Best Waterproof Hiking Shoes for Women in 2024

Best Waterproof Hiking Shoes for Women: Hiker's feet in high-cut waterproof hiking trail runners

In this post, we'll take a look at:

When you’re picking waterproof hiking shoes, make sure to think about important things like getting the right fit, materials that aren’t too heavy, toughness, good grip, support, breathability, and toe protection.

With advanced technology, trail runners offer great comfort and versatility, making them a top choice for many hikers today. In our opinion, classic bulky hiking boots are unnecessary.

However, if you make a bad choice, it could bring about significant problems such as discomfort, blisters, lack of support, and slipping.

Yet, don’t stress about the multitude of options – our guide is here to assist you in choosing the best waterproof hiking shoes for women.

What are the Best Waterproof Hiking Shoes for Women?

  1. Most Ultralight: HOKA Challenger 7 GTX (7.12oz/202g)
  2. Best Overall: HOKA Speedgoat 5 GTX (8.64/245g)
  3. Best Value: Nike React Pegasus Trail 4 GTX (7.9oz/224g)
  4. Best Grip: Adidas Terrex Agravic Flow 2 GTX (11.14oz/316g)
  5. Budget Option: Asics GEL-VENTURE 9 WATERPROOF (9.1oz/260g)

1. Most Ultralight
HOKA Challenger 7 GTX

HOKA challenger 7 GTX

Key Specs


Weight: 7.12 ounces (202 grams) per shoe
Price: $$

PROS


✅ Ultralight

CONS


❌ Not the most comfortable option

The newly updated Hoka Challenger 7 GTX is a hiking shoe equipped to handle diverse terrain with its redesigned mesh upper and plush cushioning. The addition of GORE-TEX technology provides waterproof protection for slogging through wet conditions on the trail.

Slipping on the Challenger 7 GTX reveals a luxuriously soft midsole that feels like it would cushion miles of hiking with ease. The wide platform and ample toe box give feet room to splay naturally when scrambling over rocks. The beefy lugs on the outsole grip reliably on muddy trails while also allowing for hybrid hikes involving paved sections.

During the break-in period, the creased upper caused some irritation and pinching on the big toe that subsided after 30-40 miles. The signature Hoka heel flare allowed small rocks and debris inside pretty easily, causing ankle irritation – a nuisance for hikers aiming to avoid trail debris inside their shoes.

The color options leave something to be desired compared to previous iterations. But the plush cushioning and rugged versatility make the Hoka Challenger 7 GTX a great choice for hikers seeking a comfortable, stable shoe ready for diverse terrain and conditions. Just be prepared to endure some initial break-in discomfort.


2. Best Overall
HOKA Speedgoat 5 GTX

HOKA Speedgoat 5 GTX

Key Specs


Weight: 8.64 ounces (245 grams) per shoe
Price: $$

PROS


✅ Balanced cushion

✅ Rubber toe cap

CONS


❌ Midsole feels dense in cold

The Hoka Speedgoat 5 is engineered as a lightweight trail running shoe ready to blaze through muddy terrain.

This updated version implements a GORE-TEX membrane for unmatched waterproofing and moisture control when hitting the trails.

The rugged Vibram Megagrip outsole with deep lugs delivers excellent traction across loose, slippery surfaces. The padded heel collar, rubber toe bumper, and gusseted tongue help prevent dirt and debris from compromising the interior.

After four days of moderate hiking, these shoes felt nimble and comfortable thanks to the ample cushioning that reduced impact on my back and knees.

The stability was great for moving uphill but left something to be desired when descending rapidly over rocky areas.

One potential caveat is that the thick midsole can feel overly dense and stiff in colder temperatures, reducing ground feel. So there is a compromise between the featherweight comfort and weather protection.

But for hikers who want a quick, comfy shoe that can handle tough trails right away, the Hoka Speedgoat 5 is a great choice.


3. Best Value
Nike React Pegasus Trail 4 GTX

Waterproof Hiking Trail Runners for Women: Nike React Pegasus Trail 4 GTX

Key Specs


Weight: 7.9 ounces (224 grams) per shoe
Price: $$

PROS


✅ Widely available

✅ Great durability

CONS


❌ Not the best for warm weather

These Nike trail runners are a versatile hiking shoe ready for the road or trail, rain or shine. The lightweight feel and flexible design enable natural movement over changing terrain.

Responsive cushioning creates a smooth ride across miles, while the waterproof GORE-TEX layer and built-in gaiter deliver dry feet through puddles and mud.

The spacious toe box accommodates swelling on long hikes. Ankle support is excellent for stabilizing steps on uneven ground.

However, sizing up too much creates excessive sliding inside the shoe that compromises control. While a bit warm for hot weather hiking, breathability remains decent.

These shoes offer a snug, cushioned fit for both roads and trails. Just make sure to get the right size to avoid any issues with the roomy interior. With top-notch waterproofing and comfy feel, they’re perfect for hiking in wet or varied terrain.


4. Best Grip
Adidas Terrex Agravic Flow 2 GTX

Waterproof Hiking Trail Runners for Women: Adidas Terrex Agravic Flow 2 GTX

Key Specs


Weight: 11.14 ounces (316 grams) per shoe
Price: $$

PROS


✅ Great grip

✅ Comfortable

CONS


❌ Relatively heavy

These Adidas trail runners are engineered to charge through wet, muddy conditions with waterproof protection. The breathable GORE-TEX membrane keeps feet dry while allowing sweat vapor to escape. The Continental Rubber outsole and aggressive lugs deliver grip across slippery, uneven terrain.

