Need new hiking boots to conquer higher trails? Let us help you!
We asked several outdoor experts – what are the best women’s lightweight hiking boots out there will give you good protection with no compromises of comfort? And below, are their six favorite pairs:
Here are the best women's lightweight hiking boots (May 2021 Update):
- Best Overall: Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge
- Best For Dry Weather: Hi-Tec Women's Bandera
- Best For Wider Feet: Merrell Women's Siren Hex Q2
- Best For Trail: Columbia Women's Crestwood
- Best For River Hiking: Timberland Women’s Mt Maddsen
- Best For Wet Weather: Manfen Women's Hiking Boots
|Top 6 Best Women's Lightweight Hiking Boots|
|Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge||Read Our Review|
Best For Dry Weather
|Hi-Tec Women's Bandera||Read Our Review|
Best For Wider Feet
|Merrell Women's Siren Hex Q2||Read Our Review|
Best For Trail
|Columbia Women's Crestwood||Read Our Review|
Best For River Hiking
|Timberland Women’s Mt Maddsen||Read Our Review|
Best For Wet Weather
|Manfen Women's Hiking Boots||Read Our Review|
Best Overall: Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge
- Nice & durable - made of full-grain leather and suede upper, signature Omni-GRIP non-marking traction rubber outsole, and mesh tongue
- Ideal to wear in hot weather conditions - nice breathable fabric lining
- Comfort & high energy returns - tons of padding in the tongue and collar & lightweight Technic sole
- Can’t handle rocky terrains
- The toe box needs extra work
This hiking boot is made of full-grain leather and suede upper and mesh tongue so it’s nice and durable.
With tons of padding in the tongue and collar for comfort as well as a nice breathable fabric lining to keep your feet feeling cool, it’s suitable for long-distance hiking trips or hardcore trails under hot weather conditions.
The boot also works well in those wet and dry conditions, which is a big thank you to the grip rubber Omni-GRIP non-marking traction rubber outsole.
In addition to the lightweight Technic sole, it gives you long-lasting comfort cushioning as well as high energy returns.
|Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Specifications|
100% Leather and Textile
Made from high-quality materials
Quality assembly and strong stitching
Get ready to style up your hiking experience with the Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge super-cute hiking boots.
Best For Dry Weather: Hi-Tec Women's Bandera
- Ultra-protective – feature 5” higher compared to other mid-rise options
- Supportive, cool, & good fitting - EVA insoles
- Easy to clean – liners are removable
- Require time to break-in
- Larger in size
Walkthrough the wood in style with this cute-colored Hi-Tec Women's Bandera Mid-Rise Waterproof Hiking Boot.
The Bandera series includes three design options – low, mid-rise, and high.
And our team experts love the second one the most because it is actually 5” higher compared to other mid-rise options at the same price point. That means you’ll get lots of coverage around the ankle to keep it from twisting or turning.
The EVA insoles are a big bonus. While delivering decent comfort and snug fit to your feet, they are removable so hygiene or replacement is much easier.
|Hi-Tec Women's Bandera Specifications|
100% Leather, Fabric
Feature 5” higher compared to other mid-rise options
EVA removable insoles
Designed with comfort, breathability, and protection, the Hi-Tec Women's Bandera is a good choice for those hiking trips during dry weather.
Best For Wider Feet: Merrell Women's Siren Hex Q2
- Comfort & alignment - Q-form 2 technology midsoles
- Provide specific fitting to wide feet - the brand’s Meryl signature fit
- Not ideal for hardcore hiking due to less foot support
The Merrell Women's Siren Hex Q2 is specifically created for the needs of wider feet.
It provides comfort and alignment by featuring a wonderful midsole complete with Q-form 2 technology – a women’s specific technology – that centers your foot, blocks your heel, and delivers all-day-long supports to all three of your arch.
In addition, it emphasizes the brand’s Meryl signature fit, which feels snug in the heel, precise on the instep, and roomy in the toe box.
We also love the bellow tongue to keep debris out and the mesh upper to keep your feet cool, which is perfect for day hikes.
|Merrell Women's Siren Hex Q2 Specifications|
Q-form 2 technology midsoles
Brand’s Meryl signature fit
With a focus on fitting, contouring, and comfort, the Merrell Women's Siren Hex Q2 is our top choice for wide feet.
Best For Trail: Columbia Women's Crestwood
- Good water resistance - eye-shield hydrophobic technology
- Lightweight yet protective - V-light technology
- Keep your feet cool, dry, and comfortable - dry-tec waterproof membrane
- Can’t be used in rainfall or heavy snow conditions
- Not ideal for wide feet
Talking about these Women’s Crestwood hiking shoes, we love how they keep our feet cool during summer hikes, while still giving them effective protection from other impacts.
There’s a lot of wonderful technology applied to this model.
For example, the eye-shield hydrophobic technology to give you an extra layer of water-repelling protection or the V-light technology for lightweight construction. We particularly like the dry-tec waterproof membrane highlighting excellent air circulation to hence retain your feet dry and comfy.
Thanks to it, the days out on the trail aren’t damped and terrible anymore.
|Columbia Women's Crestwood Specifications|
Leather & rubber
Eye-shield hydrophobic technology
Dry-tec waterproof membrane
With these Women’s Crestwood hiking shoes from Columbia and its breathable construction, just worry-free about days hiking out on the trails.
