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7 Best Trail-Ready Hiking Boots for Women (Guide Tested!)

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Sometimes, finding the perfect pair of hiking boots can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. There are dozens of considerations to look into, from ankle height and waterproofing to foot type and traction… it’s enough to make your head spin like the morning after splitting a pitcher of margaritas with your girlfriends!

So, if you’re the type of gal to spend days if not weeks searching for the perfect pair of hiking boots, only to come out empty-handed— you’re on the right page.

This blog post lists some of the best hiking boots for women as recommended by our Explorer Chick guides, who spend hundreds of hours out on the trails each year, putting their hiking boots through the wringer in all kinds of hiking conditions.

They are truly experts in all things outdoor gear and you’re sure to find the best women’s hiking boot for YOU on our list below.

We’ve also included a comprehensive how-to guide to help you choose the right pair for your needs. Happy hiking!

Best Hiking Boots for Women — At A Glance

We get it, you’re busy! If you just want a snapshot of our top boot picks, check out the links below. We go in DEPTH about every single one of these hiking boots below, so scroll on down to learn more!

What to Look for in Hiking Boots for Women

Selecting a pair of hiking boots requires more attention and consideration than choosing regular shoes.

For regular shoes, style, fit, and durability take precedence. With hiking boots, the focus shifts from just comfort and looks to functionality, breathability, and waterproofing for specific terrains and hiking conditions.

Let’s take a look at some of these factors in more detail:

Hiking Boots vs. Hiking Shoes

Ah yes, the famous debate. For years traditional hiking boots dominated the market, offering sturdy support for any terrain. But recently, trail runners (also called hiking shoes) have been taking over the hiking space. While both are designed for outdoor adventures, they cater to different needs and terrains. There’s pros and cons to both (which we’ll get into below), but honestly, it just comes down to your personal preference and what best suits the type of hiking you do.

Hiking Boots

Hiking boots are typically designed for rocky, alpine, snowy, and uneven terrain.

They feature high-cut ankles, thick soles with deep lugs for extra traction, and, more often than not, waterproof materials. They also come with reinforced toes, sturdy outsoles, and solid ankle support to prevent injuries during rugged hikes. Hiking boots often feel secure and snug on your feet, giving you confidence on the trail.

These features, however, come with a few caveats.

For one, hiking boots are way heavier than hiking shoes, which can lead to fatigue on longer hikes. They also hold in more heat, making them less comfortable in warm weather.

Plus, they have a longer break-in period, meaning you’ll have to wear them on shorter walks before using them on big hikes. It isn’t uncommon for hikers to develop blisters during this initial break-in phase.

Keen Targhee IV Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

Hiking Boots Pros

  • Unmatched durability and support, reducing the risk of injuries
  • Specialized soles for rough terrain
  • Reinforced toes and heels protect feet from rocks and debris 
  • Lifespan is longer than trail runners
  • Solid cushioning, especially around the midsole

Hiking Boots Cons

  • Heavier and bulkier than hiking shoes, making them less convenient for casual hiking
  • Low breathability, leading to sweaty feet in warm weather
  • Generally more expensive than hiking shoes due to extra protection and high-quality materials

Hiking Shoes

Hiking shoes, also known as trail running shoes or trail runners, offer two distinct advantages over hiking boots: flexibility and lighter weight.

Trail runners use lighter, more breathable materials to keep feet cooler and drier during warm weather.

The overall lighter weight and flexibility translate to increased comfort on long hikes, allowing you to trek longer distances with less fatigue. This makes it especially beneficial for hikers with joint issues or leg weaknesses, as well as those who prioritize agility and speed.

Though they don’t do as well as boots on super rugged terrain, they can handle moderately technical hikes with loose rocks and roots with no issues. You may feel more of the terrain (like rocks) under your feet, however. They also typically don’t last as long as hiking boots, with the tread wearing out faster.

