The Best Hiking Boots for Women in 2021

Best Hiking Boots for Women
Image by Canva Photos

Hiking boots are a staple in any woman’s closet, ideal for walks along nature paths and intense hikes in the great outdoors. But with so many brands and styles out there, it can be hard to find a quality pair that will work best for you. That’s why, in this article, we’re going to look at the best hiking boots for women in 2021, and explore the important things to keep in mind as you shop.

Our Top Picks: Best Hiking Boots for Women

If you’re in a rush, here’s the bottom line:

  • Best Overall: Lowa RenegadeWaterproof, breathable, durable, and reasonably priced — what more could you ask for?
  • Best Eco-Friendly: Vivobarefoot Tracker Hi FGEthically sourced, responsibly produced, and made from majority recycled materials for the environmentally-conscious hiker.
  • Best Budget: KEEN Targhee IIAll the features you need in your hiking boots at an absolute steal of a deal!
  • Best All-Terrain: Columbia Newton Ridge PlusWhether you’re on a flat nature path at a national park or a treacherous trail up the rocky slopes of a mountain, these all-terrain powerhouses have you covered.
  • Best Waterproof: Asolo StyngerNeither rain nor snow nor sleet nor creeks nor rivers… you get the idea.
  • Best for Summer: KEEN Gypsum IILightweight doesn’t have to mean flimsy, and these tough, durable summer hiking boots prove that breathable hiking boots can be just as durable as winter ones.
  • Best for Winter: Vasque LaplanderFor freezing temperatures and snow conditions, look no further than these UltraDry Laplanders.
  • Best Leather: Ariat Terrain H2OJust because they’re genuine leather doesn’t mean they’re uncomfortable and blistering — these 100% leather hiking boots are comfortable right out of the box and built for any outdoor adventure.
  • Best for Wide Feet: Scarpa Kailash TrekWide-footed women, weep no more! With half a dozen wide sizes in a cute, non-bulky style, these hiking boots are sure to win your heart.

1. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Women’s Hiking Boot

The best hiking boots for women overall

Lowa Women's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot best hiking boots for women

Brand: Lowa | Upper: Nubuck Leather | Outsole: Vibram | Height: Mid-Top | Price: 💰💰💰

These hiking boots may look simple, but don’t let that fool you. The Renegade GTX’s have it all: functionality, durability, and style. This clear winner beats out all others in pretty much every category.

Made of PU mono-wrap frame midsole, Vibram Evo Sole, GoreTex, and Nubuck leather uppers, these boots are built to last but still lightweight enough that they won’t weigh you down on long hikes. Despite their “light hiker” classification, Lowa Renegades offer enough durability and stability to handle light backpacking thanks to their stabilizing shanks and Condura nylon ankle bands. Moreover, the climate-controlled footbed and breathable construction help keep your feet cool and dry in hot summer weather. No matter the shape of your foot, Lowa has a boot for you — these boots are available in narrow, wide, and regular widths. 

Plus, there are nearly a dozen colors to choose from, making your boots a fashion statement rather than a faux pas.

  • Durable construction lasts for years of avid hiking
  • Waterproof exterior keeps feet dry even in torrential rain
  • Stellar ankle support prevents rolling even while scrambling over rocky, slippery terrain

  • Some reviewers noted the soles wearing out sooner than expected 
  • Less comfortable for those with flat feet, although ergonomic insoles helped with this

2. Vivobarefoot Tracker Hi FG Women’s Hiking Boot

The best eco-friendly women’s hiking boots

Vivobarefoot Tracker Hi FG Women's Hiking Boot best hiking boots for women eco-friendly

Brand: Vivobarefoot | Upper: Nubuck | Outsole: Leather, RPET Mesh, & RPET Felt | Height: High-Top | Price: 💰💰

If you want a reliable pair of hiking boots without the guilt associated with buying genuine, full-grain leather, then look no further than Vivobarefoot. 

