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Women and Men Have Physically Different Feet
Men’s and women’s feet are different. Women’s feet deserve the best women’s hiking boots. The best women’s hiking boots are different from men’s boots.
Women have unique feet, not a smaller version of a man’s foot. So, the best women’s boots are not a smaller version of a man’s boot. Women’s feet require boots with a different design so they have a comfortable hiking experience.
Read on to find out how women’s feet differ from men’s feet. Also, read on to see 7 of the best women’s hiking boots you want to consider.
How are Women’s Feet Different From Men’s Feet?
- Women usually have smaller feet.
- They have differences in width of feet.
- Women’s feet are more flexible
- Women’s feet cause women to have more upright posture.
Women Have Smaller Feet, Usually
Just because a woman has a generally smaller foot purchasing a smaller sized man’s boot is not a good choice. Understanding the differences between men’s hiking boots and women’s hiking boots makes it easier for you to buy a boot that fits.
Women’s and Men’s Feet Have Width Differences
The boot’s width is the main difference between men’s and women’s hiking boots. So, compared to the same men’s boot, boot makers make women’s boots wider in the forefoot and toe area. They make women’s boot narrower in the heel.
Usually, women also have shorter and narrower feet than men’s feet. The main differences are women’s arches and the balls of women’s feet. Women’s boot makers accommodate the differences by molding a compact heel box. Also, manufacturers add stiff padding to hold the heel snugly in place and lessen foot sliding.
Women Have More Flexible Feet Than Men
Women’s more flexible feet caused hiking boot makers to improve women’s boot design. They made two improvements.
- Midsole Insert
- Arch Support
First, since women’s limber feet require more support to tolerate hiking stress, boot makers added a stiffer midsole insert. The insert provides more foot support.
Arch Support Contrast
The second design improvement is enhanced arch support. Frequently, women’s feet have higher arches, and women’s feet require additional support.
Women Have Different Posture
One manufacturer, Lowa, addresses women’s different foot structure.
Lowa addresses women’s posture. A woman’s different foot structure causes a posture difference. Since women have a more upright stance, Lowa removed a two-degree ankle slant included in the heel of their men’s boot. Removing the slant gives Lowa’s women’s boots an upright stance.
The Best Women’s Hiking Boot’s Fit – Try Them On!
To find the best women’s hiking boot, try on hiking boots specifically made as women’s hiking boots. This way you know that the boot maker understands the differences between a man’s foot and a woman’s foot. The boot maker designs boots for the differences.
Find the Best Women’s Hiking Boots – Fit Tips
To find the best women’s hiking boot that fits well, test several brands. Try on different sizes. Lace-up every pair, and use the top eyelet closest to your ankle.
After you lace up, walk around in the boots for ten to fifteen minutes. This is time well spent since you want a comfortable hike. As you walk, look for several things including:
- Is there enough room in the toe box?
- Do your feet feel secure?
- Are your heels secure?
If the boot feels loose at all, it will be too wide when you break it in.
Also, use the American Podiatric Medical Association’s (APMA) Three Step Shoe Test. The APMA says:
- The shoe should bend where your foot bends naturally, at the ball of the foot.
- The shoe should not twist from side to side.
- Squeeze the back of the heel to ensure that it firmly holds the heel.
Look here for more on Foot Care Tips and Finding the Best Fit.
Conclusion – Differences
The main differences between women’s and men’s feet include:
- Smaller feet
- Wider in the forefoot and toe area
- More narrow at the heel
- More flexible than men’s feet
- Require more insole and arch support
Know the differences between women’s and men’s boots. Your feet will thank you!
11 of the Best Women’s Hiking Boots
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boots
The Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boots features and benefits include:
- Each boot has leather and man-made uppers
- The men’s and the women’s boot each give you very good traction
- Both of the boots provide comfortable support
- Modestly priced
- MSRP – $79.95
Columbia’s hiking boots give you good looking, lightweight, strong boot. The boots have heavy-duty leather and mesh uppers.
