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When you’re hitting the trail, or going on a multi-day trek, having the best womens hiking boots is absolutely crucial. While cute hiking boots are a plus, the most important factors should be comfort, traction, weight, and support. These are the most recommended styles according to our readers!
Most Comfortable Hiking Boots
Table Of Contents
Spoiled by my incredible Meindl leather waterproof hiking boots, it’s been a challenge for me to buy a replacement pair. While I absolute love my Meindls, I bought them to hike Everest Base Camp in winter, but they can get very heavy for the average hike in spring and summer.
As I shopped for more lightweight boots, there were several factors that were non-negotiable for me:
- Waterproof: for mud, streams, and rain
- Traction: so I can traverse any terrain with confidence
- Breathability: because my feet swell in the heat
- Weight: so I wouldn’t want to throw them off a mountain after wearing them for several hours
Honestly, I prefer functionality over fashion when I hit the trails. I know how good it feels to have the right gear vs regular or fitness clothes that won’t keep me cool, sweat-free, and comfortable.
In a perfect world, I’d find stylish hiking boots that also ticked every one of my requirements, but this can be a bit of a challenge.
My preference is neutral brown or grey colors and I avoid any hiking boots that have bright or pastel colors, because let’s face it, outdoor brands seem to offer women candy colors in their clothing vs clean and classic designs. (Tip: buy neutral colored shoe laces if you don’t like the ones that come with your boots.)
I also like the look of leather hiking boots because they look more like regular boots vs outdoor shoes, but they tend to be a bit on the heavier side.
The Scarpa boots I’m wearing in the above pic were an awesome find!
Don’t make my mistake and wait until last minute to buy boots. Start your research in advance and test out a couple of pairs so you have time to find the right shoes for your feet. The most popular styles get sold out quite quickly!
Here is our TFG reader round-up of the most cute hiking boots for women that also prioritize functionality, too.
What are the Best Womens Hiking Boots?
Spoiler alert: our readers love these three styles the best:
- Scarpa Moraine Mid GTX Hiking Shoe
- Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid Hiking Boot
- Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boot
Scarpa Moraine Waterproof Hiking Boots
Before I tell you all about why the aforementioned styles are some of the most popular hiking boots, let me share a little about why I’m obsessed with my Scarpa boots!
First and most importantly, they have excellent traction. They’re also waterproof, supportive, and were comfortable with zero break in period.
I originally wanted the less expensive Merrell Moabs but they looked a bit too wide on me so I took a chance on these and they ended up being incredible.
As a bonus, they had no break in period. I hiked the small but challenging Great Sand Dunes in Colorado right after buying them and then spent several hours hiking Utah national parks daily for the following two weeks.
I normally wear a size 7 but based on the recommendation of the sales associate, I sized up to a 7.5 and this was a good choice allowing room for my toes not to touch the tip of the boots when hiking on inclines. The toe box was wider than normal, which I didn’t think was important for my narrow/medium size foot, but this may have contributed to their comfort.
Can’t recommend them enough!
Check out our Scarpa boots review to learn why these boots compare to other outdoor brands like Merrell or Keen!
Ariat Terrain Waterproof Hiking Boots
These Ariat hiking boots have a robust and rugged, oiled full-grain leather which may contribute to why they’re the best-selling option on our list. These hiking shoes for women is made using the Waterproof PRO technology, keeping the water out and your feet dry, even in heavy rain and a classic style. Featuring a lightweight EVA midsole for superior shock absorption and the Duratread outsole for maximum wear resistance and flexibility, you’ll stay sure-footed and comfortable; A must have for any rider, hiker or hunter.
One user explains, “These hiking boots have seen many different climates and terrains, and I’ve been happy with their performance in all of them. Ice-crusted trails, rocky ledges, paths covered with two feet of fresh powder? This boot has your back.”
Merrell Moab Ventilator Hiking Boots with Arch Support
Our readers love Merrells for the outdoors. The above Merrell Boots have good arch support, are comfortable and even more, they are sustainable, made from recycled materials. They have to be one of the top hiking boots Amazon sells for a reason!
