Best walking shoes for women - get hiking with reliable shoes from Keen, On, Merrell (2022)

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Best walking shoes for women - get hiking with reliable shoes from Keen, On, Merrell (1)

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What better time than now to purchase a new pair of walking shoes for the wide variety of amazing terrain this country has to offer?

Best walking shoes at a glance

  • Best hiking all-rounder: Keen Ridge Flex Waterproof
  • Best on test: Haglofs Trail Fuse GTX
  • Best for all-weather walks: Merrell Moab Speed
  • Best for fast-paced hiking: On Cloudadventure
  • Best for country walking: Scarpa Cyprus
  • Best for aquatic adventures: Vivo Barefoot Ultra III Bloom
  • Best for style points: Ryka Switchback
  • Best leather shoe: AKU Unisex’s Bellamont Iii Fg GTX Low Rise Hiking Boots

Why walking shoes, not boots?

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Walking shoes differ in a number of key ways from boots - they’re more lightweight, less clumpy, often more comfortable and easy to transport.

They also work better in terms of dual usage - we would be very comfortable putting on a pair of walking shoes to go into town or to the shops, for instance. They can be breathable, very comfortable and easy to walk in.

Walking boots however, not so much - everyday usage of more clumpy, higher boot options can be tiring, hot and blister-inducing. Summer’s a great time to invest in more breathable shoes like the ones we’ve listed here.

Why walking shoes, and not exercise trainers?

They may look like trainers but make no mistake, these shoes mean business. If you’re frustrated by the poor performance of everyday trainers or sports shoes (and in some circumstances, taking these kinds of shoes out and about on certain terrain can be downright dangerous), then these options will make traipsing around in the muddy woods or trails a piece of cake.

What to look for in a walking shoe

Look for good ankle support, as these shoes are lower than standard hiking boots, so you’ll need some extra padding there to make sure you don’t injure yourself.

An easily cleanable upper material will work to your advantage too - leather or a wipe clean or easily machine washable material works the best here (if you use them right, you’ll definitely get them muddy!)

Look for good laces that do up well and nice and securely, and be sure to pay close attention to width - too narrow a shoe and your walking experience is likely to be rather less than optimum, indeed highly uncomfortable.

Get kitted out for your hiking and backpacking adventures.

(Video) Top 5 Best Hiking Shoes for Women Review in 2022

We have detailed guides to the best backpacking tents for your adventures here. Want to steady your stride? These are the best walking poles for hiking.

Keep it comfy with the best camping folding chairs, and sleep on the best air beds around, as listed here. And keep things illuminated with a great camping head torch.

Here are eight of our favourite hiking shoes for women on the market at the moment.

Keen Ridge Flex Waterproof

Best walking shoes for women - get hiking with reliable shoes from Keen, On, Merrell (2)


Best for:best hiking all-rounder

Key specs – Weight: N/A; Waterproof? Yes; Colour options: 3; Sizes: 2.5-9.

If you want a walking shoe that can still tackle tough mountain adventures like your favourite hiking boots can, Keen’s low shoe version of their popular new Ridge Flex hiking boot might be your new best mate.

This shoe uses Keen’s latest innovation to help you hike further – ‘Bellows Flex’ is a concertina-like insert in the top of the shoe that’s designed to move with your foot and offer better comfort over long distances.

These are definitely a comfortable pair of shoes to wear when you’re covering the miles or taking on a multi-day walk, and are also waterproof enough to keep your feet dry in a sudden downpour.

A great choice for summer hikes.

Buy now

Haglofs Trail Fuse GTX

Best walking shoes for women - get hiking with reliable shoes from Keen, On, Merrell (3)


Best for:best on test

Key specs – Weight: 260g; Waterproof? Yes; Colour options: 4; Sizes: 36-42.

(Video) Merrell Moab 2 Ventilator Review: The Best Women's Hiking Shoes for Wide Feet

Do you hate the clunky, heavy feeling of traditional hiking boots? Swap them for Haglofs’ light-as-anything Trail Fuses, which weigh just 130g per shoe.

It may feel barely-there, but this trail shoe means business, with a sticky grip, a tough outer sole and great waterproofing thanks to Gore-Tex technology.

