The 10 Best Hiking Boots for Women of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Travel + Leisure / Lydia Price

For a long day of hiking, it’s important to have a stable and durable boot with plenty of cushion and arch support. So many of us have experienced mid-hike foot fatigue that ruins the experience of a beautiful day outdoors. Whether you enjoy light weekend hiking or have an epic trekking adventure on your horizon, a great pair of hiking boots will ensure your focus is where it should be — on enjoying the scenery around you.

We went hiking in various terrains throughout the U.S. and beyond — in rain and snow, on mountains and riverbanks — to find the very best hiking boots for women. From well-known brands like Merrell, Salomon, and more, we put dozens of pairs of boots to the test to see which are waterproof, supportive, and, most importantly, comfortable enough that you won’t want to take them off.

Our Top PicksBest Overall:Merrell Moab 3 Mid at AmazonJump to ReviewBest Lightweight:Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-tex Women’s at AmazonJump to ReviewBest Leather:Danner Mountain 600 Hiking Boot at REIJump to ReviewMost Durable:Lowa Mid Hiking Boots at REIJump to ReviewBest Cushioning:Topo Athletic Trailventure 2 at ZapposJump to ReviewBest Low-rise:Zamberlan Hiking Shoes at ZapposJump to ReviewBest Running Shoe/Boot Hybrid:Scarpa Hiking Boots at REIJump to ReviewBest Traction:Salewa Women’s Mid PTX Boot at AmazonJump to ReviewBest for Wide Feet:La Sportiva Mid GTX Hiking Boots at AmazonJump to ReviewBest for Travel:Forsake Waterproof Sneaker Boot at AmazonJump to Review

Best Overall

Merrell Women’s Moab 3 Mid


View On AmazonView On ZapposView On NordstromWhy We Love It

Fully waterproof with great traction, these tried-and-true boots suit a wide range of hikers.

What to Consider

They may feel stiff before you break them in.

After wearing these sturdy boots for the first time during a four-hour hike, we can happily say they break in quickly and leave your feet feeling comfortable and supported. The boots are made of the heavy-duty materials we’ve come to expect from Merrell, yet still feel lightweight. Putting them on, you’ll immediately notice how secure your ankles and footpad feel, with plenty of arch-support for all-day hikes. We were also instantly smitten with the colorful look of Merrell’s limited edition collaboration with Unlikely Hikers, which is also available in men’s sizes and a low-top version.

We were pleasantly surprised that all debris and moisture either rolls right off the boots or wipes off easily, so you don’t have to worry about walking through mud, snow, or water. They were also great for both cold and warm weather hikes and were breathable enough that we didn’t notice any extra sweating in the feet. The traction is incredibly stable, and we stayed sturdy while navigating over wet and icy rocks as well as steep inclines and rough terrain without slipping. No matter what hikes you have planned, these boots are ready for them.

Price at time of publish: $120

The Details: 5-12 medium and wide | 1.8 pounds | Leather, mesh, rubber | Waterproof

Travel + Leisure / Lydia Price

Travel + Leisure / Lydia Price

Best Lightweight

Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-tex Women’s



View On AmazonView On ZapposView On REIOur RatingsFit5/5Comfort5/5Value5/5Cushioning5/5Traction5/5Why We Love It

They feel like a pair of running shoes but have the ankle support of a sturdy hiking boot.

What to Consider

The traction could be better.

Straight out of the box, Salomon’s X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-tex Hiking Boots are comfortable enough to get you through a demanding all-day hike. The boots are so breathable, we were skeptical that they could also be waterproof, but the Gore-tex treatment proved to keep feet 100 percent dry even when fully submerged in puddles, mud, and snow. We found them to be incredibly lightweight, keeping us swift whether we were running or climbing.

These boots definitely took a beating during hikes but were easy to wipe down to get them to look good as new. Our one complaint is that there could be more traction on the soles for advanced hiking where slick surfaces and rock climbing is involved, but the grip seemed to improve the more we wore them. We would still feel confident wearing these in wet or icy conditions to keep feet supported and dry all day.

