Best Hiking/Trekking Boots for Women

Thanks for taking the time to read through our article on what we believe to be the best hiking and trekking boots for women living in the UK.  If you are a woman who enjoys the great outdoors, then you will already know the importance of owning a high quality pair of hiking or trekking boots.

In fact there is a range of gear that can be used for hiking or trekking and that includes jackets, pants, backpacks etc, None of those however are more important than owning the right footwear. If you end up with blisters on your feet, or sore feet, then the rest of the other gear you may have, will be of little use to you.

In this article we extensively focus on what we believe to be the best hiking and trekking boots currently available on the UK market. That is not always an easy thing to do, given the wide range of brands who make these types of specific boots. The one good thing about this is that you are not spoiled for choice.

That said, having too much choice can also make it difficult to decide on which are the best boots for your own needs.

Below we have created a top 12 list of what we believe to be the best hiking/trekking boots on the UK market right now. Further down this article we have also included a full and extensive buying guide, if you are new to hiking, and not sure which boots to buy.

Read that first before coming back to the list as you will be much better informed after that.

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How We Do Our Hiking Boots Reviews?

What we did to to get to our top 12 list of hiking and trekking boots was a ton of research. We looked at the most popular boots, those that sold the most, and then rated those by the buyer satisfaction scores that women left. We did this across a range of websites where these types of boots are sold.

The reviews are of course left by women who had bought the boots, hiked or trekked in them and then taken the time to leave a review.

Once we had that long task completed, we then put together our list of the best hiking boots, which you can find below.

One question that we think needs to be answered is whether to buy hiking boots or hiking shoes? That is a difficult question to answer. The one thing that we can be certain of is that if you plan on walking or trekking, then at least you know that specialised footwear is required.

There is no point whatsoever in using ordinary sneakers or trainers for hikes and walks, especially where the terrain is rough. Those are perfectly fine for people who simply like to walk, or for ordinary everyday use.

The hiking footwear choices available for hiking and trekking are:

  • Hiking sandals
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Trail Running Shoes
  • Mid Weight Hiking Boots
  • Heavy Hiking Boots

So as you can see there are at least 5 choices available to the hiker. In this article we focus extensively on the best hiking or trekking boots for women. That does include both mid weight hiking boots and heavy hiking boots. We have provided just below a table that shows what type of activity is best suited to wearing either hiking shoes or boots.

Those are the main differences when it comes to buying either boots or shoes. We have covered each type below in just a little more detail so as you the reader knows the full range of choices that you have available.

TOP 12 BUYER RATED HIKING BOOTS FOR WOMEN

Just below you will find our top 12 list of hiking boots for women. We have ranked this list by showing the highest buyer rated boots first. Beside each boot name you will see a number in brackets expressed as a percentage.

That score refers to the average online buyer satisfaction rating. We got this score by looking at the various websites where you can buy these hiking boots. We then wrote down these scores and worked out an average score. That is a very good way of getting the average buyer ratings from a range of websites.

If you click on any of the boot product links, you will be taken to a summary review of those particular boots.

No 1 Choice - Merrell Women's Moab 2 Mid GTX High Rise Hiking Boots

Most ladies will be familiar with the Merrell brand.These boots came out as the highest ranked of all the boots available on the UK market. They have a rubber toe cap, with a moulded arch and a 5 mm lug depth. The outer material is synthetic and the inner material is a man made material. 

They have a flat heel, with a gum rubber sole and are a lace closure.

  • Available In most UK sizes, including a few half sizes
  • Available in grey, sage, dusty olive, and frost grey  
  • Lace closure
  • check
    Made from a synthetic material
  • check
    Flat heel type
  • check
    Comfortable and supportive
  • check
    Normal size fitting
no 1 rated hiking boot for women

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94%
Buyer Satisfaction

Buyers said that these are a good choice if you want weatherproof boots.

Buyers have given these a huge vote of success as you can see from a 94% buyer satisfaction rate.

Most buyers stated that they have walked through wet grass, been up and down hills, and over uneven and screed surfaces.

They have found these boots keep their feet dry and that the grip is excellent.

Buyers stated that they did not need to break these in.

Buyers also said these were very light considering these are high rise boots.

