Tackle the Trails With the Best Women’s Hiking Boots

Log some serious mileage with the right footwear

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

The Rundown

Best Overall: Lowa Renegade GTX Mid at zappos.com

"These boots offer all of the must-have features you could ever need on a hike."

Best for Wide Feet: Hoka Women’s Challenger Mid Gore-Tex at backcountry.com

"These boots are available in wide sizes and conform easily to your feet, ensuring that you stay comfortable on long, sweaty hikes."

Best for Winter: Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex at backcountry.com

"The seam-sealed Gore-Tex membranes allow vapor to escape, keeping your feet dry, cool, and well-protected."

Best Lightweight: Keen Women’s Voyageur Mid at backcountry.com

"They are extremely lightweight, flexible, and require very minimal breaking in, making them a great pick for day hiking. "

Best Style: Season Three The Ultralight Hiking Boot at seasonthree.com

"Versatile, comfy, and oh-so-chic, these boots are rugged enough for the trail, but stylish enough to wear out."

Best Casual: Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Waterproof Wide Width at zappos.com

"These boots offer a nice mid-ground between a hiking boot and running shoe."

Best Arch Support: Keen Women’s Targhee Vent Mid at keenfootwear.com

"These boots are anatomically engineered to provide awesome arch support and cradle the natural contours of the foot."

Best Ankle Support: Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot at zappos.com

"These boots provide ample ankle support for long days on the trail."

Best Value: XPERIA Women’s Thermometer Outdoor Boot at Amazon

"This pick offers an unbeatable blend of affordability and performance."

Best Splurge: Danner Women's Mountain Light Cascade Clovis at backcountry.com

"These highly durable, versatile boots are worth every penny if you’re thinking long-term."

Whether you’re planning to do a short day hike, a weekend backpacking trip, or the length of the Pacific Crest Trail, the most important piece of hiking gear isn’t your tent, clothes, or trekking poles—it’s your footwear. Wearing the wrong boots can result in hot spots, painful blisters, and, eventually, pure misery on the trail. And while some boots are better-quality than others, picking the right boots really depends on some key criteria. Namely, what type of terrain will you be hiking on, and for how long? Do you need shoes that are designed to carry heavy loads (AKA a rugged high-cut model with extra ankle support) or shoes that are made for light-carrying day hikes (so, a more lightweight, flexible model)? There are dozens of different styles to pick from, for different purposes and settings, all of which will fit your foot a little bit differently.

To help you make the most informed decision possible, keep reading for the best women's hiking boots, as well as important specs and buying considerations.

Best Overall: Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots - Women's

Courtesy of REI

What We Like
  • 100 percent waterproof

  • Comes in various widths

  • Excellent support

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid hiking boots offer all of the must-have features you could ever need on a hike, whether you’re going on a short jaunt or a multi-day trek through the backcountry. These stellar-quality boots provide excellent support at a low weight and full waterproof protection, thanks to the Gore-Tex liners and water-repellent nubuck leather uppers. The derby-cut lacing fits a wide variety of foot volumes, and full-length nylon shanks offer optimal support for long days on your feet.

Material: Nubuck leather, polyester, nylon | Size range: 7.5 to 16 | Weight: 2 pounds 2 ounces | Waterproof: Yes

Best for Wide Feet: Hoka Women’s Challenger Mid Gore-Tex

Hoka Women’s Challenger Mid Gore-Tex

Courtesy of Backcountry

What We Like
  • Comes in various widths

  • Excellent support

What We Don't Like
  • Only one color available

Super-comfy, breathable, and available in wide sizes, the Hoka Women’s Challenger Mid Gore-Tex boots conform easily to your feet, ensuring that you stay comfortable on long, sweaty hikes. The anatomically designed, molded foam collar provides additional ankle support, while the waterproof nubuck leather upper and Gore-Tex bootie provide a steadfast barrier from a variety of weather conditions.

