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15 best walking, running & hiking shoes for women in 2024 — tried & tested by Yahoo editors

Upgrade your shoe wardrobe in 2024 with these editor-approved shoes from lululemon, New Balance, On and more.

best women's walking shoes, best women's running shoes, best women's hiking shoes, 15 best shoes for women in 2024: Walking, running & hiking (Photos via lululemon, Brooks Running, MEC, New Balance, ASICS, Aldo, Saucony and Merrell)
15 best shoes for women in 2024: Walking, running & hiking (Photos via lululemon, Brooks Running, MEC, New Balance, ASICS, Aldo, Saucony and Merrell)

Walking is often ranked among the best and easiest forms of exercise —just 4,000 steps a day can significantly lower a person's risk of dying from any cause. While you can mosey around the block in just about anything, there are benefits to investing in a supportive and comfortable pair of shoes, especially if you're adding running and hiking to the mix.

If you're shopping for walking shoes, comfort and style might top your must-have list. For recreational and competitive runners, "heel-toe drop" and "energy-return materials" will mean something to you. And for hikers, factors like stability, weatherproofing and shock absorption will rank highly on your wish list.

Below, we've gathered the 15 best women's shoes in 2024, including those intended for walking, running and hiking, that our editors are excited about. Beyond customer reviews, we have put foot-to-pavement (and trail) for many of these shoes, so when we say they're worth your dollar, we mean it. We've included picks for everything from recreational walks to marathon training and mountain-side hikes — even a full day at Disney was included in our testing. To shop the edit and see our list of the best walking, running and hiking shoes, sneakers and boots in 2024, check out our picks below.

Best running shoes for women

If you're a fan of lululemon's other shoes — Kate Middleton's Chargefeel sneakers, for instance — the newly released Beyondfeel running shoes are not to be missed. The $198 sneakers offer maximum cushioning for a softer heel-to-toe glide. They have a flexible, high-traction outsole and a breathable mesh upper. Shop them in two colourways and both men's and women's sizes.

$198 at lululemon

When I say I run, I mean I go for a handful of runs once a quarter after watching too many TED talks about exercise and longevity. However, when those runs take place, these are the running shoes I wear. I'm a fan of almost every On shoe I have ever tried, and the Cloudmonster sneakers are no exception. They feature forward-rolling cushioning to help propel you and have a super foam insole for soft landings. They're great for recreational, everyday runners and come in men's and women's sizing and styles.

Pros
  • Maximum cushioning
  • Forward-rolling design
  • Super-soft landings
Cons
  • Can get dirty easily
  • Design is definitely for running — walkers might not enjoy the forward momentum
$220 at MEC
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$220 at Sport Chek$220 at Foot Locker

If your idea of a great running shoe involves a ton of cushioning, the Brooks Ghost Max trainer is for you. These fan-favourite running shoes deliver plenty of soft cushioning, a super-stable ride, and a rocker-like design to help propel you forward. While they're a crowd-pleaser among runners, the Ghost Max has a neutral design that absorbs impact, making it a supportive walking shoe as well.

$190 at Brooks Running

The Fresh Foam X 880v13 was designed for long runs, so they're great for marathon training, 10ks, and hours spent on the pavement. Perfect for neutral runners, they have a soft foam compound, dual-layer midsole and a jacquard mesh upper with strategic support zones and breathability.

$210 at New Balance

If you have a need for speed, reviewers recommend checking out these unisex Superblast Centennial of Speed shoes from ASICS. The shoe's responsive properties make it functional for long runs, tempo runs, and everything in between. They're super lightweight, super bouncy and super stacked for a standout running experience. 

$280 at ASICS

Best walking shoes for women

If, like me, you grew up wearing Aldo shoes, you may not remember them to be the most comfortable. However, the Aldo shoes of my adolescence are not the same Aldo shoes of my adulthood. Aldo's "Pillow Walk" soles put their money where their mouth is — they're comfortable right out of the box. The first time I wore these Mayana sneakers, I walked for several hours on end (a daring feat for brand-new shoes) and came out on the other side with no blisters or bleeding. One thing to note: they fit a bit wide, so narrow-footed folks may not share the sneaker love. 

