Columbia Hiking Boots Vs. Competitors: Who Has The Best Boots?

hanging old columbia hiking boots

Hiking is only as enjoyable as you make it. If the equipment you're using is archaic and uncomfortable, the experience isn't going to be an enjoyable one. Columbia hiking boots are one of many great manufacturers to compare when shopping for new hiking boots.

​Table of Comparison

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person wearing columbia hiking boots

Image Via Pixabay

A hiking boot with adequate grip, waterproofing capabilities, and insulation will help keep you warm in the harshest conditions. No matter what weather or off-trail conditions you encounter, you're ready to go with the right boots.

Apart from the right size, there are also several attributes that set apart the best pairs of hiking boots available.

Traction, the insole, upper material, the outsole, and breathability are some factors hikers must consider when comparing boots. A comfortable fitting boot is a given. Then there's brand loyalty, which many hikers swear by when choosing a new pair of boots.

So, do Columbia hiking boots have all of the features of amazing hiking boots?

Columbia Hiking Boot Technologies

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Columbia integrates superior technologies into their products to differentiate them from competitors. These are some of the leading designs in Columbia hiking boots to guarantee the best hiking experience.

Check out those features below:

Columbia hiking boot cushioning

There are cushion technologies for every pair of Columbia hiking boots.

Lightweight cushioning absorbs impact and impact with the high energy return. Fluid foam technologies feature a deep-flex groove and heel to toe compression.

The fluid frame insoles provide stability and excellent adaptability for uneven surfaces. These insoles are perfect for off-trail hiking boots.

Columbia hiking boot traction technologies

Traction technology helps hikers remain level on the ice, snow, and muddy terrain. Omni-Grip and GRYPTONITE™ technologies feature multi-directional lugs. In addition to stability, the deep lugs help keep hikers upright. In other words, it allows them to dig their boots deep into uneven terrain.

Vibram outsoles provide the best traction and maximize surface contact with the ground. Michelin outsoles are also available for snow, ice, or slippery surface hiking.

Columbia hiking boots protection technology

Another key point is that Columbia hiking boots also have foot protections like trail shields. They're puncture resistant and protect the toes and forefoot from injuries. Omni-Heat maximizes warmth and helps hikers retain heat around their feet in cold weather.

Columbia hiking boots waterproofing technologies

With OutDry, Omni-Tech, and Shield, hikers' feet remain dry in wet or snowy conditions. A waterproof membrane keeps feet dry, regardless of the water levels they encounter when hiking.

The Average Price of Columbia Hiking Boots

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Columbia hiking boots vary in prices on third-party websites like Amazon vs. the manufacturer's website. Consumers will pay $70 to $400 for most hiking boots.

Comparing Columbia vs. Leading Manufacturers

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Hiking boots are one piece of equipment hikers shouldn't overlook when planning for a trip. Therefore, our review focuses on quality, traction, and durable material finishes. The upper material, breathability, the insole, and outsole materials were of high importance in our review. We focused on comfort and features that make each hiking boot comfortable for long periods of use.

Additionally, our review covers the best manufacturers in the industry side-by-side with Columbia. Furthermore, we include the prices as well as consumer ratings for each product. Consumers can find the most comfortable hiking boot that fits their budget this way.

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The Best Columbia Hiking Boots Available

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When comparing hiking boots consumers should break their review down further into men and women's boots. These are the best Columbia hiking boots available for men and women.

The best men's boots

When choosing new hiking boots for men, Columbia has several great products. These are a couple of the shoes with the highest ratings by their owners.

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Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot,...
  • ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: This Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof hiking boot features Techlite lightweight...
  • HANDY FEATURES: This men's hiking boot is crafted of a waterproof full-grain leather and suede lightweight construction...
  • ADJUSTABLE FEATURES: The Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof II hiking boot features a lace-up closure for an adjustable,...

This boot features a leather upper and breathable mesh design. It has a five-inch shaft for heel and ankle protection. The mid-ankle height also helps prevent rolling and other ankle injuries. Equally important is the waterproof exterior and Techlite insole that create a comfortable balance. They're lightweight, so it's easy to mobilize in the boots also.

The Omni-Grip outsole prevents slipping on wet, muddy, or snowy terrains. The deep lug traction helps hikers dig their feet into the ground to conquer challenging trails. A mesh tongue helps increase breathability and comfort for owners.

One reviewer claims that in about six inches of snow their feet were dry after hiking. The boots are truly waterproof. Another reviewer complains of quality and construction issues. They indicate the rubber outsole is cracking and the toebox is coming loose on the boots.

