If you spend much time hiking around in the outdoors, there are few things more indispensable than a good pair of hiking boots. For women, there are a few variations in the design and size of hiking boots that make certain boots more or less suitable as women's hiking boots.
Womens Hiking BootsHere are a few things to look out for when buying your next pair of hiking boots.
- Weight - I'm a bit biased when it comes to weight, but there is no reason that you should wear heavy hiking boots when you could be wearing lightweight hiking boots instead. Every pound on your feet is roughly equivalent to 5 pounds on your back, in terms of energy expenditure. Would you go hiking with 10 pound weights in your backpack?
- Waterproofing vs Breathability - Waterproof and breathable tend to be on two ends of sliding scale. You can usually get one, but not both. Some materials, like Gore-Tex liners, can do a half decent job of giving you both, but it's always going to be a bit of a choice between the two.
Best Womens Hiking BootsThese are some of the best hiking boots on the market right now.
- Scarpa Kailash GTX Boot - The Kailash boots from Scarpa won the Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice Award back in 2008, and the design has not changed much since, and they are still a fantastic women's hiking boot. A Gore-Tex liner and Vibram sole stand out, but what will really sell you on these boots is the weight, which is just 19 ounces, or 540 grams. Very lightweight for a pair of hiking boots. You will feel like you're not even wearing boots.
- Keen Targhee II Mid Hiking Boots - The Targhee are a lower cut hiking boot, and if you're not looking for something with full ankle support, these are an ideal choice. They weigh 30 ounces, which translates to 850 grams, so not as light as the Kailash above, but not extremely heavy either. The leather and mesh upper, in combination with Keen's own waterproof membrane helps to keep your feet dry. They're also comfortable right out of the box for most users, and the front toe guard is a bonus if you're the kind of person that rips up the front of a hiking shoe with regular abuse.
- Asolo Stynger Gore-Tex Boot - These are a bigger, heavier duty kind of hiking boot that would be suitable for things like scree fields and winter hiking, in addition to regular trails. But that toughness comes at a price, which is weight. The Styngers weigh in at 2.43 pounds, or 1.1 kilograms. Definitely not light, but at the same time, lighter than many other tough hiking boots.