CAMPING & HIKING

8 Best Hiking Boots for Women You Absolutely Must Consider

Hiking boots review
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

Fortunately for ladies everywhere, hiking is no longer just a male territory. Which is why you shouldn’t settle for buying guy’s wear for your feet anymore and browse the vast selection of the very best hiking boots for women.

Besides, male and female feet are pretty different even when considering basic anatomic characteristics, like the arch or the first toe. So buying a smaller sized men shoe isn’t very wise because it’s not an ergonomic choice, and you definitely need that on your hikes.

That’s why we’ll give you a short summary on how to choose the perfect boots for you, as well as discuss some items which in our opinion encompass these perfect characteristics.

The Intricacies of Women’s Boots

The main factors which affect how you pick your boots depend on:

Terrain

If you’re hiking on rocky terrain, you need an increased ankle protection and stability.

Hiking boot terrain

You also need boots with a higher platform or heel to keep you steady, plus a good sole for added grip. Look at the lacing system too, as you need something that doesn’t let your feet wiggle too much, but it’s easy to tie and secure.

Weather

Depending on where you’re going, you should factor in characteristics like water resistance and insulation. There are a lot of boots specially designed to accommodate extensive hikes in snow-filled lands, while other shoes are waterproof but only if you occasionally step in a puddle  and don’t spend hours on end walking through the wet grass for instance.

Hiking boots for women

Providing enough warmth is another good feat of boots, so take into account the type of socks you’re planning to wear too. Though some boots are moisture-wicking, they can’t face abundant perspiration caused by wearing inappropriate socks.

Materials

The best materials to consider are:

  • Leather and synthetic materials for the shaft and upper, because they’re lightweight, breathable, resistant and easy to break in.
  • Vibram and rubber for the outer sole, because they provide grip and traction without increasing the total weight.
  • Compression-molded EVA for the midsole because it absorbs shocks and allows for a cushiony feel.

Take a look at the craftsmanship  and the seams too while you’re at this department.

Brand

The brand name is very important since it gives you the peace of mind you’ve purchased a good product, and most likely a warranty that goes with it. Besides, most brands manufacture affordable boots that fit most budgets.

Waterproof hiking boots

Plus it’s advisable to invest in a sturdy pair of hiking shoes that will accompany you in many treks without hurting your feet, rather than buying cheap and low-quality boots you have to change with every hike.

Weight

Though lightweight boots are good most of the times because they don’t hinder your movements, some added weight can also be beneficial in extremely cold weather when extra insulation is required. However, most synthetic materials today will provide enough warmth by themselves, if they’re accompanied by a suitable pair of socks.

Only The Best for You

After discussing all that, you can find a great variety of items on the market that come at a great price and meet all these criteria, like the ones we’ll review below.

Hi-Tec Women’s Ohio WP Hiking Boot

Hi-Tec Women's Ohio WP Hiking Boot

Weight: 3 pounds (shipping weight)

Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4 inches

Specifications: leather; imported; rubber sole; 4.75 inches shaft; 1-inch heel; versatile lacing system; moisture-wicking lining

Best Use: mountain climbing

Description: These 4.2 stars Hi-Tec Women’s Ohio WP Hiking Boot are a great choice for gals who are looking for an extended support to their ankles. They come in different sizes, from 5 B(M) US to 9 B(M) US so you’ll definitely find the right fit. They’re made from good, resistant materials: leather and fabric for the shoe and rubber for the sole.

That’s why you’ll have a lot of support, comfort and you won’t have to be afraid of getting your feet wet if it rains. The lining absorbs moisture and doesn’t let it on your skin, while the heel is 1 inch high, meaning that if you happen to step in a puddle you won’t get wet. And you won’t hurt your soles when constantly stepping on rocks or pebbles.

They’re a bit stiff at first around the ankle and in the front, so you want to spend some time breaking them in. On the other hand, stiffness is good for added support both for your ankles and your toes if you roll/ stub them frequently. Plus, you get this added support at a fair price and at a very low weight, considering these boots feel more like sneakers.