Haglofs have borrowed running shoe brand Asics’ know-how to design the gel insoles in these walking shoes – the result is a super comfortable shoe that moulds to your feet.

These are the holy grail of walking shoe – waterproof in the wet, but breathable in the heat. Top marks.

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Merrell Moab Speed GTX

Best walking shoes for women - get hiking with reliable shoes from Keen, On, Merrell (4)


Best for:all-weather walks

Key specs –Weight: 600g; Waterproof? Yes; Colour options: 4; Sizes: 2.5-8.5.

If comfort is top of your walking shoe shopping list, plump for a pair of Merrell’s new Moab Speeds – they’re impressive comfortable to wear straight out of the box.

This rugged design is perhaps not as breathable or as lightweight as some of the lightest shoes we tested out, but it stands out in tough weather, when the Moab Speed offers great grip even on wet or slippery terrain thanks to ever-reliable Vibram soles, great waterproofing, so you can stride through puddles without a problem, and enough warmth to work on ‘shoulder season’ hikes in autumn and spring.

We like Merrell’s commitment to using recycled materials, too.

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On Cloudventure

Best walking shoes for women - get hiking with reliable shoes from Keen, On, Merrell (5)


Best for:fast-paced hikes

Key specs – Weight: 240g; Waterproof? No; Colour options: 5; Sizes: 3-9.

These trainers may have been designed with trail runners in mind, but we like the Cloudventure just as much for hiking – this is a great investment if you want one trusty shoe that can tackle both disciplines.

(Video) Top 5 Best Hiking Shoes For Women Review in 2022

At just 240g, On’s design is are the lightest shoe in our round-up, and feels so freeing and comfortable you’ll barely know you’re wearing it – until you hit tough terrain, when the Cloudventure offers impressive grip even on slick wet rocks.

For moving fast over long distances on dry terrain, you can’t go wrong with the Cloudventure, and a waterproof version is also available for £150 if you’re heading outdoors in more challenging weather.

Buy now

Scarpa Cyrus

Best walking shoes for women - get hiking with reliable shoes from Keen, On, Merrell (6)


Best for:country walking

Key specs – Weight: 940g; Waterproof? Yes; Colour options: 1; Sizes: 4-8.

There’s nothing better for the mercurial – and often downright chilly - British summertime than a sensible pair of leather walking shoes. Scarpa’s Cyrus hiking shoe may look so classic it’s almost retro

But when it comes to technology this design is bang-up-to-date, with a fully waterproof Gore-Tex membrane and grippy Vibram soles – this combo is ideal for taking on sudden changes in the weather when you’re off the beaten track.

That smart and warm nubuck leather outer material makes these boots heavy at 940g, so they’re better suited to shorter distances rather than to challenging multi-day hikes.

Vivo Barefoot Ultra III Bloom

Best walking shoes for women - get hiking with reliable shoes from Keen, On, Merrell (7)


Best for:aquatic adventures

Key specs – Weight: 340g; Waterproof? No; Colour options: 2; Sizes: 3-9. Vivo Barefoot’s shoes are designed to be ‘foot shaped, not shoe shaped’, and their flexible soles allow your feet to feel more of the terrain underfoot, barefoot-style, as you walk, while still offering some protection.

Their futuristic Ultra III Bloom is the perfect summer walking shoe if you’re exploring by the sea or stopping for a wild swim, as it can be worn both in water and on land.

(Video) Best Women Hiking Shoe In 2021 - Top 10 New Women Hiking Shoes Review

These perforated shoes aren’t waterproof, obviously, but they provide good protection from rocks underwater and dry quickly and keep feet cool when you’re back on the trail.

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Ryka Switchback

Best walking shoes for women - get hiking with reliable shoes from Keen, On, Merrell (8)


Best for:style points

Key specs – Weight: N/A; Waterproof? No; Colour options: 3; Sizes: 5-11. If you want the looks of an urban trainer but the performance of a trail shoe, Ryka’s affordable Switchback could be your new wear-anywhere summer shoe.

