16 best hiking boots, shoes, sandals for women in 2022, according to an expert

16 best hiking shoes, boots, and sandals for women in 2022 (Photo via Getty)

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From coast to coast, Canada is home to some of the best hiking trails in the world. From Alberta’s sky-high Rocky Mountains to Newfoundland’s lush East Coast Trail, you would be remiss not to tie up your laces and get outside at least a few times this spring and summer.

With that being said, despite its low barrier entry, hiking does require at least one investment to get started: hiking shoes.

While you may have been able to squeeze by with a pair of sneakers in the past, if protecting your feet and stabilizing your ankles are of any importance (hint: they should be), it’s time to get yourself sorted with a high-quality pair of hiking shoes, boots or sandals.

women with grey hair wearing hiking pants, shoes, and backpack while stepping over rocks whilst hiking

Spring has sprung! It’s time to get outside and enjoy one of Canada’s many hiking trails (Photo via Getty)

What should you look for in a hiking boot?

According to Trevor McConnell, a hiking and rock climbing specialist at Decathlon, before deciding on a pair of boots, you need to ask yourself where you’ll be hiking and how strenuous it will be.

“If you only want to go on single-day hikes on gently winding forest trails, your needs will be very different than someone who wants to do a week-long backpacking trip in Algonquin Park or someone hiking in the Rockies.”

McConnell says there are four main things to consider when purchasing hiking shoes:

1. Do you want a shoe or a boot?

“Shoes are lighter, but boots offer much-needed ankle support,” McConnell says.

2. Do you need waterproof shoes?

Waterproof shoes will help keep your feet dry by keeping water out, but their design also holds in moisture and won’t allow your feet to breathe as easily as non-waterproof shoes.

“If you only plan on hiking in the dead of summer, consider non-waterproof shoes to avoid sweaty feet,” he says.

3. How robust do your shoes need to be?

“If you’re only doing day trips, a broken shoelace or small hole in your shoe is not the end of the world.” However, if you’re planning on completing that week-long trip in Algonquin, “a small problem can become a big issue, so you need to be able to rely on your shoes. Robust hiking boots will be heavier but won’t fail you.”

4. How much traction (pull) and grip (stick) do you need?

If you’re hiking on flat ground, you don’t need much traction to keep you on the trail “as gravity is doing that for you,” he says. It’s when you gain altitude and “falling off the trail could result in serious injury” that your grip really begins to matter. Investing in a pair of boots with good traction will “help pull you up the mountain.”

As for materials, McConnell says hikers only have a couple of options: synthetic or organic.

“Synthetic shoes breathe better than leather, but they’re not as waterproof. Leather is waterproof and very durable but not as breathable.”

To shop the best hiking shoes, boots, and sandals for women in 2022, including McConnell’s top picks, scroll below.

Best hiking boots and shoes for women under $100

Quechua Nh100 Hiking Shoes women's in dark green, navy and pink (Photo via Decathalon)

Quechua Nh100 Hiking Shoes (Photo via Decathalon)

“For those who are simply looking to get out of the house and find some easy trails to escape the city, I recommend the NH (nature hiking) 100,” says McConnell. “Simple, light and affordable.”

$25 at Decathalon

NORTIV 8 Women's Waterproof Hiking Boots in Black/Pink (Photo via Amazon)

NORTIV 8 Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boots in Black/Pink (Photo via Amazon)

Affordable and functional, these waterproof hiking boots have earned an average rating of 4.4 stars from Amazon shoppers. The shoes are designed with a slip-resistant rubber sole and a durable suede exterior. They’re the “best shoes ever,” according to one reviewer. By far, the most “comfortable hiking shoes I’ve ever had.”

$69 at Amazon

Outbound Shore Sandal in grey and white (Photo via Canadian Tire)

Outbound Shore Sandal (Photo via Canadian Tire)

These ultra-affordable women’s hiking sandals come backed by an average 4.6-star rating. The summer-friendly shoes have a moulded EVA midsole for added comfort and support and a rubber outsole for improved grip and durability. This is my “second pair,” writes one Canadian Tire shopper. You can “wear them anywhere!”

$33 $55 at Canadian Tire

Merrell Women's Yokota 2 Hiking Shoes in dark grey and light grey (Photo via The Shoe Company)

Merrell Women’s Yokota 2 Hiking Shoes (Photo via The Shoe Company)

These affordable Merrell hiking shoes come with an average rating of 4.5 stars from The Shoe Company shoppers. Featuring a protective cap, bungee lacing, and a contoured insole, reviewers say the hiking shoes “feel like slippers” and require “no breaking in” time.

$100 at The Shoe Company

Mountain Warehouse Adventurer Women's Waterproof Hiking Boots in Burgundy raspberry pink (Photo via Amazon)

Mountain Warehouse Adventurer Women’s Waterproof Hiking Boots in Burgundy (Photo via Amazon)

Who says you need to pay an arm and a leg for a decent pair of hiking boots? These waterproof hiking shoes have racked up more than 5,600 reviews from Amazon shoppers. The lightweight and durable boots feature a mesh lining for breathability and a waterproof membrane. They’re “fantastic,” writes one reviewer. I was “pretty rough” with them while hiking, but “they had my back” the whole way. “I didn’t even get any blisters!”

