What are the Best Hiking Boots for Women?

The best hiking boots for women are the Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus.

I have been a trekking guide for almost two decades. During this period, I have come to appreciate what hiking gear you need for a safe and comfortable experience. As such, I would always put a good pair of hiking boots at the top of the list.

In recent years, there have been more hiking boot options for women and this is certainly a good thing. Female feet tend to be narrower and shorter than their male counterparts. The toe region and instep, however, are larger. Therefore, ladies need access to different shoes.

I selected the Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus because they have such a versatile design. These boots are durable enough to be used often on various terrain and continue to remain in good condition. The traction is also excellent and suitable for different surfaces. Finally, the shoes are comfortable and highly waterproof as well.

Needless to say, every woman has their requirements for the perfect hiking boot. This is why I have included several other options to choose from. This way, you will find it a lot easier to locate the footwear that is suited to you and your trekking style.

Let’s begin.

The Top Hiking Boots for Women

Here is the list of the best options:

Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus – Best Overall

Specifications:

  • Design: Mid-cut
  • Outsole: Omni-GRIP
  • Waterproof: Yes

Great Traction

This boot boasts the patented Omni-GRIP sole, which is a non-marking traction rubber outsole. The advantage of this design is that it offers an excellent grip on many different kinds of surfaces. Therefore, it doesn’t matter where you’re hiking, you will have peace of mind knowing that your next step will be stable.

To add to this, the sole has been designed to be used for three seasons. Due to this, you can trek across sandy, rocky, and muddy terrain without any issue at all. So, if you are a year-round hiker, you will almost always be set.

Durable

Of course, trekking across such surfaces and in all seasons means that your shoes are going to go through some wear and tear. Fortunately, these boots are largely shielded from this. This is because the toe and the heel of the shoe have been reinforced. Since these areas are often the first to wear away, the shoe is less likely to break down even with continuous use.

To add to this, the boots are made from high-quality materials such as full-grain leather and suede upper, and a scratch rubber heel. These materials aren’t prone to scratching or scuffing so your boots will continue to look as good as the first day that you got them.

Waterproof Features

This boot lives up to its waterproof claims. Not only is it made from water-resistant materials, but the sewing on the shoe is impeccable. This creates a sealed environment, preventing moisture from getting in. As such, it is perfect for those wet and rainy conditions.

Comfortable

Don’t let the ruggedness of this boot fool you, it is quite comfortable. This is largely due to the well-cushioned sole that ensures the impact of each step is absorbed by the shoe and not your foot. The lightweight design and the high energy return mean that you will find it easier to cross longer distances as well.

The only real downside is that debris tends to get into the space between your ankle and tongue. This can become a nuisance if you are hiking in an area with a lot of dust or loose dirt.

Pros:

  • Great traction
  • Durable
  • Highly waterproof
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Debris gets inside shoes

Timberland Women’s White Ledge – Very Good Comfort

Specifications:

  • Design: Mid-cut
  • Outsole: Rubber lug
  • Waterproof: Yes

Comfortable Design

Various elements of this boot work together to make it as comfortable as possible. To begin with, there is the cushioned EVA footbed that works to absorb the shock from walking. At the same time, the dual-density EVA mid-sole also boasts lightweight cushioning.

The padded tongue and collar mean that you don’t have to worry about chafing around your ankles either. You won’t have to waste any time breaking into these boots. Furthermore, the gusseted tongue prevents any kind of debris from entering your shoe.

Good Traction

The rubber lug outsole has been tested for grip and traction. Due to this, you can virtually guarantee that it is as stable as it needs to be on a wide variety of terrain. This means that you will have no trouble taking out this pair of boots on all your trekking expeditions.

The only real issue is that the boots do tend to get scuffed. As such, you may want to avoid heading towards overly rocky terrain.

Good Waterproof Features

The boots boast premium waterproof leather uppers that ensure that moisture doesn’t soak in through the material. The seams of the shoe have also been sealed completely. Due to this, you can walk through puddles and other muddy terrain and not have to be concerned about your feet getting wet.

Lightweight Design

Despite all the cushioning features of this boot, it is quite lightweight. This allows you to travel farther without getting weighed down at all. Therefore, if you are headed out on a longer trek, then these boots can help you out quite a bit.

Pros:

  • Comfortable
  • Good traction
  • Waterproof
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Gets scuffed up

Danner Women’s Trail 2650 – Best Traction

Specifications:

  • Design: Mid-cut
  • Outsole: Vibram 460 Megagrip
  • Waterproof: Yes

Excellent Traction

If you are all about heading up the most treacherous trails that nature has to offer, then these are for you. Their biggest advantage is the Vibram 460 Megagrip outsole. The outsole has been designed with deep and multi-directional lugs that are more than capable of tackling any terrain that you walk across.

