If you have wide feet, you will know that it can be a struggle to find shoes that fit comfortably. For hiking, it is even more important to find boots that will fit wide feet well because of how much walking you will be doing in them. If you get hiking boots that are too narrow, this could put you at risk of damaging your feet. And hiking in the winter brings up all sorts of extra challenges that can put your feet under more strain. If you’re looking for the best winter hiking boots for women with wide feet, then read on for our guide.
Why are the right shoes important for wide feet?
The standard sizing of many shoes isn’t made to accommodate wide feet. This can mean that your feet get squeezed from the sides and your toes get pushed together. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it also puts you at risk of a variety of foot conditions.
These can include:
- crossover toe
Finding the right pair of shoes, especially for walking long distances and over rough terrain, is vital if you want to make sure that your feet stay healthy. It is also important that you make sure to measure your feet. A large number of people don’t wear the right size shoe, and your shoe size can change due to age, pregnancy, or other factors. The wrong shoe size can wreak havoc on your feet and can exacerbate all of the potential issues that can arise from having wide feet.
What to look for in winter hiking boots
There are a few different types of winter hiking boots, and the ones you choose will depend on what you’re hoping to do. It is always a good idea to have a think before you start shopping about the sorts of activities that you are likely to be taking part in so that you can make sure you get the right pair of hiking boots for your needs. There are some key things to think about specifically with winter hiking boots that can help you to make a decision about which pair is right for you.
In the winter it is, of course, important that your feet are kept warm. In fact, if your feet get cold enough for too long, you could be at risk of developing frostbite. Many hiking boot manufacturers will display a temperature rating for their boots. These ratings may not be 100% accurate, but they can be a useful guide when comparing different hiking boots.
Another key element for winter hiking boots is how waterproof they are. Your feet getting wet can be a problem at any time of the year, but it is particularly vital in the winter. This is because when your feet get wet and then get cold, it can cause some quite serious problems, such as trench foot and other non-freezing cold injuries. Many hiking boots come with a GORE-TEX or similar material as a lining to provide waterproofing both from water that comes in from the outside and moisture from your sweat. The last thing you need in cold weather is for your boot to get wet, inside or outside.
It can be better to go for an over-ankle boot, simply because it is more comfortable and stable. A higher cuff will give your ankle more support and prevent you from twisting it. On the other hand, more material on your boot means that it is going to be heavier, which might not be ideal for longer hikes. Many boots with lower cuffs provide stability instead through padding and shanks, which can compensate.
4) Compatibility with winter traction aids
Not everyone will need their winter hiking boots to be compatible with traction aids, such as crampons, but if you think this is something you may potentially need in the future, it can be better to get a compatible pair now. Otherwise, you’ll have to buy twice.
There is always the question of whether to go for leather or synthetic materials. The benefit of leather is that it is very easy to clean, durable, and naturally waterproof. On the other hand, synthetic materials can be much lighter and can allow for more flexibility. Many hiking boots use a mix of leather and synthetic materials to get the best of both worlds.
If you are going hiking over rough terrain, having the best grip on your hiking boot is going to prevent you from tripping or slipping. A lug sole works like a car tire, in that it is made of rubber and has deep grooves that are good for traction. Some lug designs can work better than others and many boot manufacturers have their own proprietary designs.
A hiking boot might be fine when you walk for short distances, but once you are on a long hike you can really start to notice the weight. Making sure that you don’t get a boot that is too heavy for you to walk comfortably in for a long distance can make all the difference to how much you enjoy your hike.
Having the right kind of lacing system can be very important, especially for women with wide feet. A boot with eyelets at the forefoot and the ankle mean that you can really adjust the fit and be secure in the knowledge that it won’t come loose. A locking eyelet can be particularly helpful.
9) Reinforced toe cap
It can be amazing how many times you end up stubbing your toe on a hike. So having some reinforcement in the toe cap of your hiking boots can help you to bounce off those knocks without any pain or damage.
