Wearing the right pair of hiking shoes is downright one of the most important decisions you’ll make. Besides not causing you to get blisters, a pair of the best hiking shoes for women will give your feet the right balance of support, comfort, stability, traction, weight, and durability. If you are an avid hiker, you know that happy feet make a huge difference every step along that rocky trail.
You should never underestimate the sole-saving power of good hiking boots or shoes. I'm sure we can all relate with a few experiences of having to walk miserably in a pair of painful shoes that lack support and that are not meant for the terrain you just obliterated them on. In entirety, your shoe matters.
Yes, more than your leggings, rain jacket you decide to wear, and even your backpack. If you're a newbie in all of this, we recommend two things: First, get a comprehensive guide that gives you more insight on what kind of hiking shoe best suits your needs. Second, never waste your money buying a cheap pair of hiking shoes. They always disappoint. However, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't go for the most affordable shoe.
Best Hiking Shoes for Women
1. Salomon X Ultra 4 Low GTX
- Waterproof Hiking Shoes: Conquer uphills and descents with the X Ultra 4 GTX; Designed for women with the agility of a trail running shoe and the stability, grip, and waterproof protection you need...
- All Terrain Grip: Equipped with a new chassis, this waterproof hiking shoe protects sensitive articulations without compromising movement; The Contagrip MA outsole grabs the terrain, even when it’s...
- Adventure Awaits: Whether you love a local day hike or hitting the trails for a multi-day adventure, Salomon makes innovative hiking and backpacking shoes and boots for men and women to help you go...
- Time To Play: Whether you are into trail running, hiking, backpacking, or mountaineering, Salomon has shoes and gear for kids, men and women to help you conquer a new distance, personal record, or...
- Since 1947 Salomon has created innovative outdoor sports gear; From running and hiking to backpacking, skiing and more, our shoes, boots, bags, apparel and accessories help make any path your own
The Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX hike shoes offer a great balance between weight and durability. Generally, they feel much lighter and are more agile than other similarly constructed shoes. It has a fit that is similar to that of a trail runner, but much like trail runners, they practically won't need any break-in period.
They are comfortable to hike in straight out of the box. The traction is above average, especially on the Salomon X Ultras. These and many more features make them great for days you want to go backpacking or a day where you want hikes on challenging terrain. Needless to say, if you are a hiker who wants shoes that feel like a trail runner but also last more like the traditional hiking shoe, then this is what we'd recommend.
2. Saucony Women's Peregrine 11 Trail Running Shoe
- Aggressive lugs made of PWRTRAC tacky rubber conform to dig in and confidently grip a wide variety of terrains.
- PWRRUN cushioning supplies a responsive feel while a rock plate ensures additional protection for pushing uphill and driving downhill with confidence.
- The new ultralight, durable top layer adds durability to the comfortable air mesh bootie so nothing snags your speed.
The Saucony Peregrines are reliably a favorite hiking shoe for many hikers for many years now. What makes these hiking shoes stand out so much is the exceptional traction. Whether it’s a trek through the Torres del Paine in Patagonia or the high sierras of California, these shoes bite into whatever terrain and still provide stability and support.
This newest iteration of the Peregrines' trail running shoes features a durable top layer over it to give you a sock-like comfort, but with an upper, more rugged overall. Where reliable traction is key, the Peregrine 11s shoes fit the bill for the demanding hikes. Generally, all Peregrines models use the same Saucony Pwrrun.
This material is quite a significant upgrade from Peregrines’ previous Everun foam; however, it’s not quite as bouncy as the Pwrrun PB that is found on the Endorphin series and the Freedom 4. Its toothy lugs are 1.5mm long and have more spacing between each lug to help shed mud quickly, while the upper is an abrasion-resistant mesh that is outfitted with quick lacing.
3. HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat 4
For day hikes, generally, HOKAs are well known for their exceptional comfort, stability, and support on the trail, and the Speedgoat 4 is definitely the best in its lineup. The most outstanding feature is the ultra-cushioning midsole that excellently absorbs impact and doesn’t flatten out as quickly. For this and many other reasons, the Speedgoat 4 remains a favorite amongst the hikers who ultimately prefer lightweight shoes with ample support and can keep their joints and feet comfortable while they log in the miles.
However, since these shoes are majorly built for trail running, they might not hold up quite as well and long as some of the traditional hiking boots and shoes in the long run. Nevertheless, despite the slight downside on durability, the HOKA Speedgoat 4 is definitely a go-to for those long days when the comfort for feet is most important.
These are the most accessible HOKA Speedgoats to date that have enough updates to help it fit a wide array of runners while still maintaining the shoe’s core purpose: to go long, go fast, and doing that in rugged terrains. In the world of ultra-running and trail running, it’s one of the most popular shoes that you'll come across. This is majorly because this maximal cushion shoe comes with aggressive traction that is splendidly built for the long-distance and the long haul max cushion.
Its 4mm heel-to-toe drop, aggressive tread, updated mesh, and Vibram Megagrip do really well across the different terrains, meaning that it’s not a specialized outsole. So, if you’re doing a really rocky terrain, it does pretty well. If you’re doing something a little slicker, it does very well. If you’re going to be running on a road, it still does pretty well.
Lastly, its great good rocker shape and upper material really do well to grip your foot, wrap it in, and give you great control, especially when you’re climbing, descending, or even turning around tight corners.