HOKA Speedgoat 5 Wide Running Shoe

Hiking Shoes Pros

  • Lighter and more breathable than hiking boots, making them suitable for casual hiking
  • Has a low profile, so they can be worn outside of hiking trails 
  • Usually don’t cause blisters, even on the first wear
  • More breathable
  • Often cheaper than hiking boots

Hiking Shoes Cons

  • Less supportive than hiking boots due to lower cut design
  • Wears out faster than hiking boots, especially when used on rocky or abrasive trails
  • Lacks the thick soles and reinforced construction of hiking boots, offering less protection from sharp rocks, debris, and the elements
  • Waterproofing isn’t comparable to hiking boots

Fit and Support

Ill-fitting boots can be straight-up dangerous on hikes. Blisters and sore feet are the least of your concerns when you’re miles deep in the wilderness with a twisted ankle or worse due to inadequate support.

Hiking boots should feel snug and offer just enough room to wiggle your toes. When we say snug, we don’t mean tight. Your foot shouldn’t feel constricted, but there shouldn’t be any extra space that causes your heel to lift up or your toes to bunch.

Remember: loose fit = hot spots = blisters. Make sure your foot is held securely in place to minimize blisters, bruised toenails, and overall discomfort.

When buying hiking boots, try them on with a pair of socks (the same ones you’ll be wearing on hikes) and ideally at the end of a day, when your feet feel a bit swollen.

This is especially crucial when you’re planning to hike during summer, as feet can swell during hot weather. You want the boots to be comfortable even when your feet are at their largest!

The absolute best way to ensure a perfect fit is to have your feet measured by a pro at a hiking or outdoor store. If you wear orthotics, bring them along as they impact the size of the boots you’ll be wearing.

Other than the fit itself, your boots should have proper ankle support to prevent it from rolling.

Women’s hiking boots have a narrower heel and a higher cut compared to men’s, so make sure the boots are designed especially for women to ensure a proper and comfortable fit.

Waterproof and Breathable Materials

Modern hiking boots do a pretty good job of being both waterproof and breathable.

Though they don’t quite match the level of breathability of trail runners, they still strike a decent balance between water protection and airflow to keep your feet comfortable.

Materials like Gore-Tex keep water out while still allowing moisture to escape, and lighter-weight boots with mesh panels tend to be more breathable than heavier, full-leather boots (at the sacrifice of some durability).

Generally, you want to buy waterproof boots if you often hike in wet conditions or want an all-around hiking boot, and non-waterproof boots if you mostly hike in the desert where you want to avoid trapping heat.

Waterproof boots will trap heat, making your feet sweat more. AND, waterproof boots will trap water if it gets inside the boot, so if you’re doing a hike THROUGH water (like The Narrows in Zion National Park), you’ll actually want a NON-waterproof hiking boot so the water can flow in and out easily (otherwise your boots will retain the water and feel like a ton of bricks).

In a pinch, a trusty old pair of tennis shoes paired with a neoprene sock liner are a great choice for hiking THROUGH water.

Traction and Outsoles

The quality and design of a boot’s outsoles determine its traction and stability on various terrains. The more technical the terrain, the stiffer and thicker the outsole should be. 

Hiking boots have outsoles covered in knurled knobs of rubber called lugs.

Shallow and wide-shaped lugs are best suited for moderate terrain like light snow, packed dirt paths, and well-maintained trails.

Meanwhile, deeper and more aggressive lugs are ideal for technical, loose, and uneven terrain, like steep inclines, snow, or rocky trails. They have a multi-directional design that allows them to grab the ground in various angles and directions.

Boots with thicker outsoles have a longer life, but they tend to be heavier than boots with thinner, more flexible outsoles.

If you’re more of a casual hiker, boots with thinner outsoles are the better choice. Though they’re not as durable as the alternative, they’re much lighter and feels more natural on the foot.

Best Hiking Boots for Women

Keen Targhee IV Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

1 Best Waterproof Hiking Boot For Women

Keen Targhee Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

  • Height: Mid
  • Available in Wide: Yes
  • Weight: 2 lb. 2.6 oz.
  • Waterproof: KEEN.DRY waterproof/breathable membrane
  • What we like: Wide toe box, good out-of-the-box comfort, aggressive treads offer good traction on various terrains, great ankle support
  • What we don’t like: Bulky and could be overkill for non-wet/slippery hikes

Recommended by our Destination Manager, Amy

If you need a pair of sturdy, waterproof boots that won’t let you down in wet conditions, look no further than the Keen Targhee Mid.

