I am an avid hiker and backpacker, and Columbia is a brand I look to for both outdoor clothing and footwear. I had an old pair of waterproof Columbia shoes (similar to the Wayfinder) that I loved and wore for years.
Columbia seriously knows how to make durable, high-quality products. I find their prices to be reasonable, too.
The Vitesse OutDry is a comfortable, waterproof hiking shoe for people looking for protection without the restriction of the traditional hiking boot. While this turned out not to be the hiking shoe for me, casual hikers and walkers should definitely consider it.
The Vitesse OutDry is a chunky, though lightweight shoe. It has a beefy collar and a thick sole. Some might appreciate the protection and comfort this provides. This shoe proved to perform well on flat, easy trails in almost all weather conditions.
However, it is a little lacking in terms of stability. I, therefore, do not recommend it for technical trails, steep terrains or long hikes.
The look of this shoe is pretty simple and conventional. There is little to dislike, and I think it will have broad appeal.
Shown here: the women’s Grey Ice, Canyon Rose colourway. Three other colourways are available. The grey speckled sole is a little reminiscent of a kitchen countertop.
The Vitesse Outdry runs true to size. The upper is waterproof and I didn’t have any issues with its breathability or fit. I tested it in cold conditions and it kept my feet warm, while still letting them breathe. The unique OutDry layer is a single waterproof piece bonded with heat to the outer fabric, so there are no seams. The waterproofing is impeccable, but for a hiking shoe, I generally expect a little more support, especially round the midfoot.
The waterproof, breathable OutDry upper is wonderful. My feet didn’t get sweaty, as is the case in some waterproof shoes. The bandage is from the first time I rolled my right ankle in this shoe...on the next hike, I rolled the left ankle. I was hiking steeper, wet and sometimes rocky terrain when these incidents occurred.
I’m picky about laces, but these are great. They stay tied, keeping your foot snug. They are also a good length. Notice this colourway does stain easily. This doesn’t bother me, as I rather expect hiking shoes to end up dirty!
The heel offers a good, snug fit, though for me both the heel and tongue both feel overly padded.
The insole is basic but comfortable. It stays in place.
The Vitesse Outdry has a lot of lightweight cushioning. For me, perhaps too much: I rolled my ankles several times while wearing these on more technical trails. I suspect this happened due to a lack of stability and because the thick sole and general bulk of the shoe diminished my proprioception.
I wouldn’t recommend them for backpacking. There is some flexibility in the forefoot, which I appreciate.
Columbia’s designers clearly put a lot of effort into the sole of the Vitesse OutDry, and should count it a success. The Omni-Grip sole provides good traction in a range of weather conditions, and I like the absence of any deep grooves, which can be prone to collecting debris.
I hiked in wet pine forests and sagebrush steppe in this shoe, through puddles and over snowy patches. Nothing got stuck in the sole. There is also a good energy return.
The sole of the Vitesse Outdry is durable and offers impressive grip even in wet and snowy or icy conditions.
The bottom line
The Vitesse OutDry may not be the hiking shoe for me, but it is clearly a high-quality shoe that I think many casual hikers will enjoy. I encourage you to try a pair and see for yourself!
I would recommend it for easy trails or casual use around town; it performed best for me when walking my dogs on flat trails and sidewalks.
The strongest points of this shoe are its breathable upper and grippy, durable sole. I have rolled my ankle before, but never with such frequency as when wearing this shoe.
For this reason alone, I won’t take this particular shoe on technical hikes in future. But, I will definitely look out for other offerings from Columbia!
- Good traction
- Lightweight cushioning
- Lacks stability
- A little bulky
Out of the box, I thought, “am I really going to put these on my feet!” They look great from all angles though I’m not fond of this particular color scheme.
They are relatively lightweight yet there is more longitudinal flex in a pair of climbing boots than these. Not something I am accustomed to in a shoe.
Does this shoe live up to its name? Vitesse means moving fast and OutDry implies the outside of something is dry.
After 65 miles of hiking and one 7-mile run in these shoes, I would consider these shoes a fast hiking shoe and a slower than average running shoe.
But wait, just because they may look like a runner, they really are a hiking shoe. Very light for a hiker as well at 13½ ounces for men’s size 9½.
Outside, the skin of my foot did stay dry in heavy rain and slugging through muddy trails on several hikes in the past months. My feet stayed warm on the snowy trails back in March as well.
The breathable mesh upper and lightweight midsole combine to make a lightweight hiker. It won’t weigh you down even though your pack might. The bright blue outsole is mildly aggressive.
