If there’s one thing you definitely need when you go backpacking ladies it’s a pair of great shoes.
No matter whether you’re trekking the length of the United States or heading on a long overseas adventure, making sure you’ve got a decent pair of footwear that’s going to last will be key to you enjoying the experience as much as possible.
The best shoes for backpacking need to be, at the very least, comfortable, durable, and lightweight, because there really is nothing worse than being in a remote location – be that on the trail or on the travel – and finding your shoes unreliable or unsuitable.
From backpacking boots to hiking boots, hiking shoes to trail runners however, it can be hard to navigate the vast amount of styles, shapes and brands on the market, meaning often the hige choice can be more bewildering than useful!
And so, to help you cut to the chase and make the right selection for your next adventure, I’ve picked out 6 of the best shoes for backpacking especially for us ladies, meaning you’ll be able to rely on your footwear no matter where you’re headed.
- The 3 Best Headlamps for Backpacking
- The 6 Best Backpacker Sleeping Bags
- The 7 Best Tents for Backpackers
This page contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.
#1 Salomon Women’s Quest Prime GTX Backpacking Boot
Kicking off the list is probably the most robust and sturdy shoe for backpacking I’ve chosen and that is the Salomon Women’s Quest Prime GTX Backpacking Boot.
Aimed for those extreme adventures, such as tackling very unstable ground or long distances daily, these are a serious pair of boots perfect for taking on the elements.
Rubber toe caps prevent abrasions and bumps on rocky ground and add to the great durability of these shoes.
In addition, the Salomon Women’s Quest Prime GTX Backpacking Boots are totally waterproof – to the point where you can cross streams and not get your feet wet – so offer ideal weather protection if you’re going to be backpacking in less hospitable climates.
With an excellent comfort rating, little need to break-in and an unparalleled breathability – thanks to wicking polyester linings and seam-sealed Gore-Tex® membranes that allow moisture to escape – the Salomon Women’s Quest Prime GTX Backpacking Boots certainly are one of the best shoes for backpacking.
But perhaps what makes these boots stick out from the crowd most is their weight.
For a shoe of this strength and robustness, you’d expect a heavy footprint, but the Salomon Women’s Quest Prime GTX are some of the lightest backpacking boots around, with an individual shoe weight of just 490g.
For us ladies who travel and need to stay streamlined, this is a really godsend as even when you’re not wearing the Salomon Women’s Quest Prime GTX Backpacking Boots, they’re unlikely to weigh you down.
#2 KEEN Women’s Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot
Moving from a full backpacking boot to a more compact hiking boot, time and time again the KEEN Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boots are given rave reviews from both hikers and backpackers across the world who celebrate this delightfully comfortable shoe.
In fact, the KEEN Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot is hard to fault given its waterproof and durable qualities, along with the great traction offered by its supportive nylon shanks and carbon rubber outsoles.
These shoes have a 4mm multidirectional lugs, as well as secure-fit lace system, that combine to offer a superb sturdiness and support as your foot is locked into the bed of the shoe.
But perhaps where KEEN Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boot stands out the most is in its supreme levels of comfort.
Repeatedly reviewers talk about the lack of blisters they received while backpacking in these shoes (read. none!) and the lack of break-in time they required.
In addition, the great cushioning and arch support of the KEEN Targhee II Mid WP Hiking Boots set them apart and, along with a great level of ankle support, puts this boot above many others in the mid height category when it comes to the best shoes for backpacking.
#3 Hi-Tec Women’s Bandera Mid-Rise Waterproof Hiking Boot
Undoubtedly one of the best things about the Hi-Tec Women’s Bandera Mid-Rise Waterproof Hiking Boot is the price, which certainly make these one of the best shoes for backpacking on a budget.
And not only is the price good, but these shoes also measure up well in a number of other areas including waterproofness, sturdiness and comfort.
In fact, the impact-absorbing compression-molded EVA midsole of the Hi-Tec Women’s Bandera Mid-Rise Waterproof Hiking Boot offers extreme comfort and their steel shank gives a good level of stability when tackling unstable terrain.
Perhaps best however is the lace-up system, which features rustproof hardware for a super secure and long-lasting fit.
On a less practical note, I also really like the charcoal colour scheme this boot runs in too!
#4 Merrell Women’s Siren Edge Hiker
Moving down from boots to shoes, sometimes when backpacking what you really want is something light and streamlined that you can move swiftly and nimbly in.
When you’re travelling, this may be especially true if you want to minimise your footwear and pack something you can perhaps use to walk around a city or a cathedral as well as some decent countryside.
Enter the Merrell Women’s Siren Edge Hiker, one of the best shoes for backpacking with its contoured footbed and air-cushioned heels, which offer super shock-absorption.
Neither heavy or clunky, these shoes are great if you want to stay light on your feet without compromising on either grip or stability which they give by way of their rubber soles and excellent tread.
With both an organic odor control, as well mesh uppers, the Merrell Women’s Siren Edge Hiker offers superb breathability and would be one of the best shoes for backpacking in particularly hot climates where hiking in wet weather would be less of a probability.
#5 Salomon Women’s Ellipse GTX Hiking Shoe
If you’re wanting a hiking shoe, rather than a boot for your next adventure, but still want something totally waterproof, then the Salomon Women’s Ellipse GTX Hiking Shoe is definitely the one for you.
With Gore-Tex® waterproof membranes, you can be totally assured your feet will stay 100% dry in these shoes, which are designed for shorter hikes and a medium terrain.
Praised for their comfort and low height, which allow a good range of movement and flexibility, the Salomon Women’s Ellipse GTX are definitely one of the best shoes for backpacking with excellent durability and moulded arch shanks for top-level support.
They are also very breathable and the price is pretty good too!
#6 Saucony Women’s Grid Excursion TR9 Trail Running Shoe
And last but not least on the list comes the Saucony Women’s Grid Excursion TR9 Trail Running Shoe.
Moving down from a hiking shoe to a trail running shoe, if you’re anything like me, then sometimes the lightest and most versatile shoe is what you’re after and in this case, a trail runner can sometimes be the best shoe for backpacking.
I love Saucony shoes in general, as I find their stability and support fantastic, and the Saucony Women’s Grid Excursion TR9 Trail Running Shoe is no exception.
In addition to this, the range of styles this shoe comes in, from neutral grey tones right up to vibrant colourful collections, is great for us ladies who want to look good on the trail or the travel.
But not only will our feet be looking good in the Saucony Women’s Grid Excursion TR9 Trail Running Shoe, but they’ll also be kept nice and cool as well, as these shoes offer unparalleled breathability care of the wide mesh panels, which simultaneously help to keep out dirt and debris.
The cushioning on these shoes is also excellent, meaning they’re a firm contender on my list of the best shoes for backpacking.
PIN IT FOR LATER!
And now it’s over to you.
Do you have a favourite brand of backpacking shoe and are you a boot or a trail runner kind of girl?
Please do join the discussion below…