Ultimate Guide To Find The Best Hiking Boots For Women

KEEN Women's Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot

There are all kinds of hiking boots out there, and the question we hikers must always inevitably find the answer to is - which ones do I want? Some of the best womens hiking boots are very similar in appearance, and it can be hard to decide which is right for you when researching them online.

Womens hiking boots reviews are fairly even in their judgments of the top brands, and that can make it even more difficult to make a choice. In this guide, I’m going to discuss hiking boots, the best boots for women, and the brands and companies behind them.

I’m going to give you the background of some of the companies responsible for some of this market’s top shoes  and analyze some of their boots’ features. It’s interesting to hear the stories behind the different brands and from what perspective they are designing their products from. Like I said, most hiking boots have the same features, and the brand name could be the swaying factor for you. Hopefully after this, you’ll have a better idea of which pair is right for you.

More interested in a shoe than a boot? Be sure to take a look at the best hiking shoes.

Gentlemen, you'll want to check our best men's hiking boots and hiking shoes reviews.

Hiking Boots For Women Comparison Table

Image

Model

Upper  

Sole  

Price

Rating

KEEN Women's Targhee II Mid WP

KEEN Targhee II Mid WP

Leather

Rubber

$$$

Ahnu Women's Montara

Ahnu Montara 

Leather

Synthetic

$$$

Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus

Columbia Newton Ridge Plus

Leather

Rubber

$

Timberland Women's White Ledge

Timberland White Ledge

Leather

Rubber

$

Ahnu Women's Sugarpine

Ahnu Sugarpine

Synthetic

Rubber

$$

The Lowa Women's Renegade GTX Mid

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid

Leather

Vibram

$$$$

The Timberland Women's Chocorua Trail Boots

The Timberland Chocorua

Leather/Textile

Rubber

$$

The Ariat Women's Terrain H2O

The AriatTerrain H2O

Leather

Synthetic

$$

The Vasque Women's Breeze 2.0 GTX

The VasqueBreeze 2.0 GTX

Leather

Rubber

$$$

The KEEN Women's Voyageur Mid

The KEEN Voyageur Mid

Leather/Textile

Rubber

$

Types of Hiking Boots

There are several different kinds of hiking boots that are designed for various tasks. I’m going to be talking mainly about medium hiking boots after this section, but this is a bit of info I think is very valuable for you to know. Below, I’m going to break down two different types of hiking footwear for you - trail boots and mountaineering boots.

Trail Boots

Trail boots have a high top that gives you extra support for your ankles and protection from shrubbery that might otherwise scratch and scrape your legs. If you are in for a long hike or camping trip that will take several days, these are the way to go. Sometimes, you might have to veer off the trail and face more challenging terrain, and these boots will help you maneuver through it. 

The best thing about hiking boots as compared to shoes is that they give you stability and performance. The high top gives support for your ankles will help you stay balanced on inclines and rocky surfaces. It will lessen the chance of a sprained ankle or rough tumble through harsh circumstances. Additionally, with these, you will be able to venture safely into areas, which would be unsafe or inaccessible with trail shoes. So, to sum everything up, trail boots are great for medium terrains on medium length hiking trips; however, they won’t carry you very efficiently up a mountain. That is where mountaineering boots come in.

As companions to your trail boots, you can take hiking sandals with you for those days with a less busy agenda.

Mountaineering Boots

best hiking boots for women - mountain

Mountaineering boots are the best choice for hikers who opt to face the challenge of climbing a mountain. Mountain terrain can be really tough with rocks, shrubbery, steep inclines, snakes, and all others sorts of obstacles. This type of hiking boot gives you the most stability and safety as compared to trail hikers.

One of the main features of mountaineering boots is that they have a stiff sole, which gives your ankles lots of support. You’ll need this when climbing over big rocks and other uneven surfaces. 

