 2 GTX review to find out more. And to be sure you don't miss a bargain, check out our Merrell discount codes page before you buy. 

Ariat Skyline Low waterproof walking shoeT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Sian Lewis)
A smart leather walking shoe that's a versatile all-rounder

Specifications

Upper: Full-grain leather
Sole: Duratread
Waterproof technology: Waterproof membrane
Weight: 350g

Reasons to buy

+
Great quality
+
Lovely leather looks

Reasons to avoid

-
Not hugely breathable
-
Limited grip

Need a pair of shoes that'll serve you well on walking trips but which you can also wear to the office? You need Ariat's Skyline Low walking shoes; they're versatile all-rounders with reliable waterproofing and fantastic leather looks, so you can literally take them anywhere.

Their waterproof membrane will repel light rainfall but we wouldn't really want to get caught in a torrential downpour while wearing them; these are more shoes for summer adventures than all-weather expeditions. And while the grip's good on dry ground, it's not so hot on slick wet surfaces, making these shoes more suitable for country trails and paths. They're surprisingly light considering their leather construction, but you might find that they're lacking in breathability compared with fabric shoes. And while they fit true to size, we found them to be a little on the wide side; if you have narrow feet we'd recommend you try them on at before taking them out for the day. Get all the details in our Ariat Skyline Low waterproof walking shoe review.

Hoka One One Anacapa women's hiking shoeT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Hoka One One)
The best walking shoe for supreme comfort and cool styling

Specifications

Type: day hiker
Upper: leather, recycled polyester
Waterproofing: Gore-Tex
Outsole: Vibram Megagrip rubber

Reasons to buy

+
Plush, bouncy sole
+
Urban-cool styling
+
Ultra-comfy out of the box

Reasons to avoid

-
Heel unit a bit unwieldy

The design's a little out of the ordinary, but don't dismiss the Hoka One One's Anacapa Low on the basis of looks. They're super comfortable with a deep but light sole unit and a flexible and lightweight nubuck and polyester upper ensuring that they're a delight to wear straight out of the box. The brand also brings genuine trail expertise to the table, notable in the 5mm lugs and aggressive tread pattern (with Vibram Megagrip), which provide plenty of grip, and the extended heel insert locks the foot in place and provides extra cushioning around the achilles. The extended heel, while much less dramatic than you'll find on the Hoka One One Ten Nine Hike, still proves a bit cumbersome on rocky downhill stretches. Elsewhere, this shoe packs some impressive eco credentials: various elements are recycled or made from sustainable materials, which is nice to see. We tested the men's version – head to our Hoka One One Anacapa Low Gore-Tex review to find out more.

Adidas Terrex Skychaser XT walking shoeT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Aoife Glass)
Grippy, supportive and comfortable ladies' walking shoes

Specifications

Upper: Synthetic textile
Sole: Rubber
Waterproof technology: Gore-Tex
Weight: 320g

Reasons to buy

+
Superb grip
+
Supportive, comfortable grip
+
Easy and quick lace system

Reasons to avoid

-
Not available in smaller sizes 
-
Narrow cut won’t suit wider feet 
-
Quite a lot of heel lift 

If you want all-day comfort as well as plenty of grip and waterproofing for adventures in less clement conditions, the Adidas Terrex Skychaser XT shoes would be a top choice. Their Gore-Tex lining will keep the wet out, whether you're walking through damp grass or taking a short cut across a stream, while staying breathable enough to keep your feet cool when it's warmer and drier. A Continental Rubber sole with chunky, directional chevron lugs provides plenty of confidence-inspiring traction on a variety of surfaces from rocks to mud to wet grass.

User-friendly features like a wide opening tongue and quick-lace system make getting the shoes on and off nice and easy, which is particularly handy if you struggle with laces or fiddly dials. There’s even a little strap to keep the laces from flapping about and getting caught. Comfortable for long walks, we almost forgot we were wearing them (in a good way) leaving us to focus on the wonderful landscape we were walking through. Head to our full Adidas Terrex Skychaser XT hiking shoes review to find out more.

