Besides severe injuries, there aren't a lot of things that can take the wind out of your hiking sails like a pair of soaking wet feet. It causes all sorts of nastiness, and can definitely start to slow you down. Especially if you're hiking in a colder climate, it can be downright dangerous, not just uncomfortable. Anything less than the best waterproof hiking boots for women won't be good enough.
Let's cover some of the basics in regards to taking care of your feet while on a hike, and then we'll recommend some specific hiking boots for women that do a great job of not only carrying your weight literally, but carrying their own weight when it comes to keeping your feet comfortable and in tip-top form, no matter where the trail may lead you.
- Updated 2/9/2020
Top 3 Quick Comparison: Best Waterproof Hiking Boots For Women
Hiking Boot Brand/Model
**Below, you'll find our detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to quickly check the prices of our top 3 picks for women's waterproof hiking boots.
Table of Contents
- 1 Basics of foot-care while on the trail
- 2 Keeping out the elements
- 3 The longer you're backpacking for, the more important this becomes
- 4 Women's Zamberlan Gear GTX Waterproof Hiking Boots
- 5 Danner Women's Crater Rim 6 Hiking Boot
- 6 Vasque Women's Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Hiking Boot
- 7 Lowa Women's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
- 8 KEEN Women's Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot
- 9 Ahnu Women's Montara Boot
- 10 Best Waterproof Hiking Boots For Women WINNER
Basics of foot-care while on the trail
Blisters, sore feet, aches and pains... it's all part of the game. You get used to it sooner than later. You build up a certain tolerance for it, and even an appreciation. If you're feet are hurting, it means you're on the right path. However, there's a difference between the normal aches you can expect, and actual injuries. We're certainly not advocating that you push through actual, dangerous injuries that could cause lasting harm.
Everything you do, every step you take, it all goes through your feet. Making sure that you have shoes that offer adequate support for your own weight, along with the weight of your pack, is crucial. There are different theories and preferences when it comes to this, but next up let's look at some advice that is universal.
Keeping out the elements
You need to keep your feet dry and warm. When we talk about dryness, that means keeping them dry from sweat, but also from water getting in from the outside. Whether it's raining as you hike, or it rained earlier, water can be a serious issue. Granted, there are some seasoned hikers who follow the mantra "Just let your feet get wet and deal with it while you're resting."
But why let them get wet, when it can be avoided? First things first, you can minimize the discomfort of sweat by wearing a pair of moisture-wicking socks. Gore-Tex socks can do the trick, as can a nice pair of woolen socks.
Now that we've got a handle on moisture from the inside, it's time to think about outside moisture. The most practical way to keep rain, puddle water, snow, or anything else from getting into your boots is by choosing a pair that is waterproofed. Gaiters are often recommended as another way to keep your feet dry.
When your boots are soaking wet, they'll feel a little bit heavier, and if it's cold outside - they'll feel freezing. Even with the right socks and waterproof boots, you'll likely want to kick them off occasionally while you're resting along the way, but at least they'll be more or less dry. Putting on a pair of wet, cold hiking boots is no fun at all.
The longer you're backpacking for, the more important this becomes
For a quick hike, many people don't really bother, but if you're covering some serious distance over the course of days, weeks, or even longer (like thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail), you'll want to concern yourself with keeping your feet as dry as you can.
When it rains, it pours... and your boots aren't the only piece of gear that gets hit
Here's a video covering some of the basics of waterproofing your pack, because if it's raining out - your boots aren't the only thing to worry about.
Every single one of the boots we're featuring on this list are great in a lot of the same ways but sometimes in unique ways too. They're all high-quality, and fully capable. They're well-made, durable, and of course - waterproof.
You can't go wrong with any of these choices, so look for something that fits your budget, your style, and just feels like "the one." If you're on the fence, we've also made our choice for the top overall pick.
Full Review: The 6 Best Waterproof Hiking Boots For Women
Hiking Boot Brand/Model
Women's Zamberlan Gear GTX Waterproof Hiking Boots
This suede boot is a stunner. It looks gorgeous, but has function and quality that surpass the aesthetics. Made in Italy, Zamberlan hiking boots have a great reputation among hikers of all levels. This particular pair features a synthetic sole designed to offer adequate comfort while maintaining full stability and support.
Water can't get in, but your sweat can escape. The laces go up high enough to give you great support, but this boot doesn't offer an additional optional hook higher up like some pairs do.
- These boots can last you years and years, they're exceptionally well-made
- They're great for walking in snow and ice in particular, they do an excellent job of keeping your feet warm and dry. They're also suitable for hikes year-round
- This pair runs small, but you'll be sizing up anyways since it's a hiking boot - so you should be all good just getting one size larger than you would wear in a regular pair of shoes
- You may even want to go up a size and a half or two, depending on how much your feet tend to grow while hiking and what kind of socks you're going to wear
Danner Women's Crater Rim 6 Hiking Boot
Danner always seems to find a way onto our lists of the best hiking boots for unique situations and applications, and that's because they're just that good. We love seeing quality, beautiful boots that are made in America. Investing in a pair of boots means giving your trust to that particular brand, and hoping they'll take care of you, and that's why we're always confidant in not only recommending but also wearing boots made by Danner, and this pair is no exception.
These boots offer an all-around solid construction, with several features for added support and stability. They're a bit overkill for taking the dog for a walk around the block, for any a serious hike - you'll want some serious boots under your feet.
