Updated on July 4, 2021

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or you’re new to the trails, you’ll want something on your feet to keep you comfortable on both long and short treks! But finding the best hiking shoe for women can be tough – trust us, we feel your struggle. With so many different kinds of hiking shoes out there, it can be difficult to navigate the kind of shoe that is best for you, and best for the kind of hiking you’ll be doing. Have no fear! The Adventure Junkies have laid out this guide to help you discover the perfect fit, no matter what kind of adventure you’re planning.

From wet, swampy hikes to dry, desert treks, we’ve covered it all. Check out this complete guide to the best hiking shoes for women to find the perfect fit for all of your hiking needs. You’ll be Cinderella (mountain version) with the perfect fit in no time.

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

 

Quick Answer - The Best Hiking Shoes for Women

  1. La Sportiva Spire GTX
  2. Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof
  3. Altra Lone Peak 5
  4. HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 4
  5. Oboz Sawtooth II Low BDry
  6. Merrell Chameleon 7 Limit
  7. Danner Trail
  8. Merrell Siren Edge
  9. The North Face Hedgehog Fastpack
  10. Salomon X-Mission 3

 

Comparison Table - Best Hiking Shoes for Women

PictureNameWeightHeightClosureUpperPriceRating
La Sportiva Spire GTXLa Sportiva Spire GTX1 lb. 8.2 oz.AnkleLace-upMesh/polyurethane Techlite toe and heel$$$4.9
Merrell Moab 2 WaterproofMerrell Moab 2 Waterproof1 lb. 12 oz.AnkleLace-upSuede leather/mesh$4.8
Altra Lone Peak 5Altra Lone Peak 51 lb. 2.4 oz.AnkleLace-upMesh$4.6
HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 4HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 41.15 lbs.AnkleLace-upMesh$$4.6
Oboz sawtooth ii low bdryOboz Sawtooth II Low BDry1 lb. 12.4 oz.AnkleLace-upNubuck leather$$4.9
Merrell Chameleon 7 Limit1 lb. 11 oz.AnkleLace-upLeather & Mesh$4.6
Danner Trail1 lb. 2 oz.AnkleLace-upLeather & Textile$$4.7
Merrell Siren Edge1 lb. 4 oz.AnkleLace-upMesh$$4.5
The North Face Hedgehog Fastpack1 lb. 3 oz.AnkleLace-upLeather$$$4.8
Salomon X-Mission 31 lb. 2 oz.AnkleElastic Pull CordMesh$$$4.9
PictureNameWeightHeightClosureUpperPriceRating

Reviews - The Best Women's Hiking Shoes

La Sportiva Spire GTX

Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Height: Ankle
  • Weight: 1 lb. 8.2 oz.
  • Upper: Mesh/polyurethane Techlite toe and heel
Features
  • Abrasion-resistant mesh uppers
  • 360° breathability along with waterproof protection
  • Vibram® XS Trek and Impact Brake System™ outsoles supply traction and grip
La Sportiva Spire GTX

BEST OVERALL WOMEN’S HIKING SHOE

When you need a technical hiking shoe that outperforms in every category, take a look at La Sportiva’s Spire GTXs.

The Spires are ankle-high lightweight hiking shoes that are waterproof — thanks to a GORE-TEX later — and yet also highly breathable. This is due to the brand’s Nano Cell 2.0 technology. This technology is complimented by a combined ventilation and support system. This STB Control System provides for ventilation outlets through the midsole while also giving torsional stability and snugness. Vibram rubber outsoles ensures these shoes remain grippy when tackling slippery terrain.

What I like most about the La Sportiva Spires is their impressive traction, whether you’re fast packing, trail running, or hiking unforgiving mountain trails.

Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof

Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Height: Ankle
  • Weight: 1 lb. 12 oz.
  • Upper: Suede leather/mesh
Features
  • Performance suede leather and mesh uppers have protective rubber toe caps
  • Waterproof breathable membranes
  • Bellowed, closed-cell foam tongues keep moisture and debris out
  • Merrell M Select Fit.Eco+ blended-EVA, contoured footbeds with zonal arch and heel support
  • Molded nylon arch shanks add stability
Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof

BEST FOR: HIKERS ON A BUDGET

If you’re looking for a durable, waterproof hiking shoe that costs under $130, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better alternative.

Merrell’s Moab 2 waterproof hiking shoes feature suede leather and mesh uppers. The brand’s proprietary waterproof membrane is highly breathable and complimented by mesh linings. EVA midsoles and a molded arch make these shoes comfortable and supportive while a heel-positioned air cushion provides for excellent shock absorption. Grippy, 5mm Vibram rubber outsoles ensure you won’t miss a step when you’re on the go.”

What I like most about the Merrell Moab 2s — other than their affordable cost — is the closed-cell foam tongue that does a great job at keeping out moisture and debris.

Altra Lone Peak 5

Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Height: Ankle
  • Weight: 1 lb. 2.4 oz.
  • Upper: Mesh
Features
  • Laser-cut holes on the uppers allow quick drainage after creek crossings
  • Midsoles provide a responsive yet soft ride
  • Toe boxes allow the toes to relax and spread out naturally
  • MaxTrac™ outsoles feature a multidirectional lug pattern for grippy traction on a variety of terrain
Altra Lone Peak 5

BEST FOR: LIGHT & FAST ADVENTURES

Whether you’re in need of a supportive shoe for trail running or a lightweight hiker for long-distance trips, the Lone Peak 5s are sure to meet your needs.

Altra is a running-centric company that has become increasingly popular among thru-hikers and the latest iteration of the Lone Peak is a great example of why. The Lone Peak 5s weigh in at just 1lb 2.4 ounces for the pair, making for the lightest pair of hikers on our list. The toe box is designed to allow the toes to relax and spread out as they would naturally and GaiterTrap hook-and-loop tabs allow you to secure your gaiters to your shoes to keep out dirt and debris.

What I like most about the Altra Lone Peak 5s is how well the thick heel cushioning reduces impact on your joints when landing.

HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 4

Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Height: Ankle
  • Weight: 1.15 lbs.
  • Upper: Mesh
Features
  • Vibram Megagrip outsole rubber won't slip out in wet conditions
  • Lightweight foam midsole ensures a soft yet responsive ride
  • Updated mesh upper delivers breathability while staying durable
  • Wider forefoot adds stability and greater comfort for long miles
HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 4

BEST FOR: LONG DISTANCE HIKES

When you need extra thick cushioning in a lightweight build, look no further than the Speedgoat 4s — they may be exactly what you’re looking for.

Once a niche brand for runners, the HOKA’s Speedgoat line-up in particular has become increasingly popular among hikers. The Speedgoat 4s feature exceptional comfort and support created by a combination of lightweight foam midsoles and durable mesh uppers. 3D-printed overlays over the upper’s mid foot serves ensure a secure fit, mile after mile.

What I like most about the HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 4s is how lightweight they are, second only to our top ultralight choice. These weigh in at just 1 lb 5.6 ounces for the pair.

Oboz Sawtooth II Low BDry

Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Height: Ankle
  • Weight: 1 lb. 12.4 oz.
  • Upper: Nubuck leather
Features
  • 3D Molded Heel Counter Provides Superior Comfort While Keeping The Heel In Place
  • Soles Built For Maximum Grip And Low Weight
  • Bonus: Oboz Plants A Tree For Every Pair Of Shoes Sold, In Partnership With Trees For The Future!
Oboz sawtooth ii low bdry

BEST FOR: TOUGH TERRAIN

If stability and foot protection are your two main considerations when picking out a pair of hiking shoes, take a look at the Sawtooth II Low BDry — they’re sure to fit the bill.

