If you’re going to get advice on which hiking boots to buy, you might as well take it from Cheryl Strayed, the author of Wild who walked 1,100 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail in the ’90s with no prior experience whatsoever. And unfortunately that resulted in wearing too-small boots and some pretty sore feet.
“I’m famous for wearing the wrong boots and learned the hard way that you need the right boots,” she told The Strategist. “The owners of [Ahnu] were fans of Wild, and they sent them to me, and I noticed two things about them. Right out of the box, they were the most comfortable boots I’ve ever owned. And whenever I’m somewhere and encounter any women wearing Ahnus, they will say, ‘Oh my god, aren’t they amazing?’ There’s a cult of Ahnu.”
“I’m famous for wearing the wrong boots and learned the hard way that you need the right boots.” —Cheryl Strayed
Strayed’s go-to style is the padded, breathable, and waterproof Montara Boot, which are specifically created for trailblazing (literally!) girl bosses: “I highly recommend them because they’re designed for a woman’s feet, which not a lot of hiking boots are,” she said.
With a little help from the right style of boot, you can go exploring blister-free anywhere, whether it’s the PCT or the Cavern of Coal in Portugal.
Here are the hiking essentials every modern outdoorswoman needs. Or, find out why you should consider hiking around Bhutan.