In this article, I’m going to walk you through our top picks for the best women’s hiking boots.
Let’s face it. There’s nothing worse than setting off for a day hiking and halfway in you get blisters or aching feet that ruin the rest of your time on the trails. If you’ve been in a miserable situation similar to this, then you know exactly what I mean.
With today’s incredible technology, there are hiking boots that boasts of new developments which increase your comfort whilst still retaining functionality and style. However, the task is being able to choose the right pair of hiking boots for you out of the many models that are available.
To help you in this crucial decision (because healthy feet are happy feet), we’ve put together a list of the 10 best women’s hiking boots as well as factors to consider and how to choose a boot that’s right for you.
- Editor’s Picks for Top 10 Women’s Hiking Boots (2023)
- Comparison Table Best Women’s Hiking Boots
- Best Women’s Hiking Boots to Buy in 2023
- 1. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
- 2. Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX
- 3. Zamberlan Vioz GTX
- 4. Oboz Sapphire Mid Waterproof
- 5. Danner Mountain 600
- 6. Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX
- 7. Salomon X
- 8. Foxelli Women’s Hiking Boots
- 9. Saucony Peregrine 12
- 10. KEEN Koven Mid
- 11. Ahnu Montara
- 12. KEEN Targhee III Mid Waterproof
- 13. Salomon Quest 4D II GTX
- 14. Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R2 Mid GTX
- 15. Oboz Bridger B-DRY
- 16. Merrell Moab 2 Mid
- 17. Salewa Alp Trainer Mid GTX
- What You Need to Know About Hiking Boots
- 4 Factors to Consider When Choosing Hiking Boots
Editor’s Picks for Top 10 Women’s Hiking Boots (2023)
Comparison Table Best Women’s Hiking Boots
Best Women’s Hiking Boots to Buy in 2023
Now that you know all the components that make up hiking boots and factors to consider when choosing a pair, you’re ready to make an informed decision about which pair is right for you and your adventures.
Here are our picks for 17 of the best lightweight and mid weight hiking boots for women.
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1. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid
Weight: 2 lbs. 19 oz
Pros: Midweight | Water-resistant | Fit | Supportive | Comfortable | Durable
Cons: Pricey | No arch support
Kicking off our list is the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid hiking boot, which is a top choice for heavy trails and cold weather. It also scores major points for durability!
A real tough hiking boot that can survive the roughest of trails, this model will take you back to the days when you could buy a solid pair of leather boots and have them last you a lifetime.
Lined with GORE-TEX with a waterproof coating, these boots are perfectly designed to ensure maximum comfort. They’re also perfect for all weather conditions. So, whether you want to be dry and warm or comfortable and breathable, on short trails or week-long hikes, these boots won’t let you down.
Our Favorite Features: This boot has it all! With all the features that you would want from a traditional hiking boot, namely stability, comfort, and durability, these hiking boots are also perfect for the style-conscious hikers as they come with 11 different color options.
2. Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX
Weight: 1 pound
Pros: Waterproof | Strong grip | Versatile | Durable
Cons: Uncomfortable on rocky terrain
The Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid GTX is one of the top choices if you’re looking for a waterproof and lightweight pair of shoes that offers customized comfort for women. These are versatile and work well for trail running or hikes, being light and agile as you traverse through terrains.
These hiking shoes are made of waterproof and breathable material, offering unique GORE-TEX protection from any weather. It also boasts a women-specific design, having softer materials around the heels and collars, along with a lower-density chassis. That way, it feels comfortable even during intense hikes.
Another notable feature is the shoes’ grip, which has Contagrip MA outsoles to grab wet, slippery, or dry terrain. It prevents slipping even under wet conditions. The only potential issue is that the shoes may not perform the best and feel the most comfortable in rockier terrains, which some users have pointed out.
But even with the minor disadvantage, these hiking shoes work excellently to keep feet snug, cool, and dry throughout a hiking trip. Many will enjoy these hiking shoes for trail runs and long hikes alike.
Our Favorite Features: We love the fact that the Salomon X Ultra 4 is lightweight, waterproof, and with a strong grip for flat and muddy terrains. At an affordable price, you have hiking shoes for trail running, hiking, or mountaineering.
