15 Best Hiking Shoes for Women in U.S. [December, 2023]
By Aravind Pai -
Finding the perfect hiking shoes for women can make all the difference on the trail. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to select the right pair that will provide the support, traction, and comfort you need. In this blog post, we will review the top 15 best hiking shoes for women to help you choose the perfect pair for your next adventure!
The Merrell Women’s Moab 3 Hiking Shoe is a versatile shoe ready for the trail. It features a breathable mesh upper with protective leather and suede overlays. The integrated lace-up design creates a snug fit, while the rubber toe bumper protects your toes when hiking over rugged terrain.
The Vibram TC5+ outsole provides excellent grip and traction over a variety of surfaces. An air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability with each step. Weighing in at just 1 pound 3 ounces, the Merrell Moab 3 is a lightweight shoe that still offers durability and support for hiking.
Reviewers love this shoe for day hikes and casual wear, with many commenting on the comfort even when worn for hours. The heel lock is snug to prevent slipping while the cushioned midsole provides comfort. Overall, a great choice for women looking for a stable, comfortable hiking shoe.
2. Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot
This hiking boot from Columbia is ready to join you on all your outdoor adventures. The waterproof full-grain leather and mesh upper keeps your feet dry while also breathing well. Techlite lightweight midsole offers long-lasting cushioning and high energy return, while the high traction rubber outsole grips surfaces during your hike.
Weighing just 1 pound 3 ounces, the Newton Ridge Plus is still supportive while not weighing you down. It features Columbia’s signature Omni-Grip non-marking traction rubber for steady footing on slippery or wet terrain. Padding around the ankles and tongue provide comfort when hiking for hours. An amped design gives these boots a modern style ready for the trails.
Reviewers say this boot runs true to size and offers great quality for the price. The high traction outsoles perform well on muddy or wet ground, living up to their claim. Overall, a great lightweight hiking boot to keep your feet dry on the trail.
3. Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Lightweight Waterproof Shoe Hiking Boot
The Newton Ridge hiking boot from Columbia is ready to join you on outdoor excursions while keeping your feet dry and comfortable. The waterproof full grain plus leather and mesh outer is durable while allowing airflow. Omni-Grip non-marking rubber outsoles provide traction even on slippery terrain.
Techlite lightweight midsole offers high energy return and cushioning with each step. The boots weigh in at just 1 pound 6 ounces each, avoiding fatigue over long distances. Padding on the tongue and collar add comfort while lace-up closure lets you adjust the fit. With metallic logo accents, these boots have athletic style while still performing solidly on the trail.
Reviewers love their comfortable fit right out of the box with many reporting they are ready to wear for hours immediately with no break-in period. The outsoles grip well on wet, muddy, and slippery terrain. A great choice for women needing a sturdy but lightweight waterproof hiking boot.
The Hatana Breathe hiking shoe from Columbia is a lightweight performance shoe ready for trail adventures. The open mesh upper provides breathability on hot hikes while the solid synthetic leather overlays add support. Techlite lightweight midsole offers superior cushioning and high energy return to reduce fatigue over long distances.
The multi-terrain traction outsole keeps your footing stable on uneven and slippery terrain. At just over 1 pound per shoe, you get performance without extra weight dragging you down. Padding around the collar locks your foot in place while the lace-up closure lets you adjust for a custom fit.
Reviewers say this shoe provides great traction and stability while hiking over roots and rocks. They run true to size and feel great right out of the box without any break-in period. Breathable and sturdy, the Hatana Breathe is ready for summer hiking and warm weather adventures.
Specifically designed for hiking and outdoor adventures, the adidas Terrex Ax4 is a durable and comfortable sneaker. The mesh upper is breathable to keep your feet cool on long hikes while the synthetic overlays provide support. TRAXION rubber outsoles grip well on slippery slopes and uneven terrain.
EVA midsoles cushion your feet and provide shock absorption with each step. Weighing just over 1 pound, these sneakers are lightweight for their class. ADIPRENE in the heels lends extra shock absorption and cushioning right where you need it. Lace closure lets you customize the fit as you head out on the trail.
Reviewers love these for hiking, saying the thick soles provided excellent traction even on steep, rocky trails. Many mentioned they provided good stability for ankle support while carrying heavy packs. Breathable and supportive, the Terrex Ax4 is ready to hit the trails as a durable hiking sneaker.
