Hiking Boots are one of those things that you just need to spend some time learning about before you buy.
There are all the technical and functional elements that you need to consider first, but they should only be looked at after you have your context and requirements clearly defined. What does that mean? In a nutshell, know what you need your hiking boots for.
In this post we list out the best women’s hiking boots in 2020. This should give you plenty of options if you’re in the market for a new pair of boots for the trail.
We keep the descriptions brief enough to try and give a quick but concise overview, along with the main pros, cons and best uses.
If you just don’t have time to have a look through, our number one choice are the Ahnu Sugarpine II hiking boots. They’re a great all round pair of boots!
#1 Ahnu Sugarpine II
- Modern look and style, good for the trail or casual use
- Good value for money considering what you get
- Boots offer good ankle support, perfect for all types of hiking year round
- Waterproof and breathable capability works well
- Not the best option for backpacking
Ahnu Sugarpine Hiking Boots for Women Features Summary:
- Numentum Hike technology with a lateral to medial TPU heel clip for neutral positioning and stability
- Closed mesh and suede upper keeps your feet cool and comfortable
- Dual-density EVA, removable footbed provides extra shock absorption with heel and arch support
- Integrated nylon shank and arch support provide torsional rigidity and mid foot support
- Vibram non-marking outsole and slip-resistant lugs, self cleaning lugs provide grip and traction on varied surfaces
- Aegis Antimicrobial construction sheds bacteria, grit and grime to keep things fresh
- Gusseted tongue helps keep debris and dirt out
- Shock dispersal plate in forefoot for stone bruising protection
Best Uses: Day hiking, camping, casual use
A functional and very comfortable all round pair of hiking boots, perfect for trail hiking all year round, the Ahnu Sugarpine II hiking boots are an eye catching pair of boots constructed using waterproof mesh, leather and suede.
The mesh also has moisture wicking capability to ensure you don’t get too stuffy inside as you hike. The boots feature secure lace-up vamp and cushy padded collar with pull-on loop, which provides a comfortable and snug fit.
The boots also feature a gusseted tongue to help keep debris and dirt out, a must for any serious hiking. The Rubber toe protector is also a very nice to have, great for scrambling over rocky areas where you might bang your toes.
The footbed is dual-density EVA and is also removable. It provides excellent shock absorption with great heel and arch support. Integrated nylon shank and arch support provide torsional rigidity and mid foot support, while also allowing flexibility.
Some Quick Thoughts to Help you Choose
If you like walking your dog on light trails on the weekends, you don’t need a tough and rugged pair of backpacking boots. Similarly, if you’re planning a hiking expedition through the Himalayas, you need a lot more of a boot than a light day hiker can ever give you.
If you’re just at the start of the hiking boot buying process, check out this post on how to buy hiking boots. It will walk you through all the various things you should consider when picking a pair of hiking boots for the trail.
Even when you have your needs clearly defined, it can be hard to find that perfect pair of hiking boots. It’s almost like the Holy Grail, rumored to exist but no-one has ever laid eyes on it 🙂
With all that in mind, when you do finally get to the ‘ready to buy’ stage, it can be even harder to work your way through the maelstrom of hiking boot options that are available on the market today. It can get very confusing fast as there is a lot of choice.
In this gallery I thought it would be helpful and a little bit of fun to lay out ten top hiking boot options for women that are available today. The criteria to get into this gallery is primarily, lots of good user experience and positive reviews across the board.
The boots listed here are listed in order from our top pick at number 1 right through to number 10. As mentioned above though, what works best for you, really depends what your needs are.
However, whether you’re a light to medium weekend hiker or an avid backpacking enthusiast, there should be a few options listed here which might just be the ticket for you on your quest for the perfect boot. A tall order I know, but one can hope 🙂
Please note, that any reference to prices listed in this gallery are only guide retail price ranges and are subject to change. As you know, prices chop and change all the time, therefore these are only meant as a guide and indicator of the actual cost.
Click on the image or the link under each pair of boots and that will give you an accurate and up to date price on Amazon. Where available, other links to more detailed reviews are placed within the text.
So, with all of that dispensed with let’s continue on and look at some cool hiking boots!
