Hiking Boots For Women – Comfort | Adaptability | Value
Our feet take thousands of steps every day and tens of thousands when we are on a hike. Choosing the right pair of hiking boots deserves the time and effort to find the right one for you. Actually most adventure brands out there produce good quality hiking boots for women, that have all the required features of a comfortable hiking boot.
For most Australian hiking conditions, the following hiking boots will meet most women’s needs. These are – a waterproof membrane whether it is Gore-Tex or another proprietary brand, a mid sole that has cushioning to mould around your foot and take the impact (for example the EVA injected mid-sole) and a rubber sole (such as Vibram or another proprietary label) that has good traction on rocky and loose terrain.
All the hiking boots we have reviewed below have these features and use all sorts of fancy technical language to describe them, part of making our shopping expedition more interesting! Read about my own shopping expedition for women’s hiking boots, it was an adventure in itself
The final choice comes down to fit and your foot shape. We’ve chosen a selection of mid boots for ankle protection with a price tag from $200-$300.
At the end of the day, our hiking boots have to be comfortable, hug our feet perfectly and beautifully, make them feel snug, warm and dry, and for some of us, look a bit stylish too. Rather than looking too far abroad, we have listed 10 hiking boots for women available in Australia – that you can get at your local adventure store. Don’t be shy about trying on as many hiking boots as you want, you’ll be grateful you did this when you are on your hiking trail.
So here are our top 10 Hiking Boots for Women with the following criteria in mind:
Comfort – for hiking boots that hug your feet snugly
Adaptability – for wearing in many typical Australian conditions
Value – they have to be good value for money, at the $200-$300 range
1. Vasque – Breeze III GTX, $269.50 RRP
Vasque has been making hiking boots since 1964. More than 50 years ago they handcrafted their original hiking boots for trekking and climbing, so they have the know-how. This is a good all rounder, for day trips and overnight hikes. It is waterproof with a mesh and nubuck top layer providing breathability along with a Gore-tex membrane for further weather proofing. And when it comes to the sole, there is plenty of technology here! There are layers for compression moulding, balance and cushioning, with a Vibram Contact Grip rubber sole for excellent trail traction and grip on most terrains.
Wise Women Walking Rating – 8/10
2. Hoka – Womens Tor Summit Mid WP Approx $329.99 RRP
Hoka was started in 2009 by ex-Salomon employees who set out to design a running shoe with maximum cushioning and as light as possible. They translated this to a women’s hiking boot that looks rather modern and stylish too. Several women in our hiking group have this one and are quite happy with the comfort and breathability.
It has Hoka One One cushioning which is their signature cushioning they have been using in their running shoes for years. They also use the Vibram Mega-Grip in their rubber sole for traction, balance and durability. They are waterproof and claim to be very breathable using an eVent waterproof membrane. They are also lightweight, at only 350 grams. That’s pretty good when you’ve walked an entire day.
Wise Women Walking Rating – 9/10
3. Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX, $249.99 RRP
Salomon is a popular brand for hiking boots and are walked in by many women in our hiking
groups. There are many models but the Ultra Mid 3 GTX is one is a good all rounder providing value for money. They use Sensifit technology which basically means a good snug fit around your foot that moulds to its shape. They also use a waterproof coated leather and also a Gore-Tex membrane to keep your feet dry in any weather conditions.
They have a high traction ContraGrip rubber sole for traction, similar to the Vibram sole, just a different brand. Salomon have been around since 1947 and are committed to high quality adventure gear of all sorts. There are rare complaints about their shoes and the women in our hiking group happily trek kilometres upon kilometres with their Salomons quite happily.
Wise Women Walking Rating – 8/10
4. Merrell Moab 2 Mid Gore-Tex $279.99 RRP
This shoe is another popular one because it is light, breathable and waterproof. Merrell often release updated versions of this shoe so do your research to see what additional features they have added in newer models. Made of a synthetic leather and mesh upper with a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, this one also has an EVA mid sole and a Vibram rubber sole to reduce impact and traction on rough terrain. On a funnier note, they are called Moab for Mother-Of- All-Boots – the Merrell people certainly stand by their brand!
Wise Women Walking Rating 8/10
5. Keen Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots $279.99 RRP
Many of our women hikers have the Keen brand of hiking boots and although they are not the prettiest to look at (they are a but chunkier), they are definitely long lasting, sturdy and comfortable. They are also lighter and a wider fit than many other brands. Again these have an EVA mid sole for great cushioning with toe protection and improved heel support to reduce chances of twisting your ankle. They will take you over tough and rough terrain and keep your feet warm and dry.
Wise Women Walking Rating 9/10 (from our wider footed friends!)
6. Scarpa Nangpa-La GTX Hiking Boot – $279.99
Scarpa started making boots in Italy back in 1938 specifically for European conditions and their technology has evolved over time to produce some of the world’s best hiking boots. The Nangpa-La is a sturdy hiking boot ready for any adventure. They are made of a water resistant suede upper and lined with a breathable Gore-Tex membrane to keep your feet dry. They have a shock absorbent mid sole with a Vibram rubber sole for traction.
They are a narrower fit, they are stylish (like the Italians :-)) and this model is a little higher on the ankle providing great ankle support for those of us who need it.
Wise Women Walking Rating – 7/10
7. Ahnu Montara Hiking Boots – $299.99 RRP
These are a lightweight hiking boot ideal for day hikes in dry conditions. We’ve included these in our top 10 because they are stylish, very comfortable and don’t need much breaking in. And you may prefer a leather hiking boot.
They have a waterproof membrane with Aegis anti-microbial technologies and a Vibram sole for traction and cushioning. These are a great compromise between hiking boots and hiking shoes.
Wise Women Walking Rating 7/10
8. Scarpa GTX Men’s Boot – $319.95 RRP
That’s right you read right. This is not a typo! Would you believe this boot is worn by many of our Wise Women Walkers and with the glove like fit and soft leather finish, this boot is one that rarely needs wearing in. Gore-tex keeps your feet dry and a Vibram sole offers all the comfort and grip needed for rough terrain. Our wider footed friends LOVE this European constructed boot. Getting these in typically smaller sizes is sometimes a challenge.
Wise Women Walking Rating 9/10
9. Vasque Inhaler Low GTX $249RRP
A low low low boot is often scoffed at for pack carrying tracks and multi-day adventures as generally they lack the support offered to ankles and joints especially on rough terrain but for hot weather hiking, the Vasque Inhaler allows a little more breathing (pardon the pun) than the average boot! Gore-tex lining keeps your feet dry and comfortable, Vibram sole for good grip and a lighter weight boot compared to our full boot friends, the Vasque Inhaler is also suitable for the wider footed among us!
Wise Women Walking rating 7/10
Help us find our 10th boot!
Do you have a favourite brand or style? Do you have a boot experience worth rating? Why do you love your boots? Hit us up in the comments below!
If you are in the market for new boots go out and try on as many hiking boots as you need until you are comfortable with the final ones you pick. Check different retailers as some will sell the exact same boot at different prices! You will thank yourself for the effort when you are walking up that long and windy mountain with loose rocks underneath your feet. It goes without saying that putting more of your hiking funds into your shoes than the rest of your gear is a wise woman’s choice – your feet will love you for it!
Big Heart Adventures is a commercial tour operator (CTO). Registered to lead walking adventures throughout Australia and overseas. We specialise in fully guided walking tours and self guided walking adventures for women.