Columbia vs Merrell Hiking Shoes: All You Need to Know!

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Columbia vs Merrell Hiking Shoes

Columbia vs Merrell Hiking Shoes: Which is Better?

columbia vs merrel hiking shoes
Its hiking shoes or boots or nothing

We found the Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge a perfect choice for most women and the Merrell Women’s Moab a great Merrel counterpart that can be trusted.

“Trust me, your sneakers prefer the sidewalk and the backyard, leave them at home! For hiking, you need a proper hiking shoe or at the very least a sturdy walking/running shoe. It really comes down to what type of trail you are challenging!” 

The Canadian Pedorthist, Brandon Nethercott, R. Kin, C. Ped (C) continues with one message for you like most of her patience, “Choose function over fashion with the plethora of footwear on the market today

And we can’t disagree with him much!   

In fact, you can tell who is a seasoned hiker and who is a beginner from their footwear.

Also Read: Importance Of Arch Support In Aerobic Exercise Shoes

Merrell vs Columbia Hiking Boots Table Comparison

FeaturesColumbia Hiking BootsMerrell Hiking Boots
Comfort/PaddingColumbia boots are exceptionally comfortable, especially in snow, thanks to their thick padding. Your feet will thank you.Comfortable for general hiking, but perhaps not the best for snow hiking due to minimal interior padding.
PriceColumbia boots are a bit more expensive, but they offer premium features and durability that make them worth the investment.Merrell offers reasonably priced boots without compromising on quality and comfort.
DurabilityBuilt like a tank, Columbia boots deliver extreme durability and reliable quality, perfect for those who love challenging hikes.Merrell’s boots may show wear and tear sooner than some, but they offer solid performance for well-maintained trails.
BreathabilityWhile not as breathable as Merrell, Columbia boots perform best on cold days, providing an extra layer of insulation against the elements.Designed with the outdoors in mind, these boots feature outstanding breathability due to their mesh uppers, which are excellent for moisture-wicking. Perfect for those long, sweaty hikes.
Traction/OutsoleColumbia boasts ideal traction and grip on all terrains, courtesy of its innovative Omni-Grip technology. Feel secure with every step.With Merrell’s boots, you get excellent foot functionality, but traction may vary at times.
WaterproofingColumbia employs Gore-Tex waterproofing to keep your feet dry and warm, even in the most challenging weather conditions.While Merrell uses an unspecified technology for waterproofing, it may be less effective in heavy rain.
WeightColumbia boots are slightly heavier, but this added weight contributes to greater stability while hiking over rough terrains.These boots are your feet’s best friend, thanks to their super lightweight design that won’t weigh you down on your adventures.
Ankle SupportFor those who need solid ankle support, Columbia boots are second to none, providing excellent stability.These boots are slightly lacking in ankle support, making them best for less demanding terrains.
SizeColumbia boots run a bit narrower with a slightly smaller toe box. Some models may run half a size up, so keep this in mind when ordering.Merrell boots are designed with a wider fit and a roomy interior, offering comfort right out of the box.
Best forPerfect for trail running, as comfortable outdoor shoes, or as steadfast snow boots. Columbia has got you covered.Ideal for hikers who prefer well-maintained trails and value lightness and comfort above all.
StyleColumbia boots are for those who want to make a statement, offering a stylish range of aesthetics.Merrell’s subtle and sober aesthetics are perfect for those who prefer a more understated style.
BrandColumbia is famous for the Omni-Grip feature in their hiking boots, providing superior traction for a safe and secure hike.Merrell is renowned for their ultra-lightweight hiking boots, making them a favorite among weight-conscious hikers.
Best PicksCheck Best Merrell Hiking BootsCheck Best Columbia Hiking Boots

Video Comparison of Merrell vs Columbia Shoes

Columbia vs Merrell Hiking Shoes Comparison

1. Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge™ Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot Review

Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof
Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof
Columbia Women's Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof
  • The Newton Ridge Plus Waterproof Amped Hiking Boot features a seam-sealed construction, combined with our TECHLITE lightweight midsole, for long-lasting comfort with superior cushioning and high energy return.
  • This women's boot is inspired by classic mountaineering style. A durable mid cut waterproof hiker that provides great traction and comfort. 
  • Our signature Omni-GRIP non-marking traction rubber outsole provides high grip across a wide variety of terrain, and versatile three season use.
  • Treacherous days out on the trail are comfortable and worry-free with this hiking boot's waterproof.
  • Designed for extended years of use, we’ve reinforced the toe and heel barriers, and extended the outsole toe overwrap to guard these key wear points.