Around 92% of buyers said they rated these as 5 star boots, and no buyer so far has given these boots a bad review

No 2 Choice - Grisport Women's Lady Hurricane Hiking Boot

These are one of the biggest selling hiking boots for women that are currently available on the UK market. When we checked online these appear to be the biggest selling boots of this particular type.

  • Available In brown only
  • Available in UK sizes 3-9, no half sizes
  • Lace closure
  • check
    Uppers made from waxed leather
  • check
    Inner material is fabric
  • check
    Gum rubber Vibram sole
no 2 rated womens hiking boot

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92%
Buyer Satisfaction

As you can see these have received from online buyers, an average buyer satisfaction rate of 92%, which is an impressive rating.

76% of all buyers gave these boots a full 5 star review with 3% of all buyers giving these a bad review

Most buyers stated that these boots are very light in weight and comfortable to wear, but it does take about a week to break them in

Buyers have worn these on muddy trails, rocky mountain trails, damp bush walks, sandy beaches and dunes and found them comfortable to wear

Buyers also said they are easy to clean

The majority of buyers stated that the boots give good ankle support.

One or two buyers said the sole came away from the uppers.


No 3 Choice - NorthWest Trek Womens WaterProof Leather Lace Up Walking Hiking Boots

Northwest do make great looking boots and this brand is also becoming very popular because of their keep price points. We know that hiking boots are not cheap, but this choice is usually available for under £40, and they do get very good buyer reviews.

  • Available in UK sizes 3-8 (no half sizes)
  • Available in blue, black/purple, black/pink, navy/red, grey, burgundy, forest green and purple
  • Lace closure
  • check
    Nubuck leather uppers
  • check
    Outer material is leather
  • check
    Gum rubber soles
  • check
    1" heel height
no 3 rated womens hiking boots

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90%
Buyer Satisfaction

These are classed as waterproof leather hiking boots. They are suitable for hiking,walking or just casual wear They have a breathable membrane lining with an average fitting size.

Buyers have given these a vote of success as you can see from a 90% buyer satisfaction rate. Plenty of buyers said that they will be buying more of these in the various different colours that they like.

Around 70% of buyers said they rated these as 5 star boots, and the number of complaints about them was around 2% which is really low.

The majority of buyers stated that these are light, comfortable and had no bother breaking them in

Buyers also said that they had no issues with blisters.

The only issue a couple of buyers had was finding the right size.


No 4 Choice - Grisport Unisex Peaklander Hiking Boot

These are another very popular boot choice from the well known Italian Grisport brand.

  • Available in UK sizes 3-13 (no half sizes)
  • check
    Made from leather
  • check
    Have a waterproof and breathable lining
  • check
    Lace up closure 
  • check
    PU sole
no 4 rated hiking boot for women

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90%
Buyer Satisfaction

Buyers said that these are very comfortable to wear, and yet feel light for such a well made hiking boot.

Buyers have given these a 90% buyer satisfaction rate. They have a breathable and waterproof membrane lining which keeps the feet warm and dry. Buyers really liked the grip on the sole as it gave them the assurance that these boots would not slip.


No 5 Choice - Merrell Women's Moab FST Ice+ Thermo High Rise Hiking Boots

At number 5 on our list, is the Merrell Women's Moab FST Ice+ Thermo High Rise Hiking Boots. These are pretty new to the UK market. There are not a lot of reviews to go on as yet. Those who have left a review do speak very highly about the quality of these boots.

  • Available in UK sizes 4-9 with half sizes available
  • Available in black, black/teal, and granite grey 
  • Lace closure
  • check
    Made from a leather/mesh upper
  • check
    Flat heel
  • check
    Inner lining is a synthetic fur
  • check
    Rubber Gum sole
no 5 rated womens hiking boots

90%
Buyer Satisfaction

Buyers said that these are good winter boots and a very good choice for ski holidays.

Buyers rate these highly with a 90% buyer satisfaction rate. Buyers have stated that these are light and comfortable.

Around 86% of buyers said they rated these as 5 star boots, and the number of complaints at the moment is zero.

A few buyers thought these were a little slippy on heavy ice

No 6 Choice - Bodmin Low 4 Ladies Weathertite Low Rise Hiking Boots

These boots are from the Karrimor Bodmin brand and are one of the biggest selling boots online. Please note that these are low rise hiking boots, so look more like shoes than boots. They have a synthetic sole with a lace closure. This is much closer to a walking shoe in our opinion.