The Merrell Siren Edge 3 is a versatile hiking shoe ready for outdoor adventures. Its low profile design lets you move naturally while the M Select WET GRIP outsole and 3mm lug depth provide traction even on wet terrain. Mesh upper backed by synthetic leather panels offer breathability while resisting abrasion.
The EVA removable footbed supports your foot and can be taken out to accommodate your own custom orthotic. Shock absorption comes from the air cushion built into the heel. At 1 pound 5 ounces, you get a durable shoe without excessive weight. The Siren Edge 3 provides stability and support on uneven terrain while resisting water so you can hike with confidence.
Reviewers call this shoe grippy yet flexible, ideal for hiking, walking, or trail running. The inside is comfortable for long-distance wear without rubbing or hot spots. A great choice for active women wanting a stable but flexible hiking shoe.
The Crestwood hiking shoe from Columbia provides a lightweight and comfortable option for women wanting reliable footwear on the trails. Waterproof full grain leather and mesh upper keeps feet dry through wet conditions or stream crossings while still breathing well. Techlite midsole delivers superior cushioning and high energy return to reduce fatigue over long distances.
Omni-Grip rubber non-marking outsoles provide reliable traction over varied terrain. The shock absorbing midsole and footbed provide plenty of comfort underfoot while protecting from debris. Weighing in at just over 1 pound per shoe, the Crestwood is a lightweight performer. With a lace-up closure and collar padding, your feet stay comfortable and stable within the shoe.
Reviewers love the out-of-box comfort and waterproof performance of these shoes. They perform well through rain, mud, or river crossings keeping feet dry as advertised. A great choice for women who want a sturdy, waterproof hiking shoe.
Specifically designed for hiking, the Keen Targhee 3 Mid boots provide comfort, support, and waterproof protection out on the trails. The leather and mesh upper is lined with Keen’s proprietary waterproof yet breathable membrane to keep feet dry without overheating. This also makes these boots ideal for cooler weather hiking.
The EVA midsole provides lightweight cushioning and support while the high traction rubber outsoles grip surfaces. 4mm multi directional lugs help maintain stability even over uneven terrain. Weighing just over 2 pounds per boot, the mid height provides ankle support without excessive weight. Reviewers love the custom fit of these boots thanks to the lace-up closure.
Many reviewers report purchasing multiple pairs they loved their first so much. The Keen Targhee 3 boots provide breathable, waterproof protection on colder hikes along with stability, traction, and durability mile after mile.
9. Columbia Women’s Trailstorm Peak Mid Hiking Shoe
This mid-height Trailstorm Peak hiking shoe from Columbia provides performance and protection from the trails’ elements. Waterproof seam sealed leather and mesh upper keeps feet dry while resisting abrasions. Lightweight Techlite midsole provides long lasting cushioning and superior energy return. Omni-Grip high traction rubber outsoles provide stability across slick surfaces.
Weighing in at just over 2 pounds per shoe, the Trailstorm Peak mid cuts weight while still delivering ankle support and protection on uneven terrain. Toe caps guard against rock impacts while breathable mesh keeps feet from overheating inside. The padded tongue and collar add comfort you’ll appreciate on long hikes.
Reviewers say these shoes provide excellent traction and grip even on steep, loose rock surfaces. They run true to size and feel like they contour to your feet. A reviewer favorite for muddy trails where they keep feet dry and stable through the slick terrain. A great mid height hiking shoe ready for varied trails.
The Nortiv 8 hiking shoes provide a versatile, lightweight option ready for the trail. Weighing just over a pound per shoe, the EVA midsoles cushion each step while resisting compression set to retain their responsiveness. Quick pull laces allow easy on and off while the gusseted tongue keeps out dirt and debris.
Synthetic leather with high density mesh upper is durable while enhancing breathability during rigorous hikes. The rubber outsole utilizes multi-directional lugs to maintain traction across rocky, slippery, and uneven terrain. Rock plate in midsole protects your feet from bruising over rocks and roots. Low profile provides flexibility while resisting rolling your ankles.
Reviewers love these shoes for their lightweight feel and easy pull laces when heading out on day hikes. They provide enough breathability and support even for summer backpacking trips while staying lightweight. A great option for hiking, climbing, and outdoor activities wanting durability without the heft.
The Flow District sneaker from Columbia is ready for adventuring on and off the trail. Its breathable textile and mesh upper provide ventilation in hot weather while the foam midsole brings comfort even with extended wear. High traction outsoles provide stability and grip on varying terrain.
Weighing just under one pound per shoe, the Flow District stays light while providing the cushioning and grip needed on hikes. It runs true to size with a lace-up closure for a customized fit. These sneakers are great for day hikes but also transition well for everyday wear.
Reviewers love these for their comfort and versatile fit, wearing them daily from hikes to travel to just running errands. Big toe bumpers guard your feet on uneven trails while reflective detailing enhances visibility. Light and flexible performance ready for the everyday adventure.
12. Eddie Bauer Women’s Mt.Bailey All Weather Hiking Boot
The Mt.Bailey hiking boots from Eddie Bauer will go over hills and through streams with you. Their waterproof nubuck leather upper and sealed seams keep your feet dry in any conditions while the lugged outsoles provide traction. Cushioning EVA midsoles and rebound inserts give your feet comfort even over miles of rocky terrain.
Lightweight EVA shells resist compression to retain comfort and responsiveness throughout their life. Lace-up closure lets you adjust the fit for comfort and a gusseted tongue keeps out debris. Weighing just over 1 pound per boot, the lightweight feel helps avoid fatigue over long hikes.
Reviewers say these boots feel custom fitted right out of the box with excellent arch support. Traction holds up through mud, snow, and loose gravel on the trail. Keep your feet dry and comfortable trekking over any terrain with these durable hiking boots.
Combining waterproof protection, support, and traction, the Merrell Moab 3 Mid hiking boot is ready to be your trail companion. A waterproof membrane keeps feet dry while still allowing vapor to escape, making these boots breathable and dry. M Select DRY seals out water to keep you dry through puddles and streams.
Vibram TC5+ outsoles provide traction over varying terrain. The protective toe cap shields your feet from impacts while a bellows tongue keeps debris out. Weighing in at just under 2 pounds per boot, you get support without excessive weight dragging you down.
Reviewers consistently mention the excellent traction these boots provide, even on wet slippery surfaces. They need little to no break-in period to feel comfortable wearing for long periods. A great mid-height hiking boot providing waterproofing and stability for the trails.
14. Columbia Women’s Trailstorm Mid Waterproof Hiking Shoe
This mid-height hiking shoe from Columbia provides waterproof protection and high traction for diverse terrains. Seam sealed construction paired with waterproof leather and mesh keeps your feet dry through wet conditions. Lightweight Techlite midsole delivers long lasting cushioning and superior energy return to fight fatigue on long hikes. Omni-Grip outsoles provide non-marking traction even on slippery surfaces.
A gusseted tongue blocks debris from entering while mesh panels allow airflow to your feet. Weighing in at 1 pound 13 ounces they deliver a lightweight feel with the support of a mid-height shoe. Toe caps protect against sharp impacts while padded collars lock your feet in place within the shoe.
Reviewers love these for muddy trails where they prevent slipping and keep feet dry the whole hike. Several mentioned these had the best traction of any hiking shoe they’d tried. Ready to take on wet, muddy trails while keeping your feet comfortable and stable.
15. Eddie Bauer Women’s Astoria Water Resistant Ankle Hiking Boot
The Eddie Bauer Astoria ankle hiking boot provides a lightweight and breathable option ready to hit the trails. The textile upper backed by synthetic leather resists water while enhancing airflow to your feet. Molded EVA footbed and shock-absorbing midsole provide cushioned comfort with each step.
High traction outsoles grip surfaces while the heel stabilizer and secure lacing prevent slipping inside the boot. Weighing in at just over 1 pound each, you get a sturdy exterior with lightweight comfort features ideal for hiking. Front and rear pulls make entry and removal easy.
Reviewers love these boots for their lightweight feel, saying they’re so comfortable it’s like wearing slippers. Supportive without any break-in period needed. The Astoria ankle boots give you the performance to hike in comfort wherever your adventure leads.
Comparison for best hiking shoes for women
Merrell Moab 3
1 lb 3 oz
Vibram TC5+ rubber
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus
1 lb 3 oz
Columbia Newton Ridge Lightweight
1 lb 6 oz
Columbia Hatana Breathe
adidas Terrex Ax4
Merrell Siren Edge 3
1 lb 5 oz
M Select WET GRIP rubber
KEEN Targhee 3 Mid
High traction rubber
Columbia Trailstorm Peak Mid
Nortiv 8 Lightweight
Rubber lug outsole
Columbia Flow District
High traction rubber
Eddie Bauer Mt.Bailey
Merrell Moab 3 Mid
Vibram TC5+ rubber
Columbia Trailstorm Mid
1 lb 13 oz
Eddie Bauer Astoria
High traction rubber
Best Waterproof Hiking Shoes for Women
When hiking in wet conditions, waterproof hiking shoes are essential to keep your feet warm and dry. Some top waterproof hiking shoes for women include:
KEEN Targhee 3 Mid Boots – Waterproof yet breathable membrane keeps feet dry without overheating. Performs well even in colder weather.