Columbia refers to it as Omni-Grip™ Rubber. It provides enough grip with 3mm lugs except for the greasiest up and downhill trails.
Additionally, the lug pattern did not hold debris which contributes to a lighter hiker than some due to the constant shedding of mud.
Is it waterproof?
An emphatic, YES!
Morning hikes across a dewy field, rain-drenched sidewalks, and muddy puddles were no match for the patented OutDry laminated mesh upper and welt between the upper and midsole. The no-sew overlays technology adds rigidity and aesthetics to this shoe.
My foot remained dry on every hike whether it was wet or hot. The breathability is the best of the four waterproof shoes that I’ve owned.
The padded gusseted tongue kept out water that went up passed the middle laces. Therefore, this shoe gives a comfortable feel in all conditions.
Fit & performance
The overall fit and comfort in cold and wet conditions is amazing, but the everyday feel is equally great.
There were no hot spots, no rubbing on the heel or ankle. I tried to find a type of terrain or length of time that created a tight or rough spot, but alas I could not.
The toe box is roomy but not sloppy and the heel cup forms nicely to my ankle.
The malleolus cutout is deep enough to not rub my ankle, but not so low as to lose that nice cup feel around my ankle. Still not sure why many shoe manufacturers still add a heel cup pull to their shoes. I’ve tried to use them a few times to no avail.
The Vitesse’s performance on a long hike is top tier. The stiffness of the midsole gives tons of rock protection and enough cushion to not feel like a boot.
As hard as I try to not compare it to a runner, the thought of its lack of sole flex and minor impact return bothers me. I believe those traits also make it a great hiker.
The flex test
I wanted to follow-up on my thought at the beginning of this review – ‘there is more longitudinal flex in a pair of climbing boots.’
I decided a specialized test was necessary to compare the force needed to flex the toe box of the Vitesse as compared with a few other shoes. Five different shoes were placed on a scale inside a frame. The results were telling and proved my initial thoughts.
On Cloudflyer Waterproof came in at 5 lb 6 oz, the 361 Degree Strata was 7 lb 3 oz, Saucony Peregrine was 7 lb 13 oz, and the Hoka One One Sky Arkali, also a hiking shoe, was close at 12 lb 1 oz, but the Vitesse recorded 12 lb 5 oz!
- The upper is amazing with a just-right toe box, waterproof and breathable material, and stable heel counter.
- It has enough cushioning for a long hike and extremely comfortable in all conditions.
- The padded tongue and mesh construction hugs your foot all around.
- The overlays add to upper stability and aesthetics.
- It is stable and secure.
- Sizing seems to be right on.
- Great value for a well-constructed hiking shoe.
- The lack of cushioning may be a negative for some people, but I like to feel the trail a bit.
- The baby blue or Phoenix Blue as Columbia calls it is just not my choice of color for a hiking shoe. I’d prefer black.
- Significant flex in a shoe is customary to the point that I need to give it a negative even though I think it adds to the comfort factor on technical or rocky trails.
The lightweight yet stiff midsole gives a solid feel on all terrain. It has enough body to protect from the sharpest rocks.
It is great as a daily walker as well. Plus the stylish silhouette means these performance hiking shoes look good on the trail and for everyday wear.
They did look great with a pair of jeans. For my final verdict on the Columbia Vitesse OutDry, I really like the comfort and fit. Its durability, protection, lightweight, and water protection are all excellent.
Columbia is a well-known maker of quality outdoor goods. As a lifelong hiking enthusiast, I have owned many Columbia products over the years. From jackets to shirts, socks, and boots, Columbia has been one of my go-to brands.
One of my favorite-ever pairs of hiking shoes is the Columbia Plains Ridge. I have owned my pair since 2016 (almost four years). They have accompanied me on countless hikes.
These serious hikers are still somehow intact. Given this experience, I was eager to try the Vitesse Outdry, a new offering from Columbia.
The Columbia website advertises the Vitesse Outdry as a versatile hiker that is also a multi-sport shoe. The Columbia site describes the shoes as a “great choice for any activity.”
Although they are advertised as performance shoes, the Vitesse Outdry is also styled to “look good on trail and the street.” The Columbia website also emphasizes the lightweight nature of the shoes.
Columbia has designed the Outdry model to be completely waterproof, using a one-piece membrane for the upper. Nonetheless, the shoes are supposed to be breathable.
I decided to focus my test of the Vitesse Outdry on both everyday wear and trail performance. I am used to hiking in shoes designed specifically for rugged conditions.