The outer sole is, of course, important because it provides grip. The midsole can often be overlooked when searching for hiking boots, but it can be just as important. The base that the midsole provides can make the difference between a comfortable hike and one where your feet are aching halfway through. Look for cushioning that has some stiffness to it so that your feet don’t sink, but rather are held in place and supported.
With all of that in mind, let’s take a look at what’s on offer for women with wide feet in the hiking boot world.
An overview of our 10 best winter hiking boots for women with wide feet (in no particular order)
- Salomon 4D 3 GTX – lots of support, lots of grip, very adjustable
- Timberland White Ledge Hiker Mid Ankle – good all-rounder, durable
- Durand II Mid Waterproof Boot – wide toe box, lots of grip, durable
- Scorpia Zodiac Plus GTX – good for mountaineering, lots of support, lots of grip
- Lowa Renegade GTX Mid WS – wide-fit options, very adjustable, lots of support
- Vasque Breeze LT GTX – super lightweight, lots of grip, supple
- Hoka One One Kaha Gore-Tex – very comfortable, very adjustable, lots of grip
- Hi-Tech Altitude VI Lite Mid Waterproof – comfortable, breathable, lots of grip
- Topo Athletic Trailventure Waterproof – running-shoe inspired, lots of grip, wide toe box
- Danner Mountain Light II – durable, stable, wide toe box
Best winter hiking boots for women with wide feet
1) Salomon 4D 3 GTX
These boots are absolutely perfect for the winter. They have a high-rise cuff that comes right over your ankle, which will give you plenty of support. Because of this, they are classed as a midweight boot, so you shouldn’t expect them to be featherweight, but for a standard hike it is usually worth a little extra weight if you are gaining so much support.
They are made of a mix between Nubuck leather and GORE-TEX. This has the potential to make them slightly less durable than a boot that’s made of a single material, just because of the seams. Wherever there are seams, there is the potential for a hole and for water to get in. With that being said, these boots are treated with a water repellent solution that can be reapplied. The mix of materials also means that these boots don’t need breaking in. They are comfortable straight out of the box.
The boots have a deep and aggressive lug pattern, which means that they can keep you stable even on slippery surfaces and they also have a rubber-reinforced toe for uneven surfaces. Wherever you are, you can be sure that you will stay on two feet and stable wearing these boots. They have a slightly raised heel that can feel a little strange at first but it can make all the difference once you’ve been on your hike for a long time.
For women with wide feet, these are probably one of the best boots in this style that you can buy, simply because of the customization of the fit. They have four lower eyelets on the very flexible forefoot. This means that you can truly customize the fit around your foot, no matter how wide it is, Above the lower four eyelets is a locking eyelet which will make sure that the fit doesn’t shift. The padding around the heel also keeps the back of your foot firmly in place, so that overall it really does feel like these boots are hugging your foot.
They are a little more pricey than other winter hiking boots you can get, but that price can be totally worth it if they are going to keep your feet comfortable and injury-free.
2) Timberland White Ledge Hiker Mid Ankle
These are a lower-cost option but they are a good quality all-round hiking boot. They are made of 100% waterproof Better Leather, which makes them pretty durable. If you’re going to be going for shorter hikes on a regular basis, you will probably value the durability. There are few seams because they are made with a single material and those seams that remain are specially treated so that they are sealed.
They have a shock-absorbing midsole and outsole which makes them perfect for a variety of terrains and they also have a rubber lug pattern that can help you keep your balance even if it is slippery.
There is a thick padding on the collar as well as the upper part of the tongue, which can give you valuable support. But this is a mid-ankle boot, not a full-ankle. This won’t give you quite as much ankle support as a full-ankle boot, but it does mean that they are lightweight, especially for a full-leather boot.
3) Durand II Mid Waterproof Boot
These are another mid-rise boot but they do have a contoured heel lock at the back for extra support. They also have a stability shank that can help to keep your foot even more stable. The footbed has arch support to really keep your foot in the best position. So if stability is what you’re looking for, but you don’t want to go for the heavier full-ankle, this could be the right boot for you.