#2 KEEN Targhee III Mid
- Good entry level 3/4 season boots, perfect for trail hiking year round
- Minimal break-in required, should be good to know out of the box
- Rubber toe rand provide extra toe protection in tough terrain
- Waterproof and breathable capability works well
- The main issue we have are the lace eyelets which are not the toughest option for secure lacing
- Some user comments that the traction of the soles isn’t as good as it could be
KEEN Targhee III Mid Hiking Boots Features Summary:
- Non-marking rubber outsole with 4mm multi-directional lugs
- Contoured heel lock
- Torsion stability ESS shank in the construction
- Dual density compression-molded EVA midsole
- Waterproof nubuck leather upper
- KEEN.DRY® waterproof breathable membrane
- Hydrophobic mesh lining
- Removable metatomical dual density EVA footbed
- Cleansport NXT™ for natural odor control
Best Uses: Day hiking, general outdoor use, day-to-day use
Similar to the men’s version of these boots, the KEEN Targhee III Mid Hiking Boots for women are a popular choice. The Keen Targhee III is the next sequel in a long time top seller and popular hiking boot for many folks.
They’re versatile and tick all the boxes, an excellent option for light trail hiking. They’re a light to medium hiker so perfect for someone new to hiking or someone who likes weekend hiking on well marked trails.
The Targhee offer a reasonable measure of waterproofness and breathability and they will work for most folks, most of the year round as a 3 season boot, maybe 4 depending how tough your winters are.
They have a look that is a bit of a mix between a technical boot with a traditional boot feel. All in all, it works and their style and look is functional yet pleasing to the eye i.e. they’ll look good with a pair of jeans when you’re not on the trail.
They retail at around the mid range price for hiking boots. Overall, a popular choice with a lot of great feedback so worth a look if they fit the bill for your needs.
#3 Columbia Newton Ridge
- Traditional style works well for casual use as well as hiking
- Good ankle support provides significant stability on the trail
- Definitely good value for money / bang for your buck
- Full grain leather construction is comfortable and functional
- Boots can have a tight fit so need to watch the sizing
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boots Features Summary:
- Techlite™ lightweight midsole for long lasting comfort
- A combination of full grain leather and suede
- Superior cushioning for high energy return
- Scratch rubber heel and mesh tongue
- Omni-Grip™ non-marking traction rubber provides advanced traction for grip on varying terrain
Best Uses: Day hiking, general outdoor use, casual use
The Newton Ridge Plus hiking boots are probably the best value pair of boots on this list, coming in at a very friendly retail price. They’re a top seller on Amazon and with good reason.
They’re very affordable and offer solid protection for a hiker in most conditions, all year round.
The boots are constructed using full grain leather which is always nice to have around your feet. The boots are also treated with Columbia’s Omnishield technology, which offers stain and water resistance.
The laces tie up snug using a clam shell system which combined with cushioned midsole and Omnigrip lugged outsole, all go together to provide excellent stability and grip on all types of terrain.
If you’re new to hiking, these are an excellent starter pair of boots which will should see you good for many hikes.
A nice all rounder at a very affordable price, which will also look great with a pair of jeans on a day out.
#4 Timberland White Ledge
- Another traditional style pair of boots that work well for casual use as well as hiking
- In terms of price, they’re good value for money
- Boots are comfortable with good cushioning in the foot bed and shaft
- Boot construction could offer more ankle support
- Some users reporting that they were a tight fit, so watch the sizing
Timberland White Ledge Hiking Boots Features Summary:
- Ankle-high leather hiking boots with rubber sole; shaft measures approximately 4.5″ from arch
- Removable dual-Density EVA footbed
- Leather padded collar and gusseted Tongue for comfort
- Comfort zoned chassis with tuned support plate
- Stitch and turn tip for added durability
- Seam-sealed guaranteed waterproof B.S.F.P.™
- Moisture-transfer lining and waterproof upper featuring combination D-ring and speed-hook lacing
- Motion efficiency system rubber lug outsole; multi-directional lugs for traction on varied terrain
Best Uses: Day hiking, general outdoor use, casual use.
The Timberland White Ledge Hiking boots for women, are another great pair of hiking boots that offer excellent value for money, coming in at around the $100.00 mark.