3. Zamberlan Vioz GTX
Weight: 3 pounds
Pros: Long-lasting | Waterproof | Easy to clean | Flexible
Cons: Poor customer support
The Zamberlan Vioz GTX is a slightly heavier and pricier pair of hiking shoes but worth every pound and penny for its premium-quality construction. It’s made of HydroBlock full-grain leather, a trademarked material the company registered. It boasts of one of the best quality leathers that undergo a tanning process and special treatment to improve the water repellency and durability of rough terrains.
The shoes also feature a registered Vibram 3D outsole and GORE-TEX Performance Comfort membrane for added waterproof protection. The outsoles have wide lugs that are easy to clean and will provide a strong grip to prevent slipping and improve downhill braking.
In terms of comfort, the shoes also feature a ZBPK Performance Fit. The company designed the shoes to be gender-specific, providing a snug fit that wraps comfortably over the tops of feet while still leaving enough room in the toe boxes to prevent blisters.
If strength and ruggedness is your main goal, then you will be pleased with what the Zamberlan Vioz GTX offers. These are built to last and can withstand heavy use without compromising your comfort and safety.
Our Favorite Features: The Zamberlan Vioz GTX offers stellar comfort thanks to its GORE-TEX comfort membrane that combines breathability and waterproof protection. Moreover, it has a strong grip with its wide lugs, enabling you to use it regardless of the terrain.
4. Oboz Sapphire Mid Waterproof
Weight: 1 pound
Pros: Durable | Comfortable | Great traction | Breathable
Cons: Some complaints about being tight around the ankles
The Oboz Sapphire Mid boasts comfort and strength at a mid-price range. These shoes feature a unique O Fit insole and asymmetrical collar for comfort as it molds to match one’s feet for an almost-perfect fit to help with performance. The O Fit Insole is made of high-density EVA to provide arch support, stability, and shock absorption.
It will take a few days or walks to break into the shoes, but afterward, users have raved about the support and comfort without the need for custom orthodontics. At first, the shoes may hurt the ankles, but over time and after stretching the shoes, it feels more fit.
Even during long walks and strenuous hikes, the feet stay strong and without pain. Users can walk through many types of terrain regardless of the weather because of its waterproof nubuck leather and Swiftcurrent outsole. It provides waterproof protection and lug stability for ample traction wherever you go.
While lightweight, these hiking shoes protect feet from rocky grounds with the TPU chassis and ESS plate. You gain the appropriate support to lessen over flexion and slips.
Our Favorite Features: The O Fit Insole in the Oboz Sapphire Mid provides a snug, comfy fit for most feet. It also has an EVA cushioning in the midsole with an ESS plate and TPU chassis on the forefoot area to prevent blisters and bruises without compromising the shoes’ flexibility.
5. Danner Mountain 600
Weight: 1 pound
Pros: Comfortable | Great support | Excellent traction | Protective
Cons: Not much cushioning around the ankle
If you’re prioritizing comfort on any terrain, then you will love the Danner Mountain 600. These are hiking boots that come in three shades of brown to suit your style and feature two lace options for the ease of putting on or off. But what takes the cake is its OrthoLite footbeds to support your feet during intense hikes and trails.
It also features Vibram SPE midsoles for added comfort, support, and rebound. The Vibram Fuga outsoles and Megagrip compound give the shoes their self-adaptive lugs and major traction regardless of the terrain’s conditions, whether dry or wet. Moreover, it’s made with Danner Dry material, a patented feature for waterproof protection.
Even during long and strenuous hikes or trails, users’ feet remain comfortable and without any blisters or issues. Even those with high arches will appreciate the support these hiking shoes provide. There aren’t any break-in periods, and the shoes feel great off the box.
For those who plan on purchasing these shoes, it’s best to get one half a size down than your usual shoe size. The sizes run a bit bigger but that can be resolved with thick socks.
Our Favorite Features: The Danner Mountain 600 is one of the most comfortable boots on this list with its Cushioning OrthoLite footbeds and Vibram material to add support and maximum rebound.
6. Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX
Weight: 2 pounds
Pros: Excellent cushioning | Protective tow caps | Flexible | Lightweight | Breathable
Cons: Sizes run large
The Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX hiking shoes are meant for the adventurous with their incredibly strong yet superlight materials and construction. It’s designed to withstand technical hiking and trekking in remote or varied conditions, along with alpine environments.
