Hiking Shoes for Women

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Hiking Shoes for Women

Whether you go on a one-mile hike or going on a ten-mile adventure, you will need the right hiking shoes to keep your feet safe and comfortable. What you wear on your feet will make a difference in whether your hike will be enjoyable or a nightmare.

The best hiking shoes for women should balance comfort, weight, durability, traction, blister protection, and water protection. Like you and everyone else, hiking shoes have varied personalities.

Just as you would not like to wear your hiking shoes to a party, you also do not like to make the mistake of wearing just any shoes on your hiking trip.

Types of Hiking Shoes

There are three types of women’s hiking shoes to choose from, depending on where you will take them.

  • Hiking Shoes

These are the most durable shoes you can wear on a hiking trip. They provide excellent support for your weight but do not need support for your angles.  They may be lightweight, but they are as durable as hiking boots. There are waterproof options for these shoes.

Even if you wear your hiking shoes in light rain or a paddle, they will remain dry, although water can still get to your ankles. Depending on how you wear them, you can wear them for a maximum of about 750 miles.

Though, many women complain of how heavy they can get, not having ankle support, and often not being breathable. Hiking shoes are ideal for trail running and backpacking trips.

  • Trail Runners

This footwear is lightweight and comfortable. They are designed to have a lower-impact and natural gait. They are often made of lighter fabrics, so they offer more breathability and quickly dry. Trail runners can be used up to a maximum of 500 miles depending on conditions and terrain they are worn.

  • Backpacking Shoes

Backing shoes are often referred to as boots because they have a mid or high-cut ankle design. Backpacking shoes are ideal for adventures where you need to carry a heavy pack, long-distance and off-trail hikes because they offer ankle support and more water protection.

Parts of the Best Hiking Shoes for Women

These are the parts of hiking shoes.

  • Upper. This part of the shoe covers the top and sides of your feet.
  • Outsole. This is the bottom of the shoes that determines the grip.
  • Closure. The shoe mechanism that allows it to close around your foot.
  • Footbed. Your foot sits on this portion. This is also referred to as the insoles.
  • Toe Cap. This is located on the front edge of the shoe.
  • Lining. This is what touches your sock and foot.
  • Heel Counter. This is on the back portion of the shoe designed to hold your feet comfortably.

Each part of your hiking shoes has a specific function. They also have features that will ensure your comfort and safety.

Things to Consider before Buying your Hiking Shoes

Buying a pair of hiking shoes is not as simple as picking the first pair that comes to sight. There are conditions you need to consider before deciding on the best pair of hiking shoes.

Hiking is not just like walking in the park. If it were, you do not need to buy a special pair of shoes. Ask yourself these questions before starting your search for the best hiking shoes for women.

Are you Ready?

Hiking is not anything like being on the treadmill or walking in the park or around the corner. You will need to have the strength, endurance, and stamina to walk through rough terrain. You need to start smart. Ask yourself these questions to check if you are ready.

  • How long can you Walk?

You may be used to walking long distances but walking on the trail is a lot different. The treadmill’s rubber bed or the pavement in your neighborhood is no match to the water, rocks, and rough terrain you may encounter on the trail.

The incline on the treadmill and the stair-stepper can simulate a bit the terrain you will be up against. Spend some time on them so you can prepare for the walking you will be doing during your hiking trip.

  • Level of Difficulty

Know what to expect. Will you be encountering water crossings, scrambling rock, or will the trail be free of water and rocks?

Make sure to study your route and make sure you are aware of what to expect.

  • Duration of the Hike

 This is the expected distance and how much time it will take you to complete the entire hike. The time it will take will depend on your fitness (and your group), the difficulty of the terrain planned activities, and the weather.

Factor in some unexpected events, too, such as missed turns or injuries. More importantly, pack for the unexpected.

  •   Is your Ankle in Top Shape?