Another wallet friendly, stylish and functional pair of hiking boots, the White ledge boots are a great all round hiker.
The boots are seem sealed and the waterproof leather uppers work well under tough trail conditions.
The collar is padded to offer plenty of comfort as you maneuver over varying terrain, and the cushioned EVA footbed and dual density EVA midsole provide excellent stability as you hike.
The rubber lugs on the outsole also work well providing good traction and grip on the ground underfoot. Overall, a very good value for money pair of hiking boots.
#5 Lowa Renegade Mid GTX
- Top rated hiking boots from many user reviews across multiple retailers
- Waterproof capabilty works well through the nubuck leather and Gore-tex lining combination
- Vibram outsole provides good grip and traction on all types of terrain
- Perfect for most types of hiking all year round
- Watch the sizing, some user comments indicated that they can be a narrow fit
Lowa Renegade Mid GTX Hiking Boots Features Summary:
- Nubuck leather upper
- Monowrap midsole technology
- Vibram outsole
- Waterproof and breathable Gore-Tex
- Thick, nonslip rubber lugs for traction
- Stabilizing nylon shanks
- Climate control foot-bed
- Derby style lacing to ensure customize fitting to wide range of feet
- Shaft measures approximately 4.75″ from arch
- Heel measures approximately 1.5″Platform measures approximately 1″
Best Uses: Hiking, mountaineering, backpacking, day-to-day use.
The Lowa Renegade Mid GTX are a light hiker with a long history of satisfied customers through various iterations of this model of boot, well worth a look.
The continuing popularity as a great option among hikers is no wonder, as they’ve been tried and tested for a long time now with a lot of very positive user experience.
They come in a wide selection of options in terms of sizing and color so you will definitely find something in there to suit your taste.
They are breathable and waterproof, and they perform well in both of these categories in side by side testing with their peers. If you need to cross a creek or walk through puddles, moist grass and so on, they will keep you good.
They’re lightweight and so are a great option for the backpacker too. Overall, the Lowa Renegade Mid GTX Hiking Boots for women are a great all round hiker whether day hiking is your thing or you prefer a longer trek with a pack on your back.
They retail at the higher end of the price range, moving into the upper ends of that for a 3 to 4 season pair of hiking boots but you do get quality in return.
I’ve had a pair of these for the last few years, they’re one of my personal favorites which I use a lot throughout the year 🙂
#6 Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX
- Comfortable hiking boots with a technical style
- Excellent padding and foot protection
- A nice 3 season boot, perfect for trails and tracks
- Waterproof and breathable capability works well
- Watch the sizing as various users reported the boots run big
- Not the best option for very long hikes and off trail hiking
Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX Hiking Boots Features Summary:
- Textile/Nubuck leather construction
- High Traction Contagrip® sole
- GORE-TEX Performance Comfort membrane for waterproof protection
- Gusseted Tongue for debris protection
- Protective rubber toe cap
- Sensifit system to cradle foot for precise and secure fit
- ContraGrip traction outsole
- PU coated leather
Best Uses: Trail hiking, general outdoor use.
A very technical looking boot from Salomon, the X Ultra Mid hiking boots are a lightweight pair of boots which offer excellent stability and weather protection, whatever you get up to on the trail.
The idea with these boots is to combine running shoe technology with hiking boots, a cool idea.
The boots provide excellent grip and traction over all types of terrain via their high action Contragrip. The boots utilize Gore-tex to provide performance footwear that will keep you dry and comfortable whatever nature has to throw at you.
The sole of the boots also feature a protective heel cap, rubber toe guard and Mud guard which all help ensure your foot stays protected from any tough terrain outside.
Excellent for scrambling and anything where you might risk banging your feet off hard terrain.
Salomon have a long history of providing excellent hiking boots and the X Ultra Mid 3 GTX follows on in that long tradition.
Overall a fine option for all year trail hiking for those who like the more technical look.