Injected EVA midsoles offer cushioned comfort, combined with OrtoLite 3D-molded inserts for adequate cushioning, comfort, and support on rough terrains and long hikes. It also has molded rubber toe caps for added protection when encountering trail debris.
These hiking shoes are made with GORE-TEX waterproof breathable membranes so feet will stay dry during wet weather or when crossing streams and hiking on muddy terrains. Moreover, it’s designed with strong Vibram Megagrip rubber to ensure its grip and traction to prevent slips.
If you want a pair of hiking shoes that truly performs, then the Arc’teryx Acrux TR GTX hiking shoes won’t disappoint. Note that it’s recommended to order half a size smaller than you usually would as the sizes run larger.
Our Favorite Features: For the features offered, these hiking shoes are lightweight. It’s not only comfortable but incredibly supportive with the ability to keep your feet protected and blister-free along any terrain and hike duration. The shoes also perform well in alpine environments!
7. Salomon X
Weight: 1 pound
Pros: Snug fit | Ankle support | Good protection | More stability
Cons: Sizes run a bit small
The Salomon X hiking shoes get plus points for being on the comfortable side, thanks to their cushioning and protective features. It’s made with GORE-TEX waterproof and breathable liners with polyurethane-coated leather uppers so you can enjoy muddy trails and wet weather as you would with a sunny day and dry terrain.
Furthermore, these shoes are designed to contour, fitting women’s feet snugly. They may run a bit small so it’s best to order half a size up for best results. By doing so, you can get the precise and secure fit users to admire, cradling the feet and improving overall comfort. The OrthoLite sock liners help with the cushioning and heel support so you’ll have no complaints when you’re on your feet all day.
The hiking shoes also feature adequate ankle support to keep your feet comfortable and protected the entire day. It’s designed in a way that encourages stability and motion control for a more responsive ride even with the shoes’ lighter weight. There is also a Contagrip rubber for excellent traction, protecting you from slips or falls due to wet surfaces or uneven terrain.
As for protection, it has mudguards and rubber toe caps to keep your toes in good condition from rocks and roots. The seamless construction also keeps debris from entering your shoes and bothering your feet. These shoes are well worth the price for their comfort and protection on aggressive trails!
Our Favorite Features: The Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX hiking shoes are great for trail running and as a work shoe, thanks to the exemplary support it brings with the EVA midsoles and OrthoLite sock liners. It also provides strong traction and adequate cushioning to keep your feet comfortable all day long.
8. Foxelli Women’s Hiking Boots
Weight: 1 pound
Pros: Breathable | Waterproof | Durable | Premium design | Has a warranty
Cons: Some complaints of a narrow fit
The Foxelli Women’s Hiking Boots combine style and functionality, making them versatile shoes for urban leisure and the trails. It comes in different designs to choose from, with each pair coming with two more pairs of non-slip shoelaces in different colors to suit your preference.
But it isn’t only the aesthetics that make it a great hiking shoe. It’s also the comfort and protection it provides when on the trails. These shoes are lightweight and comfortable with their padded tongue and collar, offering enough cushioning around your ankle area. Moreover, there are soft foam inner soles and shock absorbing midsoles to minimize any heavy impact on the feet.
Even with its comfortable padding, you can enjoy the flexibility to navigate your way around the trails with ease. The shoes are flexible and made of breathable mesh but also feature waterproof materials so your feet stay cool and dry even when crossing streams or dealing with wet conditions.
And lastly, you get even more protection from the advanced traction and slip-proof design made for challenging terrains. You can experience better stability with fewer chances of slipping or falling, especially with its arch and ankle support.
Our Favorite Features: The Foxelli hiking boots are stylish yet functional with their breathable and waterproof features that keep your feet dry throughout the day. It offers proper support and is made of quality material made to last for miles and miles of hikes and workdays.
9. Saucony Peregrine 12
Weight: 1 pound
Pros: Lightweight | Responsive feel | Added protection | Great traction and grip
Cons: It isn’t waterproof
The Saucony Peregrine 12 are trail running shoes that offer the lightweight, flexible, and responsive features one would look for when running but the added protection made for the trails.
These shoes are made with PWRRUN cushioning for a more responsive feel, along with PWRTRAC rubber outsoles for a strong grip and traction on any terrain. It’s designed with a unique lug pattern, preventing debris from getting between and clogging the shoes.
