Updated on July 11, 2021

Some hikers are devoted to trail runners or low-cut hiking shoes, but sometimes you just want the assurance of a boot that covers your ankles and provides extra support and protection. Especially if you’re planning on carrying a good amount of weight on an overnight hiking trip, the solid foundation of a boot can be crucial for keeping your feet and joints happy from trailhead to camp and back again. Those in the market for the best women’s hiking boots have come to the right place, as we’ve gathered a list of high-performing, rugged boots to compare to decide which is the best fit for your hiking lifestyle. Check out the full list and all their fantastic features below.

For more of our top hiking footwear recommendations, check out the Best Hiking Boots

 

Quick Answer - The Best Hiking Boots for Women

  1. Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid
  2. Keen Targhee III Mid
  3. Hoka One One Sky Kaha GTX
  4. The North Face Ultra Fastpack IV
  5. Salomon Quest 4 GTX
  6. Oboz Bridger Mid BDry
  7. Vasque Breeze III Mid GTX
  8. Merrell Ontario Mid
  9. Oboz Sapphire Mid BDry
  10. Salomon Quest Prime GTX

 

Comparison Table - Best Hiking Boots for Women

PictureNameWaterproof?WeightUpperPriceRating
Salomon X Ultra 4 MidSalomon X Ultra 4 MidYes1 lb. 11.2 oz.PU-coated leather/textile$$5.0
Keen Targhee III MidKeen Targhee III MidYes1 lb. 12.4 oz.Oiled nubuck leather$4.8
Hoka One One Sky Kaha GTXHoka One One Sky Kaha GTXYes1 lb. 14 oz.Full-grain leather$$$4.6
The North Face Ultra Fastpack IVThe North Face Ultra Fastpack IVYes1 lb. 9 oz.Synthetic mesh, TPU overlays$$4.6
Salomon Quest 4 GTXSalomon Quest 4 GTXYes2 lbs. 6.4 oz.Leather/textile$$$4.5
Oboz Bridger Mid BDryYes2 lbs. 0.4 oz.Nubuck Leather$$$4.5
Vasque Breeze III Mid GTXYes2 lbs. 4 oz.Nubuck Leather/Mesh$$$4.7
Merrell Ontario MidYes1 lb. 11 oz.Full-grain Leather$$4.7
Oboz Sapphire Mid BDryYes1 lb. 12.6 oz.Nubuck Leather$$4.7
Salomon Quest Prime GTXYes2 lbs. 1 oz.Suede Leather/Nylon$$$4.7
PictureNameWaterproof?WeightUpperPriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - The Best Women's Hiking Boots

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid

Specs
  • Weight: 1 lb. 11.2 oz.
  • Upper: PU-coated leather/textile
  • Waterproof?: Yes
Features
  • Backed up by waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX® protection
  • Women-specific design—made with softer materials, especially around the collars and heels
  • SensiFit™ cradles the feet from the midsole to the lacing system
  • Durable outsoles can handle a wide variety of surfaces, balancing the geometry and rubber compound to deliver confidence on wet, dry, hard or loose surfaces
Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid

BEST OVERALL WOMEN’S HIKING BOOTS

Lightweight, comfortable, and supportive, these boots excel in a variety of hiking conditions.

The X Ultras remain a popular go-to choice for high quality hiking boots at a reasonable price and the latest iteration does not disappoint. Salomon shaved more than 3 ounces off the previous version, setting a new standard for lightweight performance. Salomon also updated the midsole and chassis, succeeding in increasing ankle support and comfort while also helping to reduce weight.

What I like most about the X Ultra 4s is the aggressive outsole designed to grip well in almost all environments.

Keen Targhee III Mid

Specs
  • Weight: 1 lb. 12.4 oz.
  • Upper: Oiled nubuck leather
  • Waterproof?: Yes
Features
  • Uppers are built to last with leather from a tannery rated gold by the Leather Working Group (LWG) for environmental stewardship and traceability
  • Toe and mud guards add durability
  • Pesticide-free Eco Anti-Odor natural odor control keeps the boots fresh
  • 4 mm multidirectional lugged soles deliver reliable, trail-ready traction
Keen Targhee III Mid

BEST FOR: HIKING ON A BUDGET

When you need a high quality boot built to last for an affordable cost, consider the Targhee IIIs — they’re worth every penny.