Our destination manager, Amy, has worn multiple variations of Keen Targhee hiking boots for over 10 years and they’ve never let her down! She’s worn these on our trips to Alaska, Patagonia, and the Smokies without any blisters or wet feet — impressive!

Amy has a narrow heel and a wider toe box and the Keen Targhee Mid ticks all the boxes with minimal break-in time. The original fit design accommodates her toes comfortably, while the heel cup provides a snug and supportive fit for her narrow ankles. This combination prevents blisters and keeps her feet secure on even the roughest trails.

Keen Targhee Mids are also amazingly waterproof — as long as the water stays below the top of the boot, Amy’s feet have stayed dry throughout all of her hiking adventures. Due to the waterproofing, it takes a while to dry, though, which can be a pain on multi-day hikes (but you’ll find that issue with any waterproof hiking boot, to the honest).

As for the grip, the Keen Targhee Mids are as reliable as hiking boots can be. They perform exceptionally well on slippery surfaces like leaves, rocks, and muddy trails, so you can hike with confidence.

Explorer Chick Destination Manager Amy hiking in Alaska
Amy wearing the Keen Targhee boots in Patagonia
Shop at REI
Altra Lone Peak All-Weather Mid 2 Hiking Boot

2 Best Lightweight Hiking Boots for Women

Altra Lone Peak All Weather Mid 2

  • Height: Mid
  • Available in Wide: No
  • Weight: 1 lb. 8 oz.
  • Waterproof: Weather-resistant eVent bootie construction
  • What we like: Perks of a trail runner with the benefit of added ankle support, super lightweight for a mid-ankle boot, no break-in period, nicely cushioned
  • What we don’t like: Poor ankle support compared to a traditional mid-ankle hiking boot, tread can wear out quickly

Recommend by our guide, Christina

After suffering through painful blisters and sore feet with other shoes, our guide Christina has finally found her go-to hiking boots: the Altra Lone Peak All Weather Mid 2.

As someone who typically prefers to hike in trail runners, she found these were a step up from trail runners with adequate ankle support while still keeping the lightweight-ness of a trail runner — aka the perfect blend of trail runner and hiking boot!

And with the Altra Lone Peak, Christina realized that she didn’t need to cram her feet into a shoe, despite having a wider forefoot.

Altra’s signature FootShape toe box lets her toes splay naturally rather than being bound by the confines of a narrow toe box shoe. As a guide, Christina doesn’t often get time to break in new boots outside of guiding hiking trips, with these boots she pretty much could hit the ground running without worrying about blisters.

But the Altra Lone Peak offers more than just a comfortable fit. Christina was particularly impressed by how lightweight these boots are compared to other hiking boots she’s tried, while still being waterproof.

However, the lighter weight is a bit of a double-edged sword. By sacrificing weight, you lose the ankle support heavier boots are known for. So if you’re recovering from injury or susceptible to rolling ankles, you may want to skip this one.

The treads are also a little less durable than your typical hiking boots, but Christina finds that the comfort and lack of pain are worth it.

If you’re planning to get yourself a pair of these boots, Altra recommends you size up from your normal shoe size. Christina can attest to this—she went a full size up and the boots fit her perfectly, to her surprise!

Shop at REI

3 Best Lightweight Hiking Shoes

Salomon XA Pro 3D V9 Hiking Shoes

  • Height: Low
  • Available in Wide: No
  • Weight: 1 lb. 5.2 oz.
  • Waterproof: No
  • What we like: Quicklace design for easy on and off, incredible support despite low cut design, generously padded, ultralight
  • What we don’t like: Not waterproof, takes a while to dry

Recommend by our guide, Mary

As someone who wears trail runners on 90% of her hikes, Mary, a seasoned hiker and one of our trip guides, went through dozens of hiking boot models and brands before finding the perfect pair: the Salomon XA Pro.

