Hiking boots are like tents for your feet, by which we mean they’re an essential piece of any outdoor adventure—they protect your feet against rough terrain, inclement weather, biting or stinging critters, and all the other natural hazards you might encounter on the trail. Not only do they safeguard your feet from injury, but their stability and cushioning lend support to the rest of your body at the same time. While there’s no single best hiking boots for women, choosing the right pair of hiking boots for you and your feet can make or break a trip—whether it’s a day spent exploring your local area or a months-long thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail.Hiking boots are like tents for your feet, by which we mean they’re an essential piece of any outdoor adventure—they protect your feet against rough terrain, inclement weather, biting or stinging critters, and all the other natural hazards you might encounter on the trail. Not only do they safeguard your feet from injury, but their stability and cushioning lend support to the rest of your body at the same time. While there’s no single best hiking boots for women, choosing the right pair of hiking boots for you and your feet can make or break a trip—whether it’s a day spent exploring your local area or a months-long thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail.
When choosing a pair of hiking boots, features such as comfort, style, and waterproofness all play a part, but the single biggest factor to consider is fit. Get the fit right and a good pair of hiking boots will simply become an extension of your foot—you should not notice they’re down there. Also consider the climate and terrain where you travel; do you really need waterproof boots? For example, it’s often better to go for a quick drying, well-ventilated hiking boots that drain well (or even hiking sandals) rather than a waterproof one if you plan to hike through rivers or in continually wet conditions.
Though the hiking boot options out there might seem overwhelming, we’ve compiled a list of our favorites, from updated cult classics that have stood the test of time to the latest and greatest models from some of our favorite brands. The following were chosen based on our own hiking experience, logging thousands of miles on trails spanning the globe from South America to Asia. And while you might consider accessories like hand warmers and an outdoor shower to be essential, we guarantee that hiking boots are even more critical to your comfort. Read on to find the boots that will keep your feet happy on your next outdoor adventure.
Best Women’s Hiking Boot Overall
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
Continually at the top of the sales leaderboard, the Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX bags our number one spot for delivering a great mix of durability, stability, waterproofness, and comfort without sacrificing on weight or breathability.
On the outsole, Salomon uses two different types of rubber to give you an overall better grip on mixed terrain with a patterned area on the heel that bites into the trail as you head downhill. Salomon’s lacing system covers the entire front foot to let you customize the fit whether you like it a little snug for extra security or need some breathing room in the toe area.
The water-repellent leather upper is paired with a breathable GORE-TEX liner to keep your feet dry from the inside as well as the outside. The tongue seamlessly connects to the upper on both sides, preventing debris from entering the shoe and keeping the tongue centered. A thicker foam midsole coupled with a cushioned sockliner contoured to the shape of your foot up the comfortability factor. You don’t need to worry about stubbing your toe on those errant rocks or logs as rubber caps at both the heel and front protect the more sensitive parts of your feet. Salomon also has a men’s version of the same hiking boots.
Best Cushioned Hiking Boots for Women
HOKA Anacapa Mid GTX
HOKA’s are known for their cushy ride, and the Anacapa Mid GTX are no different. The thick foam midsole absorbs strike shock, therefore reducing the impact on your body and leaving your legs feeling fresh even at the end of a long day on the trail. The rocker outsole with its 6mm heel to toe drop helps you attain a more natural stride, while aggressive lugs made from Vibram’s Megagrip compound ensure you will stick to the slickest of surfaces. Reviewers regularly commented on the all-day comfort and the Velcro-like traction on steep trails.
The upper of this mid-height hiking boot is made from sustainable materials with a few lightweight leather accents. In between the liner and the upper, a GORE-TEX bootie ensures your feet stay dry as you trample through puddles or wet vegetation.
Available in a variety of colors to suit your mood or ensemble, the hiking boots weigh in at a mere 13.5 ounces each—quite a few ounces lighter compared to your average high top hiking boot. As the old saying goes, “a pound on your feet is worth five pounds on your back.”
Best Full Leather Hiking Boots for Women
Danner Mountain 600
If you are looking for a full leather, waterproof boot with iconic style, look no further than the Danner Mountain 600. The mid-height uppers are made from a durable and waterproof suede leather with extra protection from Danner’s own waterproof breathable membrane sitting between the leather and the synthetic liner fabric that helps wick sweat away from your feet. Bright red laces contrast the tan color of the suede and give it that classic Lumberjill feel.
The hiking boots come with a cushioned insole for extra comfort. A plastic frame in the heel helps to keep your foot in place and give you a bit more stability on uneven terrain. The outsole is made from Vibram’s Megagrip rubber compound for superb grip and the lugs mold to the terrain underfoot so they are always oriented to deliver the most traction.
