Best Walking Boots For Women 2024 - Outdoors Magic

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Best Walking Boots For Women 2024

Our pick of the best women's hiking boots out there for three-season hiking

Hiking boots are the item of gear you need to get exactly right – pick a pair that aren’t right for you and even on short walks there’ll be a high chance you’re not going to have a good time. It’s not just about finding boots in your size though, because to find the best women’s walking boots for you, you’ll also need to find the right shape. That’s why it’s always wise to purchase boots that are built around a women’s specific ‘last’ shape. You’ll find plenty of those kind of boots here. 

In this list of the best ladies’ hiking boots, all of the pairs are designed for three-season use, but they all vary in regards to their capabilities over certain terrain. What we mean by this is that some will be great for easy trails, whereas others are purpose-built for demanding scrambling or trekking. They’re all waterproof hiking boots, some with Gore-Tex, others with different brands or their own proprietary membranes. If you’re looking for low cut options, go check out our list of the best walking shoes round-up for this season. You can also find more walking boots tested by the OM team over in our round up of the best hiking boots for men – many of the options in that list will come in a boot for women.

Related: Best Approach Shoes
Related: Best Value Walking Boots

What To Look For When Buying Women’s Walking Boots

It’s a case of horses for courses when picking the right boots for your trip, but the best walking boots for women, broadly speaking, tend to possess the same group of traits. First of all, they’ll have deep and grippy lugs that will shed mud easily and not get clogged up quickly. They’ll also be able to keep out moisture, thanks to either a waterproof membrane like Gore-Tex or a waxed finish, and they’ll also keep your feet at the right temperature, preventing them from getting too cold, or too clammy. Then there’s the comfort aspect. You want support and cushioning around the ankle and the right amount of cushioning or shock absorption in the midsole as well. Finally, you want them to be durable and protective, but also lightweight. There are certainly number of balances to strike, and again, it’s horses for courses there. Note: All weights given are per pair.

The Best Walking Boots For Women

  • Best Overall Hiking Boot: La Sportiva TX4

  • Best Lightweight Hiking Boot: Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite Gore-tex

  • Best Cushioned Hiking Boot: The North Face Vectiv Exploris Futurelight

  • Best Value Hiking Boot: Halti Fara Mid 2

  • Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet: Hanwag Banks Lady GTX

Best Overall Women’s Hiking Boot

1. La Sportiva TX4 Mid GTX

Price: €242
Weight: 460g
Best for: Hiking, mountain walks and scrambles
Key attributes: 
Lightweight, sturdy, grippy

This is a boot that ticks a lot of boxes, offering versatility to cover all kinds of terrain and trips. That’s why we selected it as our best women’s walking boot overall.

If you want something to cover everything from simple hikes to scrambles up scree slopes then this is the boot for you. It’s lightweight but there’s still a good bit of sturdiness to it, along with a reliably stiff sole that’s perfect for handling rocky and uneven terrain. What’s probably most notable about it is that there’s a climbing zone on the toe to allow for really precise edging on the narrowest of footholds. What else? Well, there’s the sticky rubber compound, clever lacing system – we could go on.

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / suede leather upper with PU rand / Gore-tex waterproof liner / EVA foam mid sole / 4mm footbed / Vibram Mega-grip outsole with climbing zone and heel brake.

Read our full La Sportiva TX4 Mid review



Best Value Hiking Boot for Women

2. Halti Fara Mid 2

Price: £100
Weight: 700g (size 6.5)
Best for: Day hiking and hillwalking
Key attributes: 
Lightweight, waterproof, well-cushioned, great value

With great out-of-the-box comfort, low weight, plenty of cushioning and an attractive price tag, this lightweight mid-cut walking boot from Halti ticks plenty of boxes for day hikers. The emphasis is on lightweight, all-day comfort for relatively undemanding terrain, though they are equipped with a waterproof lining to enable you to tramp through the wet stuff without too much concern.

The synthetic textile uppers and foam rubber midsole means they are very light, so they’re well-suited to women who don’t like or need chunky clodhoppers. The uppers are made from a mix of recycled polyester (from recycled PET bottles) with synthetic reinforcements. They’re lined with Halti’s own waterproof-breathable technology, a PU-based membrane called DrymaxX. There’s also a moisture wicking polyester mesh lining for added comfort and breathability.

Underfoot, the outsole is a Halti GripmaxX Antislip rubber outsole with a phylon midsole made from EVA foam. The sole unit is not the most aggressive, with fairly shallow lugs that are better suited to easier, hard-packed trails than anything too loose or technical. The EVA midsole gives plenty of cushioning and shock absorption though, aided by an anatomically-designed insole that gives you a little more structure and padding for the heel, instep and ball of the foot.

