Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II

8.9 score
[Editors rating (8.6) + Users rating (9.6)] / 2 = (TheGearHunt) score (8.9)/10

Editor rating: 8.6 / 10
User's rating: based on 6 user ratings
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Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II Review Facts

The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II is a lightweight and durable hiking boot. The Omni-Grip tread on the outsole allows you to tackle a variety of outdoor activities but is specially designed for you to approach any rugged terrain with confidence.  The exceptional feel of the leather, combined with its innovative waterproofing qualities, is enough to appeal to any outdoor enthusiast. The waterproof technology includes both a polyurethane coating and an OmniShield water and stain resistant treatment. Despite being virtually impenetrable from the outside, this boot features an airy in-shoe environment with its breathable mesh, reducing the potential for bacterial growth and blisters.

This boot also offers stability and support with its firm shank, mid-level shaft, and lacing system. When tied properly, the clamshell and triangular D-ring lacing system works to keep the feet in place and, therefore, limits the hot-spots on your ankles, sole, heel, and forefoot. Columbia set out to make a hiking boot that would not only meet but exceed needs and expectations. They’ve tested this boot in a myriad of environments, climates, and conditions to ensure these boots would both function properly and look great. Whether on soft dirt trail bed, a gravelly road, or on wet sandy boulders, the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II will get you there and back with comfort and ease.  Read on to see the details on what makes this boot amazing. 

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Use of compression-molded EVA midsole for comfort and cushioning.
  • Non-marking Omni-Grip traction outsole
  • Leather is treated with a polyurethane coating for maximum waterproof protection.
  • Lightweight Breathable mesh keeps the environment in the shoe cool and dry.
  • The Triangular D-Ring and Clamshell lacing systems makes lacing-up quick and easy.
  • Easy to Clean
  • Great Price
  • Waterproof only up to the lacing
  • Limited color selection
  • OmniShield water and stain resistance may fade over time

Sole Composition

The outsole of the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II is made up of Omni-Grip traction rubber. The word “omni” means all; of all things, in all ways and in all places. This advanced Omni-Grip traction outsole is said to be able to grip every environment, no matter the conditions. The midsole is a compression-molded EVA foam midsole. EVA foam is a durable, yet soft, copolymer of ethylene and vinyl acetate (that’s where the initials EVA come from). It is often used in hiking boots, and other footwear, because of its rubber-like feel and flexibility. EVA is also stress resistant and low-temperature tough. Columbia has used the compression-molded EVA, rather than injection-molded, in order to obtain better quality midsole design detail, but also because it is more reliable as far as size and fit. In addition, the compression-molded EVA process allows for placement of extra-firm midsole parts. In the case of this Columbia boot, the midsole appears to become a bit softer with use. Besides the use of EVA, the Newton Ridge Plus II midsole also features Techlite Cushioning. See the Comfort and Cushioning section below.

Traction and Terrain

Columbia considers this to be a trail boot. The Omni-Grip lugged outsole with traction rubber, is one of the reasons this an ideal trail hiking boot. The Newton Ridge Plus II was developed on Columbia’s home site in Portland, Oregon. Therefore, you know this boot was "tested tough" in the mountains and on the trails of the Pacific Northwest. Columbia says, this is “Where the sidewalk ends and the good life begins”. Hikers report feeling this boot has amazing grip. Whether on rock or sand, in the rain or mud, you can trust these boots will get you through. It is Columbia’s mission to make products that, not only meets, but exceeds expectations of outdoor adventurers. With that being said, many hikers report even feeling surprised at how well this boot gripped on sand covered gravel or wet slippery stones. Plus, bonus for me, the rubber is non-marking, meaning no scuffs on my kitchen floor.

Upper Build

The men’s version of the Ridge Plus II has an upper that is mostly leather and synthetic materials, while the women’s features more leather with mesh. However both boots incorporate PU or suede leather, mesh, and metals into the design. The PU stands for polyurethane, which is a versatile synthetic compound that contributes to the waterproofing of this hiking boot. The polyurethane protects the leather from water damage as well as from scratches, allowing it to last longer. It also gives the boot its new leather shine. This hiking boot features waterproof full grain leather that has been treated with Omnishield water and stain resistance. As we said above, Omni means all. The Omnishield water and stain resistance treatment offers you virtually impenetrable protection all the way up to the laces. The mesh of the upper allows for desirable breathability, reducing moisture inside your boot. Less moisture equals less bacterial growth as well as less opportunity for blisters.

