Gear Review: Men’s Hiking Boots

When Jackie and I took our first hike, we had no gear. Just regular sneakers, a crappy backpack that I’ve had since high school, lugging bottled water around. After that hike, I told her I was buying us hiking boots. “Why spend the money if we’re not even sure if we are going to keep doing this?” she asked. I told her my thought process was buying some boots will give us incentive to go out and keep doing it. I was correct.

We both are looking to give honest reviews of our gear. We only want to review something if we have used it multiple times. This isn’t meant to be a guide on how to pick which gear is right for you, there are tons of resources out there already that can help you out with that. I recommend doing your own research first, if the boots I have pique your interest, than hopefully this review helps.

After conducting my own research, I decided on the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II. What I was looking for was essentially just comfortable, waterproof, and fairly inexpensive. On paper these seemed to be the best bang for my buck.

I have worn them over a dozen times on hikes, and multiple times during the winter and at work. Here are a few things I have learned about them:

  • They are damn comfortable
  • They are lightweight
  • The soles grip very well when climbing on rocks
  • They certainly are waterproof
  • Good ankle support

My only complaint so far, and it might not necessarily be the boots fault, but my own, is that I sometimes get blisters on my heels. This is probably due to the fact that my boots are size 10.5, and with sneakers I usually run between 10-10.5, so there might be a little too much room for my feet and they keep sliding around. I also noticed on the last hike a slipped into a puddle, and it felt like my feet got a little wet. These boots do need to be waterproofed periodically, and I haven’t done it yet, so I bought some spray and will reapply. I will update later if that works.

Overall, I would definitely recommend these boots for most beginners. Like I said earlier, I was looking for fairly inexpensive, and these fit the bill. So far I’m very happy with them, would even buy them again if I ever need a new pair, and Jackie also has the same pair for women (because she’s a woman). She seems to like them a lot too, but I’ll let her write her own review.

UPDATE 7/27/17: I seem to have solved the blister issue by tying the laces really tight, and periodically tightening them while hiking. I really haven’t gotten a blister yet. I also applied the waterproofing spray, but haven’t gotten them wet to tell if it works.

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