We all know how women’s feet have a relatively different structure than men’s. Most brands generalize their collection; Columbia makes sure to create women-specific features that trigger your problem areas and help you get your ideal fit. Here are some of the pros and cons you need to weigh the effectiveness of this shoe


1. Feminine Style

Nothing can beat Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge in its aesthetics. To help you flaunt these hiking shoes on the streets, this waterproof hiking boot is armed with excellent style with contrasting color combinations and a soft suede exterior to keep you fashionable yet safe.

2. Omni-Grip

Although I have touched on this feature before, it needed more emphasis for this gorgeous Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge shoe. The multi-terrain traction system with Omni-grip is specially formulated with a special thread to give you the maximum support and traction you need to walk on a slippery surface.

Not just that, whether it is the bitter ice roads or highly wet trails, with this shoe, you can rest assured to be safe in all.

3. Adjustable Features

This incredible shoe features a lace-up closure to offer you maximum adjustability to keep your feet secure at all times.


1. Not great for heavy wear and wear

Although the shoe has shown excellent results for people who occasionally like to indulge themselves in the thrill of hiking, it lacks the right durability to help you wear this to hiking every day.

Also Read: Columbia Newton Ridge Plus Review

2. Merrell Women’s Moab Speed Mid GORE-TEX® Review

Merrell womens Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot
Merrell womens Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot
Merrell womens Moab 2 Mid Gtx Hiking Boot
  • GORE-TEX waterproof membrane, exceptional breathability and waterproof performance
  • Synthetic leather and mesh upper
  • Bellows, closed-cell foam tongue keeps moisture and debris out
  • Merrell M Select FIT.ECO+ blended EVA contoured footbed with added zonal arch and heel support
  • Vibram TC5+ sole

As with everything that’s evolving, Merrell is also going along with time to develop unique and advanced shoes packed with features offered by no other brand. The supportive footbed and versatility, without a doubt, are what Merrell stands for.

And if we are especially considering Moab speed, this bestseller leaves no stone unturned to offer you everything you need for an ideal hiking shoe.


1. Gore-Tex

Gore-tex is a high-performing layer that offers exceptional breathability to allow air ventilation in your shoe. This prevents the inevitable odor and keeps your feet from infections.

2. Vibram

The Vibram present in the rubber sole offers unmatched durability and slip resistance that you need in every hiking shoe. Its waterproof body ensures to allows you to walk on any surface without worrying about injuring your body.

3. Air Cushion

Air cushioning is needed to give you support and balance out the weight to cover your entire foot.


1. Not very durable

There have been a few complaints about the durability and effectiveness of the shoe. To state it specifically, it makes your feet feel soggy after a few months of wear.

Also Read: Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe Review

3. Columbia Men’s SH/FT™ Aurora OutDry™ Shoe review

Columbia Men's Pivot Mid Waterproof
Columbia Men's Pivot Mid Waterproof
Columbia Men's Pivot Mid Waterproof
  • With max cushioning underfoot you’ll experience superior comfort designed to absorb uneven terrain while keeping your foot stable
  • The Columbia Men’s Pivot Mid Waterproof Performance Shoe is a responsive trail runner offering the perfect blend of traction, support and breathability
  • Our signature Omni-GRIP non-marking traction rubber outsole provides versatility, ready for the pavement, without the worrying scuffs indoors
  • High function and wide ranging performance are designed into this agile all-purpose shoe, built to deliver nimble response wherever you go
  • Columbia’s attention to detail is what sets our footwear apart from others. We use only the highest quality materials, expert craftsmanship, and durable stitching. This is an excellent pair of shoes you will enjoy for seasons to come

Columbia Men’s SH/FT™ Aurora OutDry™ Shoes are everything you need to look stylish and have a strong body for your shoe. Although they look like your ordinary sneakers, the OutDry laminates the wicks moisture and blocks out any wetness you may encounter throughout hiking.

It is engineered to cover all types of trail conditions all whole, offering the ever-needed comfort.


