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Best walking boots for women 2023: Waterproof and lightweight shoes

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n activity that’s accessible no matter where you are, is popular across all generations, and delivers great cardio without the added strain that comes with running, walking is a great way to stay fit both mentally and physically – and what would a walk be without the perfect boots?

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker preparing for your next excursion, a countryside rambler, or simply finding your way to the nearest pub through the great outdoors, the right footwear will offer support and grip, whatever your chosen route, allowing you to focus on the pursuit at hand instead of worrying about ruining your shoes in the potentially muddy conditions.

What should I look out for when choosing walking boots?

The two main fabrics to choose from are leather or mesh. Whilst leather offers natural all-weather protection, and is the more aesthetically pleasing of the two, mesh tends to be more lightweight and offer greater breathability.

Features to take note of are a fully waterproof lining so you’re not left trudging around in soggy socks, a chunky, lug sole for added grip and stability, and an EVA midsole which will deliver extra comfort by moulding to your foot.

How should walking boots fit?

Generally, it’s best to have a bit of wiggle room. From the back, where you should have roughly a finger’s width between your leg and the boot, to the front, where you should be able to move your toes, because your feet are likely to swell as you walk and get warmer.

This doesn’t always mean going up or down a size as separate brands will have marginally different measurements. As a rule, it’s best to order two potential sizes and keep the one that feels most comfortable.

So we’ve rounded up the best below that will have you stepping out in style and comfort.

Adidas Terrex AX4 Mid Gore-Tex Womens Hiking Shoes

Sports Direct

If you’re a trainer girl through and through and are embarking on your first foray into walking boots, then Adidas’ hiking shoes are the ones for you. Featuring the brand’s trademark triple stripe, they offer a sporty aesthetic and lightweight feel, but with an upgraded waterproof GORE-TEX membrane as well as a Continental Rubber outsole for enhanced grip and stability.

Hi-Tec Bandera II Women’s Cornflower/Sprout

Hi-Tec

As the official partner with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), Hi-Tec’s boots are sure to see you up and down a mountain safely. Made using a suede and mesh upper which balances durability, breathability, and comfort, they feature a waterproof membrane, a traction outsole for improved grip, and a moulded EVA footbead which delivers extra cushioning for ultimate comfort whilst you’re out and about.

Berghaus Women’s Expeditor Trek 2.0

Blacks

Hiking stalwarts Berghaus is a go-to when it comes to anything walking related. A reliable, everyday boot, the Expeditor Trek 2.0 is one of the brand’s classics, perfect for wet weather walking thanks to the waterproof lining and Opti-Stud sole. With a split suede upper woven through with mesh fabric panels, your tootsies will be wrapped in comfortable, breathable goodness from start to finish.

North Ridge Women’s Lite Hiker Mid Walking Boots

Millets

Fully waterproof, with a lightweight Vibram sole that offers extreme grip and durability, North Ridge’s design will see you through an entire day hiking, even in the toughest of conditions. Made using a high quality leather outer, with a cushioning midsection, and a padded ankle for extra support, you’ll be ready to take on the world as soon as you lace these babies up.

Salomon Women’s Quest 4 GORE-TEX Hiking Boot

Go Outdoors

Known for elevated outerwear, fashion favourite brand Salomon’s boots are equal parts functional and stylish. Crafted using nubuck leather finished with a waterproof GORE-TEX treatment, these will keep you dry whilst offering optimum comfort thanks to the expertly shaped insole, a connected tongue to prevent any debris finding its way in, and a mudguard to keep them as clean as possible.

Hanwag Womens Alta Bunion II GTX Boots

Cotswold Outdoors

On the specialised end of the spectrum, Hanwag’s Alta boots are made specifically for women who are prone to bunions thanks to extra space around the base joint of the big toe and the forefoot. Crafted using GORE-TEX treated nubuck leather, they’ll keep your feet completely dry, and the padded cuff, deep pull lacing, and reinforced PU foam insole make for a boot you’ll never want to take off.

Quechua Women’s Waterproof Mountain Walking Boots

Decathlon

A great all rounder for an even better price, Quechua’s boots boast double cushioning from the EVA midsole, traction thanks to the rubber outsole with 4mm gripping studs, and a waterproof lining that will keep your feet dry for three hours. We love the sage green colourway that would look best worn with earthy tones.

Veja Dekkan Alveomesh Grafite Pierre

Veja

If wearing a boot isn’t your style, then responsible footwear label Veja’s hiking sneakers are a great alternative – and thanks to the contemporary design, you can wear them just as easily in the city as you can on the country footpath.

A great option for easier routes, the Parisian brand’s Vibram collection is made using sustainably sourced Amazonian rubber, recycled fabrics, and eco-friendly sugar cane, and offers added protection to the foot, as well as waterproofing around the perimeter of the sole.

Zamberlan Womens Amelia GTX Boots

Snow + Rock

Brimming with vintage appeal thanks to the neutral colourway and retro sporty laces, Zamberlan’s boots are a quality design that doesn’t compromise on aesthetics – and the price tag shows it. Featuring a Vibram outsole and a waterproof nubuck upper, they’re a sturdy, long-lasting option ideal for backpacking and hiking off trail, keeping you covered as you push further time and time again.

Regatta Women’s Holcombe Waterproof Mid Walking Boots

Regatta

Known as one of the market leaders in Britain for outdoor clothing, Regatta’s boots certainly live up to the rep. Fully waterproof and breathable, with a deep padded collar and tongue and a moulded EVA footbed for all-day comfort, they’ll even remain comfortable on longer hikes. The outsole with angled lugs add to their versatility, whether you want to use them for rugged terrain or simply to meander through the woods.

Mountain Warehouse Hike Womens Waterproof Recycled Boots

Mountain Warehouse

Composed of recycled synthetic fibres, Mountain Warehouse’s boots are a great choice for vegans. With a waterproof membrane, a mesh upper, deep lugs for grip and EVA cushioning which moulds to your foot, it’s a classic hiking boot given a 2023 upgrade with the chunky sole and stylish panelling.

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