At first glance, the women's Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped boots are some of the most traditional-looking hiking boots in our 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 just 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.Editor's Note: This review was last updated to include more comparison information and product recommendations on March 23, 2022.
Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped - Women's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Inexpensive, comfortable, good for a wide foot, simple design
Cons: Lacks breathability, lacks support underfoot
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|Pros||Inexpensive, comfortable, good for a wide foot, simple design||Lightweight, comfortable, breathable, great traction, reasonable price||Wide toe box, lightweight, padded ankle support, durable lacing system provides stability, lugs and outsole for excellent traction||Affordable, super comfortable out of the box, lightweight, superior traction, breathable||Well-padded ankle, comfortable, breathable, inexpensive|
|Cons||Lacks breathability, lacks support underfoot||Not as supportive as a traditional leather hiking boot||More expensive price tag, 0mm drop heel takes some adjustment time||Lack some durability of boots with thicker material||Lacks support underfoot, lacing system is not very durable|
|Bottom Line||A simple leather boot designed with comfort in mind, ideal for the beginner hiker||A lightweight, breathable, waterproof, and supportive hiking boot that excelled in multiple testing metrics and offers maximum control when moving through technical terrain||These hiking boots have a similar design and feel to your favorite running shoe while also offering a durable outsole, grippy lugs, and a spacious toe box||A hiking boot with a minimalist design that saves on weight while delivering high performance and excellent traction||These boots are consistent and comfortable right out of the box, but they fall short in terms of durability and water resistance|
|Rating Categories||Columbia Newton Rid...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Salomon OUTline Mid...||Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP|
|Water Resistance (15%)|
|Specs||Columbia Newton Rid...||La Sportiva Ultra R...||Altra Lone Peak ALL...||Salomon OUTline Mid...||Merrell Moab 2 Mid WP|
|Weight (per pair)||1.75 lbs (size 7.5)||1.68 lbs (size EU 40)||1.60 lbs (size 8.5)||1.53 lbs (size 8.5)||1.96 lbs (size 7.5)
2.15 lbs (size 8.5)
|Upper||Leather, suede, mesh||AirMesh, microfiber, TPU||eVent fabric||Synthetic textile||Suede and mesh|
|Width Options||Regular, Wide||Regular, Wide||Regular||Regular||Regular, Wide|
|Water Resistant Membrane||Omni-Tech||Gore-Tex||eVent||Gore-Tex||M Select DRY|
|Sole||Omni-Grip||FriXion XF 2.0 Rubber||DuraTread Rubber||Nonmarking Contagrip rubber||Vibram TC5+|
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.
Where the Columbia Newton Ridge shines is in the comfort 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, we discovered quite the opposite. They take very little time to break in and lack the stiffness that other mostly-leather boots have. This can be a huge plus initially regarding comfort, but we found that on longer hikes, the Newton Ridge did not provide the level of support, and thus comfort, we are used to. Though comfortable, they're not designed for rugged or long outings.
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 Omni-Grip rubber soles on the Newton Ridges provide some traction on moderately rocky trails, but these boots do not perform very well on technical hikes or when scrambling off-trail. This is okay since they're designed for shorter, more moderate hikes; just expect them to be somewhat slippery on granite slabs and talus.
Here, the Newton Ridge 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.
Weighing in at 1.75 pounds, the Columbia Newton Ridge falls into the middle of the pack in this metric.
Throughout our three-month hiking boot test period, the Columbia Newton Ridge 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 great option.
Should You Buy the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus?
The price is hard to beat for an ankle-high, leather, waterproof boot. They're stylish and comfortable and a great boot for those who are not planning on logging tons of miles on the trail. Though we think these are a good bargain for an introductory hiking boot, they're not on the performance level of the high-end models we reviewed.
What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?
If you're willing to shell out a little extra money for a higher-performing and longer-lasting boot, check out the Keen Targhee III Mid or the Salomon X Ultra 4 Mid, both of which offer more traction and are more comfortable and supportive.
— Jane Jackson
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