The demand on your ankle is the main difference between hiking and walking. Have your foot and ankle checked, especially if you had previous injuries? It is also best to do some agility and strengthening training before hitting the trail. An ankle or foot injury on the trails will ruin the adventure.

Being physically ready is not enough. You need to be emotionally and mentally prepared for your hiking adventure, as well.

  • Know the Weight of your Pack

The weight you will be carrying during the hike will help determine the hiking shoe you need. If you are carrying a heavy-weight, you will need hiking shoes with ankle support.

It is recommended that your backpack’s weight should not be more than 25% of your body weight.

Are you Hiking, Solo?

It is always best to hike with a group because it is safer. It can be a challenge, though, because there is a possibility that you need to help someone. There are more people to keep track of along the way and keep pace with too.

Some people, though, prefer to hike alone. If you plan to hike alone, make sure to back enough food, communication, navigation, and illumination. Make sure to tell.

Best Hiking Shoes for Women

  1. Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe

The Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe features foam cushioning for comfort and a tongue that keeps debris away. Its mesh lining allows suitable airflow footbeds to provide an extra layer of cushioning.

This hiking shoe reduces the pressure on your ankles and knees. Its slip-resistant Vibram outsole has amazing traction and grip.  It also comes with breathable mesh linings. The Merrell Air Cushion located in the heels adds stability and absorbs shock.

This hiking shoe comes with EVA midsoles for comfort and added stability. Its outsoles feature a 5m lug depth for an excellent grip. Closed-cell foam tongues keep debris and moisture out of the shoe while the M-select dry technology makes the shoe breathable. 

Pros

  • No break-in period
  • Excellent comfort and fit
  • Incredibly durable
  • Very comfortable
  • lightweight
  • Available in regular width and for people with a wider foot

Cons

  • Has only average traction in mud and rock.
  • Not waterproof

The Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe is a warm-weather shoe. It is well-made and is considered the best non-waterproof hiking shoes because it is stable. It also comes in wide sizes.

  1. Mountain Warehouse Adventurer Women’s Hiking Boots

The Mountain Warehouse Adventurer Women’s Hiking Boots comes with an impressive outer sole for a good grip. This waterproof hiking shoe features a membrane that will keep your feet dry and a waterproof lining.

This hiking shoe is ideal for warmer climates because it is breathable. It also allows perspiration to pass through so your feet will not feel sweaty.  Its cushioned footbed shapes your feet for a custom-like fit. It also offers topmost support and comfort, especially on the toes and arch. It is perfect for downhill and uphill hiking.

The high-traction outsoles of this hiking shoe have deep lugs for extra grip.  This shoe is particularly ideal for wet conditions. The heel and toe bumpers provide durability and strength for maximum protection.

Pros

  • Slip-resistant outsole
  • Highly durable
  • Breathable
  • Waterproof
  • Cushioned and comfortable footbed
  • Extra traction and stability
  • Snug fit ensured by a secured laced-up system.
  • Strong lacing system
  • Comes with a ventilating mesh lining that prevents odor and sweat

Cons

  • Some users say it is not too comfortable.
  • Not quite 100% waterproof

The Mountain Warehouse Adventurer Women’s Hiking Boots has a rugged look, yet it is lightweight. It is a lighter-styled shoe ideal for walking and hiking. It is comfortable to wear and is available in subtle colors. It is exceptionally hard-wearing and practical.

  1. KEEN Women’s Voyageur Hiking Shoe

The Keen Women’s Voyageur Hiking Shoe is tough, protective, and comfortable for a lady’s delicate feet. It comes with synthetic and mesh uppers that are flexible enough to provide a breathable fit.

This hiking shoe has a tongue and pull-loops that allow easy and convenient on and off. It comes with a remarkable grip that, thanks to the 4mm multi-directional lugs. An EVA foam midsole provides a lavish cushioned comfort.

Bumps and abrasions are prevented by the patented toe protection to prevent injury to your toes.

