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 gear recommendations, check out the Best Hiking Boots for Men

hiking gift guide
Hiking Gift Guide

Quick Answer - The Best Hiking Boots for Women

  1. Oboz Bridger Mid BDry
  2. Vasque Breeze III Mid GTX
  3. Ahnu Montara eVent III
  4. Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX
  5. Merrell Ontario Mid
  6. KEEN Gypsum Mid II WP
  7. Oboz Sapphire Mid BDry
  8. Salomon Quest Prime GTX
  9. La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX
  10. Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP

 

Comparison Table - Best Hiking Boots for Women

PictureNameWaterproof?WeightUpperPriceRating
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
Ahnu Montara eVent IIIYes1 lb. 12 oz.Majority Leather$$4.1
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTXYes1 lb. 13.4 oz.Suede Leather/Nylon$$4.6
Merrell Ontario MidYes1 lb. 11 oz.Full-grain Leather$$4.7
KEEN Gypsum Mid II WPYes1 lb. 15.8 oz.Nubuck Leather/Mesh$$4.5
Oboz Sapphire Mid BDryYes1 lb. 12.6 oz.Nubuck Leather$$4.7
Salomon Quest Prime GTXYes2 lbs. 1 oz.Suede Leather/Nylon$$$4.7
La Sportiva Nucleo High GTXYes1 lb. 10.9 oz.Nubuck Leather$$$4.7
Merrell Moab 2 Mid WPYes2 lbs.Suede Leather/Mesh$$4.6
PictureNameWaterproof?WeightUpperPriceRating

MULTI-DAY
HIKING PACKING LIST

Don't forget important gear at home!


Print out this free hiking packing list to prepare for your next adventure.


Plus, you'll get exclusive content in our newsletter to help you make the most of your time on the trail!

* You will get weekly emails with practical hiking advice that complement the information contained in the packing list. You can always opt out of these emails.

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

Oboz Bridger Mid BDry

Specs
  • Upper: Nubuck Leather
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 0.4 oz.
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
  • Upper: Nubuck Leather/Mesh
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 4 oz.
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.

Ahnu Montara eVent III

Specs
  • Upper: Majority Leather
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Weight: 1 lb. 12 oz.
Features
  • Antimicrobial Treatment
  • Removable Insoles
  • Pig Leather Lining (for interior comfort)

BEST FOR: RELIABLE STABILITY

Rain or shine, these boots are ready for any trail conditions. Proprietary waterproof membranes and leather combine to keep wet elements out, while the leather linings have an antimicrobial treatment to control odors. The inside of these shoes will cradle your feet, keeping them comfortable and stable with dual-density midsoles and insoles you can remove if need be. Flexible but durable shanks add load-bearing strength at the midfoot to provide additional support as you traverse over uneven terrain.

A custom grippy outsole means you’ll find traction when it gets slippery, while the design of the boot’s forefoot helps to prevent bruising from rocks beneath your feet. No matter how slick conditions get, the third edition of the Montara eVent III keep you feeling secure.

Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX

Specs
  • Upper: Suede Leather/Nylon
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Weight: 1 lb. 13.4 oz.
Features
  • Women-Specific Contouring
  • Integrated Rubber Toe Cap
  • Gusseted Tongue (to keep out debris)

BEST FOR: RUNNING SHOE-LIKE COMFORT

When it’s wet and muddy, the Salomon X Ultra 3 boot will be your best friend. Breathable Gore-Tex liners are quick-drying and abrasion-resistant, keeping the wet out no matter how many puddles you splash through as you hike. Mud guards and rubber toe caps on the outside will protect your feet from rocks and roots on the trail, while the continuous design of the tongue and upper prevents debris from finding its way into your boots. The rubber outsole is as grippy as they come, offering dependable traction for slick surfaces. 

The fit is specifically designed to fit women’s feet, with added cushioning at the midsoles and anatomically-designed support. Comfortable foam insoles and contoured heel cups combine to maximize heel cushioning, adding support for comfort all day no matter where your hikes take you.

