Best Hiking Shoes for Women
Having good hiking shoes is key to having a great hiking trip! And just like every body is different, we all have different FEET too. I enlisted the help of the Tales of a Mountain Mama team to round up the Best Hiking Shoes for Women.
These are shoes that are sturdy, comfortable, have great traction and work for different kinds of feet. Many of our picks fit into more than one category, for example, our Best Overall Hiking Shoe also happens to be a fantastic waterproof option.
If you need help outfitting the rest of your body, we have a post for that, too! Check out our Best Hiking Gear for Women post here.
How to Pick the Right Hiking Shoes
Honestly this could be an entire blogpost of it’s own but we will provide a simple overview of what to look for in shopping for a new pair of hiking shoes. The two most important things to consider are:
Type of Hiking Shoe
Generally, there are three types of hiking shoes. It’s important to consider the type of terrain you’ll most frequently be hiking on before purchasing. And if your trails are often wet and rainy, a waterproof version is a good idea.
- Low hikers or trail runners are a low cut, lighter weight, flexible shoe that is great for shorter day hikes and everyday use.
- Day hiking boots are either a MID or a high-top style. These offer more support and durability and are great for long hikes and backpacking.
- Backpacking hiking boots have a high-top style and offer superior support. These boots are the ones you want for carrying heavy packs on multi-day backcountry trips.
Fit of the Hiking Shoe
If the shoe fits – stay with that brand! I have tried so many different pairs of trail runners and hiking shoes and now that i’ve found what works for my foot, I just stick with that. I purchase the same shoe, or the new version of it, every year or so.
Fit Tips for Buying New Hiking Shoes:
- Know your size in that brand. If you’re buying online, make sure to try-on a pair of shoes in that same brand at a local shop so that you’re sure of your sizing.
- When purchasing in store, it’s best to go later in the day since our feet tend to swell as the day goes on. If you wear custom insoles or orthotics, be sure to bring those with you.
- Walk around in the shoes as much as possible to get a good feel for them. Bend down, flex the boots, check for heel lift, see how the laces feel. Hiking boots tend to have a break-in period, but they shouldn’t be uncomfortable to try on.
Best Overall Women’s Hiking Shoe
We polled our team and our friends (and scoured the interwebs) the the Salomon X Ultra GTX are consistently at the top of our favorite’s list. These come in a high-top (mid), low, and a new low Gore-Tex version depending on your needs. I think they’re an excellent price point as well.
The X Ultra 4 is the new and improved version (although there are still some 3’s available for sale on various sites). The 4 is slightly lighter than the previous version (2 ounces). The 4 incorporates a new support band that wraps around the foot to provide some extra ankle support.
Here is team member Becky’s review: “I have strangely wide and short feet with lots of volume. As such, I’m very picky about my shoes — especially those shoes I’ll wear for miles.
After trying on every boot in EMS, the sales attendant told me to look up Salomon online and buy form there. I’m so happy I took his advice. They have held up for 4 years of heavy hiking and backpacking, and I’m hoping to get another season out of them this summer.”
Best Budget Pick Women’s Hiking Shoe
Just like it’s waterproof big sister, the Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator offers excellent support and a quick break-in period but with a lower price point. The Merrell Moab 2’s generally fit wide feet well, although the Ventilator model does not come in wide.
While $110 is still a ton of money, there are really not a lot of great options for hiking shoes that cost less than $100. With suede and mesh uppers and Vibram sole, this shoe will last a few seasons and your feet (and your wallet) will be happy with the purchase.
Best Women’s Hiking Shoes for Wide Feet
The Keen Targhee III is one of those boots that has been updated and kept around forever, because they’re really great! Keen tend to work very well for my wide feet and they’re a bit more substantial than some of the more minimalist hikers on the market.
They have great traction and they hold up to a few years of wear.
Shop Sustainably, Pay Purposefully for Keen Shoes with Sezzle
Keen has a unique partnership with Sezzle that gives families a payment solution when buying gear to spread out their payments to 4 interest-free payments over six weeks. We love that this allows you to buy the quality, long-lasting gear your family needs without a big upfront cost.
When purchasing Keen shoes, simply choose “Sezzle” at check out.
Not only are the Merrell Moab 2’s a favorite for women with wide feet, but those with flat feet will love them too. They’re also waterproof! Hench the name Moab – Mother Of All Boots.
These boots feel great right out of the box (no blisters, yay!) and they have an ultra grippy Vibram sole. They look super beefy but they are actually fairly lightweight.
Best Waterproof Women’s Hiking Shoes
TMM Team Member Ginny wears the Oboz Bridger MID Waterproof and she loves them. Here’s what she has to say.
“I backpack in the Bridger Mid. LOVE THEM. They are a little burlier than the Sawtooth 2 (which was discontinued), but that’s what I like. Great traction, really solid support, excellent fit in the heel (no blisters!) and a little extra room in the forefoot.”
The Salomon Cross Hike MID Gore-Tex truly shines as one of the best waterproof boots on the market. This boot is 100% waterproof thanks to a seamless Gore-Tex membrane. Don’t worry about your feet getting too sweaty though, because these are also highly breathable.
The newly-designed traction is super grippy on a multitude of surfaces from mud to wet rocks to loose dirt. Salomon’s quicklace system makes these quick and easy to put on and take off.
Best Hiker/Trailrunner for Women
I’ll admit I was really skeptical about these big clunky looking shoes when I first purchased them. But nearly all the women that I work with wear them for both hiking and trail running and I figured they must be on to something, and they were right.
The Hoka One Speedgoat’s are so comfortable, so lightweight and so grippy. I wear them everywhere – on steep rocky hikes, on hardpack single track jogs, and on bike path walks with girlfriends. I love that my feet never get super sweaty in these and my heels don’t hurt (which is a common problem in other shoes).
I have wider feet, and although these don’t come in wide, they do fit me really well.
The La Sportiva Bushido II offers superb traction and stability while maintaining a light, responsive feel. My mom is an avid hiker and these have been her go-to shoes for years. She puts some serious miles on them and she says she rarely gets more than 1 year out of a pair, but she loves them so much that it’s all she buys.
These do run a little on the narrow side, so maybe not the shoes for you if you have wider feet.
Best Lightweight Women’s Hiking Shoes
The Oboz Arete Low hikers are team Member Ginny’s favorite, but not just for hiking – she wears them for just about everything!
“I really love the Oboz Arete low. It’s a lightweight hiker. Very light, more stable and supportive than a traditional trail runner. It’s very popular with thru-hikers. I wear mine everywhere!”
These boots need some breaking in, but then they are an amazing barefoot hiker. Team member, Kristen says:
“I LOVE my Vivibarefoot Tracker FG right now, which is new because I HATED THEM passionately until I finally broken them in hiking in the rain recently. Now they’re awesome. Everything I’d hoped they would be”
Sneak Peak: Oboz Sawtooth X Coming May 9 2022
We are SO excited about the new Oboz Sawtooth X hiker that will be available May 9, 2022. It’s so new that we haven’t yet tested it, but we do have some exclusive details to share with you.
The Oboz Sawtooth X is a more streamlined version of the Sawtooth 2, with better traction and a slightly updated fit. This shoe will be an excellent choice for women with wider feet without sacrificing a snug heel fit. This shoe will come in a true wide for extra width.
We will be sure to share our review and photos as soon as this one is released!
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Best Hiking Shoes for Women
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