From $65 at Amazon

Forclaz Trek 100 Hiking Boots in brown with pink laces (Photo via Decathalon)

Forclaz Trek 100 Hiking Boots (Photo via Decathalon)

“For several day backpacking trips or those looking for a more durable boot. I recommend the Trek100,” McConnell says. “Waterproof, robust, won’t fail.”

$100 at Decathalon

Best hiking boots and shoes for women under $200

woman wearing blue and black Quechua Mh500 Waterproof Hiking Boots (Photo via Decathalon)

Quechua Mh500 Waterproof Hiking Boots (Photo via Decathalon)

“At Decathlon, I recommend the MH (Mountain Hiking) 500 as it’s the best all around boot,” says McConnell. “Waterproof, ankle support, light.”

$110 at Decathalon

Salomon Unisex Shelter Low LTR Hiking Shoes in Chocolate Plum/Vanilla Ice/Zen Blue (Photo via Altitude Sports)

Salomon Unisex Shelter Low LTR Hiking Shoes in Chocolate Plum/Vanilla Ice/Zen Blue (Photo via Altitude Sports)

With the grip of a hiking shoe and the look of a sneaker, these unisex Salomon hiking shoes are a great alternative to traditional boots. The shoes are available in four stylish colour combinations, including black and purple.

$190 at Altitude Sports

Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boots in dark grey and white laces (Photo via Amazon)

Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boots (Photo via Amazon)

Backed by more than 7,000 ratings, these leather hiking boots have earned an average rating of 4.6 stars from Amazon shoppers. The shoes feature a durable midsole for long-lasting comfort, superior cushioning and a traction rubber sole for slip-free steps.

$120 $140 at Amazon

Merrell Women's Siren Edge Q2 Hiking Shoe in Castle Rock/Blue Heaven (Photo via Amazon)

Merrell Women’s Siren Edge Q2 Hiking Shoe in Castle Rock/Blue Heaven (Photo via Amazon)

With an average rating of 4.3 stars based on more than 2,500 ratings, Amazon shoppers say these synthetic leather hiking shoes are “very comfortable” and require “no breaking-in time.” According to one five-star reviewer, they’re “super lightweight” and have “great arch support.”

$125 at Amazon

Salomon X Reveal GORE-TEX Hiking Shoes in dark grey and black (Photo via Altitude Sports)

Salomon X Reveal GORE-TEX Hiking Shoes (Photo via Altitude Sports)

With dozens of five-star reviews singing their praises, shoppers say these Salomon hiking shoes are “extremely comfortable and lightweight with great traction.” From snow to sand, it’s a “good hiking shoe for [every type of] weather,” according to one reviewer.

$140 at Altitude Sports

Best hiking boots and shoes for women under $500

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Boots in Taupe women's hiking boots (Photo via Altitude Sports)

Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Boots in Taupe (Photo via Altitude Sports)

With hundreds of five-star reviews singing their praises, Altitude Sports shoppers say these Lowa hiking boots are the “best hiking boots ever.” They’re “super comfortable” and waterproof, according to one reviewer. “I’ve taken them on a couple of long hikes across different terrains in the Rockies, and they held up really well. I also used them […] in the winter and they are very warm.”

$350 at Altitude Sports

Salomon Women's Predict Hike Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Shoes in black and grey (Photo via Sport Chek)

Salomon Women’s Predict Hike Mid Gore-Tex Hiking Shoes (Photo via Sport Chek)

Earning a perfect five-star rating from Sport Chek shoppers, these Salomon women’s hiking shoes are uniquely designed to adapt your stride to the terrain. They’re available in two colour combinations and can handle a wide variety of surfaces, including wet, dry, and loose conditions.

$210 at Sport Chek

Salomon Women's Quest Element Gore-Tex Hiking Boots in dark navy blue and black (Photo via Sport Chek)

Salomon Women’s Quest Element Gore-Tex Hiking Boots (Photo via Sport Chek)

These top-rated Salomon boots are waterproof, breathable, and feature a removable insole. With a near-perfect rating of 4.8 stars, Sport Chek shoppers say the shoes are “absolutely amazing.” I wore them on a “13-day hike through the Tobeatic in Nova Scotia in early March,” writes one reviewer. “The boots were extremely comfortable and required little time to break them in. My feet were never sore through the whole hike!”

$240 at Sport Chek

adidas Women's Terrex Gore-Tex Hiking Shoes in blue, black and grey (Photo via Sport Chek)

adidas Women’s Terrex Gore-Tex Hiking Shoes (Photo via Sport Chek)

With nearly 200 five-star reviews singing their praises, Sport Chek shoppers say these Adidas hiking shoes are “versatile,” “stylish,” and the “most comfortable shoes I have ever worn.” The lightweight shoes offer flexible, all-terrain stability and feature a GORE-TEX membrane to repel water while simultaneously letting your feet breathe.

$300 at Sport Chek

Keen Women's Pyrenees Waterproof Hiking Boots in brown leather and black rubber sole (Photo via Sport Chek)

Keen Women’s Pyrenees Waterproof Hiking Boots (Photo via Sport Chek)

Hike easier and for longer in these top-rated Keen boots. Traditional all-leather construction is combined with breathable technology to keep feet dry and comfortable, no matter where your adventure takes you. Sport Chek shoppers say the boots are “sturdy and comfortable” and are made from “tough” leather that will last for “years to come.”

$230 at Sport Chek

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