When it comes to outdoor gear, Columbia has always been my go-to brand. From their reliable jackets to sturdy hiking boots, I’ve experienced their exceptional quality and performance firsthand.
So, when I got my hands on the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof, I couldn’t wait to put them to the test.
The shoes’ waterproof feature kept me dry during unexpected showers, ensuring maximum comfort throughout my hikes.
Over the course of 2 weeks, I hiked the rugged paths of the Swiss Alps and explored the lush woodlands of the Black Forest in Germany. The Columbia Ridge Plus II proved to be a reliable companion, providing excellent traction on both rocky ascents and slippery descents.
While the break-in took a bit longer than expected, these leather boots eventually molded to my feet, offering a snug fit. The advanced traction rubber outsole provided stability on challenging terrains, and the lightweight design reduced fatigue during long walks.
Compared to their previous version, the improved midsole cushioning delivered superior shock absorption.
Just to avoid any confusion, Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II is the men version. The women’s version is Columbia Newton Ridge Plus.
This being said, let’s jump straight into my Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II review, where I offer more insights into this boot’s features and performance.
- Omni-Tech™ waterproof
- Techlite lightweight midsoles
- Omni-Grip™ nonmarking outsoles
- Leather and suede uppers
Things We Tested When We Reviewed Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Waterproof
Traction was a key focus during my testing of the Columbia Ridge Plus II Waterproof hiking boots, and I must say, they exceeded my expectations.
The Omni-Grip™ rubber outsole, boasting deep lugs, delivered outstanding stability, which allowed me to navigate rocky trails and slippery surfaces with confidence.
In comparison to other hiking boots, including Columbia’s previous models like the Redmond and North Plains, the Ridge Plus II surpassed them all with its superior grip.
This makes it an unbeatable choice for tackling challenging terrains (steep descents, slippery areas) and unpredictable weather conditions.
The combination of PU-coated leather and mesh upper proved tough and sturdy, withstanding the harsh elements and rocky terrains I encountered.
This waterproof hiking boot is built to last, showing minimal signs of wear and tear even after extensive use. The seam-sealed construction protected my toes from puddles, ensuring they stayed dry and comfortable throughout my adventures.
I was aware from the beginning that the Newton Ridges are not intended for heavy-duty hiking, but these stylish boots are built with good leather and a thick sole that can handle rocky paths with ease.
I also noticed that the laces are durable, with no need to replace them in the near future.
Comfort is essential for day-long hikes, and the second iteration from the Columbia Ridge Plus delivered in this regard.
The boots provided excellent cushioning and good support, reducing fatigue during long treks.
The soft padded collar and tongue added extra softness, preventing chafing and irritation.
While the break-in period took a bit of time, once the boots molded to my feet, they felt like a great match.
These walking boots offered a noticeably softer and more comfortable feel compared to my previous Columbia men’s Newton Ridge Plus II, making them an ideal choice for all-day adventures.
During extensive hikes on cooler days, the boots provided a refreshing experience, allowing me to focus on the beautiful scenery and the thrill of the journey.
The combination of suede and mesh in the upper design allowed for adequate airflow, ensuring my feet remained cool and dry on most days.
The boots efficiently wick away moisture, preventing discomfort caused by sweat buildup.
However, it’s essential to note that during particularly intense hikes in hot weather, I did feel a bit warmer than expected at times.
Despite this slight downside, the overall ventilation of these hiking boots remained satisfactory and suitable for most outdoor activities.
As I wore it through wet and rainy terrains, the Columbia Newton Plus II showcased its prowess as a truly reliable waterproof hiking boot.
Its seam-sealed construction and advanced waterproof membrane worked harmoniously to create an impenetrable barrier, shielding my toes from the relentless elements.
I confidently navigated through snow, puddles, and mud, fully trusting the boots to keep me dry and comfortable throughout the entire journey.
The water resistance was remarkable in most conditions. However, during extended exposure to extremely wet environments, a minimal amount of moisture did seep through the boot’s tongue area, but I managed to reduce the discomfort by further tightening the laces.
Weighing in at 2.20 lbs. (size 11 men’s boots), these boots felt notably lighter compared to some other footwear I’ve tried, including the Columbia Redmond V2 and the Columbia Crestwood, both of which were noticeably heavier.
This lightweight attribute proved to be a game-changer during extended hikes, as it reduced fatigue and allowed me to cover more ground with ease, making them ideal for long treks and backpacking adventures.
Despite its relatively lightweight construction, this comfortable boot did not compromise on durability or performance.
The tough combination of materials, including PU-coated leather, ensured its ability to withstand harsh elements and rugged terrains. This is why, we have included these boots into our best lightweight hiking boots guide.
Also, the boots’ supportive midsole, featuring Techlite™ cushioning, offered optimal shock absorption and stability without adding unnecessary weight.
Unfortunately, I noticed that, on particularly rough terrain, the lighter construction provided slightly less ankle protection compared to more heavy-duty style hiking boots.
Columbia’s Newton Ridge Plus II hiking boots offered exceptional support on the trail, ensuring stability on uneven surfaces.
The reinforced ankle and heel support provided ample protection against twists and sprains, granting me the confidence to tackle challenging terrains without hesitation.
Moreover, the boots’ cushioning delivered superior comfort, even during extended treks.
My ankles and heels felt well-supported and protected, reducing fatigue and allowing me to focus solely on enjoying the hike.
Unfortunately, if you have very specific foot support needs, such as severe pronation or unique arch requirements, this boot alone won’t be enough on the trail.