They do have a breathable, waterproof lining to protect to help keep your feet dry. The uppers are a combination os suede and mesh. 

  • Available In Sizes 3-7 including some 1/2 sizes
  • Available in 4 colours
  • Synthetic Sole
  • Weatherite lining
  • Suede/Mesh upper
  • Good grip from the Dynagrip outsole
no 6 rated womens hiking boots

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88%
Buyer Satisfaction

Buyers have given these a an 88% buyer satisfaction rate. These are big sellers and have been for a long time in this type of footwear market. Most UK female buyers wear these for doing longer walks and hikes on fairly flat terrain.

68% of all buyers gave these boots a full 5 star review and only 2% of all buyers complained about these boots.

CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT THE BODMIN LOW 4 WEATHERITE LOW RISE HIKING BOOTS


No 7 Choice - Northwest Territory Ladies Leather Lightweight Waterproof Walking Hiking Trekking Boots

Northwest Territory make a range of great looking hiking boots. These particular ones are however their best selling boots in any of the ranges. They are made from leather with a gum rubber sole and a lace up closure..

  • Outer material is leather
  • Lace up closure
  • Available in colours, black/fuchsia, grey/light blue, raspberry/blue, black/pink, khaki/black, black/grey, navy/pink, black multi, brown/red, grey fuchsia and navy/light blue
  • Inner material is textile
  • Gum rubber sole
no 7 rated womens hiking boots

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88%
Buyer Satisfaction

These boots from the Northwest brand are certainly in the affordable range. They also get very good solid and consistent reviews. They come in a wide range of very interesting colours.

69% of all buyers gave these boots the full 5 star rating with around 5% of all buyers giving them a bad review. They do offer strong support around the ankles and that support does divide buyers. Some really appreciate the support but a few people think it is just too rigid.

No 8 Choice - Berghaus Women’s Explorer Active Gore-Tex Walking High Rise Walking Boots

Many buyers like this well known outdoor brand, but their boots are expensive when compared to other brands. Nevertheless buyers who like a specialist outdoor brand for their shoes will almost always pick Berghaus.

  • These boots are made from high quality leather
  • They have a Gore-Tex liner with a textile inner
  • Available in a three colours black/dark grey, blue/navy/grey and brown/grey bear
  • They have an EVA sole
  • They have a lightweight midsole
  • Lace up Closure
  • Opti-stud grip soles
Berghaus Women’s Explorer Active Gore-Tex Walking High Rise Walking Boots


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86%
Buyer Satisfaction

Most buyers stated that these are very good waterproof boots. They also said that they were comfortable and lightweight. A few buyers said these were narrow fitting and to order a half size bigger than your normal shoe size.

Buyers gave these boots an 86% buyer satisfaction rate. The only real complaints that buyers make is that a few of them said they were not fully waterproof.

CLICK HERE TO READ BOUT THE BERGHAUS WOMENS EXPLORER HIGH RISE HIKING BOOTS

No 9 Choice - Karrimor Supa 5 Ladies, Women’s Rise Hiking Boots

These "boots", which we think look more like sneakers, trainers or shoes are an interesting choice for some UK ladies. They are made from leather with a textile inside and a gum rubber sole.

  • These boots are made from leather
  • The sole is made from gum rubber
  • They are a lace up closure
  • Available in 2 colours which are Taupe or Grey/Blue
  • Made by a British brand
Karrimor Supa 5 Ladies Women’s Rise Hiking Boots Review


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86%
Buyer Satisfaction

The majority of online buyers bought these for walking in parks, walking to and from work and for general purpose use rather than for hiking. Buyers did think these were very good value for money

Buyers have rated these with an 86% buyer satisfaction rate. Buyers said these were comfortable, and can stand up to daily and regular use. Buyers said they were reliable and durable.

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR REVIEW ON THE KARRIMOR SUPA 5 WOMENS HIKING BOOTS

No 10 Choice - Berghaus Women's Explorer Ridge Plus GTX Boot

These are another pair of boots from the high end Berghaus brand. They are an expensive option but many buyers just want to own a pair of Berghaus boots and don't mind paying the extra money to get these.

