10 Best Columbia Hiking Boots in 2021

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on

You can’t hear the brand name Columbia and not get a lightbulb moment that gives you the desire to hike. And that desire—whether you need something versatile, or you fancy a pair that looks dapper both on and off the trail—will be satiated with our top picks.

For us to come up with the best hiking boots from this brand, we’ve put over 20 Columbia trail boots to the test. Featured below are kicks that we highly recommend.

How we test Columbia hiking boots

Producing unbiased and object-based reviews is core to RunRepeat’s existence. To hit that mark every single time, we live by the following tenets:

  • We purchase Columbia hiking boots using our own funds. This way, we can be our own voice, not being influenced by external factors.
  • We spend weeks testing every Columbia pair, putting each one through a rigorous process that involves a variety of terrain and weather conditions.
  • To make our reviews as inclusive as can be, we reflect in our scores hundreds of reviews from critics and users alike.

These result in what we call the CoreScore—a RunRepeat-exclusive grading system that determines our Columbia-centric crème de la crème.

Best overall

Unbeatably wondrous is the Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof. In almost every way, this dapper trail mower floored us, and we kept coming back for more!

The Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof welcomed us with overflowing comfort. Yes, there’s no break-in phase, and we got 360-degree pampering from the off.

It didn’t weigh us down in the entirety of our half-a-day-long testing. That should come as no surprise, as the Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof weighs no more than 450 grams per boot!

Traction-wise, the Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof is by no means a pushover. It didn’t relent on mossy wood (fell trees) and mud, nor did it falter on dusty tracks and rock. In short, this Columbia hiker kept our footing wherever.

Speaking of not relenting, the Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof lives up to its name in that it is super-watertight. Its striking leather upper served as a wetness barrier in moderate showers and through creeks.

And let’s not forget how our jaws dropped when we finally came to realize that the Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof is only $80. EIGHTY DOLLARS! This alone is a mic-drop moment for Columbia!

See our full review and facts

If you’ve been looking for something hype-worthy, we trust you can find it in the Crestwood Mid Waterproof!

Another one of Columbia’s highly affordable boots (its MSRP is $90!), the Crestwood Mid Waterproof provides instant comfort. We love its asymmetrical collar for being quite padded and plush but not restrictive. We didn’t get hot feet in our pairs at all.

Living up to its name, the Crestwood Mid Waterproof gave us confidence in wet conditions. We ended our day-long trip across a rocky creek with fresh, moisture-free tootsies. We also stood in the water, whose depth reached the second pair of eyelets from the bottom, and nothing got inside!

As for the boot’s traction, we’d give the Crestwood Mid Waterproof five stars. Its outsole kept us surefooted on mud and other slippery surfaces. Inclines and slopes were quite easy to navigate in the boot, as well.

The collar of the Crestwood Mid Waterproof delighted us, too. It’s flexible enough for creative maneuvers, yes, but the way it supported our ankles on uneven terrain impressed us deeply!

Past its rather short laces, the Crestwood Mid Waterproof is a great alternative. Do yourself a favor and snag one today!

See our full review and facts

Best winter boot

Staying in for the rest of winter? Don’t! Gear up with the Fairbanks Omni-Heat Boot and beat the cold in style!

Non-stop warmth is what you’ll get in this Columbia boot. Lined with insulated padding, the Fairbanks Omni-Heat Boot kept our feet as toasty as can be during our winter escapade.

The Fairbanks Omni-Heat Boot is super-comfortable by default. Fresh from the box, we crushed a few kilometers on the trail and came out with pampered feet. We experienced no rubbing anywhere, and blisters were completely non-existent.

On the lightness front, the Columbia Fairbanks Omni-Heat Boot is remarkable at 440 grams per shoe. Despite being fully insulated, the hiker in question didn’t weigh us down. If you want to be a stylish ninja this winter, this is your guy!

We also want to give the protectiveness of the Fairbanks Omni-Heat Boot a proper spotlight here. It might not look very intimidating, but its upper is mighty tough. We hardly felt anything at all when we crossed dried and leafless bushes. Kicking stones (on purpose) in it was also satisfying.

We highly recommend the Fairbanks Omni-Heat Boot for winter adventures. Give it a shot, and you’ll see how great it is!

See our full review and facts

If devastating snowy trails is your thing, there’s no better boot to be in than the Bugaboot Plus IV Omni-Heat from Columbia.

