Travel

Gear review: Columbia hiking boots and trail shoes

From easy trails to muddy hikes, Columbia boots and shoes hold up well whatever the terrain

  • Nov 25, 2020
  • 507 words
  • 3 minutes
The Columbia SH/FT™ OutDry™ Sneaker Boots are waterproof and have a good grip for all kinds of hiking. (Photo: Justine Bohn/Canadian Geographic)
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Special projects editor Tanya Kirnishni and communications coordinator Keegan Hoban took to the trails this fall to test out Columbia’s latest offerings in hiking boots and shoes. Here’s what they have to share.

The product:

Kirnishni tested out Columbia’s Women’s SH/FT™ OutDry™ Sneaker Boots, which are constructed from waterproof materials to keep your feet dry and have a reflective lining to keep the warmth in. 

Columbia's OutDry Sneaker Boots are strong enough to withstand a challenging hike but flexible enough for all sorts of outdoor activities. (Photo: Justine Bohn/Canadian Geographic)
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What did you do while wearing the boots?

Kirnishni: The first time I wore them I went for a fall hike with a few friends in Gatineau Park, Que. We chose a decently challenging trail with lots of up-and-down sections where we had to do some scrambling over boulders, tree roots, fallen logs and muddy riverbanks. I’d say it was a fairly thorough gamut of hiking conditions. Later in November, I tried them out for a variety of activities — easy trails, walks around the neighbourhood and even gardening. The boots are pretty versatile.

What was your impression of them?

Kirnishni: As with most hiking boots, there’s always a bit of stiffness at the start before you properly break them in, but even taking that into account, the boots were a comfortable fit (which was a pleasant surprise as I’m picky whenever I try on different shoes). The insides are soft but sturdy and conformed to the shape of my foot. At the same time, my feet didn’t feel stuffy after three and a half hours of hiking and I didn’t get any blisters the first time I wore them despite the fact that these were completely new shoes. On the hike, parts of the trail were waterlogged and I found that the boots gripped really well in these conditions. At one point, I tripped on a tree root, submerging my foot up to the ankle in a puddle of dirty water, and when I pulled it out, the water just rolled off the boot — so I can attest with confidence that these are definitely waterproof.

Would you purchase this on your own?

Kirnishni: Yes. The price is well within the expected range for this type of boot. Judging them in comparison to the hiking boots I’ve bought in the past, I wouldn’t regret the purchase. You get what you pay for — in this case, that’s a comfy pair of boots that hold up well in all kinds of weather and activities.

Columbia Facet 15 trail shoes are light but durable, providing a comfortable experience out on the trails. (Photo: Keegan Hoban/Canadian Geographic)
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The product:

Hoban tried out Columbia’s Women’s Facet™ 15 Shoes, which are made from water-repellant and stain-resistant materials. 

What did you do while wearing the shoes?

Hoban: I took a walk through a forest trail with my family and dog.

What was your impression of them?

Hoban: The first thing I noticed was the amazing colour of them. They are so bright and fun! They were also very light and comfortable with a very thick sole. I could have easily worn them all day without worrying about my feet being sore or getting blisters.

Would you purchase this on your own?

Hoban: Totally!

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