The Sawtooth II Low BDry are the brand’s waterproof version of one of the beefiest pairs of women’s hiking shoes available. Waterproof Nubuck leather uppers meet moisture-wicking mesh liners in a killer combination of weather resistance and breathability. The integration of nylon shanks contributes to this shoe’s incredible degree of underfoot protection. In tandem with the high-friction rubber outsoles and toothy side lugs makes for one of the most sure-footed hiking shoe choices out there.

What I like most about the Oboz Sawtooth II Low BDrys is that Oboz plants a tree for every pair of shoes it sells in partnership with the organization Trees for the Future.

Merrell Chameleon 7 Limit

Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Height: Ankle
  • Weight: 1 lb. 11 oz.
  • Upper: Leather & Mesh
Features
  • Rubber Toe-Caps Protect Your Toes From Getting Stubbed On Roots And Rocks
  • Molded Arch Support Gives Your Feet Superior Stability, Even On Slick Terrain
  • Merrell Air Cushion Insole Provides Maximum Comfort For All Day Wear

BEST FOR: LAST MINUTE PURCHASE

If you need a pair of hiking shoes with no time to break them in, these are the shoes for you! People who purchase these shoes rave about how comfortable they are-right out of the box. You may even find yourself (like many others) wanting to wear these shoes around the house and out for errands, just because of how comfortable they are.

It’s important to put extra emphasis on the comfort factor if you have no time to break in your hiking shoes. While hard sole hiking shoes can be great, they can take some time to get used to. If you jump right into hiking without breaking them in first, they could cause painful blisters. 

The Merrell Chameleon Limit 7’s, though, will have you walking on a cloud the very first time you put them on, thanks to their built-in air cushion and molded arch support. These features work together to provide a soft and supportive walking surface so you can hike inside and out without ever wanting to take these shoes off your feet!

Danner Trail

Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Height: Ankle
  • Weight: 1 lb. 2 oz.
  • Upper: Leather & Textile
Features
  • Mesh Lining Allows Your Feet To Breath On Hot Days
  • Ortholite Footbed Helps To Keep Your Feet Cool And Cushioned
  • Lightweight Midsole Adds Additional Cushioning And Extended Wearability

BEST FOR: ALL DAY WEAR

You’ll want to sport these functional yet stylish hiking shoes on and off the trail! The Danner Trail 2650 3” hiking shoes look and feel like a pair of sneakers, but they are built to trek. One of the best things about these shoes is their lightweight midsole. A lightweight midsole means these shoes won’t weigh you down and are wearable even on longer, tougher treks. 

In addition, they have an Ortholite Footbed, which is found in the sole of the shoe. The Ortholite footbed is made from recycled rubber to give you cushioning and keep a spring in your step all day long! Lastly, the Danner Trails are complete with a mesh lining to allow your sweaty feet to breathe. These shoes are great because you can wear them from morning until night, and your feet will still be comfortable, even if you  never take them off.

Merrell Siren Edge

Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Height: Ankle
  • Weight: 1 lb. 4 oz.
  • Upper: Mesh
Features
  • Antimicrobial Technology Helps Control Odor
  • Cushioned Heel Helps To Absorb Shock
  • Breathable Mesh Lining Keeps Your Feet Feeling Cool And Fresh All Day Long

BEST FOR: ODOR CONTROL

Do your feet stink after a long walk or hike? Then you need the Merrell Siren Edge Hikers! These sweet kicks feature antimicrobial technology to help keep your shoes feeling fresh. They also have a breathable mesh lining to help whisk away sweat and keep your feet feeling good.

Plus, these shoes are super cozy! Merrell takes your comfort very seriously, which is why they produce some of the most pleasant-feeling hiking shoes around. And their cool 3D  print design adds a fresh flare to help you stand out on the trails.

