Hiking, a fun, and salubrious outdoor activity, requires well-fitting and high-quality hiking shoes. As the adventurous sport of hiking is growing popular, women’s hiking shoes are also growing popular in the market.
The quality of women’s hiking shoes is based on durability, sturdiness, comfort, lightness, and overall design. Hiking footwear also depends on personal choices, such as how often you hike or the difficulty levels of your hikes.
Hiking, like many exercises and activities, requires you to have the right gear. Proper hiking footwear is a must if you want to stay safe and comfortable in your hiking journeys, especially longer and harder hikes. Keep reading to find out the difference between hiking shoes and boots, and the ten best hiking footwear for women.
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Are Boots Better Than Shoes for Hiking?
Hiking boots and hiking shoes are both great for hiking activities. Preference for hiking shoes or hiking boots depends on what kind of hike you will go on.
The first question is what is the difference between boots and shoes for hiking? Hiking shoes are very durable, comfortable, and of regular weight. On the other hand, hiking boots are heavy and extremely durable; the heaviness can reduce the comfort level slightly and make it harder to balance. Hiking boots, like boots, also cover the ankles and above.
Here is a quick comparison between hiking boots and hiking shoes:
|Hiking Shoes||Hiking Boots|
|Pros: light-weight, comfortable, dries quickly, traveling & packing friends and feet get used to them quickly.||Pros: ankle support is provided, high protection given on rough terrain, very durable, keeps feet warm, and offers good traction.|
|Cons: less ankle support, less durable on rough surfaces and offers less protection in extreme conditions||Cons: heavy to wear, may affect balance, takes time to get used to the boots, is difficult to pack, and takes more time to dry when wet.|
Going on daylong hikes or shorter hikes is probably better with hiking shoes. For the few who hike very often, and go on very difficult hikes, they might have better protection with hiking boots. You should remember though when you are taking thousands of steps, every step feels heavier with weighted footwear.
What You Want for Your Feet When Hiking
These are the three main factors you want for your feet when hiking:
- Your feet remain shielded from cuts, scrapes, and other damages from the hike.
- Your feet stay dry, even if the ground is muddy and wet.
- Your feet feel comfortable and are free from potential blisters.
- Your feet do not feel weighed down by the shoes.
You do not need hiking boots. Hiking footwear is good enough for the majority of hikers. If you want a pair of hiking shoes that last a lifetime, go for the boots. However, hiking shoes offer great protection and longevity too.
What Are the Best Women's Shoes to Wear for Hiking?
Hiking shoes for women are best when they maintain durability and comfort. Options for different styles and colors also make a positive impact on women hiking footwear in the market.
Women’s hiking footwear is similar to men’s hiking footwear, but there are some important differences:
- Women’s hiking footwear, especially hiking boots, is less weighty.
- Women’s hiking footwear does not cover the ankle-high up.
- Women’s hiking footwear sells in more colors and designs.
In most cases, women’s hiking shoes are specifically designed for the sizes, arcs, and shapes of women’s feet. Of course, women’s hiking footwear is recommended for women hikers. However, if you happen to find men’s hiking shoes that feel good to you, you can go with that too.
Hiking activities do not require special clothes or accessories, especially if you are going on short easy hikes. However, a good pair of hiking shoes will improve your hiking experience. The right pair of shoes is the most important gear for you when hiking.
The last thing you want is uncomfortable footwear slowing you down, or worse, inappropriate shoes putting you in dangerous situations.
The 10 Best Women's Shoes to Wear Hiking
Durability, sturdiness, and comfort are the main factors for women’s hiking footwear. Variety in colors and appearances also make particular hiking shoes more popular for women buyers. Read below to find the ten best hiking shoes for women.
Oboz Sawtooth II BDry Low Waterproof Hiking Shoes
Price: USD 115.00
These hiking shoes are lightweight with low ankle cuts. Therefore these hiking shoes are very comfortable, but durability and sturdiness are not compromised. To ensure maximum comfort, these shoes have breathable mesh vents and heel counters that are resistant to abrasions.
These Oboz hiking shoes for women have a strong grip on the bottom, so you can make the most out of hikes in all environmental conditions. Moreover, these shoes are waterproof so wet socks and moist feet will be the least of your hiking worries. These hiking shoes come in four forest-color shades.
La Sportiva Spire GTX
Price: USD 190.00
These hiking shoes for women are very athletic and stable. These shoes are made with Gore-Tex Liner, which provides fantastic waterproof traits. The La Sportiva Spire GTX shoes are designed to give maximum comfort without being too heavy. You will feel supported on easy or difficult hikes with these shoes.
Arc’teryx Aerios FL
Price: USD 135.00
These neat and stylish hiking shoes offer great quality. Being lightweight, comfortable, sturdy, and waterproof, the Arc’teryx hiking shoes are great for short or long hikes. These shoes are also equipped with sticky rubber, which allows great traction.