UA Women’s Valsetz Boots

UA Women's Valsetz Boots

Weight: 15.5 ounces

Dimensions: 12.9 x 12 x 4.9 inches

Specification: synthetic; water-resistant mesh; compression-molded EVA midsole

Best Use: grueling conditions

Description: These 4.5 stars boots are amazing for hiking in the most treacherous terrain and under very bad weather conditions. That’s because UA Women’s Valsetz Boots are made from synthetic leather and textile material which also has inserted a film resistant to scrapes around the base of these shoes.

Being strong and able to withstand various damage that can easily happen during hiking, like scratches and abrasions  of various sorts is an indicator of great craftsmanship.

Likewise, the mesh is resistant to water, allowing you to hike in bad weather, rain or snow. Even if that’s the case, you’ll still be able to enjoy a pair of well fitted, lightweight boots that provide significant comfort.

In fact, some reviewers state it’s like walking on clouds or pillows, probably because they have a special compression-molded EVA material for the midsole, which softens the effect of impacts on your feet.

The various patented materials and technologies like ArmourGuide®, ArmourBound®, and ArmourLastic® are also employed to absorb the shock caused by various impacts and provide cushioning to different areas of your feet. So you can jump from trees or high grounds without fear of getting your feet or knees hurt.

Besides, you’ll get a full support of your ankle, a sturdy rubber sole that offers amazing grip without adding to the overall weight and a TPU toe cap for increased toe shielding. Basically, you’ll wrap your feet in a comfortable cocoon that provides good arch support, and lets them breathe.

Merrell Women’s Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Merrell Women's Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Weight: 29 ounces

Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 5 inches

Specifications: leather; imported; Vibram sole; 4.5 inches shaft; waterproof; breathable mesh; lugged sole

Best Use: mid-intensity hiking

Description: These 4.5 stars boots from Merrell come in different sizes in a range varying from 5 B(M) US to 11 B(M) US, and you can pick your favorite color to add a splash of style to your equipment:

  • Bungee Cord
  • Grey/ Periwinkle
  • Boulder/ Blush
  • Granite

Description: However, you should be careful when choosing your size because even though they’re very highly rated the main issue most reviewers have is that they’re not true to their size, and most people would advise you to pick a pair that’s half a size bigger.

When it comes to the materials used, you should know that Merrell Women’s Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot are made from a mixture of leather and fabric and they have a Vibram sole.

That means they’re a great option for added comfort and freshness during long hikes, whether you’re outdoor in sunny or humid/ rainy weather. Besides, the Vibram sole is amazing in regards to traction and grip, so you won’t slip accidentally.

Since it’s a mid-height boot, you’ll have plenty of support for your ankles, the waterproof mesh will keep rain and moisture out, while the mesh upper and Bellows’ tongue won’t allow any debris getting in your shoes. Besides, the toe cap, heel counter and sole perfectly absorb shock, thus adding to the overall stability and comfort.

Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot

Lowa Women's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot

Weight: 2.9 pounds (shipping weight)

Dimensions: 13 x 10 x 5 inches

Specifications: leather; imported; Vibram sole; 4.75-inch shaft; 1.5-inch heel; 1-inch platform

Best Use: short hikes

Description: Lowa Boots comes with an impressive offer in regards to its Women’s Renegade boots, that really take the cake at 4.5 stars with models that vary in size and color on an impressive spectrum.

You can pick from over 35 sizes and 10 different colors, to make sure you find the right fit both for your measurements and your style.

Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots are furthermore manufactured from great materials like nubuck leather for the upper, that will provide cushioning and protection, as well as support. The midsole is very lightweight, thanks to the Monowrap technology used, also accounting for resistance to impacts and stability.

The outsole is made from Vibram, thus making sure you get the needed traction during hiking trips.

The increased comfort is courtesy not only of materials and craftsmanship but to technology: the footbed, for instance, relies on a climate-control feature, that won’t let your feet overheat or get moist.

Thus you’ll be guarded against blisters and other injuries because your feet will be able to breathe and the shoes will absorb the moisture. Besides, the lining is also waterproof, so you’ll be able to safely hike during the rainy season too.

Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot

Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot

Weight: 16.3 ounces

Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4 inches

Specifications: leather/ synthetic materials; imported; rubber sole; 5.25 inches shaft; waterproof; triangular D-ring; clamshell lacing; Omnigrip outsole

Best Use: short hikes

Description: These 4.5 stars boots from Columbia come in a variety of sizes from 5 B(M) US to 11 B(M) US, that actually fit the vast majority of reviewers. You can also choose from a few different earth colors like shades of brown and gray, but color variety is definitely not their main advantage.

In fact, Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boots are great because they’re made from a mixture of leather and synthetic materials that increase their sturdiness, giving you a comfortable support for your ankles, soles, and feet.

In fact, they’re quite resistant to shocks and scratches of all kinds, and they’re pretty high on your feet thanks to a 5.25-inch shaft.

The rubber sole provides resistance to impacts, and the Omnigrip outsole is quite rugged and offers a lot of traction. Plus they don’t add to the weight unnecessarily, giving you a relatively lightweight product. Besides, the triangular D-ring and clamshell lacing style account for increased support and stability.

And you can even hike in bad weather because these boots are made from waterproof leather so you don’t get wet if you’re stepping in puddles and the such. Be careful not to spend too much time in them, because then their moisture-wicking abilities are drastically reduced. Also, some reviewers say they might be a bit slippery when wet, so look out for that too.

Timberland Women’s White Ledge Hiking Boot

Timberland Women's White Ledge Hiking Boot

Weight: 31 ounces

Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4 inches

Specifications: leather; imported; rubber sole; ankle-high; waterproof upper; D-ring; speed-hook lacing; moisture-transfer lining; padded tongue and collar

Best Use: snow hikes

Description: These 4.6 stars boots come in only two shades of brown, but a vast number of sizes to fit any lady out there who is interested in hiking during the cold season when it’s really snowy out. That doesn’t mean they’re not a good fit for the average sort of weather, but that they’re specially made to withstand rather extreme conditions.

That’s because Timberland Women’s White Ledge Hiking Boots come with the Timberland signature expertise in the field, great crafting and top shelf materials used. For instance, the leather they’re made from accounts for dryness, warmth, and comfort. They’re waterproof, but still, let your feet breathe thanks to the combination of polyester around  the ankle area and the tongue.

The EVA footbed is another indicator of their impact-resistant structure, as well as an increased ability to absorb moisture and allow your feet to breathe. That makes these boots very cushiony and soft, providing increased protection even through the way in which the shoes are laced.

Durable, providing traction and strong grip, the Timberland boots will never hinder your movements, as they’re made to imitate and follow the innate movements of your feet.

Ahnu Women’s Montara Boot

Ahnu Women's Montara Boot

Weight: 1.8 pounds

Dimensions: 12 x 8 x 4 inches

Specifications:  nubuck leather; imported; synthetic sole; 5 inches shaft; 1.25 inches heel; breathable and waterproof upper; rubber toe protector; speed lacing system; padded collar; eVent breathability; Vibram outsole

Best Use: long hikes

Description: These 4.6 stars boots are outstanding when it comes to long hikes you have to go on with no time to prepare. That’s because their break-in time is next to zero – just take them for a walk before your trip. And you’ll be surprised to see that Ahnu Women’s Montara Boot come in absolutely unscathed even out of the most treacherous terrains: muds, creeks, rocky ground, etc.

This ability to maintain a pristine shape and endure various conditions is due to top-notch materials, like the leather they’re made from. This is a natural material that lets your feet breathe and feel comfortable almost from the beginning, while also enduring various sort of shocks and abrasions.

The shaft is pretty high, thus adding much-needed support to your ankles. But they’re not the only ones being protected, as the synthetic sole, and the 1.25-inch high heel will take care of the soles of your feet, absorbing impacts that come in varying degrees. The rubber toe protector will prevent you hurting your feet if you happen to stomp on your toes often.

The padded color also adds to the overall comfort, but it’s breathable too since it’s made with e-Vent technology. In fact, the whole boot is breathable and waterproof, which is why you can hike when it’s raining or snowing and even cross rivers and creeks safely.

