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Columbia Crestwood - Women's Review

These highly affordable hiking shoes are perfect for day hikes and weekend adventures on well-maintained trails
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Columbia Crestwood - Women's Review
Credit: Gus Landefeld
Price:  $70 List
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Manufacturer:   Columbia
By Trish Matheny ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 16, 2024
65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 18
  • Comfort - 25% 7.5
  • Support - 20% 7.5
  • Traction - 15% 7.0
  • Water Resistance - 15% 3.0
  • Weight - 15% 6.8
  • Durability - 10% 6.5

Our Verdict

The Columbia Crestwood features a suede leather and mesh combination upper that offers a sneaker-like feel and out of the box comfort, available for those with both wide and narrow feet. The design supplies just the right amount of padding surrounding the ankle and tongue without adding a ton of bulk that could trap heat inside the shoe. The Omni-grip rubber outsole performs especially well on slippery terrain, while the non-waterproof design enhances the overall breathability of the shoe. Though not as durable as its more expensive, fully leather counterparts, this shoe is perfect for those seeking day use comfort on the trail, during the hottest and driest months of the year.
REASONS TO BUY
Super affordable
Out of the box comfort
Perfect padding
Supportive without adding bulk
Minimalist and lightweight sneaker feel
Great traction
REASONS TO AVOID
Durability concerns in upper and mesh lacing attachments
Not waterproof
Not recommended for off trail use

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Star Rating
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Bottom Line The lightweight design and sneaker-like feel provide ample comfort under footThese shoes will encourage confidence with every step thanks to incredible grip and sticky Vibram rubber outsolesHigh performance without the added weight, this shoe is built for pushing the pace in mountainous terrainThis affordable hiking shoe offers great support for those with high archesThese affordable and minimalist hiking shoes offer limited performance when considering support, traction, and overall durability
Rating Categories Columbia Crestwood... La Sportiva TX4 - W... The North Face VECT... Merrell Moab 3 - Wo... Nortiv 8 Lightweigh...
Comfort (25%)
7.5
8.0
8.0
8.0
6.5
Support (20%)
7.5
9.0
8.0
8.0
4.0
Traction (15%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
Water Resistance (15%)
3.0
5.0
8.0
4.0
2.0
Weight (15%)
6.8
7.4
8.0
5.3
6.8
Durability (10%)
6.5
8.0
7.0
7.5
4.0
Specs Columbia Crestwood... La Sportiva TX4 - W... The North Face VECT... Merrell Moab 3 - Wo... Nortiv 8 Lightweigh...
Measured Weight (per pair, size 8.5) 1.50 lbs 1.42 lbs 1.34 lbs 1.70 lbs 1.50 lbs
Upper Leather, mesh, and webbing Nubuck leather/1.5mm polyurethane TechLite rand/Vibram rubber toe rand Performance mesh Pigskin leather, mesh Leather, mesh
Lining Omni-Tech Nonslip mesh futurelight waterproof membrane Recycled mesh Breathable Mesh
Flood Level 3.5" 3.5" 3.3" 3.5" 3.25"
Midsole Techlite Traverse Injection MEMlex Single-density EVA Super rebound compound EVA
Outsole Omni-Grip Vibram Megagrip Traverse with Impact Brake System Surface Control rubber Vibram TC5 Rubber
Width Options Regular, wide Regular Regular Regular, wide Regular, wide

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Columbia Crestwood is a lightweight hiking shoe that features a soft and flexible suede leather and mesh upper with just the right amount of padding to add comfort without a ton of bulk. The Techlite EVA midsole provides stability, though this shoe does not offer a ton of support for those with high arches. Though not a waterproof design, our testers appreciated the additional breathability that helped to keep our feet cool on hotter days. If you're after an affordable hiking shoe that is perfect for day hikes on well-maintained trails, this shoe doesn't disappoint.

