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Best women’s walking boots 2022: Our roundup of the top hiking boots for women

Sian Lewis
11 Mar 2022
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These comfortable walking boots for women are perfect for hitting the trail – and prices start at only £43

No matter if you’re trekking up a mountain or going for a relaxed country ramble, a great pair of women’s walking boots is a must to keep you comfortable – in fact, it’s one of the most important bits of outdoor kit you can buy for your outdoor adventures.

Whether you’re buying your very first pair or your existing boots are just the worse for wear, you’ll want to look for a female-specific boot designed to keep feet dry, cool and comfortable, mile after mile. Our top-rated pairs of walking boots may vary in price and style, but all have been tested on tough terrain in all weathers.

Not sure where to start? Then take a read of our handy buying guide below. Here we’ll help you work out what features to look for in your new walking boots, including how to get the perfect fit, how to know if your new boots are waterproof and whether you should pick leather or fabric boots.

READ NEXT: Check out our favourite backpacks for hiking


Best women's walking boots: At a glance


How to buy the best women’s walking boots for you

Should I get leather or fabric walking boots?

The first decision is whether you’d rather choose leather or fabric. Leather is warmer and is naturally waterproof, but tends to be stiffer and heavier, and may need breaking in – not to mention regular care to perform at its best.

Fabric boots are lighter and are usually comfortable straight out of the box, but can be less warm. If you can afford to, it’s a good idea to own a sturdy pair of leather boots for colder weather and a pair of fabric boots for spring, summer and for travelling.

What should I look for in a pair of walking boots?

The key features of any walking boot are good waterproofing, good breathability and good grip. Your boots need to be fully waterproof if you’re planning to wear them in bad weather – look for a branded waterproofing membrane such as Gore-Tex (sometimes written as GTX) or an own-brand technology and make sure the boots you buy are labelled “waterproof” rather than just “water-resistant”. Your boots should also have a built-in breathable membrane to wick away sweat and keep your feet cool in warmer weather. Finally, take a good look at the soles of potential boots – pick a pair with thick rubber soles and deep lugs (the indentations in the sole that help with grip). Many boots use Vibram brand soles, which offer a good balance between grip, shock absorption and wear resistance.

How do I get the perfect fit?

Try a selection of different boots on in person if possible, ideally while wearing thick walking socks – everyone’s feet are different and you may find that certain brands and boots fit your feet best.

Check there’s plenty of room to wiggle your toes and no rubbing anywhere, especially around the ankles. Remember that feet tend to swell while walking, and you’ll need room to accommodate thick walking socks, so don’t be surprised if you need to go up at least one whole size to get a good fit. If you have wide or narrow feet, look for a boot designed specifically to fit you – some boots are even designed to accommodate bunions.

Walking boots come in different ankle heights (usually low, mid and high), too. High-cut boots offer better support for your ankles on uneven terrain, and low-cut boots and trainer-style hiking shoes are a good choice in summer.

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How much should I spend?

As much as you can reasonably afford: cheap walking boots are a bit of a false economy, and are likely to be far less durable than a decent pair, which can end up lasting for years if you look after them. We recommend spending around £100 on a new pair of hiking boots, although we’ve also included some premium leather pairs that cost over £150 and a great budget pair for under £50 in our roundup.

The best women’s walking boots to buy in 2022

1. Ariat Skyline Summit GTX: The best walking boot for women

Price: £170 | Buy now from Amazon

Ariat’s rather gorgeous Skyline boot is our best buy overall, and a top pick if you’re dead set on leather boots.

If you’re worrying about leather being stiff and uncomfortable, you shouldn’t be: these comfortable boots combine the flexibility and light weight of mesh fabric with the hard-wearing warmth of leather and, best of all, they don’t even require breaking in.

Amazingly, the Skyline Summits are also very breathable, making them a great boot for use all year round. That soft suede leather is waterproofed with a Gore-Tex membrane underneath, the soles offer great grip and stability even on tough terrain, and the boots look very smart, too. This is a boot that’s well worth the money.

Key specs – Weight: 538g; Waterproofing: Gore-Tex; Colours available: 1; Sizes available: 4-7.5

Buy now from Amazon


2. Haglofs Skuta: The best walking boot for lightweight comfort

Price: £91 | Buy now from Amazon

The Skuta is a light, refined all-round hiking boot that’s perfect for tramping everywhere from hills and dales through to relaxed rambles in the local woods.

These boots look sturdy but feel surprisingly lightweight to wear, and have lovely gel padding in the footbeds that help each step feel springy even over long distances – if you hate clunky and uncomfortable traditional boots, you’ll love the trainer-like feel of the Skuta.

That’s not to say they’re out of their depth in tougher terrain: the tough reinforced toe and ankle boxes are ready to tackle hard hikes and scrambles. Our only complaint is that the ankles are rather wide-cut – if you need ankle protection, go for a higher, narrower boot.

