Whether you are a casual hiker, or a master of the outdoors, you will agree with us that choosing hiking boots is one of the most important aspects of buying hiking gear. Boots are your base, and they go through hell on every hike you take. What is important, though, is choosing boots that will endure everything you throw at them and still remain comfortable and give protection to your feet. Stay with us and learn how to choose the best hiking boots for women.
It is of highest importance for your feet to feel comfortable. That means that the boots should fit properly and give proper support. They should also have traction and stability, so they serve you on rugged and uneven terrains, which is most of the terrains you’ll be passing through when hiking. But, out of so many choices on the market, how do you choose the perfect fit?
Worry not, we’ve got your… feet! In this article you’ll read about what features you should consider before buying to help you choose your pair. We also have a list of our favorite products on the market that have proved their quality to many hikers out there.
Our Top Picks
|Product Name||Weight||Shaft Height||Best Use||Price|
|Hi-Tec Ohio WP||2.2 lbs.||4.75 in||Mountain climbing||Check price on Amazon|
|UA Valsetz RTS||1.5 lbs.||5.5 in||Grueling conditions||Check price on Amazon|
|Merrell Moab Mid||2 lbs.||4.5 in||Mid-intensity hiking||Check price on Amazon|
|Lowa Renegade GTX Mid||2.9 lbs.||4.75 in||Short hikes||Check price on Amazon|
|Columbia Newton||1 lb.||5.25 in||Short hikes||Check price on Amazon|
|Timberland White Ledge||1.9 lbs.||4.5 in||Snow hikes||Check price on Amazon|
|Ahnu Montara||1.8 lbs.||5 in||Long hikes||Check price on Amazon|
|Keen Targhee||1.8 lbs.||4.5 in||Backpacking in rocky terrain||Check price on Amazon|
Features to Consider Before Buying
Buying hiking boots is not an easy job, hence you need to prepare well before making a decision. To avoid being confused by the overwhelming number of choices out there, we came up with few important features to help you distinguish what is really important, and what isn’t, when choosing your hiking fit.
Hiking shoes are great for short trips and lightweight backpacking. They are, most of all, comfortable and lightweight. They are usually low-cut, lacking ankle support, but they make up by having sturdier sole and outer materials. They also have shanks running the length of the foot, offering great stability.
Hiking boots offer better stability and durability than hiking shoes, and they are little heavier than shoes. They are meant for longer trips with heavier load. The ankle shafts can vary from low cut to high cut, and stability comes from shanks that run the length of the foot. Especially hikers prone to rolled ankles, or bad knees, can benefit from hiking boots. Hiking boots are also waterproof, and good boots should be breathable too.
Mountaineering boots are the heaviest, but most durable and stable of all. They are meant for winter and high altitudes. Regarding stability, they are high cut, constructed with full shanks, stiff soles, and made of multiple layers.
You should choose your boots considering the terrain and the load you’ll be carrying. If you’re sticking to trails and shorter trips, choose lightweight low to mid-cut shoes or boots with combination of fabric/leather construction.
If you’re going off-trail, choose full-grain leather, above-ankle support, and rigid sole stability boots, because they offer increased ankle protection and stability. They should also be breathable and waterproof.
If you’re hiking on rocky terrain, you need an increased ankle protection and stability. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Best Products on Today’s Market
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.
Price: Approx. $85
Weight: 2.2 lbs.
Specific features: Leather, rubber sole, 4.75 inches shaft, 1-inch heel, versatile lacing system, moisture-wicking lining
Best use: Mountain climbing
Description: The Hi-Tec Women’s Ohio Hiking Boot is 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 of 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.
- Provides ankle support
- Made of leather and rubber sole to keep it water resistant
- Can be used for everyday wear
- Removable EVA insole and CMEVA insole
- A bit stiff on initial wear
- Too heavy for small women
- Feels so thick when worn
Related: Reduce pain and add comfort to your feet when on the hike with a Thorlo Women’s Padded Ankle Socks.
Price: Approx. $120
Weight: 1.5 lbs.
Specific features: Synthetic, water-resistant mesh, compression-molded EVA midsole
Best use: Grueling conditions
Description: These boots are amazing for hiking in the most treacherous terrain and under very bad weather conditions. That’s because the UA Women’s Valsetz RTS Boots are made of 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.
- Made with water-resistant mesh
- EVA midsole (compression molded)
- Synthetic leather material for extra durability
- Comes with ArmourGuide®, ArmourBound®, and ArmourLastic® technology
- TPU toe cap
- Common customer feedback stated that it was not water resistant
Related: Make your hiking experience more comfortable by wearing Sof Sole Airr Gel Shoe Insole. It will keep your feet free of blisters and protect it from the pain of hours of walking.