Columbia Trailstorm Waterproof Walking Shoe reviewT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Columbia)
The best budget women's walking shoe

Specifications

Upper: Synthetic textile
Sole: Synthetic/rubber
Waterproof technology: Columbia Omni-Tech membrane
Weight: 269g

Reasons to buy

+
Good grip on wet, muddy ground 
+
Comfortable and supportive for prolonged use 
+
Effective waterproofing keeps feet dry

Reasons to avoid

-
Not very breathable
-
Feels hot in hot weather 

The Columbia Trailstorm is a reasonably-priced option if you're after a waterproof women’s walking shoe suitable for hikes and walks in transitional seasons. Its Techlite midsole offers an impressive blend of cushioning, stability and comfort and the upper is supportive without adding pressure-hot spots. The ghillie-style laces and Columbia’s Navic Fit system keeps the foot snugly in place, with shoe and foot moving together and therefore avoiding any blister-causing friction. The only real downside is that it's a little too well padded and not very breathable, which makes for hot feet when the temperatures rise. You'll find more on the results of our testing in our Columbia Trailstorm walking shoe review (this shoe has a higher cut sibling, too, which you can find out about in our Columbia Trailstorm mid hiking boot review). 

Keen Women's Targhee II Waterproof walking ShoeT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Keen)

10. Keen Women's Targhee II Waterproof Shoe

The best women's walking shoes for wide feet or insoles

Specifications

Upper: Waterproof leather and performance mesh
Sole: All-terrain rubber
Waterproof technology: Natural leather and waterproof membrane
Weight: 357.2g / 12.6oz

Reasons to buy

+
Great for broader feet
+
Effective waterproofing keeps feet dry

Reasons to avoid

-
Not super stylish in terms of looks
-
Deep fit might not suit walkers with low ankles

Based on one of Keen's most popular walking boots, the Targhee III is a walking shoe that delivers durability and and performance in all manner of conditions. It has a deep, wide fit, making it a great choice for anyone with broad feet or who uses insoles or orthotics (however if your ankles sit low you might find that the shoes rub a bit). Speed hook lacing allows you to secure the upper nicely around the midsection of the foot while a wide toe box gives toes a nice amount of wiggle room. The rubber outsole has a decent tread which offers good grip in wet conditions, and a dual-density EVA foam footbed takes the force out of foot strikes keeping feet feeling fresh and warding off fatigue.

Scarpa Moraine GTX women's walking shoe in grey and sage greenT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Scarpa )

11. Scarpa Moraine GTX WMN shoes

A nubuck leather trail shoe that's sturdy and comfortable

Specifications

Upper: Water-resistant nubuck, synthetic padding
Sole: Vibram Dynatech 3 rubber
Waterproof technology: GORE-TEX
Weight: 390g

Reasons to buy

+
Sturdy and comfortable
+
Vibram sole adds comfort  
+
Sturdy construction for long-lasting performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Hot in warm weather

The Moraine GTX is a traditionally-styled trail walking shoe, combining a rugged nubuck leather upper with a relatively stiff vibration-absorbing sole. The sole has a stiffness more akin to walking boots which has multiple benefits for hikes that take you either long distances, over very rough ground, or both. The stiffness provides support for the foot, and when combined with the VIBRAM Dynatech 3 compound in the sole and the EVA midsole, you get a shoe that will keep your feet protected from repeated hard ground strikes, both by dissipating and absorbing the forces and by cushioning the foot itself. 

A GORE-TEX membrane provides a breathable, waterproof layer that helps keep feet dry both in terms of water getting in from puddles and rain, and from the inside out: in warm weather, sweat wicks away well. This is good, because the support and padding means that these shoes do feel hot in warm weather. Having a nubuck outer means it's worth taking the time to give these shoes a protective treatment before taking them out in the mud, as this means it'll be easier to get the crud off them afterwards. It's a bit of extra work at the start but it'll keep these shoes going for a good long time. While the Moraine GTX might not have the modern looks and materials of other trail walking shoes on the market, the quality of construction and materials used means these will last and last and last, with the right level of TLC. 

Peter Storm Women's Grizedale Waterproof Shoes in brown leatherT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Peter Storm)

12. Peter Storm Women's Grizedale Waterproof Shoes

The best inexpensive women's walking shoes

Specifications

Upper: Leather with mesh liner
Sole: Vibram rubber
Waterproof technology: Waterproof membrane, natural leather
Weight: Not stated

Reasons to buy

+
Great value for money
+
Waterproof

Reasons to avoid

-
Will need regular care

If price is a concern for you, the Peter Storm Grizedale is excellent value for money without compromising on performance and comfort. It has a naturally waterproof leather outer combined with a breathable waterproof inner membrane, and while this shoe wouldn't look out of place in town, it's also ideal for dog walking or wet winter rambles. rubber outsole with Vibram combined with a shock-absorbing PU midsole and comfy insole make these both comfortable for long walks and short in a range of conditions, with excellent traction. 