Even if it’s lightweight to encourage speed, it doesn’t scrimp on comfort and protection. These shoes feature a rock plate that sheds moisture, keeping your feet cool and free from pain from the rocks and debris underneath.
An added plus for the eco-friendly – Saucony Peregrine 12 shoes are vegan and made of recycled upper materials. So, if you want to go trail running on a sunny day and want to be nimble, these shoes are the way to go.
Our Favorite Features: While the Saucony Peregrine 12 isn’t waterproof, we love its responsiveness and light feel, making it perfect for trail running. It’s also versatile and works as outstanding running shoes on the pavement. Combine that with flexibility and good traction, and you can run faster and more confidently even on uneven terrains.
10. KEEN Koven Mid
Weight: 2 lbs
Pros: Lightweight | Water-resistant | Breathable | Durable | Comfortable
Cons: The fit is on the small side
If you’re looking for a comfortable hiking boot, the KEEN Koven will keep your feet feeling good, dry and happy.
With a leather and breathable mesh making up the upper part, and an underfoot stability shank and EVA midsole making up the body, it’s no wonder that these boots cradle your feet during every step you take.
Additional features, such as the durable PU outsole that has multi-directional rugged lugs, also make for excellent traction on rough trails and rocky terrain.
If you’re looking for women’s hiking boots that are durable, nimble and suitable for all-season use, you’ve hit the jackpot with KEEN’s Koven model.
Our Favorite Features: We love all the supportive features of these boots, as they create comfort and stability.
11. Ahnu Montara
Weight: 1 lb. 81 oz
Pros: Lightweight | Water-resistant | Comfortable | Durable | Stylish
Cons: Potentially not as supportive as other hiking boots
The Ahnu Montara hiking boots are a favorite among female travelers, as they’re one of the most comfortable out of all women’s hiking boots.
Apart from its high comfort level, this model is also popular because it offers the benefits of a hiking shoe as well as the protection and stability of a hiking boot.
If you are undecided about whether to go for a shoe or a boot, the Ahnu Montara is your solution.
Oh, and did we mention that these boots are all-leather? Yep, not only are they sturdy and super easy to clean, they are stylish too. As they are lightweight, this particular hiking boot is ideal for traveling.
Our Favorite Features: These boots are designed to give the ultimate comfortable fit. With features such as the Vibram rubber soles, flexible dual density EVA midsoles, and Numentum technology to create stability and support in every step, you’ll be walking on clouds in these boots even on the longest of hikes.
12. KEEN Targhee III Mid Waterproof
Weight: 1 lb. 75 oz
Pros: Lightweight | Water-resistant | Supportive | Comfortable | Affordable
Cons: Not accommodating for the wider foot
As we mentioned before, aching feet are the absolute worst when you’re on a long hike, so what is the solution? Well, when you’re walking for miles on end, there’s not going to be magical footwear that completely prevents aching — but KEEN does a pretty damn good job.
The Targhee III Mid Waterproof model provides you with protection, durability, and comfort on all day trails and at a completely affordable price. Awesome, right?
What’s even better, is that these boots are completely breathable, water-resistant, and lightweight, making them perfect for backpacking and traveling while still being suitable for any hiking trail that will come your way.
It’s no wonder that KEEN Targhee III has been named the “four-wheel drive for your feet!”
Our Favorite Features: It has to be the characteristic KEEN large toe cap. This feature is what makes these boots suitable for any trail.
13. Salomon Quest 4D II GTX
Category: Light to Midweight
Weight: 2 lbs. 40 oz
Pros: Midweight | Water-resistant | Support | Stability | Comfortable
Cons: Potentially overkill for a casual hiker
A great all-around performance hiking boot, the Salomon Quest 4D II GTX is especially ideal for backpacking and fastpacking in rough terrain or sketchy conditions.
Boasting the latest design in women’s hiking boots, the Quest 4D offers function and comfort, as well as stability and support, all at a high level.
Although it is technically more towards the midweight category, these boots are often compared to running shoes due to their fit, agility, and ability to provide comfort over longer distances.
Our Favorite Features: The reason these boots are so nimble and comfortable is down to two features: the slightly raised inner heel and the lacing system.
