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women's shoe recommendations please - what brand and style hiking or trail shoe ?

I need a good trail shoe/hiking shoe for Colorado summer and fall hikes of 9 to 13 or so miles, with 2000 or 2500 feet elevation gain on established trails. (I already have higher top, sturdy hiking boots for more difficult hikes off-trail that require more support). I want a low-top shoe that gives me reasonably good traction. I'm not doing anything technical - but often some loose rock sections of the trail.  Goretex would be great. 

My foot is hard to fit. I need a wide toebox, but my foot is otherwise not wide, just average or might even be considered slender.

I just got some Hoka Speedgoats - they are ridiculously huge all over - WAY too much shoe!  I want something lightweight (I liked that part of the Hoka) and comfortable, but not all over big and clumsy like the Hoka. Can you recommend some brands and styles that might work for me?   I live in Denver and had planned to go into the downtown REI and ask for recommendations to try on but looks like that is not going to be open for in store shopping for a while and I need shoes now.


4 Replies

@saralynnk Thanks for reaching out!

In terms of shoes that will give you more room in the toebox, Altras and Keens are going to be your best bet. We recommend checking out some of those models and then perhaps scheduling a free virtual outfitting session with one of our product experts who can talk through some options in more detail. We'll also tag @REI-PearlD for her expertise and @TomIrvine who has experience with Altras. Although it is focused on trail running, this thread entitled What's your favorite trail running shoe? has gotten a good discussion going.

Hope this helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Hi @saralynnk,

For my low-top hiking shoes I use approach shoes, because they fit just like a running shoe/sneaker, but have the same rubber as climbing shoes, which means they are super grippy. They are also very light and have good tread on the ground.

Here is an article I like about why approach shoes can be more ideal in certain situations than hiking boots/shoes. Here is another article I like that compares approach shoes, trail running shoes, and hiking boots.

La Sportiva is my favorite approach shoe brand, but there are many other great brands as well, such as Arc'teryx, Black Diamond, Five Ten, and Scarpa. REI sells a couple of approach shoes by these brands, as well as a couple of other brands.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Hi @saralynnk!

I'm sorry that the Speedgoats didn't work out! 

For a shoe that's lightweight but less bulky, I'd recommend taking a look at the Altra Lone Peak 4 RSM. It's Altra's waterproof version of their popular Lone Peak trail runners--one of the most commonly used hiking shoes on the Appalachian Trail. One of my fellow Green Vests at my REI store thru-hiked all of the Pacific Crest Trail in several pairs!

I also live in Colorado, and I hike nearly all of my warmer-weather miles in The North Face Ultra Fastpack shoe. The newest iteration of this shoe is The North Face Ultra Fastpack IV FUTURELIGHT hiking shoe. This shoe, like the Speedgoat, features Vibram Megagrip for excellent traction, and is designed more like a lightweight trail runner than a traditional hiking boot. It does have a waterproof membrane and midfoot shanks for stability. It's also my shoe of choice on snowy mornings when I have to sweep off my car! I have a wider midfoot, and found this shoe comfortable with a lightweight sock. 

Hope these ideas help! Let us know if we can make more recommendations!



At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

My wife loves her Lone Peaks for hiking. 

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.