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus – Seam-sealed waterproof leather and mesh upper keeps feet dry. Techlite midsole provides cushioned comfort.
Merrell Moab 3 Mid – Features M Select DRY waterproof membrane along with protective toe caps and Vibram TC5+ outsoles.
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX – Gore-Tex waterproof lining resists water penetration. Sensifit technology provides secure foot wrapping.
Oboz Juniper Mid BDry – Oboz’s BDry waterproof membrane seals out moisture while still enhancing breathability. Sawtooth outsoles grip terrain.
Look for waterproof leather or mesh materials along with sealed seams. Breathable linings prevent condensation inside shoes. Choose a high-cut mid boot for wet environments.
Best Lightweight Hiking Shoes for Women
When wanting nimble hiking shoes that avoid adding extra weight, look for models under 2 pounds per shoe. Some top lightweight hiking shoes for women include:
Merrell Moab 3 – At just 1 pound 3 ounces per shoe, the Moab 3 delivers traction without weighing you down.
Columbia Hatana Breathe – Weighs just over 1 pound per shoe. Multi-terrain traction outsoles grip slippery surfaces.
Nortiv 8 Lightweight – Each shoe weighs only 1 pound but still features an EVA midsole and lugged outsole.
Columbia Flow District – Versatile sneakers weigh just under 1 pound each. High traction outsoles grip terrain while breathable mesh uppers enhance airflow.
Salomon X Ultra 3 – At 1 pound 5 ounces per shoe, they promote natural foot movement and have quicklace technology for easy on/off.
Look for light yet supportive materials like mesh and synthetic leather or suede. EVA midsoles, Ortholite foam footbeds, and injected EVA frames optimize comfort without adding bulk.
How to Choose the Best Hiking Shoes for Women
When selecting the best hiking shoes for women, there are a few key factors to consider:
Fit – Hiking shoes should fit snugly without any areas of pressure or rubbing. Make sure to try shoes on with the type of socks you plan to wear on the trails. Have plenty of toe room to allow for downhill walking but heels should not slip.
Weight – Lightweight hiking shoes around 1-2 pounds per shoe will help prevent fatigue over long distances. Heavier boots provide more stability for carrying heavy packs over uneven terrain. Choose based on the types of hikes you take most often.
Traction – Look for sticky rubber outsoles with deep multidirectional lugs to provide traction on muddy, slippery, wet, and uneven terrain. The best shoes can grip both natural surfaces and man-made structures like wooden steps.
Waterproofing – Waterproof shoes keep your feet dry through shallow streams, puddles, and rain showers on the trail. Look for waterproof leather or mesh and seam sealing. Breathable liners prevent condensation buildup inside the shoe.
Support – Ankle support helps avoid rolling on uneven surfaces while arch support promotes proper foot alignment on long hikes. Look for stability shanks and supportive cushioned midsoles.
Types of Hiking Shoes for Women
There are a few main types of hiking shoes for women to consider based on ankle height and intended use:
Low cut below the ankle
Lightweight and flexible
Designed for day hikes and light loads
Mid Hiking Shoes
Extend above the ankles for more support
Stiffer construction for carry heavier loads
Protect ankles from rocks/debris
Sit higher up the ankle/lower calf
Maximum ankle support and stability
Built for multi-day hikes with heavy packs
Often have more rigid soles
Use and Care Guide for Hiking Shoes
To get the most out of your hiking shoes, follow these use tips and cleaning practices:
Break shoes in by wearing initially for short periods to prevent blisters
Wear moisture wicking socks to help keep feet dry
Allow shoes to air and dry fully between uses to prevent odors
Wash dirt off uppers with warm water and mild soap
Remove insoles to wash and dry separately
Use shoe conditioner to nourish leather and improve water resistance
Replace insoles every 300-500 miles for optimal cushioning
Inspect outsoles and tread regularly for wear and debris
Consider re-waterproofing treatments for leather/mesh shoes
With proper fit, traction, and features for your hiking needs, the right hiking shoes can keep you comfortable mile after mile on the trail. Use our reviews and this buyer’s guide to find your perfect pair! Let us know if you have any other questions as you search for your ideal hiking shoes.
