Best Hiking Boots for Women of 2018: Complete Reviews With Comparison
Spending time in the wilderness can be a fantastic way to clear your mind and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. However, when it comes to hiking, you need to make sure you have the right equipment to keep yourself safe and comfortable.
Finding the best hiking boots for women helps to make sure that you can easily deal with different types of terrain without the worry of harming yourself or being caught in a sticky situation. Below are our five top choices for women’s hiking boots.
Best Hiking Boots for Women Reviews
1. Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boots: Best Hiking Boots for All Seasons
Recommended for different types of weather conditions, the Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boots are designed for the everyday outdoorsy person. This pair offers a variety of features designed to keep your feet comfortable.
Available in over six different colors, you can easily choose the right pair to fit with your outdoor gear.
The features that make the Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boots notable include:
- Leather Exterior
Leather is one of our favorite materials for hiking boots because as you begin using them regularly, they will wear in and become more comfortable. Also, the resilience of the material is what makes these boots a fantastic option as leather is tough, durable, and built to last.
- Waterproof Finish
Another great advantage to the Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boots is the fact that they are entirely waterproof. This makes them ideal for tackling any type of terrain that you might come across, keeping your feet warm and dry at the same time.
- Techlite Midsole
As a technology found in Columbia shoes, the Techlite midsole is designed to give you superior comfort and cushioning.
- Omni-Grip Sole
With these boots, slipping is one less thing that you will have to worry about. The added Omni-Grip sole is designed out of rubber for complete slip-free wear.
What to Like About the Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boots
The main thing to appreciate about these hiking boots is the fact that they are great for all-season wear. They offer a mesh tongue, which adds extra breathability to the boots if you wear them out in the summer, as well as reliable waterproofing and mild insulation for the colder months.
Another thing that you’re sure to appreciate about these boots is that, although they are made out of full-grain leather, they arrive ready to wear and have a very minimal break-in period. This makes them far more convenient than other leather boots, which can take weeks of breaking in to finally get comfortable enough to wear.
What's not to like about the Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boots
One thing that is quite common among most hiking boots is the fact that they will rub your ankles raw if you don’t wear high socks with them. Unfortunately, the Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boots are no different.
In addition to that, you’re also going to have to pay close attention to the sizing chart to make sure you’re choosing the perfect shoe size. This is because these boots are designed to be quite narrow and slightly tighter than traditional shoes.
2. Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Hiking Boots: Best Hiking Boots for Dry Terrain
As one of the most luxurious hiking brands on the market, Merrell has plenty of different types of hiking boots for you to take a look at. However, the Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Hiking Boots are one of the top-tier models available.
With six different color options and a heavy-duty utilitarian design, they may just be the next thing you purchase for your hiking stash.
The most notable features of the Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Hiking Boots include:
- Added Merrell Air Cushion
To offer more comfort inside of the shoe, Merrell added in their patented air cushion to these boots, which helps to absorb heel shock and adds extra stability while walking. An added benefit to the insole is the fact that it’s entirely removable, allowing you to add in your preferred soles with ease.
- Protective Rubber Toe Cap
If you’re someone who is looking for added protection in your hiking shoes without adding an abnormal amount of extra weight, you will be sure to love the protective rubber toe cap on the front of these shoes.
- Added Performance Mesh
It can be quite uncomfortable to wear a pair of hiking boots in the summer and not have the level of breathability that you’d expect to keep your feet dry. With the help of the performance mesh and the enhanced M Select Fresh technology on these boots, your shoes will be breathable and smell great even after months of wear.
- M Select Dry Technology
Another patented technology in the Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Hiking Boots is the M Select Dry liner. This waterproofs your hiking boots to keep your feet dry in even the wettest terrain.
What to Like About the Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Hiking Boots
The most advantageous aspect of these hiking boots is the fact that they are designed to last over a year of everyday wear. This means that you will be able to make the most out of your investment.
Aside from that, we also loved how sturdily they were built but still had an athletic shoe aesthetic. As a result, wearing these boots won’t feel like you’re wearing a hefty pair of traditional hiking boots.
What’s Not to Like About the Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Hiking Boots
The largest issue that we have with the Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Hiking Boots is that they don’t offer optimal traction, which is very important if you’re dealing with ice and snow or if you’re walking on top of wet leaves.