Merrell Moab Speed GORE-TEX women's walking shoe in shades of blueT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Merrell)
A more eco-friendly option for fast, light hikes

Specifications

Upper: Synthetic textile with recycled foam
Sole: Rubber and recycled rubber
Waterproof technology: Gore-Tex
Weight: 300g

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and stylish
+
Gore-Tex membrane keeps feet dry
+
Recycled laces, lining and footbed

Reasons to avoid

-
A lot of heel lift and movement in the shoe

The Merrell Moab Speed GTX isn't a perfect hiking and walking shoe for women; we experienced a little too much heel-lift for our liking and found the sizing to be a little on the large side (we'd suggest going down a half-size). Beyond these niggles, though, this a great all-round shoe with strong environmental credentials thanks to its used of recycled materials. The shoe combines lightweight, a waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex lining, plenty of out-sole grip thanks to rubber and a chunky lug design, and a fit that keeps feeling fresh on long walks and rough terrain, though they’re equally comfortable for the daily dog walk. Head to our Merrell Moab Speed GTX walking shoe review to find out more.

Arc'teryx Aerios FL GTX Shoe W in bronze with grey-blue soleT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Arc'teryx)

14. Arc'teryx Aerios FL GTX Shoe W

This T3 Awards winner will keep you moving fast and light on day hikes

Specifications

Upper: Cordura mesh, TPU high abrasion protection films
Sole: Vibram Megagrip
Waterproof technology: Gore-Tex
Weight: 320g / 11.3oz

Reasons to buy

+
Great stability
+
Super-comfortable
+
Waterproof

Reasons to avoid

-
Some say they size up small

Suitable for everything from walking the dog to tackling mountain trails, Gore-Tex-infused Arc'teryx Aerios FL GTX Shoe will let you do it all in style and comfort. It's waterproof and breathable, enabling you to stay warm and dry in any conditions and seeing off wind chill at the same time. Inspired by long-distance trail running shoes, the Aerios FL GTX is a joy to put on and built to reduce foot fatigue and boost energy return, so you’ll feel like you can go harder for longer on the trail.

There's a Vibram Megagrip outsole to help you dig into uneven terrain, and we felt secure and sure-footed through a range of outdoors walking scenarios. We had zero break-in time, and found the shoes to be super-comfy during longer day hikes. They also look great with jeans and chinos, so could easily slip into your day-to-day wardrobe when off-duty. 

Lowa Women's Sirkos GTX shoes for womenT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Lowa)

15. Lowa Women's Sirkos GTX shoes

A stylish pair of shoes suited to a wide range of walks

Specifications

Upper: Suede, Cordura
Sole: Lowa Cross II rubber
Waterproof technology: Gore-Tex
Weight: Not stated

Reasons to buy

+
Great waterproofing keeps feet dry in wet conditions
+
Very comfortable
+
Understated styling

Reasons to avoid

-
One of the heavier pairs on test

A versatile walking shoe with smart looks that makes it a great choice for urban walks as well as hilltop rambles. The GORE-TEX lining keeps feet dry, and the blend of suede and cordura in the upper offers plenty of support as well as great temperature regulation - warm in cold conditions and not too hot in warm weather. Lowa's ‘Monowrap' construction in the upper is designed to cradle the foot and add protection where it's needed which, in combination with the PU foam sole insert makes for a very comfy shoe. The ‘cross II' rubber sole with a decent depth of lug makes this shoe suitable for a wide range of rambling activities.  

ON Cloudventure Waterproof walking shoe for womenT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: ON Running)
The best women's shoes for run-walks colder conditions

Specifications

Material: Synthetic mesh
Sole: Missiongrip outsole
Waterproof technology: ON waterproof membrane
Weight: 245g / 8.64oz

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek styling 
+
Good grip on the soles in a range of conditions
+
Waterproof layer is effective

Reasons to avoid

-
Not that breathable

The On Cloudventure Waterproof shoes are officially trail running shoes, but there are plenty of features that make make these a great choice for hiking, too. First up, the lugs are well cushioned, to provide comfort and absorb impact on rough terrain. There's also a reinforced core to support the foot, which makes these stiffer than many running shoes, and should help stop your feet from fatiguing quickly on longer hikes.

A combination of chunky and finer tread ensures excellent grip, even on slick surfaces, and the ON waterproof membrane will keep your feet nice and dry when it's damp underfoot. ON Running says they're good in the snow, and although we couldn't test that, we'd say these are particularly well suited to colder conditions, because they do keep your feet warmer than other walking shoes on this list. One final thing to note is that we found these sized up a little small – we had to go up a half size for the perfect fit. Head to our On Cloudventure Waterproof shoe review for more info.

