If you're a dedicated hiker, your hiking shoes are critical for your comfort and the health of your feet. But, shopping for hiking shoes can be a real pain sometimes. There are so many options out there, all claiming to be the best hiking shoes. So, it can be tough to decide which ones are right. And often, you don't realize you've ended up with a bum pair until it's too late.
Are they all built the same? Should you only focus on style? What sort of features should you be looking into? There’s a ton of questions you might have running through your mind while you shop. Of course, there's also the budget to keep in mind. You want to make sure you get the right pair of durable hiking shoes that can keep up with you.
Have no fear -- we’re here to help you figure out what the best hiking shoes might be for you. We'll go over features, design, style, and pricing to help you narrow down the field in a crowded market.
How We Chose the best hiking shoe
In order to help find the best hiking shoes for you, we had to look at a few different things. We asked questions like “what qualities should a good hiking shoe have?” Then, we scoured online articles from experts along with customer reviews. And we discovered that a good pair of ladies hiking shoes should be comfortable, supportive, and lightweight without losing durability.
Ideally, the best hiking shoes should be waterproof, as you will cross a river or get caught in the rain at some point in your hiking adventures. They should also breathe well so your feet don’t get too hot and have good soles with an aggressive tread so you won’t slip while you traverse slippery terrain.
The best hiking shoes for women
Now that we’ve explained what we kept in mind when putting this list together, you’ve got a good idea of what to look for in your search as well. Whether your search starts here with us or you’ve been looking for a while, we’ve got something on our list you’ll like.
- Athletically inspired details
- Women's specific fit
- Lightweight waterproof hiking shoe ideal for women who like to move quickly in the mountains
Salomon is a recognizable name in the hiking shoe industry, and their products are top of the line. These well-reviewed Salomon hiking shoes are available from Amazon.
The Ellipse GTX may be the best hiking shoes for women on a tight budget for leisure gear. Customers like that they don't take a long time to break in, so they're comfortable from the first moments you wear them. Additionally, they offer excellent support, and you can wear them for long periods of time without your feet aching.
The Salomon Ellipse GTX hiking shoes are waterproof but breathable and quick drying. Also, they have superior traction, so you don’t have to worry about slipping.
- Climaproff membrane for waterproof protection in wet conditions
- Molded sockliner to enhance comfort and fit
- Lightweight EVA midsole for long term cushioning
Everyone knows Adidas is a huge shoe brand, but not everyone knows that they make a pair of the best hiking shoes for ladies around. Available on Amazon, the Adidas AX2 CP are great inexpensive shoes that don’t sacrifice function for lower prices or style. You even get a couple of color options to choose from.
If you plan on taking your shoes over trails with a lot of watery spots to cross, these shoes won’t disappoint. One customer proclaimed that the waterproofing of her AX2 CP hiking shoes was able to keep her feet dry even through multiple rainstorms in Hawaii.
They have excellent traction, are quick-drying, and easy to clean -- no matter how much mud you get caked on them in your adventures, you can rest assured you’ll be able to get them looking like new again. Customers also praised them for being durable, supportive, and comfortable.
- Lace-up hiking shoe with textile lining featuring diagonal logo at side heel and GORE-TEX Performance Comfort membrane...
- Gusseted Tongue for debris protection
- Protective rubber toe cap
Another pair of the best hiking shoes available by Salomon, the X Ultra Mid 2 GTX is the only high-tops we have on our list thanks to the promise of superior ankle support.
The Salomon X Ultra Mid 2 GTX hiking shoes are waterproof and breathable with thick soles to keep your feet dry. As a testimony to the excellent traction these hiking shoes provide, a reviewer shared her experience crossing through rivers while on a trail in her X Ultra Mid 2 GTX shoes. She claimed that she didn't slip at all, even when walking over completely submerged rocks.
Best of all, the treads also go up over the toe cap enough to make uphill treks a little easier.
With a name like Sugarpine, it’s clear that they made these shoes with nature lovers in mind. Customers praise Ahnu Sugarpine Air Mesh shoes for being very comfortable and supportive, even for those with foot issues like bunions.
They are great for the trail or walking around the city, with their stylish design and multiple colors to choose from. Despite being lightweight, they are durable with versatile, shock absorbing soles, so you don’t have to change them out when you go from nature to the big city.
Our next choice for the best hiking shoes for women is the KEEN Targhee II. KEEN has made several top lists with more than one pair of their well-made hiking shoes.
Customers with foot injuries and conditions claimed that purchasing KEEN Targhee II hiking shoes was a great choice, thanks to their supportive and comfortable make.
They have excellent traction because of their aggressive treads on the soles. Targhee II shoes are also durable and waterproof.
