Skechers is a popular shoe brand known by everyone who doesn't like to sacrifice comfort when looking for walking shoes. Although their footwear might not win any style awards, they always deliver when it comes to functionality. They live up to their hype and cater to those who spend a lot of time on their feet thanks to their cushioned midsoles, comfortable soft insoles, and affordable price tags. If you ask women who wear their shoes, they'll tell you that nobody manufactures more comfortable walking shoes than Skechers. Except maybe Vessi.
When it comes to footwear brands that are known for their walking shoe division, Sketchers is at the top of the podium with a product family featuring many different materials, designs, and models. Their walking shoes are part of the Skechers Go Walk collection, which includes various Fe Sub-Ranges that all champion their own styles, colors, and designs.
Skechers' walking footwear offers various features that boost your overall look while maintaining unique functionality, such as steel toes and waterproofing capabilities. Their walking footwear is also slip-resistant, guaranteeing that they are very comfortable for wearing all day without causing slips or falls. Additionally, most Skechers walking shoes feature a thick, rugged rubber outsole that maximizes durability and traction, making them ideal for walking on most terrains.
Pros of Skechers Walking Shoes for Women
- Lightweight, flexible and comfortable
- High durability
- Shock-absorbing abilities
- Air-Cooled Goga Mat insole system
- Max Cushioning Elite Technology
- They flex and stabilize your foot when walking, protecting your heel area
- High rebound Ultra Pillars technology
- Breathable mesh upper
- Padded tongue and collar
- Ultra Go cushioning heel panel overlays
- An impressive and super-light 5Gen cushioning system
- Relaxed fit, offering excellent support and stability
- Most of the ranges are easy to slip on and off
- Excellent traction thanks to the rubber outsole
Cons of Skechers Walking Shoes for Women
- Most of their Go walk shoes lack narrow sizes
Best Alternative to Skechers Walking Shoes for Women: Vessi
Vessi is a Canadian brand created by three Vancouverites who were desperate for footwear that would keep their feet and socks dry year-round. Their solution to this? Vessi shoes that are 100% waterproof, windproof, slush proof, and sand proof. Vessi's impressive waterproof ability comes from their patented technology called Dyma-Tex. As a dual-climate material, Dyma-Tex keeps your feet cool and sweat-free in the summer, and warm in the winter, all while keeping water out year-round. The Vessi brand came up with three different shoe styles with basic features, each collection being 100% waterproof, while still having its own unique strengths.
These shoes make perfect alternatives to Skechers walking shoes, most notably thanks to their 100% waterproof knit uppers. The Dyma-Tex membrane is woven with pores that are large enough to allow sweat and heat to pass through, but small enough to prevent larger molecules like water from entering your Vessi walking shoes.
Vessi shoes offer relatively low support in the arch area as they're designed for casual walking, but their insoles are removeable, allowing customers who wear custom orthotics to also enjoy the comfort of Vessis. The three Vessi collections are all perfect for casual and lightly active use, and will also pair well with the majority of your closet. They're also eco-friendly and are doing their part to reduce the carbon footprint of the footwear industry by creating each pair with less water, energy, and material waste than standard manufacturing processes. Below is a detailed review of the three Vessi walking shoes for women.
If you're looking for a pair of lightweight, athletic-looking shoes that are perfect for all-weather walking, everyday casual wear and adventuring, your search is over! Vessi Everyday Sneakers are perfect for women looking to have one pair of shoes for all of their needs. The Everyday Sneakers feature Vessi's infamous waterproof membrane known as Dyma-Tex, which ensures the shoes are breathable, keeping your feet cool and dry in the summer by releasing heat or moisture. In addition, this ideal walking shoe for women features slip-resistant bottoms to deliver better traction and ensure you stay comfortable and safe. The Vessi Everyday walking shoes get bonus points for including the Vancouver skyline on the bottoms. Nice touch!
These Vessi sneakers feature a supportive synthetic lace-up system and have good traction, thanks to the herringbone pattern on the bottom of the shoes. This quality footwear option also features classic knit uppers with a vegan, synthetic suede lace cage, ensuring your feet are optimally supported no matter how much you walk.
While Vessi's Everyday Sneakers are not a fully-submergible water shoe, they were designed with tight, stretchy ankle openings to create a seal that keeps splashing water out. This allows you to confidently walk through a puddle or body of water, knowing drops of water will stay out. If any water should sneak in through the ankle, you can leave them to air-dry overnight. The ankle openings on the Everyday Sneakers start off tight, but rest assured they loosen up quite nicely.
- 100% waterproof, 100% vegan
- Removable insoles
- Suitable to be worn daily
- The sneakers have a slip-resistant bottom
- EVA cushioned midsoles
- A lightweight, minimal-looking pair of women's walking shoes
- Unique skyline design on the outsoles
- Flared out outsole for extra support
- The ankle openings can feel tight at first and must be worn to stretch out
Vessi Weekend Sneakers are another top alternative to the Skechers walking shoes for women. Despite having less of a minimal look than the rest of the footwear in the Vessi line, they have a classic and stylish sneaker design, reminiscent of shoes from the '90s. These walking shoes are suitable for weekend or everyday casual wear and, because of their increased arch support, the Weekend sneakers can be used for longer walks or standing for long hours. In addition, Vessi women's Weekend sneakers feature an EVA cushioned molded midsole for extra support, a fully rubber outsole for increased traction, increased cushioning on the insole, and a synthetic leather pull tab at the heel to slide your feet in easily.
This style also includes a wide toe box that accommodates most foot sizes with structured zone knits that offer extra stability and a more relaxed fit compared to their other styles. Additionally, with the micro air pockets from Vessi's classic Dyma-Tex knit, you are guaranteed maximum comfort and breathability for your long walks. Notably, this is the only walking shoe collection by Vessi that is machine washable, so they're quite easy to clean.