Compared to other hiking shoes, these shoes are not that great for rougher hikes. Hence these hiking shoes are best for short hikes rather than multi-day hikes.
HOKA Women’s Anacapa Mid GTX Hiking Boots
Price: USD 158.27
The soles of your feet will feel cushioned with the HOKA Hiking Boots. The thick foam that makes the midsole of these shoes makes each step softer, and this lessens the effect of the hike on your overall body. These HOKA women’s shoes help your feet, legs and body feel fresher than usual after long hikes.
There are three different colors to choose from; you can purchase a regular brown pair, or the more colorful “hot sauce” red or “real teal” blue pairs.
Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex
Price: USD 150.00
Lightweight yet high-performing, these are the main qualities of the Salomon hiking shoes. With this footwear, you can go on difficult lengthy hikes on versatile grounds. The grip of these shoes is great on dry or wet terrain.
These hiking shoes are, in comparison, not very durable. Therefore these shoes are best for shorter and infrequent hikes. However, the lightweight comfort and the agility of the shoes make these a worthy purchase.
Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof Hiking Shoes
Price: USD 125.00
These are a pair of solid women’s hiking shoes. At a comparatively lower price, you get great quality in the Merrell Moab Hiking Shoes. These simple-looking shoes meet the necessary needs for hiking shoes.
You get excellent traction, support, and comfort with these hiking shoes. Rock slabs, steep passages, rough terrains, and shallow creeks are never a problem with these Merrell Moab Hiking Shoes.
Danner Mountain 600 Women’s Hiking Boots
Price: USD 180.00
These hiking boots, made from leather, give you adventurous hiking looks along with the necessary hiking feet comfort and protection. These mid-height boots cover your ankles and are composed of waterproof suede leather. Paired with the breathable membrane under the leather, your feet will remain free from sweat.
Columbia Redmond III
Price: USD 90.00
The Redmond III hiking shoes from the Columbia line are built for tough hikes. These hiking shoes are built out of synthetic leather and suede. The mesh upper composition of these shoes also promises long-lasting qualities.
These Redmond III shoes also have strong toe caps. If you kick rocks during hikes on rocky grounds, your toes will remain protected. What’s more, these hiking shoes conform to your feet ‘ shape over time. Hence this footwear will get more and more comfortable the more you hike!
Teva Grandview GTX
Price: USD 175.00
These women’s hiking shoes look rugged but overall their size and shape are compact. The Teva hiking shoes will prepare you for anything that comes along in your hikes. This footwear is composed of leather, nylon, and Repreve polyester yarn.
These shoes come in five different colors; you can buy these shoes in blue or in four different shades of brown.
The North Face Women's Hedgehog Fastpack Waterproof Hiking Shoe
Price: USD 170.00
These stylish hiking shoes come in white, black or red. The North Face hiking shoes will provide an extra cushion for your feet during long and arduous hikes. These shoes are very durable and sturdy. The footbed of these shoes is made out of recycled rubber and has an amazing grip.
These Futurelight shoes have a futuristic quality to them; they are built with technology that propels you forward as you walk. This means quicker steps with the same effort, and also less stress on your legs.
Columbia Women’s Newton RidgePlus Hiking Boots
Price: USD 89.95
These women hiking boots serve a classic appearance while protecting your feet in even the toughest hiking conditions. These are one of the top-rated hiking boots on Amazon, so you know these shoes have been a worthy purchase for many women.
The comfortable and lightweight hiking boots give a rugged and heavy-duty appearance. The lace-up allows you to tighten or loosen the upper part of the boots, to your preference. What’s more, is that there are 22 colors to choose from, so you must be able to find a pair that fits your taste.
Can You Wear Hiking Shoes Every Day?
As a general rule, it’s okay to wear hiking shoes every day. Hiking shoes are supportive enough for casual use all day. However, the tread on the hiking shoes may fray faster with very frequent use. Knowing the differences between casual shoes and hiking shoes helps you decide which to wear every day.
Here are the key differences between casual shoes and hiking shoes:
|Hiking Shoes||Casual Shoes|
|Tend to be waterproof||Not always waterproof|
|Usually heavier, hence sweat and discomfort are more likely from prolonged use||Lighter in weight and more breathable|
|Increased traction||Less traction|
|Stiffer for durability||More cushioned for comfort|
If you own a pair of hiking shoes that feel lightweight, breathable, and very comfortable to you, you can wear them for everyday use. They are a great shoe to wear with leggings. You should keep in mind though, wearing hiking shoes every day may wear them out. Worn-out hiking shoes will not serve to their full potential in hikes.
The right pair of hiking shoes promise you the best hiking adventures. You can enjoy the wilderness without your feet, or other parts of your body, being in potential danger or discomfort.
Now you know what to look for in quality hiking shoes. The ten best women’s hiking shoes mentioned above will help you find the best pair of hiking footwear.