It’s a pity this smart sneaker isn’t waterproof, but for dry days when you want to hit the trail and the city streets in just one pair of comfortable shoes, they’re a great choice, and the breathability of the Switchback makes them a good quiver-of-one pair of shoes for taking with you on holiday for walking, city sightseeing and wearing to the gym.

They’re well-priced at around the £50 mark, too.

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Aku Bellamont III Lux GTX

Best walking shoes for women - get hiking with reliable shoes from Keen, On, Merrell (9)


Best for:best leather shoe

Key specs – Weight: 430g; Waterproof? Yes; Colour options: 2; Sizes: 3-13.Who knew sensible trainers could look this smart? Aku’s Italian-designed hiking boots are the last word in style-meets-substance, and the same goes for their walking shoes.

These Gore-Tex-treated nubuck leather trainers will go anywhere you do, and can deal with sudden mountain storms as well as just popping down the pub.

Thick Vibram soles make these one of the heavier walking shoes we tested, but that rugged grip is worth the extra few grams.

We’d recommend cleaning the Bellamonts’ suede leather outer material regularly, to keep it looking smart.

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What type of footwear is best for bushwalking? ›

Full-leather models or heavy high-cut boots are a whole lot stiffer with a higher-cut around the ankles. This type of boot is for serious trekking and bushwalking. They are suited for travelling over rough terrain, walking in cold regions, off-track and carrying a heavy pack for multiple days.

What shoes should I wear for long walks? ›

Lighter-weight shoes will make for easier striding when you're out for long walks or trying to pick up your pace. Not have a flared heel: You do not want a big flared heel since walkers strike with the heel first. A slightly undercut heel is preferred to facilitate the heel-to-toe rolling action of walking.

Are hiking shoes and walking shoes the same? ›

When it comes down to it, the main difference between hiking shoes and walking shoes is the level of protection and weight of the shoe. Typically, hiking shoes are meant for rough terrain. That means these types of shoes have thicker material, thicker soles, and more protection than walking shoes.

What shoes are good for walking up mountains? ›

Our experts reviewed the best walking and hiking shoes on the market, testing them for support, comfort, affordability, waterproofing, durability and style.
  • Keen Ridge Flex Low.
  • Scarpa Mojito Trail GTX.
  • Adidas Terrex Swift R3 GTX.
  • Salewa Mountain Trainer 2 GTX.
  • Columbia Facet 30 OutDry Shoe.
Apr 4, 2022

Should hiking shoes be tight or loose? ›

Hiking boots should fit snug everywhere, tight nowhere and offer room to wiggle your toes. Try them on at the end of the day (after feet swell) and with the socks you plan to wear. Know your size. It's best to have your foot's length, width and arch length measured on a specially calibrated fit device at REI.

When hiking one must wear shoes that make hiking comfortable? ›

Or do you even need hiking shoes? This guide will sort it all out for you, but the short answer is that you probably don't need hiking boots. Hiking shoes or trail runners will be a better bet for most hikers. I'll walk you through all the options and when it makes sense to use each one.

What three things should you consider when purchasing a walking shoe? ›

Guidelines for Buying Walking Shoes
  • Insole - the area inside the shoe, on the bottom, where the sole of the foot is in contact with the shoe. It should contour comfortably to the foot. ...
  • Toe box - the entire area that surrounds the toes. The toe box should provide adequate room for the toes to move freely.

What makes a good walking shoe? ›

Stability: You want good lateral support: a shoe that you can't bend or twist easily in your hands. Cushioning: Having a uniform level of cushioning, rather than a huge heel cushion, is more comfortable for many walkers. Fit: Getting shoes that fit you well is the most important factor of all.

Should you buy walking shoes a size bigger? ›

Size Up for Walking Shoes

Your walking shoes should be larger than your regular shoes because your feet may swell up to a full shoe size when you walk for over half an hour. Give up on shoe size shyness and get fitted correctly.

What is the difference between hiking shoes and hiking boots? ›

Hiking shoes are softer and more flexible than hiking boots, aren't as tricky to fit, and don't need breaking in. They are a good choice for dry weather and gentler terrain, though some proponents argue they're also better in wet conditions than hiking boots.

