A good pair of women’s lightweight waterproof hiking boots are essential if your travel plans include any sort of hiking. A top-quality pair of women’s lightweight hiking boots not only keep your feet protected and dry while hiking, they won’t add unnecessary weight to your luggage like some other women’s waterproof hiking boots do.
Of course, you don’t want to compromise on keeping your feet being comfortable, just to save a few pounds but sometimes it can be difficult to work out which women’s waterproof walking boots are in fact good quality whilst still being lightweight and waterproof.
In this best waterproof hiking boots for women, I take all the guesswork out of which boots you should consider buying. I’ve already done all the research for you and narrowed down some of the best lightweight women’s hiking boots. In this guide I’ll take you through everything you need to know to about choosing the perfect pair of hiking boots, as well as look at some of the most popular hiking boots currently on the market.
Why buy women’s lightweight waterproof hiking boots?
Perhaps you’re thinking, “but I already have an old pair of hiking boots – won’t they do”?
Sure, I have no doubt your old hiking boots will do the job. However, these days there are some great quality hiking boots out there that are comfortable, waterproof and lightweight – all essential factors for good quality hiking boots.
First up you really want to be wearing waterproof boots on any hiking you do. You want to ensure your feet are well protected not just in case of unexpected downpours but also for trails that include crossing shallow streams of even large puddles. Having boots that allow your feet to get wet, causes slipping, blisters and overall sore and uncomfortable feet.
The other reason you might want to consider upgrading your old hiking boots, is that they are most likely fairly heavy. These days you can get fantastic quality boots which are super lightweight.
With airlines enforcing luggage limits and charging fees for excess luggage, you really want to be traveling as light as you can. But also having a pair of lightweight shoes adds to the comfort of your feet also, rather than having them weighed down by heavy boots.
My Pick for the Best Waterproof Hiking Boots for Women 2019: Adidas Terrex Swift R2
Don’t have time to read all the lightweight walking boots – women’s guide? Well my pick for the best hiking boots are the Adidas Terrex Swift R2’s. I just love how these boots have arguably the biggest brand in clothing backing them, their synthetic material is just so light on your feet! In fact these are the lightest hiking boots in this guide. They’re extremely comfortable too and keep the signature Adidas style, great if you want to be comfy and trendy when travelling.
Keep reading below for my full review on these women’s waterproof hiking boots.
The table below provides a great overview of the various options for the best hiking boots reviewed in this guide. You can easily compare their features side by side.
Keep reading below for the full reviews.
|EDITOR’S CHOICE||1. Adidas Terrex Swift R2
|RUNNER UP||2. Salomon X Ulta 3 W
|3. Merrel’s Moab
|4. Lowa Women’s Renegade
|5. Columbia Newton Ridge Plus
|6. Zamberlan 996 Vioz
|7. Timberland Mt. Maddsen
|8. Vasque Breeze Lii
|9. Keen Women’s Oakridge
|10. Vasque St. Elias
Ladies Waterproof Lightweight Boots for Hiking Reviews
Adidas, put simply, is an absolute giant. They have taken the sporting and footwear market by storm, so it’s pretty clear to see why they’re making our list. The Adidas Outdoor Women’s Terrex Swift R2’s are the perfect shoe if you’re looking for a well-renowned brand name to back your purchase.
A rugged, Traxion outsole is complimented by grippy Continental Rubber; this allows for comfortable travel over all terrain. Dry, wet, cold, hot, if you can name it then these boots can go there. A TPU support structure in the midsole ensures stability throughout your foot, an extremely important factor if you often get aches in your feet.
The lightweight and breathable GORE-TEX build on these women’s light hiking shoes allows for travelling in any conditions. Your feet would definitely appreciate a pair of these! Also, built-in is an abrasion resistant mesh, which put simply means that the shoes won’t tear or break easily; they’ll last the distance.
Functional and fashionable Adidas continues to amaze in every aspect of sportwear and footwear; the Adidas Outdoor Women’s Terrex Swift R2’s would make a great purchase for any woman.