The KEEN Voyager for women is wide, so this is good news to those with wide feet. This hiking shoe comes with a rubber toe, a staple in all KEEN footwear. The EVA foam on the soles, however, cannot withstand many hiking trips.

Pros

  • Offers maximum support in the heel area
  • Provides maximum comfort
  • Lightweight
  • You can spread your toes while wearing the shoe.
  • It is breathable

Cons

  • Comes in too bold colors
  • The lining is not too durable
  • Eyelets and stitching on the upper tend to deteriorate fast.
  • Some say the soles easily separate.
  • Pricey

The Keen Women’s Voyageur Hiking Shoe is ideal for dry conditions, day-hiking because of the durable mesh material. This shoe is admired for its being lightweight and not requiring any break-in.

  1. Adidas Terrex AX3 Hiking Shoes Women’s

The Adidas Terrex AX3 Hiking Shoes Women’s comes in various colors suitable for women. Other than the colors that make these hiking shoes attractive to women, it comes with many great features.

The Adidas Terrex AX3 is a super mid-range priced hiking shoe that comes with superior durability and comfort. Your feet will be kept cool by the air mesh. It will also make your shoes dry fast.

The EVA midsole is lightweight. Would you wear this shoe for long hikes without getting tired? This hiking shoe comes with a synthetic air mesh and rubber soles.  The Gore-Tex makes this shoe waterproof.

Pros

  • Comes with a solid construction
  • Super comfortable for hikers
  • Good-looking and attractive
  • Versatile design
  • Easy to untie
  • Equipped with a grippy outsole
  • Comfortably breathable
  • Lightweight hiking shoes

Cons

  • Lacks rigidity due to the soft midsole making it dangerous for demanding terrain.
  • Narrow toe box
  • Insufficient rigidity

The Adidas Terrex AX3 Hiking Shoes Women’s comes with a lot to offer. It is admired for its comfortable ride, quality build, and attractive look. It is ideal for hikers who want a flexible and breathable hiking shoe to enjoy numerous hiking trips. 

  1. Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot

The Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot is made from durable leather. It comes with Vibram® traction and a supportive Merrell M Select™ FIT.ECO+ blended EVA contoured footbed with heel support and a more zonal arch. The midsole is also made from EVA for more comfort and stability.

The GORE-TEX® waterproof membrane gives the shoe exceptional waterproof breathability performance. Its mesh lining is also breathable.

The shoe comes with a mesh upper, and some parts are of synthetic leather. You will be comfortable wearing this shoe because its closed-cell foam tongue prevents moisture and debris from getting inside the shoe.

Pros

  • Made from durable synthetic leather
  • Numerous shock absorption to protect your feet
  • Cushioned heel absorbs shock.
  • Good support for the bottom of your feet
  • Outsole with traction and deep lugs
  • Waterproof uppers

Cons

  • Shoe sizes are small, so make sure to order 1/2 size bigger.

Every step with the Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot promotes comfort without stressing your foot. Its heel cushioning reduces pressure on your food while adding more comfort.

  1. KEEN Women’s Presidio Ii-w Hiking Shoe

The KEEN Women’s Presidio li-w Hiking Shoe hiking shoes have an upper made from full-grain leather. This leather and synthetic design combination emphasize protection and comfort. The sole’s unique contour gives this shoe its appeal and removes the stress from the ankles and heel to enable you to walk faster.

The outer sole of this shoe enhances its lug pattern to provide maximum support regardless of the terrain. Between the insole and the outsole is a molded arch to assist your arch and heel further. The midsole is of molded EVA.

The design of the arch likewise acts as a shock absorber to reduce pressure on the ankles. The Cleansport NXT takes care of the natural odor inside the shoe.

This hiking shoe comes with a leather footbed with a cover for maximum comfort. 

Pros

  • Combination of leather and synthetic
  • Good air circulation due to synthetic mesh portions
  • EVA footbed is removable
  • Waterproof membrane
  • Breathable design

Cons

  • The toe box seems to be narrow.

