So, you’ve decided you’re in need of a new pair of hiking boots, congrats! Maybe you’re a complete novice or perhaps you’ve been hiking your entire life, either way hiking is great exercise! It’s also an amazing way to get some fresh air and reap all the benefits of the outdoors (something we could all use after days crumpled over a desk for hours).
You may get away with wearing regular workout attire for a while, but you’ll quickly realize how much better off you are with proper hiking gear, especially boots! Trainers and running shoes are not as supportive on trails (whether you’re out for an hour or the whole day) and many workout leggings and clothing items are not the best for the trails.
The boots are by far the most important item for an enjoyable hike. Ask any avid female hiker and they’ll assure you the boots are what they give most consideration to when purchasing trekking wear.
Thus, you’ll want the best women’s hiking boots for your feet.
Lucky for you, in this guide we’ve broken down what to look for in a pair of women’s hiking boots, different types and features and for those of you with little spare time, the best women’s hiking boots in the UK right now!
What to look for in a pair of women’s hiking boots
As with most shoes, especially ones used during outdoor exercise, fit is going to be the most important aspect. It can be easy to get caught up in the “look” of a pair of trekking boots, but don’t get sidetracked, make sure the boots feel right on your feet.
Hiking boots are often worn with double-layered socks, one thin base layer to prevent blisters and a second pair for warmth, support and to help with fit. So make sure you have good hiking socks and bring them with to try on boots!
Hiking is all about getting out in the elements and you never know what you’ll come across on the trail, so you’ll want well-fitting boots. You don’t want the boots too tight and restrictive. If your toes are curling under that means the boot is too tight. If there’s a lot of extra material that’s a sign of too loose of fit.
Best practise is for it to feel quite snug, but not so tight that it’s restrictive. It’s best to walk around the store for a while when trying on a pair. If anything pinches or hurts that’s a red flag and if the boots starts to loosen after while, that will also be a no.
The sole is the MOST important feature you need to pay attention to when choosing a pair of hiking boots. It’s the part of your foot that will be feeling the most stress on the trail.
So what does a “good” sole feel like?
There’s no one good answer. Stiff soles are good if you’ll be hiking steep inclines and rough terrain (more on that in a minute), while flexible soles can be good for light hikes and less challenging terrain.
Material wise, EVA is typically feels more cushioned, which is good if your feet need that, although it may feel too soft for some. PU is a bit harder, but usually lighter weight.
The most important part is that it feels comfortable and will support you in the type of hiking you want to do. And remember to choose a boot with good tread! No matter what kind of trails you’ll be trekking.
Hiking boots will be either cut high or low on your ankle, depending on the style you choose. Like sole choice, there’s no one clear “right” answer, you’ll need to evaluate based on your hiking preference and individual preferences.
If you have weaker ankles, previous injuries or will be climbing steeper trails, a high cut is a smart choice.
Alternatively, if you have stronger (possibly larger) ankles or will be taking more casual hikes, a low cut can be a good choice.
Some people find the high cut restrictive or inflexible, and prefer lower cuts. Others feel very unstable in low cut and want the support of a high cut. Again, go with what feels right for you and your feet!
You’ll have a few options when it comes to the material of your hiking boots. The most common options are; suede, leather, synthetic materials or a combination.
The “classic” choice is of course leather, and many traditionalists out there prefer this option, however, most modern companies will sell primarily synthetic boots.
This is because synthetics have insulating properties (no one wants cold feet when trekking!), while still maintaining a breathable aspect (no one wants sweaty feet either!), and the material is very lightweight.
You’ll have to decide what your preference is, however make sure your boots have some sort of waterproof membrane layer (such as Gore-Tex) to keep your feet dry! This is almost a given with any high quality boots, but best to double check!
Size is also important and can differ from your regular shoe size.
Some women’s hiking boots may follow regular shoe sizes and you’ll be able to order exactly what you would for “normal shoes”. Some may follow a slightly adjusted size chart, and some may just recommend ordering up or down a size or half size.
Make sure to check the fit guide for each product and read reviews to get an idea if a particular shoe runs smaller or larger and if the sizing recommendations allow for hiking socks (which can change size choice).
Finally, the boots you choose can differ immensely depending on the type of terrain you will be hiking!
If you’ll mostly be exploring flat countryside walks or smaller hills, a lighter weight boot and with a more flexible sole is your best bet. Comparatively, rough terrain and steep mountains will require a stiffer, more supportive sole and better ankle support (ie high cut).
If you’ll be doing a mix of both, choose a boot a bit in the middle, or it may be worth buying multiple pairs.
Best Women’s Hiking Boots in the UK
Berghaus Hillmaster II
Looking for customizable Berghaus hiking boots? Then look no further than the Berghaus Hillmaster 2.0. The Hillmaster GTX quickly became Britain’s best selling boot in the nineties, and its newest award winning version doesn’t disappoint. Made of leather uppers, textile inner material and completely waterproofed Gore-Tex membrane, you’ll be prepared for anything on the trails.
This breathable women’s hiking boot is adjustable to your needs, with memory foam that adapts to your mould over time and locking eyelets to adjust arch tension to your preference, your feet and ankles will always be well taken care of in these boots.
