Lisa MurphyADVENTURES, BOOTS, Hiking boots, Women's Walking Boots18 Comments

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 Australian hiking conditions, the following hiking boots will meet most women’s needs.

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. They 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

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 lead walking adventures throughout Australia, New Zealand, Peru and Nepal.  We specialise in challenge trips, micro adventures and self guided adventures.
Contact us about your next walking adventure on 0418 802 361 or head to our website to see what awesome adventures we have coming up!


  1. Hi Lisa,

    You can fill up the number 10 with KEEN Women’s Voyageur Mid Hiking Boot. At present, my wife is using it. She loves it.

    I see KEEN is also available in your region. Hope you are going to love it.

    1. Great stuff thanke so much for your feedback we will be adding our number 10 soon! Keens are definitely available in most stores so good to know 🙂

  2. Hi, going to visit Outer Hebrides Scotland in early Sprin – need good, waterproof, comfortable walking shoes/boots (to cover ankles). So, definitely, not dry Aussie conditions!!

    As there are heeeeeaps of brands, designs etc – all with seemingly endless marketing “techi” hype, that I don’t know where to start.

    Price wise – don’t need anything too fancy (expensive) – just good all round walker – for walking through muddy ground/over rocky areas etc etc

    Live in Melb – shop locally would be good.

    look forward to your comments. Kind regards, Jenny

    1. Hi Jenny! Consider the Scarpa’s I mentioned (I am biased as they are the boots I choose to wear) but basically any boot with Goretex or similar waterproof membrane is the way to go! Try on in store and most stores will stock the brands we mentioned 🙂 Good luck and happy hiking!

  3. Hi Lisa,

    I am planning to walk the Camino trail next August and reviewing boots trying to find a boot that can manage the variety of terrains that will be encountered plus having the durability has been making my head spin! Any recommendations? Salomon’s seems to be up there, but have been reading quite a few reviews that the durability hasn’t been so great…
    I want to start training asap, so would appreciate any advice as this is all totally new to me.

    1. Hi Karen,

      Sorry for the slow reply, I’ve just finished a taste of the Camino (Sarria to Santiago). It’s been a lot hotter here than we expected so you might want to explore a trail shoe that encourages breathability, especially if you are walking in August. It also can rain a lot on the final section in Galicia so boots will get wet (!). I found the hard roads tough on my feet but I wear Scarpas and love them!

      You really need to try on as many pairs as you can to get the feel. They should fit and feel awesome – wear the socks you plan to wear on the Camino when trying them on and get your fitting done in the afternoon when your feet are at their biggest (feet swell during the day).

      It’s not always about brand. It’s got to feel right for you 🙂

      We can also assist you plan your Camino trip (self guided or guided), if you’d like to talk more about this please feel free to contact me after the 17th of September as I’m home then.

      Happy hiking (and shopping!)

  4. Hi,
    I have developed very painful plantar fasciitis and need goretex boots with really good arch support and plenty of forefoot and heel cushioning. I also have quite a narrow foot.
    Any suggestions gratefully recieved.

    1. Hi Karen, I would suggest getting fitted in store as we cannot advise boots designed for injury management. Good luck!

  5. Hi, just the information I was looking for , thank you. I am really interested in the Hoka boots, but cannot find a store that I can go to to try them on. I live on the border of Victoria and NSW , ( Albury Wodonga), and frequently go to Melbourne. Is there a store that you can recommend ? It is important that I try them on, not just buy online.

    1. Hi Pauline! Try calling ahead to Paddy Pallin as they may stock the Hoka brand! Good luck! 🙂

  6. Hi, I need a pair of waterproof walking boots for cold weather. I do have an ankle injury and fallen arches, s9 therefore I will be requiring some extra supportive boots. Do you have any recommendations of which store/s I can visit in Brisbane QLD that would be able to help me? Thanks

  7. Hi, I am heading to India and Nepal next June. We will be doing a mountain 5 day hike. The ahnu Montara 111 was comfy and recommended but I also tried on the LOWA renegade which I loved (but not the price!!)

    Anyone tried the Lowa?



    1. I hope someone in our community has tried the Lowa and can share their experiences 🙂 The boots offer value and should outlast cheaper models 😉 Have the best time in India and Nepal!

  8. I bought the Scarpa Nangpa-La GTX Hiking Boot in April and have just walked the Overland track in Tasmania. This 6 day walk took a toll my my feet due to what I have now discovered is incorrectly fitted boots. Though I am normally a size 40, these boots must just be too small and too narrow for my feet. Loved the comfort, ankle support look etc but over the long distant the problems showed up big time. I used all good quality moisture wicking socks, even No Blister guarantee sock and still got heel and toe blisters and blackened nails. 🙁 The walk was fantastic though and got through with pain relief. Just wish their had been more information about sizing when I purchased them through a retail outlet. I tried many boots on before purchasing.

    1. Oh wow, it sounds like the boots were incorrectly fitted 🙁 Sorry to hear this Glenda, hopefully you will be armed with some knowledge and experience for next time. I think I tried on 15 pairs before I found mine and also tried 3 stores, so it really is a process! Good luck and congrats on completing the Overland Track!

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