After 16 hours of research evaluating 120 products, we picked Keen Targhee II Mid as our top choice.
Hiking is an AMAZING way to get in a workout! Not only do you burn 400 to 600 calories per hour, but you improve your muscular endurance and joint mobility. Add to that the fresh air, and you've got one heck of an awesome way to be more active on your weekends.
If you're getting into hiking, you can always stock up on the nifty hiking gear, like a sturdy backpack, a GPS device, or outdoor clothing. But really, there's only one thing you actually need: a good pair of hiking boots.
With the best hiking boots, you can hike anywhere.
We've done the research to bring you the best hiking boots for women. From lightweight to all-purpose to budget-friendly to waterproof boots, our list has all the options you need to consider when shopping for the best hiking boots on the market.
Great price, good quality, not too heavy, solid waterproofing, comfortable, molded EVA footbed, good traction, stable, durable leather upper, great lacing system, and stylish finish.
Lacking in support and not very breathable.
Performance: For women who want quality at a good price, look no further than these boots. Not only are they the best-priced on our list, but they're a durable, reliable pair that will keep up with any outdoor activity.
The leather upper makes the shoes both rugged and waterproof, and the lacing system will provide excellent stability to protect your ankles. The material is even covered with a stain-proof treatment that sheds debris, dust, and liquid. Best of all, they're a stylish choice, with a beautiful "hardcore" look that makes them ideal for any outdoorswoman.
Features: The boots come with a fairly aggressive tread, which offers good stability and traction on muddy, mossy, wet, and gravelly terrain. Though they don't have great breathability, they're a comfortable, well-padded boot that will be good for women with wide and long feet.
Price: Starting at just over $60, these are our best-priced offering. They offer great durability and comfort at a price tag you'll love.
Comfortable, sturdy, dependable, suited for all terrain, well-insulated, excellent quality materials and assembly, stylish, good support and protection, and waterproof.
Lacking breathability and can be hard to find the right size.
Performance: Made in the USA, Timberlands are one of the most familiar boots on the market, thanks to their durable construction. The boots are made with 100% waterproof leather, with a sturdy lacing system that will grip your feet tightly (reducing blisters) and offer excellent ankle support thanks to their high-top design.
The classic style of these boots is always a draw. The appearance is immediately recognizable, and they scream "hardcore" work or hiking boots. Thanks to their unique woman-specific insole, footbed, and midsole design, you'll be comfortable all day long in these well-padded boots.
Features: The fact that these boots are made of durable leather means they're waterproof, but sadly not the best-ventilated. However, the 400 grams of insulation built into the boots will keep your feet warm even in alpine and arctic conditions. With the built-in steel toe cap you can protect your feet on the hiking trail and construction site.
The soles are made with special rubber gum that increases traction without sacrificing durability or flexibility. The high shaft of the boot offers great ankle support when the boots are laced tightly, and the padded collar makes for excellent all-day comfort.
Price: Starting as low as $60 per pair, these are one of our best-priced hiking boots. They're a stylish, reliable, durable choice that you should definitely consider adding to your hiking gear.
Slim profile, comfortable, lightweight, solid traction, waterproof, durable outsoles, added heel cushioning, mid-height, great for day hiking, reasonable durability, odor-resistant lining, and good breathability.
Lacking support and not suited for heavier loads and rugged trails.
Performance: If you want a lightweight pair of boots for a day hike, you'll love these. They offer excellent comfort, good ventilation, and surprisingly excellent waterproofing (given the materials are synthetic). They weigh just 2 pounds, meaning you can wear them all day without tiring.
The lacing system is excellent, ensuring the boots grip your feet and ankles tightly as you scramble over rough and rocky ground. Though it's not built for truly rugged terrain, the boots are a comfortable option that will keep you hiking all day long through any forest, up any mountain, and along any riverbed.
Features: The original Moab was one of the top-rated hiking boots available, and the Moab 2 received an upgrade to just a few features: deeper cushioning for the heels, a higher arch in the insole, increased waterproofing, and added durability to the synthetic suede upper.