KEEN Women’s Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot

KEEN Women's Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot

Weight: 14.7 ounces

Dimensions: 14 x 10 x 6 inches

Specifications: leather; rubber sole; 4.5 inches shaft; 1.5 inches heel; 1-inch platform; breathable waterproof membrane; protective toe cap; dual-density EVA foam footbed; ESS shank; EVA foam midsole

Best Use: backpacking in rocky terrain

Description: These 4.7 stars boots can be purchased in sizes varying from 5 B(M) US to 11 B(M) US, as well as a lot of earth-like nuances with bright colors for the lacing system. But the good news is that these boots also have a short break-in period because they’re made from quality nubuck leather which accounts for increased comfort and protection.

As such, KEEN Women’s Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boots are very appropriate to be worn on rocky and rugged terrain because they have a comfortable rubber sole, and medium-sized shaft, heel, and platform that will absorb impacts and shocks.

They will protect you from bad, damp weather too because they have a breathable membrane that doesn’t let water infiltrate outside. The toe cap is great for added toe protection, as well as comfort.

The cushiony feeling you get when traveling with these boots on comes  courtesy of the EVA foam footbed and midsole, and the ESS shank which provides torsion stability. So you can be sure you won’t get any blisters because the KEEN boots fit perfectly and can hold traction beautifully. So no more hot spots, numbness, and bruises.

Be wary of the socks you’re wearing, though, because if you put on warm, heavy socks you’ll hinder the breathability and overall comfort of these boots, which would be a shame.

What Tickles You Pink?

Or better yet, choose another color because most of the boots we’ve looked at come in earth tones. But that shouldn’t matter too much, after all, comfort should always come first. Let us know which sort of boots you’re wearing on your hikes and why you love them so much. Besides, give us a shout if you’ve bought a pair that absolutely disappointed you and tell us why.

Women in hiking boots

We wish you many happy hikes and inspiration finding a pair of shoes that can be a trusted companion for a long time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

  • Jenny Simpson Smith

    In the past, Timberland have been my brand of choice for hiking boots, however, a pair I’d ordered online, didn’t arrive in time. In a mad panic, ahead of a round the world trip, I grabbed the first pair of boots, that fit, off the shelf in REI. They happened to be the Hi-Tec Ohio WP.

    Fortunately, as I didn’t have time to wear them in, they were pretty comfy right out of the box. They were a little stiff, but as someone who tends to roll her ankle at least once a year, I was somewhat grateful for this.

    The traction is excellent, they’re lightweight (feeling more like a high-top sneaker than a hiking boot), they’re reasonably stylish if that is a consideration and they live up to their waterproof claim (unlike many other pairs I’ve owned in the past).

    If you’re looking for a waterproof boot at a reasonable price, you can’t go wrong with the Ohios.

    • Dennis Owens

      Timberland is one of the best brands you can count on when it comes to hiking footwear. While my female hiker friends are often swayed away this brand due to design limitations, I always explain it to them that comfortability should be one of the primary considerations when it comes to hiking shoes because you need it more. Nowadays, there are a lot of options available than can be a great alternative to Timberland, which includes Ohios that you’ve mentioned.

  • Sophie Habron

    I wore the Timberland Ledge Hiking Boots for a little under a year on a round-the-world backpacking trip and for their relatively low/reasonable price, you’ll struggle to do much better. They fit well and are quite sturdy, though, like many pairs of hiking boots, there is a ‘break in’ period, I wore mine for a week or so before travel to soften them a little. Though they are not water proof, with leather treatment and a pair of moisture wicking socks, I’ve managed to keep my feet dry in both heavy rain and snow. A comfortable pair of hiking boots that do the job and look good too.

    • Dennis Owens

      It is essential for hiking boots to have a break in period to make sure the fit and comfort is adequate. While hiking boots provide enough support and fit, they should be tested for a few times just to make sure the feel and fit of the shoe is already adjusted to the size of your feet.

  • Sarah Roberts

    I bought Ahnu boots for the first time because the tops on my old ones started to separate from the soles. My friend had the same brand, but not the same model. She was really satisfied and recommended them to me. Another thing that made me buy them was the padding since I had problems with blisters. I haven’t worn them a lot but for now they are quite comfortable so I can wear them all day without problems. I hope they will stay like that for a long time.

    • Dennis Owens

      The main reason why I refer hiking boots like the Ahnu to my friends is because of the ample padding which effectively reduces the formation of blisters due to excessive friction. They are quite durable and I’m sure they’ll be able to catch up with lots of your hiking trips.

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