Women’s Health Month Feature: Best Running and Walking Shoes for Women

Authored by: Dr. Yash Mehta

The goal of a good running or walking shoe, or any shoe really, is to provide support as well as comfort for arguably two of the most important body parts, your feet. Your feet are not only vital for getting from point A to B, but they also support the weight of your whole body. It is therefore imperative to ensure you are outfitting them with the right support.

First thing’s first – get to know your feet

Our feet are just as individualized as we are and if you’re an avid walker or runner, it’s important to know if you have flat feet, a high arch or pronate – so touch base with a professional to find out. My partners at VSI Physical Therapy can provide gait assessments and even fit you for custom insoles based on your unique needs.

What is F.C.S. and why is it important?

I use the abbreviation F.C.S. Fit, Cushioning, Stability. You want to make sure you have a proper fit. Too much space and your feet are moving around in there and not properly supported. Too little and your feet are too snug, leading to perhaps bending your toes in the front or calluses. You also want good cushioning for your heels and arches. Lastly, you want good stability on both the inner and outer portions of the ankle. Too much give may change your walking mechanics and can also lead to ankle sprains.

Some of my favorite brands

There are a ton of options in running and walking shoes and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. While I can’t fit you for the best shoes for you in an article, I can share a few brands that have been tried and tested by myself, family, and my patients. I am not affiliated with any particular brand, nor financially associated. As someone with many feet issues myself, as well as a female family members and patients with various ailments, these are the recommendations I can give. Brands are listed in no particular order.

Best brands for walking/running shoes overall: Adidas, Allbirds, Asics, Brooks, Hoka, OnCloud, Orthofeet

Best walking/running shoes for women with knee pain or shin splints: Nike, HOKA

Best walking shoes for women with a wide toe box: HOKA, Orthofeet

Best walking shoes for women on their feet all day: HOKA

Best walking shoes for plus sized women: HOKA and Orthofeet

Best for Treadmill: Brooks

Best walking sandals: TEVA

Best walking shoes for travel: Adidas, Allbirds, OnClouds

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