Furthermore, the boots boast a Megagrip rubber compound that gives you enhanced traction in all kinds of weather. You could head out onto the slipperiest surfaces out there and these boots will still back you up.

Designed for Long Treks

At first glance, you will realize that these hiking boots aren’t like other options. This is because they share numerous similarities with trail running shoes. Due to this, you will be rewarded with a more athletic performance – this makes clearing larger distances a breeze.

To add to this, they are quite lightweight. So, you don’t have to expend as much energy when moving forward. It makes it easier to go faster and on long walks.

Comfortable

There are many features in this boot that work together to make it as comfortable as possible for you. First, there is the ultra-light EVA foam midsole that gives you all the cushioning you need. The boots have also been designed to handle your body weight better so that it is easier for you to move forward.

The heel counter has also been shifted to the outside of the shoe, culminating in the EXO heel system. Finally, there is no 8mm heel drop or a wider forefoot. As a result, you get stability and comfort all rolled into one.

The only real downside of this shoe is that it can be difficult to figure out which size is the right one for you.

Waterproof

The shoe also has a waterproof GORE-TEX lining that makes it completely resistant to any kind of moisture. As such, trekking through rainy weather will be no trouble at all. Interestingly enough, this shoe is also surprisingly breathable, making it comfortable for all conditions.

Pros:

  • Excellent grip
  • Good for long treks
  • Comfortable
  • Waterproof and breathable

Cons:

  • Sizing is tricky

Ariat Women’s Terrain – Best Women’s Hiking Boots for Waterproof Hiking

Specifications:

  • Design: Mid-cut
  • Outsole: Duratread
  • Waterproof: Yes

Waterproof PRO Technology

Don’t let the look of this boot fool you. Although it may have a classic design, it is composed of oiled, full-grain leather. This material is composed of waterproof PRO technology. This means that absolutely no moisture is going to make its way inside your boots.

You can wear these shoes even in heavy rain and your feet will stay dry. This makes it the perfect option for anyone living in especially rainy conditions.

Stays Dry

One of the issues with exceptionally waterproof boots is that they aren’t very breathable. As a result, the inside of your boot can get quite sweaty and there’s no way to dry it off during your trek. This won’t become an issue with these shoes, though.

The inside of the boot is lined with a moisture-wicking material. Due to this, any moisture that does accumulate inside of your boot will easily evaporate keeping you warm and dry at all times.

Comfortable

There are many different ways in which these boots offer comfort. To begin with, there is the ATS technology that ensures stability with every step. This allows you to walk in a way that is most comfortable for you.

At the same time, the boots feature a lightweight EVA midsole that has excellent shock absorption. This means that regardless of your gait or your terrain that you will stay comfortable for the duration of your trek.

The only issue is that it can take a few tries to find the right size. Until then, the boot may not provide you with all the advantages that it’s said to offer.

Great Tread

The Duratread outsole offers a pattern that makes it easy to get a grip on various surfaces and terrain. What’s more, they have been designed to minimize wear and tear. As such, there’s no need to worry about the soles becoming overly smooth after a short period. The flexibility also allows you to get a good grip.

Pros:

  • Highly waterproof
  • Stays dry
  • Great tread
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Difficult to get the sizing right

Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX – Best Lightweight Women’s Hiking Boot

Specifications:

  • Design: Mid-cut
  • Outsole: Contagrip MA
  • Waterproof: Yes

Lightweight Design

Do you want your shoes to feel light when you go on hikes? Well, this boot can certainly help with that. Despite a rather durable design, this boot is quite lightweight. This ensures that you aren’t carrying any additional weight on your trek. This allows you to conserve your energy and move across greater distances with ease.

Great Traction

The Contragrip outsole is one of the best out there and works on all kinds of terrain. This outsole is incredibly grippy, making it a breeze for you to take a stable step every time. Best of all, you can guarantee that they are well-equipped to handle all types of weather as well. It doesn’t matter if it is raining, these shoes will allow you to cover slippery surfaces without any issue at all.

To add to this, the shoe is also designed with a new chassis. This means that the sensitive movements of your foot are protected, and you don’t have to worry about your movement being compromised. The only downside is that the ankle support isn’t the best. So it isn’t great for people who roll their ankles easily.

Good Waterproof Features

The entire shoe is protected with great waterproof features. This means that you won’t have to worry about any kind of moisture getting in and making your feet wet. You will be able to hike in the rain or through muddy terrain and come out of it dry.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Great traction
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • Ankle support isn’t great

Vasque Women’s Breeze at Mid GTX – Best for Ankle Support

Specifications:

  • Design: Mid-cut
  • Outsole: Vibram Contact Grip with Megagrip
  • Waterproof: Yes

Excellent Ankle Support

As any good hiker can attest, ankle support is key to avoiding injuries and to making any trek easier. Well, this is exactly what the boot provides you. In addition to a mid-cut, the area around your ankle is sturdier and more heavily padded. This works to keep it in place at all times.

