Three years ago, I found myself camped in a storm while hiking on the coast of North Wales in Portmeirion. I didn’t have waterproof hiking shoes with me. You will guess what happened. My feet were wet. This meant that my shoes couldn’t dry, as it rained the entire time.
What would have been a good stay, was a horrible one. Thanks to not having waterproof hiking boots. Needless to say, I got a pair and have been to North Wales every year since then. I have had the opportunity to put several hiking boots through their paces.
What I have found is that you want a boot to have all the usual characteristics, and then adding the waterproof part. Below is a review of 11 (we got rid of 4) waterproof hiking shoes. If you are on the market for a pair, this is the article you should be reading.
Waterproof Hiking Boots
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boot
The general consensus is that these boots are ready to go straight out of the box. The usual “break in” period that is needed for most shoes is not needed for these.
They offer a sturdy design, to take on harsh terrain. The upper exterior part of the boots offers coverage, with a hardened toe area.
The waterproof effect is courtesy of the leather exterior. As a general rule. Leather blocks water out. It gives great water resistance naturally. This can be further enhanced in manufacturing or with waterproofing techniques.
With the enclosure that usually comes with having a waterproof shoe, there is a silver lining. The tongue is made of breathable mesh. This allows you to stay ventilated, allowing your feet some much need air.
You can get these in the following colours: Delta/Red Velvet, Mud/Eve, Quarry/Cool Wave, Black/Poppy Red and in Cordovan/Crown Jewel.
You get the promised waterproofing. There is also the following:
- Rubber soles to take on rough surfaces.
- Treated with Omni shield for water and stain resistance.
- The EVA foam midsole is compression-moulded.
- Easy to clean up.
- Strong, sturdy and durable.
- Tend to bend the toe when walking.
(4.5 / 5)
Timberland Women’s White Ledge Mid Ankle Boot
I have been a huge fan of Timberland boots since I found out that, they are loved by military personnel across the world. If they are good enough to be taken to war, they sure are good enough for a hike.
The Timberland White Ledge Mid Ankle Boot are 100% leather. That sort of gives away that they are waterproof. They are designed with trail in mind. These are the sort of boots that you can take into most weather conditions and come out pleased.
The overall workmanship and design is what you would expect of Timberland.
- 100% Premium Full grain Leather.
- Rubber sole
- Removable insoles
- 2 1/2 lbs / 1.13 kg weight
- Smooth feel of the leather.
- Warm and insulated.
- Ready to go, straight out of the box.
- Don’t always do well in a long walk.
- May cause blistering if you are not careful with picking the perfect size.
(4.5 / 5)
Hi-Tec Women’s Skamania Mid-Rise Waterproof Hiking Boot
Hi-Tec are another fairly well-known brand when it comes to hiking boots. The upper exterior just around the foot is made of suede. As you go further up, the material is mesh. This ensures that they are breathable.
The sole is made of rubber. That’s of course key for safety of your soles as you tread on hard surfaces. The suede overlays are made with Dri-Tec waterproof membrane and padded collar.
The EVA compression is made to take hard impact. This is something that would be handy when out and about. The footbed is also removable, which makes it adjustable.
- Multi-directional traction on the rubber outsole.
- Equipped with a steel sole for enhanced stability.
- Ground gripping rubber outsole.
- EVA form midsole.
- Breathable waterproof membrane.
- Good grip
- Removable footbed
- A little clunky.
- More water-resistant than waterproof.
You can get these in Grey/Viola, Taupe/Dune/Violet Ice and in Natural/Pink.
(3.5 / 5)
Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot
This is another pick from a seasoned brand within the market. The sole is slightly thinner than the others, which makes the shoes lightweight. They are comfortable and have great cushioning, especially in the mid-sole.
The upper part of the shoe is made of full-grain leather and suede. This is what makes them waterproof. The lacing mechanism with the latches allows for a tight fit when needed.
