There are a lot of key features that go into making the best women’s walking shoes, so of course the same goes for the best waterproof hiking boots.
Whether you're looking to start out walking or want to take things to next level and monitor your progress with the best fitness trackers, the best waterproof hiking boots are essential for keeping you safe, comfortable and most importantly, dry!
Each pair was put through its paces in a variety of weathers and on a mixture of terrains, including grass, tarmac and earthy, rocky trails. Features paid particular attention to included support, grip, comfort and fit. We also considered price, and the best cheap walking boots under £50. Not all the ones we tried and tested made the final round-up, especially if they leaked or caused blisters. Of course,
Our top pair of the best waterproof hiking boots is the Salomon Women’s Outline Mid GTX. This stylish pair of boots nailed it when it comes to fit, plus they’re light, ultra-waterproof and easy to get on. Read our full review below...
How to choose the best waterproof hiking boots
Not sure what to look out for in a waterproof hiking boot? Or even what “waterproof” should actually mean when it comes to protecting you from the elements? “‘Waterproof’ should generally mean that boots can be submerged in water, up to the height of the waterproof membrane,” says Jeremy Stevens, footwear buyer for Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports. “You should be able to see the membrane inside the boot – usually covering the tongue and coming up to the ankle. This indicates the depth of the puddle or stream you can safely step into.”
But one downside of many waterproof hiking boots (especially the ones we tried and tested) is that they are not always very breathable. This means feet get very sweaty, unless the boot has the right lining. “Many brands choose to use Gore-Tex linings, which allow sweat to escape as well as keeping water out,” says Jeremy. “Own-brand waterproof/breathable membranes also do the job well and may cost slightly less.”
Picking the right outer material is also key. “Broadly speaking, boots fall into two camps – full-grain leather or fabric/suede uppers,” says Jeremy. “Classic full-grain leather and nubuck uppers give reliable and durable waterproofness. Fabric and split-leather uppers tend to be lighter, more flexible and less expensive, but have less inherent waterproof properties.”
The best waterproof hiking boots to buy right now
Want to make a style statement on the trail? Available in three different colourways, these just might be the pair for you. They may be lacking a bit on the cushioning front found in some of the other hiking boots, but they certainly make up for it when it comes to fit. The laces really do their job, by drawing the boot in snugly to your foot, and the long ankle cuff ensures ankles and feet are protected as you hike. Despite their high ankle cuff, they’re easy to get on and they’re lightweight, too. They combine a sleek look with a technical shoe – Salomon certainly knows a thing or two about grippy soles – plus, their Gore-Tex membrane makes them ready for those wet-weather excursions. They might be one of the more expensive boots on the market, but they’re a sound investment. Now all you need is a pair of the best leggings and you're ready to go!
One of the trickier hiking boots to get on and off, but that might be why they’re such a good fit once they’re actually on your feet. The laces allow you to adjust to the fit you want, while the ankle cuff offers ultimate protection if you’re trekking on uneven ground. But all this protection doesn’t add any extra bulk, as they’re relatively lightweight, too. They boast a Futurelight membrane, which means they’re waterproof but breathable, and the specially coated woven mesh provides protection against debris, while the Vibram Megagrip outsole helps keep you steady on wet and rocky terrain. Although the sole feels a little less flexible than some of the other pairs, this means they will provide more support on trickier terrain.
The only real downside is the price, so they might be better suited to a more serious trekker to truly get your money’s worth.
These women’s hiking boots are our pick for best waterproof hiking books on a budget and feel like a little hug for your feet – exactly what you need if you’re headed out on a long day of hiking. They have truly focused on comfort and a snug fit, so your foot feels well protected. The ankle cuff of the boot is slightly rigid at first, which can feel a little uncomfortable, but this should soften up the more you wear them. They are waterproof, but breathable – making them ideal for all weathers – and stones and tree roots won’t be a problem either, thanks to the protective rubber guard. What’s more, the rubber sole offers good traction on dry or muddy ground – and they’re a bargain, too!
Sleek black with purple detailing, these boots look great. Despite their high ankle cuff (which offers great support), they are super easy to get on and off, thanks to their hook and eye system at the top of the laces. They are one sturdy pair of hiking boots, too, offering your feet plenty of protection from trail debris. Plus, the padded boot material will keep your feet comfortable while you’re on the move. What’s more, these are some of the grippiest soles put to the test – perfect for wet weather.
However, they do lack some flexibility, which means they can feel a bit rigid when walking (common in leather hiking boots), but will mould to your foot over time. The leather upper will keep your feet dry and should mean they last longer than fabric boots if you look after them properly.
There’s no missing these hiking boots – they’re big, heavy and have a very chunky heel, but don’t be put off by their size. They’re actually the easiest boot to get on and off, thanks to their hook-and-eye lacing system and flexible tongue. However, the laces are fairly stiff, so it’s difficult to get a snug fit around the ankle, unless you use some brute strength. They’re also rather on the heavy side and not very flexible to walk in, so it might mean your feet get tired on a long hike, although a stiffer midsole can provide much-needed support when conditions are difficult. The full-grain leather upper has been upgraded with a waterproof membrane to stop water penetrating through, plus the boot has a Vibram outsole for good traction on rocky paths. They’re a strong choice for heavy-duty hikes in wet conditions.