Up for a hike? Got your hiking boots on? Looking for best hiking boots for women? We have listed the the best boots for your next adventure.
Why take time to review hiking boots? Prevention is better than cure, trust me!
Normal boot wasn’t only uncomfortable but also didn’t protect my feet from injuries. Shame!
I learnt from my mistakes but you don’t need to make it too, you can learn from mine.
I was a fool to think that hiking boots were unnecessary.
You need hiking boots for comfortability while you walk, prevent blisters and sore feet.
These days, every time I go on a hike, I don’t leave my hiking boots home. They let me enjoy the nature rather than to whine about sore feet.
So, if yo want to go lighter, faster and keep your feet safe all the time, here are the ten best hiking boots for women you need to pick from.
- Best Hiking Boots for Women in 2017 (Top 10)
- 1. Lowa Renegade GTX Mid – Women’s
- 2. Ahnu Montara Women’s Hiking Boot
- 3. Keen Targhee II Mid – Women’s
- 4. Merrell Women’s Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
- 5. Asolo Athena – Women’s Hiking Boots
- 6. Salomon Comet 3D GTX – Women’s
- 7. Merrell Salida Mid WP – Women’s Hiking Boots
- 8. Timberland Women’s Chocorua Trail Boot
- 9. Vasque Breeze GTX – Women’s
- 10. Scarpa Kailash GTX – Women’s
- Are Hiking Boots Necessary for Women?
- How to Choose Hiking Boots for Women?
- The Verdict
Best Hiking Boots for Women in 2017 (Top 10)
You can find a wide range of variety in Lowa Renegade based on size, ankle height, color and design materials.
It comes in 11 different colors, which is absolutely tempting because you can get quality boots and also enjoy color selection.
A pair of Lowa Renegde adds only 2.3 pounds per pair for a women’s size 8. They weigh in as lightweight boots but they can meet the expectations you would have for a widweight boot.
Either way you are on a winning side with Lowa Renegade boots.
Compared with other women’s boot, you can enjoy more comfortable hikes with sufficient versatility.
The midsole of Lowa Renegade is made of Monowrap technology. This means a full wrap of polyurethane, wraps the boot and reaches up onto the sides.
It integrates the full length of shank, which will provide greater shock absorption, underfoot protection, durability and stabilization.
One reason I like Lowa Renegade’s midsole is because they are eco-friendly. They don’t require annual replacement or adjustment.
The Lowa Renegade GTX Mid boots lasts upto 5-7 years which is 2-3 times longer than the expected life of other top women’s boots.
However, the Nubuck leather uppers aren’t initially very flexible as compared to Merrell Women’s Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot – Women’s or the Salomon Comet 3D GTX – Women’s. Despite that, its durability is unparalleled.
Lowa Renegade holds your ankle in a supported stance with its 4.75” ankle height. Along with that, the height also provides you water resistance.
If you’re new to hiking in boots, consider some break-in-period for your boot in easy to moderate trails. This will help you avoid disorientation and discomfort in rougher trails.
Lowa Renegade’s soles are made of Vibram Evo rubber soles. They provide stability, support and secured grip on any terrain and reduce the impact on you feet soles.
The insoles are stiff, which adds arch support and will keep your feet from feeling every stick and rock underfoot. The initial stiffness can feel uncomfortable but will ease up after using for a couple of days on trail.
I find the overall padding around the ankles, tongue and upper of Lowa Renegade pretty excellent.
The lacing system weaves through four pairs of securely locking eyelets and two pairs of hook eyelets at the top of ankle shaft. So you can adjust the boot as required.
Lowa Renegade has a seamless Gore-Tex waterproof membrane inside. It allows the moisture to escape and creates a barrier of water to enter.
Only the Ahnu Montara – Women’s rated as high as the Rengades for water resistance.
However, as you already guessed, these are one of the expensive boots, but with its all season support, the money is totally worth it.
