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Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped - Women's Review

A simple leather boot designed with comfort in mind, ideal for the beginner hiker
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped - Women's
Photo: Columbia
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Price:  $90 List | $79.99 at Backcountry
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Pros:  Inexpensive, comfortable, good for a wide foot, simple design
Cons:  Lacks breathability, lacks support underfoot
Manufacturer:   Columbia
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 7, 2018
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55
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 6
  • Support - 25% 4
  • Weight - 10% 8
  • Traction - 15% 5
  • Water Resistance - 15% 6
  • Durability - 10% 5

Our Verdict

At first glance, the women's Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped boots are some of the most traditional-looking boots in this review. Brown leather uppers, bright red laces, and clunky looking soles bring Paul Bunyan to mind. After wearing them around a bit, we found these boots to be some of the most comfortable right out of the box. They break in quickly and are great for shorter hikes or if you're getting into hiking. They also come at an excellent price. Because they are mostly leather and quite sturdy, they lack the breathability that is helpful on longer, more strenuous outings.

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Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award 
Price $79.99 at Backcountry
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Star Rating
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Pros Inexpensive, comfortable, good for a wide foot, simple designComfortable, waterproof, breathable, durable, relatively lightweightComfortable, durable, very cushioned, stable, supportive, lightweightColor options, PU monowrap frame construction, narrow and wide fit options, seamless Gore-Tex lining, longevityComfortable, lightweight, durable, inexpensive
Cons Lacks breathability, lacks support underfootBulky lacesExpensive, take some time to break in, can be warm on hot daysNo arch support, expensive, bulky, heavyLacks support of larger, heavier boots
Bottom Line A simple leather boot designed with comfort in mind, ideal for the beginner hikerA boot that excels in all metrics, this model offers exceptional performance for a wide range of hiking utility at a reasonable priceWith thick foam soles and a durable leather upper, these boots stand out as the most supportive pair we've reviewedThe all-leather construction provides burly protection and support for a modern approach to the traditional leather bootThese are the right choice for folks looking to save a bit of cash while still getting a top-tier hiking boot
Rating Categories Newton Ridge Plus W... X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-Tex Kaha Gore-Tex Renegade GTX Mid Targhee III Mid
Comfort (25%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Support (25%)
4.0
8.0
10.0
9.0
7.0
Weight (10%)
8.0
8.0
6.0
3.0
7.0
Traction (15%)
5.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
Water Resistance (15%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Durability (10%)
5.0
6.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
Specs Newton Ridge Plus W... X Ultra 4 Mid Gore-Tex Kaha Gore-Tex Renegade GTX Mid Targhee III Mid
Weight Per Pair (Size 7.5, in lbs) 1.75 lbs 1.62 lbs 1.91 lbs 2.19 lbs 1.80 lbs
Upper Leather, suede, mesh Synthetic, textile, rubber toecap Full-grain leather Nubuck leather Oiled nubuck leather
Width Options Regular, Wide Regular Regular Regular Regular
Water Resistant Membrane Omni-Tech Gore-Tex eVent Gore-Tex KEEN-Dry
Heel height (mm) 1.5 in 1.6 in 2.1 in 1.3 in 1.4 in
Shaft height (mm) 4.5 in 5.1 in 5.5 in 5.5 in 4.9 in
Midsole Techlite molded OrthoLite sockliner EVA DuraPU with MONOWRAP Frame Dual Density EVA
Sole Omni-Grip Contagrip rubber, chevron lugs Vibram MegaGrip Vibram Evo rubber Rubber

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Newton Ridge received its highest scores in the comfort, weight, and water resistance metrics. These boots are comfortable for wearing around town or on shorter hikes, as opposed to long, technical outings.

Performance Comparison


We found these boots to be some of the most comfortable in this...
We found these boots to be some of the most comfortable in this review, unfortunately this meant that they lacked support.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Comfort


Where the Columbia Newton Ridge shines is in this metric. These boots are some of the most comfortable we tested right out of the box. Though they look like they would be stiff and hard to break in with all that leather, these boots are quite the opposite. They take very little time to break in and lack the stiffness that other mostly-leather boots have. These boots are quite soft compared to other leather hikers. This can be a huge plus initially regarding comfort, but we did find that on longer hikes, the Newton Ridge did not provide the level of support, and thus comfort, we are used to. These boots are comfortable, but not truly designed for rugged or long outings.

Lacing up the Newton Ridge's for a day on the trail.
Lacing up the Newton Ridge's for a day on the trail.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Support


Regarding support, the Columbia Newton Ridge boots are decent, but not exceptional. When we tested the rigidity of the soles (by twisting them laterally between two hands, the boots did not hold their shape at all. This implies a flexible, and thus less supportive, sole. It also means that the boots have a decent amount of flex in the forefoot.

The red laces on the Newton Ridges pop, but they don't provide that...
The red laces on the Newton Ridges pop, but they don't provide that much ankle support, even when cinched down tight.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Weight


Weighing in at 1.75 pounds, the Columbia Newton Ridge falls into the middle of the pack in this metric.

Traction


The Omni-Grip rubber soles on the Newton Ridges provide some traction on moderately rocky trails, but for off-trail scrambling and more technical hikes, these boots do not perform very well. Since they are designed for shorter, more moderate hikes, this is ok, but we found them to be slippery on granite slabs and talus.

The Newton Ridge does not provide the level of traction and...
The Newton Ridge does not provide the level of traction and stability comparable to other boots in this review.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Water Resistance


Here, the Newton Ridges performed surprisingly well. These boots have very few seams since the upper consists of almost entirely one piece of leather. Columbia claims that the boots are waterproof and seam-sealed, and as far as we could tell, they held up to this claim. After being fully submerged, water will start to leak in through the tongue, but for puddles and rainy hikes, the Newton Ridge will keep your feet quite dry.

Though the leather uppers kept our feet dry, water did eventually...
Though the leather uppers kept our feet dry, water did eventually leak in through the tongue when the boots were fully submerged.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Durability


Throughout our three-month test period, the Columbia Newton Ridges showed very little sign of wear and tear. The leather uppers are durable, none of the seams blew out, and the soles remained intact. That said, these boots are much less expensive than the majority of the models in this review, and unfortunately, that means that they will probably wear out faster. The construction is just not meant to last as long as that of a heavy-duty, full-leather leather upper. That said, for those just getting into hiking or planning on using these boots for occasional or moderate outings, the Newton Ridge is a good option.

The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus is a photogenic pair!
The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus is a photogenic pair!
Photo: Eric Bissell

Value


The Newton Ridge boots are the most affordable boots we reviewed. The price is hard to beat for an ankle-high, leather, waterproof boot. If they are well taken care of and used mostly on well-maintained hiking trails, the Newton Ridge should last a fairly long time. We think these are a good bargain for an introductory hiking boot, but not on the performance level of high-end models we reviewed.

We were pleased by how quickly water beaded off of the leather...
We were pleased by how quickly water beaded off of the leather uppers of this pair of Columbia boots.
Photo: Eric Bissell

Conclusion


In conclusion, the Columbia Newton Ridge is a fairly basic and inexpensive hiking boot. The price is right, and there are no secrets or surprises with this boot — you get what you pay for. They are waterproof, stylish, and comfortable, making for a great boot for those who are not planning on logging tons of miles on the trail.

Jane Jackson