The KEEN Women’s Presidio li-w Hiking Shoe is not only a good hiking shoe. It is also comfortable to walk around town in it. For a hiking shoe, it comes with a sleek appearance.

  1. Ahnu Women’s W Sugarpine Air Mesh Hiking Shoe

TheAhnu Women’s W Sugarpine Air Mesh Hiking Shoe comes in a vibrant design that offers topmost performance similar to an athletic shoe. This lightweight hiking shoe is equipped with a breathable mesh upper to ensure your foot remains cool and comfortable.

TheAhnu Women’s W Sugarpine is made from 20% Leather and 80%. It features a vibrant and removable insole. Flexible support is provided by leather overlays that are also waterproofed. Ahnu’s neutral positioning technology in the underfoot provides stability and support.

This hiking shoe mesh features a small toe cap along with reinforced lowers to ensure abrasion resistance while on the hiking trail. It continues to be protective and comfortable with very good water resistance even when you traverse lakeshores and shallow streams.

Pros

  • Breathable mesh upper to keep you cool and comfortable
  • Well-ventilated
  • Leather overlays provide flexible support.
  • Modern technologies provide stability and support.

Cons

  • Fabric components not too durable

The Ahnu Women’s W Sugarpine Air Mesh Hiking Shoe is one of the most comfortable hiking shoes for women. This hiking shoe is available in colorful options and offers a casual style.

This hiking shoe comes with a design similar to a fitness shoe. The comfort and durability of this shoe are embedded in its feminine design.

  1. Merrell Women’s Siren Sport Q2 Hiking Shoe

The Merrell Women’s Siren Sport Q2 Hiking Shoe will not disappoint you in all your hiking trips. It is a waterproof, lightweight, and comfortable shoe and fits securely in place to ensure your protection and comfort.

Merrell has uplifted the image of hiking shoes for women. This shoe not only shows fashion and style; it also comes with an athletic design that provides maximum design on the trail.

In the midsole of this shoe is an air cushion that offers super heel support to prevent injuries. Its nylon arch shanks not only provide stability but can also prevent you from developing plantar fasciitis. 

The shoe’s seamless uppers come with a 3D design complemented by ghillie laces to complete the look. The lacing system makes sure your foot is always secure in the shoe.

Pros

  • Made from breathable leather uppers and mesh materials
  • Comes with bellows tongue that locks out debris and moisture
  • Super lacing system offers a secure fit.
  • Your feet are kept odor-free and fresh with the FRESH odor treatment.
  • Footbed ensures support and comfort.
  • Moisture is kept at bay by the mesh lining.
  • Available in vibrant designs
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Built to provide all-day comfort and protection

Cons

  • Soles tend to be slippery when wet.
  • Not much toe protection
  • Can tend to be squeaky
  • Too lightweight for heavy backpacking trips

You can take the Merrell Women’s Siren Sport Q2 Hiking Shoe on long trail days, and you will be ensured its outsole will maintain its durability.

  1. Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine II Air Mesh

The Ahnu Sugarpine II Air Mesh hiking shoe is ideal for wearing on long and hot day hikes. It offers a sporty and sleek look yet offers comfort and ease for any spontaneous adventure.

The Ahnu Sugarpine II Air Mesh is equipped with the Ahnu Numentum® Hike technology for superior performance on the trail.  Superb airflow makes this shoe comfortable to wear even on hot days.

The dual-density EVA footbed, along with a rubber protector, minimizes the risk of stubs. The Numentum Hike Technology embedded in the shoe makes sure the foot is secure.

Pros

  • Good cushioning
  • Breathable
  • Lightweight design

Cons

  • Non-waterproof mesh upper

The Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine II Air Mesh hiking shoes are available in four vibrant colors.

  1.   Columbia Women’s Crestwood Waterproof Boot Hiking Shoe

The Columbia Women’s Crestwood Waterproof Hiker Shoe is a durable, lightweight, and waterproof shoe designed for many activities you can do on the trail.

