Best Hiking Shoes For Women

Hiking is an excellent way for women to get active, stay fit, and connect with nature. 

No matter where you choose to hike, choosing the proper footgear is necessary. The best hiking shoes support your feet, provide traction and grip, and offer comfort for miles.

It’s no secret that we spend a lot of time exploring different trails (even if we have our favorites). One thing we learned is that you never know what to expect in some places, including freak storms and scrambling over downed trees.

We tested three products and found Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3 GTX hiking shoes to be the best for comfort, grip, and stability.

Not only do the Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3 GTX hiking shoes offer outstanding support and stability, but they also look and feel great. 

Obviously designed for a woman’s foothold, this pair features comfortable padding in all the right places. Further, the designers used two types of rubber for enhanced grip and added a patterned heel to help with descending challenging terrain.

Of course, we tested three exceptional products and couldn’t dream of keeping our findings a secret. While we have our favorite, we don’t think you can go wrong with any of these shoes.

Keep reading to learn more about the hiking shoes that topped our list and how to choose the best pair for your next adventure! 

Woman hiking with the hiking shoes and poles

Top 3 Best Hiking Shoes for Women

Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX Women’s Hiking Shoes ‒ Best Overall

These hiking shoes blend style and function. They feature padding to cushion all the right places while providing the stability women need. 

  • Chevron lug pattern and textured heel for grabbing terrain
  • Quicklace laces for easy on and off
  • Molded OrthoLite footbed molds to your feet

Made with Gore-Tex to keep your feet dry, the Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX hiking shoes can keep your feet dry. Plus, there are mesh areas and a connected tongue to keep debris out of your shoes.

Traversing terrain requires good grip, and this shoe delivers in spades. Two types of rubber, chevron lugs, and a textured heel keep you stable on the most difficult terrain, even in wet conditions.
With the laundry list of functional features, you might expect an ugly, clunky shoe. These shoes are anything but ugly, with multiple color options to choose from, so there’s something for every taste. Plus, the minimalist laces are easy to loosen or tighten for quick adjustments.

Our Top Pick
Salomon X Ultra 3 GTX Women’s Hiking Shoes

Synthetic sole.
Waterproof Hiking Boots: Whether you are hitting the trails or looking for a solid work shoe, these extra-durable, waterproof, mid-height hiking boots are designed for maximum traction on all terrains.
A Better Way Down: Designed with Descent Control Technology, the X Ultra 3 GORE-TEX hiking shoe efficiently tackles technical hikes & really shines during tough descents, even in wet conditions.
Adventure Awaits: Whether you love a local day hike or hitting the trails for a multi-day adventure, Salomon makes innovative hiking & backpacking shoes & boots for men & women to help you go the distance.

Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoes ‒ Best Economy Pair

Merrell remains a trusted name in outdoor gear, and the Moab 2 is no exception. The company even boasts that Moab stands for “Mother of all Boots.”

  • Vibram rubber sole provides stability and slip-resistance
  • Special heel cushion reduces foot stress and enhances comfort
  • Features M Select™ DRY to keep your feet dry

The suede leather and mesh uppers can hold up to rigorous use while allowing your feet to breathe. Merrell also added a closed-cell foam tongue to keep debris out of your shoe.

Many people consider the Moab 2 to be waterproof thanks to the M Select™ Fit.Eco+ footbed that prevents water from seeping in and pushes sweat out. It’s contoured to comfortably fit your foot while providing support and stability.

Choose from four neutral color options and either medium or wide-width in whole and half sizes. 

Our Top Pick
Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoes

100% Suede Leather/Mesh
Vibram sole
5mm lug depth

Vasque Women’s Breeze Low GTX Gore-Tex Hiking Shoes ‒ Best Breathable Shoes

Vasque crafted a lightweight, waterproof hiking shoe that features plenty of mesh to make it breathable. It’s a streamlined design with varying mesh designs to keep your foot dry and comfortable on a long hike.

  • Features a Gore-Tex membrane around the interior to block moisture
  • Layered mesh and synthetic upper make for a breathable design
  • Vibram lite rubber sole for traction

From the moisture-wicking liner to the synthetic microfiber uppers, the Breeze Low GTX won’t weigh you down, making them a fine choice for daily wear. The Gore-Tex membrane keeps feet dry in damp or marsh-like conditions.

Though it’s lightweight and waterproof, this shoe might work best for light trails as opposed to challenging terrain. There is a unique cross-shape pattern along the bottom for grip and traction, but they lack the toe and heel grips found in the other two shoes.

Our Top Pick
Vasque Women’s Breeze Low GTX Gore-Tex Hiking Shoes

Rubber sole.
The breeze Lite low Gore-Tex is a streamlined hiking shoe for fast and light Trail adventures. Save on weight, while taking full advantage of best-in-class traction and waterproofing.
The GORE-TEX waterproof membrane blocks moisture from the outside, while allowing moisture inside to evaporate.
The upper is a synthetic microfiber, abrasion resistant mesh with a anatomical high rebound footbed Dual density compression molded enduralast EVA midsole.
Features Vibram Megagrip Outsole for sure footing across varying surfaces and a dual density compression molded enduralast EVA for comfort.

Buying Guide

How do you decide on the best hiking shoe for you? Here are several factors that can help you narrow the field.

Fit and Your Foot Shape

Women’s feet are fundamentally different from men’s, so starting with a woman’s shoe style is crucial. However, that’s not the end of it. 

  • Is your foot narrow? You might need a narrower toe bed to provide support and stability.
  • Do you have any bunions? A wider toe bed might offer relief and support.
  • Do you have high arches or flat feet? If you use custom insoles, you need a shoe that can accommodate them without altering the fit.

Ideally, try the shoes on to see how they fit. If that’s not an option, it helps to read the reviews and follow the fit guides to get a good idea about what to expect. 

Hiking Style and Terrain

Do you like long hikes over rocky terrain? What you need to cover that ground is different from somebody who prefers flatter plains. Or maybe you like both and require a versatile hiking shoe that handles everything.

  • Leather uppers work best for rugged terrain because they hold up better and resist tears.
  • Waterproof linings, such as Gore-Tex, are ideal if you hike in the elements or wetlands.
  • EVA midsoles are light and cushy, but polyurethane ones are more durable and supportive.
  • Outsoles with deeper, thicker lugs give you the best grip, provide traction in wet conditions, and resist mud. 

The Verdict

It’s tough to beat the Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3 GTX hiking shoes because they provide stability and grip in a comfortable, attractive design. 

If you can’t find room in your budget for the Salomons, the Merrells offer a good fit with solid support. For warmer days and humid climates, the Vasque hiking shoes might offer a little more breathability for a comfortable hike.

Like the trails we love so much, every hiker is different. Finding the best hiking shoes to support your active lifestyle is the most important thing!

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