Things I like:
- Incredible ankle support and aggressive treadv
- Unique design features to stabilize you on and off the trail
- Water resistance
- Durable and versatile
- Color variety and lightweight
- Monowrap frame construction
- Seamless Gore-Tex lining
Ahnu montara stands for comfort, lightweight, water resistant and protective making it your top choice for comfortable hiking.
What I personally like about Ahnu montara is that it is very lightweight. It weighs 1.8 pound per pair for a women’s size 8 making it one of the lightest hiking shoes.
Ahnu montara has Vibram rubber soles, which is very rigid and tough. Even after miles of hiking, you won’t find much wear and tear of the soles.
Similarly, its midsoles are made of dual density EVA, allowing flexibility for your heels.
The Ahnu montara employs Numentum technology to create stability and support in the step. However, the drawback is it allows a slight inward rotation.
Like most other hiking boots, you will find the forefoot and uppers of Ahnu montara made of Nubuck leather. This leather provides flexibility and no resistance allowing you to bend your feet as necessary given the nature of terrain.
It has an ankle height of 5”, which will keep you dry while crossing the creeks. However the soft material won’t provide you much ankle support. If your are explicitly looking for a hiking boot with ankle support, you can refer to Lowa Renegade GTX Mid – women’s.
Ahnu montara’s insoles are neither over pronounced nor completely flat, making it an average performer.
Whether you hike in varying terrain or go for uphill hike or downhill hike on dirt or hike on slippery wet creek – Ahnu montara is your rescue.
The vibram rubber soles provides stiffness and durability as well as grippy traction for hiking on dirt or granite or any tough trail.
They comprise a semi-aggressive tread, which will level down the difficulty of your hiking significantly.
A lasting comfort is what you are looking out for in your potential hiking boot. Ahnu montara gives your ankle a soft touch with excellent padding with a collar made of pig leather.
Even when you lace up Ahnu montara tightly, you won’t feel any pressure from the lacing or the ankle shaft.
However they are comparatively narrow in sizing. So if you need wider foot bed you can go for Salomon Comet 3D GTX – Women’s.
Similarly the lacing of Ahnu montara around the ankles is hard to tighten enough, making it less comfortable.
Ahnu montara’s inside is lined with EVent waterproof/breathable membranes. It resists water from outside and breathes out the moisture inside.
Similarly, Ahnu montara will exceed your expectations while using it on snow. They are extremely versatile and can be suitable in spring, summer, fall and even winter.
Because of the lightweight, they aren’t as durable as Lowa Renegade, but they surely will survive miles and miles.
So given all the features, Ahnu montara are suitable for rough trails but not so much for off trail travel in rugged areas.
Ahnu montara is a great all round women’s hiking boot for those who look for support from their hiking boots.
They lie in the mid-range in price making it an attractive deal. The feminine shape and slim fit are added bonuses for the women.
Things I like:
- Extremely lightweight
- No break-in-period required
- Fits perfectly like a hiking shoe
- Stylish design
- Superior water resistance
- Combination of hiking shoe and hiking boot
They provide an excellent combination of price, fit and comfort of a hiking shoe and tread, water resistance and support of a hiking boot, which will enhance your overall satisfaction with hiking boots.
Targhee II Mid are sturdy, durable and capable of handling dirt and with all that features it weighs just 1.8 pounds per pair. You will feel them as light as they do on scale.
They won’t add much weight to your body even during the long trail days spent hiking or trail building.
Targhee II boots have stiffer rubber soles that will stabilize your stance and provide support.
However the shorter ankle height won’t be suitable for you during the stream crossings. For better ankle support you can go for Lowa Renegade GTX Mid – Women’s and Merrell Women’s Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot – Women’s.
The dual density compression molded midsoles with torsion stability ESS shanks and a metatomical foot bed design supports your female foot arch perfectly.
Similarly the flexible forefoot won’t restrict your footsteps in normal or in demanding terrain.