Price at time of publish: $175

The Details: Sizes 5-11| 1.6 pounds | Leather, textile, rubber | Waterproof

Travel + Leisure / Anna Popp

Travel + Leisure / Anna Popp

Travel + Leisure / Anna Popp

Best Leather

Danner Mountain 600 Waterproof Hiking Boot



View On REIView On Backcountry.comView On Danner.comOur RatingsComfort5/5Fit5/5Performance4/5Durability5/5Value5/5Why We Love It

They slide on and off quickly, but the lace-up design keeps feet secure while hiking.

What to Consider

They’re not as breathable as other options we tested.

Right away, you’ll be impressed with the look and high-quality feel of these leather boots from iconic hiking brand Danner. We were impressed by how stylish, yet rugged they look, with the outer leather giving a natural, worn-in aesthetic to the boots. Because of this design, they don’t show a lot of additional signs of wear and tear as you rack up miles. While the ankle is a bit stiff when you first put these on, after a quick walk, they had stretched out and were soft to the touch.

From hiking through the woods to strolling on a sandy lakebed, these boots provided plenty of support around the ankles and cushion for the balls of our feet. The boot’s soles felt grippy when climbing over boulders and hiking downhill and were thick enough that we couldn’t feel any rocks or branches underfoot. Note that because the boots aren’t as breathable as those made with mesh uppers, we did feel that they caused sweating in the feet. Even with thinner socks, these boots may be most comfortable for hiking in colder weather. 

Price at time of publish: $210

The Details: Sizes 5-11 wide | 2 pounds | Leather, EVA | Waterproof

Travel + Leisure / Julia Sayers

Travel + Leisure / Julia Sayers

The Best Hiking Shoes for Men and Women, Tested and Reviewed

Most Durable

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots



View On REIView On Backcountry.comView On Campsaver.comOur RatingsComfort5/5Fit4.5/5Performance5/5Durability5/5Value5/5Why We Love It

They keep feet warmer in snow, dryer in rain, and overall more comfortable on hikes.

What to Consider

They run narrow, so consider sizing up and/or ordering the wide style.

Lowa’s Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boots are popular among outdoor lovers for a reason — they’re comfortable, cushiony, and provide plenty of ankle support. On long hikes over steep terrain, you’ll forget you’re even wearing them as they’re so lightweight and don’t constrict feet. They lace-up to be perfectly fitted and don’t pinch or chafe with the proper socks (but we do recommend you wear a thick pair of hiking socks with these boots to avoid blisters). 

We love that the boots are not only supportive on the inside, but keep feet protected on the outside as well. Hikers could stumble, trip, climb on rocks, stomp through snow, and jump into rivers while wearing these boots knowing socks and feet won’t feel a thing; they will be comfortable and protected throughout it all. The traction was great throughout various weathers and terrain, and after jumping into a river, no moisture made it through the boot. The lighter colors may show dirt fairly quickly, but a bit of soap easily gets these boots looking brand new, and they’re sure to last for years.

Price at time of publish: $255

The Details: Sizes 5.5-12 narrow and wide | 2.13 pounds | Nubuck leather, polyester, rubber | Waterproof

Travel + Leisure / Kathryn Standing

Travel + Leisure / Kathryn Standing

Travel + Leisure / Taylor Fox

Travel + Leisure / Taylor Fox

Best Cushioning

Topo Athletic Trailventure 2



View On ZapposView On REIView On Backcountry.comOur RatingsFit5/5Comfort5/5Value5/5Cushioning5/5Traction5/5Why We Love It

They have a plush, sneaker-like feel and full waterproof protection.

What to Consider

They run wide.

Who can resist these eye-catching, vibrant boots that are vegan and made with recycled materials? They’re also made well with a high-quality sole that perfectly seals to the upper mesh for a secure waterproof exterior. Even on the hottest days, the boots are comfortable and breathable. The toe box is roomy enough that toes can wiggle around without feet sliding around, even on steep declines. 

The shoes felt broken in and comfortable straight out of the box, and we didn’t have any pain, blistering, or chafing after a variety of hikes. After our tests, the boots show no signs of wear and tear on the inside or outside. The Athletic Trailventure 2 fits almost like a durable sneaker with plenty of extra support around the ankles and arches of the foot. They provided a comfortable walk when traversing across many types of terrain including dirt, gravel, rocks, roots, sand, grass, and wooded off-the-path areas. 

