Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof Review
Compare to Similar Products
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof
|Price||$67.98 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$172.49 at REI|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$156.75 at Backcountry|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$109.99 at Amazon|
Compare at 3 sellers
$120.00 at REI
|Pros||Inexpensive, durable materials||Top-level hiking boot performance, excels in all metrics||Lightweight, comfortable, excellent traction||Very comfortable, supportive||Inexpensive, great waterproofing, quality material|
|Cons||Mediocre waterproofing, stiff||Expensive, not as great for hot and dry climates||Narrow fit, slightly small sizing||Average waterproofing, fair traction||Heavy, clunky, uncomfortable|
|Bottom Line||This classic hiking boot style is lightweight, durable and offers a good amount of protection from impacts||The gold standard of what a great hiking boot should be, and we heartily recommend it for those seeking the best possible performance on and off the trail||This high-performing hiking boot tears up technical terrain with maximum precision and is at home far from the trail||This super comfortable hiking shoe is one of our favorite budget-friendly models||This is a classic hiking boot that uses traditional materials and is an inexpensive option for someone who wants a beefy boot|
|Rating Categories||Columbia Newton Rid...||Salomon Quest 4 Gor...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Merrell Moab 3 Mid...||Timberland Mt. Madd...|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Columbia Newton Rid...||Salomon Quest 4 Gor...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Merrell Moab 3 Mid...||Timberland Mt. Madd...|
|Weight (per pair)||2.20 lbs (size 11)||2.90 lbs (size 11)||2.08 lbs (size 45 EU)||2.36 lbs (size 11)||2.31 lbs (size 11)|
|Boot Type||Midweight hiker/backpacking boot||Midweight hiker/backpacking boot||Lightweight hiker/day hiker||Midweight hiker/backpacking boot||Midweight hiker/backpacking boot|
|Width Options||Regualr, wide||Regular||Regular, Wide||Regular, Wide||Regular, Wide|
|Waterproof Lining||Omni-Tech||Gore-Tex||GORE-TEX extended comfort||Waterproof membrane||TimberDry|
|Upper||PU-coated leather, suede, synthetic mesh||Leather and nylon||AirMesh, microfiber, TPU||Pigskin leather, mesh||Full-grain leather|
|Last Board/Shank||Not specified||4D Chassis||Nylon molded flex TPU||Molded nylon||TPU shank|
|Midsole||Techlite EVA||EnergyCell||Injection-molded MEMlex||Super Rebound Compound||EVA|
|Sole||Omni-Grip rubber||Contagrip||FriXion XF 2.0||Vibram TC5+||Rubber|
Our Analysis and Test Results
We tested the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II in the foothills of the Eastern Sierra, traveling on sand, scree, rocks slabs, and through puddles, streams, and over snow. We found the boot to be of acceptable quality in regards to comfort and weight, while it did better in its offerings of support and durability.
Comfort was one area in which we felt that the Newton Ridge was a bit underwhelming. This is a style of boot that is gradually being replaced by more flexible models, which use materials that offer more flexion and ease of breaking in than the classic all-leather boots of yore. While many find these styles to offer improved durability, protection, and waterproofness, this boot still felt clunky and uncomfortable after testing it.
The way the foot is centered in the boot, it is easy to feel too close to the inside edge and feel the edge of the thin stock footbed under your arch. We also felt that the lack of midsole cushioning created a jarring effect while hiking on rough trails. The lacing system allows for a tight fit around the ankle, but it is very tough to get the inflexible material to move much in the forefoot, creating a loose fit.
The Newton Ridge Plus II earned better scores for support, given that it has a stronger ability than many softer models to provide protection from impacts along the trail or even things falling on the toe area. It is not a "steel-toe" boot but could be a more comfortable work boot for some. The lacing hooks extend up the ankle, allowing for a snug and secure fit for those who carry heavy packs or have a history of rolling their ankles.
The Techlite midsole, a proprietary Columbia product, gave us a good amount of protection from pointy objects like rocks and roots on the trail, though it felt less cushioned than we have become accustomed to in other models. By the end of the day, our feet were tired from walking in these stiff boots, as it almost felt like they had already been packed out to the point of losing their structure even when new.
Columbia uses the Omni-Grip tread and non-marking rubber compound in the Newton Ridge. This gave us good traction on loose slopes, whether sand, scree, or mud. The stiff sole provides a good edging platform, and the lugs placed along the edge of the outsole allowed us to kick good steps in snow, one of the selling points of this style of boot. This boot also performed adequately on smooth slabs and slick surfaces, mainly because it does not flex as much in the forefoot area, allowing the boot to smear on the slope.
Again, Columbia uses an in-house Omni-Tech waterproof membrane to line the Newton Ridge Plus. We are unsure if it is due to the extensive stitching in the forefoot leather panels or the failure of the waterproof membrane itself, but our feet got wet within a couple of minutes of submersion. Once wet, it will take a long time for these boots to dry out, given the thick materials used in their construction. We feel this boot is fine for sloshing through the odd puddle or stream on the trail, but we would have expected more out of a boot like this for prolonged wet weather conditions.
Even though it looks like a boot twice its weight, we were impressed by the 2.2-pound weight of the Newton Ridge. This is a notably light weight for a boot of this style and is sure not to slow you down on long hikes.
Made out of large pieces of PU-coated leather, the Newton Ridge is a pretty durable boot, at least on its upper. After days of kicking up dust, tripping over rocks, and walking through rough terrain, we found it still in good shape. That said, there are a lot of seams with exposed stitching, so this will be an obvious weak point. You may want to apply seam grip along these areas for enhanced longevity as well as to improve water resistance.
We have heard reports of the inner membrane falling apart and sole delamination issues, though we did not experience these firsthand during our testing period.
Should You Buy the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof?
This is a good option if you want an inexpensive boot that is an average performer but will give good support and traction as you enter the wide world of hiking.
What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?
Without a doubt, the best of the best full-protection hiking boots is the Salomon Quest 4 Gore-Tex. You just can't get better than this comfortable boot. For those who would still like a full-leather boot at a more approachable price, the Timberland Mt. Maddsen Mid is heavy-duty and way more waterproof.
Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.Learn More