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Womens waterproof hiking shoes are a dime a dozen.
Not really, but here's the point:
Not all of them are trail worthy.
And the hiking shoe that your trail buddy raves about as the best hiking shoe might not suit you.
So heads up when you're learning how to buy hiking shoes to take you to beautiful destinations like this one!
Let's take this in order:
You want womens shoes that fit your unique feet, whether they be long, short, wide, narrow, high arch, low arch or some combination of these attributes.
And you want them to perform well on the trails you hike: lots of elevation gain, roots and mud, stream crossings, meandering forest trails, or some combination.
And you've decided that you don't want womens hiking boots. Only womens hiking shoes will do!
Bump it up one final notch: they've got to be waterproof.
Not asking for much, are you ;)
So it's best that you put a method to your madness.
Read on to discover exactly...
Start off with understanding the difference between womens waterproof hiking boots and womens hiking shoes by reading this.
But there are a few differences to keep in mind.
All of this adds up to hiking footwear that are a joy to put on and a joy to wear: no break in time, minimal leg fatigue from dragging around your shoes, and easy on-and-off features.
What could be better than out of the box lightweight comfort?
Now about that waterproof feature: it might be a bit trickier to find.
Because shoes are cut lower than boots, water has plenty of opportunity to dowse your socks and feet when you wear them during stream crossings.
Only hike on trails that include bridges!
To protect your feet from moisture picked up from wet trails or when crossing a dew soaked mountain meadow, choose trail shoes made from materials that give you the best chance of preventing the moisture from contacting your skin.
Below are a few examples of worthy waterproof hiking shoes, with the materials highlighted.
In my opinion, they are the best hiking shoe you can put on your feet.
I happen to own two pairs of these womens waterproof hiking shoes by KEEN and I love them.
One small note to pay attention to: You might need a half size, or even a whole size, bigger than usual.
This is especially true if you like to wear two pairs of hiking socks in your trail shoes.
But KEEN women's hiking shoes are definitely something you should check out.
I also happen to have a pair of Salomon's trail shoes, like these.
They fit a bit differently than KEEN womens hiking shoes, but they are just as good for hiking.
By that, I mean that the toe box isn't quite as wide. This gives these shoes a more "secure" fit, and if you like your foot to feel as stable as possible on the trail, give these a hard look.
They have all of the comfort, stability and cushioning features of the KEENs mentioned above.
I use these shoes when the terrain is going to be a mixed bag of rocks, roots, mud, and water crossings, punctuated with smooth sailing.
And while I'm at it, I just have to say: Don't overlook Merrell hiking shoes. (Yes, I also own a pair of these. Please don't judge my hiking shoe habit.)
They are super low cut, and their Vibram (heavy duty rubber) soles give fantastic grip, considering how lightweight these womens waterproof hiking shoes are.
Read how Merrell constructs their hiking shoes, and why they think their hiking shoes are the best.
Wear hiking shoes only in the best of trail conditions: dry, flat trails with a lightweight pack and single digit mileage, for example.
Expect to replace them more frequently than boots.
If you hike frequently, it's inevitable that you'll find yourself travelling over rougher terrain.
You might also wish for more support and protection from the trail than these shoes can provide you, when you begin carrying a heavier pack on backpacking expeditions.
That's when you'll come back and read the how to buy hiking boots tips here!
Womens Waterproof Hiking Shoes
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If you purchase one of my favorite brands of womens waterproof hiking shoes from the links above, we both win!
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