These have an even higher top than regular trail boots, so they are the most constricting of all hiking boots. However, they serve their purpose well. Just as you wouldn’t bring trail shoes to climb a mountain, you wouldn’t take mountaineering boots out on a simple walk. And although they may be constricting, that does not necessarily mean they are not comfortable. As long as you pick a great brand (which I will discuss below), comfort will not be an issue.

Best Hiking Boot Brands

There are lots of brands to choose from including Timberland, Keen, Columbia, and Lowa. Some of these companies are very old and some are fairly new. All of them have very interesting stories you might want to consider when shopping for hiking boots. For example, some of them only make products for hikers while others make products for a very general market.

Personally, I like niche companies because I feel like they focus on just one product. In this case, their resources aren’t overextended, and they seem to produce the best quality merchandise from my experiences. So, without further ado, here are some of the top hiking boot brands putting shoes out on the market today.

Ahnu

Ahnu is a brand owned by Deckers Outdoor Corporation (DOC). Established in California in 1973, DOC has created an array of footwear brands all specializing in different niches. Ahnu shoes are geared more towards the outdoorsy crowd; furthermore, their hiking boots have earned them an excellent reputation. The company motto is “Ahnu. Walk new ground.” One thing I appreciate about this brand is that the founders are listed with a picture on their main website. Rather than just a hungry corporation looking to make a quick buck, it’s clear to see that this company is led by individuals with a passion for their product. 

Ariat

Beth Cross and Pam Parker founded Ariat International in Union City, California in 1992. Ariat started as a niche company for equestrian sports. The founders sought to bring performance footwear to horse riding athletes, and over the years, they have expanded their customer base by designing shoes for other outdoor activities with hiking being no exception. Their shoes feature a very classical style with blacks and browns being the main color choices for their products; you won’t find any flashy colors here. 

Columbia

The Columbia Sportswear Company is a “family business gone global.” They sell equipment for all sorts of outdoor and sports activities including hiking. Founded in 1938 by Paul and Marie Lamfrom, Columbia started as a hat company that eventually expanded into the Goliath today. Their headquarters in located in Washington County, Oregon, and they are a hit worldwide with products being sold in 72 countries and 13,000 retailers in existence today.

KEEN

KEEN is a relatively new American shoe manufacturing company that has been around since 2003. Though the company is still in the early stages of its life cycle, it has experienced rapid growth since its conception. They offer a diverse selection of shoes for all types of situations, and concerning hiking specifically; they sell boots for pretty much all ages - toddler to adult. Customers widely praise their quality and durability. All of their materials are gathered from locations worldwide and brought to their headquarters in Portland, Oregon where their shoes are finally assembled. 

KEEN is impressive, as they are a tough contender in the hiking boot market even though they have been around for such a short time.

Lowa

Lowa, established in 1923, specializes in making hiking boots. Their motto is “details that matter,” and after reviewing their homepage, I can see this statement is definitely true. They put a lot of effort into their products, and the fact that they have been around so long is proof that they are a stable, reliable company. When compared side by side with their competitors, Lowa has been in existence for twice or three times as long!

Additionally, their hiking boots are held to a high standard in terms of quality, and you get a 12 month warranty against any manufacturing defects with each pair you buy.

Timberland

The Timberland company, which started operations in 1952, released its first boot in 1973. They are an American manufacturer that makes many styles of shoes and clothing that cater to the outdoor lifestyle. There are a few distinguishing features of Timberland’s company model and products that set them apart from the competition. For one, their boots are assembled overseas and imported to the United States. Also, their prices are a little more reasonable than others brands, and their hiking boots have a classic look and feel to them.

Vasque

Last but not least is Vasque, a brand owned by the company Red Wing Shoes. Red Wing Shoes was started in 1905 by Charles H. Beckman in Red Wing, Minnesota. The company started out as a footwear manufacturer that provided boots to American soldiers during World War I. They specialize in making tough boots for very intense labor but have more recently expanded their product line to include footwear for athletic purposes. Their reputation as a military grade boot dealer really gives them an edge in this industry.