The semi-aggressive tread pattern and lug depths of 4 mm will hold your boots on the trail while travelling through granite, steep slopes and on wet rock.
The tractions will provide you better grip and will keep you on your feet. However given the ankle height, they are best suited for day use and light backpacking.
Targhee II requires a break-in-period of around a day or two on trail, which is lesser that midweight or heavyweight boots.
So if break-in-period deters you from hiking boots, you should consider Ahnu Montara- Women’s boots.
You will find Targhee II as its tongue remains outside the ankle shaft, avoiding the tongue to discomfort your feet.
With Targhee II, your feet will remain dry and the boots remain comfortable for continuous hiking after getting wet.
Your boot’s interiors won’t absorb moisture unless they are submerged in standing water for a prolonged period of more than a minute or two.
The leather uppers of Targhee II with mesh inlays will keep your feet nice and warm on cool mornings, but the breathability doesn’t excel in temperature above 90 degrees. So you should keep that in mind.
Keen Targhee II is made of several small pieces stitched together. This leaves weak spots making the entire boot less durable than the others.
Hiking boots like the Lowa Renegade, Merrell Women’s Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, and Timberland Women’s Chocorua Trail Boot – Women’s have fewer creases and gaps between material and higher durability.
Keen Targhee II’s toe box area allows for some slight pressure between the toe protecting rubber and your toes as well.
Still confused between boots or shoes? Targhee II Mids are the best of both.
Things I like:
- Very comfortable
- Sturdy soles
- Excellent toe protection
- Perfect combination of hiking shoes and boots
Whether you intend to hike in spring, summer, or fall, set goals for ridgeline traverses or mellow meandering meadow trails, or like to switch between day hikes and long backpacking trips, the mid-weight Merrell Women’s Moab Mid boots are well suited for your adventures.
These boots weigh 3.25 pounds, making them one of the heaviest boots but still lighter than the traditional heavyweight hiking boots.
However, while you’re wearing it, it will feel around 2-2.5 pounds on foot. But still If actual weight is holding you back, consider the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid – Women’s or Ahnu montara- women’s or Keen Targhee II Mid- women’s.
They have a unique forefoot design that will allow your foot to bend with each step without any hindrance.
The thing I like most is its 5” high ankle shaft. Your heels will be embraced properly and ankles comfortably supported even when unlaced.
The sturdy and durable yet soft and flexible soles of FC eco 3.0 are made of vibram rubber. They provide you Impact Brake System with deep lugs facing opposing directions for increased tractions.
Merrell Women’s Moab Mid have semi-aggressive tread, which gives you stability in mud, snow and on steep slopes.
Initially stiff, it will get comfortable as you keep on using them. You should give them a short break-in-period of two or more outings.
The toe box is roomy and the heel is well padded and supportive, allowing your feet overall comfortability.
However they have narrow foot bed, which maybe uncomfortable if you have a wide feet.
It is lined with Gore-Tex waterproof/breathable membrane, which will keep your feet dry in creek water and allows the moisture out even in mid-summer high temperatures.
Despite the mesh looking outer, they will also keep your feet dry while hiking through 4-5” of moving water.
The Nubuck leather and sturdy rubber soles are highly durable, but the overall boot might not last just as long.
So Merrell Women’s Moab Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot are well rounded for day-hiking or backpacking suring spring, summer or fall.
They are quite expensive, but cheaper than Renegades and also will provide you great value.
Things I like:
- Mesh panels on the uppers
- Grippy traction
- Water resistance
- High ankle shaft height
- Flexible on forefoot
Weighing just under 2 pounds, Athena is a lightweight hiking boot suited for fast movement in the mountains.
The combination of mesh, suede and polyester keeps the weight lower than full grain leather boots. They are light not only on scale but also on your feet and provide maximum breathability.
Asolo has a insole-midsole-sole that aims to mimic your natural foot contours and shape for maximum comfort.