These boots have waterproof, sealed seams so rain, mud, or puddles do not get your feet wet on your hike. Columbia gives you a cushioned boot with excellent support and rubber outsoles that grip the trail.
Expect to hike comfortably for many miles over rocks, grass, gravel, and roots.
Columbia – The Company
Columbia Sportswear started doing business as a family-owned hat dealer. The company founders fled Nazi Germany in 1937. The founders moved to Portland where they bought a hat dealership.
The company’s name, Columbia Hat Company, came from the nearby Columbia River. In 1960, Columbia Hat Company became Columbia Sportswear Company. Currently, Columbia has its headquarters in Oregon, just outside of the city of Beaverton.
Columbia became a public company in 1998. In 2003, Columbia began acquiring outdoor companies. First, it bought footwear maker Sorel. In 2003, the company bought Mountain Hardwear. Next, Columbia bought the Pacific Trail and Montrail brands in 2006. The most recent purchase was prAna in 2014.
Interestingly, Columbia announced a plan to sponsor Bubba Wallace and Petty Motorsports. Bubba Wallace took a stand against Confederate flags at NASCAR races. Mr. Wallace’s stance led to NASCAR banning the flags at races.
Hoka One One Women’s Sky Toa GTX Hiking Shoes
The Hoka One One Sky Toa GTX Women’s Hiking Boots give you features and benefits that you expect in one of the best hiking boots for women. Features and benefits include:
- Waterproof bootie that keeps your feet comfortable and dry
- Technical synthetic upper offering durability, breathability, and light weight
- Midsole foam that offers durable cushioning and a responsive feel
- Vibram® Megagrip hi-traction outsole
- Multidirectional lugs for the best grip on different kinds of hiking trails
- $170.00 MSRP
Speed hiker perfectly describes the Toa. Using the HOKA ONE ONE® trail running expertise and innovations, Hoka built a “lightest in class”, waterproof hiker. Enjoy hiking any kind of trail when you wear the Toa.
Everything about the Toa was checked. Toa checks were made from a functional and weight-saving point of view. From the tough, breathable man made upper, to the rubberized foam midsole, and the Vibram® Megagrip outsole lugs, all parts are technically solid and efficiently lightweight.
The cushioned running shoe feel is intensified by an eVent® waterproof bootie. The bootie keeps your feet dry and comfortable. Your feet will love the Toa no matter which trail you choose to hike!.
Hoka – The Company
Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard founded Hoka One One in 2009. Formerly, they worked for Salomon. The founders designed a shoe that allowed them to run downhill faster. The first shoe had an oversized outsole with more cushion than other shoes at the time. The shoes are named after the Maori language phrase that means “fly over the earth”.
At first, the shoes were embraced by ultramarathon runners due to the shoe’s great cushion and stability. HOKA was purchased on April 1, 2013 by Deckers Brands, the parent company for other well-known outdoor footwear brands.
Hoka partners with a variety of groups that support human rights and improving the outdoors experience. Hoka’s partnerships include:
KEEN Women’s Gypsum II Mid-Ankle Waterproof Boot
The Women’s Gypsum II Mid Waterproof boots features and benefits include:
- Nubuck leather and man-made uppers
- A soft, comfortable midsole
- Waterproof so your feet stay dry
- Provides good traction and foot support
- MSRP – $114.99
Enjoy these versatile hiking boots on day hikes or for much longer overnight hiking trips. Keen uses waterproof leather and mesh to keep your feet dry and trail trash free. These stable boots help you balance your backpack. With shock absorption, structured heel support, and a soft, comfortable collar, this trail-tested hiking boot is ideal for day hikes and overnights. The boot’s tread keeps you stable on rough trails.
Keen – The Company
A fairly young company, the first Keen sandals, and shoes were made in 2003. At first, Keen found a market in sailing and other outdoor water activities.
Now, they have products for many outdoor activities as well as hiking shoes and boots. Products include casual and cold-weather footwear, bags, and clothes.
Keen grew quickly since it began. Footwear News named the company 2003’s “Launch of the Year”. In 2009, the company had sales of $130 to $140 million. By 2011, revenue was about $240 million. Now Keen has around $347 million in revenue.