This footwear brand made it their mission to provide eco-friendly boots made from ethically-sourced, responsibly-processed, and majority-recycled materials (including premium-action leather).

3mm lugs on the sole ensure traction and stability no matter the terrain, and the mountain laces are non-slip to retain tension all day long. The sealed inner hydrophobic membrane and water-resistant Nubuck leather uppers and leather paneling keep water out through banks of snow and unexpected downpours — all while the breathable construction wicks away moisture from the inside to keep your feet cool and dry. As if all that wasn’t enough, these boots also come with a removable thermal insole, meaning you can wear them for all four seasons.

  • Wide toe box, ensuring comfort for even the widest of feet
  • 360 interior Hydroguard waterproof membrane to keep feet dry
  • Removable thermal insole for insulation in the winter but breathability in the summer

  • Pretty stiff out of the box, and take a while to break in 
  • Waterproof sealing on the uppers eventually wears away

3. KEEN Targhee II Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boot

The best women’s hiking boot on a budget

KEEN Targhee II best hiking boots for women on a budge

Brand: KEEN | Upper: Leather | Outsole: Rubber | Height: Mid-Top | Price: 💰💰

Keen on snagging a pair of robust hiking boots, but don’t want to break the bank? If so, the KEEN’s Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots are for you. 

These all-around great boots combine a breathable leather liner, waterproof membrane, and aggressive rubber outsole (with 4mm multi-directional lugs) to take a chomp out of any terrain you come across. As a bonus, the rubber outsole is anti-marking, so you don’t end up with scuff marks on your lovely floors while prepping for your grand adventure.

The mid-top style offers the perfect balance of stability and ankle support without being overly restrictive or too inflexible. Cleansport NXT technology integrated into the boot’s construction helps control any unpleasant odors that might accrue after a long day out in the hot sun. The Metatomical EVA footbed ensures comfortable support for your arch, heels, and toes, wherever you go.

  • Breathable for summer, but still warm for colder weather
  • Excellent traction on everything from slippery rocks to muddy trails
  • Super comfortable EVA footbed reduces aching feet even on all-day outings

  • Uppers scuff easily
  • The toe box isn’t as wide as other KEEN boots, making sizing difficult for those with wider feet

4. Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Women’s Hiking Boot

The best all-terrain hiking boots for women

Columbia Newton Ridge Plus

Brand: Columbia | Upper: Leather & Synthetic | Outsole: Rubber | Height: High-Top | Price: 💰💰

Columbia has got you covered whether you’re walking on debris-littered nature trails, rocky mountain paths, or overgrown and unexplored territory. Thanks to their lugged Omnigrip outsole with specially-formulated dual-zone winter tread patterns, traction is all but guaranteed on even the most rugged of terrains. A triangle D-ring and tension-forward clamshell laces keep these boots snug against your foot and ankle, ensuring they stay securely in place for a full day of hiking.

Meanwhile, the water- and stain-resistant Omnishield treatment on the outers keeps your feet dry in all kinds of weather and protects the material itself for longer-lasting durability. Superior cushioning with mesh lining helps reduce any aches, and the unique design allows moisture from sweat to wick away, so your feet stay comfortable all day long.

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Fantastic grip and traction across any terrain
  • Genuinely stand up to all climates and weather conditions

  • Some reviewers had issues with toe creasing and related discomfort
  • The toe box is narrower than some other hiking boots, making them uncomfortable for those with wider feet 

5. Asolo Stynger GTX Hiking Boots for Women

The best waterproof hiking boots for women

Asolo Stynger

Brand: Asolo | Upper: Suede & Nylon | Outsole: Syncro Rubber-PU | Height: Mid-Top | Price: 💰💰💰💰

If you’re looking for true water-resistance, look no further. The Asolo Stynger’s water-repellant suede uppers feature a high-performance grease coating that keeps water out (which may sound gross, but makes a world of difference). Add to that the Gore-Tex performance lining, and all wet feet problems are virtually eliminated. Rubber-polyurethane outsoles seal out water from the bottom, too, and feature self-cleaning lugs that offer reliable traction across various terrains.