The Crestwood hiking shoe is ideal for uneven terrain and steep trails. Its EVA midsole provides additional cushioning for each of your steps to ensure you are comfortable during your hiking adventure.

The Crestwood hiking shoe is made of full-grain leather, webbing, and mesh. Its waterproof upper is made of mesh and suede. The durable mesh tongue offers convenient breathability. It comes with a lace-up closure that ensures it. It is easy to adjust, too.

Pros

  • This shoe can keep your feet dry and warm even in cold weather.
  • Durable and waterproof
  • Nicely fits your feet
  • Lightweight yet provides adequate support
  • Non-marking rubber outsoles allow this shoe to be used in different terrains
  • Superb traction
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Toe box not too roomy
  • Slightly inferior insole

The Columbia Women’s Crestwood Waterproof Hiker Shoe is a one-of-a-kind hiking shoe that is tough and comes with superior waterproof properties. Casual hikers and backpackers love that it is sturdy, lightweight, and comes with great traction. It is a great shoe that comes with a budget-friendly price tag.

  1.   KEEN Women’s Targhee 3 Waterproof Hiking Shoe

The KEEN Women’s Targhee 3 Waterproof Hiking Shoe is one of the best options when you are going on damp trails or when you will be encountering a lot of water during your hike.

The Targhee 3 Waterproof Hiking Shoe features aggressive lugs. It comes with a thick thread in its rubber sole for durability. This shoe also has a non-slip grip to give you more confidence when hiking on rock and tough, uneven trails.

You can remove this shoe’s insole for easy cleaning, especially when you have been through mud and other unkind elements. Even if it does not cover your ankle, this hiking shoe provides good support. It has a breathable tongue and a cushioned collar.

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • Comes with a breathable membrane
  • Features a leather mud shield for durability
  • High-traction grip
  • Built specifically to match the form of women’s feet

Cons

  • Small toe box
  • Some users say the tongues are too narrow

The KEEN Women’s Targhee 3 Waterproof Hiking Shoe is designed to give you total comfort and protection even when worn all day long.  These hiking shoes will not give your feet any kind of fatigue. It is also great for hiking on wet trails.

The membrane of this hiking shoe makes it unique and stands out from other hiking shoes for women. It is also one of the best waterproof hiking shoes available. This shoe is available in neutral colors.

  1. Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R GTX

The Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R GTX is designed for long treks in rough terrain in snowy and rainy weather conditions. This shoe provides all-day comfort and support, thanks to its waterproof membrane.

The Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R GTX is equipped with Gore-Tex protection, making it waterproof and breathable. You can also carry a heavy backpack without worrying because your ankle will be on full lockdown with the shoe.

This hiking shoe features the Adiprene inserts to safely absorb shock because it makes sure your foot lands on a soft insert. On the other hand, a molded shock linen makes this shoe comfortable because it conforms to the curves of your foot.

Pros

  • The rubber outsole is of heavy-duty quality
  • Waterproof but still breathable
  • GORE-TEX lining for comfortable wear
  • Traxion outsole provides maximum grip
  • Adiprene midsole insert for good shock absorption and comfort
  • Available in a wide assortment of colors

Cons

  • Some users say they do not like the quality of the fabric.
  • Narrow for those with wider feet

The Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R GTX is lightweight. It is one of the best hiking shoes for women because it is designed with a durable synthetic upper, ripstop; more importantly, it is equipped with the GORE-TEX membrane that will always keep your feet dry.

The Adidas Outdoor Terrex Swift R GTX is a combination of style and durability. Getting in and out of the shoe is fast because of its superb lacing system. It comes in cool patterns and colors perfect for women who want to look chic even while on the trails.

Qualities to Look for in the Best Hiking Shoes for Women

To choose the right hiking shoes, you must know the shoes’ components and their intended use.

Today’s most hiking shoes are packed with many advanced features, making it a tedious task to pick the right fit.