One of the lightest pairs of hiking boots in these reviews are the X Ultra 3 Mid GTX W hiking boot from Salomon which have been designed to suit technical hikes in all sorts of weather including wet conditions.
These mid cut Salomon hiking boots feature uppers made from a combination of suede leather and nylon which have been coated with GORE-TEX to protect your feet in muddy and wet conditions. The outsoles are made from a rubber blend which have a high traction rubber sole with a lug pattern design to funnel out water whilst the midsoles have been injected with EVA for added cushioning.
These lightweight waterproof boots (women’s) also have a front rubber toe cap to protect your toes from rocks and roots, whilst the gussets that create a good seal between the uppers and tongues prevent debris getting into your boots. Other great features include abrasion resistant linings, quick drying, thermoplastic urethane plate and contoured heel cups to keep your feet firmly in place
These Salomon hiking boots have been especially design with the shape of a woman’s foot in mind and are packed full of features to ensure your feet stay comfortable during the longest of hikes. They are also available in a range of great modern colours.
If you like the more traditional style hiking boot, than these Merrell Moab (“mother of all boots”) 2 waterproof hiking boots are a great option and come in a range colours consistent with the traditional hiking boot style.
As the name suggests – mother of all boots – these hiking boots are packed with all the features you’d expect from a top brand like Merrell. These boots feature uppers made from suede leather and mesh, EVA midsoles with a contoured footbed for support, stability and comfort and Vibram rubber soles with a 5 mm lug depth.
The M Select DRY feature helps to seal out water from the outside but let’s moisture created on the inside escape, so your feet stay dry and more comfortable. The breathable mesh lining also creates more airflow for your feet. Other great features of these boots include closed tongue to keep debris out, protective rubber toe cap, arch shank and removable insoles.
If you’re looking for a top-quality pair of lightweight leather hiking boots in the traditional style, these Merrell boots are definitely worth considering.
The Lowa women’s Renegade are a great choice for women’s hiking boots as they offer maximum comfort and protection and come in a range of different colours.
These over the ankle boots feature a water repellent nubuck leather upper which has a breathable GORE-TEX waterproof lining. Together with the Vibram rubber sole which features thick lugs and the polyurethane midsoles, these boots provide the maximum in support and stability for all sorts of terrain and weather conditions.
The Renegade boots come with a climate controlled footbed that helps to keep your feet cool, dry and blister free. The perforations in the boots lining allow air to circulate and wick away moisture from your foot, also minimising friction and fatigue. Other great features of these hiking boots include, full length shanks and derby style lacing with a padded and gusseted tongues to keep out debris.
Winner of the 2014 OutdoorGearLab Editor’s Choice Award, you can’t go wrong with these women’s Renegade GTX hiking boots from Lowa.
The Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus hiking boots are a bit more of a cheaper option when compared with the other boots on this list, but they certainly don’t lack in quality!
With a really trendy design (just check out that Grey Ash & Riptide colour!) these boots also pack in a lot of functionality. A leather upper that uses a breathable mesh textile to allow for maximum breathability, is complimented by a lightweight midsole for long lasting comfort and excellent cushioning. The outer sole is made up of the OmniGrip non-marking traction rubber, which will give you purchase no matter the terrain.
Combine all of this with an exceptional waterproof, seam-sealed construction and you have a boot that is very high in quality, whilst maintaining an acceptable price.
If you’re looking for a pair of boots to take on a holiday, one that is bound to involved lots of walking, then these shoes are perfect!
The Zamberlan Women’s 996 Vioz GT Hiking Boots are the next pair to make it onto our list. A lesser-known company, Zamberlan still provides great quality, and this pair of boots is no different.
A single-piece Hydrobloc full-grain leather upper offers great flexibility for multi-terrain movement. The polypropylene midsole will give you comfortable cushioning all day long. An exclusive Vibram outsole will give you the perfect traction on any surface.
The padded tongue can relieve lace pressure to match your instep, whilst also keeping that annoying debris out of your shoes. But wait…there’s more! The Zamberlan Women’s 996’s are also waterproof!
With a hardy construction and a bundle of features, the Zamberlan Women’s 996 Vioz GT Hiking Boots are definitely a well deserving contender for one of the best pairs of hiking boots on the market.