#7 Ahnu Montara III Hiking Boots
- Bright modern look will look great on the trail or for casual use
- Lightweight boots will help keep your feet from getting tired on longer hikes
- Should experience a minimal break-in period
- Waterproof capability works very well
- Ankle support in the shaft could be better
- Not a very suitable option for backpacking
Ahnu Montara III Hiking Boots Features Summary:
- Waterproof hiker in mid-high cut featuring padded nylon underlay and hardware D-ring lacing
- Leather upper
- Breathable eVent bootie
- Leather-lined collar and tongue
- Vibram traction outsole
Best Uses: Day hiking, day-to-day and general outdoor activity use.
The second pair of hiking boots to feature on our top 10 from Ahnu, the Montara hiking boots used to hold our number 1 spot. They’re another excellent pair of all round hiking boots.
The first thing about the Ahnu Montara boots that catches the eye is their look and style. They have a very unique appearance which really works. They’re designed to be lightweight and so provide an easy and comfortable fit.
Definitely an upside but what you get in terms of weight and flexibility, you lose in terms of stability, primarily around the ankle. For that reason, these boots are best suited to day hiking and other types of light hiking, not the best option for backpacking.
The Ahnu Montara boots offer great traction on the trail with Vibram soles and with the lightweight construction, you kind of have the feel of a trail shoe with some of the bonuses, like extra grip, of a good hiking boot. A nice mix for sure.
The Ahnu Montara Hiking boots come in and around the middle of the range in terms of price for hiking boots.
As mentioned above, you’re looking more at a light hiking boot suitable for most of the year (3 season) round but they won’t look out of place with a pair of jeans too.
#8 Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX
- Waterproof and breathable, overall user experience reports they work well
- Perfect for all types of hiking year round
- Multi purpose in terms of hiking i.e. day hiking, off trail, backpacking, etc.
- Probably too much boot for most light to medium hikers
Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Hiking Boots Features Summary:
- Synthetic and Nubuck leather construction
- GORE-TEX Performance Comfort membrane for waterproof protection
- OrthoLite sockliner for comfort
- Molded EVA midsole for comfort
- Abrasion resistant lining that allows for excellent breathability and quick drying
- Protective mud guard at base
- Non-marking grippy outsole
- Shaft measures approximately 6.5″ from arch
- Heel measures approximately 1″
- Platform measures approximately 0.75″
Best Uses: Best Uses: Hiking, mountaineering, backpacking.
For those folks who like to spend a few days out backpacking in the wild, the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX Backpacking boots offer excellent stability while not being heavy.
They are a tough pair of all round hiking boots, and an upgraded model from the first very successful version of the 4D GTX boots with tweaks made based on user feedback.
They are waterproof and breathable, and perform well in both those categories. This performance is offered through a tough construction of leather and Gore-tex which whilst very functional also has the additional advantage of not being too heavy to wear.
There is a lot in these boots and they do a good all round job for sure, so from the day hiker to the backpacker they will hold their own very well.
They come in at the higher end of the price scale in terms of hiking boots, but you do get a lot of boot for your money. Possibly even too much for a casual hiker but a good potential choice for the avid hiking / backpacking enthusiast.
They have a very technical look about them which fits well with the overall functional feel and capability that they offer.
#9 Danner Mountain Light Cascade
- The full grain leather construction is pretty sweet to the eye in these boots
- Tough and sturdy lacing system in these boots
- Great all round boot for all type of hiking and backpacking
- Long break-in period may be needed for this kind of tough leather construction
- Boots are heavy in relative terms, so not ideal for light hiking
Danner Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boots Features Summary:
- Cache leather has subtle color variations for an antiqued effect that patinas beautifully over time
- Handcrafted to provide a wider platform
- Retro One Piece Leather Upper
- Fiberglass shank
- Danners legendary stitchdown construction offers increased stability underfoot
- Dri-Lex lining provides increased breathability and comfort
- Vibram Kletterlift outsole designed for comfort on both wet and dry surfaces
- Danner recommend sizing down a half size for the best fit
Best Uses: Hiking, mountaineering, backpacking.
A tough pair of traditional style leather hiking boots, the Mountain Light Cascade from Danner are very functional and pleasing to the eye.
A popular Brand in the hiking boots world, Danner bring a tough offering to the table in the form of the Mountain Light Cascade Hiking Boots.
Just looking at them, you can tell they have ‘don’t mess with me’ woven within the construction lol 🙂 Interesting story in the video too re: the movie Wild.