  • These boots are made from Pittards high quality British leather
  • They have a man made textile lining
  • The sole is made from gum rubber
  • Lace up closure
  • An all round hiker
  • Gore-Tex lining
  • High grip out sole design
Berghaus Women's Explorer Ridge Plus GTX Boot UK Review


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86%
Buyer Satisfaction

These particular boots were recommended by the duke of Edinburgh award’s preferred expedition kit list. That is because these are a classic all-round hiking boot that strikes a ideal balance of light weight, rugged performance and comfort.

These do attract an 86% buyer satisfaction rate which is impressive for any pair of boots. 69% of buyers gave these the full 5 star review treatment, so clearly buyers love these.

Buyers stated that these had a lot of toe room, great support and they keep their feet dry no matter what the terrain.

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR REVIEW OF THE BERGHAUS WOMENS EXPLORER RIDGE PLUS GTX BOOTS

No 11 Choice - Regatta Lady Holcombe Mid, Women’s High Rise Hiking Boots

These are slightly more expensive than the Vionic trainers above, bu they also do get higher buyer ratings. It may well be worthwhile to pay the extra few pounds simply because they do have better ratings. They are available in the black/pink shown below but also in a grey/yellow trim if you prefer that look.

  • Made from a synthetic material that has been waterproofed
  • Lace up closure boots
  • Available in colours Purple, Fig/Rose Blush, Grey,
    Grey/Black, Steel, Black, Brown, Grey, Beige/Walnut, Blackberry, Navy and Ice Green
  • Flat heel
  • EVA sole
Regatta Lady Holcombe Mid, Women’s High Rise Hiking Boots

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86%
Buyer Satisfaction

These are good hiking boots with a wide range of colour selection.

These do attract an 86% buyer satisfaction rate which is a solid rating. These are suitable for day to day footwear or for walking or hiking on fairly flat and even terrain. They are not suitable for rougher terrains according to online buyers.

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR REVIEW OF THE REGATTA LADY HOLCOMBE WOMENS HIGH RISE HIKING BOOTS

No 12 Choice - Karrimor Womens Ladies Hot Rock Weathertite Waterproof Trekking Walking Boots

These are yet another pair of boots from the UK Karrimor brand. They are a very popular choice for the younger hiker and overall get good enough reviews from over 200 online buyers.

  • Made from leather with some mesh
  • Have a padded heel and ankles
  • The sole is made from a synthetic material
  • Lace up closure
  • Stitched leather upper
  • FFC cushioned mid-sole
Karrimor Womens Hot Rock Walking Boots Review

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84%
Buyer Satisfaction

Most online buyers really do like the look of these and overall they do get a high enough buyer satisfaction rating.

These do attract an 84% buyer satisfaction rate which is good.

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR REVIEW OF THE KARRIMOR LADIES HOT ROCK TREKKING BOOTS

Hiking/Trekking Boots for Women Buying Guide

Just below we have created what we believe to be a very comprehensive buying guide for women's hiking boots. We have included some very useful information on the leading brands in the hiking boot industry, and also exactly what to look out for when it comes to buying a pair of ladies hiking boots.

We hope that you find that information really useful.

The first thing to ensure is that it is actually hiking boots that you want to wear for the activity you plan on doing. There are different options as we have explained in this article.

You can opt for hiking shoes, which are low cut models with flexible mid-soles and an excellent choice for day hiking. Some backpackers opt for trail running shoes for longer distance journeys, as these are even lighter.

If possible you should always try hiking boots on at the end of the day. By that time of the day your feet will have swollen and that is when you should check for a snug comfortable fit. You should also try your boots on with the socks you plan to wear.

If you wear any type of orthotics aid then you should also use that when trying on your boots.

Day Hiking Boots

If you have decided on hiking boots then many women want what are classed as day hiking boots. These are boots worn when a day's planned activity is involved such as a hill climb or a long trek and even short backpacking trips. 

If that is the purpose then the best hiking boots are the mid- to high-cut styles. They are lighter, more flexible and comfortable. The disadvantage is that they do not offer the support of heavier hiking boots.


Heavier Boots

For dedicated hikers with larger backpacks, or longer trips, or activities like climbing over rocks and rough terrain then you will be much better off with heavier hiking boots. These will have or should have a high cut that wraps above the ankles for strong support.

