Facts

  • Subcategory

    Hiking Sandals

    Made of lightweight materials. They don't have much top-of-the-foot coverage so they're mostly suitable for well-maintained trails and summer hikes. Also useful for crossing rivers and streams. They come in open and closed-toe designs. See the best hiking sandals.

    Hiking Shoes

    The low-cut equivalent of hiking boots. Comfort is paramount in the creation of these shoes so they often have flexible materials. Generally used for day hikes. See hiking shoes.

    Hiking Boots

    Mid to high-cut models designed for more aggressive hikes and backpacking. See hiking boots.

    Mountaineering Boots

    Specialized footwear. Often insulated and used in technical routes, ice climbing or expeditions. See mountaineering boots.

    Good to know

    For hikes that won't last for more than a day, go with hiking sandals or hiking shoes. Tackling trails with greater challenges will require hiking boots or mountaineering boots.

  • Use

    Day Hiking

    Shoes or boots for hikes that only last for half a day. Flexibility and lightness are the highlights of these kinds of footwear. See the best day hiking shoes and the best day hiking boots.

    Backpacking

    For multi-day trips with a heavy pack. Manufacturers emphasize durability and support in the creation of backpacking boots. See backpacking boots

    Speed Hiking

    Designed for users who want to cover a greater distance by going fast, usually with a light pack. See speed hiking shoes.

    Winter Hiking

    Boots that grant insulation to the user during hikes. See winter hiking boots.

    Multi-sport

    Mainly sandals. Aside from hiking they can be used for other purposes such as water activities. See multi-sport hiking sandals.

    Good to know

    Casual hikers can choose day hiking footwear or multi-sport sandals. More info here.

  • Cut

    Low

    Shoes with a cuff that goes below the ankle. See low-cut hiking shoes.

    Mid

    Boots with an ankle-height cuff. They provide extra ankle support. See mid-cut hiking boots and mid-cut mountaineering boots.

    High

    Boots with a cuff that goes above the ankle. In the case of insulated ones, they may reach the calf. Also grants extra ankle support. See high-cut hiking boots and high-cut mountaineering boots.

    Good to know

    Generally, for trails that are easy to tackle, go with low-cut shoes. Go mid to high if there are more trail obstacles.

  • Price
    $130
  • Feature
  • Weight
    Men: 17oz
  • Width
    Men: Normal
Show more facts

Summary

We spent 9.6 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what hikers think:

5 reasons to buy

  • The Columbia Fairbanks Omni-Heat was given top marks by numerous reviewers for its remarkable thermal insulation.
  • Droves of patrons were quick to admire this boot’s excessive amounts of comfort.
  • Its superior lightness shocked many users in a good way.
  • On the style front, the Fairbanks Omni-Heat racked up aces from a number of wearers.
  • This Columbia footgear impressed several owners with its glove-like fit.

2 reasons not to buy

  • An expert was quite critical of the footwear’s laces. He said he had to reconfigure them several times during the boot’s break-in phase.
  • The Fairbanks Omni-Heat’s could-be-better heel pull tab disappointed one professional gear blogger.

Bottom line

It would be surprising to like the Fairbanks Omni-Heat simply for the level of warmth it provides. Indeed, there’s no question that this boot from Columbia has thermal insulation in spades; however, it would be quite disheartening if its excellence in the comfort, weight, and design categories is completely ignored. It is rather a shame, however, that some might get turned off by its slick, unruly laces and humdrum pull tabs. Overall, minor complaints aside, the Columbia Fairbanks Omni-Heat is more than capable of delivering greatness, especially on snowy trails.

Rankings

Expert Reviews

Experts are hikers, who post reviews at youtube, directly at RunRepeat or at their own websites. Each expert is categorized from level 1 to level 5 based on expertise. See stats on expert reviews and how we calculate scores here.

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85 / 100 based on 1 expert reviews

  • 85 / 100 | Get Out There Gear

    For the warmth, I had these guys out in multiple minus 16 degrees Celsius for 45 to 60 minutes, and I feel that my feet have not been cold once.

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Updates to Columbia Fairbanks Omni-Heat

  • The Fairbanks Omni-Heat is Columbia’s response to the demands of the trail in cold, snowy conditions. It is capable of sustaining warmth down to negative 25 degrees Fahrenheit, thanks to its Omni-Heat reflective lining and 200-gram thermal insulation.
  • It comes with two Columbia-owned sole technologies: Techlite and Omni-Grip. The former is responsible for stability and cushioning, while the latter offers ample surface grip.

Columbia Fairbanks Omni-Heat size and fit

Columbia’s Fairbanks Omni-Heat is a fairly true-to-size, mid-cut winter hiker for men. Its confines favor wearers with regular-width feet. It is offered in full and half sizes. A customized lockdown is possible with the boot’s lace-up closure.

Outsole

Providing a sense of security on the trail with adequate slip and skid resistance is the boot’s Omni-Grip outsole. This non-marking rubber component is engineered with blocky protrusions (also known as lugs) that are capable of producing multi-directional grip on different types of outdoor surfaces, be they wet or dry. Aside from traction, it also offers protection against bumps with its front tip covering a marginal portion of the upper’s forefoot zone.

Midsole

A Columbia-exclusive midsole called Techlite delivers cushioning and footing stability on uneven terrain. It is designed to mitigate shock on impact and give hikers energy return during push offs. On top of it rests a removable footbed for extra underfoot comfort and arch support.

Upper

The Fairbanks Omni-Heat’s over-the-ankle upper is made primarily of Cordura textile. It shields the foot from the harshness of winter thanks to its thermal insulation (at 200 g) and Omni-Heat reflective lining. Its bootie comes engineered with Omni-Tech—an in-house technology that grants the boot ample breathability and waterproofing. A leather-like overlay strengthens its heel, while a sturdy coating reinforces its toe box.

This Columbia boot uses synthetic laces and metallic loops for its lacing system. It is crafted with a heel pull tab to help hikers wear or remove the boot with relative ease.