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.

Photo of a woman wearing hiking books on a trail.

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.

Team Member Kristen on a hike wearing the Vivobarefeet Tracker
Team Member Kristen in the Vivobarefoot Tracker
  • 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.

Dealing with Feet Issues

As a mama, I find it super hard to make my own personal fitness a priority, BUT I also desperately need that time alone for even just a little bit every day to maintain my sanity. It’s hard, but so worth it. This fall I jumped back into running and doing some serious hiking for the first time in years. It felt amazing to be back at it at the most beautiful time of the year. Unfortunately, I also jumped back into dealing with the pain of plantar fasciitis. As I work through healing and making sure it doesn’t get worse while I enjoy hiking and walking, I am so thankful for OrthoFeet.

My OrthoFeet shoes have adjustable arch support so I could get them exactly where I needed them for maximized comfort. OrthoFeet shoes come with spacers to make them fit just right (so they’re not loose), along with arch boosters. My feet don’t need the spacers right now, but the arch boosters have been a total game-changer. The Hands-Free technology of the shoes I have also means I can easily step in and out of them as I go about my day. They come not only in a wide size, but extra wide too so they fit more feet better. They’re a great recovery shoe for after hiking, or less technical hikes and long walks.

Check out Orthofeet’s hiking line here.

Best Accessory for Warmer Feet

Aurora Heat Foot Warmers

Aurora Heat doesn’t sell hiking shoes, but they offer a powerful accessory of warmth to any pair of hiking shoes you buy.

Made of sheared beaver fur, Aurora Heat’s reusable foot warmers add an extra layer of insulation to your toes. They help to retain the heat your body naturally generates, resulting in comfortably warm feet when out on your hikes. The fur compacts down quite nicely, so they’re an easy addition to your socks.  

We also like that they’re versatile and can be used in many different kinds of footwear.  We wear ours in our ski boots and running shoes as well!

We at Tales of a Mountain Mama love our Aurora Heat warmers so much, we wrote a more detailed review about their products here.

Use code MTNMAMA for 10% off your own pair of foot warmers.

Best Overall Women’s Hiking Shoe

Salomon X Ultra GTX

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.

Close up photo of the Salomon X Ultra GTX Mid hiking shoe.
The Salomon X Ultra GTX Are a Team Favorite

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

The truth is that any great hiking shoes

adidas TERREX AX4 Hiking Shoes for Women

The adidas Terrex are a great option for a mostly affordable (these are about $100) hiking shoe with fantastic breathability and traction. We recommend these shoes for narrow or medium width feet.

They are idea for dusty/dry trails AND wet/muddy trails.

Merrell Moab 3

Just like it’s waterproof big sister, the Merrell Moab 3 offers excellent support and a quick break-in period but with a lower price point. The Merrell Moab 3’s generally fit wide feet well, although the Ventilator model does not come in wide.

While $120 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

Keen Targhee III

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.

Merrell Moab 3 Waterproof

Not only are the Merrell Moab 3’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

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot

TMM Team member Rebecca has been testing these boots this summer and think they definitely deserve the many awards they have won.

I love the Lowa Renegades. They are lightweight, so I don’t feel like I’m hiking with bricks on my feet. The Vibram soles are super grippy, even on slick terrain, and the Gore-Tex waterproofing keeps my feet dry on those rainy hikes (or while sloshing through mud puddles while chasing my boys). They come a bit higher than other mid-length boots I’ve owned, offering extra ankle protection. This has come in handy when hiking on rocky terrain with my kiddo on my back.

Rebecca Hosley

Oboz Bridger MID Waterproof

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.”

Salomon Cross Hike 2 MID Gore-Tex

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.

Photo of team member Becky on a hiking trail wearing mid hiking boots.
TMM Team Member Becky Hiking

Best Hiker/Trailrunner for Women

Hoka One Speedgoat

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 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.

Photo of TMM friend hiking in the Hoka One Speedgoat with a child on her back.
Hoka Speedgoats on the trail

La Sportiva Bushido II Trail Runner

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

Oboz Arete Low

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!”

Vivobarefoot Women’s Tracker

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”

Photo of the Vivobarefoot tracker
Vivobarefoot Women’s Tracker

Related Posts:

Best Hiking Shoes for Women

© 2023, Tales of a Mountain Mama. All rights reserved. Republication, in part or entirety, requires a link back to this original post and permission from the author.

Author

    by
  • Sarah Toal is a Colorado native who now calls Jackson, Wyoming, home. Sarah, her husband Evan, and two kids August, age 7, and Harper, age 5, spend their (long!) winters snowboarding, and (short!) summers riding bikes, floating on the Snake River, and hiking. Follow our adventures and general family chaos on Instagram: @sartoal

14 thoughts on “Best Hiking Shoes for Women”

  1. My best choice is Hoka One One. They work with my Morton’s neuroma, plantar fasciitis, wide feet and high arches. I have them in boots and shoes.

    Reply
    • I end up shopping online more and more due to being a size 11 boot and stores constantly wanting to put me in a men’s 9.5. I like to wear a boot with at least 2 eyelets on the upright above ankle section due to an old bad ankle sprain that has lead to a lot of ankle stability. I have really been enjoying my salomon boots. I did get mine from the “outlet” portion of rei for a better price point. Here is the style I have: http://bit.ly/35hLKcM

      Reply
  2. I have Zamberlans. On my second pair. First lasted 20yrs! Finally the soles got hard and slippery so I bought my second pair. Leather and rubber. Big toe area. Water proof. Protects your ankles on scree. Never have had a blister. Feel cool. Kind of feels like wearing cardboard boxes on your feet, but in a comfy, cool, protective way! Maybe there are better ones out there, but I love mine. ❤️

    Reply

Leave a Comment