For women who like environmentally friendly products, the Timberland Mt Maddsen boots are perfect not only for the environment also for all day hikes and various other outdoor activities.
These top-quality leather hiking boots feature a rubber outsole made from recycled materials and compression moulded EVA midsoles which offer support and cushioning. The leather used in the upper is sourced from a tannery rated silver by the Leather Working Group and includes an eco-conscious waterproof membrane to keep your feet dry during wet conditions
These boots also include fully gusseted tongues to ensure debris stays out, internal nylon shanks for added support and stability and removable footbeds.
Despite being one of the heavier hiking boots in this guide, these highly rated women’s hiking boots offer the ultimate in durability and stability and make a good choice for the more serious female hiker.
The Vasque Breeze Lii GTX boots are a great option for any traveller, in any condition. A lightweight and functional design make these Vasque hiking boots ones to definitely consider.
A highly breathable upper sole, complete with ventilation ports, make these boots great in hot conditions. The Vibram Contact Grip along the outer sole allows for maximum traction and control in any environment, whilst an EVA midsole provides durability, flexibility and a long lifespan.
On top of all this, the Vasque Breeze Lii GTX Women’s boots pride themselves on their GORE-TEX waterproofing, which keeps all rain and water out. This makes these shoes great for those humid, wet rainforest adventures!
With plenty of colour options available, any woman can appreciate the Vasque Breeze Lii GTX’s being in their travelling suitcase, a great choice for your hiking boots.
Keen have been a staple in women’s footwear for years now, so it’s no surprise they’ve made this list. The Keen Women’s Oakridge Waterproof Mid boots are an excellent all-purpose hiking boot that would be an asset on your hiking trip.
With a waterproof leather and textile upper sole, and a non-marking rubber outer sole, these hiking boots will keep their quality for a long time. They also feature a compression moulded EVA midsole, with a removal EVA moulded footbed, both of these combine to make these boots exceptionally comfortable.
These Keen Women’s Oakridge boots are not only quality, they are also stylish. With a variety of colours available, these boots are sure to make a great fit into any woman’s arsenal; now you’ve just got to plan a getaway!
The second pair of Vasque boots on our list, theVasque Women’s St. Elias GTX Hiking Boots are actually Vasque’s lightest pair of hiking boots to date. But don’t let their weight deceive you; they’re still just as jam-packed with amazing features as all the other hiking boots!
A traditional all-leather upper is combined with GORE-TEX waterproof liners to create a boot that is both breathable and comfortable, whilst also protecting your feet from the elements completely. Midsoles use EVA footbeds to allow your sole to have maximum comfort, on even the most difficult of treks. A lugged rubber outsole makes sure the shoes have all the traction you could ever need.
These boots come in multiple colours and styles, and make a great pick for any woman. A great way to round out this list, the Vasque Women’s St. Elias GORE-TEX Hiking Boots are a great choice for any holiday; whether it be an adventure or a simple relaxing getaway.
Things to Consider When Purchasing Lightweight Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boots
Before purchasing your hiking boots, consider the following factors:
1. Boot Cut
Hiking boots essentially come in three different boot cuts: low, mid and high. As to which boot cut is suitable for you really depends on the type of hiking you will be doing in them.
- Low-cut shoes: Low cut women’s waterproof hiking shoes are fine for lightweight travel, but keep in mind they provide less roll-resistance for ankles and leave feet more vulnerable to debris invasion from sticks, grit, sand or mud. These hiking shoes are super lightweight and flexible whilst providing a little more support and stability than your standard pair of sneakers. These types of shoes don’t take a lot to break in.
- Mid-cut boots: Offering much more support than a hiking shoe, mid cut boots wrap around your ankles for support and to protect from debris. These boots offer solid underfoot support and are constructed from quality materials. For longer hikes or rougher terrains, a mid cut boot is a good option.
- High-cut boots: For the serious hikers you will want to look at the high cut boots. These boots offer the ultimate in support for your ankles and with balance for uneven trails or for those who regularly carry heavy loads.