The Natural Shape incorporated in Asolo cups the heel, creating a spacious toe box area. It will be beneficial to some anatomical shapes while some might feel unsupported.
You can get a loose and flexible ankle support from Asolo. The softness of the ankle shaft will help you in agile movement and fast hiking on semi-technical terrain.
However it lacks adequate support for those carrying heavy packs or in need of ankle stabilizing.
Asolo gives you deep lugs and a varied tread pattern. Since the tread isn’t widely spaced, it may lead to some adhesion in sticky mud. But overall the boots shed dirt and sand without clumping.
You can maintain stability and traction even on wet river rocks and in slushy spring snow conditions with Asolo.
But the drawback of Asolo is that it provides no slip grip on a wide range of trail conditions, including rocks and drowned trees.
The molded EVA foot beds and Asoflex Natural Shape midsoles are firm. This will provide you support and increase the comfort level.
Asolo will be great for you for moving fast in semi-technical terrain, but they’re not firm enough. This might lead to sore feet on rugged terrain and discomfort on rocks and roots.
Despite these, they provide you excellent breathability through light upper material, including water resistant suede.
You can stay dry with Asolo while walking through moving water, standing water and while submerged in upto 5” of water. Water beads off of the synthetic material and the waterproof lining will keep your feet completely dry.
The Asolo comprises a combination of suede, mesh and polyester which is not as durable as leather but allows excellent breathability.
You can feel the sharp terrain underfoot because of the thin rubber sole of Asolo and it might wear out sooner than other hiking boots.
The flexibility of the ankle shaft and soft rubber soles provide you comfort and stability while moving fast across semi-technical terrain.
Asolo falls under the expensive boots, but given its features they are a good value.
Unlike most hiking boots, Asolo has a tall flexible ankle shaft that requires little to no break-in-period.
Things I like:
- Excellent breathability
- Water resistance
- Spacious fit
- Comfortable traction
The Comet 3D are ideal for you for three season backpacking, particularly on uneven terrain unlike other women’s hiking boots.
It weighs 2.4 pounds and lie on the mid-range weight. But unfortunately they feel heavier on foot because of the bulky soles.
The Comet 3D features stiff soles that will offer you flexibility to absorb the impact from rocks and roots beneath your feet.
The midsole of Comet 3D is made of EVA with a thermoplastic urethane shank that will provide you added support. The ortholite foot bed liners are well-padded for long-days on trail.
The uppers of Comet 3D is made of Nubuck leather and polyester mesh. However, the imbalance in construction materials makes the underfoot feel heavy and the upper part untra-flexible.
Comet 3D will provide you excellent ankle support as it has a superior lacing system than other boots.
However hiking in Comet 3D lacks overall support of the feet and back body.
The staggered eyelets allow you a secure, personalized fit and the ability to adjust the tightness of the boots in changing conditions, with different sock thickness as per your liking.
The deep lugs and a varied tread pattern shed mud and dirt from the bottom of shoes, and keeps you hiking forward.
The Contagrip rubber of Comet keeps your sole gripped while hiking on granite or other rock surfaces. The traction will handle rugged terrain, loose gravel and dirt, scree and talus for you.
However Comet 3D are rated lowest in comfort. It has an uncomfortable tongue design that digs in at the ankle when the boots are laced up. Lowa Renegades and Ahnu Montatas are the most comfortable ones among women’s hiking boots.
The Gore-Tex waterproof/breathable membranes in Comet 3D with Nubuck leather uppers provide incredible water resistance.
Similarly the ankle shaft height of 4.5” allows you to walk across creeks and not wet your socks. But prolonged submersion might lead to water absorption.
The polyester mesh with leather uppers lends your feet increased breathability.
The bulky rubber soles of Comet 3D are best suited for rugged terrain. They will sustain through creeks, up mountains, across talus slopes and on steep trails.
The mud guard on the front of Comet 3D doesn’t only protect your toes but also wraps around the boot to protect the entire base of the boot from rock damage, sticks and other trail impacts.