Unlike Altra’s zero-drop heel design, Mary prefers the XA Pro’s higher heel drop. Mary took a leap on zero-drop shoes, enticed by the promise of a natural foot position and a more balanced stride. Unfortunately, all she got in exchange was months of Achilles tendonitis (ouch!).

Let this be a cautionary tale from Mary… everyone’s feet are different! What works for some may not work for you, so always listen to your body to avoid potential injuries, especially when changing hiking shoes! We always recommend buying hiking boots from a retailer with a generous return policy in case your boots don’t work out after a test hike or two.

Now Mary has been wearing Solomons for 15+ years with no blisters or foot issues. 

The only complaint she has with these boots is the material. Most of Salomon’s shoes are Gore-Tex, and once Gore-Tex gets wet, it stays wet. Therefore, they’re not the best option for hiking through streams or super wet hikes.

Shop at REI

4 Best Hiking Boots for Desert Terrain

La Sportiva Mutant Trail Running Shoe

  • Height: Low
  • Available in Wide: No
  • Weight: 1 lb. 2.2 oz.
  • Waterproof: Water-resistant, but dries quickly
  • What we like: Excellent breathability, snug fit for narrow feet, phenomenal traction thanks to multi-directional lugs
  • What we don’t like: Firm midsole, so it can feel uncomfortable after a while

Recommend by our guide, Mary

For wet hikes (like the Paria in Utah), Mary ditches the Salomons and pulls out the La Sportiva Mutants. They have a near-identical heel drop to Salomons but they dry twice as fast. They also strike a perfect balance between breathability and protection.

The Mutants excel in the desert, as the shoes breathe well but aren’t so porous that they let lots of sand in.

The upper, made of recycled non-slip AirMesh, offers excellent airflow, keeping your feet cool and comfortable in hot, dry climates.

Here’s a bonus tip from Mary to anyone considering La Sportiva Mutants: they run small so order up a size!

Shop at REI
Oboz Bridger Insulated Hiking Boot for winter hiking

5 Best Winter Hiking Boots for Women

Oboz Bridger Insulated Waterproof Boots 

  • Height: High
  • Available in Wide: Yes
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 9 oz.
  • Waterproof: B-DRY waterproof/breathable membrane
  • What we like: Unmatched insulation, deep sole treads for various terrains, solid construction
  • What we don’t like: One season use — only suitable for winter hikes

If we were to hold a competition for the most versatile winter hiking boots, the Oboz Bridger Insulated Waterproof Boots would be our top pick.

They not only look and feel high-quality, but they’re also functional from top to bottom. They’re wrapped in waterproof nubuck leather, which is famous for its soft, velvety texture and impressive durability.

It also features a 200g 3M Thinsulate Insulation, which keeps your feet warm in even the most frigid conditions. Paired with thermal wool-topped insoles for additional warmth, and your feet will stay toasty and comfortable throughout a snowy hike.

At the bottom, you’re met with granite peak outsoles with deep lugs that easily bite into snow and ice. The outsoles are infused with silica for superior grip on icy surfaces, allowing you to hike up and down snow with little to no effort.

Since the Oboz Bridger is specifically designed for winter hikes, you’ll find little use for them during the summer months. The dual insulation, while advantageous in frigid conditions, can become a liability in the heat.

Shop at REI
Timberland Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

6 Best Budget Friendly Hiking Boot for Women

Timberland Mt. Maddsen Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots

  • Height: Mid
  • Available in Wide: No
  • Weight: 2 lbs. 7 oz.
  • Waterproof: TimberDry waterproof membrane
  • What we like: Supportive design, heavy-duty construction, solid traction
  • What we don’t like: Heavier than most boots on this list

Hiking boots are rarely easy on the wallet, with most costing well over $150. However, once in a blue moon, you might stumble upon a gem—a high-quality pair that offers exceptional performance at an affordable price point.

The Timberland Mt. Maddsen Hiking Boots is one such gem. 

Timberland needs no introduction—the brand is known for its durable and reliable outdoor footwear. Their quality manufacturing extends to Mt. Maddsen with its waterproof leather uppers, durable rubber lug outsoles, and internal nylon shanks.

