10 Best Columbia Hiking Shoes in 2021

Paul Ronto
Paul Ronto on

Do you want a well-rounded pair that look posh both on and off the trail? Perhaps you are looking for a Columbia shoe that eats rough terrain for breakfast? Or maybe something that sells for no more than $100? Whichever kick you need, there is a Columbia hiker waiting for you here.

We have tested over 20 pairs of Columbia hiking shoes to bring you our top picks. The must-buys showcased here, each having a corresponding alternative, are those that made the cut.

How we review Columbia hiking shoes

Tired of looking everywhere for honest and objective reviews? This is the place to be. Here’s how we come up with them:

  • We buy Columbia shoes with our own funds, whether they are dirt cheap by default or expensive.
  • To identify each kick’s strengths and area of expertise, we put every Columbia pair through the wringer, which involves different terrain types and weather conditions.
  • Hundreds of Columbia shoe reviews from professional testers and regular users are also reflected in our evaluation process.

We then give every shoe a CoreScore from 1 to 100. It is our proprietary grading system that helps us to pick out the best hiking shoes from Columbia.

Best overall

Give in to what you see because the Facet 30 OutDry is the coolest and most badass Columbia pair you will ever lay your eyes on!

Grip-tastic (grip-wise + fantastic) is what we’re coining here to describe the Facet 30 OutDry sticky outsole. Whether on dirt tracks or mulchy uphill/downhill, this bad boy had us clinging like superstars! Extra props go to its magnificent descent control, too.

On waterproofing, the Facet 30 OutDry is mighty impermeable. As long as you keep to the shallowest part of the creek or stream, meaning the water is no deeper than 2 inches, your feet will be safe and dry in it.

In terms of comfort, the Facet 30 OutDry gave us no window for complaint. Our time with it was simply magical and plush. The shoe gave us no blisters nor hotspots, too. Amazing!

At 350-ish grams per kick, this Columbia piece got us powering through level terrain with no hitches. Despite its lightness, the Facet 30 OutDry still provided us with immense stability over rough terrain.

And we also want to give the Facet 30 OutDry extra credit in the mobility department. Yes, this shoe is a mover, alright, and we are attributing its propelling quality to the shoe’s rockered construction and springy sole unit!

See our full review and facts

Sleek and boosting, the Vitesse OutDry is the precise Columbia pair you’ve been looking for.

“Unbelievably comfy” is the best description we can give the Vitesse OutDry. From its svelte collar, which is lightly padded, to its snug midfoot and toe zone, this plush Columbia hiker will make you go gaga!

Performance-wise, the Vitesse OutDry is a versatile beast. On lightly rugged terrain, we pulled off bigger strides without a cinch. On concrete, the shoe gave us sneaker-like walking prowess. Yes, this kick is the king of level-ground transitions in our books!

We didn’t get achy feet in our time with the Vitesse OutDry. Its arch zone, though cushy, supported our arches with finesse.

As light as our top pick, the Vitesse OutDry (at 700-ish grams a pair) felt like tennis shoes. Its highly perforated upper is, of course, what made this sorcery possible.

Equally impressive is the Vitesse OutDry’s waterproofing. No drop from puddles we strode into got inside its impermeable shell. That said, we’d wear something else in a heavy downpour.

With its 90-dollar price tag, the Vitesse OutDry is a steal. Get one for yourself now!

See our full review and facts

Best breathable

Are you so over sweaty feet? Then don the Columbia Vitesse and make your summer hikes as pleasurable as ever!

Every step in the Vitesse, whether big or small, translates to fresh tootsies. It’s true—this gem flushes out stuffiness as you go, keeping your feet dry for long hours on the trail.

At about 700 grams per pair, the Columbia Vitesse kept us on our feet minus the unnecessary weight. We were gliding in this breathable hiker the whole time through as if we were in a pair of road runners.

Speaking of runners, the Vitesse has the sole unit for speedier movements. We’re talking about running in it in short bursts on level terrain, and we got above-average to great results. We wouldn’t run in it on asphalt or concrete, though.

