Summary

We spent 10.2 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what hikers think:

8 reasons to buy

  • Hundreds of people who have reviewed the Columbia Fairbanks Omni-Heat consider it an extremely light hiking boot.
  • The majority of verified buyers have also given it five stars for being amazingly comfortable.
  • Lots of hikers and casual wearers have praised the boot for its toasty insulation. It’s a great everyday boot for temps below 50-60F, according to some.
  • Many customers like that it offers plenty of protection without looking and feeling bulky.
  • A significant number of reviewers admire the flexible upper material which doesn’t require breaking in, unlike most leather hiking boots.
  • Lots of people are also stunned by the Columbia Fairbanks Omni-Heat winter boots' stylish design which looks great in a pair of jeans or khakis.
  • Several customers are impressed by its quality construction.
  • Plenty of buyers agree that this boot is reasonably priced.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Several wearers complain about the strong chemical smell that didn’t go away after several uses.
  • Some users hope it’s a bit less narrow.
  • A significant number of reviewers aren’t satisfied with its waterproofing properties.

Bottom line

Probably the lightest mid-top hiking boot one could ever own - the Columbia Fairbanks Omni-Heat Boot is designed to make some of your toughest winter hikes easier. It’s well-touted for its quality comfort, protective features, durability, flexibility, and toasty insulation. What has delighted customers, even more, is its amazing price tag.

This boot, however, falls a little short on waterproofing. Some find it a bit narrow as well so make sure to get the right fit first before making a purchase.

Facts

Expert Reviews

96 / 100 based on 1 expert reviews

  • 90 / 100 | Get Out There Gear | | Level 1 expert

    "Now first off out of the box I realize that these have to be the lightest winter boot that I've ever owned then my second thought is they probably aren't that warm that warm well I'll get to that in a minute, but first the Fairbanks boot feels like a heavy duty running shoe it has very soft feel while walking in the outside is made from Columbia's Omni grip material which I have had on other Columbia boots. The grip is superb the treads are smaller than a regular hiking boot though so they are grippy in and around town."

  • First look | Firearms of Americac

    These boots they are very comfortable number one factor that contributes to the comfort is the weight definitely and these so far are probably the lightest, not probably they are the lightest rather why I say probably anyway these are the lightest so far winter boots that I have reviewed on this channel.

Become an expert

-This super warm hiker is packed with 200 grams of insulation, along with Omni-Heat reflective lining that works by reflecting and retaining the heat generated by the body.

-It has a seam-sealed bootie construction that protects against external moisture.

-A big factor in its lightness is the Techlite midsole that offers lasting comfort without the added weight. This boot also features the Omni-Grip non-marking rubber outsole that offers plenty of grip on varying terrain.

The Fairbanks Omni-Heat Boot is a mid-cut shoe made of Cordura textile upper which is stretchy and has a sock-like feel. The collar is quite stiff to provide better support around the ankle and the tongue is padded for a more comfortable fit. 

This hiker has a lace-up closure consisting of round laces and metal hooks that extend to the top. Such lacing structure is designed to allow the wearer to achieve his or her desired level of tightness.

The Omni-Grip is an advanced sole by Columbia. It’s made of specially formulated rubber compounds that offer reliable traction on varying surfaces. It is also designed to grip rock, gravel, and loose dirt efficiently. 

This sole features multi-directional lugs that help keep your feet stable on uneven terrain while promoting scrambling and acceleration. Its dual-zone winter tread pattern ensures solid footing on packed ice or soft, slushy snow. Furthermore, it features water traction treatment to prevent slipping.

For the midsole, this boot uses the Techlite foam - a patent-pending technology that offers improved cushioning, energy return, and impact absorption. 

Also called Techlite Comfort System, this midsole is made of dual-density foam which means that some parts are actually softer than the other. This is designed to give the foot support and cushioning right where needed. 

Lastly, the Techlite foam is super lightweight, which makes for a light hiking shoe. It is also more flexible than traditional midsole materials.

The shoe upper is made of Cordura textile which offers enhanced protection against abrasion, scuff, and tear. It is very stretchy as well, giving the foot a snug fit each time.

The interior of the Fairbanks Omni-Heat is lined with the Omni-Tech™ waterproof membrane that is attached through seam-sealed construction. This means that the fabric is heat-bonded to the upper material to seal any gaps or holes instead of simply stitching them together. 

Created for the winter, this boot is packed with 200 grams of insulation, plus the Omni-Heat reflective lining. This patented technology is composed of tiny silver dots with aluminum that reflect the heat generated by the body. This results in a warmer environment for the foot.

Columbia has plenty of winter boots in their product line. Their Fairbanks boots collection has been among the most popular. Characterized by rugged outsoles, heavy-duty upper, and insulated interior, these hiking boots from Columbia address varying cold weather requirements.

Materials. While the Fairbanks Omni Heat Boot is made of Cordura textile, the Men’s Fairbanks 1006 features a combination of full-grain leather and textile. The toe section, overlays, collar, and lacing system are all made of leather. While Cordura is undoubtedly a tough material, leather offers more durability and resistance to abrasion. Thus, if you’re a serious hiker or backpacker who is constantly journeying rugged terrains, a leather boot like the Fairbanks 1006 might be more suitable.

Weight. The Fairbanks Omni-Heat Boot is much lighter than the Fairbanks 1006. Many hikers prefer light hiking boots because they are less tiring for the foot and offer more flexibility. Super lightweight hikers also make great casual shoes that can be worn around the town.

Price. As to the price, the Fairbanks Omni-Heat Boot is slightly cheaper. And it’s most likely because of the leather material used in the Fairbanks 1006, which is a premium luxury material. If you prefer a leather hiker, the latter model is a good investment.

Author
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.

paul@runrepeat.com