The Comet 3D are too bulky for day hiking but are best suited for spring, summer and fall backpacking.
It falls under the top 5 expensive women’s hiking boots, but if it gives the value you’re looking for then its worth it.
Things I like:
- Aggressive tread
- Incredible water resistance
- Well padded lining
- Unique lacing system
Merrell salida lies in the middle ground between a shoe and a boot. They weigh 1.86 pounds making themselves one among the lightest boots you can have.
Despite the lightweight on scale, they don’t provide an airy feel to your feet because of the mesh uppers.
Given the relatively short ankle shaft height, the support provided by Salida is below average and might not meet your expectations.
Along with that the insoles are stiff, which won’t give you much ankle stabilization as other taller boots. Yet you can add market insoles for appropriate level of arch support and comfort.
Salida has M Select Grip soles for resisting slips, which are made of solid rubber with widely spaced 5 mm lugs on the tread.
The tread patterns of Salida are varied with widely spaced lugs. This will help you to shed off the dirt, sand and mud.
The stiff soles constructed of gripping rubber makes its one among your best choices for traction.
You will require no break-in-period for Salida. They are comfortable straight out of the box.
What I personally like is the adequate padding that surrounds the ankle and tongue while abrasion resistant lining resists pilling.
The EVA foot beds of Salida are stiff and uncomfortable if your feet demands arch support, in a case otherwise they work perfectly fine.
With the waterproof lining, Salida will keep your feet dry in shallow puddles and through dew covered foliage.
It features the bellowed tongues, which intends to keep debris out and also acts as barrier to water when the boots are submerged.
Salida can keep you dry at approximately 3-4 “ of moving water, above which the water might enter inside your shoes.
The mesh panels on the uppers of Salida allow your feet some breathability in cool to mildly warm temperature but they might be uncomfortable during the summers.
However if you have naturally warm feet, then I suggest you use thinner socks except in cold weather.
Salida is made of full grain leather, which is among the most durable hiking material, combined with mesh that increases the overall boot’s durability,
You will find Salida impressive for spring and fall hiking and light backpacking on easy to moderate terrain.
The mesh panels and less breathability, Salida won’t be appropriate during mid-summer hike or in high temperature areas.
Yet these boot don’t offer enough stability for long distance or heavy weight backpacking.
Given the price of Salida, it provides a good value for spring and fall hikes.
Things I like:
- Well padded around the ankles
- Proper fitting
- Stiff soles with good traction
If you have a nostalgic feeling towards a clean leather upper, functional lacing system and subtle color accents rather than the intricate patterns of mesh and leather and synthetic materials, then the classic boot for you is Timberland Women’s Chocorua Trail Boot.
Even with the classy looks this boot will provide you all the features and technical aspects of top women’s hiking boots. It is the boots that combines the traditional aspects of hiking boots with techinical aspects.
The solid rubber soles of chocorua trail appear bulky, but trust me they are surprisingly supportive and feel light on feet.
However on scale, Chocorua Trail weighs 3.25 pounds per pair for women’s size 8, which is quite heavy. But as I said the actual weight isn’t reflected while they’re on you feet.
You must also consider the fact that, the solid rubber soles designed for stability might as well give you undesirable flexibility on rugged trail.
The nylon shanks and removable dual density EVA foot beds will support your feet with stiffness; however the boots are not capabke of bending downward from toe to heel.
The full leather uppers will provide your forefoot flexibility and the rust proof speed lace will allow you to personalize the tightness and support.
The full grain leather of Chocorua Trail reaches 4.5” up the ankle to stabilize and support your ankles while hiking.
Generally most women’s feet lean inward leading to knee and joint pain, but unfortunately the under arch design of Chocorua lets your feet lean inward instead of neutralizing the stance.
One unique feature of Chocorua Trail is the B.S.F.P. (Braking, Supporting, Flexing, Propelling) Motion Efficiency System. Through this system, as your foot moves at its natural motion, the boot is designed to assist for the highest efficiency.