Price at time of publish: $120

The Details: Sizes 6-12 | 0.82 pounds | Mesh, textile, EVO rubber | Waterproof

Travel + Leisure / Ashley Craiger

Travel + Leisure / Ashley Craiger

Travel + Leisure / Ashley Craiger

The Most Comfortable Hiking Boots of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Best Low-rise

Zamberlan 335 Circe Low GTX Hiking Shoes



View On ZapposView On REIView On Moosejaw.comOur RatingsComfort5/5Fit5/5Performance5/5Durability5/5Value5/5Why We Love It

These hiking shoes are incredibly cushy and offer excellent support and stability.

What to Consider

They won’t provide the same ankle support as more traditional hiking boot styles.

For hikers looking for a more versatile shoe without a bulky ankle, the Zamberlan 335 Circe Low GTX Hiking Shoes are a great option. With suede-like uppers and sturdy, grippy Vibram soles, Gore-tex touches for waterproofing, rock guards on the toe box, and mesh panels for airflow, these look and feel like they’ll be able to go the distance. The traction is great on all terrains from gravel and sand to grass and concrete paths and offer great grip in the rain. After wearing these on multiple hikes, the soles still look almost new and the uppers are in great condition.

These hiking shoes also fit like a dream. The exterior provides the rigid support and stability of a hiking boot, but they’re lightweight and versatile enough that you could wear these as a day-to-day walking shoe. They’re incredibly comfortable for long days and don’t need a break-in period to avoid blisters or issues like hot-spotting. If you’re looking for a hiking shoe that will endure (and feel great when you’ve been on your feet for hours), this pair checks all the boxes. 

Price at time of publish: $250

The Details: Sizes 6-11 | 1.68 pounds | Microfiber, polyester, rubber | Waterproof

Travel + Leisure / Allison Vancura

Travel + Leisure / Allison Vancura

Best Running Shoe/Boot Hybrid

Scarpa Women’s Rush 2 Mid GTX Hiking Boots


View On REIView On Scarpa.comWhy We Love It

They feel like a lightweight sneaker but don’t sacrifice ankle support.

What to Consider

The footbed doesn’t have as much cushion as other boots we tested.

Some of the lightest boots we tested, the Scarpa Rush Mid 2 GTX Hiking Boots feel like a high-top sneaker with all of the support and durability of a traditional hiking boot. They offer plenty of padding in the footbed and hold up well throughout dusty desert terrains as well as high-elevation climbs. Right away, you can wear these comfortably without having to break them in as they’re not as stiff as other hiking boots. 

Throughout our tests, we noticed these boots have great grip and don’t cause pain on any points of the foot or ankle. They’re made of high-quality and breathable synthetic materials with Gore-tex treatment for complete waterproofing. With the traction of an athletic sneaker, these were great to climb around on boulders, knowing you’ll have sure footing. It’s also easier to maneuver since they’re so lightweight and are versatile enough to wear for a variety of outdoor activities.

Price at time of publish: $219

The Details: Sizes 37-42 | 1.5 pounds | Mesh, TPU rubber | Waterproof

Travel + Leisure / Laurel Randolph

Travel + Leisure / Laurel Randolph

Travel + Leisure / Laurel Randolph

Best Traction

Salewa Pedroc Pro Mid PTX Boot



View On AmazonView On AmazonView On ZapposOur RatingsComfort5/5Fit5/5Performance5/5Durability5/5Value5/5Why We Love It

They’re the perfect mix of tough, sturdy, comfortable, and supportive.

What to Consider

They look a bit bulky.

These durable hiking boots were some of the most comfortable we tested. Made from high-quality materials, they’re thick, sturdy, and protective for all day hikes. Surprisingly, we found that thinner socks not made for hiking were perfect to pair with these boots because they have so much padding and cushioning built in. We also liked the level of arch-support and didn’t find it to be exaggerated, but just the right amount.

The boots felt comfortable right out of the box and have held their structure beautifully after a variety of hikes through multiple terrains. In cold weather and warm weather, these boots were breathable and didn’t cause any hot spots or excessive sweating. The ankle of the boot doesn’t come up quite as high as other options, but they did still feel supportive and comfortable. The shoes are also, despite their hefty construction, unexpectedly lightweight and the traction is excellent — you almost stick to the ground. We loved that despite all of the technical features of such a rugged boot, they still look sleek and stylish and are built to last.