Comfort is another selling point of Mt. Maddsen. While not the lightest boot on the market at 2 pounds 7 ounces, it’s beautifully cushioned and supportive. 

The mid-ankle height and internal nylon shank provide excellent stability, preventing unwanted ankle roll and keeping your foot secure on uneven terrain.

Just make sure to condition the leather every two to three months of regular use to keep the uppers supple and water-resistant.

Shop at REI
HOKA Speedgoat 5 Wide Running Shoe

7 Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet

Hoka Speedgoat 5

  • Height: Low
  • Available in Wide: Yes
  • Weight: 1 lb. 1 oz.
  • Waterproof: No
  • What we like: Top-tier comfort, supportive all around, extremely grippy, breathable construction, great for wearing trail-to-town
  • What we don’t like: Might be a bit too much cushioning to some, not waterproof

Recommended by our guide manager, Ashley

Due to her wide feet, our guide manager Ashley is especially selective with her choice of hiking shoes. And for her, the Hoka Speedgoat 5 blows the competition out of the water.

With its wider toe box and generous sizing options, the Speedgoat 5 fits Ashley’s feet near-perfectly. She especially loves the Vibram soles for the extra grip they provide. The reliable traction is crucial for her role as a guide, especially since most of her adventures take her to locations with uneven terrain.

The comfort is unmatched, too. Ashley wore these boots every day on a recent 3-week adventure with Explorer Chick, traveling from Jordan to Egypt. She wore them for 8 to 10 hours straight each day without experiencing ANY pain or blisters. 

They were easy to wear on the plane and supported her well during desert hikes. She had no issues wearing them around the city, too! Though light, they’re extremely supportive and cushioned all around.

The Hoka Speedgoat has a minimal break-in period. Ashley wore them around the house for a few weeks before her trip and, on the days that followed, experienced no discomfort other than the occasional hot spots on her toes.

She managed just fine with eNZees Foot Soother, a product she finds particularly useful for preventing hot spots and blisters. They’re easy to use and require no taping. The wool adheres to your wool hike socks and keeps the cushioning in place all day.

Explorer Chick Guide Ashley sits looking out at Petra and Jordan on a guided women's trip
Ashley wearing the HOKA Speedgoat 5s in Jordan and Petra
Shop at Backcountry

Caring for Your Hiking Boots

Though more durable than regular outdoor shoes, hiking boots often need double the amount of care—especially after a long, demanding hike.

Here’s how to properly maintain your hiking boots:

Cleaning and Drying

Hiking boots are magnets for dirt, mud, and all sorts of debris thanks to the deep lugs on their outsoles. You take a brief stroll through the woods and suddenly you’re carrying home a mini terrarium!

The dirt accumulated on the boots isn’t only gross but also compromises their performance over time.

Debris lodged in the boot’s seams can cause abrasion and wear, leading to premature deterioration, while built-up mud and dirt reduce the boots’ ability to grip surfaces effectively.

This is why you should always clean your hiking boots after a trail, or at least a few times each season.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on cleaning and drying hiking boots.

For best results, use a specialized boot brush and boot cleaner. If you don’t have those, use an old toothbrush or vegetable brush, and a mild dishwashing liquid like Dawn.

  1. Remove the laces and, using a stiff hand brush, remove any loose dirt, mud, and debris from the outsoles, laces, and upper. Pay extra attention to the grooves of the lugs, where dirt easily accumulates. Use a stick to dislodge stubborn dirt and mud.
  2. Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a bit of boot cleaner or dish soap. Soak the outsoles in the water for five minutes, then vigorously scrub them with a bootbrush or old toothbrush to remove caked-on dirt.
  3. If your boots are made with synthetic material, feel free to submerge the whole boot in water and clean the interior. If it’s made with leather, only wet the outsoles and use a mild, leather-specific cleaner to clean the exterior.
  4. Once clean, stuff the boots with crumpled newspaper to absorb excess moisture. If possible, remove the insoles and dry them separately.
  5. Leave the boots to dry in a well-ventilated area for 24 to 48 hours, avoiding places with a direct source of heat (fireplace, heater, radiator, direct sunlight, wood stove, etc.). Replace the newspapers every few hours.

