Footwear takes up quite a bit of space in a backpack but consider how much you're going to need it (unless you're planning on spending two weeks at the beach and by the hotel pool) Obviously, much also depends on which part of the world you're visiting. If you're going to be exploring European cities, you'll need some good walking shoes. But if, like me – you're planning on hiking a trail in Nepal, climbing a dormant volcano in Indonesia or trekking in the Negev desert, you're definitely going to need sturdy boots.
In my humble opinion, I'd recommend Timberland if you need solid footwear; This is a company that says its goods are “Made for the Modern Trail” and I agree. Sixteen years ago, I bought a pair of their women's boots and after some serious travelling through Africa, Asia and the Middle East, they're still going strong. Click on the link here to see where you can buy them:
These, as a friend commented, are the real deal. Not just beautifully designed (Timberland boots are undeniably stylish) but they're incredibly comfortable. Made of soft leather, they are waterproof (which I've found to be essential, if you're trekking in a rain forest, wading through a river or caught in a tropical downpour). They also have a leather lining (which apparently makes them more durable) and a padded collar at the ankle (which I really like, because it gives my foot extra support).
If you're interested in something less bulky, but still want good support, then I'd recommend a women's hiking boot made by Karrimor.
They are waterproof and durable but – unlike the Timberlands – not too heavy. They have a breathable lining, so your foot won't sweat, and are good for lightweight to medium-level walking.
I've worn mine a few times, sometimes with thick socks, sometimes without, but have never developed blisters. These are what I'd describe as good entry-level boots, and are excellent value for money.