Performance Comparison


columbia crestwood for women - the columbia crestwood is an affordable hiking shoe that offers...
The Columbia Crestwood is an affordable hiking shoe that offers great value and excellent performance on well-maintained trail systems.
Credit: Gus Landefeld
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Comfort


The Columbia Crestwood offers the performance of a hiking shoe with the comfortable, out-of-the-box fit of a sneaker. Similar to the fit of an approach shoe, the Crestwood offers just the right amount of padding and protection underfoot without adding a ton of bulk and rigidity that would restrict the range of motion. The suede leather and mesh combination upper supplies a soft and flexible fit so that you receive a high-energy return after every stride without any risk of developing hot spots. The shoe is also true to size and is available in both wide and regular fits to allow comfort for a variety of different foot shapes.


Our testers appreciated the long lasting comfort of the Crestwood thanks to its low profile, sneaker-like design. We found the design to provide just the right amount of padding surrounding the ankle and tongue of the shoe, that aided in all-day cushioning along the trail. The non-waterproof upper allowed for more air to permeate the shoe and enhance overall breathability, therefore increasing comfort during the hottest testing days on the trail. This design prioritizes comfort without increasing weight or bulk within the design.

columbia crestwood for women - the flexible mesh and leather combination upper created comfort...
The flexible mesh and leather combination upper created comfort direct from the box as well as a sneaker-like feel under foot.
Credit: Gus Landefeld

Support


Though the Crestwood is considered a lightweight and low-profile design, Columbia did not skimp on trail protection and support. The design includes a Techlite EVA midsole that provides enough support and stability for long days on the trail while also providing enough shock absorption and cushioning so that you don't feel the impact of every single rock or stump along the trail. While the removable insole is somewhat minimal, our lead tester with high arches found the midsole and insole provided just enough support for day hikes without requiring an after-market insole.


Our testers appreciated the minimal, hiking-specific stability provided by the Crestwood, which felt like the perfect combination of cushioning and support, not being too minimalist where you feel immediate fatigue from over-worked feet nor overly padded and rigid, which can also shorten your days on the trail. These sneaker-like hikers offer a traditional lace-up design that hugs your ankle for a customized fit and offers great support and ankle stability.

columbia crestwood for women - the ankle is padded just right while the techlite midsole supports...
The ankle is padded just right while the Techlite midsole supports every stride.
Credit: Gus Landefeld

Traction


The Crestwood design features an Omni-grip rubber with a multi-directional pattern that performed well on a variety of terrain types during our spring testing period. Though the lug pattern isn't substantial, we found this detail to work in our favor on especially slippery and polished rocks and boulders. The nimble feel of the flexible upper combined with the non-marking rubber to grip wet logs, though the lack of depth in the pattern caused our feet to skid when traveling over loose terrain like decomposing granite.


Though the rubber outsole performed well on polished boulders and slippery rocks, the outsole doesn't give us confidence in overall longevity. Therefore, we recommend sticking to well-maintained trails where the outsole has a chance to perform rather than deteriorate. If you're after a shoe that can deliver performance on most terrain types and doesn't require a burly outsole that can really dig into loose terrain, the Crestwood is a great option to consider for post-work outings and weekend adventures with friends.

columbia crestwood for women - the omni-grip rubber outsole offers effective traction, though we...
The Omni-Grip rubber outsole offers effective traction, though we found that is performs best on slippery rocks and boulders.
Credit: Gus Landefeld

Water Resistance


When researching the waterproof performance of the Crestwood, we noted some conflicting information. Therefore, it was quite a surprise when we dunked our feet into Hilton Creek for our submersion test, and water infiltrated the shoe in a matter of seconds. Though this is not a waterproof design, our testers consider that a good thing, especially for those seeking a hiking shoe that prioritizes breathability for increased comfort during those hot summer hikes at lower elevations.


