Oboz Sawtooth Ii Low Bdry
The Oboz Sawtooth II hiking shoes are incredibly supportive and comfortable for all-day hikes, especially when carrying a 20-30 pound pack. The midsole is plush, and the proprietary insole provides structured support, making the Sawtooth II an excellent option for multi-day trips. The lugs are chunky enough to shed mud and grab on loose surfaces, while the rubber is soft enough to grip rock slabs and logs. Oboz’s BDry waterproof/breathable membrane kept our feet dry from rain and ventilated away sweat. One of the updates in this model is larger vents for increased breathability. While some hikers with a very narrow foot might want to wear a thicker sock for optimal fit, we appreciated having a room in the toe box to allow our toes to wiggle and splay. The shape of the upper, combined with the insole’s shape, holds the heel perfectly in place, minimizing lifting and rubbing.
The only thing we don’t love about the Sawtooth II is its weight. It’s the heaviest shoe we tested, and in our bucket test, though it proved to be waterproof, the leather upper also absorbed a measurable amount of water, making it even heavier. However, we believe that the extra protection and durability of the Sawtooth II is an acceptable tradeoff, especially for hikers heading out on longer treks.
Best For Ankle Support: Vasque Talus Trek Ultradry Hiking Boot
Our digital executive editor, Deanne Kaczerski, has been taking to the trails in Vasque’s Talus Trek for the last few years, and we think the updated version of this style is another awesome contender for those with touchy ankles. The easy speed-lacing construction allows you to customize how tight you’d like them to hug your ankles. Kaczerski vouches that they can get a bit hot in the summer, but they overall keep her feet dry and steady, especially on super rocky terrain.
To buy: backcountry.com, $150
Salomon Outline Mid Gtx
The *Salomon OUTline Mid GTX is another excellent lightweight performer featuring comfort directly out of the box with very minimal break-in time. Our testers were impressed by the streamlined design that cuts weight without sacrificing performance, available at an affordable price. The Contragrip outsoles, in addition to the 5mm lug depths in a reverse chevron pattern, provide superior traction on a variety of surfaces, from loose sand to boulder hopping. These boots gave us confidence to push the pace.
While we never experienced any durability with this hiking boot during our extensive testing period, we can’t help but wonder if the synthetic texture upper and the inner Gore-tex membrane may not last as long as a traditional hiking boot with a full leather upper. And while our feet stayed dry, even when fully submerged, and we noticed no rips or tears in the synthetic upper, it is thin. Overall, the OUTline is a great option if you are looking for a breathable and lightweight option to increase your performance on the trails, available at a price that won’t break the bank.
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Best For Rock Scrambling: La Sportiva Tx2 Approach Shoe
Approach shoes serve as a hybrid between shoes designed for hiking and those intended for rock climbing, so on difficult trails with a good amount of boulders looking at you, Precipice Trail at Acadia National Park they’ll offer extra grip where you need it. The TX2 is great for hikes with technical terrain. It’s got a sticky outsole and a lacing harness that extends all the way to the toe to help you get a snug fit. Rubber rands on the toes and heels add grip and protection, and a stiff midsole supports your feet when footholds are less than ideal. In their review, one shopper says, “I chose these over the TX4s due to their lighter weight and overall they had a pretty good rating for their climbing ability. I barely noticed them on the back of my harness while I was climbing. I felt good climbing easy friction slabs in them and scrambling down gullies this past weekend. Probably one of my best purchases this year.”
To buy: backcountry.com, $130
Vasque Breeze Lt Low Gtx Hiking Shoes
- Weight: 1 lb. 2 oz.
- Features: Vibram Megagrip, GORE-TEX Construction, Anatomic, High-Rebound Footbeds, EnduraLast EVA Midsoles
- Pros: Lightweight, Comfort, Traction
- Cons: Narrow Footbed
The Vasque Breeze LT Low hiking shoes have unmatched durability that puts them at the top of the hiking shoe game. These shoes can be beaten, battered, and traverse hundreds of miles without putting so much as a seam out of place.
Their ruggedness makes them a favorite of serious hikers, and their overall comfort and waterproofing only solidify their place at the top. While all this can be said of most Vasque hiking shoes, what sets the Breeze LT version apart is how lightweight they are, considering their heavy-duty capabilities.
These shoes weigh in at only 1lb 6oz, making them one of the lightest in the Breeze lineup. When you combine all these characteristics, you get an unparalleled hiking shoe that can take you across the country and back again, and still have miles of life left in them.
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Analysis And Test Results
Following the testing period, we scored each pair of hiking shoes on specific criteria, including how waterproof and durable they are, and compiled our findings for you here. We’ll go through each of our test metrics below, explaining why certain things like support or traction are important to consider and which models excelled in which areas. All our scores are relative to the other shoes included in this review. As you read this guide, keep in mind your hiking plans. Are you shopping for shoes for general use or travel? Are you planning a through-hike of a major trail system? Do you need to be ready for all kinds of weather? These are just a few things to consider as you make your selection.