2. Materials and Construction
– The Upper
The Upper is the part of the boot that sits above the sole and includes everything that actually covers your foot. The construction of the upper part of a hiking boot can be made with a range of material and / or combination of materials.
The following are materials often found in quality hiking boots:
- Full-grain leather: A durable material that is abrasion resistance and has good water resistance. Most commonly used in heavy duty high cut boots built for extended trips, heavy loads and rugged terrain. Not as light or breathable as nylon/split-grain leather combinations. You will require plenty of time to break-in boots made from full grain leather.
- Split-grain leather: Often seen in combination with nylon or nylon mesh in order to provide lightweight, breathable comfort. Boots made with split grain leather are cheaper than full grain leather boots but are less resistance to water and abrasion.
- Nubuck leather: This is basically full-grain leather which has been buffed to resemble suede. It’s fairly water and abrasion resistant as well as being durable.
- Synthetics: Many hiking boots these days are made from synthetics such as polyester, nylon and so-called “synthetic leather”. The benefit of boots made with synthetics is that they are lighter than leather, break in more quickly, dry faster and usually cost less. However they don’t seem to last as long as leather boots.
– The Midsole
The midsole is the main structural part that sits between the insole and the sole of the boot. This part of the boot provides cushioning and supports the feet from shock. For quality hiking boots you want to look for stiff midsoles to ensure your feet don’t wrap around rocks and debris you step on.
Midsoles are most commonly constructed from ethyl vinyl acetate or polyurethane. Ethyl vinyl acetate is the most common and varies from soft to dual density. Midsoles made with ethyl vinyl acetate usually require little to no break in period, but they usually don’t last as long as polyurethane. Boots made with polyurethane midsoles tend to be firmer and are more durable and long lasting.
– The Outsole (or Sole)
The outsole of the boot (also called the sole) is the bottom part of the boot that meets the ground. Consider the following when looking at the outsole of a hiking boot:
- Look for outsoles made from hard rubber for stability and durability;
- Lug Pattern: Lugs are the traction bumps on the bottom of the outsole. Look for lug patterns which are deep, thick and widely spread apart for the best traction; and
- Look for boots with a heel brake (built in heel area of the outsole which is distinct from the rest of the outsole) for improved traction and to avoid slipping.
3. Internal Support
Give consideration to these internal support features when looking at hiking boots:
- Shanks: Hidden away between the boots midsole and outsole are shanks which are 3-5mm thick inserts which add load bearing stiffness to the midsole. For maximum support, ensure your hiking boots firstly have shanks (not all boots do) and look for shanks which go the entire length of the midsole.
- Plates: Plates are thin, semi flexible inserts which are positioned between the midsole and outsole and below the shank to protect the feet from getting bruised by roots and uneven terrain.
For your hiking boots to be waterproof they will either have a waterproof inner membrane or have an added chemical waterproof treatment to the shoe. Gore-Tex (often abbreviated to GTX in shoes) is a popular waterproof material used in some of the best hiking boots. The downside of women’s waterproof walking shoes is that it will keep your foot much warmer than a boot that is not waterproof which may not be ideal if you suffer from sweaty feet.
For even more water resistance, look for boots which have rands. Rands are the wide rubber wrap encircling the boot where the upper meets the midsole.
Given this article is all about the best lightweight waterproof hiking boots, you of course want to ensure yours are in fact lightweight. Don’t take the manufacturers or retailers word that the boots are light Look at the specifications to see what the actual weight of the boots are. You will be surprised at just how heavy some boots are.
For your convenience I have done the research on all the boots in this guide and have added the weight of the pair of boots to the table above.
6. The Fit
Of course above all else, women’s outdoor boots – waterproof or not should fit perfectly. To ensure you don’t suffer from blisters, sore toes and sore feet, consider the following points to ensure a great fitting hiking boot:
- Length: Ensure your toes wiggle around easily;
- Width: Make sure there is not too much room either side of the boot nor should your foot be squeezed against the side; and
- Try your boots on with the socks you are most likely to wear when you go hiking, as the thickness of the socks may change how the boots fit.
Most importantly be sure to wear your boots in before you take them out on a hike.