- The polyurethane cushioned footbed in these boots provides both support and comfort, every step of the way
- The shank of these boots is made from fiberglass, which does a great job of improving the stability
- There's an optional hook at the top of each side of the laces for added ankle support
- These boots are on the heavier side, which does make them more sturdy but also you'll feel that extra weight
- These boots will take a few days to get broken in, just keep that in mind, you'll want to do that before going on any big hikes
Vasque Women's Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Hiking Boot
Vasque have been making excellent hiking boots for over half a century. This particular pair were introduced in 2013 and have remained one of the better options ever since. These are the most breathable boot that Vasque offers, while also being waterproof. They have a molded rubber toe cap, which is nowhere near as strong as a boot with a steel toe, but it offers some added stability.
Despite a long history of tradition, Vasque is right among the leaders of the pack when it comes to incorporating more modern technology into their boots, especially their newer lines like this one.
- Made from quality leather and featuring a Gore-Tex waterproof membrane, these boots will keep rain and puddle water out while allowing your sweat to escape. Paired up with moisture-wicking socks, these are a great combo
- They are designed with Vasque's Extended Comfort Technology to ensure they're as comfy as possible, even during long hikes and thru-hiking trips
- The natural rocker heel helps to alleviate impact with each step
- They're more suited to women with feet on the narrower side of the spectrum. If you have wider feet, make sure there's a wide option available in your size
- In a design change, the toebox has become a bit more narrow, which can be uncomfortable for people with wide feet, even in the wider size. If the front of your foot and your toes on wider, these are not your best bet, but otherwise they're an excellent pair of boots at a great price
Lowa Women's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
This pair of boots by Lowa are widely regarded as one of the best options out there for women who are looking for boots that are strong, versatile, with plenty of support and additional important features. You can lace them lower, or all the way up to one of the two higher hooks if you need extra support. They feature a stabilizing shank that covers the full length, and a breathable footbed to assist in regulating the temperature of your feet to adapt to the weather.
If you're expecting rain, don't let that slow you down. The Renegade GTX can handle anything from a light drizzle to a downpour, and you won't miss a step.
- The fit of these boots is very accurate, you won't have to do any running around or making exchanges. If you buy your usual size in hiking boots, you should be good to go
- These women's hiking boots come in over a dozen different colorways, from classics to things that'll stand out more
- The tongue and the collar have ample padding so avoid any irritation on the top of your foot or your lower ankles
- They run just a little bit narrow at the toe, so if that's been an issue for you with other boots, you may want to consider a wider size
- They're more comfortable than most hiking boots in general, but in turn that results in a little bit less support. You'll have to determine which is more important based on where you're hiking and what sort of terrain is there
KEEN Women's Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot
KEEN is one of the first brands people look to, and for good reason. They have a reputation of quality and also value, and this boot continues the tradition. They may not be the overall greatest boots in the world, but they're so reasonably priced while still offering up a great hiking experience, so they're one of the best 'value boots'.
These KEEN boots feature KEEN.DRY waterproofing to keep outside water outside of your boot, where it belongs. The hydrophobic mesh still allows your feet to breathe, too. This style runs about 1/2 a size smaller, so keep that in mind when you're ordering.
- 4mm multi-directional lugs offer a controlled heel lock when you really, really need your feet to stay underneath you where they belong
- These boots are big on comfort, so if that is a priority for you, and you aren't going to be going on any extreme hikes on more treacherous grounds, you'll love how comfy they keep your feet, even after trekking long distances
- They offer good arch support, if you have a deep arches you'll appreciate that immensely
- They have less ankle support than a taller boot, thus aren't ideal for carrying very heavy packs, however for day hikes or trips lasting a few days, where you aren't going to have tons and tons of gear, these do an excellent job
- You need to inspect them when they first arrive, there are occasional (not common by any stretch, but it still happens) issues with quality control where some of the stitches may not be perfect. This could also be the result of mis-handling by the vendor, but in any case - just make sure you try them on and break them in within the return window just in case you get a dud
Ahnu Women's Montara Boot
The engineers are Ahnu have managed to put together a very nice boot at a very attractive price-point, especially suited for notice to intermediate hikers. There is a lot of padding for your ankle, and two extra hooks for additional support. A Vibram sole, and a feature called eVent breathability round out the numerous features that this boot brings to the table.
They're good for the snow and colder climates, and versatile enough to be warm all year round, especially in the rain thanks to the waterproofing. If you're in a relatively hot climate, you may want to opt for something a bit lighter, however these boots are still very comfortable for all-day hikes through warmer areas as well.
- Some of the more vibrant colorways really stand out and attract a lot of compliments, but these boots have function to back up the good looks, so those compliments aren't just shallow
- They're durable, you can put them to the test and they'll hold up. These boots should last many miles, many hikes, and many fond memories
- The Red Mahogany colorway in particular is quite striking
- These boots run a bit narrow, so for all our wider-footed ladies out there, you'll want to make sure you select a wide size
- People will very high arches may want to look elsewhere, these boots won't offer the greatest fit. Slightly higher arches should be no problem, on the other hand
Best Waterproof Hiking Boots For Women WINNER
Lowa Women's Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot
Updated 2/9/2020 - Our top choice for a waterproof women's hiking boot goes to the Renegade GTX Mid Hiking Boot made by Lowa. These boots have a good balance of sturdiness and support, without making any sacrifices in comfort. They offer slightly less support than the boots by Danner, however they make up for it in comfort several fold. It really comes down to the terrain you're going to be tackling...
But with such a versatile boot, that's less of a concern. It's going to do a great job just about anywhere, as opposed to buying numerous pairs of more specialized boots. Instead of doing one thing excellently, this boot does most things great. It's impossible to have one boot that handles everything perfectly, but this one comes closer than most.
These waterproof Lowa boots will help you avoid the elements outside of your boots, and regulate the temperature in the inside. Value-wise, they offer up one of the best bang-for-your-buck propositions we've seen.