Got some hardcore outdoor adventures planned on your next trip abroad? If there’s anything you don’t want to skimp out on, it’s proper footwear.
For most travellers, a comfortable pair of walking shoes will do. But you’re an adventurer. You typical run-of-the-mill footwear for city slickers isn’t going to cut it. You need great support that’ll protect your feet and ankles from the harsh terrains that you’ll face all in the name of seeking out the ultimate adventure or grabbing that perfect view.
Ready to take your hiking to the next level? Get the best support and comfort on your outdoor getaway with these best hiking boots for women for 2018…
Table of Contents
- The best hiking boots for women of 2018: The top 12 picks
- The North Face Women’s Ultra Fastpack II Mid GTX
- Adidas Outdoor Women’s Terrex Swift R Mid GTX
- Vasque Women’s Talus Trek UltraDry
- New Balance Women’s WW1400V1
- Salomon Women’s Quest 4D 2 GTX
- KEEN Women’s Durand Mid WP
- Ahnu Women’s Montara WP
- Salomon Women’s X Ultra Mid 2 GTX
- KEEN Women’s Targhee II Women’s Mid WP
- Merrell Women’s Moab Ventilator Mid
- Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus
- Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine II
The best hiking boots for women of 2018: The top 12 picks
Let’s talk for a second about women’s hiking boots. Sure, they aren’t the most stylish footwear out there for travellers nor are they overly convenient. And for minimalist packers, these clunky things will weigh down your pack more than you might be prepared for.
But if negotiating rougher terrain is in your travel plans, you simply need a sturdy pair of hiking boots. Unlike ordinary hiking or walking shoes, hiking boots skirt up higher on the ankle to provide extra support and minimize the possibility of injury. At the expense of added weight, hiking boots also often feature thicker soles designed for better traction and to lessen impact on uneven surfaces.
To solve the dilemma of figuring out which hiking boots are right for your adventure, we’ve narrowed the massive field of contenders down to just 12. Of these recommendations, you’re bound to find a pair of boots that’ll fit your ideal adventure. Bon voyage!
In a rush? Here are the 12 best women’s hiking boots of 2018 compared…
The North Face Women’s Ultra Fastpack II Mid GTX
Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Best Use: Fast-paced walks and runs in warmer climates
Take your day hikes to a whole new level with The North Face Women’s Ultra Fastpack II Mid GTX. The lightweight upper construction speaks to the boot’s ability to provide all-day comfort in hot weather. With the mesh and Gore-Tex membranes, it is not only waterproof, but provides proper airflow to keep your feet dry. You’ll love it as much in summer as in spring.
Embedded cables along the side of the upper are a remedy for stabilizing the lightweight Ultra Fastpack II Mid GTX. Tagging along with the extra side support is a dual-density EVA midsole. It’s injection-molded to adapt to the curves of your feet. The boot’s Ultra Protect Cradle Guide technology also gives a snug fit to the heel and ankle to protect against torsion injuries.
The North Face Women’s Ultra Fastpack II Mid GTX Hiking Boot is, however, not the best pick for price-conscious hikers. For a more budget-friendly option, give the Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge a try.
- Reliable weather protection
- Good arch support
- Not as budget-friendly as other options
Adidas Outdoor Women’s Terrex Swift R Mid GTX
Weight: 1.1 lbs.
Best Use: Long-distance trail runs in hot weather
Inspired by track athletes rather than the outdoors, the Adidas Outdoor Women’s Terrex Swift R Mid GTX is a sure fit for women ready to get active on the hiking trails. Its sporty design, accented with a pop colour, appeals to athletically- and aesthetically-minded hikers alike.
The boot’s unique Adidas Gore-Tex upper helps prevent water entry while keeping the interior dry. The upper’s mesh dishes out good airflow to whisk sweat away from your feet.
To provide extra forefoot and heel cushioning, Adidas has thrown their proprietary shock-absorbing adiPRENE insole into the boot’s lightweight EVA midsole. It gives off a springy feeling that propels your steps forward, preventing foot fatigue and inspiring longer hikes. With the Adidas Outdoor Women’s Terrex Swift R Mid GTX, you can also power through uneven terrain with confidence—even when wet—thanks to the high traction rubber outsole.
Although the Adidas Outdoor Women’s Terrex Swift R Mid GTX is a great all-around performer, it’s not without its faults. For women with wider feet, the fit of the Terrex might be a little snug. The narrower toe cap also makes this hiking boot a questionable choice for “wilder” hiking on more off-beat trails.
- Excellent ankle support
- Good traction on uneven surfaces
- Eye-pleasing sporty design
- Narrow fit
- Minimal toe protection
Vasque Women’s Talus Trek UltraDry
Weight: 2 lbs.
Best Use: Backpacking trips in frigid weather conditions
Looking for a boot that’ll last a decade? The Vasque Women’s Talus Trek UltraDry is the real deal in classic comfort. It’s built to withstand heavy usage and still look as good as the day your bought them.
Even when the weather is unfavourable, the Talus Trek begs you to get outdoor. Thanks to its robust all-leather upper, colder temperatures have nothing on this hiking boot. Warmth stays in without feeling stuffy as the mesh lining on the upper allows for optimum perspiration.
