Best Lightweight Women’s Hiking Boots
Taking a look at the hiking boots can overwhelm an entry-level hiker who doesn’t know what he/she needs for hiking. If rugged build and feel are somewhat obvious, there will be plenty of other features that make the hiking boots a good or a poor choice for your hikes and skills level.
When you plan to take day hikes or light backpacking, lightweight hiking boots that still provide grip and ankle support make a perfect choice. When you like fast hiking more than you want the most challenging tracks, lightweight hiking boots should be on your shopping list.
Top Lightweight Hiking Boots for Women
1. La Sportiva Stream Gtx Women’s Hiking Shoe
Even if technologies like waterproofness add weight to your hiking boots, you can still find waterproof hiking boots that are still lightweight. La Sportiva Stream Gtx Women’s Hiking Shoe make one of the most representative examples of how modern technology created waterproof boots in a light body.
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The boots are made with a durable mesh upper that takes the elements and long-time wear. Even if it’s mesh, it will provide superior protection against abrasion, roots, rocks, and elements without adding weight to the boots. The Nano Cell 2.0 structure of the shoes ensure efficient ventilation for dry wear all the time. The shoes are also made with Gore-Tex surround aeration channels throughout the midsole and footbed, so your feet stay dry when stepping in some puddles or deal with some rain.
It’s an STB control system for the boots, consisting of the Gore-Tex surround outlets and the shoes’ snug fit. The plush collar and tongue create soft support for the ankle, whereas the lace-up system lets you tie the laces as snug as you want. The metal hooks on top keep the laces tied throughout hiking. The heel cup is well contoured for a secure grip of the heel and more stability inside the boots, and the toe area is reinforced for toe protection against the elements and stone bruising.
The boots come with PU TechLite heel and toe for durable wear, and compression-molded EVA midsole with TPU inserts for adequate shock absorbency and support. Last but not least, the Vibram XS Trek sole with the impact brake system and patterned tip give aggressive grip and excellent traction on most challenging tracks. Even if the boots are rather subtle in terms of appearance, they will make a great impression with the performance and ruggedness, despite the lightweight built.
2. Danner Women’s Mountain 600 4.5″ Waterproof Hiking Boot
You may have heard by now that full-grain leather is the toughest yet the most massive material to use on hiking boots. However, it would help if you kept in mind that there’s regular leather and high-quality leather. Even if Danner Women’s Mountain 600 4.5″ Waterproof Hiking Boot is made with leather, it’s high-quality full-grain leather that keeps the excellent qualities in a lightweight package.
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The elegant and timeless design of the boots will draw attention, and the shoes won’t disappoint in terms of performance either. The shoes will feel soft and comfortable right from the beginning, taking use for many years.
Along with the full-grain leather’s natural waterproof abilities, the boots come with Danner dry waterproof protection. These features will keep the feet dry, stop water from entering the shoes, and prevent moisture from building up near your feet. The plush tongue and collar give the soft ankle support, and the heel is securely kept in place due to the TPU heel frame. The lace-up system is useful, and the metal hooks ensure secure lacing and fit every time.
The cushioning Open-Cell OrthoLite footbed will create friendly support and absorb shock from hiking, and the nylon shank will improve both the support and stability.
A rugged sole with MegaGrip technology backs the boots’ classic appearance for superior grip and traction on various tracks. The shoes look incredibly beautiful, so they are worth every single penny, as many as they are.
3. Vasque Women’s Breeze Lt Low Gtx Gore-Tex Waterproof Breathable Hiking Shoe
Vasque Women’s Breeze Lt Low Gtx Gore-Tex Waterproof Breathable Hiking Shoe brings many great things to the table, packing both ruggedness and lightweight in the same build.
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The shoes are made with mesh (abrasion-resistant) and synthetic microfiber, making them great for hot summer hikes. The breathability is superior but doesn’t affect the durability or toughness of the shoes. They also come with a Gore-Tex membrane, so water doesn’t get inside, but sweat doesn’t build up near your feet either as it’s pushed outside the shoes.
The EnduraLast EVA midsole (its dual-density compression-molded) will create soft support and absorb hiking shock. The plush collar and tongue softly support the ankle, and the lace-up system is useful for a snug fit.
Just because the shoes are lightweight doesn’t mean that they’re less grippy. On the contrary, the boots come with a Vibram MegaGrip outsole that is reliable for traction and grip on dry and wet trails. The Vibram sole is rigid but saves 25% in outsole weight. Even if some reported less effective arch support, the shoes make it to our list of recommendations of reliable, lightweight hiking boots.
How should you select your lightweight hiking boots?
Even if you’re looking for lightweight boots for your hikes, you shouldn’t compromise on the support, comfort, or reliability. Checking just the weight of your hiking boots isn’t enough criteria. You still want them to be strong, supportive, and not break in the middle of your hike.
Some materials are lighter than others, which doesn’t mean that they’re neither tough nor able to take the intense wear. Technology today creates tough, wear-resistant mesh and nylon with abrasion resistance and impervious to rocks, elements, and tear.
Suede and nubuck leather are also tough and resistant materials that are lighter than full-grain leather.
Even if full-grain leather is the most massive material, as it’s also the toughest and most resistant, it may not be the lightest. The high-quality leather used in high dollar boots will be more delicate, so you shouldn’t skip them if your wallet is thick.
Keep in mind that even if the material is essential for your boots’ weight, build and extra features will add weight to your shoes.
Support, traction, and grip
Every feature on your boots will count for support, comfort, and weight. Padded collar and tongue will softly support the ankle, but it will also add to the weight. Stability shank, EVA midsole, padding inside the boots, or metal hardware for the lace-up system will improve the support, stability, and fit and make the shoes a bit heavier.
Vibram sole, especially all-traction sole, will provide grip and traction on most surfaces, whereas multi-directional lugs will ensure aggressive grip on most tracks. Some lugs have carbide steel tips for extra grip, which adds more weight to the boots. You need to know what’s more important to you: lightweight or aggressive grip at all times?
Breathable & quick drying
If you’re looking for the lightest boots, you should look for boots made with quick-drying materials (mesh and nylon), channeling for water to run through the shoes and impressive ventilation. It could be easier to get waterproof boots, but waterproofness adds weight to the shoes.
Q: Can you find light hiking boots that are also waterproof?
A: Waterproofness is necessary only in wet areas or if you know that it will rain throughout the day. Even if modern technology creates light and waterproof boots, waterproof boots are typically heavier than non-waterproof models.
However, it’s possible to find hiking boots made with waterproof materials that are still lightweight due to the extra features and build.
Q: Are lightweight hiking boots reliable for technical trails?
A: It all depends on the other features. A rugged and thick sole for shock absorbency and stability, stability shank, EVA midsole, and a higher design is needed for the technical trails, and they add weight to the boots.
Even if lightweight boots can take some of your technical tracks, you will have better performance with more rugged and more massive models.
Q: Can you wear light hiking boots in the winter?
A: Hiking boots for winter use have to keep your feet warm, which is why they’re waterproof and insulated. When it comes to winter hiking boots, we could say that some are lighter than others because they have different amounts of insulation (200, 400, 800, and more). However, we can’t call winter hiking boots as lightweight.