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / waterproof DrymaxX membrane / recycled textile upper / GripmaxX outsole / removable insole / Phylon foam mid sole.

Selected for our Outdoor 100 2021/22. Read our full Halti Fara Mid 2 Women’s Walking Boot review



Best Lightweight Hiking Boot

3. Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite Gore-Tex

Nicola Hardy using the Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite in the Lake District’s fells

Price: £145
Weight: 368g
Best for: Technical approaches, scrambling
Key attributes: Gore-Tex lining, good traction

The Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite was born from the now-classic approach shoe, the Salewa Mountain Trainer which is most notable for its lightweight, yet stiff platform that climbers can use on the typically rocky and technical approaches to the crag. Now this, the Mountain Trainer Lite offers an even lighter and more streamlined package.

A Pomoca rubber outsole offers reassuring and durable grip thanks to plenty of deep lugs, in a variety of shapes and sizes, peppering the sole unit. A sticky rubber toe box also stretches around the front of the shoe, which helps to provide protection when you’re jamming your feet into cracks, or knocking them off sharp rocks.

The whole shoe is wrapped up in a durable synthetic fabric upper which features a Gore-Tex Extended Comfort lining to bring a high level of water protection without too much of a breathability sacrifice.

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s / heel stabiliser / rubber toe cup / Pomoca outsole / climbing lacing / 3F System.

Read our full Salewa Mountain Trainer Lite Gore-Tex review


Best Hiking Boot for Wide Feet

4. Hanwag Banks SF Extra Lady GTX

Our tester trialling the Banks GTX in North Wales

Price: £235
Weight: 1050g (size 8)
Best for: Hiking and hillwalking
Key attributes: 
Comfortable, sturdy, well-made, wide range of fits

The Hanwag Banks is a well-made three-season walking boot that are a particularly good option if you sometimes struggle with fit, since the Banks comes in a variety of different styles and widths designed to suit multiple foot types. This includes the Banks Straight Fit Extra, for those with a wider forefoot, the Banks Narrow and the standard Banks Lady.

The latter has a roomy toe box but a snug, close fit around the ankle. The inner lining is really soft and the boot feels fantastically cushioned overall. Overall performance is impressive. A nubuck upper with a Gore-Tex lining offers reliable waterproof-breathable performance. Grip underfoot is also good, since the Vibram Endurance Pro outsole gives sure-footed traction on both slippery grass and rocky, uneven trails.

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions and specialist fits / suede nubuck leather and textile upper / Gore-tex waterproof liner / Vibram Endurance Pro sole / Leather Working Group approved / 1.5mm PU foam wedge at mid sole.

Selected for our Outdoor 100 2021/22. Read our full Hanwag Banks Lady GTX review


Best Cushioned Walking Boot

5. The North Face Vectiv Exploris FutureLight

Price: £160
Weight: 606g
Best for: Trail hiking 
Key attributes:
Long-distance comfort, innovative design, good breathability

Though these are trail shoes, not boots, they pack in plenty of tech and some impressive innovation. First up, there’s the Futurelight waterproof membrane, then there’s the Vectiv carbon plate. These are both big innovations that have really been turning heads within the outdoor world. We’ve tested them both in a number of different products from The North Face over the last couple of years and we can confirm that they’re very impressive.

The Vectiv carbon plate, which was originally unveiled in The North Face’s Vectiv trail shoe collection, brings a number of benefits, the most notable one being increased energy return with each stride. Basically, it propels your feet forward, ultimately helping you to go for longer. On top of that it also provides a decent amount of protection from sharp roots and rocks.

The outsole has 4mm lugs with a large central cutout to increase traction and save weight. It’s not the most aggressive of soles but our testers found that it’ll do the job on all but the super slippery and muddy stuff. The compound offers a bit of grip on wet rock but, as you often find with most three-season hiking footwear, there are limitations there.

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / Nubuck leather upper / EVA midsole / SurfaceCTRL rubber outsole with 4mm lugs / Ortholite X55 rubber footbed / Futurelight waterproof membrane.

Selected for our Outdoor 100 2021/22. Read our full The North Face Vectiv Exploris FutureLight Trail Shoe review.


Best of the Rest


6. Danner Mountain Light

Athena Mellor testing out the Danner Mountain Lights in autumn conditions.

Price: £286
Weight: 1190g
Best for: Day hikes and town-to-country wear
Key attributes: 
Comfortable, retro styling

The Danner Mountain Light is the modern relaunch/update of Danner’s classic boot from the 90s, which some might recognise from the film, WILD. It features a one-piece leather upper with minimal seams, solid metal lace-loops and eyelets, a chunky sole and those distinctive red laces. Although the style is somewhat retro, the design features modern comforts, the main example being its Gore-Tex waterproof membrane and PU footbed.

