Walking in the best hiking shoes for women

The Best Hiking Shoes for Women Stomping the Trails in 2018

Good footwear is some of the most important things you can buy for hiking. We’ve talked before about how the right pair of shoes can prevent injuries, painful blisters, and – in the case of waterproofing – cold feet. When you want something sturdier than running shoes that are more flexible and lighter weight than traditional hiking boots, look for a great pair of hiking shoes, which give you the best of both worlds: low weight like a running shoe and support like a hiking boot.

Here’s a summary of our selection of the best hiking shoes for women on the market in 2018.

ProductWaterproofFeaturesCost
Ahnu Montara II Waterproof LightYesSuper comfortable$$
Salomon Ellipse 2 GTX WYesLightweight$$
HOKA ONE ONE Tor Summit WPYesGreat arch support$$$
KEEN Targhee III Low WPYesWide toe box$$
Merrell Siren Edge WPYesGood for narrow feet$
Vasque Grand TraverseNoVery breathable$
Adidas Terrex GTX Swift R2YesSpeed lacing$$
Oboz Sawtooth Low BDryNoGood ankle support$$
The North Face Storm IIIYesGood cushioning$
Salewa WS Wildfire VentNoLacing right to the toe$$

Read on for some buying advice, or click ahead to read more details of the 10 best hiking shoes for women.

What to look for why buying women’s hiking shoes

When it comes to picking the best women’s hiking shoe for you, consider the following questions:

  • What is the terrain like where you hike?
  • Do you need waterproof shoes?
  • Which shoe fits your foot best?

Let’s take a look at each factor first to figure out what kind of shoe is best for you.

What is the terrain like where you hike?

All hiking shoes have better traction than a traditional gym shoe, but some hiking soles are specially designed for giving you support on uneven terrain (like the Oboz Sawtooth Low BDry Hiking Shoes) while others are thin and flexible so you can feel the trail and rocks while climbing (like the Grand Traverse Hiking Shoe from Vasque). Heel pulls or easy-to-use laces (like on the Terrex GTX Swift R2 hiking shoes from Adidas) make taking your shoes on and off much easier with cold or gloved hands. For hiking in warm weather, breathability is extremely important. The best warm weather hiking shoes for women come with a mesh or partially-mesh upper and a moisture-wicking inner material (like the Ellipse 2 GTX W hiking shoes from Salomon).

Do you need waterproof shoes?

Many hiking shoes offer partial or total waterproofing, often through a GORE-TEX liner like the Ellipse 2 GTX W hiking shoes from Salomon. Waterproof shoes can be more expensive and slightly less breathable, however, so consider whether or not this is an important feature for you.

Which shoe fits your foot best?

Although some aspects of fit come down to simply trying on the shoe, there are a few basic styles to consider.

If you have wide feet, look for something with a wider toe box and heel like the Targhee III Low WP hiking shoes from KEEN.

If you have narrower feet or have trouble with shoes slipping off your heels, Merrell’s Siren Edge Hikers are favourites for hikers looking for the best narrow, lightweight hiking shoe.

If you need extra arch support, you may want a shoe with a removable insole to make room for orthopedic insoles like the Oboz Sawtooth Low BDry Hiking Shoes which have a specially-designed insole that is also removable.


The 10 best hiking shoes for women in 2018

With that in mind, here are our picks for the top 10 hiking shoes for women:
Ahnu Women's Montara II Waterproof Light Hiking Shoe

Ahnu Montara II Waterproof Light

Anhu’s Montara II Waterproof Light hiking shoes are some of the most comfortable hiking shoes for women on the market. The bungee lacing keeps these shoes snug on your feet and saves you the time and hassle of re-adjusting and retying laces every time you take them on or off. They are more breathable than most waterproof hiking shoes thanks to a specialized breathable waterproof inner. There are four sleek colour combinations to choose from.

Pros

  • Comfortable right out of the box
  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Narrow toe box
  • Price

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | REI


Salomon Ellipse 2 GTX W

Salomon Ellipse 2 GTX W

For times when you need a shoe that won’t weigh you down on the trail, the Ellipse 2 GTX W hiking shoes from Salomon will help your feet stay dry without extra weight. The low-cut profile makes these some of the best lightweight hiking shoes for trail running as well. While some women’s hiking shoes are nothing more than small versions of men’s shoes, Salomon designed this pair specifically for a woman’s foot. The GORE-TEX waterproof liner is lightweight and breathable so you feel comfortable even hiking in rain or soggy conditions.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Waterproof
  • Breathable

Cons

  • Narrow toe box
  • Laces slip out easily

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


HOKA ONE ONE Tor Summit WP

Hoka One One Tor Summit WP

Hoka One One’s Tor Summit WP walking shoes offer some of the best support of any hiking shoes on our list with a slightly higher rise and an elevated platform sole. Although there is only one colour/design option, it does feature a suede and leather upper for a very distinct style. A waterproof membrane will keep your feet dry if you end up hiking in unexpected rain, but the suede will do best if it isn’t exposed to really heavy wear or weather.