When it comes to the Vibram Nuasi outsole, the Vasque Women’s Talus Trek UltraDry builds in extra strength for rough trails. It’s molded with XSTrek rubber and features multi-directional lugs to keep you centred.
Perhaps even better yet is the dual-density molded EVA midsole designed for athletic handling. Even when walking for hours with a heavy backpack, there’s little extra stress on the knees and feet.
Unfortunately, for a ladies hiking boot, there’s little aesthetic appeal. With only two colour options to choose from, the selection is quite limiting.
- Robust upper
- Excellent traction with Vibram Nuasi outsole
- Athletic cushioning
- Available in only two colors
New Balance Women’s WW1400V1
Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Best Use: Long walks in cold weather
A newer offering from an old favourite, the New Balance Women’s WW1400V1 tells a tale of modernity meeting the wild. This trail walking boot is equally at home on the city hiking trails as it is on mountainous paths. It bears a completely watertight upper with Thinsulate insulation to keep your feet toasty on cold fall and winter days.
On the flip side, the mesh tongue and collar of the New Balance Women’s WW100V1 lets air in to improve interior breathability when it gets too warm. Taking on steep hills and valleys is no problem with the ROLLBAR Posting system that helps cradle the rear foot fully and prevent unwarranted shifting to minimize injuries. Plus, the laces provide a safe lockdown of the ankle.
As budget-friendly as the New Balance Women’s WW100V1 is, it comes at the expense of a less robust construction. The upper and the outsole are not as rugged as other models. This boot, for example, wouldn’t be suitable for carrying a heavy backpack on a multi-day hike.
- Versatile in both in the wild and well-maintained parks
- Not robust enough to carry heavyweight gear
Salomon Women’s Quest 4D 2 GTX
Weight: 1.4 lbs.
Best Use: Long backpacking trips in tough weather
Searching for serious comfort in a women’s hiking boot is no longer a struggle when you trust your feet to the Salomon Women’s Quest 4D 2 GTX. With its molded EVA footbed and 4D Advanced Chassis, you’ll get the support you need without dealing with any added stress to your feet—even when carrying heavier backpacking gear.
For the truly hardcore hiker there’s another big plus: the waterproofing. Equipped with a Gore-Tex upper, the Salomon Women’s Quest 4D 2 GTX keeps moisture out without sacrificing breathability. Whether in rainy or dry weather, you’ll be able to negotiate everything from muddy trails to rocky path thanks to the boot’s Contragrip technology on the outsole.
Despite its tremendous performance on the trail, the one downfall of the Salomon Women’s Quest 4D 2 GTX is its aesthetics. With relatively dull colours combination and an undeniable outdoorsy look, women keen on fashion may wish to search elsewhere for a hiking boot.
- Superior foot support
- Robust build
- Great traction over a variety of surfaces
- Limited color options
KEEN Women’s Durand Mid WP
Weight: 1 lb.
Best Use: Short hikes in crisp weather
For those who stick to well-maintained trails, the KEEN Women’s Durand Mid WP is made especially for you. It’s incredibly lightweight, suiting day hikers and travellers alike. The Nubuck leather and mesh upper combine to provide both superb weatherproofing and some breathability. It’s keen (no pun intended!) on giving you interior comfort so you can power through steep paths and downhill trails effortlessly.
A unique property of the KEEN Women’s Durand Mid WP is the heel cushion and removable dual-density EVA midsole. You can wash it to maintain freshness without sacrificing form. While wearing the boot, you’ll also fall for its underfoot cushioning as it provides maximum shock absorption over rough terrains on your hikes.
As much as the KEEN Women’s Durand Mid WP feels nimble and ready for action, it favors hikes in the cooler spring, fall and winter months over summer. The leather upper is almost entirely sealed (it is waterproof after all) and leaves little room to get rid of all the sweat during summer treks.
- Well-padded and comfortable
- Full ankle support
- Excellent waterproofing
- Not suited for hot weather
Ahnu Women’s Montara WP
Weight: 1.8 lbs.
Best Use: Short day walks in the heart of winter
Unparalleled support is the name of the game with the Ahnu Women’s Montara WP. This boot is one of the more stylish & colourful hikers around and viable for day hikes in town or on more distant hiking trails.
The all-leather upper speaks to its full weatherproofing, making it a great choice for both wet days and in cooler winter months. Even in milder temperatures, side eVents allows for proper air inflow to help you enjoy breathable protection.
In terms of support, Ahnu Women’s Montara WP cradles the foot from the ankle all the way to the toes for durable, all-day support. A heavily-padded collar adds extra ankle support to protect against sprains and twists. In rough terrain, the lightweight dual-density EVA midsole helps you rack up some serious miles without major foot fatigue.
For all-day wear, however, the tongue on the Ahnu Women’s Montara WP is a small bone of contention. It’s a bit heavier than on most hiking boots, and may cause some discomfort with certain foot sizes when worn for a extended period of time.