Though the shoe did not pass our submersion test, we did note that it remained water-resistant when moving through short, lingering snow fields leftover from a long Sierra winter. Though the mesh upper did absorb some of the moisture from the snow, it did not penetrate the upper. If you plan to hike at low elevations, near a hot and dry desert or simply want a comfortable hiking shoe for the trails at your local park, the Crestwood is a solid consideration that is available at an affordable price.

Though not a waterproof design, the higher flood level allows for more clearance when navigating intermittent streams and snow fields.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Weight


Our testers love the lightweight feel of the Crestwood underfoot, especially when compared to more substantial designs that often promote early fatigue due to a bulky, overly padded design. These lightweight hikers are perfect for day hikes and recreational use, offering more of a sneaker-like feel rather than a heavy and cumbersome hiking boot.


While we can appreciate the lightweight feel underfoot, we can't help but notice that some of the details that lighten the weight of this shoe can also be responsible for its lack of durability. The flexible suede leather and mesh upper provide comfort, yet it also lacks some protection and rigidity found in a heavier shoe. That being said, the Crestwood is a great lightweight option that will provide enough support and trail protection for recreational hiking and day use.

columbia crestwood for women - weighing in at 1.50 pounds for a us women's size 8.5, these shoes...
Weighing in at 1.50 pounds for a US Women's size 8.5, these shoes are some of the lighter-weight options that we've tested.
Credit: Gus Landefeld

Durability


Though the Crestwood offers great performance in most metrics, we are perhaps the most concerned about the longevity of this design. We love the flexible suede leather and mesh combination upper. However, without a solid waterproof coating or performance liner, we anticipate this comfortable shoe could “pack out” faster than its burlier leather counterparts. We also recommend reversing the final lace near the ankle so as to limit the amount of torque on the mesh lacing attachments and hopefully prolong the laces for many miles on the trail.


While the reinforced toe and heel construction is clearly designed for extended trail use, due to the attention to overlap materials in key locations of wear, our testers do not feel these barriers are as substantial as their leather or waterproof counterparts. It is important to note that we experienced no issues during our testing period, even with the mesh lacing attachments; we cannot recommend this shoe for more than day hikes on well-traveled terrain.

We recommend reversing the final shoe lace which allows for a better fit and less torque on the mesh lacing attachment points.
Credit: Gus Landefeld

Should You Buy the Columbia Crestwood?


The Columbia Crestwood is the perfect hiking shoe for those seeking non-waterproof performance, instant out-of-the-box comfort, and just enough support and protection for day hikes and recreational outings. The fit is snug, true to size, and offers a lightweight sneaker-like feel underfoot. The multi-directional lug pattern provides grip on a variety of terrain types yet stands out on especially slippery rocks and polished boulders. Though the lightweight design does sacrifice a bit of overall durability, the shoe is highly affordable and perfect for day hikes on well-maintained trail systems.

columbia crestwood for women - if you're looking for an affordable hiking shoe that's perfect for...
If you're looking for an affordable hiking shoe that's perfect for day hikes on well-maintained trail systems, the Crestwood can't be beat.
Credit: Gus Landefeld

What Other Women's Hiking Shoes Should You Consider?


If you're in the market for an affordable and lightweight hiking shoe that prioritizes out-of-the-box comfort along with enough responsiveness and support for a full day on the trail, the Crestwood simply can't be beaten. And if you like the idea of a non-waterproof, breathable hiking shoe option, check out another high performer, the Merrell Moab 3. The Moab 3 is very similar to the Crestwood yet features more padding, significantly more arch support, and a much sturdier base. Looking for top-of-the-line performance? Check out our overall favorite, the La Sportiva Spire GTX that has a flexible, waterproof upper, a solid lacing system, combined with a stable base and a deep lug pattern for top performance on all types of terrain.

columbia crestwood for women - the combination mesh and leather upper does not have a waterproof...
The combination mesh and leather upper does not have a waterproof coating and therefore offers more breathability for those low elevation hikes during the heat of summer.
Credit: Gus Landefeld

Trish Matheny