Danner, as well as reviewers recommend you go for a half size smaller than what you would normally wear. At 1 pound 14 ounces, they aren’t the lightest hiking boots on the market but If they’re good enough for Cheryl Strayed on the Pacific Crest Trail in Wild, they are good enough for us.
Best Lightweight Shoe For Travel Or Trail
Vasque Satoru Trail LT Low
A hiking shoe that is light enough for travel but can handle technical terrain? That’s the essence of the Satoru Trail LT Low from Vasque. The mesh upper is both lightweight and super breathable, making them ideal for long days on the trail or hot days cruising around the city. The mesh upper means they will also dry quickly should they get wet from that errant rain shower or even a quick river crossing.
A durable foam midsole will keep your feet happy mile after mile, while the Vibram Megagrip outsole keeps you sure-footed on loose or wet terrain. Reviewers rave about the wide toe box that enables your toes to spread and move freely, preventing those painful black toenails at the end of big mile days or punishingly long downhills. The hiking boots come in a variety of color choices and look as stylish with a pair of jeans as they do with a pair of hiking pants.
Best Durable Hiking Boots for Women
Columbia Redmond III
Columbia is known for rugged durability, and the Redmond III is one tough hiker. The hiking shoes’ mixture of synthetic leather, suede, and mesh upper ensure longevity while a toe cap not only protects your toes should you kick a rock on the trail but also further protects the upper from wear and tear. Over time, the hiking boots mold to the shape of your foot for both comfort and stability.
A lightweight yet cushioned midsole keeps your feet comfortable for all day adventures—Columbia’s long-lasting midsoles are known to deliver the same level of cushioning mile after mile.
A gusseted tongue means a reptile webbing-like flap between the tongue and the upper keeps debris from getting inside your shoe where it could easily start to cause blisters. The outsole is made from a sticky rubber that delivers great traction on loose surfaces and the hiking boots will keep your feet dry thanks to Columbia’s proprietary waterproof breathable membrane.
Best Hiking Boots For Technical TerrainBest Hiking Boots For Technical Terrain
Five Ten Guide Tennie
A cult classic for anyone planning to hike steep, technical terrain, the Five Ten Guide Tennie can be seen on the feet of hikers everywhere from Yosemite to the First Flatiron in Boulder, Colorado. Five Ten made headlines back in 1985 when the brand invented the first approach shoe (the Five Tennie) with a high friction rubber outsole. It went on to develop Stealth rubber that revolutionized climbing shoes and have since brought the sticky rubber to all of their hiking boots. This ultra sticky rubber ensures you stay on your feet over slick, steep granite slabs and a little extra rubber on the front helps you through the more technical bits where you need to be on your toes.
A foam midsole adds a level of cushioning and helps fight fatigue when carrying a heavy pack. The water-resistant nubuck leather upper sheds moisture from passing rainstorms, while the mesh lining keeps air flowing to ensure your feet don’t overheat. A full lace closure delivers a secure and adjustable fit.
Best Eco-Friendly Hiking Boots for Women
Oboz Sypes Mid Leather
In a bid to lessen its impact on the environment, Oboz sought out both natural and recycled materials to use in the Sypes Mid Leather hiking boots. The insoles are made from a sustainable algae biomass that is molded to match the specific shape of each hiking boot footbed for a great fit and feel on the trail. In addition to the natural nubuck leather upper, the laces, webbing, and boot liner are all made from recycled plastic—even the reinforcement strips at key wear points on the shoes are made from repurposed Cordura nylon fabric.
Even better? Oboz plants a tree for every pair sold. In addition to the hiking boots’ environmentally friendly credentials, reviewers rave about the out-of-the-box comfort and grip on loose terrain thanks to the deep directional lugs of the outsole.
Best For Hiking In The Heat Or Wet
KEEN Newport H2 Sandals
If you are going to be hiking in continually wet conditions or exceptionally hot weather, you might want to consider a hiking sandal. The Newport H2 from KEEN is a cult classic. For bomber traction on wet and mossy rocks, KEEN pairs a multi-directional lug pattern with spots of razor siping on the outsole.
So how can a sandal properly protect your feet, you say? KEEN’s patented toe protection ensures the shoe outsole wraps up and over your toes so they are not exposed to any hazards and are protected by more than a fabric upper.
The hiking sandals are made from a quick drying material that is machine washable for when you’ve been out on the trail for weeks at a time. A full foot lacing system ensures the sandals stay on your feet even if you’re crossing a roaring river. Reviewers all rave about the comfort and support thanks to KEEN’s footbed that is anatomically designed to provide excellent arch support and cradle the natural contours of your foot.