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Selecting the Best Women's Hiking Shoes

written by: Sylvie Colette • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 7/18/2010

Women need to take care in choosing their hiking shoes. Unlike other outdoor gear such as tents, mountain bikes, or snowboards, women's hiking shoes will differ from men's and should be chosen with care. Consider the following tips and choices when selecting the best women's hiking shoes.

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    Important Considerations

    Your overall hiking experience literally rests on your feet. Choosing the right pair of hiking shoes can make all the difference between your comfort and safety on the trail.

    Important things to look for when choosing the right hiking shoe for your foot:

    • Consider the terrain of the trails you intend to tackle on your hiking trips.
    • Will you be carrying a heavy load? That will determine how much support you will need.
    • Look for lightweight boots made from high-tech materials.
    • Water-resistance is an important factor for many hikers. Do not under-estimate this factor when choosing a hiking shoe.
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    Best Women's Hiking Shoes

    Consider the following selection of the best women's hiking shoes when making your decision. There are shoes on the list that will handle a light day trip to a mountaineering adventure with ease and comfort.
    Adventure Trail Shoes
    The Adventure Trail shoes by L.L.Bean are just right for light trail walking, or trail running. They are intended for short bouts of a day or less, while carrying a light day pack. That being said, these light-weight shoes have a lifetime guarantee which ensures the antimicrobial ortholite foot bed will corral your foot in comfort.

    The Aether Tech SS

    This Vasque shoe perfoms well in bad weather conditions. Perfect for spring and fall hiking adventures. They come with extra traction to withstand slippery leaves and muddy paths. The support system in both the middle of the shoe and the L.L. Beans guarantee make it worth the price tag.

    Tagori Trail Shoe

    Columbia is well known for it's outdoor performance items. The Tagori Trail Shoe is one of the best women's hiking shoe on the market. Although it is not waterproof, the shoe does provide breathability, is very lightweight and comes equipped with shock absorbers to keep your feet, ankles, and legs comfortable. These factors make it a good choice for summer hikes.

    La Sportiva Women's Karakorum Mountaineering Boot

    Some hiking expeditions need serious hiking shoes. If you're planning on a high-altitude expedition, you will want to check out La Sportiva Women's Karakorum Mountaineering Boot. These boots protect your ankles without restricting your movement. The dry-best lining in the boot reduces friction while keeping the feet moisture-free.

    Merrell Women's Chameleon Arc Wind Hiking Shoe

    This is an excellent leather shoe for varied terrain. The EVA bumpers protect the foot, and offer stability over long distances. They can be used for trail running or hiking up or down a steep hill.

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    Purchasing Tips

    When choosing the best women's hiking shoe for your feet, consider following these tips for the best fit:

    • Go shoe shopping at the end of the day, rather than the morning. Your feet will be slightly larger and you will get a more accurate fit.
    • Wear a socks that you plan on pairing with your hiking shoes. Polyester liner socks for wicking away moisture worn under a pair of heavy wool or synthetic socks designed for outdoor wear. Steer clear of cotton socks. The possibility of trapping moisture against your feet can be more than a simple inconvenience. If the temperature dips, dangerous frostbite is a possibility.
    • Be aware that hiking shoes will probably not feel instantly comfortable. They ought to be snug and fit securely around your instep and ankle, but you should still be able to wiggle your toes.
    • If possible, walk down an incline in the hiking shoes that you are trying on. If your feet slide forward or the back of the heel moves around you should try a different shoe.

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    References

    Back Country - http://www.backcountry.com/store/cat/100000009/Shoes.html

    Dick's Sporting Goods - http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=2368778

    Columbia Shoes - http://www.columbiashoes.us/