Merrell Choprock women's walking shoeT3 Approved badge

(Image credit: Merrell)

17. Merrell Choprock Sieve Shoes

The best women's shoe for watersports and more

Specifications

Upper: Synthetic mesh and webbing
Sole: Vibram Megagrip
Waterproof technology: Not waterproof, but Hydramorph channels to evacuate water
Weight: 276g

Reasons to buy

+
Vibram Megagrip soles
+
Breathable and fast-drying
+
Adjustable fit

Reasons to avoid

-
Not waterproof

Taking performance cues from trail running shoes, the Merrell Choprock Sieve dish out impressive grip via a Vibram Megagrip sole, high levels of support and welcome breathability. They're the perfect walking shoes for those days on the trail where you need to move fast and light. We've worn them on rocky trails slick with rain water and moss and the Choprock held their ground, keeping us upright without any issue. Sling them on and you'll be able to customise the fit a little via Merrell's integrated webbing loops. Toes are protected too, courtesy of a rubber toe bumper.

They're not waterproof, but instead are designed with channels to direct water out of the shoe quickly and 'water-friendly' materials that dry fast – although for proper amphibious footwear, you should head to our best water shoes guide. These women's walking shoes are a bargain price and regularly on sale, so definitely ones to pick up for year-round walking and hiking comfort.

How to choose the best women's walking shoes

When it comes to walking footwear, you can find everything from trail-ready trainers to shandals – perfect for hot weather hikes – to waterproof shoes that will get you across rain-soaked moors in comfort and safety. The deciding factors should be what type of terrain are you going to be using these shoes for predominantly, and what type of hiking or walking you want to do. For longer distances, rough ground, mountainous terrain and if you need good support for your feet, then choose a more traditional approach or hiking shoe. These will typically have a stiffer sole, a supportive upper made from leather or synthetic material, and insulation and cushioning to keep the foot comfortable and warm. 

If you prefer something more akin to an off-road trainer, want something that can grip well in slick conditions, is light and breathable and/or allows a more flexible foot movement, a trail shoe with flexible sole, lightweight synthetic and quick drying upper and technical features should be your port of call. These are best suited to shorter and/or faster walks, scrambles and even trail runs, and don’t offer a lot of impact protection on rough ground. There is usually a compromise to be made depending on your priorities, but we’ve tested shoes that cover the spectrum of products on offer and bring you the best choices with the best all-round performance. 

What features should I look for in walking shoes?

There is so much choice when it comes to walking shoes, and the avid rambler will be able to find something perfectly suited to their needs, whether you prefer lightweight, trainer-style shoes for scrambling, walking and running or wants something more traditional with a sturdy upper and stiff, supportive sole. 

The key features to look for when you’re deciding what shoe to go for are: 

Sole
Look for a sole that suits the type of walking and terrain you prefer. At one end of the spectrum you have shoes with flexible soles that allow you to move quickly across trails, though these can cause fatigue to the feet as there’s not a lot of support. For longer walks or hikes on rougher terrain, choose a shoe that has a stiffer, more supportive sole but a degree of flex at the forefoot. 

Upper
Walking shoes have uppers designed to suit all conditions, from water-resistant and supportive leather through to quick-drying and super-light technical synthetic material. Look for waterproof membranes such as GORE-TEX which help keep your feet dry no matter the season

Tread
If you’ll be doing a lot of walking on grassy, muddy or boggy terrain and are concerned about traction and grip, then choose a pair of walking shoes that have deep, chunky lugs. These will dig into the ground and provide plenty of grip so you can be confident you won’t slip over. If you’re planning routes that are more based around rocky or paved paths, opt for something with a shallower tread. 

Tongue and collar construction
There are few things worse than getting your shoes nice and comfy only to have to take them off to remove assorted pebbles and grit that has worked its way inside. If you’ll be walking where there will be loose material, opt for a shoe that has a ‘bellows’ tongue, which means it’s joined to the rest of the upper shoe with additional fabric as this stops debris ingress while you’re walking. 

Best women's walking shoes: a woman sits on a rock overlooking a canyon

Do I need walking shoes or something more robust?

Technology, materials and innovation have developed so much that walking shoes are a viable option for everything from urban rambles to mountain missions. While the design means they don’t have the same level of ankle support as a boot, they are no less feature-packed, with premium waterproof membranes, quality construction, soles that are suited to rough mountain terrain or moving fast and confidently over wet ground and any other type of use you can think of. If you’re not sure whether to go for walking shoes or hiking boots, check out our walking boots vs walking shoes guide, which runs you through the key differences between these types of footwear, to help you decide. 

Sian Lewis is an award-winning travel and outdoors writer, author and influencer. She's the author of popular blog and book The Girl Outdoors, and when

she isn't writing or travelling she spends most of her time hiking, cycling and wild swimming across Britain, testing out the latest adventure gear and clothing as she goes.

With contributions from