Pros

  • Stability
  • Excellent arch support
  • Extra cushion

Cons

  • Only one style
  • Price

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry


KEEN Targhee III Low WP

KEEN Targhee III Low WP

At under two pounds for the pair the Targhee III Low WP hiking shoes from KEEN won’t slow you down on the tough uphills. Breathable and waterproof with extra-grip soles, these shoes are perfect for weekend hiking, fast and light backpacking and everyday wear. KEEN has established itself as the best brand for extra-wide shoes for good reason: if you have trouble finding shoes that are wide enough for your feet, KEENs are a great option, although each style will have a distinct fit.

Pros

  • Built-in odor protection
  • Lightweight
  • Extra wide toe box

Cons

  • Too wide for some hikers
  • Little ankle support

Find the latest price at:
REI


Merrell Waterpoof Siren Edge

Merrell Siren Edge WP

Merrell’s Siren Edge Hikers come in ten different colours ranging from bright teal to a muted gray – there is sure to be a combination for everyone, especially since these shoes are some of the least expensive on our list of the best hiking shoes for women currently on the market. Air-cushioned soles add to the general comfort level, especially at the heel. This is a favourite style for hikers with narrow feet or for those who prefer a bit more depth, top to bottom, at the toe.

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Price
  • 10 colour combinations!

Cons

  • Can be too narrow for some hikers

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | REI | Backcountry


Vasque Grand Traverse Hiking Shoe

Vasque Grand Traverse

The most flexible hiking shoe on our list is the Grand Traverse Hiking Shoe from Vasque. Vibram rubber soles that bend with your foot offer excellent traction without any added stiffness. If you prefer to feel the trail underfoot and grip with your toes, you will appreciate the soft rubber soles. Some hikers will find the soles too thin, however, as they do little to mask the feel of the trail. Vasque is another shoe brand that hikers with narrow feet prefer, but since the laces go all the way to the toes, you can adjust the width all the way down for a truly perfect fit.

Pros

  • Adjustable width
  • Breathable mesh uppers
  • Very comfortable

Cons

  • Thin soles are not for everyone
  • Not waterproof

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | REI | Backcountry


Adidas Terrex Swift R Gtx W

Adidas Terrex GTX Swift R2

It takes only seconds to hit the trail in the Terrex GTX Swift R2 hiking shoes from Adidas thanks to bungee speed lacing and a helpful heel loop for sliding the shoes on and off quickly. Like many lightweight trail shoes, these shoes have partial mesh uppers for extra airflow and breathability. Knowing that some trails are rougher than others, however, Adidas reinforced the mesh so it is tough enough to handle spiny brush and other trail hazards without tearing.

Pros

  • Waterproof Gore-Tex liner
  • Mid-rise height offers more ankle support
  • Easy on and off

Cons

  • Speed lacing system isn’t for everyone

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Oboz Sawtooth Low BDry

Oboz Sawtooth Low BDry

If you need a hiking shoe that is more like a traditional hiking boot than a running shoe, take a look at the Oboz Sawtooth Low BDry hiking shoe. Don’t let the name fool you; these shoes offer superb ankle and heel support and are taller than most trail runners and hiking shoes. One thing Oboz is known for is their molded shoe insoles. Each shoe’s insole provides extra arch support and is made of different densities of EVA foam for a truly molded fit. The insoles are also removable in case you prefer to hike with orthotics or special insoles of your own.

Pros

  • Excellent ankle and heel support
  • Waterproof
  • Molded insole

Cons

  • Price
  • Not as breathable as some hiking shoes

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | REI | Backcountry


The North Face Storm III

The North Face Storm III

The North Face Storm III waterproof hiking shoes provide maximum comfort for all parts of your feet on the trail. In addition to a padded foam insole, the tongue and sides are padded with extra foam for all-around comfort. The only downside to the foam insole is that it cannot be removed in order to replace it with an orthotic or other insole. A waterproof liner will keep your feet dry in rain, while the suede and mesh exterior is designed to dry quickly.

Pros

  • Price
  • Extra cushion
  • Dries quickly
  • Waterproof

Cons

  • Insole is attached
  • Suede is not as durable as leather or other synthetic materials

Find the latest price on:
Amazon


Salewa WS Wildfire Vent

Salewa WS Wildfire Vent

Tired of hiking shoes that only come in various shades of gray and brown? Salewa’s WS Wildfire Vent Approach Shoes are anything but muted in bright teal and green. (They do come in a tan option if you prefer a subtler look.) Climbing laces go all the way down to the toe box, letting you expand or tighten any portion of the shoe to get a completely customizable fit. This cuts down on irritation and helps prevent blisters as well as gives the shoe complete flexibility if you’re partial to a spot of trad climbing and scrambling.

Pros

  • Vibrant colours
  • Great for trad climbing and scrambling
  • Lacing goes all the way to the toe

Cons

  • Not waterproof

Find the latest price on:
Amazon | Backcountry


Whether you are looking for the most comfortable hiking shoe for women or the best women’s hiking shoe for climbing and backpacking, you are sure to find the perfect fit on our list. The right pair of shoes makes all the difference when it comes to a comfortable, successful adventure or hike.

You may also like

Open Menu