The Best Women’s Hiking Boots for Taking to the Trails

A hiker’s most common laments include hot spots, blisters, and bad footing. The remedy for all of them? A pair of high-quality, well-fitting hiking boots. Don’t let the bulky and heavy hiking boots of yesteryear scare you—today, lightweight hiking boots that are still durable and almost function like a pair of trail runners are trending. (Remember the switch from baggy hiking pants to stretchy, abrasion-resistant leggings? It’s the same idea.) This new breed of hiking boots has even more high-tech and performance features for a variety of options, because one size or style does not fit all.

From a fast-and-light ride to ultra-grippy boots with a burly build, mid-rise, high-rise and everything in between, these are the best hiking boots for women, and they’ll carry you from bottom to top and back again in comfort, performance, and of course, style.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a hiking boot and a hiking shoe?

A hiking boot is typically built with a high or mid ankle for more support and stability on the trail. Hiking shoes, like trail running shoes, are designed to be lightweight, breathable, and more flexible than hiking boots. They are ideal for day hikes, and for some folks, like thru-hikers, the high ankle support and rigidity of hiking boots can be overkill so for that reason, a hiking shoe might be preferable even for long hikes. However, many hiking boots today have shed the bulky construction in favor of a lighter boot that provides hikers with the support and durability necessary for logging miles on all kinds of natural surfaces. With their extended coverage, hiking boots are also more water-resistant. No matter what kind of hiking footwear you choose, the goal is to feel comfortable and supported while hiking.

What are the benefits of wearing hiking boots?

More than anything, hiking boots provide stability and support. These are both necessary for backpacking multiple days in a row over variable terrain while carrying a heavy load. Hiking boots also provide grip thanks to their tread and outsole rubber, and protection from the elements with built-in waterproofing such as Gore Tex on many models. Made with burly designs, many hiking boots are also durable and made to last, so you won’t need to replace them as often as other types of footwear.

The 13 Best Women’s Hiking Boots