1. Aesthetically Appealing

This is especially needed when you don’t want to break the bank by buying a different shoe for every other outdoor activity. Thus, it is a little investment; in the beginning, you get to avail yourself of countless benefits and years of satisfaction with this specific shoe.

2. High Performance

Its soft yet stable structure offers underfoot support, ideal for wearing on rough and rocky trails.

3. Wet-dry Traction

The protective toe cap comes with an Adapt-Trax outsole which offers a superior cushion that you need to divert the strain away from your knees and improve performance. The slip-free movement and rubber sole are great for keeping your feet planted while aiding flexibility for advanced movement.


1. Not suitable for wide feet

Due to its structure fit at the top, it is relatively tight for people with wide feet. However, this problem can be eliminated by opting for half a size bigger.

4. Merrell Men’s Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe Review

Merrell Men's Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
Merrell Men's Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
Merrell Men's Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoe
  • Pigskin leather and mesh upper
  • Traditional lace closure
  • Bellows tongue keeps out debris
  • Protective toe cap
  • Breathable mesh lining
  • Kinetic Fit ADVANCED removable contoured insole with reinforced heel cushioning for medium support
  • Molded nylon arch shank
  • Merrell Air Cushion in the heel absorbs shock and adds stability
  • Lightweight EVA foam midsole for stability and comfort
  • Vibram TC5 plus rubber sole

This water-resistant hiking shoe is known for its breathability and how relaxed it makes you feel. The rubber toe bumper aid movement and the heel counter are excellent for offering ever-lasting comfort and stability. Here are some of the pros and cons to help you weigh its effectiveness.


1. Breathability

This shoe offers unprecedented air ventilation, which can keep your feet feeling cool and dry at the end of your hectic hiking day. Its structured fit and support make sure that this shoe suits your everyday wear or intense hiking routine.

2. Support

Merrell Men’s Moab Ventilator Hiking Shoe is armed with a high-performance footbed that comes with an EVA midsole to offer stability and comfort that is second to none.


1. Insole not removable

Remove insoles can be handy to allow you to have full control over your shoe. It can also be useful if you are someone struggling with arthritis or prefer more adjustability. However, this shoe doesn’t allow you to add external insoles to avail of these benefits.

Merrell vs Columbia Women & Men Shoe Comparison: Things to Consider Before Investing Your Hard-earned Money

1. Price

Price is inevitably the most important factor to consider when it comes to shopping. If we specifically talk about hiking shoes, bear in mind, a good one-time investment can result in a more sensible choice than spending money on a cheaper product twice or thrice a year.

Merrell hits the sweet spot between quality and affordability, making it accessible to most hikers. Columbia, though on the pricier side, often has deals and sales that offer excellent value.

2. Durability

If longevity is a priority, Columbia’s solid construction offers excellent durability. Merrell, while less durable, performs well for casual or mid-range hiking.

3. Comfort and Size

Merrell boots offer a roomier fit and wider toe box, ideal for hikers who prefer extra space. Columbia boots are slightly narrower and may require a break-in period.

4. Breathability and Ventilation

Merrell is top-tier for breathability, ensuring your feet stay cool and fresh. Columbia, on the other hand, offers warmth and a padded interior, making it perfect for snow hiking.

5. Traction and Grip

 Merrell offers respectable traction, but Columbia stands out with superior stability and grip, even in rainy conditions.

6. Waterproofing Performance

Both brands excel at keeping your feet dry. Merrell is suitable for lighter hiking, while Columbia, with its Gore-Tex technology, is better for heavier hikes or snowy conditions.

7. Weight

Merrell is known for its lightweight design, ideal for hikers who prefer speed and agility. Columbia, while slightly heavier, provides extra stability and warmth.

8. Ankle Support

Columbia shines in providing solid ankle support, ensuring a snug fit and stability on rough terrains. Merrell, while comfortable, offers less ankle support.

9. Style and Design

Columbia wins on style, with modern aesthetics and trendy color options. Merrell offers a more subtle, professional look for those who prefer a classic style.

10. Outsoles

Rubber is usually ideal for hiking shoe outsoles. You can also find carbon in some mountaineering boots to improve durability.

However, their increased hardness can make your shoe feel stiff during travel. Therefore, go for hiking shoes with rubber outsoles with lug patterns to increase traction to help you move around the wet mud easily.

