Our Take: Testers from the Cascades to the Blue Ridge Mountains fought over this pair of boots: They cannot wet out. With a waterproof PU layer on the outside, the Daska Pass IIIs shed water like a duck—better than any other boot in our test.
Waterproofing: Columbia’s OutDry Extreme waterproof/breathable technology seems to upgrade every category of gear it’s used in, and the Daska Pass III is no exception. A PU upper is backed with a wicking layer, eliminating the need for a face fabric or DWR. Bonus: easy cleaning. You can hose off your kicks without wetting them out.
Breathability: While the waterproofing earned top marks, the breathability left some testers wanting more. Our Grand Canyon tester reported pruned toes after a hot hike, and the PU upper (which is black) absorbs heat.
Traction: The XS Trek tread gripped well on wet steeps in Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina.
Protection: The higher-than-usual ankle cuff shielded us from granite on Sierra treks and cactus spines on a Grand Canyon epic, while providing enough support for our hunters who haul huge loads. Fit is best for high-volume feet.
Durability:“Eyelet” sounds so cute and fragile, which is a disservice to these burly, metal grabbers of laces. Unlike standard hook-style eyelets, which tend to be one of the first pieces of hardware on your boot to fail, these thick, angular hooks show no signs of wear or bending after a hard season of testing.