Best Ventilated Hiking Shoes: Merrell Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
There’s a reason Merrell’s best-selling Moab has earned the nickname “mother of all boots.” It’s an excellent hiking shoe. My first pair of hikers were Merrell Moabs, as suggested by my Appalachian Trail alum boyfriend, and they’re still holding up to this day. They’re comfy from mile one and have plenty of grip thanks to a Vibram sole and a 5-millimeter lug depth. I’d especially recommend this pair for day hikes in the summer they’re delightfully breathable. They’re also the best-selling women’s hiking shoes on Amazon and have more than 1,000 five-star reviews.
To buy: , from $68
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Merrell Moab 2 Mid Wp
The Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP scored highly across many of our testing metrics due to their simple, supportive, and comfortable design, available at an affordable price. The fit is suitable for a wide range of foot shapes, however, it particularly favors those with a wider foot, offering a well-padded ankle and tongue which increase overall comfort. The air-cushioned heel made up for the support that the lower ankle shaft denied, and the design provides extra support for the arch of the foot.
While the Moab 2 Mid is one of the heaviest boots we tested, they still feel light underfoot. The real caveats worth mentioning are the lack of traction â even with 5mm lug depths, we weren’t confident enough to trust our feet on all types of terrain. We also noticed that the lacing system is secured with mesh, which we imagine would wear out over time, though we had no issues in our testing period. At the end of the day, this is an affordable option for those new to hiking and who aren’t primarily focused on high performance.
Hiking Shoes Vs Hiking Boots
One of the biggest trends we see across the board in the outdoor space is the move towards lighter-weight gear. This is exemplified in the world of hiking footwear, where, in just a couple short decades, weve gone from 4-pound leather boots being standard issue to the majority of hikers now wearing lightweight hiking shoes or trail runners. However, hiking boots still have their place, particularly for rugged terrain and schlepping a heavy multi-day load. We also specifically recommend a mid-height shoe for those needing extra protection around their ankles.
The biggest point of differentiation between hiking shoes and boots is height: shoes have a low-top fit, while boots generally sit above the ankle. Given their increased coverage, boots are able to offer a more secure fit, better stability, and more protection overall. Similar to hiking shoes, most modern hiking boots are built with lightweight materials and nicely balance agility and performance . That said, for anything but the most rugged of trails or the heaviest loads, we still find ourselves reaching for a hiking shoe. Youll have to decide for yourself, but both are viable options for day hiking, backpacking, and non-alpine peak bagging. For our breakdown of the top models on the marketincluding everything from mid-height trail running shoes to traditional leather designssee our article on the best women’s hiking boots.
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What To Look For In The Most Comfortable Hiking Boots For Women
Fit: When searching for a new hiking boot, fit is a top concern, says Dr. Brad Schaeffer, podiatrist and owner of Sole Podiatry NYC. A good hiking boot will provide stability and support for the foot, limit injury and provide adequate shock absorption and comfort.
When trying on hiking boots, make sure there is plenty of space in the toe box without your foot feeling loose inside the boot. To test this out, Dr. Schaeffer says to stand upright and slide your foot forward until it hits the front of the shoe. You should be able to slip your index finger between the heel and back of the boot. He also adds that your heel should not lift as you walk. If this is happening, it will provide an opportunity for blisters to form, he notes.
Vionic Innovation Lab member and New York-based podiatrist Dr. Jackie Sutera adds that since feet swell due to activity, its best to try on shoes at the end of the day when feet are at their widest. And, when trying on boots, she recommends wearing socks that arent too bulky, as these can make the boot fit tight. That said, its important to remember to fit your boots for the climes you plan to encounter. If youre doing a lot of winter hiking, for example, it makes sense to get boots that fit when youre wearing bulky, warm socks.
Outblast Thinsulate Climasalomon Waterproof Women’s Winter Boots
Modern and athletic, the OUTBLAST TS CSWP Women’s offers all the warmth and protection you need for cold winter days, in a sleek silhouette that also looks great in the city. Thinsulate insulation and winter insole keep feet toasty in icy, snowy conditions, while the Contagrip® outsole delivers aggressive traction on all surfaces.
Pick-up points: 4 – Free if order over 60
Home delivery – Standard: 6 – Free if order over 60
Home delivery – Express: 9
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Keen Womens Hiking Sandals
At KEEN, we know that sometimes the best adventures are spontaneous or when a beach day will turn into an expedition for the best view. Thats why our womens hiking sandals are built to handle everything from the beach to the mountains and back.
The Newport is the hiking sandal that started it all, with our signature protective toe, generous vents to drain water, and a supportive, burly sole for the hike in. Originally intended for boats, we found people wearing their Newport walking sandals everywhereso we developed options to address a wider range of adventures.
