Every part of your routine deserves award-winning products. And ICYMI — we recently launched our first-ever Shop TODAY Travel Gear Awards, with the Shop TODAY best in beauty picks launching shortly before that. And now, Women's Health is sharing the best in footwear.
The publication announced the winners of its 2023 Women's Health Sneaker Awards and Women's Health Editor-in-Chief Liz Plosser stopped by the 3rd hour of TODAY to break down some of the top picks. Whether you need a fresh pair of kicks for summer strolls, sturdier shoes for trail hikes or you're simply looking for a reliable pair of sneakers to up your fitness game, these picks won't let you down.
From fan-favorite Hokas to a trendy platform sneaker to go with everyday outfits, keep reading to discover some of the award-winning shoes for 2023 from Women's Health. Trust us, your feet will thank you.
Women's Health Sneaker Award winners 2023
Best fashion sneaker
If you haven't noticed, "dad" shoes have been very on-trend this season, and Plosser agrees. She said the Women's Health team swears by these New Balance options for keeping their feet comfortable and cozy, no matter how many miles they walk. The brand offers unisex sizing, and they're so popular that colors and sizing are often very limited.
Best walking sneaker
Don't let the platform design fool you, Plosser says these shoes pack all the cushioning you'd expect in Dr. Scholl's shoes, making them comfortable for all-day wear. Not to mention, the platform is very on-trend with the nostalgic 90's and Y2K styles right now. You can choose from all white, black, nude and more.
Best cross-training sneaker
According to Women's Health, these are the most innovative and versatile training sneakers around because they feature a sturdy and flat sole for strength training, and flexibility for other workouts. And that's not all, these sneakers feature both a slip-on design and collapsible heel, which turns them into slides. Plossers says this design makes them a great option for traveling through airport security or the gym.
According to the brand, these shoes were made with women's anatomy in mind, meaning you can expect a narrower heel for a better fit, roomier toe space and a cushioned footbed for stability and support. Women's Health noted that sneakers were lightweight with enough flexibility during workouts, and that the shoes were stable enough for fast changes during more intense routines.
Best running sneaker
Plossner says this Hoka shoe is a Women's Health favorite and that the entire team raves about them. According to the team, they love the cushion and "responsiveness" of the shoe, which they say allows them to run without knee or foot pain. The brand says the shoes are designed with a lightweight and "resilient foam" that can help with shock absorption while running on pavement. Plus, they come in tons of bright colors to choose from, and the brand offers a men's version, too.
Best strength training sneaker
Plossner says weight training has been taking off in the fitness world among women of all ages for its benefits in bone health, the immune system and more. For beginners, she recommends these classic strength training sneakers since they have a flexible flat sole that allows you to plant your feet into the ground. According to the brand, they even feature grippy side arches to help you during rope climbing exercises. These bestselling shoes come in men's options, too.
Women's Health Sneaker Award winners 2022
Best running sneaker
These sneakers are the brand's first foray into the footwear category and were designed specifically for women — by an all-woman team. This is the first of four shoe styles the brand will launch in 2022, and it comes in several fun color ways that work for practically any workout or errand run. They account for the shape of your feet thanks to the wider forefoot and narrower heel and also help soften the impact and minimize breast movement when your feet hit the ground, according to the brand.
Best cross-training sneaker
This training shoe is customizable, meaning you can swap out the insoles and move from one type of workout to the next, all while wearing the same shoe. It includes three different insoles — one for training, one for running and one for lifting — and comes in three different colors.
Best plyo and power sneaker
For anyone who does a lot of cardio or workouts that include a lot of jumping, Women's Health says these sneakers are a winner. One Women's Health editor said that these shoes, which were recommended to her by her podiatrist, saved her from shin splints while teaching group cardio dance classes. She found that they not only absorb impact, but also help protect her feet.
Best outdoor/trail sneaker
The sluffer shoe trend continues with this pick for the outdoors. They're as stylish as your favorite puffer jacket (and are water-resistant) but have a soft, snug fit that makes them perfect for camping trips, hiking trails or backpacking. The exterior buckle is also adjustable, so you can ensure a tighter fit, if needed.
Best walking/active life sneaker
Everyone needs a simple pair of white sneakers in their wardrobe. This retro-inspired pair look clean and polished and Women's Health editors say they feel great from the moment you put them on. Reebok's classic sneaker is easy to dress up or down (and did we mention, super stylish?) and are ready for just about whatever the day brings. You can walk for miles in them, which makes them a great shoe for commuters. The comfortable sole (which Plosser says feels like an orthotic insert) also makes it great for low-impact workouts.
More Women's Health Sneaker Awards 2022 winners
This walking sneaker is a neutral pick that features a sleek leather outer and has a seal of approval from The American Podiatric Medical Association. They come in size options for extra wide, narrow, regular and wide feet, in sizes 5-12. They come in just three color ways: Grey, white and black.
This sneaker is the colorful result of a collaboration between New Balance and Staud. To match the colorful outer, the shoes also come with seven sets of interchangeable laces and feature removable insoles.
If you're looking for shoes that provide traction, this sneaker is designed to keep you steady while you move. With a cushioned footbed and "Floatride Energy" midsole (which makes for a responsive stride), they're designed to support you during several different kinds of workouts.
This sneaker is designed to grip wet and dry ground, so you can use them for both indoor and outdoor workouts as the weather gets nicer. The upper is made from a knit fabric that makes for a better fit and can help avoid blisters, according to the brand.