You should pick the right hiking shoes to match the hike type, the weather on the day of the hike, and the kind of hiker you are.

Here are the things you need to consider when deciding on the best hiking shoes for women:

  • Cut

Hiking shoes can either be low-cut, mid-cut, or high-cut. The lower the cut of the hiking shoes, the less support the shoes give to your ankles. If you are going on a well-maintained trail, low-cut hiking shoes will suffice.

  • Materials

Most hiking shoes are made from leather or synthetic materials such as nylon or nylon polyester. Leather shoes are durable and long-lasting but can be heavy. Synthetic materials are more breathable. Leather is great for cold-weather hikes.

The uppers of your hiking shoes can be made of:

  • Full-grain leather for durability as well as abrasion and water-resistance.
  • Nubuck Leather is buffed full-grain leather.
  • Split-grain Leather provides excellent breathability when combined with nylon or nylon mesh.
  • Synthetic leather is lighter, dry faster, breaks in more quickly, and often cost less. 
  • Vegan-friendly hiking shoes do not have any animal by-products or ingredients.

The midsoles of hiking shoes can be made of:

  • Eva material is lighter and less expensive.
  • Polyurethane is more durable and firmer.

The outsoles of hiking are always made of rubber. Carbon additives are oftentimes added for more hardness, especially to mountaineering and backpacking shoes.

  • Waterproof vs. Non-waterproof

Waterproof hiking shoes are recommended when hiking in the fall and spring.

  • Weight

Heavier hiking shoes can better protect your feet. Some lighter shoes do not come with cushions to keep the weight down.

It is best to find a balance between cushion and protection, vis-à-vis the weight of your hiking shoes.

  • Comfort

Your hiking shoes should be comfortable. You should not settle for anything less. It can be dangerous to climb steep inclines or uneven terrain with uncomfortable hiking shoes because you will not be able to concentrate.

Hiking is a form of exercise, and enjoying the great outdoors is a great stress reliever. However, if you are suffering from an uncomfortable shoe, you will ruin everything.

  • Grip

Your hiking and having the right grip is crucial for your safety. Climbing steep terrain will be less dangerous and more manageable, too. Look for hiking shoes with a good grip by checking the materials the shoe is made of.

Rubber provides a good grip. The deeper the tread at the bottom of the shoe, the better your hiking shoes’ grip.

  • Support

Many say mid or high-cut shoes are the best for hiking, but it depends on what you are confident with. Good support is useful when you are carrying weight because it makes your ankle more stable. There are also many ways to lace your shoe to add stability and support.

  • Breathability

Waterproof shoes are less breathable because the same materials that make them waterproof are the same materials that make them less breathable. Choose hiking shoes made from mesh or mesh combined with synthetic leather or leather to make them breathable and lightweight. 

  • Toe Cap

Your toes need protection if your shoe hits logs, rocks, or debris. Choose hiking shoes with a toe cap – a firm piece of leather at the top of the toe and around the sides.

  • Lacing

The laces of hiking shoes are often the most overlooked element. An adequate lacing is one that is easy to adjust so you can get the proper fit. Laces should also be easy to loosen and tighten.

Laces that go above the shoe will give you more flexibility in making it fit. Laces that are of low quality will need constant re-tightening.

Does the Shoe Fit?

 Hiking shoes that are of the right fit is crucial when on a hiking adventure. Hiking shoes that fit well provides you with a lot of benefits.

  • Protection against foot injuries
  • Proper support and stability for your foot.
  • Enough comfort
  • Adequate shock-absorption
  • Retains shape of the shoe
  • Prolongs the life of the shoe

But how should your hiking shoes fit?

The right fit of your hiking shoe is essential; thus, you need to take your time in choosing the best hiking shoes for women. Try on several styles and makes until you find the one that is a perfect fit.

How can you say your shoe has the perfect fit?

  • Length from heel to toe

Size should be the first thing you need to consider. Shoe sizing is not standard and can vary between manufacturers. Try the hiking shoes and determine if it fits from heel to toes.