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / recraftable and resoleable / Gore-tex waterproof lining / fibreglass shank / Vibram 148 Kletterlift outsole / one piece leather upper.

Read our full Danner Mountain Light review.



7. Keen Targhee III

The Targhee III pictured during our Green Gear Guide test trip.

Price: £145
Weight: 920g
Best for: Trail hiking, backpacking
Key attributes:
durable, comfortable, wide toe box

Comfortable, resolableIt would be unfair to say these are entry-level boots, not least because they are worn by plenty of experienced hikers with hundreds (if not thousands) of miles under their belts. But if you are just getting into hiking, these are a great choice as your first pair. They have an accommodating fit that suits many different foot shapes, with comfortable uppers that don’t need a lot of breaking in. They’re also well built, particularly at the toe, where a rugged bumper does a good job of fending off trail debris. They’re also well-padded, comfortable and nicely cushioned underfoot.

The outsole has 4mm, multi-directional lugs for increased traction on a range of surfaces. The grip from these is decent. It’s not top-level stuff but it’s reliable enough on steep muddy trails and on some wet rock too – though, like most boots, there are limits there.

On long-distance hikes, we appreciated the flex that the sole unit has. It’s a little too much flex for firm edging on scrambly surfaces but the Targhee is after all, a boot for hiking and not technical scrambling.

As usual, Keen’s proprietary waterproof membrane successfully kept our feet dry, and it’s been breathable too.

Full Specifications

Available in men’s and women’s versions / Keen.Dry waterproof upper / Dual-density EVA foam mid sole / All-Terrain rubber outsole / removable footbed / leather and synthetic fabric upper / built-in odour control.

Read our full Keen Targhee III review.



8. Lowa Trek EVO GTX

Our tester Becky using the Trek EVOs while hiking in the Lake District.

Price: £230
Weight: 920g
Best for: Trail hiking
Key attributes:
Comfortable, resolable

This was chosen in our guide to the year’s best sustainable innovations. OK it isn’t a totally carbon-neutral product, but we thought Lowa deserved to be recognised for making sure this can be resoled. You don’t see many in the lightweight category, so it’s refreshing to see Lowa take this approach here – far too many shoes and  boots go to landfill simply because the tread has worn out too early. 

The Trek EVO GTX also doesn’t use any leather or glues derived from animals. In fact, it’s fully vegan-friendly. 

In terms of performance, during our tests we were impressed by its traction, cushioning and support. We also liked the lacing system, which gives a nice precise, wraparound fit. It makes a great three-season all rounder for hiking, hillwalking and backpacking, comes in at a decent weight – not superlight but light enough – and it’s still sturdy and robust enough to take on difficult terrain with a heavy pack on your back. All in all, it’s a very versatile boot with a modern look that works well for mixed terrain.

Full Specifications

Available in 3.5 to 9 (UK) / synthetic upper / Gore-tex waterproof liner / Vibram Rock Track Sense sole / fully resoleable / DynaPU+ foam midsole / vegan friendly / Available in a men’s version.

Read our full Lowa Trek EVO Gore-tex review.



9. Merrell Moab Speed GTX

OM reviewer Sarah testing the shoes out in Snowdonia.

Price: £125
Weight: 315g
Best for: Trail hiking, three-season use
Key attributes: Good eco aspects, light but sturdy

Merrell have developed a new iteration of their classic walking shoe, designed for those who prefer to feel light-footed and agile on the trail. It’s a hybrid-type trainer, one with the comfort of a running shoe or sneaker but the protection of a walking shoe. At just 315g, it’s 130g lighter than the previous Moab, but during our tests, we’ve found it just as stable, comfortable and protective.

Most impressive, however, are Merrell’s new sustainability efforts, aiming to lower the overall impact of their products on the environment. They’ve swapped out a bunch of materials for recycled ones including the laces and the mesh lining, for instance, which use a material produced from recycled plastic bottles. The footbed additionally uses a 50% recycled top sheet material and the Vibram sole is made from a minimum of 30% recycled rubber.

There’s both a mid cut and a low cut model, as well as a version without the waterproof protection of the Gore-tex membrane. All models come with 4mm Vibram Traction Lugs, an EVA foam midsole, built-in rockplate for underfoot protection, removable PU foam insole, cushioning around the ankle and then a big rubber cap to protect the toes.

Full Specifications

Recycled laces and mesh lining / 50% recycled footbed / 30% recycled Vibram rubber / low cut and mid cut version available / 4mm Vibram Traction Lugs /  EVA foam midsole / built-in rockplate / removable PU foam insole / cushioned ankle / rubber toe caps / standard fit / Gore-tex liner.

Selected for our Green Gear Guide 2021/22 – Read our full Merrell Moab Speed GTX review. 




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