Price at time of publish: $200

The Details: Sizes 6-11 | 1.2 pounds | Mesh, TPU rubber | Waterproof

Travel + Leisure / Kelsey Chapman

Travel + Leisure / Kelsey Chapman

Best for Wide Feet

La Sportiva TX Hike Mid GTX Hiking Boots



View On AmazonView On ZapposView On Backcountry.comOur RatingsComfort5/5Fit5/5Performance5/5Durability5/5Value5/5Why We Love It

The toe box is spacious and comfortable while protecting your feet from the elements.

What to Consider

They run wide, so you may need to wear thicker socks with these.

Our first impression of these La Sportiva boots was that they are well-made and appear to be very durable. After multiple 4-mile hikes on dirt, grass, rocks, and snow, they proved to be just as high-quality as expected. The rugged sole has a lot of grip, perfect for wet and icy weather, and the seam between the boot’s upper and sole is sealed well to keep moisture out. The boots are treated with Gore-tex, and after standing in water at the edge of a lake for five minutes, our feet were still completely dry. Despite weeks of testing, the soles still look brand new and the upper mesh area of the boot was easily cleaned with a bit of water.

We love that these boots are lightweight and comfortable, so you don’t feel like you’re being weighed down by bulky shoes. While they do run a bit wide, we actually liked the extra toe box space so you can wear heavier socks in cold weather. The shoe also features a padded tongue that helps make the upper portion of the boot even more comfortable and secure around the ankles, even while hiking up steep, rocky terrains.

Price at time of publish: $189

The Details: Sizes 36-43 | 1.8 pounds | Mesh, nylon, EVO | Waterproof

Travel + Leisure / Kristin Cleveland

Travel + Leisure / Kristin Cleveland

The Best Hiking Gear of 2023

Best for Travel

Forsake Wild Sky Mid Waterproof Sneaker Boot


View On AmazonView On REIView On Forsake.comWhy We Love It

They look great for light hiking, running errands, commuting, and just about anything.

What to Consider

These sneaker boots may not be as supportive for long or vigorous hikes.

We love a pair of stylish sneaker boots that still offer support. The Forsake Wild Sky Mid Sneaker Boots are so adaptable and can be worn for many different activities — even to work. Not only do they look good, but they’re just as snug and supportive as other lightweight hiking boots. They were great to wear right out of the box and became even more comfortable the more they were worn.

The sneaker boots may be best for light hiking, but the sole was still firm enough to provide long-lasting support from steep embankments to walking around town. The mid-rise ankle height felt good and supportive without limiting range of motion. Plus, the additional eyelets at the top of the boot made for a custom fit. These are great for a full range of outdoor activities and are light enough that you can pack them as your main shoe on your next outdoor adventure.

Price at time of publish: $155

The Details: Sizes 5.5-11 | 1.8 pounds | Leather, mesh, rubber | Waterproof

Other Hiking Boots We Liked

We tested so many amazing hiking boots it was hard to narrow down our list. These boots had some qualities we loved but weren’t quite as great as our top picks.

Zamberlan 996 Vioz GTX Boot: We love the style and high-ankle support of these boots, but we didn’t experience any special features or added comfort that would warrant the higher price point.

Hoka Anacapa Breeze Mid Boot: These Hoka boots offer plenty of traction and cushion for all-day comfort, but we didn’t find them to be as water-resistant or breathable as other boots.

Travel + Leisure / Grace Kelly

Skechers Women’s Relaxed Fit Trego Alpine Trail Hiking Boot: The memory foam insoles are incredibly comfortable and supportive, and the boot overall was great for cold-weather hikes. However, these Skechers were quite clunky and not very breathable, so we experienced more foot sweating during warmer hikes.

Our Testing Process

Travel + Leisure / Kristin Cleveland

We went hiking with 46 pairs of hiking boots, shoes, and sandals to determine which pairs were the best of the best. Before they even put their boots on, testers examined the quality of the shoe by analyzing their laces, straps, soles, fabric, and hardware. We wore our hiking boots at home for at least one hour to evaluate the break-in period, paying particular attention to the shoes’ fit, the arch support, and whether or not they pinched or chafed right out of the box.