TFG readers rave about these lightweight waterproof hiking boots, “They are great! I hiked the Inca Trail in them. No blister or pain of any kind. I wear them on all my hikes now.”
Merrell Moab 2 Lightweight Hiking Shoes
Alternatively, for a more packable, lightweight option, consider the Merrell Moab 2 Hiking Waterproof Shoe if you don’t need much ankle support, are doing light hiking in the summer, or need the occasional pair of hiking boots for a long-term trip..
A reader shares, “The low-cut Merrell’s are a great option. They’re lightweight because they don’t go as high. I have a pair that I love and wear for all hiking unless I need the really intense ankle support for backpacking or similar.”
Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boots Available in Wide Sizes
These durable, mid cut Columbia hiking boots are built for comfort. The feature seam-sealed waterproof construction to keep your feet dry, even in the wettest conditions. The signature Omni-grip traction rubber soles provide a high level of grip across the slippiest and crumbliest of terrains too.
A reviewer shares, “These waterproof hiking boots women held up against all different types of climates and weather on my road trip and they still look great! We went through water, desert, rain, and mud, and these boots held up fine.”
Columbia Redmond Comfortable Hiking Shoe
For Columbia fans that prefer a lighter weight hiking shoe vs an ankle boot, try the Redmond waterproof boots. Available in a range of sizes, 5-12, this all-purpose hiker offers a multi-purpose option that’s durable and priced under $100.
They’re a more budget-friendly version of the Merrell Moabs and recommended for wide feet. However, whether or not they offer enough arch support is debatable. They may be best for low maintenance feet.
Timberland White Ledge Leather Hiking Boots Available in Wide Sizes
If you’re looking for leather hiking boots women love, in a more classic style, then consider the above option by Timberland. They have mid ankle height support and are waterproof for the wettest and coldest of conditions
One user shares, ”They were honestly very comfortable from the moment I put them on. ÷I wore them for 12 hours while making firewood and by the time I took them off that evening they were broke in. (My feet were still dry AND did not hurt!) The padding around the ankle and the tongue is comfortable without being too bulky.”
Vasque Breeze Hiking Boots Available in Narrow and Wide Sizes
These Vasque hiking boots are comfortable and supportive. They have abrasion-resistant air mesh panels for breathability and a study sole.
TFG readers LOVE these boots, but recommend them more for dry and warm condition hikes. One reader says, “If you’re doing a trek where you may be at high altitude, but conditions will be dry (for example, Mount Kilimanjaro) you’d totally be fine with the Vasques.”
Another warns that she stumbled into an icy stream wearing hers, and although they were waterproof, they did leave her cold for the rest of the hike.
Remember to always cross rivers and rocks extra cautiously regardless of how much traction your shoes have in other terrain! I like using hiking poles for long or challenging hikes and recommend these by Trail Buddy.
Keen Targhee II Hiking Boots
If you want a boot that’s comfortable and breathable then check out these Keen hiking boots. Women like them for their sturdy rubber sole and find that they offer sturdy support around the ankle and heel for stability on uneven terrain.
While they cost about $150 at full price, some colors and sizes are available under $100 on Amazon. They offer seven colors in sizes 5-11 and have over 1,000 positive reviews!
Note that some reviews mention that they’re not waterproof but are good for wide feet.
Skechers Trego Alpine Lightweight Trail Hiking Boot
This lightweight trail hiking boots from Skechers has mesh fabric panels at tongue and collar for breathable comfort, while rubber all terrain traction outsole and relaxed fit design for a roomy comfortable fit. Full length cushioned offers air-cooled memory foam and removable insole, which makes it comfortable to use.
One wearer says, “They are comfy, not too bulky and best of all not one single blister. I have gone through many puddles in them and my feet have remained blissfully dry. Skechers sizes are always on the large size, but the thick hiking socks make them perfect. Very happy with my purchase.”