4. ALTRA Women's Lone Peak 5 Trail Running Shoe
- Stay Focused: With our MaxTrac outsole and multi-directional TrailClaw lug pattern for grippy traction, you can focus on the trail infront of you
- Go Further: Balanced Cushioning platform places the heel and forefoot the same distance from the ground, which encourages low-impact landings
- Get Comfortable: Altra EGO midsoles provide a responsive yet soft ride and the FootShape toe box allows the toes to relax and spread out naturally
- Rock Protection: An updated StoneGuard brings an extra layer of protection between the trail and your feet.
- Stay Dry: Quick-dry air mesh and laser-cut holes on the upper allow quick drainage in wet conditions
ALTRA’s Lone Peak is superior and flexible on rock-strewn surfaces; however, it still provides reliable traction, especially since it shares the grippy MaxTrac outsole. Additionally, this outsole has angled TrailClaw lugs that do pretty well in slushy paths. With this fifth iteration, the shoe has an overhaul of updates, including a new Ego midsole that previously had a dual-layered EVA.
This slight switch is a major boon for the runners who want more cushioning that doesn't come with the extra weight. The ALTRA Lone Peak 5 is the first major diversion from the typical ALTRA design. Its biggest and most noticeable change is its narrower profile(not to worry, the wide sizes are still available). This narrower footwear profile does make them look and feel a little sleeker while still maintaining their signature foot-shaped toe box.
The toe box allows your toes enough space to spread naturally. Additionally, the uppers come reinforced and are well ventilated, making them feel more durable than previous Lone Peak iterations. This should last you quite a few more miles than most shoes in that same weight class.
5. Oboz Sawtooth II Low BDry Women's Leather Hike Shoes
The Oboz Sawtooth II Low BDry women's hiking shoes are most suited for hikers who need the greatest support and stability while tackling rugged terrains. One of the things you’ll definitely notice about the Sawtooth II Low BDry women's gear is that its traction extends past its sole and onto its sides. This provides more aggressive traction for your feet on different rocky terrains with rocks or roots.
The extra rubber and leather upper make the Sawtooth the heaviest shoe on this list; however, it has the edge over the others in terms of durability. These are protective shoes that are perfect for day hikes that often end up on challenging trails and for backpackers who carry a heavy load of around 35 lbs and above.
Factors to Consider for The Best Hiking Shoes for Women
A) Comfort and Fit
Fit is quite relative and personal since what may work for others may not cut it as the best option for others. In general, the most comfortable and best women's hiking shoes should give your toes extra room to spread, have enough cushioning for arch support and that supports the foot shape, and have enough flexibility in its upper so it can move with your foot.
The success of your adventures will depend on having healthy, happy feet, so you should be willing to spend well on quality hiking foot gear to get the best women's hiking shoes. Of course, comfort and fit will always trump the cost but always go for the quality options, which come at different price points.
Fun fact: The weight on your feet actually zaps out 5 times more energy than the weight you carry on your back. Overall, lighter shoes will mean less muscle fatigue and fewer chances of stumbling, which should help avoid knee and hip flexor problems.
However, that’s not to say that heavier hiking shoes are bad. On the contrary, as a hiker, doing a lot of hiking off-trail rocky adventures means that you may be more confident in wearing a more storky, stiff, and durable shoe.
D) Durability and Materials
Women's hiking shoes and generally all hiking shoes are a big investment. So finding the right and durable pair will get you the most bang for your buck as you put in the miles. Traditional leather hiking boots and shoes are most probably always going to be more durable than the regular lightweight trail runners.
However, most leather shoes come a little heavy, so if you want to keep the weight low, get a pair of trail runners with nylon reinforcements to give you the best balance in both weight and durability.
E) Waterproof Vs. Non-Waterproof
A pair of waterproof shoes or foot gear can be such real lifesavers, especially since your adventures often entail a hike in the wet and muddy areas. You could use these waterproof shoes for those wet, soggy day hikes during spring and fall. On the other hand, a pair of waterproof shoes aren’t the most breathable during hot days and can be quite heavy and dry slow when they actually get wet.
Non-waterproof shoes, on the other hand, are light and comparably more breathable; although they'll get wet, they will dry fairly quickly.
Frequently Asked Questions on The Best Hiking Shoes for Women
1. What women's hiking boots are the most comfortable?
- Asolo Fugitive GTX hiking boots
- Salewa Mountain Trainer Mid GTX hiking boot
- La Sportiva TX GTX hiking boots
- Zamberlan Vioz GTX hiking boot
- Arc'teryx Acrux TR GTX hiking boot
- Altra Lone Peak hiking boots
- Oboz Sypes Mid hiking boot
- Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II WP hike boot
2. What hiking shoe is the most cushioned?
- La Sportiva TX4 hiking shoe
- Altra Lone Peak 5 hiking shoe
- Salomon X Raise GTX hiking shoe
- Danner 2650 hiking shoe
- Salomon X Ultra 4 GTX hiking shoe
- Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 hiking shoe
- Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX
- Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator
3. What women's hiking footwear is the best for plantar fasciitis?
- Merrell Moab 2
- Montara eVent III
- Oboz hike boot
- Vasque Breeze III
- Hoka trail running shoes
- Terradora waterproof hike shoe
- Targhee III
4. Which women's hiking shoes have the best arch support?
- Merrell Moab Ventilator hike shoe
- KEEN Voyageur hike shoe
- KEEN Targhee II hike shoe
- Ahnu Montara II hike shoe
- Keen Gypsum II Mid Wp-w boot
- Merrell Moab Waterproof hiking footwear
- Adidas Women's Outdoor AX2R hike shoe