Material: Nubuck leather | Size range: 5 to 11 | Weight: 12.4 ounces | Waterproof: Yes

Best for Winter: Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex

Salomon Quest 4D GTX Backpacking Boot - Women's

Courtesy of Backcountry

What We Like
  • Designed to make vapor escape

  • Excellent stability and grip

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

Everything about the Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex hiking boots was designed with winter backpacking in mind—heavy-duty, weatherproof support is the name of the game with these boots. The seam-sealed Gore-Tex membranes allow vapor to escape, keeping your feet dry, cool, and well-protected. Offering serious stability and cushioning, these boots also have improved outsoles for better grip on all surfaces, including snow and ice.

Material: Nubuck leather/textile | Size range: 7 to 14 | Weight: 2 pounds 5 ounces | Waterproof: Yes

Best Lightweight: Keen Women’s Voyageur Mid

Keen Women’s Voyageur Midi

Courtesy of Keen Footwear

What We Like
  • Keeps feet dry

  • Excellent support

What We Don't Like
  • Not waterproof; only water-resistant

The Keen’s Voyageur Mid boots are extremely lightweight, flexible, and require very minimal breaking in, making them a great pick for day hiking. Thanks to the mesh insets, your feet stay extremely cool and dry, and the built-in shank ensures a stable, well-supported jaunt across all types of terrain. The leather and mesh upper are both water-resistant, too.

Material: Leather, rubber, and EVA | Size range: 5 to 11 | Weight: 13.5 ounces | Waterproof: No

Best Style: Season Three The Ultralight Hiking Boot

The Ansel

Courtesy of Season Three

What We Like
  • Handmade

  • Can be worn on and off the trails

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

We’ll just come out and say it: The Ultralight Hiking Boot from Season Three is the coolest boot in town. Versatile, comfy, and oh-so-chic, these boots are rugged enough for the trail, but stylish enough to wear to a fancy dinner out. Handmade in a small, family-owned factory in Northern Italy, these boots boast superior craftsmanship in the form of a premium Italian leather upper, full merino wool lining, ortholite insoles, and more.   

Material: Premium Italian leather, merino wool, and ortholite | Size range: 8 to 13 (men's) and 6 to 9 (women's) | Weight: Not listed | Waterproof: Yes

Best Casual: Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Waterproof Wide Width

Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Waterproof Wide Width

Courtesy of Merrell

What We Like
  • Excellent support

  • Comes in various widths

What We Don't Like
  • Limited color options

If you don’t need or want to wear super heavy-duty boots on the trail, get the Merrell Women’s Moab 2 boot, which offers a nice mid-ground between a hiking boot and running shoe. Don’t let the casual style fool you—these boots bring the goods when it comes to support and protection, including Vibram traction, durable leathers, a supportive footbed, and water resistance. 

Material: Suede leather/mesh, nylon, EVA, and rubber | Size range: 5 to 11 | Weight: 1 pound 12 ounces | Waterproof: Yes

Best Arch Support: Keen Women’s Targhee Vent Mid

Keen Women’s Targhee Vent Midi

Courtesy of Keen Footwear

What We Like
  • Excellent support

  • Has odor control

What We Don't Like
  • Not waterproof

Gals with flat arches who need a little extra help in the arch support department will delight in the Keen Women’s Targhee Vent Midi Boots. These boots are anatomically engineered to provide awesome arch support and cradle the natural contours of the foot. The EVA midsole provides ample-yet-lightweight cushioning, while the rubber outsole allows for a higher-traction grip.

Material: Leather, EVA, rubber | Size range: 5 to 11 | Weight: 1 pound 11.5 ounces | Waterproof: No

Best Ankle Support: Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boot

Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot - Women's

Courtesy of Backcountry

What We Like
  • Comes in various colors

  • Excellent support

What We Don't Like
  • Sizes run narrow

The Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Hiking Boots provide ample ankle support for long days on the trail, with Omni-Tech, waterproof, breathable membrane bootie construction, plus a cushy, lightweight midsole and super-grippy rubber outsoles.

