5 best Columbia hiking boots

Based on reviews from 5 experts and 3,967 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to Columbia hiking boots. Updated Jan 2019.

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The different kinds of Columbia hiking boots

The brand offers several types of hiking footwear. These variants are constructed differently and each fulfills a specific outdoor purpose. Here are some of them:

  • Day hiking boots. Columbia hiking boots under this category are built with an emphasis on lightness and comfort. These footwear models often use synthetic uppers and ethylene-vinyl acetate midsoles to reduce weight. They also use mesh panels in the upper to enhance breathability in warm weather.
  • Winter hiking boots. These footwear models deliver sufficient performance and protection in cold and snowy conditions. They are lined with insulating materials to keep your foot warm. Their outsoles are engineered to render traction in this kind of environment.

Virtues of the best Columbia hiking boots

Comfort

Comfort is the key that will take you further on your hike. A pair of Columbia hiking boots is built with an emphasis on this aspect. The brand’s lightweight hikers are lined with mesh fabric to create a comfy in-shoe feel. Moreover, this material grants breathability to the foot, making the pair handy during a warm hike.

Another factor that makes Columbia hiking boots comfortable is its lightness. Most of the company’s hikers use components such as EVA midsoles and synthetic uppers to reduce its overall weight. These materials help lessen the fatigue experienced by your foot during a hike. As a result, you can travel long distances without feeling stressed the whole time.

Traction

Every trail is bound to have all kinds of challenges—slippery rocks, uneven terrain and muddy paths among others. Columbia hiking boots are equipped with grippy outsoles to help you traverse these ground obstacles. These outsoles feature an aggressive lug pattern that renders traction on challenging surfaces. They are made of a durable rubber compound that can withstand constant contact with the ground. Also, certain Columbia hikers are configured with a heel brake which grants better control in downhill conditions.

Support

A good reason to go for Columbia hiking boots is how they support your feet during a hike. Most of the outdoor company’s hikers are outfitted with an ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) midsole. The said material, when used for footwear, is known to grant lightweight cushioning, energy return, and shock absorbency.

Select Columbia hiking boots use a polyurethane (PU) midsole. PU is a material that’s more resilient to wear and tear. Some of these boots are paired with a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) shank to enhance torsional stability. This component also makes the footgear more rigid to prevent it from twisting or contorting.

Hiking boots from Columbia use a mid-top or high-top collar which securely wraps around the user’s ankle. This design helps prevent the ankle from rolling when traversing uneven terrain or slippery surfaces. The combination of all these shoe parts provides support suitable for multi-day hikes.

Durability

Columbia hiking boots are engineered to withstand harsh conditions so you can get the most out of them. They are built using tough materials and technologies which contribute to the footgear’s overall durability. The best Columbia hiking boots are equipped with uppers made of nubuck or full-grain leather, making them resistant to abrasion and the elements.

The footwear company’s day hiking boots use a combination of suede leather and mesh fabric to construct the upper. These materials strike a balance between lightness, breathability, and robustness. Along with a robust upper, the finest Columbia hiking boots use rubber toe caps for improved sturdiness. These components all work in unison to grant lasting durability to the gear.

Protection

Stubbing your toes on something hard or exposing your foot to water can end your hike on a bad note. Columbia hiking boots are equipped with features that protect your feet from harm and the elements. The gear’s sturdy upper protects your foot against abrasive agents. A water-resistant coating is also applied to these uppers to repel the elements.

Some of Columbia’s hikers are reinforced with rubber toe caps. This component helps prevent your toes from getting stubbed. The boot’s tongue prevents debris from coming in contact with your foot. All in all, the performance of these parts helps make your hike a safer one.

How does a pair of Columbia waterproof hiking boots keep your feet dry?

Some of the brand’s mid-top and high-top hikers are imbued with an OutDry liner to protect your foot against unpredictable weather and all sorts of wet trail conditions. This technology consists of a one-piece membrane without any seams or gaps in its design. As a result, water is prevented from being absorbed by the upper. As a bonus, OutDry technology also allows moisture to escape from inside the boot so your foot won’t sweat too much.

Fit and Sizing

Getting the right fit from your hikers is essential to any outdoor enthusiast. The brand’s hiking boots are built with a lace-up closure which grants a secure and personalized fit to the wearer. This system uses a series of eyelets and hooks to keep the laces in place.

A Columbia hiking boot comes with a padded tongue and collar. These components wrap around your ankle and forefoot when the laces are adjusted. Moreover, these footwear models fairly run true to size. All of these boot qualities come together to create a customized and comfortable fit that won’t affect your mobility on the trail. 

Columbia men’s hiking boots

The brand offers various mid-cut and high-cut hikers for male adventurers. The size of Columbia men’s hiking boots range from 7 to 15. There are half-sizes available so you can get a precise fit from them. These footwear models come in standard width profile while a select few have a wide fit version.

Columbia women’s hiking boots

This American outdoor gear company features a wide assortment of Columbia women’s hiking boots. The sizes of these hikers are around 5 to 12. Half-sizes are also offered for a better overall fit. These footgear models are available in regular and wide width options.

The Perks of the best Columbia hiking boots

Popularity

Columbia Sportswear started in 1938 when Paul and Marie Lamfrom fled from Germany to start a hat distributorship in Portland. This business was then known as the Columbia Hat Company, a name derived from a river near the Lamfrom’s base of operations. Their daughter, Gert, would go on to marry Neal Boyle, Columbia’s company head in 1948. By 1960, the couple would start to manufacture their own outdoor gear products after several frustrations with suppliers. In the process, the company was rebranded as Columbia Sportswear in 1960.