There is a wide range of colours to choose from. This means that if you are after a more feminine choice. You will be able to get one. It is the same shoe that we have reviewed above, but with a few modifications and options.
It weighs 3.13 lbs / 1.42 kgs
It is available in the following colours:
- Aegean Blue/Cherrybomb
- Elk/Mountain Red
- Eve/Bright Copper
- Marsala/Sunset Red
- Oxford Tan/Flame
- Purple Dahlia/Dark Mirage
(4.5 / 5)
Merrell Women’s Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
The Merrell Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking boots are from another trusted brand. Merrell has been at the forefront of making great hiking gear for a while now. The aesthetics may not be as pleasing when you first see the boot.
It is a combination of 100% suede and leather mesh. The sole is rubber, with an elevated mid-sole. The elevation is about 1mm, with the heel going up an added 0.5mm.
It’s certainly not a zero drop shoe. There are removable insoles. The Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs all shock and adds stability. This is a key feature when on uneven terrain.
There is a protective rubber cap on the toes, for those moments we knock our feet against hard surfaces. The breathable mesh lining keeps water out and allows air to exit at will.
- Rubber sole.
- Removable insole
- Merrell air cushion in the heel
- Suede leather and mesh upper
- ECO+ blended EVA contoured footbed
- M Select DRY
- Waterproof (more like water-resistant)
- Need some breaking in time.
- Not completely Waterproof
You can get this one in Bungee Cord, Granite, Boulder/Blush, Espresso, Falcon and in Grey/Periwinkle. Who would have known that some of these are actual colours?
(4.5 / 5)
Manfen Women’s Mid-Rise Waterproof Hiking Boot
I am not very familiar with the brand at all. Unfortunately, there is not any literature that I could find without having to dig deep. You’d think manufacturers would want visibility.
On looking further, I think the company is actually Xpeti. For now, we will focus on the Manfen Women’s Mid-Rise Waterproof Hiking Boot.
It is one of those shoes that you look at and instantly think “this has got to be warm and waterproof”. The design looks compact and robust. They look quite heavy but are really not.
Their soles are made of rubber. The compactness of the design is such that you may want to buy at least half a size larger than you would usually buy. That is the general wisdom. The upper part of the shoe is synthetic, with a toe cap to protect you.
They are well insulated and warm enough to take on the snow. They can withstand up to -30 Degrees Celsius, which is 86 Degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rubber soles
- 200 g Thinsulate Insulation
- Breathable Membrane Lining
- Geared for rough and rocky terrain
- Very warm
- Great Under-sole grip
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Picking the right size may be an issue.
- May be too warm.
You can get these in grey, black, blue and 2 variations of camouflage.
(4.5 / 5)
Merrell Women’s Siren Edge Hiker
This is a very popular shoe. The sheer amount of choice that you get with this shoe is incredible. That’s perhaps what makes it a best seller. Another one from our tried and test Merrell.
The Merrell Siren Edge Hiker has a 100% mesh upper. It is equipped with the vibrate sole, that Merrell is known for. They are athletically styled and designed. The arch support is pretty good.
Although there have been complaints about quality and workmanship, this is not something I can agree with. They seem well made to me.
You get a lightweight shoe that you can take hiking, as well as go on a run with. They have great tread on the sole, offering you the grip that you need. The toe area offers you enough room to add a good pair of socks without needing to buy a size bigger.
- Vibram Sole.
- Breathable Mesh Lining.
- Shock-absorbing air cushion heel.
- ECO contoured footbed.
- Organic odour control.
- Keep feet smelling fresh
- Fairly warm, without being too hot.
- Fit for everyday use, versatile.
- May squeak, but that was a temperamental pair
(4.5 / 5)
Timberland Women’s Norwood Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot
We have another pick from Timberland. This time it comes in the form of the Norwood Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot. It is made of a combination of leather and textile. When it comes to waterproof, the word “leather” is always a good thing.
Textile is located just underneath the leather, which is premium waterproof. The boot rises up to just above the ankles.