They’re a full grain leather boot so expect a break in period, not a problem if you have the patience to wait as you’ll get a comfortable boot when they shape to your feet.
The sole is Vibram so again, you have good grip and traction for the trail. These boots are perfect all types of hiking and backpacking, 3 to 4 seasons of the year.
They’re too much of a boot for a casual or light hiker but they will still fit that bill if they need to.
Before moving on, it is worth pointing out that these boots are not cheap, probably the most expensive pair listed on this page. However, for a classic style Danner handcrafted in the US, they’re worth the investment 🙂
#10 Merrell Moab 2 Mid
- Lightweight, flexible and versatile mean they’re excellent light trail hiking boots
- Good entry level boot for someone new to hiking
- Vibram rubber outsoles offer excellent traction and grip
- Very breathable in terms of their construction when out on the trail
- Not the best option for tougher hiking
- Wouldn’t be suitable for backpacking or long day hikes over tough terrain
Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots Features Summary:
- Performance suede leather and mesh upper
- Merrell M Select™ FIT.ECO+ blended EVA contoured footbed
- Bellows closed-cell foam tongue keeps moisture and debris out
- M Select™ DRY seals out water and lets moisture escape
- Breathable mesh lining
- Rubber sole with 5mm lug depth
- Heel measures approximately 1.5″
- Platform measures approximately 1 inch
Best Uses: Day hiking, day-to-day use.
Merrell are a very well known and loved brand in the world of hiking boots and the Moab 2 Mid Waterproof hiking boots are one of their most popular options, a best seller on Amazon in fact.
These boots are another great pair of light hikers, perfect for hiking in fairer weather. The Moab have a long history of happy customers so they’re a fine choice for light trail hiking.
They’re constructed with a combination of leather, gore-tex and synthetic materials which enables good breathability and a reasonable level of water resistance.
The construction on the Merrell Moab also means these boots are lightweight and so they are another fine option for all types of day hiking and light backpacking.
The sole is Vibram and they offer good traction and grip. They come in at about the middle of the road in terms of price for a pair of hiking boots.
They’re a fine entry level hiking boot, say if you’re just getting into hiking, and will serve most light to medium hikers needs well.
We find that often people have similar questions, so with that in mind, we thoughts an FAQ section could be useful to folks. It will be added to over time as any new queries come in.
Q1. I’m new to buying hiking boots, what should I look for in terms of functionality, etc.?
That’s a big question 🙂 but one we’re glad you asked. Luckily one we have addressed in our hiking boots buying guide. Check out that article for more detailed information on what to consider when buying hiking boots.
We also link to some additional resources at the end of this section which may also be helpful with this.
Q2. There seem to be so many different types of hiking boots, can I not just buy one pair to cover all my hiking needs?
Good question, and as with things hiking gear related, it depends. If you are a regular hiker but you only hike over the same forest trails every time, then certainly, given that the weather conditions are not in extremes, it is very much possible to get one all round pair of hiking boots that will cover your needs.
However, if you plan to do a lot of different types of hiking, then you may need more than one pair.
To help illustrate this, I personally currently utilize two pairs of hiking boots and two pairs of trail shoes across the year. I also have a pair of hiking sandals, but I don’t really hike in those much.
I will use my tough leather boots in later Autumn, across Winter into early Spring.
They have a more rigid sole and are also crampon compatible so I can take them for certain hiking trips abroad, say if I will be hiking over a glacier or ice e.g. I am going to the Pyrnees in Spain soon, and need to utilize crampons. These boots are perfect for that.
My other hiking boots, are a lighter more flexible pair, which I tend to use over late Spring across Summer into early Autumn. They’re lighter and a more flexible in the sole, so also nice for scrambling.
For light trail hiking in really good weather, and for casual day to day use, I am big fan of trail shoes. They are very comfortable and I think they look great with a pair of jeans.
So, the main point being, it really depends on what you need your hiking boots for, what type of hiking you will do, where you will hike, and how often.
All of those things contribute. Most hikers start with lighter trail hiking before ever going on longer hiking adventures where you may need things like crampons.
So getting one all round pair is a great way to get started with your hiking if you are new to it, and you can add as you go. A good all round pair like the Lowa Renegade above are good for this purpose.