As described, the shoes provide reliable waterproofing to keep feet dry through puddles and mud on the trail. The style is also great. The Lightstrike midsole offers a firmer, responsive feel rather than extreme softness. For hikers, this provides better stability and trail feedback over cushy shoes.

These shoes run a bit snug, so sizing up half a size is recommended if you prefer a roomier toe box.

Overall, these Adidas trail runners are rugged, stable, and comfortable hiking shoes that excel at keeping feet dry across diverse topography.


5. Budget Option
Asics GEL-VENTURE 9 WATERPROOF

Waterproof Hiking Trail Runners for Women: Asics GEL-VENTURE 9 WATERPROOF

Key Specs


Weight: 9.1 ounces (260 grams) per shoe
Price: $

PROS


✅ Affordable

✅ Comfortable

CONS


❌ Requires break-in

The Asics GEL-VENTURE 9 WATERPROOF is an excellent hiking shoe ready for wet weather adventures. The waterproof upper keeps feet dry through rain and puddles on the trail.

Underfoot, the midsole provides soft yet stable cushioning with AMPLIFOAM and GEL technology. The rugged traction outsole grips well on diverse surfaces from paved roads to muddy trails.

Off-road, these shoes perform very well, with great traction even in wet conditions. On pavement, the firm ride can feel somewhat hard underfoot over long distances.

The toe box runs slightly narrow and could benefit from more spaciousness up front. The rockered sole limits flexibility in the toe bend which takes adjustment.

Expect a break-in period of around 10 miles before the snug upper loosens up a bit. While not the most flexible or roomy option, the Asics GEL-VENTURE 9 WATERPROOF provides waterproof protection and excellent grip to stabilize hiking strides on rough, unpredictable terrain.

How to Choose the Best Waterproof Hiking Shoes

Selecting the proper waterproof hiking shoes is key to keeping your feet comfortable and blister-free on the trail. Follow these tips for choosing the best option:

  • Consider the conditions you’ll be hiking in most often:
    • Opt for waterproof shoes if you’ll frequently encounter wet, muddy, cold or snowy trails where keeping feet dry is crucial.
    • Choose non-waterproof, breathable shoes for hot, dry conditions or very strenuous hiking where ventilation is key.
    • For moderate temperatures and conditions, standard hiking shoes/trail runners are likely sufficient.
  • Look for key features:
    • Waterproof membranes like Gore-Tex provide weather protection while maintaining breathability.
    • Quality rubber outsoles with deep lugs (e.g. Vibram) deliver traction on wet, uneven terrain.
    • Cushioning and stability features help reduce fatigue over long distances.
  • Ensure proper fit to maximize comfort and prevent blisters/sliding. Trying on in store is best.
  • Be prepared to break them in to get the ideal performance. Plan shorter hikes at first.

Choosing shoes that align with the conditions, trails and your hiking style will maximize comfort, stability and weather protection mile after mile.

If you want to learn more about selecting waterproof shoes, check out our detailed guide here.

FAQ

What is the difference between hiking boots and trail runners?

Hiking boots have a higher cut, usually extending above the ankle, and are built with more rigid, protective materials like leather and hard rubber soles. This provides more ankle support and stability for carrying heavy packs and hiking rugged terrain. Trail runners have lower cuts, are lighter weight, and made of flexible, breathable mesh and foam materials without waterproofing. They prioritize ventilation and freedom of movement for quick agility over rocky or uneven ground. Boots offer protection while runners promote athletic performance. Choose boots for hauling heavy gear across tough terrain or runners for warm weather day hikes. With advanced technologies, trail runners provide exceptional comfort and versatility making them a preferred choice for many hikers today.

What are the key features to consider when choosing waterproof hiking shoes for women?

When selecting women’s waterproof hiking shoes, look for stable arch support, cushioning, and a comfortable fit that conforms to the unique shape of a woman’s foot. Waterproof membranes like Gore-Tex provide weather protection while allowing ventilation. Deep lugged rubber outsoles from reputable brands deliver reliable traction on wet and uneven terrain. A secure heel counter prevents sliding while a roomy toe box accommodates swelling and downhill footing. Testing the fit and understanding proper sizing is crucial to maximize stability and prevent blisters. Prioritize shoes that align with the type of hiking conditions you’ll be facing most often.

How to care for and maintain waterproof hiking shoes for women?

To extend the life of women’s waterproof hiking shoes, rinse off dirt after outdoor activities and allow them to air dry fully. Use a brush to remove dried mud or debris from the outsoles. Apply a waterproofing spray regularly, especially after exposure to gritty terrain, to maintain the membrane’s ability to repel moisture. Store the shoes with cedar shoe trees to absorb moisture and maintain shape. When not hiking, keep them in a breathable mesh bag rather than plastic to prevent mildew growth. With proper care after each adventure, waterproof hiking shoes will provide durable performance mile after mile on the trail.

Spread the word →

Search Insights

Have any questions?

Follow us

More Insights

Suscribe to Our Newsletter

Follow us

hikinglite logo white
© 2024 Hikinglite - All rights reserved

Start your ultralight journey!

Subscribe now to stay ahead of the pack with the most up-to-date ultralight gear content.