What I personally like about Chocorua are the sturdy, solid rubber soles. They will provide you traction in mud, loose dirt and sand, and grip on granite surfaces for balance.
You wouldn’t believe but Chocorua will keep you upright even in four inches of fresh mud.
However in context of comfortability, they lie somewhere in between. Because of the shape of the foot bed, they might cause you discomfort during downhill hiking.
The inner padding of Chocorua around the ankle shaft and cuff will provide you great assistance during miles of hiking.
Similarly the soft laces are unobtrusive against the tongue when the shoes are laced tightly giving you maximum comfort.
Since Chocorua’s uppers are full leather, they take multiple hikes o soften, but ones they do they will provide you long-term comfort on backpacking trips and long day hikes.
The Gore-Tex lining inside the Chocorua Trail provides you excellent water resistance. However breathability is not its strong point.
The breathability is fine in spring and fall, but won’t be good enough for mid-summer heat.
Also the 4.5” high ankle shaft keeps the water out of the foot bed while hiking across shallow creeks.
The boots will remain dry and will repel water off the leather uppers even in late fall snowstorms.
One beautiful thing about Chocorua is the rust proof lacing hardware. So even though you frequently pass through water your boot’s eyelet will remain intact.
The full grain leather is the most durable upper material and the sturdy soles are also durable. But Chocorua as an overall boot falls somewhere in between in case of durability.
Thus spring and fall are the best seasons for using Chocorua.
They are light and flexible enough for day hiking yet sturdy enough to support a pack load on your back for a week-long trip.
So being the least expensive hiking boots, Chocorua Trail will provide you great value.
Things I like:
- B.S.F.P. Motion Efficiency System
- Sturdy rubber soles
- Gore-Tex lining and nylon shank
- Classic design
- Comfortable and rust proof lacing system
- Well padded
The midsole of Breeze is tall and wide which will provide you cushion, support and stability for carrying a pack with weight or for extended trek.
If you’re up for trekking in multiple types of terrain, the Breeze gives you durable Vibram sole with aggressive lugs for great traction.
Given the regular and wide versions of Breeze, you can find a perfect fit for your feet and enjoy the roomy comfort.
The reason I like Breeze is because of its narrower heel cup. It gives me extra support in the instep, and higher arches than the men’s version.
They feature wide gusseted tongue, which will stay flat and comfortable on the front of your feet while keep out the debris and water.
Similarly the large eyelets will let you lace up conveniently and tighten them too.
The uppers of Breeze are meshy, which will allow more breathability to your feet. However they might also wear out more quickly than the sole.
If you’re a style conscious person, then Breeze is the one for you. They have a typical technical hiking boot look to them, making them athletically stylish.
However the major drawback of Breeze is that it lascks water resistance. Walking through water is not a function you will be expecting from Breeze.
Vasque Breeze is a midweight hiker that will support you for backpacking trips or day hikes on rough terrain.
They aren’t very expensive given its characteristics. If you don’t care about water resistance much, then Breeze will perfectly suit you.
Things I like:
- Narrow and wide fit options
- Wide gusseted tongue
- Great tread
Contrary to the old models, the new Kailash has a new midsole and a sole design that will provide you more support.
The Kailash will provide you decent support and will work better with heavy loads.
They weigh 2.4 pounds, falling among the midweight hiking boots. Given the weight they will feel light on feet but they will be particularly good for backpacking hikes.
The firmer heel cup and a rise on the ankle also aids on providing you more stability for a heavy backpack.
Kailash features a beefy Vibram sole, which will provide you excellent traction and better performance in rougher terrains.
These soles are extra durable, and will last even longer than the overall boot.
Well the con is, this sole contributes additional weight to the boot.
The uppers of kailash aren’t particularly awesome. They are rather lumpy and bunches when tied tightly.
