If you are outdoor enthusiast who loves adventures in tall trees, sleeping under the summits, and stepping through creeks while going along wandering path, enjoying fresh air and a virgin nature view – you’re seriously into hiking. If so, you should take some time to choose the right kind of hiking boots to make your feet happy, well cushioned, and ensure a stable step, especially if you’ll be carrying a backpack. Here we’re going to help you figure out the best hiking boot for women.
We’ll guide you a thorough a comparison of top women’s hiking models, and will show you the best picks that were approved by many people. Moreover, there will be a guide with some theoretical info on the hiking footwear.
Comparison Chart, Best Models
Top 3 Models, Editors’ choice
1. Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot
Hit the road regardless of what the weather is with Columbia’s Newton Ridge Plus. Water resistant composition safeguards against daybreak dew, creeks, and rains. Breathable mesh does a good job at ventilating the inner parts. Omni-Grip tread deals with tough terrain easily.
Columbia provides a wide range of outdoor performance shoes and boots, clothes, sports apparel, and accessories. This manufacturer employs the best technological innovations and best quality materials for producing their products, supplying you with cutting-edge products with a vry good functionality yet design – all at affordable costs.
- Rubber sole
- Shaft is 4″ from arch
- Waterproof full grain leather
- Omnishield water and stain resistant
- Compression-molded midsole
2. KEEN Women’s Targhee II Waterproof Hiking Boot
This model is available in shoe and boot versions. Keen Women’s Targhee II is the perfect choice hiking. The sturdy design is good of providing the convenience and support like an athletic footwear. At the same time it has durability and protective characteristics just as a rough hiking boot should have.
The waterproof upper style prevents wetting of your feet and ensures your steady walking. The model has 4-mm multi-directional lugs accompanied with a water resistant membrane. And for decent support during whole route, it integrates an S3 heel architecture with a 2X-density EVA midsole and a Metatomical EVA footbed.
- Water resistant leather upper
- Water resistant, Breathable Membrane
- Changeable metatomical 2X-density EVA footbed
- Torsion stability ESS shank
- Contoured heel lock for flexible ankle support
- EVA midsole
3. Hi-Tec Women’s Bandera Mid-Rise Waterproof Hiking Boot
Hi-Tec Bandera waterproof Hikers are the boots that you’re gonna enjoy. This is a simple but durable footwear that just does what it is made for, with style. These well-crafted hikers are totally water resistant to guarantee your joyful traveling with dry feet. Fashionable suede and well-ventilated nylon mesh uppers.
EVA midsole deals with physical impact. Carbon rubberized outsole ensures very good multi-directional traction. Detachable, padded insole is used to ensure airing out.
- Made-by-human sole
- Shaft is 5″ from arch
- Heel is 1.25″
- Platform is 1″
- Mid-rise water resistant hiking boot with suede coverings coming with padded topline, rust-resistant hardware lacing, and webbing straps.
4. Timberland Women’s White Ledge Hiking Boot
This model from Timberland has a rubber outsole for ideal traction when on the path. Top-quality full-grain water resistant leather upper ensures decent coziness, sturdiness and wear-resistance. Water resistant design maintains feet dry during any kind of rough weather.
Cushioned collar and tongue is meant to provide extra comfort. Detachable 2X-density EVA footbed is designed to ensure comfort and extra breathability. Moisture-wicking fabric lining for ultimate feet dryness and comfort. Outside heel covering gives rear foot safety. Tough rubber outsole with purposefully positioned lugs guarantees decent traction.
- Rubber sole
- Top-quality water resistant leather
- Cushioned tongue and collar
- Combo D-ring and fast hook lacing
- Moisture-wicking lining
5. Columbia Women’s Redmond Waterproof Trail Shoe
Did you hear an opinion that stylish things can’t be durable? Well, here we’re going to dispel that myth. This sturdy water resistant shoe ensures high percentage energy return with the help of its featherweight padded midsole. Ultra traction is guaranteed with its aggressive outsole. That does along with more convenience than you can think of. Thus you can dream your dreams while your feet are stepping your miles.
Upper is a combo of suede leather, mesh and webbing. Techlite compact midsole ensures durable premium cushioning, in addition to great energy return. Omni-Grip non-marking traction rubber is used to form up the outsole. Omni-Tech water resistant, ventilated, seam-sealed membrane layer bootie structure.
- Leather and Textile
- Rubber sole
- Heel is 1″
- Sturdy low-cut hiker
Things To Take Into Account
Hiking Footwear Types
Hiking shoes are quite related to hiking boots. Actually, with contemporary footwear concepts, the difference between two of those types is coming to be not that distinct. Many vendors such as Merrell, Keen, and La Sportiva promote well-known boot models in low-cut shoe design variations. Such low-cut styles actually have all the benefits of high quality boots without only one thing – high ankle shaft. A number of boots, like the Merrell Salida Mid WP – Women’s come with very short ankle and look more similar to a shoe.
Shoes are less heavy, messier, and typically more convenient and adaptable in comparison to boots. They are the most effective alternative for day hikers, hot seasons, and for people that have strong enough ankles to be free from necessity of having additional support from high boots shafts. Shoes can be well used for hiking on well-kept pathways and in not very hard terrains. Hiking shoes give an unsurpassed traction and reliability.