Merrell Ontario Mid

Specs
  • Upper: Full-grain Leather
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Weight: 1 lb. 11 oz.
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.

KEEN Gypsum Mid II WP

Specs
  • Upper: Nubuck Leather/Mesh
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Weight: 1 lb. 15.8 oz.
Features
  • Natural Odor Control
  • Removable Insoles
  • Midsole Shanks (for added stability)

BEST FOR: OPTIMAL TRACTION

Wherever you step, the Keen Gypsum Mid II will keep you steady. Multidirectional lugs, which are pieces that stick out from the outsole to increase grip, are 4mm deep for fantastic traction on the slipperiest of slopes, while shock-absorbent structured heel support offers extra stability. In fact, the entire removable insole is engineered around great arch support, cradling the natural contours of your foot as you walk for hikers with defined arches.

In terms of keeping your feet dry, Keen’s proprietary waterproof, yet breathable membrane releases vapor without letting water into your boots. Natural odor control technology will keep your boots from smelling up the car on the way home from the trailhead. Inside and out, this is a solid hiking boot for day hikes and backpacking.

Oboz Sapphire Mid BDry

Specs
  • Upper: Nubuck Leather
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Weight: 1 lb. 12.6 oz.
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
  • Upper: Suede Leather/Nylon
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 1 oz.
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.

La Sportiva Nucleo High GTX

Specs
  • Upper: Nubuck Leather
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Weight: 1 lb. 10.9 oz.
Features
  • Brake System (for extra traction)
  • Lateral Ankle Flexibility (for increased range of motion while hiking)
  • 360° Breathability

BEST FOR: LIGHTWEIGHT DURABILITY

Winner of a “Gear of the Year” award from Outside magazine in 2017, the Nucleo High GTX boots have features to prove that they’re winners. Waterproof Gore-Tex membranes keep moisture out while maintaining as much ventilation as possible to enhance breathability from the soles up.

In the uppers, nubuck leather offers protection and durability, wrapping the midsoles to increase torsion resistance and creating a snug, stabilized fit. Like many European brands, La Sportiva boots tend to have a narrower fit, versus boots with a wider toe-box like those from Vasque. The Vibram rubber outsoles provide excellent grip on slick ground, keeping you moving comfortably no matter the terrain.

Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP

Specs
  • Upper: Suede Leather/Mesh
  • Waterproof?: Yes
  • Weight: 2 lbs.
Features
  • Rubber Toe Guards
  • Shock-Absorbent Heels
  • Molded Arch Shank (for added stability)

BEST FOR: SECURE COMFORT

Merrell’s Moab II is the ultimate performance boot for day hikes to overnight trips. The suede leather and mesh uppers are durable, incorporating proprietary waterproof membranes to seal out moisture while letting sweat escape. Your feet will stay dry as well as protected with rubber toe caps, and the closed-cell foam tongue also assists in keeping moisture and debris from making their way into your boots.

Internal comfort comes in the form of contoured insoles, which offer zonal support for your arches and heels. Cushioning in the heels also absorbs shock and provides extra comfort and stability, as do the EVA midsoles. A molded nylon shank at the arch increases stability even more, so you’ll feel secure while you hop across rocks or navigate twisted roots. With an outsole that offers 5mm deep lugs (the pieces on the bottom of the boot that create traction) for incredible grip, these boots will ensure you’re taking in the nature around you, not worrying about where your feet land.

LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE HIKING GEAR FOR YOUR NEXT ADVENTURE

 

 

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

For more of our top hiking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles: 

Hiking Boots | Hiking Hats for Women

Hiking Shirts for Women | Hiking Sandals for Women

Hiking Socks for Women | Hiking Shorts for Women

Hiking Backpacks for Women

1K Shares
Tweet
Pin1K
Share25
Email
Flip