Also while hiking, when you bend your foot it will often create a pressure on the top of your foot.
The toe rand of the Kailash gives you extra protection to the front of your foot.
The kailash has a very traditional techy look to it. If you like it, they also come in Ginko Green.
The Gore-Tex Performance Footwear lining will keep your feet dry through snow patches and sloppy mud.
Given all the features of Kailash, it is ideally suited for backpacking with weight than day hiking.
You will be able to get Kailash in midrange price for its midweight hiking boot.
Things I like:
- Water resistance
- Beefy sole
- Great traction
Are Hiking Boots Necessary for Women?
Men or women, if you’re hiking you need hiking boots.
They are more durable, and also provide better foot and ankle protection on rough, slippery and rocky trails.
With hiking boots, your feet will be dry and comfortable even while you are travelling through inches deep mud or slush.
One thing that might be scaring you on your hikes may be the hideous snake, but with hiking boots your ankles are all set. You can have peace of mind finally.
Similarly the hiking boots have coarse structured sole, which helps you prevent skidding.
If you are carrying a backpack, you surely would want hiking boots to get more ankle coverage and also for proper support to your joints.
The hiking boots’ sole have stiffness in the soles and midsoles, which will alleviate some of the pressure on your feet. You won’t have to most hither and thither to maintain balance and keep upright.
Any sort of hiking can be made a lot easier with hiking boots, but you might want to especially consider having it if your trail is rocky, covered in roots, uneven, wet and exceptionally steep.
How to Choose Hiking Boots for Women?
Getting a pair of hiking boot. As simple as it might sound, you need to consider a list of things before buying one.
A comfortable hiking boots are essential to achieve your hiking goal with fun and no complaints.
Don’t panic ladies! Here are a few factors you should consider when you’re buying hiking boots:
Other features in your boot can move a bit on, but if the fit isn’t perfect – the boot isn’t perfect.
You need to make sure, and try enough pairs of boots until it fits you perfectly.
Otherwise your boot won’t serve you the purpose of holding your ankles on position and avoiding sprains.
Also take your hiking socks along and wear them while trying out the boots. It can help you find out the perfect fit.
While trying out the boots make sure there’s enough room inside. Your toes shouldn’t be touching the front of toe box when laced up.
Also make sure that you’re able to insert your index finger between the heel of your foot and the back of the boot, while the boot is unlaced and you toe is actually touching the toe box.
All of the hiking boots are not waterproof and you don’t compulsorily need water proofness for all sorts of hiking.
Your choice of the hiking boots depends on whether the area is dry or wet, summer or rainy or snowy.
Non-waterproof boots breathe better than waterproof ones, so you might prefer these during summer or dry season.
If you’re going to be anywhere you’re likely to be in rain or on a wet trail, I’d highly recommend a waterproof model.
Deciding in the height of the boot can be a pretty important decision.
A taller boot gives you more stability and waterproffness but on the darker side it will be heavier and warmer.
I would suggest you taller boots if you’re going for long trips or ones with bad weather.
You can choose a medium heighted boot for shorter trips, which can be a little wet too.
Finally short boots can be ideal for shorter trips with dry trails or summer.
However the height you choose can be highly influenced by your comfortability and the ease with which you can walk.
The general perception about the boot weight is “lighter the better”, but in fact that is not always true.
Heavier boots provides you more stability and are more durable. However they might add weight on you, which can be a drawback if you’re on a multi-day hiking.
Lighter boots takes the burden off your feet and you can walk more freely.
Your choice of the boots depends upon how much support you require.
Once you get your head on place, you can choose the lightest one providing the balance you need for the trail you are about to take.
Lacing systems will keep your shoes on your feet. All hiking boots offer you one of the following two lacing systems:
Traditional laces: They are made up of cotton or nylon or waxed or unwaxed strands of fabric that you can weave across the top of the boot.
Quick lace cord systems: They also weave across the top of the boot, but they don’t end with a knot and bow at the top. Instead, they are secured with plastic cord lock and excess cord in tucked inside to keep them out of the way. They use extra durable strands than the traditional ones.
However the con of quick lace system is that they can’t be easily repaired and are not easy to customize along the top of the foot.
Finding the proper lacing system prevents intrusion into your skin, provides stride and flexibility and secures your shoes.
Anatomy of The Hiking Boot and Materials Used
Knowing the anatomy of your boot will help you make more informed choice, given your own specifications and requirements.
The parts of the hiking boots are described below:
Upper: It refers to all the material above the sole, to keep your feet protected from external elements.
However, the upper should allow your feet to breathe and waterproof. Both of them can’t come under single package, so you should choose a balance between them based on need.
If you’re a rough hiker go for abrasion resistant materials, which will withstand high use, such as abrasion resistant mesh, leather and synthetic leather, or suede.
The solid leather uppers are durable but less breathable if not properly mingled with complimentary fabrics.
Lining: The interior of the boot is lined to aid the upper and sole to provide comfort and underfoot support.
They also act as a water barrier, manage moisture from sweating, wet trails and rain, and insulate your foot.
The common lining materials are synthetic fabrics, polyester mesh, abrasion resistant fabrics and water-proof linings.
Insole, Midsole and Outsole: Insole is the material directly beneath your foot. They are often removable and customizable based on your comfort range.
The insoles provide you ergonomical support and comfort. Insoles made of carbon fiber, memory foam or gel are better than factory insoles.
The sole between insole and sole of shoe is the midsole. They are responsible for much of the support you get from the shoe.
The most common midsoles in hiking boots are dual density EVA molded midsoles. They are soft and flexible to ensure immediate comfort.
Outsole is the hard rubber on the bottom of the shoes, which hits the floor when we start hiking.
You don’t need to spend much time on checking the outsoles but its good if your aware of their types.
The softer outsoles are stickier while on trail, but they won’t last very long. Whereas, harder ones last longer but they aren’t as sticky as soft ones on rocks.
Similarly, if you look at the layout of the outsole, you will find smaller outsole smoother to walk on hardpacked dirt but it will fill up with thick mud faster.
The larger outsole will give you more traction in mud but maybe less comfortable on hardpacked dirt.
The whole set of soles are the key factors for comfort and support.
Toes are the most sensitive part of your feet, protecting them is preventing a lot of fuss.
During hikes, you will encounter many hard surfaces to bump and kick your toes into. The big rocks on the way are scariest.
So, the best toe protection is provided by rubber toe cap. It is made of rubber or similar material and covers the toe area of the hiking boot.
Some boots have strips of rubber that may cover only the toe area or may extend around the boot for added durability and protection.
Break-in-period is the time taken by your boot to achieve maximum comfort and fit. Given the stiffness of the outer material, hiking boots usually require a few hours on trail or multiple longer hikes for breaking in.
Boots made of fabric and mesh panels designed with leather require lesser break-in-period making it comfortable and suitable for shorter hikes.
Similarly boots made of all leather uppers require longer break-in-period but offer more protection and durability in rigorous terrain.
So your choice of boot depends upon the nature of your hikes.
The main purpose of the tongue is to prevent debris and water from sneaking into your shoe from top.
There are basically two types of shoe tongues – bellowed tongue and gusseted tongue.
They are sewn into the main body of the shoe, under the lace eyelets and at the base to eliminate any gaps.
You should surely ask for one of the two mentioned tongues while shopping for hiking boots, otherwise the traditional tongues might lead you to suffering.
Now that you know the importance of hiking boots, the time has come for you to choose the perfect one for yourself.
Your need for hiking boot may vary- given the weather conditions, nature of trail, the affordability, the fit you require and the weight you are comfortable with.
However, I advise you that your primary concern should be the fit, grip and traction as hiking always asks more of you.
Finally, you are the one to make the final choice. So, select the hiking boots you can rely on and that fits your expectations.