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How We Tested Hiking Boots for Women

By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor
Wednesday November 7, 2018

From long days in the Sierra high country to dusty trail days in the desert Southwest, we have put these boots to the test in a wide range of conditions. We have put in the miles on endless granite talus, smooth sandstone slabs, wooded trails, and pristine alpine meadows. From rainy days in the fall to blistering heat in the summer, we continually focused on the overall performance of each of these boots. We specifically focused our attention on their performance in terms of comfort, support, traction, and durability.

Negotiating downed trees in the Quest 4D 3 was a challenge due to the stiffness of these boots.
Negotiating downed trees in the Quest 4D 3 was a challenge due to the stiffness of these boots.

We sought out hikes that involved stream crossings and wet conditions to assess the water resistance of each model, while also looking for steep slabs and talus fields to test their performance in terms of traction. From steep switchbacks and well-maintained trails to off-trail bushwhacks and eroding climbers' trails, we wore these boots into the ground. Thankfully, some required only a short break-in period, while others remained stiff and uncomfortable for the duration. Stewardship work and trail building were added opportunities to test the durability and all-day comfort of these women's boots. Working on Yosemite Search and Rescue demanded that these boots be capable of traveling through rugged terrain, lacking any sign of trails. From granite peaks to sandstone canyons, these boots have been put to the test!