10 Best Lightweight Hiking Shoes For Women in 2022

Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic on

If clunkiness is not an option on your daily nature wanderings, super Janes like you had better be in the best women’s lightweight hiking shoes. Must-buys from this empowering corner average around 700 g per pair, highlighting freedom and bolstering momentum as you go.

Over 200 pairs of female-centric hikers have been tested (by us) for this compelling selection. There’s enough to go gaga about here, whether you need a speed-boosting all-rounder, an amphibious shoe, or a budget-friendly pair.

How we pick the best lightweight hiking shoes for women

Rounding up the best women’s lightweight hikers, though rewarding, is no easy feat. Here’s how we go about it:

  • For us to be as unbiased as possible with our reviews, we purchase lightweight hiking shoes for women with our own funds.
  • We hike on varying terrain for several days to determine which women’s lightweight kicks deserve the limelight.
  • We reflect opinions from hundreds of regular hikers and professional gear testers in our comprehensive reviews.

As a result, every women’s lightweight hiking shoe receives a 0-100 rating, a.k.a. CoreScore. This scoring system is integral to our selection process.

Best lightweight hiking shoes overall for women

Here’s our crème de la crème overall, and it’s none other than the Salomon OUTline GTX.

Besting over 100 pairs of women’s lightweight hikers, the OUTline GTX has a remarkably light construction. Case in point: the shoe in question reads about 300 g per shoe on the scale, making it among the lightest hikers with Gore-Tex waterproofing!

Speaking of its impermeable confines, the OUTline GTX is absolutely waterproof. Nothing got drenched within its padded interior, including our socks and tootsies. It also fenced out every bead of moisture through dewy grass and mildly murky puddles.

Tons of comfort await you in the OUTline GTX, too. It didn’t need breaking in, so we felt quite compelled to hike the extra mile in sheer plushness. Props to its soft collar and instep for not giving us blisters or hotspots!

Now, despite possessing a Gore-Tex liner, the OUTline GTX gave us more than enough breathability throughout our adventures. Under the heat of the sun (the temperature was around 85°F at the time), our feet didn’t sweat at all!

So, what are you waiting for? Grab this lightweight doozy right now, and stun your girlfriends with your daring leaps!

See our full review and facts

Clunk? Sluggish strides? These terms are unknown to the agile Terrex Swift R2 GTX from Adidas!

Amazingly lightweight at no more than 620 g per pair, this sporty Adidas kick gives the Swift part in its name justice. Whether on rugged terrain or level surfaces, the Terrex Swift R2 GTX will move with you with exciting mobility!

Straight from the box, the Terrex Swift R2 GTX felt like an absolute dream! On mile one, this remarkable Adidas offering pampered our tootsies without any hint of warm spots or chafing. Its premium feel may be attributed to its snug-but-not-tight midfoot section. We also want to highlight its collar—it made us feel like royalty with its cushy padding.

Against intrusive moisture, the Adidas Terrex Swift R2 GTX flexed its lady muscles on us. Indeed, its Gore-Tex liner shielded us from all manners of wetness, whether from the moderate rain we encountered or that shallow stream we had to negotiate.

One potential problem you might have in the Terrex Swift R2 GTX is its not-so-protective midsole, particularly around the forefoot. We felt the pokes of sharper rocks on it, so you might want to keep to the manicured path.

See our full review and facts

Best women's lightweight hiking shoes for speed hiking

Do you want to see your besties in a cloud of dust as you gracefully bolt past them? If so, lose whatever you have on and sport the Salomon OUTline GTX instead!

A shoe built for speedy pursuits, this Salomon must-have weighs no more than 600 g per pair. This remarkable lightness and the shoe’s springy sole unit transformed our turtle steps into quick strides. We were even able to sprint without getting tired!

In terms of cushioning, this fast hiker didn’t disappoint. Devoid of a break-in period, the Salomon OUTline GTX comforted our feet to the nines right from the get-go. Underfoot, this queen of a hiking shoe spoiled our feet through and through. A worn-in tennis shoe or sneaker, this is, indeed!

