We’ve given over plenty of column space to the best hiking clothes out there, but it’s generally true that there are some big differences between men’s and women’s gear. Some hiking brands go by the motto of “shrink it and pink it” when it comes to women’s lines, while others put a lot of work into making high-performing, lightweight and stylish gear meant for women who love to hit the trails. It can be hard to know which brands have put in the hours and which have gone through the motions, so we’ve put together a list of the best women’s hiking clothes to help kit you out for next season’s wild adventures. Read on for our top picks in everything from footwear to outerwear, all built for women.
Best women’s hiking boots: Scarpa Zodiac Plus
When it comes down to it, hiking is all about boots on the ground and while you might be able to substitute premium gear with clothes you already own, you definitely need a dedicated pair of women's hiking boots to truly tackle the trails.
We rated the Scarpa Zodiac Plus as the best women’s hiking boots for technical trails, but these beautiful boots are also relaxed and light enough to wear on more casual hikes down in the valley. This tall women's hiking boot doesn’t come with the weight or rigidity of a more mountain-focused design. Lightweight and athletic enough to go trekking and backpacking – but waterproof and sturdy enough to inspire confidence on the mountains, scrambling or even on Via Ferrata routes – this is a brilliant boot to invest in if you want a great hiking boot to progress higher into the hills.
Best women’s walking sandals: Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal
Hiking somewhere warm and prefer more of a breeze around your feet than a traditional hiking boot allows? The best women’s walking sandals are breathable, but tough enough to tackle coast and countryside trails too.
The Teva Terra Fi 5 Universal is an excellent hiking sandal offering great grip and all-day comfort on the trails. The most aggressive and adventurous model in Teva’s walking-specific range, the Terra has a big, rugged rubber sole that’s nicely molded to offer good arch support and has deep lugs that grip very well even on slippery surfaces such as wet rock. We love these for when you’re throwing a bit of wild swimming into your hiking adventures.
Best women’s hiking pants: Fjällräven Keb Trousers Curved
When it comes to hiking pants, it’s hard to look beyond the Fjällräven Keb Trousers Curved if you’re looking for serious performers. In fact, these trousers won best hiking apparel in the 2022 Adventure Awards as well as making our list of the best women's hiking pants.
These tough trekking trousers are built to last and expertly designed to hold up under challenging mountain conditions. These medium weight pants are tailored to a flattering fit, with stretchy fabric panels providing excellent range of motion. They boast generous ventilation zippers from hip to knee and down the calves, ample deep pockets with flaps for gear, phones, wallets and keys and openings for knee pads if you plan on scrambling and bouldering in them. When you’re wearing these on the trail, you’re almost guaranteed to receive a few compliments and inquiries about where you got them.
Best women’s skort: CimAlp Aiguines F trail running skirt
If you’re hiking in hot weather and prefer a bit more freedom to move than a pair of tough trekking trousers can possibly provide, you might want to consider a fun skort.
We love the CimAlp Aiguines F trail running skirt with built-in shorts. Made from a lightweight fabric, called Cimaflex technology, which is stretchy, breathable and wicks moisture, it also features flatlock seams for comfort. There are two small open-topped pockets at the side of the legs of the shorts, as well as three more open-topped pockets in the waistband, plus a rear pocket, which is zipped, so these are practical as well as stylish. We rate this garment for its lightweight and breathable feel as well as its feminine style.
Best women’s hiking top: Royal Robbins Expedition Pro shirt
If you’re tired of getting sweaty patches in your cotton T-shirts or strap rub from wearing a backpack with your old yoga tank top, consider getting a hiking-specific shirt for your trail travels.
The Royal Robbins Expedition Pro shirt got a rare five stars in our roundup of the best women’s hiking tops, thanks to its breathable fabric on sweaty hikes, great fit and use of recycled materials. This shirt looks very smart and – miracle of miracles – doesn’t crease or need ironing (or much washing) even after days of walking and wandering. The white version is very cooling to wear in the sun, but the khaki and black are the standout colors since they hide the inevitable dirt of outdoor adventuring very well.
Best women’s fleece: Fjällräven Övik Fleece Hoodie
When it comes to bundling up on chilly hikes, you want a great-wearing fleece that keeps you warm and is smart enough to wear around town, too. In this category, it’s another win for Fjällräven with their Övik Fleece Hoodie, a versatile cold weather layer which scored top marks in our pick of the best women’s fleece jackets.
Made with recycled polyester, it sports a soft-touch inner layer that feels lovely against your skin and a bobble-resistant outer layer with a knit-like finish that looks smarter than your average fleece. We found it to be one of the warmest fleece jackets we tested despite its middling weight, making it ideal for winter hikes and even cozying up at home.
Best women’s waterproof jacket: Patagonia Storm 10
Over your fleece, you might need to layer a waterproof jacket on wet days and for a practical, lightweight and good-looking shield, it’s hard to look beyond the Patagonia Storm 10.
This ultralight, three-layer rain jacket is the most-gentle on the planet that you can buy. Made from 100% recycled e fabric with a soft-on-the-skin tricot backer, the jacket is fair trade certified sewn. The jacket’s three pockets stash your wallet, map, phone and keys and the jacket self-stuffs into the left-chest pocket. This jacket is cut for movement; it’s not too loose, not too tight, not so technical that you couldn’t wear it any day, and it has plenty of room to layer underneath.
Best women’s hiking backpack: Granite Gear Crown 2 60, Women’s Fit
We know, this category doesn’t necessarily meet the requirement of hiking clothes, but you need somewhere to carry your gear, don’t you? For overnight expeditions, you want a backpack light enough that it makes your gear easier to carry and doesn’t just add more kilos to your load, but not all backpacks are designed with women’s physiques in mind. The Granite Gear Crown 2 60, comes in a women’s-specific fit with two torso lengths available and an adjustable hip belt that’s super comfortable.
Weighing in at 2.2lb, this is about as light as you can get for a pack that will still comfortably carry 40lbs of gear. The top-loading Crown shaves weight in all the right places, like buckles and webbing, but it doesn’t skip on structure and padding where you need it. It is one of the best women’s hiking backpacks out there for multi-day fastpacking and light adventures.
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Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.