Price: Approx. $90
Weight: 2 lbs.
Specific features: Leather, Vibram sole, 4.5 inches shaft, waterproof, breathable mesh, lugged sole
Best use: Mid-intensity hiking
Description: These boots from Merrell come in different sizes in a range varying from 5 B(M) US to 11 B(M) US, 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 the Merrell Moab Mid Waterproof Boots are made of 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.
- Made of leather
- Waterproof boots to keep your feet dry
- Comes with breathable mesh for added comfort
- Vibram sole
- Most customers complain about the fit being not right (uncomfortable)
Related: Stay in fashion while hiking with the Merrell Salida Stripe Socks. These stylish socks won’t just keep you pretty, they will also protect your feet with the MerinoMax technology that manages heat and moisture while in use.
Price: Approx. $230
Weight: 2.9 lbs.
Specific features: Leather, Vibram sole, 4.75-inch shaft, 1.5-inch heel, 1-inch platform
Best use: Short hikes
Description: Lowa Boots come with an impressive offer in regards to its Women’s Renegade boots that really take the cake 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.
The 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 of 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.
- Vibram sole
- Monowrap technology for added stability
- Features a breathable climate control footbed
- Gore-Tex membrane
- Bit heavy for hiking boots
- The narrow boot design can lead to a painful all-day hike
Related: Pair your Lowa Renegade Boots with these stylish SEOULSTORY7 5Pack Multi Performance Crew Socks. These socks are moisture wicking and anti-bacterial, making them ideal for outdoor sports.
Price: Approx. $100
Weight: 1 lb.
Specific features: Leather/synthetic materials, rubber sole, 5.25 inches shaft, waterproof, triangular D-ring, clamshell lacing, Omnigrip outsole
Best use: Short hikes
Description: These 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, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boots are great because they’re made of 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 of waterproof leather so you don’t get wet if you’re stepping in puddles and the likes. 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.
- Made of synthetic leather for added durability
- Omnigrip outsole for added traction
- Very stiff and hard to break-in even after several uses
Related: Together with this product, if you have low arches especially, we recommend buying the Sof Sole Thin Fit Low Arch Insole. It is very thin, with EVA foam in the heel and the forefoot for cushioning and shock absorption.
Price: Approx. $90
Weight: 1.9 lbs.
Specific features: Leather, rubber sole, ankle-high, waterproof upper, D-ring, speed-hook lacing, moisture-transfer lining, padded tongue and collar
Best use: Snow hikes
Description: These 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 of 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.
- Ankle-high boots for added protection
- Padded tongue for added comfort
- EVA footbed
- Bulky although light
- Exterior part gets scratches easily
Related: Keep your Timberlands safe from dust and scratches when not in use. We recommend buying the Greenco Clear Foldable Shoe Storage Box for storage.
Price: Approx. $190
Weight: 1.8 pounds
Specific features: Nubuck leather, 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 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 the 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 of. 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.
- Made of Nubuck leather for extra toughness
- Waterproof upper for added protection of your feet and legs
- Speed lacing system
- eVent breathability technology
- Vibram sole
- Very stiff even after several uses
- Toe area is very narrow and can lead to toe blisters after a day of use
Related: To keep your feet protected when hiking, together with this product we recommend buying the Hi-Tec Women’s Performance Hiking Socks. They offer premium comfort fit, arch support, and smooth toe seam. They are midweight and breathable, and there’s nothing more you’d need from a pair of socks.
Price: Approx. $140
Weight: 1.8 lbs.
Specific features: Waterproof nubuck leather, rubber sole, KEEN.DRY waterproof, breathable membrane, removable dual-density EVA foam footbed, torsion stability ESS shank, compression-molded EVA foam midsole
Description: These 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 of quality nubuck leather which accounts for increased comfort and protection.
As such, the 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.
- Waterproof membrane
- Dual-density EVA foam footbed
- ESS shank
- EVA foam midsole
- Sole part is too thick
- Mesh material inside that feels like plastic
Related: For a more comfortable trek, especially if you are into a long-hiking activity, always use the TENWIN GEL Sports Insoles for Shock Absorption. They won’t just make your hike more comfortable, they will also protect your feet from absorbing too much shock.
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 in the comment section below. We wish you many happy hikes and inspiration finding a pair of shoes that can be a trusted companion for a long time.