When it comes to hiking, whether a relatively short distance or on a hiking holiday, comfortable women’s hiking shoes are key. Investing in the correct, most comfortable gear possible can take your hiking experience from ‘fine’ to ‘fantastic’.

Of course, we have all made those rookie mistakes every once in a while, for example, only planning to go on a short stroll in your Chucks but ending up on half a day hike on rocky terrain!

The truth is, as comfortable as our old beat-up Chucks are, or as bouncy as our running/gym sneakers are, they just were not made with hiking in mind!

Luckily for you, we have already made all those rookie mistakes (and spoken to other people who have, too), and so we feel that we are now fully equipped with the information you need when it comes to choosing the right women’s hiking shoes.

Another thing that can often trip people up is the difference between men’s hiking shoes and women’s hiking shoes.

While the difference may only seem to be an aesthetic one, men’s feet and women’s feet are actually pretty different. Therefore, their shoe needs are likely to be different, too.

BEST RATED OVERALL

  • Easy to get on and off your feet thanks to the quick lace technology

  • GoreTex waterproofing is used to ensure your feet stay protected from the elements

  • Excellent grip and traction from the soles, whatever the terrain

  • Your feet and ankles feel supported and stable

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BEST VALUE

  • Comfort is key for this lightweight pair

  • Breathable mesh later to ensure debris cannot get into the shoe

  • Excellent value for money, offering the same stability and comfort as most expensive pairs on the market

  • A protective toe cap makes them ideal for rocky terrain

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Women’s Hiking Shoes

In this article, we are going to be showing you the top five Best Ever women’s hiking shoes that will ensure comfort and stability on even the longest hikes!

As if that wasn’t enough, we have also comprised a Buyers’ Guide that details all of the features you should look out for in hiking shoes to ensure that they are the best fit for your needs. So, without further ado, let’s get into it!

BEST RATED OVERALL

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This pair of hiking shoes by Salomon is a great choice if you want something that will ensure security and stability on steep descents.

The tread prevents slippage even in wet and muddy conditions, and the SensiFit Foothold ensures that your foot fits snugly and is supported on whatever trail you hike.

It has a protective mudguard around the bottom which protects the lateral and medial sides of your foot from mud.

There is also anti-debris mesh fitted on the shoe’s upper part to ensure that nothing can get into the shoe or footbed.

The sole is made from rubber, and the addition of the EnergyCell midsole ensures a bounce in your step at all times, as well as excellent shock absorption.

The rubber sole also features a very intense, deep grip to ensure stability at all times, even when on rugged terrain.

The shoe features Quicklace technology, meaning it has elasticated laces that you can easily pull to fit your feet. 

Pros

  • Quick lace technology makes it easier to put them on and adjust to your needs

  • They offer excellent levels of support for your feet when walking

  • The rubber soles have an excellent quality grip on them, offering stability even on muddy and rocky paths

  • They use Gore-Tex waterproofing to protect your feet from wet weather and muddy puddles

Cons

  • Lots of customers have said that the shoe runs really big and have suggested sizing down.

BEST VALUE

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These Hiking Shoes by Merrell are a great choice for anyone who is looking for comfort and versatility.

They are ventilated and supportive, made from suede, leather, and mesh. The mesh lining is breathable, and the suede and leather are both durable, able to withstand those long hikes.

There is a protective toe cap made from rubber, meaning these are a great choice for anyone hiking on rocky terrain.

The soles are cushioned, ensuring there is a bounce in every step you take.

They also help to reduce pressure on your feet when you are walking, giving the feeling of walking on air.

The sole also helps with shock absorption, giving you stability wherever you are walking.

The lug depth works to help with stability and also ensures that there is no slippage when walking on wet paths.

Pros

  • They are made with comfort in mind and are very lightweight

  • They offer excellent stability

  • You have a choice between regular and wide fit

  • They have a breathable mesh layer to ensure that your feet are comfortable and that no debris can get into the footed and shoe itself

Cons

  • Whilst Merrell does offer an excellent range of waterproof shoes, this particular model is not waterproof

ULTRA LIGHTWEIGHT 

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These hiking shoes by Altra are a great choice if you are looking for something with a little more flexibility and freedom of movement.

They feature a simple lacing system and mega comfort whilst still ensuring they will be stable and secure on your feet.

There is a stone guard to ensure that you are protected from rocky terrain, and a MaxTrac lug pattern to give you excellent levels of traction, wherever you plan on hiking.

There is also high-quality cushioning used in the sole to give you bounce and balance every step you take.

They work hard at repelling water but are not totally waterproof.

That being said, these are an excellent choice if you plan to go trail running as they are very lightweight and supportive.

Pros

  • A great choice for keen trail runners

  • Super supportive fit whilst still allowing the flexibility needed for running

  • Excellent traction so that you can stay balanced on even the rockiest of terrain

  • Well-fitting and true to size

Cons

  • Some reviewers have found the addition of the back tongue to be detrimental to the shoe overall, digging into their heels and causing blisters.

BEST OF THE REST

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These hiking shoes deliver comfort and performance together in a shoe that favors functionality and practicality.

These are an excellent choice for the thru-hikers among us as they deliver durability and longevity even after days and days of repeated wear.

The upper of the shoe is made from waterproof leather and is resistant to abrasion whilst keeping the shoe snug on your feet.

The midsole ensures cushioning and stability, supporting you adequately underfoot.

These are also made with B-Dry technology that works to keep moisture out of your shoe, whilst still allowing sweat to escape.