These budget boots feature a tough leather upper that provides for excellent waterproofing and durability. In terms of comfort these boots offer a unique heel capture system that secures your foot within the boot is comfortable and inspires comfort when traversing rough terrain. The heel was designed slightly shorter than other comparable models in order to increase mobility and breathability without reducing support. The well designed tread pattern boasts beefy 4mm lugs, ensuring you keep your feet when the going gets rough.

What I like most about these boots is that they are comfortable right out of the box and only get more comfortable over time.

Hoka One One Sky Kaha GTX

Specs
  • Weight: 1 lb. 14 oz.
  • Upper: Full-grain leather
  • Waterproof?: Yes
Features
  • GORE-TEX® waterproof booties help keep your feet comfortable and dry regardless of the conditions
  • Vibram® Megagrip high-traction outsoles with 5mm multidirectional lugs provide traction on wet or uneven terrain
  • An adjustable lacing system provides a locked-in fit
Hoka One One Sky Kaha GTX

BEST FOR: COMFORT ON AND OFF THE TRAILS

Known for designing incredibly comfortable trail running shoes, Hoka is also revolutionizing hiking boots, so if comfort is your priority, give these a try.

The Kahas feature a high shaft and a plush padded upper and tongue hug the ankle, providing for full-foot support without sacrificing comfort. Two inches of foam integrated into the sole helps cushion and absorb shock from impact with rocks and other obstacles along the trail. These boots sport a wide base which serves to help you maintain stability, an essential feature when there’s such a substantial amount of foam underfoot. The latest Kaha model features a water resistant and breathable eVent layer.

What I like most about these boots are the full leather upper and reinforced eyelets, making these one of the more durable boots you can wear for years to come.

The North Face Ultra Fastpack IV

Specs
  • Weight: 1 lb. 9 oz.
  • Upper: Synthetic mesh, TPU overlays
  • Waterproof?: Yes
Features
  • Waterproof, breathable protection
  • Abrasion-resistant performance mesh holds up well against rocks
  • Protective toe and heel cap defend against bruising encounters
  • Cushioning footbed helps you keep going mile after mile
The North Face Ultra Fastpack IV

BEST FOR: ULTRALIGHT HIKING

If you need a supportive boot for moving fast and light, give the Fastpack IVs a go — they might just meet your every need.

Weighing it at just 1 pound 9 ounces, these boots are among the lightest on the market. What sets these boots apart is the Fututrelight waterproof membrane, which performs better than others in their class while remaining remarkably breathable through the mesh upper. The North Face increased the heel cushioning and incorporated a stiff midsole for extra stability. A unique tread pattern and Vibram MegaGrip rubber outsoles give you the traction and confidence you need for moving across any terrain.

What I like most about these boots is how the sleek, trail running-esque design makes for a boot I can comfortably wear around town as well as out on the trail.

Salomon Quest 4 GTX

Specs
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 6.4 oz.
  • Upper: Leather/textile
  • Waterproof?: Yes
Features
  • GORE-TEX waterproof/breathable membrane
  • Inspired by trail-running shoes, these boots follow the natural flexion of your feet for a smooth ride
  • Protecting ankle articulations on the outer foot, the updated ADV-C 4D chassis provides stability and supports your heels to help reduce fatigue when wearing a heavy pack
  • Contagrip® TD rubber outsoles with deep, aggressive lugs provide extended durability and maximum traction on mixed terrain
Salomon Quest 4 GTX

BEST FOR: ROUGH, ROCKY TERRAIN

When you need best-in-class support paired with comfort, consider the Quest 4s for your next epic adventure.

These well designed boots are built for performance on long, rugged adventures. The durable upper is constructed from a blend of synthetic and leather, allowing for adequate articulating through the ankle for more natural movement. Salomon’s updated 4D chassis helps strengthen and support the heel for when you’re carrying a heavy pack. The Quest 4s feature a lacing system that serves to cinch the heel in place without discomfort for when you’re on the move.

What I like most about these boots is the trail-running centric focus helps ensure natural flexion of the foot even when you’re wearing such a stiff boot.