Q3. I see some boots have different lacing systems, does that make a lot of difference?
Yes and no. No, in that as long as the lacing system works well, there shouldn’t be any issues regardless of how it works. Yes, in that some people just prefer one type of lacing over another.
Q4. Should I get hiking boots with removable insoles?
Most good hiking boots will allow you to remove the insoles, for airing and so on. I often take them out when drying my boots after cleaning them after a long day on the trail.
You can also get replacement insoles which can add to your comfort if your existing ones wear down over time, which typically they will.
If you’re just starting out hiking and getting a cheaper pair to get started, I wouldn’t get too concerned about this until you get into hiking more.
Q5. Is it better to get leather or synthetic hiking boots?
A lot of hiking boots will use some combination of the two. We are fans of leather hiking boots, but they will usually have a synthetic lining made from Gore tex or the like, so they’re not 100% leather as such.
In my personal experience, purely synthetic hiking boots are usually cheap and cheerful. In the competition between leather and synthetic hiking boots, there is only one winner in our humble opinion, leather all the way.
Synthetic materials do tend to have excellent breathing capabilities though, so if that is something important to you, maybe some further research into a pair of them for you is warranted.
Q6. I bought a pair of really nice leather hiking boots, how do I look after them?
Well, you can start by reading this article on how to clean leather hiking boots. That covers a lot of the main items. We also like to some additional resources below that can help you with this.
You’re asking the right questions though, as looking after your hiking boots by cleaning them properly, treating the leather, reproofing, etc. will greatly extend their life.
Q7. How long can I expect my new hiking boots to last?
The best way to think of this, is in terms of distance i.e. how many miles you can reasonably expect to get out of a pair.
The type of boots you have, the level of craftsmanship, etc. will also play a significant part in this. We did a post that goes into how long hiking boots should last in more detail.
Although that is a useful guide, it is never an exact science, peoples feet are unique, some folks are heavier, so some will just wear and tear through boots quicker than others.
Q8. The price range for hiking boots, is significant, how much should I spend on a pair of hiking boots?
How long is a piece of string 🙂 Like anything, there are luxury models available, and you can go all out and get a pair of custom made hiking boots, these can run into many hundreds and even thousands of dollars, I kid you not.
However, some people either enjoy and can afford the luxury, while others have no choice as they may have unusual shaped feet and just can’t get comfort in standard pairs from the stores.
While this may sound insane to be that expensive, keep in mind that custom made boots will be very resolable, so you can potentially get decades out of the investment.
For us mere mortals however 🙂 I think is worth investing as much as you can into good hiking boots, if you plan to hike regularly. Like anything, you tend to get what you pay for.
I hike loads, and I have paid $350 for one of my pairs of hiking boots. Sounds like a lot, but I have had them for three years now, and they will be going on for many more.
There are tips and tricks if you need to buy hiking boots on a budget, but it is worth getting as much comfort as you can.
If you’re just testing the water to see if you will like hiking, you can get away with between $60 to $100 taking advantage of a sale, coupons, etc. But that will only get you going on normal enough terrain, they won’t last forever, so set your expectations accordingly.
Finally, what you need your boots for is of course critical. If you plan to take a trip of a lifetime to scale mountains and traverse glaciers, unfortunately a $100 pair of hiking boots just won’t cut it. So your needs as always play a big role in this.
Q9. Is a ‘gusseted’ tongue necessary?
I would say yes, most decent modern hiking boots have these as standard, and so I think you should try and aim for them if you can.
If you never leave nice and easy trails, it’s not a big deal, but I think it can be handy to have some protection to keep crap out of your boots e.g. little stones, water and dirt if you’re hiking through bog, etc.
I hope you enjoyed this quick look at the best women’s hiking boots of 2020 available on the market today. As you can see, there are a lot of options to choose from.
If you’re in the market for a new pair of hiking boots, you could do a lot worse than choosing one of these options.
Always remember to know your requirements clearly before buying a new pair of boots. It is very possible to get too much boot or too little boot for your needs and you can be easily disappointed.
I would suggest that it’s usually better to have more boot as opposed to less i.e. tougher boots than you need rather than boots that don’t deliver enough.
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