KEEN Vs. Columbia Hiking Shoes: A Side-By-Side Comparison 

Which should you choose between KEEN vs. Columbia hiking shoes? Let us show you how they shine when put next to each other. Then, pick up your favorite!

Top 4 Good Budget KEEN Hiking Boots for women and men

Top 4 Good Budget Columbia Hiking Boots for men and women

#1. KEEN Vs. Columbia Hiking Shoes: Comparison Table

Choosing the right hiking shoes is the first step to success for your hiking trip. Today, we will discuss two big brands in the shoe-making industry: KEEN and Columbia. Let’s see how they differ and what you can get from them.

Criteria  KEEN Columbia
Materials Leather, rubber, and synthetic materials Leather, rubber, and synthetic materials
Weight  Depending on the model Depending on the model
Comfort KEEN.CUSH footbed and EVA foam Techlite and Omni-Grip technology
Design Both traditional and modern Both traditional and modern
Durability Good Good
Breathability Breathable materials Breathable materials
Waterproofing  KEEN.DRY technology OutDry Extreme technology
Affordability  $100 to $200 $70 to $100


#2. What Is The Difference Between KEEN Vs. Columbia Hiking Shoes?

KEEN and Columbia offer products of good quality. To determine the better, you need to consider multiple factors. We will explain each right now.


The materials used in hiking shoes from KEEN and Columbia differ from model to model. Each aims to serve particular purposes.

However, both manufacturers employ leather, rubber, and synthetic materials to construct their footwear. When combined, those materials can provide protection, support, and durability.


The weight of hiking shoes depends on their construction and materials. Hence, it’s tricky to tell which brand produces heavier footwear.

Luckily, KEEN and Columbia offer items from a wide range of weights. While the lightweight models are suitable for efficient and fast movement, the heavier ones give you more support and protection.


KEEN and Columbia make comfortable hiking footwear by combining design elements and materials to offer support and cushioning.

To provide a tailored fit, KEEN uses its unique KEEN.CUSH footbed made of soft, flexible foam. High-density EVA foam is another material the company employs in the midsole for cushioning.

To keep your feet fresh and dry during long hours of hiking, KEEN also uses breathable materials, such as mesh, when making their shoes.

On the other hand, Columbia’s midsole comes with the patented Techlite and Omni-Grip technology to support your feet.

Like KEEN, Columbia incorporates lightweight and breathable materials to construct their hiking shoes, helping your feet stay dry and cool.


Aesthetics is a subjective matter. KEEN and Columbia have shoes in different styles, so you can choose the right one for your taste.

KEEN is renowned for classic, technical hiking shoes. You can also find models with a more casual, ordinary look.

Besides, the company’s hiking shoes usually have striking hues and distinctive patterns, which may give them a chic, contemporary impression.

Hiking shoes from Columbia also come in various styles, from traditional outdoor designs to modern ones.

The company’s hiking shoes usually feature vivid colors and sleek patterns to achieve a fashionable, sporty appeal.


Depending on the style and materials, hiking shoes from KEEN and Columbia might last longer or less.

The good news is that both manufacturers build their hiking shoes using premium materials to ensure durability and weather resistance.

The durability depends on the footwear you choose. Though some KEEN and Columbia models are lighter and more flexible for trekking at a quicker speed, others aim to deal with more difficult terrain and provide better protection.

So, to determine which is more durable, you should search for the product you are targeting, read online reviews, and consider your needs.


Depending on your intended application and the fabrics used, KEEN and Columbia offer hiking shoes with different levels of breathability.

Regarding KEEN, you will notice breathable materials in its hiking shoes. Synthetic materials and mesh are excellent options to promote airflow.

Besides, KEEN hiking shoes feature breathable membranes to balance breathability and protection, making them a nice choice for hikers.

How about Columbia? The brand also works with breathable materials and technologies, such as the OutDry Extreme and mesh, to give you highly breathable shoes.


