Hiking Lady's Vasque Taku GTX Boots
Hiking Lady’s Vasque Taku GTX Boots

Boots are the most important purchase you’ll make, because they will determine how happy your feet are on the trail.  Are you tired of getting blisters even though your boots are broken in?   Watch Hiking Lady’s video: How to Prevent Blisters!

If you are like me, you might enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as day hiking, backpacking, and trail running. All of these activities are done on trails, but each require different types of footwear. There are several different types of women’s hiking and backpacking boots, as well as trail running shoes, and they vary based on your intended use. What is most important in all purchases is to get the right fit. Seriously… ignore style and fashion and focus on a boot that is comfortable for you!

Click on the links below to learn more about Water Shoes, Trail Running Shoes, Hiking Boots, Backpacking Boots, Mountaineering Boots, Insoles, Socks & Liners, and Down Booties. Don’t forget to study Hiking Lady’s 10 Rules for Mastering Hiking Boot Shopping!

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
– John Muir

Women’s Water Shoes

Women's Water Shoes Women’s Water Shoes : Water shoes are an excellent addition to a gear closet. You’ll be able to wear these on easy trail hikes, summer hikes to waterfalls and lakes, on kayak and canoe adventures, camping, sight-seeing, you name it. Read more about women’s water shoes.

Women’s Trail Running Shoes

Women's Trail Running Shoes Women’s Trail Running Shoes: Trail running shoes are essentially running shoes, but they’re designed to protect your feet from the many things you’ll encounter on the trail like rocks and pebbles, roots, mud, little burrows, ruts, and more. Generally they have more padding, have a slightly higher cut than a running shoe, and a rugged sole. Read more about women’s trail running shoes.

Women’s Hiking Boots

Women's Hiking Boots Women’s Hiking Boots: Are you looking for a pair of women’s boots for light hiking or a backpacking trip where you’ll have a relatively light load? There are quite a range of womens hiking boots, from light hikers for well-maintained trail hiking to sturdier, high top boots for more rugged trails and light backpacking trips. Read more about women’s hiking boots.

Women’s Backpacking Boots

Women's Backpacking Boots Women’s Backpacking Boots: Backpacking boots are more technical than hiking boots, and have to be able to handle a lot more abuse that you’ll put them through during your outdoor adventures! Backpacking boots have rugged lug soles, Gore-Tex or other waterproofing, and a stiff shank. Read more about women’s backpacking boots.

Women’s Mountaineering Boots

Women's Mountaineering Boots Women’s Mountaineering Boots: For more experienced hikers who like to climb mountain peaks and travel off trail, you’ll want a pair of women’s mountaineering boots.


Hiking Insoles Hiking Insoles: Insoles are a small investment for lots of extra foot support. Read more about insoles here.

Hiking Socks & Sock Liners

Hiking Socks & Sock Liners Hiking Socks & Sock Liners: It may not seem intuitive, but wearing 2 pair of socks is the best method for wicking moisture away from your feet. Doing this will help keep blisters away. Learn more about hiking socks and sock liners.

Down Booties

Down Booties Down Booties: These are an ESSENTIAL addition for every camping and backpacking trip! Check out why I never go backpacking without my down booties.

Back to Hiking 101


  1. Hiking Lady says:

    Here’s an emailed comment from “Obsidian”:

    I would like to see a movement for shoe companies to make half sizes for women that wear size eleven shoe.
    I am hiking the Appalachian Trail now… I do not think I would have gotten a blister if I could have gotten a boot a half size larger… specifically an eleven and a half.
    That’s my rant.


  2. Gavin Evans says:

    Finding the right boots for the type of walking/hiking that you intend to do can be challenging in itself. This site does a great job of ironing out a lot of the confusion. Great work!

  3. Tammy Richmond says:

    I was extremely concerned when purchasing boots for my hike this past week. The last thing i wanted was pain,blisters or wet feet at 12,000 ft! After consulting with many people at REI, Outside world and others, i chose the OBOZ. I really put these boots to the test and had NO breaking in time. After hiking up to Marroon Pass,Colorado, i had zero blisters, zero pain. I also walked for an extended time upstream to view an underground waterfall and my feet remained dry! This hike was REALLY muddy for a lot of the trail and we were getting rained on. The lugs on these boots were a lifesaver. They prevented me from slipping on many occasions, even hopping from rock to rock in the river. I do not recall the model but i can update when i get back home! Just be sure to get them half a size big and the socks make all of the difference as well. I prefer really thick wool. I hope this helps anyone looking for a great pair of boots. I searched for weeks. The Oboz are far from femine. but they are AWESOME! And like everyone kept telling me, “they all look the same covered in mud” lol

  4. Hiking Lady says:

    Great question Dinu. I am in Southern California as well, and I use two boots. One for backpacking and one for snow/crampons. However, if you’re looking for boots that could do it all, I’d try out some La Sportiva Trangos. Those are the only ones I can think of that are flexible enough to be comfortable for heavy backpacking and still meet the requirements for a solid mountaineering boot for crampon use. I don’t have a pair because they’re quite pricey, but they are really cool and one day I may splurge and buy myself a pair of La Sportiva Trangos too! Hope that helps!