11. Midsole Support

The cushioning in the midsole is the key to having the perfect support and comfort. When you have a stable shoe, you are more likely to stay indulged in your outdoor activities rather than focus on the excruciating pain in your foot. Thus, go for midsoles that are made up of EVA and polyurethane.

12. Brand Reputation

Both Merrell and Columbia are recognized for quality and comfort. Merrell is celebrated for its lightweight design, while Columbia is loved for its durability and warmth, making both brands a favorite among hikers.

Features & Benefits – Similarities & Differences

Benefits of Merrell Vs Columbia Women & Men Shoe

Support and stiffness

These hiking shoes come with highly durable support to prevent snake bites from keeping you safe throughout the journey. One of the things that make them ideal for hiking is the excellent ankle and arch support that can make it effortless to walk for miles on rough surfaces.


Their all-weather versatility and comfort can easily ensure snow, dust, and rocky surfaces you might encounter in hiking terrain. Luckily, you can rest assured with these Merrell and Columbia shoes to feel energized even hiking for hours.

Columbia vs Merrell Hiking Boots: The Brand

About Columbia Hiking Shoes

In a market for quality hiking shoes? Your hunt stops here. Columbia started in 1937 to complete a mission to solve all of the problems you may face with your feet. The initiation embarked when Gert’s parents fled Nazi Germany and settled in Portland to create a small company called Columbia Hat Company.

From there, they have been excelling in every footwear collection using its signature Omni-Grip feature and extra comfort that no one but Columbia offers.

Also Read: Best Columbia Montrail Shoes

About Merrell Hiking Shoes

If you are into outdoor activities, there is no way you haven’t heard of the revolutionary footwear brand Merrell which is a favorite for every hiker. For over a decade, they have been making out-of-the-box designs for over 20 million people worldwide and helping them achieve their goals.

Their super lightweight and technology-advanced shoes can tackle any trail and boost your confidence in any outdoor activity you may want to try. Their shoes are specifically designed for go-getter personalities who see nothing but victory ahead of them.

Also Read: Merrell Men’s All Out Blaze Sieve Water Shoe Review

Merrell Vs Columbia Women & Men Shoe: How Are They Different?

One of the biggest differences between these two hiking shoe brands is how one focuses on aesthetics and is signature traction. In contrast, the other is all about using unique technology to overcome fears you’ve never experienced before.

Another thing that distinguishes between the two is that Merrell is excellent for ventilation to keep your feeling airy and comfy while Columbia is for people who favor safety and practicality over anything else.

Also Read: Is Columbia A Good Brand For Shoes?

Merrell Vs Columbia Women & Men Shoe: Are They The Same?

Regardless of how many minor differences they may have, if we look at the bigger picture, they both are great at fulfilling their purpose of being waterproof and durable for hiking. You can surely wear them if you wear shoes that offer style and functionality at the very same time.

Why Hiking Shoes?

If you don’t know already, the main purpose and design of hiking shoes are to protect your feet against the wilderness’ bruising and abrasion by gripping various surfaces such as dirt, rocks, mud and water and best of all protect your feet from stepping on sharp rocks. 

Again, it should be able to provide you with good traction on rough, slippery, and steep terrains whether you’re backpacking or on a pandemic-induced hiking as a hobby.

The main reason why just picking the most popular shoe off the rack wouldn’t cut it. That said, Merrel and Columbia excel at manufacturing exactly what you need to have a fantastic way to enjoy your hiking.

However, with competition this close, it can be daunting to choose the best one for you. Here’s an honest comparison that breaks all the unknown truths about the two brands to help you make a better choice.

now, it’s your turn…

All in all, to make sure you make the best decision between the Columbia Women’s Newton Ridge or the Merrell Women’s Moab, it is never a bad idea to do your side of the research and choose a brand that works for you rather than something that has been raved by the general public. 

I will suggest you compare all the shoes mentioned above, weigh the pros and cons and get your priorities straight before taking your pick.

Happy hiking.

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Under training to become your personal trainer of choice. If Nelson is not busy producing awesome content to improve your mental, physical health and wellbeing, he’s probably sweating it out at the gym or watching Arsenal break hearts. A salesman and digital marketer , an avid reader, plays tennis and adventurous. He’s a disciple of self-development and follows everything fitness religiously.