And have we mentioned how much the Vitesse pampered our feet yet? Its liner felt plush right from the start, with the heel zone giving us the most comfort. The Vitesse also didn’t give us any blisters, and bunching around the instep was non-existent throughout our testing!

Finally, if its 90-dollar asking price doesn’t win you over, we don’t know what will!

See our full review and facts

A chunkier option underfoot than our top pick for breathability, the Ivo Trail Breeze will take you places empowered minus the sweaty feet!

The Ivo Trail Breeze does its name justice, really. Its highly perforated low-top shell ejected all manners of stuffiness in the entirety of our daily adventures. And while it does have leather overlays, its upper managed to dry quickly in times when we accidentally got our pairs soaked.

Taking after the Vitesse weight-wise, the Ivo Trail Breeze has lightness going for it, as well. At 354 g per shoe, this hiker sits neck and neck with most lightweight kicks, including sneakers, out there.

Equipped with toothier lugs down under, the Columbia Ivo Trail Breeze allowed us to negotiate slippery routes without being too technical. On both ascents and descents, this hiking shoe clung to a variety of surfaces effortlessly.

But how does it perform on pavements and the like, you ask? While its rubber lugs are more aggressive than most urban hiking shoes on the market, the Ivo Trail Breeze still wowed us on man-made surfaces. Nothing is too stiff underfoot, and the shoe’s tread pattern gave us reassuring adhesion on concrete.

It might not be the roomiest shoe around the forefoot, but the Ivo Trail Breeze is a boon for those who like taking on trails in the summer.

See our full review and facts

Best rugged

Who’s the brawniest and grittiest of them all? Why it’s the Crestwood of course! Yes, if there is a pair from Columbia’s roster that can move mountains, it has got to be this grungy must-have!

Out of the 20+ Columbia kicks we’ve tested, we really have the audacity to say that the Crestwood is the most supportive of them all. Its strong sole unit, particularly around the arch, protected our feet from sharp rocks and had us hiking further and farther without the tired arches.

Speaking of protection, the Crestwood’s upper also shielded us from abrasive obstacles and gnarly roots. Its leather overlays tanked through rugged terrain and only sustained light scratches!

Now, the Columbia Crestwood impressed us with its adhesiveness both on and off the trail. Where it was damp and mulchy, the shoe stuck like glue without too much effort. On dusty tracks and grassy hills, the Crestwood produced more than enough grip!

Comfort-wise, the Crestwood didn’t disappoint, either. After a rather quick break-in period, the shoe in question gave our feet a nice hug, especially around the heel and instep. And its puffy tongue only gave extra cushioning minus the bunching.

See our full review and facts

When the going gets tough and the weather won’t let up, the Columbia Trailstorm Waterproof will be there for you.

A mower of moderately rugged terrain, where wet dried leaves and twigs abound, the Trailstorm Waterproof will respond with incredible stability and tenacity. Indeed, fist-size rocks and rubble didn’t make us flinch in this powerful piece, and slippery surfaces (think mud and weathered logs) weren’t a threat.

But more about its grip level—The Trailstorm Waterproof supplied us with fantastic traction on descents. This is despite the shoe not having a heel brake. We link its amazing stickiness on slopes and inclines to the hiker’s aggressive heel tread and studs.

While not a backpacking shoe, the Trailstorm Waterproof’s comfiness lasted us more hours than usual. The cushiness of its heel, the snugness of its midfoot, and its bunch-free tongue all contributed to the shoe’s high comfort level. That said, we wish the Trailstorm Waterproof had a quicker break-in period (quicker than a few days, that is).

And the Columbia Trailstorm Waterproof is as incredible on the lightness front as it is impressive price-wise. We are looking at a shoe that weighs no more than 700 grams a pair and sells for no more than $100 here!

See our full review and facts

Best mid cut

Here is the king of ankle snugness from Columbia, and it’s none other than the boundary-breaking SH/FT OutDry Mid!

More for comfort than for support, the SH/FT OutDry Mid’s mid-rise collar gives sock-like plushness around the ankle. Yes, the kind of hug it gives provides a higher sense of control and responsiveness more than security. That said, we have no complaints!