Columbia hiking boots, along with the brand’s other outdoor gear products, are being sold in more than 72 countries by around 13,000 retailers. They also manufacture hiking footwear, ski accessories, and outdoor apparel. Moreover, the company is publicly traded on NASDAQ with a market value of $4.13 billion, as of February 2015. 

Pricing

Columbia hiking boots are packed with the brand’s technologies to deliver a satisfactory performance. Entry-level hikers contain some of these features, hence their affordable price tag. These footwear models start at $80. On the other hand, the company’s high-end boots range from $150 to $180 due to their premium construction and materials.

Shoe technologies

  • Omni-Tech. Select Columbia hiking boots use an Omni-Tech liner for water protection. This technology is characterized by a seam-sealed membrane which prevents water from being absorbed. It also allows moisture to pass through, making it breathable.
  • Techlite. Techlite midsoles are made of lightweight EVA foam. They are designed to absorb energy and return it during the push-off phase. This action results to improved cushioning, shock absorbency, and step-in comfort.
  • Omni-Grip. Most Columbia hiking boots are equipped with Omni-Grip outsoles to render traction. These outsoles are made of specially formulated rubber compounds to handle contact with harsh ground conditions. They are engineered with strategic lug patterns which grip on rock, gravel, and loose dirt.
  • Omni-Heat. This Columbia technology is lined within the boots. It is made of a breathable material and is composed of small silver dots that reflect body heat.
  • OutDry. This patented technology consists of a one-piece barrier to keep your foot dry. The membrane’s inner layer is directly combined with the outer fabric leaving no seams or gaps for water to enter through. It also allows moisture to pass for enhanced breathability. Moreover, an OutDry membrane enhances the boot’s fit and flexibility.
  • Vibram. A few Columbia hiking boots use Vibram outsoles for surface traction. These outsoles are engineered to achieve a balance between durability and grip in variable conditions. Its profile is filled with multi-directional lugs and self-cleaning channels which optimizes traction. They are also designed to maintain performance in an environment with cold temperatures.

Frequently asked questions about the best Columbia hiking boots

How can I preserve the quality of my Columbia hiking boots?

Your hikers will be covered with dirt and mud at the end of each trip. It’s a must to clean them once you get home to extend their lifespan. Otherwise, the natural chemicals in these shoes will corrode your footgear’s materials and weaken its overall strength. The brand recommends the following tips to keep your Columbia hiking boots clean and working well.

  • Remove the footbed before washing your footwear. This enables you to clean those hard-to-reach areas inside the boot.
  • Place your gear under a faucet and rinse it using clean tap water. Get a soft bristled brush to get rid of all noticeable traces of dirt and debris.
  • A mild dishwashing detergent should be used to clean stains found on your Columbia hiking boots.
  • When you are dealing with grease, oil, gum, or sap, you can apply a small amount of isopropyl alcohol on the affected surface using a piece of cotton cloth. This solution will safely remove the stain without affecting the quality of the leather or fabric material.
  • Leave your hikers in a well-ventilated spot after cleaning them. Avoid placing your newly-washed Columbia hiking boots near or along the path of direct heat. Exposure to the sun’s rays or a dryer can negatively affect the quality of your gear.
  • Most of the brand’s hikers are treated with a water-repellent finish. Over time, this coating will lose its effectiveness due to wear and tear. Columbia recommends the application of spray products that restore water repellency. The boot should be clean and dry before applying the solution so it can effectively work.

How can I get the right fit from my Columbia Hiking boots when ordering online?

Before finalizing your online purchase, it’s best to follow these tips from the brand so you can get a precise fit from these hikers.

  • Always wear your preferred hiking socks before trying on a boot. This practice will help you get an idea on how the gear feels when wearing it.
  • Get a blank piece of paper and position it against the wall.
  • Step on the sheet of paper with your heel touching the wall. Use a pen or pencil to mark the end of your longest toe.
  • Obtain a ruler to get the measurement of your foot in millimeters. Once you have this piece of information, you can refer to Columbia’s guide to get your exact size.

What should I do when the Columbia hiking boots I ordered arrived with a defect?

You should act fast when the hikers you bought contains one or several defects. Columbia has a comprehensive warranty and return guide that will help you through this process.

  • A pair of Columbia hiking boots comes with a one-year limited warranty. It does not cover damage caused by an accident, neglect, misuse, or improper care.
  • If your pair is eligible for warranty, you will be asked to fill out a form and submit a copy of the original receipt to verify your claim.
  • Once your claim has been authenticated, you’ll have to pack and ship your defective Columbia hiking boots to the company’s office in Portland, Oregon. The company will then give you the option to have your hikers repaired or get a virtual merchandise credit in exchange of the defective pair.

5 best Columbia hiking boots

  1. Columbia Fairbanks Omni-Heat
  2. Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof
  3. Columbia Cascade Pass Waterproof
  4. Columbia Bugaboot III
  5. Columbia Bugaboot Plus IV Omni-Heat
This shoe has recently been added to RunRepeat. There are still not enough reviews for us to assign it a CoreScore.
CoreScore
A score from 1 to 100 that summarizes opinions from users and experts. The average CoreScore is 78. More...