The 7 Best Hiking Boots for Women to Buy in 2018

Tackle the trails in these built-to-last shoes

Your everyday sneakers or running shoes will only get you so far on the hiking trails. Hiking boots are a better match for uneven terrain, hilly ascents, and slippery sections of downhill paths. Investing in a good pair won’t only keep you comfortable and safe while you explore, but will also give you greater access to the great outdoors.

When choosing hiking boots, pay attention to the sizing. You’ll want a pair that fits snugly at the heel (remember that you’ll be wearing a pair of thick socks, too) and has some wiggle room in the toes, but not so much that you would get blisters. Ready to start shopping? These boots are made for walking…as well as climbing, scrambling and much more. Here, the best hiking boots for women.

Best Overall: Merrell Women’s Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe

A pair of hiking boots that are comfortable from the get-go, like the Merrell Moab shoes, means that you won’t have to deal with rubbing and blisters as you break them in. These hiking boots are made from leather and fabric and feature Vibram-branded lugs (those tire-like grips on the shoe’s sole) everywhere but the arch. This provides stability and traction in wet and dry conditions as well as hot and cold temperatures, while still allowing the foot to flex naturally. The boots also fight odor caused by sweat and moisture thanks to antimicrobial technology.

People rave about how good these shoes feel on the feet, and many reviewers say they even wear them at home or to work because they provide so much support and they have a low-cut. The hiking boot comes in five different colorways, and the neutral shades pair just as well with outdoor gear as they do with jeans, so they can do double duty.

Best Mid-Height: Bogs Women’s Bend Hiking Boot

Boots with a higher ankle cuff offer a tad more ankle support compared to lower cut boots, while also providing an extra few inches of protection against scratches, poison ivy, bug bites, and other outdoor bummers as you hike. The Bogs Bend boot has a shaft height that measures 6.25’’ from the arch of the shoe to the top of the cuff. It features an upper made from nubuck leather and breathable mesh.

Reviewers say that extra padding near the ankle area and a roomy toe box make this boot extra comfy, and many agree that it takes no time at all to break them in. And don’t worry about working up a sweat in this pair: The shoes feature DuraFresh technology to prevent them from smelling funky.

Best Lightweight: Keen Women’s Terradora Mid Waterproof Hiking Shoe

Clunky, heavy hiking boots won’t just weigh you down—they can also be unpleasant to wear. That’s why we like the Keen Terradora shoe, which is wonderfully light and streamlined, yet sturdy. Rather than being a shrunken down version of a guy’s boot, this shoe is specifically designed for a woman’s foot. Details like a narrower shape and slightly higher arch make the hiking boot fit snugly as if it were custom designed for your trotters.

People who have worn the Keen Terradora boots say that they fit like a glove but still provide ample support and stability for long hikes (one reviewer successfully completed a six-day hike in these shoes). The stylish boots also look great off the trail and will keep you comfortable during a long day of running errands.

Best Waterproof: Forsake Patch

Wet or even slightly damp hiking boots can quickly lead to painful blisters, so a waterproof shoe is a smart option for rainy day hikes as well as traipsing through streams or across dewy fields. The Forsake Patch shoe has a seam-sealed waterproof but breathable construction that keeps feet dry in even the wettest of conditions. In addition, a gusseted tongue stops water and debris from seeping into the boot through the lace eyelets.

People who own the Forsake Patch hiking boots say that the shoes are sturdy without being bulky or heavy, and one reviewer even wore them in the rain and mud for three days without any leaks. We call that a win!

Best Leather: Ahnu Women’s Montara Waterproof Boot

When it comes to durability and comfort, many argue that hiking boots made from leather are best. The Ahnu Montara shoe, constructed from waterproof-oiled leather and a rubber traction sole, is engineered to promote a natural stride and encourage proper alignment of the body from the ground up. These have a mid to high height and come in five color options ranging from a brown with faux fur to a lively purple. 

People who have the boots agree that the leather feels and looks good on and also holds up remarkably well in wet weather. In fact, one reviewer says that her feet stayed dry when hiking through an ankle-deep creek.

Best Synthetic: Adidas Outdoor Women’s AX2 Hiking Shoe

It’s not a problem if leather shoes aren’t for you (maybe you’re vegan, want a more affordably-priced shoe, or prefer the feel of synthetic): There are superb hiking boots made from high-tech, man-made materials. One to try is the Adidas AX2 shoe. It features a textile and synthetic upper and a high-traction rubber sole. Available in a variety of fun colors—from ice green to a school bus orange—they’re sure to brighten up the trail. These also have a low-cut which makes them usable for both a hike and your everyday needs.

Those who own the AX2 hiking boots say that the traction is excellent on both rocky trails and slippery rocks. Some people do recommend going down half a size since these can run slightly large.

Best Cushioning: Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot

Whether you’ll be hiking for a couple of hours or spending a few days backpacking, a comfortable boot will make the journey that much more enjoyable. The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus shoe features Techlite cushioning throughout the midsole for impact absorption (read: no sore knees). On top of that, the boots are made from waterproof leather and are stain resistant.

One person who owns the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus hiking boots says that the plush cushioning feels like walking on clouds, and other reviewers agree that they are comfortable right out of the box.

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