Arguably the most important piece of hiking gear for beginners and professionals alike are hiking boots. Today we are looking right where the rubber meets the trail on hiking boots for women.
There are a lot of options out there and finding the right boots can be daunting. It is important to consider the options as getting the right boots on your feet is paramount for any hiker. We here at Camping Mastery have poured over some of the best options and are thrilled to present our recommendations for a few different categories of hiking boots for women.
Danner Women’s Mountain 600
If you are looking for a good overall quality hiking boot then look no further than the Danner Women’s Mountain 600. This boot comes well reviewed and touts great ankle and heel support. Many verified purchasers of this boot claim that the Danner Mountain 600 is very comfortable requiring no break-in period.
This lightweight hiking boot sports soft leather, is very warm and stylish. The boot has good grip in ice and snow conditions.
The reason we’ve selected this boot as the best overall is its versatility. Whether for work or heavy duty hiking the Danner Mountain 600 will handle the daily wears.
Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX Mid
The Lowa Women’s Renegade GTX Mid is a sturdy lightweight boot. The durability of this boot is what sets it apart from other waterproof boots. The boot is built to last for years and will serve you well.
Besides hiking this is an ideal boot for someone in manual labor that requires waterproof protection. This boot sports Gor-Tex which makes the boot waterproof and breathable.
One added benefit of this boot is the stylish color options available including a deep dark purple.
Best with Wide Width Option
Vasque Women’s Breeze III GTX
Hikers with wide feet are limited in which boots are they can purchase. Finding a good boot that provides a wide width option is key to finding boots that fit well. Having boots that fit correctly is the first step in keeping your feet happy and healthy.
Besides offering a wide width option the Vasque Women’s Breeze III GTX is also waterproof. The Gor-Tex treatment keeps the boots waterproof and breathable.
These boots clean up easily, are light weight and provide excellent ankle support.
Note: This boot tends to run half to a full size small so be sure to order with that in mind.
Best Arch Support
KEEN Women’s Voyageur Mid
Every person’s feet are different. Some people require more ankle support while others may need arch support. Some hikers may pronate or supinate as they hike. These differences result in different needs from a hiking boot.
The bottom of your foot creates a natural arch. This arch varies from person to person. If you are a hiker or active woman in need of a pair of hiking boots then we recommend the KEEN Women’s Voyageur Mid.
The KEEN Voyageur is 100% leather and mesh which helps keep your feet cool and comfortable. Besides providing excellent arch support these boots also tout good ankle support and plenty of room in the toe box.
These boots are not waterproof which lends to pliability, comfort and ventilation. If you are looking for waterproof boots with good arch support than we would recommend the Ariat Women’s Terrain H2O.
This boot tends to run small so be sure to consider that when ordering your pair.
Best for Cold Weather
Oboz Bridger 7″ Insulated B-Dry
The Oboz Bridger 7″ Insulated B-Dry is the recomended choice when hiking in the cold. These wool insulated boots will hug your feet and keep them warm through your hike.
Women who purchased these boots have reported that the Oboz Bridgers are very grippy and provide stable footing even on ice. Even though these boots are durable they are also very comfortable requiring little break-in time.
These boots, as is true with most boots, do tend to run small and you would do better to order a half size up to accommodate thick socks.
Ariat Women’s – Terrain Hiking Boots
Taking home the prize for most affordable women’s boots is the Ariat Women’s Terrain Hiking Boots. These leather boots cover the basic requirements of quality hiking boots. These boots are also a good consideration if you have wide feet and/or short feet.
The durability is a common praise amongst many women who have purchased this boot reporting that this boot has served them well in outdoor and harsh environment conditions.
A few things to keep your eye out for with this boot is that the threading tends to fall apart quickly. Some of the threading may need to be repaired within a year of purchasing.
These boots are also relatively stiff and require a good bit of breaking in before they are ready to hit the trail.
One other note concerning the Ariat Terrain hiking boots is that the color may not match 100% to the photos on the site when you purchase them. Multiple women noted that the colors were different from what they expected.
Most Affordable Waterproof
Ariat Women’s Terrain H2O
The Ariat Women’s Terrain H2O is our choice for most affordable women’s hiking boot that is waterproof. This boot is 100% leather and provide a durable and comfortable hiking experience at a great price.
Besides being affordable and durable these Ariats also sport good support and padding. These are also a good choice for use of orthotics. Women who have purchased these boots praise the boots ability to keep blisters at bay along with pressure points, aching arch and rubbed heels.
As with most waterproof boots these Ariats will make your feet a little warmer than a boot with more ventilation would provide.