Material: Leather, mesh, and rubber | Size range: 5 to 12 | Weight: 13.4 ounces | Waterproof: Yes

Best Value: XPERIA Women’s Thermometer Outdoor Boot

What We Like
  • Keeps feet dry

  • Excellent stability and grip

What We Don't Like
  • Limited color options

If cost is a concern when you’re searching for the perfect hiking boot, you can’t go wrong with the XPERIA Women’s Thermometer Outdoor Boots, which offer an unbeatable blend of affordability and performance. The waterproof mesh upper and hydro-shield membrane keep your feet dry and warm, and the rubber toe cap and outsole give great traction on rocky terrain.

Material: Rubber, EVA, and TPU | Size range: 6 to 11 | Weight: 7.05 ounces | Waterproof: Yes

Best Splurge: Danner Women's Mountain Light Cascade Clovis

Danner Women's Mountain Light Cascade Clovis

Courtesy of Danner

What We Like
  • Handmade

  • Very durable

What We Don't Like
  • Only comes in one color

Here’s the thing about Danners: They’ll literally last forever. So while the price tag may seem intimidating, these highly durable, versatile boots are worth every penny if you’re thinking long-term. Every single pair of the Womens’ Mountain Light Cascade Clovis boots is made by hand in Portland, Oregon, with full-grain leather, waterproof Gore-Tex liners, and Vibram Kletterlift outsoles.

Material: Full-grain leather, nylon, and rubber | Size range: 5.5 to 11 | Weight: 3 pounds | Waterproof: Yes

Final Verdict

Our top pick is the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid hiking boots (view at Zappos). We love that these well-crafted, fully waterproof boots provide such awesome support at a low weight (a rarity).

What to Look For in Women's Hiking Boots

Fit

Even if you think you know your shoe size, get fitted anyway when you’re trying on hiking boots. The most important thing to remember about fit is that your boots should feel snug (but not tight) everywhere, except you should have a little room to wiggle your toes. (Never buy any boot that cramps your toes.)

Comfort

To ensure the utmost comfort (aside from getting boots that fit perfectly), your shoes need to have ample padding and the right shape. Look for good internal ankle padding, stiff-yet-ample tongue padding, and a good, secure fit around the heel and ankle. Regarding midsoles (which provide cushioning), keep in mind that midsoles that use different densities of EVA tend to provide cushier support, while midsoles made from polyurethane are firmer (and therefore best for backpacking since a stiff midsole provides better stability and comfort on rocky terrain).

Durability

The most durable (read: heaviest) hiking boots are designed for backpacking. If you know you’ll only be using your shoes for shorter day hikes, you may want to consider getting day hiking boots, which, though less durable, are lighter and less stiff than backpacking boots.

Traction

Lugs are the bumps on the outsole of your shoe that give you traction. Keep in mind that the more widely spaced the lugs are on your boots, the better traction you’ll have; also, thicker, deeper lugs offer the best grip. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How should you break in hiking boots?

    Luckily, with most modern hiking footwear, a few walks should suffice when it comes to breaking in new boots. (Keep in mind, though, that different boots take different times to break in.) To make sure that your boots are properly broken in, take at least two to three weeks before your hike to do so, and try to hike/walk in different conditions. Wear your boots around the house or while you’re out running errands if you don’t have time to do multiple hikes. Try wearing thin socks so you can build up calluses. Don’t try to do one long hike to break your boots in.

  • How should you clean hiking boots?

    Be sure to research your specific shoes and follow those instructions. In general, though, you’ll want to remove the laces and insoles and then use a brush (a boot brush or even an old toothbrush will do) to gently get rid of any caked-on gunk and dust. From here, you can use a special boot cleaner and water for a more thorough deep clean. Never use bar soap or detergents on your boots.

  • What types of socks should you wear with hiking boots?

    We have one word for you: Smartwool. The brand’s breathable, odor-resistant, merino wool socks come in different heights and thicknesses, depending on your preferences and the weather—and there’s simply no beating them.

Why Trust TripSavvy?

A writer who covers travel and the outdoors, Justine Harrington is always looking for an excuse to get on a trail, any trail—the more remote, the better. Being out in the backcountry or the high-alpine wilderness is a religious experience for her. Justine is always on the lookout for life-changing gear that’ll make her experiences on the trail that much better, and she’s passionate about sharing her finds with her fellow hike nerds.

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