- Machine washable
- 100% waterproof and Vegan
- Slip-resistant bottom
- Lightweight and breathable
- EVA cushioned molded midsole
- Heel tab for easy wear
- Great traction and stability
- The most arch support of all Vessi styles
- Rounded toe
- Trendy style
- Best grip of Vessi's collections
- This style is truly unisex, so the Women's sizes fit big and should be sized down
Just as their name indicates, Vessi Cityscape Sneakers are perfect Skechers alternatives for women looking for walking footwear to tackle their daily activities or running errands across town. Worth noting is that the Cityscapes are Vessi's most lightweight style, with each shoe weighing as little as 6oz. This lightweight feature is thanks to the soft EVA foam midsole and minimal accents on the knit.
The Cityscapes feature Vessi's unique knit layer known as Dyma-tex that prevents water from passing through while also ensuring the walking footwear is breathable to release heat and sweat with no build up. They also have an antibacterial insole that cushions your feet, prevents bacteria growth, and maintains a fresh and clean environment on the footbed.
Thanks to a signature slip-resistant wave tread on the sole, the Vessi Cityscape Sneakers also ensure you have good grip, no matter where your adventures take you. However, it's important to remember that even slip-resistant shoes can lack grip on slippery and wet surfaces. All in all, these walking shoes are a perfect Skechers alternative and the optimal travel shoe thanks to their minimalistic design. Their soft upper can fold up quite nicely in a backpack or suitcase, taking up minimal space and being easily transported when travelling.
- They can stretch to provide a customized fit.
- 100% waterproof, 100% vegan
- They are Vessi's most lightweight shoes
- The walking shoe offers a snug, comfy sock-like feeling
- Unique knit design
- Easy to pack and carry around
- Breathable shoes
- Comfortable pair for everyday wear and running errands
- The walking footwear has minimum treads and rubber, meaning it lost grip on steep and slippery surfaces
Factors to Consider when Buying Walking Shoes for Women
1. Outsole Type
Walking shoes have different outsole types, some that are soft and lightweight, and others that are made of rubber and more rugged. For longer walking and off-road adventuring on rough terrain, a thick rubber outsole may be preferred. Rubber outsoles will also give more stability and support on uneven terrain. For everyday walking in all sorts of weather, a walking shoe with a soft, foam outsole would be best for comfort and breathability.
2. Upper Materials
When shopping for a walking shoe, you will want to ensure your pair has a soft upper material that can hug your foot and feel like an extension of your feet. The tighter the upper, the more support your foot will have, which is vital when on a walk. Depending on your location and the frequency of rain, you may wish to search for walking shoes with waterproof or water-resistant uppers. Those who like to walk through shallow bodies of water or through wet areas, not being stopped by the discomfort of wet socks, should look into walking shoes with uppers that are suitable for all weather conditions. Both Skechers and Vessi are brands that have excellent footwear options with uppers for all kinds of weather.
The best walking shoes will also feature lightweight synthetic uppers with tiny air pockets, allowing for increased breathability and comfort. When possible, buying walking shoes that are sustainably made is always a bonus and, thankfully, more brands are heading in this direction.
3. Size Variety
When checking for a walking shoe, be sure to search for brands that have multiple width options as this can improve fit and comfort, depending on your foot shape and unique needs. Additionally, check what type of footbed different walking shoes have, because some shoes may feature a soft memory foam footbed that will easily contour to the shape of your feet, giving you a custom and comfortable fit that accommodates your unique foot shape and size.
4. Flat and Flex
Your foot shape and arch level will indicate whether a flatter or raised walking shoe will work best for you. As walking shoes are designed to have flatter arch support compared to running shoes, they will naturally have less of a heel drop. When possible, search for a walking shoe with removeable insoles in case you need to use ones that provide a more custom fit. If you don't need them to be removeable, you can glue the insole to the shoe for a secured fit.
When purchasing the best walking shoe, opt for a flat and minimal style, flexible outsole, and breathable and well-constructed uppers for the best air flow and comfort. A more flexible sole will allow you to enjoy active use on a variety of terrains and will limit the impact on your heels.
Support needs for a walking shoe will vary from person to person. For example, people with low arches need to choose a walking shoe with a flatter footbed to mimic their natural arch. For people with higher arches, they will need shoes with increased arch support and cushioning so they can walk comfortably on all types of surfaces, hitting the pressure points in their foot on the proper part of the footbed.
Women who require custom arch support may also look into buying an insole with a customized fit to improve the overall support of their walking shoe.
Frequently Asked Questions about Walking Shoes for Women
1. What is the best walking shoe for women?
The best walking shoe for women has to be the Vessi Everyday Sneakers, thanks to their incredibly lightweight and highly breathable feel. They're perfect for daily casual wear, but can be dressed up for office-casual looks. Their impressive waterproof ability makes them a clear standout when it comes to walking shoes, as they allow you walking access to shallow bodies of water like creeks and streams that you may have avoided in the past. The shoes are also easy to slip on, and they also feature a unique and supportive lace-up system using vegan materials.
2. How do I choose a walking shoe?
While choosing the best walking shoe, ensure the shoe has sufficient insole support for your arches, a lightweight and breathable upper, and waterproof abilities if possible. When it comes to sizing, some brands like Vessi and Skechers may have unisex styles, which will allow women with wider feet to opt for a men's shoe instead. Men's shoes often have a wider, more relaxed fit, which can be ideal for women looking for a wider walking shoe.
When possible, be sure to try a walking shoe out at a store, or shop online with brands that offer free return and exchange options like Vessi and Skechers.