Key specs – Weight: 400g; Waterproofing: PROOF.ECO; Colours available: 4; Sizes available: 4-8

Buy now from Amazon


3. Danner Jag: The best boot for stylish hikers

Price: £113 | Buy now from Amazon

Danner’s retro-looking leather boots are a bit of a cult favourite in the outdoor gear world, and their classic style has been given a slightly more modern twist with the lighter, fabric-constructed Jag.

They’re one of the heavier fabric boots we reviewed, but the midsole is so cushioning and bouncy that the whole thing is a joy to wear. The Jags but do take a week or two to break in, but we found them to be waterproof even in heavy rain and breathable in hot weather, as well as gorgeous to look at. One for the style-conscious.

Key specs – Weight: 411g; Waterproofing: Danner Dry; Colours available: 11; Sizes available: 3-9.5

Buy now from Amazon


4. Keen Terradora II: The best summer walking boot

Price: £43 | Buy now from Amazon

This good-looking walking boot follows in the footsteps of Keen’s popular Terradora, with a few added technical tweaks.

What impresses when you pop these boots on is the comfort of the Terradora II – these lightweight and flexible boots won’t weigh you down even during long days on the trail. The fit is on the wider side, which is ideal if you find most hiking boots too narrow (or if you suffer from bunions) and, despite their flexibility, the Terradora IIs can be laced up tightly to give great ankle support.

The boots are fully waterproofed using Keen’s own-brand Keen Dry technology, and are also highly breathable – ideal for warm weather hikes and summer walking holidays.

Key specs – Weight: 360g; Waterproofing: Keen Dry waterproof membrane; Colours available: 11; Sizes available: 2.5-9

Buy now from Amazon


5. Decathlon Quechua MH100: The best cheap walking boots

Price: £50 | Buy now from Decathlon

Decathlon’s affordable and functional walking boots are our top choice if your budget is tight, with options starting from under £20. Our favourites on offer are these handsome fabric Quechua boots.

They’re fully waterproofed and come equipped with own-brand soles that compared very well to more expensive models when on test. The fit of these boots is on the wide side, which is ideal if you find most hiking boots pinch your feet.

As you’d expect given the low price, these aren’t the most breathable boots on the market, but if you need sturdy boots that can tackle mountain trails if needed but you don’t want to break the bank, this is the pair to pick.

Key specs – Weight: 395g; Waterproofing: Waterproof membrane; Colours available: 1; Sizes available: 3-8

Buy now from Decathlon


6. Vivo Barefoot Tracker II: The best barefoot walking boot

Price: £190 | Buy now from Vivo Barefoot

Vivo Barefoot’s boots and shoes are as close to walking barefoot as you can get, and lovers of the minimalist approach to shoes can now swap their clunky hiking boots for these incredibly light and flexible Tracker boots.

The soft brown leather outer conceals a waterproof lining and enough thermal protection to let you hike in the Trackers year-round, and the soles may look slim but they still offer good grip and have decent lugs.

The Trackers are expensive, but if you’re a fan of barefoot shoes then these beautifully crafted boots could be worth splashing out on – they should last a good few years. Vivo Barefoot also offer a 100-day trial if you aren’t sure they’re for you, so you can dip your toe in the barefoot waters risk-free.

Key specs – Weight: 250g; Waterproofing: waterproof; Colours available: 2; Sizes available: 3-9

Buy now from Vivo Barefoot


7. Lowa Renegade GTX: The best hiking boot for comfort

Price: £190 | Buy now from Lowa

Lowa’s Renegade GTX is designed to fit like a glove, so if comfort over long distances is your top priority when shopping for walking footwear, this is the hiking boot for you.

These boots are more lightweight than they look at 475g each, and feature a highly cushioned, soft inner sole that feels springy and comfortable underfoot, mile after mile. The supple nubuck leather outer material is fully waterproofed with Gore-Tex, and the soft but narrow-cut ankle offers good support.

The Renegades are available in narrow, wide and regular fits, so it’s easy to get the sizing right even if you don’t always fit conventional hiking boots. We also like that there are no fewer than 12 smart colourways to choose from.

Key specs – Weight: 250g; Waterproofing: Gore-Tex; Colours available: 12; Sizes available: 2.5-10

Buy now from Lowa


8. Berghaus Explorer Trek GTX: The best boot for grip

Price: £140 | Buy now from Berghaus

The Explorer Trek ticks a lot of boxes – it’s warm, waterproofed with ever-reliable Gore-Tex and is comfortable to wear straight out of the box.

Where it really stands out, though, is when it comes to grip. Berghaus’ own-brand OPTI-STUD technology offers good sticky grip even on slick muddy trails or wet rock, giving you confidence even in the foulest weather. The lugs are also designed not to clog up, so you’ll have good grip for longer even on thick mud.

Reasonably lightweight, tough and rather smart-looking thanks to the navy suede outer material, the Berghaus Explorer Trek is a versatile pick that you can take from peak to pub.

The only downside we found is that the ankle is cut on the wide and low side – if you’re after a snug, supportive fit we’d suggest picking a higher-cut pair.

Key specs – Weight: 540g; Waterproofing: Gore-Tex; Colours available: 1; Sizes available: 4.5-8

Buy now from Berghaus

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