Hiking boots - women's wide foot.


New Member
Jun 28, 2022
My wife is looking at purchasing her first pair of hiking boots and was just wanting any advice that might be useful in her selection. She has a wider foot than normal.
One of the main purposes of the boots is for a 14day traverse of the Japanese Alps (when borders reopen) - which are very high, steep and very rocky. In the deep valleys there
are lots of narrow duckboards made of lashed bamboo poles in the valleys which can get very slippery when wet so need good traction on those as well as rocky river
crossings. They will also be used for other hikes throughout Japan. Budjet is open but obviously she wants to try them on in store. Size is about Women's UK8.

Any advise or suggestions would be most welcome.
Your wife could try a wide width Merrell Moab2 (comes in regular height and mid height, which is more of a boot). Vibram sole, great traction. Both the “Vent” and the “Waterproof “ versions let water in quick. The waterproof version is a just a much warmer shoe, but it’s not waterproof. Be well aware that these shoes have 11 mm drop from heel to toe (I recently confirmed that with Merrell). That puts a lot of pressure on the metatarsal heads. The shoes are also heavy as compared to trail runners. But they do have nice wide width and the Vibram sole has great traction.

If your wife is looking for a lower heel to toe drop, that puts the pressure more on the mid foot and let the toes splay out, then she could try Altra (Lone Peak, zero drop, blue color has a wide version) or a Hoka (Speedgoats with Vibram sole, 4mm drop). Both come in wide width. Also both Altra and Hoka in the US provide a “30-day try me out on trail, return if not satisfied “ , check the specific details yourself. I don’t know what the UK rule is.

IMO, The Altra LP in wide is considerably wider across the area of the metatarsal heads, than Hoka Speedgoat in wide. Both brands have wide areas for the toes themselves. Be aware that these shoes aren’t boots, but trail runners. Also they have zero - low drop, which takes times to transition into for many. These shoes are exceptional lightweight, which is awesome. Perhaps other people can chime in about how they handle in steep rocky terrain?
Altra also has a mid height shoe, like “Lone Peak hiker”, but it’s not in a wide width. But a regular width Altra might be wide enough for your wife, since the Altra is already wide.

Good luck to your wife.

Also tagging @wsp_scott , since he is using a different brand, but a wide shoe and not zero drop, steeper terrain. Thinks it’s the Saucony Peregrine in wide width (4mm drop?).
And maybe @Ugly can comment on the Altra in steep rocky terrain? And thanks again, I love those wide Altra!
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Another option might the trail shoes from Topo Athletic. They aren’t available in Wide but the toe box on their shoes are wide-ish, similar to the Altras. Topo trail hikers have vibram soles and they are available as either low cut or mid cut. The low cut men’s shoes are slightly heavier than the Altra Lone Peaks. I do not know if these are available outside of the US.

I used to be an Altra fan but my last two pairs had evidence of poor quality control and they did not last as long as they should have (tears on the sidewalls, holes developing on the upper surface of the toe box).
I'm really fond of Obos. They've lasted incredibly well for me and I've found them to be comfortable for a wider foot.
My wife has almost exclusively hiked in different versions of the New Balance Fresh Foam Hierro for the last 5 years. They did well on longer trips like 13 days on the John Muir Trail. They have a vibram sole and have pretty good traction. They seem to do well on steep terrain and uses them for desert peaks and canyons as well. She has a wider foot as too but just buys the men's version of the shoes since they are wider.

I agree with @kwc about the Altra shoes. I was a fan because they were comfortable but having a couple pairs of them now I don't plan on buying more because they just don't last as long as any of my other shoes. Same thing, holes in the sidewalls but also the sole wearing out quickly. They also don't seem to have as good of grip as other shoes I've worn
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Lots of rock, steep...... May want more of a boot than lighter hiking shoe
Salamon Boots runs very wide.
I have narrow feet and had to return them as they were way too wide for me
That's what I have now. They seem to be lower quality than I was expecting. Already showing signs of coming apart. Has Solomon brand gone down in quality recently? Why is it so hard to find lasting woman's boots?! super comfy though
I'm happy with my wide size Saucony Peregrines. Good traction and good feel for the trail. They have also been great off-trail, scrambling over talus. You can check out my recent Wind River Range trip (https://backcountrypost.com/threads/wind-river-range-sept-2021-part-1.10345/) to see a representative trip with these shoes. They are trail runners not boots, but might be worth trying.

The Merril Moabs are also worth checking out. I have a pair that I use in the lite snow, but they are too heavy for me to want to use in the summer.
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