FAQs about best hiking shoes for women
Q. What are the best hiking shoes for women?
Based on our testing and reviews, some of the best hiking shoes for women are the Merrell Moab 3 which provides excellent traction and stability, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus waterproof boot which keeps feet dry, and the KEEN Targhee 3 Mid which has breathable waterproof protection. The Columbia Trailstorm Mid is also highly rated for its traction and waterproofing abilities.
Q. Which are the best hiking shoes for mountains and snow women?
For hiking in mountains and snow, women’s hiking boots that are waterproof, insulated, and high-cut around the ankle tend to perform best. Some top options are the KEEN Targhee 3 Mid with its warm and breathable liner, the Eddie Bauer Guide Pro boots featuring insulation to keep feet warm, and Salomon’s X Ultra Winter CS WP boots with lugged outsoles for snow and ice traction.
Q. What are the best brand of hiking shoes for women?
Based on our experience, some of the best brands for women’s hiking shoes and boots include Merrell, Columbia, KEEN, Salomon, Oboz, Lowa, and Scarpa. Features to look for include proprietary traction rubber compounds, waterproof yet breathable membranes, stability shanks, and shock absorbing midsoles.
Q. How to choose the best hiking shoes for women?
Consider fit, weight, traction, waterproofing, support, and intended hiking use when selecting the best women’s hiking shoes. Test shoes on with hiking socks and ensure a snug but comfortable fit in the heel and toe box. Lightweight shoes around 1-2 lbs prevent fatigue over long distances. Look for stability, cushioning, and lugged outsoles to grip varied terrain. Waterproof leather or mesh helps keep feet dry.
Q. What features should I look for in hiking shoes?
Look for waterproof, breathable construction, traction rubber outsoles, shock absorbing midsoles, protective toe caps, stability shanks, ankle support, and proper cushioning and fit for your foot shape. Traction lugs should grip on all surfaces and terrain types you expect to encounter.
Q. What features should I look for in hiking shoes?
A. Key features to look for include waterproof and breathable construction, traction rubber outsoles with deep lugs, shock absorbing midsoles, protective toe caps, and stability shanks. Ankle support, cushioning, and proper fit for your foot shape are also important.
Q. Should I choose hiking boots or shoes?
A. Choose hiking boots if you often carry heavy packs over rugged terrain. They provide more ankle stability and support. Hiking shoes are lightweight, flexible, and ideal for day hikes or moderate loads on well-defined trails. Evaluate your common hiking needs.
Q. How do I get the right fit in hiking shoes?
A. Try shoes on at the end of the day when feet are largest. There should be a thumb’s width of space between your longest toe and the shoe’s end. Heels shouldn’t lift when walking and shoes should fit snugly without rubbing. Wear the type of hiking socks you’ll use on the trails when trying on shoes.
Q. How do I break in new hiking shoes?
A. Wear them initially for short periods around the house to allow your feet to adjust. Apply moleskin to any spots that rub. Take short local hikes before attempting longer distances. As the material molds to your feet, longer durations will become more comfortable.
Q. How often should hiking shoes be replaced?
A. Expect to replace hiking shoes every 300-500 miles depending on your weight and hiking surface. Signs it’s time for new shoes include worn out treads, decreased traction, lack of support in cushioning, or visible creasing/deformation. Replace sooner if you experience discomfort.
Q. What’s the proper way to clean hiking shoes?
A. Remove debris like pebbles or twigs then wash with warm water, mild soap, and a brush. Rinse thoroughly. Remove insoles and wash separately. Allow all parts to fully air dry before storing to prevent mildew or shrinking. Use cleaners made specifically for hiking gear materials.
Q. How can I improve traction on slippery terrain?
A. Look for hiking shoes with deep multidirectional lugs spaced closely together. Vibram, Omni-Grip, and TRAXION rubber compounds offer excellent wet/dry traction. A less-worn shoe will grip better than one with worn treads. Trekking poles can also aid stability on slick surfaces.
Aravind Pai is a passionate blogger and content creator who has been writing extensively on technology topics since 2020, with a focus on Online shopping deals and product reviews. He graduated as a B.Tech 4 years ago and enjoys road trips and exploring latest gadgets.
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