We also found that the shoes were waterproof only up to a point. This means that if you are to wear them in the middle of a rainstorm, your feet would only stay dry for a few hours at most.
3. Forsake Patch Women’s Leather Hiking Boots: Best Hiking Boots for Fashion and Functionality
Not everyone is interested in the typical look of regular hiking boots, which is why you might be looking for something a little more fashionable. Luckily, you will find one when you buy the Forsake Patch Women’s Leather Hiking Boots.
Designed with everyday outdoor adventures in mind, these boots combine fashion with functionality. This makes them a popular choice of many women all over the globe.
The main features of the Forsake Patch Women’s Leather Hiking Boots include:
- Waterproof Coating and Breathability
The bootie that is inside of the main shoe is designed specifically to keep moisture away from your feet by being both waterproof yet breathable. In wet conditions, the external leather, as well as the taped seams and gusseted tongue, will prevent water from seeping in. Meanwhile, in the summer, the shoes are designed to be quite breathable to prevent an accumulation of sweat.
- Added Composite Shank
Stability and support are two of the most important features of any pair of hiking boots, which is why you will appreciate the added composite shank to keep you more stable when walking on different types of terrain.
- Peak-to-Pavement Outsole
As a patented technology, the Peak-to-Pavement outsole gives you the ability to wear the Forsake Patch Women’s Leather Hiking Boots for everyday excursions and then immediately transition to rough terrain without having to switch shoes.
- Antimicrobial Insole
It can be infuriating to pay for a pair of hiking boots that will get smelly after a couple of wears. With these boots’ antimicrobial insole, you will be able to prevent the accumulation of bacteria in your shoes.
What to Like About the Forsake Patch Women’s Leather Hiking Boots
The most obvious benefit that you’ll experience immediately with these boots is how great their traction is. This is especially evident when walking on very slippery conditions during the winter.
We also found that when compared to other pairs of hiking boots, these did not need to be broken in at all, which is perfect for someone looking for ready-to-wear boots as soon as they arrive. The enhanced waterproofing is also phenomenal as it not only keeps your feet dry but warm as well.
What’s Not to Like About the Forsake Patch Women’s Leather Hiking Boots
The overall design of these boots is relatively high quality. However, the grommets for holding the top lace will likely fall off of the boot due to poor stitching or gluing. We also found that after wearing the boots for a couple of hikes, they have the tendency to rub away at your feet, regardless if you’re wearing socks or not.
4. Kodiak Women’s Surrey II Hiking Boots: Best Hiking Boots for Everyday Wear
Kodiak is another well-known brand when it comes to all different types of winter gear, which is what makes the Kodiak Women’s Surrey II Hiking Boots a pair that you should surely consider. With the same fashionable appearance as the Forsake Patch boots, if you’re looking for a functional and good looking pair of hiking boots, these are also a great choice.
The most impressive characteristics of the Kodiak Women’s Surrey II Hiking Boots include:
- Waterproofed and Sealed Seams
In order to keep your feet as dry as possible when dealing with particularly wet terrain, you will love the waterproof leather exterior of the boots as well as the perfectly sealed seams that keep all of the water out. There is also an added waterproof membrane on the inside of the shoe for added protection.
- Removable Insole
The insole that comes with the Kodiak Women’s Surrey II Hiking Boots is crafted out of leather memory foam. However, it’s entirely removable based on your level of comfort and preferences.
- Slip-resistant Sole
These boots are designed to easily transition from the trails to the streets, so the slip-resistant sole is easily adaptable to most types of terrain.
- Reliable Insulation
If you’re in the market for a comfortable pair of winter boots, these might be a great option as they also offer 200 GM Thinsulate insulation as well as an enhanced lining made of microfiber to keep your feet warm in the colder months.
What to Like About the Kodiak Women’s Surrey II Hiking Boots
The first thing you’re going to notice about these boots is that they are designed with the more fashionable wearer in mind who is also looking for a pair of boots to keep them warm and comfortable during the winter. There are plenty of great aesthetic features that show the attention to detail, such as anti-corrosive hardware and a felted wool collar on the top of the shoes.
