The Best Walking Boots for Women

Vionic's Lani combat boots are our top pick.

In This Article

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Most Comfortable Women’s Boots
Courtesy of Retailer

Finding good footwear for every season is just as important as adapting your clothing so, consider a closet update with new walking boots for fall and winter. While style is always a factor, your priority should be buying boots made for comfort in cold weather and on rough terrain (as needed). And, just like any other type of walking shoe, you should look for a lightweight pair that offers cushioning and arch support, too.

After reviewing dozens of options, we chose Vionic's Lace-Up Boot as our top pick. Vionic has long been known to blend design and comfort in its podiatrist-approved footwear, and this stylish pair of boots is no exception. They offer excellent support and stability and look great with multiple outfits.

Ahead, we rounded up all our picks for the best walking boots:

Best Overall: Vionic Lani Combat Boot

Vionic Lani Combat Boot

Courtesy of Zappos

Why We Love It: Comfy, ultra-stylish, and podiatrist-approved, it’s the perfect everyday boot.

What to Consider: There’s definitely a break-in period.

Comfort is at the core of Australia-founded and California-based Vionic's footwear, as their products are designed with the latest technology in mind. But that doesn't mean their shoes are not stylish. Au contraire. Trendy looks and comfort go hand in hand in each pair of Vionic shoes and, for proof, look no further than the Lani Combat Boot.

Versatile design and a supportive, podiatrist-approved footbed marries the best of both worlds to make the perfect walking boot. Lanis come in different shades and  upper finishes, including waterproof suede and leather. With their rubber outsoles, the boots are reminiscent of classic combat shoes but Vionic has updated them with a slimmer-than-usual sole design, crafted from a super lightweight material. As a result, the silhouette is a bit rugged, but still oozes a timeless vibe that will make it your go-to with everything from a dress for date night to leggings or cropped mom jeans for a stroll in the park.

Vionic also won us over with this style's vast size and width range as well as all the small details that contribute to the boot's universal appeal and functionality. For instance, the lace-up design and the side zippers help you achieve a perfect fit every time, while the pull tabs make getting them on and off a breeze. Lastly, the contoured footbed will provide all the support you need for all-day comfort.

Price at time of publish: $170

Sizes: 5-11, medium and wide width | Material: Leather, suede | Weight per shoe: 11 ounces

Best Waterproof: Eddie Bauer Severson Moc-Toe Boots

Eddie Bauer Severson Moc-Toe Boots

Courtesy of Eddie Bauer 

Why We Love It: The upper is waterproof and breathable, keeping your feet dry and ventilated.

What to Consider: The boots don't have a side zipper.

If you need a sturdy, long-lasting, and comfortable pair of waterproof boots to brave the elements, Eddie Bauer has you covered with the brand's unisex Severson style.

While many waterproof leather shoes successfully wick away moisture by design, they tend to have inadequate ventilation, making for an unpleasant experience. Eddie Bauer solved this problem by adding a waterproof, breathable lining, so bad odors and sweaty feet are a non-issue. The seam-sealed full grain leather and gusseted tongue ensure your feet will stay dry even in a downpour, while the thick rubber outsole will keep you from slipping. Inside, an ergonomic insole with a stabilizing heel cup delivers support along the entire foot. Design-wise, the boots are a winner, too. They have a rounded toe style that people with wider feet will find extremely comfortable, and the contrast stitching certainly ups the coolness factor.

The Severson comes in three leather options, but opt for the one in copper to make a fashion statement.

Price at time of publish: $135

Sizes: 6-15.5 | Material: Waterproof leather | Weight per shoe: Not listed

Best Mid-calf: Naturalizer Domino Boots

Naturalizer Domino Boots

Courtesy of Nordstrom

Why We Love It: The classic Chelsea-inspired suede upper is water-repellent and lined with a breathable material.

What to Consider: There is no zipper.

"Cool" and "comfortable" shoes do not always go in the same sentence, but thanks to Naturalizer's Domino boots, you can have the proverbial cake and eat it, too. Feel free to wear these boots on rainy days since their suede upper is water-repellent and lined with breathable mesh to ensure good ventilation. The elastic gore side panels add an edgy vibe and ensure a perfect fit. The anatomically sculpted soles meet the foot's contours, delivering maximum comfort, while the rubber outsoles offer excellent grip on uneven and wet terrain.

The Domino boot comes in three color options, including sleek off-white, and medium or wide widths.

