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The Best Walking Shoes For Women

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Footwear made for long walks will banish blisters and allow you to enjoy your hikes, and in many cases walking shoes are more suitable than boots. Shoes are lighter and often more comfortable, and they’re great for warmer weather when a full boot can make your feet feel a bit too toasty. Walking shoes are also more versatile – they’re great to take on a city break – and are generally cheaper than boots. A decent pair is still a substantial investment, however, and should last you a long time, so it’s well worth understanding your options. Our buyer’s guide should help.


Walking Shoes Buyer’s Guide

The most important thing by far is fit, so try them on before committing, ideally at a shop which offers a footwear fitting service. At the very least make sure you can easily return pairs bought online. If you can, walk up and down an incline with them – good stores will have a ramp – checking that your heels don’t slip on the way up and your toes don’t bump against the end of the shoes on the way down.

Choosing between a leather and synthetic upper may seem like a major decision to get right, but don’t sweat it too much. Neither is a factor in the level of waterproofing, because both types will rely on a waterproof membrane to achieve that. Both should be comfortable out of the box, although you can expect leather ones to improve the more you wear them. Synthetic uppers are usually lighter than leather ones, but they may not last quite as long.

The Best Walking Shoes For Women

Scarpa Cyrus GTX WMN

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What better place to start than a pair of brown nubuck leather shoes? While these aren’t the best picks for adventurous walks, the Gore-Tex waterproof lining means they’re far from just a fair-weather pair – and they’re cushioned and supportive enough to keep you comfortable along trails.

Buy from Scarpa (opens in new tab) | £145


Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator

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Merrell has a great reputation for out-of-the-box comfort, and with its reasonably generous toe box this shoe suits a variety of foot shapes. The upper is a mix of suede and a ventilating synthetic mesh, and with the lack of waterproof membrane it’s a good option for walking when it’s hot. Costing less than £100 doesn’t hurt either.

Buy from Merrell (opens in new tab) | £90


Inov-8 Roclite G 315 GTX

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If you like to move fast, this shoe is a great option. It’s from the same family as the trail-running Roclite G 275 (opens in new tab), which has been worn when setting several long-distance running records. This fast hiking version adds a Gore-Tex membrane, but retains the graphene sole for unrivalled traction over varied terrain.

Buy Roclite G 315 GTX (opens in new tab) | £145


Meindl Activo GTX Walking Shoe

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The Activo comes from the Comfort-Fit range, which caters to walkers with wider feet. With more room for movement at the front of the shoe and a two-zone lace system, it’s well suited to casual walkers who value comfort. It doesn’t neglect the other essential features for walkers, though: it has a Gore-Tex membrane and a sole that can happily find grip on trails.

Buy from Ellis Brigham (opens in new tab) | £152.50


Lowa Renegade GTX Lo WS

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The nubuck leather upper on the Renegade should mould to your foot over time for a supremely comfortable fit, and the Gore-Tex membrane will keep your feet dry too. The Vibram sole offers a combination of support and the right amount of flex. There’s a wider-than-usual size range as well, spanning UK 2.5 to 10.

Buy from Lowa (opens in new tab) | £165


La Sportiva TX Guide

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This pair takes plenty of cues from climbing shoes, from the protective rand to the asymmetric lacing for a secure fit. The sole is constructed from dual compounds to give a climbing zone at the toe and more pronounced lugs at the heel, so the shoe is great for scrambling over rocky terrain but fares well in the mud too. It features a tough, abrasion-resistant upper and the tongue is constructed to help keep debris out of the shoe. It all adds up to a great all-round shoe for walking in the hills and mountains, although it’s worth noting there is no waterproof membrane. The fit is a bit narrower than other brands, too.

Buy from La Sportiva (opens in new tab) | £145

Vikki Hughes (opens in new tab) is a full-time mountain leader and outdoor activity instructor, and covers outdoor and hiking kit for Coach. She also spends a lot of her free time outdoors, so has plenty of opportunity to put gear through its paces.