The Columbia Redmond Mid is an inexpensive option for a light, mid-height hiking boot that does not compromise comfort in its lightweight design.
Out of all the hiking boots we tested, the Columbia Redmonds were some of the easiest to break in. Due to the Techlight Lightweight mid-sole, these boots had plenty of cushion and felt comfortable from their first day on the trail. Similarly, the Merrell Capra Bolt - Womens needed very little time to break in and were flexible and soft on the trail. On the Redmond, the combination of suede leather, mesh and webbing in the upper makes them breathable and allows the boot to easily mold to any foot.
Because they are so lightweight and comfortable, the Redmonds do sacrifice some quality in support. These boots have a soft, flexible toe box that is great on shorter hikes, but can be problematic on longer hikes where a more supportive boot may shine. In terms of ankle support, the shaft height is only 90 mm, which provides minimal vertical stability. Boots that provide more ankle stability are the Vasque Monolith - Womens, or a leather boot like the Oboz Bridger Mid - Womens.
The morning after a rain storm, we wore the Columbia Redmond Mid boulder hopping. The tread pattern is limited and traction was difficult to find on slick granite.
The Columbia Redmond weighs only 1.5 lbs per pair, making them by far the lightest of all the boots we tested. We were amazed by how light they felt on the foot even after hours of hiking. For shorter day hikes or adventures where we carried less weight, the Redmonds were a great fit because of their light feel. Thanks to their Techlight Midsole, these boots provide some cushion without compromising weight. The Merrell Capra Bolt - Womens is the second lightest boot and compares to the Columbia, but if you're looking for something light with a bit more support, look to the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX - Women's or the Vasque Monolith.
We wore these shoes while hiking on all types of surfaces and they worked best on loose dirt and gravel, where the Omni-Grip sole shines. On the scree and open granite slabs in the Yosemite high country, the Redmonds did not perform as well as some of the other boots such as the Ahnu Montara and the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid - Women's, which seemed to have better traction on rock.
The boots are flexible and comfortable, but did not hold up in terms of water resistance.
Because of their mesh construction, these boots were incredibly breathable, but not as water resistant as other boots we tested that were made up of more waterproof material. The Omni-Tech Membrane does protect against light rain or minor splashes, but does not protect as well as a fully waterproof boot such as the Lowa Renegade GTX or the Salomon X Ultra Mid 3 GTX - Womens. Those boots did a much better job at keeping our feet dry when fully submerged in moving water.
After one or two days out, the Redmonds began to show wear in the mesh upper. For people with wider feet, we noticed that wear began to show in the toe box almost immediately. The combination of leather and mesh panels on the sides allowed for more wear to than a boot with less stitching, such as the Ahnu Montara III.
The lightweight design and minimal support provided by the Columbia Redmond Mid makes them a great choice for light day hikes. Also, since they are not incredibly waterproof, these boots are better fit for hikes in dry environments where lots of rain is not anticipated.
For new hikers that are not willing to pay the big bucks quite yet, these are a great introductory hiking boot. Found online for around $100, the Redmond Mid are our price point boot. They offer the support that comes along in a hiking boot, but are an exceptional price (more along the lines of a hiking shoe).
We wore this contender while hopping around boulders and were disappointed to learn that while they moved with us and were comfortable, they were not very water-resistant.
The synthetic and mesh uppers and the Omni-Grip sole combine to make the Redmond Mid a decent hiking boot that is comfortable and breathable. While not the most durable or supportive of the boots we tested, the Redmond is a good option for a lightweight, well-priced introductory hiking boot.