The right pair of shoes can make a world of difference to your hiking experience. How can you enjoy the scenery if your shoes are giving you blisters? Finding the right hiking shoe means you’ll be able to stay on the trail longer, ready to tackle any challenge the adventure might bring without fearing injury. Hiking shoes need to strike a delicate balance between providing enough support to protect your feet during long hikes and being breathable and flexible enough to be supportive. There are so many choices on the market today that it can be difficult to choose the best shoes for the trail. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned pro, here are the ten best hiking shoes for women with some tips to help you choose the right one for you.
Tips for Choosing The Best Hiking Shoes For Women
Consider what kind of hike you generally undertake. Choose low-cut and flexible hiking shoes if you generally go on light day hikes. Day hiking boots are slightly sturdier, higher cut and are appropriate for short backpacking trips as well as day hiking. Backpacking boots give you the ultimate support for carrying heavy loads during longer backpacking trips, whether on the trails or through rough terrain.
Take your climate into consideration. Hikers who might be trekking through snow need shoes ready to keep out the cold, while those who hike in hot climates might appreciate a more breathable shoe. If you frequently hike through streams or wet areas, waterproof protection might be more important to you.
Have your feet measured by a professional, or follow the instructions from the manufacturer as closely as possible to measure yourself. Knowing your foot’s length, width and arch length can help you find a shoe that fits just right. The best hiking shoes for women should be snug, but not tight.
Try on your shoes at the end of the day with the socks that you plan to wear with them. As you move around throughout the day, your feet tend to swell a bit. Trying your shoes on when your feet are at their largest will make sure that your shoes won’t feel too tight when you’re on the trail. The best socks to wear when hiking are made of synthetic materials. They dry faster than cotton which will help you avoid blisters.
Choose a shoe with a design and color that complements your style. The more you like the shoes, the more eager you will be to hit the trail.
Take your time and walk around. Hiking shoes can be an investment. You won’t regret moving around a bit and checking the fit before you make the commitment.
Reviews Of The Top Rated Best Hiking Shoes For Women
Merrell Women’s Siren Edge Hiker
The Merrell Siren Edge shoes feature a mesh lining to ensure breathability, an odor-controlling contoured footbed and a tongue which is specially designed to keep rocks and sticks out of your shoes. They come in ten different colors such as Black, Aluminum or Astral Aura so you can be sure to find one that fits your style. Most styles feature a neutral base with just a splash of color. Customers report that they are sturdy enough to handle rough terrain during day hiking, but look sleek and light for a hiking shoe. The Vibram traction outsole prevents slipping even on slick surfaces or rocky ground.
Some reviewers noted that the toe box is roomier than other shoes, but that they soon became used to it. A few seemed unhappy with the quality of the materials used in this shoe, but they seemed to be in the minority as most customers reported the shoes lasting a long time.
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot
Whether you are hiking through desert, mud, woods or mountain trails, Columbia’s Newton Ridge boots will provide the structure you need without the weight. Available in two neutral colors, Quarry or Cordovan, they are a great boot for those who are just getting started with more serious hiking. While these leather boots are not part of Columbia’s Omni-Tech Waterproof line, they do provide protection from rain, dew or small streams and are stain-resistant as well. These boots do not take long to break in so you won’t have to wait to hit the trail.
Though many report no issues with these boots, some reviewers seem to have a problem with the front of the boot forming a crease that hurts their toes. Additionally, some find the boots to provide insufficient ventilation, causing their feet to get overly warm in the heat of the day.
KEEN Terradora Mid Hiking Shoe
KEEN has designed a great mid-rise boot that is perfectly designed for women. The stability shank provides ankle support while the cushion panel protects your achilles tendon. Stylish enough to wear around town, the Terradora boot comes in ten different colors from bright Boysenberry or Duck Green to the more muted Gargoyle or Silver Birch. This boot also features waterproof design, odor control and a breathable membrane.
Some reviewers find they are sturdy enough for their needs, but others found that the shoes did not withstand the test of time. While some experience the thinness of the shoe a positive point, others think that the shoe began to break down too quickly. In light of that, this boot is probably best suited to those who take lighter day hikes rather than longer trips through rough terrain.
The North Face Women’s Storm III
If you’re looking for a great all-around shoe, this is a great one to try. Featuring an athletic criss-cross design, this shoe is made of suede leather and mesh and comes in two colors: Demitasse Brown or Dark Gull Grey. The vibram sole provided traction on both wet and dry surfaces and waterproof protection is provided so a little rain won’t ruin your day. North Face stands behind their products and these shoes come with a limited one-year warranty.
