Reviews You Can Rely On

Columbia Crestwood Review

This budget hiking shoe is a great deal and offers a lot of value to someone who wants to start hiking
gearlab tested logo
Columbia Crestwood Review
Credit: Ryan Huetter
Price:  $70 List
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Manufacturer:   Columbia
By Ryan Huetter ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 9, 2024
63
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#15 of 18
  • Comfort - 25% 8.0
  • Support - 20% 7.0
  • Traction - 15% 6.0
  • Water Resistance - 15% 3.0
  • Weight - 15% 6.5
  • Durability - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Columbia Crestwood is living proof that you can find a good quality pair of hiking shoes for under a hundred dollars. We were impressed with the comfort and support offered by these shoes, and while we gave mostly average scores in the remainder of the review metrics, it is hard to look past the low price. For those just getting into hiking who want a nice pair of shoes to start out, or even for those who get out on a casual basis on their local trails, these shoes are going to be sure to make you happy, and leave you with more money in your pocket for trekking poles, backpacks, and snacks! Don't forget to check out the rest of our in-depth hiking shoe review for more options, especially if you are looking for a pair of waterproof shoes on a budget.
REASONS TO BUY
Very inexpensive
Comfortable
Great value
REASONS TO AVOID
Not waterproof
Some durability concerns
Average traction

Compare to Similar Products

 
columbia crestwood
This Product
Columbia Crestwood
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award 
Price $50.58 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$135.00 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$134.96 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
$160 List
$119.99 at REI
$108.46 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
63
79
76
75
75
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Bottom Line This inexpensive but good quality hiking shoe is a perfect choice for just starting out on the trailsUnbelievably comfortable and supportive, these awesome hiking shoes can do it allThis is a supportive hiking shoe that is perfect for scrambling and peak baggingThis is the definition of a solid hiking shoe, and is a perfect choice for those not wanting to compromise on off-trail performanceThis is the definition of a solid hiking shoe, and is a perfect choice for those not wanting to compromise on off-trail performance
Rating Categories Columbia Crestwood Hoka Anacapa 2 Low GTX Salewa Mountain Tra... Salomon X Ultra 4 G... Salomon X Ultra 4 G...
Comfort (25%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Support (20%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Traction (15%)
6.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
Water Resistance (15%)
3.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Weight (15%)
6.5
5.9
4.9
6.9
6.9
Durability (10%)
6.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Specs Columbia Crestwood Hoka Anacapa 2 Low GTX Salewa Mountain Tra... Salomon X Ultra 4 G... Salomon X Ultra 4 G...
Measured Weight (per pair, size 11) 1.82 lbs 1.96 lbs 2.16 lbs 1.76 lbs 1.76 lbs
Upper Suede leather, mesh, webbing Recycled mesh Synthetic Synthetic, textile Synthetic, textile
Lining None GORE-TEX Invisible Fit Gore-Tex Extended Comfort Gore-Tex membrane Gore-Tex membrane
Flood Height 1.5 in 3.0 in 3.5 in 3.25 in 3.25 in
Last Board/Shank Not specified Not specified Nylon ADV-C chassis ADV-C chassis
Midsole Techlite EVA (30% sugarcane) EVA EnergyCell EnergyCell
Outsole OmniGrip Vibram Megagrip rubber Pomoca MTN trainer Lite Contagrip MA rubber Contagrip MA rubber
Width Options Regular, Wide Regular Regular Regular Regular

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Columbia Crestwood made our head spin when we first put them on. We were sure that they at been priced per shoe, but no - these shoes are as comfortable and supportive as those that cost twice as much. We think that Columbia really nailed it with these shoes, as they did well in these metrics. Using mesh and suede leather, they are breathable but not waterproof. With average traction and durability, these shoes are going to be best for someone just getting into hiking and who wants a good deal, or for someone who just goes hiking infrequently on maintained trails.

Performance Comparison


columbia crestwood - we love the crestwood shoes for hiking around on our favorite...
We love the Crestwood shoes for hiking around on our favorite backyard trails.
Credit: Jen Reynolds


Comfort


By using a combination of suede leather and mesh, the Columbia Crestwood are incredibly comfortable right out of the box. They are easy to slip into hands-free, or by using a pull tab on the back of the heel to pull them on. They are soft and flexible, allowing a comfortable stride and range of motion without sacrificing much in terms of support. Fitting much like a well-loved pair of sneakers, they are easy and enjoyable to walk in. By employing large mesh panels, these dump heat easily, which is an added bonus when hiking on warmer days or in arid climates.


This shoe is available in regular and wide widths, so finding the right fit is a lot easier. We found that the regular width was a great choice for our medium-volume foot, and the included footbed is of reasonable quality for a shoe of this price point, though it is not very cushioned. You may find that adding an aftermarket footbed will really improve the arch support and overall comfort, but it is not absolutely necessary.

The Crestwood is comfortable from the first moment you step into them, perfect for hitting the trails without worrying about a break-in period.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Support


The Crestwood uses a Techlite midsole to provide structure and stability. It provides good support for low and medium intensity day hikes, and enough support for standing around on hard surfaces. The included footbed is pretty good for this level of shoe, but we found noticeable improvements adding in our own more supportive aftermarket footbed, as the plastic stiffening plate really improved upon the softer Techlite midsole.


These shoes lace up snugly and give the lower ankle good support in uneven terrain, though do not provide the same level of ankle support as a mid-top hiking boot. We feel like these are great for most maintained trails but would probably be outmatched on hardcore off-trail travel.

columbia crestwood - the techlite midsole is plenty supportive for use on well graded...
The Techlite midsole is plenty supportive for use on well graded trails.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Traction


Columbia provides a proprietary OmniTech rubber outsole on the Crestwood shoes, which is soft and grippy. The lug pattern is shallow and wide, making them quite adept at smooth surfaces such as trails and rock slabs. Thanks to the more flexible midsole, they also conform to these terrain surfaces, allowing for more contact and traction.


In wet and loose trail situations, the shallow lug pattern does not provide as much bite, and the less rigid structure of the midsole does not allow for as much grip. These are much better suited to dry conditions, which is great since that is where they are the most suitable, given the lack of waterproofing.

columbia crestwood - up close and personal with the crestwood outsole, which provides...
Up close and personal with the Crestwood outsole, which provides good enough traction for most trail conditions.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Water Resistance


While the Crestwood hiking shoes have large panels of suede leather that does a good job of repelling water as long as it is well-maintained, the lack of a waterproof/breathable membrane and the inclusion of so much mesh means that these shoes are definitely not waterproof. We were able to walk through shallow puddles without our feet getting wet, but anything beyond about an inch will leave you with wet socks.


That is not necessarily a bad thing, though! We appreciate hiking shoes that are not waterproof when it is dry and we would prefer not to have our perspiration trapped by an impermeable waterproof barrier. These shoes will do much better in warm weather than a waterproof shoe.

columbia crestwood - the crestwood shoes are meant to be taken near, but not actually...
The Crestwood shoes are meant to be taken near, but not actually into water. Unless you want very wet feet.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Weight


The Crestwood hiking shoe has a surprisingly moderate weight for the shoe type, and we were pleased to see that they checked in at only 1.82 lbs per pair in a size 11 US men's.


They are only a few ounces heavier than models that are lauded as being super lightweight. They do feel a little clunky on the feet at times, though, so while they might not be the heaviest, we still think they do best at objectives that are mostly on trails and not in difficult or technical terrain.

Taking the dog, and the Crestwoods for a nice walk on the area's extensive trail system. For these close-by hikes, weight is not too much of an issue.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Durability


We wore the Crestwood shoes for a couple of months of day hiking use and even started using them while doing a home construction project since they were so soft and comfortable! Even with all this use and abuse, we found them to hold up remarkably well for such an inexpensive shoe.


That said, there are a lot of exposed seams and mesh that will be the first point of failure after prolonged use. For casual and intermittent use, these shoes will likely last for at least a couple seasons of use before needing replacement.

columbia crestwood - the rubber toe bumper and the leather toe upper material provides...
The rubber toe bumper and the leather toe upper material provides some resistance to wear and tear in key areas.
Credit: Ryan Huetter

Should You Buy the Columbia Crestwood?


The Columbia Crestwood provides great comfort, decent support for on-trail adventures, reasonable traction and enough durability to make them a recommendable pair of hiking shoes if you want a nice pair of shoes but don't want to spend a lot of money. These shoes offer great value for the price, and even though there is some diminished performance when compared to higher-rated shoes that cost twice as much or more, they are a great option for those who don't plan on doing any off-trail hiking.

What Other Hiking Boots Should You Consider?


If the idea of a non-waterproof hiking shoe is still appealing, then look to the Merrell Moab 3, which offers improved support but is still light and comfortable. For our favorite hiking shoe that is waterproof and still fits like a sneaker, the Hoka Anacapa 2 Low is a fantastic choice. For those who really want a super lightweight shoe that hikes well and does not have any waterproofing, the Hoka Speedgoat is hard to beat.

Ryan Huetter