Expert Review: Columbia - Newton Ridge Plus WTPF - 9.5 - Elk Mountain RedPublished on 03/14/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the boots, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
Front View of boots after hiking with them for the past 2 years. All photos courtesy of Hannah Keim
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the boots, which I purchased with my own money in December of 2021.
The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus WTPF boots are good for everyday hiking, backpacking, mountaineering, or everyday wear. They are suited for long day hikes in the rain, snow, or mud due to their lightweight and effective waterproofing.
About the boots I own
- Model: 2021 Columbia - Newton Ridge Plus WTPF - 9.5 - Elk Mountain Red
- Size: Women’s 9.5
- Width: Regular
- Fit: True to size
- When I bought these: December 2021
- Days tested: 20
- Terrain: Mountainous, rocky, muddy, grass, dirt
- Used for: Day hiking
- Where I’ve used it: Glacier National Park, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Oregon, Minnesota, Upstate New York, and Vermont
- Seasons I’ve used it in: Spring, summer, and fall.
- Height: 5’6”
- Weight: 210lbs
- Usual shoe size: Women’s 9.5
- Foot width: Regular
- Foot arch: Regular
- Experience: 5+ years of backpacking
How they perform
What I was looking for
My very first pair of hiking boots were coming to an end, and I knew I wanted to stay with Columbia. I was looking for a boot that had good traction and was waterproof and lightweight (I didn’t want to feel like I was lifting weights each time I lifted my feet). I also wanted something that looked like a classic hiking boot—so a tan/suede color was a must. I was also looking for a boot with ankle support due to having weak ankles.
Why I chose this gear
These boots fit pretty much every single one of my needs, and I know that my feet will be comfortable no matter how long the trial ahead of me is.
What I love about them
- Durability: The omni-tech material—which is Columbia’s proprietary technology—is 100% waterproof, and the omni-grip technology adds advanced traction on any terrain. A one-year limited warranty on these boots covers material and workmanship defects.
- Break-in period: It took me about two wears to fully break in these boots. I started by wearing them around the house and bending them at the toes to help the process along. The shoes are made out of leather, suede, omni-tech, and mesh. The leather made the breaking-in process slightly longer but worth it.
- Comfort: To me, they are more comfortable to wear during hikes rather than when backpacking. I have only experienced aching when on a seven-day backpacking trip. However, there was one hike when I was walking downhill a majority of the time where my pinky toes felt smushed.
- Fit: The fit of the shoe is regular, just as expected. Though sometimes the shoe can feel small depending on the thickness of the socks I’m wearing. For example, my feet feel cramped if I wear thick wool socks.
- Weight: These boots are lightweight compared to other similar options on the market. This specifically helps during inclines and over rocky terrain, as I do not feel like I am lugging my feet with each step. I have only encountered a weight problem with these boots on a seven-day backpacking trip. They began to feel heavy around day four.
- Material: The boot is made out of leather, suede, mesh, omni-tech, and omni-grip. The mesh provides breathability, while the omni-tech and omni-grip provide top performance with traction and waterproofing.
- Waterproofing: My feet stayed completely dry when I crossed a creek during the glacier run-off season. The mesh and omni-tech add to the waterproofing of this boot.
- Insulation: These boots feature average insulation. They are great for three seasons but not ideal for winter. I can layer with socks to get around this problem; however, the thinker socks cause less room in the boot, making them feel cramped. I have used them in the peak of Utah’s winter in Park City and Salt Lake City, as well as further south in Bryce Canyon. And the longer I spent in the snow, the colder my toes felt.
- Ankle support: These boots have mid-ankle support. The laces provide extra support when tied all the way up and correctly.
- Arch support: I do not need arch support, but the boots are comfortable for my regular-arched feet.
- Day hiking: These boots are my go-to for day hiking and shorter trips, as they are comfortable and have an effective grip.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Toe protection: These boots do not have steel toes, so they only offer normal toe protection.
- Backpacking: These boots are not ideal for longer, colder backpacking trips because, in my experience, they start to feel heavy and poorly insulated in these conditions.
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with these boots was in Glacier National Park during the glacial run-off season. We were hiking to Avalanche Lake and expected to come across many wet areas and amazing views. As expected, we had to climb over trees and take in the breathtaking views when we approached our first especially muddy and wet area—a shallow creek. I was able to pass with ease (no slipping or wet toes) while I watched as my husband and a few other fellow hikers that day slipped around. My Columbias provided me with great traction and comfort.
Value for the money vs. other options
For those looking for high-quality boots for three seasons while not breaking the bank, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus WTPF is it. Though, for better insulation, the Women's Newton Ridge Plus Omni-Heat Boot is only slightly more expensive.
In my opinion, these boots are a budget-friendly option that offers great comfort, durability, and traction when hiking any terrain. They are ideal for day hikes, short backpacking trips, and everyday wear.