Columbia Newton Ridge Plus 2
As a consumer, it is always essential to understand the limitations that some products will have at specific price ranges. For example, a $1000 smartphone is going to perform much, much better than a cheap $50 smartphone. The same ideology can be applied to hiking boots as with the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus 2; it can be viewed as an affordable model.
Now, this is far from an issue, but it is something that you need to keep in mind as we go throughout this review. Due to this, you will notice that this hiking boot falls short in quite a few areas. Most noteworthy of which is the fact that this is advertised as waterproof boots. At best, it is water-resistant thanks to its polyurethane coating.
Of course, there is also a ton to love about this boot. Columbia has implemented some impressive main components (such as the midsole, outsole, and upper) into their boot for improved traction, comfort, and performance overall. For the price, it is excellent, but it also does not hit the elite stratosphere.
Read more about Columbia Newton Ridge Plus 2 below!
For a hiking boot, it is quite lightweight in nature
Provides pretty good stability and support
Coated with polyurethane for improved water resistance
Sports a seam-sealed construction
Features a Techlite midsole
The outsole is very impressive
Equipped with breathable mesh
Comes in a great variety of sizes
The ankle support is minimal
Not fully waterproof
Though impressive, the outsole has durability issues
Users have had issues with the laces
The tongue is also padded, and this is going to prevent it from irritating the top of your foot. Then again, while this is nice, the same tongue can also be a little stiff at first. Give it some time, and it will break in some, however. Speaking of stiff, the heel cup has the same issue but, once again, break it in some.
As for the support that this boot provides, the implemented firm shank allows it to mostly excel in this area. The same can’t be said for the ankle support, though. One user, in fact, heavily criticized this aspect of the boot and noted that it was highly insufficient in this regard.
One could see why Columbia thought it was waterproof as they designed it with sealed seams and also a polyurethane coating. Both of these can ensure full waterproofness, but that is not the case here. Now, indeed, there are different levels of waterproofness. Just because something is waterproof, it does not mean it will prevent water from entering inside under any pressure.
There are always limitations, but too many users have had issues with this boot, not holding up to only moderate exposure to water. As such, it is an excellent water-resistant boot that will work well during an average rainfall. While walking in water or snowshoeing, however, your feet will get wet.
It deserves mentioning that Columbia prides itself on engineering footwear with high-quality materials but there are still serious concerns here regardless. For starters, as excellent as the outsole is at delivering traction (more on that later), it also does not hold up very well. There have been several former buyers who have experienced the outsole tearing off after only a small amount of time.
Additionally, the eyelets of the laces have also been known to bend rather easily. The good news, however, is that the EVA midsole and leather upper do hold up quite well to extended abuse. As for the rest of the boot, it is a different story.
For hiking, though, this does work like a charm. It is what it was engineered to be, so it is fair to expect nothing less. The combination of its fantastic outsole and its robust protection (again, it is not fully waterproof, but it will at least protect you from light rain and such) makes it suitable for various types of terrain while you are hiking.
Look elsewhere if you need a winter or heavy-duty working boot, however. Due to the lack of insulation, full waterproofness, and heavy-duty build, the Newton Ridge Plus 2 is just not ideal for these types of uses.
If you are familiar with the brand, then you probably have heard of their Techlite midsole. That is the bad boy that is integrated here, and it does wonders for the overall performance and comfort of the Newton Ridge Plus 2. In addition to providing you with fantastic and supportive cushioning shoes, they also promote high energy return.
While this is mostly coveted for running shoes, it can still be useful when trying to get some extra spring in your step while hiking. And, the best part about this midsole is it is Columbia’s patent-pending design. It could make the boot worth it alone.
The reason it is so effective out on the trails is due to the rubber compound as it is quite advanced in its design. You see, it has been specially formulated with treads and other various compounds to create a sole that grips on all different types of terrain from gravel to slippery stones. In regard to its performance, very few of you are going to have any complaints about it.
As was documented earlier, however, its longevity is a totally different story. So, in spite of the wonderful performance, it is somewhat tough to give Columbia a pass for its well-documented durability problems.
As noted before, this leather has been treated with a polyurethane coating. In addition to protecting it from general weathering, this also helps against abrasions and anything else that will degrade the leather. However, that is not all that has been thrown into the mix. To ensure that this boot would be breathable, the mesh was also implemented into the upper.
Past helping to prevent blisters, this also better protects against bacterial growth. It also means that you will be able to wear this boot in warmer climates (also remember that it is lightweight too). Overall, the upper is constructed quite well and is not the area where the Newton Ridge Plus 2 draws its criticism.
That is one of the benefits of leather, after all, as who does not honestly enjoy the appeal of leather? Furthermore, what enhances the visual nature of this boot is the fact that it is offered in a wide range of different colorways. However, as this is leather, most colors are merely different shades of brown and black (which is certainly not a bad thing).
There is one specific color option that will catch the eye of many men out there, though. The collegiate navy colorway is one that is incredibly unique and one that will go quite well with jeans. Even if you do not like the color of the navy, you will indeed find an option you do enjoy.
But, what happens if you have wide feet? This boot has got you covered as although every single size is not offered in a full version, there are quite a few of them that are. If you know you have wide feet, then you may want to consider such options. It is worth noting that some previous buyers have had issues with the sizing, though.
Most users who have complained have been all over the place. Some feel the boot runs small, while others feel it runs a little large. But, the majority of reviewers believe that it runs true to size. Oh, and as for the laces, this is outfitted with a D-ring lacing system. It is nothing too fancy but does get the job done.
If you are someone who enjoys hiking now and then (maybe once or twice a month during appropriate seasons), you will probably get great use out of this. The combination of its midsole, upper, and outsole creates a comfortable, breathable, and good-looking core.
On the flip side, those seeking a workhorse hiking boot to provide ultimate waterproof protection will want to look elsewhere. If these are your expectations for this boot, then you will probably end up despising it. It is not geared for this level of performance out on the trails.
As a whole, however, this is far from an incompetent design. All you need to do is accept the limitations of the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus 2, and you will be fine. The real question is, are you capable of doing that?