Oboz Bridger Mid BDry

Specs
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 0.4 oz.
  • Upper: Nubuck Leather
  • Waterproof?: Yes
Features
  • Well-Defined Arches (for high arch support)
  • High-Friction Rubber Outsoles (for optimal traction)
  • Rubber Toe Cap (to guard against rocks and roots)

BEST FOR: COMFORT RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX

For a boot that doesn’t require much breaking in, but will still protect you from rocks and roots underfoot, look to the durable Oboz Bridger. Oboz’s flagship women’s mid hiker provides comfort and excellent waterproofness thanks to the soft nubuck leather uppers, creating an optimal balance between breathability and protection on the trail. This boot’s proprietary BDry waterproof, breathable membranes let water vapor escape to avoid trapping sweat, yet keep exterior water out. Nylon mesh linings wick moisture even more, increasing ventilation and drying quickly.

The inside of the Bridger adds further comfort for your feet. A lightweight plate in the forefoot boosts stability without adding bulk, and the rubber toe cap and aggressive outsole will have you gliding over rough terrain with ease. The heel cup supports your heel as you hike, ensuring a great fit that’s elevated by the comfortable insoles. Add in cushioning Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) midsoles, and you’ll be excited to get out and hike in these boots as soon as they arrive.

Vasque Breeze III Mid GTX

Specs
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 4 oz.
  • Upper: Nubuck Leather/Mesh
  • Waterproof?: Yes
Features
  • Heel and Toe Ventilation Ports (for breathability)
  • High-Abrasion Mesh Panels (for durability)
  • Breathable Waterproof Gore-Tex Membrane

BEST FOR: THE ALL-TERRAIN HIKER

This third iteration of the Vasque Breeze is a boot that can do it all. The high-abrasion leather uppers are supportive and durable, yet breathable thanks to the uppers’ strong mesh panels that allow your feet to breathe as you hike. Gore-Tex membranes keep water out, but still allow your feet to breathe, and ports at the heel and toe add further ventilation along the footbed.

In the midsoles, dual-density ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) cushioning offers comfort and support no matter how many miles you’re putting in. Grippy outsoles from Vibram, a company specializing in creating soles with great traction, increase your control, so you’ll be stable on any varied terrain you encounter. Take these on all sorts of trails from spring to fall, and your feet will thank you.

Merrell Ontario Mid

Specs
  • Weight: 1 lb. 11 oz.
  • Upper: Full-grain Leather
  • Waterproof?: Yes
Features
  • Removable Contoured Insoles (for those with special orthopedic needs)
  • Antimicrobial Treatment
  • Shock-Absorbent Heels

BEST FOR: FUNCTION PLUS STYLE

From the waterproof leather uppers to the breathable mesh linings, these boots aren’t messing around when it comes to keeping you dry. Ultimate comfort comes from the contoured insoles, which you can remove if you have specific orthopedic needs, for flexible and cushioned support. The midsoles are compression-molded, adding further stability and comfort on the trail. Under your heels, Merrell’s proprietary cushioning absorbs shock as you scramble and hike over uneven terrain.

This boot has you covered inside and out. The internal antimicrobial agent will cut down on odors, so your feet will stay fresh as you log miles. Underfoot, grippy outsoles from Vibram, a company known for its sole traction technology, stay sticky on the most challenging terrain, so you can feel secure and enjoy the scenery without worrying about conditions.

Oboz Sapphire Mid BDry

Specs
  • Weight: 1 lb. 12.6 oz.
  • Upper: Nubuck Leather
  • Waterproof?: Yes
Features
  • Toe and Heel Guards
  • Forefoot Plate (to prevent impact injuries)
  • Asymmetrical Collar (to comfortably fit women’s ankle bones)

BEST FOR: A FEMALE-FOCUSED FIT

Oboz tends to put a lot of thought into designing hiking boots specifically for women’s comfort, and the Sapphire Mid Waterproof hiking boot is no exception. Grippy rubber outsoles keep you nimble and surefooted over varied terrain, while a forefoot plate (a thin insert to protect feet from roots and rocks) and nylon shanks (thick inserts in the boot’s insole to create load-bearing stiffness) add protection and stability. Single-density, women-specific midsoles offer soft cushion underfoot, and the insoles create structured support across your arches for better strength and flexibility.