Although it might take a few minutes to get accustomed to the slight heel, your feet will still feel incredibly comfortable hours into your hike. The lacing system is also really cool, as they have lace hooks right up around the ankle, and you’ll only have to do them up once all-day!
14. Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R2 Mid GTX
Weight: 1lb 59oz
Water resistant: Yes
Pros: Lightweight | Water resistant | Fashionable | Supportive
Cons: Run slightly large
As far as footwear goes, Adidas is an absolute powerhouse, producing practical, durable, and good-looking shoes for just about anyone. Their Terrex Swift women’s hiking boots are no exception.
Besides being exceptionally lightweight, these boots are built to last and support you on a wide variety of terrains.
Made out of synthetic materials, these boots are complimented with a GORE-TEX finish, sure to leave your feet feeling cool and dry. The midsole is made from EVA and the upper is designed to be breathable while offering maximum support.
A prime feature is that Adidas ensured that the mesh is abrasion-resistant, keeping your boots in good condition for years to come. The best part? They’re some of the nicest looking hiking boots we’ve ever seen!
Our Favorite Features: These boots are some of the lightest mid cut boots on the market, and offer great support and stability. That said, our favorite feature has to be how sleek they look!
15. Oboz Bridger B-DRY
Weight: 2 lbs.
Pros: Midweight | Water-resistant | Supportive | Great Traction | Supportive
Cons: They take some time to break in
Do you need women’s hiking boots that are water-resistant? What about a pair that offers good sole support, fit well, and have aggressive traction? Well, the Oboz Bridger B-DRY ticks all these boxes and more!
A perfect choice for both rugged and well-maintained trails, this model is suitable for backpackers and light packers alike.
Offering features such as the all-leather upper, an extra comfortable collar and a BFit Deluxe Insole that stabilizes and protects the arch, this model may be one of the stiffest hiking boots, but once broken in they are unbeatable!
Our Favorite Features: Features such as the full-length nylon shank, the EVA midsole, and hard-plastic frame make this hiking boot the perfect choice if you’re carrying a heavy load over rough terrain.
16. Merrell Moab 2 Mid
Weight: 2 lbs. 40 oz
Pros: Dependable | Waterproof | Breathable | Available in wide widths
Cons: Not much arch support
If you’re seeking a dependable, classic hiking boot, look no further than the Merrell Moab. Merrell is a world renowned active footwear company that has a reputation of making traditional, supportive, and comfortable shoes.
The upper in these boots is made from a suede leather and mesh combination, giving stability while letting sufficient air into the shoe and maintaining a traditional design. The midsole is crafted from EVA with a footbed that molds to your feet, leading to a more comfortable fit.
However, these boots really shine, thanks to the air cushion placed in the heel that absorbs shock and adds even more stability to an already rock solid boot. Plus, they are entirely waterproof, with added technology to let moisture created inside the boot out.
The Merrell Moab is a great choice if you’re looking for a pair of hiking boots to wear for many years to come.
Our Favorite Features: We love that there’s added stability and shock absorption with the air cushion, as well as the ability to get rid of moisture inside the shoe while keeping excess water out.
17. Salewa Alp Trainer Mid GTX
Weight: 1 lb 20 oz
Pros: Lightweight | Water-resistant | Good traction | Supportive | Comfortable
Cons: Lacing sometimes needs constant re-adjusting
Although an incredibly lightweight hiking boot, the Salewa Alp Trainer Mid GTX is surprisingly sturdy and suitable for the roughest of terrains. This makes it one of our top picks for the best hiking boots for traveling.
Due to its weight, this model gives you incredible grip and precision that equates to that of a hiking shoe, so if you’re into alpine and technical trails as well as standard hiking, these are your dream boots!
With super-sticky Vibram soles and a unique lacing system, these boots are at home on grassy, marshy and forested trails, whether you’re hiking in mud or snow.
An incredible model that provides stability and a comfortable fit for any sized foot, could these be more perfect?
Our Favorite Features: The Alp Trainer Mid is one of the few women’s hiking boots that offer sufficient ankle coverage, providing impressive support when hiking on a range of terrain.
What You Need to Know About Hiking Boots
While seemingly simple, there’s a lot that goes into crafting the perfect pair of hiking boots. There are many components that add to the comfort, durability, and practicality of hiking boots that set them apart from just regular walking shoes or sneakers.