The Duo Asoflex lasting board melts together both stiff and soft materials for their anti-pronation, anti-supination, anti-torsion, and shock absorption properties, making for the optimal balance of support and comfort. 

  • Incredibly durable and long-lasting for years of reliable use
  • Genuinely waterproof, through snow, creeks, and heavy rainfall
  • Tighter heel pocket with roomy toe box for comfortable, secure fit with no toe jams, even on hills!

  • Rubber outsole mildly less durable than robust uppers
  • One reviewer noted an issue with the toe mold putting uncomfortable pressure on the toes

6. KEEN Gypsum II Women’s Mid Hiking Boot

The best summer hiking boots for women

Keen Gypsum 2

Brand: KEEN | Upper: Leather/Textile | Outsole: Rubber | Height: Mid-Top | Price: 💰💰

Arguably the best lightweight hiking boots for women, these flexible shoes are here to put your summer heat woes at ease. The uppers are made of leather to help seal against water, but the inner material is a breathable mesh designed to allow moisture to pass through, preventing sweat build-up.

Don’t let the Gypsum II’s lightweight status fool you — these bad boys are exceptionally durable. The rubber outsole is loaded with multi-directional lugs that fight back against challenging terrains. The removable, Metatomical dual-density EVA footbed ensures your foot is comfortably cradled at all times. And the Zorb EVA Strobel technology absorbs shock to protect your heels, ankles, and spine.

  • Great for those with higher arches
  • Incredibly soft insole with padding around the ankle for superior comfort and support
  • Dependable (yet breathable) waterproofing keeps your feet dry, yet cool and comfortable on hot days

  • Run a little small — you may want to go half a size up
  • May not be comfortable for the flat-footed, though adding insoles helped with this

7. Vasque Laplander UltraDry Women’s Winter Hiking Boots

The best winter hiking boots for women

Vasque Laplander best winter hiking boots for women

Brand: Vasque | Upper: Nubuck, Suede, & High-Abrasion Mesh | Outsole: Rubber | Height: High-Top | Price: 💰💰

Thanks to Vasque’s UltraDry technology, these boots are built for enjoying a winter wonderland without inviting any of that wonderland inside your shoes. Integrated membranes throughout the boot’s construction block rain, snow, and any other liquid from getting through. 

The high-top style helps reduce the chances of anything you walk through getting inside and ruining your trip. Thanks to the combination of tough perimeter lugs, complaint center lugs, and Vasque’s ColdHold Compound, the rubber outsoles adhere to cold surfaces for reliable traction across treacherous, chilly terrains. Dual-density EVA along the footbed, and molded EVA along the midsole, absorb shock and cushion your feet for all-day comfort. At the same time, the interior insulation ensures your toes stay warm and cozy, no matter the temperature.

  • Very warm for freezing temperatures
  • Lightweight compared to other winter hiking boots
  • Excellent waterproofing and traction for any winter terrain

  • A hard rise near the heel of the insole was uncomfortable to some
  • Sizing runs pretty small, with most users recommending going a full size up

8. Ariat Women’s Terrain H2O Hiking Boot

The best women’s leather hiking boots

Ariat Terrain H2O

Brand: Ariat | Upper: Leather | Outsole: Rubber | Height: Mid-Top | Price: 💰💰

Leather hiking boots are notorious for taking weeks to break in, with some never truly getting to a state you could call comfortable. Ariat is the exception.

Endless reviewers report that these leather hiking boots are comfortable straight out of the box. No blisters, no red spots, no cramped toes. This is partly due to the four-layered ATS footbed, designed for optimal comfort, support, and fatigue reduction. Then there’s the padded collar that cradles your foot without confining it, and the moisture-wicking interior lining that keeps your toes cool and dry. The oiled full-grain leather construction is completely sealed against water, but still lightweight enough for all-day outings. Self-cleaning dura-tread on the rubber outsole keeps the bottom wear-resistant for years of reliable tread across all sorts of terrains.

