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Columbia Crestwood - Women's Review

This boot provides comfort, stability, and waterproof performance, thanks to a flexible and breathable mesh upper along with a functional, supportive ankle cuff
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Columbia Crestwood - Women's Review
Credit: Trish Matheny
Price:  $90 List
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Manufacturer:   Columbia
By Trish Matheny ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 8, 2024
71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 20
  • Comfort - 25% 7.0
  • Support - 25% 7.5
  • Traction - 15% 7.0
  • Water Resistance - 15% 8.0
  • Weight - 10% 7.1
  • Durability - 10% 5.0

Our Verdict

The Columbia Crestwood really impressed our testing team with its affordable and lightweight design. These boots felt comfortable immediately out of the box, though we do recommend sizing up if you are between sizes or selecting the wide fit if necessary. The ankle cuff offers just the right amount of padding to provide all-day comfort and support without a ton of bulk that can often weigh down a hiking boot and also prevent breathability. The multi-directional tread pattern gave us confidence while the waterproof performance never let us down. The only caveat to this design may be in its overall longevity, as one hole in the flexible mesh upper could compromise the entire design. Beyond our speculations, we think this hiker is a great choice for day hikes and overnights on well-maintained trails and is available at a fraction of the cost.
REASONS TO BUY
Super affordable
Comfortable without a required break-in period
Available in wide and regular fits
Good traction
Functional ankle support
Great waterproofing
REASONS TO AVOID
Design may be subject to durability issues
Sizing runs small
Editor's Note: We added this boot to our lineup on May 1, 2024.

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Bottom Line This hiking boot offers impressive performance in exchange for a modest price tagWhile less supportive than a traditional leather hiker, these boots excel in comfort and agility while saving weightA great choice for day hikes and moderate backpacking trips, these boots lack support and padding for shouldering heavier loads on extended tripsThese boots shine on short, moderate hikes with their stylish, classic looks and simple designThis boot features a very cheap design that lacks comfort, ankle support, and durability
Rating Categories Columbia Crestwood... La Sportiva Ultra R... Merrell Moab 3 Mid... Columbia Newton Rid... NORTIV 8 Waterproof...
Comfort (25%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
5.0
Support (25%)
7.5
8.0
7.5
4.0
3.0
Traction (15%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
5.0
7.5
Water Resistance (15%)
8.0
8.0
7.5
6.0
8.5
Weight (10%)
7.1
7.8
5.6
7.4
5.0
Durability (10%)
5.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
Specs Columbia Crestwood... La Sportiva Ultra R... Merrell Moab 3 Mid... Columbia Newton Rid... NORTIV 8 Waterproof...
Measured Weight (per pair) 1.80 lbs (size 8.5) 1.68 lbs (size EU 40) 2.06 lbs (size 8) 1.75 lbs (size 7.5) 2.02 lbs (size 8.5)
Upper Leather, mesh and webbing AirMesh, microfiber, TPU Leather, mesh Leather, suede, mesh Suede
Width Options Regular, wide Regular, wide Regular, wide Regular, wide Regular, wide
Waterproof Lining Omni-Tech Gore-Tex Waterproof membrane Omni-Tech Yes, not specified
Heel Height 1.5" 1.8" 2.0" 1.5" 2.0"
Shaft Height 5.0" 5.0" 4.9" 4.5" 5.5"
Midsole TechLite MEMlex Super Rebound Compound Techlite Shock Absorbent MD
Sole Omni-Grip FriXion XF 2.0 Rubber Vibram TC5+ Omni-Grip Rubber

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Columbia Crestwood is an affordable hiking boot designed with comfort and support in mind. The combination upper is constructed from leather, mesh, and webbing and remained fully waterproof during our testing period, whether submerged in streams or negotiating melting snow and mud on the trail. The multi-directional tread pattern provided security on the slippery trails, while the ankle cuff was padded just right so as to offer support without a ton of bulk. This boot is perfect for those seeking a comfortable day hiker or a supportive boot for backcountry overnights.

Performance Comparison


We enjoyed an exciting first day of testing the Columbia Crestwood which included multiple river crossings, a low fifth class scramble, boulder hopping, and negotiating decomposing granite.
Credit: Gus Landefeld

Comfort


Our testing team was surprised by the out-of-the-box comfort of the Columbia Crestwood, which required no break-in period before providing an excellent combination of flexion and support. The mesh construction on both the upper and the tongue of the boot enhanced the breathability, keeping our feet cooler and ultimately more comfortable on the hottest testing days.


Our lead tester, who has a narrow foot with a high arch, didn't feel the need to size up. However, it may be a good consideration if you find yourself between sizes. Additionally, if you have a wide foot, you may consider purchasing the Crestwood in the wide option that is available. Our testers also love that this boot avoids the traditional leather hiking boot design that is often stiff and rigid; rather, the Crestwood offers a mesh and leather combination upper with enough flexion and support to offer all-day comfort, especially for those with narrow foot shapes.

columbia crestwood for women - the crestwood offers comfort out of the box due to its flexible...
The Crestwood offers comfort out of the box due to its flexible upper and midsoles.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Support


The Columbia Crestwood features a Techlite midsole along with a minimalist insole for substantial cushioning and shock absorption on rocky trails. Though the Crestwood only has one hook on the 5 inch ankle cuff, it works well to support the ankle in both forward and lateral flexion as the tongue nests perfectly within the cuff without a ton of padding getting in the way.


