Columbia Frontier Peak Review

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[Editors rating (9.0)] = (WalkJogRun) score (9.0)/10

Editor rating: 9.0 / 10
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When you’ve got miles of land to cover before you have any hope of pausing to pitch your tent for the night, that’s when you’re going to be grateful to have the waterproof protection and comfort of the Frontier Peak hiking boots from Columbia-the company best known for their first-class gear.

They feature GORE-TEX waterproofing technology in the lining. This does make the boot more stuffy in the warmer weather, which is why this is considered a three-season boot. The upper is an additional layer of waterproofing with a combination of lightweight nylon mesh nubuck leather. Yet another measure for protection is the gusseted tongue. This means that the tongue is designed to prevent water, dirt, pebbles, and sand from getting into your boots via the eyelets or spaces left between the upper and tongue.

The midsole is made of EVA foam material and includes a nylon shank. The shank acts as a supportive structure to lessen the load on the consumer’s feet and legs. The upper is also stretched over a full-length lasting board to give you more stability for the rough trails. Omni-grip rubber with a deep, multi-directional tread pattern as an outsole will protect you on your hike without adding a lot of weight.

Editor's Pros & Cons
  • Inexpensive
  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Quality materials
  • GORE-TEX lining
  • Too warm for summer
  • Stiff at first


Columbia Sportswear Company got its start when it was founded in 1938. For over 80 years, it has been making quality gear for those who get their thrills outdoors. Gert Boyle has been a chairman for nearly 50 of those years, and she helped mold Columbia into the global sportswear brand that it is today. Her parents came to the United States from Nazi Germany in 1938 and they settled down in Portland, Oregan. There they purchased a small hat manufacturer and named it the Columbia Hat Company. This new adventure marked a fresh start for the Boyle family. The business was passed from Gert’s dad to her husband, Neal, and then to Gert when she inherited the business overnight after Neal’s unexpected passing in 1970.

Today, Gert’s son, Tim, is Columbia’s CEO and her grandson, Joe, is the president. The family and business have experienced ups and downs, as anything and anyone does, but no matter what-enjoying the outdoors together has always been the key to their success. Columbia employees are talented, hard-working people who are just as wild about the outdoors as you are. Their products are available worldwide, but they are based in Portland, Oregon; where the majestic forests, rugged coastline, volcanic mountains, and wide open spaces serve as their muse and playground. This is where they hunt, hike, camp, fish, shred, climb, gold, run, paddle, and simply enjoy the fresh air with friends.


A beautiful combination of smooth nubuck leather and nylon mesh make up the upper of this waterproof hiking boot. Not only do they appeal to the eyes, but to the feet as well. Your feet can enjoy protection for abrasions, punctures, moisture, bites, etc. The nylon mesh will provide you with a little more flexibility for comfort.

Leather is tough against abrasions and punctures, and less susceptible to stains than suede and other materials. It does come with a bit of routine maintenance, though. And you need to be aware of how to spot clean and how to deep clean as well as what kind of a schedule you should keep with both in order to extend the life and look of your leather as long as possible.

The best choice for a shoe designed for uneven, rough, wet terrain is and always has been leather. It’s going to protect you from animal bites, injuries from accidentally kicking rocks or trees, being punctured easily, poisonous plants, etc. Even if you’re not a hiker, it’s always a good idea to keep a pair of leather boots on hand. Who have never in their lives done something spontaneous and thought to themselves, “I wish I had boots for this.”?


Resting between the insole and the outsole of your shoe is the component that is responsible for the majority of your support and comfort all day long. When you’re wearing these, most likely you’re planning on walking for a few miles at least. That means that the midsole is pretty important in the construction process.

The midsole is made of EVA foam material and includes a nylon shank. The EVA is what is going to provide you with the rebound to help take the shock of your footsteps off of the rest of your body. Boots get their shape from the shank, and it stiffens the outsole so that you have more stability.

If you experience pain in your arch or knee, plantar fasciitis, or any other discomfort, pronation may be the reason. Being careful to buy footwear that will suit your needs is very important. You need a firm heel and a shank or midsole that is sturdy to efficiently stabilize and support your foot.

Nylon shanks are softer than steel ones, but that does not take away from their being supportive. They are flexible and lightweight, making it much easier to move with them in place. The flexibility will allow the shoe to move more naturally but will also provide enough support for your arches. Being lightweight will decrease fatigue, allowing you to hike on.


The outsole of any shoe you wear is important. It is the part of the shoe that is going to experience the most wear and tear, so it needs to be durable. It also needs to be able to protect you wherever you’re walking. Because the rest of the Frontier Peak is covered in feature after feature to protect you from the elements and other threats, you should expect the same out of the sole.