  5. Dinu says:

    Are there any boots you recommend that are versatile enough to be good for some heavy backpacking in Southern California but that would also be compatible with crampons (most probably over the boot crampons) and waterproof?

  6. Erlinda says:

    Where can one find narrow women’s boots?. I’m a 10.5 AA. Boots of Medium and A widths are just too loose, side to side.

  7. Sheheryar latif says:

    Hi I want to asksomething. I donot know the plateform were I can ask stuff about hiking. So
    Recently I bought used hiking shoe. Those are lowe zephyr gtx mid. I checked those shoes by putting water on those but these shoes are not waterproof. Maybe due to there used condition. I just want to ask is there anyway to retain there waterproofability. I mean maybe by applying some kind of wax on those or something like that. I am not sure about the material of the shoe its definately not a pure leather. I watched few videos on youtube but these all are about how to make leather shoe waterproof. So can anybody help me, how to regain the waterproofing again…..

  8. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Jan,
    Good question. 43 is European size that translates to size 10-10.5 for women. You should definitely be able to find Asolo and Scarpa women’s boots in size 10 or 10.5. Check out since they offer free return shipping (and you can order both 10 and 10.5 and see how they fit). Good luck and happy trails!

  9. jan says:

    I have long but thin feet; it seems I need a 43 boot and I am told that Scarpa or Asolo would be the right fit. Will I have to buy a man’s boot? thanks, Jan

  10. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Robin,
    Hmmm, I would suggest you take a look at some men’s boots, as I recommended to Lilla. Men’s boots tend to run wider than women’s, so that may work out quite well for you. Hope that helps!

  11. Robin C says:

    I am having problems finding hiking boots that fit right. I wear a 7.5
    wide – 2E shoe and I can’t find boots that work. Right now I am
    wearing Keen Targee as they run a little wider than normal boots but I
    still get blisters on my little toes. They fit great everywhere else.
    Help save my little toes! ; )

  12. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Lilla,

    Ouch, that is going to be tough to find! I don’t know of a women’s brand that makes 12 AA hiking boots anymore. How wide are your feet? Have you considered buying men’s narrows? They may be too wide for you, but something to consider. Zappos has a large selection of men’s narrow hiking boots.

    If anyone else has suggestions please help Lilla!

  13. Lilla T Mc says:

    HELP! I am a solid womens size 12 AA. My Raichles finally wore out
    after more than 20 years of good use. Certainly I am not be THE ONLY
    long, narrow footed female on the trails. Where do I go to find boots
    in size 12 AA?

  14. Alan says:

    I agree…hiking boots are probably the most crucial item needed on a hiking trek. It is important to pick the right boot for the type of hiking that you will be doing.

  15. Carrie says:

    Hi Hiking Lady and Lauren – I had the same problem with my Raichle’s — walked right out of the sole last year at the end of a hike. Thankfully I was at the end of the trail — just a hundred yards from the car when it happened!
    Lauren, were you able to get them resoled? I love those boots.

  16. helen says:

    I am just starting to hike. I began in the edge of fields and in the woods near my home. We have snakes and I wondered if you can give advise on snake proof gear. What is the best?

  17. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Debbie! That’s exciting about your upcoming section hike of the AT! Have you read Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods? I really enjoyed it 🙂

    Have you tried this boot lacing technique to prevent heel blisters? I know it would be expensive, but having 2 pairs of boots so you can have the correct size for each foot would help the situation. Also wearing foot powder can help keep your feet dry, and therefore prevent blisters.

    Hope that helps! Good luck.

  18. Debbie says:

    What a wonderful website! I am doing a section of the AT in Sept. and just bought new Merrill Moabs. I have had Merrill’s before, but its been awhile since I have had a higher boot and a few moons since this strenuous a hike. Walked 4miles yesterday and developed a side of the heel blister. Unfortunately I have one foot a half size smaller and that’s the one that got the blister. any suggestions. I had liner and wool socks on?

  19. Tania says:

    Hi, I am going for a multi-days trekking and hiking to Baliem Valley in Papua Indonesia, I am SO excited!! This is my first time trekking and I couldn’t thank you enough for stopping by in this site and I found many useful tips! Thanks again! 🙂

  20. Hiking Lady says:

    Great questions, Amy. If your foot is going to be completely immersed in cold water…I’d recommend rubber boots. Waterproof hiking boots aren’t intended to be fully submerged in water, so the rubber ones will be the way to go. You can get a cheap pair at Target… Put a small towel and a good quality pair of hiking boots in your backpack, then put those on when you get to shore. Then either attach your rubber boots to your backpack or leave them on the shoreline (and hopefully they’ll be there when you return in the evening). Another alternative if you can brave the cold water is to wear water shoes, then dry your feet with a small towel and clip the water shoes to your backpack while you hike. They likely will provide better traction than rubber boots. Have fun!

