Background Several studies have reported the association between gait and global cognitive function; however, there is no study explaining the age-specific gait characteristics of older women and association between those characteristics and global cognitive function by age-specific differences and gait speed modification. The aim of this study was to examine age-specific differences in gait characteristics and global cognitive function in older women as well as identify gait domains strongly associated with global cognitive function in older women based on gait speed modification. Methods One hundred sixty-four female participants aged 65-85 years were examined. Participants were assessed for global cognitive function through the mini-mental state examination. They also performed three trials of the overground walking test along a straight 20 m walkway. Inertial measurement unit sensors with shoe-type data loggers on both the left and right outsoles were used to measure gait characteristics. Results The pace at all speeds and the variability and phase at faster speeds were altered in women aged 75 years (all pace domain parameters, p 75 years. Discussion The variability and phase domains at faster speeds were considered to identify gait changes that accompany aging. In addition, the decreases in global cognitive function are associated with increased variability and phase domains caused by changes in gait speed in older women. Conclusion Our results are considered useful for understanding age-related gait characteristics with global cognitive function in old women.