Its leather-slash-fabric shell is imbued with an OutDry membrane, making the shoe fully watertight. Given that its cuff hugged our ankles just right, no trickling droplet got inside the shoe ever! It also gave us stellar results through our running-water and puddle-immersion tests!

Equally mesmerizing about the SH/FT OutDry Mid is its grip level. While it sports shallow lugs (about 3 mm in depth), the kick managed to keep us going over mossy routes and bog without slipping once. And on concrete and asphalt, the shoe granted us extraordinary grip!

And if there’s only one hiker from Columbia’s lineup that can give you incredible shock absorption and rebound, the SH/FT OutDry Mid is it. So, if we were you, we’d get a pair and fast!

See our full review and facts

Is it a shoe? Is it a boot? No, it’s the Vitesse Mid OutDry from Columbia!

Just like the SH/FT OutDry Mid, this gem of mid-rise hiker puts a supple sock and a fantastic hiking shoe together. With its plush collar and cushy lining, the Vitesse Mid OutDry provides generous amounts of comfort right from the get-go!

Cut from the same cloth weight-wise as most of our top picks here, the Vitesse Mid OutDry is quite freeing at 354 grams per kick. Despite its jaw-dropping lightness, however, the shoe never felt flimsy or frail on our feet.

Engineered with a tough heel counter, the Vitesse Mid OutDry is a stunner support-wise. Our heels remained centered and cupped (no slippage) in the entirety of our day-long outing. And around the midfoot, the shoe also gave us security on semi-craggy ground like a champ!

Fully waterproof, the Vitesse Mid OutDry never allowed moisture to ruin our hiking day. It saved us the trouble of being too careful around bogs and creeks. Yes, we negotiated such wetlands somewhat haphazardly and came out with fresh piggies!

Had it been given a proper heel brake, the Vitesse Mid OutDry would’ve been so much more for us.

See our full review and facts

Best budget shoe

Picture the Columbia Ivo Trail like this: a backcountry-to-city hiker whose MSRP makes eyes pop at $90!

Having bought and tested 20+ stellar hiking shoes from Columbia, nothing tops the humbly priced Ivo Trail, especially when value for money is involved.

On the comfort front, the Ivo Trail can be likened to worn-in (but not worn out) skater shoes. Nothing rubbed our feet inside it, and hotspots weren’t a thing anywhere. The fit around the forefoot also added to the shoe’s extended comfort in that it didn’t press on our piggies whatsoever!

This day-one-comfy hiker also stunned us with its slip resistance on the trail. On low-lying boulders (we tested it on dry first and then wet), the Ivo Trail crushed it. Up this one grassy hill, the shoe performed just as well, and we didn’t need to scramble at all.

While it doesn’t sport a mesh upper, the Ivo Trail’s mainly textile shell wowed us with superb breathability. Yes, stuffiness was ejected with each step or stride we made!

Stability on rocky patches is also among the Ivo Trail’s many aces. So, if you feel like being a tough rider where uneven terrain poses a threat, you can knock it out of the park out there in this affordable hiker!

See our full review and facts

When the 100-dollar bargain bin still bars you from purchasing your first-ever hiking shoe, rest assured that the Redmond V2 will save the day!

Cheaper than our top pick for value by approximately $10, the Columbia Redmond V2 tears down any excuse to skip hiking this coming summer. We say summer because this unbelievably affordable kick is among the most breathable Columbia shoes on the market. Yes, funky and wrinkly feet have no room in this hiker!

In the area of support, we give the Redmond V2 the applause it deserves. We’re referring to its mighty arch zone in this regard, on which we were able to surmount uneven terrain without the aches and pain soon after!

Now, if you’re addicted to traversing treacherous surfaces like us, you’d be delighted to know that the Redmond V2 has the (sticky) guns down under. The clawing lugs of its Omni-Grip outsole will help you ascend and descend minus the slippage.

But what is a budget-friendly and dependably underfoot hiking shoe without resplendent comfiness to match? Well, it’s a good thing that the Redmond V2 is one comfort machine, as well.

One knock to its rather impressive resume is its unruly laces.

Still, we find the Redmond V2 a great alternative. Give it your dollar and be stunned!

See our full review and facts
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.