The durability is the biggest question here as multiple women have reported the leather cracking in under a year. If you decide to pull the trigger on these boots we would recommend that you maintain the leather on the boots by keeping it oiled and reducing exposure to sun as usage permits.
Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
The Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3 Mid GTX has style in mind offering cool contemporary color options.
This boot features a two color approach with an accent color peeking out from the lacing straps. The color combinations keep your feet looking great. Our favorite is the deep purple with the salmon accent.
This boot also features Gor-Tex keeping it waterproof and breathable. This boot provides good grip and confidence over slippery wet terrain.
One common critical comment on these boots is that the laces are very slippery when new. They have a shiny slippery coating which causes them to slip out of the their lacing holds. However once the laces get scuffed up and have been used a few times they lose that slippery aspect and hold better.
…designed to accommodate a woman’s anatomy maximizes stability and cushioning, while minimizing fatigue on rugged terrainSalomon product description
Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Mid
We felt the price and positive reviews of the Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Mid warranted an honorable mention. A solid hiking boot for beginner hikers this boots sport a breathable, lightweight approach to activity.
The Moab 2 is thin and streamlined bringing more of an athletic feel to hiking attire.
Although not waterproof they do dry out quickly due to the breathability. If fully submerged the boots can be wrung out to some degree and continue on.
With so much emphasis on an athletic and streamlined approach It should not come as a surprise that this is not the best choice for arch and/or ankle support.
Honorable Mention for Waterproof
The Merrell Women’s Moab GTX Hiking
The Merrell Women’s Moab GTX is our choice for waterproof honorable mention. There are a lot of positives to these boots. The Merrells are supportive but flexible. It has plenty of toe box room and accommodates orthotics/inserts.
These waterproof boots are breathable resulting in less sweaty feet and socks. This is thanks to that Gor-Tex waterproofing that allows ventilation.
A couple of things that set these boots apart from the rest is the soft sole and the ease of walking as there is a built-in natural rocking motion. The ankle eyelets lock the heel in for down hill hiking.
The women who have purchased this boot have very few critical reviews to share limited to only the sizing. The boot does tend to run a half size too small so be sure order larger sizes especially if multiple or very thick socks will be used.
Women’s hiking boots vary depending on the intended use. There are boots that are waterproof and others that are breathable. Some heavy and durable and others are light and comfortable. There are boots that provide arch support, ankle support, extra toe box room and padding. And there are boots that are flexible, athletic and streamlined.
A good choice for one hiker is not necessarily a good choice for everyone. Choosing the right boots requires an exercise of self examination. Ask yourself 2 questions: 1. What do you intend to do with these boots? 2. Do you have any specific foot requirements?
What do you intend to do with these boots?
An important factor to consider when purchasing a new pair of boots is the durability and comfort. Will you be working in these boots? Will there be several hours standing or laboring in these boots? Or are these for the occasional trail hike and will only be worn once in a while?
As we have seen boots can provide lightweight flexibility or they can be durable and built to last. Understanding how you will be using your boots will ensure you are starting with the best ones for you out of the gate.
Do they need to be waterproof?
Waterproof boots are a great investment when dealing with wet conditions most of the time. Keeping your feet dry is an important aspect of hiking or spending any time outdoors. The tradeoff with selecting waterproof boots is that they tend to keep the feet warm and may cause sweating. The same waterproofing that prevents water from getting into the boot also prevents water from escaping. Sweaty and damp feet will have a hard time drying in waterproof boots.
The waterproofing technology created by companies like Gor-Tex has gotten advanced. Many waterproof boots are marketed as being breathable as well.
What about temperature?
If you will be working outside in the baking sun you will want cool ventilating boots that will provide comfort to your feet. This will keep your feet cool while providing the support and durability you expect from your boots.
However if you are working in cold conditions you will want to look at cold weather hiking boots like the Oboz Bridger 7″ Insulated B-Dry which sport wool insulation specifically for cold weather hiking. This will help keep your feet warm and dry as you hike or work out in the cold and snow.
Do your feet require a specific kind of support?
Not every foot is created equal and not every foot is ready to take on miles without a little assistance in the support department. Common support needs include arch support and ankle support. Different hiking boots can support different needs and it is important to find the best fit for your feet.
Do you have wide feet?
Some boots come with wide sizing options to accommodate wide feet. This is not true of all hiking boots so if you need a wider fit then ensure the boots you are looking to purchase provide wide support options. Remember that hiking or engaging in any sort of activity that will keep you on your feet will likely result in swelling of your feet. This swelling will further aggravate the issue so it is imperative that the need is addressed with the correct boots out of the gate.
These are just a few of the considerations when looking to purchase hiking boots for women. Have we missed one your favorites? Leave us a comment and let us know!