What is the difference between trail and hiking shoes? ›

Compared to trail runners, hiking shoes will hold up far better under a heavy load and are designed to withstand rugged, abrasive terrain. On the other hand, the lightweight fabric that makes trail runners so nimble sacrifices a good amount of durability, reducing their lifespan significantly.

What should you wear on a hike? ›

Hiking sandals and sneakers are appropriate for most terrain, though longer treks may still require hiking boots. Breathable wicking materials (no cotton) are key for shirts, bottoms and hiking socks to keep the sweat off your skin. Lighter colors absorb less heat and can keep you cooler on hot days.

What are the most comfortable waterproof shoes? ›

The Best Waterproof Shoes
Most Comfortable Waterproof ShoesAhnu Sugarpine II Airmesh Hiking ShoeHiking
Best Waterproof SandalsBirkenstock Gizeh and ArizonaSandal
Cutest Waterproof ShoesChooka Ballet FlatsDress
Best Women's Waterproof Shoes for TravelBlondo Karen Waterproof Fashion SneakerSneaker
18 more rows
Jun 10, 2022

Where is Merrell shoes made? ›

Where are Merrell Shoes Made? Merrell Shoes are made both in the United States and in Asian countries like Vietnam. Since they are owned by Wolverine Worldwide there are some lines in the Merrell shoe selection that are made in the US.

Should you size up or down in hiking shoes? ›

In fact, when it comes to hiking shoes, you should order up a half-size. That said, they shouldn't be too loose anywhere in the shoe except for your toes. If your foot is sliding around inside your shoe even when they're tied tight, that's not a good fit (also a recipe for blisters and skinned feet).

How much room should be in the toe of a hiking shoe? ›

Hiking boots should have sufficient toe room. Experts recommend that there should be space for one and a half thumb widths to ensure your toes don't touch the front of your boot, especially when hiking downhill. If there isn't enough toe room, your toenails could turn black.

Should my toe touch the end of my shoe? ›

Your toes should have ample room to spread wide. Your toes shouldn't feel constricted or touch the end of the shoe. Your heel should feel comfortably cupped in the back of the shoe, which ensures that your foot won't slip out from the back of the shoe.

Are running shoes good for hiking? ›

While it's easier to run with a trail running shoe, they don't offer the same support level as boots when the ground is uneven or rocky. That being said, though, they absolutely can be used for hiking. In fact, a trail running shoe is almost always a better choice for hiking than plain street shoes.

Are jeans good for hiking? ›

That said, no jeans are ideal for hiking. If you'll be hiking in the rain, cold weather, or very hot temperatures, you should invest in a pair of good hiking pants. Jeans are bad at moisture-wicking, breathability, comfort, and abrasion, which make them a pretty bad choice for hiking.

Are Merrell shoes good for walking on concrete? ›

Merrell Women's Encore Ice 4 Sneaker

It is well lined and breathable with an inner sole that is both comfortable and stable. The good traction provided by the rubber sole makes this sneaker ideal for women working regularly on concrete and other hard surfaces. These comfortable shoes are easy to slip on and off.

How often should you buy new walking shoes? ›

If you are walking 30 minutes a day or an average of three to four hours a week, replace your shoes every six months. If you are walking 60 minutes a day or an average of seven hours a week, replace your shoes every three months. Plan on replacing your fitness walking shoes every three to six months, or by 500 miles.

What is the best orthopedic sneakers? ›

Summary: Best Orthopedic Shoes for Seniors of 2022
ProductForbes Health RatingsCustomer rating
Vionic Tide II Toe Post Sandal5.04.5
Sketchers GOwalk Joy5.04.6
L.L. Bean Comfort Mocs3.54.3
Dr. Comfort Merry Jane3.54.1
5 more rows
Feb 22, 2022

What size walking shoes should you buy? ›

How should they fit? The rule of thumb when buying walking boots is that you should be able to fit a good finger width (1/2 inch) between the back of your leg and the shoe. Your footwear should not slide at all and there should be a bit of wiggle room at the front of the shoe for your toes.

Are hiking boots good for walking on concrete? ›

Hiking boots are designed to get you through rocky, rough grounds, but they are not needed for concrete walking. If you walk with hiking boots on concrete pavements too often, you could wear them out much faster. They are meant to be worn on surfaces with loose dirt that are uneven.