The Vibram outsoles offer excellent traction, thanks to the deep tread. With the moulded nylon shank built into the midsole, you'll find these shoes are surprisingly stable and offer great freedom of movement. The air cushions built into the heels will reduce joint impact and keep your knees, ankles, and feet from hurting after a long hike.
Price: Starting at $130, these are definitely on the pricier side. However, if you want lightweight comfort and durability, they're a great option to consider!
Hiking and walking boots, stylish, intended for casual around-town use, water-resistant, good value for the cost, durable, excellent support for your ankles, solid construction, and lightweight.
Shallow tread and not ideal for heavier hikers.
Performance: These are ranked as "all-purpose boots" because they're designed hiking, walking, camping, and wearing in the city. They're stylish, lightweight (at 1 lb, 7 oz), and a good-looking choice if you want to wear boots around town. Thanks to their woman-specific design, they're wonderfully comfortable!
Be warned: these are NOT hardcore hiking boots built for days on rugged trails. Their shallow tread means they don't offer the best traction, and they can't carry too much weight. However, they're great for walking around town, hitting the hiking trails, or walking in the forest in style. They offer excellent stability and support, and they are light enough for hour-long and day-long hikes.
Features: The nylon shank built into the midfoot of the sole keeps it nice and stiff, offering a solid platform for you to step off of. With solid laces, these mid-height boots are excellent for keeping your ankles stable. Women with ankle problems will love walking in these bad boys. The foot bed is designed specifically for a woman's foot, with arch and heel support to keep you comfortable as you walk or hike.
The boots come with their own unique waterproofing system. Thanks to the gusseted tongue, your feet will stay dry as you cross streams or walk in the rain. The synthetic material used for the boots' upper is dirt- and dust-resistant, meaning your boots will stay clean for longer.
Price: Starting at $100, these are a decently priced pair of boots that will come in handy on hikes or around town. They're not ideal for hardcore hikers, but women who prefer form over function will want a pair of these at home.
Top-rated waterproofing, comfortable, solid padding, good ankle support, solid lacing system, durable construction, stylish, short break-in time, and perfect for all-season hiking.
Boots feel bulky and the sole is a bit too soft and flexible for rugged terrain.
Performance: For those who want superior waterproofing for lake, river, and stream hikes, look no further than these bad boys. Made with a mesh and leather upper, the shoes offer better breathability than Gore-Tex boots, but without sacrificing waterproofing. You can put your whole foot in water without worrying about getting soaked. Thanks to the gusseted tongue, debris and dust will never get in your shoe.
The boots are built to last, with a solid construction that feels comfortable as you walk. The padded tongue can be a bit bulky, but the boots themselves are lightweight compared to Gore-Tex boots with similar waterproofing. The use of mesh and leather for the upper doesn't compromise the durability of the boots one bit!
Features: You will IMMEDIATELY love these boots, thanks to the extra-thick padding built into the ankle and heel. The boots are designed for women's feet specifically, with an Ortholite sockliner and EVA molded heel cup for maximum comfort. However, thanks to the breathable mesh lining, your feet will stay cool and dry all day long.
The solid lacing system and mid-height boot will offer excellent ankle support, and you'll find the aggressive tread pattern keeps your feet firm on even slippery and muddy ground. Though the outsole is a bit too soft and flexible for very rugged terrain, the grip is excellent.
Price: Starting at $100, these boots are on the lower end of the mid-priced range. Thanks to their excellent comfort and superior waterproofing, they're your best choice if you're hiking in wet and muddy conditions.
Incredibly sturdy, lightweight, waterproof, high ankle offers great stability, comfortable, keep your feet securely in place, no slipping or sliding, broad range of styles, good shock absorption,and long lifespan.
Lacking arch support and pricey.
Performance: For those who want one pair of hiking boots for years to come, these are definitely your top pick! Not only are they made with incredibly durable leather, but the stitching and construction is resistant to damage, wear, and water. You'll get easily 5 to 7 years of regular hiking from these bad boys.
