Do you hate heavy, bulky traditional hiking boots? Meet Columbia's Trailstorm, which looks and feels like a trainer and weighs just 290g per boot, but is designed to be sturdy enough to tackle more relaxed hiking trails in any weather. How does it match up to the rest of today's best women's hiking boots? Read on for our full Columbia Trailstorm Mid Waterproof hiking boot review.
Note: despite being clearly a boot, this is referred to as a 'Mid walking shoe'. Slightly confusingly, it's also available as a low-rise walking shoe – for more on that, head to our Columbia Trailstorm Waterproof walking shoe review.
Columbia Trailstorm hiking boot review: design
Straight out of the box, Columbia's Trailstorm is a noticeably light boot at just 290g – this is the lightest hiker we've tested out recently, and it will never drag you down even on long, all-day hikes. The boot sports a bouncy rubber sole and cushioning insole, and most of the main material is a malleable mesh that is breathable and flexible. There's also a solid toe box to protect your feet if you head off the beaten track.
While looks aren't the most important factor in a hiking boot, it doesn't hurt to pick a pair you can wear daily, and the trainer-style Trailstorms look great. They're available in a neutral gray or a smart black and work well when worn with jeans in the city as well as when paired with hiking trousers in the country – these light boots may be better suited for casual walkers than tough mountaineers, but they still offer a fair amount of versatility for your money.
Columbia Trailstorm review: performance and comfort
On test we found the Trailstorm lived up to its waterproofing claims, and kept feet dry in rain or when striding through puddles. This boot is also breathable enough to keep you comfortable on summer strolls. While it may be waterproof enough to tackle foul weather, the soles of the Trailstorm keep it in the casual hiker category.
While there's decent grip on established trails and in fields and valleys, this boot doesn't have the deep lugs (the indentations in the sole) we look for in more technical hiking boots, and won't work for wet ground or challenging mountain terrain. Keep these airy boots for spring and summer rambles, or pack them for travelling, when they'd work well as a quiver-of-one boot for sightseeing and hiking.
The Trailstorm fits on the small and narrow side – we tested a UK 6 and would definitely recommend choosing a half or whole size up, especially if you like to wear thicker hiking socks when you walk. Anyone with wide feet or bunions may need a different boot altogether. Once you've got the right fit, the Trailstorm does offer trainer-like comfort, and molds to your feet over time. On longer walks the comfort of the Trailstorm is very welcome – when testing it on all-day hikes we appreciated the bouncy sole, decent arch support and the mesh-lined ankle, which is cushioned and comfortable but can still be laced tightly to protect your foot.
Columbia Trailstorm hiking boot review: verdict
The Columbia Trailstorm hiking boot isn't going to be up for tackling mountain hikes or winter mud baths – but then, that's not what it was designed for. This relaxed and comfortable design is ideal for casual hikers, and is great if you want a boot for daily use that can also hit the trail when needed. Its light weight makes the Trailstorm a treat on warm days or when travelling, and the boot's trainer-like looks make it a versatile pick for your money.