One question that we think needs to be answered is whether to buy hiking boots or hiking shoes? That is a difficult question to answer. The one thing that we can be certain of is that if you plan on walking or trekking, then at least you know that specialised footwear is required.

There is no point whatsoever in using ordinary sneakers or trainers for hikes and walks, especially where the terrain is rough. Those are perfectly fine for people who simply like to walk, or for ordinary everyday use.

The hiking footwear choices available for hiking and trekking are:

  • Hiking sandals
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Trail Running Shoes
  • Mid Weight Hiking Boots
  • Heavy Hiking Boots

So as you can see there are at least 5 choices available to the hiker. In this article we focus extensively on the best hiking or trekking boots for women. That does include both mid weight hiking boots and heavy hiking boots. We have provided just below a table that shows what type of activity is best suited to wearing either hiking shoes or boots.

Hiking Boots vs Hiking Shoes

Hiking Shoes vs Hiking Boot Comparison

HIKING SHOES

  • Shoes are good if you plan to hike on well maintained and reasonably even trails
  • Shoes are good for day hikes
  • Shoes are good for cam site activities or off the road activities
  • Shoes are good for trail running.


HIKING BOOTS

  • Boots are good when trails are wet or you suspect are wet
  • Boots are really the only choice if the trails are rocky, uneven and slippy
  • Boots are also the only choice if trails are steep or on a steep incline
  • Boots are a good choice if the potential or turning your ankles are high
  • Boots are the only real choice if there is snow on the trails


Hiking Sandals for Women

We think these are a good and realistic choice for women who are casual hikers. They are also a great choice for ladies who go on holidays to warmer climates and like to walk in rougher terrains. They can also be an excellent choice for any woman who likes to camp and wants to get air around their feet, while still having a degree of protection for their feet.

The reason they are a good choice is that these are a lighter option than hiking boots or shoes. They still have a closed toe for protection, good arch support and tough long lasting soles.

Hiking sandals are a good overall choice for well maintained trails and for general use around a camp.

Hiking Shoes for Women

Hiking shoes are often referred to as trail shoes and they are becoming a very popular choice for many ladies. The reason for this popularity is that they are very comfortable and also very functional.

Trail shoes are often used for running on rougher terrains and they do have thicker soles than normal running shoes. Shoes are certainly more comfortable and lighter than standard hiking boots.

Trail Running Shoes for Women

These are growing in popularity. However our advice is that unless you plan on running up hills and mountains, then you will not need to buy or use these. They are very expensive and really designed for avid dedicated runners. They are similar to hiking shoes but have extra padding, tougher soles and additional ankle support.

Mid Weight Hiking Boots for Women

When it comes to hiking boots you really have a couple of choices. This mid weight boot is the most popular choice. The mid weight hiking boots has great ankle support, the foot support is quite stiff and they are typically made from reinforced leather or a synthetic outer layer.

They are a bit heavier than sandals or shoes, but the reality is that most women will not notice that unless they are being used non-stop over several days. They offer a great deal more support to the ankles and arches that any type of walking or hiking shoe.

They will take about three to four days to break in your new Mid-weight boots.

Heavy Hiking Boots for Women

Very few women will want to own these. In our opinion they are only suitable for ladies who want to climb across rocks or take part in some form of mountaineering. These heavy boots are for the die hard woman hiker.

These are really heavy and offer extra grip and great support for the ankles. As they come higher up the leg they also offer protection from brambles, water and even mud. They will be more expensive than mid weight boots, need more looking after and in reality not that comfortable.

Best Known Hiking/Trekking Boot Brands

Just below we have written a short profile of each of the leading brands who make hiking boots.These are considered to be the best brands for making hiking boots and shoes for the great outdoors.

We have included shoe brands including:

  • Merrell
  • Grisport
  • Karrimor
  • Northwest Territory
  • Berghaus
  • Regata

Merrell Hiking Boots/Shoes Brand

Merrell are a brand that have great expertise in footwear for hiking, fitness, trail running and casual wear. They make footwear from men, women and children. They began as a company who designed and manufactured hand made custom boots for outdoor enthusiasts.