Best Hiking Boots Comparison Chart
|BRAND | MODEL||FEATURES | REVIEWS||RATING | PRICE|
|Scarpa Moraine Mid GTX Hiking Shoe||First and most importantly, they have excellent traction. They’re also waterproof, supportive, and were comfortable with zero break in period.||Check Price|
|Ariat Terrain Waterproof Hiking Boot||“These hiking boots have seen many different climates and terrains, and I've been happy with their performance in all of them.”||Check Price|
|Merrell Moab Ventilator Mid Hiking Boot||“They are great! I hiked the Inca Trail in them. No blister or pain of any kind. I wear them on all my hikes now.”||Check Price|
|Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe||“They’re lightweight because they don’t go as high. I have a pair that I love and wear for all hiking unless I need the really intense ankle support for backpacking or similar.”||Check Price|
|Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot||“These waterproof hiking boots women held up against all different types of climates and weather on my road trip and they still look great!”||Check Price|
|Columbia Redmond V2 Waterproof Hiking Shoe||They’re a more budget-friendly version of the Merrell Moabs and recommended for wide feet.||Check Price|
|Timberland White Ledge Mid Ankle Boot||”I wore them for 12 hours while making firewood and by the time I took them off that evening they were broke in.”||Check Price|
|Vasque Breeze at Mid GTX Hiking Boot||“If you’re doing a trek where you may be at high altitude, but conditions will be dry you’d totally be fine with the Vasques.”||Check Price|
|KEEN Targhee 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot||Women like them for their sturdy rubber sole and find that they offer sturdy support around the ankle and heel for stability on uneven terrain.||Check Price|
|Skechers Women's Relaxed Fit Trego Alpine Trail Hiking Boot||"They are comfy, not too bulky and best of all not one single blister. I have gone through many puddles in them and my feet have remained blissfully dry."||Check Price|
What Is Important to Consider When Purchasing Womens Hiking Boots?
Keep in mind the soles of the boots. One TFG reader shares this awesome advice. “Many boots will have thinner and lighter soles that put less strain on your ankles, but if they’re too thin you’ll feel every rock and crack after just a few miles. If the terrain you’ll be on is rugged with a lot of boulders, this will kill your feet. Try for a happy medium between thick and too thin.”
Also think about how supportive they are. Another TFG reader explains, “It’s also important to consider how much ankle support you really need, i.e., are you going to be carrying a heavy pack, do you have weak ankles, are you going to be going back down steep grades?”
Looking for some extra support? Check out our readers tried and tested recommendations for the best insoles to add to your walking boots for even more comfort.
How Do You Break In Your Trekking Boots?
TFG readers explain that you need to get your feet used to your boots before you wear them. It’s recommended you have about a month of wear in them before setting out on your big adventures. One gives this tip, “Wear them on all training hikes, with the pack weight you will carry.”
Any Advice To Avoid Blisters?
Blisters can be brutal and they can make a trail trip turn miserable. One TFG reader shares this awesome trick. “Pantyhose! The thin, knee-high kind. If you wear them under your socks, it reduces the rubbing that can cause blisters. I always use them when I’m breaking in a new pair of boots.”
Another point to mention is no matter how well your boots fit—if you don’t have well-fitting socks to go with them, then it’s not worth the bother! A TFG reader recommends, “Don’t skimp on socks, get the Bridgedales or other technical socks, and walk pain-free!”
Here are more recommendations for hiking socks!
How Do You Make Sure They Fit Properly?
If your womens walking boots don’t fit well, it’s a sure fire way to get a blister. TFG readers recommend visiting an outdoor store and trying them on. Lots even have fully trained staff who specialize in fitting hiking boots, so you can find ones that fit like a glove.
Also, consider choosing half a size up to leave room for movement when walking downhill.
How Do I Travel With Womens Outdoor Boots?
Women’s hiking boots can be the heaviest and bulkiest of the items you take with you on a backpacking trip, for this reason, we recommend that you wear them on the plane for your journey, to optimize the baggage allowance you have in your backpack.
What are your favorite women’s hiking boots? What do you recommend—let us know in the comments below!
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