The Arroyo is our beefiest hiking sandal, with more upper coverage and a substantial outsole. The waterproof leather and stability-shank sole give you the perfect balance of durability and ventilation, perfect for canyon adventures.
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How To Break In Your Hiking Boots
Even if you just bought the best pair of hiking boots in existence, they arent going to perform perfectly on your first hike. Even with modern innovations in footwear technology, most hiking shoes take a bit of time to break in and conform to your foot.
Kommer recommends giving your boots at least 15 to 20 miles of trail time before heading out on a serious hike or deciding to return them. Give a pair of boots a couple of tries before deciding its not for you, she says. I recommend a solid three or four hikes, at least. Remember, even though many boots today are super comfortable out of the box, if youre switching from one style of shoe to another like going from hiking in a shoe with five millimeter drop to one with zero-millimeter drop it will take your calves, Achilles and all your joints a little bit of time to adjust.
Kommer adds that hiking socks shouldnt be left out when youre purchasing your first pair of hiking boots. Think about it, she says. If youre spending $150 to $200 on hiking boots, its worth it to buy the $20 pair of Darn Tough socks.
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Need More Gear Advice
If you liked this list, youll love the CleverHiker Gear Guide where we test and recommend tons of outdoor adventure gear from a variety of categories. here are some links to popular articles:
Casey Handley is an avid outdoor adventurer and self-described gear nerd. Shes hiked thousands of miles on trails across America, including the Appalachian Trail, John Muir Trail, and the Long Trail. Her favorite things include the crinkle of a new Dyneema tent, the smell of Doug fir trees, and shaving an ounce off her pack weight.
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a modest commission if purchases are made through those links. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site up and running. Our reputation is our most important asset, which is why we only provide completely honest and unbiased recommendations.
Should You Buy The Salomon X Ultra 4
The Salomon X Ultra 4 is a very agile and lightweight hiking shoe. This latest iteration proved to be exceptionally comfortable. While this model may not be our first recommendation for hikers who carry a heavy pack, it is highly recommended for all kinds of outdoor excursions and those who like to move light and fast on aggressive hiking missions. The X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex price is right in the middle of the pack of the shoes in our test. Considering the high-performance nature of this model, we think it is of great value, especially if you are planning fast and light expeditions.
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Hoka One One Sky Arkali
- Weight: 13.26 oz.
- Features: Matryx Upper, Rubber Toe Cap, EVA Midsole, Vibram Megagrip Soles, Multi-Directional Lugs, Adjustable Heel and Ankle Straps,
- Pros: Super Lightweight, Adjustability, Comfort, Traction
- Cons: PRICE, Lacks The Support Most Need
While there are a few brands that seem to be hopscotching from trail runner to hiking shoe and back again, the Hoka One One Sky Arkali takes the hybrid design a step further. To put it simply:
The Arkali is a beautiful distillation of a runner, hiker, and approach or climbing shoe, all in one, said Jared Smith, the product manager for Hoka One One.
With Hokas signature super-cushiony midsoles, phenomenal heel and ankle straps, Vibram Mega-grip high traction outsole, and rubber wrapped toe box, you can run, hike, or climb near-vertical landscapes with ease.
If youre the type that goes out to explore all the elements of the great outdoors and want a beautifully designed shoe to lead you through these adventures, definitely go with the Ski Arkali! These are made for those are climbing mountains, scrambling, and need an agile shoe.
Best Hiking Boots For Women 2022
We’ve bought and tested close to 50 unique pairs of women’s hiking boots over the last 10 years, most recently testing 15 of the best models available today. From lightweight hikers to burly beasts, our experts test the top boots year-round and compare them based on their trail comfort, weight, traction, support, and ability to keep your feet dry. Our team of ladies crushed out hundreds of miles for multiple months to parse out each boot’s strengths and weaknesses. We then took that data and real-world experience and crafted this detailed assessment of today’s best options to help you find the right pair for your needs.
Itching to get out on the trails? If it’s footwear you need, we’ve also tested hiking shoes and trail runners. From hydration bladders to headlamps, we’ve done the leg work of testing and comparing hiking products, so you don’t have to question whether you’re making the right decision with your hard-earned money.
Editor’s Note: This review was updated on May 18, 2022, to add four new boots into our mix from Salomon, La Sportiva, and Altra.
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Best Ventilated Hiking Boots: Keen Targhee Vent Mid Hiking Shoe
Mesh panels bring breathability to Keen’s most beloved hikers, so you don’t end up feeling like you slogged through a swamp on a hot summer day hike. The rubber outsole is made to take on any terrain, and the mid-height offers added ankle support. And the footbed is supportive, but also removable in case you prefer to use your own insoles. One reviewer writes, “I try other brands and I still come back to Keen’s. The toe-box cannot be beat. These shoes perform on hikes like no others. Toes are protected, arch is supported, no pinching, no blisters.”
To buy: zappos.com, $140