I was curious how this more fashion-oriented model would fare when subjected to the same environments where I would use a serious hiker.
In summation, I found the Vitesse Outdry to be a decent hiker but not exceptional.
What should you look for in a hiking shoe?
There are some very specific features that I look for in a hiking shoe. These features are designed to prevent injury and maximize comfort.
- A lugged outsole
The outsole is what makes or breaks a hiking boot or shoe. You need to feel stable and secure when you trek onto loose, uneven terrain.
A lugged outsole with raised bumps will help you feel sure-footed and minimize the risk of slipping and falling.
- A firm but flexible midsole
A good hiking shoe is constructed around a firm, supportive midsole that flexes at the toe. I look for torsional rigidity at the arch area of the shoe, which I test by trying to twist the shoe with my hands.
If the arch area remains unbent during the twisting, then I know that the shoe has adequate support. Also, I like solid cushioning in my hiking shoes. EVA foam is a traditional hiking shoe cushioning system.
- A removable insole
Most higher-quality hiking shoes include a stock insole that can be removed from the shoe.
As a flat-footed person, I need to replace stock insoles with a more supportive aftermarket model. If you don’t have flat feet, using a cushioned replacement insole will extend the life of your shoes.
- A durable, protective upper
It’s easy to scrape a foot when hiking on rocky terrain. The shoes upper should be made of a rugged material that will offer good protection from the elements.
You should try on hiking shoes carefully to make sure that the shoe does not rub your foot uncomfortably in any area. Rubbing can cause blisters or hot-spots.
- A rigid heel cup
This feature is very important for preventing blisters. The heel of the shoe should be hard, firm, and should hug your rearfoot closely. Too much slippage in the heel leads to painful blisters.
The way I test this when buying a pair of hiking shoes is to push on the heel with my finger. If the heel collapses under the pressure, I do not buy the shoes.
- Toe bumper
Stubbing your toe on a rock is very painful. Most hiking shoes and boots include a rubber bumper at the front for toe protection.
- A sufficiently roomy toebox
If your hiking shoe or boot makes your toes feel squeezed, you’ve found the wrong pair.
Look for a style that gives your toes ample room to spread out. Cramped toes lead to injuries, so let those piggies spread out in the shoe as much as possible.
Now that you know what I look for in a hiking shoe, it’s time to see how the Columbia Vitesse Outdry measures up.
The Columbia Vitesse Outdry looks like a hybrid between a street shoe and a hiker. The bright colors and shape of this shoe give it a sleek and sporty appearance that reminds me of the 1990s trainers.
This throwback look appears to be popular with shoe manufacturers right now. The street appeal does give these shoes added versatility for those who want a somewhat rugged daily-wear shoe.
However, the bright colors also show dirt in a way that traditional hiking boots. For me, the street appeal of the Vitesse Outdry does not really matter.
As a suburban dad in my mid-40s, I look for performance and comfort from my footwear. Style is not much of a selling point for me.
Nonetheless, I like the way that these shoes look and enjoy the color combinations that Columbia offers in this model.
I am a 9.5D on a Brannock device. The Vitesse Outdry fit me perfectly length-wise in a 9.5D but initially seemed a bit too loose around the forefoot.
I replaced the stock insoles with an aftermarket model. This helped fill up the extra room in the shoes.
With thicker hiking socks, the Vitesse Outdry now fits fine. However, this is definitely not a model for people with a narrow foot.
The Columbia Vitesse Outdry is an ultra-lightweight shoe, which makes it good for faster hiking. At no point did I feel weighed down by the shoes during any activity.
I enjoyed the ability to pick up the pace in this model. Despite the lightweight design of these shoes, they felt stable during my hikes. I would give this model a 10/10 on its weight, which helps to give these shoes a performance-ready feel.
The Vitesse Outdry boasts a seamless, waterproof upper. This upper is specifically designed to be breathable despite being waterproof.
From my experience, waterproof shoes are often not very breathable. I was interested to see whether this model would truly perform as advertised.
I first wanted to see exactly how waterproof these shoes would be. Fortunately, a torrential downpour came on a day when I was testing these shoes!
The results are pictured below.
In summation, my feet stayed completely dry despite the deluge. You can see looking at the happy snail that the conditions were pretty wet.
I tested the breathability of this shoe by hiking in warm conditions. Overall, I found these hikers to be breathable enough to be comfortable.
The uppers did not cause my feet to feel overheated. I believe that Columbia has achieved its goal of designing this model to breathe reasonably well despite holding out water.