Size and Weight

The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II is a durable, yet lightweight hiking boot. Several hikers reported that they felt this boot was extremely lightweight, much more so than their previous hiking boots. A women's size 7 boot weighs 16.3oz, just over a pound. The dimensions of the average women’s boot is 12x8x4; average men’s 15x10x5, with a shipping weight of between 2.45 and 4 pounds. While these boots seem to run true-to-size, I recommended purchasing 1/2 size larger to accommodate thick woolen socks. With the Newton Ridge Plus 2, D = medium width for men and B = medium for women. These boots do not come in wide or narrow. They run in men’s sizes 7-17 and women’s from 5-11. The shaft of the men’s boot measures approximately 5” from arch, while the women’s measures approximately 5.25”. The platform on both shoes is about .50”.

Airflow and Waterproofing

Worried about the weather? Don’t be. Take on the trail, whatever the weather in this Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II hiking boot. Columbia products are designed with the highest quality materials and developed with the best technologies available. With the waterproof seam-sealed construction and Omnishield water resistance treatment, wet weather is sealed out all the way up to the laces. And, yes, this includes, morning dew, mud puddles, stream crossings, and even rain showers. While dryness is kept in, breathable mesh helps to let air out. This mesh ventilates the interior of the boot, keeping your feet comfortable and cool. Although these boots are waterproof, the Omnishield water resistant treatment fades. For best results, spray them every week or two with a waterproof spray. Do this especially after you have gotten them wet. Be careful not to spray the boot laces. This makes the laces more slippery and more likely to become untied.

Comfort and Cushioning

Comfort and cushioning in the Newton Ridge Plus II is made possible, in part, due to the Techlite midsole. This is a lightweight material engineered with superior cushioning for long-lasting comfort and high energy return. Most hikers who have tried this boot, report feeling there was little to no need for a break-in period. They were comfortable right off the bat. While the boot size most often fits as expected, you must choose the proper size for your foot for maximum comfort. To measure your foot for true size, stand on a piece of paper, placing your heel against the wall, and have a friend mark the end of your longest toe with a pen or pencil. Measure both feet and use the largest measurement. Find a size chart online and compare the closest larger measurement. For example, if my foot measures 9 5/8”, then I wear a size 7 in the US and a 40 in Europe. Remember to choose 1/2 size larger if planning to wear thick themal socks while hiking.


Columbia works hard to provide us with innovative products that are functional, while at the same time, being as stylish as possible. Although, the colors of this Columbia boot are limited, the colors schemes chosen are kind of awesome. For men, there is Black on Black, Cordovan/Squash, and Mud/Sanguine. For those of you, like me, who didn’t know what Sanguine is, it’s Blood-Red. Coincidently, sanguine is also an adjective meaning “positive or optimistic, especially in a difficult or apparently bad situation”. This definitely makes me want to buy this color for my hiking boots. I wish they had this color in women's! For us women, though, we still have great colors to choose from, including Quarry/Cool Wave and Cordovan/Crown Jewel. I want to mention another thing that contributes to the aesthetics of this boot - the Omnishield scratch resistance treatment. They won’t even look like they have been used. Plus, they are so easily cleaned, you can take a dry rag and simply wipe the dust and dirt right off.

Longevity and Overall Quality

Columbia offers footwear for a wide variety of adventures. This being said, Columbia’s Newton Ridge Plus II boots are specifically made for the trail. Some folks like to use them in everyday life, which is great, but it is also very hard on the tread. For the best bet for longevity, stick to using the boots on the trail…..any type of trail, short or long. As mentioned above, the midsole is made from EVA foam, which is durable and flexible. It is also stress-resistant and stands up against low temperatures. The polyurethane waterproof and scratch resistance treatments help with longevity as well. Meaning, fewer dollars spent on replacement boots and more time discovering new trails.