Price at time of publish: $160

Sizes: 6-12 | Material: Water-repellent suede, leather | Weight per shoe: Not listed

Best for Snow: Bionica Caleen Brown Suede Boots

Bionica Caleen Brown Suede Boots

Courtesy of ShopStyle

Why We Love It: The shearling lining keeps your feet warm and cozy on even the coldest winter days.

What to Consider: The side zipper doesn't go all the way up.

Taking a walk in the snow may be a calming experience, but choosing the proper footwear is not as straightforward. A snowy street can quickly turn into a slushy mess, which means the perfect pair of walking boots should be super warm, waterproof, and have anti-slip soles. Thankfully, Bionica has designed a boot that seems to have it all — plus style.

The Caleen is a knee-high boot cut from waterproof-treated suede with seam-sealed construction to ensure your feet stay dry. The inside zipper makes it easier to slip on, but the super warm shearling lining is the real star when it comes to cold weather. The removable Ortholite footbeds make these chic boots so comfortable, you may feel as though you could walk forever in them. And lastly, the stacked heel has slip-resistant lugged soles to provide grip and traction.

Price at time of publish: $266

Sizes: 6-11 | Material: Waterproof suede, rubber, authentic shearling | Weight per shoe: 19.1 ounces

Best for Travel: Olukai Hawai‘iloa Manu Hope Sneaker Boot

Olukai Hawai‘iloa Manu Hope

Courtesy of Zappos

Why We Love It: This versatile ankle boot is lightweight and made from soft nubuck leather that doesn't need any breaking in.

What to Consider: It’s not ideal for shoppers with wider feet.

Comfort and versatility are key when it comes to choosing a good pair of walking boots to wear on a trip, but you’ll want to make sure they’re compact, lightweight, and weather-resistant, too. OluKai's Hawai'iloa Manu Hope is all of the above as the company specifically made the style with travelers in mind. From the steep cobblestone streets of Lisbon to rainy London, you can wear this ankle boot everywhere and in most weather conditions.

The upper is cut from super-soft nubuck leather that will feel like a second skin the moment you slip into the boot — no break-in required. It is lined with a wool blend fabric that will keep your feet warm in the winter and well-ventilated on hot days. We've worn this boot in downpours, and it holds up great.

OluKai's footwear is especially well-suited for travel because the company uses dual-density anatomical PU footbeds that deliver maximum cushioning and support. You can even remove and wash them to clean things up after a trip.

Price at time of publish: $160

Sizes: 5-11 | Material: Water-repellent nubuck leather, EVA | Weight per shoe: 10 ounces

Best for Uneven Terrain: Sorel Explorer II Carnival Felt Boot

Sorel Explorer II Carnival Felt Boot

Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: The style features superior insulation that will keep your feet warm and dry on chilly days.

What to Consider: They reach just above the ankles, so they are not practical in snowy weather.

Rugged, abrasive terrain requires proper footwear. Whether hiking the Rocky Mountains or exploring the lava fields and black sand beaches of Iceland, this pair of Sorel boots has you covered. They have waterproof leather uppers lined with enough insulation to take on the coldest of days and keep your feet warm and cozy.

The lace closure will help you customize the fit, which is helpful if you wear the boots with an extra pair of socks or tuck your pants in them. The EVA footbed comes with all the bells and whistles that make Sorel one of our favorite footwear brands. They’re anatomically molded and covered in microfleece for an extra dose of warmth. The outsoles are designed with bumpy trails in mind, featuring textured scallops and a rubber midsection for better grip.

Price at time of publish: $130

Sizes: 5-12 | Material: Leather, rubber, microfleece | Weight per shoe: 12 ounces

Best for Wide Feet: Cariuma Therma All Camel Suede Boot

Cariuma Therma All Camel Suede

Courtesy of Cariuma

Why We Love It: This casual sneaker-inspired boot is lined with shearling for extra warmth.

What to Consider: They have laces and no side zipper.

The worst thing you can do for your feet is buy snug shoes that don't fit well but the Cariuma sneaker boot features a rounded design in the front and a wide midsection to leave more space for those with wider feet. The sporty shoe also features a rubber, slip-resistant outsole and a vegan waterproof suede upper, both perfect for rainy conditions and slushy streets. The vegan shearling lining adds warmth as the padded high tops serve as cushioning for your ankles. Finally, all Cariuma shoes come with bio-foam inserts that offer excellent foot support.

It's also worth mentioning that sustainability and social responsibility are priorities for Cariuma, so the company doesn't use any animal leathers in its footwear. Additionally, for every pair sold, the brand plants two trees in the Brazilian Amazon.

