Discover the Perfect Fit: 7 Best Hiking Shoes for Women | 2024

Discover the Perfect Fit: 7 Best Hiking Shoes for Women

Hiking shoes for women are an integral part of any successful outdoor trip. Sure, a nice backpack and trekking poles are great accessories. However, a great pair of hiking shoes makes all the difference by a mile. On the other hand, an ill-fitting pair can be a nightmare, forcing you to leave the trail early with blisters on your feet.

Hiking shoes are fast-growing in popularity among outdoor enthusiasts. Some hikers even prefer lightweight trail shoes to traditional boots, but is this always the best choice? Well, that is down to taste. However, hiking shoes have one huge advantage: they are lower at the ankle, making them lighter for faster walking.

In terms of design, women’s hiking shoes are slightly different from men’s, mainly because women’s feet can have varying shapes, being slimmer with higher arches. Nonetheless, the only distinctions between men’s and women’s hiking shoes are often the sizes and colors available. We have compiled a list of the best hiking shoes for women to help you decide.

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1. Merrell Moab Speed

Material: Synthetic/recycled material

Waterproofing: Yes

Item weight: 1.6 Pounds

Price: $65+

Merrell is a well-known brand for hiking shoes, and their Moab Speed is our top choice for women. They have updated the classic Moab design to be lighter and more cushioned, making it an excellent option for day hikers and backpackers who want to keep their load light.

Despite its striking resemblance to trail running shoes, the Merrell Moab Speed still provides good protection and support, including a strong toe and heel cap and a firm midsole. It also has a capable Vibram outsole for grip. The result is a durable and comfortable hiking shoe that balances weight-saving and on-trail performance, all at a reasonable price.

The Moab Speed will do the job well for most day hikers and ultralight backpackers. However, if you are planning to hike on challenging terrain or carry a heavy backpack, there are models better suited to provide more stability and better protection from the trail. On the other hand, if you prefer a firmer and more stable feel, the Moab Speed delivers just that.


  • Offers great versatility
  • Offers comfort


  • Can’t handle challenging terrains
  • Not as durable as other shoes on this list

Moab Speed starting at $65

2. Skechers Max Protect Legacy

Material: Mesh and leather overlays

Waterproofing: No (water repellent)

Item weight: 15 Ounces

Price: $70+

Skechers Max Protect Legacy is a comfy sneaker for the city and the wilderness. Even though these hiking shoes are incredibly lightweight, they have a rock plate in the midsole to protect your feet when backpacking on rough terrain. And don’t worry about them feeling too stiff; they have a memory foam insole that adds plenty of cushion and support for your arches.

These shoes were only released in 2023 and currently come in a medium fit. But in the future, Skechers plans to make them in a wide fit for people who need more space or room for their feet to move around.

While these shoes won’t keep your feet completely dry if you walk through streams, they can repel some wetness thanks to the Scotchguard layer. You can get these lace-up style cool gray and charcoal shoes or a brighter beige. Skechers also says they will have more colors options coming.


  • Offer breathability
  • They are very lightweight to ease movement


  • Not waterproof

Max Protect starting at $70

3. Topo Athletic Ultraventure 3

Material: Recycled engineered mesh

Waterproofing: Yes

Item weight: 1 Pound

Price: $145

The Topo Athletic Ultraventure 3s are light, let your feet breathe, and dry fast after water crossings. They are incredibly comfy thanks to good cushioning and have a wide toe box for natural foot movement.

Topo Athletic added a new ZipFoam™ material that makes them lighter and gives them a better underfoot performance. They also have a 5mm height stack compared to the Ultraventure 2s. However, for some hikers, this makes them feel a bit unstable, especially on tricky trails.

They also look better with a sustainable mesh upper. The Vibram® XS Trek EVO sole is tough but flexible. These shoes might not work for more challenging trails but are perfect for mild to moderate trails. So, if you usually hike on smooth trails, the Ultraventures will be the ultimate hiking companion.


  • Excellent breathability
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Roomy toe box


  • The height stack makes them a bit unstable
  • Not applicable on challenging trails

Ultraventure 3s $145

4. La Sportiva Spire GTX

Material: Abrasion-resistant mesh

Waterproofing: Yes

Item weight: 1.8 Pounds

Price: $208

The La Sportiva Spire GTX women’s hiking shoe offers a great blend of stability and support. Unlike the recent trend of going super fast and light, the Spire GTX is more like a low-cut boot, making it ready for backpacking adventures.

This shoe is generally tough, reasonably rigid, and provides good protection on the trail. It’s a bit pricier than some others. Still, it has proven a reliable choice for various hikes, from those in-between seasons to soggy trips in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

The Spire GTX combines the agility of trail running shoes with the support and protection of lightweight hiking boots. It’s known for being versatile and comfortable, thanks to its sturdy soles that handle rocky and tricky terrain well and its breathable synthetic uppers, which keep your feet cool in hot weather.


  • Offers great versatility
  • Can support extreme terrains and weather conditions
  • Offers excellent breathability


  • A lot pricier than other shoes on our list

Spire GTX $208

5. Altra Lone Peak 7

Material: Mesh

Waterproofing: No

Item weight: 1.2 Pounds

Price: $98+

The Lone Peak 7 is for you if you are one of the many hikers who suffer from discomfort like pressure points, hot spots, and blisters due to poorly fitting shoes. Altra’s zero-drop shoes, initially made popular by the barefoot running movement, are arguably the most comfortable option for hiking. Among them, the Lone Peak model has gained legendary status among thru-hikers.

