Greetings intrepid ladies! We take it you are shopping around for a brand new pair of winter hiking boots? But how do you determine the top-rated backpacking boot?
Should you get a pair of Merrels? Asolo Attivas? Salomons? Or can you just say screw it and grab a boot out of the men’s section?
- Updated 10/17/2019
Top 3 Quick Comparison: Best Women's Winter Hiking Boots
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 winter hiking boots.
The truth is you need to conduct hefty research to find the perfect winterized boot for you. But wait! Today is your lucky day because we did all that research for you, reviewed it and compressed it into a trouble-free guide right here. Read on to discover the absolute best women's winter hiking boots.
From trailhead to summit you are going to need boots that keep you safe (and dry) while you slide through slush and hop across piles of powder. But accomplishing that is going to heavily depend on what you are doing and where you are going. We are going to cross examine winter boot features in depth so you are fully equipped to choose the best boots for winter hiking.
Table of Contents
- 1 Temperature Threshold and Insulation
- 2 Height
- 3 Water Resistance
- 4 Fit and Traction
- 5 How to Check if Your Boot Fits
- 6 Salewa Women's Alp Trainer Mid GTX Hiking Boot
- 7 Zamberlan Women's 996 Vioz GT Hiking Boot
- 8 Asolo Futura GTX BootX
- 9 Lowa Women’s RENEGADE ICE GTX
- 10 Columbia Bugaboot Plus III Titanium Omni-Heat Boot
- 11 Keen Durand Polar WP Winter BootsX
- 12 Best Women's Winter Hiking Boots WINNER
Temperature Threshold and Insulation
How do we measure insulated hiking boots for women? This answer is with a rating system which indicates what conditions your boots can withstand. Fair warning these measurements are not an exact science. Boot ratings are generally "in the ballpark" of their claimed rating since various factors like metabolism, trail length, and what kind of clothing you wear affect how warm your feet will be.
It's a good idea to add 10-15 degrees to the rating. So if a warm hiking boot is rated at 0 degrees, the boots will probably work best in 15 degrees. Also these rating systems assume you are being smart and wearing a proper winter sock. So, we recommend following suit when it comes to women's insulated hiking boots, and leaving the flimsy stuff at home.
Average snow boots stand between 5- 12 inches high. Winter boots are tall for two reasons: to keep unwelcome snow from falling into your boots and for keeping ankles warm. However, it is critical to note that 12 inch boots are much heavier than their 8 inch counterparts. Use those hulking 12 inch warm hiking boots in extreme conditions during long haul treks, and rely on 7 inch hiking boots for smaller excursions.
Obviously, keeping your feet dry is critical to your happiness (and to not dying). There are a few boot components that accomplish that: waterproof Gore-tex uses breathable linings that keep you dry and allow sweat to escape. On top of that, there are leather and nylon and many combos that make for a reliable water proof material.
Many waterproof hiking boots will have a water tight rubber coating on the sole and leather uppers is material. These full rubber shells (a combo of leather upper and rubber lower) are good if you plan on standing in a giant puddle of water or snow. You laugh now, but every time we go hiking in the snow we punch though a frozen stream or go sloshing across a low river with ease, because we have boots for hiking in the snow.
Fit and Traction
Then finally there is fit and traction. Lacing systems affect the width and tightness of the shoe. Additionally you can order custom dimensions for select boots. It might be tempting to purchase men’s boots for their stylistic appeal (no faux fur, etc) or because there are more options. But you shouldn’t for this reason: men and women’s feet are very different and boots are gendered to cater to those specific foot types.
Traction is also a vital component in boots for hiking in snow, as everything is slippery, soggy and dangerous. Boots with sticky, rough soles are going to keep you from teetering off a snowy cliff.
How to Check if Your Boot Fits
If you aren’t sure what sort of fit your foot requires, we recommend consulting this video on how to check the fit of your boot, it's something that's easier to see for yourself than to describe in text.
In the video, John Graham tells you to look for specific requirements in the boot: the amount of space between your toes, heel and the boot, lace tightness, how your boot reacts to movement and so on.
If you are heading above the tree line to slippery, rocky summits on a 3+ hour hike you are going to need some hefty boots with high scores in each category. But if you are keeping below the tree line on for a compact, short hike then you can absolutely get away with lighter, less intense boots. Now that we’ve covered the basics you’re ready to discover the superior winter hiking boots for females.
Full Review: The 6 Best Women's Winter Hiking Boots
Hiking Boot Brand/Model
First up, the lightweight boots:
And now, the heavyweight boots:
Best Women's Winter Hiking Boots WINNER
Keen Durand Polar WP Winter BootsX
And the Winner is...
After careful consideration we have decided that the best women's winter hiking boots are….
Keen Durand Polar WP Winter Boots! Why? because this super boot offers the best combination of support, waterproofing, warmth, traction, flexibility, and customizable components. Namely the 400 Keen, PU heel cushion, and hook lace system are standout features. On the flip side, this boot not only dominates the trails but it is also suited for domestic adventures like shoveling snow and taking the little lassie for walk.
Also, zero degree weather? That's a cinch in these boots, and that's a situation where only the top-rated backpacking boots will do.
There you have it, our comprehensive list of stellar winter boots, so you can conquer even the worst of blizzards!