  • Width of the foot

Measure the width of the foot at the ball region.

  • Foot Volume

This is how much space your foot occupies inside the shoe from top to bottom. The right fit should approximate your foot’s shape in terms of volume, length, and width.

One foot is often longer than the other, so make sure your hiking shoes are the best fit.

  • Length of the Arch

This is the measurement from your heel to the ball of your foot. This measurement is more important than your foot’s length because it determines how your foot will fit in the shoe. Arch length is significant because your shoe will flex at the proper location as you take a step.

How to Stay Comfortable in Your Hiking Shoes

A good pair of hiking shoes is not all you need to be comfortable with.Here are some tips to keep you comfortable when you are hiking all day.

  • Take off your shoes at any opportunity you have
  • Take off your socks at any opportunity you have
  • Try to fit in some customized footbeds.

Keeping your feet healthy is crucial when you hike for days. You can take care of your feet by taking off your shoes often. When you stop to rest or to eat, take off your shoes and socks, then wiggle your toes.

Allowing your feet to rest from your hiking shoes will keep your feet from easily tiring. It will also prevent blisters.

Hiking Shoes and Hiking Boots: The Big Difference

When should you get the best hiking shoes for women, and when should you opt for hiking boots?

The height of the shoe is the main difference between hiking shoes and hiking boots. Hiking shoes have a low-top-fit. Hiking boots, on the other hand, reach above your ankle.

Hiking shoes are ideal for smooth trails where you cannot almost have a rolled ankle. The possibility of having rolled ankles is less if you have a light pack and when you walk fast. 

Hiking boots are your better option when you need to carry heavy packs and when you are going to traverse rough trails. The tall height of hiking boots and its laces will keep the shoe firmly snuggled around your ankle and will offer greater stability.

Many hikers, though, prefer to wear hiking shoes over hiking boots. Hiking shoes are lightweight.  Hiking shoes and hiking boots are great options for day hiking, backpacking, and when you are not going to traverse an alpine peak.

How to Care and Maintain your Hiking Shoes

If you want your hiking shoes to last longer, clean and maintain them. Never store your hiking shoes in the cabinet without getting rid of the dirt, mud, and any debris in it.

  • Cleaning

Check the instructions of the manufacturer on specific care instructions.

  1. Get rid of big chunks of mud and debris. Bang, tilt, and shake the shoe to loosen dirt and mud.
  1. Take off the laces.
  1. Clean the shoe with a soft-bristled brush.

When you use a soft-bristled brush, you can vigorously clean the shoe without ruining the material.  Wipe the shoe off when you are done and store it.

In instances wherein you forgot to immediately clean your shoe and mud dries up and hardens, use a blunt tool or a hard brush to break it off.

  1. Remove the insoles (a portion of the shoe where your foot sits) to eliminate any foul odor. Dry them off. You can also wash the insoles with mild detergent soap and water.
  1. Salt build-up due to sweating can be wiped inside out using a warm wet cloth.
  • Drying

Dry your hiking shoes at an average temperature. Extreme heat may damage the shoe’s material and weaken the glue. The insoles should be dried out of the shoe.

You can also place your hiking shoes in front of an electric fan to speed up the drying process. Make sure to stuff some newspaper into the toe. Replace the newspaper when it becomes wet.

Maintenance

Make sure to read the treatment guidelines of the manufacturer before applying any treatment to your hiking shoes. One way to maintain the leather of your hiking shoes is to apply conditioner with a soft cloth or your finger.

 Do not put too much conditioner as it may damage the leather. You can apply conditioner on a full-grain leather hiking shoe.  However, you should never add conditioner on nubuck and suede hiking shoes. 

  • Storage

Store your clean and dry hiking shoes in a well-ventilated and dry area or the closet ready for your next hiking trip. Place some newspaper inside to keep its shape if you store your hiking shoes for quite some time.