But you can compensate with a pair of custom orthotic inserts, which proved a good choice for my high arches.
Fit and Sizing
The sizes for this boot extend from US 7 to US 17, and the brand offers half sizes along with the possibility to choose between regular and wide versions, which made it extremely easy for me to find the right pair.
Like all leather shoes, they felt a bit tight at the beginning, but the lacing system allowed me to customize the fit. Gradually the leather became softer, and I felt good walking longer distances in them.
I especially liked the spacious toe area, which effectively averted any discomfort and enabled my toes to move freely. This feature was particularly advantageous when wearing thicker hiking socks, making these boots an excellent option for those with wide feet.
Overall, the fit and sizing of these boots were spot-on, resulting in a pleasurable and pain-free trekking experience.
How It Evolved Over Time?
The Newton Ridge II hiking boots have grown significantly compared to their previous version, setting a new standard for performance and comfort in hiking footwear.
The improvements start with the use of PU-coated leather and suede in the upper instead of Columbia Newton Ridge Pluse’s plain leather, which makes the new boot more durable and flexible.
Also, the seam-sealed construction and waterproof membrane now offer even better protection against wet conditions, and the new Newton Ridge boot features enhanced arch support and superior cushioning, offering exceptional stability during strenuous hikes.
The lightweight design and grippy Omni-Grip™ outsole ensure a secure footing on rough and slippery terrains, allowing hikers to explore with ease.
While the price is the same, the new Columbia offers more color options, so it can now cater to hikers with different styles.
How Does it Compare with Other Products?
Salomon Quest 4
While the Columbia Newton is a budget-friendly hiking boot suitable for moderate hiking on trails, the $230 Salomon Quest 4 is a higher-end hiking boot designed for serious hikers and backpackers.
It stands out with its Contagrip® TD sole, which offers a perfect balance between adherence and durability.
Hikers appreciate the EnergyCell+ technology in the midsole, providing exceptional cushioning and energy return, ideal for extended hikes.
The Quest 4 boot also boasts a Gore-Tex membrane, ensuring feet stay dry in wet conditions, making it a solid option for those exploring various terrains in changing weather.
Lowa Renegade GTX Mid-Hiking Boot
Just like the Salmon Quest 4, the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid Boot is a premium hiking shoe, retailing at a higher price of $245.
The Lowa boot features superior performance, stability, and support for more challenging terrains and longer treks, with a Vibram Evo sole that offers outstanding stability.
The Monowrap® construction and Climate Control footbed also provide excellent support and ventilation, ensuring comfort throughout the journey.
While the Newton Ridge showcases exceptional adherence, the Renegade GTX Mid boot excels in stability, making it a strong contender for those seeking a comfortable hiking boot.
Keen Targhee III Waterproof Mid
Compared to Newton Ridge, the $165 Keen Targhee III Mid boot is better equipped for more challenging trails with its robust construction and enhanced water resistance.
Its non-marking sole with 4mm lugs provides exceptional adherence and stability on various surfaces, making it suitable for challenging trails.
Moreover, the Keen.Dry technology offers waterproofing and breathability, ensuring dry socks.
While the Newton Ridge Plus II delivers reliable waterproofing, the Targhee III stands out with its comfortable and breathable design, making it an excellent option for hikers seeking all-day comfort.
Where does Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Performs Better?
These boots truly shine on rocky and uneven trails, providing exceptional adherence with their rubber sole and deep lugs. Hikers can confidently tackle muddy paths, dirt, and slippery surfaces, thanks to the superior adherence offered by these boots.
They are a great option for those who prioritize staying warm in the winter. The waterproof membrane not only keeps water out but also helps retain body heat, keeping your feet warm and comfortable in chilly conditions.
Additionally, the boots feature superior cushioning and good arch support, reducing foot fatigue and providing a comfortable fit throughout your journey.
The suede leather upper adds durability and offers good protection against rocks and debris, as well, ensuring your feet stay safe in rugged environments.
Where does Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Falls Short in Performance?
The Newton Ridge Plus II boots deliver impressive performance overall, but they do have three areas where they fall short.
While the Omni-Grip™ rubber outsole provides good adherence in most conditions, it struggles on extremely icy or slippery surfaces, lacking specialized technology for such scenarios.
Furthermore, although the boots offer effective waterproofing, I have noted that they are not as breathable as desired during hot and strenuous hikes, leading to discomfort due to trapped moisture.
Do We Recommend It?
After putting the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II to the test, I can confidently say that this hiking boot is an excellent choice for any beginner or intermediate hiker.
It provided a good grip, and I appreciated its durable construction, which instilled a sense of reliability during my adventures.
While the Newton Ridge Plus II lacks the advanced waterproofing and ruggedness of specialized hiking boots, so I don’t see it as the best fit for extremely wet conditions, at only $100, this durable boot performed ideally on the trail with good resistance to spring rain and streams.
It also boasted exceptional adherence, which greatly enhanced stability on rocky surfaces and slippery paths. Additionally, the light design made long hikes feel less strenuous, allowing me to explore for extended periods without fatigue.
While both are hiking shoes, the Amped model is specifically geared towards providing enhanced adherence and stability for more challenging terrains, making it a great option for rugged hikes. On the other hand, the Newton Ridge Plus II offers reliable performance for general outdoor activities and moderate trails.
Yes, Columbia Newton Ridge Plus shoes are slip-resistant. They are designed with a high-adherence rubber outsole that provides excellent grip on various surfaces, reducing the risk of slipping and enhancing stability during outdoor activities.