4.6 With a 1.6mm leather upper, the Newton Ridge was deemed the most durable here. But the midsole lacks protection: Testers could feel rocks underfoot. Cost-cutter: Rather than a waterproof/breathable bootie, the seam-sealed, treated leather keeps wet out.
4.3 Spongy, 1-inch-thick EVA foam padding in the midsole gives these boots “the cushiony feel of a running shoe,” according to one tester. Although everyone liked the bounciness and easy forefoot flex (unusual for a full-grain leather boot), the midsole compresses. Ding: Hikers venturing off-trail reported feeling metatarsal pain and foot fatigue.
4.3 Knobby lugs and flat rubber strips on the toe, heel, and under the forefoot gripped well on smooth surfaces, rock, and snowy spots, but testers found them a bit sloppy in gravel and mud.
4.3 Though easy to break-in, the Newton Ridge was noticeably hotter than others (some testers reported sweaty feet in the mid-30s), which we attribute to the proprietary waterproofing treatment. Best for average feet, but available in wide sizes (for men).
$90; 2 lbs.; columbia.com
The Scale: 1=save your money - 5=perfect gear.
*Overall score is not an average of others scores; It's a gut-level assessment of performance and value.