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Columbia Wallawalla 2 Mid Omni-Tech

rated 4 of 5 stars
photo: Columbia Wallawalla 2 Mid Omni-Tech hiking boot

These boots are soft and light. I recommend them for straight distance hiking, especially for people with foot problems.


  • Light
  • Comfy
  • Sole is pretty sticky for slab work
  • Basically waterproof, but breathable


  • Funky feeling ankle - it happened to fit around my upper ankle, but many people don't like the binding feeling
  • Not the best protection for tender/injured feet

I have rheumatoid arthritis, with damage to the joints in my feet.  Because of this, I need boots that fit well, and do not pinch anywhere. I purchased these boots two days before a scheduled trip to climb some of the 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks, because my joints were swollen past the point of comfort for my usual boots.  I was highly pleased with the purchase.

The boots fit well, not pinching or binding in the toe box, yet not sliding around in the heel area.  I took a few walks on unfortunately level ground to try to break them in as much as possible, and it was enough - no issues, as they are basically soft boots anyway. I added Green Superfeet insoles to them, of course.  The final word on fit - NO BLISTERS.  Not one. 

The shoe provides as much support as expected for a mid-rise sneakery-type boot.  A nice surprise was the vice-like grip around the top cuff of the boot - I could see where it would be infuriating if it did not fit exactly so, but they happened to fit me well. 

This grip came in handy, as I hiked up Scarface, Ampersand, Algonquin and Wright peaks this past week, in the middle of a period of really, really wet weather.  The water resistance was perfect, and no mud or water penetrated the shoe itself - gaiters, however, would have been a plus.  The soles are not fantastically grippy, but got the job done - I was a little nervous on the slab sections, not being familiar with these boots, and the faces being wet, but aside from a few slips, they were fine.

I was very excited and happy about these boots, as finding comfortable and functional boots is a problem for me, considering my medical condition.  Did I mention NO BLISTERS?  Sadly, I am going to have to keep looking for the perfect boots, as I need a little more protection against knocking my feet against stones.  I was kinda clumsy even before the RA, and when my joints are acting up, tripping/kicking rocks is not the most fun thing to do.  For someone without these issues, however, these boots would be well-nigh perfect, in my opinion. 

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: around $70 at an outlet

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Price Historic Range: $39.99-$78.69
Price Historic Range: $39.99-$49.95
Reviewers Paid: $70.00
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