They are an American company formed by a man known as Randy Merrell. In 1981 Merrell began to design a more affordable model of high-performance hiking boots. Merrell combined American cowboy boot technology to the Italian boot manufacturing process.

In 1985 Merrell launched the Eagle model, that combined running shoe performance with back country utility to create lighter and faster footwear for the trail. ​

In 1993 they released their first cross-trainer model. Over the next 10 years they added the mountain conquering Vibram® soles, launched the first ever Aftersport Jungle Mocs, and introduced our World Collection.

Grisport Hiking Boots Brand

Grisport are another well known and popular footwear Italian brand. They make footwear for women, men and children. What is interesting about their products is that they have an extensive range of stylish women’s walking boots. They offer both leather and suede walking boots, so you can have the option from whichever you prefer.

They primarily make women's boots for walking, rambling or hiking and all of their boots are made to be comfortable.

Since 1977, Grisport products have been manufactured in Montebelluna, Italy in their facilities. Over the years they have focused on innovation and R&D to become one of Europe's leading shoe manufacturers.

Their research and design department, part of our staff of over 2,000, are dedicated in bringing the customer the very best footwear at affordable prices. Each year over five thousand new styles are created using their state of the art technology.

Throughout their product range, they use their patented techniques and materials to make high performance, technical footwear. They subject their footwear to strict testing in their laboratories to ensure consistent quality.

Their mission has always been to create the most comfortable footwear available for safety, walking and comfort.

Karrimor Hiking Boots Brand

The Karrimor brand began back in 1946 and was founded by a group of people called Charles Parsons, Mary Parsons and Grace Davies. Karrimor started by selling hand-sewed cotton-duck cycle pannier bags.

Since those humble beginnings, Karrimor moved on to produce some excellent outdoor equipment and clothing including boots and shoes designed for the great outdoors. The Haston Alpiniste rucksack of the 1970s became the most famous alpine rucksack ever. In the 1980s, the pioneering Karrimor sports boots (KSB) were the first to be made with lightweight fabric.

Karramor are now considered to be the British specialists in adventure outdoor equipment. They mow have a comprehensive range of Karrimor rucksacks, walking boots, safety boots, backpacks, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, tents, outdoor clothing, snow boots, camping equipment, running shoes and everything else you could possibly need for an outdoor adventure.

Rower, Olympian and adventurer, James Cracknell is the current ambassador for Karrimor. The team of elite athletes have design input in to the Karrimor collections and opportunity to test the Karrimor kit in some of the world’s harshest conditions.

Northwest Hiking Boots Brand

Northwest also known as Northwest Territories have accumulated fifty years of boot making experience, Northwest Territory resides in the iconic shoe town of Northampton. Their ever expanding range continually boasts of new styles, always sourcing materials with a core focus on quality and price.

They make well constructed, durable footwear which is the ideal companion for those weekend adventures. A great mix of comfort and style allowing you to explore new territories everyday.

They make ladies hiking boots and country boots along with a range of women's socks. According to our research these are some of the most affordable hiking boots on the market, and they have a very interesting choice of colours.

Berghaus Hiking Boots Brand

Berghaus formed in 1966, when outdoor clothing and footwear was simply not heard of. Two climbers Peter Lockey and Gordon Davison from the North East of England, decided to import and sell their own outdoor gear.

Their specialist outdoor store in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, went by the name of the LD Mountain Centre and quickly gained a reputation for selling the very best in high-performance outdoor products from the likes of Atomic Skis, Marker Bindings and Nordica Ski.

Lockey and Davison soon began to design, test and make their own gear for sale in the shop. This high-quality, innovative clothing range, inspired by what climbers actually wanted and needed, was called Berghaus. And so began the Berghaus brand.

Berghaus was the first UK retailer to import and stock the legendary SCARPA walking boots. In the early 1990s saw Berghaus turn its attention to footwear, launching its very first footwear collection. The collection included the Storm boot; at the time, considered to be the definitive three season fabric hiking boot.

Regatta Hiking Boots Brand

Regatta formed back in 1981 and they are now a very well known brand for affordable buy high quality footwear and clothing aimed at the outdoors market.

They aim all their outdoor products at ramblers, amblers, hikers and bikers. campers and gardeners and daily commuters, dog walkers, show jumpers and multi-tasking mums, picnickers, backpackers, kids playing ball and dads at the footie, urban roamers and beachcombers and puddle-loving children and everyone else they have helped start their own adventure.