While not every boot will have all of these components, it’s good to know the different key components of a good hiking boot so that you can make an informed purchase decision.
There are four main components of a hiking boot: uppers, midsoles, lowers and outsoles, as well as other parts of the boot that can contribute to their functionality.
On a hiking boot, the upper is the outside material above the rubber sole that keeps your foot protected during activity. It can be made from a ton of different materials, all varying in functionality and durability.
What kind of material your uppers are made of greatly impacts how heavy (or light) your boot is, how long it will last, the effect of water, and the airflow to your foot.
Popular materials include:
Full-grain Leather: Most backpacking boot uppers are made from this material as it’s highly durable, resistant to abrasions, and extremely water resistant.
It holds up well on rugged terrain but the downside is it’s not very breathable or lightweight, and will take a while to break in. So if your boots are made from this material, make sure you have ample time to wear them before your big trip.
Split-grain Leather: Hiking boots made from split-grain leather feature a combination of leather and nylon (or nylon mesh) which creates a more lightweight and breathable boot.
The downside of deviating from full-grain leather is that they tend to be less water and abrasion-resistant. However, they’ll cost less and keep your feet cooler on the trail.
If you’re interested in split-grain leather boots, I recommend looking for a pair that come with a waterproof liner to maximize water resistance.
Nubuck Leather: If you’re ever seen hiking boots that look like they’re made from suede, there’s a high chance they’re actually made from leather that’s been buffed until it resembles a different material.
Hiking boots made from nubuck leather are highly durable and resist water, as well as being flexible. However, like most leather boots, they will take a while to break in.
Synthetic Materials: Besides leather, hiking boots can also be made of synthetic materials like nylon and polyester, creating a comfortable, breathable and lighter boot.
Hiking boots made from synthetic materials tend to be less expensive but may not be as durable as boots made from leather.
The main purpose of the midsole is to provide cushioning for the feet and absorb shock from each step.
The midsole also greatly determines how stiff a boot is. While loose shoes may be ideal for flip flops or sandals, a stiff hiking boot is a good thing. When a hiking boot is stiff rather than malleable, it provides stability and comfort for your foot on the most uneven terrain.
Midsoles are made out of either ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) or polyurethane. Boots with an EVA midsole will generally cost less, provide extra cushion and weigh less than the alternative.
On the other hand, a midsole made from polyurethane will provide a firmer fit and last longer.
The lowers on a hiking boot are what contribute to your foot’s internal support. They’re made up of two components: shanks and plates.
Shanks: Shanks are inserts that go between the midsole and the outsole. They’re typically 3 to 5mm thick and add to the stiffness of the midsole. If you’d like maximum support, look for a pair of boots that have shanks stretching the entire length of the midsole, rather than just half.
Plates: Plates are also found between the midsole and the outsole, but are located below the shank. Plates aren’t found in all hiking boots, but the ones that do have even more support and protect your feet from being bruised by rugged terrain.
The outsole can be found on the bottom of the boot and is made from rubber. A good rule of thumb is the harder the outsole, the more durable the boot is.
There are two main components of outsoles: the lug pattern and the heel brake.
Lug Pattern: If you’ve ever wondered what all the bumps and grooves are on the bottom of a hiking boot, you’re probably looking at the lug pattern. The lug pattern is made up of rubber bumps that create traction so that you’re not slipping all over the place while hiking up a mountain. The deeper and thicker the lugs are, the better your grip on the ground will be.
Heel Brake: The heel brake is the section on the back of the sole directly under your heel. It also features lugs, but these bumps are made especially so that you don’t slip while going downhill.
Crampon Compatibility: If you plan on hiking in winter months in a colder location, it’s best to pick a pair of boots that allow you to easily attach crampons. Crampons are a winter hiking essential that keep you from taking a tumble on icy terrain.
Toe Cap: A last component to consider when choosing between different hiking boots is the toe cap. A rubber toe cap offers maximum protection for your feet and ensures that you’ll be well covered if you kick or bump your toes on a hard surface.
The toe cap is often reinforced on the inside of the boot to add extra protection.
4 Factors to Consider When Choosing Hiking Boots
Now that you’re familiar with the anatomy of a hiking boot and materials they’re made from, it’s time to examine the other factors that go into choosing the right pair of boots for you.