Price at time of publish: $149

Sizes: 5-13 | Material: Vegan suede, vegan shearling, rubber, recycled plastic, cotton | Weight per shoe: Not listed

Best for Hiking: Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot

Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot

Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: This style is water-resistant and provides excellent cushioning for longer treks.

What to Consider: Like most hiking boots, they will need some break in time for the leather to soften up.

Hitting the hiking trails with uncomfortable shoes can completely ruin the experience, not to mention lead to painful blisters and even injuries. Choosing the right footwear is just as important as coming prepared with the appropriate gear and clothing, especially if you're planning a day-long trek.

We chose Columbia's hiker boots as the best because of their tough and durable build. Inspired by classic mountaineering shoes, the Newton Ridge blends comfort with high-quality materials. A combination of water-resistant suede and full-grain leather makes for sturdy uppers, while the lace-up closure guarantees a good fit. The mesh lining provides ventilation and prevents excessive sweating and unpleasant odors. But it's the lightweight midsoles and omni-grip soles that transform this hiking boot into an all-terrain power player fit for any trail.

Price at time of publish: $100

Sizes: 5-12 | Material: Suede, leather | Weight per shoe: 1.1 pounds

Best Ankle: Frye Rosalia Bootie

Frye Rosalia Bootie

Courtesy of Amazon

Why We Love It: The classic silhouette is balanced by the eye-catching curved heel.

What to Consider: They have a higher price tag.

A good leather ankle boot is a wardrobe essential to wear with pretty much everything from jeans to dresses. And if you're in the market for a high-quality ankle boot that was truly made for walking, consider this podiatrist-approved Frye number.

The soft leather upper has a vintage feel, but, more importantly, it makes for an incredibly comfortable fit. The star of the show is the textured heel that only measures an inch and a half high, but adds a lot of oomph to this style (plus, check out that curved shape!). These booties also feature soft orthotic insoles that provide great shock absorption and cushioning during long walks.

Price at time of publish: $328

Sizes: 5.5-11 | Material: Leather | Weight per shoe: Not listed

Best with Heels: La Canadienne Maya Waterproof Bootie

La Canadienne Maya Waterproof Bootie

Courtesy of Zappos

Why We Love It: This super-chic option comes with memory foam insoles.

What to Consider: It's only available in black.

Comfortable doesn't mean lacking an elegant heel. Case in point? This stylish La Canadienne ankle boot, recommended by Dr. Asim Sayed, DPM, AACFAS, a Kansas-based podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon. Its 3.5-inch block heel visually elongates your silhouette while providing stability at the same time.

La Canadienne is renowned for the quality of its footwear and this pair features waterproof leather and a breathable microfiber lining. It has a classic almond-toe silhouette and a cushioned memory foam insole for extra support and all-day comfort.

The chunky lugged outsoles not only offer steadiness in wet and snowy conditions, but their lightweight platform also compensates for some of the height of the heel, upping the comfort level of these ankle boots.

Price at time of publish: $485

Sizes: 5-11 | Material: Leather, rubber | Weight per shoe: Not listed

Best Over-the-knee: Stuart Weitzman 5050 Over the Knee Boot

Stuart Weitzman 5050 Over the Knee Boot

Nordstrom

Why We Love It: The stretchy back panels ensure a perfect fit and don't constrain your movements.

What to Consider: This boot is a definite investment.

There is something incredibly sleek about a pair of over-the-knee boots. They sculpt and highlight your legs the way no other style does and provide extra coverage and warmth during the colder months so you can wear your favorite mini dress without freezing.

However, when it comes to tried-and-tested over-the-knee boots, Stuart Weitzman's 5050 is the absolute winner. A true classic, the boot was introduced in the early ‘90s and since then has reached cult status thanks to its timeless looks and comfort.

The 5050's signature half-and-half look is also its most practical feature. The stretchy back panels mean sliding into these beauties is easy as pie and the fit is always perfect. The leather fronts are cut a bit higher to cover the knees.

The round-toe silhouette works in tandem with the comfortable, almost flat soles to deliver maximum comfort. And, last but not least, this boot comes in a very large range of sizes and narrow to extra-wide widths.

Price at time of publish: $795

Sizes: 4-12 | Material: Leather, rubber | Weight per shoe: Not listed

Best Rain Boots: L.L.Bean Women's Bean Boots, 8" Gore-Tex/Thinsulate

L.L.Bean Women's Bean Boots, 8" Gore-Tex/Thinsulate

Courtesy of L.L.Bean

Why We Love It: The seam-stitched soles and waterproof leather guarantee that your feet will remain dry. 