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Columbia Men's Redmond Mid Waterproof Boot, Breathable, High-Traction...
  • ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY: Columbia Men's Redmond Mid Waterproof Boot features our signature waterproof, breathable...
  • HANDY FEATURES: Treacherous days out on the trail are comfortable and worry-free with this mid hiking boot's waterproof...
  • ADJUSTABLE FEATURES: This waterproof shoe features a lace-up closure for an adjustable, secure fit.

This waterproof hiking boot has a 100 percent leather and textile upper material finish. Additionally, the mid-ankle boot has a mesh underlay webbing to increase breathability. And the bungee lacing and padding on the tongue increases wearability and comfort as well.

The shaft measures about 4.5 inches. This mid-ankle height provides sufficient levels of protection to help hikers avoid rolling their ankles. The boots also have a cross-lug design and Omni-Tech waterproof layer. Altogether this design keeps feet dry and makes it easy to dig into uneven hiking grounds.

In one review, the customer indicates they love the comfort and design of the boots. The lacing system is easy to loosen/tighten. And the waterproof exterior keeps feet dry in extreme conditions. One drawback, however, is that the boots aren't good for hot weather, as one reviewer suggests.

The best women's boots

For women, it's important to consider comfort and proper fit when buying hiking boots. Consider these Columbia hiking boots.

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Columbia Women's Cascade Pass Waterproof Hiking Boot, Black, Intense...
  • Combination suede leather, mesh and webbing.
  • Omni-Tech waterproof breathable seam-sealed membrane bootie construction.
  • Solid non-marking rubber outsole.

These hiking boots have a suede upper finish and Omni-Tech waterproof seal protector. The breathable boot membrane and Techlite midsole also increase the comfort levels and wearability.

Mesh and web-panels help increase the breathability of these boots as well. In hot or mild conditions hikers will feel comfortable wearing them. A high shaft and hi-top boot finish provide full ankle support for hikers.

One reviewer suggests the boots are excellent for winter hiking. They're comfortable and are also waterproof. So feet stay dry and warm in cold temperatures. Another reviewer complains the boots are large. They also squeak a lot when walking.

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Columbia Women's IRRIGON Trail MID Outdry XTRM Hiking Boot, Black,...
  • Techlite lightweight midsole for long lasting comfort, superior cushioning, and high energy return
  • Omni-Grip non-marking traction rubber.
  • Made of lightweight materials and construction techniques and featuring a waterproof breathable OutDry Extreme upper,...

These hiking boots feature a shaft that measures midway up the calf for high levels of stability and ankle support. The Omni-Grip outsole and Techlite insole balance each other out well. The boots are lightweight and waterproof.

Superior cushioning and high energy return are two key features that set these boots apart from others. Equally important is that the boots also have an OutDry upper panel. The manufacturer claims the material is 100 percent waterproof. Feet remain dry in any hiking conditions or weather extremes.

In one review, the customer suggests the hiking boots are incredibly durable and comfortable. They're excellent for long periods of use or long hiking trails. The only drawback is the level of waterproofing on the boots' exterior, as one customer indicates in their review.

The Pros and Cons of Wearing Columbia Hiking Boots

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Several great characteristics set Columbia hiking boots apart from competitors. Therefore, hikers should familiarize themselves with the benefits and drawbacks before choosing a pair of boots.

Pros

  • Several great technologies including waterproofing and superior outsoles
  • Traction control for on and off-trail hiking
  • Heating technologies for winter and cold weather hiking
  • Comfortable fit and gender-specific sizing/styles
  • Lightweight and breathable materials

Cons

  • Not all boots have all Columbia technologies
  • Lack of warmth/weatherproofing for some boots
  • Some complaints of sizing/comfort levels
  • Narrow sizing causes discomfort for some hikers

What Do Competitors Offer?

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Columbia is a leader in hiking boots and outdoor gear. However, there are other great manufacturers to consider as well. These are a few top products for men's and women's hiking boots.

The best in men's hiking boots

Men who want the best hiking boots should compare the most well-known manufacturer's products. These are a couple of leaders in the industry.

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Merrell Men's Moab 2 Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Earth, 10.5 M US
  • M Select DRY seals out water and lets moisture escape so you stay dry when you're on the move
  • Performance suede leather and mesh upper
  • Bellows, closed-cell foam tongue keeps moisture and debris out. Merrell air cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds...

This mid-ankle hiking boot has a suede and leather upper. The breathable mesh detailing helps increase wearability and comfort in warm conditions. A synthetic Vibram TC5 outsole provides excellent traction. In addition to the five-millimeter lug depth, the outsoles help increase stability off-trail.