This, in turn, gives you all the support that you need when it comes to covering harsh or rugged terrain. With these boots, you will be able to do so easily. The only problem here is that the shoes do run a bit narrow and may not be ideal for people with wide feet.

Great Traction

Speaking of covering all types of terrain, the grip on these boots is incredible. Both the material of the outsole as well as the pattern work to ensure that the traction is great. What’s more, these boots have been designed to tackle everything from smooth paths to rocky terrain. This way, you are assured stability and safety the entire way.

Good Waterproof Features

Every element of this boot has been designed to be as watertight as possible. First, you have the 2mm waterproof nubuck leather uppers. Then, there are the GORE-TEX waterproof membranes that have been designed to seal out wet weather.

Despite how watertight these boots are, they are still quite breathable. This is partly due to the breathable membranes as well as the air mesh in uppers offers extra ventilation. Thus, you don’t have to worry about your feet getting sweaty during the hike.

Comfortable

You will be also quite comfortable with these boots on your feet. Keep in mind that the midsoles boast EVA cushioning pods that provide you with comfort underfoot. Then, there are the dual-density EVA footbeds which add even more cushioning to your feet.

Pros:

  • Excellent ankle support
  • Great traction
  • Highly waterproof
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Runs a little narrow

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid – Best for Load Bearing

Specifications:

  • Design: Mid-cut
  • Outsole: Vibram
  • Waterproof: Yes

Support for Additional Weight

If you like to roll your hiking and backpacking trips all into one, then these are the shoes for you. The boots have been specially designed to accommodate additional weight from backpacks and any other load that you may be carrying.

If you need to carry a heavy backpack or other camping gear, you may worry that your shoes won’t support you. Well, you can rest easy. With these boots, you can easily carry up to 50lbs and the shoes will still make it a breeze for you to walk. You can guarantee that every step will be supported and that you feel completely stable as well.

Comfortable

You have to admire just how well cushioned the mid-sole is. You will notice that it feels springy, much like wearing a running shoe. It has been designed to return to its original shape with each step. Therefore, you get a little spring whenever you move forward, making it a lot easier for you to cover long distances.

Good Traction

The Vibram outsole provides you with a soft rubber sole coupled with a multidirectional lug pattern. This offers you an excellent grip on all kinds of terrain. Therefore, you will even be able to tackle trails with smaller, loose rocks and still be able to maintain your balance.

Waterproof

The shoes are shielded with a Gore-Tex membrane that works to keep them entirely waterproof. So, walking in all kinds of weather, including rain or snow, is possible with these boots. The only downside is that they don’t vent all that well. As a result, there is less breathability which can cause moisture to accumulate inside the shoe during summer.

Pros:

  • Good for carrying additional weight
  • Comfortable
  • Good traction
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • Not very breathable

Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent – Best for Arch Support

Specifications:

  • Design: Mid-cut
  • Outsole: Vibram
  • Waterproof:

Supports Arches

Having proper arch support can help ward off a myriad of issues while you are hiking. Well, this boot has been designed to provide you with firm support right underneath your arch. This way, with every step, you can guarantee stability and protection.

Comfortable

These hiking boots also provide all-around protection for the wearer. This is largely due to the heel cushioning. This prevents undue stress from being placed on your foot. So, with every step that you take, you know that your foot will be well-supported.

Good for Wide Feet

There is no denying that it can be tricky to find good hiking boots for women with larger or wider feet than normal. However, this design is just right if this is you. You will be able to ensure a comfortable walk without having to worry about any chafing or pinching.

Breathable

Tired of feeling hot and sweaty in the summer? Then you will be pleased to learn that these boots are well vented. This makes them more breathable, allowing for a better exchange of air. This makes the boots ideal for warm weather.

Unfortunately, it isn’t as suitable for wet or rainy weather. These boots aren’t waterproof. This means that you will need a different pair if you hike in an area where it rains occasionally.

Pros:

  • Great arch support
  • Comfortable
  • Good for wide feet
  • Breathable

Cons:

  • Not waterproof

How to Choose the Best Hiking Boots for Women

best hiking boots for women
Photo by Peter Oslanec

Here are the top tips to follow if you want to find the right pair of hiking boots for you:

Know Your Materials

The first thing you will have to check is the material used to make the boots. This, in turn, will determine the level of waterproofness and durability that you can expect.

When it comes to leather uppers, you can choose from full-grain leather, split-grain leather, and nubuck leather.

The benefit of full-grain leather is added durability and an additional level of water resistance. If you need a pair of boots that can handle any condition, no matter how harsh, look for shoes made from this material. The downside, though, is that they aren’t very breathable.

