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Whether you're heading out on a long hike or cruising your local trails after work, a good pair of hiking boots can make all the difference. With so many different pairs on offer these days, deciding which to buy can prove difficult. When shopping for new hiking boots, the most important factor — arguably — is finding a boot that fits your foot well. Be sure to try them on in store and walk around to ensure they're comfortable, there are no potential pain points, and that your heels don’t slip and your toes don't bang into the front of the boot. From there, other features to consider include material (leather, synthetic, etc.), water- and weather-proofing, overall weight, and, finally, style. Below are some of our favorite hiking boots for women, so you can get off the internet and out on the trail.
Best Overall: Oboz Bridger B-DRY Hiking Boot
Great for both hiking and backpacking, the Bridger's mid-height all-leather upper delivers excellent support and requires hardly any break-in time. The heel is narrower to accommodate female feet and keep them from slipping, but the toe box remains roomy to let your toes wiggle and allow for heavier socks in cold weather. The molded rubber toe cap offers extra protection from errant roots or rocks that jump out on the trail. Oboz’s B-Dry waterproof membrane ensures these boots are 100-percent waterproof while still allowing your feet to breathe. Three different densities of foam in the insole provide both cushioning and underfoot support for long days on the trail with heavy loads. The beefy outsole protects your foot from sharp objects underneath, while trail-gripping lugs provide reliable traction over a variety of surfaces while shedding any mud build up. The Bridger B-DRY hiking boots come in a variety of colors — our favorite is Rio Red.
Best Budget: Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot
These affordable hiking boots from well-known sportswear brand Columbia are built tough with a waterproof full-grain leather and suede upper that will keep your feet dry in the worst of trail conditions, while a durable mesh tongue adds breathability on warmer days. Inside, the Newton's cushioned midsole delivers plenty of support for long days outside. Hold tight to varied terrain with super-gripping, non-marking rubber outsoles that love to hug good dirt (not to mention rocks, grass, gravel, roots, and snow). The retro-cool style of the Newton Ridge will have people complimenting your boots as you hike on by. You can pick them up in one of two color combos: brown and red or navy and teal.
Best Leather: Danner Mountain 600
The Danner Mountain 600 is a modern-day version of the brand's classic leather boot from decades ago. Designed to withstand everything the Pacific Northwest weather can throw at them, the 600s feature a smooth, full-grain leather upper with a 100-percent waterproof barrier that allows moisture to escape without letting water inside. Danner partnered with Vibram to create a cushioning yet supportive midsole and a super grippy outsole that offers traction on both wet and dry surfaces. The removable Ortholite footbed provides an extra level of cushion and support while promoting air circulation under your feet. The boots come with two different colored laces so you can choose which one best matches your style or mood for the day.
Best for Long Distance: Altra Lone Peak 3.5 Mid Mesh
Check out the feet of any hiker on the Pacific Crest Trail or Appalachian Trail and you'll likely find they're wearing some form of Lone Peak from Altra. This mid-level version provides extra ankle support with a durable mesh upper that allows your feet to breathe during long days on the trail. A hook-and-loop tab system enables you to attach gaiters to further prevent debris from getting inside your boots. Altra’s signature foot-shaped last and large toe box let your toes spread out naturally, giving you more stability and comfort on uneven terrain. A flexible plate that sits right above the midsole protects your feet from sharp rocks and other objects on the trail. All Altra shoes are built on a fully-cushioned, zero-drop platform, meaning your heel and forefoot are the same distance from the ground. This encourages natural, low-impact form as you hike up or down the trail. The rubber outsole and unique tread pattern provide excellent traction over a variety of terrain, even on steep and loose climbs and descents.
Best Knit: Keen Terradora EVO
Keen's Terradora EVO is an all-day boot that is stylish enough to wear to the coffee shop while delivering the performance you need for a full day on the trail or even a workout at the gym. The boots are built on a women’s specific last with a narrow heel, low collar height, and glove-like fit. The lightweight mesh upper is ultra-breathable to keep your feet fresh in warm conditions and provides a sock-like fit that moves seamlessly around your ankle. An all-terrain rubber outsole delivers reliable grip with 4mm multi-directional lugs that are able to bite into the terrain when traversing more demanding surfaces. A dual-density foam footbed offers arch support and is removable in case you want to add your own aftermarket insoles. The Terradora EVO comes in 10+ colors — including grey, green, navy, purple, brown, and pink — so you should be able to find a pair you like.
Best Design: Ahnu Montara III
Comfortable straight out of the box, these lightweight hiking boots from Ahnu will be your new stylish best friend. A Nubuck leather upper and leather lining sandwiches a waterproof breathable membrane that works hard to keep the rain out and your feet dry. The liner features an antimicrobial treatment to keep the funk out of your boots, even after wearing them for days in a row. A foam midsole and foam sock-liner cushion your foot and ensure the boots remain comfortable from the first step to the last. The Vibram Megagrip outsole delivers great traction on loose or slippery surfaces whether you're hiking on packed dirt, mud, or snow. The Montara III comes in a variety of fun colors to match your style or mood; pick them up in blue, brown, deep wine, or grey.
Best Waterproof: Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX
The popular X Ultra Mid 3 GTX from Salomon gives you the lightweight comfort of a trail runner with the extra support and stability of a hiking boot, just sans the added bulk. Salomon’s Sensifit exoskeleton hugs your foot for added stability and the speed laces let you dial in a custom fit. A padded collar ups the comfort level and cuts down on the possibility of hot spots on your ankle. These hiking boots are great for technical trails and descending rugged and slick terrain thanks to the Contagrip rubber outsole. The thick rubber toe cap keeps you from stubbing your toes if you trip over rocks or roots on the trail. The durable leather and mesh upper is backed by a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane to ensure your feet stay dry even in the worst of trail conditions. Pairs are available in a handful of colors including grey, blue, and acai purple.
Best Lightweight: Hoka One One Tor Ultra Hi WP
As the old saying goes, “a pound on your feet is worth five pounds on your back,” so ditch the clunky hiking boots in favor of an ultralight alternative. Hoka One One is best in class in terms of lightweight cushioning for running shoes and their hiking boots are no different. The Tor Ultra Hi WP give you running shoe performance with a supportive trekking upper for fast and long days on the trail. The durable full-grain leather and nylon upper is paired with an eVent waterproof bootie membrane that keeps your feet dry while letting them breathe. The hiking boots feature laces that go all the way to the toes so you can cinch them down or dial in a more custom fit. The rocker geometry of the foam midsole guides your foot through a natural and smooth stride as you hike, while the Vibram MegaGrip rubber outsole delivers bomber traction over loose surfaces. Each boot weighs less than a pound so will greatly cut down on your fatigue levels over the course of the day. Of course, we can't bypass the boot's design, either. The lightweight design comes in eye-catching palettes like blue and pink, so you'll never mix your boots up with anyone else's.