On the downside, they tend to be a little slippery at times. They don’t require much of break-in time. You can use them straight out of the box. The running wisdom is that you ought to get used to hiking shoes before you take them on a long hike.
They provide relatively good arch support as well. Unlike other shoes of this type, they are lightweight.
- Incredibly waterproof.
- Rubber sole.
- Made of Leather and Textile.
- Have compression moulded EVA soles.
- Arch Support
- Breathable gusseted tongue
- The size has been reported to run smaller than the regular size. Not in my experience.
- Bit slippery at times
(4 / 5)
Ahnu Women’s Sugarpine Hiking Boot
This is one from another brand that is new to me. I hadn’t heard about Ahnu before. They do say never discount anything until you try it. Or in your case, it may be until you read about it.
At first sight, they don’t inspire much confidence, as they look slightly less robust than the other hiking shoes.
They are made of mesh, leather and suede. The suede part is what raises a bit of a concern when waterproofing is concerned. There are other materials that would work better. One of these, as previously stated is leather.
The boots are said to be engineered to fit your foot’s natural biomechanics. That allows you to place your foot in a balanced and stable position.
Contrary to what the look suggests, these shoes are actually well made. There goes that scepticism we have for new products. It has a very casual look and feel to it.
Another incredibly positive thing is that it offers great breathability. They also offer incredible arch support.
Consider going half a size up when ordering. This will leave room for socks.
- Vibram rubber sole.
- Made of mesh, leather and suede.
- Numentum Technology for a stable stride.
- Great ankle support and stability.
- Rubber toe protector.
- TPU stability heel clip.
- Self-cleaning lugs.
- May not fare so well on tougher terrain.
It is available in Dark Slate, Blue Spell, Mulch, Anemone, Astral Aura, Dark Grey, and Deep Teal.
(4 / 5)
KEEN Women’s Terradora Mid Wp-w Hiking Boot
Here’s another brand that I wasn’t familiar with. They are not very big in the UK market. At least that is my excuse. The KEEN Women’s Terradora Mid Wp-w Hiking Boot is made of a synthetic upper and a rubber sole.
The synthetic upper raises a red flag when it comes to waterproofing. How waterproof can synthetic ever really be?
The company has great customer service, as well as a good returns policy. That’s always a comforting factor when trying out a new brand. They generally feel a little tight when you first put them on. After a little breaking in, they are a good fit to size.
The synthetic part tends to wear out before the rest of the boot, which is a bummer. It sucks to see a good sole go to waste.
They have a leather lining. Just the lining. More leather would have been be
- Rubber sole.
- Breathable leather lining
- Metatomical EVA footbed
- Various colours to choose from
- Great price
- Tend to fray
- Synthetic is a letdown
- Not completely waterproof
- Not very durable.
You can get these in various colour shades.
(3 / 5)
Vasque Women’s Breeze Iii GTX Waterproof Hiking Boot
Finally, we have the Vasque Women’s Breeze Iii GTX Waterproof Hiking Boot. It also has a synthetic upper. Red flag! No one wants to see synthetic uppers on waterproof boots.
There is leather, onto which the synthetic upper is sewn. The Vibram soles mean that you will have more grip through all sorts of weather conditions in these. The membranes allow for good breathability.
The prevailing wisdom is that you should order at least half a size large than you usually wear. They’ll either fit you perfectly of leave just enough room for your favourite hiking socks. The GORE-TEX waterproofing keeps water out.
The midsole is cushioned, to add comfort. There is an extra asymmetric curvature which gives more room to the toes.
- Lug Sole sole
- High-abrasion leather uppers
- Waterproof Gore-Tex®
- Comfort Membranes
- Dual-density midsoles
- Vibram Contact Grip system outsoles
- Weight: 17.5 oz
- Geared for mixed weather condition and varied terrain
- Great traction
- Good arch support
- Run fairly small.
(4 / 5)