Best For River Hiking: Timberland Women’s Mt Maddsen
- Excellent waterproof ability - waterproof full-grain leather upper and membrane
- Good rock protection - a very stiff toe cap
- Eco-friendly & great traction - The outsole is made with 42% recycled rubber
- Ideal for narrow feet – features a medium width
- Little toasty on really warm days
- Not ideal for wide feet
If river crossing is part of your next hiking trips and you’re finding nice footwear for that, Timberland Women’s Mt Maddsen is a shining contender.
It is constructed with waterproof full-grain leather upper and membrane from an LWG silver-rated tannery which does a great job in repelling water and works well for spring conditions.
In addition, it offers tons of rock protection with a very stiff toe cap so you don’t have to worry about your toes getting hit by rocks or other objects.
The outsole is made with 42% recycled rubber for great traction. One of our favorite features about this hiking boot is its small design. Timberlands offer them in a medium width, which is ideal for narrow feet.
|Timberland Women’s Mt Maddsen Specifications|
Leather and Textile
Waterproof full-grain leather upper and membrane
Stiff toe caps
A medium width
River hikes are always an interesting activity when spring comes and the Timberland Women’s Mt Maddsen will be your ideal companion throughout such trips.
Best For Wet Weather: Manfen Women's Hiking Boots
- Keep your feet completely dry and comfy in wet conditions – waterproof mesh upper & waterproof membrane
- Grippy & reliable - aggressive anti-skid outsole
- Warm - 200 grams Thinsulate insulation
- Not for wide feet
The one and only high-ankle hiking boot here and it’s from Manfen.
This pair is really our favorite because of its unparalleled versatility and endurance.
While keeping stylish and lightweight, it seamlessly combines comfort and durability by featuring Molded TPU ankle support, EVA midsoles, and aggressive anti-skid outsole. It grabs the rocks with excellent traction that hardly other counterparts at the same price range can do.
The biggest selling point is its waterproof Hydroshield Membrane with 200 grams Thinsulate insulation, making the boot ultra-warm to wear during frost-bite conditions, down to -30℃.
|Manfen Women's Hiking Boots Specifications|
Waterproof mesh upper & waterproof membrane
Aggressive anti-skid outsole
200 grams Thinsulate insulation
Overall, with a full waterproof design and seamless construction, the Manfen Women's Hiking Boots is a great option for wet hiking conditions.
How To Choose The Best Women's Lightweight Hiking Boots?
- A wise choice in boots’ materials will help cut off a huge weight without effecting on its protection or support. When asked, our experts suggest these two kinds of material which are commonly used in lightweight hiking boots:
- It’s normally found in modern hiking boots because it dries out faster, costs cheaper, and is significantly lighter than leather.
- It’s a great choice for budget-minded outdoor activists or irregular hikers but take note that this material would wear out faster.
- Split-grain leather:
- This is a bit costlier but in general, still a lot cheaper than the full-grain or higher-end leather.
- It is usually paired with nylon mesh for souped-up lightness to the boots while adding extra breathability to them. The flaw of this material is less resistance to abrasion and water.
- “The lighter the hiking boots, the less foot support” – they say.
- But our experts think that the support and shock absorption ability of a hiking boot depends on its midsole’s construction and the terrain you’re about to hike in.
- We highly recommend ultra-thick and well-cushioned midsoles for uneven, rocky terrains or those hiking trips when you plan to go deep into the backcountry for days in a row. To minimize the added weight to your boots but still ensure the comfort, you can choose between these two midsole materials:
- Polyurethane: commonly found in extended mountaineering or backpacking boots, known for its decent durability and firmness.
- EVA: a bit lighter, cheaper, and cushier than polyurethane, suitable for short hiking trips or even terrains.
Which Brands Make The Best Women's Lightweight Hiking Boots?
- Started in 1938 as a small family-owned in Pacific Northwest, Columbia Sportwear Company has grown successfully to become one of the most reliable worldwide footwear brands.
- This Sportwear & Outdoor company has been in the industry since 1974. Their instantly comfortable shoes with incredible lightness and innovation are key to set them apart and keep selling over 19 million pairs up to now.
- A giant American footwear brand, founded in 1981 by John Schweizer, Randy Merrell, and Clark Matis. In 2010, it recorded total sales was merely $500 million.
- Mr. Giant in this industry – Timberland LLC, founded in 1928, US – with a focus on footwear and outdoor wear. It’s now been the world’s leader in outdoor footwear
How can I make my boots more comfortable?
Here are some common issues on new boots and how to fix it:
- To speed up the breaking-up period of your leather boots, try spraying some leather conditioner on it.
- If your feet are ultra-wide and feel uncomfortably tight in the shaft, insert an at-home stretcher into it and leave overnight.
- For sensitive soles, some gel arch inserts might help
- If your feet get blisters, wear double-thick socks or moisture-wicking socks
How much bigger should hiking boots be?
- ½ to 1 ½ larger than your normal shoe size.
Should you wear two pairs of socks when hiking?
If your hiking boot size can accommodate two pairs of socks, then we suggest doing that for some good reasons:
- It keeps your feet drier – as two pairs of socks help lift the moisture from the skin better & reduce the friction
- Extra foot support and shock absorption
- Help to reduce blisters
How much room should be in the toe of a hiking boot?
- At least ½ inch
Should I get a half size bigger for hiking boots?
Yes, you should. Going up a half or full size larger for hiking boots help accommodate thicker socks for extra foot support and warmth during cold weather conditions. Not to say that it would make your feet feel comfier at the end of the day as they tend to swell up.
We hope this informative buying guide helps you get the right direction toward the best women’s lightweight hiking boots your feet deserve. Don’t forget to read other of our articles about lifestyle footwear and more on this website.
Thanks a lot for reading!