Best Women’s Hiking Boots for West Coast Trail (Reviews)
Avid hikers are always looking for more challenging trails and don’t hesitate to improve their hiking skills. The West Coast Trail is a 47 mile (75km) trail on Vancouver Island (The Pacific Coast) in British Columbia (Canada).
The trail is very challenging, and it’s comprised of 130 bridges, 70 ladders, and four cable cars. Having the proper hiking gear is fundamental as the weather is very unpredictable, with rain and winds and 77F degrees temperatures.
Many hikers choose to go with waterproof hiking boots and have aggressive grip and efficient traction on the wet trails. However, look for breathable shoes, and pack some gaiters too.
Top 5 Women’s Hiking Boots for West Coast Trail
1. Asolo Stynger Gore-Tex Hiking Boot – Women’s
The rugged appearance of the Asolo Stynger Gore-Tex Hiking Boot – Women’s tell you what these boots genuinely are: tough, reliable, and ready to take the unexpected on the West Coast Trail.
The boots come with Gore-Tex lining, which blocks the wet elements but ensures efficient ventilation for dry wear. Moreover, the shoes are made with water-resistant suede leather and high-tenacity nylon upper. Due to body and materials, these boots are great for summer and winter hiking too. The duo Asoflex Lady includes two elements melted for comfort. The first element is made with stiff materials, whereas the second is made with softer material for increased shock absorbency.
The toe cap is made with TPU rubber for toe protection, whereas the Lite2 anatomic footbed adjusts to your foot’s shape for best comfort and support. The mono-density midsole also sustains the shock absorbency and superior support.
The outsole is made of rubber-PU combination for long time wear, whereas the lugs are deep for aggressive grip and traction. They’re also self-cleaning so that you won’t worry about slippage on the muddy trails.
The boots make a better fit for narrow to medium-wide feet but are impressive on all levels.
2. Altra Women’s Alw1967h Tushar Hiking Boot
Altra Women’s Alw1967h Tushar Hiking Boot is loaded with features for the West Coast Trail, so you should always make the splurge.
The boots look tough, but they’re incredibly flexible thanks to the InnerFlex midsole technology. They allow easy hiking on most challenging tracks, whereas the event upper ensures waterproof and breathable comfort.
Comfort and support are essential on a challenging hike on West Coast Trail, but the balanced cushioning inside the boots will solve it. The heel and forefoot are at the same distance from the ground for lower impact and better protection. The shoes are also made with Fit4Her technology, so they’re created to fit the female foot’s particular anatomy.
You will notice that the boots come with a hook and loop tab for strapless gaiter attachment. This way, debris or small rocks won’t get near the shoes. The canted lugs are placed under the metatarsal, providing traction at toe-off. Grip and traction on wet and rocky trails won’t be an issue as the boots come with DuraTread rubber sole made to take a beat on both technical and less technical courses.
The locking ankle lace loop could be better, and the minor flaw doesn’t undermine the overall value of the boots in any way.
3. Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3 Mid Gtx W Hiking Boots
When you don’t have the time and patience to search high and low for the best hiking boots for the West Coast Trail, you should take the plunge with Salomon Women’s X Ultra 3 Mid Gtx W Hiking Boots. They come with all the features you need for that kind of trail.
Not only that, the boots are waterproof and breathable since they’re made with gore-tex, but they also feature a protective mudguard around the base, protecting the medial and lateral sides from the muddy tracks on the WTC. Moreover, the boots have anti-debris mesh upper, preventing dirt and debris from getting between the foot and footbed.
Thanks to the EnergyCell midsole with high-performant EVA foam, the shock absorbency is significantly reduced. The boots are mostly made for women, keeping the foot in place throughout the most technical descents. The build minimizes slippage risk, whereas the grip is aggressive thanks to the two different kinds of rubber well placed on the sole. The particular patterned zone on the heel bites out of wet trails, providing you the control you need for taking the WTC.
Some suggest that the boots could use another set of holes on the lace-up system, but the boots give way too many reasons for relying on them on WTC and any other challenging tracks.
4. Keen Women’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots
Keen Women’s Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boots are the jack of all trades, as they provide almost all features you need in boots for the challenging West Coast Trail.