Rubber with Omni-grip technology from Columbia and a multi-directional tread pattern is what the Frontier Peak has for an outsole. Omni-grip was created with the intention of being used for terrains with rocks, gravel, dirt, and wet and dry conditions. The treads and compounds are formulated especially for grip and stability. Lugs are strategically placed along with rubber compounds to provide you with a versatile grip for the versatile terrains you can wander.


Three hundred and sixty-degree waterproofing will give you the freedom to roam near and far, no matter the weather. From the tongue clear down to the sole, waterproofing is in every detail. The tongue is gusseted, which means it will not allow water or dirt or other debris to enter your shoe via the lace eyelets or gap between the tongue and the upper material. It closes all of those gaps. The shaft height will also give you some protection from moisture. You can reap the benefits of its protection up to the top, but water beyond that point will enter your shoe through the opening at the top.

Lining that features GORE-TEX technology is another layer of waterproofing protection just in case any moisture sneaks through the upper material somehow. This is a breathable fabric that was invented in 1969. It repels water while also allowing vaper to exit (keeping your feet a little bit ventilated). This layer of protection will keep any water from passing through to your socks and feet unless it is damaged or punctured in any way.

Lastly, the rubber outsole will keep the moisture on the ground from entering your shoe. So, get out there and explore wherever your heart desires, knowing that you’ll be protected and comfortable for miles and miles.


It goes without saying that the fit of anything you wear needs to work for your unique body. This is extra important for your footwear. You’re on your feet for a lot of time during the day, and even if you aren’t, the time that you do spend on them, you need to be comfortable. Otherwise, you’ll be in a miserable mood because of how miserable your feet feel. And if your feet are suffering, more than likely your legs and back will as well. You’ll also experience unnecessary fatigue.

When you first purchase any pair of boots, they’re going to require some break-in time. This is because they are built to be a lot more sturdy than regular everyday footwear. Therefore, the sole, upper, shaft, and toe box are going to be a little bit rigid when you take the boots out of the box.

Spend time wearing them around the house until they feel comfortable enough to wear outside. And even then, only go for a short walk in case they are not broken in enough. You don’t want to be caught miles into the woods with aching, throbbing feet. It is worth the wait.


Because of the purpose of hiking footwear, the focus is mainly on support, stability, and protection. However, it is understood loud and clear that comfort is extremely important as well. Columbia keeps that in mind.

Being constructed of very durable materials, the Frontier Peak will feel stiff and uncomfortable at first. After enough time being broken in, they should loosen up and move a little more naturally with your feet. The midsole and shank will work to help with a natural gait as well.

The waterproofing will keep your feet dry from the outside, and the ability of the GORE-TEX lining to expel moisture as vapor will keep them dry on the inside. These will aid in keeping your feet as cool as possible, but breathability is not a strong suit when it comes to waterproof footwear. It is kind of something you have to live with in order to get the protection from moisture.


Once again, when it comes to footwear for any kind of hiking, protection is extremely important. And this means protection from all kinds of things. Protection from injuries due to a rolled ankle and from trips, slips, and falls. Protection from water and rocks and gravel and mud. The construction of the Frontier Peak puts emphasis on protection in every piece.

Because the shaft height is high, your ankles are going to be exponentially more stabilized. This will allow you to traverse uneven terrain with more confidence and speed and agility, without the high risk of rolling or breaking your ankle. High top footwear does not guarantee protection from injuries, of course. But every little bit of added protection helps.

The gusseted tongue protects your feet from moisture and debris, as does the nubuck leather and nylon mesh of the upper. The lining protects you from outside moisture and expels it as vapor. The supportive and shock absorbing midsole and nylon shank will give you protection from pain, discomfort, and fatigue throughout the day. And lastly, the rubber outsole with excellent traction will give you protection from trips, slips, falls, moisture, punctures, abrasions, etc.

Bottom Line

You simply can’t beat the price of these boots for the quality and benefits you get out of the deal. The lacing system of four eyelets and two hooks allows for an adjustable fit to keep you secure and comfortable all day. This is especially handy if you have feet that swell from walking or standing. The pull tab at the top of the shaft will help you get your foot into the boot easily.

The gusseted tongue, GORE-TEX lining, nubuck leather and nylon mesh upper, and rubber outsole will keep you dry in wet conditions. They will also keep debris from entering. The leather and mesh upper along with the rubber outsole will also protect you from abrasions and punctures. Comfort is provided from top to bottom in every piece.

Make sure that you research the proper methods for cleaning and maintaining leather material. You’ll find these boots so useful that you’ll want to work extra hard to keep them up to par. A spot clean after each use is important as well as a scheduled deep clean every so often. You’re going to want to invest in a special soft brush for cleaning leather. If you find one specifically for nubuck leather, that is the one you want.

For all of the benefits at such an affordable price, you can’t go wrong giving the Frontier Peak hiking boot from Columbia a shot.