Pros

  • Durable enough for thru-hiking

  • Waterproof technology to keep moisture from getting in and to let sweat out

  • Very supportive of the ankles as well as the underfoot

  • Well-fitting and excellent arch support

Cons

  • Some people have found the soles to be a little slippery which may not be suited for those who consistently walk on muddy trails.

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These waterproof hiking shoes by Keen are an excellent choice for people looking for the versatility of an all-terrain shoe.

There are multi-directional lugs that ensure traction is excellent, and the mud shields (made from durable leather) help to protect the shoe and your feet.

They are very comfortable and lightweight, with a simple lacing system and pull loop to make them easy to get on and off your feet.

The footbed is made from EVA foam to ensure arch support and cushioned comfort with each and every step.

They also feature anti-odor technology that naturally breaks down smells from sweat and mud!

Pros

  • They have been treated with water repellent treatment and are waterproofed to ensure your feet stay dry even on the rainiest of days

  • They provide excellent arch and ankle support

  • Comfort is key thanks to the flexibility these shoes allow and the cushiony soles

  • They allow for excellent levels of traction, whatever the terrain!

Cons

  • These shoes can run a little narrow at times, which is something to consider if you have wide feet.

Buyers’ Guide

Lightweight

Hiking shoes are often more lightweight than their sturdier, boot counterparts. This is one of the main reasons why people choose hiking shoes.

Hiking boots are more suitable for those people who will be walking very long distances uphill and on uneven terrain in all weather conditions.

The lightweight hiking shoe is a better choice if you are a more casual hiker that tends to stick to paths that you know and on flatter terrain.

Hiking boots can often be quite heavy, causing pressure on your feet after a long time wearing them.

As well as this they can often cause aching if you have been walking for long distances.

Lightweight hiking shoes, however, will not add any unnecessary weight, and you will be less likely to be affected by them even on longer walks.

Waterproof

Consider whether you need to consider waterproofness in your shoes. If you are someone who is not put off by weather such as heavy downpours and snow, then it will be worth choosing shoes that will protect your feet and socks from the damp conditions.

A lot of the time people choose hiking shoes as opposed to boots for hot weather and lots of sun. this may lead them to disregard the need for waterproofing.

However, as many people will tell you, even the hottest and sunniest day can bring an unexpected downpour, and there is nothing worse than having to walk in shoes that have been soaked through as this could increase your chances of blisters, infections, and even trench foot!

Of course, if you know for sure that you will only be wearing your hiking shoes for short periods of time and you are confident that waterproofing will not be needed, then you will likely be fine without it.It is a personal choice and one that should be weighed up based on your own needs.

How they fasten

Typically, hiking shoes will have laces on them that you need to tie up when you have put them on. This will ensure that they fit properly and can be adjusted to your feet.

However, some people may not be able to use laces or may need something that requires less effort.

Velcro straps or even slip on hiking shoes may have to be considered for someone with low mobility who cannot bend to tie their laces or cannot have laces for any other reason.

Consider this first as it can be a little trickier to find adequate walking shoes without laces.

Consider where you will be hiking

Where you plan to hike is going to tell you a great deal about what sort of shoes you need, and indeed, whether shoes are actually the best option and whether you should purchase hiking boots instead.

If you tend to tackle a variety of terrains, you are best off choosing a shoe that is versatile.

If you choose something with good amounts of support, excellent tracking, and a waterproof material then it is likely that you will be able to wear them on all terrains.

If you know for sure that you will only be using them for short day hikes on walking paths and in good weather, then you may find that a more lightweight and less supportive pair will be fine.

Think about the tread you will need, which will change depending on whether you will be on softer, muddy paths or rocky paths in the desert that may have cacti and other sharp plants in tow.

Generally, the thicker and deeper the tread, the better hold you will get from your shoes, even on steep inclines and rocky terrain.

The environment in which you take your hikes is more important to consider than you may think!

Do you need toe protection?

Toe protection is always essential to some degree, and it goes without saying that you will need your toes to be supporting.

However, you should also consider whether you need a little more protection from them than just your typical shoes.

If you are going to be walking on very rocky terrains where there is a risk of rocks falling onto your toes, then it is well worth investing in some hiking shoes that have molded toe caps.

Keep in mind though that these are often heavy, adding weight to the shoe overall.

If you are looking for the most lightweight pair of hiking shoes possible then toe protection may not be something you want.

Consider what will be of more benefit to you, a lighter shoe, or toe protection. Again, this will be dependent on your terrain.

Style

It might seem frivolous to some, but we think that it is important that you choose a pair of walking shoes that you like. It’s no secret that some of them can look huge and clanky, resembling a pair of mucky work boots.

Given the wealth of choice out there these days, though, there is no reason why you cannot find a style and color you like.

Sure, it is more important that they are practical and functional, but a bit of fashion sense never hurts anyone!

Final Verdict 

We are sure that you have already found the hiking shoe of your dreams from our list of the Best Ever Women’s Hiking Shoes.

Our top five certainly have some great choices in there, and we are sure you will agree that the Best Value and Best Overall picks are both great.

Whatever pair you choose we hope that you get lots of wear out of them on your hikes.

If you still couldn’t find the best pair for you from our list, don’t worry too much because our handy Buyers’ Guide has now equipped you with all the things you need to consider when buying hiking shoes, so you know exactly what features to look out for!

We hope you enjoyed our article and are already checking out your virtual shopping basket with your new kicks.

Happy hiking, pals!