The air cushion in the heel helps improve shock absorption. It also helps reduce the boot's weight and increases comfort levels for wearers. These features, coupled with the mesh lining, enhance the hiking experience with the boots.

In one review, a customer states that the boots are excellent for long-trail hikes. They wore them on an eight-hour hike without any issues. Another reviewer, however, suggests the boots aren't durable. After a few weeks, they saw a small tear in the toe box area of the boots.

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KEEN Men's Targhee II Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot,Black Olive/Yellow,10...
  • Low-profile upper with ghillie lacing for comfort and secure fit,This style is running a 1/2 size small. We suggest...
  • Easy-on heel pull; Padded tongue and collar
  • Breathable leather lining.This style is running a 1/2 size small. We suggest ordering a 1/2 size larger than your usual...

These Keen boots feature a 100 percent waterproof Nubuck leather upper and a low-profile lacing system. The boots also have a 12.5-inch opening, making them comfortable for men with large feet and calves. Padding on the tongue and collar further increase comfort levels.

An easy-on heel pull design makes these boots easy to put on and take off. Particularly in situations where you're moving quickly, it's easy to adjust the boots on your feet. Equally important is the breathable lining and four-millimeter deep lugs. This design undeniably improves traction on challenging trails.

One reviewer suggests the boots are comfortable. The Nubuck leather and breathable lining help increase comfort levels on long hikes. In another review, the customer indicates the boots began to come apart shortly after ordering them. Reviewers complain of inferior quality materials and that the outsole wears out quickly.

The best women's hiking boot varieties

And last but certainly not least, there are a couple of other brands for women to compare when buying new hiking boots. Compare these with Columbia before choosing the best pair for outdoor hiking excursions.

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TimberlanD Women's White LeDge MiD Ankle Boot,Dark Brown,8.5 M US
  • You need waterproof hiking boots that can take on any trail conditions. Our White Ledge leather hikers feature...
  • LOOK NO FURTHER for trail-ready performance and style. Our selection of men's hiking boots, waterproof hiking boots,...
  • TIMBERLAND HAS YOU COVERED whether you're looking for men's boots, women's boots, or kids boots. For the best in hiking...

These Timberland boots are 100 percent leather and feature a 4.5-inch shaft. This height helps increase ankle protection and stability. Together with seam-seal waterproofing and rust-proof lace system, the boots are incredibly durable for challenging trails.

Insulation also helps increase wearability in cold weather conditions. Deep traction lugs help hikers remain upright, regardless of how muddy or snowy terrains get. These boots also have a removable insole so that owners can insert their custom orthotics.

The boots are waterproof and comfortable. One reviewer states that during an eight-mile hike their feet were warm and dry. Another reviewer notes a minor drawback is the limits in arch support. The boots don't have padding either, so they rub against your feet and cause chaffing.

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KEEN Women's Voyageur Mid Hiking Boot, Brindle/Custard, 8 B - Medium
  • Water resistant leather and mesh upper
  • Removable metatomical dual density EVA footbed
  • Gently brush the shoe with a soft bristle brush or hand towel to remove loose dirt and debris

These boots have a metatomical removable EVA footbed. Owners can remove and replace them with orthotics or custom insoles. Another critical point is the water-resistant upper alongside the 100 percent leather and mesh finish. This design helps increase wearability, breathability, and comfort.

The heel is two inches high. The boot's shaft measures four inches in height. This height provides excellent ankle control and stabilizes feet to prevent injuries. Deep lug traction affords hikers additional stability when digging into wet or muddy terrain.

The boots are lightweight. One reviewer indicates they're as comfortable as tennis shoes while providing much higher support. In another review, the customer suggests possible sizing issues between the Keen shoe lineup. They recommend ordering one size larger than your standard shoe size for the best fit.

Columbia or the Competition? The Best Men and Women's Hiking Boots

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pair of columbia hiking boots on a wood deck

Image Via Pixabay

When choosing hiking boots, men and women should look for the products that conform to their feet and hiking styles. Columbia hiking boots are an excellent choice.

However, there are other great brands to consider as well. For men, the Columbia Newton is the best option. The boots are also waterproof and feature a mesh membrane to increase breathability. They have padding on the tongue, and a five-inch shaft helps prevent ankle injuries.

Furthermore, the Omni-technologies and lug pattern make these boots great for off-trail hikes as well.

For women, the Keen Voyageur is a solid pick for outdoor hiking trails and off-trail hikes. The boots are lightweight and feature 100 percent leather and mesh panels.

Coupled with a two-inch heel and four-inch shaft, hikers will experience the highest levels of support. The boots are water-resistant. They also feature a removable metatomical EVA footbed. Deep lugs round out the outsole, providing hikers excellent traction off-trail.

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