Once we broke them in, the boots were ready for real hikes. Testers wore their shoes for a minimum of two hikes for at least one to two hours per use over a four-week period. The boots were worn through various terrains from steep hikes to riverbeds, hot climates to snowy mountains. We also wore our boots while running errands and going for light walks to determine the boots’ versatility and overall comfort. We wanted to know if the boots were breathable and supportive, and if the comfort changed at all with wear. 

Throughout the testing period, hikers were asked to pay particular attention to the arch and ankle support. We also tested in a variety of environments to ensure that the traction of the shoes performed well on various surfaces and weather conditions. 

When removing our boots at the end of each wear, we noted whether there were any blisters, redness, hot spots, or any other form of foot pain. At the end of the four weeks, we also evaluated the shoes for signs of wear and tear to determine their long-term quality.

Tips for Buying Hiking Boots

Look for water-resistance

Nothing ruins a hike faster than wet socks — or worse, wet feet. Whether you’re hiking near rivers and lakes or enjoy all-weather hiking, waterproof or water-resistant boots are a must. The best water-resistant hiking boots are just as breathable as many that are not water-resistant, and they protect wearers against all external moisture so you can enjoy your hike no matter what weather you encounter.

Think about weight

When you’re not weighed down by bulky boots, you’re less likely to want to take them off as soon as possible. Lightweight hiking boots can be just as durable and will help keep you comfortably on your feet and enjoying the outdoors even longer. Plus, lighter boots are easier to pack for those long-distance travels.

Comfort is key

You absolutely want to buy hiking boots with comfort at the top of your list of requirements. A great pair of hiking boots should have good arch-support, thick and durable soles, and a cushiony interior footbed for optimal comfort. When considering which hiking boots to buy, you’ll also want to look at the ankle height and tongue material to ensure that you don’t suffer from any chafing or sore spots.

Frequently Asked QuestionsHow should hiking boots fit?

Hiking boots should be snug but not tight. You don’t want a lot of room to shift around, otherwise you may end up with chafing or blisters. Going up a half-size from your regular shoe may be a good method when investing in new hiking boots, as you want space to move around and adjust as needed. There should also be about an inch of space between the tips of your toes and the tip of the boots to accommodate any of the natural swelling that happens throughout a hike. 

Should hiking boots be high or low?

The height of your hiking boots’ ankle mainly depends on personal comfort; however, there are some things to consider as you choose a style. Higher ankle boots will provide more support and stability, which can be helpful on steep or rocky terrain, but they may be a bit heavier and more bulky. Lower ankle supports may not provide as much security, but they can be more flexible and allow for faster movements. 

Do you need to break in hiking boots?

Not all hiking boots need to be broken in as many are made with flexible and breathable materials that can be comfortable right out of the box. However, we do recommend hikers wear their new boots for at least an hour while running errands, around the house, or going for a quick walk. That way, you can address any uncomfortable spots before committing to an all-day hike that may leave you sore.

Is there a difference between hiking and walking boots?

Generally, hiking boots have soles with more traction and cushion for various terrains like gravel, rock, and dirt. They’re also made with more durable toe boxes to support feet on uphill climbs as well as on the descent. Walking boots, on the other hand, have soles that are designed for flatter surfaces like fields and forests. They’re also more lightweight and usually have a lower ankle than hiking boots.

Why Trust Travel + Leisure

Taylor Fox is a commerce writer at Travel + Leisure where she writes about and reviews travel products. She is an avid hiker, camper, and traveler who has been writing about travel for over five years, but camping for over twenty years. To select the best hiking boots for women, Taylor worked with travel editors and outdoor gear experts on a series of real world tests and went hiking to test multiple pairs of boots.

The Best Hiking Shoes for Women, From Breathable Trail Runners to Stylish Crossovers, Tested

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Edited byTravel + Leisure, where she writes and edits reviews about outdoor products. You can also read her articles on red carpet soirees, pop culture history, and health news in People magazine.” tabindex=”0″ data-inline-tooltip=”true”>Lydia Price Lydia Price Lydia Price is the commerce editor at Travel + Leisure, where she writes and edits reviews about outdoor products. You can also read her articles on red carpet soirees, pop culture history, and health news in People magazine.learn more

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