Its brilliance in the comfort department is matched with the shoe’s relentless Gore-Tex waterproofing. It’s true—the Salomon OUTline GTX barred out wetness like an apex she-predator. If its stellar results through our water-immersion tests are anything to go by, this shoe is the real deal in the rain.

The OUTline GTX also comes with breathable confines despite being a fully waterproof hiker. Yes, you can kiss sweaty feet goodbye in this speedy gem!

See our full review and facts

Fast movements in a Merrell hiking shoe? You’re looking at it right now, and it’s none other than the Moab Speed!

Lighter than our main pick for speed by a few grams, the Moab Speed really lives up to its genius name. You can also thank its extra-bouncy sole unit for the boost in mobility that you’re destined to get out of this Merrell hiker.

Another aspect about the Moab Speed that greatly contributed to our nimble steps is its rockered construction. On level ground (think pavements and groomed nature tracks), the shoe felt very fluid. There’s also the shoe’s enhanced flexibility, which made a cakewalk out of tricky low elevations!

As a non-waterproof Merrell shoe, the Moab Speed shouldn’t be the ideal kick for wet-weather hikes. That said, during our testing, where it became drizzly all of a sudden, the shoe repelled moisture quite well!

Our main excursion took place around the rockier parts of the backcountry. We took that opportunity to put the Moab Speed to the test stability-wise. We’re happy to report that this trail shoe is pretty stable. Both on stubby rocks and gnarly roots, the shoe gave us sufficient footing and never lost it.

See our full review and facts

Women's lightweight hiking shoes with best comfort

Oh, Merrell Moab 2 GTX—how plush you are!

The best description we can give this amazing low-top hiker in terms of comfort is “immensely lavish!” It’s true—the Moab 2 GTX took our breath away the moment we slipped into it. From its soft-but-hugging heel to its pressure-free toe box, this spectacular gem ceased not from pampering our gentle feet. And all that comfort was available to us right on day one!

Weighing no more than 750 g a pair, the Moab 2 GTX helped us navigate in lightness and safety. Its Vibram outsole latched on to virtually every surface we came across—from perennially moist mulch to dry rocky ground. And while its heel brake is on the milder side, it managed to descend muddy slopes with us without slipping.

Speaking of negotiations, the Moab 2 GTX excelled both on rubbly trails and level terrain. Its beveled heel and rockered toe zone also made traversals on man-made surfaces relatively easy and pain-free!

The shoe also gave us a mic-drop moment when it passed our water-immersion test. Not one bead of moisture got inside the Moab 2 GTX’s resplendently comfy interior. The test lasted for 10 minutes, mind you!

See our full review and facts

About a palm’s length behind our top pick for comfort is the Targhee II from KEEN.

While it required a break-in period, this earthy hiker translated to an immense level of comfort for us. After hiking in it for about half a day, the Targhee II opened itself and gave us tongue-tying plushness in all directions! We give its super-cushy footbed extra credit here, though.

You won’t be able to tell by its name, but the Targhee II is a watertight hiking shoe. It’s not like we had any doubts as to its waterproofing, but after multiple creek-crossings in it, we still got pretty impressed with its highly impermeable shell!

Equally impressive about the KEEN Targhee II was the way it brilliantly cut through the muddiness of the terrain we had to cover. Its multi-angled lugs supplied us with more than enough grip on wet rock, while its semi-aggressive heel brake allowed us to crisscross down stony inclines safely.

We also want to give the Targhee II’s toughness the spotlight it deserves. Yes, its grungy upper isn’t just for show because it can withstand the harshness of the trail like a dominant boss!

See our full review and facts

Best women's lightweight hiking shoes for water hiking

Is being one with nature in inclement conditions your thing? If so, be the best water-walker you can be in the Astral TR1 Junction!

The Aquaman (or should it be Aquadame?) of hikers, the TR1 Junction ebbed and flowed with us along the beach and through rushing streams and creeks. Engineered with its own aqueduct of sorts, this amphibious Astral gem shed water like a real champ with every step we made.

Weighing about 270 g per shoe, the TR1 Junction is extremely light without giving the impression of flimsiness. And because it actively ejects water as you go, the water shoe in question will never be clunky, particularly right after emerging from your go-to stream!