The shoes offer great support for your feet and ankles, and you'll find they're beautifully comfortable. Though they weigh more than the average lightweight hiking boot (2.8 pounds), they're not too heavy even after an all-day hike. However, they are a tad bulky—they feel big and solid on your feet, but still perfect for all-terrain hiking. If you want quality and durability, these Lowa boots are your top choice.
Features: The high boot comes with a polyurethane shank built in to protect your ankles and improve stability of the shoe. Though they don't offer good arch support, they have a stiff sole that will protect the bottom of your feet from impact and sharp rocks. The Durby Cut lacing system is beautifully adjustable, and works with the gusseted tongue to offer padding, stability, and keep out debris and dirt.
The fit is roomy and perfect for wider-footed users, with excellent traction and superior waterproofing to many competing boots.
Price: Starting as high as $175, these are definitely on the pricier side of boots on our list. You get what you pay for, though: a pair of boots that will last you for years to come!
Versatile, lightweight, incredibly comfortable, enhances stability, provides excellent underfoot support, mid-height, breathable, protect your feet and toes, sturdy outsole, and great price.
Plagued by durability issues and lacking ankle support.
Performance: For those who want a versatile pair of hiking boots for all terrains, these Keen mid-height boots are definitely your top pick. Users love how comfortable they are, with the contoured heel lock and added heel support.
The stiff outsole provides amazing underfoot support for your feet, keeping you stable no matter how treacherous the footing. However, despite the mid-height, the ankle support could be better. You'll love how lightweight they are—you can wear them all day long without feeling your feet getting heavy.
The water-resistant design of the boots keeps your feet dry in wet conditions, and the mesh will allow for excellent breathability for your feet. Be warned: the mesh isn’t as durable as the leather upper, so it's prone to damage and durability issues.
Features: The extra-wide toe box reduces break-in time and keeps your feet from feeling cramped in the hiking boots. They're actually designed with wide-footed women in mind. However, be warned: the boots run half a size small.
The deep 4mm lugs give you excellent traction on slippery/muddy ground, loose gravel, and uneven terrain. Thanks to the rubber toe cap, your toes will always be protected. The metatomical footbed and dual-density compression molded midsoles will offer the arch support you need, keeping your feet comfortable and reducing joint impact throughout a long day of hiking.
Price: Starting at $90 per pair, these are one of the best-priced pairs of hiking boots on our list. They offer the comfort and versatility of higher-priced boots, but at a much more affordable cost. Definitely your top choice overall!
Buying hiking boots isn’t like shopping for everyday shoes. Factors that go beyond aesthetics and comfort come into play in the decision-making process.
And while choosing the best hiking boots can sometimes feel like a complicated matchmaking spectacle, there are a few tips that you can use to help you find the one.
We created this buying guide to help you navigate the all-too-confusing world of hiking gear. Hunting for the best hiking socks or the perfect hiking backpack is challenging enough. As much as possible, we want you to end up with the right hiking boots at first try!
You probably already heard this before, but adults are supposed to take 10,000 steps every single day.
And if you’re a hiker, it’s easy to see how your lifestyle will regularly have you walking way more than 10k steps. Knowing the amount of walking that comes with this activity really puts the importance of footwear choice into perspective.
Hiking boots are specifically made to make your hikes as safe and comfortable as possible. Here are the top reasons why investing in your own pair is a smart move:
While hiking boots are among the most popular types of footwear for avid hikers, you might hear that some people prefer to use trail running shoes or hiking sandals instead.
You can certainly get away with these types of footwear. At the end of the day, it all depends on your experience level and the type of terrain you’re trying to tackle.
That said, hiking boots are still the most recommended hiking footwear if:
Hiking boots are made up of four main parts: the upper, outsole, midsole, and toecap.
As you may have already guessed, the upper is—well—the upper part of a shoe. That said, its construction will influence a lot of your hiking boots' features, such as water resistance, durability, looks, and weight.
The upper is usually made of either one of three materials: natural leather, synthetics, or vegan leather. Some hiking boots, however, have uppers that are made using a combination of two different types of materials.
A leather upper will typically be very durable. Many people also prefer leather hiking boots because of aesthetic reasons.