Beating the harsh winter cold is a walk in the park in the Bugaboot Plus IV Omni-Heat. Living up to its name, this cozy hiker afforded us toasty feet for hours on end. But perhaps the most amazing part about its insulation was when we went sockless—we still got the amount of warmth we needed to enjoy our trip.

Now, the Bugaboot Plus IV Omni-Heat is a frigid-walker. We never did once lose our footing on solid ice and packed snow. It also gave us more than enough slip resistance on the snowless parts of the trail. Remarkable!

In slosh, the Bugaboot Plus IV Omni-Heat performed as advertised. Moisture couldn’t get through its shelled high-top upper, even while in some four-inch-deep water. This is where the boot can be considered a real tank. It’s just so unbelievably watertight!

As for comfort, the Bugaboot Plus IV Omni-Heat didn’t disappoint. That said, that snug and cozy fit could’ve been there sooner than later.

Overall, the Bugaboot Plus IV Omni-Heat is an excellent alternative. Your time with it will be time well spent. Trust us!

See our full review and facts

Best for urban hiking

And here it is; the fairest of them all, and it’s none other than the Fairbanks Rover by Columbia!

As handsomely captivating as it is, the Fairbanks Rover is more than just a looker. Indeed, this hiker performs remarkably both on city pavements and semi-rugged trails.

Its versatility is matched with day-one comfort. It’s just so pampering everywhere! Its lining is soft but not flimsy, giving you a snug hug around the midfoot minus the hotspots! Extra credit goes to its tongue, too, as it felt oh so supple on our insteps right from the start!

As for its defenses against moisture, the Fairbanks Rover delivered. It came out with flying colors after our waterproof tests, meaning we didn’t get wet feet in it.

And did you know that the Fairbanks Rover is insulated? Yes, and we got all the warmth we could get out of it when we tried it in the snow (it was probably less than 5°F at the time).

There’s no holding you back either from getting this boot price-wise, as the Fairbanks Rover is no more than $140 a pop. Give in now!

See our full review and facts

Do you want to spice things up as you travel miles be it in the city or on the trail? Then let the Firecamp Boot accompany you!

Our initial travels in it were done in town. Its moderately aggressive lugs provided us with more than enough tenacity on concrete and asphalt. On the trail, it was the same narrative. The Columbia Firecamp Boot didn’t deny us surefootedness, whether on wet foliage or dry ground.

Receiving compliments is something you should expect while you have this boot on. Yes, the Columbia Firecamp Boot looks dapper, and we can’t wait to use it again just to rack up more style points as we go!

Just like our top pick, and if it isn’t obvious yet, the Columbia Firecamp Boot is also a winter hiking boot. Its fully insulated liner performed within expectations in that our feet stayed warm in the almost-below-zero cold. For us, it lived up to its name, big time!

The lightness of this hiker is also quite astounding. At no more than 420 grams per shoe, the Columbia Firecamp Boot kept us moving with immense agility without skimping on ankle support.

See our full review and facts

Best lightweight

Are you in search of a boot in which you get the swiftness of a ninja all while looking future-proof? Enter the Trailstorm Mid Waterproof by Columbia!

Hold on to your seats because the Trailstorm Mid Waterproof is super-light. Seriously, this Columbia hiker, which weighs no more than 350 grams per boot, rivals lightweight offerings from other categories (think sneakers and low-top hiking shoes).

This yet-another dapper Columbia boot also demands no break-in time. Fresh from the box, the Trailstorm Mid Waterproof immediately pampered our feet, especially around the heel and midfoot. We felt no unsettling pressure from it anywhere. It also saved us from the hotspots and blisters hikers usually get from kicks that need a honeymoon phase.

Now, don’t think that the Trailstorm Mid Waterproof is a pushover support-wise just because of its readily available comfort and lightness. There’s a level of flexibility to its collar, which gave us extra torsional (twisting) mobility. That said, the same collar kept our ankles mighty secure during tricky transitions and lateral negotiations.

As for the Trailstorm Mid Waterproof’s outsole, it has been a godsend for us! All we’re saying is that, we encountered no slippage at all with it, even on ascents.

See our full review and facts

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Author
Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto

Over the past 20 years, Paul has climbed, hiked, and ran 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 analyses every detail of the shoes that you might buy.