Cleaning your boots after every hike may seem a bit overkill, but it’s necessary to keep them in tip-top condition and prolong their lifespan.

On average, well-maintained hiking boots last between 600 to 1,200 miles. So if you hike, say, an average of 10 miles per month (roughly 3 miles per hike three times a month), your boots should easily last 5 to 10 years with proper care. 

Waterproofing and Conditioning

After washing and thoroughly drying your hiking boots, the next step to maintenance is waterproofing and, if the boots are made of leather, conditioning.

Over time, even the best hiking boots lose their waterproofing properties. You don’t necessarily need to waterproof your hiking boots after every wash, but you should do it consistently—for example, every three or four washes—to make sure they’re properly protected.

Synthetic hiking boots made of polyester, nylon, or Gore-Tex don’t require conditioning because they don’t crack or dry out. However, you can still clean them with a synthetic boot cleaner to make them last longer. You should also use a waterproofing spray to keep them sealed.

But for leather hiking boots, conditioning is a must.

Leather loses its flexibility over time, causing it to dry and crack.

Conditioning helps replenish the natural oils in leather, maintaining its suppleness, durability, and water resistance.

We recommend the all-natural Otter Wax Boot Wax, but any other leather conditioner works just as well as long as it’s high quality.

Storage and Transport 

Store your boots in a cool, dry location. 

Avoid attics, car trunks, garages, and sheds as these areas are susceptible to extreme heat.

Don’t place them near heat sources, either, like the radiator or fireplace. Heat can damage the material that holds hiking boots together, thereby reducing their lifespan. They’re best stored inside the house where the temperature is stable and moderate.

If you won’t be using the boots for a fairly long time—say, three to six months—stuff them with newspaper and keep them laced up. This way, they can maintain their shape and absorb any lingering moisture they may have after the last cleaning.

To transport your boots, you have two options: tie them to your hiking backpack or stuff them inside.

Strapping your boots on your backpack keeps them accessible and saves space inside the bag. Simply secure them with straps or bungee cords so they stay in place while you hike.

If you prefer to keep them inside your backpack, place them in a separate compartment or bag to prevent dirt and mud from soiling your other gear. Stuff them with your hiking socks so they maintain their shape until they’re ready to use.

Essential Hiking Boot Accessories

These hiking boot accessories add extra comfort, protection, and functionality to your hikes:

Gaiters for Protecting Against Debris

Gaiters are protective coverings that wrap around your lower legs and the tops of your boots. They keep water, debris, and snow from entering your boots, making them especially useful for wet, muddy, and snowy hikes. They’re also great paired with low profile hiking shoes and trail runners to keep debris out.

Gaiters are typically made of synthetic fabric like polyester and topped off with a durable water-repellent (DWR) finish.

High-quality gaiters feature tough, tear-resistant nylon for extra durability and long strips of hook-and-loop fastener down the fronts for easy entry and exit.

REI Flash Gaiters

Hiking Socks for Maximum Comfort 

Hiking socks come in dozens of variations. Some are made of wool while others are made of polyester or nylon. Here at Explorer Chick, we stick to wool hiking socks because they’re naturally moisture-wicking, odor resistant, and can be worn a few times before needing washed (shh, we won’t tell).

Our favorite hiking socks are Darn Tough which come with a lifetime guarantee.

The most important rule of hiking socks is to AVOID COTTON, which traps heat and causes blisters and hot spots.

Wool—particularly merino wool—is the most popular material because it not only provides good cushioning but also regulates temperature, preventing your feet from getting all sweaty.

Polyester is another option because it wicks moisture, insulates, and dries quickly — and it’s more friendly on the wallet.

Darn Tough Socks

Insoles for Added Comfort and Support

Even the highest quality boot insoles can wear out over time or not perfectly match your specific foot shape and needs. This is where aftermarket or custom insoles come into play. These insoles provide additional support and cushioning tailored to your foot’s needs.