Furthermore, they also take a while to get used to. This means that you have to often break them in before going on extended trips. Otherwise, you will end up with lots of blisters and calluses.

Split grain leather is a bit more breathable, particularly because it is paired with mesh. As an added bonus, these boots tend to be more affordable as well. However, you should check that they are equipped with a waterproof layer or they may not be as water-resistant as you would like. It should also be noted that these boots aren’t as durable as full-grain leather.

Then there is nubuck leather – it often resembles suede. The upside of this material is that it is water and abrasion-resistant. Also, while it is quite durable, it offers a bit more flex. However, like the full-grain leather boots, it does require some breaking in.

If leather is too uncomfortable or expensive for you, you can look for hiking boots made from polyester, nylon, or synthetic leather. Not only will these types of boots be cheaper, but they will offer a more comfortable fit and require less breaking in. They tend to be lighter too. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t expect them to be as durable as the leather versions.

Understanding Waterproof Hiking Boots

Most modern hiking boots are waterproof. This means that the uppers are made from waterproof membranes. This, combined with the rubber soles, ensures that no water can get in and make your feet wet. For additional protection, look for shoes with tightly sealed seams as this cuts down on leakage as well.

It should be noted that these waterproof hiking boots often lack breathability. As such, they can be quite uncomfortable when walking in hot and dry conditions. They are certainly not recommended for summer use.

Determine Your Level of Cushioning

Most hiking boots have also been designed with lots of additional cushioning. As you can imagine, they are quite comfortable to wear. This is because the cushioning helps to absorb the impact of every step. Cushioning can also be great to reduce any fatigue that may be caused by your treks.

Despite this, it should be noted that additional cushioning isn’t always a good thing. If you are headed out onto mountainous, rocky terrain, then a stiffer boot may come in handy. This way, you will be rewarded with additional support. Interestingly enough, in such circumstances, the stiffness will also provide you with greater comfort.

Focus on the Grip

The outsole will decide how much of a grip you get when you walk on various types of terrain. If most of your hikes take place in off-road circumstances, look for a softer sole. These are less likely to wear away. As such, you won’t be left with a slick, flat outsole that slips and slides beneath you.

Another thing to pay attention to is the lug patterns. If you are heading onto muddy terrain, then look for wide-spaced patterns. These allow you to get rid of any mud that becomes caked on the bottom of your shoes. As such, you will be less likely to slip about.

Are you headed to the mountains or need to tackle rocky terrain? Then you should look for deep grooves. This allows you to get a better grip on the constantly changing terrain. Remember to look for lugs that are thick as well. This is because rocky terrain can wear away at the rubber quite easily.

Look for Ankle Support

All hiking boots have a low, mid, or high cut. There isn’t a right option as it all depends on your needs. Many people feel quite comfortable with a low profile. If you want to reduce the risk of injury, you should look for a boot that has at least a mid-cut.

At the same time, the area around the ankle should be padded a little. This offers you rigidity and holds your ankle in place as you walk. This makes it less likely that you will roll your ankle, particularly when dealing with rough terrain. Or else, you would find it particularly difficult to walk and your ankles will be sore.

Pay Attention to the Fit

The fit of your hiking boot is another important factor to keep in mind. It will determine just how comfortable the shoe is. A poor fit can also impact your stability, so finding a well-fitting shoe is key.

If you have wide feet, you need to select a design that is specifically meant for such dimensions. You will find that it’s easier to find the correct size if you pay attention to such labels. The same thing applies to individuals with narrow feet as well.

Always look at the measurements provided by the manufacturer. This is a better way to make sure of the fit than looking at full or half sizes as these can vary from one brand to another. Checking out customer reviews can also give you an idea of whether the sizes are a good fit or not.

FAQs

Here are some of the more frequently asked questions about hiking boots for women:

How Should Women Choose Hiking Boots?

Women should choose hiking boots the same way men do. They should pay attention to size, material, grip, ankle support, and cushioning before making a decision.

What are the Most Comfortable Hiking Boots for Women?

The most comfortable hiking boots for women are the Timberland Women’s White Ledge. However, keep in mind that this is subjective. It all depends on your feet as well as the terrain.

Do You Need Hiking Boots?

Technically, you can hike in any kind of footwear. Hiking boots, however, offer you the best level of support, comfort, grip, and durability. As such, they should be your top option.

Conclusion

The Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus is arguably the best women’s hiking boot. It is highly durable and capable of withstanding all kinds of wear and tear. Despite this, the boot manages to be lightweight and comfortable. The traction on the boot is amazing and it has the advantage of being highly waterproof.

Want to find the perfect boot for your hiking needs? Then make sure to check out all the shoes featured on this list. By paying attention to their unique features and style you can find the best design for you. This is sure to make your hiking trip a breeze every time.

This page was last updated on 2021-09-21. Affiliate links and Product Images are from Amazon PAAPI

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