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The Best Hiking Boots for Women
3 Min Read
21 June 2024
The Best Hiking Boots for Women

We polled the women of the Macs Adventure Community about their favorite hiking boots. Here are their top recommendations.

Ever wish you had a group of 12,500+ hiking enthusiasts at your fingertips to answer all your burning questions? Well, we do. Our Macs Adventure Facebook Community is a vibrant hub where thousands of passionate adventurers share tips, stories, and support from their global self-guided hiking and biking adventures. Every now and again, we poll the community and focus that advice into recommendations for adventurers like you. 

This year, we polled the Community’s female members about their footwear preferences. Here are a few of the top answers, including the community’s favorite women’s hiking boots of all time.

Woman bends down to tie her hiking shoe

What are the best hiking boots for women?

In this survey, our community raved about the Merrell Moab 3. Consistently rated one of the most comfortable hiking boots for women, the Moab 3 is also one of the best-selling trail shoes of all time. It comes in high-top and low-top versions, both of which feature panels of breathable mesh and a soft, foam-lined interior that absorbs impact and defies blisters. That makes it a great hiking boot for beginners and trail veterans alike.

While some boots are more popular than others, your choice will depend on your personal preferences, foot shape, and goals. If you plan to go hiking in a wet climate, you might want a waterproof, high-top boot. If you’re exploring in a dry environment, a breathable low-top might be better.   

What’s the best brand for women’s hiking boots? 

In addition to Merrell, our community consistently chose KEEN and Scarpa as their favorite brands. KEEN shoes were consistently rated among the most comfortable. That may be because they’re wider through the toes and forefoot, giving feet plenty of room to breathe. 

Scarpa shoes, on the other hand, tend to be slightly narrower. One example is the Scarpa Rush Mid 2 GTX. Built like a trail running shoe but with robust ankle support, the Rush Mid 2 GTX is one of our community’s favorite lightweight hiking boots for women. 

Two women walk on a trail with hiking boots visible

What are the best wide-width hiking boots for women?

KEEN shoes tend to be slightly roomier through the forefoot, which makes them a better choice for wider feet. Many KEEN models also come in a wide option. The KEEN Targhee IV Wide, for example, is among the best wide-width hiking boots for women on the market. 

If you have bunions, a more specialized boot could be a better choice. Community member Jayne recommended Hanweg Bunion Boots for wide-footed hikers. “They are the most comfortable boots I have ever owned,” she said. They also have a relatively high cuff, making them among the best women’s hiking boots for ankle support. 

That said, it’s important to consider your personal preferences before committing to any one boot based on recommendations alone. “The best hiking boots are surely those which are the best fit and comfort for the individual and no amount of advice from another person, however experienced they are, is going to change that,” she said. 

Pair of hiking shoes on rock son a trail

What are the best hiking socks for women? 

Many of our community members prefer to hike in merino wool socks, like those from Smartwool or Darn Tough. Merino wool is soft and lightweight, keeps your feet warm even when it’s damp, and can absorb much more moisture than cotton before feeling clammy. 

It’s also worth considering the shape and supportiveness of your sock. Some hikers prefer slight compression to prevent swelling and foot fatigue. Others enjoy wearing toe socks. One community member, Gretchen Straw, for example, said: “I have had years of problems with toe blisters. The last two major hikes I switched to Injinji socks (toe socks) and it has stopped the rubbing. No blisters! I do wonder if sometimes "shoe problems' are actually sock problems.”

What are the best waterproof hiking boots? 

Not all hikes require waterproof hiking boots. Often, waterproof shoes tend to be less breathable and slower to dry than other styles. However, if your hike involves multiple stream crossings or lots of rain, waterproof shoes can be a great choice. 

Community member Trish Landry recommended Hoka as the best brand of waterproof hiking boots for women. “They are super comfortable with no break-in time needed,” she said. “I've worn mine hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc, the Inca Trail, the Laugevegur Trail in Iceland, and hikes in the Cascades and Olympics. Absolutely love them, they've never let me down.”

Hiking boots visible with cliff and sea in the background

How do I waterproof hiking boots? 

If you have leather hiking boots, you can waterproof them (or re-waterproof them) with a number of products, but our community members recommend Dubbing wax, sometimes called “dubbin” for short. “I had Salomon leather boots for about fifteen years,” said community member Heather Angela Ford-Rosenthal. “I always put dubbin on them.” That kept her shoes dry and comfortable, even on rainy hikes in the Scottish Highlands. 

Choosing a hiking boot is a highly individual decision. The best choice for you will depend on your foot shape, hiking style, budget, and personal preferences. That said, it can be tough to know where to begin—which is why it can be helpful to know what other experienced hikers are using. 

Pair of feet in hiking shoes on a rock

Still have questions about hiking footwear or other travel tips? All alumni of Macs Adventure self-guided trips are encouraged to join the Macs Adventure Community on Facebook. Request access today to tap into the community’s travel advice, trip recommendations, and more.

Erik Lambert

Written by

Erik Lambert
Guest Writer
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