One area where the upper seemed to be lacking is foot support. The uppers could have used some firmer overlays of the kind typically found on hiking shoes.
Without the addition of an aftermarket arch insert, my feet did not feel very well supported in this model. Because of this issue, the Vitesse Outdry may not be the best choice for longer hikes.
I also wasn’t fully pleased with the difficulty I had cleaning the upper from the mud. The light color made the dirt and mud very obvious in these shoes.
However, the mesh upper was hard to fully wash and kept showing the dirt long after the hiking was done. If this matters to you, you might want to choose a different model or a darker color.
The heel cup on the Vitesse Outdry is sufficiently rigid to prevent unwanted in-shoe motion.
However, the shoe would benefit from an extra lace hole on the collar area to better secure the heel. I found myself having to lace the shoe extra-tight to achieve a secure fit that I prefer.
Columbia designed the midsole of the Vitesse Outdry using an advanced ultralight compound. The shoes are indeed very light and also reasonably supportive.
The midsole does not twist at the arch, which makes the shoes suitable for hiking. The cushioning is more than adequate as well.
With this model, Columbia achieves the right balance between firmness and softness.
The shoe comes with a soft stock insole that is easily removable. The stock insole is soft and provides a little cushion.
It appears to be designed around a neutral or medium arch. I replaced the stock insole with my aftermarket orthotics with no issue. The stock insole may be fine for some people until it wears out.
The outsole of the Vitesse Outdry is very grippy. The Omni-Grip design features triangular lugs that are very helpful in preventing slips and skids on rough terrain.
My experience was very positive with this feature, which protected me from injury more than a few times. I felt sufficiently confident hiking in these shoes on everything from loose dirt to rocky ground.
The Columbia Vitesse Outdry is a reasonably effective day-hiker for shorter, faster hikes. Its best qualities include:
- An outsole that provides excellent traction even when used on very rough undeveloped terrain in mountainous areas. The Omni-Grip lugging works to prevent slippage on rocks and loose terrain;
- A waterproof yet relatively breathable upper made from a seamless material;
- A rigid heel cup that holds the foot in place within the shoe and includes a heel bumper for extra protection and traction;
- A very lightweight design;
- A cushioned midsole that provides solid and dependable underfoot support.
The drawbacks of the Columbia Vitesse Outdry include:
- Afit that is a bit too roomy in the forefoot for the marked width. It took the addition of an aftermarket insole to achieve a proper fit for me;
- A lack of support around the midfoot, which could be fixed with the addition of overlays (thicker straps around the midfoot) to hold the foot in place.
- Absence of an extra lace hole around the collar of the shoe to shore up the heel support;
- Colorways that show dirt easily if these shoes truly being used as performance hikers, and are hard to fully clean;
- A bit of a high price tag for Columbia shoes, which are traditionally more budget-oriented. If you are truly looking for a performance hiker from Columbia, you can certainly do better at a lower price point.
The Columbia Vitesse Outdry is a stylish hiker with some solid performance features. It should appeal to a variety of fitness-walkers who care about how their feet look when they venture off the beaten path.
It sacrifices some performance-oriented features for style. This makes me wonder whether this shoe is really made for hiking or for casual all-day wear.
Nonetheless, the Vitesse Outdry is quite comfortable and does work for faster hiking. However, I would not recommend the Vitesse Outdry to be your primary pair of hikers.
There are higher-performing shoes sold at a lower price point. I suggest the Columbia Vitesse Outdry mainly for those who hike occasionally and want a shoe that they can use for casual wear as well as outdoors.
This may also be a good daily-wear shoe for those who live in rainy climates.
I was very excited when these arrived on my doorstep since I was in the market for a new lightweight hiking shoe that I could take on adventures with me.
This shoe definitely fits what I was looking for. The Vitesse Outdry is a comfortable light hiker that is perfectly suited as a travel/lighter hiking shoe.
I tested this on a variety of terrain, and I thought it worked ok on most surfaces, but not the best if you are looking for a dedicated hiking shoe as it is limited in some respects.
If you are looking for a shoe to wear around while you are traveling that transitions well to light hiking, this is the shoe for you.
Construction & design
This shoe is quite …sturdy. It’s got a robust midsole, heavy padding along the ankle collar and tongue, and a full rubber outsole.
The overlays along the outer edge of the shoe provide protection, but also makes it easier to wipe down the shoes after a hike. This is quite helpful when you are hiking in very dusty areas like southern California.
The flat laces are durable and do a good job of locking in the shoe to the foot. The heavy padding also makes it so that it feels like a wetsuit rather than a corset when you really tighten those laces.