What to Consider: These are ankle-height boots so there's no calf coverage.

Rain boots are not exactly synonymous with comfort. They are often made entirely from rubber that doesn't provide any arch support or cushioning. But not this L.L.Bean pair that has been around for more than a hundred years and is still made in the company's Maine factory.

The secret is an anatomically shaped footbed provides the stability and comfort you would normally get from a cushioned EVA footbed. And you can rest assured that these boots will hold up well in wet or slushy conditions thanks to their textured rubber chain-tread bottoms. And lastly, the waterproof, breathable Gore-tex lining and insulation layer ensures your feet will stay dry and warm regardless of the conditions Mother Nature throws at you.

Price at time of publish: $229

Sizes: 6-11; narrow, medium, and wide width | Material: Leather, rubber | Weight per shoe: Not listed

Best Chelsea Boot: Hari Mari Midland

Hari Mari Midland

Courtesy of Hari Mari

Why We Love It: The dual-density memory-foam insoles provide long-lasting comfort.

What to Consider: There are no half sizes available, and they only range from 6 to 11.

Texas-based footwear company Hari Mari started with what they describe as an “unhealthy obsession” to make the perfect flip-flops. After creating a celeb-loved pair,  they’ve moved onto perfecting the classic Chelsea boot. 

The Midland has the classic features of this footwear style—namely the elastic gores and leather pull tabs, sleek looks, and a tiny heel. But it’s what you don’t see on the outside that makes them a worthy addition to your shoe closet. The boots come with dual-density memory-foam insoles that wick away moisture and provide long-lasting arch support. The uppers' waxed suede is water-resistant, while the textured outsoles ensure grip and durability for a rainy walk around town and beyond.

Price at time of publish: $170

Sizes: 6-11 | Material: Nubuck| Weight per shoe: Not listed

Tips for Buying Walking Boots

Comfort is key

"If your boots aren't comfortable in the store, they won't be comfortable for longer walks," says Dr. Sayed. "When hiking or walking on trails, high-top shoes can help with stability, but if the terrain is even and flat, low tops are also a good option, too."

He suggests opting for styles with rounded toe designs instead of pointed since they provide more space around the toes. And, ladies, if you are searching for a boot with a high heel for walking, look for an option with a wide sole and wide heel. They provide the most support and stability, according to Dr. Sayed.

Or even better: "The higher the heel, the less stability you have when walking on uneven terrain, so platforms are preferable."

Consider your intended activity

"For activities such as walking or hiking, you want to find a shoe that is stable with a semi-rigid sole and little to no bend. This will provide grip and support, decreasing the risk of falling or twisting an ankle," suggests Dr. Sayed.

If your hiking plans involve rugged terrain, then look into footwear options with shock-absorbing footbeds and lugged outsoles for maximum grip and stability.

Think about the season and climate

Walking boots come with different materials and features. When choosing the best option for you, keep in mind the climate and weather conditions during which you'll mostly wear them.

"If your activity involves unpredictable weather and exposure to the elements, choose a more durable, waterproof option to avoid long-term discomfort," notes Dr. Sayed. "However, if your activity plans include leisurely walks on primarily flat and dry terrain, a lightweight, fabric option with rubber soles can be a more breathable, comfortable option."

And, naturally, if you're headed out to enjoy the snow, opt for water-resistant boots with a warm lining such as shearling.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do I know if a boot is good for walking before buying?

    "When trying shoes on, always make sure you bring the same socks and accessories you plan to wear with them and take some time to walk around, ideally testing out stairs and inclines if the space allows," says Dr. Sayed.


    Another important factor is ensuring the boot flexes where your toes start (usually, that's the widest part of the boot). If it breaks at a different part, your boots will lack stability and may cause blisters.

  • How should a walking boot fit?

    Dr. Sayed explains that a good boot should feel stable and secure with a little bend in the sole. 


    It’s also essential for your foot to not move inside the boot. "You should feel no discomfort or rubbing at the ankle or toes. If you want to play it safe, stick to brands and styles you are comfortable with, and you know work for you," he adds. 


    There is a myth surrounding shoes and boots that initially may feel too tight that we tend to think will stretch with time. If a boot feels tight, especially on the toes and heel, it's not the right one for you. While it's true that leather may stretch a little, your boots should feel comfortable in the store.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

For this story, T+L contributor Dobrina Zhekova used her personal experience, expert recommendations, and professional expertise to select the best-looking and most comfortable walking boots for women.

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