Some reviewers reported needing to replace the insole as the shoe has limited arch support, but the insole removes easily to make this an option.
Ahnu Women’s Montara II Hiking Shoe
Ahnu has a passionate business model that promotes an active outdoor lifestyle by providing quality products that will encourage you to get out of the gym and onto the trail. These shoes will do just that! Made with the brand’s Numentem Technology, the Montara III was designed with your foot’s natural biomechanics in mind to ensure that you can hike longer and stronger. The insole is removable so that you can customize your fit, and the elevated heel measures about 1.25 inches. Breathable and waterproof, the Montara II is available in Chocolate Chip, Dark Grey, Black, Forest Night, Midnight Blue, Winetasting and Red Dahlia.
Unfortunately, a few reviewers report that the shoes have a strong odor, while others find that they are too stiff and did not break in over time.
The First Outdoor Women’s Hiking Shoe
A major benefit to these shoes is that they are appropriate to use both during long walking hikes and trail running which gives you more bang for your buck. Having a pair of versatile shoes can make it easy to try a new activity whether you are a beginner hiker or runner. The insole is designed to provide air circulation while the padded tongue ensures a snug fit. They are available in two bright and bold colors: Purple/Orange and Blue/Rose.
You may have to try a few sizes before you find the right fit as several customers note that the sizing seemed off on The First Outdoor shoes. Other reviewers found that the shoe was too heavy to truly work as a running shoe, but most were happy with the shoe’s function for both running and hiking.
Merrell Women’s All Out Blaze Aero Sport
Merrell’s All Out Blaze Aero Sport shoes are perfect for warm weather hiking, kayaking or canoeing. These water shoes dry quickly even after splashing through a stream and the breathable lining keeps feet cool. The Omni-Fit lacing system is designed to ensure that your shoe fits like a glove. As hiking near water sometimes means slippery terrain, Merrell has taken extra steps to provide stability such as a molded heel counter and enhanced arch support. Choose the color that highlights your style whether it be Adventurine, Sea Pine, Beige/Khaki and Blue Heaven.
These shoes are not appropriate for hiking in cold weather climates so they have a limited function. Also, many customers found that the fit ran small, though they have bought the same size in other shoes that Merrell sells.
Clorts Women’s Hiker Leather Backpacking Shoe
Clorts, short for “climbing sports,” focuses on providing shoes for outdoor enthusiasts that mix fashion with innovative technology to ensure safety. Multi-directional traction, a protective toe cap and a layered sole all work together to guard against common hiking injuries. This is a sturdier shoe that comes in three color styles: Dark Grey/Pink, Khaki and Grey Lake/Blue. The mid-height ankle design provides extra support for longer, more intense hikes. Many reviewers note that this shoe’s waterproofing holds up better than other hiking shoes, which means your feet will stay snug and dry.
The company as well as reviewers warn that the shoe runs small, though many were pleased with this as it provided a superior fit for slender feet. Those with wider feet may want to avoid this shoe though. While the company claims that the shoes are appropriate for all weather, some reviewers say that the shoes did not offer adequate protection in snow.
Teva Women’s Arrowood Waterproof Hiking Shoe
Though Teva made their name in sport sandals, they now provide shoes for every outdoor adventure you might desire. A stylish but supportive option, the Arrowood offers rubber outsole inserts and can be bought in seven different colors such as Fig, Indigo Plum and Slate. These shoes may not look sturdy enough to provide true waterproof protection, but many hikers report being pleasantly surprised when their toes stayed warm and dry despite hiking through wet or muddy areas. This is thanks to the full grain leather upper which also makes these shoes abrasion resistant and durable.
Customers note that this shoe is not fit for heavy duty hiking. The tread is not deep enough to provide traction in rough areas and the comparatively soft sole does not protect your foot from varied terrain. However, those who are just getting started with hiking and are mostly sticking to trails will likely be very happy. Customers are also advised to size up for the best fit.
Columbia Women’s Dakota Drifter Trail Shoe
This Dakota Drifter shoe from Columbia combines suede leather, mesh and rubber overlays to form a seam-sealed bootie interior to provide waterproof protection. The low-cut ankle provides flexibility and increased movement. Available in two styles (Pebble/Poppy Red and Light Grey/Sunnyside), this shoe is best suited to those who walk for long periods on trails rather than those who want to explore the backwoods.
Though the Dakota Drifter claims to offer cushioning on the lightweight insole, many reviewers found the arch support to be lacking and found that their feet ached at the end of a long hike. The insole is not removable so unfortunately, there is not an option to replace it to customize the support. Some also found the toe box to be too small to fit comfortably even when sizing up.