The step-in comfort is amazing because of all of the padding, but the insole and midsole really help the shoe feel really plush for a hiking shoe.
No, it doesn’t feel pillowy soft like a Clifton 1, but it is very comfortable for a hiking shoe where you need to balance durability with that lasting comfort.
I was able to walk around all day without any hotspots or feeling like I want to chuck them off of my feet at the end of the day.
Like most people right now, I have had a difficult time finding places to hike/run since a lot of trails around me are shut down. Even where there is outdoor space, I still want to go to areas where there aren’t a lot/any people so that I can maintain a safe distance.
Luckily, I was able to test out this shoe in a variety of environments before most places shut down. What I have found about this shoe is that you don’t need to treat it like a dedicated hiking shoe because of its versatility.
When I got to a trail that was too crowded, I just went for a long walk in the hills and found that it’s just as comfortable to walk around in because the lugs are not too aggressive.
I found myself reaching for them because they are waterproof, and we have gotten a fair bit of rain in the area lately. What I did notice as I wore them on longer walks and hikes is that my foot got quite warm.
There was some breathability, but it could be the fact that there is a waterproof layer, my feet did get a little hot. That is a tradeoff for having waterproof shoes.
When I took it around those walking trips around town, I found that it was very comfortable, and the cushioning shows no breakdown after months of use. I honestly can say that it is one of my go-to shoes for taking the dog on the light trails and easier hikes.
I say easier hikes because when I took it on a very rocky steep trail, the shoe did not perform as well as some of my other hiking shoes. Yes, it was still comfortable and the shoe felt like it was very stable, but the grip doesn’t do well on technical downhills.
It performed great on the uphill portions of the hike, but I couldn’t get any traction on the downhills and I felt like I was slipping more than normal.
I think that the lack of traction was due to the fact that the lugs are not that aggressive, which is part of the reason why they are so great as a transitional hiking shoe.
The rubber provides enough grip for those uphill but requires you to move more cautiously through the downhill portions.
- Very comfortable from the first time that you put it on
- Versatile shoe for light hikes and walking around
- Affordable and durable
- Stable platform and stabilizing ankle collar
- Pull tab!
- Not enough grip for technical downhill hiking
- Not that breathable
- Colorways not exciting
Good to know
-The Columbia Vitesse OutDry is a sporty-looking shoe that has the performance of a rugged hiker. It boasts of a breathable mesh upper, the Outdry waterproof membrane, and the Omni-Grip non-marking traction rubber sole.
-Designed to promote speed and agility, this footwear from Columbia comes with an ultra-light midsole, one of the most advanced shoe cushioning technologies today.
-Lastly, the seamless upper construction results in a polished look and enhanced durability.
Designed for men and women, the Columbia Vitesse OutDry shoes have soft and stretchy mesh uppers with no sewn overlays for that "glove-like" fit and support. It's a low-cut model which means less coverage for the ankle and more freedom of movement. The tongue and collar are nicely padded for a comfortable stride and the web lacing system ensures easy adjustment of the fit whenever needed.
The Vitesse OutDry hiker features a high-traction sole exclusively developed by Columbia. Called Omni-Grip, this rubber sole is made of specially formulated compounds that offer protection against the elements. It features multidirectional lugs and wide contact areas for enhanced grip and traction. Thus, this hiker is expected to perform well on rocky trails, slippery roads, and packed dirt. Furthermore, there are enough spaces in between the lugs so mud and debris don't get stuck.
Perhaps the most striking feature unique to this shoe is its ultra-light midsole. It's Columbia's most advanced cushioning system so far which boasts of high energy return. It works by absorbing impact so less energy is utilized by the body, thereby making long walks and hikes much bearable and preventing fatigue, foot pain, and the like.
The thing about this midsole is that it's very thin, more like an insole. But it has really good cushioning property, durability, and impact protection.
The Columbia Vitesse OutDry shoes are made with breathable mesh uppers so they make the ideal footwear for sunny hikes. Nevertheless, they come with the OutDry waterproof membrane which is integrated into the shoe through seam-sealed construction. This means that the waterproof material acts like a sockliner that prevents the entry of water.
The upper also has a seamless construction, meaning there are no sewn overlays. This really enhances the waterproofing quality of the Vitesse because there are no stitches, holes, and seams where water can get through. Plus, there are no "weak spots" where damage usually starts to take place.
Lastly, there's a rubber toe cap and heel cup, as well as rubber reinforcements along the part where the upper and sole meet, giving the shoe a sturdy structure.