Hiking is a great way to combine exercise and communing with nature. Covering the trails through heavy overgrowth takes agility, concentration and a high-quality pair of hiking boots. Hiking boots are designed for the roughest terrain. They are built to protect your feet and keep them warm and dry no matter the conditions.
Columbia Sportswear is one of the most trusted brands in outdoor apparel. They have manufactured quality clothing and footwear for 80 years and have an extensive selection of hiking boots for men, women and children. For its all-purpose features that protect your feet on all terrains, the best Columbia hiking boot is the Columbia Men’s Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Hiking Boot.
Hiking footwear has three varieties.
Finding the right size of hiking boot is important. Try on hiking boots at the end of the day when your feet have swelled a little bit. Wear hiking socks and insert orthotics if you wear them. Another good measurement is to remove the insole and put your foot on it. There should be a thumbs-length margin between your big toe and the end of the insole.
Breaking in new hiking boots takes time and patience. Many quick fixes circulate on the internet, but the best method is to spend time wearing them. Start inside your house wearing the socks and insoles you would wear on the trail. Tie the boots tightly. Eventually branch out to longer walks around your neighborhood or downtown. Then move out into nature and carry a backpack.
Keep a close eye on any spots that pinch and hurt. There may be a remedy in how the shoes are laced or perhaps the placement of your socks and insoles. Address the problem early so it doesn’t become a more painful issue out in the wilderness.
The three main materials used in Columbia hiking boots are leather, suede and mesh.
Columbia manufactures the Omni-Grip traction system for its outsoles. This blends a strategic lug pattern and rubber compounds for extra stability and grip. It is designed for all terrains and works well on loose dirt, gravel and rocks.
The Tech Lite cushioning used in Columbia’s hiking boots is designed to absorb impact. This creates a high energy return for the feet. Tech Lite is lightweight and the cushioning lasts all day.
All of Columbia’s hiking boots have some level of waterproofing. The bonded construction keeps water from coming in. They also have a breathable membrane that is impenetrable by water. This is ideal for snow and heavy rain.
Basic Columbia hiking boots and trail runners for men and women that feature synthetic uppers are priced between $55-$75. But the majority of Columbia hiking boots cost between $75-$100 and feature leather uppers and all the technological advances in the outsole and cushioning. More expensive options begin at $100 and might push $150. The newest models are in this range; hiking boots designed for the roughest terrains are included.
A. Columbia makes several hiking boots for older children. They also have a full line of snow boots for children and toddlers.
A. A gusseted tongue attaches to the shoe upper along the laces. It creates a solid barrier that keeps rocks and other objects from entering the shoe. This is important on trails with loose dirt and gravel.
What you need to know: This all-purpose hiking boot is lightweight but built for the elements with seam-sealed waterproofing.
What you’ll love: The coated leather, suede and mesh upper is designed for protection and comfort. The Tech Lite midsole provides premium cushioning. A non-marking rubber outsole firmly grips the terrain. Each boot weighs under 1 pound.
What you should consider: Hikers with wide feet noted that the shoes feel narrow and tight.
What you need to know: Designed for wet and muddy trails, this hiking boot features a waterproof bootie and lightweight construction.
What you’ll love: The leather and mesh upper is light on your feet. The Tech Lite midsole delivers superior comfort, and the rubber sole is made for traction on all terrains. The air permeable design keeps the elements out and air flowing inside.
What you should consider: Some hikers ordered a half-size larger to accommodate socks and wide feet.
What you need to know: With an urban style and sturdy outdoor protection, this hiking boot is perfect for the trail or a downtown excursion.
What you’ll love: The mesh upper is flexible and breathable. The Adapt Trax outsole grips tightly on both wet and dry surfaces. A gusseted tongue keeps debris and dirt out of the boot. A molded toe cap offers extra protection.
What you should consider: The laces and zipper on this boot are not waterproof.
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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.