The company values show their interest in improving the outdoors. In 2004, Keen joined a relief effort for the Asian tsunami. They used their $1 million advertising budget to help with the tsunami relief.
Keen partners with groups who share their vision to improve the outdoors. Groups include:
Keen also helps veterans provide protective footwear for those in need. The partnerships support conservation corps work across America too.
KEEN Women’s Targhee II Mid-Ankle Boot
The KEEN Women’s Targhee II Mid-ankle boots features and benefits include:
- Nubuck leather and man-made uppers that make them sturdy and comfortable
- A comfortable, soft midsole
- Waterproof to keep your feet dry
- Provides good traction and foot support
- MSRP – $140
Another great Keen choice, the Targhee II waterproof hiking boots keep your feet dry while letting your feet breathe. The grippy sole grabs the trail to keep you stable on your hike. This boot gives you ankle support and all-day comfort.
Lowa Women’s Renegade Mid-Waterproof
The Women’s Renegade features and benefits include:.
- Nubuck leather uppers
- A GORE-TEX® lining for dry feet
- Women’s boots made with female-specific features
- $240 MSRP
Lowa uses gender-specific lasts (shoe molds) to construct their women’s boots. Lowa makes their women’s boots with a narrower heel and narrower in the ball of the foot area.
Making their boots for a woman’s foot gives you a better, comfortable fit. Lowa was first with boots made for women’s feet. Their women’s boots are not just a smaller man’s boot! Read about why you want a boot made for women’s feet.
Even though the Lowa boots have a premium price, you get a premium boot. The Lowa Renegade’s comfort, fit, and durability set a hiking boot standard. Made for a woman’s’ foot, really think about a pair of these best hiking boots for women.
Lowa – The Company
Lowa began doing business in 1923. A Barvarian cobbler made sturdy work boots for his neighbors. Funding for the company came from a side business with his brothers. Their side business was the Wagner Orchestra.
The original founder, Lorenz Wagner, was replaced during WWII since he did not support the Nazis. After the war, the business grew until it slowed in 1953. In 1955, the founder’s daughter took over and helped the company begin growing again.
In 1970, Lowa was the first company with a way to use dense foam that allowed high-volume production. Also, the foam has the durability of wood but does not crack or rot. The company was first with tough rubber soles too.
Lowa supports many outdoor non-profit groups. Some of the groups include:
Merrell Moab 2 Mid-Ankle Women’s Boot
The Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid-ankle hiking boots features and benefits include:
- Waterproof, suede leather and mesh uppers
- A comfortable midsole that offers you good traction
- MSRP – $135.00
Out-of-the-box, enjoy a very comfortable hiker. These women’s boots offer durable leathers and footbeds with strong support. Include outstanding traction, and you understand why Moab stands for Mother Of All Boots™. Many consider the Moab 2 one of the best hiking boots for women.
Merrell – The Company
Since their beginning, Merrell made hiking boots. Two of the first founders partnered with a custom boot maker. The boot maker was R.I. Merrell. When they partnered in 1981, Merrell made custom hiking boots that sold for $500.
The partners wanted a more affordable boot. So, in 1982, Merrell designed that boot. In 1986, Merrell sold his part of the company so he could return to making custom boots.
Wolverine Worldwide bought Merrell in 1997. Now Merrell also sells trail running shoes, sandals, and outdoor clothes.
Merrell’s partnerships reflect the company’s values. Merrell supports:
New Balance Women’s 1400 Walking Shoe
New Balance’s popular walking boots feel like a walking shoe built for rough trails. Features and Benefits include:
- The shoe’s waterproof membrane, leather upper, and tongue keep your feet dry
- The shoe also stabilizes your foot
- Made in the U.S.A.
- $149.99 MSRP
Take a hike in the New Balance 1400 hiking boots! One of the best hiking boots for women, these boots feel like a walking shoe made for hiking tough trails. The boots have a waterproof lining, leather upper, and a gusseted tongue to keep your feet dry. Exceptional rear and midfoot stability help keep you on the right path.