Safety Features

Safety is a priority when out on the trail. That’s why we need shoes that are comfortable and appropriate. The Newton Ridge Plus II is waterproof, sealing out the elements while maintaining a breathable atmosphere inside. There is a firm shank under the arch that is designed to deliver both support and stability where it's needed most. The shank adds a touch of weight to the boot, but it seems worth it for the torsional stability it brings. From what I understand, torsional stability helps to reduce twisting and turning of your ankles, resulting in fewer injuries. Although firm and supportive where you need it, the Newton Ridge Plus II is also just flexible enough to give with your foot for comfort. Keep in mind when purchasing a hiking boot, you don’t want a sole that is too flexible. Your feet will move up and down more than needed and your feet will tire out quickly - a bad thing when on a long hike. The last thing I want to mention about safety is that the thick lugs on the outsole grip firmly to wet stones and gravel, making a slip, fall, or tumble, much less likely.

Lacing System

Having the right lacing system can be important to a hiker. Laces work to keep feet in place in order to prevent rubbing and blisters. The Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II features a triangular D-Ring and clamshell lacing system. With D-Rings, hikers can lace up their boots as fast as their fingers muster. Generally people like this, but some complain that they feel increased pressure on the foot in these areas. Lacing should be tight but not overly so, you don’t want to restrict circulation. There should be even tension across the top of your foot. Note that the D-Rings are metal and considerably durable. Hikers also love the the clamshell lacing at the top of the boot. When you reach the ankle, the lacing transitions from the D-rings to the clamshells, also known as quick-lace hooks, making lacing-up even more quick and easy.

Value and Cost

Beginning in 1938, the family owned Columbia Sportswear Company produces footwear and other performance products using the latest innovative technologies and the highest quality materials. They have a reputation for it. Just ask any of the outdoor adventurers in over 100 countries that wear these products every day. I hear that Columbia's chairman often says, “Ok, it’s perfect. Now, make it better!”. Once a product finally gets her stamp of approval, you can be sure that it is a product you wouldn’t mind being caught outside with. The Newton Ridge Plus II is no exception. It is a really great hiking boot for a really great price. Not all hiking boots can keep you warm when needed but cool otherwise, plus keep you dry and protected all year long, especially in the northwest. I was pleasantly surprised how relatively inexpensive these were compared to the superior quality. They truly are a great value.

Comparison and Similarities

When compared to the Columbia Fire Venture Mid Waterproof boot, the Newton Ridge Plus is approximately 5oz heavier. However, I prefer Newton Ridge’s polyurethane coated leather over the suede upper of the Fire Venture. The Columbia Dakota Drifter Low has a suede leather/mesh combination upper and is even lighter in weight than the Fire Venture. However, the Dakota Drifter Low possess a low shaft rather than a mid, making it easier for the elements to come in, not to mention easier to twist an ankle. If you choose the Dakota Drifter Mid Waterproof boot, you tack on an extra 2.3 pounds over the Dakota Drifter Low, but it is still lighter weight than the Newton Ridge Plus. However, despite the weight, I still prefer the PU coated leather of the Newton Ridge over the suede, even when it is mixed with leather and mesh.

Key Features

• Omni-Grip Traction Outsole
• Compression Molded EVA Midsole
• Waterproof Leather with Polyurethane Coating
• OmniShield Water and Stain Resistant Treatment
• Breathable Mesh for Maximum Airflow
• Triangular D-Ring and Clamshell Lacing System
• Mid Level Shaft for Torsional Protection as well as Protection from the Elements.

Final Thoughts

I have really enjoyed the Columbia Newton Ridge Plus II. These boots are extremely comfortable to hike in. The size fits as expected, making ordering online a cinch. But, don’t forget to purchase 1/2 a size larger if you enjoy thick woolen socks like I do. While writing this article, I was curious about the name ‘Newton Ridge’. With a little research, I discovered that Newton Ridge is a place where one would certainly want a durable and waterproof, yet still lightweight hiking boot on their feet. Therefore, if there is a Newton Ridge or similarly difficult path you want to take on, especially if there is a chance you will get wet, be sure to include a pair of these boots on the trip.