Waterproofing is an important factor when choosing hiking shoes. It plays a more vital role if you intend to travel across wet routes or expect rain on your hike.

Many of KEEN’s products are waterproof, thanks to the company’s own KEEN.DRY waterproof technology.

KEEN.DRY refers to a breathable, multi-layer membrane inserted between the inner lining and outer materials of a hiking shoe.

This membrane keeps water from getting into the footwear while enabling moisture to exit from the inside out. It also keeps your feet dry and comfortable in soggy conditions.

Aside from the KEEN.DRY technology, KEEN also utilizes other waterproofing techniques, such as waterproof leather, to fight against external elements.

Furthermore, the manufacturer integrates design elements like watertight zippers and gusseted tongues to keep water out of your shoes.

While KEEN is proud of its KEEN.DRY technology, Columbia has earned a lot of recognition with its OutDry Extreme technology. It works similarly to the KEEN.DRY membrane to allow for durable waterproof protection.

Columbia hiking shoes also have waterproof leather and a seam-sealed design. Some feature waterproof zippers and gusseted tongues, as well.


Depending on the individual model, style, and features, KEEN and Columbia products can range in price significantly.

While KEEN’s premium hiking shoes can cost up to $200, the more affordable models can start at about $100.

Meanwhile, budget-friendly hiking shoes from Columbia are as little as $70, whereas more expensive options cost around $200.

#3. KEEN Vs. Columbia Hiking Shoes: Which One Should I Go For?

While Columbia hiking boots provide a good balance of comfort, stability, and affordability, KEEN products are renowned for their sturdiness and waterproofing features.

KEEN and Columbia provide models with different technologies and features. Hence, your ultimate choice depends on your budget, intended use, taste, intended use, and comfort.

It’s critical to select a boot that is suitable for the type of hiking you want to do because both manufacturers offer many models made for everything from short day hikes to extensive backpacking adventures.

#4. Frequently Asked Questions

Below are questions and answers related to comparison between keen vs columbia hiking shoes

1. Is Columbia good for hiking?

Yes. Columbia provides all-purpose hiking shoes with excellent traction for a firm grip across different terrains, including snow and ice. They are also durable and lightweight.

2. Are hiking KEENs good?

Yes. The company is renowned for its superior materials, comfortable fits, and cutting-edge innovations. It has everything outdoor enthusiasts need for their adventures.

3. What makes KEEN shoes so special?

KEEN shoes are special because the brand focuses on high-quality materials and innovative technologies in support and waterproofing.

4. Are Columbia hiking boots good for cold weather?

Yes. Some Columbia hiking shoes have insulation technologies, such as the Omni-Heat reflective lining. They will trap body heat and keep your feet warm in cold weather.

5. Are KEEN shoes good for standing all day?

Yes. KEEN shoes feature shock absorption and cushioned support to reduce fatigue. Hence, you will feel comfortable all day while walking or standing for a long period.

6. How good is KEEN?

KEEN’s overall quality is above average. Hikers or those with wide feet will appreciate the comfort and durability offered by KEEN shoes.

7. Are KEEN shoes good for concrete?

Yes. They provide cushioned comfort for walking all day on concrete surfaces. As a bonus, your toes can move freely, thanks to the asymmetrical steel toe.

8. Do Columbia shoes have arch support?

Yes. Columbia provides shoes with contoured footbeds, shanks, and strengthened arch support to increase comfort and lower the risk of injury.

9. Are Columbia shoes comfortable?

Yes, thanks to their cushioning technologies. Moreover, some models have moisture-wicking and breathable materials to keep your feet dry and comfortable all day.

10. Are Columbia Newton Ridge good for hiking?

Yes. These hiking boots provide a good balance of comfort, toughness, and support, making them ideal for easy to moderate routes. They also have a supportive shank to improve stability on rugged terrains.

Please check this video to learn more about Columbia Newton Ridge shoes:

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