Best Hiking Shoes: Women

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It’s official, my trusty Salomon hiking shoes that I bought for our first trip to Costa Rica are being retired!  If you’re like me, you find the sheer volume of choices overwhelming when trying to choose the best hiking shoes.  Women have a wide variety of needs when looking for hiking shoes – comfort, support, grip, waterproof, breathability, and of course style.  Where do you start?

Well, relax.  I’m doing the hard work for you.  I’ve researched the options until my eyes bled and I’m putting down what I’ve learned here for you to save you the same torture!


Boots vs. Shoes?

The first decision is whether to buy hiking boots or hiking shoes.  Consider what type of hiking you will be doing and in what conditions.

Hiking Boots

Here are a few advantages to having boots:

  • Hiking boots give better ankle support on rough terrain.
  • They are often waterproof and made of a durable leather.
  • Hiking boots will keep your feet warm on cold weather hikes.

Hiking Shoes

Here are a few advantages to buying shoes:

  • Hiking shoes are lightweight and breathable.
  • They will provide enough grip and support for most trails.
  • In hot weather, they will help keep your feet cooler.
  • If they get wet, hiking shoes will be much quicker to dry out.


Special Features

Consider if there are any special features you need.  If you are hiking around rivers and streams should they be waterproof?  Or quick dry?  Do they need to fit your orthotics?  Do your hiking shoes need to fit wider feet?


Best Hiking Shoes: Women

Among the best names in hiking shoes are Merrell, Salomon, Columbia, Keen and North Face.  I compared a number of the most popular and most recent hiking shoes for women from these and other brands and looked at the following criteria:

  • price
  • weight
  • waterproof
  • reviews
  • support
  • material

I’ll give a quick overview of each and then you can easily compare each shoe side by side in the comparison chart below.


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