We also found that the Kodiak Women’s Surrey II Hiking Boots are easy to wear absolutely anywhere. No matter if you are outdoors or indoors, this pair is perfect as the insulation is just the right level for most occasions.
What’s Not to Like About the Kodiak Women’s Surrey II Hiking Boots
As lovely as the Kodiak Women’s Surrey II Hiking Boots are, they do require a small amount of breaking in before they reach their optimal level of comfort for everyday wear. You’re also going to want to find an extra insole to add into the shoes, as they’re not the most comfortable hiking boots out there for people with foot concerns, such as poor arches.
5. Ariat Terrain H2O Hiking Boots: Best Hiking Boots for Longevity
Ariat is one of the most phenomenal boot brands. If you’re looking for boots that can be worn to construction job sites or if you’re dealing with some of the most difficult outdoor terrain possible, then this is the brand you should check out.
As a pair of hiking boots that will surely last you a long time, the Ariat Terrain H2O Hiking Boots are one of our top choices. Check out what makes them stand out below.
The most interesting features of the Ariat Terrain H2O Hiking Boots include:
- 100% Leather Build
As with the other hiking boots on this list, these boots are constructed using 100% full-grain oiled leather, which offers an ample amount of reliability and durability.
- Waterproof Membrane
For added foot protection, aside from the oiled leather, there is also a waterproof membrane inside of the shoe to prevent water, snow, and slush from getting inside of your shoes.
- Padded Collar
It can be quite uncomfortable to wear a pair of boots that constantly tear at your ankles, which is why you’re sure to appreciate the added padded collar to the top of these boots.
- Moisture-Wicking Feature
The Ariat Terrain H2O Hiking Boots aren’t boots that you can only wear in the winter, as they also offer enhanced moisture-wicking capabilities to keep sweat away from your feet and help to keep you cool during the summer.
- Self-cleaning Tread
Another enhanced feature in these hiking boots is the self-cleaning tread. This helps to get rid of small rocks and other debris that could easily turn into hazards while hiking.
What to Like About the Ariat Terrain H2O Hiking Boots
Over time, you’re going to notice that the Ariat Terrain H2O Hiking Boots only get better. The more you work the leather in, the more fashionable the boots will become.
We also loved that although the boots are made out of full-grain leather, they are quite comfortable to wear right out of the box without having to worry about breaking them in. You’ll also appreciate how versatile these hiking boots are as you can wear them out on the trail, to work, or even while riding horses.
What’s Not to Like About the Ariat Terrain H2O Hiking Boots
The most difficult part of these boots is the fact that the tread is far inferior compared to the other pairs on this list. This doesn’t make them your best option in terms of preventing slips and falls.
More than that, you’re also going to have to pay close attention to sizing as these fit a little tighter in the toe box than other hiking boots. As such, it’s recommended that you measure your feet and use the offered sizing guide.
Choosing the perfect pair of hiking boots isn’t something that you can do in just a couple of minutes. You’re going to want to make sure that you’ve taken all of the most important features into account, so you would need to do ample research.
From high-quality tread to a comfortable fit, there are plenty of things to take into consideration to make sure you’re picking a pair to meet your expectations. For that, allow us to help you out.
Similar to any other type of shoe, you can bet that there are different styles of hiking boots too. The style will surely impact how comfortable they are when wearing the boots for an extended period. Most hiking boots are either available in a high cut or a low cut, with the low cut being the more comfortable option for everyday wear.
Designed similarly to a pair of sneakers, low-cut hiking boots give you the ability to stay safe while hiking without having your feet feel encumbered. With that being said, many people prefer high-cut boots as they have more support in the ankle region and better protection against wetness. However, they are far heavier than low-cut ones.
When it comes to hiking boots, you’re going to want to choose a material that is going to last the longest and give you the most resilience to weather. Due to the fact that hiking is a very heavy-duty activity, your shoes are going to need to be built to withstand a lot of wear and tear, which is why full-grain leather is your best option.
With optimal damage resistance and the ability to protect your feet from wetness and cold, leather gives you the ability to make your boots last longer than with any other type of material.
As mentioned when discussing the different styles of hiking boots, there are two cuts that you can choose from: high and low. High cut boots have always been a staple among backpackers and hiking enthusiasts because they offer optimal ankle support and reduce the likelihood of injuring the more delicate parts of your feet and legs.
However, low-cut hiking boots may also be a good idea for more moderate trails if a lot of support isn’t something you’re looking for. They look cool, are quite comfortable, and give you the ability to hike for longer without dealing with as much foot fatigue.
The weight of your hiking shoes is subjective based on personal preference, as some people prefer to have heavier boots for additional stability. With that being said, if you know you’re going to be spending more than two or three hours hiking, you’re going to want to find the most lightweight hiking boots because you won’t want to be burdened by hefty footwear.
It’s also recommended that if you’re venturing into more slippery conditions, choosing heavier boots is the better option. This is because they will give you an extra layer of protection against trips and falls.
Most hiking boots are built with removable insoles to give you the ability to add an insole of your preference. However, if you find a pair of boots that already come with arch support, you will be able to save money on the perfect hiking gear.
Arch support is ideal, especially if you’re going to be on your feet for hours at a time, as the last thing you’ll want is to deal with fallen arches or trip-ending injuries. It can be a fantastic idea to find a pair of boots that not only offer arch support but shock absorption as well. This is so that your feet can stay as comfortable as possible.
Women’s Hiking Boots FAQs
How to break in hiking boots?
Breaking in hiking boots is quite similar to breaking in baseball gloves or other types of leather gloves. Your main objective is to wear in the leather or the exterior material so that it’s softer and adapts to the shape of your feet.
The best way to break in a pair of boots is to wear them around your house with the same socks that you’d wear while hiking until you don’t have any concerns about blistering or cuts. You’ll want to mimic the same movements that you would do while hiking, such as lunging or climbing, so that the materials can adapt to your feet.
How should hiking boots fit?
If there’s one thing that most people know about hiking boots, it’s that finding the right fit can be quite a chore, especially if you’ve never had to buy a pair before. It’s important that you find a size that is comfortable, but that still offers the level of support that you’d need to prevent injury.
Your foot should be able to fit into the boot with ease, and with the help of the laces, you should be able to tighten them so that they offer enough stability. With that being said, if you feel your toes rubbing against the toe box, or if the cuff around the ankle is digging into your skin, you may want to consider sizing up or choosing a wider fit.
How to tie hiking boots?
Tying hiking boots is another thing that will differ depending on your preferences. However, our favorite technique is the surgeon’s knot method. This helps to prevent your heels from slipping and gives you optimal support.
- Step 1: Make sure that all of the slack from the laces has been pulled out and that the boot feels snug on top of your feet.
- Step 2: Grab your laces and wrap them around each other two times, pulling them tightly as you lace them into the next hook so that the tension is locked in.
- Step 3: Repeat this step for all of the hooks that are located closest to the top of your foot and then finish lacing the rest of the boot regularly.
How to waterproof hiking boots?
The vast majority of hiking boots are designed to be waterproof right out of the box. However, it can always be beneficial to take a couple of extra steps to add extra protection against moisture.
We recommend visiting a hiking store or an online store to find a weather protectant for the specific type of material that your boots are made out of. This will make sure that water doesn’t penetrate the material. You should make sure to treat your boots at the beginning of every hiking season, and a few months afterward, to offer optimal waterproofing.
Our Final Recommendation
Now that you are aware of all of the most important things to look for in a pair of hiking boots, it’s time to give you our final recommendation as to which pair is the best hiking boots for women. Overall, the Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boots give you the most versatility and the highest level of durability over many seasons of wear.
Designed with every season in mind, the Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boots give you the support and stability that you need from a heavy-duty pair of hiking boots with optimal traction and insulation. The only two concerns that you’ll need to take into consideration are the fact that the insole is relatively uncomfortable and the collar of the boots isn’t designed with your comfort in mind.
With that being said, you can easily add your own insole and ensure that you wear high socks while wearing the boots to improve their overall comfort.
When compared to other hiking boots, the Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boots have plenty of advanced patented features that are designed to keep you safe while outdoors. These include the Omni-Grip sole and Techlite midsole, as well as the entirely waterproofed exterior. There isn’t much else that you would expect from a high-quality pair of hiking boots that you’ll be relying on for months at a time.