They are made of full-grade leather which makes them waterproof and durable and they also have a waterproof breathable membrane that allows moisture out but not in. They have a rubber outsole with multi-directional lugs. The multi-directional aspect is especially important for keeping you from slipping on rough or slippery terrain.
In terms of fit, they have speed hooks to make lace adjustment easy and quick. This, combined with the wide toe-box, means that these work really well for women with wide feet.
4) Scorpia Zodiac Plus GTX
This is a midweight high-rise boot that is ideal for more adventurous hikes on mountainous terrain. It has an ankle collar that hugs the ankle, providing very good ankle support. This is perfect in situations where you are at risk of rolling your ankle. This extra material does make it heavier than more lightweight boots but it is a decent trade-off for the amount of extra support that you get. It also has a 3D EVA midsole that works like a shank but is more lightweight.
It has a sticky rubber-compound sole with heavy lugs that is compatible with crampons. In many ways, this is a cross between a mountain boot and a hiking boot, so if your hikes are likely to take you on a variety of terrains, including scrambling, this boot is worth the investment.
It is made of suede leather, rather than full-grain leather. This makes it more supple and it does mean that it is great for wide feet. These boots are designed to fit snuggly and the leather stretches enough to accommodate a wider fit. It also has a GORE-TEX inner lining which allows for breathable waterproofing from the inside and the outside.
5) Lowa Renegade GTX Mid WS
This is a mid-height boot and is more lightweight than the higher-rise boots. While it can be a worry that this will offer less support, in this case, there is enough for it not to matter too much. It has a Nubuck leather upper and GORE-TEX lining so it is waterproof and breathable. The Nubuck leather is supple enough that it doesn’t need much breaking in. It also has a highly-cushioned sole and a mono-wrap frame to really hug your feet in. So these boots will keep your feet supported and comfortable.
The sole is made from Vibram rubber and has a tread pattern that is sticky but also has some bite. So these boots will keep you stable on a variety of different terrains that other boots could struggle with. They are also sturdy enough for you to go on longer hikes carrying extra weight.
For women with wide feet, these boots are absolutely perfect. The supple leather and the 3 sets of locking eyelets mean that you can really customize the fit and they also have a roomy toe box. Not only that, but you can also buy them specifically in a wide-fit version.
6) Vasque Breeze LT GTX
If you really, really want a lightweight boot you can’t go wrong with the Vasque Breeze. They are designed to be super-lightweight. The upper is made from synthetic microfiber, which is much lighter than leather, and they also have a GORE-TEX inner mesh. It is a mid-height boot but it has a lot of cushioning around the heel and ankle, which are both stiff, so you don’t lose much support.
The sole has a Vibram Mega Grip tread, which is designed to keep you stable regardless of how slippery or unstable the terrain you’re hiking on is. It also has cushioning underfoot so you should be able to carry a fair amount of weight.
These boots are breathable, even with the GORE-TEX lining and their light weight means that you can go on long, even multi-day, hikes without your boots starting to drag. The GORE-TEX lining means that they are water-resistant, although the outer mesh lining isn’t as waterproof as leather.
The lacing and the material are supple enough to accommodate wide feet, and the comfort and cushioning mean that these boots will keep your feet protected and safe.
7) Hoka One One Kaha Gore-Tex
If you want to prioritize comfort, then look no further than these boots. They look completely different from any other hiking boots you see and that is because they are designed specifically to keep your feet comfortable, using a proprietary foam midsole. Your feet stay snugly fitted with the ability to move enough to keep them comfortable. This means that you can hike for longer without your feet getting sore.
They are high at the ankle so your ankle will also stay supported and they have a rockered sole. What this means is that you can walk in a rolling motion without having to bend at the ball of your foot. They also have a wide platform on the sole, which helps to prevent your ankle from rolling. So they are perfect for hiking on rough or rocky terrain.