The boots are waterproof and breathable, but they’re not Gore-Tex. Keen has its waterproofness technology, which is the KeenDry membrane. The result is the same, with wet elements blocked from getting inside without losing the boots’ ventilation. Also, leather is protected against the water with a PFC-free water repellant so that the shoes will stay dry throughout the rainy days.
Traction and grip are also essential for the WTC, and these boots come with keen all-terrain rubber outsole for high-traction grip on all surfaces. The external support shank (ESS) provides torsion stability, whereas the mid-cut ensures better balance and ankle support. The heel area is well contoured, which improves stability.
The low-profile upper offers a secure fit with a cushioned collar and tongue for sifting comfort and support. Let’s not forget to mention the Metatomical footbed design, which ensures impressive arch support and natural conforming to your foot.
The craftsmanship could be better, but it’s a minor downside easy to overlook when you see the whole picture.
5. Vasque Women’s Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Hiking Boot
If you’re shopping for a fixed budget, you should take a look at the Vasque Women’s Breeze 2.0 Gore-Tex Hiking Boot. The boots come with numerous features that recommend them for safe use on the West Coast Trail.
The boots are made with 100% suede leather and mesh panels that provide fantastic ventilation. The footwear is breathable and abrasion-resistant, holding up efficiently to the rocks and mud on the trail.
As waterproofness is essential, we should mention that the boots are made with Gore-Tex with extended comfort technology. This way, wet elements won’t get inside, but moisture won’t get trapped inside the shoes as it’s helped to escape. The boots have the right height, and the tongue (higher in front) will block debris and small rocks getting inside the shoes. The heel is well contoured, so the heel will stay in place while hiking on the slippery surfaces.
The dual-density EVA footbed will absorb shock and protect against impact, whereas the molded rubber toe cap will reduce the risk of stone bruising of your toes. No worries about slippage or traction as the boots come with Vibram contact outsole made with the Xstrek compound. It’s the challenging and rigid, but sticky and aggressive grip. The tip of the shoes will bite terrain for better traction.
Flexible, comfortable, waterproof, dry, and temperature-controlled, the boots are an affordable choice you shouldn’t skip. Keep in mind to go ½ up a size when placing your order for the best fit.
How should you select the boots for the West Coast Trail?
The variety of waterproof hiking boots can be confusing for newbies, so a buying guide for selecting your shoes for the WCT is more than welcome. Here’s what counts the most:
Waterproofness & breathability
As the WTC weather is unpredictable with rain and sunny days, you have to be prepared. Look for waterproof boots, blocking water, and wet elements from getting inside.
But because the temperatures rise all of a sudden, you want your boots to be also breathable. Adequate ventilation will make moisture escape away from the feet, providing more comfort.
Grip & traction
The West Coast Trail is comprised of muddy, dry, rocky, and challenging tracks, so you want soles that keep you on track on all surfaces. Look for boots that have rugged and durable sole (Vibram is the best within the category) with deep and patterned lugs for aggressive grip, no matter if the trail is wet or not.
Some boots come with self-cleaning lugs that shed mud so that you get to keep on moving.
Features against mud, dirt, debris, and more
The trails are various and complicated, so the boots have to be capable of handling it all. Boots with mudguards on the bottom, gusseted tongue, and effective lace-system are more reliable on the West Coast Trail.
Stability & support
Several features will give stability inside the boots, so you should pay attention. Hiking boots with ankle and heel support, rubberized toe cap, stability shank, and EVA midsole will support the foot and provide the stability you need for the WCT.
Q: Do hiking boots make the best choice for West Coast Trail?
A: Many experienced hikers go with hiking boots as they provide right ankle and foot protection. However, the hiking boots also have to be waterproof and breathable for the possible sunny days.
Good hiking boots are made with tough and durable materials, so they will hold up throughout your hiking without breaking.
Q: Can you also use trail runners for the WTC?
A: It’s a personal decision, and some hikers take trail runners for the challenging trail. Even if trail runners are lighter than hiking boots and more breathable, they are not made with tough and durable materials like hiking boots are. Additionally, trail runners don’t provide support for the ankle and aren’t waterproof.
Q: Do you always have to put gaiters when hiking on the WTC?
A: Again, it’s a personal choice. If your hiking boots are waterproof, breathable, with mudguard, you won’t need gaiters. However, you may find reliable gaiters that are lightweight and easy to pack, so you may very well buy a pair. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry.