The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped - Women's Review

A simple leather boot designed with comfort in mind, ideal for the beginner hiker.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $80 List | $77.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
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
  • Share this article:
66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#14 of 16
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Support - 20% 5
  • Weight - 15% 8
  • Traction - 15% 5
  • Water Resistance - 15% 7
  • Durability - 10% 6

The Skinny

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. For more support and overall better value, the Best Buy-winning Keen Targhee III is our favorite combination of price and performance, although it's still a large jump from this $80 pair. If you plan on hiking more than just a few times per year, though, the Keen's are the way to go.


Compare to Similar Products

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

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. Compared to the Oboz Sapphire or the Oboz Bridger Mid BDry, these boots are very soft. This can be a huge plus initially regarding comfort, but we did find that on longer hikes, the Newton Ridges 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.

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.

In comparison, when we performed the same test on the HOKA Tor Ultras, they did not bend laterally at all. The HOKA's are some of the most supportive boots we came across in this review. The Keen Targhee III is much stiffer and more supportive than the Newton Ridge.

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

Weight


Weighing in at 1.75 pounds, the Columbia Newton Ridge falls into the middle of the pack in this metric. Both the Oboz Sapphire and the Ahnu Montara III have similar weights. All of these boots are mid-weight hikers designed for shorter day hikes and travel in moderate terrain. It should also be noted that these boots all have almost entirely leather uppers, which adds a bit to their weight, but also to their longevity.

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

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 Ridges will keep your feet quite dry. The Ahnu Montara III performs similarly, which makes sense because they also have almost entirely leather uppers. Regarding breathability, nothing beats the award-winning Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid GTX. The combination of mesh and leather provide a breathable barrier from water.

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

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 $230 boot like the Lowa Renegade GTX. 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.

Best Application


These boots are a fine introductory boot for those just getting started in the hiking world. They are stylish, versatile, and provide plenty of comfort with very little break-in time. For longer hikes, the Newton Ridge is not the best option, since they do not provide the support needed for logging lots of miles. For a step up in performance, but also a price increase, check out the Keen Targhee III Mid.

The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus is a photogenic pair!
The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus is a photogenic pair!

Value


The Newton Ridge boots are the most affordable boots we reviewed. Sold online for $80, 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 Ridges 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 amazed by how quickly water beaded off of the leather uppers of these boots.
We were amazed by how quickly water beaded off of the leather uppers of these boots.

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