Best Women’s Leather Hiking Boots
Hiking is one of those activities that you only need to try once to realize that it’s both rewarding and challenging for your mind, body, and spirit. Not only that, it teaches about your limitations (both physical and mental), but it teaches you about the importance of gear for successful hikes.
As you hike, you learn that there are good hiking boots and lousy hiking boots. Many things count for the hiking boots’ performance and value, and not choosing the right pair of boots for your type of hike, weather, and trails always rely on. The material used for the hiking boots is also essential, and you learn early that the most durable and tough hiking boots are made with leather, full-grain leather to be more accurate.
Top Women’s Leather Hiking Boots
1. Zamberlan Women’s 1996 VIOZ LUX GTX RR Leather Backpacking Boots
If you know what your hiking boots should be like exactly, you should make the splurge with the Zamberlan Women’s 1996 VIOZ LUX GTX RR Leather Backpacking Boots.
The boots are made with exquisite full-grain leather, which is both beautiful and long-lasting. Full-grain leather is naturally waterproof, and these boots are made with Hydrobloc treatment for superior water resistance. They also come with a Gore-Tex Performance Comfort membrane, which is both waterproof and breathable. The membrane blocks water from getting inside but allows moisture escape for dry wear.
The boots are made for women with anatomical wrap over the foot’s top, but with a generous toe box for comfortable toes. The heel lock is excellent, and the boots create the stability inside you need for effective and less strenuous hiking.
These are Lace-up boots with HRT (High Resistance treatment) on the hardware for durable wear. Every material and feature of the shoes expand the lifespan.
The rubber toe is PU-coated, protecting the toes efficiently while hiking. The soft calf leather lining at the cuff creates a soft comfort around the ankle, whereas the padded collar and tongue improve that ankle support. The boots come with Zamberlan memory foam for underfoot padding support and comfort, while the ZFS (Zamberlan Flex System) maintains the boots flexible without affecting stability. Grip and traction seal the deal, even if some may find the shoes a bit too wide for their feet.
2. Lowa Women’s Renegade Gtx Mid Hiking Boot
Lowa Women’s Renegade Gtx Mid Hiking Boot will surprise the lightweight feel despite the rugged build and incredible performance on most technical hikes.
The boots are made with Nubuck leather and will fit like a glove sooner than expected. The leather is tough and resistant to sharp rocks and roots, taking the most intense hiking. They have a Gore-Tex membrane that blocks water from getting inside but helps moisture escape from your boots. Therefore, your feet remain dry at all times. The Gore-Tex membrane’s performance is sustained by the climate-control footbed that wicks moisture away from your feet.
The collar and tongue are lightly padded for soft ankle support, and the derby-style lacing with metal speed-lacing lets you get a snug fit every time, for a very long time. The full-length nylon shank works with the midsole for stability, and the Monowrap frame counts for the rugged build without adding weight.
The boots come with a Vibram outsole that is tough and reliable on all tracks. Keep in mind to be careful when climbing down the stairs, as the shoes may snag. That’s a minor flaw to mention that doesn’t compromise the great value of the boots in any way.
3. Asolo Stinger Gore-Tex Hiking Boot – Women’s
There are many great things that Asolo Stinger Gore-Tex Hiking Boot – Women’s bring to the table, and feminine appearance and rugged build are just some to name.
These boots can easily take a couple of decades as both the materials and construction are strong and long-lasting. The shoes are made with water-resistant suede leather and high-tenacity nylon upper. Not only that, the upper materials are solid and long-time wearing, but they’re also comfortable right from the start, so the break-in period may not be necessary with the boots.
Since the boots come with Gore-Tex lining, they make a solid choice for summer hiking and winter walking. They will keep your feet protected against wet elements and moisture, as the Gore-Tex membrane makes them waterproof and breathable at the same time.
The TPU rubber toe cap will protect the toes against impact and rocks and reduce bruising stone risk. The boots’ build makes them highly comfortable, as two melted elements were used for the best comfort. The first element is made with rigid materials, and the second one is made with softer materials, which ensures shock absorbency. The Lite2 anatomic footbed will adjust to your foot’s shape for superior comfort and support, working great with the mono-density midsole.
A rubber-PU combination was used for the outsole, and the lugs are deep for efficient grip and traction on all surfaces. The lugs are also self-cleaning, so you get to move faster on muddy trails. Even if the boots make a better choice for summer hikes, they still stand out as one of the most durable, dependable, and pretty looking options made with leather.
How should you choose leather hiking boots?
If you take a look at hiking boots, you will notice several kinds of leather used for the upper body. It’s essential to know the differences when selecting your leather hiking boots:
Type of leather
Different kinds of leather will give various performances, so you should consider the leather type before buying your hiking boots.
It’s the most durable and tough leather used for hiking boots, with impressive abrasion resistance. Full-grain leather is also capable of stopping water, which is why it’s used for the most rugged and most durable boots.
Should you heavily backpack or try the most challenging and rugged tracks, full-grain leather boots make the most reliable option. Full-grain leather is less breathable than the other types of leather, so they don’t make the best choice for hot summer hikes.
Even if high-quality full-grain leather adjusts to the foot’s unique shape very fast, most models will require a break-in period.
Split grain leather
It’s common for split-grain leather to be used together with mesh or nylon, which renders the boots breathable and lightweight. These boots are affordable but may not take a long time to use as full-grain leather boots.
Even if waterproofness and abrasion resistance are present for the split-grain leather, the performances don’t equalize full-grain leather’s performances.
Nubuck leather is regular leather that was buffered for the suede appearance and soft-touch feel. It’s still leather, so it’s pretty long-lasting and impervious to water and abrasion. It’s more flexible than full-grain leather so that it could feel more comfortable sooner than full-grain leather.
Waterproofness, breathability, support, and stability are also aspects to consider. Go with waterproof boots if your trails will be wet, and apply water resistance coating on your leather boots to make sure.
Look for comfortable boots, have a rugged build, and provide grip and traction on all trails. Leather boots are always a good buy in the long run, but you shouldn’t skip the shape, stability, or comfort when buying.
Q: Do you always have to break in the leather boots?
A: Nine times out of ten, you will have to break in your leather boots. The quality of leather used on the shoes and the features and the craftsmanship can significantly impact the break-in period.
High-quality full-grain leather boots may be comfortable right out of the box, whereas cheaper models made with nubuck leather may require you some time until they feel comfortable.
Q: Do you still need to waterproof the boots if they’re made with full-grain leather?
A: As long as you take good care of your full-grain leather boots (cleaning and polish the shoes), you shouldn’t apply the waterproof treatment (spray or anything similar) every time. If they come with a Gore-Tex membrane, the chances for water to get inside are minor, but everything has an expiration date (Gore-Tex is a thin membrane that could break), so pay attention when using taking care of your leather boots.
Q: Are leather hiking boots more durable than non-leather models?
A: It’s not a straight answer, as it depends on how you wear the boots and how you take care of them. Good quality leather boots can last you for decades, but only if you regularly take care of them. The chances for non-leather hiking boots to last for decades aren’t null, but you still have a better shot at longevity with leather hiking boots, especially full-grain leather models.