The Lone Peak 7 is known for its flat footbed and roomy toe box, allowing your foot to stay in its natural position. It is an excellent feature if you have wide or sensitive feet. The new Lone Peak 7 has undergone significant changes, including a seamless upper and additional plastic support around the heel for better stability.

The updated version offers a more secure and stable feel, addressing previous concerns about the shoe feeling too roomy and unstable on uneven terrain. The Lone Peak also has a rock plate and gaiter attachments for more challenging trails. However, the zero-drop design may not be suitable for everyone. While comfortable, reviewers said the Lone Peak can feel a bit slow.


  • Roomy toe box
  • Offer great comfort


  • The zero-drop feature might turn off some hikers

Lone Peak starting at $98

6. Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex

Material: Synthetic/ textile

Waterproofing: Yes

Item weight: 1.76 Pounds

Price: $140+

The Salomon X Ultra 4 Gore-Tex hiking shoes were made for challenging terrain. Their bumpy soles give excellent grip, helping you on steep hills and keeping you steady on tricky slopes. The upper is a mix of strong fabrics and mesh that stops twigs and rocks from getting in your shoes. They also have Gore-Tex to keep your feet dry as you walk across streams while also allowing sweat to escape on hot days.

These shoes fit snugly like a glove because they are made without any stitches on the top part, making some of the most comfortable. They have a built-in sock liner that’s cushiony and lets your feet breathe. The part that holds your foot is light and soft around the edges and the heel.

These Ultra 4 Gore-Tex shoes also provide good support, especially for the arches of your feet. They also have a toe cap to protect your toes from bumps on the trail. Another cool feature is the Quicklace lacing system. Instead of tying regular laces, it uses a little drawstring. It means you can adjust how tight your shoes are while you are on the move without worrying about your laces getting loose or caught in branches.


  • Gore-Tex keeps your feet dry no matter the condition
  • They offer great comfort
  • Thoughtful lacing system


  • The tongue of the shoe often slips off
  • Offers limited ankle support

Ultra 4 Gore-tex starting at $140

7. Saucony Peregrine 13

Material: Mesh

Waterproofing: Yes

Item weight: 1.37 Pounds

Price: $140+

Over the years, Saucony shoes have been known for their excellent grip and lightweight. The latest Saucony Peregrine 13s are lighter than ever, even stickier on the ground, and fit better. They have more cushioning underfoot for rugged terrain. Additionally, the Peregrine 13s have a breathable top that dries quickly, making them ideal for all kinds of adventures.

Whether trekking in Nepal, the Sierras, or the Torres del Paine in Patagonia, these Peregrines give you stability and confidence on the terrain. These shoes are very light, so they may not last as long as traditional hiking shoes, but they will make your hikes easier and keep your feet less sweaty (which means fewer blisters).


  • They are lightweight to offer easy movement
  • They offer breathability
  • They offer great traction


  • Not as durable as other shoes on our list

Peregrine 13s starting at $140

How to choose the best hiking shoes for women

Hiking shoes need to handle more challenges compared to regular or running shoes. They must be adaptable because a multi-day hike can lead you through various terrains like loose rocks, ice, and wetlands all in one journey.

The weather can also change drastically, from frigid conditions one day to tropical heat the next. These shoes do more than support your body; if you’re on a long hike carrying camping gear, your backpack alone can easily add 26 pounds or more.

When picking the best hiking shoes for women, we checked user reviews to see how well each shoe grips the ground, supports your ankles and arches, whether they resist water and moisture, and how heavy they are. We also assessed their performance in different conditions. Here’s what to consider when choosing hiking shoes for women.

Consider terrain

To figure out if you need hiking boots or shoes, consider the terrain you’ll be walking on. Keep in mind that hiking shoes are lighter and dry faster, but they don’t support your ankles as much as boots.

They work well for short hikes and moving quickly. But if you’re carrying heavy stuff, your ankles will be happier with the extra support of boots. Trekking poles can also help keep your joints steady, especially on steep slopes if you opt for hiking shoes.


The thing to know about waterproof liners, even fancy Gore-Tex shoes, is that they don’t let your feet breathe well. In simple terms, these waterproof layers don’t let your shoes get rid of sweat from your feet as effectively as shoes without them.

However, not all shoes without waterproofing are the same. Shoes made with thinner materials and lots of tiny holes let moisture escape better, which keeps your feet cooler in hot weather and dries wet socks faster.

Good traction

While hiking, you might encounter slippery rocks or damp surfaces. In such situations, it’s essential to have shoes that help you maintain your balance on uneven ground. You should not only rely solely on the shoe’s grip but also focus on proper foot placement for better traction. In this assessment, we looked for shoes praised for their grip on the trail and noted any negative comments about traction.


If your shoes aren’t comfy, the rest doesn’t matter. Usually, you need a bit of time to break them in, but your hiking shoes should feel nice on your feet and not cause problems after a few miles. We picked shoes that people liked for being comfy and fitting well. Plus, we focused on lightweight ones. On the flip side, we paid attention to complaints about blisters, sore spots, or hurt places.

Choosing the perfect hiking shoes ensures a comfortable and enjoyable outdoor adventure. You can make an informed decision by considering terrain, fit, comfort, support, weather conditions, traction, and budget. Remember that well-maintained hiking shoes can last for many miles of exploration, so take the time to find the pair that suits you best and enjoy the great outdoors.

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