They are a family run business and a member of the Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). The ETI brings together brands, retailers, suppliers, unions and NGO’s to improve conditions for workers worldwide.

Regatta make jackets, winter boots, footwear, tents, waterproof technologies, and outdoor clothing.

Features to Look For When Buying Hiking Boots

There are quite a number of features to look out for before you spend your hard earned money on a pair of hiking boots. We have shown those features below and they are certainly well worth reading through. That way you can ensure that you get the best pair of hiking boots that suit your individual needs as a woman.

Feature 1 - What Are You Going to Use Your Hiking Boots For?

Earlier on we illustrated what hiking boots are needed for. We have included this information again, because it is really important to fully understand.

  • Boots are good when trails are wet or you suspect are wet
  • Boots are really the only choice if the trails are rocky, uneven and slippy
  • Boots are also the only choice if trails are steep or on a steep incline
  • Boots are a good choice if the potential or turning your ankles are high
  • Boots are the only real choice if there is snow on the trails

If your planned activity falls into any of the categories above, then you do need to consider hiking boots of some kind. If you plan on hiking and trekking on terrains other than those described above, then you will be better off with either hiking shoes or even hiking sandals.

Feature 2 - Comfort

There is simply not many things worse than a pair of uncomfortable boots. When we were doing our research we made notes of the most common complaints about hiking boots. Those generally fell into two categories:

  1. Blisters/Chaffing
  2. Wet feet

Blisters and chaffing mainly come from wearing the wrong size boots, and that means the boots are just a little too big for your feet. Buyers tend to compensate by wearing thicker socks, and even two or three pairs of socks. You really should never do that, as socks will gather around the feet, and become an irritant.

You need to make sure that your hiking boots fit perfectly with whatever socks you normally wear when doing outdoor activities. Many of the leading brands do not do half sizes. For some ladies that may be OK, but for others finding a brand with half sizes is very important.

Merrell for example offer half sizes, so it might be wise to consider that brand, if you are struggling to find a good fit.

With regards to wet feet, we have covered that off in the section just below.

Feature 3 - Hiking Boots and Wet Feet

You will often see manufacturers describing their boots as waterproof or weatherproof. The reality is that no pair of boots can ever claim to be 100% waterproof. What you really want from a pair of hiking boots is that they keep your feet as dry and as comfortable as possible.

Rain will almost always be able to find its way into the entrance area of the boot where you put your foot into. That is just a fact, and likewise if you walk through a deep enough puddle. What you want to avoid though is any water coming through a cracked or damaged sole. You also do not want water soaking through the outer material.

With hiking boots almost all of them are made from leather that is naturally waterproof, and when it is treated then it can become even more resistant to water. Most hiking boots do that, and if they don't then send them back because something is wrong with them.

Feature 4 - High Rise vs Low Rise Hiking Boots

Low rise means that the boots are more like hiking shoes than boots. Although the boot will cover the ankle, it stops just after the ankle. High rise boots offer more protection and support to the ankle and also some lower leg protection from brambles etc.

These can either be mid-weight boots or heavy boots. The heavier hiking boots are designed for rougher walking and climbing. Most people will opt for mid-weight boots as they are light yet still offer a lot of protection..

Feature 5 - Leather vs Synthetic Uppers

This can get complicated to explain. We have tried to summarise the importance of either buying leather uppers or synthetic uppers and the pros and cons of each type.

Full Grain Leather Boots

You will almost always find full grain leather is used in the heavier hiking boots. That is because it makes the boots very durable, they are great on rough terrains and really good at keeping out water.

You need that type of leather and boot for the tougher and longer activities like heavy backpacking or rocky and wet terrains. They will need to be broken in and that takes time. The one downside is that your feet can get hot inside this type of very strong long lasting boot.

Split Grain Leather Boots

This type of split grain leather is the most popular manufacturer choice. Almost always it will be used along with some type of nylon mesh to make a lightweight boot that offers very good breathability, which does stop your feet from sweating.

It gets its name of split as the process of making it spits off the rougher inner part of the cowhide from the smooth exterior. For manufacturers that is more cost effective to do. The downside of course is that it does reduce the waterproof capability of the boot.