Speaking of designing for women, these boots’ collars are asymmetrical and engineered to accommodate the bone structure of women’s feet. That means they’ll comfortably move with the motion of your ankle as you hike. The uppers also allow for unrestricted forward motion while still providing ample ankle support. Add in the proprietary waterproof but breathable BDry membrane and protective heel and toe guards, and this boot will protect your feet from trailhead to peak and back again.

Salomon Quest Prime GTX

Specs
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 1 oz.
  • Upper: Suede Leather/Nylon
  • Waterproof?: Yes
Features
  • Rubber Toe and Heel Guards (to protect against rocks and roots)
  • Removable Ortholite Insoles
  • Antimicrobial Treatment

BEST FOR: MULTI-DAY BACKPACKING

When you’re a few days and many miles into a backpacking trip, this is hiking footwear you can rely on. Lightweight for a boot built for backpacking, the Quest Prime GTX offers a blend of comfort and durability. The uppers are flexible, breathable, and long-lasting, while seam-sealed Gore-Tex waterproof membranes will keep your feet dry when the going gets wet. Rain or shine, the inner antimicrobial treatment deters odors, and the grippy rubber outsoles will find traction on all the wet or dry surfaces you encounter on the trail.

A padded tongue contours for a snug fit over your instep, smoothing to relieve discomfort from lace pressure and locking out debris and moisture. As you hike, rubber toe caps and heel slings protect your feet from stray rocks and abrasions, while polyester linings wick away excess moisture so your feet stay dry from the inside out. Removable insoles absorb shock as you move over uneven terrain, as does the extra density added to the midsoles for support. When you’re scrambling or hiking down a steep incline, the midsole support structure helps you control flex and reduces ankle strain to optimize stability and keep your feet protected, no matter where they take you.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING HIKING BOOTS

WEIGHT

Weight is key when it comes to hiking footwear, and what you need can come down to what type of hiking you’ll be doing and your personal preference. Heavier boots can provide much-needed base support for heavy backpacking, while fast and light hikers may prefer less bulky, lightweight shoes.

 

TRACTION

When shopping for hiking boots, look for rugged, protective soles for support and grip on rugged terrain. Rubber-based soles are common, including ultra-grippy soles like those from Vibram; keep an eye out for deep and multidirectional lugs (the bumps on the outsole) that will enhance grip on slick terrain.

 

MATERIAL

Your ideal hiking boot material will vary based on the environments you’ll be wearing them in. Most upper materials offer differing levels of ventilation, support, durability, and waterproofness. Leather, for example, tends to be more durable but less breathable than mesh. If you tend to hike in very wet environments, you may want to focus on more waterproof materials.

 

WATERPROOFING

There are different types of waterproof membranes in hiking boots, GORE-TEX being the most well-known. Waterproof technology has improved in hiking gear to help keep boots breathable while sealing out moisture, but waterproof boots still tend to be less breathable than non-waterproof.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

COLLAR

The padding where your boot hits at or above your ankle, intended to help keep debris out. Collars that are asymmetrical can account for female-specific bone structure, since women’s ankle bones are often not symmetrical.

INSOLE

The section inside the boot that your foot rests on. Some hiking boots come with removable insoles for those with specific orthopedic needs.

MIDSOLE

This part of the shoe is located between the insole and the outsole and determines comfort and stability.

OUTSOLE

The outermost part of the bottom of a boot. Most hiking boot outsoles consist of grippy rubber material.

LUGS

Lugs are rubber pieces located on the outsole that help a boot grip the surfaces you step on. The depth and pattern of lugs help determine a boot’s traction.

TOE CAP

A protective section, usually rubber, on the outside of the toe to protect against rocks, roots, and other trail conditions.

NUBUCK LEATHER

A “rough” leather that tends to breathe better than a “full-grain” leather hiking boot.

GORE-TEX (GTX)

GORE-TEX, often abbreviated as GTX, is a brand whose products are at the forefront of waterproofing technology. GORE-TEX material in hiking boots is among the best options for breathable waterproofing.

EVA

Ethyl-vinyl acetate (EVA) is a lightweight material used to provide cushioning and stability in the midsole.

TPU

Thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) is a lightweight and durable material often found in the outsole and in midfoot shanks, offering support and protection.

 

READ MORE

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