Top 5 Best Hiking Boots for Women

1. KEEN Women's Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot

KEEN Women's Targhee II Mid WP

The KEEN Targhee II’s are some of my top rated womens hiking boots. You’ll stay dry with these as they’re waterproof with a protective toe cap on the front. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of hiking without hiking shoes and getting my socks soaked and wet. With soaked socks, your feet feel like bricks, and it can even be hazardous to your health in some situations. 

Another positive about these is that they are very light. One thing I’ve always hated about cheaper hiking shoes is that they can seem clunky and heavy. If you’re hiking for long periods of time, your legs will eventually tire. The right shoes can help you keep walking longer.
These shoes are definitely worth looking into.

As I mentioned above, KEEN is a very modern brand that is very social savvy with great service. You can’t go wrong with giving these a try. Most of their buyers don’t seem to have any regrets, and you probably won’t either.

2. Ahnu Women's Montara Boot

Ahnu Women's Montara

The Ahuna Montara boots are waterproof leather hiking boots with a toe protector and speed lacing system. These are very comfortable and great for light hiking. The founders of this company are hikers themselves, so they are designed with a mind for what works best out on the trails.

They are a little pricey, but remember, you get what you pay for. I would definitely recommend these to the serious hiker or as an upgrade to any lower end product you’re sitting on right now. Higher end materials cost more money, and that little extra bit definitely goes into making the shoes a little more durable or feature-filled.

With that being said, these Ahunas are a great choice for both beginner and experienced hikers. If you’re looking for something that offers performance all around with a premium feel, I would recommend these. So, why not “walk new ground” with Ahuna?

3. Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot

Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus

These Columbia shoes offer a lot without breaking the bank. At a very reasonable price, they are great for beginners or the budget sensitive. They are leather with a waterproof / stain-resistant body that will keep you safe from the elements. There is no toe protector; however, this means the shoe is a bit lighter than its competitors. If you won’t be hiking in rocky areas, this might not be a problem for you.

This light higher is extremely comfortable and has a durable rubber soul. Hikers come back to this shoe over and over again for their reliability and performance. They swear by these, as they have met their mark time and time again.

You really can’t go wrong with these. If you want to try something out that you don’t have to think twice about, it’s these. Columbia is a major company, and they take care of their customers. These hikers are a great all around pair you can go to.

4. Timberland Women's White Ledge Hiking Boot

Timberland Women's White Ledge

Another option which is very similar to the Columbia boots I mentioned above are these Timberland hiking boots. At a very affordable price, they function exactly as they are designed to. You get comfort and stability with a beautiful brown leather body and tough rubber soul. Again, the toe guard is missing here, but not everyone needs or even wants one. 

This is a great boot for those who don’t like to have to make too many decisions. Since they only come in one color, you won’t be debating over what color body or laces you want. What you see is what you get. There are no surprises here.

Again, the Timberland company has gained worldwide respect from their exceptional products. These hiking boots are no different from anything else they have to offer - they shine. This is a great starter or backup pair for anyone. They are worth a shot.

​5. Ahnu Women's Sugarpine Hiking Boot

Ahnu Women's Sugarpine

As compared to Ahuna Montaras, these Sugarpine boots are made of a synthetic material. For this reason, they come in ten different colors and are very unique. Gone is the classical style. Here, you can choose from pink all the way to black. 

Although they are made of a synthetic material, they retain most of the great features the other hiking boots I have discussed here have. They claim to be waterproof, and while some have tested this with positive results, others haven’t. If you really want something that is truly waterproof, I would recommend something made from leather, but of course, you can try them out at your own risk. After all, these bright colored spectacles are hard to resist.

In any case, these are one of the best pairs of boots out there that has managed to balance quality with style. As I mentioned above, these hiking boots are mostly appealing because of the colors, but they still perform like hiking boots should.