New Balance – The Company
New Balance began in 1906 over 100 years ago! The company was founded by an Irish immigrant.
The founder, Mr. Riley came up with the name “New Balance” by watching chickens in his yard. He showed how his shoe’s arch supports worked by keeping a chicken foot on his desk. He told customers that the chicken’s three-pronged foot caused perfect balance.
In 1960, New Balance made the first running shoe with a ripple sole. The shoe, the “Trackster” was also the first running shoe to come in different widths.
For a long time, the shoes were marketed mostly by word-of-mouth or local sports fairs. Sales were slow until 1972. Since the company was based in Boston, sales grew in the 1970s. In the 1970s, Boston was a center for the U.S. running boom.
Now New Balance has sales of $4.5 billion. In addition to hiking boots, products still include running shoes as well as athletic clothes.
New Balance gives back by partnering with worthy groups that include:
- Boston Children’s Hospital
- 100 Mile Club
- Rising New York Road Runners
- American Red Cross
- Harlem Lacrosse
Salomon Women’s Vaya Mid-GTX Hiking Shoes
The women’s Vaya benefits include:
- Women specific with a soft collar and made for a woman’s foot
- Out of the box comfort
- Hiking ready with:
- High ankle support that keeps your feet stable
- Two stretch panels that allow your foot to expand
- Made with long-lasting, sturdy mesh
- A strong grip outsole
- Gore-Tex waterproofing
- MSRP – $160.00
The new, made for a woman’s foot, VAYA MID GTX hiking shoe was designed for outdoor women so you enjoy your hike. The soft collar snuggly adapts to your foot. Higher ankle support, sturdy mesh, strong gripping outsoles, and a waterproof Gore-Tex membrane protect your foot while your foot grips the trail.
Salomon – The Company
Salomon has been playing in the French alps since 1947. A passion for outdoor sports, new technologies, and craftsmanship drives the company to create progressive gear.
Company milestones include:
- 1947, opened as the Salomon wood saws and ski edges workshop
- 1966, Salomon ski bindings are used at the Chile Olympic games
- 1972, became the #1 binder in the world, sold more than a million pairs of bindings
- 1979, Salomon Alpine boots, immediate success
- 1985, New headquarters in Metz Tessy, Annecy and 200 million Euros sales
- 1992, first hiking shoe
- 2005, acquired by AMER Sports
- 2019, unveils WMN campaign to empower women in the outdoors
These features and benefits make the Vaya one of the best hiking boots for women.
A few examples that show Salomon’s sustainability commitment:
- The Salomon Foundation was created in 1999 in order to support mountain professionals and
athletes hurt during their sport activities.
- The company manages and updates Restricted Substances Lists specific to core product categories.
- Salomon has been a bluesign® System Partner since 2013 and commits to the using more
sustainable textiles chemistry.
- Salomon is a Sustainable Apparel Coalition member and an active
Higg Index participant.
- Salomon’s global headquarters at the Annecy Design Center is ISO14001 and
ISO 50001 certified (energy, water and risks management).
- Salomon signed the United Nations Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.
Outdoor groups supported by Salomon include:
The North Face Women’s Ultra Fastpack IV Mid Futurelight
- OrthoLite® X35™ Hybrid™ footbed made with 5% recycled rubber content
- Protective toe cap and heel overlay
- Upper: Abrasion-resistant performance mesh with no-sew TPU overlays
- Integrated ghillie lacing system
- Gusseted tongue
- Breathable, waterproof FUTURELIGHT™ membrane
- Stairstep lug design
- Vibram® Megagrip outsole
- MSRP- $160.00
The trail-styled Women’s Ultra Fastpack IV Mid FUTURELIGHT™ provides extra ankle support. The boot features a premier waterproof-breathable fabric so your feet stay dry. The surprisingly light mid-top boot has a tough mesh upper that keeps your comfortable on the roughest, wettest trails.
Also, you get a super-grippy outsole and a responsive midsole. Enjoy every step as you hike twisty trails and jagged ridgelines with the Ultra Fastpack Hiking Boots. The midsoles help you navigate with better support and more endurance. The reliable Vibram soles keep your feet on the trail when the footing gets tricky.
