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Newton Ridge Plus Hiking Boots

July 7, 2020

Columbia Sportswear’s Women’s Newton Ridge Plus boots are the perfect shoes in which to take your first steps toward hiking adventure. Dubbed “the perfect introductory boot” by satisfied customers, this shoe offers you excellent basic hiking features, such as waterproof technology, great traction, and an impact-absorbing midsole, at a fraction of the price. If you are considering taking up hiking as a pastime but have not yet decided whether to invest in a heavy-duty pair of shoes, these are the perfect low-cost, high-value solution. With them, you can “test-drive” the trails and decide for yourself whether hiking is for you; and should you decide to keep hiking, these boots will carry you far.

Pros

  • Praised as very lightweight
  • Customers report satisfaction with the comfort of the toe box, which is roomy and does not compress the toes as is common with many brands
  • Sizing: buyers report that this product is made true to size and fits well. However, you may still want to consider buying them at least half a size larger than your usual size in order to accommodate thick or bulky socks, which may be necessary if you plan on wearing this shoe in colder conditions

Cons

  • Customers complain of a “toe crease” that occurs in the shoe’s tips; with each step, the leather creases where bent by your toes, digging into the foot and contributing to discomfort
  • Omni-Grip sole, while stable, has been reported as slippery when wet

The Company

Established in 1938, Columbia Sportswear is a company chock-full of nature enthusiasts who are devoted to helping people enjoy the outdoors as much as they do. Based in the Pacific Northwest, Columbia produces products designed for daring. Their premium footwear is made to not only withstand that region’s rains and rough terrain but also provide joy and comfort every step of the way.

The Product

This boot comes in two attractive color schemes: brown and gray. Both designs feature full-grain leather and a mesh tongue, both treated using OmniShield water and stain resistant technology. It has an outer sole made of OmniGrip non-marking traction rubber, which provides stability and moderate traction. The inner sole is a Techlite cushioning midsole engineered precisely to be durable and impact-absorbing.These are of the mid-rise variety, featuring a high collar, high tongue, and slightly lower backing, which is padded in order to hug the ankle and keep it from rolling. Additional ankle support is given by nylon shanks which capture the heel and keep in place while you walk. The shoe roof tamps down snugly on the feet, preventing blisters and hot spots, but leaving enough room for the feet to breathe.

Standout attributes include:

  • Exterior: The combination of waterproof full-grain leather and a mesh tongue has earned praise for providing water protection while allowing feet to breathe. In addition, the leather is very easy to hose down and clean while keeping the soles and interior dry.
  • Waterproofing: The inside of the boot utilizes the OmniShield water and stain resistance treatment, which customers have reported as extremely effective.

Compared to the KEEN Targhee II, this product’s middle-rise design provides greater protection against ankle injuries. It does not give as much toe protection, however, with its rubber toe covering only the front-most part of the feet and not doing much to prevent stubbed toes or dropped objects.  It is slightly heavier, at 16.3 oz per shoe, but much more affordable. Overall, choosing between these two boots comes down to a question of price range and regimen; for heavy-duty hikers who intend to explore the outdoors, the Targhee II is a better investment. For casual or beginning adventurers, however, or those who do not want to spend an exorbitant amount of money on hiking shoes, the Newton Ridge is a better choice.

Compared to the Hi-Tec Altitude Glide, this product gives your feet more ventilation due to its mesh tongue, which suits it better to hiking in hot environments whereas the mostly-leather Altitude Glide is more matched to colder, wetter terrain. Its rubber sole provides slightly less traction when wet, although it is still effective on rock, gravel, roots, and other varieties of uneven ground. The Newton Ridge’s Techlite lightweight outer sole lasts longer as well.

In a Nutshell

Many users call this product the perfect introductory boot. It has some minor design flaws that may make it uncomfortable and unsuitable for heavy-duty hikers accustomed to long distances, high levels of water, and rough terrain, it is well suited to beginning hikers due to its comparatively low price, its minimal break-in time, and its well-made basic features.

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