There are three different types of boot cuts: low, mid and high. Each cut is suitable for different activities so carefully consider what you’ll be doing before choosing a cut.
Low Cut: Low cut boots tend to be lightweight and flexible, resembling more of a sneaker than a standard hiking boot. They’re easy to break in, provide more stability than sneakers, and are convenient for travel. However, that being said, low cut boots provide little ankle support and leave more of your feet open to debris and other trail nasties.
Mid Cut: Mid cut boots offer ankle support by wrapping around and holding them in place. They also protect more of your feet from debris, and provide good foot support as well. If you plan on taking longer hikes or trekking through more rough terrain, mid cut boots are a good way to go.
High cut boots: High cut boots are made for the pros. If you plan on doing some serious treks or carry a heavy pack on the trail with you, go for a pair of these sturdy friends. High cut boots offer maximum ankle support and help with balance on uneven terrain. However, these are the most important boots to break in, otherwise you’re going to end up with some gnarly blisters .
Boots that keep your feet dry in muddy or wet areas are ideal for those looking for a pair of boots, as conditions can be unpredictable, especially if you aren’t familiar with the area. Luckily, most hiking boots are water-resistant.
However, there are varying degrees of resistance and materials that enhance this quality.
If you’re looking for top-of-the-line water resistance, look for a pair of boots that have GORE-TEX (GTX) which will insulate the boot, keeping your foot dry. The thing about GORE-TEX lining is that it will keep your foot nice and warm, which may not be ideal for summer months or if you tend to get sweaty feet.
An alternative to GORE-TEX is a boot that has undergone some sort of chemical waterproof treatment to wick water away instead of absorbing it. If this isn’t apparent, you can also purchase waterproofing spray which has the same effect.
Lastly, look for boots that have rands, which is the wide rubber piece that wraps around the boot between the upper and midsole. This keeps water from seeping in the sides.
If you do a fair amount of trekking, the weight of a hiking boot should heavily influence your decision. You’d be shocked at how heavy boots can get so be sure to check the weight before purchasing.
Lightweight boots tend to stay under three pounds per pair and they are typically a low or mid-cut height. These boots tend to be made of a softer material like synthetics and nylon. Lightweight boots don’t offer as much support as more heavy-duty ones, but they’re suitable for day hikes and treks on moderate terrain, not to mention ideal for travel.
Midweight boots are between two to four pounds per pair and are able to withstand more than lightweight boots. They’re typically made from sturdier material and are able to help balance a heavier pack load. Midweight boots also tend to offer more ankle stability than lightweight models, making them more suited for rugged terrain.
Heavyweight boots tend to be made of full leather, and are best for serious backpacking and mountaineering. Invest in a pair of these boots if you’ll be carrying a heavy load and traveling greater distances. You’ll need to seriously break in these boots so they’re comfortable when you hit the trail.
We didn’t review any heavyweight boots in this article because they’re not very practical for travel and typical hiking activities.
The fit of a hiking boot is probably the most important factor when making a purchase, and there are several considerations to keep in mind.
Length: Be sure that whichever boots you pick have enough room for you to wiggle your toes around without any trouble.
Width: It’s important for your boots to be snug-fitting around your feet without squeezing them on the sides.
Wear thick socks: If you’re trying boots on in person, or when you receive your order in the mail, be sure to try them on with the socks you’ll wear while hiking. Your socks may change the way the boots fit, making for an unpleasant surprise when the time comes to wear them for the first time.
Try at the end of the day: Did you know that your feet swell during the day from all the activity you’ve been up to? Try on your boots at the end of the day to make sure they’ll fit comfortably even with lots of activity.
Break them in: It is absolutely essential you break in your boots before wearing them on the trail. Make sure they’re nice and comfortable and don’t rub you the wrong way before setting out on an adventure. Breaking them in also helps the boots mold to your feet, giving you a fit that’s just right for you. Wear them to the grocery store, while cleaning the house, or taking the dog for a walk. You’ll thank yourself later.
So there we have it, our best women’s hiking boots which you can take with you on any terrain. With the most important element of hiking being comfortable and supported feet, hopefully, this list will help you find the perfect boots for your next adventure.
Getting ready for an outdoor adventure? Check out these guides
- Ultimate Camping Packing List for Outdoor Adventures
- Best Walking Shoes for Travelling
- Best Mens Hiking Boots