Though we found the rubber midsole supportive enough, even when hauling around a heavy backpack, we couldn't help but notice some fatigue in our feet due to the lack of arch support. If you have high arches like our lead tester, we highly recommend an aftermarket insole for additional support and less fatigue after bigger days on the trail. This may also help with the fatigue we noticed in the balls of our feet after pushing steep uphill climbs with weight on our backs. The Crestwood offers solid ankle support and high-energy return thanks to its rubber midsole; it just may be worth considering an aftermarket insole for those with high arches.

columbia crestwood for women - though this boot only offers a single hook on the ankle cuff, our...
Though this boot only offers a single hook on the ankle cuff, our testing team appreciated how well the tongue nested inside the cuff so as to offer more support without a ton of excess padding in the way.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Traction


The Crestwood design features an Omni-Grip rubber that offers a multi-terrain tread pattern for increased stability when negotiating slippery terrain. The tread performance impressed our testing team, especially when moving through snow and ice after a late-season spring storm. The boots also performed well on our first day of testing when a loose, low fifth-class approach pitch was required to arrive at the base of an intriguing rock climb.


Though the Crestwood nailed the requirements for increased confidence and security when moving through slippery boulders or melting snow fields, the lug pattern isn't quite as deep as other boots that we've tested. This made it super grippy on slippery rock, but it doesn't grab as well when moving through loose terrain like sand. We also question the longevity of this flexible sole and will report back with any issues moving forward.

columbia crestwood for women - the dual tread patterns helped provide confidence and security with...
The dual tread patterns helped provide confidence and security with every step.
Credit: Gus Landefeld

Water Resistance


The Columbia Crestwood features a combination upper constructed from webbing and mesh that are treated with Omni-Tech waterproof capabilities. The design also features a breathable laminate that's been applied to the leather so that your feet can breathe without sacrificing waterproof performance. With a flood level of 4 inches, they also offer high clearance when crossing creeks.


During our spring testing period, we submerged these boots in several flowing creeks and streams, in addition to splashing in a mud puddle or two, and we're happy to report that they kept our feet dry as a bone. Our feet remained cold when submerged, which we noted as a favorable detail, especially for those seeking waterproof performance during the heat of summer.

columbia crestwood for women - the waterproof upper kept our feet warm and dry, whether fully...
The waterproof upper kept our feet warm and dry, whether fully submerged or negotiating puddles and melting snow on the trails.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Weight


The Columbia Crestwood offers a design that has a lightweight feel underfoot. Weighing in at 1.80 pounds for a US woman's size 8.5, this boot weighs less than the overall average of 1.86 pounds taken from all the hiking boots tested for this review.


Perhaps more important than the weight on the scale is how they feel under your feet, especially when carrying a heavy pack. The flexibility of the Crestwood design fits great right out of the box, offering a lightweight feel that allowed us to tackle everything from decomposing granite to easy scrambles without being bogged down by stiff, rigid, and heavy leather design.

columbia crestwood for women - the 1.8 pound pair of us women's size 8.5 scores below average on...
The 1.8 pound pair of US Women's size 8.5 scores below average on our average weight calculation, in addition to offering a lightweight feel.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Durability


After many miles of use in varying terrain types from sand to boulder hopping to slippery gully trails that allow us access to our favorite climbing spots, the Columbia Crestwood has shown very minimal signs of wear. However, this is a very affordable boot that is constructed on a flexible mesh upper which disallows us from recommending the Crestwood for any heavy off-trail use.


Though we have no issues to report, our testers speculate the stitching on the mesh upper may be the first to fail. There is enough flexion in the upper that the bend of the shoe could compromise the stitching, especially when navigating sharp rocks or downed tree branches. We also have a tip in regard to the mesh lacing system. We found that pulling out the final lace in the system and reversing its direction allowed us to tighten our laces more easily without applying as much pressure to the delicate mesh lace enclosures. This may help to prolong your laces as there are no backup eyelets if the mesh should fail. Ultimately, we didn't encounter any major flaws; however, we can't help but highlight a few durability concerns.

Never mind our chalk-covered hands, we recommend reversing the final lace in the system so as to put less torque on the mesh attachments that could be subject to durability issues.
Credit: Gus Landefeld

Should You Buy the Columbia Crestwood?


If you're interested in a hiking boot that provides a ton of performance in exchange for a more affordable price tag, the Columbia Crestwood should be high on your list. They offer sufficient comfort without requiring a long break-in period, especially for those with narrow feet (a wide option is available as well). The ankle cuff is functional and supportive, the waterproof performance never fails, and the traction performs well, most impressively, on slippery rocks and boulders. Though not the most durable, nor are they beefy enough to tackle off-trail terrain, these boots provide enough performance to keep you comfortable and confident on day hikes or overnights.

columbia crestwood for women - if you're looking for an affordable hiking boot that offer...
If you're looking for an affordable hiking boot that offer waterproof performance in addition to out of the box comfort and support, check out the Columbia Crestwood, whose waterproof upper is pictured here, effectively shedding any snow encountered on the trail.
Credit: Trish Matheny

What Other Women's Hiking Boots Should You Consider?


The Crestwood is an affordable hiking boot that is perfect for those seeking additional comfort and support for day hikes or overnights in the mountains. Our testers love the out-of-the-box comfort, thanks to the flexible mesh and leather combination upper as well as the functional ankle cuff. If you like this design but are after more durability, check out the Merrell Moab 3 Mid WP. And if you're serious about wilderness and backcountry travel and you're after a boot that will keep up no matter the terrain, check out our favorite hiking boot, the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor II Mid GTX. The Raptor combines comfort and support with a durable and responsive outsole.

columbia crestwood for women - the crestwood offers impressive performance at a fraction of the...
The Crestwood offers impressive performance at a fraction of the price.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Trish Matheny