- Excellent ankle support
- Heavier than other models
- More suitable for shorter day hikes than extended wear
Salomon Women’s X Ultra Mid 2 GTX
Weight: 0.97 lbs.
Best Use: Long-distance trail runs in all weather conditions
A revolutionary boot, the Salomon Women’s X Ultra Mid 2 GTX caters to ladies who love walking or running longer distances with a solid mix of style, comfort, and performance. The X Ultra features a leather and mesh that oozes with durability and breathability.
The mid-cut design allows the collar to wrap around the ankle for excellent support. You don’t need to worry about it rolling when you are out for a fast-paced run.
For waterproofing, the Salomon Women’s X Ultra Mid 2 GTX includes a classic Gore-Tex liner fitted with polyester to wick sweat to the outside. Even after a long day of hitting the trails, you can expect to feel dry and comfy.
Although its comfortable and durable, the Salomon Women’s X Ultra Mid 2 GTX falls on the lighter side. It’s not the best choice for carrying a heavy backpack for long distances and may not adequately protect the knees or cushion the feet under heavier loads.
- Cradles the ankle for optimum support
- Excellent waterproofing & breathability
- Too lightweight to carry a heavy load over extended distances
KEEN Women’s Targhee II Women’s Mid WP
Weight: 0.8 lbs.
Best Use: Trail runs in hot weather
Designed to mimic trail runners, the KEEN Women’s Targhee II Mid WP is perfect for enhancing agility on your hiking expeditions. It’s built in a minimalistic style, but it does not skip out on any of the important features you’d expect among the best women’s hiking shoes.
The mid-height of the KEEN Women’s Targhee II Mid WP is essential for wrapping around your ankle to give a snug fit when motoring through the bush. Combined with the Nubuck leather and mesh uppers, this boot provide all around support while keeping the fit lightweight and airy for speed & comfort.
Support on the KEEN Women’s Targhee II Mid WP is further enhanced by a EVA midsole that absorbs impact and provides extra cushioning. The rubber outsole likewise features multi-directional lugs for traction and stability. Whether you are on rooty paths or walking on sliding rocks, this hiking boot stands strong.
As great at the KEEN Women’s Targhee II Mid WP is for most female hikers, some sizes are cut a bit narrow and will need breaking in to feel comfortable.
- Excellent arch & ankle support
- Narrow, tight fit on some feet
Merrell Women’s Moab Ventilator Mid
Weight: 1.4 lbs.
Best Use: Long hikes & runs in hot weather
From its reasonable price to its air cushioning, the Merrell Women’s Moab Ventilator Mid is in a league of its own among the best hiking boots for women. Its breezy upper features an equal balance between leather and mesh, making it a popular choice in warmer weather.
For fussy feet, the Merrell Women’s Moab Ventilator Mid features a full-length molded EVA midsole. The heel is well-cushioned and the toe area’s well-protected with rubber caps. Enduring hours—or days—on the trails is no problem; this is a hiking boot made to withstand heavy usage.
With its Vibram outsole, the Merrell Women’s Moab Ventilator Mid powers through mud and sharp rocks without hesitation. The one situation where this boot falls short is in snow, puddles, and rivers. The mesh is ideal for ventilating your feet, not keeping moisture out!
- Comfortable and airy fit
- Not ideal for winter and wet spring & fall months
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus
Weight: 1 lb.
Best Use: Hikes and backpacking trips on snowy days
To all the ladies who hate skimping on quality features, let the Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus grace your feet. This hiking boot features an exceptional design, starring a full-grain leather upper that lets you explore the trails come rain or shine. Its waterproof and durable construction is complimented by molded EVA footbed that conforms comfortably to the contours of your feet.
What’s more, the Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus carries nylon shanks along the outsole to stabilize the foot entirely. Whether you find yourself on gravel paths or wilder trails where roots hug your feet, you’ll always be safely planted in this hiking boot. Combined with superior cushioning using Techlite technology, you’ll always be confident in turning your steps into high energy strides.
The one area that the Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus could use improvement is in breathability. The leather upper—designed to protect you from downpours, showers or the morning dew—wears quite warm. You’d do best to skip out on this hiking boot in tropical or sub-tropical climates.
- It has a construction from high-quality materials, budget-friendly
- Not well-ventilated
Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine II
Weight: 1.4 lbs.
Best Use: Covering heavy miles rain or shine
An attractive price tag isn’t the only thing that makes the Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine II so popular among female outdoor enthusiasts. These kicks fall in as one of the most stylish of the bunch, flexing its muscle with an array of bright eye-popping colours to choose from.
The hit parade doesn’t end at its looks. The Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine II bears incredible protection, starting with a leather and synthetic upper blend that brings stability to the boot. The rubber toe caps are very functional along tough & beaten paths that protect you from digging into roots and rocks as you run or indulge in active walks.
Rounding out the durable upper of the Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine II are the supportive dual-density EVA midsole and fiberglass shanks for maintaining traction on difficult surfaces.
For hikers with wider feet, the Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine II may feel a tad cramped. Move at least half size up to leave some extra room for the toes.
- Durable, stable & weatherproof leather upper
- Narrow fit on wider feet