Verdict from 3 experts and +100 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • Comfy: Gear pundits agree that the Cole Haan Zerogrand Hiker Boot is exceptionally comfortable.
  • Waterproof: Critics are impressed with the boot’s watertight confines.
  • Light: This Cole Haan hiker will not weigh you down, based on a professional review.
  • Cushy: The gel flooring underneath its lightly padded footbed provides remarkable cushioning underfoot, a vlogger says.
  • Accurate sizing: The Zerogrand Hiker Boot being true-to-size is a definite plus for a seasoned tester.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Slippery outsole: "I do not recommend this hiking boot" is how one critic feels about this shoe in terms of surface traction (particularly on wet grass and rocky terrain).
  • Scuff magnet: It could be more scratch-resistant, says an expert.
  • Narrow: Trail-goers find the Zerogrand Hiker Boot too restrictive around the forefoot.

Bottom line

Part dress shoe, part grounded backcountry gear, the Zerogrand Hiker Boot will let you experience the outdoors the Cole Haan way. A sure entry to our array of leather hiking boots, this offering dispels the “all flash, no substance” notion, thanks to its qualities that make city-to-trail escapades a pleasure. Yes, the Zerogrand Hiker Boot is a charmer, especially if you almost exclusively hike on dry, level terrain.

Tip: see the best hiking boots.

Things you will be in for while wearing Columbia’s Zerogrand Hiker Boot

If you are into exemplary hiking boots, particularly those that blur the line between casual shoes and trail kicks—then this footgear is for you. While that may sound enticing enough to encourage you to buy one, there is more to the Zerogrand Hiker Boot than meets the eye. What we mean is listed below:

The trail-worthy stuff:

  • Membrane-free water protection – The shoe relies on its treated leather upper to do the heavy lifting waterproofing-wise. This means that you get dry feet minus the added weight of a liner.
  • Reinforced rear – With its stitched-on back part overlay, your heel will have sufficient support on rugged paths.
  • Extra-flexible forefoot – This design choice translates to easier forward momentum, which puts a burst in your stride when needed.
  • Smearing capable – A feature normally seen in approach shoes, the Zerogrand Hiker Boot’s smooth-yet-rubberized toe zone allows for more smearing control. Smearing is a climbing maneuver that requires the front end of the outsole to press and “smear” on a slab or low-grade boulder.

Possible causes for concern:

  • The outsole’s deep grooves can get caked with mud or trap in rocky debris, lessening the shoe's sticking performance as a result.
  • The tongue gusset is quite short, which can lead to seepage if the water level is an inch higher than the ankle.

Additional info

  • The boot’s women’s version is more affordable than the men’s, with or without a discount.


How Cole Haan Zerogrand Hiker Boot ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 49% hiking boots
All hiking boots
Top 1% Cole Haan hiking boots
All Cole Haan hiking boots
Bottom 48% day hiking hiking boots
All day hiking hiking boots


The current trend of Cole Haan Zerogrand Hiker Boot.
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Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Paul loves adventure. Over the past 20 years, he has climbed, hiked, and ran all over the world. He’s summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races. He has worked in the outdoor industry as a whitewater and hunting guide, gear tester, copywriter, and outfitting specialist at places like The National Outdoor Leadership School, No Barriers USA, and Sierra Trading Post. He has been quoted in NYMag, NBCNews, and Business Insider to name a few.