The North Face Hedgehog Fastpack

Specs
  • Closure: Lace-up
  • Height: Ankle
  • Weight: 1 lb. 3 oz.
  • Upper: Leather
Features
  • Polyurethane-Coated (PC) Leather Uppers Protect Your Feet Against Moisture While Allowing Them To Breathe
  • Strong Outer Structure Increases The Durability Of These Shoes
  • Three-Part Stability System Offers All-over Support

BEST FOR: OVERALL USE

The Hedgehog Fastpack GTX Hiking shoes have a higher price than many other hiking shoes on the market, but if you plan to do a lot of different kinds of hikes, they are a really great pick. Versatile and durable, these shoes will hold up in all kinds of weather and can take a lot of wear and tear from more difficult terrain. They’re the Adventure Junkie pick for an all-around hiking shoe, and we think you’ll find value in this investment if you plan to do a significant amount of hiking.

Salomon X-Mission 3

Specs
  • Closure: Elastic Pull Cord
  • Height: Ankle
  • Weight: 1 lb. 2 oz.
  • Upper: Mesh
Features
  • Extremely Breathable
  • Moisture-Wicking Liner
  • 2 Year Limited Warranty

BEST FOR: VERSATILE TERRAIN

Salomon is one of the most trusted names in hiking shoes. The X-Mission 3 Trail runners are one of Salomon’s very best models, and if you plan to do a lot of hiking on versatile terrain, they are well worth the price. Featuring maximum stability and powerful grip technology to protect you in tough terrain and slippery conditions, these shoes are great both for walking and running on the trail.

In addition to their premium support, grip, and versatility, the X-Mission 3’s come with a limited two year warranty when you order from Amazon, so you know they are built to last. Wide foot? No problem. These shoes also come in women’s wide.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING WOMEN’S HIKING SHOES

GRIP

Grip is a key factor to consider when purchasing any outdoor adventure shoe since it is actually a matter of safety. If you plan to hike something steep, having a good grippy sole means traversing steeper terrain will be a lot easier, and a lot less dangerous, as well. When looking for a shoe with good grip, check out the material it is made with. Vibram rubber is a great choice for good grip. You should also consider the tread, which is the design on the bottom of the shoe. Deeper tread design generally provides better grip than shallow or even flat treads.

 

VERSATILITY AND TERRAIN

Hiking shoes are generally quite versatile because they are more appropriate for the trails than sneakers are, but they are not quite as evolved as a hiking boot. However, each pair of hiking shoes is designed for a slightly different purpose.

Be sure to consider what kind of hiking you will be doing (think: steep terrain versus flat nature trails, walking versus running, dry versus wet, etc.). Use this info to select a shoe that is specifically designed for the types of terrain you will be traveling the most. If you’re not sure if you should purchase a hiking shoe or hiking boot, you can check out this handy guide from REI: Hiking Boots Vs. Trail Runners: The Great Debate.

 

SUPPORT

Many of the shoes we recommend in this article feature special support technology. If you are someone who has had an ankle or foot injury, place extra emphasis on the importance of this feature. Conversely, if you plan to use your hiking shoes mostly for flat nature walks, ankle support may not be as vital.

 

BREATHABILITY

Many hiking shoes are designed to be super breathable and keep your feet cool on long treks. Be aware if this is best for you, though. Breathability sometimes means that the shoe is not waterproof, as it may utilize light, meshy material to let your feet breathe. If you will be hiking in drier, hotter climates, breathability is key. However, if you live in a cooler, wetter area, you may want to go with something that is a little heavier but will keep you dry.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

CLOSURE

The mechanism(s) that the shoe has to allow you to close it around your foot.

OUTSOLE

The material on the very bottom part of the shoe, important for determining grip.

UPPER

The part of the shoe that surrounds and covers the sides and top part of your feet.

3D MOLDED HEEL COUNTER

A special design at the back of the shoe used to hold your heel comfortably in place.

TOE CAP

A protective piece of material (often rubber or steel) on the front edge of your shoe.

FOOTBED

The part of your shoe where your foot sits. A good footbed provides support and comfort.

LINING

The lining of the shoe touches your foot or sock, and is often designed with a specific feature in mind, such as allowing your feet to breathe or locking out moisture.

 

READ MORE

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