How do I choose the right shoes? ›

What the right shoe can do for you
  1. cushions the foot – the midsole is the main part of the shoe that provides cushioning. ...
  2. supports the foot – your shoe should aid the alignment of your foot when it touches the ground.
  3. feels comfortable – your shoe should feel immediately comfortable from the first wear.
Sep 15, 2017

Should you buy shoes a half size bigger? ›

Christine Luff from recommends going up half a shoe size because one's feet swell when they run and it is important to have plenty of room in the toebox. If one's toes are crammed in the front of the running shoe, you could develop blisters or black toenails.

Is half a shoe size a big difference? ›

A half-size represents a 1/8” difference. It may not seem significant but is enough to distinguish between comfort and discomfort. Because there is no standardisation for shoe sizing, a half size difference will also depend on the brand of shoe. With some makes, a half size will be more significant than others.

Is it better to have shoes that are too big or too small? ›

This is why you should never wear shoes that are too big. Wearing a shoe size that's smaller than your natural foot is bound to make your feet feel cramped and uncomfortable. (Cue the crunched up toes, blisters, and Band-Aids.)

Can I wear trail shoes for walking? ›

Wearing proper trail shoes can keep your feet dry (many are waterproof), provide good traction for walking over rocks, and offer thick cushioning to protect your feet.

Is Gore Tex good for hiking? ›

If you spend all day hiking in warm, humid conditions, your feet will feel similarly. All that said, Gore-Tex membranes are designed to allow moisture to escape, thereby ventilating from the inside out. We've found this works reasonably well in cold and mild temperatures, but we still run hot when the mercury climbs.

How often should you replace your hiking boots? ›

Mileage Considerations

Some shoe manufacturers recommend consumers replace their hiking boots every three to six months or every 350 to 500 miles depending on usage. This milestone may be accurate, depending on the type of hiking a person enjoys and the conditions in which the boots were used.

Are leggings good for hiking? ›

Leggings breathe better than hiking pants, and prevent chafing anywhere. They also wick sweat away nicely and don't restrict the legs for scrambling up stuff. If durability and pockets is what you need, wear pants.

What pants should I wear hiking? ›

You want something that's durable and quick drying. Unless you're heading into the snow, a lightweight material is best. Synthetics such as polyester or nylon are good, and you should never wear jeans. Jeans = COTTON.

Why do hikers wear shorts? ›

Shorts give you ultimate freedom and are also cooler than pants, so if you're going on a low-altitude summer hike, you'll most likely be in good shape.

Is Gore-Tex footwear waterproof? ›

The modern version of Gore-Tex is waterproof, of course– but it's also breathable, durable, and lighter than ever.

What are waterproof shoes called? ›

Galoshes, also known as dickersons, gumshoes, rubbers, or overshoes, are a type of rubber boot that is slipped over shoes to keep them from getting muddy or wet. In the United States, the word galoshes may be used interchangeably with boot, especially a rubberized boot.

What are water repellent shoes? ›

“Waterproof shoes” refers to all footwear that is completely impervious to water, regardless of environmental factors. These shoes can: Prevent water from soaking into the shoes. Keep your feet dry from external moisture. Provide protection against the snow.

Is it OK to wear running shoes for walking? ›

The short answer: yes. Running shoes and walking shoes have similar qualities that make them ideal for being active. While running shoes are designed to be durable for the rigorous demands of running, they are excellent as walking shoes, too.

What's the difference between running shoes and walking shoes? ›

Running shoes will have a stiffer sole; walking shoes have more flex and blend. Heels. Running shoes have thick heel wedges to provide more cushion. A thick heel when walking can actually cause tendinitis or shin splints, and can even cause a walker wearing a running shoe to trip.

Are running shoes good for walking on concrete? ›

Softer, lighter footwear is good for most distances on concrete surfaces, but for long-distance hiking or trail running more specialized shoes will be the best choice. Running shoes are ideal for walkers ( as well as those who move more quickly) for short or long distances, however.

Is Skechers good for walking? ›

Skechers are lightweight and flexible, which makes them great for walking. They absorb the shock of movement, so they do not cause any strain on the feet and make walking more comfortable.


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