To counteract that many manufacturers include waterproof liners.


Nubuck Leather Boots

This is a full grain leather that has been buffed to make it look almost like suede. It is tough, and as it is a full grain is very good at keeping out water and standing up to knocks and bumps. Boots made of this do need time to break in before being used for longer walks or hikes. These are lighter than full grain but heavier than split grain boots.


Synthetic Material Boots

A synthetic material is a man made material. It includes materials like polyester, nylon and so-called "synthetic leather."  There are a few brands who use these for hiking boots and shoes. These are much lighter than any type of leather boots. They do not need much use to easily break in. Almost always synthetic boots will be cheaper than leather boots.

The downside is they will almost certainly wear out sooner than leather boots.

Feature 6 - Hiking Boot Liners

Here we go again about boots being waterproof or weather proof. We mentioned earlier that some manufacturers included a waterproof membrane or liner, especially on split grain boots.

You will see these described by manufacturers as Gore-Tex® or eVent®. Their purpose is of course to help keep your feet dry in wet conditions. Any type of liner will reduce ventilation in the boot and may cause some sweating of the feet.

You may have noticed that some light sneakers or trainers use a mesh. Downside: The reduced breathability created by a membrane (compared to the ventilating mesh used on some nonwaterproof shoes) may encourage feet to sweat on summer days.
Vegan: Vegan-friendly hiking boots and shoes are made without any animal ingredients or byproducts.
Insulation: Synthetic insulation is added to some mountaineering boots for warmth when hiking on snow and glaciers.

Feature 7 - Hiking Boot Soles

You will find that the majority of soles on hiking boots are made from gum rubber, which offers some type of cushioning, and also is easy to mould to form a good track and grip. The mid-sole is the main part of the sole that and that helps a great deal in absorbing the shock when you feet hit the ground.

Stiff soles and boots do offer a lot of protection but that also makes them pretty uncomfortable. However for for long hikes or when walking on rocky, uneven terrain the stiffer sole will offer more stability. A stiff boot won’t allow your foot to wear out by wrapping around every rock or tree root you step on.

The most common mid-sole materials are gum rubber, EVA and polyurethane.

Feature 8 - Hiking Boot Closures

Almost every boot we have ever seen is a lace up closure. Some of these boot manufacturers will use waterproof laces and those can be hard to keep tied, so a double knot will be required.

Hiking Boots FAQ

When we were completing our research we noticed that many buyers were asking the same questions. These are frequently asked questions so we thought that we should have a section on those, where we show you the questions and more importantly give you some important answers.

Q1 - Are Sneakers Good for Hiking?

As we mentioned earlier feet come in many shapes and sizes. Picking boots though should really follow a simple process. We highly recommend trying on at least 3-5 pairs of boots, and not rushing the process. Different brands make slightly different sizes in terms of length and width.

We are sure you have come across this when shopping for any pair of boots, and hiking or trekking boots are no different to those typical other styles of boots

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The only additional thing you have to focus on is that when walking at a brisk pace, your walking shoes should help encourage that type of walking, and help support and protect the feet. You want to make sure that any pair of walking shoes you buy achieves these three vital characteristics:

  1. Shock absorption
  2. Arch Support
  3. Cushioning

What Are the Most Comfortable Women's Hiking Boots?

These days almost any pair of hiking boots is comfortable. In years gone past many boots used for hiking and trekking were solidly made to last. The leather was strong and tough and the construction of the boots was sturdy.

These days the makers of boots use softer and higher quality leather. That makes them softer and more supple than they used to be. In addition to that the inside of the boots have much better arch support that they once had.

What Socks Should You Wear With Hiking Boots

Some hikers will pick cotton socks as they dry pretty quickly. Some will wear woolen socks especially if the weather is cold. Both of these types of socks do move inside the boot, and are more likely to give you blisters, especially on long hikes.

Thee most important thing to do is to make sure the thickness of the socks matches what you intend to wear, when going out on your hike. Synthetic socks also known as hiking socks are the best choice to prevent blisters, and to stop moisture building up inside your boots.

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Sources Used for Research

 Self Rated Walking Pace & Cardiovascular Disease - British Journal of Sport's Medicine

Caring for Your Feet During Sport - The Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists