The best hiking boots for women

Top trekking boots to suit all budgets and adventures
Best hiking boots for women
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If you invest in one great bit of kit for your outdoor adventures, make it a trustworthy pair of hiking boots. Proper walking boots are a must if you’re out in changeable conditions (hello, British Isles), and will keep feet warm and dry mile after mile.

Leather vs fabric – which should you choose?

The first choice to make when buying the perfect pair of boots is deciding whether you want to go for leather or fabric hiking boots.

In an ideal world, we’d recommend owning a pair of each, as both have their benefits – leather is warmer in winter and is long lasting, but can be stiffer and does take longer to break in, whilst fabric boots feel more like wearing trainers straight out of the box and are more lightweight and breathable but don’t tend to offer as much warmth.

Leather is also great for cold, wet weather, while fabric boots are ideal for hiking from spring through to autumn and for taking on walking trips abroad.

We’ve got great options for both types of boot on this list of our best-performing hiking boots, all of which have proven their mettle on test in fair and foul weather.

A good pair of well-made boots tends to cost around the £100-£150 mark, but we’ve also squeezed in two budget options that won’t break the bank but still deliver good quality. It’s also worth keeping an eye out for bargains during sales.

A great pair of hiking boots should offer two key characteristics: waterproofing and breathability. Boots usually use branded technology such as Gore-Tex or their own-brand version to create a waterproof membrane that stops moisture getting in but still lets sweat wick away.

We also look for boots with thick, bouncy rubber soles (Vibram soles are always a safe choice) with deep lugs to offer a good grip on wet surfaces and a reinforced toe box to protect your feet. High ankle support is good if you’re walking on uneven terrain, and if you want to wear your boots for mountaineering as well as hiking, make sure they’re crampon compatible.

It’s always a good idea to try boots on in person if possible. Take along thick hiking socks when trying boots on and lace the boots up tightly – they should feel supportive but not restrictive, with no pinching or tightness at the ankle or around the toes.

BEST FOR WINTER WEAR

Brasher Country Walker Walking Boots

Buy now: Amazon | $168.49

The best hiking boots for women

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it – Brasher’s Country Walker is a classic favourite and is perfectly suited to its namesake rural rambler. These weren’t the lightest boots we tested, but they do offer cushiony insoles and bouncy Vibram soles, so they won’t feel like a drag even on long walks. And that heavier sturdiness comes into its own in cold weather, keeping feet warm when the temperature drops. We found the Country Walker reliably waterproof on test, even in wet and boggy going. A great boot for winter walking in the UK, and that rich tan leather will still look good after a bit of abuse.

Scarpa Manta Pro GTX Women

Buy now: Cotswold Outdoor (US) / Amazon (UK) | $369

The best hiking boots for women

Ignore that painful price tag for a second – if you’re a serious hiker who also dabbles in mountaineering, this workhorse could be your ultimate boot. The Manta Pro has that magical combination we look for of toughness and light weight and we also love the high-cut ankle support, which ensures the boots stay in place whatever you’re scrambling over. Gore-Tex keeps everything waterproof and Vibram provides tough soles and a great grip even on slippy climbing routes.

The Manta Pro is also C2 crampon compatible for winter walking. If you’re just a casual rambler there’s no need to splash cash on something this specced out, but if you’re looking for a quiver-of-one boot that can take any adventure in its stride, this is your baby.

Hanwag Tatra Lady II Gore-Tex

Buy now: hanwag.com (US) / Cotswold Outdoor (UK) | $325

The best hiking boots for women

We can’t think of a single bad thing to say about these gorgeous and reliable boots – even the higher price tag is justified given how beautifully made they are. Hanwag’s Tatra II (the original Tatra is just as great if you come across it on sale) sports our favourite duo of Gore-Tex and Vibram to keep you dry and stable on the trail.

Then there’s some serious comfort right out of the box (unusual in a leather boot) thanks to a fleece-lined inner layer, padded leather cuff and soft leather outer covering that quickly molds to your foot shape. The Tatra are also surprisingly lightweight for leather boots A quality choice – look after these boots and you’ll be able to wear them for years to come.

BEST FOR HOT WEATHER WEAR

Hoka One One Kaha Sky

Buy now: Amazon (US) / outdoorgb.com (UK) | $220

The best hiking boots for women

We’ll admit it – these boots are on the elephantine side, and they do look bulky on. But you just won’t care once you’re wearing them, as the comfort they deliver is top notch.

Slipping on the Kaha Skys is like wearing your favourite pair of trainers, and those thick soles offer the best bounce we tested thanks to Vibram technology and cushiony layers of foam. They boots are fully waterproof and feature a lightweight leather and synthetic outer layer that offers both warmth and flexibility.

If you usually feel dragged down by hiking boots or find that most boots rub or don’t fit well, take these out for a spin.

Keen Terradora Mid

Buy now: Amazon | $140

The best hiking boots for women

If you’re buying your first pair of hiking boots for gentler country walking or travelling and are feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the choice and jargon out there, we’d suggest plumping for a pair of the excellent Keen Terradora boots.

They’re fully waterproof and perfect for more casual hiking in spring, summer and autumn, with a lovely trainer-like fabric feel and great breathability. The heel is cut lower than we usually look for but the bonus is the boot is cooler in hot weather, and they’re also one of the easiest boots we tested to pack in a rucksack. A great option for travelling, backpacking and hiking in warm weather.

BEST ALL-ROUNDERS

Merrell Ontario

Buy now: Amazon | $169.95

The best hiking boots for women

We were impressed with Merrell’s brand new Ontario boots from the moment we got our mitts on a pair to test. The Ontario might be aimed at the casual weekend explorer but as it’s fully waterproof and has hardy Vibram soles it’s still a very versatile boot, and one that’s good looking to wear down the pub as well as out on the mountains in autumn and winter. We’d recommend going for a darker colourway as the pale tan version of the boots will show dirt fast. We’d also have liked to see better protection for toes.

Danner Mountain Light Cascade

Buy now: Amazon | $359.95

The best hiking boots for women

You may recognise these good-looking leather boots – they starred in the film Wild on the feet of Reese Witherspoon and they’ve garnered their own cult following. We reckon it’s rightly deserved – they’re an extremely comfy leather option, and are tough and waterproof despite that pretty appearance, with Gore-Tex waterproofing and thick Vibram soles. They’re possibly the nicest-looking hiking boot on the market, perfect if you’re into gear with a retro feel. They’re not lightweight or very breathable though, so you’ll want to swap them for a fabric boot come warm summer days. Wide and narrow width versions are available, ideal if you need a specific fit.


AKU Trekker Lite III GTX

Buy now: Amazon | $197.65The best hiking boots for women

The Italian-designed Trekker Lite is our pick of the pack of fabric boots for wear in Britain and is full of all the lovely stuff we’d expect for a boot with a higher price tag – deep-lugged Vibram soles, Gore-Tex waterproofing and a breathable suede and fabric outer. A great lacing system ties up snugly around the ankles – if yours have a tendency to sprain or roll the Trekker Lite is perfect for protecting them.

BEST ON A BUDGET

Quechua MH100 Mid Women’s boots

Buy now: decathlon.co.uk | £39.99

The best hiking boots for women

You can rely on Quechua, Decathlon’s own brand of gear, for decent quality hiking kit that doesn’t cost a bomb, and our top pick of their female hiking boots are these comfortable MH100s, which leave you change from £50. They may not sport innovative looks but they’ll keep your feet dry over long distances and are reasonably breathable. The soles are nicely cushioned and there’s great toe protection. The ankles are cut rather wide and low, so they’re best used on dryer days and on marked paths rather than over boggy or uneven terrain.

Regatta Lady Clydebank boots

Buy now: Amazon | $47

The best hiking boots for women

You get a lot of boot for your money with the Lady Clydebank. It’s perhaps not the most exciting boot to look at, but it ticks all our technical boxes – the boot is waterproofed with Isotex, sports a well protected toe box and laces up well, with a comfortable wide tongue ensuring that nothing rubs against your ankles.

The outer boot is made of a clever mix of warm suede and breathable mesh material. The soles aren’t the grippiest we’ve tested, and are also best kept on marked paths rather than scrambling routes.

Tags:   Trekking
Tagged   Trekking