Fresh from the box, the TR1 Junction brought down on us heaps of comfort! Never did we encounter rubbing within its mesh upper, nor did we sustain blisters around the heel. And its collar? Richly supple!

But is the TR1 Junction as sticky as they say? We can confirm that it is! The shoe supplied us with highly convincing grip on wet pebbles, as well as on mossy roots. On boulders, it didn’t disappoint either. Incredible!

And finally, we want to boast about the TR1 Junction’s spacious toe box. So, if you’re tired of getting squished toes while traipsing through shallow waters, this is the kick for you!

See our full review and facts

Breathing down the neck of our water hiking top pick is the Hydro Moc from Merrell.

While not the best-looking water hiker, the Merrell Hydro Moc can slither itself onto your radar with its ninja-like per-shoe weight of 155 g! It’s the kind of lightness that you need when moving sluggishly in the water is unbecoming of a lady for you!

Speaking of movement, the Hydro Moc’s circular lugs can keep you on the go on slippery surfaces with enchanting sticking prowess. On low-level slabs, the shoe afforded us tenacious grip. Lightly mossy boulders were also quite easy to tackle in this Merrell kick!

Comfort-wise, the Merrell Hydro Moc is a straightforward affair. While its rubberized upper is not lined at all, its interior felt smooth to the touch nonetheless. Its non-removable footbed also gave us that drooly comfort, which most inserts struggle to provide.

Now, a fair warning: this water hiking shoe has not a lot of support, especially around the midfoot. That said, it’s a great hiker if you want to strengthen your arches.

As a virtually one-piece footwear, the Merrell Hydro Moc has a durably solid construction. In short: we’re sure it will last long!

See our full review and facts

Best budget lightweight hiking shoes for women

If there is one lightweight hiking shoe for women that can ultimately dispel the notion that trail kicks are expensive, it should be none other than the Terrex AX3 from Adidas! It’s true: its 80-dollar MSRP makes the shoe in question quite a steal (even pre-deal)!

Matching its insanely low price is the Terrex AX3’s lightness. Yes, its lack of waterproofing and streamlined sole unit leave the shoe at a measly 600 g a pair! That said, Adidas engineers may have made its toe box a bit too narrow to our liking.

The Adidas Terrex AX3’s must-own status can also be linked to its buzzworthy comfort. Its pampering interior requires several days to loosen up fully, but past that phase, the shoe has loads of plushness to give!

“Viciously tenacious” is how we’d describe the Terrex AX3’s Continental outsole. Light climbs felt secure and organic on it, thanks to its front-facing ridges and heavy-duty low-profile lugs. Meandering down mulchy slopes was also a walk in the park with the shoe’s femme fatale of a heel brake!

The Terrex AX3 having no waterproof liner translated to breezy hikes for us. Every stride quelled our fears of ending up with sweaty feet.

See our full review and facts

What’s a spunky Columbia shoe that captivates both in performance and asking price called? Why, the Facet 15, what else!?

In terms of MSRP, the Facet 15 is among Columbia’s budget-friendliest. Case in point: you can get a hold of this sporty hiker at no more than $100. (Of course, you can get it for way less if you purchase it through us!)

Practically as light as the Terrex AX3, this Columbia hiker springs into action with its stout sole minus the clunkiness. You see, the Facet 15 has a rather chunky midsole, yet on feet, it’s anything but heavy!

Now, the Columbia Facet 15 is as bouncy as it is comfy. Underfoot, its insole cushioned our tootsies without that drowning feeling. Around the heel and instep, we noted no chafing or rubbing, and the shoe’s toe box felt snug but never restrictive. Amazing!

If you’re unsure about the Facet 15’s adhesive performance, allow us to reassure you that, despite its shallow lugs, the shoe is mighty grippy! We might not hike in it on extremely muddy tracks, but as far as dry trails and pavements are concerned, its stickiness is beyond sufficient!

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Jovana Subic
Jovana Subic

Whether it's a vertical kilometre or an ultra, climbing in the Alps or exploring local mountains, Jovana uses every opportunity to trade walls and concrete for forests and trails. She logs at least 10h/week on trails, with no off-season, and 4x more on research on running and running shoes. With a background in physics and engineering management, she prefers her running spiced with data.