The Best Women's Hiking Shoes on the Market
Updated: Apr 9, 2021
The opinion that women's hiking boots can't be cute has been proven completely false over the past couple of years. Every outdoor brand from adidas to Columbia to Merrell to Salomon has come up with a hiking shoe style that looks right at home when paired with Lululemon leggings and a crewneck sweatshirt or trendy bike shorts and an oversized t-shirt. No unflattering cargo hiking pants here.
You can have a cute hiking shoe, but there are a few key points you have to consider: A hiking shoe is one of those items you shouldn't buy two days before your mountain climb, and you certainly shouldn't go with the cheapest option because you'll "probably only wear it once or twice."
For starters, hiking shoes should be worn in before any strenuous activity. Blisters on top of a mountain, six miles from the trailhead? No, thanks. Test them out at home, then around your neighborhood. And be sure to pair them with some of our favorite hiking socks (leave the thin footie socks in your suitcase). As far as cost, we suggest sticking between $70 and $150. Anything less, and you put yourself in dangerous territory of "you get what you pay for," in a bad way. Anything more and the cost-per-wear won't lean in your favor. Unless, of course, you're an avid hiker; in that case, a pair on the higher end makes more sense.
For travelers who want hiking shoes that do more than just photograph well in a #doingthings Instagram, make sure you buy a pair that matches the terrain you'll most likely be exploring. Trekking around Scotland? Make sure you find a waterproof hiking shoe. Climbing across boulders in Colorado? You'll want support and traction.
Below, see our picks for the best women's hiking shoes.
If you're not a regular hiker, spending $100 or more on a pair of boots you'll wear a couple of times a year doesn't add up. This style from Columbia is not only durable, but it's also reliable. Another reason it's our number one pick is that it's far from blister-causing; just add a medium thickness sock and enjoy the hike.