Synthetic uppers, meanwhile, are known to be lightweight and affordable.
Lastly, vegan leather is a great option if you like the look and feel of leather but are against animal products.
The midsole comprises the part of the boot in between the outsole and footbed. The midsole is responsible for cushioning your feet and protecting them from stress caused by your steps and rough terrain.
Midsoles are usually made using either polyurethane or ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). The former is firm, rigid, and durable. Polyurethane is also a lot harder to break in.
Meanwhile, EVA is lighter and more flexible. Boots made with EVA are typically more affordable, as well.
Hiking boots usually sport a rubber outsole. Unlike the upper and midsole, there really isn’t a lot of variety as far as the outsole is concerned.
This really isn’t surprising given that rubber is widely recognized as the best material because of its durability.
But this doesn’t mean that all outsoles are the same! Instead of taking materials into consideration, look into the heel break and lug pattern.
The heel brake is an important part of the boot as it helps improve downhill stability and control. The lug pattern, on the other hand, plays a crucial role in the amount of traction and grip you’ll get. We highly recommend getting a pair of hiking boots whose lugs are spaced widely enough for easier mud removal.
The three main factors you have to consider when selecting the best hiking boots for women are style, fit, and terrain. Special features, such as a waterproof lining and insulation, are also available.
There are two main categories of hiking boots: day hiking boots and backpacking boots.
Day hiking boots are the usual mid- to high-cut models that are meant for day hikes and short hiking trips. They usually cover at least half the ankle and are ideal if you frequently bring light to medium loads.
Day hiking boots are a bit more flexible than backpacking boots. They’re also easier to break-in.
Backpacking boots, meanwhile, typically go up above the ankles for extra support. They’re better suited to more heavy-duty use, such as when you have a multiple-day trip or are planning to bring a heavy load.
Backpacking boots may be used for both on-trail and off-trail travel. They’re a bit heavier than day hiking boots, but they’re typically more durable and supportive.
Getting the right fit is important regardless of shoe type, but it becomes even more crucial when it comes to hiking boots.
Hiking boots have a very rigid structure. The toe box doesn’t soften or expand like what happens in a normal shoe. This is why getting a pair of boots that fit right and feel comfortable from the very beginning is a must.
And because of the general stiffness of hiking shoes, you’re more prone to getting aches and blisters if you end up wearing the wrong size. Other unsightly and unpleasant consequences of wearing the wrong hiking boots are:
A nice-fitting pair of hiking boots will not squash the sides of your forefoot. In addition, boots shouldn’t be so tight that they affect your circulation. However, they should still feel snug enough such that your feet aren’t sliding forward while you’re walking.
Also, it will be mightily helpful to do the index finger test when trying on a pair of hiking boots for the first time.
First, wear your boots, leave them unlaced, and then stand upright. Slide your foot towards the toe box until you can feel the front part of the shoe. At this point, you should be able to comfortably slip your index finger in between your heel and the back part of the shoe.
Where do you plan to hike? Will you be hiking on rough but flat ground? Or do you see yourself going up and down a sloping terrain?
These are important considerations because the type of terrain you want to conquer will play a big role in determining the best hiking boots for you. Rigid soles with an extra grippy lug pattern will do wonders on unstable ground, while hiking on flat ground will enable you to get away with softer and more flexible boots.
If you want to keep your feet protected from water and mud, hiking boots that are fitted with a waterproof upper are your best bet. The downside? The reduced breathability of the waterproof upper also reduces ventilation. As a result, your feet are more likely to sweat during hot weather.
Insulated hiking boots
Some hiking boots for women feature synthetic insulation to help keep your feet warm. These boots are useful when you’re hiking on snow or glaciers.
Hiking boots can be pretty expensive depending on the make and brand. As such, it’s only natural for us to want to get the most out of our investment.
Your hiking boots will last longer if you take care of them properly. Boot care is a bit different than normal shoe care, but that doesn’t mean that it’s difficult.
That being said, here are a few tips and tricks that you can follow to prolong the life of your hiking boots.