These boots are made from full-grain leather and they have a Gore-Tex lining, making them very waterproof. They also have a Vibram MegaGrip rubber sole that has fairly shallow lugs but is able to cope with wet and slippery terrain.
Where these boots really shine for women with wide feet, however, is just how adjustable they are. You have two choices of upper eyelets. The ones further forward will give you a tighter fit across the top, whereas those further back will give you a snug heel box. There are also another set of eyelets at the top of the boot so that you can tighten or loosen the ankle collar. Regardless of the shape of your feet, you will be able to find a comfortable fit in these boots.
8) Hi-Tec Altitude VI Lite Mid Waterproof
These are lightweight mid-height hiking boots. They are made from a mixture of suede and mesh, which makes them light and breathable. But at the same time, they are waterproof, with a Dri-Tec breathable membrane. They are also covered in a layer of i-Shield coating, which repels water and is also stain-resistant.
This is also a comfortable boot. Inside, it has OrthoLite Impressions slow-recovery foam, which molds to the shape of your foot but still has some firmness. This means that it gives your foot the cushioning, support, and freedom of movement it needs to stay comfortable on long hikes. It also has a fork shank for extra support and to keep your foot in the best position.
The outsole is made of Michelin rubber and has enough stickiness and grip to handle a variety of terrains. At the back of the boot is a “kick-off zone”, which is a protective bit of rubber so that the boot doesn’t get damaged when you kick it off with your other foot. A nice touch!
For women with wide feet, the lacing system combined with the pliable material of the boot allows for a good amount of adjustability. The lacing system uses ghillies where the laces are fed through loops of material attached to the side of the boot, rather than holes in the boot itself. This allows for a greater amount of variability in the width of your lacing. This is combined with a set of eyelets at the top of the boot.
9) Topo Athletic Trailventure Waterproof
This is another lightweight hiking boot and its design is inspired by running shoes. With that being said, it boasts a large amount of support and comfort. The midsoles are thick and made from ZipFoam, which provides a cushioned base that is also solid enough to keep your foot supported. There is also an over-the-ankle molded foam collar and padding around the tongue. All of this together keeps your foot and ankle in a stable and supported position. The toe is slightly rockered, allowing you to walk in a rolling motion.
It has a Vibram outsole with deep lugs, and plenty of them. This means that you can stay in control even in rough or slippery terrain. The stable and solid base combined with the rock plate means that you can tackle rocky terrain with ease.
The pliable and supportive padding combined with the wide toe box makes these boots perfect for women with wide feet as there is enough room for your feet to get into a good position and the cushioning to hold them in place.
10) Danner Mountain Light II
This is a classic retro-style hiking boot, but with the construction to allow you to wear them on a wide range of hikes. The upper is made from full-grain leather, which makes them both durable and waterproof, although it also does make them a little heavier. They also have a GORE-TEX inner lining, which makes them waterproof inside and out. There are no openings in the tongue area, which stops water and debris from getting inside the boot.
The molded polyurethane instep is perforated to allow for some breathability and it also fully cups the heel to give you extra support. The super-wide base gives you a wider platform to enhance your stability. This allows you to hike comfortably on rocky or uneven terrain. The outer sole is made from Vibram Kletterlift rubber. This provides both shock-absorption and grip and stops you from slipping even when the ground is wet.
The 650 fit is perfect for women with wide feet. It allows for ample room in the toe box and the lace-to-toe style lacing systems mean that you have a decent amount of adjustability. These boots are also recraftable so they can last you for a very long time.
There are so many options out there for women with wide feet to find the best winter hiking boot for whatever type of hiking you are planning on doing. Whether you’re looking for a hiking boot with loads of support, or one that’s super lightweight, or one that’s suitable for scrambling over rocks, there is an option out there for you. So take a look at which one looks right for you and then get out there and enjoy yourself!