The North Face – The Company
In 1966, two outdoor lovers chose to follow their passion. The two started a small mountain climber’s retail store. In the beginning, the company wanted to serve all those who desired to explore. The company also wanted to help save our natural wildlands.
The North Face believes that exploring makes a lasting bond with the outdoors. The bond inspires people to protect our shared land. The bond also encourages nature lovers to pass their beliefs from generation to generation. This belief also makes them another of the best outdoor gear brands.
The North Face now has hiking and outdoor clothing that includes:
- Jackets & vests
The North Face’s values stress:
- Using recycled materials
- Using responsible cotton
- Making long-lasting products
- Responsible chemical use:
- Outdoor Industry Association’s group to make safe products
- Partnering with Bluesign Technologies:
- Bluesign – safe cloth and fabrics for workers, buyers, and the earth
- Following the Leave No Trace rules
- Protecting the Arctic by support for:
- Co-founding The Conservation Alliance
- The alliance helps protect lands and waterways for wildlife and for people to enjoy.
- Climate Change Advocacy with Ceres
- Asking our elected U.S. leaders to support:
- Low-carbon policies
- Invest in a green economy
Timberland White Ledge Women’s Waterproof Boot
The Timberland Women’s White Ledge features and benefits include:
- Leather uppers and midsole
- A waterproof upper that keeps your feet dry
- Good traction on the trail
- $79.95.00 MSRP
The Timberland White Ledge men’s and women’s boots give you good looking outdoor styling. In addition, the boots offer you complete protection from the rain and from water crossings. When you wear these boots, hiking the trail seems effortless! The leather White Ledges also features a shock-absorbent cushion for your hiking comfort. Rubber soles give you great traction. All of these features come with the well known Timberland stylish look.
Timberland – The Company
The company began as a family business. An immigrant, Nathan Swartz, bought one-half of the company in 1952. He soon bought out his partner and brought his sons into the business.
The Abington Shoe Company, as Timberland was first known, moved to Newmarket, New Hampshire. Newmarket is known for its majestic mountain ranges, rocky shorelines, dense forests, rivers, and lakes.
In 1973, the original waterproof boots called the “Timberland” was invented. The boots were rugged, well-made, and could be worn in all kinds of weather.
Those who loved the outdoors and who needed protection in all weather wanted the boots. Also, trade workers who needed rugged boots loved them. Many people liked the boots just because they wanted a great looking pair of boots!
These boots defined the brand. They were so popular that in 1978 the entire company was named Timberland!
Timberland wants a greener world and wants to help feed the world. The company partners with these groups to plant 50 million trees by 2050 and help feed the world:
Vasque Women’s St. Elias GTX Hiking Boots
- Speed lace system for improved hiking comfort
- Durable Vibram soles
- Lightweight, durable EVA cushioned midsole
- Moisture wicking textile lining
- Waterproof Nubuck Upper
- Breathable Gore-Tex for waterproofing
- MSRP – $199.99
The St. Elias Full-Grain GORE-TEX® pushes the limits of hiking boot performance with premium materials. The materials deliver long-distance durability and all-day, waterproof comfort. The updated St Elias FG GTX skips the break-in period. The boot delivers all-day comfort with the first wear. Straight out of the box and onto the trail, the midsole and outsole systems provide athletic flexibility. The systems also provide foot comfort for long distance hikes. A waterproof nubuck leather upper and GORE-TEX membrane stand up to the rigors of backpacking. The leather plus GORE-TEX also ensures peace of mind in wet conditions.
Vasque – The company
Vasque founder William Sweasy traveled to Europe in 1964 and witnessed a hiking craze sweeping the continent. He returned home determined to create purpose-built trail boots for Americans In the decades that followed, Vasque steadily built a legacy of outdoor excellence, one pair of footwear at a time. The company’s legacy is stronger than ever today, and they ready to help be ready for adventure in the years to come.
Do your feet a favor and try one of these best women’s hiking boots!
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