  • Genuinely waterproof for all weather
  • Super comfortable right out of the box with no blistering
  • Unparalleled support around the ankle and heel for no foot fatigue even with all-day outings

  • A little bulky and hard to pack for traveling
  • Sizing runs a little big — consider getting a size down

9. Scarpa Kailash Trek GTX Women’s Hiking Boot

The best hiking boots for women with wide feet

Scarpka Kailesh

Brand: Scarpa | Upper: Suede & Nylon | Outsole: Vibram | Height: Mid-Top | Price: 💰💰💰

Wide feet aren’t just an issue for men — women suffer from this sizing issue just as often! Fortunately, Scarpa is here to dave the day with their Kailash Trek GTX women’s hiking boots, which come in over half a dozen sizes (most of which are wide sizes specifically for wider feet).

Moreover, they still come with all the features you need from your hiking boots: lightweight polyurethane midsoles for impact protection, Gore-Tex lining for exterior waterproofing and interior moisture-wicking, TPU toe cap for rough terrain protection, and bi-component lacing hardware for the optimal fit. They are definitely burly enough to handle weeklong backpacking trips, but still light enough to function okay as day hikers. 

  • Incredibly comfortable with stellar support 
  • Range of wide sizes for excellent fit on wider feet
  • Stylish design that’s not bulky likeuserlikes other wide boots

  • The arch may be too high for those with flat feet
  • Achieving the perfect fit may require insoles, which are an extra expense

What to Look for in the Best Hiking Boots for Women

Sitting by the Lake in the Best Hiking Boots for Women
Image by Fly Parade / Canva Photos

Hiking boots — even budget ones — aren’t cheap. We know you want to make sure you’re getting the absolute best boots for you the first time, so here are a few things you may want to keep in mind as you consider your options.

Features

Support. The most important part of any hiking boot is the support it offers. For your foot, yes, but also your hips, spine, and neck. 

Fit. Poorly-fit boots aren’t just uncomfortable. They can do serious damage to your feet, ankles, and spine alignment. Properly-fit boots will follow the contours of your foot, leave little to no space between the interior of the shoe and your foot, and will feel comfortable. If they don’t feel comfortable — even if you can’t pin down why — they’re not right for you.

Cut. Ankle support is vital, whether you’re interested in lengthier, more intensive adventures, or just short bouts at your local hotspot. High- and mid-cut boots offer greater levels of support than low-cut boots. But, low-cuts provide more flexibility. Keep in mind which is more important and more comfortable for you to wear. 

Weight. Heavier boots will wear you out quicker, making longer-term hikes more strenuous and less enjoyable. If you’re mostly planning short trips, weight might not matter as much. But if you’re looking to spend long, consecutive days out on the trails, you’ll want to keep shoe weight in mind.

Material. Hiking boots come in all sorts of materials, like full-grain and split-grain leather, synthetics, rubber, and waterproof materials. Some are more breathable than others, while some are more durable or longer-lasting. Each serves a purpose, so make sure the material you pick matches what you want to use them for.

Toe Cap. Toe caps, or toe bumpers, cover your boot’s toe to protect your toes. They can be made from rubber or other durable materials, and are essential for adventures on rough, uneven terrains. 

Extras

Consider any other features that might be important to you. Cushioning air units are a must for avid hikers. They pad the sides of the feet and offer balance support on rocky or uneven terrain. Gore-Tex is almost a golden standard in the outdoorsmen world. The breathable, waterproof fabric membrane resists liquid water but still allows water vapor to pass through, which means no sweat build-up. 

Our Process

For this guide on hiking boots for women, our team spent 4.5 hours researching the most popular options from over 35 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about one hundred fifty user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each pair of boots. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 8 women’s hiking boots on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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