The Columbia Redmond is an inexpensive, lightweight hiking shoe that is best suited for short, easy trails and yard work. Its list price is $90. The upper is a combination of suede leather, mesh, and webbing with an Omni-Tech waterproof breathable membrane. There is no shank between the Techlite lightweight midsole and the Omni-Grip non-marking traction rubber outsole.
The Redmonds look pretty sweet in this photo, but extended hiking on uneven surfaces and rocks results in sore feet inside this shoe.
Our immediate impression of the Redmond was that the footbed is squishy and bouncy, and our heel didn't seem to sink into the heel box. While hiking, we felt rocks and uneven surfaces underneath. After two miles on a trail of moderate difficulty and carrying a light daypack, our heels were getting sore. After 4.5 miles, our lead tester had sore heels and forefeet, and general tiredness in his feet overall. No other model lead to this amount of discomfort after such a short distance. For anything more than a flat, groomed trail, we recommend any other model in this review.
The Redmond didn't light up the scoreboard with its performance overall but is still capable of a few miles of easy hiking with a water bottle and camera in a daypack.
The lacing system wasn't our favorite, which doesn't extend far down into the forefoot. It was more difficult to get a precise fit with these shoes, and our heels never felt fully secure. The padding of the tongue wasn't enough to keep the laces from digging into our feet when attempting to improve the fit.
As far as comfort is concerned, this Columbia model does have a sunny side. It was one of the most breathable models reviewed. The manufacturer got their proprietary waterproof and breathable membrane right, which achieved both goals and helped keep costs down. We dig that! However, if you desire a shoe that is comfortable across varied terrain that still won't break the bank, check out our Best Buy Award winner, the Vasque Juxt.
Lacing up the Redmond's. This shoe scored low in comfort, but we appreciated its great breathability despite having a waterproof liner.
On the scale is where the Redmond stands ahead of most of the pack. Weighing 1 lb. 14.1 oz, it's one of the lightest we reviewed. This model feels light, leaving our feet feeling unencumbered. Its low weight is achieved by not having a shank between the midsole and outsole, which almost every other model includes in its construction. For under two ounces more for the pair, snag The North Face Ultra 110 GTX, which offers much higher performance in every other metric.
The Redmond is the second-lightest model reviewed.
This shoe provides the most limited foot support of all models tested. The Redmond is one of two shoes that doesn't have an internal shank, and we were able to twist it easily when testing the lateral torsion. The forefoot width and ankle collar height are narrow and short in comparison to the others. Columbia gave this shoe one of the better insoles, though. It's not double layered, but there is extra foam in the midfoot to give a boost in arch support.
The rounded heel shape of this shoe created a less stable foundation. Other shoes in this review have more of an edge around the perimeter of this shoe, which resisted rolling better. On uneven terrain, the rounded heel felt wobbly. Any other model in this review provides more support and stability, especially the Keen Targhee II.
Hiking in thick gravel didn't feel very stable in this shoe. It lacks rigidity in the midfoot and a stable heel.
The proprietary Omni-Grip outsole of the Redmond provided the poorest purchase overall in our traction tests. We didn't slide around on easy, obstacle-free trails, but when the terrain became more steep, wet, or snowy, we wished for other shoes. If hiking takes you beyond well-groomed, flat trails, seek shoes with better traction. The Merrell Moab 2 has a similar mesh and leather look as this Columbia shoe, but its rubber is much more reliable in rough terrain.
This shoe was surprisingly great in the mud, but lacked traction on most other surfaces.
The Redmond is the least versatile model we reviewed. It is sufficient for short day hikes on flat, obstacle-free trails. On long, rocky, or rough terrain, however, discomfort grows by the mile. It also lacks stability and support for backpacking trips and doesn't take to running. They aren't bulky, which helps their around-town appeal. This model is great for gardening, yard chores, or even coaching outdoor sports, but we prefer other models for rugged trail use, such as the Editors' Choice The North Face Ultra 110 GTX.
This Columbia model isn't super versatile, but at an inexpensive price, it's great for garden chores and short walks.
Columbia's proprietary Omni-tech waterproof membrane stood its ground, refusing to leak no matter how much we flexed the forefoot while submerged. Its water resistance is much better than that of the Merrell and Keen models, which leaked after a few minutes under water. The 4.25-inch flood height is just above average among the models tested. It is indeed waterproof, and we like that!
We were stoked that the proprietary membrane held up through our waterproof tests and on the trails. The same can't be said for the Merrell model pictured on the right foot.
The Redmond did not win us over with its apparent durability. After the testing period, the mesh gusset of the tongue was already ripping away from the rest of the upper. This shoe lacks proper protection in front of the toe box. The minimal amount of rubber extending from the outsole doesn't cover the toes. In our experience, this type of design leads to delamination faster than models with a more extensive rubber toe protection, such as the Keen Targhee II.
We pushed this shoe hard through our testing period, and it started to show the signs of abuse toward the end of the three months.
This shoe is best used in small trail doses on easy, flat terrain. It's also a great, inexpensive option for heading to the local park or cultivating a garden.
The value of the Redmond is low if you are seeking an all-around hiking shoe. At $90, however, its value increases if you want a waterproof shoe for the yard or park.
As with most outdoor recreational activity, matching the equipment to the terrain and conditions is key. The Redmond has its place on shorter, groomed paths, grassy fields, and backyards.
The Columbia Redmond is designed for more casual use than the other shoes in this review. It hikes easy trails but isn't meant for rugged ones. Taking this model into difficult terrain leads to sore feet even after a few miles. We appreciate this inexpensive option, however, for its three-season use on park days, community rec projects, or yard chores.