Pros
  • No break-in period needed
  • Good traction on slippery sidewalks
  • Comfortable for all-day wear
Cons
  • Fits slightly wide
  • Comfortable but not the most supportive
$98 at Aldo

According to reviewers, the Wool Runners from Allbirds are all that and then some. The shoes have a cushioned midsole for all-day support and are machine-washable, making them great for anyone trekking to work or out on the playground with their kids. They're made from an incredibly soft and cozy superfine Merino wool material that's naturally thermoregulating. Shop them in eight colours.

$145 at Allbirds

After a solid year of use, one Yahoo Canada Style writer is a HOKA convert, pairing the brand's famous Bondi 8 sneakers with "everything" in her wardrobe. They're "super light," "functional," and "go with just about everything," she writes. Shop the brand's "hardest working" shoes in 16 colourways.

Pros
  • Extremely comfortable
  • Can be worn with a variety of outfits
  • Very lightweight
  • Well suited for light runs/exercise
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Get dirty quickly
  • Chunkier than a traditional running shoe
$200 at Hoka

One Yahoo Canada Style writer is "all about a cushioned slip-on sneaker," and these $59 walking shoes are her slip-ons of choice. They deliver the arch support "I love," and their thick soles make "miles of walking a breeze," she says. Shop them in six colours.

Pros
  • Comfortable & breathable
  • Easy on, easy off
Cons
  • Not a ton of support
  • Not weather-proof
$59 at Amazon

Saucony's Integrity Walker 3 shoes are approved by the APMA (American Podiatric Medical Association). They are designed for those who need responsive cushioning from a neutral walker—in layman's terms, they're great for everyone. You can shop them in three colours.

$150 at Saucony
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$150 at Amazon

Best hiking shoes and boots for women

I am walking the Camino de Santiago later this year and, as a result, spend a lot of my off-time researching, trying on, and walking in different hiking boots. Among those I've added to my collection are the On Cloudrock 2 boots. These waterproof hiking boots are made to withstand all types of trail conditions in all kinds of weather. They have added heel stability and a reinforced collar, delivering a secure fit and comfortable ride, whether you're on kilometre two or 12. They come in both men's and women's sizes and four colours.

Pros
  • Great for mucky weather: Waterproof & warm
  • All-day comfort: Feet won't tire
  • FlexLock lacing system is sturdy & feels high quality
Cons
  • Not as comfortable as other On shoes
  • Requires break-in time: Fabric around the ankle can rub and cause discomfort
$280 at Altitude Sports
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$280 at Sporting Life

These fan-favourite hiking boots from Arc'teryx are a top-of-the-line pick for extended hikes on technical trails. They're designed to minimize friction and seal out debris. Reviewers say they're more than worth their $230 price tag, noting the grip is "amazing" and "perfect for all conditions." 

$230 at Arc'teryx

Backed by hundreds of five-star reviews, Merrell's Moab 3 hikers regularly top the internet's lists of best hiking shoes. The shoes have a waterproof membrane that simultaneously seals out water and lets moisture escape. Famous for its out-of-the-box comfort, the Air Cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability. Shop them in four colourways and men's sizes.

$190 at Merrell

These iconic hikers are best-sellers for a reason. They feature a classic mountaineering style that's both waterproof and breathable with an all-terrain outsole. They've earned thousands of five-star reviews across the web and top marks for out-of-the-box comfort and unmatched durability. 

$160 at Columbia
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$160 at Amazon

To try the Speed Eco hiking shoes is to love them, according to Merrell reviewers. These eco-friendly hikers are comfortable right out of the box and offer a ton of grip, perfect for traversing up a mountain or down a slippery slope. Shop them in three colourways.

$150 at Merrell
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$150 at MEC

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