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In this report

Narrow heels, wide forefeet and long arches rule the day

While nearly every boot in this report is available in women's sizing, only a few are designed specifically to fit a woman's foot. The female foot tends to be wider in the forefoot, narrower in the heel and longer in the arch than a man's, so a smaller version of a man's boot doesn't always provide the best fit.

Our Best Reviewed women's hiking boot, the Asolo Stynger GTX (*MSRP $220) , provides a comfortable, secure fit from day one and can handle just about anything you throw at it. Reviewers say this boot is supportive, surprisingly breathable, and grips just about any surface well. Its only real weak point is that the sole occasionally delaminates around the toe after a few months of use. However, most owners say the Stynger's sole wears well, if a little faster than expected.

The Vasque Breeze 2.0 GTX (*MSRP $160) comes in both men's and women's models. A few female reviewers say older Breeze shoes ran narrow, but there's not enough feedback yet about the updated Breeze 2.0 to know whether this is still an issue. However, we do know it retains the same out-of-the-box comfort and great ankle support as its predecessor.

Like the Stynger GTX, the Breeze 2.0 GTX has a Gore-Tex lining for waterproofing, but the original Breeze's lining seems to leak more than the Stynger's. Time will tell if that holds true for the Breeze 2.0, which otherwise performs so well that it's a worthy runner-up to the Stynger GTX.

If you're shopping for a women's hiking shoe instead of a boot, the Merrell Siren Sport was wildly popular with consumers; its successor, theSiren Sport 2.0 (*MSRP $90) , seems to be on the same track. We found more durability concerns for the original Siren Sport than for the Asolo Stynger or Vasque Breeze, but that's to be expected since shoes just don't measure up to well-built boots in this area.

Otherwise, the Siren Sport performs well. Owners say the last fits a woman's foot wonderfully, making for a stable and surprisingly supportive fit. Its traction is excellent on all surfaces and although it's not waterproof, water runs out easily and the shoe dries quickly, reviewers say.

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Asolo Women's Stynger GTX Light Hiker - Hiking Boot
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $165.00   
Average Customer Review:  
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Merrell Women's Siren Sport 2 Hiking Shoe
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $90.00   
Average Customer Review:  
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Vasque Men's Breeze 2.0 GTX Hiking Boot
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $169.99   
Average Customer Review:  

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