Explorer Chick Content Manager Courtney has a high arch and finds that adding a supportive aftermarket insole, like Superfeet, is ideal for tackling long backpacking trails without foot fatigue.

Superfeet All-Purpose Support High Arch (Green) Insoles

Laces and Lacing Techniques

Properly fitted laces can make a big difference in the performance and comfort of your hiking boots.

Too short laces can make your boots feel too tight, leading to blisters and general discomfort.

On the other hand, too long laces can pose a tripping hazard and may get caught on branches or rocks.

Opt for laces that are just long enough to comfortably tie your boots with a double knot.

Once you’ve got the right laces, ditch the bunny ears lacing method and instead practice these lacing techniques. You can use these techniques to increase ankle support, prevent heel slippage, reduce pressure on top of your foot, and minimize hotspots and blisters.

  • Double overhand knot to increase tension: Lace your boots like you normally would, then cross the laces underneath the other. Bring that same lace underneath the knot and tighten it with a regular knot.
  • Surgeon’s knot to prevent heel slippage: Criss-cross the laces all the way up to the top. Take one lace and hold a loop near the top eyelet. Then, loop the lace over the top of the boot and tuck it underneath three times. Pull the laces down from each end to tighten.
  • Window lace to reduce pressure on top of the foot: Thread your laces vertically through the eyelets, skipping the eyelets where you feel pressure. Make three regular overhand knots and pull the laces down until they reach the surface.

>>  Check out our blog post on hiking boot lacing techniques.

Waterproofing Spray for Extra Moisture Protection

A hiking boot’s waterproofing capabilities can wear out over time. This isn’t to say that they’re low-quality; rather, it’s a natural result of regular use and exposure to the elements. Reapplying a waterproofing spray every few washes keeps them protected from wet and muddy trails.

Nikwax Waterproofing Spray for Footwear

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my hiking boots fit properly?

You’ll know your hiking boots fit properly when they feel secure—but not tight—all over.

Your toes shouldn’t feel cramped or jammed against the front of the boot. Ideally, there should be a finger-width space between your heel and the back of the boot.

Your heels should feel snug and secure inside the boot. They should stay firmly planted in the heel cup and not slide up and down or shift around as you walk.

If you’re still unsure about the size, wear the boots (+ hiking socks) at home for a few hours to make sure they’re comfortable. You can also try on styles from several brands to find out which design best works for your foot shape.

How often should I replace my hiking boots?

Replacing your hiking boots depends on several factors, including frequency of use, quality, and the types of hikes you do.Generally, you should replace your boots every 600 to 1,200 miles. By this point, they’ll start to show signs of wear such as worn tread, flat insoles, or weak ankle support.

If you go on moderate hikes every other weekend, you may need to replace your boots every two to three years (assuming 20-mile hikes each time).

You’ll know it’s time to replace your boots if you start to experience pain, blisters, or excessive foot fatigue when you didn’t before.

Can I use my hiking boots for other outdoor activities?

Absolutely! Though they aren’t as flexible as trail runners, they can still be worn for various outdoor activities such as backpacking, light mountaineering, camping, and yard work.

You can also use them for urban exploration. We don’t recommend wearing them for casual wear though because they’re too bulky and heavy.

Finding Your Perfect Pair of Hiking Boots

We hope this guide on the best hiking boots for women helped you find the perfect pair for your next hiking adventure!

As you can see from our guides’ recommendations, there are no single ‘best’ hiking boots.

For example, Christina adores the Altra Lone Peak All Weather Mid 2 for its wide toe box and comfortable fit, while Mary prefers the Salomon XA Pro because of its higher heel drop.

So when selecting hiking boots, consider your individual needs and preferences. Do you prefer the supportive design of traditional hiking boots, or are you leaning more toward the low-cut freedom and flexibility of trail runners? Do you have narrow feet or wide feet? High arches or flat arches?

Finding the right hiking boots is about striking a balance of comfort, stability, and performance. It might take you a few attempts to find your dream shoes, but once you do, you’ll likely stick with them for life!

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