The word “boots” usually calls associations with heavy weight, roughness and tightness. During market research for this overview it was quite a surprise to understand that contemporary boots are as a rule not more than an additional pound or two in weight to an average shoe.
Only a couple of models may be just a few ounces more. Boots that are designed for women come with solid soles but they break in very easily within one or two walking sessions. The higher ankle shaft prevents water from soaking in, protect against debris, and give good ankle stability.
Backpacking with boots brings in much needed support to your ankles as well as back body, primarily lower back load (which is usually around 20-30 pounds). Boots tend to be the ideal alternative for people new to hiking thanks to the support and stability on hard terrains.
Boots vs Shoes
Below you can see a few aspects that can let you decide what type of footwear is better for you:
The leading models of hiking shoes for women have a weight of around 1.3 – 2.25 pounds. As to the boots for women – their average weight is something like 1.8 – 3.5 pounds. The less heavy the footwear the more easy and comfy it is to make your way, you will just postpone your fatigue. However, if you take into account strong advantages of the boots (durability, protection, support, water resistance, warmth), this weight difference may start to seem not so huge for you.
Boots wrap around the ankle are generally higher compared to average hiking shoe. The extra shaft height gives support to your log and ankle, and protects against jostling, turning, and strain during hiking over bumpy, hard terrain. Average boot also come with stiffer soles rather than shoes, that is important feature for people who often seek adventures in hard terrain with frequent stones, roots, and rough surfaces.
Hiking shoes definitely provide more flexibility in comparison to boots. A well-designed model of shoes may be used in the city, but there are no boots that can be as flexible, breathable and comfortable for regular everyday lifestyle wearing. Think about all of your possible uses for your footwear that you can imagine – boots are ideal only on the travelling by foot or working in outdoor environment. Shoes, on the contrary, can be used almost in any situation and for any purpose (including some sports) provided that you like their style.
Price tag varies between boots and shoes, however the additional money expense that you put into the boots pays off in durability. As a rule, boots only require replacement quite rarely. You might change a couple of shoes while your first pair of boots will still be fine. For that reason, a boot might be a reliable investment notwithstanding the higher initial expense.
For light backpack weights below 20 pounds, almost all women will say that their shoe offers enough support, easiness and comfort. When your hiking backpack is heavier than that amount, a better choice will be to wear boots as they ensure better stability for your ankles/feet and enhance your ankles/back body support.
Break-in period duration depends on the materials comprising the footwear. Boots usually are made of firm, tough and durable materials (leather uppers with minimal mesh panels and solid rubber soles) and thus they need much more time to adapt to your feet. On average it takes one to three short hiking sessions to get the boots adapted. On the contrary, shoes that are usually made of featherweight synthetic fabrics coupled with sizable mesh panels and flexible soles. This makes them ready to be worn and used right after the purchase.
There are several types of hiking, starting from short walking on the trail up to living for several months in new locations, going through different kinds of landscapes. The best uses for boots fall under a couple of overlapping types.
You may give favor to regular backpacking, and at the same time take pleasure in single-day hikes, or probably you opt for hiking in rough and bumpy retrain without clear paths, experiencing wild life and exploration. Any type of outdoor activity is a chance to enjoy the surroundings, actively discover the landscape, and just have a joyful time.
A lot of people usually prefer single-day hiking type. This way a hiker go on the trail just for one day, and sometimes for just an hour or two. On trail, supplies like water and some food are comprise a very lightweight pack together with minimal gear like a water filter and an additional layer.
Compared to overnight hiking your backpack will be much less heavy. One-day hiking can ensure observing awesome locations that are pretty near to a trailhead. Light boots or shoes will be just enough for this hiking style.
Best choice for this style:
Look at the Ahnu Montara – Women’s or the Keen Targhee II Mid – Women’s.Women that prefer stronger ankle support and solid sole may better choose a little heavier boot such as La Sportiva’s FC ECO 3.0 GTX.
If you’re fan of backpacking during several days, boots will be your best choice. Enjoying days, weeks, and maybe months on the route is totally different from above mentioned style. This is where you’ll need more comfortable footwear considering that you will walk miles wearing the same pair of boots.
Regardless if you’re walking several miles daily or marching up to 20 miles every day, your footwear must withstand the hardest terrain that you might come across. Boots designed specifically for hiking have stiff soles designed for rough terrains.
Pay close attention to cushion, padding, and support of the boot. Regular weight of backpack varies around 20-40 pounds. For such conditions you can choose any pair of boots/shoes that are featured in this review. Boots of middle weight will fit better than lightweight models or shoes.
Rugged terrain usually comes with rocky paths (or absence of paths at all), loose scree, talus, open tree roots, and unexpected hindrances where kicking steps are a regular thing. Loose and bumpy terrain exposes you to high risk of rolled ankles and lack of grip.
Weak paths that wind through tough terrain necessitates boots (or maybe shoes but be careful, you need toughness and support) that ensure good traction, give sufficient stability (especially with a backpack weight load), and quite a high ankle shaft to ensure dry and clean feet.
Each one of the middle-weight hiking boots in this review will do their job. Lightweight boots are appropriate for some medium terrains, but they are too flexible and directly remind us hiking shoes, lacking a lot of support and stability.