Do not Forget the Socks.

After buying the best hiking shoes for women,it is now time to set your mind on finding the right pair of socks. The fit of your hiking shoes will dictate the right hiking socks to buy.

What should you consider before buying hiking socks other than your hiking shoes? The climate or environment in your hiking site. You will need lightweight shocks for summer and heavy-duty and thick socks in the winter.

Hiking socks come in different levels of thickness.  The thickness of the bottom of the socks also depends on their intended use.

  • Ultralight socks come with minimal padding. These are ideal when you go hiking in hot and warm weather. This type of sock gives more flexibility.
  • Lightweight socks have a little bit of cushioning. They are moisture-wicking and are breathable.
  • Medium-weight socks have more cushioning than lightweight socks. They have moderate moisture wicking and are more breathability.
  • Heavy-weight socks have the thickest cushions. They are the warmest socks. They do not wick moisture as much as the other styles of socks. These socks are the best for longer treks and cold weather.

Hiking socks are also available in different materials:

  • Polyester/Nylon/Spandex are synthetic fibers found in fiber blend hiking socks. They are breathable.
  • Cotton is not moisture-wicking; however, it comes with a very soft feel many hikers love. Hikers do not wear 100% cotton socks because it will make your feet sweat during long hikes.
  • Wool is the most popular and best hiking socks. They can be expensive, too, but you should never compromise on your feet’ comfort and protection.

The height of your hiking socks is also one aspect you need to consider. Hiking socks come in many heights. The height of your socks depends on the type of hiking shoes.

Hikers often prefer socks that do not show out of the hiking shoes. Some also prefer socks that are ankle, crew, quarter, and knee-length.

If you are wearing hiking shoes, the height of your socks does not matter. If you are wearing hiking boots, wear quarter or higher socks, so the top of the boots does not contact your skin. This is to avoid blisters around your ankle and calf.

Always make sure your hiking socks are of the right fit so you can avoid any discomfort while hiking and prevent blisters as well. Before going on your first hike, walk around wearing your hiking shoes and socks. Your socks should not be too tight as it can cut off circulation. Make sure no seams should be rubbing on your skin.

Common Questions about the Best Hiking Shoes for Women

The hiking shoe being waterproof is often the main concern of women and almost all hikers. Here are some commonly asked questions about waterproof hiking shoes:

  1. When should waterproof hiking shoes be considered?

It is always best to be wearing waterproof hiking shoes, most especially during the shoulder seasons. Shoulder seasons are cold, but it usually only rains and not snows. It can be dangerous when wet, though.

October to mid-December is considered the shoulder season. The temperature ranges from low to cold, with some rains.

Wearing waterproof hiking shoes will keep your feet dry when the ground is wet, even if it is not raining. You need to keep your feet dry to prevent non-freezing cold injuries.

It can be dangerous for water to get into your shoes during this cold weather because your feet need to be dry and warm.

  1. Will waterproof hiking shoes always keep feet dry?

Most of the time, waterproof hiking shoes will keep your feet dry. They will keep your feet dry while you are hurdling through puddles. This is, of course, assuming that your waterproof hiking shoe is of top shape and if the puddles are not deeper than the top of your hiking shoes.

When it rains, water will still come at the top of your hiking shoes, but you can stop it to a certain extent by wearing gaiters. You can also cinch down your rain pants. If you are wearing waterproof hiking shoes, though, you can have dry feet for an hour or two before the water enters your shoe.

Final Thoughts

Your feet and legs will take in most of the burden when you are on a hiking trip. Choosing from among the best hiking shoes for women will ensure your feet are well-protected when you traverse uneven terrain while on a hunting trip.

If you go through the rigorous process of finding shoes for work and parties, the more you need to be meticulous in choosing the best hiking shoes for women.  Your hiking shoes are what is going to carry you through your hiking adventures.

Your life will depend on your hiking shoes, so choose them with diligence and care with comfort, safety, and durability as topmost in your mind.

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