  21. Amy says:

    I’m going to be in Maine, staying on a boat, with smaller boat access to the shore. I may have to step fully into cold water and slippery rocks to get on/off the small boat, and then I may be hiking. What shoe would you recommend — rubber boots, waterproof hiking boots? I’m worried about wet, cold feet and then getting blisters from a hike.

  22. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Bahar,
    Great question. Tie your boots just tight enough so you don’t feel ankle pain. You should not be tying your boots so tight that you have pain in your ankle.
    Happy trails!

  23. Bahar says:

    Hi, many thanks for the great info. I found them very helpful. I’ve just bought my very first hiking boots (kailash, scarpa) and I’m loving them. except for that I’m not sure how tight I should tie the lace. The boots fit really well. but when I tie it tight so that it protects my ankle, I end up with swollen ankle and a lot of pain! but when I tie it loosely I feel like my ankle is not protected enough. How can I be sure if I’ve tied my boots properly before hurting my ankle?

  24. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Lauren – great question. The time pinch might make it difficult here… generally I like to call the boot manufacturer and see how much they would charge to repair it (but this is only an option if you had more time to mail your boots and wait for the return). Since you are in a time crunch, I’d call Raiche (the parent company is Mammut) and see what shoe repair stores they recommend in your area. Here’s their contact info.
    Good luck and happy trails!

  25. Lauren says:

    I need to get new soles put on my Raichle hiking boots. After 12+ years they just simply fell off. Any suggestions on the best place to get them repaired, and quickly? Leaving Friday for Grandfather Mountain.

  26. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Meggie – great question. If you are taking a full backpack (ie, 40 pounds), I’d definitely recommend you wear sturdy boots – it will definitely prevent foot fatigue and provide more support. If you are just taking a daypack and having someone else/or a mule carry your supplies, trail running shoes or light hiking shoes should be sufficient. Hope that helps!

  27. Meggie says:

    Thanks Hiking Lady! Your posts are def. very helpful. I’m gonna hike the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim in a 3-day trip in May… and this is really my first hiking experience ever, so I’m browsing around for tips and such. Do you think I’ll need some serious hiking boots or will trail running shoes/ hiking shoes are sufficient? I’m eyeing the Ahnu Sequoia and Patagonia Drifter – will have to order boots online, the store where I live run out of my size :(. What do you think of those boots? Thanks a lot!

  28. Gina says:

    The right fit is super important! I love you 10 Tips for Mastering Hiking Boot Shopping and the lacing video. Thanks Hiking Lady, you rock.

  29. Tiffannie says:

    Thanks Hiking Lady!! Very helpful comments. I wore them on a 45 minute inside walk yesterday and I was aware of the pressure on my heels but it didn’t hurt so think I can break them in. I found your site while looking for info on boots and I will definitely be following from now on.

  30. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Tiffannie,
    Great question. Boots should definitely be snug enough so your heel doesn’t slide up and down and cause blisters. If they cause you constant pain, then definitely return them. They just may be a bit too narrow for you. If you end up with a pair of wider boots, try out this boot lacing technique, because it will help solve the problem of your heel moving, which is the main cause of heel blisters.
    Bottom line – you shouldn’t be in pain and thinking about your feet when you hike. If it is just slightly uncomfortable and you think you can break in the boots, keep in mind that the cushioning will relax over time and mold to your foot better.
    Hope that helps! happy trails!

  31. Tiffannie says:

    I’m just starting to get into backpacking and just bought hiking boots for the first time ever (exciting!). Since my feet are so narrow, I had to buy boots online. I bought the Vasque Breeze in narrow. They seem to feel good everywhere except on the back of my feet, right above my heel. They’re not tight side-to-side but it feels like they cut in above my heel and pull tight across my Achilles tendon…does that make sense? BUT I’m learning that it’s important for boots to be snug enough so that the heel does not slip up and down while hiking. So I’m wondering if maybe they’re supposed to fit like this and I’m just not used to having pressure on that part of my foot. Any thoughts or feedback would be appreciated.

  32. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Hallie!
    You sure have quite the adventure ahead. That trip will be amazing. It really depends on what pair fits your feet the best. I’d highly recommend trying out whichever new pair you buy for at least a few weeks before your trip. Hope that helps!

  33. Hallie says:

    I will be hiking the Santiago de Compostella, starting in Pamploma, in March. Would the Merrell Solo Origins be recommended for 700 km in 30 days?

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