Who should buy the Columbia Flow District

This hybrid shoe from Columbia is likely to meet your needs if you are after the following type of footwear:

  • a versatile city-to-trail shoe
  • a very lightweight pair of hiking shoes
  • a budget-friendly option shoe for recreational hikers

Columbia Flow District Collar

Plush cushioning for long miles

"Like walking on pillows," says one of the happy wearers describing the blissfully comfortable cushioning of the Columbia Flow District.

Columbia Flow District Midsole

Lighter than most hiking shoes

A lot of reviewers were positively surprised with how lightweight this hiking shoe is. The Flow District weighs 11.4 oz (323) g per shoe whereas the average for hiking shoes is 13.3 oz (378 g). That's 14.5% lighter!

Columbia Flow District Upper

Reliable traction of the Flow District

With this Columbia hiking shoe, hikers report feeling surefooted even in challenging conditions such as steep slopes, wet rocks, mud, etc. At the same time, the shoe's lugs remain comfortable on the city streets as well. It is a semi-urban shoe after all.

Columbia Flow District Outsole

Reassuring durability

Those who have used the shoe for up to 8 months report that it is holding up excellently.

Columbia Flow District Logo

Columbia Flow District fits like a dream

The majority of reviewers are happy with the well-judged fit of this Columbia hiking shoe. It feels good straight from the box requiring no break-in period.

Columbia Flow District Laces

The Columbia Flow District also received praise for its sufficiently roomy toebox.

Columbia Flow District Front upper

Head-to-head: Columbia Flow District vs. Pivot

“Where excellence abounds, competition is around” is a wisdom-filled saying about hiking shoes that dates back… no, we made that up! In all seriousness, though, the following comparison between the featured shoe and the Columbia Pivot is something you can definitely gain insight from.

Pricing

While both competing kicks are budget-friendly hikers, the Pivot takes the cake by being cheaper than the Flow District by roughly $10.

Traction

Lug depth is something the Flow District has a slight edge over its rival. Yes, its rubber studs are more pronounced and aggressive than the Pivot’s, delivering extra traction on muddy terrain as a result. Do note, however, that neither has a heel brake, so be careful going down slopes in either.

Lightness

The Columbia Flow District is the heavier of the two. That said, the weight difference is a negligible 40 grams per pair. For more lightweight hiking shoes, click here.

Takeaway: You can go with either Columbia shoes for your light adventures in urban settings. That being said, you might want to sport the burlier Flow District for more serious pursuits out in the backcountry.

A similar shoe: Columbia Flow Centre

Columbia has in its catalog a shoe called Flow Centre. It shares some similarities with the Flow District, but comes into its own with its supportive mid-top collar.

Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 11.4oz / Women 9.7oz
Use: Day Hiking, Urban hiking
Cut: Low cut
Features: Lightweight / Breathable / Orthotic friendly / Removable insole / Non-marking
Width: Normal / Narrow, Normal
BRAND Brand: Columbia
Material: Mesh upper, Rubber sole / Fabric / Fabric, EVA midsole

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Columbia Flow District video reviews

Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and run all over the world. He has summited peaks throughout the Americas, trekked through Africa, and tested his endurance in 24-hour trail races as well as 6 marathons. On average, he runs 30-50 miles a week in the foothills of Northern Colorado. His research is regularly cited in The New York Times, Washington Post, National Geographic, etc. On top of this, Paul is leading the running shoe lab where he cuts shoes apart and analyzes every detail of the shoes that you might buy.