- Leather material
- EVA sole
- Waterproof Gore-Tex
- Medium width
- Low cut
Peter Storm Women’s Hiking Boot
These Peter Storm hiking boots are some of the most comfortable out there! Leather material, a rubber out sole gives amazing traction and an EVA mid sole provides shock absorption. It’s a fully waterproof boot and the mid cut is supportive, yet not restrictive.
Perfect for all types of hikers!
Trespass Tensing Hiking Boots
Looking for an economical choice in hiking boot? We’d say one of the best in that category are Trespass hiking boots! Made out of durable and lightweight synthetic material, you’ll be able to spend days on the trails with your feet feeling snug and protected.
The outer membrane is waterproof and breathable, ensuring your feet will stay dry from both the elements and sweat. The gusseted tongue ensures no debris will enter your boot via the lace eyelets or other free space.
Salomon Quest 4d 3 GTX Hiking Boots
These Salomon hiking boots are a great for rough terrain and long hiking trips! The synthetic material and gum rubber sole are lightweight yet supportive with great traction.
The high cut of this boot makes it perfect for those that want super supportive hiking boots for steeper climbs. The best part is the 2 year warranty, ensuring your boots are protected!
- Synthetic material
- Gum rubber sole
- Medium width
- 2 year warranty
- High cut
Karrimor Ranger Hiking Boots
Want a stylish and comfortable hiking boot, then you’ll definitely want to check out these Karrimor hiking boots! The high cut and combination Dynagrip and Phylon sole provide extra support, traction and protection!
The faux fur lining is not only stylish but practical for warmth and comfort!
- Synthetic material
- Faux fur lining
- Dynagrip & Phylon sole
- Medium width
- High cut
Millet Trident Winter Hiking Boots
These Millet hiking boots are perfect for winter and cold-weather hiking destinations! The synthetic outer material and sole are insulated for maximum warmth, while maintaining the trademark lightweight feel of synthetics.
The low cut is supportive without being restrictive, perfect for any trek!
Northwest Territory Hiking Boot
These Northwest Territory hiking boots are a great choice for any female hiker. The waterproof leather has a fully breathable membrane, ensuring dry and aired out feet. The gum rubber sole has a dependable grip and the heel is great for climbing and rougher terrain.
Please note these tend to run bit large, so order a half size down.
- Leather material
- Gum rubber sole
- 1 inch heel
- Fully breathable
FAQs of Use
Care for hiking boots
Once you’ve bought a pair of hiking boots, you can just through them in the mud room or downstairs closet right?
Well, you could do that…but not if you want your boots to last for longer than a year or two. Hiking boots can also be expensive, so you want to care for them in a way that lasts as long as possible.
The most important thing you can do to care for your new pair of hiking boots is actually very simple; keep them clean and dry. Of course this will be impossible on the trail, a decent pair will stand up nicely against mud and moisture. However, make sure to clean and dry them out immediately after use! Nothing damages boots faster than being left damp in a hiking bag after a long trip.
If you want to go a bit further, you can remove the insoles after each use, as they’ll have absorbed moisture from sweat, water crossings and rain during the trek.
How important is weight?
In general, when choosing any footwear to exercise in, you don’t want it to be heavier than necessary. However, what you consider “heavy” will depend on your own weight, strength and hiking ability.
In general you’ll want a lighter boot over a heavier one, but if you’ll be hiking rougher terrain or steeper climbs, a heavier shoe may provide more support.
Remember, synthetic material is always going to be lighter than leather or suede, so keep that in mind when choosing your women’s hiking boots! In the end, it’s up to you to decide what makes sense for your feet and hiking ability.
Crampons or no?
Of course, always sold next to hiking boots are….crampons! But do you really need a set?
The short answer is if you plan in hiking somewhere that has freezing temperatures, in winter it’s probably a good idea.
Crampons are used for extra grip (and safety) in icy terrain and low level snow. So if you plan to hike in either conditions, they’d be a good investment.
However, if you plan to hike in a lot of snow (i.e. snowshoeing) that’s when you’d want to invest in a pair of snowshoes.
And of course if you’re a fair weather, summer only hiker, then you can pass on both!
Our Top Picks
Our pick for the best lightweight women’s hiking boots; the Millet Trident Winter hiking boots. Designed for winter weathered hiking, they’re unlike typical winter boots in that they’re extremely light weight! Made up of completely synthetic material (outer material and sole), your feet definitely won’t feel weighed down!
Need a great boot, but don’t want to break the bank? Then check out the Trespass Tensing hiking boot, our pick for best value women’s hiking boots. The synthetic outer material and EVA sole provide maximum comfort, while still being a light weight choice. The great price does not mean lower quality. These women’s hiking boots have a completely waterproof membrane and a gusseted tongue to prevent any debrief entering the boots!
Finally, our pick for best overall women’s hiking boots is the Brasher hiking boot. They’re perfect for any avid female hiker! The leather outer material with a hardy PU footbed give it a classic and stylish, while the practical (and comfortable) EVA and Vibram sole ensure maximum comfort! As with any good hiking boot, they’re completely waterproof.
Last update on 2023-11-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API