The Next Five Best Hiking Boots for Women

The Lowa Women's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots

The Lowa Women's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots offer a super premium experience. Their boutique appearance and superb materials make them top notch.

The Timberland Women's Chocorua Trail Boots

The Timberland Women's Chocorua Trail Boots give you the most bang for your buck!
Don’t let the price fool you; you get way more than you bargain for.

The Ariat Women's Terrain H2O Hiking Boots

The Ariat Women's Terrain H2O Hiking Boots are designed for the hiker who brings a horse along. They work perfectly for hiking and horse riding.

The Vasque Women's Breeze 2.0 GTX Hiking Boots

The Vasque Women's Breeze 2.0 GTX Hiking Boots are super comfortable and super sleek. Their padding and style are maxed out!

The KEEN Women's Voyageur Mid Hiking Boots

The KEEN Women's Voyageur Mid Hiking Boots are some of the best hiking boots women have ever seen! With their extra ventilation, you will stay cool all day.

Hiking Boots Buying Guide

There are some important facts to consider when trying to decide which boots are the best for you. If you want hiking boots that are going to help you rather than hinder you when you explore nature, here are some factors you should consider:

  • Size. Above all else, it is extremely important that you get the right size. Avoid shoes that make your toes feel cramped or that are too tight on the sides. Some brands are made a little wider than the others, so if the shoes you try on don’t fit comfortably, try on a different pair. You might feel okay with them on for a few minutes, but if you’re planning on doing some heavy duty trail walking, they will make your hike feel uncomfortable after a while.

  • Material. Good quality hiking boots are made of great materials. Some you can choose from include leather and synthetic. Leather boots provide great protection against water and staining while synthetic materials may or may not offer that same protection. It’s important that you examine the materials and see whether they appear durable or not. You don’t want a boot that is going to fall apart on you at the worst possible moment.

  • Cushioning. The cushioning inside the boots is what will keep your feet comfortable on a long journey. Some boots will have more cushioning than others. With lots of cushioning, you’ll get extra padding for your feet at the expense of a warmer shoe. With less cushioning, you sacrifice comfort for breathability and freedom. I would recommend choosing the shoe that has a great balance between the features. And overall, since everyone’s feet are different, what others say is good is only what is good for themselves. Make sure your boots are comfortable for you and you alone.

  • The Sole. In general, the tougher the sole is, the more stability you have when walking over rocky terrains. If you don’t trek over rocky terrains, a super stiff and heavy sole might not work the best for you. When trying on shoes, you should always walk around in them to see how it reacts with the bottom of your foot. The curvature on the bottom of our feet is another factor that makes our individual feet unique. Find the sole that gives you the most support and fits like a glove.

  • Warranty. Some of the brands I mentioned here offer warranties on their products. This is a huge advantage with anything you buy; it’s no different for hiking boots. With a warranty, you can have faith in the sustainability of your shoes. Being protected from manufacture defects is always reassuring. I like to buy a product and my money will not be simply lost if something happens to go wrong. It’s nice to have a pair of boots you know will last you a lifetime.

A Final Word

Are you still there? I know I’ve said a lot, but thanks for bearing with me. I hope that after today, you feel a little more informed about women’s hiking boots. As I said earlier, there really is a lot to consider when picking out your boots. In my opinion, when you add in the history behind the shoes, it makes the decision a little clearer. I’m the kind of person that likes to support a company that I feel like is aiming for the same goal as myself. Another main consideration when choosing boots is the style you prefer. Do you prefer a classic or more modern look on your feet? Do you like brown or black? How about pink? Ultimately, you’ll have to try the boots on for yourself and see how it feels to you. Everyone’s feet are different. In any case, good luck in your pursuit of your new hiking boots! I hope you find what’s best for you!

For our favorite hiking clothing, click here for the best hiking pants and hiking socks.

Interested in hiking equipment? Check our reviews about hiking poles, backpacks and
gps for hiking.

Here's the video how to choose hiking boots:

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