We all know hiking is fun, and you don’t need to be an outdoor aficionado to dig the exciting encounters that nature offers.
As with any outdoor activity, you need the proper gear to make the most out of your expedition, and boots are undeniably the most critical gear for hikers. As such, investing time in picking the right option for you makes sense.
In most cases, looks are not an important consideration when it comes to selecting the right pair. You want to look at comfort, stability, weight, warmth, water resistance and durability of the shoe.
Choosing the right fit for you that offers a comfortable snug fit at the heels and enough wiggling room for the toes is important.
We’re here to take the guesswork out of the selection process and help you find the right hiking boots for women.
Ready? Let’s get right into it.
10 Traits of Quality Hiking Boots For Women
1. Water Resistant
Hiking can be messy at times, so you want to ensure your feet have the right protection. Consider finding a pair that has optimum water resistance. Manufacturers use two ways to make shoes resistant to water:
- Adding a waterproof inner membrane
- Adding chemical waterproof treatment to the upper part
The most common material used in waterproofing is known as Gore-Tex, usually labeled as GTX. Others include Oboz and eVent. Look for any of these materials on the labels when shopping for a waterproof pair.
All of these materials serve the same purpose — to prevent the entry of moisture into the boot while releasing the inner moisture to the outside.
Some shoes have polyurethane (PU) coatings that do not allow water to enter the shoe.
There are also seam sealers that can help make your shoes waterproof, but it’s advisable to find a pair that is already water resistant.
You already know that hiking can be tiresome, and the last thing you want is to be lagging behind because of extra weight on your feet. Some shoes weigh about five pounds and can get pretty heavy over time.
Instead, you want to get a pair that weighs roughly two pounds. Keep in mind that this will help to conserve your energy during the trip.
Lighter options allow you to move faster and freely, helping you cover more ground within your planned time. Heavy boots are preferred for specific applications.
Then again, don’t go for boots that are too light or not well-made. These type may not give you the adequate support you need and can lead to painful ankles.
Some waterproof liners have poor breathability. Keep in mind that making boots waterproof impacts breathability, so it helps to be aware of this when looking at different shoes.
You’ll find that shoes that are highly water resistant make your feet warm during the summer months. As such, look for hiking boots for women that feature a lot of mesh and thinner fabrics to allow air circulation while still keeping your socks and feet dry.
Some experts will recommend giving non-waterproof options a try. The trick most hikers use is having two or more pairs that they can use depending on the weather conditions.
4. Good Lacing Systems
Lacing systems are usually overlooked when buying hiking boots, but they play a significant role in the comfort and fit of your shoes. If a boot has a poor lacing system that is prone to loosening, you’ll find yourself readjusting the lacing constantly.
The system should also secure your heels well to prevent the possibility of blisters, which tend to happen due to the up and down walking motions. A single-pull lacing system is one of the most convenient options you can consider.
For some boots, you can find good replacement laces to switch with those on your shoes. But before that happens, take the time to find hiking boots that have a lacing system that works well for you.
5. Proper Traction
Don’t use cross trainers for hiking. Instead, find hiking boots for women that feature improved traction. When it comes to traction, the top manufacturer is Vibram.
Vibram makes outsoles that boast solid traction and grip to power you through just about any terrain. Still, don’t treat all Vibram outsoles the same since they are tailored to meet the designs and requirements of specific brands.
You’ll find some boots with larger lugs for heavy mud while other have sticky rubbers to make scrambling over rocks easy and quick.
Some boots have just simple lugs that will do fine on easier trails. The type of lugs you consider depends on your hiking destinations. The general rule is the better the traction, the easier for you to walk, especially during rainy seasons.
6. Adequate Toe Protection
Even well-maintained hiking trails have roots, rocks, and other potential hazards, so it’s helpful to get hiking boots for women that feature some type of toe cap.
Boots that lack toe protection leave you susceptible to tripping and injuries. You’ll find most hiking shoes have a full rubber toe cap while others have a wraparound rubber rand at the front part.
Also, don’t forget to check the insoles of the shoe. You want options that fit your foot shape and size perfectly. Good insoles will help to give you the right fit, cushion, and comfort.
Hiking Boots for Women – The Takeaway
Like buying a new phone, getting the right hiking shoes is a personal preference. There are so many features and characteristics that you need to consider since purchasing hiking boots is an investment. Try several pairs to see how they feel on your feet; you can walk on stairs to determine if they are suitable for you.
The right hiking boots for women should be durable and provide adequate ankle support. Finding the right shoes is vital in having a memorable and fun hiking experience.