Yet another brand name contender for the maker of best hiking shoes for women, Merrell also has made many a list with a couple of different styles of hiking shoe. The Mother of All Boots – called Moab for short – Ventilator is a great, inexpensive hiking shoe.
Reviewers write about how comfortable and highly breathable they feel, straight out of the box. The Moabs kept their feet well-supported and cool, even in hot desert climates. They also have great treads, so you don’t have to worry about traction.
There is a catch, however. The Moab Ventilator is not waterproof, so you have to be careful with wet areas and rainy days.
- Move swiftly over the trail in rain or shine, when you trek with The North Face Hedgehog Fastpack GTX hiking shoe...
- GORE-TEX membrane delivers breathable, waterproof protection from outside elements.
- PU-coated leather and abrasion-resistant, breathable mesh upper materials.
We know you’ve heard of The North Face before. They’re a monster in the outdoor clothing industry, known mostly for their quality winter jackets. It’s no surprise that they’d have a pair of shoes ranking on lists for the best hiking shoes.
The Hedgehog Fastpack GTX is a two in one shoe; you can use them for trails and for running. They are lightweight with great treads, so slipping and extra weight slowing you down are not issues you’ll have to stress over.
They are also breathable and comfy, so your feet will stay cool even as you finish that marathon or a long hike through the woods. One reviewer claimed they offered great support and comfort for her even with her bad knees.
Although their style makes them very versatile as far as where you can wear them.
- Tackle the tricky trail in plush, daylong comfort when you lace into the Hoka One One Tor Summit Mid WP hiking boot.
- Event Waterproof Membrane with Full Bootie Construction helps keep feet protected from outside elements.
- Nubuck and suede leather uppers with breathable mesh tongue.
What these hiking shoes lack in style they make up for in functionality. A little chunky in appearance -- and so a little heavier without being too much so -- Hoka One One Tor Summit WP shoes have very thick soles that make them great for crossing streams and puddles.
They have aggressive treads and are waterproof. And despite that thick sole, they actually breathe well.
One customer’s doctor recommended she purchase these for her bone spurs. She wrote that she was not disappointed and that they were extremely comfortable with their roomy toes and extra cushy insides.
- Q FORM 2 dual-density midsole with heel-centering technology provides gender-engineered alignment and comfort
- Kinetic Fit TRI insole is contoured like your foot and features triple zone arch support to provide light support
When Merrell manufactured the Siren Hex Q2 E-Mesh shoe, they did it specifically to support the structure of women’s feet best. Although they aren’t the most stylish hiking shoes around, customers praise them for their comfort and breathability as well as their excellent support.
They are also made very durable despite being lightweight with soles made with good shock absorption. Reviewers liked how quick they are to break in.
- Rugged mid-height hiker with mesh side underlays and pull-on loops at heel and tongue
- 4mm multi-directional lugs
- Dual-density compression molded EVA foam midsole
We can’t help but wonder if these KEEN hiking shoes were named by a hiking enthusiast or a Star Trek fan. Either way, the Voyagers are a great pair of shoes, even though we've listed them as number 10 on our best hiking shoes list.
These hiking shoes are comfy and have roomy toes. They're water resistant rather than waterproof, but their aggressive treads and durability more than make up for this.
Buyer’s Guide to the Best Hiking Shoes
Maybe you liked some of the shoes on our list, but you still want to do some shopping around. We’d like to help, so we’ve got a few tips for you as you search for the best pair of hiking shoes for you.
Online shopping for shoes is always a gamble. Will they fit right when you get them? What happens if I have to return them? But don’t stress too much, as there are ways to answer these questions and avoid the problems they address.
We highly recommend reading over not only the information provided about the shoes but also the customer reviews of them as well. Customers will be able to tell you if the shoe sizes run big or small, while also addressing function and comfort. And most importantly, if multiple reviews mention a fault with the shoe, it’s best to exercise some caution when purchasing them.
If online shopping isn’t your forte, you'll find a plethora of brick and mortar stores where you can find hiking shoes. You’ll also be able to talk to customer service reps. They can also help you find the best pairs for what you need them for.
And of course, you can try the shoes on to make sure they fit. An ill-fitting hiking shoe could not only be uncomfortable but also potentially fail to prevent injury.
OBTAINING THE BEST HIKING SHOES FOR YOUR NEEDS
Shopping for the best hiking shoes for women can be tough. However, with our list in mind, you have an excellent springboard to work from.
Whether you’re a casual trail walker or an adventurous mountain hiker, there’s a pair of hiking shoes that will get you wherever you need to go while protecting your feet and keeping them comfortable.
We hope you found our guide and list for the best hiking shoes helpful. Good luck in your search. Safe travels!