The 4 Most Comfortable Hiking Boots For Women

fotolia/Volodymyr Shevchuk

When you're shopping for a new pair of hiking boots, there are several concerns to keep in mind including cushioning, the outsole, moisture management properties, and fit. The most comfortable hiking boots for women will offer you structured support, tough traction, sweat-wicking material, and an effortless fit.

It's also important to consider what type of hiking you'll be doing so you can pick the right style. There are three main types of hiking shoes, each designed for a different degree of difficulty:

  1. Day Hiking Trail Shoes: These are meant for easier day hikes where you won’t be traversing rugged terrain. They're typically low- to mid-cut with sturdy material — sometimes partial leather — that's stronger than regular sneakers but not as stiff as full-on hiking boots.
  2. Lightweight Hiking Boots: These Goldilocks-style boots are a cross between day hiking shoes and multi-day backpacking boots. The idea is that you'll probably be navigating more technical trails but not out in the woods for days on end. They’re usually ankle-high with ample thickness and extra traction.
  3. Backpacking Boots: These are the most rugged hiking boots, meant for long, intense hikes or multi-day treks where you’re logging lots of miles every day. They’re normally constructed with full-grain leather uppers and a fully waterproof design.

To help you with your search, I’ve put together a list of the most comfortable hiking boots for women in various categories to help you stay comfy on the trail.

1Best Overall, All Things Considered

Made with a well-cushioned Techlite midsole, these lightweight hiking boots will keep you comfortable on the trail for longer periods of time due to their clever design. The upper is made from a soft suede that is fully waterproof, while the tough sole provides traction via its Omni-Grip rubber. Lastly, the ankle-high boots feature a seam-sealed membrane for extra protection from the elements. One fan raves, "These boots are so lightweight, simply amazing. Really well constructed with lots of padding for comfort. As mentioned by others, the toe box is a bit narrow, but it has a lot of give, so for me, still has a good fit."

  • Available sizes: 5-12

2Runner Up: A More Affordable Lightweight Hiking Boot

These affordable hiking boots are built with robust, multi-directional rubber on the sole that gives them great traction and killer grip. The boots are shock-absorbing to keep your feet from getting sore and also reduce your chances of slipping. They have a removable EVA insole that you can easily dump in the washing machine to clean, and are built with a padded synthetic collar to prevent chafing. The ankle is constructed with durable suede and features breathable mesh inserts that regulate your temperature. While these boots are half the price of the lightweight pair above, they aren't quite as durable and don't come in as wide a range of sizes. That being said, one reviewer praises this pair, saying, "Bought them for a hiking trip and they needed NO breaking in time. I worked out in them a few times to make sure and they never left blisters or rubbed my feet wrong. They are so comfortable, I wear them all the time now (winter)."

  • Available sizes: 6-10

3Best For Shorter, Day Hikes

Made for more casual day hikes, these women's trail shoes feature cool technology called Sensifit that cradles your foot in premium cushioning for top-of-the-line comfort. The shoe's closure system locks everything into place to help you get a snugger fit so you can optimize your stride while reducing chafing and soreness. The textile upper is breathable and well-ventilated with abrasion-resistant rubber on the toe to add extra durability and protection. One thing to note, these boots are definitely water-resistant, not waterproof. If you prefer to hike in a rainy climate, another pair on this list would be a better fit.

  • Available sizes: 5-10

4Best For Long, Difficult Hikes

Designed for multi-day wilderness adventures, this tough backpacking boot features a high-density EVA insole with a sculpted arch to support your stride. The sole is also built with tiny EVA pods that offer shock absorption and extra rebound. The boots have a sweat-wicking top layer to manage perspiration while waterproof technology called B-DRY prevents rain, water, and other elements from getting in. On top of all of that, the boots boast a nylon shank between the heel and forefoot to deliver additional support.

  • Available sizes: 6-11

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